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SENATE HANSARD 27 SEPTEMBER 2018 VOL 28 NO 06

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 27th September, 2018

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

NON INTERFERENCE WITH PROCESSIONS

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I wish to remind Hon. Members that when bells are ringing before the commencement of business and after adjournment of the Houses, certain corridors are cordoned off to avoid interference with the processions.  You are therefore requested to cooperate with police officers manning those corridors.

I would like to commend Hon. Ministers.  We have a full complement of Ministers who are present to answer Hon. Senators’ questions. 

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to ask my question.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  When is the issue of Shabani-Mashaba Mine going to be resolved because the workers that were there have not been paid their salaries, I think it is now eight years or more?  Do you have a policy in place to resolve this issue?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA):  Thank you for the question.  I am still new in the Ministry but the few facts that I have gathered from the Minister, I understand there is something currently going on at Mashava Mine.  There is dewatering that is going on, which means very soon the mines are going to be re-capacitated and the employees are going to get back their employment.  Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Senators are reminded to ask policy questions.

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  Before I ask my question, I want to congratulate you for being elected the Deputy President of the Senate.  We will miss your contribution to this House.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you.

 HON. SEN. SHOKO:   I certainly believe that when we are here, you will give some favours to me.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  The Labour Act has not been aligned with the new Constitution.  This has taken quite a long time.  As you know, there have been complains with the ILO about that.  We are about to go to the ILO, we are going next year, but you find that next year is just around the corner.  It is not good to have the country’s name being dragged at the ILO for non-alignment of the Labour Act to the Constitution.  So when are we going to have the Labour Act aligned to the Constitution?

Mr. President, I want to persuade the Minister to give us timelines because when I came into this august House in July, last year, I was told it was going to be done soon.  Very soon is not a good answer for some of us because I have read in the newspaper that Zimbabwe is no longer going to do business as usual but doing things as quickly as possible.  We must also remember that the Labour Act is one of the instruments that drive investment.  If we do not deal with the Labour Act, we are therefore driving away investors….

   THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order, order, Hon. Senator, just ask your question; do not debate.

 HON. SEN. SHOKO:   Yes, I have already asked the question but I just wanted to explain further so that the Minister may understand where I am coming from.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you Mr. President.  The Labour Act and its non-alignment is one of my key priority areas to address.  I am currently in the middle of consulting all the key stakeholders including the employers and employees.  I will not wait longer to bring this matter to conclusion.  I have already sat down with my team and this is one of our key objectives to look at the Labour Act and its non-alignment in the next 100 days. 

HON. SEN. NCUBE:  I want to congratulate you for being elected the Deputy President of the Senate.  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. What is Government doing with the increasing number of students out of school in the rural areas considering that there are economic challenges, not in the rural areas only but all over the country, but looking at the rate of the US$ which is one is to two. What is the Government doing about that?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. President and thank you Hon. Senator. I am assuming that you are asking about post O level and post A level students. One of our key policies is called inclusive education and we are saying there is no Zimbabwean brain to waste. Accordingly, we have done a strategy for increasing the number of post O level and post A level students in the Higher and Tertiary Education system and this is what we have done.

          We have introduced the student loan facility. In the student loan facility, we are saying students can access funds from banks, but here is the problem. At the banks the rates are still high but it is heartening to note that the banks have agreed to this drive. So, because of the high rate, we have asked external funders to come into the fray. In this regard, we have made an agreement with Fundi of South Africa which is working through Eduloan in Zimbabwe. On the 10th of July, 2018, we signed an agreement of US$10 million that will be released into Zimbabwe for our students to be able to access these funds.

          We also looked at the fees that are being paid at our colleges and universities particularly looking at fees during attachment. Students were being asked to pay full fees. We were asking students to pay full fees but we then looked at it and said maybe this is increasing the number of drop-outs. Our aim is to make sure that we have access to education by our students. So, we reached an agreement that these fees were reduced by 40% so that they pay 60% of what was originally being paid. That is move number 2.

