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SENATE HANSARD 20 JUNE 2019 VOL 28 NO 55

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday 20th June, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE)

ICT LITERACY TRAINING SESSIONS

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I wish to remind the Senate that Group Three for the half day ICT literacy training sessions is starting on Tuesday 25th June, 2019. Hon. Members who have not registered for groups four, five and six are kindly requested to register on Tuesday 25th June, in the afternoon.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: We have the following Ministers in the House:

·       Hon. Mutodi  - the Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity

and Broadcasting Services

·       Hon. Haritotas – the Deputy Ministers of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement

·       Hon. Karoro – the Deputy Ministers of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement

·       Hon. Matemadanda – the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans

HON. MPOFU: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans.  What is the Government policy on the deployment of soldiers at Beitbridge Border Post and check points?  Are we expecting tourists with militia like language to warrant the current level of deployment? 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA): Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for the question. I think this question has been answered on almost three or so occasions but since it is sort of a specific question, on Beitbridge, I would like to have time to investigate and see what is happening.  On roadblocks, I do not know which roadblocks, if that could be put in writing. 

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Member, I think you heard what the Minister is saying.  I think it is proper if you can put the question in writing so that he can go and research and we have a comprehensive answer.

I want to welcome Hon. Nyoni, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Hon. Gumbo, the Acting Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation

*HON. SEN. HUNGWE: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture responsible for crops. What is the Government policy as regards to drought or famine in the country?  We have drought in the country and it is not anybody’s fault. It is caused by insufficient rains.  How well prepared are you in terms of fighting against starvation? Maize is our staple food since we eat sadza. How well prepared are you in terms of provision of maize for the people? Do we have adequate supplies? If not, how prepared are you in dealing with that issue?  I thank you.  

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): Thank you Madam President.  I would want to thank the Hon. Senator for her question.  I will try to respond to issues that pertain to my Ministry because part of the question is for the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

It is true that we have a drought and also have famine in the country because we did not get sufficient rains. As a Ministry, we are looking at ways to quickly alleviate the situation. We have also gone further to plan to see how best we could be prepared in the long term so that famine cannot recur. In a short term, the Ministry is importing over 720 000 metric tonnes of maize to alleviate the drought.  In the long term, we have realised that it is because of the drought that we are in this situation.  As a result, we are developing irrigation schemes in each and every Constituency so that we have sufficient food supplies realised from irrigation.  It is a programme which is ongoing and we are doing it in all constituencies. We urge Senators in the august House to work hand in glove with Members of the National Assembly who are having this programme.  We are trying to avoid too much talk and less work.  We would want to walk the talk. We cannot be successful if we do not get the support of the Hon. Members in various constituencies.  Together we can achieve a win win situation on the issue of irrigation schemes. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Supplementary. Whenever we travel and visit the GMB, we see a lot of maize stockpiles. We also believe that a lot of our silos are filled with grain. How much maize do we have in stock in the country in terms of metric tonnes?

*HON. KARORO:  I thank you Hon. Member for such a good question. Yes, we see the silos and stockpiles of maize as we go round the country. What we do is that such types of maize, for instance if you were to go to Mashonaland Central, the silos and stockpiles that you see do not come from Mashonaland Central only. The same would apply to Mashonaland East, if we were to go there. That maize is also meant for other areas where we do not have GMB silos. It is meant to be distributed to other provinces as well. It may give you a false impression that we have a lot of maize but we have over 420 000 metric tonnes of maize which is insufficient for our sustenance as a country. I thank you.

HON. SEN. ENG MUDZURI: Hon. Minister, you have just given us a figure of over 720 000 tonnes we are likely to import to benefit the shortage of maize amongst human beings. What is the allocation to animal feeds, especially looking at the food line of chickens and pigs and also considering that the pricing of maize affects the whole process of giving out maize to those animals? How is it likely to be accessed by those who keep pigs and chicken for the survival of the same human beings we are talking about?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): Thank you Hon. Member for that question. On a monthly basis as a nation, we consume close to 120 000 metric tonnes, inclusive of humans and livestock. We are also expecting some deliveries from farmers. The figure that I talked about of 720 000 metric tonnes will be augmented by the deliveries that we are expecting. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI: Minister, earlier on you talked about provision of irrigation schemes in all districts in order to mitigate the effects of drought. My question is - what is your Ministry doing in areas that have no dams?

*HON. KARORO: When we are talking about drought, we are also talking about livestock being affected. I have said that we are importing 720 000 metric tonnes of maize which is enough for consumption during this period but the situation will be assessed as to whether there is still need for us to buy more maize or it will be sufficient to get us to the next cropping season. With regards to human beings, I have tried to respond to the question. In terms of livestock, we have a programme in the provinces which is ongoing where there is a lot of grass, we are asking people to form groups and bale grass which will then be transported to hard hit  areas so that livestock can be maintained and not succumb to the drought that we are facing.

*HON. SEN. CHABUKA: My question is still directed to the Minister in the form of a supplementary question. You spoke about the issue of irrigation and that certain provinces have dams. Nowadays, there is lack of electricity provision because of load shedding. A lot of wheat is drying, as a result, there is bread shortages in the shops. How are you going to be successful with your irrigation programmes when we do not have electricity?

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think we should be procedural. The Hon. Member is asking on issues referring to electricity and that should be passed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. The farmers should continue preparing their programmes despite the fact that the Minister of Energy is not here to answer that question.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also want to inform the august House that we have Ministers that have walked in and they are:

1)   Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa;

2)   Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon. Sen. Mupfumira;

3)   Minister of State for Manicaland Province, Hon. Sen. Dr. Gwaradzimba;

4)   Minister of State for Mashonaland Central, Hon. Sen. Mavhunga

5)   Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Madiro.

          *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  The country is facing a shortage of bread, what hectrage is under wheat?  Will you be able to live up to expectations in terms of planting wheat?  Do you think that the available wheat will be sufficient to feed the nation?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Member for the question.  The issue of wheat is a very important issue for our country.  Wheat is one of our strategic crops in our country as it is one of the crops that is always grown short in our country.

          The challenge with wheat is several items.  One as mentioned by the Hon. Senator regarding electricity but the major issue is the number of  hectares under irrigation.  This current season, we had enough inputs for 60 000 hectares under Command and 15 000 hectares was under the private sector to make 75 000 hectares and had we grown 75 000 hectares of wheat this current season.  It is my assessment that we would have had enough wheat for the country and would have been almost self sufficient as a nation for wheat.  Unfortunately, due to the issues that I mentioned, some farmers did not grow wheat and therefore, we do expect a large shortage of wheat this coming season from our local wheat.

          However, as I have said that the last few years, we have always been importing wheat and nothing will certainly change because we will not have shortages of bread on our shelves.  Yes, there may be a few shortages for logistical reasons but these are not long term but short term.  Our ministry has already flighted a tender for 200 000 metric tonnes through the Grain Marketing Board and several individuals showed great interest to these tenders.  We believe that they will fulfil these tenders.  Currently we only use 30 000 metric tonnes a month so 200 000 metric tonnes will be sufficient for almost seven months of this year.  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  I had recognized Hon. Sen. Siansali.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI:  My question is also directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  My question arose from the response that you gave in the previous question to say we need to concentrate on irrigation as a nation. 

          I would like to know what the challenges are at Bulawayo irrigation scheme in Bing, where farming has failed to commence for the past decade?  A very big irrigation scheme that could have assisted the nation in addressing the prevailing issue of hunger that we are talking about.  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Chief but before the Minister responds that is a particular question of which I think that we encourage Hon. Members to put in written form.  So that you have a comprehensive statement of what is taking place at that irrigation scheme.  He should go and obtain well researched information in order for you to have a comprehensive response but I think that he has something on that.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Sen. Chief.  Madam President, it is a very specific question and I am pleased to inform you that I visited Bulawayo and Binga.  It is an amazing scheme that would change the lives of many people.

