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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 03 March 2015 41-20

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday 3rd, March, 2015

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER

CAPACITY BUILDING SEMINARS

  1. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Parliament is conducting a series of seminars that are meant to capacitate the Members of Parliament in the conduct of Committee business.  In this regard the following Portfolio Committees are invited to attend the Capacity Building Seminar that will be convened in the Senate Chamber on Wednesday, 4th March 2015, at 0900hrs in the morning.

The Committees are as follows;-

  1. Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology;
  2. The Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare;
  3. Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development; and
  4. Local Government.

All Committee members are expected to attend the seminar and the

Chairperson should endeavour to make sure that the members do attend

NON ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE

PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

  1. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received a Non-Adverse Report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the statutory instrument published in the gazette during the month of December 2014 to January 2015.

VACANCIES IN PARLIAMENTARY SEATS

  1. SPEAKER: I would like to inform the House that on the 19th of February 2015, I was notified by the Zimbabwe African National

Union Patriotic Front ZANU PF, that both honourable Didymus Noel

Mutasa, Member of Parliament for Headlands and Hon.Temba Peter Mliswa, Member of Parliament for Hurungwe West have ceased to be members of ZANU PF party and therefore, no longer represent the interests of the party in Parliament.  Section 121(1) (K) of the

Constitution of Zimbabwe provides as follows:-

“That the seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it”

With regard to the same matter, I must also notify this House that I have received a letter from Mr. D. N. E Mutasa, in which he indicated that his expulsion from ZANU PF party was not warranted as due process was not followed in terms of the internal party democracy.  This raises the issue pertaining to the expulsion of the member, a matter that I do not have the mandate to pursue.

It is vital that at this point, I mention that the notification to the Speaker by the party, that a member has ceased to represent its interest in the National Assembly and Parliament is all that is required at law to create a vacancy and for the Speaker to declare the seat vacant.  The duty of the Speaker after receipt of the notification was clearly explained in the case of Abednigo Bhebhe and others versus the Chairman of the National Disciplinary Committee (MDC- Party) HCB 85/2009 by

Justice Cheda, that upon receipt of the notification, the Speaker of the National Assembly is constitutionally bound to declare the seat in question as vacant. Hon. members, to that extent the position of the Constitution is unambiguous regarding the declaration of a vacant parliamentary seat.

Consequently, vacancies have arisen in Headlands and Hurungwe West Constituencies by operation of the law.  The necessary administrative measures will be taken to inform his Excellency, the

President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the existence of the vacancies in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13 as amended.

MR. SPEAKER’S RULINGS

HON. MARIDADI’S POINT OF ORDER ON MEDIA ACCESS TO

INFORMATION IN PARLIAMENT

  1. SPEAKER:  On the 18th February, 2015, a point of order was raised by Hon. Maridadi on whether the instruction given to journalists to switch off their recording devices by security officers of Parliament was in accordance with the Standing Orders and whether such an order was not in violation of the Constitution, in particular, Sections 61 and 62 which provide for the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media and the right to access to information respectively.

The Chair promised to look into the matter and make a ruling.  In coming with this ruling, I met with the journalists concerned and the Director of Security.  In terms of Section 62 (1) of the Constitution, the right to access to information is stated as follows: “Subsection (1) – Every Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident, including the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by the State or by any institution or agency of Government at every level, in so far as the information is required in the interest of public accountability”.

This right has been interpreted to mean the right to know and have facts made available to the public.  It is a right which covers the media and allows them to provide correct information and accurate reports.  It is a right that is interdependent on the right of freedom of expression and freedom of media enshrined in Section 61 of the Constitution.

In the case of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and

African Charter on Human and People’s rights, the right to access is guaranteed as a component of freedom of expression.  In other words, access to information as a right, gives meaning to freedom of expression.  It is common cause that people express themselves more competently when they are well informed.

At this juncture, it is vital to turn to Section 61 of the Constitution, in particular Subsection (1) (A), which states as follows; “Every person has a right to freedom of expression; which includes, a) freedom to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information”.  The right can be interpreted to mean, the right to express views and opinions freely without intervention.  It must be highlighted that, the rights are an important basis for the principle of democracy.  These rights bring about openness, accessibility, transparency and hence in full support of the good governance system as is set out in the Constitution’s Section 3 (2) (G).

Be that as it may, every State needs limitations to some rights which may be prone to abuse.  Such limitation has been provided for in Section, 61 (5) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which states as follows: “Freedom of expression and freedom of media exclude; incitement to violence, advocacy of hatred or hate speech, malicious injury to a person or reputation or dignity or malicious or unwarranted breach of a person’s right to privacy”.

In South Africa, in the case of trustees for the time being of the

Biowatch Trust, versus Registrar Genetic Resources and others, citation SALR (2) 2005 at page 135, as last modified on 22nd August, 2012; the rights discussed herein were upheld but in consideration of limitations.  In a Kenyan case namely, Nairobi Law Monthly Company Limited Vs Kenya Electricity Generating company and others, 278 KC 2013,  it was ruled that there is need to show that the information is required for the exercise or protection of another right,  as  a basis of challenging the need for the right.

As such, the above discussed rights are constitutionally protected rights extending even to the journalists that they have access to information using the tools which are permitted for use in the recording and disseminating information.  If need, there was any misconduct by the journalists or any other person attending a sitting of Parliament, the

Sergeant-at-Arms  has the power to remove them in terms of Standing

Order No. 171.

However, our Standing Orders as they exist, are silent on the use of electronic gadgets and as such are not in tandem with the technological developments in the media sector.  Journalists are no longer dependent on pens and their not pads only, but are also using electronic gadgets such as electronic notepads and cellphones as tools of the trade.  Same electronic gadgets have made it possible for journalists to file their stories from wherever there is internet connectivity.  There is need therefore, for Parliament to make provision for these developments in the Standing Orders, to enable journalists to practice their profession efficiently and without hindrance.

However, the journalists are also agreeable that there is need to balance their need to access, record and impart information using electronic gadgets with the need to protect the decorum of the House and security of members and Parliament Building.  As an interim measure and taking cognisance of the need to balance these competing interests, journalists will be allowed to use the tools of their trade, including cell phones and Ipads as they conduct their business.  However, they should refrain from using such devices in a manner that interferes with the proceedings or adversely affects the decorum of Parliament.  This should include among others, ensuring that their electronic gadgets are on silent at all times.  Additionally, they shout not be taking pictures from the Press Gallery in a manner that attracts the attention of members on the floor of the House.  These measures are in line with the provisions of Section 141 (C) (II) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and I recommend that the journalists and Members of Parliament read the whole of Section 141 of the Constitution which allows Parliament to regulate public access, including the media, to its sittings and that of its Committees.  This requirement is not unique to Parliament of Zimbabwe as in Parliaments like Zambia, journalists are not allowed into the House and can only follow proceedings from a Press room where they file their stories.

Let me also applaud the journalists for going a step further in forming a Committee that will be liaising with officials from Parliament on these and other related matters.  This should go a long way in ensuring that the interests of both parties are catered for.

Thus, in conclusion, administrative measures shall be put in place to ensure that the rights of the media as enshrined in the Constitution are realized and clarity is given through the responsible directorate in regard to the manner in which journalists are permitted to access and transmit information pertaining to the proceedings of Parliament to the public of Zimbabwe.  Our Standing Orders, which are in the process of revision and alignment to the Constitution, will take into account the dynamic influences that have come with the constant development of technology, thereby facilitating the work of the media in Parliament.  In addition, the proposed new Parliament Building will have structures that will take into account the concerns of the media and will also conform to media facilities as obtaining in other jurisdictions.

  1. GONESE’S POINT OF ORDER ON VOTING ON THE RBZ

(DEBT ASSUMPTION) BILL

  1. SPEAKER: The ruling by the Chair on the interpretation of

Standing Order 102 of the National Assembly:

On the 19th of February 2015, Hon. Gonese raised a point of order in respect of the meaning of Standing Order 102 (1) of the National Assembly, which he views as barring Members of Parliament who allegedly benefitted from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Farm Mechanisation Programme from taking part in the debate and voting on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Bill (H.B. 7, 2014).  Hon. Gonese also requested that a list be availed of all the beneficiaries of the RBZ programmes.  It was asserted that the list will help identify those with a pecuniary interest in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Bill, (HB7, 2014).  It was further raised that those who benefited are excluded from the voting process should we proceed to a division of the House, in respect to various provisions of the Bill.  I wish to highlight that Standing Order 102 provides as follows:

“A member shall not, in or before the House or any Committee, vote upon or take part in the discussion of any matter in which he or she has a direct pecuniary interest.

  • Any member who acts in contravention of this Standing Order, maybe adjudged guilty of contempt of the House.
  • The provisions of this Standing Order shall not apply to any vote or discussion concerning any remuneration or allowance to be received by members in their capacities as such or to any interest which a member may have in any matter in common with the public, generally or with any class or section thereof”

Further to the above, I wish also to reiterate that the provisions of Section 17 of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act, [Chapter 2:08], which reads:

“ Member not to vote on matters in which he has a direct pecuniary interest.

