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SENATE HANSARD 22 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 65

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 22nd June, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

VISITORS IN THE SENATE GALLERY

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to acknowledge the presence in the President of the Senate’s Gallery, of the delegation from Swaziland, Hon. Titus Thwala, leader of the delegation, Hon. Sikhumbuzo Dlamini and Mr. Mpendulo Ngcamphalala. You are most welcome  – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]  -

OFFICIAL OPENING OF BATANAI PRIMARY SCHOOL

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform Hon. Members from Manicaland Province that the Official Opening of Batanai Primary School in Headlands Constituency, Manicaland Province which was scheduled for the 30th June, 2017 has been brought forward to 29th June, 2017 at 1000 hours.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. May the Hon. Minister enlighten us on Government policy as regards the issue of roadblocks? We read in the press that we are only going to have 40, what about the prevalence of the robberies in this country?  How are you going to contain that? Thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFARS (HON. MGUNI):  We have been receiving a lot of complaints on too many roadblocks around the country where people were alleging that it is disturbing tourism.  Some people were saying roadblocks are delaying school children to get to schools.  Some came late to work saying they were delayed by these road blocks.  So, in Cabinet, the issue of roadblocks was discussed vividly and we decided to scale them down in the form that I would like to explain now.  We would like to have four standard roadblocks per province.  What is a standard road block?  It is a roadblock that could be mounted permanently with drums, boom gates, warning lights to ensure that there is police ahead. 

          However, according to the Commissioner General’s powers, he may shift them depending on what he thinks and where they should be strategically mounted but we would like to monitor a maximum of four standard roadblocks per province.  We have got what we call spot checks, whereby police patrol an area and come up with a conclusion that, that area is a hot spot.  When we call an area a hot spot, it is an area where crimes and accidents usually happen.  Then the Commissioner General has powers to plan when to put those spot checks but spot checks are not permanent.  Spot checks can last for thirty minutes or six hours.  It is varying because police is security, so no one should predict that by now they are there.  Then we have got highway patrols, depending on the vehicles available, they will be patrolling the highway.

We are scaling down roadblocks to that number because we have done our work on the integration side, whereby VID, ZINARA, et cetera we must integrate.  Hon. Minister Chombo will be making a groundbreaking ceremony at a place which we call Electronic Traffic Management System.  Most of the things will be electronically managed.  Even the police at the roadblocks will not carry books, it is a gadget similar to a cellphone where if the driver does not put a belt, you now punch the code and that receipt is also printed in the traffic management system centre.  This means that we are trying to eradicate corruption from our own police officers so that everything is transparent and accountable.  Everybody will see a change, we want the easy ways of doing business.  We want traffic flow; a lot of people now think that police is hindering the easy ways of doing business in Zimbabwe.  Thank you Madam President.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA:  Madam President, what the Hon. Minister is saying is that police officers are supposed to be in hiding.  Is that what they doing, for example where there are flushing lights that show that there are police ahead.  However, the flushing lights are always so faint. Is it because police officers are hiding or it is because you did not notice that the police officer could be in danger as well as the motorist?    I do not know why they are like that. I have been to South Africa and their signals are clear as compared to ours. The system here is poor.  I have heard that there are traffic police who died due to this problem.  What is lacking on this within your Ministry?

HON. MGUNI: Most of our gadgets that we are using at the moment like those blue lights are imported from South Africa.  However, probably it could be the maintenance and systems or they supply us with lights that are not of high quality as she is comparing to other countries, but we have to improve on our lighting systems because the four standard road blocks I talked about have to be quite visible.  These ones are not hidden. I have even said that they should carry the banners showing ‘Police Ahead’ after maybe 800 metres, ‘Police Ahead’ 200 metres, ‘Police Ahead’ 80 metres.  Those things must be there on a standard road block.  It will be clear and the people will know that there is a road block before they reach there.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  When I was coming from Holiday Inn yesterday, I saw three police bikes and they had spikes by the robots.  They wanted to throw them at a commuter omnibus that was infront of us and we nearly had an accident.  We nearly rammed into that commuter omnibus and they left.  What is the policy on these spikes?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  A spike, even if you go to other countries, whether it is South Africa or Swaziland – they are far advanced anyway.  When you approach a national key point which is a place with high security, the spikes are used to control traffic that you cannot drive through unless that spike is removed by the form of mechanical intervention where you swipe your card or by a human being after you comply with everything that is needed. 

A spike cannot be thrown into a moving vehicle according to the law.  It must be laid down on the ground to control the vehicle to stop.  Now, what happens in South Africa – I want to copy the South African style.  There is an electronic system that we will introduce when we are integrated; when a vehicle passes on top of a spike, it detects a red light showing that, that vehicle may not have paid its licence or it is known in South Africa.  Then those who are about 400 meters will be telephoned to inform them about this vehicle.  That is when the driver will see a spike on the ground when he is approaching.

The dispute that I have come across in Zimbabwe most of the times is that – I am not sure whether the tax driver refuses to stop and then police run to throw the spike.  If it is like that, we issued a statement that it is illegal to throw a spike on a moving vehicle.  We said this is constituting three years imprisonment of a police officer.  I think everyone saw it.  It was there in the Herald and in the Chronicle because we wanted to clarify.  If it is laid on the road and the driver decides to drive on top of it, that driver is reckless.  He needs to be charged because he is carrying about 17 people in his vehicle and he does not care to use flat tyres.  He continues running on top of the spike. That is where it is Madam President.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  It was mentioned that heavy vehicles should not travel after 6 p.m. in Zimbabwe but they still continue to move on the roads after 6 p.m.  What do you say about it? What is the policy on heavy haulage on travelling during the night?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  My Ministry may not be the custodian of that regulation but we are there to enforce.  If the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development decides to implement that to protect carnages and horrific accidents that are happening on the roads, the police will wait to enforce.

Remember, we are not the ones who also put the regulation which says that vehicles must have licences but police are just enforcing to see that the vehicle has pays a licence.  I heard that the trucks that have been stopped are fuel trucks and not every truck because others must move.  The fuel trucks have been stopped because of that horrific accident that happened in Ngundu. 

