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SENATE HANSARD 16 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 39

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 16th March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:

APPOINTMENT TO THEMATIC COMMITTEES

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I would like to inform the House that Hon. Senator Mugabe has been appointed to serve in the following Thematic Committees;

-         Sustainable Development Goals and

-         Gender and Development Committees.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.  We want to know Government policy; just like other countries on demographic dividends in line with investments.  What plans do you have concerning our youth so that we go along with other countries as we sign treaties?

          *THE MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. ZHUWAO):  I want to thank the Hon. Sen. Chief for the question.  On demographic dividends, we are looking at how a country can be recognised; how the economy can grow by way of raising the youth, giving them education and good health so that they will be able to work for the betterment of the country.  Our country is well-known in education which is the first goal for us to get the demographic dividends.  Right now as Zimbabwe, we are seen as a country with well educated youth and elders but we want to go further from the education that we get from schools.  Our youth should be skilled as well. 

Also looking at how our economy is growing, we want our youth to be empowered for them to venture into businesses.  As a Ministry, we have 42 vocational training centres.  We also have six National Youth services centres.  Also, we have plans that in our 210 constituencies, each constituency should have a vocational training centre.  So, we want to work together with Members of Parliament so that we come up with places to put those vocational training centres especially in areas that do not have.  We are working in conjunction with our councils.  We also want each province to have a National Service Centre. 

Madam President, I also want to inform the House that when we started the National Youth Service in 2015, we had 109 graduates and in 2016 we had 302 graduates.  This year, we are looking at about 1 260 graduates.  Thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF. DANDAWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Looking at the rural schools, the pass rate is very low. What are you doing as a Ministry to improve the pass rate so that they get places in boarding schools?

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCTION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam President for such a very important question which has given us an opportunity to explain one of our wishes concerning education.  It has come in two parts; the desire for children to pass and desire to have more boarding schools in rural areas.  When we started the process of revamping our education in 2014, the other thing that we were looking at is to look at our state of education, looking at using 100 and we divide that into quarters; if we took at the highest level, the 25% at ‘O’ level, we have seen them being outstanding that they attain credits at that level. 

          What it means is that the other three quarters that is left in the system are those who would ask what they have been doing for four years without achieving anything. Others come out with 1, 2, 3 or 4 subjects.  With the new curriculum, we want to be able to really touch at the desires of these children when it comes to using their talents so that they come up with something.  That is what we call updated curriculum that we talked about on Monday.

We are explaining fully on this issue, so going forward, what it means is that this education when we mix it with trained teachers in those areas and with what we are doing as a Ministry; we are going around helping the schools with grants to help them improve their delivery and encouraging parents to pay levies so that when we mix those with grants that we are supplying to schools, then our education will be revamped and the children will pass.  Their facilities will be updated. 

          The major thing that we have to do is to improve the infrastructure but we will look at that later.  Coming to boarding schools, I want to say that boarding schools are expensive because children are housed and kept there and we have found that many people cannot afford to place their children in boarding schools.  So, we do not encourage boarding schools to be more in the rural areas.  We want those in the rural areas even if there is a boarding school there, they can take their children there as day scholars not that they should be boarders because it will be too heavy for them.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Having explained very well on Monday at the HICC, I have a question which I think affects a lot of people.  Is there any difficulty in recruiting teachers from sixteen provinces that speak these 16 languages that are in the Constitution, trained and then we can have these teachers to teach these 16 languages in schools?

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order, Hon. Senator. The question is not for his Ministry.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I am sorry Madam President.  What policy do you have of employing student teachers from the 16 languages that are in the Constitution?

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam President and I thank the Hon. Senator for raising this matter. I am a user Ministry but I determine those that work in my sector.  I can only facilitate the deployment of those persons that have come from the colleges and universities who are deemed to be suitable for my use in my sector.  If they come with attributes of particular languages, we are very sensitive to that.  We will be able to deploy the same.  I cannot determine in advance what kind of officers I shall have available for deployment in my system.  That is beyond my purview, I thank you.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  Minister, in the same vein, how does provinces like Matabeleland South who have less science teachers participate in the STERM?  How do these children benefit?  You realise Matabeleland always contribute very few children because they do not have science teachers in the whole province.  So, how do they benefit on STERM?

