PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 30th November, 2023
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on the 28th of November 2023, Parliament received communication from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission advising that John Paradza had been duly elected Member of the National Assembly for Gutu West Constituency with effect from Saturday, 11th November 2023. Section 128 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that before a Member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, the member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the 3rd Schedule. Section 128 (2) of the Constitution states that the oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament. I, therefore, call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the Oath of a Member of Parliament to John Paradza.
Order, the Clerks at the entrance there, can you make sure that Hon. Members do not go through that door.
NEW MEMBER SWORN
HON. JOHN PARADZA subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the law and took his seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much Clerk for administering the Oath.
2024 NATIONAL BUDGET STATEMENT
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion will present the 2024 National Budget today at a quarter to three o’clock p.m.
Business was suspended at Twenty-two Minutes past Two o’clock p.m. and resumed at a quarter to three o’clock p.m. with His Excellency the President in attendance.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I welcome His Excellency the President, Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of our Defence Forces to this 2024 Budget Presentation. You are welcome Your Excellency – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
FINANCE BILL: 2024 NATIONAL BUDGET SPEECH
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that leave be granted to present a Statement of the Estimated Revenues and Expenditures of the Republic of Zimbabwe for the 2024 Financial Year and to make provisions for matters ancillary and incidental to this purpose.
This is in compliance with section 103 (1) of the Constitution as read with section 7 (2) (a) of the Public Finance Management (General) Regulations of 2019.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this being the first Budget following the conclusion of the August 2023 Harmonised Elections, allow me to congratulate His Excellency, the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa and all the Honourable Members who were re-elected and those serving for the first time in this august House.
I look forward to working closely with all of you as we implement the National Development Strategy I (NDS1), which seeks to achieve the country’s vision of becoming an Upper Middle Income Society by 2030.
Let me take this opportunity to thank His Excellency, the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for his wise counsel and support during the formulation of this Budget.
Credit also goes to the two Vice Presidents, Hon. Gen. (Rtd.) Dr. C. G. D. N. Chiwenga and Hon. Col. (Rtd.) K. C. D. Mohadi, as well as fellow Cabinet Ministers for their inputs and suggestions.
The President’s people centred development philosophy,
“Nyika inovakwa, igotongwa, igonamatigwa nevene vayo/ Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo”, enjoins all levels of Government and citizens to provide new impetus to the country’s transformation agenda by enhancing production and productivity across all sectors of the economy, in order to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, where everyone can fulfil their dreams in dignity, peace and security, and leaving “no one and no place behind”.
Mr. Speaker Sir, aligned to this thrust, the theme of this Budget is ‘Consolidating Economic Transformation’.
The proposals and suggestions from consultations with Parliamentarians, MDAS, business, labour, academia, civil society, youth, women, small scale entrepreneurs and miners, among others, largely informed the priorities outlined in this Budget Statement.
Mr. Speaker Sir, before turning to the specific interventions, allow me to put the 2024 National Budget in the context of both the global and domestic economic environment.
Global Economic Outlook
` The global economy is expected to continue to recover unevenly from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cost-of-living crisis. The unprecedented tightening of global monetary conditions in response to decades-high inflation levels has slowed the pace of global economy recovery.
Consequently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast for October 2023 projects global growth to slow down from 3.5% estimated in 2022, to 3% this year, 2023 and 2.9% during 2024. (Slide 2)
Growth in the Sub-Saharan Africa is projected at 3.3% in 2023 and to pick up to 4% in 2024, mainly driven by strong performances in non-resource intensive countries. (Slide 3)
The real GDP growth rate of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is projected to decelerate to 1.6% in 2023 from 2.7% in 2022, before recovering to 2.7% in 2024.
Mr. Speaker Sir, declining international commodity prices and monetary policy tightening have dampened headline inflation during 2023.
In that regard, global headline inflation is projected to decelerate to 4.8% in 2024 on a year-over-year basis, from 8.7% and
5.9% in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
International Commodity Prices
In the outlook period, commodity prices are expected to remain broadly unchanged over the remainder of 2023 and into 2024, amid improved supply prospects and weakening global demand. (Slide 5)
Domestic Economic Developments and Outlook
Mr. Speaker Sir, the domestic economy is now projected to grow by 5.5% in 2023, a slight upward revision from the August projection of 5.3%, on account of better-than-expected output in agriculture, in particular, tobacco, wheat and cotton.
However, economic growth is expected to slow down to 3.5% in 2024, mainly owing to the anticipated impact of the ElNino phenomenon being forecasted for the 2023/24 summer cropping season on agricultural output, as well as declining mineral commodity prices attributable to the global economic slowdown. (Slide 6)
Mr. Speaker Sir, the 2024 GDP projections are underpinned by the following broad assumptions:
- Normal to below normal rainfall season due to the El-Nino effect;
- Slowdown in global economic growth amid geo-political tensions;
- Declining international commodity prices; Continued use of the multicurrency regime; and
- Tight fiscal and monetary policies.
Balance of Payments
Mr. Speaker Sir, merchandise exports stood at US$5.2 billion during the first 9 months of the year and are projected to increase by 4.3% to US$7.3 billion by year end from US$7 billion in 2022, on account of higher tobacco, lithium, and diamond exports. (Slide 9)
In 2024, despite the softening of commodity prices of key minerals such as gold and PGMs, exports are projected to remain on the increase sustained by growth in output from lithium, coke and tobacco to US$7.7 billion.
Merchandise imports registered a 4.7% increase, from US$6 billion in the first nine months of 2022 to US$6.3 billion in 2023, driven by growth in fuel, machinery, and electricity imports. To year end, merchandise imports are projected at US$8.5 billion, 4.9% up from US$8.1 billion in 2022.
Imports are projected to further increase to US$9 billion in 2024 on account of higher imports of grain, energy, raw materials and machinery imports.
Remittances are projected to continue driving the current account surplus and are projected to close the year 2023 at US$2.1 billion, before rising further to US$2.2 billion in 2024.
The current account is expected to close the year 2023 in a surplus position of US$244.4 million, slightly lower compared to US$305 million registered in 2022. In 2024, the current account surplus is projected to narrow to US$204.5 million, reflecting a wider trade deficit as imports accelerate at a faster pace than exports.
Mr. Speaker Sir, domestic prices have relatively been stable since the third quarter of the year, as reflected by month-on month inflation which declined from 12.1% in June 2023, to 4.5% in November 2023.
Concomitantly, the annual headline inflation declined from
30.9% in June 2023 to 21.6% in November 2023.
In the outlook, annual inflation is expected to remain relatively stable and is projected to end the year 2023 slightly below 20%.
In 2024, annual inflation is anticipated to end the year between 10% to 20%, reflecting continued tight monetary and fiscal policies.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the introduction of the wholesale foreign exchange auction on the back of the recent liberalisation of the exchange rate, saw the parallel market premium declining from a peak of over 140% in May 2023 to around 20% in October 2023.
Growth in both the reserve money (M0) and broad money (M3) has significantly slowed down, having peaked in June 2023. The reserve money and broad money annual growth declined from 3 074.25% and 1 174.94% in June 2023 to 1 406.81% and 719.66%, in September 2023, respectively.
The decline in monetary aggregates was largely due to the combined effect of tight monetary policy and prudent fiscal policy measures.
The financial sector has remained sound and stable, with strong capital and liquidity positions, as well as strong risk management practices.
This is evidenced by sound financial indicators such as the capital adequacy and liquidity ratios and the level of nonperforming loans.
Public Finance Developments
Mr. Speaker Sir, revenue collections for the period January to September 2023 amounted to Z$11.4 trillion, against expenditures of Z$12.3 trillion, resulting in a budget deficit of Z$0.9 trillion.
To year end, revenue collections are projected at Z$21.2 trillion, against projected expenditures of Z$22.6 trillion, comprising compensation of employees Z$10.9 trillion, use of goods and services Z$4.7 trillion and capital expenditure of Z$4 trillion.
During the first nine months, the fiscal deficit stood at Z$0.9 trillion, and is projected to end the year at Z$1.4 trillion (1.2% of GDP) to be financed through domestic and external borrowing.
The Total Public and Publicly Guaranteed (PPG) debt stock as at end September 2023, amounted to US$17.7 billion, of which external debt amounted to US$12.7 billion and domestic debt of US$5 billion. (Slide 16)
THE 2024 MACRO-ECONOMIC FISCAL FRAMEWORK
Mr. Speaker Sir, in line with the projected economic growth of 3.5%, total revenue collections in 2024 are estimated at Z$53.9 trillion, (18.3% of GDP), broken down as Z$51.2 trillion tax revenue and Z$2.7 trillion non tax revenue.
Guided by the expected revenue envelope and the desired fiscal path, expenditures in 2024 are projected at Z$58.2 trillion (19.8% of GDP). The proposed expenditures take into account the following:
The need to maintain the purchasing power of civil service salaries;
Ensuring provision of core social services that benefit the poor;
Sustaining maintenance and rehabilitation of Government infrastructure;
Prioritised support to on-going public infrastructure projects;
Non accumulation of arrears; and
Increase funding of infrastructure projects through PPPs.
The total budget financing gap amounts to Z$9.2 trillion, comprising of budget deficit of Z$4.3 trillion (1.5% of GDP) and amortisation of loans and maturing Government securities estimated at Z$4.9 trillion.
The deficit will be financed through domestic and external borrowing.
Mr. Speaker Sir, during the formulation process of the 2024 National Budget, MDAs submitted funding requirements (bids) of over Z$110 trillion, against the available envelope of Z$58.2 trillion.
The envelope is limited by the sustainable revenue to GDP ratio of about 18% which has been allocated to MDAs as indicated:
Office of the President and Cabinet
Parliament of Zimbabwe
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion
Industry and Commerce
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development
Mines & Mining Development
Environment, Climate and Wildlife
Transport and Infrastructural Development
Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Local Government and Public Works
Health and Child Care
Primary and Secondary Education
Higher & Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development
Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services
Youth Empowerment, Development and
Energy and Power Development
Information Communication Technology and Courier Services
National Housing and Social Amenities
Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs
Tourism & Hospitality Industry
Sport, Arts and Recreation
Skills Audit and Development
Judicial Services Commission
Public Service Commission
National Council of Chiefs
Human Rights Commission
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission
National Prosecuting Authority
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Zimbabwe Gender Commission
Zimbabwe Land Commission
Zimbabwe Media Commission
Debt Service: Interest Bill
Transfers to Provincial Councils and Local Authorities
Other Constitutional & Statutory Appropriations
Total Expenditure & Net Lending*
* This figure includes retention revenues of Z$1.3 trillion.
THE 2024 BUDGET PRIORITY AREAS
Mr. Speaker Sir, the priorities areas of the 2024 National Budget have largely benefited from the NDS1 Mid-Term Review, as well as input from various stakeholders.
Economic Growth & Macro-Stability
2024 Fiscal and Monetary Policy Thrust and Stability
The fiscal policy thrust for the 2024 National Budget is guided by the need to maintain a sustainable budget deficit within the SADC macro-economic convergence threshold of not more than 3% of GDP.
Going into 2024, Government seeks to consolidate and entrench the stability to facilitate economic transformation and preserve disposable incomes.
Fiscal restraint and tight monetary policy, together with a healthy current account position, provides the necessary conditions for currency and price stability.
Specifically, the Central Bank will target month-on-month inflation rate of less than 3% throughout 2024.
Civil Service Remuneration
Mr. Speaker Sir, as part of the remuneration review process for civil servants, Government will convert the current COVID and Cushioning allowances, aggregating to US$300, to be part of the pensionable emoluments across the board, effective January 2024.
Supporting Productive Value Chains
Mr. Speaker Sir, the country has achieved national food security through its agriculture support model. Going forward into 2024, the thrust is on consolidating the gains achieved so far.
In this regard, Z$4.3 trillion is being allocated to Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to spearhead the implementation of Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in 2024, the sector is projected to grow by 1.6%, whilst capacity utilisation is expected to average 60% on account of expected price and exchange rate stability, improvement in electricity supply, as well as increased usage of the local currency.
To sustain the gains recorded so far in the manufacturing sector, an amount of Z$130.5 billion is being allocated to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to support development and implementation of industrial policy and the retooling of the industry.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Government will continue to support the mining sector to ensure sustainable growth of the sector projected at 7.6% in 2024, driven by ongoing investment in PGMs, gold, coal and lithium, among others. (Slide 21)
In this regard, an amount of Z$132.7 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to implement the legislative and administrative reforms that provides a conducive environment for mining and beneficiation.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the tourism industry is expected to continue on a growth path driven by domestic, regional and international tourists’ arrivals.
To support the operations of the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, an amount of Z$71.1 billion has been allocated to spearhead tourism development in the country, as well as marketing of the country as a destination of choice.
Government recognises the importance of conserving our environment through combating the unsustainable exploitation
of our natural resources, addressing climate change impacts, as well as wildlife conservation.
Hence, an amount of Z$135.5 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife.
Infrastructure, ICT, and the Digital Economy
Mr. Speaker Sir, Larry Summers, a well-known economist, asserts that “expenditure on infrastructure is an investment in the long-term productivity and competitiveness of an economy”.
Therefore, outlays towards the sector seeks to re-establish functional infrastructure services by improving the quantity, quality and access in order to improve the country’s investment climate, reduce the cost of doing business, as well as enable citizens to engage in socio-economic activities.
Government will expand and modernise funding models that broaden the investor base in flexible and innovative ways such as asset recycling and PPPs.
Overall support for infrastructure, including devolution, during 2024 amounts to Z$10 trillion, comprising fiscal support of Z$8.1 trillion, complemented by statutory and other resources at Z$1.4 trillion, development partner support of Z$189.9 billion, as well as loans at Z$322.2 billion.
Mr. Speaker Sir, improvements in our transport systems remain critical given the need to enhance connectivity and access, including promotion of regional and international trade.
In this regard, Z$1.2 trillion has been allocated to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to facilitate the rehabilitation and construction of transport infrastructure such as roads, ports of entry, airports, as well as facilitate the turnaround of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Energy and Power Development has been allocated Z$90.1 billion to facilitate investments in energy generation, enhancing the transmission and distribution network, as well as sustaining the rural electrification programme.
Consistent with our NDS1 objective of attaining a digitally enabled economy, the Budget will support interventions that harness and promote the use of ICT services across the whole spectrum of the economy.
In this regard, an amount of Z$185.3 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.
Mr. Speaker Sir, former IMF Chief and the current President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde once stated that, “Housing is not just a basic need; it is an essential component of a vibrant and inclusive economy.”
Government will work closely with the private sector and other stakeholders to put in place appropriate packages and incentives that allow for enhanced financing and implementation of targeted housing delivery projects.
An amount of Z$353 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities to facilitate construction of houses to the general public, civil servants, as well as institutional accommodation.
Water and Sanitation
Mr. Speaker Sir, the 2024 National Budget has set aside Z$608.3 billion towards the following strategic priorities in the water and sanitation sector:—
- Rehabilitation and maintenance of existing water and sanitation infrastructure;
- Construction of additional water bodies, targeting completion of ongoing dam projects;
- Capacitation of local authorities, ZINWA and other agencies involved in water resource management; and
- Improving access to water and sanitation services in the rural areas through drilling of boreholes and the construction and rehabilitation of water supply schemes.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Culture
Mr. Speaker Sir, an amount of Z$210.2 billion has been set aside for the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training to support youths’ development and empowerment programmes, refurbishment and retooling of vocational training centres, as well as combating of drug and substance abuse.
In addition, the Ministry of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture has been allocated Z$136.2 billion to spearhead the development of the sports, recreation and cultural activities including rehabilitation of major stadia.
Women, Gender Equity, SMEs and War Veterans
Government is committed to empower the marginalised sections of society, including women and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Hence, Z$188.1 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to implement empowerment initiatives including recapitalisation of empowerment institutions such as Empower Bank, SMEDCO and Women Development Fund.
The 2024 National Budget also allocates Z$221.8 billion to the Ministry of Veterans of Liberation Struggle Affairs towards their monthly gratuities, medical benefits, funeral grants, school fees for their dependents, mop-up vetting exercise and capacitation of provincial and district structures.
Human Capital Development and Well-Being
Mr. Speaker Sir, interventions in core social services of education, health, as well as timely social protection for the vulnerable, will ensure that every child has an opportunity to maximise its human capital potential and contribution to society.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the 2024 National Budget seeks to consolidate recovery of public health sector services, across all levels of health care, through provision of the requisite tools of trade such as adequate working space, manpower, drugs and medical supplies across the value chain.
In this regard, an amount of Z$6.3 trillion has been allocated towards the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Mr. Speaker Sir, according to Gary Becker, a 1992 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, “Expenditure on education and skills development is an investment in human capital, which is a key driver of economic progress and social mobility”.
Primary and Secondary Education
Therefore, the 2024 National Budget prioritises provision of quality and easy access to education and other learning opportunities for children which are central to the attainment of SDG 4.
In this regard, Z$8 trillion has been set aside for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for teaching and learning materials, as well as teacher capacitation at primary and secondary education level.
This includes resources for the procurement of sanitary wear for disadvantaged girls.
Higher and Tertiary Education
Mr. Speaker Sir, I propose to allocate Z$2.4 trillion to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development to support implementation of Education 5.0 which promotes a knowledge driven economy that is sustained by innovation, industrialisation and modernisation.
Mr. Speaker Sir, an amount of Z$43 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development for undertaking national skills audit that seeks to identify existing human capital gaps that need to be addressed.
The audit will also attempt to identify the skills for the future, especially in areas such as generative Artificial Intelligence, as well as areas of potential national comparative advantage.
In line with the NDS1 theme of “leaving no one or no place behind ”, provision of decent, inclusive and sustainable social protection services remains a priority for Government targeting vulnerable groups-(persons with disabilities, children, the elderly).
In this regard, a budget of Z$2.4 trillion has been set aside for the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to implement social protection programmes such as Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), Harmonised cash transfer programme, Food Deficit Mitigation, health assistance, child protection services, support to the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Effective Institution Building and Governance
Mr. Speaker Sir, successful economic transformation hinges on effective institutions of governance, which promotes private sector development through a conducive economic environment.
To facilitate legislative reforms including, the alignment of laws to the Constitution, the 2024 National Budget has allocated Z$1.1 trillion to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
In addition, Government will continue to capacitate and reform critical institutions of governance to improve the doing business environment.
State Owned Enterprise (SOEs) Reform
Mr. Speaker Sir, as part of the SOEs Reform Agenda, Government is addressing the conflict of interest that arose from exercising both the ownership and regulatory functions which undermined progress on implementation of critical reforms required to improve performance, as well as achieve the National Vision.
The Mutapa Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund was established to deal with this.
The Fund will, therefore, be expected to implement measures that will strengthen the targeted parastatals’ governance frameworks and ensure operational profitability of the SOEs.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the security forces play an important role of protecting the country’s territorial integrity, national interest and sovereignty over land and air space, against both internal and external aggression. “Peace is key to economic development”.
Therefore, an amount of Z$8.6 trillion has been allocated towards the security cluster to meet their remuneration, food rations, operational equipment and the necessary infrastructure for the Ministry of Defence, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Prisons and Correctional Service, as well as Special Services.
Tripartite Negotiating Forum
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) is a Statutory body established through the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Act of 2019.
In this regard, resources have been set aside to meet employment, operations and capital costs of TNF Secretariat.
Zimbabwe as a Constitutional democracy State values the importance of oversight institutions on the operations of the State and welfare of the general public.
To support the office of the Auditor General’s operational requirements, Z$117 billion has been provided for under this Budget, to cover employment costs, training and development of staff, digitalisation, as well as for rehabilitation and upgrading of their office space.
Parliament plays an important role of legislation and oversight over the Executive.
Therefore, to support the functions of Parliament, Z$475.1 billion has been provided under the 2024 National Budget for the day-to-day operations, vehicles, Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and other related equipment for both Parliament staff and Hon. Members of Parliament.
Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission is central to the effective and efficient delivery of public services through recruitment and development of civil service personnel.
To support the Commission to deliver on its mandate of providing a motivated and capable public service able to deliver quality public services, the Budget has set aside Z$1.4 trillion to support interventions by the institution targeting ICT infrastructure, particularly the Human Resources Information Management System, Pension and Payroll Systems, procurement of buses for the service and other major infrastructure projects.
Other Independent Commissions have been allocated as follows:
- Judicial Services Commission Z$274 billion;
- Human Rights Commission Z$42.1 billion;
- National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Z$56 billion;
- National Prosecuting Authority Z$98.3 billion;
- Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission Z$59.6 billion;
- Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Z$116.6 billion;
- Zimbabwe Gender Commission Z$48.5 billion;
- Zimbabwe Land Commission Z$53 billion;
- Zimbabwe Media Commission Z$35 billion.
Devolution & Decentralisation
Mr. Speaker Sir, the 2024 National Budget has allocated Z$2.7 trillion (5% of projected revenue) under the Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfers for provinces to undertake local projects that improve provision of public services that reflect the needs of communities in different regions and localities. (Slide 21)
Local authorities play a pivotal role in service provision at local level, especially on restoring water supplies, fixing sewage systems, repairing roads to complement central Government and development partners efforts.
An amount of Z$1.2 trillion has been set aside for the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to spearhead development within communities.
Furthermore, the National Council of Chiefs has been allocated Z$40 billion to enhance management of traditional leadership systems.
Image Building, Engagement and Re-engagement
Mr. Speaker Sir, Government is making progress on engagement and re-engagement under the institutionalised structured dialogue platform to underpin the Zimbabwe’s Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution process.
The allocation of Z$976 billion to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is meant to advance image building, engagement and re-engagement programme.
In addition, Z$122.4 billion has been set aside for the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to improve the country’s image though robust information management and dissemination.
TAX POLICY MEASURES
Mr. Speaker Sir, the measures that I am presenting seek to provide relief to taxpayers, enhance the capacity of Government to generate additional revenue, in particular, from micro & small enterprises and mining, as well as strengthen tax administration.
Tax Relief Measures
I propose to review the Tax-Free Threshold to Z$750 000 per month or Z$9 000,000 per annum, and adjust the tax bands to end at Z$270 million per annum, above which tax will be levied at a rate of 40%, with effect from 1 January 2024.
Bonus Tax Free Threshold
I, further, propose to review the local currency Tax-Free Bonus Threshold from Z$500,000 to Z$7 500 000, with effect from 1 November 2023.
Small-Scale and Subsistence Farmers
Mr. Speaker Sir, in order to support smallholder and subsistent farmers in the delivery of grain to the Grain Marketing Board and other commercial buyers, I propose to review the tax-exempt threshold on withholding tax on agricultural commodities that include soya beans, sunflower, groundnuts and cotton seed from US$1 000 per annum to US$5 000 or local currency equivalent.
Suspension of duty on Motor Vehicles imported by Safari and Tour Operators
In order to allow the tourism sector to fully recuperate, I propose to renew the suspension of duty on new motor vehicles imported by Safari and Tour Operators for a further 2 years, beginning 1 January 2024.
Revenue Enhancing Measures
Taxation of the Micro and Small Enterprises
Licensing of Traders
In order to restore the supply chain from the manufacturer, wholesaler to retailer, I propose that only licensed and Tax Compliant Operators procure goods from manufacturers and wholesalers.
In addition, I therefore, propose that only traders registered for VAT purposes and in possession of valid Tax Clearance Certificates be eligible to procure goods from manufacturers.
VAT Registration Threshold
I, further, propose to review downwards, the VAT registration threshold to US$25 000, or local currency equivalent, with effect from 1 January 2024.
Enterprises that meet the above threshold should, thus, register and account for VAT, failure of which applicable penalties will be invoked.
Minimum Domestic Top-Up Tax: Fostering Fair and Effective Tax Systems
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Domestic Minimum Top Up Tax (DMTT) is part of the Global Rules which aim to ensure that global profits of large multinational enterprises are taxed at a minimum Corporate Income Tax rate of 15%.
Granting of generous tax incentives result in an effective tax rate of less than 15% for some multinationals. Under the Global Tax Rules, where a tax incentive results in an effective rate of less than 15%, the tax jurisdiction where the multinational is headquartered collects the difference between the effective tax under the tax incentive and the minimum effective rate of 15% (The Top-Up Tax).
The DMTT allows the country where the low tax profits arise from the tax incentive to collect the Top-Up Tax rather than ceding taxing rights to the headquarter jurisdiction.
The calculation of the DMTT will be based on the effective tax rate charged on the jurisdictional profits not the jurisdictions’ statutory corporate income tax. The DMTT only taxes the tax incentives to the same extent that the same income will be included in the headquarter country of the company.
I, therefore, propose to enact DMTT rules to guard against ceding taxing rights to foreign jurisdictions on top-up tax arising from tax incentives that are provided to those investments.
Surcharge on High Value Vehicles
Honourable Members would be aware that Government, in June 2023, introduced a 30% surcharge on motor vehicles with a minimum Free-on-Board value of US$120 000, aimed at enhancing the wealth redistributive function of taxes.
There is, thus, scope to strengthen the concept, in view of the volumes of high value motor vehicles being imported.
I, therefore, propose to expand the scope of the Surcharge as follows, with effect from 1 January 2024:
FOB Value (US$)
120 000-300 000
300 001-700 000
Above 700 000
Mining Tax Revenue Contribution
Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty
I propose that all documents or agreements for the transfer or disposal or lease of mineral rights be lodged with the State for review and approval before the transaction is concluded.
In addition, I propose that no transfer of mining rights shall be approved without payment of capital gains tax and stamp duty or any other tax due on the value of the transaction. Failure to abide by this condition shall render the disposal or lease of mining rights null and void.
Sharing of Revenue with the State on Disposal of Mineral Rights
In view of the recent developments where mining rights are disposed of privately outside the country and at astronomic prices, I propose that revenue derived therefrom be shared equally with the State.
Furthermore, in order to enable Government to track the movement of mining rights for tax purposes, I, propose that a register of mining rights with a record of applications, grants, variations, dealings, assignments, transfers, suspensions and cancellations of rights be maintained and accessible to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
Notification of the Intention to Transfer or Lease Mining Rights
I propose that all agreements for the transfer or disposal or lease of mining rights be lodged with the State and reviewed and approved before they are implemented.
Substantial mineral revenues can be generated from beneficiation of key minerals. With a significant resource endowment of Platinum Group of Metals, gold, lithium, and diamonds, economic transformation and development can be anchored on beneficiation.
Within this context, any lithium value addition process that does not result in the production of lithium carbonate is not regarded as beneficiation, hence, is liable to an export tax.
Lithium producing companies should submit their beneficiation plans no later than 31 March 2024.
Furthermore, no licences shall be granted to a prospective lithium company without approval of a beneficiation plan.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Levy on Selected Minerals
As a token of remembrance of the mountains that nature offered, local communities should be provided with basic services that include water, health care, electricity and sanitation, among others.
Development of mines, thus, present an opportunity to improve conditions within these communities, hence, I propose to introduce a 1% levy on gross proceeds of lithium, black granite and other cut or uncut dimensional stones and quarry stones.
Financing Road Infrastructure
Mr. Speaker Sir, in order to raise resources to finance road infrastructure, I propose to introduce the following measures:
Strategic Reserve Levy
I propose to review upwards, the Strategic Reserve Levy by US$0.03 and US$0.05 per litre of diesel and petrol, respectively, with effect from 1 January 2024.
Toll Fees are currently pegged between US$2 and US$10, depending on the type of vehicle.
I, therefore, propose an upward review of Toll Fees on premium roads, that is, Harare-Beitbridge and Plumtree-Mutare and other roads, with effect from 1 January 2024.
Revenue derived from the increased fees will be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Passport and Central Vehicles Registry Fees
I, further, propose that passport and selected fees charged by the Central Vehicle Registry be increased, with effect from 1 January 2024.
Additional revenue generated from the above measures will be ring-fenced towards road infrastructure development.
Levy on Sugar Content of Beverages
In response to the growing concerns on the adverse effects of consumption of sugar, in particular, contained in beverages, tax on beverages has been implemented in a number of countries, including in the SADC region.
The consumption of high sugar content beverages is linked to increased risk of non-communicable diseases.
It is, thus, necessary to discourage consumption of high sugar content beverages, hence, I propose to introduce a levy of US$0.02 per gram of sugar contained in beverages, excluding water, with effect from 1 January 2024.
Funds derived from this levy will be ring-fenced for therapy and procurement of cancer equipment for diagnosis.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the key fundamental of tax policy is to address the regressivity of tax that occurs when individuals in a low-income category pay a higher percentage of their income as compared to individuals in higher income brackets. Consequently, the tax incidences fall disproportionately on the low-income groups resulting in inequality.
In order to ensure that every person contributes to the Fiscus in line with their levels of income, I propose to introduce a Wealth Tax levied at a rate of 1% of market values of residential properties with a minimum value of US$100 000.
Resources derived from the levy will be ring-fenced towards urban infrastructure development, in particular roads, water, sewer and community health centres.
Principal Private Residential properties owned by elderly persons above 70 years will, however, be exempt from the tax.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the growth of illicit trade, in particular, cigarettes, has increased contraband cigarettes produced in legally registered factories under registered brands, thereby decelerating the growth of revenue to the Fiscus.
A digital platform that provides real time, traceable and authentic data on locally manufactured goods would be beneficial to the Fiscus.
Government, will, thus, explore implementation of a digital platform on locally produced goods, in particular, cigarettes.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the challenge before us is to Consolidate the Economic Transformation already underway, to ensure that the benefits accrue to every Zimbabwean, in line with the spirit of leaving no one and no place behind.
Change is inevitable but transformation is a choice (Heather Ash Amara), therefore, while we celebrate the successes recorded so far, there is still a lot of work ahead of us to consciously implement transformational economic policies, which have a positive impact on the majority of citizens, especially the poor and the marginalised societies.
The desired economic transformation is a responsibility of all stakeholders, especially Government, business and labour, with each playing their critical role.
On its part, Government is prepared to fully play its role of providing an enabling environment, through ease of doing business reforms, investment in public infrastructure and provision of effective public institutions.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I finally commend the 2024 National Budget to this august House in compliance with the law, and it is accompanied by the following documents:
- The 2024 National Budget Statement;
- 2024 Infrastructure Investment Plan;
- The 2024 Citizen’s Budget;
- The Estimates of Expenditure (Blue Book);
- Finance Bill;
- Appropriation Bill;
• Statement on Public Debt; and
- NDS1 Mid Term Review.
I thank you.
The Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion (Hon. Prof. M. Ncube) laid the Budget Statement and accompanying documents on the Table.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 5th December, 2023.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTRAY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Seven Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 12th December 2023.
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 29th November, 2023
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o`clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
NATIONAL BUDGET PRESENTATION
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA): I have one announcement Hon. Members. I wish to remind the House that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion will present the 2024 National Budget tomorrow, Thursday, 30th November, 2023 at a Quarter to Three o’clock p.m.
HONMUWODZERI: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir. In terms of the Standing Rules and Orders, Parliament must have a Business of the House Committee which should come up with a Parliamentary calendar. But last week Hon. Members of this House were shocked when it was announced that this House would adjourn for a week without the sitting and approval of the Business of the House Committee.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Committee is yet to meet and it will meet when the Hon. Speaker is here. Thank you for your concern.
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA): Hon. Members, I have the following apologies from Members of the Executive: The Vice President, Hon. Gen. Rtd. Dr. Constantino,G.D.N Chiwenga
The Vice President, Hon. Col. Rtd. Kembo.D. Mohadi
The Minister of Defence, Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Zhemu Soda.
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. P. Kambamura.
The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. July Moyo.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Hon. Amb. Dr. Frederick Shava.
The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon. S.G. Nyoni.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Ministers. As we have alluded to, the Ministers of Energy, Public Service, Foreign Affairs, Industry and Commerce have not been available in this august House every Wednesday, since we commenced sitting, to answer questions to Members of Parliament. Mr. Speaker Sir, it then defeats this day and it weakens the legislature as an institution and with all due respect Mr. Speaker Sir, to then hope that the Leader of the House answers questions on behalf of these Ministers, is asking for too much because ordinarily, the Hon. Minister of Justice ends up giving general responses which do not speak to the policy nature of the questions that Hon. Members would want to pose to the Hon. Ministers.
So, our appeal Hon. Minister, is to say there is need Hon. Speaker, to ensure that a message is sent through to the Hon. Leader of the House, to ensure that the Executive should actually take this august House with the seriousness that is deserves. I thank you
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I think your concern has been noted by the Leader of Government Business, but when you are asking for Ministers to come and indicate as if they do not want to come to the House, I think your concern is that you just want them in the House and the Hon. Leader of Government of Business will take note of that.
HON. MUGWADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think this House inasmuch as all sides of the House would appreciate the Ministers and Deputy Ministers coming to this august House. Ministers are human beings and Ministers have a double responsibility, Hon. Speaker. [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, order! Hon. Members on my left, when you were giving out your points of order, I gave you all the room to be heard. Just wait, let us hear what he has to say.
HON. MUGWADI: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker, I am sure the Hon. Members from the right side are quite aware that there is a man called Tshabangu outside there who will be waiting for this behaviour.
My point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, without taking much of your time - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Member, are you through?
HON. MUGWADI: I am not through Hon. Speaker. I am being interjected. My message is that all Hon. Members of this House want Ministers and Deputy Ministers to be in the House to answer questions. There is no debate about that reality, but we must appreciate that Ministers do not exercise their ministerial responsibility in Parliament per se. They have duties as prescribed by their ministries and when they are not there, it is too early Mr. Speaker, to start - [AN. HON. MEMBER: Withdraw the Tshabangu] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, you are actually eating into the time of questions without notice. Let us get serious – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. GUYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and good afternoon. Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. My name is Phillip Guyo representing Buhera North Constituency. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. What is the Government’s position in terms of providing shelter and food after a natural disaster?
Mr. Speaker Sir, people have been left homeless and without food when the country received heavy rains and storms a month ago. The District Civil Protection Unit is not capacitated to do much and the affected families have not received assistance. What measures are you putting in place for those affected since the country is about to receive heavy storms? I thank you
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Leader of Government Business, can I direct it to the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question where the Hon. Member, if I got him correctly, is asking the policy position if there is a disaster.
The policy position, Mr. Speaker is, once a disaster occurs, the local leadership is supposed to inform the District Development Coordinator (DDC) and then what happens is, the Central Government will be informed. Depending on the extent of the disaster, the President can declare a national disaster to allow mobilisation of resources, because when a disaster occurs, you need funds to fund that particular crisis that has happened to mitigate against it. So, there are no funds which can be budgeted for things which are unforeseen. You will never budget enough. So the Government will declare a national disaster depending on the extent or the Civil Protection Unit can take over and ensure that whatever is needed is done.
I have noticed that the second part of his question relates to a specific incident. There is a difference between the policy position and the lack of resources or lack of mobilisation of resources, but from the question, the Hon. Member is fully aware that there are structures to deal with disaster management. With his concern, perhaps what he might need to do is to put the question in writing and direct the question to the Minister so he can deal specifically with the area that he is referring to. In terms of the El Nino phenomena that we faced with the relevant Ministry, that is Local Government, they are mobilising to ensure that we are prepared for that disaster. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. MAHACHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. What is Government policy with regards to the welfare of our police force? This includes their accommodation, uniforms and access to health facilities such as clinics especially for those working along our borders. For example, there is the Provincial Headquarters for Manicaland Province. There is Murahwa building that is no longer fit to be used as offices for police officers as it has a leaking roof. We would want to know what steps the Government is taking to refurbish police stations and police camps that were built using wood so that they can be built using bricks, such as is the case with Marange Police Station. There should also be boreholes in police camps so that our police officers have access to clean and safe water.
I would like to give another example, that of Mudzi Police Station. They get their water from the nearby river. This water is not safe for human consumption. The police leave their work to go and fetch water from the river instead of performing their duties of arresting those who would have broken the law. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for such a brilliant question that has been asked by the Hon. Member. Mr. Speaker, Government has a single fund. Tomorrow, the Minister of Finance will be presenting the National Budget where he is going to be allocating funds to Ministries. Thereafter, he is going to bring Finance Bill which as an august House, we will interrogate, thereafter we will pass the Bill after making the consideration. He has come up with a very good question. Their desire is to ensure that the standard of living for the police officers is improved. I urge the Hon. Member to remember the question that he has posed to me when the Vote is under debate and we come up with a solution on how best we can tackle this issue as regards the police officers.
*HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary to the Leader of the House is, is it not a disgrace as a Government that the police officers fail to pass out because they cannot be issued with uniforms to wear.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Member, is that a supplementary question? You should ask it as a new question.
*HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the first question that was asked was on the uniforms for police officers. That is where my supplementary question is arising from. Is it not a disgrace; the uniforms of the police officers was part of the first question?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: You will ask it as a new question.
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: My supplementary question is also in connection with what the Hon. Member raised. During this time of 16-days of activism against Gender-Based-Violence – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Let the Hon. Member be heard in silence. Can you go ahead!
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for your protection. During these 16-days of activism against…
HON. HWENDE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. There is a supplementary question here which has not been answered and you cannot entertain another Member before he answers. You must allow the Minister to answer first before you can allow another Hon. Member to ask a question.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende, I have advised the Member to ask that question separately. So, I dismissed it as a supplementary question. Can you please go ahead!
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is during this time of commemorating the 16-days of activism against gender-based violence, police is not capacitated to deal with issues of gender-based violence because of transport. People are reporting but police are saying, they do not have transport to go to the scene of accident. I would like to know what the Government is doing so that we are on the scene of gender-based violence in time to avoid death to women. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Actually, it is not very correct that police do not have transport. In fact, if you have noticed over the last two years, there has been renewal of the fleet for the police even in rural areas, we have had a significant increase in police vehicle presence. It is not very correct that they do not have. Actually, one of the best things that His Excellency has done over the last two years is to capacitate both the national army, the police and the prisons in terms of vehicles. If Hon. Members want to be very honest, the presence of vehicles from the security sector within the community has increased.
However, when we have 16-days of activism against gender-based violence, it does not mean there is an increase during those 16 days. It means that it is a period where we must raise awareness that this is a behaviour that is not wanted. It does not mean that when we are having those days, the police must immediately be capacitated beyond what they are now. It is a fact that we need to increase the fleet but during the 16-days of activism, what we need is to have more people speaking out against gender-based violence. I thank you.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to ask the Hon. Minister whether he has ever been at public commuter pick up points such as Samora, Chinhoyi and along Second Street Extension and see a lot of police officers who will be looking for transport to go home. We see a lot of police officers riding on public motor vehicles. What measures have been put in place to ensure that the police can travel comfortably? If there are any other cities, you may disclose but in Harare, they do not have adequate transport. They are at times seen at undesignated pick up points looking for transport.
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. This is a new question that is totally different from the issue of operational vehicles. The original question was about operational vehicles to curb gender-based violence. This one is about vehicles to ferry officers to their homes which is different. I thank you.
*HON. MUWOMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I represent Makoni Constituency. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. What is Government policy with regards to the provision of drugs for chronic diseases such as Hypertension and Diabetes? Our rural folk go as far as Rusape town to get medication and tested for these ailments such as High Blood Pressure and Diabetes. Therefore, what is Government’s policy in terms of provision of such medications and testing at a nearby hospital?
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question. Mr. Speaker, what the Hon. Member has said is correct. The challenge with regards to drug provision is not only in communal lands, but also in urban areas. We used to have companies which made drugs, that is our pharmaceuticals and we were hard hit by sanctions as a result of having repossessed our land under the Land Reform Programme. The CAPS Pharmaceuticals which was located on your way to Highfields went into liquidation and it fell down.
In the Second Republic as we have seen, the President went to the Egyptians and we now have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Egyptians and as a result of that Memorandum of Understanding, we have been able to secure some drugs. We have also approached the People’s Republic of China and expressed the challenges that we are facing as a result of the illegal sanctions that have been imposed on us and they built warehouses – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - So, Hon. Speaker, I was saying for us to be able to – [HON. HWENDE: On a point of order.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order! There is no point of Order there. Hon. Minister, you may continue with your answer.
Hon. Hwende approached the Chair
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker Sir, - [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please withdraw what you have said? Hon. Members, let us be mature in this House. We are representing our constituencies who want to know what is going in this House.
HON. HWENDE: I withdraw.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: I was saying that His Excellency, the President has noticed that our people were being affected by the illegal sanctions that were causing drug shortages, he went to his friends. The Egyptians agreed to assist us and they should come to set up factories to manufacture drugs in this country, but before that is done, in the interim, drugs are going to be imported from Egypt so that our people can get drugs.
So, plans are afoot, those built in Manicaland were the warehouses for NatPharm so that they can store drugs. Motor vehicles to distribute drugs nationwide are also now available. It might take a bit of time to ensure that everybody gets these drugs in their local clinics, but plans are underway and they are ongoing. I thank you – [HON. ZHOU: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Order! Hon. Zhou withdraw your words.
HON. ZHOU: I withdraw that vanoisa list kuna Tshabangu…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: No, no! Just withdraw
HON. ZHOU: I withdraw.
*HON. HWENDE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Minister did not answer the question. The question was people are dying in the hospitals, there are no drugs, we cannot sit here and the Minister is telling lies. Even Panadol tablets are not there…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: First of all, I want you to withdraw that the Hon. Minister has lied.
*HON. HWENDE: What the Hon. Minister has said and what is obtaining on the ground is different. People are dying, there are no drugs in the hospitals. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Are the drugs there in the hospitals? Why are people having to buy gloves, syringes…
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister has already answered the question. He went further to talk of the plans that are on ongoing. He said sooner or later, people will be able to access the drugs.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member who was raising a point of order and accusing the Minister of not answering the question must ask his own question and not to say someone’s question has not been fully answered when the person who asked the question is satisfied.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon Chief Whip. That is why we did not ask the Minister to answer that question.
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: I want to thank the leader of the House for the response that he gave. However, my supplementary question pertains to balanced diet in Government hospitals. There are certain conditions that can be treated using a balanced diet. These are diseases such as diabetes, Kwashiorkor, Marasmus (slimming disease), Measles, Tuberculosis, wounds and bone diseases. We have dieticians in hospitals who are in charge of administering diets for different ailments. My question is, do you have any plans to ensure that there is a balanced diet in hospitals?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think that is a specific question that has to be answered by the Hon. Minister of Health. Please, put your question in writing so you can get a proper response.
HON. MURAMBIWA: We heard what Government is doing to ensure there are medicines in hospitals, but the majority of these clinics and hospitals have very few doctors, maybe one or two. What plans does Government have in place to ensure that such hospitals and clinics are adequately staffed?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: That is a new question.
HON. MUGWADI: Thank you very much. If I may remind you Hon. Speaker that the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. J Mudenda, according to Standing Rules and Orders, made a ruling on the dress code pertaining to MPs. I realise Hon. Sithole has violated that ruling by putting on a yellow tie. I think it should be considered that he be ejected out of the House.
