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SENATE HANSARD 19 MAY 2016 VOL 25 NO 52

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 19th May, 2016

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

PRAYERS

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Mupfumira.  I want to be enlightened.  What legislation is in place for pensioners?  At what age are they entitled to their pension?  Moreover, which are the measures you have in place as a Ministry, that if a person attains pensionable age or has not yet reached the pensionable age, can be assisted for sustenance?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank Hon. Senator Chief for a very good question but I think it is a very important question which requires detailed and factual information.  I request that the question be put in writing so that we can attend to it in detail.  I thank you.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SANATE:  I hope that Hon. Senator Chief will be advised accordingly.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you Madam President.  I had a follow up question and I do not know whether Hon. Minister Mupfumira can answer.  Hon. Minister, we see our pensioners staying for more than a week waiting for their pensions.  What policy have you put in place, so that they can actually just go and collect their money without waiting for long?  I am from Zvishavane, we have pensioners who come from Mberengwa, they stay in Zvishavane for a week.  It is US$5 to and from Zvishavane and they only get about US$20. 

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for posing that question.  We are all aware at the moment of the liquidity challenges facing us as a country.  Treasury has a challenge almost every month, trying to meet the requirements including payment to our pensioners.  Under normal circumstances, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development would inform the Public Service Commission and the Ministry, if there are any changes to the payment for wages and salaries. 

          If we are informed, we would pass on the information to our pensioners.  I have noticed with concern that there have been incidences where the pay dates have been changed at the last moment without adequate time for us to inform our pensioners.   It is regrettable, however, we are taking some action to advise and inform the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that any changes must be communicated well in time so that the pensioners do not waste their money coming and having to wait for long.   It has happened and it is something which we will actively pursue with the relevant Minister, otherwise we would have our normal dates but because of the challenges that we are facing it happens sometimes we cannot pay on the due dates. 

          HON. SENATOR TIMVEOS: I want the Hon. Minister may be to look at this closely, since these pensioners are coming for something like US$20, can the Hon. Minister look into this, is it really worthy for our pensioners to leave their homes just for that little money.  Should it not be noble for the Hon. Minister to review this and make it worth travelling for and wait for so long?

          HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam President.  The Ministry and the Public Service Commission is seized with that issue and we are looking at other ways of payment, including using cellphone service providers.  We are in the process of getting bio-metric data so that we confirm the people who are really living and surviving and we want to come up with a situation where people would be able to use even plastic money in their areas they live instead of travelling to get that payment.

          HON. SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you for the quality and factual answers, we are getting from the Minister.  Hon. Minister, are you considering further policy measures in view of the fact that the plastic money you have referred to is being abused by some business people.  When they see that the pensioner cannot withdraw money from the bank, they can use that plastic money to buy from the till.  They would say you can buy on condition that you buy goods worth half of your monthly pension and we would give you change in cash.  So, if you earn US$200, they would say buy goods worth US$100, then we will give you change in cash.  They force you to use half of your monthly pension into groceries which you do not need.  Is there any policy to protect pensioners?  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank Hon. Chief Charumbira for a very important question and challenge.  Obviously it is illegal for any conditional selling.  If it is brought to the authorities’ attention, it will be dealt with accordingly and the relevant Ministry should be advised.  The plastic money I was talking about is like your visa cards and so forth because we are moving away, like everywhere else in the world, from using cash or transporting cash and we are saying we need to get everybody on board, including people in rural areas to be able to have that plastic similar to a visa card.    But that which you are talking about is abuse and should be reported to the relevant authorities.  I thank you.

          HON. SENATOR MUSAKA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Information Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services.  As a matter of policy, Hon. Minister, how many post offices should each constituency or district have.  The point in question being Mhondoro-Ngezi Constituency in Mamina is very far from Kadoma.  Muzvezve Doneni is quite far from Kadoma where people have to track, Sanyati, equally the same.  It could be prudent if they go to Nyimo.  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MLAMBO): Thank you very much Madam President.  Unfortunately the question belongs to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  Post Offices fall under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, not ICT.  So, can it be properly directed?

          HON. SENATOR CHIMHINI: Thank you Madam President.

