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SENATE HANSARD 30 NOVEMBER 2016 VOL 26 NO 16

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 30th November, 2016

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

PRAYERS

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

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF A LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND THE OPEC FUND FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam President, I rise to move the motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS, Section 327(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS , a loan Agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and the OPEC Fund for the International Development relating to US$7.6 million line of Credit to support Poverty Alleviation Project, in three provinces, namely, Masvingo, Manicaland and Matabeleland North which  will be implemented by the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development was signed on 17th  August, 2016. 

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (3) of the Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.

In moving the approval of the loan agreement, I want to advise the Hon. Senators that the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and OPEC International Development Fund (OFID) signed a US$7.6 million loan agreement to support Poverty Alleviation Projects.

          The Loan was sourced at a concessional interest rate of 1.5% per annum, with a tenure of 20 years, comprising of a five year grace period and 15 years bi-annual repayments. I place on the table of the august House a document which sets out the key features of the facility.

          Madam President, the objective of the Project is to improve access of beneficiary households to enhanced socio-economic services and income generating opportunities, through support to the following programmes and sub-projects.

·       Livestock Development (cattle rearing, construction of cattle fattening pens, drilling of community boreholes)

·       Optimisation of Local Endowments (value addition of locally available fruits, honey production and processing, fish farming, among others;

·       Strengthening of Entrepreneurial Training Institutes (capacity building of personnel and upgrading of equipment for three identified Entrepreneurship Training Institutes) and;

·       On-lending to Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs).

     The beneficiaries to this facility will be identified rural communities, households, entrepreneurs, training institutions and SACCOs in the following 3 provinces:

·       Masvingo;

·       Manicaland and;

·       Matebeleland North.

          The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives Development will be the executing agent responsible for the implementation of the project. In order to ensure the smooth implementation of the project, a Project Management Unit (PMU) will be established under the Ministry, whose mandate will be to oversee the day to day activities of the project.

          The project is earmarked to commence in January 2017, and will be implemented over a period of four years.

          The financing of the project is US$8.3 million, with OFID contributing a loan facility of US$7.6 million (91.6%) whilst the Government will provide counter-funding of US$700 000 (8.4%).

          The loan will be serviced from funds deposited by beneficiaries into a Revolving Fund. The fund will be administered by the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives Development to ensure that Government is able to honour its repayment obligations to OFID.

          The Poverty Alleviation Project is a direct translation of the country’s economic blueprint, the ZIM ASSET which seeks to eradicate poverty through value addition of our abundant local resources.

          The successful implementation of this project will help improve the livelihoods of the beneficiaries through:

·       Alleviation of Hunger;

·       Improved food security and boost nutrition;

·       Increased household and personal incomes and;

·       Strengthening of Entrepreneurial Training Institutes and capacity building of beneficiaries to gainfully participate in community and national development projects. 

Madam President, with these few remarks, I commend the OFID Loan agreement for the poverty alleviation project in the sum of $7. 6 million for approval by this august House.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  Thank you very much Madam President.  I only stand up to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing such a project into this august House.  Madam President, if one looks at how much suffering there is in Matabeleland because of the excessive droughts and the heat waves,  Matabeleland, Masvingo and especially south of Manicaland, I think there could never have been a better time that this project has been brought than now. 

If we look at the interest charge of the loan, 1.5 percent and the grace period that the Minister has talked about, I think we have to thank him and be grateful.  Also, if we consider that the destination that is being aimed is the rural folk, the poor, so that they can at least survive, I think if such a thing could be widened and cover most of the rural areas in the country, it would help a lot.  All I can do is ask the Minister to again try and source.  He should continue hunting until he finds more of such cheaper funds so that they can also be available in Mutoko, Murehwa and all over.  The previous drought was a national problem.  Madam President, I stand up to just thank the Minister and this thing is the best for our people.

