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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 19 AUGUST 2021 VOL 47 NO 77

                                                  PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 19th August, 2021.

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

PETITION RECEIVED FROM SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

ASSOCIATION (SODA) AND MR. A. MAKARA OF SOUTHLANDS

RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

  THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): “I have to

inform the House that on 18th August, 2021, a petition was received from the Social Democrats Association (SODA), Executive Director, Tauya Chinama, imploring Parliament to amend Sections 91 and 121 of the Constitution in order to reduce to twenty-five or thirty years, the minimum qualification age for residents and Senators so that youths can be included in key decision making positions.

The petition was deemed inadmissible as the petitioners did not comply with the rules of procedure on petitions.  The petitioners have been informed accordingly. I also have to inform the House that on 17th August, 2021, Parliament received a petition from Mr. A Makara, the

Chairman of the Southlands Residents Association in Harare beseeching Parliament to uphold and protect the Constitution by repealing laws that infringe on the fundamental rights of children and contradict national objectives.

The petitioners also requested Parliament to liaise with responsible Executive authorities, namely Education, Local Government and councils in coming up with a common understanding on the need for schools in the community of Southlands.

The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social

Amenities.

HON. MKARATIGWA: Madam Speaker, I rise on a matter of urgent public importance observed in the mining sector for many decades now in Zimbabwe. The problem is that there are many dynamics which are taking place and experienced in our mining sector. The core problem is witnessed in mining houses that have completely or temporarily closed down, those under care and maintenance, as well as those that have generally liquidated.

Madam Speaker, we are inundated with requests, follow-ups and suggestions targeted at alleviating challenges being faced by victims of the decisions made by these investors as well as approaches towards resolving the challenges by the Government and investors to a larger extent, and these entail putting the companies under judicial care and maintenance. Not doubting the nobility of the decision, nevertheless, there is less consideration of the plight of the worker who is usually the main victim. Those in management in these companies usually get their full benefits as they have direct control over distribution of the remaining meagre resources. They also have the privilege to access strategic organisational information from the onset of the plans to windup for example, and that decisional basis is not accessible to most employees in the lower organisational rungs. Worse-off, even where the lower-level workers get the information, they mostly do not have the capacity to quickly move-on to other alternative livelihood options outside the organisation since they are normally in a monthly rate race through which they continuously work from hand to mouth.          Of particular concern Madam Speaker, is when these companies fail to afford remunerating these workers, they are often left with no economic starting point.  Decisions to terminate their contracts is done with limited options availed for the worker.  Further, in most instances, their pension contributions may not have matured or made insignificant with time due to external economic pressures, for them to draw any meaningful benefits. These people further rarely afford the appointment of lawyers to represent their interests effectively in courts of law, hence their victimhood has not been easy to overturn.

While that applies to lower-level employees which I can call labour in general, evidence shows that those in management positions afford lawyers and usually get their benefits as well as other interests adequately represented. The benefits usually cover the transfer of ownership of their company houses, cars and handsome terminal packages; leaving the other group with no social safety nets such as housing, fees for their children and medical access for their families among others.

The core issue extends to the fact that usually these victims continue to occupy company compound houses. This is happening at Shabanie-Mashava Mine, ZIMASCO Shurugwi, Hwange Colliery, Kamativi, only to mention but a few.  Some of the victims relocate to rural areas for an affordable lifestyle and to  eke a living but their children still going to schools and in search of employment will remain in these houses. They are however victimised, living in limbo, always involved in dispute and constantly hopeless. Whereas some have somewhere to go as an alternative, some effectively do not have anywhere else to go. Those who have leaner options are usually given hope that the company will re-open and these workers will be the first to be considered for the jobs, hence, they wait in anticipation that sometimes become hopeless.

These compounds are becoming a hazard Madam Speaker Ma’am. Maintenance of social services such as provision of clean water and sewer services is no longer an issue on the company’s priorities.  The residents also neither have financial capacity, let alone legally vested authority to make necessary alterations to property in line with new infrastructural demands. These houses are becoming a threat to lives, the morality of our rising youths and condemnation of those affected, to early deaths.  Victims are succumbing to High Blood Pressure and other exacerbations to their underlying conditions and other social vulnerabilities due to shocks of realities that they are now experiencing.     What is appalling is, in many cases, these victims appear to have retired their hope of atonement by the private mining investors while many continue to trust that Government will one day bail them out. Some of these victims have already died and most of them are suffering the twin blow of abject poverty and negative health effects emanating from the shocks that they are experiencing as a result of the degenerative conditions from the time of their employment termination.

Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe is beseeching that the Ministry of

Mines and Mining Development, that of Local Government and Public Works, as well as that of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare issue a joint Ministerial Statement in that regard. Otherwise, the lives of people whose employment is being terminated in this sector, are in abeyance. The issue of housing, pension benefits and any outstanding debt has to be urgently attended to and resultantly put to closure.

Most of these people are already disconnected from municipal water supplies and electricity due to their failure to pay the bills. Ownership of these properties are a ghost that the Government has to deal with forthwith.  Amounts of outstanding employment benefits are to a larger extent, no longer meaningful due to inflation. The only hope is Government and it should definitely intervene if we have to avoid continual reproduction of the unacceptable evil of poverty in our society. We have to continue to transition towards sustainable development, leaving no one behind, in the path that Government is charting through

National Development Strategy (NDS) 1, Vision 2030 and many other

Government policies and strategies. I thank you.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 be stood over, until Order of the Day Number 4 has been disposed

of.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to. 

SECOND READING

ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT COMPLAINTS COMMISSION BILL

[H. B. 5, 2020]

Fourth Order read: Second Reading: Zimbabwe Independent

Complaints Commission Bill, [H. B. 5, 2020].

HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.

I wish to add my voice to the debate of this very important Bill.  Before I go into the merits of the substance related to the Bill, I want to begin by making a plea to all Hon. Members of this august House, in particular to the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to appreciate that this is a Bill which has come about because of a provision in the Constitution.  Therefore, it is actually mandatory for a

Bill to be passed in terms of Section 210 of our Constitution.

I want to give a background to this issue Madam Speaker Ma’am and say that there has been a delay in the gazetting of the Bill. In terms of the Constitution which we adopted in 2013, it was mandatory for a mechanism to be established in terms of that particular section.  The fact that it has taken so long- more than seven years, shows that there was no appetite, desire or willingness. In short, there was no political will on the part of the Executive to give life to this very important provision.  It actually took Veritas, Heal Zimbabwe and Rashid Mahiya to go to the Constitutional Court in 2015 that the Executive be compelled to bring in this particular Bill.  Even then, it took five years before judgement was given by the Constitutional Court.  This finally happened on 23rd September 2020, giving Government a period of 45 days within which to gazette the Bill.  Even then, they did not meet that deadline and the Bill was only gazetted on 27th November, 2020.  I have given this background Madam Speaker Ma’am to illustrate the fact that the Government was not very keen.  It was very reluctant to bring about this Bill.  I am making these submissions so that I can appeal to all Hon.

Members across the political divide to appreciate that this is a Bill which is being enacted in terms of a provision of the Constitution.  We must give effect to the provisions of the Constitution.

I want to outline the key words in respect of that particular section.  It talks about an independent, effective mechanism.  We must therefore ensure that the Bill that we are going to pass is going to meet that criteria.  Unfortunately, the Bill that is being gazetted does not meet those standards.  I therefore beg all the Hon. Members to appreciate that whilst it is good that at long last, as it is said that it is better late than never, the fact that this Bill has come before us today does not mean that it is a perfect Bill.  We need to come up with a good Bill to ultimately fulfill the desires of the framers of the Constitution who felt that we must have this mechanism in place.  The reason this came about is in the past, our security services have fallen short of the standards which I expected of them.

Complaints have been raised over the years against members of the

Army, Police, Intelligence Organisation and other security services.  This is because the complaints were being swept under the carpet.  They were not being handled properly and that was the imperative which led to the framers of the Constitution to come up with a provision that there must be a mechanism which is independent of the security services themselves.  Therefore, there is an onerous responsibility which has been placed upon us as Legislators to give effect to the provisions of Section 117 of our Constitution, which provides that as the Legislature, we must make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the country.  We must ask ourselves whether this particular Bill actually meets that criteria.  This is the reason why I believe that we must have a bi-partisan approach.  We must put different political considerations aside and act in the good of the nation so that the Bill actually protects the citizens when it becomes an Act of Parliament, so that we come up with a mechanism which is effective and we come up with a

Commission which has got teeth which can bite.  If any transgressions or acts of misconduct have occurred, that Commission or mechanism is able to deal with that particular problem.

When we come now to the Bill, I am going to talk about the key provisions which I think need a relook.  That is the reason why I am going to plead with the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs representing the Executive and with fellow Hon. Members to have improvements on the Bill as it stands.  In respect of the appointment procedure, it is unfortunate that we have just followed the trend that the appointment of the Chairperson must be done by the President.  It is my respectful submission that in this particular instance, that is not appropriate for two reasons.  Firstly, in terms of our governance structure, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the

Defence Forces of Zimbabwe and I believe that he/she is conflicted.  Whoever will be the President at any particular point in time is conflicted and compromised and it is not proper to give those powers of appointment to a person who is so conflicted.