HON. DR. DOKORA:  If Hon. Senator could give me a written question, I will be most happy to bring to the Senate the statistical evidence which shows the extent of our deployment of science teachers that we have and what each province shows in that deployment pattern.  What we do know from previous statistics that we had is that one of the provinces with the least teachers of science is actually Mashonaland Central.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NEMBIRE: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Minister, what plans do you have to cater for orphans that write examinations because they do not have enough documents like birth certificates, I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Thank you Madam President for the question that has been asked.  As a Ministry, we are not involved in the issuance of birth certificates but headmasters can help with documents that are authenticated        that those children are indeed attending school or had attended that particular school.  They write letters where they prefix their signatures and stamp to verify that the child in question will be attending that school even if he/she does not have birth registration certificate.  There are Government departments who are responsible for issuing those birth certificates and not the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

It is true that the law provides that a child should be registered at school using a birth certificate to avoid future mishaps but we analyse every situation.  It is a fact that those who are in this august House are some of the people who are allowed to act as witnesses to the existence of some of the children in their constituencies who often find it difficult to obtain birth certificates.  So, they are encouraged to help including the Hon. Senator who brought in the question.  If there are children whom you know are facing the same predicament, you can accompany them to the national registration offices to obtain birth certificates and I will work with my teachers to register these children so that they will be able to write their examinations at the appropriate time.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MURWIRA: My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.  There are children who are in South Africa who are being attacked, what plans are there within the Ministry concerning the violence on our children there?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON. MBWEMBWE): Thank you Madam President.  I thank the Hon. Senator for the question, it is a good question.  I think she is referring to xenophobic attacks.  As Government, we are content with the precautionary measures taken by the Government of South Africa to curb the xenophobic attacks on foreign citizens and Zimbabweans in particular, living in South Africa. 

We are happy that the South African Government is being transparent.  The South African President and his Home Affairs Minister spoke to African diplomats to the effect that they will take precautionary and firm steps towards curbing xenophobic attacks.  They also set up an Inter-ministerial Committee on Migration which will look at ways and means of coming up with these measures of preventing these unwarranted attacks on Zimbabweans living in South Africa.  So, we are content as a Ministry to note that the measures taken so far have gone far in curbing violence.  We are also happy and continue to monitor the situation on the ground as a Ministry through our two consulates in Cape Town, Johannesburg - including our Embassy in Pretoria.  They continue to update us on the developments concerning such violent acts and currently we have not received any report on such.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  Hon. Minister, the Members of Parliament had shown interest in acquiring residential stands and your response was that Government does not have serviced residential stands.  What policy is there on the stands that are being distributed all over the provinces when Hon. Members of Parliament are failing to obtain them?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I thought when you come to Senate you will be faced with considered questions.  However, the Hon. Senator thinks I distribute stands.  I want to thank you very much Hon. Senator.  We have not denied making sure that our Members of Parliament have serviced land, if anything, we are currently going through the process of making sure that land is available, serviced residential stands to a number of our Senators and Members of the National Assembly.  Particularly those in cities which are not preferred by the majority, for example, Bulawayo, Gweru and Marondera, we have already made strides in terms of accommodating individual interests of our Members of Parliament.  It is only in Harare where, because of limited serviced land, we have not been able to progress in the manner that we would have expected.

However, we are already in the process of raising funding alongside with the civil service housing scheme so that we accommodate our Senators and Members of the National Assembly.  Everyone of us would love to have a property in Harare but it is also very expensive for my Ministry on its own without the sufficient financial support to get it started.  However, we are in contact and discussions with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development who have assured us that we will get the relevant support to service the land.  We are aware that some of our Senators and Members of the National Assembly are owed some money and it is in that context that when we discussed with Hon. Minister Chinamasa and two Chief Whips from the two political formations, we agreed that, there could be a process of netting off what Members of Parliament are owed by Government. 

In turn, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will make available that financial support for us so that at least we can service the land.  The land had been identified, that is along Enterprise Road, on your way to Shamva and Mutoko, what is outstanding is for us to service that land.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President.  I understand that those in Bulawayo have been allocated.  I am from Bulawayo, I have not heard of that scheme.  How do I get in touch or have that knowledge?

HON. KASUKUWERE: Thank you very much.  We received a list from Parliament that indicated the preferred areas by various Members of Parliament.  Like I have said, some of the Members of Parliament who indicated interest to acquire residential stands in towns outside Harare have been contacted.  I am sure that as you have raised it with me, I will also check with my office so that they get in touch with you because Bulawayo City has a lot of serviced land.  For that reason, it has been easier for us to acquire land on these areas, including Marondera and others.  I apologise to you Hon. Senator if you did not get that information.  I am here and the Clerk of Parliament is also here, we will strive to facilitate.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President, my supplementary question is, for those who are interested in acquiring stands in Harare, you mentioned a place where you are going to allocate stands, are you going to group them together in that area or they will be in different places?  Thank you.

