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SENATE HANSARD 23 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 42

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 23rd March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I have to inform the House that the following Ministers have tendered their absence with leave; -

1.                The Deputy Minister of  Tourism and Hospitality;

2.                The Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and

Community Development;

3.                The  Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community

Development;

4.                The Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural  

Development;

5.                The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development; and

6.                The Minister of Mines and Mining Development,

respectively.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Sen. Muzenda. Minister, what is Government policy regarding areas which were vandalised since 2008 now that we are getting into the winter planting season? What is Government policy in remedying this situation?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA): Thank you Madam President.  I am also grateful for the question asked by Hon. Sen. Chief Musarurwa. As a Ministry, we are aware that there are electricity facilities which were vandalised since 2000.  We are working hard in carrying out repairs or replacement of equipment that was vandalised, be it transformers, lines or oil.  We try our best but at the moment, the Ministry has problems because there are very few transformers as most of them were vandalised.  We are also aware that some of the spare parts needed to repair these transformers should be sourced from abroad.  In this case, we need foreign currency and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is trying to allocate funds to our department which is responsible for repairing transformers - this is at ZETDC.  We also have our company ZENT which is supposed to give assistance in repairing some of these broken down transformers.  I tell you, whenever we are given ample warning that there is a problem of vandalism, we try our best to remedy the situation.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What is the criteria you use to prioritise REA projects so that we cover all provinces equally?  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA ): Thank you Madam President. The criteria used by the Ministry is that the places  which REA covers should be less than twenty kilometers from the national grid.  If the places are further than that, then the other programmes like solar energy would be used.  That is the criteria used but we also concentrate mostly on places where schools and clinics are not covered.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  If you have noticed, we have a lot of properties especially houses which are being burnt down because of electrical faults. As a Ministry, have you investigated the causes of such destructive acts which are occurring in the country? 

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA):  Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to respond to Hon. Mawire’s question regarding the destruction of houses due to electrical faults.

I agree that we have properties that have been destroyed.  As a Ministry, we are supposed to educate people on the use and installation of electrical power in houses.  This is more so when we talk of houses which were built a long time ago; the wiring was different from what is currently prevailing.  I saw a house on television which had been burnt down because of electrical faults.  As a Ministry, we will work hard to try and avoid re-occurrence of such destructive acts.

*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI:  Are these electrical faults not caused by the recent introduction of prepaid meters?

*HON. SEN. MUZENDA:  As far as I am concerned, prepaid meters are not the cause of electrical faults that are destroying properties.  I know that wiring in these houses is different.  Electrical faults are caused by naked wires.  We have never had any electrical faults caused by prepaid meters.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I would like to premise my question by starting to thank the Ministry for pioneering what they call ZTV – Pioneers of local content.  That is a very welcome move on the local channel.

However, my question is, whenever a programme comes to an end, it takes a long time for another one to come and fill the gap.  We have got a lot of talent.  What measures is the Ministry putting in place to encourage the tapping of this local talent at affordable costs and mostly in the rural areas as well?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for such a pertinent question.  He rightfully puts it when he says we are championing or pioneering development of local content.  Once we have local content, we will have enough programmes to fill our broadcasting hours such that there will be minimal gaps unless if they are technical between programmes.  That is the idea behind development of local content.

*HON. SEN. MALULEKE: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What is Government policy when you are allocating us solar energy because in my constituency, REA may have problems in installing electricity?  How long does that programme take to implement?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA):  Thank you Madam President.  As I stated in my earlier response, when you have problems in accessing electricity from the national grid, there will be alternative ways of supplying power.  What I can only say is that the policy says, in every province, we have a team that is looking at the supply of electricity and the different sources to be used.

At the moment, I am not able to tell whether the plans are in 2017, 2018 or 2019 because as a Ministry, we  have laid out a programme which is based on annual planning.  If the Hon. Senator had told me of a particular area, I would go and investigate and give her the response.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Media, Information, Broadcasting and Services. I would like to understand the policy that you use in picking up Zimbabweans that are applying for licences to open radio stations in certain areas.  There was an outcry by some people saying it is not fair. Others who had applied were not allowed to have these radio licences.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU):  We have been flighting advertisements through print and electronic media for individuals who are interested in operating radio stations countrywide to come on board.  What happens is that we have the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe which is our licencing arm.  They receive the applications, go through them and then award licences depending on the capability of that individual. I am not sure if there is a specific aspiring broadcaster whom the Hon. Member would like to refer to who was ignored in the process.

*HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Madam President.  I am directing my question to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development.  May you please give us Government policy regarding the amount of electricity we have in the country.  My observation is that there is a cycle of load shedding in some areas like Chitungwiza.  We feel load shedding is slowly creeping in.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA):  Thank you Madam President.  I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Makore for such a pertinent question regarding load shedding.  The response is, definitely no to load shedding.  My feeling is that what could be happening when there is no power, especially in areas like Chitungwiza, there could be some electrical fault somewhere and in some areas, equipment such as cables or transformers could have been vandalized.  However, I am saying we are no longer implementing load shedding for quite some time.  Can you please make a written question and our Engineers will definitely go and look at why we have that problem, because there is no load shedding in Zimbabwe.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Could I ask the Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement what the current policy is with regards to resettled areas, particularly in the A2 programme which are heavily underutilized by the current owners. 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA):  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question.  The current resettlement policy for those people who are not utilizing the land is not yet on the line but we are waiting for the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to go into the areas and identify those people who are not utilizing the land.  We are also in the process of downsizing the land.  Some of our farmers have vast land and we are going to downsize according to areas.  In region one, a person is supposed to have a maximum of 250 hectares.  So, we are going to downsize whenever a person has vast land.  On whether a farmer is fully utilizing the land properly, the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development is going to do an assessment of those things.  I thank you. 

+HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services.  Are there any measures being taken so that we can look into the archives to see some of the traditional programmes which you used to broadcast long back?  This is what used to obtain.

+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU):  Thank you Madam President. I thank Hon. Sen. Khumalo for the good question.  Yes, it is there but what is happening is some of the things which are library archives are too old such that they need experts who know how those traditions were being conducted.  As a Ministry, we are having a programme on digitalisation so that when we have enough channels, such traditional dances which you are referring to where such materials have been gathered, should have its own channel.  We will take such materials from the archives then we will engage experts on traditional matters from districts to bring in programmes from such archives so that they can be broadcast them.  The public in general can learn on their tradition on whether there is any progress or any dynamism at all since we had used to have such traditions.

It should be a programme that should be acceptable to that particular district.  For example, there may be someone who may bring in a tradition which belongs to the Khumalos, which the Khumalos can dispute.  When the Khumalos are not in agreement with that, they will dispute to say that does not belong to us, so there is need for experts to come in to examine those materials in the archives so that they can bring to the broadcasters what is acceptable to the districts.  I thank you Madam President.

+HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Hon. Minister, you are delaying.  People may die and you will pick up the wrong experts.

+HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  Of course, the grandparents and elders are dying and what you are saying Hon. Sen. Khumalo is true.  It is our desire that those who should come up with such programmes should do so quickly.  If you looked at our programmes this week on ZTV, there were announcements on content producers to go to their provinces to submit project proposals.  This is a document which is indicative of what is to be done and the course.  The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe will thereafter take that document and ensure that it is broadcast.  BAZ will bear the costs and not the producer of the content, transport and subsistence, artists working without individuals – we are trying to cushion the process so that we do not lose the experts who are available now. I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Power and Energy Development. Whilst most of our rural population is desirous to install electricity in their houses, the major stumbling block which we have discovered so far is that the transformers are so exorbitant compared to transformer prices in countries around Zimbabwe. Can you tell the nation why transformers in Harare are so exorbitant and beyond the reach of many in this country. Is it landed cost or what? I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for the question. I appreciate that our transformers are a bit on the expensive side because at the moment our local company ZENT, is not in a position to be manufacturing our own. However, one would have wanted a situation where ZENT is properly financed so that it can produce as many transformers as possible for consumers.

However, what other communities have been doing and you specifically referred to the rural folk who do not have money but sometimes if it is possible one might want to encourage communities to come together and buy the transformer. Once that is done the cost can be deducted later when they have been electrified. That is one way. As a Ministry we are very eager that ZENT be fully capacitated so that there will be as many transformers as possible in the country.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF DANDAWA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services. In Hurungwe in Mashonaland West, people cannot tune in to ZTV and National FM. Can the Minister explain why it is like that?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I am not sure which language to use because I am not very fluent in Shona but I will try. We are in the process of erecting towers so that the frequencies will reach everywhere, including Hurungwe so that every Zimbabwean like what is written in our Constitution has access to information by tuning in to the television to see what other people are doing in the country. This programme is called digitalization and we envisage to reach all the people in Zimbabwe.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAROZVA: My question is similar to the one asked by Hon. Sen. Marava. What steps can one take if you want assistance or sponsorship from organisations in our area to repair malfunction transformers. How long does ZESA take to approve such an arrangement?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to respond to the question raised. What the Hon. Senator has stated, this would be a very good way of solving our problems because some of these organisations operating within our environs have that community obligation to carry out. Some time it is difficult to source for spare parts to repair a transformer which has been vandalised. If we can get some of these organisations in their social service scheme can help in the purchase of these spare parts. As an organisation we will gladly oblige and give that permission in no time so that the transformer can be repaired.

*HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Labour, Public Service and Social Services. We have had some of our professionals who went into the diaspora because the environment here was not conducive. Now that these professionals have come back what steps are you taking in readmitting them into the Public Service? What are the requirements?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR, PUBLIC SERVICE AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for asking such a pertinent question. There are people who left for diaspora and what it means is that when they want to rejoin the Public Service they will have to join the queue just like anybody else. The problem which we are currently facing is that recruitment is currently being affected by Treasury because as a country, we are spending more than 90% of our fiscus paying these salaries. Although we are aware of that, there are some schools which have a shortage of teachers. Even the pupil to teacher ratio is very high but we are saying we need to look at the wage bill. When all the assessments have been made on the need to employ these new teachers, we then have to look at where we can get the extra funds to pay these new teachers who may be employed. Hence, it is not easy for us to re-employ the people coming from the diaspora. As soon as the economy and fiscus has improved, and we can afford to pay these salaries, we will definitely employ these teachers. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development. Some time back, there was an electricity installation programme on the street lights in the city of Marondera but all that activity has since been stopped. What plans do you have of resuscitating this programme?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA): Thank you Hon. Senator for such a pertinent question regarding the lightening programme. In response to that, I would like to ask for an opportunity to go and make my own investigations as to what led to the non-completion of this programme. As of now, since it relates to a particular programme, I do not have the details as to why the programme was not completed. I would like to ask the Hon. Member to put the question in writing and give me the details of the programme. As ZESA, we have various offices in the area that may have the explanation as to what is happening to this programme and why it was stopped. If the Hon. Member can put her question in writing, I may be able to get the response by tomorrow as to why this electrification programme was stopped. I thank you.

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Member, can you put your question in writing please.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Eng. Matangaidze. My policy question is in this country of Zimbabwe, do we have a law which says whosoever has enough finances can organise a programme where he may hold a party for street people. During that party, that person will say I have wanted to hold this party for you. My question is will such a party remove these children from the streets?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): When we look at the children who are staying in the streets whom we call street kids, they are our children. We have children who may not be orphans now but in the near future, their parents might pass on. Those children may live like orphans and as a result, stray into the streets and become street kids. Any child of Zimbabwe is vulnerable and can be a street kid depending on the prevailing conditions. Any children from Zimbabwe, regardless of where they are, are protected by the rules and regulations. So, when you employ these street children and exploit them, you are committing an offence. Hence, if you are taking these children and holding a party for them yet you have some other ulterior motives, let me say this is a criminal offence.

As a Ministry, we are saying, we have children’s orphanages which are run by the State through the Ministry and others run by independent people. What we would like to see happening is that, we need to see these children being taken off the streets and go into established homes so that they can have the values of humanity inculcated in them. We are not encouraging these people to hold parties for these children whilst they are in the streets, but if you have such monies, please divert the funds to the cause of establishing a home for these people. Therefore, do not come and take advantage of these children and their situation, and indoctrinate them. However, it is fine if these children are given this party because it is a special occasion like a Christmas party but let us know that these children, like any other child, are the future of Zimbabwe. They are the doctors, teachers and hence, as a nation, let us work towards the improvement of the lives of these children. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: I am directing my question to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development. You told this House that there is no load shedding in the country. Can you vouch that we are no longer load shedding because we now have our own power stations in the country or is it because we are still importing power from the neighbouring countries, that is why we do not have load shedding. What has stopped load shedding in Zimbabwe?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA): Thank you Hon. Sen. Chimhini for posing such a pertinent question. At the moment, we have had a situation whereby we have our own power stations which may supply the electricity to run our country. As of now, it is not enough to sustain all our needs and hence, we are importing power from neighbouring countries. We pay for that power according to the agreement that we will have done so that we can keep acquiring this electricity. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: My question is directed to Hon. Minister Eng. Matangaidze. We want to look at the pensioners who are retired and in the rural areas. As a Ministry, what steps have you taken to alleviate the problems faced by these elderly people who are retired because at the moment, these people spend most of their money travelling up and down to collect these pensions. So what steps have you done to alleviate this problem?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Madam President and thank you Hon. Chief Chisunga. This is a very pertinent question and as a Ministry, we are seized with this programme and we are encouraging these beneficiaries to use mobile banking or plastic money. What we are saying is that this money is deposited directly into their accounts in their mobile phones or they can put it on their swipe. When the money has been put in their account, they can access their cash through swiping facilities because we have tried our best to introduce these points of sale machines in these rural areas. The Ministry of Economic Development is also advising the people of Zimbabwe to avoid using cash and instead, use electrical gadgets and plastic money so that we move with the times. Using plastic money and mobile phones will avoid these up and downs which spends a lot of money for these pensioneers.