HON. SEN. RTD. NYAMBUYA:  Thank you very much Madam President.  I also rise to make a very short, sharp and sweet statement in support of the Minister.  He has brought before this august House a very important loan agreement which in my view can only be described as, ‘that is what the doctor ordered.’  That is the tonic that this country needs at this point in time.  In any case, this is actually SDG No. 1, Poverty Alleviation.  We all know that poverty, Madam President, is a source of conflict.  Any Government anywhere in a developing country would want to ensure that you eradicate poverty, you develop and empower your people.  This is exactly what this loan agreement is all about.  Who can ever dispute or argue or say anything negative about a loan which has got such favourable terms like interest rate which has been described by the Minister, a tenure of this magnitude and a grace period which has been stated by the Minister here.

I particularly commend, besides the fact that this loan agreement is meant for the poor people, for the rural folk, it is meant to develop entrepreneurial skills in our people.  There can be no greater empowerment than ensuring that our people are given the skills to look after themselves so that they do not keep going back to Central Government to ask for assistance.  Yes, this is one of the best things to ever happen to us.

I just want to commend and make one point which I want to emphasise. We need to ensure that the people who get the loans, the beneficiaries pay back.  We need to inculcate in our people, a culture of ensuring that there is nothing for free in this world.  We need to pay back.  In any case, this is supposed to be a revolving fund so that other people and as many people as possible, benefit from this loan agreement.  Other than that, Madam President, I want to commend the Minister for a job well done.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam President.  I rise to support the motion brought by the Hon. Minister as well as to support the sweet words by Hon. Sen. Marava and Rtd. General Sen.  Nyambuya.  I will not belabour the point because it is a good issue.  Hon. Minister, your intention to alleviate poverty is a good project.  We have something that supports the poor and three provinces have been selected.  If we were to ask those who deal with poverty assessment, they will tell you that those three selected provinces are the most affected.  I know that Matabeleland South should have been the fourth one, but there is limitation of funding.  We should keep on looking for funding to enable us to have other provinces covered.  This is a very good piece of work Hon. Minister and we urge you to continue in that regard.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Thank you very much Madam President.  I also add my voice to the motion brought by the Hon. Minister.  We were talking about ZIM ASSET but did not have funding and this could be another way to support ZIM ASSET.  I also want to seriously urge that this motion, once the money has been brought, it should not be politicised.  This money should reach every person who is entitled to the money regardless of his or her political affiliation.  I also want to plead that the women and the youths should access this funding initially.

It is my observation that once there is such funding, it is misused by those that are entitled or the well connected.  As a result, the majority of men and women in our communities continue wallowing in poverty.  I would want to reiterate the words of the Rtd. General Sen. Nyambuya that this is not freebies; it is a loan that should be repaid.  We must have a paradigm shift from the thought that since this is a revolving fund, people should be able to repay the loan so that it can also be used to assist others that are in need of such funding as some of the provinces have not been covered. I also urge that once the fund has been brought or secured there should be people who train proper business management skills so that they be imparted to our people. So that once the skills have been imparted, they use them in then proper manner.

          The fund should not be put to waste because of people that are ill prepared to use it. Minister I thank you fro coming to this august House to inform us that you want to have such credit. We applaud you for first coming to approach the Parliament to appeal to borrow - as opposed to the spirit of asking for condonation for an expenditure that will have already been incurred. We thank you for having told us that because a stitch in time saves nine. I thank you Madam President.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President. I also want to add my voice to the motion that was presented by the Minister here in this august House in supporting the motion. This motion is long overdue for the provinces that were chosen. You will find that these three provinces are mostly hit by drought. As we speak, their livestock are already dying. The few boreholes that are there are now drying up so there is need for water, because water is life. Our animals need water the same applies to our people. Also, another point is that it is meant for capacity building of those poor communities.

