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SENATE HANSARD 15 MAY 2018 VOL 27 no 40

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 15th May, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that I have received the Electoral Amendment Bill [H. B. 6A, 2016] from the National Assembly.

SECOND READING

SHOP LICENCES AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 10A, 2016]

          First Order read: Second Reading: Shop Licence Amendment Bill [H. B. 10A, 2016].

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of  (THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING): Thank you Madam President.  I have the Shop Licences Amendment Bill as a way of background, rational and progression of the Shop Licences Amendment Bill.  I will give a background so that Hon. Members can appreciate where we are.

          The Shop Licences Amendment Bill has been necessitated by the need to advance the ease of doing business.  The Shop Licences Act [Chapter 14:17] has been identified as one of the Acts which need to be revised under the programme of the ease of doing business.  The said Shop Licences Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) was crafted in 1976 and the Act was last amended in 1988.  The Act is riddled with many unnecessary, outdated and time consuming processes.  These cumbersome processes affect the ease of doing business, hence the need to have the Act amended.

          The proposed amendments will enable local authorities to issue shop licences quickly and efficiently thereby encouraging domestic and foreign investment as well as revenue collection.

          The current Act has a provision under Section 14, which makes it mandatory to advertise prior to getting a shop licence.  It provides for a minimum of 35 days and a maximum of 56 days.  This is an old colonial relic which has been abandoned the world-over as all it does is cause delays in the issuance of licences and worsen Zimbabwe’s ranking in the ease of doing business indicators.  The same effect can be obtained by use of strict zoning criteria which has been provided for in the Amendment Bill.

          The Act as it is today provides for a manual system which only permits renewals at the end of the year.  This current Bill seeks to make provision for paperless online applications for shop licences.  This is in line with the Government’s e-governance initiative.  Further, the Amendment Bill seeks to amend the renewal period of a shop licence from only one year to any period ranging from one year to a maximum of five years.  It has been noted that the one year renewal period of licences creates a log jam of applications at the end of each year and thereby inconveniencing both the licence holders and the issuing authority.

          The period under which an applicant for a shop licence has to wait to get approval or otherwise for the issuance of licence from a licensing authority has been of great concern.  The Amendment Bill seeks to compel the licensing authority to notify the applicants of the failure or success of their application within five working days.  This indeed is possible given that the Amendment Bill has also made provisions for a transparent checklist which should be kept by the licensing authority and should be made available to any applicant.  The licensing authority shall be required to justify its refusal to issue a shop licence.  The same will also apply with respect to a permit which would have been given by the authority in terms of Section 30 (3a) and (4) of the Act.  The licensing authority shall be required to give justification in the event that it decides to cancel a permit previously issued.

          The Amendment Bill among other issues, also seeks to amend provisions relating to the control of vending machines.  Currently, the Act prohibits any trade or business of selling goods by means of a vending machine without a licence issued in respect to that particular vending machine.  This means that a person operating more than one vending machine at the same premises has to pay a licence for each of the machines.  The Amendment Bill now makes provision that only one vending machine licence be issued to a person who operates more than one vending machine on the same premises.

          Madam President, the current Act provides for exemptions by the Minister where he or she considers it necessary that any business which is required in terms of the Act to obtain the licence operate without such a licence.  The Amendment Bill seeks to remove the said provision since the provision is extremely vague and provides for issues that are not prevalent in this day and age.

          Madam President, the issues highlighted above are some of the issues which the Amendment Bill seeks to address with a view to further the ease of doing business in our country.  It is in view of the above that I have stated, that I hereby submit the Shop Licences Amendment Bill for consideration.  Madam President, I therefore move that the Bill be read a second time.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  Thank you Madam President.  In the colloquial or layman’s language, which shops are we talking about?  Is it the general dealers or the bottle shops?  Are you decentralising the issuance of liquor licences?  What is happening?  Thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. NYAMBUYA:  Madam President, I rise to say just a few words in support of this very progressive Bill which has been brought before this august House.  Sometime earlier on I think in January or February when we were discussing the budget for 2018, I remember very well one of the issues which I raised in that debate.  It was that we need as a country or Government to set up institutions which are investor friendly and I made the remark specifically that one of the models that I admire most  is the Rwanda model and that they have a one-stop investment shop which has teeth.  In other words, if an investor comes and passes through that institution, that is it, everybody else has to fall in line with that decision.  Therefore, one of the reasons why investors flock to Rwanda is because of the ease of doing business.  There is ease of doing business in that country. 

