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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 07 June 2017 43-66
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 7th June, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p. m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
RECOMMITTAL OF THE ZEP-RE (MEMBERSHIP OF ZIMBABWE
AND BRANCH OFFICE AGREEMENT) ACT
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Section
131 (6) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that: -
“When a Bill is presented to the President for assent and signature, he or she must, within twenty-one days, either –
- Assent to it and sign it and then cause it to be published in the
Gazette without delay;
- If he or she considers it to be unconstitutional or has any other reservations about it, refers the Bill back to Parliament through the Clerk of Parliament, together with detailed written reasons for those reservations and a request that the Bill be considered.
Section 131 (7) further states that:-
‘Where a Bill has been referred back to Parliament in terms of Section 131 (6) (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, The Speaker must, without delay, convene a sitting of the National Assembly, which must –
- Reconsider the Bill and fully accommodate the President’s reservations;
- Pass the Bill, with or without amendments, by a two-thirds majority of the total membership of the National Assembly;
His Excellency, the President, informed Parliament on the 2nd of
June, 2017 that he had not assented to the ZEP-RE (Membership of Zimbabwe and Branch Office Agreement) Act No. 4 of 2017 owing to reservations pertaining to the last paragraph of the preamble on the top page of the Act. The President noted that the sentence in question was not clear on what should be done and who was responsible for the stated enactment.
Thus, in order to facilitate the reconsideration of the Bill, the Bill now stands recommitted to the Committee of the whole House pursuant to Standing Order Number 121 (3) of the National Assemble.
CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP ON THE UN SYSTEMS
AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I also wish to inform the House that
Parliament of Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the United Nations (UN)
Agencies, will convene a capacity building workshop for all
Parliamentarians, on the UN Systems and Sustainable Development
Goals on Monday, 12th June, 2017, at the Sango Conference Centre, Cresta Lodge, Msasa in Harare. The buses will pick up Members from Nelson Mandela Avenue from 0730 hours.
ACCOMMODATION FOR HON. MEMBERS DURING OPEN DAY
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to advise Hon. Members that they will be provided with accommodation in Harare on Thursday and Friday in order to facilitate their participation in the Open Day activities.
MINISTERS WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, here is a list of Hon.
Ministers who have sought leave of the House:
- Sen. T. Muzenda;
- M. Chikukwa;
- T. Kanengoni-Malinga;
- Sen. S. Mumbengegwi;
- Eng. Madanha;
- Dr. O. Mpofu;
- O. Muchinguri-Kashiri;
- W. Chidhakwa;
- F. Moyo;
- D. Marapira;
- P. Zhanda;
- Sen. Mupfumira;
- The Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa; The Vice President, Hon. Mphoko.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
+HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: My question is directed
to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. May you please tell us what Government policy is regarding command livestock in the Matabeleland region? There is a very big difference between command agriculture in Mashonaland and command livestock in Matabeleland. The Mashonaland programme has well known funds allocated and also channels of communication regarding the programme. On the contrary, the livestock programme in Matabeleland has no known rules and regulations of operation. The livestock command programme is not explicit on the livestock covered, such as goats, cattle and sheep.
+THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): Thank
you very much Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very pertinent question. Firstly, the command livestock programme will be implemented throughout the country and not only confined in the
Matabeleland South Province as is the perception. At the moment, we
are on the drawing board looking at the modalities of implementing this programme.
Tomorrow there is going to be a meeting of the Cabinet Committee responsible for Food Security and Nutrition where all the facets of the livestock command programme will be discussed. This will include the budget and implementation programme. We will discuss cattle, both dairy and beef and also small stock. When we have worked out this programme, we will take it to Cabinet for scrutiny, approval and budget allocation. When Cabinet has made the decision, the public will then be informed of the command livestock programme.
*HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank the Minister for his response concerning command agriculture on livestock but I want to ask you Minister, what plans you have in place so that CSC will start functioning before you start this programme. What is happening is that people are losing their livestock to the middleman. So if CSC is not functioning properly, people will be conned by the middleman – that is my question
I also want to thank you for command agriculture. I want to thank the Hon. Minister because… – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
interjections.] - Let me thank him, the Minister sent sacks to all GMB depots so that people do not have problems. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Minister, we want to thank you, you should do the same with the livestock programme. Thank you.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Ziyambi, you are a reputable and well versed lawyer who knows the orders of Parliament, hence you should sit down when you are ordered to do so. It is not a time to thank each other but a time for questions.
*THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): Mr.
Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi for his supplementary question in line with CSC and also clarify the plans that we have in place concerning livestock.
Let me take an example of a maize farmer who has stocked up his harvest which he then takes to the GMB. Regarding the CSC, we are now putting into place measures of resuscitating it so that it operates as per farmers’ requests. We do not expect all the livestock to be taken to the CSC even after we resuscitate it. We are working on a joint programme that will involve the Government and the private sector. We will be working separately but complimenting each other especially the private sector which operates abattoirs. We will also look at the funding of the livestock command programme.
In the agriculture command programme, maize farmers are supposed to surrender a certain tonnage per hectare to Government towards repayment of your obligation. The same mode of operation will be used in the livestock command programme. A farmer who owns a herd of ten cattle and is involved in the command livestock programme may be asked to cede two herds of cattle to the CSC as repayment. We will also seek assistance from the private sector to support this command livestock programme. CSC will work side by side with the private abattoirs depending on the structure of the funding. It could also be poultry but if it is pigs, it will also work in conjunction with CCC or the Pig Industry Board.
When we are talking of cattle ranching, people need pastures and such farmers will need support on the establishment of pastures. They may also need water reticulation for their livestock. This is going to be broad-based in terms of the structures that we will put in place and the farmers will also contribute on the way we should proceed. I thank you.
+THE HON. SPEAKER: Where is the supplementary question coming from when the Minister made such an elaborate explanation on the programme?
+HON. KHUPE: I would like to further elaborate on the measures in place to eradicate diseases through livestock vaccinations? Currently, many cattle are dying because of diseases. We would also like the Government to send veterinarians countrywide to treat livestock and educate farmers on diseases.
+HON. DR. MADE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I would also
like to thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question. May I also advise this august House that all livestock need to be vaccinated against diseases …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Mliswa, Hon.
Maziwisa and Hon. Ncube. May you be attentive please, thank you.
+HON. DR. MADE: I would like to make some correction.
Cattle may die due to tick borne diseases or dosing. It is critical that veterinarians make a proper diagnosis on the health of livestock. I agree with you that vaccination is very important. We are also encouraging that when we embark on the command livestock programme, we will encourage vaccination of livestock both in summer and winter seasons. Dipping of livestock will also be mandatory under this programme so that we curb tick borne diseases. I thank you.
HON. MANGAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of
Public Service, Labour and Social Services…
HON. ZINDI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Mine was a supplementary question as a follow up to Hon. Dr. Made’s response.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Procedurally, I cannot go backwards unfortunately. I have already recognised Hon. Mangami.
HON. ZINDI: That is why I called for a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Unfortunately, we have to follow
HON. MANGAMI: I would like to find out from the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare if the Government has got a policy on the exportation of labour. If it has, can it be explained so that we know how to go about it.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank
you Mr. Speaker Sir. As things stand, there is no generalised policy on the exportation of labour but indeed on an ad-hoc basis, you will notice initiatives coming through at ministerial level where certain requirements come in. The last one that comes to mind right now is when we were looking at sending teachers to Sudan. So, those initiatives will be coming in on a ministry by ministry basis but we should come up with a framework governing conditions to do that.
Probably, that is something that can be considered.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Point of clarity Mr. Speaker!
THE HON. SPEAKER: You ask a supplementary question.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Of course, it is a supplementary question.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, withdraw the statement
of-course, you are not fighting the Chair.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Well noted Mr. Chairman, I withdraw that
statement. Mr. Speaker Sir, to the attention of the Hon. Deputy Minister, I have heard with regard to the issue that the exportation of labour is as a result of abundance in terms of labour in our country. If I can get clarity from the Hon. Minister as to whether it is an issue of abundance of labour or it is an issue that our economy under the Government which is moving this economy has failed to create jobs. It has failed to meet the capacity to create jobs to meet the population visa-vis the economy. Is it an issue of abundance of labour or it is an issue of the Government failing to create jobs?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The
House will fully appreciate that if we talk of literacy levels in Africa, Zimbabwe is right there at the top highest point in echelons. Mr. Speaker Sir, if you look at countries like Israel, you will find that their biggest export is labour because of the capacitation that the Government would have given to its people. We are right there at the top echelon where we have people we can export and people who can stand their position in which ever country we would have send them to.
Mr. Speaker Sir, you will appreciate that in South Africa right now, Zimbabweans are right there at the top. In Australia, we are at the top. We should be proud of the human capacity that we are building in the country. Thanks primarily to the Government initiative which has put thrust on educating its people. Because of that, invariably you will find that we are coming up with people who are relevant worldwide. So as a country, we should actually be proud that we have people of substance, people who make a mark wherever we send them. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, the other part of the question was job creation which you did not address.
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Mr. Speaker Sir, when people
are talking about job creation, it is very critical that we look at it holistically. When we are talking about job creation, it does not necessarily have to be formal sector. The informal sector is a very valid part of job creation – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Jobs invariably will be on a permanent basis and jobs invariably will be on a contract basis. So, for somebody then to limit that a job can only be a job because it is on a permanent basis, it is really myopic.
Currently, you will find that Government programmes that were put in place; something that clearly comes to mind right now is the Command Agriculture which was a huge success by any measure.
Downstream jobs have been created as a result of that. You will find Mr. Speaker Sir, that the initiative that organisations –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Chibaya, can you hold your own please. Thank you.
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
Clearly, this very good answer that I am giving is incensing other people but I was adding on to say that the Command Agriculture Programme which has been a huge success by any measure, we are looking at an excess of two million tonnes of grain that has been produced. That alone has a ripple effect on job creation. The issue about jobs is that some jobs by its very nature are contract jobs. If you look at the production of tobacco, by its very nature it is contact. Some jobs will be permanent jobs; so the country - yes, has indeed created in excess of two million jobs as things stand. I thank you.
HON. ZINDI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. As a follow up to the response by the Hon. Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare, I need to find out from him whether they are coordinating with the Ministry of Higher Education because that Ministry has also made pronunciations that they are creating a data base of all excess labour that is to be exported. So I need to find out whether there is that coordination so as to export that excess labour for record purposes, for logical follow up and monitoring between the two ministries. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MATANGIRA): Yes, indeed we
are coordinating with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. We await them publishing the results that they come up with on the excess labour that is available; but we are indeed proud of the quality of graduates that, as a country, we are producing.
HON. SITHOLE: My supplementary question to the Minister is emanating from Section 194(k) of the Constitution, which clearly states that ‘employment, training and advancement practices must be based on merit, ability, objectivity, fairness, equality of men and women and the inclusion of persons with disabilities.’ I would want to know the Government policy regarding the appointment of various persons in various boards. I am saying this on the background of what we recently read in the media which related to nepotism, whereby the daughter of the President was appointed to sit on two boards and the son of the President also appointed as senior official in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, when we ask supplementary
questions, they must be anchored on the primary question that was asked. The primary question was exportation of labour and what you are raising now has nothing to do with exportation of labour.
HON. SHUMBA: I would like to ask the Minister what the policy is in terms of quantification and harnessing diasporeans revenue and directing it towards our GDP. Diasporeans are registered with the countries of destination and nations exchange that database. What is our policy in ensuring that the revenues – because there is a lot of remittances from diasporeans to nations and if that remains in the informal sector, it is then not harnessed to contribute towards our GDP.
