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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 JUNE 2024 VOL 50 NO 61

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 18th June, 2024.

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

*HON. NYABANI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker, I rise on a matter of national interest. Yesterday, 17th June, we were commemorating the degradation of the environment world-wide, or I would say we were looking at the causes of deserts.   I once stood up in this House asking a question to the Minister of Agriculture with regards to conservation of soil because soil is life.  If the soil is not conserved, it means our country will become a desert and people will die of hunger.  All our dams are silted.  It is cheaper to construct a dam than to desilt dams.   Dams are being built, but what is Government doing to ensure that they do not continue to stop sitation  Soil is being eroded every year.    The Minister answered and said there is no kugadzira madhunduru.  AGRITEX officers who are supposed to do that are said to be housed in provincial capitals and the department only has three officers. This means that after 30 years, this country will be a desert.  It is important that we should preserve our environment…

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nyabani, may you please move a motion with regards to this important issue.

*HON. NYABANI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma`am.

*HON. CHIKOMO:  Thank you Madam Speaker and good afternoon.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Good afternoon to you too Honourable.

*HON. CHIKOMO:  My point of national interest is with regards to solving issues.  There were ways of conveying the message to the Creator.  For example, if there was a drought, beer would be brewed by old men and women.  If there was a problem with wild animals attacking the community, people would go to sacred places and speak to the ancestors about this.

As a country or Government, what is our generation doing in order to resolve our conflicts through God our Creator so that we do not continue to suffer?  For example, we had a drought in Zimbabwe this year, what actions have we done in terms of prayer so that we will not encounter another drought?  We have disease outbreaks, weak currency and so on – what is Government doing so that there is God’s intervention?

          *THE HON.  DEPUTY SPEAKER:  As far as I am concerned, these issues are dealt with by the responsible people.  However, you have asked this House whether it is being done or not, I think it would be prudent if you would ask the Minister responsible for culture tomorrow.

          *HON. CHIKOMO: Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. CHIGUMBU:  I am rising on a point of national interest pertaining to the arrest of Zimbabwean citizens who had gathered at a private property to have a private meeting – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  May we have order in the House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-  May we have order.  Please continue Hon. Member.

HON. CHIGUMBU:  I would like to draw your attention and the attention of this House to the inhuman treatment that was subjected to …..

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chigumbu, if it is in connection with the arrest of people, we cannot discuss that in this House.  You can ask the Hon. Minister concerned tomorrow during question time if you have got some issues.  We cannot discuss those issues and I cannot give a ruling on that arrest of citizens in this country.

HON. CHIGUMBU:  If you can indulge me Hon. Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, please may you take your seat.  I have already ruled – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- 

COMMITTEE STAGE

RESUMPTION OF CONSIDERATION OF THE ADVERSE REPORT BY THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE ON STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS NUMBERS 17, 18, 23, 24, 32, 33, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 AND 52 OF 2024

          First Order read: Committee Stage: resumption of the consideration of an Adverse Report by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Statutory Instruments No. 17, 18, 23, and 24 of 2024, published in the Gazette during the month of February, 2024 and Statutory Instruments Nos. 31, 32, 33, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, and 52 of 2024, published in the Gazette during month of March 2024.

          House in Committee.

          There being no debate having arisen

          HON. NDUDZO:   Thank you for recognising me.  I will consider the absence of any debate or contribution to the contrary as acceptance by the whole Committee of the proposal and I accordingly submit that the resolution by the Parliamentary Legal Committee must accordingly be adopted as such.  Thank you Mr. Chairman.

          House resumed. 

          HON. NDUDZO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I now, with leave, move that this House having given consideration to the Report of the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Statutory Instruments Number 17, 18, 23, and 24 of 2024 published in the Gazette during the month of February 2024 and Statutory Instruments Number 31, 32,33,38,39, 40, 41, 42 and 52 of 2024 published in the Gazette during the month of March 2024, resolves that the Statutory Instruments would, if enacted, be in contravention of the enabling Act.  I thank you.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Report adopted.

          ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. T. ZHOU):  Order, Order! I have received a non-adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Criminal Laws Amendment [Protection of the Children and Young Persons] Bill, [H.B. 4A, 2024].        

MOTION

                               BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, I now move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 4 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 5 has been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION FOR

THE YEAR 2023

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Judicial Services Commission for the year 2023.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Members from both sides for having been very much satisfied by the report that the Judicial Services Commission tabled through me before the august House.  I now move that the report that has been laid before Parliament be adopted. 

Motion that this House takes note of the Report of the Judicial Service Commission for the year 2023, presented to this House of Parliament in terms of Sections 253 and 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I move that we move to Order of the Day, Number 6 on the Order Paper.

          Motion put and agreed to.

           MOTION

ADMINISTRATION OF THE NATIONAL CADASTRE

SYSTEM TO THE ZIMBABWE NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL

AND SPACE AGENCY

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the establishment of the Electronic Cadastre and Mining Cadastre systems.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. DHLIWAYO:  Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me to add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Mhuri on the Cadastre system.  Let me give a brief background of how the Cadastre system was adopted in Zimbabwe.

          The objective was to have a national Cadastre system, but the Government decided they could not start with a national Cadastre system.  Therefore, they started with something like a pilot study.  So, a mining Cadastre system was established, but the objective was not a mining Cadastre system.   It was a national Cadastre system. What is a Cadastre? A cadastre refers to information that concerns a land unit.  So, that information may be the natural endowments that a country has.  It may be the land that we have for cultivation.  That is what we call a cadastre.  Therefore, a system that manages the way these natural resources are utilised, that is the one that we call a cadastre system.

          When the cadastre system was introduced, a mining cadastre was a pilot study to enhance our understanding of how this cadastre system would work, Madam Speaker. I will therefore support the motion that the cadastre system must be housed under Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA).  At the same time, it should be a national cadastre system.  It should not be just a mining cadastre system.

While the Surveyor General’s Department can offer variable inputs with regard to the cadastre system, I doubt it may have enough capacity to manage the cadastre system, therefore it may remain giving or supporting ZINGSA when it comes to establishing the cadastre system, but I do not think it has the capacity to run the national cadastre system. Thus, the Surveyor General’s Department can continue to offer its technical expertise while the system is housed under ZINGSA. 

Coming to the urgent need to have the cadastre system, that cannot be over-emphasised.  As a nation, we are in pursuit of our vision 2030 where our President, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa is on record saying by the year 2030, Zimbabwe must be an upper middle income economy, a vision that we cannot afford if we cannot account for the natural resources that we have in a nation.  It is therefore of paramount importance that we have a clear account of our natural resource base, our natural endowments.  It is one thing to be highly naturally endowed and another to know what we are holding, what we account for when it comes to our natural resources.

So, accounting for our natural resource through a consolidated national cadastre system will expedite or boost our economic growth trajectory and help in achieving our vision 2030. I therefore support the motion by Hon. Mhuri that this must be expedited and we must have a consolidated national cadastre system that will help us as a nation to have a thorough understanding of the resources that we are holding upon each and every unit of land.  I so submit. God Bless Zimbabwe. Thank you.

          HON. BUTAU: Thank you Madam Speaker and good afternoon. Thank you very much for affording me this opportunity to debate on the national cadastre system, the motion which was moved by Hon. Mhuri. 

I strongly believe that a national cadastre system is essential for our country’s economic growth, efficient management and social equity. A cadastre system is a comprehensive repository of land ownership and usage data.  Its implementation will have far reaching benefits for our nation. Let me go through the following points in support of my argument; the first one is improved land administration.  A national cadastre system will streamline land administration, reducing errors and increasing transparency.  It will provide a single source of truth for land ownership, boundaries and usage preventing disputes and fraud.

          The second point Madam Speaker is enhanced economic development.  It enhances economic development by providing a clear and a secure record of land ownership. A cadastral system will attract foreign investment, stimulate economic growth and increase property values.  It will also enable effective land use planning, infrastructure development and resource allocation.

Let me go to the third point Madam Speaker, which is efficient land use and management.  The cadastral system will enable optimal land use, reducing conflicts between different land users such as agriculture, conservation and urban development.  It will also facilitate the identification of vacant or underutilised land for development projects.

The fourth one, Madam Speaker, is social equity and empowerment.  The national cadastre system will protect the rights of land owners, particularly vulnerable groups like indigenous communities and small-scale farmers.  It will provide a formal recognition of their land ownership, security of tenure and access to credit and social services. 

