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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 SEPTEMBER 2021 VOL 47 NO 84

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 14th September, 2021

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House of the following changes in Committee membership which has been necessitated by the need to fill up vacancies in some Committees occasioned by recalls and deaths:-

  1. Lindani Moyo, Hon. Base Miranzi and Hon. January Sawuke will serve in the Portfolio Committee on Media and

Broadcasting Services.

  1. Rueben Chikudo, Hon. Lwazi Sibanda, Hon. Phelela Masuku will serve in the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology Development.
  2. Virginia Mafuta and Hon. Jasmine Toffa will serve in the Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development.
  3. Shakespear Hamauswa will serve in the Portfolio Committee on Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.
  4. Judith Chimwaza and Hon. Sibonile Nyamudeza will serve in the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International

Trade.

  1. Cathrine Gozho will move from the Portfolio

Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development to the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development.

  1. Lindiwe Maphosa will move from the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade to the Portfolio

Committee on Health and Child Care.

  1. Spiwe Muchenje will move from the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade to the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.
  2. Dube to move from the Portfolio Committee on Media and the Broadcasting Services to the Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development.

INVITATION TO A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE THE HON. SPEAKER: There will be a Roman Catholic

Church Service tomorrow- Wednesday, 15th September, 2021 at

1230hrs in the Senate Chamber.  All Catholic and non-Catholic Members are invited to attend.

HON. MADHUKU: On a point of national interest and priviledge.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My issue of national interest arises from the issues being raised as schools have opened.  Of late, the print media has been awash with an issue of Israel Dube from Zaka District who wanted to transfer from Machiva to Panganai.  He spent 6 days sleeping outside when he could not get the original offer of transfer which had been granted because somebody had been recruited and posted from head office in Harare.  This is alleged corruption of head office staff which recruits mostly their relatives and shortchanging other needy employees.           Mr. Speaker Sir, we have problems where specific interests of teachers teaching specific subject areas in certain districts and regions are being disregarded because recruited members from head office just arrive in schools without the requisite or the required teaching areas.

Earlier on, I think a few weeks ago, we raised an issue and requested the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to devolve powers as is required in Section 264 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which calls upon Government to devolve power and responsibilities to promote democracy, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability.

It is pleasing to note that other Government departments like the Army, Police, Prisons and Health have devolved the recruitment of staff. It is baffling and surprising to see that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is not doing the same and complying with the requirements of Section 264 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

We are concerned that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education continues to cling on to this important responsibility of recruitment of teachers in disregard of the specific requirements of citizens in specific areas. It is my request that the Ministry looks into this issue and complies with Section 264 of the Constitution of

Zimbabwe like other Government departments. I thank you – [HON.

MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon Madhuku, you raised a very

substantial issue that requires some response, either from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare or in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. Perhaps you can pursue that matter tomorrow during Question Time.

HON. MARKHAM: I rise on a point of national interest. The interest I have is that over the past year, as we know fuel coupons have been traded and used to purchase fuel. There were two types; one is the direct fuel import (FDI) which is now dominant and the only one you can get. However, prior to that, there were coupons that were bought in bulk by numerous members of the public and they still cannot remit and get their 20 litres of fuel per coupon on this. They have now resorted and it has been going on for a long time, where they would get half of what they paid for. Is the Minister aware of this practice? Is the Minister sanctioning this practice? I would be grateful if the Minister could be called to explain the practice, the issue being that there is a huge amount of what I call local coupons out there and people cannot get fuel. They have paid for this fuel over a year ago but now they are getting half. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. I again suggest

that your issue you raised is very critical. Why do you not ask the question tomorrow and if the Hon. Minister does not give a satisfactory response, then you can ask for a Ministerial Statement so that the matter is debated fully.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I stand on a matter of

privilege Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me thank you very much for allowing me to stand in this House most likely and definitely for the last time. I thought I could just say a few words before I leave this home that I have called home for the past 21 years. It would have been unfair if I had just disappeared.

I found it very interesting when I went into the Constitution to look for what happens in circumstances where a Member of Parliament has not lost their seat, where a Member of Parliament has not necessarily been recalled or has not died. Our Constitution does provide for it in 129 (g), but what we have not provided for in this

House probably because we have always made an assumption that Members of Parliament will only leave under those three circumstances is that our Standing Rules and Orders provide for a maiden speech but it does not provide for a farewell speech. In circumstances where Members of Parliament have decided to voluntarily leave, we should provide for such in our Standing Rules and Orders.

Having said that, I do not want to take much of your time because it has been a privilege and it is not supposed to be a debate. I just thought that there were a few things that I needed to bring to the House. I came to this House in my late twenties and this House has revolved in an amazing way. I remember coming into this House as only seven female Members of the Opposition; some of them I am glad are here, Hon. Dr Khupe, Hon. Mpariwa, others have now left the House. At the time that we came, relationships were still very difficult in the House. I remember at that time beginning to found what you now call the Women’s Caucus and agreeing within that

Women’s Caucus that in spite of our political differences, we would still work together as women that will be representing the House. I will take that memory with me because at that time it was unheard of for an opposition and those that were in the ruling party to be working together.

There are a lot of things that we worked and delivered as a Women’s Caucus; one notable one being the Sexual Offences Act but most importantly, the one on marital rape which we worked with Hon. Chinamasa. We knew that our male colleagues were unlikely to agree to it and decided that we were going to buy them drinks in the bar which has been barred but managed to pass that particular provision in the House. I want to celebrate the women during that time that pushed it. It is now part of our statute.

I am not only saying this because you are on the Chair. The time that you have come in and have become the Speaker, has fundamentally changed the way business is done in the House. Most importantly, allowing some of us to come and raise issues that normally would not have been accepted in this very House. I want to celebrate you and thank you because we found a partner. I personally found a partner on the feminist issues that I strongly believed in. I remember the most important one was when you allowed me to come into this House holding a baby. Yes, I did not stay throughout but you used that as an opportunity to speak to the issues that I think are critical and important. Today, even as we speak in this old Parliament, we now have a room in which mothers who breastfeed can go and breastfeed. I am just disappointed that the women that are in this House have decided that they do not want to use a lot of that and do not want to have babies but indeed, the room is now available.    Mr. Speaker, one of the things I have held very close to my heart in my 21 years have been issues around gender equality.  I know that most of the time when we speak about them, we speak as if there are no males that have supported women and empowered them.  I have examples of men that have supported me and have seen some potential in me, have empowered me and have held my hand.  The first one when I came into this House, like I said before, was Dr.

Morgan Tsvangirai; may his soul rest in peace.

I am one of the first women Mr. Speaker Sir, who chaired the now very important and always important Public Accounts

Committee.  No woman had ever chaired it and I was appointed to be the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee through Dr.

Morgan Tsvangirai.  I then was brought back to the House through Prof. Welshman Ncube.  I want to acknowledge him too because it is him who appointed me, first as the only female negotiator, but most importantly, as a Minister in the GNU that we had and I think I want to celebrate him too.

Mr. Speaker, I now celebrate His Excellency who has appointed me.  Yes, I am here not as a stranger because I still have to sign my contract to accept the appointment.  Those are the three males, not females, that have seen potential initially in a very young woman at the time that Dr. Morgan Tsvangirai appointed me, but also now as I have matured and the President has seen in me, and I know that what you are finding in the social media is questions about ‘this is a person in the opposition’.  I think the very fact that somebody can sit down and decide that I think there is potential in that particular individual and make that appointment should be celebrated.

