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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 19 FEBRUARY 2013 VOL. 39 NO. 10
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 19th February, 2013.
The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have received a non-adverse Report on the Securities Amendment Bill [H.B. 1, 2012]
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: With your leave, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until all the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: I move that the debate do now
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th February, 2013.
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
JOHN LANDA NKOMO
- MAVIMA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:
SADDENED by the tragic and untimely death of the Hon. Vice
President, John Landa Nkomo on the 17th of January 2013; NOTING that the loss was felt by the whole nation, which mourned a committed and dedicated luminary of our struggle for independence, democracy, freedom and justice;
NOW THEREFORE, this House conveys its profound condolences
to the family of our departed leader;
EXPRESSES, its deep sorrow and sadness at the tragic and unexpected loss of life;
TAKES this opportunity to celebrate the life of a man who rendered sterling services to the nation, both before and after independence.
- MATONGA: I second.
- MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I rise in my
humbleness to acknowledge the great work done by our late hero, veteran nationalist and the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. John Landa Nkomo who passed away in the early hours of
Thursday, 17th January, 2013 at St Anne’s Hospital in Harare, fought a long battle with cancer, he was 79 years old. I will detail in summary his early life and then move on to his political life and then his work in
Dr. John Landa Nkomo was born in the then Gwayi River Reserve presently known as Tsholotsho District of Matabeleland North Province on August 22, 1934. He was the third born and oldest son of the Lufele Masitshi or MaDube Nkomo, in a family of four girls and five boys.
Tradition says that Mbowane, the late Nkomo’s great-great-grandfather was honored as the custodian of some of the children of the legendary King Mzilikazi.
Cde Nkomo attended Mangwe Primary School where he did his Standard One and Two, St Manias Primary School for Standard Three and Four and the Solusi Mission for Standard Five and Six.
In 1953, he moved to Bulawayo where he did his private studies for the Junior Certificate in Education which he attained in 1955, whilst working as a stores assistant at a clothing factory. Cde. Nkomo then trained as a Teacher in Lower Gweru qualifying in 1958. The same year, he started his political career by joining the African National Congress. He enrolled for a Certificate in Teacher Education that put him in good standing to appreciate the iniquities embedded in the colonial Southern Rhodesia’s socio-economic milieu.
As a young boy, he had noticed the socio-economic challenges faced by his people as a result of racial segregation. He observed how many native Africans fought for the Queen in the Second War but soon to be abused at the end of the war despite their sacrifices. Young Landa
Nkomo noticed how the Rhodesian Regime mercilessly evicted the Nyamandlovu community from their fertile land; creating a new settlement for them in Tsholotsho which was dry, arid and infested with mkhawuzane – a highly poisonous shrub to both humans and animals. I hope I pronounced that correctly Madam Speaker.
The relocation to Tsholotsho resulted in the suffering of many people and loss of livestock and with lufele, people had to borrow some survival and adaptive skills from the local Save community to manage the situation.
In 1961, he got married to Georgina Ngwenya and the couple was blessed with six children namely Jabulani, Ruzamo, Samukheliso, Sikhumbuzo, Zanele and Thabo.
In his pre-independence political life, the late Vice President Landa
Nkomo’s disaffection to the Rhodesian offensive system spurred him into organised politics and resistance, including civic and trade union activism at local, national and international levels early in his career. His political consciousness made his stay as a young, newly qualified Teacher at Chitatawa School in Tsholotsho, short lived as he got into conflict with the missionaries there. He then moved to teach at
Nkulumane Government Primary School in Mpopoma in Bulawayo where he joined the African Teachers’ Association. His zeal for equality and civil justice saw him become one of the founder members and First
Secretary of the Radical Bulawayo Residents’ Association (BURA) in 1963. This association is still active up to this day.
Cde Landa Nkomo also played a pivotal role in the Trading and
Garment Workers’ Union. Thus he began his political career starting at the bottom rank of the political ladder and rose through the ranks to the echelons of the liberation movement. Dr John Landa Nkomo never sought easy options and self aggrandisement, but through commitment to the liberation struggle and personal sacrifice, he became one of the leading torch bearers in the fight for Zimbabwe’s freedom and independence from colonial Britain.
For this revolutionary zeal, he had to pay a price: imprisonment, detention and restriction in various penal institutions such as Gonakudzingwa detention Camp. Without being deterred, while in detention Cde Landa Nkomo studied for the Ordinary and Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education.
The late hero John Landa Nkomo was the founding member of the Southern Rhodesian African National Congress and that was in 1958 and 1959. Following its ban in 1959, he remained very active in youth wings of successor political parties; the UNDP, the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and the People’s Caretaker Council (PCC). In 1965, he was sent to Khami Prison for two weeks after being involved in a dispute with the Native Commissioner for Tsholotsho. The following year, he was arrested again for political activism and was held in various prisons for a whole month before he was sent to Gonakudzingwa where he was detained for two and a half years.
In 1971, he joined the newly launched African National Council where he was appointed Secretary for Education before the coming in of the Secretary General in 1973. The veteran nationalist was also involved in the formation of the Patriotic Front of Zimbabwe in 1976 which incorporated Zimbabwe African People’s Union and its military wing, ZIPRA, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and its military wing ZANLA and became a member of ZAPU Central Committee and that of the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Council.
Cde. Nkomo served as ZAPU Secretary for Administration at the
Party Headquarters in Lusaka Zambia from 1975 until Independence in
1980 and continued in that post up to 1985. At the height of the liberation struggle, in 1977, Cde. Nkomo survived a parcel bomb which claimed the lives of Cde. Jaison Ziyaphapha Moyo, ZAPU’s Second Secretary. Cde. Nkomo sustained injuries that have affected his health for the rest of his life.