 My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and

 Social Services.  The NSSA Bank, where is the money coming from? 

Secondly, what guarantees have been put in place so that, that money is

not put to waste, given that many banks are collapsing.  What would

happen if we are using people’s money in terms of pensions?  Thank

you.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND

 SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you

Madam President.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the very

important question.  Yes, we have a Building Society, not a bank to

assist the low to middle income earners and a lot of our Zimbabweans,

who cannot afford mortgage.  For us to get a licence, we have to go

under very vigorous checks by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.   We

think we have had enough test done, quality checks to ensure that we

have both the competence in terms of human capital, equipment and

technology.

        Government being the major shareholder through NSSA, our interest is to make sure that we have delivered houses to the masses and secondly, as NSSA they want to make sure that their investment into the Building Society gives then adequate return. There are systems to ensure that we will make the delivery available to most people.

          Secondly, we have got systems to ensure that we have corperate governance. We make sure that corruption is avoided and we will do our best through the systems which are there to ensure that the money is not abused. Some of the money will be coming from the people, the depositors themselves who will then be able to get the loans from the Building Society. So we have put in systems through NSSA, through the Building Society’s board and the people whom we believe are competent. We want to make sure that we avoid what has happened in the past and the money is used for the purpose for which we intended such housing delivery and a benefit for NSSA to invest for future generations. For all of us here, we need to have good investments so that at the end when we retire later on, there will be something which we can fall back on. We also want to make sure that we are all aware at the moment people are getting $60.00 a month it is not livable pension. How do we get NSSA to get to a situation where we give people livable pensions?  It is through good investments and we believe this is a good Investment. We will take note of any possible challenges which might came through people and we are aware of what has happened in the past. I thank you – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Madam President. Can the Minister tell the House what capital injection was put into this Building Society? I thank you. 

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: That is not a policy issue really.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs Dr. Chombo. I would want to know what Government policy is concerning the duties of the ZRP. If you look at the situation with regards to Combis. There is chaos and there is a serious jam in the CBD and the Combis are all over as well as the small cars popularly known as Mushikashika. We want to find out what is Government policy concerning this as Home Affairs as well as in partnership with the City Council.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Madam President, I am very delighted to see you. I want to thank Hon. Sen.Chief Musarurwa for his question. It is true that Harare, in particular Combi drivers and a new breed of Combis – very small cars with four to five doors which are loaded with five/six/seven people is very unsafe and insecure. They are beginning to ply city roads. To make it even worse, they are behaving like Combis/Taxis taking away functions of commercially registered taxis/Combis. These vehicles have not been inspected or checked or certified to be on our roads. Sometimes, they are driven at very high speeds in order to get passengers. This is distorting and confusing the public in terms of how they arrange their trips and plans. The police are equally concerned because these vehicles are supposed to be registered by the City of Harare. They are just popping up everywhere, especially Japanese made little Toyatas, Ipsum and so on and the police are very concerned. We have also noticed when they are driving and if there is pressure on the roads they will use the other side of the road which is the wrong side of the road. Police are equally concerned and they are going to and we will continue to arrest all law breakers but because of the numbers, sometimes the police are not there. We really want to urge the motoring public, the police within the City of Harare to observe the rules of the road so that we can bring sanity to our beautiful city.

We had a meeting last week with the Commissioner General on this matter and I am sure there is going to be blitz very soon so that we check all these cars as to what they are doing in the city centre. Some are used as selling points for cellphones, radios and even clothing. So really, the police are on your side Hon. Sen. Chief Musarurwa and they are doing what they can. In the next few days there will be a blitz to make sure that we bring sanity to our City in particular the City of Harare –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Minister.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. Minister, how do you regulate the number of road blocks per km? What is the purpose of them? Have you revised the strategy, seeing that you breeding are corruption by the issues that are written brought in the newspapers of bogus policemen and some of them manning road blocks? Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Madam President, thank you again for giving me a chance to respond to the matter raised by Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa. The issue of police and road blocks has been with us for quite some time now. The police are doing a wonderful job under very difficult circumstances and I will be the first one to admit that out of all the 50 000 police officers that we have, some of them might not be forthright as you and me would want. Last year, we dismissed 320 police officers for stealing and abusing their offices at road blocks and other offices. So the police is keen to clean up those police officers who are contravening the laws that they are supposed to uphold.

