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SENATE HANSARD 07 JUNE 2018 VOL 27 no 49

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

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

PRAYERS

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

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASVINGO PROVINCE (HON. SEN. HUNGWE): Mr. President, I move that time for Questions without notice be stood over until we have quite a number of Ministers present to answer questions.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Mr. President Sir, I move that Order of the Day No. 1, be stood over until all Orders of the Day on today’s Order Paper have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND MODERN DAY SLAVERY

          HON. SEN. RTD GEN. NYAMBUYA: Mr. President, I move the motion stand in my name that this Senate takes note of the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.

          HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: I second.

          HON. SEN. RTD GEN. NYAMBUYA: Thank you very much Mr. President. 

1.0    INTRODUCTION

1.1 As part of its oversight role, the Thematic Committee on Human Rights conducted an inquiry on human trafficking and modern day slavery in Zimbabwe in order to have an in-depth appreciation of the subject matter.

1.2 Human trafficking in Zimbabwe became topical in 2003 when the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) launched a Programme called the Southern African Counter Trafficking Programme. Zimbabwe was identified as one of the countries in Southern Africa that was affected by human trafficking. The recent Kuwait issue further showed that human trafficking was on the increase in the country. It is estimated that more than 200 women were trafficked to one of the Gulf countries.

1.3 Currently, statistics on this illicit activity are unavailable as human trafficking is criminal in nature. It is however estimated that between 600,000 and 2.5 million people in the world are trafficked yearly.

1.4 The difference between migration and human trafficking is not always clear. Many trafficked people are recorded as migrants, and many migrants are trafficked into countries where they have migrated to. Migration is not an illegal act; it can be a way in which humans can develop their chances of achieving their human potential socially, economically and politically. However, human trafficking is a form of migration that many experts regard as modern slavery because it involves force, coercion and criminality.

1.5Little has been done on human trafficking in the country. Therefore, this means that the current laws and policies need to be evaluated to ensure their effectiveness in curbing trafficking in the country.

                2.0    OBJECTIVES

2.1    To give an overview of the phenomenon of human trafficking in Zimbabwe;

2.2    To unearth and analyse the policies and laws with regards to human trafficking in Zimbabwe;

2.3    To evaluate enforcement efforts in line with laws and policies on human trafficking in Zimbabwe;

2.4    To find out whether the Government has policies which support victims of trafficking; and

2.5    To make appropriate recommendations in respect of possible solutions to the challenges identified.

3.0    METHODOLOGY

3.1    In order to fully appreciate the subject under consideration, the Committee invited the following stakeholders to provide both written and oral submissions:

·       The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare;

·       The Ministry of Home Affairs;

·       International Organisation for Migration (I O M);

·       Musasa project; and

·       Victims of Human Trafficking.

4.0    KEY FINDINGS

4.1 History and the reasons behind Trafficking in Persons

In Africa, the trafficking of people has a long history dating back to the Arab and Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade which witnessed 28 million Africans being exported to the Middle East and 11 million to the West respectively. In recent times, there has been a resurgence in the sale of human cargo. For instance, since the 1980’s the human trafficking business has experienced a boom with an estimated $ 32 billion in profits a year. A dominant feature of this illicit activity is that the costs are low since the supply is massive and cheap. Furthermore, few human traffickers are arrested, prosecuted and sentenced for the crime. The worldwide ineffective criminal justice and community response of human trafficking, strengthens the process, increases abuse of trafficked persons and allows traffickers to generate financial proceeds from the crime.

4.2 Forms of human trafficking

Human trafficking takes place in many forms globally. These forms include forced labour, bonded labour, sex trafficking, labour exploitation, domestic servitude and child soldiers. In the past years, persons could be considered as being trafficked only if they had been transported into exploitative situation within the country or outside the country. The term has now been broadened to mean all criminal conduct involved in forced labour and trafficking. There are three requirements to be met before an individual can be considered to be trafficked. The first one is being moved from one location to another (for example through recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person). The second factor is that various methods should be used, (for example threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception and abuse of power). The third one is that the purpose is supposed to be for exploiting the victim.

Human trafficking is one of the greatest challenges that Zimbabwe is facing. Zimbabwe is a source, transit and a destination country for men, women and children that are exposed to various forms of exploitation. The exploitation includes sexual abuse, domestic servitude and forced labour in agriculture amongst many other forms. There is domestic and transnational trafficking in the country. Most often victims of human trafficking agree to go with traffickers based on false promises of good jobs, educational opportunities and marriage offers.

4.3 Perpetrators of human trafficking

There are several groups that operate on a global scale to traffic people. A large amount of money is gathered in the illegal trade to create influential networks around the world. These consist of many West African Nigerian networks, Chinese Triad Societies and the Russian Mafia who manage massive trafficking empires. These are calculative syndicates that develop networks in government, corporate circles and at borders with massive amounts of money involved. This allows them to easily move victims from country to country. The perpetrators of human trafficking in Zimbabwe include people in high places who abuse their power and any other person. Perpetrators are often people with the ability to establish trust with victims they are recruiting.

