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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 08 JUNE 2017 43-67
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 8th June, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p. m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP REMINDER THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to remind 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.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MATUKE: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1to 30
be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 31 and the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. GONESE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE 45TH SESSION OF THE AFRICAN CARIBBEAN
AND PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY (ACP) AND
HON. DR. SHUMBA: I move the motion standing in my name,
that this House takes note of the Report of the 45th Session of the African Caribbean and Pacific Parliamentary Assembly (ACP) and Intersessional meetings of the ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Brussels, Belgium from 21 to 24 March 2017.
HON. ZINDI: I second.
HON. DR. SHUMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I present the
Report of the 45th Session of the African Caribbean and Pacific
Parliamentary Assembly (ACP) and Intersessional Meetings of the ACPEU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, held in Brussels, Belgium from the
21st to the 24th of March, 2017.
1.1 The Intersessional Meetings of the ACP-EU Joint
Parliamentary Assembly were convened at the European Parliament on
23 and 24 March 2017. The Session brought together Members of
Parliament from the ACP group of states and their EU counterparts. Hon. Dr. Daniel K. Shumba, led the Zimbabwean Parliamentary delegation comprising the following Members and Officials:-
Hon. Sithembile Mlotshwa, Member of Parliament;
Hon. Irene Zindi, Member of Parliament;
H.E. Mr. Tedius T. Chifamba, Ambassador of Zimbabwe to
Ms. Rudo N. E. Doka, Acting Principal Director – External
Relations and Secretary to the delegation; and
1.2 The meetings were preceded by the meetings of the Bureau of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on 22 and 23 March; the
ACP Parliamentary Assembly on 22 March; the Bureau of the ACP
Parliamentary Assembly on 21 March; and the ACP Standing
Committees on Political Affairs, Social Affairs and the Environment and Economic Development, Trade and Finance on 21 March 2017.
1.3 Hon. Netty Baldeh of The Gambia, the President of the ACP
Parliamentary Assembly and Co-President of the ACP-EU Joint
Parliamentary Assembly chaired the 45th Session of the ACP
1.4 The Assembly observed a moment of silence in honour of the following departed colleagues:-
Mr. James Mancham, the founding President of Seychelles who passed away on the 7th of January 2017;
Mr. Rene Preval, the former President of Haiti who passed away on the 3rd of March 2017;
Victims of terrorist attacks in Mali that claimed at least 42 lives and injured more than 100 people;
Victims of cyclone Enawo that struck Madagascar on the 7th of March 2017 and claimed approximately 51 lives, injured more than 100 people, displaced over 232 456 and destroyed agricultural crops, property and infrastructure; and
17 people who died following a stampede in an Angolan football stadium.
1.5 The Assembly received communication from the President and from the ACP Secretary-General and exchanged views on the reports of the Standing Committees on Political Affairs; Economic
Development, Finance and Trade; and Social Affairs and the
1.6 Hon. Shumba issued a rebuttal to the European Parliament's resolution on Zimbabwe that was adopted on 16 March 2016, through statements during the ACP Committee on Political Affairs, the ACP
Parliamentary Assembly and at the ACP-EU Committee meeting on
Political Affairs. (Copies are attached as Annex I). He also exploited the lunch organised by the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament on 23 March 2017, and condemned EU sanctions and the European Parliament's resolution on
2.0 ACP Parliamentary Assembly
2.1 On behalf of the ACP Secretary-General, Ambassador
Ognimba, Assistant Secretary-General responsible for the Political Affairs and Human Development Department stressed the importance of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and ACP-EU cooperation in promoting and monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
2.2 The Assistant Secretary-General informed the Assembly about the European Union’s outreach to ACP countries by three former Commissioners, Mr. Louis Michel, Mr. Pascal Lamy and Ms. Emma Bonino. The former Commissioners would visit ACP countries and regions to exchange views with ACP leadership in preparation for negotiations on the post-Cotonou relations. The list of countries to be visited and the schedule of visits had not been availed yet.
2.3 The issue generated heated debate among Parliamentarians who called for a postponement or cancellation of the visits, arguing that the EU should not set the agenda for the ACP. The Assembly enquired whether the ACP side could undertake a similar outreach to EU Member States and proposed that ACP Ambassadors should identify experts to undertake the exercise and take part in the negotiations.
2.4 Other Parliamentarians observed that while it would not be possible to stop the outreach exercise, it was important that
Parliamentarians took part in the consultations with the EU facilitators.
2.5 As it was apparent that there was an information gap, the Parliamentarians requested the Secretariat to provide adequate briefing notes before the meetings.
2.6 The Assistant Secretary-General assured the Assembly that the outreach exercise would enable an exchange of views with the ACP leadership and that it was not the EU's intention to start negotiations on the post-Cotonou relations.
It was interesting to note that when the issue was initially raised by Mr. Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development during the 32nd Session of the ACP-EU JPA in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2016, the ACP Parliamentarians did not raise any concerns regarding the proposal.
3.0 Meetings of the ACP-EU Standing Committee
3.1 Committee on Political Affairs
3.1.1 The Committee adopted its agenda with one amendment. It was agreed that ''African'' would be removed from the topic, ''The future of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after possible withdrawal by some African states''. Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Michael Gahler argued that the removal did not make sense since
African countries were at the forefront to withdraw from the ICC.
Consideration of the draft report on the financing of political parties in ACP and EU countries
3.1.2 The Co-Rapporteurs, Hon. Worlea Saywah Dunnah (Liberia) and MEP Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (Italy) presented the draft report.
3.1.3 MEP Gahler, the only MEP who contributed in the discussion warned that political financing could be used to buy votes and stressed the need for an open and transparent system that would create a level playing field among all participants. He claimed that a number of ACP and EU countries were subject to foreign interference, especially by Russia, which financed populist parties. The MEP observed that many ACP countries had adopted rules to guard against foreign funding but what lacked was the enforcement of these rules and suggested that the EU could play a role by assisting ACP countries to enforce these rules. He also stressed the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) to ensure transparency.
3.1.4 On the other hand, a majority of the ACP Parliamentarians argued against the funding of CSOs and for them to carry out oversight roles since these organisations were usually aligned to political parties.
3.1.5 Representative of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and DG-DEVCO denied that the EU funded political parties but provided support to strengthen democracy. CSOs and parliaments were singled out as important institutions to carry out oversight roles in the financing of political parties in order to curb interference and corruption. The EU participated in election observation missions and engaged in political dialogue as part of strengthening democracy.
The future of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after possible withdrawal by African states
3.1.6 The subject had generated heated debate during the ACP meeting. Parliamentarians questioned why the subject had been included on the agenda and called for its removal. They observed that the ACP did not have a common position on the matter and argued that any position to be taken had to be consistent with the African Union (AU) position. A few dissenting voices argued that it was not the business of the AU to advise member states to withdraw from the ICC but sovereign decisions by member states.
3.1.7 During the joint meeting on 23 and 24 March, Mr. Kim Frost, the Chef de Cabinet to the ICC Presidency delivered a presentation in which he gave a background of the ICC and stressed that joining and withdrawal from the ICC were based on sovereign decisions. Of the ten investigations at the ICC, African States Parties referred eight while the United Nations Security Council referred two.
3.1.8 He informed about the latest developments regarding the notification of withdrawal from the Court by Burundi, The Gambia and South Africa. Following the election of a new President in The Gambia, the government had withdrawn its notification on 14 February whereas South Africa had withdrawn its notification on 13 March after the country's Constitutional Court had ruled that the withdrawal was unconstitutional. Only Burundi was on course to withdraw in October 2017.
3.1.9 The presenter observed that these notifications had had positive effects on the ICC as there was rallying support for the Court and the Rome Statute, with States Parties renewing their commitment and engaging African States at bilateral and multilateral levels about their concerns with respect to the Court.
3.1.10 He noted that some of the criticisms leveled against the Court were valid, for example the lack of efficiency in its administrative functions while some criticisms were based on issues outside the mandate of the Court, for example the issue of selectivity arguing that the Rome Statute did not have global jurisdiction.
