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SENATE HANSARD 25 FEBRUARY 2016 VOL 25 NO 28

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

Thursday, 25th February, 2016

 

PRAYERS

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. SENATOR TIMVEOS: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to ask a question. I want to ask Hon. Minister Hlongwane. I just want to know, whether we are now allowed to participate in the World Cup because the last we heard, we owed money?

          THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON. HLONGWANE): Thank you Mr. President and thank you Hon. Senator Timveos for the question. The conversation we have had late last year in respect of World Cup participation is in respect of two tournaments. The first one is Russia 2018 and the second one in Qatar 2022. In respect of Russia 2018, we owed Coach Claudinei Georgini and we have since amortised that bill. However, our appeal to the court of arbitration for sport fell flat and we are not going to be able to participate in Russia 2018. In respect of Qatar 2022, we were owing Coach Tom Saintfiet an amount to the tune of $150 000. That bill has again since been amortised and we are now able to participate in the FIFA World Cup tournament 2022. Thank you.

          *HON. SENATOR CHIEF NTABENI: Thank you Mr. President. I am directing my question to the Minister of Agriculture Hon. Zhanda. Minister, you are making good presentations regarding livestock but you seem to be putting more emphasis on livestock and neglecting the people who are dying of hunger. You are even encouraging people to de-stock. We have noticed that in most cases in rural areas, Ministers are not aware of the poverty situation in the rural areas and you can only get that information from the chiefs. The chiefs are the people who are feeding the people and they know their culture. We would have wanted to direct this question to Hon. Made but unfortunately he does not turn up.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Chief, Hon. Senator Ntabeni for asking that question and also declaring our friendship. The Ministry of Agriculture has the responsibility of taking care of the people in the country especially if there is a drought situation. We are also encouraged to give permits to encourage maize to be imported so that nobody dies of hunger in Zimbabwe. We have enough stock to feed the people of Zimbabwe. The distribution of this food is under the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services under Hon. Mupfumira. They are responsible for the distribution and not my Ministry

HON. SENATOR B. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to ask the Deputy Minister of Energy what the compensatory policy of ZESA is towards people who might have lost property due to pylons falling down and maybe killing livestock or any other damage.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA): Thank you Mr. President. May I ask the Hon. Senator to put that in writing because I am not sure what the compensatory policy is about?

HON. SENATOR CHIMHINI: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. Minister, what is the correct position about allocation of stands in Seke area? There has been a lot of confusion and it is not very clear whether the chiefs or headmen have the authority to do it or it is the local authority. Thank you Mr. President.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Senator Chimhini for asking the question but this area will be best dealt with by the Minister for Rural Development Hon. Ncube. This area you are talking about, Seke, falls under the Rural District Councils and the jurisdiction therefore rest with my colleague Minister. I thank you.

HON. SENATOR BUKA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Health. What is Government policy on user fees on cases of mothers who give birth at central hospitals and then fail to pay for these services since we have mothers who have been detained and humiliated?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for asking this very important question. The policy of the Ministry of Health and Child Care is to provide free service because we have what is known as the HTF (Health Transition Fund). This fund was going to be used by mothers, once the mothers were admitted; they were supposed to claim against this fund.

          The Hon. Senator is alluding to issues that have arisen and are mostly administrative. We have heard of cases whereby mothers are detained, that is not Government policy. Government policy is to ensure that mothers are allowed to go home once they have delivered. In cases where they must pay, then they will be billed to pay and those that cannot pay must then be referred to the HTF. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MUMVURI: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. Minister, I will start by thanking you for flashing out land barons but when are they going to be prosecuted for their crimes?

What is Government policy when constructing houses for the middle and low income groups? We realise that nobody is prepared to buy the houses after construction because the prices are beyond the reach of the intended target.

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. President and I thank Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for such an important question. We realised that the land barons were illegally selling land after taking advantage of open spaces. This was a very big national problem but we are glad that we have now overcome this challenge. The land barons have been arrested and their cases are before the courts. We also realised that some of the land barons were selling land to multiple people. Some of them have been prosecuted and found guilty.

On the issue of Government policy regarding construction, but

before I address the CABS/Budiriro Project, the first step is that Government had a working relationship with UDICORP which is part of the national housing programme so that everyone in Zimbabwe will own a house.

Whilst working in unison with UDICORP, we are constructing houses in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. We are also allocating land to local authorities such as Bulawayo, Mutare and Harare. We resolved that land should be given to people who are registered on the waiting lists.

The third aspect is allocating land to responsible organisations to develop for allocation of stands. This is the case that made us look into the CABS saga. We realised that the problems that arose in the CABS Project were due to the amounts used in constructing the houses and CABS also wants a mortgage of $7 000.00.

We are aware of the fact that most of the beneficiaries of this scheme are small to medium entrepreneurs who cannot afford such amounts. Consequently, we are working together with CABS Building Society so that we come up with lower deposit terms and ensure people can afford the mortgage bonds.

Work is still in progress in other cases that do not involve such plans. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: My question is directed to the Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. How do we stand legally on Provincial Councillors elect? Are they yet to be sworn-in or they have expired? Again, is it not a violation of the Constitution to deny people the Provincial Councillors who were supposed to deal with issues of given provinces?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. President Sir, we are not violating the Constitution at all and Government has not declined to implement the provisions of the Constitution.

There is a process, if you read the Constitution properly. It says that there must be an Act of Parliament to operationalise what is provided in the Constitution. It has been a question of resources for us to implement that provision. Let me assure you that that shall be done in time whenever resources will be made available. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. SHIRI: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is Government policy regarding heads of schools who are withholding ‘O’ and ‘A’ level results for failure to pay school fees?

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): As the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, we stated that the issue of fees is a case between the parents/guardians and the school, that has nothing to do with the students. When we look at the students in primary and secondary schools, they are young children who cannot appear in courts or enter into any agreement or contract as they are below the age of majority.

          Heads of schools are aware of this fact since it was circulated in writing to everybody and Government policy is clear. Heads of schools, please leave students alone, give them their results but deal with the parents and guardians who are supposed to pay the fees. We have had instances whereby parents and guardians have spent more than two years promising that they will be paying the fees to the extent that the learner has written the final examination at these particular schools. This is a pain in the neck for these schools. I ask members of this august House to go and tell the parents in their constituencies that learning institutions are not for babysitting but for learning. They can only run if fees are paid.

          THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Senator Mlotshwa, you are reading a newspaper….

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I am checking something concerning what he is saying…

          THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: You can go out and check then come back and contribute. Minister may you conclude your answer.

          *HON. DR. DOKORA: Thank you Mr. President. I am emphasising that people of Zimbabwe should be leaders and torch bearers. Let us hold meetings with parents and guardians advising that they should honor the agreements they made with the schools that they are going to pay school fees for the sake of running the schools. No matter what we do or how teachers work, if there are no resources in these schools, schools will suffer. Let us pay our fees and our children will have better education.

          *HON. SEN. MAKORE: I have a supplementary question for Hon. Dr. Dokora. We have children whose fees are paid by the BEAM programme. We have also realised that these children under BEAM have been affected because they have not been given their results and yet we already know that they are vulnerable and come from poor backgrounds. What is your policy regarding such situations?

          *HON. DR. DOKORA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the chance to once again respond to this question. As a Ministry, we are aware that we have outstanding financial balances between the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. The amount is almost 64 million dollars which is fees of these students on the BEAM programme.

          Regardless of that problem, we are aware as a nation that we have the less-privileged who benefit from BEAM and hence they are covered by the policy stated by Government, that they are not in a position to hold a contract with the school but they should be given their results. It is known that the problem lies with the Ministry responsible for the payment of fees.

          *SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: My question is directed to Minister Khaya Moyo. Is it Government policy that Chiefs are the only civil servants who receive their salaries in cash and not through the banks like any other civil servants? –[Laughter]-

          THE MINISTER OF POLICY CO-ORDINATION AND PROMOTION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC VENTURES IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (HON. SEN. S.K. MOYO): Thank you Mr. President. May the hon. Chief allow me to answer in English. If he will, let me start by stating that my mandate is basically on policy coordination in terms of ministries and of course promotion of socio-economic ventures in the office of the President.