HON. MATANGAIDZE: Of course exporting labour will bring
in revenue through diaspora remittances, but the detailed response to the quantum of the remittances from the diasporeans – I think the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development would be better placed to quantify that.
+HON. D. TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this
opportunity. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. My question is, what is the Ministry doing to help people who worked in the Zim-dollar era before the US$ who are no longer getting pensions, but the companies that they worked for have buildings, for example Laff House, Old Mutual, are still getting money but they are not giving the workers their pensions? What measures are you putting in place to ensure that these workers get their pensions?i9
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR
AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MATANGIRA): The Hon
Member raised a very pertinent question in that if you look at the way
the insurance firms are set up, the funds are not necessarily all held cash funds because some are invested in different portfolios. This question is emanating from the point that indeed, if the ZIM-dollar had devalued, but surely at some point-in-time the insurance firms would have made significant investments which would still have held value regardless of the devaluation of the ZIM-dollar. What then transpired in dollarization is that we assigned an exchange rate to the ZIM-dollar at that point-intime, which then prejudiced the pensioners. So, I think it is a discussion that should be taken forward so that what was then attributed to the pensioners as a result of assigning a value to the ZIM-dollar is not commensurate with the investment that the insurance companies had made. I would suggest that maybe this Parliament debates that further and run with that. So, the position is that a value was assigned to the dollar and that was what was running and there is need to probably pursue this discussion to come up with an equitable number for the benefit of the pensioners.
HON. D. TSHUMA: Let me ask in English. I want to find out
what efforts the Ministry is pursuing to regularize that so these pensioners start to get their dues, because despite the ZIM-dollar effect to the US dollar effect they need to get their dues. What is the Ministry doing to make sure that we capacitate that and have the people getting their pensions as soon as possible?
HON. MATANGIRA: I think it is important for me to highlight that the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare superintends over NSSA and the Public Service insurance policies. There are other insurance policies like the Local Government insurance policy and private insurance policies which do not fall under the purview of the Ministry. So, yes, if it is a contribution that probably should be housed together and consider that holistically in a combined effort, then that will be a point to come up with. As a Ministry, you will notice that we have made some pronouncements on NSSA, increasing the pension benefits attributed to people who fall under NSSA. So as a Ministry, indeed we are making sure that people get what is commensurate with what they put into the pension scheme.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The issue of
pensions is a very hot one and many are affected, including me. Can the Minister not come up with a Ministerial Statement that addresses all those issues and also the issue of a Commission that was once set up to investigate eroded pensions so that everything is put in the public domain, and people know exactly where we are coming from and where we are going? So, I would kindly urge the Ministry to come up with a
Ministerial Statement that is all embracing. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Yes,
we concur, with the indulgence of the House, may be in the next two or three weeks, we should be able to give the detailed response that is expected. I thank you.
HON. ZINDI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. As much as I would say words have been taken out of my mouth by Hon. Maridadi, but in addition to that, I just wanted to highlight to the Minister that from 2009 to 2017, the Ministry should have taken the responsibility to inform the nation in times of the erosion of the pensions of the pensioners. Why would the Minister wait until today, 7th June, 2017 in order to be urged by Hon. Backbenchers to come and make a statement on the issue of erosion of the pensions of pensioners, and yet some have since died.
How is that going to be addressed?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am
sure when I made an earlier submission, Hon. Zindi did not pick on that submission. I clearly said that the two pension schemes which fall under the auspices of our Ministry is the NSSA Pension Scheme and the Public Service Insurance Scheme. There are other insurance schemes which do not fall under the purview of our Ministry, but I have committed to go and liaise with the relevant line Ministries to give a holistic Ministerial Statement covering out the pension funds which are not under our purview. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
Mr. Speaker Sir, I even went on to say that you will notice in the past few months that NSSA has even increased on the insurance benefits. The Minister is on record as saying that the current payments of $60.00 per person are too low. We have employed Actuarians at this point in time, to give us an assessment whether we can increase that to a minimum of a $100.00. So, Government is clear on wanting to increase those benefits.
That will all come in the detailed report that will be submitted, but it is important to answer Hon. Zindi’s question and it is important for her to appreciate that insurance is not just under our purview but transcends other Ministries, and in coming up with the report that we ask for time to come to come up with the report. We will need input from other Ministries so that the report comes out as a complete report to the satisfaction of the House. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. GONESE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Leader of Government business. Is it Government policy that when the President of ZANU PFis holding star rallies in any particular town, it shows that there is a complete shutdown whereby shops, vendor stalls and so on are all closed? Is that an accurate reflection of the policy of Government?
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGANGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I would wish to reply to the question raised by the Hon. Member relating to...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order at the back please!
THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT: I wish to reply to the question raised by the Hon. Member relating to what he perceives as policy. May I assure the Hon. Member that there is no ZANU PF policy which requires shops to be closed when there is a ZANU PF rally. Thank you.
HON. GONESE: My supplementary question is whether as the
Hon. Vice President you are going to bring to order...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!
HON. GONESE: My supplementary question is whether as the
Hon. Vice President you are going to bring this to order? In today’s Press Mr. Speaker, Hon. Minister of State Mandi Chimene and the
ZANU PF Secretary for Youth are quoted as saying that on the 16th of June 2017, all roads must be leading to Sakubva Stadium and all shops are going to be closed to ensure maximum attendance. They are quoted in today’s newspaper as having said that. Are they going to be brought to order, because people are being forced to attend and if it is not Government policy, are those two going to be brought to order, because that is what they said today?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you through?
HON. GONESE: Yes, I was asking whether they are going to be brought to order because they have been quoted in today’ Press as saying that there should be a whole shutdown and all roads must be leading to Sakubva Stadium and that they must ensure maximum attendance, and that shops will be closed and vendors stalls will also be closed.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.
THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member would want to know whether it is true that all roads are leading to Mutare on a particular day - I doubt it that all roads will lead to
Mutare. Some will go to Masvingo and some roads will go to Bulawayo –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Secondly, I would like to inform the House that it is not ZANU PF policy to force people to attend ZANU PF rallies. If anybody who has a relative who was forced, the courts are open for them to say, ‘I was forced to go to a ZANU PF rally’. We do not force people to attend our rallies. Thirdly, we have no policy - both as Government as well as ZANU PF to force people to stop their businesses because there is a rally. People must eat and work and it is our policy that people must work and earn a living. I thank you.
HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, the last part was not answered about what will be done to the Minister of State who has stated that they ensure maximum attendance by having the shops closed. What is going to be done to that irresponsible Minister and also to the Secretary for Youth, Kudzanai Chipanga who has expressed similar sentiments?
THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT: The Hon. Member is asking
what will happen in terms of disciplinary procedure to persons who breach party policy. I think when that happens, we can invite him to come and listen to what we do in our party – [Laughter.] –
HON. CHASI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I would like to address…
Hon. Holder and Hon. Mandipaka having been speaking at the top of their voices.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Holder and Hon. Mandipaka at the back there, can you listen to the question – [AN HON. MEMBER: We cannot hear.] – yes, you are talking that is why you cannot hear.
HON. CHASI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to address my question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dr. Dokora. My question relates to the old age practice in rural primary schools, where children are required to bring all manner of tools to school, tins, slashers, picks and so on to do what is called general work after school. This has no payment or compensation of any sort. I think it is correct to say that, that is child labour. I want to suggest that that type of work is discriminatory in terms of the Constitution.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, what is the question?
HON. CHASI: My question is, that type of work is exploitative in terms of the Constitution and Article 19(3)(a), what is Government policy on that and why is it permissible in this time and age? What is the Ministry doing in terms of prohibiting it? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Hon. Member asked whether there is policy on child labour, there is no such policy in the Ministry. Thank you.
HON. CHASI: Mr. Speaker, it is factual that this is happening. In my Constituency at Kanyemba Primary School and I suggest that the Minister must not be dismissive of this fact. It is happening. I suggest that the Minister must investigate this. It is happening every day.
Children are required to carry out what is termed general work after school. I did it at that school in 1971 and I think it is highly improper that it should continue to happen at that school.
HON. DR. DOKORA: I thought that I had answered the substantive part of the Hon. Member’s sense of anxiety on these matters. However, now that the Hon. Member has insisted, may I, through you Hon. Speaker, indicate that when children are in school and not outside time for school, they are expected to carry out general cleaning work in their institutions? Thank you.
*HON. PARADZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order at the back there please.
*HON. PARADZA: My question is directed to the Acting President, Hon. Mnangagwa. What is Government policy on people who are living within our borders like the Zimbabwean/Mozambican border whose livestock is being stolen and driven to Botswana? When they decide to track and find them there, they are denied permission to take them back. Instead, the livestock are gunned down and killed and the owners are incarcerated and beaten up. Thank you.
HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. What he said is true, it happened on our border with Botswana. We have a good relationship with Botswana. This incident led to talks between the Governments of Botswana and Zimbabwe. So, we have our teams from both Botswana and Zimbabwe’s Foreign and Home Affairs Departments who are investigating the issue so that we can come up with a solution. This is because we also have livestock from Botswana crossing over to Zimbabwe and if we come across them, we drive them back and yet if livestock from Zimbabwe cross over to Botswana, they have their law of shooting them down because they believe that they are infested with the foot and mouth disease. We are trying to come up with a solution to curb disunity between us. When we come up with a solution, we will be able to let you know. It is something which is under discussion.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I wish to direct my question to Hon. Sithembiso Nyoni. Hon. Minister, at one time, the Government and your Ministry mooted the idea of formalising the informal sector. Can you highlight to this august House, where you are facing challenges and hurdles to implement that policy? Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Your question is addressed to who?
HON. MANDIPAKA: Hon. Sithembiso Nyoni.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you repeat your question.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I am saying to the Hon. Minister, at one time Government and your Ministry mooted the idea of formalising the informal sector. Can you highlight before this august House what challenges you are meeting in terms of policy to implement that wonderful initiative. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mandipaka, that question was
dealt with before.
+HON. D.M. NDLOVU: Thank you for this opportunity. My
question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Mguni. May he please explain what the police are doing at roadblocks since we are paying with plastic money? They spend the whole day punishing people when they are supposed to have travelled because they should pay spot fines. The motorists will not be having any cash and the police do not even have swipe facility, yet people spend the day being detained there. People going to attend important occasions, doctors, et cetera spend the day detained there when they do not have swipe machines. I thank you.
+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. There is a new company which has come to change the way in which the police are operating so that they do not carry any receipt books. We now have a machine which will enable a vehicle’s number plates to be scanned. The person would state the owner of the vehicle, a slip will be printed to enable the person even though he does not have cash on him to approach the nearest police camp and pay. We will be having such machines. We are leaving old ways. We want to stop corruption which is there. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, order. The owner of vehicle ADL6603 parked near Zimnat, could you please go and remove your vehicle. It is obstructing other vehicles.
*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would
want to ask a supplementary question to the Minister on how police work. Is there going to be a revamp of how the police work looking at what happened two weeks ago when women had a meeting in the rural areas and tear gas was thrown at them. Even livestock were affected because of the smoke. Is there anything that is going to be done on how the police work? Looking at how they throw spikes, it is like the police are not working well with the people. Is there anything that is going to be done for them to work well with the people because they do not belong to any political party but to the people?
HON. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you Hon.
Member for coming up with such a question. I will answer it in English because if I can use my vernacular, you may not understand. Mr. Speaker, that is a worry that we as the leaders of Home Affairs have to balance security versus quality service to our citizenry.
