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SENATE HANSARD - 19 NOVEMBER 2013 VOL. 23 NO. 17

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 19th November, 2013

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

 

PRAYERS

(MADAM PRESIDENT in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MADAM PRESIDENT

CHANGES TO THEMATIC COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

MADAM PRESIDENT: I have to inform the Senate of changes in committee membership where Senator Chief Ngungumbane has moved from the Thematic Committee on Millennium Development Goals to Peace and Security. The MDC-T Party has made the following changes to the committees by its members: Senator Muchihwa moves from Gender and Development and Millennium Development Goals to HIV/AIDS and Indigenisation and Empowerment, Senator Ncube moves from Human Rights to Peace and Security, Senator Sinampande moves from Gender and Development to Human Rights and Millenium Development Goals, Senator A. Sibanda moves from Gender and Development to Human Rights, Senator Chitaka moves from Indigenisation and Empowerment to Human Rights, Senator Hlalo moves from Indigenisation and Empowerment to Gender and Development and Senator Juba moves from Indigenisation and Empowerment to Gender and Development.

WOMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS’ DINNER

MADAM PRESIDENT: I also have to inform the Senate that all Women Parliamentarians are advised that the dinner that had been scheduled for Tuesday 19th November, 2013 has been postponed to a date to be advised. Any inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.

COLLECTION OF THE ZIMASSET DOCUMENT

MADAM PRESIDENT: I also have to advise all the hon. senators to collect copies of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET) from the Journals office Room 101, First Floor.

Senators are encouraged to read the document thoroughly in preparation for a workshop on the same, to be conducted by the office of the Minister of Finance. The date of the workshop is yet to be announced.

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

MADAM PRESIDENT: I have to remind hon. senators to put their cellphones on silent before business commences.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

SENATOR CHIEF MTSHANE: Thank you Madam President, for giving me the opportunity to make contributions in reply to His Excellency’s Speech moved by Senator Mutsvangwa and seconded by Senator Mumvuri. I also join my colleagues who have spoken before me in congratulating you and your deputy for being elected President and Deputy President of this august Senate.

Madam President, as a result of the persistent droughts which have been bedeviling the country, this has put a strain on both surface and underground water. This has had a rather negative impact on people and their livestock, especially in drought prone areas of the country.

Measures have been taken to mitigate the effects of drought by providing irrigation schemes in all provinces in the country. Statistics in each province indicate that in Manicaland, of the wards with irrigation schemes, 32% are functional, 46% partially functional and 22% not functional. In Mashonaland Central - 41% functional, 12% partially functional and 47% not functional. Mashonaland East - 36% functional, 35% partially functional and 29% not functional. Mashonaland West 17% functional, 17% partially functional and 66% not functional. Matabeleland North – 54% functional, 38% partially functional and 8% not functional. Matabeleland South 47% functional, 39% partially functional and 14% not functional. Midlands – 33% functional, 62% partially functional and 5% not functional. At National Level 40% functional, 39% partially functional and 21% not functional.

On dams, Madam President, there are 126 existing ones country wide, 17 large dams under construction, 20 large dams that require funding and 57 proposed medium sized ones, whose construction is yet to be approved. Challenges associated with management of common infrastructure coupled with low financial viability accounts for most of non-functional ones have immensely affected irrigation schemes in the country.

I urge Government to pursue and avail resources to finish irrigation schemes and dams in order to avoid depression occurring mainly to recurrent droughts. The Government should put in place livestock mitigating programmes to save the few livestock still alive.

Madam President, on community share ownership schemes, many people in rural areas are already benefiting under the schemes. Under the schemes companies exploiting natural resources in a given area cede 10% of their shares to local communities. Some people say traditional leaders directly benefit from the shares as individuals but the benefits directly go to the communities in consultation with Rural District Councils on which projects are undertaken. The communities already enjoying the fruits of the community share ownership schemes include Shurugwi villagers, Zvishavane, Mhondoro/Ngezi, Gwanda and Masvingo, to mention but a few. In some of these districts, the incomes have been used to construct schools, clinics, water supplies and sanitation.

People have openly said they are looking at a situation whereby benefiting companies from their natural resources should not be compromised as to who should participate in the disbursement of shares but all companies should be compelled to participate. It should not necessarily be the willingness of those companies to participate as the case is at the moment.