Madam Speaker, let me conclude by saying the national cadastre system is crucial for our country’s economic growth, efficient land management and social equity.  It will provide a foundation for sustainable development, transparency and accountability.  Let us embrace this vital tool for our national progress.  So I submit Madam Speaker. Thank you.

          +HON. GUMEDE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have a question to ask about this cadastre system.  What is it for?  We want it to be precisely explained to us so that we can explain to our constituents.  Yes, we can hear that it is good.  We have heard them explaining how it works, that its objective is to put livelihoods in a good place and conserve the environment. 

          It is good that we should look after the environment properly so that we know when to start and when to stop.  We have such public places as in Matobo and Njelele just as an example.  If we put this system in place, what will be done about these places which should be accessed by the public, for instance Njelele, a cultural centre?  So as  black people, we want to know if this system is in place, we will be able to access where we are supposed to do our traditional and cultural rights.  That is the question.  I want to know how we are going to handle such cultural centres which will be accessed by the public if the Cadastre system is in place?  If this Cadastre system is in place, are you going to be able to access those traditional centres where we do our rituals? That is the question I have. 

There are things that I would like to know, this Cadastre system, if I cannot explain it clearly, how am I going to tell the people in my constituency about it to understand what it is?  Therefore, we request to know who is going to put it in place and how.  What law is going to be put in place to effect it so that we can understand it?  Actually, I understood this and I will go and give feedback to our constituents in accordance with how we have understood it so that our people can be able to accept and understand it.  I thank you.  

HON. MATINENGA:  I debate on the issue of languages.  I think there is need for that correction.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Noted.

HON. B. JAMES:  Madam Speaker, just a short note on the Cadastre system. I would prefer to know much about it in detail, but to me it is where we implement to gather information on farming, land issues and mining issues.  Our concern is that the Cadastre system extends into whole entities in the top fund.  If not funded, the Cadastre system will not be complete and probably with reconsiderations.  Thank you.

HON. ZIKI:  I would just like to add a few points, just to add my voice to this debate. The national Cadastre system is a centralised registry of land ownership and use, typically maintained by a Government, agency or by department.  It provides comprehensive and standardised record of land parcels, including information such as ownership, details, boundaries and special data, land use and zooming, property values and taxation, historical transactions as well as records.

The main objectives of this national Cadastre system is to ensure secure and transparent land ownership, facilitate efficient land administration and management, support urban and regional planning, enhance land valuation and taxation, and to reduce land disputes and conflicts.

So, over and above all the other reasons that have been stated here by Members who spoke before me, a national Cadastre system is quite a necessity as we have gone through all the reasons why it should be done.  My submission here Madam Speaker is that, it is a necessity for economic reasons and collection of taxes.  We all know that we are in a situation whereby we need to boost our taxation.  Therefore, this is another way of raising taxes.  I so submit.

HON. DHLIWAYO:  Thank you.  I am not sure if Hon. Gumede has been answered.  She wanted a full comprehension to understand…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Dhliwayo Order!  This is not a question and answer session.  We are debating a motion.  So, the things that were raised, were the questions and concerns, but through a debate.

HON. DHLIWAYO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.

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

HON. MUSHORIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 19th June, 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. KAMBUZUMA:  Madam Speaker ma’am, I move that Order of the Day Number 7 be stood over until Orders of the Day Numbers 8, 9 and 10 are disposed of in that order.

HON. MUSHORIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE, HOME AFFAIRS, SECURITY AND WAR VETERANS AFFAIRS ON THE PETITION FROM THE CHILDREN OF WAR VETERANS AND HEROES DEPENDANTS FORUM

HON. NGULUVHE: I move the motion standing in my name that this House considers and adopts the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs, Security Services and War Veterans’ Affairs on the Petition from the Children of War Veterans and Heroes’ Dependants Forum on the Economic Empowerment for War Veterans and their Dependants.

HON. KAITANO: I second.

HON. NGULUVHE:

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Pursuant to Section 149 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Children of War Veterans and Heroes Dependants Forum petitioned Parliament of Zimbabwe on the need to exercise its oversight and legislative functions and ensure that government implements the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) herein referred to as the Act, in order to address their issues. Accordingly, the petition was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs, Security Services and War Veterans Affairs herein referred to as the Committee for consideration. Thus, the Committee conducted an enquiry into the issues raised in the petition. This report is a summary of the key findings, observations and recommendations made by the Committee.

2.0 OBJECTIVE OF THE ENQUIRY

The broad objective of the enquiry was to consider the prayer by the petitioners with a view to recommend action for the relief sought.

3.0 METHODOLOGY

The Committee undertook the following activities in gathering evidence;

3.1 It received oral evidence from the petitioners in order to get first-hand information on specific issues that needed to be addressed;

 3.2 It interviewed Permanent Secretaries for the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs; the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement; the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, and the Chief Executive for Zimbabwe Lands Commission in order to get explanations and responses to the issues raised in the petition;

3.3 It also received oral evidence from War Veterans League in order to get their views on issues raised by the petitioners.

3.4 It conducted public hearings in Lupane, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Gweru, Masvingo, Mutare, Kadoma, Harare, Marondera and Bindura. 

3.5 The Committee analysed and deliberated on all the evidence gathered and this formed the basis of this report.

4.0 PETITIONERS PRAYER

         The Children of War Veterans and Heroes Dependants Forum beseeched Parliament to exercise its constitutional role and address the following issues;

  1. Amend the definition of “dependant” in the Act to include dependants who are over 18 years who require fees assistance for higher and tertiary education,
  2. Amend the Act to include a provision on respect, honour and recognition of the Veterans of Liberation Struggle,
  • Exercise its oversight role in terms of section 119 (2) and ensure that the constitutional rights on benefits of war veterans are upheld.
  1. Ensure evictions of heroes’ dependants on allocated land are halted.
  2. Ensure sufficient allocation of money for the Liberation Struggle Fund to enable full realisation of the welfare of war veterans and their dependants.
  • COMMITTEE`S FINDINGS

5.1 Definition of the Dependant in the Act

Section 2 (a) of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) defines a “Dependant as a child, including a step child, legally adopted child or child born posthumously, who has not attained the age of 18 years and is or was at the date of death of the veteran of the liberation struggle concerned dependant upon him or her for support”. The petitioners found this definition restrictive in that a child gets to Form 6 usually at 18 years. The petitioners sought a broader definition of a dependant so that dependants can still access educational assistance beyond 18 years, especially for higher and tertiary education.

Mr. C. Mpambela, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs highlighted that his Ministry in providing educational benefits to children of war veterans was guided by the provisions of the Act. Whilst acknowledging the challenges being faced by children when accessing tertiary education assistance, he submitted that these could be addressed administratively without amending the Act. He noted that the current legislation has some inconsistencies which needed to be addressed.  Reference was made to Section 12.2 (a) (ii) of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act which states that: The Minister shall, in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, by Statutory Instrument, prescribe Educational Benefits to a Veterans of the Liberation Struggle, /his or her spouse and his or her Dependant, which shall consist of Education Assistance at a Government Primary, Secondary, Higher and Tertiary Educational Institution.'' On the other hand, Statutory Instrument 281 of 1997 states that, “educational benefit will be extended to those who are above 18 years provided that the studies were or the training was commenced while the beneficiary was below the age of 18 years and are being pursued on a full-time basis”. 

During public hearings, participants across the country confirmed that some of the children of war veterans who are above 18 years were being denied educational assistance benefit by the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs. In addition, they expressed concern that for a few who were being assisted, there were delays in fees payments to relevant tertiary institutions, resulting in many disturbances such as failure to attend lectures, risk of dropping out and failure to access results and certificates.  A proposal was made for the amendment of the Act to provide for education assistance to children of war veterans who are over 18 years so that they will learn up to professional doctorate degree.

Concerns were further raised on alleged favouritism and nepotism in the selection of learners under the Presidential Scholarship Programme and thereby sidelining majority of children of war veterans. They proposed that at least 25% of these students should be children of war veterans.

5.2 Respect, Honour and Recognition of the Veterans of Liberation Struggle

Section 23 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the need to respect, honour and recognise veterans of liberation struggle. The petitioners noted with concern that the issue of respect, honour and recognition to Veterans of the Liberation Struggle was a constitutional requirement which the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs should take seriously. The Act was regarded as lacking in this regard, resulting in respect, honour and recognition of veterans in all spheres of Government and private institutions. For that reason, they called for the amendment of the Act to clearly provide in practical ways, the practical measures for according respect, honour and recognition to Veterans of the Liberation Struggle as stated in section 23 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. 

