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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 FEBRUARY 2022 VOL 48 NO 23
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 22nd February, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
TIME FOR ATTENDING THE HOUSE
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members if you decide to attend in person, can you make sure that you are here by 2.05p.m. Chief Whip, address also the independent Member who is normally very punctual and I am surprised you came after the prayers. That is not the protocol of our proceedings. Thank you.
NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENATRY LEGAL COMMITTEE.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received non-adverse reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the following Bills: The Insurance Bill [H.B. 1, 2021], Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill [H.B. 6, 2021] and Health SERVICES AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 8, 2021].
APPOINTMENT OF LEADER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, CHIEF WHIP AND DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
THE HON. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that I have received communication from Hon. Sen. Douglas Togaraseyi Mwonzora, President and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament advising that Hon. Paurina Mpariwa is now the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and consequently, Hon. Tekeshe becomes the Opposition Chief Whip, with Hon. Lwazi Sibanda as Deputy Chief Whip in the National Assembly.
HON. MARKHAM: Hon. Speaker, my point is a difficult one, if you will bear with me on the issue. In our area we are suffering from a major increment in pollution and the pollution is noise. We have two areas in specific. Whether it is a night club or a church, but the one I really want to concentrate on is just south east of the Chisipite roundabout. That area has a house that over the years, residents have complained about and the council has changed the use. They have been very foggy about the issue. My concern is, in the last month, it has escalated. Very close to this house, one house away, is one of the Embassies and this house is being used theoretically as a tea room but it is actually acting as a night club. Even during the era of COVID, no one reacted. I will just give two quick examples. The first one is we phoned the Borrowdale Police Station who told us categorically that they could not react because their hierarchy were there themselves. These parties carry on until 2.00 o’clock in the morning. Last week and maybe the week before, there were gun shots from the said house. This is very close…
THE HON. SPEAKER: This is the same house?
HON. MARKHAM: From the same house. The diplomatic police or the arm that deals with the diplomatic corps came there. My issue is residents have been complaining for nearly 18 months about this. This person is using names from the top to the middle management of our Government and it has to be stopped. I would not have brought it to Parliament if we had not tried every single avenue. If the police will not react, then for sure local Government will not react. There is not one response to any of the petitions sent to local government. Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg for your indulgence that the relevant Minister takes cognisance of this serious fact. I do not know whether it is the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works or even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, but I am now desperate. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Committee on Home Affairs, we have to summon the Minister of Home Affairs to find out why the police is not reacting accordingly.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEKAER: Is the Chairman around or any member of the Home Affairs Committee?
HON. BRIG. GEN. NGULUVHE: I am here Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Convey the message and that must be done as soon as yesterday.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of privilege?
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir and my apologies for attending the session late, it will not be repeated again. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is with a heavy heart that I pay my condolences to the Mahoka family for the passing away of the former Member of Parliament for Hurungwe East, Sarah Mahoka. I see that as parliamentarians, we work well together in here but it is with a heavy heart that unfortunately, I was not around. I only arrived today, I learnt that colleague members were not there to mourn their former colleague, especially women. She was a workhorse, she stood for women in every aspect and usually she was a spokesperson because of her courageous nature and the advocacy for women that she had. Mr. Speaker Sir, I say this because a new leaf must be turned in terms of how we must remain human.
When one is no more, we cannot take the personal fights or differences to the grave. In Shona they say ‘wafa wanaka’ no matter how bad Temba was, when I am no more, ndanaka, we cannot again take whatever to the grave and continue to hold grudges. I say so because with you being here, may we as Parliament, because tomorrow it is me or it might be somebody else, we must have a delegation from Parliament that pays respect on your behalf to the family when such bereavement happens. We serve the nation by being here and it has got nothing to do with which political party you belonged to. The fact that you are a Member of Parliament of the National House of Assembly, you represent the nation and as such, this cannot be ignored.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am really pained that most women were not there, even the Members of Parliament from Hurungwe and Mashonaland West, the Minister of State and Provincial Chairperson of ZANU PF. I personally called her to say you are a woman these children have no mother, tomorrow it is you - why can we not all be together in this time? It is precedence and a culture that I do not know, I cannot hate somebody to the point that I am not there when they die to just pay my final respects. It is really hurtful because she worked hard and when you work hard, people must recognize your work at the end of the day, notwithstanding the differences.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Parliament and Members of Parliament because of the various political parties that they belong to and the various factions that I am not privy to cannot be able to do this. If you then get us to do it from a Parliament point of view, I think it then serves the purpose at the end of the day with so much dignity. So it is my appeal and my condolences to the Mahoka family. Just a recap of the events before her death, she was driving back to Harare with her children and son-in-law, she then decided to jump into her husband’s car that was ahead and this was 10 km before she got into an accident.
She then jumped into her husband’s car and the son-in-law and the daughter were 10 minutes behind and as they were driving, the next thing they saw a car underneath a truck and that was the car that she jumped into. Those were the circumstances. All I am saying and I conclude by saying, I think she wanted to say a few things to her husband but God has his ways of doing things. Clearly, her last words were to her husband. May her soul rest in peace. I pass my condolences to the Mahoka family. I hope you will hear my plea that Parliament conveyance of that dignity and ubuntu remains part of us. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. There are two sides to your statement: the first being to acknowledge - [HON. MEMBERS ON VIRTUAL: Inaudible interjections.] - Hon. Members on virtual platform, can you be muted please. The first part relates to loss of life of a human being who was once a Member of Parliament. In terms of our culture and tradition, when that happens- within the community, quite often people surrender their differences and ensure that the person who has passed on is given befitting send off within that community and among the people who may know that person outside the immediate community. We share with you the loss of life of the former member Hon. Mahoka. As to having a delegation, you will have to change your Standing Rules and Orders because as things stand, we do recognise sitting Members of Parliament, that is why Parliament goes out of its way to financially assist and also assist in terms of logistics. So the question of delegation, unfortunately, may not take place. We have to look at our Standing Rules and Orders and indeed revise them if that is the agreed position of you Hon. Members, through the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. May her soul rest in peace and we condole with the immediate family at the sudden loss of their dear one.
(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker Sir, agriculture is the backbone of the country of Zimbabwe. The point I am raising concerns the price of fertilizer. In December, the price of ammonium nitrate and urea was US$20 per bag but now it is hovering around US$60 per bag. Farmers now cannot afford these prices and people are taking advantage of the situation. Can the Minister of Industry and Commerce present a report on the situation and also allow farmers to import fertiliser without paying surcharge and VAT because most of the fertiliser manufacturers are shortchanging the farmers. This is my humble submission Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you very much.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Why were you not in the House on Wednesday to ask a direct question to the Hon. Minister?
HON. MUDARIKWA: I can come on Wednesday and ask the question. I thought the Minister would submit a report on the pricing structure. How are they pricing the fertiliser?
THE HON. SPEAKER: That will arise only when you have asked a question. As the House feels that the responses may not be adequate, a Ministerial Statement with fuller details will be asked for from the relevant Minister.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Hon. Speaker Sir, I will be in the House of Parliament on Wednesday at 2p.m.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You will be in the National Assembly. There is no House of Parliament, please.
HON. MUDARIKWA: I will be in the National Assembly Mr. Speaker Sir. I will humbly beg you to put me on top of the list.
THE HON. SPEAKER:You must follow procedure. When it comes to such matters, it is your Chief Whip who must organise and line up the Hon. Members who would like to ask questions.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker Sir, I just want to seek clarity from you in terms of …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Be connected first. You do not start speaking before you are recognised.
HON. NDEBELE: The holiday was too long Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no. I must recognise you first.
HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, I just want to seek clarity in terms of the procedure involved in petitioning the SROC as a follow up to Hon. Mliswa’s request that we send delegations as Parliament to the families of deceased former Members of Parliament. I am seeking clarity on how we petition the SROC because many times, I have also petitioned them verbally but it would seem my requests have landed on deaf ears. I just seek your indulgence that you explain to this House how we can with certainty petition the SROC. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Before you sit down, can you withdraw the statement “your petition landed on deaf ears.” You are suggesting that the Committee on Standing Rules has no ears to hear you.
HON. NDEBELE: Exactly, Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Withdraw that statement. I will tell you why.
HON. NDEBELE: That is my position Mr. Speaker unless I am educated otherwise.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am asking you to withdraw that statement. It is very unparliamentary.
HON. NDEBELE: On that basis Mr. Speaker, I recant my statement.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. There are two issues that arise Hon. Ndebele. Hon. Members cannot petition Parliament. Read Section 149 of the Constitution and you will be advised who exactly has the right to petition Parliament. Secondly, Members of Parliament have their whips and the whips are part and parcel of the welfare of Members of Parliament Committee under the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. That Committee would be the appropriate Committee to look into such matters. They would then table the matter to the Chairman of that Committee who is the Chief Whip of the ruling party deputized by the Chief Whip from the opposition.
Let me comment on the part of your statement when you indicated that you verbally approached. As a lawyer, surely verbal communication cannot stand on its feet because if you had written then you will be waving it – [HON. NDEBELE: Inaudible interjection.] – No, you said verbally. Order! Check the Hansard. You said you verbally requested. So, I am taking you on the verbal communication. If you want serious communication, put it in writing to your Chief Whip and there will not be any excuse because you have evidence that you have done so. That is the best way to communicate. Thank you.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 16 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 17 has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
IDENTIFICATION OF GRAVES OF FREEDOM FIGHTERS
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move the motion standing in my name that; -
MINDFUL that the Independence of Zimbabwe was attained after exceptional and selfless sacrifices by our freedom fighters who waged the struggle for independence against all odds;
ALSO MINDFUL that some of the gallant sons and daughters of the soil lost their lives at the prime of their youthful years and have been buried in various unknown graves scattered all over the country in areas where they operated;
CONCERNED that more than forty years after independence some of our gallant heroes and heroines are still not yet decently interred as they continue to lie in some unknown graves where they were buried en masse by the oppressive colonial regime;
NOTING the urgent need to identify such graves wherever they exist so that the souls of our departed dear comrades can be finally laid in eternal peace,
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon this House to
- Assist in disseminating information to the masses of this country which will lead to the identification of graves of our freedom fighters;
- Urge the Executive to set up Committees countrywide to ensure that no late freedom fighter fails to get a decent burial as this resonates extremely well with the selfless sacrifice they made to liberate this country; and
- Sensitize the public through Hon Members of this august House on the indelible footprints that tell the unforgettable history of this great nation.
HON. MUSIKAVANHU: I second.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Good afternoon. In terms of Section 23 of our national Constitution, under the National Objectives, the law says, the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level must accord due respect, honour and recognition to the veterans of the liberation struggle. Subsection 2 says the State must take reasonable measures, including legislative measures for the welfare and economic empowerment of veterans of the liberation struggle.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I moved this motion because of questions and incidences that I have been receiving as a Member of Parliament for Mberengwa East Constituency. I used to receive a lot of questions regarding the decent burial of those veterans of our liberation struggle who were buried in mass graves, particularly in Mberengwa. Through my research, I discovered that this issue is all over the country.
The war of the liberation struggle took both a political and military approach. The independence of our great nation Zimbabwe was gained after a protracted war between our dedicated sons and daughters who are in many literatures referred to as national guerrilla forces, fighting against our oppressors, who were referred to as colonial forces, between 1960 and 1980.
Many scholars and writers wrote a lot about the liberation struggle that we are all aware of. This was focusing mainly on our military movements; on our political practice; the whole experiences and contributions by many of our living and the past heroes and heroines. The issue of mass graves; these graves are dotted around the country and they need to be laid permanently as well so that our departed sons and daughters who paid the supreme sacrifice with their lives are buried decently.
The colonial forces during this time were using various methods to commit these atrocities. Some of them were using – what we call the Rhodesian Selous Scouts to commit these atrocities. They thought that if they continue to bombard the camps, then it will dampen the spirit of our liberation fighters. However, our liberation fighters remained focused on the big cause of liberating our nation from the yoke of slavery. It is this bravery that we want our hard work, under the able leadership of His Excellency, our President, Dr. E. D Mnangagwa, to allow its communities to take initiatives as to appreciate the dedication of our fallen brothers and sisters.