HON. KUKA: Good afternoon Hon Speaker Sir. I represent Mkoba South Constituency. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. According to NDS1 which runs from 2021 to 2025, there is a Decent Work Agenda where the country seeks to promote decent work and economic growth. In light of that, what is Government doing to ensure that the goals of NDS1 are realised, especially to ensure that workers in both public and private sector are not retrenched from institutions which are facing economic challenges? For instance, we have BATA Shoe Company in Gweru, which is currently engaged in massive retrenchments. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Leader of Government Business, did you get his question? Can you go direct to the point Hon. Member?
HON. KUKA: My question is, what is Government doing to ensure that the goals of NDS1 are realised, especially to ensure that workers in both public and private sectors are not retrenched from institutions which are facing economic challenges? For example, BATA Shoe Company in Gweru, which is currently engaged in a massive retrenchment process. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, the issue of retrenchment in private companies is regulated by law, whether there is NDS1 or no NDS1. If a company is struggling, I follow the necessary laws that apply to retrenchment. If it is approved and what they have submitted satisfies the requirements of retrenchment, then that will go. I so submit Mr. Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Supplementary Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON MUSHORIWA: My supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir is on the Government Blue Print, the NDS1. Does the response by the Hon. Minister confirm that the Economic Blue Print (the NDS1) that is being run by the Government is failing, given that the economic fundamentals that underpin that economic blue print are failing to create a suitable economic environment which allows companies and entities to perform well?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I cannot see the connection between the two questions. There is no supplementary question there.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is very simple. I am asking the Hon. Minister…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.
HON. TSITSI ZHOU: My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. The recurrence of the El Niño induced drought has caused serious hunger in most parts of the country. What is the Government’s plan to alleviate hunger that is affecting almost everyone in the country since at the present moment, food aid is only given to vulnerable groups?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, indeed climate change is with us and because of that, you will realise that the President, in his wisdom, decided to have a Ministry of Agriculture that is linked to water. What Government is doing is to shift away from rain-fed agriculture and to concentrate on irrigation. Not only that, that is the reason again why Government came up with a climate proof agriculture in the form of Pfumbvudza/Intwasa.
All those programmes, we are trying to deviate from the normal part that we have been doing in terms of how we produce our food. Not only that, you will realise Mr. Speaker, that in the distribution of inputs, we were distributing the same inputs regardless of the ecological region. Now we are saying if you are in a dry region, the best is to distribute small grains there, the traditional grains and areas where rainfall is better, that is where we encourage people to grow maize. So, you will realise that the policy has now shifted whereby we are now saying if you are in a dry region, concentrate on crops or livestock that are suited for that region. If you are in a region that is suitable for a particular crop, concentrate on that. That way, we will end up when we harvest, with a pool of grain that will ensure that we are self-sufficient. What we are doing this year, the inputs that are being distributed and the hectarage that is going to be put under irrigation will be sufficient to ensure that we will go through the El Niño drought that is facing us.
+HON. P. DUBE: My supplementary question to the Minister is, may he clarify what really happens when it comes to the distribution of Presidential inputs. I got a chance to visit the rural areas and found that yes, the inputs are now there but you find five people sharing a 5 kg packet. Is that what is supposed to happen and on top of that people are made to pay $1 to transport these inputs so that they get to them. Can he clarify if that is what is supposed to happen?
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, in our constituency where I come from, we count the number of households in the area and the inputs we received and share accordingly after we have given the Ministry of Agriculture information related to distribution. If what the Hon. Member is saying is happening, it means that his question needs to be written down that in this area, people are being told to share a bag of seed, then we see where the problem is. Sometimes people we live with are the ones who are stealing the seeds or inputs which are meant to be distributed to the people. This other day, I saw a video of people fighting for a sack of seed. His question needs to be written down and we investigate why the seed which was meant to be distributed to the people did not reach the intended beneficiaries.
*HON. SHONGEDZA: Thank you Mr Speaker. My question was meant for the Minister of Home Affairs but since he is not around, I am now directing it to the Leader of Government Business. What is the Government policy with regard to those who died during the liberation struggle and are buried in different places far away from their homes? Right now, parents and relatives are selling their livestock to secure money for reburials. Some of them travel as far as Mashonaland Central to Mutare to exhume and rebury their relatives to their respective homes. What is the Government policy concerning that?
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): The responsible Minister is around and he is the one who oversees on those who died during the liberation struggle. Let me allow him to respond to this question.
*THE MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Hon Ziyambi, Leader of the House and I am also offering my respect to the Speaker. The question that has been asked by the Hon. Member makes me very emotional since I am one of those who fought during the liberation struggle…
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Sithole, he has not yet said anything so what is your point of order?
*HON. G. SITHOLE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Our Standing Rules and Orders clearly state that on Wednesday, that is the date we ask questions. When we ask questions, we want to hear the Government policy not the Minister’s feelings. His feelings are not Government policy – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon Members, that is why I said you have risen on a point of order but the Minister has not said anything.
HON. G. SITHOLE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Sithole what is the point of order? He has not said anything.
*HON. G. SITHOLE: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Our Standing Rules and Orders say that every Wednesday, Members of Parliament can ask questions. When we ask questions, we want the policy position of Government and not the feelings of the Minister. If the Minister says what he feels, that is not a policy position. He becomes emotional because that is not a policy position – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order in the House! Order! Hon. Member, the Minister has not said anything and you are already saying point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order, order! Let us wait for his response. If there is a supplementary question then we can pause the supplementary question.
*THE MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA): We recently had the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle after the new Cabinet after the recent elections. This was created by His Excellency, the President, Hon. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. The fact that the Ministry was created clearly shows that our President places a lot of importance to the issues that pertain to war veterans. That we have a full Ministry that looks at the affairs of war veterans which is on par with other Government Ministries, I want to thank the President for that.
In the same trajectory, we are going to be seized with issues that deal with the affairs of war veterans as a Ministry. I want to thank the President that after 40 years, we now have a Ministry.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, if you repeat that, I am going to chase you out of this House.
HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA: I stand by what I say. I thank His Excellency the President because he has been able to - [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] –
HON. MAVHUDZI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MAVHUDZI: Hon. Speaker Sir, we are here to discuss the policy. I am kindly asking the Hon. Minister to answer in regards to the policy position. We do not want his opinions, we want him to answer specifically to the policy position.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, please wait until he has finished answering then you can comment. Give him the right to be heard in silence.
*HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA: Mr. Speaker, what I am able to respond to, comes from the appointing authority, from my principal – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - His Excellency, the President who appointed me Minister.
Since I am a recently appointed Minister, when I was given the terms of reference to lead this particular Ministry, I still am there. So he is the appointing authority. His Excellency, the President, Dr. Mnangagwa said I must look at everything that involves the liberation war veterans - those that went to the liberation struggle, the war collaborators and the rest of them. So as the Minister, I am waiting to put in place a theme to ensure that the Ministry can start running. Tomorrow, there will be a national budget that will then make my task much easier as you suggest. Once I am given a budget, I will have the parameters within which to carry out the task.
I am concerned about those who died within the liberation struggle, those that died in Zimbabwe in various places and other related issues pertaining to war veterans as regards the law that you enacted as ZANU PF and MDC, as COPAC. During the COPAC period, we ensured that the people’s Constitution and wishes are respected. I thank you
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I am not allowing any supplementary questions.
*HON. KARIKOGA: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. When we started working as Parliamentarians, Mr. Speaker through your wisdom, you saw it fit for us to be inducted. The majority who I face did not attend the induction. We are going to waste a lot of time, wasting precious time for things that they should have learnt during the induction. We drove from far to come here only for those that live 20km from Parliament to make a lot of noise when we have driven 600km. It defeats the whole purpose.
It is my plea, you have the register for people who attended the training. Those who were not trained should go back and be trained because we will spend five years facing the same problem with people who do not know the reason why they came to Parliament. I thank you.
HON. G. K. HLATYWAYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Section 210 of the 2013 Constitution provides for an independent complaints mechanism for receiving and investigating complaints from members of the public about misconduct on the part of members of the security services and remedying any harm caused by such misconduct.
In October 2022, the Independent Complaints Commission Act was promulgated into law. It is mandated to appoint Commissioners, this did not happen. The Commission is extremely important, given the prevalence and history of State sponsored violence and human rights violations, abuses in our country…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your question Hon. Member?
HON. G. K. HLATYWAYO: It was also one of the recommendations that was made by the Motlanthe Commission after the August 1 incident in 2018…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, what is your question? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Member, please sit down. I asked you what your question is. Ask your question.
HON. G. HLATYWAYO: My question is, why has Government not appointed the Commissioners to the Independent Complaints Commission?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you, that is a question.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, that is not a policy question. It is an operational question.
HON. MUNEMO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is the ministerial position regarding the transfer and replacement of teachers, especially to low lying borders of our State, in light of those schools that have taken time without teachers after they have been transferred? Students may go for two to three terms without getting replacements. What is the policy of the Government regarding that?
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Regarding transfer of teachers, it is an individual decision for a teacher to seek transfer to an area that he or she wants. Regarding the plight of students in the marginalised districts like Binga, Gokwe North, Rushinga, Muzarabani and so on, Government has a deliberate policy to ensure that teachers – coming 2024, we are going to have a decentralised recruitment Mr. Speaker Sir, so that we deal with those. Most disadvantaged districts are going to have teachers and our learners will not be disadvantaged. I thank you.
HON. S. ZIYAMBI: My supplementary question is, we have noted with concern that newly recruited teachers spend two months at a school where they are deployed. Thereafter, they now write letters of transfer on preferred schools. That will result in disadvantaging marginalised areas like what my colleague Hon. Member said. What is Government’s policy with regards to the transfer of newly appointed teachers to areas where they are deployed? Thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to thank Hon. Ziyambi for such a very important question. The phenomenon has been that, after deployment, teachers were deployed to areas that they were not interested in. It was a culmination of the policy of centralised deployment. We have identified the disadvantages of centralised deployment whereby a person from Manicaland is deployed to Matabeleland North. After serving for two months, that person wishes to go back to Manicaland. In order to address that problem, that is why we are going to resort to decentralisation so that we encourage teachers from Matabeleland to be deployed in areas of their choice, most likely in their home provinces. I so submit.
*HON. MUGWADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me take this opportunity to ask my question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education…
HON. HWENDE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. HWENDE: I think it is important for the Speaker to be consistent. You just ruled that you are not taking any supplementary or point of order. Even on point of order, you ruled that when someone is rising on a point of order, they must quote the specific Order. I think now you are not doing the same regarding the Members from this side, but you are only applying your ruling to Members from this side. You need to be consistent as a Speaker and stick to your rules.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende, I am as constant as the Northern Star. Hon Mugwadi, can you please go on.
*HON. MUGWADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, let me proceed as the one who has been recognised by the Chair to proceed. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, there is an issue and I do not know if you are aware, does your department also come up with statistics about schools that are in bad shape, that are being damaged by the rain or schools that have not been repaired for a long time?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mugwadi, that is a new question. Please sit down.
*HON. MUGWADI: Hon. Speaker, as an obedient child, I will sit down.
HON. MAKUMIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to question the Minister of Local Government and Public Works with respect to the payment of municipal rates and settlement of arrears to local authorities by Government departments which are owing rural and urban local authorities. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. This is a very specific question which relates to the monies owed by the State and the fact that he alluded that these are monies owed, means they must be paid. I thank you.
HON. MAKUMIRE: My supplementary question Mr. Speaker is, the Government is owing bills to local authorities and we want to know when the Government is going to settle these arrears. This is crippling service delivery in these local authorities. Thank you.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Garbage collection which is supposed to be done by local authorities has been taken over by another company. Right now…
HON. MAKUMIRE: On a point of order! The Hon. Minister must respond to the question that I have asked. He is trying to evade the question because he really knows that the Government is sabotaging local authorities – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Mr. Speaker, may I be protected…
HON. MUSA NCUBE: On a point of order!
THE ACTING SPEAKER: You cannot have a point of order over another.
HON. MUSA NCUBE: On a point of order! Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – the Hon. Member is misrepresenting facts. If he is saying the Government is sabotaging the programme, he must withdraw the word ‘sabotaging’.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, may you withdraw. You should always avoid those words like the Government is sabotaging.
HON. MAKUMIRE: I withdraw.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: May you continue with your question.
HON. MAKUMIRE: The Hon. Minister must respond to this issue with the attention that it deserves because as we are speaking now, Harare City Council is being owed more than 25 billion by the Government, Bulawayo City Council is being owed more than 13 billion, Masvingo City Council is being owed more than three billion, Chiredzi Town Council is being owed more than 500 million and this is crippling service delivery to local council and the Government comes in now to do roads and other services that must be offered by local authorities. We want to know when the Government is going to settle these arears so that service delivery can improve in local authorities. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Minister before you rise, I think I heard the Hon. Minister saying that is a specific question. May you put that question in writing then he can answer you…
HON. MAKUMIRE: On a point of order! This issue is affecting all Zimbabweans both in the rural and urban places.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Yes, it is specific, put it in writing.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. In my earlier response, I cautioned Hon. Makumire that he should get his facts correctly. In terms of City of Harare, the water reticulation system was paid for by the Government. I said he should get his facts correctly and when he does so, he should put that in writing. The Minister of Local Government will come and give correct details, those things are being done by the Central Government.
Water reticulation, only on Monday – [HON. MAKUMIRE: Point of order!] – His ignorance is disturbing him because he thinks he knows everything. He does not know anything about local authorities, someone told him lies – [HON. MAKUMIRE: On a point of order!]- Mr. Speaker, it is very bad for someone to interject when I am trying to explain the actual position, each time I try to explain what the Government has been doing to ensure that residents enjoy a beautiful life that was ruined by the opposition councillors that are running local authorities.
So, Mr. Speaker, what I would advise the Hon. Member is to put the question in writing and get the facts correctly. The Minister of Local Government will come in with his facts and that will be answered but for him to say that Government is sabotaging local authorities is utter rubbish…- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Makumire, may you withdraw your statement that Government is sabotaging… [AN HON. MEMBER: Withdraw rubbish.] – Hon. Members, I am speaking to Hon. Makumire.
HON. MAKUMIRE: Mr. Speaker, I withdraw what I have said.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, withdraw that the Hon. Member was speaking rubbish. May you also withdraw your statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.] –
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: I do not even know what he said…
HON. HADEBE: The Hon. Minister is refusing to withdraw his statement, so he must just leave the House.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are not the Speaker, leave the House.
HON. HADEBE: On a point of order, the Hon. Minister should leave the House.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, the Hon. Member should leave the House. You are not the Speaker. Hon. Member, leave the House now. I will call Sergent-at-Arms. Leave the House.
Okay, the Hon. Member wants to withdraw. Please go ahead.
HON. HADEBE: I withdraw Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I felt pained when a question was posed. It felt like a political question, but it was a question which when looked at objectively by Hon. Members who are still learning, Hon. Ministers should bear with them when they answer questions. The first part of that question was what is Government’s policy regarding payment of rates by Government departments to rural and urban authorities? It did not specifically say Harare only or urban areas. Mt Darwin Rural District Council is owed by Government. It would have been important for the Minister to have responded, citing the measures they have put in place at the end of the month.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Hamauswa, as the Chair, if you wanted to teach your colleague how to pose questions, you are at liberty to do that. What ended happening was that the Hon. Member accused the same Minister whom he was asking a question by alleging that Government was sabotaging programmes and I asked him to withdraw that statement. The Minister said he heard him say I withdraw and what exactly was it that he was withdrawing? He should have withdrawn by fully stating that he is withdrawing the statement that Government is sabotaging urban or local authorities.
You are protected Hon. Hamauswa. I understand you, you have pleaded with this august House that they bear with new Members because they are not experienced.
Hon. Tsvangirayi having insulted Hon. Ziyambi
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please stand up and leave the House. Hon. Hamauswa is debating and you are busy insulting Hon. Ziyambi. Please go out of this Chamber. Sergent-at- Arms, please escort this Member from this House.
*HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA: The Ministry of War Veterans Affairs was established after the 2023 harmonised elections. This Ministry was established recently under the Second Republic… *HON. HAMAUSWA : The first question is for the services that the Government is receiving from urban authorities, what has Government put in place to pay them or the Government will not pay and simply say that we are the ones who have been responsible for the road maintenance.
* HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: What Hon. Hamauswa is saying is what I have done. I said if it is a debt, once you have mentioned that it is a debt, at law, you pay your debt. Even in the Bible, it is there, but the Hon. Member then said we were sabotaging these councils. Please Hon. Hamauswa, do not leave this august House saying that I have not responded to the question. One, I said the question is specific and he must put down the figures that are owed to these local authorities, but Government policy is that all debts are to be paid. As he was going further to then make accusations against the Government, that is when I said he was now going into an area where he was not vexed.
*HON. TSITSI ZHOU: I wanted to highlight that the Hon. Minister has already responded to the question. Hon. Hamauswa kept going on things that have already been responded to.
*HON. MUWODZERI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity, but when we were debating last week, we had Hon. Mr. Mhona, he was not emotional even if hard questions were being put to him. Mr. Speaker, allow me to also speak. Let me proceed Hon. Speaker and say, he remained porker-faced as he was from ab initio. If a Minister has come to answer questions, we expect that if he has been asked a lot of questions by a young Member of Parliament, and he becomes emotional, that surely is not on. When you are in this august House…
HON. MUGWADI: I want to remind you Hon. Speaker that earlier on, you had given me the reprieve to ask my question later. May I proceed to do that now? I think my question is based on very clear reflections on what is obtaining in this House today. A point has been raised by Hon. Karikoga. I reiterate the question to Minister of Justice and the Leader of Government of Business that it is very clear in this House as they say in vernacular, takasunga mombe nemadhongi - we are unevenly yoked. My question is saying some other Members under- went a very thorough and serious training process of conducting Parliament business. When is the next training session for those that both absconded and could not continue the training process so that we are on the same wavelength in this House, otherwise we have our time wasted here?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, that question is wrongly directed to me, but it indicates that a workshop is necessary. Mr. Speaker, can you organise another orientation so that those Hon. Members that did not participate can be orientated so that we are on the same page.
HON. PINDUKA: Mr. Speaker, we are into the summer cropping season, human and wildlife conflict in most of our rural communities is inevitable and will be on the rise, elephants and baboons will be ravaging crops and fields of our people. What is the Government policy available in mitigating or reducing human-wildlife conflict?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Mr. Speaker, actually the human-wildlife conflict occurs throughout the year. We have the National Parks which is on hand to deal with it to ensure that as far as possible, they mitigate when animals move and stray into areas where humans habitat. They remove them and put them into National Parks. So that particular issue, whenever elephants stray into areas where humans habitat, the easiest and fastest way to do is to inform National Parks so that they can remove them and take them back where they belong. I thank you.
*HON. MUCHEMWA: My question is directed to the Ministry of Agriculture. We have cotton farmers who sell their produce to COTTCO which is under Government. We want to know when those farmers are going to receive their dues which have gone for three years without being paid? I also want to know if they are going to receive their monies first before they are moved from COTTCO to GMB? What measures is the Government putting in place in order to avail cotton pesticides so that the crop is not destroyed by worms? Can Government not increase the number of agencies to deal with the issue of cotton so that it helps our farmers to choose where to sell their crop?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Honourable, but that question was asked last time, so you can refer to the Hansard.
HON. MAPHOSA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government since he is the one who oversees local authorities. We have got a case where local authorities misuse funds. ZACC people come and give a report, then the CEO or whoever is accountable is suspended, but the Minister of Local Government went on to write a memo to say, can you pay him or her salary when the case is still pending.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: That is a specific question Hon. Maphosa. Can you please write it down?
HON. MUROMBEDZI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. What is the Government policy with regards to the status of State owned enterprises seeing that they no longer maximise economic impact as they were comissioned to do and whether the Minister has found the Government’s policy inability to manage the State owned enterprises efficiently as a course that now burdens tax payers by continuing to be funded by the fiscus. If not, what is the position in this regard? If so, what are the relevant details? Thank you very much.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank Hon. Murombedzi for that very good question. Mr. Speaker, when she was reading her question, it is a good question but full of specifics and she indicates that there is need for parastatals to be managed efficiently. That is not a policy question, it is an operational one. I urge Hon. Murombedzi, her question may have merit but if she can put that question in writing so that the Minister can come and interrogate with the specific issues that she has raised, which I believe are worth responding to. I thank you Mr. Speaker
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No.68.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
LEGAL FRAMEWORK TO PROSECUTE BANKING EXECUTIVES AND DIRECTOS FOR MISAPPROPRIATION OF LARGE SUMS OF MONEY
- HON. JERE asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House the legal framework that is in place to prosecute banking executives and directors who were responsible for misappropriation of large sums of money and other financial improprieties such as huge none-performing loans and poor credit risk management between the period 2012 and now.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank Hon. Jere for the question. Mr. Speaker Sir, the legal regime that we have is that anyone who is suspected to have committed an offence, you report to the police and the police will investigate. Once they are convinced that there is a case, they will take the docket to the Prosecuting Authority and the Prosecuting Authority will take over and prosecute the individual. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. JERE: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. My concern is, we all saw these issues happening in our country from the year 2012 whereby directors of the banks were using what is called insider trading. When huge deposits were coming through, they were giving each other loans which were not deserving and that saw a lot of our people losing a lot of money. Some of them died and some of the chronic diseases we are seeing now was a result of that.
Can you imagine Mr. Speaker Sir, you have had all your savings and you put them in a bank, you go to a bank this morning and the bank has closed. We need our people to be protected Mr. Speaker Sir. If you look at the developed countries, these are serious issues. It is economic sabotage and playing with depositors’ money. The situation that we are in today, we need each and every Zimbabwean to take responsibility of their actions. The banking sector has been left, Mr. Speaker Sir. They have been taking our money, stealing our money.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. JERE: My supplementary question is, there should be a robust policy to make sure that people are protected in the banking sector so that we do not wake up in the morning and your money has been taken because it is still happening today.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. JERE: I wanted that background to be made clear. What is the policy in place to make sure that our people are protected because it is not all of them who can go to the courts?
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think it is a bit clear now. The question then is misdirected. The written question was supposed to be to the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion because banks are supposed to be supervised by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and they put in policies to ensure that depositors’ funds are protected. So, I think with your indulgence, if Hon. Jere can re-couch his question and direct it to the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion so that perhaps we can have a review of how depositors’ funds are protected by the relevant authorities. I so submit Hon. Speaker Sir.
SHORTAGE OF BALLOT PAPERS DURING THE 23RD AUGUST HARMONISED ELECTIONS
- HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to explain why the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ran out of ballot papers during the 23rd August Harmonised Elections.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Markham for this pertinent question. It is the function of ZEC to ensure that elections are conducted efficiently. Most importantly, the Commission has the function of designing, printing and distributing ballot papers. On 23rd August, 2023, we witnessed or heard about the logistical challenges that the Commission faced, as a result, hindering its execution of its earlier mentioned function.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Commission faced challenges in the production and distribution of ballot papers for a few constituencies and wards emanating from the unprecedented number of court challenges that it faced. More than 100 post nomination applications were filed in the Electoral Court and the High Court of Zimbabwe. Due to the large amount of court challenges and the late determination of the same, the ballot papers could not be designed and printed without confirmed candidates. This resulted in the time to design, print and distribute ballots being affected.
The Commission calculated ballot papers to be printed per polling station based on population per polling station. It also projected when it expected ballots to be produced. This information was submitted to printers who were working on the said projections but the actual printing unfortunately, had to be stalled pending the outcome of pending cases.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Commission adopted a production and distribution strategy which prioritises the remote and more distant provinces to ease the distribution challenges against limited timeframes. For this reason, it should be noted that delays were largely experienced in Harare because the printing and distribution was done last due to the province proximity to the printer. In a few reported cases of Bulawayo and other areas, delays were occasioned by the need to reprint ballots after it had been observed that there were errors on the ballots that had been sent to the affected polling stations.
Further Mr. Speaker, in mitigation of the said challenges, efforts were made to ensure that voters were not disenfranchised. The Commission requested the President to consider exercising his powers under Section 38 of the Electoral Act and alter his earlier proclamation so that voting could be extended to 24th August, 2023 in those areas that had been affected by the delays. As a result of these efforts, a statistical analysis of the average voter turn-out by polling station showed no significant difference between affected and none affected polling stations. I submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, I understand what the Minister has just reported. On the 17th of August, in front of local and international observers, ZEC stated and issued a statement, categorically stating that we are ready and all ballot papers were complete and printed, thus, 10 days or some days way before the election. While I understand the Minister saying there were legal actions, most of them were complete. In most of Harare and rural areas like Nyanga South, there were no legal issues. The Minister is misleading the House as to why there was an extension and a withholding of ballot papers by ZEC. In a current annual report, ZEC washed over the issue of lack of ballot papers stating they were all ready. So there is a direct conflict between what the Minister has reported and what ZEC has reported. Which one is telling the truth? Thank you.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What I have presented is consistent with what transpired. If there was a statement that was issued to the effect that all the ballot papers had been distributed and then a proclamation was made after ballots were not distributed, the Honourable cannot accuse me of not saying the truth. What I have said today is actually the truth. The reason why, I said, largely in Harare, ballots were delayed, is because they had to print ballots and dispatch them from areas that are far off and do Harare ballots last because of the logistical challenges because due to many court challenges that delayed the programme of ensuring that ballots are printed on time.
Perhaps Mr. Speaker, what we need is to change the Electoral Act to ensure that there is a cut off time in terms of electoral challenges. Thereafter, the Electoral Management Body will then proceed to produce ballots. That way, we can then hold them accountable to say that you cannot blame the electoral challenges because you have been given sufficient time to ensure that you print and check everything. On this current election, there were several challenges that gave logistical challenges in terms of ensuring that ballots are produced on time. I submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. TOGAREPI: On a supplementary question. Mr. Speaker Sir, I think we are going round. Elections have come and they have gone. The Hon. Member here has won an election where people voted. So my question is how did he win if people did not vote?
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker. On a point of order. In answering to the Hon. Minister’s statement, it is not whether I won or lost. My point is in my constituency, since he has brought it up, I had seven polling stations which were delayed up to 10 o’clock. It is quite obvious, I would have won by even more and the President would have even won by more and some of our two councillors by even more if they opened the ballot papers on time.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Markham, I think the Minister has given his response.
HON. MARKHAM: I thank him, but I was answering the Chief Whip’s contribution.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Actually, what Hon. Markham is saying is not very correct. The voting was extended so that voting hours, in almost every constituency was the same. So he was not going to win even more because the voting hours were the same. Mr. Speaker, the long and short of it is, let us change our laws to ensure that when we have contestation among our political parties about nomination and whatever, we give sufficient time for that contestation to take place. Then ZEC gets sufficient time to do its processes. This will solve the problem. That is the submission I made, that ZEC were inundated with a lot of issues which they had and that resulted in whether the errors became whatever human or what, let us make sure that our laws give sufficient time to the electoral body to do their work appropriately.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Before I ask my supplementary question, I want to thank the Minister for accepting that our electoral laws need to be amended. We also need to give our views on that. We heard that the ballots had not been printed because there were issues that were before the courts. However, what we observed was that in a lot of constituencies in Harare, there were postal votes that were cast and there were ballot papers that were cast. They voted for the councillor, the Member of Parliament and for the President. So how were they printed since there were issues that were pending before the courts? If the Minister can explain, I would be most grateful.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Hamauswa, I heard the Minister saying that ballots for Harare were delayed because of the challenges they faced.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Mr. Speaker, I think you are not treating me well. I said there are those who do postal votes who had already cast their votes and their ballot papers were part of the votes. They were given to those that were at the polling station a day before elections and we have the records. How come the other ballots were not there when those for local Government were already there? May the Hon. Minister explain this discrepancy. What exactly was there? Was it someone trying to outwit the other?
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Yes, he is speaking quite well. Preparing 100 ballot papers is different from preparing 30 000 ballot papers. There was a time that we were almost through, postal votes are cast when we are close to the election. They were made in such a way that those who want to cast their postal ballots can do it. We need to urge and also give time for all ballot papers to be made so that there will not be any other obstacles like what happened. I thank you.
SADC REPORT ON THE 2023 HARMONISED ELECTIONS
- HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to avail the SADC report on the 2023 harmonised elections.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We do not have a custom of tabling observation reports in Parliament. I thank you.
HON. MARKHARM: Can the Minister of Justice confirm that he is not putting the observer report on the table for Parliament to debate.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, an observation report is just but an observation report. It does not come to Parliament.
HON. MARKHAM: On a point of order! Mr. Speaker, bear in mind that we are in the Tenth Parliament and bearing in mind the absence of numerous Ministers, and that there is only a handful. Also bearing in mind that today we received seven apologies, it gives the impression – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Mr. Speaker, how long are you going to allow the ruling party Members to continue heckling us before we can get down to business?
My question is this and it is for clarity for us, we do not know some of the Ministers because they have not been here yet. Secondly for the public, the public is under the impression that if there are eight apologies, then the rest are sitting in this House of which they are not. So, there are these questions which have been on the Order Paper for nearly four weeks and nothing has happened. Mr. Speaker, I implore us to change the protocol so that we name the Ministers that come to this House so we can recognise them for our questions, both written and without notice. So all I am asking is that if we can know the Ministers that are here, we can then ask questions to those Ministers. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Markham. The Leader of Government Business, may you help us?
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 29th November, 2023
The Senate met at Half past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
POST BUDGET SEMINAR
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the Senate that following the presentation of the 2024 National Budget by the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion on Thursday 30th November, 2023 in the National Assembly, Parliament will hold a half day Post Budget Seminar for all Members of Parliament on Monday, 4th December, 2023. It starts at 0800 hours in the Multi -Purpose Hall here at the New Parliament Building.
POST BUDGET CONSULTATIVE MEETINGS
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Secondly, I also wish to inform the Senate that Portfolio Committees will hold Post Budget Consultative Meetings from Monday, 4th December, 2023 in the afternoon to Thursday, 7th December, 2023. Hon. Senators are urged to join Portfolio Committees of their choice. The schedule for the Committee Meetings will be circulated in due course.
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators are reminded once again to put your phones on silent or switch them off.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President Sir, I move that Order of the Day, No. 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2022
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for the year 2022.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN TONGOGARA: Mr. President, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate regarding the Anti-Corruption Commission report. Firstly, I want to thank His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa for his vision which noted the upsurge in corruption and that is done by a wise person who wants the country to be in the right trajectory. I want to thank the Chairperson of the Commission for the report. The report that the Chairperson brought to this august House is quite comprehensive but firstly, the report was done in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 323, Amendment No. 20 of 2103 and Section 15 of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Chapter 2.22.
Mr. President Sir, when a Committee is set and the Committee produces such a report…
Hon Makamba having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Senator. You are not allowed to pass between the Chair and the Member on the floor.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President, l was saying that when such a Committee is elected, this is done in line with the Constitution so that when they exhibit their duties, they do not do so without due diligence, but they do so adhering to the Constitution. I appreciate that and thanking the Chairperson of the Commission because the Commission has been operating legally.
Mr. President, it then reflects that when the Commission was given a task to do their work, they performed well and they opened offices in different parts of the country in provinces like Harare, Bulawayo, Midlands and other places so that when they execute their duties, they have representatives in every area who live in particular localities so that they can give reports and they monitor the whole country. If they are headquartered in Harare, it will be difficult. So, I appreciate that this was done through the decentralisation programme where activities are done in communities in which the people are, because they noted that they cannot cover all provinces.
Mr. President, they opened offices in all provinces, instead of moving to Harare all the time which is quite difficult. In this report, we had 157 cases, which is 62%. In those cases, 134 represent 53%, which they handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), so that these cases are taken up and those people be persecuted. This is what is always anticipated, when the Commission was set up, after people have been caught on corruption allegations, they should go through the court process so that the law takes its course.
The Committee was not at all looking at positions or social status of a perpetrator. The report clearly stated that a former Permanent Secretary of Mines was arrested. Senior officers at VID were arrested and a Provincial Magistrate was also arrested. This means that when they were doing their duties, there were no sacred cows; there was no favouritism. They were not selectively applying the law. This is quite pleasing because when we are given a task, you must do it diligently. I applaud them for a good job.
Whilst they were doing their job, they met a number of challenges, where there were some witnesses who had evidence of crimes, but it was quite difficult for them to be forthcoming because there was victimisation of witnesses. Some were intimidated and that is why they brought a suggestion that there be a Bill that protects witnesses. This is quite commendable because no one was going to inform the authorities of the crime. They must be protected and whistleblowers should be protected so that information regarding different crimes is brought forth to the responsible authorities. If that is done, witnesses and whistleblowers will come forward because they know they are protected and will not be afraid to be intimidated at night or being killed.
The Commission had their AGM on 16th June in line with Section 33.3 of Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act. Like what I said before, all these things that are in the report are quite clear. This is what is happening and transpiring. It is within the confines of the law. So, I appreciate the report and what is contained in the report which is in line with the law. The other point is that they had provincial campaign awareness programmes which are quite important because people should be informed. They should be taught so that they know what corruption is and to understand that there is a commission which has been set up to teach people about corruption. This means that what they have been doing has been quite helpful. When we look at province by province, you will discover that table 5 is clear that Harare tops the list followed by Bulawayo. We also noted in the report that in Matabeleland South, there were two cases. In Matabeleland North there was one case of corruption. This is quite commendable. Those who have a few cases of corruption, it means the awareness campaigns and the lessons that were taught were effective. It was also noted that corruption was quite prevalent in Local Authorities and in Municipal Authorities. There is an issue of the illegal parceling out of stands, the selling of stands and land without due diligence. When stands are sold, there are considerations for places allocated to schools, clinics and football pitches where the young people can participate in recreational activities. This will help in taking them off the streets and drug abuse. You will find that land barons were seen to be in the forefront of corrupting Council officials, bribing them, which eventually leads to corruption in the selling of wetlands and other protected areas. This causes Government to be in a difficult situation in order to rectify the anomaly, where they find that people have been allocated stands on wet lands. When rains come, you will find people being washed away by floods because they were settled in places which are not meant to be residential areas.
So, I want to thank the Commission for bringing out such issues of land barons and this will bring sanity. Let me say that the report was quite pleasing and it was submitted 4 years after the Chairperson was given that office. I want to urge the Commission to continue with the good job so that at a certain stage, we would say that indeed we have weeded out corruption. You find office bearers doing their jobs without requesting for bribes, and when that happens, the Commission would bring sanity and there will be economic growth in the country. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. GOTORA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th December, 2023.
REPORT ON THE NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY FOR THE YEAR 2022
Third Order read. Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the National Prosecuting Authority for the year 2022.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MACKENZIE: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to add a few words on the National Prosecuting Authority. Firstly, I would like to congratulate the new Prosecutor General, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo for her recent appointment. More-so, that is, she is coming from being the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. She has already started changing processes within this institution. Mr. President, this report afforded me the opportunity to get some insight and some deep understanding on the work of the National Prosecuting Authority. This is a very important institution which is actually a creature of our Constitution, particularly Sections 259 to 263. The people who work within the institution are supposed to be people of integrity, people who cannot be tempted to do things in certain ways, they have got to keep to the letter of the law. To do that, the investigations which are supposed to be done mostly by the police have got to be thorough so that the interpretation which is going to be made by the officials of the National Prosecuting Authority can be water-tight.
On the same note Mr. President, there is need for these people to be properly remunerated. You cannot be earning $500 a month or $300 a month and you are prosecuting somebody who has actually perpetrated a fraud of $50 million or $40 million. You get tempted if they come with a bunch of money. It is pleasing that the authority does not fall under the Civil Service. So, it is required of us to ensure that it is properly funded.
I see also within the report that they receive every quarter an average of 45 000 cases and they dispose almost two-thirds of that, about 66%, around thirty thousand cases. It is important that all those things must be done timeously because justice delayed is justice denied. There is always a backlog at the end of every quarter. However, when you compare the report of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and that one of the National Prosecuting Authority, the one for ZACC was much more detailed, which is why I am commending the processes which have been put in place by the new Prosecutor General.
The migration to e-documentation, the paperless culture which is also being introduced in Parliament in order to expedite some of the cases; in some cases, a crime is perpetrated and investigation is done by the police, sometimes half-heartedly, with the prosecuting authority or the official take-over from the NPA also doing the job half-heartedly. It is then passed on to the Magistrate or the High Court, and then you find that the people who have actually committed the crime walk scot-free. It is important when you actually look in detail at the work and mandate of the authority, that they should not consider who you are or where you come from. They should do their work without fear or favour and impartially.
There are many cases of corruption within the report and you can see the MOU which was signed with the Transparency International so that they can appreciate the harm which is being done by corruption in this country and the methods of investigating corruption cases. Corruption cases, by their very nature, are very complicated and you need sharp minds and officials who are well remunerated.
On that note Mr. President, I end by saying, let us do whatever we can to capacitate the National Prosecuting Authority in terms of funding and budget provisions. Tomorrow, there is the budget presentation and let us see how much they are going to get so that we do not compromise the justice delivery system within our country. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th December, 2023.
GBV AWARENESS PROGRAMMES TO PROMOTE POSITIVE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CHANGE
Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Commemorations to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: Thank you Mr. President for allowing me to stand and debate about GBV. A motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Mbohwa. Mr. President, embarking on the Gender Based Violence awareness programmes in all districts of the country would be an important step in combating GBV and its negative effects. Communities can become better equipped to identify and support victims.
These programmes can also help to dispel myths and lack of understanding about GBV, and to promote a culture of zero tolerance for violence against women and girls. In addition, such programmes can help to build the capacity of local authorities and providers in their area of jurisdiction to effectively respond to GBV cases. Ultimately, GBV awareness programmes can play a role in creating safer environment for women.
Investing in programmes that prevent violence against women and girls through promoting positive social and cultural change is important to reduce gender-based violence. By tackling the underlying causes of violence, such as harmful gender norms, these programmes can help to create a culture that rejects violence and promotes equality. Such programmes can include initiatives that educate and empower women and girls, engage men and boys as allies in ending violence, and building the capacity of communities to address GBV. They can also involve working with media and other stakeholders to promote positive gender norms and change attitudes towards GBV. Overally, investing in these programmes can make a lasting impact in reducing GBV Mr. President.
There are many effects of gender-based violence in Zimbabwe, including physical, mental effects which can include depression, and low self-esteem. Social effects can include isolation, poverty, and loss of social status. Gender-based violence also has a negative impact on economic development as it increases health costs, reduces productivity and decreases participation in the workforce.
Therefore, in conclusion Mr. President, Parliament should continue increasing cooperation with various institutions such as Civic Societies, Correctional Services, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development. Hence this will compliment Government efforts to achieve gender equality and to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence (GBV). Thank you Mr. President.
+HON. SEN. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. President Sir. First of all, I would like to thank Senator Shiri for the motion. We want to prevent the abuse of children, mothers, fathers and the vulnerable. Gender-based violence is something very new such that when we were growing up, it was not there at all. Right now it is prevalent and it is being perpetrated by relatives. Fathers are raping their own children. I do not know if mothers are also being raped. When a woman is being raped, she is instructed on what to expect. Also, some rapes are fake since we have moved away from our culture, and also nowadays chiefs are the custodians of the culture and laws. These negative issues are happening of which chiefs are aware but they have no power to intervene. Last year, there were some cases of children being raped by their fathers to the extent of impregnating them and that was taboo. My question is, what has gone wrong with our culture because it should prevent some of these things?
Mr. President, again l would like to say Government should put stiffer sentences for such perpetrators because people do commit such acts. You find that perpetrators will be laughing at you after they have been released without being charged. I am requesting that there be deterrent sentences of up to 20 years or more so that they will never commit such crimes again.
Mr. President, there are child headed families and that is where most of these things are happening. There is a family in my constituency, you find that police always visit that family and that means we are failing to prevent such activities as a country. There are also women who abuse husbands, it is difficult for men to report such matters. Even us as mothers, when a child is abused by the father, we fear to make a report. It is taboo for such matters to happen. I am suggesting that there be a workshop where we involve children, mothers and fathers to conscientise them. When these matters are raised the truth will prevail. We also have a request that organisations that deal with those issues assist communities. I request the Government to intervene and traditional leaders as well. I thank you.
+HON. S. MOYO: Thank you very much Mr. President. We are very happy on the women issue that they are putting their problems here in this House. The problem we face is that you do not ask difficult questions, yet fundamental questions are needed. Why is it that women and girls are being abused every hour in Zimbabwe? Let us give true meaning and refer back to independence where we need proper channels of communication, where victims can report and be protected and not told to go back home by police. When they go back, they are killed. We need our police to be accountable and not to be instructed to do violence, but help the abused women.
Abuse of women and girls is bad not only today, but also for the future generations to come. What women and girls will be doing years from now, what future mothers will we have? We need straight laws for perpetrators of abuse. Ministers and various Commissions must tell us what measures are being taken to address this cancer of abuse. On the vulnerable social situation, the Government is failing to assist our women who are failing to put daily bread on the table. They get into drugs to forget their suffering. They even fail to pay university fees. The women are vulnerable to pregnancy in order to have food and shelters, given the situation in this country.
We need to come up with solutions and not policies that only look good on paper. I ask that we need full involvement of women in national building. This House and the justice system must investigate what type of people are being given licences to take care of our women and children. We need to vet them before commissioning them. What is happening is that those organisations like DREAMS use children to get money from the Government and donors. The targeted market, the fund is not assisting the victims.
We have grand-children going out there to sell their bodies so that they can have their daily bread. The other problem is the CALA issue, where the girl child might not have the resources to complete the project like printing, photocopying, et cetera. The teachers will say I will do the CALA for you if you sleep with me in the storeroom. We need the Minister of Education to address this CALA issue, hence they resort to drugs due to too much pressure. Most of you do not care because your children go to private schools. What about the majority that go to public or Government schools? What are we saying about them?
Mr. President, we are fathers and mothers and therefore we need to take a stand against abuse of women and children. We need to mentor young people because we have lived longer, made mistakes and we let them know that we did this wrong. We need to improve on their lives and we need accountability on men and women from village level to national level so that we stop this cancer which is destroying our nation and our women. So, we need assistance from the Government to make sure that they look on those issues. Thank you.
HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Hon. President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mbohwa for bringing this motion to this House. I want to add my voice to the GBV motion. Normally, when we look at gender, people focus on women, but where I come from in the rural areas, I have noted that even small boys are abused. As we speak, there are young boys who are being exploited in child labour. These are young boys who are in manual labour. So, this is a culture which has been taken up by people where you find small boys without parents being employed as cattle herders. This means that when they grow up, they grow knowing that this is what they do. When gender roles are defined, you find that for them, they will also follow this, but as Hon. Members of this House, it is important that we note the importance of gender balance. We need to introspect. Let me add that these programmes that are being spoken of are only in urban areas, they do not permeate into peripheral areas. These are programmes which should be taken up by people in different districts. You would find that men know the way to deal with their women, but you find them beating up the women. This is not right. Let us not abuse each other.
