- Download 3
- File Size 480 KB
- File Count 1
- Create Date May 17, 2016
- Last Updated November 15, 2021
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 17 May 2016 42-59
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 17th May, 2016
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House of the following changes to Committee membership. Hon. MisihairabwiMushonga has been nominated to serve on the Portfolio Committee on
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Hon. Toffa will serve on the
Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care.
APPOINTMENT OF THE PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE
THE HON. SPEAKER: Pursuant to the Chair’s ruling on
Tuesday, 16th February, 2016 that there exists a prima facie case of contempt of Parliament on the matter involving the former Executive
Chairperson of the State Procurement Board, Mr. Charles Kuwaza the
Committee on Standing Rules and Orders met yesterday the 16th of May, 2016 and appointed the Privileges Committees which shall consist of the following members, Hon. K. Kazembe as Chairperson, Hon. N.
Chamisa, Hon. J. Majome, Hon. F. Chasi, Hon. Dr. D. Shumba, Hon. J.
Toffa and Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa.
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY THE HON. SPEAKER: I also wish to recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of students and teachers from Acturus High
School. You are most welcome –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-.
PAN-AFRICAN MINERALS UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY BILL [H.B. 10, 2015]
First Order read: Second Reading: Pan African Minerals
University of Science and Technology Bill [H.B. 10, 2015]
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(HON. DR. GANDAWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the world is changing at a rapid pace driven largely by developments in science and technology. It has become evident that countries that are scientifically and technologically advanced become strong competitors on global markets and therefore generate income, higher wages and wealth. The African mineral industry has evolved largely as a producer for foreign export markets. The developed countries are focusing primarily on technological development programmes that emphasise value added and high margin products while encouraging developing countries mostly African, to remain primary producers of minerals. African countries must now embark on value addition to their minerals. Value addition of mineral resources cannot be achieved by labour intensive methods alone but rather via a technology based approach. Despite its enormous mineral resources, Sub-Saharan Africa has not been able to adequately harness its endowments for its sustainable development and this has been attributed to lack of skills, knowledge, technology, infrastructure for innovation and entrepreneurship. Africa needs world class research and development institutions in the mineral sector with linkages to the fabrication sector.
In February, 2001, the IMF Managing Director, Horst Kohler and World Bank President, James Wolfensohn travelled to South Africa to meet African leaders as a follow up to their commitment to the Prague 2000 Annual Meetings. During one of these meetings the then President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, lamented the knowledge deficit in
Africa to Mr. Wolfensohn. President Mandela went on to suggest to the
World Bank that world class African Institutes of Science and
Technology (AISTs) in Sub-Saharan Africa were perhaps Africa’s greatest need. Their focus is what is missing in our developmental system, that is post graduate education, research and innovation linked entrepreneurship.
In 2005, in January at the Fourth Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in Abuja, the African Heads of State and Government agreed to establish four institutes of science and technology, one in Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern Africa. The African Institutes of Science and Technology are run by the Nelson Mandela Institution, supported by the World Bank…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! I recognise two Hon. Members
sitting on the floor.
HON. KHUPE: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir. Last week a report was debated on the good work that you did by bringing back some of our girls from Kuwait and some of them are still not back home, so, it was resolved that until such time that all the girls are back home, women in this House will be sitting on the floor because it would appear as if this is where we belong as women. We belong down there. So this is the issue.
HON. CHAMISA: Hon. Speaker, while you are still digesting, just a clarification. I just wanted to check, it would appear…
Women Members of Parliament make their way to sit on the floor.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members. Order, order! You had a point of clarification Hon. Chamisa?
HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, in fact I have already seen that the women across the political divide seem to be doing the same thing. I was worried that it was just one side of the divide – [HON. MEMBERS: Are you a woman?] - I am also a woman on this issue. On this issue, we are together with women and some of us salute this kind of approach, Hon. Speaker Sir.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
On the day that I brought this matter before the House –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- If you could keep quiet. They are making noise so now people cannot hear. On the day that I raised this issue, people laughed at me and even you said that this matter has to come through the Committee. I had realised that this is an issue that had to be debated whether it was from the Committee or not because this issue touches on our children who are in Kuwait.
This is a serious matter that the Government has to take up, whether they went on their own accord or whether they were forced to go there. What I am saying is that Kuwait started war with America because they were saying people had violated their human rights, but now it is the same Kuwait that is taking our people through their embassy or through whatever means. Today Parliamentarians are seated down because they are protesting for the return of their children because if we do not talk about it here in Parliament that those children should be brought back, the Kuwait embassy should be called to come to this Parliament and explain why that is happening.
I just stood up in support of the women and other men who are talking about the women because we are supposed to talk about this issue here. The Kuwait Embassy should be called to come and explain. We have to tell them that we want our children. We cannot continue talking about this issue here while our children are suffering out there. I stood up to support these women and the children and they are supposed to pay. Kuwait is supposed to pay for enslaving our children.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Chair does appreciate the sentiments being demonstrated by the sitting down of Hon. Members, the majority of whom are our Honourable female Members. It is understandable that the feelings that they experience as mothers and husbands touches their hearts in terms of the ill treatments that our young female citizens have gone through, are going through not only in Kuwait but in other areas in the Middle East. Having recognised that and appreciating the deep feelings that this House, in particular the Hon. Members of the female gender, I would appeal to the Hon. Members that their current demonstration is recognised. However, for the smooth movement in the House, the sitting arrangement may create problems. Therefore, it may be against our Standing Orders, Section 76(1) and accordingly similar sentiments can be pronounced by way of a debate.
That debate will conclude, I believe, with recommendations that have already appeared in the report presented on behalf of the delegation that went to Kuwait by Hon. Paradza. We also have a notice of motion that will invite, I am sure, some debate under Order No 24 of today’s
Order Paper. Now, from the Chair and after some motion by one of the Members to move that Order No 24 be debated, in the context also of the report that has already been tabled by Hon. Paradza in this House, after the two motions have been debated and exhausted, remedial measures will be put in place if they are not already being put in place by the Executive to ensure that the outstanding numbers of our young female citizens in Kuwait and elsewhere are brought back in dignity. I will therefore appeal to the Hon. Members to resume their seats and debate the motion accordingly. I thank you. [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
May I allow the first Order of the day to be carried on by the Hon. Deputy Minister Dr. Gandawa then after that we will then revert to his two Bills which he has to talk to. After that we may then have our serious debate on the issue of our abused female citizens out in Kuwait.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(HON. DR. GANDAWA): The African Institute of Science and
Technology is run by the Nelson Mandela Institute, supported by the
World Bank among other development partners. Currently, three African Institutes of Science and Technology have been established; namely in Western Africa, the African University of Science and
Technology in Abuja, Nigeria, which focuses on Energy and Petrol
Chemical Engineering. The second was established in Eastern Africa, Arusha, Tanzania, the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, which focuses on Life Sciences and Bio-Engineering. The third one was established in northern Africa in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, The International Institute of Water and Environmental
Engineering which focuses on Water Engineering and Environment. The fourth one was to be established in Southern Africa. Zimbabwe won the bid to establish the post graduate Pan African Minerals University of Science and Technology (PAMUST) as a Nelson Mandela Institute of centre of excellence dedicated for the teaching and training of high caliber mineral professionals in mineral beneficiation and value addition for the African continent.
Zimbabwe has a vibrant mining sector with over 60 minerals, 40 of which are being mined therefore Zimbabwe’s successful bid was based among other factors on its strength on mineral endowments, a developing industry and also on the strong commitment that the leadership of Zimbabwe has towards education in general and the development of a world class institute for imparting knowledge on mineral beneficiation and value addition. Zimbabwe has well trained mineral experts that are sought after, the world over, and the country has the highest literacy rate in Africa. With its central location in a mining region of Southern and Central Africa, ease accessibility and a well developed infrastructure, Zimbabwe was judged to be the best candidate for hosting the Africa Institute of Science and Technology (AIST) in
Southern Africa. The Sixteenth Summit of the 19 Member Common
Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), held from 23rd to 24th November 2012, adopted a decision to support Zimbabwe in its bid to host the African Institute of Science and Technology for Southern
Africa, in light of the country’s potential to be the COMESA centre of excellence in mining and mineral beneficiation.
3. The PAMUST Concept
The PAMUST will be established to provide very highly advanced post graduate courses and research, (Masters, PhD and post-doctoral) in mineral value addition primarily and principally. Secondly, programmes in the ancillary courses and research in geology, mining and extractive metallurgy will also be offered at a very advanced level as a necessary precursors to mineral value addition. Thirdly, PAMUST will offer advanced courses in research in business studies related to the minerals industry.
The PAMUST vision is to be an institute of the highest standing for advanced technology education in minerals. Its mission is to give the highest specialized instruction and to provide the fullest equipment for the most advanced training and research in all aspects of mineral science and technology and allied subjects, especially in its application and exploitation of African mineral resources for the maximum benefit of Africa.
3.1. PAMUST Academic Programme Areas
The university will focus on five major areas which are as follows:
|Extractive Metallurgy||Materials Science and Engineering||Minerals Business Studies|
|• Mineral processing:
sizing, concentration, dewatering
• Solution concentration
• Metal Recovery
• Calcining or
|• Materials technology
• Materials characterisation
• Fuel cells technology
• Value addition
• Corrosion and degradation of
|• Mineral Resources
• Interpretation of
• Environmental Law and Policy for Mining
• Mining agreements
• Mining and Sustainable
• Minerals economics
• Pricing issues
• Hedge funds, Venture Capital
Finance in Mining
• International Mining Laws and trading
PGM catalytic converters
Materials for energy and environment
Taxes and royalties, investment models
Commercial dispute resolution in mining;
|• Exploration geology
• Economic geology
• Mining Geology
• Geological Environment
• Map interpretation
• Soil science
|• Ore estimation
• Rock Mechanics
• Engineering geology
• Mine management
• Mine design
• Mine surveying
• Drilling Engineering
• Hydrology blasting
Ground based geophysics
Mine project evaluation
Mining transport systems
Production operations management Mine planning, mine design, mine modeling and simulation
3.2 PAMUST Academic Features
PAMUST will be established primarily as a state post graduate university offering Masters Degree courses and providing research at PHD and post doctorate levels. It will be a Pan African institute to serve a comprehensive array of needs in the mining industry for the whole continent. PAMUST vision is to be a world class institution with the most advanced facilities for teaching and training the best and brightest African students and serviced by world-class academics. Because of the needs of the continent PAMUST will aim to produce a critical mass of graduates, who will serve as lecturers and professors in colleges/schools of mines continent wide, man R&D institutions for value addition in various countries, provide leadership in industry and Government.