          Move number 3 is to make sure that our entry qualifications into universities and tertiary institutions are streamlined. This was a response to a fact that in colleges especially in polytechnics and teachers’ colleges especially in polytechnics, students were now being asked as a requirement that they need Mathematics to get in there despite whether they are doing engineering or anything. We took this policy as exclusionary and that it was increasing the number of students who might actually have 10 As and one D in Mathematics. We do not think that, that student is dull at all.

          So, we said for those subjects that do not require this Mathematics, they have to amend the regulation. We looked at 30 courses at polytechnics and we removed this requirement. We are not saying we do not like Mathematics, it must be done at O level, but if I want to do my drama, even if I have got A in Mathematics, do not ask for it and that is what we are saying. So through this, we have been able to increase the number of absorbed students in higher and tertiary institutions by 12%. This is measured. We have made projections as a matter of policy that we will increase the absorption by expanding the infrastructure and capacity at our teachers’ colleges.

          Our current number is at 8 000. We are saying by 2023, there should be 40 000 students in teachers’ colleges which is an increase of 6 000. It means we have removed 6 000 people who were potentially going to be on the street. On the polytechnics, we are currently having 24 000 students in polytechnics but we are projecting that by 2023, we will be having 33 000 by increased infrastructure and capacity. We want to suck out people from the street and make them go into our institutions so that they are able to study. Our aim is inclusive education and never to waste any Zimbabwean brain that wants to study.

          Crowning it all, we have worked on the Zimbabwe National Qualification Framework. This qualifications framework is a framework which recognises that there are professional trainings of artisans, higher education of universities, tertiary and vocational education for polytechnics and vocational colleges. These three systems were not interlinked at all but with the National Qualification Framework, we have looked at equivalents.  For example, if you have got professional level 2, we say that is equivalent to a diploma at universities and therefore that  person is allowed to cross and go into the university route or go to any route. We have done this to make our higher and tertiary education responsive to those who want to learn without putting barriers.

          In our country, people could not go into school not because they are dull but because we were just putting too many barriers for what God knows, but we have changed that. We believe we are going to absorb as many students that require education as possible and make sure that we attain dream 2030 of a middle income economy with skilled people. I thank you Hon. President.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. President. I start by congratulating you and Madam President for being elected Chairs. My question goes to the Leader of the House in the absence of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. What is Government policy in trying to curb the random sale of money in the streets and what is Government policy towards ensuring that the dollar and the bond are one? In the past, we have argued and we have legislated that the bond and the dollar are the same but today if you go anywhere you cannot get the dollar even when you want to use the money in your account, you are not allowed to compare it with a dollar. They will actually ask you to bring the physical dollar. I remember talking to the present President...

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order. Hon. Senator, he is the Leader of Government business but he is not the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. I think I announced that the Minister of Finance is here and there is no Minister representing him. So, I would urge you to wait for the Minister or his representative to come.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Mr. President, normally the Leader of the House answers questions on behalf of all Ministers.

          THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Well that has happened Hon. Senator when the Leader of Government Business was also the Vice President.  So he was conversant with what was happening in those Ministries.  In this instance, we have got a Leader of Government Business who is the Minister of Justice, so you agree it is not fair to ask him to respond to an issue which involves another Minister.

          HON. SEN. MUDZURI:  Mr. President, without much debate on your ruling, I want to say it is actually his business to take all answers for all Ministers.  That is at law in this Parliament.  Once the Leader of Government Business comes, he has to take up questions from other Ministers.  If he cannot, he has to take it to the Minister so that he answers us to say, when can we get that answer.

          THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Sen. Mudzuri, I have ruled.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. KHUPE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I have got three brief questions directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Nzenza.

          THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order.  You ask one question at a time. 

HON. SEN. KHUPE:  My question is, when is Government going to align the Disabled Persons Act with the United Nations Conventions of Persons with Disability which was signed by the Government sometime in September 2013?