3.1.11 Only two MEPs participated in the debate, MEPs Gahler and Kyenge. MEP Gahler stressed the importance of looking at issues from the victims' perspective. MEP Kyenge questioned why the Court seemed to concentrate on Africa.
3.1.12 Parliamentarians from Botswana, Liberia and Trinidad and Tobago pledged their countries commitment to the ICC and called for the strengthening of the institution. The St Vincent and Geraldines' MP argued that African States should not fear the ICC if they had clean hands and asked whose interests they were serving if they condemned the Court.
3.1.13 The ACP Parliamentarians notably from Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan deplored the impartiality of the Court and stressed the importance of respecting the sovereignty of State Parties that were seeking to withdraw.
3.1.14 The representative of the EEAS stated that the EU Member
States were in full support of the ICC and agreed that where challenges existed, they should be addressed within the framework of the Court.
Non-Members were encouraged to sign/ratify the Rome Statute.
Growing involvement of China in African matters
3.1.15 This agenda item had also generated heated debate during the ACP meeting. Parliamentarians argued that it was the sovereign decision for Member States to cooperate bilaterally with China, which they argued, was sustainable contrary to EU aid which involved cumbersome drawdown procedures. They also stressed that the item be removed from the agenda.
3.1.16 The ACP Assembly President advised Members that they could vote against the inclusion of the items on the agenda during the joint meeting on 23 March.
3.1.17 At the joint meeting on 23 and 24 March, Professor Jonathan Holslag, Lecturer at the Free University of Brussels delivered a biased presentation about Africa-China cooperation. He opined that China was engaged in an unequal partnership with Africa, with African countries being indebted to China to the tune of $ 150 billion, adding that African countries had failed to generate adequate resources to repay its debt. He warned Africa's leadership to avoid the mistakes of the past of siphoning raw materials but to seek development of its manufacturing base. He claimed that unlike China, Europe presented long-term, equal and sustainable partnerships.
3.1.19 Only MEP Kyenge and the EU Co-Chair were present during the discussion yet it was the EU side that had proposed the item to be included on the agenda.
3.1.20 ACP Parliamentarians dismissed Professor Holslag assertions that did not present the realities of China's operations in
Africa. They outlined the projects that had been implemented by China in their respective countries and lamented the lengthy and cumbersome procedures for drawing down EU aid and the unequal Africa-EU partnership. They argued that the topic should not have been included on the agenda for discussions in such a forum but could have been a matter of introspection by the EU-side alone. They stressed the sovereignty and the freedom of African States to pursue partnerships.
3.1.21 The representative of the EEAS stated that China was not viewed as a rival within the EU and observed that Africa needed partners that respected its priorities to implement Agenda 2063.
Political dialogue under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement
3.1.22 Ms. Kristin de Peyron of the EEAS stated that Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement was an important instrument to reinforce bilateral relations. She informed that in 2016, the EU had engaged more than half of the ACP countries in political dialogue. ..
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKERS GALLERY
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! I recognise the
presence of Wise Tech College and Seke High 1 in the speaker’s
Gallery. You are welcome – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
HON. DR. SHUMBA: Topics discussed included regional issues of common interest such as terrorism, maritime security, organised crime, Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the
International Criminal Court, Syria, Ukraine, job creation, economic partnership agreements and migration. She believed dialogue could be continued and deepened in order to achieve positive results in the partnership. She observed that although some countries were not keen to engage in political dialogue the EU welcomed dialogue at all levels.
3.1.23 ACP Parliamentarians observed that the dialogue was onesided, focusing on ACP problems, lacked dynamism and forced countries to change their domestic policies. They stressed that the EU should be sensitive to local situations in ACP countries.
The political situation in ACP Member States
3.1.24 Parliamentarians from the Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Sudan and Zimbabwe delivered statements during the Committee meeting.
3.1.25 The Committee also exchanged views on the following subjects:
- Challenges in the field of development-security nexus in ACP and EU policies. Djibouti had volunteered to be Co-Rapporteur of the report.
- Valletta Action Plan-State of implementation.
- Future priorities for the Joint-Africa Strategy
3.1.26 During the ACP Committee meeting, members of the Assembly expressed concern about the continuous engagement of EU experts to exchange views with the Parliamentarians and asked whether the ACP did not have qualified experts who could be engaged. At the ACP Committee meeting, Assistant Secretary General Ognimba claimed that when calls for proposals were dispatched to ACP countries, the responses received from the ACP side were substandard and therefore they could not be selected.
3.2 ACP-EU Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment
3.2.1 The Committee exchanged views on the following topics: The role of sport as enabler for education and poverty eradication
3.2.2 The Co-Rapporteurs MP Abderahmane Marrakchy of Mauritania and MEP Teresa Jimenez-Becerril Barrio presented the draft report. Emphasis was placed on the role of sport in social development, the need to include sponsorship and marketing of sport as well as the provision of sustainable technical assistance.
Improving the access to basic health systems, notably to medicines in the fight against infectious diseases
3.2.3 The Committee appointed Honourable Mfanawemakhosi Dlamini of Swaziland as Co-Rapporteur for the report. In their preliminary discussions, members stressed the importance of access in the following areas, cost, drugs, medical personnel, education, diet and infrastructure.
3.2.4 During the joint meeting on 23 and 24 March, the CoRapporteurs alluded to policy challenges, the difficulties encountered in the management of drugs and the monopoly of pharmaceutical companies which were not interested in research in tropical diseases. The preliminary remarks were followed by an HIV/AIDS-focused presentation by Ms. Lynette Mabote from the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA).
3.2.5 In the subsequent exchange of views, the following issues were highlighted: the need for coherent policy formulation and implementation; need to strengthen affordable ACP health systems; fighting poverty; providing infrastructure, clean water and access to medicines; integration of programmes for traditional medicines; incorporation of sex education in primary and secondary curricula; and decriminalisation of HIV/AIDS.
Development of science and technology in ACP countries as a powerful development tool
3.2.6 A presentation was made which underscored that increased use of information communication technology (ICT) was good for growth and productivity, trade, investment and public finance, employment creation and poverty reduction. The Committee agreed that ICT if sufficiently deployed could be a key driver in the ACP countries. The ACP lamented the relative progress in this direction and called for effective collaboration between policy makers and researchers. While the EC DG DevCO argued that it had focused on ICT under the 9th, 10th and 11th EDF programmes, it came under scrutiny by the Committee as to why the EC still relied on the 2001 Communication despite the dramatic changes and developments that had affected the digital sphere.
Refugee and internally displaced children in Africa: what educational perspectives
3.2.7 The Committee exchanged views with a representative of the Save the Children Fund which premised its presentation on its experience in Kenya (and the Horn of Africa) and opposed Kenya's decision to close Dadaab the biggest refugee camp on the border with Somalia. It was revealed that six out of ten people in Dadaab were children and that 14.5 million people in the Horn of Africa needed food assistance while half a million needed emergency assistance. Challenges cited in the crisis included political instability, conflict, drought, sexual and gender-based violence, lack of reconciliation in source countries (e.g. DRC, Ethiopia and Rwanda) which prevented return.
3.2.8 In the animated discussion, the representative of Kenya, citing serious security concerns, insisted that despite a court reprieve, the
Dadaab camp would be closed. He criticised travel advisories by some Western countries on Kenya which affected tourism and diminished revenue that helped the country to cope with such issues. ACP MPs from Africa stressed the need to address the root causes of the problems and queried who armed the fighting groups and whether or not instability was only due to democracy deficits. Different views on strategy emerged with the ACP calling for a long-term (stability, return and sustainability) and the EU (stressing education delivery). It was resolved that the political issues should be raised in the Political Affairs Committee while the Social Affairs Committee would focus on the cooperation issues.