HON. KASUKUWERE: Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Mohadi for the question.  I thought as Senators you are in the same room all the time, you can also be neighbours back home.  What we are saying is, we have limited land available and for us to service individually – yes, there could be instances where some could get stands in Greendale and other areas like that, but I thought if we, as Government service the land directly meant to benefit our Members of Parliament, we can only do it in given areas and this is the area I have identified.  Unfortunately, most of our land or fortunately has already been taken, there are people who are already in those areas and the City of Harare itself has very limited land available.  So, it is some of these portions that we identify that we can make available.  However, we have also identified and we are going to be working on three townships that I have talked about that is Manyame just across, Chishawasha area, as well as Norton.  These three are close by but they will consist of low density, high density and medium density suburbs.  In Bulawayo, we had identified Umbvucha but it is no longer possible for us to do most of the work at Umbvucha because it actually requires a bigger area due to where it is sited.  It is sited right on the approach to the Airport runway, so we cannot have more people there. So, the land has been identified in various areas. 

          However, I had to be very honest with Parliament and said where do you think we can be able to get land for most of our Parliamentarians.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. GOTO: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  What plans do you have on new Government complexes that were built in the rural areas 10 years ago?  Right now, they are getting dilapidated and thieves are breaking through, so what plans do you have?

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): It was a Government programme which was funded by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development under the Public Sector Investment Programme.  It helped us a lot to build Government offices in many places. However, at the moment we are facing financial challenges for us to finish and maintain other places.  So, the Government has got many complexes which need funding so that they are kept well maintained.  We have Government infrastructure which is being abused by illegal gold panners in Kwekwe which needs to be revamped.  So, as a Ministry we need a lot funding to carry out these projects.   Hon. Senator Goto, you once asked me this question which was in connection with areas in Hwedza.

          However, I will engage my Ministry officials to look into those areas and check our relationship in those areas so that we carry out the necessary work earlier. Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you very much Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Kasukuwere.  What measures have you put in place concerning people settled on wetlands?  People are dying, we are seeing houses being destroyed and properties are also being destroyed because of building houses on wetlands.  So, what plans do you have to re-settle those people so that they do not tamper with our water sources?

          *HON. KASUKUWERE: Thank you very much for your question.  The Government has come up with a department called Environmental Management Agency which has skilled people to look at how the environment can be used.  Long back we did not have that department meaning that a lot of people were given land by councils in wetlands.  Right now, due to the heavy rains that we have received, people are facing challenges in these areas.  Furthermore, I would admit that there are a lot of our local authorities who did not execute their duties properly in that land was just distributed in places not fit for settlement. For example in Chitungwiza; Zengeza 3, Zengeza 4 and Zengeza 5, there were places which were left idle because they were not meant for building but local authorities would just sell those areas to people for settlement. As a result, this is now causing a great challenge to our residents.   This has also been exacerbated by lack of maintenance of drainage systems, some of them are blocked and our people are greatly troubled. 

          I wish if our people also would seek more clarity from relevant authorities before being offered land because they will end up being given wetlands as residential stands.  As a Ministry, we will only be able to go and help those in danger of drowning yet we would have cautioned people not to build on wetlands. Again, people should be wary of land barons who illegally sell state land.    A lot of people have lost their children and valuable goods because they have built on wetlands.  Nobody can overcome nature, even myself as the Minister, I do not have power to control the rains meaning that our people settled on wetlands will be in trouble. As a Ministry, we are strongly working hand in hand with EMA and not overriding what they would have suggested.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government.  Last week I asked a question to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development which he referred to your Ministry.  It relates to urban tolling. Last year I asked a question which was answered that it was mere speculation that we are going to have urban toll gates.  I do not know whether Government is thinking of having a policy where we are going to have urban toll gates.  If we are going to have them, what does that mean to commuters who come to town every day? When the money is collected if we are going to have urban tolling, will the money be kept by your Ministry or the local authorities, or it will go to ZINARA as has happened with vehicle licencing in local authorities?

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senators, please pose questions, do not address the House so that we have more time for more questions.

          HON. KASUKUWERE: I want to thank Hon. Senator Chimhini for his question which my dear brother politely pushed on to me, which is okay because we have been having discussions together. 

