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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 31 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 17

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 31st October, 2017

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p. m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR

THE HON. SPEAKER:  All Members of Parliament are advised that the pre-budget seminar will be held from the 8th to the 12th of November, 2017, at Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls.  Departure will be on Wednesday, 8th November, 2017. All Hon. Members are requested to confirm their attendance with the Public Relations Department for logistical purposes.

Hon. Members from Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Midlands provinces will drive to Victoria Falls, while those from Harare, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces will use a scheduled chartered flight.

PETITIONS RECEIVED

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to advise the House that on the 24th of October, 2017, Parliament of Zimbabwe received petitions from:

a)      The National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped beseeching Parliament to exercise its legislative and oversight functions and protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the persons with disabilities to participate fully in the electoral process. 

b)   Dr. Godfrey Mupanga and the Public Interest Law Trust beseeching Parliament to exercise its legislative and oversight functions and protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the persons who lose loved ones who die due to wrongful death.

The petitions have since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN HOUSES: LAND COMMISSION BILL [H. B. 2B, 2016]

THE HON. SPEAKER:  On Tuesday, 17 October, 2017, the National Assembly rejected the amendments that had been made by the Senate on Clauses 2, 3 and 37 of the Land Commission Bill [H. B. 2B, 2016].

 Paragraphs 6 (1) (a) of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that if the Senate and the National Assembly have not agreed upon amendments to be made to a Bill which originated in the National Assembly before the expiration of a period of 90 days beginning on the day of the introduction of the Bill in the Senate; the Bill may be presented to the President for assent and signature in the form in which it was passed by the National Assembly, except for minor changes required by the passage of time, and any amendments on which the Senate and the National Assembly may have agreed.

A Bill referred to in paragraph 6 (1), which is subject of the disagreement, and originating in the National Assembly is deemed to have been introduced in the Senate on the sitting day immediately after its transmission to the Senate.

The Land Commission Bill [H. B. 2B, 2016] was transmitted by the National Assembly on 26th January, 2017 and introduced in the Senate on the 2nd of February, 2017.  In terms of paragraph 6 (1) as read with paragraph 6 (6), the period of 90 days referred to in paragraph 6 (1) have since expired.

In terms of paragraph 6 (3), the National Assembly must pass a resolution that the Land Commission Bill [H. B. 2B, 2016], be presented to the President for assent and signature in the form in which it was passed by the National Assembly.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: I rise on a point of order in terms of Standing Order No. 68 (d). My point of order is with regards to welfare. Today is the 31st of October, 2017 and we were given concrete assurances by the Office of the Speaker and the Hon. Minister to the effect that by today all Members of Parliament would have received their dues in terms of the challenges that we had with regard to our allowances, our outstanding everything, our welfare and lastly with regard to our CDF – [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear].

          I do not mean to put pressure on you Mr. Speaker Sir, but I mean to put pressure on your office so that – [Laughter.]- Mr. Speaker Sir, I kindly await the response concerning our sitting allowances, everything and lastly, our CDF so that we can go into these constituencies and embark on big projects which will be recognised way before 2018 elections. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mutseyami, although I did not understand what you meant by “our outstanding everything”. I hope you meant all outstanding payments. I have written you as Hon. Members individually, and the circular should be in your pigeon holes by 3 o’clock today – where we confirm the transactions that you requested with only two provisos which concern the stands. Other Hon. Members have not indicated their stands preferences. That is outstanding. Related to that is the individual cost structure of the stand. It has been agreed with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that you do not pay for the land value but you only pay for the servicing of the stands. So, that will bring down the cost of the stands.

          As regards the CDF, that is in place. Treasury has marshalled in $5m which should begin to flow into your various accounts provided you open up those accounts. Secondly, you also appoint a committee to take care of the funds, perhaps more importantly that the constitution of the fund is adopted by this House. The modalities are contained in the constitution and therefore, we appeal to you to expedite the passing of that constitution so that there is accountability – [HON. MEMBERS: Let us do it today. Ngatiiteyi nhasi.] - I think the Hon. Member who had moved that motion is Hon. Adv. Chamisa. Am I right? If you do it today that will really accelerate the process. Hon. Adv Chamisa, you have come at the right time. I was going to say Hon. Adv Chamisa is going to move for the adoption of the constitution as you requested today.

          Once that is in place, that will then create the modus operandi of the CDF. That will also allow Treasury to disburse the funds accordingly. If there is no committee in your constituency, that will not happen because this is public money – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Hon. Matangira, let me finish my term as Speaker – [Laughter.]- I was saying since we have our three roles, one of the major roles that we exercise as Parliament is oversight over the Executive but we must be the first ones to exercise oversight on ourselves when it comes to public funds. My appeal is, please act accordingly, follow the instructions and there should not be any problems at all in terms of disbursements of the funds. I think those are the major issues.

