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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 11 OCTOBER 2022 VOL 48 NO 82
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 11th October, 2022.
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
PETITIONS RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL RAILWAYS OF ZIMBABWE WORKERS, MR. R. RWENYA AND SOPHIA TAKUVA
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on Thursday 27th September, 2022, Parliament received a petition from the National Railways of Zimbabwe Workers beseeching Parliament to call upon the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development to fire the National Railways of Zimbabwe General Manager and dismiss the board of directors among other things, for a number of allegations. The petition was deemed inadmissible as the petitioners did not meet statutory requirements and the petitioners have been advised accordingly.
I also have to inform the House that on Monday, 26th September, 2022, Parliament of Zimbabwe also received a petition from Mr. R. Ngwenya, the Executive Director for the Coalition for Market and Liberal Solution, beseeching Parliament to enact a law on the rights to shelter and harmonise all laws that deal with property rights and title deeds. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities.
I further have to inform the House that on Wednesday 26th September, 2022, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from Sophia Takuva representing African Women in Mining Empowerment Trust beseeching Parliament to push for the review of the mining laws in Zimbabwe in order to promote decent work for women in the mining sector. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development.
CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I also have to inform the House of the following changes in the membership of Committees. Hon. Musa Ncube moves from the Portfolio Committee on Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care. Hon. Paurina Mpariwa moves from the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 27 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day No. 28 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.
HON. RAIDZA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, SPORTS, ARTS AND RECREATION ON THE STATE OF FOOTBALL ADMINISTRATION IN ZIMBABWE
Twenty Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Arts, Sports and Recreation on the state of Football Administration in Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
HON. MARKHAM: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, are there no points of privilege or matters of national interest today?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I called for any notices of motion but no one stood up and I do not have any list.
HON. MARKHAM: Sorry Madam Speaker, I was under the impression that the Chief Whip will give you the names.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We cannot go back; we have already passed that stage.
*HON. KWARAMBA: Hon. Speaker, we were waiting for you to announce that we can now present our points of privilege.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I do not have any names with me here. Usually the Chief Whips gives me the names.
HON. KWARAMBA: But they did not ask for our names and we were confused on what to do? I thought since we were on break, you were just going to give us the privilege to raise matters of privilege.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Sorry but we have already passed that stage. We cannot go back.
HON. KWARAMBA: Mine is on breast cancer.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You will do that tomorrow; I will give you time tomorrow.
HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, can we have a Committee on the incompetence of the Chief Whips, to check on the incompetence of the Chief Whips. We get nothing about what is being debated or the Business of the House Committee or the Order of the Day and we give names and we get nothing. Everything just gets bulldozed – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we have order in the House please – Hon. T. Zhou.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for the opportunity you have afforded me to add my voice on the Report that has been brought to this House by the Committee on Sport regarding the state of our football in this country. As we are all aware, this report was submitted to this House and by this time we are only getting an opportunity to debate it. However, we have seen some disturbing issues in our newspapers where this report was being reflected by some of our reporters as if this report was already adopted by this House but the procedure of this House is that for the report to be a Parliament report, it would be after the adoption by the House and by giving us as Hon. Members an opportunity as well to debate the same and give our input in the same report that comes to the House from various Committees. I want to urge you Madam Speaker that we need to look into some of these issues so that we continue to keep the integrity of this House because some of the issues that we see out there are not really the position of this House.
Going back to the report Madam Speaker, I have a few issues that I want to add. We know that football is one of the key sporting activities in this country and we need to put our heads together as leaders to make sure that those who are living out of this key sporting activity continue to earn their living out of that. Besides earning a living out of the sporting activity, football provides entertainment. As we are seeing, some of our young people these days are struggling with drugs, cocaine, guka and other drugs because of low activity that is happening in our football arena. As a result of this suspension that happened to the ZIFA Board, we are realising that many of our youths are not being inspired much to go into football because they are seeing as if their careers are being limited to Zimbabwe alone. I want to encourage the Sports and Recreation Commission, the ZIFA Board itself and Minister Kirsty Coventry to seriously look into these issues and into the impact of the suspension that is happening to our football by FIFA. We know that football is governed by the rules and if the rules are broken, we are bound to have such punishment that we are seeing currently in our country. So we have a duty as Hon. Members here to encourage the warring parties. We know there are a number of issues that have been raised by the Sports and Recreation Commission to ZIFA and their counter allegations, and at the end of the day FIFA ended up suspending our country whereby our footballers are not in a position to travel outside this country or to move from South Africa or any other nation where they are playing football.
I want to encourage these parties that are involved in the suspension of ZIFA to follow the law to the latter. I believe when these laws were put in place Madam Speaker, they were there to protect the interest of the footballers themselves, of us the supporters and all other people who enjoy the good sport that is in football.
Without wasting much of your time Madam Speaker, let us continue to encourage those who were given the judiciary duty or the responsibility to make sure there is sanity in football. It is not good for the country to continue seeing our administrators and policy makers quarrelling over some of these issues that we believe solutions can be found. They need to put the interest of the footballers, interest of our children and the interest of the nation at large at stake rather than to push more of personal interest or personal egos and by end of the day, make sure that our country is suspended.
I want to thank you Madam Speaker and I want to encourage these people to sit and find solutions as a matter of priority. We need to continue seeing our children going outside the country pushing forward their careers and them earning a living out of sporting. Thank you very much Madam Speaker.
HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to add my voice to the important debate. I would want to concur with Hon. Raidza. Madam Speaker, we only live once in life. Once you start your journey, it progresses like that. You do not live today and live the same day again tomorrow. Effectively, this means that we have our children who are teenagers and it is at this particular age when they attract attention from various sporting sponsors, scholarships givers and clubs that would want to buy or give the youths scholarships. Currently as we speak, Zimbabwe is not participating in any soccer tournament. Effectively, what it means is that our children do not have a window from where they can be seen in their careers. Our children do not have platforms from where they can be seen and opportunities to display their skills in front of the world.
Madam Speaker, it appears to be very simple to a person who is not a sportsperson. We have children who cannot do anything else other than playing soccer. It was their hope that their legs will take them far but because we are banned from those international platforms, their sporting years are going to waste. We all celebrated when Hon. Kirsty Coventry was appointed Minister of Sport because of her experience and participation in sport and she also understood what it means to participate at that particular level. The moment you go internationally, you are done in terms of finances, whatever sport it is. More-so, if it is soccer. You look at Marvellous Nakamba from his humble beginning; look at the car that he drives, his life, the changes he has made to his family, fellow villagers and the community of Bulawayo where he now has a foundation.
We have to be serious and consider other people’s lives as our own lives because for people to all agree that we will be banned, for what reason? Even the accusations that were being made concerning what is now called mismanagement of funds; it is not even Zimbabwe’s funds. These are funds from associations and it is their responsibility to deal with those issues. If the Government would want to intervene, then when it decides to do so, it must then have a programme to say this is what we are going to do and this is the end result. As I speak right now, there is no one who knows what has gone wrong in as far as Zimbabwe participating in soccer activities is concerned. Some people would say no, we do not care, let them ban us, we will come back. You are saying let them ban us as an association but not as an individual. Those soccer players’ lives are doomed.
I urge the Government to look at sport from a business point of view. They must consider the lives of our youths. Why we now have the issue of drugs these days is because we are not participating in anything. Why would I want to go and watch a soccer match at the National Sports Stadium for teams that would not contribute a single person to the national team because we are not participating at any level? The excitement is gone and people have nothing to do, and they indulge in drugs. These appear to be very small things but are very important because when we grew up, we had very planned weekends and soccer was one of those activities that we planned for. We cannot continue to behave as though things are normal, especially in the football fraternity. We cannot pretend.
Soccer players put our country on the map. These days we have Zemura who plays for Bournemouth. Just look at how much that boy now earns and what that amount can do to our struggling economy. He can decide to build a shopping mall and complete it without borrowing money from anyone. Why, because of his participation in soccer. We have got a lot of young men in England right now who are playing for lower division teams but the majority of them end up playing for the English juniors, from there they join the national team and they become British when they are Zimbabweans.
I do not know how we think as Zimbabweans. There are certain things that we normalise which are not even normal at all. The Minister of Sport could have even resigned because of what is happening in sport at the moment. What is the purpose of having a whole Ministry if they cannot solve things that are so simple? Why do we have a whole Ministry? What are they presiding over if you do not have those kinds of sports? I urge the Government to take this matter very seriously.
On another note, the issue of infrastructure, because we are not participating, no one concentrates on the infrastructure. Even if we were to be rehabilitated today, we are not going to play our matches at the National Sports Stadium. We are going to play in Zambia and this is exactly where the team had already planned to go and play their matches, in Zambia. Zimbabwe cannot host a single match in Zimbabwe but we say we are a developed country; we are developing and moving towards 2030, without a soccer pitch that is at international level.
We are talking of upper middle income. You move around in all our suburbs. Go and see how dilapidated what used to be soccer stadia are now and no one pays attention to those things. So, how are we developing if we cannot start developing the issue of sport itself? I urge the Ministry to at least be serious and help our children. We have a lot of countries and clubs establishing academies here but they do not have platforms where those players they will be eyeing to recruit are given an opportunity to shine. We do not have and I do not think it will make any sense at all for us to go into the next season without having solved the issue of the Zimbabwe Football Association.