          I think urban tolling is a necessary evil. We have to fix the roads.  I think it is more expensive to repair broken tyre than to pay a dollar or 50 cents.  We think if we can work hard for us to have better roads which we can maintain going forward; it will be in our best interest.  However, what has been happening is that we have not articulated why we need urban tolls.  We had discussions with Minister Gumbo and have seen how the tolls in this country have actually helped the maintenance of most of our major road networks, hence we have also analysed and said in the urban centres, perhaps three quarters of the vehicles are not even paying for using the roads.  They are from Chitungwiza into the city, Norton into the city, Ruwa into the city and these areas there are no toll gates.  If you look at our Harare network compounded by the flooding and rains, we have actually lost 80% of our road network, hence we need to find a way of working with Government under our disaster programme and the Minister of Transport as well as going forward, let us have a tolling system.  So, it is indeed a fact that we have agreed on a policy to set up tolls in the city.

          Secondly, when you set up these toll gates, who are going to be the authorities? The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development is in charge, overally, of that policy which looks at the tolling, but because he can delegate that authority, we have discussed that that can be delegated to our local authorities. 

Our local authorities must collect and maintain the road network.  If it is not them, if it is ZINARA, whoever at the point we complete this exercise is going to be charged with the responsibility; they must use the money to fix and mend out roads.  This is what we have been talking about and this, I think, is the way forward for this country, for our urban centres and for most of our areas.  I thank you Senator.

*HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  The influx of vendors in towns or in undesignated areas shows that is how our people are surviving.  What plans do you have, as Government, that in towns there are legal places where they can sell their wares from?

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  The Government, in conjunctions with our councils, has laws in place that we refer to as workers and also others who are just selling.  We have places already and the council always says there are places where people should sell their wares from.  Like in Mbare, there are places there and also here in town we have places.  With the help of Hon. Sithembiso Nyoni, we have places like Copacabana and Fourth Street.  But now, we had reached a level where people were roasting mealie cobs in First Street.  We cannot allow that.  You bring a cow’s head and you start roasting and preparing that at Karigamombe Centre. 

We should also respect the shop owners when we come in front of their shops and sell the same wares that the shop owners are selling.  So, what we are saying is, we should place these hawkers at a place where they are free because some of them are doing it as a way of stealing.  That is why we are working very hard as councils in our country, that we should have places where people can sell their wares from. 

At times, we have challenges that some of the places will be far away, but down town there, there are a lot of places where people have been given, where they can sell their wares freely.  Also, ablution blocks should be in place so that we do not spread diseases and there should be a limit on food items because we cannot sell cooked food in open places because we will kill our people.  We should uplift the life of our people but not kill them at the same time.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Minister, most schools in Matabeleland North have downsized the number of subjects they used to offer, especially at secondary level and the most affected subjects are the newly introduced indigenous languages.  What are you doing, as a Ministry, to protect those children that had started to pursue those subjects and got affected, say Form 3s?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  I am not aware that we have downsized offerings of indigenous languages.  What I am happy to confirm is that we have, this year, the pioneer group that is writing A’ level Chitonga.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF. SIANSALI:  Thank you Madam President.  That was necessitated by the lack of teachers.  New teachers are no longer being employed and as such, the schools do not have teachers to teach and they are not allowed to recruit more teachers.  So, they cannot offer those subjects now.  I thank you.

HON. DR. DOKORA:  Thank you Madam President.  That confirms my earlier response that we have not downsized.  The fact of the volume of our candidates who are coming from primary going into the secondary sector, that volume has grown, is a fact and that we have made a public statement since end of December to say that I do require additional teachers, but it has not meant downsizing.  We have maintained where we were as at end of December.  I do need teachers, but I do not employ.  I must get the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the employer agreeing to give me the kind of requirement that I have put on the table.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Minister, Government is not meeting its obligations on some STEM funded students.  We have learnt recently that their tuition and exam fees have not been paid and the parents are running around trying to meet the deadlines.  What are you doing to try and help?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  As with respect to funding, my Ministry is a beneficiary of those that have the money.  The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development is funding some of my students, so the question should rightly be directed to them.  Just as much as I am a beneficiary of what Government does, pursuing the payment of fees for girl children in my school system, I could not then hold anybody accountable because I am a beneficiary.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  While I understand what the Minister is saying, but the affected people are his students.  The money question aside, I am trying to find out how we can best help the boy and girl child who is at school right now and not let him or her be affected by the failure of Government to meet its obligations.

HON. DR. DOKORA:  I thought I provided the direction in which the question should take.  I did not stand up to confirm Government failure.  I did say, I am a beneficiary and therefore the question ought really to be directed to the Ministry that is providing the funding, just as I am a beneficiary of Government funding and so on.  So, you cannot really be addressing the recipient to say, what are you going to do if you do not have the money.  I work with deadlines because we have to prepare examination systems to run in accordance with a timeframe.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Dr. Gumbo.  I would like to know what measures is the Government taking to resuscitate the two companies which are the National Railways of Zimbabwe for the enablement of easy transportation of goods and also Air Zimbabwe so that our aeroplanes would be competitive with airlines from other countries in that business.  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):  Thank you Madam President and I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Chisunga for the question.  I want to start by saying that last week, I answered that question on the National Railways of Zimbabwe but since you have allowed the question to be asked again, I will respond.