The second problem Madam Speaker is that in terms of, I think it is Clause 2 (2); it is the President again who is given the power to administer the act unless the President assigns another person.  This is another reason, and even greater reason why it is not proper for such a person to appoint the Chairperson of the Commission.  This is a clause which I believe, at the Committee Stage, must be revisited so that we come up with a different procedure, even if we were to say that the position is advertised, interviews are held by the Committee on Standing

Rules and Orders and that recommendations are then made by that

Committee to the President for the appropriate person to be appointed.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, another cause for grave concern relates to Clause 23, which provides that the dismissal or removal of commissioners is in terms of the Public Entities Act.  The problem with that is that it gives too much latitude, the provision is too wide. When we look at other commissions, their removal is the same as that of a judge. In other words, we then have an independent tribunal which is set up to look into the matter of the suitability of a commissioner.  What we have at present is undesirable.  It therefore follows that those commissioners will be compromised. They will be afraid of the security of tenure of their appointment as a result of which they will not be able to discharge their obligations in the manner that is expected by the Constitution.  I therefore implore the Hon. Minister of Justice to come to that stage he is going to be flexible and appreciate the need.  For that to happen Madam Speaker, it is important for us to speak with one voice.

I was gratified that on Tuesday Madam Speaker, when we had the Government Chief Whip and Hon. Mushoriwa moving amendments together to the extent that the Hon. Minister had to accede and in a similar vein, I will be pleading with my brother, the Government Chief Whip that we operate on that same level that when it comes to the debate on the provisions of this particular Bill, we are going to act in unison for what is best for our country.

I now look at the issue of the prescription period. During the public hearings, there was grave concern about the period of three years which is given as the limitation. There are several problems in respect of that provision. Firstly, you will find that in terms of international law, human rights violations, crime against humanity – there is no statute of limitation. Secondly, in terms of our criminal law, ordinary crimes, the prescription period is 20 years. In respect of murder, there is no prescription period whatsoever. You can raise an issue which occurred

60 years ago as long as there is evidence.

I therefore, submit that because we are dealing with issues which related to misconduct, we must not have such a short prescriptive period and people must not confuse with retrospective application. I know that a lot of people will be uncomfortable when we talk about

Gurukurahundi, when we talk about June, 2008 but the bottom line is, we are talking about going forward from the time when the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament. This is a provision which is meant to last in perpetuity.

We must not have a situation where we are limiting it to three years. At most, let us deal with the 20 years which is in terms of criminal law. The common law position is for crimes that they only prescribe that after a period of 20 years. Three years is for civil matters and these are grave matters. When we look at the definition clause of what are acts of misconduct, they include crimes such as rape and torture and by their nature particularly crimes against females, girls and women, there is usually a problem in terms of the reporting. It takes a long time.

So, it is not proper and it is not fair to limit it to three years. People should be able to raise these complaints even after five or ten years, as long as there is substance to the complaints. I therefore submit that we must have that flexibility. If you look at Clause 29, in terms of the crafting of regulations, I also submit that it is not proper to have either the President or the Minister assigned by the President to come up with the regulations. Why should we not give the power to the Commission itself to come up with its own regulations? Do they not have the capacity to do so? That is my submission that when we come to the Committee Stage, we must look at that particular clause.

Another issue of serious concern to the citizens of this country relates to the provision which allows for the appointment of observers who will sit with the Commissioners. There are two problems to that. The first one is that people have got fear in terms of the way some of these people have behaved and there was serious concern as to why we should have observers, particularly from serving members of the force.

The mischief is to ensure that things which were being swept under the carpet are investigated.

So we are now going to have the commissioners sitting with observers who are serving members of any of the security services which is going to compromise the integrity of the Commission. It is going to erode the confidence of the citizens of this country. At most, I will submit that only retired members, if they need expertise or people who have got some experience in security related matters, then let us take those who have retired, who no longer have got an interest in the affairs of any of the security services to ensure that things which were being swept under the carpet are being investigated.

This is because if we do not do that, we run the risk of people not having confidence in the whole Commission and as I indicated earlier on, we must ensure that we give life to this Commission by ensuring that it is effective and that is an area which we need to deal with. I know that some of the members of the security services were not comfortable with a situation where the Commission is given wide powers. I submit that

the powers should be strengthened so that, that particular Commission can once and for all deal with such issues.

I want to round up by coming up with this conclusion that those transgressions are not confined to issues of a political or a quasi-political nature. As a practicing lawyer, I have come across instances where rights of accused persons had been violated when the police have been investigating the cases. I am not even talking of cases which are of a political nature. It is important that if such complaints are to be raised, they are dealt with appropriately.

In concluding Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am going to say it again         that let us speak as a united people to make a good law, to make a Commission which has got teeth which can bite. I thank you and I rest my case.

(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to

add my voice pertaining to the Bill under debate, the Independent Complaints Commission Bill which is the Bill that the Portfolio

Committee on Justice and also Hon. Gonese who has just contributed,

had indicated this is the Bill that is provided for in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. My major area of scorecard is to just state that as you may be aware, there have been quite a number of complaints where the security sector - the police, army and other arms of security intelligence have been accused of various human rights violations maybe on an individual basis where people take advantage. You know rogue elements within the security sector that take advantage of...

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Mushoriwa.

HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I think colleagues on your

left are being too political instead of debating issues. They are bringing in the security forces and everybody. I do not think that this law is intended to deal with the security forces. So I think if they can confine themselves to the real debate, not to be particular about specific institutions of Government as if they stay in Mars. Thank you.  

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, may we please

debate what is on the Bill. May I please remind you that all Hon. Members who are going to debate are supposed to debate for a maximum of ten minutes.  That is the limitation time that we have now considering the limited time that we have in the House.  You can proceed Hon. Mushoriwa.

(v)HON. MUSHORIWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.   I think

the Hon. Chief Whip did not have a chance to go through this Bill.  When we talk of security sectors, they do not belong to anyone but they belong to the country.  When we talk about rogue elements within the military, police and the intelligence, nobody can claim ownership of those.  Those are State institutions and this Bill is meant to address some of these problems because the public did not have a way where they could actually raise their complaints when they feel that their rights have actually been violated by the powerful offices, like the ones for security services.  My thinking is that, as what Hon. Gonese has said, this Bill should actually have been before this august House long back soon after the enactment of the new Constitution but it took so long for this to happen.

Madam Speaker, what we need to do in my view is that if this

Independent Complaints Commission is to effectively discharge its duties, if it is there to get civilians out there to come and lodge their complains, it is my view that one of the things that we need to do is to make sure that this Commission is reachable and does not sort of threaten citizens.  The Commissioners that are appointed should actually come from a number of sectors of this country so that they will actually be in a position to give an independent view and allow members of the public to be convinced that it is a board that can actually take views and complains when they are harassed or intimidated by any member of the security sector.

The other thing which is also crucial in my view, I think Hon. Gonese actually mentioned it, is the manner in which the appointment will be done.  These people do not have anywhere to go to. The composition is not good. Persons who masquerade as security officers will actually be nipped in the bud. We have had cases and instances where certain people have been extorting and harassing people because they know that after harassing people, these people do not have anywhere to go.  If someone says I work under the President’s Office, they know that nobody will then go to the President’s Office and say, do you know this person because the person will be afraid.  The moment this Commission ….

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, your time is up,

can you wind up.

(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, you took my time and

the Hon. Chief Whip as well.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Your time is up Hon. Member, thank

you.

(v)HON. WATSON:  Good afternoon Madam Speaker.  I would

like to reinforce the point that Hon. Mushoriwa was trying to make about the independence of the Commission.  If you look at the Bill, the first objective of the Bill is to do with Section 210 of the Constitution by providing an independent and effective mechanism for the investigations of misconducts by members of the security forces - could the Chief

Whip take note.  Also, that Bill must be interpreted so as to preserve the

Commission’s independence as always the election of commissioners and appointment of commissioners is always eventually in the hands of the President. For this Commission to work effectively, those appointments need to fall outside the sphere of any of the three arms of the State, quite frankly, but how you do that, you would alter the Bill to achieve that, I do not know.

On the other hand, the Bill has features that cause doubts on the commissioners’ independence also.  There is no express statement as there is in Section 235 of the Constitution in regards to the independent constitutional commissions that the Commission will be independent and not subject to the direction or control of anyone.  I really think that these are very important facets to consider in order for the good that is in the Bill to be effective and for it to serve Zimbabweans as it is envisaged in the Constitution.

I would also like to say that I am not going to repeat all the points stressed by Hon. Gonese.  These should also be taken into consideration; the timeframes for investigations, for claims and for all other issues.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

     (v)HON. S. BANDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me

this opportunity to contribute to this Bill.  The Independent Complaints Bill has come out at the right time.  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister because the courts have said we should have this Bill.  The recommendations from the Motlanthe Commission noted that we needed to have an Independent Complaints Commission Act.

If we go to Clause 3, it seeks to give the Commission independence.  In a way, that independence is not really coming.  I will make a suggestion.

Clause 6.5 disqualifies non-citizens from being commissioners yet if we look at the Motlanthe Commission, it was led by a foreigner so that we have got some form of independence.  In my view, it would be better to have even non-citizens because they are more likely to come in with a different opinion and independent bracket in their minds.  They are best placed for this role as they will not be partisan.  We call for integral and honest people to be commissioners.  I prefer SADC or AU

Commissioners to be appointed to bring total independence to the Bill.