We went to Morris Depot where the police are trained and we wanted to see the material they are using. It is very up to standard and very professional – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – When the police officers are trained and deployed on the ground, some are doing other things that are not according to the police policy as a force, which they need to be disciplined on. The disciplining mechanism which is there in the police has actually seen the suspension of more than 357 police officers last year who had been doing other things that are outside their working scope. Therefore, it is also the duty of the public to understand what is expected from a policeman so that if that police officer commits something outside the working scope, he has to be reported so that we deal with the police office.
I am not privy to give information on the tear gas that was thrown at a place. I need to understand, get a full report and see where they threw that teargas and what was happening because it might be in the bush where the people from that bush were attacking the police and they were defending themselves. It can happen – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Let us find out what happened and we will come back to give a full report. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Hon. Minister, so that I help and assist you in your understanding of the circumstances and so that you do justice to the question I have asked, this was a political gathering, a meeting of unarmed women and from nowhere - political structures –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order please. Hon. Zwizwai,
you are not an interpreter.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: It was a political meeting which was actually known, notified and everyone was aware of that meeting but we had the throwing of tear gas. My simple question is that, in the run up to elections, Hon. Speaker Sir, what kind of measures is the Ministry putting in place to make sure that we do not send signals of a country that is up in smoke and a country that is back on the path of self-conflict and instability.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order. I think it is fair for the Minister, since it is a particular instance to go back and do further investigations so that he comes back and give accurate information.
HON. KHUPE: Hon. Speaker, I have a point of order.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. KHUPE: Hon. Speaker, you have asked the Minister to go and do investigations so that he brings a correct answer. However, I think it is important that when he does those investigations, he knows exactly what transpired. It was a meeting in Lupane East at a homestead and I was part of that meeting together with Hon. Muchenje and Hon, D.
Ndlovu and we were teargased by police after we had a meeting which was a political meeting of innocent citizens.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: This is why I have said he has
to go and do his investigations. If you were there, he will mention that you were there and that is the purpose of investigations.
*HON. MACHINGAUTA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My
supplementary question is arising from the Minister’s response that our police are getting good training for them to do their work and that whatever they do out there is out of their head. Section 208 of our Constitution states that policemen are not allowed to take unlawful orders from anyone. In Zimbabwe we hear that when police arrest someone, we see political figures having their influence and order that those people be released. I do not know whether the Minister is engaging the people like the Vice President so that he will not intervene when the police are doing their work.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yesterday the Speaker of
Parliament sitting in here took trouble to talk about points of order. I am not going to entertain anymore points of order. I will only give you as the last one and no more points of order.
HON. MLISWA: My point of order is that the Hon. Member must state which Vice President because they are two.
HON. MGUNI: Firstly, I have understood his question and it might not be a policy issue. However, the Vice President is somebody who has got a very huge responsibility in this country who cannot give unlawful orders. The police are trained in a way that they cannot take any unlawful order. I thank you.
HON. T. KHUMALO: My question is directed to the Deputy
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. I realised you have removed cadetship from our tertiary institutions, meaning to say the vulnerable and the poor are now going to be denied the right to go to school. I realise you are now saying you will refer them to banks. The bank issue was refused before because you were bonding parents who have nothing for their children to go to school. My million dollar question is - what is Government policy vis-à-vis the protection of the poor than for you to bond them for the rest of their lives?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(HON. DR. GANDAWA): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Institutions of higher learning are currently owed to the tune of $34m by Treasury and institutions are no longer coping with the resources that are required for teaching and learning. They have since reduced the number of students that they are taking on cadetship using an assessment of the requirements.
If the students that are critically not able to pay pass the criteria that they are using, they will be assisted but the loan scheme is not bonding the parents. The loan scheme is just going to assist in terms of the tuition and accommodation fees which the guardians or parents should be able to pay back if they benefit from the banks. We are looking at other funding mechanisms to try and assist students that are not able to pay.
As you are aware, the STEM initiative also is paying for the students and we are still as Government looking at ways that we can assist our people, those that are not able to pay. The nation should bear with us as Government while we are looking at modalities and ways to assist the students. We are aware of that situation and the economy is not performing well. The parents and guardians are facing difficulties in paying fees but we have to meet half way in a way. I thank you.
HON. T. KHUMALO: Supplementary. The issue of using banks
for parents to get loans with due respect was raised once upon a time in this country. There was a huge debate over the issue and it was totally refused by Government and the populace. You are taking us back to the same debate and my question is - why then would you stop the cadetship before you have a solution to factor in the issue of the cadetship? HON. DR. GANDAWA: Like I have already indicated, the
institutions are strained in terms of getting teaching and learning equipment. The more they increase the numbers of students, they will continue to fail to operate because they still need resources to assist or teach the students. We are saying, while there are students that are not able to pay, they should be assisted if they pass the test through the criteria that is prescribed. Some parents or guardians completely cannot afford to pay but in most cases they do not have the resources at that particular moment. So those will access the loans which are there in the banks and they should be able to pay back.
I must hasten to say that with the current economic situation, it will be difficult for us to be able to say Government will be able to fund everyone. I should not stand up here and lie to you that the Government will be able to fund everyone. It is impossible. We have to meet half way. Education is a public good. The Government must assist and the parents must also assist so that we have our populace to be able to maintain our literacy rate and be able to develop our nation. It is the responsibility of all of us. The Government, the public sector, business and guardians to assist in getting our population educated. I thank you
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE
TEMPORARY SPEAKER, in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
POLICY ON ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL INSURANCE BY MEDICAL
- HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to inform the House what Government policy is regarding the issuance of travel insurance cover by medical insurance companies when individuals travel outside the country.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): May
the Hon. Member kindly refer this question to the Minister of Health and Child Care who is responsible for medical insurance.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
GROOMING OF WOMEN ON ETIQUETTE
- HON. A. MNANGAGWA asked the Minister of Women’s
Affairs, Gender and Community Development to inform the House what plans the Ministry has in place to groom women on etiquette, requisite interview attire outfit for them to be employable.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (HON.
DAMASANE): Mr. Speaker Sir, there are 10 Public Service
Commission training centres namely Magamba, Senga, Esikovheni
(Mat. South), Elangeni (Bulawayo), Alvond (Masvingo) Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Harare and Matabeleland North has since closed down. Mr. Speaker Sir, there are courses and workshops for the public and the Ministry has always been party of the resource persons and adjudicators alike.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and
Community Development has two training centres, Rodger Howman (Masvingo) and Jamaica Inn (Mashonaland East) which offer courses on dressmaking to women and communities . These lead to women putting on decent attires and some of them depicting our African attires. We urge all parliamentarians to get in touch with the institutions in their constituencies. They have open days and graduation days where the districts come for the shows which tabulate dress codes for church, soccer matches, smart casual and dress codes for fieldwork. For example, no high heels when one is going to the farms but track shoes, tommies and sunhats with no accessories.
There are also church grooming schools and in the Ministry under the Community Development, the Ministry partners with civil society and church groups when it comes to promotion of life skills, economic and social development projects. The latter is where the Ministry partners with trusts that seek to introduce modeling, etiquette, grooming, some trusts have cascaded to district levels. For example, Miss Rural, Miss Towns, Miss Tourism, Mr. or Miss Universe, Miss Matofotofo (Big Fat Woman) and Mr. Ugly – the list is endless. These pageants are held under these trusts. The issue of dress code comes into play and the Ministry which has personnel right up to ward level are part of the organisation for the pageants. Nowadays, we do not operate as a Ministry in isolation, but we use inter-ministerial approach which also encourages the Provincial Development Committees.
There are also private partnerships in grooming and etiquette. We have got private modeling companies which are found in peri-urban areas where our provincial capital towns are found. These work hand in glove with Women in Tourism which is one of the sectors which the
Ministry works through for the promotion of etiquette and hospitality.
Hon. Members, just for information sake, our sectors are Women in Agriculture, Women in Mining and Women in Tourism. The areas under Womens Affairs in relation to the question are not exhausted by the answers given above. The Hon. Member is free to check with the training modules of the aforementioned training centres.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker Sir, as a Government Ministry, I supply Circular Number 10 of 200 from the Public Service Commission, which sets to advise all Heads of Ministries about Public Service standards of dress. It has an outline of men’s wear and women’s wear which addresses the issue of how men and women should dress for formal occasions, for uniformed staff and footwear.
This Circular states in no uncertain terms that there can be no sleeveless tops, strapped dresses or blouses, tops that have low neckline, no tight fitting trousers, no jeans, no see-through garments, no miniskirts, uncorresponding outfits on men e.g. a jean and a tie, no nike track shoes, hats and caps at irrelevant functions with of course open sandals unless it is for medical reasons.
Hon. Members are aware that in their constituencies, there are always end of year career guidance days where students who have completed their primary and secondary education are prepared to go to the next level. The Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development is part and parcel of the career guidance days varying from province to province.
The Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community
Development is stakeholders number one for the Secretary’s Day commemorations. Counting down to this day, activities are normally laid out for the girl children from high schools, politics, women secretaries in business both private and public, women administrators in hospitals, church organisations, et cetera and resource people from time to time carry out grooming lessons on dress code. Commemorations of this nature are on rotational basis from province to province.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as I alluded to earlier, on part of the exercise in all aforementioned issues above, the issue of appearance and handling of oneself in the interviews, the confidence and knowledge level are part of the process. For example, tackies do not augur well with formal wear, pulling a chair when one is offered to sit, et cetera.
There is no rose which comes without thorns with all these efforts to the world we live in which now has external forces that overshadow the good work. These are:-
- Designs from other countries which cover a quarter of the body.
- Designs from online services.
- Being copy cats of other crazy designs.
- Influx of secondhand clothes.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this year’s theme for International Women’s Day addresses the type of women we expect in the near future. “Bankable, beautiful, brainy, bold, balanced, blessed and business minded”.
We therefore urge Members of Parliament to be ambassadors in each and every constituency of good etiquette, grooming and dress code that can sustain an interview leading to employment. I thank you.
POLICY REGARDING REVIEW OF FUNDS TO PENSIONERS
- HON. D. TSHUMA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House what the Government policy is with regards to reviewing the money given the pensioners on a monthly basis in accordance with the poverty datum line.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR
AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr.
Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon. Member for his question. There are various methods of reviewing monthly pensions paid to pensioners on a monthly basis. These include ad hoc percentage increases where pensioners are awarded a pension increase as and when a Pension Fund has the capacity to grant such increases. The other method is indexation where monthly pensions are linked to either rate of inflation or pensionable emoluments of serving members or to the poverty datum
Government policy with regards to the reviewing of pensions for Government pensioners is that they are indexed or linked to pensionable emoluments of serving members. Each time there is a review of salaries and allowances for serving members, monthly pensions are also adjusted by the same percentage awarded to civil servants.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I also wish to inform the House that pension increases are done subject to actuarial evaluation. Currently, NSSA is conducting such an evaluation of its schemes with the view of increasing the monthly payout.
POLICY ON ISSUANCE OF PRIMARY DOCUMENTS TO VICTIMS
- TSHUMA asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House what Government policy is on the issuance of primary documents to all those affected during the Gukurahundi period.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): I have gone there to Tsholotsho South with officers from Social Research to assess the situation and we have made some recommendations that some of the requirements were never complied with. At the moment therefore, we are drafting a process to cater for the replacement of the lost vital civil registration. Even those that had not applied will be catered for. With the mobile registration programme, we expect to ease the ways of acquiring the primary identity documents as some people travel long distances.
ONLINE REGISTRY OFFICES FOR LUPANE AND JOTSHOLO
- M. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House why Lupane and Jotsholo Registry Offices are not online, a situation which results in clients having to apply for primary documents in Bulawayo.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): The Department is in the process of computerising Lupane
District Office. Jotsholo Registry Office is a sub office which is yet to be electrified. The offices are leased from Kusile Rural Council. The council has been approached to ensure that the offices have electricity.