Like I said Mr. Speaker, Parliament has evolved during the time that I have been here.  There is a time in which in this very Parliament, people who are coming from the region that I have represented were unable to speak in their language.  I am now happy that when we sit here, people can speak in Tonga, Ndebele and Shona.  I celebrate that because at the time that we came, that was not the issue.  I also want to celebrate, in particular the work ethic that has been shown by the staff members of this Parliament.  I am concerned Mr. Speaker, that their remuneration does not probably speak to the amount of work that they do, but in working with this Parliament through the able leadership of the Clerk, I have seen members of staff that have been respectful and diligent and I want to celebrate them because I carry that with me.

What do I leave for Hon. Members and you Mr. Speaker?  What

are the things that I hold so dear that I hope will be carried forward?  I leave the women that have been provided for in the Constitutional Amendment (No. 2).  At least I know that whatever happens, there will be 50 young women in 2023 that will be sitting in this House.  I hope Mr. Speaker, that the mature women in the House will be able to hold their hands, will be able to carry them through and that the men in this House who I have also seen evolve and become more respectful and are even speaking about sanitary wear, I hope that when they see these young women coming, those young women will get the same support that some of us got when we came into this House.  Yes, we were heckled perhaps a bit more but I am expecting that what I have seen change in the men that are in this House will create a more facilitative and more comfortable space for the young women that will come to this House.

What still tugs me is education Mr. Speaker.  The past three years that I have been Chairperson of this Portfolio Committee, I carry that with me.  I hope that this House does not stop the agitation around education for our people.  I carry with me a prayer that the Government of Zimbabwe finds the space in which to engage with the teachers because I think the teachers hold the key to this country.  So I hope and pray that as I walk out of this House, teachers and their children will be one of the priorities that we have here.       I have also learnt, as I began to work in education, the importance of inclusiveness particularly for people with disabilities.  So I carry with me a hope that this whole environment and the new Parliament will become disability friendly.  To ensure that happens, you will remember Mr. Speaker, I brought to this House and had asked that we begin to have an oath that is in braille because I think what we do sends a message on our inclusiveness.  I realise that it has taken a bit of time for Parliament to do so.  So I proceeded, as my go away gift, to do braille oath, both the affirmation and the oath and I leave it in this House in case we have somebody who cannot see, who has a disability can then use that in memory of me and what this House has meant to me.

Lastly Mr. Speaker, It would not be me if I do not give something big to the House.  One of the things that I pushed for was the baby room.  I have gone and I have looked at the baby room and I see that for the girls that will come, they may not have a space for the babies to sleep, so I bought this.  It is called a Moses basket. So for the first baby that comes to the House, they will have a place to sleep and I hope the Women’s Caucus will be able to accept this gift and put it in the baby’s house and that it will find its space in the new Parliament building.

Mr. Speaker, this becomes my good-bye.  I do not want to cry, but yes, I will miss all of you because you have made me become who I am.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.  - [(v)AN HON. MEMBER:  Ufambe mushe muni’nina.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Hon. Member is still an Hon. Member because she has not yet signed the contract accepting the nomination to be our next Ambassador in Sweden.

One issue that has been raised is that we need to glean our Standing Orders so that we are clear as to how we handle those amongst us who will leave in this similar fashion, like the Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga and let us not rely on common sense which verges on common law as to how we can handle the situation.

I think Hon. Members, you will agree with me that Priscillah Misihairabwi-Mushonga has been one of the most dynamic chairpersons that we have seen.  Very fearless in putting across what her Committee has seen or found out.  She was very courageous in terms of conviction.

On the issue of the baby sitting room, we want to assure you that you have challenged us with that cubicle and we will ensure that we have got not only one but more than one, just in case the rate of production will be high at the appointed time.  We will make sure that in your memory, we shall embellish it.  Once you have signed your contract and your credentials are received in Sweden, do not forget the certain shortfalls that this Parliament has in the area of capacity building, and necessary equipment, particularly as we move to the new Parliament building.

There is one important issue that you have left out in your valediction which has always remained right at the centre of my heart, among other things.  When I travelled with you to Kuwait and found out how our young women were abused, basically as slave workers, you stood by me as the leader of the delegation and said we shall not go back to Zimbabwe without these youngsters who want to go back because they are tired of this slave drudgery in Kuwait.  Together, we worked and convinced first, the Speaker of Parliament there and secondly the Head of State and Government.  The necessary travel documents were arranged within 24hrs and we were able to bring back those 35 youngsters.  I shall never forget that.

You went further to ensure that the rehabilitation process through the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare as well as the Ministry of Health and Child Care was taken care of in terms of giving the necessary psychological support once they were back here in Zimbabwe.   I, on behalf of this Chamber, the National Assembly, wish you well and God speed in terms of good health and success in the new assignment that you are going to sign for very soon.  Have a safe journey to Sweden.  Hopefully, one of our delegations will come there and you will be able to receive them according.  Amhlope, makorokoto, tatenda.

HON. NDUNA:  My point of privilege hinges upon the

proclamation by the Minister of Education in as far as it relates to the examination dates which have not changed, irrespective of the fact that children have not been attending school and have only begun going to school now.  Failure by our children in these exams is going to undermine our exams in two things.  It undermines the quality of our education because these examinations are home grown.   Secondly, this causes alarm and despondency amongst both the parents and the children. My prayer is for the Minister to push forward the dates for the exams along the same lines that the children have not been attending school, with a view that our children might have an opportunity to pass both the O and A level exams that they are about to undertake.  That is my point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Nduna.  You may

want to raise the matter as a question tomorrow, if the Minister would allow the postponement of examination dates.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI:  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 33 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 34 has been disposed of.

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.HON. MUSHORIWA:  Point of

clarification Mr. Speaker Sir.  It is pertaining to the order of the business for the day where the Chief Whip has moved for the skipping of all Government business to Order of the Day No 34.  I just wanted the Chair to possibly guide us ...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, I asked the question ‘is there any objection’ and there was no objection so we cannot move in reverse gear.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BUDGET,

FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE

EXPANDED SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ON THE

2021 POST-BUDGET FEEDBACK MEETINGS

Thirty-fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on the Report of the

Portfolio Committee On Budget, Finance and Economic Development

And The Expanded Sustainable Development Goals on the 2021 Post-

Budget Feedback Meetings.

Question again proposed.

      HON. DR. NYASHANU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise to

thank all Hon. Members who participated in debating this motion and I thank them so much for the participation. The exercise which we carried out; the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee, together with the Sustainable Development Committee was an exercise which as Parliament, we did for the first time in the history of Parliament. Generally, yes as mentioned by Hon. Members, I agree with them that the turn-out in various venues was low but the quality of submissions, I want to believe would assist us in the 2022 National Budget in terms of the input which we gathered from various venues. I would like to thank all Hon. Members who participated in this exercise and those who then debated.

I thank you Mr. Speaker and therefore, move for the adoption of this motion:

That this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio

Committees on Budget, Finance and Economic Development and the

Expanded Sustainable Development Goals on the 2021 Post-Budget

Feedback Meetings, put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the House reverts to Order of the Day, Number 14.

HON. TEKESHE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE VIRTUAL 49TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY

SESSION OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

       HON. NDIWENI: I move the motion in my name that this

House takes note of the Report of the 49th plenary Assembly Session of the SADC – Parliamentary Forum held virtually from 25 to 27 June

2021.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

         HON. NDIWENI:  1.0        INTRODUCTION

1.1     The 49th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum was held virtually from 25th to 27th June 2021.  The deliberations were aimed at consolidating administrative and financial matters of the forum as well as to discuss issues of regional concern. The Plenary Assembly was held under the theme “Leveraging the AfCFTA for Post-COVID Economic

Recovery in Southern Africa: The Role of SADC

Parliamentary Forum and National Parliaments.”

