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SENATE HANSARD - 23 JULY 2009 VOL. 18 NO. 24

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 23rd July, 2009

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

 

PRAYERS

(MADAM PRESIDENT in the chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MADAM PRESIDENT

KARIBA WORKSHOP

MADAM PRESIDENT: I have to remind women members that the bus leaves at 830hrs tomorrow to Kariba for the workshop on the Constitution.

ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER

MADAM PRESIDENT: I have to draw the attention of the Senate to an error on the Order Paper. The first Order of the Day appears twice, firstly as Order of the Day, No. 1 and secondly as Order of the Day, No. 8. So kindly disregard Order of the Day, No. 1 as it will be dealt with at the appropriate time when we get to the Order of the Day, No. 8.

DEDICATION CEREMONY ON NATIONAL HEALING, RECONCILIATION AND INTEGRATION

MADAM PRESIDENT: All members of the Senate are invited to the dedication ceremony being hosted by the organ of the National Healing reconciliation and Integration on the 24 th of July 2009, at Rainbow Towers in the Jacaranda room. This is to mark the start of 3 days of national healing, reconciliation and integration of the Zimbabwean people. Members should arrive at the venue at 9 a.m.

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

May I wish to remind hon. senators to switch off their cell phones before business commences.

MOTION

LEAVE TO SUSPEND STANDING ORDER NO. 98

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION: I seek leave of the Senate on provision of Standing Order, No. 98 regarding the procedures related to stages of Bills with respect of the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2009, H.B. 6, and the Appropriation (Supplementary) Bill H.B.5.2009. I request this because of urgent business.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER NUMBER 98

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION: I accordingly move that provisions of Standing Order number 98 regarding procedures relating to the stages of Bills be suspended in respect of the Finance Bill (No. 2) Bill 2009, H.B.6. 2009 and the Appropriation (Supplementary)H.B.6 . 2009.

Motion put and agreed to.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ATTACHMENT PERIOD FOR STUDENT TEACHERS

2. SENATOR MUMVURI asked the Minister for Higher and Tertiary Education to explain why some students from teachers Colleges have had their period of attachment suddenly extended indefinitely, thus causing inconveniences to the affected students?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION (DR. MUDENGE): Madam President, I want to thank the Hon senator for that important question. During term one, a number of schools were not operating and therefore the university could not assess the students on teaching practice. As a result, students had to prolong teaching practice by two to three weeks. However, most students are now back in college and they have been assessed except for the students at Joshua Mqabuko and Morgan Zintec. The University of Zimbabwe is now visiting them and as I speak, the university has visited Joshua Mqabuko for assessment. Some are supposed to visit Morgen Zintec very soon. I thank you.

MADAM PRESIDENT: Hon senators, usually after the Minister has given an answer to oral questions, after that any other member of the House can pose a supplementary question, but based on that particular subject.

SENATOR MUMVURI: The programme, which was intended for the students to go on teaching practice has been affected. Has it not affected the other group to go on attachment or was there an arrangement so that they also delay because these ones were delayed by three weeks? Are the students receiving their payouts when they are on attachment or the payment is no longer US$100 ?

DR. MUDENGE: Madam President, all students on attachment should be receiving their payouts. Arrangements have been made to ensure that other groups are not negatively affected by those whose teaching practice was prolonged.

MADZIWA TEACHERS COLLEGE

3. SENATOR MUMVURI: asked the Minister for Higher and Tertiary Education to explain why the second intake of student teachers at Madziwa Teachers College which opened in 2005, have not been certificated up to now despite the successful completion of their courses?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION (DR. MUDENGE): Madam President, the intake 2 students at Madziwa teachers College, which is one of our most recent Colleges established in 2005 in the rural area of Mashonaland were not assessed or examined because the university wanted to satisfy itself as to whether the students had received adequate distance learning materials such as modules during the five terms they spent on teaching practice. Unfortunately, because of the hyper-inflationary environment at that time, the new college did not have adequate equipment and materials to produce the modules . Its main distance education methodology was issuing of handouts, assignments and weekend seminars which the university adjudged to be inadequate.

We approached UNESCO, which has since purchased equipment to produce the needed learning materials which we believe, will meet the requirements of the University to enable the evaluation of the student teachers to take place. In anticipation of the completion of the evaluation, we have provisionally set the date for the graduation of intake 2 to take place on 5th August 2009.