That question belongs to a Minister in a line Ministry and I do not mind taking it to him. In this case I think it is the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage. I will endeavour to take it upon himself since I coordinate policy to ensure that what you expect should be done and done according to the policy laid down by the Government. I thank you Mr. President.

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: On a point of order …..

          THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, order. The Minister is saying that question belongs to another Ministry. How do you then raise a supplementary?

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: It is not a supplementary.

          THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I will then have to give you an opportunity later on.

          +HON. SEN. D.T. KHUMALO: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. In 2009, we changed currency from Zimbabwean dollar to a multicurrency regime. In energy, especially with ZESA, people were asked to pay a certain fixed amount but we realise that there are old people who are staying in Barbourfields or Mzilikazi who are owing from 2009 approximately US$2.000 to US$3.000. How did that happen whilst you did switch off most of the time? If monthly payment was not made, how could they owe so much to these old people?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA): Thank you Mr. President. May I ask the Hon. Member to ask in English if she does not mind because I got the question partly?

HON. SEN. D.T. KHUMALO: I do not mind but I thought I would explain correctly in Ndebele. During 2009, we used to have our currency and there was a monthly limit of payment in the homes for electricity. Every month you had to pay so much. If you did not, they came and switched your electricity off. But now when there was a change of our currency to the current multi-currency system, the department of house owners was converted and became high. Some owed$1 500, $2 000, and $3 000. How could that happen when every month if one did not pay, an officer came to the house to switch off or disconnect the electricity?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUZENDA): I am not sure if Senator Khumalo is saying the bills are accumulating now in US dollars but what should have happened is, those owing should have made a payment plan because that is what the policy is about. If one is unable to pay, he/she should not be switched off. If there are problems, we have offices in each district and if the consumers are not happy with what is happening or they feel they are not getting any help from the district offices, they should take it up.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: I hear people saying why have they not gone to the offices but let me assure you that they have gone to the offices. Maybe you need to come up with another system to make the elderly understand. They now do not know what to do because each time they pay something, it is too little and insignificant when compared to what they owe. It does not look like they have paid anything when the bill comes. What should they do?

          HON. SEN. MUZENDA: A way out would have been – most of our consumers now are on the prepaid scheme. So I am not sure whether those houses do not have prepaid meters. However, if they have gone to the district offices and they are not happy or they have not understood what is happening, they should go to the next level. I will however take it up if you give me the full details of what is happening because even if they do not have prepaid meters, by now the electricity would have been cut off instead of the bill continuing to accumulate, unless they are just other tariffs.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I would like to find out from the Vice President Hon. Mnangagwa, how much longer he thinks it shall take before the repealing of the death sentence on those who are under 21 years and those over 70 years. How much longer are those men going to wait before knowing if their death sentences will be repealed or not?

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): The provision which provides for the death penalty is in the Constitution and for it to be removed from the Constitution, a policy must be adopted to abolish the death penalty first. Then the process of amending the Constitution will take place. I came back last night from a conference in Rome where over 40 countries met to discuss the issue of the death penalty. The trend world-wide is that we move towards a world without the death penalty.

In Zimbabwe, at the time of independence there were about nine offences which attracted the death penalty. When we became independent and I became Minister of Justice in 1988, by 1992, I had removed six of those offences which attracted the death penalty and remained with three. Down the line when we had our outreach programme in 2013, we removed one and we are left with two offences which attract the death penalty, which are aggravated murder and treason. However, we have made progress because during the colonial period the only person who was exempted from execution or the death penalty was a pregnant woman. Now, we have said in our Constitution that those under 21 years cannot be sentenced to death, those over 70 years - like me, cannot be sentenced to death and all women cannot be sentenced to death. But men between 21 years and 70 years can be hanged.

          I, personally am anti-death penalty. My colleagues in Cabinet know that. Some Ministers in Cabinet support the death penalty while others do not support it. This is not an ideological issue but a question of conscience which each individual can use to take one’s position. To say that after such a period, we should be able to have abolished the death penalty, I would not be honest with the House. I however, hope that one day we will succeed in abolishing the death penalty. I know the trauma that is experienced by the person sentenced to death because I went through that. So, I cannot guarantee the time frame but I believe that one day, Zimbabwe shall join those countries in the world who will abolish the death penalty. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: My question is directed to Hon. S. K. Moyo. It is a cross cutting issue involving the Ministries of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development; Lands and Rural Resettlement; Home Affairs; Environment, Water and Climate; Rural Development and Preservation of Cultural Heritage; and Finance and Economic Development. It is the problem of squatters in resettlement areas. It is also inter-provincial and inter-district in my constituency of Mashonaland West. We have people who cross over from Midlands and Mashonaland East Provinces into Mashonaland West. It is so serious; it is causing conflict, poverty and environmental degradation. It is stifling development and it is quite a serious problem now. What policy should Government formulate coordinating the ministries mentioned above to stop the problem of squatters?

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, you are supposed to be asking a policy question.

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: But I am buttressing my question Hon. President.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE Senator, that sounds more like a question that qualifies for a written question and not oral. You have so many facts behind your question. Are you not comfortable putting it in writing? If you are not, can you simply stand up and ask what is your policy on this?

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: Thank you Mr. President. I put my question in context. Minister, what is the policy on this?

          THE MINISTER OF POLICY COORDINATION AND PROMOTION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC VENTURES IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (HON. S. K. MOYO): I want to thank Hon. Sen. Musaka for asking the question. In actual fact he has answered the question in his contribution because he said it was cross-cutting. The question of policy coordination does not only curtail itself to those Ministries you mentioned but it is across Government. Where there is conflict between Ministries, we must at all times try to ensure that we put the situation straight so that it does not cause misunderstanding amongst people and also those who are supposed to take necessary action, take it without stepping on each other’s toes.

          I believe myself that if there is such a situation and you have mentioned about two or three Ministries, it is important for us and I want to thank Mr. President for that – that you put it in writing and then we shall definitely sit down with those Ministries and ensure that there is no conflict in implementing Government policy in any sphere. I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of livestock. I want to find out the plans that you have in spearheading irrigation scheme so that people can mitigate against the effect of drought?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the installation of systems where water is available. Where water is not available, it obviously requires the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate to do dam construction and make sure that there is water available. Government has got various programmes in place including the much talked about Brazilian facility…

          HON. SEN. T. MOHADI: On a point of order. The question was asked in vernacular. The Minister should also respond in vernacular.

          *HON. ZHANDA: I want to thank Senator Mohadi for reminding me that the question was asked in vernacular. I want to thank the Hon. Senator for asking a question pertaining to irrigation. What I was saying is that irrigation works hand-in-hand with water, so if there is no water it means the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate should construct dams. If there is water available, we have a department which deals with irrigation development. What it does is that it gives ideas to farmers and educate them on how they can engage in irrigation schemes but we now have in place a programme where His Excellency launched, the irrigation scheme which is facilitated by the Brazilians to the tune of US$98m and so far US$38m has been distributed already to all the areas around the country.

          The plans that we have are that when that is through, there will be a second stage where another consignment will also come. This first scheme was directed at irrigation schemes which are already in place so that people will not have problems with food security. If we want to make a follow up on equipment that has been disbursed already, if the Hon. Senator has identified places where we can do irrigation schemes, she can approach our department and talk to the engineers so that they will go and investigate and assess whether an irrigation scheme can be established.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: Supplementary. My question to the Minister is referring to those who are engaged in irrigation already, that is, A1 and A2. The crops are now wilting, what plans do they have so that we can have equipment and irrigate our plants quickly?

          *HON. ZHANDA: What I am hearing is like the Hon. Senator is referring to A1 and A2 farmers who have their irrigation programmes. I want to find out whether there is no water? Where is the problem because it looks like these farmers are engaged in irrigation already? Probably, what she is referring to are specific challenges that they are facing. What are the challenges?

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: The people who were resettled there had irrigation equipment and I think the equipment has been vandalised?