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you for that question.  As I have just started into this role, I am currently reviewing and consulting stakeholders so that I can fully understand the Act and how we should align ourselves with international standards on disability. May I therefore ask the Hon. Senator to bear with me and I will get back to him with an answer. If he can possibly give me the time that he expects me to give him an answer.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA:  Thank you very much Mr. President.  May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as Deputy President of the Senate.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  It begins with the historical narrative that in 2013, the country adopted a new Constitution which provided for devolution.  People were elected in the Provincial Councils but were never sworn in.  This year, members of the Provincial Councils have been elected again and we have realised that they have not been sworn in.  When are we going to see the implementation of devolution?  When are these people going to be sworn in?  When are we going to see the implementation of devolution?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you very much Mr. President.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which is very important as we have people who have been elected and are anxious to start work.  He is right that the 2013 Constitution provides for Provincial Councils to be in place.  Again, the same Constitution, my learned friend is aware of it, provides that legislation must be put into place to give effect to the Provincial Councils.  Part of the work that we have to do urgently is to ensure that we bring before Parliament that legislative framework that will give effect to the work of the Provincial Councils so that the councilors may be sworn in and the Provincial Councils constituted.  I thank you Mr. President. 

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Thank you Mr. President.  May I also associate with those that have congratulated you and the President of the Senate on your election.  My question goes to the Minister standing in for Defence and War Veterans.  What is the current policy with respect to war veterans who in fact participated in the liberation struggle but have not yet been vetted and therefore are not getting any benefits?  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS (HON. MATEMADANDA):  Thank you Mr. President.  Thank you Hon. Senator.  There are three or more categories of war veterans.  The first category is for the detainees and restrictees, the second is for the combatants, the third is for the non-combatants and the fourth is for the war collaborators.  War detainees and restrictees were being vetted from the time we started.  Those that come forward even today can be vetted.  That goes also for the combatants.  However, for the non-combatants, the law is being aligned to include them, including the war collaborators.  So, we are awaiting the alignment of laws to finalise the vetting process.

HON. SEN. KHUPE:  My question goes to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Nzenza.  The Disabled Persons Act, faulty as it is at the present moment, provides for the employment of the Director of Disability Affairs.  The post was advertised in March last year.  Since 1992, it has never been established.  No interviews and nothing was done …

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order Hon. Member.  Ask your question.

HON. SEN. KHUPE:  I wanted to find out when we can expect that position to be filled in.  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you once again Hon. Senator.  I am unaware of the position.  However, thank you for bringing it to my attention.  I shall investigate and get back to you within the next seven days. 

HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  I would want to congratulate you on your election as the Deputy President of Senate.  My question goes to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans.  The first part of the question has been already covered by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira.  However, I would want to go further and say, we have a lot of freedom fighters who perished during the war.  They are not properly buried and we have graves in Mozambique and Zambia.  What is Government policy on the proper maintenance of these graves, as well as, the proper burial of the fighters who died during the war?

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I think that question should go the Minister of Home Affairs.  It is the Ministry which is responsible for graves and these kinds of things. 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO):  Thank you very much Mr. President. I congratulate you on your election to be the Deputy President of the Senate.  The question from Hon. Komichi – it is true that we have many of our gallant fighters who died during the liberation struggle who are not properly buried and are lying all over in some caves and some unknown graves.  The policy of the Government is that we need to identify and have proper rehabilitation of the shrines for example, Chimoio and Freedom Camp in Zambia.

          As we are today, our counterparts in Zambia are ready for us - for the Minister of Home Affairs to sign a memorandum of agreement to assist each other as sister countries for proper burial and rehabilitation of the shrine in Zambia.  This goes with many other sites within the country where the Ministers of State responsible for provincial affairs are tasked to make sure that the provincial heroes acres are properly rehabilitated and those who are identified will be reburied properly.  It is also the policy of Government to make sure that where the information is known, where the gallant fighters are lying without proper burial, this should be brought to the attention of the Ministry for proper burial.  I thank you very much.

          *HON. SEN. SHOKO: Thank you Mr. President, before I ask my question I am appealing because when the Ministers are answering, we do not know their names; it would help us if they introduce themselves because some of them are new and some are old. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You are raising a good point it goes for Hon. Senators as well.  During these formative days can we identify ourselves so that the Ministers also know us; just as I will ask them for these beginning days for them to identify themselves.  We will start with you.

          *HON. SEN. SHOKO: Thank you very much Mr. President.  My name is Hon. Sen. Gideon Shoko, I am the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province Senator.  My question is, I seek clarification from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, what is Government policy...