Our liberation fighters used to conduct political mobilisation and teachings during the night. These mobilisation gatherings were used to be known as pungwes to our rural populace. The communities were supporting the war through various logistical support, like food, information and various support services. It was during these pungwes that some places were bombed and several people were killed and buried in shallow mass graves. Much of this war theatre of operation happened in the rural areas.
During the execution of the liberation struggle, many of our brothers and sisters lost their lives in and outside the country. Mr. Speaker Sir, this motion is focusing really on the casualties that happened during these pungwes because that is where many of our brothers and sisters who were called the mujibas and chimbwidos were killed and buried in these shallow graves. The colonial forces used violence against this rural population in order for them to achieve the political control which in many instances led to the death of many civilians.
At State commemorations, we always see the massive construction of monuments. However, as a way of preserving our heritage, we look at conserving and managing the existing remains of the past works of our heroes and heroines. The preservation of this will help our children to understand where we came from as a country and where we are going. The sacrifice of the dead is an ongoing debt to the living and the expectations to finish the work of the liberation struggle. There are many scars that occurred during the liberation struggle andsome of them have been satisfactorily healed and resolved while others need an initiative in order to be healed and preserved.
The bones of the unidentified dead from these violent killings of the past continue to resurface from the earth of unmarked shallow mass graves across the country, as has been heard and even reported in the newspapers. For example, we have an incident which was reported in Mt. Darwin where the community that was ploughing their field found some bones. We are hearing again that there were also some incidences witnessed during some small scale mining activities all over our country. We are hearing many stories of these bones that are found all over the country.
Indeed we have some theories, which are advocating for professional forensic approaches that involve a lot of processes in terms of our burial and cremation legislation but in this motion, my intention is to make the communities aware of what they can do to well known graves and those who are buried there. In addition, it is to encourage us as Hon. Members of Parliament, to make sure that we conscientise our communities on what they can do, as a way of preserving the lives of our departed heroes and heroines.
In our various communities, people know where these graves are located and who is buried in those shallow graves. We still have an advantage as of today that some of the people who saw these things happening or who are witnesses to what happened are still alive. They can also help this cause. We understand there are several places that are like this in our country. There is a saying by the veterans of the liberation struggle that says “we promised each other during the war of liberation that we will come back for each other after the struggle”. Currently, as leaders we are bombarded with these questions in our constituencies. Since 1980, our ZANU PF led Government took various initiatives that we appreciate today in recognising and appreciating these sacrifices.
We are however grateful for the sacrifices that were made by our liberation fighters. We are who we are because of these sacrifices. The initiatives undertaken by the central Government were both legislative and setting up institutions that would manage these processes. The Government went on to set up the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, which is a parastatal under the Ministry of Home Affairs that is responsible for cultural heritage and carrying out exhumations and reburials. It focuses more on the freedom war heritage. There were some NGOs which were coming in to assist in this good initiative that our Government was undertaking, like the Foreign Heroes Trust and other organisations that came into existence between that period and now Mr. Speaker Sir. Foreign Heroes Trust exhumed a number of bodies for reburial over a period. It is our opportunity as the living to play our part in this important appreciation of the sacrifices made by our sons and daughters, Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you.
HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for this opportunity and my apologies for breaking protocol earlier on. I had misunderstood the process. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is an honour for me to stand before this august House to second the motion by Hon. Raidza on the need to accord our gallant freedom fighters a decent burial. Mr. Speaker Sir, we just celebrated the National Youth Day yesterday. On 21st February, 2022.
Mr. Speaker Sir, while I am exceedingly pleased by the turnout at the address by His Excellency President Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, I am saddened that the vast majority of those youths who attended the function yesterday are not adequately informed of the heroic deeds of their compatriots. Yes, Mr. Speaker Sir, I say compatriots because those who are lying in unmarked graves were mainly in their youthful stage, just as the youth we saw yesterday. The vast majority of the youth who participated in the programme yesterday need to be educated as to where these gallant fighters are lying, 40 years after Independence.
It is incumbent upon us as legislators Mr. Speaker Sir, in this august House to ensure that there is a mechanism that is put in place to identify all these unmarked burial sites. I represent Chiredzi West Constituency from Chiredzi District which was part of Gaza province during the liberation struggle. Many veterans of the struggle perished in Gaza province as they were attempting to cross the Gonarezhou sanctuary. They died of thirst, hunger and diseases and they are still lying in unmarked graves in those areas. Mr. Speaker Sir, Chiredzi District has been earmarked as an area where, with water from Tugwi Mukosi and other dams in the low veld which stores more than 50% of our irrigation water, to be our economic enabler as we aspire to attain Vision 2030.
It pains me Mr. Speaker Sir, that a district with such potential to contribute to the economic turnaround of our country also is the home of the vast majority of unmarked graves. It is on that basis Mr. Speaker Sir, that the motion by Hon. Raidza is accorded due cognisance. Mr. Speaker Sir, I know of comrades in Chiredzi who are still alive and they ask us as beneficiaries of their struggle to say we made a pledge as Hon. Raidza reminded us here, that when they fell, they said soldier on and those who soldiered on said when Zimbabwe is liberated, we will come back and give you a decent burial.
It is incumbent upon us who have been given the privilege to be here in this august House to give these heroes a decent burial. - I am honoured to say even as we are talking, there are Members like Hon. Nguluvhe and others who fought in the struggle who are here whom we owe the support to go out there and ensure that the pledge made to their fallen comrades is honoured. It is not them only who should be doing this Madam Speaker Ma’am, we have got a collective responsibility on this one.
Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President has said no one and no place shall be left behind as we endeavor to attain National Development Strategy 1 and 2 towards Vision 2030. Let me propose that this statement by His Excellency the President does not only apply to us the living. It applies to the dead ones who made us come to where we are. So, they must be included in the equation of saying no one and no place shall be left behind. All it takes is to erect simple spires that are replicas of what we have at the National Heroes Acre and I bet you they will not cost us US$1 000 to erect.
Madam Speaker, I have had a privilege of travelling to some countries like Australia. They put up crosses on the roads where accidents happen and there are fatalities. Now, we have got a situation here as put across in the motion by Hon. Raidza, where we are talking of people who paid the ultimate sacrifice for Zimbabwe. Can we fail to just recognise where they are lying. It is in our national interest not-withstanding our political differences that our children know where we came from. Our children must be given the opportunity to visit those places and honour them as much as we respect that which God gave us in the form of natural resources like Victoria Falls, Gonarezhou and those that were constructed by our ancestors like Great Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, as we journey towards Vision 2030, it is our plea that those places where the fallen heroes are should be treated as national shrines. I believe that no matter what religion we pay allegiance to, when we respect those who have fallen, to enable us to become a free nation, in the process we can then become blessed. Yesterday, His Excellency the President, was talking of the scourge of substance abuse which is wasting our youth. I want to believe that in attending to this issue raised by Hon. Raidza, the good Lord will have mercy on our country as well and will prosper us as we journey towards Vision 2030. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Raidza and Hon. Musikavanhu for moving and seconding this motion which certainly opens a can of worms.. Madam Speaker, if we have to be candid, Hon. Raidza’s motion talks about the incompetence of Government to look after war veterans. The issue of the freedom fighters squarely lies in the office of the Minister of Defence. We have debated this several times.
Madam Speaker, the welfare of the war veterans which he really touched on remains an outstanding issue up to now. Recently, they went to demonstrate on their court order which had allowed their pensions to be reviewed - they were arrested. So those who are alive cannot even get their welfare, what about those who are dead? I do not even want to talk about the dead, but I want to talk about the ones who are alive. They are getting absolutely nothing, and in fact they are as good as dead. That is the truth and we still talk about the struggle which happened years ago. If I am not mistaken, one of the conditions which was given to the leadership of this country from the various areas I have gone and spoken to, the shrines of this country - you go to Njelele, Dungwiza, Dande and all those shrines – which are important for us to understand who we are. The moment that you win the struggle, there must be a national brew, traditional beer is brewed to thank the ancestors that we are back and have won the liberation war. That was one condition and this is one of the conditions which was given to the former late President when he was given the sceptre and told that ‘Gushungo,’ you have taken the land but firstly you should brew some beer as a way of thanksgiving because as the spirit mediums, we are the ones who helped you to reclaim the land and win the battle.
Hon. Mliswa having been mixing both Shona and English languages in his debate.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please, may you use one language Hon. Mliswa.
*HON. T. MLISWA: I think the spirit mediums want me to speak in vernacular on this issue of war veterans and I will speak in Shona and leave out the English language because they do not understand English. The issue here is, this country has its own history, and the history is that we are human beings who have their own culture. No wonder why His Excellency officiated the unveiling of the statue of Mbuya Nehanda but who was Mbuya Nehanda? A spirit medium, why do we remember her? This is because she was the one leading the Chimurenga battle for us to win. The whites had more guns than we had but we went on to win- how?
When the war was over, the sceptre of kingship for Zimbabwe was given to the late President Robert Gabriel Mugabe to say, ‘you have been given this sceptre but brew some beer and be thankful that you are now liberated and the land belongs to you.’ Secondly, all the children who died in the foreign land like at Chimoio and in Zambia should be repatriated back home so that their remains can be re-buried here. In addition, the children who died in areas such as Mberengwa and so on, these areas should be preserved and honored as places where freedom fighters died and were buried. These things should be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans.
To this day, those who died in Zambia during the liberation war have not been repatriated. There are families with children who went out to liberate the country and they never came back. I hear that people visit Chimoio and I also want to go as an individual but I have been told that if you visit the place you hear people crying without seeing any person around. I want to talk about this so we can understand how it is like that, why will they be crying if there are only graves of people who are dead? The issue which has been alluded to by Hon. Raidza is true. In Rusape at St. Faith where my mother originated from and where Mr. Didymus Mutasa resides, there is a place where freedom fighters died at my uncle’s farm where there is a grave site. People are living within a close proximity to the graves and they do not know whose graves they are and yet nothing has been done to find closure. How can someone live peaceful with a gravesite in your backyard, of people whom you are not related to and do not know whose they belong to? The Government has not gone there to rectify this issue.
This issue is bound to raise some spiritual warfare in this country, perhaps which is the reason why things are not well in the country because we are not acting according to our culture. How can we talk of freedom when the graves of people are all over and are not being recognised? What do the ancestors say when children who went to war during the liberation struggle never came back and no one knows where they are. There is no notice being displayed to say, so and so died. The Government has a duty to go back to those families to give closure by indicating that ‘so and so participated in the liberation struggle, we have come to tell you.’ What does the law say concerning someone who disappears - is it two years or five years where if that person is not found, it is pronounced - for example the issue of Itai Dzamara where it is asked when the Government will tell that he is no longer there. There is a timeframe given but since 1980 or before 1980, we are still talking about graves of people who liberated this country and we are wearing suits, driving cars failing to do the right things.
Hon. Raidza is trying to say that the four corners of the world have chiefs and spirit mediums and if the Government fails, it should decentralise and give authority to people on the grassroots level, appointing freedom fighters who used to operate in that area. During the liberation struggle, freedom fighters operated in different areas as commanders. Some of them are no longer alive and you cannot look for them to hear their opinions; some of them are not known where they are today. They can then go and sort out all the cultural ceremonies that need to be done. After that, the rains will pour and there will no longer be hunger. Corruption will come to an end because corruption is a bad spirit and there is need to brew some beer to end the scourge. Our minerals are being taken away and that is why we are refusing entrance by Chinese into our territories because some of these places have our grave-sites. If you hear our elders in the rural areas speaking, it means you have given them a hard time.
Chinese ask us where title deeds are, the title deeds of land in the rural areas is a grave situated somewhere. Where my grandfather or grandmother was buried is my title deed. If you relocate those people, prioritising mineral claims over grave-sites, what do you think should be done? That is why there is commotion on issues to do with mineral claims as people go to places like Mutoko with mineral claims. There are some areas which were known to be sacred but now they are being invaded. For this issue to progress, it will be difficult as there is no history of tracing sacred areas and how they can be accessed and so on.