The nature of some of the work requires foreigners like President Motlanthe and Mbeki or any other commissioners that may be seen to be

fit.

Clause 2.2 says that Commissioners can be dismissed on any grounds.  The grounds are too wide.  Somebody would be a Commissioner for a year and because what they are saying is not necessarily what is required to be heard, they can be fired.  So

Commissioners have no security of tenure.  I think that is something that needs to be looked at when we go to the next stage of the Bill.

Clause 5 must also allow Commissioners to inspect cells of prisons for security services even when there are no complaints because we do not know if they say anyone has been abused and now they are in those cells or prison.  We also need a prison that does not degrade them but which suits their status.

The other issue which has not been spoken about concerns the Bill particularly Clause 13 (2) and 14 which are limiting the Bill to just three years.  By the time this Bill is going to be passed, it means that what happened on 1 August 2018 will not be discussed.  What happened in 2008, and for example Gukurahundi and many other things that have arisen over time may not be included.  This is against the recommendation of the Motlanthe Commission.

In the social media, there were some reports of accusations saying this one made Itai Dzamara disapper and so forth.  We were expecting some of those people and then they would be able to give us information on the whereabouts of Itai Dzamara.  Limiting the number to three years has to be looked at.

I will lastly look at Clause 15, this clause does not state in what form complaints will come; whether in person or through a representative.  Further, we do not know how many commissioners are going to provide over a complaint.  I think those nitty-gritties have to be tied down.

In conclusion, I support the Bill but I think it requires some amendments.  I also call upon the Minister – 2023 is near the corner.  We were also looking at a situation whereby in the Fourth Session we can have the Electoral Amendment Bill. I thank you.

HON. BRIG. GEN.  (RTD.)  MAYIHLOME:  I would also want

to add my voice to the Independent Complaints Bill. I have just a few points but I think they are very important for us to always bear in mind when dealing with issues that are constitutional.

Firstly, I applaud the contributions by the Committee Chairperson Hon. Mataranyika as well as the other contributions from Hon. Members to this debate. I would like to firstly emphasise that the institutions we are talking about; the security sector has statutes that already govern the internal discipline.  These statutes include the Defence Act and the

Police Act.  Members should not be too worried that the Independent Complaints Commission is going to cover up everything because every institution that we are talking about here is appointed by the same head of State and with the same considerations for integrity and utmost good faith.  All those institutions are supportive of this Bill in the manner in which they contributed.

The Independent Complaints Commission Bill is not about the institutions.  We need to emphasise this point.  It is about rogue members and those incidences that are not covered by existing statutes.  My plea is that as we craft this Bill, we should not conflict on already existing statutes like the Defence Act and the Police Act.  We should be supportive that there is no protection of members who are errand or who violate the law outside the Defence or Police Act.

Secondly, errant or rogue members of the society still have the same constitutional rights like everyone else.  The issues of them being treated as if they are out of this world will be in violation of the Constitution because everybody should enjoy the Bill of Rights.  The issues of no bail, suspension without pay and other custodian sentences without options of fines and so forth – that was suggested by members of the public during public hearings.  I think we tend to violate the constitutional rights of individuals.

My other point is that while we hear Hon. Members argue that three years is too short for prescription, my view is that the same rogue members or same society must understand that they need peace and stability, guaranteed defence and some of the things would be done in utmost good faith, hence security forces or the rogue members of the security forces as alleged, must be protected from false allegations.  We have had a lot of false allegations being made against members of the security forces in the past and we think that their reputation should be protected to ensure that they are not tarnished.  Finally, the issue of representation Madam Speaker, I hear some Hon. Members here saying that serving members should not be seen anywhere near the hearings because that will intimidate witnesses and so forth but let us remember that it is everybody’s constitutional right to be represented by a person of your own choice.  So the security services, even the rogue members should be given that option.  I believe that the security forces whether you are serving, they observe the laws of the land.  Even now when you are a serving member, when you go to the High Court, you respect the authority of the court.  Those serving members, if they are genuinely representing accused persons, should be allowed, in my view to participate because at the end of the day that expertise is required.  If there is any intimidation, the law should take its course.  With those few remarks Madam Speaker, I want to rest my case.  I thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Madam Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 24th August, 2021.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 8 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 9 has been disposed of.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE,

HOME AFFAIRS AND SECURITY SERVICES ON THE PETITION

FROM THE SUNNINGDALE 1 RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME:  Madam Speaker, I

move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and

Security Services on the Petition from the Sunningdale 1 Residents Association (SIRA) on the continued alienation and marginalisation of the coloured community due to the double zero identity classification code.

HON. S. K. MGUNI:  I second.

HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME:

1.0   INTRODUCTION 

The Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services conducted an inquiry into the petition received from the Coloured Community. The petitioners were aggrieved by the continued alienation and marginalisation of the Coloured people in Zimbabwe, mainly as a consequence of the double zero (00) identity classification on their national registration certificates. They were concerned that the

“00” Code was responsible for the majority of their tribulations including the failure to benefit from several government empowerment programmes and exclusion from employment in the civil service among others. To that end, the Committee compiled this report highlighting its findings, observations and recommendations.

2.0   OBJECTIVES OF THE ENQUIRY

To investigate and establish the extent to which the double zero classification on the national identity registration cards of the Coloured people has impacted on their social, economic and political conduct and well-being and recommend ways of addressing the shortfalls.

To compile a report detailing the Committee’s findings, observations and recommendations to be tabled in Parliament.

        3.0 METHODOLOGY 

On 2 March, 2020, the Committee interviewed the Permanent

Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage and the Registrar General in order to establish the validity of the claims made by the petitioners and possibly find ways to address the petitioners concerns. The petitioners were also invited to an oral evidence meeting with the Committee on 14 December, 2020 where they were given the opportunity to justify their claims.  The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage further appeared before the Committee on 29 April, 2021 and apprised the Committee on the Ministry’s position regarding the concerns raised by the petitioners.

4.0 BACKGROUND 

There has been an outcry from the Coloured Community for recognition in terms of nationality and citizenship status. They argued that the double zero classification on their identity cards was responsible for their undeserved suffering as evidenced by their continued alienation and marginalisation. The community challenged the irregularities existing in some local pieces of legislation which they blamed for perpetuating the colonial evils of discrimination and violating the freedoms and rights of various individuals among the Coloured race in Zimbabwe. In particular, the double zero (00) classification on the identity cards of those born to mixed-race parents was seen as a devious colonial system designed to segregate people on the basis of their colour and race. In the Zimbabwean context, the Coloured individuals with a double zero coding on national registration documents were considered citizens whose place of origin remained mysterious despite having been born to parents who lived in the then Rhodesia and now Zimbabwe.

Such a scenario amounted to loss of identity and deprivation of selfpride, self-worthiness and a true sense of patriotism associated with the concept of nationality.

The concerned community acknowledged that the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) 2013 enshrines the various freedoms and rights accorded to all persons living in Zimbabwe. Specifically,

Section 35(2) of the Constitution stipulates that ‘all Zimbabwean citizens are equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship and are equally subject to the duties and obligations of citizenship.’ In light of the forgoing, the Coloured Community were worried about the inherent deprivation of their nationality on the grounds of a colonially inherited registration system that had caused more harm than good on them and their descendants. They alleged that the Coloured people in Zimbabwe had quite often been victims of abuse by public officers as they were usually treated unfairly in a discriminatory manner on the grounds of their colour and subsequent

‘lack of nationality.’ It is against this background that they petitioned Parliament to consider their plea in search of justice.

5.0 THE COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS 

                5.1 Oral Evidence from the Ministry of Home Affairs Permanent

Secretary and the Registrar General

        5.1.1 The Permanent Secretary pointed out that the double zero (00) identity classification was a method inherited from the colonial system of registration. He explained that the country used the National

Registration Act (1976) which was promulgated by the colonial regime. He further stressed that it was very possible to revise the coding on national identity cards of the affected people through statutory instruments.

5.1.2 The Registrar General reiterated that the recoding could be solved administratively in consultation with the Ministry’s Legal Department. He however made it clear that in spite of the double zero classification used on the national registration cards of Europeans, Asians and the Coloured people in the colonial era, they were granted citizenship status and thus, were not excluded from enjoying any of the rights entitled to the citizens of Zimbabwe.

5.1.3 He noted with concern that Africans from such countries as Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique living in Zimbabwe during that time were treated differently from the aforementioned groups as the later were recognised as aliens by the colonial regime. Nevertheless, he remarked that the current Citizenship Act had addressed that gap as there were provisions for granting citizenship status to Africans originating from any of the countries in the Sothern Africa Development

Community (SADC) region.

6.0  Submissions by the Petitioners

         6.1 Mr Petersen Q, who represented the Sunningdale 1 Residents Association (S1RA), informed the Committee that the basis of the petition was on continued alienation and marginalisation of the Coloured people as a result of the double zero classification on their identity cards.

He highlighted the following as areas of concern:

  • Identity crisis due to the double zero coding
  • Crisis of association especially at childhood
  • Difficulties in accessing services at public institutions such as hospitals and the Civil Registry Department.
  • Challenges in accessing land ownership (under the land redistribution programme).