          The unfortunate part is that the pipeline that was bought for the scheme stayed too long under direct sunlight and has since disintegrated.  Most of the pipes have disintegrated which requires us to purchase more pipes.  It is one of our top priorities to ensure that the scheme comes online as soon as possible.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you very much Hon. Minister.  I think that the Hon. Chief is happy to hear that. – [HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: Yes, I am happy Madam President.] -  They are considering working on that.

          *HON. SEN. M. DUBE:  My question is directed to either the Minister of Home Affairs or the Leader of the House.  Hon. Minister, since we have blankets being confiscated at the country’s borders are they only benefiting child care because our prisoners are freezing to death in prisons?  Prisoners are using wafer thin blankets during this cold spell.  What do we think of the welfare of our prisoners?  Let us help them please to be able to sleep better.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, order both ministers are not present in the House but please make it clearer.  You made reference to blankets at the border and prisoners – so your question needs to be clearer when the responsible minister comes.

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  I believe that if more women are given land in Zimbabwe hunger would be a thing of the past.  Can women, especially in the rural Zimbabwe, inherit land?  Is there a clear policy in place to empower more women to own land?  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Member for that good question.  I think that you are aware that over the last few months, we were in the process of moving from one province to another, crafting our National Land Policy.  I am happy to inform the House that women were very vocal during the process and that is one of the issues that strongly came out especially from women participants.

          We are currently in the process of merging all the issues that came from the provinces.  I want to assure the Hon. Member that the issue of women and land is one of the contentious issues that are going to be in that National Land Policy.

          *HON. SEN. SHUMBA:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  People have been concerned over food issues but my concern pertains to money.  Government provided cotton seed to farmers and we also realized that tobacco farmers were paid half US$ and half RTGS.  What arrangements are in place in paying cotton farmers and to encourage them to continue farming cotton?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the very valid question.  Cotton is certainly being considered. However, there is a formula that is being used.  Unfortunately I do not have the formula in front of me, but I do recall that a certain portion of it will be paid in United States dollar equivalent at the current rate. 

You will recall, Madam President, that we announced a very attractive price for cotton of approximately $1.90 per kg, if I remember correctly.  So a portion of that will be paid in RTGS based on foreign currency at the interbank rate with the balance being in RTGS.  Unfortunately, as I said, it is a bit of a complex equation that I do not have in front of me, but I can certainly share with the Hon. Member in the near future.  Thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI:  Thank you for your answer on the formula of payment of cotton.  Can the Minister really be able to explain how you rate a commodity in United States dollars and then apportion another amount like for instance I know maize per tonne is $252 or something like that and then when you now pay, you pay a certain portion in United States dollar and then another portion in bond notes?  Are you not making it difficult for Mai Chimbwido in the rural areas to understand what currency to use and when to use it and when it is changed, where to change it? If you go to the bank today, there is no local person who can exchange their local currency to foreign currency.  Even if you bring your foreign card, there is no way you get to a shop and you will be able to swipe your dollar and it gets to the country.  So, I do not know how this money gets into the country or it is only going out.

HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Madam President and again, thank you to the Hon. Member.  What is important to note Madam President, is that the only crop that is paid in hard United States dollar currency is tobacco.  When we are talking of cotton, maize and wheat or should I focus rather on cotton which was the question, it was a portion that would be in RTGS using a United States dollar equivalent at the interbank rate.  So the farmer will be paid an RTGS value.  He or she will not be paid United States dollar currency.  What we did is, this Government is a listening Government and we had a lot of farmers coming to us asking us to incentivise them.  We felt as a Ministry that having these sort of complex formulas would incentivise a farmer. 

The farmer is of critical importance to us.  As you all know, what we are wearing today is because there are farmers.  All the ties, the suits; all the clothes that we wear are from cotton.  All the food that we eat is from our farmers.  So, our farmers are of critical importance to us and therefore as a Ministry, we have to incentivise those farmers to continually go back to those farms because farming is a business.  It is a lucrative business if done properly.  So, although it is and can be complex, the point is the farmer still receives the money in RTGS, but the formulas that we have put actually make it more difficult for us and not the farmer because we want to incentivise the farmer.

However, when you talk of tobacco, that is a crop that has a component paid in United States dollar, but when we talk of cotton and maize the intention is to incentivise, not to confuse our farmers and to make sure that they keep growing and farming so that our country can be self sufficient and for us to have food security. Thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI:  Madam President, maybe I did not hear him well.  He said that tobacco farmers are given United States dollars.  I am a tobacco farmer, I took 15 bales and there is no United States dollar which is being given to people.  People are being given bond notes.  I am very angry.  May he explain what is happening? -[Laughter]–

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I will allow the Minister to explain further because I understand how angry you are.  If it was not for that, I would say you are out of order.

HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Madam President.  I understand her anger.  Madam President, we have put in the right modalities for the farmer to enjoy that 50% benefit.  Unfortunately, if the Hon. Member has not been able to access that, it is something that she needs to take immediately to TIMB.  They are our parastatal that deals with complications or any problems that our farmers have.  So, I would encourage the Hon. Member to engage with TIMB on these currency issues because the intention is we gave the formula, the equation, to incentives the farmer.  The farmer must have the best benefit for him or her.  Thank you Madam President.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  With the help of this House and the Ministry, I am encouraging the Ministry to also look into it because if you just leave it to the farmers, they are facing problems.  Would you please look into that?

HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Madam President.  TIMB falls under our Ministry and we certainly have that jurisdiction, Madam President.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.  What is Government policy on sport in relation to people who are disabled?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI):  Thank you Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for your question.  The Ministry of Sports has a policy to uplift people who are disabled that they are considered when sports are being done.  There are associations which are involved in all sporting disciplines, the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation encourages that people who are disabled are involved even when they are going out for sports where teams are being sent outside.  We check that those who are disabled are involved and are sent out to represent the country, that they are given an opportunity to be seen, that they are able to improve their talent and get money that they are able to survive on because they will be having those talents.

We do not discriminate against people who are disabled that they are not involved in sports.  There are many instances which I can highlight, Hon. Senator, to show you that our country encourages that those who are disabled are involved in sports.  A few days ago a group of disabled people were involved in representing our country and they won.  Last week, a team went to Namibia where people were given awards in various disciplines.  Our disabled people were also awarded those awards; which shows that we encourage those who are disabled to be involved in sports. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI:  Minister, I think maybe you need to do some more investigatory work into the Ministry. There is a lot of segregation happening.  I have a case of a boy who comes from Victoria Falls who is representing South Africa on Paralympics. He was denied the chance to represent Zimbabwe and he is doing very well in South Africa.  He is a primary school boy.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I think this is just for information purposes to the Minister, if she can follow up on that.

          HON. SEN. MALINGA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. I want to know if there is a quota system to distribute land to disabled people?  If not, why? If yes, how many?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question which is similar to that asked by Hon. Sen. Timveos. When we went around the country conducting our national land policy, we also had quite a number of people living with disability who also contributed significantly to the fact that the issue of the quota system for people living with disabilities should also be looked at.  I am happy to say our personnel are busy at the moment processing all the input that came.  So, I can assure the Hon. Senator that his issue is also of paramount importance and is going to be considered in the National Land Policy.

          HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  I want to find out what has been done about adjusting prices of maize for the maize producers.  Last year they were given the price of US$800 per tonne when they were given inputs for this current season.  At that time, the rate of exchange was 1:1 with the United States Dollars but we all know what has since happened. When Government takes its money for the inputs whatever is going to be left for the farmers...

          Sergeant-at-Arms staff having gone to adjust the microphone.

          HON. SEN. MAKONE: I think I was loud enough, shall I continue.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: Please continue.

          HON. SEN. MAKONE: Whatever is going to be left for the farmer after the Government has taken its portion of the money towards inputs is hardly going to be a livable wage.  What has the Government put in place to ensure that our farmers are not destitutes and that they are incentivised to carry on producing maize which is a staple crop for this country?  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Hon. President and I thank the Hon. Sen. for this good question.  Hon. Senator, you will remember approximately two weeks ago, the Government announced the new maize producer price which was at a US dollar price equivalent RTGS using the interbank rate.  So, that is one of the first measures that we have taken as Government to incentivise the farmer.  The second thing is we encourage our farmers to access inputs through command agriculture.  Command agriculture gives the farmer inputs at fixed prices and therefore that farmer is not subjected to any kind of changes with regards to input costs.  That price that we announced, we would have taken into consideration the prices that we are selling those inputs to the farmer himself.