The Hon. Minister of Defence, Hon. Muchinguri has this issue on her table. This is a pending issue which needs closure and it has been addressed since the time of the late President Robert Mugabe. This is the issue which culminated in war veterans saying they do not want to work with him because he was not addressing the war veterans’ issues.
War veterans should be addressed. It does not matter whether they are few or what. So this issue is very pertinent. We want to know that when the Ministry comes to this august House to request for money for the annual budget, why does the Ministry not request for finances for these issues that we are raising? There are companies which represent war veterans. It is important that information is collected so that people know where the late veterans are buried. This issue was raised because the Government has failed. Hon. Raidza cannot raise it but I will raise it because I am an independent MP. Government has failed to represent war veterans and no one can fire me. So, I will say the truth.
Government is embarrassing us because it has failed in addressing this issue. Government should address this issue and the Ministry should request a supplementary budget particularly for that, then we can pass it as Parliament so that war veterans are catered for. This is an issue which can be rectified so that we stand in truth. It is important that this is tabled. We have seen that His Excellency the President meets with religious leaders and traditional leaders – how about spiritual leaders like the spiritual traditional leaders? There is need for meetings, if those who have ears are listening, please take this issue to His Excellency the President because if this is done, Zimbabwe would prosper.
We desire that the President meets with traditional spiritual leaders and these are the spiritual leaders who were guiding war veterans during the struggle. When the rains came, I had a visit from one of the traditional leaders who asked me what the President is doing regarding meeting them. We have noted that he is meeting traditional leaders and religious leaders. I am not afraid to say it because I was told and they asked why do you not appreciate and thank traditional religious leaders. We all carry out traditional rituals - biras. This is Karanga – why have you discarded Karanga cultures and traditions?
The issue is, let us go back to our norms, our traditional values. When Mbuya Nehanda statue was being erected, we saw traditional leaders, our chiefs putting on suits, but I never saw traditional beer being brewed yet chiefs were putting on suits and ties. So we were wondering where traditional religious leaders or spirit mediums were. I do not know where the nation is heading to and its status but it is only spirit mediums who can do that. We have failed in that.
The President needs a spiritual advisor. On presidential advisors, there should be a traditional advisor who guides His Excellency because spirit mediums were saying, what kind of culture is this. The President is being misled by the Ministry of Local Government and other structures. My request is that the Ministry of Local Government which is responsible for traditional leaders and our culture and the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Heritage branch should look at this issue so that our traditional system is corrected.
Even the Jews have their own values and traditions that they adhere to. If you find someone coming into this august House with tobacco, they think that he is a traditional healer but when COVID came, people were using snuff and snuff can be used as a healing medicine. When you see people succeeding in this august House, it is people who know their traditional values. I am a Methodist and the Methodist would come and officiate, after that I brew traditional beer and observe our traditions.
At my farm, I always receive rains because I follow traditional culture. That is why even in elections, I win and I do not lose because I put God first then I do my traditional rituals. I am a headman and I cannot be a headman without respecting my traditional values.
Let me sit down, I saw the Clerk looking at me. Thank you very much and may you take this issue up. Thank you Madam Speaker and I would like to thank Hon. Raidza for raising this issue. We need to honour our traditional values. I thank you.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Raidza for moving this pertinent motion of war veterans who liberated the nation. Even if you look at the National Constitution in Chapter 23, it urges every Zimbabwean to respect and honour Zimbabwe’s war veterans. Every war veteran who might belong to different political parties or organs – some were war veterans who were trained in arms and some were war collaborators. There were war detainees and restrictees and some who were trained but who did not participate in the war. These are different arms of war veterans. Most of our war veterans died in different areas, some are known and some are not.
Looking at our Constitution, we are encouraged not only as Government but every citizen to oblige, to respect war veterans, whether it is at their burial, engaging with them in different foras, in churches or Government. Farmers and Members of Parliament, it is important to honour those who fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe.
Government has done a lot like the National Heroes Acres and different shrines that were constructed in different places in the country where our heroes are buried. Even in Gutu, we have Kangoma, a place where war collaborators died. This area was identified by Government. It was made a heritage site for Zimbabwe’s war veterans. We have brothers who were crossing from Zambia and Mozambique, some died in Zambezi River and some in Gonarezhou National Park. Where it is known that there are war veterans who died there, we have the War Veterans Trust which goes to dig their remains and rebury them where they are supposed to be buried. Government is supporting through funding and logistics so that war veterans are repatriated and reburied properly.
What I can urge the people of Zimbabwe, is that there are many citizens who know where our war veterans died, let us disclose that information to the National Museums Department so that our war veterans can be reburied. This is not political and it is not an issue of blame shifting. There are some who are not known where they are buried and if there is a way of knowing where they are - we have spirit mediums. Even for those who went to Mt. Darwin who were identifying people and their origins, Government then funded the programme so that our war veterans are reburied properly. I want to say this is an important motion which was moved by Hon. Raidza; it is not about politics but you lost a relative and today you are in Parliament. During the imperial system, we faced these things. Now that we are independent, let us look at where our relatives are buried so that we can rebury them properly.
I am one of the people who were war collaborators and after Independence, we went to tell the relevant authorities where my brother was buried. We have provincial and district heroes, this is an attempt by Government to demonstrate that these people are very important. I can even talk about the living war veterans. There is no nation which gives every citizen what they desire but it is through passion and the desire to do what is right which prompted our Government to do this since 1980. After Independence, liberation fighters were given the demobilisation fund. It was not much but it was a way of empowering them so that they had a starting point. In 1996, there was another disbursement of money which was supposed to benefit war veterans. Government did that in its quest to make sure that war veterans were catered for. Again Government reviewed the laws of the land and through public hearings and consultations a law regarding war veterans was promulgated in such a way that it looks at the welfare of war veterans.
I have seen Government playing its part. As Zimbabweans, let us commit ourselves to respect and honour our war veterans. We need to know that if possible, they could be given a badge like the chief’s badges so that we honour them because of what they did in liberating Zimbabwe. As Parliament, let us enact laws to support our desires. We need to give Government the budget for such initiatives. We need to agree on a budget of what we desire as the representatives of the people. War veterans, war collaborators, war detainees and restrictees were there and their views were captured and as Members of Parliament, we bring such issues to Government. Let us enact such laws and support our Government.
Finally, I would like to say that I would urge the people of Zimbabwe that in everything that we do, whether in politics or economic sectors, even when we interact with war veterans, let us respect and honour them, whether they are dead or alive, they must be respected. As the august House, we are going to support Government. Let us not blame anyone but let us contribute and play our part. A lot of war veterans died. Some were harmed in different ways but citizens of Zimbabwe, especially Members of Parliament, what have we done for war veterans, war collaborators and war restrictees? We need to do good things for them. We need to make sure that they are catered for. Let us not shift blame and let us not expect it to be anyone else’s responsibility but everyone should play his or her part. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. My point of order is that it would be not proper for us to continue with the Session without congratulating Hon. Mpariwa for being appointed the Leader of Government Business of the Opposition. It was mentioned by the Speaker and it is only proper for us to congratulate her. You are very capable. You have chaired many Committees; you are experienced and have been in Government before. So, we have no doubt that you will discharge your duties properly.
To my dear colleague, Hon. Tekeshe, again for being made the Chief Whip, we would like to also congratulate you for that. Endai munotendawo midzimu yenyu mobikawo doro kuti murambe muri ipapo. Musangodzingwawo sevanhu vari kundzingwa avo. Vamwe vacho vari kudzingwa havasi kubika doro ndozvinonetsa. Endai munobika doro isu tokupai mombe, but all the best.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion by Hon. Raidza. I ask that the preamble of the Constitution be registered in the Hansard as it is, that:
‘We the people of Zimbabwe,
United in our diversity by our common desire for freedom, justice and equality, and our heroic resistance to colonialism, racism and all forms of domination and oppression,
Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga / Umvukela and national liberation struggles,
Honouring our forebears and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country,
Recognising the need to entrench democracy, good, transparent and accountable governance and the rule of law,
Reaffirming our commitment to upholding and defending fundamental human rights and freedoms,
Acknowledging the richness of our natural resources,
Celebrating the vibrancy of our traditions and cultures,
Determined to overcome all challenges and obstacles that impede our progress,
Cherishing freedom, equality, peace, justice, tolerance, prosperity and patriotism in search of new frontiers under a common destiny,
Acknowledging the supremacy of Almighty God, in whose hands our future lies,
Resolve by the tenets of this Constitution to commit ourselves to build a united, just and prosperous nation, founded on values of transparency, equality, freedom, fairness, honesty and the dignity of hard work,
And, imploring the guidance and support of Almighty God, hereby make this Constitution and commit ourselves to it as the fundamental law of our beloved land.’
This is where it is stated that the Umvukela gets to be recognised before everything else. In the diversity of our culture, it is paramount that the war of liberation and the liberation war heroes be observed. I say this because I want it put on record that it should not be recognised partially but in totality.
Madam Speaker, I also want the supremacy of the Constitution in Section 2 to be transcribed as verbatim so that all Acts of Parliament that are ultra vires the Constitution should be repudiated to the extent of their inconsistency:
“2. Supremacy of Constitution (1) This Constitution is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency. (2) The obligations imposed by this Constitution are binding on every person, natural or juristic, including the State and all executive, legislative and judicial institutions and agencies of government at every level, and must be fulfilled by them.”
Hon. Togarepi has spoken about and to the issue of Section 23 of the Constitution which is also the supreme law of the land. I also ask that Section be transcribed verbatim into the Hansard so that there is a lead into exactly where I want to get to because we are a people together inasmuch as we have adopted a way of making a Constitution in the manner and way that the erstwhile colonisers taught us using the law of 1891 and also the Roman Dutch Law as fused with the English law. We are still a people that are supposed to be deep rooted in our common traditional law that speaks to and about our Africanism:
“23. Veterans of the liberation struggle (1) The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must accord due respect, honour and recognition to veterans of the liberation struggle, that is to say— (a) those who fought in the War of Liberation; (b) those who assisted the fighters in the War of Liberation; and (c) those who were imprisoned, detained or restricted for political reasons during the liberation struggle. (2) The State must take reasonable measures, including legislative measures, for the welfare and economic empowerment of veterans of the liberation struggle.”
Madam Speaker, having said that yours truly went to Zambia once and visited the liberation shrine and that shrine was next to Lusaka. It looked and resembled a dilapidated, deplorable, disused shrine and it was in a state of disrepair. It is my thinking that as long as we have our war shrines in the manner that they exhibited and looked; we definitely are not going to have any rain coming into our land. We are going to have a lot of ills befalling the generation that has come after our liberation war heroes.
As I have said, we are Africans first and we are human beings second. We should not ignore our culture because there is now church. If you read the letter by King Leopold II, you are going to see how the erstwhile colonisers brought religion in order to disassociate us from our culture so that they could loot using the Loot Committee the resources that we are endowed with as a community.
Madam Speaker, I am alive and sure to the situation that if we had stayed with our culture, our common laws, values and traditions, their pith and core-values, we would be much more way ahead in terms of ourselves as a nation. We are endowed with ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth. King Leopold II’s letter made sure that we were separated from our culture and also our common law because there was a lacuna and void. They saw the need to bring their culture armed with the Constitution of 1891, the Roman Dutch Law and all other laws infused with the English law so that we can go away from our culture.
Having spoken about the deplorable, dilapidated and disused state of our war shrines, I call upon us as a nation, to put aside some monies gotten from our ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth to go and spruce up those war shrines. Those war shrines are in Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and Mozambique. Yours truly has taken the war collaborators, restrictees, detainees and war veterans of Chegutu West Constituency and commissioned them to go to war shrines in Mozambique to try and bring up a bill of quantities as to exactly what the need is for those war shrines.