The other point is, I have noted that in rural areas, police stations are quite far. Where I come from, you would need to drive for a long distance. When you are abused, whether you are raped, it will take quite some time. So, Government has a big role to play in building police stations, particularly in rural areas. These are just police stations where you walk in, whether the issue is sensitive, but you will find that there is no Victim Friendly Unit. So, in rural areas, it is important to put Victim Friendly Units. I will give an example of where I come from in Matopo, the police station is Maphisa, you might be at Ratanyana, which is quite a distance from Maphisa. You will find that some police stations are quite a distance. So, I do not know what should be done so that there are sub-stations to address concerns of abused women and the young children where they can report their cases. Let me also mention that there are some men who are being abused and there are men who are being beaten up. Now, I want to say to women who beat their men, please do not do so. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa, I missed a part which seems to be very interesting. I am going to work very hard to polish my Ndebele. I tried to use this, but unfortunately it did not work.
+HON. SEN. MOYO: Thank you President of the Senate, for giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank the Hon. Senator who moved this motion which is quite painful, where you find that this is done by a normal human being. I do not know why, but for psychiatrists, it is important to check such people to find whether they would be in their normal state. These people who do bad things are people who are supposed to be prosecuted. Now, it will be easier when the laws are quite punitive. The issue which is being addressed here is an issue which points at men. You would find that when people are abusing each other – let us not make it one-sided. It is not about men only or women only, but this is quite an all-cutting issue.
The law should be punitive enough and on perpetrators of gender-based violence, the law should be applied. We have chiefs who live in communities, they should enforce the laws. Perpetrators need to be punished because if the law is not punitive enough, then gender-based violence will not end. you would find that men could marry five women in the past, but there were no cases of abuse. Now, that is difficult. Women do not welcome other women in the same marriage. Sometimes a man might have a need for conjugal rights, so what I am saying is, let us address the issue behind abuse. What causes people to take advantage of each other? Some say it is because of sexual deprivation. I do not know whether it is deprivation in that regard, but you would find that young people are being abused in their homes through sexual deprivation. I do not know why this is happening, whether it is about rituals or what. Maybe some people are doing this after being prompted by traditional healers. However, my desire is that such issues should be dealt with and the law should be quite punitive. There should be a mark, possibly in other cases, there should be application of the Sharia Law, where you find that a person has a part amputated or otherwise. This is happening where male adults abuse young girls. You also find older women taking young boys and abusing them sexually. So, we need to address why this is happening. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. President for this opportunity. When I came to this august House, I did not think that I would debate but having listened to the discourse in the House, I decided to participate. Firstly, there were quite a number of points raised regarding the participation of chiefs – thank you for that recognition. I want to thank you for recognising the participation of traditional leaders. Indeed, as chiefs, we want to fight gender-based violence. We do not want violence.
Sometimes you would find people saying that when you go to a doctor and you have a headache, the diagnosis would actually try to determine the actual cause of the headache. We can debate but as long as we do not address the source, we will have challenges. There are some who leave the issue and divert it. Some would say it is a cultural thing of beating wives. Whatever culture you refer to, it is not allowed to beat a woman. That is our culture. But of course, you can use the other whip which was mentioned by the previous speaker. This is our culture. Whether you are in Chipinge, Hwange, Plumtree or any other part of the country, women should not be beaten up. Then you ask why they are being beaten up and what is causing that. You find that some were saying remove lobola because the payment of lobola is like buying a person. It is like commodification of a woman. So, we need to understand what lobola is.
Mr. President, I want to share that from our research and other experiences from Uganda, about 10 years ago, there was a non-governmental organisation called Mikumi which took this issue to the courts. They advocated for the abolishment of lobola saying that it is the cause of commodification of women. The case went through High Court and there were five High Court Judges on the bench who included four females and one male in the system. After the judgement was out, there was one person who was for the abolishment of lobola and four were against it. The judges who were against the abolishment of lobola said that research from the Philippines and other countries, the statistics reflected that the top countries in gender-based violence have nothing to do with lobola. They do not pay dowry. The research which was found indicates that where violence is prevalent, there is no lobola. Judges said that there is no evidence that lobola causes violence according to the information that was given to the court. Only one person said he wanted lobola to be scrapped. The majority of four agreed that lobola should be retained. It was the male judge who said lobola should be scrapped.
I want this House to know that there are some people who come with funding in order to change other people’s culture. We were approached by Msasa Project and they said that gender-based violence is prevalent and so we need to go out and hold meetings in all towns to debate the causes of gender-based violence. Up to now, I learnt a lot. We went to places like Masvingo, Mashonaland Central and different parts of the country. The common issue which emanated from the deliberations is that women were saying that what is causing domestic violence is more to do with conjugal rights. A lot of women were saying men just come home and sleep without giving their spouses their conjugal rights. Women in turn accuse their men of infidelity because they will be giving their conjugal rights to other women, hence would respond by beating up their wives.
It was agreed that the number one cause is that men are now weak. The reason of the weakness maybe caused by small houses as men fail to deliver when they go to their spouses. I am saying that the issue to do with gender-based violence is that we might look at the wrong challenges running away from the real issues.
I want to thank Hon. Sen. Shiri for moving this motion. We want to stand together so that within five years, we resolve or address gender-based violence. Let us not pay lip service debating only. You find a motion is on the Order Paper, then it comes back in the next Parliament without any implementation. The mover of this motion should follow up on the issue so that it is expedited. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. NGWENA: Mr President, I want to talk about gender-based violence which is becoming a scourge. Indeed, I want to focus on women. I heard what was debated by other Hon. Senators that men say that they paid lobola for the women. I want to suggest that there is need for protection of women.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: On a point of order. For record purposes, I did not say what the Hon. Senator is saying. Indeed, this would be captured in the Hansard. That is not what I said.
*HON. SEN. NGWENA: My apologies to Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira but this is the background to an explanation that I wanted to make. We have the HIV pandemic which is prevalent in the country and you will find that as a woman, I might be HIV positive because the man who married me forces me to have sexual intercourse with him. We need to see that women are protected. When you face such challenges then you need to know where to go.
There is a lot of abuse which is happening to our children. Young children are being abused by older men. Some would come saying that I want to assist the child with school fees as a way of taking advantage of these young children. We need organisations which support vulnerable children and orphans so that they are protected from men who take advantage of them. Indeed, we need that to happen and this is what I wanted to emphasise on. I thank you.
HON. SEN. SHIRI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th December, 2023.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Mr. President, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the SONA presented by our President His Excellency Honourable E. D. Mnangagwa. I am so proud to debate in this magnificent building.
Thanks to him for a job well done!
The President talked about water. Clean water provision is one of the goals under NDSI and SDG6 and in line with this access to potable water for the ordinary people is one of the Second Republic’s major endeavours. The Government has started a campaign of drilling boreholes as it forges ahead with its vision to improve livelihood and it improves the economy. Mr. President, 117 boreholes have been drilled in Midlands Province, for instance, bringing convenience to the beneficiaries as they come with tapped water instead of the old model bush pump borehole.
This has improved the livelihoods of people. People have also established nutrition gardens which improves their general health. Agriculture has been transformed to produce enough food at household level. This has been made possible through the Pfumvudza/ Intwasa Presidential Scheme. Thanks to the President’s vision.
The President also talked about mining, USD10 million loan for small-scale miners was unveiled to boost production. The facility comes at a time when investment in the mining sector to scale up production is limited. Most investors are reluctant to support the artisanal and small scale-miners due to the inherent risk and complex way of doing business by these miners. As such, this USD10 million facility is meant to provide support to small-scale gold miners as they are underfunded. The funds will be used in the construction of six gold service centers to improve access to critical facilities by artisanal gold small-scale miners and to invest in machinery that could enable the miners to operate even during the rainy season.
Mr. President, let me now move to devolution. The Government of Zimbabwe identified devolution as key pillar of achieving an upper- middle income economy status by 2030. The policy on Devolution and Decentralisation is one of the major anchors of our unity which encompasses inclusive development. Notwithstanding outstanding requisite legislatives alignments to the constitutions, sub-national tiers of the Government have already begun to embrace devolution aspirations in tandem with relevant provisions contained in the 2013 Constitutional dispensation on the devolution of state for state power and responsibilities. This is evidenced by the Ministers of state for Provincial and Devolution Affairs who champion development programmes in their respective Provinces.
NDS1 seeks to facilitate rapid, equitable and balanced development of rural and urban areas without leaving anyone behind and it provides for devolution and decentralisation as espoused under Vision 2030. In this regard, devolution, if it is properly implemented, could yield significant dividends. The e-passport applications are now being processed at provincial and district registry offices in Bulawayo, Gwanda, Gweru, Lupane, Marondera, Beitbridge, Chitungwiza, Hwange, Mazowe, Murewa and Zvishavane.
Mr. President, let me move on to energy. In line with the drive to remove barriers to investment in the energy sector, the Second Republic has opened the area for more private business to meet power shortages through investments that will enhance power generation. Let me say 68 % of the projected investment value for all licences were issued in the energy sector. For instance, there is a new 50 megawatt solar station in Bulawayo and major upgrade of the national grid in Bikita. These two investments from private investors through public private partnerships, will see Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and Bulawayo City Council benefiting from a solar power station that it will eventually own and Bikita Mineral from the construction of 113km, 132 kilovolt power line from the existing Tokwe substation to the proposed Bikita Mineral substation. The solar power plant in Bulawayo will address the perennial power challenges at the Bulawayo water pumping station and also provide power to Bulawayo industries in designed special economic zones, thereby providing an alternative stream for the City Council.
Mr. President, let me move to road infrastructure. Road transport is indispensable to economic and social development in any country. This has a significant implication on development and the economy of our nation. Thus, the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads to an acceptable standard is a prerequisite as roads also play a crucial role in determining the competitiveness of exports and imports on international and regional markets. More than 50 000km of roads have so far been rehabilitated and reconstructed countrywide since the start of the Emergency Road and Rehabilitation Programme in 2021.
Under Heritage Based education 5.0 module, institutions of Higher and Tertiary Education are expected to champion teaching, research, community services, innovation and industrialisation. Mr. President, 16 industries have been established, contributing to economic growth. Mutare Teachers College has established a food processing industry for the beneficiation of indigenous fruits. Lupane State University Agro Innovation Park is providing extension service to local farmers in goat production.
Mr. President, beneficiation is part of Zimbabwe’s economy diversification. The Second Republic is putting emphasis on value addition and beneficiation of natural resources for optimum profits and benefit of local communities. The setting up of lithium processing hubs, particularly lithium battery companies in Zimbabwe will immensely benefit the country. Establishment of the processing plant at Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe is in tandem with the Government’s stance to position the country as a lithium hub. The masawu fruit which is abundant in the Zambezi Valley is a classic example of the beneficiation of natural resources and industries are shaping up in Mashonaland Central for mass production and ultimate exports. Villagers in Mwenezi and surrounding areas are pocketing at least USD5million annually, from selling the indigenous mapfura/marula fruit for production at a local Mwenezi mapfura/marula processing and value addition plant. Small scale farmers in Mutoko and surrounding areas are also benefiting from the fruit and vegetable processing plant commissioned by His Excellency, which is expected to contribute to crop value addition in line with Vision 2030 supported by NDSI. The establishment of manufacturing plants, processing facilities and value-added industries are positioning the country for economic development and addressing inequalities, creating opportunities for job creation, infrastructure development and improved living standards.
This is a clear extrapolation of the heritage theme which underpins the Education 5.0 strategy. It is a revolutionary call to look inwards and transform our economy through processing all our heritage, including taming and domesticating our flora and fauna for competitive exports. More Government funding needs to be secured to grow and take to the next level, the innovations coming as a result of Education 5.0.
Access to Health
Towards universal access to healthcare, every district in the country should have quality healthcare services that have the latest equipment and specialist medical officers. This is critical in the attainment of Vision 2030 to become an Upper Middle-Class Economy as articulated in the NDS I. In Mhondoro, His Excellency commissioned a refurbished Mubaira Rural District Hospital which was constructed through a public-private partnership with Zimplats. More than 47 clinics and hospitals have been built since 2018 with many more upgraded and repaired. Cowdray Park Health Centre in Bulawayo, a 20-bed state of the art health facility was commissioned by His Excellency. This is the second facility of its nature, the first one being Stoneridge in Harare South. Another clinic of the same nature has been constructed in Mataga, Zvishavane and the model is being replicated across the country.
Over 200 boreholes have been drilled at the health facilities, while 1000 old and new facilities had solar power installed. The upgrades in the health system are part of the Government’s quest to ensure local health standards match best international practice.
His Excellency concluded his address by encouraging all the Parliamentarians in both houses to work together and achieve continued unity of purpose to build our motherland. He also encourages us to wholeheartedly participate in the enactment of laws that will improve quality of life of our people. By doing this, we will fulfill one of our mandates of representation. I thank you.
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th December, 2023.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Tomorrow, there is going to be a budget presentation. The budget, in terms of the Constitution is presented to the National Assembly. Under normal circumstances, if our gadgets here, were connected to the National Assembly, we would have come, start the Session, adjourn and listen to the budget presentation from here. Unfortunately, our gadgets are not yet connected with the National Assembly. So, there is no point in coming here.
In terms of the Constitution, anyway the budget is presented to the National Assembly. So, tomorrow we urge you to listen to the budget as it is being presented and take note of the main issues which are going to be made by the Minister of Finance.
Today we will adjourn, up to the 12th as per sitting of the Senate but on Monday, you are all required to come back here in the morning at 0800 a.m. We will hold a Post-Budget Seminar where we are going to analyse, in fact we will bring in experts who will analyse the budget. We will debate it from 0800 a.m. up to 1 o’clock p. m. In the afternoon, Senators will then join Portfolio Committees for Post-Budget consultations up to Thursday. So, you are required to be here next week, even though officially we are adjourning to the 12th of December. So, the whole of next week, you are required to be here at work. I hope this clarifies the issues at stake.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA, seconded by HON. SEN. GOTORA, the Senate adjourned at Four Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 12th December, 2023.
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 28th November, 2023
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o`clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
NATIONAL BUDGET PRESENTATION
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON MACHINGURA): I have one announcement to make. I wish to remind the House that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion will present the 2024 National Budget on Thursday, the 30th of November 2023, in the National Assembly.
HON. MARKHAM. On a point of national interest Hon. Speaker Sir. Thank you Hon. Speaker, good afternoon. Hon. Speaker, I was inundated recently by the business community pertaining to the foreign currency auctions. Apparently, at the last four auctions where money was auctioned, the Zimbabwe dollar was taken but the foreign currency has not been released. Could the Minister, through you Mr. Speaker, give us an urgent update on the reason for the delay and why we are continuing to auction foreign currency if we are going to be late in our disbursement? I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Okay Hon. Markham, your concern has been noted.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 5 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 6 has been disposed of.
HON. HLATSHWAYO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AWARENESS PROGRAMMES TO PROMOTE POSITIVE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CHANGE
HON. S. NDEBELE: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:
NOTING with appreciation that the 2023 commemorations to mark the 16-Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign will run under the theme “Unite Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls” and will commence from 25 November to 10 December 2023;
CONCERNED that Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is pervasive across economic, cultural, religion, age, sexual and ethnic orientation spaces;
NOTING that GBV manifests itself in various derivatives which mainly constitute harmful traditional practices, physical violence, psychological violence, economic violence, sexual violence and emotional abuse;
WORRIED that victims of GBV endure physically, psychologically, and socially???? resulting in both short and long-term effects which include mental health challenges, rampant drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and unwanted pregnancies;
ACKNOWLEDGING the various positive policy initiatives instituted by the Government of Zimbabwe in curbing the perpetration and perpetuation of GBV in the society;
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government to;
a) Initiate the enactment of laws that deter Gender-Based Violence
perpetrators and provide for stiffer penalties;
b) Embark on GBV awareness programmes to all districts of the country; and
c) Initiate Gender-Based Violence programmes that promote positive social and cultural change as a way of eradicating this scourge.
HON. MUTANDI: I second.
HON. S. NDEBELE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to start by asking you all to observe a minute of silence in memory of women and girls who lost their lives due to gender based violence.
All Hon. Members observed a minute of silence
Mr. Speaker, let me start by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to table this motion which seeks to raise awareness of the 16-days of activism against gender-based violence. As the Women’s Caucus, we are honoured to join the rest of the international community in commemorating the 16-days of activism against gender-based violence. This is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of negative effects of violence against women and girls. Since the campaign was started in 1991, we have witnessed significant progress being made by many parties in terms of raising awareness and protecting women and girls` rights. Surprisingly, we have continued to witness an increased number of GBV cases instead of a decrease. This is actually worrisome and calls for reflection on this matter.
We may need to go back to the drawing board and re-strategise as representative of the people in this country. Mr. Speaker Sir, this year’s commemoration is being held under the theme “Unite, invest to prevent violence against women and girls” this is a call for the national governance to prioritise and invest resources to fight the scourge. Indeed, violence against women and girls is a human rights issue. It must be taken seriously by us all. We are all affected in one way or another.
Mr. Speaker, let me prefix my motion by defining Gender-Based Violence. This is violence that is directed and is usually based on his or her biological sex or gender identity. It is one of the most extreme or unequal gender relations in society. It is, first and foremost, a violation of rights and a global health issue that cuts across boundaries of economic health, wealth, culture, religion, acts and social orientation. It has become a global problem affecting the global village at large. Gender-Based Violence is not only perpetrated by males and predominantly affects women and girls but can also happen to men and boys.
Intimate partners violence refers to behaviour by an intimate partner or an x-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm including physical aggression, sexual coercion, physiological abuse and controlling behaviours. Studies have indicated wide spread gender based violence globally which approximately is about 35% of women. It means 1 in 3 women globally have experienced physical or raw sexual violence at some point in their lives. That is more than 1 billion women and girls facing physical abuse. Seven percent of women have suffered sexual assault from another person other than their partner. Murderers of women committed by an intimate partner crime of passion are up to 38%. We recently read in the newspaper about a woman who was murdered by her boyfriend in Marondera. A great number of up to 200 million have experienced female gentile mutilation.
Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that G.B.V has a cost to society and Government, which significantly impacts on national development. The WB predicts that violence against women and girls is estimated to cost countries up to 3.7% of the G.D.P., which is more than double to what most governments spend on education budgets. This is so because survivors suffer physical, physiological and social consequences which affects both the long and short term. Such effects include mental health issues arising from suicidal cases and drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and many more; cases rising in our global village which has healthy related implications. Sad is it not? Imagine if the resources we are spending on fighting GBV can be utilised elsewhere. Mr. Speaker, gender-based violence comes in different forms which include among others, harmful traditional practises, physical, physiological, economic, child marriages, owner killings, human trafficking and sexual violence which includes intimate partner violence, the I.P.V and female genital mutilation.
Coming closer to home G.B.V, is a prevalent matter in Zimbabwe and it affects women and girls nationwide. G.B.V in Zimbabwe has been exacerbated by increasing poverty levels, societal norms and values that keep alive gender inequalities and cultural practises, economy dispersals, loopholes in the legal framework, displacements and disaster, religion and conflicts, and of late now there is technology of cyber-related violence against women and girls. Mr. Speaker, the statistics that I have here are traumatising and most studies indicate a high rate of intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, child marriage, domestic violence and other types of gender violence. According to the Afro Barometer findings, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agendas and UNICEF 2019 reveal that 40% of women between the age of 12 and 49 encounter physical or sexual abuse from an intimate partner.
It is also important to note that violence is also perpetrated on the young children, both boys and girls and the elderly women. According to MICS survey, the top 3 provinces where women reported having experience all forms of spouse violence were Mashonaland East with 55%, Masvingo 54% and Manicaland 53%. Thirty-nine percent of women aged 15 and 49 years reported that they have experienced violence since the age of 15, while 11% experienced it in the last 12 months. Twelve percent of women reported ever having experience violence whilst 5% reported having experience in the last 12months.
About one in two women aged 15 and 49 years have experienced emotional or sexual abuse, committed by their current or last husbands in their lifetime. In the last 12 months, the most prevalent form of abuse was emotional. Mr. Speaker, I will not have done justice to this motion if I do not take reference to the challenging life faced by women with disability especially in relation to G.B.V. Did you know that G.B.V is more prevalent among women than men? The World Bank report on disability estimates that globally 19% of women have disability relative to 12% of men. Women with disability are almost ten times to experience violence compared to men with disabilities or men or women without disabilities.
Additionally, they experience higher rates of all forms of violence due to factors related to dependence on others for support, mistrust and social and physical isolation. Women and girls with disabilities may experience multi-forms of violence including physiological and emotional violence, neglect, financial abuse or exploitation or physical or sexual abuse. Additionally, many women and girls with disabilities face structural violence in accessing education, health and social services. Also, it is important to note that most safe places for girls with disabilities remain inaccessible to those with disabilities.
Mr. Speaker, I have highlighted some of the challenges faced by women generally. Let me hasten to mention that Zimbabwe is a signatory to a number of international and regional instruments that relate to discrimination based violence such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995, the Convection on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Covenant of Civil and Politically Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals and the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which have put in place national legislation and policies aimed at protecting women and girls, but sadly, women and girls continue to face discrimination, violence and many other forms of human rights violation.
What does it mean to us the policy makers or legislators? We need to go back to the drawing board and re-design our strategies and interventions? It is time to unite and invest to prevent violence against women and girls. At the national level, we have our Constitution which is very progressive in terms of recognising gender equality and protecting every citizen, especially women on Sections 3,17, 25(b), 52, 56,78,79 and 80. Section 52 states that and I quote “every person has a right to bodily and psychological integrity which includes the right to freedom of all forms of violence from public and private sources”. Section 56 prohibits any form of discrimination based on sex and gender among others. These provisions, among others strengthen the Government’s commitment on curbing GBV. Domestic policies such as the National Gender Policy (NGP) are also in place. The NGP recognises gender-based violence, in particular violence against women, as one of the biggest obstacles to women’s participation in decision making and severely limits the ability to participate in economic and social activities.
In 2007, Zimbabwe elected the Domestic Violence Act which was a game changer in the region and beyond because it broke the conservative barriers of GBV which were deeply rooted in many homesteads and communities. The Domestic Violence Act also introduced Anti Domestic Violence Council which has not been functional, yet it is a very strategic organ for fighting GBV. This organ has been shifted from one Ministry to another and is currently housed in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. As Women’s Caucus, we are not bothered as to which Ministry or Government department houses the Anti Domestic Violence Council, no. Our concern is on its functionality. This organ has not been funded, and yet it is strategic in fighting and curbing GBV in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus, as an advocacy group, believes in safe spaces for all human race, regardless of sex or sex orientation. Therefore, we will not continue to sit on our laurels and watch the rights of women and girls in Zimbabwe being violated. We believe that women and girls have a right to participate fully in the mainstream economy without any fear, be it young women, the elderly, women with disability, young girls employed or unemployed, married and not married, poor or rich. In short as the ZWPC, we are saying that the woman must not be discriminated against or face any form of violence in Zimbabwe.
If we are to achieve our country’s vision to become an upper-middle class economy come 2030, as well as attain our SDG target by 2030, we must ensure that we leave no one and no place behind. Curbing GBV has implications for our national goals. A happy population whereby every citizen enjoys and exercises his or her rights would go a long way in creating safe spaces in the informal sector, workplace, public and private sectors for expressing oneself without fear or being victimised or having one’s right being violated.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as I conclude, I wish to focus on a few strategies that I believe the Government must adopt, prioritise and provide adequate resources to curb GBV in Zimbabwe. As we enter the 2024 budget season, it is important to support this year’s theme, ‘Unite, invest to prevent violence against women and girls.’
As the ZWPC, we call upon the Government to prioritise the following;
Finalising the alignment of GB related laws with the Constitution, especially child marriage laws.
Particular harmonisation of the age of consent and legal age of marriage including the introduction of punitive and deterrent sentences to perpetrators of all forms of gender-based violence. Central to this adoption and implementation to SADAC model law of eradicating child marriage and protecting children already in marriage as a blue print for managing child marriages.
Review of labour laws so that sexual harassment is legally recognised as a criminal function and compensation provided for through the enhancement of Sexual Harassment Act.
Adequately fund the Anti Domestic Violence Council so that it effectively performs its mandate.
Adequately fund the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development so that it can perform its mandate effectively.
A budget of less than 1% for a Ministry that oversees about 52% of the country’s population is worrisome. It is our prayer that the 2024 budget provides the Ministry and other gender machineries, including the ZWPC with adequate resources so that all effectively discharge their mandate.
Let me conclude by thanking the Parliament of Zimbabwe for funding a sensitisation workshop on GBV for all Members of Parliament. This workshop was indeed an eye-opener in terms of raising awareness of GBV issues amongst male and female Parliamentarians so that they become GBV change champions. As the ZWPC, we continue to call the Government to fully fund our activities so that we remain impactful in Parliament and beyond. I thank you.
HON. MUTANDI: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker. I rise to debate on the motion moved by Hon. S. Ndebele. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank ZWPC for this initiative to table a motion to raise awareness on the commemoration of the 16-Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Zimbabwe.
This annual campaign running from November 20 to December 10 serves a powerful reminder of the persistent challenges faced by individuals, particularly women and children in our society. This motion is very important for the ZWPC as an advocacy group because this is our opportunity to point out the realities of women and girls in Parliament so that we debate and call the Government to action. As highlighted by the mover of the motion, Hon. S. Ndebele, the statistics on GBV in Zimbabwe are scary. Globally, one in three women have experienced GBV in any form. Similarly, the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey 2016 indicates that in Zimbabwe, approximately one in three women aged 15 to 49 years has experienced physical violence and approximately one in four women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. Is this not scary?
In this august House, imagine out of the 122 female Parliamentarians, probably one in three of us that is about 40 female parliamentarians have experienced a form of GBV. Can you imagine the ordinary Zimbabwean citizens at the grassroots who may be sitting in silence because it is not an easy topic to discuss?
Mr. Speaker Sir, the 16-Days of Activism Campaign therefore provides a platform to unite and mobilise against this menace, fostering awareness, advocating for policy changes and promoting solidarity. However, let me hasten to mention that you must not only wait for this campaign to begin for us to raise awareness of the effects of GBV. Let me applaud the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, for adopting 24/7, 365 days-a- year approach in terms of raising awareness of this scourge. GBV happens in our communities on a daily basis and it is actually increasing instead of decreasing despite all our effort as leaders in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, according to the Ministry of Women Affairs, about two in five women reported ever having experienced either physical or sexual violence whilst one in 10% reported having experienced both. In terms of provincial distribution, Matabeleland North 5%, Matabeleland South 6% and Bulawayo 7%. Provinces reported the lowest prevalence of spousal sexual violence while the top three provinces where women reported having experienced all forms of spousal violence were Mashonaland East with 55%, Masvingo with 54% and Manicaland 53 %. This, therefore, means a lot of campaign must be conducted in these hotspots.
Let me hasten to acknowledge the commendable efforts that the Government of Zimbabwe has undertaken in the fight against this divisive issue. The case for GBV is a development issue and addressing the scourge must remain a national priority. Parliament has a unique role to play in this fight or campaign. As you all know and as highlighted by Hon. Ndebele, the Government is party to key international and regional Instruments on gender; CEDAW, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa among others.
This commitment signifies a crucial step towards addressing the multifaceted nature of GBV and fostering a safer environment for all. Mr. Speaker Sir, the ZWPC has implemented various advocacy initiatives aimed at curbing GBV, including awareness campaigns calling for policy reforms and for the establishment of support services for victims. This effort deserves acknowledgement as they reflect a commitment by Parliament of Zimbabwe as a whole, to creating a society free from the shackles of violence and discrimination.
However, as we commend these efforts, it is essential for the ZWPC to continue to lobby for more resources, and to continue to play a pivotal role in fighting this scourge. I would like to mention that in order for Zimbabwe to address this scourge, there is need for a comprehensive approach to be adopted by all the three arms of the State, namely the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. We need not only to strengthen the legislative framework but also ensure adequate resources are allocated for implementation. Furthermore, the existing gaps in the enforcement of laws must be addressed by strengthening the Judiciary system. The Victim Friendly Unit under the Zimbabwe Republic Police, is not adequately funded. The police officers are not well trained to handle GBV cases.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Women Affairs is responsible for overseeing the implementation of women’s rights in Zimbabwe and yet continues to receive less than 1% of the total National Budget. Women in Zimbabwe constitute 52% of the country‘s population and yet falls among the least funded ministries. As we enter the budget making process this year for the 2024 year, I would like to call upon all the women MPs and our He-for-She champions to support us as we call on the Ministry of Finance and Investment Promotion to invest and prevent violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe. In light of these challenges, I propose that we recommend a comprehensive review of our existing anti-GBV frameworks with a focus on enhancing their effectiveness. This may involve consultation with stakeholders civil society organisations and experts in the fields to ensure that our legal and policy measures align with the current dynamics of gender-based violence.
The SADC model law is a case in point which requires our attention as Parliament. In the spirit of our commitment of eradicating gender-based violence, I call upon this esteemed Assembly to address the urgent need to domesticate the SADC model law on eradicating child marriages and protecting those in marriage. Child marriages remain a blight on our society, robbing young individuals of their childhood and subjecting them to a myriad of physical, emotional and social challenges. By adopting the SADC model law, we signal our unwavering commitment to protecting the rights of children and ensuring their well-being. Furthermore, I urge this Assembly to prioritise the domestication of the SADC Model Law on Gender Based Violence.
This comprehensive legal framework provides a foundation for tackling GBV at its roots, addressing both prevention and response strategies. I cannot emphasise that these model laws present individual opportunities to fortify our legal arsenal against gender-based violence, sending a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated within our borders. Additionally, there is a pressing need to allocate increased budgetary support to the relevant ministries, departments and agencies tasked with addressing gender-based violence. Adequate funding is indispensable for the successful implementation of awareness campaigns, support services and enforcement of the laws.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as I conclude, and as we reflect on the 16-Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, let us reaffirm our dedication to creating a society where every individual, regardless of gender, can leave free from violence and discrimination. I so humbly submit trusting that together, we can contribute to the creation of a safer and more equitable Zimbabwe for both men and women. I thank you.
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to also add my voice to this very important motion that is before us during this time when we commemorate 16-Days of Activism against GBV. I would like to thank Hon. Ndebele for moving this motion and her seconder Hon. Mutandi. At the same time, thanking the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus for this initiative. Mr. Speaker Sir, I shall not labour on what has been said already by the Hon. Members who have already spoken. I will quickly rush to what I thought can also add to the Instruments and maybe solutions to help us eradicate gender-based violence in this country, looking at some of the laws that we feel should be enacted or improved to help alleviate gender based violence. Government should ensure the following:
- That the Criminal Law Codification Reform Act Chapter 9 (23) has detailed sentencing guidelines because the other problems we have are that there are no guidelines in sentencing GBV perpetrators. Such guidelines may need to be statutory to ensure that they are implemented. Guidelines on sentencing are also important since they would guide the courts on the type of aggregating and mitigating factors to be taken into account as well as the weight to be given to different factors as well as restricting certain factors. These would ensure high sentences of sexual offences and at the same time, promote consistency and proportionality.
- Government should also ensure that the Criminal Law Codification Reform Act Chapter 9 (23) has more in-depth reform of sexual offences law. There is need for clear articulation of the definition of consent in the Criminal Law Code.
- Government should ensure that this Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9 (23) involves the victim in the sentencing process by making use of victim impact statements in considering sentences and in this, inform courts on the extent of harm suffered for purposes of imposing an appropriate sentence.
Government should also ensure that Criminal Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9 (23) increases jurisdiction or special jurisdiction for regional magistrates in respect of sexual offences. Special and separate courts for sexual offences should be created.
Government should ensure that Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9 (23) provides for protection of victims by having in camera court sessions and also dedicate sexual offences court to expedite the sentencing of cases. GBV should also be included in the educational curriculum from ECD so that our children, as they grow up, already refrain from GBV. They will know what it is and they will know what it means and what it will cause. So if it is included earlier as we always say we should catch them young, they will know the impact of gender based violence.
Government should create a Government funded GBV watch to systematically gather disaggregated data on the prevalence of femicides. This data will not only be based on the types of GBV and identify the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, but also inform the nation on the statistics around GBV. We are talking of all these statistics, but a lot of statistics are hidden because people do not go and report their cases. GBV cases are hardly reported, especially in the rural areas where we come from because we want to protect relationships and do not want to break families. Children are raped by family members, women are beaten up, but we do not report and these days because of mutoriro issues, the drug abusers have also become GBV perpetrators to their own mothers. I have heard so many mothers who go and report their own sons to the police because they would have come back home drugged and hit them. They go and report, but sometimes they are also told to go back home. Where are the safe houses to put these women who are now scared of their husbands and sons who physically abuse them? So Government should have safe houses in every ward or constituency where you run to, because if you go back home, you are beaten again until you die. Some have lost their lives because of $2 and it is very sad.
Government also needs to strengthen the GBV Council so that it can launch a task force to assess institutional responses to gender based violence and key gaps.
Government should strengthen measures to prevent GBV to protect women and prosecute cases because in some instances, you go to court 100 times until you cannot go any more. So the cases should be dealt with quickly so that the perpetrator is locked up.
Government should also coordinate efforts across different sectors to end GBV and improve oversight of the police and security personnel to prevent abuse of power by providing gender responsive training.
In conclusion, I would like to urge this House to use every platform and opportunity they get through their representative role in their constituencies to talk about the impact of GBV and how it derails the development of a country. I also urge Hon. Members to speak to their pastors, village heads and chiefs so that whenever people are gathered, GBV is talked about. The chiefs can also help eradicate GBV through their courts. I attended one such court conducted by Chief Negomo. I had gone with one of my nieces who had been summoned to go there and we were told the case was not going to be heard on that day, but we sat and listened to some cases to do with GBV. The way the cases were dealt with, I ended up spending six hours listening. Our case was finally dealt with and I was satisfied with the punishment and sentence proffered. If all chiefs are doing it the way I saw issues being dealt with at Chief Negomo’s court, it means the chiefs are very handy on this GBV issue. If you want a quick sentence, you would rather go and attend a chief’s court. At court, it takes longer and you need a lawyer and money for the case to be heard. People in the rural areas do not have the capacity to hire a lawyer to come to court. So if we have good chiefs dealing with these cases, it will help eradicate GBV. I want to thank you and this House, I hope our male counterparts in this House will run with it because if they speak about it, they will be heard. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.
*HON. MATSUNGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for awarding me this opportunity to add my voice during this season of commemorating 16-days against gender-based violence. I want to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Ndebele for moving a pertinent motion. I also want to thank the seconder of the motion.
Mr. Speaker, I am very emotionally disturbed if I think about the issues of gender-based violence. It is something people used to fear very much during the past, but right now, people do not respect each other. There is a lot of killings between men and women. It is now easy for them to kill physically, mentally or emotionally abuse each other. The previous speakers mentioned a lot of things which need to be addressed, but let me also add my voice. Mr. Speaker, there is an issue of sexual harassment which is rampant in this House. It is another form of gender-based violence. When women rise to debate, they are being looked down upon by their male counterparts, although we are working together in this august House as Members of Parliament.
That behaviour only is a clear testimony that more needs to be done in educating people about gender-based violence and to make people understand that there are equal opportunities between men and women. It does not matter that a female Member of Parliament came to Parliament to represent people as someone who won a constituency or as a proportional representative. All of us are Hon Members, we must respect each other and that behaviour of looking down upon each other must be addressed in this House.
Mr. Speaker, let me procced by saying that in prisons, there is another form of gender-based violence. There are women who commit crimes and end up being arrested and incarcerated while they are pregnant. These women end up giving birth in prisons, but there is no dedicated place to stay for expecting mothers or recreational centres/ facilities for their kids. This is another form of abuse. On their sitting arrangements in these prisons, expecting mothers end up being mixed with those who are mentally ill. This is another form of abuse which is happening to the mothers and children in prisons.
There is another issue which is happening at Victim Friendly Units. If a man goes to report a case of abuse, even myself as an Hon Member, for example, if I go and report, people begin to judge me by status. Culturally, not all men go out and report issues of gender-based violence. It takes a lot of time for these issues to be resolved. That is why you see that some may end up committing suicide because many of them are shy to come out and confess that they are being abused in the homes. We are pleading with the Ministry of Home Affairs to increase the number of offices and deploy many officers, including men so that their male counterparts feel free to talk about the abuses they are facing. Officers manning Victim Friendly Units must be gender-balanced so that everyone gets the help they deserve in time.
Mr. Speaker, sometimes when men go to report issues of abuse, some of them end up going back to their homes without lodging the complaint because they fear being humiliated. Most men have their pride; hence it is very pertinent to protect it. According to some of them, it is better to be abused than to be laughed at. Most men are being abused emotionally, physically, and most of the time, we end up hearing stories of men committing suicide because they feel bad about it and more often than not, they do not report it. So it takes time. Hence, as a result, you find that men might commit suicide as a result of domestic violence because men will be shy to come out and say they have been abused.
We have such cases being perpetrated in our constituencies. My plea is that there should be more offices that deal with such issues. In fact, whenever men go to the police station, they cannot be assisted by female officers there. The female officers who will be manning those police stations may laugh at the victims. As men, they go back and that means they are emotionally, physically and mentally affected by such issues. That is when we have men committing suicide due to lack of someone coming forward to help them. We have village heads and chiefs that we find within our constituencies, whenever we speak during this period of 16-days against gender-based violence, people should respect this time.
There are boys and girls who are impregnating each other as a result of drugs. The parents of such children who are drug addicts are no longer controlling them, they have lost heart. During this period, as policy makers and Members of Parliament, it should be the duty of each and every elected representative in your area of jurisdiction or constituency to talk about the ills of domestic violence. A lot of young children, men and boys have died and the cases have been going up. They are dying because they have been jilted by their girlfriends. They should have received counselling from those within their areas of jurisdiction, that if you miss one, you will get another, if a love affair ends, you can enter into another one. People are now using emotions in a wrong manner and at the end, they kill each other. This domestic based violence is an issue that does not sit well with me.
I want to talk about women who are pregnant and once they have given birth, it is important that men should be given time to assist their wives because that is a national duty. Women should not be abused after giving birth. Men should not be too talkative to an extent that they will ask their wives to wake up so that they can prepare whatever it is they require when they are still nursing. Men should also be given paternal leave so that they can be able to assist their wives. It is a very traumatic experience to be pregnant.
There is also this issue Mr. Speaker, whereas politicians, we want to contest for seats, we are traumatised and a lot of name-calling happens where we are given unthinkable names. Anyone who is involved in cyber-bullying against women should be dealt with in a severe manner. We want a law to protect us as women so that when we have thrown our hats into the bin as politicians, we should campaign freely. Women are willing to do so, but the majority are now refraining because of the abuse that their fellow women are facing. They are looked down upon and talked of in bad light.
In conclusion, there are a lot of things that are happening. We have a law that is not very effective, such as the Sexual Harassment Policy. Such a policy should be enacted into an Act of Parliament so that it can protect anyone who comes, even in the future after I am gone. I thank you.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Matsunga, but you left a statement hanging that the husbands say, wake up to do things for me, but what is that he would want you to do? – [Laughter.] –
HON. NYELELE: Mr. Speaker, it is crucial to keep and equip young people about the 16-days of activism against gender-based violence for several reasons. Firstly, raising awareness and providing education on this issue ensures that young people have a deep understanding of the harmful impact of gender-based violence on individuals, families and communities. The knowledge empowers them to recognise and challenge gender-based violence when they encounter it, promoting a culture of respect and equality.
Secondly, equipping young people with information about the 16-days of activism helps to foster empathy and compassion by learning about the experience of survivors and understanding the dynamics of gender-based violence. They can develop a sense of solidarity and support for those affected. This encourages young people to become active allies, standing up against gender-based violence and promoting a safe and inclusive environment for all.
Mr. Speaker Sir, furthermore, teaching young people about the 16-days of activism helps to disembark harmful gender norms and stereotypes by exploring the root causes and societal factors that perpetuate gender-based violence. Young individuals can challenge and redefine harmful narratives that contribute to inequality. This creates opportunities for young people to embrace healthy, respectful and good relationship, thus breaking the cycle of violence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, additionally providing education on the 16-days of activism encourages young people to become agents of change. It empowers them with the knowledge, skills and resources needed actively to engage in advocacy and prevention efforts. By implying their voices and mobilising collective actions, young people can create lasting social change influencing policies and system to prioritise gender equality and eliminate gender-based violence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, ultimately teaching and equipping young people about the 16-days of activism against gender-based-violence is essential for creating a safer and more inclusive future. It enables young individuals to become champions with gender equality. Fostering a society where violence and discrimination based on gender are not tolerated and where every person can live with dignity, respect and freedom from violence. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion raised in this august House. The truth of the matter is that if we talk about gender-based-violence and we want to understand it, I would analyse it as being not akin to women, no. It is not the women who are being abused. We once witnessed gender-based-violence in the Garden of Eden. Mr. Speaker Sir, we actually saw Adam being forsaken by the Almighty God when he was told that he knows nothing by a woman. That is when it really started Mr. Speaker Sir.
We also further noticed as we were living that the woman is the one who bears the brunt of life. A woman must be respected. Why we are failing to respect women so that they can live well is because of foreigners, settlers. As Africans, Mr. Speaker Sir, if a woman misbehaved, once she was taken to court, the woman was always right. In Africa, it has always been said that women are the ones that were favoured by these laws and gender-based violence was minimal.
I heard the previous speaker talking about a woman who might be pregnant for nine months and that as she is ill, she is given tasks to perform. It is because the power that a woman has, Mr. Speaker Sir, is too much. No matter how difficult things might turn out to be, women are very brave. They are not afraid. If you go to a funeral, it will be women who will be at this funeral. If there is anything that is required, it is the women who are normally available and God actually accepted to say that he would look after the women better than the men.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA): Order Hon. Member. According to Part 8, subsection 80 of the Standing Rules and Orders under Order of the House and Rules of Debate, it says every Member must, and I go to (b) make obeisance to the Chair in passing to and from his or her seat and upon entering and leaving the Chamber.
I do not have to remind you Hon. Members. The Hon. Member at the back there, you have been having multiple entries and exits and you never did bow. Please, let us stick to our Standing Rules.
*HON. MATANGIRA: I was taken aback that maybe I had misbehaved. I had fallen foul of the Rules or Orders. If I had done that, that would be a serious breach as men. Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. In proceeding, I urge us as men and the august House, to respect women. Even if we look at the spirit mediums of this country that led us to attain victory, we were led by the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda. She would instruct the men and they would follow the instructions. What came from the West said men and women are now equal. Some of them are having sex changes where a male becomes a female and vice versa.
As Africans, when a young girl develops breasts, the father would desist from beating her out of respect and a son would not beat his mother because of respect. We are not saying that there is no violence because of women, but if you go deeper, you will observe that as men, we have had serious problems in being ruled by women.
Mr. Speaker Sir, if all the women were to be honest with you, these phones that we have are causing us more harm than good. Whenever the phone rings, we have problems. They would want to know who has phoned. If you say it is Getrude an Hon. Member, you will have serious problems in trying to explain yourself out.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as men, we are under fire. When you try to beat about the bush or not being clear, the roles have now been changed. It is the bird that is now holding the catapult. We are no longer living harmoniously. At the moment, Mr. Speaker Sir, women are now saying that men are a problem but that is not true, that is a lie. I am afraid that I cannot say what actually happens at my house because I have a son-in-law who is in here. On both sides of the House, we should be honest enough as black people that our wives should not be assaulted and we teach our children that once they have fallen in love and they are in matrimony, they should live well in harmony. The westerners have destroyed our families.