1.2 Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, led the delegation which comprised the following Members of Parliament:

  • Tambudzani Mohadi, Member of the Standing

Committee on Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and

Infrastructure; o Hon. Goodlucky Kwaramba, Member of the Standing

Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and

Youth Development and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe

Women’s Parliamentary Caucus;

  • Dought Ndiweni, Member of the Standing

Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human

Rights; o Hon. Anele Ndebele, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment; and o Hon. Paurina Mpariwa, Member of the Standing

Committee on Human and Social Development and

Special Programmes who took “Oath or Affirmation of

Adherence in accordance with Article 7 of the SADC PF

Constitution”      

                 2.0   OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY

2.1 The President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, was the Guest of Honour and officially opened the Plenary Assembly. The President declared that the African Continental Free Trade Area

(AfCFTA) is one of the key instruments that can position

Africa as an economic powerhouse.  President Masisi underscored the SADC Regional Integration Agenda as the necessary precursor to the true realisation of the AfCFTA.

2.2 The East Africa Legislative Assembly (EAALA) pledged to support the SADC Parliamentary Forum to realise its dream of transforming itself into a Legislative Assembly and urged SADC member Parliaments to enact the necessary legislation that enhances the ease of doing business in the region. The representative emphasised the need for harmonisation of immigration and customs services to spur the movement of

African citizens, including goods and services on the continent.

2.3  The Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC), called for the incremental roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines. The RWPC further urged Parliaments to persuade their governments to leverage on the AfCFTA to foster gender-sensitive regional trade that opens access to markets and finance for women to enable them to realise their full potential in human capital development.

2.4 Hon. Christophe MBOSO N’KODIA PWANGA, SADC PF

President and Speaker of the National Assembly of the

Democratic Republic of Congo, commended the Strategic

Lobbying Team of Hon. Speakers led by Hon. Jacob Francis

Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of the Parliament of

Zimbabwe, for its excellent and pointed Lobbying Missions on SADC PF Presiding Officers and currently on Heads of State and Governments. Consequently, the SADC Summit in August 2021 should see the transformation of SADC PF into a Regional

Parliament.

2.5    In proposing a vote of thanks, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Lesotho, Hon. Sephiri Enoch Motonyane, bemoaned the failure by the region to establish a regional Parliament.  It is thus, untoward to have a region that has historically strong antecedents and luminaries in PanAfricanism, but without a Regional Parliament as envisaged in the Protocol establishing the Pan African Parliament. In this regard, the Hon. Speaker Motonyane invited the region to meet in Lesotho, the Kingdom in the sky, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the SADC Parliamentary Forum during the last quarter of 2021.

3.0    STATEMENT BY THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF ZIMBABWE, HON. ADVOCATE JACOB

FRANCIS NZWIDAMILIMO MUDENDA PURSUANT T0

RULE 45 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE

3.1 Hon. Jacob Francis Mudenda presented the summary report of the 142nd IPU Assembly held virtually under the overall theme “Overcoming the pandemic today and building a better tomorrow: the role of Parliaments” from 24th to 28th May 2021.

3.1.1 Among other resolutions, the report called for immediate and multilateral action to address climate change and mitigate its effects on international stability and security with the same urgency as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, Parliaments were called upon to expedite and facilitate the ratification, domestication and implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

3.1.2 The resolutions also called for mainstreaming digitalisation and the circular economy to achieve the SDGs, particularly responsible consumption and production.

3.1.3 The Hon. Speaker, Advocate Mudenda reported the unprecedented global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as it exacerbated inequalities within and between countries and stalled socio-economic progress on sustainable development, youth empowerment and gender equality. Accordingly, there is need for Parliamentary action at the national level and through multilateralism to resolve global challenges arising from COVID – 19’s unprecedented impact.

4.0    POSITION TAKEN BY THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION

ON THE THEME OF THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY

4.1 The Plenary Assembly received submissions on the theme, with facilitators calling for a revamp and harmonisation of customs and immigration formalities to suit the obtaining new reality of collapsing borders to ease trade among countries on the African Continent.

4.2  Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda made a passionate plea for expeditious legal reforms for the harmonisation of customs and immigration services to ease the movement of goods and services on the continent.

4.3    He pointed out that there is need for an African passport and the attendant collapse of stringent visa regimes on the continent. Added to this, air connectivity should be improved through modernisation of airports and the establishment of less cumbersome routes among African countries.

4.4  Industrialisation should be anchored on sustained value addition and beneficiation, hence the need for pragmatic approaches to technology transfer, infrastructure development and rapid integration and modernisation of rail equipment. Africa should be alive to the growing wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and rapid digitalisation of modern economies.

4.5  Universities should be at the forefront in championing innovation in order to catch up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There is need to research on COVID-19 vaccines by local universities and the mobilisation of domestic resources to spur economic growth post the COVID-19 scare. Added to this, is the need for full scale research on indigenous knowledge systems as a possible curative measure against COVID 19. A

Marshal Plan is required to lift African economies out of impugned poverty.

4.6 Above all, thought leadership is required at both Government and Parliamentary level to achieve rapid economic growth and industrialisation through innovative leadership.

5.0 ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE

COMMITTEE AND THE TREASURER’S REPORT

5.1   The Executive Committee tabled its report for consideration and adoption during the 49th Plenary Assembly meeting, which was duly adopted.

5.2 The 49th Plenary Assembly expressed profound appreciation to the National Assembly of Botswana, through Hon. Speaker Phandu Chaha Skelemani, for hosting the 49th Plenary Assembly Session. The warm hospitality of the Batswana vibrated virtually to the whole region.

5.3     The Plenary Assembly implored the Secretariat to continue its research on the SADC PF structure as it prepares itself for the transformation into a Regional Parliament.

5.4     The Report urged the region to prepare itself to confront the obtaining regional challenges head-on, which include terrorism and the threat of neo-colonialism.

5.5   The Plenary Assembly also tasked the Secretariat to produce a harmonised budget showing the financial position of the SADC

PF on both subscriptions and donor funding.

5.6     In the same vein, the Plenary Assembly applauded all Parliaments that had paid their subscriptions and implored all those in arrears to pay up their dues.

6.0  MOTIONS ADOPTED DURING THE 49Th PLENARY

ASSEMBLY MEETINGS

6.1   Consideration of the Report of the Standing Committee on

Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment

6.1.1 The Plenary Assembly Session adopted a motion encouraging Member States to substantially harmonise the operations of One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) to ensure that there is seamless movement of goods and citizens in line with the common vision of the AfCFTA.

 

 

6.2     Motion on Harnessing Domestic Tourism In Times Of Pandemics: A Case Of The COVID 19 Pandemic: The Role

Of Parliaments

  1. 1The Plenary Assembly urged Member States to support the implementation of the SADC Unified Visa regime to facilitate movement of tourists across the region. Added to this, there were calls for SADC Parliaments and Parliamentarians to advocate for stout COVID-19 relief funds and increased budgetary allocation to the tourism sector in order to accelerate recovery of the sector.

6.2.2 There is need to capacitate One-Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) to facilitate the ease of movement across country borders. This is meant to enhance both domestic and intra-regional tourism. SADC Members States need to support the implementation of the SADC Unified Visa to facilitate movement of tourists across the region.

6.3   Motion on the Role Of Parliament In Protecting Constitutionalism And The Rule Of Law In Southern

Africa: Prospects And Challenges

6.3.1 The Plenary Assembly encouraged Member Parliaments to promote and respect Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law as envisaged in their constitutions.

6.3.2 Members of Parliament were encouraged to study and understand the provisions of their constitutions.

6.3.3 Zimbabwe for example, has made a deliberate effort to translate the Constitution into all officially recognised languages in the country and encourages its widespread dissemination. Furthermore, the country requires the Constitution to be part of the curricula in schools, public institutions, and that it be taught in the private sector as provided for in Article 7 of the Zimbabwe Constitution.

