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SENATE HANSARD 22 MARCH 2018 VOL 27 NO 33

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 22nd March, 2018

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

INVITATION TO THE ZITF OFFICIAL OPENNING

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I wish to inform the Senate that the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is inviting Hon. Members of Parliament to the Official Opening of this year’s Trade Fare on the 27th of April 2018 at the ZITF grounds.  Invitation cards have been placed in your pigeon holes.  Hon. Senators are advised that Parliament is not funding this activity.  So, it will be at your own expense – [AN HON. SENATOR: Asi kuona pa television.] – Mozviona pa television?

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  I want to find out what Government is doing to ensure that pensioners get their monies while they are still alive especially workers from the local authorities such as Harare and Bulawayo municipalities.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for the question.  A number of pensioners in this country, not just local authorities, are experiencing extreme problems on accessing the pension schemes. As a result, Government commissioned a study to look at what happened since dollarisation in this country.  That report; I am sure the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will be able to publish.  It will indicate all the areas where pensioners are having problems to access their pension schemes.  As regards to the local authorities, they are not an exception to this problem that is being faced by many of our people in the society. 

          The first thing is that the local authorities have a pension scheme which is self-managed by the local authorities themselves.  The Local Authority Pension Fund has buildings across the country and these buildings still have value.  Therefore, we expect  that, that value despite the dollarization, will be looked at in line with the recommendations of the Committee that was set by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development once the publications are made public.  In my view, it will show that some local authorities are not paying enough contribution to the Local Authority Pension Fund; they are defaulting in paying the Local Authority Pension Fund.  It will also show that while they deduct the salaries of the workers so that they can send that money to the Local Authority Pension Fund, that is not happening.

          The Government’s desire is to make sure those pensioners, whether in local authorities or not in local authorities be given their due pensions when they retire.  I thank you.

          HON. TIMVEOS:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to Hon. Ziyambi, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  Hon. Minister, I want to find out how far you have gone with the Bill that is supposed to come to Parliament concerning many motions that we had moved against child marriages.  The current President of Zimbabwe promised  that it was going to come as soon as possible but the Bill has taken a long time to come to Parliament.

            THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which is very pertinent.  I want to say that there is work in progress as regards to cleaning up and ensuring that we have a comprehensive Marriages Act that will outlaw child marriages.  The only problem that we have is that on our legislative calendar, we have so many outstanding Bills that have been there.  We did not want to labour the calendar with new things when we have not disposed of other items that are there to the extent that I have been in discussion with Parliament to ensure that you are recalled so that we can deal with some of the Bills that are there. 

          Certainly, on the part of Government, we are looking into having a comprehensive Marriages Act that will ensure that the issue of child marriages is taken care of. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. What is Government policy regarding the other aspect of your Ministry whereby you talk of the boundaries of the chieftainships because we have had lots of squabbles because of the boundaries of these chiefs. How are you going to solve that problem of boundaries?

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Mr. President. I am also grateful to Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the pertinent question that she has asked on the boundaries. We have realised that to those chieftainships who have been in place for quite some time, they are aware of their boundaries and demarcations but we have noticed that in these new resettlement areas, especially in farming areas where people have been resettled, in the past they did not have any chiefs or traditional leaders, but you have since said those people who are now living in these resettlement areas should now be under chiefs or traditional leaders.

          In this vein, we are now working at the modalities of making these demarcations so that we can be firm and also put the boundaries of these areas because we know that the chiefs are the custodians of our culture. In some instances, some chieftainships were destroyed because of the colonial past. Now we are working towards solving that problem and as a result, we need to have areas where these boundaries can be demarcated. We are saying this task should be taken into account by the Council of Chiefs and other local authorities because they are the custodians of these issues. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF NEBIRI: Thank you Madam President. My question is going to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain when the Government complexes will be completed around the country? I am referring to the complexes which were built and left uncompleted especially in Kariba, there is one.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): The Government’s desire is to build a comprehensive building in every administrative district in this country and we are talking about 60 of them in the rural areas. Where we started building and they are not complete is because there was inadequate funding, but the desire is such that we give our civil servants the same accommodation and the same offices that are found in our major provincial capitals and at national level. We give that to them in the rural areas because they are the backbone of the Government delivery system. So, Government has a commitment to complete these complexes and I can say that in our discussions, we have made sure that we itemize every place where there is incomplete Government building so that we can give them priority. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi. Hon. Minister, you are interpreting the Constitution of the country into local languages such as Shona and Ndebele including Braille. How far are you from writing the Constitution in sign language?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you very much Hon. Sen. Shiri for this question. Government policy is that the Constitution should be written in all the languages of the country which are 16 including the Sign language. We need to have a start in interpreting this Constitution and we have started in four languages which were launched on the 21st of March, 2018. We intend writing more of these Constitutions in the various languages especially if the funds allow us to do that because we need to have all the people of Zimbabwe accessing the Constitution in the language which they understand and this is in the pipeline. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you President of the Senate. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Hon. Ziyambi. My question is, we are aware that there are a lot of people who put their monies at Old Mutual and they are going to die before they get their money because they were affected by inflation. What is going to happen? Are they going to get their monies and when?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): What I want to say is, your question was partly answered by the Minister of Local Government. It is more or less the same question that was asked by Hon. Sen. Mumvuri to say that local authority pensioners lost their pension. It is exactly the same situation that we face across the pension industry. Almost everyone including myself lost out on our pensions. I think everyone here at one point or the other, had a pension scheme. So, it is not restricted to Old Mutual alone. What the Minister of Local Government was trying to explain is to say that the Ministry of Finance commissioned this study on the pension industry with a view of finding a solution regarding pensioners who lost their pensions. What he explained exactly applied also to Old Mutual pensioners. I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: I thank you Madam President. My question goes to Hon. Ziyambi in his capacity as Leader of Government Business. A question was asked in this House regarding Prof. Nyagura’s status. The answer that was given was that his principal does not know and has no information, neither does he have anything? Exactly how does it work? It was flighted all over the newspapers that Nyagura is arrested. What exactly can you clarify? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): The Minister is here Madam President, so he can answer for himself.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: Yes, Madam President because he gave an answer, nobody knows the processes.  If somebody is arrested or something happens and the principal of the person arrested is unaware and the person is still reporting for duty, what are the processes?  Can you shed light on that? I thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam President, this is a very specific question which does not relate to policy.  The Minister is here and he can shed light on those operational issues regarding that case.  Ordinarily it is not Government policy for me to answer when the relevant Minister is around.  I believe that out of respect, the question should be directed to the Minister so that he can deal with it.  I thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Madam President thank you.  Yes, we have read in the papers that the Vice Chancellor was arraigned before the courts, so I am not going to comment on the court process.  What I know is that the Vice Chancellor for the University of Zimbabwe is reporting for duty at the university.  This is because the Vice Chancellor has not been suspended because there is no reason why he should be suspended unless proven otherwise.  Thank you. 

          HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  How far have you gone in looking at the reforms that relate to election processes now that we are three months or so before the elections?  Thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimhini for the question, which I will respond by saying that indeed we are dealing with issues of electoral reforms.  The President has said we want free, fair and credible elections.  We have a Bill currently at its second reading stage in Parliament and I have indicated to everyone that if you have issues that you believe are critical and justifiable, you can bring them over.  We deliberate in the House and we will agree to any progressive amendments to the Electoral Act that would ensure that we realise our goal of having free, fair and credible elections.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.  Recently, there were some demonstrations outside the country in terms of disbursements in the institutions or universities outside the country.  How far have you gone in terms of perhaps responding to exactly that situation?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Madam President.  Thank you very much Hon. Senator for that question.  My Ministry’s portfolio does not include the administration of scholarships outside and inside of Zimbabwe.  This is the work of Hon. Mushowe, who is the Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the President’s Office.  So, I am not at this moment competent to answer about students who are outside this country.  However, it is important to know that students are at the heart of our operations as a country and I am sure that everything would be done to that effect.  Unfortunately, that is not my portfolio.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Madam President.  My question goes to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  My question Minister is on SADC Model Law on Child Marriages.  When do you intend to domesticate this law? As you have indicated, we might have the Bill on Child Marriages very soon.  Would it not be proper for you to domesticate this law so that some of the issues are incorporated in the Bill?  Thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi for the question.  Let me start by saying that a model law is different from treaty or a convention.  You do not domesticate per se but you take it through the process of enacting it as a law, unless if it was pursuant to a treaty that we have to domesticate it like that.  The answer basically will still be the same.  We use that SADC Model Law to inform us when we are drafting our own legislation and then we incorporate provisions of the Model Law into our Act.  I thank you. 