          It is very vital that these communities be empowered because we are looking at this loan to be paid back. The communities have to pay back the money and the Ministry concerned has also to pay back to the company that has given them the money.   It must not hang up in the air because at the end of the day, we still want more money. There are some other areas which were left out which are also affected. If we look at areas like Matabeleland South as well as some parts of Midlands, they are also affected.  Madam President, looking at these rural communities, the interesting thing is that it is already covering MDG1 which is meant to eradicate poverty and hunger. The communities will get something to eat and not only something to be put in their stomachs, but the nutrition part of it and has to be taken care of as well because they will be producing. With these few words Madam President, I would like to thank the Minister for bringing this motion to this august House and I would like to urge him to go on looking for more funds so that other areas may also be covered. I thank you. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          *HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity. Speaking after others that will have already given their remarks, there is a tendency that one might tend to repeat what they have said. I would like to congratulate this House for showing a united front. We should not bring politics to the fore in developmental issues. I thank you for your maturity, may we continue with that spirit so that we act in the national interest for the benefit of our people.

          I would also want to congratulate our Minister who constantly is aware that he needs to come to this august House with his Bills and that is a shine of his respect for these august Houses. He comes to appeal to us and thereafter he acts. I am not going to say mush, but I support what my colleagues have said before me. I will repeat what they have said in two words and these two words are the truth. In truth we should teach our people to repay the loans. Once they are given loans by the Government they need to repay those loans.

          Government has been doing this for years in trying to alleviate poverty for our folks that are in the communal lands and in urban centres, but I am surprised as to our thinking as Zimbabweans, on our mindset of not wanting to repay these loans. Maybe the problem is with us Hon. Members who are not imparting this knowledge to our people in constituencies that there is need to repay the loans. Your good offices Minister and ourselves - should both work hand in glove to teach our people that they need to repay these loans and how best they should manage these projects, so that they should become successful projects. This should not be money that should go through the drain, but the impartation of skills and management skills on how to run projects. We would want to see growth points now being towns. People are busy constructing and people are working in doing SMEs at those growth points. That is the wish and vision of the leader of this country that these industries should also be found in the communal lands. We thank you Hon. Minister for looking for this loan and being public minded or having the interests of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe at heart. Hon. Minister those people that you are going to entrust to disburse the fund should not line their pockets with this funding. The loan should go the appropriate recipients that those that disburse the funds should not put their hands in the till. I thank you. 

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Madam President. I thank the Minister for the good work that he has done to look for this credit. I would direct my debate to the commencement of the disbursement of this loan, that is January 2017. I would want to believe that the paper work is in order so that those who will be accessing these loans complete the necessary documents. Someone who plays the drum should not laud himself or have self interest. I was hoping that Hon. Sen. Chief. Charumbira, would say that when these loans are being disbursed that the chiefs also play a role that the people who will be accessing these loans also stay in the rural areas. This will enable defaulters to be easily found in the event that they might run away. The Chiefs may act as guarantors and may also protect us so that they ensure that they will wield as influential members of the society do not also into this fund and misuse it. I hope that the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises will ensure that the chiefs and all the traditional leadership are involved in the disbursement of this particular funding. It is also important that the funding is not used mainly for travel and subsistence allowances of the officers that are going to be doing the disbursements. Such costs should be minimised. If the disbursement is going to be done by the chiefs and the traditional leadership, that may save the Government some money. Everyone has spoken very well. Finally, there was also mention of the youth and the women, but they also forgot to mention the disabled. So, when you are dealing with the disbursement of this funding, do not forget the disabled people. I thank you.   

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President. I just want to add a few words. I thank the Hon. Minister for the good work that he is doing. We know that the country is besieged by financial problems. We also want to thank those countries that are supporting us so that this programme would see the light of the day. A lot of people have talked about the issue of corruption. Such countries that gave you the funding did not bear in mind the issues of corruption, but the livelihood of the people in mind. I thank you for looking for good friends that have the interest of the Zimbabwean people at heart. We have all weather friends. I thank you Minister for the good work. 