It does not make any sense to continue playing that football when you know you are going nowhere and the age, you do not then say Zimbabwe at one time was suspended for three years. At that time, I was seventeen and now I am twenty, so because I lost three years, I am still seventeen, no. You are already 20 years and according to the body itself, there are certain things that you could have done before, that you cannot do today because you will have lost a lot of time. I urge the Minister to be a bit serious and solve this problem so that Zimbabwe again joins other countries in doing what the world loves most, which is soccer. As Zimbabweans, we are so indifferent in some of these issues. The same way we got out of the Commonwealth saying it is a club of what, what, today we now want to go back. This is exactly what we are saying, let us be suspended and then we start applying and will be asked to meet certain standards for us to be readmitted when we could have avoided being banned or suspended. This is my submission Madam Speaker, especially on the issue of soccer, if we can please help our children by making sure that we allow them to develop and showcase their talents and skills to the world. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for recognising me on this very important issue. I am degreed in sport and fitness studies, having been a head of sport at Eton College, which is the royal family school where Prince Harry and Prince William went to school. I have been involved with the best of sport around the world. I have been instrumental in bringing people like Andy Cole and John Fashanu to Zimbabwe in a bid to ensure that we are exposed to sport and to the way of doing sport. That was out of the fact that sport is a multi-billion-dollar industry which requires you to go to school.
The question is how many of those in sports administration have gone to school to study sport? How do you expect to be represented in court by somebody who has not studied law? How do you expect to be treated well in a hospital by somebody who has not studied medicine? It is only in Zimbabwe where you have people who have not done sports administration who are presiding over sport, which exposes the fact that their intention is not to do sport. Sport is about passion. That is why today I am not involved in sport because it is a circus and an insult to my spending of so many years to be degreed to impart my knowledge internationally to this country.
I was a fitness coach for the national team, I was Dynamos Chairman and the only person to have chaired Dynamos but was a Caps United fan. After having been the Caps United fitness coach, they won the 1996 BP Cup and the league. I was the coach for the Davis Cup tennis team. I was the coach for the Black tennis family that you know from Byron Black to Carla Black. The list is endless. These are international sports people and the question is how come I am not in the matrix of sport today? No one can beat my CV in sport. I was involved with rugby having been the Director of Coaching in rugby and the National Coach was Ian Robertson then. Those who know rugby can tell you that Ian Robertson was one of the most outstanding rugby players having played for the Springboks in Rhodesia which was rare. I was director of coaches for Cricket and set up seven provinces and that is how people like Hon. Kapuya was identified to chair Midlands, Hon. Mukhuhlani and Hon. Mandiwanzira, I identified him to run Manicaland because we needed to decentralise cricket.
The reason why I talk about decentralisation of sport is where the sport is. Cricket and rugby were becoming superior to other sports because of the infrastructure and the policy of sport which existed in these schools. I went to Frank Johnson School which was a Group A and then Lord Malvern School which was a group A school. There was no way you could leave Frank Johnson after playing cricket, soccer or any other sport without then playing the same sport in high school. This means that at primary school, the foundation is solid. There is a development plan, from primary school, you move into high school and partake in the same activities and from there, you play for the national team. That is the structure that you have. Where can you talk about such a sporting structure today in sport? The same way that certain opportunists and chancers have invaded the political field by having resources rather than the history, by not belonging to a party structure but uses money to be in party structures, that is what has happened to sport again. The infiltration of criminals who have come in to take what belongs to the sport people. The same in politics, those who are getting to the top without a structure are only there to cause disaster for that organisation. So, in everything, where is the sporting structure in this country or the policy on sport? Primary and Secondary school sector is critical. You catch them while they are still young so you have a situation where sport ends up being politicised. Politicians, with all due respect, Hon. Chiyangwa a charismatic politician was running ZIFA. Where does he understand sports administration from? I know him to be a great businessman but I do not know him to be a great sportsman but it tells you where you have got the left foot fitting into the right foot and the right foot fitting into the left foot which creates confusion when one is looking at your feet and asks how come the shoes are in the opposite direction?
The reason why I bring this up is that the report by the Portfolio Committee is totally biased. It is not thorough, I have studied it and I will now go into the merits and demerits of that report. If there is anything, it was a political report. It had factual errors, a couple of misrepresentations especially on the sexual harassment issue. The report states that ZIFA advised the Portfolio Committee that individuals cited had been fully charged, which is not true. The issue of women being abused is serious in sport but they could not even stand for the women to be involved in sport. Today in America, women’s football has emerged as the most powerful ever. Women are playing football because they are protected by the laws of their country. There is no way women are being abused but they are competing. America, the other day just said the same amount of money which is paid to the national team of America must be paid to the ladies main team. The abuse talks about them being in football to abuse women not to run sport. How could you ignore that? Referees and players are abused and you do not bring that to the fore, so already in their report, they were wrong. Why they were wrong is because they are interested parties.
The other issue is they state that the SRC made a decision without due process. Again that is not correct. One of the things which I had to talk about is that you cannot undermine your own institution which is an Act of this Parliament. The SRC is an Act of this Parliament and once it is an Act of this Parliament, then sport is governed by this Parliament. Those who believe that they do not want to do sport in this country are free to go and affiliate with FIFA. So why is ZIFA not affiliating to FIFA or CAF if they are not prepared to adhere to the laws of this country? This institution must protect the laws of this country unless someone in that committee was paid to forget that they must superintend and make sure that the SRC Act is in force and it can only be in force when you are seen to be protecting it. If we do not want sport to be under any Act, let us repeal it but there is no national team which bears the flag of Zimbabwe which can leave this without Zimbabwean laws being applied. The SRC was right to get rid of these people and must face the music has been going on for a long time. Sport had died because criminals had suddenly besieged the activity and no one wants to be involved. No man of integrity wants to be involved with such people. I do not want to be involved in sport. I am not interested in sport yet that is my passion at the end of the day. I have chosen to be involved in politics rather than sport. If you see me abandoning my career and going into politics, which is also a career that is not worth talking about but again, I am there talking about how I am just so put off about what is happening in sport; they do not consult, they do not know what is going on.
This report invalidates the SRC Act and its power to the International Federation and undermines our national law and sovereignty. Our national laws and sovereignty, they are busy supporting international laws. If they believe that they want to be international – they are free to be international and to be part of this global thing but as long as they are here, Zimbabwe’s laws are superior, they fit into the international laws. So, let us start with respecting our laws first.
They have a tendency of going, FIFA, and sport as know, is run by the mafia. You cannot run sport if you are not part of the mafia. You know from Sepp Blatter, FIFA President. We have seen the FIFA President being in this country. It is a group of Mafios, people who believe in it and very dangerous in that regard. It is a powerful sport. They have abused and used it, and so equally, there is also a mafia group in Zimbabwe that is aligning itself with the mafia of international sport, especially with FIFA. . FIFA is dirty and the last thing you want to do is to be associated with FIFA. It smells of a lot of things. So I think, it is rather sad.
Zimbabwe is only recognised when it comes to votes; when they are paid to support the President of FIFA, the President of CAF - that is the only reason why they are there. The money from FIFA has been coming to this country. Where is it going? There is a FIFA village. Why has the Portfolio Committee not done an enquiry on the money that was given for the FIFA village? Where did the money go? Then you still want companies to put money where people are busy dipping their hands – that will not happen. It is no wonder why sport is poor. Sport requires people of integrity, people of great social standing, people who are passionate, people who can account and people who are transparent. For as long as those values are not inculcated in individuals running sport, they will not get money. I would never support a company that puts money into people who steal. You would rather just keep that money.
We were always funded in this country in terms of sport Madam Speaker; we were never short. Natbrew Breweries and all the companies, we have blue chip companies today that are run by black people like Econet and they do not want to see the brand of Econet being destroyed by people who are criminals, so they stay away. You would rather have a situation where that money, unfortunately like Hon. Madzimure said, goes into the development of young people. The Coca Cola Tournament was there and we all knew about it. So for us, it talks about their bad ways of running sport in this country.
Madam Speaker, we talk about these shortcomings by banning senior ZIFA officials for sexual harassment of female referees. The committee’s recommendation implicitly condones sexual harassment and other corrupt practices within the running of football and swore upon the statutory mandate and independence of SRC. FIFA acknowledges the problems within ZIFA as does the executive arm of Government and the judicial arm of the State. All those three recognised that ZIFA is in a mess; the judiciary of this country, the Government of this country and the SRC. So now, they are saboteurs. These are the people who, in terms of the Patriotic Bill, must be the first victims. They are not patriotic because they do not believe in the laws of their country. If they do not believe in the laws of their country, hamba! hamba! hamba! They must go where they can enjoy that mafia, not undermine our laws here.
They are a portfolio committee that must respect it. The SRC is likely to completely ignore the Committee’s report; it has to be guided by the findings of the Restructuring Committee. The BDO Forensic Audit report as well as the ultimate ZIFA Congress, whose authority over football issues, the committee does not appear to understand or appreciate deliberately or otherwise. There is a structure; there are elections which they go to. Forensic Audit is important; the BDO of Forensic Audit does not support them in any way. Instead of them complying and working on their weaknesses, they are determined on other things.
FIFA recently slammed a five-year ban and hefty fine on ZIFA referee Committee Secretary General. So to me, what have they done about that? So, FIFA itself …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, you are left with five minutes.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you. FIFA itself, which they are appealing - slammed a Zimbabwean referee with a five years ban. What did they say? So why are they not standing up for that referee? FIFA exercises its powers to be able to do that. Let it work on its power and let us allow our own laws to also be effected.
We have a boxer called Monalisa Sibanda Simon. Women who are here, I want you to listen to this story. She came to my office today. She is the first female boxer to be a champion. She was met by the President at a ceremony and the President then told people to facilitate a meeting for her to come to State House. She told me that she is facing problems. There is a letter that she showed me from Hon. Togarepi, writing to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to facilitate a meeting for her to meet the President and that has not happened. They are busy doing this.
