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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 16 February 2016 42-35

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 16th February, 2016

The National Assembly met at a quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

THE HON. SPEAKER’S RULINGS

POINT OF PRIVILEGE RAISED BY HON. MATUKE AGAINST

  1. KUWAZA’S CONDUCT DURING COMMITTEE MEETING

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have two rulings to make.  The first one

is a ruling by the Hon. Speaker on a point of privilege raised by the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy against the Chairperson of the State Procurement Board Mr. Charles Kuwaza.

1. Background

This Ruling seeks to address the point of order raised by Hon.

Matuke on Wednesday the 29th July, 2015, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy. Hon. Matuke stated that the Committee on Mines and Energy in performing its oversight function, had been conducting an enquiry into the tendering system of electricity sector projects. Accordingly, the Committee invited Mr. Charles Kuwaza, the Executive Chairperson of the State

Procurement Board to a meeting, in order to gather pertinent facts on the operations of the State Procurement Board in respect of electricity sector projects.

For the record Hon. Matuke stated that Mr. Kuwaza appeared before the Committee on Monday the 30th  June, 2015 but failed to answer questions raised which led to the meeting being aborted so as to give him sufficient time to prepare his responses to the questions raised by the Committee. On Monday the 6th July 2015, Mr. Kuwaza once again appeared before the Committee. The Committee had documented additional questions which Mr. Kuwaza had been given in the first aborted meeting. After the formalities of taking oath as required under

Standing Order 25 (b) and introductions, members of the Committee led by the Committee Chairperson, asked if Mr. Kuwaza had brought written responses to the two sets of questions that had been brought to his attention. It became apparent that Mr. Kuwaza had not prepared a written response to the questions as directed by the Committee. When asked again to respond even orally to questions that were raised in the letter sent to him, Mr. Kuwaza indicated that he had sent an e-mail to the Clerk of Parliament dealing with only one issue of the mandate of State Procurement Board. Mr. Kuwaza could not even provide proof of the email. Hon. Matuke stated that it was impressed upon Mr. Kuwaza that it was important for him to provide answers that had been lawfully posed, which was to no avail as Mr. Kuwaza became visibly abusive and at one point suggested that there was no order in the Committee.

It is alleged that the conduct by Mr. Kuwaza has potential to impair and undermine the role and authority of Parliament in general and the work of the Committee in particular. The Committee is of the view that;

  • Kuwaza’s failure to answer questions posed to him amounts to

contempt of Parliament;

  • Kuwaza misrepresented facts in the email sent to the

Administration of Parliament;

  • Kuwaza shouted, ‘Can we have order in this Committee,’ suggesting that the Committee was disorganised, after he had been asked to recuse himself from the meeting – [Laughter]
  • Kuwaza’s arrogance, misrepresentation and refusal to respond directly impaired the work of the Committee in the discharge of its constitutional mandate.

Ruling

In view of the foregoing, it was imperative that the Chair looks into the matter and in particular the legislative provisions concerning the issue at hand.  In terms of section 12 of the Privileges, Immunities and

Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08]—

“a witness in or before Parliament or a committee shall be … bound― (a) To answer any questions which may be put to him;

(b)        To produce any document or thing which he may actually

have in his possession.”

It is patently clear that Parliament is given power under the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08] to act decisively where there is a prima facie contempt of Parliament or its Committee. The Schedule to the Act lists a number of offences including refusing to be examined before or answer any lawful and relevant questions put by Parliament or a Committee, amongst others. Standing Order No 25 allows Committees to conduct investigations and in doing so, may perform quasi-judicial functions such as summoning a person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, as was the case in this instance.

It is apparent that Mr. Kuwaza refused to be examined before or to answer any lawful and relevant questions put by Parliament or the Committee and prevaricated as a witness before Committee and thus, was in direct violation of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08]. The Chair, therefore, rules that the alleged conduct by Mr. Kuwaza constitutes a prima facie case of contempt of Parliament, and further rules that an ad hoc Committee be established to enquire into the matter.

POINT OF PRIVILEGE RAISED BY HON. WADYAJENA AGAINST

HON. KASUKUWERE’S BEHAVIOUR DURING COMMITTEE

MEETING

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Wadyajena rose on Wednesday,

29th of July, 2015, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Portfolio

Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, on a point of privilege concerning Hon. S. Kasukuwere and the alleged words uttered by the Hon. Minister in a meeting of the Committee. Hon. Wadyajena stated that the Committee had been enquiring into the implementation of the Indigenisation Act administered by the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment and in particular, the progress that had been made in implementing Community Share

Ownership Trusts.

Numerous submissions were made by the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, from which the Committee determined that the Community Share Ownership Trusts were at different stages of implementation. Of particular interest was the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust, which was launched by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,

Cde. R. G. Mugabe. The Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust was expected to kick start with a total of US$50 million said to have been pledged by the five diamond companies operating in Chiadzwa diamond fields. At the occasion, it was reported by the then Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Hon Kasukuwere, that the five diamond mining companies had each pledged US$10 million towards the Trust.

Sometime last year, the Committee invited the Board of the

Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust to brief the Committee on progress made in the implementation of the community projects following the US$50 million pledge by the diamond mining companies operating in the area. The Committee was puzzled when the Board indicated that they were yet to receive the alleged pledges. The Committee further invited the representatives of the diamond mining companies, who denied ever making such pledges to the Community Share Ownership Trust.

The Committee went on to invite the then Minister of Youth,

Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Hon. Francis Nhema, the Permanent Secretary and officials from the Ministry, who indicated that the Ministry did not have any letter or correspondence testifying to the pledges. The Committee further made a follow up on the pledges promised during the launch of the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust which was broadcast on television. The Hon.

Kasukuwere who presided over the establishment of Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust, was then invited to clarify matters in order to enable the Committee to make informed recommendations to

Parliament on the Community Share Ownership Trusts.

On the 9th of July, 2015, Hon. S. Kasukwere, now the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing appeared before the Committee after having been invited to do so. In terms of Standing Order Number 25(a), the Minister was requested to take oath and he duly complied. Hon. Wadyajena, in his point of privilege stated that, he as Chairperson of the Committee then took the opportunity to highlight the purpose of the Committee meeting.

It is alleged that, Hon. Minister Kasukuwere informed the meeting that discussions relating to the pledges were done at a very high political level and since Government was a key player in these diamond companies, it is inconceivable for it to enter into an agreement with other shareholders in the diamond mining companies. It is further alleged that as further clarification was sought from Hon. Minister Kasukuwere on the matter, the Minister became impatient, which resulted in verbal attacks on the Chairperson. It is alleged that he made the following statement:

“I think this is a big witch-hunt, a misplaced one. I do not think it is the Committee but I must say it is yourself Mr. Chairman, Hon. Wadyajena at a personal level.  Mr. Chairman, you have been very careless, I have recordings of your own discussions with journalists”…

“this animal is too big for you to hunt; it might turn back and hunt you. In a small way Mr. Chairman, you have been using a rekeni”.

He also alleged to be in possession of video clips which testify to the allegations made and recordings of conversations that Hon. Wadyajena had had with the media. Hon. Wadyajena stated that he then ruled that the Hon. Minister Kasukuwere was out of order, indicating to him that his conduct was tantamount to intimidating the Chairperson and the Committee in carrying out its constitutional mandate. Hon.

Wadyajena stated that he then requested the Hon. Minister to submit to Parliament Administration any evidence against the Chair for appropriate action to be taken, but the Minister insisted that it was up to him to avail or not to avail such evidence.

The Hon. Chairperson reported that the alleged conduct was a possible violation of the following offences as listed in the Schedule to the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament act [Chapter 2:08] relating to offences, that is—

  • Paragraph 4 which relates to prevarication or other misconduct as a witness before Parliament or a Committee; and
  • Paragraph 13 which relates to making any oral or written threat to a member or challenging him to a fight on account of his conduct in Parliament or Committee.

Ruling

In my assessment of the matter, it was imperative that I consider the facts as presented to the House and establish whether there is a reasonable suspicion that a breach of privilege has been committed. In other words, do the facts establish a legally rebuttable presumption or are the facts lawfully sufficient to make a case against the member so charged.

(a) Violation of paragraph 4 which relate to prevarication or other misconduct as a witness before Parliament or a Committee:-  The facts as presented do not establish sufficient evidence to make a case against the Hon. Minister for violating paragraph 4 of the

Schedule to the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08], which creates the offence of prevarication or other misconduct as a witness before Parliament or a Committee”. The offence constitutes two elements, that is prevarication or other misconduct as a witness.

Prevarication denotes a deliberate misstatement or a lie and other misconduct is too wide but must be linked to prevarication as it is an element of the same offence, therefore, that other misconduct must be related to prevarication.

For the Committee to safely conclude that the Hon. Minister lied or misled the Committee, it has to weigh the copious evidence of the Hon.

Minister with the total evidence gathered during its enquiry. The

Committee did not substantiate its allegations that the Minister prevaricated by indicating the points at which the Minister is alleged to have prevaricated during the oral evidence session.

Furthermore, the Committee did not elaborate on any other misconduct that the Minister is alleged to have committed, suffice to say that the Minister became impatient when asked to clarify on some points.