4.4 Human trafficking within Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, human trafficking affects everyone, females, males and children of all ages. However, females and children are the ones who are mostly affected. Trafficking victims are forced to engage into activities such as stealing, begging, used as domestic slaves, forced labour or forced into prostitution. Young women are the ones at high risk because they can be sold to brothels or forced into prostitution. During oral evidence, it was gathered that traffickers most often promise their victims good opportunities where there are “greener pastures” during the recruitment process. This often includes jobs in big cities, countries and continents. This is because in Zimbabwe, there is a high rate of unemployment and high poverty level and therefore, people have a tendency of seeking opportunities elsewhere.

The emergence of sex tourism has led to the rise of internal trafficking. Young, unemployed women are reportedly taken to resort towns such as Victoria Falls where they are forced into prostitution. Girls are being trafficked from within and outside the cities under false pretence of employment as house maids and waitresses.

4.5 Zimbabwe as a corridor of traffickers

Zimbabwe is used as a corridor of human traffickers from countries such as Pakistan, India, DRC, Mozambique and Zambia to South Africa. People from East Africa are transported through Zimbabwe to South Africa.

Noteworthy is the point that human trafficking for ages seemed like a distant phenomenon to Zimbabwe and this could have probably allowed the practice to grow unnoticed.

4.6 International human trafficking of Zimbabweans

Trafficking internationally was not only taking place in Asian countries (especially China and Kuwait) but also, in the other continents though Asia has the highest cases of trafficking. According to the IOM, the number of people being trafficked worldwide, 50% of them were in Asia, 20% in Africa, 10 % in Latin America and 20% in USA. This shows that human trafficking is a global problem which needs urgent international attention.

People are trafficked through deception in most cases, for example the recent Kuwait issue, where more than 200 women from Zimbabwe went to Kuwaiti under the guise of better job opportunities. They were tricked by adverts of job vacancies in the local media. The adverts made promises of good salaries, education and air tickets. On arrival in Kuwait, their passports and cellphones were seized. The victims found themselves in domestic servitude or as concubines. The problems they faced included working long hours, beatings, sexual abuse starvation, low wages and house arrests. At times they would not get paid, the money would be sent to Zimbabwe to those who recruited them.

4.7 Factors that are leading to human trafficking in Zimbabwe

The main factor that is causing human trafficking in Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular is poverty. Most of the reasons are linked to poverty directly or indirectly.

Unemployment is also credited as one of the reasons that has led to the rise of human trafficking in Zimbabwe. There are many jobless secondary and tertiary education graduates in the country in both urban and rural areas. These people become susceptible to the schemes of human traffickers in foreign lands.

4.8 Impacts of human trafficking

4.8.1 Human trafficking has negative impacts on the individual, the society and the country as a whole. The victims of human trafficking suffer in many ways including, physical, emotional, sexual, violence, deprivation, torture and at times they are forced to use substances and many other factors. It is important to highlight the fact that victims of human trafficking are the poor, the vulnerable and the disabled. They are subjected to very severe traumatic experiences repeatedly. This is the reason victims are taken to protective homes before they are integrated back into the society.  The victims of trafficking often get sick and some die.

4.8.2 The Msasa Project noted that people, who would have been trafficked, have symptoms which include:

Post-traumatic stress disorder,

Anxiety,

Depression,

Suicidal thoughts,

Panic disorder, and

Substance abuse

4.8.3 Human Trafficking causes family separation and family ties are broken as the individual who is trafficked is not allowed to be in contact with his or her family members. This would result in psychological effects on both the individual and the family members.

5.   LEGISLATIONS, POLICY AND ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS SURROUNDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN ZIMBABWE

5.1 International instruments addressing human trafficking

Instruments of international laws that have dealt with the abolition of human trafficking began in the anti-slavery era. These were included in the provisions within the Slavery Convention of 1926 and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery of 1956. There are instruments of international law that include sections that are against the trafficking of persons. These include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, The United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others of 1949, and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 1979. These instruments laid the foundation for the contemporary conventions and efforts to eliminating trafficking.

The most recent international legislation on trafficking which was created by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) include the main instrument namely the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime. The instrument was supplemented by two protocols namely, the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo) of 2000 and the United Nations Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea, and Air, which entered into force in 2003-2004.

5.2 Regional instruments that deal with human trafficking

The African charter on the rights and welfare of the child has provisions against human trafficking. The provisions mainly protect children against trafficking. The other instrument is the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) joined hands against human trafficking and formed the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in human beings especially women and children. The declaration was adopted in November 2006. AU and EU agreed to take measures to combat illegal migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings especially women and children. The declaration noted that the fundamental causes of trafficking within Africa were poverty and under development which was aggravated by economic and demographic imbalances, unequal terms of global trade, conflicts, environmental factors, poor governance, uneven impacts of globalisation and humanitarian disasters.

5.3 Legislation and policy in Zimbabwe on human trafficking

Zimbabwe is credited for enacting the Trafficking in Persons Act (Chapter 9: 25) of 2014 among other countries in the SADC region. The Act has provisions which include crime of trafficking in persons, powers of law enforcement agents, protection of and compensation of victims, forfeiture of trafficking proceeds and property, extraterritorial jurisdictions of Zimbabweans in cases of trafficking in persons, centres of victims and the establishment and functions of the anti-trafficking inter-ministerial committee.