There are clearer and honest sports people like Monalisa Sibanda Simon who have put this country on a map. Just yesterday, I do not know, is it because the Hon. Minister is white and does not see black women doing well? We do not know. She said to me Hon. Mliswa, is it because I am black? When the Hon. Minister Kirsty Coventry won a medal, we were all happy about it but today I am black, I cannot be taken there. I cannot be show-cased; that is a sad case. These are the issues we should be bringing here. She is a mother of three and being a mother of three, she has worked hard. She has done everything to the tee but today, they are stopping her from going to see the President who, himself said, can you make sure she visits State House. It is my prayer that the women in here, the caucus, I will introduce you to her and you will see her Curriculum Vitae. Why can she not go and see the President with what she has done? She has put this country on the map and all that.
Instead of us dealing with these criminals who want to keep stealing money, they must face their day in court. The current President is in court. Why does he still want to remain the ZIFA President? We must have best practice just like in this Parliament, if you are a Member of Parliament and you are implicated in any criminal activity that is before the courts, you do not have to wait for the courts to tell you to step down; your own integrity must get you to step down and allow due process to happen. We are missing men of integrity and dignity, especially in football. I wish soccer could be run by women in this country because most of the times, anything run by women is successful.
Look at the gender, there is no gender in ZIFA. The Vice Chairperson of ZIFA must be a woman, the portfolio committee must recommend that in the ZIFA Constitution, at any point in time, there must be gender parity; without gender parity we are not going anywhere – that is the reason why they do not want women close to ZIFA because women would be able to expose their stealing. Let them recommend for us to see women being part of ZIFA and let us see women’s football growing because we have that.
I want to thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity. Like I said, this is my life of sport, I understand it better, I understand the structures and I have been involved in international sport in many ways and many countries, from Zambia and so forth. I am not at all going to be involved in this sport which is run by criminals. The Physical Education teachers from Cuba, where are they? Where are they to be running sport? The Physical Education teachers, Hon. Saruwaka went and did a Sports Degree. Where is he today? Why is he not part of the sporting development of this country? We chose to be politicians, which is not the career we want, our real careers, we were robbed by criminals. It is about time they were brought to book. Thank you.
(v)HON. O. SIBANDA: Good afternoon Madam Speaker Ma’am.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Good afternoon.
(v)HON. O. SIBANDA: Thank you for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate. What I want us to understand Madam Speaker is that there is ZIFA, which is the Zimbabwe Football Association. The Zimbabwe Football Association is a company of FIFA, it is a privately owned organisation operating as an association, and this is found in their statutes of ZIFA. For us to come up with this document as a Portfolio Committee; we had to inquire from various people, that is SRC, the Ministry itself and the ZIFA Board gave us a report. On the report, we looked at statutes; we did not manufacture things from our head. What is critical is for us to see that we worked within statutes, the ZIFA statutes, the SRC Act which is an Act of Parliament and how the Ministry operates its all sports codes. We should understand what the job of the SRC is from starters. We should, as a Parliament, understand that SRC is a conduit between all sport codes in the country and the Government. It is the communication tool between sport codes and the Government.
However, there is an SRC Act which has got several chapters. These chapters explain the functions of the SRC. Some of the functions of SRC, if you look at that in 21, they talk about looking into the issues of infrastructure and making sure that national teams play all over even individual players play on international duty, that is to assist them financially, on preparations and looking after the visiting team when they come into the country.
However, it should be noted that there is article 30 of SRC which should be repealed. The Committee indicated through the report how this chapter is actually destroying our sports. Let me draw you back a little bit to 1980 when we came from the war. The Chairman of SRC then was Mudede who was there without understanding the statutes. He caused Zimbabwe to be banned from 1980 to 1985 until our very own Hon. Speaker, Hon. Mudenda took over in 1985. This is when Zimbabwe was readmitted again after being suspended out of football during the 70s because of the war and because he did not understand how SRC functions.
Then just in 2004 when we qualified to go to Tunisia 2004 AFCON, the Chairman was Anton Mandiwanzira who chaired SRC. Because there were issues to do with ZIFA when the councillors revoked the mandate of Leo Mugabe, FIFA intervened and said once you removed Pamire who was installed by the Congress, then it means you are not participating in AFCON. They had to reinstate the football people, Pamire and others. During the same time, SRC had chosen Westerfol to be the President of ZIFA which was against the statutes because they were using article 30 which as a Committee, we have said should be repealed because it does not auger well with sporting codes – that is what we observed which is very clear.
We have already recommended to the Ministry that article 30 should be repealed because it is not user friendly; it works in cross purposes with all sport codes in the country. Remember cricket was suspended and what happened! Remember handball was suspended as we speak; basketball has got issues with SRC, they want to micro-manage all the sports codes with the duties they are supposed to be doing. For example, look at the national stadium; we were given a template by CAF to make sure that our stadium is usable on international games. Nothing has happened; the Ministry sends people to South Africa for benchmarking visits from the Ministry. Benchmarking yet you have got a template, there was no reason of comparing National Stadium with Ellis Park Stadium.
Coming to the ZIFA; as ZIFA operates within the confines of the laws of Zimbabwe, that is why article 1 of the ZIFA constitution says ‘we shall abide by the country law’. The moment they breach the country law, then there is an issue, they should be brought to book. In this case, we are saying where we have breached the country law – that is what we want to see. We found out through investigation and interaction with various organisations and we discussed that there is little.
We come to the allegations which were leveled against those who were running football. There was sexual harassment which we do not condone; we are 100% against the girl child being abused. Our hearts bleed if we look at the girl child being abused.
We looked at the ZIFA report, it is very clear; they sent letters and charged those who were involved. They sent letters to FIFA proclaiming that these people have got allegations of abusing the girl child, that is the referees, the players and thanks to FIFA that banned one Zhoya because of the initiative which we got from the submission which was given to us by ZIFA. They did well, we do not condone sexual abuse of women; we want totality, we want gender equality, we want people to work together as human beings and that is all we are saying.
On the issue of abuse of funds, it must be noted that FIFA funds ZIFA 100 per cent and FIFA is the only organisation which can ask for audited statements. What you should note also is that ZIFA on its own works hand in glove with SRC. We saw reports which were coming from ZIFA to SRC and SRC to ZIFA which were very clear. It should be noted that the DT of SRC was also suspended because of the allegations that he allowed national teams to go out of the country without COVID papers.
All this, we proved that it was not true because during the COVID period, no one was moving outside the country without proper documentation from Ministry of Health and Child Care. So how then did our national teams go across our own border into South Africa without being noticed that they were not complying with COVID regulations?
Again Madam Speaker, if you look at one of the charges, they are saying ZIFA was not doing junior sports but the people who caused the suspension of Mamutse, the ZIFA C.E.O and the DT from SRC as the under 20 teams, under 17 teams, those are the juniors - I am sure they did not give due diligence to that. What they were charging ZIFA is exactly the same juniors who went out, whom they are now saying ZIFA did not care about junior development. I think junior development in the country lies squarely with the provisional structures of ZIFA, which is clearly defined. Some people may fail to get funding and as a result, these junior structures might not be working.
However, I want to applaud especially academies in Harare, individuals have done a lot for football in Harare. There are plenty academies in Harare who are doing extremely well using funds from people’s pockets.
I want also to thank those who are funding football from their pockets. It must be noted that the national teams are squarely a baby of the Government because they raise the flags. The league we are playing now is called social soccer because we have been suspended. No team can go out of the country to represent Zimbabwe – not even one. It is also my submission that ZIFA, when they do their annual general meetings, that is where they do their audited accounts. Those audited are sent to SRC, stamped and sent to FIFA for future funding. So, ZIFA was never going to receive any cent from FIFA if those audited statements were not done. FIFA sent their external auditors which are BDO which was being mentioned by one Hon. Member who spoke here. The same company again, the forensic audit – that is conflict, they cannot do that. We realised that something is wrong within the system. They cannot do things; they were sent by FIFA to do an external audit which they did. The same audit went to SRC, FIFA and that is why FIFA kept funding.
If you look at the funds which FIFA advanced to ZIFA, there are specific funds for specific projects. However, if those funds are abused or misused, the person who has got the authority to deal with those funds is the partner, which is FIFA that is doing that. Some might stand up and say we can do without FIFA, which is fine and which is exactly what we are doing but we are not going to see international football in our country. We are going to have limited player movements in our country. Football cuts across the country, it brings peace, it brings joy, it brings business, it brings everything. If you look at those who sell freezits, groundnuts et cetera, they make money. Why should we sanction ourselves with things that we can solve amicably within our systems? The issue of these sub-committees, the restructuring Committee, Forensic Audit Committee - that is a nullity Madam Speaker. They are not recognised by the owners of the game, FIFA who funds Zimbabwe.
FIFA does not have monopoly in terms of Zimbabwean structure. We are funding our projects but if you feel that we are not doing enough, you can move out of our association, that is what FIFA says. Once FIFA is involved with their own funds, there is no way we can come and interfere with what FIFA said to us and everybody knows. We look at constitutional issues, we look at even our own Constitution, children and everyone is entitled to sports and sport comes in different ways; be it cricket, basketball and anything, this is what we are talking about, let them play and let us not stop them from playing.
These sub-Committee, I repeat including the structures which they have put for the Executive of ZIFA is a nullity, it will never be recognised by FIFA. The only thing we can do is to comply and comply with diplomacy. There is a lot we can do before we can start celebrating the work of the sub-Committees. My question Madam Speaker is that, who is funding these sub-Committees? Where is the money coming from? One Hon. Member talked about Chivandire and Dominic, those are the people who are supposed to be funding because they are raising the Zimbabwean flag. That money should be directed there even if it is soccer money because soccer now is not being played just direct those funds to go there and assist Chivandire who is supposed to play on Saturday and I say good luck to my little players.