          So to incentivize, the producer price or the price to the farmer has to be a price that is higher than the cost so that we ensure that that farmer goes back on the farm.  If that farmer as I mentioned before does not go back onto that farm, it means we will never get food security.  So, it is of paramount importance that whatever producer prices we do announce will take into consideration the actual cost by the farmers.  I believe that the price that we announced takes that into consideration. 

If there are any market changes in the near future, given that in the last few months we have announced two producer prices, I do not believe that it will constrict the Government from announcing a new producer price at any stage given any market forces.  We are a listening Government and our Ministry sits with the people on the ground.  We cannot afford, as I said, to have the farmer not go back to the field. So we will always keep our doors open. We will always keep our ears open to any forms of price sensitivity or any factors that affect our farmers negatively.  I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. MBOHWA: Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Minister of Youths, Sport, Arts, and Recreation.  What is your Ministry’s policy on economic empowerment of young people so that they also become part of Vision 2030?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS, AND RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI): Thank you Mr. President. I thank the Hon. Senator for her question.  As you have rightly said we are the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and all these 4 portfolios are aimed at making sure that the young people are equally economically empowered. To begin with, we have the Vocational Training Centres and in these centres, youths are given life skills whereby when they graduate, they are then able to go into the market.  They are also able to go and become their own business persons entrepreneurs, starting their own businesses so that they can be economically empowered. We also have the sporting activities...

          Hon. Sen. Eng. Mudzuri’s phone having been ringing.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Sen. Eng. Mudzuri.

          HON. SIMBANEGAVI: Thank you Hon. President.  Hon. Senator, as I was saying, our Ministry’s focus is mainly on making sure that the skills that are within the young generation are sharpened to such an extent that they can be able to utilise those skills to become economically sustainable. 

We are also aware as a Ministry that Vision 2030 is mostly aimed at the youth generation because by 2030 they are going to be the beneficiaries of vision 2030.  We aim to make sure that the skills that are inherent in the young people are sharpened and they are trained to such an extent that they can be able to use these skills sustainably.  As I indicated, in the Vocational Training Centres, we make sure that every skill that the young people may have, be it in carpentry, welding and any other business activity that a young person may have; we train them and we make sure they understand how they should run their own businesses and become their own independent persons and not to rely on Government employment. 

          We also have the youth portfolio whereby we encourage young people.  This starts at community sport level where we identify young people in primary and secondary schools to take part in sporting activities and then we move them to the podium level where we then say these have been identified and these have developed their talents to an extent that they can also compete at national, regional or international levels.  That will also create employment for them and they can be economically empowered.

          We have the Arts portfolio where we encourage our young people who are blessed with artistic skills.  We also make sure that these skills are sharpened and we train our young artists on how to run businesses.  In the coming week Hon. Senator, you are going to notice that we will be running workshops for our young artists, training them on how to market their arts businesses.  We have different forms of arts, creative, visual, singing, dancing, sculpting, writing of poems or books and all those kind of skills.  We encourage our young people and train them to make sure that they are not manipulated by other people when they go out to regional or international platforms to market their products economically.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF NYANGAZONKE: Thank you very much Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  There was a brilliant programme on Command Livestock but it seems not to be active anymore, if I may know the challenges.  Thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Mr. President Sir.  Thank you to the Hon. Member for the question.  The challenges to the Command Livestock are related to funding.  However, we have been able to bring in some form of commercial aspect to that through Agribank.  Currently, Agribank have a $6 million facility that is supposed to be used for a similar concept to Command Livestock.  So, we encourage our farmers to access that funding through Agribank.  Thank you Mr. President Sir.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President.  My question goes to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  Hon. Minister, we have our people in the border areas who do not receive broadcasting in our languages and they mostly access Botswana and Mozambique air waves in terms of television, radio or mobile phones. What are you doing about it?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi for that good question.  I must say as a Ministry, we are going through a lot of media reforms and part of the reasons for coming up with all these reforms is to make sure that we uphold what is enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  The Constitution of Zimbabwe, especially when you look at Sections 61 and 62 - right to information, right to media, even getting licences for media; this is what we want to provide to the people of this country.

The challenges which we have had, you know the Ministry embarked on a project of digitalisation in 2015, which would have actually given us an opportunity to make sure that we have got radio and television access to each and every Zimbabwean in all the 10 provinces of our country.  That project has been slowed down because of shortages of foreign currency because most of the equipment which is required to complete that programme comes from outside our country.  So, we are working very hard to make sure that we also bring in the private sector.  This is because we do have other transmitters which are already fully digital and we would like at least people in those areas like Kamativi, and especially Matebeleland North – most of the transmitters there are fully digital, what is not there is what is called set top boxes which will allow our people to use the televisions they have in their homes.  That is why we are saying we would like to bring in the private sector with their free funds for set top boxes.

We realise that this is every Zimbabwean’s right to access the national television.  We are also looking at licensing more television stations.  As a Ministry, we are very much aware of the demand out there for licensces, not just from commercial television but also from public broadcasting.  This is the process which we are going through.  We need to have our boards in place and then the process starts where those who are interested in getting licences will then apply and given according to those who qualify.  That way, we will have more diversity for our people; our people deserve better in terms of variety.  We need to have more than one television channel.  There is no correlation between those who will be issued with licences, whether they belong to a certain party or group, this will be done according to the law.  The criteria for issuing licences will be done according to the law and this is what the Ministry is doing.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: My supplementary question is; taking into consideration that the Minister is talking about giving licenses, which licences are they given because they do not receive anything from our country Zimbabwe? 

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Mr. President.  I gave a little more information as I could see that the Senator wanted to know more about it.  It is not about having access to the radio or ZBC; I am actually talking further about providing a variety.  Licensing means we will have variety; those who would like to watch a certain programme or educational programmes and also languages. We have got 16 official languages in this country and our wish is to make sure that we can actually broadcast using all those languages so that it reaches everybody.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  Minister, what steps are being taken to bring our entry ports at par with other regional entry ports?  Is there any programme to upgrade them and if so, the issue of One-Stop-Border Post to increase efficiency, is it also being taken into account and which border posts exactly?  With your indulgence, can I also ask a question regarding that - the backlog in passports, how far is the Ministry going to clear that?  Thank you so much.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you very much Mr. President.  With regards to upgrading the facilities at various border posts, it is Government policy to ensure that all our border posts are up to world standards.  However, as you are aware, we are experiencing shortage of resources given the need to balance our fiscus.  With regards to the Beitbridge Border Post, there is a Memorandum of Understanding with our sister country South Africa to ensure that the busiest port of entry at Beitbridge is actually upgraded to a One-Stop-Border Post.  That arrangement is underway, only that resources are constricting the speed with which we can achieve that.

With regards to the backlog on passports, yes we have got a serious challenge as far as clearing the backlog of issuing passports is concerned. Again, this is due to shortage of consumables of which we are using imported consumables. There is a special paper which is used to print passports and other consumables including ribbons which are procured from foreign suppliers. Given the challenge of foreign currency, we have had a serious problem in procuring these consumables. However, I am happy to say that the Government has since paid what we owed our suppliers and very soon those imported consumables will be availed and we will make sure that we clear the backlog on passports. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Mr. President, I move that time for Questions without Notice be extended by 15 minutes.

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: I second.

          HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development. What is the Government policy on the incubation of informal sector to help them formalise their activities? Are there any specific programmes in place?

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question. Yes, the Ministry has a policy on incubation. We believe that incubation is very important because when you incubate an SME, we give them lessons on how to start and grow their businesses, how to market their products, also quality control, linking them to funding and help them to register companies.

