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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 02 MARCH 2021 VOL 47 NO 27
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
APPOINTMENT TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have the following announcements. I have to inform the House that the MDC – T Party has assigned the following Hon. Members to serve on Portfolio Committees as follows: Hon. Judith Chimwanza will serve on Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development and on the Portfolio Committee on Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development. Hon. Nomvula Mguni will serve on the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and on Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Settlement. Hon. Base Miranzi will serve on the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development and on Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Settlement.
PETITION RECEIVED FROM MR. LUCKMORE BUNU
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to advise the House that on 27th January, 2021, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from Luckmore Bunu, representing Retail Pharmacist Association (RPA) beseeching Parliament to amend the Public Health Act, Chapter 16 and 17 to allow health professionals who are not medical doctors to be appointed to administrative positions. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Health and Childcare.
LOGGING IN ON VIRUAL PLATFORM
THE HON. SPEAKER: I also wish to inform the House that all Hon. Members are required to log-in using their full names for identification purposes or indicate their names on the chat platform. This will assist officers in capturing their names on the attendance registers.
Furthermore, Hon. Members are advised that they must keep their gadgets on mute and only unmute when called upon to speak by the Chair.
HON. BITI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a matter of urgent national importance, one which the Government, the Executive itself has already noted which relates to the rise of prices, the rise of consumer price index, the rise of inflation in our country. Despite the introduction of a mono-currency through SI 33 of 2019 and SI 142 of 2019, it is clear that the economy has largely become an informal USD economy. It is also clear that citizens are being subjected to a regime of multiple prices. So, you find goods indexed in ZWD but also indexed in USD.
The trick and the dishonesty particularly with regards to retail outlets, they will price their goods at prices that are indexed at the unofficial parallel rate also known as the black market, whether 1:25 or 1:30 but when you buy in the large supermarkets when you are using the USD, they discount it at the official auction rate which is 32% or 30% lower than the parallel market rate. So they are having a double dip Hon. Speaker Sir. They are indexing their prices at the official parallel rate yet they are collecting money from the citizens and discount it at the official auction rate. This increases distortions in the economy.
I appeal to the authorities, in particular the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to do either of the two following things; to acknowledge the informal redollarisation of the economy that has taken place and secondly, just liberalise the exchange rate so that we do not have the fixed auction rate which has been fixed at US$1 is to Z$82 for the past six months. Our people are suffering as a result of high inflation in the country. I thank you.
*HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I have stood up concerning bridges that have collapsed in Rusape. The roads are now impassable and my car actually fell into the bridge including one other car and a motor-bike. Fortunately, no one died but some were injured. I was talking to Hon. Mhona when we met where the bridge was swept away and I asked him his opinion in terms of the bridge that was swept away. There is no reinforcement, the bridge is just put there.
The bridge is supposed to stand whilst its sides may be washed away. Bridges that are being swept away are those that were erected after independence. Those that were built before independence are still there. What exactly is going on such that some bridges are being swept away yet others still remain intact? – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection] - Forgive me Hon. Member, I lost my vehicle.
My request is for the Minister of Transport to bring in a ministerial statement for us to understand what is happening with our bridges. If there is no reinforcement, there is not a bridge because once heavy rains come, the bridge will be washed away. I was deeply pained because I lost my property. My request is that we need to be told what exactly is happening. The council engineer said bridges need to be inspected every year and if there is something wrong they will address it but that is no longer happening. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you, our sympathies for your tragedy. At least we did not lose a life. Such questions or observations are better dealt with tomorrow during Question Time so that you can get the response of the Hon. Ministers immediately. So I advise.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to recognise the work of Vice President Mohadi who has resigned. He was a member of this House who was respectful of this House, no matter what differences we have with him, I must say I had differences with him but he never took it a step further. He treated you as a leader. The decision he has made is a decision which he has made to put the country first. He is somebody who liberated this country and when he was called to Parliament he would answer questions.
He had been a Member of this Parliament long before we became Members. His voice and stature will be missed. I hope that he is leaving knowing that the respect he has earned is something that is a legacy. At times leaders do not resign, especially African leaders - they like to stay and die in power, but he chose to put the country first and as such, he has earned respect of many. It is a precedence which also has been set by all of us as leaders that we must also take cognisance of many factors and put the country first.
At the same time Mr. Speaker Sir, may we also be aware of social media that it is an animal that attacks. For as long as we do not give a fair trial to anybody implicated, tomorrow it will be me, but for me, I am used to it anyway - so it is not much of a problem. For other Members who are here, including yourself Mr. Speaker Sir, it just takes one person to write something which is not true and that becomes a fact. There has got to be a way through the law, I think the Minister of Justice is hearing me and can at least come up with a credible way of ensuring that whatever is alleged is true or not. As politicians we are very much vulnerable to that.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we serve people and unfortunately when you are out of power, nobody remembers what you did, but we sacrifice to be here in many ways. So, Mr. Speaker Sir, may he enjoy his retirement and know that he served this country well. He fought for it and the precedence set is admirable, honourable. He goes with dignity and integrity. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much for your observations and commendations to the former Vice President Mohadi.
(v) HON. NDIWENI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise on a matter of national importance. Firstly, I would like to applaud the Government in availing vaccines to the populace of Zimbabwe on a good priority scale, starting with health care workers. Whilst we are at it Mr. Speaker Sir, my worry is there is very little publicity on the vaccines, the good effect on the use, effectiveness and so. There is very little, if anything that is coming out on national radio, national television about the vaccination programme.
Good as it maybe, the Government went all out to publicise the bad effects of COVID-19 and sensitise the population about the disease itself but as we stand at the moment, our detractors are busy talking about the ill effects of the vaccine and they seem to be getting more ground in talking ill about vaccine. I would urge the Government to publicise these vaccines, they are good for us. The populace has to know so that by the time we get more vaccines, the population should be in a position whereby they are educated and know that the vaccines are good for us. Thank you. I urge the Government to use national media to publicise this vaccine positively. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 9 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 10 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT (NO. 2) BILL [H. B. 23, 2019]
Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 2) Bill [H.B. 23, 2019].
House in Committee.
(v)HON. SAMUKANGE: In pursuit of its constitutional mandate as provided in Section 152 (4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Parliamentary Legal Committee considered Statutory Instruments gazetted in January, 2021. After deliberations, the Committee unanimously resolved that an adverse report be issued in respect of Statutory Instrument 25 of 2021 due to the following reasons:
The preamble of Statutory Instrument 25 of 2021 Criminal Law Codification and Reform, Standard Scale of Fines Notice, 2021 does not specify in its preamble who the Minister enacting the Statutory Instrument is. The reason why specifying the Minister is material is because the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act provides for two instances where either the Minister of Finance and Economic Development or the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs can increase the standard scale of fines through a Statutory instrument. In the instance where the Statutory Instrument increasing the Standard Scale of fines is published by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, after consultation with the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Statutory Instrument comes into effect in terms of Section 280 (5) and (7) of the Act.
The second instance is provided for in Section 280 (6) of the Act, which requires that when the Standard Scale of fines is published in a Statutory Instrument by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, a draft of the Standard Scale of fines must be tabled before Parliament. A draft was not tabled before Parliament before the Statutory Instrument was published. Since the Statutory Instrument does not categorically state who enacted the Statutory Instrument, the presumption is that because the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs administers the Act, he is therefore responsible for the enactment of the Statutory Instrument. The presumption invokes subsection (6) of Section 280 of the Act.
The Committee found the Statutory Instrument to be ultra vires the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act [Chapter 9: 23]. Summarily, it is the Committee’s opinion that Statutory Instrument 25 of 2021 is ultra vires the enabling Act and therefore unconstitutional.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. My recommendation is that may those with reports of this nature come and present them in the House physically not virtually because it is not as clear and it does not have the impact that it should. It is a very important report and it would help us if in future, that recommendation can be taken on board.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Thank you very much. Hon. Chair, it is important for those with reports to come and present them in the House so that everyone can hear them more clearly and respond rather than presenting them virtually.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Chair, I want to thank the Parliamentary Legal Committee for their report. I have listened attentively and considered what they have recommended. It is my intention to withdraw the SI and ensure that it is done the proper way. I thank you.
THE HON. BITI: I would like to commend first, the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) for doing its job in providing Parliamentary Legal oversight over laws, Statutory Instruments (S.Is) and Bills. They have done a good job and pointed out the deficiencies with S.I. 25 of 2021 but I would also want to commend the Minister for accepting Parliament’s oversight role and doing the right thing and withdrawing. I have been in this Parliament for a long time and I think this is one of the first times this has happened. Thank you Hon. Ministers.
HON. SAMUKANGE: I move that the report be adopted and the S.I be withdrawn.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 25 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 26 is disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
PROMOTION OF THE COUNTRY’S POSITIVE IMAGE AND BRAND
HON. A. MPOFU: I move the motion in my name that: COGNISANT that Zimbabwe's image and national reputation are critical factors in attracting foreign investment;
CONCERNED that the negative portrayal of the country's image and reputation has an adverse and crippling impact on the country’s economic prospects especially on tourism, investment, and the welfare of the vulnerable such as youths, women and the disabled;
ENCOURAGED that other jurisdictions, recognising the need to preserve their image and soft power in a competitive global village, have enacted laws that bar their citizens from engaging in unpatriotic activities and communication intended to denigrate the integrity of their homeland;
BUOYED by the fact that the overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans are focused on building the positive image of the country as a reforming, open, peaceful, and democratic country that is attractive to investment;
NOW THEREFORE, call upon this august House to enact a law that:
- a) recognises and celebrates efforts made by Zimbabwean citizens at home and abroad to promote the country’s positive image and brand; and
- b) prohibits any Zimbabwean citizen from wilfully communicating messages intended to harm the image and reputation of the country on international platforms or engaging with foreign countries with the intention of communicating messages intended to harm the country's positive image, and or to undermine its integrity and reputation.
HON. TOGAREPI: I second.
HON. A. MPOFU: I would like to start by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to introduce this motion before this august House. I believe that the motion will stimulate a very important debate amongst Hon. Members. I am also convinced that it is a very important debate that has a great bearing on our country’ economic and development prospects. It is a debate that touches on the everyday comfort and happiness of ordinary Zimbabweans especially its most vulnerable, the elderly, the women, the disabled and our youths. These groups have been characterised in society as people who live at the bottom of the pyramid and as the wretched of the earth.
In today’s increasingly globalised and globalising world, countries continue to make a lot of effort and have done it for hundreds of years to develop a very positive image of themselves so that they can create a positive reputation and urge against each other so that they can gain from advantages that this positive reputation rewards in terms of economics, culture and other social benefits. But even as countries build free trade areas as we see today and so forth, they continue to compete with one another on many levels and almost every field especially in terms of perceptions.
Indeed, a country’s positive reputation has become one of the most valuable assets the country can possess. For this reason, countries today spend millions of dollars and huge hours of thinking time strategising on ways and means not only to build and manage but also to protect that good reputation thus building a good reputation amongst stakeholders has become a strategic necessity for every country and every jurisdiction. The key stakeholders who indeed care about the good reputation of a country include the citizenry, potential investors, neighbours, visitors amongst others. In order to create a positive reputation amongst these key stakeholders, countries spend time putting in place domestic measures that enhance their citizens happiness like instituting popular reforms, restoring public confidence and improving services like public health and education whilst maintaining peace and public safety for citizens.
Countries also use instruments of international marketing by means of which they promote the virtues of their local flagship products. For example, countries like Zimbabwe could spend a lot of effort promoting flagship products like mazoe orange crush in international markets seeing the virtues of their natural wonders like the Victoria Falls hailing human capital accomplishments that their education systems have bestowed on their people and of course, celebrating their cultural excellence as evidenced at Great Zimbabwe.
`As we open this debate on this motion, it is vital that we have a very common understanding of what we are talking about when we talk of a country’s positive reputation. According to scholars who have dedicated time to study country reputations, a country’s reputation is the opinion stakeholders inside and outside of the country have of that given country. Thus, a country’s reputation consists of stakeholders evaluation of the country’s past, present and likely future activities. At most therefore, reputation is the collective evaluation of everything that makes a country credible and trustworthy in the eyes of its citizens and foreigners.