          If you check in your pigeon holes by 3 o’clock or there-about, the Clerk will ensure that the circular will have been put in your pigeon holes.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think everything is in order.  We only await Hon. Adv. Chamisa if he can move this issue to do with the constitution so that we finish this business today – [HON. MEMBERS:  Now, now.] – Probably, with the leave of the House, it has to happen like now – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order. Order.  In terms of the due process, Hon. Chamisa will give notice for the adoption of the constitution so that tomorrow he can so move accordingly. 

HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I wish to first apologise for the late entry.  As you know matters of the State are very difficult, but I want to appreciate that you have given me this indulgence Mr. Speaker to deal with this very important issue.  I have conversed with the Clerk.  Had it not been for the procedural issues and technicalities, I was going to move today and have it adopted today.  Be that as it may, to show commitment and we have already done this work Mr. Speaker Sir, because we have already come with the document to Parliamentarians and amendments have been made.  I want to thank Hon. Members who have already given amendments.  I think Hon. Sibanda gave amendments and other Hon. Members - Hon. Ziyambi who made some indications. 

I wish to formally Mr. Speaker Sir, move that we are going to propose and recommend tomorrow by way of notice to have the adoption of the constitution so that we are able to clear the way for the funds to come our way.  I am sorry for the delay, because there is clear agitation and impatience that is justified because of circumstances.  So, we need to make sure that we clear this off the way, but I want to thank Members of Parliament for the indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you very much. 

HON. HOLDER:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  A follow up to what has just been raised, I would to say on behalf of the Hon. Members of Parliament, we appreciate that you have taken stance regarding our welfare and the problems that we have.  We appreciate, please keep it up Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MATUKE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 27 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. GONESE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

GENDER EQUALITY ON SOCIO-ECONOMIC ISSUES AND DECISION MAKING

HON. CHIRISA:  I move the motion standing in my name that:

DISTURBED by under representation and deprivation of women in socio-economic issues and decision-making;

FURTHER DISTURBED by the Executive’s failure to implement gender equality and equitability on access to energy services and supplies;

NOTING with concern that the Executive has failed to conduct an analysis on gender sensitive strategies and mobilisation of resources for purposes of boosting energy renewal and combating climate change;

COGNISANT that the country as a member state that participates in international and regional forums is a signatory and has ratified most instruments and protocols at that level and is therefore obligated to provide basic services such as energy, water, roads and infrastructure to marginalised communities:

NOW THEREFORE, call upon the Executive –

a)    to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and meeting requirements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate agreement which emphasises the acceleration of private public cooperation under the deployment under the deployment of new technology on gender inclusion in renewable energy;

b)   to make available equal opportunities to both men and women in their involvement in Government policies and programmes related to gender inclusion renewable energy; 

c)    to explore further advancement of technology on gender inclusion renewable energy; and

d)   that the Executive works closely with organisational and institutions responsible for renewable energy so that they share best practices.

HON. CHINANZVAVANA:  I second.

HON. CHIRISA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, energy is at the centre of everything.  It is at the centre of personal, social and economic activities and it is therefore a fact...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  Order please, Hon. Members.  Order at the back there!  At the back, order please.  If you feel you need to discuss with colleague, please the door is open, go to the Lobby, not in this Chamber.

HON. CHIRISA:  As I was saying Mr. Speaker, energy is at the centre of everything, every personal, social and economic activity.  It is therefore a fact that energy is key enabler in transforming the lives of citizens, men, women, boys and girls.  This applies Mr. Speaker, not only to the lives of the citizens but to all social and economic factors that also drive development. As pointed out Mr. Speaker Sir, in the National Energy Policy of 2012, there is a direct link between the level of a country’s development and the quality and quantity of energy services.

          Hon. Members having been making a lot of noise.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.  Shall I continue calling for order Hon. Members?  It is not fair.  Order at the back!  I will send someone out very soon.

          HON. CHIRISA: As I was saying, this applies not only to the lives of the citizens but also to all social and economic sectors.  Mr. Speaker Sir, this drives development, without this we are doomed.  As pointed out in National Policy of 2012, there is a direct link between the level of national development and the quality and quantity of the energy services.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, it is therefore necessary to have universal access to a wide range of modern energy services in order to meet the domestic requirements related to light, heat and power; the energy demand that addresses not only the duty to provide services and extending the grid, but also ensuring affordability and sustainability. Mr. Speaker I am talking of the demand, in line with the national international commitment to provide universal access to energy.  It is therefore also related to creating an enabling environment to implement renewals and energy efficiency options including biogas, hydropower, solar and biofuels.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, there is a wide range of policies designed to promote the energy access and drive sustainable economic growth.  The ZIM ASSET of 2013 envisages that through implementation of key results of the infrastructure, utilities or cluster of the increased energy access, particularly in the rural households and institutes as well as increased usage of alternative forms of energy, including the biogas digester’s programme.