*HON. SEN. MANYERUKE: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Hon. Dr. Dokora. I am saying how far have you gone in the distribution of stationery and literature regarding the new curriculum because as far as my constituency is concerned, it is on the peripheral of Zimbabwe. The teachers and other authorities are saying they have not had access to such literature?

*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you very much Hon. President of the Senate for giving me the time and Hon. Sen. Manyeruke for asking such a pertinent question on what steps are being taken in the introduction of the new curriculum in the schools. Zimbabwe has a number of schools which total up to 4 200 and we are saying, we need 4 500 to be used in the few days coming to facilitate this programme. The money will be used in sourcing for literature and other materials needed in the new curriculum.

This programme is called the School Improvement Grand, and that is the first step. The second step is that those who publish text books and other equipment needed for the education of the children need to look at the equipment which is going to be used by the teachers who will be working on the new curriculum. As a Ministry, we are now implementing a programme which is about US$11 to US$12 million which we are setting aside. We are advising teachers in these institutions to give us their budget so that we will give them the money and they will acquire the learning materials which they will need for the new curriculum.

I am sure that before we get into the month of April, the heads of these schools will have given us the budget so that we give the amounts to service providers who will give us the learning materials and other literature. As of now, I will say the teachers who are in the new curriculum have two items which they use. The first one is that these are the books which they have been using such as the history, geography and mathematics text books. We are saying these books are still functional and good because when we look at them, they have some sections and chapters which are found in them which can still be used in the new curriculum. 

If you hear these teachers talking that the books which were being used have since been thrown away and are now useless, we are saying these books are still useful and they are still used in education. We believe in that the teachers in these schools have what is called a Teacher’s Handbook or a Teacher’s Manual which will go hand in hand with the new curriculum because this manual was taken down and compiled according to the syllabus because this is the equipment and literature used by the teachers in the new curriculum.

*HON. SEN. MANYERUKE: Hon. Minister, you have told us of all the literature you are talking about, so your answer should be yes or no. Is this literature available in the rural areas, yes or no?

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I think he said they are there.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services regarding giving equal opportunities so that people of all political parties may have access to the public media and to both electronic and print, so that even MDC and other parties may appear in these media, both electronic and print. We do not need to appear in these media just because we have committed a crime or we are being blamed for some misfortune. What is the policy regarding equal access to media?     

  THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): Thank you Madam President. Everyone in Zimbabwe has the right to access our broadcast services, whether print or electronic media. What is required is for whoever has something to broadcast or who would like something to be publicised to approach the relevant departments whether it is the print, electronic or the other media houses to invite them to whatever programme they might have which they want covered. There is no discrimination clause. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Hon. Dr. Dokora. You held a workshop for us and you said children start from nursery and go to zero grade. The children who do that will be more open to accept the new learning system. My wish is that we used to have pre-schools under the local authorities and these have since closed down and as far as we are concerned, these used to assist those parents who could not afford to pay the expensive fees for their children.   They would then access that education because the crèches were cheap but these have since closed down.  What has since happened is that we now have expensive early learning centres and the children from poor backgrounds are unable to access that education.  When they go to zero grade, they will be dull, hence the poor will stay poor even in education and those who can afford to pay the expensive fees will go and still benefit from the education.  My request therefore is for you to assist us by pushing the local authorities to facilitate the opening of crèches and pre-schools so that the poor in our communities can also access cheap education.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  I am sure the Hon. Member attended the workshop meant for Members of Parliament where we explained that we do not have any class called zero grade but an infant school consisting of ECD ‘A’ and ECD ‘B’.  Thereafter we have grade one and two.  Then we have the junior school which is from grade three to grade seven.  Government policy is that all children aged four years should start going to school.  As a Ministry, we look at the institution which is being attended, especially if it is an area supposed to be an ECD, to establish whether the place can be improved for the establishment of early learning centres.  We will be working hand in hand with the primary school which is nearby.  There will be a teacher-in-charge who will be responsible for the nearby school and the head of that institution will be reporting to that deputy head.  Whatever activities are done will be done in conjunction with the main school.  So, children from zero to three years are the ones who may attend these pre-schools or nursery schools. 

