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SENATE HANSARD 18 MAY 2016 VOL 25 NO 51

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 18th May, 2016

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

CODE OF ETHICS AND ASSET DECLARATION REGISTER FOR MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I have to inform the Senate that the Code of Ethics for Members of Parliament that was adopted by the Sixth Parliament and the Draft Asset Declaration Register approved by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders on the 21st April, 2016 are being distributed to all Members of Parliament.  Hon. Members are requested to consider and submit their views and recommendation on the Asset Declaration Register for consideration by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.  Submissions should be made through the Counsel to Parliament’s office by Tuesday, 31st May, 2016.

REASSIGNMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY BILL [H. B. 12, 2015]

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I have to inform the Senate that Parliament has been informed by the Office of the President and Cabinet that His Excellency, the President has assigned the Administration of the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill [H.B. 12, 2015] to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development instead of to the Minister of Defence.  The Bill has to be recommitted to enable the necessary amendment to be made before it can be assented to as an Act.  The Bill will be recommitted in terms of Standing Order Number 139.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (DR. GANDAWA):  I move that Order of the Day, Number One be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

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:  Thursday, 19th May, 2016.

MOTION

CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS CENTRED ON DEVOLUTION OF POWER

Third Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the call for Government to implement the devolution of power as provided for in the Constitution.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to debate this great motion.  I want to thank Senator Ncube for raising this motion.  Devolution was raised and is now in the Constitution.  It is important that devolution is implemented because it answers to the livelihood of the people.  It is in the nature of people to be unfair.  This is only resolved if devolution is implemented.....

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order please, we encourage Hon. Senators not to code switch but stick to one language.  You can continue.

          HON. SENATOR KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President.  Our country is blessed because it is a State and it is also unitary.  This means that we have a Government that is unitary.  When the people decided on devolution, it was in response to the fact that other regions or provinces should also participate in the development and economic process.

          Devolution is one of the tenets of public participation, accountability, transparency, inclusivity, effectiveness and efficiency, gender equality and equity.  If you look at these eight tenets of good governance, it therefore calls and gives the people the confidence that they are going to be participating in the growth or in the being of their economy.  I think it was a good idea, but it is now a bad idea if we take time in delaying to implement such kind of a noble idea that is before us. 

          Raising issues like costs, I think the cost involvement in this process to implement devolution is far much outweighed by the benefits that we are going to get when we implement devolution.  It is unfortunate that many people when we talk of devolution, they think of Matabeleland, it is not like that.  Devolution was an issue that was raised across the whole country.  It empowers locals to participate in good Governance.  It empowers those who feel marginalised to participate in the running of the Government.  It also develops the people themselves.  When the people are actually involved in the process of running the Government, they will support the Government and they will honour it.  There will be ownership within the people of anything that happens in their communities, that they are part of it.

          People must be involved even in public policy formulations, and it is through devolution that people can be part of the public policy processes.  Therefore, there is nothing bad with devolution.  Those countries that have continued to fight even after establishing devolution in their countries is because there has never been an honest process by the leadership.  Examples are, the Boko Haram that is fighting Nigeria, it is because the Government of Nigeria was using the oil from the North to develop the South.  Hence, the Boko Haram was born out of it, to fight against the unfair distribution of resources. 

          Devolution comes in to resolve the natural defects within human beings to be unfairly distributing resources.  It is within us, human beings to be unfair.  It is within us people to love others and hate others; it is natural.  That is why even a man chooses one woman among five women because he is biased towards one.  That is inherent with human beings.  So, to avoid that, devolution comes in to resolve that because it then forces the authority and leadership to make sure that they distribute resources equitably, fairly and equally to all regions.  Let the people themselves fail to develop their own areas but with resources given to them – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          Devolution does not only look at resources, it also looks at gender issues; our women.  Let those women in those areas also have the opportunity to participate so that they can grow and develop their capacities.  Without devolution, it will be very difficult.  Devolution is an answer to so many challenges.  Africa today is one of the worst endowed country with conflicts.  It is because of unfair distribution of resources. Go to DRC, that is the same problem, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan and South Sudan, that is the same problem today.  It is always an outcry when people say enough is enough, we also want to enjoy the natural resources of our own country and devolution is the answer.  Actually, devolution will guarantee Zimbabwe peace, prosperity and development – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          So, we should encourage the Government today, to really look at the cost benefit of introducing devolution as soon as yesterday because devolution would answer so many calls that we have read in the newspapers the Mthwakazi.  Do not underestimate those kinds of uproars.  They will grow with time and will be a problem to this country.  It may start as a small thing and because it is small we would underrate it but it will grow.  But the answer is there today, which is devolution.  So, ladies and gentlemen let us encourage the Government to implement devolution as soon as possible.  Thank you very much.