          HON. SEN. CHABUKA:  Thank you very much Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  *How far have you gone in terms of looking at the issues of tap water in our homes?  I think it is now long overdue. People are digging toilets on a 200sqm together with wells and people are getting cholera.  How far are you in line with health delivery to all the people?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank you Madam President.  Hon. Senator, I thank you for this valuable question.  The issue of water – obviously, is very critical for Harare as well as the whole country.  Urban local authorities have had problems.  I can say for the last 20 years, we have had serious problems with water reticulation in most of our urban centres, partly because investments or planning by the local authorities has not been consistent with the expansion that has taken place in those urban areas. 

          We know very well that there is rural to urban migration and that needs to be planned by the local authorities, the city fathers and mothers to make sure that it is consistent with growth of the population.  In places like Harare; while I am citing Harare I can cite all the major urban areas, that expansion has taken place where people have gone to build without requisite expansion of the water mains to those new areas.  So, you find around Harare, Caledonia, Harare South and other areas where people have built but there is no trunk water supply system to those areas.  Without that trunk water supply, that means there is no reticulation and water will not come to your house.  So that is the first problem and as Government we are seized with the responsibility to see what to do.

          The second problem that we are having with the water authorities, particularly in Harare; you know Harare City Council is the water authority of not only  Harare but of Chitungwiza, Epworth, Ruwa and Norton.  The water works at Morton Jaffray Water has not been pumping very well; we got some support of 72 million which we have put in Morton Jaffray Water Works to upgrade it so that it can pump more water to Harare.

          Yes, it is pumping more water to Harare but the reticulation system in Harare, 5 000km of water pipes, those water pipes are as good as dead.  They lose 60% of that water which is pumped, so there is no way that it can now reach every home and that we also have to look at.  However, you couple that with your sewerage system, it starts to affect your health system and that infrastructure now needs major repairs.  So, as Government, we have said maybe the structure of the water authority system in Harare is wrong and in discussing with Harare City Council and other local authorities, it appears to us - we have not finalised it.  It appears to us that we must have a water utility system that caters for all the urban areas around the Metropolitan area of  Harare, including those urban areas that fall under Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West, because they have now encroached on the Harare Metropolitan area.   If we created in our view a Metropolitan area utility that looks after water, then we should be able to go to investors and say can we now invest in the water system.

 So, that investment will go for two major areas.  The first area is the bulk water supply, the storage - both our dams are not adequate now to supply this bigger city which has grown out of the emerging conurbations that we have had.  So, we now need a water board like Kunzvi or another dam in order to adequately supply the whole Metropolitan area and the cities around it or towns around it like Norton.  So, that we are looking at as an investment area.  That investment, if it is under one water utility, we believe that it can attract investors and we have been talking to investors about this.  The second aspect is the reticulation, obviously we need to renew  the water pipes that distribute to all the areas in Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Epworth and Norton. 

In order to do this, we also have to make sure that we have a water utility company that can attract enough investment to redo all the water mains as well as the water tanks that are in Harare in order to have better reticulation.  As Government we are working, as I said with Harare City Council and all the other towns in order to upgrade this.  We are talking to investors, we are talking to the President; we put it in our 100 days as a Ministry as well as Government and the same we have said to the local authorities  now going beyond Harare.  We think that water is the major problem so put it in your 100 days so that we can tackle it as one investment destination that investors need to come to Zimbabwe to do.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Minister, you are talking of 100 days; we are doing this for the nation.  It is only that you are new in that office of local Government but the we have on several occasions asked your predecessor about this question and he would say we are doing this and that.  if we look at the situation of water supply in all the cities around the country, it is a critical area which the Government has to look into.  As the Government and us the Senators are the law makers; if you go into the homes you will find dirty water from the taps which is green.  So, Minister, do something for our country to have good health.

*HON. SEN. MURWIRA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government.  I would like to ask about the place called Nyatsime which has been filled with people who are illegally settling there.  It is not clear whether it is lies in Chitungwiza or Manyame.  So, I would like to ask what the Ministry has with regards to that place.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Madam President and I want to thank the Hon. Senator for asking that question.  There are many areas like that in and around Harare and all the other major cities.  Today, I have called all the urban areas that have situations like that.  So Harare, Chitungwiza, everyone whose local authority is now having problems to find out whether this Nyastime or Caledonia or in Bulawayo whether this is part of the Rural District Council or part of the urban council.  I have called them to a meeting and they have already gone to Kadoma so that we can analyse to see how to solve the problem.

The major problem is on service delivery.  Yes, I can confirm that most of these new areas are in the rural district council areas and these areas in some cases were not consulted when these new areas were being built.  So, there is as question of whose jurisdiction is over this new area.  The residents also do not know which jurisdiction they are in. We have three solutions in terms of jurisdiction - either using the Urban Council’s Act, there is a section which allows us to create a Committee over such an area so that we can do service delivery.  Most of these areas because they are in the rural district council areas, people are building as if they will have title deeds but until we declare this area to be an urban area, it cannot have title deeds, yet people have built their houses which are equal to the houses that are in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru or somewhere else. 

So we have to go and solve that and we solve it either using the Urban Council’s Act which has Sections to deal with it or we solve it by using the Rural District Council’s Act and we declare it a prescribed township where you can do your cadastral surveys to title so that the individuals can have title and people will have security of their houses.  Thirdly, we can use the Urban Development Corporation, Section 21 of the Urban Development Corporation allows the Minister to create, for the purpose either of a new town or regularising an area that has not been built properly.  We can use that section of the Act so that we have a planning authority which can now plan properly so that services can also come to that area. So, we are going to be looking at all the advantages and we want to be told by the councillors themselves or the councils, which their preferred way of solving their problems is.  I have gone around to all the 92 rural and urban councils of this country and all of them have some form of problems of this nature but the ones I have called for today and tomorrow have major problems, Harare, Norton, Chegutu, Gweru, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare, everyone and Chinhoyi though not so much.  We want to solve this and we solve it by getting the input from all the councils concerned.  I want to thank you.

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President, my question has been answered by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.  We heard that teachers’ colleges and technical colleges are now being upgraded into universities.  Is that still going on or there are some reservations now?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Madam President.  Thank you very much Hon. Senator. That is a very good question to be answered.  One of our policies is to make sure that we maintain a healthy, higher and tertiary education system, where institutions stick to their mandates.  We are saying, universities are created to offer degrees, teachers colleges are created to train teachers who are so important in our education system.  Polytechnics are for technicians who are very important to give the hands to the thoughts in our system. 

          So, we have said, all institutions were not created by mistake, we cannot have an education system where people are just speaking with fluency a language like ‘hello, how are you, we are fine’ – [Laughter.] – and so on and so on, without having the hands into our education system that are filling potholes, fixing cars and so on.  So, we are saying, stick to your mandate, you were not created by mistake.  If one’s wish is to go and teach at a technical college, then you apply to a technical college from a university and do so.  If you are interested in teaching at a university and do a degree or whatever, please go and teach at the university and leave our college and polytechnic alone because this is the way a healthy higher and tertiary education system has to be, everybody has a purpose.  So, the policy is; stay where you are and do what you can do best and we love you for that.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. SHIRI:  Thank you Madam President.  Can you clarify to this House on the scraping of 40% fees on those students who will be on attachment?  Does it apply to all universities or it is inclusive of polytechnics? 