On the diplomatic front, he actively participated as a member of PF
ZAPU’s delegation led by the late Vice President Dr. Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo to the Geneva Conference in 1976 and the Malta Conference in 1977. With his contemporaries, the late Landa Nkomo championed and articulated the intricacies of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle at various diplomatic fora such as the UN Committee of 24, the UN Decolonisation sub-committee, the Organization of African Unity, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Frontline States. He mastered the art of diplomacy which he deployed skillfully throughout his political career to resolve political stand-offs.
I will now dwell on his post-independence political life. With the advent of independence in 1980, Cde. Landa Nkomo turned his attention to nation building and development. He was elected to the First Parliament of Zimbabwe in 1980 and served Government in various Ministerial Portfolios from 1981 to 1982. He served as Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy followed by his appointment in the Prime-
Minister’s Office as Minister of State from 1982 to 1984.
MR MUDZURI: On a point of Order Madam Speaker!
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order
MR MUDZURI: My point of order is, the manner in which the hon. member is debating, I think he is not giving his Maiden Speech whereby he is allowed to read. We are expecting him to debate and refer to his notes but he is reading from an obituary.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, your point of order is
sustained. Hon. Mavima, if you want to read, you do not just read because like he said, it is not your maiden speech. What you may do is to refer to your notes or you will have to ask for permission to read.
- MAVIMA: May I be permitted to read and summarise?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: You can go ahead and read. Hon.
Mavima, I wonder if you prepared that speech or you are just reading from that booklet.
- MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker for your indulgence.
In 1993, as Zimbabwe’s Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Cde.
Nkomo was elected to the Presidency of the 80th Session of the International Labour Conference, (ILC) which served as the tripartite international parliament on labour issues involving member states of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). In 1994, he was also elected
Chairman of the ILO’s Executive Organ, the governing body which made decisions on ILO policy; deciding the agenda of the ILC, adopting the draft work programme and budget for submission to the ILC as well as electing the Director General of the ILO.
As Chairman of the ILO’s Executive Organ, Dr John Landa Nkomo successfully superintended the activities of the following committees: Committee on Freedom of Association, Committee on
Finance and Administration, Committee on Legal Issues and
International Labour Standards, Committee on Employment and Social
Policy, Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related
Issues, Committee on Technical Cooperation, Working Party on the Social Dimensions of Globalisation and the Sub-Committee on Multinational Enterprises. A man of honour, integrity and great humility, Dr
John Landa Nkomo further spearheaded the ILO’s contribution to the preparatory work for the World Social Summit which was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1995.
Between 1995 and 1997, Cde John Landa Nkomo served as the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development. He continued to lead the same ministry which had been restructured to that of Local Government and National Housing until 1999. From 2000 to
2002, Dr John Landa Nkomo served as the Minister of Home Affairs. -
- (HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections) – Thereafter …
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members. I beg you to
listen in silence because Hon. Nkomo was the Vice President of this country. So we need to hear what the hon. member has to say.
- MAVIMA: Following the death of Vice President, Dr Joseph Wilfred Msika in August 2009, Cde. John Landa Nkomo was elected to become the Second Secretary and Vice President of ZANU
(PF) at the Party’s Fifth National People’s Congress. He was thereafter sworn into office as the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in
December 2009 and continued to chair the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.
Among other assignments, Dr John Landa Nkomo chaired the
Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ), which was founded by the late Vice President, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, as a vehicle for economically empowering the majority of Zimbabwean citizens. He was a founder member and patron of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust. In his quest to empower the rural child, he single handedly sponsored the construction of the Landa John Nkomo Secondary School in Manqe, Tsholotsho, which was officially opened in July 2012. Speaking at the official opening of the school, President R.G. Mugabe applauded the late Vice President Dr John Landa Nkomo for establishing the school, the first of its kind in the remote district of
Tsholotsho. President Mugabe said that Cde Landa Nkomo’s desire for establishing a state-of-the-art rural secondary school was inspired by the goals of the liberation struggle and a desire to uplift the livelihoods of the people. In recognition of the sterling commitment and contribution to the development of Zimbabwe, Solusi University awarded Cde. John
Landa Nkomo an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration and Development in 2007.
In conclusion, His Excellency the President, Cde. R.G. Mugabe, in his condolence message, described Cde Nkomo as a real revolutionary fighter for freedom, a friend of the people and lover of children who would be sorely missed by the nation. Cde. Nkomo is survived by his mother, Macichi maDube, several children and grandchildren.
- MATONGA: Peace begins with me, peace begins with you. I think the Hon. Vice President was famously known for that. I am not going to debate about the history of Cde Nkomo but his achievements.
We are enjoying peace today, that we can sit in this House as hon. members, either ZANU (PF) or MDC. It would be very difficult for an outsider to come here and tell whether an hon. member is MDC or ZANU (PF). It is because of the maturity that the late Vice President John Landa Nkomo displayed to the people of Zimbabwe.
He was the Chairman of the Organ for National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration that comprised of three ministers from the three political parties. That is the maturity and the respect that the people of Zimbabwe had when it came to Dr John Landa Nkomo. Even when he passed on, at the National Heroes Acre, he was well represented by all MPs, the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, they were all there. It is because of his maturity and leadership. Yes, he was born in Tsholotsho or in Gwai Game Reserve, he was a nationalist, he was not Ndebele, he was a Zimbabwean first and foremost. He was a multilingual, he spoke all the languages. I think it is also a lesson that as Zimbabweans, we should thrive to learn at least three local languages. That was the determination that Cde. John Landa Nkomo showed to the people of Zimbabwe. He was a fair gentleman.