(b)         Violation of paragraph 13 which relates to making any oral  or written threat to a member or challenging him to fight on account of his conduct in Parliament or Committee

The essential elements of the offence are:- the making of a threat, oral or written, with intention of making that threat and challenging a member to fight on account of the conduct of the member in Parliament or Committee. The Committee is of the opinion that the alleged utterances fall into the definition of “threats” to the Committee calculated to convey threats or intimidate the Committee with a design to instill fear, hinder or obstruct them from the performance of their constitutional mandate.

The word “threat” is defined as “any menace of such a nature and extent as to unsettle the mind of the person of whom it operates and takes away from his acts that free, voluntary action which alone constitutes consent”, or “an intention to harm, inflict pain or other harsh action on someone in retribution for something done or not done”.

(Concise Law Dictionary, 4th Edition 2012 by P. Ramanathaaiyar).  The Committee felt threatened hence a Privileges Committee if established, would be able to investigate into the alleged conduct and threats by the

Hon. Minister and determine whether the utterances constitutes “threats” as defined at law and intended by the Legislature in paragraph 13 of the

Schedule to the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08].

The allegations leveled against the Hon. Minister are serious thus, it was pertinent that I carefully scrutinise all information available to me in determining the matter.  Accordingly, I saw it fit that, apart from reading the report that was presented for my consideration, I should be extra cautious and listen to the recording of the Committee’s proceedings on that particular sitting in which the alleged utterances took place.  In listening to the recording, I became aware of the fact that it is apparent that there was an exchange of words between the Chair of the Committee, Hon. Wadyajena and Hon. Minister Kasukuwere.  The report of the Committee left out some of the utterances by the Chair and the Hon. Minister which would have given a proper context in which the exchanges were made.  I found nothing in the conduct or utterances of the Hon. Minister that constitutes “threats” at law on the person of the Chairperson or the Committee in the conduct of its constitutional mandate.

The Hon. Minister presented his evidence quite eloquently during the hearing and in so doing, he wanted to give a brief background to the inquiry for the Committee to be able to understand where he was coming from. The other members of the Committee even posed questions to the Minister after his testimony, showing that the Hon. Minister conducted himself as expected of a witness before a Parliamentary Committee.

The facts as presented by the Committee do not establish sufficient evidence to charge the Hon. Minister for committing an offence under paragraph 13 which creates an offence of “making any oral or written threat to a member or challenging him to fight on account of his conduct in Parliament or a Committee.”

The Chair rules that, on a balance of probabilities, the alleged conduct by the Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. S. Kasukuwere does not constitute a prima facie case of contempt of Parliament, and further rules that there is no need for an Ad hoc Committee to be established to investigate into the matter.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

CAPACITY BUILDING SEMINAR

THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to advise all members of the following Portfolio Committees that there will be an in-house Capacity Building Seminar on Wednesday, 17th February, 2016 at 0900hrs in the

Senate Chamber:

  1. Industry and Commerce;
  2. Lands, Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation;
  3. Mines and Energy;
  4. Media, Information and Broadcasting Services;
  5. Foreign Affairs and;
  6. Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development.

The seminar is compulsory for all members of the afore-mentioned Committees. Members must bring copies of their Constitution to the seminar. Punctuality is expected of all participants.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: On a point of order Mr.

Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Point of order on what?

HON.MISIHAIRABWE-MUSHONGA: On privileges and

immunities.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I hope it is.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Why are you assuming

that it is not going to be?

THE HON. SPEAKER: You look unconvincing. -[Laughter]-

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move

under the Privileges and Immunities, to commend Hon. Chinotimba for having won the kissing competition. –[Laughter]-  I say so Mr. Speaker, because particularly as women Members of Parliament, we were tired of reading day-in day-out male Members of Parliament that are being taken to court for maintenance and for failing to look after their children. So, to be able to see a male member who is showing a good sight of being a good male model should be commended. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. I would want Hon.

Members to refer to their Standing Orders and the Act on Privileges and

Immunities. There is no romance in our Privileges. I take it that the Hon. Member was trying to be humorous and I am not sure whether you were envious of Mrs. Chinotimba.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the

Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEREMWE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution. I will start by hailing His

Excellency, the President for good leadership. People from Mount Darwin West are very proud of what the President is doing for us. We have been without proper leadership for quite some time, but now that we have a new Member of Parliament, we say thank you to His Excellency, the President for making us choose such a leader. We are also very happy because my constituency did not have a road, but now we have a road. We are very much pleased by what His Excellency, the President is doing in the constituency.

The roads are good and there are no potholes. Travelling is now smooth.

I also ask the President to look into our problem in health institutions. People travel long distances seeking for treatment up to 20 kilometres and this is forcing some people to die in their homes with no treatment. We also ask His Excellency to sanction the exhumation of Hon. Ndoda’s remains from Bindura to be put at the Heroes Acre, a status which she deserves. We also support the War Veterans and all the fighters who fought for the Liberation of the country. We are solidly behind our party ZANU PF and we promise that whatever election is going to be held, there is going to be a 100% sweep of all the seats that will be contested for, just as we did when I was elected. We also thank His Excellency and urge him to keep on working hard for his people. May I also direct my request to the Minister of Agriculture that Minister may you please give farming inputs to farmers on time instead of giving them after the onset of the rainy season. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

           THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR

AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr.

Speaker Sir, I move that the debate be now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 17th February, 2016.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE

PRESIDENT

Second Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the

State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

           THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR

AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr.

Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 17th February, 2016.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr.

Speaker Sir, I move that Orders Numbers 3 and 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders on the Order Paper have been dealt with.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 37TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC

PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

HON. DR. MUKANDURI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I move

the motion in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the

37th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, Zimbali Resort, Durban, 6th to 11th July 2015.

          HON. TOFFA: I second.

HON. DR. MUKANDURI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr.

Speaker Sir, I am giving a report of the 37th Plenary Assembly of the

SADC Parliamentary Forum which was held, at Zimbali Resort in Durban from 6th to the 11th July, 2015.  

INTRODUCTION

The 37th Plenary Assembly  Session of the SADC Parliamentary

Forum (SADC-PF) took place at the Zimbali Resort, KwaZulu Natal from 6 to 11 July 2015, under the theme, “Industrialisation and SADC

Regional Intergration: The Role of Parliament”. This was the third time that the Parliament of South Africa hosted the Plenary Assembly.

The Parliament of Zimbabwe delegation was led by Hon. Adv. Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly. Hon.

Njobvuyalema chaired the 37th Plenary Assembly as Deputy President. Hon. Anne S. Makinda could not attend because of Presiding responsibilities in her country, Tanzania.

1.1.2 The rest of the delegation comprised the following:-           Members of Parliament:-

          Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, Member of Parliament;

Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi, Member of Parliament;

Hon. Dr. Samson Mukanduri; Member of Parliament;

Hon. Innocent Gonese, Member of Parliament; and

Hon. Jasmine Toffa, Member of Parliament.

Secretariat

Mr. Kennedy Mugove Chokuda, Clerk of Parliament;

Mr. Frank Nyamahowa, Director in the Speaker's Office;

Mr. Cleophas Gwakwara, Principal – External Relations Officer and Secretary to the delegation; and

Mr. Robert Sibanda, Security-Aide to the Speaker.

2.0 ATTENDANCE

2.1 The 14 Member States of the SADC, namely Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa,

Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, the          Democratic Republic of the

Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe and the Seychelles  all converged in Durban for the 37th Plenary Assembly of the SADC-PF. This, indeed, was a welcome development since the formation of the Forum.

3.0 OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY

3.1 The Official Opening programme began with a call for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to transform itself from its consumptive role of goods and services to a more sustainable platform for growth. The Region should strive for rapid industrialization and value addition as its key competencies.

3.1.1 In his remarks Dr. Esau Chivhiya, the Secretary- General of the Forum, implored the region to copy from Asia where developing countries had managed to transform themselves from low income to upper and high income status through Industrialization and manufacturing.

3.1.2 In his address, Hon. Joseph Njobvuyalema reminded the Plenary Assembly that the theme was in sync with the current agenda of the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government and SADC. It sought to interrogate and provide answers to the resource curse theory, that “Why is Africa resource rich yet the poorest

Continent”?

3.1.3 Hon. Mbaleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa urged Parliamentarians to play a key role in monitoring the implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap as well as the Regional Indicative Development Plan at national level in the context of their legislative work.

3.1.4 Hon. Thulisile Dladla, the Vice-Chairperson of SADC PF Regional

Women’s Parliamentary Caucus said the Region should strive to attain the 50 – 50 Gender parity if socio-economic growth is to be achieved.

3.1.5 The Plenary Session was privileged to have President Jacob Zuma host a reception in honour of the delegates during which he added his voice to the call for transforming the Forum into a Regional Parliament if the Region is to achieve economic growth and selfsufficiency.  He noted that SADC remains the only region which has not established a Parliament whilst the Protocol establishing the Pan African Parliament (PAP) provides for it to be anchored by five Regional Parliaments. This is a missing link.

4.0 ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON MIGRATION

4.1  The Round-table discussion entitled “Migration and Development; Free Movement of People: Towards Regional

Integration; and Diaspora Engagement”, brought together

Members of Parliaments, experts, civil society and interest groups. The round-table aimed at sensitizing members and the community at large about migration related issues in the SADC region.

4.1.1 The Round-table formed part of a series of activities initiated by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa in an ongoing campaign against xenophobia that had been launched earlier this year, on Africa Day.

4.1.2 Hon. Mbete said that the SADC Parliamentary Forum has a role to play on migration. The Forum in particular has to advocate for a regional policy framework to govern migration in SADC, as there is currently no overall regional policy in place.