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Madam President.  From the time of inauguration, around 4th December, 2017 up to 7th March, 2018, we were undertaking a study about this and we were having representations about full fees during attachments.  So, our results revealed that we are no longer giving grants to State Universities and State Institutions; therefore, they need money to operate.  Secondly, when students are on attachment, there are certain facilities that they will not be using, therefore, they cannot pay full fees.  Thirdly, they need to be visited whilst they will be on attachment and it also cost money.  However, what was very clear from our analysis is that it cannot be full.  The issue was, it is a ratio, but how much?

          So, after doing all these studies, it came as a reasonable suggestion and decision that we hive off 40% and put it at 60% with consultation from student bodies.  We service our students and our students are our primary aim, without propagandizing it, that is what we do.  We have always said, let us be selfish enough, let us train these people so well and give them so nice a culture that when we come to retire, we retire very nicely knowing very well that the country is in good hands. 

Our decision on the 7th of March was to issue a statement which was directing all State higher and tertiary institutions to peg the fees during attachment at 60% and it has to be complied with without any further question.  On the other hand, we have also said, after our forensic audit of the ZIMDEF funds, now the report is with the Auditor General.  Our desire is to make sure that all students who are at universities, polytechnics, colleges, which include industrial colleges and teachers’ colleges, when they are on attachment – because this is manpower development; with the manpower development fund, we will make sure that we give them stipends.  The amount will change from time to time based on availability, but this is the decision that we have made and this is the policy that we are pursuing to make sure that we produce the best under the best conditions that we can achieve and make sure that we have a world class education system, which respects students so that they can respect the system afterwards.  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Madam President.  How has been your day?  The Hon. Minister whom I wanted to ask a question has gone out. He is no longer in this House.  I wanted the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs but he has gone out.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam President.  Can I ask the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing?  Two weeks ago, you made a specific statement with regard to the installation of a specific king.  Can you kindly clarify whether the Government position has changed in general with regards to the installation of kings as there is a lot of information that appears to be contrary to the statement that you made two weeks ago.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam President, Hon. Member, I can confirm that the Government’s position is a constitutional position.  In our Constitution, there is no king and that position remains.  In my statement, I said if there was a resuscitation of a chieftainship, that is taken care of by the Constitution.  Those powers are given to The Provincial Assembly of Chiefs, in the area where that resuscitation will take place.  After the Provincial Assembly of Chiefs, it will go to the National Assembly of Chiefs but even the Provincial Assembly of Chiefs or the National Council of Chiefs, if they came to Government and they said, they have resuscitated the king, the position will remain the same that our Constitution does not allow it.  I thank you. 

*HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  I will start by sympathising with you before I ask my question.  In our culture they say, show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.  If you are around the thieves, you are also part of them.  I am asking wholeheartedly and you should make a thorough research on what is happening on the ground.  We have faith in you because you are a legal fundi.  We were given ownership of houses in 1980 in Mabvuku, Highfield, Glen Norah and everywhere.  Those were core houses with only two rooms, no doors, no windows and floors.  We were told that the rent to buy is $19 for ten years.  We managed to extend these houses. When the term expired, there was no response from the Ministry.  We are still paying $19 and I am not very sure how many years we have travelled since 1980.  The question is, we should only be paying rates which are $7.  If we subtract $7 from $19, that gives us $12.  From the current situation, it means you owe us $12 per month.  We are representatives of people and they are asking because at the moment, some people who joined the scheme at its inception in 1980, the owners have died and there are wrangles as to the ownership of these houses.  Some people have been evicted from their houses. Which is the way forward?

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Senator, please ask your question, no narration.

*HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE:  Madam President, I go through this explanation because I am very emotional about this issue.  Minister, what is Government policy regarding people that were given ownership of their houses but are still paying the same amount.  When we die, the houses should be inherited by our children.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam President, I understand the emotion you came into when you are discussing this issue.  In 1980 December, the Government announced that whosoever has been occupying a house for a long period, they should take ownership of that house.  What they will only do is pay rates and when people have stayed in those houses for some time, the ownership should be changed and belong to the people who will be living in those houses, especially when they are sticking strictly to paying their rentals.  Therefore, in order for me to give a comprehensive report, please put down your question in writing.  This will enable me to follow up with City Council so that they tell me the progress or lack of it, which they have done in the ownership of these houses so that people can own these house and own title deeds.  When this happened in 1980, we had problems.  We were told that people in Makokoba, Highfield and others were told that they cannot get title deeds in those areas.  However, as a Government, we did work out a system and had block title deeds because the Europeans who were running the councils those days did not take it up well that Africans should take ownership of their houses.  To them, it was taboo.  No African should own a house in the cities, they belong to the Tribal Trust Lands but we have rectified that.  I thank you. 

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE:  Thank you Madam President for according me this opportunity.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  I want to understand on the law that governs the trucks.  Was it removed so that they should use the CBD?  You will find that two or three of them will enter the CBD and at times they have breakdowns and are causing a lot of traffic jam.  I thank you.

* THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Yes, there are a lot of trucks in the urban centres but each and every town has its laws that have the routes that should be used by truck drivers.  I do not know what is happening. You can find these trucks even in residential areas.  According to the law, it is not allowed because when you use wrong routes, you will be damaging the roads.  Therefore, we urge truck drivers that they should follow proper designated routes. 

Secondly, we encourage the law enforcement people that they should not allow those trucks to use undesignated routes.  Those trucks should be confiscated so that our cities will be clean.  Thirdly, we encourage the local authorities that they should have strong by-laws that are posted and signed, that such and such trucks are not allowed in this route. At times people use those routes because there is no signage. We were given knowledge and we met with people who drive vehicles. We came to an agreement that if we come across people who are breaking the laws, we should report them so that they will not do it. The other thing that I think will help in the urban centres is that there are places where they put banners. If you do not want trucks on those intersections, you should have those banners on very low ground so that trucks will not have access and it also helps. Others control using banners and some put up very low adverts so that truck drivers will not have access. Thank you.  

          HON. SEN. SINAMPANDE: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. Minister, what is Government policy in institutions like teachers’ training colleges in those provinces where we do not have them? Are you going to do something or are you building colleges for the students who want to train as teachers in the provinces where there are no teachers’ colleges?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you very much Madam President and thank you very much Hon. Sen. Sinampande. Our policy is of inclusive and accessible education. Our wish and policy is to make sure that we have as many teachers’ colleges as possible in all provinces subject to availability of resources. Our ambition is even bigger. We are saying the higher and tertiary education system should become an export commodity for Zimbabwe. What that basically means is that we want more colleges and universities and we actually want to capacitate them much better.

That is why on the 9th of March 2018, we did an Infrastructure Development Conference and the people who were speaking at that Conference were people that we already have got MOUs with to construct universities and colleges and do that honestly and earnestly. So, with that kind of policy, we want to reach every square inch of Zimbabwe with facilities that are of international repute. It might not happen in one day, but we live with a vision and that vision is very big. So, we will be there Hon. Sen. Sinampande. Thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that the time for Questions Without Notice be extended by ten minutes?

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Moyo. How far have you gone in allocating Hon. Members of Parliament stands which were promised long back now that the term is coming to an end?

