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SENATE HASARD 06 DECEMBER 2017 VOL 27 NO 19

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

PRESENTATION OF THE 2018 NATIONAL BUDGET

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I wish to inform the Senate that the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning will tomorrow, Thursday 7th December, 2017 present the 2018 National Budget in the National Assembly.  The Senate will view the presentation from the television screens in the Senate Chamber.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until all the other Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON ACCESS TO SAFE AND CLEAN WATER IN RURAL AREAS

Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Access to Safe and Clean Water in Rural Areas.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. BHEBE:  Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to add a few words on this motion: Motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Access to Safe and Clean Water in Rural Areas by Hon. Sen. Makore. Madam President, everyone in the world has a right to clean and enough water.  Some Hon. Senators have already spoken on this motion that we should have clean water.  If you go to the rural areas, there are some places where there is shortage of water, even the boreholes are a distance away.  It is difficult for them to get water even from the dams because the water will be dirty which causes people to suffer from diseases.  The Government should embark on programmes that would assist people to get clean and safe water.  At times, it is difficult in some rural areas to drill boreholes but there are dams in some places.  Wells should be dug in some places so that people will get clean water.  Children go to schools where there is no water or where the boreholes are too far.  This leads to them missing their lessons because they are sent by the teachers to go and fetch water.  It is difficult for them to get water in such areas.  We are told that people do not drink water in those areas because the water is salty.  I do not know how the Government can assist but I would like to say, Government should drill boreholes where there are dams and provide piped water to villagers. 

Many people are drinking dirty water and people end up getting sick from drinking clean water because they are used to dirty water.  My request is that, if the Government could drill more boreholes, that would assist women.  Women suffer a lot in trying to fetch water because some of them will be pregnant and they are forced to go and fetch water.  I do not know what can be done for people to access clean water.  We are all clean here because we used clean water, even the drinks that we take are made from water but that depends on what type of water is being used, whether it is clean water or not.  Some people suffer from malaria because of dirty water, and also suffer from bilharzia.   Plead with the Government to assist by drilling boreholes and making sure that piped water get to villagers. That would be better for the villagers. 

For us in town, we might not understand what we mean by dirty water but if we go out into the rural areas and even to the clinics, the nurse will tell the patients that if you want me to treat you, get me clean water because they have no access to water.  In some cases, some nurses refuse to go to areas where there is no water but if there is water, it will be better.  Everyone should have clean water. 

Many people have already spoken about the importance of having clean water and how the Government can assist.  I was listening to the radio today and there was a programme where it was said that the Minister of Water has a programme whereby they want to harness a lot of water from the dams in order to try get the water to everyone.  We are talking about clean water because everyone has a right to clean water.  In the Constitution, it is written, everyone should have clean water.  Madam President, I do not want to repeat myself. With those few words, I thank you.

+THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I also thank you Sen. Bhebe.

+HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity.  I would want to add a few points because a lot of things have already been said.  My first point that I would like to make Madam President, is that people in Zimbabwe who reside in rural areas are about 70 percent.  From my view, about 40 percent or so do not have clean water.  We must always remember that water is life.  If you want to destroy a tree, remove the bucks and if it does not get water, it will die naturally.  That is the same with people. If they do not get water, their life deteriorates.  What I can say is that the quality of life people depend on is the type of water they drink.  I say that because many people get water from dams which they share with cattle, donkeys and goats.  We know how donkeys behave.  After drinking water, a donkey will pass urine in the dam.  That means people are drinking urine from the water.  I know how bad bilharzia is because people also get into water contaminated with bilharzia and they catch bilharzia, cholera and dysentery that all come from dirty water.  We know how bad these diseases are.

Lastly, for us men, maybe we do not appreciate how bad the issue of water is.  I once tried to carry a 20-litre container of water and it is that day that I realised what women go through when they fetch water.  I failed to lift a 20-litre container of water and had to ask someone to assist me.  For women, it is easy; they carry those 20-litres of water and at times we abuse that water and they have to go back again to fetch more water.  It is important for people to have clean water.  With those few words Madam President, I thank you.  I also thank the Chairperson of the Committee that has brought forward this motion and all those who have contributed to the motion.  I thank you.

  +THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Those were few points for sure.  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. MUGABE:  Thank you Madam President for the opportunity that you have given me to add my few words on the motion that was brought through the report that was tabled by the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development that is chaired by Hon. Sen. Makore and was seconded by Hon. Sen. Buka.  We want to thank these Members.  I am also a Member of the Committee.