          We have an incubation centre at Waterfalls and we graduated some two months ago. We have had a new intake and of those 25, we graduated 12 and they have already established their businesses. They are operating because they registered businesses, they have specific products that they wanted to do and we linked them to funders and now they are operating. There is a policy as well as practice on incubation. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. A. DUBE: My question is directed to the Minister of Women’s Affairs. What is Government policy on women who intend to borrow money from the banks without collateral? I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI): The Hon. Member has asked a very pertinent question. This question troubles quite a number of people. Women cannot have collateral but the RBZ has put in place measures that are as good as collateral. It used to be that collateral should be a house or any immovable property but right now, banks are being allowed to encourage the public to use any other collateral such as furniture or a refrigerator. It is now allowed. In the past, this was not allowed. I would like this House to support this policy so that people will always have collateral to give to the banks. I have observed that and I think the RBZ has since put that into place. I thank you.

          HON SEN. KOMICHI: My question is directed to the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development. I would like to know the status of the Women’s Bank – how many women have so far been assisted, what amount is it and are they able to pay back?

          THE HON DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon Sen. Komichi, that is specific. You will agree with me that it is difficult - unless if the Minister can respond it but normally you are supposed to ask questions of policy. Your question is very specific.

          HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I know she is very capable.

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI): Mr. President, I think you are right. The question is on the Order Paper today, so I am going to give him the answer.

          *HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. Is your Ministry aware of the threat being caused by machete wielding youth because a lot of innocent people including old women are being maimed by these youth?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MADIRO):  I thank Hon. Sen. Moeketsi for her question which is in regards to machete wielding youth or thugs, which is prevalent in the areas where artisanal miners are operating. It is true that in a lot of areas there is the scourge of the use of machetes. Machetes are illegal and it is illegal to possess a machete. Once you are found with one in your possession it is confiscated.

          The Ministry of Home Affairs has increased police patrols in areas where there is this scourge of machete. They have added the number of police officers that are operating in that area in conjunction with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to outlaw people that do not have relevant papers to mine in concessions where they do not have the licences. This is what is causing artisanal miners who are busy mining to be involved in fights for possession of such mines or shafts. Once they become intoxicated with alcohol they become a security threat to the generality of the society.

          I would want to assure the Hon. Senator that the police are busy at roadblocks as well as patrols of mining fields to ensure that those that are operating as artisanal miners have the relevant licences. At roadblocks, if people are found with dangerous weapons such as machetes they are confiscated. I would want to say the presence of police or the visibility of the police in these areas where the prevalence of machete wielding youth has become unpopular is under control. The police are ensuring that they put an end to this threat. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. P. NDLOVU: My question is directed to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises.  Hon. Minister since women are the hardest hit by poverty and you require collateral such as cattle from us in order to secure loans,  what assistance can you proffer to us to enable easy access to these funds since we are the main family providers?

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (HON. S. NYONI):  Thank you Mr. President and thank you Hon. Senator for the question.  It is true that my Ministry represents the needs and wants of women, especially those who are poverty stricken. 

          The Ministry has various funds that we have set aside to assist these women and one of these is the Community Fund which does not require collateral to access, but just needs you to be a person of good standing who can honour her promises.  It requires you to belong to a group of three to four women who share the same aspirations and projects.  The group will then guarantee your application and promise to assist you in servicing the loan in the event of your failure to settle the loan.   For example, they will state that ‘Please give Mrs. Ncube the loan, we are her surety’.  This system brings unity amongst women and community.

          The banking etiquette detects that you should know your customer because the monies issued by these banks are State funds and should be accessed by people who are known in the community and have surety that the loan will be serviced. 

          HON. SEN. NCUBE:  My question is directed to the Minister of tourism.  Minister what is Government policy on people who are attacked by wild animals?

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Mr. President Sir. At the moment we do not have a policy for compensating people who are involved in human and wildlife conflict, but it is an issue that we are seized with to ensure that we support and protect people who have been affected by wildlife either through damage of crops, property and loss of life.  It is something that is very topical in the Ministry as we speak.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. WUNGANAI: My question is directed to the Leader of the House.  Minister as we move around the different towns, we have observed that fuel queues are getting longer by the day, especially during the past three days.  What measures are being taken in order to curb this situation?

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. President and thank you Hon. Member for the important question in regard to fuel shortage currently bedeviling the country.  It is also true that we have long fuel queues in the country because of shortage of fuel.  The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Chasi, has come up with an ICT tracking strategy to try and curb the situation.

          It was realized that some of the fuel suppliers were diverting and hoarding the commodity in anticipation of a price increase so that they get more profit. We are trying to put that to an end.  For example, there is a time when the country’s fuel consumption doubled, then you ask yourself whether the fleet of cars had also doubled?  A lot is happening in the industry but our Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Chasi, is taking steps to address the issue and end all these nefarious activities and corruption.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT FROM VELD FIRES

6.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to explain measures being taken to protect the environment from veld fires during the dry season and whether the Ministry has any plans to educate members of the public on the effects of deforestation or offer any incentives to individuals who do not engage in practices that harm the environment.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPRUMIRA):  Thank you Mr. President Sir, I would like to thank Hon. Chimbudzi for raising such pertinent issues that relate to the sustainable management of our environment.

Mr. President Sir, veld fires are negatively affecting lives and livelihoods.  To this end my Ministry has come up with several measures to control the outbreak of veld fires through stakeholder engagement, environmental awareness through various platforms such as print and electronic media, education, training of stakeholders and fire fighting teams and environmental planning, among other initiatives.  Furthermore, we have supported communities to engage in income generating projects whilst protecting the environment such as bee keeping, apiculture, hay baling and thatch grass combing.  Communities are selling hay, thatch and honey in the process realizing alternative sources of income.

An average of one million hectares of land are burnt by veld fires every year.  The bulk of veld fires are experienced in the A1…

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, order Hon. Minister are you responding to Question number 4 or 6?  It looks like you are responding to Question Number 6, but you can proceed and answer Question Number 6 then we revert to Question Number 4.  Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi, ask Question Number 4 please.

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  I am sorry Mr. President, I had two questions from Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi and I mixed them up.  May I continue Mr. President?

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Yes, you may proceed Hon. Minister.

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  Mr. President Sir, let me highlight the role played by our traditional leaders, chiefs and headmen who have been instrumental in fighting veld fires in communal areas over the years and as a result veld fires have destroyed animals in these areas. 

The issue of veld fires involves various ministries as espoused in the National Veld Fire Strategy of 2007 and these ministries are Members of the National Fire Committee.  In light of the above mentioned issues it is my recommendation that we carry out the following:

1.                Come up with a position towards prioritisation of environmental management among other national priorities.  The absence of environmental courts underrates environmental related offences, hence their importance to the general populace.

2.                Put in place measures to ensure that adequate fire suppression measures are put in place in A1 and A2 resettlement areas.

3.                Extend the jurisdiction of traditional leaders to include A1 and A2 resettlement areas.

4.                Continue engagement of communities, stakeholders and schools on veld fire management.

5.                Support of project aimed at reducing biomass.

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) incentivices good environmental practices to promote community and stakeholder involvement in environmental stewardship.  The programmes include competitions and support of community projects for communities implementing sustainable management programmes.  An incentive system has been developed for industry to adopt cleaner technologies through pollution classification.

My Ministry through the Forestry Commission also frequently educates our citizens on the negative impacts of deforestation.  We constantly engage tobacco farmers to find lasting solutions for tobacco curing that relieves pressure on our forests.  The tobacco Wood Energy Programme has been welcomed in all tobacco growing districts.  We are mandated to educate tobacco farmers on how to establish and successfully manage and utilise woodlots to provide own wood energy for curing their tobacco crops. My Ministry also provides technical training and advice to farmers and communities to enable them to run established nurseries and their own local reforestation and forestation programmes as strategies for dealing with deforestation.  I thank you Mr. President.

PROTECTION OF COMMUNITIES FROM STRAY WILD ANIMALS

5.                HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to explain measures being taken by the Ministry to protect communities near game reserves from stray wild animals and whether there is any form of compensation in the event of an attack. 