Madam Speaker, I say if you look for ways of solving the ZIFA issue without being emotional, without personalising sports, I agree with other Hon. Members who talked here and said we need to revoke this suspension and negotiate and move forward. These Committees which have been set will never solve any football things. As I speak, even if Kamambo the President drops dead today, I am not saying he is to die, FIFA will remain suspending us if Machanaz and every one decides to leave ZIFA today and say we have resigned, we remain suspended, we reinstate them in absentia that is what we do. We cannot make Zimbabweans happy because of doing wrong things. Clubs PSL clubs are spending huge monies going Kariba, Bulawayo and wherever spending monies on social footballs. We cannot continue allowing this. Now Platinum is on the verge of qualifying to play in Africa but the truth is that they are not going to play anywhere near international football. We are missing a lot in terms of funding junior development. I admit that spending some of the money which was meant for junior development never found its way to the process, agreed but these are things that we can solve without causing suspension.
I also look at the Government, the Sport Integrity Bill through the Ministry of Sport; we need Sport Integrity Bill in place of Article 30 which we are going to repeal because it is not user friendly. The Sport Integrity Bill will solve every issue we are talking about because we will be following a process. As we speak, if you go to sport, our policy on sports is not visible. We cannot enforce any of it because there is nothing and we have been pushing as a Committee, the Sport Integrity Bill and other Sports Bills to be approved by Parliament including Youth Bills; they are not being approved from the Attorney-General. We do not know what is happening and we are still waiting. I am saying that without SRC and ZIFA sitting on a round table and forget about their personal egos and forget about emotions, we will not go anywhere. Let us look at Zimbabweans, Zimbabwe is a soccer loving country. Football is the most loved sport in the world and the country, I support it 100% in a celebratory mood as I speak.
I have been in football with Giants Highlanders, with my own team called Windermere, Junior Development; I can count a lot of players, Milton Ncube who at the moment has got nothing to do with what we are discussing. I have been a president of player agents that is to do with player placements in the world. I have done that and moved over 200 players from the country and they are doing well. I am happy one member mentioned Nakamba, look at Benjani, look at Claudius Zviripai, Vitalis Zviripai, Alois Bunjira, plenty of them but we cannot bar them from playing because of egos.
I request they are many ways of doing it but one of them was supposed...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are left with five minutes.
(v)HON. O. SIBANDA: Just one-minute Hon. Speaker. I am saying that there were better solutions in SRC than radical decisions that are killing football. They were supposed to write a letter they are allowed to communicate with ZIFA noting their observations. The injustice leveled against ZIFA board should have been written down by SRC to FIFA and communicate and tell them that 1,2,3 is what we are observing, sexual harassment misuse of FIFA funds, misuse of Government funds. They did not do that and put their recommendations and say that we request that you dissolve the ZIFA board. We request that you come and do proper elections and do some amendments in your constitution which our submissions in terms of amendments are these, then we were going to find a common solution.
His Excellency the President Cde. Mnangagwa raised a lot of money, over 3 million at Cresta. When we mentioned it, people teased us, that money is there somewhere; we are simply saying SRC, look into this money that was raised by the President. Why is it that football is suffering? That is why that money was raised by the Head of the State yet you went to Cameroon and you went to Egypt. This is positive development on football, football is about achieving set goals, and set goals is playing football and qualifying for tournaments. The winning of the tournaments is another issue, what we need is qualifying and taking the championship in doing this and that. Football is to place players around the world where they can play. There are several players who were moved from Zimbabwe. All what I am saying is that we want sanity in football.
I am saying that through this Parliament, there are a lot of things what could be done. A lot of reform must be done in football 100%, I agree but all what I am saying is that let us find each other. Part of speech not recorded due to network failure. After all Mr. Speaker Sir, their term of office has already expired. Just allow the process to go for elections then new members will come in and run football to the best of their ability. The way we are doing it, it might take 10 to 20 years. As one Hon. Member said, one player might be 17 now; by the time we admit it, he will be 26. Nakamba is 28 and by the time we admit it, he will be 34. This is wrong Hon. Speaker. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me this time. I request that please let us find sanity in football. Let us revoke all what happened between SCR and ZIFA, let us find ourselves and move forward as a country. I thank you.
(v)*HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Committee for the contribution and the work they have done. I would like to support what was done by the SRC, including the Minister of Sport. They did something that was good to remove criminals from office. Criminal activities in these offices have destroyed the football sport in this country. Football is a national sport but the individuals who were in office have embarrassed us and the neighbouring countries around us. Looking at the Egypt trip, Government raised a lot of money but the transport that was provided was filled with prostitutes to have fun. They did a lot of embarrassing things to this country, things that were not expected from people who were on assignment. They should have been apprehended by now by the organisation against corruption - ZACC. Mr. Speaker, I almost joined the Premier League because I am into sport. I support football. It is a very good sport. I played football when I was a young man. I see a lot of unscrupulous activities being done by Kamambo and colleagues. Such corrupt and embarrassing activities are very disappointing and I feel the pain in my heart. All the things that were being mentioned by others that no one can be bought – those are lies – [microphone switched off.] – We are wasting national funds protecting criminals. These are criminals. This is criminality. Those who were paid by FIFA, let them keep the money. We will not entertain such behaviour. Why did FIFA not suspend other countries who were in similar situations?
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Minister has done a splendid job. It is a job well done. She might not be good in other areas but for this particular issue, she did well. What kind of behaviour to say money has been paid to a country but surprisingly, that money goes to an individual account to his wife and home? What is that? Honestly, do you think we can support people with such behaviour? We will never entertain that. We should have stiffer penalties for such criminality behaviour. We should never entertain or see such people near our sporting facilities or near our sport. These are the people that destroy games that are meant for people to enjoy. Sport is going to entertain people. People gather at stadia and other sport facilities so that they enjoy and forget about other problems they have experienced in life but we have some people who are there to destroy sporting activities. On behalf of my constituency that does not favour corruption, that does not stand in for corruption, we say we will not and never entertain such behaviour from such officials. We should send a clear signal. Our country has been destroyed and left in shambolic state because of corruption. We would like to support what was done by our Minister.
The audit that is meant to take place should apprehend others in addition to those that have been apprehended. What development has been done by ZIFA? Nothing is tangible. We do not care about their money and I say, to hell with their money. How can they say Government should shut up, the Minister should shut up? Who should reprimand them? We are saying to all corporates in Zimbabwe, come together, come to the sport and sponsor our activities. We will not entertain people who are stealing money from the football fraternity. How can they take prostitutes on to a plane taking them to a football match when they are supposed to be having football supporters? We have a lot of football supporters from different clubs in the country but surprisingly and shockingly, those people are left behind when the national team travels beyond the borders. In place of supporters, they take prostitutes. We do not want to see those people in our vicinity. They should never be seen near sport. They have troubled our souls for the football lovers. They have troubled the souls of those in the country who love sport.
People are just gathered from different countries and say we are going to play football from Turkey, Germany, UK but there is no sport there. People are just squandering cash. Football is actually employment. We will never support such rotten behaviour. I have a lot of issues to say today because I am very disturbed. They must rot in jail for not less than 20 years. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. I. NYONI: I would like to contribute on this very important report on sport, particularly football. We are all aware that sport brings communities together and income to those who participate in it. Sport plays a very important part in the development of individual players. Let me buttress on what was highlighted by Hon. Mliswa and Hon. Madzimure.
We are aware that Zimbabwe cricket in 2019 was suspended from international cricket because of alleged interference by Government through the Sports and Recreational Commission. It was particularly on the appointment of the ZCC Board members. The result was, Zimbabwe was not allowed to participate in the ICC events and because of that, no funding from ICC was forthcoming until the SRC and our local ICC sat down and came up with a common position which resulted in the upliftment of the suspension by the ICC.
It appears that the situation regarding our soccer, particularly ZIFA is following the route that cricket went through. The suspension of ZIFA has long term effects on our soccer. Soccer is a livelihood for many young people. As I highlighted earlier on, soccer also builds moral character for our young people. Soccer’s value chain is quite diverse. We have the sale of soccer regalia, accommodation and other things that generate through soccer in terms of income. Our national and local soccer teams are now unable to attend any international and regional tournaments because of the suspension that was put on ZIFA. This can only be done after the suspension is lifted.
We are also losing much on FIFA funding for these FIFA programmes because of the suspension. It is therefore very important that the FIFA guidelines are followed so that soccer is brought back to its normalcy. Those that have been suspended; the Sports and Recreation Council and the current ZIFA Interim Board need to sit down and come up with a common position which can then be communicated to the soccer mother body, FIFA, so that the suspension is lifted. There is no way the situation can continue like this because we will continue losing out as a nation. Thank you.
(v) HON. MUCHIMWE: – [Part of speech not recorded due to technical challenges] – Zimbabwe team trying to join other teams around the world. I remember the time when Fabisch managed to get the team to reach Los Angeles but to my surprise, he was fired because he was defeated there. He should have been promoted so that those skills he used to reach that place could be improved. One thing I realised is that the national team is selected from people who are in rural and urban areas. Mr. Speaker Sir, there are so many young men who are quite talented in the rural areas but because there are no sponsors in the remote areas, their skills die down. A proper system must be seen visiting the country’s provinces, down to districts and schools, to choose footballers who should be trained in urban areas. I believe if this is done, it would build a strong team in Zimbabwe. This must not be done for football alone but other sporting activities, otherwise lack of support as well. I believe if such a system is adopted, it will build strong super teams in the country. I thank you.