Let me emphasise that this is a private sector facility which is outside the education system but officials from my Ministry will go and examine these pre-schools to ensure that the environment is suitable for the children.  Nobody will suffer because they are coming from ECD ‘A’, because as far as we know, Government institutions have very low fees.  This is different from private schools which charge very high fees.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I propose that we extend the time for Questions Without Notice by ten minutes.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  I second.

 Motion put and agreed to.

*HON. SEN. MURWIRA:  I am directing my question to the Deputy Minister of Lands.  In the past, local authorities used to collect rates but these are now being collected by the Ministry of Lands.  The problem is, they are paying $15 but they also need bus fares to go and pay that amount to provincial authorities.  As a Ministry, what are you going to do to alleviate the problem faced by the people who travel long distances to go and pay this amount?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA):  We have a development levy which used to be paid to local authorities especially in rural areas.  However, currently this $15 levy is being collected by the Ministry of Lands.  Ten dollars is given to the Ministry of Lands and five dollars goes to the local authorities which is disbursed through the Ministry of Rural Development and when the amount has been paid, there is authentification of these figures.  In the past, when this programme was launched, we had a problem whereby there were no accounts.  Now that we have solved the problem, people should pay at financial institutions in their areas.  We are also now training youngsters who will be moving around the country assisting the villagers to collect these monies.  It was realised that in the past, when these money were being collected by local authorities, they were not being ploughed back to provide services needed, hence the agreement for the levy to be collected by the Ministry of Lands.  Some of these finances are used in managing the land or they are given to the local authorities and the Ministry.

*HON. SEN. MABUGU:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Lands.  I need to know what Government policy is regarding the prevention of soil erosion.  Now that cyclone Dineo brought in A lot of rain, this has resulted in siltation of dams and rivers.  What steps are you taking to prevent that?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA):  This is a very good question but the issue of soil erosion should be directed to the Ministry of Environment who should be able to respond accordingly.

          +HON. SEN. NCUBE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Parents are asking for an extension of days to pay ordinary and advanced level examination fees.  We would like to know if you have approved extension of time to pay examination fees to 21 April.

+THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Thank you very much Madam President.  I have heard what has been said by the Hon. Senator.  As a Ministry, ZIMSEC has seen the problem that is amongst the parents and so, we have extended the time to pay examination fees to 21 April.

I would like the nation to know that examination fees can be paid in two years.  Children who are in grade six can pay their grade seven examination for next year this year.  Children in form three can pay an installment for next year and finish paying next year when they are now in form four.

*HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  We understand that the colleges that train nursing, teaching and so forth require students who have five ordinary level subjects obtained in not more than two sittings but you have highlighted that parents can pay the examination fees bit by bit.  Some students are then disadvantaged because they acquired the five ordinary level subjects in more than one or two sittings.  Can you assist these parents because they cannot have their children sitting for all the subjects at once? 

* HON. DR. DOKORA:  I thought that the Hon. Senator would start by congratulating my Ministry for giving children enough time to retake their examinations if they failed in the first instance.

When they obtain the qualification and they go and seek places in training such as in the Ministry of Health and Child Care or Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, this is no longer my baby.  My job is to facilitate them to get enough ordinary level subjects and the other institutions have to take care of training.  I think you should direct that question to the responsible authorities.

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

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  On a point of order, I have noticed that my question has remained on the Order Paper for close to six months.  It is either some sections of the question have become redundant and therefore, I seek to withdraw it and resubmit it with current deadlines.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO CURB THE RAMPANT ILLEGAL SELLING OF FUEL IN MUTARE

13.  HON. SEN. MAWIRE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain to the House what measures are in place to curb the rampant illegal selling of fuel in Mutare and the surrounding areas.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON.  SEN. MUZENDA):  Thank you Mr. President Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mawire for asking the question to do with the rampant illegal selling of fuel in Mutare and other surrounding areas.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) conducted fuel retail sites inspections in Mutare as part of its mandate of monitoring and enforcing compliance of oil companies to Petroleum Sector Licensing Regulations.

ZERA noted an increase in illegal fuel retailing activities in Mutare town which was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. The proximity of the town to the Mozambican border where relatively cheaper fuel is smuggled into the country through illegal points of entry is a key driver of the illegal activities. In order to curb these illegal activities, ZERA in conjunction with ZRP Manicaland, carries out routine site inspections.  ZERA site inspections in 2016 showed that 35% of the fuel retail sites operating in Mutare were unlicenced and unlicencable.  Most of these operators were operating from former commercial and industrial sites with no clearance from Mutare City Council, Fire Brigade or EMA.  ZERA inspections also showed that none of the sites were manned by suitably trained operators.  The sites were given compliance orders to regularise their operations. 