Researchers have pointed out that a country benefits from its good reputation in many areas of the economy, politics, society and culture. For instance, they argue that a country’s reputation as a friendly and peaceful environment with good governance ethics attracts investors and entrepreneurs whilst attractive natural assets like Victoria Falls and the great heritage at Great Zimbabwe attract and tempt tourists to visit, thus increasing the country’s foreign currency flows. In the case of Zimbabwe for instance, research done by people like Matiza T. and Simon Perks as recently as 2017, revealed that foreign investors considered the availability of a sustainable highly skilled manpower base in Zimbabwe as a very attractive proposition for foreign investors.
This also confirms research findings done by other people, which states that the country’s reputation has an unquestionable economic value. Like other researchers, it is pointed out by others that as globalisation continues, even as countries continue to sign cooperative trade treaties, the value of a country’s reputation is rising as an individual country and as such, it is very important that the country’s jurisdictions manage and protect the good reputation of their country. Madam Speaker, this is the whole purpose of this debate today. This is the whole purpose of introducing this motion in this august House.
At this juncture, when all countries are competing for economic and other opportunities on the world stage, how do we as Zimbabwe start to seriously craft and manage our reputation as a country so that we minimise the negative cost of a bad reputation whilst enhancing the multiple benefit we can reap from a good and positive reputation? As already suggested above, a country’s reputation has to be managed because it has a direct and measurable impact on just about every aspect of the country’s engagement with other countries.
Under the Second Republic ushered in November 2017, Zimbabwe has set itself a vision to build a middle income economy by 2030. This vision indeed will be realised by crafting a positive reputation that will oil all the wheels of this vision. It has been pointed out that the most important condition for building a positive reputation for a country is to build unity of purpose amongst all key stakeholders in the country and outside – to build a unity of purpose amongst all key stakeholders in the country and outside. This includes building a united vision and purpose amongst institutions of society, especially the political, economic and cultural institutions.
In fact, this is one of the greatest challenges because in most cases, such institutions have a tendency of thinking and working in distinct silos. For example, you will find that embassies, cultural and sport bodies, businesses, trade bodies and tourism offices all promoting the country’s image break in separate ways with no clear collaborated and integrated approach to building or even understanding the key elements of the country’s positive image. It has been argued very effectively that when key stakeholders in a country; be they economic, political or cultural, when they have fundamental agreement on the way forward and vision for the country then a positive image of the country is built, not only amongst the citizenry but also amongst potential partners who may bring in economic benefits and other benefits to the country.
This is the genius that has been seen under the new dispensation where His Excellency, the President Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa, in line with such great thinking of stakeholder engagement has since the launch of the Second Republic and on many occasions thereafter, called for all and sundry to come together and dialogue on how the country can craft and agree on a common strategy and pathway to carry forward.
It is evident to everyone who cares, to notice that since November 2017 the Government of Zimbabwe under President Mnangagwa has undertaken key initiatives that have helped build the country’s positive image especially amongst the citizens. These include various key reforms across sectors like the economy, media and the political sphere. As we speak today, Zimbabwe has introduced progressive media legislation relating to media freedom, discarding infamous laws like AIPPA analysed blow by blow. Zimbabwe’s Freedom of Information Act for instance passed in July 2020, takes its pride of place amongst similar pieces of legislation across jurisdictions. Indeed, it is not surprising that if we remember, this Bill passed through all the stages of this august House unanimously, a very heroic achievement considering the acrimonious nature of Zimbabwe’s media sector of the past years.
Within a short period of time and in spite of difficulties caused by illegal sanctions imposed on the country by some, the Second Republic is undertaking successful public infrastructure projects like the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, the Gwayi-Shangani Waterway amongst other irrigation assets like the Tokwe-Mukorsi in Masvingo Province. New policies like the new diaspora policy make citizens feel like they have a very caring leadership that is aware of the State’s role in taking care and protecting the rights of its citizens wherever they happen to be.
Visible efforts put by the Government in the fight against COVID19 pandemic have not gone unnoticed by the citizens in spite of efforts by both international and hostile opponents to belittle Government’s efforts in that direction. The anticorruption crusade by the Second Republic entrenches the citizens’ confidence in the Executive and the passage of pieces of legislation like the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Bill Act gives confidence to international investors, that Zimbabwe is indeed serious when it says it is open for business. The readiness to abide by the international BIPPA agreements provides further proof that the country is indeed a responsible member of the international community. All such measures have hailed to build Zimbabwe’s positive repetition amongst key stakeholders and enhanced the country’s positive prospects going forward.
In fact, further research done by people like Simon Arnold as recently as 2007 emphasise that governments should use their educational systems to build positive reputation among the general citizens. He regrets that more often than not, our countries spend huge efforts educating our future generations on the fodder of foreign curricula. Our children grow up knowing about the so-called renaissance movement of Europe and less about for instance, the great virtues of Chaka the Great and so forth.
In fact a very good example and this is a venturesome suggestion, is that countries spend years failing their own pupils who could be doctors, engineers and so on just because they cannot pronounce an English word properly yet they have cognitive ability to be doctors. We condemn them and say they cannot perform or further their education just because they cannot speak English properly. Then we get surprised when these very kids in terms of their orientation against their countries admire the languages or the tenets of other countries.
Madam Speaker, the above narrative, long as it sounds but very necessary shows how important it is for governments to stay close to their people. When governments show interest in what their citizens do in their everyday life, it makes everyone feel that they have a sense of belongingness and creates a positive reputation amongst the citizens and carries the country forward. When such solidarity is created between the state and its stakeholders, it is easy for everyone or all stakeholders to shoulder the burden of a common understanding and determine that the country should go forward but that is where the question arises. This is where a very important question arises.
If a positive reputation is so important and if it is vital that a positive reputation for a country drives economic development and helps to uplift the economic well-being of its people, what do you do with stakeholders especially citizens who deliberately go out of their way to demonise their country’s positive reputation? What do you do with citizens who make it their duty to spend hours and hours crafting counter narratives that are negative with all intent and purpose intended to harm the country’s positive good reputation? This is a very crucial question for this debate.
Only a few days ago, a very prominent opposition Senator bemoaned the presence of such actors in our society. Political actors who are determined to see the country’s efforts to build a positive reputation thrashed at every turn. In a letter to the leadership of her erstwhile political party, she points out a deliberate and relentless effort by some opposition elements within the country to thwart efforts by the Second Republic to create unity of purpose within the country’s body politic and always putting spanners at the Second Republic’s endeavours to reengage positively with the outside world in a passionate expose`. She publicly points – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
HON. MADZIMURE: The Hon. Member is now a seasoned Member of Parliament and is fully aware of the rules that he has to refer to his notes but not read.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mpofu, you only need to refer to your notes and not read.
HON. A. MPOFU: In a passionate expose`, the erstwhile Senator publicly points to the following critical sectors, that immediately after the harmonised elections of 2018, the President of the Republic, Cde E.D Mnangagwa called upon all political leaders to converge ...
HON. KWARAMBA: On a point of order. I think the new regulations allow him to read his notes.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Kwaramba, let me check with the Clerk here. Hon. Mpofu, you may continue with your debate whilst we check.
HON. A. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker Maam. I was pointing out the observations that were made by an erstwhile opposition Senator who pointed out a few days ago that immediately after the harmonised elections of 2018, the President of the Republic, President E. D. Mnangagwa, called on all political actors within the country to converge and contribute towards bringing the people of Zimbabwe together and share ideas on how to rebuild the country. Yet she pointed out that the MDC-A Party kept on excluding itself and in a daming conclusion, she said that this kind of leadership shows a kind of selfishness that does not consider the overall interests of the ordinary Zimbabweans.
She observed at the MDC Party as an opposition has always held Western governments in high esteem, welcoming advice from them with open arms, irrespective of the same hypocrisy, double standards and questionable track records with regards to human rights and application of democratic principles. She goes to point out that the opposition party shuns engaging local stakeholders and fellow Zimbabweans in general. Going further, she said that it is sad to note that the opposition MDC Party therefore, has not observed that political players in Western countries from whom they love to draw so many lessons always find one another and engage whenever there is national interest…
HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Speech not recorded due to technical fault.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele, if you have got some issues with what has been debated, your time will come and you will bring those issues. You will have your time to debate.
HON. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, if we are all working for the common good of this nation, he should lead by example and not blast MDC –A as a party. How do we feel wanted when he is just blaming us?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is why I said your time will come and if you have any issue with what he is debating, you will bring those issues forward and debate.
HON. TOFFA: On a point of order. I do not follow his debate, I do not even understand what he is talking about.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Toffa, I think you have to listen attentively while he is debating so that you get what he is saying.
HON. TOFFA: Which debate is this Madam Speaker, I am totally lost and I cannot even follow?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Toffa, let us give Hon. Mpofu time to wind up his debate, I think you can be able to follow what he is saying. Do you have your Order Paper? (HON. TOFFA: No) So you can look for an Order Paper, Notice of Motion Number 26.
HON. A. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, why are you disrupting this debate? Your time will come and you will bring those issues which you are not in agreement with. I do not think it is fair for you to disrupt this debate Hon. Members. Let us give the Hon. Member time to debate and I will give you time to debate also.
HON. A. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker. The question I would like to pose is what do you do with key stakeholders, especially the citizens who then go out of their way to thrush positive image of the country? indeed recent development across many countries have indicated that countries are very concerned about the behaviour of their own citizens who engage in activities where without authorisation for instance appoint themselves as ambassadors and negotiate and engage with foreign powers; foreign key stakeholders on unauthorised behalf of Government and in that way distorting the position of Government.
For Example, on 16th April, 2019 and this was in Dublin, Ireland, a reporter from CNN, one Amanpour was interviewing the Speaker of the House of Congress in the United States, wanting an opinion from the Speaker of the House in the United States about a certain position which President Trump had adopted as regards European policy. The answer was, with due respect, ‘I am not going to say something negative about the President or my country whilst I am in Dublin. Please come to Washington, when we are at home and I will be able to give you a good opinion on that.’ During the Brexit Negotiations when Britain had overwhelmingly voted to get out of the EU, they were also increasing calls by the British public for a law that we discourage citizens to advocate for instance for positions when the majority of the people have voted then other actors cooperate with foreign powers to undermine the national position that the overwhelming majority of the people would have voted for and indeed, petitions were put forward even in Britain.
This is a tradition that has been there and it was introduced by the Americans themselves as far back as 1799 with what they called the Law Guard Act where a false appointed business fellow thought he could negotiate on behalf of the American Government with the French who were at that time hostile to the American Government and indeed, an Act was passed which criminalised the tendency by citizens to go out of the country, speak very much and advocate measures that could potentially harm the positive image and prospects of their own country.
Madam Speaker, it is very important that as we debate this we are very much aware of the constitutional obligations that we have in terms of freedom of speech, in terms of access to information and so forth and the reforms that have been done in terms of media within the country in the last many months have entrenched our people’s rights to freedom of information and freedom of expression. Therefore, as we debate this, I am very much aware that a lot of work has been done and that a lot of work and thinking has to be done as we debate this motion.
I would like to remind everyone that as we are here, it is not very difficult. What we just need to remember is the fundamental values which are captured. I know flags have to be put in a certain protocol but we just need to remember the values which are captured here. Madam Speaker, it is fundamental to remember that the colours captured in such icons of the State in such symbols of the nation are not just arbitrary, they reflect the fundamental thinking that we should have every day. As we wake up and look at the blood represented by this red colour on our flag, we remember that when the enemy went to bomb people in Zambia, they did not go there to bomb Jabulani or Nobizitha. When they went to bomb people in Mapai, they did not go there to bomb Farai, they went there to kill patriots of Zimbabwe whom they knew were fighting for their country.
Madam Speaker, it is a question that has to be resolved in this debate – what do we do when your members of the team, when they score goals, when Knowledge Musona scores goals and Nakamba scores goals, it behooves all of us to stand up and celebrate. What should we do when team players or those people who are supposed to be team players stand up and score own goals, what in that circumstance should we do? I rest my case.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on this very important motion that has been raised by Hon. Mpofu. We are debating a motion that is talking about us as a people and as sons and daughters of this country. What it is saying in real terms is that we need to love our country and if we love our country, there will not be any reason for any of us – whatever political views that you have or whatever religious views that you have, there will not be any reason whatsoever under the sun why anybody will say ill things about his country.