(v)HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this topical debate. FIFA has got very stringent rules over how they view things. Whenever they view something as state interference, they just go to the extreme end and press the red button. I call upon FIFA not to go for the red button whenever there is a problem. There is a green button and also an amber button. They need to come and understand what is really happening on the ground. We thought that it was political interference with no basis then maybe we would have said FIFA were right. In this particular case however, I think FIFA has been overzealous and they now need to come in with a lenient hand and remove these limitations that they have put immediately. They should find out exactly what really transpired. At the moment there are about three or four countries whose soccer associations have been suspended. Zimbabwe and Kenya were suspended in February on the same day. Chad was suspended in 2021 and Russia is also under suspension. What this means is our soccer begins to go down because nobody looks at us as a country or at our players because the international platform has been removed. If it had been removed for other things, then well, but honestly for a sexual scandal? No - Mr. Speaker Sir, I think our Parliament should also join the race and write a sober letter to FIFA explaining exactly what happened and the steps taken by the SRC. So I am in support of the current ZIFA presidium, Acting Chief President who is Hon. Gift Banda. With those few words, I rest my case Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to bring to the attention of the House that the shocking thing is we waited until we were banned by FIFA. I find it shocking because the rot in football seems sorely from the administration. The administration has destroyed football to its knees. There is not a stadium here that would pass any international standard. We have administration which loots the coffers dry. I will give you an example, when I was with the City of Harare, the football team was doing quite well to the extent that they got into playing against a club in Madagascar. The delegation that went over there by the law could not be more than 45. City of Harare tried to take 54 people. They took more than 45, I assure you. They went via Johannesburg with a stopover but where is Harare football now. This is the shocking corruption that is happening in our sports facilities. So in our management, we have to sort out the corruption. It happened with cricket, people have mentioned the cricket and it is on its way up to the extent that next week they start the world cup. Two years ago, you would not have said that about our cricket team. As Zimbabweans, we are very proud and we often applaud our sportsmen that have left the country. Then when you ask the question why they left the country, we got golf players, rugby players, cricketers, swimmers, rowers and they all find their way into the Olympics but they do not live in Zimbabwe. Why have they left? If you look at what I call individual sports, they tend to do better because the administration is smaller and because it is smaller, it then tends to be corrupt. Football was looted to its knees. So, we have to get rid of the corruption.
The next issue I would like to bring up is that we also have to look at the Ministry of Sport, which from our knowledge of lower skills budget, the initial application was for $13 billion, mostly because of the mess of the infrastructure and the administration. The Vote passed was $3 billion and at the half way stage of the $3 billion not half of it had been delivered. So, how do we expect the Ministry to operate when they are not given the money? Why do we wait until someone drops an axe on us because it is very hard to pick up from there? We do not get responses.
Even our coverage on ZBC might as well be black and white in some cases. We have got to improve those standards and it all comes back to administration and management. The rugby team has struggled being a small following but the management is good and I would like the issue that Hon Mliswa brought up where the woman looks after the purse. Let us try and get more women involved in management so that this corruption is stopped. In Hatcliffe where there is no rugby field, a young lady has managed to have a rugby team. It is her way out of poverty and yet we are failing these young sportsmen. Not everyone is born with academic acumen. A lot of people have got a lot of talent and we drop the showcase.
My last very important point is we faced the avalanche of COVID, which has slowly gone away but we are still stuck in the COVID mentality. In my constituency, there are very few schools that have gone back to playing sport because of the economic crisis, COVID habit, salary of teachers and all very good reasons but sport is an integral part in bringing up children. I bet when it comes to the national budget, we consider sport, particularly football. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you for allowing me to add my weight to this very important motion. I will not repeat what other Hon. Members have said but Mr. Speaker Sir, from the outset, I wish to state my considered position that I am in support of the decision that the SRC took against the Mr. Kamambo led board at ZIFA.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am equally grateful to central Government for the support that they rendered to the SRC in their efforts at cleaning local football in particular. Mr. Speaker, I wish to state unreservedly that I am shocked to discover that there are some members of this House who are clearly trying to use this motion to smuggle back the beleaguered and disgraced Kamambo Board to ZIFA House. It is shocking, I must say. It is important to accept that we have taken the back step, gotten banned from international activities; but if it is what it takes to clean local football, then let it be Mr. Speaker Sir.
I wish to look at what transpired at ZIFA through a legal lens Mr. Speaker Sir. I realise the ZIFA itself has a constitution and of course, the fact that the interim board, in pursuit of the provisions of that constitution held at the beginning of the year, I think in April, an Emergency General Meeting. It was at that Emergency General Meeting that the mandate of the Kamambo led board was revoked. So, they acted in accordance to their constitution and so, it is too late for any member, a well meaning Member of this Parliament to try and bring ghosts back to ZIFA House. Their mandate is dead, it is gone and Hon. Members must accept that. It was revoked in accordance to the ZIFA Constitution.
This is where I stand in cleaning local football; let us not be discussing the return of the Kamambo led board. I agree with those members who said that our courts should speed up processing them so that we find them in prison where they belong. It is now fashionable in this country that people steal from institutions they are mandated to administer and they walk scot-free; they enjoy the fruits of the act of stealing. For ZIFA, because I come from a footballing constituency, we the people of Magwegwe, would like to see asset recovery in action where people who were caught with their hands in the cookie jar are punished accordingly. If they bought luxury vehicles, or the best of houses in the leafy suburbs of Harare, we wish to see those houses being forfeited to the people and the children of Zimbabwe.
With those few words Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to discourage those Members of Parliament who are moving that the Kamambo Board returns to ZIFA House through the back door. I am totally against that and am in support of the actions of the SRC. We take a back step to clean our football and one day we shall rise again. I thank you.
(v)HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Can you hear me Mr. Speaker Sir?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Loud and clear, please proceed.
(v)HON. HAMAUSWA: Can you hear me?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, you seem to be breaking but can you try now?
(v)HON. HAMAUSWA: Can you hear me Mr. Speaker Sir?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, I can hear you loud and clear. Please proceed.
(v)HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to also contribute and add my voice to the ongoing debate on the motion on our soccer. I want to thank the Committee on the findings and recommendations. I just have one issue that I want to emphasize on that it is really important that we promote grassroot soccer activities.
One of the important issues that I would want the Sports Commission to also look into is the development of grassroot soccer facilities in the constituencies. For example in my constituency in Warren Park, we have good space for sporting facilities but these sporting facilities have been lying idle and have dilapidated tractors. As a result, over 14 teams are actually struggling to have sporting facilities yet Mr. Speaker Sir, for us, proper development is important in promoting meaningful recreation in our communities; it is also important in creating income opportunities.
I want to emphasize on income opportunities that it is not just for the soccer players but where we are having 2000 people, we also find people who also come there to sell their goods during the sporting activities. There is a lot of social activities that will be happening. So this will create a chain of business opportunities for our communities. So Mr. Speaker Sir, we also use sporting facilities or sporting activities to deal with an immense problem of substance and drug abuse. If we have opportunities for our youths to play soccer, basketball, tennis and other sports, then they will have no time for drug abuse and Mutoriro. So we really need to rethink strategies of promoting grassroot soccer development.
I end my contribution Mr. Speaker Sir by also imploring the Committee to also liaise with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and local councils to make sure that all sporting facilities in Zimbabwe are recorded and protected. We need a database of sporting facilities. In my constituency Mr. Speaker, at a shopping centre called Chidehwe, in Warren Park D, we have lost a soccer pitch which was turned into private property. This is something that should not happen Mr. Speaker Sir. All sporting facilities have to be protected; there must be a database for all our sporting facilities. No one should be found encroaching into those sporting facilities but they should be protected. They provide opportunities for entertainment for the elderly people. We have elderly people and if you come to my constituency during the weekends, you see those in their 70s, 80s, coming to watch soccer. However, if the sporting facilities are being scrolled out to private people, it will not be helpful to our communities.
I end my contribution with this clarion call to make sure that all our sporting facilities are protected and preserved. I thank you.
HON. MAVETERA: Thank you very much for allowing me to also debate on this very important issue. I thought I should also add my voice concerning this issue. I would not say we are quite happy with the decision which was made especially as the women that also practice football here in Zimbabwe.
I think there was some time that we had to come into this House and debate about how women are treated when it comes to football. I understand very well that a lot of times we have seen men going for football even the Warriors, whenever they go to camp, you realise that they are capacitated but when it comes to the females, you realise that there is quite a challenge there. There is a great discrepancy when it comes to the treatment of women soccer players.
You will realise that there was an outcry at one point in time when we realised that the women were sleeping at schools yet when it comes to the men when they are in camp, they are even going to the hotels and they are given very high per diems.
So, if ever we need to be very serious about the state of football here in Zimbabwe, we need to make sure that we treat the females and the males equally. It is not fair for us as a country to be given preferential treatment because they are men. I believe that it is quite important for us to also treat the females the same way that we treat the males. I think when you look at this issue, we realise that when the females go outside, they do quite extensibly very well but when it comes to the men, they do not perform very well yet they are given all this capacity. So, I thought I should also add my voice when it comes to this.
Indeed, the decision was quite a very difficult decision for us but we are happy that even with the Hon. K. Coventry, there was a time that she came to the Portfolio Committee and then she said she wanted us to establish what are called sports champions. We created that group and we were informing each other about what needs to be done. I think I need to thank the Hon. Minister for such a proactive approach whereby she also realised that it was quite important for us as Parliamentarians to also be involved when it comes to the state of football.