To give you a little bit of comfort in terms of the activities on the road blocks. Road blocks are a legitimate exercise to make sure that the cars that we were talking about, the mushikashikas and illegal Combis are controlled. We also have a lot of cars that have recently come in, either stolen from Mozambique, Zambia or South Africa plying our roads.  So, it is our duty to make sure that we apprehend the culprits.  However, there are also other cars legitimately bought, but those have avoided paying tax at the boarder or have not yet been properly registered, that are plying our roads.  So we want all those motorists to be accounted for.

          There is also another development on speed; we now have automatic cars that people are buying and they are driven at very high speeds so the need for the roadblocks is there and I have sufficiently justified it.  However, there are issues in terms of the collection of fines on the spot.  This has been raised; people are concerned about this that maybe some of the money is not reaching the Treasury as it is supposed to be.  I want to inform this august House that there is actually a circular in Government whereby roadblocks will be manned by satelite so that from an office in Harare you can see what is happening at a roadblock in Tsholotsho and you can pay using the methods that the Hon. Senator has been talking about such as the cell phones.  There will not be any cash that will be exchanged; therefore the temptation for police officers to steal money will be reduced.  So, I am really on your side, the issues you have raised are legitimate and give it a couple of weeks, it will be a thing of the past.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  Minister, we are very happy with the Building Society that will help the low income earners.  What about pensioners who also contributed to this bank, what programme is there to enable them to build their own homes as well?

          *THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for her question.  Money is not given for free.  Those people who are going to be given loans should be eligible to pay it back, because the maximum period should be 25 years.  So, we will examine each individual and see if they are able to pay it back.  If it is so, that person is given the loan but we cannot give a loan to someone who will not be able to pay it back.  Like what I have said in the beginning, we want to invest so that we are able to fund the bank 25 or 50 years from now.  So anyone who is able to pay back and meet the required conditions can get the loan.  If that person is a pensioner and has other sources of income that will prove he is able to pay back the loan, we can look into that and he can be considered as an individual.

          However, the major issue is whether the person eligible for the loan is able to pay it back.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. SHIRI: thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.  What is Government policy concerning the distribution of food to people with disabilities and the aged in the rural areas?  I have asked this because there are rumours that the people are paying $3 or $2 for each bag of maize that they are receiving.

*THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for that pertinent question.  I am sure we are all aware that His Excellency, declared this year a disaster because of the drought situation we are in.  I want to inform the Hon. Senator that despite the drought; my Ministry is responsible for the vulnerable groups and this includes those living with disabilities, the orphans, widows as well as the aged and those who are chronically ill.  So, we already know what happened to them, whether there is drought or not.  Those are the people we cater for in terms of welfare. 

So, what happens is that we have 10 Provinces in our country; we have committees that are composed of various Government departments, NGO’s as well as local leaderships, they are the ones who sit down and assess the needs from Province to District to Ward in order to determine who is vulnerable.  So, we use those figures that are provided by ZIMVAC.  ZIMVAC gives us figures of vulnerable people in the country.  Annually, when we plough our fields and engage in farming, there is what is known as the first crop assessment which shows the level of yields.  The second crop assessment  shows how we are progressing and then after the third crop assessment, the different Ministries and groups sit down to check where assistance is needed in terms of the vulnerable by Province, District and Ward.  Those are the people we always assist with public assistance.  What happened for instance, last year when ZIMVAC did the assessment, 1, 5 million were recorded as needing assistance or 330 000 households. 

However, as we progressed and because of the drought the figures increased up to now, it has already doubled.  There are about 4 million or more of people who need assistance.  So, what happened for those people to be assisted is that those vulnerable that are already there, as well as the new vulnerable groups, they have drought committees at Provincial level, District level, Ward level and also at village level, who look into the issue to ensure that if there is food need, they look at the vulnerable by district and ward.  So the way food is allocated is done through the numbers that we have.

