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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 21 MARCH 2024 VOL 50 NO 39

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 21st March, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

PARLIAMENTARY YOUTH CAUCUS

THE ACTING. SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA): I have to inform the House that a Parliamentary Youth Caucus was formed during the Ninth Parliament, consequently all Hon. Members who are below the age of 35 years are automatically Members of this Caucus.  In this regard, such Hon. Members are kindly advised to register their names with Mr. Mugariri in office number 104. 

In addition, Youth Caucus Members are reminded that the induction workshop for the Caucus is proceeding as planned and will be held in Mutare at the Holiday Inn Hotel from 22nd to 25th March, 2024.  Hon. Members will use the Parliament Bus which will leave New Parliament Building at 1400 hours on Friday, 22nd March, 2024. Hon. Members are urged to confirm their attendance.

HON. CHIWANZA: On a point of national interest. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This month being women’s month, our Lady Chevrons won a gold medal in Ghana at the All Africa Games.  I think it will be heart-warming for them and the nation of Zimbabwe to know that, through you Mr. Speaker Sir, that the Parliament of Zimbabwe is congratulating them.

HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to present my point of national interest whose topic is ‘World Water Day’.   Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating the World Water Day.  World Water Day is a calendar event that has been set aside by the United Nations.  It is held every year since 1993.  It is an observance focusing on the importance of fresh water. 

As we commemorate, we are reminded of the critical importance of water as a finite resource that must be managed and utilised sustainably.  I must from the onset, commend the Government of Zimbabwe for its on-going efforts in the construction of dams and drilling of boreholes. This ensures water security and plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Mr. Speaker Sir, water is not just a resource, it is freedom from disease, the foundation of our agriculture and the key to a thriving economy.  According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), only 41% of the Zimbabwean population has access to clean and potable water whilst most of the populace consume unsafe water, hence exposing many people to water-borne diseases such as Cholera

Climate change further intensifies this crisis with erratic rainfall patterns disrupting water supplies.  This is a stark reminder that ensuring water security is a national imperative. 

Fellow legislators, we must act, we can invest in repairing and expanding water infrastructure or perform our oversight role to ensure the prioritisation of water management practices or promotion of rain water harvesting and water saving technologies.  Let us use our Constituency Development Fund on water projects.  By working together, we can turn the tide.  Let Water World Day not just be a commemoration, but a call to action.  Let us secure a future where every Zimbabwean has access to this fundamental right, the right to clean and potable water.  As Hon. Members in this august House, let us work together towards a future where water resources are conserved, protected and made accessible to each and every individual contributing to a healthier and sustainable Zimbabwe for generations to come.

In conclusion, there is need to support the achievements of Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 - Water and Sanitation for all by 2030.  I so submit.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 10 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 11 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

LAW FOR THE PROVISION OF LAND TENURE SECURITY    Eleventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the need to enact a law providing security of tenure to all the land including communal land.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. J. TSHUMA:  Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for recognising me to add my voice on this very pertinent issue.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, just last week, we listened to one fine Hon. Member articulating himself so well about the importance of our land, the value of our land and I am here to simply buttress that same trajectory.  Our land Mr. Speaker Sir, was fought for.  Our land did not come easily.  The people who had taken our land from us before had not even paid for it.  I remember when the colonisers came to this very country, they would actually ride on horses as far as one could get, and then just peg and say this is now my land.

          They chased away our fore-fathers from that land and took them to some barren land where there could be no production whatsoever.  Our brave sons and daughters of Zimbabwe went out there and some of them never came back to Zimbabwe fighting for this very same land.  This land is a land where blood was shed.  There are some men and women who went out there and stayed in the bushes without a pay slip, without medical insurance, fighting to free this land so that it would belong to us, once and for all – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

          Today it amazes me, and I am glad Mr. Speaker Sir, for the person who moved this motion that has exposed a serious issue that we need to deal with, once and for all.  From the moment we finish debating this motion, let no Zimbabwean, any normal Zimbabwean for that matter, ever open their mouth and talk about selling this land – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

          This should come to finality Mr. Speaker Sir.  This land cannot be sold.  We have seen examples.  Kenya, for example, gave people land then they gave them title deeds and guess what happened?  The same colonisers came back again and rebought that land.  All the land was rebought and the Kenyans were left with no more land whatsoever.

          We cannot then therefore, fall into that same trap because I can tell you for sure, if for example, the land is given to a person like me who stays in town, if a white man comes back here, they will simply offer me a nice house in Borrowdale, a nice car and some money, I will gladly take that and forgo the land.  We cannot afford that Mr. Speaker.  Besides, what people should understand about this land issue is that wherever we have land, we have so many minerals.  God gave us minerals in abundance.  We are one of the richest countries in Africa in terms of mineral resources. 

          If you put South Africa and Zimbabwe, we have 85% in terms of platinum in the whole world, and then there is someone coming here disguised as if they want to buy land for farming, yet we know that the actual thing they want is what is down there.  We cannot sell it.  So we cannot afford, ladies and gentlemen, to sit here and want to even debate or discuss the issue of saying let us sell the land because basically, what we are saying is we are selling our minerals in the disguise of selling land.  Minerals are invaluable Mr. Speaker Sir.  They are worth trillions and trillions of dollars as compared to the value of land that some one will simply buy.  Therefore, we cannot sit here and want to condone such an argument.

