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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 18 JANUARY HANSARD VOL 49 NO 13
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 18th January, 2023.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
THE HON. SPEAKER: I listened yesterday towards the end of the debate on the main motion. One of the last speakers stood up to say, ‘I concur with my colleagues who have spoken before me’. The other one stood up also and said the same. The third one also said the same. I do not think there is need for further debate. You concluded by saying there is no further debate. - [HON. DR. LABODE: Yes, I said that and I gave the final resolution which was not opposed.] – A resolution which was not opposed, yes.
REPORT OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE ANALYSIS OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION 2022 PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE DELIMITATION EXERCISE
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Ad hoc Committee on the analysis of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), 2022 Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise.
Question again proposed.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Please take your seats. Hon. Biti, can we have some order?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have four names here. It would appear the Whips agreed on two-two.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir and compliments of the new season. Thank you very much for affording me this opportunity to add a few words/remarks to the motion that was moved by Hon. Togarepi in this House in relation to the Delimitation Report.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are not connected Hon. Raidza.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe I am connected now. I am connected. The Delimitation Report …
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are not connected Hon. Raidza. – [HON. T. MLISWA: He is using Hon. Priscilla Moyo’s gadget.] –
HON. RAIDZA: No, I am connected.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are not connected, do not argue with me.
HON. RAIDZA: It is connected.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I must hear your voice here.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I just rose to add my voice to the report that was brought to this House in relation to the delimitation.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Delimitation Report that was done, in this country we have some aspects that we think the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) really did not do a proper job. When delimitation is done Mr. Speaker Sir, the main purpose is to inspire and encourage our people to participate in the electoral processes of this country. Even the ordinary people of this country have a number of questions that we think ZEC needs to really look into so that at least at the end of the day it becomes an all encompassing and all consultative process …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, put forward those questions please.
HON. RAIDZA: I am putting them forward now Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Come on.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you, thank you. When we look at Mberengwa East Constituency Mr. Speaker Sir, we have issues around Ward 8. In this ward Mr. Speaker Sir, when they were rationalizing their numbers, we believe that they were rationalizing their numbers but as they were rationalizing their numbers they did not consider or come physically to look into issues of physical features and issues of common interest that I believe other Hon. Members have alluded to.
What happens is that at the end of the day or if this report is adopted – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Members, can you whisper to each other please.
HON. RAIDZA: If the report is adopted in its current form, it will leave our people walking very long distances. ZEC ended up taking people from Ward 7, like some polling stations from Muchipisi area that will cause those people at the end of the day, when we look at post-delimitation effects, to end up walking an average of about 30kms to make sure that they receive services from their representatives like councilors. Those are some of the issues.
In one of the places in Ward 18 Mr. Speaker Sir, ZEC was moving polling stations and not the number of people to make sure that they come up with a ward. We have a polling station called Sihande Mr. Speaker Sir. Those people will end up moving from Ward 18 to Ward 23 in Mberengwa Administration District. These are some of the concerns that we are saying at the end of the day, had ZEC come on the ground; it could have just dealt with these things instead of moving blocks of people in polling stations. They could have moved villages so that at least at the end of the day they would have rationalized their numbers properly.
We also have people who have been asked or moved from places like Jeka to Ward 15 where they will end up crossing big rivers. So, we are wondering what will end up happening in some of these areas…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Ward 15 of which constituency?
HON. RAIDZA: I am speaking around Mberengwa Administration District.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.
HON. RAIDZA: I am speaking to Mberengwa Admin District Mr. Speaker Sir. The other issue is we know that they were using our 2013 Constitution to do their delimitation and there were a number of variations that other Hon. Members were talking about. I want to talk about issues of the existing boundaries.
We know that with the 2013 Constitution they said that they were rationalizing, even not considering the existing boundaries Mr. Speaker Sir. I believe the issue around chiefs was supposed to have been considered seriously by ZEC because they are telling us that they are not disturbing the boundaries of the chiefs. At the end of the day, if chiefs were left without wards or Ward Assemblies, it means our development agenda or development priorities that we have in rural areas will be affected if the report is submitted in its current format.