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: I thank you Madam President. I also wish to thank the Hon. Minister for the Bill. I want to start from the socialist dictum, ‘to each according to needs and from each according to ability.’ Here is exactly clear testimony where the Government sees need in alleviating poverty in a certain region. It is also a lesson to all of us not to always think that one region is favoured and the other one is not.

It is clear testimony that all regions are treated fairly and they are given according to needs. They will have to pay back according to ability. It they cannot, that is administrative. I think this is very good Hon. Minister. In short, I am sure you will also target the more productive provinces or regions and provide them with a similar kind of facility.  I thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Madam President. I want to thank all Hon. Senators for their contributions and I single out Sen. Marava, Sen. Retired General Nyambuya, Sen. Chief Charumbira, Sen. Chimhini, Sen. Mohadi, Sen. Mawire, Sen. Mashavakure, Sen. Chimbudzi and Sen. Musaka. I thank all of you for the overwhelming support you are giving to the approval of this loan facility.

          The common thread that has come out in all your contributions is that we need to improve the culture of paying back loans when we receive them. I want to underscore this because as you can notice, our needs are so many. They cannot be satisfied with a small loan of US$7.6 million. The approach that I did to OFID is that we want to borrow and what they told me was, but your record in the past is a bad one. That clearly has been the conversation. I am just sharing with you the conversation that I have had with OFID.  Your record in the past is not good. We cannot give you what you want. We will try with this soft small loan and see whether you will honour your obligations.

          So, it is important that we meet the obligations of this loan. If we do, more resources can be accessed from OFID. OFID is the development arm of the countries which export oil and they are very keen to help Zimbabwe. If they lend money, they obviously want to be paid back. The onus is on us, more particularly on the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises to ensure that the disbursement of this loan is given to worthy people. It should be given to people who are already engaged in these projects, deserve this support, and who have the capacity to honour the obligation.

          I am assured and I want assure this Hon. House that if we honour this commitment which has very generous terms; five years period of grace and twenty years to pay, if we fail to pay this kind of loan, then we cannot pay anything more serious. I am aware that if we do and we demonstrate a good track record, more resources will be made available on the basis of the undertakings and promises that I have been given. So the ball is in our court and I think we need to fulfill our side of the story.

          The issue that I want to highlight Madam President is that what we are seeking to do is one of many things that we are doing under and in fulfillment of the ZIM ASSET objectives. One of those objectives is that under the food and nutrition cluster, we are obliged to take measures that eradicate poverty and that also promote nutrition amongst our people. This project is basically intended to achieve that much. Additionally, recognising that those who participate in projects or those who are economic players, we also need to buttress and improve their management and entrepreneurial skills. Some already have it, but they need to be sharpened and deepened. That also is one of the objectives of this loan facility.

I am aware that we have not covered every province. I think every province can boast of areas which are in extreme poverty. But, given the small size of the loan, we do not want to be in a situation where we spread it too thinly to a point where it cannot yield any tangible benefits. So to that extent, the provinces which were chosen deserve, but I want to emphasise that there are others not yet taken care of which are also deserving of our support.

Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Members and to emphasise as Senator Mawire has emphasised, that on issues of development and especially on issues pertaining to the economy, while allowing debate, we should debate and criticize. However, at the end of the day we should take positions which we all can rally around. This is because it is very important that on issues of the economy, we should always have one position which we can rally around because whether things work or not, it affects all of us irrespective of political affiliation. This brings me Madam President, to the concern raised by Senator Chimhini that we should not politicize any disbursements of funds; let me assure Hon. Senator Chimhini that ZANU PF wants to be supported by everybody and you do not get their support if you discriminate them.  We want to win the 2018 Elections clearly – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- and for that reason, whether we are talking about food distribution or anything that is coming from Government, it is not in our political interest as a party ZANU PF to discriminate against anybody.  We will not ask the totem or the political affiliation of anybody.  Any development assistance, anything coming from Government, is for everybody irrespective of political affiliation of anybody.  It is in our political interest. We actually want even Senator Chimhini because it is a secret ballot, to be able to cast his vote for us – [Laughter.] - I thought I should end on a lighter moment. 