          *THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I think you should be clear with your question.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: What I am saying is that, there are no transformers, pumps and sprays. The farmers do not have money to buy these items.

          *HON. ZHANDA: I understand what she is saying but she is referring to things that are not in place. We have to assess so we find out how much we need in order to fund those programmes. So, what I can say is that the Hon. Senator should put her question in writing and tell us where the challenges are, so that when we send people to investigate, they will come up with something. I thank you.

          *THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I think what she wants to know is, do you have a policy on the irrigation schemes that are in place already. Is there a policy?

          *HON ZHANDA: Thank you for clarifying the issue. In the past there was no plan in place but now there are plans. The Government has taken steps that wherever there are water bodies and in order to mitigate the effects of the drought, we should have irrigation schemes in those areas.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Firstly, allow me to congratulate the Minister and the Government of Zimbabwe for affording the BaTonga community to learn their language in the education system of Zimbabwe hence last year, 2015, they had their first ‘O’ level examination which they did very well. My question is, what is the Government’s position for those students who did their ‘O’ level to proceed for ‘A’ level if they want? I know the excitement they have because they passed very well. I am saying this because there is total confusion and there is no formal communication to the concerned schools?     

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): Thank you Mr. President. You rarely hear Members of Parliament congratulating the Government for progressive programmes which are carried out. This makes me so happy. We have a policy in Government, we did look at all the indigenous languages which are in the Constitution...

          SENATOR MOHADI: On a point of order Mr. President.

          THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: What is your point of order?

          SENATOR MOHADI: My point is order is that I think the Hon. Chief Senator asked the question in English of which he should also respond in English.

          *THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Before you speak Minister, I think the Minister thought it wise to speak in Shona because the Hon. Senator is a chief, so he thinks chiefs are well versed in Shona. In this case the Chief understands Tonga and English hence if you want to go vernacular, you must speak in Tonga, otherwise he is more comfortable with English.

          HON. DR. DOKORA: I thank you Mr. President. I want to say as policy we embrace the diversity of the languages as given in the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Secondly, we have also taken a policy position which gradually escalates the teaching of those languages. We have said in the first instance, we must try and match at the infant level the indigenous language of the source community of those children as given in the different sites of our school locations. We give that a priority.

          Some of the indigenous languages are now being examined at Grade 7 and indeed the Hon. Senator is correct that Chitonga is one of those languages that has now been examined at O’ Level. It is in the interest of all for us to continue to escalate upward to A’ Level. The material challenges at the beginning of this term relate to a number of factors, some of which are not entirely domestic to my Ministry - to do with staffing, size of establishment. The establishment is given to us by the Public Service Commission, but for them to do so as well it requires us to first of all confirm the numbers of learners that we have in the system. In an earlier question Hon. President, there was some talk about young learners perhaps not being afforded their results at some of our schools. In the first term of every year at this time, there is a lot of challenge to be able to confirm with certainty our enrolment numbers so that we can get the establishment and then try to align the teacher deployment to the various communities in the languages that we are trying to escalate.  

          The Senator can be rest assured that at the earliest opportunity we will escalate the language to A’ Level, even if it means we will begin closer to the end of the first term. I thank you.

          SENATOR CHIEF SIANSALI: Precisely my question was to know whether they are going to start learning Tonga in Form 5 this year?

          HON. DR. DOKORA: Well I was asked to speak in English and I responded. I said even if it means by end of this term, we will still facilitate. I do not know what else I must say.

          THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Minister, I think Vasimwame, which means Mambo, simply wants to know, and I think it is fair, although you were not very clear at the end, on the issue of awarding A’ Level Tonga as a subject, how feasible is it this year? What is your view, what is your policy on that? Do you think it is going to happen this year or can the students wait further or it is out?

          HON. DR. DOKORA: Mr. President of the Senate, I did say there is interplay of ministries on this matter. Those that give us the establishment, and those of our people in the line of duty who confirm the various statistical evidence that is required. I said while there has been this delay, we will continue to facilitate so that even if it means starting those classes by end of this term, we will facilitate that to happen.

          THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Very good Minister. I think you have done justice. Minister, just be fair. There is no problem expressing yourself in the English language, you are the head of schools, you have very sweet, refined English, grammatical expression. Just to close the matter you could have said this is now March almost, in your view what have you done? If you were going to say, we have already applied to Public Service Commission and we await their response that would have been a good answer. Anywhere let us proceed.

          *SENATOR CHABUKA: My question is directed to the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Mnangagwa who is also Leader of the House. Hon. Vice President my question is on the welfare of Members of Parliament.   When we come to Parliament we are coming to perform national duty and when we go back to our homes and constituencies; people look forward to benefit from our work. As a Government and as Vice President of the country, do you have a way of supporting your Members of Parliament and avoid them from coming into and staying in hotels for about two weeks? This is because you deny them fuel to go back to their constituencies. We also believe that as the Leader of the House and the Vice President; we are living like beggars, we have nothing to take back to our constituents, we have nothing to feed our families and yet we are workers. Therefore, I am asking that you take care of our welfare.

          *THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. President of the Senate. I do agree whole heartedly. We agree with whatever the Hon. Senator has raised. We have the welfare of the Members of Parliament at heart and we wish to support them fully in all their requirements. We have problems in implementing the welfare programmes because the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Treasury have no money to support our welfare programmes because Members of Parliament should be given their fuel coupons for travelling. They should travel using vehicles allocated by Parliament and even stay in best hotels. Unfortunately, the economy of the country is at its lowest point. We have had discussions with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa who concurs that the welfare of Members of Parliament needs to be addressed.

Before I came to Parliament, I received a letter from the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Adv. Mudenda, requesting us to inform the President about the prevailing situation affecting Members of Parliament.

*HON. SEN. CHABUKA: I am not content with the response given by the Vice President and Leader of the House on our welfare. We are in this august House because we are working and upon adjournment, we need to go back to our constituencies and families. However, because of lack of fuel, we are being encouraged to stay in Harare instead of going back to our homes. I think the best we can do, as I am suggesting, is that we close Parliament until we are financially stable and we are able to pay for our welfare. Thank you.

HON. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. President. I know we have problems in whatever will be happening in such situations because at times, you fail to express yourself in an understandable manner. However, the truth of the matter is that, as a Member Parliament, I could have raised the question on the welfare of Members of Parliament because I am also suffering.

I stated that I received a letter from the Speaker of the National Assembly, asking me to appeal to the President on the welfare of Members of Parliament. I called the Office of His Excellency and I was told that he was not there and was informed to call back at quarter past two ‘o’clock pm. I am promising you that tomorrow, on Friday; I am going to inform the President of your predicament. I told you that I really sympathise with you. Your welfare has been disturbed by lack of finance. We do not have money in our fiscus. We have members who have the responsibility of mobilising funds for the state budget. These are the people who are telling us that Treasury does not have enough money to carry out all the programmes.

However, let me tell you that the Hon. Speaker stated all your problems and all the situations that you are facing. As you have stated, as beggars, we are all aware and even the Acting President of the Senate, Hon. Chief Charumbira is also aware of this situation. We have been moving up and down disseminating information on the welfare of Members of Parliament. This is nothing new, but I know that the main problem is that, in my response, I did not tell you the cut-off date that all your problems will be solved.

Let me tell you that everything that you bring to my attention, I take it up to His Excellency and Treasury and I promise you that whatever amount will be made available by the Treasury will be disbursed to your welfare. I am glad because Hon. Chinamasa is part of you and he is also a former Minister of Justice and is aware of the Constitutional rights of the people of Zimbabwe. However, I will re-emphasise that, the problem is non-availability of cash in the country and once cash is made available; your welfare will be taken care of.

THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We are running out of time but I will be a bit lenient. I will use a different system, if you are given a chance, you ask your question in 30 seconds, it is heard and the Minister will respond in less than a minute. At least we have a full bench of Ministers today, which we rarely do, we move very fast.