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Mr. President. I am sure that the Hon. Member is raising a question where everyone has an interest and I am answering with the knowledge that the Ministry has been planning these allocations. I am not sure how we can do it. May be if you allow me Mr. President, I can ask my officers next week to come to some place while you are not in session, and they can show you where the planning is complete and where allocations can be made in all the cities where Members of Parliament, both the Senate and the Lower House asked for these stands. Let me arrange with the President to see when we can send officers to come and show what has been done so that Hon. Senators and Members of Parliament can be satisfied that some work is going on. Thank you.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. I want to thank you for your earlier remarks that institutions should stick to their mandate. Allow me Mr. President that I have noticed with keen interest that there have been measures taken to improve the quality of education through adjustment of payment of STEM, reduced fees of students on attachment and the provision of students accommodation. Those are under way, but my question is, what measures you are putting in place to ensure that each university or institution sticks to its mandate for which it was created? We have seen sometimes that some universities cut and paste programmes from other universities. Sometimes they go to an extent of lowering entry points to boost their numbers and they become unmanageable. That is my question. Thank you. 

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. President. Thank you very much Hon. Sen. Mumvuri. I think that is a fairly pertinent question. We have an organisation under my Ministry which is called Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education. Their job is to monitor unscrupulous activities within the higher education sector. What do we mean by unscrupulous? When you are a beggar, what you want to see at the end of the chain is bread. When you are a Professor or at university, what you want to see at the end of the day is a good graduate. How do we define a good graduate? A good graduate is that graduate that will produce goods and services for the country, not a graduate that will perambulate around with a gown.  So, that means quality is of essence.  We use ZIMCHE for that and if there are particular reports that we receive about particular universities, we will definitely act on it without fail.  This is because we cannot compromise.  Just imagine, you train a doctor that you did not train properly and then you faint.  You wake up in hospital and see that is the doctor, you die there. I just want to say that is why we should be afraid of bad education because it has implications to the country.  That is what we are doing.  We have ZIMCHE there and making sure that it takes care of things.

          When it comes to universities that are not sticking to their mandates, we also monitor it through that but also through policy.  For example, we set up Manicaland State University for minerals.  I was on record and in the Press - it was true when I told them, I do not want to come here ten years down the line and find you playing drums when in actual fact you should be polishing diamonds.  It is the same thing with universities such as the National University of Science and Technology.  We expect a lot out of there where we are saying industrialisation and modernisation of the country. 

There are certain universities that are general, for example, the University of Zimbabwe.  They will continue doing what they are doing.  We will monitor this so that we do not waste national resources on people that are just dancing around.  Thank you very much Mr. President.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  My question is, why do we in Zimbabwe think of 13 points and 15 points?  Five points is not enough yet in universities in other countries, they go with five points and they excel in their results at the end.  Why does Zimbabwe require such high points? 

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you very much Mr. President.  One of our top policy priorities is inclusive education which has no unreasonable bottlenecks.  When people or a university says we want 15 points, it is because that programme will be in such high demand that the only way to justifiably include students will be the points but we have increased the number of universities.  Do you know in order to go into university, you need two points.  This is exactly what we are now saying.  When we were saying 15 points, it is because we did not have places for everyone.  We have to find a way to justify why certain students are entering. 

Let me tell you one thing.  A university or tertiary education system is a different compartment.  It does not mean that when you have got 15 points and you enter a university, you will have a first class degree.  No, you are entering a different system.  Those ones with two points, you might actually discover that they would be on the top because the university is now a different system.  That is why we have always been saying we do not want to exclude for the sake of excluding.  There has to be a reason.  Let people fail when they are inside.  This thing of saying we want 15 points only and we almost put it in a regulation, there is no regulation like that in the university.  The regulation says, two passes at A’ Level.  However, when there is a mass of students coming to you, you start to say how do we justify cutting the numbers.  You first of all say five points, you see they are too many, then you say ten points, you see they are too many; you end up at 15 points.  This only is to cut and have justifiable means of making sure that you have optimal class but we do not have any policy of saying those ones with two points should not go to university.  We want everybody with a brain and everybody that has done their A’ Level to be able to go to university.  They will contribute a lot; we have no brain to waste in Zimbabwe.  Thank you. 

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  Is it your policy that the maintenance of road is only in the CBD and not in the high density areas where we have the majority of our people.  I thank you. 

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. President.  Thank you Hon. Sen. Chimhini.  It is not Government policy certainly.  I was asked that question yesterday and my answer was - it is not a policy.  ZINARA gives the local authorities, which are one of the four road authorities money.  That money is not earmarked for CBD area, high density areas or low density areas but their programming as I answered in the case of Harare yesterday, would indicate that they started in the CBD area but the next programme is to go to Budiriro and other high density areas.  So, it is not a policy of Government certainly and I hope it is not a policy also of the local authority to say we only want to maintain the CBD areas.  Thank you very much. 

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

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

UPDATE ON THE INDUSTRIAL ACTION IN THE HEALTH SECTOR

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Nurse Mangers and nurse educators raised concern in a meeting in 2017 over the low packages as compared to junior nurses, noting their clinical responsibilities.  The board submitted a request to Treasury for funding of an equalisation allowance for health workers in management including nurse managers.  Treasury did not support this request and when workers were informed about the Treasury’s position, they appealed for reconsideration of their case.

 The board, working with the Ministry identified areas where savings could be made in order to fund the introduction of the equalization allowance.  On the 18th January, 2018, Zimbabwean Nurses Association wrote to me citing concerns over the continued plight of the nurse managers and educators.  The executive chairman of the Health Services Board acknowledged receipt of their communication and that they had given a 7 day final ultimatum to have their salary issues addressed, failure of which they would withdraw their services with effect from the 13th February 2018.  At the same time, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association in an updated letter addressed to the Executive Director of the Health Services Board to the Permanent Secretary, received on the 18th January, 2018 demanding minimum expectations from the Government. 

These minimum expectations included service vehicles which assisted framework agreed upon with the Health Services Board I 2017, to be urgently implemented.  No doctor should have to resort to public transport when they have to rush to an emergency in the hospital.  so, this is what they are effectively saying that doctors should be given vehicles or some transport so that when they are going on duty they are covered, they do not need to jump into a Kombi.

The second demand or expectation was that the current pathetic on call allowance paid to doctors at $360.00 per month must be urgently be revised upwards to $720.00 per month as per the 2014 agreement.

The third expectation was that the blanket freeze to recruitment of doctors and other health workers must urgently be scrapped.  Currently we have one doctor to 250 000 people.  The Zimbabwe Doctors Association called ZIDA requested that the Government delivers on these key demands within 100 days or else they would resort to industrial action for these issues to be resolved.

As a Ministry, we believe that the doctors have genuine grievances that need to be addressed by this nation.  Negotiations for the review of working conditions is done within the health service bipartite agreement negotiating panel which comprises health worker representatives and Government representatives.  The issues from both the nurses and the doctors were discussed in the bipartite meetings.   The contact person in all this has been Dr. Munatsi, the then President of the Doctors’ Association who tendered his resignation to his association on the 28th February, 2018.  Dr. Munatsi’s resignation followed a meeting with the Executive Chairman of the Health Service Board held on the 27th February, 2018. 

New management took over and proceeded with the industrial action.  Before a deadlock was reached, 271 junior doctors withdrew their labour with effect from 1st March, 2018.  The junior doctors who are mostly resident medical officers in central hospitals and government medical officers at Mutare Provincial Hospital, so the junior resident medical officers are at central hospitals and also there were Government medical officers at Mutare Provincial Hospital and they were on industrial action.

Over the course of the past weeks, the junior doctors have been joined by senior registrars.  As at 20th March, 2018, a total of 391 doctors have withdrawn their labour.  As for nurses, the nurses withdrew their labour with effect from the 16th of March 2018, the withdrawal of labour was called off on 18th March, after signing of the BNP agreement on the 16th of March 2018.  The BNP agreement was signed, although the ZHDA representatives walked out but they noted that there was a quorum.

There were various issues that were discussed at the bipartite negotiating panel:-

1.    Urgent procurement of standard hospital equipment and Essential medicines.

It should be noted that procurement is dependent on the available resources from both the Treasury and the health services fund.  Within the harsh economic environment Zimbabwe is facing, commitments have been made to ensure that all public hospitals provide at least all basic services in line with the core health package defined for the various levels of care.

