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SENATE HANSARD 16 DECEMBER 2015 VOL 25 NO 21

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 16th December, 2015

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

PRAYERS

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

MOTION

DECLINING SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN THE COUNTRY

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the socio-

economic conditions in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on the motion which was moved by Senator B. Sibanda and seconded by Senator Hlalo. I would like to touch on agriculture which they talked about. We know Zimbabwe was the bread basket of the region and the Hon. Senator who moved this motion said it exactly as it should be. What he was talking about was a real fact on the agricultural situation in Zimbabwe.

          In order for us to develop Zimbabwe in the agricultural sector, first of all, we need to decrease the price of fertiliser. We have realised that in our constituencies, the peasant farmer is no longer utilising all the land they own. They cannot afford the inputs because they are expensive. They are relying on donations where they are given 10 kgs of seed maize, 50 kgs compound D and 50 kgs Ammonium Nitrate. As a result, they are not able to feed the nation because of the low harvest.

          On the commercial farms I realised that those who were allocated land in these big areas, some cannot fully utilise the land. When I am talking about this, let us not be political or finger pointing but I am saying, we have some people who are capable of farming and others who are not. Therefore, I recommend that Government sets up a Commission which will go round these farming areas and check on who is utilising the land to best capacity and who is not doing well on the farm. The poor farmer should be removed from the land and substituted by a capable farmer who will be able to feed the nation.

          We have had a climatic change with very little rains. We have very few dams in Zimbabwe but most of these dams have adequate water to support irrigation schemes. If the rains start late, people may resort to irrigation. As a result, people will have a good harvest because irrigation will be supported by the rains. When we talk about farms, we have some people who do not want us to tell the truth as it is in farming. If I am not mistaken, the First Lady, Dr. Grace Mugabe said you people are now making the President a mockery because you are under -utilising the land you were given. That is why we are saying we need a Commission to be set up so that those who are found to be bad at farming could be returned to the rural areas where they can have small areas which they can be able to work on.

          Madam President, I think we have to call a spade a spade and tell the truth about farming in Zimbabwe. I grew up in rural areas and I was a farmer. I was in Macheke where I am farming. I have realised that there is a lot of land occupied by farmers who lack the necessary machinery. They are using draught power, which is oxen and donkeys. However, one cannot go far if they are using such methods of farming. In this respect, Government should assist farmers and encourage the use of machinery in farming.

We should also create terms for loans in order to secure farming inputs. However, I have realised that the Zimbabwean farmer has a problem, if they borrow anything for farming inputs; they are not willing to pay back, which is bad. When farmers have harvested, they want to sell their produce and get some income.

I would like to talk about the Inclusive Government. We have heard some of my colleagues saying that the Inclusive Government did not help in any way. However, as far as I am concerned, I realize that through the Inclusive Government, we would travel through Mashonaland Central. ZANU PF and MDC travelled together and we were addressing people and we talked about peace in Zimbabwe. We worked hand in hand with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC). We introduced sport to the youth so that they are not caught up and abused in political fights. I found it helpful as a Zimbabwean citizen – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – You are not supposed to only live in a country where your party is ruling. In fact it is not ruling but leadership and you will be fighting against people.

This was very helpful, in Mashonaland Central, we understand each other. Our cattle were removed from the grazing lands, but when JOMIC was introduced, we travelled around the district alongside the Chairpersons of ZANU PF, MDC from the then Hon. Ncube as we engaged with both adults and the youth. People showed a high level of understanding and we are living in harmony with each other because of that – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – If that had not happened, we would be fighting after every election. This is one positive aspect of the Government of National Unity (GNU), I applaud it as it has encouraged nation building and creates patriotism. I thank you.

HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Thank you Madam President. I rise to debate on the motion moved by Hon. B. Sibanda and seconded by Hon. Hlalo on the socio-economic conditions in the nation. The motion is calling upon Government to convene a national stakeholders indaba to address critical national economic challenges, stop high level corruption which will emasculate recovery programmes, make concerted efforts to resuscitate international FDI and domestic investment to jump start the economy and improve domestic productivity through export incentives and productivity based remuneration.

