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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 16 OCTOBER 2013 VOL. 40 NO. 10
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 16th October, 2013
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER
REPRESENTATION TO THE PAN AFRICAN PARLIAMENT AND
SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
- SPEAKER: In terms of the Protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan African Parliament; Article 4, Sub-paragraph 2 states that each member state shall be represented in the Pan African Parliament by five (5) members, at least one of whom must be a woman.
Sub-paragraph (3) of the same article states that the representation of each member state must reflect the diversity of political opinions in each National Parliament, or other deliberative organs.
Article (5) Sub-paragraph 1, also states that the Pan African Parliamentarians shall be elected or designated by the respective National Parliaments or any other deliberative organs of the member states, from among their members.
I have received the following nominations: Presiding Officer Hon. C. C. C. Chimutengwende, ZANU (PF), Hon J. M. Gumbo, Hon. P.
Mupfumira; MDC – T, Hon. T. Mashakada; Chiefs, Hon. Senator Chief F.Z. Charumbira. The five nominations received meet the requirements of Article 4 Sub paragraph 2 of the Treaty establishing the Pan African
I therefore declare the above members duly elected to represent Zimbabwe at the Pan African Parliament. The Senate will also elect the same five members to the Pan African Parliament.
Article 6 subsection 3 of the Constitution of the Southern African Development Community (SADC Parliamentary Forum) states that the forum shall consist of the Presiding Officers and five representatives elected to the SADC Parliamentary forum by each National Parliament; provided that in the election of the five representatives to the SADC Parliamentary Forum...
Dr. Gumbo having been whispering to an hon. member.
Hon Chief Whip, can I have your ear?... each National Parliament shall ensure equitable representation at the SADC Parliamentary Forum of women and political parties that are represented in that Parliament.
I have received the following nominations: ZANU (PF); Hon.
Sen.T. Mohadi, Hon Dr. S. Mukanduri, Hon. Sen. M. Mutsvangwa.
MDC – T; Hon. I. Gonese. MDC; Hon. J. Toffa.
The five nominations meet the requirements of Article 6 Subsection 3 of the Constitution of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
I therefore declare the above members duly elected to represent Zimbabwe at the SADC Parliamentary Forum. The Senate will also elect the same five members to the SADC Parliamentary Forum”
APPOINTMENT TO THE STANDING RULES AND ORDERS
- SPEAKER: Pursuant to the announcement made yesterday, the Speaker and the President of the Senate have made the following appointments to the Committee on Standing Rules in terms of section 151 (2) (h) of the Constitution: Hon. B. Chikwama appointed by the Speaker Hon. P. Mupfumira; Hon. Chief Charumbira is a member of the committee in terms of section 151(2) (g)
My apologies. Someone took over the role of the Speaker during the night and came up with a correction; Hon. B. Chikwama is replaced by Hon. T. Dziva.
Yes, there is a song which says, Ndochigara sei chigaro chamambo? Please bear with us and I crave your indulgence. The correct name appointed by the Speaker is Hon. Y. Simbanegavi. I hope no future confusion shall arise.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
TONNAGE OF IMPORTED GRAIN
- MR. GONESE asked the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanization and Irrigation Development to state the tonnage of grain Zimbabwe has imported from Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and other neighbouring countries during this year?
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE MECHANIZATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR MADE): Let me start by
saying the Government is committed to importing 150 000 metric tonnes from Zambia. Of this 150 000 metric tonnes, so far we have brought into the country 14 000 metric tonnes and we are still working on the balance as it is on a cash upfront payment basis.
Relating to the importation by the private sector, the private sector is also importing maize mainly from South Africa and various tonnages have been imported by various companies. Grain in this context refers to maize. That is all I wish to say Mr. Speaker Sir.
- MADZIMURE: Whilst it is a good effort to try and alleviate the problem. What has your research told you, what has been the cause of this deficit whilst countries like Malawi and Zambia which used to be net importers of grain are now exporting back to Zimbabwe. What was the reason and how are you dealing with the cause?
- MADE: With due respect, I do not think that the hon. member is raising a follow up question but I wish to respond as follows:- The matters relating to the deficit are very well known. We have made reference to them again and again. We must improve our own capacity by making sure that the farmers do receive adequate inputs. We must also review the cost of those inputs that are very prohibitive to the farmer. We must also intensify our mechanization programme and irrigation development which is what has been stated now.
I do not want to continue lamenting the matter that is very well known that relates to the question of the farmer having to put up cash upfront in terms of some of the inputs they are getting due to the challenges of sanctions – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]. I want to respect the hon. members, but I do not expect them to insult me.
AMENDMENT OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND
- MR. MARIDADI asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs to state when the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act will be amended to ensure that suspects and accused persons, that is, defendants in criminal proceedings, are accorded the rights to which they are entitled under Sections 50 and 70 of the new
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR CHASI): The question that the
hon. member has asked is a very important one. I can say to this august House that this work is being undertaken as we speak. Hon. members will be aware that the Constitution is the over-arching piece of law that covers every piece of legislation in the country. However, our approach has been to deal with those statutes that immediately impact on the freedoms such as the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
The amendments that are being carried out will go through the usual processes that any piece of legislation has to go through. This includes going through the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and coming to this august House. I am therefore, unable to say to the hon. member precisely when the amendment will take effect.
- MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My
supplementary question is with regards to the pronouncement or the Speech that was given by His Excellency the President. He mentioned corrupt people by name and he said, it should not be tolerated. We have not seen traction on that regard. People have not been prosecuted yet. I would like to ask the Minister the position of that case?
- SPEAKER: Order, order. The supplementary question
appears not to follow because the essence of the question refers to the rights of defendants in terms of Section 50 and 70 of the new Constitution.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY MR. SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY
- SPEAKER: May I recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of members of staff and students from Morgan ZINTEC College in Harare Province. You are most welcome.
INTRODUCTION OF A CANCER LEVY
- KHUPE: I move the motion standing in my name that this
ALARMED by the number of women dying from breast and cervical cancer in Zimbabwe;
CONCERNED by the unavailability of cancer treatment in Zimbabwe;
DEEPLY WORRIED by the lack of accessibility to cancer treatment in Zimbabwe;
FURTHER CONCERNED that cancer treatment is not affordable especially to the majority of women;
DEEPLY SADDENED that cancer treatment is not available, accessible and affordable;
Recommends the introduction of a cancer levy in order to save many lives; and calls for the establishment of cancer treatment units in every district.
- LABODE: I second the motion.
- SPEAKER: Ms. Khupe, I think you have a video to show. May I ask the House to be attentive and follow the video as she puts forward the message to us?
Video of persons suffering from cancer shown.
- KHUPE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Indeed, cancer is now a national emergency. October is the national breast cancer awareness month which is also known as Pink October. I can see that most of the hon. members are wearing pink, well done and thank you very much. – [HON. MEMEBRS: Hear, hear.]- It is a month where we remind ourselves on the importance of prevention and early detection of cancer because once cancer is detected early, survival chances can be 100%.
You have just seen that video hon. members. What you saw on those screens are not just pictures. This is what women go through on a day to day basis. I had cancer myself, but thank God the Almighty, I managed to overcome it. Women with similar breasts to those that you saw on the screen, have come to my office and said, Deputy Prime
Minister, I have cancer. – [HON. MEMEBRS: Inaudible interjections]- MR. SPEAKER: Order, Order. Carry on hon. member.
- KHUPE: These women have said to me, I know you have
breast cancer and I have breast cancer too. I want you to look at my breast. This woman opened her breast. It broke my heart because I said yes, I have breast cancer too but my cancer was not as advanced as hers. She said to me, I do not have money for treatment. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is the reason why when I talk about cancer, my heart bleeds. My heart bleeds because the majority of women who suffer from cancer are women who live in the rural areas.
These women are suffering in silence. These women are dying in agony. What you saw on those screens is exactly what these women go through. Cancer is undisputedly a rising epidemic in Zimbabwe.
Therefore, there is urgent need to invest in its screening and treatment. Today I would like to talk about two cancers. I would like to talk about cervical cancer and breast cancer. I would like to begin by talking about cervical cancer. 60% of women in Zimbabwe risk dying from cervical cancer which is caused by human papilloma virus. Being diagnosed with cervical cancer in Zimbabwe has become a death sentence. 1 800 women are affected by this epidemic annually. Out of the 1 800 affected women, an estimated 1 200 die annually.
According to the national cancer registry statistics, at least 33% of women diagnosed with cancer in 2009, had cervical cancer. This is what they say. Mr. Speaker Sir, cervical cancer accounted for more than 8% of all cancer deaths. This is a serious matter because women are dying from something that can be prevented. One of the ways to prevent cervical cancer is through male circumcision –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection]- Listen to this hon. members because according to statistics, a man who is circumcised, has got 60% chances of not transmitting the human papilloma virus which causes cervical cancer.
So when I talk about male circumcision, I am not joking. The last time that I talked about male circumcision, one hon. member said I am crazy. I am not crazy because if you are male and circumcised, you are going to save many lives. I said 60% of women in Zimbabwe risk dying from cervical cancer which is caused by human papilloma virus. This is one area that we need to explore as Parliament and as a country as well.
Coming to breast cancer Mr. Speaker, statistics show that breast cancer affects one in every ten women. How many women do we have in this august House? We have got plus or minus 100, which means about ten women might be affected by breast cancer. I am one of those women, I sit in this august House, I have breast cancer. Breast cancer affects, one in every 100 men, breast cancer does not just affect women.
How many men do we have in this august House, we have plus or minus 200. What it means is that either one or two men in this House might have cancer. At least I know one man who used to sit in this House who suffered from breast cancer – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
I am not saying these things because I am trying to scare you hon. members. I just want you to understand the magnitude of this problem so that when we are talking about cancer, we all understand where we are coming from and what exactly we are talking about. This is why when I started I said, when I talk about breast cancer or any other cancer, my heart bleeds. My heart is bleeding because the majority of women who suffer from this epidemic are in the rural areas. These women do not have an idea of what breast cancer is all about. The only time they discover they have got breast cancer is when it pops out. When it pops out initially they think it is a boil or they have been bewitched. They start running around going to witchdoctors, by the time they get to a health institution, they are told this is advanced breast cancer.
Mr. Speaker Sir, statistics have shown that in Africa, the only time women discover that they suffer from breast cancer is when the cancer is in stages 3 or 4. These are advanced stages; you cannot do anything about them. So, what you will do is to watch these women dying in agony like what you saw on those screens.
Having said this Mr. Speaker, I want us as Members of Parliament to answer these questions, is cancer treatment available, is cancer treatment accessible, is cancer treatment affordable? For me, Mr.
Speaker, the answer is a very big ‘no’. I want to substantiate my answer
with the following facts:
Currently, in Zimbabwe we have got two institutions that treat cancer, these are Parirenyatwa Hospital and Mpilo Hospital. So, these two institutions are supposed to cater for the 12 million people in
Zimbabwe. People are supposed to travel from Binga, Chiredzi, Beitbridge, from all over the country so that they get to these treatment centres. At times, if is not in the majority of cases, when they get to these treatment centres, they are told chemotherapy is not available; radiation machines are out of order.
When it comes to screening, Mpilo and Parirenyatwa do not have screening facilities. These are facts; I am not generating something that does not exist. Over and above that Mr. Speaker, these people are supposed to look for transport money to get to those centres. They are supposed to look for accommodation, food and over and above that, they are supposed to look for treatment money. With chemotherapy, I did eight cycles myself and with each cycle you are supposed to pay up to US$300. You do chemotherapy every three weeks. So, for every three weeks, you go for a cycle you are supposed to pay US$300. When it comes to radiation, you do it for six weeks every day except for Saturdays and Sundays. Every session is US$300. Even you as hon. members, you cannot afford this type of treatment.
Mr. Speaker Sir, facts are very clear that cancer treatment is not available. I said earlier on that screening facilities are not there. At times you are told chemotherapy is not there. At times you are told radiation machines are not working. It is also a fact that cancer treatment is not accessible. Can you imagine somebody from Beitbridge or Kariba going to either Parirenyatwa or Mpilo Hospitals? Who are these people that we are talking about? We are talking about these women who live in rural areas. Honestly, do they afford? So, it is clear that cancer treatment is not accessible. It is also a fact that cancer treatment is not affordable. I said earlier on that chemotherapy is
US$300, radiation is US$300.
Mr. Speaker, cancer has certainly become more fatal than HIV because with HIV, you know there are ARVs, you know there are some organisations that give all sorts of assistance. My fellow hon. members, this is what we are confronted with.
