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SENATE HANSARD 15 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 62

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday 15th June, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

          HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We have the Ministry of Industry and Commerce being represented. There being no questions without notice we will go into Questions With Notice.

          WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO CAPACITATE LOCAL FERTILIZER COMPANIES

          21.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce what measures are in place to capacitate the local fertilizer companies so that they are fully operational.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Madam President, The Government, through my Ministry, continues to implement specific policy measures and strategies as a way of capacitating and promoting the local fertilizer companies.

          May I inform Hon. Members that the Government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), mobilised resources to avail to local fertilizer firms to enable them to retool and modernise. During the last quarter of 2015, Zimphos secured a US$10 million loan from the RBZ.  Of that amount, US$5 million has so far been utilised at Dorowa Mine to buy equipment as well as refurbish the plant.  As a result of the intervention, Dorowa Mine is not operating at 60% capacity utilisation.  The remaining US$5 million is currently being utilised to rebuild the sulphuric acid plant at the Zimphos Msasa plant.  About US$1.8 million has so far been invested in the project, which is now 25% complete.  The company expects to finalise the project during the first quarter of 2018.

          The Government, through the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), extended a US$20 million facility to the local fertilizer companies to capacitate them for local production.  The uptake of these funds by the companies will further lead to an increase in capacity utilisation.

          The removal of products such as Urea and Ammonium Nitrate, Compounds and Blends from the Open General Import Licence under the Import Management Programme has given local firms and opportunity to increase their production.  So far, local manufacturing capacity in the fertilizer industry as a whole, has increased from 25% to 40%.

          May I also advise the august House that the sole ammonium nitrate producer in the country, Sable Chemicals, resumed production in April 2017.  Currently, 1 500 tonnes of ammonia is in stock and an additional 2 000 tonnes is expected by mid-May.  This development is expected to lead to a combined ammonium nitrate fertilizer output of about 7 000 tonnes.

          The Government programme on command agriculture has contracted local firms to supply both top dressing and basal fertilizer to farmers.  This programme continues to create local demand for fertilizers from the local companies thereby stimulating production.  I thank you.   

MOTION

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

First 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 the Community Share Ownership Trusts in Mudzi and Mutoko districts.

Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. CHIEF NYANGAZONKE: Thank you Madam President. I would like to take this opportunity to support the report which was brought by Hon. Sen. Tawengwa seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Dandawa.  I am also a member of this Committee. We had an opportunity to go to Mudzi and Mutoko districts to look at how they work and why there is non-establishment of the Community Share Ownership Trust.  We saw that there is nothing to realise because since there is nothing to work. 

We found that the gold is being mined but people do not have the relevant documentation.  As to why they do not have the documents, people do not know why.  There is damage of the environment, chemical pollution and communities will have problems because of the pollution.  The question is, who is going to attend to those problems and when? When we went to other places where there is mining of black granite, we realised that some other companies would like to go into mining of the same but they do not have the resources to start a company.   

The claims are there but after sometime because someone does not have an investor, the claims end up being forfeited. So there is no development where such matters are arising.  Where there is no money going to Rural District Councils, it is going to be difficult for development in Mutoko and Mudzi districts which are the entry points into Zimbabwe. These are our people and we should work together with them. When the company was running in 1974, the operations only started in 1986. There is a company called Natural Stone Export Company which had 40 managers but on the ground there were only two managers. There were 1 200 workers but as of now, there are 179. You can see that one thousand people are no longer there. Where are the families of these people? What caused them to leave?

We have high taxes in this country but these minerals are exported into Mozambique. I believe the rates in Mozambique are low, so business is better there.  We will not develop if we have high rates. We will lose investors and businesses will collapse. When they cut these stones, the off cuts are used to make tombstones but the bigger stone is exported. Yes, it helps in business but it does not bring viability because the profits realised are low.

          We also met with traditional leaders in the two districts. There is nothing that they are doing even though they are the chairpersons of the Trusts. They chair the meetings but there is nothing. They chair those meetings but they do not realise anything out of that. In discussions, they told me that they came by public transport. You can imagine a chief going to a meeting using public transport. He has not dignity at all as a leader in his own community.  A traditional leader should be given his necessary respect and dignity. There is nothing that is being done to make a turnaround of the situation.  When is this matter going to be remedied? Yes, chiefs are the owners of the land but when are they going to be the owners of their land. They are going to be owners when things are difficult. May this House intervene so that we may not lose our humanity and history?

          As traditional leaders, we should ensure that when people do things our minerals develop the community and the traditional leader as well. There was a school which was painted and its roof was rehabilitated. Even though that was done, the level of education should also change. With those few words I thank you Madam President.

