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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 7 APRIL 2022 VOL 48 NO 37
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 7th April, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
DECLARATION OF ASSETS/FINANCIAL INTERESTS BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that in terms of Section 198 of the Constitution as read together with Standing Order No. 51 of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly, Hon. Members are expected to declare their assets. This must be done within 60 days of taking Oath of Loyalty after a General Election.The declaration of financial interests is recorded in a register that is kept and maintained by the Clerk of Parliament.
There are two forms to be filled in - namely: form (a) which is public and form (b) which is confidential and strictly for use by Parliament. The forms may be filled in at the Counsel’s Office which is situated on the third floor in office number 305. Hon. Members are not permitted to leave with the forms they would have filled in as these must be submitted in the same office. Failure by a Member to declare his or her financial interests within 60 days of taking of the Oath or presenting a false declaration shall constitute contempt. The 60 days within which Hon. Members are expected to declare their assets expires on 6th June, 2022.
Further to that, let me advise Hon. Members who have already filled in these forms that they must update them if they have acquired assets or disposed of assets since the date they filled their forms.
NETWORK CONNECTIVITY AND VIRTUAL SITTING OF THE PLENARY
THE HON. SPEAKER: Finally I have to remind the newly sworn in Members to get in touch with the ICT officers stationed in the Member’s Dining for assistance on issues relating to network connectivity and virtual sitting of the plenary.
WEARING OF PARTY REGALIA IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THE HON. SPEAKER: I noticed that among the new Hon. Members, some have insisted on putting the attire that we discussed on 5th April during swearing in. In the middle of the swearing in, if you recall, Hon. Chinotimba raised a point of order regarding the regalia of the MPs being sworn in and that is the Members of CCC Party. I noted the point of order and continued with the swearing in of the Members, craving them my indulgence so that the proceedings would go on undisturbed. At the end of the swearing in ceremony, the Chair agreed with Hon. Chinotimba’s observation and the Chair implored the said MPs not to wear the regalia in question, that had a generic CCC Party insignia. The MPs protested and were allowed to stay in the Chamber and they did participate in the parliamentary proceedings but were warned to desist from putting on the attire in question because of its generic party allegiance connotations.
The following day on 6th April, 2022, the said MPs stomped into the Chamber after ignoring a police cordon. The Chair warned them not to wear the attire in question but they protested in an unruly manner until they cooled down. The Chair then proposed an ad hoc Committee represented by the three parties; CCC, ZANU PF and MDC-T and Hon. Mliswa indicated that he did not have a Chief Whip so he needed to join that ad hoc Committee and I agreed. The whole idea was to find the way forward in the context of our Standing Rules and Orders.
That Committee met this morning to no avail and CCC was represented by Hon. Biti who refused adamantly to back down on the issue of the attire. Now, some ZANU PF MPs were asked by the Chair in the past and yesterday, not to wear the Presidential trademark scarf in the House. They all complied. Thus, in fairness and in the spirit of impartiality, Members on my left from CCC, the majority of whom have not put on the attire in question and only three, I think decided to disobey my ruling which had carried so much indulgence.
In the past, before the recall of the said Members of Parliament, we did not have issues at all about the attire of political and this is a public Chamber. It is not a place for political theatre. We can wear our attire and party regalia outside when we go for our political meetings or in our constituencies but not in the Chamber because this is a public institution. It is an institution for all the people of Zimbabwe we represent and we do not want to be confused by such tendencies exhibited through generic political attire. In that context, I am asking Hon. Biti, Hon. Hwende and Hon.Chikombo to please go and put on different ties altogether as your colleagues have done.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. First of all, I would like to say that despite your ruling of yesterday that I must be part of the committee, I was not invited to the meeting. I had a meeting with the Clerk at 0930 hours with the Parliamentary Sports Club. I was there and no communication came through. I think it is important that when such ad hoc committees are called, effort is put to invite all Members. The mere fact of others going ahead without even one Member, can create a problem because the ruling of the Speaker is final and you also have to show evidence as to whether you got hold of me or not. I am actually surprised that no one could get hold of me yet people know how to get hold of me. It really shows some disrespect of the ruling of the Chair. Whether it was some caucus held so that I am not there because I raise pertinent points and you were probably worried I would raise pertinent points, it is really not good moving forward. It does not reflect the true sense of this Parliament at the end of the day. We must be tolerant of each other.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the fact that I was not there, I would like to go back to the rules of Parliament, Standing Order 80, which is very clear. If I had been to the meeting, this is what I would have just stuck to. We are governed by Rules and Standing Order 80 is very clear in terms of the appearance. I would want to go to Standing Order 80 (5) which states“the attire for male Members shall include the following-...” I am shocked that the lawyers were there and could not stick to just Rules and not decide on the Rules. These Rules do not change. It talks about “(a) suits (b) jacket and tie”. It does not mean the colour of the tie, it talks about ‘jacket, tie and safari suit’. That is what is expected according to our Rules which we must respect and stand by unless they are changed.