          So Mr. Speaker Sir, I stand here today to say that the issue of selling land must never be spoken about, ever again.  Let us make sure that we demonise that and anyone who wants to try and speak about that, must really be looked at.

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

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order Hon. Member?

          HON. MABVUDZI:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  The Hon. Member on the floor is diverging from the issue debated here.  We are debating the issue of security of tenure, not the selling of the land – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  He is diverting from the point of debate.  May he debate the issue of security of tenure?  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, when your turn comes to debate, then you will give us what you assume to be the correct facts.

          HON. J. TSHUMA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, for always shedding light to those that might be blind.  I will put it this way Mr. Speaker Sir, as I am going towards my conclusion; our Government sat down and came up with a proper strategy of how to deal with this land issue.  We came up with 99-year leases; we came up with offer letters for our farms.  That is the correct way of dealing with our land.

All we simply need to do now, as Parliament, is to speak to our Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion to go on further to speak to our banks to be able to accept those leases as bankable as they should be and that should be the end of the story.  All we need to do is, once you have been given a lease, you can approach a bank and get a loan to do farming activities or do whatever mining activity you want to do.  The simple matter here is that let us stick to the leases that the Government has so appropriately come up with.  That is the closure of the matter.  My Hon. Members from the left, I hope when we finish here, you shall all come together with us and realise that whoever was sending you and writing those speeches of selling this land, was misleading you and it should never happen ever again.  With these few words, may I take this opportunity to thank you once again for allowing me to air my view on this issue and also making sure that I conscientise my Hon. Members over there to never ever think about selling land.

          HON. MAVHUDZI: On a point of order.  My Hon. Member was debating very well but, in his debate,, he is now enticing some language which is not good to say ‘never ever talk about this issue’, which is not proper in this august House.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Tshuma, were you referring to someone when you said ‘never ever?’

          HON. D. TSHUMA: I do not think that I referred to anyone.  I know most of them by name.  If I wanted to, I was going to name them. 

          HON. T. MUKOMBERI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for this opportunity you gave me for my humble submission to the debate on land tenure.  First and foremost, I want to bring this point of view to say, agricultural land, communal land, all this is land that belongs to the State.  So, we say that land belongs to the State - who is the State?  We are the State.  Collectively as Zimbabweans, we own this land.  It implies therefore, that any attempt to give a title deed to an individual person, we are actually transferring ownership of a certain portion of land that we collectively own, to an individual.  It implies that, that person would therefore, have the right to transfer ownership of the piece of land because he has been given that title deed, which gives him adequate ownership of a property that he can dispose it off to the next person.

          There is a legal principle that is commonly known as de nemo dat rule in Latin.  De nemo dat quod non habet legal principle.  This principle restraints any individual from transferring ownership that he does not have adequate ownership of.  It implies that the fact that as a nation we have to keep this land under the custodian of the President, on behalf of the State, it being State land, it is a restraining factor that restraints any individual person who is occupying any piece of land in Zimbabwe to further transfer the ownership of such to any other person, giving that person rights to sell the same.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, giving somebody title deeds, it means that a person can acquire a loan, securing that land on that loan.  What  it will mean is, if the person fails to discharge his or her obligation, the financial institution can forfeit the piece of land. You see the trend of transferability of the land to an extent that in future, the holder in due course can also sell even to the whites from which we have regained our land.  This land is what we can call the gains of the liberation struggle.  It implies that we have to guard against any source of threats that will result in us losing again the land.  You will find out that recently, we have seen people in Zimbabwe being evicted from pieces of land.  Those people who were occupying a piece of land after the piece of land was sold, maybe by a village head or some other person who does not have the right to do so, it implies that the State was taking its right to repossess …

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member.  Standing Order Number 85 (a), “A Member while in the House must not - (a) converse in a loud voice”.  So, when a Member is debating and I can hear your whispers, it means that is loud voice.  Please, let us restrain from doing that.  May you continue Hon. Member.

          HON. MUKOMBERI: I have been saying the State therefore has got the right to repossess land if any person sells land, be it communal land or agricultural land, to another person because that person will not have the right to do so.  At law, there is a principle known as in pari delicto rule, which states that in the case of an illegal transaction, laws will fall to where it lies.  It implies that we do not have to risk the public on their funds meant for buying land from the people who do not own that land.  The land is State land.  By such, we are saying we cannot transfer ownership to an individual person by giving him a title deed but rather a 99- year lease, a formidable approach that will allow Zimbabweans to utilise the resources for their benefit because they are the gains of the liberation struggle.

          What it means is, one who have been given a 99-year lease, that person has been given the land for life.  Therefore, there is no need for security of tenure because you are already secured.  Let me enlighten you. One cannot enter into a contract at his or her minor age.  He only enters into a contract on that extent of acquiring 99-year lease at the Legal Age of Majority Act.  This means that suppose one acquires that lease at 18 years, 18 + 99 years, that will bring us to 117 years.  Who on earth is expected to live more than 117 years? That needs security to that. He can die or he can lose the occupation of land before dying.  So, we already secure by that lease. 

          Already, we are talking about communal land under our village heads but they report directly to the Local Government that will bring us to an understanding that the Local Government, being the authority to offer a licence for one to occupy a piece of land in that respect, is the State through its third arm of Government.  I want to thank you for this humble submission I have made.  I think it should enlighten us all to understand that it is not even formidable for us to come up with an agreement to issue title deeds to a person occupying a piece of land that one does not own. I thank you.