The battle against cancer for me is personal. I have used my personal battle with cancer to raise awareness and to increase access to treatment and education to thousands and thousands of women. This is the reason why I ended up setting up the Thoko Khupe Cancer
Foundation as a way of trying to complement Government’s efforts. So, I am going to be calling on every Zimbabwean to support this very cause. I am going to be sending you SMSs to say please donate a dollar towards this cause. I would like to thank you in advance and may God bless all of you in advance.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to conclude by calling on this House to support this motion, where I am advocating for the introduction of a cancer levy just like the HIV levy. This cancer levy will ensure that screening facilities are available all the time. It will make sure that chemotherapy is available all the time. It will ensure that radiation therapy is available all the time and more importantly, it will ensure that we will intensify our awareness programmes because early detection of cancer saves lives.
I would also like to call upon this House Mr. Speaker Sir, so that we recommend the establishment of cancer treatment centres in each and every district, not one, but many of them so that people there can walk to those treatment centres. That is part of the recommendation. As I said earlier on Mr. Speaker Sir, cancer is indisputably a rising epidemic.
Therefore, it is important that we invest in its screening and treatment.
Finally hon. members, I would like to urge you so that we speak with one voice when we talk about issues to do with life and death. Let us learn to be above party politics when we talk about these issues. Cancer can affect anyone, like I said earlier on, breast cancer; affects one in every ten women. Breast cancer affects one in every 100 men. More than 60% of the women in Zimbabwe risk dying from cervical cancer, 1800 women are affected by this epidemic annually and out of those an estimated 1 200 die annually from cervical cancer.
Thank you very much for lending me your ear Mr. Speaker Sir. I am asking you to support this motion. Thank you.
- SPEAKER: Order, order, because of the confidence she has displayed about cancer, may it be recorded that through her intervention, one of my friend’s mother was saved because of her intervention – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear].
- LABODE: Mr. Speaker Sir, cancer belongs to a group of diseases we refer in public health as the non-communicable diseases. So, when you hear me talk about the Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) I will be talking about diseases which include all the cancers.
The burden of NCDs is threatening progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The rapid rise in the NCDs is depleting income in the low income earning countries; more so, at family household level. Because treatment is not available in public health facilities, in Zimbabwe at the moment, the treatment of cancers is actually a burden to the families.
Cancer therapy in Zimbabwe in public institutions (this is information from Mpilo Hospital) is estimated at about US$10 000. Why? Because if you are diagnosed in Buhera, or when you suspect you have cancer while in Buhera, you must now move to the Provincial Hospital where when you arrive there, as the last speaker said, you are told that the machine is not working but in most cases the machines will not be working. The mammogram is not there. The doctor will examine you and declare you or probably give you a diagnosis which says query, cancer, and will refer you to the central hospital. In this case, for Buhera, it will be Harare Hospital. When you get there – this is an old woman – remember, cancer, because you do not look sick, it is a silent killer, so nobody thinks they should help you by getting you an ambulance. They just tell you, get on the bus and go there.
You get to Harare Hospital, those of you who have been to Gomo
Hospital know what Gomo Hospital looks like. This is a village woman from Buhera. Where does she start from and how do you get to the right place where you are supposed to go? Finally, when you do get where you are supposed to go, a biopsies is done by a surgeon to confirm. This is a piece of tissue taken from your breast or cervix and this is where the saga starts.
There is only one Government Pathologist called Mr. Hove who is based at Parirenyatwa; may God bless his soul for still remaining in Government. He is the only one and all these specimens are now sent to him at Parirenyatwa. It takes him at least plus or minus 6 weeks to give a diagnosis. In the mean time, that Buhera woman has been sent to Buhera. Gomo Hospital will not look for a woman who is in Buhera and so that woman has to find her way back to Harare to confirm. The time she gets to the village and tells one or two women that she is suspected of having cancer, they will say, no, they will cut your breast or they will cut your cervix. Because of the stigma of losing one of her sexual organs, this woman is likely to stay back in Buhera and die with that disease.
If she does come by the way to Harare, she is lucky because she is in Harare. Bulawayo by the way has no radiotherapy and Bulawayo caters for five provinces. Masvingo, Midlands, - I am talking about Mpilo Hospital - Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Bulawayo, we have no radiotherapy. So, at that stage when you have come and you have been diagnosed with cancer, you now must find your own money and your own way to Parirenyatwa Hospital. This is a woman who is probably coming from Binga or Nkayi. She must come to Parirenyatwa and stay for about 4 – 6 weeks for radiotherapy on her own account. If she has no relatives, it is too bad, she has to go back to Nkayi or Buhera or go back to wherever she came from.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a tragedy. But, having been in Public Health, I tell you that this debate of whether to treat, prioritise or not to prioritise cancers, has been raging on for the last twenty years. I sat even in Geneva where even World Health Organisation (WHO) would say, we have little resources. When you have US$200 in your house, and then the ceiling surges and it is raining; it is leaking literally but you have children to feed, you opt to buy mealie-meal with the US$200. You may actually opt to allow that leak to continue and say, one day I will have money and I will fix it. But, by the time that you want to fix it, the house may not be there anymore but your initial response would be to buy food. That is what exactly you will do.
This is the situation with cancers. Can poor countries not sit down and say, I will give you a very good example; Mpilo Hospital this year received a budget of US$400 000 to manage and feed patients and do everything else. This amount could have treated only 40 cancer patients at a cost of US$10 000.
So, you find yourself in a position where as a low income country, paying either lip service to cancer management or just shying away. The reason why you are likely to shy away is because even information on cancer is very scanty. The districts are not able to diagnose so they report a suspected query, breast lump, to be confirmed by Mpilo
Hospital. You get to Mpilo or to Gomo Hospitals and then Gomo
Hospital sends you back and then after sending you back, you do not come back. That has reduced the number of cases. The numbers are rapidly increasing but because of poor diagnostic equipment the hospitals cannot demonstrate.
Then we have another problem, this patient has come now and has managed to come to Parirenyatwa and has had the radiotherapy. Then there are these complications from blood and there is no one to manage them because this woman has to go back to her District Hospital.
Proponents of prioritisation of cancers - actually based it on the fact that it is a human right to be able to access treatment for any ailment and they produced figures of course that there is a rapid increase while those who were against it really, were using economics. It cannot be disputed that it will gobble all the money available for health. There is very little money available and because cancer is a silent killer, it gives no political mileage unlike malaria. Those who remember the 1993 malaria epidemic, the whole country moved to live in Matabeleland North literally; everybody, because of the number of people who died and also the cholera situation that was here.
The Communicable Diseases (CDs) make a political statement which moves the whole nation. Every resource that is there is moved there while the cancer victims die slowly; they die moving and nobody notices. They can even be taken to be pretending and nobody will know that they are dying. Nobody will read the riot act to you and not even WHO, will tow you or raise issues of human rights because of the way it progresses. Cancer is unlike HIV/AIDS that hits and leaves a number of people lying all over the place. You remember what happened during cholera in Harare. Staff was moved and drugs were moved from Bulawayo to come to Harare because of that, which was right.
Because of that Ministries of Health and Governments due to lack of resources, tend to shy away from it, but Zimbabwe is a rich country. God so loved Zimbabwe that He endowed it with gold, platinum, coal, gas, and diamonds and we should be able to treat our people at no cost, at zero, free. People should put this in the Institutions and get this for free, that is if only we can manage our resources.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the effective cancer management programme hinges on five components; one being the propagation of healthy eating, healthy living, exercising, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking. All those things would at least reduce some of the cases and then an early detection system which would include health education, mammograms and a good referral system at district level as well as clean pre-operation and counselling support services. This is where a woman now has been diagnosed. We need that woman now to be counselled and one of the counselling functions here is building one’s faith in the fact that we believe as Christians that by his stripes, we are healed.
She will go through the next phase stronger and trust me; a lot of women by faith have actually been healed. Then the fourth stage is to ensure that when you have been diagnosed, you can do something about it. You do have the treatment, the surgical interventions, chemotherapies and radiotherapies. Then we also need the post-therapy support services. You saw that breast there, I used to have a breast but suddenly I do not have a breast because I come from Buhera, I cannot afford this nice plastic breast. I need that psychological support to be told akhula ndaba, it does not matter, you can actually live with one breast. Also the postsurgery counselling must include a husband or a brother who can support this poor woman.
In conclusion, I want to say it all comes down to money. The Ministry of Health needs money. In fact, there must be a budget line within the Ministry of Health for NCDs, otherwise we are going nowhere. No matter what we say here, if we do not give these
Chimedzas the money, then there is nothing we can do. We will sit here for five years and do nothing. Money is required and money we have.
- MUSANHI: Mr. Speaker Sir, the mover of this motion
moved a very valid motion. I think she spoke like a real patriotic Zimbabwean. I have noted very important points that she raised but she, however, ignored a very important point that men also suffer from prostate cancer which is a major killer of men who are 50 and above.
Therefore, I support this motion because the honourable former Deputy Prime Minister has raised this very noble motion which will serve the whole Zimbabwe, regardless of which party you support because sickness is sickness.
I think, Mr. Speaker, let us not look at it discriminatively that we look at breast cancer alone. I think that if we look at cancer, let us look at both breast and prostate cancer so that it covers both men and women. Mr. Speaker Sir, I feel that the motion that was moved before this one which concerns health was about the kidney treatments which are also very expensive. If you are to raise a levy, I think we should look at both breast and prostate cancer and make a package for both of them. I would like to thank the hon. member for raising this motion. It is a very important one and I feel that the hon. member has done a great job in raising this motion.
In conclusion, our hospitals that cater for this sort of disease are limited, like we heard from the mover of this motion. Only two of them against the number of people who live in Zimbabwe, I feel the hon.
member would do us a great favour in helping us alleviate the burden of levies on our fellow countrymen by actually denouncing the sanctions that are affecting this very noble thing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]. I thank you -
- SPEAKER: Order, order. Has the hon. member finished?
- MUSANHI: I thank you very much for giving me the chance to express my opinion towards this noble motion.
+ MR. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to thank Hon. Khupe the mover of this motion. We may laugh and spend the whole day laughing at such a painful situation, which presents life threatening situations - especially when she referred to herself as a victim of breast cancer who has also had a mastectomy. Well, I do not know if the photos that were being shown here pertain to her or not –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
- SPEAKER: Order, can you hear the hon. member please.
+ MR. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue that I am
addressing is not a laughing matter, it really hurts because if it is your wife who has had a breast removed, you would be quite hurt. I am quite hurt if Hon. Khupe has had a mastectomy and we should be sympathetic towards her. The issue of cancer is painful and I lost my father to it too. We should look at the issue of cancer in a serious manner and like she said, we should not politicize the issue concerning cancer.
What hurts me most, Mr. Speaker Sir, is that once an issue has been debated and if it is a good motion from the opposition or the ruling party, people do not really understand what exactly the mover wants to say. We should learn to support good ideas and good motions and not lend our support to bad motions from either side of the House. This will take our country to a better level as what was said by Hon. Misihairabwi yesterday.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of drugs not being readily available, I would want to inform Hon. Khupe that we may raise thousands and thousands of dollars, whilst the money is there, we then send Hon.
Parirenyatwa to go to Germany and see if he can procure the necessary drugs and equipment for the treatment of cancer. Mr. Speaker Sir, I will state that- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
- SPEAKER: Hon. members, this is a very, very important motion, if you have got something to address to the motion, please stop heckling and wait for your time. May we allow those who are holding the floor to speak and let us give them our ear. Hon. Chinotimba, please carry on.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am worried
about the fact that the mover of the motion is from another party or opposition party. Be that as it may, we must support her motion. Even if I may say things that she may not be agreeable to, they must support the member who is the mover of the motion. If we have raised money from the proceeds of the diamonds, or that we have raised money and we intend to send someone to Germany – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Mr. Speaker Sir, our country cannot develop if we have hon. Members of Parliament who are like us, who when we speak, they are like hoho hoho, - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Madam Speaker, if we support each other as hon. Members of Parliament - Hon. Khupe has said that if we are faced with such grave issues like cancer, we should be apolitical and I give her kudos for that. I urge the hon. member that when she goes to her ministry or her offices, she can urge her colleagues to keep quiet in the august House whenever they would have raised a motion which requires the support of the other members of the august House.