          * HON. SEN. MURWIRA: Thank you Madam President for according me this opportunity to add a few words on the report that was tabled by Senator Tawengwa, a report which is very important in our lives. This report is important because I was really pained when I heard that in Mudzi there are about 113 miners and in Mutoko there are 189. The Government should look at what is happening there so that we realise a lot of revenue. I can see that we can mine a lot of minerals from there.

          Since the Committee investigated and found out that there is no Community Share Ownership Trust, I think that these miners should support the Community Share Trusts so that the schools are supported, boreholes are sunk and even clinics are constructed. But because these people are many, it means they are not paying anything. There are a lot of them but they are not realising anything and supporting the Community Share Ownership Trusts.

          We went to Zvishavane where we visited the small scale miners. We found a lot of machinery there and we thought these were illegal miners. We are saying as a House, we want the Minister to go down to the grassroots in the rural areas and verify the Committee’s  findings because many a times, we say they are illegal miners but we find that these illegal miners have a lot of big machines which degrade our land. In Mudzi and Mutoko, these earth moving machines have left a lot of pits which are as big as this House. This should be investigated so that after mining they close those pits. As a country, we are not benefiting anything but the companies are benefiting through exports of these stones. We have heard that the lives of school children are in danger because of the haulage trucks which will be ferrying those big stones. I think the Minister should go down to the grassroots and find out what is happening there.

          I want to thank the Committee for coming up with the findings. They did a very good job and they brought to light what is happening in those areas. I heard another Senator contributing that even the chief was really pained and left us. It is very painful that as a nation we know our land is full of milk and honey but our laws are not protective enough because we are looking at the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. They should go down to the grassroots and see what is happening. They should engage other relevant Ministries and EMA which should enforce the closing of those pits.

          We only visited Maashonaland East but what is happening in the rest of the country? Our country is very rich if we do our things properly.  If we use our minerals properly, you will find that our business as parliamentarians would be supported. As an august House, we are asking Government to provide resources to the Committee to go around the country. I am not only referring to this Committee but all the Committees. If they are supposed to tour the country doing their duties they should be supported. You can see that our land is endowed with milk and honey but we do not know where it is and we are not guarding our minerals jealously because people are coming and taking our minerals away.

          Some of the stones, we just see them thrown on the roadside but when they come back after they have processed the minerals, they will come and sell the products at exorbitant prices.

          *HON. SEN CHIEF NEMBIRE: I rise to also add my voice to the debate on community share ownership trusts.  Madam President, 75% of Zimbabweans are living in the rural areas where there are a lot of minerals but there is no poverty alleviation that has been seen in these areas. The Mines and Mineral Act which is going to be amended is very powerful.  It will help alleviate the poverty in rural areas. If gold is found where the chief lives, the homestead will be demolished.  So, this law should help alleviate the poverty of the people living in the area.  Also, the people who are mining black granite in Mutoko and other areas in Zimbabwe are causing deforestation and degradation of the environment which leads to endangering of livestock.  So, the chiefs and EMA should work together.  Currently the chiefs and EMA are not working together, maybe because of the law.

          This issue of mining minerals should bring beneficiation to the people.  The law is not empowering people through the minerals found in their areas.  Wherever minerals are being mined, dynamite is blasted and most of the houses are affected but no compensation takes place because people will just be taking their wealth outside the country.  So, we want the chiefs to be involved and engaged for the way forward.  Chiefs are very poor because the minerals in their areas are not benefiting them.  The chiefs do not have cars but there is a possibility of the chiefs being rich if they are made to benefit from the minerals in their areas.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MOEKETSI:  I also want to add a few words to the debate.  This issue of community share ownership trusts is very painful to us.  The year that the diamond was discovered in Marange – the last people to see the diamond were the people who discovered it.  There were policemen and soldiers all over and the people in that area had a tough time.  I think there are laws that can help us, that we think of later, but I think this is where devolution should come into place because people from those areas are living in a sorry state.  There are certain laws that we put in place that are not good at the end of the day. 

As we are talking right now, if our Ministers were working hand-in-hand with the chiefs, we would not be having some of the challenges.  It is not surprising that one of these days you will hear that a certain mountain fell down without the knowledge of our chiefs.  There are certain powers that were taken from chiefs and given to youngsters.  The people who are coming and taking our wealth are not from anywhere else but from Zimbabwe and we are allowing them to do that.

 In Marange, people were removed from their homes and placed in desert areas where they do not have anything because of people who want to reap and eat what they did not sow.  I think this august House should return all the powers to the chiefs.  I am pleading with you Madam President.  The post of Chief and headman are now being held by one person and that is killing our nation.  Right now, as Members of Parliament, we are living in trouble because we have not even been given our allowances but a lot of diamonds were mined in Marange.