Many a times, I have approached your Chair to say for example, Hon. Mahoka’s funeral, that may Parliament send MPs to the funeral and you were correct to say it is not in the Standing Orders. I have read and understood this. If this is our guiding principle, it is stuck in my head yet there are other Rules which come and are not there, what do I do? Mr. Speaker Sir, I will therefore indulge you. First of all, we are lucky we have a Speaker who is a lawyer, not only a lawyer but an advocate who will not waver in terms of Rules. He sticks to the Rules as we have been taught. We have learnt the Constitution and the Standing Orders because of you. You always say, if you are going to say anything, know your Constitution and Standing Orders. You have taught us that and we have lived by that, it is our bible.
I would want Mr. Speaker Sir, with your indulgence, to say, MDC-T is red, so do we also go for red. It will seem as if it is different strokes for different folks kind of attitude but the Rules do not say that. If I look at Hon. Biti’s tie, it actually has a label of the company which made it, there is no CCC. When he bought it, it was like that. If you talk about party regalia, unless if the meaning is different but with your indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir, may we just stick to the Rules that you have taught us to stick by. Some of us are thinking of studying law because we have now understood the Constitution and the Standing Rules because of your insistence for us to know the Rules.
May I indulge you Mr. Speaker Sir. While they failed to reach a verdict, I was not there, I would have come up with this and hopefully the verdict could have come through. Because of absence, I have not proffered this contribution, which I would have done, which is about the Rules. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: First of all, I tender my apology. The Clerk has agreed that there was an oversight to invite you Hon. Mliswa. An apology was tendered by the Clerk who was responsible for calling Members. Let me try to put across one thing. I thank you for your contribution Hon. Mliswa. Before the Hon. Members were recalled, they never, as a group, put on the generic tie of the MDC – [HON. ZWIZWAI: We were putting on red] – Yes, as a group – [HON. ZWIZWAI: As a group, yes.] – Do not interfere if I am still speaking. As a group, when I chaired here or my fellow Presiding Officers chaired here, we never saw an array of red ties simultaneously. That never happened. So we get one person with a red tie and you ignored that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order, order. I am talking of a generic situation that never happened before the recall. When the Hon. Members came back and were sworn in, they were putting on a generic tie, which was yellow. It does not matter where you got it from but the fact of the matter is that there was that array of neck-ties for the CCC newly sworn in Members - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Member, do not provoke me to chuck you out.
Order! It is factual that the array – [AN. HON. MEMBER: Musadaro mudhara.] -
HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, we cannot have an Hon. Member saying to the Speaker, usadaro mudhara iwewe. Achitaura kuna Speaker. This is not a bar. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Hwende, I am not mudhara, can you withdraw that statement?
HON. HWENDE: I withdraw Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Matsunga having been making noise.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, do not invite me to ask you to leave the Chamber - [HON. MATSUNGA: It is Hon. Nyabani shouting at me.] – Thank you, can you listen. When we are in this House, we need to be Members of Parliament, discussing issues, without any titivation- towards our political affiliation. That is why I made a ruling on the scarf and that is why I made a ruling on the generic ties as well. I am exercising some impartiality and fairness.