SENATOR MUMVURI: My concern was that these students, after their completion and from what you have said, they are not allowed to be employed as qualified or temporary teachers. So is it not inconveniencing the students during the time they qualify?

DR. MUDENGE: Madam President, the students have not completed the requirements of the University of Zimbabwe. It was not the fault of the students, it was because of the economic challenges that the country was facing. We came to their assistance by approaching UNESCO so that the college can have the necessary equipment to be able to produce adequate materials to enhance teaching and learning. That has now been done and everything is in place and the student teachers will be graduating; as I said, on the 5th of August and I will be capping them myself in two weeks time. We hope we are coming to an end of these teething problems.

SENATOR GUTU : Still on the issue of student teachers' colleges, I do not know whether you are aware that there is a serious shortage of teachers, particularly at secondary school level countrywide as a result of the relocation of teachers to the diaspora, to South Africa, Namibia and the region. As I speak now, I do not have the statistics but there is a serious shortage, especially at public schools in the rural areas and urban communities. What is your ministry doing to ensure the teacher to student population ratio is put to acceptable levels and to lure teachers back to the country?

The second question is on tertiary institutions, with particular reference to the University of Zimbabwe. The University of Zimbabwe - you would appreciate that it is not open and there was talk in the media that there were some boreholes to make sure that there is some water. I do not know whether you are aware that the boreholes are not even sufficient to an institutionof the size of the University of Zimbabwe and also what measures the Ministry is taking to ensure that there is no mass exodus of trained teaching personnel at the University of Zimbabwe?

DR. MUDENGE : I will deal with the University of Zimbabwe first. The University of Zimbabwe never closed, it has always been open and it is open now. Post graduate students have been attending the University and we are going to have a graduation of over a thousand students in the coming month.

The fourth and fifth year medical students are at college. The University of Zimbabwe has never closed the medical department. The undergraduates students have not been able to go to the University because of lack of water. City of Harare has not been able to provide water to the University of Zimbabwe. ZINWA has not been able to ensure a constant supply of water for the University because of lack of resources and other constraints. We have however approached UNICEF to help us and we are grateful that UNICEF has helped us by digging 13 boreholes and of these 13 boreholes at the University of Zimbabwe, 9 of them yielded water and 5 of them produce little water per second. When it is like that, you cannot put an electric pump, you put a bush pump. So we have 5 boreholes with bush pumps. Four of them yield adequate water per second. We have put electric pumps on those boreholes which can yield high volumes of water so as to reticulate it into the Harare City Council main line for distribution at the University.

Because we have been able to do that, the respective Vice Chancellor announced last Friday that we will be commencing studies for undergraduate students from the 3rd of August.

However the use of boreholes is only a temporary solution. It is not a permanent solution until the Harare City Council can provide dependable supply to the University. Given this scenario, we are unable to run an institution to its full capacity, hence we can not take new students. It is not possible otherwise we will have a disastrous situation resulting in epidemics.

With your support, I hope that the City of Harare will be capacitated and I hope my brother the Minister of Finance has been able to give some money to Harare City Council. I hope that they will prioritise the line that goes to the University so that it operates. That is a big challenge.

On the question of brain drain, yes of course it is a reality both to the University and schools. As we may all know, conditions of service are the biggest challenge. Conditions of service such as adequate remunerations for our academic staff does not only affect my ministry but also my sister ministry of Education Arts and Culture where renumeration for teachers is also a problem, as I see. Until we can give adequate remuneration to these highly trained and important people in institutions of higher learning, we are likely to lose them to greener pastures in the diaspora. We, as Ministers who train them find it difficult to stop them to go. They are human beings. There are strategies we incorporate to ameliorate the situation but given our economic situation, it still remains a challenge.

However, on training of teachers we produce about 5 thousand teachers. They should be more than adequate but as soon as we train them, they go to the diaspora. The production of teachers is good. The quality of human capital is commendable. The volume is okay but the safe or net can not hold them. There are holes in the bucket and we are not responsible for those holes. The bucket has to be mended. I am sure my brother the Minster of Education Arts and Culture is examining those things.

MOTION

HIV/AIDS/MATERNAL HEALTH PROGRAMMES

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the plight of women due to HIV and AIDS.

