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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 01 March 2016 42-38
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 1st March, 2016
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: In terms of Section 39(7) (a) of the
Electoral Act Chapter 2(13), Josephine Shava, a registered voter in Ward
14 of Kadoma Municipality of 4232 Ngezi Kadoma in Mashonaland Province, has been nominated by ZANU-PF Party to fill the vacancy in the party list of Members of the National Assembly, which occurred following the death of Joan Tsogorani. She has been appointed as a party list Member of the National Assembly with effect from 19th
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) states that the Oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament.
NEW MEMBER SWORN
HON. JOSEPHINE SHAVA subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the Law and took her seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order! Hon. Members.
ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY BILL, [H.B.
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill, 2015 (H.B.
Question again proposed.
HON. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving
me the opportunity to debate on the Bill that was introduced by the
Minister of Defence. I would like to start by thanking the Minister of
Defence Hon. S. Sekeramayi, for giving us the opportunity as a Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services to carry out consultations in regard to the Bill. The Portfolio Committee on Defence,
Home Affairs and Security Services has to report on the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill (H.B. 12, 2015) as follows:
1.1 Your Committee held consultations on the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill, with senior Ministry of Defence officials who were led by the Permanent Secretary Mr. Martin Rushwaya. Other members accompanying the Permanent Secretary were Major General S. B. Moyo who is the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Chief of Staff and President of the Transformation Board at the National Defence
College (NDC), Air Vice Marshal M. T. Moyo who is the
Commandant at the Defence College, Group Captain A. V. M. Murove, the Director for Prosecutions and Major S. Tauya who is the Legal Advisor. The Ministry officials assisted the Committee in analysing and comprehending provisions of the Bill. In this regard, your Committee expresses its gratitude and appreciation at the candid manner exhibited by the Ministry officials in their responses to issues raised.
2.1 In terms of section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,
“(a) Facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its committees,’
(b) Ensure that interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament, unless such consultation is inappropriate or impracticable…”
In pursuit of this provision, your Committee proceeded to consult the Ministry of Defence officials and members of the Defence forces who are the key stakeholders in the enactment of the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill [H.B. 12, 2015]. Further to that, your Committee proceeded to post the Bill on the Parliament website where members of the public, interested stakeholders, civic organisations and any other interested groups were invited to make their submissions to the Clerk of Parliament for onward transmission to the Committee.
Your Committee also had an itinerary drawn up to cover seven provinces of the country namely, Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South, Bulawayo, Midlands and Mashonaland West. In this process, your Committee intended to consult as many stakeholders as possible. However, owing to critical resource constraints, consultations were rendered impracticable. Your
Committee, therefore, had to rely on consultations held with the Ministry of Defence.
3.0 JUSTIFICATIONS OF THE ZIMBABWE NATIONAL
3.1 Your Committee considered the Zimbabwe National Defence
University Bill which seeks to establish a military institution of
higher learning that specialises in professional military training, research and development strategies. The establishment of a National University will facilitate the training of the Defence Forces to fulfill their mandate as envisaged in Section 212 of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe which provides for the Defence Forces as follows:-
“The function of the Defence Forces is to protect Zimbabwe, its people, its national security and interests and its territorial integrity and to uphold this Constitution”.
3.2 It is obligatory for the Defence Forces to deliver on their mandate. It is also within this mandate that career progression is achieved. The Zimbabwe National Defence University is expected to provide adequate training for the Defence Forces so that they can curb any threats that may face the nation. To do this, Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has to establish specific functional Institutions which have to deliver that obligation and responsibility as constitutionally authorised. The same Constitution provides in Section 211, that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces shall consist of an Army, Air Force and any other services that may be established under the Act.
The establishment of the Zimbabwe National Defence University has been necessitated by the need to fill up the vacuity which has been in existence for a long time, particularly the training at military strategic level and security strategic level. Basically, these two gaps have been glaring for a very long time. During the consultations, your Committee was informed that the ZDF had been sourcing this particular form of training from external universities and countries resulting in officers having to be sent out to acquire the requisite skills to fill those particular gaps.
3.3 Your Committee gathered oral evidence from the Ministry of Defence officials and members of the Defence Forces to the effect that there is a Staff College which provides training of personnel at the tactical and operational levels. However, it is the outsourcing of this kind of training that needs to be reviewed, more-so when one wants to contextualise issues in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. In consultations, it was revealed that the situation had changed to asymmetric forms of threats. In defining asymmetric forms of threats which face Zimbabwe, the following five different areas were identified:- political threats, military threats, societal threats, environmental threats and economic threats.
Further to that, issues to do with terrorism and cyber security threats were cited as other various forms of threats which no one institution could just deal with. Such threats require officers or top leadership in the military and other stakeholders who can develop a response capability for Zimbabwe so that it can deal with any particular threat. In this respect, there is need to ensure that training at the military strategic level and the national strategic level is made homogenous and locally established hence, the justification for the Zimbabwe National Defence University.
3.4 The other justification for the establishment of the university was cited as the need to deal with threats to national security. The kind of threats that Zimbabwe faces are not limited to territorial integrity alone as normally perceived whenever issues of defence and security are brought up.
3.5 Your Committee also received evidence to the effect that when dealing with all the various forms of threats, military technology became the hub of a lot of response by many countries hence, the need for such an Institution. Further to that, there is also a need to examine the expertise which is generated from different universities. Your Committee was informed that there is no university whose niche responsibility is to deal with defence and security matters. It is therefore critical to have a university which is going to be able to deliver a capability for Zimbabwe and provide a niche on defence and security related matters, so that the country remains within the context and freedom of its citizens without any challenges.
3.6 Prior to coming up with this Bill, the President of the Transformation Board of the University informed your Committee that it had taken them sixteen months to do a study, including various desk researches. Study tours had also been conducted around the world in places like Western Europe, China, Greece, Pakistan, Uganda, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and Asia among the many countries visited. The visits focused on how capabilities are developed and also how the manpower of such institutions is developed.
4.1 The Zimbabwe National Defence College is affiliated to the
University of Zimbabwe.