The Government has set aside a national fund to assist those communities without natural resources in their areas, such as minerals also to benefit so as to develop their areas as well. Madam President, I urge Government to disburse those funds as soon as possible so that communities can also develop on equal basis with other communities. I thank you Madam President.

MADAM PRESIDENT: Thank you for your contribution Hon Senator Chief Mtshane, I wish to advise the Senate that we are interrupting this debate for now.

NEW SENATOR SWORN

MADAM PRESIDENT: I call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the Oath of a Member of Parliament to Senator Morgan Komichi.

THE CLERK OF PARLIAMENT: Madam President, Section 128 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Sub-section 1, provides that before a Member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, the member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule. Sub-section 2 of Section 128 provides that the Oath referred to in Sub-section 1 must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament.

Now therefore, I call upon you Morgan Komichi to take the Oath of a Member of Parliament set out in the Third Schedule.

SENATOR MORGAN KOMICHI took and subscribed the Oath of Loyalty as required by law and took his seat.

SENATOR JADAGU: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to speak before this august Senate. Madam President, I stand here before you today in keeping with the time honoured and worthwhile tradition to deliver my Maiden speech.

It is said that senators, traditionally, are to be seen and not heard when they are new to the Senate. I wish to be heard as a politician; after all, I can only need so much advice. Thank you Madam President. I would like to start by…

MADAM PRESIDENT: Order, order. If you put that paper close to your face, what you are saying will not be transmitted through the microphone, so try to make sure that you are coming through. You may continue.

SENATOR JADAGU: Thank you very much Madam President for advising me. My eyesight is not good, may you allow me to read while I am sitting.

MADAM PRESIDENT: Yes hon. senator.

SENATOR JADAGU: Thank you very much Madam President. I would like to start by congratulating you and your deputy on behalf of the Chitungwiza Constituencies, namely Chitungwiza North and South, Zengeza East and West and St Marys, on your election as the leaders of this Senate. May our good Lord bless you and guide you with wisdom in all your deliberations. Allow me to also say thank you to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Comrade R. G. Mugabe for the Speech that he delivered on the occasion of the Official Opening of the First Session of the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe on 17 th September, 2013. I consider it a high honour to follow in the footsteps of His Excellency’s principled leadership, which has made our nation stronger, resilient and more secure. This has become evident as we have just come out of our harmonised elections that were held peacefully.

Madam President, for the past month, it has been my privilege to listen and serve in this Senate. I listened as His Excellency highlighted that the 8 th Parliament would be seized with the task of aligning the existing various pieces of legislation with new legislation, to give legal undertaking to the new structures and institutions provided for in the new Constitution. This task would include outstanding legislative business debated in the 7th Parliament.

His Excellency also spoke about addressing the high unemployment, company closures and the need for sound transport infrastructure among many key aspects of national development. The challenges our country is facing today may appear to be huge, but they will be overcome.

For too long, our primary concerns in Chitungwiza, where I come from, have been associated with many negative characteristics of Local Authorities, before the harmonised elections held in July, 2013. These include rampant corruption, skills flight, poor service delivery, high carnage on our roads and shortage of medication in our health delivery institutions. Chitungwiza is one of the largest urban centres in Zimbabwe. To its advantage Chitungwiza boasts of a huge human resource pool and an equally big market for any investors. The main problem has been that, most investment benefits accrue to Harare because the majority of the working population is employed in the capital and naturally conduct their businesses there. Most of the people work in Harare. We are fighting very hard to shrug off the title of Harare’s dormitory town.

Seriously, imagine what would happen, if for one day, we were to stop all the traffic into Harare in the morning. Some companies and work places would be empty. There is one highway that connects the town to Harare and all public transport services have continued to be overcrowded throughout the day. Madam President, it is my intention to fully engage with key stakeholders to ensure that ZINARA and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development find a lasting solution to the problem of the roads rehabilitation and construction.

Some years ago, there were serious discussions regarding the construction of a railway line. It is my earnest proposal that these plans be pursued steadfastly to ease the Chitungwiza transport woes. Chitungwiza town, as it is colloquially known, requires over a thousand megalitres of water daily. We have a very serious water crisis, with a few boreholes having been drilled to cater for the population. It is on record that almost half of the water pumped in Harare Metropolitan is lost along the distribution network, due to distribution pipes and leakages.