  Right now, the numbers of people needing assistance is quite high, that is why as a Government we came up with the food for work programme.  What happens now is that they have to work on projects that assist the communities.  Now, the vulnerable that I have talked about as is always the case.  We now have maize and we have enough to cover for three months but there are also measures to ensure that we receive more grains from other countries.  The challenge that we have is that the whole of Southern Africa is faced with hunger and poverty, so we cannot go to Malawi, neither can we go to South Arica.  In Malawi they have also declared this year a national disaster because of drought, so we are sourcing maize from Argentina and other countries, but as I stand here, what I know is that in all provinces, there is distribution that is happening. I get a report of the distribution that is taking place. We have registers. This is the same process that we want to do about the plastic cards that I was talking about of bio-metric data. It will ensure that no abuse is done and we are looking into it. For now, all the vulnerable groups that fall under my Ministry are well assisted. Thank you. 

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I do not know about those who do not belong to the Minister.

          HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. Minister, sometime ago we heard that there was a judgement over the issue of spot fines, and that the judgement from what I read, was that it was an illegal exercise. Is it your policy as Ministry or Government to continue to defy judgements by judges of this country? I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank Hon. Chipanga for his question in which he kind of wants to imply that the police are not law abiding citizens. The duties of the police are to enforce the rules and regulations of our country and to enforce to make sure that all others comply. It is also incumbent upon them to be the first compliant ones. I am unaware of the matter that he is raising, but I am going to check. If it is true, we will comply but as I speak, I am not aware of it. I have just heard about it now. I will check and give this august Senate an appropriate response next week. Thank you Madam President.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President, for giving me this opportunity to pose my question. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Dr. Chombo. We find it very difficult for MDC T to be given clearance to hold a peaceful demonstration in Zimbabwe. Each and every time we apply for clearance to go for a peaceful march, we end up at the High Court. Why do we do that Minister? Is that the policy that applies to your Ministry and then we get permission from the High Court? Thank you.  

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank Hon. Komichi for his question. He sat quite close to the former Minister of Home Affairs for some years. On the issue of demonstrations, we have a law as a nation that if you want to embark on a demonstration, you go and seek clearance from the Head of Police in your community. You explain when you want to do it as well as the number of people, for them to ensure that there is smooth flow of traffic as well as the citizens who are not concerned with the demonstration. They also consider whether the demonstration will not bring about violence. That is what is considered by the Head of Police in your community in determining whether you should proceed or not. That does not come to the Dispo or Propo or the Ministry, but it is a communal issue.

          The most important issue is that some of our colleagues from MDC, whether it is T, N or whatever MDC or even Zimbabwe People First, for that matter, it is important that you seek clearance in due time for you to be granted permission in due time. Hon. Mupfumira also requested without due time, but we did not clear her. She wanted to march to celebrate the bank that she opened yesterday, but she did not give adequate time to determine how many people will take part. The Head of Police said, ‘you had been given clearance, but we have realised that it will disturb the flow of traffic from 7.30 am’ and Hon. Mupfumira complied with the police on the decision.

          There is a tendency that occurs especially amongst seniors in the MDC T in that they wait until the end of day around 3.45 pm and they end up saying they have not been cleared. Why not do it in due time? Hon. Komichi, on the other hand is trying to say that I allow ZANU PF to conduct its processes and do not clear the MDC, but the point is even ZANU PF, Hon. Mupfumira was denied clearance yesterday. So, I want to advise Hon. Komichi that he should give himself 10 days in planning his demonstrations so that there is enough time.  

          Recently, when they went on a demonstration, they ended up looting in the supermarket and engaging in violence with people around that area and hitting them with shovels. Madam President, what I am saying is that if we seek clearance in due time, we can get it. Demonstrations are our democratic right; but in doing the demonstration if you engage in violence, it is also a democratic right to be arrested by the police. I thank you Madam President.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: We heard what you said Hon. Minister. What if MDC T requests the backing of the police to be there and assist in terms of security, will you allow that?

          HON. DR. CHOMBO: Thank you Madam President, we will definitely provide security to ensure that no violence occurs.