Some of the practical measures included leading processions during significant national commemoration gatherings such as Independence, Heroes and Unity Days. They also proposed issuance of identity cards and bravery medals to recognise their distinct categories. As a sign of respect, they expected timeous provision of funeral assistance before the burial of the deceased veteran.

Mr. C. Mpambela maintained that, to a large extent, the Act  recognises the provisions of Section 23 of the Constitution. He indicated that the request by petitioners could still be met  administratively and may not warrant amendment to the legislation. He informed the Committee that since 2022, arrangements were being made for veterans to have their own sitting arrangements on national events. They had also in the past participated in processions such as the Anti Sanctions Marches.  Furthermore, plans were underway for them to play a significant role during Independence Day Celebrations and other national events such as Heroes Day Commemorations. He informed the Committee that the process of issuing medals resumed in 2023 and that the award of Independence medals to War Collaborators and Non-Combatant Cadres could continue in future. The Ministry concured with the petitioners on the need for issuance of identity cards for war veterans.

Participants across all the provinces during hearings concurred with petitioners that the war veterans were not accorded the respect, honour and recognition at most State functions, in private organisations such as banks and in various government offices. They proposed a distinct visible mark like a liberation war medal or badge or identity card to enhance their recognition wherever they are. Participants further proposed that war veterans be given a quota in Senate as a sign of recognition.

  • 20% Quota Benefit Over Gazetted State Land

Section 21 (1) of the Veterans of Liberation Struggle Act which states that, "Veterans of the liberation struggle are entitled to be resettled on and receive holdings of land within the allocation made for the benefit of such veterans of twenty per cent (20%) of gazetted State land, and to receive in relation to such land the same rights of tenure as other resettled persons have."  The petitioners lamented that the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement was not meeting the requirement of this provision. Thus, the petitioners felt that their rights were being violated.

Professor O. Jiri, the Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement and Commissioner T. Bare, the Chief Executive Officer for Zimbabwe Lands Commission, acknowledged that the 20% qouta was not being complied with as war veterans only occupied 6% of the redistributed land. During public hearings, war veterans were in support of the petitioners and urged the Ministry to comply with the 20% quota.

  • Evictions of Heroes’ Dependants from Allocated Land

The petitioners expressed concern that some surviving spouses and dependants of departed heroes were being evicted from allocated land.  They alleged that most of these evictions were spearheaded by corrupt officials from Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement. They also cited cases where repossessions by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement were done without fulfilling the provisions of Section 21 (3) of the Veterans of Liberation Struggle Act. It states that, "If for any reason, an Offer letter or any other tenure right is lawfully withdrawn from a veteran of the liberation struggle who wishes to engage in agricultural or any other economic activity on the land, such veteran shall be entitled to, within a reasonable time, be resettled on another piece of gazetted land of equivalent size."

Prof. O. Jiri, the Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement confirmed that he was aware of the evictions and that most of them were being done by corrupt Ministry officials. The Ministry was now rotating Provincial Lands officers with a view to curb these tendencies. He encouraged the petitioners to report the illegal evictions for remediation.  On lawful repossession, Prof Jiri emphasised that his Ministry was complying with the provisions of Section 21 (3) of the Veterans of Liberation Struggle Act. Members of the public, during hearings, expressed similar sentiments regarding the conduct of Ministry Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement officials on evictions.

  • Economic Empowerment of War Veterans

Section 23 (2) of the Constitution which states: - “State must take reasonable measures for the welfare and economic empowerment of veterans of the liberation struggle”. The petitioners felt that the government had done very little to fulfil this constitutional provision. They bemoaned that the majority of war veterans and their dependants were wallowing in abject poverty as they could not fully engage in economic activities due to lack of capital. Some had sustained injuries and the low monthly pay-outs could not sustain them.

Mr. C. Mpambela, the Secretary for the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs submitted that Part III of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act [Chapter 17:12] clearly spelt out benefits and schemes for Veterans of the Liberation Struggle, their spouses and dependants which included basic pension, a once-off gratuity depending on availability of resources, educational benefits, medical and dental benefits as well as funeral assistance.

War veterans and their affiliates submitted that the Government has done very little to uplift them from poverty. They proposed an increment in their monthly pensions to Warrant Officer Class I (WO1), capitalisation of their ailing projects, tax exemptions on both land and vehicle imports tax, free parking in cities and exemptions from toll fees.

They pointed out that Government, through the War Victims Compensation Fund, had only catered for the visible physical scars of veterans whilst the disabilities of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle far exceeded mere physical visible scars but included mental and emotional scars such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and various neurotic disorders which had not been attended to. They proposed for the establishment of government funded specialised medical care centres to cater for war victims.

5.6 Liberation Struggle Fund

Mr. C. Mpambela, the Secretary for the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs concurred with the petitioners that the Liberation Struggle Fund meant to cater for the welfare of war veterans and their dependants was underfunded. This had resulted in constrained welfare improvement for war veterans. Both the Ministry and petitioners proposed that Parliament should ensures that Treasury allocates sufficient funds to the Liberation Struggle Fund during budget approval.

6.0 COMMITTEE`S OBSERVATIONS

The Committee observed the following:

  • Educational Assistance
  • There are inconsistences in the legislation in that on one hand, the Act provides for assistance for higher and tertiary education to heroes’ dependants while such benefit can only be enjoyed when the dependants commence such studies below 18 years.
  • In the majority of cases, students enrol for higher and tertiary education when they are over 18 years, thereby failing to access support under this Act
    • Respect, Honour and Recognition
  • Whilst the Constitution in Section 23 underscores the need to respect, honour and recognise war veterans, the Act did not provide the practical measures for the realisation and enjoyment of such accolades.
    • 20% Quota Benefit Over Gazetted Land
  • That there was under allocation of land to war veterans violating the provisions of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) by Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement.
    • Evictions from Farms
  • The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement was failing to supervise Lands officers resulting in illegal evictions of beneficiaries.
  • The Committee was appalled by the acknowledgement from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement that their officers were engaging in corruption without any stringent measure taken against such officers.
    • Economic Empowerment
  • The Committee expressed concern that 44 years after independence, Government has not taken practical steps to ensure that war veterans get treatment for post traumatic disorders.
  • Government has not taken practical steps to empower war veterans economically by providing adequate resources for the War Veterans Fund.

7.0 COMMITTEE`S RECOMMENDATIONS

The Committee recommends the following:

  • Educational Assistance
  • That the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs should harmonise the Veterans of Liberation Struggle Act Chapter 17:12 and Statutory Instrument 281 of 1997 by 31 December 2024.
  • The Minister should amend the Statutory Instrument in such express terms, to ensure that dependants who are over 18 years continue to access support for higher and tertiary education regardless of whether such studies commenced when they were below 18 or not.
  • With effect from third term 2024, the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs should ensure timeous payment of school fees for children of war veterans currently on its list of beneficiaries.
  • That Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs should formally engage tertiary institutions by 31 July 2024 to allow continuous learning for war veterans' dependants whilst fees payment is being processed.
    • Respect, Honour and Recognition
  • That the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should submit an Amendment to the Constitution to provide for a quota in Senate for war veterans by 30 June 2025.
  • That the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs should consider the following in order to ensure that war veterans are respected, honoured and recognised.
  • Timely payment of funeral assistance within three days of the reported death of a war veteran.
  • Going forward, war veterans should be recognised during State occasions by awarding medals and provide dedicated sitting space for them.
  • Should issue identity cards which give war veterans priority in government offices by 31 December 2024.

 

  • 20% Quota Benefit Over Gazetted Land
  • That the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should adhere to the provisions of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) in all its next land allocations.
    • Rampant Evictions from Farms and Mines
  • That the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement going forward, must ensure that compensation and provision of an alternative land of equal size is done when repossessing land from war veterans in terms of Section 21 (3) of the Veterans of Liberation Struggle Act.
    • Economic Empowerment
  • That the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare should review and adjust monthly pensions for war veterans and ex-political prisoners equivalent to that of a Warrant Officer Class 1's salary in the Zimbabwe National Army by 31 July 2024.
  • That the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Child Care, should establish at least one specialised medical care unit for war victims at provincial hospitals by 31 December 2025.