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We do not have a Minister for Primary and Secondary Education present in this Senate.

          *HON. SEN. SHOKO: VamuRwira chii zviya?

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: He is the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, unless he is representing the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.

          *HON. SEN. SHOKO: I want to ask a question. What is the Government policy when it comes to training teachers? Do you train for the sake that they should be there or you train so that you will be able to employ them afterwards because we have them at home and we are looking after them?

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you very much.  My name is Hon. Prof. Amon Murwira, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.  It is true we train teachers.  We train teachers so that they go and further train our children.  We actually want to increase the number of colleges training teachers.  What is our reasoning?  Our reasoning is that we should never confuse the low capacity in the economy to absorb teachers for plenty of teachers.  I think statistically Zimbabwe has a shortage of teachers, but the capability of the economy to absorb them might be something else. 

          I always say it is better to have my certificate and wait for an opportunity than an opportunity to come when I am not prepared for it.  We always say a person would say, ‘we do not have jobs’ and then I ask them which job and they will say, ‘I saw that there is an engineering job somewhere there.’  I will then say ‘are you an engineer’ and they will say ‘no.’  That person has excluded themselves from that.  What we are saying is that our job is to train teachers and we will continue training them. We are hopeful; not only hopeful but we are auctioning an economy that is going to grow and is going to demand a lot of teachers. 

          Our projections show that they will be plenty of places, they are already plenty of places for teachers but just note to finance them but we are looking at the economy.  So, the policy is we will train people and we will continue training them, why?  It is better to not have a job but with your qualifications.  What we are also doing to the education sector just to allay your fears is that we want an education system that produces goods and services.  If I have trained you as an engineer and my hope is that after you have finished you are going to do some engineering.  When you finish you say ahh but now give me a job when I am expecting something from you. We knew that it was a problem of our education system, so the policy now is that all our education system must follow a cycle which we call 5.0.  We shall teach, we shall research, we shall do consultancy, we shall do innovation, and we shall do industry, so these are 5 points.  If we train a person with teaching, with research, with community service, with innovation, with industry this education will cause industry and will reduce the numbers of people who say give me a job.  In actually fact, we as a society would say we trained you give us a job.  So, on a policy level I think I have explained our education policy now but we are also saying we will continue training teachers because we do not have enough.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order Hon. President.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: What is your point of order?

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: My point of order is - sorry I came a bit late; my name is Hon. Sen. Eng. Mudzuri, I am Senator for Harare.  As Leader of the House I have not seen enough Ministers, I do not know how many are here?  It has been a concern and we have discussed this.  Now that you want us to direct questions to specific Ministers without Leader of the Government Business answering, it really needs them to be here and I do not know how many are here because we have burning questions for several Ministers who should be able to answer for themselves. When we ask questions to the Leader of Government Business, we are asking him because it is Government business we are talking about. If he cannot answer then he will refer the question to the person. We need to know how many Ministers are here and why the rest are not here so that we can have proper business of the Senate.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you. You came in late when I had already introduced the Ministers who are here. You must also know that the Deputy Ministers are competent enough to answer questions for their ministries. However, your point is taken that we need Ministers to answer questions – [HON.SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: How many are here?] – I have already announced the Ministers who are here and the Deputy Ministers are competent to answer questions for their ministries.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: If I ask a question on how many Ministers, I think I deserve an answer Mr. President even if you pronounced it before I came. I am supposed to be listening to everything but I am asking a question which we think we need to confirm how many Ministers are here as a record. We want a record to know how many Ministers are here and how many are not, whether they are deputies or not.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, I urge you to come early so that you do not miss anything so I do not have to repeat to every member who comes in late but for your benefit we have got 10 Ministers present and the Leader of the House has indicated that he can respond to the question which you have asked. But I made my decision on a matter of principle because there is clearly a difference between the past Leader of Government Business and the present Leader of Government Business. So, it was on a matter of principle that I made the decision.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. President. My question was directed to the Minister of Finance initially but now I am directing another question to the Leader of Government Business on command agriculture. Can we know the Government policy on command agriculture? I understand people are getting livestock and inputs but there is no communication totally to Members of Parliament on how it is done, who is getting what and how Government is distributing these. Is it distributing on partisan basis or to all nationals. That policy needs to be properly announced so that people can go and collect those inputs.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Senator Mudzuri for the question on command agriculture policy. The simple answer is we have a policy of assisting farmers in terms of capacitating them and ensuring that they produce the national grain that we need in order to avert hunger. What we do is we have distribution channels through GMB and in each and every district, we have AREX officers who are mandated to ensure that they communicate with our farmers in their respective areas, and explain the policy of Government and how to access the inputs and this is done across the country and it is non-partisan. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: My supplementary question is that I am a farmer and there are several farmers here who have not seen that communication in the rural areas. I am a rural farmer and I have gone to GMB, there is no one who has disseminated that information. How is this information delivered to the population in rural areas and in towns because some farmers are in town?