          *HON. SENATOR MANYERUKE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to debate on the motion that has been debated by a number of members.  I would like to thank Hon. Ncube for raising this motion, seconded by Hon. Sibanda.  Madam President, as a nation, nothing surprises us and there is no need for us to rush the process because the country is ours; the Government is ours and we are the people of Zimbabwe.  We are the ones who suggested that we need devolution.

          My contribution is that, our counterparts might not understand what we as ZANU PF are saying, because they are saying is that as Parliament we need to ensure that the Government implements what is in the Constitution that we drafted as a country.  No one is against this issue and no one can argue this out but the biggest challenge is that of finance.  There is no money and the Government is also facing a financial crisis.  Even in this august House, we all agree that we have Hon. Members in the National Assembly and some in the Senate, when they were sworn in, they did not receive their vehicles there and then because there was no money.  The country is broke and the Central Bank does not have money. 

          As Hon. Members, we are failing to get our mileages because there is no money.  So, I see no reason why we should expedite the implementation of this provision.  We all need to agree on this.  As Hon. Members, probably need to come together in our various constituencies and raise money so that devolution is expedited because the Government has no money.  If there is no money, nothing can be implemented and nothing will succeed.  Financial backing is important.  There is nothing that you can align in terms of the new Constitution – yes, we can support and put emphasis and all these issues but without money we cannot do anything.

          So, let us give each other the opportunity.  We are the Senators, the Government, we have to source the funding. If it means every province should be given its own allocation in order to pay its own staff and running of the province, then it will be okay. They cannot just go and start provincial Assemblies without any office, staff, mileage and vehicles.

          Mr. President, the motion is a very good motion and it has re-awakened our thoughts as MPs. It is going to take five or 10 years for this to take place then we have to patient. This is my opinion because everyone is free to debate the motion and use his or her understanding of the situation. We are the Upper House as I have already said, there is nothing wrong. Devolution is needed and we also want it because the people who voted for it are in the rural areas. They want devolution, they are asking us and what we are advising them is that the Government does not have the finances. Let us start from here and go to our provinces, that is the only way we can succeed and implement a number of constitutional obligations and some which have to amended and aligned. We need time to re-look at this Constitution and amend where necessary. I thank you so much Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice.

          HON. SEN. MAKONI: Thank you very much Mr. President Sir. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Ncube, for raising this motion which addresses the issue of devolution in Zimbabwe. Mr. President, the issue about devolution should not be underestimated as a minor issue. In some parts of Zimbabwe, it really is a very serious issue.

          Those Members of the House who travelled in my group when we went to Matabeleland on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill will bear with me that the hostility that we encountered there can only be resolved by devolution – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – There is no way out. I felt Mr. President like a stranger in my own country. I had no idea of the depth of feeling and the resentment that is felt in that part of our country. Money as an excuse does not even begin to touch sides when you see the people of Matabeleland. We can say what we like in this House. We can joke and make funny comments about parties. There are members from Matabeleland North in ZANU PF and there are members in this House from Matabeleland North in MDC-T. This is the one thing that they agree on, even though they will say it – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – What made me say that? When the members of the public were raving and ranting, not one member of the Senate from either party stood up to say that is enough. So they were complicit they were in agreement with their population and I do not blame them. I agree with them totally – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- If we can mess around with $15 billion that disappeared quietly, we can find money for Matabeleland – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- There, we have got unity of purpose in this House Mr. President. Let us not even talk of parties like the previous speaker did. It has got nothing to do with parties. This is the one thing that unites them, devolution.

The minute you go past the Shangani River they change. I am telling you. I felt that if we do not do something, we are showing insensitivity of the highest order. We are showing lack of care and we look as if we want to underdevelop Matabeleland. We are looking as if we want to take their resources and develop them here in Mashonaland. We look like we are just taking jobs from there and moving industry and these are things …

HON. SEN. MANYERUKE: On a point of order.