          This Bill which the Minister has brought before this House is going a long way in reducing the hurdles, obstacles and impediments which were there for investors to come and open businesses in this country.  The very fact that the Minister says it will take about five days for somebody to get a licence is one of the sweetest that I have heard in this Senate.

          I would therefore like to commend the Minister for a very progressive Bill which is going to go a long way in assuring investors that if you go to Zimbabwe, it is going to be relatively smooth and easy to open businesses there. It is very investor friendly and as far as I am concerned, this is a great stride towards having an institution which has got teeth.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I would like to sincerely congratulate the Minister for this Bill. Just to be specific, I will mention a few progressive things. Anything that removes cumbersomeness in this ailing economy is welcome. The removal of renewals having to be done by the end of the year, which insinuates they can be done at any time, is also very commendable. Most importantly, I like a situation where people are told of the status of their applications or their communication with Government and it is accommodated there.

          I probably have two suggestions. Minister, I know you are in charge of justice. Is it possible for you to take unto yourself an exercise to review all archaic legislation? It is not useful for the Minister to come here and tell us it is a colonial relic of 35 – 59 days, which we have lived with for close to 40 years.

          The last thing I want to raise; if you go to the rural areas and you have $5 in your pocket. You probably suffer and fail to buy a bun and coke because there is no change. The reason is a proliferation of shops, irrespective of the size of the population. If I want to open a grocer’s shop, I go to the local authority and make an application. It gets approved invariably and you really wonder whether we have no scale where we say this place is designed to accommodate so many shops which we may review after a certain period of time, compared to a situation where anybody who applies and gets a licence. The businesses become unviable and the revenue to Government is unavailable because business is not adequate for everybody. With those comments Madam President, I once again thank the Minister for the Bill.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: I rise to support this motion which has been raised by the Hon. Minister regarding the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe. When we talk about the online application, we should also take the initiative to educate people on how they can use this facility. We have some people who were born before computers who do not feel at ease when using this online application. There should be more awareness programmes carried out to educate people on how to use this online facility.

          I will not repeat what has already been said such as the response in five days of application. We also notice that there are many offices which have to be approached by somebody if one wants to open up a business. Let me talk of rural areas. You talk of the village head, the chief, local government, and the Ministry of Health which will examine your application and make recommendations. Therefore, I am appealing to you that when you implement this amendment, it should be laid out who is responsible for what steps in the application process so that businesses are approved early.

          Minister, may I also suggest that when you are talking about people applying for these licences, we have somebody who is a new applicant who will be working beside somebody who is already operating. We have somebody who should be protected. What I am implying is that when somebody has applied for a shop and is operating, no one should be allowed to be vending outside the premises of that shop because you are depriving the licenced businessman of the dues accorded to them.

I know people may say we have a lot of vendors because of the economic situation which needs to be improved. Our economic situation is poor and that is why we have so many vendors. I am saying let us control this vending because it is not contributing anything to the fiscus. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: I will not dwell on tautology but I would like to thank the Minister for introducing this Bill because it is in support of people who want to open up new businesses and we are saying it takes time to have the business approved. Not only that, the renewal of licences was also cumbersome because in some instances if you are late in renewing because of one reason or the other the inspectors would come and confiscate all your products. If it is a bottle store, they confiscate everything in there.

          The other aspect which I like about that Bill is the advertisement of the business which one intends to open up. The advert will enable the people in the neighbourhood to say if they need that business or they do not want it, because we are saying people should be informed. Some of the businesses which have been opened are going to lead to a lot of illnesses, contaminating the environment. That is why I am saying definitely; let us have a rethink on the issue of advertisement as it is essential.

          You talked about the five days to respond to the application, but there are some clauses that need to be explained such as clauses 5 and 10 that talk of the application being looked at within 21 days. Please sort out the contradictions. I know we need to have these businesses because they are a way of living and development, but you cannot open a business whenever and wherever you want. We need to have some special areas set aside for that.