From April 2016 to January 2017, ZERA carried out several licence enforcement blitzes against illegal fuel operators in Mutare.  By the end of 2016, ZERA had closed 14 unlicenced and illegal fuel sites and 24 illegal fuel operators had been sent for prosecution for operating without ZERA licences.  Despite these enforcement efforts, the situation of illegal fuel retailing in Mutare continued to worsen as most of the illegal fuel dealers resort to removing their equipment and temporarily deserting the sites only to return later and continue operating after breaking ZERA seals. 

In October 2016, the Ministry requested the intervention of the Ministry for Home Affairs to assist through its ZRP border control and ZRP Manicaland.  The urgent intervention of the Mutare City Council through strong enforcement of city by-laws and the clamping down of operators setting up illegal fuel retail sites in undesignated areas was also sought by the Ministry through the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

The Ministry also engaged the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for their intervention through the speedy implementation of the cargo tracking system which will help in preventing the illegal offloading of fuel in Mutare.  We are happy to note that this was implemented in January 2017.

ZERA in consultation with the Ministry of Energy and Power and Development is drafting Petroleum (Liquid Fuels Licensing, Inspections and Compliance) Regulations, 2017 which will go a long way in providing for dealing with illegal fuel vendors.  The regulations also propose stiffer penalties for illegal fuel dealing.

My Ministry and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development have developed a Fuel Marking Programme, which is designed to curtail fuel smuggling and adulteration.  Under the programme, all legitimately procured fuel will be marked before it is sold to the end users.  Once the programme is launched in 2017, ZERA will monitor fuel at all retail sites and points of consumption for marking and will prosecute fuel found unmarked or with diluted marker which will be evidence of smuggling or adulteration.  Operators caught will be referred to ZIMRA for assessment and payment of relevant duties and attendant penalties. 

The Fuel Marking Regulations have been drafted and the Fuel Marking Tender has been approved by the State Procurement Board. It is planned that a fuel marking contractor will be appointed in the second quarter of 2017.

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development, through ZERA has been conducting nationwide training workshops for players and operators in the petroleum industry.  The training is based on petroleum industry operation and infrastructural standards of quality, safety and the environment.  Where education and awareness fails to yield compliance, the Authority moves in to prosecute and shut down offending operators’ premises to protect consumers.  ZERA works and depends on the activities of other enforcement agencies including local authorities, EMA and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. 

It is necessary to note that the fight against illegal fuel vending requires various Government arms working as a team.  It is therefore necessary to point out that ZRP, EMA and Local Authority and ZIMRA are all involved in fighting that menace as it involves management of borders and local authority by-laws on vending.  ZERA and other State Agencies will continue to work together to ensure minimization of these illegal activities.  Mr. President, I wish to thank Hon. Sen. Mawire for raising this important question.  Thank you very much. 

MOTION

ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS TO PROTECT DOMESTIC ANIMALS

First Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on stray dogs and other domestic animals.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me the chance to make my contribution on a motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mawire where people are being encouraged to look after the welfare of their domestic animals and pets and also prevent the biting of ordinary people by these animals.  We have had some stray animals such as cattle and dogs and this has disturbed the livelihood of people in Zimbabwe.

Many people are dying because of the carelessness and recklessness caused by these stray dogs.  When they stray into the roads, there is bound to be some accidents when cars try to avoid these stray animals.  We should buy dog leashes and harnesses which are sold on the streets and markets.  People should chain their dogs and harnesses them so that they do not stray onto the streets.  Again, when these die on the streets and rot, there is bound to be some environmental degradation caused by this.  We have some people who own cattle and let them stray and yet we believe in that if you have an oversight of your cattle, you should ask your neighbours and friends on whether they could have come across those missing cattle. 

As a result, when these cattle stray into the roads, we have people dying on the streets.  We have people like the late Cde. Karakadzayi who died in an accident on the streets caused by these stray animals and some of these people are really high ranking officials and professionals. Let me now look at the dogs, if you are attacked by a dog, some of these dogs may not have received rabies vaccine and it means that person may get sick and at times these people may die. When the victim goes for treatment, the treatment is very expensive, hence people should look after their dogs because that is where they get the virus which causes rabies.

In terms of cleanliness of the environment in the neighbourhood,  when you have your dogs and you let them stray into the neighbour’s yard, they go and leave dirt into the neighbour’s yard and I think as a good neighbour please protect your neighbour from your dogs. If you let your dogs stray, that is tantamount to cruelty to animals. These people who let animals stray should be prosecuted. We are also calling for the Veterinary Department and the SPCA to be given enough funds to move around the country looking at these dogs in order to curb diseases.