This matter is still pending with the council.
ISSUANCE OF PASSPORTS TO PEOPLE IN LUPANE
- M. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House when the Ministry will make provisions for people from Matabeleland North to be issued with passports in Lupane.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): The Lupane Provincial Registry is still under construction at the Government Complex in Lupane. When construction is completed and staff accommodation secured, the offices will be open to the public to apply for passports. Government has identified land for housing for civil servants in Matebeleland North Province. When the exercise is complete and staff houses constructed, our provincial staff can then relocate to Lupane.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by the TEMPORARY
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY
HON. MANDIPAKA: Mr. Speaker I move the motion standing in my name That this House –
Aware that Zimbabwe is a peace loving nation;
DISTURBED by recent acts of violence and terror on innocent people by some political parties;
WORRIED by vicious attacks on police officers and security agents;
CONCERNED by the looting and destruction of property and
infrastructure in Greater Harare:
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Parliament to resolve to –
- strongly condemn political parties perpetrating acts of violence on our nation;
- calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe Republic Police to arrest all those rowdy youths involved in acts of violence and to facilitate their prosecution; and
- ask the Minister of Home Affairs to make a statement on the state of affairs with regards to recent political violence and to assure the nation of its safety and security.
HON. MUDEREDZWA: I second.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, you will recall that this motion should have been debated during the peak of things. That is in August last year when things were happening when we had protests and disturbances in the country. Apparently Hon. Speaker, you will appreciate that certain quotas within this Parliament made efforts to scuttle this motion but I am quite happy and excited that at last this motion is going to be debated as it still creates relevance to the nation. It is my joy that at last we have to debate this very crucial motion. It is an innocent motion and allow me to allay fears from certain quotas that this motion intended to witch-hunt. It is not witch hunting at all but it is for the good of our country and our nation.
Mr. Speaker Sir, from the onset we need to ask ourselves what
Parliament is? According to the research that I have so far made,
Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation – not two nations. So as we sit in Parliament, we are one people and one nation. It is advisable that as we debate, we do so as Zimbabweans because that is our identity and the thing that puts us together as one. As Zimbabweans, we must be proud of the institutions that we create. We must believe in ourselves and the sanctity of our institutions, for example the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
This motion simply calls for co-existence in a polarised political environment. It is a motion that seeks to respect, call upon citizens and Members of Parliament to respect our own police force and entire defence forces and other security services just because the safety that we enjoy is provided for by these security services and the police force.
The motion also seeks to condemn politically motivated violence that threatens peace, security and stability in our motherland. As we all know, that instability is recipe for disaster.
I wish to commend our police force, defence forces and security agents for the professionalism, patriotism, loyalty and discipline that they have exhibited for the past 37 years in this country. We enjoy peace because of the efforts of these commanders. So, allow me at this juncture to express my profound gratitude and congratulate the following commanders for their astute leadership: - Comrade Dr. Augustine Chihuri, the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe
Republic Police; the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,
Constantine Ghuveya Chiwenga; Air Force Commander, Comrade
Perence Shiri; Comrade Paradzai Zimondi, Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and Comrade Bonyongwe, the Director of General Central Intelligence. These commanders have done us proud in this nation; we have enjoyed peace unlike other
African countries for the past 37 years because of their leadership and loyalty. We are proud of the crop of cadres that have led our security services.
Generally, Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabweans are peace loving, hard working, hospitable and revered for their civalisation and education. Peace is a sacred gift, once lost we can never re-gain it. It therefore becomes paramount for all of us of sober minds that we need to cherish and uphold peace for socio-economic development.
Mr. Speaker Sir, my heart bleeds to hear that there are certain political elements or political malcontents misguided in their operations, political parties and certain political activists that have no pride in our own police force, Defence Forces and security agencies. I feel pity and my heart bleeds. These security apparatus are ours, they are our own creation and Zimbabweans, despite our divergent political views, should be proud of these institutions.
The police force is made up of our own children, our sisters and brothers, our kith and keen and there is no reason why we should not be proud of our own kith and keen that makes up the police force. We should actually create a bond between ourselves as Zimbabwean citizens and these institutions. I am a bit disturbed, we were all disturbed and worried in August last year by acts of violence and acts of terror on innocent people in Harare by certain political malcontents, employed to subvert a constitutionally elected Government under the guise of human rights and regime change. There were vicious attacks on police officers Mr. Speaker Sir. It is also on record that the attacks were not only vicious but callous and unprovoked attacks on our police officers that were on duty, some to the extent that they were assaulted and their police uniform torn apart by these malcontents.
It is also on record Mr. Speaker Sir that a ZBC vehicle was set on fire and a police vehicle was also set on fire. There was unwarranted destruction of a police base at Market Square during these skirmishes by these political maul contents. Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, given that, I call upon Parliament to resolve to, strongly condemn any political renegates, political malcontents or any opposition political parties for that matter which are quite disturbing for the disturbances that we witnessed last year. Perpetrators of such violence should be brought to book, the ZRP has to be supported morally, spiritually and materially in their efforts to maintain law and order.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs must, if possible, give a statement that reassures the nation that we are going to enjoy peace as we move towards elections in 2018 and that they have also dealt with these political malcontents and carried out thorough investigations. Security implies absence of threats or danger, but security of course, starts with an individual but transcends to a nation. I had disturbing pictures of police officers that were severely assaulted, police base that were set alight and police vehicles. Apparently those pictures went missing under very suspicious circumstances. I was supposed to have shared the pictures amongst Hon. Members that are here in this august House, but they just went missing under suspicious circumstances.
Allow me Mr. Speaker, to trace political developments, violence and illegal demonstration, were they came from, how they emanated and how they came into existence. Some of us are aware that the emergence of a certain political party in 1999, brought with it certain problems, and I will mention those problems that were brought. For the record, proponents of the regime change agenda continued to collude with this political party that I am talking about, and other political opposition parties, to cause disturbances and de-stabilise this peaceful country in the Southern region in Africa. Alas, their efforts are going to fail because we have got a vigilant Police Force, Defence Force and Security agencies which is of our own making.
At Banket Country Club in 1999, a political formation or movement was formed under the name MDC. This political formation was supported largely by commercial farmers. It is only then that we started to experience political violence and disturbances in this country. We sharply recall the food riots of 2000. We also recall the resistance to the land reform programme; we also sharply recall in December 2001, that some Zimbabweans in the opposition assisted in the crafting of ZIDERA. The final push was spearheaded by none other than Mr.
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai ‘Mazidhengere’ of Buhera. In 2008, we witnessed violence demonstration; leader of the opposition MDCT,
Richard Morgan ‘Mazidhengere’ of the Save totem is on record for instigating violence. There is an audio if you can still remember where we hear Mr. Tsvangirai saying…
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to raise an
objection. In terms of Parliamentary rules, we are not allowed to discuss an individual who will not be in this House to answer for themselves. The Hon. Member has mentioned the name of Morgan Richard
Tsvangirai more than four times, and making very serious allegations yet Morgan Richard Tsvangirai will not be able to respond to the allegations that he is raising.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mandipaka, refrain from
HON. MANDIPAKA: Mr. Speaker, I am just trying to re-trace where violence started from. He is heard on audio saying, I will quote word for word; “what we want to tell you Mugabe today is that please go peacefully, if you do not go peacefully, we will remove you violently”. This is when we started to experience violent demonstration in this country as a result of this instigation.
HON. ZVIDZAI: Mr. Speaker you have ruled against what the Hon. Member is saying and he must simply stop. In continuing to do what he is doing, he is lying. Violence never started in 1999, there are more than 20 000 people of Zimbabwe who were killed in – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Way before 1999 by Gukurahundi. He must shut up.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! I will give you an
equal opportunity to respond to what he is saying.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, some of the
demonstrations last year were carried out under the umbrella of NERA.
HON. MUKWANGARIWA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
The Hon Member told the other Hon Member to shut up.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, I did not hear that but if
he said so, it is unparliamentary language.
HON ZVIZVAI: I withdraw but dzakutsaku there must stop talking nonsense.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon Zvizvai, you
cannot withdraw and then replace the words with more unparliamentary language.
HON. ZVIZVAI: I withdraw.
HON. MANDIPAKA: As Zimbabweans that are peace loving,
we cannot be Syria or Lybia. The independent media - you will recall very well that it went on the prowl to portray this country negatively and the results were very clear. Violent sanctions were imposed upon this country. I say they were violent because they have decimated our population in terms of what they should get socially, which could be electricity, water, labour or employment. We were slapped with these violent illegal economic sanctions. Our nation got so polarized yet we remain innocent.
Let me refer the minds of Hon. Members in this House to the Constitution. We are cognizant of the fact that our Constitution establishes the rights of citizens to protest, to demonstrate and express political views. Zimbabweans were made to live in perpetual fear because of unprecedented political attacks and physical attacks on innocent civilians. There was massive looting from ordinary people trying to eke a living. Some of the looting was carried out on informal traders and on some vendors. The wave of violence in that regard at that material time threatened national peace and we are all aware of that.
A police vehicle Reg. No ZRP 046R was set on fire. A Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation vehicle Mazda B250 Reg, No ACM 2668 was burnt to ashes. A police base at Market Square was stoned and burnt. Constable Dhowe of ZRP National Traffic was attacked viciously, sustained a swollen jaw and injuries on the ribs. Constable Madhibha Force No. 075073A of ZRP Mabvuku Traffic was also attacked whilst driving a motor bike, corner First Street and Nelson Mandela. On
August 24, 2016, at 12:00 hrs about 70 rowdy youths grouped along
Inez Terrace and stoned a green Jeep Cherokee Reg. No ACV4825 belonging to Steven Mpamba. A Mercedez Benz Reg No AAJ 2293 belonging to Leonard Nyamuwambo Zuze was stoned and damaged. Choppies Supermarket at corner Rezende and Nelson Mandela Street was looted. Kellies shop at corner Speke Avenue and Inez Terrace was looted by protesters. Choppies Supermarket along Robert Mugabe was damaged and a wooden door set on fire. I am just trying to single out certain incidences that occurred during those disturbances.
Constable Morris Takawira Force No. 085484R of Harare central was attacked at corner Robert Mugabe and Harare Street and sustained head injuries. Constable Pesanayi of Butshwa Support Unit was hit by a stone on the left ankle during demonstrations. An assortment of electrical appliances were stolen from various shops within greater Harare. So, these are the things that were happening during those demonstrations.
Let us now look at the Rule of Law. We need to respect our own laws Mr. Speaker Sir. We also need to respect the Public Order and Security Act because it is our piece of legislation. We cannot be seen to be a lawless country and the police cannot stand and watch whilst protestors and illegal demonstrators attack defenseless citizens and officers on duty. The ZRP have a constitutional duty, obligation and a moral duty to protect citizens from marauding youths.
Opposition political parties allegedly are in the forefront of fomenting political violence and hostilities through unsanctioned demonstrations. The introduction of a noble Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, you will remember very well that a warehouse in Beit Bridge was burnt to ashes and property got lost just because of the introduction of that noble statutory instrument. A militant group going by the name Tajamuka made up of violent youths from opposition parties has been I the forefront of fomenting violence and calling on other youths to engage in violent behavior. They were targeting institutions like the police force. The social media also has been used to propagate hate speech against this regime and all these things are happening under the guise of democracy and rights.