Hon. Sen. Mashavakure asked about the kind of businesses which are to be opened up. We have a place called maStones in Highfield, Harare. There were different shops at that Stones Shopping Centre but as we talk now all these shops have been turned to bottle stores. Therefore, we need to be very careful and selective when talking about opening up of new businesses in these areas.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: I am very glad to welcome the Minister into this House. You have brought this Bill which is so important and very developmental. I would like to add my voice on to what has already been said by my fellow colleagues. We know Government earns revenue from taxes which we get through licensing these shops.  What this means is that we may have one shop which has a lot of products to sell, fuel, birds and food and the licensed shop may have been put in place for grocery supplies.  What we need is that there should be specialisation such that if one business person intends to specialize on fuel sales at a filling station, then they should stick to that, if grocer’s shop then it should be so.  There should be professionalism and specialization.  In some cases, some people put up in these shops which end up being used as bedrooms or houses.  We need to correct these anomalies.  I thank you.

          *HON.  SEN. MANYERUKE: Thank you Madam President.  Hon. Minister, I am very grateful for this Bill which you have brought into this House and I support it.  I plead with you, when you are talking about issuance of these licenses, please be gender-sensitive.  These licenses should also be issued to women.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you for fighting for our gender there.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Members for the debate and particularly thank them for supporting this initiative on the ease of doing business which the Government is introducing to ensure that we remove all cumbersome processes in the way we conduct business.

          I would like to respond to a few issues that have been raised.  There is an issue that was raised on which shops are being talked about and indicated that the Shop Licences Bill relates to a place of doing business where you carry any trade or business or where you may be selling anything.  So, if you are trading, you need a shop licence.  If you are selling or hiring goods, you need a shop licence and that is what those who have shops even in the rural stores are aware of.  You need these licences from the local authority to carry out that business and that is what we are referring to. 

I want to thank Hon. Nyambuya for supporting the Bill.  He indicated that we need institutions that are investor-friendly, which is what we want to do.  We want legislation that is investor-friendly to say that when one wants to set up a shop, it should not be very difficult.  So, we are in agreement with what you are saying because our thrust is to improve on the ease of doing business.

Hon. Sen. Sibanda, thank you very much for the compliments and your suggestions that we review all archaic laws.  That is what we want to do, we cannot continue with laws which were promulgated maybe in the 1930s or 50s in this day and age. Progressively, we are looking at that, we have identified the first set of laws that have to deal with ease of doing business.  If you have any other that you suggest that there is need for review, we are open to that.  I want to thank you for that. 

However, you indicated that there are so many shops in rural areas and one can hardly find change for $5 and anyone who applies can get a shop licence.  My understanding is that local authorities also provide stands for operating shops, so for as long as the land is there and somebody applies, they are obligated to give them, but if the space is not there, this is the preserve of local authorities in their planning, whether they have space to have a shop.  I believe that is something that can be discussed with the local authorities.  However, some may look at it in a way where one has several shops and there is competition and it is good for the consumers.  It is debatable, but I take what you said. 

Hon. Sen. Chimhini, thank you for supporting this Bill.  You said that the Government should support the citizens who apply through the use of technology.  Members should be trained in terms of mobile money and mobile transfers, which means that we are advancing.  The members of the Ministry of ICT are now holding the kiosks where members of the public can get some assistance and they have gone out to the rural areas training people there on how they can cope up with ICT.

As far as we are concerned, some of us were born before the age of technology and some of those who are not aware of what we are saying, when they see people communicating on their mobile phones, they wonder what will be going on.  We are saying, we are now in a new era and children in primary schools are now being introduced to computers.  We even have our youngsters, our nieces and grandchildren who are very capable of operating our gadgets in the homes.  We know we are talking about homes which we have.  There are offices which have to be approached by people when they wish to open business, especially in the rural areas where they have to approach the chiefs and councilors. 