- PAMUST OUTPUTS AND EXPECTED IMPACT
Establishment of the world class environment for research and technology development for the African mining industry with capacity to generate and apply knowledge for sustainable development will be a primary output. Linkages with the mining sector to utilize research to improve quality productivity and competitiveness for the African industry will be developed. Specifically, PAMUST will produce value- added human capital in form of Masters and PhD graduates with sound knowledge on mining development for deployment in universities and schools of Mines in Africa, minerals and materials Research and Development institutions, industry and Government.
PAMUST itself will be a depository of information on mining issues in the continent. Production of world-class PhDs within and relevant to problems and needs of the region and Southern Saharan Africa will increase and thereby reduce brain drain. Currently, about 500
000 Africans study abroad and about 30 000 African PhDs live abroad. This will result in the reduction of necessary levels, the numbers of expatriates employed in Africa, currently Africa employees about 150
000 expatriates at a cost of approximately USD 4.0 billion per annum.
Increased participation by African institutions in research on African’s minerals carried out by researchers from institutions abroad, and hence enhanced networking such institutions. Promoting research at the continent-wide level will involve a pooling of resources. This will limit costs for any given country, while increasing the benefits for all – especially the very small, low-income countries. Smaller countries that lack the human and financial resources to sustain excellence in institutions of higher learning will benefit greatly from this pan-African approach.
BENEFITS OF ZIMBABWE
PAMUST will immediately produce post-graduate academics who will fill the many vacant posts at Zimbabwe and Africa’s departments of geology, mining and metallurgy and abate severe shortages at these institutions.
PAMUST will seek to attract leading world experts, local and diasporan Africans to research on Zimbabwean and African minerals with a view to adding value to them with the creation of opportunities for downstream industries. With post-graduate dissertations and theses being carried out at the University, Zimbabwe will become a rich repository and a minefield of information on minerals to which the country will have a privileged, immediate and unrestricted access. This will be a strategic empowerment to Zimbabwe in the global minerals economics. The PAMUST will be uniquely positioned to leverage research funding to the country for training scientists and engineers as part of a continental strategy of manpower development for other institutions in the continent. The university will contribute immensely in the transformation of Zimbabwe from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy as a result of minerals value addition, value added products, downstream industries, business opportunities, employment creation, skills enhancement, and technology transfer.
Historically, a key methodology for human capacity development by African countries has been to send their brightest students overseas for studies, with the earnest hope that they will return and serve their countries. This, to some extent has been a successful model, albeit at a significant cost. Some of the students do not return at all, or come back to a frustrating mismatch between their training environment overseas and a non stimulating local working environment, rendering them less productive. PAMUST essentially seeks to be an institute on the African continent, whose teaching and R&D facilities are at par with the best in the developed world. Further, its teaching staff will be world class.
In this context, PAMUST will seek to attract, some of the brains across the globe to teach Zimbabwe and other African students. This will involve PAMUST being a key continental repository of international staff exchange programmes. The PAMUST model, which brings the best international brains, including retired professional, to teach and train Zimbabwe and African scientists on the continent , will rapidly accelerate Africa’s human capacity development, at a fraction of the cost of sending Zimbabwe and African students overseas.
HISTORY AND MOVES TO ESTABLISH PAMUST
- African Materials Research Society 6th Conference
The 6th African Materials Research Society Biennial Conference held at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe December 11 – 16, 2011, focused on various research themes on materials. The conference attracted about 350 participants and over 270 papers. It was attending by leading materials scientists from universities across the globe. Over 90% of the papers presented dealt with mineral-metal-based materials, virtually all of which are found in Africa. At the conference, Zimbabwe was explicitly invited and encouraged by the delegates to bid to host the Centre for mining and mineral beneficiation and value addition.
Consultative Process within Zimbabwe (2012-2013)
In early 2012, the Office of the President and Cabinet set up a Committee to study the idea of establishing a postgraduate Pan African
University for mineral beneficiation and value addition in Zimbabwe.
The Committee comprised; Secretary for Higher and Tertiary
Educations, Secretary for Science and Technology Development,
Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, Secretary for Local
Government, Urban and Rural Development, Secretary for Public
Works, the Principal of the Zimbabwe School of Mines, the Vice
Chancellor of University of Zimbabwe, the Vice Chancellor of the National University of Science and Technology, the Executive Officer of SIRDC, the President of the Chamber of Mines. The Committee had several meetings and recommended that Zimbabwe should bid to host the 4th AIST dedicated to mineral beneficiation and value addition.
The consultations were broadened in March 2013 to interact with the
NMI mission that came to evaluate Zimbabwe’s bid to host PAMUST.
In addition to the institutions mentioned above, the Ministry of
Finance, Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimbabwe National
Chamber of Commerce, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe
Council of Higher Education, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe and Institute of Mining Research were also invited. Consultations and discussions with the NMI Mission were focused on PAMUST’s issues on academic programmes, governance, infrastructure and finances.
Engagement of the World Bank and NMI over PAMUST
In December 2012, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon.
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (MP) wrote to the President of the World
Bank to register Zimbabwe’s interest to host the Southern Africa
Chapter of the Nelson Mandela Institution’s (NMI) African Institutes of Science and Technology (AISTs), to be called the Pan-African Minierals
University of Science and Technology (PAMUST).
In January 2013, the Acting Minister of Higher and Tertiary
Education, Dr. I. C. Chombo (MP), submitted Zimbabwe’s bid in January 2013 to the NMI Chairman to establish the university to be known as Pan African Minerals University of Science and Technology
(PAMUST) which will be focusing on Mineral Beneficiation and Value
Addition. Subsequent to this bid presentation to the Chairman of NMI, NMI sent a mission in March 2013 to evaluate Zimbabwe’s bid.
Following the NMI mission in March 2013 to Harare to evaluate
Zimbabwe’s bid to host a Nelson Mandela Institution under the name of PAMUST, and following the formation of a new Government after the election in July 2013, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. W Chidakwa (MP) wrote in October 2013 to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-
Iweala, Chairperson to the Board of the Nelson Mandela Institution
(NMI) and coordinating Minister for the Economy and request of the
Government of Zimbabwe for NMI to work on the establishment of
PAMUST as soon as this was doable.
In October, 2013, the Chairman of the NMI responded to the Hon.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development expressing delight that
Zimbabwe was confirming the desire to establish PAMUST as one of
NMI’s centre to excellence and to indicate that two steps were needed to be taken. The first was the need for the Government of Zimbabwe to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NMI defining the terms and conditions that will apply to the status of an NMI centre of excellence.
The second step was the signing of Headquarters’ Agreement (also called Cooperation Agreement) between the Government of Zimbabwe and NMI defining the specific relationships and principles that PAMUST will enjoy and that will allow it to be able to work effectively to attract international talent and acquire the necessary tools required to carry out its mandate. A draft MOU between the Government of
Zimbabwe and the NMI has been reviewed by the AG’s Office and sent to NMI Board for their consideration.
PAMUST ACADEMIC GOVRENANCE ISSUES
PAMUST shall be an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the development of innovative sustainable, technically advanced solutions in the beneficiation and value addition of minerals, with its main operational base on the African continent. It shall offer postgraduate courses and study programes aimed at molding future leaders in technological innovation and knowledge-based development.
Recruitment of both students and staff shall mainly be from African continent on the basis of merit. English shall be the medium of instruction and also the language of academic, administrative, and most social and community activities that are part of the PAMUST experience.
8. PAMUST ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES
PAMUST will be established as a State university. The governance structure summarised below shall guide and oversee the establishment, growth and required development of this university. The Chancellor of the PAMUST shall be the President of the Republic of
Zimbabwe. A University Council whose membership is drawn from the African region will be appointed by the Chancellor. A Chairman of the Council of Pan African Minerals University of Science and Technology, who is a person of international repute, with vast experience in governance issues of academic institutions.
The President of Zimbabwe will have the Appointing Authority for the first Council. The PAMUST will maintain a link with the NMI Board and utilise the services of the International Advisory Bodies in matters related to academic business (instruction curricula, laboratory development, etc), quality assurance, as well as advice on staff hire, recruitment and remuneration.
9. PAMUST INFRASTRUCTURE
SIRDC will allocate to PAMUST about 80 hectares of its land that is not earmarked for construction. More land for PAMUST, if and when necessary, will be allocated from State land that is contagious to SIRDC. Appropriate infrastructure will be built to the specifics of PAMUST master-plan.
SIRDC will allow PAMUST to start operating from SIRDC buildings, some of which will need finishing. The Building Technology Institute building and its pilot plant, the library building and the building currently housing Biotechnology Research Institute and Food and
Biomedical Technology Institute will also be made available for use by
PAMUST. These buildings can be renovated to suit requirements of
SIRDC has analytical and testing equipment which PAMUST can
use initially. The Institute of Mining Research, which is nearby at the University of Zimbabwe has some equipment which PAMUST will also use. Residential accommodation for lecturing staff, students and visiting professors will be built at SIRDC on the land that is earmarked for that purpose. Other students and staff may be transported to and from the City of Harare. PAMUST will initially rely on infrastructure on SIRDC for internet, water, electricity, sewerage and clinic.
10. FINANCING PAMUST
Resources are going to be pooled from joint efforts of African governments, Government of Zimbabwe, Nelson Mandela Institution, World Bank and other partners.
The Pan African Minerals University of Science Technology is earmarked to commence operations using existing infrastructure and facilities at SIRDC. Additional research facilities and support shall be sourced on a need basis from local State universities and colleges.
PAMUST will start with modest student enrolment as the development of infrastructure proceeds. All along, the ratio of Master’s to PhD students will be maintained at about 4:1. It is assumed that it will take 10 years following its opening for PAMUST to reach its full capacity if resources inflow is as forthcoming as planned.
In order to leverage off the mining sector, targeted investment in human resources development and research and development is needed by the State and the mining companies.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the Pan African Minerals University of Science and Technology Bill, (H.B.10, 2015) be read a second time.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
ZANU PF CAUCUS MEETING
THE HON. SPEAKER: ZANU PF caucus meeting will take
place tomorrow at 0900 hours at the ZANU PF headquarters.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I am in
fact moving for the adjournment of the debate. The reason being that it has now come to my attention that the appropriate Portfolio Committee is actually out conducting public hearings on this particular Bill. I have not been aware of it. If I had been, I would have requested the Minister to defer the Second Reading speech. Be that as it may, I do not think we have lost anything in the sense that if the debate is adjourned, when the Committee has concluded its public hearings and they have presented their report, thereafter we can then have the general debate.