          Other commitments can be found in the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs), particularly goal number 7 - universal access to energy by 2013.  This is just a reminder to say, we are part of the global village and our President signed, this was retried and we are also supposed to be achieving this particular goal by 2030.  Mr. Speaker Sir, other commitments can also be found in the revised National Gender Policy of 2017 and the National Energy Policy of 2012.  This document will help us to draft the renewable energy policy which is being drafted at the moment.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, despite these wide ranging policies commitments, the situation on the ground is far from ideal…

          Hon. Members having been making noise.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.  It is not 3 o’clock yet, what is this movement about?  Order please.

          HON. CHIRISA: Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, there is a serious energy deficit and it is impacting negatively on climate, citizens, particularly on women and girls as users, producers and as retailers. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, energy is also a cross-cutting issue.  As I said earlier, it is at the centre of constitutionally guaranteed rights including health rights, property rights, agricultural rights, environment rights and food rights amongst others and the Constitution is based on equality and non-discrimination Mr. Speaker Sir.

The situation analysis

          Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe has a shortfall on its electricity requirements and only 37% of homes in Zimbabwe have electricity.  They have access to electricity, they are connected to power lines and this is in urban areas.  80% of homes have access to electricity whilst only 1% in the rural areas has access to energy.  The rural areas are therefore experiencing pronounced energy poverty.  The majority of the Zimbabwean population, about 67% lives in the rural areas as per the last census of 2012.

          A further challenge is that, of the more than 70% of the population living in poverty in Zimbabwe, the majority are women (Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper- 2016-2018), making energy access to them even more difficult. In the face of energy scarcity, particularly in rural areas, rural communities mostly, 94% of their cooking energy requirements, is from the traditional fields, which is mostly firewood Mr. Speaker and 20% of urban households use firewood for cooking.  Only 6% less than 1% of urban households use coal or charcoal or LP gas.

Gender Equality Energy and Development

          Mr. Speaker Sir, it is acknowledged in the National Energy Policy that the energy sector has been slow to acknowledge the links between gender equality, energy and development.  This is in the national energy policy of 2012.  The National Energy Policy further points out that the role of women in energy provisions and participation in different areas of the energy sector has not been sufficiently addressed.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, women experience of the world is shaped by cultural expectations regarding their roles and responsibilities within the family and widely in society, making their experience fundamentally different to men’s responsibilities.  This to me means that often there are significantly different needs and guarantees or priorities when it comes to energy services.  Men have different needs from their women counter parts and therefore, this goes beyond the households. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, taking this wider range of experience and requirements into account in decision making processes and around energy will enable robust and sustainable intervention that will achieve the greatest impact.  Without women’s meaningful involvement Mr. Speaker, in all stages of energy project design, delivery and policy interventions around planning and financing, the Government will not be able to accelerate progress on its national energy access goals and gender equality objectives. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, global and local findings, suggest that the differences between men and women include the participation of different energy services in the home compared to men, including sometimes a difficult configuration of lighting or different needs for cooling or charging of devices such as cell phones.  Mr. Speaker Sir, clean cooking technologies can save significant amounts of time and effort while also reducing health burdens for women and children.  Outside the home, women often prioritise energy for water provision and energy in processing or storing agricultural goods.

          This values energy in community services such as schools and clinics.  Mr. Speaker Sir, women are thus at the forefront of energy especially for lighting, cooking and energy.  Poverty Mr. Speaker Sir, has devastating impact on women.  These include diseases caused by smoke from firewood and overwork, limited time for economically productive activities due to the long hours and demands of domestic chores such as fetching firewood, limited enterprise due to the lack of cheap energy efficient and renewable energies such as solar pumps for irrigation schemes and lack of conducive conditions for home learning for children.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, energy poverty is linked to other forms of resource poverty and this has much greater impact on women especially in rural communities especially female headed households.  Forty-eight percent (48%) of households in Zimbabwe are female headed Mr. Speaker Sir.  Poor people are less efficient as they use less convenient forms of energy such as wood fuel requiring women who are the poorest of the poor to extend their time and labour to procure the energy.  In essence, women are subsidizing the State as providers of energy.  The absence of equal representation of women leaders in the energy sector at all levels to shape the agenda for universal and equitable access to energy by women remains a big challenge, particularly institutions such as the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, ZESA Holdings, Rural Electrification Agency (REA) amongst others Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          This is not in line with the Constitution requirement for gender equality in decision making, particularly for Government Institutions and parastatals.  Financing gender and energy initiatives, Mr. Speaker Sir, the gender gap in the energy sector is further compounded by lack of investment to close this gap, particularly around women’s participation in renewable energy such as solar power, biogas, micro, hydro and through such funding as rural electrification programme. Resources from Treasury should support renewable energy initiatives – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, I can hardly hear what she is debating.  Order; let us lower our whispers please.

          HON. CHIRISA: Mr. Speaker, I was saying resources from Treasury to support renewable energy initiatives that have direct impact on women in the sector remains very minimal, for example Mr. Speaker, the 2017 budget, only gave 10% on biogas.

          HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

          HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, my point of order is that it is now 1500hrs and I think the letters the Speaker spoke about are now in the pigeon holes. So, I was just letting members know that, I think they are now ready for collection.  I thank you.

          The Speaker said at 1500hrs, the letters will be ready, so I am reminding Members of Parliament to go and check in their pigeon holes because they tend to forget, that is all I am doing.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order please, take your seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, Hon. Member, when the Speaker made this announcement, the Hon. Member, I am sure, was not even in the Chamber.  So, it is not your duty to remind Hon. Members to go to their pigeon holes.

          HON. CHIRISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I was saying the gap between policy and practice is evidenced by the fact that policy commitment and the Blue Book are not speaking the same language.  If you look at the policies and if you then go through the Blue Book, you will find that it is not tallying.  The 2018 National Budget should support new clean technologies to reduce the zero the dependencies on traditional forms of energy

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to repeat on this one, I am saying 2018 National Budget should support clean technologies to reduce the zero dependencies on traditional forms of energy and I hope it is unfortunate that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is not in the House but I hope the other Ministers will inform him that I even repeated this paragraph.  There is also need to increase share of renewable energy on the national energy needs. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the 2018 National Budget should prioritise energy so as to improve services and operating environment in household institutions, communities and at national level.  Gender mainstreaming in the energy sector must be considered as a cross-cutting issue.  The National Budget should prioritise energy inclusive of budgets from all sectors; addressing the energy needs of all sectors will make our economy grow as it is also critical for development.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there are a lot of barriers to gender equity and equality in the energy sector.  This has remained like that for some time now, namely; -weak gender mainstreaming and lack of cross policy analysis to the accounts of a diversity of women in urban or rural areas. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, gender mainstreaming is critical and we have, at nearly every budget workshop, talked about gender mainstreaming.  I think it is important that the Executive takes this seriously because we really need gender mainstreaming in all sectors, in all departments of the society.  There is limited engagement of women empowerment and interest groups to influence policy and programme development especially on the energy sector.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, there are also programme barriers.  Men still dominate energy projects as they are deemed technical and not for women.  Energy projects, are normally captured by male editors and elites; chiefs, headmen and political leaders due to their importance.  The private sector is noted as having weak capacity to distribute renewable energy significantly especially in rural areas.  More interventions are required to enable them to widen access and use by women.

          Mr. Speaker, now therefore, I call upon the Executive to accelerate gender mainstreaming in all energy and related policies and strategies including, renewable energy and climate change.  Alignment of energy related laws to the gender imperatives in the Constitution including the Rural Electrification Act, Energy Regulatory and Environment Management Act. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the Executive should invest in the training of women and girls in sectors that drive the energy agenda including the utilization of energy technologies such as renewable energy.  The Executive must ensure that small off-grids renewable energy options are available for women like solar lanterns, solar irrigation pumps, et cetera.  There should also be innovative financing for women’s enterprises under the Rural Electrification Fund and other funding such as the Women’s Development fund and the soon to be launched Women’s Micro-Finance Bank.  This should include capacity building for women in the relevant technologies.  We do not want women to be left behind Mr. Speaker Sir; to close the gender gap in the Energy Sector including ensuring access by women to clean energy for cooking and heat intensive enterprises. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the Private Sector should be incentivised to invest in the distribution of low cost renewable energy production to resource poor people including women and vulnerable groups.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, last but not least, 50/50 representation of women in all decision making position at all levels in the energy sector will ensure women are not left behind.  Thank you.

          *HON. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me the opportunity to second the motion raised by Hon.  Chirisa who brought the motion that concerns the livelihood of our people and the equality of people in terms of gender provision of equal energy between different genders.  When we talk about renewable energy, this is the touch on the economy and the livelihood of society.  It concerns women mostly because it is the women that require renewable energy in the various forms, whether as firewood or as light energy.  When we talk about renewable energy we should look at the lives of those that are in the middle income groups and the lower income groups as well as the disadvantaged. 

          When we look at forms of energy we would want people that are in the communal land and in the farms. Wherever people live, even in the communal lands, there are some that are in the farms but they do not have renewable energy because the form of energy that we have which is electricity is scarce and it is also expensive.  Everyone has a right to access renewable energy so as to emancipate themselves. Everyone has a right to clean water, everyone has a right to accessible roads as well as good ones.  So, if there is no availability of resources, we would see that the people are now being oppressed.  We will also look at the plight of those that are marginalised.  We urge Government to look into the issues of women so that their livelihood could be improved, specifically those that are in the communal lands in the form of the provision of energy for cooking or lighting.  Our forests are now wiped out because of the fire wood.  Women have the burden of going to look for firewood so that they can be able to get firewood in order for them to cook and sustain their families.

          The forests have now been wiped out, they have to travel for a distance of about 20km and the firewood bundles are quite heavy and they are going to cause health problems.  Women were never meant to be scotch-carts that carry firewood.  So, on this issue of renewable energy; we could look for biogas and solar, this can be affordable at a low cost.  We urge the Minister of Energy to come up with a policy that deals with renewable energy.  We have not done anything much about it despite the fact that we have been agitating for renewable energy in this august House.  This will help us to ensure that we become even better.