Madam President, let me just remind Hon. Senators that, as a nation, we have an economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET), which prioritises food security and nutrition, value addition and beneficiation, social services and poverty eradication, infrastructure and utilities. On the other end, there are sub-clusters namely, fiscal reform measures and public administration, governance and performance management. To further buttress the ZIM ASSET objective of achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth, in particular the creation of jobs, His Excellency, the President unveiled a 10-point plan during his State of the Nation Address on the 25th of August, 2015. The 10-point plans are;

  1. Revitalizing agriculture and the agro-processing value chain;
  2. Advancing beneficiation and or value addition to our agricultural and mining resource endowment.
  3. Focusing on infrastructure development, particularly in the key energy, transport and ICT sub-sectors;
  4. Unlocking the potential of small and medium enterprises;
  5. Encouraging private sector investment;
  6. Restoration and building of confidence and stability in the financial services sector;
  7. Promoting joint ventures and public –private partnerships to boost the role and performance of state-owned companies;
  8. Modernising labour laws;
  9. Pursuing an anti-corruption thrust and;
  10. Implementation of Special Economic Zones to provide the impetus for foreign direct investment.

Madam President, except for the convening of a national indaba, all the issues raised in the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Sibanda and more are addressed by the above – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – The Executive has the nation at heart and will never ever sit on its laurels awaiting a national indaba, no, not at all.

I do not understand nor fathom why we opt to pretend as if Government is not addressing the fundamental economic issues – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – is it deliberate or posturing? I urge you Hon. Senators as mature people, to speak with one voice and give credit to the Government. If Government falters, we will indicate so and offer solutions as Senators.

The former and then Minister of Finance is on record of having stated that this Government would not last beyond eight months, eight months ndofunga dzapfura handiti? Ave makore. It shows and reflects kuti hurumende yedu iri kusevenza. Where they have expected the Government to collapse, that has not happened. We need to work together, reading from the same page on economic governance issues, building economic confidence, moving away from the mode of fighting to being proactive, regain international access to capital by both Government and private businesses, speak against sanctions of any form – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – speak for continued engagement of the international community in order to access foreign markets and credit facilities and cheap finance.

We need to speak against corruption as a nation and whistle blow where we know there is corruption. Let us not spread rumours but stick to facts. Madam President, the Government is putting in place the enablers to the ZIM ASSET blueprint and we should be telling the world that the Zimbabwean economy is not collapsing and it will not collapse. However, in terms of infrastructure, we should be telling them that we have completed the dualisation of our airport road in Harare, we are now upgrading all our major roads, and it is really a joy to drive along them. We are three months away from completing the runway for Victoria Falls International Airport. The Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International airport in Bulawayo is not operational, power generation in Kariba, Hwange, the solar generators are all on course. To the Government we say, please speed up the Harare-Beitbridge road construction. We welcome the release of the US$30 million for the Tokwe-Mukorsi dam completion. These are just examples.

We thank the Government for having averted hunger by importing maize from Zambia to those areas which do not have food. We also thank our Government for its plans to import food for its strategic reserve, which will last until March and April, 2017. Let us applaud the Government for its efforts to resuscitate industries and we note that companies such as BATA, Cairns Foods, CSC, United Refineries in Bulawayo are now operational and United Refineries I call it 100% now and is able to export cooking oil. Paramount Garments, Blue Ribbon Foods, Anchor Yeast, Dairy Industries, Quest Motors, Dorowa Mines, Capri and others are back on stream. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – We applaud Government for that.

          On agriculture, according to the TIMB tobacco flue cured tobacco yields have been increasing since 2008. This is due to more farmers gaining experience and getting access to technical and financial assistance through contract farming. There is however need to maximize value and by ensuring a quality crop. For the statistics-since 2000 - 2008, 792 kgs per hectare was harvested, 2009, 943 kgs per hectare, 2010, 1 842 kgs per hectare, 2011, 1 689 kgs per hectare, 2012, 1 893 per hectare, 2013, 1 852 kgs per hectare, 2014, 2 014 kgs per hectare this is showing the improvements.