Madam President, the collection of refuse in Chitungwiza residential area remains a huge challenge. The situation was deplorable without any consistent refuse collection when the 2008-2013, council came into office. Flowing sewages and untreated drinking water have characterised the sad story of Chitungwiza’s poor waste management system in some areas such as St Mary’s. Residents literally sleep in sewages, smell sewage and cook using untreated sewage infested water. Heaps of garbage remain visible in parts of Chitungwiza town.

Notable, however, is that some of the residents have been initiating joint clean up campaigns. I am happy to note that the ‘clean-up’ movement is spreading to every part of the county. It is my firm belief that citizens should participate and be involved in the development of key programmes, policy formulation and budget formulation at the local level. This is a principle acknowledged by our Constitution of Zimbabwe. We will strive to continue upgrading the existing infrastructure to match the rapidly growing population, plug or leakages along the water distribution network and aim to address all reports brought in by the residents.

There has been absence of a consistent monitoring system to regulate the activities within Chitungwiza’s residential, industrial, market places and in the central business district. As policymakers, we have a huge task to ensure that the systems of council are upgraded or adequately implemented.

Madam President, under Chapter 14, of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe, local government is now constitutionalised. There is now Harare Metropolitan Council which brings together Chitungwiza Municipality, Ruwa and Epworth Local Board, and the Harare City Council. As Senators in all areas, we shall be active members of the Harare Metropolitan Council. In this case, our level headedness as Members of Parliament and Senators shall determine the level of progress we will make. Corruption in housing delivery and other activities must continue to be addressed.

We also look forward to the day when we will have a University of Chitungwiza, many traffic lights and addressing youth unemployment will remain high on our agenda. Creativity in revenue generation should be stimulated. New revenue sources have to be found from which to cushion the negative effects on residents and improve service delivery. The development of Chitungwiza town and other local authorities rests squarely on the ability of local authorities to generate revenue from rates, water, refuse collection, sewage, rentals, licenses, towing and property tax, most of which needs to be revamped. I have heard that in the Senate, we must avoid shelving difficult issues until the next election.

Senators, with energy like me (often called ‘Generals’ as a nickname by my comrades) therefore, should come with an added dose of courage to take up the thorny and vexing issues. It is our responsibility to lead by doing. On that note, as a proud and unapologetic member of the ruling party, I hope my service will consistently reflect our hard working, servitude philosophy.

As His Excellency, President Mugabe has often said, now is not the time, Madam President, for long talks and speeches. It is time to deliver our promises to the people. Our success will be measured by how well we address pertinent issues such as those I have raised today which affect our people day in, day out.

In conclusion, Madam President, I am aware that serious challenges lie ahead but any honest reflection of our history as a sovereign state and our prospects, will note that we have confronted and survived more daunting challenges. And we have overcome.

Madam President, it is the honour of a lifetime just to be here in this Senate – it is more than I could have ever hoped for. My modest humble hope, going forward is that my contributions will, in some small way, honour the Senate’s achievements and help our country to realise our fullest potential for Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans. Thank you – [HON SENATORS: Hear, hear]. -

+SENATOR MASUKU: I thank you Madam President, first and foremost, I would like to congratulate you for your election as the President of the Senate and your Deputy also.

I would also want to congratulate the President of this country, President R.G Mugabe, on his success as the President of this nation and also as the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe. I would also want to congratulate all the Senators who managed to come back for their second term as Senators and I also know that in their good knowledge all the Senators who were appointed as Members of Parliament for this Senate will work hard to bring improvement to our nation. Madam President, as a follow up to the speech of the President, Cde Mugabe, I realise that in his speech he highlighted so many things which included education, farming, health sector, and empowerment especially in rural areas.

First and foremost Madam President, when it comes to education, I realise that the President also acknowledged the importance of education. I realise that our education especially from the primary level, our children used to start from grade one but now, they start from grade zero. This points out that education sector is one very important area in this country. It is therefore, an eye opener to all our legislators that there is a need to prioritise education in Zimbabwe. The President also highlighted on the need not to leave out anyone left out in any educational sector. Madam President, even the orphans or those who were less privileged and were not able to go to school, with the programme that was introduced by the President they were then able to also get education through BEAM programme.