In conclusion, I am sure that men of sound judgement, sober habits and mind who are patriotic Zimbabweans will agree with me and testify that we have one of the best police forces in the region, if not in Africa and beyond. Over the years, our police force has exhibited great potential and professionalism as they carry out peace keeping and peace building missions in various war torn countries. The United Nations could not have employed the services of ZRP if it was not a professional police force. So, they have done these duties competently in countries like Angola, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Kosovo, East Timor and Burkina Faso. Our police officers have been in these countries to protect innocent lives.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Section 86 of the Constitution says fundamental rights and freedoms must be exercised reasonably and with due regard to the rights and freedoms of others. As people demonstrate, it does not follow that the majority would want to see demonstrations, see looting or that the majority share political persuasions and views of those that will be demonstrating. So, as they exercise that, they should take due regard for the rights of others.
Section 206 (1) of the Constitution talks about national security. It says “ the national security objectives of Zimbabwe must reflect the resolve of Zimbabweans to live as equals in liberty, peace and harmony, free from fear and in prosperity” but if we go to Section 219 (1) (b) it is clear on the functions of the police. It says “there is a police force or police service which is responsible for preserving the internal security of
Zimbabwe.” So, when police officers are deployed in streets with baton sticks or fire arms to protect other innocent citizens we should not cry foul.
Police also have a duty to protect and secure the lives and property of the people. If a police vehicle or ZBC vehicle are being burnt, they have a right to move in and make sure that they quench such disturbances. They also have a right to maintain law and order and this entails that the police cannot be bystanders when property is being burnt to ashes by protestors. This august House should stand up and resolve to condemn acts of violence. It should also condemn protests that have been targeted on innocent civilians and political malcontents that are misguided in their political persuasions to cause disturbilisation in this peaceful country. We encourage the Commissioner General of the police to work thoroughly and get these political malcontents and bring them to book.
If necessary, the Minister of Finance should allocate financial resources that are adequate for the cause of our police force, a police force that the majority of Zimbabweans are proud of except a few that have been spoilt by western beliefs. Mr. Speaker Sir, opposition parties have themselves to blame if they do not win elections because the majority of Zimbabweans would like to live in peace and that peace has ably demonstrated that peace has been with us for 37 years because of ZANU PF Government. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir
for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution to this motion. I would also like to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Mandipaka for giving the broad picture of the motion and what has caused it to be debated in this Parliament. I would like to take note of the fact that some of the things are overtaken by events. When this motion was mooted, the situation in the country was not so good, but I am happy that Zimbabweans are finding reason in that they do not need to fight authority because we are a democratic country.
In a democracy Mr. Speaker Sir, elections are held periodically and in our case, every five years, people of the land are given the opportunity to elect leaders of their own choice and institutions that are born of the Constitution are supervised by those leaders. So basically, I find no reason why people should be demonstrating to say they want a change of Government when the time has not come because in a democracy, you are given the latitude to do so. When you do so, you need to do it properly so that we promote our democracy.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to make reference to what Hon. Mandipaka has said and most of the things I will be talking from experience.
Zimbabweans are peace loving people and they do not want to be antagonised. Within our system, community or society, we do have what we regard as malcontents or deviance, people who would like to see discord in society so that development is negated. I do not want to go further to what Hon. Mandipaka said because those things are already on record but I would like to say in Zimbabwe, we have got a police service that is law abiding.
Our police service is born of the Constitution and the obligations that they carry are a mammoth task of protecting life and property and maintaining law, and who in Zimbabwe does not want law and order? Even when we go to banks, we see people organising themselves without any police officer nearby because Zimbabweans are peace loving people. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to say the good part of it is that in Zimbabwe, the philosophical policing principle is that consent. People in Zimbabwe are policed by consent and this is a historical heritage that we received from our traditional background and also from the revolution. This is because some of the people who are now in the police service were ex-combatants or liberation fighters.
So, they realised that the police cannot operate in a vaccum. Police officers have to work in tandem with society. This is why there is very limited antagonism between the police and the public. I would also like to take note of the fact that the police is a reflection of society itself. If society is violent, the police in a bid to maintain law and order can also try to match what is happening. If society is peaceful, the police can also be peaceful. If the society is corrupt, police officers are also corrupt. What I am saying Mr. Speaker Sir is that in Zimbabwe, policing is done effectively as it is at the present moment because there is trust between the police and the public.
The generality of our people are peace loving and they are never involved in criminal activities. The generality of our people are peace loving and they are never involved in violent demonstrations. It is so because if you notice our police officers in comparison with police services of other nations, you will realise that our police service is the least armed in the world, next to the British Bobby. When police officers are moving around, they do not have weapons or anything. They are at the mercy of members of the public and it is the public that protect them.
This is what we expect in a democracy such as ours. We expect the police and members of the public to work together. Even with political parties, desperation should not be targeted at the police. People who lose elections should know that their chance will come, like what is going to happen. 2018 is coming and people should be doing their homework so that they win the minds of the people. If people do not achieve that, then violence is not an option. We have been operating under very difficult circumstances over the years.
I would like to tell you Hon. Speaker Sir, that we are moving towards a common cause that violence negates development and what we need to do is to ensure that when we lose elections, we have to go back to our offices and try to come up with new strategies that will make us win next time. At the present moment, there is a Government in office and that Government should be protected by law enforcing agents including the police.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I have often wondered why police officers sometimes try – they also become defensive in situations. Police work itself is in the majority of cases, reactive because police officers do not know what people think. They do not know what people are going to do next time, especially when people are moving in groups and being driven by certain emotions. At such a point, the police should be in a position to ward off anything that is designed to disrupt public order and law and order. This is why we have the Public Order and Security Act [Chapter 11:17]. We would like to see cohesion between the police and the public.
Sometimes I hear legal gurus saying there is no need to inform the police about a demonstration or whatever or procession. It is very absurd because what happens is that; there is a problem or disease called mob psychology. When people are moving as a group – even if you put Hon. Members in a bus, observe how they behave in that bus, it is mob psychology. When things are happening in such a way, that emotions are being heated up, you will see that people will end up destroying property, attacking and injuring people and so on.
We are saying, there should be a common understanding. Those who want to demonstrate or go into processions should discuss with the police and say, this is how we are going to be doing it so that the police will make safeguards. The police will be able to know what to do in the event of this or that happening. This is exactly what our law provides for. I am saying this because I have realised that in certain situations, even other political parties, they are also going to the police station to report what they want to do. I have not seen any discord because the police is for everyone, it is a national police service.
However, if people just demonstrate on their own and the police come, they are also driven by emotions. For example, the issue that was being talked about in Lupane, it happened elsewhere. The police themselves are human beings, they want their lives because they may also be killed – [HON. MISIHAIRABWI – MUSHONGA: Nevakadzi
ivavo?] – Yes. As a result, they should be in a position to protect themselves first so that they are in a position to protect others – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – So, the fact that our police officers are not armed, it is based on the fact that they have got trust on members of the public. Once a police is in trouble, we see members of the public intervening trying to find out what the problem is.
In other countries – if you watch Al Jazeera, you can see what is happening in other countries and their jurisdictions. You can go and watch it today, it cannot go through without an event where police officers are throwing teargas on a daily basis. They are firing guns, tear smoke and so on. This is not the situation that is obtaining in Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker Sir, as a way forward, people should not live on the figment of their imagination.
The ‘Tajamukas #, This flag’ and other forms of violence that sometimes happens is not characteristic of our country as Zimbabweans. They should know the background of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) as well as the background of our security services, they are not made of weak steel. We should uphold the law as Zimbabweans
because the Constitution obligates us to do so – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We should provide constructive criticism in situations where we see that the police is on the wrong side and the police should listen to what the members of the public are saying – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Right now, we have this thing that we might not discuss much because it is pending at the courts, the spikes.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. Wind up
your debate, you are left with five minutes.
HON. MUDEREDZWA: Yes I am winding up Mr. Speaker Sir. At one stage, I was driving to Rusape and I saw a female police officer wielding a spike and there were three commuter omnibuses following one after the other, they were driven through the roadblock and all the police officers ran away. Look at the dangers the police officers are exposed to. There is a reason why the police officers are also worried. Mothers and fathers are worried that they are likely to leave their families unattended in the event of them being killed or injured. So, all of us should find reason and work together towards building our nation.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to conclude by saying, Zimbabweans are hard working, give them space to do what they know better, working hard and building a prosperous nation. I thank you.
HON. MATUKE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. ZIYAMBI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th June, 2017.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MATUKE: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 52 be stood over until Order Number 53 and the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.
HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT (NO. 1) BILL
[H.B. 1, 2017]
Fifty Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.1) Bill, [H.B.1, 2017].
Question again proposed.
HON. MAJOME: I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me
an opportunity to debate this sadly historical Bill that is before the House, that is a Bill that seeks to amend an infant Constitution that is even yet to find its own feet. Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to express my disappointment as a citizen of this country and my fears about the path that we are starting to embark upon, that is amending a Constitution that was so resoundingly adopted by the people of Zimbabwe in a very historical process.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to just remind members of the august House about the very proud and historical process that was conducted in making this same Constitution that we are already deliberating about amending. As a Zimbabwean, I stand proud to say that as a citizen of a country and of a jurisdiction that made world history by becoming a country that crafts and adopts a Constitution in the most wide reaching, consultative and participatory process ever.
There has not been any country in the world that has done like we did, that is to conduct 4400 public meetings to consult the public about what they wanted to be in the Constitution. As a proportion of the population, we had about no more than 10% of Zimbabweans participating in hearings and finally for the referendum, there is no referendum to adopt a Constitution that recorded as high majority as 93% - 94% that Zimbabwe recorded in adopting this very same
Constitution. So, it is from that context Mr. Speaker Sir, that I rise to debate in opposition to this amendment.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to debate in my opposition to this amendment in a manner that is based on three premises. Firstly, I object to this Bill from a point of process. Secondly, I will object it from a point of principle and lastly, I will object to this amendment from a point of the content of the Bill itself.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of the process of this Bill, I can do no better than to refer the august House to the very provisions of Section 328(4) of the Constitution. In that provision Mr. Speaker Sir, it provided the very unique process of amending the Constitution that is different from all other Bills.
If you will allow me to belabour the House because it is important to say that it is required that when a Constitutional Bill has been tabled, different from any other Bills, Section 328(4) provides that
“immediately after the Speaker has given notice of a Constitutional Bill in terms of (3), Parliament must invite members of the public to express their views on the proposed Bill in public meetings and through written submissions, and must convene meetings and provide facilities to enable the public to do so.”
Mr. Speaker Sir, as a member of the portfolio committee that was tasked by the Hon. Speaker to conduct these public hearings and to receive submissions, I stand here to express my utmost disappointment and regret that I was not allowed and enabled to see a single written submission that was submitted by the members of the public. Those written submissions that are specifically mentioned by the Constitution, I would want to assume that they were submitted because there were members of the public and organisations that were saying that they did that. However, none of those submissions was ever brought to the attention of members of the committee. Requests were made in meetings to say, can we see these submissions because they are specifically mentioned in terms of the Constitution but they are in some dark void somewhere.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is extremely sad that we can take constitutional provisions so lightly and seek to want to proceed with a Bill where members of the public have taken the trouble to write submissions in terms of the Constitution and submit them but those submissions are done short shift of; they have not been seen.
HON. ZIYAMBI: I have a point of order.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. What is your
point of order?
HON. ZIYAMBI: I think it is very unfair for the Hon. Member to discuss deliberations that happened in the Committee and express sentiments that are not very correct, to say things that happened in a Committee and processes that happened whereby she was even allowed to say that if you want to view the submissions, they are open for you to see everything that happen. For her to come here and start mentioning things that happened in the Committee, I feel it is unfair for the rest of the members of the Committee – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – What she is trying to do now is trying to bring in
Committee deliberations into her debate, which I feel is very unfair.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Majome, you were part
of the Committee and consensus if reached within the Committee, there is no way one would isolate himself or herself out of the consensus that has been reached. So, debate on what you think or raise your own opinion rather than the Committee’s opinion.