When he came to empowerment, if you remember he was the Minister of Lands. He was even sued when he wanted to acquire a farm, but he did not take advantage of that process because he was a Minister of Lands or even refuse to issue an offer letter. That was the maturity that the late President Nkomo showed to the people of Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, even the report that came, I think it was in the
Guardian about the Land Reform in Zimbabwe, that it was a success. This was because he championed that process in a very professional manner and people got their land and people are enjoying the fruits of that process. He was also a champion of empowerment. The communities are benefitting from the empowerment process of 10% shareholding. I can speak with confidence because my community Mhondoro-Ngezi, benefitted from the shareholding at Zimplats. It is because of the leadership that people like the late President Nkomo showed. I think as Zimbabweans, whether you are ZANU PF or MDC we have been given this opportunity to lead and distribute these resources. It must be done fairly and properly. There must not be any form of corruption when it comes to allocation of these resources to the people of Zimbabwe. That is the leadership that the late President Nkomo showed to the people of Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, we talk about loyalty. We have to be
Zimbabweans first and foremost, so that you will be able to discharge your duties. You are fluent so you can communicate with every
Zimbabwean using whatever language. Again that is the spirit. As Zimbabweans, it does not matter whether you belong to whatever political party. We are enjoying the fruits because of the revolutionary stance taken by the late President John Nkomo. He survived a bomb blast but he did not take that personally to go and revenge, instead he was now the champion of promoting peace. Yes, they adapt chapters in the history of our country, but he did not want to dwell on that past, he wanted to build a strong Zimbabwe where you do not see a Ndebele,
Shona, Kalanga et cetera, you see a Zimbabwean first and foremost – [ HON. MEMBERS :Inaudible interjections] – Hon. Mushonga as a prolinent Lawyer, he should understand all those things.
The issue of violence, the lessons that we have to ldArn from the l`te Vice PResident is(that we cannot keep on fighting for the sake of fighting because you belong to different political parties. Let us fight in terms mf promoting the ideologies that we believe in as long as they are conducive to the people. LeT us fight in tesms of promoting peace and stability. That should be allowed, that is why we are a democratic nati• n. Yes, peïple may question certain things but it is a learning process. As you heard from his biography, that he came a long way and things did not happen there and then, it was a process. e spent time in prison, he lost kids, wifd and relatives but hg was so determined and these are the achievements that he g!vu to the peOple of Úimbab7e. So, I urge all hon® members to join us kn paying tribute to the |ive of the late Vice PresIden| John Landa Fkomo. I thank you.
+MR. R. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also take this opportunity to speak about the loss we had. We want to say may his soul rest in peace, may the Lord be with him. The death of Hon Landa
Nkomo left us at a mess considering that he was a father and he was the Vice President of the country. It is very much obvious that Hon. Nkomo was a peacemaker. He was a disciplinarian. He used to unite people not only in his family but at community level in Matebeleland North and the nation as a whole. Hon. Nkomo worked a lot for this country. His work started during the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, Hon. Nkomo was the first person to work under
Bulawayo Residents Association, the one that still exists right now in
Bulawayo. The Residents Association is the one that unites people in
Bulawayo to work together. This Association is the one that sees how Bulawayo can be improved. Hon. Nkomo was a Christian. He attended the SDA Church. If you visit Solusi, you realise that he donated a lot of gifts there, the ones that are used to help the children. He also built a school; education was an important aspect in his life. During his imprisonment, he was one of the people who educated those who were not educated at that time at Gonakudzingwa. He was a teacher.
Hon. Nkomo was a humble person. He respected everyone and did not look down upon anyone. We are very happy that Hon. Nkomo worked for his hero status. However, we are very much saddened by the way this hero status is going on. I wonder if he will be happy if he would wake up today and look at where he is buried today and also look at where some of his peers are buried today, like Tenjiwe Lesabe. I am saying this because they walked the same walk, they fought the same liberation struggle. If we look at the fact that he used to be a person who united people, he would not be happy of the fact that some of the peers were buried where he is not buried today. I think things did not go well there and he will not be happy with that if he was to wake up today. However, we pray that his soul may rest in peace. Thank you.
+MR. S. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think I will speak in Ndebele because Hon. John Landa Nkomo used to speak in vernacular. Thank you for this opportunity and I would like to convey my sincere condolences to the family of Hon. Nkomo. I will not speak a lot because so much has been covered even though Hon. Mavima showed little knowledge on his history.
Hon. J. Nkomo was a humble man and that is how he became the Minister for National Healing. He got the opportunity to bring peace and unity and we want to thank him for that. As people, we have to look at what Hon. Nkomo did for his community, even though he was the Vice President and Minister. At this point in time, I will speak about the school that he built.
We worked with him and he was a good man. Most of the time, you would not tell if he did not like something, he would just keep quiet.
As a result, we respected him a lot and we want him to rest in peace.
Madam Speaker, I will therefore request that as we speak of a hero and a Vice President, people should do proper research and not to just go and take the history that was given at the Heroes Acre. It embarrasses us a lot. There are a lot of people who know about Hon. J. L. Nkomo, that is people like Hon. Matshalaga, who lived with him. Opportunity should be given to people like him to speak about Hon. J. L. Nkomo and not to just read what was given to the people at the Heroes Acre. I thank you Madam President.
- F. M. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think this motion needs us all to be sober-minded and respectful because we are talking about a hero of heroes. Heroes are self made and not declared by men. Men will only be confirming that you are a hero because when you are dead, you cannot proclaim yourself. The truth is that heroism is a phenomenon of patriotism plus nationalism. Hence, the man we are talking about today is a hero of heroes. I need to make you happier because we are celebrating the life of a hero by the name of John Landa
Nkomo. I and John Landa Nkomo have got many similarities – [HON.
MEMBERS: Laughter] – there are times …
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Order in the House.
- F. M. SIBANDA: There are times when I have been mistaken to be the late Vice President Nkomo. As I have been driving from Bulawayo, I have always had a green light because of my physic and the way I wear my moustache. My voice and mannerism are almost identical with those of the late Vice President. The other issue is that when we are created, I think God creates five people of the same identity. Hence we are common in the following; both of us were teachers, trained at Lower Gwelo Mission under the Seventh Day Adventist. My grandmother is also a MaNkomo, our physical features and the way of doing our beard is almost identical. Trained as a trade unionist in East Europe, hence he became the Minister of Labour Social Welfare. I also, am a resolute trade unionist by virtue of labour related issues in Zimbabwe. We are nationalists, freedom fighters and liberators under ZAPU and under ZIPRA.