Our chiefs Mr. Speaker Sir, get their pride from chairing their Ward Assemblies where they assemble their village heads and councilors together to speak about development. If that power is taken away by this report, it will create a bit of a challenge at the end of the day. Above that, you will find that one chief will be joined with another chief in one ward. Basically, what it means is, one chief will be falling under another chief, thus creating a lot of cultural conflicts amongst our traditional leaders. So, these are some of the issues that I think ZEC really needs to look into.
They were raised in our Ad Hoc Report. So, my prayer is that the report is adopted; the one that was done by our Ad Hoc Committee as it is and make sure that ZEC attends to all the queries that were raised in the report. I thank you.
*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. A lot has already been said but I want to support this report by thanking the Committee for …
*THE HON. SPEAKER: You are not connected Hon. Member.
*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. A lot has already been said but I want to support this report by thanking the Committee for investigating and analysing the report. Can you now hear me Mr. Speaker Sir?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, Hon. Member.
*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Committee for a job well done and for analysing the ZEC report. Without wasting time, I want to look at Mwenezi. We have been voting for long and have a lot of people. So, we are very happy with what ZEC came up with because it has equaled all the constituencies. Many a times we were voting with a lot of people and were being given the same Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and the same devolution funds. So, we are happy because the numbers have been equaled in all constituencies and there are also equal numbers in the wards.
There were wards that did not have people and people were put into those wards. We are very happy as constituencies have been added because we were suppressed for a long time. We want to thank the President who initiated the Delimitation Programme. There are certain things that need to be looked at like the places where people are voting and the polling stations, especially Ward 17 or Barbourfields. People are travelling for 30 kilometers to go and vote. So we want ZEC to rectify the polling stations and put more polling stations so that all the people will vote.
The elderly who cannot climb mountains - they should look at those mountains geographically because in Mwenezi there are mountains and rivers which are not passable during the rainy season. These areas should be really looked at especially when it comes to the polling stations. A lot of things have been talked about and I want to thank ZEC and the Ad Hoc Committee for a job well-done. Thank you.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the Delimitation Report. Let me start by saying the Delimitation Report as tabled by our Ad Hoc Committee, I observed that the Delimitation Report was not in compliance with Section 161of the Constitution. As such, it should not be adopted. I take note especially Section 161 (6) (d) which stipulates that community of interest should be taken into account. I will give an example of Kadoma Central Constituency.
According to the Delimitation Report, the people of the City of Kadoma will be served by three Members of Parliament which does not make sense. By virtue of its size, it should be served by two Members of Parliament as what was obtaining before this current delimitation. If we look closely, part of the Central Business District of Kadoma City was apportioned to Chakari Constituency, which does not make sense.
The people of Mornington and Westview use tap water. They use sewer system and septic, and for them to be given to Chakari Constituency, Chakari is mainly a farming area. They have dip tanks and farms and there is nothing in common between those voters. It will be difficult for the Members of Parliament involved to really allocate their Constituency Development Funds to service those voters. On that basis, for lack of community of interest, I think the Delimitation Report should not see the light of the day.
There is also the issue of complicated coordinate system which was used. Most wards in Kadoma have a complicated coordinate system which will leave voters with difficulties in ascertaining which wards they fall in. In addition, all the ward boundaries in Kadoma were moved and it does not make sense. It will mean that a lot of voter education would need to take place and educate the voters in which wards they fall into. Those are my submissions Mr. Speaker Sir. I propose that this Delimitation Report be thrown into the bin. I thank you.
*HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the Delimitation Report. I want to thank Hon. Togarepi and other Hon. Members for a job well-done. The report was apolitical. ZEC Report is offside and it is not in line with the Constitution. We want the Ad Hoc Committee Report to be adopted and presented to ZEC as it is, so that ZEC will start to do their job afresh. They used to back-date laws to come up with their delimitation exercise. They should start afresh and comply with the law to come up with a pleasing report. ZEC Report is not pleasing anyone including the Church, politicians and NGOs. We want to go for elections to please who? It is like we are doing this report so that we go for elections, but who do we want to please? No one is pointing a gun at us so that we conduct elections.