HON. MAJOME: Mr. Speaker Sir, from a point of privilege, I did request in the Committee to see the submissions and that request was never done. I am saying this because as a Member of Parliament, I have no other forum in which to raise this complaint. I raised it in the Committee repeatedly and I never got the submissions. I thought if I do not raise it in this House, I cannot go to court...
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May you just take your seat
please so that I consult. Hon. Majome, can you please approach the Chair?
Hon. Majome approached the Chair.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Majome, you may
HON. MAJOME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will proceed on
the issue of processes and the second issue I will say is that the public in the public hearings that we went to, roundly and soundly rejected and condemned this proposed amendment. The predominant members of the public on the sentiments that they said, I remember specifically that the only places that there was some support of the Bill was in Gwanda and Hwange in particular if I recall. We went all over the country to the major cities and the overwhelming and thunderous response was that we do not want to amend the Constitution now and we do not want to amend it for this reason. That is the process because as Members of Parliament, we are representatives of the people of Zimbabwe. We are reminded by our Constitution, none other than Section 3 (2) (f) – that is our founding values and principles. We are reminded at the very beginning of the Constitution that the principles of good governance which bind us including Parliament are; “respect for the people of
Zimbabwe from whom the authority to govern is derived”.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is those people that we went to hear from and in my experience from a process point of view, we were sent out there so that we hear what they have to say. As I said, predominantly it was rejection but for those that were expressing support of the Bill that I saw in Gwanda and Hwange, from what I understood as a lawyer myself and as a constitutional lawyer in particular is that while they were expressing support for the Bill, they actually appeared to also contradict themselves. What they wanted was a system of appointment of judges that allows the independence of the judiciary and transparency. In their defending it, they would say issues that would counter the support of the Bill and that is why and with respect, I defer to your view that I should not refer to the record of hearings which was not even made available but that is what the public were saying. For history, posterity will record and I am glad that our Parliament records verbatim by Hansard Reporters, by tapes and so on. For the sake of history, I believe that those who would want to see the history of this sad amendment, they would actually get the verbatim tapes of what the public was saying and I am certain that it vindicates what I am saying here.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in Hwange with respect, there was even some very absurd proposals that, yes of course we must amend the Constitution to make the President appoint all the three top judges because a chief will appoint their ministers and in Shona it was like machinda avo yet the principles of the construction of the judicial arena is different from the way that traditional leadership is practiced. One even went further to say that they support it because from above, there are certain offices at the lower levels like judges and Ministers but like in religion there is God above. I do not believe that we can equate His Excellency to God and matters ecclesiastically are very different from these matters of governments that are here on earth. That was some of the support that was being expressed for the Bill. Mr. Speaker Sir, that would not accord with the system of governance that we practice in modern democratic system of governance.
I will now turn to my objection on the basis of principle. Mr.
Speaker Sir, I say this because coming from a minority party in this Parliament, I want to appeal to my colleagues across the benches and across the political divide that from a principle point of view, the ruling party does enjoy an overwhelming and exceeding majority. They would have the power to change the Constitution if they want to but my appeal to them is from a point of principle Mr. Speaker Sir, that I would urge them to do what is right to the people of Zimbabwe. It is not disputed that they have the numbers but from the principle point of view, I urge them to think and put the people of Zimbabwe first. We can tinker with a Constitution but let us remember that the people of Zimbabwe indeed supported this by an overwhelming majority.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am compelled to respond to one of my fellow Hon. Members here who was yesterday spewing forth unbelievable contempt for this Constitution and belittling it as merely a compromised document. I want to believe that saying that is nothing short of disdain. It is nothing but scandalous and as Members of Parliament, we represent the people. I am from the Movement for Democratic Change and when I am in this Parliament and when I am in my constituency, I do not represent the people of the MDC only, but I represent the people of ZANU PF, the people of NDA, NDU and the majority of Zimbabweans who are not in fact members of any political party. I hasten to add that the majority of those people who are not members of any political party are a population that is not yet old enough.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is not a secret that the majority of our population is made up of young people who are below the ages of 16 and 18 and those people are not capable of voting and of being members of any political party. I would want to remind my hon. colleague who indicated that it was just a compromise perk between ZANU PF and MDC. This Constitution transcends political parties and it is about people who are not MDC and who are not ZANU PF but the lives it touches are of those who are not us politicians. I want to plead from a point of principle that simply because the ruling party enjoys the majority, it must not trample the aspirations and the interests of the people.
Mr. Speaker Sir, history will judge us harshly and my appeal is from a point of principle, that we need to observe the rule of law and the separation of powers that this amendment proposes to trample over. I do not subscribe to the view at all that an amendment that would concentrate back power into appointing the top three judges and indeed the head of one of the arms of Government in the leader of one of the arms, His Excellency the President would not undermine the rule of law and judicial independence. Mr. Speaker Sir, that is the furthest from the truth and I will have to refer to the classical scholars of constitutional law, matters of the rule of law and judicial independence because I think that is what will help us assess this amendment. This amendment will indeed just detonate and trample over judicial independence. A. B. Dicey, one of the leading scholars of constitutional law is the leading influence on defining what the rule of law is which would be undermined by this amendment. According to him, he identified that the rule of law has three main principles and I will stick to two. The first one is that absolute supremacy of the law as opposed to the influence of arbitrary power is the key tenet of the rule of law. Concentrating power into appointing the Chief Justice, the deputy Chief Justice and the Judge President in His Excellency, the President, is indeed promoting the use of arbitrary power and giving him or whoever holds that office the power to decide whatever they want is against the rule of law.
Secondly, equality before the law is that no person is above the law. Mr. Speaker Sir, the process we have in the Constitution now does recognise that. It allows His Excellency, the President to participate in the question of choosing the top three judges. His Excellency, the President, not only is he also allowed to nominate a candidate, apart from being at the end of the day, the one who selects from the panel of candidates selected by the Judicial Service Commission, it allows the public of Zimbabwe and the office of His Excellency to participate in the selection process. It is a feature that promotes equality before the law.
Mr. Speaker, our previous Constitution used to hold in Section 27 that, “the President takes precedence over all persons”. That is no longer the case. The people of Zimbabwe voted against that. Now to try to bring back by concentrating back and doing a u-turn is clearly not what the people said and what they wanted and it is not good for the land. Mr. Speaker Sir, I will also...
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I move that the
Member’s time be extended.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I second.
Motion put and objected.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would want to add my voice on the Amendment Bill No. 1 H. B. 1, 2017 of the Constitution of the motherland. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to preface by saying, a nation is judged by the way it upholds its own Constitution. There was a clause in the Lancaster House Constitution that said, for ten years we would not tinker with the Constitution. In 1990 Mr. Speaker Sir, there was a commission that was led by the late Chief Justice Chidyausiku in terms of amending the Constitution after the ten-year period. In the present Constitution, there is no clause that limits the time that is needed for amendment of a Constitution if there comes a need.
Aware Mr. Speaker Sir, that there are sections of the Constitution and Chapters that would require a referendum and those that would not require a referendum. Those that would just require a simple majority of Parliament to speak to and about the amendments that is so required. These key issues Mr. Speaker Sir, I thought I should bring to bear and to the fore, so that in that context, one can then debate. I have not gone into the crux of the matter, so the opposition should not immediately try to pre-empt. I have not yet gone into the crux of the debate. What one needs to know is there is no Government that comes into power, that takes anything to chance or that is required to take into account or to honour the wishes of the past Government.
I will give you an example, the refusal by the British Labour Government to honour the Lancaster House agreement obligations that spoke to and about the compensation of landowners, so that the formally marginalised black majority would have their land, premised on the agreements that were in the Lancaster House Constitution. I will give you exactly what the Government of Tony Blair did to the other Government that went before it. Clare Short and Tony Blair completely annihilated, rubbished and shredded the agreements, not once, not twice but numerous times that had been made in the Commonwealth regarding the land and compensation of the erstwhile colonisers, the minority settlers, the British in terms of land acquisition.
Mr. Speaker Sir, based on that, I would go on and say, there is a debate that I heard here that said, the Head of State surely could not be given the sole mandate of appointing the three top judges. That is a fallacy, if the debater takes it in that context. Mr. Speaker, it might be showing that whoever is saying or churning these words might not have the ambition to be head of State one day, or does not even see themselves being head of state one day. The debate should not be premised on that. We have many issues that are embedded in the Constitution that were included at the time because a nation is judged by the way it upholds the Constitution. We should be very careful to continue to be haunted by what is in the Constitution without amending it because we are judged by the way we uphold the Constitution.
One such issue that I want to speak to and about is the issue of Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga, she is always talking to and about the issue of devolution of power and the issue of councils. Why not amend the Constitution if we cannot finance that ability. Why should we come here and be hamstrung, wax lyrical and think that everything is okay. Currently Mr. Speaker Sir, what we do not have is resources to take care of some issues that are in the Constitution. The issue is not only about alignment of the Constitution. As much as we would want to amend and adhere to the Constitution, it is very clear that there are no guidelines and there is no timeline Mr. Speaker Sir on constitutions of other jurisdictions as to when and how sections of the constitutions need to be aligned with the Acts of this jurisdiction. I say so because the Kenyan Constitution has real timelines to say by this time we have to have amended and aligned these laws. So, with us Mr. Speaker Sir, as much as we are moving with exceptional speed - effectively and efficiently, we need in terms of alignment of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that it is on our own volition. We are not bound by what is in the Constitution.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I have spoken about Tony Blair and Clare Short having rubbished what went before them in terms of agreements. Now, came Donald Trump. He has appointed the Chief Justice – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – and the people that are debating here today would cry wolf if that is done by Zimbabwe. They have not even heard what my opinion is about the amendment of this Constitution and they need to wait for that time.
Let us have a scenario where we create a Constitution that we are going to be judged by. In terms of politics, if you cannot beat them, you need to join them. In politics the majority Mr. Speaker Sir, have their way, simple - including the minority if they have their voice. That does not – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – yes, we have democracy but these are the first tenets. Mr. Speaker Sir, nyika ino hayaitongeka. Ikanzi haivhiyiwi, haivhiyiwi uyu odhonzera uko, kana kuti roita sejuzi raTizirai rekuti uyu woruka uyu warudunura – [Laughter.] – regai titonge.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let there be a defined ruler ship. Here are the tenets of democracy. If there is a majority say, let that majority say be upheld. We are all creatures of this Constitution and we need to uphold it. By the way, I have come here as a representative of the majority. I have come here as a legislator to make laws for the good governance and order of the people of Zimbabwe whose majority is ZANU PF – [ZANU PF MEMBERS: Yes!] - I want to make sure that there is no doubt left here Mr. Speaker Sir.
We are not a hung Parliament. You can say all that you want to say but at the end of it all, we need to have a conclusion. We need to put a conclusion to this and a conclusion that I so desire. Now, here is what you have been waiting for, is that there be a majority say and sway in this debate. Mr. Speaker, I am going to be judged by that. I am one in this Parliament a Member of Parliament amongst the 210 who represents Chegutu West, and I will say what Chegutu West says and speaks to and wants to have in this Constitution. They want it amended – [HON.
MEMBERS: Yes!] –. Hakuna zuva rinobuda rimwe risati ranyura.
There is only one MP in Chegutu West and he is here today.