HON. CHAGWIZA: On a point of order - [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. The Hon Member is addressing the Chair and therefore there is no point of order.
*HON. MATANGIRA: If it is acceptable Mr. Speaker, I may give him what I have to contribute because I have more than enough time. If he wants me to speak in English, I will definitely do so in order to buttress my point.
When we talk about north, east, west and south….
HON. BONDA: On a point of order. The rules of the House dictate that no code switching is allowed. A Member should debate in one language.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Hon. Member wanted to illustrate his point. May you proceed Hon. Matangira.
*HON. MATANGIRA: Let me give my points in brief so that they will be no interjections. I was just saying that those from the west have brought in their culture which is alien to Africans. Because of that practice, that is why there is gender-based violence. When I have married a woman, I have married her because she will complement me physically. In the west, they say no, if you are hungry and I have had my meal from elsewhere, you should wait until I also become hungry. That is where it all starts. Such kind of misunderstandings lead to gender- based violence.
The man who experiences gender-based violence, leave the matrimonial home and becomes infected. He comes back and infects the wife because she would have said she was sexually satisfied. As a result, there would be gender-based violence. That is why I was saying from both sides of the House, we should agree to go back to our culture as it was in the olden days. It was known in our culture that when you go for parliamentary elections, if there are 12 women and two men - and a goat has been bitten by a crocodile, the 12 women would say to the two men please go in and rescue the goat because in terms of bodily strength we are not the same. The manner in which God created us and in this way of life, gender-based violence would not be there but most likely it is caused by the western culture. We from the east, as Africans, should stay as Africans. I thank you.
*HON. TOBAIWA: I would like to thank the Women’s Caucus for the motion that they have raised. I would want to give my view and my voice to this motion. I have observed that these days we believe that at times GBV is perpetrated against women. As women, we are aware that we are abusing men in our families. When women are assaulted in the families, they go to the police and make a report that they have been assaulted. The husband is then arrested but the instigators will have been a woman because she will have called a man a dog, which is an insult.
If you look at the police stations that we now have, they do not handle men properly. As a result, most men who are abused are shy to go and report their case to a female police officer. Men tend not to report their cases because most victim friendly stations are manned by women. On the issue of abuse, as women, we are constantly being assaulted by men and as a result we may have miscarriages or fail to conceive. For one to conceive, one needs to be in a right mental state. When you want to engage in intimacy, because of the assault, I may not be in the right frame of mind and fail to bear a child. The aunts will then call me names. They do not bear in mind that it is their brother who has been abusing me. In the majority of cases, abuse comes from the women who are assaulting each other. There is also mental effects to the parents of the woman who is abused because lobola has been paid.
There are also churches that encourage children to go into marriages when they are still young. Children are being married before their time and as a result, such girls may not want to be married and carry on with their education. They are unable to do so because of their faith. The child is psychologically affected when the marriage turns sour. She has been forced into a marriage that she was not willing to be party to. We are seeing in a majority of cases, women suffering from diseases because men in these churches are not sticking to a monogamous relationship. They are having polygamous relationships and are not sure if the women they are marrying are not infected with a disease or not. Furthe r to that, you will have married her while she was under age, you bring in another woman and she is unable to complain because she was just given to you. This is another form of gender-based violence. It is affecting us as women and even in the Victim Friendly Units that are made reference to. If the police do not receive us well when we report such cases, the majority of complainants will be afraid to go there as a result of being shy. When I go there and see men, I may not be able to report my case because there will be too many people in the police station. The police officers do not allow you to speak in the strictest of confidence with a single officer. Like I said, men will be shy to report that they have been assaulted by a woman and as a result of that, they go back and the woman will further add insult to injury by mocking them that you had gone to make a report to the police, what did you achieve?
I urge all of us to live harmoniously because these disturbances in the matrimonial homes are detrimental to our lives. We talk of 16-days of activism against GBV, but once such cases are reported, the police should take action and the cases must be concluded. I thank you.
HON. NDUDZO: Mr. Speaker Sir, GBV is something that affects almost every stratum of our society. From the proletarian classes, the peasantry, the high heeled bourgeoisie, the ruling class and the politicians, everyone is potentially a victim and potentially a perpetrator of gender-based violence. As we search for solutions to curb and deal with GBV in our society, we need to accept that GBV is not something that merely manifests in the physical elements that we often discuss. Sometimes the physical elements, when there are assaults, constitute the most extreme cases of GBV. However, if one has regard to the definition of violence as defined in the Domestic Violence Act where the definition has been broadened to extend to psychological, emotional, financial and economic aspects including body shaming aspects, you will realise that gender-based violence is something that happens almost every day and sometimes the perpetrators are ignorant of the fact that their acts constitute GBV. Sometimes people suffer in silence because they are not aware that what they are going through constitutes being victims of GBV.
Our society is yet to deal with certain realities that have come up as a result of the push for equality between men and women. We often have men suffering in silence and also suffering from stigmatisation and stereotypes, especially in situations where perhaps, they find themselves being in marriages or relationships where the woman is earning much more than the man.
There are discussions that go on in families as well as in the society that tends to look at men in discouraging terms, where they are perceived as undue beneficiaries of the wealth that is being created in the homestead by the women. We need to broaden our discussion and our characterisation of GBV to be able to curb such abuses that often happen in society. We have seen a phenomenal rise in suicide cases because often-times, men end up suffering in silence. It is not easy for a man to walk to a police station and present themselves as a victim of GBV. Often times when you get there and you want to make your report, it is not easy because the facilities and the systems are designed in such a manner that it is not easy for a man to come out into the open. When you do, sometimes you are perceived as weak or lacking in something. We need to make sure that we have facilities, amenities, officers, and human resources that are accommodative of all kinds of gender-based violence so that we are able to eradicate this problem from within our society even when we discuss gender-based violence in the context of the physical elements where sometimes people get beaten or there are issues of sexual assault and harassment.
Mr. Speaker, I have noted that gender-based crimes such as rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment are often cases that are very easy to allege, but always difficult to disprove. We condemn unreservedly all manifestations and all acts of physical and sexual harassment against women, yet often times men have also suffered as victims in cases of extortion, black mail and elicit demands where certain things are asked for and demanded for because they have been put in context and in situations where they are not able to explain or prove their innocence. As a result, they end up paying and suffering as victims. So, we need to introspect and uproot all manifestation of gender-based violence.
Mr. Speaker, we have spent the day raising and discussing the various manifestations of gender-based violence. As I debate, I also wish to proffer a few suggestions that I think will assist us as a nation to deal with gender-based violence. Firstly, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that we need to broaden gender-based violence legislation to go beyond the scope of what we have been able to legislate as domestic violence. You realise that when gender-based violence happens in the context of people who are in a relationship that qualifies as a domestic relationship, there are very quick and convenient remedies available in terms of the Domestic Violence Act.
However, such remedies and solutions are not easily available where the relationship cannot qualify as a domestic based relationship. So, we need to broaden and make sure that we are able to deal and nip in the bud, the scourge of gender-based violence wherever it so manifests. I am also of the view Mr. Speaker, that we need to raise awareness and conscientiousness among our people even from a young age. I think we need to make it compulsory in our school curriculum to make sure that gender-based violence is understood as taught, and that people are made to report and to deal with it whenever it manifests so that as we raise our children, they will be quite sensitive and aware of the existence of gender-based violence and that they know that it is an evil and something not acceptable such that we must deal with it whenever it happens. I am also of the view Mr. Speaker, that we need to make sure that we have uniform application to deal with gender-based violence.
Firstly, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that we need to broaden gender-based violence legislation to go beyond the scope of what we are able to legislate as domestic violence. You realise that when gender-based violence happens in the context of people who are in a relationship that qualifies as a domestic relationship, there are very quick and convenient remedies available in terms of the Domestic Violence Act. However, such remedies and solutions are not easily available where the relationship cannot qualify as a domestic based relationship. So, we need to broaden and make sure that we are able to deal and nip in the bud, the scourge of domestic gender-based violence wherever it so manifests.
I am also of the view Mr. Speaker that we need to raise awareness and consciousness among our people even from young age. I think we need to make it compulsory in our school curriculum that gender based violence is understood, taught and that our people are made to report to deal with it whenever it manifests so that as we raise our children, they are quite sensitive and aware of the existence of gender-based violence so that they know that it is something that is not acceptable that we must deal with it whenever it manifests.
I am also of the view Mr. Speaker that we need to make sure that we have uniform application of systems within our police stations and within our social services offices so that when men and women of all different classes and categories seek help, they are not stigmatised or not treated differently. We need to have uniformity in the application of our systems so that there is adequate protection against those who suffer from gender-based violence.
Lastly, but by no means least Mr. Speaker, it is my humble view that we need to find a way of raising awareness, debate and discussion on the subject of gender-based violence beyond the sixteen days that we have often become quite active to deal with issues of gender-based violence. If there was a way of making sure that periodically throughout the year this issue is dealt with, in my humble view, we will be able to contain and ameliorate the problem of gender-based violence. I am indebted Mr. Speaker for the time you have accorded me, thank you.
HON. E. MASUKU: Thank you for allowing me to add my voice to this critical debate on gender-based violence. While we unite in raising awareness during these sixteen days, it is crucial that we recognise the urgency for substantial reforms within our anti G.B.V frameworks. Firstly, let us address the pressing need for stiffer penalties for G.B.V offences. The current legal landscape might not adequately deter potential perpetrators by imposing stricter sanctions. We send a clear message that our society does not tolerate such heinous acts.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is time for us to revisit and revise our laws, ensuring that they act as a formidable deterrent against any form of gender-based violence. Equally important is the effective and stringent enforcement of these laws whilst having robust legislation is crucial. Mr. Speaker, therefore, we must allocate the necessary resources to train law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies ensuring they have the capacity and knowledge to handle the G.B.V issues effectively. Mr. Speaker Sir, without proactive enforcement justice remains elusive for the victims. Moreover, budgetary support for the ministries, departments and agencies mandated to tackle G.B.V is encouraging. Mr. Speaker Sir, insufficient funding hampers their ability to provide support services, conduct awareness programmes and implement preventive measures. Adequate budgetary allocation is a tangible manifestation of our commitment to addressing gender-based violence at its call. We cannot expect meaningful change without the financial resources required to fuel the missionary that fights against G.B.V. Hence, Hon. Members, let us be together in fighting the G.B.V and as Members of Parliament, we must unite and work together on this. I thank you.
+HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My name is Sichelesile Mahlangu. I want to thank the Hon. Speaker for the opportunity that he has given to me. I will touch on one different thing to what has been said by the previous speakers.
Looking at what the previous speakers said, there is something that is troubling us as women. We do not own any properties, the properties are owned by our husbands. It is something that is troubling us Mr. Speaker Sir. You will realise that one lady will say for her to request for something, she has to first check the mood of the husband. For example, if they want to use maybe proof of residence, they have to first check the mood that the husband is in. Most of the times, title deeds are for men and not women. I am therefore urging all women to stand up and fight for this.
Most of the times when your husband passes away, you are faced with many challenges and you are asked to have someone who is supposed to witness for you. It is unfortunate that the relatives, especially from the husband’s side, will not support you. Hence, the reason why most women end up suffering from high blood pressure because they do not have any relatives supporting them.
You also realise that our young girls who are below the age of 18 are being harassed. In our culture, we take our children and we marry them off at an early age. You are actually blocking the child from proceeding with their education. We should work together as a unit, especially as women and fight abuse. This is one of the things that is troubling us and leaving permanent scars in our hearts. That is why someone will just collapse, this is all because of unsolved issues. I want to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Ndebele. It is giving us power to say things that are troubling us as the ladies. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. TSITSI ZHOU: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. N. NDLOVU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th November, 2023.
GOVERNMENT PLANS TO CURB ROAD CARNAGE
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me take this opportunity to also congratulate you for being a member of the Speaker’s panel. Mr. Speaker Sir, on Thursday 16 November 2023, I was requested to deliver a Ministerial Statement pertaining to what the Government plans to do in order to curb road carnage, especially during the festive season.
Hon. Zhou raised a question of national importance arising from accidents that are happening on our roads, particularly an accident that happened along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road and another one along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road. I was also requested to explain why the deceased’s remains are not being put in a body bag in respect of the dead.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is with a heavy heart that I inform the House on the tragic minibus crash which occurred on 15th November 2023, along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road. Tragically, 22 people died on the spot when the driver of a Toyota Quantum attempted to overtake and encroached into the lane of an oncoming lorry, leading to a head-on collision. Sadly, a day before, on 14th November 2023, six people were killed, whilst three were injured along Masvingo-Beitbridge Road. On 13th November 2023, three people died whilst three were injured along Eastern Boarder Road in Chipinge. It is disheartening to lose several of our beloved ones daily in fatal road crashes. Our thoughts are with the victims of the crashes, the bereaved families, the injured and the survivors who witnesses the gruesome, traumatic, and dark moment of these crashes. During this somber period, I call upon the whole nation to reflect on these accidents and remember the affected families. Further, I wish a speedy recovery to the injured.
Mr. Speaker Sir, incidences of this nature only serve as a clarion call to all stakeholders in the road traffic ecosystem, including motorists, operators, drivers of public service vehicles and passengers to be more vigilant whilst driving. Allow me, to update the august House on the policy and legislative thrust that my Ministry is pursuing in view of the road crashes and to minimise chances of similar accidents during the festive season and beyond.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in June 2023, the Ministry promulgated Statutory Instrument 118 of 2023 on Speed Limiting and Monitoring Devices. This was in line with the National Road Safety Indaba which my Ministry convened in January this year which resolved that passenger-carrying Public Service Vehicle (PSV) be limited to a maximum speed of 100km/hr. I am pleased to advise that transport operators are now being fined for over speeding, with monitoring devices in line with the regulations to curb speeding by drivers. Furthermore, my Ministry is working closely with that of Home Affairs, and Cultural Heritage to ensure that traffic law enforcement agencies are capacitated to enforce compliance with the speed limiting and monitoring devices regulations.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Central Vehicle Registry, under my Ministry, is now producing the new drivers’ licence since June 2023 after the promulgation of Statutory Instrument 119 of 2023 on Licencing of Drivers. The new Driving Licence System has enhanced our capacity to develop an electronic database of licenced drivers which is linked to all relevant stakeholders for ease of enforcement. Further, the new categories of licences conform to the requirements of United Nations Convention on Road Traffic of 1968, the International Organisation for Standardisation and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the 13 categories of the new driving licence will, amongst others, make provision for the combination categories of a vehicle and trailer, accommodated the different sizes of vehicles and prevent the scenario where drivers were tested on a small vehicle and then be authorised to drive a very large vehicle which the driver may not be able to control in a safe manner. The new driver’s licence has enhanced security features, significantly deterring counterfeiting attempts. From a road safety point of view, this improves the enforcement of the driving licence requirements and reduces the number of unqualified drivers who pose a risk to the commuting public.
Mr. Speaker Sir, considering today’s technological advancement, the thrust is obviously a shift from paper-based manual systems to electronic systems. As an indefatigable and passionate proponent of road safety, my Ministry will work tirelessly and diligently, to further reduce the human element in the assessment of the competence of prospective drivers. Zimbabwe cannot afford to continue to lose lives by allowing people, with fraudulently acquired Driving Licences behind the wheel. For this reason, my Ministry launched the Electronic Learner Licencing Testing (ELLT) System and the new Driving Licence system that uses the latest digital technologies, biometric authentication and has 31 state-of-the-art security features embedded into the new Driving Licence Card. The integration of the new card printing facility with Vehicle Inspectorate Department’s ELLT has been completed.
Mr. Speaker Sir, with regards to road infrastructure development, significant progress has been made this year on roads rehabilitation and construction, thus addressing one of the key pillars of Road Safety: Safer Roads. My Ministry will continue to vigorously pursue roads rehabilitation. The level of intervention on each road will depend on the nature of road repairs needed and the funding availed for that purpose. I am however concerned that while the Government has rehabilitated major highways such as Harare-Beitbridge, Plumtree-Mutare and more, an unintended consequence of this development is speeding by drivers on the good roads. Therefore, speed regulation as provided for by S.I. 118 of 2023, is an important strategy in improving the country’s road safety performance and saving lives.
I also wish to advise the House that compared to the usual twenty-two (22) teams for road safety awareness during the festive season, this year they will have not less than thirty (30) teams throughout the country. It is however unfortunate that I still get reports of some motorists being uncooperative to the level of insulting staff at some of the road safety educational campaign points on the highway. In this respect, I wish to point out that for 2023, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) will use the carrot and stick approach. For the avoidance of doubt, discussions are in progress with the Zimbabwe Republic Police so that where traffic violations are detected, at such Road Safety Education Road blocks, tickets should be issued to such offenders.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as you are aware, Government made a decision, as pronounced in the 2023 Budget Statement, to transform the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe into a Traffic Safety Agency. This development will give it the power, in addition to awareness and persuasion, to enforce road safety regulations, (similar to what the Environmental Management Agency does on environmental issues). This will enable TSCZ to effectively coordinate all institutions that deal with road traffic safety management, regulation and traffic law enforcement. Work is therefore in progress to amend the TSCZ Act accordingly, and I hope Hon. Members will support the draft amendment Bill when it is presented to this House. My Ministry is also reviewing and aligning our road traffic management laws, traffic safety laws and regulations to meet international best practices.
Mr. Speaker Sir, likewise, may I take this opportunity to inform the House that the creation of a Road Accident Fund is now at an advanced stage to minimise suffering by victims and survivors of accidents and improve our post-crash response. Work is now in progress on the legal and institutional framework to manage this fund whose details will be availed in due course.
In conclusion, it is of utmost importance to note that all hands in my Ministry are on the deck as we tirelessly work towards guaranteeing safe and trafficable roads to address the crisis that has been brought to the attention of the august House for the country to achieve the road safety target of reducing road traffic crashes by 25% during the National Development Strategy I period. My Ministry will continue to implement sustainable road safety laws, infrastructure, vehicles standards, driver training and access to post-crash care. I also wish to bring to your attention that at a global level, Zimbabwe subscribes to the United Nations General Assembly Proclamation of September 2020 on the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030. To this end, the country has received support and guidance from the Secretary-General’ Special Envoy for Road Safety who visited the country in July this year. It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge and thank Hon Zhou for the pertinent question that he posed and directing me to bring this Ministerial Statement. I thank you.
*HON. TAFANANA ZHOU: I want to thank the Minister of Transport on responding promptly on the question that we posed in this House. I want to thank you for the Ministerial Statement that you gave, riding on S.I. 118 of 2023 where you are saying you have implemented ways of curbing the issue of overspending.
I want to understand from you Hon. Minister on what it is that you are doing since the accidents that we were referring to happened at night and were caused by haulage trucks. What is it that you are doing in terms of systems and ways of curbing over-speeding? I understand the machine to curb over speeding does not function at night. I therefore want to understand on ways that you are going to implement since we are approaching the festive season.
On another note, Hon. Minister, we are realising that a lot of drivers obtained their drivers’ licences when dual carriage ways were not in place as we see now, thanks to the good work being done by President E. D. Mnangagwa for rehabilitating the roads. There are roads which are under construction, like the Harare-Marondera Road and Harare-Bulawayo Road. I want to find out what it is that you are going to do since most of our drivers obtained their licences before we had dual carriage ways which may prompt them to overtake from the left side. What measures are you going to put in place to make sure that drivers overtake on the right side on dual carriage ways?
HON. DR. MUTODI: I want to find out whether the Ministry is amenable to a situation where Members of Parliament can canvass for private developers to upgrade some dilapidated roads in their constituencies on a build-operate and transfer scheme since the fiscus is busy with other payments?
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Hon. Speaker, for clarity sake to the Hon. Minister, what measures are you putting in place to address the challenges that we have especially along the major highways? Let me give as an example, the major highway I usually travel along is Mutare to Harare highway. You find that most of the sign-posts which are meant to be in place are not there. In some cases, this results in accidents. What investments are you putting in place so that the issue of sign-posts is addressed especially on these major highways?
The other thing Hon. Minister, you find that traditionally, especially along the major highways, we used to have fence that would manage the stray cattle and other stray animals. Nowadays, we no longer have the fence on most of these highways. What measures are you putting in place so that we address this challenge because it goes a long way in terms of curbing accidents?
Last but not least, in your presentation, I did not get the real response regarding the bags for the victims of accidents for transportation; they are being loaded into trucks without being covered whilst we should respect the dead people. I did not hear the explanation on that one as to what measures you are putting in place so that you invest in bags for the police stations or those who will be coming to attend the accidents so that they will be well equipped in terms of those bags. Thank you.
*HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Minister for presenting the Ministerial Statement. We understood the statement very clearly. However, I want to understand; you indicated that most of the accidents that you alluded to happened during the night. However, there are some accidents that happen during the day. You realise whilst one is driving, he will be busy also on the phone. Is it not one of the causes of accidents to drive whilst using the phone? I have never heard someone who has been arrested for using a phone whilst driving.
Also, when we relocated to this new building, there is a bridge that is along the road coming this side and there is an accident that happened there. How long does it take for the Ministry to relook at the bridges like that and check whether there is need to repair the bridge or not? I also want an emphasis on these illegal drivers which we call Mushikashika. For example, you realise that the takeoff of such drivers; they just take off without following the Highway Code. We used to complain about minibus drivers but we are realising that they are all illegal drivers. What is it that is being done to such drivers? I propose that someone who has committed such crime, why can we not ask them to go and do retest of the licence? I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May I call upon the Hon. Minister to respond.
* HON. MHONA: I want to thank Hon. Zhou. I want to refer to Statutory Instrument 118 (2023) which encourages public service motor vehicles to ensure that they put up gadgets that limit speeding so that the drivers stay under the legal speed limits. It is painful Hon. Speaker, to note that these accidents occur during the night. They have South African registered number plates and they would want to reach their destination the following morning. So, they will be racing against time. As earlier on stated by Hon. Zhou, the truth of the matter is, if we do not have enforcement, drivers are bound to behave lawlessly. Hence, there is need to put in place measures and gadgets that ensure that whether it is during the day or night, drivers do not willingly flout the law.
We envisage to move with the best practice worldwide where there is minimum interaction between drivers and the law enforcers. With the gadgets doing the policing themselves and once one has flouted the law, it is digitally recorded and a ticket is issued and notification is given to the Police and the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) that so and so has committed an offence.
It is my plea to this august House that you support us in passing legislation that uses the ICT phenomenon for the benefit of this nation. There will never come a time when members of the Executive will come up with laws that are not enacted by Parliament. We even talked about the barring of heavy vehicles travelling after dusk, that is why you see that at 2000 hours, there will be no more heavy vehicles or lorries on the roads.
It is true that some of the drivers were licenced before we had dual carriageway. It means that even if there is no one occupying the lane, we were told that if you are not travelling fast, do not drive in the inner lane. You find that these dual carriageways that go in one side, people occupy the inner lane but they are not travelling at a fast speed.
Together with the Traffic Safety in conjunction with the Home Affairs, you will be seeing police officers and Traffic Safety Council conducting awareness campaigns enlightening people to ensure that they follow this particular road and that offenders will be ticketed. If you are not driving fast, drive on the left side of the road; if you are to commit traffic offences, we are hoping that we will have many police officers on the road. We are even thinking of getting to a stage where we are going to put up cameras to ticket those that will be over-speeding and that we will get motor vehicles so that they enforce traffic laws and regulations. Police officers are going to be given such vehicles by the Traffic Safety Council. There will also be machinery to look at people who will be breaking the laws.
Maybe I can say the question that has been posed by Hon. Mutodi referring to build, operate and transfer where Members of Parliament are in a position to canvass for development, I want to agree to say, yes, we can work together with the Ministry of Transport where we have got investors. We now have ZIDA which actually facilitates whether there are local or foreign investment projects, but you are also free to approach the Ministry with your proposal if you have a company that is expressing interest to participate in road construction or rehabilitation. Feel free to approach the Ministry, we can also guide you accordingly.
The problem Mr. Speaker, in the old era, people were fleeced to say aah mapepa ari kwaMinister kana azobva Minister vanoda mari yakati kuti mapepa apfuure, which is not happening in the Second Republic. Where you have got a problem or proposal, we want to uphold transparency and accountability. Write your expression of interest to the Permanent Secretary and copy to the Minister so that we see what is happening and we also follow if that action is taken. So Hon. Mutodi, if there is a road and an investor that you think can help us, we are free as a Ministry. Feel free to approach the Ministry, we will be glad and be in a position to pursue and make sure that we consider that expression of interest.
Hon. Mutseyami, thank you once again, you talked about Harare – Mutare road. This is one of our major roads as we speak in terms of business activity. We should relate. Forbes Border Post, we used to get maybe less than 200 trucks per day, but now we are witnessing 450 trucks crossing Forbes Border Post everyday and if we look at the architecture of that border post, there is no room for expansion. You find that in terms of bottlenecks even across the Mozambican side, there is the single entry bridge and I am glad that during a visit by His Excellency last week where he was in Machipanda, I was also privileged to be part of that delegation and we shared that we now need to move with speed and rehabilitate Forbes Border Post. As we speak, we are seized as a Ministry, where you are going to be seeing the expansion of that border post and also to make sure that we continue with dualisation.
Now there is a sad development, if you are driving along that road, you can even see ten trucks driving along that road in a single file and motorists cannot overtake. Where they are supposed to take three hours, they are now taking five hours and it is just an example because of this development. So, we are saying, as much as we have a narrow road, but we must also continue conscientising motorists to maintain their extreme left. If we have truckers like that, there is no way they can continue holding other motorists to ransom.
These are some of the initiatives that we are taking; the awareness programmes and I do concur with you, no signage, but the problem is vandalism also. People are vandalising our signage. Where they are not vandalising, you see graphics, Takakura tisingazive graphics, but takutoiona written and defacing some of this signage. We are saying in terms of signage, we will adhere to the SADC compliance, where we rehabilitate a road, we are now putting the new signage. The idea of the new signage is to be in tandem with SADC region so that if one crosses from Mozambique, for instance, to Zimbabwe, they do not need to read the language, but you see the sign and know the meaning of that sign. So, this is where we are going and I am happy once again that TSC has pledged to also support the installation of signage along our major roads and even smaller feeder roads, you will see signage. I want to thank you Hon. Mutseyami for raising that.
You also raised the issue of fencing. It is also a disturbing scenario Mr. Speaker. A good example is Bulawayo -Plumtree and Bulawayo – Mutare road where there was a fence towards Bulawayo which was stolen. There is no way we can have infrastructure and destroy it ourselves. Soon after installing that fence, you wake up the following day and there is no fence. Somebody has taken that fence to put on their garden which is something that is also disturbing, and I do not know what kind of culture we are promoting as Zimbabweans where we are supposed to safeguard our infrastructure. So, I think we will also do awareness campaigns where we need the buy-in of the community.
You will see us, before we erect new fences, engaging the community to say this is your property, safeguard and you find the livestock that will then cross belongs to those communities. So, they must be buy-in of infrastructure development along the major highways relating to fencing. We will resuscitate fencing in some of the sections and also say let us then safeguard our own infrastructure.
Hon. Mutseyami, you raised why I did not respond to the body bags. Yes, we have got the whole of Government approach, but when it comes to the collection of bodies, you find that it falls under the purview of Home Affairs which is the police, and I am sure with the guidance of the Hon. Speaker, it could be a letter that was also addressed to the Minister of Home Affairs so that he will address this particular question. However, we are also going to be supporting ZRP as a Ministry again through TSCZ, we are going to be donating body bags so that we alleviate some of the challenges that they might face. We will also play our part as a Ministry, but I am sure relating to the information pertaining to that, the Hon. Minister will table his response before this august House.
I want to thank again Hon. P. Zhou that people are driving recklessly, that is the problem we have. As I stand in this august House, I know that there are people that are busy operating their cellphones; writing messages as they drive. Charity begins at home. We should not be driving typing messages or talking on the cellphone. If we are able to do that, road carnage will be reduced, but at the moment, a lot of people, not only on cellphones, but some are even consuming alcoholic beverages as they drive. The police’s presence is now needed on the roads because if we are not strict, we will continue to witness this misbehaviour.
The issue of the Bulawayo Road which no longer has barriers on the bridges. It is true, some cars are actually falling into that bridge, but the problem is that people are coming nicodimously taking the steel that is used to do the barriers. I once again appeal, through this august House, that people should not be damaging such infrastructure which is important for the lives of people for selfish gains or just buying drugs. This is why you see we no longer use the old type of metal for signage and the same applies to our bridges. We will return the barriers, but we urge everyone to be a police person and ensure that such infrastructure is preserved.
You also talked about the illegal tax operators. The Ministry of Home Affairs is looking into the issue of ensuring that the mushikashika operators are taken off the road, but those that are supposed to be policing those areas are the owners of the mushikashika. As a result, it is detrimental to our country. May I take this opportunity to encourage each and every one of us who might be an owner of a mushikashika, to ensure that their vehicles comply with the rules of the road and are licenced. We believe that as is the case with other countries, they have problems with motorbikes on the roads, but our problem at the moment are the mushikashika vehicles and we are quite happy that we have not had this menace of motorbikes. We only hope that we will continue to endeavor to uphold standards that apply worldwide in terms of our roads and infrastructure. I thank you.
*HON. T. ZHOU: On a point of clarification Mr. Speaker Sir, the Speaker, Hon. Mudenda spoke on the issue of increasing railway lines to lessen the heavy vehicles travelling on our roads for long distances because those long journeys result in accidents as the drivers will be tired and sleep whilst driving, thereby causing accidents. Are there any plans in place to increase the railway lines and have heavy goods ferried through the railway?
*HON. TSHUMA: The Hon. Minister alluded to a certain accident that happened when one person was trying to overtake using the oncoming lane and a lot of lives were lost. In terms of public transport drivers, there is need to have a law which allows only experienced drivers to drive. I believe that such laws could help us save lives because the drivers will observe road rules. Kombi drivers will come straight at you and you will be forced to open the way for them for fear of being side swapped. Some of the motor vehicles are not roadworthy, they have damaged windscreens and they need to be enlightened so that they value the lives of people more than money. Most of the time, they are over-speeding and it is detrimental to the lives of the people. May you also try to ensure that despite the hardships that we have as a country, you come up with cameras in areas such as Copacabana, Fourth Street, at Robots and where all the mushikashika vehicles are parked. This may encourage good behaviour because they will be monitored.
I also want to comment on the issue of haulage trucks. It would appear as if I support the truckers, but the truth is that the majority of haulage drivers are very good drivers as they undergo defensive driving. So when people err on the road, heavy vehicle drivers actually try to avoid accidents and give way to those errant drivers. The same should also apply to those light motor vehicle drivers.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, please do not debate, just ask your point of clarity in short.
HON. M. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My name is Mxolisi Sibanda from Lupane West and my presentation is on the number of road users. The Southern part of this country usually experiences an increased number of road users, particularly during the festive season. Most people will be coming from our neighbouring countries like South Africa and Botswana. I wanted to check with the Ministry on how and what measures they have in place to take care of the potholes that are there, particularly from Victoria Falls to Beitbridge. From the public’s view point, that is the major cause of most of the road accidents between that portion of the road. I thank you.
HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My plea to the Minister is to come up with a weighbridge at every toll-gate. There are some people that are carrying heavy loads on these trucks and they are affected by the potholes as they try to move fast to their destinations.
There is also an issue of rank marshals, especially in Harare, who are running over people because of over-speeding. Is there anything that you have organised together with the Ministry of Home Affairs to curb this menace? Please work hand-in-glove with the Ministry of ICT just like they are doing in China where they are now using drones or cameras to monitor and report mis-behaviour or corrupt tendencies at places where it would have occurred and action taken against the offenders? I thank you.
HON. ZEMURA: My name is Hon. Zemura from Mashonaland East. My point of clarity to the Hon. Minister is to urge him to look at using breathalysers because those mushikashika drivers would be under the influence of alcohol as they will be drinking and driving. This would assist because they will stop drinking and driving if they know there are police officers ahead who would be testing for alcohol. That is very helpful because in other countries, no-one drives while drunk. They will be able to drive long distances without drinking because they will be aware of the consequences. It is my wish that driving schools, through the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, should open one school, whether it is a boarding school or a day school, where people can go and be taught how to drive properly before they go for these road tests. It is useful because they will have been taught and will have the knowledge on how to drive properly and responsibly, and not what is currently happening where one reads the whole night and gets the provisional licence then proceeds to go and get a driver’s licence without the necessary experience on how to behave on the road. I do not think that will help us at all. Thank you.
HON. MUDEKUNYE: Thank you Minister Mhona for coming so quickly to respond to the question that was raised. I notice that your Ministry puts a lot of effort in coming up with regulations and also deploying the Traffic Safety Council and all other noble intentions. The problem however is enforcement. You can also see that previously, we had problems with kombis and now we have problems with mushikashikas. Maybe tomorrow it is going to be motor-cycles, but the problem goes back to enforcement. All these regulations about speed limits and so forth and all those things have been there, they can be made better, but it is enforcement that is needed. What are you going to propose to the Ministry of Home Affairs to improve enforcement?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me also thank my fellow colleagues Hon. Members, for the very important suggestions and areas of clarity.
I will start with Hon. Tsitsi Zhou. It is true Hon. Speaker, if we do not develop our roads, we find that we may have these roads damaged if we carry heavy loads that are supposed to be used by rail. I am in agreement with the issue that you have raised. Last week we were with our Mozambican brothers. They have their Machipanda Railway line to Beira. So, on our side, we should also be looking at our own railway lines so that where the railway line has bends, these are fixed. For trains to move fast, it requires the railway line to be straightened. It is what we are looking at from Forbes to Harare, so that the trains can travel 70 to 80km an hour as opposed to the current 30km per hour.
We are trying to restructure our railway operations by bringing in new locomotives and new engines so that we will be able to do our work timeously. We should quickly move towards ensuring that we rehabilitate our railway infrastructure. This will help us to remove the heavy traffic on the roads and the goods will come straight from the port onto the railway line without coming onto the road.
I also want to thank Hon. Tshuma who said that people should take the opportunity to learn to drive. This august House is responsible for coming up with laws. We require a minimum of 30 lessons, with each lesson being 30 minutes long. One should be able to do all these lessons and as soon as one is now confident, they can acquire their licence. Others quickly get the licence before they are experienced. With road accidents, at times it is irrelevant whether one is experienced or not because you may actually be involved in an accident when you are the innocent party. What is of paramount importance is to value life on the roads because life is very important.
There are those that cause the death of innocent drivers and passengers on the road. It is true that public service vehicle drivers should have many years of experience. It will help us to mitigate the carnage on our roads. We can put cameras on tollgates, but when motor vehicles are on the road, whether in the city or in urban areas, it is the Local Government that is responsible but as the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, we have to work and come up with laws that ensure that we safeguard that sector that deals with those that are within the municipality and that also will be out of the jurisdiction of the municipality.
I am in agreement that the more cameras we have, a lot of road carnages will be reduced, but at the time when we used to have cameras on the road, people would foreworn each other that cameras are in certain places and they would behave at their best. Once they pass that area, they misbehave. All this goes back to us as the road users.
Defensive driving is a good issue. It is a good thing that we would want all motor vehicles to be examined because people just buy motor vehicles and they are using motor vehicles that are not roadworthy. Public service motor vehicles require to be roadworthy before they are on the road. You spoke about defensive driving, that it should apply to everyone, we should come back to this august House again to seek such laws. This is a good suggestion.
Hon. Sibanda, thank you very much, you raised the issue of the festive season that is upon us and I agree. Besides the numbers, there is also the excitement where people are excited as they drive under the influence of alcohol or just ordinary people celebrating. You find that we have got an increase on the number of accidents on our roads because of the festive season that we are facing and it is also my humble plea again to the motorists to exercise caution when driving especially during this period and beyond.
You talked about the Victoria Falls-Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road. Yes, it is a topical road and normally on Wednesdays, a question is posed about it in this august House. I can assure the august House that we are treating this as a matter of urgency. Just like the way we are rehabilitating the Harare-Beitbridge Road, this is what we are also considering to do with Victoria Falls Road. For now, we are attending to the bad sections. There are those who can witness that Bitumen was doing the bad sections and also patching potholes, but the idea behind, of reconstructing is to have a durable and sustainable road but like I always indicate, that road is now weak. Even as you attend to potholes you still find in some areas, potholes mushrooming. We continue maintaining that road, but it is of utmost importance especially as it leads to our resort areas. So, I want to thank you for that and we assure you that we will move with speed to rehabilitate that road.
Hon. Mapiki, I thank you. It is true that we should come up with weighbridges. We have private companies or operators that we want to construct the weighbridges through build-operate and transfer. These are important because some motor vehicles are travelling while carrying excessive loads. It could not be at each tollgate but we try to ensure that on our major roads, we have these at tollgates.
On the issue of ranks, it comes back to enforcement. Local Government are the custodians of these ranks that we see in the city. We will try by all means to plead with them so that there be peace amongst rank marshals. They say this is my place and once they have it, they will monopolise the area. I will talk to my colleagues and counterparts about this issue that has been raised so that we attend to it.
You also talked about ICT gadgets. If we have such in certain areas, we can do that so that we can see who committed an offence. Hon. Zemura, I want to thank you on the issue of breathalysers that we should put in place and ensure that all drivers on the road are of sound and sober senses. We will go back to the Ministry of Home affairs to ensure that the issue of such gadgets will help curb cases of drivers driving under the influence of alcohol.
You talked about driving centres where people are taught how to drive. Yes, it is true, we have a lot of driving schools, but the majority of them are not teaching proper driving methods to motorists. The Traffic Safety Council are the ones that allow access to driving schools and we will engage them so that they assist in this regard. At the moment, we do not have a law that stipulates the minimum number of lessons required for one to attain a driver’s licence, but we will continue to put in place measures that they should drive properly.
Hon. Mutandi, you are very right that we come up with vibrant pieces of legislation and policies, but you also need the support in terms of enforcement. I am glad that we have the whole of Government approach where we are having teams from various Ministries working together so that we address some of these complaints by the public, and I am happy that as we speak, we are also working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs so that as we man our roads, we will be having police to issue out tickets to the offenders, and this is what we are doing. As we also have the master plan in terms of the transport policy, we also have the buy-in from the Ministries of Local Government, Home Affairs and other stakeholders. So, this is what we are doing in terms of enforcement, but everything comes back to issues of enforcement and I do agree that we also accelerate on that trajectory. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister. Let me take this opportunity to also thank you for bringing the Ministerial Statement to this House and the debate that came as a result of the Ministerial Statement.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I would like to advise Hon. Members that we are going to lose power anytime from now because we are working on generators. So, if anybody has got any suggestions that they want to give to the Minister, I would urge you to write them down and then hand them over to the Minister through the Administration of Parliament. I will ask the Minister to adjourn the House for us. Thank you.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA), the House adjourned at One Minute to Five o’clock p.m.
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 28th November, 2023
The Senate met at Half past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Madam President. I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 4 has been disposed of.
HON. GOTORA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AWARENESS PROGRAMMES TO PROMOTE POSITIVE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CHANGE
HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you Madam President. Before I begin, I want to call upon us all to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of women and girls who lost their lives due to gender based violence.
All Hon. Senators observed a minute of silence.
HON. SEN. SHIRI: Madam President, let me start by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to table this motion on behalf of the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus (ZWPC), Hon. Maybe Mbohwa, who is currently away on official business. As the Women’s Caucus, we are honoured to join the rest of the international community commemorating the 16-Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the negative effects of violence against women and girls. Since the campaign started in 1991, we have witnessed significant progress being made by many countries in terms of raising awareness and protecting women and girls’ rights. Surprisingly, we have continued to witness an increased number of GBV cases instead of a decrease. This is actually worrisome and calls for reflection on this matter. We may need to go back on the drawing board and restrategise as Parliament, as an organisation and the representative of the people in this country.
This year’s commemorations are being held under the theme, “UNiTE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.” This is a call for the national governments to prioritise and invest resources to fight this scourge. Indeed, violence against women and girls is a human rights issue which must be taken seriously by us all. We are all affected in one way or another.
Let me prefix my motion by defining gender-based violence as violence that is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex or gender identity. It is one of the most extreme of unequal gender relations in society. It is first and foremost, a violation of human rights and a global health issue that cuts across boundaries of economic wealth, culture, religion, age and sexual orientation. It has become a global health problem that has severe consequences for the global village at large.
Gender-based violence is mostly perpetrated by males and predominantly affects women and girls but can also affect men and boys. Intimate partners mostly perpetrate GBV. Intimate partner violence refers to behaviour by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.
Studies have indicated the widespread gender-based violence globally, which approximates that about 35% of women (1 in 3 women) globally have experienced physical and or row sexual violence at some point in their lives. That is more than one billion women and girls facing physical or sexual abuse. Seven percent of women have suffered sexual assault from another person other than their partner. Murders of women committed by an intimate partner (crimes of passion) are up to 38%. We recently read in the newspapers about a woman who was murdered by his boyfriend in Marondera. A great number of women up to 200 million have experienced female genital mutilation.
It is important to note that GBV has a cost to society and government, which significantly impacts national development. The WB predicts that violence against women and girls is estimated to cost countries up to 3.7% of their GDP, which is more than double what most governments spend on education budgets. This is so because survivors suffer physical, psychological and social consequences, which have both short and long term effects. Such effects include mental health issues, a rise in suicidal cases and drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and many more cases rising in our global village which have health related implications. Sad, is it not? Imagine, if the resources we are spending on fighting GBV can be utilised elsewhere?
Gender based violence comes in different forms which include among others harmful traditional practices, physical, psychological, economic, child marriages, honour killings, human trafficking, and sexual violence which includes Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and female genital mutilation.
Coming closer to home, GBV is a prevalent matter in Zimbabwe and it affects women and girls nationwide. GBV in Zimbabwe has been exacerbated by increasing poverty levels, societal norms and values that keep alive gender inequalities and cultural practices, economic disparities, loopholes in the legal framework, displacements and disasters, religion and conflict and of late, now there is technology or cyber-related violence against women and girls.
The statistics I have here are traumatising and most studies indicate a high rate of intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, child marriages, domestic violence and other types of gender-based violence.
According to the Afro barometer findings, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency and UNICEF (2019), revealed that 40% of women between the ages of 15-49 encounter physical and or sexual abuse from an intimate partner. It is also important to note that violence is also being perpetrated on the young children, both boys and girls and on the elderly women.
According to a MICS survey, the top three provinces where women reported having experienced all forms of spousal violence were Mashonaland East (55%), Masvingo (54%) and Manicaland 53%. Thirty nine percent of women aged between 15-49 years reported that they had experienced the violence in the last 12 months. Twelve percent of women reported ever having experienced sexual violence whilst 5% reported having experienced in the last months. About one in two women aged 15-49 years had experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse committed by their current or last husband or partner in their lifetime. In the last 12 months, the most prevalent form of abuse was emotional.