Money can be raised, but as long as the Minister of Health and Child Care is not allowed to travel the length and breadth of this world, it is useless. - [AN HON. MEMBER: Ko kuIndia kana kuChina ndiko kune mishonga ikoko?] - Let us unite in here as the august House,
Madam Speaker, so that we can join Hon. Khupe and Hon. Parirenyatwa and send them to Australia to source drugs with one united voice, saying please give our country drugs- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members, can we listen to what he is saying. - [AN HON. MEMBER: Ko Look East Policy makaisepi?] - Can you continue hon. member.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Madam Speaker, the visual presentation
touched my heart, to those people who are not good at discerning things, they may not appreciate Hon. Khupe’s debate, but to those who are intelligent – Madam Speaker, they should be pained especially when an hon. member like Hon. Khupe, whose body parts are not proportional, meets other women whose bodies are proportionally built. It is so painful- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Hon.
members let us have order.
- MUSUNDIRE: On a point of Order.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of Order hon. member?
- MUSUNDIRE: Madam Speaker, it is un-Parliamentary to
state in this House that someone’s body is not proportional due to cancer. It shows that the hon. member is not serious-[HON
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, let us have order. There is no point of Order. Can the hon. member continue?
- CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker- [HON
MEMBERS: Aa-a, Aa-a. Aa-a]
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Who is saying Aa-a. Order, who is
saying Aa-a? What is the Aa-a for? There is no point of Order. Can the hon. member continue with his debate. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Madam Speaker, I am not mocking Hon.
Khupe. I am quite pained. Madam Speaker, the main thrust of my debate is that we should unite in this august House, fight against this disease, unite to raise money and fight this disease so that we can traverse the whole world looking for ways to fight this disease, so that even those who can go to Britain can raise funding and drugs to fight cancer.
I also heard from Hon. Khupe that male circumcision can reduce cervical cancer. It is my considered view that, people who are promiscuous and those in polygamous relations, should be enlightened on the dangers of such behaviour that can cause cancer. Even if it means it is me, Chinotimba, who behaves in that manner, I should be enlightened and the same should apply to similar-minded persons who are at Harvest House- [Laughter]- Madam Speaker, I agree with Hon. Khupe that funds should be raised to assist cancer victims. We may take this as a laughing matter and even politick about it, but what we have observed is not pleasant. Let us help each other to use legal means to raise that money. Above all, the Minister of Health and Child Care should be allowed to freely travel internationally to source drugs for the treatment of cancer so as to eradicate it. If as a country we manage to source funds for medication, the staff whether they are permanent secretaries, doctors or even the minister, Hon Parirenyatwa should be able to go abroad to countries such as Germany and others to access medication without sanctions being imposed. The minister is unable to access these drugs because of sanctions. Therefore, I am urging all political parties in Zimbabwe, not only ZANU PF and MDC but all political parties, should look for support so that cancer drugs can be readily available. The political parties should go out there and lobby for the removal of sanctions on all drugs. I thank you.
- MATARUSE: Thank you Madam Speaker, I will not waste
your time by going through the statistics. The first speaker did a very good job, she actually presented like she is a trained doctor. I just want to add one specific issue, the issue of cervical cancer, which she executed very well.
Cervical cancer is mainly caused by a virus which is sexually transmitted. Therefore, prevention of this virus from spreading should start from within this House. We know others come from as far as Binga and spend the whole week in Harare and we are saying, stick to one partner or have no partner. There is a vaccine which has been developed; initially it used to cost 80 pounds and a person needs three doses, which means we are looking at 240 pounds. It has now gone down; GSK is selling it for $31 a dose, which is $93 for three doses.
My recommendation is, let us incorporate the vaccine for this particular cancer. I want to demonstrate that it is reasonably cheap and very possible to form rural cancer treatment centres. To set up a cancer treatment centre in the rural areas, I looked at the issues required and I made pictures. What we need is a computer, screen, a special bed, a speculum, light source, acetic acid and the training of the people involved. We need a total of about $6 550 to set up a rural screening test for the cancer. It is done by a nurse, so it is possible to do it in the rural areas. I will circulate to you what some people may think is obscene. It is a picture of the mouth of the womb and a nurse will be able to detect. If you put acetic acid on it and take a picture, you will be able to detect at the pre-counsellor’s stage and at that stage a person can use cryotherapy to destroy the cancer cells. It can completely be cured before it gets bad.
In conclusion, it is very possible to set up cancer treatment units in the rural areas at approximately $6 550. I advocate that let us have a cancer levy to set up these cancer treatment centres. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(DR. CHIMEDZA): Thank you Madam Speaker. First of all, let me put my sincere apologies for coming in late. I just found the debate already in motion but from what Hon. Labode said, it is an emotional and very important issue. Allow me to thank Hon. Khupe for bringing this debate on cancer to the fore and this happens to be the breast cancer month. We can see everyone is really passionate that we get on top of this cancer issue.
Just for your information, the non-communicable diseases which include cancer, diabetes, hypertension, et cetera are taking over from HIV in terms of the mortality and the morbidity that they cause. Therefore, it is an issue of great concern to my ministry and to the generality of this country. We have had problems of funding and I am sure that is why for the past five years, we have not moved much in that direction due to lack of resources. The previous Minister of Health did not manage to do much in terms of getting equipment and cancer drugs to combat this disease.
Let me put this into perspective, probably it has already been said, that in terms of breast cancer, it is the fourth commonest cancer if all other cancers are considered in terms of mortality and morbidity. In women alone, breast cancer is the second to cervical cancer. This being the breast cancer month, you can see that breast cancer is indeed a very big issue, it being the second most common cancer.
I see hon. members are passionate about setting in a cancer levy to move this issue forward. However, there are a lot of things happening in the health care sector and as a matter of fact, in the past couple of weeks, we have been debating on how we can move from compartmentalising issues and looking at them globally so that everything is covered. On HIV levy, what we have been discussing is, it should not just take care of HIV; there are other things that it should take care of so that we move from viewing one disease and focusing on it alone outside other
diseases. It becomes so fragmented and difficult to manage. Hon.
members are talking of cancer centres in rural areas. It is a brilliant idea but a rural health centre should be capacitated to take care of the cancer, diabetes, hypertension and all other diseases including HIV. Therefore, when we invest in this, let us take a global viewpoint.
Let us take a bird’s eye view on all the things that are needed here. This is the thing that is on focus now because it is an issue that has affected very senior members of our society. It is an issue that has been brought to the fore. This is the month that we talk about breast cancer, but there are other issues that are equally damaging, that probably, like Hon. Dr. Labode has said, are not coming to the fore. They are there but we see them and deal with them every day.
So, what I was thinking is the issue that we discussed at some point before we came on to the scene. There was a debate within the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Health and Child Care, that the key problem in the health care sector is inadequate funding.
The two ministries, at some point, had proposed that there be a National Health Insurance Fund and that this fund comes as a levy, not just focusing on cancer but focusing on the whole health care sector and if we get anyone who gets sick, whether in the rural areas or town, they just need to walk to the hospital and get service, but that service will be paid for from that fund and then that health institution will be able to pay their workers – the nurses and doctors. They will be able to replenish their drugs, pay for equipment and maintain institutions in a way that they can serve the people of this country better.
So, while I like the idea of a levy, and we are all passionate about this need, people are cognizant of the fact that the health care sector is poorly funded and we want to remedy this by bringing in a levy. I agree, but let us make it a global levy and not just a cancer levy. Let us formulate a National Health Insurance Fund, where we will be able to fund the global health care sector.
Yes, we have an Aids Levy Fund and it has done phenomenally well. It was an emergency then, but we had to do what we had to do and brilliant minds came in and this has worked. But we are saying; now we have an opportunity here to fund the whole health care sector so that in each and every clinic, there are adequate drugs. You may be treated of cancer but die of diabetes or diarrhoea. We simply do not want that either. So, Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am grateful and I think that the point has been put across that we need to work towards a National Fund for all health care ailments.
There is an issue that we seem to trivialize here, and when we talk about it, often we think that it does not matter. For those that have not come across these sanctions, these sanctions kill children and pregnant women every day –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member address
- CHIMEDZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. What I am
saying is that I fail to understand the call to lift sanctions, which even harm people in opposition fail to0 resonate with MDC-T colleagues.
They suffer because of them. Why does the MDC-T want to cling to these sanctions –[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible Interjections]-
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. member. Can you allow the hon. member to debate freely?
- CHIMEDZA: Thank you. Madam Speaker, I think it is important for those that have decided to put blinkers on their eyes and refuse to see the damage that the sanctions have brought to the people of Zimbabwe to open their eyes. This is a serious issue. They are very passionate about things that happen elsewhere. They are passionate about things that happen in Kenya, for example and then they fail to see how many children and women are dying in their own country. I do not know what this will achieve for MDC-T or any political cause, so let us take this issue seriously. While we are working on all these things, sanctions are an important issue and every Zimbabwean worth his or her soul should stand firm against this evil. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
- N. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I am one of the ladies who are wearing pink today in recognition of this important month. May I thank Hon. Khupe for raising this important issue? I come from a cancer stricken family and I know exactly what you are talking about. My mother died of cancer and when she was dying she said to me “mwanangu rwara neimwe hosha haikona cancer inorwadza.”
We had all the money in the world to get her treated. We actually bought a drug called Taxotine, which cost us US$20 000 but we still could not save her. I also have got three sisters and other cousins who have died of cancer, so I know what you are talking about. I also want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for having saved you to be here and be talking about this issue.
This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue that all women should rally behind and talk about, objectively, firmly and move ahead as women. Madam Speaker, let us talk about how young women can be educated about this. How we can put this programme in the rural areas, where we have women who have died because of this problem and then let us talk about witchdoctors and prophets, that this is not a prophetic or witch doctor’s issue but this is a medical issue. Let us carry out medical tests. In Shona we say “n’anga gadzibude munyaya idzi”. Let us talk
about real issues.
Having said that, do women know that they can test themselves before going to the doctors? Are they aware of that? Do we have television or radio programmes that talk about this issue? Let us not waste time probably talking about music on television – [HON MEMBER: Sanctions!]-. Yes, I will certainly talk about sanctions; I will come to that, certainly. There is an element of that.
Early diagnosis and how it is supposed to be done. Educational programmes, like I said earlier on, how it is supposed to be done. Food – what sort of food must women eat and the hazards of overweight, which may also cause cancer and to my fellow Parliamentarians, circumcision is important. If I were to be allowed to check, I would want to check how many of our males have been circumcised –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order!
- N. CHIKWINYA: Madam Speaker, I support the cancer
levy issue. Just as the hon. minister would want to look at a holistic approach to all these problems, but I am saying taking one step at a time is important. Can you just look at one issue, deal with it and when we are done, move on to the next issue. That is how I would want to look at
Lastly I would want to say can we take this programme to our constituencies since it is still the cancer month as Members of Parliament? Can we have more information from you and let us move ahead and spread this gospel because so many women have died.
Madam Speaker, if I may also say it must start from here that as hon. members, we donate towards her fund because she is doing a great job. I thank you very much.
MRS. CHIRISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think as
Members of Parliament we agree that the issue of cancer is a major burden the world over. Each year, tens of millions of people are diagnosed with cancer around the world and more than half of the patients eventually die from it.
Madam Speaker, I will not go into facts and figures because this has been said. I just want to remind this august House that October is celebrated worldwide as the month dedicated to building awareness, educating and empowering women on breast cancer.
In Dubai, they launched the ‘think pink’ initiative and this has been going on as a yearly programme to reinforce and build awareness on breast cancer. This can also be done here in Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Health.
Zimbabwe could benefit a lot because there are initiatives already and increased drive towards educating and empowering women in Zimbabwe and there has been a positive response to that. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hon. Thokozani Khupe for supporting the drive and helping the nation to reach more people, especially women and informing them about this disease.
Madam Speaker, I will talk about the campaigns that I have in mind that can help Zimbabwe improve identifying cases early through effective screening. Unfortunately, for the screening purposes, I do not know whether the Ministry of Health, especially the Minister, is aware that the machine at Parirenyatwa is always breaking down and it has never worked. For this machine to be repaired, we need to fly someone from South Africa to make those repairs. I think we should start training our own people.
We agree and I repeat that breast cancer is by far the most frequent cancer among people. This underscores the importance to improve our understanding of the risk factors of cancer, design and implement practical prevention strategies and develop better and more effective treatment options.
The foreseeable increase in the global burden of cancer will likely be more profound in less developed countries like ours. According to the Cancer Control Opportunities in the developed world by the Institute of Medicine, it is recognized that cancer is a significant disease burden in low and medium income countries, Zimbabwe included.
As a nation, we could create more awareness of hon. members on this issue of cancer, by supporting, through this House this motion on cancer and encourage all Members of Parliament, not only women but even male members. These have wives, daughters and daughters-in-law who might be affected. Everybody should be encouraged to be educated on breast cancer. Members should talk about these issues in their respective constituencies and provinces. They should encourage their wives to undergo breast cancer screening.