It is said that as they put camp or sleep in those camps where our liberators were massacred en masse, there are voices that are heard. There is also the issue where the graves disintegrate and sometimes there is blood that is also seen in that area. I can only imagine that it is a war cry from those that lie beneath to say may you, if you cannot relocate us, at least put some semblance into the place where we lie. Yours truly is a politician of note and politics is not church by any stretch of imagination. Politics Madam Speaker Ma’am, being a game of numbers, is what brought us this independence.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, what brought us this independence was not church by any stretch of imagination. We could have prayed all we wanted but we were not going to get our country back from the erstwhile colonisers, the colonialists and the imperialists. By the way, for those who were trained to fight and repel imperialism single-handedly, they were trained in North Korea – you know what I mean by North Korea Madam Speaker Ma’am. Also Russia, you have seen what they have shown the European countries as they got amalgamated, Russia has said no.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, I say that as long as we do not recognise them, we are forsaking the values of those who went before us and brought us this country that we call Zimbabwe. Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am glad that we are going to relocate to Mt. Hampden to the new Parliament. We inherited the values of this House from the erstwhile colonisers. It is with a heavy heart that I continue to be saddened by contributing and contribution in this august House whilst I am faced with the royal ethos and values, the kingdom of the former republic. It is not right and it is not just. We need to recollect and go back to our values of pre-independence in terms of how we conduct ourselves. Yes, we can continue to wear the Pierre Cardins and such like but we should not forsake our culture. The culture that I speak to and about is the culture that was brought back by the war of liberation.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, we need to align all the Acts of Parliament to the Constitution because the Constitution attempted to recognise the war or Umvukela. It attempted to recognise the liberators of this country because some of them, as Hon. Temba Mliswa and Hon. Togarepi alluded to, some went to war without even the knowledge that they were going to come back alive, paying the ultimate sacrifice. All they are asking for is for us to spruce up the places where they lie. We have a lot who were maimed and a lot who are crippled and a lot who are going to die before their time is up.
The Bible says, a man is appointed to live threescore years and ten, yet a lot of them have died before 70 years because they wanted this country to be liberated. A lot of them are dying through ailments that they inherited because of the gases that they inhaled during the war of liberation. The shrapnels that went into their bodies and some of them still have bullets of the War of Liberation still stuck in their skulls and the doctors wonder how they can remove those bullets and still have a life for that person.
I say- there is a lot that we can do because there is a lot that has been done for us even to stand here Madam Speaker Ma’am. We are not here in Parliament because of our own choice. We are here because of the liberation war that was protracted and fought and made the erstwhile colonisers submit. They did not just give us this country on a silver platter. They were hammered to submission Madam Speaker Ma’am and I want to repeat that if it was not for these gallant sons of Zimbabwe, we would not be where we are.
Now we have one man one vote. Women were never treated like people – they were treated like children. We did not have the education that we have here today. There were a lot of Acts that were draconian that were passed pre-independence Madam Speaker Ma’am, which Acts were repealed after independence because of those who went before us and fought the protracted War of Liberation. I have such people in my constituency; Cde Chitashu, Cde Tapfuma Wunganayi – he now is in a wheelchair. He no longer has his limbs but still has zest for life.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, there is need to have a safety net for the little part of the life that they still have in them to have a health care institution that is robust, resilient, effective and efficient for them to at least live a longer life that is full of comfort. There is need to have an education system that is going to take care of those that they sired because of their conjugal rights, pro-creation and copulation – for those who have mastered the queen’s language, they would know what I am talking about and those include me.
The university that I am at, the University of Zimbabwe was the only university before independence. Now we have more than 12 universities and I say this because there was a protracted War of Liberation fought for us. It is not asking too much to recognise the graves where these people lie. It is not asking too much to have some bit of the natural resources that we have going towards the sprucing up of these places of establishment of a health care institution, of establishment of an education system and of an establishment of a water and sewer reticulation system that is second to none.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, there are three things that politicians are voted into power for. One of them is accommodation which is infrastructure development so that our people can actually know that they are now independent. The people who I speak to are the formally marginalised majority – the black majority used to stay in dormitories. In Chegutu, they came in and stayed in single-quarters in their quest to be employed at David Whitehead. David Whitehead is a former Lonrho establishment that was established by the whites. Their quest was also to work at ZMDC Mines that is Elvington Mine.
So the men would come and settle in the dormitory areas. The places that I speak to and about are such places like Hwange Colliery. There were dormitories that the husbands went from the rural place that had been established through a Land Apportionment Act parukangarahwe, pamhamhari in sandy places like Gokwe. That is where they were forsaken to until the War of Liberation was fought. Madam Speaker Ma’am, I say there is need to look into the housing infrastructure development; there is need to look into the water and sewer reticulation so that we can pacify the spirits of our war of liberators…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, you are left with five minutes.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. There is need to have a robust, resilient, effective and efficient road network Madam Speaker Ma’am to establish communication lines. This is so that the people who lie in the graves that were caused by the War of Liberation can actually happily say now for sure, we have liberated the country that we call Dzimbadzemabwe. I ask Madam Speaker, that as we recognise these war heroes, we also applaud the Second Republic for establishing the African War Museum. In Warren Park, there is a humungous, gigantic mountain where we are going to have a museum for war of liberation and that borders on all the frontline states and the continental countries that speak to and about fighting a protracted battle and war to liberate their country’s kinsmen from the shackles of bondage.
Madam Speaker, lastly I want to say in section 72 (7) (c), there is a need to align all our Acts of Parliament to that section. It reads - the people of Zimbabwe should be enabled to assert their right to land. It was the reason why this war was fought. Right to land means right to minerals, right to self determination, right to agricultural land, right to anything that speaks to and about our nationhood.
I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively and efficiently represent the war collaborators, the war veterans, restrictees and detainees and all those that lie in foreign land and within the borders of Zimbabwe, including the seven heroes of Chinhoyi. I thank you and I want to say, may the spirit of Nehanda arise like she said ‘Mapfupa angu achamuka’ through everyone else including myself in Chegutu West Constituency. I thank you.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hon. Raidza seconded by Hon. Musikavanhu, for bringing this motion that touches on reminding the nation that there are those people who perished in the liberation war whose remains are still scattered across the country and whose relatives are still wondering about their whereabouts.
Madam Speaker, for those who watch ZBC, there is a singer, Clive Malunga who has a song titled ‘Nesango’. That song really touches me because the video of the song depicts exactly what happened during the war of liberation. Madam Speaker, we are all where we are today because of those people who fought during the liberation struggle. If it was not for those men and women who sacrificed their lives to liberate this country, we would still be under colonial rule. We should continue to remember our heroes of the liberation struggle.
In this august House, we are always talking about the welfare of the widows and orphans that were left behind by our liberation war heroes. Madam Speaker, our way of living and culture depicts who we are as a people. If you go anywhere in the world people will inquire where you come from. It is not that they want to know that you are coming from Zimbabwe but they want to know who we are as a people - our culture. If a relative passes away and we fail to locate the body and lay it to rest in a proper burial place so that future generations can visit that grave site, there is no closure to the family and the spirit of that person does not rest.
In our culture if a person dies, there are burial rights that are practiced so that the spirit of that person can rest. Where I come from, the spirit of that person then goes on to possess a relative, but if that person is not laid to rest in the proper way the spirit of the dead person instead wanders around restlessly.
This motion states that we should look for the remains of our fallen heroes and rebury them. Madam Speaker, this is a very important motion and it is our hope that we exhume the remains of our fallen heroes and rebury them in marked graves so that the spirits of these people can rest. We need to look for resources so that we can identify these remains and rebury them. Madam Speaker, we have children, relatives of those who died during the war of liberation whose lives have been affected by this. The reburial of these liberation heroes will allow them to live normal lives. I therefore am appealing to the Government that resources be put towards the reburial of these remains.
Madam Speaker, we have burial sites in different places but just burying people without identifying who they are, is wrong. If we exhume the remains and bury them properly, then there is closure. We are told in churches that we must mourn the dead and attend to the sick. This is done so that they rest in peace. There is need for a budget to repatriate the dead so that they are buried in their correct places. There are places like Guruve where people know where the dead are reburied and this is good for the sake of their family and ancestors.
We have young people who do not have peace and who are suffering because their parents were not properly buried. There should be a budget particularly for that. The relevant Ministry should be given money so that the welfare of war veterans who lie in different areas is taken care of. Even their graves should be attended to; new flowers must be put on the graves now and again because it pleases the dead. There should be traditional biras done for the deceased war veterans, this should be done after burying them properly and this is the end. There are some people who disappeared and there is no closure as their relatives are still hoping that may be one day they will come back. Sometimes you will find family members wearing what the deceased in their families used to wear. This is done so that there is closure in the family and this is what we call kuchenura in Shona. This closure sanctifies the family after even holding traditional biras to cleanse such spirits and the ancestors are happy with that because when there is closure, the issue is really closed. Those deceased will come back in the form of spirit mediums and they start to bless and protect the family because tradition has been done properly.
So, I believe that the plea that was brought to this august House should be honoured so that we gather information regarding those who did not come back so that there is a database and the issue is addressed. Before I sit down, I would like to say that I believe that this motion should be given a timeframe so that we have a specific time for addressing these issues and when we say that we completed that programme, then all families would have closure. Every one of us lost a relative during the liberation struggle, so we have a responsibility as Members of Parliament.
Let me also add that our heroes should be commended. We thank you our heroes wherever you are lying, may you help us so that we gather this information that we need for the database so that this is done in the shortest possible time. I thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to debate this motion by Hon. Raidza, seconded by Hon. Musikavanhu. In 1980 Madam Speaker, when Zimbabwe got independence, that is the year that I started doing grade 1. In 1980 up to today, we are now 42 years after independence and from 1980, this country has had one Government and that is the Government of ZANU PF. Having said that, laying the frame, I just want to state that the motion by Hon. Raidza could have been a very good motion if this motion had been moved in 1980 December or in 1981 soon after independence. For a motion like this to be moved by Hon. Raidza, a member of ZANU PF in 2022, 42 years down the line, is an indictment on the part of Government of ZANU PF. Madam Speaker, there is no reason and no justification because from 1980, we have never had a change of Government, we have had one Government and the Government whose...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mushoriwa, please stick to the motion.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Yes it is the motion Madam Speaker. I want to bring this issue to simply say in 1980, my own relatives, we did not bury them because they perished during the war. I am simply raising this issue to simply say the comrades that perished during the struggle, some of them we know where they were buried. Some of them that were not buried are comrades that had been forgotten by some of their comrades those who are now in power and now eating forgetting that we went to war...
HON. MUDARIKWA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MUDARIKWA: My point of order is the Hon. Member is not speaking to the motion, he has got a different agenda because he is trying to mislead the House. He must stick to the motion, I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, please stick to the motion.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, the motion by Hon. Raidza is for us to urge the Government to rebury the fallen heroes and Hon. Mudarikwa is not aware that part of the debate on the motion is to look on both sides of the motion. In this respect, what I am simply saying is that 42 years down the line, some of the people that were on the battle front have perished and we do not have records of where some of the people were.
This motion could have been good if it was brought in 1981 but 42 years down the line, how many people even in this august House are freedom fighters? We now have very few freedom fighters in this august House, even in the Cabinet and when we have such a gap, it is very difficult to implement this motion that Hon. Raidza has actually put on the Order Paper. It is difficult because the memories of people and some of our parents that witnessed this struggle are no more. I once said in 1980, that is when I did my grade one and imagine right now just do a survey where you come from in various constituencies, do we still have the people that still have the information? Yes, we may have memories that at this village and this hill, we buried so and so but what about those comrades who remain unknown. The best thing in my view Madam Speaker, is to simply say it is better for this motion to have called for us to continuously build the tomb of the unknown soldiers because most of our comrades will remain unknown in other places because some of the comrades that they went to war with have since died after 1980. In this regard, I want to simply say that I could have supported this motion in 1981 if I was old enough but in 2022, Madam Speaker, I think this motion falls on the ruling party which is ZANU PF. All those comrades that lie in unmarked graves, whether it is Zimbabwe, Zambia and anywhere else, deserve an apology from their comrades that have been eating, forgetting that there are others who perished during the struggle. I thank you.
(v)*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to contribute and support the motion which was raised by Hon. Raidza, supported by Hon. Musikavanhu. Madam Speaker, I am very grateful to the leadership of this country, the New Dispensation in this country for all the things they have done for war liberators.