Question again proposed.

*THE GOVERNOR FOR MASHONALAND EAST: Thank you Madam President. I would like to start by thanking Senator Mandava for introducing this motion. Secondly, I would like to thank all members who have debated this motion. As you will notice, I will debate along the lines initiated by Senator Chief Charumbira. In other words, I will be debating culture. Madam President, we are like doctors diagnosing the symptoms of an illness and if we fail on the diagnosis, we will never be able to treat this illness. As a result, the patient will continue feeling sick or may die. The child is suffering from stomach ache but we give it bilharzia treatment. Madam President this will never work. The child suffering from bilharzia and we treat syphilis and this will never work. This is what we seem to be doing and I will explain why we seem to be going round and round and as a result we will continue raising such motions. Let me give an example. Madam President, we are informed that the AIDS pandemic is due to poverty. Even yesterday, the debate on AIDS was poverty, poverty, poverty. I am not down playing the role of poverty but is it the major factor? I will answer this rhetoric with an example. We have in this world much more poorer countries than us but with low AIDS prevalence. Let us start with our neighbour Malawi. If any of us has ever visited Malawi, we will find that 90%, if not 95% of the population of that country are peasant farmers, farming on one hectare, just small plots, probably a maximum of one acre and nothing more; and yet prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS is much lower than in Zimbabwe. If poverty is a critical factor, then Malawi should be having a higher rate than ours. Let me forge ahead and give you a few more examples. I will not mention names of other countries since this would be recorded in the Hansard and this could be misconstrued as downgrading other countries. Let us look East, the second biggest nation in the world so let us look at the biggest nations and the second biggest nation in the world; billion people. If you have never known poverty, visit those countries and you will see poverty personified where there are millions of people without a roof over there heads. In our country, by the same standards, we are better off because every one of us has a shelter over their heads. Nobody goes hungry. Yes we may have hunger but in one way or the other, we have a piece of land in the rural areas. Water is not for sale for gardening near a stream or river. I want to prove to you that we are richer than a number of countries and yet those poorer countries Madam Presiden,t have a lower rate of HIV prevalence. Let me continue, if we are saying poverty is the one which is causing women to be promiscuous, I know men are also involved, but we are looking at women. Are these women sleeping around with poor men because if a poor woman is dating a poor man, what is she looking for, what is her benefit? You talk of sugar daddies who are poor but sugar daddies are rich and are responsible for infecting young school girls. So the main cause is not poverty but the opposite of poverty which is leading to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Let me now debate on small houses. A small house here, a small house there in modern palace of Zimbabwe, these are A2 families because in farming we have A1 farms, which means we also have A2 families. Small Houses are not run by poor people. I want to demystify the fact that HIV/AIDS is spread through poverty. I will give another example. It is said polygamy leads to the spread of AIDS. Polygamy should be eliminated. I am not debating polygamy but I want to debate whether polygamy is the other cause of AIDS. I want to analyse whether polygamy is a factor in the spread of AIDS. I will start by looking outside Zimbabwe. In Moslem countries like Turkey, Iran, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt, men are allowed to marry up to 4 wives by their religion-Koran. When you look at Iran, would you say prevalence of AIDS is high? It is insignificant. Go to Tunisia, it is insignificant go to Turkey, it is insignificant and yet polygamy is legalised. Are we correct when we say polygamy is one of the causes of the spread of HIV/AIDS? I will now come home to Zimbabwe and look at the apostolic sect. We know them, they are polygamous with 4, 5,6 wives. Let me ask a question, this apostolic man has 5 wives, he is not promiscuous neither are his wives. Will they be infected with HIV/AIDS -[HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections]- I will repeat my question. Is polygamy the cause of AIDS? You as the male senator proposes love to a younger and sexually active lady and yet you are sexually docile, then your companion will definitely seek for solace elsewhere, that is the justification. So in the case of the apostolic man and his polygamous marriage, if they are faithful to each other, they will be no AIDS in the family. My question now is what is the problem? Malawi has better education than us because Malawi has stuck to its culture more than us because of its history. If you look at the number of whites in Malawi, they do not exceed 10 000 even during the federal days. Secondly, Malawi was colonised by missionaries from Scotland who promoted African culture, that is why Malawi has continued promoting its tradition. Even if you look at Egypt, Turkey, Iran, they are Islamic countries. These countries show us another answer on how culture is important. Culture to them is a way of life. If you go to these countries, you will see that women wear clothes that cover their bodies from head to toe. You do not see men sitting with women. You do not see a married woman from Turkey or Iran shaking hands with men. They maintain their distance.