So, if those people of 50 000 in number want to have their say, they will come through me, no matter how much the minority says in Chegutu - it counts to nothing for the next five years. Ndozvatiri uku and by the way, I am not here by mistake; I am here by a majority after annihilation and turning around the matrix of the rulership in Chegutu West where they had 9 000 votes against 3 000. They went from 9 000 to 6 000 and I went from 3 000 to 12 000.
As I wind up, I want to say the issue of the amendment of this section of the Constitution does not need a referendum but a simple majority in the House. It says two thirds by the way; and we in the ruling party, having gotten the majority in terms of votes, Mr Speaker Sir, we will not be swayed by the line of thinking of the minority. We will be swayed by the majority of our voters, the electorate Mr. Speaker Sir who include churches. I thank you.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Let me start by
thanking the Vice President for sitting in until this late and allowing us to go through this debate because under normal circumstances he probably would have left. So, we do appreciate that he is sitting in here to listen to some of the things that we have to say. Having said that Mr.
Speaker, I struggled a lot around this debate because part of me felt that perhaps, like Jesus Christ, let this cup pass. Later on, I then said I will probably not live with my conscience if I do not say what I have to say for a number of reasons. I am not a prophetess but I am hoping that today when the Hansard is done, he will keep it because God willing and if both he and I are alive, we will have this conversation one day. These are the reasons why I want to raise this – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – No, I have to do that, it is okay.
Mr. Speaker, I am sad for a number of reasons. This is why initially I had said it is probably too emotional for me to even go into this debate, but I am going to go into it. The first reason why I am sad is because it is premised on what Hon. Gonese raised yesterday, that it is premised on a very wrong notion that this was a compromise position. Unfortunately, Hon. Goche is not here because he was one of the nine who were in the Management Committee and who had to deal with the political issues that made certain differences.
I am not sure whether the briefing that was given on what the differences were was the right briefing, because we never had any problems with this particular provision. If you want to look at the things that we had problems with during the negotiations, you will find them in the transitional provisions - because then, we had to reach some form of compromise. So, if this had come on the basis of those things that were coming from those transitional provisions, I would have no problem accepting that was the issue. Whoever is peddling that is not telling the truth. It was never an issue of debate, difference and we never had any argument around it. It is important just on that basis to be honest that this is what happened. I am quite sad because during those negotiations, we created relationships about protecting each other and about being honest about things that happened. It would be unfair to destroy, not the issue here, but those relationships that were built then. I thought I needed to raise that.
The second reason why I am sad is because unlike others who spoke yesterday and wanted to create the perception that perhaps this is coming because the Vice President knows that he will be the appointing authority, I actually do not believe that. In fact, if I believed that he would be an appointing authority, I will be one of those people who will be very supportive because the chances that I will be Chief Justice one day would be pretty high. It is because of that fact that I said he needs to keep this Hansard.
If what we were being given here was merely something that was saying - I am concerned about the framework on appointment. However, I am now giving you a new framework that creates some safeguard that does not create this one power that is in one individual. I would be very willing to debate and discuss a new framework. My concern is that there is not even a safeguard and here is the danger. This is why I said the danger about himself, not about me and the nation. I am secondary. The danger is that – and that is the sad thing about the debate in this House, when we say the President appoints, we continue to be focused on the fact that that President is going to be Robert Gabriel Mugabe. It cannot be. He will leave power at some stage. In fact, this Constitution provides that he cannot run a second term. So you are not going to have President Mugabe.
Here is the danger. He will have a complete lunatic. This is why I am saying if he was the one who was coming, I would probably be a bit comfortable because I would know I can go and talk to him and negotiate but you can literally have a lunatic. When you have a lunatic of a President – Mr. Speaker, trust me, in the last few months, there is a State that will remain unnamed. They thought they were very progressive, organised and having clear democratic institutions until they voted a mad person into power. Every day of their lives, they wake up and are in shock that this has happened to them. The danger is that you can actually have that happen here.
Politics is a very funny and dangerous game. It is unfortunate that Hon. Goche is not here today. When we were negotiating, the person we feared more than anything else was Hon. Goche. We spent nights negotiating around how we would deal with Hon Goche because he was straight – I am ZANU PF, I have the ear of the President and it is not going to happen. Wind down 2015, where was Hon. Goche? The same person who had the ear of the President was being accused of going to
Israel to look for people that were going to kill President Mugabe.
Where is he sitting today? Backbencher!
Let me talk about Tomana. Where was Tomana? Tomana was the Attorney-General of this country. He was the chief adviser of
Government. Where did he go? He sat at the boot of a car driven around Mbare Msika as a criminal. He is sitting at home right now, one of the major legal minds. The reason why I am saying so….
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I might as well let you give
examples but let us stick to the debate and make sure that we move forward.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I will continue but
remember I said I am sad for a number of reasons. I am talking directly to the Hon. Vice President. I am talking to him about…
HON. ZIYAMBI: We are discussing on the Chief Justice and the
Hon. Member is discussing somebody who is not in the House to answer to what she is saying. I think it is very unfair to discuss on Hon. Goche and Mr. Tomana who are not here. She should give examples that relate to the office of the Chief Justice and not to speak about individuals who were not even in the office of the Chief Justice. I think it is very unfair on those particular individuals.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I accept that because I
know the strategy is to take my time. I am talking to the mover of this particular Bill. I am merely saying let us look at the danger of concentrating power in one individuals because he may genuinely be pushing for this because he believes that there is genuine position of changing. I am saying let him think about the possibility of having something that there is no safeguard. This is why I am saying you can have somebody who you are sitting with here today and the unfortunate thing is that those that will sit around and will be saying these things and pretending that they are supporting are the same ones who out there say different things altogether.
When some of us speak, we speak on the basis that we know that most of them are not genuine in protecting that particular individual and will not tell the truth about what is happening. All I am saying is that when we go to the amendments, we will go back to the issues that are saying we understand where you are coming from. I do not want to create aspersions around why he is saying it. I want to take him at face value, I want to believe that what he is saying here he wants to genuinely change it because there is principle reason to do so. I am pushing a point which says let us do it but let us find a safeguard, whether that safeguard is to bring in that appointment to Parliament for approval. In fact, I agree with the Chair when he made the presentation, he said you cannot say there is one size that fits all. You cannot argue that this is the best way of choosing a Chief Justice.
In South Africa, some of you could have seen the interviews that were going on when Malema was interviewing this person. I sat there and my tummy churned up. I felt that this is totally wrong but that is their system. I cannot sit here and say let us use the South African system. What I know in looking at all the other jurisdictions is that it does not matter whether the President is the appointing authority or has a safeguard because the only person you can put faith in is God and not a person, it is not possible because a person will change and behave in a different manner today. We have seen people change, we have seen people who have been praising somebody today standing up and castigating that particular individual. I do not want that to happen to the Vice President, to me and to this nation. I do not want to be sitting in here and be part of those who will bring a monster into power. Some of you may not believe that the current one is a monster – that is your opinion but I also do not want to create a monster tomorrow. That person may not necessarily be a person who is coming from ZANU PF. Always imagine that person could actually be coming from these other benches tomorrow and may not necessarily believe in the principles of democracy. So why do you want to play fejafeja with something that is so important, fejafeja with people’s lives including my own life? This is why I will stand up and say let us find - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Mr. Speaker, as we go into this particular debate, like I said before. There are countries that believed that things were fine who woke up and things were not necessarily fine.
The last point that I want to bring up is one of the reasons that have messed up this debate. I was actually going to start with that. Being a student of law myself, I would have been very excited to come here and have an intellectual conversation like Hon. Majome was saying. Beginning to understand that there was somebody called Dicey, why did he say those things about Separation of Power? Does that explain anything in this context? We are unable to do it because it has become so messy this whole process. Why has it become messy Mr. Speaker? Let us be honest, it has become messy because even the Cabinet itself is divided on this issue. For the first time, we have a Bil - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Yes, we have a Bill that is coming in. Hon. Zhuwao was on television saying that I do not believe in it - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - I am not saying it.
No, he said it to the press - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
- He said it publicly.
So if there is division in your own Cabinet around this issue why do you want us to agree to it when there is division in it? Come to this
House united and say this is the reason why we are going to bring it.
You cannot run away from it. This is why I said … - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] - Ndisekuru vangu so I am going to tell him what you tell me outside. The things that you say to me imimi vacho makagara ipapo, you are the people who say those things - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - We need to talk about it now so that we can deal with the issues that are there.
When we go into the amendments Mr. Speaker, I will bring the specific amendment around what we need to do to create the safeguard but the issue that I continue to underline and will underline over and over again is that. Hon. Vice President, keep this Hansard. I hope I do not have to bring food for you kuChikurubi when these same people who are clapping for you use this very same amendment to put you into Chikurubi because they will have brought a person of their own. You will have a Chief Justice who is your wife, you will have a Deputy Chief Justice who is your brother-in-law, you can have a judge President who is your son-in-law and have anything that you want and have a family that runs the entire judiciary - that is how bad this provision is. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for having given me this opportunity to debate on this amendment. It gives me great pleasure to be able to debate this when the Acting President is in the House. It is not many a time where the Acting President is present when you debate – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - I also hope like Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga said, that I hope he keeps the Hansard. I hope he also keeps the Hansard to also remember that I debated when he was Acting President.
Mr. Speaker, Section 89 of the Constitution is very clear and I believe in constitutionalism. It talks about the President and that the President is the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-chief of the Defence Forces. What is the State? We talk about the three pillars of the State: - the Judiciary, Legislature and the Executive. These are the three pillars of the State and the President will be the head of the State. So how can you then have the head of the house that does not have control or a say in who – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – I am debating. Who absolutely has no say.
The people, through the ballot would have spoken just like we are here as Members of Parliament, the people would have spoken through the ballot. Just like the people of Mabvuku spoke for Hon. Maridadi, he is the Member of Parliament there. So to me, we cannot have different strokes for different folks, as Members of Parliament, we must be consistent – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes.] – We must understand that the will of the people must be respected, whether it is a monster the people have elected, so be it, that is the will of the people - [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
We cannot decide for the people, so let us not contradict ourselves by - [HON. GONESE: Inaudible interjections.] - Members of Parliament, especially I must say that on my right probably boast of the best legal brains. There was Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, Mwonzora was there – these are some of the best legal brains. They had an opportunity to deal with this at the time… - [HON. MEMBERS: We
did!] – In dealing with this at the time, they also knew that the people would elect a President and as long as the President is following the Constitution, there is absolutely no debate. The debate is, is he following the Constitution or not? – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – We are here to uphold this Constitution.
I will go to Section 116 of the Constitution, which talks about the Legislature, which means it is us – for the avoidance of doubt. The legislature is very clear that if you go to Section 119 they talk about the
‘Role of Parliament’. By the way, there is nothing wrong with ZANU
PF in case you thought there was something wrong with it. “The Role of Parliament - (1) Parliament must protect this Constitution and promote democratic governance Zimbabwe. Democratic governance; this is what is being exercised, democratic governance, if democratic governance is not being exercised, you have the right to go to the Constitutional Court. These are some of the avenues which they can also pursue if they are not happy with the democratic governance that is being exercised. You cannot! We have Donald Trump – one thing I respect America for is that the Head of State enjoys power. The Gulf War was started when
George Bush Senior was playing golf and he instructed a war to happen. He did not have to talk to anybody; he did not have a caucus with anybody. He was playing golf. With the powers entrusted in him by the people, he made a decision while playing golf to attack Iraq, whether right or not but the decision was made.
We are looking for a Head of State who shall make decisions and is accountable to them. As Members of Parliament, we hold him accountable; he cannot escape. To me, the issue at hand is about constitutionalism. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this amendment.