If you are to look back, a lot of things have been done for these war liberators. All this was done to aid in their welfare. I think there is need to preserve the history of this country, as Government. We all have war liberators from our constituencies where we come from. I understand things may be difficult because of sanctions. As a way of preserving our history in connection with the liberation of this country, I think it is prudent that our leadership brings these people together. They should be given badges to identify them as war liberators so that wherever they go, they earn their deserved respect for the work they have done in this country. Others were not able to attain education due to various reasons. May their children and grandchildren be assisted. It is possible that the Government may assist by sending them to school so that they attain some form of education.
It was a good gesture that His Excellency had to come down to see how war veterans were living. He saw that they were suffering and something had to be done. As a way of preserving the history of the liberation war, I think it is prudent for us to include such programmes in schools so that children are able to learn. This enables people to fully understand how we came into independence as a country.
War collaborators played a vital role during the liberation struggle. They should be recognised and should be rewarded. They cannot be ignored because the role they played is vital to the independence of this country. We know that money may not be enough but the Government should continue with the programme. War collaborators should be recognised so that they benefit also for the work they did. May the leadership go and look for the elderly people who helped during the liberation struggle. They should be allowed to benefit just like those who fought the liberation struggle are benefiting from the work they did for this country. The work they did was of paramount importance to the liberation of this country. When men and women went to war, a lot of things happened. Some of the problems young women experienced during the liberation struggle as a result of menstrual cycle. Some ended up not following their menstrual cycles but that stoppage caused them never to bear children after the war. These were some of the horrible experiences faced by young girls during the war.
After independence when Government redistributed land to the Zimbabweans, it was not segregating at all. Everyone who wanted land benefitted. It is painful that some veterans of the liberation struggle failed to get that land. Therefore, we urge our Government to consider allocating land to veterans of the liberation struggle who do not have land. They are still suffering, may they be assisted in getting land. They should also be assisted with farming implements so that they can improve their livelihoods and their families will also inherit. The Government has done a lot in assisting us. We have some of us who have begged for sanctions but the Government has continued to assist us during those difficult periods.
Coming to our fallen heroes and heroines, it is my humble plea that we search for those shallow graves scattered around the country and those in other countries, Zambia or Mozambique so that they are decently reburied. Mbuya Nehanda said that ‘my bones will rise’, that is why we fought the liberation struggle and attained independence. What I am saying is, may we expedite this programme because the living who participated in the liberation struggle are dying; they are aging. May this programme be done urgently so that they benefit. Those who are living, may they be assessed by Government so that they get their benefits. Their families should assist them if they are now elderly.
For those who have passed on, some were buried at the Provincial Heroes Acre yet they deserved National Hero status…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mashonganyika, you are left with five minutes.
(v)*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. We need to maintain our traditions because if we managed to attain independence because of respecting our ancestors, why should we dump our traditions now. People are complaining that it is not raining properly, this is because we are not following our culture and traditions properly. Even looking at the issue of Comrades who are lying all over the place, how can we expect seasons to be normal? It is not in our culture to ignore our dead people. So we need to honour our traditions so that we receive normal rains. We have people who died and are still lying in the bushes without being accounted for.
In conclusion, I would like to say it is painful but we think- His Excellency the President who does not condone corruption – corruption is a cancer which emanates from greedy individuals. You will find those who are greedy forgetting our war veterans. My plea is, can there be a law that ensures those corrupt people who only think of themselves and their families and forget about our veterans of the liberation struggle be fined so that we get money to rebury those bones which are scattered around our country. I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
(v)*HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me start by thanking Hon. Raidza for the motion. Before I proceed, I would like to convey to you that the revolutionaries’ great yields from the heroic people of Uzumba Constituency, who put up a heroic battle to destroy the British imperialism.
The significance of our struggle gets back to year 1896 during the Matabeleland- Shona uprising against British imperialism, against British hegemonies; against the destruction of our culture by our enemy. Madam Speaker, there are players in the struggle, Ambuya Nehanda played a critical role in the struggle. I want to salute His Excellency the President, Hon. Mnangagwa for the job well done. He erected the statue of Mbuya Nehanda. People are talking about it 42 years after independence but Mbuya Nehanda was killed over 100 years ago…
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. My point of order is that the Hon. Member, Hon. Mudarikwa should actually be clear. He does not seem to understand that President Robert Mugabe is no longer the President of Zimbabwe. Can you educate him?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: May you continue Hon. Mudarikwa.
(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: I did not say President Robert Mugabe, I said Cde. Mnangagwa. I was about to say the lady put up a heroic battle against the British at the Shangaan battle, she has been declared post humorously from 1896 up to now, she has now been declared a national hero. That alone shows there is great work done by our Government. There is Lozikiwa Dlodlo; after the death of Lobengula she was in charge of all the warriors and put up a battle against the British. L. Dlodlo was a woman. We also want to take this opportunity Madam Speaker to salute the woman of Zimbabwe, the woman of Matabeleland for a job well done by L. Dlodlo to put up a battle and fight against the British.
Madam Speaker, it is with this respect that again I went to Matabeleland and I saw there is a school named after Dlodlo. The process of respecting our heroes is a life process, long process and it is a continuous process. The gallant fighters of Chinhoyi battle are lying there, there is a tomb of the unknown soldiers but research is taking place, they have visited their relatives. It is unfortunate that some of this information if made public, our enemies would want to use it and say Government has not helped you, Government has not done this. Our Government through the Land Reform Programme has allocated 10% of all the farms to the war veterans. We need to salute our Government for the work being doing.
There is a department in the Ministry of Home Affairs which is visiting our camps; freedom camp in Zambia and other camps in Mozambique, in Chimoio and Nyadzonya and also doing the great work of documentary. If you watch our television, there is a lot of work that is being done and our youth should know about this. They must know where the struggle emanated from. There is a proposal for the construction of the war veterans hospital, which is going to be dedicated to the injuries that occurred to our war veterans, the issue of mujibha and chimbwido which the second republic has started. They have done the initial compilation, the second thing is coming which is vetting and the third thing is giving of money to war veterans. This has not been possible because the Government is hamstrung by sanctions proposed by some of our Zimbabweans who are accidentally sitting in Parliament and yet they propose the destruction of the nation. They propose suffering of Zimbabweans and want to come to power through discontent but they will never achieve it because Zimbabweans are aware.
Madam Speaker, coming back to my constituency, Uzumba Constituency, we have built a monument at Kangara base massacre for our people who were massacred. Madam Speaker, 42 Zimbabweans were massacred at Kangara and up to now we are still developing the monument. We also have Katiyo base massacre where nine girls were massacred by the Rhodesian regime, the oldest was 17 years. This alone shows that through those institutions we are able to educate our people to understand the evils of imperialism. Our contribution to the struggle as the people of Uzumba remains heroic. We are a niche above most of the people. We had a person who sang sendekera mukoma chakanyuka, his name is Zvichakutambudzai Gawaza. It is our humble wish and submission that Cde. Gawaza be declared a national hero. At the present moment, he is lying at his home village in Uzumba Constituency.
Madam Speaker, the mover of this motion creates a process of reminding people, it is a rejuvenation of the devolution, a rejuvenation of our struggle to continuously remind our people on the importance of the struggle.
Turning to the mechanisation programme, some of the people also benefited, they got tractors and now the Second Republic has moved to a state where they are giving cattle to people who inherited nothing because all our cattle were looted by the loot committee, which was organized by the British settlers but the Government is doing its best. It is giving back cattle to people free of charge and that alone is a revolutionary process to remind people of the evils of the British colonialism, the evils that made us poor. The only thing I inherited from my forefathers were two spares and axes. Their cattle were robbed and we were displaced from Chishawasha to Uzumba where we are today.
Madam Speaker, there are people who do not understand the process of the revolution because the knowledge of some of them is shallow. They want to continue blaming the Government that sent them to school, the Government that made them create an opposition party and the Government that created a situation of a level playing field. They think they will win by waffling things that do not relate to the revolution.
Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank you. You are the wife of the late Cde B. Gezi whom I worked with in Mashonaland Central. That process is critical, it is a continuous process that the wife of our hero is now the Deputy Speaker. That is the achievement of our struggle, our struggle is not lost, it is looking back at the descendants of our heroes. With these few words Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to make a contribution.
HON. GEN. BRIG. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Thank you Madam Speaker, for allowing me to add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Raidza and seconded by Hon. Musikavanhu. We have three or four areas of emphasis. I think most of the Hon. Members have touched on the matters that I wanted to touch on. I would not have done justice to the people who were there in the liberation struggle, who lived through the difficulties and saw our brothers and sisters fall to let this debate go without me saying a word.
Madam Speaker, I know the Government has made a lot of progress in trying to rehabilitate or recognise veterans of the liberation struggle particularly those lying in unknown graves. There is a tendency to put emphasis on Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe forgetting Tanzania, Angola also lies several of our cadres who perished during the liberation struggle, particularly from the ZIPRA side. It is also very pertinent to point out here that, while monuments and shrines have been constructed around the country and in Mozambique and Zambia, their maintenance leaves a lot to be desired. If you compare the monuments in Mozambique and Zambia or even those nationally to what we see at the Africa Museum for Liberation at Warren Hills, then you see the difference and that really gives the perception to our fellow freedom fighters or their families that perhaps those still lying in mass graves or unmarked graves are not recognised as people who really contributed.
We are here today or standing here as Members of Parliament because of the sweat and blood of those dedicated young Zimbabweans who gave it all, the ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of this country. I do not see any problem in creating or constructing even monuments, not necessarily where these fellow freedom fighters are buried but you go to Harare Park today, Harare Gardens, Bulawayo Centenary Park, you should find monuments with names of the people who participated in the liberation struggle.
In our case, those names are still unknown and those monuments are non-existent. You go to various centres around the country, you find there are the moth havens which were referred to as Members of the Tin Helmets, which were members of the junior ranks who participated in the First and Second World Wars. We do not have such things in this country and yet we could easily erect such monuments in our parks so that the nation or even the people know the names and the contributions of the individuals who participated in the liberation struggles.
It would also help even the families to have full closure of what their relatives went through. Some, even I, as a person who was there during the liberation struggle, knew where people lied in particular graves and it is very difficult to come to terms with when you look at yourself in the mirror and think that up to now, we have not recognised them.
It also brings me to the point of recognition in terms of the benefits for the veterans of the liberation struggle. Yes, the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act has been gazetted and we are looking at the vetting of other categories of veterans of the liberation struggle but it is taking too long to implement some of these benefits that are expected to be given to the veterans of the liberation struggle. People are still dying and the families need closure but it is taking too long.
Related to that Madam Speaker Ma’am, we have situations where other members of the liberation struggle, particularly on the ZIPRA side, are living in abject poverty when their properties have still not been surrendered to them, It is my hope that this issue will be taken very seriously and the Government should consider relinquishing these properties, some of which are with individuals, and others being run by State agencies so that at least they can alleviate their welfare.
The other issue is of the legacy of the liberation struggle. I am glad that Hon. Mudarikwa fully recognises that the liberation struggle started in the 1890s. From where we come from Madam Speaker Ma’am, particularly in Mzingwane Constituency, we have a rich history of the liberation struggle starting from the 1890s at Kadadi and we have areas like Shangani and Phuphu in Matebeleland North that are hardly mentioned even in our history. It is my clarion call that even the spirit mediums who participated in the liberation of this country like Ginyamathe and Makwathi-Ncube and Tengela, are also recognised as prominent individuals that did similar fits like Mbuya Nehanda in this Northern part of the country.
We have several battles which were fought in the 1890s, such as Phupu, Kadadi, Shangani, and even the final conference, the Nasha Mkondo Conference that took place in the Matopos in my Constituency but are not fully recognised in history. It is my plea that perhaps the relevant Ministries or Government agencies should consider the rewriting of the history so that what is taught in this country is clearly the history that represents the people who participated. As such, even our media houses do not seem to have the full story of what really happened in this country. I want to make this call that the media should know that the war was fought by so many people in this country and they must reach out and find out what really happened.
