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SENATE HANSARD 31 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 27 NO 11

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday 31st October, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

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

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

Paragraph 6 (1a) 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 ninety 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 of 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 2nd February, 2017. In terms of paragraph 6 (1) as read with paragraph 6 (6) the period of ninety days referred to in paragraph 6 (1) have since expired.

In terms of paragraph 6 (3), it is now up to the National Assembly to 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 of Assembly.

PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:   I also wish to inform the House that all Senators have been invited to the 2017 Pre-Budget Seminar to be held from the 8th to the 12th of November, 2017 at Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls. All senators are requested to confirm their participation at the seminar with the Public Relations Department in order to facilitate logistical arrangements.

All Hon. Senators from Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West Provinces will travel by a chartered flight while those from Bulawayo, Masvingo, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South and Midlands provinces will use their vehicles.

      The Public Relations officers are in the Members Dining Hall for confirmation of attendance to this Pre-Budget Seminar.

*HON. SEN. CHABUKA:  Madam President, I want to say something as an MP in this august House. 

*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  You know the procedure Hon. Senator.  We do not change laws because there is something that we want to contribute.  We want to do our work, our mandate following the law which we have – our Standing Rules and Orders.  So, you cannot say anything.

HON. SEN. CHABUKA:  Madam President, if you can allow me to express my views – [AN HON. SENATOR:  Maybe it is a point of order.] –

*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  We cannot just start by having points of order.  When we are starting work, it is either you have a motion or not.   Everything should be in order.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. SINAMPANDE:  I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ON SDG NO. 3

Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on the motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on SDG No. 3.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. NCUBE:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the motion that was brought into this House by Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane which falls under their Committee on SDGs that reflects on how people should live.  On this one, they are highlighting on good health and well being.

What I want to highlight on this issue is the way this motion was brought into this House.  It is important that we prioritise the way people are living especially on how they get food, accommodation, their health and education as well.  The way the motion was brought, yes it separated all these, but when we look into goal 3 we realise that if all these things are not prioritised, you will not have good health. 

When someone is not feeling well, after you have been attended to, you need to get good accommodation so that you can take the medication prescribed to you and you are given time to rest.  Madam President, before we can even say something outside, when we talk about the people we represent, what we are saying is - we should be prioritised and we should check whether we are properly taken care of as Members of Parliament.  Before we can even talk about people who are outside, are Members of Parliament able to go and get medical attention? 

As I speak, Madam President, we do not even have enough resources to get medication.  When Senator Chabuka wanted to contribute, it was all about our welfare as the Members of Parliament.  If I do not have money to get medical attention, I will not be able to represent the people well.  What we want to know is, when are we going to get our allowances?  For me to represent people well as someone who is standing in as their representative, I should be able to represent them whilst in good health.  When someone in my constituency is not feeling well, I should be able to assist those people as well.  As Members of Parliament, we are a laughing stock.

Madam President, what we want to know is, when are we going to get our allowances?  The money that we have not been paid for the past five years, are we going to get it with interest or not?  Madam President, if we are not able to take care of ourselves, how are we going to take care of the other people?

As Parliament, when we are talking about the SDGs while we are failing to take care of ourselves, how are we going to achieve this? 

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order, can the Hon. Senator be heard in silence?

+HON. SEN. NCUBE:  I thank you Mr. President Sir.  The report that was brought into this House is very important, and I never used to understand it when they used to talk about the SDGs, but one thing that I have realised is that when they talk about SDGs, it also comes back to me to say I am supposed to be able to take care of myself. 

I am not talking about myself only, but I am talking about everyone who is in the Government.  The question that I am asking is, is this Government able to take care of its workers and their well-being.  If for example, the Government is not able to take care of me as aMember of Parliament, what about someone who is outside? 

This is a very important report, Mr. President Sir.  We really need to be given our allowances so that we can be able to take care of our medical bills.  All of us here, one way or the other have something that needs medical attention, but when we go to the hospitals we are not able to pay for the bills.  There is a time I got injured and there was a demand for $400 that I was supposed to pay, but I failed to pay that bill.

Mr. President Sir, the first thing that we are asking is that the Parliament of Zimbabwe should pay all Members of Parliament their allowances.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to contribute.  I remember the chief contributing that there was a nurse doing overtime and being given money that was equivalent to their salary.  I think that issue of overtime should be looked into by Government that if someone does not go on leave and continues to work and get the equivalent of their salary, they will continue to work but not give their best because all they will want will be the money.  They should go on leave and come back refreshed.  The overtime for nurses in hospitals should not be abused.  I understand that there are about 2000 unemployed nurses so it is important that Government looks into that so our things work very well. 