When we had the research that we did in the Portfolio Committee, to be honest, a lot of people were not happy and they were not quite happy with this decision which was made but we are happy that at least now Government has intervened. Great strides are going to be made when it comes to football. Indeed, like I said and as I conclude, there is great need for us to treat the women quite well. They are the Mighty Warriors and they also deserve what any other footballer needs.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this motion. I want to start this discussion by saying that I do not support anyone in ZIFA, whether it is the Kamambo board or the Gift Banda led board, but what I do support is soccer because in my constituency Dzivarasekwa, we have quite a number of aspiring young people who want to play soccer at a professional level. Whenever there is a crisis, it does not matter where - in this case when there is a crisis in the administration of soccer in a country, the promotion or sorting the mess should never - [technical glitch]- in other words, I am saying the cure to a problem should not be bigger than the problem itself.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I understand and I know that there are several allegations that have been leveled against the SRC. We have been told there are allegations of corruption, we have been told that there are allegation of sexual abuse and other – [technical glitch]- and my point is to say if indeed…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, there are a lot of interferences on your gadget. I do not know where you are, is it the best place that you can talk from? Can you not shift a bit? You are not very loud and clear this side.
HON. MUSHORIWA: I was saying that the sporting problem should not be worse than the problem that we intend to cure. I was arguing to say that we were expecting by now to see the course of law taking action. If there is anyone who is accused of corruption and us being taken as those people that could have benefited from corrupt activities, if there are people that abused our young people who are in soccer, we should have expected criminal cases to have been charged so that other people would be in jail right now.
For the sake of football in this country and other sporting disciplines, I find it hard to understand; we have been told and we now have got a challenge in the sense that – [Technical glitch] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: We are having problems hearing you Hon. Mushoriwa. We cannot hear you, you are no longer clear Hon. Mushoriwa.
*HON. CHIDZIVA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to add my views on the report by the Portfolio Committee on Youth. Firstly, on the issue of sports in general or football, those people who are involved in playing football will be the youths, but when the board is being set up, there are no youths elected into that board. Instead, you find that there are elderly people. That is why you see that the Secretary General who was suspended was accused of not wanting to give the young people or the youth an opportunity to go and play sports but instead he wanted to give the opportunity to the elderly where they would fake their ages to go and play the games. This happened because there are no youths who are in the board. It is very important to have youth in the board so that they can select the youth who are going to represent them and play the games.
The second issue is the issue which has been mentioned by Hon. Mavetera, the issue of the abuse of women. If you see that there is an allegation of abuse of power, you are supposed to resign the following day, you must resign there and then. If there are allegations of corruption or abuse of women, even if people suspect that you have abused someone without evidence, you must resign. You must resign so that you protect the dignity of the country.
The very big issue which must be looked into is the issue of appointments. There must be a congress that must be held by ZIFA which is accepted by FIFA. We must not retain those who were holding the posts previously. This issue is not about politics but we must take into consideration the feelings of the whole nation since this issue of sporting is the issue of the whole nation. We must not look into relations which we have with different people, but we must be focusing on the development of sports so that people can have recreational activities so that we avert the issue of drug and substance abuse.
If sporting activities are resumed, many youth are going to be focusing on sporting and they develop the country. Right now there are no sport academies which used to be there that promoted sports. If the youths are encouraged to take part in sporting activities, they are going to be concentrating on sports instead of taking drugs. Let us resolve this issue so that the sporting academies are established and those who are able to play soccer or other sporting activities in other countries can be given the opportunity to do so.
I do not have much to say, but I am recommending this issue to be resolved immediately. I thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MOKONE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 12th October, 2022.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 29 to 33 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 34 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.
HON. RAIDZA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. LEONARD CHIKOMBA
Thirty Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the death of Hon. Leonard Chikomba.
Question again proposed.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon. Speaker, I want to thank the mover of the motion but also I want to thank most of the Hon. Members who debated and Hon. Members who attended the funeral across the political divide.
With Hon. Chikomba, we shared the same totem. Taiyera makudo tese, taiyera tsoko tese. I knew him from over 20 years ago when he was a bus driver driving from Harare going down there when I was doing business out there of buying and selling goats. When I met Chikomba, he was an ordinary person including many people like my brother here Hon. Zhou. He has a little bit of blood from the Soko. You know, he was a strong man, fit, clear. He knew what he wanted. Hon. Chikomba got into politics by default. He moved to Chitekete. There was nothing. He built that centre and there was no electricity but he had a big generator which he used to share electricity with everybody at Chitekete. He built a good house. He is originally from Mwenezi, Mwenezi means mwene weZimbabwe, the owners of Zimbabwe, varidzi veZimbabwe, mwene weZimbabwe, that is known as Mwenezi. That is where we also originated from and migrated from 1500 until we ended up here in Chishawasha. The good thing about Hon. Chikomba is that he had time for everybody and he understood what is known as rural development. He knew that the biggest enemy of the people in the rural areas was poverty, because poverty removes responsibility from a person and gives that responsibility to a wild animal.
So Hon. Chikomba made sure that he encouraged those people to produce cotton. Most of the houses there were all built from funds raised from growing cotton. Everybody used to call him Bhudhi. Hon. Chikomba valued the public. When he was a bus driver, everybody appreciated him because he always greeted people. He was always clapping hands saying handeyi vanaBaba nanaAmai and those are the drivers who never drank whilst they were driving. If he is driving he was always drinking water and at one time he told me that his bus was written 80 km/hr and there is no point for me to exceed that speed.
He was a polished driver and he knew what he wanted. When he moved into politics, he moved into politics without back-biting, the type of politics we now have. He never spoke about tribalism. He would say Mukanya, this world is made of hard working people. We must work hard and he would say those who steal money book seven hotels and do not sleep in any of the hotels but they sleep in the car because they are always scared of the police. So, Hon. Chikomba had money which he earned from his farming and transport businesses. When he came back the second time, he joined the Committee on Mines and Energy and that is where I worked with him. He contributed a lot and he knew that it is important that the mining industry first and foremost, must benefit the affected community.
He was very good and well vested in the current Mines and Minerals Act which protects the people in the villages and he supported that. He was hoping that during his term of office he would see the new Mines and Minerals Bill come through the august House. Many people who came for the funeral saw what Hon. Chikomba was made of. There was a huge crowd and it was a heroic send off. He was a hero par-excellence and you could see that at his funeral, it was as if it was a king or someone who had died. Everybody who came there and I was talking to some Hon. Members from the opposition, some drove all the way from Mutare. They left Mutare around 2.00 a.m. so that they would be in Gokwe/Kabuyuni in the morning.
I left Harare at 6.00 a.m. and I was driving at a high speed and I was in Gokwe/Kabuyuni and in other instances I was driving at 200 km/hr. I can tell you that as I was driving I was driven by the spirit of giving a heroic send off to a man, a hero par-excellence. I want to thank His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa for according the provincial hero status to Bhudhi Chikomba. Everybody was there and that shows when you work for the people, you will be rewarded. He was rewarded and my wish was if they can hold a memorial service, all the Hon. Members should go there and say thank you to the people of Chitekete, thank you to the Chikomba family and thank us the Mukanyas because we are part of the royal blood of Zimbabwe. When you have one of you doing good work, you feel proud and you want to be associated with such a person.
I also want to thank Parliament of Zimbabwe, our Hon. Speaker, Advocate Mudenda for allowing Parliament staff to attend the funeral. All the people who attended there, we saw that there was great love, emotions and everything. All the relatives were all there and some stayed one week after the funeral and that shows the importance of this man. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to conclude by saying Bhudhi Chikomba, Gamba remagamba, Mukanya, Mwana waPfumojena, waDerere Godzonga, Nzvere naChinamaringa Mhembere, famba zvakanaka mwana wevhu. Wakarwa kurwa kwakakosha, nanhasi ticharamba tichikuyeuka. Patinoita memorial service tichazoda kuti tiunzewo mari inonzi Chikomba Fund ichazenge ichibatsira nherera kuti dziende kuchikoro, kunyanyisa vanasikana kuti vasazonge vari vanorasika. Tatenda.
*HON. MAVETERA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for awarding me this opportunity to pay my condolences following the death of Hon. Chikomba. We lost one of us. I want to thank all those who managed to travel to Gokwe for the burial of Hon. Chikomba. Many people attended the burial. There is a saying that if someone is dead and he is good and clean, we see his commitment and his working together with people. The number of people who came for his burial showed that he was a loving person, dedicated and even the staff, Hon. Members and the management of Parliament managed to attend the funeral.
I had a personal encounter with Hon. Chikomba. I met him in Parliament. He had an allegation against him that he took money from Goddard. There was a panel of inquiry which was set so that they can look into the issue. The issue was broadcasted in the media. There was Hon. T. Mliswa and Hon. Sibanda among others. We also managed to look into the issue as the panelist who were given the opportunity to look into the issue, but the issue turned out that people were lying and the media was lying. It is very bad to tarnish people. As Parliament we have come up with a law which manages the media and the law must be implemented. Mr. Speaker Sir, social media is not good. Right now, as a country, we are preparing for the elections and many lies are going to be circulated on the social media platforms. People tend to use social media to tarnish the image of someone because they know that in politics, it is the only weapon they can use to destroy someone.
Recently, I was talking to Hon. T. Moyo when he was written in the media. The story does not exist at all because people tend to use media to destroy someone. This is the issue I want to talk about Hon. Chikomba. As parliamentarians, we are fighting a lot of things because a lot of stories are being raised or written in the media and most of the things, we did not do them because people do have an agenda. Hon. T. Moyo’s image was extremely tarnished but he won resoundingly at the recent elections. People tend to write or spread lies about other people because they know who people prefer the most. Mr Speaker Sir, can we have laws which protect people from such behaviours. Yes, the laws are there but can they be implemented so that people are protected? If someone spreads lies or talks something bad about someone on social media platforms, they must face the full wrath of the law. I am raising these issues because these are some of the issues which were faced by the late Hon Chikomba.