The Ministry of Health should also launch media and other campaigns to build awareness and educate women on breast cancer. The campaign should also include the ‘think pink’ initiative which should also talk about the breast consultation. We can also produce a special educational booklet to be distributed across the country. This booklet should be in all languages and it should have details on self detection methods in addition to key facts of the disease plus feature articles and quotes from reputed personalities. We can use our own Hon. Khupe in support of this grand initiative.
There should also be special orientation programmes planned in universities, schools, Government offices and various corporates in all cities and towns including our rural health centres and growth points. To further these activities, as Parliamentarians, let us commit to take up causes that assist women and mankind. We hope we will manage to reinforce the fight against breast cancer this October and beyond.
Madam Speaker, as a country and as the people’s representatives, it is our responsibility to support and do everything possible that result in the health and well being of our people. The emphasis of the Breast Cancer Awareness programmes should be on preventive measures. Every year in October, Government should organize various activities including road shows targeting women to give them a forum in which concerns and questions about breast cancer may be raised. Popular radio stations can also be used as a medium to interact with listeners and hear their stories and most importantly, to educate and build awareness.
I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD
WELFARE (DR. CHIMEDZA): I move that the debate do now
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th October, 2013.
LIFTING OF SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON ZIMBABWE
- HLONGWANE: I move the motion standing in my name
that this House: CONCERNED by the high rate of de-industrialisation in
Zimbabwe’s major cities and towns continuously in the last 12 years;
FURTHER CONCERNED by the levels of unemployment currently experienced in Zimbabwe;
DEEPLY WORRIED by the sanctions induced poverty levels that have blighted Zimbabweans for the past 12 years;
PERTURBED by the alarming brain and skills drain experienced by Zimbabwe’s economy in the last decade;
ALARMED by the arrogant unilateralism of the West which imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe without engaging in exhaustive dialogue;
NOW, THEREFORE: Calls on the European Union, Australia,
New Zealand and the United States of America to lift all forms of sanctions they imposed on Zimbabwe.
RESOLVES to submit this motion, together with a covering letter to the European Parliament, the European External Action Service, the United States Congress, the Australian Parliament, New Zealand
Parliament and the House of Commons, encouraging them to urge their Governments to lift all forms of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
- MAVIMA: I second.
- HLONGWANE: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing
me this opportunity to debate this very important motion. Let me preface my remarks first, by thanking Hon. Khupe for moving a very important livelihoods impact motion that touches and traverses all our lives, going forward. I think that with a bit of consultations across the two sides of the House, it will assist in forming a bipartisan approach in terms of the kind of motions as represented by the one on cancer. That is a very important motion Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker, the motion before us is a very important motion because it is going to address four things. The first thing that it is going to address is the whole question of whether or not, in the background of a denialist approach, it comes to the issue of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, we can now understand these measures. We want to understand as a House and indeed as the whole of Zimbabwe whether these sanctions are in fact real and what they represent? We ask the question, are there any economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe? It is time that this House gets seized with this matter in a comprehensive manner.
The second aspect that this motion is going to try to bring out is the whole question of whether or not these sanctions are legal. In other words, we try to interrogate the legal premise of the sanctions as imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union as well as the United States of America, Australia and New Zealand. Do they pass the international legal tradition as far as international law is concerned, as far as international humanitarian law is concerned and as far as international legal best practice is concerned? We must be able to deal with that matter.
The third issue that this motion is going to try to bring out is the empiricism as far as the effect of these sanctions in Zimbabwe or on Zimbabwean people is concerned. When we say that there are economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, what do we have to justify that these sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are in fact working negatively on the people of Zimbabwe. Of course, ultimately, the intention is to try to come up with an approach wherein we will communicate with the US Congress, as the
National Assembly of Zimbabwe. We will communicate with the European Parliament, communicate with the House of Commons, communicate with the European External Action Service as well as the Australian and New Zealand Parliaments to recommend to them to urge their Governments to get these sanctions lifted.
So, I am expecting fierce debate, very nourishing and very objective. Madam Speaker, let me start by saying that Zimbabwe for twelve years, has suffered a double barreled sanctions regime. These were imposed on Zimbabwe, first by the United States of America Congress on the 21st December, 2001, with an instrument called ZIDERA. ZIDERA is an acronym representing Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act which I am going to go into details.
That ZIDERA Madam Speaker, not only imposes economic
sanctions on Zimbabwe. It also imposed on the other hand, travel restrictions on our President, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. It also imposed travel restrictions on those that are in key Government institutions and those that head certain Government companies.
The other point is that following the application of ZIDERA by the United States Congress in December 2001, Europe followed suit on 18th February, 2002. The European Union imposed again, another double barreled regime of sanctions on Zimbabwe and these were built around the template of ZIDERA. In other words, there is a set of economic measures imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union. In addition to that, outside of Article 96 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, under what they call the Common Security Framework, they imposed an entire gamut of measures that are built to deny our President as well as key Government officials from accessing markets in Europe. This is from travelling to Europe to do Government business and other very important programmes that may assist in directing how we proceed as a country.
The allegation at the core or the reason why these sanctions are imposed, I will start with the European Union which cites the issue of violation of human rights in Zimbabwe. It is an issue that I think we should not shy away from. As Members of Parliament, I think that we have an opportunity to debate this motion and we must deal with those matters head on. They cite the issue of human rights violations in Zimbabwe as at that time. They cite the issue of property rights violations as at that time and I can give you a quote Madam Speaker in the regime of sanctions as imposed by the European Union.
They say in order for the sanctions to be lifted, “the Government of
Zimbabwe must halt all illegal invasion of property.” This was happening in 2002. We all know what they are talking about. The kind of properties that they are referring to are farms that black people moved in to occupy after more than 100 years of colonial subjugation. In order to realign property relations in Zimbabwe, the process may not have been agreed. We may not have been able to build consensus in terms of process, but the outcome in terms of realigning property relations in Zimbabwe, in order to realize a sustainable social setting in our country, I think it was important and it had to be done that way.
So, clearly what the European sanctions are saying is that, because you have embarked on a Land Reform Programme, which is an economic model in a sense, we are going to apply these sanctions on yourselves. This is so that you move away from that economic model of empowering the majority of people that have been denied that right for well over a century under colonial subjugation. That is very unfortunate.
I have shown you that there are two sets of sanctions built around the same template imposed by the United States Congress as well as the
European Union. I am going to start with the European Union sanctions.
They were imposed under Article 96 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The Cotonou Partnership Agreement is the Charter that establishes the ACP/EU joint Parliamentary Assembly in a North/South interface. This is a dialogue in trade, in the economic partnership agreements and a dialogue in trying to transfuse political values between the two groups. The North representing the European Union and its entire block of 27 countries and the South representing the ACP countries –African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
So, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement has articles. It is a legal
Charter. Article 96 as well as part of Article 97 allows any one of the
two parties to invoke measures or sanctions where it is not satisfied with issues around Article 9. I am going to come to what that represents.
The Europeans complained that Zimbabwe was in breach and violation of Article 9 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. Article 9 speaks to the issue of human rights, good governance, and rule of law and to the issue of democracy. And, the Europeans were not convinced at that time in 2001, that Zimbabwe merited a continuation in privilege in terms of its relationship with Europe. Therefore, they invoked Article 96 of that Cotonou Partnerhip Agreement. Once that Article 96 was invoked, it meant decline in economic terms. This is what it translates to as far as the economic measures imposed on Zimbabwe are concerned.
Firstly, it meant that, Zimbabwe’s signature or participation to the
Multi-Annual Financial Framework was suspended. In other words,
Zimbabwe could no longer benefit from the European Development
Fund. The European Development Fund is a Fund put together by the European Union under a Treaty which is designed to assist all ACP countries. But, there is a process of dialogue and negotiation that you go through as an African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) country to enable yourselves to access that money. I will give you one example Madam Speaker, for the benefit of the House.
The 10th European Development Fund (EDF) that has been running since 2008 and is expiring this year is worth over 23 billion Euros. Once the sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe by the invocation of Article 96 - it meant that Zimbabwe was no longer able, from 2002, to access/participate in any EDF programme. This is how unfortunate our situation is.
What is EDF? EDF is the Financial Arm of ACP-EU Partnership - it is like the Treasury of the ACP-EU Partnership. It funds the meetings of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly but beyond that, it is part of Official Development Assistance that is due to all ACP countries. You use that kind of money towards development within your own country. Zimbabwe, since 2001, has been denied access to this very important budgetary support instrument.
The other point, Madam Speaker, at that time is that – as soon as the invocation of Article 96 was put in place. The Education Transition Fund was suspended – the Education Transition Fund is the kind of Fund that we have seen in the last Government benefiting the education sector. The textbooks were procured through the Education Transition Fund but during the period when this Article 96 was invoked and applied on Zimbabwe - the Education Transition Fund was suspended.
We all know the effects of that. How our education system went into chaos and how our education system went from being one of the most marveled to becoming something that we did not want to be associated with in the past few years – was as a result of that.
The invocation of that article also disturbed Zimbabwe in a sense by way of collateral effect in terms of its participation in the Economic
Partnership Agreements. There are problems to do with Economic Partnership Agreements, problems that have to do with issues of accumulation, rules of origin, differentiation and so on. But, the fact that Zimbabwe was looked at using the spectacles of a bad boy image meant that Zimbabwe was no longer going to be able to participate in most of these programmes. Beyond that, Madam Speaker, they come up to eleven kinds of programmes that were suspended as a result of the invocation of Article 96 – programmes that are a direct benefit to the Zimbabwean economy.
Let me go and bring this closer to home that the European Union economic sanctions had a direct negative effect on the following important companies in Zimbabwe, among them, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ). The National Railways of Zimbabwe, as we all know, is an important player in an economy such as ours. In fact, movement of goods by rail, in any economy, is a very important factor in terms of cost reduction, reducing the cost of doing business and reducing the cost of the price of goods.
In our situation, just to show you for illustrative purposes. The NRZ, around 1998/1999, before the imposition of these sanctions, just in the distance between Bulawayo and Hwange Colliery, was doing 48 goods trains per day. As I speak, they do two per day – that has been the cumulative effect of the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe upon instructions by the Europeans. The way that NRZ was constructed, in the pre-independence days called Rhodesia Railways, is that the locomotives were sourced from Europe and the spare parts must also be sourced from Europe. As we speak, in terms of capacity utilization, the National Railways of Zimbabwe is at its lowest – it is not able to feed the economy in a manner that it is supposed to.
We know that the National Railways of Zimbabwe traverses the length and breadth of our country supplying vital arteries to our economy which are important in terms of making sure that goods are available at a much cheaper cost within the economy – that is important. I will not belabour the point about ZESA, we all know that the kind of power outages that we are experiencing and have been experiencing since 2004 and north of that period coming this way are remarkably different from the kind of power shortages that we would have experienced before the turn of the century. Why is it like that?
Because our economy was built with Europe being the source market, all assets that we have in Zimbabwe, including industry by the way, the machinery, the technology – everything was sourced from Europe. Once Article 96 was invoked together with a bit of Article 97, it meant that Zimbabwe was no longer going to be able to access spare parts from these source markets that are traditional to us.
The other important company, Madam Speaker, is the Zimbabwe Mineral Development Corporation (ZMDC). It is clear, going forward, now to everybody in Zimbabwe including ourselves as an august House that Zimbabwe’s economy is going to be anchored on the extractive industry. ZMDC is the Government arm that controls most of these mining aspects; sanctions were imposed on ZMDC meaning that its officials could not travel to Europe. Beyond that, meaning that its individual entity companies could not get raw materials, supplies nor procure spare parts from Europe.
You can understand, the difficulty of ZMDC with the pivotal position that it occupies in our economy - with sanctions being applied to it. I do not have to belabour the point as to the negative effect that it would have had in terms of job creation - how many thousands and millions of Zimbabweans have lost jobs as a result of that. You also know, Madam Speaker that there are banks, in Zimbabwe, that had sanctions imposed on them. The jewel bank which is CBZ and ZB bank – all banks that are associated with Government infrastructure, it was difficult for those banks to pay their subscriptions to international banks. It meant that it was difficult for those banks to transact in United States dollars any international transactions.
I am going to illustrate that in graphic terms going forward because that money once transferred from any source across the world, as long as it is in United States dollars, has to go via New York and once it gets there; there is a notorious office in New York that traces these assets that are supposed to be coming to Zimbabwe. Once it convinces itself that this money is directed to Zimbabwe, they freeze the money, withhold it, take it way and it is not accessible to anyone who is doing business in
Last but not least, Madam Speaker, there is a company in Zimbabwe called the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). It is a group of companies that has close to 20 aggregate companies. But key among the companies that are owned by the Industrial Development
Corporation is a company called Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company (ZFC). I do not have to belabour the point as to the importance of ZFC in this economy. Everybody knows ZFC’s role is to make sure that there is production of fertilizer – a vital commodity in driving of our agricultural sector.