We are Zimbabweans first before we are ZANU PF or any other political party, we are Zimbabwe first. So we need to defend the interest of our country and the interest of our country means things that will benefit and put forward the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe. Whenever you stand up whether in foreign land or you are on having coffee with your friends from wherever they come, the first thing that should come to your mind is I am a Zimbabwean and I must defend the interest of the people of Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe is the only nation that does not have laws that encourage its citizenry to protect the brand Zimbabwe. Many countries throughout the country have laws that protect the image of their countries. Once that image is butchered or soiled, no one wants to do business with us and no one wants to work with us. It is critical that as a people, as a country and as law makers, we come up with laws that protect the Zimbabwean brand. You would know Madam Speaker and Hon. Members here, that long back, the United States of America had the Logan Act as stated by the mover of the motion. In 2001, they passed a Patriotic Act after the September 11, 2001 terror attack. They passed that law because some of their citizens, in their view, could have been involved in that incident that visited the people of America. So, they came up with the Logan Act.
As the people of Zimbabwe, we should also look at some of the behaviours and detrimental words used by some of our citizens and say what have they done to advance the interest of the people of Zimbabwe? Some among us have said things that have cost us in terms of international relations and some have said statements that have denied Zimbabwe access to financial support, good relations with other nations. To make matters worse, people have died because of those who wrote letters to international donors who could support us even during COVID to say to do not support Zimbabwe. We have a Parliament here where we can debate about corruption or anything we are not happy with but we just want to rush to international communities. We cannot deny the people of Zimbabwe access to health just because we do not agree politically.
Madam Speaker, when we have such citizens who deliberately go out there to vilify their country, what should we do? Some civic societies and some in the media, have gone out there to say negative things deliberately, for the purpose of just opposing. The nation has been a victim of negative publicity through publication of fake news. Zimbabwe has suffered financially, materially and because of that, this has also affected our international relations.
Madam Speaker, you know that the imposition of sanctions by the United States, European Union, Canada, Australia et cetera was at the behest of our people. The imposition of sanctions by these countries was as a result of lobbying by certain individuals. Some deliberately went to these countries to ask for the people of Zimbabwe to be killed by way of denying us access to heath, in other words you are saying we should die. These are citizens of Zimbabwe, what are we doing as a country to ensure that such people pay for exposing the people of Zimbabwe, we need to do something and it should be done now. I propose in my discussion that we have a ‘patriotic Act’.
I strongly believe that that Act will unite and strengthen Zimbabwe by giving it appropriate tools that will ensure every citizen regardless of the level you adhere to one virtue of loving your country, doing everything to promote the interest of my people. If I want to be respected and to be an international icon of some sort, I should not destroy my country at the expense of the people of Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, I think this proposed Act will deter and punish those people who are going to connive with foreign governments to destabilise Zimbabwe. It is important that those people who connive with those who are against us should pay. There are individuals in that category or organisations, we also have civic organisations that in their activities deviate from their core business and start advancing activities that distabilise the people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe cannot be a place where people would want to test their nuclear bombs, doing things that will destroy the livelihood of the people of Zimbabwe. When these people come to this country, they tell us that they are social welfare organisations yet they have political agendas. We need the patriotic Act to rein these people before they destroy the image of this beautiful country.
Madam Speaker, it is very important that we take a serious relook at people who say negative things about this country. In their future interest for public office, if you have campaigned against Zimbabwe, the law should actually bar you from getting into any public office because you will have killed the people that you want to look after. People entrust you with their lives yet you go out there to say let these people die until I become a ruler! I pray that our generation should protect the interest of Zimbabwe as a generation of Members of Parliament, as Government as voters out there, it is important that we do it now. We should come up with a law that defends the interest of Zimbabwe from overzealous individuals among ourselves.
Madam Speaker, we can only have one common goal to encourage all of us in our different political interests and positions that we embark on a national service programme. Some of these people believe that if they insult somebody – I do not agree with Hon. Mliswa but if I have to show other people that I do not agree with Hon. Tekeshe, I must insult him, I must destroy everything – that type of politics is not going to help Zimbabwe. So, it is imperative at this opportune time that we take a position as Members of Parliament, as this House, we push Government to bring the patriotic Act to this House so that we defend the interests of this country by dealing with outrageous behaviour that wants to destroy this country.
Madam President, I am so concerned that with all the negative publicity, all the lies that we see in newspapers, we do not want to do something. We have people who are good at character assassination that has an effect. If you attack the leader of this country that has an effect when that leader goes out there to source business for this country. Nobody wants to do business with a person who from his country is called so many names. So it is very important that the media, politicians, business people and all citizens of this country understand that they are people of Zimbabwe first before their political and business interests. We are one and it is a law that we can put down today in this House on this land that will defend the interest of Zimbabwe.
I want to thank the mover of the motion. It is long overdue, we need it, we need a law to defend the interest of the people of Zimbabwe. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for affording me this opportunity to contribute to this motion which seeks to have a patriotic Act which will make sure that we are one people with one common goal. Madam Speaker, the tenets of success are well known when we talk about the liberation struggle of this country. Zimbabwe is a country which was liberated by men and women who sacrificed their lives. Some of them never saw Zimbabwe. If you talk about ZIPRA commander Nikita Mangena, ZANLA commander Josaiah Tongogara; they fought for this country, sacrificed for this country because of oppression and this was white oppression. We must be very careful also to have demi gods and oppressors who are black and equally keep quiet.
Any leader by nature, while they come in with their style it becomes the way of going about things. This POLAD, this dialogue which is there is not new. I do not know why we make so much noise about it because that is exactly what we should do. Even before or after elections, we should be talking as a people. Why do we believe that we must only talk after elections? There is POLAD and so forth, stakeholders. Who is the biggest stakeholder? It is the people. The people who elect us in power are the biggest stakeholders. We have come through and this must not be ignored, a phase of being under one leader and one party for 37 years. That party too must take responsibility of some of the problems which are there because since 1980, it has been ZANU PF in power and no other party. What lessons have they learnt in terms of moving forward? Institutions are no longer there because they were personalized. State apparatus became a way of settling personal scores, people being arrested willy nilly. The political violence which we saw in this country, how many people died? Let us not forget that. Let us not be quick to call for peace and unity when we have not done anything. In South Africa, there is the aspect of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which addresses the ills which the country faced while they were going for liberation. What have we done to establish that?
The people in Matabeleland are still marginalised. They still talk about Gukurahundi. A lot is spoken about that but we are one nation. So the nation where there are certain people who are aggrieved, who is attending to them? We need to be clear about this. My grandmother MaNcube was from Kwekwe, Silobela. We grew up there. My father was from Shurugwi and my mother was from Rusape. So you must be able to say to yourselves; whenever we went to Nkayi, it was a different way of doing things. When you go to Shurugwi it is different, when you go to Manicaland, it is different, yet we are one nation. I am talking about young people growing up who must be part of this nation. You knew very well and my father in his wisdom said I need you to go to the rural areas every weekend so that you learn Ndebele, chiKaranga and chiManyika because that is what the country has. Those very issues are not what we see today.
The aspect of human rights is important. Smith oppressed people and detained people. The current President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa was detained, the late President R. G. Mugabe was detained, the likes of Cde Didimus Mutasa and the late Morris Nyagumbo were detained because they wanted this country to be liberated but while they were detained, people still fought for this country. The war never stopped Madam Speaker because they had one common vision of liberating this country. The late Josiah Tongogara had one saying which says nyika tichatora asi kutungamirira nyika kuchanetsa. In English, we shall liberate the country but leading the country will be the most challenging aspect. Today this is what we see. What is important is for us to understand that a common vision cannot happen when you say let us move together and when you finally catch the animals, others want to eat on their own and they do not bring the others.
The 17 November march, which I am glad that some of the Members, the war veterans here the likes of Cde Kwaramba and Cde Togarepi were in the forefront of bringing Zimbabwe together. Comrades, the picture of 17 November is it the picture we see today? So what has gone wrong? We had an inclusive approach towards a united Zimbabwe where we all believed we would be together. There was never a coup. People decided to march and whether you like it or not, the military had to join in the people because the people led. When the people lead, everybody leads because the people are more than the military. That is the reason why, with my colleague, I have always said there was never a cuop. The war veterans mobilised people, white, black, Indian, MDC, everybody was involved, all parties were involved because we were looking at a new era where human rights would be respected, corruption would be dealt with and constitutionalism would be critical in terms of us moving forward.
You cannot talk about a nation when the Constitution of the country is not being followed. One of the reasons why the former late President R. G. Mugabe, may his soul rest in peace, was impeached was because he did not follow the Constitution and one of them was devolution which today again has not happened. Besides the elections happening, the provincial councils are not in place but there is money for devolution going. Who is monitoring it? Hon. Togarepi is right to say let us vent our anger in this House as Zimbabweans. I have raised the issue and said but why is the Minister releasing devolution money when there are no provincial councils which should be monitored. Thus we are open for corruption and how does corruption end when there is no accountability. The answer was they will speak to the Attorney-General and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs but money is coming from the central bank straight to the councils and who is superintending that?
We, Members of Parliament are supposed to be part of the Provincial Council until the Constitution changes then we are out of it. We ourselves, in here, cast a law that we must be members of the Provincial Council but before we are even members, those who are used to plundering and corruption do not want us to see us because they want to have an easy way of plundering resources of the country.
I repeat that Zimbabwe does not need any western allies. Zimbabwe needs to dig dip into its resources and curb on corruption and we shall need no western ally. The very same Government today is re-engaging with the West, spending more money paying lobbyists for us to re-engage with the West yet sanctions are there. Different strokes for different folks. Why do we speak with a forked tongue then blame the opposition for speaking to the West, but you are in the same line marching to see who pleases the master? Zimbabwe does not need anybody. Zimbabwe needs itself to ensure that the resources in this country are managed in a manner that it goes to the people.
You might say what you want to say but Gaddafi was a good example with oil. He made sure that people of Libya had something to eat. How many people in Marange today have enjoyed the diamond? How many people in Shurugwi where Hon. Mkaratigwa hails today have enjoyed the gold? How many people in Matabeleland have enjoyed what is there? Today, we also go on and suspend the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act which was the source of empowerment for every local.
The Finance Bill comes on the background that when you move the Act, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will come in. How much FDI has come in since you suspended that Act? Foreigners are doing what they want. The resources of this country belong to foreigners and not to the people of this country. The people of this country must be having those claims in their hands and negotiating with foreigners – even ugogo umaNcube, ugogo umaKhupe, ugogo Mpariwa, give her the claims. The people who are investing are not worried about her but the minerals but you would have empowered her. Why are we afraid of empowering our people? How many Members of Parliament (MPs) here in their constituencies have anything yet we spend money? To be able to get into power, you need money but when you are in power, you are seen here passing laws which reverse the gains of the struggle.
The gains of the struggle were to ensure that we have economic emancipation but it is being reversed. The land reform is being reversed. We have got Government policy of 500 hectares per person – some of the whites are being exonerated because you believe they are productive. If we have been facing sanctions – that is why this patriotic Act is critical, how then can we talk about development yet you say sanctions are critical but you want to use sanctions when it is necessary? When it is about time you want to say no. There is no production from a farmer in this country that can happen without them being fully empowered, having access to finance which is five or ten years and also includes holiday, medical aid and whatever you want and then we pay it. How come we are now expected to perform better than the whites when they actually had this land more than we did and they had resources?
We need to be able to speak the truth. The Patriotism Act is critical in the aspect that we are also conforming to certain issues which need to be addressed and so forth. We are MPs. I went to the Speaker the other day and said I am concerned – we do break the law as MPs but when we do not break the law you are arrested willy-nilly because you are outspoken. These are some of the issues which make people not give Zimbabwe money because they see how you are treating an Hon. MP – he is at the back of the truck and you are happy. What is the point of a diplomatic passport that I have? What does this passport mean when you are treated like a dog and at the end of the day you are acquitted? The Speaker is not consulted about MPs being arrested – not that you want to be defended; no – does the case stand the taste of time?
I have been arrested 78 times and acquitted 78 times. In any country, the Commissioner General of Police would be fired, because how much money has gone into arresting and going to court? There needs to be a review on how we treat each other. Let us not be in this House and speak a language which is not fair but when you go and caucus you are then saying let us get this one arrested. There is nothing that you get from using State apparatus. Today it is me and tomorrow it is you. In fact, when they do it for you, it is even worse than me. Hondo yemumba itori worse than yekunze. You must understand that.
Lessons must be learnt from the 37 years the former late President was in power and now. We have a situation where you have land – the whites had title deeds. Why not giving the blacks title deeds, why? Why is it taking time to empower your people with title deeds? We are the Government – 99 year lease and offer letter is not bankable. Why can we not get title deeds? Why do we not empower our people? Already, we are downsizing farms because you believe people are under-utilising the land. The white farmers are being left. In Norton for example, we have the Drummonds, they have got a five year lease – 2000 hectares but he cannot do it. He is getting a partner to help him but you then do not downsize him yet he is getting a farm that he is failing to farm.