          We want to thank this Committee which brought out the light.  There are other Committees which are not bringing out the truth that they would have found on the ground but if all of us would take the example of this committee it would help us.  I was also thinking that way back, even if someone was to steal a bottle of water they would be sentenced accordingly but these days there is nothing like that.  Anyone who steals is not judged and that means we are impeding the progress of our own nation.  I am pleading with the august House that this is our last hope and we should return the chief’s powers.  I was also thinking that each and every Minister should work with chiefs in their area for progress’s sake because we have a lot of wealth but we are bringing people from outside to come and mine while we are left in poverty.  These people who are mining black granite are working with people in this country and they would have been allowed.  There is a lot of corruption there but the people in those areas are living in abject poverty.  The people of this nation are struggling; it is very painful. With these few words Madam President, I thought it was important that I should add my voice on this report.  Thank you. 

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 20th June, 2017. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  I move that Order of the Day, Number 2 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 3 has been disposed of. 

          Motion put and agreed to. 

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF THE EDUCATION ACT TO THE CONSTITUTION

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

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Madam President, I wish to thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo who has raised these very serious matters relating to my Ministry.  Indeed, the House was seized with debating these matters.  I wish to advice that as of now, the Ministry is busy aligning the Education Act to the Constitution and I would want Hon. Senators to engage with the Bill when it comes to Senate with the realistic prospect of contributing to the wholesome development of our education system. 

          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.  So, I will bring the Bill and that would then become a substantive issue for debate.  Thank Madam President.

          HON. SEN. MAKONE:  Thank you very much Madam President for allowing me to respond to the wise words from the Minister.  Can the Minister assure us that so far no funds have been transferred from the SDAs to the Government School Fund and that there is no need for us to panic - until such time as we have debated the Bill on Education and we have agreed that the money can be so transferred?  If the money has already been transferred before debate, then I do not think that would be wasting our time.  Thank you Madam President.

          HON. DR. DOKORA:  Hon. President of the Senate, I actually want Hon. Senators to debate the Bill so that I can then use the substantive issues in the amended Bill to craft the Statutory Instruments that flow from it to guide the operations of the Minister.  I have come here on several occasions to seek the participation of Hon. Senators.  There is no way in which I would avoid the House when in fact I am going out of my way to ensure that we all put our best brains on the table so that we can ensure that the evolution of our education sector is wholesome.  We have got a Statutory Instrument that governs SDCs and a Statutory Instrument that governs SDAs and these are separate instruments which we are trying to harmonize in the Bill. So, we must debate those issues first.  I have no legal instrument to transfer the money.  Thank you.  I therefore move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 20th June, 2017.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

          Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the alignment of the Electoral Act to the Constitution of Zimbabwe. 

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

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 20th June, 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.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 20th June, 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

          Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the adoption of the 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.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MARAVA:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on this motion on statelessness regarding people in Zimbabwe.  When we talk of statelessness, there are many people, especially in southern Africa who are roaming around stateless and Zimbabwe has not been spared.  Zimbabwe is one of the countries that can be used in eradicating this statelessness of individuals who do not belong to any country.

When we talk of somebody who is very stateless, there are many reasons why people end up being stateless.  One will be running away from civil unrest in their country of origin and they seek refuge in other countries.  Unfortunately, during the period of fleeing from the civil unrest, they leave behind all their identification and travel documents as they will be in a hurry in a bid to save their lives.  When they reach the refugee camps, they will have run away from their Governments and homes where they had citizenship.  They will not be in possession of identification documents such as birth certificates and identification cards and as a result, even their children lose their citizenship because their parents are stateless.

The other reason why some people are stateless is that we have some people who voluntarily leave their countries of origin and migrate to other countries. When they get there, they work, live and marry illegally and children borne out of such unions will be stateless.  Their whole lineage will be thus affected and not benefit from any benefits found in that country because they are stateless. 

In Zimbabwe, we have children who were left behind by their parents who went to the diaspora in search of greener pastures.  These children are classified as orphans of parents in the diaspora.  These children may also suffer statelessness as it destroys the formative values of human beings.  We are calling upon the countries of the world to eradicate statelessness.  Let me talk of Zimbabwe, we have people living in the diaspora and some of them left this country in a hurry and do not have proper travel documentation.  The media says there are a lot of Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa and people suffer whenever there is unrest because they are stateless.

All countries have to work towards eradicating statelessness and one of the things that we are advocating for in order to curb statelessness is for countries to live peacefully and harmoniously. We urge all Governments to listen to the grievances of their nationals in order to maintain peace and harmony in their countries.  All leaders should listen to their people.  When people from peaceful countries go in search of greener pastures, they do so with requisite documentation and even the spouses can follow without any hassles.  Even when they stay in foreign countries, they will be able to obtain proper documentation and their children also stand to benefit.  We should have peaceful countries. 