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  The Ministry, through Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is doing education and awareness programmes to educate communities in coexisting with the wildlife.  The programmes ensure that communities and livestock are protected from carnivores, for example use of iron guardians who alert people in the event of lions straying into communities.

The National Parks through its partner has a chilli bricks and bomb programme used to scare away elephants.  Parks have come up with new bases looking at hot spots for example in Tsholotsho, a base called Makona has been set up for speedy reaction.  In Buhera, a ranger base has been set up for speedy reaction in the event of problem animals in communities.  We do not have a policy for compensation as I alluded to earlier on but it is something that is being considered.  However, in some rural district councils there are mechanisms through campfire to assist with funeral costs in the event of human life loss.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Can we go back to question number 4.

SAFEGUARDING OF WILD ANIMALS FROM VELD FIRES

4.   HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to state measures being taken to safeguard wild animals and veld fires.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Mr. President.  Question number 4 has been covered in the first presentation.  Protection of wild life and humans from fires - they are all included in the first presentation.

CRITERIA USED BY THE WOMEN’S BANK ON DISBURSEMENT OF LOANS

8.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to:

(a) Explain the criteria used by the Women’s Bank to disburse loans;

(b) State the number of people who have received the loans to date per province;

(c) State whether women with disabilities have benefited from the loans;

(d) Appraise the House on the performance of the loans and the number of beneficiaries who have paid back to date; and

(e) Highlight the measures being taken to deal with defaulters.

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. NYONI):  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for her question which is in five parts.  The first part, The Women’s Bank is granting loans to women who have opened accounts and have expressed the desire to access loans by completing loan applications.  In some instances, the Bank worked with women on specific value chains such as sorghum, cotton, castor beans and sesame where loans were disbursed in forms of inputs.  The Bank is also working with development partners giving loans to capacitated beneficiaries.  All economically active women qualify for loans.

(b)  Accounts opened to date                                              58 313

DISBURSEMENTS BY PROVINCE

 

LOANS DISBURSED AUGUST 2018 TO 31 MAY 2019

 

PROVINCE

Clients #

Value

HARARE

873

1 425 426

BULAWAYO

202

338 295

MASH WEST

1184

896 762

MASH EAST

237

565 864

MASH CENTRAL

932

526 566

MIDLANDS

6322

2 354 997

MANICALAND

911

608 645

MAT  NORTH*

70

160 300

MAT SOUTH*

80

259 000

MASVINGO

881

556 040

TOTAL

11692

7 691 895

 

Value Chains 2018-2019 Agriculture Season

 

Value Chain Finance

Farmers

Masvingo – Sorghum VCF2

51

Gokwe – Sorgum and Sesame VCF

2 000

Gokwe – Cotton VCF

2 875

Makonde – Sesame VCF

750

Chegutu – Sorghum VCF

120

Raffingora – Sorghum VCF

10

Mbire – Sorghum VCF

160

Checheche - Sunflower

500

Folio Fertiliser

116

Castor Beans

180

ZCC

3 025

Total

9 787

 

*Key value chains are being identified for goat production in Matabeleland.

(c) Women with disabilities are most welcome to the bank and stand to benefit directly or indirectly.  Currently, five have benefited from loans directly while 2 have benefited indirectly.  The bank is exploring having the disability fund available by RBZ for castor bean farming for the disabled women. 

          d)  I am pleased to say the payment rate for loans is above 95% with the portfolio at risk greater than 30 days of below 5%, which is within the generally acceptable international standard.  Loans are still being monitored with other borrowers in their second and third cycles as per need.  This is due to the fact that the bank does a through preparation with the women before they disburse.

          e)  Group loans are being monitored by the group members.  Loan officers on the ground in each province are there to monitor whoever has been given the loans.  After granting loans to women, monitoring is done to ensure that the loans are used for the intended purposes.  Challenges are identified on time and necessary measures are taken also in time.  In the event of failing to repay the loan, the reasons are identified and alternative solutions are mapped together with the client which may include rescheduling the loan.  In cases of default where the client indicates signs of delinquent character, engagements are done with client and other relevant stakeholders to try to rehabilitate the client.  If all fails, other recovery methods are pursued, including litigation where the loan amounts involved are significant. I thank you.

DEMAND FOR PASSPORTS

          13. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain measures being taken by the Ministry to meet the surge in demand for passports which is evident in the long queues at the Registrar General’s Office. 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr. President. I thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for her question.  The department of the Registrar General is currently facing an increasing backlog of passport applications dating back to July 2018.  This was mainly due to the unavailability of foreign currency to procure the needed consumables, including the passport paper. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance, has already made payments to the suppliers of such consumables.  Once the department’s consumables arrive, services will be restored to normalcy.

GENDER EQUALITY WITHIN THE MINISTRY

          14.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain efforts being made to facilitate gender equality within the Ministry.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr. President and I thank the Senator for that question. The concept of gender equality is officially recognised in the Ministry in compliance with Section 3 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and several other provisions of the Constitution and SADC Protocol on Gender and Development as enunciated in Section 34 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  This consciousness is always there during recruitment and promotions.  A recent development is in Immigration Department where a female is at the helm of the department as the Chief Director. In the interest of time, I will not go into the statistics of Senior Managers per department as outlined in the table below but suffice to say that it is averaging 35% per department.

Department

Senior Managers in Post

Males

Females

Percentage of females

Immigration

11

7

4

36%

Registrar General

12

7

5

41%

National Archives

3

3

1

33%

Head Office

10

6

4

40%

National Museums

10

7

3

30%

 

          For Zimbabwe Republic Police, the update on gender mainstreaming focusing on recruitment, training and promotion for the period January to date covers recruitment, training sponsored courses, junior officers’ development programme, driving schools, peace keeping deployments and promotions.  The aggregate grand total coming to 6 606, 34% of that are women but the detailed breakdown is provided on the table below. 

 

Total Number

Males

Females

Percentage of Females

Recruitment

1679

999

680

41%

Training Sponsored courses

1116

761

355

39%

Junior Officers Developmental Programme

330

271

59

18%

Driving Schools

2157

1638

519

24%

Peacekeeping Deployments

143

77

66

46%

Promotions

1181

615

566

48%

Grand Total

6606

4361

2245

34%

 

          The Ministry continues to make conscious effort for gender equality within all departments.  I thank you.

UTILISATION OF THE MEDIA ON DISASTER SYSTEMS

          16.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to explain measures being taken to utilise the media as part of early warning for disasters systems so as to prevent loss of human life.

           THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for asking this question.  The Ministry works with agencies like the CPU which is the Civil Protection Unit. I am sure the Hon. Senator is asking this in realisation of what happened in Chimanimani and Chipinge when that colossal calamity Cyclone Idai hit us.  We work very closely with the Meteorological Services Department, NGOs and other Government departments in disseminating early warnings of disasters.  Mr. President, I just want to let the House know that the Ministry deploys information officers in all our provinces and we are actually trying to cover every district with an information officer to make sure that no information will go without our people having it.

          As a Ministry, we have also embraced social media as the fastest way of communication.  So, through the CPU, which is under the Ministry of Local Government, I would also like to say, our traditional structures are very critical when it comes to disseminating information of early warnings.  I am talking here about our village heads, our headmen, chiefs, starting from the ward level so that information can be disseminated very fast. 

          I also want to say, the Broadcasting Services Act requires that all radio stations, private and public, should air free of charge, early warning related disasters.  This is why I was talking earlier on about the need to licence more community radios.  My Ministry will also be negotiating with all newspapers to convey early warnings on disasters.  We are also in the process of licencing more community radios and this will be coupled with new forms of communication, not just WhatsApp but Twitter and all the new phenomenon of social media to relay warnings of disasters.  Certainly, we will appreciate working with anybody who would help in giving out early warnings.  I thank you.

UTILISATION OF THE ZUNDE RA MAMBO CONCEPT

          20.   HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to explain whether Government has any plans to utilise the Zunde RaMambo concept as a drought mitigation strategy.

