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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 20 JUNE 2024 VOL 50 NO 63

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 20th June, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

HON. ZEMURA: On a point of national interest. I have stood here many times talking about what we have been promised by the Eighth Parliament that we would get our stands so that we would build our accommodation.  Unfortunately, those stands have not been given to us.  The place is there…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry, sorry.  That is an administrative matter.  The question of stands has been concluded very effectively by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. Garwe. We are not forgotten – [Laughter.] –

Hon. Matewu, you had also requested to make a statement on issues of national interest.

         

          HON. MATEWU:  I rise on a point of national interest.  In terms of Section 299 of the Constitution and I quote, “Parliament must monitor and oversee expenditure by the State on all Commissions and institutions and agencies of Government at every level”

(a) Revenues are accounted for

(b) All expenditure has been properly incurred

(c) Any limits and conditions on appropriations have been observed. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise today because the citizens are worried about what has been going on in the press where Moses Mpofu and Mike Chimombe were given a tender of US$87 million.  They were advanced US$40 million for the supply of goats which most of them did not supply.

 I implore you as the Speaker of Parliament to direct the Public Accounts Committee to launch an enquiry into this matter so that:

  1. The public is not shortchanged because the money came through the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
  2. That ZIMRA conducts a lifestyle audit of these two businessmen to ensure that the public are not being shortchanged and that they are paying their fair share of taxes to the fiscus and they are also paying value added tax to those deals that they must have been given. I thank you - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank very much Hon. Matewu.  The English saying is,do not close the stable when the horses have bolted’.   I am sure you are aware of that saying.  Your statement would have made sense and laudable if ZACC had not taken a step to investigate the issue on the same lines that you have just stated now.  The investigation has started and if you have been following the press, the two suspects are out of the country as indicated by their lawyers.  The lawyers are saying they will present themselves to ZACC and answer whatever queries are going to be raised by ZACC.  So the horses have bolted unfortunately, thank you.

HON. MATEWU:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  On a point of order in terms of my ruling?

HON. MATEWU:  Completely different angle.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Is it in terms of my ruling? Whether it is angle X to Y, unfortunately you cannot debate my ruling.

HON. MATEWU: I am not debating it.  I am not asking for what I asked before.  I only wanted to say the Public Accounts Committee must call the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture to come and explain ….

THE HON. SPEAKER:  It is a good suggestion but unfortunately, you must observe the doctrine of separation of powers.  If one arm of the State is seized with the matter, you cannot just come up also as the legislature and start on the same process.  Allow the Executive through ZACC to proceed accordingly.  If you are not satisfied thereafter, which I doubt because they have to report to this House their findings, there is a special report.  Why do we not wait for the report and then debate accordingly?  We cannot have the criss-crossing of the responsibilities between the Legislature and the Executive. I hope the gutter press understands that I have not gagged you.  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for clearly articulating.  I was hoping these are the issues that when Committees are being inducted, they must know that when certain things are happening, you cannot have a parallel process.  It will jeopardise everything else.  I believe that the same Committee, if they had picked this last year when they were doing their oversight role, then they would have recommended to ZACC to do the same.  I am very pleased that you have clarified that so that everyone is very happy to know that they have to stick to their lane.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Including the gutter press who do not understand our Standing Orders and say that Hon. Gezi and Mudenda are gagging Members of Parliament, taking advantage of our majority in the House, which is not the case.  We go by the Standing Orders, period.

HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for that clarity, it makes everything very clear. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  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.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debated on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

HON. MUTIMBANYOKA:  Hon. Speaker Sir, I feel greatly honoured that you have afforded me this privilege and opportunity to make this Maiden Speech before this august House.  For the record, my name is Hon. Kiven Mutimbanyoka and I recently earned the nomenclature Honourable after securing a special mandate from the great people of Harare East, to represent and articulate their concerns and issues in this Parliament.

My speech to this august House will encapsulate all the issues that were raised and fully articulated in an insightful and electrifying State of the Nation Address delivered on the 3rd of October 2023 by the Head of State and Government, His Excellency Cde. Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa.

Harare East, just like any other constituency in Zimbabwe, is seized with a lot of challenges ranging from, but not limited to water and sanitation, obsolete health care facilities, poor road network, inadequate and inaccessible education centres, poor service delivery, economic hardships such as hunger and unemployment, especially among the youth.

I was impressed and delighted when the Head of State spoke to these challenges, laying bare his pragmatic roadmap and unequivocal solutions to taming these social ills highlighted above.  The State of the Nation Address (SONA) was heavily laden with dosages needed to get the ailing economy back to its feet.

The Government, under the stewardship of His Excellency, has introduced a new, stable and acceptable currency which is the bedrock of economic development and wealth creation. As Harare East, we welcome this positive development and would like to convey our profound gratitude and appreciation to the Head of State for spearheading such bold and strategic decisions.  It is therefore our responsibility as representatives of the people, to encourage the use of our local currency and to inculcate a sense of pride and patriotism which are key ingredients in fostering confidence in our new currency.  We must also come up with robust and progressive laws and policies to protect and insulate our currency from currency manipulators and all haters of people-centric policies.

I was happy to note that His Excellency pointed out the importance of affordable human settlements to all Zimbabweans.  As Harare East, we are saddled with housing and accommodation challenges.  We have a lot of inhuman and squalid settlements within the constituency, thus posing both a security threat and a health hazard to our people.  We therefore plead that the Government avails spaces as soon as possible to curtail this challenge.

As a constituency, we are deeply concerned about the surge in drug and substance abuse, especially among the youths. The President, in the State of the Nation Address, spoke so emotionally about this issue and  promised that measures would be put in place to tame this unfortunate scourge.  I strongly feel that as Parliament, we are duty bound to revisit and review the laws on drug and substance abuse as some of our laws are now archaic and obsolete. We also need to come up with serious punitive laws to discourage would be offenders.  We need to quickly set up rehabilitation centres to assist all those who have been affected and as fiduciary leaders, we must find ways to keep the youths busy by creating employment opportunities, crafting life enhancing programmes, projects and activities to keep them off the streets.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the President in the State of the Nation Address, advised and encouraged us on the importance of crafting good laws.  He said, “This august House should ensure that the law is an instrument for development”, given this guidance, I would like to make a clarion call to my fellow law makers not to abrogate this constitutional responsibility.  We are the agents of hope, we are the agents of national development, we are the agents for constitutionalism and above all, we are the agents of deepening democratic practices as guided by our quintessential leader His Excellency, Cde. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa.  Therefore, there is need for us to bury our political differences when proposing, crafting and enacting laws for prosperity.

Coming to the enactment of laws as a legislative agenda that was set by the President, my constituency will be following with keen interest the development and enactment of laws such as:-

The review of the Water Act and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act.  Section 77 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that every person has the right to safe, clean and potable water, thus the review of these two Acts will guarantee that all citizens are bestowed their sacrosanct and inviolable right to water.

The Telecommunications Amendment Bill is key given that it seeks to enhance and inspire communication efficiency.  The Bill will also strengthen the existing mechanisms to fight all kinds of cyber frauds and any related crimes.  The Bill will further inspire collaboration and bring flexibility to the workplaces.  Additionally, the Bill will simplify the current licensing regime and open up space for other players to penetrate the ICT industry.  More importantly, the Bill will save time by eliminating unnecessary face to face contact.

The Private Voluntary Organisation Bill seeks to regulate the operations of non-governmental organisations.  The Bill will help curb money laundering and financing of terrorism and to ensure that Non-Governmental Organisations do not undertake political lobbying.   The Bill will also seek to ensure the good internal administration and financial accountability of private voluntary organisations for the benefit of their stakeholders.

The Zimbabwe Construction Contractors Council Bill seeing that we have lots of undesirable settlements sprouting around, some with the effect of compromising and devaluing properties within the affluent suburb of Harare East, we need this Bill to regulate, regularise and bring sanity in the built environment which currently is in the free fall state.  The Bill will enhance the provision of modern and affordable housing for all Zimbabweans.   

The Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies Bill will be a game changer in Zimbabwe as the Bill will encourage our people to save collectively and make loans readily available to group members.  The Bill will respond to and obliterate the difficulties being experienced by members of the SMEs in obtaining emergency loans, credit schemes, bank guarantees and any other financial instrument necessary to enable potential small scale and aspiring sole traders to access capital.

In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to express my profound gratitude to the Head of State and Government, His Excellency Cde. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for a well thought out, citizen-oriented and socially motivated State of the Nation Address.  As Harare East, we pin our hopes on the Head of State to soldier on in steering the country in the right direction as guided by his address to the nation.  We urge and pray for the President to continue unabated in accelerating our journey towards a peaceful, just and prosperous destination that all other progress-driven nations strive towards on daily basis.

Now, turning to my commitment and pledge to the people of Harare East Constituency.  I would like to categorically state and promise that I will wholeheartedly serve their interests, aspirations and advance their concerns which are critically important to their well-being.  I will, therefore, participate in the development and enactment of laws which will improve and enhance their livelihoods.  Under my leadership, with the guidance of His Excellency the President, Harare East will never be the same again.

With these few remarks Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to resume my seat.  I thank you for giving me this opportunity, so I submit – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Although the Chair is not necessarily expected to comment on the quality of the debate.  I must seek your indulgence and say the Hon. Member has set the bar very high by being analytical, by being very analytical in his submission and I hope others will follow suite – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - Hon. Matiza! Hon. Matiza!   

          HON. MATIZA:  I am here Hon. Speaker.  Allow me…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You want to remind me as a teacher, when you call out a name – Present! Please proceed.

HON. MATIZA:  Thank you so much for this opportunity.  I really appreciate.  We feel safe when you are around Sir, thank you so much – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

Hon. Members of Parliament, I thank God for this opportunity to stand before you.  Allow me Hon. Speaker to thank His Excellency, President of our great nation, Cde. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, for giving us this opportunity to stand before the Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -   I know some of us are not good preachers of good things, but allow me again to thank the great and amazing work that the President of Zimbabwe is doing to transform our nation.  As we see, the transformation in Beitbridge boarder is one of a class border post.  One of the best airports – Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport; Zimbabwe Cyber City – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] the newly established cricket stadium in Victoria Falls, Somabhula fibre network – we really appreciate the works the President is doing.  My cry Mr. Speaker Sir, we are not good preachers as most of the time we preach badly about our nation.  It is my question, where is the preacher to preach the good news?  Where is the preacher …?

HON. MATEWU:  On a point of Order Mr. Speaker Sir. 

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, what is the point of order?

HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We ask that the Member sticks to the debate on the SONA and not to divert and start to say things, because we have other things to do on the Order Paper. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - So, I ask that the Hon. Member sticks to the debate just like what the previous Member did, not what he is doing.  Thank you. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:   Thank you.  I give you Hon. Member Matewu the benefit of the doubt because sometimes some people see detours where there are not detours at all.  So, the Hon. Member may continue with his debate. 

HON. MATIZA:   Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is, where is the preacher to preach good news about our nation? Where is the preacher to spread good news about Zimbabwe?  If we go to social media, the same people who are complaining here are the same people who are preaching bad news about our nation. We see other nations in the western world, after delivering their speeches, they speak good about their nation.  It is our duty as Zimbabweans to preach good words, good works His Excellency is doing upon our nation.

I do not want to take much of your time, Hon Speaker, but I appreciate a lot - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Proceed Hon.  Member.

          HON. MATIZA: I am happy, thank you.  Pachivanhu kunonzi ukaona demhe rinoita musindo wakanyanya harina zvinhu mukati.  Hon Speaker, I really appreciate. I just want to thank the President for the SONA.  It helps us a lot.

HON. MATEWU:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  Firstly, the Hon. Member is mixing languages. Secondly, the Hon. Member is waffling.  He is not saying anything.  He is not debating the SONA. He is just waffling.  Mr. Speaker, can you please direct the Hon. Member accordingly.  Thank you.

HON. DHLIWAYO: Point of observation Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I have not made a ruling.  Yes, Hon. Matiza, in terms of our Standing Rules, you do not mix languages.  You stick to one language as much as possible and also get into the kernel of the SONA address

HON. MATIZA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I appreciate, I am still learning.  As you all know, I started to speak yesterday, so I am still learning. When I see you all, I see you as my teachers.  You are going to correct me.  The only thing I stood up to say is, I appreciate the opportunity and the works of our President, Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa.  We appreciate.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. CHAKUKURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, good afternoon. Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on the SONA by the President, His Excellency Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa.  As evidenced with the great works being done in the country by His Excellency, surely we cannot complain.  Looking at where we came from and where we are headed, which is towards the vision 2030, indeed we can witness road and railway networks being improved. 

The Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development was present to witness the official opening of the Old Mazowe Road now known as Chairman Mao Boulevard and also the Lomagundi Road now known as Nemakonde, only to mention a few Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am sure they can agree as to the beauty and smoothness that the roads carry Mr. Speaker Sir, that if you see anyone coming late, please allow me to stand by the door and jot their names because we cannot be coming late with such smooth roads.

Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to say the roads are tsepete tsepete.  With the road and rail networks being improved, the quality of social life improves as connectivity between communities and also movement of emergency services is improved. These well designed roads are reducing traffic congestion and facilitating the efficient movement of goods and services by supporting economic activities and trade, improving productivity in sectors that rely on transportation.  As a child from Chipinge, I hope these road networks will extend to the improvement of the Mt. Selinda Road which connects to the Mozambican border.

Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency the President, promised us 35 000 boreholes in his SONA in which each village should have one and we can agree as to the solarised boreholes that we see in different villages as it is still work in progress.  With these boreholes, comes a fenced one hectare of land which will allow fish ponds and drip irrigation for gardens which are open to the whole village.  These are known as village business units.  The village business units will improve nutrition and financial stability as parents will be able to pay for their children’s fees by selling their products and also reduce drug and substance abuse amongst the youths as they are kept busy.  Men and women are also kept busy and this will reduce Gender-Based Violence and dependency.

Mr. Speaker Sir, technology has improved.  As Vision 2030 carries the vision of a digital economy, we can all agree on the improvements of e-learning, e-medicine and e-business, only to mention a few and also the distribution of computers in various schools including the rural areas.

Mr. Speaker, we now have confidence in our domestic currency, the ZiG.  Business units are running smoothly and are stable.  It gives us a sense of pride to have a strong and stable currency backed by gold.  Vocational and rehabilitation centres have been put in place for the youth of the country as the President is concerned about the youths as they are the leaders of tomorrow.  If they use drugs and substances, they will not be able to focus on the future and the growth of our country.  Drug and substance abuse is a serious issue. All those involved in that should be dealt with accordingly.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I will end with a quote that captures the idea that some people intentionally choose to overlook or remain ignorant of the good deeds and positive actions happening around them being done by our President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa.  I hope we all see the good work and choose to move forward with him towards our Vision 2030 and also appreciate the things he mentioned in the SONA as he is a President of his words.  The quote is from James Boldwin Mr. Speaker. It says, “There are none so blind as those who will not see.  The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know”.  I thank you.

          *HON. KASHAMBE: Mr. Speaker, in the interest of the majority of Zimbabweans and the constituency that I represent, I am going to present my SONA in my language, Shona.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate the President of this country, Hon. President Mnangagwa and the Members of Parliament on winning the 2023 elections. I would also like to appreciate that the elections were peaceful and fair as was said by those who came to monitor. The President talked much about the various crops that are grown in Zimbabwe because farming is being done in Zimbabwe such that people are no longer suffer from hunger. Adding on to farming, our President constructed dams so as to cater for the climate change. Sometimes the rains do not come as expected and these dams will help the country to have enough food.

I would also like to thank the President for encouraging that wherever we are, we should continue doing farming and not come to urban areas looking for jobs. By so doing, he said that in every homestead, there should be a farm or garden which should bring economic stability in the homestead, for children’s fees and money for medication. This is what we call business units.

On that note, I would also like to thank Zimbabwe that for the past three years, we have seen that we are now experts in wheat production and every day, we have bread. We used to import but now we can get wheat locally. I would also like to talk about the mining of minerals in this country. We used to mine in small quantities but because of the support …

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Please stick to Shona, it is not “support” but kutsigira kwete ku supportwa. What is that?

