The newly elected Member of Parliament for Lobengula,Maidei Mpala, says the migration of parents from Bulawayo to South Africa and other neighbouring countries for “greener pastures” is to blame for the mushrooming of teen-Vuzu parties where school-children engage in alcohol abuse and sex orgies.
Mpala, who was making her maiden speech, thanked President Robert Mugabe for seeking to introduce a bill that would protect children’s rights before Parliament.
“Of concern is the number of people in Bulawayo who have migrated to South Africa and other neighbouring countries leaving minors behind, which has led to a lot of child headed families, exposing these same children to a lot of criminal activities to earn a living,” she said.
“I hope the Children’s Amendment Bill will address all these matters that affect the underage. The same migration of parents to greener pastures is also linked to the increase in school dropouts and teen pregnancies. Of late, is the mushrooming of the teen-Vuzu parties being held by these children, which is currently the worst ill affecting them. This has led to a further drop in the pass rate in the province.”
Police have arrested several groups of pupils following the vuzu parties in Bulawayo.
MS. MPALA: Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this opportunity to present my maiden speech in this august House. I particularly want to thank His Excellency, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde. R. G Mugabe, who is also the First Secretary of the revolutionary party ZANU PF, for making it possible for me to be in this House today.
I am humbled by the magnitude of the confidence and responsibility placed upon me by my revolutionary party ZANU PF and the people of Lobengula Constituency. The people of Lobengula Constituency applaud His Excellency for the Special Economic Zones Bill, which will seek to promote exports, boost industrialization and enhance skills and technology transfer that will be tabled this Session. We have been waiting for this Bill to come and be passed in Parliament in order for it to be implemented. This Bill will ensure the growth of the manufacturing sector and creation of more jobs in the process.
Due to the closure of most industries in Bulawayo, the informal Small to Medium Enterprises sector has shouldered the burden of providing a decent livelihood for the community. However, these noble informal sector efforts are being hampered by the City Council Police as vendors are now selling their wares in undesignated points. I humbly appeal to the Minister of Local Government to facilitate the construction of secure vending bays at affordable rentals to vendors in Lobengula Constituency and Bulawayo as a whole. Furthermore, I urge the Minister to look into and rectify the fact that Lobengula Constituency has a shortage of recreational facilities as the land assigned for such purposes is being misused, with the blessing of the local authorities.
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank His Excellency for presenting this important agenda to introduce a legal framework of the SMEs, through the amendment of the Cooperative Societies Act, which will ensure the sustainability and growth of the sector whilst incorporating the operations of savings and credit co-operative societies.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank His Excellency for prioritizing youths in his speech and making sure that there will be protection of children’s rights in the Bill that will be presented before this Parliament. Of concern is the number of people in Bulawayo who have migrated to South Africa and other neighbouring countries leaving minors behind, which has led to a lot of child headed families, exposing these same children to a lot of criminal activities to earn a living. I hope the Children’s Amendment Bill will address all these matters that affect the underage.
The same migration of parents to greener pastures is also linked to the increase in school dropouts and teen pregnancies. Of late, is the mushrooming of the teen-Vuzu parties being held by these children, which is currently the worst ill affecting them. This has led to a further drop in the pass rate in the province.
Madam Speaker, I appeal to the Minister of Health and Child Care to partner with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and give behaviour change education in high density community schools. A policy must be put in place and implemented in all our schools. Programmes to influence healthy behaviour, including health promotion and education programmes, and interventions go a long way in benefitting school children and communities. These programmes when done at school level, easily address the intended targets for change and the methods for accomplishing these changes are easily implemented, this also helps, with the aid of teachers, to inform the timing and methods of study to be used.
In Lobengula Constituency, there is only one clinic which operates from Monday to Saturday, forcing people to travel long distances to other areas for daily treatments like the administration of injections and dressings. I appeal to the Ministry of Health and Child Care to look into the construction of more clinics in this area, and to ensure that better service is provided by the staff in our community clinics, especially towards the elderly. Of concern Madam Speaker, is also the fact that there is no medication at all at the clinic, yet patients are made to pay for consultation fees. On the few occasions when medication is available patients are made to bring or buy their own envelopes to package their medication.
Madam Speaker, I applaud the Government for the social welfare programme which is assisting the needy in Lobengula Constituency. Although that programme is meant for the less priviledged, some people who can afford to buy their own food are also benefitting, leaving some of the old, poor, sick and disabled to fend for themselves. I would like to implore the Minister of Public Services, Labour and Social Services to revisit the food for the poor programme so that it can only benefit its intended constituents.
In conclusion Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Women’s Caucus for according me the opportunity to go for training in Kenya at Kenyatta University for a transformational leadership course. This course will not benefit me only, but will empower me to stimulate and inspire others to achieve extraordinary outcomes and, in the process, develop their own leadership capacity. I thank you.