          HON. BAJILA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  Allow me to take this opportunity to thank Hon. Hlatywayo and Hon. Mushoriwa for moving and seconding this motion respectively.  This motion is crucial because land is a finite resource and it must be guarded jealously and profitably by all of us.  Let me also thank Hon. Speaker, fellow Members of Parliament who have debated this motion ahead of me.  Our points of convergence on this motion are that the land must not be out of the hands of the people.  This is good because there is some direction that both sides of the House seem to be moving towards.  We therefore, need to capitalise on this moment of our collective brilliance as a House, in order to build a new Great Zimbabwe for everyone. 

          Mr. Speaker, Hon. Hlatywayo made an example in his speech while moving the motion of the land tenure systems in the Republic of Malawi. I want to invite this House to go with me as we check one of the very good collective land tenure systems in the Republic of South Africa.  In 1994, towards the independence of South Africa, the province of KwaZulu Natal understood that it might be possible that at some point, the black people in that country might lose their land once again, and they took measures to establish what they call Ingonyama Trust. This trust owns 2.8 million hectares of land. This land is not owned by any individual but is owned by the community.  Two point eight million hectares of land Mr. Speaker, if we were to put it in Zimbabwean terms, is about 72% of Manicaland Province, which is 3.9 million hectares.

          So, this land is in the hands of Ingonyama Trust.  This trust is a registered institution, of course where they have got functional provincial governments. They use proceeds from their land for community beneficiation where those who want to use the land can approach Ingonyama Trust, and the trust leases the pieces of land for the development of malls, service stations, cellphone masts, mines, government institutions and others that are under the servitude of the trust. 

          Mr. Speaker, this is important because if we had this kind of formula the people of Zimunya-Marange here in Zimbabwe, would not have lost their land to the mining activities that have happened today.  Anyone who would have come to do mining activities in Zimunya-Marange would have done so through a partnership with Zimunya-Marange Community Land Trust.   Therefore, the people of that area would have benefited far more than whatever they have benefited by now. This goes to the people of Bikita where lithium is being mined today. If there was a community land trust in that particular area, whoever was going to mine lithium in Bikita was going to be in partnership with the people of Bikita through their Community Land Trust.  We might go to the conservancies in Hwange, we might go to other minerals and other precious things in our country that we have, but if we had framed our community land ownership schemes in this manner, our communities would have been benefiting.

          Mr. Speaker, I say this particularly on this day, today the courts are set to rule on whether the people of Mahachi in Chipinge own the land that they stay in or not. There is a court case whose ruling is meant for today.  Mr. Speaker, it is possible that the court will rule today that the people of Mahachi do not own that land that they stay in.  We might still be here and saying everything is fine.  We need to find means by which there can be something that proves outside their race, outside their indigeneity that the people of Mahachi own that land where they stay, and a Community Land Ownership Trust is one thing that could have safeguarded the people of Mahachi.

          Mr. Speaker, I reiterate that the ruling on that matter is set for today.  To go back to the Ingonyama Trust which could help us if we could model it for our own purposes as Zimbabweans to develop. The Ingonyama Trust in South Africa has got statutory systems by which proceeds from the lease of its land have to be distributed.  Seventy-five percent is allowed for community projects.  You can imagine Mr. Speaker, if seventy five percent of the proceeds from what was being mined in Zimunya-Marange areas was dedicated to community projects in that area.  What kind of development could you be seeing in those areas?

          Mr. Speaker, if seventy five percent of the proceeds from wildlife like in Tsholotsho could be dedicated to development processes in Tsholotsho, how far could we be in terms of development as a country?  Ten percent goes to the welfare of Amakhosi in those areas, our equivalent of headmen.  Five percent goes to Ingonyama, the king; ten percent goes to the professional management of the Ingonyama Trust itself.  This is something that we could set up in each community here in Zimbabwe.

          Mr. Speaker, it is important for us to understand that we need to find systems that work because some of the systems that we may defend, do not work.  Therefore, my proposal bbefore  this House stands as follows; firstly Mr. Speaker, it must be understood that this debate as was framed by Hon. Hlatywayo and Hon. Mushoriwa, is around issues of communal land.  It is not around agricultural land, it is not around mining land.  It is around issues of communal land.  My proposal therefore, is that this House must develop a Communal Lands Trust Framework. 

          This framework could say in each and every chieftainship in the country, we are going to have a lands trust, but also allow the chieftainships to expand themselves that if we have Chief Zimunya here and Chief Marange there, they can decide to have one Communal Land Trust.  Then the chieftainships own the entire land in that area. If one wants to build a mall or do mining in that area, one cannot do it without having some form of conversation related to the developments that the chieftainships or the Communal Land Trust will have participated in. 

          Secondly, Hon. Speaker, we then need to come up with a situation whereby each of these Communal Lands Trust,  has the trust that is chaired by the chief.  Then you can have other trustees, which might include a trust nominated by the Hon. Minister, designated by whatever form, a trustee nominated by the provincial council, a trustee nominated by Local Government and a trustee nominated by a college of community stakeholders. That way Hon. Speaker, land will be truly owned by the communities and that way, the communities will begin to truly develop from their land. That way, our people are going to experience development without losing their land because this Community Land Trust is going to be for everyone and it is going to be for the purposes of the welfare of the community. It should be important that these Community Land Trusts must also have a professional board that runs there.