          The peak levels were recorded in 1995, which was 2 066 per hectare and in 2000 which is 2 792 kgs per hectare which means we are 7 992 kgs away from the peak period for this country. On agriculture in general, we applaud Government for resuscitating irrigation schemes and the importation of equipment from Brazil and the expected equipment from Belarus. Also, we recall Madam President, that 70 % of our grains mealie maize were coming from the communal lands in the past. When we were harvesting that 70% there were no input schemes and there was no Presidential scheme and there was nothing like that. So, we are asking what happened to those ways of farming which could manage to produce 70 % of the crop in this country? We have to resuscitate whatever that.

          Just to state that tourism in this country is one of the major sectors which has improved is on the rebound and is doing very well. In terms of the economy tourism is doing very well. On Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), there are the special economic zones and there is a Bill - I think it is ZECZ Bill which is coming to Parliament to address special trade incentive which is a special vehicle to low FDIs. Government is also promoting industry, resuscitating the industry and encouraging competitiveness. I have mentioned a few of them before and Government is addressing the issue of the ease of doing business. We have to address the perceived country risk issues as a nation.

          Madam President, as far as I am aware, Zimbabwe is a country to invest in right now, as witnessed by various delegation jetting into the country. We are open to investment and Government is working on strong economic reforms for the uptake and upsurge of our economy, including measures such as increased duties and surtax selected product to curb importation of cheap and low quality imports and to protect local industry. I hope we also play our role as Senate to address the issue of the banking sector in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean banks need to reform in order to attract deposits and in order to do onward lending at fair reasonable interest rates and also address bank charges such as loan establishment fees which at times are as high as 3% of what you borrow, with interest of up 18% per annum. Also, 5% per month for keeping and maintaining an account as ledger fees 1% for choosing to withdraw your money over the counter and 2.5% if your draw through the faceless ZIM SWITCH which are fees and of course all this goes to pay the CEO and managers perks.

          Madam President, let me reiterate that the issues raised in this motion are addressed by the ZIM ASSET blueprint and buttressed by the ten point plan which is addressing the expectations of the general populace of the country the hoi poloyi. The challenges we are facing are not insurmountable, no. We need not to scare away investors and donors by negative statements. It is time to come together and speak with one voice, for the national good that is on common national issues - no partisan or sectorial interest but we need a shared vision for the nation. I recall Madam President, when we were advocating for the circulation and introduction and the use of the Bond Coin, members on my right side went o town insinuating that Government was about to re-introduce the ZIM dollar. Where are we now? I thank you – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          HON. SENATOR B. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam President I could do it for the Minister. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SENATOR A. SIBANDA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th December, 2015.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE 7TH WORLD WATER CONFERENCE

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Delegation to the 7th World Water Conference.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SENATOR MLOTSHWA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SENATOR MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th December, 2015.

MOTION

ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on great strides made by Government in raising literacy rates in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SENATOR MALULEKE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Goto on education. This is a very nice motion and I would like to thank His Excellency, Cde R. G. Mugabe who said that education should be accessed by everybody both young and old. We realise that people in the rural areas were some of the beneficiaries through adult literacy and we would like to thank the volunteers in these teaching exercises because the elderly have been helped in that when they go for elections, they make their own choices instead of being guided.

          Going further on the debate on education, I am pleading with people in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education because during my time, you would be accepted into sub ‘A’ if you were able to hold your ear with one hand on the other side of the head. This was so because our parents were not aware of the dates when we were born. They would simply talk about whatever happened during that time such as a lot of rains or locusts. Nowadays we now have Grade Zeros which take these youngsters so that they are aware of what is going around them. My plea is that may the powers that be give some token of appreciation to these teachers in Grade Zero because they are doing a great job. We believe if they are given a token of appreciation, they will work harder than they are doing now. These teachers are dedicated people and they once invited me at the close of the year so that I could give a speech. I did bring some token of appreciation for them because I appreciate whatever it is they are doing.