As I speak, US$5 million belonging to ZFC is frozen in New York – it cannot access that money because of the sanctions that are imposed on ZFC, on the Industrial Development Corporation and all its aggregate companies. I speak to you also, Madam Speaker, about a company called Olivine. Olivine is a company owned by IDC and IDC is a State company but Olivine is owned 50% by IDC and 50% by a company called AON. Olivine is important to our economy because it makes a soap called ‘perfection’. When I was growing up, my mother would wash my clothes with perfection. Imagine a woman in Chikombedzi not being able to access her perfection; imagine a woman in Binga not being able to access her ‘Perfection’ soap. One of the cheapest soaps available on the market, to enable a rural woman to survive and then we tell ourselves that there are no sanctions in this country.
Another company that I am going to talk about is called Chemplex Corporation. Chemplex Corporation is an important actor in our economy and it was put in place as a strategic asset for our country. The reason why Chemplex Corporation is important is that, it produces support services for livestock production in our country. If there is no Chemplex Corporation, it means you do not have treatment for cattle in terms of ticks, there are no dip tanks and you cannot produce vaccines that are important in order to maintain livestock in this country. Livestock is an important factor as far as our economy is concerned within our agricultural sector. These are the economic sanctions as imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union under Article 96 of the
Cotonou Partnership Agreement.
The second category of sanctions imposed by the European Union under the treaty is that they migrated away from the interface of the ACP-EU and decided, within the remit of their own Treaty of the
European Union, under an instrument called the Common Security Framework (CSF), to establish a sanctions regime that prevents leaders of this country from accessing European markets, that prevents key stakeholders in our economy including heads of Corporations that are important from accessing European markets. This may look trivial to some of us but let me break it down for you to show you what it means.
It means that the head of NRZ may not be able to go to Germany or France to get involved in a business meeting. Remember the way in which the NRZ was constructed is that everything that the NRZ is – is sourced from Europe and therefore if there is need for service as far as their locomotives and wagons are concerned, they have to go back to Europe because that is where these things came from. Under the notorious CSF, it means that they cannot access those European source markets.
What it means is that suddenly business between Zimbabwe and Europe has been frozen. That is an economic sanction in a sense. When our President cannot access important markets in order to assist in the development of the economy, how else do you illustrate economic sanctions. The problem of CSF is its notoriety and its unilateralism. Clearly, the CSF by its very nature, when it is applied to a second or third world country, is a clear violation of international law, international humanitarian law and agreed ethical standards in terms of rules of engagement with third world countries.
Let me go to the American sanctions. I have just shown this House the two-barrelled sanctions imposed by Europe. Let us now deal with the issue of American sanctions on Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA), what is important about this
Act is what I am going to say here. It gives an instruction to the Secretary of US Treasury to give an instruction to any American executive director of any international financial institution to do the following:-
Firstly, to oppose and to veto against the following: any extensions by the respective institution of any loan/credit or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe. Any executive director of American extraction who sits in a position where they are in charge of an institution , they have instructions to veto for the extension of any loan or a guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe –[AN HON MEMBER:
It has never been used]. I hear you are saying it has never been used, I will address that. This is the problem that we have in this country that there are people who speak in support of sanctions. This is the problem we have – [AN HON MEMBER: Warungu watema]. Sanctions by their
very nature are an act of war.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, please address the
- HLONGWANE: They are making disturbing sounds. By
their very nature, sanctions are an act of war. Zimbabweans are war weary. We just came from a protracted liberation struggle. Our ancestors fought another war against the same people. This is a third war against the same people and we have colleagues here who have the courage to speak in support of the sanctions regime.
If the Government of Zimbabwe wants to access any lines of credit from any financial institution and that financial institution is headed by an American national, he will veto as per the direction of the
Government of United States against any extension of that line of credit and he will oppose any Government Guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe. This is what it means in simpler terms.
Secondly, they will oppose and veto any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United
States or any financial institution. This is cruel. That is what they say. It means that we must continue to be saddled by a huge debt from which we may not be able to recover. These are economic sanctions. This is what it means.
A small country like Zimbabwe with a population of 12m people, has two global powers, 27 European countries with a GDP running into trillions of dollars imposing sanctions on it. How do you impose sanctions on a small company like ZMDC? How do you impose sanctions on a small company like ZB Bank? How do you impose sanctions on a small company like NRZ? This is the problem that we have got.
I want to talk to you in a more graphic way about the IDC situation. IDC is important in our economy because it occupies prominent space in all key sectors of our economy. In America they have put together an agency called the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This OFAC is a notorious institution which has been put in place by the Americans to freeze all money that is directed towards Zimbabwe. They have done so very successfully. I have given you the example of ZFC. They are withholding, as we speak, US$5million.
Let me give you a more graphic illustration of what this OFAC can do Madam Speaker. A few months ago, a Zimbabwean national who is based in Botswana tried to remit US$975.00 for the purchase of a stand in Sunway City here in Harare. That US$975.00 was frozen by OFAC.
This is not the Government of Zimbabwe. This is an individual who is of Zimbabwean extraction who is in Botswana. He is an ordinary Zimbabwean who is trying to build a home for himself.
He is an ordinary Zimbabwean who is trying to provide an important basic human right for himself, that of shelter. That money was frozen by OFAC. This notorious institution which has no leniency to anybody froze that money that belongs to an individual. We must all be sad hon. members. If this kind of a situation can happen to one individual who is out there, it can also happen to us who are sitting in this House. Madam Speaker, we may fail to transact in the same manner, but, this is scary.
So the economic sanctions as imposed by America and Europe are not only affecting Government leaders or the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and his inner cabal, that is not true. They even affect the one individual, a Zimbabwean who is working in Botswana. They have frozen…
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, the hon. member is left with ten minutes. So you can continue hon. member. Hon. members please do not confuse the member.
- HLONGWANE: These cannot confuse me. Thank you
Madam Speaker. Just to illustrate this in a graphic sense. IDC has lost close to US$20 million. Most of it was frozen by OFAC so that, that money cannot find its way to Zimbabwe in order for IDC to transact. Here is another example. South African banks, because of the stigma of sanctions, Zimbabwe being associated with the fact that it is under an economic embargo; South African banks are emphathising with some of those international banks. In other words, even if you want to transact in Rands, it is difficult for you to do that.
This is the kind of problem that we have Madam Speaker. The second most important thing is, whether the sanctions are legal or they are not legal, I want us to interrogate that in full. Let me run through that
The first point, according to the General Assembly of the United
Nations, Resolution 210 and I quote: “Economic Measures as a Means of Political and Economic Coercion against Developing countries”. This is the title of the Resolution. It was arrived at on December 20, 1991.
This is what it says, “industrialised nations must reject the use of their superior power as a means of applying economic pressure, with the purpose of inducing changes in the economic, political, commercial and social policies of other countries.” That is the Resolution of the United Nations, Resolution 210.
Let me unpack this resolution for a moment Madam Speaker. When it talks about political coercion, what is it that they are talking about? It is clear that these sanctions, part of the reason why they are imposed is because the Europeans do not want the person of President R. G. Mugabe. Therefore, they want to influence Zimbabweans to think differently politically. This is not acceptable. It is a breach of this particular Resolution Madam Speaker. They have said this in their parliaments and we know that they have said it. They have taken certain positions as far as the broad policy in Zimbabwe is concerned.
We know that for instance, they want to do the same thing that they did in Iraq. After establishing an entire biting regime of sanctions, they then went to invade Iraq. After that they engaged in a process called debuttification. You know that, the party that was empowered at that time was called the Butt Party and they engaged in de-buttification. This is exactly what the Europeans would rather have us do. They want to engage in a process of de-zanufication in Zimbabwe.
They do not want the person of President R. G. Mugabe and his entire party. This is the reason why they imposed these sanctions, but Resolution 210 of the United Nations General Assembly is clearly being breached. Let me address the issue of the Economic Coercion scenario. Why Economic Coercion Madam Speaker. I said at the outset, one of the things that the European sanctions say is that they will only be lifted if Zimbabwe holds the invasion of private property. It obviously means that Zimbabweans must stop taking back their land.
So clearly, what the sanctions are designed to do is to get
Zimbabweans to move away from an economic model that empowers the majority of Zimbabweans. That is what they are trying to do –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear}-and this is not acceptable. Secondly, we are dealing with the legality or lack of it, of these sanctions. The other point is that according to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution of
December 4, 1986, which is the Declaration of the Right to
Development, Article 1, paragraph 1 of the Declaration, it speaks to the inalienable individual and collective human right to development.
When we cannot access lines of credit Madam Speaker, we are being denied an inalienable democratic right to develop ourselves. The sanctions are in clear breach of this Resolution. So they do not pass the test of International Law and the United Nations Statutes and therefore, they are unilateral as much as they are illegal.
The third point Madam Speaker is that there is a convention called the
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of June 25, 1993 of the
World Conference on Human Rights of the United Nations. What does this Declaration speak to? It speaks to the universal and inalienable right and an integral part of fundamental rights to development of any human being walking on earth. We are failing to do that because we are constricted by the sanctions as imposed on us by the European Union and the Americans.
The fourth point Madam Speaker is that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in its Resolution of March 4, 1994, expressly states on the question of sanctions and human rights that, and I quote; “unilateral coercive economic measures prevent the full realisation of human rights”. You know the cholera that we had in this country; it is because there is no funding to the health delivery system in this country. We cannot access lines of credit and tens of thousands of people died. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- Madam Speaker, it is a shame for anybody, any leader who was elected in this country, to speak in support of sanctions. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members, let us have order.
- HLONGWANE: Point number 5, Madam Speaker. There is
also what is referred to as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Madam Speaker, Article 3 of that Declaration refers to every individual’s right to a standard of living adequate for their wellbeing. This includes food, medical care, housing and other necessary social services.
Madam Speaker, I refer to a case where a Zimbabwean national who is based in Botswana had his US$975 frozen by OFAC because he wanted to construct a House here in Harare. But this Article, Madam Speaker, refers to the democratic right of every individual to decent accommodation for themselves.
In Article Number 6 Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with the legality of these sanctions. It is clear Madam Speaker, to any sane thinking Zimbabwean that the sanctions regime, because they were not established or applied on Zimbabwe using United Nations Statutes, those sanctions are therefore not only unilateral, they are illegal.
Therefore they are a breach of International law as well as International Humanitarian Law.
Another point Madam Speaker is that the sanctions on Zimbabwe are an assault on Zimbabweans’ Civil Liberties and also an assault to the international covenants. I am talking about covenants on civil and political rights and the international covenants on economic social and cultural rights. The covenant stipulates “that a people may not be deprived of its own means of subsistence”. This is important Madam Speaker, because when you do not have access to international lines of credit, you cannot invest in agriculture, you cannot fund agriculture. It means that you are being denied an important means of your subsistence as a people. Such things are an act of war and America and Europe are at war with Zimbabwe.
Point number 7, the Unilateral Sanctions Policy on Zimbabwe also breaches the United Nations Declaration on principles of International Law concerning friendly relations and cooperation among states in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2624(xxv) of October 1970. The Declaration stipulates in
Article 32, that “no State may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind”. This is the structure of the sanctions that are imposed on us by ZIDERA and the European Union.
Madam Speaker, they seek to subordinate Zimbabwe continually, as has been the case before 1980. The sanctions seek to perpetuate a legacy of colonialism. They seek to perpetuate a legacy of imperial thinking. They seek to perpetuate a subrogation of Africans. Let me put it on record that the two sanctions regimes are in breach of this important resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.
Another resolution by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in 1983 Madam Speaker, condemned the application of economic coercion, especially when the latter is used against developing countries. Resolution 152 (VI) of the UN Conference of July 1983 entitled, Rejection of Coercive Economic Measures, these are sanctions.
It states as follows “all developed countries shall refrain from applying trade restrictions, this includes the EU and America – from applying trade restriction, blockades, embargoes and other economic sanctions incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, against developing countries as a form of political coercion which affects their economic and political and social development”.
Madam Speaker, it is clear that the sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe by the Europeans and Americans are illegal and therefore all of us as leaders must not condone sanctions. To show that sanctions are illegal, all of us must sing from one hymn in condemning the sanctions. We must sing from one hymn in urging the Americans and Europeans to lift these sanctions to the extent that they are impacting negatively on ordinary peoples’ lives.