This was a helpful programme as it also catered for the less privileged. I also realise Madam President, that from the time that we got our independence, education has been acknowledged as a very important sector in our country. This was done after realising the number of schools we have in this country. Therefore, so many schools were then built in our country. We realise that only those who were ruling or who were privileged enough were able to get education .This is why there was only one university in our country but we realised that, nowadays because of our President who is also an academic, many universities have been built in our country. There is a proverb that says, “You will never finish education until you die”. It is my wish that in all our provinces we have universities that are functional, especially Matabeleland South, Manicaland and Mashonaland East so that our tertiary education improves to better standards than it is now.

Madam President, Zimbabwe is well known to have higher education and that most Zimbabweans are academics especially when you look at Africa as a continent. I therefore, urge everyone that since we are all parents, there is need to assist the President of the country and the Government in the fight to improve our education sector. I would also want to urge, especially women, to take into consideration that Ordinary level is not the higher level of education. There is need to encourage our children to have a desire to be university graduates.

My desire is that our education sector could also include the handcraft activities in its curricula since it is not every child who is gifted academically. This will create more employment opportunities for those who would not have succeeded academically.

I also want to touch on the health sector. Zimbabwe was the first to take into consideration the issue of HIV and AIDS. I say this because when HIV and AIDS rocketed, the Government which was being headed by Cde. R.G. Mugabe realised the need to have the money that was put aside to assist on issues related to HIV/AIDS in the form of AIDS levy. We have realised that issues to do with HIV and AIDS are very critical in our country. I also want to take into consideration that in the health sector, the Government has built so many clinics in different provinces of our country. There are times when most people were migrating to greener pastures and there was a reduction in the number of doctors in our country. However, the President working hand in hand with the Government tried to put all efforts which could assist in the health sector of our country.

The President also emphasised that there is no one who is supposed to die without getting any medical attention. Therefore, it is important to have enough medical personnel in all hospitals especially those in the rural areas. I am happy Madam President, that for many years, it was a challenge to have enough doctors in all hospitals but now with the help of the programmes introduced by the President, all hospitals have doctors. There is also an improvement especially in hospitals in rural area were they now have doctors who are called resident doctors. This is also an emphasis on the importance of the health sector in our country. Madam President, we need to take into consideration that there are so many diseases that come up and also there is a need to fight those diseases. There is one disease that is now common especially to the young age which is called cancer, though our elders used to call it ‘an animal’. This disease is now common among the young adults and there is need to have modern big machines that can be used for checking these diseases before they spread. We should also emphasise to our constituents that there is need for them to go and get checked before the disease spreads.

Madam President, I would like to congratulate all the female Parliamentarians for a job well done when we were still trying to craft the new Constitution for this was in support of the desires of our President. In everything that was being done, there is need to have women in those sectors. Although, the figure that is now being represented by the women is not the same as what every woman would have wanted, we want to acknowledge the fact that there are now more women in Parliament. I know that many a times, it is us as women who look down upon ourselves and doubt if we can get to certain positions. It is then difficult to be assisted if we undermine ourselves. It is important for women to accept that there is nothing that is too difficult for us.

Madam President, I would like to say that, even in our country we have a culture and the chiefs are our leaders. Zimbabwe is a cultural country. There is no country that can exist without a culture. I would like to give our chiefs the task of safeguarding our culture so that it is not destroyed.

I realise that there are bad habits being done, where you find a child being raped by relatives or parents. What kind of spirit is prevailing in the nation? It is now difficult for a mother to leave a girl child with a father or a brother for fear of what will happen. Chiefs, it is your responsibility as – you are the only people who are able to correct the situation. Yes, we have got jails, but if only people could follow what the President suggested, that those who are rapists would be convicted through castration. I think this is the only punishment which can be given to such criminals, especially those who rape children who are less than five years. Yes, one can go to jail but all the same, they will enjoy the benefits through taxes from the very parent whose child would have been raped. These benefits are either in the form of food or clothing received whilst the rapist would be in jail.

The President once highlighted that castration should be used for those who rape children. That is one kind of punishment that can be used to send a strong message to all rapists; otherwise the rapist would continue living whilst the child who would have been raped suffers. I therefore pose a question to the chiefs on whether the punishment is good or bad?