Hon. Chikomba had a nickname called Chinyerere. I heard this name when we went for his burial. Hon. Chikomba was a humble, jovial, respectful individual. He used to wear big baggy trousers that was his trade mark. An individual is known for his or her trade mark. For example, Hon. Mukaratigwa dresses like an Indian. We worked with Hon. Chikomba for a long time and he was a team player who worked very well with other people.
Many people went to his burial. The number of people who attended his burial showed that he was a peace loving person. I encourage everyone to emulate the good deeds which were done by the late Hon. Chikomba. Let us do away with jealous, gossip and hatred because it does not help us. There are people who just hate you without doing anything bad to them. For example, someone can decide to hate Hon. Mokone because of her long hair like a white person’s. Leave her alone, each and every person has his or her own trade mark. It is very important to love each other and accept that we are different. Hon Chikomba taught us love. The new Member of Parliament for Gokwe-Kabuyuni is among us; I encourage the Hon. Member to continue with the work and the good deeds which were done by the late Hon Member. Continue to love and guide the people of Gokwe-Kabuyuni.
We say may his dear soul rest in peace. I am not good at reciting totems like what Hon. Mudarikwa has done. May his dear soul rest in peace. Thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for granting me the opportunity to contribute to this motion. At the outset, allow me to thank Hon. Ngwenya and Hon. Moyo for this valedictory motion on the passing on of the gallant Hon. Leonard Chikomba, lovingly known as bhudhi in this House, at his church, in his constituency, in the transport and numerous other business entities where he was involved with immense success.
Unfortunately, a number of us that were engaged in the budget consultative process far away from Kabuyuni could not make it for his burial. We discussed it and we felt that Hon. Chikomba, being Hon. Chikomba, would have loved us to carry on with duty. We felt duty bound to honour the consultative process in his name. I had an occasion to phone and speak to his son; it was really a very difficult telephone conversation. Allow me to express my heartfelt condolences to his widow. It is so difficult to refer to her as such and to the son and his entire extended family, without forgetting that the loss also lies with our nation as well as the ruling party ZANU PF. To that extent, I express my heartfelt condolences to His Excellency and the entire ruling party.
I wish to express my appreciation for Hon. Chikomba’s services to this nation and let me add that if the ruling party had not moved this motion, we in the opposition were ready to do that. It is unAfrican to compare the passing on of brothers but God help me in saying that the passing on of Hon. Chikomba was unexpected and even today there are times I sit there and expect to see him walk up to his usual place. His death was as painful and as deeply felt across the aisle as that of the late Hon O. Mguni, the late Ambassador Amos Midzi, a fantastic patriot and passing on of our very young, the late Hon Kennedy Dinar. You would remember the young and affable fellow that sat across to your left Mr. Speaker Sir. May their souls rest in peace? I know there is this wafawanaka syndrome, where in the spirit of ubuntu, we speak well of the departed but ‘bhudhi’ made it easy for us to love him because he loved us from the bottom of his heart. Despite his status as an accomplished businessman, he had time for all of us, entirely, all of us - he gave of his time to chat with us. He saw all colleagues and equals in all of us. I have also listened to members of staff who serve this our Parliament, talking about him, with a lot of affection. You cannot doubt, he treated them as equals as well.
Mr. Speaker Sir, there shall come a time because I am learned, when I will write my memoirs; when I will write in detail my historical account of my short stay in Parliament. I will write about an Hon. Member that would not take pictures with Members of the Opposition because in his mind, even if he claims to be a church elder, associating with us from the Opposition is an abomination. This was not Leonard Chikomba. He loved all of us. He had no fear of associating with progressive and patriotic political views from the Opposition.
Allow me to narrate briefly, how I became friends or a sawhira with this gentleman called ‘bhudhi’. We had been sent by the Committee on Media to view base stations and we went to Pumpkin hotel. After a long day’s work of going up the mountains to view base stations, we went our different ways and I am sure everyone felt like cold drinks of an adult nature. So, around midnight, we all went back to the hotel. I met Hon. Chikomba somewhere along the corridor and I realised he was struggling a little. I also noticed that in one of his pockets, he had like a wad of 100 USD bills. It was a lot of money and expectedly, Chikomba was a successful business person. So, what I did was I took him to his room, locked the door from outside and said to him, I will push the key underneath the door because in your current state, I do not believe you will even lock the door.
The next morning, he remembered vividly what I had done. From there we became bosom friends; myself, from the opposition, Chikomba from the ruling party. I will be remiss if I give the impression that hardliners like the one that I mentioned from the ruling party do not exist on our side. They do, regrettably but one wishes such positions could only be replaced by shared ideas; contested ideas because at the first level, we are Zimbabweans. I am happy to stand here and acknowledge that speaker after speaker that addressed themselves to this motion attested to the fact that ‘bhudhi’ was never a divisive figure. He was tolerant, in his political surge. By this I must be very clear, ‘bhudhi’ was patriotic. He loved the ruling party and he loved His Excellency the President of this country. His last video that we were sent when we were out there on duty, we saw him talking to his love of the country; his constituents, his political party as well. I must be clear because some may then send wrong messages that he also delved in the politics of the opposition. He just loved his political party but also appreciated the fact that you can be a diehard Member of the ruling party and still be accommodative of those of a different political view.
I believe there is absolutely no reason why we should debate about the departed if our express intention is not to learn from their good deeds and if our express intention is not reminiscing about the good times we spent with them. I have taken to the floor to do exactly that. I want to share a few lessons that I drew from the late Hon. Chikomba. I will not repeat ad nauseam everything that the others have said but there are three striking things that I wish to put on record. His humility was unparalleled, he was humane, compassionate, he was humble. Those three character traits are so difficult, especially to politicians. Hon. Chikomba was also much to the surprise of many, very prayerful and God-fearing.
You remember the mess – thank you Honourable for reminding me of the Goddard issue. Hon. Chikomba was deeply worried about that. It was a story that was created from nowhere, where Goddard and team said since this young man hired your trailers and this fact had been admitted before a Parliamentary Committee, how much did he owe you? Hon. Chikomba said I was owed US$2 700. Then this White gentleman, Mr. Goddard said, now that we are no longer using the USD, how much do you think is equivalent to the USD that you are owed by this young man so that we organise and you are paid. Hon. Chikomba said, I think the equivalent is $500 000. We were all shocked to read in the newspapers that four Members of Parliament were trying to extort money from Mr. Goddard. Come to think of it Mr. Speaker Sir, the account that Hon. Chikomba was asked to leave with Mr. Goddard so that his accounts could process his payment was a Zimdollar account. So, where is the compatibility? How could they then deposit US$500 000 in that account, for what? In the process, when they realised that their story could not stick, they tried to separate us along political party lines. I was asked to visit some office before coming before the Privileges Committee to accept a brown envelope, and I said hell no. I said there is no way I will take money. I could use the money but not dirty money. This is how it ended. Unfortunately, everyone in the country is quick to believe the lies that are told by a white man. He told absolute lies in order to attract Government business. Towards the end of that story, he was now saying Hon. Mliswa and Hon. Ndebele were out, implying that Hon. Chikomba and Hon. P.D. Sibanda were dirty. I said there is no way I can take dirty money in order to tell lies. I totally refused Mr. Speaker Sir.
It has been a tumultuous second term for me. Apart from the Goddard case, I was then said to have raped someone and yet the material tore in my defence. I was outside the country. My diplomatic passport says so. Ko ukanyengwa nafarm manager wangu because he drives a Mazda B16 okunyepera kuti ndini Honourable wacho, without verification then you go and report to the newspapers kuti ndabatwa chibharo na Hon. Ndebele, ndizvo here Hon. Speaker?
Hon. Chikomba was one of the very few people from this House that were first to phone me and say what is going on, take heart, stand your ground, clean yourself up. This is the nature of the person that we are saying farewell to - very few people. It was still a united opposition. The leaders of my party then decided to play God when people prejudge you before they get to associate with facts,lawyers of repute for that matter. I am grateful to Hon. Chikomba for he stood with me. I recognise other people, the young affable mayor, Jacob Mafume, Zwizwai Murisi, Advocate Phulu and Ambassador Matemadanda. All those fit in that league of gentle people who interface with facts before anything else.
Mr. Speaker Sir, there are political vultures as Hon. Mavetera indicated. This family that was running with the false narrative that I had done something against their daughter was getting funding from my predecessor’s son who is a doctor in America. The guy had the audacity to send me a WhatsApp message to say if you step down I will ask them to drop the case. I said I am a lawyer, let me face the music. I would really like to thank Hon. Chikomba for his association with the Kabuyuni Constituency. I am happy the people also chose a good associate of his to carry on with the business of representing them. As I round off Mr. Speaker Sir, I know they worked together.
Also, let me thank Hon. Chikomba for raising a single son who is a responsible citizen. A few months ago, we bumped into him before his father passed on in Dubai. He dropped everything that he was doing to show us around as Hon. Members of a Committee that was visiting Dubai. May Bhudi’s soul rest in eternal peace. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MKARATIGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to reflect on a humble man. Hon. Chikomba was indeed a likeable man. Yes, he hailed from Mwenezi but I got to know him as someone who hails from the Midlands and the remotest part of Midlands which is Gokwe North. He was a humble, responsible and unifying man who actually managed to serve the people of Gokwe-Kabuyuni Constituency so well. Gokwe-Kabuyuni Constituency has got a number of citizens from different origins. You will find Shona, Ndebele, et cetera. They speak various languages. The late Hon. Chikomba managed to bring all of them together. He wanted to work with the traditional leadership from that constituency so well. He managed to lead by example. We all loved and cherished Hon. Chikomba. In fact, he is our hero.