8.0 Conclusion

The Committee appreciated the role played by the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle in bringing the independence of Zimbabwe and the peace that is being enjoyed by every citizen in this country. Veterans of the Liberation Struggle indeed need to be honoured, respected, recognised and empowered in order to enable them to enjoy the fruits of their hard work and sacrifices. Government departments are urged to implement provisions in the Constitution relating to war veterans and their dependants to ensure that their needs are addressed.

          HON. KAITANO: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am. I rise to add my voice on the report presented by Hon. Nguluvhe. Inasmuch as Section 23 of the Constitution speaks about the recognition, respect and honour of the war veterans, those that fought for the liberation of this country, I personally feel that there is a lot that we need to do as Zimbabwe.  There is a lot in order to cascade what is in the Constitution, to the practicalities on the ground.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, the world over, people and nations have recognised their warriors. They have recognised the people that fought their wars. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- In many countries, the kind of respect given to such a constituency, every nation recognises the work that they have done. One example is found in 1 Samuel Chapter 17, there was a giant who had tormented a nation. People were ransacked left, right and centre by that giant. When one young man used unconventional warfare at that time and defeated him on behalf of that nation, we hear that he was honoured by the King.  He was given the opportunity to marry the King’s daughter. That is an example of the highest honour given to a warrior.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, it is very critical for this country to continue honouring at an accelerated rate, those that have fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe. There are bigger things that can be done, but there are also smaller things that as a nation we can do to honour our gallant fighters. One SADC country sings about them in their national anthem and they say this kind of people, their blood waters our freedom. They recognise the important role that the gallant fighters did in their country in order to give them freedom and they sing about them even in their national anthem.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, the war veterans deserve our recognition. When we gather for example at the Independence celebrations, it is a special day for them. It is a special day in their lives. I believe there is something small that we can do for them, for example, giving them a special sitting place, just those small things. Even at the national heroes, the commemorations day is theirs. Just those little things, they are not looking for many things such that when they go home, they feel that indeed, they fought for this country. Those little things will go a long way in their social and psychological life. When one gets satisfied, even the physical health follows suite.

Madam Speak Ma’am, in Zimbabwe we recognise our Chiefs and  village heads. They have badges and when you see them, you know ndava changamire ava.  Our war veterans do not have such - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] -  We queue with them when we are waiting for buses, we queue together with them when queueing for hospital medication. We queue with them all over the places. They are not distinctly recognised in terms of having something with them. Madam Speaker Ma’am, it is high time that we institute such measures as a way of recognising and honouring the gallant fighters of this land - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –

When they park their cars in the municipalities, their cars are clamped if they do not pay parking fees. Is that what we want for our war veterans? Sometimes they fail to pay tax, land tax or the levies for their farms which is $6 per hectare. They fought for that land and in many times, they fail to pay that tax. Should we punish them for that? Certainly not. As a people, as a nation, we need to stand and support our war veterans. If we give foreign investors some tax holidays to come and invest in this country, how much more of those people that have fought for this country, that have fought for the peace of this country?  The investors are coming here because of that peace, should we not give them some tax holidays? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - as a way of honouring what they have done and as a way of saying thank you war veterans for the great work that you have done, for the sweat, for the blood that you shed. Is that asking too much Madam Speaker Ma’am? To ask them to have a tax rebate, an import rebate where they bring just one car in their lifetime. They bring one car duty free. It that asking too much? - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - The liberty that we have, the comfort that we have seated here in Mt. Hampden debating national issues, we must never forget that there are people who shed their blood and sweat day-in and day-out. They were sleeping in caves, in mosquito infested areas with a lot of bugs.  Is it asking too much Madam Speaker Ma’am, if we ask for them to be given a card so that when they go to hospitals, they just go straight and be attended to? Are we asking too much for them? 

It is my submission that as a people, we are able to take care of our war veterans.  I do not want to refer to many countries that take care of their people.  I do not want to refer to Algeria or any other country but suffice to say, even without any precedence from other countries, we can set a goal, we can set our own precedence of what we need to do for our war veterans in this country.  As I conclude Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want to conclude with Galatians, Chapter 6 vs. 7 which says, “do not be deceived, do not be mocked.  God cannot be mocked.  Whatever a man soweth, that he shall reap”.  Our war veterans sowed liberty for this country and liberty, they must reap.  Our war veterans sowed prosperity in this country and prosperity must visit them and their children’s children up to the fourth generation.  Our war veterans sowed tranquility in this country and tranquility must follow them even in their graves, they must have peace there.  Even when they turn around, they must have the peace that they brought into this country.  Do not be mocked, do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked.  Whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall reap.  I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 19th June, 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number 3 on the Order Paper.

Motion put and agreed to.

COMMITTEE STAGE

ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES AMENDMENT BILL

  • 3, 2024]

Third Order read:  Committee Stage: Administration of Estates Amendment Bill [H. B. 3, 2024].

House in Committee.

Clause 1 put and agreed to.

On Clause 2:

HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Chair.  During the Second Reading of this Bill, we raised an issue with the Hon. Minister pertaining to the naming.  Whereas the name ‘Master of High Court’ was suitable when the Master of the High Court was under the Judicial Services Commission, this amendment seeks to bring a break from the Judicial Services Commission so that the Office of the Master can be a stand-alone with its board.  So, I suggest that in this Bill, we should remove any reference to the High Court so that we name the ‘Master’ just to be the ‘Master’s Office’ without saying Master of High Court.  I think it will probably confuse people and I think the Hon. Minister during the debate, had no qualms with it because we could call the Master by any name and the inclusion of Master of High Court to me is not necessary at this juncture.  Let us have a clean demarcation between the Office of the Master and the Judicial Services Commission.  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Chair, on reflection, the Hon. Member's submission is incorrect.  The naming of the office to say the Master of the High Court was not done when the JSC was moved from the Ministry, even when it was still directly under the Ministry, it was called the office of the Master of the High Court. 

          The word Master is very much intricately connected to the High Court and we do not want to introduce misleading changes that would confuse the generality of the public.  Our public knows that if you are dealing with estates, you go to the Master of the High Court and this has been the name, and some names then become connected to what is happening.  Most importantly, the work that the Master does is connected to the work that the High Court does, so I believe that this is a very innocent and very good name to keep.  So, I submit that we leave it as it is.  Thank you.

          HON. MUSHORIWA: I hear what the Hon. Minister is saying but Hon. Minister, during the Second Reading, remember you submitted to this august House that one of the things that had moved us to go to this amendment was primarily to make sure that there is a distinction between the courts, so that people that were aggrieved by the activities or the omissions of the Master’s office should be in a position to approach the courts.

  The current situation where the Master of the High Court is part of the Judicial Service Commission is complicated, making people fail to bring issues against the Master of the High Court.  I just think that by keeping the name, many people in their minds will simply think that the Master of the High Court is still the extension.  Remember, it will take a lot of time for people to understand that the Master of High Court has moved from the Judicial Services.  As long as that name remains the danger Hon. Minister is that we will continuously have a problem where people will be shy to take the Master of High Court, even though it is now a standalone entity.

 However, if you insist, because also people are used to it, I can also tell you that the reverse side of it is that the people are also used to knowing that it is under the Judiciary and they will be shy to take the Master of High Court to court.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: On the contrary, Hon, Chair, people now know that it is under the Judicial Service Commission.  We have separated but we are now giving legal effect so that we create that office which is a standalone.  Now, there is not going to be any reference to administrative issues being deferred to JSC to be done by the board of the Master.  So people now know and we are beginning to see even with the ad-hoc arrangements that we did before we brought the Bill.  We are seeing the benefits of having a standalone office of the Master.

  I want to allay his fears and say that the reason why we are bringing this Bill is to give legal effect to the separation and ensure that we create a statutory provision to set up the office that will be independent, there will be mechanisms that will allow even aggrieved people within the Bill to have recourse to the courts without the conflation that was there.  I submit, Hon. Chair.

Clause 2 put and agreed to.

          On Clause 3:

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. Chair, I am proposing an amendment in my name that on page 3 of the Bill and subsection 2, will insert new section 4 on lines 39 and 40 and substitute with the following so that the new section will read like this “In appointing members of the board, in terms of subsection 1, subsection C, regard must be heard to the provision of section 17 and 18 of the Constitution”.