Everything that happened in Nkomo’s life, not everything was roses. Nkomo went under very difficult conditions but he remained cool to the last day. He was a victim of colonialism where people like
Samukange, Benjamin Burombo, Masotsha Ndlovu, Felix Samukange,
Enock Dumbutshena, Nceletsha, Joshua Nkomo, George Nyandoro and Charles Chikerema, among others, were traumatized by colonialism, which was very dangerous to the African race in this country.
However, this did not end there. Between 1983 and 1987, before the unity accord was signed on the 22nd December, 1987, Nkomo was a victim of Zimbabweans. He was a victim of Gukurahundi where his people died like flies in this part of Africa and this part of Zimbabwe. He was fired from Cabinet and he went to Tsholotsho like a refugee in his own country. He also had these bad days.
So, when we talk about somebody, let us be very clear because we do not want them to turn in their graves and blemish us. He suffered but he remained resolute to Zimbabwe and resolute to the emancipation of fellow Zimbabweans. He was a human rights defender of excellence and he never had vengeance against anyone. He would be cool and say, let us go forward. I knew him as I know my face.
Lastly but not least, I need to pay my condolences specifically to affectionately Jabu, his son, his sister, brothers and his mother, MaDube and all the people of Zimbabwe to have had the chance to have this wonderful son of Zimbabwe.
+I ask that ZANU PF and MDC as well as other parties hold him as a son of the soil. I thank you.
MRS. MATAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise to add
my voice to this very important motion on the Vice President of the nation.
Madam Speaker, let me start by saying, the history of this man has been narrated by those who have spoken before me and I stand up to speak on the legacy that this man has left for us Zimbabweans. Here is an elderly man who was down to earth and respected everyone, regardless of political affiliation. This is a man who was approachable.
Madam Speaker, I want to revert to our vernacular. I have realised that when people have attained a certain position, they hardly look at those below them but with Hon. J. L. Nkomo, it was never like that. So, really we want to praise God for Hon. Nkomo and that God took him because he realised that everything has its own time. There is time to be born and time to die at the end.
Hon. J.L. Nkomo has gone through national healing. At the time of his death, he was leading the Organ of National Healing with Hon. Sekai Holland and Hon. Mzila Ndlovu. All Zimbabweans realise that they are brothers and sisters and what they were fighting for was a true realisation that if one of us is hurt, what comes out is blood. We all have blood in our bodies, hence it was important that as brothers and sisters, we realise we are one Zimbabwe and one nation. This is what he has been looking forward to and as Zimbabweans, we look forward to reuniting ourselves as one people.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Matamisa, can you
kindly use one language?
*MRS. MATAMISA: Madam Speaker, thank you. My problem
is when there is interesting debate I want to speak in vernacular. So I will speak in vernacular.
I want to say that this man, John Landa Nkomo, was a man who was very respectable. What he has left for us is a legacy that since he was in the National Healing Organ, he said, “Peace begins with you, peace begins with me and peace begins with us”. What he was saying was that you as an individual should be able to bring about peace and then you look forward to your opponent bringing in peace. Then, when all is said and done, there will be peace in Zimbabwe.
Now, looking at the period we are now getting in, the period of the Referendum and looking at the late John Landa Nkomo, we actually anticipate having peace and freedom so that we can also be counted amongst other nations. We look forward to the fact that after this we will have a free and fair election that is violent free, without people being beaten or intimidated. The issue here is that, if we the people of Zimbabwe get to know that we do not need to fight each other, we are now going towards elections with knowledgeable people and as new people.
When we have all finished reading the Draft Constitution, it actually wants to concientise all the people of Zimbabwe that when we decide to go for elections, we should all be anticipating peace and each person should be able to claim their rights and respect. What we need to remember is that respect does not come on a silver platter, but that you also need to respect others. Once you have respected others, then they can also respect you in return. The first thing about respect is that you need to respect yourself by valuing yourself, because the moment you do not value yourself, people will not see you for who you are and you will not be appropriate to them.
People will look at you and degrade you and for that reason, Hon.
- L. Nkomo was not someone you looked down upon and now we have the authority to talk about Hon. J.L. Nkomo. We wish that what he longed for with his counterparts in the Organ for National Healing will be achieved before we go for elections this year. This is the only thing that will enable us as the people of Zimbabwe, to be counted among many other nations that are respected. I personally do not applaud someone who looks down upon others.
So we should be able to respect others in Zimbabwe. To the Nkomo family, I say that we mourn together with them and we say to our Lord and Saviour that He makes his soul rest in peace. Thank you. +MR. C. C. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would also want to contribute towards this motion and convey my condolences to the family of Hon. J. L. Nkomo on the death of our father Hon. John Landa Nkomo.
We are very much at a loss as a nation because when you speak of a man of the people, you see that there are a few people who would achieve the things that Hon. Landa Nkomo achieved. Since the time that he was a youngster to the time that he died, what I would want to emphasise on, is the school that he built in Tsholotsho and the reason why he built that school. Madam Speaker, Hon. John Landa Nkomo was a man who held up people’s lives and he prioritised humility. When he built that school, he built it considering of the people who are looked down upon by others.
Many people nowadays do not want to be looked down upon and even those who are held up lament that they are looked down upon. Nobody bothers himself/herself about the people who stay in the bush, even in the twenty-first century, the people that we call the Bushmen.
Hon. John Landa Nkomo was very much bothered by these people and tried very much to help these people that he built a school so that even though they stayed in the bush, they would be in touch with the life that we live today. The school is attended by the people who live in the bush – people who are not in sync with the life that we live today. It was his biggest aim that they are educated like children who stay in urban areas. The people that I am speaking about, as I have said before, are the people who are looked down upon. However, Hon. John Landa Nkomo wanted to uplift their lives so that at a particular time, they would be able to speak English.