This amendment is in line with the global village which we are part of. We are always lagging behind and when we want to be part of it, we then doubt. Unless, the opposition whom I thought would have gained confidence with the coalition which is there, would actually be supporting this Bill because the coalition is led by the leader of the biggest opposition. So, I thought this would have been a welcome move for Tsvangirai when he becomes President – whenever, I do know for him to do this – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- Would they not want?
We cannot have a situation where doubting Thomases, those who do not see themselves being in power must speak for those who want to be in power – that cannot happen! Allow those who see light at the end of the tunnel, continue moving and get to that light and they can follow.
Like they say, ‘if you cannot beat them, join them’. It is equally important to understand that.
We also had a situation where at the end of the day it is important that we are seen as legislators to be respecting this Constitution. I, for one, independent Member of Parliament representing Norton, we go on with what the Constitution is required to do. We cannot go against the Constitution. As such, it is important that the other side lobbies graciously, politely to the majority to see how best we can move forward; that is politics too. Politics is not about being stubborn when you are a few; it is about realising there is a majority and we must do that. Exactly, the same way I won in Norton; I spoke to some members of the opposition –for them to give me votes, I was not stubborn but I managed to cohese them so that I could win. So, it is part of the strategy. Strategy requires you to analyse factually, constitutionally, properly and ultimately be the winner at the end of the day. I do thank them for the votes that they gave me and I am doing exactly what the people who voted for me expect me to do by ensuring that this
Constitution is adhered to, and respected at the end of the day.
You are debating the appointment of the Chef Justice. They have never debated the appointment of the Commissioner General of Police whom they accuse of being brutal. So, where is the sanity here? Where is the consistency? So, if the President appoints the Commissioner
General, the Attorney-General, the Prosecutor General, the Commander
Defence Forces, the Army Commander, the Air Marshal and the
Commissioner General of Prisons, why can he not appoint the Chief
Justice? It has got to be in line. What is important is for the President to appoint somebody who has integrity, dignity, who shall be a nationalist, patriotic and who shall be able to respect and to uphold the founding principles of the struggle. Critical! – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
The President cannot appoint somebody who is awkward, one who will depart from the founding principles of the struggles. No one debates about the founding principles of the struggle but the question lies in the Head of the State to be able to appoint somebody who he believes will be able to do the job. Equally, it is more of double barrel, Mr. Speaker Sir.
As much as the President appoints, he equally has the power to fire. So, what is wrong with that? When the Chief Justice fails to discharge his duties constitutionally, he can be fired. We do not want a long process yet we have more things to do in the country – [Laughter] - There is more that we should be able to do. If you look at the
Constitution itself, it covers what we must do as legislators at the end of the day and that the debate seems to be more personal than factual; it is not constitutional. I urge Members of Parliament to really read the Constitution and realise that even if the President appoints, in fact this must be applauded because no one ever thinks. The Head of State has shown that he is the number one citizen of this country by ensuring that whatever he wants to do is constitutional – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- We must be grateful that he is also advised by the Vice President who is also in charge of the Chief Justice to do things which are constitutional. We have not been seen to be wanting in terms of us being constitutional at the end of the day.
I think it is important that those that will be in power one day will equally have the opportunity to amend this Constitution. So, what they have to do is to work as hard as they can to ensure that when they are in power, if that is the minority then they will be speaking their language and that is democracy. That is the beauty of democracy – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - I look forward to a day that those who are opposing this will be in power and to see whether they will oppose it or defend it. So, it is only natural that those who are in power must defend and those who are in the opposition must oppose. I thank you – [HON.
Members: Hear, hear.]-
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I remember when I was a Government employee in the inclusive Government and in 2012, His Excellency the President and Head of State, there was meant to be
‘An all-Stakeholder Conference’ at the Sheraton and it was disrupted. I went to that conference as the lead person for the then Prime Minister and when I got there, there was a lot of disruption. So, I called the then Prime Minister and told him that there has been disruption, please do not come. I also phoned the then Deputy Prime Minister, Prof Arthur Mutambara to say, you cannot come here for security reasons because the All Stakeholder Conference was not going to happen for it had been disrupted. The then Prime Minister had to drive straight to State House to meet the President and he met the Head of State. President Mugabe said “call the media” and the media was called straight away. I was in that room when the media was summoned by the President. The
President did not even wait for his spokesperson George Charamba. He instructed Lawrence Kamwi to call the media into that room. I remember the President’s first words which were “ndiani ari kudisrupter all stakeholders conference yekugadzira bumbiro remutemo, chinhu chatakagarira husiku, tagara nehusiku tichiverenga mabhuku tikaappointer vana Goche nana Chinamasa kuti vaite?” and he said I will not brook that nonsense. That stakeholder conference, Mr. Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will go ahead tomorrow at the same time and at the same venue. We will not even deploy police officers. “Let anyone who wants to disrupt that conference go and disrupt it and we will deal with them”. I am sure the Hon. Vice President remembers, the conference went ahead the following day at the same venue and same time without the police and without any disruption. The President wanted to create this document called the Constitution. Let me also say that I have excerpts of an interview which was done by the Hon. Vice
President and the Hon. VP in his interview said, ‘our President is a lawyer. President Mugabe read law. He has honorary degrees but one of the degrees that he read is law from the University of London.’ So the President knows his mandate.
The number one mandate of a president is upholding the Constitution. When the President wakes up in the morning to go to work at 8 in the morning and gets into his office until he leaves his office at 5pm, all he does in the interim is protecting and upholding the Constitution. He is not doing anything else and that is why even with that process where the Judicial Service Commission interviewed people for the position of Chief Justice, the President Cde. R. G. Mugabe went ahead and appointed Justice Malaba as Chief Justice from the list of people that he got from the Judicial Services Commission. So the President is upholding the Constitution in the state that it is. People can wax lyrics and say whatever they want to say but the President is a man of honour who knows the rule of law and how to protect the
Constitution. Mr. Speaker, allow me to go to the section that has been quoted by another Hon. Member but he did not do a very good job, which talks about the Head of State the President, Section 89. It says that “the President is the Head of State and Government and
Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.” He ended there but Section 90 talks about the duties of the President. “The President must uphold, defend, obey and respect this Constitution as the supreme law of the land.” I did not write this Constitution.
Let me go to Section 189 which speaks of the appointment of judges. “The Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, the Judge
President of the High Court and all other judges are appointed by the
President in accordance with this section.” Mr. Speaker, when the President appointed the current Chief Justice Malaba, he was acting in accordance with this Constitution after the Hon Vice President, as the
Minister of Justice had made notice that he was going to amend the Constitution so that the President could appoint single handedly.
I would have wanted to respond to the person who said the
President appoints the Commander of the Defence Forces, the Head of
Police and Head of Air Force, that is the Executive. The Army, Police, Prison Services and Air Force are part of the Executive. The State has three arms which are the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature. That is why the President cannot appoint the Speaker of Parliament. It is called the principle of separation of powers and people must be able to understand that.
If you are a Member of Parliament who brushes his/her teeth in the morning, comes to this House but do not understand that, what then do you understand? That is pedestrian information for a legislator who is literate and able to read 1,2,3. That is why in some other quarters people of Mabvuku are saying “Maridadi, ma MP ngavaite vanhu vakaendawo kuchikoro with 5 O’levels including any language which could be Tonga, Chewa, Nyanja but people should be able to read.” The problem with our people is that they do not read. When they see paper they want to go to the toilet. Paper is for reading and not for taking to the toilet.
Mr. Speaker, the sum effect of allowing the President to appoint the Chief Justice single handedly is that we are retrogressing. In South Africa, another jurisdiction, the President appoints in consultation with the leaders of opposition political parties in Parliament. What it means is that Mr. Julius Malema is consulted. My money is consulted.
Someone is talking about America. When we debate in Parliament, we are also talking of what is called best practice. President Mugabe always says that Zimbabwe is a sovereign nation. We can talk about best practice but we must also have our own. America is not best practice. If George Bush was playing golf and he declared war on Iran, is that what you want to do? It is bad and that is why President Mugabe – because he respects the Constitution - President Mugabe came to Parliament to seek condonation to be allowed to continue to deploy our forces in the
DRC. President Mugabe did not deploy forces to DRC and then left for
Zvimba to go and spend the weekend. He deployed forces and came to
Parliament and said to the Parliamentarians, “I seek condonation for our forces to be in the DRC” because he respects the Constitution.
Our Hon V.P here is a lawyer who spent 10 years of his early adult life in prison fighting for the liberation of this country. The reason he went to jail for 10 years is because he wanted Zimbabweans to be respected.
He was observing democracy because Smith did not observe democracy.
Now, let me tell you that I have a problem when you try to bring a Bill to Parliament but Cabinet is in conflict on its own. The Constitution is a product of a political process and Cabinet is part of the political process. When a Bill is coming to Parliament, it is brought by a Minister like the Hon. Vice President. The assumption is that Cabinet has discussed and agreed on it. But when you bring a Bill and you have one Minister calling for a Press Conference to say zvirikuitwa imomo handibvumirane nazvo, then there is a problem Mr. Speaker. Let me tell you what is happening. I have three or four newspaper cuttings. It appears that even journalists are saying no, the Hon. Vice President is bringing this to Parliament so that he can benefit. I do not believe that.
This man is a lawyer and he is a man of honour. People that are saying that Hon. Vice President are setting you up for failure. They will clap hands for you in Parliament and as soon as they go out they will talk about you and they are setting you up for failure. –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- You can say what you want to say but the history of this country taught us. It has set us up and why I admire the Hon. Vice President is that he has been able to sit, listen and take notes. Hon. Vice President, the skill and capacity to listen is strength. I want you to maintain that a strength.
I will tell you what happened once upon a time. People that are not able to tell each other the truth. Hon. Vice President, if your fly is open and someone says to you Mr. Vice President your fly is open, respect that person. But, there are people that will clap hands and say you are looking so fine when your fly is open. Those people do not love you. People that are clapping hands so that you amend this Constitution do not love you.
I am not a member of ZANU PF and I do not want to be a Minister nor a Deputy Minister and so, I will tell you the truth as it is. Hon. Vice President, I will borrow from Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga. I was thinking about it when I was at home that His Excellency the President appointed Mr. Malaba as Chief Justice using these same provisions in this Constitution because he knows that it works. Hon. MisihairabwiMushonga says when we debate in Parliament; we are debating Constitutional Amendment Bill.
Mr. Speaker, let us not debate with blinkers, saying members of the opposition are going to oppose this Bill because President Mugabe is the incumbent. Let us separate between the Office of the President as an Institution and the incumbent President Mugabe because this office will outlive a lot of people.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (MARUMAHOKO): Order,
you are left with three people.
HON. MARIDADI: Time flies when it is a member of the opposing and it is amazing. Mr. Speaker when we make laws, we are making laws for posterity; we are not making laws for one person. As Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga said, one day we will wake up and it will not be President Mugabe. It will probably be a lunatic in the name of
James Maridadi who will appoint his wife as Chief Justice and his son as Judge President. What will you do? Those are institutions of democracy and institutions of governance Mr. Speaker that need to be strengthened and the best way to strengthen institutions of democracy is to uphold the Constitution. With those few words, I commit my debate in the name of the Lord. Amen. Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGANGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to congratulate all the Members who have spoken. They have spoken so well that I am so enthused by their contributions and I wish that this debate must continue tomorrow or Friday and next week because it is so interesting that both sides are contributing constructively and I am enjoying it. I believe that at the end of the day, I will show and lead the way. Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday 8th June, 2017.
HON. MATUKE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the House do now adjourn
HON. ZIYAMBI: I second.
On the motion of the HON. ZIYAMBI, seconded by HON.
ZIYAMBI, the House adjourned at One minute to Six o’clock p.m.