If you are to check the types, the qualifications, the skills of people who run the Ingonyama Trust professionally, you will understand the kind of development that you will have seen in KwaZulu/Natal where they come from. At the end of the day, despite all those developments and despite all these things that you will have seen happening, the 2.5 million hectares of land remain property of the people of KwaZulu/Natal and nobody has lost their land, development has happened and there are no slogans.

In conclusion, let me get to a point where we have to assist one another and understanding the functions of a title deed and a lease with respect to banks. If you are going to a bank to borrow money, whether you are borrowing it on the basis of a title deed or on the basis of a lease, it might be a thousand years lease for the right land. As long as you will be unable to pay the money, you are eventually going to lose that land. It does not matter the document that you use.

It is important to put that land in a trust, and whoever comes to do development in that land, be it mining, agriculture, fisheries or wildlife, you do it in partnership with the community that owns that land. There can be no better way of development than allowing the people to be in business on their land and to continue to own it while everything else is happening. I thank you.

*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for according me this opportunity to contribute. Before I go any further, I want us to look at the history of the land up to now. I want to thank our President, Hon. Mnangagwa who declared Ndabaningi Sithole who was the first ZANU PF Secretary. Mr. Ndabaningi Sithole comes from Chipinge but in 1963, he was the one who was leading the struggle and Hon. Hlatywayo comes from Chibinge South. The woman who was called Nehanda was the one who in 1886/1887, fought with the whites when it comes to the taking of our land. When she was killed in 1887, she said her bones were going to arise but she did not say ‘my bones are going to fight each other’ like what is happening today.

I want to take you back when we last did the last land tenure issue in 1969. In 1977, I think we were in the middle of a war and that is when the blacks were allowed to take some farms for the people who were given the title deeds and they sold that land to the whites. The purchased area, what Hon. Hlatywayo is referring to once happened, but we know that this issue of purchased areas has been bought and brought back to the whites.

So, when we look at these issues, we should look at the country of Zimbabwe. In Kenya, it also happened and the Mau-Mau fought in the leadership of Dedan Kimathi. When Kenya was liberated, the whites said you should resort to title deeds and people were given title deeds, but the Mau-Mau clan were now clever. The whites came up with other ways and they said all those who fought for the land should be compensated and the whites gave them some money.

In Zimbabwe, we can go back to that issue. In 2002 when the land issue was topical, the people of Svosve took their land. If you look at Mhangura on the insurgence of MDC seat, you found a lot of whites signing cheques in support of the MDC. So, you find that they had ulterior motives because we have been fighting the words. If you go to Chimoio…

An Hon. Member not having followed the order in the House

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  I want to read a Standing Order in the Standing Order book for that Hon. Member who is standing beside Hon. Hamauswa. I will forgive him today but if he repeats, I will send him out of the House. Standing Order No. 80 (1) reads: ‘Every member must (b) make obeisance to the Chair in passing to and from his or her seat’. That is what the Standing Order says ‘and upon entering and leaving the Chamber’. Hon. Member, be so guided accordingly. You entered the room and you never did it but the Standing Order says that. May you proceed Hon. Mapiki.

*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am saying that in 2000, the land issue was really topical but in 2002, we found whites in support of the MDC against the wishes of Mbuya Nehanda and Chaminuka. In 2011, this land issue being topical and all these parties which are raising these motions, they went to the Namibia tribunal so that they would sue the Zimbabwean people that took their land.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mapiki, are you saying this motion was not supposed to be raised?

*HON. MAPIKI: Mr. Speaker, this motion was not supposed to be raised at all because the reason why we went to war is the reason why this motion is against that. That is why I mentioned Hon. Ndabaningi Sithole because he went to war for that. The son that he raised in Chipinge is the one who is against the land issue and that is what I am saying. What I said long back is to conscientise the children of today that it came from the history. The Bible says that “my people perish because of lack of knowledge” and that is why I said I should talk about knowledge because this motion was not even supposed to be raised and I want to promise you Hon. Speaker. When the motion was tabled, microphones went off because this is where Mbuya Nehanda came from.  Hon. Speaker, I am saying…

          *HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!  This motion was supposed to be tabled so that we all see the truth.  Those who are not in line should be enlightened.  We should debate in order to tell the truth.  Hon. Mapiki should speak and teach our counterparts.  The motion should be debated.  The debate should proceed.

          *HON. MAPIKI:  Hon. Speaker, I said that when this motion was first tabled by Hon. Hlatywayo, the mics switched off twice and the Hon. Member queried it.  This is Mbuya Nehanda’s home area, of the chihera totem.  This is where she fought the whites.  So, what we are debating on is that this motion should not be spoken about because we are saying, if we remove our jackets, we still have wounds of the struggle and there are children who are yet to be buried in Mukushi.  I heard an Hon. Member giving percentages of what happened in South Africa. Zimbabweans cannot measure the input by the Zimbabwean children.  This motion is indeed very sensitive. 

          What happened in Namibia when the issue was taken to the tribunal by SADC to the extent that Zimbabwe threatened to pull out of SADC because it was like a burial society, even when we had our elections, people were siding with the whites waiting for the voice of SADC, that is like a burial society.  We can either pull out or stay, the choice is ours. 

          I also want to talk about this issue of title deeds.  It happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Recently, Belgium came and took all the land; if we look at land, we are looking at our flag.  Black represents Africans, yellow represents minerals, white represents peace and red depicts the blood of our dearly departed.  Currently, there is unending war in the DRC because the colonisers were unable to give them the land that they wanted.  They still hold onto the title deeds.  I want to remind the House that the rebels in the DRC have been fighting for land since 2001.  Even Belgium is still holding onto large tracts of land even when they proclaim that they handed power over to the DRC or Zaire.  The war is not ending.