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

HON. SEN. MANYERUKE: Thank you Mr. President. If we can read our motion carefully, it is not even written Matabeleland, or Mashonaland but she is just talking about Matabeleland. If it was about Matabeleland it could be written like that. Thank you.

HON. SEN. MAKONI: Thank you Mr. President. This is just the first example I will go to the next. I am starting with Matabeleland, because devolution is about the whole of Zimbabwe. I am talking in terms of priority according to me – devolution must start with Matabeleland – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- We have a duty to our fellow countrymen to be seen to be fair.

They were crying about jobs, industry, marginalization and I will give you an example of some of the things they were saying. They were saying Matabeleland and Bulawayo in particular used to be the industrial hub of Zimbabwe but now there is zero production. They are saying that our teachers from Mashonaland are filling all their schools. The teachers do not even understand the children and the children do not understand the teachers, especially in the grade zero, 1 and 2 when they cannot speak English.

The failure rate at ‘O’ and ‘A’ level is very high because of lack of communication. We are building universities there without putting ‘A’ level schools there and then importing the children from Mashonaland to go and do university education there. Those are the things that they were saying HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – I am a Shona Mr. President Sir and I felt bad, guilty and I think we should have a collective sense of guilt and to resurrect ourselves, we must find that money to even start.

We can start with Bulawayo. Why I am saying Bulawayo? Bulawayo does not need extra resources.  We already have the Metropolitan area of Bulawayo.  All it has to do is to implement the Constitution as if it was a Devolved area. You do not need resources. We could show goodwill by doing that. We cannot continue to pretend that we need one cent for Harare Metropolitan. The building is already there and people just have to go in.  If we have to give them an option of salaries or no salaries, but you devolve and run your own issues using the budgets that have already been approved by the Minister of Local Government, they will go right ahead. They will have no reason at all to wait.

It is a very serious issue that is facing us in this country and anyone who underplays the feelings of the people in Matabeleland does so at the risk of the health of this nation. There is so much distrust, that the only way to rid of that distrust is to do something, however little so that they see there is effort from the central Government.

The way we have behaved in that part of the country – I was travelling around it for the first time, it would appear that we actually are living true to their fears and for the sake of Zimbabwe, regardless of party political affiliations, let us start by devolving Matabeleland.  Thank you – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you very much Mr. President. I would also like to thank Senator Ncube for raising this motion which is very important to me.  I rise to make an emphasis on an already stated issue, which is of devolution in the Constitution.  The issue of devolution which is purely covered in the Constitution, has already been sanctified by the majority of the people in Zimbabwe and hence the Constitution itself, which is a ‘Bible’ and a supreme law has already authenticated devolution as something that has been taken into place in the country as a whole. 

A question of devolution to me means development because I looked at the term devolution and said why? To me, devolution is something which I term as administrative in general, not political.  However, if you take devolution on the auspices of a term which is political, you confuse the whole thing. 

It is administrative, purely in the devolving of economic powers to the province – but with a centralized political control to the nation; hence there would be much confidence in sponsoring provinces than to sponsor a nation.  Why do I say that? It has been proven that there is a vast lack of transparency in terms of accountability, be it financially, be it anything – to the effect that even sponsors themselves could hesitate to sponsor the nation, but could be motivated to sponsor provinces on its activities.

 Devolution is at a level of local Government, which to me means to say, it calls for greater participation widely within that particular province.  It calls for an extension of investment in that particular province; it also calls for improving agricultural production from those particular provinces.  Which means to say, the nation is decentralizing such other responsibilities to the provinces which, of course will remain with the supervisory nature, in terms of overall development that will really be made from those particular provinces.

Mr. President, I listened perhaps from other mean hesitations, in other words, even when I listened to other people who were contributing, there were some expressed fears that are political.  They are not there because the spirit of devolution is not only centered in Matabeleland; it is centered to all other provinces.  Equally, you heard people of Manicaland complaining over holes that were dug as a result of those diamonds.  Cattle drank polluted water with chemicals and some of them died without any retention to that particular province.  It means to say if the responsibility was then given to that particular province, they could not be pointing to the nation, they would have blamed themselves. 