  • Subject to subsection 2, a member who in or before Parliament or a Committee votes upon or takes part in the discussion of any matter in which he has direct pecuniary interest, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 6 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
  • Subsection 1 shall not apply to
    1. Any vote or discussion concerning the remuneration or allowances or other benefits to be received by members, in their capacity as members or
    2. Any interest which a member may have in any matter in common with the public generally, or any class or section of the public”

In view of the above, the Chair hereby rules that the point of order raised by Hon Gonese does not have any merit at law, as sub paragraph 3 qualifies the application of sub paragraphs 1 and 2.  Sub paragraph 3 of Standing Order 102 annuls and limits that application of sub paragraphs 1 and 2, in matters where Members of Parliament share common interest with the generality of the public.  It is common cause that the RBZ programmes benefitted the generality of the population to the extent that excluding beneficiaries from the debate and voting on the said Bill may constitute unfair discrimination.

I wish to conclude by stating that when interpreting Standing Orders or any statute, members must apply a systematic approach and read all the provisions holistically.

MOTION 

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

  1. J. GUMBO: Mr. Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day,

Numbers 1 to 3 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 4 has been disposed of.

MISS. ANASTANCIA NDHLOVU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

  1. ZWIZWAI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker. The last two weeks, I raised a point of order that the continual absenteeism by Ministers in this House which leaves the House being run by backbenchers is totally unacceptable. As you would know Mr. Speaker, the Government Ministers – [HON. MEMBERS;

Inaudible interjections.]-

  1. SPEAKER: Order, order. Can the hon. member be heard in

silence and can you be brief.

  1. ZWIZWAI: The Government Ministers in general and the

Leader of the House in particular, is the responsible authority to move the motions and adjournment of the same. You have reprimanded the Ministers on not less than two occasions Mr. Speaker Sir and it appears as if your words are falling on deaf ears. We have been promised that it is not going to be business as usual; Ministers are going to be more responsible and more responsive to their duties but it appears this issue is continuing and you have assured the House that if this continues, you are going to take this matter to the highest office in the land. I thank you - [DR. J. GUMBO: Is that a threat?] – No, it is him who said it.

  1. SPEAKER: How many Chairs are there? Order, I agree with Hon. Zwizwai. There is also what we know as the reasonableness of the situation. Today is Cabinet and in terms of our Rules, Constitution and practices, Tuesday is the day for Cabinet and for that reason, I am sure if Cabinet is not through, they normally would come in and respond. I am hoping that the Ministers responsible will be back in time to attend to these issues. Yes, Hon. Zwizwai is whispering to me here in a loud voice and he says there are Deputy Ministers. Can I assure you that on Order

Number 1, Minister Chinamasa has no deputy at the moment and

Number 2, the Acting Minister of Gender has no deputy at the moment. We are hoping that once the process is concluded, the deputies will be available – [MR. MAHLANGU: Langa is no longer there.] – Do not presume Hon. Mahlangu. Point taken Mr. Zwizwai and perhaps Cabinet

will finish earlier.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON

TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

ON CAUSES OF ROAD CARNAGE

  1. MIDZI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I do stand here to move the motion standing in my name;

That the motion on the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on

Transport and Infrastructural Development on Causes of Road Carnage (S. C. 1, 2014) which was superseded by the end of the First Session of the Eighth Parliament be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order No. 43.

  1. NDUNA: I do second Mr. Speaker Sir.
  2. MIDZI: Mr. Speaker, taking into account that there is an unmitigated tragedy on our roads and that there is horrendous pain which is experienced on a day to day basis by families, relatives and friends and competitively by the nations, therefore it was taken into account by your Committee that the motion on the First Report of the

Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development on Causes of Road Carnage (S. C. 1, 2014) which was superseded by the end of the First Session of the Eighth Parliament be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order No. 43.

As a Committee, we decided that we make this recommendation so as to give opportunity to those hon. members who have not had a chance to debate and also to give the Chairman of the Committee after the intervention by the hon. members to wind up and after which the Hon.

Minister would then respond. I thank you.  

  1. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.
  2. SPEAKER: Can I guide you? I hope you are supporting the motion, without debating.
  3. NDUNA: I am supporting the motion during my debate Mr.

Speaker Sir.

  1. SPEAKER: No more debate, thank you.

Motion, with leave, adopted.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

  1. GUMBO: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 5 to 10 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 11 is disposed of because it is a significant one for the International Women’s Day.
  2. SPEAKER: I need to qualify that.  The motion by Hon.

Marumahoko is also significant.  I think what we should say is that

Sunday is the International Women’s Day.  So the mover has requested, not necessarily that his motion is not significant.

MOTION

COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

  1. KHUPE: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:

MINDFUL of the significance of the International Women’s Day commemorations on the 8th March, a day when more than a century ago courageous women took to the streets demanding better working conditions, peace and bread;

AWARE that the 8th of March is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women, past, present and future;

CONGISANT that one of the milestones of the 20th century in the struggle for women emancipation took place at Beijing Women’s Conference, 20 years ago where there was a declaration that “women’s rights are human rights”

REALISING that International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and glorify the importance of women and womanhood;

NOW THEREFORE, calls on this august House to urge the

Executive to declare the 8th of March as a national holiday to commemorate womanhood and women’s rights which are human rights.

  1. MPARIWA: I second.
  2. KHUPE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you for

allowing us to debate this motion today, since the 8th of March is the International Women’s Day.  Allow me to begin by giving a brief background of the International Women’s Day.

In 1910, a meeting was held in Copenhagen.  This meeting established a Women’s Day to honour the movement for women’s rights and to establish the support for achieving universal suffrage for women;  that is, votes for women and opportunities for women to vote.  During that time, women were not allowed to vote but women wanted to be given an equal opportunity, just like men to exercise their democratic right to vote.  The first International Women’s Day was held on the 19th of March, 1911.

This day was held in countries like Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, with rallies and meetings being held in these countries.  The 19th March was chosen because the Prussian King had promised to introduce votes for women.  Unfortunately, he did not keep his promise.

In 1913, the date for International Women’s Day was changed to the 8th of March because when the King promised to introduce votes for women, it gave hope for equality but because he failed to keep his promise, the date was changed to the 8th of March.

The 8th of March is a day where women from all over the world sit down to celebrate the achievements, economically, politically and socially.  This year, the theme is “make it happen”, encouraging effective action for advancing and acknowledging women. It is now 104 years since the concerns of women took global stage.  It is now 35 years since we got our independence in Zimbabwe.  The big question to ask is what is it that the women of Zimbabwe have achieved economically, politically and socially.  I would first of all like to interrogate what the women of Zimbabwe have achieved economically.

Women constitute 52% of the population.  Women contribute more than 80% to the Gross Domestic Product.  Half of the food consumed in this world comes from the women’s hands.  Women work 10 times harder than men and they are creators of wealth - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- The sad reality is that their contribution always goes unnoticed and I would like to substantiate why I am saying their contribution always goes unnoticed Mr. Speaker Sir. In 2006, 2007 and

2008, when things –

  1. SPEAKER: Order, order, we are all born of women – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – So you must listen carefully. Let us honour our women – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear].
  2. KHUPE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I will explain to the House how important the women are later. I was saying I would like to substantiate why I am saying the contribution by women always goes unnoticed. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 when things were really bad, the women were the ones who crossed borders to buy food, fuel and everything that was not available in this country. The women were the ones who kept this country going.

As we speak right now, Zimbabwe is highly informalised and who is in the informal sector?  More than 70% of the people in the informal sector Mr. Speaker Sir are women. Women are crossing borders everyday to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and you name it.  Mr.

Speaker Sir, when they come back, ZIMRA officials will be waiting for them at the border to collect money. ZIMRA is collecting money from women every day.

As we speak right now, if the Minister of Finance and Economic Development was sitting here, he would be telling us that this country at the moment is being sustained by women. This is because Mr. Speaker Sir, the formal sector is not operating. Very few companies are open and therefore, Government is collecting little from the corporate sector. The women of this country are the ones who are sustaining this Government but my disappointment Mr. Speaker is that, I do not here a thank you. It is important that each time the Minister of Finance and Economic Development speaks, he must always thank the women of Zimbabwe because they are the ones who are keeping this country going – [HON.

MEMBERS: Yes!] –. I would also like to take this opportunity Mr. Speaker Sir, to thank my fellow women for ensuring that this country is kept going. I think my hon. members will assist me to do that – [HON.

MEMBERS: Hear, hear].

Mr. Speaker Sir, I now want to move to what women have achieved politically. When it comes to elections, the women are the ones who are asked to run around and do door-to-door campaigns. They run around and mobilise people to go and vote. Come voting day, the women are the ones who vote more than men and statistics have shown that Mr. Speaker Sir. If there is anyone who thinks I am not telling the truth, they must go to any election and witness, you will see that most of the people on the queues are women – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] –.

So what happens Mr. Speaker Sir? After electing the leaders into positions, when it comes to appointments, you hear men saying oh, we want women of quality but when we were doing door-to-door campaigns, no one asked for quality. When we were voting for them, no one asked for quality Mr. Speaker Sir – [MS. MPARIWA: Chero C.V chaiyo] -. Right now, look at our Cabinet, how many women do we have? Three out of how many? Mr. Speaker Sir, we had a woman Vice

President and she was removed as if there was nothing wrong with that.