5.0 MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

5.1 The Executive Committee resolved through an ad-hoc Committee, on the following:

  • the Forum will liaise with donors and co-operating partners so as to raise the necessary funds to cover the cost of holding Standing

Committee meetings twice per year outside the  Plenary Assembly;

  • In case no donor or co-operating partner was ready to finance the cost of Standing Committee Meetings outside the Plenary Assembly, then all Standing Committee Meetings, as has been the practice, in the past, will meet during the Plenary Assembly and national parliaments will cover the cost of their Members' participation.

5.1.1 On the cost of Election Observation Missions, the Executive

Committee resolved the following:

Ø     The cost of election observation missions (secretariat and logistic costs) should be covered       within the budget of the SADC PF;

  • The contribution for the costs of election observation missions should not be mandatory to National Parliaments; and
  • The National Parliaments should continue to cover the cost of participation of their respective Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff depending on the availability of funds.

5.1.2 On the SADC – PF Parliamentary Studies Institute, the EXCO resolved that a comprehensive cost and benefit analysis be prepared by the Secretariat and that the Secretariat should explore the possibilities of collaborating with universities and accredited educational or training institutions. The EXCO also resolved that the post of the Director of Parliamentary Business be kept in abeyance until such a time that resources permit to fund such a post.

5.1.3  Parliament of Zimbabwe has paid its dues towards the purchase of the official residence of the Office of the Secretary General for the Forum. Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique were yet to pay their annual membership contributions of 2014/2015 financial years.

Zimbabwe’s outstanding subscription stands at US$257,973.00 dating back to the year 2014. The fact that our Parliament is mentioned at every Forum when it comes to outstanding subscriptions does not augur well for the country's image.

                6.0     RESOLUTIONS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

6.1    In accordance with its constitutive mandate, the 37th Plenary Assembly debated and resolved on various issues of regional importance and concern which were set out in Members’ Motions, Reports of the Executive Committee and the Standing Committees.

6.1.1 In tandem with the SADC sectoral interests, the SADC PF has five established Standing Committees which focus on the following:

  1. i) Democratization, Governance and Human Rights; ii) Human and Social Development and Special Programmes; iii) Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth

Development; iv) Trade, Industry, Finance and Integration; and

  1. v) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Infrastructure.

6.1.2 The 37th Plenary Assembly made the following resolutions which, in line with Rule 6(3) of the SADC PF Rules of Procedure, should “be submitted to the SADC Secretariat and to relevant National

Ministries through National Parliaments”

7.0     RESOLUTION ON THE THEME

‘INDUSTRIALIZATION FOR SADC DEVELOPMENT AND

INTEGRATION: THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENT.’

7.1    It was observed that the SADC region is endowed with abundant and diverse natural resources and that recently oil and other valuable resources have been discovered. Paradoxically, SADC is resource rich and yet one of the poorest sub-regions of the world. The meeting acknowledged that the problems of the  the sub-region and in fact the African continent is exporting their raw materials cheaply and in return paying exorbitant prices for finished products resulting in a trade deficit.

7.1.1 The 37th Plenary Assembly, therefore, welcomed and expressed Parliamentary support for the implementation of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) (2015 – 2020) and the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2020) which were adopted by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in April 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe.

8.0     RESOLUTION ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A

SADC REGIONAL PARLIAMENT

8.1    There was concurrence on the need to establish a SADC Regional Parliament in accordance with an inclusive and participatory regional integration process. It was recalled that the Protocol to the

Constitutive Act of the African Union establishing the Pan African Parliament anchors it on the Regional Parliaments of Africa and that out of the five regions of Africa, SADC is the only one without a Regional Parliament. To this end, the SADC PF leadership will continue to engage the SADC Executive at both the national and regional levels for the transformation of the Forum into a Regional Parliament.

9.0     RESOLUTION ON FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND

NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

9.1 The Plenary Assembly called for the prioritization of interventions, both at national and regional levels, for the effective and efficient management of natural resources for sustainable development. SADC countries should also ensure that maximum benefit is derived from the exploitation of natural resources by the regional populace. The meeting urged greater political commitment amongst concerned SADC Governments to redress the skewed access, control and ownership of land and land-based resources in favour of the majority of the citizens of the region.

9.1.2  SADC Member States need to align their respective national legislations and policies on mineral resources to the African Mining vision and further propose the purposeful inclusion of natural resource governance issues in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Furthermore, SADC Countries that have not yet done so, are encouraged to consider joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (EITI) in order to enhance good governance of mineral and other resources.

9.1.3 Finally, it was agreed that there is need for the adoption of a broad-based and inclusive approach to the management of natural resources which values the roles of Parliament, civil society, the private sector, the media, and vulnerable and interested groups.

10.0 RESOLUTION ON TRADE, INDUSTRY, FINANCE

AND INTEGRATION

10.1 The meeting reiterated the need for SADC Member States to clearly agree and honour a financing modality in order to guarantee the achievement of the objectives of the revised RISDP and Industrialization Strategy and Road Map whilst the SADC Secretariat is urged to firmly exercise the role of coordination of the same.

10.1.1        Parliaments were urged to play a pivotal role in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the progress of the revised RISDP and the Industrial Strategy and Road Map and the overall impact of these on the SADC development and integration agenda.

11.0 RESOLUTIONS ON THE COMMITTEE ON

DEMOCRATIZATION, GOVERNANCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

11.1 The Plenary Assembly congratulated the four SADC nations which recently held elections which were generally concluded as free, fair and credible. These were; -

  1. i) Namibia Presidential and National Assembly Elections of 28

November 2014; ii) Mauritius National Assembly Elections of 10 December 2014; iii) Zambia Presidential Election of 20 January 2015; and iv) Lesotho National Assembly Elections of 28 February 2015.

11.1.2   The Assembly highly commended Namibia for being the first country on the African continent to pioneer the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and therefore, recommended research on the use of EVMs in order to inform SADC Member States.

11.1.3        A proposal was put forward for the training of Members of Parliament and Staff in ICT-based electoral systems and processes such as EVMs in order to better equip SADC PF Election Observation Missions with competencies to undertake observations through the use of ICTs.

11.1.4         The Assembly appreciated and encouraged the continuation of legislative reforms in SADC Member States which mandates for Parliaments' involvement in the appointment of Electoral Commissioners. In the interest of transparency and professionalism, the same role must be extended for Parliament in electoral boundaries delimitation.

11.1.5 It was recommended that SADC and all other electoral stakeholders should adopt an entire election cycle approach.

Parliamentarians should not just focus on the campaigning, polling and counting phases that are normally covered during election observation missions. It was, therefore, proposed that technical missions be sent to observe key processes such as voter registration, voter education, printing of the ballot papers and evaluation of elections. SADC Member States and respective legislatures which are currently undertaking constitutional and legal reforms should seize this opportunity to ensure that their respective legal and policy frameworks are aligned and harmonized with the relevant regional and international electoral instruments.

12.0 RESOLUTION ON THE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN

AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ISSUES

12.1 The Plenary Assembly implored National Parliaments which are yet to establish Parliamentary Committees on HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health to work expeditiously in establishing them. In the meantime, those Parliaments which have the Committee were encouraged to engage in greater activism in appreciation of the resources generously received from AIDS Rights Alliance of Southern Africa

(ARASA) and the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA).

12.1.1 The SADC PF Secretariat has to accelerate the promotion of the “Ending AIDS” campaign amongst other activities and convene a broad-based Regional Consultative Conference on Sexual and

Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

12.1.2   Among other initiatives, the SADC secretariat is encouraged to brief the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes on the state of human trafficking in the region and, for this Committee to share the same with the broader Plenary Assembly.

13.0  RESOLUTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE ON GENDER

EQUALITY, WOMEN’S ADVANCEMENT AND YOUTH

DEVELOPMENT

13.1  The Plenary welcomed initiatives aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills of SADC Parliamentarians and officials with regards to issues of gender-responsive budgeting and encouraged the continuation of the same through collaboration with the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) and other cooperating partners.

13.1.1 National Parliaments’ are encouraged to engage in the scrutiny of the national budget from a  rights based perspective and inculcate gender responsive budgeting.

13.1.2  SADC has to purposefully include the legislative sector within the institutional arrangements of the revised SADC Protocol on Gender and Development in order to ensure greater Parliamentary facilitation and oversight of the implementation process.

13.1.3  SADC Member States are to adopt frameworks that will promote youth   empowerment and participation in politics and elections in particular as the youths constitute over 60 percent of  the population and they are also the majority of voters in the region.

14.0 RESOLUTIONS ON THE MOTION ON THE

PREVENTION AND ELIMINATION OF CHILD MARRIAGES

14.1  The Plenary Assembly noted with deep concern the prevalence of child marriages in Southern Africa  with about 40% of children being married before they are 18 years of age and that two of the SADC  Member States are among the 10 countries in the world with the highest rates of child marriage, where over 50% of children are being married before they reach the legal age of 18.

14.1.2 The Plenary condemned the notion and practice of child marriages and strongly urged SADC Member States to work tirelessly to eradicate this inhuman practice as these contravene international human rights obligations and commitments to which SADC Member States are signatory.

14.1.3 There was need to encourage the continuation of consultative stakeholder engagement by the SADC PF as these consultations will serve to raise awareness and alarm about child marriages. It is encouraging to note that in Zimbabwe, an all-stakeholder consultative process is already ongoing.