          We are just speaking to the gender parity that is provided for in the Constitution, it was missing in the Bill, so when appointing the board, members' regard must be given to issues of gender parity.

          On page 3, of the Bill, insert before subsection 2, will be inserted a new section 4 on lines 35 and 36 where we delete sub-paragraph 6 and substitute the following: - I think subparagraph 6 was speaking about, “one shall be on the composition of the board members, that one shall be a member of the Attorney General’s office nominated by the Attorney General”.  We are deleting that to say that one shall be an employee of the Ministry responsible for the administration of this Act.  I so submit those amendments on this particular clause. 

          HON. MUSHORIWA: Hon. Chair, my debate is not necessarily concerning the amendments to the Clause that the Minister has submitted but what I have a problem with are issues that are contained within clause 3.  The first thing that I needed the Minister to possibly educate me as a non-lawyer; look at clause 3 between lines 34 and 35, subsection 1 says, ‘shall perform such of the Master’s functions whether under this Act or any other enactment as the Master may assign to them.  I am not so sure whether any other enactment is assigned to them by the Master or by the Minister.  I just need some clarification from the Minister.

          Then on a matter of principle, on page 3 of the Bill on line 15 on the composition of the Master’s office’s board, I have got challenges with (a) reference to the chairperson of the board, that he should be a person who is qualified to be appointed as judge of the High Court.  I do not understand because I believe that anybody with relevant expertise from other fields can chair this board.  There is no reason why we should continuously say we need the board to be chaired by a lawyer or someone qualified to be a judge of the High Court.

          I believe that a person with the requisite knowledge and we have seen a chairperson who has done exceptionally well in various endeavours.  Secondly, in lines 38, and 39, I need the Minister to explain to me the justification of having one employee of the Ministry of Finance to be nominated to sit on the board.          Then on the next line, I think, there is need to just delete where it says at least three or four of the members of the board shall be women.  I think you should delete the words, three or, it should just read, ‘at least four’, because that board currently starts at nine.  So, at least I think, that is in tandem with the amendments that we have actually read in terms of the gender parity.  We cannot have at least three or four.  It should just only be four.

          Then on the next page Mr. Chair, are the reports of the board, 4C. It says, the board shall, as soon as possible after the end of each financial year, submit an annual report to the Minister.  This is not consistent Chairman, with other statutes.   I think, it should be amended to say; “the board shall, within 90 days after the end of each financial year, submit an annual report to the Minister”, and I think, that is the standard. 

Then, if that is agreed Chair, we then also go to the first paragraph on Page 5.  Then instead of saying, “the Minister shall lay before Parliament, every annual report submitted to him by the board”.  We need to then make the time frame to say that the Minister shall, 30 days after receipt of the report, lay it before Parliament.  I think, that is the standard so that it is not open-ended.

          Then Chair, because this clause is too wide, I think you will allow me to also then go to page 6 of the same.  I actually believe that we need two issues to be addressed Hon. Minister.  First, I actually think we need a clause there that says, “30% of the amount” - we should limit the employment costs because I think we have a challenge in respect to entities that are established on good faith, but then they end up spending most of their money on employment costs.   I think it is imperative that a certain percentage and I propose that a minimum or maximum of 30% of the money should not be …

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. MACHINGURA):   Hon. Mushoriwa, you mentioned Page 6, but did not tell us where you are. 

          HON. MUSHORIWA: Sorry, Page 6, on the functions of the Master’s office under CAG there.

          Then I also wanted, Hon. Chair, I do not know …

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Hon. Chair, can he make reference exactly where he wants corrected there?  What is wrong with (b) and (c)?

          HON. MUSHORIWA: It is not that they are wrong per se, but what I need is actually an extension.  For instance, on (c) rather, I need it to then extend to say that, a minimum of let us say 40%, should be invested in equities to preserve capital value.  I actually believe that the Master of High Court – you want their investment portfolio to be in such a manner that there is preservation of value.  So, left without any qualification in terms of investment, I think, it will be problematic. 

So, I would want to persuade the Hon. Minister to say on (c), we should extend and keep a threshold on the amount of monies that should be invested in equities.  We have seen the down turn of entities that end up investing their money in other portfolios at the risk of beneficiaries of these monies. 

          Then tied to that, I would even want the Hon. Minister – unfortunately, we had not put the amendment, but I would have wanted the Hon. Minister to consider this request that in this clause, we should add something that speaks to the employee costs.  Unless the Hon. Minister can then tell me that it is covered somewhere in respect to those things. 

On Clause 3, basically those are my submissions Mr. Chairman, which I believe  they need to be looked into by the Hon. Minister.  I thank you.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Hon. Chair. The first one was why have we left the chair of the board being a judge?  The majority of the work that will be done will be of a legal nature really.  Hon. Chair, based on my experience now, the majority of the disputes that arise need legal solutions and it is very appropriate that we maintain the chairmanship of the Master’s Office being somebody at the level of a judge. 

          Secondly, Hon. Mushoriwa spoke about why one employee from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion?  The Ministry of Finance Economic Development and Investments Promotion has a huge and substantial interest in the Office of the Master in that they are controlling funds in Trust that are deceased estates funds.  If anything goes wrong, the liability falls on Government and also even if there are other funds like guardian funds or whatever funds that are there or funds that have been prescribed, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investments Promotion must give guidance because those then become public funds.  So, you cannot exclude the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investments Promotion from having a representative in a fund that is largely controlling public funds and there is public interest, hence the reference to somebody representing the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investments Promotion. 

          You will also appreciate that they also need a lot of revenue when their estates are being wound up and they must give guidance in that regard.  So, I believe there is a lot of wisdom in maintaining that particular individual in there. 

          Then you also made reference to the reports of the board.  I think I agree, I will request my team to craft it in the manner consistent with other Acts to say within 90 days and then submit that.  I am sure they will bring me some notes to craft it so that the reports of the board to read that within 90 days, they should submit those reports before Parliament.  I agree with that.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. MACHINGURA):  Hon. Minister, while you are still on days, there is also something to do with 30 days after the receipt of the report.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  What was that?

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Yes, there is the 90 days then there is the 30 days.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  I am not seeing the 30 days.  Did you make any reference to that? 

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  On page 5, yes.

          HON. MUSHORIWA:  No, it is actually to say that after the Minister has received the report, 30 days after that, it will then be tabled in Parliament.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Normally Hon. Chair, we say that reports must be laid before Parliament within 90 days after the end of the year.  So, within 90 days, the reports must be laid.  We do not usually couch it to say the Minister must get it in 90 days, lay it in 30 days.  That is not the correct way to do it.  The correct way is simply to say, the Minister shall lay before Parliament, every annual report submitted to him, but we want to combine the two now to say the board shall within 90 days after the end of the year, submit an annual report which the Minister would then lay before Parliament.  That is the standard way that it is, and even if you go to the Constitution, they will simply borrow and insert that.  I will get back to it when I get my notes.  I agree to that amendment.

          The other one was the provision on women.  I am removing that because we have already taken care of that.  It is on page 3 which says, ‘at least three or four of the members of the board shall be women.’  We have already covered it, so we will expunge that from the Bill.

          Then Hon. Mushoriwa spoke about the provision of the Master giving direction to the staff.  Which provision is that one? Hon. Mushoriwa, which one is that?

          HON. MUSHORIWA:  It is on page 2 line 35.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Yes, where  it says, ‘subject to this Act and any directions the Master may give them, the officers referred in that…shall perform such of the Master’s functions whether under this Act or any other enactment as the Master may assign them.’

          Hon. Chair, provisions of the Mental Health Act can actually be required in there to say that if you have someone who is incapable of managing their own affairs, the Master can actually rely on those provisions.  It does not mean that the Master will entirely rely on this particular Act in the administration of the work.  So, the way it is couched is broad enough to ensure that it does not limit them in the manner that they do their work.  The Master may actually do something in connection with the state of a mentally challenged person by giving direction to the staff.  So the way it is, that is correct.

          You spoke about employment costs.  On investments and employment costs, first thing is employment cost.  These are covered under the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act.  It actually regulates how those that are in State enterprises or public entities should be paid and ordinarily they would be paid from the fiscus if there are shortfalls, but in terms of investments, the Bill is actually giving provision that the board can set up an Investment Committee that will take into consideration the need to invest the monies in a manner that you were alluding to.  So that has been taken care of in the Bill to say that the board of the Master should look into that, invest the funds and make sure that they preserve the value as far as possible.