Finally Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am glad to mention that the department of National Archives is embarking on the writing of the oral history but we are saying, it has taken too long for that oral history to be written. We hope that they will cover every corner of the country and reach out to people who still know and can still remember, otherwise as a nation, we lose a very rich legacy and all that is known by those who are still alive. It is my plea that when they come to this august House looking for more resources to write this history, correctly this time, at least the full story will be known. I want to encourage the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to relinquish the responsibility of museums and the liberation shrines to the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans. I think that will make it easier now for the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans to be able to administer everything that is associated with the liberation struggle. As such, issues like the war victims compensation and payment of benefits will be adequately catered for. I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
(v)*HON. NYAMUDEZA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I want to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Raidza and the Seconder. The issue that is before us is important but I see that Hon. Mliswa wants this to be dealt with. I want to thank Father Nkomo for his contribution to the national struggle in 1956. He started the liberation war struggle before all the liberators joined the war. In 1957, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole gave a lecture in Ghana and Ghana got its independence. In 1958, Ndabaningi Sithole also did a lot of work but that is not recognised. After sitting down with Cde. Morton Malianga, Cde. Enos Nkala, Cde. Robert Mugabe, Cde. Tekere and Cde. Takawira,that is when they decided to leave ZAPU and came up with the liberation struggle. They went to seek divine intervention from spirit mediums in Matopo. They were asked whether they were brave to start the liberation struggle. That is when he consulted the father to Munacho Mutezo and others. Why this white man was killed is because he wanted to take his blood. They went to China and trained and they went to Tanzania and made sure the liberators crossed the border to go and train.
He is the first President of ZANU but he is not mentioned. So there are people who worked hard and we need to respect them. We should respect the chiefs who supported the liberation struggle. In 1998, the war veterans saw that they were not getting anything after the liberation struggle. They were not getting what we fought for and they demonstrated in Chipinge being led by Cde. Hunzvi and they were very successful in this demonstration. The war veterans got Z$50 000 as packages.
The reason for all the trouble was because we did not appease our ancestors after the liberation struggle. What we agreed to say is that collaborators were on the same level as the war veterans. I think there is a problem there. A war veteran was trained and war collaborators were not trained. All they heard was information as war collaborators. I think we are laughing at our ancestors when we equate a war collaborator to a war veteran. This is why we are seeing things not moving well. A comrade is a trained someone...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nyamudeza.
HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member should just stick to the debate related to the motion raised by Hon. Raidza. I think for him to go into the area of comparison between the freedom fighters – they fought one war for the same cause, they died for the same cause and for him to belittle any of the sections of the veterans of the liberation struggle is unfortunate. I do not think this is the subject of this debate. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nyamudeza, please stick to the motion.
(v)*HON. NYAMUDEZA: This is where we need clarification for the history of this country to have things moving smoothly. I was a war collaborator but I never held a rifle in my hands. Let us respect those who worked hard during the liberation struggle. We are left with a few comrades in this country and they need to be respected - some of them do not even have farms. Soldiers from the Smith regime who fought during World War 1 were given farms. We are moving willy-nilly as people but a Comrade who fought for the liberation struggle does not have a farm.
I am in agreement with Hon. Mayihlome to say our history should properly be written down. We only have Hon. Rugare Gumbo, the only one from Dare reChimurenga High Command. Let us go and consult Comrade Rugare Gumbo if you want to fully understand the liberation struggle. He will explain to us in detail what happened so that we take action and put to rest the spirits and bones of those who passed on during the liberation struggle. Right now those settled comrades are being resettled because we are paving way for mining. We should rectify such scenarios.
Hon. Muchinguri is fully aware that we have Mbuya Nyakopa in Chipinge who worked very hard during the liberation struggle. We might have delayed but there is no problem and that cannot be rectified. We need to honour those who worked hard during the liberation struggle. All the comrades had guns in their hands. Thank you very much.
*HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the motion raised by Hon. Raidza, seconded by Hon. Musikavanhu. I think a lot has already been said. I have a message from the war veterans and I have been given the opportunity to say it now...
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Why did you not talk about this all this time?
*HON. TEKESHE: When we were burying one of the district war heroes in Makoni, the war veterans had concerns that they were given coffins and other things but their concern is that we honour them when they are dead but whilst they are living, we do not look into their welfare as they are struggling to survive. So in support of this motion, I wish there was a motion that would look into the lives of the living war veterans because it is not easy living a life of poverty. So a law should be put in place to see how war veterans should be considered and the contribution that they made. They should be able to access medical care centres such as Parirenyatwa and not to be at the mercy of people. Look at what happened to war veterans who fought World War 1 and World War 2, they are properly catered for and I know one of the war veterans who lived here in Zimbabwe yet he was British but he got his pensions. The war veterans are raising concerns and I know it is an issue that has been delayed but it is better late than never. I am happy that the Ninth Parliament has realised the need for us to recognise our war veterans.
The war veterans should have a decent living because they fought the liberation struggle. I am happy with what the Chief Whip said that we need to be united on this cause because the war veterans fought for the liberation of everyone. For me to be standing before you, it is because of the war veterans. Had they not sacrificed their lives, we would not be having Africans in this House. There should be a law that covers the war veterans and those who are still living should have a decent living for the remaining years.
HON. RAIDZA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 23rd February, 2022.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number 18 on today’s Order Paper.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES ON A BENCHMARKING VISIT TO KENYAN PARLIAMENT
HON. CHIKUKWA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities to Kenyan Parliament on a benchmarking visit on implementation of devolution.
HON. O. SIBANDA: I second.
1.1 A delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities comprising of Hon. Chikukwa, Hon. Chidakwa, Hon. Markham, Hon. Raidza and Hon. O. Sibanda and Ms. Macheza conducted a benchmarking visit to the Parliament of Kenya from 17 to 23 October 2021 on the implementation of devolution. The visit was part of capacity building for the Committee as it strives to understand the implications of devolution. The benchmarking visit was very fruitful as the delegation was able to achieve its main objectives.
2.0 Objectives of the study visit
The objectives of the benchmarking visit to the Parliament of Kenya were specifically aimed at achieving the following:
2.1 To familiarise with the pros and cons of devolution in Kenya with a view to recommending best practice in the implementation of devolution in Zimbabwe;
2.2 To accord Members of the Committee an opportunity to discuss with their counterpart Committee and relevant stakeholders the legal impediments and enablers towards empowering the lower tiers of government and the role that can be played by Parliament; and
- To appreciate challenges faced during the implementation of
- Contextual background
3.1 Zimbabwe and Kenya share a common history where both countries were once colonised by Britain, hence inherited a similar parliamentary system of governance. Both parliaments are bicameral in nature, comprising of the National Assembly and the Senate. Kenya and Zimbabwe underwent some strong constitutional reforms in 2010 and 2013 respectively, leading to the enactment of laws aimed at strengthening the role of Parliament.
3.2 The issue of devolution seems to be identical in the Constitutions of the two nations. The Constitution of Kenya devolved power and responsibilities from the national government to 47 elected county governments. Zimbabwe on the other hand has also devolved power from the national government to provincial and district councils.
4.0 Summary of the Programme of the Delegation
4.1 The delegation made a courtesy call to Mr. M. Siali, the Clerk of Parliament of Kenya who gave an overview of the structure of Parliament of Kenya. He explained that Kenya Parliament had two Houses, the Senate (upper house) and the National Assembly (lower house). The two Houses’ political heads are both called Speakers. The National Assembly had 290 members elected from constituencies, 47 women each elected from the counties and 12 members nominated by parliamentary political parties and the Speaker who is an ex officio member. The Senate had 47 members each elected from a county, 16 women members nominated by political parties two members (a man and woman) representing the youth, two members (a man and woman) representing people with disabilities and the Speaker who is an ex officio member.
4.2 The Committee had an opportunity to meet with the Senate Standing Committee on Devolution and Inter-Governmental Relations. The delegation learnt that the Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations was established pursuant to Senate Standing Order 218. The Committee is mandated to consider all matters relating to devolution, intergovernmental and inter-county relations, governance and management of county governments, cities, town and urban areas.
4.3 The delegation attended the Senate sitting where the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Devolution invited through the Speaker, the delegation to attend the national conference which was scheduled from 23 to 26 November 2021. The Chairperson, Hon. Chikukwa attended the conference and was a guest speaker. The conference was meant to enable the delegation to further enhance its understanding of the pros and cons of devolution in Kenya.
4.4 The delegation also met with the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing and observed the meeting’s proceedings. The delegation observed that the meeting was conducted the same way we conduct our Committee meetings. A familiarization visit to the Nairobi County was conducted and the delegation received a brief from the Administrator of the County on the impact of devolution system in Kenya.
5.1 Until the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in 2010, Kenya was divided into eight provinces. Article 6 of the 2010 Kenya Constitution then established forty-seven counties as the units of devolved government. Each county has a County Executive headed by a County Governor elected directly by the people and a county assembly elected with representatives from wards within the county. County Governors have autonomy and liberty to govern their counties. Devolution was introduced and resources were shared from the National Government to the 47 counties which in Zimbabwe’s scenario can be equivalent to the ninety two local authorities. Zimbabwe, on the other hand, still maintains the system of ten provinces even after implementation of devolution. Kenya is a unitary State like Zimbabwe.
5.2 It was explained to the delegation that the Constitution of Kenya provides that at least 15% of the Kenya’s National Budget should go to the counties but the Government of Kenya has been allocating between 22-30%. In Zimbabwe, the Constitution provides that at least 5% of the national revenue should be allocated to provincial and metropolitan provinces and government has not exceeded the 5%. In Kenya, there were other resources besides devolution funds that were allocated to counties such as National Constituency Development Fund from the National Government. Such funds are meant to help disadvantaged groups. Devolution funds allocated to counties were guaranteed and there was no deviation as a matter of principle. The disbursement of devolution funds to counties were not affected by effects of COVID-19 pandemic or any other natural disasters.
5.3 In Kenya, devolution funds were channelled towards development such as building schools, health facilities, roads and business centres. Devolution funds sometimes were also used for recurrent expenditure. The same scenario applies in Zimbabwe where devolution funds are mainly channelled towards developmental projects but not recurrent.
5.4 Counties could make their laws but the National Government laws take precedent. It was explained to the delegation that this scenario was causing a challenge of conflicting laws in terms of taxes as each county can come up with its own taxes. It was then suggested that there be a unified law for all counties to solve the issue of conflicting laws by counties.
5.5 There was debate was on the government structures of Kenya, whether the many structures were really necessary. There was overlap of functions resulting in the many government structures duplicating roles. The delegation learnt from the Clerk of Kenya Parliament that there were some debates pertaining to the number of counties, some arguing that they were too many and were a waste of resources while some argued it was a noble cause.
5.6 Public participation is a requirement in the Constitution of Kenya and very critical when utilising devolution funds. In Kenya, Members of Parliament are allocated National Constituency Development Funds (which is equivalent to Zimbabwe’s Constituency Development Fund) for implementing development projects in the constituencies and were also expected to consult the members of the public. Both County Governors and Members of Parliament were obliged to provide evidence of such consultations on every project undertaken and to account for devolution funds and National Constituency Development Funds respectively.
5.7 The delegation was informed that devolution was one among several forms of decentralisation in Kenya. The 2010 Constitution of Kenya centered on the need for a devolved structure that would ensure the decentralisation of power and resources. The objects of devolution were set out under Article 174 of the Kenya Constitution as follows:
- i) promote democratic and accountable exercise of power;
- ii) foster national unity by recognising diversity;
iii) give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them;
- iv) recognise the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development;
- v) protect and promote the interests and rights of minorities and marginalised communities;
- vi) promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya;
vii) ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout Kenya;
viii) facilitate the decentralisation of State organs, their functions and services from the capital of Kenya; and
- ix) enhance checks and balances and the separation of powers.
5.8 Article 175 of the Constitution of Kenya states that county governments shall reflect the following principles:
- County governments shall be based on democratic principles and the separation of powers;
- County governments shall have reliable sources of revenue to enable them to govern and deliver services effectively; and
- No more than two-thirds of the members of representative bodies in each county government shall be of the same gender.