Revision of the European Consensus on Development: What
Consequences for the ACP-EU Development Cooperation
3.2.9 The Committee had robust discussion under the topic. The EU informed the meeting that since October 2016, several steps had been taken by the European Council leading to the adoption of the Revised Consensus seeking to adapt the EU's development cooperation and align it with the United Nations Agenda 2030. Key elements were the nexus between migration and development, fighting poverty and exclusion, good governance, empowering partner countries, combating tax evasion and capital flight from partner countries.
3.2.10 MEP Norbet Neuser the EP Co-Rapporteur underscored the need for regular updates on the implementation of Agenda 2030 by the EU given that some member states were yet to meet the 0.7% ODA target, that the Brexit would eliminate a major donor (UK) and that the US was pressing for the EU to commit more resources (2%) into security.
3.2.11 MEPs fronted by Catherine Bearder stated that the ACP needed to stand on its feet and not rely on EU benevolence; called for fair Intra-ACP and ACP-EU trade; insisted that the EU should not get ACP raw materials at 0% tariff; urged the ACP states to add value to their raw materials and argued that there should be no aid to countries with human rights violations (and cited alleged human rights violations against minorities in Ethiopia's Ogaden region).
3.2.12 In support, the European Commission's Director General Development Cooperation elaborated that the new vision for the next fifteen years was being defined to mirror Agenda 2030 focusing on People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace. The EU would seek working together on joint programming, trust funds, partnerships and resource mobilisation, whether public/private or domestic and international.
Funds would be allocated in 2020.
3.2.13 The ACP led by Namibia urged the EU to: prioritise in the revision of its development strategy, value addition and beneficiation in the ACP regions which were the source markets of raw materials to the EU for centuries; identify and deal with its multinational or transnational companies that were involved in illicit financial outflows from developing ACP states; transfer technology and assess the impact of conditional aid on job creation, trade and development.
3.3 ACP-EU Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade
3.3.1 Members of the joint Committee discussed among other issues, the implementation of Economic Partnership Agreements. The European Commission indicated that it was now focused on implementation rather than negotiation of the EPAs. It was reported that the ECOWAS and East Africa Community EPA regions were yet to implement the Agreement as other member countries were yet to sign and ratify the agreements.
3.3.2 Nigeria’s delegation stated that his country was not going to sign the EPA unless the negotiations were reopened to address issues of deindustrialisation and revenue losses.
3.3.3 The European Commission was categoric and indicated that countries with issues needed to solve them at regional level. It should be noted that in the ECOWAS EPA group, Nigeria together with The
Gambia and Mauritania were the only countries that had not signed the ECOWAS EPA, while in EAC, Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda had not signed, a development that had resulted in the non-implementation of the EPAs in these regions. Noteworthy was that only 28 out of 79 ACP countries were implementing EPAs. A delegate from Mauritius stressed the need to conclude a comprehensive EPA for the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. In response, the European Commission indicated that deepening and widening of the EPA was a possibility in the context of outstanding chapters.
3.3.4 The ACP members enquired on how the ACP countries were to access the €400 million which was set aside by the European Commission to support the implementation of the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which entered into force on 22 February 2017. The European Commission indicated that the funds were to be disbursed via multilateral organisations such as the World Bank. The ACP side expressed concern over the difficulties encountered when accessing the EDF funds stating that approval processes were cumbersome. The European Commission indicated that it had launched the mid-term review of the 11th EDF and a public consultation was underway. The ACP side was urged to participate in the review.
4.0 Lunch Organised by the Group of the Progressive
Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament
4.1 Hon. Daniel Shumba was invited to the S&D lunch along with other Members of Parliament from key ACP countries, among them Burkina Faso, Namibia, Mali and Uganda on 23 March. Several S&D
Members of the European Parliament, diplomats as well as Dr. Patrick
Gomes, the ACP Secretary General and staffers from the European
Parliament attended the fully subscribed event.
4.2 The Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists &
Democrats (S&D), the second largest political group in the European Parliament has a social democratic political orientation and dates back to
1953 at the start of the European Parliament.
4.3 In her introductory remarks, Ms Maria Arena, Member of Parliament (MEP) and Facilitator (the S&D) stressed the importance of camaraderie and referred to the outcome of the meeting of ACP-EU Bureau of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly held the previous day at which sharp differences over the agenda and clashes between ACP Members of Parliament and EU Co-President Louis Michel had occurred.
4.4 MEP Maria Arena informed that in the Joint Bureau, EU CoPresident Louis Michel had proposed that the current session of the JPA should discuss the growing influence of China in Africa but the EU side was surprised by ACP Co-President Baldeh's and the Africans' reaction vehemently opposing that proposal. She described as odd the reason put forward by Co-President Baldeh that the ACP strongly objected to the EU meddling with and contaminating the debate on Africa-China relations with issues of human rights and the environment.
4.5 In her words, Africa was entitled to do as it pleased but the declarations undermined the discussions on the Africa-EU relations and the pillars of governance and development under Cotonou Agreement since Africa had zeroed in on trade only. This was a wrong signal to reject the other two pillars, she stated.
4.6 Rather rhetorically, MEP Maria Arena asked whether or not
Co-President Baldeh was speaking his own views or he represented the ACP? Was it Co-President Louis Michel who was patronising and condescending on his part? Should the EU talk to Louis Michel so that trust and confidence was not lost. She surmised that the matter was significant and needed to be discussed.
4.7 The MP of Burkina Faso stated that his party was on the left and that forging relations with China was part of globalisation and as a result, sovereign nations could strike relations with other nations respecting the leftist principles and values. His view was that in the post-
2020 relations with the EU, the ACP should underscore its belief in equality, solidarity and the promotion of human rights and respect for values to the left.
4.8 The MP from Namibia prefaced his remarks by stating that an injury to one was an injury to all and categorically rejected any discussion on relations with China. He contextualised that the EU should understand Africa from the exploitation of its resources by EU settlers and economic refugees which built the infrastructure that the EU had today. Just as the EU had relations with the United States (US), the EU should let Africa define its trade exchanges and not meddle with its relations with other partners.
4.9 Commenting on the behaviour of MEP Louis Michel,
Namibia lambasted MEPs for not standing with the ACP MPs when Louis Michel treated the latter like kids and "dictated nonsense" to them as what had happened at the Joint Bureau meeting the day before. Africa today could not be treated in the same manner that its forefathers faced at the hands of colonialists. The MP angrily criticised the EU for
"stretching" Zimbabwe under regime change tactics and also deplored the detention of an African in Denmark being subjected to medical experiments or trials.
4.10 MEP Kyenge argued that she had been a victim of racism in Italy, suggested that issues needed to be separated namely the struggle on human rights which was a political matter on the one hand and racism/xenophobia. While saying no to xenophobia, she urged that focus should be to talk about the role of peace and stopping impunity.
4.11 Commenting on relations with China, MEP Kyenge conceded that the ACP could freely choose its partners but respecting the values of human rights. She informed that in 2015 she visited the DRC and saw mass graves which the government allegedly described as graves of poor people showing no appreciation of human life. Her point was that countries needed to tackle issues that were being swept under the carpet and that if there were political prisoners, they should be tried and be released.
4.12 Hon. Dr. Shumba supported the views of his Namibian counterpart and stated that the ACP-EU relationship should be sincere, show commitment and mutual respect and be of equal partners. He added that MEP Louis Michel was disrespectful despite ACP MPs being representatives of political parties and countries.
4.13 Commenting on Zimbabwe-China relations which he said was a sovereign right with whom to trade, Hon. Dr. Shumba attacked the EU and US sanctions against Zimbabwe which he said undermined the capacity to provide descent life, health service and other support. He argued that this was a violation of human rights through economic suffocation and noted that the EU did not condemn that.
4.14 He added that trade with China was helping to address infrastructure, its support had no conditionalities unlike EU aid or
European Development Fund (EDF) which was difficult to access. Hon. Dr. Shumba remarked that the relations with the EU were worrying to old and new power players and in that context, he criticised the EU for pushing to undertake a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe and yet it conspired with strategic NGOs to cause regime change in the country. The unilateral fact-finding mission was intended to undermine a legitimate government suffocated by lack of resources.