          Furthermore, Government in 2017, disbursed $22 million from the Health Levy Fund and this has been used primarily to support the procurement of medicines and medical sundries, together with hospital equipment and reduction of the cost of blood from an average of US$120.00 per unit to the current cost of US$50 per unit at public institutions.  Government continues to accord the health sector priority status in foreign currency allocation for the procurement of medicines, medical sundries and hospital equipment.

2.    The upliftment of the blanket freeze on the recruitment of doctors and other health workers

In 2017, in recognition of the critical role played by doctors in health services provision, Treasury approved the creation of an additional 250 posts for doctors.  Currently, there are more than enough posts to absorb all doctors completing their internship.  There are efforts to identify critical posts for unfreezing across the health service.  Treasury concurred to the appointment of 162 junior resident medical officers with effect from 1st March 2018.  These positions were communicated to the ZHDA leadership through the Bipartite Negotiating panel.

3.     Clearly defined working hours

There was discussion about working hours.  In terms of the ILO standards, each worker should work a maximum of 40 hours per week.  It is then the responsibility of the local management to design duty rosters that are appropriate for their institutions, taking into account the available human resource base that is there.  The issue of working hours needs further defining.

4.      Payment of locum hours owed to all doctors.

Doctors work what we call locum duties.  When they are not on duty, they are allowed to do extra work elsewhere and this is called a locum.  They have been doing locums at hospitals and sometimes not paid and this has accumulated from October.  So Government made a commitment and started paying outstanding locum claims in February, 2018.

5.      Re-grading of doctors to their correct salary grades

Some doctors were staying at the same levels without the notches or being promoted upwards.  Treasury in its dated minute and regrading of doctors, middle level, junior and senior registers, started on the 1st of March, 2018.  So, they have started regrading.

6.      Cession of current practice to scrap housing allowance and post-internship

          Interns who do not reside in institutional accommodation – what happens here Mr. President is that, when you qualify as a doctor and you are a houseman, you are called a resident doctor, you are supposed to stay within the hospital premises.  Often, the accommodation is not enough.  So, those doctors who stay out of the hospital are given out of residence allowance of $250 per month.  In addition, they are also given the standard housing allowance of $131 per month to enable them to rent accommodation closer to their work stations.  Those who stay in institutional accommodation are given only the standard housing allowance.

7.      Suspension of contracts for interns

          Everyone, if you complete your degree and go into housemanship, the argument around this was that in the past, you just walk in and do internship without any contract.  Over the years, it has been discussed that it may be worthwhile to have a contract so that you know exactly what is expected of you.  Everyone is now expected to sign a contract of employment on commencement of their internship.  This is now mandatory and standard practice.

8.      Implementation of the doctors’ vehicle scheme 

          There is the issue of implementation of the doctors’ vehicle scheme.  We have said doctors should have vehicles and they do not have to scramble around in order to go and attend to emergencies.  So, a vehicle loan scheme for all health workers has been established with a revolving fund of $10 million and this is immediately available.  It will be implemented in terms of the framework designed by the Bipartite Negotiating Panel (BNP).  Those doctors and nurses who meet at this panel will be the ones who decide how to disburse this money according to their separate groups.  It is for all health workers and not just for doctors.

9.      Upward review of On Call allowance to a minimum of $1500

When doctors are On Call, they get paid for it.  So, this is the biggest contention, I must highlight this part.  When On Call allowance was reviewed from the 1st of April, 2017, in terms of the collective bargaining agreement on the Health Services BNP, whatever the doctors were getting as On Call allowance was reviewed upwards by 50% with effect from the 1st of April, 2018.

However, I want to be fair to the doctors, even if you give them 50%, it depends on how much they have been getting in the first place as On Call allowance.  So, if you were getting a little and it is 50% increase, it is really small.  If you are also senior and you get a bit more, it goes on like that.  This is a very big contention; the doctors want a minimum of $1500 as On Call, before you talk of salary and other things.

10.    Post basic allowance

The Government has reintroduced a post-basic allowance for nursing staff who acquire approved additional qualification up to a maximum of two qualifications.  When a nurse becomes a qualified nurse, some of them go and do post-graduate training and in the past, this was not recognised in terms of remuneration.  Now, we are saying, if you get one qualification, you get recognised and if you get two qualifications, you also get recognised for the extra one.  However, beyond two qualifications, you get nothing, so it was up to a maximum of two additional qualifications and this is with effect from 1st April, 2018. 

11.    Nurse Managers Allowances

          When you are in the hospitals there, there are Registered General Nurses (RGN) who are walking about, but there are also nurses who manage them who are called nurse managers like the Principal Nursing Officer and so on.  Those were getting less than their juniors because when their juniors go for night duties, by the time it is added, it becomes more than their supervisors, it was a bone of contention.   So, we have reintroduced Nurse Managers’ Allowance with effect from 1st of April, 2018.  This is a form of equalization allowance, to make it a bit fair and equal.

12.    Rural allowances

          Currently, these are being paid at a rate of 15% and 5% of the basic salary and this is really quite low.  The board expects that proposals to review this will be tabled at the next BNP.  Mr. President, after this, vis a vis, expectations, the doctors continue to be on strike, the nurses are all back at work.  The doctors are essentially saying; address the issue of vehicles, which has been addressed but they are saying, those vehicles should be duty free, which is another area.  In addition to that, they want their On Call allowance of $1500.

          The Government then offered what they can offer.  We did that in a Press Statement, it was not as if that is what we agreed with the doctors, it is what we offered but the doctors said ‘no, we are not taking this.’  However, I think we have reached a critical stage because doctors are still on strike and it is unacceptable that it goes on for so long.  This has now escalated to higher offices, where the discussions are happening.  This is where we think the resolution will come from.  We jointly hope that this impasse can be solved soon. 

As a Ministry, we believe and I think all of us believe so, that the real victim here is the patient of this country whom we should all strive to assist and care for as best as we can.  I think we need to prioritise the health delivery system of this country as a people.  Mr. President, we must try and ring-fence the health sector so that it is given and accorded that priority that it deserves.  Thank you Mr. President.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care.  That brings us back to notice…

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Point of order Mr. President.  I understand that this is a Ministerial Statement, but as representatives of the people, are we not allowed to ask one or two questions?

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I think you can.

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Can I be the first one?

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Yes.

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: My first query is; would it not be helpful if some of the payments which are supposed to be paid with effect from April, 2018 were back-dated to January?  Secondly, this one may not have anything to do with the Statement but, is it not sensible that as the Ministry of Health and Child Care, you ask Government to establish more training institutions at other universities for doctors because definitely, one doctor for 250 people is bad.  Thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  Thank you Mr. President.  Hon. Minister, why do you not have an agreement that takes into consideration a period of five years so that we do not have these strikes going on.  What I am talking about here is you do it once and you cover a period of five years.  I mean there will be an increase until you finish five years.  That gives  you opportunity to plan so that when they come back after the five years, you are now able to deal with their agreement that is going to take another five years, let us say on the third or fourth year.  You will have a long period of planning because that will help us.  Many people are dying because the doctors and nurses are on strike.  That is not good for our country.  I think when you do the negotiations, can you look at that aspect and try to have long term solutions because these are essential people that we need every day, every hour and every second.  The moment they go on strike, everything goes bad.  I thank you Mr. President. 

+HON. SEN. NCUBE:  Thank you President of the Senate.  Thank you Hon. Minister for the Statement, at least you have talked about the doctors’ strike.  However, we do not want to see this in the future.  Concerning the issue of vehicles, Hon. Minister, I think that we are not fair to the doctors.  We believe they are given little money regarding the fact that they are the ones responsible for our health system.  The $1 500 that they are talking of is what they deserve.  Even if they get other allowances, we should ensure that they get $1 500 per month.  Duty free is fine because other people in the Government are getting duty free vehicles.  There are cars that they were supposed to get from Government.  I remember they were promised loans and there was a lot of corruption.  Looking at the work, we know that there are people in other positions who got their cars and they did not.  May that be corrected.  I thank you. 