4.2 No further expenditure will be incurred since the college is already in place.
4.3 The knowledge skills are relevant to the cause of the nation.
4.4 Benchmarking efforts were made in the area of justification. For example, the most important issue is the continuous process of sending members outside to study issues of national security and defence so that they can benchmark strategies.
4.5 Zimbabwe has to make sure that it contextualises its military educational system and develops its own technology over which it has its own rights so that it can deliver its capability.
5.1 Your Committee strongly supports the Bill and the establishment of the University.
5.2 Your Committee urges the House to support the Bill.
6.1 Your Committee notes that institutions such as military universities are very important for national security purposes, hence the need to support the establishment of the Zimbabwe National Defence University.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that there will be a Catholic Service tomorrow, the 2nd March 2016 at 1200hrs in the Senate Chamber. Non-Catholics are welcome, including the staff.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I have risen to
add some few words to buttress the content of our report by the portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Defence and Security, in which I am also a member. Hon. Speaker Sir, I would like to urge this Hon. House to support the vital Bill that is coming to this august House.
Naturally, a university is an institution of higher learning and it is in this context that we believe when we establish the National Defence University, it will cater for the military and those that are outside the military from the content given by the Hon. Minister last time. The Bill is a welcome development in that it will enable the establishment of this university whose structures we understand already exist, so it is just a question of formalising the establishment of that university.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the House and the nation should remember that National Security is a vital cog in the economic development of any country. There is need on our part as a nation to ensure that our officers in the Military are sharpened, they get the relevant and necessary skills to be able to tackle any situations that confront this nation. So, the establishment of such a Bill which will enable the introduction of the university is quite fundamental. Members in the security sector Mr. Speaker Sir and those that are outside the security sector will have a chance to go and enroll at this National Defence University and carry out studies in various facets.
Mr. Speaker Sir, you will appreciate that whatever studies that are going to be offered at this university will play a vital role in the development of this nation in terms of its political outlook, the economy of the country, environmental issues and any other issues that are important for the well being of the country. So, we call upon the House to support this very important Bill.
Zimbabwe National Defence University will also be a source of knowledge which we want so much in and outside the security sector.
During consultation, you will understand that we were informed that the current forms of threats from studies that have been carried out would include political, military, societal, environment and economic threats. Once we have this university it will enable our people to be able to tackle issues that are relevant to the various forms of threats that have been brought to the fore.
So, Mr. Speaker Sir, suffice to say, to support and buttress what our Chairperson of the Committee has already alluded to in the
Committee’s report, that the establishment of this Bill which will also establish the university is a vital development, we must support it. I thank you.
HON. GWANETSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me
the opportunity to add my voice on this very important Bill. Let me also thank the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ronald Muderedzwa. Mr. Speaker Sir, from the on-set, peace and security are by their nature very expensive. Prevention, identification and response to threats are equally expensive, hence there is need to invest in the preservation of peace and security. Therefore, need for more effort to preserve peace and security is required. There is also need for us to identify the threats and therefore it remains very imperative that we have an institution where we can actually say we can be able to preserve our national integrity. The threats can be asymmetric; that is political, economical, naturally, environmental and technological. As outlined, we are in a global village where we have got sophistication in terms of all threats and therefore, the threats can come in very sophisticated ways.
As alluded to, we are looking in terms of political, economic, social and environmental threats. We need to have a place where we can evaluate some of these threats and therefore by so doing, safeguard our peace and security. It becomes so imperative that the Bill has to be supported if we are to preserve our peace and security.
Mr. Speaker Sir, wars and campaigns are won at the table and where is the table? The table becomes an institution like the university where we analyse issues of all threats and when we are saying we are going for a campaign, you are rest assured that you are going to win the campaign.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Members can we
reduce the volume of our conversation so that the Hon. Member debating can be heard. Please proceed.
HON. GWANETSA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I was saying the world over, wars and campaigns are won at the table and where is the table when we are looking in terms of the situation in Zimbabwe? This is the institution where we are saying the Zimbabwe National Defence University where we analyse all our threats so that when we send our defence forces, we are rest assured that we are going to win the campaign and the war, be it that they are wars that we fight out of this country or we defend; we will be planning and sensing all the activities that are economically, militarily, socially, environmentally and what have you. By so doing, we are saying we have got a defence force that is capable of defending our territorial integrity and our national sovereignty. Therefore, it becomes imperative that we have an institution of this nature.
We have had the ZDF that has been doing very well in all our campaigns be it in Mozambique or Angola, etc. The Zimbabwe Defence
Forces have done very well but they were lacking the cutting edge. However, were we lacking the cutting edge? Because we resorted to sending our troops or forces to foreign countries but the irony of sending our forces to foreign countries is that you are not going to be taught everything – and not only that, when it comes to diplomacy or international relations, we do not have permanent friends or enemies. Therefore, if we have got our own institution, we can do all we can. By so doing, we will be at the helm of putting our country to peace. I would not like to overemphasize the establishment of such an institution.
If we take an example of all the Presidents of the United States; less than five have not gone through defence institutions. The Americans know that whoever is the commander-in-chief knows what he defends and how he sends his troops because he has got the knowledge. For us to have such an institution becomes a deterrent to would-be aggressors to this country. Therefore, an establishment of this nature is of paramount importance.
I implore and request Hon. Members to support this important Bill because it sets the ball rolling for the preservation of the peace of this country. I thank you.
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Mr. Speaker, I am a member of this
Committee whose report was presented before the House.
For the first time in our Committee, there was a consensus that there is need for a Defence Forces University. However, we had reservations in certain areas as to who was going to fund it and how much was it going to cost, whether it was necessary under the current economic environment?
Despite all these misgivings, when we consulted with those that are responsible for the transformational process, some of our concerns were brought to rest.
A visit by this Committee to the Military Defence College which is part of the University of Zimbabwe, was also an eye opener. It was an eye opener because it revealed the existence of modern technology which is used in the study processes and a very good curriculum.
Looking at participants that were going to join the college, it was encouraging to note that senior military personnel will only comprise
40% of the participants. Then we would also have people coming from the Region. Senior Government officials will comprise 20% in terms of attendance of these particular courses. Regional participants also comprise 20%. There would also be provisions for seminars for Hon. Members; interestingly enough.