I believe Mr. Speaker Sir, that this is in line with our practices and procedures in similar circumstances. I think we did that with the Electoral Amendment Bill, whereby the Minister kindly acceded to our request as Hon. Members. I therefore request that this debate be adjourned to allow that Committee to present its report, which would generally guide us. Other members will debate with particular guidance from the Committee.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(HON. DR. GANDAWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 24th May, 2016.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I
move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 23 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 24 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON. NYAMUPINGA: Mr. Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name;
That this House –
DISTURBED by the increase in cases of human trafficking of persons in Zimbabwe, particularly girls and young women;
ALARMED by the recent case of over 150 women who were
reportedly stranded in Kuwait after they were lured to that country by a syndicate of human traffickers, on the pretext that they would get lucrative jobs;
NOW, THEREFORE, this House resolves that:
- Government expedites investigations by the Inter-Ministerial Committee and ensure urgent repatriation of all the women who are currently stranded in Kuwait under slavery conditions;
- perpetrators of these heinous acts must face the full wrath of the law;
- the Ministry of Home Affairs must urgently conduct awareness programmes on human trafficking and educate the unsuspecting public, especially the youth about the dangers of human trafficking;
- that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should urgently write to the Kuwait Foreign Affairs Ministry requesting Kuwait authorities to ban the issue of Article 20 Visas which allows Kuwait employers to hire Zimbabwean citizens under slave conditions;
- that the Zimbabwean Embassy in Kuwait be allocated urgently sufficient financial resources to take care of the safe house, feeding and repatriation of the affected young ladies.
HON. NYANHONGO: I second.
HON. NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It is with a heavy heart that I rise to move a motion on human trafficking following the repatriation of around 53 out of 1000 women believed to have been trafficked to Kuwait. Not only Kuwait but to other countries like China, other Arab countries and including South Africa of all countries.
Mr. Speaker Sir, trafficking in persons is a form of modern slavery, threat of human security and a crime of humanity which must be condemned in all its forms. Human trafficking is generally understood as the recruitment and transportation of people by means of deception or force for the purpose of exploitation.
Article 3, Paragraph (a) of the Protocol on trafficking, Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons defines punishing in persons as recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
Trafficking Mr. Speaker Sir, as evidenced in the definition has three constituent elements, the act, which is the recruitment, the transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons. Number two, means threat, use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception and abuse of power for what purpose? It is for the use of forced labour, slavery or similar practices, removing of organs and also sexual exploitation.
Let me say from the onset, that the issue of the girls who were trafficked to Kuwait did not start when Mr. Speaker brought the girls. It actually started on the 12th April, when your Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development invited the first nine girls who came back from Kuwait. We invited them to appear before the Committee but unfortunately we were advised, I think it is in the Standing Orders, by the Clerk that we are not supposed to publicise and make sure that it is known out there for the purposes that the cases were before the courts. Do we have these courts to suppress our girls? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, Hear.] - Are we having these courts so that when someone commits a crime, they rush to court so that once it is before the courts no one talks about the case? I condemn that type of policy; whether it is a law, we are requesting your relevant committee to look at this law and do away with it because it now looks like it only started when the noise also started yet it had already started. I think whatever was said by these women was recorded in Hansard. Without covering themselves, they were brave enough to sit there and talk about the abuses that they went through in the Committee. I think there is need now that that the report be tabled before this House. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I will now move on.
Let me take this opportunity to thank you, I would have loved to read it in the presence of Hon. Mudenda, but all the same, let me take this opportunity to thank you for the role you played in the repatriation of our women who were stuck in Kuwait. Indeed, you played a fatherly role. When we met you at the airport, Mr. Speaker Sir, on the day that the women arrived, when I heard that they were coming, I took it upon myself to drive from my constituency to the airport to receive you and and the girls. Surely, when I saw the Speaker, I did not only see the Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe but saw a father, not only a father but a caring father … - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, Hear.] – when I received the Speaker who was leading the delegation. We thank you indeed from the deepest parts of our hearts, we uphold you in the highest esteem Mr. Speaker Sir.
The role played by the Government, I would want to mention that when I say the Government, I want to single out the Embassy of Kuwait where the Ambassador was sitting with this problem for a long time. Writing to his Ministry, the Head Office and no action was being taken as no resources were being disbursed to him in support since he had become the safe house that was looking after the girls, those that had managed to escape from their so-called employers or sheiks who were abusing them.
We also want to acknowledge the role that was played by Mr. Wicknell Chivayo; for me, I think he did well and showed that he had gender compassion and respects the women of his country. We also want to thank the Young Women Christian Association which is led by our own Zimbabwean, Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda. They also played a very pivotal role to assist the Speaker to repatriate the women. Their contributions would not have been possible had the Speaker not made the issue known and publicised. We are happy that the girls are back to their motherland.
I now want to proceed with the horrific ordeals that these girls
endured. I know that it was talked about when the report was tabled before the House but let us not mix the two. This is now a motion that is coming out of the report that was tabled by the delegation from Kuwait.
I think we will keep making noise like a bee in the Government’s ears so that we are heard. As we have seen, the women Members of Parliament have sacrificed to debate forever and ever sitting down until and when all the girls return to Zimbabwe. As we speak right now Mr. Speaker Sir, we even have contacts of the so called employers who have got our girls right now in the basement somewhere but I am surprised why the Government is not going to just have those girls leave that basement where they are being kept. Right now they are in there!
The ordeals shared by the survivors point to a level of torture and inhuman treatment that is unheard of. The young women went through horrific experiences of sexual exploitation. When we are talking about sexual exploitation here, allow me to say these three words in Shona. Vana vakaburitswa chimusana – being changed from one man to the other, ten men a day on one girl. One man is actually too much and how can one be having ten men in a day. They were reduced to being a “scud” at a beer hall where this one would drink and no one will clean the other person’s saliva. It goes to the next one, he drinks until the scud goes round ten people without wiping their saliva. This is what was happening to the girls.
They were not allowed to use soap to bath because it was said that their pores will close and they will smell because of the black skins. Mr. Speaker Sir, that level of slavery is unheard of especially in a country like Kuwait where they have signed and ratified the protocol on human trafficking. We do not want double standards where on the left hand, you sign and you are counted amongst those countries that have signed and on the right hand you are still perpetrating and violating the same protocol that you have signed. We condemn such countries.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Can the
owner of the following vehicle, ADI-9384 Ford Ranger, go and remove his vehicle which is obstructing other vehicles.
HON. NYAMUPINGA: Exploitation again was on forced labour.
The girls had to work from 4am to 2am. How do you work like that?
How do you work for so many hours only having a break of two hours?
Who knows what was happening on the break. The labour we are talking about from 4am to 2am was cleaning the house and doing all the maid chores but these two hours were also used for different chores as well. The lady of the house would go to work and ask the maid – there was no job description Mr. Speaker Sir, the girls did not know what exactly they were supposed to do. On the right hand they were maids they had to clean the house but on the left hand they were mistresses. When the lady of the house goes away, she would tell the maid that when daddy asks for anything do it for him. How do we have even women collaborating with their husbands to abuse other women?
Physical and mental torture induced on these ladies is unspeakable. If you have watched on television since this issue of girls is very topical in this country at the moment, I think it was last week when they were being interviewed and you heard that they were actually not being given food. They would only eat the food that was left by the family they were working for. Sometimes they would even go for days without food. Some would even end up taking food from the dustbins and eating but they were still expected to do their work.
It is important that sometimes because of the time bomb in this country of unemployment, it is difficult to talk about eradicating human trafficking even to Kuwait where we have had these horrific experiences, you will still find others who will still brave themselves to say they will go back to Kuwait because they are not employed. If we are not going to deal with the issue of unemployment, we are not going to nip the issue of human trafficking in the bud. We are dealing with symptoms here because even if we are going to ask any department to take awareness to the village level, or to whoever, they are going to ask them, if I do not do this, what is the alternative. I think the Government must come up with an alternative if we have to eradicate human trafficking.
The girls are not only being trafficked to Kuwait but also to China and Cape Town where we had a clip some months ago that went viral on the social media of our ladies who were being asked to eat what they have never wanted to eat but they had to do it because they wanted to survive. Do we want to reduce our women to that level? If we have respect for our women, I think we have to come up with a plan that will make them not want to go to these so called greener pastures. Thousands of women and children are being trafficked internationally and even here in Zimbabwe, far away from Kuwait. In this country, there is a lot of human trafficking. You find sometimes girls are confined somewhere, being trained as sisters of a church and they are kept in that room for months. They are not allowed to go out.
Who knows what goes in there? A lot of sexual abuse is happening. When I read about this, it only confirmed what I used to hear – what was quoted in The Sunday Mail of 15 May 2016, where this church called Apostolic Sect would bar girls from going to school because once they go to school, they would be enlightened. They have to remain unschooled so that they are trained as sisters. During training, there is a lot of abuse and also sexual abuse is happening.
I am surprised that we have an Inter-Ministerial Committee that was set up in 2015 and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary
Education is in that committee but this is happening that girls are not supposed to go to school. They are supposed to train as sisters. Mr.
Speaker Sir, I will table this article from The Sunday Mail. Trafficking in persons indicates that a database on human trafficking has detected human trafficking of human beings from 127 countries to be exploited in 131 countries. In Zimbabwe, this is rampant as girls and young women are brought from the rural areas to work in brothels as maids. If you were following electronic and print media, there was a brothel that ended up being closed where girls were being taken from the rural areas to go to these brothels and make money for the owner of the brothel. The same thing is happening with these girls who are in the streets. Some of them are not working for themselves. They are working for somebody else. When they are hired, they have to take the money and pay in to the person who brought them from the rural areas and they are given commission. There is need for the Ministry of Home Affairs as Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee to take heed and make sure that the brothel owners are brought to book.
Mr. Speaker Sir, on that as well, I would like to speak on this clip in The Sunday Mail Leisure that this country is now issuing licences for strippers. That the country is issuing licences for strippers to strip. They go into a bar and strip off their clothes. This one that I have a clip here is called Private Lounge, somewhere there in Harare Street, where Harare Street starts, near the flyover that goes to Mbare.
Mr. Speaker Sir, when I got this information I had to go and sit there. I wanted to see it because I could not believe it. I understand the licence says they should just strip, but not strip including stripping their under clothes, but because they go in there, they are given beer and in the beer drugs are being put there and in the end they strip off everything and dance and start having sex on the stage. The Inter-Ministerial Committee should look at this. I will also table this clip Mr. Speaker Sir.
Africa and Asia have been predominantly used as sources of victims of traffic with Europe and the Middle East as the major destination of trafficking victims. A report on human trafficking titled
‘Extent of the Problem in Africa 2005’ established that 34% of African countries…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Can we
have less noise in the House, Hon. Members.
HON. NYAMUPINGA: That 34% of African countries are major sources of human trafficking to Europe, while 26% of countries mostly in East Africa are major sources of trafficking to Arab countries. On this one, let me also add that these girls or the women who are being trafficked, we have almost about 2000 or over 1000 that are roaming around in China as we speak right now. They were trafficked to China and some of them are now desperate and stranded in China.