As women, as we think we are moving forward, we are taken ten steps backwards.  Instead of us going forward, we are now going backwards –

[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] –.

Look at Parliament Mr. Speaker Sir, we have not yet reached the threshold of the African Union and SADC which says, 50% – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

  1. SPEAKER: Order, order.
  2. KHUPE: In Parliament, we have not yet reached the threshold of the African Union and SADC which calls for 50% representation of women in decision making bodies at all levels. In

Zimbabwe, we are less than 35% and I would like to thank the women of

Zimbabwe for fighting during the constitutional making process to have

66 women added to this House and to have a zebra system in the Senate. This is the reason why our numbers are a little bit better but Mr. Speaker Sir, we have not reached the threshold.

If you look at our Constitution, the preamble talks about women’s equality. The founding values and principles talk about women’s equality. If you look at Chapter Four which talks about the Declaration of Rights, it has so many rights about women Mr. Speaker Sir, but the issue here is that, the granting of those rights is empty without the corresponding ability to exercise those rights. You can have or grant as many rights as you can but as long as you do not have a corresponding ability to exercise those rights, those rights are empty and it is as good as we do not have any rights.

Now I want to move to what the women have achieved socially Mr. Speaker Sir. Women continue to die while giving birth.  Our maternal mortality right now is 960 out of every 100 000 live birth meaning to say, 15 women die every day in this country while giving births, Mr. Speaker Sir. Women are still giving birth from home yet we are talking about an AIDS free generation. It will be almost impossible for us to achieve an AIDS free generation as long as women are still giving birth from home because these women cannot go to a hospital because of user fees.

So what happens? They do not attend antenatal clinic and are not checked for anything. If this woman is HIV positive, she will then transmit the virus to the unborn child and this is why I am saying we will never achieve an AIDS free generation. It is important that every woman gives birth from a clinic or hospital if we are to achieve an AIDS free generation because they will go for checkups. If they are HIV positive, they will be given ARVS so that they do not transmit the virus to the unborn child. Mr. Speaker Sir, HIV wears the face of a woman. Out of the 1, 2 million people who are living with HIV Zimbabwe, more than 60% of those people are women and about 200 000 are children.

Mr. Speaker Sir, women in the rural areas do not have water and electricity. As we speak right now, on a day to day basis, women in the villages wake up as early 4 o’clock in the morning. Either this woman is carrying a baby on her back or she is pregnant or it is both. She will go to the fields to till, cultivate and grow crops using unmechanised and primitive tools in the deep heat of Zimbabwe Mr. Speaker Sir.

Afterwards, she comes back to the village, carries a bucket of water, walks 4 km to look for water, comes back and goes to look for firewood. She comes back to prepare the fire and whilst the fire is being prepared, she pounds the maize and prepares a meal for her children and husband. This woman sleeps for less than four hours on a day-to-day basis. This is what our women are going through in the rural areas.

Mr. Speaker Sir, women are still victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence being the cause of disability and deaths amongst women. Having said this, women’s rights are supposed to be treated as human rights once and for all. This is the reason why I am calling on this august House to urge the Executive to declare the 8th of March as a national holiday so that every Zimbabwean is given an opportunity to stay at home so that they celebrate and glorify the importance of women and womanhood.

I want to demonstrate how important women are by unpacking the word ‘woman’ Mr. Speaker Sir. ‘W’ stands for workers. Women are workers.  They are workers in their homes, fields, industry and everywhere.  Like I said earlier on that half of the food consumed in this world comes from a woman’s hand.  Right now, we are saying we have grown a lot of tobacco and tobacco is giving us income; where is that tobacco coming from?  It is coming from the women because they are the ones who are working on those fields.

‘O’ stands for organisers; women are organisers.  They are organisers in their homes, political parties and at work.  Come to elections, women are the ones who organise people and they vote more.

‘M’ stands for managers; women are managers everywhere.  Look at any institution that is managed by women or at any country that is managed by a woman; I always give an example of Liberia.  When Madam Sirleaf Johnson took over that country, there was absolutely nothing.  She lifted that country from the dust to be where it is right now.  That is the power of women management Mr. Speaker Sir.  If you look at any company that is being managed by women, those companies are operating very well because women are not corrupt; women always ensure that they put people and companies forward.

‘A’ stands for advisers; women are advisers.  We advise all of you, we advise everybody else but the problem that we have is that the advice that we give goes in through one ear and comes out through the other ear.  This is why we have got so many problems because you do not want to listen to us – the women.

‘N’ stands for nation builders; Mr. Speaker Sir, we carry babies for nine months, give birth to them and nurture them to be who they are.

Hon. Joram Gumbo, you are who you are today because of your mother.  Dr. Joram Gumbo, Chief Whip of the Zimbabwean Parliament because of your mother.  Deputy Ministers, you are Deputy Ministers because of your mothers.  Hon. Speaker Sir is Hon. Speaker Sir because of his mother; Advocate Mudenda, Speaker of Parliament.  I am who I am today because of my mother; Leader of the Opposition in Parliament,

Vice President of the Movement for Democratic Change, Deputy Prime

Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe because of my mother – [Laughter]- Hon. Chinotimba, you are who you are because of your mother.  She carried you for nine months and gave birth to you.  You are who you are today because of your mother. –[AN HON. MEMBER:

What about my father?]-  Fathers do not carry babies for nine months.  They do not nurture or give birth to them.  It is us women who make us who you are today.

This is why we are saying the 8th of March must be declared a national holiday so that we stay at home and glorify the importance of women, celebrate and thank our mother for bringing us to become the persons we are today.  So it is very important.

I would like to conclude by sharing with you this story I heard from elsewhere.  When God created Adam, I am told that God realised that this man had so many defects.  He tried to correct those mistakes by patching him and doing everything else. This did not work.  God then said, what am I going to do with this man with all these defects.  God decided to create another person and he molded this person to perfection and he took his time.  This person is a woman.  Women are perfect and special people.  This is the reason why they are supposed to be treated with dignity and respect just like any other human being.

Finally, I would like to call upon this august House to urge the Executive to declare the 8th of March as a national holiday so that the women of Zimbabwe will say at least our contribution has been noticed.  At least we are now enjoying our sweat as women and our Government is appreciating our contribution economically, politically and socially.  I hope and trust that we are going to speak with one voice in urging the Executive to declare the 8th of March a national holiday so that we sit at home, glorify the importance of women, celebrate and thank our mothers for bringing us to become who we are today –[HON.

MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

  1. SPEAKER: There is a Ford Ranger, registration number ADI 9395, black in colour that is blocking other vehicles. This also applies to a Prado Land cruiser, silver in colour, registration number ABL 4898.  If these vehicles are not moved out in the next five minutes, we will get them clamped.  Thank you.

*MS. MPARIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution.  I would like to start by congratulating the hon. member for raising this motion.  We also thank you Hon. Speaker and Hon. Gumbo for giving us the opportunity to have this motion in the House.

Every person in this House is born of a woman and we appreciate that you made the value of women.  If we look at what is happening in the country; all people are born by women but these people have different opportunities.  They do not have equal opportunities, safety or equal value.

As stated by Hon. Khupe, the work done by women is looked down upon.  Very few people appreciate that.  We are saying as women, we no longer want to celebrate this day like any day being at work. We would like this day to be declared a public holiday so that we celebrate this day partying with our grandchildren, friends and family. In this way, we will have elevated the status of our country in the world.

Countries of this world celebrate New year and Boxing holidays just like we do in Zimbabwe.  As Zimbabwean women, we are now saying Zimbabwe is the Chairperson of SADC and Africa, hence the need to lead by example.  In the SADC community, we have 7 out of 15 countries which celebrate the Women’s day through holidays on the 8th of March.  One of these countries is Seychelles which has elevated this day to a public religious holiday.  This holiday has been combined with the Women’s International day where businesses are shut down and women celebrate their day with their families at home.  People can only observe such a day if it has been designated and declared a state holiday.

Out of these 7 countries, which recognise this day as a holiday, Zimbabwe is not one of them.  In moving this motion, hon. Khupe touched on a lot of ideas and I am only filling the gap in calling for this day to be declared a national holiday.  Zimbabwe is the Chairperson of SADC and the Africa Union and cannot just stand by and watch these other 7 countries celebrating this day as a holiday.  There is an English proverb which says charity begins at home.  Zimbabwe should declare this day a public holiday and all the other countries will follow their leader.

If we declare this day a holiday, as women, we will feel very much honoured and as a country, we will be proud of our country which will be counted as one of the few countries which recognise the importance of women in this world.  We will have fulfilled our constitutional obligation on the importance of women and we will be able to celebrate this day enjoying our jam, margarine and peanut butter with our families.