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  My question goes to the Minister of Home Affairs.  First of all, I want to thank you about the reduction of police on the road. Now that you are going to have a very huge surplus of our police officers, how do you intend to utilise them especially those from the roads?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  This question has been coming up from all the studios and so forth.  We do not have a surplus.  We have never employed any more new officers.  We said the spot checks – the Commissioner General will determine where they have to go and check. There will be high-way patrols.  They have actually applied to purchase more vehicles so that the police are on the high-way patrol.  The police cannot be short of having something to do; they have got a lot to do especially on the roads.

The statistics of Zimbabwe where people die most is not in hospitals.  It is on the roads and so the police have profiled that we need to stop corruption on the roads, we need to stop these carnages.  I thank you.

*HON. MAWIRE:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  Minister, we are hearing stories about bogus police roadblocks that have become a challenge in Zimbabwe.  How then are we supposed to know that this is a standard roadblock and this one is a bogus roadblock?  How can we tell the difference?  May you assist us on that?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you very much Madam President.  That is a much debated question at the moment.  However, the integration system that I promise will be in place within a month, it is electronic, whereby a bogus police officer will never get a gadget to be linked into the server of that system.  Therefore clearly, everyone will see that this is a bogus roadblock because they will try to use books and manual things yet, it is no longer manual because they cannot get hold of those things and they are not linked.  They are not dispatched from the integrated system.  So, we are trying to eradicate that.  That is why we brought this new system so that there is nothing like that which happens.  We have got to seriously enforce against the abuse of police uniforms which a former member will put on and try and go and pose as a police officer on duty.  That one we are very strict on. 

I think you read from the newspaper today that we caught a high ranking member of the police force who was trying to manufacture those books to give out receipts.  So, we are on it, we are dealing with that.  We actually want to finalise all those cases and arrest and imprison them.  Thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. NCUBE:  Thank you Madam President.  Let me just divert to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  We hear there is a shortage of the birth control pill that is called Marvell.  What plans do you have because a lot of women are going to the clinics and that pill is not found?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you very much Madam President and I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for her question.  It is true that some contraceptive tablets, from time to time, we have shortages and that worries us because women get used to a particular type of tablet and it is good that that continuity is there.

In this particular case, we are in the process of making sure that the particular pill that she is talking about is made available as soon as possible because it is important that all the rural areas get the same type of tablet that is received here because a lot of our drugs come as donations and we are very careful that we have some continuity so that a woman does not jump from one tablet to another.  That is why sometimes you get some of these shortages.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  Thank you very much Madam President.  My question goes to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  It is now two years after the disappearance of Itai Dzamara.  We would like to get an update of how far the search has gone. Secondly, how much time is taken for a person to be declared dead if he has been reported missing?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Madam President.  The police and Dzamara’s family formed a committee that is still working on the case.  So, we asked them to report, every month, how far they are and they are giving us reports and leads.  However, there have been leads coming in and the police would go and investigate and find out that it is not fruitful.

To declare that a person is dead, it is about the police submitting a report with the family, agreeing with the family, that now we have exhausted all means to investigate and what should we do; should we declare the person dead?  We cannot, as police, just close a case and say the person is dead, because the person comes from a family.  It needs to be agreed with the family to do the correct declaration.  I thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  What plans have you put in place to ensure that those that would have died as a result of road traffic accidents or those that would have been injured will not have their properties stolen by those that come to assist them.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Madam President.  When an accident occurs, the nearest police should go there to help or react.  Therefore, we will be knowing who went there. 

I just want to give you an example of a pastor and his wife who had an accident while driving towards Bulawayo from Harare.  Luckily when he left Harare someone saw that in his wallet there was US$500.  We could trace the police officers that attended the scene because the next of kin from Bulawayo, who went there to receive the body, saw that the wallet was empty, but the people from here saw that he left with US$500.  So, we had to track them because we know who went there. 

So, we have got a strong following system that we know who attended the scene because there is radio communication when there is an accident.  That happens so that we can see who read the communication, who disseminated the information to who.  We will be knowing the people and all those police.  It is unfortunate that one of them passed away while he was to go to court.  He was taken to court and on his way to court, he passed away.  It is also a lesson that once you do something bad, because we are from a society that is full of, even not police – Madam President, can I explain a little bit that it is not only police who may arrive at the scene of accident first, also some pedestrians or some motorists can arrive before the police and usually the society that we have now, can search a dead person and take his belongings.  But it is a lesson that if you do it sometimes God is looking at you and you will die like this policeman who we had arrested. 

Already we had investigated and said go to court, he passed away.  That is what happened but we have got a thorough system that can track who attended the scene.  Thank you Madam President.

          +HON. SEN. KHUMALO: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Hon. Minister, why is it that when a child is ill because of malnourishment, the Government hospitals do not attend to such children.  At the end of the day, such children will be transferred to private hospitals.  We visited some institutions and we realised that this is what is happening on the ground.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo for that very intriguing question.  When children come to the hospitals and they are malnourished, especially in our Government institutions, they are weighed properly, assessed using the circumference of the arm, taken the height and they are pegged to see what degree of malnutrition they may have.  They do all this to find whether it is malnutrition in terms of kwashiorkor or it is just severe malnutrition.  Certainly, at Harare and Mpilo Hospitals, there is a programme to nourish those children; to give them nourishment through enhanced feeding over time and also to find out why they are malnourished.  Usually it is because of poverty. 

          Usually, it is because of poverty that children are not fed well and they are fed with the wrong food, it may be a lot of food but wrong food.  So, you will find their skins begin to peel off and have big tummies but not those healthy tummies.  Some people may mistake that for being a healthy child when in fact it is a malnourished and kwashiorkor child. 

          In our institutions we assist and ensure they are put into those nutrition villages and fed properly and look at the socio-economic circumstances surrounding that particular child.  In the private sector, usually they refer back to us.  They do not actually take much cognisance; they refer back to the public sector.  We believe that some of the private institutions should also take charge and also have those nutrition villages to cater for those people.  Usually those who go to the private sectors are people who can afford.  Children malnourishment is not really usually in the private sector but we find it more in the public sector.

          +HON. SEN. KHUMALO: What I am talking about happens in Government hospitals.  For example, in Murehwa when we went there they said they do not have treatment.  Therefore, they transfer those children to private mission hospitals because they do not have any assistance to those children.  So, what happens with such cases when there is a nutritionist nearby?  The Government hospitals do not have the capacity to take care of these children and attend to them.  Why do these Government hospitals refer these children to mission hospitals?  Why is it not the other way round?

          HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: I think that particular question if it pertains to Murehwa hospital, we have to go and investigate and find out why they are referring to the mission institutions.

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Minister, what are the key critical issues in the proposed Public Health Bill to enhance the Public Health Act.  What is delaying the Ministry to bring the Bill to Parliament?

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimhini for those two questions.  First of all the Public Health Bill is an important Bill.  The last Act of the Public Health Act was written in 1924, so we have been working flat out to make sure that it is now up to date in terms of the relevance to the situations that are here now.  Particularly, if you look at the new conditions, the new diseases, the new types of management that is needed, the decentralisation process that we have done in our institutions, the management process are key also.

          The Public Health Act or Bill that is now going to be coming to Parliament – it is good, I do not know whether you saw me bringing it.  It is already here.  It took long because it really had to have very wide consultations.  After that it then went to the Attorney General’s Office where it took some time for the legal people to make sure that the Public Health Act, when it becomes an Act does not impinge on other laws and then becomes a tussle.  It is a big document, so they had to be very thorough, very detailed and it took longer than most Bills take.  Some Bills take a shorter time, this one took a longer time because of consultations and the legalities involved because the Public Health Act will supersede a lot of other Acts.

          For example, if I invoke the Public Health Act and say Beitbridge town, we want you to clean up the city.  I can invoke the Public Health Act, but what it means is that Beitbridge Town Council should now clean up its city by force, if you see what I mean, because I have invoked that particular Act.  That sort of invocation impinges on other areas of governance.  So, it has to be thorough, that is why it took long.

          I am glad that on 14th June, 2017 it came back from the Attorney General’s Office.  It is going to Cabinet, next Tuesday and thereafter it comes to Parliament.

          *HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  Hon. Minister, may you enlighten us on the issue regards the artisanal miners who are performing their mining in illegal areas such as Chegutu and Gadzema.  A lot of people have died.  Why are you turning a blind eye to these actions that are taking place?  Is what they are doing legal or illegal?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The part that relate to Gadzema is a specific question, I do not know whether the people that are there are doing so on the basis of mining licences.  I will have to check and see whether they are properly constituted.  If it is the artisanal miners who we know that they mine everywhere and anywhere, this is the point I have made always that we need to have our people follow the legal systems.  There are areas that cannot be mined; areas that are close to the roads, hospitals, schools et cetera; those areas are not open to prospecting and pegging.  The artisanal miners do not have any boundaries, they just mine anywhere and everywhere and sometimes at their own risk.

          Just a few days ago, we lost people in Mazowe, 8 artisanal miners who were mining on concessions which belong to another mine.  The mine collapsed and they died in there.  This is the danger that every day is lurking over us because we do not know where people are and how they are mining and whether they are following the normal mining methods required in mining engineering. 

          Madam President, I want to use this opportunity to encourage our people – the artisanal miners as much as possible to try and register themselves so that we can assist them properly in scientific methods of sinking their shafts and mining so that they do not get mines collapsing on them.  I also want to take advantage and say there are disused mines which were sealed and closed because the mining resources had been exhausted.  Our artisanal miners are sinking sideways and they get into the tunnels and there are pillars – there is a system of mining called ‘the pillar and board system’, that system is where large pillars are used to hold the ceiling.  The pillars will have gold and they go there and destroy such pillars, when they destroy such pillars, the roof collapses and they die in there.  There is always a danger that they may be badly affected because sometimes when they destroy the pillar, they will not know it would be the only one left to support the ceiling; as a result it will collapse and they die.  I urge our people to take care when it comes to disused mines, mines that were abandoned and mines that have stopped operations; they should not go under the ground particularly when those mines are sealed.  They should not go underground because the danger is always there. I thank you Madam President.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF DANDAWA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  May you please explain to this Senate how many police officers should be manning each roadblock so that the road users may know what a genuine roadblock looks like?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): Thank you Madam President, the standard roadblock I described earlier on should have four officers going up. The highway patrols are allowed to stop a vehicle if it is suspicious; there could be two officers in that car or three officers and they can stop a suspicious car.  The driver could remain manning the vehicle, so only two officers can walk towards the suspicious vehicle and that is not a roadblock, it is a highway patrol.  Spot checks need about three officers upwards where they can stop a vehicle, even speeding vehicles because this is counted under spot check, that is when they have got machinery and they should be three upwards.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam President, my question goes to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Please advise whether from a policy perspective you will consider scraping off treacherous sections of tarmac roads in order to replace them with gravel in view of the state of some of the potholes on these tarmac roads until such time when we will be able to retard the roads.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MADANHA):  Thank you Madam President, I would like to start by thanking the Hon. Senator for asking a very important question.  When it comes to the condition of roads, what we should note is that most of our roads were built during the colonial era and most of them have not been completely rehabilitated since then.  It means most of our roads are in bad condition.  Roads are classified; we have earth roads, gravel roads and tarred roads.  So, if a road is classified as tarred, what simply needs to be done is to look for funds and rebuild the tarmac.  As Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, we are making all efforts to ensure that most of our roads are rehabilitated to their original conditions.  To this extend, we have extended an invitation to all private companies and all Zimbabweans to come and partner, be it with any entity responsible for road construction so that we can rebuild roads.  Let us all remember that the private sector which makes goods wants their goods to be moved from point A to point B.  So, their participation in public-private partnerships is crucial at this moment.  

Also we invited private companies to come and partner with us be it through build-operate and transfer schemes so that we can actually rebuild our roads.   We will not spend money to scrap the little tarmac which is there and put earth because with an earth road, just see in your constituencies, when you grade your road and two hours later there comes a downpour, the whole road is gone again. 