4.15 In the same breadth, he queried why the EU wanted to actively participate in Zimbabwe's electoral process when the sanctions were in place and its biased NGOs were creating pressure on the populace. He condemned the European Parliament for adopting a nonlegislative resolution against Zimbabwe on 16 March 2017 based on unfounded allegations.
4.16 The French MEP intervened and said that Louis Michel was right in substance but what he said was unacceptable and was condescending in the manner he explained issues and should change his way of speaking not content. He insisted that some of Louis Michel's proposals were good. Calling for fraternalism, he argued that certain regimes in Africa were undemocratic and did not respect human rights and therefore that should be condemned. His conclusion was that the two Co-Chairs (Mr Baldeh and Mr Michel) should unite.
4.17 The MP from Mali stated that Africa's sovereign right to develop trade relations with other partners was not negotiable. He pointed out that the continent's relations with China went back more than fifty years ago and that China's project implementation in Africa took a shorter period (1-2 years) while the EU took longer (3-5 years).
The MP challenged the EU to explain how many agreed projects at the Valletta Summit had been implemented and remarked that the EU should review its approach. Commenting on MEP Louis Michel's reaction, the MP described it as uncalled for and argued forcefully that
Co-President Baldeh's point (which Louis Michel ignored) was not that Africa did not respect human rights. He underscored that Africa had signed treaties on human rights and was bound by international obligations such as the Paris Agreement. He added that Africa was opposed to impunity and conceded that indeed some leaders in Africa "killed". It was therefore incumbent upon the ACP to be exemplary in order to gain respect.
4.18 The MP from Uganda added his strong disapproval of Louis Michel's utterances and the EU stance on China stating that Africa today was different and its independence should have meaning. There should therefore be no intimidation as this was a partnership. He cautioned the EU never to help where it was not requested and elaborated that Africa had indicated its priorities to the EU but the latter ignored that and was delving into its own areas of focus. In his view, if China was bad, the EU should do better and said it was unthinkable for the EU to imagine that MPs would come to Brussels and contradict their Heads of State and Government on cooperation with China. The MP concluded saying that the ACP wanted to discuss relevant issues.
4.19 The MP for Trinidad & Tobago and representing Overseas Countries and Territories defended his country's relations with China arguing that China (followed by Brazil) was coming up fast with development aid and was engaged in serious business, developing infrastructure and creating jobs. He insisted that the ACP was a collective group of sovereign states and observed that at this time, that the review of the Cotonou Agreement had begun, the EU had raised two issues - the role of China in Africa and the European External
Investment Plan (EEIP) both which omitted the Caribbean! Was the EU fearing a Cotonou with China, he asked and concluded by stating that the ACP needed to be treated with respect.
4.20 After the robust exchanges, MEP Maria Arena the Facilitator assured the ACP members that the message on the unacceptable attitude of Co-President Louis Michel would be conveyed to him and she opined that it was difficult to convey a good message in the manner in which he presented himself. She acknowledged that the ACP countries were sovereign but insisted that the EU wanted to assess the impact of its agreements on the partnership with the EU.
4.21 Regarding the issue of values, the Facilitator suggested that at the next meeting, a document mapping out these values would be discussed in order to exchange best practices. Finally, on the impact of sanctions, she suggested that there should be debate within the JPA preferably adopting joint positions against the liberals in the EU and the
ACP, that is debating in the ideological rather than North-South context.
- The strong protest by the ACP group of MPs registered effectively and should shake the arrogance of MEP Louis Michel who is not new to such condescending attitude and controversy vis-a-vis the ACP Parliamentary Assembly. It was clear that his strategy, by attacking Co-President Baldeh, was to alienate him from the rest of the ACP and yet it was
the ACP Parliamentary Assembly as a body that had decided against any discussion of Africa's relations with China as well as the issue of the proposed withdrawal by some African states from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- The two divisive subjects highlighted the weaknesses in the agenda setting process which currently allowed the EU to arm twist the compromised ACP and foist its issues while ignoring the concerns of the ACP. For instance, in the Joint Bureau, the ACP reportedly proposed to discuss the issue of radicalisation but the EU refused. With the review of the ACP-EU relations post-Cotonou now underway, there is need for candid debate on the definition of the future partnership.
- The EU fears of the growing influence of China in Africa and the Caribbean's concerns that it was being left out would certainly be active undercurrents during the on-going reflections on the future of ACP-EU relations.
Condemnation of EU
Zimbabwe and the European Union Parliament’s Resolution
See Annexure 1
Leader of the delegation
European Union’s outreach to ACP Countries by 3 former Commissioners to exchange views with the ACP leadership in preparation for
negotiations on the postCotonou relations
ACP Parliamentarians proposed that ACP Ambassadors should identify experts to undertake the exercise and
take part in the negotiations.
H.E. Ambassador T. T. Chifamba
The future of the
International Criminal Court after possible withdrawal by some African States.
Non-Members were urged to sign/ratify the Rome Statute.
Zimbabwe is not a signatory to this Statute
The allegation that some ACP and EU countries were subject to interference through foreign financing of political parties
The EU argued that they provided support to strengthen democracy through CSOs and Parliaments.
The growing influence of China in African matters and the assertion that unlike China, Europe presented long term, equal and sustainable partnerships
Parliamentarians argued that it was the sovereign decision of Member States to co-operate with China and the co-operation was sustainable, contrary to EU aid which involved cumbersome procedures.
ACP Parliamentarians noted that political dialogue was one sided, focusing on ACP problems, lacked dynamism and forced countries to change their domestic policies
The role of sport in social
development, sponsorship and marketing of sport and provision of sustainable technical assistance was emphasised.
The recommendation will be referred to the relevant
Portfolio Committee and
ACP urged the EU to prioritise value addition and beneficiation in the revision of its development strategy; deal with multinational and transnational companies involved in illicit financial flows from developing ACP states; and Technology transfer and to assess the impact of conditional aid on job creation, trade and development. I thank you.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKERS GALLERY
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I recognise the presence in the
Speaker’s gallery of students and teachers from Acturus High School and Morgan ZINTEC College. You are most welcome.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I also wish to draw the
attention of the House to a fatal bus accident which occurred in Hurungwe North Constituency yesterday. I invite you all to rise and observe a moment of silence as a mark of respect for the late 46 passengers who were travelling in that bus.
All Hon. Members observed a minute of silence
REQUEST FOR A MINISTERIAL STATEMENT
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yesterday, during question
time, Hon. Members requested the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to make a comprehensive Ministerial Statement on pensions that were eroded by dollarisation. I have to advise the House that the Ministerial Statement will be made by the Minister of Finance as the Minister responsible for pensions administration. This will be done when the statement is ready.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: On a matter of privilege Madam
Speaker, I wish to thank you for raising a very important observation regarding the accident that has occurred. It is a very serious issue and as a Member speaking on behalf of other Members of Parliament, we convey our sincere condolences. However, we were expecting that we would hear from Government what is being done in the context of this very tragic development. We are fortunate to have the Acting President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa, the Vice President of the Republic. Is there something that the Government intends to do or has already done to try and help the families and also just to show the indications and the attitude of Government in the context of this very sad and tragic development Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member but
I think it was just notification of what happened. At the moment, I do not think we have something which has been done, but I think the Vice President can give a response.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E.
MNANGANGWA): Madam Speaker, with a heavy heart I confirm the notification that you have made in this august House. I came in and went out immediately. At the time I went out some few minutes ago, there were 44 people who died but you have announced 46.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, I was given the information by someone.
HON. E. MNANGAGWA: Okay, 44 died and 31 are critically
injured and we dispatched the Minister of Local Government to assess the situation and in the process, Government is preparing to assist upon declaring the incident a national disaster. We shall make the announcement later.
HON. MATUKE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I move that the
debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday 13th June, 2017.