          We will start another war by giving people title deeds because we are still bearing children.  Our country is not extending and children are still being born.  So, if we give title deeds, we would have given power to a few people and the war will continue.  The issue that has been told that we want to have title deeds or trusts, we have that in Zimbabwe.  His Excellency the President is issuing title deeds to people in both urban and rural areas to add to the inheritance of land in Zimbabwe.  I said that the motion was not even supposed to be tabled because where we come from, it is very painful to see people behaving like this.

          In South Africa, there is a war for land and it is very vicious.  I want to quote a former liberation war veteran, the late former President Robert Mugabe.  He said, ‘America, stay there, we do not want anything from you.  Even Britain, leave us with our soil’.  He also conscientised us not to be happy to the extent of giving land to the whites.  I also want to leave you with another quote from His Excellency the President, Hon. Dr. Emmerson Mnangagwa…

          HON. P. DUBE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!  In terms of Standing Order No. 98 (1), “No Member must, while speaking to a question – (b) use the name of the President irreverently in debates or for the purpose of influencing the House in its deliberations”.

          I think there is continuous use of the President’s name in order to influence this debate.  So, I think the Hon. Member should just stick to the debate without mentioning the name of the President always.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member.  The Hon. Member on the floor said, I am quoting.  So, a quote means you are taking the words of somebody verbatim.  What he is saying relate to the question of land tenure; if it does, he is not in breach of the Standing Order.  You may proceed Hon. Mapiki.

          *HON. MAPIKI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for protecting me.  I want to repeat the President’s quote.  Let me use the word ‘comrade’, because when we are referring to the issue of land, we do not refer to ‘Mr.’ but ‘comrade’.  He said that, ‘If you sleep and dream the land going back to the hands of the whites, you should wake up and brew beer because you will be at the wrong place’.

          In conclusion, I am saying that if we support this motion, we are encouraging war from those who departed.  We know that there are sell-outs in all wars but if you are selling out in Parliament, it will not go well.  I want to thank the late Joshua Nkomo for uniting the different nationalities and refusing for the land apportionment to go back to the whites who are giving us sleepless nights.  I think the whites went to the DRC where the Hutus and Tutsis, Christians and Muslims fight each other.

          In Zimbabwe, we are grateful to the late former Vice President Joshua Nkomo for instilling unity amongst Zimbabweans.  I also want to thank Mr. Tshabangu for rescuing us from the troubles that we had here.  I thank you.

          *HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The issue that has been talked about here is painful.  We had 100 years of armed struggle for us to be where we are today.  There are a lot of graves of people who died for the independence of this country.  From the previous generations to my generations, we do not have friends and relatives, they perished in the bush fighting for this land.  I am one of the living comrades from the numbers mentioned.  I am one of the survivors of the struggle.  So, I just want to hear what is your issue about the land. What do you want to do about the land and when you do that, what do you want us to do?

          The issue of land is very pertinent, we do not want to hear anything about selling land because our brothers and sisters died for this land, takafira chinhu chimwe cherusununguko, kurwira dambudzo reruzhinji– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chikwinya! Standing Order Number (80) (1) (e) reads, “Every Member must (e) not sing except when required to sing the National Anthem. So, go ahead Hon. Chikwinya without singing and also when you are addressing, address the Chair.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: Comrade Chair, I am confused.  Let me say that I was not singing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          HON. MUWODZERI: On a point of order! Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Chikwinya should be in a position to respect the sanctity of this august House.  The reason why I am saying this is that he, she cannot refer to you as comrade.  You are the Speaker of Parliament at this point in time.

          HON. S. SITHOLE: On a point of order! I am not taking your Chair Hon. Speaker but the Hon. Member who had the floor, spoke his point of order whilst seated.  He was supposed to stand up and say ‘point of order!’  So, he was not supposed to be given the floor.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Sithole.  I think the Hon. Member is guided accordingly.

          HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker Sir from your left, the Hon. Member insulted Hon. Chikwinya by referring her as a ‘he’, she is a lady.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, may you withdraw your words.

          HON. MUWODZERI: When I said he, I said sorry ‘she’.  I do not know whether Hon. Matangira was in the House when I was referring to Hon. Chikwinya.  I withdraw – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          HON. MUGWADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I want to add my voice as well that the Hon. Members on that side should know that Members from this side maybe are the only ones who fought for this country.  So, they should respect them and not harass us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members! Hon. Members, you are not supposed to answer when the Hon. Member is speaking.  He is speaking to the Chair and I will make a ruling.

          *HON. MUGWADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I have found this to be insulting because the matter before us is emotional.  If war veterans are contributing, those Members from your left side are taking turns insulting them. It is not proper that a war veteran who fought for this land should be taught how to speak by a mere child who came to this Parliament through the sweat and blood of war veterans.  It is not good.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: I want to thank you for your words Hon. Mugwadi.

          *HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to repeat that this issue of land, we are not going back.  No land should be sold to anyone, land should be given freely.  Anything else, we will not subscribe to it.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Let me just bring to the attention of this House what the Standing Order says about debating in this House.  Standing Order Number 90, second paragraph, sub-paragraph (2) says, “No Member must interrupt another Member whilst speaking save with the consent of that Member or unless the purpose of such interruption is to -” I want to dwell on (a) “is to call attention to a point of order or breach of privilege suddenly arising”.  Stand guided therefore.

          HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important motion.  I would like to start by thanking Hon. Hlatshwayo and Hon. Mushoriwa for moving this motion during this time which I think is important in the history of Zimbabwe where the issue of land is concerned.

          I would like to start by contextualising my debate as I understood the motion.  In my analysis, the motion does not relate to agricultural land as it is defined in form of A1 and A2 farms, but it relates to communal land which has been traditionally held by our forefathers and ancestors.  I would want to say that we actually borrowed the land.  We did not inherit it and it is called upon all Zimbabweans to ensure that the land...

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

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

HON. MATANGIRA:  My point of order Mr. Speaker Sir is when we talk about agricultural land and we seem to say communal land does not have agricultural land, can there be an elaboration.  That is my point of order – [HON. MEMBERS:  What is your point of order?] - 

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, he is addressing the Chair.  If you want to come and sit here, please do so.  You wanted the distinction between communal land and agricultural land. 

HON. MATANGIRA:  Yes, because I was born in the rural or communal lands and we practiced agriculture.  We still are practicing agriculture in the rural areas Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Matangira maybe you were not in the House.  The Speaker of this august House actually referred to the Constitution on the day and he made a distinction.  Thank you.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I also want to emphasise that all Hon. Members who are here have a common thing, that we have rural homes and this is exactly the core aspect of the motion and my debate is centred on the rural home, kwatinoti kuroots when we speak in Shona.  In other words, when we want to put more value into this land we are talking about we can assume that we actually borrowed the land and we did not inherit it in the sense that we should not abuse it, but we should protect it knowing that we are just utilising it so that we also give it to the next generation.

This is why there is a call to amend the Communal Lands Act to make sure that as the people who have been on this land, the land is protected.  This land was called tribal trust land in terms of the Tribal Trust Land Act of 1979.  This is the land where most black people call their homes and we are talking of the land which we call our homes.  If you allow me to express in the vernacular language Mr. Speaker Sir, where we call kumusha kwedu.  This is why we say the land we call kumusha kwedu must be protected.  

We are not advocating for any kind of situation where a land tenure will allow the people to sell this land, but we are calling for this august House to come up with alternative ways of making sure that the land is protected and it is also protected even beyond giving the land tenure to make sure it cannot be sold easily.  So, I call upon Hon. Members in this House to join hands together and see ways in which we protect the land we call kumusha kwedu.

As I said, we are talking of places where all Hon. Members here call their rural homes.  I know some have farms which they are now calling their rural home.  This is different from the communal land which is under discussion, Mr. Speaker Sir.  If we are going to debate the 99 year lease, it will be a debate for another motion Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. SAKUPWANYA:  Point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order Honourable?

HON. SAKUPWANYA:  The Hon. Member brings to attention or tries to highlight as if the motion is only focusing on communal lands, whereas in the motion itself it talks about all land including communal lands.  So, there is nothing wrong with him debating communal lands but he must not say that agricultural land is not included because the motion raised specifically talks to security of tenure for all land including agricultural land.  I thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you Honourable.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir without a doubt I will stick to my understanding.  If the Hon. Members have their own understanding, the opportunity is there for everyone to bring their understanding.

My clarion call is that as we debate there is always a way for common ground and I do not see any serious point where we disagree.  The call is simple.  When I go to my grandmother or to my mother in the rural areas in Buhera I must be able to know that they have title.  I heard that recently mineral resources were found in Buhera like lithium and if lithium is found on my father’s land, then they must not be chased away without compensation. This is the crux of the matter Mr. Speaker Sir.

Mr. Speaker Sir, every time a motion is moved in this House to amend an existing law there must always be a mischief.  It means that this is the mischief which the legislature intends to address.  Put differently, there must be a problem in the existing law which must be addressed in respect to this motion and in respect to the Communal Land Act.  I would like to highlight that this motion has been brought at the most appropriate time to address the current burning issues which are affecting our rural communities on a very serious level.

Section 4 of the Communal Lands Act, Chapter 20.04 provides that all communal land shall be vested in the President who shall permit it to be occupied and used in accordance with this Act.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the application or the administration of this section has been problematic in the sense that we have seen rampant abuse of authority leading to marginalisation of communities and also marginalised communities have also been affected. 

Mr. Speaker Sir therefore I call and support Hon. Hlatshwayo and Hon. Mushoriwa that the existing laws need reform.  The movers of the motion therefore beseech Parliament to enact a law which allows people in communal lands to end up owning their land after following due processes.  In other words, the motion desires that there must be security of tenure in the form of title deeds in communal land.  Mr. Speaker Sir.  This proposal is not a utopian call in our law because we are talking of people who would have lived in these areas for decades and centuries.

A recent judgement by the high court, which I understand was seriously misinterpreted in the media, stated that a person who had occupied a farm for over 30 years now has a right to own it.  Certainly, this is legal in terms of our prescription Act as long as it is a derelict property.  Therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, if someone can earn a farm after 30 years of occupying it what can stop a communal land occupier from owning the land if he and his ancestors have stayed there for generations.  There are actually problems if people in the rural areas or in communal areas do not own land.  We are reading in the newspapers; we have discussed it here in the House that a certain headman is involved in illegal land deals.  The issue of land barons is a topical issue in our motherland.  There are serious litigations that are going on in our civil courts and such cases are actually rampant in Chief Seke’s area as the land has accrued value because it is closer to urban areas.  As we speak, there is a floodgate of litigation at Chitungwiza Magistrate Court over ownership of communal land.