          Madam President, water is life for every individual.  In that regard, before I proceed, in case I may repeat what has already been said by other Hon. Members - because I did not understand the other language.  So, may you excuse me because I may repeat what has already been said, but I would want to emphasize by adding a few points.

          When I said that, water is life, when we look at our Constitution on Section 77,  “Every person has the right to – (a)  safe, clean and potable water; and (b) sufficient food,”  I say food because there is no way you can grow food without water, that is why the Committee’s objective was to see how people living in the rural areas could access water.  Zimbabwe is landlocked by other countries that draw water from other seas and oceans, but Zimbabwe - despite that has dams and rivers.  Some of the rivers do not have water perennially.  The birth rate in Zimbabwe is quite high and for that reason, there is need to ensure that there is sufficient water for the people.  As the Committee travelled, we realised that the boreholes are very few and we need to embark on massive programmes to ensure that there is borehole water.

          So Madam President as we went on tour, we realised that 35% of boreholes in the areas that we visited were no longer in use.  Some do not have adequate water and others have water borne diseases affecting the teeth.  We think that through the law, the local authorities should have machines to drill boreholes.  These could be hired by individuals, farmers, cooperatives, communities and even schools can hire these drilling rigs from councils.  For example, they can put diesel in those drilling rigs to ensure that they are able to drill boreholes. 

          We also witnessed as positive in Umzingwane area, we saw how people live and their way of life.  The way they access water is actually good, especially for those living with disabilities.  There has been technology that is sensitive to their needs because the borehole was drilled just below a mountain and water is harnessed using solar energy.  The water goes into reservoirs at the top of the mountain and then feeds into different communities in the rural areas that are more like villages belonging to different village heads.  Yes, it might be small but we realised that if this technology could be spread to different parts of Zimbabwe, whereby we have such boreholes and water is pumped into reservoirs at a higher level, even those living with disabilities can access water.  Our request is that funds permitting, these initiatives should be spread throughout the country.

          We also realised that there are water committees in different villages but the challenge is that they do not have adequate resources hence when a borehole breaks down, they cannot repair it because of the shortage of resources.  The experience that we realised in Gokwe was that the water that is drawn from boreholes actually affects the teeth.  So there is need to engage in extensive research to check what chemicals are in the water.  Yes, there is the water and sanitation hygiene programme known as ‘WASH’.  The Government has engaged WASH extensively but it is not adequate because when it comes to ablution facilities, the ratio of the children to the squat holes is not adequate and children end up using the bush as toilets.  So there is need for sanitation technology in this area.

          When I mentioned people living with disabilities trying to access piped water, even the elderly will also be able to access water if it is drawn and distributed through pipes.  Furthermore, our Constitution on Chapter 2, Section 13 states that:-

          “(1)   The State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level must endeavour to facilitate rapid and equitable development, and in particular must take measures to –

          (b)     foster agricultural, commercial, industrial, technological and scientific development”.

          I want to talk about agriculture. When there is no water, there is no progress and if we look at the rural areas – again;  when we look at women and equality between men and women, we realise that gender equality is not balanced because we noted that people travel long distances in search of water.  Yet according to our Constitution, people are supposed to access water within 500 meters, which means that if a woman can walk for a kilometer in search of water, it means that she has little time to engage in productive activities because most of the time is spent whilst accessing water for the home, and that affects us as women.   In terms of food security - also because she has limited time to engage in productive work such as farming and other economic programmes.  Sometimes people spend the whole day drawing water for their livestock.  School children are also urged to bring their own water to school, so now when a child does not have adequate water, one can actually fall whilst carrying the water.  By the time they get to school, that child does not have any water to use.  So the issue of water is a challenge, hence I said water is life. 

          In The Herald publication of Monday, 4th December, 2017, there was an issue on Zvimba whereby there has  an been outbreak of typhoid.  So, there are also other diseases that can affect people such as bilharzia and diarrhoea, because the water is not clean.  We realised that people are also drawing water from unsafe sources and this causes various diseases. 

These are some of the issues that I wanted to share with rest of the House.  I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th December, 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE NON-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUSTS

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the Circumstances Surrounding the Non-Establishment of Community Share Ownership Trusts in Mudzi and Mutoko Districts.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th December, 2017.

MOTION

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

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

     Question again proposed.

     *HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to debate on this motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane.  I would like to thank him and his Committee for having brought this motion on SDGs Number 3 that was brought before the Senate.

     A lot of Senators have spoken about this issue but SDG number 3 is very important, because it gives us a chance as a country to take stock of the health of our people.  It also helps the Government to ensure that the people have good health.