       6.2.0   Mr Nyangani C, co-founder of S1RA, informed the

Committee that the double zero classification placed several limitations on the affected individuals in terms of access to rights, especially those entrenched in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

6.2.1    He narrated the ordeals and complications encountered by the Coloured people especially at the Registrar General’s Offices countrywide when applying for national identity registration and travel documents. He highlighted the trauma associated with the eventual stereotyping the Coloured people are subjected to by officers at the department. He also cited gaps existent in such legislative instruments as the Citizenship Act and the Birth and Death Registration Act among others.

        6.3.0 Key highlights of the submission 

6.3.1 The petitioners, therefore appealed to Parliament for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to come up with legal instruments and administrative reforms which would ensure that adults and children belonging to the Coloured Community had access to documents that officially confirm the re-coded district of origin on primary identity registration and travel documents.

6.3.2 They also appealed to Parliament for the Minister of Home

Affairs and Cultural Heritage to draw up robust Customer Service

Policies and Procedures on the Code of Conduct of employees at the

Registrar General’s office. They asserted that the Code of Conduct should be the binding norm by which all employees at the Registrar

General’s office would conduct themselves in their individual and professional capacity as they relate with each other across the system and with their clients. This call was made following several grievances by individuals from the Coloured Community who were complaining of being subjected to inhumane treatment at the Registrar General’s offices.

6.3.3 S1RA asserted that the Registrar General’s office should implement a solid complaint handling mechanism that would enable public complaints against the employees, to be effectively scrutinised and addressed. This, in their view, would help mitigate or eradicate all forms of discrimination against minority groups and improve on service delivery.

6.3.4 In specific terms, the petitioners called for attitudinal change among frontline officers at the Registrar General’s offices countrywide and proposed the need for ‘National Service Orientation and training’ so that the office served the interests of all citizens and non-citizens equally, timeously and courteously.

6.3.5 Representatives of the association categorically implored the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to devise and implement a modernised integrated registration system which would allow citizens to access services from any part of the country without unnecessarily incurring travel expenses.

6.3.6 They expressed concern over the sidelining of their members from the Government’s land acquisition and redistribution reform programme despite their desire and expectation to be allocated land. They blamed the double zero classification code for apparently depriving them of their nationality and consequently affecting their citizenship status. They noted that eligibility for land allocation was premised upon registration with one’s village headman; a situation which furthered their exclusion since they did not have villages of origin. They argued that the same predicament was common in various other national empowerment programmes.

6.3.7 They also pointed out that the double zero classification was responsible for excluding the Coloured Community from employment in the Civil Service even though the affected individuals were willing to serve the country and contribute to its development and prosperity.

6.3.8 Furthermore, the petitioners suggested that addressing the identity registration crisis would be a major stepping stone towards alleviating the plight of the Coloured Community in terms of enjoying the benefits accorded to all citizens of Zimbabwe.

6.3.9 The petitioners cited the double zero code as the underlying factor responsible for brewing up the identity crisis which required immediate attention.

 7.0 Response from the Ministry 

7.1 The Committee received both verbal and written responses to the concerns raised by the petitioners from the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Hon Minister K. Kazembe. The following were noted from the submission:

  1. National Registration for all persons in Zimbabwe was governed by the National Registration Act [Chapter 10:17] which came into force in 1976.
  2. District codes ranging from 02-83 were introduced in the National

Registration Regulations of 1977.

  • Code “00” and “01” did not appear in the Regulation Acts that established the coding system and neither was there a statutory provision in that regard.
  1. The “00” coding was merely a policy position which had been maintained to date.
  2. The Ministry noted that the policy was purely a product of colonial segregation which had outlived its purpose and thus, could neither be justified nor sustained in an independent Zimbabwe.
  3. The Ministry held three successful meetings with representatives of the Coloured Community in an endeavour to address their concerns.

7.2 The Ministry had therefore resolved to take the following action in response to the petitioners’ concerns:

  • The Ministry was committed to re-coding the National Identity Documents of the affected Community and the Registrar

General’s office was ready to implement the decision as soon as authority was granted.

  • Recodification would be done on the basis of the District of Registration as opposed to the conventional District of Origin concept.
  • For previously registered individuals, those who had not yet obtained identity documents and children issued with manually generated birth certificates, the District of Registration would determine their District of Origin.
  • The District of Origin for newly born babies applying for computerised birth certificates would be derived from the District of Birth. I thank you.

+HON. S. K. MGUNI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Mayihlome together with his Committee, for bringing such an important report which was prompted by the petition which was submitted to Parliament of Zimbabwe, identifying people who felt that they were left out, despite the fact that they are Zimbabweans.  Zimbabwe got its independence in 1980 and I have noted that there are some people who were left behind, who are not being recognised and this is the Coloured Community which feels that they are being despised.  This has prompted them to advocate for their recognition.

In Hon. Mayihlome’s report this community is being shunned and alienated from the Public Service which employs Civil Servants.  Government employs other Zimbabweans but leaves this community out.  So this community needs to be taken care of.  Looking at countries like America, there was a period where a similar issue was raised in the 60s - I think it is 1965 and this issue of segregation was separating people.  In Zimbabwe, even though this issue was raised by the

Coloured Community concerning their identification as the ‘zero zero’, I believe that everyone has a right, according to the Zimbabwean Constitution, including the right to employment.  Everyone has got the right to be taken care of by the Government of Zimbabwe.

When Government sees its citizens, they believe that everyone is equal.  In our equality, even the Bible says before God, we are all equal.  There is no reason that we should have a community which is left out.  I believe that this petition of the Coloured Community who are our kith and kin, these are people who live with us.  They are part of the greater community and I believe that they deserve to be catered for.  Looking at the period these people have been ignored, 41 years after independence, they see us as a super race, as if we are different from them.  They believe that they are stateless, that no one cares for them.  I believe now is the time to take care of them so that they have access to opportunities and access to land which we benefited from.  They should also be found to be able to get opportunities to enroll their children in different schools.

I would like to support the report that was presented by Hon.

Mayihlome that this ‘zero zero’ should be looked into.  If Black people removed the subjugation of Blacks and forgot to remove the same on the Coloured Community, now is the time to remove that.  I thank you.

  HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the

opportunity to debate on this very important issue.  I also want to thank the Chairman of the Committee for giving us this report which I also feel  is critical for this country.  Coloured people as we call them, are part of our people.  They are part of Zimbabwe, they are Zimbabweans and I therefore  agree with their petition that the coding in itself is actually discriminating them.  It is like you are saying they have no home.  If we look at the ‘zero zero’, personally, I come from Masvingo, Gutu. It shows 27 on my ID Number, showing that if somebody looks at that, I have a particular source or home.  Anybody who looks at my ID can tell you that I come from Gutu but ‘zero zero’ is like you are from nowhere.

        Obviously your rights, your value as you are looked at by other fellow citizens will actually go down.  You would not be enjoying if you have no source but this person was born somewhere.  He has parents coming from somewhere, so we do not have to consider them as people of no origin.  I actually want to support their plea that a Cabinet Authority comes about that will give them a specific source.  Even those who already have IDs should be allowed to change those IDs so that they have peace of mind.

As people of Zimbabwe, we have a very strong history of being - especially the majority Blacks, of being discriminated upon by White superiority; the British who had colonised us and we know how it feels when you are discriminated against, especially in the country that you call yours.  So, when you look at this situation of the Coloured Community, they are part of us.  They share with us, a majority of them share the same languages and so forth, yet they are still considered to be people of no origin.  I feel it should be incumbent upon us as people of Zimbabwe to quickly change this policy.  It is not helpful.  It is not progressive.  We do not want it.  Those people who are being discriminated against are our people, they are our relatives and we share a lot of things, neighbourhood, in our communities. They identify themselves as people of Zimbabwe.  They have no other home.  They are totally Zimbabweans.  I really pray that the petition be upheld and recommend to Cabinet to then change the policy and a Cabinet

Authority be given to the Registrar-General’s office to ensure that coding zero, we do not need it.  We are a very progressive country, united and as Zimbabweans, we love everybody, including even the foreigners who are staying in our country.  We have given them homage;  we respect and support them in many ways.  Now we are faced with our own people who already carry blood because in their blood veins run our blood.  This is because they were born from one Zimbabwean.  Some were born here from our sisters or brothers.  Coloureds are not only coming from our sisters, we also have Zimbabweans who may have married the white race.

I really recommend that we approve this and Cabinet Authority is sought to ensure that the Coloured Community is treated fairly and equally.  We will be respecting our Constitution and also the Bill of Rights.  Every Zimbabwean must have same access to all the benefits and rights.  Madam Speaker, I want to say the petition came at the right time in the New Dispensation with progressive Members of Parliament here present.  I think it is critical that we recommend for the changing of the Code 00.  We do not need it in Zimbabwe.  It is not helpful.  I thank you.

(v)HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker!

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

(v)HON. T. MLISWA:  They are not called Coloureds but they are called mixed race.  Can people change to mixed race.  By referring them as Coloureds, it is discriminatory.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mliswa.  As it

stands, on the Order Paper it was written like that.  Maybe for the purposes of going forward, we will see how best we can then be able to rectify that.