14.1.4 There is need for the SADC Parliamentary Forum to expedite the development and adoption of the SADC Model Law on Child Marriages whilst urging Parliamentarians to ensure that appropriate legislation at national level is enacted to abolish child marriages.

15.0 RESOLUTIONS ON THE MOTION ON SADC

MEMBER STATES’ READINESS TO DEAL WITH FOOD SECURITY, DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE

CHANGE CHALLENGES

15.1   It was noted that the entire SADC Region faces a maize deficit for the current 2015/16 agricultural season and further, that SADC Member States, due to the effects of Climate Change, are vulnerable to a range of natural disasters which results in an upsurge in the frequency, magnitude and impact of drought and flood events.

15.1.2 The Plenary, therefore, welcomed the ongoing initiative of promoting the role of Parliament in Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation in the COMESA, EAC and SADC regions and in particular, the planned Parliamentary Conference on Mobilizing Domestic

Financing for Climate Change and Adaptation in the SADC Region.

15.1.3 In this regard, the Meeting applauded and expressed support for the adopted integrated regional  approach to managing the challenges related to food insecurity, climate change and disaster risk management through specific initiatives such as (i) the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (ii) the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Agriculture and Food  Security in the SADC Region (iii) the SADC Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS) and the (iv) Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Programme.

16.0  RESOLUTIONS ON THE MOTION ON THE

IMPORTANCE OF THE BLUE ECONOMY TO ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAND STATES AND REGIONAL

INTEGRATION

16.1  The Plenary recognized the importance of the Blue Economy to the development of Island Nations and other communities whose existence is defined by the oceans that surrounds them, which isolates or connects them to the rest of the world. Over the last three years, the emerging concept of the Blue Economy has been embraced by many Small Island Developing States as a mechanism to realize sustainable growth based around an ocean-economy.

16.1.2 The Plenary Assembly welcomed and reaffirmed the SADC

Parliamentary Forum’s support of the notion of the Blue Economy in sustaining economic development and the need to help all Island Nations eradicate poverty in the SADC Region whilst contributing to the

Region’s economic growth in the process.

16.1.3 There were calls on SADC to embrace and mainstream the Blue Economy as a concept which has invaluable potential in maximizing the economic competitiveness of Island States as well as deepening integration in the Region.

17.0  CONCLUSION

In the concluding segment, Hon. Baleka Mbete, the South African

National Assembly Speaker, expressed gratitude

17.1 That the SADC Parliamentary Forum afforded members of respective Parliaments in the SADC region, a platform to engage in the critical issues affecting the people in the region. She hailed the SADC

PF efforts towards the establishment of a Regional Parliament.

37th   PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADCPARLIAMENTARY FORUM RECOMMENDATIONS

1.0    Parliament of Zimbabwe to continuously advocate for the Transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (PF) into a Regional Parliament through debates in both Houses.

2.0    The Parliament of Zimbabwe to Lobby Government to expedite the training and creation of  a  knowledge base on Electronic Voting Machines in preparation for future elections.

3.0    The Legislature is encouraged to engage in the scrutiny of the national budget from a rights based perspective and inculcate gender responsive budgeting and youth empowerment.

4.0    Parliaments to accelerate activities on mitigation of spread of HIV/AIDS campaign and make use of resources generously received from AIDS Rights Alliance of Southern Africa (ARASA) and the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA).

5.0    There is need for a proactive method approach to the management of natural resources which is all inclusive and the country should champion value addition and beneficiation.

6.0    National Parliaments should track the status of ratification, domestication, harmonization and implementation of the relevant SADC Protocols and other international instruments.

7.0    Parliament to participate in a 2-day dialogue for the

Chairpersons of Gender and or Women's Affairs of the 14 National

Parliaments before the review of the SADC Protocol on Gender and

Development is finalized in order to debate and solicit their “buy in”.

Parliament should be prepared to finance this dialogue.

8.0    The institution to endeavour to attract the requisite research and analytical skills which will enable Parliamentary oversight of complex issues such as industrialization.

9.0    The SADC Parliamentary Forum should expedite the development and adoption of the SADC Model Law on Child Marriages whilst urging Parliamentarians to ensure that appropriate legislation at national level is enacted to abolish child marriages. It is encouraging to note that a Joint Session to consider and validate the Model Law on

Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage

is currently taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 30 September to 03 October 2015.

10.0 Government implored to continue playing an important role in mitigating the effects of Climate Change. I thank you.

*HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me

the opportunity to make my contribution.  It is pleasing to note that Parliaments from the SADC region passed such good resolutions as presented by Hon. Dr. Mukanduri.  I will begin by dwelling on child marriages.  Which definition is being used when we talk of child marriages?  Is it because a young girl is staying with a man?

I would like to advise our Parliaments to pass a law which prohibits young girls from going to public places such as bars and are into relationships with elderly men.  If you do not pass this law, the young girls will run away from homes and go to public places where they fall in love with elderly men.

Let me talk of consumptive, versus productive, which is what is happening in our industries.  We would want to see our industries growing.   We want to develop our manufacturing sector because at the moment, when we go into the market, we realise that most of the goods on sale are imports.  Even when you look at the cars on the roads, most of the cars are from Japan.

We are proud of our education in Zimbabwe and we should be able to educate engineers who will be able to invent a small car or just a car, which is equivalent to our needs and avoid imports.  This is because when we import cars, we will be exporting jobs and our own wealth.

This leads to poor liquidity because we would have exported money.

I will now turn to xenophobia.  The countries which engage in xenophobia are those who are ignorant of realities.  When people like Zimbabweans migrate into the diaspora, they are highly educated and constructive people.  What this means is that, if a country is suffering from xenophobia and chases out people like Zimbabweans, it will be exporting expertise and they become poor.  We need to tap into the people of Zimbabwe who are in the diaspora and we will be able to benefit a lot from the money earned in the diaspora.

There is also need to look at the food security aspect.  Zimbabwe is a blessed country.  It is a highly productive country with good climatic conditions and an able leader who has qualities of leadership.  What you need to do is to encourage all the beneficiaries of the land reform programme to work hard and produce for the country.  Currently, we have people who own 1000 hectares and underutilising the land by using only one hectare.  This is very bad for the country.  I thank you.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):  I move

that the debate do now adjourn.   Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 17th February, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE,

HOME AFFAIRS AND SECURITY SERVICES REPORT ON THE

LAND MINE SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE

HON. MUDEREDZWA:  Madam Speaker, I move the

motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of  the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security  Services Report on the Landmine Situation in Zimbabwe. (S.C. 2, 2015)

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  I second.

          HON. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I am

presenting a report on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Defence Home Affairs and Security Services on the state of land mine or the land mine situation in Zimbabwe.  Madam Speaker, I will start with the introduction then I will go to the methodology of how we conducted....

An hon. member having passed between the Chair and the member speaking.

             THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member.  I think I have

always reminded Hon. Members that you should not obstruct the vision of the Chair and the Hon. Member who will be debating.  You should bear this in mind every time you want to go out of this House.

HON. MUDEREDZWA. Thank you Madam Speaker.

1.Introduction

1.1. The contextual framework of this report is built around the  challenges posed by landmines in   Zimbabwe. Villagers along the areas  close to our borders in Masvingo, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central

Provinces still live in  perpetual fear of landmines, which have claimed 1

550 lives and maimed more than 2 000 people since the country’s independence in 1980.

1.2. The history of landmines dates back to the days of the war of  liberation where the Rhodesian Army laid mines on the borders of

Zimbabwe with neighbouring countries namely, Zambia and

Mozambique.  Most of the land mines were laid between 1976 and 1979. The primary objective of the Rhodesian Army in laying the landmines along the Eastern, South Eastern, and Northern borders of the country was to prevent incursions into the country by ZANLA and ZIPRA freedom fighters.

1.3. Your Committee conducted a fact finding tour to some of the  areas where demining activities were underway or had just been completed, to get an appreciation of the situation on the ground. To this end, your Committee would like to thank the Ministry of Defence for the cooperation it received during this critical exercise.

      2.  Methodology

2.1    Your Committee held meetings and received oral evidence from the Ministry of Defence before conducting fact finding visits to the Eastern and South Eastern borders of the country. Oral evidence was also received by your Committee on the ground in areas visited. A general overview of the situation was also presented to your Committee as it sought to compile its report on the landmine situation in Zimbabwe, thirty-five years after independence.

2.2 After conducting its findings, your Committee made observations and recommendations on the landmine situation. A detailed overview on areas affected by the landmines countrywide was also given to your Committee.

3. 0 Overview of the landmine situation

3.1.0 Your Committee received oral evidence from the Permanent

Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Mr Martin Rushwaya, who was accompanied by senior Army personnel. The Ministry officials informed your Committee that an estimated three million anti-personnel mines had been laid in six distinct minefields. The total distance covered by the minefields was approximately 850km. The minefields covered an area of about 310.65 square km along the borders with Mozambique and

Zambia. These minefields were laid in the following areas:-

3.1.1 Victoria Falls to Mlibizi

A total of 220km stretch of land from Victoria Falls to Mlibizi was identified as minefield No. 1. The minefield was the second largest minefield in the country. This area had since been cleared by the National Mine Clearance Squadron (NMC SQN). A total of 25 959 AP mines were recovered from the minefield and destroyed. The land has since been reclaimed for economic utilization.