The whole idea is to shelve responsibility to provinces for which they can manage those affairs that are of production that are of even health agriculture for food security.  To me this element is so noble and we are already late to implement it.  We could have long implemented it. In other words, if we cry for money, I do not think we will ever have it but we have to try and make money by other methods – this is one of the methods to make money with.  Generally, they would be directly sponsored as provinces by whichever donor who can donate to them.  I do not feel that the concept of devolution is not really supposed to be linked with the current financial shortages.  We have to try it as a method to sort of motivate people to make more money with this particular system.  Mr. President, I want to thank you for this opportunity that you gave me and want to urge that we have to implement this devolution as of yesterday.

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

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 19th May 2016.

MOTION

RESCUSCITATION OF THE ZAMBEZI WATER PROJECT

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the resuscitation of the Zambezi Project.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add a few words on the motion raised by Hon. Senator Sibanda.  I think this is one motion which I hope will invite the response of a Minister.  There are issues that I think may need to be looked at, for instance what will be the impact of Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project on the Zambezi River system itself and the other things that are around that system.  I am thinking, for instance of the two hydro power generating dams, your Kariba and Kabora Bassa.  If you look at the distance from Zambezi to Bulawayo that would cover at least 450 km, which means that you are actually creating a river in the opposite direction.  The other rivers are flowing towards the Zambezi; this particular one will be flowing away from Zambezi to Bulawayo. 

Of course with the attendant issues that along the way, there will possibly be other users of the water before it reaches Bulawayo, which might mean to say that a lot of water will be moving out of the Zambezi towards Bulawayo and other areas that might need to utilize that water.  So it would be necessary for somebody to be able to come up with an explanation of the possible impact of what I am raising of the huge amount of water going about 450 kilometres or so, away from the Zambezi river and how that would affect the generation of electricity at places like Kariba and Kabora Bassa, and even the perceived Batoka Gauge Project which might come on line sometime in future.

The other point that I want to talk about with respect to the motion is that, here are two possibilities for the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project. One of them that I have heard is of water being drawn from the Zambezi and then being fed into the Gwayi/Shangani dam for onward transmission to Bulawayo. I have also heard of the possibility of a canal being constructed from the Zambezi direct to Bulawayo. Whatever happens especially with respect to the second option, I think there is the possibility that there might be need for some kind of electric power to be used to draw the water from the Zambezi, which according to my Grade 5 or Grade 6 Geography, lies in the Northern Lowveld. The water will be coming up high onto the central watershed, that is Bulawayo which is the Highveld.

In other words, we will be trying to oppose gravity. So, there will be need for some resources to be used to have power that can be able to push the water against the gradient towards Bulawayo. This will lead to another possible point which is that, that kind of water might turn out to be a bit on the expensive side for the consumers, be they residents or industry or other commercial enterprises. Some of those issues might need some kind of ministerial explanation as to whether this meets the real possibilities.

In other words, I am saying that the cost of water might end up expelling or forcing some commercial and industrial entities out of the city instead of encouraging the growth of the city in terms of industries and commerce. The other point about the project is that when I started hearing about it some 20 or so years ago, I was not aware that it had been talked about since 1912 by some Rhodesian whom I understand is the father of some politician that may be alien savory or something as far back as 1912. I also learnt along the way that even the white South Africans had tried to have water from the Zambezi for some purpose along the way and they could not continue because of other things like the fact that the Zambezi water system does not belong to one particular country or one particular nation.

Along the way, since those last 20 years, I was also informed by those who thought they knew, that it might need some kind of a multilateral agreement between any interested country like Zimbabwe and others, may be three, four or five of them. Some were saying it might include countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Angola, DRC, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and others whose river systems flow into the Zambezi like Malawi. So, that is the reason why I said there might be need for this motion to be the second motion to be responded to by a Minister following the one on the proposed holiday for International Women’s Day. This is because all other motions have not been responded to so far. I hope this can be the second one so that the Minister can explain to us some of these issues, whether or not it is still necessary. If Zimbabwe wants to implement this Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, it has to enter into agreement with one or more of these countries that I have referred to because the Zambezi River does not belong to Zimbabwe alone.

There is the issue of the possibility that a lot of work and other employment will be created in the area, did I hear somebody say that we can ensure that locals are employed or given preferential treatment of some kind. We also need to take into consideration the fact that this is a huge project which will take in billions of national resources, not necessarily from Matabeleland, but also from other places. It invites the fury of the debate on devolution that we have just gone through; where in other places in the country can contribute to the development of this particular project. We cannot say that people from elsewhere cannot go and look for employment there.