Inconsistency in terms of policy is what also makes us not to get the money we have. Some of these issues of corruption and inconsistency in policy – a monetary policy which you do not know what will happen tomorrow does not appeal to any investor. The Hon. A. Mpofu was articulate into issues why there is no investment coming in besides the issue that he spoke about – I think there were more pertinent issues which he spoke about; the rule of law, corruption which is quite critical; freedom of association; freedom of speech. You have repealed AIPPA but behind the scenes, you also want to bring in another law which is just vague.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are left with five minutes Hon. Mliswa.
HON. T. MLISWA: Why must we be known as a Parliament which brings laws that are oppressive? I want to be on record and say, I did not come to Parliament to pass laws which are oppressive. I came to pass laws which are progressive; to see the ordinary person benefiting; to see the young child going to school and getting internet. Today the pass rate is terrible. There was COVID and Government schools had no internet. Teachers are not well paid. I believe we have more to focus on in terms of enabling our people. One of the issues that you cannot take away from the late President is the aspect of infrastructure and education. The first 10-20 years, Zimbabwe was the model of Africa in terms of infrastructure and education. People came to see what was in Zimbabwe but today what do they have to see?
The hospitals which were built – the Mpilos of this world; what has happened to the upgrading of Mpilo? What has happened to Harare Hospital and Parirenyatwa which was known as Andrew Fleming? I remember the late Mai Shamuyarira - may her soul rest in peace. She was the first matron. My mother coming in from Zambia worked there; Hon. Tongogara who went to the same nursing school as my mother got a job there. When we were sick, we would go there and be well treated. Today it is difficult.
Basic issues are what change the country; health care, infrastructure, education, water and sanitation – these are the issues which I think are critical for us in moving forward. I would like to wind up by saying that the resources that we have need to be accounted for. We must have a law which punishes those who are corrupt. There are more evil people than those in terms of the Patriotic Act. I totally agree that there has got to be a school where people are taken in terms of understanding values of the country. No country triumphs without a national policy or patriotism. This is taking them through school or national youth service and so forth. Go to any country, for example Ghana; the same happens and so forth. The ruling party has got Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology – that must not be open to ZANU PF but to all the people of Zimbabwe because the great Herbert Chitepo was a revolutionary for the people of Zimbabwe and not just for ZANU PF. Why do you take the image by making them to belong to ZANU PF when clearly Zimbabwe was first before ZANU PF? Why is it not open to everyone or other political parties to join because whether you like it or not, if you are not moving together in tandem, there is a gap. While you have Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology, what do other political parties have, nothing. One day the people will have a say and they might choose those who are behind and when they are in power whatever you have done is reversed. May we be sincere in discharging our duties and may we put Zimbabwe first.
I liked what Hon Togarepi said that Zimbabwe is first, then political parties. I run an organisation called YARD, Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy. I tell them you are the vanguard of the country not of your political parties. I do not deal with politics here. I deal with Zimbabwe. If you go to political parties, it becomes a thing at the end of the day.
I want to thank you for the opportunity you have given me but it is important to also review again and 17 November 2017 is the picture we are seeing today. The late Dumiso Dabengwa was there at HICC and he was promised to be Vice President. The late Morgan Tsvangirai took part and I would have thought moving forward, the team would be Zimbabwe despite political affiliations but dealing with challenges that we have. We must go back to that because we have betrayed the people. I thank you.
HON. MADZIMURE: As Hon. Mpofu was debating, I was also taking notes of what he was saying. This is a very important motion even though it also comes under a backdrop of other very important issues that we must deal with as a country. It is important for us to have introspection as we debate this motion.
The mover of the motion forgot one thing, that he must have explained to the country why we have what we now call the Second Republic and the new dispensation. Why do we have those? It tells you that there was something terribly wrong that people would want to forget about the First Republic and the first dispensation. What is it that we want to forget because a country is built once. You fight for a country and you get your independence and that is your Republic of Zimbabwe. You do not have a first, second and third republic. Are we saying in the event that another political party comes in or another group of people, we will now have a Third Republic and third dispensation. Why are we running away from the First Republic - the reason is very simple. There are terrible things that we want to forget that happened during the old republic. What are those things? Only now after 37 years, you want people to be converted and sing a new song. Is that possible, it is not. Until you deal with the ills of the First Republic - what were those, it is the First Republic where we debated in this House the ZIDERA. What were the issues, what have we done with those issues?
Hon Mliswa referred to the issue of Gukurahundi. People still have wounds and we are saying let us forget about it and move on. A patriotic Zimbabwean is not built on such a foundation. There is no foundation to build from. We must be ashamed of ourselves as Zimbabweans to say today we have got a Second Republic – standing up in a foreign country and say I am from Zimbabwe. You are asked that you are in the Second Republic, what was the First Republic like and can you explain to me what it means to be in the Second Republic? What is it that you have gained or learnt from the old republic? Again, we are putting pressure on our people to discuss issues that they do not even understand.
As you wind up your motion, you must explain to the people because it is that language that people must understand for them to be patriotic. You do not force people to be patriotic. People become patriotic because of what they benefit from their own country. I am one of those people who are not fond of talking anything negative when I get outside. I do not have that time. The issue is, whenever I am asked I must be able to explain. There are about seven foundations of democracy and it is important that those pillars of democracy are observed. It is those pillars that make a person complete.
I was born in the 1960s and I was very fortunate because my first contact with a fighter was in 1972 when I was in Mutoko when people were still coming from Zambia. My brother was very politically informed. That is when I first met a liberation fighter. I had an opportunity to be in the presence of my brother when they were talking – you know what it meant to talk to a liberation fighter holding a gun. I grew up in a situation where I understood how bad murungu was. So I do not need to be told to be patriotic, I understand it. I also have my own expectations that I had from then up to today.
Hon. Mliswa referred to the issue of arresting each other. You arrest me today for an offence of having been in the presence of more than 30 people. Another person who is senior than me hosts a party where people even contract Coronavirus and die, you do not care. People hold rallies and you do not care. You see 25 people moving around and you arrest them, how do I explain this discrepancy when I am asked? You deny bail to someone who commits a similar offence and you give bail to someone who committed a more serious offence. How do I explain that as a patriot? How do I explain such selective application of the law? Even if you cry and talk about patriotism, what is happening on the ground makes it difficult – actually the person who narrates things as they are is more patriotic than one who misrepresents facts.
We have people like Kasukuwere and Jonthan Moyo; they cannot come to Zimbabwe but they used to be Ministers defending Zimbabwe. What do they say about Zimbabwe when they are out there? You have Patrick Zhuwao, his farm is gone. How do you explain it? These are the issues that you have to deal with.
On 1st August when people were shot, we all witnessed what happened in America when the Capitol was invaded. It was live through and through. We were all witnesses to that and when they solved their problems they ended up getting back into the Capitol and proceeded with what they wanted to do. What happens if our people do that here in Zimbabwe? It will be blood everywhere. So sometimes you do not even compare with some of these democracies is because we now have issues that we can compare with. Some of the people like the woman – Mpofu who was killed who used to work for ZINWA had come to work and she was shot and died. How do you explain it?
These are the issues Madam Speaker that we must interrogate as Zimbabweans to say do we not have too many things that we have to explain instead of us having better issues to deal with. One pillar of democracy is the issue of legitimacy. It is important that people have their disputes after elections but it is how you deal with them and move on. Some of the things we should not take for granted,you have your people. One best indicator of a free and fair election is simple. It is the real feel. How do people feel after an election? Whenever the expected result is what comes out, everything else responds.
Even the foreign direct investment that we are talking about, you do not have to ask for it. Even the diaspora remittance, you do not have to ask for it because everybody started immediately to feel that I have a stake in Zimbabwe, they will do it. How do we do it? This is where leadership is shown. How do you deal with those letters? It is not bad for anyone to complain but it is also important to listen to that person and also deal with it and move on.
The other pillar Madam Speaker is also the issue of participation. Madam Speaker, whenever I feel that something is wrong I must be allowed to participate, whether it is a demonstration or not. If a demonstration is authorised here in Zimbabwe you do not see any violence at all. The responsibility of the police is to escort the demonstrators, not to deny the people a demonstration. Why do we deny people to do that? We have a lot of things to learn.
Let us have that democratic space where people can participate. Right now it is very difficult for people to gather for anything but this is exactly where people share ideas. It is also exactly where the governing people understand how the people feel. Let us allow people that space. Again, I can refer you to these countries, the “Black lives Matter”. People demonstrated because there was something wrong. Even up to today, before a soccer match people kneel down but if you do it in Zimbabwe for any reason, you will be in trouble. Is it not true, that it is what happens?
Madam Speaker, responsible stewardship. This is the first exercise of the duties of due care, diligence and loyalty in making sure that we use all our resources, finances and human resources for the development of Zimbabwe. The issue of corruption is very important. Right now we have a former Minister, Hon. Chombo, when he went to court which is public knowledge we were told of almost 100 properties that the wife wanted them to share and it was not an issue. Immediately he should have been arrested or asked to resign as a Minister but he remained until November 17. Those are the issues.
You go to ZINARA today, why do we have bad roads? The CEO is said to now have properties worthy almost $20 million, imagine Madam Speaker. How then do you have patriotic people when we the governing people do not make those people account. That is corruption. Actually should we not have a lot of people with passports trying to fly out of Zimbabwe? Why would I want to? You go to South Africa, Malawi or Zambia today and go to their passport office, do you see any queue, no. Why do we have so many long queues with our people seeking for passports to go out of the country?
We must deal with that issue. When they go out there to work doing these menial stupid jobs but they make their families back home survive. What is their explanation? Why am I there - a degreed person looking after an old lady? Why? So we have to deal with those issues of corruption. Accountability and ethical conduct Madam Speaker are also important for our Government to be ethical. We have got traditions that we must follow. We have the respect that we must give each other.
Lastly, the issue of transparency and accountability. We must be transparent and we must be accountable. Right now we already have a problem. Our auction system, the Governor is on recording saying he now wants to investigate other companies. Those that are getting money from the system are simply taking it at $82 and go and sell it at $120. You do not even need to think of going to China to look for raw materials. You just take the money and sell it. Some of the people are Members of Parliament. They clamour for patriotism but they are the worst offenders. This is what I have realised.
Those people who cry loudly that there must be patriotism and we must have an Act are the biggest offenders. Very few can raise their hands if I were to ask if they do not have a skeleton in their cupboards, very few can raise their hands. They have several. We will arrest them. Chombo cannot be arrested because the arresting officer benefitted a stand. You have got the Commissioners, where is Chihuri today? We used to debate in this House. The fines were being shared. How many companies does he have? We were debating in this house telling you that Chihuri is corrupt and one would be arrested for saying Chihuri is corrupt but where is he today, in Malawi. Why can we not bring Chihuri back, because a lot of people are beneficiaries? They were all sharing.
So patriotism is not what we ask people to be. It is in-built because we have got a share in this country. We are all Zimbabweans. The Chitepo Ideological College cannot only teach ZANU PF youths, what about the rest of the youths. Actually, most of the youths are not even ZANU PF. So, we must have a national institution, not a party institution. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity.
(v)HON. NYATHI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me an opportunity to air my views on the motion given by Hon. A. Mpofu seconded by Hon. Togarepi. I agree with this motion in that if a country’s reputation is not guarded jealously it will affect negatively everything about the country and it will also affect adversely, especially the middle lower class and the lower class of our nation. This then will defeat the efforts by the Head of State and Government, E.D Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030.
I believe that a country must do all it takes to market positively their country that is within the borders and outside the borders. It is our reputation that influences or convinces investors that Zimbabwe is the best investment destination in the world. Once this is told, automatically, the living standards of our population will have a positive trajectory which in turn will influence the creation of employment and elevating of our country’s GDP.
Madam Speaker, the general rule is that if industries are fully functional, taxes improve and Government will run their economies productively. You will agree with me that if resources are well managed and free from corruption any country would like to go and invest in such a country. To this end, I challenge the major drivers of our reputation, those who are in media industry, these have great influence, and therefore, these should report positively in order to paint our country with a positive image.