However, let me explain by saying, this step has to be taken because each of those offices have a reason to justify its existence, for example, EMA will be protecting the environment and the council will be protecting the land that has to be issued.  At times some businesses are not carried out in certain areas because of one reason or the other.  Therefore, there should be some impact assessment on the launching of that Bill.  Members from the health sector also have to check whether it will be healthy to introduce that space.  When we talk of bottle-stores, there is need to talk about health and they should also be talking about liquor licensing and all these laws are put down so that they can control the issuance of some of these liquor.  That is why we also put a limit on people who should access this liquor.  However, we are saying, despite all that, there should be ease of doing business and we should not punish people who intend to open business by making it difficult for them to open.  When this has been done, there is going to be tax revenue generated by those businesses.  We know that if the laws are difficult, there are people who may even go abroad and open up businesses in neighbouring countries like Botswana or Zambia where the ease of doing business will be in existence.

The aim of this Bill is that we want to make it business for someone to apply and obtain that license.  We are removing all those impediments which were making it laborious and difficult to obtain a licence.  One Hon. Member raised an issue that we need to be professionals and only deal with a particular product.  This can happen when we talk about the sale of fuel or operating a bottle-store, but we also have people who are general dealers, there is talk of a lot of things that will be sold in those shops.  I now move that the Bill be read a second time and I want to thank the Hon. Senators for their contributions.

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: If I may, Madam President, so that he responds once and I also referred to amendment 10 of 20 [Chapter 14:17] under amendment 10 where you are talking of 21 days - [AN. HON. SENATOR: Inaudible interjections] - in this Bill yes, this is why I have asked, is that not in contradiction with the 5 days that you are speaking about and yet here you are referring to 21 days.

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you I had left out the item which you talked about on vendors.  The vendors are under the control of local authorities.  When you look at what is happening now, people are selling wherever they feel they want to sell.  Somebody may even come and open a vendor shop in front of Parliament or on pavements near Parliament entrance.  We need to look at that problem so that people are given suitable vending places.  This law we are debating about is targeting shops and how a shop is going to be approved.  When talking about vendors, they are a different thing but we are encouraging local authorities to look into that issue.  What we are saying is local authorities should enforce the bye-laws which are aimed at controlling vending in undesignated areas because vendors are all over the place and we are saying the Ministry should be careful and examine all the rules and regulations which are there to guide the services of vending.    

          We know we have people in the vending business and when we move them to designated areas; it should be systematic so that it will be done legally.  The aim of the Bill is to reduce the easy of doing business.  You have talked about the contradictions of the two sections, we will examine that and respond accordingly but we are saying basically there should be easy of doing business.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Minister, he had indicated that he wanted an explanation on Clause 10. 

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much.  You are referring to Clause 10 which says “To determine an application for a new license within 21 days of the day for which an application in terms of Section 16 has been made, unless at the request of the applicant, the hearing or the determination of the application has been postponed for a longer period”.  Is that the one which you are referring to? 

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: You alluded to 5 days, so why are we now on 21 days, that is my issue.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: If I said within 5 days, it is saying that is our desire but in the law, we are saying within 21 days.  The law is giving a longer period which is 21 days.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: If I may help, Hon. Sen. Tawengwa, those are issues that you should have debated but unfortunately you were chairing.  Those are the issues you should debate when the Senate was under consideration of the whole Bill.

          HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: On a point of order Madam President.

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

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: The Minister talked about Section 10, I do not know what the section talks about.  I am pleading with the Minister to give me a braille copy of the Bill because I want to read it in Braille and understand it.   I want to know what is included in Section 16 because we are talking about the 10 days and 21 days, may you please explain.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: I am not noticing an inconsistence.  In my speech I said our desire is to dispose of these licences within 5 days but the law is giving 21 days which is, if there are any problems or technical problems that might happen; it should not go beyond 21 days. In my speech, what I was trying to allude to is, in terms of easy of doing business, we should dispose of these issues within a week or so.

          Madam President, I move that the Shop Licences Amendment Bill [H. B. 10A, 2016] be now read a second time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

SHOP LICENCES AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 10A, 2006]

          House in Committee.

          Clauses 1 to 9 put and agreed to.