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  May I remind Senators not to try and debate the issues but to ask specific questions.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Hon. Minister, in the past, we used to get some support from other international organisations.  At one time, we were receiving funds that were assisting in the health sector.  Has that door been closed, if so what could be the reason?

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank the Minister because the issue we are discussing has been a pain to us.  Whatever the doctors are saying, generally is for the progress and development of the country, however, we are facing a problem in that many people are dying because of illnesses.  The doctors would want to enjoy their privileges.  When we talk of a resident doctor, the one provided with accommodation – the crisis that we have is the public sector job creation and job structure.  You find that these doctors, compare themselves with other people in the civil service.  I will give an example, we were at school with the magistrates, the training that they had, to compare the doctor and the lawyer, there are many differences.  When you look at the benefits of the magistrates, they are given very beautiful cars, the Ford Rangers, the four wheel drive and other benefits.  The doctor, despite his training, does not have such benefits. 

I was a student leader at the university that time and I compare myself with what is happening in the country.  This is the reason why we have these strikes and industrial action because people are comparing.  I am calling upon the public service and saying that as long as I am a doctor, earning some $500, I will not mind if I know I am deserving what it means.  The problem we are facing at the moment is doctors are earning far less than what is expected of them.  What is the real salary of the workers?  Let us not talk of the other allowances that they have.  We have a problem with our Treasury because when you go to Treasury, you want to buy whatever you want, but Treasury will only turn down your request.  We request you as members of Cabinet to talk to Treasury and tell them that when people are coming to Treasury asking for their budgets, I believe there is no set down rule in allocation of funds but they simply turn that down.

When we talk about job evaluation, Treasury turns you down.  This is a human resources department, not simply Treasury.  Let me wind my speech by talking about the industrial action that has been taken.  Whenever there is a strike, we have people who try and solve the situation.  We believe these go between should assist in shelving this industrial action.  We are saying, if you have problems in talking to the workers that are on industrial action, please you may also invite us as traditional leaders.  We can talk to them and they will understand.  When we have intervened and made resolutions, please follow up on those resolutions because at the moment, people are in problems.  You only need people who are very strong, medical aid societies supporting them but other clinics and hospitals like the West End and the Avenues; people have problems in accessing them.  We need to convince these doctors and when we have made resolutions, we tell them and implement that.  What we need is someone to go between, we are going to do something about these things.  I thank you Mr. President.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank Hon. Senators for their contributions and questions that will help us a lot.  The first question came from Senator Mashavakure.  It was the issue that from April, can you backdate to January in terms of the allowances?  I think this is an issue for Hon. Chinamasa, you can put it forward to him to say this is the issue.  However, the issue of more training of doctors is important.  As you are aware, we now train about 200 doctors at the university hear and about 23 doctors at NUST and much fewer doctors at MSU.  We expect that Africa University will also start training doctors and Chinhoyi is also muting to train doctors.  Essentially, we need more and more doctors.  The more we have, we can also have a bigger crop of specialists.  If we have a group of specialists in various fields, we do not send a lot of our people outside to India or China.  So, I think it is a good point to continue training.  That money should be availed and this doctor training is under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.

          Hon. Sen. Shoko, you are thinking of long term planning of five years, I think it is a valid issue that needs to be looked upon in line with our policies.  We have all these five year draft policies and we can incorporate the human resource component so that it is also graduated appropriately.  Hon. Sen. Ncube, you really think $1500 is small, people should be given money.  Let me tell you as the Minister of Health and Child Care.  I really think that our health sector professionals are underpaid and they should be remunerated much more.  The issue is that does the country recognise that?  If we pay doctors say a minimum of $3000, do we not get others also saying I am a police officer or teacher and I also need $3000?  I am saying let us be in a position where we can be able to recognise that health is a priority to us.  If we want to keep our doctors here, let us remunerate them well.  So, let us isolate the health sector. 

          We used to fall under the Public Service Commission but we argued in Cabinet to say why do we not have health as a specialised sector.  Can we have our own commission?  They said we will not give you a commission, we give you a board and that is why we have the Health Services Board.  However, the Health Services Board is tied down.  Whatever they agree upon, Treasury compares the health sector with the rest of the civil servants.  So, that is where the key is.  I am just saying to the nation, can we please recognise the health sector, ring fence and isolate it. 

          This also applies with the vehicle loans.  The junior doctors are not asking for big things; they want small things.  They are young men and women and they want to run around.  It is not fair for these junior doctors to use public transport.  I am just saying let us look at that as a country. 

          Hon. Sen. Chimhini, you asked a very important question about development partners.  They have been coming in.  We have the Health Development Fund, which is made up of EU, Irish Aid, USAID, et cetera.  The fund helped us a lot in paying allowances for doctors. A year ago, they said after 12 months, we are going to gradually cut the funding.  That is what has really happened, the Health Development Fund is being cut every month.  What the doctor in Mapisa was getting is no longer the same, so they are also disgruntled.  We are appealing to the Government to prop the doctors in order to keep them there.  It is our worry that we might lose the doctors that we have deployed in remote areas.  So it is not an easy problem; it is a problem that needs the whole nation to begin to realise that the health sector needs something unique, not as a boastful health sector but they need to be given priority. 

          The Global Fund also assists with salaries but they no longer want to support human resources.  They fund other programmes and the supply of drugs.  So, we cannot rely on donors because they can cut off aid at any time. 

          Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, I would want to thank you for the experience which you have because you were a student leader at the university. I know you have some leadership qualities.  You were talking of closed up salary and this includes these allowances.  You were asking on their salaries but we are told that salaries are private and confidential.  However, I will check on that.  It will be good for people to know so that it also protects our doctors and you really know what they are.  We are crying out loudly for them but I need to check on this one.  You asked about consultants, it is true the doctors engaged their consultants to assist in the negotiations.  The issue is now discussed at a higher level and we hope that it will give us finality.  Thank you. 

MOTION

DEVOLUTION AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

 

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House-

        NOTING that cultural development is key to economic development of the country;

        FURTHER NOTING that delay of devolution and cultural development has led to the underdevelopment of some areas of the country.

        Calls upon this House to;

a)    Support the development of local languages.

b)   Give consideration to local people where employment opportunities arise in their areas.

c)    Expedite the devolution process for planning, implementing and monitoring economic development and use of resources.

d)   Ensure inclusiveness in all government sectors such as parastatals management boards and government ministries

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I second.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  As Zimbabweans, we pride ourselves that we have a very good Constitution.  Our Constitution came about by going to the communities to source ideas in order to come up with a draft Constitution that is acceptable to the people.   That is the Constitution for the people and for the Government to follow what is in that Constitution.  The Constitution has founding principles which we have all read and understood. 

          The values and the principles of upholding the national diversity of culture, our people, our traditions, this is found in our Constitution.  Therefore, we are saying whatever is done by Government should uphold the diversities of the Zimbabwean people.  In Zimbabwe, because of our diversities, we also have different languages and the languages are in the Constitution.  We have 16 languages.  We are expecting our Government to appreciate and make sure that these languages are used to discuss issues that appear in the media like the two main languages which we often see in the media. 

          The following are the 16 languages:-

1.    Chewa

2.    Chibarwe

3.    English

4.    Kalanga

5.    Koisan

6.    Nambya

7.    Ndau

8.    Ndebele

9.    Shangani

10.                       Shona

11.                       Sign Language

12.                       Sotho

13.                       Tonga

14.                       Tswana

15.                       Venda and

16.                       Xhosa

As you know, we are leaving other people behind because we are not using their language.  We are leaving them behind even in development.  It says, further mandate this House to prescribe other languages as officially recognised languages.   Instead of those 16 languages, we can even look at other languages which are not there and also as Parliament make them official.  While we are having these official languages, at the present moment, it has been one main language, and a second major language, but not all the other languages. 