Hon. Chimanikire having stood up to debate.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The time I asked for debate Hon. Chimanikire was seated. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Yes, I am able to see what is happening. Why are you forcing me? I think he realised it later that he wanted to debate but the time I asked if there was any debate, there was no one standing up.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MATUKE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I move that we
revert to Order of the Day, Number 2.
HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT (NO. 1) BILL
[H.B. 1, 2017]
Second 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. CROSS: Madam Speaker, I rise on this particular debate because this is absolutely critically important to the nation as a whole. I want to point out that it is four and half years since we have adopted the new Constitution. During this time, I doubt if we have amended more than four or five pieces of legislation to bring them into line with the new Constitution. So, implementation of the new Constitution probably stands at about 5%, with 95% still to be aligned. I also point out that we spent two years on this exercise, we consulted the entire country and then had a referendum in which the great majority of people voted in support of the new Constitution in its entirety.
Now, the first act of the Government is to bring forward an amendment which undermines one of the most fundamental principles of the new Constitution which is the separation of powers. I believe that the separation of powers in our new Constitution has not been adequately addressed. I would have liked to have seen, for example, that all
Members of Cabinet should not be Members of this House so that
Cabinet is held fully responsible to this House for its actions, and that was not done. We agreed on that aspect as parties on a on a consensual basis.
The issue of the independence of the judiciary is an absolutely fundamental principle recognised in international law and practiced by democracies throughout the world. We now come forward with an amendment which is going to undermine that principle. I want to ask my colleagues on the opposite side, are they prepared to pay the price that will be the consequence of this action? For example, it is going to be recognised by the rest of the world as an attack on the rule of law, an attachment on our Constitution and as violation of the will of the people of Zimbabwe.
If you want to amend the Constitution like this, let us take it back to the people. Let us have a referendum and if the referendum says yes, then I will go along with it. But for us to attempt to change the
Constitution simply because the opposition in this House has a clear two thirds majority and they can ran this thing through Parliament; over our dead bodies, because we are going to oppose this at every stage.
Madam Speaker, this proposal has very severe consequences, not just for us in this House, not just for the people of Zimbabwe but for the whole community of Africa. I was deeply relieved when the Chief Justice was appointed by the President following the procedure which is laid down in the Constitution. I felt it was a victory for the rule of law, for constitutionalism and that it was a sound decision. We support the new Chief Justice and we think he is the excellent choice. He certainly was the best choice of the panel.
I was hoping that this particular amendment to the Constitution would have been dropped at this stage. In fact, by bringing it forward to the House today, I believe it sends a very negative signal, not just to our critics in the West, but to the entire world and I believe it is fundamentally wrong. I would be most happy if the Vice President would remove this Bill from the agenda of this House. Thank you.
*HON. PHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Members who debated yesterday and today. In 2013 when we were doing our Constitution, I was one of those people who were gathering information from people in Mashonaland West Constituency, which represents a fifth of the whole country. I was one of the rapporteurs. I do not see any conflict on this issue. All of us are talking about the Constitution and what people said. I hear people from the other side saying rule of law whilst in the Constitution it is said that for us to change that part, we should have two thirds majority.
So, I do not see where the Constitution is not being followed. What people said in 2013, I do not see where we are violating the Constitution or where the rule of law is being affected, we are saying the same thing. We are following the Constitution. I said we listened to what people said. When we came up with the Constitution, at the end it is not a secret that the document was agreed upon so that we would go for elections and look at it after elections. People who do not agree with that are lying to themselves.
Madam Speaker, we now have a problem in this country over people who think that they are the gurus and well versed in the law. They think that they are learned by being lawyers. We have lawyers who are learned but we have people who are being imprisoned. Almost a third of the people who are in our prisons are innocent because of incompetent lawyers whom they engage. They are lawyers who advise people in bad faith. If it is ZANU PF which is bringing this into the House, it is doing what is according to the law. Whether you are a guru or what, ZANU PF is – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Can I have protection?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, can the Hon. Member
be heard in silence please.
HON. PHIRI: There are people who choose to change the goal posts such that if today they feel that it is the correct thing, they change the goal post. Like what is happening now, we want to follow the Constitution. The people on my right side have changed the goal post and said it is not in the Constitution. I am very lucky today Madam
Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, can we
have order in the House.
HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order. The point of order I am trying to make Madam Speaker, is that the mover of the motion, the Hon. Vice President of this Republic, the Acting President is a lawyer and a serious man and he wants to take notes when Members of
Parliament are making contributions. Achimwene is lost – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – totally lost, he must focus – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I will speak in Chichewa
– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – If I call for order, I will be calling on everybody. Hon. Maridadi, can you please stand up. What do you mean when you say achimwene?
HON. MARIDADI: Chichewa is one of the languages in the
Constitution and achimwene…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is it one of the languages in
HON. MARIDADI: Yes it is. It is actually the first. I will speak in Chichewa. Chichewa is listed – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Order,
can we have order in the House. Hon. Maridadi, what does achimwene means?
HON. MARIDADI: I will put it into a sentence in Chichewa so that he hears me.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am asking you so that I hear. I want to understand. I just want to hear what is meant by the word achimwene. Why should you speak in Chichewa when I am asking you to explain to me what achimwene means?
HON. MARIDADI: Achimwene is a Chichewa word which means brother – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Why do you not speak what
we all understand?
HON. MARIDADI: No, I am using a language that he understands.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Does it mean brother?
HON. MARIDADI: No. We do not allow you as a Member of
Parliament to call an Hon. Member of Parliament brother. Call him an Hon. Member, we are doing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – ndifuna kuti pachiChichewa…(speaking in Chichewa) –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are out of order Hon.
Maridadi. Can you take your seat?
HON. MARIDADI: He is totally lost, he is in the bush and has stayed there. Can he please come back into the House?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Why is it that you are also lost
Hon. Member? Can you please sit down?
*HON. PHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Tichaonana – [Laughter.] – (Speaking in Chichewa) – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – (continues to speak in Chichewa) –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. You
were debating in Shona, you are now confusing the Hansard.
HON. PHIRI: I was responding to him in his Nyanja language. I am very lucky because after yesterday’s debate, I went back and researched so that I find out what is happening in other countries. In
Ghana and Namibia, the Presidents do the appointments. In the Nigerian Constitution [Chapter 12], you will notice that they also have that provision. We are debating on the issue of the President making appointments. In all those countries, the President does the appointments. Yes, we said that we will be in agreement. The President appoints in consultation. Why does the President consult? If you look at the United States of America…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA): Order Hon.
Members! Hon. Nduna, you must be reminded of what the Speaker said yesterday.
HON. NDUNA: Do not worry Hon. Speaker. I am quite cognizant – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Madam Speaker, I am not standing here on a frivolous point of order. I am standing on a point of privilege and I am quite aware that when a President goes into office, it is because the people have spoken – [HON.
ZWIZWAI: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker, I seek that the Hon. Member be guided accordingly.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nduna!
HON. NDUNA: He seeks to have the President come through the back door and that cannot be allowed Madam Speaker. You need to make a ruling – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Zwizwai, we are in
Parliament – [HON. MUTSEYAMI: Inaudible interjections.] - Hon. Mutseyami, we are in Parliament. I could not hear your point of order, Hon. Nduna.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker for indulging me.
Hon. Zwizwai keeps shouting to the effect that he would want to have a President of his choice other than through the ballot box. That cannot be condoned – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Not here now, not then and not in the future. Madam Speaker, if he continues that way, you need to make a ruling or you need to show him the exit. We are all creatures of the Constitution, whether opposition or otherwise. You cannot have your cake and eat it. If you want to indulge in politics, you need to come through the ballot box. You cannot create a President other than through the ballot box – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Wakadya mari yemaroads iwewe.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nduna. Hon.
Zwizwai, behave yourself. Hon. Nduna, if you rise and have a point of order, please you have to make it straight to the point. You cannot debate; it is not a platform for you to debate. You are not the one who is supposed to give a ruling. Hon. Zwizwai, please withdraw your words that you keep on shouting. You are not supposed to be shouting.