I am not saying if somebody does something that is wrong it must not be reported but the report must be done responsibly with a bias to build our one and only country Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, perhaps it is important for me to mention that every general election may have 5 years to work collectively to build or improve our country. As a country we should shelve away partisan politics in order to improve the welfare of our nation. Failure to do so, it means handed over to the future generation any empty basket or will remain the talk that Zimbabwe is an under developed country. I do not think anyone of us would love our country to be given such a title.
When we talk of building a reputation of a country, we have just had a recent experience that we have all watched on television what happened in America. When Donald Trump did whatever he did in America, just imagine the amount of money that was invested in trying to rebuild the image of that country. Try and see the hours that have been invested so that other oncoming presidents will not be having such because they were defending the reputation of a country and not a person’s reputation.
May I conclude by saying, it is shameful for any Zimbabwean to utter any fortified information that denigrates and destroys the country’s reputation for whatever reason. If this is so, in order to keep the good reputation of the country a law should be put in place in order to enforce and discourage a behaviour that tarnishes the good image of our country. Madam Speaker, I mean a Patriotic Act is long overdue and it must be enacted. I thank you.
*HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Mpofu for raising this debate which was supported by Hon. Togarepi. I want to thank them very much because they have educated us a lot. It is a very crucial motion which teaches us as Zimbabweans to have a passion about our country.
If we look at other countries, they are so passionate and dedicated to their own countries. They are different from us because many Zimbabweans do not like their own country. They talk bad things about the country and we forget that we have one country which was God given and the country is Zimbabwe.
A lot of our Zimbabwean nationals die in the Diaspora but they come back to our mother land for burial because they know that is where their roots are. Therefore, it means that we must work hard and support our country, knowing that this is our God-given country. In most cases people in Zimbabwe are not interested in national events taking place, for example they do not even watch our local television but they are interested in international channels such as DSTv channels. People here are not at all interested in the development or progress of our own country but the progress of other countries.
A lot of Zimbabweans do not want to buy locally produced products but those products which have been produced from other countries. We do not have that passion or love for our own country, Zimbabwe. For example, In South Africa there is a politician called Julius Malema and he is an opposition to the South African Ruling Party. However, at one point Mr. Malema congratulated the wining President of South Africa, C. Ramaphosa for winning the elections.
We must learn to sit down and speak with one voice but you will see a person refusing flat out to sit and speak with others. Where will such behaviour take us if we continue to refuse to come together and speak as one? I just want to encourage the people of Zimbabwe to come together and resolve issues. If the President calls us to come and talk about issues, let us listen because we will not benefit by continuing to oppose each other. I also encourage us as Zimbabweans to be one and get to appreciate the good that one other person will have done.
Currently there is the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines were sourced for everyone so that we can be vaccinated and no one dies of COVID but people continue to oppose all the good that someone does for them. I do not know what is wrong with Zimbabweans. There is so much being posted on social media discouraging people from being vaccinated yet this is being done for our safety. Is that loving our country? Do you think it would have been good for the President to just leave people dying of COVID and not implement lockdown? Let us learn to appreciate what our leader is doing for us.
Currently there is devolution so that power is decentralised for our country to prosper but you just hear people opposing everything that is being done. We do not like anything from Zimbabwe. We just think that everything coming from Zimbabwe is bad. My encouragement is for us to work together and love each other. There is this animal called sanctions. They came upon us because some people went and begged for sanctions to be put upon Zimbabwe. It is unbelievable that some people actually went to beg for sanctions for our country. I remember another year when they were even saying on top of the sanctions switch off power so that they suffer. I do not think it is a good thing. Let us come together as one and build our country. Where something bad is spoken against Zimbabwe let every Zimbabwean stand and defend our country. We heard what happened in America at Capitol Hill, if that had happened here, they would have laughed at us and it would have been all over the papers. Even the sanctions could have been multiplied by 100. But because it happened in their country, it was swept under the carpet. When these white people are in their countries, they act like animals but when they come here they pretend as if they understand a lot and are very democratic.
So we are saying, let everyone love our country Zimbabwe and always yearn to fly our flag high. When looking at our flag it talks about all the good in our country. On the flag there is the red colour and during the liberation struggle we used to sing ropa rangu muchariona pasi pemureza. The red signifies a Zimbabwean citizen’s blood, who is lying in the unmarked grave. That citizen never saw the independence or good life that we have today but we continue to look down upon whatever is done. What do you think those who never came back home but perished during the war will think? I am urging all Zimbabweans to come together as one so that we can achieve the vision 2030 envisaged by the President.
Let me conclude by saying a law should be put in place to punish whoever does not love his/her country. The law should forbid people from going outside our country and saying negative things about our country. Those people should be arrested for that offence. I want to thank Hon. Mpofu for his motion.
*HON. MUCHENJE: I want to start by thanking Hon. Mpofu for moving the motion, seconded by Hon. Togarepi. This is a good motion which talks about Zimbabweans. It is a call to you too as Zimbabwean people. All of us want good things and none of us shun unity. Let us go into the nitty gritties of this matter and the pros and the cons of the motion. First and foremost, I would want to talk about the issue of the liberation struggle. The reason why everyone went to fight leaving their parents to die alone whilst cooking for those that were fighting in the struggle was to fight for freedom. This was not freedom for some blacks but it was to free or liberate every Zimbabwean. When talking about unity, we should take that into consideration.
Secondly, we fought for our land because we have our feet placed on the soil. We grow our crops in the soil and when I die, I will also be buried in the soil. We fought for good governance because we were being harassed and dogs were being set upon us by the whites. We were being discriminated against. So, looking at issues such as education, good infrastructure and health, those are the reasons why everyone went to the liberation struggle. It was never said that those who continued following the leadership would have a good life, it was never said those whose children died during the war would live better lives. The war collaborators who were providing food, carrying the guns and helping people to cross over into Mozambique were all playing their part to ensure that the struggle would succeed.
I now want to go into the reason why we are failing to be united. The reason why there is a call to come together is because there is disunity. What I have observed as causing disharmony or disunity amongst us is that we are not respecting each other as human beings. We are not respecting human rights or people. If you fail to respect your children, they will in turn disrespect you. Respect is earned. So, it is important as a country for the leaders and those that they lead and assist to show mutual respect. We should never look down upon others. Everyone is important. Then there is the issue of corruption which has destroyed our country. I remember there was a time when I used to preach on tithing. If a husband earns $2 and he hides a dollar and the mother gets a dollar and hides 50c and the child gets 50c and hides 10c, that family will never develop to anything because its family members are dishonest. Honesty should start from right at the top and cascades down to the bottom. Charity begins at home and we should kill this animal called corruption. If we were to scare one another by threatening each other with death once you divulge that someone is corrupt, we will not get anywhere. If you give a child money to go to the shop, the receipt the child produces will be able to make you account for that money. We do not do that in Zimbabwe, that is why people do not want to be united because there are others that could have seen the shortcomings of those that are leading.
Let me go to the issue of treating people equally. People who live in the same area; one will be in a big house and the other one in a small house. These people are not equally happy even if they are living in the same area. The one with a small house will envy the one with a big house because the man in the small house will not be happy because it is their wish also to live in a big house. Let there be equitable distribution of accommodation for every Zimbabwean. Let there be shelter for every Zimbabwean. It does not matter your political affiliation, one should be given a farm if they are in need of a farm, residential stand or plot regardless of one’s political affiliation whether you are from the leadership of Hon. Mpariwa or the leadership of Hon. Khupe.
Education must be accessed by all but if people are hungry and the children will have gone to school hungry, they will fail in their studies. Teachers can easily tell that this child is coming from an abusive family and this other one comes from a well up family. I remember when I did my grade 3, during break time we were given Nutresco Mahewu, milk and a bun. They knew that children were coming to school hungry and were coming from different backgrounds. Nowadays parents are paying fees way above their means and a lot of children are dropping out of school.
Let me talk about the issue of exports and imports. If we are one sided and simply be importing instead of exporting, we cannot be buying only and not selling, this will not sustain our country. Now that we have had a good harvest, I do not expect people to come again next year and be given inputs because this will mean that resources are being misused. Some of the farm produce must be exported and our industry should be revived because it is the hub of our economy.
I liken leadership to family unit. If a child comes and tells a parent that books are required at school I must not assault my child because I do not have the money, I should simply accept and I will go and borrow money to buy the books. Our leaders must know what is troubling us. I do not expect my husband to buy me gift cards as presents. My husband must buy the present that I will appreciate. The same is likened to our leaders. If they just do things without engaging us, they will think that we are happy but they will be hurting us. I appeal to them to listen to the voices of the people. There must also be a rule of law in this country.
Corruption is everywhere in police, courts. I once witnessed a case whereby someone was asked to pay a bribe and they refused. On the day of judgement, they were heavily penalised as if they had committed a very serious offence, this was merely due to the fact that they had denied paying a bribe. I had told the convict not to pay a bribe. Dishonest will not take us anywhere.
I want to talk of poverty, poverty demeans a person, it dehumanizes a human being. If a young brother is rich, he will instruct his elder brother to cut firewood whilst he will be seated in the car playing games on his phone. Zimbabweans are being dehumanised because of poverty. The reason why they are going to the other countries to do demeaning jobs is because of poverty. Right now, we have a lot of people who are applying for passports. If children do not get sufficient meals in their homes, they will go to the neighbours.
If people do not get enough in their country, they always go to other countries and that will be detrimental to us as Zimbabweans. If a child is well fed, they cannot go to neighbours to look for food thereby embarrassing the parents. Let us go back to being the breadbasket of Southern Africa. Let us have a system where people value the lives of people. If someone of my age is rich, they will look younger than me and if someone of my age is poor, they will look older than me. Poverty reduces a person and this is what we should closely look at especially to women. Women must be respected. Household chores are done by women starting from feeding and clothing the family. The leadership must know that women and children are suffering. Let us work for the benefit of our country and be united. If a husband habitually assaults the wife, the wife will go and tell the neighbours. If the husband does not want the neighbours to know, the only thing he will do is to stop assaulting the wife because the more he will tell the wife to shut her mouth, the more she will reveal her suffering to the public. Just like in our country, if our leadership does not want Zimbabweans to go out telling people that Zimbabwe is a worse country, they must provide Zimbabweans with better lives and dignity. We must not enact laws that suppress our freedom and tell people to shut up; it will even worsen our situation.
If we do well to our people, we will be able to live well in our country. All children must attend youth service. If the youth service is a good idea, why are you selecting the youth? All youths must be able to attend youth service. Our children no longer have manners and moral values. The youths that we are raising are a danger to this country. If children are to be taught good behaviour, they must all attend regardless of their political affiliation. I thank you.
(V)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker Sir, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we all see at the National Heroes Acre and in various Provincial Heroes Acres represents a number of people who perished during the liberation struggle, people who did not get to enjoy the fruits of the liberation struggle. They died for the sake of all Zimbabweans.
Mr. Speaker Sir, when those people went to war, they wanted to see a fair and just system where every Zimbabwean will live his/her life without due regard to his/her political affiliation, without due regard to his/her race and tribe. Now Mr. Speaker Sir, the motion that was tabled by the Hon. Member Mpofu, I want to submit to you Mr. Speaker Sir to say that this motion, in my view, is misplaced and has no place at this juncture in the country.
We are now in 2021 and it has been said that we are now in the Second Republic. The very First Republic that was under President Robert Mugabe never contemplated or never came up with such dubious patriotic law. Why? It is primarily because when things are alright in a country, what do people do? They become proud of their country but when there is selective application of the law, when there are certain abuses that are happening, people become disillusioned. The Hon. Member who just spoke indicated that in a family setting, if the father is always beating the mother, the mother will end up crying outside to have people to assist.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we had the Motlanthe Commission that investigated the people who murdered in the city centre and for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe, blood was shed in the city cenrte of Harare. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is wrong in my view to then use the word, ‘patriotic’, as if patriotism is defined in a manner to say that we stand and agree with whatever the people who are in power are saying. As a country, we have to respect human rights. Everybody who is elected and including me as a Member of Parliament, and also the President as the Head of the Executive, is subject to scrutiny and people should exercise that right where they believe that there is something wrong. Anything that is wrong Mr. Speaker Sir, should also be condemned.
