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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 23 NOVEMBER 2021 VOL 48 NO 14
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
PRESENTATION OF THE 2022 NATIONAL BUDGET STATEMENT
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development will present the 2022 National Budget Statement on Thursday, 25th November, 2021 at a Quarter to Three o’clock, in the afternoon.
HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for giving me this opportunity to put across my point of national interest. I note Hon. Speaker Ma’am that whilst we are celebrating as a nation on the brilliant idea by His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa to introduce the Emergency Road …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are not connected.
HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I rise to give my point of national interest noting that whilst as a nation we are celebrating on the introduction of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) by His Excellency, President E.D. Mnangagwa and the work that is being done on our national highways, together with the introduction of new buses across the whole country, I am totally concerned by the increase in carnage that is happening on our national highways. This is on account of road users, especially heavy trucks and buses disregarding the rules of the road. I will therefore wish Hon. Speaker Ma’am, that we consider seriously having a position where haulage trucks are given a period where they do not operate after dark – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I am sure with the ERRP, we are in a position to provide overnight bays for these trucks to be parked and in the process, reduce the carnage and also reduce the loss of goods in transit.
Furthermore, Hon. Speaker Ma’am, I think it is a noble idea that we seriously consider putting back the fences that were along our highways to prevent livestock from straying on to the highways. That in itself is a major requirement in my view that should be considered in tandem with the ERRP.
Lastly, I think it is important Hon. Speaker Ma’am, that the new buses and other buses in general be governed speed-wise so that they do not exceed certain speed limits because they are tending to drive recklessly, abusing the fact that we now have state of the art roads in Zimbabwe. Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Musikavanhu for raising that valid point. I would advise you to move a motion on that.
HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Noted Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I will proceed to do so.
HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. My point of privilege is coming from last week’s Question Time. Last week I asked a question but I was not answered satisfactorily by the Acting Minister. Madam Speaker, the Deputy Minister was here. I think if she responded to the question, I was going to be answered properly. Why are we having Deputy Ministers if they cannot stand in their bosses’ shoes when they are away or on leave? Are they ceremonial deputies? They are persons who are in the Ministry throughout and you bring a foreigner from another Ministry to come and respond to questions. I think that is not correct. If the Deputy Ministers are not able to stand in the position of their bosses, why can we not relinquish the positions because it is burdening the fiscus?
When the Hon. Speaker is away for two or three weeks, you will be there. When the President is away, the Vice President is there but when the Minister is away, there is an Acting Minister but the Deputy is there, enjoying all the perks that the Minister gets. So is that not duplication of work? You are burdening the fiscus. I would like to understand whether these Deputy Ministers positions are ceremonial. Please, let us get rid of that and just have the Minister. Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Tekeshe. Deputy Ministers are not ceremonial. It is the prerogative of the appointing authority to appoint Acting Ministers. Deputy Ministers can respond in the absence of the Minister or in the absence of the Acting Minister. If the Acting Minister is there, he will be the one in charge. The Deputy Minister can respond when there is no Acting Minister at that moment in the House.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of privilege Madam Speaker. I would like to commend the Office of the Speaker for facilitating the Parliamentary Sports Club in visiting constituencies where we interact with ordinary citizens as Parliamentarians. We will be raising awareness of wellness and fitness to promote health. I say so because we just had a fruitful trip to Zvishavane-Ngezi, with most of the Members of Parliament and staff. It certainly makes us bond, understand and do more when people understand us better.
I would also like to thank those Members of Parliament whom we visit that host us. Also, I extend the same to all Members of Parliament, because we shall be going to all the constituencies, only if you are a member of the Parliamentary Sports Club. If you are not a member, we do not visit. So each constituency, we will visit and I would like you to partake. We are also training for wellness and fitness, every morning, Monday to Friday, 6 to 7 a.m. at Girls High. We also train at 1230 to 1330 at Girls High School. Indoor training is equally here. So we encourage you to come and be part of us so that as Parliamentarians we lead in the health wellness and fitness of the nation. We are leaders in that regard. I want to thank Parliament for taking it seriously because it is important that we lead by example, in ensuring that people are healthy and fit.