HON. ZWIZWAI: Which words?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Whatever you were shouting,
you have to withdraw.
HON. ZWIZWAI: Which one?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: That you will have a President
of your choice without the ballot.
*HON. ZWIZWAI: Excuse me Madam Chair. I do not agree
with the sentiments echoed by Hon. Nduna in saying that I prefer a President who is not elected. I did not say that and I know Hansard is recording verbatim. You should not use us as a valve for relieving the tension raised through party factionalism – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - He is one of the people who pretends to love the President, His Excellency, Cde. Mugabe because we know he is one of the people who nicodemously goes and plot against him. I am advising these people to go and discuss these things, get the right information and say whatever it is that they want because they are pretending to love His Excellency and yet in actual fact they are talking about factions.
*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members,
regarding the point of order raised by Hon. Nduna, we are going to listen to what was said by Hon. Zwizwai and we are going to give a ruling because we do not want you to abuse this facility of Points of Order.
Please do not defend whatever it is you were saying. Hon. Phiri, may you please continue.
*HON. PHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker. As I was saying, there is a lot of noise in this august House and you cannot make any meaningful contribution. In the United States of America, we have heard that there is something being said by Trump, the President of the United States and he installed a Judge who is in agreement with conservative ideas. This Judge supports conservative ideas and is the youngest Judge so far who is 49 years. He was appointed to that bench because of his ideology. What I am saying is, the President should be given the power to appoint the judges who follow the ideology which will be prevailing at that time.
What we know is that when we talk of the ideology of Zimbabwe, according to the Constitution and the values which we should support, Zimbabwe was freed through a liberation struggle. If Judges are appointed by any other people with no reliable background, they simply pick on other people who may not be suitable for that position and may not have the record of the war of liberation.
People go to the election to be appointed to rule the country. There are many ways of ruling the country and one of them is through the President of the State. You may also rule the country according to the courts. You may also rule according to the work which is done in that country. That means, if the President appoints a Judge, the Judge is supposed to be following and interpreting the laws.
Let us talk of the Chief Justice. We need to follow the sentiments of that time. We do not need to have a Judge who runs for 20 to 30 years and yet he will be running contrary to the sentiments of the ruling party. The Judge should follow prevailing political situations. That is why, when we talk of constitutional amendment, we talk of two-thirds majority. When you have two-thirds majority, it means you are supported by the people. That also empowers you to make whatever constitutional changes you may want.
We know there were checks and balances done in the Constitution and these also apply to the referendum. What we are saying is, if you did not want the Constitution to be changed, you would have not fired your own fellow people from the party. Your numbers have reduced because you fired your own members. Therefore, you gave us the power to do as we want. Thank you Madam Speaker.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I want to recognise the
presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of students and teachers from Vimbayi
High School. You are welcome – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. CHAKONA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I
just want to run through a few issues that I think are pertinent in so far as the - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon.
Members at the back, may Hon. Chakona please be heard in silence?
HON. CHAKONA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I
just said I want to draw to your attention a few issues that I think will add to the debate in motion. Firstly, I was just looking at the process of appointing a judge according to the new Constitution. The new Constitution basically just provides a form that anyone can complete and nominate a person to become a Judge, irrespective of whether that person is experienced or not. At the same time, if you look at it, the same form refers to Section 177, 178 and 179 of the Constitution as read with 180.
Madam Speaker, when I looked at those; the procedure of the nomination of a Judge according to the new Constitution leaves a lot to be desired because now a person can merely campaign to become a Judge and be appointed by people to become a Judge and that is very dangerous and undesirable if we are serious in terms of integrity and quality of our Judges. The same Constitution, Chapter 7 of the Judicial Services Act, spells out exactly how the Judicial Services Commission is composed of and it makes it clear that the Chief Justice himself is part of the Judicial Services Commission. The Judge President is part of that and three other Judges that are nominated by the President. It also states that the commissioners are appointed by the President. Therefore, if the commissioners are appointed by the President, I do not see the reason why the same President is not qualified to appoint a Chief Justice.
Going further, the Chairman of the Public Service Commission is also part of the Judicial Services Commission. I then would like to make it very clear that on the 1st of May, 2016, a man by the name Tazorora Musarurwa wrote an article where he was analysing the
Judicial Services Commission. He said, in 2010 when the then Judge President, Justice Rita Makarau was opening the judicial year; she bemoaned the lack of proper remuneration and services for the Judges and the Judicial Services. In that address, Justice Makarau spelt out that the Judicial Services was not being properly looked after. In that same article he said, “In May, 2010 just after bringing into operation of the Act, Justice Makarau had been promoted to Supreme Court and was now the Judge of Appeal. I stand corrected; Justice Makarau although having sat on the Supreme Court bench has never written a Supreme Court judgment. This is because soon after her appointment, Makarau was appointed to Acting Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission. Clearly the authorities wanted Makarau to be responsible for fixing that which she claimed had been harming the Judicial Services. Her failure would leave no one to blame; considering the political and economic environment, she had done well.”
This actually means that the prime role of the Judicial Services Commission was basically to look at the affairs of the Judicial Services or the affairs, remuneration packages and welfare of members of the Judiciary. When this extended task of selecting Chief Justice was brought into the Constitution, it now sort of like contradicts with the spirit of why the Judicial Services Commission was created in the first instance in 2007. I then go by the motion that the appointment of the Chief Justice should be left to the President himself.
Madam Speaker, I am a Member of Parliament as you know. In my Constituency, I work with the people who I feel subscribe to the notion and ideology that I want to run my Constituency. I cannot see myself having somebody giving me people to work with in my
Constituency and equally so, if I at my micro-level would want to put up my own team to work with; I believe it is the same spirit that the President should also be viewed that he should also be viewed that he is afforded the opportunity to put a team that he works with - [HON.
GONESE: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon.
HON. CHAKONA: Especially a person who heads the Judicial Services Commission. Madam Speaker, if you read the article that was written by Tazorora carefully; he makes it clear that the Judicial Services
Commission duties are not to select judges. I rest my case, thank you. –
[HON. ZIYAMBI: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon.
Ziyambi, you are the Chairman of the Committee.
HON. NDEBELE: Good afternoon Madam Speaker, thank you
for recognising me. I am not a lawyer like most people who have contributed but I will make an effort to speak like a lawyer for a very few minutes so that I do not lose it.
Madam Speaker, allow me to begin by stating that, like my right Honourables, I love my country but it is at times like these when I am really ashamed of my Government. I will explain Madam Speaker. It is very sad and regrettable that the ruling party is on and all out to amend the Constitution so early in its lifespan. Those who are in the know argue that the Constitution itself is sui generis. It happens to be an Act of Parliament but it is an Act of Parliament in a class of its own, completely different from other Acts of Parliament. In that regard, it is untouchable, it is the supreme law of the land and I am happy that our Constitution in Section 2 states as much. It may not be cast in stone but that does not mean that we should change it lightly. Why in the Zimbabwean case? 94.5% of our voters in this country endorsed the
2013 Constitution in its current state.
Hon. Speaker, to allow an amendment so early in the life span of our Constitution is playing extreme liberties with the Constitution itself. We must let it remain intact and uninterfered with. Let the courts play their constitutional rights of interpreting the Constitution. Our courts are known throughout time that if there are grey areas, they refer them to this august House for amendment without fail. We cannot amend the Constitution to elevate mediocrity. Let those who want to be Chief Justice compete publicly like what we saw happening. Let it not be done behind closed doors. Why are we afraid of our children? They are all Zimbabweans, let them compete in public and let the public judge who deserves to be.
To put it differently, Madam Speaker, the Constitution itself in Section 90 invites the President - unfortunately, the Acting President has gone out, but it invites the President to protect it. So, it is his duty to protect the Constitution. When members at some point stood up here to congratulate his Excellency for appointing Chief Justice Malaba, I never felt the urge because I knew he was merely satisfying his duty as President; he was protecting the Constitution. In the same Section 90 (2), the Constitution urges the President to recognise and respect the ideals and values of the liberation struggle. I always say in this House that I was born in the war and the reason people went to war is not to concentrate power on one individual - that is not to why we went to war. Power cannot be centered on one individual. The Constitution says as much.