The current set up in this country is not right. We have arbitrary arrests that are happening across the country. Right now, we have Hon. Members of Parliament being arrested for no apparent reason. Then when you check the court system, you will find that the Magistrates Court has now become a laughing stock in dealing with human rights and political cases. When you have a country that is diverting from the ethos of the liberation war, from the reason why our brothers and sisters perished during the war, then Zimbabweans have got a right to speak up. When you have got a country where corruption is eating a huge chunk of the pie and the majority of the people are suffering, when you have one person getting more money then the majority have the right to cry out. When you have an economy that cannot service its people, when you have got an industrial site like Masasa, Workington and Granitesite and see most of the infrastructure there becoming empty shells; when you see Bulawayo which was the hub of industrialisation having been reduced to shells and churches, truly Mr. Speaker, the people of this country deserve to raise an alarm. When you see a country that does not have a method of curing or solving its problems then we are in a crisis.
I have a friend of mine who does not know where his father was buried. Mr. Speaker, it is wrong to say you have to be patriotic. What is patriotism? What is being patriotic if you are not allowed to say what is eating you up? Mr. Speaker Sir, for anyone to talk of patriotism, I think that person is mentally stable. A person who is patriotic should answer the question that what should he do to make this country a better country? What should we do to return Zimbabwe to its former state during the 80s when people were coming to Zimbabwe from other countries rather than leaving Zimbabwe? A patriotic person should be concerned by injury to the minority. A person who is patriotic should be someone who should be saying, that even in the majority, the views of the minority also matter. A patriotic person is a person who will say, that is good not only for me but good for the entire nation. Every Zimbabwean, whether residing in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, South Africa, Dubai or any other country really wants the best for Zimbabwe. They do not want the lives that they are currently living but want to be in Zimbabwe where they can potentially enjoy the fruits of this country but we have let our people down.
It is the right time to introspect and look inside ourselves and say, as legislators and the Executive arm of Government, what should we do to improve the welfare of our people. Instead of coming up with various laws to try to criminalise things that ordinarily are not supposed to be criminalised, we need to do more and serve our people. To simply say this motion is wrong is an understatement. It must be withdrawn. Hon. Members, we have more important business and things that lie before us. We have got an economy that is not performing, we have got Covid pandemic that is on us, let us put our heads together and focus on improving this country. The only way to do this is to create a good and conducive environment for every person.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is my view that the Hon. Member’s motion is misplaced at this particular time. I thank you.
(V)HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: On a point of Order Mr. Speaker Sir! Some of us are on virtual and have been asking for opportunity to debate to no avail.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO): No, Hon. Mushoriwa was on virtual and you are next on the list. Hon. Dzuma, may you take the floor please.
*HON. DZUMA: Mr. Speaker, I stand to support the motio moved by Hon. Mpofu, seconded by Hon. Togarepi. This motion is good for us as a country. It also reminds us of the days of the liberation struggle. It is my wish and my plea that this is a land of milk and honey. We have our own good manners which have been in place for time immemorial. If as Zimbabweans we are united and handle our issues in a good manner, we will observe that a short while ago when COVID rules were announced by His Excellency the President, Hon. Mnangagwa, we were able to follow the new regulations. As a result, we did not lose a lot of lives like the devastation that was witnessed in other countries which led to serious loss of life due to COVID - 19. Zimbabweans were able to listen to His Excellency’s call and maintain the rules of COVID – 19.
Furthermore, we were blessed with a lot of rain in this country, this abundant rain was there to cleanse us, so I urge all Zimbabweans to remain united and steadfast. I have serious reservations about some of us who say hi hi hi about everything that is good. The majority are now in POLAD discussing pertinent issues with the President but you find a nonentity team that is against this saying hi hi hi. We ask them to come and work together but they refuse. We know some of them by names. They are very few and they do this so that they receive goods from the West.
I recall even our ancestors in the First Chimurenga led by Mbuya Nehanda Nyakasikana; the Second Chimurenga which was protracted by Zimbabweans who went out of this country to liberate this country and there was the Third Chimurenga led by most of us so that we get our land as was promised in the Lancaster Agreement, they were defying this agreement, hence the reason why we had to use forceful means to get our land back.
What most of you do not know is that you are educated to the level where you are now because there are plenty of secondary schools. During the colonial era, we had bottlenecks in education in the sense that most of Blacks were unable to proceed to secondary school because of the few Government secondary and mission schools that were there. We were only allowed to go to F2 schools for Grades 8, 9 and 10. We would first work in tea estates like Jersey, Ratelshoek and Zona and thereafter go to school when we were already tired. This is why Zimbabweans decided to go to the liberation war because they were suffering in their own country. There were people like Hon. Shamu who were broadcasting from Maputo urging Zimbabweans to liberate the country so that they would escape from ill-treatment of the colonialists. The colonialists used the divide and rule system where men were paid more than women. After independence, we came up with a system where men and women were remunerated equally for equal work. I want to thank the Chinese and Russians who supported the Zimbabwean people with weapons that we used to dislodge the oppressive colonial system.
I remember that they came and bombed us in 1977, I was there. I would also like to thank the Second Republic ushered in by His Excellency President Mnangagwa. During the colonial era, there was the British South African Police (BSAP), a company like Fawcett security. After the liberation war, we came up with the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Now that Zimbabweans are liberated we are now driving Prados, and there is no segregation between an opposition MP and one from the ruling party. I would like to thank members of my community who voted me in to be a Member of Parliament. Most of us are happy as we are and are willing to come back the second time if we work well. This is happening because there is no discrimination and we are led by a good leader, His Excellency President Mnangagwa.
Most of us do not wish to go for elections soon because we are under good leadership. We can even go up to 2030 without going through elections because the country is running smoothly. I thank you.
(v)HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to join this motion raised by Hon. Mpofu. I want to air my opinion with regards to the debate. I think for me the starting point is that I need to be clear, that I do not support this motion. I think this motion is mistimed and misplaced. Starting by the definition of patriotism- patriotism is an act of love and commitment. It comes from the heart of the person. You cannot legislate and display patriotism. As Zimbabweans, we should focus on nation building. We should focus on things that unite us as a people. Whilst we want to build this nation together, we do not need to have Parliament debating something like a Patriotism Bill because everyone will be happy and everyone will be proud to be associated with this country. In my view, those who have moved this motion have put the cart before the horse. There are a lot of unresolved issues in this country that need to be addressed by this Parliament. If it is indeed the people’s Parliament, it must be sensitive to the reality of the issues on the ground. For us to debate this kind of motion is a very disappointing situation for the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
Our people are suffering right now and they are suffering due to bad political decisions made by our leaders. Decisions made in the past that have brought so much pain to the people of Zimbabwe. We can give examples over history. In 1982 to 1986, thousands of people were killed in Matabeleland North and Midlands and up to today this Parliament of Zimbabwe has not taken a clear stance in making sure that the people of the Midlands, and Matabeleland are fully restored to the national development agenda. Up to today, they remain marginalised from the national development agenda.
So you cannot as a Parliament of Zimbabwe come back to the people of Matabeleland and people of the Midlands who were victimised in this country and teach them about patriotism before you address the issues that affect them today. Some do not have birth certificates, some do not know where their relatives are buried, some were forced to go to Botswana and South Africa and they are still displaced as refugees and asylum seekers in foreign countries.
You cannot preach patriotism to them. You need to address the situation on the ground. Today in Zimbabwe, mining investments are being done and in my constituency Hwange Central, we have got investors coming, imposing themselves and defying the local community and you want those people to become patriotic. When they see someone from China being given special treatment by their own Government at their expense, their culture, history, heritage and you want to force them to be patriotic. There are mistakes that are being made right now by the political leadership of this country. Moral mistakes around corruption, gender based violence, sexual harassment and all these issues are being allowed to happen and people are being allowed to go scot free. If people try to go onto the streets to raise concern about these unpatriotic acts by our political leaders, it is those who are protesting who are being incarcerated and it is them who are demonstrating in line with Section 59 of the Constitution of this country who are being denied bail for weeks while those who assume to be the most corrupt politicians in this country, but connected to the elite, are given bail the next day. This is a gross miscarrage of justice.
I also wanted to address the issue around Zimbabweans who are being accused of speaking ill about their own country. We are not surprised that this is not happening. How many Zimbabweans have been displaced from their country in the last 25 years? We have got millions of Zimbabweans who should be in this country who have been forced out of this country. They are stranded in Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, South Africa, America and UK and all over Europe and some in Australia and New Zealand. The so called Diaspora are Zimbabweans who were forced out of this country. Has this Parliament taken time to ask them about patriotism why they are in Johannesburg or why they are in Heathrow? Has this Parliament of Zimbabwe taken time to understand why they cannot come back to Bulawayo?
Even Lavemore Majaivana is now in America. Our prophet for the people of Matabeleland is stranded in America. Is he going to be labeled unpatriotic without the Parliament of Zimbabwe understanding why he is stranded in America and he cannot be in his beloved city of Bulawayo? This is the question that the Parliament of Zimbabwe should be addressing. We cannot force our citizens to be patriotic and we cannot legislate laws to force people to be patriotic. What we need to do as representatives of the people of Zimbabwe is to come up with laws that make it easier for development to happen.
For example, right now we have got the 2013 Constitution that clearly articulated the devolution agenda. The Parliament of Zimbabwe should be debating seriously about making sure that there is a law on the ground. The Parliament of Zimbabwe should make sure that devolution helps to bring development to the people on the ground. This is what a people based Parliament of Zimbabwe should be worried about. It should be worried about the social welfare of the people of Zimbabwe. Right now we have got lock down restrictions and people are facing hunger across the country and that is what we should be debating about.
So I am totally disappointed by this motion and this whole talk about patriotism which is forced onto the people. We need to work on things on the ground instead of focusing on cheap politicking and pretending of things that are not there. The people’s Parliament must listen to the conscience of the nation and as things stand right now, there is no debate that it is hard to be patriotic in this country. The economy is doing badly and people are suffering. Poverty is the order of the day in a country that has got 60 minerals and that has been blessed with a lot of natural resources.
We want to encourage the Parliament of Zimbabwe, including myself to be honest in our conversation and start to focus on issues that give daily bread to our people. This talk about patriotism is misplaced and it should not be allowed to continue in this Parliament, in my view. I am very disappointed that we are still focusing on such issues when we have got political prisoners in this country. We have got civil society activists who have been arrested and denied bail in this country for standing up for the truth or being the true patriots of this country for saying let the law be applied equally, let it not be selectively applied. Other people from a political party can host debates, government officials can host public events but if someone from civil society or opposition does the same thing, they are immediately arrested and even denied bail for weeks. This is what will make people not to be happy. Patriotism would only be promoted if everyone is treated equally before the law.
So I would like to say that true patriotism will come from the heart of the people. Do not force them. Parliament should not force our people to be patriotic. Do not pass laws that are fascist, laws that are dictatorial in nature and say that the people of Zimbabwe are free. Let them be free to express their voices. Why are you trying to use the Parliament of Zimbabwe to force people to be patriotic when there is nothing to be patriotic about? Please stop it. Thank you.
HON. KASHIRI: Hon. Speaker, I rise to support the motion raised by Hon. Mpofu on patriotism which was seconded by Hon. Togarepi. I will not waste too much time dwelling on a lot of issues that have been raised by Hon. Members that have spoken before me. What I would like to share with the House and the nation is how to go about teaching patriotism to our youth and our kids for the benefit of the country as we go. I have done a 10 point plan which I would like to run through and then discuss it as we go.
Firstly, what we want to do is learning about the pledge and allegiance to the flag. Hon. Speaker, the youth and the kids of today do not know the importance of the flag. They cannot even salute the flag – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Hon. Speaker it is disheartening to see when the National Anthem for example is being played, youths are putting on their hats, earphones in the ears disregarding the National Anthem. We need to teach our kids how important the National Anthem is.
Hon. Speaker, we need to honour our soldiers and our war veterans – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – it does not matter how they behave today or whether you like them or you do not like them, that is not what matters. What matters is what they did for this country. For you to enjoy the freedom that you have today the freedom of speech and freedom of life is because of these war veterans and soldiers, we need to respect them.
We need to know the basic freedoms as per our Constitution. Our kids need to know the Constitution and we need to know the basic freedoms as per our Constitution. Our kids need to understand the Constitution and we need to teach them – if it were possible, the Constitution should be taught in schools at some point, maybe we start at Form Two or Form Three, it must come in their English literature or it must be drafted somehow so that it becomes part of literature as we go.
Hon. Speaker, our core democratic values, the children of today do not know what is common good, common justice or the rule of law. They do not have a clue, so how do we expect them to be patriotic Hon. Speaker. We need to be teaching our kids all these things and the pursuit of happiness is again one issue that we as a people need to teach the future leaders.