(v)HON. T. MLISWA:  I stand guided Madam Speaker.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Noted Hon. Mliswa.  We will see how best we can navigate on that since we already have a motion that was moved with that name.  We will see how best we can be able to accommodate that.  Thank you.

HON. MASIYA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would want to add my voice to the report that came from the Portfolio Committee chaired by Hon. Mayihlome based on the citizenship of the Coloured Community in Zimbabwe.  Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Committee for coming up with quite a good assessment of the situation concerning Coloured people in Zimbabwe.  I agree very well with the recommendation that the Committee made to bring on board the Coloured people of Zimbabwe.  However Madam Speaker, it is surprising that this petition comes 41 years after independence.  After independence, this community never left Zimbabwe, it was here.  I think it was not very sure what was going to happen within two or three years to come.  So, it looks like these people were hesitant to be part of us.  They enjoyed in a way being a 00 citizenship.  They enjoyed very good favours from the white community.  We should not forget and I want to think up to this day …

(v)HON. PRISCILLA MOYO:  On a point of order Madam

Speaker, the Hon. Member is not audible.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Masiya, may you please speak louder and also may you please switch on your gadget.  May you please connect?   

HON. MASIYA:   There is no good network this side.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  May you please come to the front.

HON. MASIYA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was saying I welcome the report coming from the Committee chaired by Hon. Mayihlome.  I agree with the recommendations that they made in connection with the Coloured Community.  I thought we should maybe tell them who they are and who they were during a certain period of our being Zimbabweans.  The Coloured Community enjoyed the 00 citizenship when this Zimbabwe was run by whites before independence.  After independence, they chose to stay away from being true Zimbabweans and that is why we are seeing this petition 40 years after independence.

I just want to hope that it is not an isolated case.  I am not sure whether this association covers the greater part of Zimbabwe.  I still feel there are those Coloured people who are enjoying their association with whites who have still wanted to remain with the 00 citizenship.  Out there, we see these Coloured people getting priority from white run companies.  It is there and should also stop if they want to be recognised as true Zimbabweans and if they want our identity as Zimbabweans.

After independence, they shunned our local politics.  They were nowhere, either in the ruling or opposition politics, they stood aloof. I do not understand why they thought to be away from others whereas in the past they were active. It is only now after independence that they thought otherwise because they enjoyed the 00 citizenship of Zimbabwe. When Zimbabwe decided to take land from their fellow 00 white people, they were not happy and they did not participate. They thought something was going to come...

HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: On a point of order

Madam Speaker. I want to correct my colleague. I was one of the people who went to war. We had some of the Coloured people like Mike Grey and some others who fought during the liberation struggle who they participated effectively. So, it will be amiss if we allow people to say some of them are more aligned to the whites when we had some who were in the liberation struggle. It is like Africans; some of the Africans were selling out during the liberation struggle because they were aligning themselves with the whites whilst we have got some who went to fight for the liberation of this country. I thank you Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Thank

you very much for that correction. Hon. Masiya, you might not have known that but at least it is good so that when you speak, you speak from an informed position.

HON. MASIYA: Thank you Hon. Chair. What he is saying is an

isolated case. I am not saying as a person I have not seen a coloured working with blacks. That is not true. We are dealing with an association – the whole community and that is why I am trying to emphasise the grant part of the community not an isolated case. I know some coloured people who are active but this is a case where we want to involve everybody from the Coloured Community. Thank you for that and it is true there were those who participated in the liberation struggle but that was an isolated case and that is why you mentioned only one name. It was an association that left Zimbabwe to join you to fight against fellow whites.

Hon. Speaker, these people did not participate actively after independence in favour of our local political parties. They chose to stand wishing the whites to come back. When we went as Zimbabweans, we chose to say we want our land back, again they were weak and they did not join us fully. I am also a Zimbabwean and I know of some big companies where these people enjoy support from white managed companies in Zimbabwe. You can come from South Africa with lower qualifications but you find them to be bosses because of that complexion that they have.

I agree with the Committee that we should move as a country to accept these people but they should also start to accept being Zimbabweans because they are dual citizens in that there should be a white and a black. If the father was white, they should choose to be coming from the mother’s district and if the father was black and the mother white, they should choose the father because we are in Zimbabwe. They should always find some way to be Zimbabweans not what we were seeing that they were not sure whether they should go to South Africa or Switzerland or wherever where the white colour could have come from. I wish the Committee very well to have these people be considered and the National Registration Act to consider them as locals but they have a duty that they must change in favour of being Zimbabwean. I thank you.

(v)HON. I. NYONI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Firstly, I would like to thank the Committee on Defence and Security for presenting a detailed report on the petition of people of mixed race which was presented by Hon. Mayihlome and seconded by Hon. Mguni. We are all quite aware that the Constitution or our country has been clear on equality and non-discrimination. The issue of equality and nondiscrimination is clearly captured in our Constitution. Every person has the right not to be treated in a discriminatory manner...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nyoni, can you

switch on your video? Just switch on and go ahead.

(v)HON. I. NYONI: I was saying that the issue of equality and non-discrimination is clearly captured in our Constitution. Every person has the right not to be treated in a discriminatory manner on such grounds as their nationality, colour, race, tribe, etc. The people...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nyoni. The way

you are dressed Hon. Nyoni is unparliamentary. I am sorry that you cannot continue.

HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want

to add my voice as well to this report from Hon. Mayihlome.  I just want to say that in 2020, we found Kenya recognising Shona people who went  to Kenya during religious pilgrimage and  were staying in Kenya being considered to be people who were not citizens of Kenya.  It was quite interesting to find our own people, the Shona people, being taken and considered as citizens of Kenya.  They were given identity cards which they did not possess in the past.  So, I feel as a lesson from our regional level, we can also consider the coloured community as Zimbabweans like anyone else and give them the due respect they deserve.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to say the coloured people have made some contributions to this nation.  If you look at sport, the likes of

Hamid Danah, Peter Fanuel- I think these people gave a good name to Zimbabwe, you could actually find people getting excited about what they were doing in sport. In a way, that was one way of driving our own nation forward.  I also want to take this petition as one item that is bringing a community that was isolated by way of engagement and reengagement, we need to consider them.

Mr. Speaker, there are many people even after the war who had committed certain crimes to the extent that we were not supposed to be seeing them living but if we reconcile, we will be doing justice to our own country and we will work towards the development of Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

(v)HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to thank Hon. Mayihlome for bringing this petition from Sunningdale 1. Much as it concerns people of mixed race, it also concerns other people even blacks as I shall debate in this motion.  The alienation by using coding or even just to say alien has been going on for a while.  I want to appreciate the recommendation by the Committee that indeed this discrimination must go.  Hon. Speaker Sir, the word ‘alien’ must go, be it by descent and any discriminative aspect because they are ultra vires  the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  I am not a coloured Hon. Speaker but my identification card, my birth certificate  indicate that I am an alien until it was corrected later in my adult life.

Hon. Speaker Sir, I grew up as an alien where I was born.  I was like any person, even a white born in Zimbabwe, whether we like it or not, by descent. Section 36 of the Constitution says anyone born by descent, Section 37 says by birth and Section 38 by registration.  All those people are Zimbabweans so they must not be discriminated when they are getting their documentation.

Mr. Speaker, in 2000 and 2005, I voted, but 2018, I nearly failed to vote.  I have my identification card but I was being discriminated because it has a suffix which indicated that I was alien.  So it barred some people from voting but I thank God that we have moved past all that and we are all being taken as Zimbabweans.  My brother failed to renounce his citizenship, he never set his foot in Malawi but he failed to vote in 2013 because his identification card indicated that he renounced the citizenship.  He was told to go and renounce his citizenship at the Malawian Embassy in Harare which is in my constituency.  When he went to the Malawian Embassy, they told him that there is no record of him being Malawian.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Order

Hon. Member, you are out of order, you are no longer debating the coloured issue, you have actually personalised the motion.  Please can you dwell on the motion?

(v)HON. S. BANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The issue of coding - indeed makes Zimbabweans to be different from other Zimbabweans. The conclusion and the recommendations that have been given by the Committee are very welcome as they try to make us all to be Zimbabweans.  The recommendations might also have gone to the issue of dual citizenship because the issue of dual citizenship was agreed to in the Constitution only by birth, it affects people of mixed race and some of them may not be enjoying this particular benefit.  So even the Constitutional Court, the case of  Mutumwa Mawere  the RegistrarGeneral and three others, Case Number CCZ4/2015, technically, it allows for dual citizenship as a strong case drawn in Zimbabwe.  So mixed race people must not be discriminated against.  I also call upon the responsible Ministry to ensure that when they are trying to get the dual citizenship, they do not face any problems.

In conclusion Hon. Speaker, I support this motion as it is highly inclusive at least to develop Zimbabwe.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

 (v)HON. T. MLISWA:  I would like to appreciate the contribution by Members of Parliament on the motion brought in by Hon.

Mayihlome. What is important is for us to build the country which is...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May you please switch on your

video, we want to see you.

(v)HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Speaker, I have got a device which cannot switch on to video.  I have been having problems with network, I have been trying to.  May I seek your indulgence?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You can go ahead.

(v)HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  This is important for our country to be a country when we live with everybody together.  The previous speaker talked about the great...