I will not have done justice to this motion, if I do not make reference to the challenging life faced by women with disability, especially in relation to GBV. Do you know that disability is more prevalent amongst women than men? The world report on disability estimates that, globally, 19% of women have a disability relative to 12% men. Women with disability are almost ten times likely to experience violence, compared to men or women and men without disabilities. Additionally, they experience higher rates of all forms of violence due to factors related to dependence on others for support, mistrust, social and physical isolation.
Women and girls with disabilities may experience multiple forms of violence, including psychological and emotional violence, neglect, financial abuse or exploitation, and physical or sexual abuse. Additionally, many women and girls with disabilities face structural barriers in accessing education, health and social services. In addition, of importance to note is that most safe places for women and girls with disability remain inaccessible to those with disabilities.
Having highlighted some of the challenges faced by women and girls in general, let me hasten to mention that Zimbabwe is a signatory to a number of international and regional instruments that relate to discrimination and gender based violence such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, which have put in place national legislations and policies aimed at protecting women and girls. Sadly, women and girls continue to face discrimination, violence and many other forms of human rights violations. What does this mean for us the policy makers or legislators? We need to go back to the drawing board and redesign our strategies and interventions. It is time to unite and invest to prevent violence against women and girls.
At the national level, we have our Constitution, which is very progressive in terms of recognising gender equality and protecting every citizen, especially women on Sections, 3, 17, 25(b) 52, 56, 78, 79 and 80. Section 52 aptly states that and I quote, “Every person has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right to freedom from all forms of violence from public or private, sources…” Section 56 prohibits any form of discrimination based on sex and gender, among others. These provisions among others, strengthen the Government commitment on curbing GBV.
Domestic policies are also in place such as the National Gender Policy (NGP). The NGP recognises Gender-Based Violence and in particular, violence against women, as one of the biggest obstacles to women’s participation in decision making and severely limits their ability to participate in economic and social activities. In 2007, Zimbabwe enacted the Domestic Violence Act which was a game changer in the region and beyond because it broke the conservative barriers of GBV which were deeply rooted in many homesteads and communities. The Domestic Violence Act also introduced the Anti-Domestic Violence Council, which has not been functional and yet it is a very strategic organ for fighting GBV. This organ has been shifted from one Ministry to another and is currently housed in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. As Women’s Caucus, we are not bothered as to which Ministry or Government department houses the Anti – Domestic Violence Council. No! Our concern is on its functionality. This organ has not been funded and yet it is strategic in fighting and curbing GBV in Zimbabwe.
The ZWPC, as an advocacy group, believes in safe spaces for all human race, regardless of sex or sex orientation. Therefore, we will not continue to sit on our laurels and watch the rights of women and girls in Zimbabwe being violated. We believe that women and girls have the right to participate fully in the mainstream economy without any fear, be it young women, the elderly, women with disability, young girls, employed or unemployed, married or not married, poor or rich.
In short, as the ZWPC, we are saying, that no women must be discriminated against and face any form of violence in Zimbabwe. If we are to achieve our country’s vision, to become an upper middle income economy by 2030 as well as attain our SDG target by 2030, we must ensure that we leave no one and no place behind. Curbing GBV has implications on our national goals. A happy population whereby every citizen enjoys and exercise his or her rights would go a long way in creating safe spaces in the informal sector, workplace, public and private sectors for expressing oneself without fear of victimisation or having one’s rights being violated.
As I conclude, I wish to focus on a few strategies that I believe the Government must adopt, prioritise and provide adequate resources to curb GBV in Zimbabwe. As we enter the 2024 budget season, it is important to support this year’s theme, “Unite, invest to prevent violence against women and girls” As ZWPC, we call upon Government to prioritise the following:
-Finalising the alignment of GBV – related laws with the Constitution, especially, child marriage laws, particularly harmonisation of the age of consent and legal age marriage, including the introduction of punitive and deterrent sentences to perpetrators of all forms of gender-based violence. Central to this is the adoption and implementation of the SADC Model Law on eradicating child marriage and protecting children already in marriage as a blueprint for managing child marriages.
-Review of labour laws so that sexual harassment is legally recognised and criminal sanctions and compensations provided for through the enactment of the Sextual Harassment Act.
-Adequately fund the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development so that it can perform its mandate effectively. A budget of less than 1% for a ministry that oversees about 52% of the country’s population is worrisome. It is our prayer as the ZWPC that the 2024 budget provides the Ministry and other gender machineries, including the ZWPC with adequate resources so that all effectively discharge their mandate.
Let me conclude by thanking Parliament of Zimbabwe for funding the Sensitisation Workshop on Gender-Based-Violence for all the Members of Parliament. This workshop indeed is an eye-opener in terms of raising awareness of gender-based-violence issues among the male and female Parliamentarians so that they become gender-based violence change champions. As the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus, we continue to call on the Government to fully fund our activities so that we remain proactive in Parliament and beyond. Thank you Madam President.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Mr. President, I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Mbohwa for allowing me this opportunity to second her motion which seeks to raise awareness and debate on the effects of gender-based violence in Zimbabwe. This motion cannot be as timely as it is today as we enter the fourth day of the 2023 commemorations which are being observed from 25 November to 10 December under the campaign theme- “UNITE! Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls.”
Over the years, the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus has always participated in this campaign by undertaking various activities, including tabling a motion on the topic. As the seconder of the motion, l will only buttress what the first speaker has said and then zero in on three other forms of gender-based violence which l feel are very important.
Let me start by highlighting that gender-based violence in Zimbabwe has its roots in cultural and social factors such as patriarchal structure, harmful traditional practices, gender inequality resulting in unequal power relations, gender norms that deliberately ignore violence against women, poverty, limited access to health and education, conflict, and displacement due to disasters.
While we applaud the Government of Zimbabwe for constitutional reforms that led to the enactment of the new Constitution of 2013 which was very progressive and supportive of women and girls empowerment, I have no doubt that as a country, we have made significant progress in domesticating international and regional conventions such as CEDAW, Human Rights for women.
My focus today will be on human trafficking as a form of GBV. Women and girls are being exploited and subjected to all types of gender-based violence because of the push-and-pull factors present in the economy. This human trafficking can be in two forms; internal trafficking, which involves the movement of victims outside national borders. However, human trafficking outside of Zimbabwe’ borders has been one of the main challenges women have suffered in Zimbabwe, for example, women who have been trafficked to Kuwait and Oman.
Let me hasten to mention that within our borders, we must recognise the value of education for women and girls and continue to empower them. Locally in Zimbabwe, children from low-income families who drop out of school are moved to cities to work as illegal domestic workers to support their families. Child labour has been on the rise in Zimbabwe and as Parliament, we must strive to legislate to end this practice. Perpetrators among them being relatives or close family friends who are traffickers at times are being released back into communities free because victims are afraid of being humiliated and ridiculed for denouncing their families. Therefore, fear of speaking out causes the victims to continuously suffer gender-based violence in silence.
Mr. President, violence against female students in educational institutions has been on the increase. In Zimbabwe’s higher education institutions, female students continue to demand action against sexual harassment and gender-based violence on campus. Sexual harassment of female students by male professors, fellow male students, and non-academic male personnel is still rampant on campus. Types of gender-based violence faced by these female students include, among others:
-Sexual harassment by male professors and non-academic staff,
- Rape by older men (lecturers and non-academic staff) and male students,
- Unprotected and forced sexual intercourse with lecturers, non-academic staff, and other students
-Unwanted physical contact, touching, fondling, and hugging.
-Being forced to use drugs during a date and then being sexually abused.
- Being victim of a man who gives gifts in return for sex favours and many more forms of gender-based violence.
It is an unethical practice that has mushroomed in tertiary institutions where students are cohabiting and has led to age discrepancy partnerships. It has exposed the girl child to experience all forms of gender-based violence. This practice has been motivated mainly by poverty.
Therefore, as the Women’s Caucus, we are advocating for the Government to prioritise the theme of this campaign and provide adequate resources to stop the scourge of GBV as expounded by the theme “Unite! Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls.”
Mr. President, with the support from Parliament, GBV must be curtailed through the enactment of important laws such as the Sexual Harassment Act, Gender Equality Act and the domestication of regional laws as the SADC Model Law.
As the ZWPC, we can continue to advocate for women’s and children’s rights through a continuous review of policies and laws that govern our nation in the fight against gender-based violence. As the Women Caucus, we feel more work remains to be done to fight for women’s and girls’ human rights and to put an end to all forms of gender-based violence.
As a result, we must continue our struggle against GBV. It is important to constantly raise awareness on the need to stop human trafficking through featured plays, poems, community talks and digital platform shows.
The Caucus’s intention, with support from stakeholders, is to continuously raise anti-human trafficking awareness through interactions with traditional leaders, women and girls in schools and tertiary institutions through roadshows and reach out to learning institutions.
Furthermore, as we begin our debate on the 2024 National Budget, let us all come unite and ensure that adequate funds are set aside to support women and girls’ empowerment and initiatives that will be associated with gender-based violence. “a debt free model of development challenged us to self-finance our progress, brick upon brick, stone upon stone”. I thank you.
+HON. SEN. PHUTI: I thank you Mr. President of the Senate. I want to add a few words to this motion which was moved by Hon. Mbohwa. On this very pertinent matter, what I have observed is, I am grateful for the topic that has been raised. People are being abused in various ways. The other thing that is happening now is, you find that in a child headed family, abuse is prone. This is happening in Matabeleland. Such families leave a pathetic life and the parents are in the diaspora trying to make a living for the children.
These children are being abused. You find a ten-year-old child heading a family of children who are six years or so. Sometimes these children go without food. At the end of the day, some good Samaritans go there. These children are being fooled with some goodies and they end up being impregnated and that is abuse of human rights. Now, these children are being murdered. I would also want to thank women here at Parliament.
Our economic situation here is another factor that is pushing people into such abusing situations. For example, we have child marriages. You find a 9-year-old child being married to a 70-year-old; that is very bad. You will see this happening and some do it under religious guise. Some two or so years ago, there was a child who died whilst giving birth at a shrine. We also see that children are being killed for ritual purposes. I therefore request Government to put stiffer sentences for murderers and those who violate other people’s rights.
Again, children are being abused through social media, through what they broadcast. Children are being mischievous because of these social media platforms. When they see such dirty things on those platforms, they end up practising such. Another thing is that I once heard someone saying that in Masvingo and other places, there is a certain percent of girl children and women being abused by men. In 2019, 20% of women and girls were murdered. The percentage of about 40% of women and girls disappeared just like that. You find people who commit such crimes walking scot-free. We therefore request Government to put deterrent sentences for those who murder with intent.
Again, my observation, women are being abused sexually. Sex is a voluntary act. Some women end up being killed because they refused to have sex and they leave children orphaned. As women, we should actually support this motion from Hon. Mbohwa. This issue affects everyone, it does not matter where you come from. As Members of Parliament, we have left our girl children at home, tomorrow we may wake up in this situation. I therefore, request that whoever moves a motion of this nature, we should all stand up and put our views. It does not matter who would have moved the motion. We are all equally affected. As women, we are being abused by men in various ways.
Some people are abused and silenced by threats by the perpetrators. Some may end up with diseases and end up dying leaving children behind. In conclusion, Government should increase resources so that we engage in awareness campaigns, sensitising all people to report any forms of abuse. Everyone needs to be involved and men should also stand up to say, let us not abuse women. As women, we request Government to help with road shows or whatever, to conscientise people so that they also report anyone who abuses women and girls.
In Mangwe, we have an organisation with a theme ‘Rudo Harurwadzi’. Such organisations should be allowed to engage in sensitisation so that all of us are well informed. About ten years back, I saw on news, six men having raped a six months old baby. Such an act cannot be done by normal people. Such acts are caused by rituals. At the end, that child was physically affected. We do not want such situations. With those words, I thank you.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
USE OF HEADPHONES
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Starting from tomorrow, Hon. Senators who desire to use headphones so as to listen to the debate which is being made in a language which they are not conversant with, Ndebele or Shona, may be able to get headphones at the main entrance in exchange for an Identity Card.
HON. SEN. SHIRI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th November, 2023.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRES
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MAKAMBA: It is with great honour and privilege that l stand before you today as we gather to address the important matters that impact our nation. As leaders entrusted with the responsibility of shaping the future of our country, it is crucial that we unite in our efforts and work together for the betterment of our people. Our roles are defined not only by the titles we hold, but by the dedication and commitment we exhibit towards the welfare of the citizens we serve.
As we convene in this esteemed Assembly, l am reminded of the immense responsibility that rests upon our shoulders. It is imperative that we harness the power of co-operation, collaboration and make decisions that will shape the destiny of our great nation.
Fellow Parliamentarians, Zimbabwe has been in good hands ever since 2017 to date, with a visionary leader who gives pertinence to the aspect of development. A man without a vision easily loses focus. The opposite happens to be true as evidenced by the approach of His Excellency, Cde. Dr. E.D Mnangagwa to governance issues. In his foreword in the Vision 2030, His Excellency penned and I quote, “Under this new Dispensation, our Government is working towards building a new Zimbabwe, a country with a thriving and open economy, capable of creating opportunities for investors and employment. In this regard, our Government will leave no stone unturned in transforming Zimbabwe into a knowledge driven and industrialising Upper Middle-Income Economy by 2030.”
In his bid to fulfil the promise written in the above quoted foreword, His Excellency has since embarked on youth employment and empowerment agenda. The creation of innovation hubs in almost all tertiary institutions in the country has enabled a fraction of the youths in academic circles to work and study, therefore improving their livelihood. Education 5.0, a landmark initiative towards youth empowerment has since been brewing innovation and creativeness amongst the youths as they are now thinking outside the box and coming up with various initiatives in the country.
The President has envisioned the vision of creating innovation hubs. As it is rightly said, young people need to be innovative for the country to prosper, thus there is need for innovation facilities. The skill of thinking more unique development ideas and contributing to the country’s GDP is a need for young people. With the introduction of the innovation hubs, young people have an opportunity to express themselves ideologically and promote meaningful research and implement efficient methods of development.
Just pay a visit to the National University of Science and Technology, (NUST), the Midlands State University (MSU), the University of Zimbabwe, Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), Bindura University of Science Education, Lupane State University and Chinhoyi University of Technology. You will realise that gone are the days when these institutions churned out half-baked graduates whose only ambition was to become employees, and not employers. All Zimbabwe’s State Universities are fast becoming engines for economic growth.
Fellow Parliamentarians, it is important to assert that our President has since made it a point that a country is built by its owners. This mantra emphasises the importance of the nation being built by its own people, and President Mnangagwa’s vision aligns with supporting the youth, women, and infrastructure development. As people of Zimbabwe, we rally behind this vision and support the efforts to empower the youth and women, as well as develop the infrastructure of our nation. We believe that through these efforts, we can work towards a stronger and more prosperous future for our country.
We as people of Zimbabwe, also applaud His Excellency in his vision on climate issues, for example those addressed at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. He further articulated that Zimbabwe has not been spared from the negative impact of climate change, hence our Government continues to make the requisite investment in infrastructure to mitigate and build dams across the country such as Semwa Dam, Marovanyati, Tuli-Manyange Dam, Gwayi-Shangani Dam and Bindura Dam, to mention just a few. Through the Ministry of Environment, a model has been developed for safer schools with resilient services like proper waste management systems, hence inclusion of the climate agenda within Zimbabwe’s development agenda. Also, the provision of climate finance for small scale farmers has been prioritised, with farmers being provided with inputs for agricultural development. The Second Republic remains unwavering in its commitment to create opportunities in agriculture that must drive that development for Vision 2030 to be achieved, mining, tourism, and infrastructure development and information communication technologies.
Moving on, we are applauding our President for finding ways of creating employment. The development of new jobs for young people has been notably recorded from the year 2017 to date. Employment opportunities have also been harnessed by Education 5.0 which has mainstreamed practically in the stream of learning and allowed students to acquire the skill to research and positively impact the society. Overally, education 5.0 has not just boosted the educational sector but has also boosted health and the economy at large.
Fellow parliamentarians, it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of our President in addressing critical issues that impact our society. Gender balance, climate change and drug abuse are pressing concerns that require strong leadership and proactive measures. President E. D. Mnangagwa’s dedication to tackling these issues is indeed commendable. His vision and commitment to finding sustainable solutions to these complex problems are vital for the well-being and progress of our nation.
As a Senator, I stand in full support of initiatives that promote gender equality, environmental protection and efforts to combat drug abuse. I am committed to working collaboratively with the President and other stakeholders to address these issues and make meaningful contributions towards building a better future for all our citizens. This means that both men and women have a task to work towards advancing the nation’s interests. Recently, we have witnessed the appointment of first female Prosecutor-General, Dr. Loice Matanda-Moyo as well as the appointment of Mrs. Virginia Mabhiza as the new Zimbabwe Attorney-General. We also witnessed the appointment of Chipo Mutasa, another esteemed woman to be the Chairperson of the inaugural Mutapa Investment Fund. This is a walk on one of the Vision 2030 cross-cutting themes that is of gender equality and women empowerment.
The President has also made strides in promoting women inclusion, making sure that all women in the country are being mainstreamed in decision making platforms. That is why even in the Parliament, we have the women’s quota and youth quota. This move was to give women the ability to express themselves and also participate in the formulation of decisions that affect them. Through the Ministry of Finance, women empowerment has also been prioritised. With the support of Zimbabwe Women’s Bank that has been offering micro-finance loans to young women to enhance their businesses, women have been empowered economically. That is why we have prominent women who are now in business and are contributing to the country’s GDP.
Lastly, the programme of devolution is meant to bring a harbinger for a new dawn of development, resuscitation of worn-out facilities and revival of dilapidated infrastructure to regain its lustre. To facilitate these developments, the Central Government has allocated devolution funds to all the country’s ten provinces to ensure that no areas are left behind towards the betterment of our cities and transformation of rural areas to urbanisation. The Government is currently working on the road rehabilitation projects in major cities and locations. Roads are being rehabilitated, among them are Bindura-Matepatepa Road, Mt. Darwin-Mukumbura Road and Mahuhwe to Kanyemba Road rehabilitation. Also dams erected for irrigation such as Kanyemba Irrigation Scheme, Bindura and Semwa Dams are progressing well. Food security is also being guaranteed through Pfumvudza.
It is crucial for all Zimbabweans to come together in a spirit of patriotism and solidarity, working towards the common goal of building a better, more prosperous future for our beloved motherland. By uniting, our efforts and working collaboratively, we can overcome challenges and contribute to the growth and development of our nation. Let us strive to build a strong, united Zimbabwe, one that we can all be proud of, and one that offers opportunity and hope for generations to come. United in purpose and driven by a common goal.
Mr. President, as I move around the corridors, the dining room and talk to colleagues, they are always asking me, Makamba, do you still have it? I said what! They said what you used to do on radio. Can you just give us an example? So, Mr. President, here you are - NDIKATI NZVEEE, KWAAMATO, WANDIONA! Thank you.
HON. SEN. KADUNGURE: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that was presented by His Excellency the President. May I take this opportunity to congratulate the President of the Senate Hon. M. Chinomona and her Deputy, Hon. M. Nyambuya on their reappointment to lead this House. Most importantly, allow me to congratulate the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe on his re-election to lead Zimbabwe.
Madam President, let me start speaking about measures put in place by the Government to enhance agricultural productivity as outlined by His Excellency the President in the SONA. Agriculture is the backbone to our economic growth. Construction of dams has seen sustainable irrigation projects taking place in many areas on our nation. Food security has become a reality, our people are now able to produce crops all year round, also promoting income generation starting from household levels. The Second Republic as outlined by His Excellency has begun drilling of boreholes which has made life easier for our people to access clean and safe water. Watering of gardens becomes viable at local levels especially rural areas. Our people become food sufficient.
The mining sector also as outlined by His Excellency the President, E. D. Mnangagwa is a pillar to our economic growth. I want to appreciate its growth to USD12 billion which is evident of the Government support to this industry. The USD10 million Mining Industry Loan Fund put in place by the Government for small scale and artisanal miners will enhance the growth of this sector. This will equip this sector with essential tools to promote better working conditions and practice safety conditions as this will also help avoid disasters. Rolling out of more gold centres will see employment creation, mostly for our youths, as many of our young generation are actively involved in mining activities nationwide.
His Excellency, the President in his SONA, also talked about the power supply improvement. Indeed, allow me to emulate the Second Republic for its efforts to put in place measures to improve power supply to the whole nation. As we move towards Vision 2030 middle-income economy, industries become more vibrant due to improved power supply. This allows steady supply to produce from our industries which produce goods and services.
In the SONA, also the President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa spoke about enhancing connectivity through upgrading road networks. It is evident across the country, the robust efforts by the Second Republic to rehabilitate road networks. Roads are very necessary to economic growth as many services to economic growth require good roads. Now there is much improved easy supply of goods and services from producers to consumers because of good road networks. I believe that because of this initiative by Government, the rest of other remaining areas in remote places will also be completed as the President says in his mantra, “leaving no one and no place behind.”
Let me also turn to education 5.0 Model, as His Excellency highlighted in the SONA. This is aimed at producing goods and services. It is an initiative towards economic growth as it focuses on innovation and industrialisation. Education 5.0 will go a long way in equipping learners to become innovative.
These are some of the issues which are highlighted by His Excellency, the President Hon. E. D Mnangagwa. I thank you for this opportunity to debate on some of the items. May we all work together with one spirit for the development of our nation, as we emulate the efforts by His Excellency and the Second Republi; hence his mantra, “nyika inovakwa, igotongwa, igonamatirwa nevene vayo”. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. SHIRI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th November 2023.
On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA),
the Senate adjourned at a Quarter to Four O’clock p.m.
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 16th November, 2023.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
An Hon. Member having stood up on a matter of national importance when the Hon. Speaker had called for Notices of Motion.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Do not confuse issues. I am calling for Notices of Motion. Please sit down.
The Hon. Member giving a notice of motion having switched off the mic before she had finished presenting her notice of motion.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Why did you switch off your mic before completing your presentation? Let us hope the Hansard Officer has captured all that you said outside the switched off mic. Thank you very much for the most appropriate motion as we celebrate the 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence on women in particular.
I notice on my right and on my left, there are few Members who are not here who should be here. I suspect that Members have been issued with fuel coupons to travel. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Most Hon. Members from the CCC have been recalled.] – I know that, you do not have to remind me my friend. Now, listen very carefully, from now onwards, I require officers from the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms to be at the appropriate entrances and record those Members who come after the prayer and they will be entitled to half the coupons that they are due. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- You have to respect this Chamber. It is yours. It is the people’s Chamber. – [HON. MAHLANGU: We do not have transport, we use public transport.]- Transport is provided by Parliament. You never complained to me that you did not have adequate transport. Now that I am cracking the whip, you cry foul about transport. What I have announced shall stand. Sergeant-at-Arms, you got my announcement. From now onwards, this will apply. You all have to clap hands. You are my children, do not ask one side of the House to clap hands, all of you must clap hands.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I want to inform the House that the National Assembly will adjourn today until the 28th of November 2023. Accordingly, all Committee Business will stand suspended until the 27th of November 2023.
*HON. TAFANANA ZHOU: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. My point of interest regards accidents that are happening on our roads, particularly an accident that happened along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road that killed 22 citizens and another one that happened a few days ago on Tuesday which also killed nine people along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road.
Mr. Speaker Sir, road accidents are prevalent and since we are approaching the festive season, I propose that we get a Ministerial Statement regarding what the Government plans to do in order to curb road carnage during the festive season.
I also want to say that when an accident occurs, respect for the dead people should be observed by putting their remains in a body bag. Therefore, I am requesting for the Minister to bring in a Ministerial Statement explaining why the deceased’s remains are not being put in a body bag. I thank you.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: May I ask the Chief Whip to take up that issue with the responsible Minister so that when we meet on the 28th of November, 2023, that Ministerial Statement will be availed to the House.
Meanwhile, I have been informed that there will be traffic police patrols on our highways in the next two to three weeks as we move towards the Christmas season.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. I need to speak to the provisions which are in our Constitution on Section 119 (2), the entitlement that we are given as our responsibility as Members of Parliament. I speak to the provision of an institution which was created by the Constitution on Section 264 and 265 of our Constitution with regard to the provincial councils.
Hon. Speaker Sir, we have gone through elections and Provincial council members were elected across the ten provinces. Up to this day, they have not been sworn in, neither do we have an enabling act that facilitates the working part of the Provincial Council. I now therefore, call for the attention of the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi, in coordination with the Hon. Minister of Local Government, to come up with a solution so that these fellow members of provincial councils across the country are sworn in and are given their responsibilities so that they start to work.
Henceforth, it is important that the Hon. Minister of Justice comes up with an enabling Act that facilitates this process. So, with your indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir, I humbly request that the Hon. Minister brings a Ministerial Statement to clarify on the way forward in this regard as well as to fast track that component which is going to facilitate the provincial council's work. I thank you
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is a very critical and an important observation which I totally agree with, but be reminded that as far as this House is concerned, you are encouraged to come up with a Constitutional Amendment Number two which provided for the enactment of that Act, Provincial Councils Act. As you rightly say, it is incumbent that the Minister of Local Government, working together with the Minister of Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs tables that Bill so that this House can pass the Bill into an Act of Parliament and the Provincial Act Council can then proceed to be sworn in and carry out their provincial responsibilities accordingly.
So, the observation is accepted, again I ask the Government Chief Whip to proceed with it and coordinate that request from Hon. Mutseyami.
HON. DR. MUTODI: My point of privilege emanates from a tweet that was sent by one of our Hon. Members in this august House by the name Hon. Fadzayi Mahere. In the tweet, she says “defying a court order to force fraudulent recall is a whole new level of thuggery and contempt. The brazen disregard for the rule of law confirms what we have always said, ZANU PF is anti-people, anti-democracy and anti-progress. We need new leaders”.
This kind of tweet undermines that role of this Parliament. This platform…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, can I hear the Hon. Member in silence.
HON. DR. MUTODI: This platform is a democratic platform in which every Hon. Member who has an issue against your Chair or any of the developments that happen in this Parliament, can air their views and they can be debated fairly, but if we have an Hon. Member who goes out to tweet on the affairs of Parliament and on a development that has been done legally and procedurally, I think this should not be allowed to happen. I pray that Hon. Mahere be given a suitable punishment for such behaviour. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
Hon. Hwende and Hon. Hamauswa stood up.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. While the freedom of expression is respected and must be respected, it is important also that we as Members of Parliament, must also respect the provisions of Section 86 of the Constitution that these rights are not absolute. The only absolute rights are the rights to life, for example, such rights are absolute. The freedom of expression is not absolute and therefore, it must be exercised with greatest caution in respect of other people’s rights – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - More than that, if the Hon. Member has got issues, they can be ventilated through question time, orally. They can be ventilated through a written question. They can be ventilated through a motion. Our Standing Orders do allow that.
We do not encourage such behaviour which goes against the provisions of our Standing Orders. Our Standing Orders have got the force of the law and I do not want to be persuaded to act accordingly. I shall engage Hon. Mahere accordingly and advise accordingly. Hon. Hwende, when I am speaking, you should be silent. There is no contestation between the Chair and yourself. You must respect that.
Although Hon. Mutodi is asking for some implied drastic action, I will start with the soft skill and if that soft skill is not appreciated, then the next step will be taken accordingly. I thank you.
HON. HWENDE: On a point of clarity. Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. Maybe I just wanted to be helped with the exact Standing Order that has been violated so that we can be assisted.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, thank you very much. It is not for me to educate you, but it is for you to educate yourself by referring to the Standing Orders.
HON. HWENDE: There is no such Standing Order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you sit down. Go and read the Standing Orders. Can you sit down! Can you read Standing Orders 114 to 120?
HON. HWENDE: Hapana.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you get out of the House! Get out of the House! You asked for information and I am giving you the information. Get out of the House. I give you the Standing Orders 114 to 120 and you are still ignorant.
HON. HWENDE: There is nothing like that.
Hon. Hwende was escorted out of the House.
HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Sit down. I have made a ruling and I do not want to debate my ruling.
HON. HAMAUSWA: I do not want to debate your ruling Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I do not want you to debate my ruling, can you listen. A point of order is raised sequentially on something that has been stated.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Maybe a point of clarity.
THE HON. SPEAKER: When you seek point of clarity, you are impinging on my order. Thank you. Can you sit down!
Hon. Members, can I remind you one thing. This is not a House of a circus. Thank you.
Hon. Togarepi having approached the Chair.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Government Chief Whip, there are no contributors on Notice of Motion Number 1. The list you gave me here is on the Prosecuting Authority.
HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Speaker, let me stand over some of the Order Numbers.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Alright, you can go ahead.
HON. TOGAREPI: Okay.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no, you do not say okay to the Chair.
HON. TOGAREPI: I am sorry Hon. Speaker.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 and 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. C. HLATYAWAYO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY
FOR THE YEAR 2022
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the National Prosecuting Authority for the year 2022.
Question again proposed.
HON. OZIAS BVUTE: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you for affording me the opportunity of saying a few words. The report of the NPA states that they were successful in clearing 68% of all the cases brought to them. In other words, they were taken to the courts and were disposed. That was very encouraging and it shows a commitment to serving. Of particular concern in the report was that economic crimes were not disposed of at the same rate. The report states that their clearance rate was just under 34%, meaning that our courts have difficulties in disposing of matters that relate to the economy. We therefore encourage that something be done such that they accelerate matters that relate to our well-being.
Two important matters stood out in the report which I think should be dealt with or at least are problematic. The first is that various offices of the NPA do not have internet connectivity. Internet connectivity is now considered a basic human right and it is literally impossible to do business without them. I would therefore encourage the Ministry of Finance or the relevant authorities to try and assist in ensuring that they do their work in a manner that allows for them to be efficient.
The second was that they singled out that they did not have electronic gadgets in which to type and print the various reports that they submit. The head of the NPA may not be aware that POTRAZ, under the Universal Services Fund, have a facility that allows for the provision of gadgets for citizens or institutions that are struggling to buy them. I would therefore encourage that they contact the Hon. Minister of ICT to try and ensure that this is dealt with.
The sad and last point was that they had 178 vacancies, meaning that the office is understaffed and therefore, cannot operate at optimum. We therefore ask and encourage that in this current financial year, measures be made to ensure that they recruit when recruitment is needed such that they dispose of the matters that they seek to work on. Thank you for affording me this opportunity Mr. Speaker Sir.
The Hon. Speaker asked Hon. J. Sithole to leave the House for improper dressing
THE HON. SPEAKER: May I ask Hon. Marupi to debate.
HON. MARUPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, good afternoon. I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to make my submissions on the NPA Report that we received. Let me actually preface my submission by saying to this august House, that I believe when such reports are given to us, it is our prerogative that we go through them with the approach of making positive contribution towards the operations of these organisations since we contribute in lobbying for the budgets.
For starters, I am very much concerned as alluded to by my colleague here, on the staff turn-over that seems to be very common in the organisation. It is critical that we all be concerned with seeing into it that the organisation is supported so that they get enough resources, finances to recruit enough workforce that is going to man the offices in a manner that is going to produce results and that is going to see to it that there is no backlog. I believe that by partnering with organisations such as Transparency International and Insurance Council of Zimbabwe, it is clear indication that the organisation itself is very critical in our lives, be it financially, socially and spiritually since they contribute and make our day to day life in this country be lived in a way that makes us to be secure and free.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as indicated, with the resources accorded to the department, I believe it is not surprising that the movement of the departments to be continuously short staffed is because of the remuneration. According to the report, it says the workshop that was held sometime was a success and the success is measured by the contributions made by the people who attended the workshop, which sometimes cannot be a good measure to say the workshop was a success. I believe it is important and critical to make a follow up to these officers’ workplaces once trained to see if they are practicing what was imparted to them. This would also be to see if they are adhering to the SOPs and of course, the international standards as seen with the invitations that have taken place seeing them going as far as the horn of Africa, and also inviting the interest of the international organisations to try and partner with them in their operations.
I am also concerned with the report capturing only two acts of misconduct for such an organisation or for such a department that is national. I believe it is probably because of the resources and manpower that has seen them dealing with two cases of misconduct. One can also argue that it is because of the limited offices that are in operation across the country. I therefore suggest that once resources are availed, we also develop some mechanisms that are going to see to it that monitoring is done and training is done again to see to it that we develop modern ways of monitoring and supervising these offices.
While this is so, we are in a world of embracing technology in our operations and I believe that it is high time that when resources are allocated to these offices, they also come up with an inventory because we are seeing that when funds are allocated, we are told to purchase modern day gadgets. We are seeing reports talking of purchasing properties, but we do not have an account and we do not have a record of what was purchased and where these things are so that when we are doing an audit and when we are to lobby for resources to be given to these departments, we get to know what was actually purchased and what is needed at a particular time. These are my submissions. Thank you.
HON. MUTOKONYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mwausaviyeni Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Ndausakabutu.
HON. MUTOKONYI: Twalumba. On the NPA report, as mandated by the Constitution of Zimbabwe Section 262 which requires that the report should be made available, the Authority had an overall case management, a success of 68.37% from the 7 specialised units. Of note to that, there is the unit on economic crimes which only had 38% on the performance. This could be due to various factors though not very much mentioned. I also look at their challenges where they equally spelt that the tools of trade, particularly on the gadgets, they really need that for them to do their job.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you refresh my memory Hon. Member – did you quote Section 262?
HON. MUTOKONYI: Yes, Section 262 of the Constitution Mr. Speaker on the reporting of NPA on the annual reporting.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, that quotation is not correct. That one refers to the Prosecutor General.
HON. MUTOKONYI: Pardon me Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We are dealing with the NPA which is Section 252 of the Constitution.
HON. MUTOKONYI: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On the NPA report as well, we have also noted that on their commentary on the operations side where there is a challenge on the drugs side, they only achieved 52.79% and the reason being that the tests that were taken to the laboratories could take longer than wanted, this could have caused that performance rate. I have also observed that the authority in terms of the gender staff complement, has 56.5% of the staff compliment who are women and we commend that given that women are a bigger population in the country.
On the challenges, the report also highlighted that from the budget that they were allocated, they got 49% of their bid and we could actually call upon Treasury to help support this special institution for them to perform and ensure that the cases are prosecuted and this could be the other issue where we see the issue of staff turnovers. The report highlighted that some of the prosecutors could not be inducted and as such, this could lead to the overall case performance. Otherwise, we could have a much higher performance percentage in terms of activities done.
Mr. Speaker Sir, on the staff welfare, the report mentioned that much has to be done, particularly on the staff welfare as well as those highlighted tools of trade that could ensure that the authority can do its mandatory work. Otherwise we commend the work which is being done by the NPA. I submit.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. Please do not discard your quotation of Section 262, but the whole issue about the work of prosecutor starts from Section 258 to Section 263. So, do not disabuse Section 262, it is still within that range of the sections of the Constitution.
HON. MALINGANISO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Good afternoon. Reading the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)’s report, I was reminded of a Jewish prophet by the name Amos. If you read the book of Amos 2 from verses 4 to7, he had the audacity because he was the first prophet to pronounce the worst punishment on a chosen nation, Israel. He had said, “for three transgressions of Moab, and for four of Juda, for three transgressions and for four of Israel, I will not revoke the punishment”. Commentators Wood Kristen, a prophet of doom; they only knew and they were used to prophets who pronounce the beatitudes to Israel on behalf of Yaweh since they played an ambassadorial role.
Mr. Speaker, the NPA ought to have Amoses of Zimbabwe, Amoses of today, people who are able to call a spade a spade so that they can prosecute issues accordingly. The same prophet Amos, on Amos 5 verse 22 would say, “even if you bring me burnt offerings, I will not accept them”. Why is Amos pertinent? If you check on the report, there is low success rate in the prosecution of commercial crimes. Is it possible that our prosecutors are not the Amoses of today? They can accept burnt offerings thereby letting commercial crimes go unchecked.
Mr. Speaker, the issue of high turn-over speaks to the lack of funding, lack of capacitation, and lack of incentives in the NPA. I would implore the Minster of Finance to fund the NPA well, if we are to have a department that makes certain that our economy does not fall – [ HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -Those of us who enjoy reading social sciences may have trembled upon a writing by Kirst Ashman and Hull in 2009. He said,” trauma and disability are scourges injurious, but these can be sources of opportunity and strength”. I would have thought that the NPA Report must have furnished us with measures they are taking to make certain service delivery go ahead despite our challenges. Indeed, we have challenges of sanctions, debarring the Minister of Finance to allocate as per request, but willing. There are things that can be done by the NPA to capacitate its employees.
I am envisioning or picturing a situation where a prosecutor dealing with a serious issue, leaves court and is supposed to be ferried by public transport. What happens in such a case where the same prosecutor is offered, not only transport, but a car by those who he or she is prosecuting? Mine is adding a voice to those that have already debated. My humble plea is for the Finance Minister, certainly to make sure that this crucial department is well funded and to make sure criminals do not go scot-free. These are my submissions. I thank you.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I just want to add a few words with respect to the report by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The NPA should be an authority that is well funded for the sake of the criminal justice system to work effectively. You will note that there had been a huge debate in the public arena, in respect to the work or the relationship that exist between ZACC and NPA, where ZACC would tell you that we have investigated and what is now left is for the NPA to do the prosecution.
If you check on the statistics, you find that 38% on economic matters fell below, compared to all other crimes. They could only go up to 38%. What that tells us is that we need, as this House, to ensure that there is deliberate effort to make sure that the NPA is well equipped. Hon. Members in this august House who have had the chance to visit the various courts, even here in Harare, you go to Rotten Row Court or Mbare Court, when you go and see the offices that your prosecutors are using, in some of them, the chairs and the floor are not fit to be used by people that we think are supposed to be carrying the burden of making sure that this country becomes a safer place for everyone.
The police do their work, but you also need the prosecutors to also do their work. How can they do their work if they are not well remunerated, if they do not have the vehicles to use? If you check on the report, you will note that the authority failed to even do training for the newly recruited prosecutors in the provinces of Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central. They only did training for Manicaland. What does that mean? It means we are sending our soldiers to fight this scourge of criminal issues without the necessary refreshments and training to make sure that we equip them.
The other issue which is clear from the report is the rate of staff turn-over which is so huge. This says one thing; we are not adequately paying our prosecutors and the support staff at the NPA. We cannot continue to have this authority as a training ground where people just come from colleges, get trained and a few months down the line, they leave. We need to make sure that we do everything possible and my prayer is that our Portfolio Committee on Justice will need to quickly have conversation with the NPA under the new leadership of Justice Matanda-Moyo, so that we come up with a mechanism of making sure that we equip this authority. If we do not equip this authority, what it means is that all the work of the police, ZACC, even of Parliament, our Public Accounts Committee, every entity that does investigations, everything is going to die because we have failed to make sure that our NPA is well equipped. You cannot fight crime in this era when you do not have access to internet; when you do not have ICT gadgets. It cannot be possible. You cannot go to a court where the Public Prosecutors do not have access to the internet, how do you compete, how do you empower your prosecutors to compete with well-oiled lawyers who are defending the suspects?
You need to make sure that your prosecutors are well equipped and it is imperative to Hon. Mutodi’s Committee to ensure that this matter is dealt with urgently. I know we are debating the 2022 report, but I can tell you that even as we are ending 2023, that the situation has actually not improved as there is a need for us as a Parliament and the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, to be proactive, engage and make sure that we do the right thing for this authority and this country. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. NYABANI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th November, 2023.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that we revert to Order of the Day Number 2 on today’s Order Paper.
HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2022
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for the year 2022.
Question again proposed.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Looking at the report which was presented by the Anti-Corruption Commission, the people who were running the Commission; I appreciate that they considered the role played by the Government that women should also be encompassed in such responsibilities as well as the disabled, thus having people who are disabled representing their counterparts is of paramount importance.
Also looking at the crimes which were committed, the statistics show that most of these crimes were committed in urban centers, particularly Harare topping the list. Now looking at that, it shows the governance issues; Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo where you find that council authorities are selling stadiums, roads and other public facilities being allocated as stands – that is corruption.
Looking at banks, the amounts which are allowed to be taken out by law-abiding citizens, you find that some monies being taken out by banks are being channeled into the black market. So, this shows the level of corruption in towns, Harare topping the list.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me say that in most countries which have sanctions, their economies do not perform well. When you also look at the role of those who fight corruption, sometimes it is difficult for them to do their jobs. For example, Cuba was slapped with sanctions for 50 years, but this country was trying to eradicate corruption and work on its economies. Zimbabwe has been under sanctions for a very long time, it is difficult for Zimbabwe to sell its gold and you find words like gold mafia or blood diamonds. These are issues which are used against us.
Therefore, the report that we got from the Anti-Corruption Commission is a report which is quite disturbing. We do not expect to see such things happening. Looking at Harare, most donor funds are given to political parties and political entities. It is also difficult to audit such money; you hear that people were given USD5 million for political expediency, yet the anti-corruption commission should be capacitated to audit such monies. These are challenges that we think our Commission should be capacitated to deal with. There are laws regarding the bringing in of money from other countries and the responsible financial intelligence unit and anti-corruption commission should be capacitated by Government to make a follow up on these matters.
Mr. Speaker Sir, looking at the issue which was mentioned in the report regarding the dissemination of information in places like Mbire or Binga and other peripheral areas, it is important for them to know that there is a Commission which is meant to eradicate corruption, that knowledge is not being disseminated to outlying areas. During COVID- 19, different Government departments played an active role in disseminating information. I believe the Commission should also consider that because even the Ministry of Health had village health workers who disseminated information in fighting COVID-19. I believe that in the same vein, all Government departments should play a leading role. You will note that in the telecommunication industry, there is sharing of infrastructure like boosters and in this particular instance, the Anti-Corruption Commission should also work with other law enforcement agencies like the police.
When we go to the village health workers, they must be capacitated with information dissemination. When looking at the Ministry of Youth, the youth officers in all villages are useful in dissemination of information. When we go to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, we have women in villages who are responsible for disseminating information. So, I believe that the biggest challenge is the dissemination of information throughout the country because when we go to Mbire, you will find that people might not have access and corruption takes a long time to be eradicated because the information is not reaching the responsible authorities.
I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to air my thoughts.
HON. MUSHORIWA: The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is our best foot forward in respect to combating and fighting corruption in this country. Naturally Mr. Speaker Sir, it is a Commission and we expect it to perform its tasks very well. You will note from the report that ZACC is not well situated across the entire country. Out of the 10 provinces in this country, ZACC is only in six provinces. There is need to ensure that ZACC operates in all the ten provinces so that we can actually make sure that corruption is investigated.
The report states that there were 681 cases that ZACC did in 2022, of which 134 cases were referred to the NPA with 23 convictions. The number does not augur well, moreso, given the prominence that we normally see when ZACC starts its investigation. You would think that with the number of cases that they are coming up with, there would be quite a number of cases that would be referred to NPA. Consequently, you would think that you also get conviction rates which are high. You then realise that there have been a challenge between the Commission and the NPA in respect to the quality of the investigation work that ZACC is doing. We do not know whether the failure to have high conviction rate is to do with the lack of investigative skills by staff at ZACC or it has to do with the fact that most of our officers under ZACC are curtailed by the fact that they do not have the necessary tools to ensure that they do their job well.