6.4    Motion on Post COVID in the SADC Region: Meeting

Women’s Needs in a Context of Multiplied Challenges

Consideration of the Report of the Regional Women’s

Parliamentary Caucus

6.4.1 The adopted motion encouraged countries to craft measures that are aimed at cushioning women post-COVID 19 pandemic scourge.

6.4.2 Countries were urged to implement gender-responsive health budgets and inclusive public health and safety measures. It was recommended that financial barriers such as health fees should be suspended or removed in order to offset potential difficulties for the most vulnerable patients, especially women and girls.

7.0    RECOMMENDATIONS AND WAY FORWARD

7.1     Parliament of Zimbabwe to hold an All Stakeholder Workshop between the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (ZWPC) and the relevant Civil Society Organisations to map out the strategy to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and ensure that post-COVID recovery measures are gender-responsive. There is need to engage the Civil Society to ensure that women have access to justice and equity. SADC-PF should be at the forefront in advocating for political accountability, access to Primary Health Care, investment in Health Care Data Systems and collaboration in vaccine research and investment in the health sector. The Workshop is to be held by mid-September 2021.

7.2  Parliament of Zimbabwe notes and appreciates the attendant benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as one of the key drivers of development on the continent.  In this regard, Parliament calls on the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce to convene an oral evidence session with the relevant Ministry before holding an all-stakeholder meeting to receive updates on the status of implementation regarding the AfCFTA. The oral evidence session is to be held in August 2021.

7.3 On One-Stop Border Posts (OSBPs), there is need for both the Executive and Legislature to demonstrate strong leadership and commitment in developing infrastructure that facilitates cross border trade such as OSBPs and roads among others, in order to enhance trade facilitation including advancement of regional economic integration. The relevant Portfolio Committees on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services will be engaged in this regard. The Portfolio Committee to

hold an oral – evidence session by mid-September aimed at enhancing service delivery by OSBPs.

7.4   There is need to streamline visa and immigration procedures to ensure the smooth movement of tourists in the region. The region should emulate Zimbabwe’s exemption of all SADC Member States from visa requirements, thereby taking the lead in the region as part of accelerated efforts to operationalise the

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

7.5  There is need for Parliamentarians to advocate for stouter COVID-19 relief funds and increased budgetary allocation to the tourism sector in order to accelerate the recovery of the sector. The Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism should make robust initiatives through advocating for measures and exemptions that lead to the recovery of the tourism sector.  This should be done in August 2021, as the warm season draws in and the imminent recession of the

COVID -19 pandemic unravels due to the Government’s

proactive vaccination programme.

8.0    CONCLUSION

8.1    The Plenary Assembly concluded by requesting the SADC-PF and National Parliaments to leverage the AfCFTA for postCOVID economic recovery in Southern Africa. It is important for the region to adopt measures that are aimed at seamlessly encouraging intra-Africa trade and the removal of barriers that impede the full implementation of the AfCFTA.

8.2   Parliament of Zimbabwe commits itself to the full implementation of the resolutions of the Plenary Assembly to be shared among all Members of Parliaments, to facilitate action by different Portfolio Committees of Parliament, through the Liaison and Coordination Committee (LCC) once availed by the SADC PF Secretariat.

8.3  Parliament of Zimbabwe should champion all measures aimed at ensuring the full socio-political and economic recovery of Zimbabwe post-COVID-19 pandemic. The institution must be ready to work with all institutions in the region that are geared towards these recovery mechanisms.

8.4   The next 50th Plenary Assembly of the SADC PF will be hosted by the Kingdom of Lesotho in the last quarter of 2021 virtually.

8.5     Parliament of Zimbabwe continues to champion the Transformation Agenda in its role as the holders of the Chairpersonship of the Strategic Lobby Team of Hon. Speakers on the Transformation of the Forum into a SADC Regional

Parliament.

HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me begin by thanking Hon. Ndiweni who has so adequately moved and tabled the report of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, 49th Plenary Session which was held virtually.

Let me also add on to thank the Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Adv. J. Mudenda, who was the head of the delegation in terms of guidance and he was so emphatic in terms of the way to go.  For some of us who were beginners, we learnt a lot in that session though it was on a virtual platform.  I want to thank God that it was virtual, which I think was better for us as beginners because we had to grasp a lot through the digital communication.  Madam Speaker, the mover of the report has touched on almost everything but I think I want to buttress on number 1, that you will find that there is the mention on the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, the issues of COVID, the necessary protective measures that governments need to take towards ensuring that everything else to do with COVID is also provided for the women.

When there are problems in terms of health, women suffer more because we then attend to the burden of being the care givers.  So the mention of having women to play a key role and get provision in terms of how governments handle the COVID-19 equipment such as vaccines is key and important.  I want to acknowledge the way we have been doing it in Zimbabwe but we also had lessons to learn from other countries in the SADC region.  I want to appreciate the emphasis in terms of having this particular item being flagged and as the Regional Women’s Caucus, we picked on it.

Secondly, the issue of the one stop border post, customs, and one passport, etcetera - who are those people who globe-trot the borders who want access? Who are the majority in terms of wanting to feed the family, to look for the extra dollar and use that particular passport? The bulk of them are women, therefore the barriers of crossing the borders to reach to other countries for them to get what they can utilise so as to sustain their families becomes key and a priority.  Hence, even the mention for gender sensitive budgets by SADC is a deliberate attempt to turn the waves towards protecting women.

We have deliberated even in this House on gender sensitive budgets, that we need to target on issues that protect and promote the interests of the other gender because we are care givers.  Yes, gender means men and women but when we say responsive, it means something there is amiss.  So, I want to appreciate even the Secretariat of SADC for having deliberately placed this item on the agenda of the SADC 49th Plenary Session for deliberation because at the end of it all, when a budget does not target where it is the weakest, we will have problems in attaining the gender balance.

Madam Speaker, gender responsive budget is the way to go the world-over and I am glad that SADC is also on the way.  I do not want to believe that we will fail as a regional body because already in

Zimbabwe, the gender responsive budget are issues that the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus has dealt with.  We can comfortably say that issues to do with women have been spoken of and men in this room have tended to speak on gender responsive budgets as well.

Let me also join the presenter of the motion in thanking the SADC Heads of State and governments for adopting that SADC, a regional body, becomes a Parliament.  I want to acknowledge because the East Africa Legislative Assembly assisted in the coming up of the recommendation to assist and lobby.  They were busy lobbying and they promised that they will lobby and indeed, we have seen some

results.

However, I want to acknowledge and thank all the Heads of State and governments that sat and agreed that there is need for a parliamentary body to be formulated.  I hope and trust that by the time it becomes into being, we will still all be alive so as to witness the push and the work that we would have done.  I want to thank the Hon. Speaker in absentia; he went around the whole region lobbying the Speakers and Presidents because he had been mandated by SADC to do so, so that we could have all the members of the SADC Heads of

State and governments to agree.

I want to touch on ICT; you would find that without digitalisation we are nothing.  If I were to switch off this mike, all the Members would say I am not audible.  So that is how fast the world and the region have become in terms of getting information, accessibility and in terms of placing ourselves as nations.  As much as we may run away from this particular item of digitalisation, we are nowhere.  So, I am encouraging that even those that are out there, our diasporans; I want to acknowledge the demo that was done by Hon. Nduna when he donated two Ipad gadgets that were donated by diasporans to our ZBC crew to show how important it is.

My final point is on the innovation in terms of COVID-19 treatments, I think maybe one out of 10 people will say we never took Zumbani during the peak of COVID.  One out of 10 might swear that they never took lemon as a way of prevention during the peak of COVID but my worry and question is, how far have we gone in terms of experimenting to find out how Zumbani can actually treat COVID19?  Our own researchers, universities and n’angas should do a research so that at least we will have our own medicine which is locally produced.  Yes, it might fall into the traditional medicines but I think on this one, it is key because we are talking about the COVID-

19 era and we are still in it.