          The National Railways of Zimbabwe – Government has plans that are in place.  Last week I said that we presented our strategic paper on what plans we have in the resuscitation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe and it was accepted by the Cabinet and they have plans on how to implement it and see how we can resuscitate it.  We are all in agreement that if the National Railways of Zimbabwe is functioning properly, it will help us so that we will not burden our roads in the transportation of heavy goods, which is what also is worsening the state of our roads. 

On Air Zimbabwe - the Government is doing something in the resuscitation of Air Zimbabwe at the moment.  We were given a go ahead by the Government, its Cabinet Committee, for us to look for people to partner us so that we work together in the resuscitation of our airline so that it would go back to where it was long back.  I also want to tell the Senators that we are at an advanced stage in carrying out the work on the resuscitation of the national airline of Zimbabwe.  In a month or two, I think that we would have signed agreement papers with those people whom we are negotiating with.  I am not yet in a position at the moment to mention who we are negotiating with to help us in the resuscitation of our national airline.  We would get more aeroplanes and also to resuscitate the other air routes that we had lost, for example, routes to places like London.  So, the Government has plans which are now at an advanced stage on the resuscitation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe and Air Zimbabwe.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. D. T. KHUMALO:   My supplementary question is, what policy is there on the use of ICT at, for example, the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport – there is no photocopier and they are writing by hand – [Laughter.]-

          *HON. SEN. CHABUKA:  Thank you Madam President.  I had already asked my question but, since I was so lucky to be given a second chance, let me ask my other question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dokora.  Minister, there is a programme which is being run by the National Aids Council in schools in educating children on AIDS.  Is it on your school programmes as a Ministry for children to be aware of HIV/AIDS as they are being affected by the virus while they are still young?  Thank you Madam President.

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  I thank the Hon. Senator for asking the question.  I want to take you back to the document that we distributed to all the Senators and Members of Parliament, which document is called the Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary Education.  If you look at that document, there is a section on crosscutting issues, you will realise that that is where we built all the issues concerning the virus or disease that she has mentioned.   Also, we would be looking at and identifying learning areas where children should be knowledgeable.  It might be history, geography, biology and so on and we have seen that in all the areas, all these issues should find a way there.  So, if I hear that the National Aids Council has come and are working with my children and educating them about this disease, I would be happy as it is good for us.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MAKORE:   I insisted to have this opportunity.  I wanted also to ask Hon. Minister Kasukuwere but unfortunately, he has left.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF NEBIRI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate.  I would want to know whether Zimbabwe is a member of CITES which has the responsibility of overseeing the trade of ivory? 

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  Thank you Madam President.  Indeed, Zimbabwe is a member of CITES.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate.  Minister, what measures are you taking to solve the problems of water caused by ZINWA in the town of Beitbridge?  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  Thank you Madam President.  Hon. Sen. Mohadi, two days ago, got in touch with my office and I have since dispatched a team to go to Beitbridge with very clear instructions that they should work with the authorities there to ensure that they solve the problem of water in Beitbridge once and for all.  I want to assure the Hon. Senator that we are looking into the matter and I think by tomorrow, we would have amicably solved the problem.  I thank you.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

REMOVAL AND REHABILITATION OF STREET PEOPLE

9.  HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House, what Government plans are, as regards the removal and rehabilitation of street people who are a nuisance to motorists as they break vehicle windows and breach public peace.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Thank you Madam President.  It is Government mandate to protect vulnerable groups that include children and adults living and working on the streets.  As part of the protection exercise, the Ministry with the support of the Multi-sectoral Taskforce for Children Living and Working on the Streets is engaged in an ongoing exercise of removing children from the streets to safe environments.  One of the functions of the taskforce which is made up of officials from the Department of Social Welfare, relevant Government departments, civil society organisations and the local authority is to ensure that adults using children to beg on the streets are apprehended by the police. 

Children without families are placed under foster care, others in Government institutions and registered children’s private institutions.  At places of safety, children should be able to attend school as well as receive livelihood skills.  At the last count, the Ministry estimated that a total of 4 701 children were living in and working on the streets of Harare, Mutare, Bulawayo and Beitbridge.  Last year, a total of 463 were removed from the streets countrywide.  The exercise of removing these children is a mammoth one which needs assistance from the public, supporting partners and civil society.  In order to finance the programme, Government has established the Children on the Streets Fund which is supported by civil society.