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. President and I want to thank the Senator for the follow up question which I believe is a very specific question. The policy of Government is that we have governmental departments in every district and provinces who are supposed to disseminate this information but should the Hon. Member have difficulties in a specific area, you can bring forward the name of the area because we have designated officers who are supposed to do that job. Then it can be followed up why they are not disseminating the information as per Government policy.

          HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Minister, how do you intend to demystify the belief that the Presidential inputs are supposed to be given to ZANU PF people only and if they know you are MDC you will not get them?

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. President. I am being asked a question based on perception and not policy. It is very difficult to deal with perceptions that people have but I have enunciated what the Government policy is and we have provisions within our Constitution. If you feel that you have been aggrieved and you are discriminated against, you have the right to Administrative Justice Act where we have procedures to follow if what is supposed to be done has not been done. What I am saying is, if you have specific incidences and areas where people are being discriminated against, the Minister of Agriculture is on record indicating that this programme is non-partisan. We have people who do not even attend political rallies who are big farmers and are benefitting. So, I believe that the issue of perception, if you have an area where you believe is populated with a certain segment of people who are being discriminated against, perhaps if you can bring forward to say this particular area, the perception is that there is discrimination and we can have a look into it with a view of correcting it because our view is we are all Zimbabweans regardless of our political affiliations. If there is a governmental programme that is on-going everyone should benefit.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Taking into consideration that in 2013 in our national Constitution, they were 16 languages which were meant to be official and they are supposed to be interpreted here in Parliament but they have not been and we only have three languages; Shona, Ndebele and English. When will the other languages be put into use?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank Hon. Mohadi for the question which is very important and she is very correct to say that we have 16 languages which we are supposed to translate. Indeed, the process to translate our Constitution into all our languages started sometime ago. We constituted a Committee that included linguistic experts and some legal experts in the form of retired judges to ensure that we capture the essence of the Constitution when we translate it to the vernacular languages. We started with, like she rightly said, Shona and Ndebele. We also had Chewa and Tonga but we have since finished the exercise of translating the Constitution into all the 16 languages. Funds permitting, we will be producing the Constitution in all the languages. I thank you.

           *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President. First of all, I would like to congratulate you for being elected the Deputy President of the Senate.  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary, Science and Technology Development.  Minister, we have noticed that students from your colleges are well educated but as soon as they graduate, they go out of the country instead of working in the country.  What plans do you have so that you can retain these graduates, instead of them going abroad?

          *THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOP EDUCATION (HON. PROF MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for this question.  We had this problem, whereby the graduates; as soon as they graduated, would go out of the country.  After educating them, the policy did not look at where they would be placed or employed.  What we are now saying is once you have started on a journey, you should have a target and reason of why you are embarking on that journey.

          This means whenever we are educating our people, we should have a reason why we are educating them and it is because we want to improve the manpower of the country.  We have also realised that the way we are imparting knowledge onto our graduates is that we were very much interested in literacy and we managed to educate up to 96%.  We have since noticed that our graduates are not very practical, they can only look at the theoretical part of their studies, yet we need people who are practical after undergoing some training.

          As a result, from December, 2018, we have now taken a new policy where we said that our policy should embrace 5.5 points.  Instead of concentrating on theory, there should be the practical side. We are saying there is no problem in you being theoretical but you should also be practical.  That is why we have started something called ‘innovation hubs’ where we are encouraging our graduates to be practical and invent new products; new ways of doing things and we have this happening at National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Midlands State University (MSU), Higher Institute of Technology (HIT) and many other colleges launching these innovation points at the universities.