A trafficking inter-ministerial committee was to be established, on 9 January 2015, in line with the provisions of the Act. Its purposes are to formulate national plans against trafficking, to propose and implement strategies against trafficking, promote rehabilitation of victims and to make people aware of trafficking and its impact.

6. COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

6.1 There is lack of awareness of the law for both the public and the law enforcement agencies in issues of human trafficking in the country.

6.2 The shortages of resources in the form of personnel and equipment also hinder the implementation of law to combat human trafficking. Zimbabwe has a limited budget allocation; which hinders efforts of dealing with the human trafficking cases.

6.3 General awareness campaigns on human trafficking also need resources. These are being carried out on irregular basis and there is over dependence on NGOs and inter-governmental organizations on protecting victims of human trafficking.

6.4 Lack of coordination (internal and regional) between Government bodies, private and non-governmental organisation does not help in reducing cases of human trafficking.

6.5 Corruption is another issue that is hindering the implementation of the act in curbing human trafficking.

6.6 Another reason that is hindering enforcement of laws is inadequate witness protection measures. Victims tend to have “police phobia” and also the issue of inadequate victim protection systematically results in people who have witnessed the case to distance themselves from the case. For instance, the Committee was briefed that some of the women who were repatriated from Kuwait received messages from the people who trafficked them. Some of the messages were recorded as follows “zvaurikutiendesaku court unofungakutizvinokubatsirei?”. This depicts the inadequacies of the law in protecting the victims.

7. RECOMMENDATIONS

7.1   Policies on human trafficking should encompass ways to create employment for the youths and the general populace to avoid being offered false job opportunities outside the country. The Executive also needs to stimulate macro-economic growth for creation of employment opportunities by end of July 2018. This will discourage people from notions of searching for “green or pastures” regionally and internationally.

7.2The Department of Immigration should make a deliberate effort to reduce the costs of procuring legal documentation required for immigration (passports and visas), by end of July 2018, so that they are affordable. Migrants illegally entering South Africa are at risk of rape or sexual assault by criminal gangs and smugglers operating in border areas.

7.3The Executive should establish a comprehensive witness protection programme which will not benefit just victims of trafficking but witnesses of crime by end of July 2018. Victims need to be protected to prevent them from being re-victimised by perpetrators. Protection programmes or centres should be created and disseminate information of their existence to create awareness to the public while protection is given to victims under recovery.

7.4There is need to continuously engage traditional leaders and rural community structures to raise awareness about trafficking in persons beginning July 2018. This has worked in other countries in the SADC region. The leaders should then disseminate information to the rural populace.

7.5The Executive should establish formal training and expertise is required for assisting victims of trafficking by June 2018. There is also need for a comprehensive national monitoring and evaluation system for the implementation of procedures for handling cases of trafficking in persons. There is need for further capacity building, law enforcement, prosecution and settlement of the crimes.

7.6The Executive should strengthen anti-corruption efforts to ensure the integrity of officers handling trafficking in persons cases by September 2018.

 

7.7The Executive should bolster cooperation and coordination with other countries especially those in the SADC region and other countries of destination by June 2018.

7.8The Executive should partner with non-governmental organisations and carry out many researches on trafficking issues. Scientific researches, collection and analysis of data should be encouraged. Support and initiating research on the impacts of human trafficking should be promoted to ensure adequate prevention, protection and assistance to trafficked persons and the prosecution of criminals..

7.9The Executive should monitor private employment agencies as part of measures to curb human trafficking by June 2018. The Executive should also craft policies which guide the process of migration by providing sufficient information so that people who wish to seek domestic work in other countries are knowledgeable and able to make sound decisions. Proper measures should also be taken to prosecute fraudulent recruitment agents.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA:  I have stood up to add my voice on this report which has been tabled in this House by Hon. Sen. Rtd. Gen. Nyambuya.  Mr. President I do not have many words to add.  A lot has been said, it is a painful thing which needs two people to help each other, the one who is doing it and the victim.

Let me give an example, I remember when my grandfather used to say that when you want to live well you should not let your eyes see far and your ears should be a little bit closed so that you do not hear a lot of noise and you will stay well.  It is very true because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  A person is told not to go there but when he gets there he finds that there is no green grass at all. 

Some of the people are relatives and because they want to be given money, they traffic their relatives because of money.  I am a member of the Human Rights Committee.  There are people who visited our Committee after visiting Kuwait.  The girl who came into that Committee is from my village in Nyamhunga, but in that Committee she said she comes from Marondera and that they were very poor, but she does not stay there.  So, we have people like that.  They want to be helped but they cannot be helped.  They lie that they are living in poverty because they would have followed what is written in the newspapers. 

I also listened to the radio and they were advocating that you should not be cheated by people who are outside and this girl said that when she went to Kuwait as a maid, she would start work at 5am and finish at 2am.  For as long as the people in that house were still awake, she would not finish work and stood in a corner until they retired to sleep and she would also knock off and go to rest. 