          So, I move that the august House approves the loan agreement with OPEC. 

Motion; THAT WHEREAS, Section 327(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organizations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS, a loan Agreement between Government of Zimbabwe and the OPEC Fund for the International Development relating to a US$7.6 million Line of Credit to support the Poverty Alleviation Project in three (3) provinces, namely Masvingo, Manicaland and Matabeleland North which will be implemented by the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development was signed on 17 August 2016.

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(3) of the Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved, put and agreed to.

 

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President.  I know that this address has been debated by many people and they have done so in a lot of areas that was touched by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe. 

          Mr. President, I will only touch on a few issues, starting with the Command Agriculture which is in place at the moment.  Zimbabwe is well known for production and today as we speak, we are well known for looking for assistance of food from other countries.  I think if we take the Command Agriculture Programme seriously, the issue of hunger, the issue of looking for food in other countries will be a thing of the past.  Many farmers are much prepared and as we travel around the country, the first rains that have just fallen, most of the farmers are engaged in planting.

          Mr. President, I would also like to thank His Excellency, on the agricultural part, whereby many of our irrigation schemes have been resuscitated.  Looking at the Zhove Irrigation Scheme in Beitbridge, you will find that the Kuwait Government is preparing about 2 500 hectares which will be put into irrigation.  A lot of people will get a lot of food from this irrigation because it will be covering a large area.

          Mr. President, I would also like to applaud the President, on the same irrigation schemes.  Irrigation schemes like Shashe Irrigation in Beitbridge have 90 hectares of its land under citrus which is empowering the farmers in that area.  It is a good thing because they will have food for themselves and also have the surplus for selling and getting anchor.  If we look at the other irrigation schemes like Kwaru and Gelkanga, have also been rehabilitated and they are going to grow something during this season on command agriculture, which is a good gesture really.  Also looking at the livestock production as it has been laid here, you will find that a lot is going to happen because looking at the national herd and this drought which is taking place at the moment, there is need to assist the livestock production so that we maintain the herd because we have experienced so many deaths.  As a result, we now need to increase production on livestock. 

          You will find that the areas that we have been talking about in the Matabeleland region, part of Manicaland, Midlands and also Masvingo rely on livestock.  We have to put most of our efforts on livestock production.

          Mr. President, I do not have much to say but you will find that we should also thank the President for the peace that we have in the country.  Anyone can do whatever they think and no one will ask them what they are doing because there is peace.  Those who take beer can even sleep in the forest and nothing will happen to them.  They will just wake up in the morning and start doing their duties because there is no one who will harass or do any bad thing to them.  Unlike in other countries whereby people are even afraid to walk alone.  You can be shot at any time without even talking to anyone.   One just thinks when he sees you, he will just feel natural hatrage and shoots you.  Some people will just stop you on the way and high jack you and start demanding for money in the middle of nowhere.  This is not happening in Zimbabwe, we are really enjoying ourselves. 

          The peace that is there, we have to maintain it ourselves so that we keep on going doing all sorts of things when there is no one to disturb us.  I also want to thank the President for the passion that he has for the women.  He has a passion for women and their children.  Today when we look at high positions in Government, permanent secretaries, Commissions et cetera, you will find that we have women all over the show.  It is all up to us to assist him with skilled staff so that he can have a big choice when he wants to appoint women.  With these few words Mr. President, I thank you.

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

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 1st December, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 68TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY UNION

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the delegation to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. BHOBHO: Thank you Mr. President, for giving me the opportunity to add a few words on this motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Goto and seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Dandawa.  The members of the delegation went to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union and as a result of that Session, they brought a report on peace and security.  It is amongst the issues that we discussed at that meeting.  We are grateful as Zimbabweans that in terms of security, we are enjoying peace.  We accept that and the union of 40 countries, our country was also among those 24 countries that attended this Session which consolidated the Pan Africanism of our African countries and that we should be united.