In Mutoko, they started with biogas plants at homesteads. It is very cheap.  Cow dung is also being used to give biogas to people so that they can use it for cooking.  As a Government, we have not come up with such policies.  Only a few people have such plants.  We urge the Minister to come up with a national renewable energy policy for the entire country.  We should not rely on non-governmental organisations as if we do not have our own Government.  We should do it for them.  Should be there readily available biogas in the communal lands, forestry destruction will become much less because there will now be firewood to use.  It is affordable and the equipment that is being used is easily available. They only use jatropha trees or cow dung.  They mix it, come up with a small plant which is able to provide sufficient energy for the family which will not cause climate change due to the deforestation activities because they will be having a choice. 

There is also solar energy which can assist us. It is readily available in all communal areas just like the rural electrification project. Rural electrification is expensive.  We should come up with cheaper and easier forms of energy such as renewable energy in the communal lands which can be done by each and every communal home without the use of a lot of money.

In Manicaland, there is Manyuchi hydropower which was not completed.  There is plenty of water and we urge Government to complete this project so that people can benefit. We have the Gwanda Solar Power, nothing is happening.  The executive had come up with such a plant.  We urge the Minister to come up with a policy so that we complete Gwanda Solar Power and it can be commissioned in order for it to benefit the majority of our people.  The money had already been sourced for Gwanda Solar Power.  We are taken aback as to why the project has not taken off when the money was already poured in.  Such issues should be looked into and brought into this august House so that we can find out why people are not being assisted.  There should be equality between all the people – the majority of men are working in the industries.  Women are in the small to medium enterprises.  They cannot afford electricity from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority because it is expensive and not readily available.

Let us give our people a chance to have this renewable energy so that people can work for themselves and we can move as a country and be able to achieve Sustainable Goal No. 7.  We urge Cabinet to look into this issue when they come up with new laws.  They should have this incorporated in the Government.  We expect that in the budget, there will be those issues to do with renewable energy and that these receive funding because it is readily available to all the people in the various parts of the country, our communal homes included. It will assist the majority of the people which I call the larger population which is mainly composed of women.  That will then give equality between men and women.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. MATUKE:  I would also want to add my voice to the motion that was raised by Hon. Chirisa that deals with gender equality in the form of renewable energy.

Renewable energy is very important. It makes our women’s lives much easier and makes our development higher.  I agree with the previous speaker that renewable energy is cheaper because it comes free from the sun.  In Zimbabwe, we have got a lot of sunshine.  If we use it and convert it to solar energy, it would help a lot of people.  We have women that are involved in gardening in the communal lands.  Their backs get injured whilst watering their crops.  There are several pumps that can be used using renewable energy. Solar energy can be used to pump water and people will be able to irrigate.

If we look at solar energy, in my constituency we were the first to come up with such a system. We have more than one thousand women who have installed solar panels and as a result, they are now able to watch television.  Most of their household chores are done using solar energy.  I am talking from experience; the use of solar is practical in my constituency.

The use of gas is also helpful.  If our women can have gas stoves, they will not purchase electricity that is sold by the Zimbabwe Supply Authority which is expensive.  Ordinary people in the communal lands may not have such funds to be able to purchase electricity.  It is also easier for our schools.  If women are given such projects, these would also cascade into schools.  We have new syllabi which require students to use computers and such other gadgets.  It is important for people to access solar energy.  Women are now using computers at homesteads.  I expect that in the near future, we will have computers and renewable energy at each and every homestead so that Hon. Dokora’s syllabus can be enhanced because it requires the use of energy, especially solar energy.

A five kilometer stretch of electricity may require three million dollars.  If we were to plough the three million dollars into solar energy, we can light up over one thousand five hundred homesteads.  It is cheaper to use renewable solar energy than to use electricity. The problem that we observe is that the generation of electricity from Kariba and other places is expensive to the Government.  The money that we are going to be using for the expansion of the Kariba project or station would assist our people if we come up with renewable energy.  It will even make our people’s lives much better. 

I urge Government’s policy to look at those vulnerable members of our society in the near future because others can have electricity after fifteen years.  They could easily have it now if they use solar.  We only require kits to mount them on the houses so that the majority of the people are developed through the provision of solar energy. I urge that renewable energy be given top priority in as much as electricity that is being generated from Kariba so that our people can be able to be assisted in ensuring that our rural constituencies have the renewable solar energy.

          With those words, I would want to support the issue of renewable energy especially to the women because they are the ones that gather firewood, drawing water and such other chores. I thank you.

          HON. MLISWA: I rise in terms of Standing Order No. 68 (d). The first time I had said it was 3 o’clock. This time I am saying we have gone and checked and there is absolutely nothing. No wonder why you see Members not taking part. There is so much anxiety in that letter at 3 o‘clock. The letter is not there. The Speaker is on record saying the letter would be ready at 3 o’clock. He had no gun to his head, he said it on his own.