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Mr. President Sir.  Thank you to the Hon. Member for the question.  Hon. President Sir, Government has plans to encourage the Zunde RaMambo concept.  Chiefs will be supported with inputs for strategic grain crops which will be grown to feed the vulnerable groups of the community.  Thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: On question 21, Hon. Minister, I think you have already answered this question. I will ask you to submit your answer.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

GENDER REPRESENTATION IN GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS AND AGENCIES

7.   HON. SEN. SHOKO asked the Minster of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to state when the Ministry would bring up a Bill to ensure both genders are equally represented in all Government institutions and agencies as provided in section 17 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI):  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Shoko for raising this important question which has significant Constitutional ramifications.  Our Constitution specifically provides for gender balance in Section 127 whilst section 56 provides for equality and non-discrimination among other key gender responsive provisions.  Section 80 outlines the rights of women, that women have full and equal dignity of person with men including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities.

As a nation, we are also a signatory to various regional and international protocols on gender equality.  My Ministry, together with its affiliates, particularly the Gender Commission, other line Ministries and progressive Civil Society Organisations has been frantically working on and more specifically 50-50 representation in decision making positions.  We have been conducting campaigns, convening workshops to capacitate potential decision makers and knocking on the doors of Ministries responsible for parastatals demanding the allocation of positions on Boards to women.

We are against the practice by some ministries to continue allocating posts on Boards of State entities predominantly to men, a clear violation of the Constitution.  Local authorities rank top on the list of bad performance as only 13% of councillors are women.

My ministry has submitted inputs through a position paper on the 50-50 principle and we look forward to the speedy passage of the Criminal Law and Codification Act which is expected to incorporate this principle.  Honourable Members, in collaboration with the Gender Commission, we are working on how best to speedily attain the 50% threshold.  Rigorous consultations are ongoing including looking at best practices from other countries and currently we have zeroed in on considering four options namely

·       Extending the 60 seats

·       Reforming the electoral system

·       Reservations of seats

·       Gender Equality Act whose drafting has commenced.

I wish to implore on Hon. Members for their patience as we embark on interrogating these options and developing practical models.  We should all be aware that even when the Gender Equality Act is in place, decision making positions may not have takers hence the importance of us mobilising communities, capacitate them and secure mentorship to enable the women to gain confidence to take up high positions.  We are also targeting Tertiary and Higher Education institutions where we will groom and encourage young women to participate in politics.  I thank you.

EMPLOYMENT CREATION FOR THE YOUTH

          21.   HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to explain measures being taken to encourage and support youths to start their own businesses in order to create employment in the country.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. SIMBANEGAVI):  Mr. President, in response to the question posed by the Hon. Senator, my Ministry recognises that employment creation is a key national priority for Zimbabwe to attain its vision of becoming an upper middle class income society by 2030.  To this end, the Ministry has a number of programmes that encourage and support youth to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses.  Among these are:

·       Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Programme which equips the youth with the prerequisite entrepreneurial skills.  The programme is open to all youths and is run through the Ministry’s provincial structures to ensure wide coverage. 

·       Training for Enterprise (TFE) Programme is one of the Ministry’s flagship programmes that equips youth with technical vocational skills to enable them to start their own enterprises.  The programme focuses on a 20:80 approach, where 20% of the training is theoretical and 80% is hands-on practical work.  This involves setting up practical production units at Vocational Training Centres and sending trainees for internship.  The programme runs at all the Ministry’s 42 Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) countrywide.

·       Production and incubation hubs – these are centres established, based on regional comparative advantages meant to mobilise and incubate youth in various production lines.  The hubs provide youth access to appropriate equipment, technology and workspace.  The youth are then incubated for a period ranging from three months to one year, after which they go and set up their own business units.  Some of the hubs that have been established and those that are at various stage of establishment include:

1.    Three tobacco production hubs supported by BAT where young farmers are trained to effectively participate in tobacco farming and value chain.  These are situated at Chaminuka VTC in Mashonaland Central Province, Mashayamombe VTC in Mashonaland West Province and Magamba VTC in Manicaland Province.

2.    Two dairy production and incubation hubs where youths are trained to competently engage in dairy production and dairy value chain.  The hubs are situated at Kaguvi VTC in Midlands Province and Umguza VTC in Matebeleland North Province.

3.    One Boer Goat production and incubation hub where youths are trained in goat farming and goat value chain opportunities.  The hub is situated at Phangani VTC in Matebeleland South Province.

4.    One fruit and vegetable processing hub, where, to date, a pack house has been established to provide ready market for horticulture produce. The hub is situated at Tabudirira VTC in Mashonaland East Province.

5.    Two motor mechanic hubs situated at Mutare and Zvishavane VTCs in Manicaland and Midlands provinces respectively.  The hubs are aimed at providing youth with access to specialised technology as well as competences in motor mechanics.

6.    One clothing technology hub at Mutare VTC in Manicaland Province which provides youth with key competency required for the clothing and textile industry. 

7.    One cosmetology hub in Bulawayo Province which provides youths with decent workspace for them to competitively participate in the industry.

8.    One events management hub which seeks to train youths in events management providing them with key skills.

9.    Sport has the potential to create employment for youths in the country, hence, the realisation of Government to improve sport development in the country.  To this end, the Ministry is developing sporting facilities and running talent development programmes that will enhance podium performance.  To date, the Ministry has established the National Sports Academy at Bindura University of Science and Technology, Mashonaland Central.  It has developed a Tartan track for athletics development at Chaplain High School in Midlands Province.  The Ministry is establishing a Multi-purpose sporting facility in Ncema Valley, Esgodini, Matebeleland South Province.  Community Sports Clubs were established in all provinces. 

10.                       The entertainment industry is a modern business entity dominated by youth in this country.  The Ministry has developed programmes through the National Arts Council (NAC) of Zimbabwe in both the entertainment business and user-friendly technology to prepare youths for careers in this exciting, challenging and rewarding industry.  The Ministry is also facilitating the participation of youths at various festivals locally, regionally and internationally.

·       Youth financial inclusion and access to credit through EmpowerBank.  EmpowerBank provides financial mediation functions biased towards youth.  These include banking services and provision of loans for youth business start-ups and expansions.

·       The National Youth Service is equipping youths with community development skills through volunteer programmes and Youth Build Zimbabwe Programme.

·       The Ministry is developing the National Youth Employment Strategy and reviewing the National Youth Policy.  The Ministry will be engaging all stakeholders in the development of the aforementioned critical policy documents.

The Ministry is at an advanced level of discussion with Old Mutual Zimbabwe to set up a successor Programme to Kurera/Unkondla Youth Fund.  This will be another youth economic empowerment facility.

Mr. President, my Ministry strives to do more to avail employment creation opportunities for the youth.  We therefore call for support and guidance of this august House for the Ministry to achieve this mammoth task of according youth employment opportunities.

          Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Mr. President Sir.   Allow me to present to the House my statement on the African Elephant. Zimbabwe has a proud history of successful elephant conservation, and is one of the key elephant range states and home to the second largest remaining elephant population in the world.  Of the world population of about 500,000 elephants, approximately 83,000 from the last national aerial survey done in 2014 are in Zimbabwe against the ecological carrying capacity of 55 000.  Botswana has a population of 130 000 elephants, being the highest in the world and Zimbabwe being the second highest.

          Zimbabwe’s major elephant range, which is the basis for all national surveys is 67,898 km2s, covering approximately 17% of the country’s total land area.  In the early 1900s, the elephant population in Zimbabwe was estimated to be about 4,000.  By 1980, the population had increased to an estimate of 46 426 elephants. The population continued to increase and in 1993, it was 58 185 and currently, we are looking at 83 000.  This increase was noted besides attempts to limit elephant population growth between 1960 and 1989 through culling exercises in tsetse control areas and State protected areas.