As part of the overall Ministry’s mandate, the Government through the Ministry, implements the National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children.  Using the National Case Management System, family structures are protected and are brought up within the normal family environment.  This task is not for Government alone and we appeal to the Honourable Members from the different constituencies to ensure that they actively work in their areas in providing support to this initiative. 

OPENING OF THE RAINBOW AND HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HOTEL IN BEITBRIDGE

17.  HON. SEN. MOHADI asked the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry whether the Ministry has plans to open the Rainbow and Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Beitbridge. 

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. ENG. MZEMBI):  I am told that the RTG at Beitbridge is not going to open under RTG.  The building has since been handed back to NSSA who owns it. 

MEASURES TO CURB THE RAMPANT POACHING OF WILDLIFE IN SAFARI AREAS

20.  HON. SEN. MOHADI asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to inform the House what plans the Ministry has put in place to curb the rampant poaching of wildlife in safari areas.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  Mr. President, poaching of wildlife is one notable problem being faced in Zimbabwe.  However, my Ministry, through Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has put a number of strategies in place to curb poaching of wildlife.  Firstly, there is increase in collaboration with other law enforcement agents that is the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe National Army to reduce poaching.  Furthermore, we have introduced modern technologies in monitoring our estates that include unmanned vehicles such as drones.  Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is now also using sniffer dogs to track poachers.  As a way to reduce poaching, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has also increased community engagement as these are the people living with wildlife.  Due to globalisation, new poaching mechanisms are always coming up and therefore, we have been continuously improving and coming up with new strategies to curb poaching.  I thank you. 

MEASURES TO SUPERVISE AND MONITOR MAINTENANCE OF ROADS

23.  HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House what measures the Ministry has put in place to supervise and monitor maintenance of roads including those done by the District Development Fund (DDF) and Local Authorities given the fact that it appears nobody is responsible for the maintenance of such roads, particularly in rural areas, as is the case in the following: Odzani Road from Bvuma turnoff to Penhalonga Via Jombe; Honde Green to Ngarura via Sahumani Primary School and the Road from Mutasa District Offices to London Stores via Bonda Hospital, whereby the section passing by Knowsticks Boys’ High School is impassable, due to lack of maintenance of the road.

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Mr. President, there are four road authorities, namely the Department of Roads, DDF, Urban Councils and Rural District Councils.  Each road authority maintains its own road network and it is the duty of the respective authority to monitor and supervise its maintenance works.  If a road belonging to any of these authorities is not being maintained properly, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development is empowered to intervene and rectify the situation.

          Referring to the specific questions on the set of roads that have been mentioned, Mr. President, we acknowledge that Odzani road from Bvuma turnoff to Penhalonga via Jumbo especially the gravel section, has developed gullies and the drain is no longer functioning well, and the surfaced section has developed potholes.  Also Bonda road is heavily potholed especially near the Knowsticks Boys High School and approximately 1.5km which is impassible.

          You will be aware that His Excellency the President declared a state of disaster of our roads and Government is mobilising funds to attend to our road network.  The maintenance works needed to make our roads operational have started in all provinces.

          Mr. President, Treasury has to date allocated US$14.5 million towards the Emergency Road Works Programme and I am pleased that the two roads with impassable sections have been included in the programme.  The Provincial Road Engineer is already working on similar impassable sections in the area.  Currently, he is working on Honde Valley washaway near Hauna which is just 2km from Jombe.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

REFUGEES AT TONGOGARA REFUGEE CAMP

8.  HON. SEN. MAWIRE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain to the House whether the refugees at the Tongogara Refugee Camp are genuine refugees.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  Mr. President, allow me to advise the august House that Zimbabwe is a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees and its additional 1967 Protocols and the 1969 AU Convention.  Zimbabwe enacted the Refugees Act (Chapter 4.03).

Currently, Zimbabwe is host to 10 428 refugees and asylum seekers of which 92 percent are from the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa while the other 8 percent are the newly arrived Mozambican asylum seekers.  The refugees are resident at the Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge.  For the benefit of the House, refugee status is determined by the Zimbabwe Refugees Committee (ZRC) in terms of Section (5) (1) of the Zimbabwe Refugees Act.  The Committee is made up of officials from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour Social Services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Immigration, ZRP, Ministry of Defence and the President’s Office.

The work of the Committee is to assess the credibility/genuiness of each application for refugee status and make a decision on whether to grant or decline refugee status.  The Commissioner for Refugees endorses the decisions made by the ZRC.  We can confirm that all the refugees currently registered at Tongogara have gone through this verification exercise as outlined and are indeed genuine cases.