The people who are corrupt are the people who have money. You send someone who does not have anything, who does not even have a car and you want him or her to go and investigate somebody who has looted, be it a public officer, whether it is local authority or state enterprise or any other entity for that matter. The chance and possibility of those officers being lured to see the other side, primarily because the perpetrator has sufficient resources to buy his or her freedom is actually high. This is the reason why ZACC, together with NPA need to be well funded. We need to make sure that these entities are well equipped if we want to make sure that corruption is curbed.
There is also a challenge even with the operations of ZACC. Your Committee on Public Accounts in the previous Parliament had a problem with ZACC in terms of their own accounting systems. The Auditor General has actually been raising pertinent issues and we believe it is important that ZACC should lead by example. If you are the police or priest, your behaviour or conduct should also be exemplary so that when you go out there, people will not start to raise fingers.
I also note that there is actually a collaboration with the Auditor-General, though I want to point out that if you check, they have just had a paragraph. We have had the chance to liaise with the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General always says that when they produce their document and once the Minister had tabled the Auditor-General’s findings into this House, one of the first offices that the Auditor-General sends her reports is actually ZACC. You will note that ZACC has not been performing in a good manner given the fact that the Auditor-General would have given them sufficient information to warrant them to institute investigation.
I am glad Mr. Speaker Sir that your Committee on Public Accounts, one of its key objectives is to make sure that the collaboration between Parliament, ZACC and the Auditor-General is enhanced because we believe there are quite a number of commercial crimes that are being committed in this country which are being swept under the carpet. I think it takes every one of us to ensure that those things are dealt with. If you also notice from the report, it is the abuse of office which is rampant, part of it may be remuneration. The other reason is the culture that we have inculcated amongst our people. We now have a system where we have actually normalised the abnormal, in the sense that many people now believe that where they are, they have to get as much as possible. In fact, there is a Shona adage that says, mbudzi inodya payakasungirirwa. That culture needs to be stopped if we are to develop. I believe that as a country, we have sufficient resources and capacity to make the life of every Zimbabwean better. How do we do that, we need to make sure that all these loopholes, all these financial flows that we are having should actually be nipped in the bud.
If we do not do that Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not think we will be going anywhere. This is the reason why Mr. Speaker Sir, the Justice Committee is seized with very important institutions. I believe that we need to make sure that, that work between the Portfolio Committee on Justice and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is also enhanced. This will make sure that when it comes to the disbursements of funds from the Treasury, monies from the budgets that have been approved and that the quarterly disbursements are actually up to date. We do not want to have a problem year in, year out where the Commission will come and say, look we got x dollars from the budget, but out of the x, we just got 70% of the budget. I think that will not be right. I think it is important and crucial that we need to be proactive. Our Portfolio Committee – when we do the monthly and quarterly reports, should ensure that these agencies are given sufficient resources. If we give them sufficient resources, then we will be in a position to then question them if they fail to perform, but when there are no sufficient resources, it is difficult for this august House Mr. Speaker Sir, to lay blame on them.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I pray that as Parliament, we do whatever it takes even as we approach the budget, to make sure that this Commission and the NPA that we discussed earlier, are well resourced and well-funded so that we take this country further. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. I did not hear some clapping on my right – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Chakanaka, chakanaka mukaka haurungwi, handiti? He is one of the few Members of Parliament who demonstrates to the Chair that they actually have read that report in detail by referencing to specific pages in that report. I think that needs to be applauded – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We must take the cue that when such reports are presented, we read them and analyse them studiously so that we are able to come up with suggestions as to how we can ameliorate the situations. I think the suggestions that have been proffered by Hon. Mushoriwa will be taken on board by the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Although he is not here, the Government Chief Whip will refer him to the Hansard so that those who contributed and proffered some suggestions, he can take them on board and see how best the operations of ZACC can be improved. Well done – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to appreciate the coordination which I am seeing in this august House, different Members of Parliament working together. Indeed, the last speaker raised quite pertinent issues. If workers are given peanuts, you find that monkeys will come to take that job. There is need to pay decent salaries to ZACC and the NPA. The officers are saying that it is quite difficult for them to discharge their duties because they are not capacitated. My plea Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we need to continue united as a nation in this august House, as Zimbabweans. He is following what was said by a former Member of this august House, Hon. Biti, that if we hunt for a mouse, we eat that for the development of the nation. If we tell our erstwhile colonizers, the western countries that they should remove sanctions and Zimbabwe would have fertilizer inputs and other social amenities, our economy is going to prosper. May the God of peace be with us. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you, indeed we are one family when we are in this august House. What I saw, Hon. Mushoriwa vatiivo, there is a Shona adage which says mbudzi inodya payakasungirirwa, but he did not clarify what should be done to a person who ties a goat to a tree so that the goat does not browse where it is tied. I also noted that every Member debated saying that ZACC should be given funding, but looking at the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 322 regarding funding of commissions, let me read to you, “Parliament must ensure that sufficient funds for the Commission enable them to exercise their functions effectively”. So where is the burden, the responsibility lies with Parliament? It is up to you as Parliament to vote enough funds for the allocation of such funding to different Commissions. It is your responsibility as Parliament to give the Commissions enough funding. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. S. SITHOLE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st November, 2023.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 4 to 6 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 7 has been disposed of.
HON. S. SITHOLE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PROVISION OF A BILL FOR THE ABOLITION OF DEATH
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on leave to bring in a Private Member’s Bill to abolish the death penalty in Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I stand up to support the motion which was brought into the House regarding the death penalty. We have a lot of people who are in jail and some of them are innocent. After viewing their cases and after so many years, you discover that they are innocent. I will give an example of someone who had a death penalty. After five years, they go for the death row but after a review, you discover that the person is acquitted after they are dead.
A death penalty is one other reason why we took up arms to liberate ourselves from imperialists because the imperialists have a law which says that African leaders who do not give them resources are taken to hang. They did it in Libya when they took Gaddafi, they went to Iraq and did the same with Sadam Hussein; they went to the DRC and this happened with Patrice Lumumba and this happened with Chris Harney in South Africa and many more because of such judgements. God says that no one has the right over the life of another. So, I support the deliberations regarding this law…
HON. BAJILA: Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member is raising critical issues. Unfortunately, the examples that he use are not factual. Chris Harney was never hanged, but he was murdered. The examples that he is using are not correct. While the matters that he is bringing before the House are very good, let him stick to facts in relation to examples that he uses. If he is not aware of any, there is no crime in not putting an example in driving your point.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is correct. Here, we are dealing with a death penalty that has been pronounced through a court process. Gaddafi, the leader of Iraq and please, you are talking of Mbuya Nehanda, she went through the process. Why do you want to belittle yourself unashamedly? Patrice Lumumba was a victim of assassination. To that extent, Hon. Bajila is correct. We must deal with issues that have gone through the court process resulting in a death penalty being pronounced.
HON. MUTOKONYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would also want to support the motion moved by Hon. Mushoriwa. The issue of death penalty from a Christian point of view, we should not kill others because God said it and also from a scientific point of view or from a statistical point of view, there is no study that has confirmed that if there is death penalty in the country, that can reduce or minimise the murder or the charges against death. This could also tell that coming up with a death penalty does not confirm that the would-be offenders will not do the same offence. As such, it is improper to have a death sentence.
If you look even in the prison, the prison is a correctional place to allow transformation of persons and as such, you cannot then punish a person up to the point of death. So, I call for a custodial lifetime imprisonment for such heinous crimes instead of having death penalties.
Also, I was checking on one research, Canada did abolish that law, some time back and as at 2008, they stated that the statistics of murderers and all these assortments of heinous crimes actually reduced where the country had abolished the death penalty. If you also look at when our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, at the point of death, he said that Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. This could actually tell us that by pronouncing a death sentence, it will not reduce or minimise the crimes that will be committed by the would-be offenders. Even, given our country, Zimbabwe is a religious country. So, it is improper to penalise one by death.
I would also, in some cases, whereby the death penalty is pronounced to another family, the survivors, we need to also feel for them. It could be a father, a son, brother or whoever, they would feel much better if they know that the person is there but with a custodial life imprisonment than to accept that they should die because of whatever the crimes they could have committed. Even our President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa survived the death calling because of age, otherwise if it was not about that, it was going to be something else. We need to also appreciate that we are with him today because he survived that death penalty. As such it is also proper and important to abolish this death sentence regardless of the degree or magnitude of the crime that would have been committed.
Without taking much time, I also see it however, on the other side, we also need to look on issues of national interest where the issues of terrorism and treason are prevalent. It could be to an extent, not good to have the death penalty but also it does send a message to people who would have thought of going through such dangerous and such disastrous kind of crimes, particularly the crime of terrorism. This is still a subject to be discussed. I do submit. Thank you.
HON. GUMEDE: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker. We have international human rights obligations that we must respect, protect and promote without discrimination. These rights include the right to life. Since 2005, no executions but the death penalty continues to be imposed. The fact that we have not done any execution for the past five years or so means that we are already migrating towards abolishment, similar to other countries in Africa and beyond. I therefore, believe that we must put finalisation on the contentious matter as my colleagues have rightfully put it that death penalty is irreversible and mistakes can happen. Meaning that there is a real risk of executing even innocent persons, which therefore, becomes something that cannot be undone.
Life without parole as an alternative, can be a better deterrent. I also wish to put to you that the death penalty has an effect, psychologically on family members whose relatives get sentenced to death. This includes but not limited to depression, PTSB, stigma among other mental health related issues. The experience itself of a violent loss is distinct and is like no other experience. Let us rather emulate the global movement with good examples being shown, even by our astral neighbour Zambia, whose legislative leadership has chosen the same course of action, which is to completely abolish this archaic practice. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Gumende. The mover of this motion. You wanted to wind up this motion but we still have more Honourable Members who want to debate.
*HON. TSITSI ZHOU: Thank you Madam Speaker. Good afternoon. The issue which we are deliberating on is quite painful. There are serious issues, where perpetrators fear death sentence. You find people who take other people’s lives yet we are people who are very religious and who honour God. The Bible teaches us in Genesis 9 verse 6, where it says the one who spills blood will die in the same manner.
Where we live, we find children and women being killed by husbands and fathers of the family. There are also robbers who break into houses to steal and kill people. This issue is quite painful. We have children who are raped and women as well. If the rapist notices that the victim has identified him, they kill the victim so that they will not be reported.
We also have children who are gold panners, they are attacked and killed. These are heinous crimes and the Constitution is clear that everyone has a right to life. Madam Speaker Ma’am, we have countries that have eradicated crimes like China which has the death sentence. China has eradicated corruption and criminality because they have the death sentence. In the English language, we talk about success stories with regard to that.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, let me end by saying that I want to agree and concur with those who say the death penalty should be removed, but in crimes like rape, they should be incarcerated. Let me also say that if there is anyone who would have used their hand to kill others, that hand should be cut.
The reason why people fear such crimes is when the Sharia law is applied. So, we need to think deeply about this issue so that those who take away other people’s lives and rape should pay the price. So, the examples that I gave should be taken into consideration so that rape and murder are avoided at all costs. I thank you.
HON. MATSUNGA: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to support the motion which was moved by Hon. Mushoriwa. I want to thank Hon. Mushoriwa for moving the motion and other Hon. Members who supported the motion.
Madam Speaker, basic human rights should be respected no matter how much one has committed a crime. As humanity, some issues might affect the whole clan, even generations to come (ngozi), so we need to honour basic ethos. I am one person who does not support that this law should pass, there is a Chewa adage that says chawana mnzako chapita mawa chili kwaiwe!! So, we need to respect human sanctity.
The other issue is that perpetrators of violence should be given deterrent sentences that even visitors are not allowed. When those perpetrators are starved with hunger and with no visitors, this will be a deterrent also. However, when they have visitors and food, sometimes they will have hope, so these people should be deprived of basic comfort instead of applying the death penalty.
The other issue is that there should be a law that spells out that whoever kills or whoever commits murder, should have up to 100 years of incarceration and life in prison. There are survivors of the death penalty; it is important that as they go, they must educate other people because there are people who are using machetes, but are not being prosecuted. So, instead of the law saying that he who has committed murder should be put on death row, I would suggest that if the person has committed murder, whether it is rape, he must be incarcerated.
Whilst we are about to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender violence, we have people who are murdering women and children. However, we also have women murdering their spouses, so they must also be mutilated because gender-based violence is found in both genders. Men are being abused and beaten up in their homes. You find that during the previous years, there are men who were killed. So, if a person commits such a crime, then the penalty should be befitting.
Let me end by saying Madam Speaker, I would want to support the other Members who support the abolishment of the death sentence because in our Shona culture, kupara ngozi. So, I support the mover of the motion and I say no to the death penalty. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. S. CHIKOMO): Hon. Members, matters that are being raised at the moment have been deliberated before, so let us try to avoid repetitions. I also understand that there seems to be some consensus in the debate, which means we are all saying the same thing – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – Please respect the Chair Hon. Member.
HON. MANGONDO: I stand to support the motion regarding the abolition of death penalty in Zimbabwe. As you know, life is a fundamental human right. No human being has a right to take away the life of another person irrespective of the fact that, that person would have caused the death of another person. Section 48 of our Constitution is very clear on that matter that life is a fundamental human right.
The world-over, the trend is for countries to abolish the death penalty and Zimbabwe will be certainly joining other progressive nations of the world in abolishing the death penalty. Despite the historical roots of death penalty in Zimbabwe, as you no doubt have the knowledge that as Zimbabweans, we never had in our system, the killing of a human beings or the sentencing of a person who would have caused the death of another. Our culture emphasised restoration. If a person kills another, the family of the person who would have killed another would be made to pay some reparation damages. That is the way of ubuntu or hunhu. In that regard, I would certainly advocate that in addition to life imprisonment, that maybe we bring in an element of restoration. I am not suggesting at this point in time that paying reparation damages is restoring the life of another but in some cases, you may have caused the family of the deceased person to have no bread winner. So, any reparations would certainly be in a position to get the family to perhaps have closure.
Zimbabwe as a progressive nation, as I said before, joined the list of nations that have chosen to abolish capital punishment. I would like to proffer reasons why Zimbabwe should abolish capital punishment. First and foremost, as other Hon. Members have already said, the irreversible nature of the death penalty raises serious ethical concerns. Our criminal justice system, while very strong, is not infallible and miscarriage of justice can and do occur. The irreversible consequences of executing an innocent person should surely be a stain on our national conscience. We can therefore not allow in good faith, the continued existence of capital punishment on our statute books.
Zimbabwe has had a situation in the past during the First Chimurenga, where we had heroes executed for reasons of merely demanding fundamental rights. Again, we had people executed during the Second Chimurenga and in this regard, I would like to suggest that this august House takes a tour of Chikurubi Maximum Prison where you will experience what our freedom fighters who were executed as a result of the existence of the death penalty went through; in the Rhodesian statutes books, to the extent that the Rhodesians were going to execute so many people that they had to import and install an incineration facility at Chikurubi in order to hide away those heinous acts.
In the spirit of ubuntu and hunhu, I would implore this august House to support the abolition of the death penalty. The moratorium on the death penalty since 2005, is clear testimony that as a nation, we do not support the death penalty. I thank you.
HON. KARENYI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to add my voice on the motion which was raised by Hon. Mushoriwa, seconded by Hon Markham. I would like to say the universal declaration of human rights recognises the rights for each other person’s rights. I would like to say as a nation, I believe that our Constitution is very clear that the death penalty in itself though, is not there, we respect the right to life. Our Constitution recognises that each other’s rights must never be violated. I strongly feel that the death penalty in Zimbabwe must be abolished. It is also discriminatory Madam Speaker Ma’am, in its application because it also highlights that women are not included in the death penalty. Though I am also a woman, but to say we have equal opportunity in Zimbabwe then on the other side you also violate male’s rights, I strongly feel that we are equal and we must respect each other’s rights.
The death penalty on its own Madam Speaker, I strongly feel that it is also discriminatory because normally it favours those who have got money. If you have any case before the courts, those people who have got money can even go and get the service of lawyers and some do not even have. It is discriminatory to those who are less privileged. Death penalty on its own denies the capacity of people to socialise with the society – because we talk of rehabilitation. If you have committed any crime, even if you go to prison, the law normally gives you time to mend relationships with the community, but on this one, there is no room for anyone to mend his relationship with the community.
Madam Speaker, I would also want to say the death penalty is a collective punishment, we are talking of the person who is facing the death penalty and this affects their family. If the person is married obviously, psychologically the family will not have peace or to talk about the day that they are going to reunite with their father. The issue of collective punishment makes me feel that even though a person is given a death penalty, those who are at home will also suffer the same because everyday they will be thinking about the day when that family member is going to get executed. They will be saying on a daily basis is it going to be tomorrow or next year. Some of these people spend ten years in prison before they are executed.
The death penalty goes against religious and human rights issues. If you talk of the Bible, for those who believe in God, it clearly tells us that it is only God who judges. The moment we judge to say that person must be executed, normally I feel we are also going against our Christian values. With this Madam Speaker, I strongly feel that we must agree to abolish the death penalty because it is also going against our own Constitution. Thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. MATANGIRA: I want to thank Hon. Mushoriwa for raising the motion that the country of Zimbabwe must agree with other countries that the death penalty mut be abolished. This is because of the fear that there are some people who go to courts allegedly for murder. Madam Speaker, there is a person who agrees that I have killed a child, for example, the Murehwa case of Tapiwa Makore, by cutting the body parts of the child because that person wants money. The murderer has agreed and that person has agreed that he or she has committed the crime and that person must be hanged. We may talk a lot about the Geneva Convention, but we must not forget about the things that happened in the past. Those who started with these laws of abolishing death penalties started these conversations because they had their reasons for tomorrow. They might want to use these laws against us tomorrow. Since 2005, the law was there, but there is no one who was killed or executed through death penalty, in English they call it death. Let us accept it as it is. In our traditional culture we have a saying called ‘makunguwo zvaakatya akafa mangani’ those who feared have preserved their lives. The death penalty law must remain.
Those who commit crimes which require death penalty will be required to look into the gravity of the matter or the crime committed. Right now, we are saying death penalty is there as a deterrent measure. Right now, Madam Speaker, you hear that a kidney is being sold at USD20 000 and a human liver is also being sold. We have criminals who are outside the country and fear to come to Zimbabwe because they know if they come here and commit those crimes, they are going to be jailed and hanged. We are safe as a country because of the death penalty.
Madam Speaker, death penalty must not be abolished. Jesus Christ came, he was God and he came on this earth knowing that he was going to be a martyr. A martyr who died or lived, is one and the same thing. As an individual, I am saying that as a country, we were living freely. On the issue of Tapiwa Makore, I do not believe that there is anyone who want those who committed that crime to go and serve their terms in jail until they die. If we are not agreeing to that sentence of life imprisonment, the death penalty must not be abolished. There is no one who was executed from 2000 till now. Death penalty is there, but we are not practicing it.
Those from the Western countries are the ones who have killed most of our counterparts in the country and they are the same who are inviting us to advocate for the removal of the death penalty. Right now as a country, we want to agree with them to remove the death penalty. Madam Speaker Ma’am, to speak the truth, if my child or a child of an Hon. Member in this House is murdered for ritual purposes and the perpetrator is apprehended and he or she agrees that they were sent by someone to murder and remove the head and other body parts, what do we do? The person has agreed in high court or Supreme Court that they are not denying their crime. The same person is given a sentence to stay in prison for the rest of his life; let us not abolish the death penalty. The motion is very good because there are some people who support the left hand and some support the right hand. Those who support the right hand in touching something dirty, their hand will be dirty within a short period of time, but at the end, all your hands will end up being cleaned. It is good, but let us protect the people we represent as Members of Parliament. No one must kill another person. If you kill, the penalty is death. If you abuse a child, you will face the consequences of what has been said by women in this House. If a woman abuses a boy child, who is innocent, what is that we are going to cut. On women Madam Speaker Ma’am, I do not know what we are going to cut, but death penalty must remain, it must not be abolished. I thank you.
HON. DR. MUTODI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for affording me this opportunity to debate. I think the death penalty as it is in our Constitution, needs to be maintained for now. If we are going to have a chance in future to have it removed, I am sure we must have made sure that we have conducive social, economic and political conditions to ensure that the death penalty is removed. The reason why I oppose the motion by Hon. Mushoriwa is that murder cases are on the rise in this country. There are instances of gruesome murders that are happening and such gruesome murder cases need to be punished with death.
We have women who commit murder and they are being left out of the hook because the Constitution is saying women cannot be hanged. I am sure that is the area that we may need to amend to ensure that women who also perform gruesome murders under the spirit of gender equality, need not discriminate against men. Women of such nature also need to be categorised as dangerous citizens. They must be given punishment of this nature.
Madam Speaker, we have men in this country murdering their wives in cold blood, dismembering their body parts and putting them in sacks or carrier bags and disposing them. We cannot allow such kind of criminal activity to continue or to condone and lessen the punishment that we are to give to such individuals. There is murder with intention. Someone takes a knife out of his house and intentionally goes to stab someone to death or intentionally goes through and uses a weapon to destroy someone’s life.
We agree that there is a right to life, but if you have taken someone’s life, you have obviously said that you do not respect the right to life and as such, the punishment that you deserve is that of death penalty. The question that Hon. Mushoriwa partly posed before this House was that of some murderers or some accused persons being accused and convicted on false grounds so that someone is convicted of murder when they have not done it. May be the thrust that we need to focus on is to ensure that we convict people who have committed murder on the principle that we have always been using beyond any reasonable doubt.
I am sure the Hon. Member who spoke before me said someone comes before the court, they confess to have committed the murder – why should we keep that person as part of our society? We must reflect on these murder cases and treat each matter on its own. There are people who go into houses of people who are living peacefully with their wives, they go in there and sodomise the man, they rape the wife and kill after all that. That is murder in aggravated circumstances and such people may need to be killed.
There is a suggestion that we may need to give them life in jail, but surely, why should we burden our tax payers’ money and keep these people in prison where they will be eating food and enjoying all the lifestyle in jail? We are trying to modernise our jails. Right now, we are going to say if someone is in jail, you can meet your wife and be intimate with her in jail. You can enjoy everything that someone who is not in jail is enjoying.
So, why should we keep murderers of this nature in jail and let them enjoy life yet they have taken out someone from this motherland. It is my submission Madam Speaker Ma’am that we need to continue to reflect on this stance and we need to continue to reflect on this law and it might not be time for us to enact a law that abolishes the death sentence. I thank you.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity to join in the debate on this motion that was raised by Hon. Mushoriwa. I am excited at the opportunity to share my views. I need to be very clear and unequivocal as I begin my debate that there is never going to be a time which will be the most ideal time to abolish the death penalty. In fact, the rest of the world, Southern Africa now is the time to abolish this barbaric measure. I am strongly opposed to the continuation of the death penalty in Zimbabwe.
The death penalty must be abolished immediately. These are my reasons why I am strongly opposed to the death penalty. The first and most important one is the right to life. The right to life is recognised by our Constitution and by all international conventions. No human being has the authority to take away life, life is sacrosanct. We must adopt a position that one must have the right to life at all cost. This country, starting with the colonial experience that we had in 1890, when the colonial establishment was set up in this city, they set up a court system that local people did not even understand - a justice system that involved court magistrates who were mainly white people.
They introduced the death penalty in this country from 1890. The list of people who have been victims of this law include our heroes of the first Chimurenga who were executed using State resources in defence of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe. I feel sad that in 2023, people are not acknowledging the fact that our heroes such as Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi were actually unjustly executed in this city for defending the people of this land from the colonial administration.
This barbaric measure was in direct violation of the right of the people of this land to their land. The liberation movement that most of you claim to belong to, the very same liberation movement for the entire time when the struggle was being executed…
HON. DR. MUTODI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. We on the right side of the Chair do not claim to be representing or standing in for the liberation struggle. We are custodians of the liberation struggle. The Hon. Member must withdraw the statement as it is baseless.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Molokela, please kindly withdraw your statement?
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: Hon. Speaker, just to clarify that I was very clear that some of us in this House, I never mentioned which side of the House. I just said some of us. Their conscience is rebelling and their conscience is selling them out. They are betraying their own – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, let us give him a chance to debate.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: Let me get back to my point. If colonialists had not set up this fake justice system that they used to execute our leaders who were representing our people, like Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi, we will be having a different Zimbabwe today. The same justice system that they imposed on us, not only did it execute our First Chimurenga leaders, it was also used to execute our Second Chimurenga and Umvukela leaders. From 1964 to 1980, how many people were executed at Chikurubi, for fighting for the liberation of this country. Why do we, in 2023, as Zimbabweans, forget that this barbaric death penalty can be used against the interest of the nation at one particular time.
Most of the people who died at Chikurubi in the 1970s, who were executed by the State under Ian Smith, were not criminals. The system called them terrorists but today if you go to the history of Zimbabwe, they are called national war liberation heroes. They are not terrorists. They are not criminals. They are heroes but the reason why they are dead today – my own uncle was executed at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, in 1977. I was two years old when my uncle was executed. The reason why he was executed, under this same law, was because he was a ZIPRA deployed in this country. He died for this country, not in action, not in combat. He died through hanging at Chikurubi. My mother was there to pick up his body and identify it.
This law can be used unjustly; it has been used unjustly. So, as Zimbabwe, we must learn that this law can be used unjustly and it has been used unjustly and it will continue to be used unjustly. Secondly, forensic technology has moved. So, a lot of people who you claim committed crime, we now have DNA tests, we have everything. If we do a retrial, we will discover that we convicted a wrong person. It is too late to apologise beyond the grave. It may be your uncle. It may be you, it may be your brother or sister who will be wrongly convicted and sentenced to death, then later, science and technology reveals that they framed the person. It was a wrong conviction. The person is already dead. There is no coming back from the dead. So, we cannot reverse the death penalty.
Thirdly, we changed our prison system a few years ago. Some of you are not aware. The name of our prison system was deliberately changed, it is now called Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services. The reason why we changed it from being Zimbabwe Prison Services to Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services is because the principle behind imprisonment changed in Zimbabwe. We no longer jail people as a punishment. That is not the principle of imprisonment in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, we jail people to rehabilitate them to society. In Zimbabwe, we are now known as the correctional service.
When you make a mistake and let us be honest, not even one person in this House has not committed a crime in this country. We are all criminals…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Molokela, order, please withdraw your statement.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: I do not think I was understood.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Molokela, please, withdraw your statement.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: I withdraw my statement. The fact
that …-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
HON. MOLEKELA-TSIYE: I wanted to emphasise the point that.. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Madam Speaker, I need protection.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Hon. Molokela, please wrap up.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: Madam Speaker, I need protection from the Members who are making noise. That behaviour is unparliamentary.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Molokela, please continue with your debate.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: I cannot continue when people are shouting at me.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Please continue, I have given you the order.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: The third point that I wanted to emphasise is that in Zimbabwe, we have a principle that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law but that does not mean that, that person has not committed a crime. What it means is that the justice system will serve each citizen based on their capacity to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, I am a registered member of the Zimbabwe Law Society. I am a practicing lawyer. I already know that what we call justice is not for everyone. In this country, if you have got a crime that you are being charged of and you do not have a lawyer, you are already at a disadvantaged position.
The same accusation that you are having, once you go to court without a lawyer, compared to someone with a lawyer, then you are in trouble. So, justice is not for every citizen. In this country, justice is for those who can afford, not just a lawyer but a good lawyer. A good lawyer can take you out of a crime on a technicality, on a procedure but if you are an individual citizen, you can actually be wrongfully convicted because the court system is not designed for a normal citizen. You have to go to law school for four years…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Molokela, please stick to the motion in context.
HON. MOLEKELA-TSIYE: I wanted to emphasise that you can wrongfully convict a person just because they do not have a lawyer and then 10 years later, someone says on their death bed, I am the one who committed the crime while you have already executed the person. So, you cannot come back to that person and you cannot reverse the injustice after they have been executed.
Fourth and last but not least, we need to accept that at the end of the day, to err is human, to forgive is divine. Our duty as a State, our duty as a Parliament, is to make sure that if we make a mistake, we are given a second chance to make amends, instead of assuming that you cannot make a mistake. Let us assume that you can have a second chance. The death penalty does not give you a second chance, whether you are being accused at a political level…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, I am going to ask the Hon. standing to kindly sit down. Thank you.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: The death penalty does not give you a second chance. All of us in this House have had so many chances after making mistakes. If we were going to be executed for every mistake we make, we would not be in this House today. We have not learnt from our mistakes. We have become better people because – and there is research, not here in Zimbabwe but outside Zimbabwe, that shows that a person can be rehabilitated successfully.
Recently, we have got a good example, earlier this year, the city of Johannesburg, the most powerful in Southern Africa, elected a mayor, Kenny Kunene who is a former convict. He was elected Acting Mayor of the most powerful city in Southern Africa. From a prison cell, he managed to become the Acting Mayor. So, we cannot lose people just because they made a mistake. So, I am asking the Parliament of Zimbabwe to do the right thing. Abolish the death penalty now. Thank you.
*HON. NYABANI: Thank you, Madam Speaker, I want to add my voice on the matter that is being discussed. I think many of us here know what is happening in the country, for example, the issue of Tapiwa Makore. How can someone go and take a child? We are looking at the woman who has carried a child for nine months, takes care of that child, and then someone who is greedy kills that child. It is not about making a mistake; this was actually a plan. You take the body parts and put them in a plastic paper.
Now, here we are as Members of Parliament, saying someone who has committed such a crime should be put in jail for three months. For example, …
*HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order. I am touched by what Hon. Nyabani has just said. I think if there are such cases they should be reported to the police.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member! Take your seat.
*HON. NYABANI: Someone who has committed a crime of raping, for example, a three month old baby, I am not sure where the Hon. Member is coming from because in Zimbabwe, most families have in one way or the other, met these tragedies. What I am saying is such crimes have been committed.
People who commit crimes of murder or a planned crime of rape, in my own view, I do not think those people deserve a right to live. I will pose a question to all of you and say, have you ever kept a stray dog? One thing that I know is that you cannot keep a stray dog or a dog that now has rabies, it will keep biting other dogs. Why then do you want to keep people who are committing murder crimes? They should just be killed. By hanging such people, we are simply taking away harmful people from the society.
There is no normal person who will go and stand in the middle of the road when traffic is moving, they will know that they will be killed. In China, when – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
HON. MAHLANGU: On a point of order! Hon. Nyabani should withdraw the issue of rape - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member! You have to show respect to your fellow Hon. Member, you have just called him Nyabani. So, kindly sit down - [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] - Hon Members who just said a dictator? Please leave the room right now. Hon. Member, identify yourself and leave the House. The Hon. Member in grey suit and a white suit, leave the House?
Hon. Tsvangirai left the Chamber
HON. NYABANI: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I wanted to give an example of China, someone who commits a crime, for example, stealing or corruption, that person is given death penalty. If we are looking at corruption and we are saying that person has to be given a death penalty, what about someone who is a murderer? Maybe some of those who are against the issue of death penalty are the ones who are committing such crimes.
HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order! Hon. Nyabani should withdraw the statement that those who are for the abolition of the death penalty are the perpetrators of the killing of human beings here.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, the Hon. Nyabani was not specific.
*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Madam President for the opportunity that you have afforded me. I know it is a difficult task to debate over such, but I thank you for protecting me.
HON. CHIGOMBA: On a point of order! I am kindly asking that Hon. Nyabani must withdraw what he said. We must debate here without fear of being stereotyped.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nyabani just generalised, he did not point at anyone.
HON. BAJILA: When Hon Mutodi made a statement that was not specific, the ruling was different from the statement which is not specific, which is now with respect to Hon. Nyabani.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Please, be seated and switch off your mic. I have not addressed the Hon. Member who just previously spoke. Unfortunately, I was not inside when Mr. Speaker was giving that ruling. I just gave a ruling accordingly.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: I have a different point of order. Please be seated.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Please be seated. If you are not guided, I will ask you to leave the House.
HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: I am following the rules.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Please switch off your mic. I am going to ask Hon. P. Moyo to debate.
*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I have stood up to oppose the motion which was brought by Hon. Mushoriwa, seconded by Hon Markham. My view is that when someone commits a crime, they are supposed to be given a judgement that is equivalent to the crime that they have committed. If we say a murderer should be given a sentence of life imprisonment, what we are simply saying is that we are glorifying the killing of another person. To those who have committed crime whilst they are still in jail, they continue doing whatever they are doing. I am therefore against the issue of removing death penalty.
We have had the death penalty for so many years, but no one has been executed, which is an indication that this is a proper law. Let us have the death penalty there whilst we check on the degree of the crime that has been committed. Yes, some people commit crimes or some are alleged to have committed crimes whilst they have not. That is why we have changed the term to correctional services. However, there are some people who do not learn from their mistakes. They continuously commit the same crimes. There are people who continuously commit the crime of murder and some people are just murdered without even knowing the reason why they are being murdered. I believe if we remove the death penalty, such people will continuously commit crimes because they will be knowing that they will not be killed. Therefore, the death penalty, I believe is meant for those who commit the crimes for they will not repeat the same crime.
There are some people who commit crimes with an intention to kill. For example, if someone says I am not ruling the country, therefore I have to kill someone, it is a crime that has to be considered under crimes of someone who would have murdered. Therefore, let us continue having the death penalty.
I feel we need to review and check exactly which crime they would have committed for them to be given a judgement of death penalty. I have some ladies who are saying those who commit rape should be castrated, it is painful for women especially if you find your child being raped. As women, is why we feel that if you rape a child, you just have to be castrated. It is my request that we continue having the law of death penalty.
HON MUSHORIWA: Thank you so much for this opportunity. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the Hon. Members in this august House that have debated this motion and also to thank even the other Hon. Members who may not have had the opportunity to debate this motion. I need to preface my speech by saying that we do understand and appreciate the process. The process of bringing a Bill to the august House, what happens is that we bring this motion, but that does not remove the death penalty. The Bill will be considered by the Committee on Justice and will be sent across the entire nation to hear the views of the people.
Generally, I am grateful that across the political divide, the majority of Members of Parliament that have spoken have respect to this issue, share the view that there is a need to look into the abolishment of death penalty. I am encouraged Madam Speaker, by the forceful position as advanced by Hon. Togarepi yesterday. It is crucial and very important to understand the context in which we drive this motion.
You will note that death penalty in this country is not for everyone. We had already demonstrated that there is only less than 36% of the population that can be sentenced to death penalty. Sixty four per cent of the population in Zimbabwe cannot be sentenced to death penalty. All the women in Zimbabwe cannot be sentenced to death penalty. You cannot sentence any man who is below 21 years. You can also not sentence a man who is above 70 years. What it does is that you simply have a small category of people that you can discriminate when it comes to that sentence.
That is not all Madam Speaker. I just want to briefly touch on the submissions that have been made by Hon. Matangira, Hon. Nyabani and Hon. Mutodi. The system and the situation that we have Madam Speaker and I want to emphasise this point, if President Emmerson Mnangagwa had not escaped death by the age technicality, what it means Madam Speaker is that we would not have President Mnangagwa as the President of Zimbabwe today.
Madam Speaker, we have had a number of people that perished during the liberation war, people that were wrongly convicted. It is accepted and it is understood there will always be one or two people whose conduct can relate to what Hon. Nyabani said. On a balance of probability, the generality of the issues and the reasons…
HON. S. ZIYAMBI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I am very grateful Madam Speaker that the Hon. Member has acknowledged fully that President E. D. Mnangagwa, indeed is the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, you may proceed.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, yesterday and this is on the public platforms, our Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi, we have actually shared the Bill, I think all Members will get the chance when we come to the discussion and debate on the Bill. I think it is at that particular point – I am glad, Hon. Mutodi is the Chairperson of the Justice Committee, I think when they go out there to get the views of the people, the views of the people will feed into the discussion that as Parliament, we will be able to see whether or not this penalty Bill, when it is brought into this House, will suit the criteria.
One of the things that we may not want to hide is this fact that if you look into all the literature on abolishment of the death penalty, you check the entirety of Africa - all the foreword against death penalty in Zimbabwe, everybody, they have actually been written by President Mnangagwa, he has actually signed and he has committed over and over again. That resulted in Hon. Ziyambi, our Minister of Justice going on the international platforms to actually say that as a country we no longer see the merit in having death penalty.
Madam Speaker, I believe that this august House and all those Members that may have wanted to debate this motion, the chance of debating this motion is there. That is when this Bill is brought into this august House, when the further processes are happening, when the Committee will go out to solicit the views of the public. Having said that Madam Speaker, it is my view that I commit that let the Bill be introduced to this august House so that it goes through the various processes and then during the processes of the debate on the Bill, if the House thinks otherwise, let it happen on the merits of the matter. I thank you Madam Speaker.
Motion put and agreed.
DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION BILL 
HON. MUSHORIWA presented the Death Penalty Abolition Bill .
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
On the motion of HON. TSITSI ZHOU seconded by HON. C. HLATYAWAYO, the House adjourned at Twenty-Six Minutes past Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th November, 2023.
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 16th November, 2023.
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI): Today, being a Thursday, we have question time but before we go into that, I have apologies from the following Ministers: Hon. O.C.Z Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence; Hon. Gen Rtd. L. Mayihlome, Deputy Minister of Defence; Hon. J.G. Moyo, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Hon. Dr. D. Mombeshora, Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. D. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. T. Moyo, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; and Hon. K. Mpamhanga, Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training. You will realise that many Ministers are not here but I have been informed that they have a programme that they are attending elsewhere.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. What is Government policy on upgrading of police posts to police stations where an administration district has one police station like Zaka District as complaints are taking long to be attended to? The district will have one police car as it has one police station. What is the policy in such a situation?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. President Sir. Also, allow me to thank Hon. Sen. Mavenyengwa for such a pertinent question. The Government policy is to devolve services to the people. We should have police stations within a reasonable distance so that people can access the services easily. However, having said that, police have a criteria that they use to decide whether this area needs one police station or two police stations. That depends on the distance and the number of people in that area. I am not so sure with the situation in Zaka but now that the Hon. Sen has brought it up, I will probably want to ask the Commissioner General to look into it.
The Hon. Senator also mentioned the issue of one vehicle that is in use. I would like to thank Government for listening to our plea for vehicles but thank heavens, Treasury responded to a directive from the President and we received a number of vehicles which I would like to believe you got a share of that. Yes, we do not have enough vehicles as of now but efforts are there to increase the fleet. We need to have a minimum of one vehicle per station. That is our focus as Government and we would like to thank Treasury that they are seized with the matter. Towards elections, we received 600 trucks which were distributed throughout the country and I am sure we all witnessed that and we saw increased visibility throughout our communities. Government will continue on this path. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
*HON. ZINDI: My question was directed to the Minister of Social Welfare, but in his absence I will direct it to the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi. My question is on behalf of pensioners who get their payments through NSSA. This is not the first time that this question has been brought up, it has been asked a number of times in many forums of Parliament. What I want to find out is if there is anything that the Government can do, through the Ministry of Social Welfare, to ensure that senior citizens who worked their lives, but now earning pension every month on the 13th and 14th find that the money will not have been deposited into their POSB accounts after having travelled long distances such as Chimanimani or Honde Valley. They will have spent money in USD on transport to get into town to get to the banks where they are told the deposits have not yet been made to their accounts. When they go to NSSA to ask, they are told that money has already been transferred to their accounts and end up moving up and down with no tangible response whilst being tossed around. How is this going to be rectified so that the senior citizens do not end up sleeping on pavements in towns?
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. That question seems to be specific to Chimanimani residents who are not getting their pensions, not necessarily the whole country.
*HON. SEN. ZINDI: On a point of order –
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Mr. President, I am still explaining myself. I am not sure what is now happening because when the Hon. Senator was speaking, I was quiet, but she now wants to interrupt me. The reason why I say so is because the question seems to be specific. It is not true that NSSA is not disbursing funds to pensioners countrywide. These days, people no longer get paid hard cash in envelopes, but money is transferred to banks. There is no bank that does not send you a message after a deposit is made to your account, which means there will be no reason why someone will go to the bank before getting that message. Even yourself, you know when you are going to be paid and sometimes you are actually reminded or informed by that message that there is a deposit into your account. That question is specific because the Hon. Senator, when they go to POSB, they are told there is no money and tossed around when they go to NSSA to find out. So, that is why I am saying that the question must be put in writing so that the Minister can investigate why the money is not getting to the bank. The Hon. Senator admits that NSSA will have deposited the monies into the accounts. What I know is the query that the pensioners may have is that the money is too little, but this is being addressed. This is because of the changeover of currencies and the Minister of Finance is working on it so that the pensioners may get compensation for the value of money lost through changing of currencies. In short, I think there is need for investigation, but I would like to advise the Hon. Senator that these days, people must be encouraged to ensure that they receive a notification message of the deposit before going to the bank.
*HON. SEN. ZINDI: I would like to confirm to the Leader of the House, Hon. Ziyambi that when I gave an example of Chimanimani, I was not referring specifically to that place, but was only trying to give an example and explain what is happening and what we are seeing. So, I only wanted the Hon. Minister to understand that I am not just talking from nowhere, but that this is happening. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Minister of Energy, but in his absence, to the Leader of Government Business. The Metrological Department is publishing that we might have erratic rains this year. Our Government has built dams so as to alleviate hunger through irrigation. What is Government policy saying about the supply of electricity because we now have a lot of load shedding and this will affect our irrigation schemes? Now is the time for farmers to put their seeds in the ground and use irrigation schemes so that when the rains come, the seeds will have germinated. What is Government policy in minimising load shedding? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I thank you Hon. President and I want to thank the Hon. Senator for this question. It is true that the last weeks, we had a lot of load shedding. We have the Unit 7 thermal power station that was newly established. Experts had informed us that they want to do maintenance on the Unit 7 plant and to make sure that it is working properly as it is still new. In Kariba, the water levels are very low, we were now failing to produce the required electricity. Other small thermal stations that we had like Munyati were too old to function properly. To use these thermal stations, it is now very expensive. The Government said that these stations must be decommissioned. This one that is being maintained and serviced will soon be ready for use. In our discussions with the Hon. Minister…
Hon. T. Moyo having tried to pass between the Hon. Member speaking and the Chair.
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Member, you do not pass through the member speaking and the Chair.
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: In our discussions with the Hon. Minister, he said we are now going to witness changes and farmers are going to continue to do farming because this station will be working. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Hon. President. We have thermal power stations like those in Harare and Bulawayo. What is Government policy in resuscitating those thermal stations because we have enough coal? What is stopping these power stations from working?
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Those thermal power stations are the ones that I have alluded to that they must not be operated; they are not cost effective. The cost of producing the electricity is too high, even those who will then use the electricity will have to pay exorbitant prices, and this applies to farmers or home users. Government agreed with ZESA that the thermal power station for Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati are now useless because they have been used beyond their lifespan. We now want to refurbish them as per the demands of today’s technology so that users have to pay less money. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATIPULA: Thank you very much Hon. President of Senate. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs may also assist. We are approaching the festive season and already we have witnessed some very terrible accidents and loss of life in many areas, including recently a few days ago in Matabeleland. What steps are being taken to conscientise the driving or traveling public so that this year we may have less loss of life during this busy festive season?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President and let me thank Hon. Sen Chief Matipula for that very important question which also gives me this platform to advise and appraise the august House on what we are doing as a Ministry regarding this very worrisome and saddening development in our country where we are losing precious lives.