Now if we look at our culture from 1980, since our independence, there was a certain group that started stripping women who were putting on mini-skirts and there was an uproar from certain quarters that there was some interference with human rights. They were picked up and they were taken to courts. But we were there watching it and the minis continued moving around. Then came the era of maguvhu out. The boys tried to act, but they were said to be interferring with individual rights. People were being sued for calling them prostitutes. They were now called commercial sex workers instead of prostitutes. Then there came brothels, you will find that nice buildings were turned into brothels where girls will go and be picked. We were now dignifying it. By dignifying it, we were turning it into a money making business. They were now being encouraged to use condoms. At times they would not use condoms, that is how AIDS was spread.

There are certain values that have been lost; (1) The extended family - from 1980 we no longer had the tete figure. There are no longer professors tetes, mbuyas of culture. In 1890, we fought the Chimurenga War and we were defeated. Their aim was to knock hearts out of us. This is what happened at Chikomba after the Chimurenga War where people were burnt alive in full view of the others. That place is called Doronga. This was all done so as to knock the hearts out of us because they considered themselves too superior for us. That did not take place in Malawi, Zambia, Botswana. The answer is, we were mentally colonised. The missionaries that came to Zimbabwe were not ours but those from Rhodes. We have been mentally colonised. What we need now is a revolution in education which will create vanatete. When we are talking, we are not talking about going back to the era of wearing animal skins. We are talking about values because that is what we have lost and we are now following the British and American cultures. We are proud of everything foreign including the way we were beaten. We are not proud of ourselves, whatever is foreign we are so quick to adopt.

My last point is that we are able to fight AIDS because of the kind of laws that we put in place. We as Parliamentarians are not doing enough, a child of five years is raped and the culprit gets suspended sentence, the child is then tested and found to be HIV positive; is that not murder? Our laws are too lenient to the extent that people no longer fear committing such crimes. For example, a suspended sentence of three months will not prevent such crimes but enhance them. If our laws were tough, noone would be found committing crimes such as rape. Long back, if one committed such a crime, even raping someone's wife, capital punishment was administered such as the removal of one's eye. So as it is, our laws are not deterrent enough to reduce crimes of this nature.

*SENATOR HUNGWE: I want to say a few things concerning the motion which was moved by Hon. Mandava. Some people are good at complaining that the Governor has said too much, we want people to express their opinions because that is our business. Our duty here is to discuss issues which help people who are not in here. This motion seeks to find out why the rate of HIV infection keeps increasing. We should be asking ourselves how this disease came into being. Some say it was the white man, but I say it is God because He allows some of these things to happen in an attempt to address a certain problem. What we should ask ourselves is that long ago, was it possible for a man to think that he wants to have sex with a child of six months or so? This is what is happening these days. Does God like this? Did this begin in 1980 or before? When reviewing this issue, Hon. Mandava should try and find out how this pandemic came into being, because what we know is that God is the one who brings sickness in order to correct something. Even in the book of Judges, God would say you have done this wrong, you have betrayed me as your God and I will give you Judges who will deal with you. Let us not say it is the Indians or anyone. Whoever crafted this pandemic must have been very intelligent and made sure that one would not get it through drinking water or eating anything-[Laughter] - what we need to concentrate on is getting a solution as to how we can reduce this prevalence rate -

Last part of speech not recorded due to technical fault.

*SENATOR CHIEF CHIDUKU: The subject under discussion, the AIDS pandemic, I support what has been said by the previous speaker which is akin to when you are driving your car, it develops a flat trye and one checks the engine. On-lookers will begin to question the sanity of the driver. This is what we are doing. We should look at what AIDS is and how it came about. One's behavior is shaped from the time one is born through mentoring by one's parents.

The cause of the AIDS pandemic is that as parents, we can no longer control or discipline our children, because once we enforce discipline, we are accused of abusing the human rights. I know that mothers will agree with me that should the children come home at mid night, xou do not question them, you are not bothered about them. Should you ask them, you are accused of abuɳing their rights. Will these children get marraedȠin future?