MEASURES TO RESOLVE WATER CHALLENGES BETWEEN ZINWA AND THE MUNICIPALITY OF GWANDA

21.  HON. SEN. NDLOVU asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to inform the House what measures the Ministry has put in place to resolve the water challenges between ZINWA and the Municipality of Gwanda.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  Mr. President, I want to thank Senator Ndhlovu for the question.  ZINWA treats raw water and in turn supplies Gwanda Municipality with bulk clear (purified) water which Gwanda feeds into the distribution network currently under its management.  ZINWA is able to meet the water demand for Gwanda Municipality.  The challenge with Gwanda is the non-payment for water supplies by council to ZINWA.  This challenge has persisted since 2009 since ZINWA handed over the operation of the reticulation network and billing to the Municipality of Gwanda in 2009 at their request.

The municipality of Gwanda currently owes ZINWA $10 million for water supplied.  ZINWA on average bills – Gwanda $105 000 per month and Gwanda on average is paying $30 000 per month for this service, a shortfall of around $70 000 per month, which has now accumulated to the current debt of $10 million.  This inability by the Municipality of Gwanda to pay for water supply services has left ZINWA sourcing funds from other centres to service the residents of Gwanda, a situation which is not sustainable.  On the other hand Gwanda is citing challenges in collecting revenue from water users as well as their inability to account for most of the water supplied to them.

In a bid to resolve the issue of non-payment of bills, ZINWA has introduced a prepayment system that will commit council to paying for services rendered.  In order to resolve the issue of unaccounted for water, my Ministry is assessing the capacity of the Municipality of Gwanda to manage the operation and maintenance of the water supply reticulation network.  This is to ensure that the residents of Gwanda get a reliable water supply service.

POLICY ON THE CHANGE OF THE CURRICULUM

22.  HON. SEN. NDLOVU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education whether it is Government Policy to change the curriculum without initially training teachers to enable them to impart knowledge to children.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  The curriculum update was a consultative process which involved different stakeholders.  Teachers and all our line managers were central in the course of the review.  As members might recall, the consultation peaked on 28th November, 2014 when all our schools were consultation venues.  The teachers were charged with the responsibility of conducting interviews at all venues.

COMPLETION OF PROJECTS IN HARARE

          26.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing:

          a)  To indicate when the following Government projects in Harare would be completed in view of the fact that they have remained outstanding for too long:

          i)  Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters;

          ii)  Police Protection Unit Flats; and

          iii) Registrar General’s Office.

          b)  to state whether there is any supervision of the construction of such projects to ensure that they do not collapse before completion.

          c)  to state whether it is not prudent and economic for the Ministry to complete at least one project at a time so that something tangible is realised.

          d)  to state whether the Ministry is adequately funded to complete the construction of these buildings.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Mr. President on the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the question. However, let me inform this Senate that the project started on 11th September 1999, and was supposed to be completed on the 30th of September 2001.  Due to financial challenges, the project was stalled and resumed in 2011 under the dollarisation era with an estimated cost of US$9 905 371.12.  Construction progressed well in 2011 to 2012 because funding was being availed consistently.  However, progress declined from 2012 to 2013, and the project stalled again.  Activities on the project are expected to resume again on the 15th of March 2017.

          The project is expected to take 98 working days to complete from the 15th of March to the 28th of July 2017.  The success of the programme can only be realised if funding is consistent and timeous so that no further stoppages are encountered.

          Failure to avail the resources in time will affect the gestation period of the project, and unforeseen costs such as changes in Government Statutes, changes in National Employment Council (NEC) workers rates, wear and tear and preliminaries and generals will affect the project’s outstanding costs.

The building is at finishing state and is almost ready for occupation.  The estimated cost for completion of the project is US$2 448 078.08. Currently, US$1 000 000.00 has been realised by Treasury to resume the project and an outstanding amount of US$1 448 078.08 is required to complete the project.

          b)  Police Protection Unit Flats

          The project commenced on 29th April 2011, with the Ministry’s Construction Unit as the main contractor and was supposed to be completed on the 30th April 2012.  The project comprises of 3 x 3 storey residential blocks of flats with a capacity to house 96 families.  The original allocation was US$6 700 000.  To date, a total of US$4 288 000.00 has been committed on the project and US$3 300 102.00 is required to complete the outstanding works but no further funding has been availed by Treasury ever since August 2013 despite estimates being submitted every year.  However, the figure can escalate due to deterioration of some of the material like roof trusses that remain exposed to vagaries of weather which might need replacement.

          c)  Registrar General’s Office

·       Immigration Control

The wing has been partially handed over and only two out of

eleven sub-contractors are currently working on the snags identified on the day of handover.