+HON. SENATOR A. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. F. Moyo. I would like to know what is happening if you intend to obtain a mining claim? For example, you identify certain minerals in someone’s property or someone’s farm that you wish to exploit, what should you do, how do you negotiate with the owner of the property so that the company is registered? I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Mr. President, allow me to answer in English if I can be allowed by the Hon. Senator.

THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Permission granted.

HON. F. MOYO: Thank you very much. Our regional offices are there to assist the mediation between farmer and miner. They know what to do and understand the processes. If there is no agreement, the discussions can be elevated at the Head Office. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Kasukuwere. We are at pains concerning the officials from Mutare Municipality. They are pouring out their grievances all the time. You visited the other time and advised that they should be given their salaries, but to date, they are still to get their salaries and it is almost two years now without being paid.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Hon. Senator Mawire. I approved for their payment yesterday and I signed the necessary documents to facilitate their salary payment. Thank you very much.

HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What grades represent O’ Level passes? It may sound funny, but I just want to ask that question.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Passes at O’ Level are A, B and C. Those grades constitute credits at O’ Level. Below that level, there is a classification which enables the learner to understand where they are placed. You know D to U, where U means ungraded, but if you are above the U you are closer to the credit beginning at C and upwards.

HON. CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Vice President, who is also the Leader of the House. My question is, the Union Jack was lowered and taken back to Britain but I have noticed that in the National Assembly, we still have the symbols of the British Queen or King. We still have the Crown or some of those symbols resembling the Royal Family of Britain.

          *THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. President, my wish is that all the symbols which show the presence of the Queen should be taken back to their place of origin in Britain.

          *HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Mr. President, when you look at the benches which are in the National Assembly, there are symbols of the Crown. Some of them are a symbol of the Union Jack.

          *HON. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Member. You have given me some homework. I am going to examine these artifacts so that we make the necessary removal and transference to their rightful place. I have been in that House for quite some time but I have never been able to identify those artifacts. You seem to be implying that we should pluck out these symbols of the colonial regime and this may mean allocating a budget for Parliament to remove these reminders of the British Colonial Regime.

          HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development. In recent writings, I have come across information that the Kariba Dam is now one and half metres above the water line which allows the turbines to generate electricity. When it is below that level, the turbines will stop turning. Also, we are generating 285 megawatts instead of 700 megawatts as a country. I would want to find out what the Ministry is doing to prepare us for the eventuality that water will fall below that water line because we are in February and by September, obviously something serious will have happened.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SEN. MUZENDA): I would like to thank Senator Makone for that question. That is true, we are one and half metres to the required water level. The Government is doing a lot. We are right now working on a project to have 200 megawatts of diesel energy at Dema. You are aware that at the moment, we are importing fuel from South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia. We have other projects, such as the Mutare Peak Project which is going to be giving us 120 megawatts. The Gwanda Project is also on board. Therefore, the Government and ZESA are quite aware of the challenges and projects in the pipeline to alleviate that. Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development. What is the Government policy regarding the closure of diamond mines in the Chiadzwa area. We know they are not functioning properly. What plans do you have that these mines be re-opened and revive the country’s economy?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Thank you Mr. President. We closed a lot of mines, some of them were gold mines, copper mines et cetera. We issued a statement on the closure of Chiadzwa mines. The mines were not closed by the Government willingly but they were operating out of the agreed route. Therefore, they have to be opened in future and operated by the Government. It is job in progress; we will be opening them as soon as possible so that we can revive the economy.

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING PRESIDENT in terms of Standing Order Number 64.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

CONVERSION OF CHURCH HOSPITALS INTO DISTRICT HOSPITALS

  1. SENATOR MASHAVAKURE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care as to when a church hospital is made a district hospital, more specifically, does it become a Government institution or is it run as a Government institution for the purpose of being a district health institution. Does it adopt the title of “District Hospital” in titular terms only?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Mr. President. I would want to thank Hon. Mashavakure for asking this very important question. He wanted to find out when a church hospital is made a district hospital. A church or mission hospital is only made a designated district hospital in districts where there are no standard district hospitals, but it does not become a Government institution. It is run by the Constitution of the church which owns it.

          The designated district hospital has its own Executive appointed through the church which does the day to day operations of the hospital. The Government has a District Health Executive Team that is headed by the District Medical Officer, who carries out Government duties within the respective district. It is addressed as a designated district hospital. It can only be run as a Government institution if it is transferred to Government as is the case with Father O’Hea Hospital in Zvimba. I thank you.

ROLE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS IN SUPPORT OF HIV/AIDS PROGRAMMES

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House the role played by traditional leaders in supporting HIV/AIDS programmes in their communities.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Senator Chimbudzi for asking this very important question. Traditional leaders, as custodians of culture and role models in their communities, are in a strong position to address harmful cultural practices in order to promote the prevention of HIV within their communities. Traditional leaders preside over Customary Law Courts and exercise legislative power in many communities. As custodians of culture, traditional leaders can facilitate the creation of positive cultural environments in their communities.

          Supporting and empowering traditional leaders with the knowledge and skills to assist their communities to address HIV and AIDS through redressing harmful cultural practices and promoting positive ones is a key element of HIV and Aids programming. Traditional leaders are a gateway to the communities targeted in HIV and AIDS prevention programmes. An effective method to reach men and thus contribute to reduction of new HIV infections and keep communities healthy, is involving traditional leaders. Against this background the role of traditional leaders include the following inter alia:

  • Advocacy role - traditional leaders act as agents of behavioural change since they are cultural custodians and therefore play a pivotal role in the uptake of HIV and AIDS related services. For example Chief Nemanwa in Masvingo encourages men to accompany their wives for Antenatal Care Services. Defaulters are penalised. The practice code name “Perekedzanhumbuyako”, is yielding positive results in reproductive health.
  • They are promoters of HIV testing and treatment.
  • Discourage negative cultural tendencies while promoting positive ones.
  • De-stigmatisation of HIV and AIDS.
  • ZunderaMambo for home-based care and support to orphans due to HIV and AIDS with support from National AIDS Council (NAC). The Honourable Minister Dr. Parirenyatwa officially handed over maize harvested from such programme in Masvingo under Chief Mazungunye.

In 2005, the National AIDS Council hosted the first ever Chiefs’ Conference on HIV and AIDS at Great Zimbabwe, Masvingo. However, there is continuous engagement through the Chiefs Council in all HIV and AIDS programming. Community mobilisation and sensitisation on issues related to HIV and AIDS involves traditional leaders in all districts.

     As the President of the Chiefs Council today testify, when we launched the ZIMFLYERS the Chiefs in the areas where part of the coordination so that we could reach the people. We really value the work that is done by the traditional leaders.   I thank you.

     THE ACTNG PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Just to correct the Deputy Minister, Nemanwa is a headman, he is not Chief Nemanwa, it is Chief Charumbira, Nemanwe is a headman under Chief Charumbira. May be you thought you cannot compliment the President when he is in the Chair – [Laughter] – but thank you very much.

STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS

  1. HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House the strategies that the Ministry has put in place to support people living with HIV/AIDS in the event that Global Fund and other donors withdraw their support.

     THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Senator Chimbudzi for asking this question. Government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has the responsibility to provide resources for the health sector.

     Evidently the resources coming from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development have been inadequate and therefore, the need arose to apply for more resources from the Global Fund to assist finance our AIDS and TB and Malaria programme.

     Currently Global Fund funds more than 50% of our HIV treatment programmes. Should the Global Fund come to an end, the Government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will have to step up and take the responsibility and take over the treatment currently covered by Global Fund. The alternative would be to look for new partners or donors to assist.

     So, in terms of financing health, we look at the fiscus and the Aids levy which is a domestic way of financing our health delivery system. Let me say it is actually the only one in Africa that has got a domestic financing. We also have the public and private partnerships. We have got other innovative finance avenues through donors and private sector players. But, maybe now is the time to start seriously thinking about national health insurance. I thank you.