3.1.2 Mukumbura to Rwenya

The 426km stretch of land from Mukumbura to Rwenya was identified as minefield No. 2 This is by far the largest of all minefields in the country. The demining exercise was still to be completed, unlike in minefield No 1, as at the end of June 2015.  A total distance of 130km had been cleared where a total of 162 419 AP mines were recovered. Sadly enough, the operation had to be halted due to inadequate financial resources. In the same minefield Hallo Trust, a private company contracted to do the demining, cleared 379 253 square kilometres, where a total of 6 336 AP mines and 02 AT mines were recovered. During the same period, the National Mine Clearance Squadron (NMC SQN) carried out landmine clearance exercises in the Mukumbura encirclement area where a total of 19 700 square kilometres of land was reclaimed. Within the same area, 98 AP mines were recovered and destroyed.

3.1.3 Sheba Forest to Beacon Hill

This was identified as minefield No. 3. The area covers a 50km stretch of land from Sheba Forest to Beacon Hill. An area of some 66 801 square kilometres of land was reclaimed and 449 AP mines were recovered from this minefield and destroyed.

3.1.4 Burma Valley

The Burma Valley was identified as minefield No. 4. This area covered a distance of 4.1km of the Valley. It has since been completely cleared of landmines.  Among them, were 118 AP mines which were recovered and destroyed.

3.1.5 Rusitu to Muzite Mission

This was identified as minefield No. 5. Demining activities were yet to start on this minefield. The area covers a stretch of 75km of land from Rusitu to Muzite Mission.

3.1.6 Sango Border Post to Crooks Corner

The Sango Border Post to Crooks Corner was identified as minefield No. 6. This consists of a 53km double stretch minefield and remains one of the deadliest and devastating minefields in the country.  Locals in the area live in constant fear of detonating landmines still buried underground.

4.0   Proceedings of the Committee

          a)      Crooks Corner to Sango Border Post

4.1      In pursuit of its constitutional mandate, your Committee visited the Crooks Corner to Sango Border Post minefield. Your

Committee gathered oral evidence from the Four Brigade Commander in

Masvingo who gave an overview of the minefield in the Province of Masvingo which borders with Mozambique. Further evidence was received at Dumisa, a base manned by the National Mine Clearance Squadron and is part of the Crooks Corner to Sango Border Post minefield. The minefield is a double stretch which comprises two minefields that run parallel to the Mozambican boundary with Zimbabwe. Your Committee learnt that the inland minefield was referred to as the primary minefield and the one closest to the

Mozambican side was referred to as the secondary minefield. These two minefields stretched for a distance of 53km.

4.2. At the time of the visit by your Committee in June 2015, the NMC SQN was engaged in clearing the primary minefield. In evidence before your Committee, the engineers disclosed that the primary minefield was a reinforced plough shear type with a planned  density of 120 above surface plough shear mines and 240 below surface mines per 1000m by 400m² area, which translated to 400 000m².

The activity level of the plough shear could be rated at 1%, while that of the anti-personnel below surface, could be rated at 90%. The minefield had a depth of about 400m. It also comprised three strips of plough shears, each with plough shear pickets protected by a keeper of one or two anti-personnel mines. The type of anti-personnel mines recovered from this minefield, were mainly plough shear. These constitute an above surface fragmentation mine. The below surface mines in this minefield were the R2M2, the VS50, the M969 and the

Carrot mine which are commonly referred to as the Rhodesian mine.

4.3      Your Committee was further informed, running along the same stretch, was the secondary minefield whose depth was about 75m.

The secondary minefield stretched for about 53km. It stretched from the Crooks Corner to the Sango Border Post. The secondary minefield also had a strip of plough shear mines and three rows of clusters, unlike the primary minefield. The challenge posed by the secondary minefield is the absence of markings. As a result, this minefield was claiming more causalities than the primary minefield.

The most disturbing observation about the mine clearing activity was the slow pace and laborious nature of the exercise. This was due to the clearance methods used. Your Committee was informed that the National Mines Clearance Squadron mainly used the mechanical as well as the manual clearance methods.

For the mechanical clearance method, your Committee was informed that the NMC SQN used bulldozer’s which cut through the depth of the minefield detonating the mines. The clearance exercise was later followed by a manual team with hand held metallic detectors. The hand held detectors, the valom VMH 3CS are designed in such a way that they detect any metallic objects that the miners come across. So from the whole lot of metallic objects picked by these detectors, extreme caution has to be exercised. Suffice to say, along the same minefield were numerous remnants of war munitions. As a result, the clearance methods were not only cumbersome but extremely dangerous to the courageous men and women conducting the demining exercise.

4.3  The clearance of the Crooks Corner to Sango Border Post minefield started in March 2006. A stretch of 21.8km by 0.4km of the primary minefield had been cleared while a stretch of 21.8km by

0.075m of the secondary minefield had been cleared at the time of the

Committee’s visit in June 2015. This was mainly the area between the  Limpopo River and Mwenezi where the quality control of the reclaimed  land had almost been completed and was expected to be handed over to  the land hungry locals for resettlement and also for national economic  development.

4.4 Your Committee witnessed a real life simulation of a daily  experience on the minefield and was left shell shocked that such  incidences still obtained in post-independent Zimbabwe, thirty five years  after the war of liberation. The simulation covered the casualty  evacuation procedures which are conducted in case of accidents or  incidents in the minefield. This involved the state of preparedness by the  Air Force of Zimbabwe, Medical Air Rescue Services whenever  incidents occurred. In cases of such eventuality, your Committee was informed that the Operation would stop immediately. First aid would be rendered to the injured members by fellow deminers. At the same time, an ambulance and a medical traumatologist would prepare to receive and attend to the injured at a safe lane. The Officer Commanding would communicate with the Engineer Support Regiment and the Engineer Director to make sure some arrangements for Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) were in place.  In cases where casualties needed to be taken to hospital, arrangements would be made for their evacuation to Malipati Airstrip where they would   be ferried by plane to

Chikombedzi Hospital which is 93km away and is the nearest referral hospital to the Minefield.

4.5   Your Committee had the opportunity to interview the traditional leadership from the area around Dumisa and was informed of the challenges faced by the local community in as far as the landmine situation is concerned. Some victims who had lost their limbs also took the opportunity to meet your Committee. Through their traditional Chief, Makoti Lisimathi Sengwe, the locals informed your Committee that landmines continued to claim livestock, limbs and lives of people in the area. Those who fell victim to landmines required assistance in the form of wheelchairs, crutches and other related forms of aid.

Although your Committee could not get statistics on the number of livestock killed, the challenge was  reported  as being very devastating for the communal farmers who depended on their livestock for livelihood. The only winding and sometimes rocky road to Dumisa needed servicing as it crossed several narrow bridges several times along Mwenezi River  and  also meandered down the hills.  This was clearly indicative that during the rainy season, the area is  impassable.

b)      Burma Valley

4.5  Your Committee also visited the Burma Valley area which had just been cleared. The area was cleared with the assistance from the

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). A total of 6801 square metres of land had been cleared and 449 mines had been recovered and destroyed. The land hungry communities in the Burma Valley could not resist the temptation of resettling  themselves before the official handover of the reclaimed land. This served as testimony of how they had been denied  access to hectares of communal land by the minefield.

A lot of land pressure had been created in the area where cotton farming and cattle ranching had been affected. Subsequently, income from crops and livestock had been significantly reduced as a result of denial of arable land.  At the time of your Committee’s visit, the cleared area in the Burma Valley was expected to be officially handed over to the local communities. Indeed, this was expected to go a long way towards easing the land pressure among the local communities.

c)        Border Streams Minefields

4.6    Demining activities were being conducted by  private contractors in this area under the auspices of ZIMAC. Your Committee observed that significant progress had been made in areas   where demining activities were being undertaken by private contractors unlike the Crooks Corner-Sango minefield where progress had been slow. This was attributed to the use of hand held Standoff Mine Detection Service (STAMID) equipment which gave a new dimension to operations in the minefields.

Your Committee was informed that the use of such equipment enabled demining engineers to distinguish different tones given for different metals and that assisted in the location  of exact positions of the mines. The equipment also enabled the deminers to detect and determine different shapes of mines laid in the area. It could also be programmed to penetrate the ground to a depth of 20cm as compared to 30cm depth which is recommended. The Border Streams area had a concentration of mines such that the locals who used footpaths in the area had to give way to those travelling in the opposite direction by standing still. Any false step outside the footpath could easily trigger a minefield blast which could easily be lying anywhere next to the footpath. There were also incidents where locals were reported to have removed some mines and stored them at their homes in the mythical belief that they contained red mercury. The deminers had taken it upon themselves to sensitize the villagers on the dangers of the mines and that they did not contain the said red mercury. Only when the locals saw the public destruction of mines recovered, did they come forward to declare the stocks that they had hidden in their homes, which they had recovered from the minefield.

The area around Border Streams accommodated a lot of former Rhodesian properties. As a result, it had been fortified with numerous minefields. Your Committee was informed that there were more mines in the area than those found in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Viet Nam combined. The mines were said to have been manually planted. The economic impact that these landmines have had on our country is not just in terms of the reduction of arable land, but the depletion of game, livestock and loss of human lives as these continue to fall victim to the minefield. Mozambicans who frequently cross into the country are not also not spared. However, no official records could be availed of such victims.  It was also brought to your Committee’s attention that while the weather conditions did not affect the operations in the Border Streams Minefield, the demining activity could take up to twenty years using the capacity that was available at the time of your Committee’s visit.  It was also reported that there were numerous snakes in the area which presented challenges to deminers as they had to be extremely cautious of them as well.