Madam Speaker, let me submit that in my belief, these amendments are being driven by people who want to please the President or to put it differently, they know he may want so much power as to select the Chief Justice himself. I am weighed down with grief and sadness as I debate the proposed amendments.
However, increasingly Madam Speaker, I hear it out there; the young people of this country are getting incensed with developments taking place in this country. We are losing patience with the elderly – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- It is true. Madam
Speaker, let me submit once more that there are more pressing issues facing this Government than amending the Constitution. I could take hours on hand listing them but there is 95% unemployment rate in this country that is affecting the young. There is deepening economic problems that should be addressed before amending the Constitution. The industry has shut down. Where I come from in Bulawayo, industry has died; it has come to a standstill. To me, that is a priority other than amending the Constitution to concentrate power on one man.
There are cash shortages; we have elderly people where I bank at the POSB. Those things require urgent attention. So, they take priority over the amendment of a Constitution like this. There are factional wars on the other side of the House that are threatening the operations of
Government House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-. Those must be addressed before we look into constitutional amendments like this. Why are we shredding a new Constitution so early in time
Madam Speaker? There are progressive provisions within that
Constitution that this Government should be driving such as devolution.
If we had devolved power, I am definitely sure that the provincial council in Manicaland would not have lost US$15 billion.
Madam Speaker, there is a stronger call for transparency and respect for separation of powers as provided for in Section 180. The current procedure is transparent, a Zimbabwe not a foreigner is selected publicly and then the President is not removed at all from the whole process. Three names are referred to him, there is that back and forth and I do not need to labour on that. That process as it stands respects the separation of powers. Now, if you take us back to a situation where the President has to select his own man, his personal appointee, we are back to partisan appointments. This proposal is even way worse than what was obtaining in that ‘cease fire document’ they called the Lancaster House Constitution. There, he would refer to the others who had teeth to say no, but in the current amendment, he refers to the Senate and that on its own in my view is a deja vu! It is concentration of power on one individual.
Madam Speaker, there is a lot that this Executive President is able to do on his own. If you indulge me, I will quickly go through that; it began with the Executive Presidency in 1987. The President appoints heads of defence, police, intelligence, correctional services; he can also act without reference to Cabinet or indeed anyone else when appointing and dismissing members of the Service Commissions. He does not have to consult the Cabinet or anyone else when deploying the Defence Forces inside or outside the country though after deploying them he has to tell Parliament why he did so. He merely consults the Cabinet and does not have to act on its recommendation when granting pardons. He also acts in his own personal discretion when calling elections and referendums, when conferring honours and awards and appointing Ambassadors. What more power? I repeat Madam Speaker, what more power in a democracy? I have full respect for the Acting President and I know he is a lawyer; he will steal a leaf from my small contribution.
I also want to quote the late Dr. Zvobgo because I know there are voices that Dr. Zvobgo spoke about on the other side of the House before he passed on. Dr. Zvobgo said, “Of these people that will sing and of these people that think their role in Parliament is to get angry on behalf of others, these mafikizolos have nothing to lose if ZANU PF is harmed. They shout Mugabe’s name loudest and most of them are opportunist, corrupt and incompetent. They know that people do not want them but they believe that they are secure in their blind fanaticism”. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order!
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERLY
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, let me
take this opportunity to recognise the presence in the Speaker’s gallery of students and teachers from Ebenezer High School. You are welcome.
*HON. KATSIRU: Madam Speaker, we have an issue that we
should handle carefully. Although it may look like a big issue, as far as we are concerned it is something that we can easily solve. In this country of ours, it is very clear that we held a referendum, came up with a new Constitution and put in place all the laws within the confinement of the Constitution. It is also very true that all Members who are in this august House represent different constituencies and when I hear that some of these contributors are saying they represent constituencies, they should know that every one of us here represents some constituencies. When we look at what you are saying, we have people who are in the majority and they are the ones who want to amend the Constitution because they have seen a gap which needs to be filled in the law making process, hence they are calling for an amendment. Let me explain further that if we have people that represent the minority and try and go against the people who are in the majority and blame them for trying to change the Constitution then there is something wrong. What we should know about the Constitution is that it is not cast in stone and amendments can be done when it is felt that it is necessary. So, the members of the opposition who are going against this are simply making these contributions just to meet the needs of their handlers in the West.
We also know that as far as they are concerned, it is not their will but they are following the ideas from their handlers.
HON. GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, I hope you
understand your point of order and you will not belittle yourself.
HON. GONESE: I understand my point of order and I will try not to belittle myself Madam Speaker. The Hon. Member in debating, is talking about members having handlers. He made reference to Hon.
Members listening to their handlers and I believe that it is objectionable. We are all Hon. Members in this august House and I believe that we should not belittle each other by making reference to handlers and that
Members here who are opposing the Bill are being directed by outsiders. I believe that those words are not appropriate. We are here to represent our constituencies and I submit that those words should be withdrawn because they are very offensive to Members on this side of the House.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I would like to say it is important to remain focused on the debate. All of us are Members of Parliament who represent the people. Hon. Katsiru, you may continue with the debate and focus on the debate in question.
*HON. KATSIRU: I just heard one previous speaker saying that all you people who are making these contributions are ingratiating themselves with the President.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Katsiru, please focus on
the debate. I have said you are all Members of Parliament and please just focus on the judiciary debate.
*HON. KATSIRU: Madam Speaker, when we wrote the
Constitution of the country, we made something which was quite different from the Lancaster House Constitution, which had some prohibition clauses to the effect that there would be no changes before a period of 10 years. However, the current Constitution does not have those disclaimer clauses which prohibit changes to be done, hence when we feel there is need to amend some parts of the Constitution, it is our right. We know that the majority of the people who voted us into power will be supporting what we are saying because we support their views.
We come here with all the might given to us by the people who voted us into power. So, it is very essential that we talk of amending the Constitution.
Madam Speaker, as the people of Zimbabwe, we should not
operate on assumptions since those will not be the facts. The fact is that the Constitution which we are now operating on allows that whenever amendments need to be made, they should be done because there will be a gap to be filled. I have realised that at times we have a problem because when we look at the people of Zimbabwe, both the young and old, they all have views that they support. When I am debating, I am talking about my political party ZANU-PF’s policies which is dictating what is good, especially in the replacement and appointment of judges. My party is saying that we should appoint judges who support the views of ZANU PF because it is the ruling party. Now that we are the ruling party – ZANU-PF and we then appoint a judge who is going to support the opposition, that will reflect that he will not be our judge. We will not be able to echo our sentiments but will be fulfilling the mandate of the opposition. That is why we are saying that the country should follow ZANU-PF party policies.
We did not just wake up one day ruling but we went into elections and won resoundingly. The changes we are implementing now are some of the reasons why we won. So we will correct those things that are not right because that is the mandate given to us by the people. I thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Madam Speaker for
affording me this opportunity to make my contribution on this motion regarding the changes and amendments in the Constitution. I believe that this Constitution was done with the full contribution of the people of Zimbabwe. We have seen that there are some changes which should be done and we are saying, as the majority in this House, we need to change what we feel should be changed because the opposition is already beaten, hence we need to make the necessary changes.
I have also realised that there are some Hon. Members in the opposition who are making contributions and are saying they know that the Constitution should not be changed. They should be aware that the Leader of the House and member of ZANU PF is one of the most educated lawyers and one of the freedom fighters who fought for the liberation of this country; so when he is talking about the constitutional changes, he knows that it has the backing of the reasons why he went to war to fight for the country.
I need to remind members of the opposition that we need to change the Constitution. May I remind them that when we went to the land reform, some of the members of the opposition were supporting that we should not take the land but we took it, and because of the opposition, some of these members took the case to the international courts to try this case, but they did not succeed because some of these people even died abroad trying to reverse the land reform programme. We are saying you are the minority in this place. Therefore, please we are going towards the elections in 2018, but if you are going run away from the truth, I tell you the truth that you are not going to be voted into power in the next elections. Therefore, follow what the people want and why you were elected into power.-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Please give Hon.