The conceptual approach to courses at this particular college are not limited to military issues only but to strategic thinking and planning. This is what we appreciated Mr. Speaker. Therefore, looking at the period that the course is going to be conducted which is limited to particular and specific issues that will be discussed and examinations held for those who would have been trained; it is important to note that top military leaders will be able to integrate with the community and also give ideas that are important for the development of our country.
However, one thing that we appreciated as members from the other side of the House was the fact that the courses that are going to be conducted will ensure that there will be a situation of building an army that will be apolitical and more professional than being political as is the case at the moment.
I would also want to urge members of the House to support the Bill because this development is not only minor but major in terms of where we are going, rather than where we are coming from. I thank you Mr.
HON. NDUNA: I would like to add my voice to the establishment of the National Defence University. I want to add my voice to this Bill and I want to applaud the Minister for bringing up this Bill and also congratulate the Chairman of the Committee on Defence and Security for adding his voice the establishment of this Bill.
I want to take you back a little bit because the Bill we are talking about is at the tail end. The entry point will be where we get our children straight from school at the age of 18. It is explicitly put and advertised that whoever needs to be employed in the military at that point needs to be 18 or 22 years. These are the people that today, because of the establishment of this university are going to be empowered.
If you throw an object in this House, nine times out of ten you might hit a militant. The reason why these militants are in the House is because there are parallel structures in the military similar to those that are in the civilian sector where the military personnel now have to go and study in the civilian sector for that which they do not have in the military sector…
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir. – I appreciate the fact Hon. Nduna is not a member of the Portfolio Committee and the presentation that he is giving is quite contrary to the report which has got something to do with Bill. He is moving at tangent with the report and as a member of this committee Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is best and for the good of this House that whatever we do should be progressive. In light of that, we would appreciate Hon. Nduna sitting down.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. When a motion
is put before the House, it does not necessarily mean that only those who are in that Committee must speak. It is an open debate; however, I appreciate the Hon. Member’s point of view that our debate must be pointed to the Bill before us. May I therefore request Hon. Nduna to speak to the Bill accordingly?
HON. NDUNA: Thank you for the protection Mr. Speaker. - [HON. MEMBERS: Laughter] - I will continue speaking in this language and I ask that Hon. Mutseyami also takes pains to understand it in the same language. Mr. Speaker, it is said here that it has taken 16 months to study around the globe to try and establish this university. That effort is applauded. I say so because our children, at the entry point, some of them are immediately posted to military institutions in other countries. When they come back home they are asked to go and equate their qualifications in civilian institutions. If we had a university of our own, we would be able to immediately rationalize the qualifications at the entry point and they would not have to go into civilian institutions for the harmonization and rationalization of their qualifications. This will put a stop to that notion. I say so cognizant of the knowledge that one of the principals in a tertiary institution, in particular at the Polytechnic here in Harare is a soldier, whose qualification was derived from the military. He has now put himself in that position because of the harmonization of his qualification from the military to the civilian sector. So, would it not have been good just for him – I am trying to imagine, would he not be a vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe today if there was no time lost during the harmonisation. So, I applaud this effort and I call upon the Minister, his entourage and his officers to now put more effort to try and ensure that we can have certificates and diplomas, until we get to this apex level of the military institution, which is the Defence University.
There is a two-tier system in the military where you have the non- commissioned and the commissioned officers. There are non commissioned courses which take them to a certain level and commissioned courses, junior staff and senior staff courses which take them to another level. Eventually the apex is what this university is speaking to. I call for the establishment of more robust tertiary oriented institutions in the military to augment and bolster this university. I also urge this House to speak with one voice and support the military because a nation without the military is a nation which is akin to being naked or to being like a mermaid Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I have
stood up to also support this Defence University Bill. I am a member of this Portfolio Committee and I want to add a few words. Our country is doing well. I want to explain to the people that this university is not only in Zimbabwe and it is not free for all such that any school leaver can enroll at this college. It is just for a selected people, with some coming from the Ministry of Finance. That is where they send economists to be groomed in economics. If our economy is not doing well, there will not be peace and stability in the country. It also teaches bilateral warfare or nuclear, so our people have a right to go and learn how to handle nuclear bombings.
I believe that the Ministry of Defence started as a college and that is not only applicable in Zimbabwe but also in Romania. CBU in
Romania started as a military college but ended up as college of Romania, teaching intelligence in that country. So, our Defence College is evolving into a university. Our military helped us not to incur extra expenses by building new infrastructure. They simply upgraded the existing college into a university and all the expenses that people were afraid the country would incur for this college are not there as the infrastructure is there already.
I also want to believe that our boys and girls used to go outside to countries such as Pakistan and other countries to further their studies. Though they still go out, it is not as often as they used to. It is good to have exchange programmes but what it means is that we have also cut on the amount of money being used to pay for education in foreign institutions. We will get teachers from outside the country to work with teachers in Zimbabwe, who will teach on how to live so that we go forward as a nation without being threatened like what has been alluded to in the Bill. We are very fortunate that the money that we used to spent, travelling outside the country to countries like Pakistan, Yugoslavia, Russia in search of criminal investigation skills, will be saved as few people will be going to learn in other countries. We cannot close that door but we will learn from other people as well. Learning about other people is very good, but we are no longer going out to their countries and we have cut down on our spending.
If you look at the British, when we were still in the Common Wealth, they would come here and we would have lessons together and learn from each other. It does not mean that if teachers are coming outside the country, they are here to teach us, they are also here to learn. I think we have heard Hon. Chimanikire saying that it is for the first time. If you have an issue that brings us together with the opposition parties, it means that it is a very good thing and should be supported. I think we should work together that whatever we do, we unite. If the outside forces see that we are united, they will not infiltrate us. I really support this Bill. I urge you all Hon. Members to support this Bill, we should not take a lot of time debating. I think we should just say this Bill must be supported. Thank you very much.
HON. CHIWETU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this elaborative report presented by Hon. Muderedzwa. Mr. Speaker Sir, patriotism means to be security conscious. Threats are not limited. The other speakers before me mentioned a number of threats but from thereon, threats are not limited and when they come, they have to be contained. It is from this institution that we can be able to contain them.