*HON. KASHAMBE: The support that our young miners are getting, the ones we call artisanal or small-scale miners, are now earning more money.

I would like to also commend the devolution programme that came with the Second Republic, the distribution of minerals and money in Zimbabwe. The money is being distributed to every constituency in this country and we can see that no one and no place is being left behind.

On that score, the issue of roads has been spoken about and we are happy that the development of roads is being done by the citizens of this country. Our roads are now better compared to roads in other countries. The President has said nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.

Mr. Speaker, I think by this time we all now know that internet is mostly used and we would like to thank our President for choosing a young Minister of ICT in Anastacia Tatenda Mavetera. I also want to appreciate that where I come from in Seke, there are plans being made by the President and I am glad that they are reaching where I stay.  

Let me finish off by saying the President showed that he wants the citizens of the country to live well and would like those who are in cities to have title deeds on their dwellings. This is currently on-going in places like Seke and Epworth. Our President is someone who listens to all citizens problems. With these few words, I thank you.

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

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, you should have consulted the Chair. I had a tête-à-tête with the Chief Whip and I thought you were going to do some miracle this afternoon. What happened?

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: No, Mr. Speaker. I wanted to wind up but it is not yet ready.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Okay, we can proceed.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 25th June, 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I move that we revert to Order of the Day Number 1 on today’s Order Paper.

          Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

PRIVATE VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 2, 2024]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. J. MOYO): I rise on behalf of the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to deliver his Second Reading Speech on the Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill. The Bill before you today is a very necessary measure to improve the administration, accountability and transparency of charities in our country. The legal word for charity in our country is Private Voluntary Organisation. Under our law, every charity that uses money collected from the public or donated from a foreign Government or agency is required to be registered as a PVO in terms of the Private Voluntary Organisation Act, which Bill is before you and that is the Bill we seek to amend.

          Let me say from the onset that our country benefits very much from the work of those PVOs which operate lawfully within our borders. PVOs provide support for communities in a wide range of areas where the national or local Government want for resources or expertise have been deficient for any reason. I am speaking of support and assistance in the form of programmes, projects, services, goods and money in such sectors as health and education provision, assistance to widows and orphans for the relief of poverty and hunger and empowerment of youth, women and the disabled.

          We, as Government, are very grateful for the help given by the PVOs. The best PVOs have access to resources, experience and expertise solely needed by the people they benefit. Therefore, from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Government, I would like to applaud you for the great work you are doing. Accordingly, Mr. Speaker Sir, this Bill does not speak to those law abiding PVOs I have just mentioned, but to the few who may be tempted to use the guise of charity to carry out undesirable, harmful and criminal activities. For instance, when this Bill was first introduced, we had received communication from the Financial Action Taskforce which is the world’s police against money laundering that some charitable trusts are being misused as a means for channeling funds to fund terrorism and other criminal activities or to launder the proceeds of criminal activities by buying properties in Zimbabwe and other countries.

          We are also, as the Government, aware that some so-called charities act in a politically partisan manner by directing money to favoured political parties or candidates at the expense of other political parties or candidates. Partisan assistance using foreign money or money collected from the public under the guise of charity must never be allowed to influence the outcome of national or local elections. In many developed countries, this kind of behaviour is understood to be harmful to the very idea of charity. In the United States for example, you cannot register any organisation as a non-profit organisation for tax purposes if that organisation campaigns or canvasses for any political candidate or party.

          It is in this context that this Bill seeks to clean up the space within which the PVOs may operate. For some time now, the Government has noticed that some so called charities have completely bypassed the Private Voluntary Organisations Act by forming “trusts” sanctioned by the Registrar of Deed, Companies and Intellectual Property. This is a devise that is specifically permitted by the Act because originally, Government did not want to discourage families or individuals from forming family or private trusts to benefit family members or member of the public using their own wealth. It is still not our intention to impose registration on these kinds of private trusts.  However, it appears that any trust is using for “charity purposes,” foreign money not generated by their own activities or investments, or using money collected from members of the public at large, then they must be required somehow to register as a PVO under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act.  We want such trusts to be accountable in the eyes of the public on the sources of their funds and the use to which they are put.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, it was realised that the procedures for registration under the Act need to be streamlined and expedited.  This is why some of these charities have chosen the route of forming trusts sanctioned by the Registrar of Deeds, Companies and Intellectual Property.  We cannot run the risk of charities of a public character being used as a cover for theft, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering or partisan political activity.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I will not at this stage, undertake a clause by clause analysis of this Bill.  The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill admirably suits that purpose, I encourage Hon. Members to read it carefully.

          With those words, I urge Hon. Members to support this Bill which is intended to promote a better, safer and more conducive environment for the operation of PVOs in our country.  I move that the Bill be now read a second time, Mr. Speaker.  I thank you.

          HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to present a report on the Joint Portfolio Committees on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on public consultations on the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill [H.B. 2, 20024].

INTRODUCTION

The Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill [H.B. 2. 2024] was published in the Gazette on the 1st of March 2024. The Bill has four objectives.  The first is to comply with the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) recommendations, especially number 8 which targets the abuse of Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) for terrorist financing. This recommendation emphasises a risk-based approach, requiring governments to identify PVOs at risk and apply proportionate measures to mitigate these risks.  The second objective is to streamline administrative procedures for PVOs to allow for their efficient regulation and registration.   The third and fourth objectives are to provide measures to prevent and mitigate proliferation financing and to safeguard against the abuse of charitable giving for political or social undesirable ends respectively. 

FATF is an inter-governmental organisation founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 countries and Zimbabwe is a member. FATF was established to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the integrity of the international financial system. Each member country is assessed periodically for compliance with the policies and legislation on money laundering and financing of terrorism.  The main objectives of FATF include setting standards and promoting effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measure, assessing compliance by countries, identifying and analysing threats, promoting global adoption and implementation, maintaining a list of high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions supporting the implementation of financials providing training and technical assistance.  These objectives help to protect the global financial system from misuse and promote transparency, integrity, and resilience in financial markets.  Zimbabwe was placed under a monitoring programme in October 2018 by FATF in order to ensure the country aligns its laws on private voluntary organisations.

METHODOLOGY

In terms of Section 141 of the Constitution, which mandates Parliament to ensure public involvement in its legislative process and that interested parties are consulted about Bills, the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, and the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development conducted public consultations on the Bill from 12 to 17 May 2024. The Joint Committee was divided into two teams which undertook consultations at 10 different venues across the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.

In addition, the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare attended a workshop organised by Zim Institute in partnership with the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.  The workshop was also attended by representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) during which they presented their views on the Bill.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

General Observations

Some members of the public supported the Bill, stating that PVOs needed to be regulated at a higher level since some of them abuse funds from donors for personal gain. It was highlighted that as long as PVOs operate in good faith, sticking to their mandate and transparency, they would never be adversely affected by the new amendments.  In addition, it was noted that good supervision of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) was necessary to stop them from meddling in politics, particularly by supporting political parties. Some NGOs were accused of using the communities to source funds, but such funds were never used for the benefit of the communities. Furthermore, it was noted that some PVOs were diluting the local culture, resulting in moral decadence, hence the need for regulation. Finally, the Bill was applauded as it sought to curb terrorism, which had profoundly affected some countries socio-economically, including those on the continent.

  • Some members of the public were of the view that the Bill, as currently drafted, imposes broad and restrictive measures that could undermine the operational effectiveness and independence of the Non-Profit Organisations sector since all civil society organisations need to be registered as PVOs. They stated that the Bill does not adequately differentiate between high-risk and low-risk Non-Profit Organisations. This lack of specificity could result in unnecessary restrictions on legitimate activities, ultimately harming the sector's ability to contribute to the social and economic development of the country, resulting in loss of employment and foreign currency earnings through taxes paid by NGOs and humanitarian assistance. Another reservation by the public on the Bill was that the Ministerial intervention and harsh penalties may lead to self-censorship and discourage NPOs from engaging in advocacy and human rights work. This could weaken the sector’s role in promoting social justice and holding the government accountable.  
  • The proposal was to retain the distinction between charitable trusts and other NGOs. It argued that having all PVOs regulated in one basket will create conflict with existing laws as registration processes and regulation mechanisms are different.    It was proposed that trusts registered under the Deeds Registries Act and common law universitas should still be allowed to exist and operate within mandates and remain exempted from registration as PVOs.  However, some applauded this approach, citing that the PVOs should abide by the law and operate within their core business and therefore, should be registered as PVOs.  Lastly, there were some members of the public who rejected the Bill.