·       Central Registry

The wing is almost complete and is ready for partial handover.

 The completion of the whole project has been adversely affected by the lack of funding and currently, nine sub-contractors have moved off site. The outstanding amount required to complete the works is US$1 300 000.00

          2.  To state whether there is any supervision of the construction of such projects to ensure that they do not collapse before completion.

          Mr. President, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, through its professional Design teams comprising of architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, supervise and monitor progress of all Government structures (CID headquarters, Police Protection Unit Flats and Central Registry and Immigration Control included) and can confirm that they are structurally sound.

          3.  To state whether it is not prudent and economic for the Ministry to complete at least one project at a time so that something tangible is realised.

          Mr. President, the Ministry has always advocated for this from our client ministries to achieve a tangible result instead of having half-finished structures scattered throughout the country.

          4.  To state whether the Ministry is adequately funded to complete the construction of these buildings.

          Mr. President, the mandate of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is to administer projects on behalf of client ministries.  Funding of the same is a prerogative of Treasury and is channeled to user ministries and it is a shared responsibility between ministries, though it is not the best arrangement for project implementation as has been proven to date.  Client ministries have different mandates and priorities.  However, numerous representations have been made on various platforms to have project implementation funds resident with my Ministry but to no avail.  We have been assured by Treasury that funding for Central Registry and CID Headquarters will be released in 2017.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

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

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.        

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.

          MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on SADC Model law on eradicating Child Marriages.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.        

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.

MOTION

SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONAL SCHOOL PLEDGE

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on advocating for unequivocal support for the National School Pledge by all Members of Parliament.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on violence that had become a socio-political way of life among the people of Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Mr. President, as a way of giving our Senate business, I have decided to debate on this one.  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the issue that was raised on corruption that is there in this country. I want to thank Hon. Senator B. Sibanda who brought this issue of violence and corruption in this country that leads to people failing to reach an argument without an act of violence, even when they are talking about smaller issues that can be resolved amicably without violence. 

          Mr. President, most people look forward to us as elderly people living behind our children without any legacy.  Yes, it was there long back that when people are failing to reach an agreement they will sit down and try to solve the issue amicably and the one who is supposed to apologize should apologize properly.  What we have done to our children as elderly people

+HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA (SPEAKING)…elderly people is that, we are leaving behind our children without knowing what to do for them to reach an agreement.  It is normal for people to have a disagreement.  For example…

Hon. Sen. Chipanga having walked into the Senate Chamber.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I need your protection Mr. President from Hon. Chipanga – [Laughter.] –

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Chipanga is just walking in. I did not see him with a knife or something – [Laughter.]-

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Mr. President.  I was saying that what we are doing to our children is not fair because we will leave them without the knowledge of living in harmony as a family in their communities or in other countries.   Sometimes people may not live in their country of origin as most of the times they migrate to other countries.  If we teach our children that every time they disagree, they have to use violence, hurting or killing the other party, it will be difficult to reverse it.  As we continue to age, it will be difficult to find time to teach our children.

The motion that was brought by Hon. Sibanda is a good motion that teaches us not to tolerate violence.  On subsection c of the motion, the issue of politics is highlighted. Issues related to opposition or competition are highlighted in the Constitution.  Most people live in fear whenever the issue of elections is discussed because in most cases, many people are hurt and even killed during that period.  My wish as I contribute to this motion, especially now when we are preparing for elections is that, if there is any political party that is found to have caused violence like killing and hurting people, the leadership should be punished so that our children will learn that there is punishment after doing wrong.  In addition, there are rights for those who are in politics and it does not mean that if your relatives are not members of a party that you support, you cease to be related to them. 

Mr. President, this is an important issue that is being debated in this House.  Hon. Sen. Sibanda also hinted that it is the duty of the Government, especially when you take a look at Section 48 to 78 of the Constitution which was agreed on by all the people.  It is therefore the responsibility of the Government to ensure that the rights for all the people are respected.  It should not be a crime for anyone to express themselves in any way.  It is a right for anyone to worship wherever they want to and it should not be a crime to put on party regalia for any political party.  Additionally, it should not be a criminal offence to choose how you want to vote because it is your right.  Mr. President, with those few words, I thank you for allowing me to add my voice to the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Sibanda.  I thank you Hon. Senator.

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF POPULATION GROWTH IN ZIMBABWE

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on Zimbabwe’s low population.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MASUKU: I move that the Debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU, seconded by HON. SEN. MARAVA, the House adjourned at Two Minutes to Four o’clock p.m until Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 16 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 39