If you are a farmer who owns a farm which is near the highway, be responsible and fence off your property so that animals do not stray. I have Hon. Chitsinde in my community who is fencing off his property so that animals do not stray into the roads and cause unnecessary accidents. What I believe in is that if an individual farmer has erected his own fence, he will guard it jealously because it is his property. This is unlike fences which are erected by Government where people are reckless because they think it is Government’s property and it has nothing to do with them. Let us protect these animals because they have their rights just like us human beings we have our own rights. I am pleading with the people of Zimbabwe to look after our domestic animals and pets. I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on alignment of the Electoral Act to the Constitution.

          Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.

MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the SADC Model law on eradicating Child Marriages.

          Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.

MOTION

SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONAL SCHOOL PLEDGE

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on advocating for unequivocal support for the National School Pledge by all Members of Parliament.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on violence that had become a socio-political way of life among the people of Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA:  I thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate in brief on this motion which was moved Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda. Many Hon. Senators have debated on this matter before. Political violence amongst Zimbabweans is not a good way of life which we should commit ourselves to.  We have observed that violence amongst political parties is a problem. It causes people not to be in agreement and fail to respect views and ideologies. Differences in views and ideologies should not separate us and cause us to fight each other as Zimbabweans.

As adults we should not invite the youths to spearhead that violence when in actual fact it is us who are behind them. The youths will be given drugs and dangerous substances. After being given such substances, they cannot behave appropriately to stop that violence. The youths will drink beer, smoke drugs and go and fight because they will have been instructed that a particular party is not allowed. We have observed this happening since we got independent. In 1983, it became so bad in Matebeleland with people being beaten for no apparent reason. Women were beaten and it is a painful thing to see happening. When men fight, women are also beaten.

At the present moment, I think we are aware that youths are being used to beat up members of the opposition parties. If as adults we teach our youths to beat up people, it is wrong because they do not just beat up people of their age. They beat adults like us, their parents and grandparents under our instructions. When we are gone, what kind of legacy will we have left for the nation of Zimbabwe? A legacy of violence where people fail to tolerate each other and allow other people to be aligned to a party of their own choice. I request that should come to an end Mr. President.

It has been said here, now and again that we are a Christian nation. We are a people who believe in Christ. Christ was a peaceful person. He was not a violent person. Even at the time when he was being beaten, he was not violent. Where then as a Christian people do we take this? We want to protect ourselves by retaliating or beating up those who are not in agreement with us. If you are proposing love to a girl, you do not do that by beating up that little girl, no. This Mr. President is a bad thing from my observation.

Violence is even worse than sanctions.imposed by other countries for us to have good relations with them when we have everything in our country. This thing which I am referring to here is very bad. It causes the country to be a nation which is looked down by other countries. You find that this violence which will be perpetrated by the youth without someone controlling them makes them do a lot of bad things such that the world will be in shock and flabbergasted. As Zimbabweans, we have neighbours and are in a global village as well, we also want people to invest in our country but if there is political violence, I do not see us getting any investors.

I am requesting that women Members of Parliament, there should not be any political violence in your constituencies. Let us emulate Botswana where they have one platform where all the political parties come to address the people. It does not matter which party you are coming from. They will tell people about their manifestos, developmental programmes and expectations at that same platform. You will not hear that in Botswana there was any political violence. There is nothing like that. If it has been there, it is rare.

Let us learn as a nation that leaders are chosen by God. Let us stop this habit of fighting each other. Thank you Hon. Sibanda for bringing this motion in this august House of Senate. As adults here, let us learn to control and denounce those violent behaviours. We do not fight here but we push the youth to fight their parents and grandparents. That behaviour should come to a stop. It is us here who are responsible for that and we should stop it in our constituencies. It is a shameful thing to hear that certain people were beaten up in your constituency. Most of the times it is the women who are beaten and you hear that a neighbour’s child will have done that. When you hear another woman being beaten by the youth, it is shameful indeed.

 I request that the traditional leaders take steps that if there is any political violence in their areas of jurisdiction, you should not allow yourselves to be used by political parties to force people to attend the political rallies, campaigns or for voting. Those people are undermining the powers of the traditional leaders. Traditional leaders, you belong to everyone and do not segregate. If in your area of jurisdiction chief, you find that people are being beaten and you ululate for that, please know that they will be beating you. In short, those people will have beaten the traditional leader through his people.