In any case, it suggests that when you employ people, you want to check their identity cards, national registration cards, passports and so forth, which is a bit unusual because normally people will just employ those who come to look for work. If it turns out that they come from Nyamapanda, Beitbridge or from the local area, fine and good. That is it because that is how systems operate. Furthermore, if you create industries, it might mean that you will also import substances to use from other places.

For instance, I know that during our colonial times, the sugar that is produced in Triangle, Hippo Valley and Mkwasine was processed in Harare and Bulawayo. It would have been unfair for anybody to say that people from Chiredzi should not travel to Bulawayo and Harare to look for jobs when their sugar was being transported there to produce the employment. Thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: Thank you Mr. President, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this pertinent motion that was raised by Hon. Sibanda concerning the Zambezi Water Project to enable us to use it in our various sectors and spheres of life for the development of the nation. Mr. President, I believe that water is vital in our day to day lives and because of this vitality; most countries have been embroiled in conflict for the resources especially water, because that is where the livelihood of the people is based on. If you happen to go to Libya, they were able to draw water from the Nile River, thousands of kilometres and taking it to a desert which they converted into a green area. I am saying this just to put emphasis on the point that water can be harnessed in different ways to areas that it is needed.

          Concerning Zimbabwe, the proposal by Hon. Sibanda that it would assist us as a country, that each and every year as we always celebrate independence and heroes, that money we set it aside no matter how financially unstable we are. So, annually we also need to set aside funds for the harnessing of water from Zambezi and distribute it in areas in Matebeleland to ensure that most areas that are not productive in Matebeleland are. This will assist many areas in the country. It is a blessing that we got this opportunity which must be utilised while it is still available.

          In the last farming season, electricity became a crisis because the dam level at Kariba had gone down which actually resulted in us not getting enough electricity. Right now we have the opportunity as we are still using a strong currency. We need to put aside money and ensure that we draw water to Matebeleland which will assist the nation in terms of food security. In my opinion, it does not only help the people of Matebeleland. Whatever they grow there, livestock or animal breeding, this can also boost exports thereby giving an opportunity for development in Zimbabwe.           Mr. President, I think this is very important.

On the issue of sourcing for funds; there are so many people who have money but do not know where to invest it. If these people are approached and a proposal is presented to them, they can invest in the project under the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement. This will help in the development of the nation and also create employment for our people. It can avoid situations, for example, whereby we have our girl children going abroad to look for jobs where they are taken and treated as slaves and engage in prostitution. So, the issue of the Zambezi Water Project can actually alleviate such actions. I think that will assist Zimbabwe in a special way. With these few words, I want to support the motion raised by Hon. Sibanda. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President, for the opportunity that you have given me to debate on the motion on the Zambezi Water Project. I want to thank Sen. Sibanda and I want to support his motion. It is a pertinent motion for water is vital and water is life. Without water there is no life. I want to quote what Egypt sai, that whoever misuses water in the Nile River such that the water flow to Egypt is disturbed, it will mean that we will go to war. I am talking of countries such as Sudan. So they said anyone who disturbs the flow of water to Egypt, the result will be war.

          Looking at the Zambezi Water Project, let us not only concentrate on Matebeleland El Nino has come and it will be with us for some years. So, the idea of the Zambezi Water Project will save the whole country. This means that the way we used to farm maize using rainfall, if we do not adapt to this climate change scenario, we will face problems. We need to make sure that water is harnessed from the Zambezi to areas in Lupane, Hwange and Umguza where there is adequate agricultural land. If a country is really concerned about its nation, we can put a band of irrigation schemes and our silos will be full of grain from the irrigation schemes. The drought that we are mourning of right now will be a thing of the past because the silos that are empty right now will be full and not only those in Matebeleland but we can also fill up silos in Chinhoyi.

That is what we need to look at right now as to how we can expedite the Zambezi Water Project and also look at how we can also have another water project in Mashonaland. We need a permanent source of water such that if we do not get any rainfall, our irrigation schemes can still provide us with food. Just to borrow the words that were used by the Chief; if we commercialise that project, yes there are a lot of people who have funds and want to invest their money in various countries. These people can actually assist and grow their maize which can be used by the people of Zimbabwe.