Madam Speaker, it is my hope and trust that as a nation we will be proud enough to further research in terms of how effective Zumbani and lemons. I have friends that are in the diaspora. They would actually say, please send us lemons from home because they are more effective in terms of treating COVID. We need some research to attach to that. Let us be like Madagascar. After Madagascar discovered its herb that was displayed to treat COVID, you then never heard of that herb again. If it was not destroyed, it means they have preserved it to say this is ours. We must also preserve our own zumbani. We must also further study it in terms of how effective our own medicines are.

Finally, I encourage the House to adopt the recommendations of the particular Session of the 49th Plenary Assembly, that we move with the recommendations. Yes, some of them are tired recommendations. The recommendations on COVID, civil society engagements, passports and digitalisation are still current and we can run with as a country and as a House so that we copy from others. There is a lot that we can copy and emulate from other countries in the region. I want to appreciate the teamwork that was shown by the Zimbabwe delegation and the teamwork that was shown by the SADC grouping of the 14 countries. We had an excellent meeting. Three days is a long time and you become so tired but I never saw anyone dosing amongst our delegation. I want to appreciate and thank the delegation. I hope and trust that as a country, we will continue to move on so that we emulate others.

HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for

giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion that has been moved by Hon. Ndiweni seconded by Hon. Mpariwa. I want to thank Hon. Ndiweni for such an insightful report. The major areas which were discussed are also very important, especially for us in Zimbabwe.

The issue regarding incremental roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines which was a major provision of that meeting is also very important. We have seen the Zimbabwean Government importing drugs. As I speak, the Government of Zimbabwe has imported more than eightmillion drugs and I want to believe that in Africa, Zimbabwe is the best in terms of dispensing COVID-19 vaccines. We need to applaud the Government for a job well done unlike other countries that are lagging behind in terms of vaccination processes. The Government of Dr. Mnangagwa leads by example. It has gone further to donate 200 000 vaccines to our neighbours in Namibia and that is a very good gesture showing that the Government of Zimbabwe is concerned, not just with citizens of its country but also wanting to show that it is very serious in mitigating the effects COVID-19.

It is also important to commend the theme “Overcoming the Pandemic today to builda better tomorrow”. COVID-19 pandemic is a global pandemic and it is a disaster. We have seen economies taking a nose dive throughout the world and Zimbabwe is no exception but we are fighting to control the disease through various ways where people are being encouraged to wear masks and follow WHO procedures as ways of fighting the disease.

At that Plenary Session, one of the important points which were raised is the issue of modernisation of border posts and airports. That is what is being done in Zimbabwe. Government of Zimbabwe is serious in terms of reconstruction, trying to build a state of the art airport and also to modernise the border posts. We have seen massive developments taking place in Beitbridge. That is being done so that clients would not be delayed. This is no time for tedious delays anymore. The Second Republic is very serious. The issue of one stop border posts is very important. It remindsme of the visit that we undertook in 2019 when we went to Chirundu – goods are cleared at a very fast pace, so expeditious. When you are moving from Zambia to Zimbabwe, the clearance is done in Zambia. When one is moving into

Zimbabwe, clearance is done in Zimbabwe. It is fast and efficient.

That is one stop border post. That is what is going to be done in Beitbridge. There will be no time wasting. Movement of goods will be done at a fast pace and that will be in line with Zimbabwe’s

economic development.

I move on to industrialisation anchored on value addition and beneficiation and that is in line with NDS1, one of the pillars in terms of development of Zimbabwe that the fourth industrialisation is imminent. Our universities will play a very pivotal role and I need to applaud the Ministry of Higher Education for coming up with the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development Bill.

Very soon it is going to be assented to become an Act of Parliament.

It means there is a lot of innovation taking place right from the primary school. Students from ECD are subjected to the art or science of innovation. They are supposed to experiment in the laboratories. University and polytechnic students should be innovative in innovation hubs. There must be a way of harmonising and bringing together university students and also industry, to work together singing from the same hymn book so that industrialisation of

Zimbabwe will be speeded up. That is also very important.

On confronting regional challenges, the issue of terrorism is a very serious matter. Terrorism is an act of instilling fear on people through mercenary forces. We have seen that happening in Mozambique whereby the Jihadists kill people. I have seen a video circulating where 30 people were being beheaded and just being thrown into a mass grave.  Such acts of terrorism should be condemned in the strongest words that can be found in the dictionary, Madam Speaker.  As a region, as SADC, we need to come up with an army that deals with the agenda of terrorism.

Then the issue of neocolonialism, Madam Speaker, I will quote

Kwame Nkrumah who said “neocolonialism is the most insidious and most dangerous form of colonisation”.  Colonisation is better.

Neocolonialism manifests itself in a number of ways.  It can manifest itself in the form of aid.  When you get your aid, there are strings attached to that.  The issue of our minerals just being taken away in their raw state, that is another form of neocolonialism.  We have to work to ensure that the pillars of NDS are respected and that those minerals should be processed in Zimbabwe so that we export the manufactured products because the value of our products when we sell them when they are raw will be less.  So there is need for processing of those goods in Zimbabwe instead of just taking them away.

Then there is the issue of tax holidays, tax holidays being given to those companies that are exporting our minerals.  I think the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should put huge taxes on those companies that are exporting as a deterrent measure for exporting our raw materials so that we manufacture them locally.

Madam Speaker, let me finish by considering one more issue so that I give others a chance – the need to promote and respect constitutionalism is very important and indispensable.  The curriculum development and planning should be structured in a manner that students from primary education are taught the

Constitution of Zimbabwe.  They should know what is in the

Constitution as a Bible.  Why is that important?  It is important so that people know their legal rights, they know the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution.  This is very important Madam

Speaker.

May I end by thanking Hon. Ndiweni and Hon. Mpariwa for a job well done.  I thank you.

(v) HON. I. NYONI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to contribute on the report presented by Hon. Ndiweni and supported by Hon. Mpariwa.  My contribution will border on two issues.  One is the need for improvement of transport infrastructure in the SADC region and Africaat large and the second one is the harmonisation of

Customs and Immigration in the SADC region and Africa…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nyoni you are not

audible.  I think we have lost Hon. Nyoni.

(v)HON. I. NYONI:  I hope I am audible now.  I was saying that there was need for improvement of transport infrastructure in the region and Africa at large.  Here I am talking about road, rail and air transport.  An example is the Kazungula Bridge that is now providing all transport to the north and to the south.  There is also need for more rail infrastructure.  Currently, Zimbabwe has an option to use Walvis Bay Port in Namibia. However, only transport that is available is road..  We have no other alternative mode of transport from that area and the other area like Durban, we have an option of using rail or road.  If we use Beira Port, we also have an option of using rail or road, but Walvis Bay is only road.  There is need for development of rail as well from that area.

The issue of harmonisation of Customs and Immigration formalities in the region is of great importance.  This can be promoted through the auspices of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).  Through AfCFTA, the region and Africa as a whole can pursue issues of a Customs Union.  This would mean that goods originating from AfCFTA countries being imported to a member State of AfCFTA will go in there duty free and with minimum documentation, thereby reducing the time taken and promoting trade in members of AfCFTA.

The issue of one-stop-border post which has been highlighted by the Hon. Member who debated before me also helps in minimising time taken when clearance is done at the border since it involves clearance only on one side of the border, not on both sides, thereby minimising time taken…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nyoni, your network

is bad and we cannot hear you.  Maybe you can try next time.