5.9 Kenya’s devolved structure was provided for in the 2010 Constitution of Kenya and was operationalised by the following nine pieces of legislation among others:
- County Governments Act, No. 17 of 2012
- The Transition to Devolved Government Act of 2012
- The Urban Areas and Cities Act of 2011
- The Public Finance Management Act of 2012
- Inter-governmental Relations Act No. 2 of 2012
- County Assemblies Powers and Privileges Act, No. 6 of 2017
- County Assembly Services Act, No. 24 of 2017
- National Government Coordination Act No. 1 of 2013
- Public Appointments (County Assemblies Approval) Act,
No. 5 of 2017.
5.10 Zimbabwe is yet to come up with relevant pieces of legislation to support the devolution agenda since its introduction in the 2013 Constitution despite the gazetting of the Provincial Councils and Administration Bill on 31 March 2020 but was yet to be passed into an Act.
5.11 The delegation was also told that the roles of Senate as the custodian of devolution were stipulated in Article 96 of the Constitution of Kenya as follows:
- The Senate represents the counties and serves to protect the interests of the counties and their governments.
- he Senate participates in the law making function of Parliament by considering, debating and approving Bills concerning counties, as provided in Articles 109 to 113.
- The Senate determines the allocation of national revenue among counties, as provided in Articles 217 and exercises oversight over national revenue allocated to the county governments.
- The Senate participates in the oversight of State officers by considering and determining any resolution to remove the President of Deputy President from office in accordance with Article 145.
5.12 Zimbabwe Constitution does not provide such provisions for Parliament of Zimbabwe or the Committee responsible for oversight over the Ministry or provincial and metropolitan provinces.
5.13 The delegation learnt that the Senate in Kenya protects the devolution by setting standards for devolved governments through legislation and scrutinises National Government policies to ensure that they cater for the interests of counties. Senate also plays an oversight role over the national government to ensure that adequate resources were allocated to county governments and monitor the use of such resources. Additionally, the Senate has a role to impeach/remove from office county governors for any misconduct where such a motion is submitted by a county assembly and approved by the Senate.
5.14 The Senate also scrutinises the Budget Policy Statement, considers and passes Division of Revenue Bills (vertical allocation) and County Allocation of Revenue Bill (horizontal allocation) while ensuring adequate allocation of resources to county governments.
5.15 It was explained that Senate represents the counties and protects their interests since Senators were elected from a bigger geographical territory, which means Senators represent diverse constituencies and people of different ethnicities and backgrounds, thus providing a political outlet to those outnumbered.
5.16 While in Kenya, the Senate is the custodian of the devolution process yet in Zimbabwe there is no specific House assigned to deal with issues of devolution. The Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities does oversight role on the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works which is responsible for implementation of devolution. Kenya has a Ministry of Devolution which draws its mandate from Articles 6, 10 and 11 of the Constitution of Kenya, the Executive Order No. 1 of June 2018 (Revised) and the various Acts under which devolution is implemented. The Ministry of Devolution in Kenya is mandated to manage the process of implementation of the devolved system of government.
6.0 Successes of the Devolution in Kenya
The delegation was informed by the Senate Committee on Devolution and the Administrator of Nairobi County the following successes of devolution in Kenya:
6.1 The devolution of powers and resources ensured that power and resources from the centre were transferred to autonomous devolved units across the Kenya. These powers and resources enable communities to set their priorities and development objectives at the county level.
6.2 Devolution brought with it access to service delivery. The communities were enjoying efficient service delivery since the implementation of devolution in Kenya considering that government services were brought closer to the people.
6.3 There was an entrenched equity and inclusiveness in development and access to services. The transfer of resources to the devolved units in a fair and equitable manner ensures that previously neglected areas in the county would receive resources for development and provision of essential services.
6.4 Devolution in Kenya has enhanced good governance by incorporating vertical separation of powers and increasing on checks and balances. The division of powers and functions between the county and national governments further enhances accountability through checks and balances so as to guard against abuse of power in either sphere.
6.5 The devolution of power and resources enabled the Kenyans to participate effectively in county governance and thus enhance their perception of political inclusion, the lack of which had led to conflict. Devolution had increased political space especially at the local level.
6.6 Finally devolution came with successes in that rural counties were now boasting of good roads, more hospitals and development.
7.0 Challenges encountered during implementation of devolution
7.1 The delegation learnt that the devolved system in Kenya however came with its own resource challenges. Devolution introduced a new level of government which required a lot of resources to set up new infrastructure and an increase on the public wage bill. Additionally, revenue sharing between the two levels of government is a divisive issue since counties were entitled by law to receive not less than 15% of the national revenue. The guaranteed share was regarded too low for the devolved functions. It was explained that the Kenya Constitution provides maximum threshold to which the county governments can impose on additional taxes. It was noted that one of the areas of improvement in the Kenyan context was the need for alternative options to finance county governments so that they can fund their budgets instead of heavily relying on the national government.
7.2 The devolved system also created duplication of roles as during the transition process there was lack of clear defined structures, processes, guidelines or role clarity. One of the solutions to these challenges was to have a Devolution Policy which would guide the unbundling exercise and proper assignment of duties. The exercise required a lot of cooperation and consultation between national and county governments.
7.3 There were fears that devolution may lead to exclusion of some regions in terms of development and infrastructure. Thus, the allocation of funds and the provision of schools and hospitals might be unevenly distributed and ill equipped in some areas compared to others. As a result, Kenya established a Commission of Revenue Allocation which came up with a Marginalisation Policy and recommended a highly consultative Revenue Sharing Formula which was passed by the Senate in 2020.
7.4 Another challenge was that some counties such as Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa had already better infrastructure and public utilities as well as opportunities for employment and investment before devolution compared to counties in the Northern Part of Kenya. Such a scenario was addressed through the revenue sharing formula that ensures marginalisation and poor communities are considered and under developed counties are able to receive more resource support.
7.5 Lack of capacity to facilitate service delivery by some counties was mentioned as another challenge being faced in the implementation of devolution in Kenya. Despite efforts to address the capacity needs of the counties, it was highlighted that skills gaps still existed in the public service. This was attributed to the lack of a coordinated manner in which functions were transferred.
7.6 The other challenge was lack of strong intergovernmental relations mechanism between the two levels of Government. It was however, highlighted that there had been efforts through consultations with the National Government to second skilled personnel especially in the medical field. County Public Service Boards were also put in place to ensure counties have qualified human resource to ensure effective service delivery.
7.7 The delegation learnt that there were challenges pertaining to accountability at the county level. The Auditor General’s reports revealed non-compliance to relevant laws by most County Executives and non-adherence to budgets and irregular procurement processes. This has resulted in various impeachment motions being brought to the Senate by County Assemblies, some of which have been successful.
7.8 The counties’ lack of capacity to manage finances sometimes resulting in new governors incurring outstanding bills from the previous governor’s term of office and the latter refusing to take over the bills.
8.0 Legal Impediments and Enablers towards empowering the lower tiers of Government and the role that Parliament can play
8.1 The Senate Committee on Devolution highlighted that there were also some legal impediments in the implementation process. The Senate had to come up with the Third Basis of the Revenue Sharing Formula which ensured increased allocation to the counties by the government. The Senate emphasised the need for allocating adequate resources from the national government to counties to enable counties to perform their functions. The County Executive and the County Assembly have distinct mandates provided for in the Constitution. Parliament has also sought to strengthen the capacity of County Assemblies through ensuring that resources are allocated to them and that they have financial autonomy from the Executive.
8.2 It was further explained that County Assemblies have the mandate to ensure accountability at the county level. Parliament of Kenya established the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training which offers training to Members of County Assemblies and staff. This was meant to build capacity of County Assemblies.
8.3 There is also a Legislative Summit which is a national conference aimed at promoting positive engagement between the Senate and County Assemblies and their staff as well as other institutions relevant to devolution including constitutional offices, development partners, the private sector, civil society, media and technocrats from the public service.
8.4 Additionally, the Senate County Liaison Office was created to coordinate capacity development in the form of exposure at Parliament for County Assembly staff.
9.0 Legal Challenges faced during the implementation of devolution
The Senate Committee on Devolution mentioned the following legal challenges that were faced during the implementation of devolution agenda in Kenya:
9.1 There was some conflict on the role of Senate and the National Assembly when Senate was excluded from debating and passing the Division of Revenue Bill. The National Assembly had debated and passed the Division of the Revenue Bill and sent it for assent to the President without referring the same to the Senate. The Senate took the issue to the Supreme Court which ruled that the Division of Revenue Bill affected counties and as such, the Senate should debate and vote on the Bill.
9.2 The other challenge cited was lack of concurrence between the National Assembly and the Senate on Bills that deal with County Government. Article 110 (3) of the Kenya Constitution requires concurrence on Bills between the Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate on Bills that concern counties. The delegation was informed that the Senate filed a petition in 2019 in the High Court seeking that the twenty-eight Acts of Parliament that were passed by the National Assembly without Senate concurrence be declared unconstitutional, null and void for non-compliance with the legislative process as set out in the Constitution. The High Court’s judgement declared that twenty-three of Acts were indeed unconstitutional, null and void due to lack of concurrence with the Senate.
9.3 While the Senate has the mandate to scrutinise the Budget Policy Statement and allocate national revenue to county governments, one of the gaps in the law had been the lack of a structured interaction between Senators and their respective county governments on division of revenue and allocation of county revenue. A proposal was made to establish a framework on consultation on the budget making process.
10.1 The delegation observed that Kenya’s devolved counties can introduce own taxes to complement devolution funds. In that way, the counties have more avenues to raise funds for developing their communities. In Zimbabwe, local authorities collect revenue in the form of rates and user fees besides the 5% constitutional provision from the National Budget.
10.2 The Committee noted that devolution funds allocated to counties were guaranteed. This enables counties to plan their projects knowing that the promised funds will be disbursed and knowing the exact amounts. It would help if devolution funds to be disbursed were guaranteed in our situation and the allocations were disclosed in advance to enable provincial and metropolitan councils to plan in advance.
10.3 Kenya’s devolved system was operationalised by nine Acts of Parliament in an effort to correct any gaps or flaws in the system. Zimbabwe is yet to come up with legislation to operationalise devolution.
10.4 The Constitution of Kenya provides that public consultations are a must by county governments on devolution projects. In Zimbabwe, there is an outcry that local authorities were not consulting members of the public on projects undertaken using devolution funds.
10.5 The Committee noted that the county governments in Kenya also lack the requisite skills in terms of implementation of major devolution projects and accounting for utilisation of devolution funds. Zimbabwe should not take it for granted that local authorities have capacity to implement devolution projects without building the requisite capacity.
11.1 In terms of accountability and transparency in the implementation of devolution in Zimbabwe, there is need to come up with relevant pieces of legislation that will operationalise the devolution agenda by March 2022.
11.2 The Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities must be involved in coming up with revenue sharing formula to ensure equitable distribution of resources to all provincial councils by June 2022.
11.3 The 5% of the national revenues raised in any financial year must be reviewed upwards to 10% to enable meaning development in the communities in the 2023 National Budget and devolution funds must be guaranteed.
11.4 Two more benchmark visits to South Africa and China should be conducted for comparison purposes and to come up with best practices by December 2022.
11.5 The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should put in place effective mechanisms for monitoring utilisation of devolution funds and follow up visits are needed to devolution by June 2022.
11.6 The Public Finance Management Act must be reviewed to include a provision that will criminalise those who abuse devolution funds by June 2022.
11.7 The proposed Provincial Councils and Administration Amendment Bill should include a mandatory provision for local authorities to consult members of the public whenever undertaking devolution projects by March 2022.
11.8 There is need to capacitate all local authorities on the utilisation of devolution funds and how to report on the same by March 2022.
12.1 The Committee would like to express its sincere gratitude for the opportunity to learn the experiences of Kenya in the implementation of devolution. Such experiences are commendable as they are an eye opener to the Members of the Committee and are of benefit in terms of benchmarking ourselves against what other nations are doing. As a Committee, we are yet to visit other countries so that we can compare. I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
HON. O. SIBANDA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am. I rise to support what Hon. Chikukwa has just said. It is a very good report and well prepared. I am going to dwell on some of the things that I saw as one of the delegates on a Study Visit to Kenya.