          As alluded to by our Hon. Chairperson, this issue should be further investigated so that those who are behind this crime can be nabbed and not do it again.  There are also people who are greedy to the extent that they envy the sugar they find in Kuwait yet we have our own sugar.  With these few words, I say thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to add my voice to the debate on this report.  What we also witnessed is that as a nation, we have a problem of people who have the mentality that everything which is good comes from outside our country.  There are some who have encouraged us to create our own jobs here but people are unwilling to take that up.  They think that good jobs are found in South Africa, Kuwait or in Israel and elsewhere.  So, that spirit should be dealt with in such a way that even in Early Childhood Development (ECD), children should be taught to appreciate their own country and they should not love to go outside of their motherland because they will be trouble there. 

          The second thing is that, people respond so much to advertisements which are displayed in our own Herald newspaper, Newsday and so on.  Those who advertise simply collect money but do not verify whether the adverts are authentic, their main interests lies in money.  There should be monitoring processes to ensure that such things do not happen.  Not all things should be left to be advertised because we will witness the advertisement of cannabis or mandrax which used to be a menace in previous years and so on.  With these few words, I say thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Mr. President.  I also want to support this report which was presented by Hon. Sen. Nyambuya on human trafficking.

          Mr. President, I am one of the witnesses who travelled to Kuwait which was being referred to in the report.  We went with the Speaker of Parliament and came back with the children who had been trafficked.  It is true that the stories we heard there are pathetic.  Our Ambassador to Kuwait had a lot of work to do concerning those trafficked children and his work was overwhelming him.  The children go there on the pretext that they would have found employment and if they decide to come back home after realising that the work they would have been called to do, like teaching or nursing would actually be a hoax as they are reduced to work as house maids.

          As they were working as house maids, we heard that there are people who do not dignify the sanctity of life and yet these nations purport to work with us very well.  You then hear that our children are being mistreated.  There are instances where we heard that the maid is reduced to be a mistress of the employer when the wife and children go to a holiday trip.  I support this report because I witnessed this.  When we sign for Treaties or memorandum of understanding with other countries, we should look at some of these things which will not cause conflict with other countries.  With these words Mr. President, I support this report because we witnessed it on our own. 

We therefore ask that there should be a fund set aside, even whilst we have social welfare.  Taking into consideration the state of our economy a while ago, our children have been going out to look for employment.  Some of them intend to come back because of the new dispensation and the influx of investors into our economy.  What the new dispensation is doing shows that the future of our economy is bright especially if we manage to have our elections in peace as is being encouraged on a daily basis.  The President is emphasising on peace and it means our children will come back to the country and there should be a fund such that those who have been trafficked and do not have money for transport back home, they should be given.  We are seeing a bright future for our country. 

Whilst we were there Mr. President, we had to look for money from well-wishers to ensure that our children come back and our Government intervened, meaning that such a problem was not planned for to ensure swift reaction to such problems.  I want to say, Hon. Chairperson, you did very well on this report and we support you so that if our children ever face such a problem, the funding will be fully available.  Thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. RTD GEN. NYAMBUYA: Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Senators who contributed, enriched and added a lot of value to this very important report which is not only topical but indeed sad.  I hope the Executive is going to take it very seriously. 

My prayer Mr. President is that; I hope the relevant Ministers are going to take note of the substantial recommendations which were made by the Committee.  I think if they adopt most of the recommendations which were made by the report, it will go a long way to curb and reduce this very unfortunate and illicit act which is taking place. With those few words, I would like to move that the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights, Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery be adopted.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          SEN. TAWENGWA: Mr. President I move that Order of the Day Number 3 be stood over until we have disposed of all the other items on today’s Order Paper.

          HO. SEN. KHUMALO:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPENT GOALS ON SDG NO. 2

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on S.D.G. No. 2.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: I second.

HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Mr. President, may I present the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on SDG No.2 that targets to end hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

1.    INTRODUCTION

The Sustainable Development Goals and targets, in particular Goal 2, aim to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. In recognising the importance of improving nutrition, Zimbabwe is one of the 193 countries that endorsed the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. These included a target to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030, particularly undernourishment, stunting, wasting; underweight, over-weight and micronutrient deficiencies in children and anemia in women of child bearing age and also in children; as well as to halt the rising trends in overweight and obesity and reduce the burden of diet-related non communicable diseases in all age groups. In achieving this, relevant stakeholders have come up with various programmes to support the success of SDG No. 2.

2.                METHODOLOGY

2.1           Oral evidence sessions held with Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement; Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) and Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA).

2.2           Written submissions received from; the National Biotechnology Authority (NBA), Food and Nutrition Council (FNC) and Ministry of Health and Child Care.

2.3           The Committee did not carry out fact finding visits due to lack of finances.

3.                COMMITTEE FINDINGS

3.1           MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT

The Permanent Secretary, Mr. R. Chitsiko stated that the country had gone through a difficult time of drought and was therefore compelled to import grain. Drought affected areas were forecasted to be very few in the 2017/2018 season. The special three year rolling programme of command agriculture was introduced as an import substitution. The programme however started a bit late. Production was premised on assessment of land, financing, irrigation, water in reservoirs, farmer registrations, affordable fertilizer, transport for inputs, et cetera.