One of the issues that I also want to raise is the question that the Europeans and the Americans raised the issue of human rights that
Zimbabwe, was in breach of human rights and therefore it deserves to have these sanctions imposed on it. I want to address that issue Madam
Speaker. I will illustrate this way for you; the President of this country,
President Robert Mugabe, spent 12 years in a white man’s jail, in a colonialist’s jail when he was fighting for the rights of every black and white Zimbabwean in this country. When he was fighting Madam
Speaker, he was fighting to liberate all of us so that we sit and debate in a Chamber like this today. Why did they do that Madam Speaker, because as far as they are concerned, an African’s right is not a human right? That is why, when President Mugabe wanted to liberate us, when Joshua Nkomo wanted to liberate us, when Emerson Mnangagwa wanted to liberate us, they put them in jail Madam Speaker.
I was talking Madam Speaker, about the issue of human rights. I was saying Madam Speaker, that all people in Zimbabwe and we know it in empirical reality - all people in Zimbabwe that fought for the rights for all of us that are sitting here; either were put in jail, they were exploded to death or they suffered for 15 or more years in some form of punishment under the jail of a colonial regime.
What it means Madam Speaker, those that fight for the rights of Africans, are not recognized by these two gigantic political and economic powers of our world. Europe does not recognise them and
America does not recognise them. Let me give you more illustrations Mr. Speaker. Nelson Mandela Madam Speaker, that great iconic fighter, that great iconic liberator of our continent, that great advocate of the rights of Africans, until four years ago, was still referred to as a terrorist in the United States (US) Congress; an embarrassing scenario Madam Speaker.
A man that served 27 years in jail to liberate Black South Africans was in the books of America a terrorist who must never have set foot in America. These are the kind of people that we are talking about Madam Speaker.
Let me give you another point Madam Speaker; Kwame Nkrumah, that great African founder was removed from power by a coup that was orchestrated by the Americans. So was Patrice Lumumba Madam
Speaker. Patrice Lumumba of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was murdered in a plot that was orchestrated by the Americans. It is on record; it is documented Madam Speaker. So, what is our point? Samora Machel is another. Our point is that these Americans and Europeans, when it comes to the issue of human rights, as long as it refers to African rights, there are not human rights as far as they are concerned.
They are only human rights when we begin to take our land from their kith and kin. That is why they raised the issue of human rights; because it was their friends that were being dispossessed of land. As long as it was coming from a black person to another black person, there is no issue of human rights. This is a sad situation Madam Speaker.
So, what is my point? My point is that, the question that they raised as justification for the imposition of sanctions is a flawed argument. It is intellectually lazy to speak of the issue of human rights when empirical evidence clearly points toward the opposite as far as our history is concerned Madam Speaker.
Now, I am speaking on my last point – [HON MEMBERS:
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Members. Vehicle Registration Number ACI9518 Ford Ranger is blocking other vehicles – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
- HLONGWANE: Thank you Madam Speaker. This is my
last point Madam Speaker. We have spoken about the issue of the legality of these sanctions. It is now clear to everybody Madam Speaker that these sanctions are there and they are real.
I want to talk about the fairness of the process that the European Union (EU) used to impose the sanctions on Zimbabwe. I have already made the argument Madam Speaker, that the European Union sanctions were imposed under Article 96 and part of Article 97 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.
There is a process Madam Speaker, which is followed. As far as
Zimbabwe is concerned, the whole issue of political dialogue between Zimbabwe and Europe was hurried up. There is a regular Article 8; political dialogue that goes on between Europe and each individual
Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) country. That dialogue happens every now and then. The reason for that dialogue is to try to close the gap in terms of issues of human rights, issues of democracy, issues of the rule of law and other issues of governance between any one ACP country and the European Union. So, there is a structured dialogue that is put in place. The rules according to Article 96 Madam Speaker, are that before invocation of Article 96, which is the Economic Sanctions; a measure of last resort is resorted to, the parties must fully exhaust Article 8: Political Dialogue.
In the case of Zimbabwe Madam Speaker, this did not happen. On 21 December 2001, the Article 96 consultations began. Article 96 consultations allow for more that 120 days of discussion of dialogue which is supposed to be exhaustive, where you listen to the other party. You understand where they are coming from and you try to interrogate the processes and agree before arriving at a measure of last resort, which is Article 96. In the case of Zimbabwe, that did not happen
On 21 December, 2001, the Article 96 consultations began. On 18
February 2002, the sanctions were imposed. I asked this question
Madam Speaker in the plenary of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary
Assembly Session to our colleagues in Europe and they said Madam Speaker, they did not have time to give Zimbabwe a hearing because everything that was happening in Zimbabwe at that time was wrong. That is the answer that they gave me. But Madam Speaker, I have already shown you that the issue of human rights has been ignored throughout our entire history by the same Europeans. They have in fact, as I have shown, worked against human rights in our country as well as in other countries.
So, the process was not fair. The dialogue under Article 8 was not exhaustive. They rushed to engage in Article 96; consultation, which is a measure of last resort without exhausting the other dialogue and as Zimbabwe, we have an ethical and moral right to deny the legitimacy –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Mahlangu, we do not
expect that from an Hon. Member who is sitting at the front bench – [HON. MEMBERS: And a former deputy minister]. Can you continue honourable member?
- HLONGWANE: So, the 120 days as provided for by the Act Madam Speaker, were not exhausted and therefore to that extent, the entire House – [Laughter].
Hon. Hlongwane having addressed Mr. Speaker as Madam
Speaker - sorry Mr. Speaker Sir.
I was saying that the 120 days as provided by the law; Article 96 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement were not exhaustive and therefore because Article 8; Political Dialogue, was also not exhaustive, we must all agree that the double barreled sanctions measures on Zimbabwe by Europe are illegitimate and therefore, to the extent that they do not pass the test of international humanitarian law. They are illegal and therefore we must unite, all of us as leaders in this chamber to condemn those economic sanctions.
Mr. Speaker Sir, sanctions are an act of war. They deprive people of their right. Sanctions kill Mr. Speaker, as I have already illustrated in the debate of this motion. Sanctions maim, they are a war by other means. Zimbabwe has been technically at war with the West for the past
12 years. I already said Mr. Speaker that we are a war weary nation. Having come out of a protracted liberation struggle; having seen our ancestors running away from guns when they did not have any and we are getting to our 13th year next year, if these sanctions are not lifted. We have a protracted economic war waged on us by the Europeans; waged on us by the Americans.
Therefore, the National Assembly of Zimbabwe, this House must submit this motion and write a letter to the US Congress, House of
Commons, New Zealand Parliament, Australian Parliament, European Parliament and the European External Action Service explaining to them the graphic empirical reality which obtains on the ground in terms of the effect the sanctions are having on our people.
This is important, Mr. Speaker. We must play our part as a
National Assembly. We must play our part to join hands with the Government in trying to urge the West to lift these sanctions. It is very important Mr. Speaker.
- MAVIMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to start by thanking Hon. Hlongwane, my colleague, for presenting a very erudite statement about the sanctions that this country is suffering from. There is a concept known as Bounded Rationality. Bounded Rationality lets people do things that they may think are beneficial to them but in reality those things will be detrimental.
There are wars that have been fought on the basis of Bounded
Rationality and nations have destroyed themselves on the basis of Bounded Rationality. The Rhodesians establishment fought a war for 15 years and sent some of their youngest people to the war front on the basis of Bounded Rationality. This country was going to be liberated anyhow. The worst was unnecessary. I am going to make a very simple and brief presentation. There is a way in this country on this issue of sanctions, we have acted on the basis of Bounded Rationality.
I currently preside over 85 000 Government and council schools. These schools where we are sending our children and grandchildren to, have lost close to 15 years of resourcing because of the sanctions regime that we are under. I was prepared to answer a question from one of the hon. members of this august House about the infrastructure situation that exists in our provincial offices of education. I said to that member, over the past four years, the entire Ministry of Education has received
$155 000 for furniture as allocation and only $900 was able to be used.
We have suffered a resource problem in this country that has affected health, education, transportation and as a result, our entire infrastructure dilapidated. We need to think seriously as Zimbabweans. Move away from Bounded Rationality that could actually call for sanctions as a temporary measure for partisan interest, individual political benefit and look at a broader picture about where Zimbabwe should go.
As a necessity, many countries go through several decades of deciding what should be the locus of power, as a starting point. I am glad that Zimbabwe has been going through this process. What should be the locus of power? How should power be used? What certain responsibilities should rulers have? It is a clearly Zimbabwean matter and has nothing to do with international interference. Here is the situation, Mr. Speaker Sir.
From the time of their revolution to the time of agreement and their Constitution, the Americans took close to 100 years. During that period, they clearly circumscribed that debate. They clearly refused to be interfered with by the British and other former colonial masters. They eventually decided on a democratic situation and a Constitution that they have been using to this date.
Why should we not have the same situation in Zimbabwe? When Americans debate their national issues, Mr. Speaker Sir, they clearly do this on the basis of national interest and unity without any separation between Republic and Democrat. We lack this in this country and we need to develop it. There are issues that should unite us as
Zimbabweans. We should approach international issues on the basis that other countries do, which is permanent interest for Zimbabweans and not necessarily permanent friends.
There are arguments that the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe was a function of consideration for human rights. I beg to differ Mr. Speaker Sir. The main reason why sanctions were imposed on
Zimbabwe illegally was reviewed clearly by the infamous statement by
Jack Straw to the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, the late Dr. Stan
Mudenge. It was a matter of the entitlement of kith and kin for the
British, the French and the Americans. It was on that basis that Jack
Straw clearly indicated that the Western world was going to squeeze Zimbabweans to the point where our leaders were going to be stoned on the streets and that nearly happened in 2008 Mr. Speaker Sir- [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
Mr. Speaker Sir, the debate on human rights does not make sense, especially coming from the Westerners, they have a short memory[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-these are the same establishments that cropped up and created dictators of the cult of Noriega, of Pinochet, who were completely oblivious of human rights. Zimbabwe became important to them – at the point and time Mr. Speaker, we moved to assert our economic self-determination, that is, the point at which Zimbabwe became important. This proxy war that this country has had to endure for the past 14 or so years is a war that the Western world is fighting to reassert the interests of their kith and kin- [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- It has nothing to do with the interests of the black Zimbabweans of this country. The interests of the black Zimbabweans of this country resides in the principle of African nationalism, it is represented by a long struggle that the African Diaspora, together with Africans on the Continent have fought for four centuries. That is how it should be viewed.
How do we move Zimbabwe forward? We should move forward
by getting out of this bounded rationality context. We should move
Zimbabwe forward by clearly understanding that we have a responsibility to create institutions for Zimbabwe and by Zimbabweans, like we have started to do through the Constitution-making- process that brought us all together and created a document that we all agreed upon. That is the starting point. We need to further develop these institutions clearly understanding our national interests, clearly knowing that this country and its future is for us Zimbabweans, our children and our grandchildren. Everything that we do, we should look at those things that bring us together and knowing clearly that our interests will never be served by the interference of foreigners. This is the basis upon which I urge all Zimbabweans to reject-[AN HON. MEMBER: ZANU PF]completely-[Laughter] - unequivocally, the illegal sanctions and restart a process to build our own institutions. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
- MASHAKADA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording
me this opportunity to participate in this very important debate that has been tabled by Hon. Hlongwane. I must say, Mr. Speaker Sir, that I have observed a very worrying trend in this House, even beyond this
House, a trend where we now tend to blame sanctions on anything that happens in this country. We are now using sanctions as a scapegoat[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Mr. Speaker Sir, even if there is a drought in this country; some people will say it is sanctions. What I am saying is that, let us also look at those things that we have caused by our own omissions and commissions, rather than just label everything on sanctions.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to tow you down history or memory lane. During the liberation struggle, a lot of people suffered and perished while fighting for liberation. People were tortured, bombed, imprisoned-[AN HON. MEMBER: Naani?]-naIan Smith-[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- there were a lot of human rights violations during this period, but what was the response of the international community? They imposed sanctions on the then Rhodesian Government. [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]. The Western countries rallied under the banner of the United Nations Security
Council (UNSC) to impose sanctions on Smith after he declared the
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). These sanctions helped or assisted the liberation forces as well-[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - because combined with the war of the 70s and the debilitating effects of the sanctions, the economy began to crumble during that period, quickening the demise of the Smith regime. This is documented and well chronicled. The point I am saying is, countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark supported the liberation struggle. Therefore, we must not forget that the international community at some stage will have a responsibility or obligation when human rights are violated, when governance and rule of law has broken down and democracy is under threat. The international community will always have an obligation to do the correct thing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -
- SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chibaya, please, your
fellow hon. member is raising a debate. If you could respect that.