          Our welfare is not adequate and we are suffering; our minds are not here. Our minds are busy focusing on the letter, no wonder why you see me going up and down. I am speaking on behalf of all Members of Parliament because some of them are scared that they might be expelled from their parties if they come and speak. So, I am actually standing in to also represent them because this time there is so much purging happening in these parties. The point is that Mr. Speaker said at 3 o’clock the letters would be ready. He is a man of honour and integrity – it is half past now and the letters are not ready. So, we thought something could be done to try and allow the Speaker to get the Clerk to follow up on those letters and so forth.

          Our welfare is of paramount importance and it only shows that the Speaker is not worried about our welfare because he left. It is now half past three. Three o’clock, he said the letter would be there telling us exactly how our welfare will be addressed. We appeal to you Mr. Speaker that, are the letters going to come or not?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, in every situation there are some delays which are unforeseeable. There could be a technical problem with the machine. Three o’clock - you give allowance to four o’clock then from there you can start talking. We will give an allowance up to four o’clock then we will find out what is happening.

          HON. MUDARIKWA: I want to thank the mover of the motion. Energy lays the basis of development of any country. As a religious person, let me go to Genesis 1 verse 3, “And God said let there be light and there was light”. It is there and it is written in Genesis 1 verse 3 the importance of light. This is where we see the importance of energy and renewable energy, how it lays a foundation for development. Development of any nation cannot happen without the total participation of women. The women are the vanguard of any development and it is important that renewable energy encompasses the mothers of our country.

          Most of the communal lands are off grid and because they are off grid they require solar energy. When we have solar energy, what it means is that we have energy that is available. We can use the solar energy for pumping water for irrigation and it makes life easier for the women of Zimbabwe other than carrying water on their heads or using buckets. It is important that we as Parliament take into account the importance of an energy mix where we have hydro and coal. We must have solar and the solar must cover the communal lands.

We are here as Parliamentarians and what we are discussing most of the time is urban budgets to say this city has no water, we must dig canals for water but we are not looking at the villages where we come from.  When we come into Harare, we are colonised by urbanisation. Urbanisation is the biggest enemy of rural development because any person from rural areas like Binga or UMP, when they come here in Harare they want to behave as people from Harare and try to see that all is well yet things are not well. Mothers out there need energy and it is important that in our National Budget we include renewable energy specifically to areas where there is no electricity grid.

When we have renewable energy, mothers can assist their children to do their homework. This is why you see the pass rate in most of the schools in rural areas is very low because there is no participation and evening lessons. It is so difficult to read using other means of energy available in rural areas. It is important that we assist our children with homework using solar energy.

There are a number of churches that you see anywhere in Zimbabwe and it is important that our people have a capacity to read the Bible and understand it. Read it to their children and understand it so that they will never be tricked by stars who say they represent me. God is everywhere. Some Zimbabweans of higher stature used to go to Nigeria to see a certain priest and yet if you read the Bible, it tells you that God is everywhere. God is in UMP, but I need renewable light to read the scriptures with my family during the evening when we are relaxing. So, it is important that the element in religion in also encompassed by the availability of renewable energy.

Health hazards associated with other types of energy – when you are reading using candle light, most of the time if you fall asleep it will end up burning the whole house. So, renewable energy is ideal for the people in the communal lands. Biogas will assist us in cooking. We are using human and animal manure to cook. It is important that we use biogas…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order. Is Hon. Mliswa here? He comes here to make noise and he is not even in the Chamber. May I confirm that the letters are now being distributed into your pigeon holes. I do not mean you have to leave this House with nobody. You go there one by one. You may proceed Hon. Mudarikwa.

HON. MUDARIKWA: The letters are now distributed because I mentioned some scriptures here and it quickened the whole process. Zimbabwe produces tobacco in other areas where we are carrying out experiments to use renewable energy like biogas for curing tobacco. It is important that this energy mix is always made available. The biggest challenge that we are getting is that in other countries they have what you call ‘prosumers’, people who produce electricity during the day and feed into the national grid.  In the evening, they also take from national grid.  They call these people prosumers, they produce and also consume electricity.  The women of Zimbabwe, it is important that they encompass renewable energy with the assistance of our Government.  The issue of depending on donor agency, donor syndrome is irrelevant.  We can set aside a small budget and it will move everything.  The cost of our electricity, I am in the Energy Committee Mr. Speaker Sir, we use 40% of the electricity that we generate for heating water.  If we were using solar energy, that would save a lot of electricity and make that electricity available for other use and for the development of other industries. 