          The increase in elephant population in the country is attributable to the robust management practices. Zimbabwe subscribes to the principle of sustainable utilisation of wildlife resources, including elephants. The principle of sustainable utilisation entails ploughing back revenues generated from utilisation back into conservation. The high economic value conferred to the elephant through consumptive utilisation has also resulted in increased tolerance by local communities.

The African elephant and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES)

The African elephant has been the subject of much discussion in international fora such as the CITES. The conditions for trade in elephants and their parts and derivatives have been the subject of often acrimonious debate with onerous conditions being placed upon those countries whose elephant populations are currently on Appendix II such as Zimbabwe.

          Within the CITES framework, species listed in Appendix I are not allowed to be traded for commercial purposes; while Appendix II allows for regulated trade. With regards to elephants, four countries are listed in Appendix II (with annotation or specific conditions) – these being Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Key to note therefore is that CITES, the African elephant is Split listed under Appendix I and Appendix II. Populations in East, West, Central Africa and parts of Southern Africa are in Appendix I, whilst the populations of the above mentioned four countries are in Appendix II.

          A moratorium on international trade on elephants has been in place since 2009 until 2018.  Meanwhile, ivory stocks held by the countries whose populations are in Appendix II have continued to grow. This has placed an undue burden on such countries to secure this valuable resource without necessarily benefiting anything to plough back into the conservation of the same species.  Zimbabwe is currently holding ivory stocks worth about US$300 million and another US$300 million for the rhino.  Any efforts by Southern African Elephant Range States to manage their populations is subjected to constant negative media glare with much of this coverage ignoring the plight of the rural communities who bear the brunt of living with such dangerous wildlife species.

          It is however, appreciated that the African elephant population has declined at continental level, with East, West and Central Africa accounting for most losses whilst in Southern Africa, most populations are either stable or increasing. There is a serious concern about the recent upsurge in the illegal offtake of elephants on much of the African continent. While overally, poaching has not had the same impact in Southern Africa as in other regions, it has severely affected some populations. The challenges of poaching notwithstanding, elephants in Southern Africa continue to be found outside protected areas with vast swathes of elephant range found in unprotected areas.

          Major challenges to Africa elephant conservation include trade restrictions that have adversely affected sustainable utilisation of elephants at local levels. As such, local communities suffer human elephant conflict as they adopt alternative land use options such as crops, agriculture, which conflict with elephant conservation in the range areas as elephants destroy crops, compete for forage with livestock and threaten their livelihoods and food security.

          The search for a lasting solution to challenges posed by elephants is one of the most significant conservation challenges facing many governments in the Southern African region, the home to the largest number of elephants in the world. About 75% of the African elephant populations are found within the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontiner Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).

          Zimbabwe, along with partner counties of the KAZA TFCA supports inclusive and robust elephant population management following the dictates of our National Elephant Management Plan and the African Elephant Action Plan and sustainable use of our natural resources including elephants. The Ministers approved the KAZA TFCA Elephant Planning Framework as a strategy for harmonising the management of KAZA TFCA elephants as a contiguous population. We are in the process of developing a similar framework for the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GL TFCA).

          We will continue to champion the development of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) with partner countries in the region to ensure ecological connectivity necessary for the survival of elephants, recognising the movement of corridors and transboundary dispersal areas. As a conservation champion, we will continue to honour our obligations for the development of transboundary conservation initiatives such as the Kavango Zambezi TFCA (Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe), the Great Limpopo TFCA (Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe), the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA (Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe), Chimanimani TFCA (Mozambique and Zimbabwe), Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools (Zimbabwe and Zambia), ZIMOZA (Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

          We also remain grateful to the Peace Parks Foundation, Frankfurt Zoological Society, European Union, the German Government through KfW and GiZ and several other conservation partners working with us in these initiatives that are contributing to elephant range expansion for the pivotal role they are playing and supporting us to realise the shared vision.

          At COP18, Zimbabwe submitted a proposal for the revision of Annotation 2 pertaining to proposing to open up trade in ivory from its stockpile and at the same time, the African Elephant Coalition Group is proposing to up the list of elephants in Appendix I. Zimbabwe is going to defend its current listing in Appendix II and at the same time push for the opening up of trade in elephant ivory. Zimbabwe is lobbying other countries that support the principle of sustainable utilisation for support at the upcoming CITES COP18.

          KASANE ELEPHANT SUMMIT

          The summit whose theme was “towards a common vision for management of our elephants” focused on the management of the shared KAZA elephant population was held from 2nd to 7th May 2019. The specific objectives of the summit were to raise awareness on the current status of the African elephant in the Southern African region; exchange of ideas on human-elephant conflict, illegal and legal trade, and reach agreement on concrete interventions to address the challenges posed.

          We reflected on the status of the African elephants in the KAZA TFCA and noted that while overall numbers have declined, it is evident from available data that countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe have large populations. Namibia and Zambia populations are increasing while Angola has a small population.

          We further noted that even as numbers continue to grow, human elephant conflict is escalating in much of the elephant range due to competition for limited resources and the effects of climate change. The conflict is aggravated by inadequate local level participatory land use planning and conflicting land use policies. It was also recognised that communities are often not adequately empowered to deal with this conflict.

          We also noted with concern, the recent upsurge in illegal offtake of elephants on much of the  African continent.  If this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, it will pose a very real threat to the survival of this iconic species in much of its range.

          We also acknowledged that the African elephant has been the subject of much discussion in international fora such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of fauna and flora (CITES).  The conditions for trade in elephants and their parts and derivatives have been the subject of often acrimonious debate with onerous conditions being placed upon those countries whose elephant populations are currently on Appendix II.  Efforts by Southern African elephant range  states to sustainably manage their populations are subjected to constant media scrutiny which often does not take into consideration the aspirations of the KAZA range States.  We had a general understanding that communities deserve to derive benefits from the sustainable utilisation of natural resources including elephants, particularly since they are the ones who bear the brunt of living side by side with these elephants.  In reaching agreement on the specific actions to be taken to manage the KAZA elephants, we recognised the principle of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of the respective partner States, acknowledged the variable state of readiness of KAZA partner States to adopt all resolutions and noted the uneven distribution and abundance of elephants across the KAZA landscape.  We further resolved to:-

·       conduct transboundary coordinated and synchronised KAZA wide

aerial surveys of elephant (and other wildlife populations) according to standardised methodologies to allow comparability across the KAZA landscape;

·       harmonise management of elephants as much as possible while

taking into account national peculiarities and priorities;

·       provide for integrated land use planning and harmonisation of land

use policies at KAZA level;

·       provide incentives for communities to continue tolerating and co-

existing with elephants;

·       ensure that the management of elephants is adaptive;

·       standardise approaches to stockpile management;

·       improve regional collaboration on wildlife crime through

implementation of the Southern African Development Community Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching Strategy;

·       Engage transit and destination countries to address issues of

demand reduction for illegal ivory;

·       Effectively engage the international community on matters related

to elephant conservation and management including lobbying for support for the proposals submitted by KAZA member States to CITES CoP 18.

Mr. President, next week starting this Sunday 23rd to 25th June, we will be hosting the first Wildlife Economy Summit coordinated by the African Union and the United Nations Environment Programme.  This will be hosted in Victoria Falls.  The summit is going to present a platform for Zimbabwe to showcase its wildlife conservation successes, share its principle of sustainable conservation and at the same time highlight the share of Zimbabwe’s position on elephant management as we prepare for CITES CoP18.  Wildlife Economy drives rural development and prosperity through the sustainable utilisation of wildlife resources, the socio-economic benefits of wildlife tourism and other diverse services offered by the conservation industry including taxidermy players that are involved in processing of wildlife products.

          Its outputs are linked to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP 2018-2020) for Zimbabwe and the vision of making Zimbabwe a middle income economy by 2030.  It is further linked to Government’s biodiversity targets under the National Biodiversity Action Plan because Zimbabwe is endowed with abundant and diverse wildlife resources.  There is a great opportunity to grow the wildlife economy.