He made computers available to the school so that it would compete with schools in the urban areas but this was a school for the Bushmen. This reveals that even though he lived an urban life, he still cared for the people who had a backward life. There are many things that Hon. John Landa Nkomo did, but just before he passed on, he did an amazing thing. He made us realise that Bushmen are also people like us. These people are found in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The ones in Zimbabwe were very much blessed to live under the hands of Hon John Landa Nkomo. He took care of them. That touched my life very much. He cared very much about the upliftment of others. With those words, since I know that there are so many people who would like to contribute to this motion, I would like to say that Hon. John Landa
Nkomo should rest in peace. He was a man of the people. Thank you.
- MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise this moment to talk and present to you the life of a hero. Heroes are heroes because they have made heroic contributions. Zimbabwean nationalists’ history will never be written and we say it is complete without the name John Landa Nkomo.
These people suffered in the hands of the Smith regime. They were taken to Gonakudzingwa and Hwahwa prisons. What they were fighting for was the total emancipation of the African people. When they formed NDP and ZAPU, they realised that they had a vision. Even in their songs, they had a vision where they were saying; soja rababa, sunga utare, kana ndazofa usare une nhaka. They meant that the sons of the soil were ready to start a revolution. These are the people who laid the foundation of our revolution and armed struggle. When we talk of African heroes; Amilca Cabral, Cde Bendera, Mwalimu Nyerere, the name John Landa Nkomo fits in. That is his club. He was a hero of rare tenacity and a fighter who never retreated.
Madam Speaker, we are here because of their effort. Long back in 1955, they were ready. They knew they were oppressed – they had to persuade a lot of people to understand that they were oppressed. Many people of this country thought that the land belonged to the white men and that their poverty is a special gift from God. Nationalist had a difficult time to emancipate the people to understand first and foremost that this is their country. There was a man; a nationalist, an educator and a revolutionary fighter.
In any struggle, the element of educating the people to understand the fundamentals of the struggle is critical. It is critical in the sense that when you do not educate those people, they will never be able to understand it. The nationalists then laid the ground for the total mobilisation of our people. When he was in Government, he was
Minister of Labour, Minister of Local Government, Ministry of Political Affairs and the Organ of National Healing. In each Ministry that he led, he left(` dent. When he was uhe Minister of Labour, that was the last time ve heard about strikes. Hg managed to explain to the wmrkers to understand the dignity of labour. He õn$erstood the policiec of the workers. Workers of the world, you lied, you jave nothing to lose but your chains. He understood the struggle of the workers. He was able to explain to the workers to understand that it is not only a struggle¬ but a st2uggle with the production to achieve the economic emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe and the people of Africa at laree. `
When he was the Minirter of Local Government, the in|erfational ayrport we sed today was built during his tenure. Anyone who comes to HArare will !lwayq ad-ire the áirport.( When you lmok at our airpoxt, you will see it a,so shows ôhe Great Zimbabwe monuments. There was a man who visualised yester year contributions of our forefathers of the Great Zimbabwe monuments and how they were able to build stones without cement. He translated that to today’s world and put it at Harare International Airport.
On the Organ of National Healing, he is the man who mobilised all those people in COPAC to understand that they are brothers. That is why we are together and when we go to the referendum; for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe and of many countries, all political parties agree to the good work done by COPAC. They are all going to say yes, yes, yes. It is through the work of comrade John Landa Nkomo.
In his spare time, he felt that it was necessary that the people of
Tsholotsho be educated. He introduced Landa John Nkomo Secondary School. It was not only an ordinary secondary school; it was a secondary school with e-learning. Some of us who were born before the time of computers (BBC) need to appreciate what is e-learning. Elearning is the way of learning using computers to develop the skills of our people.
Madam Speaker, all political parties, churches, trade unions and people from all walks of life attended the funeral of Comrade John Landa Nkomo. They came to salute the son of the soil; they came to say good bye son of the soil, good bye mwana wevhu. They came without being forced with their own transport. At this moment, I would also want to roll back and say when he was in Zambia, he was attacked by a bomb sent by the Smith regime. When he came back, he had no vendetta; he felt that peace is critical – like many people are saying, Madam Speaker, I want to thank the speakers who have explained that the man was a Christian, the man had love. I also appeal to all the Members in your spare time – please, at least belong to one of the churches, go to church and understand and love. It is critical, yes, some belong to Johani Masese but it is wrong.
We have to build this nation out of love. I want to say to the
Nkomo family, thank you very much Nkomo family, you gave us a hero. He was born, he fought, he conquered, he built. It was time for him to retire. God called him, God will always call good flowers and he was one of the best flowers in the kingdom of God.
Comrades and friends, it is very critical that one day, we will need to visit the Nkomo family in Tsholotsho to thank them as Parliament to say, ‘you gave us a leader’. He was a Speaker of the House of Assembly. I was not a Member of Parliament, but I used to come here and sit in the Gallery. During his time as the Speaker of the House of Assembly, he was a father figure – he accommodated everybody. We had hon. members like Hon. Sikhala – they gave him a hard time, but he always had the parental guidance which is critical to the moulding of any democratic society. We must allow people to say their piece of mind and if they are lost, we must always be there to educate them.
Madam Speaker, people may not be aware that the mother of Cde.
John Landa Nkomo is still alive. I want to pay special tribute to say, ‘Amai, mama; thank you very much. You gave us a great man, siyabonga’.
Finally Madam Speaker, I urge all other hon. members who want to contribute to this debate to focus on the debate because this debate is going to be one of the treasures of the Nkomo family - what we are saying about him.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank you very much for allowing me to present myself, to contribute to the life of a man whom some of us when we die here, people will just be talking about thanking the people that dug the grave, the women that did the cooking. They will have nothing good to say about any of us. Thank you Madam Speaker.