Private partnerships were realised to the tune of 116 million USD for funding command agriculture with Government providing securitisation, 30 million USD for Presidential input scheme and 36 million USD for cotton. A major problem was sequencing of activities due to Stop Orders whose forms should have been signed well before. 136 million USD was mobilised with 36 million being deposited to GMB in 2017 for payment to farmers who will have delivered their grain.

Several schemes are in place of up to 300 000 hectares of irrigation dedicated to grain production. 2 million metric tonnes is the target per annum. The Zimbabwe Brazil More Food Programme had irrigation equipment as its major component. 80 centre pivots were received from Spain to service 230 000 hectares of irrigation infrastructure.

 

Nutrition had for years been viewed from a quantity lense. The thrust is now on a balanced diet and fortified foods. Production planning must integrate a number of crops depending on the elements those crops are expected to contribute towards a balanced diet. The inclusion of nutrition components of diets helps to mitigate wasting, stunting and obesity. An all stakeholder approach will greatly assist in the realisation of food security and nutrition in Zimbabwe.

3.2 AGRICULTURAL RURAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (ARDA)

Mr. B. Nyabadza, the General Manager for ARDA apprised the Committee that there are 21 ARDA estates dotted around the country undertaking maize, soya beans, wheat, potatoes and livestock production to ensure food security in the country. Nine (9) of the estates are under irrigation  crop, 1 focusing on sugar cane, two (2) estates are under mixed farming, six (6) estates fall under plantations, three (3) estates are under livestock production and wildlife.

ARDA is in the process of reclaiming its land that was encroached by local farmers in areas such as Chipinge, Mutasa, Masvingo and Muzarabani with assistance from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development. In the process, ARDA has given up some of its land for purposes of resettling the farmers, for example, in the Magudu area in Masvingo Province where it ceded 6 000 hectares on a directive from the state.

The institution further supports farmers throughout-grower schemes in Chisumbanje, Antelope and Ngwezi estates. Out grower farmers benefit from the advice of agriculture extension officers employed at ARDA farms. ARDA has served as a point of reference for the value generated from partnership with private sector players in the rolling out of the Command Agriculture Programme. Five of its estates participated in the Command Agriculture Programme, namely; Antelope, Jotsholo, Ngwezi, Rusitu and Doreen’s Pride.

The General Manager stated that the major setbacks of small grains production in the country is lack of seeds and little investment in research. There is also great need for investment in technology for processing and harvesting small grains. There is also notable deterioration in the country's position in seed production due to the closure of seed houses and the coming in of external players which compromises intellectual property rights, for instance, SEEDCO has partnered with a French investor, while Panner has partnered with American and Canadian investors. A nursery of over 80000 pecan nut seedlings have been planted at Fort Rixon in Matebeleland and will be distributed in due course. Workshops and publicity campaigns on how to grow pecan nuts and access seedlings will also be conducted by the authority to educate farmers.

3.3   ZIMBABWE FARMERS UNION (ZFU)

ZFU informed the Committee that due to the good rains received in the 2016/17 season and the availability of funding which supported agricultural production, the country’s food security situation had improved as evidenced by the realisation of an estimated 2 443 119 metric tonnes of maize and 350 000 metric tonnes for cereal. In terms of national access to food, supplies are stable with household level access improving significantly due to the introduction of multi-currencies which has restored purchasing power and also due to the fact that generally, food is accessible physically throughout the country. However, household access to food has been constrained by high levels of poverty, declining remittances, lack of liquidity, low productivity, lack of knowledge of nutritious food and inadequate employment opportunities among others.

ZFU pointed out to the Committee that findings from the World Food Programme (WFP, 2017) show that 63% of the country's population is still living below the poverty datum line while 16 % in living in extreme poverty. In terms of food utilization, challenges are compounded by wastage and stunted growth with WFP estimating that about 28% of the population are vulnerable and chronically ill. The association highlighted that the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS, 2010-11) showed that Zimbabwe is experiencing steadily increasing rates of obesity in women with 40.5% of women in urban areas being classified as obese and 22.5% of women in the rural areas also classified as being obese. Efforts are however being made to reduce nutrient deficiencies, in particular by production of nutrient dense crops such as sugar beans rich in iron, zinc, high quality protein and vitamin A.

However, lack of awareness was reported to be hindering the uptake of these improved varieties. Small grains are strategic due to the fact that they are drought tolerant and enhance nutritional status. Small grain production went up from 76 457 metric tonnes in the 2014/15 rainfall season to 288 782 metric tonnes in the 2016/17 season, with the most widely grown crop being sorghum accounting for an average of 55.4% of total area planted under small grains and pearl millet being the second most planted crop occupying an average 35.5% of the total planted area. Factors militating against the successful production of small grains include; lack of clear policy in monitoring small grain production; limited research and development of varieties; low consumer demand due to pricing and lack of technology in the area.