    I would like to add a few words by saying that since the year 2000, several issues have happened which have been an indicator that things can get better.  I would say those that are living with HIV and AIDS are accessing their antiretroviral drugs, but there are others who are mourning that when they approach these clinics, some of the drugs may not be available.  When they go to district hospitals, they are asked to pay a user fee which is very difficult for them to access.

     We urge Dr. Parirenyatwa to look into this issue of the user fee as regards the antiretroviral drugs.  However, the point is that a lot of major hospitals are charging the user fee for ARV drugs.  The SDG says by 2030, everyone should have all their requirements pertaining to their health once they fall ill. They should get medication for their treatment and that these drugs should be available at all district hospitals, and the hospitals should not be levying a user fee as this tends to disadvantage our people, thus affecting their health.

     On the issue of new born babies, we still have a long way to go because the majority of these are dying in their infancy stage.  I witnessed an incident in Zvishavane where a mother died whilst she was giving birth. Our district hospitals do not have adequate funding, so the doctors have their own private surgeries which charge about $20, whereas if you go to Government hospitals, you are charged less.  So, the availability of doctors in Government hospitals is very scarce. These doctors spend most of their time at their private surgeries.

     The Government should come up with measures to ensure that the doctors are keener to work in for Government hospitals.  They should also do something to ensure that the doctors love everyone in Zimbabwe, regardless of their poverty or affluence.  Doctors should reside close to hospitals so that anytime they will be on call so that they could assist women that go into labour during any time of day.  It is difficult for them to do that.  So those that assist the pregnant mother will not be experienced enough and that is why the mortality rate for new born babies is very high.  This is a threat to the aims of SDG 3. I would want to revisit the issue of antiretroviral drugs in adolescents.  When we went to Beitbridge with the National AIDS Council, we saw teenagers living with HIV/AIDS.  The majority of them are shy, they do not want to go and receive medication because they do not want their friends to know of their condition.

It is difficult for the parents to disclose to the children that they were born HIV positive.   They would rather mislead them that they are suffering from asthma, headache or some other ailment.   Only when they become 20 years or more, that is when they become aware that they were HIV infected and that they are taking ARVs.  We should come up with programmes as the Ministry of Health to ensure that our adolescents are enlightened so that they can come out clean in terms of their status so that they can access ARVs which are helpful to their lives.

We have the issue of cancer; it is a serious threat to SDG 3 because cancer treatment is very expensive.  Chemotherapy and radiation is beyond the means of the ordinary person.  A lot of people are dying because of these cancers.  Among the many types of cancers, we have the cervical cancer.  I cannot blame people but our culture does not encourage people to open up with cervical cancer.  In our culture, women abhor the practice of going for testing every three years.  The process requires a woman lying on the bed with her legs open and they insert a certain instrument to check if she has cervical cancer.  The majority of clinics and hospitals in the rural areas are far from where people live.

Women also need to be properly enlightened on the threats of these cancers so that we may be on our way to achieve the aims and objectives of SDG 3 by 2030.  It is not only women who suffer from cancer, men suffer from rectum colon and prostate cancers too.  In fact, there are too many cancers to mention.  Government should also conscientise the people on the need to practice health diet.  Once people have more money, they believe that for them to show that they are affluent; they show off by going to Chicken Inn and buy fast foods every day.   The consumption of too much cooking oil every day is the injection of cancer.  Government should come up with programmes to enlighten our people so that they should resort to the traditional foods that our grandparents used to eat.  Things like finger millet et cetera, we must revert to our traditional foods because a long time ago, we did not have cancer.  There is cancer now because of the food that we eat.  Fruits are sprayed with chemicals so that they may not be attacked by pests.  So, if you consume a fruit without washing it properly, you will have ingested the chemicals that would have been sprayed on the fruit.

Government can save a lot of money by educating its people to eat a healthy diet.  Tuberculosis has also killed a lot of people and those who are HIV positive are more prone to TB attack.  There is a Parliamentary caucus on TB that was formed; I believed it helps in highlighting the effects of TB or the creation of its awareness.  Our people need to know how they should handle a TB patient.  One could get TB infection in public transport or crowded areas.  Statistics show that TB has killed a lot of people and as Government, we must look into this issue seriously.  Once one has TB, they should be quickly taken to hospital so that they receive treatment.  The medication required for TB is expensive, and one needs to take a lot of food during treatment.  We must consider factors like, does that person have anyone to look after him or her?  In what ways is Government assisting such people who will be suffering from TB so as to eradicate its spread to the rest of the people?  