          Hon. Chair, I think I have covered most of them.  So employment costs to standardise those in State enterprises; if you go to and read the provisions of the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act, I think it is very clear how it should be done and the parameters.  It actually indicates if a company is non-performing, these are the monies that you are supposed to pay.  If it is border line or if it is performing very well, this is what you are supposed to do.  It gives differentiation and it is very clear. That is the guideline that is given.  Hon. Chair, before we proceed, I just want to get the proper couching of the amendments that I agree with Hon. Mushoriwa.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Minister, just for brevity’s sake, have you answered the question where he was saying 30% of the money must go there.  Was that your last answer?

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Yes, that will be overtaken because he was saying that employment costs must not be above 30% but I have said employment costs are covered by the provisions and we do not need to put them there.

          Thank you Hon. Chair for your indulgence.  On page four of the Bill, I propose the following amendments between lines 35 and 40 which is titled, 4 (c) Reports of the Board

          “4 (c) (1) The board shall not later than 90 days at the end of each financial year, submit an annual report to the Minister”.

          It will cover what Hon. Mushoriwa was making reference to.  Then the other one on page 3, between lines 35 and 40, expunge that bullet 2 which reads, “at least three or four members of the board shall be women”.  I submit Hon. Chair.

          Amendments to Clause 3 put and agreed to.

          Clause 3, as amended, put and agreed to.

          On New Clause 4:

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Hon. Chair.  Hon. Chair, I am proposing the insertion of a new Clause 4 after the current Clause 3 - New sections substituted for Section 26 of Chapter 6.01.  I will read it because I submitted the amendments late so that Hon. Members can grasp.  “Section 26 of the principle Act is repealed and substituted by -

‘(26) Competition for the office of Executor dative

‘(26) Subject to subsection 2, in every case in which a competition takes place for the office of Executor dative, the surviving spouse or failing him or her, the next or some of the next of kin or failing him or them, a creditor or creditors or failing him or them, a legate or legates shall be preferred by the Master to the office of Executor.

(2) The appointment of every Executor dative by the Master under this section must be approved by the High Court in accordance with this section.

(3) The Master shall on notice of motion to every person having an interest in such estate apply to the High Court for a provisional order appointing one or more executor that is for the deceased estate concerned, supported by an Affidavit of the Master setting forth that there is competition for the office of the Executor, which competition has not been resolved on the date of lodging of the application, together with such of the following affirmations as may be relevant to the case, namely;

  1. a) The Master proposes to make an appointment of anyone or more of the above mentioned persons or classes of persons as executor or executors, giving particulars of the name or names and addresses and addressees of the person or persons so nominated for appointment by the Master and the capacity in which they are so appointed or;
  2. b) There exists any good reason which the Master shall specify in the Affidavit against the appointment of  all or any of the above persons or classes of persons as executor or executors with result that the Master  proposes to make an appointment of a professional estate administrator or some other fit and proper persons giving particulars of the name and address of the professional estate administrator  or persons so nominated for appointment by the Master and the capacity in which he or she is so appointed.
  3. At the hearing of the application, if it appears to the Judge that no good reason exists against the appointment of the executor if nominated by the Master, the Judge shall grant the provisional order where upon the Master shall proceed in terms of Sub-section 5. Provided that if application is opposed, the Judge shall not refuse to grant the provisional order, unless all the persons having an interest in such estate jointly depose that the deponents have agreed that some other person or persons nominated by them appointed as the Executor or Executors that is giving particulars of the name or address.  Names and address or addressees of the person or persons  so nominated for appointment by the deponents and the capacity in which they are so appointed in which event the Judge shall decline to grant the provisional order and direct the Master to appoint as Executor or Executors as, the person or persons nominated.
  4. When granted, the Master shall pose the provisional order to be enrolled in the motion roll for confirmation at the earliest motion quote after the date on which the Judge grants the provisional order.
  5. On the return date for the confirmation of the provisional order, the motion quote shall confirm the provisional order unless there is produced before the court an Affidavit jointly deposed by all the persons having an interest in the estate in question to the effect that the deponents have agreed that some other person or persons nominated by them be appointed as the Executor or Executors if giving particulars of the name or names and addresses or address of the person or persons so nominated for appointment by the deponents and the capacity in which they are so appointed, in which event the motion quote shall direct The Master to appoint as Executor or Executors that is the person or persons so nominated.

Let me just summarise this Hon. Chair for the benefit of Members.  There are scenarios that can arise that a family may not agree on who to appoint as an Executor.  Under the current Act, the Master can appoint an Executor.  This provision we simply including it as a check to ensure that they cannot be a connivance between the Master and the persons so chosen to be Executor.  We are simply saying that if the Master discovered that the family cannot agree on who to be Executor, he can then make an application to the court and clearly state that there has been a dispute and submitting all the facts and the court will then make a determination. 

We are saying when the Master can actually also indicate to the court, if there are reasons, if anyone goes to court, why he also believes it is not necessary but we are putting, including this, to take care of incidences where people may connive with the Master and have somebody appointed as an Executor and he will not take care of the general wellbeing of everyone but will now be dealing with the person that appointed them.   This is just a clause that will check the powers of the Master and request the Master to defer to the court so that the court will be satisfied.  The other reason is leaving it solely on the Master, he will then have a list of people who can be executors and ordinarily, these are solvent estates and the Executor will be paid.  There is room for connivance.  Once you deferred to the court you are actually ensuring that, that is taken care of and there is also confidence in the office of the Master in that the Master will say ‘no we made an application to the court.  It was not me who appointed them’.  So, I move that we insert this new clause Hon. Chair Sir.  I submit.

HON. MUSHORIWA:  We did not have much of this before us but I just want to find out from the Hon. Minister.  One of the major challenges that we have been facing at the Master of High Court is that we have been having these estate management companies or people that claim to be experts in estate management who are being appointed by the Master of High Court as Executors. What has actually happened is that if you check, especially from where we come from in the high-density suburbs where you then find that instead of the beneficiaries of the deceased to then benefit, the money ends up benefitting the Executor.

 I just wanted to find out from the Hon. Minister from the amendments that you have proposed, apart from the Master of High Court taking an application to the court obviously when he takes application to the court, maybe he will have an executor in mind. Do you not also think that amendment should have spoken in terms of qualifications that are necessary because with these new amendments, things will be in order? We know of people that mill around the Master of High Court offices literally taking advantage of families that are in a desperate situation.

          I am just hoping that this amendment will then cure those people that mill around the Master of High Court in terms of them not collaborating or coming up with some agreement with officers at the Master of High Court resulting in their names being put as executors of these estates.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: The motivation to include this amendment after the Bill before Parliament was exactly in part what Hon. Mushoriwa is saying; to ensure that we try to limit as much as possible. In the Act, those that are appointed are indicated that they should be registered with the Estate Administrator’s Council. Here we are now trying to remove that connivance that we are exactly pinpointing to say that people can actually end up knowing each other and if there is a dispute, let us say between Mushoriwa’s Estate and the value of the estate is US$3 million, they are seeing figures - the Master will call his friend to say Mr. Moyo, can you rush here. I want you to be an executor here because the family is not agreeing. In the end, exactly what you are saying, the person who benefits is the executor and not those family members.   We are saying by including this process, we will have checks and balances in the process. We are not leaving it solely in the hands of the Master.

          In the same vein, we are also protecting the Master because he will be now referring to court process to say that it is now the court that confirmed this. If you look at it, we tried to include many processes which I believe once the Bill has passed under regulations, they can clean up and indicate what can actually be required. The whole basis we are speaking is exactly what you are saying. I so submit.

          Amendment to Clause 3 put and agreed to.

          Clause 3 as amended, put and agreed to.

          On New Clause 4:

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFARIRS (HON Z. ZIYAMBI):  I move the amendment standing in my name that:

On page 7 of the Bill, delete clause 4 on lines 28 to 33 and substitute the following (the subsequent clauses 5 and 6 are to be renumbered 9 and 10 accordingly)—

  • New section substituted for section 97 of Cap 6:01

Section 97 of the principal Act is repealed and substituted by—

97 The Guardian’s Fund

  • The Guardian’s Fund established under the operation of Ordinance No. 105 (1833) of the Cape of Good Hope shall be continued under and subject to this Act.
  • The Guardian’s Fund shall be administered by the Master on behalf of the Office, for which purpose the Minister may (for the better administration of the Fund or the safeguarding of its moneys) give any policy direction to the Board in terms of section 4D (“Policy directions as to exercise of Board’s functions”).
  • All moneys received by the Master under section 51, 61, 80, 82 and 93 or otherwise received by him or her in terms of this Act on behalf of persons who are legally incapable or do not have the capacity to manage their own affairs, shall form and become part of the said Guardian’s Fund and due and proper accounts shall be opened in respect thereto.”.