3.4. MINISTRY OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT

Mr. R. Chitsiko, the Permanent Secretary stated that Phase 1 has 3, 498 444 000 hectares settled 71 000 households whilst Phase 2 with 168 263 808 hectares settled 4 697 households. The fast track programme under A1 and A2 had 5 979 000 and 2 978 000 respectively over a total land area of 12, 6 million. That majority of resettlement land was allocated to families as headed by males. Only 10% were women in their own right. Noting that there are two basic settlement systems that is A1 Permit and 99 Year Lease for A2, the 99 year lease is now bankable for use as collateral by holders as confirmed by the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe through written correspondence to the Ministry.

          Illegal settlements have also reduced viability of farming areas by reducing the carrying capacity of farming land forcing some farmers to scale down on production especially those specialising in livestock production. They have further caused siltation of major water bodies and some settlers are involved in mining activities in gazetted forest and farming areas. The Ministry has identified 764 A1 farms that have illegal settlers but however does not have the number of those on the farm. Some illegal settlements are a result of the Ministry’s non completion of adequate paper work and the plan is that illegal settlers be allowed to harvest and then vacate the settlements. Most challenges relating to illegal settlements were a result of allocations on either spouses and double allocations due to improper conduct by some officers who wrongfully advise the Minister and incorrect information before issuance of a Lease.

          The Mining Act has supremacy over the Agricultural Act under current legislation. Agricultural land is infinite and every land which goes into the mining sector becomes a challenge. Open pits are left by miners posing challenges to livestock, soil, water and land degradation is a feature where there are mining activities. There is competition for labour in agriculture and the mining sector. Mining pays better and labour becomes more difficult especially in tobacco farming.

          3.5   NATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY AUTHORITY (NBA)

The NBA is commended for promoting the use of bio-remedies which are cheaper and environmentally friendly to improve food and nutritional security in Zimbabwe although further studies on new remedies need to be conducted. Bio-remedies are meant to fulfil mineral nutrients of agricultural crops. Genetically Modified Foods have not been approved in Zimbabwe and Government is doing everything possible to guard against GMOs entering the country markets and conducting laboratory researches.

          The establishment of a bio-bank will ensure that Zimbabwe claims ownership of her genetic resources and therefore claim royalties; increase of trade and ease of doing business and information sharing and ensuring food safety and genetic conservation.

There was an increase in the yield of sweet potatoes as a result of the resuscitation and restoration of the tissue culture facility at Horticulture Research Institute. The same programme will be expanded to other crops such as bananas, Irish potatoes, sugar cane and other horticultural crops. Trainings were conducted in Murehwa on how to grow and handle tissue culture produced planting material. The orange fleshed sweet potato programme which is rich in Vitamin A is underway to fight against Vitamin A deficiency.

3.6   MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE

Zimbabwe, like many developing countries, is affected by chronic hunger and malnutrition. This inflicts a major injury to economic developmental achievements.  The prevalence of malnutrition in women of reproductive age and children under 5 years of age is unacceptably high. The proportion of women and children suffering from micronutrient deficiencies, in particular Vitamin A, iodine and iron is of public health concern.  There is an increasing trend in overweight and obesity among the children and adults across the country. Dietary risk factors, together with inadequate physical activity account for about 10% of the burden of disease and disability in Zimbabwe.

The latest evidence from the National Micronutrient Survey of 2012 (NMS, 2012) showed that Zimbabwe has a high burden of Vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency and anaemia, with 31% of children aged 6 to 59 months being anaemic, and that 21 % of the same age group were Vitamin A deficient. Iron deficiency was also found to be high with 72% of children aged 6 to 59 months. Vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency and anaemia were also high in women of child bearing age, with 62% of women being iron deficient, 26% being anaemic and 24% being Vitamin A deficient. The Ministry is committed to the first 1000 days that is from conception to 24 months as part of scaling up nutrition with interventions aimed at reducing prevalence of stunting, anaemia and low birth weight

          3.7.   FOOD AND NUTRITION COUNCIL (FNC)

         The institution stated that stunting had gone up slightly from 26.6% to 28.6%. The Food and Nutrition Council further notes that the boy child is affected more by stunting across all provinces in Zimbabwe and there is need for a study or research as to why boys are affected more by the stunted growth. On the increase in overweight, Government is providing awareness on good eating habits. Government has intensified food fortification strategies to strengthen nutrient content in foods.

The institution commends the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes, increase in national herd, vaccination programmes, promotion of livestock among farmers and the multi-sectoral community based model to Food and Nutrition Security Management for stunting reduction.

 

4.    COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

          The Committee noted that there has been poor and ineffective distribution of inputs under the Command Agriculture programme, a situation evidenced by the failure to set up sufficient input distribution points in provinces such as Matebeleland and the late distribution of inputs.

4.1.        The Committee stressed the need to urge the Government to prioritise water harvesting efforts as a drought mitigation strategy. The country can also benefit from reservoirs for water storage and water tanks among others for use by communities since vandalism of irrigation equipment is rampant. The Committee further noted that there is need to diversify irrigation models for instance, drip irrigation in place of flood irrigation.