HON. N. MGUNI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me

this opportunity.  I would also want to thank Hon. Ndiweni, the mover of the motion and the seconder Hon. Mpariwa.  I am not a member of the SADC Parliamentary Committee but they just touched on a topic that is dear to my heart.  The topic is free trade Madam Speaker.  I want to congratulate our country for being a signatory to the Africa Free Trade Area.  It is a very integral agreement to accelerate generally into the whole Africa trade and to boost Africa’s trade position in the global market.  This is going to be achieved by strengthening Africa’s common voice policy space in the global trade negotiations.  It will also eliminate tariffs within the intra Africa trade.

Why I am passionate about it; Hon. Mpariwa touched on the women.

As we come up with trade policies in our country, we need policies that will spell out and allow women to be part of this trade.  We want to encourage women to be involved in the production sector so that they can be part of this free trade which is going to be very beneficiary for them.  When we trade globally we pay tariffs but because this trade agreement is going to allow free trade, women need to be involved in trading.  It is not only in going out of the country to bring goods to sell in the country but we also want women to be part of production so that they can trade and send their own goods to sell in other countries especially within Africa, considering that this trade is going to be free.  I also urge the region to develop and adopt value addition activities in order to export goods which will bring forex into our country and to the continent in general.  Like I said earlier on, we would want the country to have policies that clearly stipulate the role of our women as alluded to by Hon. Mpariwa.  This AFCFTA is a very important agreement and I hope that our country is going to intensify especially the ICT that has been mentioned.

We have a problem of ICT in the sense that African countries have lost a lot of money through illicit financial flows because there is no transparency or good ICT in the country.  If they open up that our

ICT is so developed in such a way that whatever trade is happening in Zimbabwe our neighbour Botswana is able to detect what is happening in order to avoid the stealing that has been going on in these trades that have been happening.  Thank you once again for the opportunity afforded me.

HON. NDIWENI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me take this opportunity to thank Hon. Moyo, Hon. Nyoni and Hon. Mguni for their enriching debate on this report.  It has actually value added my report.  All I am left with at this juncture is to seek leave of the House to withdraw my motion.  I thank you.

Motion; With leave, withdrawn.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House

that the Parliamentary Legal Committee met on 5th August 2021 and considered clause by clause the Statutory Instrument 202/2021 and came to the anonymous resolution that the High Court Rule 11 (11) violates the provisions of the Constitution, in particular the right to administrative justice stipulated in Section 68 and also the right to a fair hearing in terms of Section 69 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI:  I move that the House reverts to Order of the Day No 10.

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON

INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES ON

THE PETITION RECEIVED FROM YOUTH BROADCASTING

FM (Y-FM) REGARDING THE ISSUANCE OF COMMUNITY

RADIO STATION LICENCES

HON. MOKONE: I move the motion standing in my name.

         HON. N. MGUNI:  I second.

HON. MOKONE:

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1. On 16 March 2021, the Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services received a petition from Youth Broadcasting FM (Y-FM) appealing to Parliament to consider the licencing process of community radio stations so that applications are invited from all over the country and from different special interest groups. In this regard, the Committee engaged the Permanent Secretary of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting

Services and the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) on the petition. The Committee noted that community radio stations are important in disseminating information to the marginalised communal areas and the country as a whole. To that end, this report provides highlights of the

Committee’s findings, observations and recommendations with respect to the petition.

 

2.0 OBJECTIVES

  1. To gather evidence from the Petitioners, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe and Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services on the issuance of community radio station licences, and ii. To assess whether the licenced community radio stations are inclusive of special interest groups such as youths.

3.0 METHODOLOGY

3.1 The Committee received oral evidence from Mr.

Chakanyuka, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, Mr. Mangwana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services and the Youth Broadcasting FM on the issuance of community radio stations licences.

4.0 BACKGROUND OF THE PETITION

4.1 The petitioners were concerned that the Broadcasting

Authority of

Zimbabwe (BAZ) excluded special interest groups such as youths and women in its invitation for prospective community radios in the country. They argued that in BAZ's recent invitation for applications for potential radio stations, it extended requests to potential community radios in specific areas to apply. This gave the impression that only those invited to apply would be awarded the community radio licences. BAZ's invitation did not take into account the set-up of community radios, that they are not only geographically established, but represent interests of specific groups in various communities.

 5.0 COMMITTTE FINDINGS

5.1 Legislation Pertaining to Broadcasting

5.1.1. In Zimbabwe, the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) of 2001  provides for the licencing of community broadcasting. Section 7, subsection 2(b) of the BSA states that the Broadcasting Authority of

Zimbabwe shall authorise the licencing of a community broadcasting service.  The Ministry also put in place Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 39 of 2020 which only deals with the licencing of community and campus radio broadcasting services.

5.2  Issuance of Community Radio licences 

5.2.1. Approach used in the licencing process

5.2.1.1.The Committee was apprised that the authority used a phased approach in licencing community radio stations. In the first phase, they identified areas that were traditionally underserved in terms of coverage that is areas without broadcasting services. This was done in order to ensure that there were universal broadcasting services to all. Additionally, in the second phase, BAZ identified officially recognised languages spoken in Zimbabwe according to Section 6 of the Constitution and they considered areas with languages that had limited expression on the currently licenced broadcasters.

5.2.2 Licensing process  

5.2.2.1. The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe official pointed out

that the authority invited applications for the provision of community radio licences in the areas specified in a notice in accordance with section 10 of the Broadcasting Services Act. Upon receipt of an application, the Authority examined the proposal for compliance with the Act and any regulations in place and upon satisfaction thereof, issued a community or campus radio broadcasting service licence to the applicant.

5.2.2.2 It was highlighted that a licence was only issued out upon full payment of licence fees. Once the licences were issued, the licencee was required to be on air within 18 months and to date, two applicants had paid their licence fees in full and were issued with the licences. The two community radio stations issued with licences are Ntepe Manama Community Radio Trust of Manama in Gwanda South and Nyangani Community Radio Trust.

    5.3 Factors to be considered when granting community or campus radio licences

5.3.1. The Committee was informed that in accordance with

Section 6

(3) of S.I 39 of 2020, the authority considered the following factors before  granting a community radio licence:

  1. The community interest of the applicant;
  2. The extent to which the applicant is supported by the concerned community;
  3. The source and proof of funding such as bank statements of the broadcasting service and sustainability mechanisms;
  4. The manner in which members of the community will participate in the membership of the governing body including organisational mechanisms for the active participation by the community in the radio station’s management, development and operations; and
  5. The manner in which members of the community will participate in the selection and provision of programmes to be broadcasted.

5.3.2  It was highlighted that when licencing they also considered

frequency allotment plan which gives them a geographic area where a  broadcasting licence is to be issued, number of channels present in that area  and specific broadcasting services to be licenced in that area.

5.4 Licencing of community radio station for youths

5.4.1 It was highlighted that according to demographic

statistics,  youths are all over Zimbabwe hence it was difficult to issue a licence that was mainly for the youths under the circumstances that the radio frequency spectrum was a limited resource. The Committee was informed that during the licencing process, BAZ ensured that the licenced community radio stations included different interests that are youths, the elderly, people living with disabilities and women amongst others within the governing board. This was guided by section 5 (2) of Statutory Instrument No. 39 of 2020 with regards to licencing of community radio stations. Additionally, the Permanent

Secretary pointed out that BAZ’s policy thrust included a look at the community structure to ensure that there was inclusion of all special interest groups.

5.4.2 The Acting CEO submitted that during the training for  application of community radio stations they emphasised on the composition of the governing board, that it should take into consideration youths and other vulnerable groups. In this regard, the Acting CEO highlighted that Youth Broadcasting FM (Y-FM) was not excluded in the licencing process of community radio stations. Further, the Permanent Secretary informed the Committee that licencing of community radio stations was ongoing as BAZ was to take into consideration the frequency spectrum and their ability and capacity to regulate.