          We have seen a token of these languages being spoken and as we can remember, when Senator Coltart was in the Ministry of Education, he tried to have other languages as part of the discussions and to be used in examinations - languages like Tonga, Kalanga and Nambya.  The Government has not done anything further than that.  In three years, Hon. Coltart did something but the Government has not done anything further than that in five years. As Government, we require these other languages to be taken as important languages.

          The Government has even failed to translate the Constitution into different languages.  It has failed to align the various laws, for example, the Education Bill has not come for us to debate.  You know that our children in primary school in ECD A and B will be taught in the vernacular as the previous Minister had said, that all children under grade three will be taught in the local language. 

          Teachers have been sent outside the country to train but when these teachers came, we got only Shona trained teachers for ECD A, B and grade one.  We know these people are going to be placed in Matabeleland.  The Matabeleland children are supposed to be taught in their mother language so that they understand their own language so that they are aware of their culture and language.  So we are saying the Government is not doing much pertaining the languages of this country. 

          This Government has systematically over the years made calculated steps to destroy the languages of other ethnic communities.  I can give you an example.  During the Gukurahundi time, we had people who specifically were assigned to Matabeleland who were called LGPOs. They were sent to go and train people in Matabeleland to speak Shona and to dance the Shona way.  We are saying this is not accepting the diversity of our country because of not appreciating the languages and cultures of our country.

          Secondly, deployment of primary teachers into schools - we are also saying that is doing away with not respecting cultures and traditions of other people.  Again, deployment of Government workers, for example in Manicaland, the school children are being taught in Shona, the Zezuru Shona and not Chimanyika.  The Manyika people would like their children to learn, write and speak chiManyika.  Now we are seeing that everywhere, it is standard Shona and you know what standard Shona is, it is the Zezuru.  The Zezuru is being taught from Manicaland, from the maNdau  area, from Mavuradonha, Plumtree and everywhere.  We are finding the Shona being the only one, what about the cultures of other people, their language?  Everybody needs to understand that they need their culture.

          For example, if you go to Matebeleland, Binga or Plumtree, the police officers and nurses employed there totally refuse to speak in Ndebele.  My mother may not understand Shona but she is expected to speak in Shona by the nurses and police officers who are there.  Can we accept the diversity of our nation and employ different people in different areas?  Why are we not training the Ndau people to be police officers in the maNdau area so that their culture can be preserved?  Why can we not employ nurses who can speak that language?

          On television, there is usually a small broadcasting space for the other languages, which is broadcast late into the night such that the people concerned stay until very late to listen to the news being aired out in their languages.  Can we have a fair share of all languages broadcast on television and on radio so that we all grow up with the understanding that we are together. 

I will give you an example of South Africa and Botswana.  In South Africa and Botswana, the children speak any language because it is appreciated.  Their parents will not ask them which language they are speaking.  This is creating tension between the cultures because other languages do not seem to be appreciated.  The diversity of our nation is not being appreciated by the Government.  I am saying, can we ask our Government to appreciate the diversity of the Zimbabwean people?  We have different people from different areas. 

We have Zezuru people, Makorekore, Ndau - I have not heard the Manyikas speak in their dialect, the Manyika and neither have I heard the Makorekore people speak in their dialect.  The only person I have heard speaking in Manyika is Hon. Muchinguri.  When she comes here, she speaks in the Manyika dialect.  This is because most of us here are ashamed to speak in our language; we think the standard Shona is the right Shona to speak.  I have not heard the Karanga people speak their dialect, or there are no more Karanga people here. I am saying, everybody should feel free. 

Sometimes, when I am trying to speak in Ndebele here, I am told that the Minister does not understand.  Why does he not understand?  I am expected to understand Shona and the Minister is not supposed to understand Shona, why?  ‘Mrs. Khumalo, can you try, you are better in English, can you slightly say it in English,’ it is wrong.  All of us here should feel free to speak in our language.

I will give you an example; I lived in Lesotho.  When you go to Lesotho, for the first two months, they sit with you to teach you how to speak Sotho so that from that day, after two months, you have to understand it because nobody is going to say anything in your language.  Why can the Ministers here not understand my Ndebele?  Some of them were even schooled in Matebeleland, but when we are here, I am told to speak in Shona because the Minister does not understand.  Can we all understand everyone’s language? As for me, I can understand Nyanja or Sotho and most of our languages here.  In Zimbabwe, I speak seven languages, but I do not want to be forced anymore when others are not allowed to speak my language, which they do not understand.  Everybody must understand what the other one is saying. 

Whilst we appreciate that when children grow up, they should understand different languages, I will give you an issue concerning my daughter, not at four years or six years of age, but in secondary school; she was taught Ndebele by a Shona teacher and when she spoke in my Ndebele dialect in class, the teacher would tell her, ‘that is not Ndebele, do not speak like that!’  She had to think of leaving the Ndebele language because the teachers are not taught to understand and appreciate that there are other languages.  The Government does not encourage the employees to understand the importance of our diversity, it has taught people to say, the only language is the standard Shona, which is more of Zezuru.  In Manama, they speak Sotho but the police officers who are deployed there are Shona speakers and they refuse to learn Sotho. 

I was expecting that within the 100 days, our new Government was going to give a pronouncement on all languages, in particular that all those who wish to go and work in other provinces must be able to speak the language spoken in that area.  That should have been part of the 100-day resolutions.  I hope it is going to be because we all need to be part of Zimbabwe.  Personally, I want to be part of Zimbabwe because I am a Zimbabwean and that is why I understand seven to eight languages in Zimbabwe.

I would also like to say people are not allowed to exercise even the right of their tradition and culture.  The Constitution says that there are traditions and cultures in Zimbabwe.  We have the right to practice our traditions and culture.  When we want a king, it does not mean he is a king for everybody.  If you want your king, you can have him, it is your tradition and culture.  We believe in our supreme person to lead us in the form of a king.  Why can anybody not have their king, it does not hold anybody, it is our tradition and culture.  Why can we not be given that opportunity?

The naming of the provinces; why do we have Mashonaland, Matebeleland, Manicaland and so forth.  This also creates tension.  The naming of the provinces also creates tension.  There is no Mashonaland.  In Mashonaland, you have some Ndebeles in some of the areas, they were moved there.  With that, there is no school for them to continue with their language.  There are Ndebeles in Buhera and there is no school for them to continue with their culture and tradition.  Why is it in Manama and Msase – they used to be Matabeleland South.  It was changed and chingezi used to be singezi. Those Ndebeles there were forced to say chingezi and to learn chingezi. 

The primary school was Ndebele and secondary school was Shona but it was said no.  If you remember, there is just one small thing, Msase now, there are a few Shonas who have settled in Manama.  Do you know what is happening, it is said there should be a class for Shona classes.  What is that Shona?  It will not be a karanga shona, it is going to be shona or zezuraised shona.  Can we not be forced all of us to be zezuranised?  Can we be ourselves?  In a way, we are all being forced to be zezuranised.  The standard shona is zezuru – [HON. SENATORS:  Inaudible interjections.] – We were told to that...

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA):  Order. I know you are listening with interest and enjoying, so do not disrupt the enjoyment.  Keep listening. 

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  The names of these provinces, I feel that for example, Matabeleland in reality is not Matabele who are living there.  When we were growing up, we had a general name when we were growing up, ukuthi umthwakazi omhle.  Umthwakazi is talking about Koisane.  They are the people we found there, so we were calling that entire region umthwakazi, naming it after the Koisan people.  That would put all of us under that name because I know why there was Mashonaland personally.  It was to mobilise all the other languages so that they are able to support the Government to fight in the Gukurahundi.  Gukurahundi is gone, let us live properly and let us have proper names.  All of you who had dialects of shona, when you were called shona, you thought you had a right to fight.  I am saying it is gone, let us live together without that name. 