Hon. Mliswa, says it is a tie, it does not describe what tie it is, neither does it describe what jacket it is, neither does it describe what type of suits? We did not go into details because for certain issues, you would have to apply common sense. You cannot go on a standing describing what type of tie it is and so on. This is why I am talking of generic ties that were put on by a group of newly appointed Members and that makes a difference. My ruling is based on that. - Back to Hon. Mliswa, Order Number 80 (2). “If the Speaker or the Chairperson, as the case may be, is of the opinion that the attire of a Member present in the Chamber during a sitting of the House is unsuitable or unbecoming to the dignity of the House, he/she – HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – he/she may order…” – Hon. Biti, I am addressing you please, you are talking, let us be together. [HON. BITI: Thank you very much] – So “…he/she may order that Member to withdraw from the precincts of Parliament, until such time as the Member concerned is suitably dressed.”
Now, you cannot take away the opinion of the Chair, in terms of the orders – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Further, go to Order Number 215; “In any matter (not in some matters), for which these Standing Orders do not provide or which are not provided for by a Sessional or other Order, the decision of the Chair must be final, and in arriving at such a decision, he or she may take as his or her guide the relevant practice and such Parliamentary precedents of this or another country as may be applicable in the circumstance.” This provision admits that you cannot regulate for everything. That is why the power is vested on the Chair to guide accordingly. If you are unhappy with first my opinion, in terms of Section 80 (2) and my decision in terms of Order Number 215, you are free to approach any other competent authority to give an interpretation and adjudicate on my decision.
HON. BITI: Mr. Speaker Sir, as a point of clarification, is your determination centred and directed at the colour of the neck-tie or your decision is directed at the fact that there was a collective sartorial adoption of yellow neck-ties by Members that were sworn in, on Tuesday, 5th April, 2022? If your decision is directed at the colour, surely Hon. Speaker, it cannot be a correct one with great respect. Standing Order Number 80, which I alluded to yesterday, has got one qualification, which colours demeaning of attire in Section 80 (5). Section 80(1) says, “every Member must appear in attire befitting the dignity of the House”. So, the attire must respect this august House; must respect…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Biti, with all due respect, I said I am guided by Standing Order Number 80 (2). I am guided by Standing Order Number 215. – [HON. BITI: I am coming there.] - You cannot debate my ruling. Just a minute, if you are not happy with my ruling, you know what to do in terms of our law processes in this country.
HON. BITI: I need clarification.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please sit down. If you want clarification, you can take the Chair to court and I am prepared to defend - [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
HON. BITI: Hey, hey, hey I am talking to the Speaker. Pfutseke mhani. I seek clarification. Ibva apo iwe. Ndiwe wakandidzinga futi iwe. I am seeking clarification. Haah pfutseke dzakutsaku.
THE HON SPEAKER: Can you take your seat. Order! – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Can you switch off your microphone. Order! I made a ruling against ZANU PF on my right and I have made a ruling against the concerned MPs on my left. I stand by those rulings. Anyone who feels that I have ruled incorrectly, approach the courts and I am prepared to appear there.
Hon T. Mliswa having stood to debate.
Hon Mliswa, take your seat – [HON T. MLISWA: I am not arguing. The Speaker should tell me and not you.] - I had said as a consequence to my ruling, I am asking Hon. Biti, Hon. Hwende and Hon. Chikombo, if you can leave the Chamber.
HON. T. MLISWA: My clarion call to you Mr. Speaker Sir is that the ruling is accepted. The Hon Members came very far. I do not think they have a spare tie, can you just allow them to sit in this session - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - I have the floor.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, unfortunately my ruling is without amendment. I am asking the Hon. Members to peacefully leave the Chamber.
Hon. Biti, Hon. Hwende and Hon. Chikombo were escorted out of the Chamber.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2021
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON ZIYAMBI): I rise to move that this House takes note of the report of the Judicial Service Commission for the year 2021, presented to this House in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I move that we adjourn debate so that we allow Members to study the report and then we debate later on. I so submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th April, 2022.
REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2020
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr Speaker Sir, I move that this House takes note of the Report of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission for the Year 2020 presented to this august House in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that we adjourn debate to allow Members to study the report and then we debate later on. I so submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th April, 2022.
REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2021
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir,
I move that this House takes note of the Report of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for the Year 2021 presented to this august House in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Mr Speaker Sir, I move that we adjourn debate to allow Members to study the report and then we debate later on. I so submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think as you alluded to yesterday, it is good that these reports are coming through from the Independent Commissions. We must however, also do some justice to them. Could the reports go before the respective Committees first? I see that you have a lot of powers and you can also use Standing Order No. 215 like you just did if there is no rule in the Standing Orders to comply with Committees to look at the reports and interrogate them. At times those Committees who are stuck with those reports never do anything and if it can be a practice of Parliament that, let us say it is a report from the Ministry of Energy, the Portfolio Committee zeros on it, comes up and debates on it then it becomes a thorough process. When we are in here, most people do not read; some of the esteemed Members have got the gift not to read. So, others with the gift to read would then be able to interrogate it. It is with your indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir. It is good that they have come on time and Committees must zero in on them, come and then debate. We would have done justice to the reports. That is my contribution Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. I think that is taken and the relevant Portfolio Committee as from Monday, I believe will start discussing and make their opinions, debate and then you join them in the debate.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th April, 2022.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE CHAIRPERSON: What is your point of Order?
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs being the Leader of the House, when he was giving notice of the reports, there was an intimation that those reports were now available or were sent to our emails, I just want to state that there is no report on our emails yet. So, I think there is need for that correction because it creates an impression that Members are receiving these reports and are failing to read them.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Member. I think your point has been noted already because Hon. T. Mliswa raised a motion that these reports have to go to the relevant Portfolio Committees, so obviously the reports will be put on our gadgets.
(v)HON. G. BANDA: What is the exact procedure, what comes first? When the Hon. Minister gave us notice, are we supposed to receive these reports or we are supposed to receive them when they read the statement, in terms of procedure?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The reports are supposed to be posted on your gadgets and you go through the reports whether you are from that Portfolio Committee or you are not a member, you still have to receive that report through your gadgets.
(v)HON. G. BANDA: The question is when Hon. Speaker?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Today, that is what I am being informed.
ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT COMPLAINTS COMMISSION BILL [H. B. 5A, 2020]
Clauses 6 and 13 put and agreed to.
Bill, as amended, adopted.
Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.
ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT COMPLAINTS COMMISSION BILL [H. B. 5A, 2020]
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I now move that the Bill be read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 6 to 11 be stood over until Order of the Day No. 12 has been disposed of.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order is that if all Hon. Ministers could perform the way Hon. Ziyambi performs on these Bills, we will go a long way; the same applies to Hon. Prof. Murwira. You are the leader of Government Business, why is it that the Hon. Members do not follow suit? Most of the Bills would have been done already and this is where we queue. The Mines and Minerals Act is not here yet since. I was Chairman then, it has been years and you wonder when it is going to come to the National Assembly. I want to commend Hon. Ziyambi, I might not agree with the laws but you have a way of getting them. I want to commend you for that and Hon. Prof. Murwira is also one – vakabata Bill rinosvika kuend. You must talk to your Hon. Ministers whom you lead, that being a Minister is being able to pass a Bill. That is what is important and there are many Bills that are hanging and nothing is happening yet. They are paid and have never missed any allowance whatsoever. That spirit must cascade down to other Hon. Ministers.
HON. MPARIWA: Hon. Speaker, let me take this opportunity of appreciating the Hon. Minister for tabling several reports of all the Chapter 12 Commissions. We appreciate, they have been presented timeously. I hope and trust that as a House, we will do justice to them. I belong to the Public Account Committee, year after year, we have been moaning delayed submission or non-submission of such reports. Now that they have been tabled, I call upon the relevant Portfolio Committees to actually do justice to the reports so that we make use of them and get to do our business in Portfolio Committees. Otherwise Hon. Speaker, I want to also acknowledge the hard work that has been done by all the Commissions that have submitted their reports timeously. This is what Parliament demands, timeous submission of reports to Parliament. Without these reports, we cannot observe or know what is happening behind the scenes.
AMENDMENT OF STATE UNIVERSITIES STATUTES BILL [H. B. 13, 2021]
Twelfth Order read: Second Reading: Amendment of State Universities Statutes Bill [H. B. 13, 2021].
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, please allow me to start by premising the start of our presentation on Section 13 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Amendment No. 20 Act, 2030. I will refer to it as the Constitution from now on; which focuses on national development; subsection (I)(13) states that; “The State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level must endeavor to facilitate rapid and equitable development; and in particular, must take measures to promote private initiative and self-reliance, foster agricultural, commercial, industrial technological and scientific development and foster the development of industrial and commercial enterprises in order to empower Zimbabwean citizens.