Hon. Speaker, I will bet you today, if we take 80% of the youth and ask them what is Government. No one will be in a position to tell you what Government is made of because we do not teach them. It is only us in Parliament and those in Government who know what Government is made of. Our responsibility as citizens, you and me, a Government for the people by the people, that is democratic, that is patriotism.
Hon. Speaker as we move on, we need to teach our kids how important some places are and significance of some names of our history. I am talking of places like the heroes acre. I think this happens in our primary and secondary education where kids are taken to heroes acre to see where our heroes lie. For example Chimoio in Mozambique, these are important places. When these kids go to see these places, they may have some sense of patriotism, a sense of belonging to say listen I know where my forefathers’ blood lies in Chimoio.
At this moment I would like to thank His Excellency the President for building up the history museum across the National Heroes Acre in Warren Park – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Hon. Speaker that speaks volumes on its own, I will not waste time expanding on that, they say these days, if you know, you know.
Hon. Speaker as I conclude, we need to appreciate our diversity as a nation. We are a nation that has accommodated other people in our jurisdictions. In Zimbabwe we have Malawians who are now Malawians-Zimbabweans, they have come in with their culture, they have come in with their tradition. We have accepted them as our brothers and sisters, even the British regardless of what they did to our forefathers, we are talking here of slavery, we need to teach our kids slavery. Why is it important for people to know the slave trade, what was good in it, what was bad in it, was it good or bad?
Last but not least, we are not a perfect nation Hon. Speaker, history is of paramount importance as I have alluded to the slave trade why it is wrong or why it was right. Therefore our children should learn to love and be responsible for their action as we go forward. They should learn to understand the importance of contributing as members of their communities so that they will grow up to be active and caring citizens. This will make our country smarter, safer and very safe place of living where people are patriotic. I so conclude Hon. Speaker. Thank you.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this debate. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you for giving me this time to add my voice to this important debate. I want to thank Hon. Mpofu and Hon. Togarepi for bringing in this very important debate for this country.
Let me talk about sanctions first, about economic saboteurs, people who want to inflict pain on other people, a father who goes out of the country to go and seek for pain for people in Zimbabwe so that you can rule. That is the worst thing a person can ever do. Sanctions - see them as you may want but you gain nothing. If you think they will affect other people and not you, then you are fooling yourself. You will be affected, other people will be affected. It is equal. I just wonder why one would seek for other countries to hate one country. What is the reason? One might say sanctions were not imposed on Zimbabwe but on individuals. Why, what have they done? If our ideas are different, it does not mean that one has to be sanctioned. It is a very bad system of economic saboteurs.
I hear people talk about corruption and I am going to talk about corruption as well. We do not like corruption at all. That is the reason why this Government is arresting people who are corrupt. It is not anyone; it is the Government that is doing it. Let all those people you talk about stay out there in exile because the Government of the day does not like corruption. You should know that. Now people speak about corruption as if the Government is doing nothing when they are arresting people and you see them going to court but you still speak about the Government not taking heed of corruption. What are the odds? You forget a frog can swim.
People want to demonstrate. It is a right to demonstrate in this country. They must demonstrate. Now what becomes of the demonstrations after is what the Government does not like. Demonstrating does not mean looting, throwing stones at windows or to hurt anything, it means you demonstrate and say out your idea and after the time you have been allocated has elapsed, you go back home. If you begin to demonstrate, throw stones and loot and do all those kinds of things, the Government will not take you lightly on that and when the Government acts, you cry foul. I urge the Government to act on demonstrators who are violent and let that be law.
So many economic programmes were introduced by the Government which people do not take heed of. There is devolution. The Government gives you money to develop your areas. You use resources also in your area to develop your area. It is a programme that was introduced by the Government. In agriculture, we have Pfumvudza, Command Farming, irrigations and we also have dams that are being constructed throughout the country so that people can do agriculture freely in this country. It was introduced by the Government.
Youths - there are some youth banks, for women we have women banks, those who are hungry there is social welfare, in education there is BEAM, in mining there are mining concessions which you never would talk about during the Smith regime. Even if you knew there was gold here, you would never talk about it, you were not allowed. Now in this day, you can go and get a mining claim and your papers, you mine and sell your gold freely to Fidelity. No one asks you, you get your money but people still complain. A frog can swim.
In tourism, there is tourism boost, there is local tourism and there is tourism from abroad. You would never go to Kariba or Victoria Falls before. We would read it in newspapers and in books and we would write that in examinations, but we had never visited those places and now it is free for all. What do you want the Government to do? There are so many of these programmes that were introduced by the Government but you will discover that unity of purpose in some people is zero, direction zero, togetherness zero, oneness zero, forwardness zero, ideas zero, opposing 100%, demonstrations 100%, hate speech 100%, disturbances 100%, social media lies 100%. What kind of people are you? Are you still Zimbabweans?
Let us keep safe the gains of our struggle. Struggle for freedom, struggle for land to do agriculture, struggle for education for all, struggle for mining, struggle for freedom of movement, struggle for freedom of speech, struggle for just being free as you are, struggle for being an MP which you never dreamt to be. It was a white man’s job.
To the President, hold on, keep your pedal low, drive on even though you have drunkards in the bus. Your team is spot on, never turn back, a 100 barking dogs cannot stop the journey of an elephant. I thank you.
(v)HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wish to thank you for the opportunity you have given me to partake in this debate. Allow me to thank the mover for giving us a platform to tell the Zimbabwean story as it is, not as carried by some, especially those guilty of looting this country, would want the world to believe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is action that speaks louder than words. In Shona we have a saying that says muromo hauzarirwe nerwizi, it is always easier to say but more difficult to do. So if we are indeed serious, we should not focus on wanting people to say good about us but we should simply do good. The very act, Mr. Speaker Sir, of a whole ruling party MP seconded by his Chief Whip moving a draconian motion is not a good signal of a country whose leadership seeks to bring happiness to its people but a further reason to invite closer scrutiny on this regime.
The reality of the matter, Mr. Speaker Sir, is that the so called sanctions are nothing compared to the internal sanctions imposed on Zimbabweans by the ruling elite. Let me, Mr. Speaker Sir, itemise the issues that have given Zimbabwe a bad boy reputation. Firstly, the murder often in cold blood of opposition members since the attainment of independence. Known murders of opposition members have gone unpunished. More than 20 000 people perished in Matabeleland and the Midlands region in the 80s and up to now we have not seen anything that has happened to the perpetrators of the genocide period. At the turn of the century, the murder and maiming of white farmers and their workers by some who are even in this House is another dark chapter which the civilised world frowns upon without anyone going there to tell them. The murder of opposition members during the run-off campaign where more than 500 MDC activists were killed by state and ZANU PF agents – how do you expect normal people or normal world citizens to act - to say well done keep it up? We must be real Mr. Speaker Sir.
The shooting of protestors by the army on the 1st of August 2018, in case some members may consider these victims as simple statistics – let me give you a brief account on those murdered by the army. We have Sylvia Matambo-Maphosa; a 53 year old woman who was employed by ZINWA. She left three children and a grandchild. We also have Ishmael Kumire who was a fruit vendor. He was pushed into vending because of unemployment in this country. He left a widow and four children. The irony of this gentlemen – may his soul rest in peace. He was a ZANU PF supporter but he was caught in the cross fire of a regime that puts no value to its citizens. The third victim is Mr. Garvin Dean Charles – he left a 13 year old daughter. Can you imagine a daughter losing a father at 13. What future does she have now without the guidance of her father? We also have Brian Zhuwao from Epworth. He was a car accessories dealer and was also shot on the same day. The fifth victim is Mr. James Chikandira – only 21 years old, a young life, combi driver and bread winner in his family. The sixth was Challenge Tauro; only 20 years old and was operating a store at the Gulf Complex.
Four of these victims were shot at the back, a clear sign that they were not fighting back – they were running away from danger. Up to now, no single soldier has been convicted or made to pay for these evil deeds. It is not about what people say. It is about what this Government is doing. The world has ears and eyes. We must just act positively and well so that we get a good reputation and not for people to speak well about our bad acts.
The other issues that have given our country a bad name is looting of resources by those in high positions. We have the looting of Marange Diamonds which left a whole community and province impoverished and clutching thin air whilst those in power enrich themselves. Go to Marange and ask the views of those displaced and you will hear the truth regarding the evil acts perpetrated against them. They are not being unpatriotic but just being truthful. We must be very careful and we should not criminalise telling the truth. We should not come up with laws to encourage people to tell lies so that we are in good standing with our Government which is not moving a progressive agenda for the people of Zimbabwe.
We also have the looting of Government coffers through bogus empowerment programmes like farm mechanisation 1 and 2; baccosi 1 to whatever; where those connected only benefit and leaving the majority of Zimbabweans further impoverished. To rub salt into the wound, the loans that were taken by those people were taken over by the Government. What good story can you tell the world if you run your country like that?
The recent looting of COVID funds through those connected to those in the corridors of power – it is shameful. We have got a deadly disease to fight and what do those connected do? They use the opportunity to rob Zimbabweans of their opportunity to receive support and medical help. There are plenty of challenges we face as a country and there are a lot of examples I can share but let me leave that to others and say we must, as a country, put more effort in correcting than coming up with a law that will further cause acrimony and pain to our citizens.
In conclusion, let me remind fellow MPs that you cannot legislate love or patriotism but these come naturally in response to the prevailing environment. Create a conducive environment and Zimbabweans would love their own country. You cannot force your child to love you, just treat your child well and he or she will love you because.......(Technical glitch) to make this country be run well. This motion has only served to expose this country to more scrutiny. I therefore wish to use this opportunity to call upon the international community to keep Zimbabwe under the radar. Zimbabweans wherever you are, please tell the truth. If anyone asks you about what is happening in Zimbabwe, do not think twice. The truth will set this country free. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
(V)HON. TOFFA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. First of all, I would like to thank Hon. A. Mpofu for bringing up this motion and his seconder. I am thanking Hon. A. Mpofu because it is procedure and not because I agree with his motion. Hon. Speaker Sir, it bothers me a lot – I could almost jump out of my skin as I listened to the motion that has been raised. What is it that people mean when people talk about being patriotic? When this law Hon. Mpofu wants prescribed to the country is enacted, then what, for what reason? Do people really understand what patriotism is?
Hon. Speaker, I would like to take you back to November 2017. On that day when every single Zimbabwean black, white, yellow, green came out to the streets because they were excited and because every Zimbabwean loves their country – I speak with much emotion and passion because this is the only country that we have. This is the only country we will ever have.
This motion is a direct infringement of the Constitution of Zimbabwe – Section 61 and 62; freedom of expression. As the previous speaker who spoke just now has said, you cannot force anyone to love you. Nobody forced those Zimbabweans that came out into the streets, nobody was bused, nobody was put on the train, nobody was put on any bicycle. There was no chigadhara mahara that took people to the streets. It is because Zimbabweans loved their country. If Hon A. Mpofu would have said Zimbabweans, I come with the motion here today where we are going to talk about transparency, accountability and corruption, we have put steps or measures in place to curb this corruption, I would understand and support him. If you are now as a Member of Parliament trying to bandage people’s mouths so that they cannot speak and express themselves, then we are lost.
The President in November 2017 lost a critical opportunity that could have put us as Zimbabweans where we wanted to be. We have citizens of our country in the diaspora who are supporting this country in times of need by supporting their families and Government, especially during this COVID era. We had a lot of diaspora pouring in their funds to help the fellow citizens because they love their country and yet they are not being allowed to vote. How then is anyone going to be patriotic? Whether they are being allowed to vote or not, they are still showing and expressing their patriotism.
I heard one Hon Member speak about social welfare and free education being there. How many people are benefiting from the social welfare? If as a country everything was in place, we would not even worry if anybody is saying something about you that you are not doing. Why would this Hon Member move a motion of this nature for your very own people? This is something Ian Smith’s Government used to do. Surely, as the receivers of intimidation and unfair treatment, why do we want to turn ourselves and become perpetrators? There are so many things that are waiting to be implemented.
We are looking at most of our citizens and I will speak to my passion, which is birth certificates for all. Our own citizens are stateless. A motion was raised in 2016 by the First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa and I seconded that motion which was an opportunity to give all Zimbabweans birth certificates. That was a low hanging fruit to fix the wrongs and ills of Gukurahundi where an amnesty to the whole country could have been given. Surely, those are opportunities. This motion is tantamount to bullying citizens and saying they cannot speak. They can only say what they have been told to say. In Ndebele they say, ufuna ukudonsa abantu ngamakhala. In Ndebele again they say, umntwana kafoselwa ukuthi athande ubaba, umama kumbe usisi. It comes naturally like it was said by the previous Hon Members.