ESTABLISHMENT OF A DISEASE CONROL CENTRE

          7.HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House whether the Ministry has any plans to establish a disease control centre to mitigate the challenges of HIV/AIDS.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Mr. President. The Ministry already has an STI/HIV and AIDS and TB directorate that coordinates and leads the health sector fight against HIV in Zimbabwe. Through the work of this unit, we have recorded significant gains and successes in our fight against HIV. There is therefore no need and we have no plans to establish a disease control centre for HIV and AIDS as this will be duplicating what the AIDS and TB directorate is doing at the moment.

MEASURES TO CURB ABUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS

     9.HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to inform the House –

  1. a) What measures the Ministry is putting in place to effectively curb the abuse of scarce public funds, particularly in Government Ministries and parastatals as qualified in the Auditor-General’s reports;
  2. b) Which Ministries and parastatals if any, have been sanctioned for such improprieties for and to state the nature of penalties applied if any as a way of showing Government seriousness to stop the rot.

          THE MINISTER OF POLICY CO-ORDINATION AND PROMOTION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC VENTURES

IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (HON. SEN. S.K. MOYO) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. President. First, I want to convey the apologies of my colleague, Hon. Minister Chinamasa who is not able to be here because of circumstances beyond his control and I want to, on his behalf, thank Hon. Sen. Chimhini for the question which he has asked me to read to this august House. The response reads as follows;

           Mr. President, the Auditor-General’s reports highlighted various areas of concern in the management of and accountability for public resources in Government ministries and public entities. The issues raised include, among others, governance challenges and non-compliance with approved frameworks, some of which have resulted in leakages.

           As highlighted to this august House in the 2015 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, the opaqueness of our accountability system where some public entities are governed by both the statutes that establish the entity and the Public Finance Management Act has created some of these undesirable situations. To deal with these challenges, there is need for clarity of roles of the Treasury, the line ministries, entities’ boards of directors and other players in the public resource management chain.

           Mr. President, consistent with Treasury’s mandate to exercise a general direction and control over public resources, my ministry will this year engage relevant ministries to implement appropriate corrective measures at both ministry level and in public entities under their purview. The engagement process will be complemented by the review of the Public Finance Management Act to strengthen the existing governance and accountability arrangements as contained in a Bill that has already been gazetted for consideration by this august House.

           The proposed amendments seek to, among other things:

  • clarify the roles of respective stakeholders in the operations of public entities;
  • strengthen the sector ministries and Treasury’s oversight of public entities;
  • provide for governance arrangements over statutory funds that are not adequately catered for in the current legislation;
  • make it mandatory for supervising ministries to check for and ensure consistency of public entities annual corporate plans and budgets with the financial policies set by Government; and
  • compel public entities to implement recommendations within timeframes agreed with the Auditor General.

Mr. President, the Public Finance Management Act

empowers my Ministry to raise Treasury Orders for the recovery of losses of public resources arising from identified deficiencies in, damage to or destruction of State property, subject to due process as laid out in that statute. Treasury Orders have over the years been raised against individuals found responsible for deficiencies in, damage to or destruction of State property.

           While other transgressions by members of the Civil Service are handled by the Public Service Commission, seven officials from the Treasury were dismissed this year alone following disciplinary proceedings related to the handling of public resources.

           Financial Analysis Unit/Performance Audits

           Mr. President, Hon. Members will be aware that in the 2016 National Budget Statement, I created a dedicated Public Enterprises Reform and Monitoring Unit in the Accountant General’s Department under my Ministry to:

  • vigorously monitor public performance;
  • proactively coordinate the implementation of restructuring reforms; and
  • analyse budgets and financial statements of public entities.

We are now in the process of setting up this unit to ensure

compliance with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act by the public entities. The unit will be equipped with the requisite skills for the achievement of the objectives of increasing public enterprises’ contribution to GDP, reduction of their dependence on the fiscus, improvement of service delivery and enhanced accountability.

           Audit Response Unit

           Mr. President, in the 2015 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review, I highlighted that Government was instituting measures to address concerns raised in the Auditor-General’s Narrative Reports. The processes of amending the Public Finance Management Act to include monitoring and close oversight of public enterprises and local authorities is complete, and the Public Finance Management Amendment Bill was gazette on 23 November, 2015 and will soon be tabled in this august House.

           In addition, Government is establishing another unit within the Accountant-General’s Department mandated to analyse audit reports, enforce issues of compliance raised by the Auditor-General and ensure that Government is responsive to issues raised by the Auditor-General and indeed, this august House. The mandate of this unit will also embrace compliance and accountability of ministries and departments in line with their obligations under Public Finance Management Act with regards to public resources.

           Measures to address public enterprises corporate governance

           Mr. President, Hon. Members will be aware that the Corporate Governance and Remuneration Framework for State Enterprises, parastatals and local authorities adopted by Cabinet in 2014 is now being converted into a Public Sector Corporate Governance Bill that seeks to, among other things;

  • establish a Corporate Governance and Delivery Agency to monitor activities of boards, assess public entities’ compliance with the prescribed national code;
  • set parameters for the appointment of public enterprises boards;
  • provide for establishment of Board Committees; and
  • make provision for the appointment, tenure of office, conditions of service and performance monitoring of public entities Chief Executives.

This measure will address the governance issues in public

entities by putting in place a corporate governance framework that is mandatory and legally enforceable, in addition to establishing institutional arrangements for monitoring compliance.

           Mr. President, the 2015 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement also alluded to on-going stakeholder consultations with a view of coming up with a strategy for further parastatals reforms. The strategy that will emerge from these consultations will complement and reinforce the reforms already under way to ensure our public entities are properly managed to both discharge their core mandates and contribute to the development of our economy.

           Mr. President, I want to assure hon. Members of Government’s seriousness in ensuring full accountability in the management of public resources, and addressing all matters raised in the reports of the Auditor-General. This measure will address the governance issues in public entities by putting in place a corporate governance framework that is mandatory and legally enforceable in addition to establishing institutional arrangements for monitoring compliance.

          Mr. President, the 2015 Mid-Term Fiscal policy review statement also alluded to on-going stakeholder consultation with a view of coming up with a strategy for further parastatals reforms. The strategy that will emerge from these consultations will complement and reinforce the reforms already underway to ensure our public entities are properly managed to both discharge their core mandates and contribute to the development of our economy.

          Mr. President, I want to assure Hon. Members of Government’s seriousness in ensuring full accountability in the management of public resources and addressing all maters raised in the reports of the Auditor General. I thank you.

          Questions with Notice were interrupted by the ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number 62.

WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES BY MEDICAL AID SOCIETIES ON PEOPLE AGED 60 AND ABOVE

  1. Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain why some Medical Aid Societies do not accept clients who are in the age group 60 to 65 years and to further state whether this practice is not discriminatory in view of the retirement age currently pegged at 65.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): The Ministry of Health and Child Care is there to ensure that all people of all ages have access to affordable, equitable, effective and efficient health care services. To enable access for all, issues of rights to health and vulnerability are key. Therefore, the Ministry identified vulnerable groups that have to be assisted to ensure a healthy population and these groups include; children under five years, pregnant women, the indigent and the elderly above 60 years. Financial protection given to these groups allows prioritisation of the available resources considering ability to pay for services amongst other factors. The public system is just but part of the health system and is complemented by the private for profit sector, and the private not for profit sector.

The private sector includes the Medical Insurance sector, which includes the profit and not for profit entities. These entities complement Government efforts in the purchasing of services from providers of health care. These entities pool risk on behalf of their beneficiaries by ensuring that they access health care services when they require them. In developing their health care benefit schemes, these entities consider numbers enrolled in the schemes and utilisation of services by the enrolled target beneficiaries.