So, our effort and policy now is to actually rehabilitate the roads. We are making every effort through ZINARA, which is mandated to collect funds for road construction so that we can actually fund road constructions, besides the PPPs and BOTs that I have mentioned.  I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  Minister, I want to commend your Ministry, you are one of the Ministries which responds to reports of Portfolio and Thematic Committees.  You acted swiftly on the Chitungwiza Municipality.  The Municipality has been employing unqualified people all along in several departments at the expense of service delivery to the residents.  Can you update this Senate and the nation at large on the progress made so far by the Pawadyira Commission, whether it is going ahead or not?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you very much Madam President.  I want to thank the Hon. Senator for his question with regards to the progress so far in Chitungwiza.  I want to agree that the contribution by Parliamentary Committees has been very useful in helping us to also look at some of the areas.  It helped us as a Ministry and with specific regards to Chitungwiza.  In Chitungwiza, we are working and the Pawadyira Commission is in place.  We are also proceeding through the tribunal system to look at the cases that involve all the councillors who we suspended earlier on. 

The service delivery issues are still issues that we are grappling with.  For a very long time, I want to say to this august House that most of the residents or properties were not captured on the database of the town council to the extent that no rates and no services were also being given to those properties.  We are now in the process of capturing them and making sure that they are on the database.  Our Physical Planning department has been brought into Chitungwiza to assist the Pawadyira Commission with regards to looking at most of the areas that were pegged or allocated stands.  We still have a lot of challenges to try and get Chitungwiza right.

          The Commission is also looking at a number of areas and that includes the number of people who were hired.  We need to rationalise the staff and also look at whether those people who were hired were coming to work.  The town council is almost behind in terms of salaries to the tune of about 13 to 14 months.  The salaries have not been paid and service delivery is low.  We are grappling with road construction and road rehabilitation with some of the funds coming through from ZINARA but I must admit that we are still a long way to go with regards to getting the situation in Chitungwiza right.

Some of the areas of service delivery like water and so forth, there are some improvements in terms of attending to burst water pipes and sewage challenges but we still have a plethora of challenges because Chitungwiza had grown way beyond the capacity of management to look at.  Corruption had become quite endemic in the system and we are trying to deal with all these issues.  I thank you Madam President.

          *HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement.  Minister, you are aware that in our Zimbabwean Constitution, everyone has a right to good living conditions or land.  What about those that were born in farms and were left on these farms.  When are they going to be resettled because they are not living peacefully in those farms.  I thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. W. CHIKWAMA):  Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Member for such a good question.  The issues of workers and their families that were on the farms - in other areas, they were accommodated or allocated the farms but in other areas, they have not been allocated or some of them turned down the offers.  Some of them were stubborn and if an A2 piece of land were to be found, they could work as workers of the new land owner but the majority of them were not willing to do that. 

Our Ministry’s policy is that, those that have not been allocated land, a list be compiled and those that are problematic, once the land has been identified, some will be resettled.  It is not all of us that will be allocated land because we are running out of land but we are certain that some will get some land.  Those that are on the land, I urge you to employ such workers.  I thank you.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  I would like to appeal to Hon. Senators not to give a lengthy preamble before you pose your question because we would like as many Senators as possible to ask questions, please.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam President.  Could I find out from the Minister that, looking at the conditions of living in those settlements, what could be done to alleviate potential time bomb in terms of things like cholera and other serious outbreaks.  I know that it may not be directly your question, but it is in your lands.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  That is not your question.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  In our Constitution, we are wayward in terms of the Constitution as provincial councils are concerned; as he comes up with the alignment of the laws to the Constitution that fall under his purview in his Ministry, is he going to assist us the disabled to have representation in the areas such as provincial, metropolitan councils and other bodies.  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Through you Madam President, I would want to thank our Senator who asked such a pertinent question regarding the people living with disabilities.  He talked about representation on provincial councils and metropolitan councils. 

Let me start by saying that we are in the process, through Hon. Ncube’s Ministry that deals with rural development so that we can sit down.  We are trying to come up with a law that is in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  Over and above that, it is lawful that all persons, including those that are disabled are part and parcel of the number of persons that live with disabilities in the metropolitan councils.  We also want to empower our councils and capacitate them so that we have representation of such people as that could assist the councils as they come up with their own policies.  We will be strongly looking in that direction to increase the number of representatives for those with disabilities.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Dr. Parirenyatwa.  On paediatrics, access to the state of the art medicine for those suffering from diabetes, just like those suffering from HIV; why is it that they are not entitled to also access free medical treatment?

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Madam President, I just wanted him to repeat the last part of the question.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  This is why I always beg Hon. Senators to pose your questions instead of giving us a preamble.  Could you please repeat your question?

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA:  I thank you.  The question is a comparison policy on those diabetic children and those with HIV – the diabetic ones are not getting state of the art medicine free of charge like their counterparts.  That is the question.

          HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Madam President.  We are aware that HIV treatment to all patients, pediatric or adults; whether you are diabetic or in the case of an adult if you a hypertensive, it does not matter as long as you are supposed to get treatment for HIV; you will get it across the board. It does not matter whether you are diabetic or not.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: The question is  -why do you not provide treatment for the diabetic children in the same way you provide treatment for the HIV positive children?

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Diabetes is a chronic disease like hypertension or cancer. Our policy is that for all chronic illnesses, the patient should pay half the price of the normal price for that particular condition. In terms of diabetes, that is the same thing that occurs. For children the question that is being posed is - why do those children who are diabetic also not get free treatment? I want to propose here that it may need a policy change. It sounds quite reasonable for children and I think that there are very few children picked up with diabetes early. So, it should be a policy that we should be able to encompass and look into. Thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: My question goes to the Minister of Health. What is the policy with regard to patients who are economically disadvantaged and vulnerable? They seek medical attention at a clinic and qualify for free medical service. They are then referred to a district hospital, provincial and end up at a central hospital, say Harare or Mpilo and stay there for three months. When they are discharged, a bill of $4 000 follows and are threatened with these attachments and executions. What is the policy?

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira for that very pertinent question. We want to insist on a referral system. If a patient is referred from a clinic to a district hospital, for example up to a central hospital like has been said, because they have followed that chain, we then say that patient should not be penalised at the central hospital. When they are admitted for a long period, what is then asked from them is usually the hotel payment. Otherwise the drug treatment, diagnosis and consultations are not usually paid for.

We are aware that a lot of our hospitals are charging for medications, x-rays and other procedures of diagnosis. We think that any patient who has been referred – what we have found is that a lot of patients go straight to the central hospitals. Those patients will be penalised for doing that but if you have been referred, you should not be penalised for that. What happens like I have said is that you do get charged for the hotel stay and for some of the investigations that are done, and that becomes the cost that you bear.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Minister, so what do we do because these people approach us? How do we assist them when they come to us and we know that policy?

HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA: When you are approached by patients who have suffered that, we usually refer back to the hospital to review that and they usually are very helpful. Besides, there is supposed to be a Public Service, Labour and Social Service – there is that fee of social safety nets. They are supposed to pay us. They are supposed to pay the hospitals and that money usually does not come but if a patient who has been treated cannot afford and is indigent, he/she is supposed to have the social safety net from Public Service, Labour and Social Service. This is where we should follow up for them to pay for that patient and not for the patient to pay because the patient is truly indigent and cannot afford payment.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by Ten Minutes.

HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

*HON. SEN. MURWIRA: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. What policy are you going to come up with as regards the King Lion Bus which has caused a lot of accidents on the roads?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG. MADANHA): Thank you Madam President. I also want to thank the Hon. Senator for asking such an important question. We are all very sorrowful and our hearts bleed when we come across such accidents as happened in Karoi recently and also last month in Mvuma. I think we had two serious accidents. As a Ministry, we are currently consulting with all our stakeholders with the hope that we can tighten up some of our laws, fines and so forth.

However, let me make it very clear that there are many issues that will result or that can cause an accident. I know most people think that because roads have potholes, they are the cause of accidents. Yes, I agree with that but let me make it very clear that the major cause of accidents on our roads is human error. Let us take the Mvuma accident; you find that two drivers side-swiped which is a human error that was not caused by a pothole. Let me take this recent accident of this bus in Karoi; you find that from preliminary investigations, there are indications that it had a tyre burst and it was over-speeding, and that is human error not the condition of the road.

There are three major causes of road accidents. You have the road condition which can also cause accidents but the percentage is very small from the statistics that we have already collected. You also have the mechanical condition of the vehicle which can also cause accidents but from the statistics we have collected on all accidents that have happened on the roads, you find that the percentage is very small. Now, 90% of all accidents that are occurring on our roads are caused by human error. So, we have to tighten up our laws, fines and we are working on that one. We are consulting our stakeholders.

As a Ministry, if somebody is found to have committed an offence, let us say you are over-speeding and you already have two offences, then as a Ministry we have got the authority to withdraw or suspend your licence but is that the solution? The solution will rest in training our drivers …

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, may I please ask the Minister to answer the question because I have four names here who must pose their questions?

HON. ENG. MADANHA:  We are working with our stakeholders to tighten our rules and regulations and I beg you all to respect road rules and regulations.  I thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MURWIRA:  I was not answered. I have asked what you are going to do about the King Lion bus because it is causing people’s deaths on the roads. 

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:    I beg Hon. Senators to ask policy questions not just general questions like the one you have asked.

  HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Mines.  I understand Zimbabwe has uranium as a mineral.  Why are you not mining it so that we can make nuclear plant for energy?

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA):  Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Senator for that question.  We do not know how much uranium we have.  There is some exploration work going on to establish the size and the confidence levels of the resource.  I would like you to know that until you reach a certain minimum level at the given prices, you may not be able to mine it.  Once that is done, we can see whether it is economically viable to mine it or not.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. CHIEF NTABENI:  Madam President, I am standing up to thank you for whipping up the Cabinet Ministers.  Cabinet Ministers do not want to come to this House.  I salute you and I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. MABUGU:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  What policy do we have as regards the cost of blood in hospitals?  Blood is expensive and other people are losing lives because they cannot afford it.  What measures are you going to put in place as regards the Blood Transfusion Services regarding the blood?  What measures are in place to assist those with emergencies but with no money so that they get the blood then pay later?

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you Hon. Senator for that question.  It is true that blood is very expensive in this country.  It used to be $135.00 per unit of blood and it has now come down to $120.00 in the private sector.  In the Government institution, it is still high and is at $100.00.  However, we have gotten certain partners who have assisted us, particularly with pregnant mothers and we now have coupons.  We have been distributing those coupons.  Any pregnant mother who deserves to have blood to use, we use those coupons for them.  That has alleviated a lot of suffering for the pregnant mothers.

There are still a lot of people who suffer road traffic accidents, need blood and those are emergency cases.  We have instructed that all emergency cases should be treated as emergency cases and given what they need to have at that time, the cost will be looked at later on.  If it is a chronic case, then it is slightly a different matter but for emergencies and pregnant mothers, that is the arrangement that we have.  I thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE:  Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to ask a question to my son, Hon. Minister Kasukuwere.  Minister, may you quickly assist us on the people that were retrenched and pensioned by Chitungwiza Town Council.  For the past two years, they have not been receiving their money.  Among these people, there are war veterans who have worked for Chitungwiza Town Council and they have reached their pensionable age.  If they are going to leave this world before their children and they are not paid, they will leave their children homeless.  I implore you to do something about this issue.  We do not want them to run the risk of the late Chinx who died before he lived in his house.  Give them stands so that their children will have somewhere to stay.  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Through you Madam President of the Senate, I would want to thank the Hon. Senator who is my mother.  I have understood about the issue.  Let me see what we can do about it.  I thank you.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE DISAPPEARANCE OF $15 BILLION

9.  HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to inform the House whether the Committee to investigate the disappearance of $15 Billion was set up and to further state when its findings would be brought before Parliament.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Mr. President, question number 9 has been misdirected to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development instead of the Minister of Mines and Energy Development.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA):  Hon. Sen. Timveos, you need to redirect your question in writing to enable the Minister to prepare the response. 

PLANS TO SAVE LIVES OWING TO PROHIBITIVE COSTS OF BLOOD

13. HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House what plans  the Ministry has  in place to save lives that are frequently lost due  to prohibitive costs of blood which requires as much as one hundred and twenty dollars a pint to buy.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  The Ministry of Health and Child Care notes with concern the cost of blood and blood products to patients who need the product.

The Ministry continues to engage the National Blood Service of Zimbabwe to address the challenge.  I am glad to report that as a result of this intervention, the price of blood has been reduced from $135 to $100 as of now.  We continue to agitate for even lower fees.