Mr. Speaker Sir, patriotism can be enhanced from this institution. We need to develop our own solutions to all the threats that might come our way and suit our own situations. The university will be able to build the capacity of all within the Government and public sector to deal with all national threats. Mr. Speaker Sir, why am I saying threats are not limited? Let me give an example of seed houses, hunger can be manmade, supposed these seed houses play around with all the seed, the farmers will go out and plant the seed, but it will not germinate and at the end of the day we will have hunger. However, this institution can be able to determine what kind of seed will be grown, the cause of hunger and so on.
We have cases of ebola Mr. Speaker Sir. It is from this institution that we can be able to have solutions to such epidemics. At the moment we have Zika epidemic, which has troubled South America. With the institution in place, we will be able to come up with solutions. I therefore urge the House to speak with one voice in support of this noble Bill from the Ministry so that it sails through. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, in terms of our Standing Orders, we should we should not repeat ourselves. If there is nothing new that you want to put across, please do not stand up to be recognised.
We have had too many male voices, can we have female voice for a change.
*HON. NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I have
stood up to support this Bill. However, we want the university to encourage women to be recruited so that they are empowered. They should also know about the military and how to defend their country because everyone looks up to their mothers when they face problems.
This means that mothers are the only ones who can protect the country.
I did not have the opportunity to look at the Bill, but I think, maybe, that is not included in the Bill. There should be affirmative action which says that women and girls will be found in their numbers in that university even if they do not have money or are not fully qualified. There should be affirmative action so that women are also found in that university. We are not here to come up with a male thing so that only men and a few women will be there. We want to come up with a national thing which encompasses everyone, that is men, women, boys and girls. I want to add my voice on that because we also want to go there in future. Thank you.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also support this
Bill that it should sail through. I am looking at ammunition. In
Zimbabwe we do not have people who have researched on how to come up with modern machinery. We had a defence industry company, which was headed by Hon. Thsinga Dube and was supposed to manufacture modern machinery. The military field is changing a lot. If I look at what is happening in the Middle East, the ISIS, Boko Haram in Nigeria or Al Shabab, it means that there is a lot of intelligence involved. Our country is supposed to match that so that we come up with our own machinery. It is not that they are trained to march or fire arms, but also training on how to make weapons using lithium, so people should go to school so that we know how to make weapons and sell to other countries. This will also bring foreign currency into our country. If we look at our college in Mt. Hampden, we see that other SADC countries are also sending their people to be trained. So, I support this Bill because it will end up as our cash cow or money spinner because we have foreigners also coming to be taught on military issues at that college.
The military should not only focus on making machinery of war but they should also be involved in food security because if the army is hungry, they cannot defend the country as well. So, they should also be articulate when it comes to agro-processing because they should know how to process what we grow in Zimbabwe. That is what we are looking at as well. In Zimbabwe, we have the army which is supposed to know how to generate electricity. So they should also learn that.
If we look back, we know that a lot of companies closed down because people were staying away from work. Given that scenario, we need a well-trained army which can take up those jobs in order to defend the country. They are not only going there to be taught how to fire arms, but their degrees of orientation should also be given from that college.
Our army should be well equipped when it comes to all those things.
Thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe National
Defence University Bill is a product of our revolution. It is the result of the efforts laid by King Lobengula, Lozikheyi Dlodlo at the battle of Shangani, Mai Mbuya Nehanda Nyakasikana. It is the crescendo for our struggle for total emancipation. Today Mr. Speaker Sir, in the City of Harare we are able to establish the Zimbabwe National Defence College first, then university which is going to bring the people of Zimbabwe from Zambezi to Limpopo to work together as a team in order to achieve one goal; to fight against hunger, ignorance, poverty and disease. This is because imperialism survives in the minds of poor people. Imperialism is like rabbis. When a dog has got rabbis, you do not need even to condemn the dog. When a dog has got rabbis, you do not need to condemn the owner but you have to condemn rabbis itself. In our case, imperialism is the rabbis, so we have to condemn with all the possible voices available.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in conclusion – [Laughter] – the university is going to accommodate officers from Africa under the banner of PanAfricanism. Today, I am joined by Kwame Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral, Ernesto Che Guevara, Samora Machel, Ahmed Ben Bella and Nyerere in support of this Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill. It is an achievement of Africa, all progressive forces of the world, the nonaligned movement and the spirit of ubuntu of the people of Africa. Those who were listening Mr. Speaker Sir, I want you to take the short speech I have made and continue reciting on it because it is going to set you free – [Laughter] –. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI):
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to take this opportunity to thank Hon.
Muderedzwa, Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home
Affairs and Security Services. I want to also thank the following Members of Parliament; Hon. Mandipaka, Hon. Rtd. Brig. Gen.
Gwanetsa, Hon. Chimanikire, Hon. Nduna, Hon. Chinotimba, Hon. Chiwetu, Hon. Nyamupinga, Hon. Mapiki and Hon. Mudarikwa for supporting this Bill. When ministries come to Parliament to present various Bills, sometimes there is a lot of debate for or against, but what I have noticed as the common denominator this afternoon is the general support for this Bill. I want to thank all Hon. Members – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.].
The establishment of the Zimbabwe National Defence University is an important development in the growth of our Defence Forces. As has been explained, those who are going to attend this university are not strictly from the defence and security sectors alone. There will be some from the civilian sector, neighbouring countries and other sectors. All this is aimed at ensuring that the university is a centre of excellence in various disciplines. Yes, there will be purely military issues because we also need as Zimbabwe, military officers, cadres who are very well educated in various disciplines.
It may be in the real discipline of the military, knowing how to fight or in the discipline of knowing how, if the country has got problems of a socio-economic nature, the Defence Forces can participate in alleviating those problems. There will be other disciplines of a very technical nature. One of the Hon. Members talked about manufacturing some of the equipment that we need. So, there will be these various aspects at the university but at the end of it all, it should be a university that Hon. Members here should be able to visit and say yes, when I was sitting in Parliament on 1st March, 2016, we debated the Bill establishing this and we are proud of the institution.
So, the calibre of graduates from this university should be such that they prove to us all that the use of national resources in the establishment of the university was worthwhile. It should be something that we should be proud of.