Matambanadzo a chance to make his contribution on this motion.
*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Madam Speaker, I will continue with my contribution. There is an Hon. Member who made his contribution and I feel I should give that person some assistance so that we walk on the same path. Hon. Ndebele made his contribution and yet his background leaves a lot to be desired. Let me look at him, what happened is that his father was a war hero. He fought for the liberation of this country and he is fighting against what his father did. It is quite a shame to his father because his father is lying at the Heroes’ Acre and now he is saying we should not make amendments to the Constitution, and yet he should follow what was done by the people who fought for this country.
As a result, that is why we always say when somebody goes to the opposition party, they will always oppose for the sake of opposing without proper logic. I am saying power should be given to the President.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Matambanadzo, please
do not mix up the languages, use the language that you were using.
*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Madam Speaker for
your guidance. I had to change the language and speak in English because I have now gone back to school and I am in Grade 3, and I want to show off that I can now make my contributions in English. I will take an example; we have Donald Trump who was elected by the people of the United States. He elected a very young man to be a judge - Trump has already started working on making some changes. He is doing that and yet he is somebody who is new in his seat but he has already made these changes. What will stop His Excellency the President who has been there for 37 years to fail to make changes, yet he has been in that seat for 37 years, how can he be overtaken by Donald Trump?
Some people may say they are educated but may not be knowledgeable. Some were educated in Britain, African countries and some in Zimbabwe. I will say to the people who were educated abroad, especially in Britain that they were given colonial education. When they feel there is something to be changed, they will be feeling that this law was made by the Europeans and it should not be changed. Yet when the
Europeans came, this country was run by our chiefs, the leaders like
Lobengula, Monomutapa and all those people and we had the rulings. The opposition has the sentiments and they believe in the supremacy of the whites, the supremacy of the Europeans and as the indigenous people of Zimbabwe, we are saying we are prepared to change the Constitution and empower President Robert Mugabe. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAEKR: Order Hon. Members.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKR: Let me take this opportunity to recognise the presence of Zengeza Number 3 High School which is in
Speaker’s Gallery. Students and teachers, you are welcome.
HON. CHIRISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. It is so sad that it is so sad that four years down the line... –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
HON. CHIRISA: Madam Speaker I was saying it is so sad that four years down the line after we approved the Constitution, we are talking of amendments. I do not think it was really necessary to talk about amendments because it will be open for more amendments. The amendments... –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members from my
right let the Hon. Member be heard in silence.
HON. CHIRISA: The amendment is proposing to do away with
the designation of senior judges.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Speaker, speak to the
HON. CHIRISA: It also speaks Madam Speaker of abolishing the public interviews and in the amendment I think is also saying the
President’s approval or appointment is final. I do not think it will be fair for people not to contribute or to be involved in matters that concern the citizens. I think in future it should also be recognised that it is better to talk about Acts and not tamper with our Constitution.
The proposed amendments take away the gains made by the
Constitution that we celebrated with regards to transparency, because what it is saying is that the appointment of the Chief Justice is only done by one person who is the President. Madam Speaker, this confirms that the Government is pre-occupied with the Constitution as a means of ligitimising the power and less as a mechanism for limiting such powers. If you compare the Lancaster House Constitution and the current one, you will find that the amendment is reverting to what was in the
Lancaster House Constitution. So, we might as well revert to that Constitution instead of touching on the popular Constitution agreed on by the people of Zimbabwe. Having said that Madam Speaker, I would like to say to the Government and the ruling party, instead of changing or amending the Constitution which was done by all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation, they should change the President.
There are a lot of people who are capable of also leading Zimbabwe.
Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Aaah!] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. I think
it is important when debating, to remain focused. When you are doing your summaries and conclusions, please do not try to smuggle some information that is unconstitutional.
*HON. MUKWENA: Thank you Madam Speaker for the
opportunity you have given me. I stood to support the Bill which was brought in by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, who is the Vice President of Zimbabwe and Acting President. I thank the Hon. Minister and his Ministry officials for the expertise they showed. They deliberated and made adequate research so that this Bill can be brought here. It is therefore appropriate for the Bill to be brought here and that is why we are called the lawmakers. The lawmakers are here to scrutinise the Bill which was crafted by the Hon. Minister and his officials. The House is here to scrutinise…
An Hon. Member having tried to pass between an Hon. Member
Speaking and the Chair.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, you
cannot cross between an Hon. Member debating and the Chair.
*HON. MUKWENA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker. This
House is now scrutinising the Bill which was crafted by the Hon. Minister and his Ministry. I am here to support the Bill as a representative of the people of Chiredzi where we had 30 033 voters who voted for the President of the country, President Robert Mugabe. If we look at that figure, it means that the President of the country was given the power from that Constituency, 30 033 votes, who are more than those in this House. This means that the President was given the power.
When the President appoints the Chief Justice, merit was used and those who are learned know that. The President also used lawyers whom he consulted to help him so that they agree to the appointment of the Chief Justice. So, I am thankful to that decision because it is a good thing. We cannot go against the Constitution of Zimbabwe because it provides that elections must be done after every five years. The outcome of those elections, and the one who obtains two thirds of the majority of votes should constitute the Government. The Government is then responsible for ensuring that governance is done well.
I want to give an example of the Hon. Members on your left. In 1999, a referendum was done and we were defeated and we accepted the outcome. Why is it that the ZANU PF party did not dispute the outcome? It realised that two thirds majority did not agree and the ZANU PF party agreed to it. In this regard, in 2013, the ZANU PF party obtained the two thirds majority of the votes and its leader, the President of the country has the power which he was given by the people. Therefore, we are not looking for anything from the Constitution because the Constitution is the one providing for all those things. If this was not provided for in the Constitution, this Bill would not have been brought into this House. In short, I would like to thank the Hon.
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Vice President and Acting President for bringing in the Bill. We support it fully. Thank you.
HON. CHIMWAMUROMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker
Ma’am. I understand that we have those who have gone through plans, projects, agenda and even curricula. These go through a process; they are planned, implemented and evaluated. This is what we are doing now. We have evaluated what is good for the people. The needs of the people are the things that make us to do what we are doing now. We do not just make changes, we follow what people need. We noted this with the opposition, when there was need – [AN HON. MEMBER: Addresa Bill mhani opposition yekuita sei.] – It is still the Bill. When there was need for Vice Presidents, they chose two more. This was their need –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members, can the
Hon. Member be heard in silence.
HON. CHIMWAMUROMBE: It was only their President – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I need your protection
Hon. Speaker Ma’am. It was their President who made the decision. They never went around asking for decisions from anybody else. I am surprised today, they are crying foul. It is hypocrisy, they should follow what the people need and what the Constitution provides for – [AN HON. MEMBER: Taurai maprinciples eBill kwete zvamave kurasika izvo.] – The principles of the Bill still come from the people. If we do not follow what the people need…
Hon. Chimwamurombe having been speaking to the gallery.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, speak to the
Chair, stop debating with other Hon. Members. Speak to me.
Hon. Gonese having been speaking to other Hon. Members.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, you are the
opposition Chief Whip, I expect your behaviour to be…
HON. CHIMWAMUROMBE: Madam Speaker Ma’am, when
we evaluated this Bill, we noted that there was need for changes to be made – [AN HON. MEMBER: Uri muCabinet here?] – we are advised by our Executive. When the Executive bring changes to the Bill, they give it to us and we agree on that. This is what we have done and we have agreed that these changes should be done. Changes in this Bill should go through Madam Speaker Ma’am. I thank you.
HON. MATUKE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MARIDADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: 13th June, 2017.
On the Motion of HON. MATUKE seconded by HON.
MARIDADI, the House adjourned at a Quarter past Four o’clock p.m. until 13th June, 2017.