In addition to lowering the cost of blood, we have been supporting pregnant mothers with blood as required at the time of delivery by supplying coupons for exchange with blood or blood products from National Blood Services of Zimbabwe

PROGRESS REPORT ON CHIRAMBA CLINIC

14. HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care, to give a progress report on Chiramba Clinic in Ward 4, Chimanimani West which was constructed through CDF Program in 2011 and to clarify why the clinic is still not operational thereby disadvantaging the community which contributed its labour and local material for their benefit.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Construction of the clinic in question was spearheaded by Hon. Ms. Karenyi (MP) in 2011, together with the community and it has the following structures in place: a four roomed staff house, two rooms meant to be the clinic block and a blair toilet.

However, the following are still outstanding; main clinic block, waste zone (Otto way pit, bottle pit and placenta pit), laundry area, 2 x staff houses and water supply.  Further to that, the Department of Public Works in Chimanimani has condemned the structures as sub-standard, especially the roofs have been recommended to be removed.  It is because of these issues that the clinic is not ready to be opened.

The Ministry encourages participation of local Members of Parliament and the community in the provision of health infrastructure.  Where the community has mobilised resources for the construction of a clinic, it has to liaise with the District Health Executive (DHE) for site identification and approval of the project and co-ordination with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  The facility has to meet the required standards in terms of the designs or drawings and materials to be used.  The construction process has to be supervised by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing in conjunction with staff from my Ministry, in particular the District Health Executive.  I am reliably informed that for this project, this process was not properly followed, leading to this challenge.

MEASURES TO ASSIST SCHOOL CHILDREN WHO HAVE DEVELOPED ANEMIA AFTER DONATING BLOOD

15. HON. SEN. GOTO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care, to inform the House the measure in place to assist those school children who have developed anemia after donating their blood.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  National Blood Services collects blood from school children periodically to boost the national supply.  This programme is done in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.  The practice is that the donor is screened for anemia before blood is collected.  Those with haemoglobin showing anemia or borderline are not allowed to donate.  For those who are found suitable for the collection of a pack of blood will not render them anemic at all.  Enough time is given before a donor donates again and also protects against the development of anemia.

DISSEMINATION OF HIV/AIDS INFORMATION TO DISABLED PEOPLE

16. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain how the information on HIV/AIDS is disseminated to disabled people to enable every citizen in the country to be taken abroad.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  The Ministry of Health and Child Care is committed to leaving no one behind in its interventions in the national HIV response as we focus on closing all the taps in prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.  People with Disabilities (PWDS) are among the vulnerable group for which we have specific programming in view of the challenges they face in accessing services.  Herewith some of the measures in place for dissemination of HIV/AIDS information;

i)   Key materials developed by HIV and Reproductive Health departments has been adapted and produced in Braille, to mention specifically the gender based violence materials, sexual reproductive health package and the HIV treatment literacy manual. These have been sent to the Council for the Blind for further dissemination using their different platforms.

ii)  A sign language dictionary focusing on HIV and reproductive health was developed in partnership with Disability HIV and AIDS Trust (DHAT) and other such partners.  Health service providers and community representatives were trained on the use of HIV, STIs, TB and Reproductive health sign language.  More resources need to be mobilised for such initiatives to be rolled out to scale.

iii) In response to the need by the visually impaired to access information on condom use, condom instructions were put in Braille in partnership with UNFPA with follow up sensitization meetings on this intervention targeting People living with disabilities  in the communities.  With more resources, this intervention could be done to scale.  I thank you.

HIV/AIDS POLICIES

17.  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care

a)  Whether the Ministry consults people living with disabilities when formulating policies on HIV/AIDS and

b) Whether people with disabilities are aware of policies on HIV/AIDS and whether they are user friendly.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Yes, within the Ministry of Health and Child Care we have a rehabilitation unit that works together with People living with disabilities and sectors working in the disability field. 

          Policy formulation and implementation is guided by evidence and it is a consultative process.  For example, the Ministry of Health and Child Care conducted a national survey on living conditions among persons with disability with a focus on health including HIV/AIDS, STIs, TB and Cancer.  This is a process that involved people living with disabilities from planning, data collection and reporting showing significant consultation of people living with disabilities by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.  In response to the findings from the survey, we are improving our existing strategies and policies to ensure they are inclusive of people living with disabilities, including infrastructure that is accessible in critical departments like maternity wards, pharmacy and targeted campaigns for people living with disabilities.

          Because of constant interaction between the Ministry and organisations of people living with disabilities, including in the processes of formulation of such policies, organisations of people living with disabilities and their membership are aware of the policies and have platforms for communicating them in their constituencies. Through their involvement, people living with disabilities strongly influence these policies to ensure they are friendly.  With resources, such policies can also be availed in Braille and other formats.

CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING

18.  HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House whether cervical cancer screening was being done in every district and if not, to state when this would be done.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank again Sen. Timveos for her very pertinent question.  Mr. President, since 2013 cervical screening services have been rolled out to all the five central hospitals in the country to eight provinces or provincial hospitals and to 63 district hospitals.  We have also included the majority of the city health clinics and all mission hospitals.  They are offering cervical cancer screening services.

The procedure which is being used for cervical cancer screening is called Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid.  I think in the provinces it is just called VIAC.  For those women who are VIAC positive with precancerous lesions, they are offered Cryotherapy at the health facility.  I thank you Mr. President.

EDUCATION OF WOMEN ON CANCER

19.  HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Heath and Child Care

a) Whether the government has any programmes in place to educate women on cancer;

b) Whether CD4 count machines are now available in every district;

c) What policies are in place to reduce the spreading of T.B throughout the country on adults and children with T.B;

d) Whether there are programmes in place for information dissemination on TB nationwide;

e) What the Ministry is doing to reduce incidents of cancer prevalence and also to make drugs affordable to the patients;

f) Whether stateless people have access to ARVs and if so, how do they get them since they have no identification particulars;

g) To further state how successful PMTCT has been throughout the country and whether male partners have been involved in such programmes.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): 

a) The first part of the question has to do with cancer and I think I have already answered that.

b)  Yes all district districts have CD4 counting machines.  CD4 test is needed to assess the level of immune suppression in people living with HIV as we monitor their health while they are on treatment.  It should however be noted that as the country has adopted the ‘Treat All’ approach, all people who test positive are supposed to be initiated on antiretroviral treatment regardless of their CD4 count.

c)  There are a number of policies in place that are meant to reduce the spread of TB both in adults and in children.  Stopping the spread of TB disease depends on early detection and treatment initiation.