Renewable energy and the women of Zimbabwe; it is important that all the small scale industries encompass renewable energy,  because yes - you can have initial investment, but you do not have continuous cost where you continue paying electricity every month.  Once you set up a solar panel, that is done.  We also appeal to our Government that we must have renewable energy duty free for the purposes of development of our communal lands.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is important that the women in Zimbabwe and the women in this august House, when people are discussing matters that relate to other women in Zimbabwe, we must take it seriously, because that is where our development is.  More than 52% of Zimbabwe’s population are women and 80% of this are women in communal lands.  They live a life where they struggle to get firewood in the morning and in the evening.  How do we move forward as a nation when we are living under those conditions?

Vegetables change the lives of people.  If we are using solar power for growing vegetables, there is no point in saying I want a petrol or diesel engine, we just pump water and develop.  In other countries, they have developed a system where they say, a certain amount of money, like what happened to REA, they have 6% of what we pay goes to REA.  Out of that 6% we must get 50% going to renewable energy and the target must be the women in Zimbabwe in the rural areas.  Women in Harare do not need solar panels because they have it.  It is our mothers in the communal lands who urgently require solar panels.

Mr. Speaker Sir, if there is a drought, in Zimbabwe we normally have mid-season drought, if we have solar pumps, we can pump water into overhead tanks and have drip irrigation in some of our field and develop as a nation.  Hon. Chirisa, I want to thank you for moving this motion but it is also important that Parliament funds a seminar for women parliamentarians and some male parliamentarians like us who support the women of Zimbabwe, so that most of the people understand what renewable energy is and how it benefits people.  As the Chief Whip and everybody were contributing, I saw that people did not take it seriously.  Maybe they do not understand the importance of renewable energy in as far as rural development is concerned, in as far as the development of the women of Zimbabwe is concerned. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, there is need for us to have a seminar where we sit down and say, what do we do at this stage, how do we develop drinking water, how do we develop water for irrigation, how do we develop biogas so that when we go back to our constituencies, we discuss with our people from an informed position.  We now understand what should be done to develop our areas.  We can go for 200 years, in Zimbabwe after independence, there are some areas that will remain without any light and those areas will remain dark and ...

An Hon. Member having passed between the Chair and the Member on the floor.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member.  You may continue Hon. Mudarikwa.

HON. MUDARIKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  This is what I am saying, even some new Hon. Members, they need some orientation to understand what happens when we are discussing because these are some simple basic things that Hon. Members must adhere to.  This is what we have to do in renewable energy.  We need to educate Hon. Members so that they understand the importance of certain procedures laid in any organisation. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you for allowing me to contribute to this motion.  This is a very important motion which Hon. Members must contribute to.  Most of the time, Africa has plenty sunshine but we are not taping into it.  We are struggling day in day out.  We are not taping it, we do not have enough energy, yet Africa should be exporting electricity to Europe during day time because we can produce so many thousands of giga watts, the electricity is available.  We have the right temperatures and everything but mainly because of our ignorance, we would want to concentrate and establish a coal powered station.   We have the resources, they are there, it is just a matter of time for us to put our minds together as a nation and develop.  I want to thank Hon. Members who were listening and those who were not listening I want to thank you also because you were not making noise when I was speaking.  I thank you. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  As has been alluded to by Hon. Mudarikwa, that this is a very important motion particularly, to women parliamentarians.  Hon. Members, I thought most of you would stand up and contribute to this motion.  Instead, what do I get, a lot of noise.

*HON. MPARIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Chirisa and Hon. Chinanzvavana for having raised this motion and seconded respectively.  They have said many things and I was touched a lot.  If you look at the forms of renewable energy that we have, the majority of our areas do not have such energy.  Anyone whose life becomes difficult ends up in the hands of a woman.  I talk of illness, the lack of employment; the mothers end up looking after these people.  The more the family members the more the energy that is required for cooking the food and the mother has to look for the firewood.  Marriages can break because to the burdens those mothers have. 

We have disabled women and children who live in such households where there is inadequate energy to look after the family.  It could be for lighting, cooking, refrigeration because some medications require refrigeration.  Our country is a signatory to the UN, SADC and other bodies.  Despite being signatory to these bodies, we are last in the queue because we have not done much as regards that area.  Recommendations that have been made by Hon. Chirisa and Hon. Chinanzvavana should be adopted by the Executive, not to be just a talk show.  We need action.  As Hon. Members, we urge the Executive, once we have come up with these important motions; they should put it into practice.  We should ensure that we set those who should be able to deliver the motions that we would have set up.  We are behind in the form of our industries, people are losing industries because nothing is moving.  Most of the people who leave work are women.

          The reason why I stood up Hon. Speaker is that we should use you as the Speaker of Parliament and we need you to follow up on such good motions that are being supported across the political divide or by men and women in this House.  We have made an endorsement and we want to find out what is happening.  We can give our Ministers work by the resolution and adoption of these motions but if they fail to put into practice what we have recommended, our motions should not just be a talk-show, and motions should not be reworded.  I urge that we hold the Executive to account for the motions that we are raising.