Also, some of them, we have about 200 Zimbabweans and the majority of the 200 are women, are on the death row in China because they have been used by the so called Nigerians who are coming here, marrying them through an Act that we enacted in this House. They marry them and then ask them go to China to buy their wedding gowns. As they go to China to buy their wedding gown, they are given a bag, with a is called false bottom and in that false bottom, there are drugs packed in there. They are told when you get to China my friend is going to receive you and will show you the shops where you can buy your gown. She gets to China and the emigration and customs of China know that and these girls are captured and convicted.
Once that is done, the Nigerian will go and marry the next one. I do not know the game of changing names and whatever happens. I think also the Minister of Home Affairs, through the Registrar General, should also look at this. So, these women now - you know in China, they will tell you that once you bring drugs, its death penalty, almost 200 are on death row and of the 200, the majority are women.
What can be done? We need to revisit some of the laws, even some the laws that we included in the new Constitution that was ratified in 2013. There is need to do that, Mr. Speaker Sir. What do we need these Nigerian for? I have never seen many Nigerian women. I have only seen Nigerian men. They leave their wives in Nigeria there and they come and abuse our women here. I think the Government needs to look at that whether they have a Government to Government agreement where they look at these issues together and make sure that it is rectified.
The rise of globalisation and the widening gap between developing and developed countries, poverty, unemployment and lack of equal opportunities are factors to trafficking in persons. There is need to interrogate the global supply chain in human trafficking. We call upon the Inter-Ministerial Committee that we have not seen, that we only saw on the day they were having a press conference chaired by Home Affairs, to look into this issue and facilitate country to country agreements on the protection of migrant labour.
Why we are saying this Mr. Speaker Sir? We know that we are not going to stop our people from going out there completely. If we cannot stop them, then let us find a way to protect them so that wherever they will be, they will be protected. I understand Kuwait and Malawi have got an agreement, why do we not have our Government look at that and see if it is user friendly in this country or come up with their own home grown agreement? Just for the benefit of this House, I just want to give statistics on sexual exploitation - Middle East and Africa, 53%;
Americans 48%; East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific, 26%; Europe
and Central Asia, 66%. Forced labour, servitude and slavery like in
Africa and Middle East, 37%; Americans, 47%; South Asia and the Pacific, 64%; Europe and Central Asia 26%.
Mr. Speaker Sir, whilst I applaud the Government through what was done by the Embassy in Kuwait and commending the Government as well for enacting the Trafficking Persons Act of 2014 and constituting an Inter-Ministerial Committee on trafficking in persons comprising of the representatives of the Ministries and Departments of Home Affairs;
Public Service, Labour and Social Services; Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development; Health and Child Care; Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, but we have never heard anything being publicised; Education, there you are, the girls are not being allowed to go to school; local Government; Foreign Affairs, the embassy there is not resourced and he does not have cars to go around and pick these girls; the National Prosecuting Authority; Registrar General; Immigration; the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Financial
I however, note with concern that the Inter-Ministerial Committee has been silent until the recent cases of trafficking. Mr. Speaker Sir, we did not even know that it exists. At first, when we wanted to put notice of this motion before we stopped it allowing for the report to come in first, we were actually recommending that the Government come up with an Inter-Ministerial Committee, only to find out that it exists, but we have never heard about it. We have never heard what it is doing and we have never had awareness in any village, or any ward or in any city. No one knows what human trafficking is because sometimes when we think of human trafficking, we just think across borders
Mr. Speaker Sir, every member of the Inter-Ministerial Committee should play their part in addressing the problem of human trafficking. The Inter-Ministerial Committee should also look into issues of trafficking broadly as we are aware that a lot of trafficking is taking place in the country, intra-regionally and inter-regionally. I want to urge the Minister of Finance to prioritise the repatriation of the remaining trafficking victims in Kuwait, the IMO also to play its part. We do not want this issue of going to NAG for funding from other citizens when actually there are departments which are supposed to do that in Government. Also, the International Organisation on Migration (IOM) should frantically be there, providing funding to make sure that these girls still in Kuwait have got a safe place to stay in, food to eat and airtickets to bring them home. We do not want – once the girls are discovered, for them to spend another three weeks waiting, when they have already been traumatized and continue being traumatized, wondering when they will get tickets to come back home. For example, the girls that I was telling you about earlier, who are in a basement at the moment, their parents are being requested to pay three thousand dollars ($3000) for them to be released. If they want the contact number, I will table the number of that employment agent.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the course of justice should take its place. Most of the employment agencies and human trafficking syndicates have been identified but some are still walking scot free in this country. I want the Ministry of Home Affairs, to expedite the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators. We understand that the Zimbabweans who were taken to Kuwait as victims, some of them have turned themselves into employment agencies. They are now calling their relatives in the villages asking them if they know people who need employment and asking them to register them and forward their details. Those people are just registering and are very excited that they are going to work outside the country. We all know that anything to do with outside the country is exciting to our people.
So, I was recommending that these people, the likes of Hazel Muchaneta and Lorraine Nhapata who are running an employment agency in Kuwait, be repatriated home or else surrender their citizenship, that they are no longer Zimbabweans. As much as the Ministry of Home Affairs is going to deal with the local employment agents, we still have other employment agents that have surfaced also in
Kuwait. We are saying these employment agents should be rounded up. I have a list of names of these agencies, some were not registered as employment agencies but are individuals operating from their homes talking to someone in Kuwait, recruiting people and sending them there. But now they are threatening the victims and even if Home Affairs want to bring these people to book, the problem is there is no complainant. So, the laws should be there for the people and where is the law for the voiceless – those who have been threatened and are scared to go there? All these people will be freed because there is no complainant but it is not that they have not been perpetrating in the trafficking issue. They have been seriously in it but no one is reporting them. The Government is trying but the police will still throw away the case because there is no complainant.
It is a pity that some churches have been fingered in this human trafficking saga. Churches must remain focused on their core business and desist from such deals that violate the rights of other human beings. We understand that in these churches, people have prayer requests and some of them will write their requests on paper. While they are praying and holding their prayer requests, the agents are watching for those with job requests and after church, people are told that their prayers have been answered, there is a job in Kuwait. Mr. Speaker Sir, what I am saying also refers to that clip that I have already tabled for you.
Let me now come to the media, which has a critical role to play in sensitising citizens of these unscrupulous activities. I want to applaud the media for publishing various articles on the trafficking saga.
However, negative reporting should not be tolerated. Mr. Speaker Sir,
We do not tolerate things like this. I will read it out: ‘twenty-one more sex slaves arrive from Kuwait’. Is that positive? As much as they are reporting that twenty-one more have arrived but if we, ourselves are calling them sex slaves – we do not want and we do not need such negative reporting. Why is it that when the media is reporting anything about women, they always want to report in the negative. We are asking them to support us as women.
I have a caption from the Sunday Mail of 15th May 2016. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Country Director was talking about supporting the women who are stuck in Kuwait. This is only after the Speaker had done something and only after the Press Conference yet these stakeholders have just been sitting quietly. We urge IOM to make sure that these girls are brought back into the country.
We also urge the media not to do the type of reporting that they are doing now because it is uncalled for and it stigmatises the survivors. That is why at times you find that sometimes they do not want to speak out and remain with whatever information that could actually help in the future other women who would want to go to these greener pastures because once they say anything, the media will blow it out of proportion in a negative way.
Mr. Speaker Sir, after all I have said, I have made more recommendations to complement the recommendations that I had made earlier on when I gave notice of this motion. I am therefore recommending that:
- Government expedites investigations through its interMinisterial Committee and ensure urgent repatriation of all the women who are currently stranded in Kuwait under slavery conditions.
- Perpetrators of these acts must face the full wrath of the law.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs must urgently conduct awareness programmes on human trafficking and educate the unsuspecting public, especially the youth about the dangers of human trafficking.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should urgently write to the Kuwait Foreign Affairs Ministry requesting Kuwait authorities to ban the issue of Article 20 Visa, which talks about the Kadama, which stipulates that once you have been issued with this visa and you step into Kuwait, automatically you have become a slave and if you run away, you are actually convicted as a run-away-maid. So, we urge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage their colleagues in Kuwait.
- We were requesting Kuwait authorities to ban the issue of this Article 20 visa, which allows Kuwait employers to hire Zimbabwean citizens under slave conditions. I think they
can have a different visa altogether that is flexible and user friendly for the women whom they want to work for them. I have also added some recommendations that;
-There be political will and prevention awareness both formal and informal, coordination of countries through the creation of networks to discuss human trafficking, engagement of stakeholders and sharing of best practices [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
- There is need to partner with the private sector in addressing trafficking. Value supply chain should respect the rights of women.
- Public-private partnership can create employment opportunities to avert trafficking, that is a time bomb.
-As a country, we need to develop a national strategy to fight trafficking. For example, Hungary has a national strategy to fight trafficking and have established safe houses for those concerned, state compensation for victims, training of officers and have a hotline number 24/7 and a toll free number. If we had a hot line we would have known that there were women stranded in Kuwait.
- Lastly, the Kuwaiti Government should be held accountable and compensate the victims of trafficking[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]. I thank you.
HON. NYANHONGO: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion brought by Hon. Nyamupinga, I being also a Committee member. It is so disheartening Mr. Speaker to hear that there are some Zimbabweans who are being taken as slaves in a foreign countries. To me, as a Government, we really need to be very serious about this matter and we have to sit down and take appropriate action against such practices being done in Kuwait. It is not Kuwaiti alone, as far as we understand, there are so many countries that are doing the same practice, especially abusing Zimbabwean nationals. To us, it is a serious matter.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to urge the Government to conduct some investigations to find out how many countries are doing this practice, especially to our people, Zimbabwean nationals. We need to be serious and I am saying this to the House that we need the Judiciary to play its role. I am of the opinion that this matter has to be taken to AU. The AU then will have to take this matter to the United Nations. We want some compensation. We want the perpetrators to be dealt with. The law must take its course because we cannot allow our people to be treated in that kind of manner in a foreign country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I also would like to urge the Government to make sure that some kind of awareness is made in all our ten provinces, rural and urban where we are saying our people must conscientised, they must be told that there are some people who are saying they have got some access, they will make them have access to employment in certain countries but it will be false information. So, I want to say the Government must go out, there, I do not know through which means but we must send a message in all our ten provinces to conscientise our women and young girls.
It is not only women and young girls, also our young boys are being taken in slavery again. For example Hon. Nyamupinga mentioned Cape Town in South Africa, a lot is happening. We are now aware of what is happening in Cape Town South Africa. We do not want to see this continuing. We have got our embassies out there who must be given a task to make sure that they have to look for our nationals who are being abused in this kind of manner. We do not like to continue seeing this happening. We have the mandate as the Government to make sure that we protect our people wherever they are, be it in America, United Kingdom and so forth. Wherever a Zimbabwean national is being ill treated in any country, the Zimbabwean Government must and it is our mandate to make sure that we protect our people.