Highlights of Participants' Views

Clause 3

The overall concern by the CSOs was the removal of the PVO Board and replaced by the Registrar of PVOs who shall be the registration and regulatory authority of PVOs.  They complained that all decision-making powers are placed in the hands of the Registrar and suggested limiting the Registrar’s powers to clearly defined administrative functions.  They also called for involvement of a board to investigate issues before any ministerial intervention. Additionally, they recommended incorporating judicial oversight mechanisms to ensure that decisions to suspend or dissolve PVOs are subject to independent review. Another proposal was to maintain the PVO Board as opposed to having the Registrar and that the PVO Board’s composition should have more members appointed by CSOs. 

Clause 4

It was proposed that the CSOs themselves, through a creation of self-regulating National Council of PVOs, should convene the PVO Forum instead of the Registrar and that the proposed council should be the one to adopt its own structure and by-laws. 

In terms of time for compliance with registration processes, it was proposed that the transitional period should be extended to 12 months instead of 30 days just like the ones provided for in Section 303 (9) of the Companies Act.  Thus, allowing enough time for PVOs to comply.  CSOs opined that the 30-day registration deadline was too short and may result in disqualification of some already operating NGOs.   CSOs also complained that the Bill does not provide time limits within which the Registrar must determine application for PVO registration.        

Another concern by CSOs was that the Bill was not clear on the registration requirements and registration fees to be paid and proposed that these should be clearly stated in the Bill. 

Furthermore, a call was made that criminal sanctions, which is level 12- and one-year imprisonment should be removed and replaced with fair penalty such as paying fines.

Clause 6

The CSOs argued that there was no need for PVOs to apply to amend the particulars of registration where there are material changes relating to the Constitution and ownership. The proposal was that PVOs should not be required to register more than once, and the meaning of material change should be changed to mean a change in the composition of the board of the organisation and the objectives of a PVO.  CSOs feared victimisation by the Registrar citing that he/she can approve or reject application.  CSOs cited that international good practice demands that associations are not required to obtain permissions from authorities before revising their internal management structures or rules.

Clause 7

The provision in the Bill that appeals from the decision of the Registrar goes to the Minister who may uphold the Registrar’s decision or refer the decision back to the Registrar, was considered as giving the Registrar too much powers instead of referring the appeals to the High Court as the highest level of authority.  The CSOs complained that there was no right to appeal thereby ousting the jurisdiction of the courts and the right to fair hearing.  CSOs also proposed the establishment of a grievance and complaints committee comprising of representatives from government and CSOs where PVOs can lodge their complaints and concerns.

Clause 8

The public supported the clause, emphasising the need for PVOs to disclose the source of their funding to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and that such funds should come in through the central bank for monitoring purposes. However, some CSOs called for the need to define illegitimate and immoral sources of donations.

Clause 9

Some CSOs complained that this clause gives the Minister unfettered power to interfere in the internal management of PVOs, resulting in a violation of freedom of assembly.  Another submission was that Clause 9 does not oblige the Minister to engage a representative sample of PVOs in risk assessments, thus violating Recommendation 8 of FATF.

Clause 10

It was submitted that it is not clear what supporting or opposing a political party or candidates entails and proposed that the provision should specifically prohibit financing campaigns and partisan political support. It was further proposed that the criminal sanctions, that of level 12 or one year imprisonment should be limited to payment of fines.

Clause 12

It was pointed out that the introduction of civil penalties, including personal liability and fines in USD, presents challenges and proposed the inclusion of an appeal mechanism to ensure that these penalties are subject to judicial oversight, protecting against arbitrary or unfair enforcement.

Committee Observations

The following are the Committee’s observations:

There were mixed feelings with regards to the Bill. Some members of the public were supporting the Bill to be passed as it is, some rejected the Bill whilst some were calling for amendments to some sections.

  • Some members of the public were not fully aware of some provisions in the Bill, resulting in general contributions not relevant to the Bill.
  • There were fears from CSOs and some members of the public that the Minister might use the powers given on Clause 9 of the Bill to punish or close the PVOs perceived to be supporting political activities resulting in loss of employment and humanitarian support.
  • The public also feared that some NGOs, especially those in the humanitarian sector might fail to register within the stipulated period of 30 days thereby risking deregistration in the current face of El Nino induced drought.
  • Some members of the public and CSOs were of the opinion that the PVO Amendment Bill was coming to remove all NGOs in Zimbabwe. However, the Committee believes that Government was mindful of the supportive role played by PVOs in assisting the disadvantaged members of society such as persons with disabilities, women, youth, children and the elderly and will not arbitrarily use the law to close genuine PVOs.
  • There was a concern by CSOs that there was no right to appeal thereby ousting the jurisdiction of the courts and the right to fair hearing in that appeals from the decision of the Registrar goes to the Minister who may uphold the Registrar’s decision or refer the decision back to the Registrar instead of referring the appeals to the High Court.

          Recommendations

The Committee, therefore, recommends that:

  • The timeframe for registration of the PVOs should be extended to at least nine months to allow proper vetting and submission of all necessary paperwork from the PVOs.
  • In terms of dealing with appeals from the decisions of the Registrar, the High Court should be the highest authority instead of the Registrar, to allow the right to appeal and the right to a fair hearing.
  • The Bill should define and specify the political activities that PVOs should not support.

On the issue raised by NGOs on fears of victimisation and closure of some PVOs, the Committee recommends some collaboration between the Government and NGOs. I so submit Madam Speaker.

HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise with a deep heart and regret at the reintroduction of the Private Voluntary Organisations Bill (PVO) before this august House.  This Bill Madam Speaker, is actually bad for this country.  You need to understand Madam Speaker that this is not the first time that this Bill has been brought to the august House.  In the last Parliament, the Bill was brought and the President, in his wisdom, refused to sign this Bill to become law. 

Madam Speaker, today we are in this august House, again to debate on this Bill.  From a hygienic perspective, I know that the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, being the Leader of Government Business, is within his right to come here to present a Bill on behalf of other ministers.  It also speaks volumes Madam Speaker, that the relevant Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare does not have the guts to come to this august House to stand and present this Bill that has got a huge negative effect on this economy. 

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  On a point of Order Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. TSITSI ZHOU): What is your point of order?

HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  I want Hon. Mushoriwa to withdraw that the Minister does not have guts to come here solely because I presented it.  Where rules permit, then you do not make an inference without full information why the Minister is not in the House.  In fact, the Minister is not a coward, he is one of the best ministers that we have in terms of articulating issues – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] -  He was even dispatched by His Excellency to go and deal with foreign Governments in respect of this particular Bill. So, if the Hon. Member can withdraw that particular statement because it is not supported by any rule whatsoever. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:   Thank you Hon. Minister.  Hon. Mushoriwa, can you please withdraw your statement?

HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘guts’, that the Hon. Minister had no guts.  What I wanted to emphasise Madam Speaker is that the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, even assuming that the Minister is away on Government business, the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare who is also a minister, should also have had the courtesy to come before this august House or even if the Hon. Minister was to present, we would also expect the Deputy Minister to be in the House.

Be that as it may, Madam Speaker, I just want to tell you that Zimbabwe today, we declared a natural disaster and we are in a limbo as a country just like …

HON. ZIYAMBI: Sorry Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member cannot continue on the basis of assumptions.  He must withdraw his assertion.  Where the rules allow a minister to be present on behalf of another minister, which is also in the Constitution, the Hon. Member is terribly misinformed on the function of Government. Even if you go into the Constitution, Cabinet Ministers are individually and collectively responsible for their work.

So, where there is collective responsibility, we do not want people to cast aspersions on a particular minister when the responsibility is on the whole Government and he cannot continue in that line of argument which is not necessary. I thank you Hon. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mushoriwa, you are well aware that the Cabinet Ministers are given different assignments and the fact that they are not here means they are engaged in some other business.  Please can you withdraw your statement?

HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, I had actually withdrawn the statement. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mushoriwa, you then went ahead and mentioned something that you also need to withdraw. 

          HON. MUSHORIWA: I think for the sake of progress Madam Speaker…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, order!  Can we have order in the House?  Just be honourable enough and withdraw.

          HON. MUSHORIWA: I withdraw.  Madam Speaker, I just want to emphasise that this year, as a country, we have actually extended a begging bowl so that we could be in a position to feed the nation.  One of the things that you do not want to do is the timing of bringing such a Bill before this august House.  We cannot, Madam Speaker, at a time when we are at our lowest, when we need to be assisted, we then bring such a Bill.

The Hon. Minister said that this Bill does not affect all the PVOs in general, but in life in general, perception is more powerful than reality.  When you go through this Bill, Madam Speaker, you will realise that this Bill does not mean good for this country. Madam Speaker, this Bill has got three objections. Firstly, it says that it has to comply with the Financial Action Task Force.   Secondly, it has to do the streamlining, the administrative issues and also to prevent the PVOs from undertaking political lobbying.  

I wanted to point out to you, Madam Speaker that first and foremost, if you read this Bill in its entirety, you find that most of the provisions in this Bill, I am quite confident and sure that the Constitutional Court, if it is subjected, suppose we have to pass this Bill, most of these provisions will be found to be ultra vires the Constitution. In fact, Madam Speaker, you will find that some of the provisions that are contained in this Bill, in 1997, the Supreme Court made a ruling that said the same importation that have been brought into this Bill was found by the courts to be ultra vires the Constitution

I will explain to you, Madam Speaker, what this Bill wants to do.  This Bill wants to give the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and his officials the right to meddle in the affairs of PVOs and not only meddle, Madam Speaker but it is the manner, the methodology in which a systematic onslaught is being cooked up to deal with private voluntary organisations which in my view, cannot be allowed to happen in this country. You have a situation where the Ministers can literally suspend management of a PVO without any hearing, without even hearing the side of the story from the PVO.  The Minister or his officials can literally do such a thing. 

Madam Speaker, this cannot be allowed to happen in Zimbabwe and more-so when we want to move forward.  You are aware Madam Speaker that recently, His Excellency President Chissano and the President of the AfDB, part of the things that they have actually raised is that we are in the high debt resolution and we want to make sure that we have got engagements with our international creditors pertaining to our debt and one of the key things that is crucial is that we should be seen as a country, to be making laws that do not send wrong signals but should actually make laws that speak to the developmental agenda which co-exist.

          We need to make sure that what we speak on the right side also marries with what happens on the left side.  If you look at the Government position paper on the Debt Resolution Conference and what is actually happening through this Bill, Madam Speaker, it is actually opposite.  That Government policy inconsistency does not help to build a nation.  If you then look, even if assuming for once that this Bill was meant to comply with the Financial Action Task Force but just go to the provision of the Financial Action Task Force, what does it say?  It says that Government should actually work, cooperate with civic societies in making sure that they curb terrorist funding, money laundering and the other aspects, but what does this Bill do Madam Speaker?  This Bill seeks to do the very opposite.  This Bill wants to make sure that it attacks the foundation of the private voluntary organisations. 

I want to state here that in terms of the benefit to this economy, the private voluntary organisations have done extreme work, even in terms of capacitation of its Members of Parliament in this august House, in terms of feeding our people, in terms of climate change and other areas.  PVOs have done a superb job and what are we supposed to be doing?  We are supposed to be aiding and making the process of them working easier so that they continue to do the proper job.  Not only that, Madam Speaker, the PVOs in a country where formal unemployment levels are too high, have actually absorbed quite a huge workforce which has actually assisted generally in the welfare of our citizens, but here we are Madam Speaker.  We now have this Bill before us.

          Now, let us talk about streamlining administrative procedures.  This Bill does not seek to streamline administrative procedures.  In fact, this Bill will make it even extremely difficult for PVOs to operate.  Let me just give you an example.  This Bill gives the Minister without notice, powers to simply do some changes and this is contrary to the provisions of Section 68 of the Constitution which allows for due process.  The other thing which is actually very dangerous to this Bill, the Bill gives the Minister a blank cheque, not only to cover the current PVOs, but it also gives the Minister to even bring other institutions that are not currently under the ambit of this Bill.

          Madam Speaker, as the Parliament of Zimbabwe, we cannot allow a Bill like this to pass through this august House because it is tantamount to unzipping the powers of Parliament to make laws and such laws cannot be allowed to go.  Then the third reason, we are told that they want to prevent PVOs from undertaking political lobbying.  I think this one Madam Speaker, maybe could have probably been the real reason of this Bill, but if it was the real reason as I suspect and the Minister may disagree, then I want to tell you that it has actually been done in a wrong manner. 

As a country, we have the Political Parties Finance Act and if anyone was to do anything which is contrary to the Political Parties Finance Act, then the Government has got a right to charge a person along that legislation which exists, but what does this Bill do?  First, it contravenes the provisions of the Constitution in terms of freedom of association and it does not also describe how you describe political lobbying.  If Mushoriwa is working for X PVO entity, but I have got my own inclination as a person who works for that organisation and it is allowed, the Constitution allows me to do so.  It should not be criminalised because it is within the ambit of their right.

          Understandably Madam Speaker, the Constitution under Section 86 allows certain limitations of freedom of association but the limitation should be reasonable, necessary and justifiable in a democratic society.  I want to put to you Madam Speaker that the provisions that are contained in this Bill do not justify those limitations.  Then you also want to look, Madam Speaker, even as an entity, a PVO, let us assume for instance there is an NGO that supports the preservation of wetlands as their key manifesto, I do not think it should be an issue that NGOs should be punished for such a thing.

Madam Speaker, I want to tell you that this Bill has got major ramifications if we were to pass it. I want to emphasise that even in terms of public hearings …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can we have order in the House.

HON. MUSHORIWA: I just wanted to emphasise something. I wanted to tell you that in the history of public hearings on Bills, we have never seen what we saw during the public hearings pertaining to the PVO Amendment Bill. The chaos that we witnessed, things that we saw on social media, the reports that we got even from the staff of Parliament and threats to their lives pertaining to this Bill, points to a position which I then say the Government should do, in my view, what the President did in the last Parliament.

This Bill should not see the light of the day. We should agree across the political divide to make sure that this Bill needs to be sent back to the Ministry of Public Service to reconsider and relook. I am aware Madam Speaker that civic society have also engaged the Government. I am glad the Hon. Minister of Justice attended one of the meetings that it was reported that he was part of them.

There is need and indeed, I will also be submitting several amendments to this Bill, we cannot allow this Bill to pass as is. This Bill will destroy this country, the livelihoods of several citizens of this country and this Bill does not in anyway threaten support of any political party. This Bill is not for Zimbabwe and because of that, I urge this august House to agree with me that this Bill should not pass through this Parliament. I thank you.

*HON. GANYIWA: Madam Speaker, let me add my voice on the importance of this Bill and I want to thank you on the opportunity to debate this Bill so that we move forward as a nation. Let me say that if you look at us all in this House and I want to say to the nation at large and in this House, that we are married people but what we cannot agree to is what I am about to say now that we could be married to people who were once other people’s fiancés. What happens after that is to see the ex-fiancé of your spouse continue to court your partner bringing gifts. No spouse wants that.

As a married person, I would get worried why an ex-fiancé wants to continue giving me gifts. I would query the intentions before accepting the gift because what I am seeing here is yes, it is true that we are married to someone’s ex but because I love my family, I guard jealously my home. We were once colonised and it is clear, most of the NGOs are coming from the colonisers, so we will ask what their ulterior motives are. What are they seeing in our nation? We are representing people in the constituencies and you will see some of the NGOs coming, pretending to want to help people but they have ulterior motives and want to be helped themselves.

I know there is technology and we should help each other. There are some who are lucky who have wives who also assist but I do not enjoy using the money that is brought by my wife before I know where she gets the money from because there is a danger. If one is enticed with a carrot, you find people destroying their homes because of things that are not within their reach. There are corrupt people out there.  Those who want to help should come to the table and lay their views or challenges, not for people who want to help to cry to help people.