I would like to thank His Excellency, the President of this republic, Cde. Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa for hearing our call and conferring Hon. Chikomba a liberation war hero. Indeed, he was buried with honour and with a gun salute. Those we love Hon. Speaker Ma’am, are never really lost to us and so is Hon. Chikomba. We feel them in so many ways. When he was alive, Hon. Chikomba used to interact with a lot of us. He was a member of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development. We respected him and he respected us. We interacted with him so well with passion. He interacted with us with compassion and he always provided wisdom, kind and unifying words whenever we would probably not agree on certain issues. He was a unifier. He always led by example within the committee. He would not pick a fight, he would not quarrel and he would not make noise. He was humble, quiet and focused on harmony on ensuring there is harmony and committee business would go on so well.
I knew Hon. Chikomba interacting so well with the now incumbent Hon. Spencer Tshuma. In other words, he was someone capable of actually nurturing, training and ensuring that he works well with others. Perhaps it was an indication that he gave us while he was living that he interacted so well with Hon. Spencer Tshuma and today he is an MP. He is responsible for the same constituency that Hon. Chikomba so loved and took stewardship of. I hope and pray that God will guide Hon. Tshuma as he takes on the responsibility that Hon. Chikomba used to tackle so well; through friends they always cared about and dreams they left behind and beauty that they added to our days. People like Hon. Chikomba will always be remembered through the offsprings that they brought to this earth. When I attended the funeral of Hon. Chikomba, that is when I got to see his family for the first time. I knew about his family through the interactions that I had with him; indeed he left a well groomed and happy family; a family that he had actually prepared to sustain itself. Indeed, he left a duplicate in his son; he looks very much like him. When you see him walking, if you are not very close to him, you would think it is Hon. Chikomba.
He used to talk much about his son and his grandson. He always said my wealth will not go to my son but to my grandson. He named his grandson Leonard after him. We were also reminded during his funeral that he left everything including the house to his grandson; which means he was preparing for a well guaranteed, comfortable future for his grandson. He prepared well for his family and he left a legacy for them. He used to talk about having taught his son to do business, having liberated him. By the way, Hon. Chikomba was a businessman par excellence. He founded a transport business, a chain of supermarket businesses, he was into agriculture and he ran the businesses very well. He managed to actually ensure that his son, while he lived, was also able to run the transport business on his own as if it was his own business, to ensure that his legacy lives on; something that we cherish indeed Madam Speaker.
I am actually dismayed by the way Hon. Chikomba died. He died whilst on duty, he was coming from Gweru and was almost getting to Chitekete where he resides; maybe less than 20 km away from his homestead where he met his fate. He was driving himself; he was an Hon. Member of Parliament driving himself without an aide. I call upon this Parliament to closely look at the welfare of Hon. Members and just like Hon. Chikomba was able to leave a legacy for his family, I call upon Parliament to examine this area and ensure that they capacitate and ensure that Hon. Members are able to be taken care of while they live. They should have drivers and aides so that they will never tire in the course of their duty. They should have adequate pension and other emoluments while they live so that they are able to actually carry out their duties comfortably without worrying about anything and ensure that they live long. I pray that Parliament will review this area and consider it positively in light of the way that Hon. Member of Parliament, the late Hon. Chikomba died. May his soul rest in peace; I rest my case Hon. Speaker Sir.
(v)HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on part of Hon. Chikomba’s life. Physically and geographically, he was my neighbour – [Network failure] -... who are the people who I even represent today in the august House, the great VaTonga people. He was a gentleman who was well regarded within the community and he was a respectable man – [Network failure] - He was a man who was regarded as a person that people would look up to. I worked with Hon. Chikomba as a Member of Parliament and I interacted with him on a number of activities in Parliament and as an Hon. Member. His desire was to be as much as possible, a person who represented the interests of other people rather than being prominent in his life. He was a dedicated man. His death was one that nobody would wish to go through in their lives. I happened to have an opportunity to really go to the scene of accident where Hon. Chikomba lost his life.
Hon. Speaker, the story is a story that was undesirable in the century that we are living in. We cannot speculate and say what exactly caused the accident but it is common cause that the nature of the road at the scene where Hon. Chikomba lost his life is one – [network failure] – I know that all the citizens expect Members of Parliament to be taking part in maintaining the roads but we find ourselves to be victims of the same roads too. The late Hon. Member was on duty; he was coming from a public activity. He was not coming from a personal activity... [network failure] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Hon. P. D. Sibanda, we have lost you.
(v)HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I submit that...
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You are breaking Hon. Member. So your debate is being interrupted. I think we have lost you now.
(v)HON. P. D. SIBANDA: [Part of speech not recorded due to network failure.]
*HON. S. TSHUMA: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me the opportunity to debate on the motion about Hon. Chikomba. This is a very disturbing incident that happened to one of our fellow legislators. He perished in a road accident on his way from work. He was like a father to me. I knew a lot about his life and the way we were living at home. He was a nice and humble person to everyone but I did not know much about how he worked and lived with other fellow MPs. We were shocked and surprised when we saw a lot of MPs who came to his funeral including the opposition MPs. That is when I saw that he was not only humble person to his family but to everyone. He was not someone who was selective or who could segregate people. I never thought that one day I would be an MP. He would pass through Kadoma every time on his way to Parliament and when coming back from Parliament, checking on me. He molded me into the person that I am today. It is sad that he left us while he was still grooming me. I never thought such testimonies about him could come from the Opposition MPs like Hon. Ndebele.
I would like to thank all the MPs for the love and good work relations they had with my father, Hon. Chikomba. He was a hard worker. One thing that people should learn from Hon. Chikomba is that he was someone who knew the importance of his wife. He would tell me that all the management of businesses is under your mother. I have trained her. Let me say Madam Speaker, if we are to go to his business, there is no difference in the way it was run during his husband’s time. This is because he has trained his wife good business management. I was with her yesterday and she promised that she will never stop farming because of the passing on of her husband. She is someone who respects her husband even though he is no more.
This is a lesson to us men who are still alive to train our wives how to manage businesses. We should not look down upon them because they are also able. If possible, those who could may go and see how she is managing the businesses. There are even improvements. Hon. Chikomba did not become what he was because of politics or when he became an MP. He always told me that he started from humble beginnings. He would sleep when all passengers were off the bus because he was a bus driver. He told me that he would tell his son that he wishes if he was a learned person but the son, Eddy, would respond that, if you were a learned person, we might not be what we are today.
It is painful that Hon. Chikomba is no longer with us but I am encouraged by your testimonies that he was a humble person. It is my prayer that I be able to take up and continue from where he left with the humbleness that he had to everyone.
It is my prayer that the good things that have been said about Hon. Chikomba will console the family. It will allow them to know that Hon. Chikomba was good to everyone in the whole country. It is with a heavy heart that I say this. I cannot continue pertaining to the good things that were done by Hon. Chikomba. He passed on, on Saturday. He had called and spoken to me for about six minutes on Thursday night. He told me everything and most of those things were important, especially those to do with the constituency.
He always addressed me as his son, asking me to come and assist him back in the rural areas. There are a lot of things that we used to do together. This thing really touched me upon hearing about the passing on of Hon. Chikomba. Death has no timetable. If only it was known when one would depart, he was going to give me his last words. Unfortunately, this is what death does and separates us. It is my prayer that God strengthens us. I cannot fit in his shoes. My prayer is that God leads us. I will try my best for the constituency. Thank you.
(v) HON. NGWENYA: I would like to thank all Hon. Members who debated on this motion and therefore move for its adoption and production of a booklet or compendium of all the pages by Hon. Members to be handed over to the bereaved family of Hon. Chikomba;
Motion that this House:
EXPRESSES its profound sorrow on the passing on of the late Member of Parliament for Gokwe-Kabuyuni, Hon Leonard Chikomba, on Saturday, 28 May, 2022;
PLACES on record its appreciation for the services which the late Hon. Member rendered to Parliament and the nation at large;
RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the Chikomba family, relatives and the entire Nation for the loss of the Hon. Member, put and agreed.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that all Orders of the Day be stood over until Order Number 33 is disposed of.
HON. MOKONE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE 51ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HOSTED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF MALAWI
Thirty-third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report on the 51st Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum hosted by the Parliament of Malawi in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Question again proposed.
HON. MPARIWA: Let me begin by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to actually acknowledge the debate that took place in terms of this particular motion. You may recall that when I tabled this motion, I highlighted a number of successes about Zimbabwe and how united the delegation was. The performance of the delegation, we have become a unique group of delegation when it comes to the SADC PF, a dynamic group which participates in every debate and I want also to pay tribute to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Mudenda who has been outspoken in terms of wanting the SADC PF to be turned into a legislative assembly.
As such, he has been delegated with the power to move around the SADC countries to persuade Government to adopt the motion that the SADC PF becomes a legislative assembly. The way he articulates issues at the SADC PF, you would think he is the President of the SADC PF. We are a proud delegation when we go to SADC because of the ability and access to the Speaker when it comes to wisdom and consultation.
I want to also pay tribute to even the secretariat that goes with us to the sessions of the SADC PF that they have become part of a culture where when we need help it is just at the click of a button. I would wish all the delegations that go out there on behalf of Zimbabwe are as united as the SADC PF group. I want to thank Parliament for making it possible for us to meet the deadlines of SADC PF and those who produced the report that we tabled in this Assembly. With that Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for the opportunity and all the members who listened to my debate during the presentation. I now move that this the report be adopted.
Motion that this House takes note of the Report on the 51st Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum hosted by the Parliament of Malawi in Lilongwe, Malawi, put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI, seconded by HON. MOKONE, the House adjourned at Twenty-Six Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.