- MASHAKADA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. One thing this
House must realise is that, because we did not have a UN resolution or a
Security Council resolution, our situation cannot be classified as a classical sanctions case. That is why you find some of us we can call them restrictive measures because of the absence of the UN Security Council resolution to make them legal.
Mr. Speaker Sir, why were the restrictive measures imposed? By all means, do we support these measures? Not at all. Why were these measures imposed in the first place? I thought ZANU PF would be in a better position to explain to Zimbabweans why these sanctions or restrictive measures were imposed. Hon. Hlongwane has referred correctly to Article 9 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which binds the relationship between Africa, ACP countries and Europe in terms of how they should conduct themselves. The European Union invoked restrictive measures in terms of Article 96 because of certain obligations which Zimbabwe had not fulfilled under the Cotonou Agreement.
The hon. member has raised the issue of land reform as the reason why sanctions were imposed. I think you did not tell us the full story.
In terms of the Constitution, Government was supposed to take land and compensate the farmers – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
- SPEAKER: Order, order. If you have got a position as far as the motion is concerned, please reserve your position and you will be given the opportunity to speak. Hon. Mashakada, please proceed.
- MASHAKADA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am one of those people who argue that in this country, we did not have a Land Reform Programme, what we had was a land revolution. Those two things are different. As it was a land revolution, it was characterised by force, violence and any other form of coercion to achieve the end of a revolution. In that regard, these transgressions became excessive intentionally or unintentionally. That is why under Article 96, the European Union said, we have a governance issue in Zimbabwe.
In 2000, when the MDC party was formed, we had activists like Tichaona Chiminya being petrol bombed at Murambinda, no investigations took place. All these things triggered restrictive measures on the country. I also want to say, if you want to understand the economic crisis that we now attribute to sanctions, it had a long history starting from ESAP in 1991. When Robin Ireland said remove subsidies on education, health and agriculture and we complied with those measures, that hit our economy seriously. I remember at that stage, in the labour movement, we were against ESAP saying this is a neoliberal policy and Government should abandon it. ESAP said you must liberalise the border, you can import freely et cetera and we exposed our industries to so much competition when they were not ready. We devalued our dollar and did rightwing policies that injured our economy.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in 1998 we spent US$3 billion in the Congo war and that bled our economy. Instead of putting that US$3 billion to health, education, railways and ZESA, we were spending it in a foreign country. In fact, Mr. Speaker, this economy is very strong. No country could have gone through such economic bleeding as to be surviving to this date. We had the black Friday when the Zimbabwe dollar crushed against all major international currencies, this was gradually and cumulatively authoring our economic problems. Then we had the quasi fiscal operation – the printing of money. The zeros that we saw, the hyperinflations, the quintillions and all those things. Do not isolate those things. They contributed to the economic crisis and the problems which we now conveniently label as sanctions.
My point is, Mr. Speaker Sir, in order for us to find a long lasting solution to our economy, we must open our eyes wide and devise internal measures to recreate and revive our economy. This economy is blessed with a lot of resources; mineral and other natural resources. We can leverage our own resources to move the people from poverty. We can do a lot for our own country and mind you, even if we can hypotheticate that we did not have these sanctions, was Britain or America obliged to give us anything. What for? They are not obliged to give us anything. Germany or France are not obliged to give us anything.
Mr. Speaker Sir, one feature of sanctions is trade. If you look at the trade between Zimbabwe and Europe, it is still very high. In fact, we are not even able to meet the quota of supplying sugar to the European Union. We are not able to meet the quota on beef, cotton, tobacco, tea and coffee, yet under typical sanctions regime there is no trade, there is a complete trade embargo but here we are and we cannot even fulfill our quotas in these markets.
The other problem, people are economic with the truth. It is not true that because of the veto powers of the US on multilateral institutions; therefore we cannot access credit or loans. The problem why we cannot access loans and grants is because of international payment arrears. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is as simple as that. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a bank. They look at debt and credit. If you do not service your loans or financial obligations or your interest payments, you do not expect joy from those institutions.
This is why, Mr. Speaker Sir, IMF and the World Bank suspended balance of payment support to Zimbabwe as early back as 1998. It did not start after 2000 because we had already failed to service our own international obligations. You remember when I started, I said let us not blame everything on sanctions. Let us isolate things that we could control and things that we could not control for us to get a solution, to move this country forward.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in 2000 the Government of Zimbabwe adopted a Look East Policy, which means we would have transformed our economy to look East. We would have cut ties with the West and looked East. Today China is the second largest economy. They can revamp our railway lines; they can give us rolling stock. In fact, if you go to Mashonaland, companies that are working on the energy sector, China Africa Sunlight Company, trying to assist us to get power. Extensions at Kariba South are being done by the Chinese. So, we do not have any reason to moan about these people because we have got the East. We have got India and China, which could support us. Why do we want Britain or America? Why not deepen our Look East Policy, since China is the second largest economy.
We have got Russia, Japan – the best railway people are in Japan,
China and so on. Mr. Speaker Sir, when we were in the Inclusive
Government, we achieved a lot for this country, even under the so called restrictive measures. In health, education, energy and water, we delivered services to the people. Mr. Speaker Sir, we even eradicated cholera during the Inclusive Government. The then Minister of Energy,
Mr. Mangoma, reduced the ZESA debt from US$100 000 000 to US$17 000 000 during the Inclusive Government.
We joined hands with ZANU PF and we set up an engagement committee for Zimbabwe to re-engage the European Union and the United States of America and those measures helped to ease these restricted measures. Today, a number of officials that were targeted had their names removed from the sanctions list. Today, a number of parastatals were removed from the sanctions list because of our efforts [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-.
The mover of the motion is my colleague. I respect him very much and no prisoners taken but my advice is that as Zimbabweans, we operate in a global village, let us mend our relations with the east, west, north and south. Let us establish good neighbourliness and good diplomatic relations. We do not need to go on a war path, fighting everybody. Only by doing that can we ensure that our sovereignty will be long lasting and protected. We do not jeopardize our sovereignty by fighting almost everyone around the world. First of all, we are too small for that and secondly, we do not have the resources to waste time fighting people. Let us produce food for the country –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-.
- SPEAKER: Order, order. The hon. member was just winding up, give him a chance.
- MASHAKADA: Right now people in the country are asking when it is going to see the promises in the ZANU PF manifesto being implemented to drive the country forward. That is the debate we want in the country rather than this sanctions mantra. Let us put our hands to work and work for this country and look after our resources and move forward. Thank you.
*MRS. CHIMENE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise in this august House to make my contribution on this important motion. This motion has a lot to do on the economic survival of Zimbabwe.
Let me start by talking about the Agreement which caused all these
– the ‘Cottonua’ Agreement –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
interjections]- I know what I am talking about and therefore listen to my contribution regardless of the pronounciations.
- SPEAKER: Order, order. I think the hon. member was trying to say Cotonou. Thank you. – [HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear]-
*MRS CHIMENE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I know what I am talking about but I am talking about the rhyming of these words and I deliberately said this word because there is something I want to add onto it. I am quite aware of what I am supposed to say. I find that my colleagues on the other side of the House are interested in contributing in English and yet they have little understanding of the language. That is why I am making my contribution in a language they understand.
Mr. Speaker Sir, on a serious note; yes, I was joking and it is allowed to joke during these debates. Let me go biblical. As black people of Africa, we had our own ways of living and worshiping. We knew that there is God. But when the Whites came into this country, they came with their own Bible and religion. I will discuss a bit on that and make reference to the Bible before debating on sanctions. The Bible has a lot of things discussed regarding the conduct of an individual living within a community. In Leviticus 25, it is said that there is nobody who has the right to take somebody’s property, even if I owe money and fail to pay back; one should not attach property. If property is attached, there is a period which was set aside in the Bible. If fifty years jubilee elapse after one is holding on to the collateral item, one is forced by God’s law in the Bible which was brought by the White people that one should return that collateral item which one would have seized.
Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to say that as Zimbabweans, how deep is our sin that we do not receive any forgiveness? Even if we owed them since 1890 up to date; the 50 years have elapsed. We got into 100 years under bondage but the Westerners say they are holy.
They are the ones who came to Africa with the Bible.
When we talk of human rights, we need to implement these human rights and look at the people who are teaching us about these human rights. We should also look at the people who brought this Bible so that we see whether they are implementing it in full. When they came with the Bible, they taught us that the law says; you shall not kill, fornicate or do any evil things. They did not implement all these things in full. Instead, they impounded our properties and they are supposed to have returned those things in 50 years because we believed this was equal to the things they would have taken from us. When we talk of human rights, we see human rights, they are very partisan -[HON. MEMBERS:
- SPEAKER: Order. Can you give the hon. member the
opportunity to express herself in the debate?
*MRS. CHIMENE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I speak a language that most of us understand here. Some are just applauding and yet they do not understand because the other speakers debated in
English. I will speak my mother language. Human rights are only spelt out when it suits others; they look at the colour of the skin. When do they become ‘human’ to us?
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am saying the sanctions were imposed on this country because of the violence which was in this country. We have to look at the origins of this violence up to the time whereby anything that is happening in the county is referred to as violence. We have a place in Zimbabwe called Lalapanzi. What are the origins of this name Lalapanzi? When people were subjugated by the colonialists and were trying to defend our country; lots of people died at Lalapanzi being shot by the guns because they did not know that there was something that would kill someone from afar. Our ancestors were using spears, bows and arrows. People were lying down after being shot; they were not hiding from the guns but they were dying.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we would want the people in this House to know that, when we talk of violence happening in a country, you do not talk about it when it is happening because there is no time for sanity in that debate. When we were violated, we went to war to liberate this country and when we went to war, we did not bid anyone farewell because it was war and we knew that there was violence. Why have we been targeted by these sanctions? Why have sanctions been imposed on Zimbabwe? We find that when we have some people who are in a homestead or in a country, these are people, who are adults, be they men or women, these people become thieves.
In English, these people are called habitual thieves or habitual criminals and, what is happening in this august House is not surprising because we find that we have habitual sellouts. I was very much touched when I heard an hon. member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
- GONESE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. The hon. member has referred to other hon. members of this august House as
‘habitual sellouts’. I submit that it is unparliamentary and that is a violation.
*MRS. CHIMENE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not going to retract my statement because this is based on what is happening in this House.
- SPEAKER: Order hon. member, a point of order has been raised and I request that you withdraw that statement?
*MRS. CHIMENE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I withdraw my statement
from this House but I was talking about sellouts in the country. I did not refer to this House, my apologies and thank you.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is really hard for me to find that there are some issues which when they are being debated, they are supposed to be done in unison. Because, when you talk of sanctions, even if you have not said anything about it, people find themselves becoming emotional because of this term. Therefore, this means that the sanctions are well known and their effects are being felt in the country.
- MARIDADI: On a point of Order Mr. Speaker. The point
of order is that, this very nice debate requires a certain level of intellect and sophistication and I do not see it resident in the hon. member.
Thank you. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
- SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chikwinya, order please. Hon. Maridadi, your point of order is unparliamentary. Can you withdraw your statement?
- MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I withdraw.
*MRS. CHIMENE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I will repeat the words which were said by His Excellency when he was saying, shame, shame, shame, to people who do not seem to be aware of the negative effects of sanctions in Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker, I will talk about what I saw and heard as evidence of this in such a way that, if this could be replayed, the whole country would view that.
When Mr. Tsvangirai was addressing a meeting in Manicaland, he said to the people, are you hungry? The people said, yes. Then he said to them, you have not yet started suffering. You find people saying such a motion should not be debated in this House and debated truthfully; we look back at some of these speeches made by the people of Zimbabwe. When the mover of this motion was debating, some people were saying, why do you not go to China to get medicine?
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me say it out in front of these hon. members.
You find that most of the hon. members or most of us who are in this
House, they did survive on the medications which we had sourced from China. The medicines are such as tiens, which means that they are beneficiaries of the look-east policy. Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not think that any member who is a true representative of the people will debate this issue on sanctions with kid gloves. These sanctions are a cruelty. They have hatred and all the evil, satanism and demonism in sanctions. When you find these people saying, there is a lot of ill health and hunger in the country and those people who applied for sanctions are living in these sanctions and they seem to be unaware of these sanctions, they are the people who called for these sanctions.