I want to go further and say as students at that university will be mixing with various persons, there will obviously be cross fertilisation of ideas which will benefit the Defence and Security Services, Public Service and the private sector to some extent. All this is being done in the interest of ensuring that as Zimbabwe, we are able to develop socioeconomically at a very fast pace and this is what is important. It is also important that at an institution like that, issues of peace are emphasised because without peace, there can be no real meaningful development.
Here in Zimbabwe, for now we watch Boko Haram in Nigeria and
Cameroon, ISIS in Syria and other countries –[HON CHIBAYA: And G40.] – [Laughter]- the majority of Hon. Members in this Parliament, this afternoon are concentrating on the Bill to establish the Zimbabwe National Defence University. There may be one or two wayward brains from some juveniles but I think they will be disciplined enough to be able to do the correct thing. So, I just want really without saying much, because there has been this unanimous support, I just want to thank all
Members of Parliament for supporting this Bill. I move that the
Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill be now read a second time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.
ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY BILL [H.B. 12,
House in Committee.
Schedules 2 and 32 put and agreed to House resumed.
Bill reported without amendments.
Third Reading: With leave; forthwith.
ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY BILL, 2015
(H.B. 12, 2015)
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI):
I move that the Bill be now read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me
this opportunity to also air my views in as far as the Presidential debate is concerned. While I was seated, I was actually thinking that when we started, we were going to rise and sing a happy birthday chorus for our President who has actually reached 92, but surprisingly, especially those from the other side, they never said anything. Anyway, I want to wish the President a happy birthday. Some of us do not wish someone to die. We really wish someone to have longevity in order for him to be blessed by God.
While it has been more than three years now, Madam Speaker, since the President delivered his Presidential Speech here in Parliament, from the look of things I think things have actually gotten worse after the speech. In fact, most people do not have money in their pockets and poverty has actually worsened the situation. Also, the situation has been made worse by the El Nino induced drought.
The reason which actually caused me to come and debate today is I had a meeting with some civil servants in my constituency on Sunday; mostly teachers, doctors and nurses. What they were saying to me is that it seems as though while we have this situation which we have in the country which is actually worsening, there is no one in Government who is actually thinking of doing something. It seems as though everyone in Government is much more interested, and this has become a grand preoccupation, in the succession of our President, Mr. Robert Mugabe.
What they said to me on Sunday is, Hon. Member…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member. We
are talking of His Excellency, not Mr. Mugabe.
HON. MUNENGAMI: I withdraw that statement. I also refer to him as the Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency. I withdraw that
Madam Speaker. Like I said, they are busy in terms of succeeding the President. What I wanted to say is that on Sunday the people of Glenview asked me a question that is there any need for us to be involved in these fights? What is in it for us? Honestly, there is no need for them to be involved. There is no need for them to join this drama which is actually happening within the country.
What they are more interested in, Hon. Speaker, they said they were more interested in a Government which is able to satisfy the needs of the people; a Government which is able to solve the bread a butter issues within the country, and a Government which is also able to provide a stable democratic space, but it seems as though this Government which is being led by His Excellency, Cde. R. G. Mugabe has failed. Yes, I know that Hon. Wadyajena might say I might be a G40, but as far as I know, maybe he is the best person to explain what G40 is. I do not think I am a G40.
Anyway Madam Speaker, I will concentrate my debate on the issues of the civil servants. If you go through the Presidential Speech, there is nowhere, where it is written civil servants, the whole Presidential Speech. I went over it and there is not even a single word where he mentioned civil servants. What I do not know is whether our President thinks that civil servants are not important. As far as we are very much aware, these are the people who are the drivers of our economy. These are the engine room where we drive the economy of the country. The status of a Government is usually reflected upon the state of the civil servants.
If the civil servants are not happy, poor and are not remunerated well, it reflects on how the Government operates. If you go to our Constitution, I think the Constitution is very clear that every 5 years, we go for elections whereby we elect a President and Members of
Parliament. That Constitution gives the President a mandate to appoint a Cabinet. This Cabinet is the one which is responsible to run the affairs of the country, including the President. Within that Constitution, there are some provisions which provide for example, the Bill of Rights which also gives provisions of the right to shelter, food, employment and the right to a job. It is something which I believe must be a right. If it is a right for the people to have a job, it goes without saying that for the very same people, salaries should also be a right to them. They should be given as and when they are due to be paid including the aspect to salaries.
I want to talk about the issue of bonus. Madam Speaker, the issue of bonus or the payment of bonus had become a custom in Zimbabwe. Since 1890, during the colonial era, the civil servants were being paid their bonuses in December, and every time, they were looking forward to it. So, it had become a practice and had become a custom. If something becomes a custom, it also becomes a rule. As you know that customs are derived from conduct or behaviour of certain people, and if something becomes a custom, it becomes a rule. I remember well that during the 1980s or early 1990s, a certain musician sang a song about bonuses. This shows how important the aspect of bonus had become to people. As I speak today, civil servants have not yet received their bonuses. If you take away something which had become a custom, you take it away unilaterally. I think that is also in breach of the same Constitution, according to my own belief, because like I said, the bonus had become a custom.
There is something about civil servants which I was asked on
Sunday to say, ‘Hon. Member, do you still remember just before elections?’ The President during his campaign days for re-election, was telling people that the Inclusive Government had become an animal which was not good for the country. He was blaming the inclusive government as the reason behind the suffering of the civil servants. He also promised them that after the elections when his party wins and he becomes President, definitely they were going to look into the affairs of the civil servants.
To quote his words, he said “we shall improve the working conditions of civil servants.” That was before the elections. At the inauguration speech, he said “civil servants, we have not yet forgotten you.” In October 2013, the President said, “we shall reward those who helped us, avo vakamira nesu kuti tihwinhe maelections.” He was again referring to the civil servants. Come January, 2014 Madam Speaker, we heard the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon.
Chinamasa saying, “If funds permit, we shall improve the conditions of civil servants.” Then in December, 2014, the same Hon. Minister said “we will stagger the bonus of civil servants.” That was when some received their bonuses in January, February and March. January 2015, the Minister, Hon. Chinamasa said “no salary increase for this year.” Actually, he was saying not for 2015, but he was referring to 2016 and 2017. That was in January, 2015.