          Hon. Speaker, I am grateful that if there is no adequate form of energy, the food that the mother prepares will not be completely cooked.  SADC and Africa looks down upon us as Zimbabweans because we are not standing up to ensure that our things move.  I repeat that the recommendations of Hon. Chirisa and Hon. Chinanzvavana be taken to the Executive.  The disabled and women should also be able to have a better way of living.  Mothers are dying and the children are also dying prematurely if there is no energy to ensure that the child is sustained until it is incubated at 9 months.  People are dying because they are being operated on and there is no energy that can be used for gadgets that can sustain their lives.

          The other issue is environmental degradation which I do not know what to call in the Shona language.  We know that our children are going to grow up and all our trees and other fauna and flora is extinct.  We also urge that for us to be able to look after our health and our soils, our trees should not be cut indiscriminately.  This can only happen if we have forms of energy that are sustainable.  I thank you.

*HON. ZEMURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would want to support and agree with what has been said by Hon. Chirisa, seconded by Hon. Chinanzvavana that we should be using renewable energy.  We are taking the issue of solar energy lightly.  This is an important motion.  We urge the Minister of Energy and Power Development, if he were present that he observe that we support that there be the use of solar energy.  Our country is slowly turning into a desert because of deforestation.  We now have a lot of gullies because trees are being indiscriminately cut on a daily basis.  This motion is very important is very important and I support it.

The water that we are clamoring for per ward, we would not be using a lot of money to look after the boreholes because we will simply put in piped water that uses solar energy in various wards.  Our schools are suffering, children are suffering and the result speak to it that children are failing in the communal lands because, unlike their urban counterparts who study using energy.  We urge the relevant Ministry to take on board the debate.  Solar is very cheap compared to the electricity that we are importing from Cabora Bassa and South Africa whilst we produce our own in Kariba. 

I believe that this time around, I will be able to farm on my piece of land.  Because of the darkness that will be there, maybe I will spend early nights, when there is solar, we urge each farm to use light.  I would like to thank Hon. Chirisa and Hon. Chinanzvavana, they have come up with an idea.  There is a councilor in Mashonaland East who came up with the idea of buying solar panels and his entire ward and village heads’ house there are solar panels and lights throughout.  That idea should be copied and the solar energy is brighter than Harare’s lights.

We are about to go and plant tobacco and people have sharpened up their axes so that they will be able to have firewood to treat their tobacco.  If we had renewable energy, we would use it for treating tobacco.  We can have vegetable gardens at home and at schools using water pumped by solar energy.   There are feeding schemes that are being conducted by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, they are bringing in sadza but they are not brining vegetables.  People are using chunks as relish, if we had solar and water, children would be enjoying green and healthy vegetables as part of their relish.

Solar will preserve our good forests.  If this country were to be sold, people would refuse to buy it because there is no green vegetation.  We have deserts and stumps, people are even burning the grass, we do not have any grass.  This is because we are now playing with fire all over.  Let us have energy in the form of solar so that we will be able to preserve our fields, grass, trees and fields.  If we do not grow trees and grow a green lawn, no one looks at my home, but if I have those and are irrigated using solar energy, our country will become very beautiful and it will become pleasing eyesight to the visiting tourists.  Let us have solar energy throughout all our villages.

I am grateful because I live in the communal lands.  There will be darkness and we start seeing things during this rainy season.  Solar energy will alleviate such problems; we would even operate refrigerators and stoves in the communal lands.  By so doing, we would have improved and sophisticated our way of life.  Zimbabwe would become a good place to live in.  Solar gadgets are now cheap and we urge the Government to assist us in coming up with programmes where Members of Parliament are given solar panels to install in the communal lands.  I hope that by so doing, no one will be interested in leaving the communal lands.  We now have congestion, people shun going to the communal lands because there are no refrigerators, they cannot access cold water. We will turn our own homes into hotels in the communal lands. We are happy with the advent of these solar panels that we are coming up with. This shows that we are having developing. There is no development without lights. We want solar energy to be found in the communal lands. Thank you for raising this motion which uplifts the life of every woman. I thank you.

          HON. HOLDER: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Mr. Holder?

          HON. HOLDER: My point of order is on a privilege matter Mr. Speaker Sir. I note that I thanked the Speaker for nothing. We have received this circular but it does not address the issues we are talking about. I find it unfair to be given a letter which does not address our issues which we actually complained about. I do not even know why we are sitting in here. We would rather adjourn and go home until these things are dealt with. Thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM, HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT (HON. A. NDHLOVU): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 1st November, 2017.

          Hon. Chimanikire having stood up wanting to debate.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon., the debate has been adjourned Hon. Member.

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE: I have objected, as a matter of privilege and I wish to debate.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I did not recognise you Hon. Member and I did not call your name unless of course if you are going against the Speaker. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.]

          *HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Can it be put on record that I want to debate and you are...–[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] No, no, are you the Speaker? If you want to do that, I will make the issue yours. I will continue hauling. Say whatever you want to say.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAEKR: Hon. Member, be organised.

          On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM, HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT (HON. A. NDHLOVU), the House adjourned at One Minute to Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 31 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 17