          With these innovation hubs, they should be inventors and innovators.  As of now, we have completed one at MSU and they need to be practical in their subjects.  We will also be allowed to embark on a Third Party and this is constructing industrial hubs.  These hubs will be near these colleges.  In Chinhoyi, we will be given 20 hectares of land and we have industrial shelters so that when somebody has graduated, he will then go to that industrial hub and create a product which will lead to employment and improve the country’s economy.

          I will give an example of soccer, you may have 11 people who are able to play soccer but if you put Peter Ndlovu at the goal post, your team will be beaten because Peter is a natural striker.  So what we do not want is to misplace people, therefore we need to nurture our people from cradle to grave, which means when you train them, they should be able to put their education into practice. 

          In Chinhoyi, we will be looking at the bio-technologies in the next 200 to 300 years.  In Harare we will be looking at auto-engineering, in Bulawayo we would advance manufacturing where they will be creating products.  In Gweru, we will be looking at minerals, Lupane coal, Gwanda solar energy and Mutare forestry, in Masvingo animal husbandry, in Marondera we will have food and Bindura, we will be looking at expertise in minerals.  So our motto is Agenda 2030, industrialisation using knowledge.  So we would not have people who graduate just to be theoretical.  We would want people who will look at a pothole on the road and find a way of closing that pothole, instead of just commenting that the pothole is deep. 

          Let us look at people like Strive Masiiwa, he graduated in technology and he has advanced the technological aspect of this country, hence we need such kind of people who, when they learn, it does not end up being just theory but practical.  We need people who, when they have acquired that telecommunications knowledge, they put it into practice; create a product which is tangible.  We feel that by the time we reach 2030 we will have created more products and more innovations.  I thank  you.

          *HON. SEN MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President.  Congratulations for being elected the Deputy President of this august House.  I would like to congratulate the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation for her elevation as a woman.  We want to thank the Lord.

          My question is, Minister can you appraise this House on your plans with the youths because this country is now full of youths who are just roaming in the streets as vendors.  What plans do you have for them as a Ministry so that these youths will have a future?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. SIMBANEGAVI):  Thank you Mr. President and I also want to thank the Hon. Senator who asked the question.  As the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, we have a lot of plans targeting youths from 15 to 35 years. 

          We have a lot of things that we do in our Ministry and have several departments that assist youths with their talents.  Our offices are found everywhere both in the rural and urban areas.  We have the Department of Youth Development where we train youths in leadership skills and personal empowerment so that they inculcate personal confidence in youths to explore themselves in terms of helping the nation.  This teaches our youths that they are young but have something within to enable them to have a bright future.  We do this in vocational training centres in all our provinces.

          In the vocational training centres, we train the youths on various skills and there is no discrimination amongst the youths in terms of education.  Anyone whether you are literate or not is welcome to go there and do whatever you can; be it carpentry, building, pottery, welding – all these are taught in the vocational training centres.  In these centres, we start by awarding national certificate after one year.  They acquire another certificate during the second year and another one after three years.  After that, they can now proceed to higher and tertiary education to further their education at diploma level.

          Our Ministry also encourages youths to utilise their talents even if it is not reading.  We also do sports, we start from primary schools and advocate for children to be involved in extra curriculum activities.  We encourage our youths because there are some extra curricula activities that would only be undertaken in urban areas and missionary schools.  We are advocating that those activities should also be included in rural schools and youths should be proud to display their talents; be it in soccer, cricket, tennis, athletics and swimming. 

          We also have another Department of Employment Creation where our youth graduands from Youth Development who are now disciplined, proud of themselves and their country now proceed to the Department of Employment as they can now identify with their various skills.  We encourage them to write their project proposals according to their skills so that they are eligible for Government funding.  They will want to embark on businesses after acquiring their various skills.