Then in December, 2015 he said no bonus for civil servants. If you follow this chronology of events, you can see that initially, the President had said they were going to improve the conditions of the civil servants, but come December, there was no bonus for the civil servants. As we are all aware that Zimbabwe is endowed with minerals, it has got a peaceful citizenry and high literacy rate, what might surprise quite a lot of us is why a lot of people are leaving the country? We have got Zimbabweans who are running economies of other countries. Go to South Africa,
Namibia and even Mongolia, there is a certain guy who is running a mining operation for the country and that person is a Zimbabwean for that matter. Why are they running away from the country when we have got such an abundance of minerals, it is because they are seeking greener pastures.
Even if I come near home, they say charity begins at home. Here at Parliament Madam Speaker, if I want to see you in your office, I see your secretary. If I say I want to see the Hon. Deputy Speaker, the first thing which she will ask me is; Hon. Member, we have got this perfume, nice jacket and suit for you. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- If not only your office Hon. Speaker, but it has become a practice in every office which you visit within this Parliament. In fact, this Parliament has become a mupedzanhamo, a flea market. This is because every office you visit, they are selling goods. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- But, who can you blame Hon. Speaker?
HON. MANDIPAKA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I respect the
debate by the Hon. Member, but my point or order arises from the fact that he is straying into areas which the President did not highlight when he presented his speech. The President did not talk about bonuses. So, I thought he should be directed accurately so that he comes back to the speech. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. I
think the Hon. Member is just reminding the Hon. Member that we concentrate on what the President said. This is how we respond to his speech.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker for protecting
- What I was just trying to say is that we must not blame the staff of Parliament who are doing this. Surely, what is it that they can do with the $200.00 or $300.00 which they are getting every month? They are also suffering just like any other civil servant. Within the same Constitution, there is a provision about the SROC which is responsible for the welfare of these members of staff. It is within the powers of this Committee either to improve the working conditions of these workers in order for them to improve in as far as their - I am also surprised that even up to now, maybe we need to rename the Standing Rules and Orders to sitting orders because they have not yet done anything in as far as improving the working conditions of the workers of Parliament in order for them not to dwell in these illegal sales.
HON. HOLDER: On a point of order! Let me make my contributions in Shona so that he may clearly understand me. When the
President presented his Speech, he did not talk about LCC’s, Standing Orders or bonuses, so the Hon. Member who is debating is out of topic of the Presidential speech.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Holder, if the President has given his speech, every Member has a right to debate that speech and talk about what is happening in their constituencies. As long as everything is hinged on the Presidential Speech and when we want good living standards, we need to debate it in this House. However, I am asking Hon. Members not to stray too much from the Presidential Speech.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Hon. Speaker, again I want to thank you for protecting me from Hon. Holder as well. Madam Speaker, when I started, I said I had a meeting in my constituency but I also want to talk about the issues of the staff of Parliament, the issues of myself, Hon. Holder, Hon. Mandipaka and those of us here in Parliament. As I stand here, if I look at you, yes you might be wearing a brave face but within your heart you are also worried – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Member,
would you please concentrate on the Presidential Speech, avoid talking about the Chair please.
HON. MUNENGAMI: thank you Madam Speaker. Like what
you have rightly said, I will do that but you have cut me short earlier, maybe I wanted to praise you within what I wanted to say –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
Madam Speaker, we have one Hon. Member of Parliament, Hon. Mukwena from Chiredzi who travels more than 800 km from his constituency to Harare. Other Hon. Members might try to laugh at this but it is a serious matter. Hon. Mukwena has become someone who is known at the bus terminus in Chiredzi clutching his bag of clothes trying to board a bus and not a luxurious one but a chicken bus. He was actually in the press, the Masvingo Mirror that such a Member of Parliament can be seen running around trying to find a cheaper bus to enable him to come to Parliament. There is a reason why that is happening…
HON. HOLDER: On a point of order! Thank you so much for allowing me but we are here to debate issues not individuals. That is his personal life and he will take care of that. He will be called in the right forum and not here in Parliament.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think you are out of order. Can you leave the Hon. Member to debate? Hon. Munengami, may you also shorten your debate.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Maybe just to finish this point that I was trying to emphasise. I just gave the example of Hon. Mukwena because he was the one who was in the newspaper but otherwise it is not about him only, it is about everyone who is within this building. So, It is not like I am personalizing but it was just as an example.
The reason is that week in and week out, we come here to Parliament, we are supposed to go back to our constituencies but if one travels more than 800 km per each sitting…
HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I move that the Hon. Member’s time be extended.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Ndinoda kuti asawedzerwa –
HON. MUNENGAMI: I just want to know Hon. Madam Speaker, how many minutes a Member is allowed to debate on the Presidential speech…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is not myself who is checking on your time, we have those who are administrating, so you cannot ask me – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] - Order, order! It is up to you Hon. Member to check what is happening at the table because it was an orange light showing you. I thought you are now experienced in this House, when you see the light at the table flashing orange, then you must know that you are about to finish.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Madam Speaker…
HON. CHIBAYA: Madam Speaker, as you are experienced with the rules of this House, if somebody has already made a contribution on the same motion is he allowed again to make another contribution unless it is…
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is in order; he did not
debate on this one.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Madam Speaker, I would like to make my contribution on the Presidential Speech which he delivered to this
House. However before I do that, I would like to start by congratulating him on attaining 92 years of age. This is a great achievement, attaining that age and still being physically fit and healthy. When people refer to the President as God given, they will be telling the truth. When you look at the President –[HON. MUNENGAMI: Inaudible interjections.]-
HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Munengami. We have
to respect the House. I do not want to send you out of the House
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: I would like to congratulate the President – his is a cultured person and has never been photographed with prostitutes…
*HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order, the Hon. Member is using unparliamentary language in this Hon. House. If he is saying
‘prostitute’ we would like to know what that means because in our Constitution, there is nothing like that.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is unparliamentary language. Would you please withdraw that?
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you. I withdraw the use of that word.