Right now, maize will come from Ukraine in Russia where there is war. When it is loaded on the trains, it might be bombed and we will not get it. Maize can also be obtained from Brazil. So, it will take about six months for that grain to come here. If we come up with this project, it might have high national costs in terms of commencing the project but in the long run, it will be a long lasting solution. Yes, we might be concerned on how water can come from the lower areas to the higher areas, but that is possible through technology. It is taken from there to the dams using technology and this can be taken to Shangani as well.

This water is not drawn always.  If it rains, there is no need to draw water but if it is dry, you can draw the water. It is not taken every minute because you only fill up the dam, close the pipes and you can use the water for six months. So, it is not a difficult thing really.  I think we need to do that. My opinion is that if it was possible, I would build that dam and put another dam in Mashonaland West, another one in Mashonaland East, and the Government then declares ARDA areas as State land along Matebeleland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West. I can assure you that in terms of food security, we will be secure and this will just be stories in Mozambique and other areas.

We need to have people who are strong-willed and have the political will. Other countries have done that. It has been said that water was drawn from Libya to the Nile. They thought it was not possible for them to draw water from other areas and it has happened in Netherlands.   So, today as the people of Zimbabwe, let us take that decision and implement it even if it was done in 2012 or whatever year.  As we are in this Session of Parliament, let us also take the decision to complete the project.  We cannot die of hunger yet water is available. 

The question that water is claimed by different countries is good because El Nino is in Mozambique, Zambia and other countries and we can share.  This month we take it to Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique respectively.  That will ensure that we do not use all the water as we will share it proportionally.  It is a very important project and I want to take this opportunity to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Sibanda.  I urge the Government to make a decision to complete this project.  I thank you.

+HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to debate on this motion. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Sibanda and the seconder of this motion.  What I am excited about on this motion is that it is about an important project that will be carried out during the time when we will be Members of Parliament.  This is part of the ZIM ASSET.  The President also said that it is an important project that has to be carried out.  However, it is amazing that we have not stuck to the time frame because we will finish our term without the project being carried out.

When we speak of the Zambezi Water Project, it would be like a new project but it was agreed before that, at first there will be the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam.  Before each and every election in Matebeleland, we knew that there will be tractors giving us hope that the Gwayi-Shangani Dam will be constructed in a short period of time.  We are therefore pleading with the Government so that we do not cheat each other in doing such things. When it is like this, at a time like this, people should be told that there is no money.  People should not be lied to as they will believe that the project will soon begin.

What I am excited about is that I have heard that many people in this august House agree that the Zambezi Water Project has been there for a while now.  Of course, we know that it will be difficult for water to reach Bulawayo or Midlands.  However, we have 97% of people who are geniuses and will take care of the problems we might face so that there will be water for Midlands and Matebeleland people.

As I was watching the Cable News Network (CNN) yesterday, I took note of the people in Israel who live in dry areas because they avoid fighting with Palestinians.  They build stairs but water gets to the place they live.  I believe that we can also sort out our problems.  I know that we do not have interest of seeing development taking place in that area because of where the water is located.  There is need to dig an underground tunnel so that it carries water to different places.

Another problem we face in Zimbabwe is food shortages.  The President always states that we should not be getting food like cabbages and carrots from South Africa. How can we be able to produce such products if we do not have water?  However, if we develop the Zambezi Water Project, we will have water and be able to carry out our own produce and sell to other areas.  If we can get farm products from South Africa, what is so difficult for us to get farm products from Matebeleland to this part of the country?  We can also construct a tunnel that will distribute water to the Midlands, it can also be stretched to Mashonaland.

We are people and we need to agree and accept the fact that we are geniuses.  We have 97% literacy in our country and we should not be stuck when important things come before us.  We need not look down upon ourselves when such important issues are put before us.  We need to use our wisdom and create water tunnels for the development of our nation. 

The Minister was not going to talk about this.  He was not going to mention the Zambezi Water Trust as well as the Gwayi-Shangani River.  I am sure that he has talked to his counterparts.  He was not going to mention about the Zambezi Water Project without consulting the neighbouring countries.  We have Ministers who are wise, we do believe in him.  He has done some research and they have agreed.  When we have the Zambezi Water Project, we will have food and curb the food shortage problem.  We will realise gains from it and even export some of the food.  We do not want to be beggars yet we used to be the bread-basket of Africa.  We should not find this to be difficult.