          Mr. President Sir, with these submissions, allow me to invite Hon. Members and colleagues in wildlife prone areas to make use of my Ministry’s presence to educate and empower them on human/wildlife conflict.  My Ministry is empowering communities to benefit from their flora and fauna.  I would like to inform the House that at this summit in Victoria Falls, there are various topics, presentations and engagements.  There is a particular one on Sunday 23rd at the Elephant Hills at 0900 hrs where there will be a discussion involving communities and traditional leaders.  I would urge those available to participate so that we talk about the effect of wildlife on our communities and how we propose to ensure that the communities participate and are engaged in any discussions involving human wildlife communities and the economy. 

          Thank you Mr. President, for this opportunity to present my paper in this august House.  We realised as a Ministry, that there were many discussions and questions about elephants and a lot of people are not very informed about what is going on as far as wildlife, in particular elephant situation is in the country.  I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTYPRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you very much Hon. Minister for that very topical and educative statement.  I am sure that Hon. Senators have appreciated it.  Hon. Senators, are there any clarifications that you may want from the Minister?

          HON. SEN. MAVETERA:  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  It is not a clarification but to commend the Minister for the statement.  What is disturbing is, we got statistics that we have stock loads of tusks worth $300 for elephants and rhinos respectively.  I think that as a country we should at these international for a, try to push people because we cannot be punished for being good and we should benefit as a country.  I think that when we attend these international fora we should be pushing for national interest because that is one of our competitiveness and we have to benefit.

          Imagine if we had to offload this, it would help us in resolving most of our problems.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN CHIEF SIANSALI:  Mine is just some clarity to say to the Minister, before she even made this statement, there was a lot of talk from the traditional leaders, especially those from Matabeleland North where I represent to say, by Monday not a single chief had been invited to the summit.  Most of the chiefs in Matabeleland North live adjacent to national parks and they are the ones who are witnessing those human wildlife conflicts.

          I do not know whether or not the Minister, now that she has stated that on Sunday is when we will have that topical issue between traditional leaders then I felt involved; if I am not invited as a Senator Chief from the same area, I wonder if there is any another chief and if there are any traditional leaders that are going to attend?  May be, if the Hon. Minister could furnish the House with the names of those who got invitations to the summit.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA:  Thank you very much Mr. President and not to put the Minister in a tight corner as I am also a Chief Senator from the area.  My area is next to the national park and we have just been hearing about this wildlife summit that is coming up.

          My question is more about the KAZA initiative, we have been hearing a lot about so much funds that were supposed to benefit communities at Government level.  There were still talks to unlock those funds.  How far is that moving?  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  Thank you Mr. President Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Members and our chiefs for the comments and questions.

          First of all, the summit is being organised by the African Union and United Nations Environment Programme.  We bid to be hosts and we won the bid, so we are happy about that move.  All the invitations are coming from the African Union and as late as this afternoon, with my team, the Permanent Secretary who is seated in the Gallery there, we have been fighting with the organisers that we need more representation from our own because this is an African continent and not a Zimbabwean issue.  We are Zimbabweans and being the Ministry responsible, we have been fighting to ensure that we get representation.

          As a Ministry, in the Lower House, there is a Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism.  We extended an invitation to the Committee and they will be sending four representatives and their clerk to the summit.  We also invited the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to represent us.  Yesterday, after presenting my statement in the Lower House, I must say that it was a very lively and positive debate with national interest from all political parties.  The debate was very lively and we had positive contributions and in the end, I just said no I must talk to these people in Nairobi that we need to include more people.  Today, I extended invitation to three Hon. Members from the Lower House whom I saw would assist us in our debate.  They showed passion and interest in the debate and I extended invitations to them.  I think earlier on you saw me going out to see the three Hon. Members whom I thought were fighting very hard in Zimbabwe’s corner.  Like the Hon. Member said, we have to put national interest first.

          We only heard this morning because that is outside the main agenda that there is a communities meeting on Sunday and that is when we were calling and finding out that there is that meeting scheduled for Sunday morning yet we were not even aware of it.  ‘Who are you including?’, because they are bringing communities from all over Africa and we then said no, we are going to invite our own community leaders to participate.  However in this House, we had extended two invitations; one to the President of the Chief’s Council and his deputy.  Those invitations went out a week or two ago and that is definite.  As I am debating, I am finding interest and since we just discovered today that there is a session on communities, we need to be properly represented, because that document or resolution from that discussion will then come to the main sessions on Monday and Tuesday where our President will be the guest of honour.  I am happy to say that we have three other Presidents who have confirmed and are coming.  These three will share a platform with our President.  These three presidents are from Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. They are coming to support the summit, showing how important the summit is. 

I am however very delighted and I will make sure that if there are chiefs who want to be present, I am going to make sure that they come to the summit but it is not because of me – we invited your leaders and hoped that you would communicate amongst yourselves. My team and I will extend extra invitations to those people living in the areas who can talk about elephants.  I think half of the people in here do not understand when we talk about elephants. One has to go to Gonarezhou, Mana Pools or Hwange to understand what we are talking about.  It is really a serious problem.

We are barred by other people to sell our own animals and yet we have this human-wildlife conflict.  I am sorry that the message is coming to you late but we are not closing the doors for our traditional leaders.  We had a big fight this morning with UN Environment saying we want our traditional leaders and the communities to come and explain what is happening.  We have also invited one of Director General for CITES.  We are going to move around with them to places where there are people living with animals so that they understand that people are suffering.  That is the issue on invitations.  I am still available to give the invitations to you.  We will defend and make sure that you participate in the discussion on Sunday at Elephant Hills at 0900 a.m.

There was an issue about the CAZA initiatives and the unlocking of values, it is a fact that we have been excluded from the rest of the world.  There were sanctions even including disbursement of funds to CAZA.  They would give other countries and exclude Zimbabwe, but since the coming in of this new dispensation, and certainly during my time, we have engaged to include the British. I am happy to tell you that the British Secretary for Environment and Tourism is coming to this summit.  I received a letter today stating that he wants to sit with CAZA and see that we unlock what was locked for Zimbabwe.  EU and Germans have also warmed to us. 

It is a lot of engagement going to these countries putting the Zimbabwe story and so far the response has been positive.  I know that the EU has said that they are unlocking the money which was locked for Zimbabwe only.  As CAZA, we were not working very well with Botswana but I am happy to say that the new Minister of Environment and the President are very positive and they are seeing things Zimbabwe views as very important and we are working together.  Even before the summit on Sunday, we are going to have a CAZA Minister’s meeting, and we will later on have a SADC Ministers’ meeting so that we have a common position when we go to CITES.

We are fighting with people without animals and they will sell, do not sell but we have a lot of them and we want to sell – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, order. Can we listen to the Minister?

HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA:  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  These various initiatives like going to Kasane Summit talking, and now we have an opportunity; everybody is coming to Zimbabwe for this very important summit.  We must make sure that we are well represented, we present well and make sure that as CAZA we benefit. 

What is very important is that the local communities must benefit.  I had an incident when I went to Gonarezhou last week.  I spent three days there and I learnt a lot.  I would urge the Legislators to also take time to go and understand what we have as Zimbabwe.  When I went there, they were explaining to me.  The issue of animals is not a joke.  There are so many lions, hyenas, you name it - other than the elephant.  Elephants will just destroy property.  We are trying to erect fences in certain areas so that we protect humans from the wildlife but there is a lot of community projects that are going on.

As a Ministry, we are going to re-launch the CAMPFIRE project in a big way so that the people living with the animals benefit.  It cannot be that our lions or elephants are for tourists.  Yes, I want tourists to come but the people must also benefit.  We have a project in Tsholotsho where we are building tented lodges for the communities and viewing platforms so that when visitors come, the community benefits.  That way also, our community becomes the first line anti-poaching and we need to educate and inform the whole country to rally behind supporting the initiatives which we want to make sure that we can trade.

We need $600 million which is locked, but we cannot get it – we are not allowed.  I thank you Mr. President. 

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON.  SEN. MUPFUMIRA) the Senate adjourned at Twelve Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 16th July, 2019.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 20 JUNE 2019 VOL 28 NO 55