In the ðast, our culture haͤ a way to presErve children's manner⁳, )fĬ as chiefs, we were to†insist on practising this culture, wɥ areРaccused ofࠠabusing the children's rights. We no longer practise the custom of preserving boys and girls vi䁲ginity. Instua䁤, we are encouraging the spread kf HIV ɢecause there are ųome耠people who are solely employed to deal with the pandemic, to the extend that if it were to be controlled, they would be angry that they will loose their jobs because it has become their livelihood. A lot of funds are being poured into the country to mitigate the AIDS pandemic instead of being used for other pressing developmental projects. What should we do? This is the crux of the matter, so that parents can bring up their children in accordance with their culture. If we are able to preserve our customs and culture, which we all know, I am not going to mention it, because if I were to mention it, some will disagree and hence we will start a different debate. I heard Hon. Chigwedere saying that we are not talking about the dressing, because the manner of dressing may attract men who then become lustful. Initially a child will turn down the man but eventually she will succumb. It may not be so much the question of the dress because in the past, we used to wear nhembe, but the difference now is if the body is always covered, when it is revealed, it becomes a problem.

I want to say the truth, when treating a boil, you only stop applying pressure after you have removed the foreign body, this comes after the person would have suffered excruciating pain. If we want to get rid of this pandemic, we must do away with those who think that those of us who advocate for the proper care of children, are keen on abusing the children's rights. The other cause of AIDS is that we are using obscene language openly, on radio, television, everywhere. If you want to prove that obscene language can have serious consequences, have a man and a woman exchange obscenities for the whole day and see if they will part each other well. Teenagers, who are not sexually active are encouraged to use condoms. For what purpose? These innocent souls have inadvertently become involved in sexual matters because on television, people dance in the nude and we smile and encourage them. The whole country thinks that this is a good practice when in fact, the country is being destroyed. That is why the last speaker said God becomes angry and once He is angry, He is going to punish everyone. There is no need for the blame game on who caused the AIDS pandemic. Collectively, we are all responsible because we have lost our values and customs. Last time when we were at the Sheraton, there was a lady who denounced our customs, saying they kill our children.

Charity begins at home, by the same token, in our custom, when a meal is being prepared, it is not everyone who will be responsible for dishing it, it is a special function for the mother. Should this order be disrupted, all hell will break loose. In the olden days, we used to respect that when one has reached puberty, he/she is grown up, not the eighteen or twenty years that was being advocated for yesterday.

*SENATOR FEMAI: Madam President, I would like to add my voice to this motion on HIV/AIDS and Maternal Health programmes. Firstly, I would like to point out that the increases in HIV cases in our country are due to cultural imperialism, where cultures from other countries are imported into this country. What annoys me is that one would find that for example, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture can go to other countries like China, United Kingdom, America, Australia or even some African countries that have a different culture from ours to sign some cultural agreements without having sought advice from chiefs.

That promotes cultural imperialism and that is why we find our children dressing in an unacceptable manner, in mini skirts or copying funny behaviour from other countries. It has even gone to the extent that a girl child will put on swimming costumes and being scantily dressed like that, would go swimming with her own father. That is against our cultural practices. Foreign cultures are to blame for the bad behaviour of our children as well as prostitution and those are some of the reasons that have promoted the spread of HIV in our country. We are supposed to make our chiefs to be the custodians of our culture and yet Ministers are signing cultural exchange programmes without consulting our chiefs and I am against that practice.

I also want to comment on what some senators who have debated before me said about male circumcision. Male circumcision has been said to be one of the measures that can help reduce the spread of HIV on men. However, I beg to disagree with that because it is not part of our culture as Zimbabweans for men to be circumcised. Those are practices that you take from other people's cultures and you want to infiltrate them into our own culture.

I remember during the days when we were growing up that people were against circumcision. It was because those circumcised men used to be stubborn and they were very quick to anger and were rude. Whenever a boy showed stubborn behavioural tendencies, we used to say muvhureyi bhurugwa so that we have a look at him. Most of the time it would turn out that murume akavhurika (circumcised)We used to say akaremara and we would even notice that there was often something wrong with pfungwa (brains) of those circumcised boys. All that I am saying confirms that there is something wrong with circumcised men because they do not reason properly.