5.5 Youth participation coverage

5.5.1 The Committee was informed that BAZ advocated for youth  participation in the application for community radio stations. The authority concurred with the idea that the higher percentage of youth participation was from the urban areas because of the location of the stations as they were urban based thus, they were licencing community radio stations in marginalized communal areas so as to accommodate youths in rural areas.

5.6 Definition of the Community

5.6.1. The Acting CEO Mr Chakanyuka defined the term

“Community” as defined in Statutory Instrument No. 39 of 2020 as follows: “for the purposes of licencing community broadcasting services means a group of people bound together geographically, with shared norms, values and tradition whose control is domiciled in members of that geographical space”.

5.6.2 He stated that the authority goes on to further define a

“Community broadcasting service” as follows: “a free to air (radio or television) broadcasting service not operated for profit or as part of a profit-making enterprise which provides programmes that-

  1. Are for community purposes
  2. Are capable of being received by commonly available equipment; and
  3. Do not broadcast programmes or advertisements on behalf of any political party”.

5.7 Petitioners (Y-FM) submission on the issuance of

Community 

Radio Licences

5.7.1 The Call for Applications 

5.7.1.1 The Chairperson of Y-FM informed the Committee that section 10 of the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) infringes on the rights of citizens as it gives powers to BAZ only to determine when to invite for applications from prospective broadcasters. He submitted that since the year 2000, BAZ only made three invitations for applications and only the last call made in 2020 was specifically for community radios. The petitioners highlighted that the system used by BAZ to licence radios derailed development of community radios because one has to wait for up to five years for an invitation of applications.  In this regard, the community radio initiatives lose momentum since they are community funded and rely on volunteers for manpower.

5.7.1.2 The petitioners recommended that the Committee should  amend the BSA and empower prospective community radios to submit  applications to BAZ whenever they are ready to do so in compliance with the broadcasting laws. The petitioners further informed the

Committee that they did not apply for a community radio station licence as the applications were invited in specific areas.

5.7.2 Definition of community radio 

         5.7.2.1 The petitioners submitted that the function of a community

radio is to serve the developmental interests of a specific community.

However, BAZ’s current definition of a community was determined

solely  by geography, yet within a specific geography there were multiple  communities with different interests. Y-FM alluded to the fact that

BAZ’s  current model crams the conflicting interests into one station and it infringes on communities’ developmental interests.

5.7.2.2 The Committee was informed that according to demographic  statistics youths are made up 60% of the population, yet there are no  stations that reflect this on their programming.

5.7.2.3 The petitioners emphasised that the current model on issuance  of community radio licences does not recognises the equality of the 16 official recognised languages in Zimbabwe as highlighted by an invitation made by BAZ in 2020 which did not allow overlaps between radio stations. The petitioners gave an example of Hwange where there is one community radio (to broadcast in Nambya) which was licenced against Tonga, Dombe, Chewa, Nyanja, and IsiNdebele which are widely spoken in the area.

5.7.2.4 It was recommended that there was need to recognise the multi  ethnicity in various communities by allowing more community radios that broadcast in different languages within the same area. They further recommended that BAZ should expand its definition of a community radio to include not only a specific geographic area but also interests of specific groups in various communities. This will help mainly communities of interest who are marginalised to have their developmental interests catered for. In this regard, the petitioners defined a community radio as a station that caters for a specific geographic area and/or community of interest.

5.7.3 Reason for having Y-FM as a Community radio stations 

        5.7.3.1 The Committee was informed that Y-FM caters for youths with a specific cultural slant and the station had conducted a number of  cultural activities amongst them the Umthwentwe International

Cultural

Expo. They also had set up Matebeleland Cultural Award which recognizes  various cultural actors on a yearly basis. The petitioners emphasised their  need to be licenced as a community radio station so that they can continue  meeting the developmental interests of the youths as well as protecting their cultural values.

         6.0 COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

6.1 The Committee noted that invitations of applications are guided by the Broadcasting Services Act and BAZ followed the licencing processes of community radio stations as highlighted in the Act.

6.2 It was observed that the petitioners were innovative and  enthusiastic in terms of ideas, however BAZ was not to be taken to task with regards to the narrowing of the station to serve youths only in a particular area as youths are all over the country. The Committee highlighted that in order to licence youths only, BAZ would require to locate youths in one geographical area in order to allocate a frequency which is geographically restricted and finite.

6.3 The Committee commended BAZ for reaching out to every citizen in Zimbabwe by ensuring that the underserved areas receive information through community radio stations.

6.4 The Committee disagreed with the recommendation by petitioners that submission of applications to BAZ should be done whenever the applicants are ready to do so in compliance with the broadcasting laws. It was highlighted that this recommendation usurps the responsibility of BAZ as a regulator responsible for determining when to invite applications from prospective broadcasters.

6.5. Further, it was noted that BAZ as the regulator knows areas that require community radio broadcasting and the airwaves that must be regulated in order to manage the frequency spectrum so that there is fairness and efficiency in use of the frequency.

6.6 The Committee noted that from the submission made by BAZ on age composition of community radio stations, the youths were well represented in the licenced community radio stations.

7.0 COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

7.1 The Committee recommends the following:

7.1.1 That the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe should assist the Petitioners in establishing a community radio station that meets their licence requirements by December 2021.

7.1.2 That youth programmes should be part of the community radio station’s content;

7.1.3 That Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe should give a notification to members of the public on their invitations of applications and should provide a timeline of two months for the submission of applications;

7.1.4 That the right to invite applications should remain with the

Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe; and

7.1.5 That the petitioners should be guided by the definitions of community and community broadcasting services as outlined in the Statutory Instrument No. 39 of 2020.

8.0 Conclusion

8.1 The Committee recognised the importance of licencing community radio broadcasting services as it ensures fair and equitable access to the radio spectrum as well as keeping citizens informed of national and regional news. However, the petition was of less concern as BAZ cannot licence a station for youths only rather, youths and other special interest groups should be part of the governing board of community radio stations. Additionally, the petitioners were quick to raise an alarm as the licencing of community radio stations is still an ongoing process.  So I submit Mr.

Speaker.

(v)*HON. NYABANI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving

me the opportunity to add my voice to this report.  Mr. Speaker, the

Committee sat and analysed the report that was submitted by Y-FM.

They argued that since the youth constitute the majority in this country, the Community Radio Licences should consider them in allocating licences.  They also said that as youth, since there is funding involved, they are also supposed to be given an opportunity to access funding in order to finance those radio stations.  They also spoke a lot about that but in these processes that are being carried out by BAZ; they should invite applications from the public to apply for those licences.  In most instances, youths realise that during the transmission of information into various areas, sometimes they do not get accurate information pertaining those processes.

They also argued that as youths, they would like to get licences in order to churn out information to their peers efficiently.  They also stated that youths, together with people living with disabilities are supposed to be considered.  The licences should consider all these various groups.  They were explaining, seeking information and clarity on how the process is conducted.  So BAZ explained to them that applications are invited and that they are also eligible to apply.  They further clarified that successful applicants are considered on the basis of various factors, including funding but the youth argued that if you look at the licences that were granted in some communities and regions, BAZ did not go there.  So they argued that youths should be considered so that they grow properly and fit well into society and that they are supposed to get allocations/quotas dedicated to the youths.

We realised that indeed BAZ explained their position and the youths also expressed their position and with time, we realised that all the stakeholders should come together and give information in detail on the requirements and consider languages spoken predominantly. As time goes on, they must sit down together so that they highlight to each other how they can align radio stations with languages spoken in that area.   We resolved as a Committee that BAZ and other stakeholders must look at the issue of languages.  In border areas like Mbire, Rushinga and others, they do not have radio stations. We must take into consideration that youths like to be kept up to date with information through radio stations. Different areas must have radio stations that speak their languages. With these few words Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank you.  

HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also add my voice to this petition brought to this House by Hon. Mokone, seconded by Hon. Nyabani.  I think from the onset, we have actually been enlightened that community radios are meant for a defined community.  The implication there is that we are supposed to be having a community that has got its own interest, a community that speaks perhaps the same language so that when the information comes, it is going to be understood.  Also, there is a notion that the community radios are supposed to be catering mainly for the youths.  Our youths, if we are to look at what they do, normally they have got varying interests even when they are in the same community.  Usually our youths would want to see something rather than just hearing.  If they forego the seeing because normally they want something which is taking place at that same time, some action; if it is just a mere radio then it must really attract them so that the contents of the information they are getting from the radio can keep them glued to the radio.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to say the fact that a community radio is the baby of the community, it can actually give some challenges.  I have seen some Community Information Centres; there is one in my constituency where you find that it is now a ghost structure.  There is no one who is coming there, even when we had some televisions put outside our Rural District Council, you find people are not so interested when they see things that are so just public.  They want to be in places where they enjoy whatever they are going to listen to and hear when they are at secluded places.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to say BAZ is doing the right thing to give time for the applications that will be approved.  If a provider is going to be given two months to make sure that the provider is going to offer a community radio station-that is a good thing because some of our providers simply come because they have heard something.  They will not end up providing the necessary equipment and gadgets that are required.  I also want to say these community radio stations are very vital in our communal areas, especially in the rural areas.  Most of our rural areas do not have facilities like televisions and there is no accessibility in terms of internet and so on.  At least if they are given a community radio they also listen to what is happening in the world and around. I just feel the issue of community radio stations is very vital as given by a petition from YFM.  It is good that these community radios are given to our disadvantaged communities so that they can also access information because information is a constitutional right. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

(v)HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to commend the Committee for recommending that the YFM be considered by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. (Network

failure).

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele, you are no

longer audible.

(v)HON. NDEBELE:  I believe that if granted a licence, that will cater for that obvious gap.  Sometimes the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe moves too slowly that we as the representatives of the people end up questioning the sincerity of our Government in terms of its willingness to share the air waves with rural communities.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not see why applicants should wait for the authority to advertise so that they can then be able to apply for licences.  It should be an ongoing process and open for those who want to apply to do so at any particular time. This also corresponds to the fact that the Broadcasting Authority itself does not have a specific time in which they consider applications.  The report says the Broadcasting Authority said that licencing is ongoing, it is open ended and so should be the application process. Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to clearly point out a missed opportunity that the Committee may want to consider going forward so that we put the issues of licencing to

rest.

The Committee should lead the Parliament in seriously looking into regulations that we enacted as some of these bar - the pricing for instance.  They must look into the life of those community radio stations that we have licenced so far.  What are we doing to support them if we are truly dedicated to the establishment of community radio licencing?

Radio stations thrive on advertising; we have enacted laws that have banned community radio stations from receiving advertising revenues.  It is critical; any radio station needs advertising for survival.  There is need for the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to set allowable threshold for advertising.  For example, we could say 30% collected through advertising remains with the station while 70% goes to the Broadcasting Authority.

From a legislative point of view, the Committee needs to get the exact budget that the Ministry has to support community radio stations development and the line item that the budget will fund.  The establishment of community radio stations; we must apply our minds to the survival of those community radio stations that we have already licenced so that they do not remain as white elephants.  I so submit.

HON. MOKONE:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Members who debated on this motion on community radios.  I recognise that they have put all their efforts in their debate and in that regard, I move that this House adopts the report that I presented before the House.     Motion; With leave, adopted.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the rest of the Orders of the

Day be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 32 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Thirty-second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the proposal for the Executive to declare a specific day to celebrate women’s achievements in the development and liberation of the country.

Question again proposed.

HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would also like to add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Madiwa seconded by Hon. Mpariwa.  I would also want to take this opportunity to thank them for raising this motion.

Hon. Speaker Sir, I remember in 2016 that a similar motion was brought before this House by myself and seconded by Hon. Mpariwa calling on the Executive to declare the 8th March as a public holiday.        I am in support of the call for a day to be set aside as a public holiday where women will be celebrated.  I would like to substantiate this call by raising three issues - socially, politically and economically.  Women carry babies for nine months and during those nine months, they go through a lot of problems and after that, they go through excruciating pain in bringing those children to this world.  Thereafter, they look after those children, make sure that the children are fed, clothed and when they are sick, they are taken to hospital.  After all that, they make sure that those children go to school from primary, secondary and tertiary universities so that they become graduates.

Hon. Speaker Sir, as you are sitting on that chair, it is all because of your mother who carried you for nine months and nurtured you to become who you are today.  This is evidence enough for the

Executive to declare a women’s day as a public holiday.

Half of the food which is consumed in this world comes from a woman’s hand and half of the food which is consumed in this country also comes from a woman’s hand.  Just a few days ago, the Ministry of Agriculture was saying they are increasing the Strategic Grain

Reserve from 500 000 tonnes to 1, 5 million tonnes all because of

Pfumvudza Programme and women are the ones who were doing Pfumvudza.  So, now they are increasing this Strategic Grain Reserve all because of women.

Zimbabwe is highly informalised with more than 90% of the people in the informal sector and out of that 90%, more 78% of those people are women.  Women are earning a living in the informal sector, they are crossing borders, and they are the ones who are paying duties.  Government right now is relying on women.  They contribute more than 80% to the Gross Domestic Product of their country.  Women are creators of wealth.  Once again, this is evidence enough for the Executive to set aside a women’s day so that people are able to celebrate their mothers.

Politically, statistics have shown that women are the majority voters. Every person who is sitting in this House was voted for by a woman, form the President to the councillors – statistics speak for themselves.  You are sitting on those chairs because of women. This is evidence enough for the Executive to declare a day so that people celebrate their mothers. I do not think that there is anyone who does not want to celebrate their mothers.  Just a few weeks ago when this motion was debated, Hon. Madiwa was saying more than eight countries in the SADC region have set aside a day as a public holiday where people celebrate their mothers. Why are we not doing the same as Zimbabwe? I have outlined the reason why women must be celebrated. People of Zimbabwe require a day where they will sit in their homes and relax, where our children will appreciate us, where our children will sit down so that we do parties, celebrate and appreciate the work that we did for them. Children are in this world because of their mothers.

I would like to call upon the Executive to set aside a Women’s Day which is going to be a public holiday where every Zimbabwean will be able to appreciate their mothers for carrying them for nine months, for being their nurses, for being their friends, for giving them all the love, for bringing them up to be the persons that they are today. I hope and trust that as a Parliament, we will unanimously agree and make sure that we ask and push the Executive so that they set aside a Women’s Day which is going to be a public holiday.

As we speak right now, there is a Youth Day and Heroes Day and all these other days. So, I do not see anything wrong by a women’s day being set aside as a public holiday where mothers will be appreciated for the work that they did for you to be in this world. I rest my case.

(v)HON. NDEBELE: Thank you for allowing me to lend my weight behind this noble cause that our country establishes and recognises a special day as a holiday in honour of our wives and sisters.

Zimbabwe has a long history of commemorating key events and critical stakeholders in the public holiday framework of the country.

This represents a country’s tradition of ensuring that the nation collectively pauses to reflect on the role and contribution of a particular institution or sector that has made great contribution to the very fabric of who we are as a country. It is in this regard that I support the noble cause that we have a holiday to honour all the women in our society.

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th September 2021.

On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI seconded by HON.

MPARIWA the House adjourned at Five o’clock p.m.

 

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