My last contribution Madam Speaker is that, no country can celebrate its independence when women are oppressed.  Therefore, following our Constitution, we need to declare the 8th of March as a Public holiday so that in 2016, this day will be celebrated as a holiday and we will have led by example.  On this day, both men and women will celebrate this day with their families.  I therefore, I appeal to both women and men in this House to support this motion so that the 8th of March is declared a Public holiday in recognition of the importance of women in our lives and country. It is my appeal Madam Speaker, that we recognise the importance of women in that the 8th March be declared a Public holiday.

*MR. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on such an important motion raised by Hon. Khupe.  There are very few men who do not recognise the importance of women in their lives.  Women are very important. As we make our contributions in this House, regardless of our stature, we were all born by women. Thanks to the Lord above who bestowed the power of creation upon women so that they carry babies for 9 months.

Madam Speaker, despite the above accolades, I have a problem in supporting the motion of declaring this day 8th March as a public holiday. I have been looking at our calendar. We have a lot of holidays; therefore if we declare this day a Public holiday, we will disturb the production process of our country and national economy.

I was looking at countries like Japan and China who work for 24 hours in their industries; hence, they develop their economy. So, as

Zimbabwe, if we add one more holiday Madam Speaker, we will disturb our processes of production.  If we declare this day a holiday we will have set precedence in that the youth will also want a holiday, as well as men, hence these many holidays will disturb the country’s production.

Men will also say they want to declare Fathers’ Day a holiday.

Regardless of what I am saying, this does not demean the value of the

Women’s Day because when you are talking of independence, it is so important.  When we were under slavery, under foreign rule, we did not have this independence.  I worked as a police officer.  Before independence in the 1973s and 1974s and we had very few women in the force.  Most of these people were men and women and they were very few.  But, at independence in 1980, the number of police officers in the force increased, hence, we have to thank our Government which showed the importance of women and equality of gender in affording women to get into the posts which they were denied during the colonial rule.

Madam Speaker, before independence and in the colonial era, women could not sit in the seat where you are seated and we have to thank our Government for giving such independence and equality of sexes.  We have about 18 laws which were aimed at the elevation of women in whatever sphere of life.  We now have Chief Executive Officers who are women and even our Government ministers, we have women.  On the proportional members to the population, the point is, we still have room.  I went to Madagascar and we asked the number of women who were there, we were told that about 15% were women.  But, in Zimbabwe, women now occupy 35% of the proportional seats in our Government.

Therefore, we should praise our Government for taking such a step in elevating the status of women in the country.  When we talk of women’s rights, they are human rights because women are very precious in our lives and in our country.  We have women making their contribution because they also go out of the country and they are expected to import goods for the progress and growth of the economy of our country.  We need to continue with the progress which is in our country.

In Zimbabwe, when we went to do the land distribution programme, women were also beneficiaries of this programme because we realised that they were enablers of the growth of our economy and that they have the potential to lead to the growth of the economy of the country.   Hence, the direction which is being followed by Cde. Robert

Mugabe’s Government is that women have the ability and the capability to lead to the growth of our country and we need such leadership which shows that women are very precious.  We need to support such a leadership which recognises that women are very precious.  At one time, Zimbabwe was one of the few countries which had a woman Deputy President.  We love this day and we appreciate it.  I am saying, we need to celebrate this day whilst we are working for the progress of our country.  I thank you.

  1. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker,

for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution.  I would like to appreciate the mover of the motion, Ms. Khupe and the seconder, Ms. Mpariwa for coming up with such a motion.

Madam Speaker, every man who is where he is, is there because that person is coming from a woman and the importance that we need to attach to women is very great.  The role of a woman in a family unit is very pronounced and important.  For someone to get parental guidance in a family unit, there has to be a mother.  Families that are without mothers usually do not come up with people who are well mannered or people who observe the norms of society holistically.   So, the importance of mothers is an important issue that we should look at and consider seriously without political persuasion.

Madam Speaker, I look at the African woman from a historical perspective.  You will see in the communal lands, in the rural areas, an African woman with a child on her back and some load on her head.

Usually, they are closer to the interests of the family more than the fathers and all these things that they are doing, they are doing them simply because they would like to have a successful family.

Madam Speaker, I would like to say, there is a song that is authored and played by Torky Vibes and he talks about chitsidzo changu naamai.  If people listen to that song, you will see that there is a relationship that is very close between the mother and the child.  Indeed,  maybe it is because of the umbilical cord that traditionally binds them together.  The idea of coming up with a day to respect mothers in my view is not a bad one.  I do not want to be taken along political persuasions but, I want to relate according to how I relate with my mother.  I grew up in a family where I was parented by my mother more than my father but, look at where I am.  I have a history that is traceable and very illustriously in a way.  It is my mother who managed to do that for me.

Madam Speaker, there are many days that we waste during the course of the week, if you go to a workplace, there are many hours that are wasted that cannot be compensated by one day that can be given to our mothers as a way of respect.  I am saying this because I was touched by the motion and I thought that as Zimbabweans, let us do something original.  I am happy that this new Parliament, the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe is coming up with new ideas.  These ideas aim to change the face of how we think and the way the laws in this country exist.  I will be coming up with a motion that is also along the same lines, that is looking at changing the laws that currently exist.  I would like to believe that if we seriously consider this motion as an African nation and we give respect to 8th March of every year, you will then see other nations also trying to address their situation.

I thought it important for me to make a contribution with an independent mind because the importance of the mother in a family unit is great.  I am in support of the prayer of this motion and as we deliberate, let us consider the importance of the mother figure in a family unit.  I appreciate what Government has done in terms of supporting women.  Our Government has moved miles in supporting women and we applaud that.  It is the Government of our President that realised that women need to be given recognition.   That recognition was given but we are saying let us move further and take women in their respective positions in life such as in the areas of education and employment.  In other areas we have really followed that route and appreciate and value what has happened.  With these few remarks, I would like to say that I strongly support this motion.

+MS. L. SIBANDA: Thank you Madame Speaker for giving me the opportunity to say a few words on this motion. I would like to thank the mover of this motion Hon. VP and Hon. Mpariwa who seconded it.

*MR. MASHANGE: On a point of order Madam Chair, we heard the speaker saying we have the Hon. VP present, can she please explain what she means by that.

+MS. L. SIBANDA:  Madam Speaker, I would like to apologise.  It is Hon. Khupe.  We know that women constitute 52% of the population in Zimbabwe.  In the family, women are the ones who take care of the children.  They look for money and look after the children.  When there are orphans in the family, they assume the task of looking after those children.  During funerals, women are the ones who do most of the work.  They comfort those who will have lost their loved ones while men will be drinking beer.

The 8th March should be an important day for women and should be made a holiday.  Women are very brave regardless of the men that they have, who could be drinking beer or smoking mbanje.  Women are prepared to marry that particular man and they make sure they care for the family.  In addition, another fact about women is that they are able to keep secrets.  If they do not do that, there will not be peace in any nation.  There will be so much insecurity.

I also want to say that a woman is an important person.  You can see a pregnant woman, carrying a baby on their back and also carrying a heavy load on their head while the man will be carrying an axe and not helping the wife.  If you also look at our Cabinet, there are only 3 women there and that translates to the fact that the problems being encountered by women are not well represented.  Therefore this day should be viewed as very important and Government should look into it and make it a holiday for women.

  1. CHIDAVAENZI: I would also want to thank the mover of this motion. Men acknowledge and will always appreciate mothers’ love and care.  It is for that reason that every male, whether human or animal is trying to be with or within the woman.  Given and if permitted, the desire will be ultimately to go back into the mother’s womb.  It is a natural phenomena created by God, hence it is only natural that men support mothers and the day of the mother.  Let us find each other, love each other and respect each other because mothers mould and drive character, morale and development of the family and the nation at large.

Women, be assured that men love you.  Never feel inferior because we are one and we are meant to complement each other.  Holiday or no holiday, I love you sweet mother.  I thank you.

*MS MAKONYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I would like to thank Hon. Khupe for the pertinent motion.  As women, we are very important because without women we would be nobodies.  When we look at our lives, if someone is hurt – [MR. CHIMANIKIRE:   Shut up.] –

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, hon. member, I do not think we can be shouting “shut up” to another hon. member.  Will you please withdraw your statement?

  1. CHIMANIKIRE: Madam Speaker, I withdraw but the hon.

member was shouting “Tsvangirai”, who is not in this room.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Unfortunately, I did not hear that but I heard what you said.  Can you please take your seat – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection] – Order, order, can we have order in the House.  Hon. member, can you please proceed with your debate.

*MS. MAKONYA: Madam Speaker, when I look at our lives, looking at men and women, you will find that if a man gets ill, there is no way he calls for the father but they call their mother despite their age. Which means that mothers are very important. If someone gets to a home and finds a man there, if she asks if there are people there, the fathers will say there are no people even if the father is around. The reason why they say there are no people when they are there is that, they cannot cook and entertain visitors like women. So a person who is more important in a homestead is a woman.

Madam Speaker, if we look closely, as women, we find that we are very important even in our political parties. Political parties are strengthened by women and the parties get their support from women, so we are very important. Even if you go to churches, you find that women are more in churches than men. Which means that women are very important. When they are not there, that man is not complete. Even if you look at widowers, you will find that a widow can live much better than a widower because if a man remains with children at home, it is very difficult and there is a great deal of difference between a man who has lost his wife and a woman who has lost her husband.