How about the issue of employment if we have water from Zambezi that will be taken to Gwayi-Shangani?  It will not be a problem for people from other areas to gain by getting employed from this project.  What we disagree with is that you will find that no one from that particular area will be employed in the project.  For example, the ICT work where people are working and digging in Bulawayo, most of the employees are not from Bulawayo at all.  What we want is that there should be people from that area as well as from other areas.  We do not want the employment of people from faraway places when our own children are unemployed.  They need to feel that they belong to Zimbabwe and not strangers in their own country.  That is what people do not agree with. Those people who have cattle for example, will have food for their cows, will plant such things like soya beans and we can gain a lot of things from it like oil and chunks and we can also use the water for our livestock. At the same time, we get food for our livestock. We know that area is a dry one.  However, this problem will be taken care of by this project.

          There was a time around February and March when cattle were being sold for as little as $100 .00 at the area where I come from. The decline and the cost of cattle was because there was no water and people realised that it was better to sell them at a cheap price. What I am saying is that if we develop the Zambezi and carryout the Zambezi Water Project, we will gain so much from it as I have stated before. For example, I have talked about the issue of employment. I heard some people stating that when the Zambezi Water Project begins, only people from Matabeleland will be employed but that is not true.  

          When businesses are opened, it is not only people from Matabeleland who partake them but there will be people from other areas who will run businesses.  People from Matabeleland however, get a chance to run and open their own businesses, a chance that they do not have right now. So, we will have water for our livestock, industry. So we have to agree that this will not only benefit people from Matabeleland but everyone else. As it is right now, a lot of farming is taking place in Mashonaland and when time comes, we buy food from there. What we are saying is that we need more of this and everyone needs to get a livelihood from the Zambezi Water Project and a lot of development will take place in Matabeleland.

With those words, I would like to thank you. I believe that we will work together such that the Zambezi Water Project commences and takes place in Matabeleland. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Thank you Madam President. I rise to add a few words to this important motion  that was raised by Hon. Sen. Sibanda. Madam President, I want to start by saying I totally agree with Hon. Sen. Sibanda. I agree that in the past few years, we have noticed a decline in rainfall patterns in this country of ours. This is a pattern that dates back to about 1992 and then intensified in the year 2000 when  this animal we are all familiar with came up, that is EL-Nino. I believe EL-Nino, like the other speaker has said, is going to be with us for some time. It is a new phenomenon which I believe is going to be around for many more years to come.

          I am a farmer and I know the effects of having no water. We are talking of an area like Matabeleland which is naturally dry. Even in good years, Matabeleland is not one of those places that God gave enough rain fall. I agree with the mover that there is need to put aside a budget for this project for without money, there is no way we can achieve this goal. Let me start by saying that the idea of Zambezi Water Project is not a new idea and the mover of this motion rightly pointed out that it was firstly mooted in 1912. I do not know how many years up to now.

          Madam President, I also know that some 20/25 years ago, the South African Government threatened members of the region that they will go to war if they were not given access to water. At that point, they were referring to this project. The South Africans, I attended that meeting at Campton Park Conference Centre. At that time, the South Africans had this idea that water will be drawn from Zambezi into Matabeleland, then Botswana; the Mafeking area into the Orange Free State river, then into South Africa. They had seen that water was going to be a problem in twenty years. That is what they said then. They had discovered that it was expensive to draw water from Zambezi. I am not saying it is not a cause not worth pumping money into. I am saying that this is what the South Africans did, then they turned to Lesotho.

          The huge dam in Lesotho I visited on a number of occasions was constructed by South Africa. That is when they moved away from the idea of getting water from the Zambezi. I am saying Madam President, water is life. Like the other speakers have said, some Governments or countries will be prepared to fight for water. Yes, it is true that Egypt warned Uganda that if it interfered with water from Nile River, they will have no option but to go to war. That is to emphasise the importance of water. The question now is why has it taken us long to embark on this very important project? In my view, it is not going to be a project for Matabeleland only, but for Zimbabwe.

          Bulawayo for many years has been the economic hub for this country. The railways had its headquarters in Bulawayo. All the railway wagons were manufactured in Bulawayo then exported to Zambia, Botswana and other countries in the region but that is now history. Bulawayo had a very vibrant industry but that is now history and I believe that if water was to be channeled into that area, the economy of Zimbabwe would be up and running once more. 