          Our Ministry also has a bank called the Empowerment Bank that was created by the Government only targeting youths and also helps those who were lagging behind in terms of doing their projects.  Everyone is free to approach and join the Empowerment Bank.  They have recently been visiting all the provinces identifying youths and encouraging them to open accounts in order to acquire loans through our district offices. In all the provinces, we also encourage all youths who can come together to be trained on various projects; be it art et cetera.  We go there, train them and help sell their wares. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  On a point of order Mr. President.  I propose that we extend the time for Questions Without Notice by 10 minutes.

          HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I second.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA:  Thank you Mr. President and may I also congratulate you for being appointed to that position.  My question is, may you please elaborate Government policy regarding parastatals.  How do they collaborate with parent ministries such as Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education? 

          I am asking because in the rural areas, are these Ministers aware of the Rural Electrification Programme (REA) and issues to do with the electrification of rural areas?

          *THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, order, Hon. Chief where is your question directed?  They are not responsible for electrification of those areas.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA:  Regarding the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, some schools in the rural areas were earmarked for electrification and some installations were made in those areas, i.e. the erection of power lines but power is yet to be connected.  As we speak, there are new poles being erected in the area yet there is no electricity.  When we enquire from the powers that be in the area, they direct us to REA.  I am querying why you should embark on new programmes yet we have poles that were erected in 2005 lying idle and being destroyed by white ants.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I implore Hon. Senators to ask policy questions but if you have specific questions, you will need to put the question in writing so that the responsible Minister has time to research in order to give an appropriate response. The Minister of Energy and Power Development will respond to that question on why some areas had poles erected but no power was put into schools and clinics.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA):  Thank you very much Mr. President of the Senate for giving me the opportunity to respond. 

The question which has been asked by Chief Nhema regarding rural electrification is very good and pertinent.  This programme was undertaken by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA).  From what the Chief is saying, the infrastructure was put in place but no power was installed.  Despite the fact that the areas had poles erected and there is no power, they are embarking on another programme of putting up power lines.  This programme was started in 2005 and the poles are now falling down. They have been destroyed by white ants and exposed to the vagaries of the climate.

I am kindly asking the Hon. Chief to put the question in writing so that we can make a thorough investigation and give an appropriate response.

The Hon. Senator also spoke about REA and Education.  These two have different ways of operating and are independent of each other.  I am begging you Hon. Chief to put your question in writing and indicate the areas that you have highlighted.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHINAKE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  We have artisanal miners whose operations lead to the death of both people and animals.  When these miners are arrested and taken to court, they are only given bail outs and they go back to their operations.  Why is such crime trivialised?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you very much Hon. Sen. Chinake for raising that question regarding artisanal miners.  If I got your question correct, you are saying that we have artisanal miners who dig all over the place and do not reclaim that land.  When someone dies in an accident after falling into that pit, the miner is taken to court and is asked to pay bail.  It is a citizen’s right to be given the chance to pay because the courts have to assess whether the person who is being tried or who has been arrested is a suitable candidate for bail.  If he is suitable, they will let him go.  If he is not suitable, then he will be put on remand.  If we do not give people bail, we will be oppressing the people of Zimbabwe and hence the accused is given the chance to pay bail.  When they are convicted, they can then be incarcerated. 

The issue we are talking about is the responsibility of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development who are responsible for covering up these pits which are dug up by these artisanal miners.  They should implement a law which forbids digging up these pits and leaving them open without reclaiming the land.

The Constitution also talks about the rights of the arrested and the detained people.  The President of Zimbabwe is on record saying that we should respect our Constitution.  As a result, when an accused is arrested, he or she should be taken to court and should not be detained for more than 48 hours.  We need to follow our regulations and our Constitution.  It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to look at the way these artisanal miners are operating and should reclaim the land they would have dug.

*HON. SEN. CHINAKE:  On a point of order, these artisanal miners…

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order, that is not a point of order.  I am sure you want to ask a supplementary question.

*HON. SEN. CHINAKE:  I am sorry Hon. President.  Yes, I would like to ask a supplementary question.

My question is that the artisanal miners are killing people and these people do not fall into the pits.  I am saying that these people go out, fight and kill innocent people.  When the miners are taken to court, they are put on bail whilst they are a danger to the society.

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I had not understood that he was talking about the artisanal miners murdering people.  That is neither here nor there, the answer remains the same.  That accused person has not yet been convicted.