My Ministry does not prescribe the benefit schemes offered by the Medical Insurance companies but rather is concerned with whether the beneficiaries access the services they signed up for. The exclusion criteria of the 60+ age group are known by the Ministry and that is why the group was included in the vulnerable groups for financial protection under the public health system. It is the prerogative of the Medical Insurance entity to diversify its product portfolio in a manner that gives it viability; however this exclusion of the above 60 age group is not a common feature across medical insurance entities. It is the interest of the Ministry to see this group also catered for more, under private health insurance and the Ministry has been more inclined to licencing Medical Insurance entities that provide benefit schemes across all age groups and also cross subsidies financially stable schemes with less lucrative ones. As a way of increasing financial protection in accessing health care and avoid point of service fees for basic health care services, my Ministry is advocating for the operationalisation of the National Health Insurance, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Services.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 5 be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 6 and 7 are disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SENATOR MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President. I have just been checking around, a lot of people are ill-prepared for these motions, I wonder if we cannot be allowed to debate these motions on next sitting, in order to allow people to go through their orders.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I am in agreement but I can facilitate that by reading my Second Reading speech on the two Bills so that you read the Bill as well as the philosophy behind it, hence getting you to be more prepared. I thank you.

SECOND READING

GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 2A, 2015]

Sixth Order read: Generals Laws Amendment Bill, 2015 (H.B. 3A, 2015.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. President. As you may be aware, Zimbabwe underwent a historic process of enacting a new Constitution and repealing the 1980 Lancaster House Constitution. The enactment of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe on the 22nd of May 2013 ushered in a number of new obligations and new policy areas on the part of the State. Arising out of these new obligations is the need to align all laws that are inconsistent with the Constitution so that they conform to the new Constitution.

Significantly, Section 324 of the Constitution compels the State to ensure that all constitutional obligations are performed diligently and without delay. As such, my Ministry identified a total of 396 pieces of legislation which require alignment, 117 of which will be aligned with the Constitution by way of the General Laws Amendment Bill.

However, let me highlight that there are two steps of alignment of legislation that can be effected by the Constitution. There are substantive changes which are core changes which lead to the amendment of a Principal Act or the creation of a new one. The other is the minor changes or non-consequential changes that are brought about by the Constitution. These changes do not lead to the creation of a new Act, but rather bring minor changes such as changes of a name or office e.g. from Provincial Governor to Minister of State.

Mr. President, as highlighted earlier, the enactment of the new Constitution brought about changes to more than 396 pieces of legislation thus necessitating an omnibus General Laws Amendment Bill which will effect non-consequential changes to these pieces of legislation.

These are said to be non-consequential changes because they are minor in nature, which effect is for instance, a new name or term being brought by the Constitution. These do not materially impinge on the entire Act and once rectified, the Act will become correctly aligned to the Constitution. Let me highlight forthwith that I am going to touch on a few selected pieces of legislation. As alluded to earlier on, the Amendment Bill is an omnibus amendment Bill. It touches on 117 pieces of legislation effecting both non-consequential and consequential changes to them, hence it is impossible to highlight which changes are being effected on each and every piece of legislation, hence the selection of a few wherein consequential changes were effected. The consequential changes to the bills highlighted below, including the Interpretation Act, are urgent and of utmost importance.

Amendment of the Interpretation Act

Mr. President, over and above, the Constitution being the supreme law of the country has brought with it changes to the Interpretation Act where there is need to include new definition terms as found in the new Constitution. As such, the supremacy of the Constitution supersedes that of Parliament. This is embodied in Section 2(1) of the Constitution. It therefore has to be understood and accepted by every Zimbabwean that any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with the Constitution is invalid by reason of it being inconsistent.

Amendment of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act

Mr. President, this Amendment Bill also seeks to alter the power of Parliament to defend its dignity and prestige in face of contempt towards it and breaches of its privileges through restricting its imposition of the sentence of imprisonment. This is necessary since the provisions of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act are in contradiction with provisions of Section 148 of the Constitution. The present power given to Parliament under the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act is too magnanimous because Parliament can request the Attorney-General to launch a prosecution in respect of any offence over which Parliament could exercise its autonomous criminal jurisdiction.

Therefore, the amendment being brought by the Constitution is necessary in that it allows for an Act of Parliament that will not permit an imposition of any in the nature of a criminal penalty but rather a fine for breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament. Thus the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act has to be amended in order to fit this proviso of the Constitution.

Amendment of the Electoral Act

Mr. President, of importance I wish to highlight that, the Amendment Bill introduces the functions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and seeks to do away with the office of the Registrar of Voters. Section 239(c), (d) and (e) of the Constitution gives ZEC the new responsibility for registering voters, compiling voters’ roll and registers and ensure the proper custody and maintenance of voters’ rolls and registers. This means that the Registrar-General will be confined to the duties of maintaining the registers of births, death, marriages and citizenship. Also the Bill seeks to amend and update references to office, terms and provisions used in the old Constitution which have been overtaken by the new Constitution. The amendments also remove some superfluous and abolished processes such as special voting.

Amendment of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act

Mr. President Sir, under Items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16; the amendments seek to replace the expression ‘shorter period of imprisonment’ by the expression ‘definite period of imprisonment’, which is more accurate.

Under Items 6, 7, 17, 28 and 29 - interesting to note is the departure from the designation Prison Service to Prisons and Correctional Service as provided for by Section 227 of the new Constitution which establishes it.

Mr. President, under item 8, the new Constitution is one of the most progressive Constitutions in the region as far as the Bill of Rights is concerned. Zimbabweans must be applauded for coming up with such a progressive Constitution that recognises the importance of fundamental freedoms and liberties. Let me elucidate that as such, this Amendment Bill will also touch on the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform”) Act. Major highlights are on the restriction by Section 48 of the Constitution to impose death penalty on women, a person who was less than twenty on years when the offence was committed and on a person who is more than 70 years old.

Interesting to note is the fact that death penalty cannot be made a mandatory penalty but a court must use its own discretion to impose it. This proviso brings out the sanctity of life by protecting the right to life. Consequently, this Amendment Bill seeks to provide that the death penalty for murder is competent only where the crime is committed in aggravating circumstances and that a court has discretion to instead impose a sentence of imprisonment for life or a prison sentence of at least twenty (20) years.

Mr. President, under Item 12, as highlighted earlier on, the Constitution is progressive in terms of human rights, Section 3 thereof sets forth the Founding Values and Principles of Zimbabwe where rights of women, elderly, youths and children are recognised. The Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act prevents sexual exploitation of younger persons and only adults may be prosecuted for this crime, because the subject of the crime is a person and its object is a young person that which is below 16 years, as defined in section 61 of the Code.

It is in the interest of the society to protect all young persons, hence it is proposed that the Act be amended to effect the following proposed changes, that where two young persons aged between 12 and 16 engage in sexual intercourse or an indecent act, neither of them should be prosecuted for the crime of sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act with a young person, unless the report of a probation officer finds that it is proper to prosecute one of them for the offence.

Under Item 18, the definition of a public officer is given to mean the redundant office of the Provincial Governor. This has since been replaced by chairperson of Provincial Councils as provided by Chapter 14 of the Constitution. It is thus proposed to amend as is provided by the Constitution.

Under Item 19, I wish to highlight that this Amendment Bill also seeks to propose that courts be given the discretion to decide whether a person has taken any significant step towards the commission of an offence before convicting that person of attempting to commit it. This is so because the distinguishing between an attempt to commit a crime and a mere preparation raises more problems and has never been canvassed in our courts, hence the proposal to leave it to the courts to decide.

Mr. President, under Item 20, 21, 22, and 26, the original purpose of the Criminal Law Code was to simplify the degree   of responsibility where two or more persons are associated with a crime. Therefore, it is stated that if a person authorizes a crime but is not present at its commission is regarded as an accomplice but this amendment seeks to revert back to the Common Law position. It holds that someone who authorises the commission of a crime should be distinguished from a mere accomplice in the ordinary sense because he/she is rather a principal not an accomplice. This distinction should not be ignored because it makes a difference in sentencing since courts have a tendency of not punishing accomplices as much as they do to the principals and actual perpetrators.