+MR. NDEBELE: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to speak about Hon. John Landa Nkomo as a person whom I knew. I would like to convey my sincere condolences for the loss of Hon. John Landa Nkomo.
Hon. John Landa Nkomo died at a time the people of Matabeleland needed him a lot. That was the time that we wanted to speak to him about the things that are very crucial to us; there are a lot of things that we wanted from Hon. John Landa Nkomo. Before I speak about those things, we need to note that when somebody has passed on, it is important that we speak in his native language.
Hon. John Landa Nkomo was criticised by the people at the time when people said he spoke badly about the Matabeleland region. What we know is that, he did not know. However, if he knew he would not have spoken like that. He was quoted in some newspapers as having said that, ‘People from Matabeleland are lazy’. It is not like he spoke about things that he had seen. The people that he had sent to Matabeleland to address those issues on his behalf did not do a proper job – they robbed him. They said that everything was properly done in Matabeleland and Hon. John Landa Nkomo did not go down there to check for himself. They told him such things like the road that leads from Gwanda to Maphisa is tarred. Hon. John Landa Nkomo did not go there himself. What I am saying is very much true. Sometime back, people claimed that the road from Gwanda to Maphisa was tarred. However, people now know that that road is not tarred. Many people would criticise Hon. John Landa Nkomo for that. However he was lied
If we look at the life of Hon. John Landa Nkomo, I remember some point in time when he was addressing people in Bulawayo. He advised the people of Bulawayo not to be lazy but to work hard. Before we asked questions on what we were supposed to use since there was no machinery where we were supposed to go and work; he told us that if we concentrate on the issue of Gukurahundi instead of working, we would remain backward and indeed we remained backward because we looked for the tractors but did not find them. As I speak, there are no DDF tractors that are working in Matabeleland.
However, Hon. John Landa Nkomo was told that everything was alright in Matabeleland. Hon. John Landa Nkomo was a man who wanted to see things done. Therefore, there is no need for us to blame him after his death – he did a lot. He sent people to Matabeleland but those people did not do their job. They came back to him and said everything was alright. Therefore, we need to tell the truth about him, we have to speak of him as somebody who tried not somebody who failed. We were very much saddened by the issue that was put in the papers that Hon. John Landa Nkomo had said that people from Matabeleland are lazy.
Hon. John Landa Nkomo built a school in Matabeleland in Tsholotsho for the bushmen – as people call them. We all agree that he did a great job in building that school for the Khoisan people - only people who speak Tswana and Kalanga can understand them.
Therefore, it is good that he built a school for them to be educated.
With those few words, I would like to say, may his soul rest in peace. I speak in his vernacular language and I do hope that his family remains in peace in the land of Zimbabwe.
* MR. SITHOLE: I want to start by thanking you Madam
Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on Hon. J.L Nkomo, who died and we are all mourning him. Our hero, John Landa Nkomo suffered greatly for this country before he got into this Government. He is not a person who just rose into power, but he rose through the ranks, working for the party until such a time he got to the highest post. This gives us a lesson that as a person who is in Government, you have to be someone who is willing to listen, who has a history and will also have the foresight for development.
If we look at the issue of unity in 1987, on December 22, we realise that, considering the talks that were done, he was one of the individuals who wanted peace and stability in the country and hoped for stability in the country. We all know that in peace talks, he is someone who was patient and advocated for peace and a united Government. I knew Hon. John Landa Nkomo when he was already in politics, but when I knew about him, it was when he was the Minister of Local Government. During that time I was the Chairperson in Chiredzi.
There were so many things that were happening within the council but he was one person who after hearing reports, would visit the councils and call the counselors and DA’s. He would convene meetings to discuss issues. He did not only use his powers to say the council has failed in this and therefore, the result is this. He wanted to find out the root of the problem and what to do to end that problem. He was a Government leader with the hope to ensure that everything worked in the proper manner.
If we look at the time that he passed on when he was Vice President, we realise that in ZANU PF, he actually held all the important posts. When he was the national Chairperson, he is the one who ensured that the party succeeded in unity, until it was realised that he had the qualities of being a Vice President. When he was the Vice President and his health was failing him and when it came to the Organ for National Healing that he was given, we realise that he worked with all his will power to ensure that there is peace in the country.
Yes, most of us go to churches to pray but you realise that the person praying does not want to repent from his sin that will cause him not to go to Heaven. He realised that because of the Government of National Unity, peace should begin with you, then when you have peace then the rest will also follow suit. When others have peace, then everyone else has peace. Even the Bible says that you should not look at the speck in someone’s eye when you have got a log in your own eye.
That is the problem that we see in most of our leaders today. They want things to be solved and yet they themselves do not want anything solved.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this time but we want to mourn together with the province of Matabeleland and all the other provinces in this country. At the time of bereavement, we all wept for a hero and we mourned together with the family, friends and relatives. It is God’s will. God has actually said, anyone born of a woman cannot live forever but he will only live for a certain period and will be laid to rest. It is God’s will and we accept this, but it is good that when we die we should leave a legacy that actually leads to the development of the country, and unity.
With these words I want to mourn with the Nkomo family and friends and say it is God’s will. Hon John Landa Nkomo, our Vice President should rest in peace. We look forward that one day when Christ returns we will meet with him in the heaven.
- BHASIKITI: I want to join Hon. Mavima in celebrating the life of a great man who rendered sterling services to the nation both before and after independence. Unlike many of my colleagues who were expressing grief and condolence, the call of the motion calls every member to celebrate the life of a great man. As we celebrate his life, then there should be beacons from where we should be reading and say, yes. From the face of that man we can see self sacrifice and dedication to one’s nation. One who has sacrificed his life and dedicated to serve his countrymen. That was a great life. That kind of life, to those who read the Bible, will just see it exemplified in the life of Christ who had to die for our sins including myself.