On Monday, we witnessed the Mwenezi incident where we lost six very important lives through road carnage. On the same day, we also lost three very young beautiful ladies from Chipinge who were aged 18 and 20 years again. Without us resting as a nation, 24 hours down the line we also lost very valuable lives, 22 passengers who were going to South Africa and on board a Toyota Quantum. It was around 1800 and 2000 hours when the carnage happened. If you have been following, His Excellency conveyed his condolences to the beautiful nation of Zimbabwe. As a Minister of Transport, I also say may their souls rest in eternal peace. It is quite disturbing even to lose one’s life. We have experienced that within 48 hours, we have lost close to 30 souls.
Through the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, we have embarked on a massive awareness programme where we are educating motorists that when they drive, they should also respect the sanctity of life. We are saying you do not have to just think of yourself when you start a journey. In terms of the statistics, we have found that a number of accidents that we have are attributed to human error. I am happy that my colleague Minister in our midst will buttress where we are saying we need to reinforce and enforce issues to do with compliance when driving. Regardless of what we are doing as a nation, being championed by His Excellency in terms of controlling and managing mitigating road carnages, we find that it is in acceleration mode where roads are being reconstructed, rehabilitated and we then see the element of speeding which is also my humble plea to this august House that as we gravitate towards the festive season, we must be of sober mind. When we partake journeys whether to our rural communities or within the cities, we need to respect other motorists.
To answer your question Hon Sen. Chief, we are saying not only that we are putting measures, we are also in a process of coming to this House and National assembly to advocate for a road accident fund which will mitigate the burden being imposed on the fiscus as we speak, so that we will be in a position to also cater for those dependents and also bury decently the deceased. So, this is what we are doing as a nation and we will continue preaching.
Mr. President Sir, you will find that what we are doing now as a nation, we are saying at such kind of programmes, you will be seeing us approaching. We have got those rude drivers who even maintain the inner lane when they are driving knowing very well that the stipulated speed limit on that particular stretch is not in tandem with the way they are driving. We are saying this must stop. I am glad again, we have been discussing this week with my colleague Hon. Minister Kazembe, that it is high time we must have security champions manning our roads so that we continue preaching this to our motorists. Thank you Mr. President Sir.
*HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Supplementary question Mr. President. Thank you Mr. President. I wanted to say to our Minister, is it not possible to have special courts that deal with people who cause such accidents like what we saw recently where 22 lives were lost at one instance when it is clear that the driver was wrong. Maybe we need to liaise with the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to ensure that such special courts take place in order to prevent further loss of lives and also that such small motor vehicles like commuter omnibuses have mandatory speed limits to ensure that they travel safely.
*THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. President. I will try to add to what Hon. Minister Mhona said because we are working together. I will try to answer both Senators. On the last question requesting for special courts, the issue is not about taking to court and charging that person who would have committed the crime but the most important thing is, we need to prevent that crime from being committed.
We have since said, together with my colleague Minister Mhona, life is very precious. We do not need to lose even one life as it is very special. So as what Minister Mhona alluded to, our drivers are being reckless. Some of them are driving on the wrong side of the road and others are driving in drunken stupor. In short, there is a lot of recklessness on the part of drivers on the roads. The Hon. Minister also spoke about champions who are supposed to increase safety awareness on the roads, but the other thing is, we cannot run away from technology. It is our wish that the police force need to be working. The police officers are human beings. Some people wonder what would have happened, and how such an accident claiming 22 lives took place when the police are always on the roads.
So, going forward, I think we need to take away the element of accusing the police officers of not being diligent on the road. We need to make use of technology. Where there is no need for a policeman in such a spot, a person can be arrested whilst they are unaware. A person can be penalised using a camera. That is exactly what is happening in the international forum. Right now, the police have to go to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to access data base, hence there is need to use technology to ensure that when somebody drives on the wrong side of the road and speeds as well as other offences, they are arrested. Technology is good because it cannot be bribed and does not sleep. In short, it will be very effective to employ technology to curb such incidents.
HON. SEN. ZVIDZAI: Thank you Mr. President. My supplementary is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Accidents will always happen to some extent. I wish to just know whether Government is considering some sort of a road users’ risk mitigation fund so that when accidents happen, people can get some assistance. Thank you.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. Let me thank Hon. Sen. Zvidzai for that very important question which I thought Hon. President Sir, I had addressed but let me also reiterate what I alluded to earlier on that as a Ministry, we are seized with the Road Accident Fund which will then cover what the Hon. Senator is talking about. Indeed, that fund will then alleviate the burden that we are witnessing and it will also go an extra mile in trying to address some of the concerns of the citizens where we are also going to be administering, whether they are bills or paying for the dependents. We are also seized as a Ministry in trying to benchmark ourselves with other countries within the neighbourhood on the issue of best practice. I thank you Mr. President Sir.
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I realise that there are also a number of Ministers who have just arrived in case you want to ask them questions. I welcome Hon. Minister Machakaire, Youth Empowerment and Vocational Training Centres. I also welcome Minister Moyo, Primary and Secondary Education. We also have Minister Matuke, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in the Office of the President and Cabinet and we have Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province, Minister Muzverengwi and Minister Mavhunga.
*HON. SEN. KATUMBA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport. What are you doing to ensure that we get reliable transport, which is affordable and efficient in terms of time? Women with babies on their backs are seen boarding lorries. We used to have ZUPCO that was efficient in supplying buses. What is happening now?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for that pertinent question. That also gives me the opportunity to inform this House that the President has put in place a programme known as “Whole of Government”. This means that if there are issues concerning the movement of people in urban areas, they think it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport. I would want to inform this august House that the movement of people in urban areas with ZUPCO is the responsibility of Local Government. If you can allow me Mr. President Sir, I will try to respond to Hon. Senator’s question.
Indeed, that is an issue that His Excellency, the President is seized with. He is so concerned about transport because he wishes that people go to work using a better transport system. There was collaboration between ZUPCO and NRZ to ensure that there is a good mass urban transportation system. That programme is coming. That is the same programme that will ensure we make use of technology and it will be easier to track reckless drivers as well. It is under Government’s plans to ensure that unroadworthy vehicles are taken out of the roads and provide efficient transportation system. Even trains will be providing transport services so that we get affordable transport. I am sure when this programme is implemented, there will be sanity in terms of the transportation system.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATIPULA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. My supplementary question to the Minister of Transport is, Minister, you spoke about the programme to upgrade our transport sector and you spoke about benchmarking standards. Is the NRZ also in that programme because you talked about the issue to revamp our city transportation, especially NRZ? Are we going to be moving towards something that we can benchmark with other countries regionally?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. Let me thank Hon. Sen. Chief Matipula for that follow up question. Maybe it is because I was speaking in vernacular, that was my closing statement when I said NRZ is part of the deliberations were we are also trying to broaden the mass urban transportation system to encompass NRZ where we are also going to enhance connectivity within cities through NRZ. Indeed, we are planning accordingly Mr. President Sir, so that we also involve NRZ given the numbers that will be in a position to carry if we are using the railway line. You will see us also resuscitating the Harare-Chitungwiza which has been on the cards for years. It is also on our dashboard. Within the Second Republic, this is going to happen. Thank you Mr. President Sir.
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: May I remind Hon. Senators to put your phones on silence or better still switch them off.
*HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to pose my question. My question is directed to the Minister of War Veterans. My question is about the war collaborators, the mujibhas and chimbwidos. We have not seen them being given gratuities like what the war veterans got. It is now long over due since we got independence. Most of them are now late and some of the people have left children who now have grandchildren. We realise that some of them had to travel long distances, some from as far as Marondera for vetting after every four years. All this is taking place whilst they are not getting any payment. …
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order. What is your question?
*HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI: That is where I am getting to Mr. President. I am saying, Government, through the Ministry, what plans do they have in place to compensate the war collaborators because most of them have died?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): Thank you Mr. President. This is the second time this question has been asked in this august House. Maybe the Hon. Senator was not around. I am glad to respond to this important question that affects a lot of people, especially in the rural areas. I also would like to bring to the attention of everyone that the liberation struggle involved a lot of people starting with the armed combatants, the collaborators, detainees and the prisoners as well as those who left the country to go for military training. In the past, the law only recognised the combatants who only received military training. During the amendment of the Constitution or the law, the masses noted that the war involved all these people who participated.
The people of Zimbabwe, through COPAC, agreed that all those who took part in any way in the war, have also participated. With the coming of the New Dispensation, His Excellency has seen it proper to have a law in place which will recognise all those who took part in the war. The law is the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act, Chapter 17:12. The Act that was stopping ex-detainees from getting assistance was repealed. So, the Act that was only for those who had military training now also includes the four categories I mentioned here. In trying to implement this new law, the process of registering all the names of those who fought, assisted and even those who were not trained during the war, is ongoing. After that, there was the process of verification of the registered names to ensure that they were where they said they were serving. The process for those who were trained and went to fight is different from those who assisted. Verification for war collaborators is needed and it is only those who were fighting who can vouch for them. So, the war collaborators need to go to those areas they were operating from together with the war veterans they were with. This process stopped midway because funding was inadequate to continue with the process. The other reason was that those who had registered did not come, but a new batch came in and resulted in a ballooning list of war collaborators to the extent that about 96 000 are still to be vetted.
So, in our budget for next year, we also budgeted for the completion of this programme. The process that follows after confirming the names of those who trained and those who were war collaborators will be gazetted and then the law should make sure they get compensation as required by our Constitution. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Are there any plans to include those who were left out to be vetted together with the others?
*HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: In my response, I did indicate that those who had been left out and even those who had not heard about the vetting exercise, are the ones we will be taking through the process. I thank you.
*HON. ZINDI: My supplementary question is whether there will be reimbursement of personal funds used to open bank accounts by those who had passed the vetting? They were asked to open bank accounts and they did it with their own personal funds, but to date, they have not yet been compensated. As we speak, the accounts no longer have money as bank charges have eroded what was in the accounts.
*HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: Hon Zindi fears that those who had opened accounts might, by now, have the accounts closed. I can only say it is a process and funds can only be put in the accounts after the names have been gazetted. So, for now, I cannot say whether they will be reimbursed or not. I am sure if they are compensated, everyone will be compensated. They should be happy that they have come to that stage where they are about to get compensation and this pertinent stage - not everyone managed to get to it. Some even lost their lives before getting to this stage.
HON. SEN. NDHLOVU: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Water. Given the delays on the Gwayi-Shangani water pipeline to Bulawayo, what is Government doing to alleviate the water challenges in Bulawayo and other cities?
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator, your question is specific and not a policy question. So, I will ask you to put it in writing and it will be answered next week.
+HON. SEN. NDEBELE: Thank you Mr. President of Senate. My question is directed to three Ministers. The Minister for Education, the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Transport. My question is, t as we are now faced with the rainy season and we are expecting heavy rains, there are roads that go to areas where people make a lot of money, but these roads are damaged and result in transport network challenges for those people with vehicles. Right now, people are no longer travelling at normal speeds because they have to travel in different spaces and also in different directions trying to negotiate the potholes. There is also a place in Nkayi where we find a lot of timber coming to Harare in heavy trucks. We expect the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Local Government to come together, help each other and alleviate this transport road network challenge. The Minister of Transport should also be aware that we do not have roads. You also find that the Rural Councils are saying they do not have money to rehabilitate these roads.
My other question on education is that Government has announced that children should only pay school fees only in the rural areas, but there are extra levies that are charged by schools…
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order! In terms of Standing Order Number 67, time for Questions Without Notice has expired.
* HON. SEN. CHIEF. CHIKWAKA: I move that time for questions be extended by 15 minutes. As you can see, today we are very happy because we have a lot of Ministers who have turned up and this is an opportunity for us.
* HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed.
+ HON. SEN. NDEBELE: Speech could not be heard as the mic was off.
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator, can you switch on the microphone and repeat what you have said because when you spoke, you were off the mic. Can you switch on the mic so that the Minister can hear you?
+ HON. SEN. NDEBELE: I think they heard the first part, but I was asking if there is a policy that allows children to go to school without paying money continuously, unspecified fees or amounts.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question, which to me is not very clear. I do not know the nature of the question because she says learners are asked to; are these fees or levies, it is not clear. May I ask the Hon. Member to repeat or rephrase the question.
+ HON. SEN. NDEBELE: I said they will have paid fees and levies but on top of that, they are continuously asked to pay for other unspecified services ranging from a dollar upwards.
*HON. T. MOYO: Forgive me, I am still learning Ndebele. The question was about pupils paying for levies. Yes, it is true that there are no levies that can be paid without the schools applying to the Ministry for approval. So, no other money should be charged by those schools without the approval of the Ministry. I am sure the question is about levies and no levies will be charged or pupils are not supposed to pay any other levies without the Government’s approval. If there is any other money that they are asked to pay, we do not know about that. If there is something happening along those lines, we need evidence so that we can intervene.
+HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to add on to what has been posed to the Minister of Transport and Home Affairs that these accidents that we are experiencing, when the bodies are transported from the accident scene to the mortuary, they are transported in open trucks or lorries without dignity. We need an explanation on why we do not have body bags and why they are not being transported in a dignified way. I would like to convey my condolences to those who lost their loved ones.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE): Yes, I also saw what the Hon. Member is explaining or describing. It was an emergency, as you would appreciate that it happened unexpectedly to lose 22 people. I also do really appreciate the concern by the Hon. Senator and I have actually instituted an inquiry within, to understand what the challenge was, so it is an issue that we are looking at. We also appreciate the fact that it was an accident and an emergency which happened all of a sudden, but nonetheless, it is an issue that we are looking at internally. I thank you Hon. President of Senate Sir.
+HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: My supplementary question is that Hon. Minister, an accident will always remain an accident, but my plea is that we always need to be prepared as a nation. Just because it was an accident, it should not be an excuse that we are always caught unprepared. I thank you.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Mr. President of Senate Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Senators for the supplementary question. I thought I was very clear that it was unfortunate and unexpected, but nonetheless, that does not then take away the mere fact that it was an accident and indeed an unexpected accident, but I did not use it as an excuse. I said we are looking at it internally and we have the similar concern that the Hon. Member has, that is what I said.
+HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Leader of the House. What is Government policy regarding the loss of our livestock like cattle and donkeys? Each time they cross the border into Botswana, they are killed, but if Botswana’s livestock cross into our country, they come and fetch their livestock. What is Government thinking regarding our people losing their livestock through killings by our neighbouring countries?
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. President of Senate and I thank the Hon. Senator for her question. Mr. President, Government policy is that where there is a red zone and diseases are prevalent, we do not allow farmers to move their cattle from one region to another. If it happens, the animals must be quarantined or killed. Same applies, Botswana thinks the cattle from Zimbabwe has the potential of infecting their cattle because they do cattle ranching. If our cattle cross the border to Botswana, they are allowed to kill the cattle because of fear of diseases.
What I know is that our Department of Agriculture sometimes meet with Botswana officials. They agreed that when our cattle cross the border, they quarantine the cattle. Here in Zimbabwe, our law does not allow us to kill their cattle, but if it happens that their cattle come into Zimbabwe, we are supposed to quarantine the cattle because we do not know if the cattle are safe from diseases. So, what Botswana is doing is lawful. If you mix your cattle with other cattle, you might end up losing all that you have in the case of an outbreak. To prevent any risk, if you see cattle that do not belong to you, it is very dangerous to mix those cattle with yours. I thank you Hon. President.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Senators the time for Questions Without Notice that I have extended has expired.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 2 be stood over, until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
APPROVAL OF THE CONVENTION ON THE UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE BY AIR
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTUAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Mr. President of Senate, I move the motion in my name that;
WHEREAS section 327 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s Authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
WHEREAS the Convention on the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air entered into force on the 4th November, 2023.
WHEREAS Article 53 (4) of the aforesaid Convention provides that any State which does not ratify the Convention may accede to it at any time.
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327(2)(a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Convention be and is hereby approved.
Motion put and agreed to.
APPROVAL OF ACCESSION TO THE CONVENTION ON THE UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE BY AIR
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I move the motion standing in my name that;
WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
WHEREAS the Convention on the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air entered into force on 4 November 2023;
WHEREAS Article 53 (4) of the aforesaid Convention provides that any State which does not ratify the Convention may accede to it at any time;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Convention be and is hereby approved.
Hon. President Sir, allow me to highlight some of the salient provisions of the Convention. Article 1 relates to the scope of application of the Convention which applies to all international carriage of persons, baggage or cargo performed by aircraft for reward. It applies equally to gratuitous carriage by aircraft performed by an air transport undertaking to carriage performed by the State or by legally constituted public bodies.
Chapter 2 highlights documentation and duties of the parties relating to the carriage of persons, baggage and cargo. The Convention facilitates the use of simplified and modernised documents of carriage such as passenger tickets and airway bill for cargo, thus enabling the utilisation of electronic or computerised data processing for the issuance of these documents. Additionally, the consignor maybe required if necessary, to meet the formalities of customs, police and similar public authorities to deliver a document indicating the nature of the cargo.
Mr. President Sir, the Convention also provides in-depth provisions on liability of the carrier and the extent of compensation for damage from Articles 17 to 30. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in the case of death or bodily injury to a passenger and in the case of destruction or loss of checked-in baggage, provided that the event resulting in injury or loss took place on board the aircraft or during any operations of embarking or disembarking. However, the carrier can be exonerated from liability wholly or partly if they prove that the damage, death or injury was caused or contributed by the negligence or omission of the person claiming compensation of the passenger.
Mr. President Sir, considering the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe accedes to the Convention which re-established uniformity and predictability of the rules relating to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo and to protect the interest of the passenger. I so move Mr. President Sir.
Motion put and agreed to.
APPROVAL OF ACCESSION TO THE CONVENTION ON THE SUPPRESSION OF UNLAWFUL ACTS RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I move the motion standing in my name that;
WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
WHEREAS the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful acts relating to International Civil Aviation entered into force on 1 July 2018;
WHEREAS Article 21 (3) of the aforesaid Convention provides that any State may accede to it at any time;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Convention be and is hereby approved.
Mr. President Sir, the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts relating to International Civil Aviation which is known as the Beijing Convention was done at Beijing on 10th September, 2010 and it was entered into force on 1st July, 2018. The Beijing Convention modernised and consolidated the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation and Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation. It is the result of collective efforts of the international community to modernise the legal framework for aviation security that brought the Convention into being by criminalising several acts constituting new and emerging threats against civil aviation including certain preparatory acts for the offences, it strengthens the capacity of States to prevent the commission of these offences and to prosecute and punish those who commit such offences.
Mr. President Sir, allow me to highlight some salient features of the Convention. Article 1 provides a comprehensive list of unlawful and international offences. The Convention criminalises the acts of using civil aircraft for the purpose of causing death, causing serious bodily injury or serious damage of using civil aircraft to release or discharge any biological chemical or nuclear weapon, or similar substances to cause death, serious bodily injury or serious damage of using similar substance on board or against civil aircraft, among others. It further criminalises the unlawful transport of bodily chemical nuclear (BCN) weapon related material or other dangerous material. Cyber attacks on air navigation facilities constitute an offence under this Convention. Moreover, the Convention specifically provides for the criminal liability of directors and organisers of an offence as well as the liability of those who knowingly assist an offender to evade investigation, prosecution or punishment.
Mr. President Sir, the Convention also expands the ground of jurisdiction under the earlier instruments by requiring each State Party to establish jurisdiction when the offence is committed by its national and by enabling each State Party to establish jurisdiction when the victim of offence is its national in terms of Article 8.
Mr. President Sir, considering the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe accedes to the Convention which strives to prevent the commission of offences and to prosecute and punish those who commit such offences. I so move Mr. President Sir.
Motion put and agreed to.
APPROVAL OF THE PROTOCOL RELATING TO AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE 50 (a) OF THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I move the motion standing in my name that;
WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is a party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944, having acceded to it on 11 February 1981;
WHEREAS the Protocol Relating to an Amendment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation [Article 50 (a)], was signed on 6 October 2016;
WHEREAS paragraph 3 (b) of the aforesaid protocol states that it shall be open to ratification by any State which has ratified or adhered to the said Convention on International Civil Aviation;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid protocol be and is hereby approved.
Mr. President Sir, as you are aware, the Republic of Zimbabwe is a Contracting State of the Convention on International Civil Aviation which was signed in Chicago, USA in 1944. At its 39th Assembly Session in Montreal, Canada, from 27th September to 6th October 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) adopted the Protocol amending Article 50 (a) of the Chicago Convention. The Protocol amends the Chicago Convention to increase the size of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO Council) to 40 members. The ICAO Council is a permanent body of ICAO and is elected by the ICAO Assembly for a period of three years. It has several functions, among which are to administer the finances of ICAO, appoint and define the duties of the Air Transport Committee, appoint the members of the Air Navigation Commission, and adopt International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for incorporation into the Annexes to the Convention.
Mr. President Sir, allow me to highlight the salient provisions of the Protocol. Article 1 amends Article 50 (a) approving an increase in the size of the Council from 36 members to forty (40). The Protocol shall come into force in respect of the States which have ratified it on the date on which the one hundred and twenty-eight instrument of ratification is so deposited. As of 27 September 2023, the Protocol has been ratified by 87 Contracting States and is not yet in force.
Mr. President Sir, considering the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe ratifies this Protocol to fully benefit from an aviation mechanism that increases membership to the ICAO Council. Further, in 2019, Zimbabwe went through an ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (ISOAP) and it was an audit finding that as a country, we are yet to ratify this important ICAO Instrument. Thus, as a corrective measure, we hereby submit this Protocol seeking your approval. I so move Mr. President Sir.
Motion put and agreed to.
APPROVAL OF THE PROTOCOL RELATING TO AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Mr. President Sir, I move the motion standing in my name that:
WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is a party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944, having acceded to it on 11 February 1981;
WHEREAS the Protocol Relating to an Amendment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation [Article 56], was signed on 6 October 2016;
WHEREAS paragraph 3 (b) of the aforesaid Protocol states that it shall be open to ratification by any State which has ratified or adhered to the said Convention on International Civil Aviation;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Protocol be and is hereby approved.
Mr. President Sir, Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any International Treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament. Thus, I hereby seek your approval for this Protocol.
Mr. President Sir, as you are aware, the Republic of Zimbabwe is a Contracting State of the Convention on International Civil Aviation which was signed in Chicago, USA in 1944. At its 39th Assembly Session in Montreal, Canada, from 27th September to 6th October 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) adopted the Protocol amending Article 56 of the Chicago Convention. The Protocol calls for an increase in the membership of Air Navigation Commission, from 19 to 21. The Air Navigation Commission of ICAO considers and recommends Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and procedures for Air Navigation Services (PANS) for adoption and approval by the ICAO Council.
The ANC members are nominated by specific ICAO members and appointed by the Council but does not represent the interest of any State or region. The original Convention called for the ANC composed of 12 members. This was subsequently amended in 1971 to provide for 15 members and in 1989 for 19 members. This Protocol amends the Convention to provide for a further increase to 21 members. In view of the increase in the membership of the ANC, it ensures that the Commission can draw on the expertise and experience from diverse operational skills and knowledge from the Contracting States.
Mr. President Sir, allow me to highlight the salient provisions of the Protocol. Article 1 approves, in accordance with the provisions of Article 94 (a) of the Convention, an increase of membership of the ANC from 19 to 21 members. The Protocol shall come into force in respect of the States which have ratified it, on the date on which the 128th instrument of ratification is so deposited. As of 27 September 2023, the Protocol has been ratified by 87 Contracting States and is not yet in force.
Mr. President Sir, considering the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe ratifies this Protocol to fully benefit from an aviation mechanism which increases membership as alluded to. I therefore, seek the indulgence of this House to ratify this Protocol. I so move Mr. President Sir.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2022
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for the year 2022.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Thank you Mr. President Sir and good afternoon. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this very important motion which was presented to this House by the Minister of Justice, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), is a very important Commission which was established by the Government of Zimbabwe to assist the police force in high profile cases of corruption. Most governments are losing a lot of money and resources due to corruption. Normally, corruption relates to misuse of funds by individuals, which funds are meant for the public. Development is also hampered by corruption. Corrupt officials hamper investors from coming to invest in the country due to fear of losing their hard-won monies or resources.
Madam President, Government loses also a lot of money meant for development as public officers engage in corrupt activities. Some investors are asked to pay bribes to public officials before they are awarded any contracts or licences to do business in Zimbabwe. So, it is important for a country to have such an organisation to monitor and also investigate cases of corruption which are mostly committed by high profile people. Some public and private officials in organisations inflate figures when purchasing materials, for example a car which can be bought locally at a very low price can be sold at an inflated price.
The Anti-Corruption Report which was presented to this House by the Commission through the Minister of State shows us that there is need for the organisation to be well funded so that it can perform its duties to the satisfaction of the people of Zimbabwe. These days, organisations use ICT gadgets and siphon money from their organisations. With all this and more, there is a need for specialised organisations like ZACC to investigate cases of corruption even though the police is there, it has many investigations which it is failing to accomplish, hence the need for ZACC to be in existence. ZACC needs an adequate budget if they are to perform well. Firstly, they need to be well remunerated and resourced as they deal with high profile cases which involve very rich people. They need cars, laptops, cellphones, good salaries, accommodation and other tools of trade. ZACC also needs to have its officers well trained to deal with most of these sophisticated cases which are being perpetrated by corrupt people.
So, Madam President, I want to urge the Minister of Finance, when he is distributing his budget, to give a big chunk of funds to ZACC to enable them to do their work and look after their officers well. This will ensure that they do not get involved in corrupt activities, but investigate all corruption cases in the country so that the country does not lose money or investors who intend to come and invest in our country through corruption. I want to thank you for the time you have given me Madam President.
HON. SEN. CHINYANGA: Madam President, thank you for giving me this opportunity to present on this platform. I would like to start by saying that ZACC’s interaction with Boards, Parastatals, Independent Commissions, State Universities and Urban Councils demonstrates an attempt to involve key decision makers and the stakeholders in implementing the Integrity Strategy Framework. Engaging Chairpersons of Boards, Deputies and the Auditor-General can help create a culture of integrity and transparency within these institutions. The establishment of Integrity Committees in 27 Parastatals, Public Entities, Local Authorities and Commissions is a positive step. These Committees can serve as the first line of defence against corruption by promoting transparency, identifying corruption risk and ensuring the implementation of recommendations from the Auditor-General’s Report.
The ZACC’s efforts to train Integrity Committee Members in Institutions such as NATPHARM, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe University and TIMB demonstrate a commitment to build the capacity of individuals responsible for prevention of corruption. Equipping these members with relevant knowledge and skills can enhance their effectiveness in identifying and addressing corruption risks.
While the establishment of Integrity Committees is commendable, it is crucial to ensure there is continued effectiveness for sustainability through regular monitoring, evaluation and support from the ZACC to ensure that these committees function as intended resources by the authority are needed to fulfill responsibilities.
Collaboration & Coordination
To maximise its impact, ZACC could explore opportunities for collaboration and coordination with, for example, anti-corruption bodies, civil society organisations and international partners by collaborating collective expertise and resources. Efforts to prevent corruption can be strengthened and duplication of initiatives minimised. ZACC should establish robust mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the impact of the efforts and do regular assessments of the effectiveness of the Integrity Strategy Framework. Integrity Committees and other initiatives can provide valuable insights for improvement of adaptation of strategies.
With the efforts being done to go against corruption, it is crucial to recognise the significance of engaging young people as key stakeholders. While ZACC has made commendable efforts to raise awareness among adults through community outreach programmes, through national rural campaigns, urban campaigns and anti-corruption clinics as well as developing written materials in native languages, there is a pressing need …
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Mavenyegwa, can you please switch off your mic.
HON. SEN. CHINYANGA: There is a pressing need to expand their focus and actively involve the young individuals, and this will help in the prevention of corruption. I have seen in Chapter 4, page 41 that there is something being done to catch them young but reaching out to young ones at public places might not be the best approach.
There are a few recommendations for ZACC. Education in schools collaborate with the Ministry of Education to incorporate anti-corruption education into the schools curriculum; develop age appropriate materials and interactive methods that teach students about the consequences of corruption and the importance of ethical behaviour; young eccentric outreach targeted awareness campaigns specifically designed for young people; utilise social media platforms, interactive workshops and engaging content to capture their attention and encourage their participation in anti-corruption activities; partnership with young organisations, student associations and community groups to reach a wider audience of young individuals. These are young people we are talking of.
By working together, ZACC can tap into existing networks and leverage their platforms to disseminate anti-corruption messages effectively, especially using the social media because this is where these corrupt people are spending most of their time. They are communicating these corruption tendencies through social media. So, we have to teach the young people to be on social media fighting against this corruption. Establish a young ambassador programme where young individuals who are passionate about fighting corruption can be selected to represent ZACC. These ambassadors can serve as role models, advocates and peer influencers promoting anti-corruption values among their peers. Establish mentorship programmes where young individuals can learn from anti-corruption professionals, leaders and role models by connecting youths with experienced mentors. ZACC can provide guidance, support and inspiration for future endeavours in combating corruption. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st November, 2023.
REPORT ON THE NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY FOR THE YEAR 2022
Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the National Prosecuting Authority for the year 2022.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st November, 2023.
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. ZHOU: Thank you very much Madam President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Kambizi on the Presidential Speech. Allow me to start by congratulating His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa for winning the election resoundingly on 23rd August, 2023 and also the election of the President and Deputy President of the Senate and all colleagues who are Senators in this august House – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – Zimbabwe held its national plebiscite in August which was peaceful, free, fair, credible and transparent and we want to congratulate all the people of Zimbabwe for the peaceful environment and electing the leaders of their choice –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-
In his State of the National Address, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and I pick many takeaways, the economy of the country is doing very well on a growth trajectory path with agriculture, mining, transport, infrastructure and tourism doing very well. This is evidenced by the fact that there are about 3 000 boreholes that have been drilled countrywide out of the 35 000 that are targeted to be drilled nationwide. Our agriculture has also been supported through the Second Republic by the construction of dams like Marovanyati, Muchekeranwa and the Gwayi-Shangani, which will feed into the village agriculture business units that the country is embarking after the finishing of the boreholes and also the dams.
The Gwayi-Shangani Dam has been on the cards for a long time since 2012 and now the Second Republic has made progress on it and it is almost 90% complete. We want to congratulate His Excellency for the good leadership and for providing support to our agriculture.
Coming to infrastructure, the Beitbridge Border Post is a marvel and the highway from Beitbridge to Chirundu is almost 80% complete. We really want to take note of all these developments and our mining has moved from a mere USD2.8 billion to USD12 billion. It is likely to grow more as we have further discovered more lithium, platinum and gold.
Madam President with our good leadership, we have always met our targets for gold delivery, platinum and lithium. We are happy to also talk about the Robert Mugabe International Airport and the Victoria Falls International Airport as we have seen a number of tourists now flooding the country which is a plus for the Second Republic.
Madam President, allow me also to thank His Excellency for coming up with a very inclusive legislative agenda which has considered persons with disabilities on top priority. We are really very humbled and grateful for being put as a priority as you know in most cases, persons with disabilities are taken as an after-thought constituency. We are also very grateful to look at the legislative agenda, there are about 56 Bills that are coming to this First Session of the 10th Parliament and every Ministry, of the 26 ministries are likely to have their Government Instrument discussed in this Senate which will drive our country towards the Vision 2030. I want to thank you Madam President for allowing me to debate.
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Madam President, I move that the debate be now adjourned.
HON. SEN. RITA NDLOVU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th November, 2023.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
ADJOURNMENT OF THE SENATE
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (SEN. A. DUBE): Hon. Senators, I have to inform you that the Senate will adjourn today until the 28th of November 2023. Accordingly, all Committee business will stand suspended until the 27th November, 2023.
Motion put and agreed to.
The Senate adjourned at Twenty-Three Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th November, 2023.
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 15th November, 2023.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have the following announcements. I have apologies from the following Ministers and the Vice President, Hon. Dr. C. G. D. N Chiwenga; Hon. T. Moyo, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. Dr. F. M. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. Prof. Ncube, Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion; Hon. O. C. Z Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence; Hon. Brig. Gen. Rtd. Mayihlome, Deputy Minister of Defence; Hon. Z. Soda, Minister of Mines and Mining Development and Hon. D. Phuti, Deputy Minister of Information Communication and Technology.
HALF-DAY SENSITISATION WORKSHOP ON 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GBV
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Parliament of Zimbabwe will host a half-day sensitisation workshop in preparation for the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence, on Friday, 17th November, 2023, in the Multi-Purpose Hall, New Parliament Building. All Members of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and He-For-She Champions are invited to attend this workshop. Friday interface starts from 0830 hours in the morning and it will end at 1300 hours.
Just to let the Hon. Members know that I am advised also by the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, that Cabinet is sitting now. As you might be aware, His Excellency the President has been away on international duties and we have here Hon. Ziyambi, Hon. Prof. Murwira; Hon. Garwe; Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. Mnangagwa and Hon. Bila. This does not excuse Deputy Ministers. I hope they are here. I can see some. It is a good idea that if the substantive Hon. Minister is away on duty, the Deputy Ministers should be in the House. For Example, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, there are two Deputy Ministers. I hope they are here – [AN HON. MEMBER: Havamo] – You see and there is no apology but Hon. Muchinguri has sent an apology, do not speak about something that you do not know.
HON. C. HLATYWAYO: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, yesterday you informed the House that you had received a letter from one Tshabangu, illegally recalling CCC Members of Parliament. We informed you Mr. Speaker that there is a court process that was underway and a judgement from the court was there to stop any recalls from one Tshabangu. Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, you promised the House that you are going to reinstate the Citizens Coalition for Change Members of Parliament after receiving that judgement. I understand, Mr. Speaker that you have received that judgement and we expect you to then action your promise to reinstate Members of Parliament who were illegally recalled by Tshabangu.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You must be very careful in interpreting legal language. The court made an interim relief and the interim relief was made after I had made the announcement. The delivery of that relief was given after the announcement, you must be very logical. Further, the notice of recall is effective from the date of the letter which is the 7th of November 2023.
If you read paragraph four of that interim relief, it says the respondent, Tshabangu, was indicted from making any further recalls from that sitting of that court. There is no way the Judge would say no to make any further recalls when in fact the recalls were made. So, in my discussion with Hon. Hlatyawayo, in the presence of Hon. Hwende and Hon. Gumbo, the lawyer in my board room, I explained to them having been sent as emissaries by CCC Members of Parliament that as the judge indicated, the matter will be finalised, that is the urgent application, will be finalised on Monday. After the finalisation of that matter on Monday, the National Assembly Speaker and the Senate President will be directed in terms of the status of the first respondent, Tshabangu, that is what we agreed on yesterday. I thought we understood each other.
So, the recall of the 7th of November stands and is, not affected by the interim relief and further, do not be misled by News Day and Daily News who totally misunderstood that interim relief. So, I rule that the notice read yesterday stands and those Members who were affected can they kindly leave the Chamber.
HON. HWENDE: On a point of clarity!
THE HON. SPEAKER: There is nothing clearer than what I have stated. I am going to wait for the determination on Monday in terms of not only yesterday’s calls and those that have happened before – [HON. HWENDE: Can I approach the Chair] – but I was with you yesterday and I thought you understood me.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. PINDUKA: Thank you, Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. I would like to ask what Government policy is on corporate social responsibility with regards to mining taking place around our country? My understanding is that we recorded a phenomenal growth in the mining industry from 2, 7. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, you do not engage in a debate. You just ask your question. If your question has not been answered satisfactorily, you may ask a supplementary question.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which relates to Government policy in terms of social corporate responsibility within the mining sector. We do not have a concrete legal position to say mining companies must do 1, 2, 3, 4, but it is a moral suasion to say that if you are in a community, you must be able to plough back into that community. Currently, we do not have a legal position to say that they must do 1, 2, 3. We attempted that, but it has since been abandoned. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, how would you interpret Section 13 of the Constitution? Do you have the Constitution there?
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. That section can be interpreted in several ways. All the monies that are supposed to be collected by Government in terms of the same Constitution, must go to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Currently, as Government, we are disbursing devolution funds where we are saying at the local level, you must decide what you do in terms of the resources that you are given. We have a structure which says you must benefit directly from resources that are there, but at the same time, we have a system which obligates all of us to say whatever is collected must go into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. We then come here and say let us budget for devolution and that is how the local populace benefits from the resources that they have. I so submit.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you for your response. I thought you would give an expansive interpretation of Section 13 (4) of the Constitution. Be that as it may, perhaps it would be necessary to find out generally what should be the position in terms of community trust schemes.
*HON. HWENDE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. We have an issue regarding the community share ownership scheme in Mhondoro. Our Chief has been pursuing the matter which arose from promises that were made by a platinum mining company that they would build schools. The schools were not built. Even the children from that area were promised jobs but nothing came to fruition. As Government, what is your plan regarding that? Government officials moved around displaying cheques, but this has not happened. What is your response Hon. Minister?
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: I want to clarify the issue which was raised by Hon. Hwende and what he said is not a true reflection of what transpired. Despite the fact that his question is specific to Mhondoro, it speaks to determining whether what was anticipated was done. My response is that the Mhondoro-Zvimba Community Trust is not chaired by one Chief. According to their Constitution, it encompasses a number of chiefs. It does not make sense for one Chief to pursue the issue because this is a community issue in the Mhondoro area.
If the Hon. Member puts it in writing stating the specific agreement which was made, then I think the Minister of Mines would carry out an investigation. In short, a Chief must not pursue an issue of this nature alone, but he must move around with the committee pursuing the issue. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Leader of Government Business, I think you were very polite and indulged the Hon Member. We are dealing with policy issues that should not only apply to Mhondoro, but must encompass the whole country where such economic activities are prevailing. So, as the Hon. Minister has indicated in his indulgence, please put your question in writing and it will be dealt with accordingly next week.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I was thinking as you have explained that if the Minister was given a task to look at the community share ownership schemes regarding the plight of the Zimbabwean people who are expressing concern on the fact that they are not getting community share ownership benefits in places like Mutoko, the Leader of Government Business was supposed to explain to the House whether there is a specific programme without looking at the Devolution Programme. Regarding Section 13 which you read and noted that minerals are benefiting Chinese citizens and the local people are left with big open pits, where I come from in Warren Park, there are people who are living in poverty. Our minerals which are God-given should benefit the residents of that community.
THE HON. SPEAKER: A point of order is not a debate. I thought the Hon. Minister indicated that an investigation will be done. Hon. Minister, do you want to elaborate?
* HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I had left out that mining companies are charged a levy by the local authorities where they will be operating from. The responsible municipal authority takes a certain percentage. For those mining companies which avoid paying such fees before they are given their operating licences, they should produce papers which prove that they have done due diligence regarding the paying of taxes to the local authorities.
Mr. Speaker Sir, local communities must benefit and they benefit from levies which are charged by councils. Mr. Speaker, it is not bad to review so that we determine whether they should be an extension of the benefits that are given to the local communities from the proceeds of different mining activities in their areas or not.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, we want to thank you for that clarification. I would like to implore Hon. Members from different constituencies, if there are such concerns from your constituencies, please put your questions in writing and submit the questions so that the Minister of Mines will respond with specific answers. That is my request Hon. Members. Hon. Hamauswa, the Hon. Minister is the Leader of Government Business in this House. The Minister is speaking on behalf of Government but I am the head of Parliament and I am in charge. I wanted to clarify that.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is; given the fact that the indigenisation law that we used to have was actually adulterated; I just want to find out on the process that the Government is engaging. Is there a mechanism that we could actually have a share scheme which is legally based so that the local community can be entitled to say 10% or 20% which is legally supported rather than this moral persuasion that we refer to?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought we tasked the Hon. Leader of Government business to pursue the matter with the Minister of Mines and at the appropriate time, a response should be given as to the actual position on community ownership schemes where these mines are. I thought that was the agreed position.
HON. MARKHAM: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker. Thank you for what you have just said. Just to add on to that, could the Minister consider whether it is the iron and steel plant going up now, Chiadzwa or it is gold? When people apply for those massive concessions, they give us a corporate social responsibility programme. I have been involved in a couple of these, not in this country where it is imperative that they keep up to the social-corporate responsibility programmes. So, when the Minister responds, could he tell us how many of these people are keeping up with the corporate social responsibility programmes that they promised us in their application for that concession. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. I thought that aspect of the question will be covered through the enquiry and conversation between the Leader of Government Business and the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Perhaps if need be, the Leader of Government Business and the Hon. Minister of Mines could make a Ministerial Statement on that issue – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – so that it is clear [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members, do not make presumptions.
HON. MAHACHI: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. What is Government policy regarding tobacco contracting companies who, after getting tobacco from farmers, fail to pay the farmers on time and in some instances, paying them the following year or after two years? Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, that question was asked last week and it was extensively dealt with by the Hon. Minister. May I suggest that you refer to last week’s Wednesday Hansard, you will find a detailed response there from the Hon. Minister.
+HON. F. MOYO: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. What plans have been done by Government to assist small-scale gold miners for them to dispose of their gold to Fidelity Bank. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTRER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Government is doing a number of measures to assist the small-scale miners by availing expertise through taking visits from our Ministry officials who go to the ground and educate the miners on proper ways of mining, exploring of gold and also educating them on safe methods of mining. Besides that, Government also availed USD5 million to capacitate small-scale miners. A miner can go to our provincial offices and apply for that facility and Fidelity Printers is also issuing some loans, especially those who have registered mining claims for them to buy equipment for mining which may include some pumps, now that the rain season is upon us. I would like to take this opportunity to alert our miners that it is now rainy season and they should mine safely. If the ground is wet, they should not go underground. We have witnessed many accidents in the recent past and we would not want to continue witnessing such. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, you did not hear the question. The question is, facilitation of sell of gold to Fidelity by small-scale miners and artisanal miners; what measures are in place for that facilitation? That is the question.
HON. KAMBAMURA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Government, through Fidelity Printers, has put a number of buying centres throughout the country, especially in those areas that are rich in gold and they have partnered some banks which include ZB Bank and CBZ Bank as buying points for gold. Fidelity Printers has also availed mobile buying units where they can go and set up buying points for a day and move to the next so that our miners can easily access that facility. Thank you.
+HON. Z. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question emanates from the fact that small scale miners are paid 25% local currency and 75% USD, but they usually operate far away from buying centers, how can they be assisted?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Deputy Minister, the buying centres are a bit far in between, what measures can be put in place so that the small-scale miners and artisanal miners can be assisted in selling their gold because the gold centres where Fidelity does the buying from are distant?
HON. KAMBAMURA: Can you come again Hon. Speaker Sir?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Dep. Minister, the supplementary question is, there are few buying points; so, there are distances between the areas of mining and where these miners can sell their gold. How can Government come up with a policy to assist them because of these distances?
HON. KAMBAMURA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. Like I have indicated, Fidelity Printers have come up with mobile gold buying units whereby they will be going to those places that are remote for miners to sell their gold to the legal market. Besides that, we are also giving licences to private players who can go to where that mining is taking place and buy that gold.