There is also a problem with diabetes and it is seriously affecting our people.  Tuberculosis patients require a special diet and the drugs are expensive and this tends to affect SDG 3.  I have observed that the Minister has continued with his Ministry of Health and Child Care.  We believe he was doing quite well and he should look into the issue of people that live with diabetes and ensure that the drugs are affordable.   Diabetes can either be hereditary or caused by food.  The food that we eat in the hotels, scones, disserts and such other things cause diabetes.  I would like to assume that a lot of people will leave this Parliament diabetic.  It is important as Parliamentarians that we are educated so that we develop good eating habits and can live longer. 

There is also the issue of mental disorders.  When I was looking at SDG Number 3, I noticed that there are a lot of mental cases that are now in this country.  This is maybe because of economic crisis.  If a man has no money, he is not happy because he requires a bit of money so that he can be able to look after the family.  Women and children expect to be looked after by men so.  So that is why the majority of people suffering from mental disorders are men.  This is where the new administration should come in; they should create jobs for our husbands so that mental disorders can be reduced so that we can achieve SDG Number 3.  Life must be easier for the men that when they wake up in the morning, they go to work and be able to feed their families so that by 2030, we would have reached the goals of this SDG. 

Tobacco, cigarettes, beer and drugs are problematic.  Drugs are now easily available all over the country.  I saw a woman in Bulawayo saying they had transferred her Form 2 child who was buying tablets for 50 cents.  They are very cheap but the use of drugs is detrimental to our country’s development and our children’s education and other issues.  Why does it appear that our laws seem to be weak in terms of drug enforcement?

In other countries, they have rehabilitation centres.  I will look at South Africa, once cocaine is in the system; one spends six months in a rehabilitation centre getting treated so that one can be weaned off the drug.  Everything will be provided for, for free.  We should be looking at that direction of the provision of rehabilitation centres. People go to Mozambique and all over where drugs are sold on the streets.  As Government, for us to achieve the goals of our SDG 3 by 2030, we should look into all these issues.  I believe my time is now up and I have touched on the pertinent issues that would help our policy makers in coming up with policies that benefit our Zimbabwean people so that they can live a healthy life.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th December, 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

       Fifth 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. SHOKO: Thank you Mr. President.  This debate on the preparedness of the grain marketing institutions was done when I got into Parliament. A lot of things were said but I believe that there was an area that was not properly addressed.  In my considered view, if success has to be recorded, it will become successful because of the people who will be working there.  There are workers at the Grain Marketing Board. There has been reports in the newspapers that some of them had gone for a year without being paid. 

          My observation is that, because of the deliveries that we are talking about and the bountifulness of this harvest, if the workers are not being paid or have attractive conditions and good salaries, the success of Command Agriculture for that season will be hampered.  The majority of cases, if you are not paid, in English we say, ‘you withdraw your labour.’  When I came here, I heard people saying that in the forefront should be the welfare of Hon. Members so that they can work hard and with vigour.  So, regarding this issue, if the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) management is not looking into the issue of the welfare of its workers in terms of their remuneration, safety and other working conditions, I believe that this could affect the issue that we are discussing about because they can withdraw their labour and there will be a drawback.  The drawback will be such that 20 to 30 tonnes which is supposed to be delivered may not happen because there will be no workers. So it will be important that we discuss about this issue.

          The Ministry of Agriculture should look into the welfare of the GMB area so that there will be peace and security. They should ensure that the crop that management receives looks after its workers properly.  When we look at the issue of the GMB, once the crops have been grown, they should be brought to the GMB. Is there adequate transport, is the railway functional and if there is no good logistics, it remains a pie in the sky because such things will never reach the GMB.

          Mr. President, it is important that when we discuss such issues in this august House, the Executive should heed to the reports that we are giving them and ensure that they are implemented so that we do not have problems in future.  We had a good harvest but the crop was not delivered to the GMB.  Mr. President, with those words, I believe that the report that was tabled by the Committee in question, if it were followed to the letter and spirit, it would develop our country.  There is a saying that a hungry nation is always an angry nation.  For SDG 3 to be successful, there is need for food security.  Once there is food security, everything will work out well.  Mr. President, with those words that I have said in this august House, I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th December, 2017.

MOTION

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

Sixth 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. TIMVEOS:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MARAVA:   I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 7th December, 2017.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE EIGHTH RETREAT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SENATES, SHOORA AND EQUIVALENT COUNCILS IN AFRICA AND THE ARAB WORLD

Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Delegation to the Eighth Retreat of the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World (ASSECAA).

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 7th December, 2017.

On the motion of HON. SEN. TAWENGWA, seconded by HON. SEN. MARAVA, the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Six minutes to Four o’clock p.m.

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HASARD 06 DECEMBER 2017 VOL 27 NO 19