I once talked in this House that if I have a very beautiful wife but if I do no have any children, you can come and try to help us, but I do not want that person to take my wife. I will protect my wife. You can help me in all the other areas, but I will not allow anyone to take my wife to bed. I will flex my muscles.

          Madam Speaker, kindly help us so that we can investigate and analyse this Bill so that we can protect our nation from people who have ulterior motives when it comes to aid and donations. When I read the Bible, the last verse which still lingers in my mind says ‘blessed is the hand that gives than the one that receives.’ As Zimbabwe, we also want to give and not to be given. We have a lot that we can give to them.

          I am happy because the Bill refers to the Minister who is part of the Executive. He looks at how our nation is being run when it comes to our economy and culture. He is the one who knows how to protect his people. In the rural areas there, I came across some organisation which was helping people with food, but they were acting as ZIMSTAT because they were counting people. If Government does not have the powers to listen to what the people are saying, then they should act promptly. The Minister should be empowered so that he can stop people who want to breach our laws – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          The Hon. Member who debated before me referred to politics where all funds are investigated and approved, but if dirty money is given to some people in the rural areas out there, how will they know that the money is dirty? There is a term that is used in English which says that “money has got a voice and it amplifies whatever a person can say”. A person who has money is more influential than a person who does not have money.  They say that money amplifies voices of mankind. Money gives volume and value to what is said, even if it is valueless. If we are not very careful and let funds come into the country and be given to people by people whom we do not trust, we will destabilise our country.  

          The other day I was watching television where in some countries, people are not allowed to ask a person whether they have a husband or wife in public. It is not allowed, but those countries want to sneak those things here because they will ask whether you have a partner because what they are saying is that they are promoting homosexuality. Asking a person whether they have a wife or husband offends people. Now they want to bring that aspect in this country clandestinely. We do not subscribe to that.

          Madam Speaker, I stood up because the previous Hon. Member’s debate was off the line. If we look at our culture, there are certain things that if they are talked about, they open a can of worms and threaten the way our people live. If there is a thing that is important, it is what the Minister has just read in this House. That is what is important because if we leave it as free for all, this country will not be governable. Any good democratic country should have laws and rules that protect its people. We should put a sieve so that we screen what is to be imbedded in our laws. This sieve is really needed so that we filter the coming in of things like these.

          In conclusion, let me say that there are some people who want to debate on this motion, but let me say that those who want to help should not impose their aid to those that want assistance. I thank you.

          HON. MALINGANISO: Thank you Madam Speaker, good afternoon. Madam Speaker, I am a keen reader of the Holy Book, the Bible. There is one such prophet who stands out in the Bible and it is Prophet Amos.  A lot of commentators would christen him a prophet of doom.  He was the first prophet to pronounce punishment on a chosen nation, Israel. He was in exile for three transgressions and for fall of Israel, I will not revoke the punishment.  If you read the Book of Hosea, he is instructed to go and marry a woman of harlotry.  I am seeking here to underscore that in his wisdom, the Lord gave a chosen nation a guiding manual.  He gave a chosen nation a divine constitution.  If you read Amos, you will realise that there were blessings upon deeds of obeisance and curses upon deeds of disobedient.

          Madam Speaker Ma`am, it would appear that jurisdictions across the world have only mimicked the will of God.  You cannot exist in a setting that is void of guiding statutes.  We are a nation that has unique history, history of subjugation, a history of colonisation and for us to be here enjoying this peace, our forefathers had to bear the brunt of a protracted armed struggle for the sole purpose that as a sovereign nation, we do govern ourselves and as guided or as directed by the Constitution, this is not a Bill that has been imposed upon people.  It is a Bill.  It is not a Bill that was imposed upon people, it was a Bill that was crafted, a Bill Parliament took to the people to hear their views.   The Portfolio Chairperson has just shared with us the findings from the people.  It will be amiss if we seek in our collective or individually to try and discredit the voices of the masses.

          Whenever there is a situation of domination and subordination between two groups, whatever their colour or religion, this will be reflected in their language.  By language, I do not refer to a chosen way of speaking but I am talking of content that is within speeches.  Madam Speaker, it is not time for us to continue to be surrogates.  It is not time for us to continue to be available for the whims and caprices of the erstwhile colonisers; we must self-determine. 

          Madam Speaker, the Bill, in my view, is a good Bill, as I have alluded to. We are a sovereign nation that ought to be governed by its own laws and the rules cannot be changed to suit the whims and caprices of individuals or groups that seek to derail the progress we are seeking to author as a nation. Where I come from, and this I also heard as we moved around the nation doing public hearings that we have had NGOs that have had a system of coming and trying to assist – in Shona they say vanouya vakafuga matehwe ehwai idzo dziri mbada. Why do I say so Madam Speaker? NGOs would approach Government, they are cleared to hand out food stuffs but within their pockets, individuals would find papers and descriptions campaigning for certain political parties. It is therefore common cause that we have certain individuals that are discrediting the Bill because their parties are the ones whose inscriptions were found in those food stuffs.

          If, as the over-amplified the notion of freedom of association must be respected, Madam Speaker, those that are seeking to partake in our politics must register political parties and not come out in the jackets of PVOs.  In Shona, they say kuvhunduka chati kwatara hunge une katurikwa. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] -Why would one who has good intentions be afraid of being regulated? It is a question that we must ask ourselves before we rise…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, you are the Chief Whip from my left side and hence you are supposed to act like one.  It is not proper for you to start shouting or else everyone on my left side will start shouting, so please behave like a Chief Whip.  Hon. Member, please continue.

          HON. MALINGANISO: Madam Speaker, it is true that we are in the midst of an El Nino induced drought and there is a likelihood of hunger.  Where I come from, Government has just distributed food, three months worth of food.  Yesterday, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare said in this House that those in towns that are hungry are allowed to request cash for food, that is our state of preparedness.  Even so Madam Speaker, the fact that we have hunger must not be a cause for failure to enact our own laws.  Hon. Ganyiwa said, as a proud father, he governs his home. In Shona, hatirase mbereko nekufirwa. The over-amplified FATF recommendations that I have heard a certain Hon. Member saying, does not direct Zimbabwe to do what it is about to do.  I think it has been misconstrued Madam Speaker, that we do have terrorism in Zimbabwe and this must not stop us from arriving at a place of enacting laws to deter such. 

          Why do I say so Madam Speaker? We have just discovered oil, we have just discovered gas, and these minerals have been known to be a cause of sponsored uprising for that matter and in the recent history, we have Nigeria where there is ISIS. If we do not have such laws, organisations that are seemingly conventional might be abused for the purpose of sponsoring instability and in our case, for purposes of regime change as always has been the case.

What made me stand and speak is a point that was raised by a certain Hon. Member that Government must cooperate with PVOs. In my respectful view Madam Speaker, the reverse is true. It is PVOs that must cooperate with Government.  Why do I say so Madam Speaker Ma`am? A visitor cannot arrive and begin to change rules. When a visitor arrives in Rome, they should do what the Romans do.  If you are a PVO coming to Zimbabwe, you must do what Zimbabweans direct.  These are laws that are not being enacted unilaterally.  As I have alluded to, we have had public hearings and what stood out that I thought would have been talked about is the fact that indeed, there were disturbances; sponsored disturbances by those hell bent on discrediting the Bill.  Chinua Achebe said “there is not a night so long it does not end with dawn.”  This Bill must be embraced. - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon Tsvangirai.  We are in Parliament and you know we are not supposed to shout.  Please withdraw your statement.

HON. TSVANGIRAI:  I did not say anything.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: As I am sitting here, I can see all of you.  Please can you withdraw?

HON. TSVANGIRAI:  With all due respect, I did not say anything.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Tsvangirai, I have requested you to withdraw what you have said.  Can you please leave the House. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  Order Hon Members, who is saying that from my right.  Order, can we have order in the House.  Who is saying that from my right?  Can we please respect this House from both sides?

