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SENATE HANSARD - 20 OCTOBER 2009 VOL. 19 NO. 2

 

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 20th October, 2009

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

 

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I have to inform hon. senators to switch off their cell phones before business commences.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

SENATOR MUTSVANGWA: I move the motion standing in my name that a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows:-

May it please you, your Excellency the President:

We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

SENATOR MANDAVA: I second.

SENATOR MUTSVANGWA: I would like to hail the President for a successful delivery of his speech on the Second Session of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe. Once again our President succeeded in pronouncing the successes and challenges faced by the Inclusive Government.

On the Constitutional Making Process which came out of Article 6 in the Global Political Agreement (GPA), there is a lot of progress. We have seen enhancement of management, which will lead to efficiency, capacity and inclusivity in the Constitution making process.

On the restoration of economic stability, the Government came up with the Short Term Economic Recovery Programme (STERP) to transform the economy of Zimbabwe. We have seen a lot of challenges but at the same time we have come up with another one - a Medium Term Plan to succeed STERP, together with a 3 Year Macro Economic Framework, which is supposed to usher in the transition from the economic stabilization mode to a growth and development one.

Mr President, on the road traffic accidents resulting in loss of lives, I urge the Government to introduce measures to regulate the conduct of motorists - the phased ban on the importation of second hand cars, ban on use of re-treaded tyres on public service vehicles is hailed.

On road construction - as you know that what causes the accidents is not just the tyres, it is about road construction and maintenance of these roads. With the recent introduction of tolls, we hope and trust that the money which is going to ZINARA would be put to good use to make sure that our roads are constructed and well maintained. They will not cause a lot of accidents and loss of life. The Railways Act will be amended during this session and more deterrent penalties for theft and vandalism will be put in place. The National Railways Authority will be established for regulation and licensing of service providers.

There is need to guarantee national food security. Whilst an estimated 1,3 million tonnes was produced - which is a 70% increase, we still need to supplement, we need more inputs. With the summer season upon us, it is critical that Government ensures that this US$210 million facility and US$70 million facility for the supply of inputs are quickly disbursed by the banks. We are happy that the Government will continue to give attention to agricultural mechanisation and irrigation development especially in case of droughts.

The mining sector is grappling with challenges of constraints in the supply of equipment, which has become obsolete. However, there are positive steps and these are prices which are firming on international markets, increased gold deliveries, which should also be followed by quick payment.

Coal special grants for exploration will boost power generation. On the diamond industry - so far there are two serious investors and this will bring progress to Chiadzwa. We should ensure orderly relocation of the families to pave way for full scale mining. The moved families should benefit continuously from the Chiadzwa diamonds and local people should be employed.

Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill - ownership rights should be broadened in line with indigenisation and economic empowerment.

The manufacturing sector has been in the doldrums due to shortages of capital, theerratic supply of utility enablers"like water, electricity, fuel and transport. Alleviation of excessiŶe high charges should come fr࡯m government's efforts tɯ realign public utility and servɩce cha2ges toregional levels. `Th䁥re shoѵld be more credit䀠lines. We should promůte value efition and productivity in the sector.

There should be rehabi䁬ɩtatign oŦ Hwange Power Station and resuscitation of small 4hermal power sѴatio䁮s.耠 Thepe is ቮeed of expansion of Kariba Po䁷er station and Gokwe and Coalbed Methane Power Project and Hydro Power Station. Ethanol blending, jatropha bio-diesel production will be expanded.

Mr President, we all agree that information is power and if we do not have it, then our people will not be empowered and as such our people will continue having problems. Mr President, we hail the setting up of information centres which will be established in all the ten provinces thus giving access to the public.

Mr President, tourism is a major factor in turning around the country's economy and income to this country, as such, it is very important for the private sector to continue to maintain this industry with the help of government. The UN World Tourism organisation will help the government in the development of tourism products so that tourism can be boosted during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer. Zimbabwe has unique products when it comes to tourism.

On the SMEs, we would like to see more capacity - as a lot of our people are not formally employed and yet there is a lot going on in the informal sector . Government should continue looking for funding. There are 14 common facility centres that will be established in all provinces to provide state of the art carpentry and metal fabrication machinery in rural areas, which will certainly boost SMEs. There is a lot going on there. Mr President Sir, I am a Senator from Chimanimani and and we do have lot of timber there and there is a lot of carpentry going on. We hope government will provide carpentry machinery so that they start fabricating furniture et cetera, which will lead to improving people's lives.

Mr President, a massive exodus of skilled manpower from this country has caused a lot of drawback in the economic development. It is critically important for government to embark on a programme for the mobilisation, recapitalisation and retention of those skilled manpower. This is critical for sustainable economic recovery.

The amendment to Education Act is hailed - we all know that a lot of sad stories have happened as many students have failed to register for exams, some of whom have spent more than ten years sitting in schools and will not be able to sit for the exams. We hope the amendment to the Education Act will address the payment of fees and tuition fees. With the little production that we have in the country and the introduction of multiple currencies, we all understand how difficult it is for our people to be able to pay fees for their children.