Mr. Speaker, when we are making this debate, we are not going to use kid gloves because the people of Zimbabwe are suffering. Even the animals in our game reserves are also suffering. Our animal husbandry is also in trouble because of these sanctions. I am talking to people who lobbied and called for the sanctions from the countries abroad. These people are hon. members and we are debating this in front of those people in this august House. We will never hide from the truth but to say the truth as it should be said. We will debate in this august House issues which are going to create life and longevity in Zimbabwe.
We had problems and we suffered a lot during the war of liberation when some of the people in this august House were not yet born. Therefore, we are not going to be swayed by people who only read things from the books. Yet I know that we were removed from our fertile lands to infertile places. Therefore, it is easy to tell a person who is living an evil life. We know that we cannot mention these people by name and their livelihoods because they are protected by the Privileges and Immunities of Parliament but an individuals’ behavior tells of who he or she is. I am sure hon. members agree with what was stated by Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga when she called for the installation of cameras in the august House, so that whatever is debated is viewed by the viewers at home. Hon. members who are here representing different constituents say different things when they are in this august House.
When speaking in their constituencies, they speak with forked tongues.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I hold this House in reverence when listening to what is being said and being done by hon. members. Honestly speaking, if we had no Privileges and Immunities of Parliament in this august House, we would find members debating a lot of things because each member would be debating without listening to the other. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- I am making my contribution to this debate yet they keep disturbing me. This only serves to show the people who called for these sanctions. We have a Shona adage that says, kana uchida kuwona muridzi wemwana unomuwona pafa mwana iyeye uowona mai vake. We have now seen the owners of these sanctions through this debate. The people who called for these sanctions have been exposed.
In our case, Mr. Speaker Sir, I have every right to make my contribution on what I know about this country. If you are used to grabbing what does not belong to you, if you are used to living a lazy life, you will have problems with working hard. Whenever people make contributions that encourage people to work hard, you will find the lazy ones discouraging such debate.
Mr. Speaker Sir, an hon. member shouted that, ZANU PF killed. We had thousands of people who were killed during the liberation struggle and we need to remind each other. There is too much heckling in this House, we should know when and how to heckle because if you heckle on issues of national importance, we will expose you. As an individual, I do not heckle but I make my contribution but some hon. members were elected to this august House to seek personal glory and not to represent the people.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I feel brave, proud and happy when I am standing in front of people especially people who try to protect evil. They spoke about the sanctions imposed by Ian Smith that they helped us in the liberation struggle. Let me say that this is an unimaginable insult because the problems faced by the freedom fighters during that era, the people who did not experience this war but just heard of it should not invoke those sad memories. These are bitter memories that should not be revived.
Hon. members, let us debate on productive issues that are pertinent to our country. When we came to this august House, we made the agreement that the aim of this motion is for the removal of these sanctions. We should all speak in unison and call for the removal of these sanctions. Let us not protect the maintenance and retention of these evil sanctions. We will continue telling each other the truth about these sanctions since we now know those that called for these sanctions and are still calling for their continuation. Please let us represent our constituents by fighting for the removal of these sanctions.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for affording me this opportunity to make my contribution.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER
APPOINTMENT OF THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF
- SPEAKER: Section 136(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that a member presiding at any sitting of the National Assembly must be a member elected for the purpose, by the House and must not be a Minister or Deputy Minister. Standing Order No. 10(1) provides that:
“As soon as practicable after the commencement of every Parliament and from time to time thereafter as necessity may arise, the House shall appoint one of its members to be Deputy Chairperson of Committees who shall be entitled to exercise all the powers of the Chairperson of Committees, excluding his or her powers as Deputy Speaker”.
I now, therefore, call for nominations to the position of Deputy Chairperson of Committees. I call upon the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. Chimedza.
On the nomination of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE, DR. CHIMEDZA, Hon. Marumahoko was duly elected Deputy Chairperson of Committees. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
APPOINTMENT TO THE CHAIRPERSON’S PANEL
- SPEAKER: Standing Order No. 10 (3) provides that: “As soon as practicable after the commencement of every session or as occasion may require thereafter, the House shall elect two members who, with the Chairperson of Committees and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees, shall constitute the Chairperson’s Panel. Such members shall be entitled to exercise the powers of the Deputy Chairperson save in regard to the acceptance of a motion for closure.
I now, therefore call for the nominations for the positions to the Chairperson’s Panel.
On the nomination of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH
AND CHILD CARE, DR. CHIMEDZA, Hon. T. M. Dziva and Hon.
Mutomba were duly elected to the Chairperson’s Panel –[HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear].
- S. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me
this opportunity to debate this motion by Hon. Hlongwane. First and foremost, I want to thank the hon. member for bringing this motion for debate to this House. I say so because we want to make the nation get into a clear and proper picture on what is facing the nation in terms of economic performance.
I am relating to economic performance because as I look at the context of the hon. member’s motion, he is concerned by the decline of our economy. He is concerned by the deindustrialization of our industry. He is concerned by the migration of our academia, what he calls brain drain into the Diaspora. Therefore, I want to believe all these factors which he is mentioning are causing an economic decay and decline to the people of Zimbabwe.
He however, goes on to locate the same economic decline to sanctions and this is why I say I want to thank him for bringing this motion. As the nation listens to this august House deliberating, we must come out with a clear position on what really is causing economic decline.
I will first of all want to speak on what he has deliberated before, that is to say we have sanctions in Zimbabwe. I beg to differ and I will demonstrate why. We have restrictive measures in Zimbabwe and I want to quote. Hon. Hlongwane is aware and is a member of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Committee. He went to that meeting recently. He is very much aware of the EU Council resolutions Number 310 of 2002 drafted and passed on the 18th February 2002.
They say “WHEREAS the Council has expressed serious concern about the situation in Zimbabwe, in particular the recent escalation of violence and intimidation of political opponents and harassment of the independent press, it has noted that the Government of Zimbabwe has not taken effective measures to improve the situation as called for by the European Council in Larkin last December.
The Council has assessed the Government of Zimbabwe continues to engage in serious violations of human rights and freedom of opinion of association and peaceful assembly. Therefore, as long as the violations occur the Council deems it necessary to introduce restrictive measures against the Government of Zimbabwe and those who bear wide responsibility for such violations”. There is no word like sanctions.
I am quoting the EU regulations, then that is the body of countries which you are purporting that they have given you sanctions.
I want to go back to the issue of conditions which were observed in 2002 vis-à-vis the same conditions prevailing today. Have we addressed the issues of freedom of opinion? Have we addressed the issues of freedom of assembly? Have we addressed the issues of freedom of expression? Do we not have AIPPA? Do we not have POSA? Do we not have the Criminal Law and Codification Act?
Contrary to what Hon. Hlongwane said earlier that Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement was not respected in regards to 120 days of negotiations being respected. Actually the EU Council gave Zimbabwe more than 120 days. It gave them 2 years to the extent that on the 19th February 2004, after the Government of Zimbabwe had been given enough time to reform…
- HLONGWANE: I rise on a point of order. The hon. member
is deliberately misleading the House. The period between 21st
December, 2001 and 18th February, 2002 cannot be 2 years. Thank you.
- SPEAKER: Sorry, I think it is a numerical correction.
- S. CHIKWINYA: The first resolution was arrived at on 18th
February, 2002 and the follow up resolution was arrived at on 19th February, 2004. It then makes it 2 years and 2 days for numerical correction.
I want to quote. “Pursuant to the position of 2002/145 of CFP, the Council imposed the prohibition of the supply of arms and related material and the provision of related technical training or assistance on the supply of equipment that might be used for repression in
Zimbabwe”. This was in direct response to the violence which we experienced in 2002 during our Presidential Elections.
We failed on our own to satisfy the requirements of our partners. This is not necessarily about our partners but it is because of the commitments which we made as a country. On the 23rd June 2000, Zimbabwe became a signatory to the Cotonou Agreement. Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement states that cooperation shall be directed towards sustainable development centred on the human person who is the main protagonist and beneficiary of development. This entails the respect for and promotion of all human rights. These Articles and these
Declarations are not simply put there in writing as a fashion. They have got an end stick to it. The countries signatory to this Cotonou Agreement agreed upon themselves on the 23rd June, 2000. What do we do to our own member state who has agreed today to respect human rights?
They then drafted Article 96 and Article 97 which then prescribes restrictive measures in terms of economic support and technical support. This is where Zimbabwe suffers because it failed to respect its own human rights. Mr. Speaker, we have documented evidence. It is very unfortunate and it makes my heart bleed. We have people we are forced by the dictates of parliamentary procedures to call honourable, but, these people have got blood in their hands. The MDC lost ..
- SPEAKER: Point of order hon. member. I think you cannot say that statement to fellow hon. members.
- CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Speaker simply
said I cannot say it. So I will not say it.
- SPEAKER: Order, order. The hon. member is requested by the Chair to withdraw that statement?
- CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I had not heard you
saying that. Out of an abundance of respect for you Mr. Speaker Sir, I withdraw the statement. Why I had said so, and I will never repeat those words but what I am going to read, will show you the same. The MDC, on the 7th March, 2008, lost Dickson Sibamba. He was killed in Buhera allegedly by Joseph Chinotimba, Peter Madangure, Col. Morgan Mzilikazi and Inspector Matongorere –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
- SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. members, allegations are
allegations, so, let us stick to facts and not allegations. Thank you.
- CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. We have
documented evidence, graphic and so forth. What I am going to do …
- SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Dr. Shumba, you wanted to say something?
- SHUMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The hon. member should
not use the platform of this House to continue to abuse on an issue that he has withdrawn and then continue to make innuendos to refer to the same issue.
- SPEAKER: Hon. Chikwinya, you were going to suggest something?
- CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I was suggesting
that I do not use allegations as you have rightfully stated. What I am going to do is to present a document of evidence of human rights abuses for tabling to the Hansard – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
- SPEAKER: Order, order. In terms of Standing Orders, we cannot allow that submission hon. member. You cannot submit it.
- CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I had thought that I refrain from speaking about the issues by submitting the document. So I will then speak about the issues. I had talked of Dickson Sibamba. The other person who was killed again in Buhera, and I will not mention the alleged people, it is Jacob Mudondo. There are various others – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not think that the hon. member should continue with his debate. It pains me because he has accused me of murdering an individual. I am very emotional about that one. Why should we allow him to continue with his debate? Let us talk about the sanctions. If he is accusing me of being a murderer, why was I not arrested? He says he has evidence and yet I am still a free member. He is provoking me. We cannot debate this motion if he is accusing me of murder. This motion must be stopped.
Hon. members broke into song.
- SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chikwinya, Parliament is not a place for criminal inquiry. The hon. member made a serious allegation that Hon. Chinotimba murdered a person in Buhera. This is not permissible; he should report the matter to the Police for investigation. If there are any such other matters relative to any act of crime,
Parliament is not the place, the matter must be referred to the courts – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – I therefore request the hon. member to withdraw that statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections. Ngaagare pasi, ngaagare pasi, haachatotauri] – Hon. members broke into song.
[MR. CHINOTIMBA: Hazviiite, hazviite zvaataura, I will sue you, he must not withdraw.] -
The Sergeant-At-Arms approached Mr. Chinotimba.
Hon. Nkomo having stood up.
- SPEAKER: Order, order, take your seats. Hon. Nkomo, you wanted to say something.
- S. S. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe that this House is run by rules and orders and I think that the Speaker had requested Hon. S. Chikwinya to withdraw certain things and he had withdrawn those things. I think Mr. Speaker Sir, whilst this side must obey your rules; the other side also is obliged to obey your rules.
Mr. Speaker, I think I personally heard the other member on the other side, threatening that he will deal with Hon. Chikwinya outside. I think Mr. Speaker the order I am requiring is that the same rules should be applied on those other hon. members that threaten others. I implore the Speaker to also exercise that rule on the other side of the House, especially the hon. member who said he was going to deal with Hon.
- SPEAKER: I am not accepting the insinuation of not having taken any action. If the Hon. Nkomo had seen what had happened, I instructed the Sergeant-At-Arms to go and warn the member in question. So, action has been taken without fear or favour. Just because of a lot of heckling, it is possible that the withdrawal by the hon. member might not have been heard. So, to close the matter, I want to ask hon. member Chikwinya to withdraw clearly and the debate can continue.
- CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I withdraw the statements which you have ruled must be withdrawn. I move further
Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- within the context of analysing why the restrictive measures are within us today.
Hon. Hlongwane deliberately left out the provisions of Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement which he is fully aware, have a consequential effect to Article 96 and Article 97 of the ….
- HLONGWANE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Point of order – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – usanyepa kani, usanyepa. Thank you Mr. Speaker…
- SPEAKER: In terms of Standing Order Number 22, the
debate is now adjourned.
It being Five Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. MR. SPEAKER automatically adjourned the House.