When you look at the Constitution on Section 50, when the accused is brought before the court, he or she has got constitutional rights which protect them especially when they are taken to court.  One of those rights is that regardless of the case, that person should be given bail out so that they are tried when they are coming from their homes unless if they are not suitable candidates for bail. 

I am emphasizing, when you are arrested and accused, you have your rights which should be respected.  Please understand me; when someone has been arrested, it does not mean that they have been convicted.  According to the law of the country, an accused person is innocent until proven guilty by a competent law of court.  As an accused, one has rights that should be respected according to the law.

I will repeat, an accused is allowed to be given bail, call his relatives and contact his legal representatives.  We are now looking at situations whereby these artisanal miners are murdering innocent people after they have done their mining.  So, that is a different story.  I thank you. 

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by. THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I believe we have questions with notice on the Order Paper.  I understand that most of the Ministers have not received these questions.  I request with your permission that the answers be brought to this House by the Ministers next week. 

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

 

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

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President.  Let me start by congratulating His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for winning the 30 July, Harmonised Elections.  The President won resoundingly.   I also want to congratulate the President of the Senate and the Deputy President of the Senate for being elected to lead this august House.  I have a message for the two of you that you definitely deserve to be in those positions because you worked for the independence of this country, and even after independence, you continued working for the country.  I also want to congratulate my fellow Senators. 

          Mr. President, may I take this opportunity to express my view on the Presidential Speech.  The President touched on many issues which include the development and prosperity of our country.  As lawmakers, we should make laws in order to implement those issues.  Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in Zimbabwe.  It is important that we need to look at it and empower our farmers so that we have progress and development in the country.  The President launched the Presidential Input Scheme when he was still the Vice President which led to the bumper harvest.

Mr. President, what happens in this programme is that inputs are given to farmers so that they start their programmes on time.  When Command Agriculture came in, this also led to the distribution of inputs to the farmers and we are saying this programme should continue because it is a good programme.  Also, Zimbabwe is developing because of agriculture using irrigation methods.  Let us continue to have many irrigation schemes.  We have farmers who were given land with irrigation facilities.  I am urging these farmers to maintain these irrigation machineries so that they can continue enjoying bumper harvest.  We are told by the weather experts that the climate may not be as friendly as it was in the past but we need to rely on irrigation for the progress of our country.  We have plenty of water in our dams such as in Mashonaland West. There is Mazvikadei Dam which has plenty of water.  That water should be used for irrigation purposes by A1 and A2 farmers so that we have progress and development in the country since we have an agro-based economy. 

We also have other dams, for example, Tokwe-Mukorsi.  These should be fully utilised and the development of irrigation schemes should be an ongoing programme.  It should benefit the people who are in those areas.  In Chiredzi, there is irrigation and I remember at one time when there was starvation in the country, we were saved by farmers in Chiredzi because they were using irrigation schemes.  Mr. President, we need to work hard in constructing and maintaining these irrigation schemes. 

The other issue raised by His Excellency, the President is mining.  It is a cash cow in this country.  We have had instances whereby some of these artisanal miners have perished in mine disasters such as Kadoma and Kwekwe.  We need to establish mining schools in some of these mining areas so that these artisanal miners receive education on safe methods of mining.  We use a derogatory term such as makorokoza but they are doing a splendid job. If they are empowered with knowledge, they will use safe methods of mining which also lead to the progress of the country.  When they are mining, they will tell you that the belt of this mineral is going in that direction and they follow that belt without any technical knowledge. So, you can imagine the wonders they will do if they are given enough education so that they can mine using technology.  We know that mining is in them, they are naturally gifted. 

Let me turn to small and medium enterprises.  These are the people who lead to the development of the country.  They are very productive and have a wide range of products which they manufacture as well as the services which they offer. Our President is a visionary leader because he has made some observations that the youngsters and the women are the people who can lead to the development and prosperity of the country.  Hence he launched the Women’s Bank and a Youth Bank.  Mr. President, women and youth should fully utilise these institutions and they should be spread all over the country.  This will lead to the development of the country.  With these few words, I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018.

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 27 SEPTEMBER 2018 VOL 28 NO 06