Finally, how do you call a province like Manicaland where there are Ndau speakers, Karanga, the Shanganis are all there.  Masvingo there are Karangas, Ndebeles and so forth.  All these I think should have better names.  Can you coin names for them so that you do not hate me a muNdebele because I come from Matabeleland, because you have all been put together as standard Shona to hate and fight the Ndebele.  Let us be one.  Diversity is good for us with different languages.  If you we have devolution, finally...

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  As you conclude, is Masvingo a tribe?

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  No, Makaranga.  That one I understand.  Masvingo is iNyanda.  It is not the tribe.  I am saying it is taken as if Masvingo is only Makaranga and so forth.  They are the ones who had a better name like Midlands, they had a better name also, although when they learn at school, they are zezuralised, they are standard Shona.  There is nothing they are doing.  In school they are taught standard Shona and standard Shona is zezuralised, that is what I am saying.  We need devolution.  If we had devolution of power in all these provinces, we could decide ourselves as Mthwakazi what languages we are going to do.  We were also going to look at our resources at the present moment because everything is centred in one.  Development is not done properly.  I will give an example of Chiadzwa.  The Chiadzwa people got nothing.  The development which was there was just a strip for the small aircrafts to come and collect the money from Chiadzwa and leave those people as poor as they were before and even worse because they were moved from their areas. 

I am asking this House, can we accept devolution so that people can plan for themselves and ensure that there is progress for themselves.  For example, in Mutoko, there is granite.  It is not developing Mutoko, it is coming to Harare and developing Harare.  In Lupane, we had very good timber, who was using that timber?  It was Lupane Timbers, a firm in Harare which left the Lupane schools with no benches, no roofs, as poor as they were with all the riches that they had.  Lupane Timbers from Harare, if they did any gift to a school, maybe they did it to a Harare school because they live here.  They go and take and come and spend whatever they get from there.  We are saying devolution, can it be there to give people what is their rightful resources for economic development of their area.

All tribes in this country have a part to play in the development of this country.  The reason why we are poor – we found this country rich but because we started segregating ourselves, look at how poor we are.  Zimbabwe would have been very far if it had not thought we cannot employ these ones.  As far as you know, people in Matabeleland are not employed.  Look at the universities in Matabeleland, who is in charge?  Do you mean our children did not go up to any university to run those universities...

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order Hon. Senator.  Can you go back to your motion.  If you look at your motion and what you are now debating, there is a serious deviation.  Your motion is not about tribalism, it is about cultural development.  There is a difference, where you are now, you have left the motion and debating a totally different motion.  I know you like that area very much.  This is the second time now of asking you not to go in that direction, I know you like that area.  Go back to your motion which says, noting that cultural development is key to the development of the country, now you are insinuating that in Matabeleland only Ndebeles should work there and in Mashonaland, that is basically what it amounts to, but that is a very complex area and it defeats the very motion you have come up with because you are talking of recognition and inclusivity and all these things, but now you are talking of exclusivity again.  You used that word in the motion.  You want to ensure inclusiveness in all Government sectors.  Now what does inclusiveness mean?  It means wherever you go, even in terms of cultures and tribes, you will find Ndebeles in Harare, you will find Ndebeles in Masvingo.  That is inclusiveness.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Exactly, I was coming to that.  Why not have some of the Vice Principals who are Ndebeles.  They are not there, do you understand.  Is that inclusive?  That is not inclusiveness.  Inclusiveness whether it is education officers, let us have them all.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  You mean Vice Chancellors of Universities and not Vice Principals.

HON. KHUMALO:  Yes.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Who is the current Vice Chancellor at Lupane State University, who is currently at NUST?

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  Lupane is Bipa and NUST is Ndlondlo.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  No, since when?  Okay, let me come back to you on that.  He is a new person.  I am sorry, the person who was acting,  I did not know he was confirmed.  Thank you very much for the correction.  I understand, thank you.

Then I am saying, in all the institutions, in all activities, can we have inclusiveness so that all our children find work, all our children are proud of being Zimbabweans because they can speak their language and speak other languages.  Myself, I do not want a child to speak Ndebele only because I speak other languages.  Let our children be proud of speaking Shona, let our children be proud of speaking Ndebele, let our children be proud of speaking Kalanga.  This is what I am saying.  It is inclusivity.  Let our children and all of us practice our cultures, our traditions, so that we are not left behind.  It says let us not leave others behind.  Let us take each other together.

Finally, Mr. President, I would like to go back to the beginning of my speech to say, can this House support the development of local languages, can there be consideration of local people where employment is supposed to be and expedite devolution.  We are getting behind because there is no devolution.  Devolution is important so that each person can see the development in their country.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  What does it say about employment there?

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Expedite the devolution process of planning, implementation and monitoring economic development and use of resources.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  What does it say about employment?

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Give consideration also to local people where employment opportunities arise.  The Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education last week on television said my people in Masvingo, can you make yourselves groups so that you can be in charge of the area.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Which Minister is this?

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  The Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  There is no such Minister in the current Government.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I said the former Minister.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  But he is still a Minister today.   How can you refer to him as a Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education?

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I do not know what he is Minister of right now.  I know him previously when he was the Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education – [Laughter.]-

He said organise yourselves so that in here you get employment.  So, I am saying do you see.  It is a right of the local people in Masvingo to go and organise themselves so that there is employment.  Can it be everywhere that they can be organised in Matabeleland, they can be organised in Manicland and it is not taken as a wrong thing when it can be done in other areas.  I thank you Mr. President

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Anyway, only Hon. Sen. Khumalo can debate like that.  It is unique to her.  She has specific areas of debate – health, nutrition and tribalism.  Thank you very much.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  You think that is called tribalism?

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Yes, regionalism.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  When others are excluded it is not tribalism, when it is a Ndebele talking it is tribalism – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  No, we will allow her to say what she wants, but we will keep reminding you that if wrongs have been made in the past, we no longer live in the past.  Let us look to the future.  I know you can say a lot of things about the past, but we are not going backwards but they can only help us to strengthen the future.  So, let us try and unite as Zimbabweans.

As you are aware, Rwanda had the worst ethnic conflict in the world, but today it is the best in terms of unity and peace.  So, it is how we structure ourselves.  Whether we keep saying you killed my mother yes, but we need to move forward.  Those in Parliament are the leaders and because they are leaders they also want to try and build.  No one in this room wants his or her culture undermined, not even a single person in this room and no one wants to be marginalised.

I want to say, this topic of marginalisation - sometimes when you go to Masvingo and you feel there are better roads in parts of Matabeleland than in Masvingo for example, but I will not make an issue and say, we are whatever, no.  We just go to the person who does roads and say, you have forgotten us, do something.

Anyway, we are one and we will never be separated– the Tongas, Kalangas, the Tswana, the Sotho, the Ndebeles, the Nambyas, the Manyikas and the Ndaus, name them.  We were put together by God.  That is a design by God himself who decided that we live like that together and we have to live and accept one another, let us help to build that.

As Parliament, my own frustration is that we are debating culture and development.  Who is going to take these things on board?  I think I will give that to Parliament.  We are just talking here.  When you close this motion, what action by whom, I just wonder.  I just want to take it to the Senators themselves now that sometimes we need to keep thinking.  I am always frustrated by the way we do things. 

We debate now and it is past 5.00 p.m.  It is like as if we are at a place that is far away.  Kungogochawo mabagwe zviya muchiita nyaya.  Tsuro yakazodayi ikazonyepera nhingi, inganyepera nhingi, then you sleep and more and more stories.  We need to say concerning these things that we debate, where do they go?  At the end of the day, who responds and what is the implementation plan for each one of them, nothing.  And I keep challenging Parliament that that is a great weakness.  We are a good talk shop.  We do not take matters further.

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

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 10th April, 2018.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA seconded by HON. SEN. MUMVURI, the Senate adjourned at Ten Minutes past Five o’clock p.m. until 10th April, 2018.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 22 MARCH 2018 VOL 27 NO 33