HON. MALINGANISO:  Madam Speaker, I was stressing the point that we have had disturbances from sponsored individuals that sought to derail progress but indeed the long night of abuse of PVOs is coming to an end and it must come to an end.  The people in their numbers came and they spoke, the majority in support of the Bill.  The few progressive individuals that had issues have actually submitted recommendations and suggested amendments.  Democracy is a game of numbers and people in their numbers have spoken in support of the Bill.  So it is not for this House to disrespect democracy and arrive at a place of going against what the people have submitted.  The Bill must be supported.  I so submit Madam Speaker. 

HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Allow me to debate this very important Amendment Bill.  I want to first start by talking about the role of this Parliament as stipulated and codified in Section 117 of the Constitution.  The nature and extent of legislative authority Section 117 (1) (b) says that “the legislative authority confers on the legislature, the power to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Zimbabwe.  This is a very important clause in the Constitution because it says our role as Parliament is to make laws for the good governance, order and peace in this country.  One cannot underestimate the role that is played by non-governmental organisations.  I want you to underline the word non-governmental organisations, which basically means that they are not government organisations which fall under Section 119 of the Constitution.  This Bill takes us backwards and I am reminded in History of the night of the long knives in Germany.  This is what I equate this Bill to - where we are today.  It is worth noting that our GDP and the money that is conferred to various Government ministries and agencies is not enough to support the work that is done in this country.  We will not go far…

HON. MUGWADI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  When speaking in Parliament, it is my humble submission that Hon. Members must articulate their views with precision to ensure that there is no confusion or catch-22 situations that arises out of statements recklessly thrown in the air.  May the Hon. Member  -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, order.  I will not be able to hear his point if you are shouting.

HON. MUGWADI:  The Hon. Member has referred to the night of long knives.  If we have read history from the same book, the night of the long knives was an operation carried out by former Germany Chancellor, Adolf Hitler to kill, slaughter and murder Nazi opponents.  That is what the night of the long knives is clearly about.  He has made reference in debating a PVO Bill and equating it to the night of long knives.  May the Hon. Member, for the sake of myself and other Members, in particular myself, explain how this Bill is supposed to be a night of the long knives.  Who is supposed to be murdered, maimed or tortured in this Bill?  Maybe in the process a fresh can of worms may be clearly opened.  I so submit Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Matewu, for the benefit of everyone, you might need to clarify.

HON. MATEWU: Madam Speaker, the rules clearly state that I am allowed to debate.  I am not raising a point of order or a point of national interest.  I am debating and when you debate, you give the context.  Let me remind my Hon. Friend, Hon. Mugwadi…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Matewu, it is important that you continue to address the Chair and not Hon. Mugwadi.  I am saying it in a way that you might need to allow the House to be on the same page with you.

          HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  In English, there is a saying that says, ‘ignorance is bliss’.  Madam Speaker, the night of the long knives is not just the Germany incident as was mentioned by the Hon. Member from Buhera West.  It was actually an impetuous also in the Parliament in the House of Commons in England.  There is what is also called, the night of the long knives.  So, it is not my problem, it is not my concern that the Hon. Member does not know that incident. I so submit.  I will continue Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - My point of reference…

          THE TEMPORAR SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Matewu.  What is your point of Order Hon. Minister? 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, let me thank Hon. Mugwadi.  The purpose for debate is to allow me to respond.  I am in the same predicament, I do not even know what the night of the long knives in England was all about.  So, if he can explain and relate to the Bill so that I will be able to respond to the second reading speech. I so submit – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Matewu, it is important that we follow your debate.  It is also important if you explain so that we are able to be on the same page with you as the Hon. Minister indicated.  He will need to respond.  So, please, we want to understand exactly what you are talking about.  Thank you. 

HON. CHIGUMBU: On a point of order Madam Speaker!

          HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker!

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Matewu.  What is your point of order Hon. Madzivanyika?

          HON. MADZIVANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I think Madam Speaker, it is important to understand that Parliamentarians are people who are supposed to be learned to the extent that we do not expect you to ask for definitions – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -    If you do not know, you go and research.  The purpose of debate Madam Speaker …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:   Order, Order!  It is very, very – you can take your seat Hon. Madzivanyika, when I say Order, you take your seat.  

It is also very important for all Hon. Members to really understand and follow a debate. Where one does not understand, it is allowed for one to ask exactly what is being meant.  This is a very important debate that is going on and we need to understand.  Hon. Matewu, please continue.

          HON. MATEWU: Thank you Madam Speaker. 

          HON. CHIGUMBU: On a point of Order Madam Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:   Order Hon. Matewu.  What is your point of Order?

          HON. CHIGUMBU:  Madam Speaker, this is a session to debate not to lecture.  When Hon. Mugwadi rose, he did not look for …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Order!

          HON. CHIGUMBU: Allow me to finish Hon. Madam Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:   Order, Order! 

          HON.  CHIGUMBU:  Can you allow me to finish so that …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:   Can you take your seat?  You are all aware that we have an Hon. Minister who is representing the Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare.  This debate is very important for that particular Ministry. It is allowed for the Hon. Minister to get clarity from a Member on the floor.  So, can you allow Hon. Matewu to explain?  Thank you.

          HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My role as Member of Parliament in debate is not to clarify anything - that is for the Hon. Minister to go and research and clarify … - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – However, for the sake of progress, I will explain in Oxford English, when we talk about ‘the night of long knives’, it is an expression to say that things have gone really bad.  That is the context of what the night of long knives means.  I thank you.

          My point, Madam Speaker was that, let us first take a look at Parliament itself.  How many workshops in this august House are actually funded by the non-governmental organisations?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Matewu.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member, if he does not want his views to be responded to, then it is futile for him to continue.  We must agree on that.  If he wants to speak to himself so that the whole world can understand he knows Oxford dictionary, then that is fine. 

The rules of this House are that when you debate the second reading speech, the Minister must respond.  When I seek clarity to link the night of the long knives with the Bill, he must – but when he indicates that, it shows that things have gone bad.    What has gone bad?  He must be able to link that not to come here to speak – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - to show us that he has been in England for a long time and he knows English better than all of us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – We are not proud to be English people, but he must articulate what it means, what he means by saying that things have gone bad in relation to the Bill so that we can respond as the Executive.  I submit.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order! Before you come in Hon. Mugwadi,  Hon. Members to my left, it looks like some of you need to understand and some of you really feel that we need to be on the same line.  The Hon. Minister is indicating that Hon. Matewu explains so that he can also respond and as yet, he has not gotten the response.  Maybe it is because you are not explaining it fully.  Can you walk the Hon. Minister through what happened on the night of the long knives?

          HON. MATEWU:  Madam Speaker, I said it is an expression – it is an expression and I am detailing…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order! I have not given you the floor. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order! Clerk, may you approach the Chair? Order, order!  Can we have order in the House?  Hon. Matewu, may I request you to debate in a manner that is understood and avoid making innuendoes that will disturb the smooth flow of business in the House?

          HON. MATEWU:  Noted Madam Speaker.  Let me get into my debate.  So, Madam Speaker, I was saying the non-governmental organisations play a pivotal role in this country, not least this Parliament, not least the workshops that these Members of Parliament go to that are partly funded by these non-governmental organisations.

          They are important and intrinsic to our work as Members of Parliament.  How many non-governmental organisations are helping people and helping in food distribution?  There is a lot that can be said Madam Speaker.  I would want to say to the Hon. Minister, part of the reasons why they want to sail this Bill was that they wanted to curb money laundering.  I want to ask and I am sure he will respond in his speech.  Is there any evidence of money laundering by any NGOs ever and also, is there any money laundering that has been done and has been investigated by the Finance Intelligence Unit in the RBZ and more-so from ZACC with prosecution and a conviction?  That is very important Madam Speaker because when you make laws, you are making laws to ensure that you achieve something, but if you are not going to achieve anything by a draconian law, then Madam Speaker, that is not acceptable.  This Bill, in my view, violates human rights, freedom of association, peaceful assembly and association, which is sacrosanct in the Constitution.