The point I am trying to put across is that the President was never seen or photographed with people who are called sex workers…
HON. MUNENGAMI: Madam Speaker, a sex worker is not someone who does a bad job. That is wrong and even if he goes to the Constitution, it is wrong for him to say that….
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Munengami.
Hon. Munengami, we have read about sex workers. He is referring to that and what is wrong about that?
*HON. MUNENGAMI: Varikuti arikuita basa rakashata. That is why….
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Did he say that? No. Hon.
Munengami, I think that is too much.
HON. MUNENGAMI: That is a profession and that is an insult.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Aaah. Hon. Munengami, that
is too much. Leave Hon. Chinotimba to debate.
Hon. Chinotimba, would you please come to your point please?
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker for
protecting me. I will now delve into the Presidential Speech.
From the Presidential Speech, there is something that really touched me. When he talked of the importance of unity in the progress and development of the country and the kind of unity is that whenever we are debating developmental issues such as the previous Bill….-
[HON. MUTSEYAMI: Inaudible interjections]
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Munengami. Hon
HON. MUNENGAMI: I did not say anything Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The names are alike.
Anyway, I am sorry. Hon. Mutseyami.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Surely Madam Speaker, during the previous debates, we heard Hon. Members like Hon. Holder calling for order when Hon. Mutseyami was debating and you praised the contribution which has been made on the Presidential Speech. Why is it that when we are making our contributions, they are disturbing me by always calling for a point of order….
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: May you please make your
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: The President spoke about a lot of issues and these included the unity in the country. He said unity will lead to the development of the country and people will have a good life. I can give an example, we have people who do not agree with us when we say Zimbabwe is under sanctions. They say that is false. The unity shown when we were debating the Defence College University Bill – that is the unity that we need. Even the people in the Speaker’s Gallery enjoyed the contributions made on that Bill.
When we are talking of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, let us talk in unison and we know that when the President makes a speech, we have to follow him because we need to be united.
Unfortunately, some of us misunderstood the speech given by His Excellency.
The President also talked about the unity of Parliamentarians and it is very good for the country when Parliamentarians work in unison because we will bring development and peace in the country. He also talked about agriculture and said that we should be constructive so that there is development in the country.
Why is it that after such contributions, some of us run to Studio 7 and make destructive contributions to Studio 7. Some of these members who are interviewed on Studio 7 are members in this august House. When you listen to them, you wonder why they are doing that. My wish was that if Leaders of the Opposition were mentally capable like our President, the country would develop. Unfortunately, they always think negatively.
We should listen carefully and study the speech delivered by the President. These people should include the Leaders of the Opposition and Members of Parliament of the Opposition should know that in Parliament we do not just waffle but we need to discuss progress and development.
I thank you for giving me the chance to make a contribution.
HON. N. MGUNI: Thank you for affording me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech. I would like to thank my party and my President, Dr. Morgan, Richard Tsvangirai for appointing me to this position –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- I want to talk about issues concerning Bulawayo Metropolitan…
*HON. CHIKOMBA: On a point of order! We are debating the Presidential Speech by President Mugabe. Unfortunately, they are now talking about party President, Mr. Tsvangirai.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, can you
please be guided and stick to the Presidential Speech.
HON. N. MGUNI: The issues I am concerned about are;
- The Economy
- Closure of industries
- Deterioration of Health service delivery
- Constitutional issues
I would like to start by saying that the general Zimbabwean is struggling to make ends meet as a result of the economy that has remained in doldrums. The City of Bulawayo, which I represent, popularly known as ko ntuntu ziyathunqa, is almost a ghost town now. This is due to industries which were closed, leaving millions of residents unemployed and starving. The smoke we now see is from the firewood used by residents for cooking.
The prevailing economic environment has a negative effect on business and the hindering factors are; lack of access to finance, policy inconsistency, lack of suitable infrastructure, corruption and restrictive labour regulations. If the country addresses these fundamental factors, a favourable business environment will be created, industries will open, jobs created, exporting business will begin and foreign currency and foreign investment will be attracted.
Bulawayo has been the industrial hub of the economy since 1980 until the 2000 era. However, due to the economic meltdown between 2007 and 2008, many industries closed, leading to an escalation in the unemployment rate. Companies like the National Blankets, the famous G & D and many others closed down. It is therefore feasible to utilise the infrastructure in Bulawayo and create a special Economic Zone in that region. Matebeleland is rich in minerals like coal and gold. If these minerals were well utilised, the economy would not be in its current state. Interested investors should be able to facilitate the recovery of industries and economic development.
The potential of the City of Bulawayo towards the recovery of industry and economic development was displayed at the CZI Exporters of the Year Awards of 2013, where United Refineries, an industry located in Bulawayo scooped the top prize. This shows that favourable conditions for investment and employment creation are essential for the prosperity of this region. Nearly over 100 firms have closed in Bulawayo to date. Most companies were affected by the dollarisation of the economy in 2009 where bank accounts were left with a zero balance in investments. The National Railways is currently operating at 10% capacity and this means that transport systems have gone down.
The economic decline has resulted in massive unemployment rates. Many Bulawayo residents have migrated to other countries in search of greener pastures and this has caused serious brain drain. We need skills in order to progress, but the prevailing situation leaves us with no one to spearhead the development of the economy. This has brought poverty, leaving the livelihood of families well below the poverty datum line. Unemployment also means no income to many families and as a result, they are unable to pay school fees and secure accommodation for their children. This has resulted in an increase in homeless families, popularly known as squatters.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2014), the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) for Zimbabwe has declined from 960 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2010 to 614 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2014. This is commendable progress. However, the ratio remains unacceptably high. Zimbabwe’s Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs)’s target was to reduce MMR to 71 deaths per 100 000 live births by 2015. The health policy in Zimbabwe discourages against payment of maternal fees, but this has not been implemented. The health budget has failed to adhere to the Abuja Declaration to which Zimbabwe is a signatory. This means that implementation of free health delivery has failed. Reviving the industrial sector will improve the economy and the policy of health for all will be realised.