As we speak, already our elections are disputed before we even hold them and this means we do not have time to rebuild our nation. We have been affected by COVID which was God-given. We have not been sitting as Parliamentarians for more than two years, which means we were not able to fulfill our mandate to legislate and ZEC on realising that we had to go for elections, did a shoddy job by rushing the process. The Government is trying very hard in terms of infrastructure. Should we stop halfway because we are not following the procedure? I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker for this opportunity. First of all, let me congratulate the Ad hoc Committee for coming up with the commendable report that is now before us. On that note, let me say that I do not want to repeat the points that were said by most of the Members yesterday. I want to associate myself with the points that were raised by most of the Members, especially Hon. Tendai Biti who raised five fundamental points that I am going to buttress at this point in time.
Hon. Speaker, the ZEC delimitation report has to make sure that it emphasises five key points that have been recommended also by many Hon. Members in this Parliament.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Do you want to repeat yourself because you will be in transgression of Standing Order 11 by repeating what has been stated.
HON. MAMOMBE: I am going to say it in my own words Hon. Speaker, not necessarily …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Even in your own words, it is a repetition.
HON. MAMOMBE: Hon. Speaker, I will skip that point and move to the constituency that I represent. Let me also say that the first thing that I have noted on the ZEC report is that according to the figures that were released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in May 2020, there were 5.8 million registered voters. Let me also say that there are women who have actually been recorded to have the highest number of registered voters with a percentage of 53.82%. The point Hon. Speaker that I am trying to drive home is that if these recommendations that are being made by Members of Parliament and the Ad hoc Committee, if they are not being considered, it means that it will also prejudice all these women who have the highest number of registered voters. I want us as Parliament to take note that women constitute the highest number of registered voters according to the 5.8 million recorded on 30th May, 2020. That will be my first point Hon. Speaker.
Moving on to the Constituency that I represent, that is Harare West Constituency, let me give you the picture of Harare Province and how the delimitation was done. You see that there is a lower threshold, the average and the upper threshold. When you go to Harare Province, above 95% of constituencies in Harare Province are almost on the higher threshold. Let me give you an example of Harare West where I come from. We have 33 000 registered voters according to ZEC in the new Delimitation Report, yet the upper threshold has got 33 169. Let me also give you another example in the Harare Province that has less than ten registered voters to reach the upper threshold, that is, Harare East as well as Mt Pleasant Constituency. Hon. Speaker, if you look at Mt Pleasant Constituency, ZEC said that it is going to have 33 153 registered voters. If you minus that from the upper threshold, that is 33 169, you will see that is less than 20 votes to reach the upper threshold. I think Hon. Speaker, ZEC has to critically and deeply look into this matter. It shows that ZEC is not even considering that there were more or additional registered voters from 30th May, 2022 to date.
I also feel that on that point in terms of threshold, ZEC has to look into Harare Province, particularly those constituencies that I have mentioned. Also, it will prejudice my constituency if I do not mention this fact Hon. Speaker. Harare West has got two wards, which are Wards 16 and 41. In Ward 41, we have affluent suburbs like Emerald Hill and Ashbrittle. What did ZEC do to those affluent suburbs? They were trying to address the inequalities in Harare North, where Borrowdale was combined with Hatcliff. In addressing that inequality Hon. Speaker, what did ZEC do? ZEC took out the same affluent suburbs that are almost the same with Borrowdale. In my constituency, I have Emerald Hill and Ashbrittle that were taken out of Harare West and merged with Hatcliff Constituency. I also feel that from the point that was raised by Hon. Markham, this is unfair and it creates inequalities in the communities. The points that were being said by other Members, the common interest, where is it in this particular matter? I feel that my residents that I represent are going to be prejudiced if they are taken away from Harare West and be put into Hatcliff Constituency. They have no common interest at all.