I would also want to speak on the issue of the agricultural sector. I would like to thank the President because over the years, there was a lack of farming inputs. He has realised that there is need to incorporate farming inputs into the national budget. The introduction of the Mechanisation Programme was very useful to all farmers. I would like to thank the President because he realised that, regardless of the challenges that the nation was facing, there was need to prioritise farming. The President gave tractors to different provinces and I would like to thank him for that.

He also helped immensely by giving out seeds to farmers. I would also want to suggest through you Madam President that if we could all realise that in giving out seeds, we should take into consideration that there are regions which receive low rainfall. There are drought resistant crops which were grown in the past such as millet and rapoko. If only people could be assisted with these seeds, we will reduce such drought effects especially in low rainfall areas.

I would also like to highlight on the issue of water. There is no way we can talk of food and ignore water issues. How can people survive without drinking water? Inasmuch as boreholes are being drilled, you will realise that dams have more water holding capacity than boreholes. I would also want to urge all senators to take into consideration that the water holding capacity of all dams has gone down considerably. Many a times, one has to dig so many metres in order to reach the water table. It is very easy to construct dams regardless of whether they are small or big because they have the capacity to hold more water than the boreholes.

I realise that Zimbabwe has improved and most of the households are using asbestos to roof their houses. If only these households can use water harvesting methods such as collecting rain water from their rooftops using containers so that water is not wasted. The water can be used for farming and even to water their small gardens. I would also want to congratulate the President for maintaining foreign relations with friendly nations without holding on to the sanctions that were imposed on our economy.

I would also want to take into consideration the issue of the indigenisation programme which has assisted so many Zimbabweans. The hon. senator who spoke before me noted the issue of schools and I would like to congratulate the hon. senator who brought this idea. There are some people who were walking long distances to access clinics. However, through the Community Share Ownership Scheme, many clinics were built and irrigation schemes established. Many people have benefited from this scheme.

Madam President, I realise that our President also took into consideration the issue of roads especially in areas where there was need for improvement. He provided equipment for the upgrading of roads to different areas in order to improve our road network in different provinces.

Madam President, in his speech, the President put into consideration all programmes. On the issue of employees, he suggested that there was need to improve their working conditions and salaries. I believe that our civil servants will be dedicated to their work since there will be improvement in their working conditions.

Lastly, I would like to give a round of applauseto all members of the Senate, for this is an Upper House. Everyone who is in this House is supposed to handle themselves with dignity. Even outside, we are supposed to show everyone that we are members from the Upper House so that Zimbabwe can be a nation that has respect and unity and we are supposed to set the example. With this, I want to say, thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR LIAISING ON PSYCHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN EDUCATION (MR. HUNGWE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th November, 2013.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

SENATOR NCUBE: Thank you Madam President. I move that Order of the Day Number 2 be stood over until all business of the day is disposed of.

SENATOR W. SIBANDA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CANCER TREATMENT POLICY

SENATOR TIMVEOUS: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:-

RECALLING that the month of October is breast cancer month;

CONCERNED by the number of people especially women dying from breast, cervical and other cancers;

ALARMED by the situation of cancer patients in terms of accessibility of treatment in the country;

ALSO ALARMED that cancer treatment is beyond the reach of many patients especially women;

NOW THEREFORE, recommends that the Government of Zimbabwe comes up with a clear Policy Document in respect of awareness, counseling, screening, treatment of cancer and charges to be levied on cancer patients.

SENATOR MARAVA: I second.

SENATOR TIMVEOUS: Thank you Madam President for availing me this opportunity to move this motion. The month of October was breast cancer month and I thought I should highlight the following:

Madam President, cervical cancer is most prevalent amongst women in Zimbabwe and accounts for most of the deaths. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer early last year and on hearing the news, a range of emotions ran through my mind. I asked myself who would take care of my children when I finally succumb to the disease. I felt sad and angry and wondered why it was happening to me. I was in denial and confused but the good news is that I am alive today to tell and preach to other women and men. I am glad of this opportunity that the Almighty has given to me.

Madam President, I went to South Africa for my treatment but the question arises as to how many women can afford to go to South Africa for cancer treatment? Only a few women can afford to do this because cancer treatment is costly.