His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa pronounced that our national vision is to become an upper middle income economy or better by 2030, in compliance with the requirements of section 13 of the Constitution on national development, among others. Thus, our strategic national intent Hon. Speaker, is rapid and equitable development through Vision 2030.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is imperative that all Government ministries, departments and agencies, including universities must play their part to achieve this vision by providing the required and necessary national capabilities and national capabilities can only be achieved when the relevant national systems are properly configured. I show this on my first figure on the screen. To show that if we have to reach our national strategic intent, we have to have the capability or to develop the capability to do so, but that capability can only come when we are able to make our institutions, to configure our institutions in such a way that that capability can take place.
His Excellency the President further stated that this vision will be fulfilled through leadership in knowledge and innovation. To this end, our contribution as the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development is to ensure that Zimbabwe becomes an innovation led and knowledge driven economy by 2025, as espoused in the National Development Strategy 1.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this provides an important background and context of our presentation today. To this end, please allow me to explain further on our mission to make higher education relevant to national development as required by the Constitution, Section 13.
Mr. Speaker Sir, please allow me to state that simple truism that no nation can develop faster than the development of its education system, particularly the objectives of that education system. To this end, a national development cycle can be summarised as a tight and inseparable logical combination and flow between human needs. Human needs are the ones from which our education shall take from, human needs that include food, water, shelter, sleep, connection or communication and innovation.
We are saying from these human needs; this is where our faculty comes from. Our faculty must come from what our people want. This must inform the syllabus that we teach each other and from our syllabus we shall develop methods that lead to routine production of goods and services, which is basically called industry. So our national development is tied to how our education responds to human needs and how those human needs, through the education, are fulfilled through an industry that is produced through knowledge and innovation.
A good education system, particularly the curriculum, must be empathetic to and therefore derive from human needs and by being the means of devising solutions to provide for these needs, the education system must, by design, lead to development - thus, responding and being in accordance with section 13 of the National Constitution.
An industry that facilitates rapid and sustainable provision of human needs must come from our education. Our strategy or game plan is to cause national development which is summarised as industrialisation and modernisation using well configured national systems and process working on our heritage, which means working on what we have as a country. Our inputs are our heritage, what we have: our minerals, our water and our people. Once we configure them properly, they will be able to mine, make technology, provide water, provide food and the realisation of this configuration of our people so that they work on our heritage - that is what we call industrialisation and modernisation.
Industry does not fall from the sky. It comes from the minds of the people as they work on the natural resources that they were given by God. This is our logic Mr. Speaker Sir. In other words, when our education system is configured in such a way that it works on our heritage, which is basically our natural resources and our people, it can only lead to rapid and equitable national development as is demanded of us, by section 13 on national development in the National Constitution.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is in order to fulfill the constitutional requirement on national development that Zimbabwe had to reconfigure its higher and tertiary education policy from Education 3.0 which we summarise as teaching or learning, research and community service or workshops, to now the heritage based Education 5.0 which is focused on teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation. Mr. Speaker Sir, it means that Education 5.0 is in strict compliance with the demands of the National Constitution on national development.
Our overall aim in this transformation is to make Zimbabwe’s education curve dominate the technology trajectory. Mr. Speaker Sir, with your indulgence, I will explain the dark figure that you see there, the dark line is the technology and the golden line is the education,
Mr. Speaker Sir, if our education is dominated by technology - it means that technology is being produced by some people elsewhere, not by that education. Our aim during that time when technology is dominating our education means we are importing everything because we cannot make anything, so ii is a time of social stress or social pain. When we are suffering with imports, it means our brains are not using our natural resources enough to be able to dominate our natural resources. It therefore means our education is being dominated by technology which is being made elsewhere. Our aim is to make our education dominate the technology trajectory whereby we can determine what our people used to plough, what our people used to pound, what our people used to cook, what our people used to communicate, where our people used to walk, what our people used to move, and what our people used to drive. At that moment when our education is dominating the technology, that is what we call national development. This is a time of national prosperity. So we are trying to change from social pain to national prosperity by moving from Education 3.0 to Education 5.0.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): What is your point of order Hon. Mliswa? It is a presentation and why would you want to disturb the flow?
HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order Mr. Speaker Sir is, I am worried that such a great presentation, the Chief Whip from the ruling party seems to have the ability to mobilise MPs for heckling but not for listening. Where are they? Such a presentation and they are not here. You are now behaving like the opposition CCC. What is the difference between you and CCC when all your people are not here? You were busy heckling. When we debate, we will not heckle because we are listening. This presentation is critical, but ask your Members of Parliament, where are they? Do not encourage them to heckle, encourage them to participate in debates, then you are a good Chief Whip. Mr. Speaker Sir, may the Chief Whips stick to their work, especially from the ruling party. Rule by having information and brilliance, not just numbers. Debate dhololo, how can you debate when you are not comprehending issues?
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Section 13 of the Constitution on national development makes it imperative that we have to ask each agency of Government what they are doing to promote rapid industrialisation of this country. What we are talking about here is how we can make our education be the leader in terms of the technological development, thereby the eradication of poverty and encouragement of development in this country.
Hon. Speaker, there is a well-known company in this world which is called Microsoft. When they started working on their computer programmes, they had Microsoft Dos. The whole world started going Microsoft Dos. They moved to Windows 3.11, Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows 7 and so forth and the whole world moved with them. It therefore means that the knowledge or education was dictating the pace. Based on this therefore, it means this is our endeavour as a country and this is the transformation that we are kindly asking this august House to take note of and drive forward.
Universities play a crucial role in this regard. Once we are able to make our university education dominate the technology curve, we transition from social pain that we are in most of the times to prosperity, therefore leading to the facilitation, rapid and equitable development as envisaged by Section 13 of the National Constitution.
Mr. Speaker Sir, you are aware that the Amendment of State Universities Statutes Bill was gazetted on 7th January, 2022 and was subsequently read for the first time in this House on 17th February, 2022.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the amendments aim to;
(i) Align the State Universities Acts with the Constitution and making their provisions with regards to administration, more uniform while maintaining and strengthening their different founding statutory missions,
(ii) Bring the State Universities mission objectives into line with the need for 21st century university functions as agents of the industrialisation and modernisation agenda, herein expressed as the Government of Zimbabwe Education 5.0 policy direction where education is to be national development outcome based, that is with a focus on the production of goods and services, thus fostering industrialisation and modernisation. This Mr. Speaker, has already been enshrined in the Manpower Planning and Development Act [Chapter 28:02] as amended, and we are now therefore proposing to put all State Universities Acts into line with this constitutional requirement;
(iii) Increase efficiency and economy in the functioning of University Councils by reducing their size while making them more balanced with regard to gender and regional representation in line with Sections 9 (2) and 194 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe;
(iv) Make uniform the way some designator/senior university administration officers are appointed across all State universities;
(v) Strengthen and where not clear, make explicit principles of good corporate governance, and
(vi) Streamline State universities disciplinary procedures in line with the demands of Section 61 (1) (c) of the Constitution on Academic Freedom.
Specifically, the Amendment of State Universities Statutes Bill seeks to amend the following 13 State University Acts:
- Bindura University of Science Education Act [Chapter 25:22];
- Chinhoyi University of Technology Act [Chapter 25:23];
- Gwanda State University Act [Chapter 25:30];
- Harare Institute of Technology Act [Chapter 25:26];
- Lupane State University Act [Chapter 25:25];
- Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences Act [Chapter 25:31];
- Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Act [Chapter 25:29];
- Masvingo State University Act [Chapter 25:24];
- Midlands State University Act [Chapter 25:11];
- National University of Science and Technology Act [Chapter 25:13];
- Pan-African Minerals University Act [Chapter 25:33];
- University of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 25:16] and
- Zimbabwe Open University Act [Chapter 25:20]
The Constitution ushered in the promotion of good corporate governance, gender balance and regional representation. This necessitated a process of entrenching these and other progressive principles into the existing laws in order for the law to be intra vires with the supreme law of the land and to improve service delivery in universities.
Furthermore, innovation and industrialisation are ongoing in Compliance with Section 13 of the Constitution and it is indispensable that the laws speak to innovation and industrialisation of the country, through higher education institutions in compliance with the Constitution.