In my conclusion Hon. Speaker, let me say that ZEC at the moment or when they were preparing the delimitation report, were preoccupied by elections but let me correct them to say that delimitation is done after the census. There is a reason why we do delimitation after the census. They are concentrating on elections and this is why they are kind of playing with numbers of registered voters instead of actually looking and taking into account the census report. Hon. Speaker, ZEC has to reconsider and make sure that the recommendations made by the Ad hoc Committee and all of us Members here have to be very much taken into consideration. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, with due respect, I think there has been repetition of all this, except for Hon. P. Moyo who said something which made sense and outside of what everybody said. We seem to be going back to the same things. It seems Hon. Members are so keen about talking about their constituencies yet this is a national issue. We are not here to speak for our constituents; it is a national issue, so let us deal with the national issue. The Ad Hoc talks about the national issue, not a constituency issue. So, I think we must be very clear on that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – so that they do not violate Standing Order 111. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Chikombo, do you have anything new to say? If you repeat what has been repeated, I will ask you to sit down.
*HON. CHIKOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Let me start by thanking the Hon. Members who stood in for Parliament in the Ad Hoc Committee on the ZEC Report. I would also want to thank ZEC for preparing the Delimitation Report for 2023. I have this to say; firstly, ZEC did not do their job according to the Constitution of Zimbabwe. If we look at the Constitution, we see that there are steps to be taken when doing the delimitation exercise. If we look here in Parliament they did not take into consideration the people who stay in Harare, their population; this will help when doing delimitation. When we did delimitation in 2007/8, the people who were in Harare were about two million. The wards were 46, now the population of Harare has increased to nearly four to five million but if you look at the report from ZEC, the wards have been decreased.
According to section 161(i), it states why it is important to first know the number of people before they put demarcations for wards and constituencies
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Membe,r that was said by Hon. T. Mliswa and other members – [HON. MEMBERS: Zvakataurwa nechirungu saka ivo vakutaura neShona]- -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order, if you say one thing in different languages, there is no difference. You can finish your debate Hon. Member.
*HON. CHIKOMBO: Hon. Speaker, I want to thank you. I can see your wish is that Hon. Members must not waste time repeating but I am here to stand in for the people of Zimbabwe. Let me say that when a councilor is being elected per ward, he does not stand in for those in the voters’ roll only; he stands in for those who are below the age of 18 and those unregistered voters. He also stands in for those who do not want to vote, like churches and other groups. Our delimitation did not look at such issues, that is why you observed that the number of wards in Harare were decreased from 46 to 45.
If we look at our Constitution, section 161(VI), it speaks on community interest. An example is a ward like Kambuzuma, Ward 14 and Ward 5 in the Central Business District. If you look at the interest of the people of Kambuzuma in section 5 and the people in the CBD, they are very different people. They buy in different shops, their children go to different schools and their way of living is different. If a Member of Parliament or councilor would like to give people feedback meeting, it means that he will have to address two different groups. Community interest must therefore take into account things like education, how they see things together as a community, things like roads, buses, et cetera. Do these things have anything in common with the people who stay in the same ward? If you see Ward 8 from Harare East being put in Harare South, despite the fact that Harare East must be split to make two constituencies, it means that ZEC did not do their work properly.
As Members of Parliament, we are seeing that a lot of things must be corrected by ZEC. Despite all these anomalies, the law gives ZEC the power to sit down and follow the recommendations made by Parliament so that this is corrected within the following month and we can then proceed to have free and fair elections. The elections must be free so that those who would have lost will congratulate the ones who have won. We must not do elections that will make people question or where ZEC will be blamed for not doing their job properly. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I move for the adoption of the report.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: You said you have debated enough, what is it now?