All Members are invited to train. We were given tracksuits by a company, for us to train, not to just wear them in your fields or to walk around. It would be good for the company to see us walking with those tracksuits for the intended purpose of wellness and fitness.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. There are two points of privilege that I rose to give and you gave a ruling. One was for the Minister of ICT in terms of Getway Solutions or International Call Termination Centres, which can bring about a lot of money to the fiscus. If it pleases you Madam Speaker Ma’am, if this Ministerial Statement can be given before the announcement of the 2022 Budget, so that after the Ministerial Statement, we can proffer solutions to the Minister as it relates to actually broadening his budgetary requirements and revenue streams.
The second one was the Ministerial Statement by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development relating to the road infrastructural development in the advent of the Second Republic. You gave a ruling that he was supposed to bring it in. If it pleases you, if the same Ministerial Statement can come through so that we can also propose that the revenue streams, especially from the mining houses, to broaden his budgetary allocation.
However, to date, this point of privilege is based on the Third Party Insurance that resides with all the automobiles of about 1.5 to 2 million vehicles, which are criss-crossing the width and breadth of Zimbabwe. If it pleases you Madam Speaker, if the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, as the recipient of this ubiquitous and copious amount of money from automobile or from unsuspecting innocent drivers, if he can couple a Ministerial Statement as it relates to the exact use of this Third Party Insurance and what people have gained from that insurance and from the Passenger Insurance, which resides with the passenger services vehicles. If he can couple his Ministerial Statement with the Third Party Insurance and Passenger Insurance so that the citizens can get to know why they are paying Third Party Insurance and Passenger Insurance? What it is that they have to benefit from that? Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: For the first one, a letter was sent to the Minister of ICT. It is only a matter of reminding him to bring it, maybe tomorrow after Question Time, if you are requesting that it must be tabled before the budget because the budget is on Thursday. So we only have tomorrow afternoon. We are going to remind him to bring the Ministerial Statement.
On the second one about the Third Party Insurance and the Passenger Insurance, we will convey the message to the Minister of Transport so that he will bring in the Ministerial Statement. Thank you for that.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE GENDER COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2020
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHLANGA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I rise to present my report on the Zimbabwe Gender Commission 2020 Annual Report.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) is one of the five Chapter 12 Commissions established in terms of Section 245 of the Constitution and operationalised through the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act (Chapter 10:31). Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Commission has eight commissioners - three males and five females including the Chairperson, Mrs. Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe.
Mandate of the Commission
Madam Speaker Ma’am, through Section 246 of the Constitution, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission is mandated to:
Monitor issues concerning gender equality and to ensure gender equality as provided for in the Constitution;
Investigate possible violations of rights relating to gender equality;
Receive and consider complaints from the public and to take such action in regard to the complaints as it considers appropriate;
Conduct research into issues related to gender and social justice and to recommend changes to laws and practices which lead to discrimination based on gender;
Advise public and private institutions on steps to be taken to ensure gender equality
recommend affirmative action programmes to achieve gender equality;
recommend prosecution for criminal violations of rights relating to gender;
secure appropriate redress where rights relating to gender have been violated;
do everything necessary to promote gender equality.
In terms of Section 323 of the Constitution, every Commission
must submit to Parliament, through the responsible Minister, an annual report describing its operations and activities. Having submitted reports covering the previous three years, the ZGC has finalised its 2020 annual report which is now ready for submission to Parliament.