Therefore, we should not encourage men to be circumcised in the quest that it is going to fight HIV/AIDS. People should follow their culture and behave themselves to stop HIV from spreading. I do not know of any country that can claim that it is a circumcising nation. God created us correctly and we should not then cut ourselves as if there is something wrong with how God created us. We do not want our men to be circumcised and then start behaving badly because they think it can protect them from HIV.

I also want to give an example of how God created women. One would notice that women have different shapes and sizes in terms of their private parts. Some have enlarged clitoris while others did not do anything to enlarge it. One would find that there are certain things that women do to maintain their health. During intercourse, the woman is the recipient and she takes in everything when the man ejaculates. Nothing comes out because that is the way God created them. That is why women can not be circumcised because they take in everything. For men, they emit the fluids and since they emit the fluids why should we advocate for their circumcision? We can not say that women and men should be circumcised so as to keep themselves healthy because that is at variance with how God created a human being to be.

The solution to this problem is that government should put in some money to traditional healers, doctors and research institutions so that proper research is done to come up with an AIDS vaccine as compared to promoting programmes for male circumcision. There should be some research or even that government should approach developed nations to seek for assistance in terms of medicines to help people infected with HIV/AIDS. At the moment our priority should be food security and fighting the AIDS pandemic. Besides food, government should look for money to purchase medicines for the sick people in our country.

SENATOR CHANDO: I want to add my voice to this important motion. I think the senator who moved this motion had researched and found that it is an area of concern. Now it is up to us to round up this issue. I think all of us here, no one can vouch that none of their relatives has died of AIDS. Let us think deeply as senators as we are in the midst of coming up with a new Constitution . There should be a section which deၡls$with this in the Cons4itution, referzing to culture that h䁡s耠been ɲeferrťl to by$the sanator ChIgwedere, This issue of culture is very important but eveŮ as уhiefs we want itȠto come back. There should be a law that protects cjiefs cascading to the people so that wၥ will not be labeled as interfer聩ng in fa-ily issŵes.

There are some funcuions!which taoeplace likd durin䁧 we聥kends and 䁷hat hippens ɴhere )s deၰ䀬orable. You ɳe艥 young people w聥aring maguvhu out and this is not good. We saw this during the weekend when I was with other MP's from my area. When we look at this disease, it is coming from urban areas and growth points and as a result let us move these things in our culture so that this will go to the chiefs and cascade down to the headman and general population in their jurisdiction.

*SENATOR CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Madam President Let me add my voice to the debate on the AIDS pandemic. How can you fight it? I would like to thank the mover of the motion. The onus is in your ladies. You stay with the children, you are the custodian of the children so if you teach them good manners and culture, we will create good citizens of tomorrow. One of the main causes of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Zimbabwe is lack of manners. We have heard debates in this House on the life of our forefathers, who used to partake of traditional medicines and young men were also encouraged to do the same. This lowered the rate of infections and as far as the girl-child is concerned the Lord endowed them with a menstrual cycle. As Zimbabweans we have lost our culture and adopted foreign cultures. Menstrual cycles are erratic due to medications such as depoprovera. These are disturbing the chemistry in our bodies and diseases accumulate . Do we ask ourself why our forefathers used traditional medications and natural menstrual cycles which have been stopped by the use of medications such as depoprovera which last for 5 years. So if we are to follow modern medicines, let us take what is good and leave what is bad. Our forefathers were clever. This is my contribution on HIV/AIDS.

THE GOVERNOR FOR MASHONALAND WEST: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th July 2009.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE GOVERNOR FOR MASHONALAND WEST: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 3 to 6 be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 7 and 8 are disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

FINANCE (NO.2) BILL, H.B. 6, 2009

Seventh Order read. Second Reading: Finance (No.2) Bill, H.B. 6, 2006.

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION: Madam President, the purpose of this Bill is to give effect to taxes measures, announced in the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review statement presented to this august House on 16th July 2009.

Madam President, the tax measures announced in the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement are aimed at boosting capacity utilisation through reduction of cost of importation of inputs and capital goods, provide guidance on transitional issues related to financial statements and the conversion of monetary deductions, allowances and exemptions that are in the tax legislation to foreign currency.