In this regard, it is also herein proposed that all State University Acts follow the University of Zimbabwe Act model on administration in compliance with Section 61 (1) (c ) on Academic freedom. The provisions of this Act together with other Acts need to be updated to enhance efficiency and effectiveness as required by the Constitution on matters of basic values and principles governing public administration.
PRINCIPLE 1: Good Governance
In terms of Chapter 9 of the Constitution, all the State institutions, including universities, must conduct their affairs in compliance with principles and values of good governance which include but are not limited to the following: efficiency, competence, accountability, transparency, profession and ethical conduct, financial probity, responsiveness, inclusivity, meritocracy, equality and non-discriminatory. Accordingly, in this regard, it is proposed that;
All State universities must be run by lean and efficient Councils which are inclusive in terms of gender and regional representation. Trimming numbers in council resources with constitutional values of economic use of resources. Section 194 (1) (b) provides for the efficient and economical use of resources; apart from expending resources, bloated university councils tend to be inefficient and a burden to the fiscus and institutions they lead, without much additional value being realised.
Appointment of members to university councils must be based on merit. This is in line with Section 194 (2) of the Constitution which provides that appointments to offices in all tiers of Government, including Government institutions and agencies and Government controlled entities and other public enterprises must be made primarily on the basis of merit.
All university councils must develop and adopt approved council charters.
All university employees must be governed by codes of ethics that respect academic freedom;
All Vice Chancellors must be appointed by the Chancellor for a single five year term that may be renewable once in line with the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act [Chapter 10:31] and Section 197 of the Constitution.
Vice Chancellor and Chairperson of council to be removed from Finance Committee. This amendment was necessitated by the need to comply with principles of good corporate governance where the chairman of council should not chair committee meetings and council at the same time.
Librarian and Bursar to be appointed by the council with the approval of the Minister, to be in line with the University of Zimbabwe Act. There is clarity in the Act on how the Registrar is appointed but for the Bursar and Librarian, the Act just says they are appointed in terms of Statutes. This amendment seeks to clarify and standardise.
All university disciplinary procedures must be standardised with the Constitutional provision of academic freedom and those procedures as regulated by the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01 in order to remove cumbersome and costly procedures.
Section 17 of the Constitution stipulates that the State must promote full gender balance and that the State must take all legislative measures to ensure that both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of Government.
Accordingly, as much as possible, women must constitute at least half the membership of appointed members at all levels in institutions of higher learning.
This principle seeks to bring into effect the right to gender balance as stipulated in the Constitution.
PRINCIPLE 3: Innovation and Industrialisation
The needs of the nation are ever changing. It is vital for University Acts to speak to the said needs of society.
In this regard, all University Acts must specify mandates of universities in their objects section in line with the 5.0 education policy focusing on teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation. Education 5.0 seeks to extend the role of universities in national development programmes by ensuring that the heritage-based education system produces quality goods and services for the nation.
The objects section seeks to promote artistic expression, scientific research and creativity in line with Section 61 (1) (b) of the Constitution.
Some absurdities, such as citing University Acts using old names (for instance, Great Zimbabwe State University is using Masvingo State University Act) should be cleaned up through the amendment process.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the constitutional alignment process is crucial in order to bring the University Act into line with the Constitution. It is therefore envisaged that once the amendments go through, the Acts will fully be aligned to the Constitution and also that university administration becomes more efficient as required by the Constitution.
The amendment of the Acts process will also serve to develop and reform the laws governing universities to enable them to address the needs of society in line with changing social, political and economic environment and the desire for the nation to be modernised and industrialised as required by Section 13 of the Constitution.
State Universities play a critical role in the industrialisation and modernisation of the nation. The Bill therefore entrenches the constitutional provision of fostering national development within the constitutional principles of academic freedom which are essential for universities to fulfill their core scholarly mission of seeking through and advancing knowledge for the purposes of industrialisation and modernisation. Thus, universities perform their business by making their mission empathetic to human needs which then creates the basis of industry to meet the same human needs as their main guide to service society with regards to rapid and equitable development. I move that the Bill be now read a second time. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th April, 2022.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday 12th April, 2022.