          On Clause 10:

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Mr. Chairman Thank you.  I cannot quote the Minister verbatim but, from what I heard and what is in law, the indication was that these things will be done within five days and I did congratulate the Minister for that.  I will not want to go on record with a misplaced congratulation.  Is the Minister prepared to clearly clarify for purposes of those that read the Hansard and reconcile the Hansard record to the written law that it was probably not an intended overstatement that the licences will be processed within five days?  I thank you Mr. Chairman.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I was just thinking that that line should read like this so that it can be easy for us to understand.  Mr. Chairman, an application for a new licence between five and 21 days from the day which an application is made.  I am proposing the insertion of between five and 21 days so that I can understand, even myself.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  Thank you Mr. Chairman.  I think the whole issue has been clarified but I have a feeling that we are talking about different sections because as far as I am concerned, we are talking about 16 and I think we need to clarify so that I may be able to understand this Bill that we are talking about.  Because, as of now, this is becoming more complicated for me to understand – where we are talking of five days for completion of application and response and then also have 21.  So, I am saying what is in Section 16?

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you very much.  Maybe if you read Clause 10, it says here, this Clause will amend Section 20 of the principal Act by inserting a new Subsection 2 (a) which requires a licencing authority which intends to refuse an application for a licence to respond to the applicant within two working days and to give the applicant his reasons for refusal of the application.

          So, basically, this section which we are now confusing with 21 days and five days is referring to where an authority intends to refuse an application.  If they have so refused, then they have to give the reasons and allow the applicant to resubmit within five working days.

          Section 20 used to say you should submit it within 45 days and we have reduced to 21 days.  So, within two days after submitting, we should get a response.  If they have refused, they should give you a reason and allow you to submit within five working days so that the process does not take long to occur.  So, basically that is the import of this new section if that will help.  I so submit and I believe that it should be left like that.  I thank you.

          Clause 10 put and agreed to.

          Clauses 11 to 16 put and agreed to.

          Schedule put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendments.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

SHOP LICENCES AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 10 A, 2017]. 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. G. MOYO):  Madam President, I now move that the Bill be read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam President, I move that Order of the Day, Number 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

DEVOLUTION AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

Third Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on cultural development as being key to economic development.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. NCUBE: I would like to debate on the motion that was brought by Hon. D.T Khumalo who was seconded by Hon. J. Ndlovu. There were different segments in the motion and I will talk about the first and third sections where she talks about the different languages used in the country. What I have noticed is that this motion is very important as it talks about languages that are enshrined in the National Constitution that was made by the people of the country after they had noticed that their languages were important.

The National Constitution talks of 16 languages. Today, we still find that these languages are only mentioned in the Constitution but they are still not in use because even in this august House, we cannot talk in our local languages. At times, you find that these machines will not be working. That shows that we still do not value our local languages. We still have the colonial mentality because as long as we are not letting our people speak freely in their local languages, then it means we still have that colonial mind.

Here at Parliament, only three languages are being used and these are the languages that I am talking about. You may find that when I have finished talking, it would appear from the blanks that we are then given that I will not have said much and will have to go and correct. I have always said this many times. If the person who is there listening to me and is fluent in Ndebele, I do not think that person can fail to translate what I am saying. I think that is where the problem is. I remember that one day in Matebeleland North, villagers were up in arms with a teacher because the teacher was failing to teach children the proper language.

In Bulawayo at Mahatshula School, there is a headmaster who when parents went to look for places for their children there, if the headmaster noticed a surname that he did not like, a surname for someone who comes from Matebeleland North or Matebeleland South, he would not issue them a place at the school. This matter was really problematic and it came out in the newspapers and the headmaster ended up being transferred from that school. We have different languages here in Zimbabwe because we are all Zimbabweans. At times it is someone’s perception to behave that way because it is not everyone who does that.

Before I go further, I would like to thank the chiefs from Midlands, Matebeleland North and South who spoke to the Minister. They requested that children from these three provinces be enrolled at United College, which is the only college in these provinces that teaches Ndebele. I am happy because the Minister understood their plight and agreed that at the end of each year when children finish school, chiefs should make a list of the children which they take to the head of that college so that the children can be enrolled there to train as teachers. A lot of children were failing to get places at that college when they finished school which is the place where they ought to go because that is the college that teaches Ndebele.

There should be lecturers who teach Shona and Ndebele because as we grew up that is what used to happen. I remember reading in the newspapers one day that Chicken Inn was being sued for having written a Ndebele word wrongly.