Now you can see other very important people in some circles who dedicate and sacrifice their lives to die for such a cause, like a woman, for the love of just attaching oneself to one individual, then, that kind of myopic thinking is being rebuked in this great man’s life that when we think of our lives, we have to think of it in broader terms. What has your life given to other people? What is the impact of your own life to other people?
You see, in the olden days, it was not be possible just for a person to say I want to go to Parliament and represent the people. People would go, ask and beg a man like Matinenga, who is now refusing the and the people’s mandate that can you please represent us? Can you please, - seeing from the individual’s own life and sacrifices that he will be doing to the generality of the people. Nowadays we have people who are busy hitting each other and creating youth groups to go and ambush other hon. members to beat them up justifying that for a place in the House of Parliament where perhaps even the impact is not much realised. Here is a man whose life was dedicated to serving people. Not only did he show that before independence by going to war against the colonialists and the Smith Regime, but immediately after being deployed into Government, he worked like a servant of the people to exemplify that he was a servant of the people.
From him, you can see some of the products of his own Ministerial work. The likes of the so-called Prime-Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, were a product and a creation of his effective governing as Labour
Minister where he allowed members to gather in the …
- MUSHONGA: On a point of Order Mr. Speaker Sir, the
Hon. Member referred to the Prime-Minister as the so-called Prime Minister. He is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe; he is not the so-called Prime-Minister.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Bhasikiti did you say
- BHASIKITI - CHUMA: Mr. Speaker … THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I said did you say that?
- BHASIKITI-CHUMA: The Member is prone to additions.
You see, I said during the …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Bhasikiti, my question
was very simple; I said did you say that. It is either you said it or you did not.
- BHASIKITI-CHUMA: He said that!
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Bhasikiti, I will give you
the benefit of the doubt, but as a seasoned politician, those are some of the things that you must avoid because you know very well that we do not have a so-called Prime Minister, but we have got a Prime Minister.
- BHASIKITI-CHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, what I was
explaining is that when the departed hero was the Minister of Labour and Welfare, that is the time he had to look around people like the now Prime-Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai. By then he was leader to the leader of the Trade Union body and to lead the workers into proper rules of engagement to represent themselves in terms of labour rules, that is why he was even appointed to lead the ILO. This is the man who served the nation as a servant of the people and the fruits are telling.
He remembers even his son …
- CHITANDO: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Hon
Bhasikiti seems to say that when the Prime-Minister was the Secretary
General of the ZCTU, he was appointed by the Minister, no! He was elected by a congress so that it is a misrepresentation of the facts in this House.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Bhasikiti, I have
honoured you by saying you are a seasoned politician, is that not it? Can you just try to respect the House and give correct information and not to distort what you know is not the right information.
- BHASIKITI-CHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I thought you would protect me from those who lack understanding of facts I am laying here. I said, when he was Minister of Labour, he outlined and set out rules of procedure which allowed the likes of the now Prime Minister to come up and engage as a leader of the Labour Union and unfortunately, Hon. Chitando I know I will speak above his mind and you can forgive him for that, but do not worry about that Mr. Speakerl we have different aptitudes. So, I forgi6e h)m for that.
Mr. Speaker,$what I waNt to say is, we have an example of a man who se2ved and loved the nation. Who sacrifyced for the good of the people and after inde`endence went on to demonstrate thad when you ìiberate, it has to be shown that he continued even to wkrk for the samå people. Even after attaining the status of Vice President of ôhis nation, the Hon. d%pazted Vice President Nkomo demonstrated that he was a father of this nation. The way he accommodated everyone; the yoqths, the middle-aged, the elderly and those frïm different political persuasions, all were fathered un$er him. No d/ubt, (e was ideltified to lead the Ozgan of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliqtion. You could see |hat this Osgan, in its inceptiOn, • as under seriïus threats from some of us • ho phoughv it was not necessary to have it, but he went on to demonstrate that we need each other. We need to preach peace in the nation up until everyone had now realised that; “peace begins with me, peace begins with you and peace begins with all of us.”
This is demonstrating beyond doubt that the man whom we are celebrating today is worth of the celebration and he has lived a life which even God himself on his day of departure was able to tell those with blind eyes that here I have taken a king, my own son. We remember when Jesus died, there was darkness all over and people wondered what was going on but God was telling them that the one you have killed here is the author of light and now you remain in darkness. But, when this man departed, God sent one clear message to me and you will agree with me; that this was the watershed of peace and tranquility in the nation and from that day, God sent downpours of rainfall. It rained beginning that day until the day of his burial.
You remember most of you who were at the Heroes Acre that we were interrupted when we had a heavy down pour to demonstrate that this was really a man of peace and a man who loved to see Zimbabwe develop and go forward. One good thing that we shall learn also from his life and his final departure is the fact that to the point of death, he did not allow himself to be dissuaded by the pain that he was going through. At an opportune time, he would go and address people, continuing to build the nation. He died like a great soldier of the nation, serving his people.
I remember Cde Nkomo saying to people in Matabeleland; “Do not blame anybody for under-development in Matabeleland, we are responsible for developing this province.” To those who were crying that Matabeleland is being sidelined, he would disagree with them and said, “we should develop it ourselves. We should be pro-development.” He demonstrated that in Tsholotsho, when he built a state-of-the-art school and allowed even the previously termed “Bushmen” to learn and develop. What a message to those he left behind, who are always talking about Gukurahundi and the ugly things when the power is now in our hands to develop and uplift our nation.
Mr Speaker, I join Hon. Mavima in celebrating the life of a unifier, peacemaker and a lover of all people, regardless of race, colour or political persuasion. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
- CHIKWINYA: On a point of Order Mr. Speaker, I propose that he withdraws the derogatory term ‘Bushmen’ to make reference to the Khoi Saan people. I think for the record, personally I would not want to be associated with a House which is meant to represent its people yet the same people that it is supposed to represent, it then refers in derogatory language to such people.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: It is Hon. Bhasikiti’s choice to
withdraw, if he feels it is derogatory. If he thinks it is the right term to use, then it is up to him.