          This issue could not have arisen if there was registration of title of communal land.  This is more serious, if we see our Magistrate Court being flooded by cases of illegal sale of land.  This is the crux of this motion.  It is trying to address this mischief, where land occupiers end up losing their land.  Land barons are on the rise.  They are taking advantage that villagers do not own the land.  They are now selling the land as stands and this is something that we as the august House need to address as a matter of urgency. 

          Another disturbing development, which this motion seeks to address is that of expansion of growth points and urbanisation of rural communities in the absence of proper urban planning that is being adhered to.  We are then seeing urban areas encroaching into communal areas.  This is where we then realised that the land barons will then take advantage that the land is not being owned by the people who have been occupying it.  Therefore, some will even use political power to actually parcel out stands to land seekers, depriving the people who would have lived in those areas for generations. 

          The resultant problem has been that any local authority which wants to expand, would advertise the land in the newspapers, indicating that the land will be compulsorily acquired and would call for objections from the villagers but here is the problem.  Many people in our rural areas do not have access to the media, especially the print media.  Most of them would use WhatsApp as their form of news.  Now, because they had not seen the advertisement by the local authorities, they will end up losing their land because of failure to issue the objection.  It is common cause that there are situations that need to be addressed, especially access to information.  Information is a public good but we know our rural areas are limited on access to information.  What happens is that the people that are in the peri-urban areas, when the land is earmarked for land development by local authorities, the next time they see graders and bulldozers coming to their fields and homes, they will actually be evicted.  When these evictions are happening, they are not compensated because they did not object.

          In most cases, we have read cases in Mhondoro, Mutoko, Chiadzwa, Chingwizi, all those areas, we have seen Zimbabwean people whom we claim that we fought for.  Though we respect the people who fought for this liberation struggle…

          HON. DHLIWAYO: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  I would want to request the Hon. Member to withdraw the statement that we claim that we have fought for.  The war was fought, it is real, it is not a claim.  I think the Hon. Member must withdraw that statement.

          HON. TSVANGIRAI: On a point of order.  I rise on a point of order. On Section 65 (3), it says that, “…a Member shall cite the Standing Order, rule of procedure or practice which has been allegedly breached”.  I think it is critical that I have put this before this House. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, the Hon. Member has actually cited that ‘may he not say that they claim to have liberated because it was liberated’.  He is actually putting a point of order on a matter of fact.  He is using the same rule that you are citing.  The point of order is arising from what Hon. Hamauswa is saying.

          HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I also want to take this opportunity to withdraw that statement and rephrase it to emphasise my point.  My point is that we always cite the protracted liberation struggle when it concerns the issues of land.  It is a fact that our forefathers, Zimbabweans had to go to the liberation struggle to fight for land.  It is the same land which our war veterans fought for, which we are saying now we need to protect the people who are staying in communal lands because it is the land that was fought for by Zimbabwean liberation war heroes. 

          Therefore, I was referring to the issue that when there are developments earmarked in a certain area people are evicted.  The villagers cannot have protection because they do not own the land but I want to bring the issue that Section 12 of the Act which we seek to amend talks about compensation for displacement.  However, such rights of compensation are better protected where there is security of tenure.  Otherwise the villagers are simply being subjected to abuse because there is no security of tenure. Moreso, there are some things which have sentimental value to our culture, the graves of our ancestors, these cannot be compensated.  We need to make sure that we protect our culture. When the gallant sons and daughters of this nation decided to fight the liberation struggle, they were also fighting beyond land. 

          They were also fighting to protect their culture and this is why we need to protect those areas where there is sentimental value.  I will give a classic example that is happening in my constituency Warren Park.  There is Warren Hills, it is being destroyed on the pretext that the Government wants to collect gravel for the construction of roads.  Long back, it is in those mountains where we used to pray.  It is in those mountains where people would take a walk in but there are being destroyed, there is no compensation. 

     Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to look seriously into these cases of sentimental value and also the issue of exhumations can happen but it is against our culture to exhume a dead person.  It is totally against our culture.  It must be done as a point of last resort.  Therefore, we need to make sure that we have protection to ancestral land.  Even if you go to the Bible, there are cases where people would fight until the last drop of their blood, fighting to reclaim land that belonged to their ancestors.

     Mr. Speaker Sir, the same war the other Hon. Members are fearing if we give title deeds, the same war will still come if we do not protect the land that belongs to our ancestors.  People will still fight each other because the land they believe belongs to them is not protected.  

     So, Mr. Speaker, when the communal land is protected by title deeds there is going to be a fair value of our ancestral land. In the event that there is absolute need for them to be displaced due to national interest.  Therefore, we need to make sure that we protect this important land.  I have been following the argument that title deeds are for communal people to sell the land.  This argument Mr. Speaker with due respect, I think it is misplaced and cannot be used to bar deserving villagers from acquiring title or from having security of tenure.

     The whole essence of this motion Mr. Speaker is therefore, to give title to communal land to the villagers so that they are not subjected to arbitrary eviction under the guise that the land belongs to the Hon. President when in actual fact these land barons…

     THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member you are left with 5 minutes. Please wind up.

     HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The tittle is meant to protect communal land from arbitrary eviction under the guise that the land belongs to the President when in actual fact these land barons and traditional leaders including companies are actually abusing the legal provision. So, to make sure that the existing laws are not being abused, we need therefore, to correct this mischief within the current laws. 

Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to conclude by calling upon the Government to consider seriously and I also want to call upon other Hon. Members who would have read this motion from a totally different angle which was not presented here to reconsider their position. We must find a common ground where we would say what is the best or what is in the best interest of Zimbabweans.  What is actually in the best interest of us Zimbabweans who have ….

     HON. SAGANDIRA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.

     Hon. Chikombo having entered the Chamber without bowing to the Chair.

     THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member dressed in a red jacket, can you please go out and come in the right way.

     HON. CHIKOMBO: Which Hon. Member.

     THE ACTING SPEAKER: I am talking about you Hon. Member, I said go out and come in the right way.  You did not bow to the Hon. Chair.

Hon. Chikombo went out of the Chamber and bowed to the Chair before taking his seat.

          HON. SAGANDIRA: With your indulgence, I would request that the Hon. Member’s time be extended by 5 minutes.

          Motion put and negatived.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  It has been objected, just wind up Hon. Hamauswa.

          HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. As I said, I am winding up by making a conclusion that I would like to call upon the Government and the ministry responsible for this Communal Lands Act to really rethink the current status of Communal Lands Act. The call for the amendment Hon. Speaker is to ensure that we have a process that can be followed for one to acquire title deeds for communal lands. Maybe, it is possible to put measures that the title deeds will not be abused.  Just in the same manner the Government came up with 99-year leases.  If we are going to follow the same, can it also be applied to. As a starting point it can be a common ground to say can we extend the 99-year lease to the rural areas.  We then move forward to refine that land but let us find each other as Zimbabweans to make sure that we weed out land barons and we weed out speculative people who would want to take advantage of the legal systems with loopholes to make sure that we put more advantages to the people in the rural areas.

          We make it known to the people that indeed, those who have lost their blood, they lost it for something that is our land.  Let us not allow our people to be deprived of the land.  I thank you.        

          HON. PINDUKA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. HAMAUSWA: I second

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 2nd April, 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND VTC (HON. MACHAKAIRE): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the House reverts to Order of the Day, Number 9 on today’s Order Paper.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PROGRAMMES TO CURB DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE BY THE YOUTHS

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the drug and substance abuse by youths nationwide.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES (HON. MACHIKAIRE): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I followed the debate on the motion by Hon. Mapiki and I would like to thank the Hon. Members who contributed to this very important debate and subject matter. As reiterated by His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa in his State of the Nation Address, that the abuse of drugs and substance abuse is of great concern and it takes all of us as a team to fight this menace.

          I would like to inform Hon. Members that drug and substance abuse is a matter that affects the entire nation. Therefore, it is a multi-faceted challenge for not only the Government but our entire society as a whole. Cabinet approved and formed a drug substance abuse taskforce headed by the Ministry of Defence. My Ministry falls under the demand deduction pillar and implements measures to reduce the menace.

          Therefore, the Ministry will implement the following programmes to curb drug and substance abuse by our youth. Allow me to inform the House that we have the Empower Bank with provisions of loans to fund the youth projects and ensure empowerment of our youth. We also have the National Youth Service which we are going to rebrand and we are going to establish National Youth Service Centres in each and every province. We are also going to establish production units at each centre of sustainability of the centre.

          We are also going to refurbish and create retooling facilities. Allow me to inform the House that we have our vocational training centres. We are working on the establishment of vocational training centres in each and every district to make sure that we train our youth with skills. We have also focused on the establishment of production hubs at every centre for income generation and human capital development.

          We are working closely with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education in support of creating a new curriculum development that also support the programme. We also have the Zimbabwe Youth Council and through the Zimbabwe Youth Council, we are reviewing the Zimbabwe Youth Act and we are also setting up a National Provincial and District Youth Association for coordination of our youth. It is very important to note that the concerns that we have as a nation when it comes to drugs and substance abuse is caused by idle mind. So, we are working closely with the Ministry of Sports to make sure that we also keep our youth busy with sporting activities and we also focus on talent identification so that our youth are not always seated. I so submit.

          HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to thank the Minister for his positive response towards the motion. I want to thank the whole House for contributing positively towards this pertinent motion. I therefore move for the adoption of the motion.

Motion that this House—

APPALLED by the unabated drug and substance abuse by youths nationwide;

GRAVELY CONCERNED that the situation is spiraling out of control as the youths spend most of their time idle and consequently end up taking drugs as a pastime;

WORRIED that such substance and drug abuse has extremely devastating and far-reaching consequences on our youths and the future generations:

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Government to—

(a)     Come up with programmes to curb drug and substance abuse by youths through self-help projects that ensure youths are fully occupied most of their time thereby keeping them away from drugs;

(b)     Establish rehabilitation centres nationwide to assist youths who are addicted to drugs to the extent of treating substance and drug abuse as an integral part of their lives;

(c)     Legislate for much stiffer penalties than before on individuals who are the sources of supply for those substances and drugs which give rise to incidents of this unwanted scourge of drugs in the country leading to this conundrum;

(d)     Send to jail all repeat offenders without any option of fines; and

(e)     Take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement agents bring to an abrupt halt, incidents of drug and substance abuse as a matter of urgency, put and agreed to.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES (HON. MACHAKAIRE), the House adjourned at Four Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 2nd April, 2024.

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