Madam President, when I grew up I learnt Thoko Thoko vhuka; Thoko Thoko geza; Thoko Thoko hamba esikholo;ngele ngele insimbi, Thoko Thoko funda, lalela; qaphelisa Thoko. In the English language we had a book on Ben and Betty. In Shona, there was Chipo and someone else. That was proper and that was even before independence but the white man who was there that time ruling this country knew that people had to learn their local languages but now it is difficult even at home to teach the child the proper Ndebele language yet we are Zimbabweans.

Madam President, we should teach our own children the proper thing. If it is English, it should be proper English. If it is Ndebele, proper Ndebele and if it is Shona, they should learn proper Shona. At Skyz Metro FM, they call it the people’s studio. I have forgotten the presenter’s name but he is Shona but he speaks proper Ndebele. I enjoy his programmes. I think he speaks about eight languages but he is not Ndebele – [AN. HON. SEN. CHIEF: Inaudible interjections.] – I would like to thank you chief. I have never heard of anything like that. Everyone enjoys his programmes. He speaks proper Ndebele and if you do not know him, you would never know that he is not Ndebele. He can speak proper Shona, Nambya, Venda and so on. So, where is the difficulty here?

I have said people are different. One girl told me that her mother was Shona and the father was Ndebele but she said she would never speak Ndebele because her mother is the one who told her not to speak Ndebele. I will not dwell much on that.  However, as people, we should learn to teach each other and our children.  There is no language that is better than the other.  Madam President, if you go to any Government offices anywhere here in Zimbabwe, especially for us in Bulawayo; if you visit Government offices, the officers will talk to you in Shona in Bulawayo.  If you talk to them in Ndebele, they will tell you - ‘I cannot hear.’  That is very bad.  We should learn.  If someone cannot speak the language, they must appear as if they are appreciating other people’s languages.  As it is we try to speak Shona although we are not fluent, but we are trying and I think that is very important.

          Even the school books, now children are failing even more than before to pass their mother language.  Back then, people used to fail but they would pass their mother language but now they are failing even their mother language.  The way those books are written is not good and yet there are people who are qualified to write those books properly but they are not being offered jobs.  My request is that people should write those languages properly. 

          Mr. President, when people start talking they say, ‘we are not discriminating each other’ and yet they are.  They say there was a grand plan in 1979 whereby children from Matebeleland were supposed to fail, they were not supposed to get jobs, the girls were supposed to be impregnated by Shona boys and not get married to them but that is not proper.  If there are people in Matebeleland, employ people from there and if you are in Mashonaland, employ people from there.  Now, I am told that if you are someone who speaks Ndebele and they want to eliminate you, they will promote you but they will not take you to Gwanda or Victoria Falls.  They will promote you and take you to Kwekwe, but that is not what we want Mr. President.  We want to be treated equally.

          Let me move to another issue of devolution.  I remember in this very House, I moved a motion in 2014 on devolution which was in the national Constitution.  A lot of people spoke about devolution, we all wish that this could have been a thing of the past but we are still hammering on the same thing.  That motion never went anywhere in this very House.  Some of my colleagues in this House did not support it.  If you have never been pained by a situation – I will give an example; let us say your neighbour is hungry and not eating anything, you might think that that person is mentally challenged and even say, ‘why is she not selling things, other people are selling goods out there.’  Even if a motion is not supported, if people are still not happy with it, they will keep on talking about it.

          In 2010, the Government spoke about the same issue and people went out again to talk about devolution.  Devolution is not for Matebeleland only, it was the whole country which spoke about devolution.  I was also a member of the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC), people talked about devolution throughout the whole country.  We were talking about development in provinces; they were saying that whatever amount is received in that province or whatever resources in each province, they should develop those provinces.  They were not saying that the money should not go to the Central Government but they were saying all the money should be put together to the Central Government and then the Central Government should also look at where the funds were coming from so that roads and schools can also be constructed in order to develop those provinces and not hold on to the money and use it for themselves. 

I do not know why the Government is not happy with devolution.  Why is it that Government does not want devolution to be carried out the way that people said they wanted it.  We are about to get to the end of this term - when is it going to be rectified?  We have said it time and again but nothing has been done.  Some of us when we come here, we are here to represent people; we forget where we are coming from.  Can we say everything is good and yet people are suffering like this?  Each province has its own issues.  However, this country is blessed because we have so many resources.  We should not be suffering as much as we are doing right now.