          Mr. President, under item 24, accomplice liability is dependent upon liability of the actual perpetrator, as such a person cannot be an accomplice if the actual perpetrator has a complete defence to the crime. Section 197(3)(a) of the Code provides that where an actual perpetrator has defence that reduces the liability of that person, the accomplice will still be liable as an accomplice as if the other person were the actual perpetrator. There arises some confusion because the term accomplice as presently used in the Criminal Law Code encompasses also a principal who authorises the commission of a crime without actually committing it. It therefore follows that, the principle ‘acts of an agent are the acts of a principal (qui facit per alium facit per se)’ becomes true if one substitutes the word ‘accomplice’, with the word ‘principal’ in subsection (3). Since the principle ‘acts of an agent are the acts of a principal (qui facit per alium facit per se)’ is embodied in subsection (3) of the new Section 196(a). It is therefore proposed that subsection (3) should be repealed and substituted by a different subsection which makes it clear that if an actual perpetrator is not found and brought to trial, another person can be convicted as an accomplice.

          Mr. President, under item 25, this amendment seeks to distinguish the types of assistance referred to in Section 198(e), (f), (g) and (h) of the Criminal Law Code from case where the person rendering them may be liable as a co-perpetrator rather than as an accomplice.

          Under item 27, Section 200 of the Criminal Law Code should also be recrafted to provide that principals and accomplices should not escape criminal liability entirely where they simply withdraw from participation in a crime before it is committed if the crime is subsequently committed without their participation. A provision is required to cover withdrawal from crimes by co-perpetrators and those who were present at the scene of the crime may only escape liability from the crime only if they take action to prevent the commission of the crime but must still be liable for conspiracy and attempt to commit the crime.

          Mr. President, under item 30, in relation to rights of convicted persons, the Amendment Bill seeks to do away with disproportionate punishment. This arises when a person is convicted of a crime in specified aggravating circumstances that may render him or her liable to severe punishment, if at the same time he or she is also convicted of any other crime whose factual elements are the same as the specified aggravating circumstances. This may amount to cruel or inhumane punishment contrary to Section 53 of the Constitution because the convicted person will be subjected to double penalization. Subsequently, it therefore calls for a new clause to avoid double punishment.

          Mr. President Sir, I also wish to highlight that this Bill will repeal the offence of criminal defamation.

          Amendment of the Trademarks Act

          Let me also highlight that this Amendment Bill also seeks to amend the Trade Marks Act among other pieces of legislation. This is not a constitutional alignment but timeous compliance with our international treaty obligations with respect to international property rights, in particular trademarks. This amendment will see Zimbabwe acquiesce to the Madrid Protocol (World Intellectual Property Organisation) concerning the International Registration of Marks. This protocol aims at shortening the process of registering an international trademark.

          Mr. President Sir, hon. Senators will note that the Amendment Bill addresses the above mentioned pieces of legislation and the other over two hundred pieces that I have not mentioned thereby effecting non-consequential changes to them. It is my hope that this mother of all Amendment Bills will ease the burden on our Constitutional court as a sizeable number of legislation will be aligned to the Constitution.

          I laud the General Laws Amendment Bill of 2016, to the Senate and move that the Bill be now read the second time. I thank you.

          I move that the debate be now adjourned.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 1st March, 2016.

SECOND READING

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 2B, 2015]

Seventh order read: Second Reading: Criminal Procedure and

Evidence Amendment Bill (H.B. 2B, 2015)

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,

LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. President Sir, the Government remains committed to its constitutional duty to respect fundamental human rights and freedoms. The coming into force of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act of 2013, certainly brought about significant progressive changes to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07] and thus has necessitated the amendment to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act in order to bring the Act in harmony with the Constitution. The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill will thus seek to update the Principal Act in many respects.

          This Act basically regulates the procedure that must be followed in criminal investigations and the subsequent prosecutions thereof and the nature of evidence that may be adduced in the courts of law.

          Mr. President Sir, the salient amendments are premised on the following objectives:

  • To ensure that suspects who have been arrested are

accorded the rights which the Constitution guarantees them, such as the right to remain silent, the right to contact their friends and relatives and their legal and medical advisers and the right to be brought to a court within 48 hours.

  • To define the compelling reasons justifying the

continued detention of the suspects, as required by Section 50 of the Constitution.

  • To ensure that accused persons receive fair trials, as

required by Section 69 of the Constitution.

  • To substantially improve the provisions connected

with the seizure, custody and disposal of articles for the purpose of criminal proceedings.

  • To provide for judicial conferences to formulate

sentencing guidelines and

  • To repeal unconstitutional provisions relating to the

death penalty.

Mr. President Sir, this now brings me to the contents of

the Bill before the Hon. Senators.

          Clause 1 of the Bill sets out the Bill’s Short Title which is the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Act, 2016.

          Clause 2 will amend Section 2 of the Principal Act by the insertion of a number of definitions. For instance, the definition of “statutory capital offence”, is now restricted to murder committed in aggravating circumstances. Similarly, the definition of an “accused” will now be confined to persons who have entered the criminal justice system as suspects.

          Section 50 (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not define compelling reasons justifying the continued detention of an arrested person. The definition of compelling reason is clearly defined in this clause. There are other definitions of new phrases and words in this clause such as the definition of bodily sample, buccal sample, DNA, forensic DNA, intimate sample, health practitioner, medical officer, National Director of Public Prosecutions and the Public Prosecutor.

Mr. President Sir, Clause 3 will repeal Part II of the Principal Act which deals with prosecution at the public instance so as to align these provisions with Sections 258-263 of the Constitution.

Hon. Members might be aware that before the enactment of the new Constitution, the Office of the Attorney General (AG) had two primary functions; that of undertaking criminal prosecutions and that of acting as principal advisor to Government. While there were provisions that the AG should not be subject to the direction or control of anyone, there were other sections of our community that felt that the independence of the AG was severely compromised because of the two pronged function. Against this backdrop, the new Constitution created a standalone National Prosecution Authority to undertake criminal prosecution and retained the AG in terms of Sections 114 and 115 for the sole purpose of acting as principal advisor to the Government.

The new Section 5 will make the National Prosecuting Authority and its officers, acting under the direction of the Prosecutor General, responsible for public prosecutions though, if the National Prosecuting Authority officers are not available, the Prosecutor General is permitted to authorise other people to prosecute.

The new Section 7 is a re-enactment of Section 11 (2) of the Principal Act and allows the taking over of a case instituted by a prosecutor by another prosecutor.

Similarly, the new Section 8 will re-enact Section 9 of the Principal Act which deals with withdrawal of charges. The important new Section under this clause is Section 11A which will require the Prosecutor General to consult the Judicial Service Commission, the Law Society and other interested persons and bodies when in terms of Section 260 (1) of the Constitution, he or she formulates the principles on which he or she decides whether and how to institute and conduct criminal proceedings. This statement of principles will have to be reviewed at least once every two years and published as widely as is practicable.

Clauses 5, 6 and 7 will deal with institution of private prosecutions. The clauses set out who are entitled to institute private prosecution and reinstate that such prosecution can only be conducted after the Prosecutor-General has declined to prosecute and having issued a certificate to that effect.

Further to that, a person instituting private prosecution in the High Court must deposit a sum of money as well as providing sureties to pay further amounts as a guarantee that he will institute such prosecution without delay. Another security is required for payment of costs to the person being prosecuted in the event of the prosecution being unsuccessful.

Clause 9 amends Section 32 so as to bring it in conformity with Section 50 (2) of the Constitution which prohibits any extension of the 48 hour detention period for suspects who would have been arrested without a warrant.

Clause 10 will amend Section 35 which deals with issuance of warrants of arrest. The warrant of arrest will now be issued by any Judge, Magistrate or Justice of Peace other than a serving police officer.

Clause 11 inserts a new Section 36, which allows a person to be arrested on the authority of warrants which have been transmitted by electronic means such as e-mails.

Clause 12 inserts three new sections, that is Sections 39A, 39B and 39C. By virtue of this clause, a person who voluntarily appears at a police station for the purposes of assisting the police with investigations shall not be kept at that police station against his will unless he/she is lawfully placed under arrest.

By virtue of this clause, the police are empowered to detain persons for not more than twenty four hours without necessarily intending to charge that person with a criminal offence, pursuance to their socially protective function.

Clause 13 is a very new area in our law which had not previously been provided for. This clause will provide for the taking of a bodily or buccal sample by a trained person for the purposes of forensic DNA analysis.