So the Kuwaiti Government, yes, it is not alone - so many countries are doing the same practice but we have identified Kuwait and we have got proof that Kuwaiti is doing all these practices against our women. Like Hon. Chinotimba said earlier on, we want Kuwaiti Government to be answerable and to compensate. We do not know whether these women have been infected with STIs or what. So, we really need to understand - and that should say they have to pay, all the charges. Whoever has been infected with HIV, Kuwaiti Government must be responsible - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – this should come from Zimbabwe. We do not care about their big economies, we do not care about whatever they have, we want to protect our people. Ubuntu wethu, hunhu wedu isusu as Zimbabweans tomira tiri papi because of those practices that have been made in Kuwaiti and all these other countries which we have not mentioned.
What I am saying is, we really need some investigations to be carried out in all these countries which we have not mentioned. Action, action, must be taken! I thank you.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Hon. Nyamupinga and the seconder Hon. Nyanhongo for bringing up this motion. I think you remember last week, we tried to talk about it and today we want to really talk about this. If you look at people when they go to Botswana, if you throw a stone, you find that you hit a
Zimbabwean, if you grow to South Africa, you throw a stone you hit a Zimbabwean because they are working there. Even in London, I am told that there is now a joke that if you open a door they call out in Shona that there is someone inside. Maybe that is so because we are people who know how to work, we are hard workers-but we should not find ourselves in slavery because of this.
I am saying this because in 2014, in this very House, we ratified the issue that people should not be ill treated, they should not just work and not be paid. I am saying this because we are a country, we have our own resources and if people could manage to get access to them, they would not go to such places as Kuwait. Hon. Speaker, may I be protected because I hear there is a lot of noise going on. This is a very important motion; otherwise we will go back and sit on the floor.
Hon. Speaker, if you look at this country called Kuwait, some of us do not even know where it is. People are suffering and that is why we hear of this place called Kuwait. There are no jobs. We have to do something about the issue of unemployment. People should be able to work and get remunerated properly; not to get bread because they have worked. If we do not address the issue of unemployment, we end up getting into slavery. Kuwait has an embassy in Zimbabwe and its people studied this country and realised that we are suffering. That is why they are doing this.
The people did not just go to Kuwait; they did not know about Section 20 on their visas. There is an agency that is benefiting from those people. There are Zimbabweans who are working hand in hand with people from Kuwait. We want to know the people who are running these agencies. We need to name and shame them and they should be charged. They must be brought to book.
The women and girls who went to Kuwait, some of them you cannot even look at them. Their private parts are swollen. One of the girls left a three months old baby but she cannot breastfeed because she was sucked by men out there. Some of them can no longer walk properly. They have scars and do not even know what happened to them. They were injured by elderly people. If you are scratched by a wire on your skin, you do forget that you have that scratch. It means they will have those scars until death.
Mr. Speaker, the laws of this country do not allow people to just leave the country. People do not go to Kuwait by bus, unless I am mistaken. If they go there by plane, how then do they leave? I do not think you fly there directly but you have to pass through other countries before getting there. As women, we should not allow ourselves to be treated like that. Even those who are working in South Africa are not being treated properly. Some of them do not have qualifications but others do have them. If we are taken as a country that turns a blind eye to such things, we will have problems.
Hon Speaker, Chapter 9:25 of the Trafficking in Persons that was passed in this House in 2014 should be looked into. Those who would be found guilty of this offence should be charged accordingly. People from Kuwait heard what happened last week and all the noise that took place. Did they ever ask for forgiveness? Did we do any wrong? I think we are the people in charge of ourselves. If people from Kuwait have not asked for forgiveness up to now, it means they are doing a lot. We were told by those girls who came back that they were not the only ones. There are others out there and some of them are in other countries. Is there any way that we can find out where those other children went to and how many they are. Those agencies know where they took our children to. Mr. Speaker, it is very sad for everyone in this House. We should support this motion and its recommendations. There are people who say that they can get jobs on the internet and things like that should not be allowed.
There is a boy who is my neighbour. He gave me his curriculum vitae and I was surprised because he is a graduate selling airtime. We want the informal sector to start working properly like the formal sector because that is where our graduates can go to. We must generate revenue so that we start treating our own people with dignity. We are being taken into slavery and people are made to do sexual acts with dogs; we are not happy about that.
I am happy that the Vice President has come into the House and he will hear this. Maybe he will take these issues to Cabinet. I thank you
*HON. MANGAMI: I would like to thank you Mr. Speaker, for affording me this opportunity to talk about this motion that has been brought by Hon. Nyamupinga. I will talk about three issues, mostly are recommendations and we need action. There is an Inter-Ministerial committee that is there. What is the mandate of this Inter-Ministerial committee? I think it is part of their duty to look into the issues of human trafficking and they should start doing what they are mandated to
Most people in Zimbabwe do not know what human trafficking is. It is being written in newspapers but it is not everyone who knows about this human trafficking. I urge the Government to make sure that there is awareness that people should not go to places that they do not know, to do jobs that they do not know. I know that jobs are hard to come by but we need to know. We should not just exploit labour to other places. The Government should be made aware even if someone is going to work on a farm.
Looking at South Africa where most Zimbabweans go to look for employment, the Inter-Ministerial Committee should look into that and discuss with the South African Government so that we would know where people are going to work. If they are working on farms, it should be known that they are working on farms for so many months and they are getting so much.
What is happening now is, if people go there and the employer does not want to pay them, he will call the police and say they are illegal immigrants and then people are deported. This is why I am saying the Inter-Ministerial Committee should work hand in hand with the South Africans and do it legally in order for them to work properly so that we are also aware that there are Zimbabweans that are working in South Africa, which is just nearby.
The law against human trafficking was enacted in 2014 but has seen things going wrong after two years of ratification. Maybe there is something that we did wrong or did not look at properly or maybe there is a definition that we need to relook at.
In conclusion, I know we do not have many jobs and a lot of our people go and work out of the country because you are treated with respect and dignity upon your return yet people will not be aware of the type of a job that you were doing. We now know that people want to go and work outside the country and that the country wants foreign currency. The Government should take steps to see how they can formerly export labour whether skilled or semi-skilled. I thank you for affording me this opportunity.
*HON. MAHOKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I will briefly speak on the motion that was moved by Hon. Nyamupinga, seconded by Hon. Nyanhongo. I think that we should start with our own backyard that is topical. There was reference to ADP that was mentioned in Mbare, if there is abuse taking place there, we should start with that area. As we are in this august House, action should be taken, our police sent there and the place shut down and not to hear that women have to undress and parade naked whilst the men watch. We should start from there and the action should be done now.
It is not only people in Kuwait but also in Zimbabwe where abuse is taking place in as far as girls and women are concerned. As we are talking, action should be taken and that place should be closed. I think if it is still open and nothing is done tomorrow, both male and female legislators should take action tomorrow. Men should also participate because they were born of women and brought up by women. So, tomorrow they also need to go and demonstrate against the closure of that bar. We should all go there, not attend Parliament and sit outside as demonstration that no action has been taken. We cannot sit in this august House and talk about things that we are not addressing, we should pity our girls and women. We know there are men out there who do not patronise this particular bar but they are taking the young girls and abusing them. When you see a single man attaining adulthood, who is he staying with in that house? Men should marry women and have wives at home so that they stop abusing young girls and taking them from their homes.
My opinion on the issue of Kuwait is that, as smartly dressed as we are as Honourable Members of Parliament we do not want to be sitting on this carpet. I think the Kuwait Embassy should be closed. We cannot come here, demonstrate and sit on the floor yet the Embassy is working and communicating with their people in Kuwait. They are the ones that are responsible for this human trafficking, so we need to close down that Embassy. The Embassy is actually making us a laughing stock because they have not proffered an apology and nothing has been done. So if we do not embark on any action then we are not doing anything; but if we close that Embassy, we will have started action.
Our second request is that 30 of our children should come to this august House and explain to us the trauma that they endured. If they woke up late or refused to perform the duties assigned to them, they were burnt with irons, I think as Zimbabweans, we need to take action. We cannot coexist with people who embark on such activities on the pretext that it is a foreign country. If a country signs certain conventions and protocols, they should live in accordance with what they proscribed
In Zimbabwe, we are saying that our children who were abused and traumatised in Kuwait should be repatriated as soon as possible.
This process should be expedited because we know where they are. Mr. Speaker, if you were to hear of the experiences of these children that once they got to the airport in Kuwait, their bags and passports are confiscated and the girls are put into a basement then men come and have them auctioned for $10 000.00. The country is given a certain amount and the Kuwait President also gets a stake in it. Another one comes and is auctioned for $20 000.00. Children are also sold in that basement and we laugh about it as a nation, what are we doing? Are we afraid of the power and money that they have? We are not worried about that but want our children to return to Zimbabwe. This is why I am proposing that these children come and tell us their ordeals and we ensure that no children go to Kuwait.
I think that this is where sanctions should be imposed. We are not happy for our children to be taken to Kuwait. Those people who are recruiting children in Kuwait should be repatriated to Zimbabwe for trial and sentencing because they are Zimbabweans who are doing this. I think they should be sentenced to death because as long as they are there and alive, they will serve their sentence, be released and continue abusing the girls and promoting human trafficking. These people now have a lot of money and can use their money and influence to ensure lesser sentences. I think they should just be sentenced to death.
I also think that this august House should come up with action to be taken today. We are not supposed to go to sleep without taking any action. As you leave that Chair, Mr. Speaker, we need to take action. If we agree to go to the Kuwait Embassy at 0800hrs, that is what we are going to do. We also have an army that is also capable of doing that and we also have the well-trained Zimbabwe Republic Police to perform such activities.
I do not think that if Commissioner General Chihuri is conscientised on this issue and our position, it will take him time to arrange this. The Commissioner General of Police, Cde Chihuri is competent enough to conduct his duties, so we want action and we need to see that action to show that we represent the people who elected us and the world out there will see that we are representing them as they expect.
*HON. MARIDADI: Let me thank Honourable Nyamupinga for
raising this motion and I want to thank all the Honourable Members who have debated this motion. I also want to thank Honourable Mahoka for strengthening the recommendations.
In February, I got a phone call from one of the ladies in my constituency who told me that she was summoned by the agency to go to Kuwait and requested for $20 for visa and finger prints. I requested that I meet the agents and she said it was possible. She was meeting with these agents at a nightclub mentioned by Honourable Nyamupinga known as Private Lounge. I drove to Private Lounge and this girl later phoned me to say that those people refused to meet me because I told them I was coming with you. I advised her that if they refused that I meet them then there is no reason why you should go to Kuwait. Up to today she is grateful for the advice that I gave her not to go to Kuwait. At the Private Lounge, I got there around 4pm. What happens at Private Lounge is a sorry site. What pained me most was that - who is the owner? The surprising thing is that the owner of the Private Lounge is a Member of Parliament and the licence was obtained through fraudulent means. As Honourable Nyamupinga has said, as you get to Private Lounge, you find the girls are expected to undress and dance before men because they are given beer to drink and around 11pm, they completely undress and you see the Honourable Member who is the owner at the place. Like what Honourable Mahoka said, action should be taken and the Honoruable Member should be reprimanded and be told that we are closing down his bar. Normally when I speak, I am someone who is straightforward and I will not beat about the bush and I will tell him to close his bar.