There are places which are rich in gold, timber, asbestos and other minerals, but the roads are very bad.  We have Chinese people in this country but they do not bank their money here; they take the money to their own country.  With the little that we have, it is difficult for us to rectify whatever challenges we have. 

Mr. President, when we go back home or after this Parliament, what we want is that whether we come back or not, we want the people to say, ‘yes, you really worked.’  We want the Minister to come and tell us when the Bill will be coming to Parliament.  People are busy out there campaigning because they still want to come back.  So when are we going to debate it?  I know that for those who are going to come back, they will also come and talk about the same issues again but nothing is going to happen.  I would like to thank this Senate for this motion that was brought before it.  If the Minister would have been here maybe he would have heard and we wish that the people that we are representing out there would also know that we are trying our level best to represent them.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. SHOKO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2018.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I have received the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company Dept Assumption Bill [H.B.2, 2018] from the National Assembly.  The Bill will be set down for Second Reading tomorrow.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 41ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the 41st Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, held in Mahe, Seychelles, from 4th to 15th July, 2017.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2018.

MOTION

ICT LITERACY PROGRAMME

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to address the ICT divide between rural, urban, young and old in the country.

     Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MURWIRA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to make this contribution on a motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mavhunga on ICT, especially being done in rural areas.  My contribution is that when we acquire this ICT technology, it helps in the development of the country and develops the livelihood of people especially in the rural areas.  When we have technology, we will be capable of utilizing our cell phones because some of these cell phones function like computers but all we do is just to receive and send messages.  If you fully utilise the functions on your cell phone, you can search for employment and enrolment places in colleges for your children using that technology. 

I would like to add more onto the issue of ICT.   In rural areas, we are not very well versed in ICT and hence I am pleading with the Government to set up programmes on awareness in the rural areas just as you do for awareness programmes on HIV and malaria.  The same sense we use should be the same haste we use in ICT promotion.  We have some areas which are really remaining behind because they cannot access this knowledge, especially in areas like Rushinga and Muzarabani.  These areas are lagging behind in technology; Government should set up infrastructure and superstructure to develop ICT in those areas.  In Zimbabwe, we find that we have the highest rates utilizing the internet; our neighbouring countries have very low rates, so we should be like our neighbours.  

          When we came to Parliament, we were introduced to the Women’s Caucus and we were taken for one week training in facilitation of ICT.  I am one of those people who benefited much because I now own a laptop and now Google whatever it is I want using the Google function and Google store.  This knowledge, this awareness should be spread to all other areas.  Mr. President, I am very gratefully because you have allowed me to make my contribution on the importance of ICT in our lives especially in rural areas.

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

          HON. SEN. BHEBHE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.   

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2018.

MOTION

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE ELDERLY

          Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the rights of the elderly as prescribed in Section 82 of the Constitution.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn and in doing so, I advise that I intend to withdraw the motion from the Order Paper tomorrow as no Minister appears ready to respond to our worries.

          HON. SEN. SHOKO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th October, 2018.

MOTION

PROVISION OF ALTERNATIVE RESETTLEMENT AREAS FOR ZWEHAMBA, MAHATSHE AND MATANKENI COMMUNITIES

Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the call on the Executive to provide alternative resettlement areas for communities in Zvehamba, Mahatshe and Matankeni.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. BHEBE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2018.

MOTION

PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS FROM UNSCRUPULOUS BUSINESS PEOPLE

          Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on protection of consumers from corruption.

          Question again proposed. 

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

          HON. BHEBE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2018.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE WORLD PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the delegation to the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development.

              Question again proposed.

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

              HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2018.

MOTION

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

Tenth 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. MATHUTHU:  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2018.

MOTION

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

          Eleventh 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. CHIEF MTSHANE:  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. CHIEF NTABENI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th May, 2016.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON PEACE AND SECURITY ON THE PREPAREDNESS OF THE GRAIN MARKETING BOARD TO HANDLE THE 2016/2017 CROP DELIVERIES AND THE SUCCESS OF THE COMMAND AGRICULTURE PROGRAMME

          Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the preparedness of the Grain Marketing Board to handle the 2016/2017 crop deliveries and the success of the Command Agriculture Programme.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 16th May, 2018.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU seconded by HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA, the Senate adjourned at Seven Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 15 MAY 2018 VOL 27 no 40