Mr President, the capacity of public sector to deliver services is critical and we hope as they say heads of ministries will sign performance agreements for their budgetary purposes and with this we hope to see efficiency. We also understand that a lot of public servants are going through very difficult times with the meagre salaries that they are getting. We hope as things will improve, we will definitely give civil servants a salary which is bench marked against the poverty datum line.

On housing and social amenities - it is very important for government to identify land especially peri-urban land, which will be availed to land developers, housing cooperatives and all other stakeholders, so that our people will be housed, which is something of fundamental importance.

On youths - there is no country which can fully develop leaving the youths behind. We need to equip our youth with the necessary skills, vocational training policies and relevant curriculum should be reviewed. We need more of our youths in schools, rather than having them in the streets. The re-introduction of the National Youth Service Programme will certainly enhance their participation in peace building and national development.

Mr President, on the SADC Protocol and Gender Development adopted by SADC Heads of State in 2008, Zimbabwe is a signatory to this protocol and I am glad we all agreed to this protocol. It seeks to ensure promotion and protection of the rights of women and elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. We need to ensure that our women are given equal opportunities.

On the diplomatic front Mr President, I want to hail our President for his efforts through SADC, COMESA , et cetera to continue to broaden cooperation and integration and continue to engage our partners on a bilateral level through Joint Commissions. We expect the countries that have imposed illegal sanctions which have made and continue to make our people suffer to remove them. I also want to hail the President for a successful visit to 63rd General Assembly in New York and to the AGAS (African Group Summit) in Venezuela. Once again, he succeeded in putting Zimbabwe on the International Diplomatic map after years of attempted isolation by proponents and practitioners of illegal regime change.

The Parliament of Zimbabwe salutes the President for standing firm in the course of Pan Africanism and Zimbabwe's Defence of what is rightfully Zimbabwe's heritage, especially on the land issue in the face of detractors and other negative forces in western media like CNN and BBC. He put the record straight and correct.

We are proud of our President's public defence and we salute him as an enduring Icon of Zimbabwe and Africa, as the Mother Continent re-awakens to a glorious renaissance and find its proper and rightful place in world affairs, which will ride on South - South solidarity where the majority of human kind resides as well as its very rich natural resources.

Yes, Zimbabwe will remain in a positive stance to enter into fresh, friendly and cooperation relations with all including those that have been hostile. As a sovereign state, it is our sovereign right to preside over our socio-economic development with support of genuine and well meaning partners. United, we should be united, work hard purposefully, and let us build bridges of friendship, forgiveness, trust and togetherness. Zimbabwe will have a great future of friendship, trust and togetherness.

SENATOR MANDAVA: Mr President, I rise to make my contribution to the Presidential speech on the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament following the formation of the Inclusive government, Thematic and Sub Committees, the establishment of Media and Anti Corruption and Human Rights Commissioners.

My contribution will be centered on the women. Whilst it is customarily known and accepted that the woman's place is in the kitchen, this legacy will live on whether we like it or not for it is the woman that is concerned about everyone's welfare in the family. What will be on the table for everyone to eat? who has had a bath? where will we sleep? what shall we wear? has the rent and rates been paid? has the school fees been paid? The list goes on especially if we are to take the scourge of HIV/AIDS into consideration. Most houses are headed by women or the girl child.

Our God given Honourable R.G. Mugabe with powers and wisdom vested in him has always been in the forefront of empowering women since Independence. A lot has been done, the Age of Majority Act, the Maintenance Act, the Matrimonial Causes Act and Domestic Violence Act are testimony to the President's will to empower women. The President in his opening speech still reiterated that more needs to be done.

The President reminded legislators about the ratification of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, which seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and promote and protect the rights of women. For women to fulfill their role of being the legacy of the family's welfare, which authentically becomes the nations' welfare, women must be empowered by being given land, vital farming inputs in order to generate more food. It is sad to hear the slogan "No collateral, no loans" cited by the banks. NGOs are still leading the food security issue whilst pursuing their own agenda.

Addressing the Women Economic Forum, the President stated the need to craft appropriate legislation that will remove the minor status of women when it comes to loans, distribution of land and agricultural inputs by banks. Our President is indeed serious about empowering women for he is constant about this very important issue. He reminds men and women to be serious about women empowerment for 'iwe neni tine basa' in the role. The process of drafting a new constitution is another crucial platform to use in this regard. I plead with this august House to take the President's words seriously, irrespective of gender, religion, social or political affiliation to input valuable information that will empower the women.

The call for 50\50 % sounds scary to some people when we actually live it, no family activity succeeds without the nod from the mother or woman of that family. Let this role be acknowledged by legislation, affirmative action and so on. What we reap will not be regrettable. The various Acts to be drafted, repealed or ratified this session should take that into cognisance and address women empowerment.

Let the inputs stacked at GMB depots be accessed soon. Rehabiliation of irrigation equipment should be ongoing. The re-engagement of the European block should bring us fishing equipment and teaching us to fish rather than give us fish.

Let unity, love and prosperity be everyone's genuine wish for the success of our beloved country.

THE GOVERNOR FOR HARARE METROPOLITAN : I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st October, 2009.

On the motion of THE GOVERNOR FOR HARARE METROPOLITAN, the Senate adjourned at Three O'clock p.m.

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Senate Hansard Vol. 19 SENATE HANSARD - 20 OCTOBER 2009 VOL. 19 NO. 2