Madam President, cervical cancer is one of the major public health challenges facing women in Zimbabwe today. According to the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry, at least 33% of women diagnosed with cancer in 2009 had cervical cancer. Cervical cancer also accounted for about 8% of all cancer deaths in the same year.

Cancer of the cervix was traditionally a disease of older women, 40 years and above but more and more young women are being diagnosed with the disease. We need therefore to embark on mass education and awareness programmes on the risk factors. Madam President, it is disheartening to note that in the country, only Mpilo and Parirenyatwa Hospitals have cancer treatment facilities. As a result, people have to travel long distances for treatment.

We need cancer treatment centres in every district of the country. We also need to take advantage and utilise breakthroughs in science and technology such as the recently discovered vaccination against HPV and new screening technologies. If this is done, we will go a long way in reducing the risk of cervical cancer amongst women in Zimbabwe. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls aged between 9 and 13 years.

Madam President, regular screening tests such as Pap Smears and visual inspection with acetic acid and cervigraphy (VIAC) are also important and recommended for all sexually active women above the age of 21. Above all, cervical cancer can be prevented and it can also be cured if diagnosed and treated early. As a politician, I meet a lot of women and it is a reality that only a few go for pap smears. Most are ashamed to go for checkups because cancer is one of those diseases still dogged with superstition and misinformation in our society. I could go on and on, but I do hope it is clear to this august House that cancer is dangerous to both men and women. A lot of our eminent personalities have died of all types of cancers.

Mr. President, the problem faced by cancer patients include stigma, lack of awareness, limited access to cancer prevention information, early detection, treatment and palliative care. HIV/AIDS is better managed in our country because there are well funded and coordinated programmes to mitigate its effects. There is therefore a need for similar programmes in respect of cancer that encompass prevention, early detection, treatment and palliative care.

I wish to commend the Government for upgrading the radiotherapy departments at Parirenyatwa and Mpilo Hospitals. The Government should go further to ensure the availability of essential pain medications like morphine and educating health care workers on palliative care.

Mr. President, I would like to conclude by saying, the issue of cancer should be given the priority it deserves by the Government of Zimbabwe. It is time our country says no to cancer. I thank you.

SENATOR MARAVA: Thank you very much Mr. President. This is a very positive motion in that it seeks to improve the situation of those living with cancer. Thank you Senator Timveous for moving this motion, it is very important for the nation.

I am aware that Senator Timveous has first-hand experience of the scourge of cancer and its attendant challenges.

Mr. President, Zimbabweans, especially women should be encouraged to go for cancer screening early. It is only this way that a person can get to know about his or her status and get appropriate treatment in the early stages of the cancer. There are cancer screening centres at Parirenyatwa and Mpilo Hospitals, especially in respect of cervical and breast cancer. What is important is that these screening services should be made available at provinces and districts in the country. It is my hope that the new Government will seriously look into this matter, which is playing havoc on rural women.

Mr. President, this does not imply that cancer is only affecting women. There is also a high incidence of prostate cancer among the ageing population of our men. These men should also have the same access to health facilities in respect of screening and treatment.

It is indeed true that treatment services in respect of chemotherapy and radiation are available at Mpilo and Parirenyatwa Hospitals details, but what is disheartening is that the treatment is not affordable to all those in need of it because of the exorbitant charges. I am aware that some cancer patients receive their chemotherapy sessions in South Africa but the generality of the cancer patients do not even have the bus fare to go there. I therefore urge the Government to seriously look at reviewing the charges for cancer treatment and also ensure that such treatment is available at provincial and district hospitals.

Mr. President, very few countries in Southern Africa have comprehensive policies on cancer. Zimbabwe is currently developing a National Cancer Policy and Strategy which will give direction to cancer prevention, control and treatment efforts in the country. It is my hope that the new Minister of Health and Child Care will expedite the completion of this policy on cancer.

I agree with the view that there is need for the introduction of some kind of fund to cater for cancer patients. Alternatively, the Government can work out a framework for subsidising the treatment of cancer patients. I thank you, Mr. President.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR LIAISING ON PSYCHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN EDUCATION (SENATOR HUNGWE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th November, 2013.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR LIAISING ON PSYCHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN EDUCATION, the Senate adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.

 

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Senate Hansard Vol. 23 SENATE HANSARD - 19 NOVEMBER 2013 VOL. 23 NO. 17