Madam President, in order to reduce the cost of capital and attract additional foreign investment, repeal of the 10% non-resident withholding tax on interest with effect from 1st August 2009 has been proposed.

As already alluded to in the Statement, registered operators are obliged to make a provisional mid-month VAT payment within the tax period. In order to enable operators to offer credit to their clients, a proposal to remove the provisional (mid-monthly) VAT payment with effect from 1st August, 2009 was made.

Madam President, current legislation provides an option for registered operators to apply for separate registration of trades, branches or divisions for VAT purposes. The ideal practice is to issue on unique taxpayer identification number to a taxpayer who will then account for all tax liabilities using that number. It has thus been proposed to remove the option for a registered operator to apply to register separate trades, branches or divisions for VAT purposes.

Madam President, in order to encourage the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in line with international trends, it has been proposed to reduce rates of customs duty on ICT equipment in newspapers.

Honourable senators would recall that customs duty was suspended on selected basic commodities from May 2008 to July 2009, in order to enhance their availability, whilst allowing local manufacturers to resuscitate production. In view of the low capacity utilisation level, it has been proposed to extend duty suspension on basic commodities to 31 December 2009.

Furthermore, in order to facilitate the refurbishment and expansion of the existing fleet of commuter omnibus vehicles, it has been proposed to reduce customs duty on public transport type passenger motor vehicles of 15 to 20 persons from 25% to 15%.

In addition, a proposal to reduce customs duty on single cab trucks from 25% to 20 % in order to enhance the transportation of goods by small traders has been made.

Finally, Mr President, in order to reduce incidence of smuggling, it has been proposed that any vehicle used by an individual or company in such malpractices be liable to forfeiture in the event that the same vehicle is used to commit a similar offense.

Mr President, I now move that the Bill be read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

 

COMMITTEE STAGE

FINANCE (NO. 2) BILL H.B. 6, 2009

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 19 put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading: with leave forthwith.

THIRD READING

FINANCE (NO. 2) BILL, H.B. 6, 2009

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE: I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

SECOND READING

APPROPRIATION (SUPPLEMENTARY) 2009 BILL

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE: I move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee of Supply: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES OF EXPENDITURE

House in Committee

On Vote 1: President and Cabinet - US$18 143 880.00

MR CHITAKA: I think there is an error, if you look at the Schedule which goes with Section 3 at the bottom there is US$556 898 000. I thought it should be US$566 898 000.

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR MANGOMA): It is a mathematical error, it will be corrected. The correct one is US$566 898 000.

Vote 1, put and agreed to.

Vote 2 - Parliament of Zimbabwe - US$99 800.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 3 - Public Service - US$239 150.00, put and agreed to.

On Vote 4:

SENATOR MLOTSHWA: I have been thinking what do we need that kind of figure for?Are we at war?

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. MANGOMA): This amount as you know our budget for running what we have got this whole schedule has been put in that manner mostly because of the additional vote of credit we are getting to be able to assist us. You remember this includes the whole budget was $US1 billion but out of it we increased the budget to $US1,6billion. And you find that in terms of adjusting to make sure that things can function as you know we are on a cash basis. We are notable to do new things we are simply maintaining what is there and trying to spread the money we have got. That is why most of these monies have been applied. There is merely no money for a war, it is simply maintaining what we got.

Vote 4 - Defence - US$6 296 600.00 put and agreed to.

On Vote 5:

SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Mr President. I have noticed with interest that the Finance's original allocation, even if you double it does not come to the revised estimate. What does it cover?

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR MANGOMA): As you know the Ministry of Finance is the repository and making sure that everything that is not going well, the ministry will be able to assist. You will find that also their obligation comes under this Vote and all those things that we are trying to clean up come under this Vote Even the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is no longer making the kind of money and it requires to be supplemented and part of that money comes from that.

Vote 5 - Finance-US$89 048 230.00 put and agreed to.

SENATOR MLOTSHWA: Point of order. You did not call for objections on Vote 5.

Vote 6 - Vote of Credit -US$391 000 000.00 put and agreed to.

Vote 7- Audit - US$37 900.00 put and agreed to.

Vote 8 - Industry and Commerce - US$67 770.00 put and agreed to.

SENATOR GUTU: I just wanted to suggest we combine remaining schedules from Number 8 to 36 as the Senate has no impact on changing the Finance Bill.