          *HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Madam President. My question goes to the Minister of Home Affairs. Hon. Minister, I noticed that you arrested those people who engaged in human trafficking of women and girls to Kuwait. I do not think it is enough for you to just arrest them. I want to know what measures or policy you have in place that such trafficking is brought to an end because in this country, it is now a serious crime that is rampant in Zimbabwe. What policy have you put in place to ensure that our children are not trafficked to other countries? It is not only Kuwait but I hear also China, Brazil and other countries, and our children are going there. What policy do you have as a Home Affairs Ministry to ensure that our children are not trafficked and forced in to slavery in these countries?

          *THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): It is true, it is a painful and AN embarrassing situation for someone to be trafficked to another country without information on where she will be working. As she gets there, her passport is taken away and stays there while she is forced to work long hours being treated as a slave. That is what happened to our girl children who went to Kuwait. This is not to say we did not have legislation.

Two years ago, the Government passed the Human Trafficking Act and realised that it is a very important issue. Those people who engage in human trafficking are using their offices to ensure that the documents are obtained for one to go out of the country or their own premises to facilitate human trafficking. This happened without our knowledge. So, when the Government became aware of it, the Government then investigated and realised that there are more than 32 people who are engaged in this. Some are in Kuwait and others within the area but around 20 of them are here in our country.

Together with the ZRP, we arrested them because they engaged in criminal activities. That is the duty of the police to ensure that they are brought to book. We have about seven who are on the run. No matter where they go, we will still apprehend them and bring them to book because of the trauma they have caused to our children.  A Committee is there that is chaired by Home Affairs and was put in place by the Government. We work together with the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, Women Affairs, Foreign Affairs, the President’s Office as well as the police. The Committee also works with the United Nations Office on the drug situation in South Africa. It also works with IOM Chief of Mission who is here.

Yesterday and today, there was a meeting on how this matter can be addressed. So, you will hear of the report on television. This is what is known as the National Action Plan on how we can publicise and raise awareness in the country because a person will have been called to come and work. It is his right to go and do that but you realise that for these low paying jobs, there is a challenge. If it is an issue of teachers at universities, nurses and doctors, in most cases, what they have agreed in the contract is fulfilled, but in these low paying jobs whereby one thinks a favour is being done, where health certificates and police clearance is forged, is where the serious challenge is.

There is going to be a serious campaign to educate Zimbabweans that these issues are also taking place and are occurring in Zimbabwe. We used to hear them happen in neighbouring countries. These issues have people who are behind the scenes who are international criminals and are syndicates. They work behind the scenes and that is why we work with Hon. Mupfumira. We do not want the victims to be known or even their faces to be shown because they might be in danger from those syndicates. So, we want to thank the police for apprehending these criminals, bringing them to book and ensuring that it does not happen again.

Here as Members of Parliament, when we go back over the weekend to our constituencies to give feedback, let us go – inform and educate people that if they see an advert that is attractive, especially for housemaids, they should enquire the authenticity of this from the police. We also said to Hon. Mupfumira, that we need a bilateral agreement with countries that want to recruit Zimbabwean labour so that we know where our children are going to work. We are taking serious and strong measures to this particular issue. We also went to the Embassy of Kuwait and requested that they stop giving visas to Zimbabwean people; and that they give us a record of all Zimbabweans who have gone to Kuwait in order to check on them. So, I think our Government is on its feet trying to address the issue.  Some of the girls returned today, by the way.

*HON. SEN. MAKONE: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Minister, I recall you saying at one time that no one should be affected and die because of hunger. The President, His Excellency Cde. R.G. Mugabe reiterated that same message that no one should die of hunger. My question is that in some areas, food relief is being distributed along party lines. How can we as Members of Parliament bring this to you in order to address this issue which is in contravention of Government policy?

*THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): I want to thank Hon. Makone for her question. As I said earlier on, as a Government, we have committees at provincial, district and ward level. When registration is done, no one is requested to bring a party card. A person comes as an individual and as a Zimbabwean. As a Government, we said we do not need to politicise food aid. We do not just represent our party but we represent everyone, we stand for Zimbabweans.  Government policy is that everyone who is affected by hunger and is registered should be given food.  If there are those who are giving food and segregating others – I know there are some who do not follow what the policy stipulates.  I am saying we need to be alerted on what is happening so that we address the issue.  Government policy is that everyone who is eligible to food aid should get food.  If there is an area that is known, I urge Hon. Members to bring these issues to us or go to the Social Welfare office in your area so that we address the situation and bring to book those who are not following Government policy.  Thank you.

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

          HON. MUMVURI: I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: In view of the fact that most of the Ministers are not here this afternoon, we will extend by 10 minutes.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  Hon. Minister, besides political gatherings, I think the House and the nation may be happy to know what other gatherings must be notified to the police before gathering.  I also want to ask whether the notification is meant to apply for permission or it is a notification to the police.  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam President.  All gatherings should be notified to the police in advance so that they know.  This is done so that the police can protect you from unscrupulous elements that might want to disrupt your meeting, it is your right.  It is also done in order to avoid double booking where two groups book the same venue.  Groups like the ‘million men march,’ which will be held next week also have to make a booking and they have already done so and permission was granted.  They always have to do it in advance.  If people do it in advance, it usually works out very well.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Hon. Gandawa.  A few days ago, the Committee on HIV/AIDS visited colleges with the intention of fighting against the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and the administration of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).  We noticed that most health institutions in colleges and universities are sub-standard except for the University of Zimbabwe. 

What is Government Policy in terms of fighting the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in colleges and universities?  We are now calling these places key population areas because there are other universities which are notorious in terms of this issue. What is Government doing in terms of upgrading the health centres in these colleges and universities in order to allow students to have access to health facilities without being exposed to stigmatisation.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you Madam President.  I also want to thank the Hon. Senator for the question.  The Government of Zimbabwe respects and upholds health and education.  Wherever an institution such as a university or college is established, it is mandatory to have a clinic in place.  However, within Government, we have what is known as division of labour. 

Our Ministry is concerned with the academic side mostly, but we work with the Ministry of Health and Child Care.  It is the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s mandate to ensure that the clinics are adequately provided.  They are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health.  There are also other organisations such as the National Aids Council (NAC), which we give the opportunity to get into the tertiary institutions to give awareness to children on HIV/AIDS and other health services.

Despite that, there may be challenges here and there, but what we encourage is that the clinics should provide adequate health care.  We also engage surrounding hospitals so that they assist in giving awareness on how children can access medication.  We are in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to address the situation in our colleges.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA: I thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to come back again.  I have to recast my question, perhaps the Hon. Minister did not capture what I was asking about, I am talking about courier services.  I understand the Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) was divided into two sections, the banking section or the finance and the courier service is still with them.  So, my question was directed on the courier services in terms of the structures…

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Ask the question Hon. Member, time is running out.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA: Thank you, I think the Minister has captured what I am asking.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MLAMBO): Thank you very much Madam President.  On many occasions, we realise that many people do not understand the differences.  This is why it is important to clarify.  Yesterday, I was answering questions in the Lower House where many Hon. Members kept on referring to the then Posts and Telecommunications Corporation, which was operating during the 1990s.  It was unbundled and paved way for a number of entities.  The then POSB unbundled into two, to form a bank, which is under the purview of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  It also resulted in what we call ZIMPOST right now, which have many responsibilities, one of which is to post letters. 

        It is no longer the Post Office in the original context, this is the point I wanted to make so that Hon. Members understand the difference.  ZIMPOST has many responsibilities and business lines.  Posting letters is one of the smallest line and it is actually dwindling by the day as internet is becoming more and more the medium of communication from one person to another.  We have about 230 ZIMPOST outlets and Zimpost outlets throughout the country but no longer operating as we are in the process of converting these in what we call Communication Information Centres, so that we bring the modern technologies to assist people in those areas but his concern I guess is that how many in each locality should these ZIMPOST be. We encourage, funds permitting, that they must be a walking distance to each one and that is the aspiration; so that our communities are not strained to go to a service centre. This is what we would want to do. I thank you.