1.  Free diagnosis for all presumptive TB cases – Diagnosis is free by microscopy and GeneXpert.  Patients who need to have chest x-ray may be asked to pay a fee.  We are now digitalising all hospitals radiology services.  Currently, 16 hospitals are digitalised.  This year we are expecting an additional 20 machines procured with Global Fund support and 12 machines from the Chinese to be commissioned.  By 2020 all hospitals should have fully digitalised radiology services which will make this service almost free.

2.  Free treatment of all TB cases with support – It is mandatory in this country that all presumptive cases found TB positive are put on treatments and should be seen through their treatment period till they finish.  Treatment is one of the strategies to stop transmission, but it is important to have full adherence to prevent Drug Resistant TB developing.  The country has TB management guidelines which give standard Guidance in treatment and management of TB.  This manual standardises the management of TB to avoid mismanagement. 

There are also guidelines for the management of Drug Resistant TB which also outlines the way those found with Drug Resistant TB should be treated.  Proper management of cases help in having the cases cured and also avoid complications and deaths.  Most TB patients are poor and they need support during treatment to enhance adherence.

3.  Mandatory notification and contact investigation – For all persons found TB positive all persons whom they are living within the same household or work with should be screened for TB and if found positive are put on treatment.

d)  Information on TB is disseminated through a number of programmes that the Unit has put in place in order to reach the whole country.

1.  Materials in the form of fliers, posters and pamphlets have been developed and printed distributed to all provinces for further transmission to communities throughout the country.

2.  The Ministry of Health and Child Care, in partnership with international development partners is mentoring journalists from both the electronic and print media in reporting on TB as a way of spreading correct information on TB as media is key to reaching the people with information.

3.  Staff from the Ministry and the Unit are on radio and television giving information on TB regularly as part of NAC funded media awareness.

4.  Recently the Ministry of Health and Child Care forged an alliance with Parliamentarians to spread information on TB in their constituencies.

  e)  It is true.  This is a good question because other countries around us are denying people with no state medication.  In our particular case, stateless people have access to ARVs and other HIV services like anyone else, despite them not having identification particulars.  In our efforts to reach out to such stateless people, we identify them in hard to reach areas, displaced communities, farm resettlements and other targeted areas needing HIV services and we conduct targeted outreaches, community sensitisations and dialogue days and campaigns.  Those who can go to health care facilities, HIV services, including treatment with ARVs are offered to all and for free to all who walk in.  We do not require identification particulars for one to access HIV services.  Clients are assigned unique registration numbers for purposes of documentation, tracking and reporting to ensure we do not lose them in the continuum of care.

f)  The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare – our prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Programme (PMTCT) has been very successful.  To date it is being offered in 1560 sites which is a 95% coverage from only three sites in 1999.  This has seen new cases of HIV infections in children reduced in the last two to three decades.  As at end of 2016, mother to child transmission of HIV occurring during pregnancy, labour and delivery or post delivery through breastfeeding rate in Zimbabwe was down to a rate of 5.2% from a high of 18% in 2011 and a peak of almost 30% in the late 1990s.  Without any intervention 20% to 45% of children born to HIV infected women become infected themselves. 

Our PMTCT programme and other interventions specifically targeting men, encourages male partners to accompany their pregnant women to antenatal care so that the couple can take the HIV test and access their health services together and support each other, whatever the outcome of the result.  Health care workers are trained in couples counselling and receive training on how to support couples through the process of disclosure of an HIV positive status. 

At the same time, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare has been training male mobilisers with the support of Padare Male Discussion Forum and traditional leaders such as chiefs and headmen to encourage them to accompany their women for antenatal care (ANC), with some successes, albeit at a much slower pace compared to what we would wish for.  It is worrisome that in 2016, only 24% of male partners presented to antenatal care with pregnant women.  Such activities have been code named ‘Operation perekedza mimba yako!’ by some creative chiefs in their respective constituencies.  Men will continue to be encouraged to take their place in HIV response, both for their own health as well as in support of women and children.

NEW START CENTRE IN ZVISHAVANE HIV/AIDS POLICIES

20. HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain why Zvishavane and the surrounding districts do not have a New Start Centre.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare remains committed to make HIV testing and counselling services easily available, accessible and affordable to the public.  HIV Testing Services (HTS) are available both within the public, NGOs and private sectors through static facilities and outreach services.  The Ministry also provides HTS services through partners like PSI, PSZ and other NGOs that provide counselling and testing services.

The New Start HIV Testing and Counselling Services are provided by PSI, a partner of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and these services are provided from 12 stand alone sites throughout the country.  These sites were reduced from an initial 26 in 1999 to 12 in 2005 due to funding constraints.  It is important to note that New Start HIV Testing Services complement Ministry efforts to make these services accessible.  The static New Start sites then provide mobile outreach services to surrounding areas and therefore, the areas around Zvishavane should receive mobile testing services through the PSI New Start static site in Gweru.

However, Ministry also has decentralised HIV Testing and Counselling to all 1500 primary clinics in the country to provider initiated HIV Testing and Counselling (PITC).  With this PITC within the Ministry public health facilities and New Start mobile outreaches areas around Zvishavane should be covered adequately.  Thank you.

NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING AT TONGOGARA REFUGEE CAMP

23.  HON. SEN. TIMVEOS asked the Minister for Home Affairs to state the number of people living at Tongogara Refugee Camp and to inform the House whether their children are given primary documents.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI):  Thank you Mr. President.  The department of the Registrar General in collaboration with the Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare carry out yearly static registrations when need arises, to give the children of those refugees primary documents. 