HON. NDEBELE:  What is the name of the device that you are using?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member.  Can

you give him the floor?  Let him debate.

*HON. NDEBELE:  Uri kushandisa chii Shumba?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order please!

(v)HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Ndebele, order.  You are not the

Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  May you go ahead Hon. Mliswa.

(v)HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We had Carlos Max – if you all recall, he was a great soccer player who played for CAPS United but he was nicknamed Murehwa.  He was given mutupo yet the identification card had a double zero.  The fact that the people nicknamed him Murehwa shows that he was acceptable as a Zimbabwean.  Being given a totem means a lot in our culture.

Kana wapuwa mutupo, zvinoratidza kuti you are part of us.  Ndiri Soko Murehwa, kasi how can you have a person who has been given a totem without an identification number?  To me, it is important that we embrace everybody and may this be the start of a new era.  For a very long time, we seem to even accommodate the Chinese in our country more than our own people.  Not only that, I am worried that our sovereignty which we enjoy must encompass those who were part of us.

You will also know that at the Heroes Acre, we have got the late national hero Senator Culverwell.  He contributed immensely to this country.  He was appointed Minister at one time.  That speaks volumes of the mixed race in how they have contributed to the well-being of this country.  We went to school with them.  We were together.  The first oppression from the whites, no wonder why they were segregated, if we look at their neighbourhood, Arcadia, Sunningdale and all that; it was the white people who put them in those positions and locations just the same way that they did in putting the blacks in Highfield, Mbare and so forth.  Those were marginalised areas for a people who were discriminated and looked down upon.

As soon as Independence was there, we were supposed to rise with them as a people because they suffered. At the same time, it is important that they are recognised for the role that they played in the independence of the country.  Without that, they would not be where they were.  Blacks were treated better than the mixed race at the time.  That is why I do not use the word coloureds because it is derogatory in its nature but we shall learn to use mixed race because their contribution was immense.

If we talk of sports like basketball and cricket, they have been playing in the national team.  When you represent your country at national level, surely the people who were looking at this documentation were also wrong not to correct that.  A correction was supposed to be taken because the moment you represent your country, at basketball and soccer, we had a lot of them who played for the national team.  How do you allow somebody to represent your country Zimbabwe when their identification is not in order?  To me, it is important that we look back and take a corrective measure.  They deserve to be where they are. They are a great people and they are part of us.  They have been marginalised and they must also be part of the empowerment initiatives which are there in every way, but how can they be empowered when their identification does not talk about them belonging to this country?  Children have been born in this country of mixed race.  As a result, they pay the price for something that they do not know.

I would like to endorse this motion because it actually makes us realise that we have more work to do as a people in being united rather than thinking of other people.  While Zimbabwe is open for business, it must be open for Zimbabweans first.  That is what I have always been saying.  They must benefit on Government policies that are there; the national housing programmes, land reform programmes, empowerment initiatives for the youth and so forth.

It was a deliberate measure by the racist regime to be able to marginalise these places.  What you see in the townships and the marginalised places where the coloureds are – there are more beer halls than recreational facilities.  The racist regime at the time made sure that those who were rich were accommodated in places where there were country clubs, where they would enjoy recreation but in places like

Arcadia, Sunningdale, Highfield and Mbare they put more beer halls.  The reason why they put more beer halls is that they believed that the only thing that these people can do is to be drunk.  When they are drunk, they go and abuse their wives and children and they become a society which hates each other.  This was a strategy to plant hate amongst the people.  They equally went through that.

We must be able to even go as far as having rehabilitation centres in which those who suffered or were traumatised are seen to be brought to equal terms with everybody else.  Zimbabwe is open for everybody else.  We cannot talk of Zimbabwe being open for business before Zimbabwe finds itself as a people and people are given due recognition for who they are at the end of the day.

The other issue that keeps us being marginalised and not thinking is the names which were given to us.  We still are obsessed with names like Arcadia and Sunningdale.  When the white man was doing that, they had a meeting for that.  Let us come up with names and change these just like we have changed the roads and given them new names, like Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Road; Robert Mugabe, Josiah

Tongogara, Julius Nyerere and so forth.  The suburbs must also change according to the times as well, just like the schools are changing names as well.  These names should not be there forever because they are not good and they remind them of an era when they were looked down upon and were traumatised, neglected and isolated by the racist regime.

Changing of names helps at the end of the day.

Even kwedu kuchivanhu, ukapuhwa zita rasekuru rikanetsa unochinjwa zita kuti uve uri zvauri nokuti unopedzisira wakuita zvaiita sekuru.  Kana vaiba, unoramba uchingobawo asi ukachinjwa zita unoregera zvekuba.  The same applies again. Changing of names is important in giving them a new identity.  Once we give them a new identity, then they feel to be a part of us.

I would like to thank those who brought this motion. It clearly ushers in the new era for Zimbabwe where we must treat our own first before anybody else.  We cannot live in a country where people born here are segregated; they have no other place.  The only place we have is Zimbabwe.  Let us find ourselves so that we can be one and whatever we achieve is bound to have that substance of ubuntu.  Ubuntu means involving everybody.

I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Mayihlome and Hon. Mguni who also seconded it for such a noble idea and it is important that this Parliament is seen to be taking corrective action.  We must have the legacy so that people will say this Parliament was able to do A, B and C.  May we also from a marginalised point of view, go a step further by also having Members of Parliament of mixed race as well.  If we can have the disabled, war veterans, youth and women; they also deserve to be engaged.

We had that system and there is no reason why we cannot have that.  It does not mean if you are not the majority, you cannot have a few that can represent them in different forms. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

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

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the House reverts to Order of the Day, Number No. 6.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE

CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. N.

  1. NDLOVU): I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the floor to respond to issues raised by His Excellency, the President of the

Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa in his State of the Nation Address.  I also want to thank His Excellency the President for the support he continues to give us on issues pertaining to our environmental management, climate change preparedness and response as well as tourism growth, particularly during these trying times of COVID-19.  I want to specifically appreciate his clear direction and expectations as espoused in the State of the Nation Address with regards the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to speak specifically on the issue of the Minamata Convention.  This Convention as we know, seeks to phase out and eventually ban the use of mercury during mining activities and in doing this, the motivation is the acknowledgement that mercury has long term negative medical effects on individuals who come in contact with it.  Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, kidneys, lungs and immune system.  It is also capable of curtailing the development of the nervous system in unborn babies, thus causing learning disabilities.  Targeted studies in the Kadoma mining areas revealed that there is high mercury content in mothers’ breast milk and this is a cause for concern.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Members of Parliament both from the Senate and the National Assembly for supporting

Zimbabwe’s quest to ratify the Minamata Convention which as we know had been signed by the Government of Zimbabwe as far back as 2013 and was awaiting ratification.  The challenge we were facing was that although we had signed the convention, we were unable to exercise our voting rights.  We could only participate by making statements as observers and not as a party because we had not ratified that Convention. In that respect, we could not influence the discussion, pace or direction of serious decisions that were being taken which affected us.  By ratifying the Convention, we became a full party to the Minamata Convention.  In this regard, I wish to express our sincere gratitude for the support we received from this House.  I would also like to advise this House that His Excellency has since signed the ratification papers and we have forwarded them to be deposited to enable us to participate fully with effect from this year.

Mr. Speaker Sir, concerns were raised on the fate of our artisanal and small scale gold mining (ASGM) sector after the phasing out of mercury in the mining process.  I wish to assure the Hon. Members that a pilot project is underway in Makaha under Mudzi Rural District

Council.  The participants in the project are the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  They are exploring the use of alternative gold processing methods such as borax and cyanidation.  My Ministry is working closely with that of Mines and Mining Development to promote the new model so that the artisanal small scale gold mining (ASGM) sector is not prejudiced by the new development.

Mr. Speaker Sir, concerning the Forest Amendment Bill, I want to thank the Hon. Members for supporting my Ministry in our attempt to protect our forests.  The Bill, as you may be aware, had been before this House for a long period, spanning almost two years.  I wish to acknowledge the input we received from Hon. Members both at Committee level and as the full House.  The changes you recommended which we adopted are very important and will enable us to arrest and indeed reverse the pace of deforestation, which everybody agrees had reached alarming levels.  Currently, my Ministry has intensified efforts to bring to book those responsible for the depletion of our forests.  The amendment of the Forest Act will provide further legislative backing and make our efforts easier through the imposition of sufficiently deterrent penalties on the offenders.  In this respect, I want to acknowledge that the National Assembly has since passed the Bill and the same is now before Senate.  In fact Mr. Speaker Sir, it went through Senate but because of an amendment, it came back to this House where we hope it will be concluded favourably as well.  Indeed, had it not been for COVID-19 restrictions, perhaps by now the Bill would have been long passed.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I now turn to the Parks and Wildlife Act.  I wish to advise this House that in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) of 2013, we are expected to consult widely as we review our Acts.  However, due to COVID-19 induced restrictions, the process of consultation was affected and a number of meetings had to be postponed.  In this regard, I wish to indicate that we have finally completed that process and we are now finalising the principles, which we hope to present before Cabinet within the next two weeks.  Thereafter, the same will be tabled before Parliament for your consideration.

Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency the President, in his State of the Nation Address emphasised on the need to achieve a US$5 billion tourism industry by 2030.  One step towards this goal is the amendment of our Tourism Act, which was last amended 26 years ago.  The tourism principles have been tabled before Cabinet and the Draft Bill has been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Office for consideration before it can be presented in Parliament.  The amendment seeks to achieve the advancement of tourism from long standing focus on international tourism to the inclusion of domestic tourism as well as ensuring the universal accessibility of the tourism product.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is my hope that the legislative amendments that we seek to table before this august House will go through with the unreserved support of the Hon.

Members.  I thank you. 

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

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 23rd August, 2021.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I move that all Orders of the Day, be stood over until Order of the Day Number 30 has been disposed of.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIFTH REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON

ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE AND TOURISM ON DINDE

COMMUNITY PETITION

Thirtieth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Fifth Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and

Tourism on Dinde Community Petition.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE,

TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. N. M.

NDLOVU): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me begin by acknowledging receipt of the report presented by the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the National Assembly on the 22nd of July, 2021on the Dinde Community Petition.  I want to sincerely thank the Committee for a thorough and objective report.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I also appreciate the initiative by the Dinde Community to exercise their constitutional right as provided for in terms of Section 149 of the Constitution.  Citizens are allowed to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including the enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation.  This is particularly commended in that for the environment to be effectively managed, the Government must engender values, attitudes, skills and behaviour consistent with the sustainable environmental management.  Community participation is critical for the country to achieve a clean, safe and healthy environment as envisaged in terms of Section 73 of our Constitution.   Indeed, the Dinde community is empowered in this respect.

Coming to the report done by the Committee, I took note of the Literature Review and interviews that were carried out, including site visits and meetings with affected communities.  The methodology was all-encompassing.  I also noted that the Environmental Management Agency, a parastatal under my Ministry, was invited to give oral evidence to the Committee.  Most of the technical issues and processes were discussed to a greater detail.

Given the above background Mr. Speaker Sir, let me not labour the House by going back to the background of the matter as well as the processes.  I kindly request with your indulgence to directly attend to the recommendations that were proffered by the Committee, the recommendations were as follows;

  1. The Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, immediately amend the Environmental Management Act to clearly spell out the scope and standards to be followed by registered consultants on stakeholder consultations by 31

December, 2021;

  1. The Environmental Management Agency introduces creative and intelligent capacity building initiatives for communities in mining areas to understand the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes and provide the local leadership with requisite

information that empowers them to handle consultation processes by 31 December, 2021.

Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to address the recommendations as follows;

  1. While my Ministry appreciates the recommendation made by the Committee to amend the law, I want the Committee and the House to take note that the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27] as read with Statutory Instrument (S.I) 7 of 2007 provides for adequate legal safety nets to guarantee that public consultations are done on all proposed projects. Mr. Speaker Sir, the law provides as follows in

Section 10 (4) of S.I 7 of 2007 - I will quote four sections;

Section 10 (4) provides that ‘before any Environmental Impact Assessment report is furnished to the Director General, the developer shall carry out wide consultations with stakeholders.’;

Section 10 (5) provides that, ‘during a prospectus and

Environmental Impact Assessment report review period, the Director

General shall verify whether full stakeholder participation was undertaken when the Environmental Impact Assessment report was prepared.’;

Section 10 (6) provides that, ‘expenses associated with the stakeholder consultation process shall be borne by the developer,’ and;

Section 10 (7) provides that ‘the Director General may advertise in the print and electronic media when a prospectus or Environmental

Impact Assessment report is being reviewed.’

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Project Developer is expected to carry out wide consultations with stakeholders.  Our legal understanding of the insertion of the term ‘wide,’ is to ensure that all key stakeholders are consulted.  The safety valve is again provided during the review process where the Director General has an obligation to verify the adequacy of public consultations done.  They do this by holding similar consultation processes, mainly for purposes of verifying that indeed, the said stakeholders were consulted.  The above sections of the law have been in operation since 2007 and consultation processes have mostly worked well to the satisfaction of all key stakeholders both directly affected and those interested.

In terms of the Environmental Management Act, stakeholders are further guaranteed of their right to be consulted through the appeal process.  However, they start with the Director General and if one is not satisfied, appeals to the Minister responsible for environment and if still not satisfied, appeals to the Administrative Court.  I say this because my assessment, particularly deriving from the case in hand is that, it is not the processes that contributed to the situation leading to the petition.  Certainly, the need to comply with the COVID-19 protocols played a part as well as other issues that are adequately covered in the report including general misunderstandings where some attended consultations but later we have the view that it was not a consultation process.

Just to add, to date there are over 21 000 impact assessments that have been submitted to the Environmental Management Agency.  Each of these reports has a component of public consultation.  This Dinde Community Petition is the first of its kind, that should indicate the strength of the legislation that has stood the test of time but indeed, there has been instances where appeals have been successfully handled internally by EMA and in rare instances by the Office of the Minister.

My considered view Mr. Speaker Sir, is to allow my Ministry, through EMA to improve on administrative arrangements where necessary, and of course, advocacy so that communities are fully empowered in terms of knowing their rights during the consultation process.  I wish to highlight however, that we are in the process of reviewing the EMA Act for purposes of aligning it to the Constitution. We will take this opportunity to interrogate possible areas of strengthening the Act.  It is after all intended to save our people and the environment.

In terms of the recommendation number two on community education and awareness on all mining areas, my Ministry through EMA, has a fully fledged department responsible for environmental education, awareness and publicity, structured and targeted education and awareness programmes will be rolled out in all such communities as recommended.

It is my view that my Ministry should give you a full report on these training programmes by 31 December, 2021. My Ministry has already started wide consultations to ensure awareness raising and getting feedback from our communities.  To that end, my Ministry convened a stakeholder workshop from 12 to 14 May, 2021 with Senator Chiefs in Kadoma that was officially opened by the First Lady, Her Excellency Amai Mnangagwa as the patron for the environment.  The meeting was very insightful and key points and decisions were agreed upon.  The strategy is to cascade these workshops to various sections of the society to include youths, women and other vulnerable groups of society.

        We believe in taking the Ministry to the people for effective management of natural resources in the country.  All the Ministry’s programmes are geared towards this philosophy and that includes fire awareness programmes and projects, consolidated gardens, cultural tourism villages, beekeeping projects, national tiller programmes, waste recycling projects, environmental school clubs, campfire programmes, global environmental fund projects and environmental committees, just to mention a few.  I thank you.

(v)HON. MUSARURWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  First, I

would like to thank the Hon. Minister for taking his time to respond to our report.  As a Committee, we have taken note that he is going to strengthen the Act.  I want to thank all Hon. Members who contributed to this debate.

I therefore move that the House adopts the report, that this House takes note of the Fifth Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism on Dinde Community Petition.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number 15.

                 HON. MPARIWA: I second.

                 Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

POLICIES AND FRAMEWORKS THAT DRIVE THE YOUTH

AGENDA SECTOR TOWARDS THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC

AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION AGENDA

HON. MAVETERA: I move the motion standing in my

name that this House:

DESIROUS to uphold the Constitution and to protect it at all times;

COGNISANT that Section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable measures including affirmative action programmes; to ensure that youths, that is to say, people between the ages of fifteen to thirty- five years-

  1. have access to appropriate education and training;
  2. have opportunities to associate and to be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of

life;

  1. are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues to economic empowerment;
  2. have opportunities for recreational activities and access to recreational facilities; and
  3. are protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse;

ALSO, COGNISANT that the founding values and principles which bind the State and all institutions and agencies at every level include, among other things, recognition of the rights of youths;

ACKNOWLEDGING that any measures and programmes for the

youths must be inclusive, non-partisan and national in character;

DESIROUS to promote youth inclusion and influence in public policy with the main objective of increasing and improving youth participation in the broader economic sphere in order to harness the youth demographic dividend;

NOW, THEREFORE, RESOLVES, that

  1. A Caucus of influencers and youth experts, led by sitting Hon Members of the National Assembly, be assembled to focus on policies and frameworks that drive the Youth Agenda Sector towards the National Economic and Social Transformation

Agenda;

  1. Hon Members of Parliament in their various constituencies prioritise youths in resource allocation and programming;
  2. Hon Members pursue innovative initiatives and strategies that bring together the youth sector and the various stakeholders for the purposes of promoting participation and mainstreaming in public and private sector programming in the country.

HON. MUSARURWA: I second.

HON. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to move a motion in my name.  Hon. Speaker Sir, We really want to applaud what has already been put in place to make sure that the inclusion of young women and youth is put in place in this country.  I am sure we have had a lot of demography that we have always spoken concerning the relevance of young people in this country.

We believe that as a young people of Zimbabwe, we stand a chance to be included, especially in the economic transition of this country.  We also need to understand that indeed, Section 20 of the Constitution says that there is need for us to be able to mainstream young people in making sure that they get involved.  We need to understand that youth constitute 67% of the population of Zimbabwe.  There is a saying that, it is the person who is holding the gun who leads the struggle but for me, I am saying, it is actually the person who has the gun that counts, who actually leads the struggle.

Mr. Speaker, we believe that as a young people of Zimbabwe we stand a chance for us to be included, especially in the economic transition of this country.