Madam Speaker, if there were no women giving birth in the world, one of the speakers said that if they were to spend eight years as women without giving birth, it means that, that country will not be in a good standing. There will be no more children in schools because the women will not be doing their job. People will be extinct in the world.

Madam Speaker, women are very important because if we look at widows living in Zimbabwe, a lot of the people engaged in vending are women. Women can survive without men. Even if you look at it where women lose their husbands, they are not quick to look for other husbands but they control their feelings as women. Men cannot control their feelings as women.

Madam Speaker, what I want is that the Constitutional provisions should be practiced, that women should give birth without any penalty because they are doing a national duty. They should not be detained in maternity hospitals. It is enacted in our Constitution but it is not being practiced. We should be discharged from maternity hospitals even without paying hospital fees. Our rights as women should be exercisised when it comes to that. Madam Speaker, I am saying, as a Government, this day, the 8th of March should be recognised as a national holiday so that we rest as women to show that women in Zimbabwe have favour bestowed upon us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-  and to show that we have been remembered as women due to our hard work as we do our national service which we do in Zimbabwe. Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this opportunity.

*MS. NKATAZO: Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion. I would want to thank Hon. Khupe and Hon. Mpariwa for bringing such a pertinent motion into this House. I am so happy that women are rising up for the betterment of other women. A woman is very important in the country, in the home, at work and in everything. They are important. Worldwide, women are important.

Secondly, if there is no mother at a homestead, you can notice the difference. I experienced it when my mother passed away that a woman is very important because my father remained as an orphan. A woman knows how to feed the family and how to look after the family as well as the various chores that everyone should do at home. So we want to thank our President because he is aware that there are women. Firstly, after attaining our independence in 1980, he recognised women and secondly, our President Cde R. G. Mugabe was aware that women could not get into Parliament because of the unfair political ground so that he gave us a quota as women through the quota system.

We can speak a lot about a woman. A woman on her own at home and even at work, you will find that as we are talking, good ideas come from women but what I see is that as women, we support our women’s day but I think it is good for us women to congregate on that day and discuss about what we can do and engage so that we do not make it a holiday. If we turn it into a holiday, the men will also demand holidays as well as the youths and we will end up all of us not going to work because of so many holidays – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.]-

We are aware that as women, men may not say it but they really respect us. Even if we are not there, our men speak highly of their wives in our absence.  They know that most of the achievements are there because of women.  For us to come up with a holiday on Women’s Day, I do not think it is necessary because it is known that we are valuable.  We can just recognise the day, not as a holiday.  It does not mean that for us to be recognised we need to lazy around on that day.  We can celebrate even at work as we have done before.  We can move around making awareness in our districts, wards and constituencies.  Probably, most of us were not recognising this day before.  In my constituency, we really recognise this day without it being a holiday.

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank our male counterparts for realising that women are important. – HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] –

*THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, if a member debating

has not said what you want, you will get an opportunity to debate so that you can air your views because some of this noise does not earn us honour.

*MS. NKATAZO: Thank you Madam Speaker for protecting me.

It does not mean that because we are saying women are important in every nation, this day should be declared a holiday.  What we are saying is women are important in every area.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

+MS. MKANDLA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to add my voice on this motion which was moved by Hon. Khupe and seconded by Hon. Mpariwa.  I would like to say that a woman is important to each and everything in this world.  A woman is a way to life on earth, a teacher to everyone especially the fathers.  I would like to say, we have heard that there are single mothers in the world but there are no single fathers.  Single parents are only women.  I am saying this because farms were given to single women but if you give a farm to a single man there would not be development.  Even the rains would not come in that particular year.  Thirdly, women are the greatest Christians.  They constitute most of the churches.  A woman leads a family to go to church so that the children grow up in the right ways.

A woman is important in each and every nation so that a family can grow up knowing how to respect elders, that is if the woman respects herself in whatever she does.  We have orphans in our homes who have parents who died because of HIV/AIDS.  There are no males who are taking care of those children; it is the grandmothers who are taking care of these children. It has been said before that we thank our President and the Cabinet. Today, as women we stand as Members of Parliament and we are respected from where we come from.  With these few words, may women be respected and may their day be honoured?

MRS. MISIHARABWI-MUSHONGA: Firstly, let me thank the

mover and seconder of the motion.  Basically, let me start by something that we do not usually do in this House, which is to salute at least some people who sit in the gallery.  Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that when we are debating such an important motion, we only have one journalist who is a male.  I want to thank him for being here.  I had thought that this gallery would be full because like my colleagues have said, we are all born of women.  Whether you are a journalist or sitting in the House, today would be a day where you want to celebrate and say to yourself, I am not only celebrating my being alive but I am celebrating the mother who took time to bring me to life.  So I want to celebrate the gentleman who is sitting here today – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

When Hon. Khupe moved her motion, she said something about how courageous women are.  She referred to the Bible and I want to go back to the Bible.  When Jesus was crucified, his disciples went and hid in a house.  The three people who went to look for Jesus were women.  I think that speaks to the courage that women have about themselves and what they do.

As I said, I only have four points to make.  Madam Speaker, I am saying this with humility.  Sometimes if you look in a monster’s eye for too long, you can become a monster.  On this particular day, when we speak about the importance of us women, we also need to have introspection about ourselves as women.  Sometimes we begin to behave as men against each other.  I think that we need to underline because if we are not careful we will turn out to be men and become people that work against themselves.  As we celebrate, let us also look at the fact that sometimes we may actually begin to mimic the male behaviour and men will not find anything to celebrate in us because what they see us doing to each other is not worth celebrating.

The second point that I want to raise is the issue that speaks to – and forgive me the mover of the motion, I wish you had told us that we were going to move it today because one thing that has taken the world over is that issue of the woman who was stripped naked by vana hwindi.  Today, if we had known we were going to have this motion, in order to make it as clear as possible, we probably all as women would have come dressed in miniskirts only to show that a woman has a right to dress. So I am a bit disappointed that you did not warn us early and we would have done that – [MR. MHLANGA: You can do it tomorrow.] – No, tomorrow the motion would be done.

The third issue that I want to raise is the fact that I hear and it is disappointing, that some of our colleagues are speaking about not having a holiday because I think the essence of this motion is not about celebrating women. Women are celebrated every day. It is unfortunate that sometimes in the courts of law when you read about divorce, a woman does not get anything because the judge says she was not working and yet we know that for that man to be clean, for all these men that are sitting in this House with beautiful ties, some woman somewhere, whether she is a small or big house, woke up in the morning and made sure that you are looking good this morning. When the judges make their judgments and are dividing issues, they will say to you we are not going to give you so much because you were not going to work.

They forget I carried the baby; I bathed the baby, waited for him to come and gave him more food later in the night which he may have demanded, any kind of food which you can find in any way you want to describe it.

What I want to say to Hon. Khupe is that if there is any Parliament that has raised women’s issues, it is this Parliament and I am proud of that, but the unfortunate thing is that we have no motion out of those that have carried the day. It does not matter whether it has been about women vendors, sanitary wear, child marriages or inheritance; we have not carried the day and perhaps we need to begin to be radical because if we are not radical, we are not going to get what we need.

I am going to make a suggestion which is radical which will make people mad. If you think the 8th March should not be a holiday, then perhaps we should say no holiday no sex so that at the end – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – of the day there is a rest for women because every man would want to have sex on the 8th March – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – and you do not think that we have a right to be waking up nice in the morning so that when you want to get whatever you want, – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – you are going to get it to me while I am relaxed and happy,  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – then it is fine. So if you do not give us 8th March as a holiday, then you are not having sex – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]. I thank you

* MR. CHINOTIMBA: I want to support the mover and seconder of this motion concerning women. Even if we disagree here and there but the motion which has been raised by Hon. Khupe is an important motion. A woman is very important on earth. A woman should be respected not only on the streets but even in the homes we should respect women. Even on their own, women should respect each other because if we go back to the Bible, Proverbs 14 from verse 1 says, a wise woman builds her home but a fool destroys it with her hands.

We see the same qualities in women; they can build or destroy their homes using their own hands. What they were talking about, you can find on both sides. If you look closely, Hon. D. Sibanda is not here and if you ask where she is, she will tell you that she is not well but we know that she was beaten because of other women – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –. So women on their own do not like each other. I always talk about these issues of women even at church. Women sometimes forget that they are women. You find that these women behave differently towards each other. A woman who gets married into a family easily forgets that the mother-in-law is also a woman and she will not give her groceries. She forgets that as time goes on, she will also be a mother-in-law.

If a woman who joins me in my family is stingy when it comes to my mother which means when I am working I have to buy two groceries, one for my mother and the other for my wife which is impossible. My wife is supposed to look after my mother but we know that these two women cannot get along and she forgets that for her to love me it is because of the mother. I also have a right to look after her mother. So a woman should not steal from me because I support her mother as well while she looks after my mother. What I am saying is that women can build or destroy their homes using their own hands.