Let me talk of countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique.  We have refugees from these countries and some of them are arrested due to lack of proper identification documents.  We have people who have been arrested for illegally entering and living in Zimbabwe.  It is not the responsibility of the Zimbabwean Government to issue these illegal immigrants with identification documents.  When these stateless people are arrested in Zimbabwe, their repatriation process should be expedited so that they acquire proper documentation in their countries of origin.  

When these illegal immigrants are arrested and imprisoned.  We will be feeding and taking care of them.  When they are in the prisons, they will be benefiting from our economy as they will be feeding on the tax payer’s money instead of us just focusing on our own nationals who are inmates.  Therefore, we need to make it easy for our Zimbabwean nationals to acquire birth certificates, national identities and passports in order to eradicate statelessness.  People fail to acquire these documents because of the long route of processing them.  Some of the requirements are so circuitous that people cannot get the documents. For example, a new child is born in a hospital, the documents necessary should be obtained at that particular hospital but we have a lot of protocols and processes which make it difficult for anybody to acquire an ID card or even a passport.  We have people moving out of the country without the proper documentation because of the round - about route which you follow in acquiring these documents.  We have heard people illegally crossing for example, into South Africa; crossing the Limpopo River and they face problems when they get there.  They can even be devoured by crocodiles in the river.  The worst part of it is that when they get to that country, they will become Stateless people because they do not have proper documentation. 

          I plead with this august House to craft a law that will make it easy for people to acquire documents so that they do not become Stateless.  Zimbabwe was one of the countries which used to be highly recommended because of the processes of acquiring the documents.  Our President was number one in signing when they were writing down these signatures.  The first was the President of Uganda and the second was the President of Zimbabwe, as a result, let us guard this jealously.  Let us not let our President down because he is fighting hard for people to acquire these documents.  Let us remove all those hurdles in acquiring these essential documents.  I thank you.

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

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 20th June, 2017.

MOTION

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

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS in Institutions of Higher Learning in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA: Thank you Mr. President. I also wish to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos and the seconder of the motion.  Mr. President, the report makes a sorry reading.  It is not just those affected with HIV/AIDS in the higher institutions, our children are suffering.  They do not have adequate provisions in terms of accommodation and pocket money.

Mr. President, I think I should talk about accommodation, maybe in a comparative manner with other institutions where I have been to.  I do not want to talk about where I have not been.   I have been to North America and Britain.  Education, yes, they pay but they also get grants.  Your local council, board, wherever you come from, wherever you are going to, the system is so well organised that there is a grant or money for you.  When you get there, you go to the Bezel. For example, you come from Leads and that is where you are going for your university, you are therefore advised that you will be coming from home and in the final year, that is when you can get into the halls of residence when you would have become mature and serious with your studies.  If you come from elsewhere, from a different country, they will also advise you that in the first year, get into the halls of residents because you do not know anything about the environment, you do not know how much they will charge you and they will call these new students ‘digs’. They will reap you off and then you will have problems and will not be able to concentrate on your studies.

However, the bottom line is that they must have adequate money in terms of catering. Again, it is comparative; I will also go a little bit into the history of our universities.  I have been to the University of Zimbabwe but it has since changed.  There are either three or four places that you can go and eat with the money your council would have given you – your grant.  You would be having sufficient money for the term.  The Students Union I was with had catering facilities.  In all the halls of residence, there is also catering.  The halls of residence were constructed in such a way that you can actually prepare your food, at every level; there will be provisions for cooking.  You can buy your food, put it in the fridge and nobody will steal it.  So, you would be adequately supplied to study and you are well fed.  You would have reasonably enough money.

Now, the situation is that the few institutions I have been to, accommodation is quite a headache for the students.  If he comes from Mberengwa going to the University of Zimbabwe, the halls of residence are not enough.  ‘Digs’, as they call them, private accommodation is quite a headache even in the halls of residence themselves.   The universities here were constructed like boarding schools, there is nowhere to cook, and they were meant that students should go to the dining to eat.  Yes, it made sense, there were white universities and there were very few blacks.  They constructed them in such a way that everything was provided for by the community, it was more like a five star hotel.  The dining at the University of Zimbabwe, when I went there immediately after independence, the meat they ate was brilliant, the catering, everything there was just up to standard because the community catered for it.  Right now, when we came in, there would be somebody who does what they call supply cooking and charges a commercial rate.  The commercial rate is so expensive, the students cannot afford it, hence the idea of HIV/AIDS.

The Chairperson who actually tabled this report, I could not believe it, students said ndinenge ndatowana ‘blesser’ anondichengeta.  It is really sad, I cannot send my daughter or my son to a university to go and practice some very immoral acts – to become prostitutes, because there is no money.  Mr. President, it is so sad.  I think our system of education must be re-looked at, the grant must come back.  I thank you.

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

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 20th June, 2017.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA), the Senate adjourned at Half past Three o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 20th June, 2017.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 15 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 62