Hon. Speaker Sir, we also need to understand that indeed Section 20 of the Constitution says that there is need for us to be able to mainstream young people in making sure that they get involved and also there are reasonable measures that have to be put in place to make sure that young people are included in the economic transition of this country.  Hon. Speaker Sir, the Constitution talks and provides that all institutions and agencies of Government at every level should make sure that at least they have programmes that ensure that youths will be able to access appropriate education and training and have opportunities to associate and be represented and participate in political and economic spheres and also afford opportunities for employment and other avenues of  economic empowerment.  Again, they should also have opportunities for recreational activities and also access to recreational facilities.  Lastly Hon. Speaker Sir, to also be protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse.

Hon. Speaker Sir, as we are in this House, we have always said and we have always talked about it, that when you look at the numbers of the young people in this august House, they are very much limited.

Therefore, Hon. Mr. Speaker Sir, because of the limited numbers of young people that are in this august House, we are very happy that indeed His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa came up and said now it is time for us to be able to have 30% of a quota to go into young women. What we are saying is, we are having 30% which is specific to councils and getting women involved in the local authorities.

Again, we also had 20 seats which were allocated, which we were supposed to  benefit in this National Assembly.  Hon. Speaker Sir, it enhances the capacity and includes the young women to be involved in the economic transition of this country.  We need to look at it holistically and say the numbers are a bit minimum.  Since the numbers are minimum, what needs to be done?  As young people, we feel we need to be very much included in all the programmes.  As young people, we should be desirous of making sure that we promote youth inclusion.  We want to make sure that at least we are able to influence public policy in making sure that young people are included.

Hon. Speaker Sir, we also had the likes of us being able to get access of establishing a youth desk in the Ministry.  We are happy that it is the provision which is there.  What we are really looking forward to is also for it to be implemented.  We are expecting a youth desk to be in each and every Ministry so that young people’s issues can be addressed.

Hon. Speaker Sir, let us go on and look at what has also happened.  Hon. Speaker Sir, we have had an Act that we approved recently, which is Constitutional Amendment Number 2, which looked at young people being afforded those 20 seats.  The 20 seats are very important.  I know there has been a conversation which says they are only 10 seats.  Hon. Mr. Speaker Sir, they are actually 20 seats which were afforded to the young people.  We are saying that for those 20 seats, we are happy that at least there has been a Gender Sensitive Policy where we got 10 specific seats going to the women’s quota which were specific to the young people and the young women of Zimbabwe.  Those 10 seats in addition to the five which were supposed to be alternated, I believe that is a step in the right direction.  As young people of Zimbabwe, we are very happy that indeed when we look at what has been put in place, we  think there is still …

       HON. NDEBELE:  I have a point of order Hon. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order

Hon. Ndebele?

HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker, this is a very important motion that the Hon. Member has brought to the House.  I have been listening to her with intent.  May I kindly request that she unpacks young people and give us a definition so that we are able to unravel  this discussion.  What are we talking about when we are referring to young people?  If the Hon.

Member can favour us with that, it will help us unravel the conversation.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.     

   HON. MAVETERA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I

would like to thank the Hon. Member for also asking that question.  In our Constitution, on Section 20, when we talk about the young people or the youths of Zimbabwe, we are talking of every young person who is below the age of 35.  A youth is a person who is below the age of 35 and these are the people that I am talking about today.  Allow me Hon. Speaker Sir to then be able to say when I am talking about young people, of course I am talking and referring to the youths.  Maybe let me also be able to say, we remove the word ‘young’ and substitute it with the word ‘youth’, which I believe is a word that everyone can be able to relate to.

Of course, when we are talking about the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU), we are saying young is below the age of 45.  Because of that, I am going to resort to the one which is defined by our Constitution, which says the youths are 35 years and below.

Hon. Speaker Sir, the young people like what Dr. K.K said,  are the future.  They are the bearers of tomorrow’s future and indeed they are actually leaders of today.  Therefore Hon. Speaker Sir, when I look at what this New Dispensation has managed to do and also what

Parliament has managed to do, they are looking at making sure that they involve young people and get them involved.  We believe that as young people, there is no change for us which is without us.  Hon. Speaker Sir, having this background, I am so happy that today as young people, we have got an opportunity for us to speak about what we think can be the right course of action for us as the young people of Zimbabwe.        Hon. Speaker Sir, we had the issue of land re-distribution.  We are happy that now there is a policy which is actually saying that there is going to be allocation of land which is going to be more specific to the young people or the youths of Zimbabwe.  We are happy that the

Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement is going to make sure that when he starts allocating land or maybe if he is still in the midst, it is good for him to be able to come to this august House and furnish us with details of the youths that have managed to benefit from this land.

Hon. Speaker Sir, we have said in this august House because of the minimum numbers, we saw it prudent that there is need for us to be having a caucus; a caucus of influencers and youths experts.  We want to have sitting Hon. Members of Parliament who have got the thrust and also the zeal of wanting to see young people or youths agenda going forward to actually be able to come up and focus on policies and frameworks that drive the youth agenda sector.

Hon. Speaker Sir, we have got the Youth Bill.  Yes, it is now a Bill and it has not yet come to this august House.  We are happy that we have got principles that have already been put in place to make sure that at least we have a policy that will be enforceable when it comes to youth issues.  We have asked for a youth quota Hon. Speaker Sir.  Considering the demographic dividend of the young people of Zimbabwe, we constitute 67% of this country.  Therefore, within ourselves, we will be hoping that because of that demographic dividend, we will be able to access more because of the numbers that we have.

Hon. Speaker Sir, we are calling upon this august House to also have Hon. Members of Parliament from various constituencies also prioritising youths and resource allocation and programming which is specific to youths.  We are calling upon all Hon. Members here; we believe that they are the face of any constituency as MPs.  Why can they not come up with programmes so that they can involve the young people?  Why can they not come up with programmes so that when it comes to employment, they will employ the young people?  When it comes to allocation of resources, they need to allocate to the young people.  This is what we are calling upon to the Hon. Members in this august House.

Truly speaking, as young people, we believe that as much as you would have managed to get to that place that you are, of course we have also contributed for the people to be where they are.  We are asking Hon. Speaker Sir, for Hon. Members to also prioritise youths in their resources.  On resource allocation and programming, we are calling upon councillors to make sure that they involve young people.  We are happy that indeed right now we have got 30% to local councils and also those 20 seats.  However, we would expect more as young people whereby we will be thinking that at least there can be an affirmative action which goes down even at party level.  Each and every political party should come up and give a certain allocation which will be specific to young people.  This is our fervent view Hon. Speaker Sir because we believe that young people have got a proportion that they also contribute. By getting involved in decision making positions, this will actually be able to propel and make us go forward.

Hon. Speaker Sir, we are also calling upon Government, so that we can pursue innovative initiatives and strategies that bring together the youth sector and various stakeholders for the purposes of promoting participation and mainstreaming in public and private sectors so that we can then be able to programme the country.  I know there are a lot of people that would want to contribute but indeed we are moving so that we have a youth caucus in this Parliament that will be specific, complementing the efforts that the Committee of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation will be able to do.  That will also be able to help us so that at least we have more affirmative action and more ways that will be coming for the youth agenda.  I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUSARURWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I second the motion on the establishment of a Youth Parliamentary Caucus, which has been tabled by Hon. Mavetera.  This Parliament is supposed to lead by example in fulfillment of provisions of Section 20 of the

Constitution of Zimbabwe on youth participation and youth upliftment.   Young people in Parliament stand as champions for the youth sector, which constitutes over 60% of the population but heavily under represented.

Hon. Speaker Sir, some of the youth MPs struggle to even give their maiden speeches in Parliament.  The old guard has been unable to assist the youthful MPs in Parliament.  The youthful MPs have resorted to informal platforms to assist each other to formulate questions for debate, preparing motions as well as general participation in Parliament.

It is imperative that a platform be created by Parliament in the form of a Parliamentary Youth Caucus.  This will create a platform for a formal exchange of ideas for youthful MPs.  It will go a long way in ensuring youth participation in Parliament.

Hon. Speaker Sir, youthful MPs across the political divide face similar challenges and opportunities in the political sphere.  The Youth Caucus will be useful in promoting formal exchange of ideas. As a caucus, the youths in Parliament will be able to push for the fulfillment of Section 20 of the Constitution through exchange programmes with other Parliamentary Youth Caucuses.  The caucus will bring the idea of youth empowerment and upliftment.  The caucus will help youthful MPs to come up with constituency development programmes, youth inclusion in the economy such as mining, agriculture and tourism.

The Parliamentary Youth Caucus will work closely with the Portfolio Committee on Youth to monitor and evaluate Government programmes and policies on youths.  Hon. Speaker Sir, I have noted the age limit for the Youth Caucus and I wish that it may accommodate MPs up to the age of 45.  This is important as it allows for the inclusion of the middle age generation that is excluded in the adult population.  The MPs from 45 years and below suffered the same prejudices with those below the age of 35. The Parliamentary Youth Caucus must use the gap of exclusion that is affecting the people between the ages of 35 and 45. As I wrap up, this Parliament must demonstrate the commitment to the promotion of the Constitution allowing the establishment of the Parliamentary Youth Caucus. This is the fulfillment of Section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I submit Hon. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUTAMBISI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 24th August, 2021.

On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI, seconded by HON.

MPARIWA, the House adjourned at One Minute to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 24th August, 2021.

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