 Freedom of association, Madam Speaker, is important as NGOs will now be compelled to register as PVOs that may be actually denied registration and they will not be able to continue their operations.  This will actually apply to current NGOs, them being asked to re-register now with the Registrar and maybe denied. That includes those who have already been operating as trusts and also common law inveritas.  The Bill also Madam Speaker, gives powers to the Minister and Registrar, thereby interfering with the independence of NGOs.  Why is this important Madam Speaker, because they are NGOs, which means they should not be treated like statutory bodies like the Zimbabwe Media Commission, the Human Rights Commission where the Minister and someone else have executive oversight over them.  So, this will be contrary to the reason why we have NGOs in this country.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Matewu, you are left with five minutes – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  Can we have order in the House and allow Hon. Matewu to be heard in silence.

HON. MATEWU: Madam Speaker, the Registrar may also terminate contract of employment for NGO employees, which is ludicrous.  How does a Registrar go into a private NGO and terminate employment contracts of them? This is unheard of, Madam Speaker Ma’am. The Bill also introduces civil and criminal penalties which can be imposed on the board members that will discourage the rightful people, the philanthropists from actually associating with any NGO as they fear the law can be used against them.

Madam Speaker, we need to have a holistic approach and look at this Bill. If it is being amended, we need to know Madam Speaker, the actual reasons.  If the reasons are that political parties can be funded, have been funded or allegations of funding, then there must be an investigation into those allegations, not to bring an overarching law that will disenfranchise the poor who are benefiting from the NGOs.

Madam Speaker, the qualifications of the Registrar should be stipulated because the Registrar turns from being an administrator to an executive function, because if they have the power to suspend any member or NGO, then their role actually becomes executive and not administrative as it should be with the name Registrar.

So Madam Speaker, let us make laws in this country for good governance and for peace like what the Constitution says.  Never should we make laws that have an overarching impact on the operations of this country.  Madam Speaker, it is worth noting that billions and I mean billions of dollars, have been funded to, for example if you look at the Ministry of Health and Child Care, it gets millions and millions in foreign currency from NGOs.  We are talking about NGOs that are there, that are actually helping us.  If you look at those NGOs that deal with HIV and so forth, that actually donate drugs to various health ailments, all those come through the NGOs.

It is inconceivable therefore Madam Speaker, that we put stringent laws that will make it difficult for NGOs to operate.

[Time Limit]

HON. MUSHORIWA:  I move that his time be extended, Madam Speaker.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  I second Madam Speaker.  –

AN HON. MEMBER: I object.

Motion put and negatived.

HON. MATEWU:  It has been seconded Hon. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Matewu, it has been negatived.

HON. MATEWU:  Madam Speaker, let us stick to the laws of this House honestly, otherwise there is no point of us coming here to debate.  Let us stick to the rule book. Why should this be draconian?  Where is that law?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Matewu!

+HON. ROSE MPOFU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate this Bill that talks about NGOs.  I strongly support the issue of looking into this Bill because we really need, as Members of Parliament, to put serious considerations on issues brought about by this Bill.

There is no husband who will allow a visitor to come to their home and rule.  Madam Speaker, any NGO that would want to come and operate in this country needs to be looked into.  I think it is better that even if there is hunger in this country, which has always been there especially when we do not get enough rains, our Government has never failed to feed its population.  Despite this hunger challenge, we are seeing developmental projects going on and the President has always been in the forefront saying our county is built by its owners, by its people.  Therefore, as a country, we have our laws just like every other country.  Even though they are non-governmental organisations, they need to stick to the country’s law.  Looking at all of us here, we are all Zimbabweans.  Therefore, we need to look into the other issues that might be coming with non-governmental organisations because Jesus was crucified by people that he trusted.  Right now, we have our ZiG and looking at the way it is gaining, it may even end up being better than United States dollars.  We need to seriously look into this Bill and ensure that NGOs that want to operate into this country are clearly looked into to see if their operations have been looked into seriously. 

          Let us clearly looking into their roles because if we do not do that, we will let the enemies come into our country.  When you get home with 10 children and you give them money, you will have already captured these children.  Therefore, I feel this Bill needs to pass early. Those who do not want to have their operations clearly looked into, then let them stop operating from this country. 

Madam Speaker Ma’am, with these few words, I feel that l have aired my views regarding this Bill.  Non-governmental organisation are helpful but some of their help is not honest.  Most of it comes during election time.  So if it is like that, we will not allow such.  We will not let thieves to come and destroy us.  I would rather go hungry than to sell my country.  Those who went for outreach programmes saw what I am talking about.  Those who want to assist us need to come fairly and use the proper channels.

          *HON. MAPIKI:  I think I should go back to history because we cannot talk about NGOs without the history.  These NGOs did not start today which some people are defending, they started long back.  When we started the struggle fighting Cecil John Rhodes, that was the birth of NGOs.  They started during the British South African Company, during the battleThere was the Rhodes Foundation.  It was set up so that it would topple the black Governments.  Even in Asia, some parties are there.  From the British Southern African Company, there was the Cecil John Rhodes foundation.  There was Anglo-Ndebele war.  When we were fighting the Whites during the struggle, Anglos were really defending the interest of the British.  When the Anglo war was set, they congregated after the war in Africa.  They realised that when using the guns; because the children in Africa now wanted their things, they came up with other foundations.  These are British foundations.  They also sat down and chose Obasanjo to lead.  His main job was to recruit young people who would accept anyone. 

          In Uganda, they took Bobi Wine; here in Zimbabwe they took Chamisa and in Zambia they took  Hichilema. We want you to see how these stories developed so that when we talk about these issues, we will not waste our time…

          HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order. When a Member debates, let them debate the Bill for the benefit of the Hon. Minister for his response. We cannot allow the Hon. Member to just go on, which will not benefit the Hon. Minister.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, I think you have had your time to debate and allow Hon. Mapiki to debate at this point in time.

          *HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Madam Speaker for protecting me. When we talk about issues to do with NGOs in this Bill, people should know the history so that when we come to where we are now, we would have protected our country. The people that we are talking about such as Obasanjo, are the ones who are leading the British Open House. Obasanjo was the leader in Nigeria and if you see his works, you find that the Britons will intervene because we have not seen any NGOs coming from Russia or China but they come from the West, the countries that colonised us. So their main aim is to topple the African Governments.

          This Bill which has been brought in by the Minister should be supported because we have to protect and fence our nation or property. It can be wires or gardens or anything so we should fence our things. I remember these organisations during the 2023 elections, there was an organisation which gave one of the oppositions US$5 million to use in their politics. Why was the $5 million not given to children of Zimbabwe? We should look closely at issues like that when talking about the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

          Hon. Ganyiwa referred to people who have ulterior motives. If you see your wife receiving gifts from the neighbour, it means there is something. All those who are arguing and supporting detractors of Zimbabwe, I do not know their standing. Many organisations, when you see oppositions making noise, it is because they are being given money …

          *HON.  G. K. HLATHSWAYO: On a point of order Madam Speaker. My point of order is that we would want to know those who are given money.

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Hlatshwayo, you want to know those who are being referred to by Hon. Mapiki. Hon. Mapiki, please speak about things that you know and have authority.

          *HON. DHLIWAYO: I just wanted to say that we do not know the names so they can approach Hon. Mapiki privately.

          *HON. MAPIKI: That is what we are referring to Hon. Speaker because this thing is not coming out well. People are being given money and we cannot name people who are not present here but if I was allowed, I could point them out.

          Let me go further and articulate what is at hand. There is a proliferation of NGOs from the time that we discovered oil and gas in Muzarabani. That is when they started flocking into the country. There is an author by the name Ngugi wa Thiongo from Kenya who said that what these whites do is that they steal 20 bags of maize from your homestead and when you are crying, they take two bags from the 20 and give it to you pretending as if they have helped you. These donors are offering workshops for Members of Parliament so that we go and sell our country through workshops. If it is like that, then it is not proper.

          When we went to war, Parliaments were there, but they did not protect us. We should put laws that support and protect us. I want to support the Bill which is being proposed by the Minister. There was the war of liberation, but now we are faced with the war of economic emancipation. Minister, we will support you. His Excellency, the President once said that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Many as we are, let us support this Bill. We cannot stop some people from crying about the introduction of this Bill, but let us carry on. Aluta continua!

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

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 25th June 2024.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Ten Minutes past Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday 25th June 2024.

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