5.1       Findings

5.2  Your Committee was informed that the deminers were  confronted with a myriad of challenges. Some minefields such as Mukumbura to Rwenya and the Sango Border Post to Crooks Corner were made up of different minefields running parallel to each other, a situation that made it extremely difficult to remove the landmines as some of them had been washed away from the areas where they had initially been laid. These minefields were of varying patterns consisting of below and above surface mines.

5.3  Animal and human actions had also contributed to  uncontrolled detonations of landmines. Owing to the varying patterns used in the distribution of mines with some having been disturbed by animals and weather conditions, the deminers were always at risk of missing the mines. Furthermore, the locals had since removed some of the plough shear mine pickets.

5.4  Some minefields had snakes, a situation that posed serious  challenges to deminers, hence the need to provide miners with adequate protective clothing in the form of boots in order to avert snake bites.

5.5  The weather had also played its role as well, with some  landmines having been washed away by floods or buried deep underground. Buried landmines are still very effective and dangerous to human beings and livestock. Furthermore, some areas experience extreme temperatures which make it very difficult for deminers to work during the hot season. Further challenges are also experienced during the cold season which all add to the woes of recovering the mines under very unfriendly weather conditions. Rains also fall heavy in some of the areas leaving the minefields prone to floods.

5.6  Other challenges experienced include insects, namely the  morphine flies, which produces an irritating sound to the ear thereby reducing the rate of concentration for the deminers. A situation which usually results in the deminers risking injury.

5.7 The minefields have a lot of metallic objects especially  plough shear fragments. Since the deminers use metallic hand held detectors to search for landmines, more time is spent as large tracts of land have to be screened for any metallic objects first before the actual demining can be done.

5.8 The vegetation in some minefields like the Sango-Crooks  Corner area is dense. This makes it difficult to demine the area without clearing the vegetation first. The demining squadron uses metallic hand held detectors which need to sweep as close to the ground as possible and this is painstakingly slow.

5.9 The terrain has also changed since the time the landmines  were laid. This has the effect of distorting the maps that were used during the laying of those landmines. Your Committee was informed that the minefield used to be marked but over the years, the maps have become unreliable. In other words, there are no definite records as regards the laying pattern details. It is therefore, difficult for the Squadron teams to clear the minefield at a faster pace. It has become difficult to ascertain the pattern and type of minefields in a given area.

5.10 The Squadrons have inadequate transport to ferry their troops  to the minefield and also for personnel doing administrative duties during pay days.

5.11 The  Sango area is also very dry hence the deminers have to  rely on Mwenezi River flowing 6km away from the Dumisa  Base. The Squadron requires additional water bowsers and tanks for water storage in order to ameliorate the water situation at the Base.

5.12 That the shortage of manpower and equipment hampers  progress in demining activities, particularly those that fall directly under the Ministry of Defence (ZIMAC).

5.13 There are also numerous Explosive Remnants of War (ERW)  strewn all over the minefields and these occasionally injure human beings and animals. This development negatively affects the Tourism Industry in the areas covered by minefields.

5.14 Lack of adequate resources such as ambulances, equipment  and other essential tools has the effect of slowing down the pace of demining.

6.       Observations

6.1  The situation of landmines throughout the Border areas in the

Eastern and South Eastern parts of the country resembles a similar pattern. Minefields in the Eastern Border were laid by the Smith regime in order to minimize easy access to the war front by liberation war fighters.

6.2    Your Committee observed that three minefields covered the stretch of land from Sheba to Beacon Hill, and Rusitu to Muzite Mission in addition to Sango Border Post to Crooks Corner. These minefields covered productive land hence they require clearance to enable land hungry communities and resettled farmers to utilize the land productively. The minefield in the Burma Valley has since been cleared and awaits to be handed over to the local communities.

6.3    Your Committee also observed private deminers, the

Norwegian Aid People’s Agency clearing the Border Stream area in cooperation with the ZIMAC and this is commendable. Zimbabwe as a signatory to the Ottawa Convention had failed to clear the landmines by

January 2015 which was the deadline set,

  1. Recommendations:-

7.1 Your Committee would like to make the following recommendations:-

  1. That since the issue of landmines is a devastating humanitarian Crisis, it has to be given the highest priority in terms of resource allocations so that the mines can be cleared. The one hundred thousand dollars that had been allocated in the previous years is just paltry and cannot sustain such an enormous programme.
  2. The Ministry of Defence should engage the donor community to assist in the clearing of land mines as a matter of urgency.
  3. That the countries that assisted their kith and kin to lay landmines in Zimbabwe should come forward and help remove their landmines which have become a holocaust for our citizens.
  4. That more Squadron teams be trained and deployed for demining activities  if the country is to rid itself of  landmines that continue to maim and kill people, game and livestock  thirty five years after  the attainment of independence.
  5. There is need to service the roads in order to allow troop carrying vehicles and adequate water supply and other equipment to be ferried to the minefield to alleviate the challenges which have affected the work of the deminers and thus, reducing their work rate.
  6. That appropriate equipment similar to the hand held Standoff Mine Detection Service (STAMID) equipment be acquired to speed up the pace of demining activities.

                 8.      Conclusion

8.1      Your Committee is extremely concerned that the ordinary citizens living in the border areas where landmines were laid continue to bear the brunt of the war long after the country was liberated. It is your Committee’s fervent hope that adequate funds would be allocated for demining activities.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you madam Speaker for affording

me this opportunity to add my voice to the report from the Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services.  Madam Speaker, it is of paramount importance to note that your Committee managed to go as far as Crooks Corner to go and see on its own the situation that we have with regards to landmines.  This was a historic visit by the Committee since independence.

Since 1980, Madam Speaker, no Committee of Parliament has gone to Crooks Corner to see the situation of land mines –[HON.

MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-  This was a landmark achievement by this

Parliament, so Madam Speaker you have to pride in yourself that your Committee in this period, has achieved something which was never done since 1980.

Madam Speaker, when we went to Crooks Corner, it is important to note how we traveled.  From here we went to Beitbridge, when we got there, we woke up around Six o’clock in the morning as a Committee with our Chairperson, Hon. Muderedzwa. We left Beitbridge around past Six to Seven o’clock a.m.; we got at Crooks Corner to observe the landmine clearing exercise around past Three o’clock in the afternoon.  The distance we travelled is very long and the greater part of the road is dusty, it needs attention.  When we got there, everyone was hungry and thirsty because along the way there are no shops, you will be just moving within a Park.  So, it was quite an achievement.

Madam Speaker, after the exercise, when we left Crooks Corner for Masvingo Hotel at around 4 a.m. so it was quite something.

It is important Madam Speaker, to note that when we went to

Crook’s Corner, we managed to meet chiefs and some members of the community. We noted from their presentations that at their place we had victims of landmines who have no limbs and some their legs were affected, and had quite a number of ailments as a result of the landmines. They gave us so many grievances of which our Chairman has presented quite a number of them.

In terms of the laws of this country, there is a responsibility which the people look unto Government to help them in terms of social assistance, especially bearing in mind that these people were victims of landmines. Due to the challenges that we are experiencing in this country, these people are not getting access to the social support which is meant for them to survive because most of them now are disabled as a result of the landmines and are in need of wheelchairs and crutches.

They cannot afford all these on their own. More so, they look upon the Government which by the time we visited them had not given them any form of assistance.

It is important Madam Speaker, to look into that seriously, especially the Executive and the Hon. Deputy Minister who is here and responsible for that, to note that we have people in Crook’s Corner who are victims of landmines and need access to wheelchairs, crutches and social support. If you can, please put them on the list of priority to go and assist them.

Madam Speaker, from the presentations that were done with regard to the officers and the private sector which is into the demining exercise, the implementers of this exercise, we noted that there is nowhere in terms of the labour laws of this country that these de-miners are considered as a skilled workforce. They have no grade. So, in terms of their job description in this country, it is not anywhere in the laws.

It is important Madam Speaker to note that these de-miners are doing a life and death responsibility, but if you look at the allowances and the monies that they are getting, it is more of peanuts. It is important for Parliament to appreciate the best thing that these de-miners are doing, regardless of the monies that they are getting. We noted that the exercise that they are doing is of paramount importance but when you look at the remuneration given to them, it is quite pathetic. So Madam Speaker, I think in the future and in the long term, it is best for these deminers to be accorded a grade and name in terms of being a skilled workforce in terms of the laws of this country.

One other thing Madam Speaker that we observed is that so many people are losing their livestock. You remember that in this country the culture that we have is that livestock is part of our wealth. Livestock is part of what we use whenever we have problems. We sell our livestock to attend to our problems and we noted that the communities in these mined areas are suffering losses of livestock. The livestock will be looking for grazing areas and naturally, they go into these areas and are affected by the mines.

The other thing which I realised - regardless of the perception that we get when people address issues in connection with politics of this country, at times we get this picture that we are not getting any support from Europe and America. The picture which is generally put across is that America has put sanctions, blab blah and it is not giving us any support. Madam Speaker, when we went to Vumba, I noted that we are actually being headed there by people who are giving us the expertise to do this de-mining exercise. The people are from Yugoslavia which is part of Europe. We saw people from Norway, the then Yugoslavia which is now Serbia and all those countries.