Section 50 of the Constitution provides for expanded rights of arrested persons which are not provided for in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. Clause 14 thus seeks to insert a new Section 41A which specifically provides for these rights.

Of equal importance is the fact that this clause also seeks to insert a new Section 41B which provides for the taking of a bodily or buccal sample by an authorised person, issuance of a warrant of arrest where the person who is required to submit to the taking of a sample resists and the admissibility of sworn affidavit deposed to by an authorised person upon its mere production as prima-facie evidence of the facts deposed therein.

The new Section 41C re-enacts the current Section 41 (2) to (5) of the Act without change save to provide for the taking of saliva and tissue samples since at present, only blood samples may be taken. The police are also required to keep proper records of arrested and detained persons.

Clause 15 repeals Section 42 (2) of the Principal Act and substitutes it by another Section 42. Section 42 of the Principal Act permits the killing of persons who resist arrest or attempt to escape arrest. However, by virtue of Section 86 (3) of the Constitution, the right to life cannot be limited except to the extent specified in Section 48 of the Constitution.

The new section permits persons authorised or required to arrest or assist in arresting another person to use such force as may be reasonably justified and proportionate in the circumstances if the attempt to arrest is resisted.

Clauses 16 to 27 amend part VI of the Act which relates to the seizure of articles used to commit offences or which may be used in courts of law as exhibits. These provisions have not been substantially revised since 1975 and there is need for improvement in order to protect both the police and the persons from whom the police seize the articles. For instance, Clause 17 will now require a police officer to give a full receipt for any article being seized, whether or not the seizure was done under a warrant unless the article in question is one whose possession is intrinsically unlawful, for example, possession of dangerous drugs or substances.

Warrant of seizure or search is sought from a Justice of Peace other than a Magistrate. That Justice of Peace must not be himself/herself a police officer. Further to that, when carrying out a search under a search warrant, a copy of the warrant must be furnished to the person whose rights have been affected by the search.

          This part will further deal with disposal or return of seized articles. The procedures to be followed are clearly spelt out and there are additional safeguards against unwanted destruction of seized articles on the grounds that they are perishable or a hazard to health without the knowledge of the lawful owner.

          The owner concerned is given an opportunity to object to this course of action, whereupon the police must obtain a warrant of destruction of disposal of the seized articles whose possession is intrinsically unlawful.

          This part also deal with situations where certain seized articles may be forfeited to the State, the procedures followed thereof. Seized articles may be forfeited to the State or destroyed if possession of such articles is unlawful.

          Clause 28 seeks to repeal subsection (6) of Section 66 and substitute it with a provision that provides for the procedure to be followed during the committal of an accused person in light of the right to silence and the consequences of exercising or not exercising that right.

          Clause 29 seeks to insert Section 115C which will preface the provision dealing with the admission of an accused person to bail pending trial by clarifying what are “compelling reasons” as provided in the Constitution and grounds for denying a detained person bail. It also provides for the burden of proof in bail proceedings. Currently Sections 116, 117 and 117A of the principal Act deal respectively with the granting of bail to an accused person but ‘compelling reasons” are not defined.

          Clause 30 merely seeks to amend Section 127 so as to provide that the arrested person must be told at the time of his/her arrest and why he/she is being arrested in compliance of Section 50(1) (a) of the Constitution and must be brought to a court of law within 48 hours as required by Section 50(2) of the Constitution.

          Section 127 of the principal Act merely empowers peace officers to arrest persons who have been released on bail if they reasonably suspect the persons are likely to abscond or interfere with evidence and does provide for the need to an arresting officer to comply with the constitutional provisions referred to above. We have however, conceded to Section 121 so that anyone who has been granted bail is entitled to immediate release even if the Prosecutor-General appeals against the person’s release.

          Clause 31 will categorically provide that the Prosecutor General or his/her Deputy or the acting Prosecutor-General shall personally sign indictment papers for murder.

          Crimes of murder and culpable homicide are now statutory offences as defined in Section 47 and 49 of the Criminal Law Code respectively. Section 154 of the principal Act sets out the wording for charges of murder and culpable homicide. The wording is absolute since these offences were formerly common law crimes.

          Clause 32 will thus repeal Section 154 so that the charges of murder and culpable homicide will have to follow the words used to describe these offences in the Criminal Law Code.

          Similarly Clause 33 will update references in Section 157 of the Act to the common law crimes of uttering forged documents and theft by false pretences as these crimes are now part of the statutory crime of fraud as provided for by the Criminal Code.

          Clause 34 will insert a new Section 163A into the principal Act which obliges magistrates to inform accused persons of their right under Section 70 (1) (d) of the Constitution and Section 191 of the Act to be represented by a legal practitioner.

          Clause 35 will insert a new Section 167A which will oblige the courts to investigate undue delays in criminal proceedings and effect remedial orders.

          Section 180 of the principal Act sets out pleas namely those of “guilty” and “not guilty” which an accused can tender upon being arraigned. Clause 36 will however, add some new pleas namely plea of immunity from prosecution and plea of having been granted a permanent stay of prosecution.

          Clause 37 will seek to oblige a magistrate when requesting an accused to outline his or her defence, to inform the accused of the right to remain silent and the consequences of exercising that right.

          Clause 39 seeks to insert a new Section 258A which provides for the admissibility of illegally obtained evidence. It will thus guide the court during the exercise of their discretion for the need to strike a proper balance between the rights of the individual and the abuse of the law by the police, the victim and the public interest in compliance with Section 86 of the Constitution.

          Clause 40 also seeks to insert a new Section 264 which provides for the admissibility of evidence of bodily appearance, health and prints of an accused and further empowers the court to order the taking of fingerprints, palm prints or footprints, blood, saliva or tissue samples from an accused, including examination of the accused.

          Clause 41 will insert a new Section 334A which will give the Judicial Service Commission powers to convene Judicial Conferences for the purposes of formulating sentencing guidelines in order to bring about uniformity of sentencing by criminal courts in Zimbabwe. This is a new and progressive development in our jurisdiction.

          Clause 42 and 43 are also of paramount importance. As you may be aware, Sections 336 to 342 of the principal Act provide for the imposition of death penalty. The imposition of death penalty is now unconstitutional to the extent of it not being consistent with the provisions of Section 48 of the Constitution.

          Clause 44 reaffirms the rights of the arrested and detained persons in compliance with Section 50 of the Constitution.

          Clause 45 will amend Section 389 of the Act in order to empower the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to make regulations prescribing:

  • The translation into the constitutionally recognised non-English languages of the form of any warning or information that must be given to arrested and detained persons that is contained in the new Tenth Schedule to be added to the Act.
  • The extent to which police officers and other peace officers may question suspects – the equivalent of what used to be called “Judge Rules”.

Clause 47 will seek to insert the Tenth Schedule which provides for the wording of the warning of rights that a police officer has to give to an accused person upon arrest. This can also be translated into the 16 official languages so that every arrested persons is informed of his or her rights in a language which he/she understands as required by Section 50 of the Constitution.

     The clause will further add an Eleventh Schedule providing for the form of notice issued by the police to owners of seized articles before such articles are destroyed or disposed of by the police.

          Clause 48 will make minor and consequential amendments which are set out in the schedule to the Bill.

          Lastly, Clause 49 will amend the National Prosecuting Authority Act to provide for the post of Deputy Prosecutor General and effect minor and consequential amendments to that Act.

          Honourable Senators will note that this Bill has addressed quite substantial issues calling for the alignment of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to the Constitution and those requiring general updates.

          It is of paramount significance to note that the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07] was mostly affected by the enactment of the new Constitution in so far as the individuals’ rights and freedoms as enunciated in the Bill of Rights are concerned.

It is against this background that I have seen it proper and prudent to prioritise the alignment of this Act with the Constitution. I thus commend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill, 2015 to the Senate. Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 1st March, 2016.

          On the motion of THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA), the Senate adjourned at Two Minutes past Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 1st March, 2015.

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 25 FEBRUARY 2016 VOL 25 NO 28