We are therefore requesting that such shameful things should not take place. The people in this country are very educated. People are religious and go to church. When it comes to politics, for instance next year we will be campaigning and we will hear of reports of people being beaten. We are the ones as politicians who are doing that. Let us stop that. In conclusion, I am saying women, let us stand up in our constituencies and denounce political violence. I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President. I was very angry because people had said there was not going to be a debate on this important motion. Hon. B. Sibanda really worked hard in raising this motion and we need to support it because it is a very pertinent issue. Hon. B. Sibanda, thank you very much for this motion which you introduced. It is a very important motion and I am going to deal with the issue where it says, ‘to admonish political parties so that they desist from the use of violence in order to impose their will on the people of Zimbabwe.’

You gave clear examples of the kind of violence which can be perpetrated on people. We have domestic violence where we have married people fighting each other because they may not have agreed on some certain aspects of life. This is the tobacco selling season and this is a project undertaken by the family. In some instances, men sale the tobacco and abuse the funds and this creates violence within the family. We are saying this is an important House which is made up of the elderly. Let us look for ways of bringing peace and tranquility in this life because when we look at the tobacco, the women work hard towards this venture. They are farmers in their own right.

When the tobacco is sold, and the man abuses the funds through marrying other women or buying useless trinkets, the woman suffers or may even collapse. I remember going with the Committee on Peace and Reconciliation and The Chronicle ran a story about a well trained teacher who killed two of his nieces. One died at home and the other one died at the hospital. The wife survived because she managed to run away. This was caused by drugs. When this person was arrested and they were brought to court, the man could not be properly tried because he had been so destroyed by the drugs in such a way that he was not aware of the environment where he was being tried. He had to be taken for psychiatric examination because of the drug abuse.

As Hon. Members of this Senate, we need to talk strongly against the abuse of drugs in this country. If these are prevalent, people will die, killed and when people indulge in these drugs, somebody’s vision is distorted. When they see a human being, they see somebody who is about to attack them. When they see even a dog or whatever it is, they have that vision which is distorted and may lead to violence. As Zimbabweans, let us guide our nation against the trafficking of drugs into this country.

Let me now turn to politics. As politicians, we should be mature. We should not use violence to attract voters on our side. We need to get voters to support us in peaceful ways. If we have a Councillor who is advocating for violence in his constituency, we should stop that Councillor from contesting the elections because he will cause death of other people so that he can aspire to that stand. If this Councillor is denied the right to contest in election, this will be a lesson to other potential violent causers. This way, they will know that if they cause any violence, they will not contest on behalf of any political party because you have led to injury and death of people, and destruction of property.

As Members of this august House, we need to get a way of fighting off this violence using that Act which we may have set down and people will follow these rules. This is because rules are meant to stop people from taking laws into their own hands. I remember watching on television a certain lady who appeared and she was crying. This old lady had her donkeys stolen. When they were stolen, two of them were pierced to death and dumped into her kitchen. To make matters worse, this old lady was a widow, but we had somebody who is cruel enough to kill those donkeys for whatever reason and dumped them into her kitchen.

We should praise the Lord because this person may have wanted to avenge his/her pain on this old lady and could have killed her. This lady was crying saying how will I survive? I was depending on these donkeys for my livelihood and what will I do because people have killed the donkeys and so they have killed me.  As the people of Zimbabwe, we have a culture of peace. We should bring peace into our country and we need to inculcate the values of peace and the values of ubuntu into our families because there is nobody who will come from abroad to teach the people of Zimbabwe to be peaceful and avoid stealing and killing other people’s domestic animals. All the people of Zimbabwe want peace. Nobody wants to get people dying or being injured because I did not get anything especially towards elections.

People of Zimbabwe need to inculcate the values of peace and this motion should make us to introspect as a country so that Zimbabwe becomes a peaceful country. When we are carrying out our farming activities, we need to carry them in peace. Women and children will be moving peacefully wherever they want. Even our men folk, when they are at a beer garden, they should drink peacefully and this can only be done by the people of Zimbabwe as the saying goes, none other than ourselves, and we need to debate this issue and we should get a solution because we should end political violence.

We should cut away domestic violence and all the forms of violence should be eliminated from Zimbabwe. How will you be proud of being a Member of Parliament, Senator or a Councillor and yet you have won that position through intimidation and people have died. We need to avoid holding these unnecessary grudges. The President of Zimbabwe denounces violence whenever he gets a chance to talk to the people of Zimbabwe. Peace begins with me, with you and with all of us. I would like to say thank you Hon. Sibanda for introducing this motion which is very essential to the people of Zimbabwe and say, why should we encourage each other to embark on violence and yet we are one of the countries with the most educated population. Thank you Hon. Sibanda for your foresight. We should not take a long time talking about some of these things, but I say it is essential that we enact laws to create peace in Zimbabwe and avoid violence.  

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

  On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Half Past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 23 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 42