I also think that it is a good idea that we should be healthy and live well.  Health should be for all the people despite their ages.  If it were possible, I think referral hospitals like Parirenyatwa, Mpilo and UBH should be found in all the areas in this country so that people have big hospitals near where they stay and they do not have to come and crowd Harare, looking for medical attention for different conditions.  Hospitals like the one in Chitungwiza should be built in many places around the country so that people do not go around in search of referral hospitals.  We want good health for all people, including the infants and the elderly. 

We know that some of the things that I am talking about do not concern the Ministry of Health and Child Care only but also touches on various government departments.  You will find that in all these departments, there are acting directors that work for the elderly.  What it means is that Government has people at heart but probably there are some challenges that it is facing, hence the reason why they do not have substantive directors.  Maybe it is a matter of money but I think Government should try its level best to have substantive directors in place for offices dealing with the elderly people. 

          If there is a department that looks at health, it will be easier for elderly people to go there if they face any challenges, just like the women’s affairs department.  When things are difficult for them they approach their Minister.  So, we should not have acting directors but substantive directors concentrating on the elderly.  When it comes to health issues, it is not about medication only but it touches on a lot of things.  We can conscientise each other that even food helps people to have good health.  Even if you are getting medication for certain diseases they will tell you that some of the medication has to be taken after meals because if you use them without eating, you will worsen the situation.  So, all the things that touch on people’s health, physical, mental, psychological and the way that we live should be revisited by Government when looking at Sustainable Development Goal No 3. 

There is also the issue of shelter.  There are a lot of people who do not have houses and many of them are lodging.  They are always afraid because they do not know what their landlords are thinking.  So that should be really looked into by Government so that we alleviate this issue of shelter.  I heard that in other countries they have a policy that says one person one house in town.  All those who have five or 10 houses in town should leave those houses and give to other people, because the cities continue to grow; those who get land are the same people who have acquired wealth already.  Whenever there is a new scheme, they are the ones who are able to buy land because they have the money.  Those who do not have houses always lag behind.  Those who already have houses are into business of renting out their properties.  So, I think the Government should come up with a policy enforcing that one person, one house in Harare or in Mutare or Gweru so that others get an opportunity to also own houses, instead of one person having houses everywhere.  It is not good because they are doing it at the expense of other people.

          Water is another issue.  It helps us a lot; we need it for drinking, sanitation and cooking.  We need clean water and the local authorities should attend to burst pipes.  There are some areas where you find that a sewer has been flowing for more than 10 years and they are not fixed.  All these things affect the health of people.  People end up being sick, which we will not be able to control.  Those are some of the issues that Government should look into when implementing SDG Number 3, so that people live in good health.

          There is also the issue of medication, though it is not the only thing but it is one of the things that make us have good health.  Therefore, Government should consider resourcing our pharmaceutical companies so that they will be able to produce affordable medication so that we will be able to curb certain diseases like malaria, TB and HIV.  Companies like CAPS and Datlabs, these are Government companies and even privately owned companies should make drugs which are competitive.  This will help in making drugs affordable.

          There is this issue which has gone on for many years, which affect feeding habits of people.  We have what we call speculative pricing in our shops.  People just speculate and hike prices of goods.  During the weekend, I toured one of the local supermarkets and I came across canned beans which used to be sold at $1 but now they are sold at $3.00.  Some of those beans are locally manufactured but the business people are greedy.  They only think of themselves and want to make huge profits, they do not care how people get that money.  What they want is to make profit.  This will affect how people think and live.  When people are psychologically affected, they would not have good health.  So, Government should look at that as well.

          This idea of speculative prices is not a new think; it has been happening for many years.  It is everywhere in food stores and pharmacies.  There are some drugs that I buy for my son which I used to buy for $1 but recently I bought them for $2.50.  I do not know how business people think.  They do not have what we call patriotism or nationalism.  They do not care about the buyers, what they want is just their money.  All these things should be looked into by our Government by enacting laws which protect buyers so that people are in good health and live well across all ages. 

We have the elderly who have special drugs that they need but because of the way business people think, you will find that these elderly people are no longer able to live well because they cannot afford their medication.  I think the Government should come up with a department of pricing, whose officials move around looking at prices.  They should do this anonymously, like they buy an item and if they are over charged they can sue the business person concerned.  With those few words I thank you Mr. President.

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: May I, through you Mr. President, add my voice on the SDG3 “Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-being for all at all ages”.  I was part of the team which visited Murehwa and Marondera Hospitals.  Our visit to these hospitals was an eye opener.  This was after we had received oral evidence from the Ministry of Health and Child Care Officials.