I am happy that the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Honourable Mphoko is here. If it is a British or American citizen who is beaten up, if he or she goes to their embassy, she sees the Ambassador there and then. The following morning the report will be before the Prime Minister, David Cameron. If a Zimbabwean is abused in countries like South Africa or wherever, as you get to the embassy and as they see that person through the CCTV, they start asking themselves what those Zimbabwean citizens want. If you tell them the abuse that you have gone through, what they ask is that what have you done for you to be abused.
We do not have representation for our children who are abroad at the embassies because the employees at the embassy do not treat them like human beings. That is why you find the media actually putting the headline like “sex slaves”. The editor writes about our children who were trafficked to Kuwait as sex slaves. That should not be happening Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a state owned newspaper that writes that. I think that is an issue that demands an apology from the state owned newspaper.
The other issue that we are talking about is the issue mentioned by Honourable Nyamupinga which is unemployment. The issue of unemployment is what is making our girls being trafficked. I have a cousin sister who sells various merchandise at Mupedzanhamo market. It was constructed by the City Council and a table costs $15. That area can have 100 people paying $15 per day. But an Honourable Member of Parliament who sits in this august House went to City Council and obtained 100 tables which he sublets at a cost of $200 per table. If you go to Mupedzanhamo market, you will not find anyone there who owns a table. The vendors pay $200 per table and then Honourable Maridadi takes $15 and pays to council. It means our people are not empowered. So we are disempowering our people. Those people who are doing that are here in Parliament well dressed in a tie and jacket and contributes to debates. The very Honourable Members who do this were voted by people in Mbare, Mabvuku and Mufakose. They are the ones who vote for us but we embark in such corrupt activities and yet that person was given a table for $15 which they sublet at $200. How can our children not be treated as slaves if we disempower them in this manner?
Those who speak say that charity begins at home. Honourable Nyamupinga talked about prayers in churches. You will have written your prayer request that you want a job and then you go to the pastor and the pastor prays for you. There are people in this august House who are members of the Executive who go to those churches with prayer requests and then they take those people to be maids. Some are Minister of this Government and we have evidence. Mr Speaker Sir, I only mention things that I have evidence on..
*HON. SAVANHU: On a point of order. I am requesting
Honourable Maridadi to mention the names of Honourable Members of Parliament who are taking tables and charging exorbitantly to vendors. I am the Member of Parliament for Mbare Constituency. If it is happening, I would want to know which Honourable Member is doing that. I think it is important that it be known who this culprit is instead of just saying Honourable Member.
*HON. MARIDADI: When I was growing up, I was told that if someone is unsettled by a situation, they know what they are talking about. What I am saying is that I have evidence because I have people who come from Mabvuku who told me that they pay $200. I went to the City of Harare and I asked them how much a table costs and I said I have someone who is paying $200 and the City of Harare said that was happening. That is why the City of Harare now has a strategy…..
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON MUTOMBA):
Honourable Maridadi you were requested that if you know the individuals, can you bring up their names.
*HON MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I will submit those names tomorrow because I have evidence. I want to submit the names – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Mr. Speaker, I will bring the table numbers tomorrow, the names of people who are selling from these tables, the monies that they are sending to these individuals and the money that is being paid to the City Council. Just this past week, I had a programme in the constituency because City of Harare talked of listing those who are subletting. That is an issue that is before the council. So, I am talking about what I know.
Going back to the issue …
HON. J. TSHUMA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon.
Maridadi is coming with very interesting and good news here and as Parliament we want straight things. He said that he knows the Hon. Members who are doing such corrupt activities and we are trying to curb such behaviour. Can he say them now, otherwise ngavatomira kudebater kwacho. Ngavataure – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – because we want to know the individuals.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
He is bringing that tomorrow. I have ruled on that point. I am chairing and have ruled on that point.
*HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker, you have made a ruling on the issue and I will follow your ruling. On the issue of our diplomatic relations with Kuwait, what Hon. Nyamupinga said is that the agents that perform these activities, once the case goes to court, nothing is done. The agents are there and we know them. The reason why these are not brought to book, I do not even know. If you go to Chitungwiza at 5 o’clock, by 5.30, you will have arrested them. I am not even aware why these people are not arrested and yet the victims actually say out the names of the people they dealt with.
On the issue of prayer requests for jobs, we always say that Zimbabweans are hard workers and that is why we are appreciated abroad, but are you aware of the fact that there are men who are also being treated as slaves abroad. There are men who are used as sex slaves as well. If you go to England and see the children from Zimbabwe who are living there, you will be surprised when you realise that they do not have anything. If they are to come back to Zimbabwe, they will not come back with anything because they are living in poverty.
So, Mr. Speaker Sir, we are saying that the issue of taking children to Kuwait, those are just symptoms. The root cause is the issue of unemployment. The unavailability of jobs is what is enhancing human trafficking. We realise that as people go abroad, for them to sell, they are beaten by the police. Today I was listening to the radio and there is a song called Hapana that says, ‘We went to school and have qualification but there is no employment, we have degrees but there is no employment, we can sing and dance but there is no employment’. The song is called ‘no opportunity’. If we were to listen to eat as adults, it really pains. Once you see children singing such songs, it is a sign that things are not okay in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker, today as I was driving, a kombi driver cut in my way and I talked to him. The driver said, Hon. Maridadi, I was the President of ZICOSU which is a grouping of university students and he studied food sciences, but that young guy is a loader for kombis. He is a tout. If you go on the internet, a person with food science gets about US$22 000 but here in Zimbabwe that person is shouting Mabvuku-Tafara as a tout. Those people who are degreed are busy selling airtime but they are holders of BSc degrees in Computer Sciences from NUST and UZ but once they leave the university, they go and sell airtime. If I were to go to a 22 year old guy with a BSc degree, you know they get a profit of $2.50 and if I were to say to him, let me take you to South Africa to work in a restaurant where you will get R250, will he refuse. Obviously, he will not. So, let us deal with the root cause of the problem. There is no employment in Zimbabwe.
The second issue Mr. Speaker is that there is corruption. What corruption does is that the money which was supposed to go towards 50 families in Highfields –
*HON. SEREMWE: On a point of order, I think the Member is now out of topic, let us debate the issue of Kuwait – [HON. MEMBERS:
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you can
proceed with your debate. I think you are now winding down.
HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker, where there is funding that can be used by 50 families in Highfields to embark on SMEs, it might be $100 000 from the Government; that money is abused by corrupt officials and people who probably live in Greendale. That is painful Mr. Speaker. If you go to a company, you find a Chief Executive Officer who gets $535 000 earned by one person. If you are to consider that amount of money…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think you are
departing from the motion. I think you need to come back and address the motion.
HON. MARIDADI: What I am saying Mr. Speaker is that what is making Kuwait attractive to our children is that if you were to give a Member of Parliament or Vice President Mphoko here $500 000, even the cats in Bulawayo will know what will have happened. But here, because of corruption, this money is consumed by one person. The second reason why people did not go to Kuwait and demonstrate is because of the diplomatic relations with Kuwait. Therefore, we do not need to affect our relations.
Lastly Mr. Speaker, when the Hon. Speaker went to Kuwait, he heard about the girls in Kuwait and he tried to engage the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Minister of Foreign Affairs did not even come to the phone to talk to the Speaker. The money that was supposed to repatriate the girls was not available. This later came from an individual. This means the Government could not even get $50 000 to repatriate the girls back to Zimbabwe. That is not a good scenario. A point of order may be raised but that is bad. A country that is not able to protect its citizens is not a country. It was supposed to be realised that there are 21 girls who are in slavery and the Speaker of Parliament is requesting. If you look at the hierarchy of Zimbabwe, there is the President and the Vice President. From the Vice President there is the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chief Justice. However, the Speaker, the second person in the Zimbabwean hierarchy phones the Minister of
Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue and he cannot attend to the call. What is the Minister of Foreign Affairs doing if he cannot attend to the call?
For one to be a Speaker of National Assembly, he or she has to have a constituency and elected by the people. Parliamentarians also vote for the Speaker. It means the Speaker has a more direct contact with the people than anyone else. However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs refuses to address the issues raised by the Speaker. As a
Minister, you do not respect the Speaker and you were not even elected by the people but a proportional representative Member. Mr. Speaker, let me say, my time is almost up. Let me reiterate what was said. Even in ZANU PF there were others who used to write good assignments at university such as Hon. Mbwembwe, why not remove them and appoint other Members. The likes of Hon. Mabuwa should also become Ministers. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
*HON. SEREMANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The motion raised by Hon. Nyamupinga has deeply affected me. I was invited to a bar and I paid US$5 to enter this bar. You will be embarrassed to see what is happening in Zimbabwe. If you were to see what happens in this bar, you will never want to associate with a woman. When they start dancing, they will be dressed, after a while, they start stripping until they are completely naked. Let me tell you, those are issues that affect the image of Zimbabwe. I went there about two or three years back, these thugs bring embarrassment on our nation and affect our image. Our request is that we close this bar as soon as possible. I thank you Mr.
*HON. MUCHENJE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me an opportunity – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, do you want
us to chase each other out?
*HON. MUCHENJE: I thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity –
Hon. Maridadi having been talking to another Hon. Member.
*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi you debated
and now you are going to the other side to make noise.
*HON. MUCHENJE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to raise my voice on this motion moved by Hon.
Nyamupinga on the issue of human trafficking. I want to start by saying that charity begins at home. Hubenzi hwechembere hwakatangira kumahumbwe. This means that everything has a beginning. As we face the issue of human trafficking, it begins with lack of employment opportunities.
We have good schools; most children are graduating from high institutions of learning. After graduating, our children are highly qualified and leaned and due to lack of employment opportunities, they begin to look for something to keep themselves occupied. There is a time when everyone feels that they cannot continue being dependent upon their parents – [HON. MEMBERS:Hear, hear.] - when these children begin to behave that way – there are no companies in Zimbabwe, we are dependent on our own informal businesses for our livelihood.
However, as we do our businesses, we are unable to work in a free environment because of being persecuted by law enforcement agents. Most people have their livelihood in informal trading activities. As Government, we should come up with a solution. We are opening so many universities. I will give an example of one of my children who was very intelligent but was doing naughty things, some of which I would never have imagined. Such a child will be very difficult to take care of.