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No.62.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO PROTECT HUMAN BEINGS FROM CROCODILE ATTACKS IN MAZOWE RIVER

  1. Hon. Sen. Mavhunga asked the Minister of Environment Water and Climate to explain whether there are any measures the Ministry is instituting to protect human beings from being attacked by crocodiles in Mazowe River.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mavhunga for the question requiring me to explain whether there any measures the Ministry is instituting in order to protect human beings from being attacked by crocodiles in Mazowe River.

Madam President, the issue of crocodile infestation in our water bodies such as Mazowe River is now a grave national concern which we are currently seized with. In order to demonstrate the seriousness we attach to this challenge. Hon. Dr. Chombo presents these cases to Cabinet every Tuesday. My ministry is mobilising resources for capturing and translocation of some of these problem animals which include crocodiles. Just to highlight to Hon. Senators how grave the problem of human crocodile attacks is nationally; Zimbabwe Parks and Wild Life Management Authority provided the following statistics covering the period January to March 2016. The nature of the problem is that there were 29 Reports that were received from Mashonaland Central. Cases that were attended were 20, the number of animals and these are crocodiles that we killed were 5. People that were injured were 2 and those that were injured were 5. Livestock, cattle 3 were killed and 2 goats were killed.

The areas where these reports on crocodile attacks were received mainly are in Bindura, covering Mazowe River. Some few were in Chipinge, Mutirikwi, Billy dam and Kariba. In complementing Government efforts to address this fast growing national challenge, I would want to appeal to Hon. Members to work very closely with our ZimParks in intensifying awareness campaigns in their various constituencies. The targeted awareness campaigns should focus on the dangers associated with fish mongering, illegal alluvial mining, crossing at undesignated points as well as herding cattle near crocodile infested water bodies.

In conclusion, Madam President, I urge Hon. Members to make full use of the ZimParks programme of animal control unit situated in all provinces across the country whose sole mandate is to address human wild life conflict through killing, removing or relocating the problem animals. We urge members of the public to also work closely with Government departments and traditional leadership by reporting problem animals to them for onward relay of the messages to Parks or Mozowe district for attention and control. I thank you Madam President. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.[-

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: The Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development Dr. Gandawa.

CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO DECLARATION OF MISSING PERSONS AS PRESUMED DEAD

  1. Hon. b. Sen. Sibanda asked the Minister of Home Affairs to explain at what point and under what circumstances a missing person is declared dead or presumed dead and the process of issuance of death certificate.

    THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. President. In terms of Section 3 of the Missing Persons Act Chapter 5:14, any person (preferably a relative) may apply to the Clerk of Court for an order of presumption of death. It is a requirement that a report be made to the police regarding the fact that the person concerned is missing before approaching the court.

When an order of presumption of death has been issued by the Magistrate after due inquiry in terms of Section 5 of the Act, the order will then be sent to the Registrar General by the Clerk of Court. Another copy of the same will be taken by the applicant to the Registrar of the District where the court is situated for registration of the death and issuance of the desired certificate. This is applied in terms of section 10 of the Act.  I thank you Mr. President.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA) Mr. President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 7 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 8 of the day has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

RECOMMITAL TO COMMITTEE STAGE

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY BILL, [H.B. 12, 2015]

        House in Committee.

          On Clause 2:

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): I move the amendments standing in my name that  on page 4 of the Bill, in line 15, in the definition of “Minister,” delete the words of the “Minister Defence” and substitute with “the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development”.

          Amendment to Clause 2, put and agreed to.

           Clause 2, as amended, put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported with amendments.

          Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee

MOTION

CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS CENTRED ON DEVOLUTION OF POWER

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

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed.

          Debate to resume: 7th June, 2016.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I have received a Non-Adverse Report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Zimbabwe National Defence National University Bill [HB 12A, 2015] .

CONSIDERATION STAGE

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY BILL [HB 12A, 2015]

          Amendment to Clause 2 put and agreed to.

          Bill, as amended, adopted.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY BILL [HB 12A, 2015]

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Mr. President, I move that the Bill be read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed.

          Bill read the third time.

          On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA), the Senate adjourned at Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday the 7th June 2016.

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 19 MAY 2016 VOL 25 NO 52