As long as they are licenced, the small-scale miners should feel free to sell their gold to them. So, these are some of the measures that Government is doing. Besides that, we are also setting up gold milling centres throughout the country. We have started this project in Makaha whereby a gold service centre will be a point where the miner can access cash and also some expertise or technical assistance in terms of safer methods of mining. Thank you.
*HON. MAPIKI: The Minister stated clearly that he is issuing licences to private players. I want the Hon. Minister to explain why they buy at a higher price than Fidelity Printers. I want to understand where they sell their gold.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question, but the question is very specific. If there is any buyer purchasing at a higher price, please show us that buyer because as Government, we have set prices depending on the international market prices on a daily basis just like when bread is priced at a dollar. If we find you buying bread at $10.00, we would need an explanation as to why you are buying at such a price when Bakers Inn is selling at $1. Thank you.
+HON. GUMEDE: My question directed to the Minister of Mines is; are small scale miners documented? These are people who get into communities and leave with other people, we do not know who they are and how to access them. So, I am just asking regarding the documentation of small-scale miners, are they documented? Is there a database?
+ THE HON. SPEAKER: That is a new question Hon. Member. The first question was with regard to the disposing of gold by small scale miners. This should be an independent question because it is different from the original question.
*HON. TSHUMA: My supplementary question – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members on my left, you swore to the oath that you are honourable and you must respect each other from either side. When one Hon. Member is taking the floor, be attentive and allow the Hon. Member to speak and give him the dignity that they deserve accordingly. That must apply to all of us.
*HON. TSHUMA: My supplementary question to the Minister of Mines is, we heard him alluding to banks such as ZB Bank that are buying gold, but in buying gold, small scale miners according to the new law, are supposed to be paid partly in USD and the other part in USD. So, the challenge is that when they receive their RTGs in the same bank, for them to buy the ZIGs referred to by the Minister of Finance, there is a challenge because they want to ring-fence the value of their money. The ZIG value then differs in terms of the rate when compared to the USD that they got that they are buying after selling the gold in that same bank. This means they will be getting money in different values in the same bank. The question then is, how can they retain the value of the money when they dispose of their gold?
* HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I want to thank Hon. Tshuma for the pertinent question. His explanation that there is a challenge in maintaining the value of the money between the USD and RTGs value, I think there is need for engaging the RBZ by our Ministry so that we ring-fence the value of the money that is received by small-scale miners. I believe that is what should transpire.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister. After you have carried your investigations Hon. Minister, are you going to come and give feedback to the august House?
*HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Indeed, we will bring our findings to the House together with the Minister of Mines.
HON. MAHERE: My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. Section 219 (1) (c) obliges the Police Service to secure the lives of Zimbabwean people. Section 48 of the Constitution guarantees the right to life and Section 53 guarantees that no person maybe subjected to physical or psychological torture or cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment. Over the last four (4) weeks, we have seen an escalation in abductions, enforced disappearance – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker, can I be protected.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Yes, conclude.
HON. MAHERE: Over the last few weeks, we have seen an escalation in abductions, enforced disappearances and unexplained murders. What is the Government policy on ensuring that the police investigates? – [AN HON. MEMBER: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. You cannot raise a point of order when another Hon. Member is still speaking – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I thought I got your question.
HON. MAHERE: Mr. Speaker, my question is this. Over the last four weeks…
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no. I thought I got your question.
HON. MAHERE: I had not asked it yet because I am being interrupted.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, your question was very clear. I thought your question was clear, what is Government doing to assist the police.
HON. MAHERE: No, it is not about assisting the police.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is the question?
HON. MAHERE: Yes, that is what I want to come to Mr. Speaker and this is the question. What is Government policy on ensuring that these murders, abductions and enforced disappearances are impartially investigated by our Police Service in line with the constitutional obligation under Section 219?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question and what is particularly pleasing is that the Hon. Member spelt out what our law is like. We have a policy that informs what the laws must be and we have a Constitution that clearly indicates that we must protect the right to life. We have a Constitution that prohibits enforced disappearances. So, the policy of Government is already there. What is needed is, if there is anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of these individuals that they are alleging ‘abducted’ or did whatever they did, they must provide the investigating officers with that information so that they can investigate fully and ensure that they are prosecuted. The policy position really of Government is that we are a peaceful nation. We do not want anyone to be harassed – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We do not want anyone to barricade their houses before they go to sleep. So, if anyone knows anyone who is doing things that are contrary to our laws, they have to be reported and exposed. I thank you.
HON. MAHERE: Mr. Speaker, I am surprised by the response of the Leader of Government Business in light of the fact that the Permanent Secretary for Information, just this week, justified the violent wielding of an AK 47 by a person who has not been investigated by the police. In each of the abductions that have taken place over the last four weeks, we have just seen empty statements from the Police Service, no investigation, arrests, prosecution and efforts by the State to ensure that those who are responsible are brought to book. In fact, what we have seen in the past from the State is that the victims of these abductions and enforced disappearances are the ones that they get…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are now debating. What is your supplementary question?
HON. MAHERE: My question is, what is the policy to ensure that the Police carry out the constitutional obligations? So far, we have seen the Government letting the Police get away with making statements that are not followed up by any investigations, arrests or prosecutions?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, my dear Hon. Sister here, I do not know what is confusing here, I do not know what is confusing her. I indicated that – [HON. MEMBERS: She is an honourable, not sister] – If she has information …
HON. MAHERE: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MAHERE: I am not a sister and I actually take offence on the gendered response. I am an Hon. Member and he must address me as such.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Leader of Government Business, I think we should not overstretch the nomenclature. What I understood from the Hon. Leader of Government Business is just being cordial, my Hon. Sister in as much as you can say, my learned brother, even if he is not your brother – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Do not be too sensitive. I am really appealing that let us not overstretch sensitivities. I am sure Hon. Mahere understands what I am trying to say.
HON. MATEWU: On a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You cannot debate my remarks directed at Hon. Mahere. Please sit down.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I thought the Hon. Member was listening when I was speaking but I think she did not. I indicated if she has concrete information that the police are not acting, then the Minister of Home Affairs is available for her to bring that information and we deal with the Police Command why they are not doing that. I have indicated that as a Government, we want this nation to be peaceful. We do not want lawlessness; we do not have a policy at all of murdering each other.
If there is anything, it is contrary to our beliefs as Government and as a party. If she has information about the non-investigation of that particular issue, I am sure from what she is saying, she has a lot of information and the Minister will be glad to listen to that and be able to summon the Commanders of the Police why they are not taking that information and acting upon it, to ensure that those allegations are investigated and improved. The courts are there and the people will be taken to court. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker. With due respect to the Leader of the House, the question was that we need someone independent to handle these issues because we do not believe the Ministry of Home Affairs is doing its job independently. Yesterday…
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. MARKHAM: My question to the Minister is very simple. Why were 100 people evicted from their houses yesterday and the police did not react? The Member in Charge of Central refused to react to the issue until the houses were burnt onto the ground. When you ask for information, we have the registration of the vehicle used and the names of the people who did it but no one will take the report. Yesterday, there were 100 families whose houses were burnt yet he gives us that sort of response.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, let us follow our Standing Rules and Orders. The original question had nothing to do with evictions. So if there are issues pertaining to that particular incident, the Hon. Markham can put that question in writing because it is a specific incident which the Hon. Minister responsible can then respond to.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I thought trauma was an issue.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you content with my ruling?
HON. MARKHAM: I am not content, that is why I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I am concerned because we appear to be dealing with people who can be abductors; how do they know that these people have not been investigated [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon Chief Whip, I thought the Leader of Government business had covered the issues very substantially. I move now to Hon. ….
HON. MATEWU: Supplementary on Hon. Mahere’s question…
THE HON. SPEAKER: I will not allow your supplementary because you are addressing me whilst you are seated. Thank you.
HON. DR. MAKWIRANZOU: Mr. Speaker Sir, good afternoon. My name is Dr. Caleb Makwiranzou from Mutoko North.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Inga ndazvitaura wani nhai Hon. Makwiranzou – [Laughter.] - Hoo ndasiya Doctor. Sorry about that.
HON. DR. MAKWIRANZOU: My question, Mr. Speaker Sir, is directed towards the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development. Mr. Speaker Sir, my constituency like many other constituencies, is being ravaged by the monster called climate change. Firstly, I want to be thankful for the borehole drilling programme. Secondly, I want to tell you that there are three sources of water – [AN HON. MEMBER: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Makwiranzou, can you ask a question that relates to national policy?
HON. DR. MAKWIRANZOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to know if Government has got a specific desilting programme or policy for earth dams and if it does, what percentage of those earth dams have been desilted to date because the best time to desilt these earth dams is this October. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Makwiranzou, the moment you couch your question with statistics that are required then it becomes very problematic because it is no longer part of the first part of your question on desiltation of dams. So if you can be so guided, you leave out the last part of your question because that requires a written submission so that the Minister concerned can do his research.
HON. DR. MAKWIRANZOU: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to know if there is a definite desilting programme for earth dams. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Doctor for the question which is very important. Yes, Mr. Speaker, my response is that as a Government, we have a policy to ensure that we maintain our water bodies. The reason why we are doing that, with your indulgence, is because of climate change, we are moving towards irrigation more as opposed to the line on rain fed agriculture, so the need to maintain our water bodies is more critical now than ever and we are actually expanding the water bodies by having more dams. We have that policy and if there are water bodies that the Hon. Member believes are neglected, he can write to the Minister so that he can investigate and ensure that they are maintained with a view of expanding our irrigable areas that we can put under agriculture. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, there are so many Ministers here. I think I would urge you to spread your questions accordingly.
HON. NJERE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. I want to know the legal framework that is in place to prosecute banking executives and directors who were responsible for misappropriation of large sums of money and other financial improprieties such as huge non-performing loans and poor credit risk management between the periods 2012 to date. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you have got a good question that needs quantification of issues and that question should come in form of a written question next week.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Hon. Minister, I would like to enquire whether it has now become the policy of Government that all the road projects that you commence in various constituencies in this country are not finished? Has it now become Government policy that you just start the construction of a road and you do not finish it two years down the line? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I thought Hon. Mushoriwa was going to commend Government that we have resumed all stalled projects, in particular Harare Province where such roads were stalled due to the budgetary constraints, but we have resumed all paused projects Mr. Speaker Sir.
Also to answer to his question, the Government policy is to have our roads trafficable so that it becomes an enabler of any given economy. If you have got a good road, you also have got a good economy. So precisely, this is Government policy. It is the desire of Government that against very meagre resources, we attend to the infrastructure requirements and precisely this is what the Government is doing, but however if you feel that there is a road that has been stalled, we are happy as a Ministry so that we attend to such roads.
We cannot do all roads at a given time, Mr. Speaker Sir, given that we have got a 90 000km road network in this country, we must take cognisance that we are against sanctions and we are using our own resources, contrary to other jurisdictions where roads are rehabilitated using the funds from World Bank and IMF. Contrary to this assertion, Hon. Speaker Sir, we are using our domestic resources. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Minister for your response. Hon. Minister, I just want to find out from the Government’s position given that where the Government has done road projects, your Ministry has actually done sign posts which say that this road is actually being done by the Ministry, but if you check, for instance in Harare where all those sign posts are on all those roads, nothing has actually materialised and I am just wondering, Hon. Minister whether that is an admission of failure by the Government in respect of making sure that all roads are trafficable.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, you have now titivated to specifics. If there are such roads that you have indicated, I think put your question in writing for next week so that the Minister can answer accordingly. Thank you.
+HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My name is Sichelesile Mahlangu, MP Phumula. My supplementary question is that I want to know how the Minister prioritised the refurbishment of roads? I am talking about the selection of which roads to habilitate, looking at some roads which have been in a bad state for 20 years now. For example, Bulawayo-Nkayi Road which was stalled so many years ago. What criteria is used by the Ministry in terms of rehabilitating roads? Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That question Hon. Minister is pertinent, but is similar to Hon. Mushoriwa’s question. If there is a specific road which is not complete, may you please put it in writing Hon. Member so that the Minister will come back with a response after investigating why the road has not been completed. This can be done next week.
+HON. BAJILA: My supplementary question is, why is it that roads that fall under the local authorities are being attended to by the Ministry of Transport? I thank you.
*HON. MHONA: Mr. Speaker Sir, if I heard correctly, the question is on the council roads which were taken over by the Ministry of Transport. I believe that is where the issue is and whether the roads will be returned to the responsible authorities. I want to thank my Hon. brother, indeed the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme 2 was stalled because there was need to look at what was happening at that particular time because our roads were filled with water, potholes and other issues.
Going to the Road Act, subsection 5 (4) stipulates that if a local authority fails to discharge its duties, then the Ministry of Transport will take over that responsibility and rehabilitate the road. The road will eventually be submitted back to the local authority. Indeed, we rehabilitate such roads and hand them over for maintenance to the municipal authorities. That is why you see most urban roads being refurbished. When we take over, it means that someone has failed to do their job. We appreciate the fact that the roads that were alluded to by the Hon. Member are going to be rehabilitated and we will take them back to the municipal authorities.
HON. MAHERE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My question to supplement that of Hon. Bajila is, you indicated that council is not looking after the roads. In terms of the Roads Act that you made reference to, ZINARA is meant to give councils funds. What measures is Government taking to ensure that ZINARA gives local authorities sufficient funds to enable them to carry out that legal function?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me also thank my learned colleague, Hon. Mahere for that very important question which also gives me platform to articulate issues relating to how funds are disbursed. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have got four road authorities under the purview of the Ministry where we are talking of Department of Roads, Local Authorities, Rural District Councils and RIDA, which was known as DDF. Apparently, after having graduated from this academy, Mr. Speaker Sir, where you were telling us to be transparent and accountable, we then introduced a system in the Ministry where quarterly, we broadcast whatever we disbursed. Precisely, this is what we have been doing Mr. Speaker Sir. On a quarterly basis, ZINARA will flight what they have disbursed to local authorities, contrary to other times where figures were not being articulated in terms of how much was disbursed to a local authority.
This new system we invented within the Ministry would articulate issues to do with where funds were misdirected, whether they were paying salaries, which was the trend within local authorities. Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, ZINARA is collecting and disbursing. This is in the public domain to follow the trend, for instance, for the past five years, how much was coming from ZINARA towards local authorities.
The question must be where we said local authorities are now for licencing. You would find that anyone who would have his or her car plying our roads in Harare might register under a different local authority which was problematic in terms of lining and distributing the purse. Currently, we have got a pot where ZINARA is collecting and disbursing. If the Hon. Member is not happy, we are also privy to the point of giving precise statistics in terms of what has gone to a particular local authority, Rural District Council or Department of Roads or RIDA. This can be availed Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you.
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Supplementary question your Honour. Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you Hon. Minister…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Did you say your Honour?
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Honourable Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: When you address someone in the Chair as your Honour, you are talking about a Mayor.
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Okay, noted Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Hon. Minister, I have heard you speak of ZINARA as a solution because some road users were going to different municipalities. Was that the only solution that we could have? Does it make sense that we collect from the local municipality through the road users in the town? We give ZINARA, which uses the bulk of the money for administration only to give back to the municipalities. I believe if the problem was cross pollination of road users…
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating Hon. Member. What is your supplementary question?
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: My supplementary question is, ZINARA is an expensive solution for distribution of funds. It uses the bulk of the money – there is no need for ZINARA, the municipalities should – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating Hon. Member.
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: The question is – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members, please give me a chance. Mr. Speaker …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member. You are protected by the Chair. You do not have to engage yourselves. Ask for protection from me and I shall protect you.
HON. MHANGWA: Indulge me Hon. Speaker, I am still new. Hon. Minister, evidently, ZINARA is an expensive solution to cross-pollination of drivers. Please…
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. MHANGWA: What measures are you putting in place so that we have an inexpensive solution to our road maintenance, without the use of ZINARA?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Let me also thank my Hon. Member, the Chairman of the Energy Committee. Hon. Speaker Sir, I am happy that the Hon. Member is proffering a solution, to say it is an expensive way but ZINARA is a conduit pipe. It just collects and disburses, unlike the ZINARA that you know where it was also involved in procurement issues. The ZINARA that we have is just to facilitate easy movement of funds, collect and disburse to the relevant road authority. Precisely, this is what we are doing. When the Hon. Member says it is an expensive option, I do not understand that but the question as posed by the Hon. Member, my response is, yes, if you have got other solutions; that is why we also have Committees in this august House, who interrogate issues, proffer solutions and as a Ministry, we will also be in a listening position. I thank you.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to direct my question to the Leader of Government Business. What is Government policy regarding people who advertise international jobs on radio, television and newspapers? Eventually, people end up being taken advantage of because they will be desperate for jobs; hence they end up being trafficked. You find some even beheaded, others even being taken advantage of by traditional healers and faith healers who also advertise their work and end up abusing them. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question. The issue he raised is quite worrying. Indeed, we need to engage with the Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Defence so that we come up with a position determining the extent of the prevalence of this human trafficking scourge. I note that this is quite a concerning issue which needs specialised investigations by the responsible ministries so that a determination will be reached whether there is an issue and what can be done by the law through the prosecution of perpetrators. I thank you.
*HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. My question is, what is Government planning to do regarding obstetric fistula which is normally associated with women during child birth. What is Government planning to do regarding that disease and what public awareness programmes is Government planning to do in order to educate women on what they should do and who should they approach and how can they be assisted? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to thank Hon. Nyamupinga for that question. The Government policy and what Government aims to do is to treat people and ensure that diseases which are found should be investigated and mitigation measures done. Government’s policy is to treat patients and at the same time educating them about the disease which was mentioned by Hon. Nyamupinga.
*HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for the response but it does not address the question in depth because this is quite a comprehensive ailment which affects women. It is also in tandem with the current period that we are facing, the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. This is not only affecting older women, even young girls who give birth while still under age suffer the same. I think we need the Hon. Minister of Health to come to this House with a Ministerial Statement which addresses in depth on what should be done regarding this disease which affects women where you find women feeling uncomfortable because they will be having a pungent smell. I thank you.
*HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was really touched by the Hon. Member’s concerns. Indeed, this affects us because no one wants to be ill but illnesses happen. What I think is that the Hon. Member is requesting that the responsible Minister should bring a comprehensive Ministerial Statement addressing this illness. This is indeed allowed. I leave that to the responsible Minister. I thank you.
HON. MATSUNGA: On a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Just a minute. Once the Executive has accepted to come up with a Ministerial Statement on the subject matter raised by the questioner, we cannot have supplementary questions. Why do we not wait for the detailed Ministerial Statement and if we are not satisfied, we can then ask questions after the Ministerial Statement? So, Hon. Nyamupinga, the Ministerial Statement will be given in detail in response to your question.
*HON. MATAMBO: Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. What plans does the Government have regarding the protection of firearms for those who are in service, like the police and other arms of the State in terms of safeguarding them?
THE HON. SPEAKER: That question may be better answered by the Minister of Home Affairs.
*THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member who asked such a pertinent question. People who use firearms are trained and that is why they are trained for a long period of time. Our Police Service, the Army and other organs of the State know how to protect and safeguard these firearms. They are kept in an armoury and they can only be taken after due procedures have been done. If the officer is not on duty, they are expected to return the weapons to the armoury or to those who are on duty. However, if there are other civilians like us who are licenced to have firearms, you are supposed to take your firearm in a safe under lock and key.
*HON. MATAMBO: Hon. Speaker, are there ways of protecting such weapons? In Mabvuku, we have a case of someone who was kidnapped and eventually killed. So, the question is, there are some who might use weapons for political expedience. Are there any mechanisms put in place so that this does not continue?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, that is a question that relates to specific cases and here we are dealing with policy. If there are issues that relate to some specific cases, such specific occurrences must be reported immediately to the nearest police.
*HON. MATAMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, we shall continue reporting such cases to the police.
*HON. CHINODAKUFA: My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development. What is the Government policy concerning the availability of agricultural inputs especially for those small-scale farmers who are prepared to farm throughout the year using irrigation?
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL, AND PARLIAMENT AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I also want to thank the Hon. Member for raising that pertinent question. From the research conducted by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, they say you have got 35,000 villages in Zimbabwe. After that research, they came up with a plan to help the people who stay in rural areas since they have another role to make sure that there is development in the rural areas under the Rural Development Programmes.
The Government has started a programme whereby in rural areas where there are no dams, boreholes are being rigged. Where there is a dam or a borehole, villagers must unite and work in the community gardens so that there is development in those areas. Right now, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is looking for rigs in different areas and they have already started surveying. If there is a dam, they are going to use water from the dam for irrigation so that villagers can venture into horticulture and other agricultural produce.
In some other areas like Lupane, Hon. Nyoni can testify that there is a big dam. Many people from that area are now farming. If you go there during the week, you will find that they will be working on their farms and when they harvest, they are going to get their profits depending on the harvest. Therefore, that is the Government policy to make sure that people in the rural areas do not stay idle, but they must continue farming using irrigation schemes throughout the year. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Leader of Government Business, you answered very well. That was a very comprehensive response. I do not see a supplementary question.
*HON. CHIGUMBU: My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. Is it allowed for a recalled Member of Parliament to do Parliamentary work?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Where is that Member of Parliament? Is he or she here? Where is that Hon. Member? Who is that Hon. Member who is still doing Parliamentary business?
*HON. CHIGUMBU: The Hon. Member is not in this House. I just want my question to be answered.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Let us not ask presumptuous questions. In any case, anything to do with recalls at the moment, the matters are before the courts and we cannot debate them here. I thank you.
*HON. ZIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Does Government have a law regarding the establishment of a satellite school to a substantive school? Is there any timeframe for a school to graduate from a satellite school to a well established school because many schools are now satellite? We have a problem because most school children are not permitted to write examinations at satellite schools.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I wish to thank the Hon. Member for asking that very important question to do with our education. It is Government policy that we have universal access to education. However, not all schools are at the same level. In order to spread access to education, you would find that certain schools are rather satellite schools. There are conditions that have to be fulfilled for those schools to graduate as schools. Therefore, the time that it takes varies. We want it to be as quick as possible, but sometimes it is a question of resources. The issue is basically to make sure that satellite schools graduate into examination centres as fast as is possible. The policy is very clear. The practice on the ground then depends on the availability of resources. I thank you.
*HON. ZIKI: My supplementary question is that, what can be done to make sure that satellite schools are upgraded in terms of infrastructure so that they become examination centres? How best can the Ministry officials help us to make sure that satellite schools graduate to be well established schools and have centre numbers because most of the children from satellite schools travel long distances to write their examinations?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker. The Hon. Member is very passionate about making sure that we expedite …
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker. May the Hon. Minister respond in Shona since the Hon. Member asked the question in Shona?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: You are correct Hon. Member. Hon. Minister, can you kindly answer in Shona?
* HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker, I had taken it as if you have started using one language. You can continue using that language. Let me try my best. The Government policy and the laws of the country is to ensure that every child receives education. We do not have time to waste or to leave anyone behind. Everyone must work and be educated; hence we see it fit that the Government increases the number of schools. These schools are at different stages. There are those schools who are starting, those being referred as satellite schools then those who are well established where there are centre numbers and examinations being written at those schools.
Although there is zeal and passion, you will see that schools which are being referred to as satellite increase in terms of numbers but those which are established are fewer. Mr. Speaker, we know that Zimbabwe has got few schools. We need about 4 000 schools which we do not have in the country but the problem is not difficult to understand, it is the problem of resources. The policy is very clear that education must be free and accessible to every child. We do not have enough resources most of the time but if there is an issue of some other satellite schools which have been developed and meet the standard to fit in well established schools, we want to know those schools so that we can take action and make sure that they are now registered schools. Thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
Some Hon. Ministers having left the Chamber.
HON. KARENYI: Good afternoon Madam Speaker. Today is a very important day for Members of Parliament to pose questions to Ministers. I am seeing all Ministers are getting out of the House. It is important for them to stay in the House so that we also get answers from them.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUSA NCUBE): Thank you Hon. Member, the Deputy Ministers are here, you can ask questions.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
INTRODUCTION OF THE MONO CURRENCY REGIME
- HON. DR. MUTODI asked the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion to inform the House:
a) When the mono currency regime would be introduced in the country; and
b) What measures have been put in place to deal with price shocks and inflation that may arise when the mono currency is introduced into the country’s money market?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Good afternoon Madam Speaker. I do not have any written answers to the questions but I can endeavor to answer with your indulgence – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, it is allowed please. Hon. Minister, you are allowed to defer your answers so that we get comprehensive answers.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I had sought your indulgence given the importance of the questions but I can defer the questions as requested by the Hon. Members and through you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MAHERE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Last week at Question Time, the Hon. Minister Prof. Ncube was asked the same question by the Hon. Member. He again said he was not ready, had not prepared the answers and he deferred it to today. It is utmost disrespect and contempt of Parliament for his deputy to come back for a second week and say he is not ready. They have to take the business of the House seriously.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I am ready – [HON. MAHERE: A point of order to a point of order!] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mahere, may you sit down please. Order, order please. Hon. Deputy Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Just wait, you are not the Chair – [AN HON. MEMBER: You have not ruled Madam Speaker.] – Hon. Members, sit down - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-Order Hon. Members please! Sit down Hon. Mahere. Because of the movement from the Old Parliament to New Parliament, there were some hiccups in terms of transmitting the messages to the Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order Hon. Members, we want to proceed. I have not finished my statement because you interrupted me.
I just wanted to ask the Minister whether he is ready or if he is not ready, just show me that Standing Rules and Orders where it says if the Minister is not ready….
Hon. Mahere having stood up
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mahere, I did not give you the platform. May we please have order? Hon. Deputy Minister, are you ready?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Yes, I am.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister, you can go ahead.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament Hon. Mutodi. The first question was, when the mono-currency regime would be introduced in the country. I think the question when we would assume that is when there is a date. As Government and as Treasury, we are committed to coming up with a roadmap. The road to de-dollarisation will not be an event, but rather a process. You find that there are measures that the country is putting into place. This is part of the de-dollarisation programme.
After thorough consultations with all stakeholders, that market will come up with a published roadmap that will be available to all, but to answer in a nutshell, there is no definitive date, it is going to be a process. It is not going to be a big bang. We are here, but gradually we are getting to the mono-currency. That will be my submission to his first question.
The second question was on measures that have been put in place to deal with price shocks and the question that arise when the mono-currency is introduced into the country’s money market. I would ask that the Hon. Member also draw the answer from my previous answer, but to add to that, you will find that there has been some stability, both in the currency exchange rate and prices. This is due to the policies that are in place which we endeavour to sustain as Treasury just to ensure that we do not have spikes in your exchange rate which also fuel inflation.
You will find that there will always be economic agents who are predatory. We are going into bonus season and you will find that just because of that fact, there is someone who might want to become a predidator on civil servants’ salaries. That has nothing to do with fundamentals, but some of the behavioural challenges which we have which we will be addressing.
The other question from the Hon. Member is…
Hon. Members having stood up
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, please sit down. Markham, can you please sit down and switch off your mic. –[AN HON. MEMBER: He is an Hon. Member and you need to address him correctly]- My apology Hon. Members.
HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of Order Hon. Speaker. My point of order is in two parts. The first part is that the Hon. Deputy Minister, the failure of having a prepared answer implies that he fails to answer the questions in a proper manner. The second part…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, that is not a point of order. How do you say he failed to answer a question - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
*HON. DHANZI: Thank you Madam Speaker for protecting me in this House. If people know answers to questions they are asking, why do we waste our time asking these questions? I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, just on a point of clarity for procedure purposes. When the Minister responds to the first question from Hon. Mutodi, are we not supposed to have supplementary questions starting with him first before we go on to the second question? Hon. Mutodi has five or six questions and there is no way the Minister can answer them all and then we ask supplementary questions. We will get totally confused because some of us cannot follow more than one point at a time. So, once he is done with the first one, can we have supplementary questions? I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: It is okay Hon. Markham. I think we are done with question one. We can have…
HON. MAHERE: Supplementary, I have got a supplementary question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mahere, order please. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Order, order please, I have not finished. Order Hon Members, order please.
I was just saying the Minister has finished question one and I will now ask for supplementary questions. You wait Hon. Mahere.
HON. DR. MUTODI: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that since an announcement was officially made that there eventually will be a mono-currency, was it not prudent on the part of the Minister to clarify to this House the period he is expecting to have the mono-currency introduced, perhaps beyond 2030 where the vision of the President to stabilise the economy and grow this economy to its potential would have been realised; realising that the shift to a mono-currency has had some dire effects on the economic situation of the country especially the emergence of hyperinflation and price shocks. That will be my follow up question.
HON. D.K MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Mutodi. If I understood the import of his follow up question, I think he is trying to draw a parallel between the extension of the multi-currency up until 2030 and the de-dollarisation roadmap. I would hasten to say that the extension of the multi-currency regime to 2030 is actually within our de-dollarisation plan. As I mentioned before, it is not going to be a big bang approach to de-dollarisation of mono-currency. That means that you want to have a market driven demand for the local currency. It means that you have to be responsive to the market rather than reactive to situations. So, at every stage, we are consulting with the market which is not extremely big by the way. So, you will find that all the measures that are in place are to ensure that we have got a smooth transition to the Zimbabwean dollar. The best scenario is that everybody wakes up actually desirous to use the Zim-dollar without having been compelled by law, so to say. We will allow the market forces to determine. I so submit Madam Speaker.
HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, just to clarify the Minister’s last answer. Can the Minister confirm that the multi-basket of currencies will be used till 2030 because at the moment, we are seeing a reduction in US dollar loans because they are worried the US dollar will be used up to 2025? I thank you.
HON. D.K MNANGAGWA: I would say that the extension to 2030 is meant to cure the borrowing that I guess was being impeded by the 2025 deadline. What we have is a situation that gives comfort to lenders and pension funds in as far as the use of the multi-currency is concerned. These conversations need to evolve into when we do go into mono-currency, how are we going to grandfather all those who have exposure in as far as loans are concerned, in as far as the pension funds, insurance and also, we have a discussion on free funds. Again, this has to be a consultative process that encompasses everybody involved. Common belief would be business does not want mono-currency. I think they are the biggest proponents of wanting to have local currency to increase competitiveness, but it has to be done properly and orderly. So, this is what we are doing as Treasury and as Government. I so submit Madam Speaker.
HON. MUSHORIWA: I have a supplementary question Madam Speaker. In his response, the Deputy Minister indicates that they do not seem to have a big bang plan. I want the Hon. Minister to explain to this august House their de-dollarisation plan. When does it start? What measures so far have they put in place in respect to the roadmap to the mono-currency and the failure to have the measures clearly put by Government and saying you can leave the market to determine? Would that not be a bad thing to do given that the market has never, in any sphere, done the process leading to the mono-currency, especially after years of using the multi-currency that we have had. I thank you.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: I believe your question was answered. We will have a de-dollarisation roadmap that will be shared with everybody. At this present moment, there is still consultations with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the market and business is not disrupted. I think you will appreciate that this is an all-encompassing process and to ensure that we are not going from where we came from, we have to do this right but we are on a de-dollarisation roadmap. As we speak, you will find that some of our ZIMRA obligations even if you earn in USD one hundred percent, they have requested 50% in USD and 50% in local currency. That is part of the de-dollarisation roadmap. Naturally, this is how this process will be seen to unfold. So, there will be a proper blueprint that will be shared after the right consultations and the Minister will bring it before Parliament, and also get your buy-in on that. I submit Madam Speaker.
MEASURES TO ENSURE ACHIEVEMENT OF AN EFFICIENT FINANCIAL MARKET
- HON. DR. MUTODI asked the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion to inform the House what measures the Ministry has put in place to ensure the achievement of an efficient financial market in light of information asymmetry and arbitrage opportunities that have promoted speculative borrowing and pricing as hedgers attempt to outperform the market.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): I will say, you find situations of information asymmetry arise when you are not following market conditions. So, you will find that in some of the policies that are being put into place, we are heading towards a market determined exchange rate that deals away with speculation or arbitrage because the market ultimately decides what the rate is removing any arbitrage. However, further to that, the Ministry and Treasury is improving on its communication so that there is no confusion on our policies. At times, maybe it is just a statement that comes out without any context. I think this is something that we are improving upon as a Ministry to ensure that the general citizenry has enough context and background as to what these Instruments actually mean.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Could the Deputy Minister explain to this august House, he speaks about Treasury and his Ministry trying to do away with policy inconsistency but what I want to find out from the Hon. Minister is that - does Government…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You are saying the Minister talks about policy inconsistency, what do you mean? Can you ask a supplementary please? Do not debate.
HON. MUSHORIWA: This is the question and I am simply asking the Hon. Minister to expand on the issue of …
HON. DR. MUTODI: On a point of Order. My point of order is that I think the issue of policy inconsistency does not arise from this question and neither does it also arise from the answer by the Hon. Minister. So, the Hon. Member should ask a supplementary that is in line with the original question that I asked.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, ask a supplementary question. Do not debate the policy inconsistency.
HON. MUSHORIWA: With all due respect, that is what I am doing…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Do not debate, ask a supplementary question.
HON. MUSHORIWA: If you allow me to ask, I will ask a question and I am simply asking the Hon. Minister to advise this House on what mechanisms are there to make sure that the policy inconsistency, not only from Treasury, but across all the tiers of Government ,are addressed if we are to make sure that there is actually order in the market.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: I would like to believe that Government is consistent in their policies unless there are specific instances where the Hon. Member feels that Government position or policy has been contradictory.
HON. MATEWU: I think the original question asked by Hon. Dr. Mutodi was basically on arbitrage and speculative borrowing. I want to ask the Minister because arbitrage and speculative borrowing happens when the Monetary Policy is not in tandem with the Fiscal Policy. Now, what we have seen is that in this country, there is a lot of speculative borrowing which then raised the borrowing rates. What is the Hon. Minister doing to ensure that the Monetary Policy from the RBZ is actually in tandem with the Fiscal Policy to ensure that we have a stable market?
HON. D.K. MNANGAGWA: I can assure you that the Monetary Policy and the Fiscal Policy are actually in tandem and these are two very different policies. In terms of speculative borrowing, that is dealt with setting of the interest rates for borrowing which, as a Ministry, we are always monitoring. As you are aware, borrowing is another source of money supply. So, when you find that it is a bit stable as what the market was, then it becomes a bit more expensive to borrow. You find the Ministry lowering the rates as what happened just a few weeks ago, from the 150% to 130%. So, any discrepancy that you might believe is existent between the monetary and fiscal might be coming out of probably a lack of understanding on what Treasury and the Central Bank are trying to achieve but I can assure you that both Treasury and the Central Bank are in tandem in terms of policy. I thank you.
HON. MAHERE: My question is to supplement the one raised by Hon. Mutodi to the Deputy Minister. He spoke about listening to the markets and sorting out the exchange rate. My question is, are you going to float the exchange rate?
HON. D.K. MNANGAGWA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for raising the question in this House and not delaying to throw me on Twitter. I will say what we do want is a market determined exchange rate but this has to be done responsibly. What we are facing in Zimbabwe is very unchartered territory. Zimbabwe is probably the only country that has a multi-currency regime. You find that all texts, economists and experts have only dealt with either local currency regime or USD regime. So, we find ourselves where we are actually writing a book on what is or how it is to function within a multi-currency regime and given where we are coming from where there is some past trauma based on savings being eroded due to inflation.You will find that there is a behavioural element that is compounded to the fundamentals; we have the economic and the behaviour issues.
So, all these have to be approached in a very delicate manner so that we do not disrupt the market. Ideally, we would want to set the record today, but I can assure the Hon. Member that even if all fundamentals are right, that behavioral challenge that we have in the market will still distort. So, what we need to do is to do consultative process as I have mentioned, to make sure that all players, bit by bit, buy in to the de-dollarisation plan and we reach where we want to get without disrupting the market. What we do not want is to disrupt the market. I submit.
SUITABILITY OF REFORMS AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR
- HON. DR. MUTODI asked the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion to inform the House what measures the Ministry has put in place to ensure the achievement of an efficient financial market in light of information asymmetry and arbitrage opportunities that have promoted speculative borrowing and pricing as hedgers attempt to outperform the market.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank Hon. Dr. Mutodi for the question. I would like to draw a parallel between policy inconsistence and policy requirements. You will appreciate that when the Second Republic came in, the market was hugely distorted, which meant that there were a whole host of policy reforms that needed to go through. Some of them would work, some of them would not, but what will then happen is that for the ones that do work for us, they need to be refined in a highly fluid market that we have. We need to make sure that the policies that are working are refined further for industry- specific. A few questions which came earlier on were industry specific. This means that when these questions come up, we go back and refine policies not necessarily changing.
The second part of this question was how an ordinary Zimbabwean is expected to deal with these financial challenges. You will find that wherever policy brings hardship on the ordinary person, Government comes up with the necessary social safety nets. These are social protection programmes. So, you will find that we have our Presidential Inputs programme, BEAM, cash transfer programme, albeit they will have some challenges and some problems, but these are meant to cushion our citizens from any policy reforms or changes that we might be going through. I submit.
HON. DR. MUTODI: Thank you Madam Speaker, my follow up question is on the issue of gold coins as a policy. Is that policy also intended to serve people in the rural areas who might not even know how it works because this policy is intended to be understood by mainly commercial players but it has not been extended to rural people who may also want to use the facility? I thank you.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and the Hon. Member for that supplementary question. The gold coins, the ZiG, the digital version of the gold coin is meant to be an instrument that provides an alternative store value for those who might be holding local currency and would believe that if they will continue to hold on to it, it will lose value. They will then convert it into the instrument that will preserve that same value on being reconvertable into that same local currency.
These coins and digital currencies are actually available to those who have interest in them. So, you will find that those who have shown interest, especially for the gold coins, have been corporates and high networking individuals because the smallest coin was of high value. You will find that when ZiG has been broken down into very small transaction units, that will allow more financial inclusion to those in the rural areas. I submit.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker, mine is a very simple question, I just want to know if the digital currency he is talking about is backed by the metal?
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member. It means that by actual bullion, there will be a process of third part verification through auditors as is reassured by the Central Bank. I think more information will be coming as it is published, but I can reassure you that it is backed by bullion.
HON. SAKUPWANYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question is in relation to the ZiG and the gold coins, these are long term. Is there a time limit to the policies of ZiG or the gold coin? Is it going to be affected in any way by 2030 deadline or us moving into the mono-currency or these supersede that deadline?
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Sakupwanya for giving me the opportunity to disambiguate and clarify again that the gold coins and ZiG are not a currency. So, when we speak of multicurrency, we need to separate that conversation. These are financial instruments, or I will say alternative stores of value so it is not tied in any way to any of these timelines. When you purchase your gold coins, you can keep them in your house, perpetuate and pass them onto your children or to your grand children if you so desire. So, let us view these as financial instruments, or alternative stores of value as not necessarily a currency so that we do confuse the discussion around the ZiG, the gold coins and the multicurrency regime. I thank you.
ESTIMATE ZWL AND USD MONEY SUPPLY ON THE MARKET AND ITS PROJECTION GROWTH
- HON. DR. MUTODI asked the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion to explain to the House;
- a) What is the estimate ZWL and USD money supply currency in place on the market : and
- b) How the Ministry foresees money supply growth over the period up to the end of 2024.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker and Hon. Dr. Mutodi for the question. You asked estimate amounts of the US and the Zim dollar money supply currency in the market. We do have figures, the latest being the August 2023 depository Corporation survey where we are at 13.4 trillion within the market. About 75% is made up of US dollars which will be about 2.2 billion US dollars and the remainder 3 million plus being the Zim dollar component in circulation. I must say when we talk of US dollar component, we are talking about the banked component. You will find that the pillow banking and the money that is in our pockets is not actually included in these statistics. We can endeavour to try to estimate, but we will fail. I will say that there is probably more outside the system than the inside, but again this is a failed attempt to try to estimate the US dollar supply.
You asked how we foresee the money supply growth of the period of the end of 2024. We project the money supply growth to go to 35.5 trillion, again almost the same ratio when we have 75% being in US dollars and the 25% being in RTGS, with the growth being spared by our growth and GDP projections and our estimated inflation. I submit.
HON. DR. MUTODI: Thank you Hon. Minister for the very clear answer. Since you expect the economy to have a month’s supply of say 35 trillion, do you also anticipate that the economy would be growing at the same pace as the money supply growth or you anticipate that it would be monetization? What is your view on that aspect Hon. Minister?
HON. K. D. MNANGAGWA: Thank you for that follow up question. Our projections for the growth of money supply are based on our anticipated GDP growth. You will find that on the budget paper that is coming out, we anticipate a slowed growth of 3.5% as opposed to our current 5.5% due to the El Nino and climate induced patterns that we are seeing. So you will find that is number one, a measure for what we will be using for the money supply growth and secondly, our month-on-month inflation that we predict will be between 10% and 20%. So that is the quantum and variables that we have used to determine the money supply growth.
I would think your question was leaning towards, are we anticipating seeing more money creation that might create inflation. I think we will be continuing to sustain the tight monetary and fiscal consolidation policies that we have and ensure that all spend is coming from revenue and any growth is coming from our GDP growth. I submit Madam Speaker.
HON. SAGANDIRA: My supplementary question is directed to the Deputy Minister. What is the Ministry doing to encourage spending?
HON. DR. MUTODI: Point of order Madam Speaker. The supplementary question he is asking does not arise either from my question or from the Minister’s response.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mutodi.
MINISTRY RESPONSIBLE FOR DRILLING AND MAINTENANCE OF BOREHOLES
- HON. MUTODI asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House the Ministry that is responsible for drilling and maintenance of boreholes in view of the many departments that claim to be responsible such as the Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (RIDA), the local authorities and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, the ultimate authority in terms of water in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe National Water Authority. It is the one that administers the Act. In fact, all our water including the water that is in our yards does not belong to us, it belongs to the President and the Act indicates that even when you want to drill, you have to go and make an application and pay to ZINWA. So the starting point, all the water belongs to ZINWA. ZINWA also has the responsibility to ensure that we have access to water, so they drill boreholes.
RIDA’s main thrust is to ensure that they develop rural infrastructure. They also have a responsibility to assist rural local authorities with provision of water. Our rural councils or our district councils have a duty as councils, to ensure that their residents have got access to clean and potable water. So there is no confusion. All these have the responsibility to ensure one way or the other, that the generality of our people have access to clean and potable water. I submit Madam Speaker.
HON. DR. MUTODI: Hon. Minister, thank you for the answer, however, I would want your clarification because villagers in the constituencies are being asked to contribute $1 to repair broken down boreholes. So it would be important to really know which of the three you have mentioned – RIDA, local authority or ZINWA is specifically responsible so that villagers can then approach that unit directly when they face water crisis.
The many organisations that claim to be responsible bring confusion even to the MPs and most of the organisations are not capacitated Hon. Minister. Like RIDA, it has no staff and equipment. Sometimes they say come with your cars and ferry equipment to go and fix boreholes. So, we wanted clarity on that Hon. Minister.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I indicated that ZINWA, which is under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is responsible for water. Overally, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is responsible for water. The question that he asked of village