Bulawayo hospitals, Mpilo and United Bulawayo Central Hospitals are poorly equipped to the extent that patients have to bring linen from home. Patients are buying medication using their own funds. It is even worse for the civil servants who contribute monthly subscriptions to Premier Medical Aid Society and yet fail to access health services, particularly medication. This is because we have failed to use the arms of Government to prosecute thieves.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am speaking from an informed point of view as I am a trained general nurse and midwife since post independence and have seen the deterioration. I am therefore standing here in this august House to speak for the voiceless and the unborn baby who has a right to a healthy life and a bright future.
People of Zimbabwe produced a Constitution in 2013. It is therefore very critical for the Government to align laws with the Constitution and implement constitutional issues. For example, as provided for in Chapter 14, Section 264, on the devolution of Governmental powers and responsibilities and also Section 270, which provides for the functions of provincial and metropolitan councils. I feel they should start sitting and implement their functions, which include the responsibility of the social and economic development of its province like approval and implementation of projects without delaying.
Chapter Two, Section Nine of the Constitution of the country provides for the good governance of the country. This allows the Government to prevent corruption, appoint leaders to positions based on merit, take measures to expose, combat and eradicate all forms of corruption and abuse of power by those in political and public offices.
In conclusion, I believe that the constitution is clear and if adhered to, the economy will improve and produce the good fruits of independence. I thank you.
*HON. BEREMAURO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me the opportunity to add my voice on the Presidential
Speech. I want to say congratulations to our President, Hon. President Mugabe for attaining 92 years of age. I want to say to our President, the people of Hurungwe Central Constituency love you and they love the Government which is in place. They are also saying President Mugabe should rule this country kusvika madhongi amera nyanga – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – Our President spoke about the alignment of laws to the Constitution. Currently, there are laws which are inconsistent with the Constitution, which is hampering our development. So, what we are saying is that our Constitution should start working well and be implemented. So the realignment of laws should be speeded up.
Coming to the State Procurement Amendment Bill, we receive it with open hands because this Bill will help to give powers to councils and public enterprises, which means that the people of Binga, instead of them travelling all the way to Harare to collect tender forms, they will collect them from their local councils. This will really come a long way.
On the Special Economic Zones Bill, we receive it with open hands because this will lead to our investors to come into this country which will create employment in this country. Taking for example where I come from, 75% of tobacco is farmed in Hurungwe, which means with this Special Economic Zones Bill, the tobacco from Hurungwe will add value there and create employment there. So, we are really excited about
Moving on to agriculture, our President encouraged us to harvest water. We should not let our water to find its way to the oceans. We really need dams, especially in places like Vuti and Chipapa where there are no dams at all. We want dams to be there as well because these days farming is all about irrigation. When we go to A1 and A2 areas, we find that there are so many dams. So, we are saying the Government should invest in irrigation infrastructure which is found in A1 and A2 farming resettlements. Nowadays, because of climate change, we have to rely on irrigation.
We know that there is a shortage of maize in the country. This shortage is not because our farmers cannot grow maize but it is being caused by the white farmers whom we chased from our farms who are contracting farmers to grow tobacco instead of maize. If you look at the rural or farming areas where we come from, many people are growing tobacco instead of maize. We urge the Government to put a law that even tobacco farmers should also grow maize on their farms and that should be mandatory.
Reiterating on what Hon. Chiwetu said that this hunger is an artificial one created by our enemies, like this tobacco issue, the people who are growing tobacco are the whites whom we chased from our farms. They want people to grow tobacco instead of maize. Looking at it, tobacco farming is where we see that the pricing is not right because they are putting their people who look at the tobacco from the seed bag. They will just look at the kilograms that they want but when the tobacco is now being sold at the floors, they just look at the kilograms that they want, not at the hectarage which has been farmed. They are not concerned about the welfare or development of the farmer but the kilograms that they want to realise.
We want that farmers in Zimbabwe, the 300 000 tobacco farmers, if we say that each farmer has got eight farm workers, it means that we have created 2, 4 million jobs. That means we will have surpassed the 2, 2 million that has been talked about. We are just looking at farmers only and not the processing companies. So, in terms of agriculture, I see an improvement especially in the tobacco area. For our country to achieve 2, 2 million metric tonnes of maize which are needed in the country, it is not at all difficult. What we need is just four provinces; Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central and the Midlands Province and we target 30 farmers from each ward whom we give inputs from fertilizers to the seed, high breed seed like Pioneer G90, which gives us 12 tonnes per hectare. If we empower 30 farmers with implements, we can achieve the 2, 2 metric tonnes which are needed in our country. We should also task the extension workers to ensure that in their wards, every farmer produces 10 tonnes of maize. We can achieve the 2, 2 million metric tonnes that are needed in the country.
I also want to say Mr. Speaker that the President talked about the National Border Posts Authority Bill. We receive that Bill with open hands. We want our border posts to be able to match our neighbours. For example, if you go to Kariba Border Post, the Customs and Immigration Department is operating from tents. The border post which was there was demolished because it was dilapidated but that process of rebuilding one has taken two years. If we look at our Interpol Police, you find their offices in a car if it is raining. If it is not raining, they will be operating under a mango tree. So, this National Border Post Authority will expedite the building of those border posts because at the moment, no one is in charge of the border posts. So this Bill will put everything in line.
The President also talked about unity, that for us to develop as a country, we should unite. When we were going around on public hearings on finance, the people in Bindura and Murewa said, every
Wednesday as we are watching and listening to the proceedings in Parliament, your behaviour does not match the title of honourable. They said we should behave like Honourable Members. I am just telling you what people are saying out there, that we should behave as honourable members especially on Wednesdays. They also said especially those from the opposition are the ones who are making destructive statements.
So, I am saying I want to thank the President for his Presidential
Speech when he opened the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament. Lastly, I would want to thank the First Lady for going round the provinces listening to the grievances and challenges faced by the people which show that we have a very good person who is a mother figure. So, I want to thank you all hon. Members who were listening.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
ZANU PF CAUCUS MEETING
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, ZANU PF Members of
Parliament are being informed that there will be a Caucus meeting at 0900 hours tomorrow at the party’s headquarters.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): I move
that the debate do now adjourn. Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016.
On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES, the House
adjourned at Twenty-Four Minutes to Five o’clock pm.