In short, I would like to say that this motion should go into file 99 and the Hon Member kindly take an introspection of himself and the motion that he is about to put in place. I beg our Parliament not to entertain this motion.
(v)*HON CHIKWAMA: I wish to make my contribution on the motion that was put forth by Hon Mpofu and seconded by Hon Togarepi. A lot of things have been said on this motion but what is important is that we are Zimbabweans first and foremost. We need to protect our country and our well being as a people. We should desist from the habit of speaking negative things about our country when we go outside. It is not only in Zimbabwe that bad things are happening but if you go to every country you will notice that they do have their own bad experiences. You will notice that every country goes through a bad patch and as such, as Zimbabweans we rush to expose ourselves.
I have noticed that when some of our people go outside the country they speak ill about this country yet others will be glorifying their own countries. If there are bad things that are happening in our country, we need to sit down and talk and not rush to the outside world. This behaviour puts our country in a very bad light. We should remember that this country was fought for in order to liberate ourselves. I thank you.
(v) HON SIKHALA: Thank you very much. The first thing that I want to share with my colleagues is that the motion seeks to call upon Parliament to enact a law that prohibits any Zimbabwean citizen from willfully communicating messages intended to harm the image and reputation of the country on the international platform or engaging with foreign countries with the intention of communicating messages intended to harm the country’s positive image or undermine its integrity and reputation.
The first thing that I want to comment about is about what the motion seeks to achieve. It talks about harming the countries’ positive image. I want to give you a hypothesis. When somebody wakes up in the morning, looks at herself or himself in the glass, he/she thinks that he is the most handsome or most gorgeous woman ever created by God. However, that view an individual sees him/herself will be different from what other independent people who will meet that person in the streets see. So for somebody, there is a positive image of the country. It needs somebody to have an enquiry and look ourselves in the glass as a country to see whether the message we are communicating that there is a positive image about the country is correct or false.
It is my own conclusion Mr. Speaker, that it is not correct. It is false and delusionary that our country has any form of positive image for the following reasons; Hon. Saruwaka mentioned a plethora of very important and fundamental issues the country must look into before it starts to look for where witches are. The witches are within the House where we have been breaching a number of several international standards on how nations must be governed. How would a nation that embarks on arbitrary arrests of its opponents and critics say that they have positive image?
Since the 17th November, 2017, we have witnessed many critics of Government being arrested arbitrarily without cause, including this Hon. Member who is contributing to this debate; prominent journalists like Hopewell Chin`ono and Hon. Members of Parliament like Joanna Mamombe and several citizens both in civic and student movements. These things are not being reported by anyone but it is there for everyone to see that the people of Zimbabwe are under abuse.
There were a plethora of abductions that happened in this country before they came to the hold after citizens of our country and the international community spoke about them. We have witnessed many people who have been abducted and tortured in our country. Tawanda Muchehiwa, one of the most prominent examples I want to give. The torture of Tawanda Muchehiwa, the student journalist from Midlands State University became a subject of international debate, not through the initiation of Zimbabweans but by things which the international community has witnessed itself.
Mr. Speaker, the continued human rights abuses in our country becomes a topical agenda on the international community on the basis that human abuses such as torture are governed in terms of international law and international conventions. So, as long as we the people of Zimbabwe are not able to put our own behaviour and conduct in sync with the standards of international community, we cannot portray ourselves as having the positive image which the mover and seconder of the motion are trying to portray in our country. How would you arrest your own citizens on a non-existent law then expect the international community to simply watch? I be known to several of us is that no longer will those people who govern their states see to their own citizens the way they want without the watch of the world.
Secondly, I want to get into the territory of the law which Hon. Toffa has scratched upon, which is very fundamental. When we are discussing motions in our Parliament, we must be conscious of what the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides in as far as certain rights are provided for enjoyment by our citizens.
Mr. Speaker, this motion is in violation of Sections 58, 60, 61 and 62 of our Constitution. Hon. Kashiri spoke about a very important aspect which our country must implement, that we must make sure that we introduce a subject called the Constitution to our children who are currently at school. That is a very brilliant input from Hon. Kashiri. It will create to our citizens’ consciousness of what the Bill of Rights in their country provides. It is very important and fundamental that every citizen of our country must be educated on the provisions of our Constitution. However, some of us Members of Parliament must also encourage Parliament to take us to workshops and seminars to educate ourselves about the Constitution because every Bill or motion that we debate in Parliament is informed from the provisions of the Constitution.
Mr. Speaker, Section 58 of the Constitution says every person has the right of freedom of association with others. So for the motion to seek that citizens of Zimbabwe must be prohibited from meeting citizens of other countries when our Constitution provides and protects the freedom of association, how do we navigate for us to locate the motion to suit the provision of the Constitution that allows the freedom of association with anybody whom you want, whether in Zimbabwe or anywhere in the world? How would the movers of the motion take into cognisance the provisions of the Constitution of our country?
Section 60 Mr. Speaker, speaks of a fundamental right called freedom of conscience which is the one which includes freedom to practice and propagate and give expression of one’s thoughts, opinions, religion or beliefs, whether in public or private or whether I am alone or together with others. How would we prohibit people from being in contact with certain quarters of the world when our Constitution fundamentally protects the freedom of conscience where everybody is allowed to propagate his thoughts, whilst in public or in private? So, these are some of the fundamental issues the movers and seconders of the motion should put into cognizance.
Section 61 Mr. Speaker Sir, gives us the freedom of expression where every person has the right of freedom of expression which includes to seek recourse and then accumulate ideas and other information from anyone and any quarter, whether inside or outside Zimbabwe. How would we limit our own citizens like what Hon. Toffa correctly put across? What Smith did during the period of our liberation struggle and the fight for our recognition as a people in Zimbabwe. The period of the nationalist politics Mr. Speaker Sir, Smith drafted the law of equal measure like the Patriotic Bill which some colleagues want to push for its introduction in Parliament. The provisions were in the Law and Order Maintenance Act, which prohibited any citizen of this country to be in communication, contact or in sharing any form of information with outside persons. So, how will this Parliament sit down and debate the instillation of the replica of Ian Douglas Smith?
The people of Zimbabwe have suffered for a long time. It is now high time we discuss issues which Hon. Saruwaka pointed out that the people of Zimbabwe look upon Parliament to debate issues and subjects that will bring freedom and happiness in their homes and at their door steps. We must be able to debate this motion, having in mind the desires of our people, their pursuit of happiness and how they seek to be happy.
Section 62 Mr. Speaker Sir, deals with a provision and the right to access to information, that everyone has the right to access information, whether in private, in custody of the Government or any other agency of the State. Citizens of our country have got the right for them to have access of information. For us to debate a motion which seeks to prohibit our citizens to expand their frontiers or friendship and debate with others in the international community as if Zimbabwe is living in isolation Mr. Speaker Sir, I think we are losing focus of why we are constituted as a Parliament of Zimbabwe.
We must be able to debate issues that are to the benefit of our people. The country is currently burning Mr. Speaker Sir. Covid 19 is upon us. Citizens do not know whether the Sinopharm vaccine is safe for their use or not and we are busy debating about introducing a law that will prohibit the rights of our citizens.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the rain season is upon us. We want to know whether the Grain Marketing Board is prepared for it to buy the huge yields that will come from the farmers. Will our farmers be paid on time but we are busy debating a motion where we want to curtail the rights of our people.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): You are left with five minutes Hon. Member.
HON. SIKHALA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My input is no matter how much we want to reduce our Parliament to a talk show of non-productive debates, we must refocus our agenda to discuss the crisis our nation is facing. Our nation is currently facing a serious crisis of corruption where the looting and plunder of national resources is a national question. Those are subjects that we need to debate as Parliament. We must be able to debate the human rights abuses where citizens of our country are being arrested and are abused at every given turn and how we should move forward as a nation. We must be debating on how we can prevent torture and abuse of our people through abduction and torture like what happened to Tendayi Mucheyiwa.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this motion like what Hon. Mushoriwa said, is off the mark. Our institution must debate issues that affect our people in the immediate, not for us to debate delusionary matters. Thanks to our own national security and continued occupation of public offices. So, Mr. Speaker Sir, I second what Hon. Mushoriwa said that this motion must be removed from the Order Paper. It does not help the citizens and taxpayers of Zimbabwe who are paying our salaries on a monthly basis and our allowances. We need to debate things that lead to the progression of our nation. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member, with all due respect has no right to chose which motion has to be debated or not. Thank you.
(v)HON. JOSIAH. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also want to add my voice to the motion by Hon. Mpofu and seconded by Hon. Togarepi. I want to say Mr. Speaker that this motion has taken too long before it has been put before us because I strongly feel that there is nothing in terms of development that can take place if we do not have people that are patriotic or if we are not patriotic enough. Patriotism as we have heard is love of one’s country and not betrayal of one’s country and therefore we strongly feel that we need to love our own country. Hon. Sikhala was saying we have to explain to people because they are not sure about Sinopharm, yet it is our responsibility as Hon. Members to make sure that all people know what is good for them. We can never have development where there is no patriotism. I take it that patriotism is the stem of our development. Patriotism does not mean destruction of our own property or adverse marketing of one’s family or saying bad about words about our leadership.
I think patriotism needs one to make sure that one understands how to solve problems in one’s own country so that people outside will get very little to interfere in terms of what happens in our own country. Even in our own culture, if you have a married couple and have a habit of fighting and so on, thinking that those who are outside can help them, it will not build a family because that family needs people who will communicate on their own and also solve their own problems.
I also want to say Mr. Speaker Sir, we have come across the statement that home is best. I do not understand why we have believed that those who are outside are better than us when we are supposed to be best. Our charity has to begin from home so that even the outsiders will understand that we are a united country where we agree the same thing.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as Hon. Members, we should not forget that while we were taking oath, it stipulated that I will be faithful to Zimbabwe and perform my duty faithfully. The word faithfully cannot be tampered with. If you are faithful to your country, it means you are doing what is right for your country deep down in your heart and that which you are doing should not be to the disadvantage of the people who are supposed to get the services, those who are vulnerable. We should not be seen wasting time making noise. We have been criticised several times. Recently the electorate was saying, you people what is that you will be doing, shouting and making noise about in Parliament when we have serious issues around our country?
Our people are looking forward to us working together as a nation. We talk and come together, especially with the open-minded President that we have. Our President has called for people to discuss and talk about our issues as a nation which I think could have done us justice if we were coming together. He has proved that he is a peace loving President. Even if you look at the beginning when we had our elections, ZEC itself made a report after the elections that our President had no hate language and all other leaders were supposed to take a lesson from that. We do not have to deceive our own country. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
(v)*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to support the motion that has been moved by Hon. A. Mpofu and seconded by Hon. Togarepi. For us to be a developed nation we need to adhere to the Constitution. It is our duty as Parliament to ensure that we make good laws for the good governance of our country. We do have people violating the laws but should we go outside our country asking for sanctions? That is not right. We went for elections and results came out and those with grievances were addressed. I want to thank Hon. President Mnangagwa for winning the elections. The opposition Members are not accepting that. Do they want to be part of Government? Democracy means adherence to the law. If you go for elections and you lose; that is the situation, because there has to be a winner and a loser. You should wait for 2023.
I would want to talk about POLAD. Yes, there were quite a number of atrocities during Gukurahundi in the past but we need to move forward and see how we can solve issues and develop the country. The President has called for the formation of POLAD which consists of all opposition parties - to come together and develop our nation but you will find the Opposition is only there to oppose everything that is done by the President, no matter how good it is.
The President has sourced for covid-19 vaccines from China, America and Russia and all other countries are using the same vaccines, but you find that the Opposition is encouraging people not to take the vaccines. The vaccinations are here. They are safe and we should accept the vaccines. I would like to urge Hon. Members to unite and support the law that is coming and this will help us overcome the sanctions that were imposed on us. Those who violate the law should be punished, regardless of being a Member of Parliament. No one is above the law and all the perpetrators should be brought to book. I am in support of this motion and all what has been said. This will help us that whatever legislation we make will be for the good of everyone and also for this august House. I am in support of the Patriotic Act. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at a Quarter to Seven o’clock p.m.