Vote 9 - Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development - US$2 877 600, put and agreed to.

Vote 10 - Mines and Mining Development - US $80 600.00 put and agreed to.

Vote 11 - Environment and Natural Resources Management - US$121 770.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 12 - Transport and Infrastructural Development - US$672 990.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 13 - Foreign Affairs - US$15 439 800.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 14 - Local Government Urban and Rural Development - US$157 000.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 15 - Health and Child Welfare - US$7 734 420, put and agreed to.

Vote 16 - Education Sport and Culture - US$19 817 460.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 17 - Higher and Tertiary Education - US$2 974 850.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 18 - Youth Indigenisation and Empowerment - US$1 811 500.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 19 - Home Affairs - US$7 023 150.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 20 - Justice and Legal Affairs - US$2 059 270, put and agreed to.

Vote 21 - Media, Information and Publicity - US$65 500, put and agreed to.

Vote 22 - Small and Medium Enterprise and Co-operative Development - $US22 500.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 23 - Energy and Power Development - $22 250.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 24 - Economic Planning and Investment Promotion - US$24 260.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 25 - Science and Technology Development - US$41 450.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 26 - Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development - US$231 100.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 27 - National Housing and Social Amenities - US$136 200.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 28 - Water Resources Development and Management - US$15 700, put and agreed to.

Vote 29 - Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs - $5 150.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 30 - Tourism and Hospitality Industry - US$5 600.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 31 - Labour and Social Services - US$169 200.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 32 - State Enterprise and Parastatals - US$8 830.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 33 - Information Communication Technology - US$21 120.00 put and agreed to.

Vote 34 - Public Works - US$316 200, put and agreed to.

Vote 35 - Regional Integration and International Co-operation - US$7 700.00, put and agreed to.

Vote 36 - Lands and Rural Resettlement - US$101 500.00, put and agreed to.

SENATOR MANDAVA: Although we do not have an impact in changing the Finance Bill, but looking at the Vote for the Ministry of Home Affairs , the allocation is too much, bearing in mind that the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare needs such kind of money?

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. MANGOMA): I agree with the hon. senator and Iam sure that a lot more money is needed in the Ministry of Health but as we say we do not have money. The reason for the Foreign Affairs allocation increase is that we have got several foreign missions in a number of countries and some of these have been getting US$100. They have failed to pay for their own accommodation and they have failed to send children to school to the extend that these missions are beginning to show the plight of Zimbabwe, really it is a derelict state. What we are doing is not enough but we are at least trying to bring some respectability to our politicians' working conditions and environment.

SENATOR MLOTSHWA : Mr. Chairman, we know that in the Senate, we cannot change anything agreed upon like we have already been advised. However, I think we have a right to seek clarity on issues we do not understand, otherwise we cannot just sit here and have things passed without seeking for clarity on them. It will not be good for us. On Agricultural Mechanization and Irrigation - we are approaching the planting season and we have gone through serious food shortages. I do not know if my contribution will change anything but I am just adding my voice to vote 1, which is US$18 000 000 and Vote 2. I think that money is not enough - or maybe the minister can clarify. Does it include seed, tractors and so on?

THE CHAIRMAN : May I remind HON. Senators that a proposal was brought forward by Senator Gutu and we all concurred. So, that question must not be put to us again. Now it is a reversal of the issue and I will ask the minister to advise us if he would like to answer to that issue?

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. MANGOMA): On the issue of agriculture - again on all these things it is really the administrative aspect that we are looking at. Government made policies that it will not subsidise on agriculture and parastatals, but it does not mean that there is nothing being done about the inputs. What is being done about the inputs is that support facilities through financial institutions are being considered. Some of you will remember that we went on a trip with the Prime Minister specifically for the support of agriculture and for purposes of food security. A lot of projects were done. We believe that now that we have set up a ministerial Committee to look at the food situation, which I am chairing - we believe that we will be able to support one million households with seed and fertiliser for one hectare. That is what we are now working on to make sure it comes to fruition. The resources are there.

House resumed.

Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure reported without amendment.

Bill reported without amendments.

Report adopted.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

APPROPRIATION (SUPPLEMENTARY) BILL H.B. 5, 2009

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE : I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT, the Senate adjourned at Eleven Minutes to Five O'clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th July, 2009.

 

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