4.2.        The Committee applauded the coming in of private players in financing agricultural production.

4.3.        The Committee applauded ARDA in its work of transforming Matebeleland South from a non- productive agro-ecological region to a high yielding province in terms of agricultural produce under the Command Agriculture programme. The Committee further commended the successful pecan nuts projects undertaken by some of ARDA’s Estates and emphasised the need to train more farmers in the production of pecan nuts.

4.4.        That ARDA is facing capitalisation challenges and hence relying on ARDA seeds for capitalisation since there has not been any funding from Treasury. The Committee noted with concern ARDA’s plight in the lack of capital injection in seed production.

4.5.        The Committee noted that statistics are a key aspect of agricultural planning and therefore, systems should be put in place to collect and provide accurate information on farming activities on time.

4.6.        Farmer associations and other parties involved in agricultural production to include the nutrition education component in their activities.

4.7.        There is little or no control of environmental protection in the resettlement area. As such, settlers should be discouraged from cutting down trees.

4.8.        That productive ex-farm labourers are still resident at resettled farms.

4.9.        There is noted increase in overweight and obesity among children and adults in the country.

4.10.   The Committee noted the commitment to reduce stunting from 27% to 10% and underweight children to 5% by 2025.

4.11.   That there has been a rise in anaemia in women and children. The Committee noted that rural communities are mostly affected by malnutrition.

4.12.   That Village Health Workers are assisting in the communities in respect of children with acute malnutrition.

4.13.   The Committee noted that some schools were unable to access food through the school feeding programme. There is also not enough water to support and sustain the nutritional gardens at schools.

     5. RECOMMENDATIONS

Resolutions

Action

Timeframe

5.1 The Government of Zimbabwe must invest more in local seed research, production, marketing and financing.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement and the Ministry of Finance and relevant interested parties to spearhead this.

By December 2018

5.2. That ex-farm labourers who are resident at farms and are productive should also be considered in land allocation.

Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement to identify land to allocate the affected parties.

By December 2018

5.3   There is  need to encourage good eating habits and exercise to the public by all relevant stakeholders in the food and nutrition sector for example a mix of groundnuts and foods containing vitamins and proteins.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care must educate on eating habits for the public.

Immediately

5.4   There is need for a full packaged diet for the school feeding programme noting that some do not have access to the food and some not getting the full composition of dietary requirements. Nutrition gardens at schools also need support from Government in terms of water provision

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Health and Child Care and Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement to me up with a coordinated approach.

Immediately

5.5. VHW should be present in all communities and incentives should be provided for them to continue spearheading programmes such as supplementary feeding, breastfeeding, etc

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to come up with a package for VHW to incentivise them on their work.

Immediately

 

I thank you.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Mr. President, I would like to support the mover of the motion, Hon. Sen. Tawengwa by saying that the Zimbabwe Farmers Union gave a report on what is happening on the state of nutrition within the areas where they are working.  They reported that the small grain has increased from over 17000 metric tonnes in 2014/15 season to over 288 000 metric tonnes in 2016/17 seasons.  The most grown crops cover sorghum, which is 54 % and pearl millet which is 35%.  This means people are beginning to appreciate the use of small grains and hectrage is also increasing.

          The Minister of Health and Child Care came up with a report on the state of malnutrition.  They reported that there is deficiency in particular, vitamin A, iodine and iron.  Therefore, there is increase with Government saying that there should be micro-nutrient programme within the business communities which is supporting the Government.  The latest evidence also shows that the micro-nutrient survey which was done in 2012 showed that there is a high burden of vitamin A and iron deficiency which results in anemia, with 31% of children under the age of 59 months who are anemic and 21% of the same age being vitamin A deficient. 

Iron deficiency was also found to be high amongst 72% of children aged between 6 and 59 months.  Vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency and anemia were also high among women of child bearing age, with 62% of women being iron deficient, 26% being anemic and 24% being vitamin deficient.  All these would be reduced if people remember that if you add a bit of lemon in your vegetables, more iron is absorbed.  Some education needs to be added within the availability and non-availability of some of these nutrients.

We went to the Food and Nutrition Council which came to give us some information.  The institution stated that stunting has gone slightly higher from 26% to over 28%.  Stunting has increased while the food has been available because of lack of education.  We need all of us to be aware that we need to inform our communities to mix food.  Food is available but it is the manner in which it is being eaten.  That is why we have given a recommendation that there should be nutrition education within the community by all of us who are here as Members of Parliament.  When we go out there, can we all be able to say there are food mixes.  Mr. President, thank you. 

HON. SEN. TAWENGWA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would want to thank all the people who supported this motion and all those who assisted in the gathering of information.  I now move that this House takes note of the report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on S.D.G. No.2.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

DEVOLUTION AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

         

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on cultural development as being key to economic development.

          Question again proposed.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): Before I call for debate, we simply want people to stand up and wind up these motions, that is why we are here otherwise we would be in the car park going back home.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Mr. President, I would like to really appreciate the 11 Hon. Senators who debated this motion.  Among the 11, we had only one who opposed the motion.  So, I am really thankful and can we adopt the motion.