We also noted that we had the support of the Americans because we found these people putting on safety clothing with the flags on them. I was with Hon. Mandipaka and Hon. Muderedzwa, and they noted that they had two European flags on their safety clothes which were emblazoned with European flags. One Hon. Member asked why they had those flags on their safety clothes and they were told that those were the people who were funding the exercise and therefore, the need to have the flags understood that they were playing a role in the demining exercise which is happening in Zimbabwe, with the assistance of the Europeans and Americans, against the perception that there are these sanctions and so on.

Madam Speaker, I will give room for my other colleagues who will give their view on the visit that we undertook.  Last but not least, if this House can recognise that we have de-miners who are doing a very good job in this country but they have no record of what skilled labour or grade they fall under. So, it is important to look into that and they are getting a paltry salary against a life and death responsibility that they are doing.

HON. MANDIPAKA: I would like to congratulate our Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Muderedzwa and also thank and respect Hon. Mutseyami for seconding the motion. It is historically accurate to state for the record that prior to independence, we had a very brutal and merciless regime which planted landmines almost everywhere. The idea was to destroy, kill, eradicate and phase out those sons and daughters who went to fight for the independence which we enjoy today.       Mr. Speaker, it is not farfetched to indicate that history will judge the Rhodesians as the most brutal people that ever visited this country now called Zimbabwe.  The situation of landmines in Zimbabwe needs attention.  Why do we say it needs attention; it is because 35 years after Independence, people cannot continue to live in perpetual fear of being killed.  Even donkeys, cattle, sheep and goats also live in perpetual fear of these landmines that were planted almost everywhere. Hon. Member Mutseyami talked about the Rhodesians that we met in Burma Valley, I want to say yes, it is paramount that they carryout demining activities because they are the ones to blame.

Mr. Speaker Sir, my debate is going to be very short and it has to do with the people that we met at Crooks Corner.  They were giving harrowing experiences of how they were tormented by these landmines, the landmines that were planted by the Rhodesians.  You would actually sympathise with their situation.

Hon. Mutseyami was correct to say that these people need psychological and social support.  They need support in various ways.  Some have been affected psychologically, some do not have the necessary tools to use because some need clutches, wheelchairs, food and even clothes.  I want this afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir, to call upon Parliamentarians in their sympathy, if each individual can donate US$100 to the cause of these people that are in Crooks Corner; the money will go a long way in demonstrating our sympathy towards the people that we represent.  I also want to call upon the international community; the donor community, diplomats from various countries to heed our call to carry out humanitarian assistance on these people that have been affected by landmines, not only in Crooks Corner, but also those in Burma Valley.

Hon. Mutseyami talked about the manner in which we travelled. It was an arduous journey, full of fatigue, the distances were very long.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to congratulate Hon. Mavhenyengwa who is a member of this Committee.  We were almost starving when we were

given food at Hon. Mavhenyengwa’s homestead in Masvingo, I want to congratulate him for his generosity and mercy.  With meagre resources, he was able to feed more than 20 Members of Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also want to call upon the Government of

Zimbabwe to ensure that they give adequate resources to the National Anti-Clearance Squadron of the Zimbabwe National Army.  These officers; men and women, should be congratulated for what they are doing.  The risks that are before them are quite enormous but they are doing their best under very difficult conditions to make sure that they carry out demining activities.  If you look at the types of allowances that these men and women are getting; they are very little, it is not substantial.  We call upon the relevant ministry to ensure that this National Anti-Clearance Squadron is catered for in terms of welfare.

They should have adequate material to carry out the demining activities.

When they were giving their testimonies, you could see that they were not very happy.  You could actually see that they are in those bushes but they are not adequately resourced to be able to carry out their duties competently.

I call upon well wishers to come to their rescue to ensure that we provide adequate resources for that enormous task.  There is need on our part as a country to move with speed and ensure that the demining exercise is conducted with speed so that our people do not live in perpetual fear.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. A. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I want to

add my voice on the issue before this House.  As we were travelling, we met a lot of challenges.  The people who are carrying out the demining exercise are going to spend a lot of time there because they are moving slowly, inch by inch.  They do not know how many landmines are there and they are not sure of the next move.  Officers there face a challenge because ambulances are there but if anything happens there, the roads are not good.  Also, I did not see any hospital nearby which can serve them.  There is no water there for the officers who are carrying out the exercise. Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not know what can be done because those who were affected by landmines cannot do farming because they are old.  I think they need to be supported because if you see them limping, it is really a pathetic situation.  They cannot stand up on their own; they need a lot of support which means in their homes, they are facing those challenges.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the officers carrying out the exercise do not have enough food.  They work in the sun and their food is not nutritious.  If possible, I urge the Ministry of Finance to give them more resources. People were settled there, they were settled in areas where the landmines have been removed and they are helping those who have been amputated through landmines.  They are looking after those who lost their limbs and also the welfare of our officers.  They also do not have proper machinery to use.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am appealing to the Members of Parliament that when we are here, we are representing the people.  We should work as a team so that when we go out there, we should not fight but we should serve a purpose so that when we come back here, we should engage in meaningful debate.  If we go out there divided on political lines, it does not help anyone.  We should work together and come up with one thing to help our people because when we meet these people out there, they do not know which party we belong to.  So, we should work together as a team because we were chosen by the electorate, they chose us because we are good representatives, so we should work to their expectations.  We should not fight amongst ourselves.  When we go out there the people will be confused.  So, I am appealing for unity amongst our members so that we serve one purpose.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

*HON. RUNGANI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I also want to add my voice on this motion.  I also belong to this Committee and I also took part in the demining exercise.  For us to get to Crook’s Corner, it was a miracle and we were really challenged when we saw the way people there are living.  The land mines there, if you see the area that they are planted, it is really a large area and our officers do not have good machinery to locate the mines.  The demonstration that they gave us was not a good sight to look at.  It was terrifying.  I think the Government should really look into that issue because the roads are in a sorry state.  If the roads are not good, it is a danger when the ambulances are plying that road.  We saw people who lost their limbs.

I have stood up just to plead with the Government that we should prioritise demining.  The place made me think of Gonarezhou where mines were also planted.  I think they planted those land mines not with people in mind.  The houses they are staying in are not in a good condition and they walk for seven kilometers in search of water.  I think they should be provided with good accommodation so that when they are working, they will do it whole heartedly.

From there, we went to Manicaland.  We went to Burma Valley and we saw the land mines that were removed. Then at Border Streams, we saw a lot of land mines.  There are a lot of land mines planted there so that people who want to cross the border illegally into Mozambique, they endanger their lives.  There is a factory there, but when the whites planted the land mines, they just left a strip which leads to their company.  Now after 35 years, we still have those land mines.  I think we should encourage the Government to deal with those land mines so that our people live safely.

What made me really happy is that we met seven women engineers who were engaging in demining at Border Streams.  So as a Committee, we are encouraging the Government that those land mines should be removed because our people are losing limbs.  We do not want to think of the war.  After independence, we thought that we could move freely as Zimbabweans.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

*HON. GWANETSA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank you for affording me this time to add my voice.  Firstly, I would like to thank the Chairman of the Committee Hon. Muderedzwa and the seconder Hon. Mutseyami on this pertinent issue of land mines.  I think they said for the past 36 years, there has been no Member of Parliament who has visited those areas which are infected with land mines.

As a member of the forces, I knew all the mine fields around the country, but for today, let me look at Crook’s Corner where we first visited as a Committee.  Crook’s Corner is 53km with a depth of 700m to 1 km and the area that is infested with land mines is 40 000 hectares to 45 000 hectares.  That area still belongs to Rhodesia because there is nothing that we can do in that area.  You cannot farm, practice ranching or tourism.  That is my constituency.  It borders with South Africa and

Mozambique.  People are dying.  If they die or are injured in that area, you cannot remove them.  They will rot in there.  If domestic or wild animals enter that area, they die.

The Government of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa have come up with Trans Africa, but the Government cannot realise anything because of the land mines and this is affecting our economy as Zimbabwe; 45 000 hectares which are under mines.  The area is as big as where sugar is planted in the low veld and people are dying in that area.  The hon. members who went there saw for themselves that from Chiredzi to get to that area, you have to travel 250km and the soldiers who are working there, you will feel sorry for them because if they are injured, the nearest hospital is 150km which is Chikombedzi Hospital.

Those who are well versed with land mines, like wine, they mature with age, so being buried for 36 years means they are now very dangerous.  The statistics that I have in my constituency are that I have more than 50 people who have lost their limbs and some have lost their arms.  I am looking at the social welfare that they will chip in and help.

The mine field is the worst war under the earth.  So, with its ugliness, we can say all the mines that are buried there, it is a Zimbabwean soldier and that area is still Rhodesia because we have not moved to show that we are independent in that area.  So, we are pleading with the Government that they should speed up the process and that the NGOs and embassies should also be given the chance to go and visit those areas so that they will know the situation there.  I would like to thank the Minister of Defence who has gone out of his way.   In November 2015, I was given 15 artificial limbs to give to the affected people who were referred by other members of the community.  Some of them got artificial hands.  If you see these people, it is a sorry state.  Some families have broken down but they still want to live normal lives.  That is what we are faced with in areas affected with land mines.

If we can speak with one voice, as representatives of people in support of what Hon. Mandipaka said, that those people should get the help they need.  We should also look at the welfare of the soldiers who are doing the de-mining.  Wives of these soldiers when their husbands go out there, are not sure whether they will come back.  I feel they should be looked after properly and should always thank the Lord after completing their assignments safely.