The number of birth certificates that were issued to the children of refugees at the said camp from 2015 up to now is 263.  The breakdown is as follows;

          CHILDREN BORN TO REFUGEES: REGISTRATION STATISTICS AT TONGOGARA CAMP; ACCORDING TO THEIR NATIONALITIES AND GENDER FROM JANUARY 2015 TO 14 JUNE 2017

DATE

DRC

RWANDA

BURUNDI

ETHIOPIA

SOMALIA

ERITREA

TOTAL

 

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

2015

80

95

5

9

6

16

1

2

 

 

 

1

92

123

2016

9

9

1

1

4

5

 

 

1

 

1

 

16

15

2017

6

3

2

4

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

8

TOTAL

95

107

8

14

11

22

1

2

1

 

1

1

117

146

GRAND

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

263

ZIMBABWEAN CITIZENSHIP

24.    HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House why persons who have attained citizen status and apply to change from alien to full Zimbabwean citizenship are required to pay exorbitant and unaffordable amounts for identification documents.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MGUNI): Thank you Mr. President.  Thank you Hon. Sen. Sibanda for the important question.  Persons applying to change their identification documents from alien to citizenship status are made to pay a statutory fee of $40.00.  This is in terms of Statutory Instrument 140 of 2009, National Registration Amendment Regulations, 2009 (No. 17).  The fee is not exorbitant as people think.  It is in our view reasonable because the first issue is non-chargeable, which means is free.

          However, the fee can be revised if need be to make the documents affordable, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, who are the statutory fees originators, especially during their budget presentation.  This is when we must catch it up and query it if it is too high.  I thank you Mr. President.

PROGRESS MADE ON EXPLORATIONS BY MONAF AND APEX COAL MINING COMPANIES

          31.    HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI  asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to update the House on the progress made by Monaf and Apex Coal Mining Companies in Lubu and Lasulu, Binga, respectively, which were conducting explorations in the previous five years and are no longer seen on the ground doing such work.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank the Senator for that question.  Monaf Investment Private Limited was issued with Special Grant, SG 4686, covering 19 236 hectares, in March, 2010 for a period of three years.  The Special Grant is known as the Lubu Coalfields situated 60 km due South of the town of Binga in Matabeleland North.

          Over this tenure, an exploration programme was started right at the granting of the Special Grant.  Badger Mining was engaged to design and manage an exploration programme, subsequent to the granting of the Special Grant.  The initial phase of exploration was awarded to African Mining and Exploration Limited (AMEX), who drilled 29 boreholes between 4th October, 2010 and 20th December, 2010.

          The subsequent phases of exploration were again awarded to AMEX and include drilling of an additional 89 boreholes.  Drilling started on 2nd February, 2011 and concluded on 12th October, 2011.  There were other activities that were carried out, such as:

·       Environmental Impact Assessment Report complying with the

Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27].

·       Identification of historical data and compilation of a desktop study.

·       Construction of a field camp for the project staff

·       Mobilisation of different contractors, equipment and technical

 staff.  Beaconing of the area was also completed.

·       Geophysical down-hole wire- line logging of the drilled holes was

completed.

·       Approximately an analysis of more than 500 samples was done and

an expenditure of $4 135 000 was expended on the project.

          In order to facilitate the exploration, the company also acquired a property in the town of Binga, 60 km to the North of the project area.  This property was equipped as an exploration base and all the field activity, logging of core and sampling of core was managed from this base camp.

          In addition, the access road into and across the project areas was upgraded to reduce the travel and supply times to and from the exploration activity area.  A fuel depot was established at the Northern edge of the project area.

          When the first tenure expired in 2013, the company then applied for an extension of the Special Grant which was granted for a period of two years.  This started from 8th January, 2016 to 7th January, 2018

          During the almost three years of waiting before the renewal, the camp was dismantled, workers were disengaged, access roads were destroyed by rain and there was no maintenance.  What they are doing now is to re-mobilise funding in order to start the activities.  We hope that re-mobilisation exercise will be completed soon and it will enable them to continue with the exploration programme.

APPEX PETROLEUM PRIVATE LIMITED SG 4949 and 4950

Appex Petroleum was granted Special Grant 4949 and 4950 and this is 70 km South-East of Binga, covering 2 000 hectares.  During this tenure, an exploration programme was started which included Phase 1 exploration drilling, termed twin holes, which was aimed at ascertaining confidence in the historical data from the Shell Coal Company and nine diamond drill holes were completed.

          Phase two exploration drilling had planned 30 diamond drill holes but then completed 23 diamond drill holes on a grid roughly 1 km by 1 km, meant for resource and quality data determination.  The tenure expired in 2013 and the company applied for an extension of the Special Grant, which was granted for another two years, starting from 8th January, 2016 to 7th January, 2018.  We hope that this will enable them to do their work.  What they have been doing is simply to review historical data.  That is it in terms of Lubu, part of it is really reviewing historical data.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: Hon. Minister, do you realise that from the time you extended their permit up to now, they have done nothing and the permits will be expiring in January, 2018.

          HON. W. CHIDHAKWA: The law says that we must give them six months and renewable in another six months and then look at the activity that is taking place on the ground.  If that does not happen, the Government can in fact withdraw the exploration grant that would have been given to them.  I do not know whether they are in their first six months or in their second six months.  I am aware that once it reaches 12 months with no activity on the ground, we should in fact withdraw the special grant and enable somebody else to do the exploration.

WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

STATISTICS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITES WHO BENEFITED FROM RESIDENTIAL STAND SCHEME

30.    HON. SEN. SHIRI asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to give statistics of person with disabilities who have benefited from residential stands scheme.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Madam President, let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the question.  However, let me inform this august House that disabled persons in Zimbabwe lack access to secure decent housing.  The Government of Zimbabwe recognises housing as a basic human right and need, and this right based approach fosters, among others zero tolerance to any form of discrimination as stipulated in the National Housing Policy.

          Local authorities also stand guided by the National Housing Policy dictates which prioritises all vulnerable groups including people with disabilities and as such a quota is reserved for that.

          Persons with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to join any scheme that will be running at any given time.  However, statistics of beneficiaries of stands that the Hon. Senator is requesting for cannot be produced at this juncture as the Ministry is still in the process of registering prospective beneficiaries for the uptake of stands.

          Madam President, let me inform this august House that we have been accommodating persons with disabilities in flats constructed by the Ministry.  Special attention is placed on the choice of floors taking into consideration the nature of the disability and some of the flats have been built with a ram.  What I assure the House is that once the statistics are ready, I shall provide the House with the same.  I thank you.

          Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA) in terms of Standing Order No. 62.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA) the Senate adjourned at Twenty Two Minutes past Four O’clock p.m. until 11th July, 2017.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 22 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 65