This issue of respecting women is simple, women are respected in a number of ways, not only in this House but as husband and wife. They can respect each other in their home and we can also respect women as we move about. So the most profound respect should come from the husband. There is no one who can respect women in general but husbands should respect their wives in their homes because they bore them children and cook for them. When we talk of respecting one another, someone respecting someone where there are no attachments is very difficult.  In my case, I respect my wife because she bore me children and I do whatever she wants.

Where I think we need to change in our Shona culture is on matters of lobola.  We bear children together with my wife but when lobola is paid; a woman is given only one cow, which I think women should be up in arms when it comes to that.  If there is love in that family, if the father charges ten cows for his daughter; it is for the mother and father because the mother is also a partaker in the inheritance.

Our women are very courageous; when there is a funeral, they sit in the room where there is a coffin unlike men. Even if the body goes bad, women will be there singing.  Women are very brave; if you see a woman with grey hair, they will be referred to as witches.  Even a daughter in law will accuse her mother-in-law of witchcraft. Women should talk about their problems with their children.

There is a story behind this in the Bible; this might have caused the problem of calling women witches.  When the daughter of Herod danced, her mother instructed her to ask for John the Baptist’s head; which means that women create problems for themselves.  That daughter approached Herod and said I want John’s head.  That is the beginning of witchcraft for women.  Up to now, no one knows where the skull is.

Maybe it is in the granary.

I am trying to say that women are important and they can destroy all that because all that we are saying is that we should come up with a holiday on that day; if we do that – it is not surprising that even the youths will say that for women to be there, she starts as a youth. Even for them to be adults, they start as youths.  They will say that they are important.  Even for me to be able to have a family, I should get a day of

rest.

Also, men can also come and say that without a man, no one can conceive.  That is why our President does not support homosexuality.  So the respect of women comes because of men.  If there is no man, a woman cannot bear children.  If bulls stay in their kraals, there is no reproduction.  Even if cows stay in their kraals, there will be no calves.  Women are very important but they are important through their husbands.

This issue of setting aside a day, yes we have agreed that women should be respected but there are some men who beat their wives like school children in these homes.  That is very bad.  There are also women who are bad.  Right now there is a story in the paper about a

Chitungwiza woman who killed her husband using three knives.  That is not a good spirit.  We urge women that they might be hurting or this might be self defence, but when this self defence comes to our culture, it is bad because it will end up as an avenging spirit.  The respect that I will ask from women is that there be love between husband and wife.  If you love each other in the home; it can be remembered.

If there is anyone who does not have a husband, there is something wrong either because of disease, being widowed or they cannot stay with a man in the home.  That is why you see some women run shebeens.

I know people may laugh at me as I speak but I am a pastor and that is the word that I preach every day that husband and wife should love each other.  You should not fight; you should be transparent in your homes.  Everything should be transparent even your finances.  I support this motion.  We should respect our women but I do not agree that a holiday should be declared.

Mr. Speaker, we had this man; I have forgotten his name – he would come into this House. He would move around writing letters and giving to women; that idea of someone coming – I know in other countries it is done.  There are some things that we want to take as

African countries.  If you go to America, there is homosexuality but here we do not agree.  We should not follow some of these things.  We have our own day when we remember women.  For example, we have our

President’s birthday on the 21st of February but he did not celebrate it on that day; he celebrated it on the 28th.  So, if women want to rest, we can look for any other day where we can all go to church, celebrate the women’s day whilst praying, giving thanks to the Lord, fellowshipping and  kissing our wives.  Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I thought that I was in church preaching.  So with these few words, I want to urge all the men here, that you should stay with your wives and give them what is due to them; that is my gospel.  In the book of Deuteronomy, there is a verse which says, if a woman is not given what she is supposed to be given, she has a right to go elsewhere and the husband cannot say she has committed adultery because he would not have given her what she is supposed to have. So, women should be respected in the houses where we are staying and they should be given a day of rest.

*MRS MATIBENGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for according me

this opportunity so that I can add my voice on this motion before us.  My debate is going to be different so that we really table how women are important because the speakers before me have debated a lot about it .  It is really amazing; it looks like we just dropped from heaven like people who do not have a history.  Our culture has always given the same opportunity to men and women, when we grew up everybody would wake up and fend for their families then meet again in the evening.  As a woman, I would be having my vegetables, mushrooms and all the other things that a woman can pick from the forest.  On the other hand, the father would also go into the forest and would come with rabbits and we would bring those things together and greet each other.

However, the differences between women and men came through industrialisation when a man would come home holding an envelope with money, hence it would look as if the woman was doing nothing yet the home and children would be clean.  I am saying this to remind people that we should not forget our background because our culture used to give us equal opportunities.  So, what we are saying today is that we just want to have equal opportunities because men and women were separated.  Men came to town, staying in compound or hostels whilst the women remained at home.  We should learn about that so that we understand when it comes to this issue of equal opportunities in order to operate from the same level.  If we look at our languages, we say that we have seen a person.  If you really want to go further, then you can say it was a woman; so we refer to a person not gender.  As the people of Zimbabwe, we should be able to stand by the truth instead of discriminating each other; it is foreign in our country, we never used to have it, and we had our life which was equal to all people.

Mr. Speaker Sir, this is an issue which we should all talk about together as men and women because I really get worried when a motion is taken lightly and some things are brought in so that the motion would be watered down.  People have spoken; I do not have any words when it comes to the importance of women.  However, there are women who are vending in the streets.  Where we come from, they are also there vending. Their rights are not being looked at, that is the only thing that I can add because all the speakers who spoke before me have touched on all the areas concerning women and they have talked about the importance of them.

I want to take this opportunity to say that this day, I know that the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development has got plans each and every year.  This year it is going to be celebrated on a Friday and if it is under the umbrella of the Government, it should be held apolitical so that all the women will receive it.  The spirits of the politician will come out when we celebrate in our party regalia.  I would like to use this opportunity that the Ministry should speak about it and invite women from all walks of life that it is a women’s day for everyone despite their political affiliation.

On political affiliation, it should not be politically aligned because there, there are some spirits which rise and we do not understand them.

On the same issue, when it comes to this Women’s International Day; in the rural areas, we once visited one constituency and we were given fuel but when we got there, we discovered that everything there was not good.  I think that everything should be held under the banner where everyone would be inclusive so that we would all be free because we would be celebrating our day which is important to us as women.  I thought I should just add my voice and I support this motion that this day should be declared a holiday.  You find someone sitting down thinking about this day to be declared a holiday, he or she would have done a research or investigations.  They would have looked at the pros and cons of that day and weighed them and that is the reason why it should be declared a holiday.  If it has been declared a holiday, people celebrate in various ways.

People fend for their lives in various ways but if my employer knows that it is a holiday, I would have an opportunity and probably that is the day that I would want to engage in those extra-activities, it is up to me.  It gives me the freedom to celebrate this day without any pressure from work or these other duties.

Let me conclude by saying, if we finish this debate without thanking the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe, we would not have done justice.  The Seventh Parliament Started in 2008 to 2013.  They were able to fulfill a thing that was not being able to be fulfilled since independence, which is coming up with the Constitution of Zimbabwe; it is the Constitution of women.  We want to acknowledge what transpired in the Seventh Parliament that now we have writings which talk about the rights of women.  What is now left is for us to take steps so that we fulfill the Constitution.  I would want to thank those who were in the Seventh Parliament for coming up with the Constitution of Zimbabwe which brought up the importance of women.  Also, the Eighth Parliament, if they can go a step further to make sure that the issues in the Constitution are fulfilled.  I thank you.

*MRS. THEMBANI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would want to thank Ms. Khupe and Ms. Mpariwa for coming up with this very important motion.  I think, long back when we were young, there was a song which used to be sung about women carrying pregnancies while men do not.  Women give birth and you do not sleep because you will be looking after the children.  The husband can even leave the room.

When it is time for the children to go to school, they would run back home when they have been sent back home from school because they do not have a pencil.  As a mother, you have to look into it and see that the child gets the pencil and also that the family has food on the table.  If the family does not have food, it is the fault of the mother.  The motion is very important.  Yes, men also have some work to do but when you weigh it on the scale, you will find that women do a lot more than men.

Someone has talked about the Seventh Parliament and it all came from people who respected us.  The Government is also respecting us.  Long back, if a girl child was impregnated, she would be chased away from school and the boy child would remain in school but, the President has said, we do not want bulls.  If a boy impregnates a girl, he should pay.  That is why he came up with the issue of maintenance.  I once went into a maintenance office and I came across this huge man who was very angry because he was supposed to pay maintenance.  So, our

Government really thinks of us.

There are also issues about inheritance.  As women, it used to happen that if the husband dies first, you would not be allowed even to pay your last respects to your husband because you would be in trouble.  People would be after you because they would think that you have money somewhere else but the Government has seen that as women, we should also pay our last respects to our men.  So, we should observe this day and take it further as women.

We know that there are also some NGOs which are helping us and we are on another stage.  Women were the first ones to unite.  So, I think that as women, we should unite and celebrate this day despite our political parties.  Thank you.