          Madam President, the only problem that I have with this motion is that looking at the speech of the mover, I came across - I do not know how many times where the mover is referring to our region, this region and that the people of this country must be given economic space and that there is need for employment in this particular region.  To me, that smacks of the pronouncements made by Mthwakazi Freedom Front, and in this speech again, I came across where the mover says the people will soon get to a point where they will say no pain, no gain.

          I think we are getting too far Madam President.  In my view, this is not a regional problem, it is not a project which was laid by – by the region.  This is not a project which the Government of this country is opposed to, but I want to believe that the problem is money.  Proposals have been made that the Government should look for partners. Who does not know that the Chinese came and said that they wanted to undertake the project and actually offered money but this never materialized? 

          No investor Madam President will invest their money when they are not sure they will be able to recoup their money at the end of the day. The  BOAT we are talking about, I believe has only one problem in as far as the water from the Zambezi is concerned, that it is water that is going to be used by everyone as the water runs from Zambezi into Bulawayo.  It is not going to be piped from Zambezi to Bulawayo but it has to benefit people along the line.  I think and suspect that this is where the investor becomes a bit uneasy, whether he will be able to recoup their money from the generality of our people who live along the corridor, if I may call it.

          Having said that, I want to say I am totally in agreement and I also want to add that it is unfortunate that our Ministers, particularly the one responsible for water rarely come here.   If it were possible Madam President, you could use your good office to ensure that as this debate goes on, the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should be around so that he or she gets to understand the concerns of this House about this project.  Yes, it is a project that will involve other countries, some speakers before me has said, the Zambians will have to be involved - well, I know they were consulted and the Mozambicans…

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. MASUKU): Order, order!

          An Hon. Sen. having passed between the Chair and the floor.

          HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Madam President, I was summing up when I said the countries downstream will have to be taken on board.  The Mozambicans have their Kabora Bassa downstream and if you start harnessing water up here, those are things that can be taken care of.   Like I said Madam President, we should not regionalise this project.  Yes, sometimes we use terms like this Government is tired, we use terms which sounds in my view, a bit tribalistic.  My worry is that if people…

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: On a point of order! I request that the Hon. Senator clarifies and specifies on the tribalistic terms.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator may you continue.

          HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Thank you Madam President.  Like I said, I was not able to count how many times the mover used this region and no pain, no gain and that the people of Matabeleland should claim their economic space.  If our fathers like uJoshua Nkomo, uNdabaningi Sithole, who once said that 9 years ago - now that as nationalists -  we are one nation hakuchina muNdebele, hakuchina muManyika, hakuchina Muzezuru, hakuchina Mukaranga.  If they heard that we are still talking about ourselves as Manyika, I am sure they will turn in their graves and say zvaitasei?

          We should put our heads together, like I said earlier on, this is a national problem.  If Matabeleland fails, if Bulawayo goes down on its knees as it is, the entire country is in problems – [HON. NCUBE: No – you do not care] –

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Can the Hon. Member withdraw that statement?

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: Madam President, it is only that the Hon. Member is not saying the truth because he always attacks people from Matabeleland; he always attacks the debates from Matabeleland.  So they are happy when Bulawayo is going down.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Can the Hon. Senator withdraw that ‘we do not care’.

          HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: I withdraw.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you. Can the Hon. Member please continue!

          HON. SENATOR CHIPANGA: Thank you Madam President. I will not comment on that except to say from the beginning, I said someone is not being serious about the project because it is a national project. It is a project that has been on the cards for many years. It is not a new project and for anyone to say someone does not care, in so far as I am concerned, wherever I see something that I believe to be tribalist, I will not keep quiet because I do not think that it is in the interests of this country. It does not pay and it does not help us.

          We are a small nation and we should remain united. All the countries where you have heard of civil war, it is because of these small things, people feeling that we are ourselves. Who is not themselves? We are all Zimbabweans. I totally agree if it is true that you go into Bulawayo and you find people digging trenches and there is only one tribe, maKaranga or maShona. That is not acceptable. Everyone who is a Zimbabwean should be given an opportunity to work. If you take Zambians or Tswanas, that is something different. I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, has the Hon. Senator winded up?

          HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Yes, thank you Madam President, I am done.

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

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 19th May, 2016.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Four Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 18 MAY 2016 VOL 25 NO 51