          Mr. President, there are times when one dreads to enter a hospital, especially our public hospitals.  When you approach or enter the wards, there is this air of desperation, smell of sickness or ailing in the air, there is fear of death and you are witnessing winding queues; people screaming and wailing, usually that is after death of someone - but not at these two institutions that we visited. I say this because of their infrastructure. Therefore, I will dwell on infrastructure because it is my belief and this is what we witnessed.  These two institutions were well built; the structures and equipment are in place although at times antiquated but functional.

          At Murehwa Hospital, there are 60 beds in place.  We never saw any queues there but the greater part has modern buildings with room for more as the land is readily available.  Two theatres which are not definitive though but which were converted; a dental department although with antiquated equipment and an opportunistic infection clinic which is very user and victim friendly.  There is also a family and child health department which is operating, although operating from condemned buildings but very functional.  With the help of the private company; the Blue State assisted in the renovations of some buildings and there are laundry rooms with washing machines although they still need a roller iron.  They have central stores and stores for vaccines.  There is a laboratory which is definitive and functional although the CD4 counting machine was not functional when we visited and they had a smaller machine which they were using when we were there. 

They have a rehabilitation department which is definitive as well but not well fitted although the basics such as the bicycle and the weights were not available as well but, the frames and the wheelchairs were available.  They have a standby generator which is 2 000 Lt although their major problem is fuel.  They have a maternity labour ward with four beds and 18 midwives who are really adequate according to the doctor at that hospital.

          In the neonatal unit, their own challenges are electricity for the incubators but it is there.  Then there is lack of suitable beds for the disabled because the beds are too high but they are there.  There are the female, male and isolation wards – all these are available at Murehwa Hospital although the administration block is a makeshift block with cabins.  There is a kitchen, a dining room and a waiting place for mothers and the shelter is there.  There is a 12-body capacity mortuary. They have transport which is a lorry, two functional ambulances and three which are obsolete and are ready for boarding. 

I am highlighting these issues Mr. President to emphasise that we have infrastructure at this hospital and what may be needed is in terms of budgeting funds so that the hospital is fully equipped.  At the Marondera Hospital; there are very sound buildings, an X-ray and digital machines which are not functional.  There are three theatres and there is one which is still under renovation.  There is a pharmacy which is reasonably stocked with basic drugs including TB and ARV drugs for HIV. 

The laundry machine is there but the equipment has not been commissioned since 2012 because of a private company.  This one was a donation and our concern was that it costs about $5 000 per week to use private laundries and we are also urging as it was our recommendation that Government should see to it that the equipment is commissioned.  There is a children’s ward for those who are below the age of 12 although the beds are not appropriate – they are too big.  These beds were bought through a national tender; but they are not user friendly for the Marondera Hospital and for that age group.

In terms of staffing, there were only two nurses on duty, yet they require four to five in the children’s ward.  The post-natal ward – the main challenges there were shortages of drugs and needles and of course the linen.  They are supposed to keep mothers there for three days but due to lack of space, after 24 hours, mothers have to leave the post-natal ward.  The labour ward has seven labour suites and a high dependency unit for (BP) bleeding people after delivery.  The testing room for HIV et cetera – all these are also available at Marondera Hospital. 

The ultra-sound scan is there.  The antenatal unit with two wards of six beds each and neonatal units have 15 functional incubators although sometimes babies have to share as some stay there for two to three months in those incubators.  Their major challenges are sometimes shortage of oxygen whereby they have to borrow from Borrowdale Trust Hospital which is about a kilometer away.  There was also the school of midwifery which was well equipped and a well stocked library with internet but was closed due to lack of accommodation for nurse trainees; yet this country needs midwives and midwifery should continue at that hospital.

The hospital also has the incinerator, the eye unit and in terms of vehicles, they have five ambulances including one special one and most of their districts have at least two ambulances.  They also have a school of rehabilitation and in terms of staffing again, they have a minimum of three nurses per each of their rural hospitals; which is a good start and two nurses undergoing training on kaposi sarcoma.  There is a diabetic clinic with a physician and a doctor as you know that diabetes is topical these days.  The psychiatric unit for the mental health is also available.  They have a nutrition garden and unfortunately the specialist on nutrition is attending a workshop somewhere else today.  She is very much aware of that.  They have a massive water storage tank and five boreholes at Marondera Hospital. 

In terms of drugs Mr. President, the vital drugs in stock were at 66%, the essential drugs were at 27% and the necessary drugs were at 22% - which is quite reasonable and acceptable.  Mr. President, I am highlighting these institutions because these are very functional institutions which need our support as Parliamentarians.  The issues which I have raised like those of inadequate equipment, the space and room is there, and the beddings are there but, we now have to request the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon Dr. Chombo to support our requests through the Lower House. 