HON. T. MLISWA: I wanted to say that the Chief Whip must first of all thank all those who have contributed to the debate before he moves for adoption. People have contributed very well and they spoke very well. I am asking if he can thank the Members.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. T. Mliswa, you have spoken very well, what is good must be applauded.
HON. TOGAREPI: I want to thank Hon. Mliswa. Thank you very much Hon. Mliswa for giving me that advice. Hon. Members, I would like to thank all those who contributed to this debate. I would want firstly to thank the members that were part of the Ad Hoc Committee and also the staff that helped us through to achieve this report. I also want to thank Members here present, Members of Parliament who contributed and added to what we may have omitted during our analysis of the report. So I would like to thank you so much and I think this will enrich this report as it goes to the President onward to ZEC.
After saying that Mr. Speaker, I move for the adoption of the report.
HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of clarification…
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, we do not discuss yesterday’s matters.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Okay yesterday - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, please sit down.
HON. CHIKWINYA: It is your ruling Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, my ruling. It was done yesterday.
HON. CHIKWINYA: It is basically about the proceedings of yesterday’s meeting and I simply need you to restate what was said yesterday if we are going that route. Can you indulge me Mr. Speaker?
THE HON. SPEAKER: What route are you talking about?
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member. the ruling should have been debated yesterday.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Yes, the Chair of the day said we are going to discuss that at the end of the discussion – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! In terms of procedure and what others have spoken, there is unanimity in terms of the substance of the Ad Hoc Committee Report and for the sake of completeness, what has been discussed here in the National Assembly and in the Senate will form part of some annexure as part of the report. So all those that spoke their voices will be captured and they will be part of the report. Thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: That is what I wanted to hear.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Further explanation – because the Ad Hoc Report was tabled as it is in both Houses and it will be presented as one report of the Parliament of the two Houses including what was debated in the Senate, it will be part of the annexures to the report that has been proposed to be adopted now by the Hon. Chief Whip.
Motion that this House considers and adopts the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Analysis of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 2022 Preliminary Report on the Delimitation Exercise put and adopted.
RATIFICATION OF THE STATUTORY INSTRUMENT TO REPLACE THE FIRST SCHEDULE OF THE CRIMINAL LAW (CODIFICATION AND REFORM) ACT
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, can the Hon. Minister be heard in silence please.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name:
THAT WHEREAS Subsections (5) and (6) of Section 280 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] provide that if the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs wishes to give effect to a Statutory Instrument to replace the First Schedule, that is the Standard Scale of Fines to that Act by reason of a change in the purchasing-power of money or for any other reason, he must lay the draft Statutory Instrument before Parliament, and that the Statutory Instrument shall not come into force unless approved by resolution of Parliament;
AND WHEREAS the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has, in terms of Subsection (5) of the said Section 280, made the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) (Standard Scale of Fines) Notice, 2023, on 18th January, 2023;
AND WHEREAS the said Statutory Instrument was, in accordance with Subsection (5) of the said Section 280, laid before Parliament on 18th January, 2023;
NOW, THEREFORE, this House resolves that the said Statutory Instrument be and is hereby approved. I so submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I rise to add my voice on the motion before the table by the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Hon. Speaker, the scale of fines is very critical and this is going to impact on our members throughout the whole nation as they interact with these fines on their day to day basis depending on the nature of offences they would have committed. I therefore move that we go level by level and discuss it rather than to debate it or pass it as a wholesome. There are sections where we may have the need to vary and that is the reason why these fines are placed before Parliament so that at least Members of Parliament can agree or vary. I therefore propose that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs takes us through because they were given to us yesterday. All of us were busy concentrating on the Delimitation Report.
I propose that the Minister of Justice takes us through each level of fine between level 1 to level 14, where there are objections, we object and we vary and where we agree, we are going to agree. I seek your indulgence and ruling over that matter.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Members are free to interrogate the fines schedule and pinpoint where there is need for debate. Hon. Members are free if they so wish. If they have issues with level 1, they can deliberate on them and the House then resolves.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Twenty-one Minutes past Three o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 31st January 2023.