We should also recommend for the upgrade of allowances of the members of this particular Committee because there is eminent danger there.  I come from that constituency; land mines move with water.  If they are pushed by water, we do not know where they are deposited.  Probably, their destinations will be fields of people.  I think the process should be speeded up because it is affecting animals and our tourism.  I really want to thank the Committee that after 36 years, they have taken a step to visit the area.

If we remove all the land mines, it means that we would have completed our struggle for independence because the Rhodesian soldiers are still represented by the land mines.  I would also want to thank the Hon. Members who highlighted the plight of people who stay in land mines infested areas.  Thank you.

HON. CHIWETU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me add my

voice to this well presented report by the Chairman.  Mr. Speaker Sir,

the Rhodesians were very cruel and they are still cruel – [HON.

MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –  If we go back to the report, what my

Chairman said, the mines which are in Zimbabwe are more than those in

Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  This is because these Rhodesians were afraid of the war, hence they did not plan the way they planted these land mines.  They did what we call the ‘broadcasting system’.  They just threw them all over the border.  It is a sad story; I wish one of these days you would go there and see for yourselves how people are living in those areas.

I would like to add this point to what other speakers said, this is still a danger to the locals.  At one time, there were these con-people who went to these affected areas and told the people that there was red mercury in these land mines.  We spoke to the squadron which was in the Crooks Corner, they said they had to go and recover some of the land mines from the houses.  You see how dangerous these mines are.  This is another generation which was born after the war.  A generation which did not witness the war; a generation which does not know what a land mine can do.  They thought about money and thought they were going to get red mercury from those land mines.  They collected them.  Lucky enough, they did not detonate in their houses.  I plead with the Government that it is high time they train another squadron to assist in de-mining.  It is a pathetic situation Mr. Speaker Sir.

The meager or paltry salaries, the soldiers are getting as compared to those they are working hand in glove with; those who are employed by Norway- we have got a Zimbabwean Dyke who did the de-mining in Afghanistan.  He left this country to go and de-mine in Afghanistan because he knew he was going to get money.  We have people who have got the capacity to assist, but because the Government is not supportive and the people who planted the land mines are not supportive, it is going to take us another 40 years – four or five generations who are going to experience disasters and deaths which are unwarranted for them because they do not know what the war was for.

I think it is wise to add what other speakers have said, that the people who planted these mines or those who were backing them should be approached so that they come back and remove their mines.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to add my voice and congratulate the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services.  I also want to say, a nation without an army is a nation without protection.  It is a nation which is akin to a naked person or akin to be likened to a mermaid.  In the same vein, I want to congratulate this nation for having soldiers in its nation – not as a former soldier but as a soldier, they will give protection.  Once a soldier, always a soldier – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

I want to say we need to add resources to the anti-land mine clearing squadron so that they can effectively de-mine those areas that are infested with mines, effectively as we have heard from the former speakers that a mine will live and it will mature with age.

I also want to touch in the same vein what His Excellency, the President and First Secretary of ZANU PF said at the United Nations recently that, the neo-colonialists and the colonialists are protecting their interests, not only in Cambodia and Vietnam and other areas, but also in Zimbabwe by making sure that Africa does not have permanent seats in the Security Council. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

Mr. Speaker Sir, if we had permanent seats in the Security Council long before now, we would have seen that we have got a need in Zimbabwe in particular, and Africa in general that needs demining effort. We would optimally have conducted that activity by now. This is because we do not have permanent seats. Those that have permanent seats and Europe in particular, concentrate on the issues to do with nuclear and more nuclear. They do not concentrate on bigger nuclear which is demining activities and the mines that infest our region in Mutare, Chiredzi and other areas such as the Crooks Corner Mr. Speaker

Sir.

I want to ask - what do we do about the areas that are infested with mines and those that have been affected by those mines? I advocate for every school, not only in that area but in the whole of Zimbabwe to have a 10% intake of all those people that have been affected by mines in that area. The kids and adults that are going to learn in tertiary institutions, secondary schools and primary institutions for free so that we are seen to be walking hand in glove with the population that is marginalised because of the mines infested areas.

I also advocate for remuneration, to boost the remuneration of those people that are conducting demining activities. This is because as they go like my predecessor, the former speaker and the general have alluded to, they go there fully knowledgeable and cognisant that theirs is an ultimate sacrifice; they might not come back. So, I advocate that there be an upward review of their remuneration. This is not only a department or a squadron, but this is a specialised squadron Mr. Speaker Sir that makes sure that today here we are, in the centre of Zimbabwe and we enjoy life to its fullest.

I should hasten to say Zimbabwe is not Harare alone, Bulawayo, Gweru, Chegutu or Kadoma alone. Zimbabwe also involves the people that are marginalised, that cannot carry out their activities in those land mine infested areas. So, we should not be blinded by good life and good food of Harare, Chegutu, Kadoma, Bulawayo and other areas that do not have land mines. We should speak with one voice and make a clarion call so that we can better the livelihood of those people that are in those areas by making sure that we enhance the activities of this squadron, by upward review of their conditions of service.

Mr. Speaker Sir, without the demining efforts, that land as my predecessor has said, is lying far and lying to waste. I am cognisant and alive to the fact that there is new technological advancement in the whole world that speaks to demining activities. As Zimbabwe in particular and Africa in general, we are oblivious of that fact because the door has been closed by a small clique of the world’s community which is the Europeans and their counterparts. We cannot have a buy-in into the Security Council. We cannot have a buy-in into inventions and the knowledge of inventions because we are still under the bondage and the yoke of the neo-colonialists and the colonialists.

As soon as they open the frontage and the door to invention, the

Security Council, the United Nations; we in Zimbabwe are going to be liberated and in Africa in general, through the demining efforts Mr. Speaker Sir, and through technological advancement that is going to be employed for the good of the demining efforts. We only have one Zimbabwe and it includes the 45 000 or more hectares that is mined. We should be cognisant of the fact that if we do not optimally utilise that place, we are only shooting ourselves in the foot as a nation. If we cannot demine that place as Zimbabwe, we cannot mine in it to remove the resources that can make sure we empower our nation using our God- given resources that is gold and other activities.

Finally, the point should be well ventilated. Those that put those mines there should be encouraged to come back and remove them. If they do not, they should be encouraged to compensate this nation so that we can utilise that money and those resources in the demining efforts. We should not have technological and manpower development flight because we cannot provide for those that are in the demining sector. If you put in a soldier especially in the engineering squadron and in this squadron, you can quickly put a bridge across a river in Negande area of Kariba. Soldiers should not be taken for granted.

They offer selfless dedication and service. Soldiers are the ones that brought us this nation. Even as we get remunerated in terms of salaries, they should be the first to get their salaries. All those that have been maimed and disabled because of this sacrifice that they have made of demining efforts, and going to war for this nation should be given services for free. The Executive and all Ministries should clamour for wanting to give services to all these people that are offering this selfless service to this nation.

They should say to themselves, what is it that we can give and offer for these people that are offering selfless dedication and service to this nation. At this point Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Chairman of this Committee once again for bringing to the fore the issue of these mines and mining activities in that area. I congratulate him for his report. I thank you.

 

*HON. MURAYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on this important report from the Committee on Defence. I salute this Committee for gathering up enough courage to visit this area which is infested with land mines and had not been visited by any Parliamentary Committee in our 36 years of independence. This shows that this is a very dedicated Committee that is mindful of its duties.

There are a few painful points I would like to raise on this report we are debating.  I believe de-mining of this region and other similarly infested regions in the country should have been given first priority in our development projects. De-mining of these areas would have made the citizens of these regions develop and prosper at the same rate with their compatriots and thus enjoy the fruits of independence and freedom.

Hon. General Gwanetsa in whose Constituency mine infested Crooks Corner falls expresses the opinion that lack of freedom of movement by people in this area is like that of people still living in

Rhodesia. Mr. Speaker Sir, there should be a change of heart to show

that we defeated the oppressive regime, but when we still have people living in fear of death and injuries to man and property because of land mines, there is no independence and there is no freedom.

Hon. Member who are former freedom fighters know how to deal and travel in such dangerous areas. During election time you carry out your campaigns throughout this dangerous Constituency and when you win you come and represent your people in Parliament. Unlike you, the people in your Constituency are not trained cadres and are in constant danger from these explosive devices.

As Parliament of Zimbabwe let us deal conclusively with this matter just like what Mozambique and Angola did who had the same fate of land mines infestation - they de-mined them. We need to change our attitude as a country and eliminate these mines once and for all. We can do this successfully by adopting enough support, remuneration and welfare for the personnel responsible for de-mining. What is the budget which can enable us to successfully de-mine Zimbabwe? If we are prepared as a country to eliminate the land mines, we will put it high on our National Budget, just like we do in our current budget system. We are spending money on some unnecessary items which money could be used in de-mining.

After the war we showed that we did not want any problems in the country hence all combatants were ordered to surrender their arms so that we can have peace in this country. The same urgency we showed is the same urgency which we should show in de-mining programmes. It is my belief that all Zimbabweans regardless of where they are we should empathise with the people in lad mine infested areas and have the zeal that they be de-mined. I felt very hurt when I heard Members of Parliament boasting that they are military personnel which I think is an empty boast as long as we still have land mines in this country. I challenge you my fellow trained military personnel to take it upon yourselves to lead the crusade against land mines. I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MNISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR

AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr.

Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 17th February, 2016.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MNISTER OF PUBLIC

SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE), the House adjourned at One Minute past Five

O’clock p.m. 

 

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