Amendment to New Clause 4 put and agreed to.

New Clause 4 as amended, put and agreed to.

On New Clause 5:

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFARIRS (HON Z. ZIYAMBI):  I move the amendment standing in my name that:

  • Amendment of section 105 of Cap. 6:01

Section 105 (“Prescription of claims to moneys in Guardian’s Fund”)(2) of the principal Act is amended by the deletion of the resuming words (before the proviso thereto) and the substitution of “and on the expiration of that period the debt shall be extinguished by prescription and the moneys concerned paid in equal shares into the Consolidated Revenue Fund and into the funds of the Master’s Office”. 

Basically, it is just giving provision that if there are funds that have prescribed, they become State funds and our laws say all public funds are deposited into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. We have just indicated that subject to the Public Finance Management Act, a provision can be made that the Masters Office can retain some funds for the running of the office. That will be governed by that Act, but it is just making provision for those funds that have prescribed that they should be deposited in the revenue account.

Amendment to New Clause 5 put and agreed to.

New Clause 5, as amended, put and agreed to.

On New Clause 6:

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I move the amendment in my name that:

  1. 6. Amendment of section 106 of Cap. 6:01 Section 106 (“Investment of moneys to credit of Guardian’s Fund”) of the principal Act is amended by the repeal of subsection (2). “(2) No such investment shall be made by the Master without first consulting the Board, which may, for the purpose, establish an committee (to be called the “Investment Committee”) in terms of paragraph 6 of the Fourth Schedule.”.

Amendment to New Clause 6, put and agreed to.

New Clause 6 as amended, put and agreed to.

On New Clause 7:

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. Chair, I am still inserting a new clause after Clause 5 and now it is after the one that we have inserted, so it will be insertion of New Clause 7 after the new Clause 6 that we have inserted, It will now read:-

‘Amendment of section 106 of [Chapter 6:01], section 106, that is investments of monies to credit of Guardian’s fund of the principal Act is amended by the repeal of subsection 2 and the insertion of the following:

‘(2) No such investment shall be made by the Master without first consulting the board, which may, for this purpose, establish a Committee (to be called the “Investment Committee”) in terms of paragraph 6 of the Fourth Schedule.” 

So, now what Hon. Mushoriwa was speaking to saying that the Master must invest the funds, here, we are indicating that the Master should not do it alone but when it comes to investing the funds in office, then the board must know and the board should have an Investment Committee that will assist to ensure that proper investments are done. So, this is the insertion of the new Clause 7 that we are proposing. I so submit.  Thank you, Hon. Chair.

HON. MUSHORIWA: Chair,  is it not possible that we substitute the word ‘consult’ so that we say ‘no such investment shall be made by the Master without approval’.  We remove the word ‘consulting’ and substitute with ‘approval’.

HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Chair, just for clarity, you should explain why you want that instead of this, before I can nod or refuse to nod.

HON. MUSHORIWA: I wanted to cover the aspect where the Master will say, I consulted and even if the board may not possibly agree but the fact that he has consulted, remember, it now says the board will have an Investment Committee.  So surely, I think approval to me would actually sound better rather than consulting.

HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Chair, I agree, I think we will adopt the wording. It makes it even neater because we want the board to have some oversight and be involved rather than leaving it to the Master alone.  So, I think we will substitute, I agree and I will amend by proposal so that (2) will read ‘no such investment shall be made by the Master without approval by the board, which may, for this purpose establish a Committee to be called the Investment Committee in terms of paragraph 6 of the Fourth Schedule. I so submit Hon. Chair.

Amendment to New Clause 7 put and agreed to.

New Clause 7, as amended, put and agreed to.

          On New Clause 8:

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. Chair, I move the amendment standing in my name.  I am proposing insertion of a new Clause 8 after Clause 7.

  1. New section substituted for Section 108 of Chapter 6:01 Section 108 of the principal Act is repealed and substituted by— “108 Audit of books and security of Guardian’s Fund.

          (1) The books and securities of the Guardian’s Fund shall be audited by the Auditor-General or (at the request of Office) by a person registered as a public auditor in terms of the Public Accountants and Auditors Act [Chapter 27:12] and contracted by the Auditor- General in terms of Section 9 of the Audit Office Act [Chapter 22:18] (and if a person is so contracted, references in this Section to the Auditor- General shall be taken to refer to such person).

          (2) The Auditor-General shall without derogation from his or her duties as such or from the generality of the duties imposed upon him or her by this section—

(a) examine such books and securities at such intervals as will ensure that a continuous check is maintained upon all transactions involving the Guardian’s Fund;

 (b) report to the Master any error, omission or irregularity and, if such error, omission or irregularity is not corrected to his satisfaction, report thereon to the Minister.

(3) There shall be paid from the Guardian’s Fund—

(a) such fees and other charges for audit and related services provided by the Audit Office or by a person contracted by the Auditor-General in terms of subsection (1);

 (b) to the funds of the Office such charges and expenses as have been incurred by the Office in the administration of the Guardian’s Fund.” This I think Hon. Chair you recall when we did the Second Reading speech, Members expressed the need to have the Guardian’s Fund being audited and this is a response to that to ensure that we have provision for auditing of the Guardian’s Fund. I so submit Hon. Chair. 

Amendment to new Clause 8, put and agreed to.

New Clause 8, as amended, put and agreed to. 

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Minister, Clause 5 is also talking of a new Section inserted in Chapter. 6:01. That is on transitional provisions. 

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  We are not yet there. We are inserting clauses after the Clause 5 that is in the original Bill.  So all these are insertions.  The original 5 will then be at the end, it will be renumbered accordingly. 

On New Clause 9:

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEBAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Hon. Chair, I move the amendment standing in my name, insertion of new Clause 9 after Clause 8.  It is a punishing schedule because I circulated them late but I have to read so that Members can appreciate.  Section 117 of the Principal Act is repealed and substituted by this one 117 which reads removal of the executor, tutor or curator from office. 

  1. This Section does not deprive any interested part of the right under the common law to initiate action for the removal of an executor, tutor or curator on the ground that his or her continuance in office is prejudicial to the interest of the State in respect of which the executor, tutor or curator was appointed.
  2. If the Master on his or her own motion and after making due inquiry in terms of Section 116, is of the opinion that a executor, tutor or curator ought to be removed from his or her office on the ground that
  3. he is not qualified for appointment to such office or that appointment was for another reason or illegal that he or she has failed to perform satisfactorily any duty or requirement imposed upon him or her, in terms of any law or that he or she is mentally or physically incapable of performing satisfactorily his duties or that such person is no longer suitable to hold of office, then the Master shall proceed in accordance with this Section. The Master shall, on notice to every person having an interest in the matter, apply to the High Court for an order removing the executor concerned from his or her office supported by an affidavit of the Master justifying such removal by reference to sub-section 1(a), reasons that I have read above, or at the hearing of the application if it appears to the Judge that no good reason exists against the removal of the executor the Judge shall dismiss the case but I will get the correct wording because they omitted something and I will come back to it. 

3   Provided that the Judge shall refuse to grant the order if there is evidence produced to him or her and affidavit by any person having an interest in the matter showing that there is good reason not to remove the executor, tutor or curator concerned from his or her office.

  1. Provided further that the refusal to grant an order of removal under this sub-section, shall not prejudice the right of an interested part under the common law to initiate the removal of the executor. This we are repeating, I am removing.
  2. Where an Executor has been removed from his or her office the master shall revoke any letters of administration or confirmation as the case may be which have been granted to such a person. Chair, I just want to check something Hon. Chair if you can indulge me.  Hon. Chair, 4 as it is, is correct, but  I am expunging the one that reads “provided that further, the refusal to grant an order of removal under this subsection shall not prejudice the right of an interested party under the common law.” because it has been mentioned already.  I so submit Hon. Chair.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Minister, on Subsection 3, where you are saying the Master shall, on notice to every person having an interest, apply to the High Court for an order removing the Executor, Tutor or Curator concerned from his/her office supported by an affidavit; will this person continue to act until the matter is heard or they are interdicted so that they do not interfere with the estate?

         HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Hon. Chair, I took note of your observation.  My apologies for the small delay.  Where I have deleted that sub paragraph, I am now inserting this one that says, “ as soon as an Executor, Tutor or Curator receives notice of an application under Section 2 (2) the Executor, Tutor or Curator shall vacate the office until the application is determined and the Master shall be deemed to act in his/her place until the application is determined.  So, I submit the amendment so that it can be captured, but I am sure Hansard has captured what I have said.  I so submit Hon. Chair.

          Amendment to New Clause 9 put and agreed to.

          New Clause 9, as amended, put and agreed to.

          On New Clause 10:

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Hon. Chair, I am proposing again amendments in my name by the insertion of a New Clause 10.  The new Section substituted for Section 120 of Chapter 6:01 which reads, “Sell of property otherwise than by auction” Section 120 (1) if on written application by the Executor to the Master:

  1. “The Executor produces to the Master, an affidavit jointly sworn by all the persons having an interest in an estate supporting the application of the Executor to sell specified property of the State (being property in respect of which the will of the deceased contains no provision to the contrary), otherwise than by public auction and the Master is of the opinion that no good grounds exist for not granting the application.” The Master shall give the Executor the necessary written authority for the Executor to proceed accordingly.
  2. The Master after due enquiry, is of the opinion that it would be to the advantage of persons interested in the estate to sell any property belonging to such estate otherwise than by public auction or
  3. All claims creditors against the deceased estate as have been lodged with the Executor will be met if any property belonging to such estate were sold otherwise by public auction, the Master may depose to the affidavit referred to in subsection 2 in support of an application for the Executor to be granted the necessary authority to act.
  • The Executor shall on notice of motion to every person having an interest in such estate, apply to the High Court for a provisional order to grant to the Executor the authority to sell any specified property belonging to such estate by private treaty supported by an affidavit of the Master, setting forth the basis on which the application is made by reference to the subsections that I have mentioned before together with adequate particulars of the property that will be the subject matter of the authority.

 

          3, at the hearing of the application, if it appears to the judge that no good reason exists against the grant to the executor of the authority concerned, the judge shall grant the provisional order whereupon the executor shall proceed in terms of subsection 4, provided that the judge shall refuse to grant the provisional order if there is produced to him or her, an affidavit by any person having an interest in the estate showing that there is good reason not to grant to the executor the authority concerned.

          (4), when granted, the executor shall cause the provisional order to be enrolled in the motion roll for confirmation at the earliest motion court after the date on which the judge grants the provisional order.  On the return date for the confirmation of the provisional order, the motion court shall confirm the provisional order unless there is produced to the court, an affidavit by any person having an interest in the estate showing that there is good reason not to grant the executor the authority concerned and if no such affidavit is produced or the affidavit does not, in the court’s opinion disclose good reasons for the refusal to grant the order, the court shall confirm the provisional order”.

          Hon. Chair, maybe just a quick explanation to the mischief that we want to cure in this clause.  We do not want one or two persons to just connive with the executor and sell the property and others will discover that the property has been sold.  We want the Master to follow certain processes that will lead to the court making a confirmation and once the court process has commenced, everyone that is involved in that particular estate needs to be informed. If they do not deposit an affidavit challenging that, then the process can continue.  This is to guard against connivances in certain instances and also to protect, should there be litigation because the Master will then now say, I followed the process, we went to court, you did not turn up and all the due processes were done.  So this is the reason why we are proposing the insertion of this clause.  I so submit.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Minister, may you also read subheading 4 under Clause 10.

HON. Z. ZIYAMBI read again subhead (4). 

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Also clarify subparagraph (a), it is the executor who is producing to the Master an affidavit that he claims has been signed by everybody having an interest in the estate.  Is this okay? Can these people not appear before the Master or the judge in person than to have somebody submitting a writing on their behalf?

          HON. ZIYAMBI: This is okay because the executor knows, he is familiar with all the beneficiaries and if he deposits the affidavit, the assumption that everyone acts in good faith, it will be fraudulent, in which case the normal course of the law will take place.  However, the assumption is that if you are family and you have all signed the affidavit, it suffices to just deposit it.

          Amendment to New Clause 10 put and agreed to.

New Clause10, as amended, put and agreed to.

          On New Clause 11:

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL, AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Chair, I move the amendments standing in my name by insertion of new Clause 11 after Clause 10.  The new section substituted for section 132 of Chapter 6, 01. Section 132 of the principal act is repealed and substituted by the new 132, regulatory powers of the Master's office. New 132 - (1), the Master’s office may make regulations providing for any matter which by this Act is required or permitted to be prescribed or which in his opinion is necessary or convenient to be prescribed for the better carrying into effect of this Act and generally for the management and good conduct of the business of Master’s office.

          (2), without derogating from the generality of subsection 1, regulations may provide for (a) the custody and preservation of records, impurities, and valuable effects of the Master’s office; (b) the payment of the money into and out of the guardian’s fund; (c) the fees which shall be payable in respect of the administration of estates of deceased persons or of the estates under curatorship or tutorship; (d) the fees which shall be payable in respect of any act, matter or thing done or caused to be done by the Master or in the Master’s office; ( e) how fees referred to in paragraph c or d shall be paid; (f) the functions of estate administrators and insolvency practitioners in their dealings with the Master’s office subject to such modifications as maybe specified by the provisions of this Act or any relevant Act to estate administrators and insolvency practitioners; (g) the conditions of service of members and employees of the Masters’ office; (h) penalties for contraventions of any such regulations not exceeding a fine of level 10 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both such fines and such imprisonment.

          (3), regulations made in terms of subsection 1, shall not have effect until they have been approved by the Minister and published in the Gazette.  I so submit.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you Hon. Minister.

          Amendment to new Clause 11, put and agreed to.

          New Clause 11, as amended, put and agreed to.

          Clause 5, now Clause 12, put and agreed to.

          On Clause 6, now Clause 13:

          HON. MUSHORIWA:  Mine is a small amendment on this newly renumbered clause.  On Page 11 of the original Bill, between lines 15 and 20 (b) that says, ‘shall convene a special meeting of the board on the written request of not fewer than two members’.  I think we should amend that by deleting the word, ‘two’ and say ‘three’.  I do not believe that a special request should be made by two people on a board of around nine people.  A third, I think, would be a fair position, otherwise we end up having a special meeting and the chairperson will be inundated with so many requests.  I thank you.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Hon. Chair.  I agree, I propose that we amend that and remove two and put three.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

          Amendment to Clause 6, now Clause 13, put and agreed to.

          Clause 6, now Clause 13 as amended, put and agreed to.

          Fifth Schedule, put and agreed to.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  For the purposes of clarity, what originally was Clause 6, is now Clause 13, comprising of the Fourth and Fifth Schedules of the Bill.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported with amendments.

          Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Earlier on I indicated that Consideration of the Criminal Laws Amendment, Protection of Children and Young Person’s Bill [H. B. 4, 2024] will be done later on.  I therefore, with leave, Madam Speaker, move that Consideration of the Bill be done forthwith.  I thank you.

CONSIDERATION STAGE

CRIMINAL LAWS AMENDMENT (PROTECTION OF THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSON’S) BILL, [H.B. 74A, 2024]

          Amendments to Clauses 3, 4, insertion of new clause after 4, substitution of Clause 5 now Clause 6, substitution of Clause 8 now Clause 9.  Amendment of Clause 9, now Clause 10; amendment of Clause 10, now Clause 11.  New clause inserted after Clause 11, now Clause 12, and a Schedule Section 13, put and agreed to.

          Bill as amended, adopted.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

CRIMINAL LAWS AMENDMENT (PROTECTION OF THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSON’S) BILL, [H.B. 74A, 2024]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Members from both sides for the excellent work that was done in ensuring that we come up with these provisions that protect our children from sexual predators.  Madam Speaker, there was a gap and we needed to deal with this.  We are also thankful to His Excellency, for putting a stopgap measure to ensure that our children are protected.  I want to applaud the House for diligently going through this Bill and passing it in this august House.  You will forever be remembered as a Parliament that took a bold step to move the age of children from 16 to 18 in terms of the protection of our young persons.  I thank you.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Twenty-two Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

 

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