We also applaud Government and yourselves for the levy which was introduced on cellphones because that levy will assist - that is if it is managed properly in the acquisition of equipment.  I thank you so much Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA:  Thank you Mr. President and how are you?  I have stood up to make my contribution on this motion regarding the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on SDG No. 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote the wellbeing of all at all ages.

Mr. President, the motion regarding this report is very important and it is all encompassing because there are a lot of things involved in it.  When we look at the people who are sick, and those who want to live a healthy life without suffering from any illnesses, let me first of all debate the situation in hospitals.  It is quite a sad situation.  I remember, sometimes I went making some research and investigation in my constituency in Hurungwe where I paid a visit to the Hurungwe Hospital which is in the Magunje Township.  It is quite a big hospital which is supposed to be helping people and it has a wide-catchment area.  I observed that despite the size of the hospital, there was no ambulance.  My reason for visiting that place was to carry the corpse of somebody who was deceased and this person had died sometime back and was in the mortuary which was not refrigerated.  When I got in there, I saw that there were some goat droppings in the hospital and you start wondering as to how goats may come into that place.  The mortuary was located some distance from the main hospital and the grass around the place was not cut.  You could see that it is something like a deserted place; it is quite a pity.  When I look again at these hospitals, we need to live a healthy life.  When we grew up, we heard that the health officials would take an oath of allegiance, showing that they want to help people who are sick.  They were in the health sector not for finances but they would get their salaries after their dedication to their duty. 

          When you get into that hospital, these health providers will be busy on WhatsApp on their phones, living the sick alone.  There are some donors who may want to give some assistance to such an institution but when they see that there is a lackadaisical approach by these people, that donor will move on because they would have seen that the care providers are not dedicated to their duty.  Mr. President Sir, it is quite a pity.

          When we look at people who are HIV infected, there is a stigma which is attached to them.  What happens is, these health personnel will make these people queue the whole day so that people may see them and they are ashamed.  We have noticed that some of these affected people and HIV patients end up not going to these institutions because they fear being treated with shame.  At times, you may think that these caregivers do not have seniors who supervise them.  On the other hand, you will find there is one nurse who will be busy and dedicated to her duty.  Near her, there will be some other nurses who would just be playing around and talking.  They tell you that they are not on their work station. 

          What we know is, when you leave your home and go to a hospital, you are looking for treatment and you do not care about the official who is going to take care of you.  So, when they look at you, you feel very bad.  We have people who want to live a healthy life.  Some of these people may want to live a healthy life but cannot afford the items which they need.  This is because the goods that they need are in the shops and the prices have sky rocketed.  What I have noticed is that as legislators, at times we talk a lot and talk about prices going down but we do not make a follow up.  In the shops, you find the price of basic goods such as salt, milk, cooking oil, et cetera have sky rocketed and we do not make a follow up.  It is quite a pity that these business people increase prices to such unaffordable range.  This results in that whosoever may want to live on that food cannot afford it because the price is beyond their reach.  I am saying as Government, as legislators let us make a thorough follow up on implementation of decreases in prices. 

In some cases, hospitals lack water to be used.  I once visited Nyamhunga Clinic and there was no water.  At Hurungwe Hospital, water is definitely a problem and electricity is also a problem; yet we are looking at an institution which is referred to as a hospital.  This is quite a pity.  Let us look for ways of solving these problems.  Hon. Sen. Tawengwa who just made his contribution said leaders, when we talk about the Budget, let us talk to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Dr. Chombo so that he puts more money on health issues.  I thank you. 

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

HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

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

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

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

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON PEACE AND SECURITY ON THE PREPAREDNESS OF THE GRAIN MARKETING BOARD TO HANDLE THE 2016/2017 CROP DELIVERIES AND THE SUCCESS OF THE COMMAND AGRICULTURE PROGRAMME

          Fourth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the preparedness of the Grain Marketing Board to handle the 2016 / 2017 crop deliveries and the success of the Command Agriculture Programme.

          Question again proposed. 

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

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

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

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PROMOTING STAKEHOLDER AND PARLIAMENTARY DIALOGUE ON THE ARMS TRADE TREATY (ATT)

       Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe delegation to the International Conference on Promoting Stakeholder and Parliamentary Dialogue on Arms Trade Treaty.

       Question again proposed.

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

       HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second.

       Motion put and agreed to.

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

       On the motion of HON. SEN. TAWENGWA, seconded by HON. SEN. MASUKU, the Senate adjourned at Half past Three O’clock p.m. 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 31 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 27 NO 11