- BHASIKITI-CHUMA: I have finished my contribution.
- MUKANDURI: I rise to contribute to this debate. First of all, I want to thank the mover of this motion, Hon. Mavima. The late Vice President, John Landa Nkomo, is a man who has left a legacy in this country. He is a freedom fighter in his own right; he is a man who contributed immensely before and after independence. He was a freedom fighter who sacrificed his life to fight for the independence of
Zimbabwe, to bring democracy and justice to Zimbabwe. I salute him.
The late Vice President, John Landa Nkomo left his family behind during the colonial era as we heard from his son who spoke at length at the Heroes Acre. He said that there were more or less like orphans. At one stage, he was arrested in Tsholotsho for a very minor offence, the Native Commissioner thought that he had not respected him. Cde.
Nkomo was a principled man, very consistent, very persistent and upholding the objectives that he was a human being who should not be degraded. In that regard, he together with other late heroes like Umdhala Wethu, formed NDP, ZAPU, these were formed specifically to free us from bondage. He is a man whom we should respect dearly. He departed but he has left behind a legacy.
Cde. John Landa Nkomo was a man of tenacity and very principled. At one stage, he came to Paris leading a delegation which included Mr. July Moyo, who was his Permanent Secretary. I was serving in Paris, France and I was assigned to him and he was the Minister of Labour. He interacted with people from the Paris club. As I have stated that I was assigned as an assistant to him, he had an interaction with McNamara who was the President of the World Bank. Mr. McNamara commented him saying, you are a brave man, you have defended the interest of workers during the deliberations. He was very principled to say, well, of course you are saying that we should embrace ESAP but it will bring serious consequences to our people, it will create unemployment because we are not yet ready. The point that I am trying to emphasise is that he was very principled, brave and consistent.
Cde. Nkomo was a role model. I remember at one stage, in July 2009, he was invited by some farmers in my constituency, about two kilometers from Zaka East. He agreed to come and witness a field day that was held in that ward. He interacted with the people, he was very simple and approachable. When he left, the people in my constituency said, this man is a simple man. He really showed that he was a leader of the poor people of Zimbabwe. In that regard, I salute him. He worked tirelessly for the development of our country. We have heard that in Tsholotsho, he build a school for the Saan people, not the Bushmen, so that they can also join and benefit from the fruits of our independence which the late Vice President did contribute to achieve. I want to pay my condolences to the late Vice President’s family to say they are not alone but the entire nation is with them. The late Vice President J.
Nkomo was a hero of heroes, qawe lamaqawe. Thank you.
*MR. DZINGIRAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to join others in celebrating the good life that was led by Hon. Nkomo. Mine is going to be more like a summary because most of the things have already been said by my predecessors. Hon Nkomo, we remember him because he fought for unity in this country that we have today, that we celebrate on the 22nd of December, every year.
He made sure that we had land, but he also left us with a war of attaining the mines. We will continue because this was his will that imperialists should go for good. If we manage to get the mines and the banks, I think everything will be okay. That is what Hon. Nkomo wanted……
- F. M SIBANDA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. The Hon. Member Dzingirai is not taking this motion seriously. He is making sarcasm. He is demeaning the late Vice President by talking about violence and grabbing of mines. He did not stand for grabbing, he was very resolute and very fair. So, through you, I want him to withdraw those statements. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Dzingirai, I was not in when
you said those things but if you did, can you kindly withdraw.
MR DZINGIRAI: I never said that.
MR F. M SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, he has insinuation that he is going to continue grabbing, invading mines and farms to fulfill the late Vice President Nkomo’s dream. To my knowledge, he was not of that kind, therefore, he has to withdraw, that is what I meant.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Sibanda, I think there is no point of order there. Hon. Dzingirai can you continue.
*MR. DZINGIRAI: Hon. Nkomo had so much love for children. I remember reading one article in the newspaper whereby he donated money for a child to undergo an operation and the parents actually acknowledged this to show that he was a father. The position that he held at the time of his death of being one of the Chairpersons of the Organ for National Healing, is not a position that can be given to anyone but it is given to a father who has direction. It is given to someone who can give guidance and who is able to lead. So we should learn from his wisdom so that we can hold our elections in peace. That was his wish until his death.
Today he has left us with a new Constitution. He fought and contributed a lot to be where we are today. So, we cannot forget about him because he has left us a legacy that we now have a Constitution that we have written as a people of Zimbabwe. So, I want to say to hon.
members we should speak peace in our constituencies and in the country so that we can hold our elections in peace as was the will of Hon.
Nkomo. With these words, I say Hon. Nkomo, rest in peace.
+MR. P SIBANDA: I thank you for affording me this opportunity to debate this motion about the death of Hon. John Nkomo. He was a hero, a hero from Matabeleland. He worked very hard throughout the whole country of Zimbabwe helping people. Madam Speaker, this man made one mistake. Yes, he facilitated the unity between ZANU and ZAPU but this man was now calling us lazy. He was saying people from Matabeleland were lazy, we do not work for ourselves.
Madam Speaker, yes, it is good that he said that but he worked very hard to assist people to get income from Matabeleland coming to Harare. I say so because I was born ZAPU. Although we say there was unity, it was him who united with ZANU, we never saw him in Binga. He never came to assist people in Binga. Yes, even if someone dies, you cannot say bad things about him you just say good things because the person is dead. From the manner in which he worked, I will say he never did anything for us. Even our children in Binga did not see him. Yes, we can say rest in peace, but if he were to resurrect, then he should know that he has to assist everyone not a certain section. He should not call us lazy, why does he call us lazy, we worked for our children, we have our own homes but he said we are lazy. He called the Ndebele people lazy. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: I move that the debate do now
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th February, 2013.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, the House adjourned at
Fourteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.