          Motion that;

NOTING that cultural development is key to economic development had led to the underdevelopment of some areas of the country.

          Calls upon this House to-

a)    Support the development of local languages;

b)   Give consideration to local people where employment opportunities arise in their areas;

c)    Expedite the devolution process for planning, implementing and monitoring economic development and use of resources;

d)   Ensure inclusiveness in all Government sectors such as parastatals management boards and government ministries  put and agreed to.

MOTION

ICT LITERACY PROGRAMME

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on  the need to address the ICT divide between rural, urban, young and old in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President.  I have nothing to add but to thank Hon. Senators who contributed to this motion.  I now therefore, call this Senate to adopt this motion that;

          ACKNOWLEDGING the preamble of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which among others recognise the need to overcome all challenges and obstacles that impede our progress;

          COGNISANT of the fact the Information Communication Technology (ICT) is becoming an important catalyst for socio-economic development in the global economy;

          NOTING the urgent need to address the ICT divide between the rural and urban and the young and the old people in our country;

          ALSO NOTING that ICT illiteracy among some sections of our community is hindering economic progress and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose theme is “leave no one behind”;

          APPLAUDING government initiatives to setting up community information centres throughout the country and prioritising ICT literacy from the Early Childhood Development (ECD) level;

          NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology and Cyber Security to-

a)    Prioritise installation of the fiber optic infrastructure in all rural areas;

b)   Roll out an ICT literacy programme targeting the middle aged and rural populace in order to overcome challenges and obstacles that hinder progress;

c)    Take appropriate measures to ensure internet services are easily accessible and affordable;

d)   Expedite the Cyber Crime Bill in order to protect citizens from online abuses motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PROVISION OF ALTERNATIVE RESETTLEMENT AREAS FOR ZWEHAMBA, MAHATSHE AND MATANKENI COMMUNITIES

          Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the call on the Executive to provide alternative resettlement areas for communities from Zvehamba, Mahatshe and Matankeni.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Mr. President, this motion was widely discussed; I now move that the motion be adopted.

          Motion that;

 DISTURBED by the lack of commitment by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement to provide alternative resettlement areas for communities from Zwehamba, Mahatshe; and Matankeni evicted to pave way for developmental national projects;

          CONCERNED at the apparent lack of consideration for such communities who had to bear the brutal brunt of oppressions in 1947 when they resisted eviction;

          COGNISANT that it is their right to enjoy the fruits and the benefits of the war of liberation in view of their heroic exploits when they resisted colonial oppression;

          MINDFUL that such communities have to be involved in the Command Agriculture Programme which was launched in 2016, a year which coincided with their unscheduled evictions;

          NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Executive to expeditiously resolve the issue of providing arable land to sixty-two households from Zvehamba; Mahatshe; and Matankeni areas in the Matobo District so that they can resume their farming activities unperturbed so as to live a prosperous and stable life premised on peace and stability which is requisite in the whole of Zimbabwe motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

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

          Eighth 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 Trust in Mudzi and Mutoko Districts.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Thank you Mr. President, it is once again with humility that I now stand before you in this august Senate to wind up the debate on the motion.  I thank the Hon. Senators, Hon. Senator Chiefs, and our traditional leaders for the very intense, elaborate, eloquent and robust debates when we deliberated on the motion.  It is apparently clear from the deliberations that Community Share Ownership Trusts are a vehicle for empowerment empowering the marginalised communities from their God given resources.  Mineral wealth is a fine art resource which should benefit Zimbabweans by uplifting their lives, so some of the Community Share Ownership Trusts are doing very well and this should be replicated in most districts where mining is taking place.  We cannot leave communities poorer with deforestation, massive land degradation, pollution, poor roads, no schools, et cetera, traditional with any response or answers to that. 

          So I once again extend my appreciation to those who came before the Committee, our Committee Clerk, interns and all those who contributed to this report.  I move for the adoption of the Committee report.  I thank you.

          Motion that this House takes note of 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 put and agreed to.        

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

          Ninth 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 2016/17 Crop Deliveries and the Success of the Command Agriculture Programme.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President, I want to make a few comments before I wind up this.  We were eagerly waiting for the Ministers to come and respond to such good work which was done by the Committee and to buttress that, when we introduced this report in the Senate, it was debated by a total of 19 Hon. Senators, all of them in support of the report.  There was none who debated against the report.  So, all along we thought the Ministers would come and applaud such good work because the effects of command agriculture are still very visible.  It is one of the plus investments which the Government has done very well and it is there for everyone to see.  It was not a one time off activity but I think we managed to conquer hunger in this country through the command agriculture which we addressed.  So, with dismay, I want to move that this report be adopted Mr. President.  I thank you.

          Motion that this House takes note of the First Report on 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 put and agreed to.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASVINGO PROVINCE (HON. SEN.  HUNGWE), the Senate adjourned at Nine Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 31st July, 2018.

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 June 2018 09:51
Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 07 JUNE 2018 VOL 27 no 49