          Three countries, including Zimbabwe, are under sanctions.  The other two are Sudan and Mali and they were made reference to because of the need to urge that there be peace and security.  Other countries now sympathise with us as Africans because of the sanctions that we are facing.  These sanctions should be lifted.  The meeting urged that there should be peace and unity among Africans and that Africans should be self sustaining.  We thank our delegation for attending the meeting and thereafter tabling this report.

          (Hon. Sen. Mathuthu’s phone rings).

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA):  Sorry, I am aware that she is the Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services; she must receive information all the time.

          *HON. SEN. BHOBHO:  Thank you Mr. President, for giving me this opportunity.  I do not have a lot to say but I was expressing my gratitude for the report that they tabled and what they experienced and the topics under discussion.  This is useful to us, it strengthens us that there are a lot of countries that support us and they sympathise with us for the sanctions that have been imposed against us.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. GOTO:  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 1st December, 2016.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE STATUS OF CHILDREN’S HOMES

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on the Status of Children’s Homes.

          Question again proposed. 

          *HON. SEN. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Makore.  The motion touches on Thematic Committees facility visits to orphanages.  During their tour of duty, they observed that there were very good homes and that these homes had good projects, programmes and that everything was in order.  We urge that such orphanages be empowered so that they develop better because they look after orphans.  We expect these orphans to be looked after because these are our future leaders.  If they are in the communal lands, we urge our chiefs and village heads to visit them so that they see how these children are living. 

          There were other homes where the state of affairs was deplorable.  We urge Government to come up with funding to support such orphanages.  As Hon. Senators, we  should visit these orphanages and see the state of affairs regarding their welfare so that should they be having any problems, Government can quickly receive such reports. 

          Furthermore, I want to say that those children are our future leaders.  If they are given a lifeline by imparting practical skills, once they reach 18 years of age upon leaving these orphanages, they will be able to be self sustaining and make a livelihood out of that.  Once again, I reiterate that Government should come up with a funding to ensure that these orphanages are supported so that children can grow up in a good and conducive environment and become good leaders in future. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. JADAGU:  Thank you Mr. President.  I am a member of that Committee that went on this tour of duty with our Chairman, Hon. Sen. Makore.  We visited several provinces that have already been noted. 

          I am grateful to the motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Makore.  My colleagues spoke about a lot of things.  As we went around, we had a breakdown with the Parliament bus and we stayed off the road at Birchenough Bridge.  We urge that in future we be given reliable transport.  I was impressed by all orphanage homes in Masvingo Province as well as the Midlands province.  After quizzing them, they told us that they were acquiring birth certificates timeously.  The officers are enthusiastic about working hand in hand with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services and the Ministry is responding quite well.  Above all, they treated us with respect.  Referring to a certain home, a question was posed and they said they were assisted by the church but the leadership included; these are Ministers, Members of Parliament and councillors.  We got this information in Midlands and Masvingo provinces.  This shows that these Hon. Members and Ministers are involved.  I felt touched that as leaders, we are not giving adequate support to our orphanages in our own areas. Heavens will not rejoice for us not assisting such orphanages.  Let us be involved as and when we have time and opportunities. 

          In the Midlands province, we had a good place to sleep.  It is because the leadership had indicated that Hon. Senators will be visiting Midlands.  They have a piece of land they have acquired from the Government where they are doing some farming.  There were some good maize, poultry projects and good houses.  I also observed that the leaders in those particular areas are involved in these orphanages.  I am referring to leaders that I have earlier on made reference to.

          In Bulawayo, we went to the SOS and we observed the high standards there.  There was nothing bad about the state of affairs although they were not 100% perfect.  In Mashonaland West, we visited two homes.  We were saddened by the state of one home where there was some bad smell coming out which meant that the workers did not have sufficient cleansing chemicals. 