I will switch on to the issue of beer halls which is being talked about. I will give you an example of one of my relative’s daughter. She completed her education and joined her mother who sells at the market until she quit. She was impregnated by a man who refused to marry her having given birth to two children. She began to dance in beer halls and I confronted her on why she had chosen to do that. She told me that she had given up on everything else and she wanted to take care of her children in terms of food and rentals. It is clear that the child I am referring to made a decision to sacrifice herself to abuse in order to survive because of the economic meltdown of our country.
On the issue of Kuwait, I am one of the members of the Committee on Women and Gender. It is true that these children went abroad because they were looking for sustenance. However, the fact is that our children are so much educated and they expect good employment opportunities. I remember one of the women saying that when she went to Kuwait, she was told that she would advance in her education but that did not happen. This goes back to the issue that the economic meltdown is what is making our children make such drastic decisions.
If you go to South Africa – I have been to East London in South Africa, there are boys engaging in menial jobs. One ends up telling themselves that it is better to earn a decent living than engage in criminal activities. At my age I look forward to retirement but the children who are the leaders of tomorrow do not have a future. If you look at the trauma faced by the girls who went to Kuwait, it has affected their lives.
As narrated by one of the girls who went to Kuwait, the
Zimbabwean Ambassador to Kuwait is denigrated, but here in Zimbabwe we leave ambassadors to do what they please. I want to agree with previous speakers who said that we cannot just sit back and look at what is happening. We need to take action and ensure that the embassy is closed because we cannot continue having our children being abused. As has been said by the others that we need to ensure that embassy is closed. The other pertinent issue is that when people continue to suffer in silence on activities by such countries such as Kuwait and China and all, it is difficult for people to talk. Also, some other powerful people are engaged in these trafficking issues and it is difficult to come out and say it out that so and so is engaging in trafficking.
Again, in this nation of ours when life is so difficult, I want to say that the issue of employment should be addressed by the Government. You know that Zimbabweans are very hard working. Where we are today, what is of challenge is that as mothers, when things become so difficult, we are the ones who are working. When I leave this august
House you would be surprised that I am an MP because I have to work. I have to go and work for a child who is 30 years old, whose husband is not going to work. I have to send my grandchildren to school because they are not working.
So, my request is that the Government should see to it that once children are educated, for all the educated children, they should leave school as graduates and be gainfully employed because it does not make any sense for us to continue moaning and yet nothing is being done. The issue is to address the bread and butter issues. You cannot tell a child not to go and eat next door when there is no food in the house. If a child is told not to go and eat next door, that child will definitely go because there is no food in the house. So, we should ensure that our economy recovers and jobs are made available. If we do not do that, our children will continue going abroad and will continue being abused.
Zimbabwe is experiencing economic problems. Even here in the homes, children are being abused. I have evidence of two girls who are going out to beer halls to go and be abused because they need to feed their parents. So, the issue is as Zimbabwe, we need to go and address the economic challenges in our nation, such that when a child graduates from university, he should go to work. Some of them go on their own to these nations.
I want to talk about a girl who is actually a stripper. She is an adult, but she does sexual dances in beer halls. A beautiful girl abuses herself with a bottle on the stage in bars. If such a girl is told that there is more money in Kuwait, that child is likely to go. So, as Parliament, as a representative of the people, we work with the people even in the areas where we stay, the girl child is the one who is most vulnerable. They are not only being abused in Kuwait, but they are also being abused here in Zimbabwe. So, we need to address the bread and butter issues. Once that is not addressed, the person has no choice.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am going to be very short and precise. First and foremost, I want to aknowledge and thank the mover of this motion, Hon. Nyamupinga and the seconder thereof. I also want to thank you, Mr. Speaker and your delegation for emancipating the Zimbabwean children from Kuwait. Mr. Speaker, if I was Bob Marley I would sing for you, however because you made a ruling when we were debating the issue of the war shrines that there shall not be any singing in the House, you will not have the latitude and liberty of getting a song from me.
However, Mr. Speaker, what I need to also add my voice on is the issue that is currently bedeviling the economy. I have called numerous times for the criminalisation of those that call for sanctions for this nation. This is one of the issues that is currently having our economy in the state that it is in and we are now having what is called human flight which is going into bondage in human trafficking.
The second issue that I need to touch on is the issue of the Hon. Members in this House that should now know and be cognisant of the fact that they are not a third broken leg or arm of the State. They are a third arm of the State which should stand up to the challenge and make good laws for the good order and governance of society of this nation. Why do I say that? Mr. Speaker Sir, we have our economy skewed in the direction of the informal sector. This is where we have a lot of our money coming from as we speak, but in this House, we should take a stand to make laws that are skewed in that direction.
We should come out of the mindset of being historic in the way we formulate our laws because in that formal sector, it is now devoid of people. It is no longer the formal sector that we used to know. The industries are closed and now, we need to follow where our population has gone to. Our population has gone into the informal sector. The
RBZ Governor in his Monetary Statement alluded to the fact that we got US$684 million from the gold sector and 60% of that has come from the informal sector. Let us aknowledge the informal sector to keep our children and our girls in our society, otherwise we will keep having human flight and it has been caused by Hon. Members varikuita nhetemwa yekuisa mitemo iriright.
We should be aware that we are incarcerating our own people because we are not making laws for the good governance of our society. It is supposed to ring a bell, lest we engage in what is called self servitude. Zimbabwe is endowed with ubiquitous mineral wealth and 40 of those minerals we are mining them. What we need to do is to remove ourselves from the mode of corruption, collusion and nepotism. We need to engage in coordination, cooperation and networking and it starts in this House, lest we have our girls being trafficked to other nations.
Mr. Speaker Sir, what men can do, women can do better. These people that we are sending into slavery, they use both sides of their brain, unlike men who use one side of their brain. These people, if we utilise them optimally, we can gain a lot for this nation.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, who are the we who are sending these young ladies and also, can we stick to the prayer of the motion.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you for your guidance once again, Mr.
Speaker Sir. When I spoke of the we part, I was speaking to the Hon. Members that going forward, if we now make laws and we become steadfast and resolute that no matter what we want to pass as a law, let it be skewed towards the formally marginalized black majority who are going into slavery. Of all those girls that have been returned and those that are still in those countries, none of them are white. They might be light in skin complexion but they are not white but blacks. They have run away from the laws that support the white minority. Let us change these laws, so that they get skewed towards our formally marginalised black majority, so that they get to know laws in this country that support their economic emancipation. I will stick to the prayer Mr. Speaker Sir.
The last part of the prayer Mr. Speaker Sir, that the Zimbabwean Embassy in Kuwait be allocated urgently, sufficient funds to take care of feeding our girls and also repatriating them. This should not happen yesterday, today or tomorrow but it should happen immediately, as Hon Members have alluded to the fact that there are some of our girls that are incarcerated in bunkers, trenches and in the doldrums of Kuwait. With the cordial relationship that we used to have or that we are supposed to be having with Kuwait, I am quite sure that this is not an uphill task. We can get our girls back to this nation but when we get them back, these large mining firms that are holding mines for speculative purposes - let us get those claims and give them to our girls. Let us get back our girls, empower them using our God-given resources.
On that note, I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and God bless Zimbabwe.
+HON. MUDAU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am very hurt by this issue that has been raised by Hon. Nyamupinga. This issue touches on our children and our children are suffering. At times they go to South Africa or some other countries to look for jobs and they are ill treated. Talking about South Africa, people have come back having been burnt and at times their properties having been confiscated. Some of them do not have children because when they are there, they are told they should have children in their own country because this is not a country for them to breed children. At times they are taken by people who are suffering from other diseases and they transmit those diseases to our children.
They do not treat us like human beings.
If you were to go to Beitbridge now, you will find that there are girls who are always on trucks. They will board a truck to Ngundu and back. At times they will not be dressed properly and when you ask them what is happening to them, they will say that they are changing things. At times you do not even understand what it is that they are changing because it is just as good as walking naked. Now, people are sick all over. When people come from these other countries, they are sick and there is no one who is responsible for making sure that they are treated but as parents we are very hurt with what is happening. If there is a
way, let us find a way to rectify this and how we can punish those people who are doing that. If you were to think seriously as a human being that the same thing was being done to your own child, as a parent, I do not think you would be happy with that.
I do not have much to say but I am not happy at all about what is happening to our Zimbabwean children. Thank you.
HON. SHAMU: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to contribute to the motion moved by the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Hon. Nyamupinga. I feel that the House should take note of the fact that human trafficking is indeed a growing evil of major proportions. Human trafficking is a growing crisis around the world. Human trafficking is indeed linked to capitalism. I say so because it is an evil of human exploitation and capitalism is known for exploiting people, hence we say we should eliminate the exploitation of man by man.
Perpetrators of human trafficking and sexual exploitation know the law and they know how to cover their tracks, how to intimidate their victims and work with the system for personal gain. Statistics estimate that close to $32 billion dollars annually changes hands as profit amongst human traffickers in the world.
Hon. Members have raised a number of issues and what I will do is to zero in on what I feel we should do in Zimbabwe. What we need to do is to help combat human trafficking, taking lessons from our own experiences as Zimbabweans, learning from the experiences of others within the region and also looking at it from an international perspective. Harnessing the support of international organisations that are there to make sure that this world-wide evil is indeed combated and eliminated.
HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker Sir. I really want to appreciate Hon Shamu’s contribution and I am following very closely but there is an issue that was raised here and I am seeking the indulgence of you as the Chair to just clarify matters. There is this
‘private lounge’, which some Members were saying is being run by Hon.
Shamu. I just wanted to get the guidance and clarification.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Where is the lounge?
HON. CHAMISA: It is some notorious place; you have not been there Hon. Speaker, I can understand – [Laughter].
THE HON. SPEAKER: Where is the lounge?
HON. CHAMISA: In Harare Street.
THE HON. SPEAKER: In Harare Street, so what about that lounge?
HON. CHAMISA: May be it is unfortunate that you were not here when the debate was unfolding.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes.
HON. CHAMISA: It is a very serious issue that was raised by Hon. Members that this so-called lounge is being used as a centre for abusing women. The name that has come is to say it is being run by Hon. Shamu.
THE HON. SPEAKER: So, what is the point of order?
HON. CHAMISA: Just for him to clarify so that we are clear about what we are talking about – [Laughter] – Sure Hon. Speaker, this is a very serious issue and we just need clarity on this one.
HON. SHAMU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. If I may, through you Mr. Speaker, inform the House that I do not own any kind of night club or pub in my business activities. In fact Mr. Speaker, it has a common feature in this House, of people casting aspersions on Hon.
Members of Parliament. I remember I was even, by the same Hon. Members on my right, accused of having been bought a vehicle by ZBC and yet that vehicle was one of the many vehicles that were given to Ministers through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The track record is there on paper - [AN HON. MEMBER: One of the many vehicles!] – So I am saying this Mr. Speaker Sir, so that we learn to speak the truth in this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – I am saying this Mr.