When we arrived in Kenya, we realised that, we operate almost the same way as Kenya. The Parliament of Kenya has an Upper House which is the Senate, the National Assembly and also 47 different counties headed by governors. Unlike in our situation whereby we have districts and provinces. In Kenya. They used to have about eight provinces which were divided into eight counties for ease of management of devolution.
So on this devolution, the Senate of Kenya is in charge of devolution. They have got an extending committee called the Devolution Committee. This visit was part of a capacity building to the delegation and the Committee observed quite a number of things in the Parliament of Kenya such as how they operate, how they do their things and how devolution funds are distributed to various counties. It is only the Senate which sits down and decides how much goes to the counties and this is calculated at the rate of 5% for the national budget but when being implemented, the government pushes it up to about 30% being given to different counties. This makes it easy for the counties to operate in terms of resources and this money given to various counties is distributed immediately after the passing of the budget making it easy for the counties to operate.
The people who are in charge of the counties are the governors and their executive committee. As said before, Madam Speaker, the Senate does the evaluation of the counties operations in terms of devolution funds. We realised that there is people participation. The counties are encouraged to talk to people before they present their budget in the national budget to be used in their various counties.
Our objectives were to get an insight of the operations of the Kenyan Parliament. Devolution counties and the Senate make the development of various counties. While Kenya has counties, we have provinces. Counties make it easy to reach to the targeted beneficiaries on devolution starting with the lowest tiers of various constituencies. The difference between us and Kenya is only the terrain. The terrain of Kenya and the terrain of Zimbabwe are a little bit different. In terms of implementation, Kenya suffers the same way we suffer because of the terrain and geographical positioning of each county as compared to our districts. Some of our districts are covered in mountainous areas so when it comes to the allocation of these funds, the Senate has to go and put a research of how we do it.
Also, Madam Speaker, there is a ministry which is there in Kenya which deals purely and specifically with devolution. It is called the Ministry of Devolution. This Ministry does the monitoring and evaluation of monies distributed to various counties around the country. They are the ones who tell the Senate of the performance of various counties. The Transport Ministry also houses public housing where we had some interest as a Committee. We had to see how this Transport Ministry, the Ministry of Devolution and also the Standing Committee on Devolution which is chaired by Senate function. We realised that the Senate plays a bigger role than the Lower House in terms of implementation of various country projects. Senate passes laws. It does almost everything ahead of the Lower House. We realised that at one point, the Lower House passed a Bill which forced the Senate to go to court and argue and say you had no jurisdiction to pass that law and the Supreme Court awarded the verdict in favour of the Senate, meaning that the Senate is supreme in Kenya. We have realised that our Senate compared to the Kenyan Senate does not do as much as the Kenyan Senate. Kenyan Senate is actually running the show in the governance of Kenya.
Another fund which is given to the county is the National Constituency Development Fund. They boosted their coffers through this money outside the national budget. It is added to various counties. Also Madam Speaker, the MPs there are given CDF over and above the County Constituency Development Fund. So this means that there is quite a bit of money in terms of implementation of development projects in the counties.
Development of schools, roads, dams, irrigation and so forth is made easy because of quick availability of funds which are released by the Government to various counties as compared to us whereby you are told that you have got so much but it does not come in time. Counties make their own law and they must be in concurrence with the laws of the Senate and the laws of other counties. Long back, they used to say each county can make its own laws, but later on they realised that these laws ended up conflicting each other. So now they are saying laws must be made uniform within all the counties so that they speak with one voice in terms of the law.
What we realised again is that the Government workforce is bloated because of these 47 counties instead of eight provinces before where the various ministry departments were fewer. Now they have got more employees than before. So this consumes a lot of money in terms of worker’s welfare and salaries, you name it. So they have got a bloated Government structure.
In Zimbabwe the implementation of devolution is not yet complete as compared to Kenya. It is in its infancy in that the Bill on devolution is not yet passed. So as a result, even if you go to our various districts, provinces, the money is issued to all the councils both rural and urban but accountability there, we do not have checks and balances as compared to the Ministry of Devolution in Kenya which does the monitoring and evaluation of all inputs in terms of money to the counties. Here we just throw money to the councils, we just throw money and nobody goes to do the monitoring and evaluation to see whether a project was done to the best of the ability of the contractor. We are not seeing that so there is urgent need to pass this Bill so that we have the checks and balances.
Also the Senate also has got the power to impeach a non- performing county governor in the counties. It is their duty. That is why I am saying Senate is effectively used in Kenya. So if you compare with our Zimbabwe Senate, you realise that our Senate is not as busy as Kenya’s.
The Public Finance Committee here in Zimbabwe should be given enough powers to criminalise those who fail to use devolution funds properly. Those who misuse devolution funds, this Committee must be able to go and reign them in. What we realised also is that the Kenyan MPs are well kept in terms of devolution, CDF and their salaries. They earn quite higher salaries than us. They have got constituency offices whereby they employ researchers, clerks, you name it, for the MPs. An MP is somebody who is very important in Kenya as compared to here where we see ourselves a little bit on the lower side. We need to raise the bar for the MPs. That is what we want.
We also realise that their CDF comes timeously and therefore they easily can implement the projects which they are supposed to do. As we go, Madam Speaker, we need to do quite a number of bench- marking visits so that we bring them to our Parliament and we make sure that we raise the bar for our Parliament, using what we see in various counties. At one point, our Chairman was invited to Kenya again to go and speak during their National Day on Local Governance but she had to delay and come after the Head of State had presented.
We request, Madam Speaker, that if we have got such cases, can we make sure that these things are done timeously within the Parliament staff not for the MP to run around organising her own trip. We need to do our things timeously so that when somebody goes there as an MP, they are better equipped with research from our Parliament staff so that we bring issues to you here, Madam Speaker and I am sure our Parliament’s bar is going to be raised. I also noted when we visited, the welfare of the Members of Parliament building, their restaurants, there are three star restaurants, Members of Parliament eat proper food, they are well looked after and their car park is neat. Now that we have built our own Parliament, things will change as we go. I thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity for me to add my voice on the motion that was moved by Hon. Chikukwa our Chairperson and seconded by Hon. Sibanda. I am one of your Members of Parliament who went for this benchmarking visit to Kenya. There were things we learnt in Kenya but most importantly, what I learnt is that devolution comes with different forms in each and every country. So, my desire from what I have learned in Kenya is that we need our devolution in Zimbabwe that has Zimbabwean characteristics. We have discovered as well that in Kenya they devolved their politics and their fiscal space as well.
These are some of the things that we can also learn as we are in the process of coming with our own devolution in Zimbabwe. Madam Speaker, from the presentation that we have received and what obtains in Kenya, we discovered they are no longer having the municipalities or the rural district councils like what we are currently having in Zimbabwe. What they are having now that replaced all these municipalities, they used to have them but what they have now are counties. The counties are the ones that are running the affairs in Kenya.
Actually what these counties do is that they took over the responsibilities and the functions of the council. So, what it means is that in Kenya they only have the counties and the national government, of which here in Zimbabwe we have our local authorities and we have them at provincial level and national level as well. In Kenya they have got only two types of government. They came at this position after realizing that having many structures, it will need a lot of money for it to run and all these funds will be needed to be taken from the citizens of Kenya. So, this is one of the things that I learnt that even though we want to have a devolution structure in the country, we must try by all means to be as thin as possible as well. We must look into the funding modalities, see and do what we can afford as a country. The other issue that I have discovered is the clarity on the roles of the counties and the national government. We have discovered that they came up with various laws so as to make sure which responsibilities are going to go with the counties and which responsibilities should remain with the central government. All these functions were transferred using the laws that they are having in that country.
I have discovered that this was a very good arrangement of which here in Zimbabwe, we have serious issues whereby at the end of the day we do not know which responsibilities are for councils and which responsibilities are for national government. We are hearing even small things that the councils are expected to be doing like refuse collection and all these basic social services that the councils are supposed to be doing. We are hearing many of them are saying no, the central government is not doing this and not doing that. In Kenya, we have discovered that the law is very clear on who does what, whereby at the end of the day there is that inter-relationship that is between the central Government and the counties.
The other thing that I also saw is that their governors are Executive and they come to power through the election from the people. If one decides to be a governor in a county, you have to be elected by the people. So there is a bit of independence whereby at the end of the day, the President of the country does not have the authority over the governor. They call them ‘small presidents’ in their own counties. They move around with their escorts and do all the things like ‘small presidents’ of which here in Zimbabwe, we know even in Kenya there is also a unitary State. We do not know what the arrangement was and why they decided to do it that way, for this governor to be removed from office as it was already reported that the governor has to be impeached.
From the stories that we were told when we were there, most of the governors who were impeached already, it was out of financial irregularities that they conducted during their time in office as governors. We discovered as well that this issue of independence of governors was bringing a lot of problems because the governors were not reporting to anyone, so they could do their deals there. They can do their corrupt activities and all sorts of things in the office, only to wait for the Auditor General and if the Auditor General picks it, that is when the issue can be taken for disciplinary action and other impeachment processes.
So, we discovered that that independence allows the governors to be too corrupt. From the explanation that we were hearing since 2010 when they started, they had a number of governors who were impeached and all these governors were impeached because of corruption. They would enter into contracts and that was one of the challenges. We heard that during one’s term, they enter into a contract and when a new governor comes on the next term, he disregards what the other one was doing and he has his new contract because there were some financial benefits for the incumbent. So I propose that such a scenario will not be good for us and some projects, whether it was for the previous governor, the projects are for the people irrespective of who is in the office the projects should proceed. In Kenya, we discovered that if you finish your term without finishing your project then everything will just end there and whoever comes will start his own project and enter into his new contracts with his people.
The other issue is the guarantee of the devolution fund. We discovered that in Kenya, the Constitution says these counties are supposed to get 15% but Parliament, we heard that it used to give them between 22 to 30 percent which was over the constitutional requirement of the constitutional expectation because the Members of Parliament and the Senators of Kenya appreciated the work that the devolution was doing, so they decided to end up giving more money for devolution because many infrastructure developments were being seen in the counties.
However Madam Speaker, I like the way they operate. They have got a law that guarantees the devolution money that the Executive - whether the money is not sufficient but that is what is there. The money for devolution was Minister or the Executive had a statutory duty to make sure that the money is found. Funds for devolution in Kenya were always being made available. The other issue also is on the formula of how to share the money. The Senate in Kenya, during their revenue sharing debates in Parliament – because their money will be shared in Parliament; here in our Parliament, the issue that we are advocating for as a Committee is that when this money is allocated, we need to know how much is going to every local authority. These processes give us an opportunity as your MPs to know how much money goes to this province and local authority. This helps for planning purposes.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, devolution is all about trying to equalize the previously marginalised communities but if these things do not come out in the open so we debate about it, we end up not knowing whether we are equitably distributing the national resources or not.
The issues of efficient service delivery; we heard that since the coming in of the devolution in 2010, there was a remarkable difference in terms of service delivery. People in Kenya started to see service delivery coming to some of the marginalised communities. We are seeing this kind of a situation happening here in Zimbabwe. We have some places that we are coming from where we have not seen development for the past years. However, since we started getting the devolution funds or since the coming in of the Second Republic, we have seen some places getting infrastructure development. For us, that is a great achievement.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, I think the issue of accountability is still a thorn in the flesh. As we are trying to come up with the laws here in Zimbabwe, we need to strengthen our accountability laws to make sure that monies that will be allocated from the national purse will actually benefit the citizens of this country. If we do not come up with strong financial management systems, we end up having serious problems where these funds end up being in the pockets of the few. Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am. These were the issues that I wanted to add in respect of this benchmark visit. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I will add a few words. I think we need a clear recommendation from this Committee on what we can get from what the Kenyans are doing.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chief Whip, please may you be connected.
HON. TOGAREPI: This was a very detailed report but I would recommend that it is shared between them and the responsible Ministry and see what we can adopt. It is not just a visit where you write a description of what you saw but what we can also get and take home and implement in our situation in order to improve our devolution. Having said that Madam Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 23rd February, 2022.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Six o’clock p.m.