+MS. R. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the mover of the motion Ms. Khupe and the seconder Ms. Mpariwa.  I am also one of those who would want to support this motion.  It is a very important motion that makes us feel special as

women.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe that worldwide, there is no one who is bigger than a woman.  When I look at it properly, every living person or creature, whether it is an animal or even a goat, for it to come to this earth, it has to pass through a women’s womb.  Therefore, I believe that a woman is very important in this world.  If only men could realise that when a child is born, it becomes a lot of work.  When a child is born, they cannot even walk for themselves and they cannot speak nor even know anything that happens in this world.  However, a woman keeps a child from the time that they are in the womb until the time when they crawl.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I find this motion very important for us as a nation because each and every one of us comes from a woman’s womb.  We realise that a woman has a lot of work in the nation.  When children are born, they do not know whatever is happening around them.  However, a woman can tell from signs what the child wants.  When a child is crying, they can tell if the child is hungry and when a child begins to crawl, it is a woman who knows.  You would not even know what you are or where you are going but, the mother knows.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I hope that we make this day very special as a nation.  In 1980, when we got independent, women were not given that special status.  We were not even called by our names.  When you died, it would be like the death of a dog.  Women were not referred to by their names but by the names of their children.  For that reason, I would like to say this is an important day for women.  I would like to thank the President of this nation. He saw it fit when he started ruling this nation as a person who came from a woman’s womb, to make women special.

We would like to unite as Zimbabweans and make important the life of a woman because a home with no mother is not a proper home.  In that case, you will find the home very untidy because the father is not meant to do the duties performed by a mother.  When a mother dies in a family, the father becomes an orphan.  You can even tell from the way the man dresses that the woman is not around.  They will try to dress themselves up but because they are not created for that reason, they cannot manage it.  For this reason, I would like us to unite and speak with one voice on the issue of the women’s day.  On this day meant for women, it does not matter which party you belong to but it means that this day is our day as women.  We need to make this day important and not think about our political affiliation.  As women, we need to come together and speak about our problems.  We should also tell the men that when married to a woman, they are not married to an animal.  They should not beat them up or be violent against them.

Though the men may not respond, they would have heard you and they will go and spread the word to other men.  There are men who do not know that women are their friends.  Of course, in the Bible they say that we came from a man’s rib.  So, how would you feel if your rib is not comfortable every day?  As women we may do wrong but as a man, there is need to understand that a woman, is your greatest helper.  For that reason, great importance has to be attached to the women’s day.

Others are saying that the women’s day should be made a holiday and as this day approaches, as women, regardless of our political affiliation, we should come together and speak of our problems. We are here today as women because of the quota system.  The President realised the importance of women and I would like to give a round of applause to His Excellency and wish all men were like him.  They need to realise the importance of the women that they live with.

There are some men who come home late from beer halls and find the woman already asleep.  They want that woman to wake up and give them food but they do not know how to knock and wake the woman up properly so they can be served food.  Others just kick the door and get in, thereby scaring the children.  Men should pass the word.  As we speak about this day, all the men in this august House should understand the importance of this day.  If there are men who were beating their wives, they need to question themselves.  There are some women who become uncomfortable when their husbands come back home.  However, it is important that as we live in our homes, we need to understand each other and live amicably together.  We need to know what our partners like and dislike. There should be love between the two.

One cannot survive without love.  You are so much in love before you marry each other but when you are married, you get used to each other.  So, it will be better for us as Zimbabweans to unite and make the women’s day an important day.  As women, we need to remind our men about this day.  On women’s day, I do not wash any plates though I can do it because my husband says it is my day and he will do it for me. I feel the importance that I have on this day and all men need to know that women are very important.  I have said enough, I thank you.

*MR. MACHINGAUTA: I would also like to make my

contribution on this important motion.  I will start by supporting this motion raised by Hon. Khupe.  She has called for the declaration of a public holiday on 8th March.  I have heard people who were opposing this declaration but when we fought our war of liberation, women were involved.  If the women such as Cde Joyce Mujuru and Hon.

Muchinguri did not give maximum support, would we have won that war?  The leadership of Cde. Tongogara and Cde. Mujuru was successful because of the support, they got from the women. The other reason why I am supporting the declaration of a public holiday is that it will be a time for every one of us to look back and celebrate the importance of women.  Our Constitution also states the importance of women and equal opportunities as it says, they should be given access to all facets of production.  However, it is not every one of us who gets the time to read through the Constitution and understand it.  When looking at the implementation of this policy, we only have about 3 or 4 women in Cabinet and this is 17% of all the Cabinet Ministers.

When looking at our MDGs, there are some aspects which talk about the importance of women.  We then need to ask ourselves whether we are following what we agreed upon.  Therefore, if we declare this day a public holiday, we will be given the chance to meditate upon the importance of women.  As I make my contributions, I am not worried about partisan politics, where we talk of ‘gamatox’ or the pests but I am talking about the recognition of women as important people in our lifetime.

As I make my contribution, I do not want to be too verbose or make unnecessary contribution, but all I can say is to ask all of the hon. members in this august House, to support the motion raised by Hon. Khupe, to have the 8th March declared a public holiday so that we have time to meditate on the important contribution made by the women in our lives.

*MR. MAWERE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me the opportunity to make my contribution on a motion raised by Hon. Khupe and seconded by Hon. Mpariwa.  In the beginning God created Adam and gave him the power to name all the things on this earth in giving them names but he had nobody to communicate with and that is why he created Eve. That is why when we talk of the language, we talk of the

‘mother tongue’ because Adam had somebody to communicate with. In whatever rhetoric or communication we are doing, we are communicating in the ‘mother tongue’ so that we are able to communicate effectively. During death ceremonies when our departed have gone and we make our speeches, it is made in the ‘mother tongue’ so that even the departed spirits may understand what we are saying.

The Bible also talks about the protection of widows and orphans and these ones we have supported. When we talk of orphans, we are talking of everybody but when we look at women, we are saying they are the most important. When we look at the mother and child reunion, there is great happiness and there is great joy because people have met and whenever we are involved in a catastrophe, accident or where someone has been hurt, they cry in the name of the mother showing that mothers or women are very important in our lives. Therefore, because of that, I am calling for the need to declare this day a public holiday so that people will talk about the importance of women in our lives and also in the African culture.

Another issue is that we should talk to our traditional leaders the chiefs so that they understand this issue. What we call the chiefs to do is to declare a sacred day which is called chisi to recognise the contribution of women.  Thank you.

  1. CHIRISA: First of all, I want to raise a complaint. Every time when we are discussing issues that touch on women, most of the male Members of Parliament leave this House. It happened again when Hon. Majome was debating on the 16 Days of Activism and today it has been the same. I think we should start with this House when it comes to talking about how important women are so that we understand it here as the House before we go out there.

Having said that Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to add my voice on this debate. Most of the things have been said but I want to stress the issue of the holiday. It is officially a holiday in countries like Armenia and Belarus but coming to Africa, we are talking of Madagascar, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia. So why should Zimbabwe not have a holiday for this special day? We are the head of SADC as well as the head of African Union at the moment. I am surprised some of the

women here are against this holiday, to just recognise the importance of women and that they are also part and parcel of this society.

The theme for 2014 Mr. Speaker, was - ‘Equality for women is progress for all’. This year’s theme goes further to say, ‘Make it happen’. But who is going to make it happen if not us? So this should

start from this House.

Mr. Speaker Sir, if we are talking of celebrating the International

Women’s Day, things happen in different countries and celebrations are at different levels touching on issues that are important to those countries. In Zimbabwe we are saying, let us highlight the women oppression and inequality. We are saying let us lobby and advocate for more women to be in decision making positions. We are demanding for better working conditions for women and by that, we are honouring women’s achievements Mr. Speaker.

We want to campaign against the wars in other countries affecting women and children and also to express our women’s solidarity with those people on that day. We also want to advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment. These are some of the issues that we would want to celebrate on the International Women’s day and also somebody mentioned it that this is a day that we should be blessed with or whatever. I am saying, it is a day that men of quality should spoil their women; to give them coffee in bed and to prepare lunch for them – [Laughter] – Mr. Speaker, people might laugh but this is to show appreciation. If the women can do it to give the men coffee in bed, why cannot they give us coffee in bed?

Mr. Speaker Sir, we are saying it is so unfortunate that as Zimbabwe, we have not met the 2015 deadline on the 50% women in decision making. We have missed that deadline and yet we are a signatory to the AU and SADC protocols. We are also a signatory to the

United Nations Convention that promotes women’s rights. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have tried as Zimbabwe to achieve some of these things and we are saying we have the Legal Age of Majority Act that promotes women. We have a whole Ministry although it has no resources Mr. Speaker, but that Ministry is meant for us, for our activities and programmes but it lacks resources. That shows how the Government views us as women because it is not giving this Ministry enough resources to carry out its activities. So sometimes we feel we are being let down.

Government in partnership with UN agencies have tried by all level to make sure the issue of gender based violence and domestic violence are reduced but it looks like it is getting worse and out of hand. I have always said in other debates, it needs all stakeholders. The traditional leaders, the men themselves who are the perpetrators of violence and also the political heavyweights should be involved in the gender based violence issues.