          In the rural areas there is no money but in these urban areas we have pre-schools and they are charging exorbitant amounts and the parents do pay. As a result I am begging with senators to consider payment of these teachers. I was watching the news on television yesterday and we were told that there was an increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases in Chiredzi. The reason why STIs are on the rise is because Chiredzi is an economic power house through sugar cane growing. When farmers and merchants get their money, they go into these bottle stores and brothels and squander their money on women. In the process they contract these sexual transmitted diseases and when they go to their rural homes, they infect their spouses in the rural areas. Therefore, we want to take up the call by His Excellency that we should have education and improve ourselves.

          I also realise that as Parliament we are advised to further our education and attain degrees at these universities. I am saying that His Excellency has said let us go back to school and not only should the youngsters be exposed to education but also the adults. Still talking about advancement in education, in the past during our days the fathers used to deny the girl child access to go to school. The girl child would only need to read and write because if she is educated she would become a prostitute but His Excellency has said the girl child should be accepted in any level of education and we therefore wish that the girl child should be educated and we see the women are now taking up high posts at any level in Government and society. We wish to work together and go back to school so that we improve our lives and develop our country.

          I am so glad because I can track my history back. When I went to school there were only two girls out of so many boys but when I go to school now I realise that especially in Chiredzi, we have either an equal number and at times we have more girls and these are taking up good jobs. They are improving and developing their country. During our time, we used to have a school inspector by the name Muzamani and he would address people and say if a girl child who is a prostitute brings you a suit, will you accept it and the parents would say yes. If a boy child who is a doctor is charged with adultery and compensation is in the form of cows, would you like it? So of the two children who will you appreciate more? Definitely the girl child will be accepted.

          We held meetings with the traditional leaders and said to them encourage the girl child to go to school. We also have more secondary schools than in the past where we only had a school in Musiso. Now they are spread all over the place and our children can go to school. As adults let us go to school and improve ourselves. Mr. President we also need to know that whenever our animals are sick, we look after them and we will be able to read the prescription so that we are able to tell whether the cow is suffering from black leg or anthrax because if you do not go back to school or you are uneducated, when your animal is sick you always say your neighbours have bewitched your animal. We all need to attain degrees in education.

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

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th December, 2015.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to promote sports development in Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th December, 2015.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MATIIRIRA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on the debate raised by Hon. Sen. Tawengwa. I will start by thanking His Excellency, Comrade R. G. Mugabe, who talked on the development of the country and the welfare of the people. In his speech, the President debated on all the facets of Government and on why it was important to him that the country should develop so that the people’s welfare is improved.

          We are all aware that Zimbabwe is an agro- based economy. As we look at what is happening now, there are some improvements in the development of the country. We had a Committee meeting with SEDCO which is a seed company. They told the Committee about the progress that they were doing in introducing new varieties which can cope with the climate change. As a result, we are encouraging our researchers to keep up the good work of taking out research methods on the best varieties which can cope up with drought in the country or in some areas which already have drought. They should also have seeds or crops which can withstand the dryness.

          His Excellency talked about the laws which have to be aligned to the new Constitution and as Senators, we need to work hard towards that. On the issue of ZIM ASSET, there is progress; a good example is that there are a number of products which have been produced by the small to medium enterprises. They are also packaging some of the foods and fruits. In Marondera, there are some youths who are making use of the bones in creating beauty artifacts. His Excellency, talked about a lot of things which are happening in the progress of the country. As far as I am concerned, I am calling for the unity of purpose for the people of Zimbabwe so that our country and the welfare of the citizens will develop if we work together as a nation.

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: I move that the debate be now adjourned.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th December, 2015.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

MEETING FOR MEMBERS OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON PEACE AND SECURITY

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform members of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security that there will be a meeting tomorrow, starting at 0900hrs in Room number four.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. SENATOR DR. SEKERAMAYI), the Senate adjourned at Sixteen Minutes past Three O’clock p.m.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 16 DECEMBER 2015 VOL 25 NO 21