Speaker Sir, so that we continue to be Hon. Members of Parliament.
Without full investigations, you have no right to speak. I thank you Mr.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, I am not sure, who raised
the issue of this lounge.
HON. MARIDADI: I am one of them, I did not say it is Hon.
Shamu, I said it is owned by an Hon. Member who sits in this House. He also sits in this House but I did not say it is owned by him. It is a lounge where people do not want to get associated with because there are acts of….
THE HON. SPEAKER: I understand, but how did you know Hon. Chamisa that it is owned by Hon. Shamu?
HON. CHAMISA: This is precisely the reason why this matter had to be clarified and agree with Hon. Shamu. We want things to be straight – [Laughter] – and open. This is why I felt Hon. Speaker Sir, this matter has to be clarified. Most Hon. Members may not say it but they were whispering to say Hon. Shamu is the owner.
THE HON. SPEAKER: And you are one of them?
HON. CHAMISA: Well I heard, and this is why I am verbalising it. I am glad that he has clarified that he does not own because if he was going to be the owner, this is a very serious issue.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Okay, so, in future, let us not rely on whispering rumour mongers; let us get the facts. This House cannot be used under the guise of privilege to desecrate the character of other Hon. Members. So, if there were these whispers, they will have to stop because that is not how Hon. Members must behave. I thank Hon.
Shamu for clarifying the issue.
HON. MUTOMBA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker. When I was on the Chair, when Hon. Maridadi was debating, he alleged that there are quite a number of Hon. Members who are in this House, who seem to be involved in these dealings where some of these ladies are being recruited. After a challenge, he actually promised that he will bring the list of names tomorrow. I just wanted you to take note of that.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. I hope the names will come
under strict authentication. Hon. Shamu, please carry on.
HON. SHAMU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Having requested for Zimbabwe to ensure that we work very closely with international organisations, we must also accept the reality that in scientific analysis of problems, there is always a need for research in order for us to recommend solutions to problems. I do hope Mr. Speaker Sir, that the experience we have gone through will be scientifically analysed, information gathered and recommendations made so that the solutions thereof, will not only help Zimbabwe but will also be made part of a process of internationally combating the issue of human trafficking.
My second suggestion, and this is in support of the Hon. Member who spoke much earlier that there is need for an awareness programme to educate Zimbabweans on the different forms of human trafficking – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- Mr. Speaker, we have human
trafficking in labour, sex trafficking, children trafficking and so forth. We have to educate our people so that they are able to recognise victims of human trafficking.
There should be a continuous programme that warns
Zimbabweans, educate Zimbabweans and creates Zimbabweans in their minds on how they can get trapped into sex or labour trafficking scenarios. I do hope that when we conclude this debate, as you earlier on said when we came into the House, that the recommendations will be taken very seriously and implemented for they say, ‘let us protect through prevention for prevention is better than cure’. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear].
THE HON. SPEAKER: May I please redirect Hon. Members to
stick to the prayer, which is in five sections, and not debate generally.
*HON. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let
me take this opportunity to thank the mover of the motion and seconder of this motion. This is an issue that deeply concerns us. It is a painful issue and it hurts everyone who has given birth. No one wants their child to be abused or sent into slavery. Therefore, I want to thank you
Mr. Speaker that as you went there on official business, you realised that our children were in trouble and you took it upon yourself to bring them back home. We cannot bear our children to become slaves.
Before I go to the prayer Mr. Speaker, I want us to look at the root cause and make an analysis of what has caused these flights to the diaspora. Our local singer Oliver Mtukudzi sang a song that says
“Ongorora chikonzero chaita musoro uteme.” What has caused these children to engage in diasporan flights? As a Government, we are the ones with a problem. We are to blame Mr. Speaker Sir. When our children depart and go to neighbours to seek for food, it means there is somewhere I am lacking as a parent. It means I need to address my family issues to ensure that our children do not go and eat elsewhere.
Firstly, when a person is leaving their country, they are given a visa. There is a Ministry that is responsible for that. So, we should also look at why our children are going to the diaspora. Had they been given visas and for how long will they be gone. If that had been investigated before the children went, we should not have met this challenge. We should have known whether it was because of economic challenges or it was just to seek employment for sustenance. We should not sleep on duty Mr. Speaker.
After investigating the challenges that have resulted in this, the major problem is the issue of poverty. If there is poverty, one is forced to engage in anything because they do not have a choice. This results in abuse and people become sex slaves and can do some menial jobs that we cannot even mention. The sad thing is, recruitment is happening here in our nation. If our children were economically sufficient, they would not be going abroad. Our children are learned and the whole of Africa knows that Zimbabweans are learned. However, there is nothing for them to do after graduating. For example, nurses that we train in this country, after completing their diploma training, they end up sitting at home. They are trained to do medical duties and if they remain idle, that knowledge becomes irrelevant. In the end, a child becomes desperate and ends up engaging in anything to sustain himself or herself.
We need to come up with measures to economically empower our
children, even in the informal sector. If you look at the informal sector which is now the order of the day, is it looking for the girl child as well? The SMEs right now hold the economy of the country but as we look for funds, do we realise that we have children who are coming from university and do not have anything to do. Mostly, if girls face challenges, they engage in such activities. We need to come up with strategies as a nation in order to alleviate the issue of poverty and unemployment. We should start with women because it is said, educate a woman and educate a nation. Once we empower these girl children, they can look after their families and they will not abuse their bodies for sustenance. We need to find funding to ensure that our children become empowered.
Mr. Speaker, let us get rid of corruption. If there is corruption, we cannot develop. What caused economic meltdown was the issue of corruption. We talk of $15 billion that went unaccounted for. That is money that should have created jobs in this country. We have mineral resources that are of high value. It is said that money from diamonds is not known where it went to. When we talk to others they will tell you that there are sanctions. Where did the $15 billion go? The money was not accounted for after we had our minerals. How can we create jobs if there are such corrupt tendencies? We need transparency; if our mines were operating properly, our diamonds would be sold and it would enable us to open up industries and engage in value addition.
We have caused some of the problems. We cannot think of addressing issues that we created. So, we need to create sustenance for our children. I thank you.
HON. MUKANDURI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. First of all, I would like to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Nyamupinga and the seconder, Hon. Nyanhongo. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a very tragic thing to hear in our life time that Zimbabweans are being trafficked into other countries, and in particular to Kuwait. It is sad because these are young girls and women who are supposed to be living a decent life at home. They are problems that we should accept that as a nation we must put our house in order. Nonetheless, these agencies and the Kuwait people have no right to abuse our own people.
I would certainly urge our Government that the Kuwait
Government, if it is colluding with these agencies to take our people as slaves, they must face an ILO sanction or a special paragraph where
Kuwait is mentioned that in terms of labour law, it is recruiting slaves.
It is happening within the Kuwait territory and the Government of
Kuwait cannot run away from that. They should explain as a
Government through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, the
Zimbabwean Government should put this case before the Human Rights Council in Geneva to say in this age, we still have countries that are recruiting people as slaves. It should be reported and a special rapporteur should be sent to Kuwait to investigate all these incidences. The United Nations should also take action against the Kuwait Government. We have to protect our people. We are parliamentarians and we were voted into office by these young girls and women.
Therefore, we should defend them whenever they are in problems.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I honestly want to thank you for the job which you did when you visited our embassy in Kuwait to sensitise and ensure that those girls who were in Kuwait were repatriated back. That was a victory to the people of Zimbabwe. We have our girls who are back in Zimbabwe and in their territory. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, Hear.] – We feel that at least, they were liberated from slavery. We were saying William Wilberforce was the man who spearheaded the end of slavery but that was not the end as slavery is still going on in Kuwait.
I do not think that it is in Kuwait alone because when I heard but perhaps I could have misunderstood the presenter. She said that some of those girls who appeared before their committee were saying some of their colleagues went further to other destinations. That means not Kuwait alone but perhaps further in the region. I am not a racist and have met people from that region. They do not take us seriously and disregard our colour… - [HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, so we should take action. I understand there is an Inter-Ministerial Committee that was setup and it should do its work.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we want the Minister of Foreign Affairs, if he is part of that Inter-Ministerial Committee to come and furnish us with a full report of the activities of these agencies. We also have a duty to report back to our constituencies on what has been happening as people are now on Internet and have been calling to enquire whether this is true or not. We want the Minister of Foreign Affairs to come and discharge his duty. It is his sole responsibility as a representative of the Government of Zimbabwe and represents those people. Their interests are at stake and we must be united as Zimbabweans.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to say that it would appear that we now have a new paradigm shift. The Members of Parliament on both sides of the House were solidly united on this issue. I think we should do the same on the problems that we have as a country. We have economic problems and should be united as Members of Parliament because the people who are suffering do not come from parents of ZANU PF or from MDC, they are Zimbabweans. We were elected to do our job here to make laws that are conducive for the economic development of this country. I can tell you that Zimbabwe is a rich country. God gave us abundant resources but what is happening? We are divided. – [HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Pa $15 billion apo!] –
In summary, I thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Nyamupinga, and share the committee’s sentiments. I thank you.
+HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, firstly I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Nyamupinga who is my chairlady. She is the chairperson of the Committee on Gender and
Womens’ Affairs. I would also like to thank the seconder of the motion,
HON. MAONDERA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. We are
debating a very important motion and I think we need to proceed with a full quorum. It looks like there is no quorum for us to continue debating the motion. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
An objection having been taken that there being present fewer than
(70) members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not being present, THE HON. SPEAKER adjourned the House without any question put at Twenty Eight Minutes to Six o’clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 56.
NOTE: The following members were present when the House adjourned: Hon. Bunjira R; Hon. Chapfika D; Hon. Chimankire G; Hon.
Chinanzvavana C.; Hon. Chitura I; Hon. Chiwetu J. Z; Hon. Dhewa M. W; Hon. Gava M; Hon. Kwaramba G; Hon. Makoni R.; Hon. Mangami D; Hon. Mangwende S; Hon. Maondera W; Hon Maridadi J; Hon.
Mawere R. N. S. Mubvumbi; Hon. Mbwembwe E.N; Hon. Mkandla M;
Hon. Mlilo N; Hon. Moyo Joshua; Hon. Mpala M; Hon. Vice President
- Mphoko; Hon. Mpofu R; Hon. Mtingwende T; Hon. Mudarikwa S; Hon. Mudyiwa M; Hon. Mukanduri S.T; Hon. Mutomba W; Hon. Ncube G.M; Hon. Ndlovu D.M; Hon. Nhambu B; Hon. Nyamupinga B.B; Hon.
Nyanhongo M; Hon. Nyere C; Hon. Rungani A; Hon. Shava J; Hon.
Sibanda K; Hon. Thembani S. Z; Hon. Tshuma J; Hon. Uta Kerenia.