Mr. Speaker, if you remember it took time if not a decade, for the Domestic Violence Act to be put in place because some of the men in this House were against it because they are also perpetrators of violence. Mr. Speaker, I think we should put our heads together and make sure that we protect our women. They are doing a national duty by giving birth, in agriculture and in mining and they must also be recognised. I think most of the things that I had planned to say have been said by others but let me say thank you for giving me this opportunity.

+MR. MAHLANGU: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hon. Khupe and Hon.

Mpariwa for bringing this motion to Parliament; this motion on women.

I would like to say I have also stood up to second the Women’s Day and also second that there be a holiday for women so that we celebrate them on their day. Mr. Speaker Sir, I have a complaint especially on women in Parliament who have spoken before me who were complaining that there should not be a day for women.

My question is; when women meet as women’s caucus, do they not speak about supporting each other as women? When it comes to them being uplifted, it seems like there are some women who go against others. I find that very thing bad, especially when done by other women.

We would expect that to be done by other honourables like Hon. Chinotimba. We do not blame him because he is a man. It amazes us as men when a woman does such things and fails to support others.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I now come to the issue of the women’s day. I would like to say that this is a very important day because this is the day when we celebrate women, especially those women who liberated this country, including those who died in the war of liberation.  There are also women who died for democracy.  We all know such women like Susan Tsvangirai, Getrude Mtombeni and so many of them who died fighting for this nation.  There are women who are still alive who fought for human rights.  We have a woman like Hon. Khupe, the woman who brought this motion and her seconder Hon. Mpariwa, there are also women we have here who fight for human rights in this nation.  I cannot mention all of them.

In addition, we also want to remember, those women who died during the Gukuruhundi in Matabeleland.  We all know that during the Gukurahundi, there are women whose men were killed whilst they looked especially in Kezi.  That is why I support the fact that this day should be declared a holiday because we do not only remember the women who are alive but also women who died for human rights, also the mother who gave birth to me.  We have to remember those women who die while giving birth.  We need to thank these women because they died on national duty, because when a woman dies whilst giving birth, they would have died whilst doing a national duty.  It is a day that we are asking the Government to realise their rights, the ones that are in the Constitution that women be given their rights.

When we speak especially in politics, we say that – we know that a woman is an important person.  When you hit a woman, you hit a rock.  Unfortunately, my mother is late, however as a grown up man, I have come to notice the things that my mother did for me.  I have met many challenges by not having my mother.  It has led me to know that a mother is a very important icon in the family.  Even if you grow up and become 92 years, you will realise that a mother is important.  If you do not have a mother, which is why the older people say an orphan who has a mother is better than one with a father.

I have noticed that there are some of us here who do not have both mother and father and they have met many challenges because of that.

As a father, you would pray, it is better you die first and the mother remains with the children because you know that as a father, there is no way you can take care of the children alone.  After your wife dies, you only look forward to marrying another wife.  You do not care about the children.  However, after the death of the father, a mother looks forward to taking care of the children.

In Zimbabwe, there is so much poverty.  When I move around my constituency, in Nkulumane, most women are vendors and are abused by council workers.   I feel that on that day, that is when we should look at the rights of women and those who are vendors.  We should not speak against women’s rights.  There is need to look at how women can be empowered.  We need to look at how women can be employed in different industries.  We need to figure out how women can be effectively attended at hospitals without any payment.  We need also to look at how women can be uplifted in political arenas so that we close the gap between men and women.  So many things have been said but what stands is that I have also stood to support women.  Women should be at the forefront and men should follow behind.  There are so many things that women do in our nations and we need to celebrate on their day.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

*MR. CHIBAYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Khupe the mover of the motion and Hon. Mpariwa the seconder of the motion for introducing such an important motion.  Before I continue with my contribution, I would like to thank Hon. Damasane.  I would like to propose that we clap hands for her because she is great.  This motion which we are debating is related to her Ministry.  Hon. Minister, you are going to respond to this motion in such a way that Zimbabwe would be greatly affected.

I will only raise one point.  The point is why are we saying the 8th of March, the International Women’s Day should be declared a public holiday?  It is because we want to celebrate the importance of women in our lives.  Let me start from the beginning, when we talk about the war to liberate Zimbabwe, there were efforts which were made by women during those days.  I have thought about the war of liberation as an icon and thus the name of Mbuya Nehanda Nyakasikana as was stated by the late Hon. Simon Vengesai Muzenda; this was in recognition of the importance of Mbuya Nehanda.  She drove the war of liberation of Zimbabwe.  When we are talking of the importance of women, we are not looking only at today’s women. We are even doing it in retrospect so that we can open our eyes to the fact that when we were under colonial yoke, there was a woman in front of that.  We are celebrating what was done by our foremothers so that wherever their spirits are, they should realise that we, the living are recognising their efforts by declaring the 8th of March as a holiday as a way of honouring them.

I would have made my contribution proudly if this House was full.  Unfortunately, most of the members have gone out.  We realise that we were under oppressive colonial rule and we were liberated through the efforts and encouragement of Mbuya Nehanda. I know we would have moved in the same way because we share the same feelings and the other reason is why I am calling for  the 8th March to be declared a public holiday.

I am fortunate that I was selected by my party MDC to be amongs the 23 people who were responsible for the compilation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. We moved around the country and we realised that 97% of the contributions made by women showed that women were saying, as women of Zimbabwe we want to be recognised for our efforts in the development of the country. In order for us to have an additional 60 women in this House, it had been seen that we had very few women and needed to look for ways and means of increasing their number in Parliament. It shows the part played by women.

When we go to our different constituencies and ask people to get their opinion on the fact that we want to declare 8th March a public holiday, even if we were to go to Hon. Mandipaka and Hon.

Chinotimba’s constituencies and ask what the public say about this day being declared as a public holiday,  most of the women will support the idea that this day should be declared a public holiday. If they hear that Hon. Muderedzwa, Hon. Mandipaka and Hon. Chinotimba are proposing that this day be declared a public holiday, they would be very glad that their leaders are moving in the right direction. If we declare the 8th March a public holiday, we are going to disturb Mbuya Nehanda who is resting in peace and she will be unsettled.

I will not make any further contributions on this but let me just quote the previous speaker who said women made a lot of contributions, especially during the war because women developed bald heads as they carried hot pots of food to give to the freedom fighters. That was a great job done by our womenfolk. Therefore, as stated by Hon. Machingauta, it means we have to support the idea that 8th March be declared a public holiday. I am sure that Mbuya Nehanda will recognise the important role she played in the liberation of the country and not only that women will be resting on this particular day, but men also will be resting. Therefore, we will be showing that we appreciate what was done by our women folk since time immemorial.

As I stand here, if we go to our constituencies, we will notice that we have people who are prepared to work hard during election campaigns moving door-to-door. The most hardworking people and most of the movers of this idea are women. They are prepared to go on a door-to-door campaign.  If you go to men including the young men, if you go to somebody who does not belong to their party and ask for campaign material and they are chased from that home, they will declare a war. Men are impatient and will not stand somebody who opposes them. As a Member of Parliament for Mkoba, I declare openly that most of the votes that put me in this House are women and therefore, if the women of Mkoba hear me supporting this motion that 8th March be declared a public holiday, they will support me fully and everything will go smoothly.

To wind up my speech, when we go to our rural areas, our places are referred by our women’s names such as, we are going to Chibaya or

Marumahoko’s mother’s home because those are the people who are mostly known in the home. That is why in Zimbabwe we say, development can only be done by women and therefore, I say to the Hon. Vice President of our party and her seconder, that you have brought a valuable motion. I also praise the party that you belong because you have brought such an ideology of calling for a resting day whereby people talk about the greatness of women. I thank you.

+ MS. S. DUBE: I would like to thank Hon. Khupe and Hon.

Mpariwa for bringing this motion. I would like to say to this august House that a mother or woman is a more important person than anything else in this world. A woman is the one who brings life because both male and females are brought into this world by a mother. A mother is important because chances are that she could die during child birth. A child can even die in the womb and the woman can stay for days without knowing and the doctors would not even know how they would perform an operation but this is done by the grace of God.

Women are brave though things could become difficult, but they press on. During the liberation struggle, women suffered with the girls. They struggled a lot because the girls would be raped and that is something which was very painful. The mother would be violated. A woman is forgiving. When a man leaves a wife at home and when things become difficult where they are, they tend to remember when they are old. The woman remains at home and takes care of the children and sees that they go to school.

Later on, the man remembers the wife that they ran away from. That is why I say the woman is a forgiving person when that man comes back actually with nothing. The man who ill-treated her and left her with the kids for years is the very woman who embraces the man even though the children might not know their father. The woman welcomes the man back home. However, it is difficult for a man to accept back a woman who leaves him for years. Therefore, we realise that a woman is an important person because women are so brave and they are so forgiving. I do believe that there is need for a holiday that the 8th of March becomes the day when we celebrate the rights of women. We need to celebrate the women who die giving birth and those women who were raped during the liberation war and were ill treated. This day should be given a lot of honour and I am pleased that the Deputy Minister of

Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development is here seated and we are glad that she notices the importance of women. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (MS.

DAMASANE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2015.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S

AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (MS.

DAMASANE), the House adjourned at Twenty Three minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

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