          Mr. President, in Kwekwe, there was a good orphanage home.  This is led by the Roman Catholic Church.  I ended up admiring and liking the church.  The administrative sister in-charge did a splendid job in taking us within the places.  I urge the leadership in that area from time to time to go there and ensure that they are looking after these orphanages.  I urge other denominations to do the same.

In Kadoma, we visited the juvenile section in the prison.  We were quite saddened.  The toilets were not accessible; one could easily slip on the ground.  The tiles have come off and buildings are dilapidated. They appear to be at an abandoned island and not in Zimbabwe.  We heard of diseases that children could become sexually active after falling in love and that there are STIs.  The health officials should also visit such children and ensure that their health is up to scratch.  They also review the behaviour of such delinquent juveniles.  Those that would have been rehabilitated are released and go home.  Others might become notorious criminals.  As parents, we are urged to ensure that our children do not commit such offences.  The Committee did a good job and all Committee Members, including our Chairperson did our job ably.  We got our allowances and we were well fed and looked after.  We thank him for that. When this Committee goes on such missions, people should be well fed, presentable and also have drinks.  I thank you Hon. President.

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

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 1st December, 2016.

MOTION

SECOND REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Early Child Marriages.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. NDHLOVU:  Thank you very much Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to speak about the motion that was brought by Hon. Sen. Makore and his Committee which is about early marriages of children.  Mr. President, the issue was once brought to the House, I think around last year, however on a different topic.  Hon. Members debated a lot about the fact that there is need to take necessary steps concerning the issue, especially when it comes to children who are forced to get married before the age of 18.  We agreed that this has to be carried out by chiefs in different areas, as well as the courts.  However, this is still going on.  People are accepting bride prices for children and they get them married early.  I do not know the end result of this issue. 

What is also causing children to get married early is that there are some very stubborn children Mr. President, especially those living with elderly people.  They go to their boyfriends and stay there.  You will be told that a particular child is now married to somebody and the people that we need to blame are not those who live with the child but those who accept the child and live with them.  They know that the child would have come to their homes at an early age before they reach the age of marriage. 

Another issue is that of poverty.  Poverty is one of the major causes of early marriages.  People marry their children off for a 50 kgs of mealie-meal and sugar.  People suffer from poverty and they realise that they have children at home who are not doing anything or even attending school.  They then decide to give those children away and this is very bad as it destroys the child’s future and destiny.  Mr. President, children are supposed to finish school at the age of 22.  However, there are others who finish at 25 and others do not have that privilege and opportunity as they are denied this by their own parents. 

Mr. President, we are pleading, some of us come from rural constituencies where there are chiefs and headmen who are agreeing with the parents that a man who would have done such a thing is made to pay a small fee.  For example, they are made to pay in the form of a goat and made to go free.  However, what this House is agreeing is that early marriage can be called ‘selling a child’ because the child will not be ready for marriage for she is still too young.  The child will not be able to take care of the husband, the children or even to take care of the people living with that family.  That particular child, after having two to three children, her eyes are opened and starts seeing around and notice that they are being burdened.  At the end of day, those children also become a burden to the parents. 

Mr. President, we do not know how to handle this issue and I am leaving it in the hands of our community and village leader.  We want our chiefs to look into this issue, talk to the people and educate them on the issue that the law is no longer in agreement with this act.  They ought to know that children should go to school so that they are able to take care of themselves and fend for their parents in future.  If they get their children married at an early stage, they will not benefit anything. 

Mr. President, with those few words, I want to add to the motion.  I do believe that the whole House debated on this issue and Senators aired different views concerning this issue.  As parents, we are wrong.  We need to educate each other concerning these issues at our political meetings and rallies.  Whenever we meet, we need to speak about such issues that such an act is not allowed.   Children should not be married before the age of 18.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 1st December, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 39TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the delegation to the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 1st December, 2016.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MOHADI, seconded by HON. SEN. MUMVURI, the Senate adjourned at Nine Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 30 NOVEMBER 2016 VOL 26 NO 16