MAJOR POINTS OF THE 2020 ANNUAL REPORT
Madam Speaker, the period under review witnessed several achievements in the following focus areas:
In line with Section 246 (b) and (c) of the Constitution, the
Commission managed to investigate 51 cases of violations of rights relating to gender including:
- 20 cases of gender based violence
- 12 cases of sexual harassment
- Five cases of gender based discrimination
- 12 matters involving property rights
- Two cases involving gender stereotyping in social media and broadcasting services.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, the majority of the cases are centered on
Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in its various manifestations. Having noted this, the Commission developed Standard Operating Procedures for Handling and Investigation of cases of Gender Based Violence and Sexual Gender Based Violence with the support of United Nations Women under the Spotlight Initiative.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, in addition, the Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (known as Chapter 12 Commissions Joint Investigation Forum) to strengthen collaboration on investigation of cases where there are mutual interests. The MOU was based on the common objectives of the Commissions as provided for in Chapter 12, Section 233 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
2 Gender Equality Promotion
i Research and Programming
The Commission has a mandate to monitor issues concerning
equality with a view to ensure compliance with gender equality provisions in the Constitution, regional and international frameworks. Pursuant to this mandate, the Commission in 2020: -
a) Developed a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework to
effectively implement and strengthen its oversight mandate on monitoring adherence to gender equality provisions;
b) Issued Advisory notes in line with Section 17 of the
Constitution, which provides for gender balance in social, political and economic spheres. Duty bearers were implored to ensure gender sensitive appointments and respect the supreme law of the land;
c) Participated and observed Zimbabwe Government’s reporting at
the 75th Session of the CEDAW Committee meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland. The Commission also made a comprehensive presentation to the CEDAW Committee which was in response to the State’s report;
d) Convened the 2020 National Gender Forum (NGF) under the theme, “Strengthening Accountability to End Gender Based Violence in Zimbabwe.” The NGF was preceded by the Provincial Gender Fora that were convened in nine provinces.
Convened dialogue meetings to strategise on ways to increase women’s participation and representation in local Government towards gender parity threshold; to sensitise stakeholders on violence and harassment in the workplace and develop a draft roadmap towards the Ratification of ILO Convention 190 by Zimbabwe; capacitate trainers on gender equality in the world of work.
e) Operationalised six Thematic Working Groups to enable ZGC
to extensively deal with various gender rights related issues;
f) Observed the Public Hearings on Constitutional Amendment
Bill Number 2;
g) Submitted a position paper to Parliament on Engendering Electoral and Constitutional Reforms. The position paper also provided a platform to input the Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 2;
h) Produced and launched the Gender Audit of the main political parties;
i) Developed a model gender policy in an effort to strengthen institutional capacities and provide sustainable mechanism to support engendering of political party systems;
j) Conducted a Rapid Gender Assessment of COVID-19 Quarantine Centres across the country.
- ii. Public Education and Information
Madam Speaker Ma’am, in the period under review, the ZGC
carried out a number of public education and awareness activities to increase awareness on gender issues and understanding the role and mandate by the public. These include commemorations of international events which were done through statements; 35 media appearances on both radio and television to assess gender dimension of national COVID-19 response statement on the COVID-19 induced lockdown and its implications on achieving gender equality, violence against women, gendered impact of Cyclone Eline, workplace sexual harassment awareness programme at Dairy Board Zimbabwe and FBC Bank.
iii. Institutional capacity building
Madam Speaker, the report also captures institutional capacity building which includes among others, budget performance, acquisition of fixed assets, payment of outstanding arrears, periodic financial reports and statutory returns and staff establishment. The Commission continued to strengthen its term with secretariat growing to just under the then approved staff complement of 48.
Madam Speaker, in conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic hampered the full implementation of the Commission’s work plan. However, the Commission managed to implement some of the activities despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. This resulted in enhanced use of virtual modes of convening and dialogue facilitation. Madam Speaker, this is our report and I so submit. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Deputy Minister.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I have been checking on our email and noticed that the report from the Gender Commission has not been emailed to the Members and Members want to debate from an informed position. I am wondering why that document has not been availed to Members so that we will be in a position to contribute and seek guidance and clarification from the Minister. Accordingly, I am asking Madam Speaker, if this debate could be adjourned until such a time when Members have been availed copies of the report so that we will be in a position to engage the Minister accordingly.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mushoriwa. The Assistant Clerk is checking whether the report was circulated or not.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Certainly, it has not been circulated. I am going through the emails as far back as we started this Session.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is okay Hon. Mushoriwa. Let us give him time to check. I will come back to you.
HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me begin by thanking the Hon. Deputy Minister for tabling the Annual Report from the Zimbabwe Gender Commission in the National Assembly. Coincidentally Madam Speaker, the tabling of the report in the House comes at a time when Zimbabwe is joining the global nations in celebrating or launching the Gender Based Violence against Women and against Child Marriages. This is the responsible Commission that deals directly with women issues in terms of GBV. I want to appreciate and thank the Ministry for being positive in terms of timely coming up with this report.
Madam Speaker, you will note that it is one of the critical chapters that this Parliament endorsed in terms of formation on the 12 Commissions in Zimbabwe. We know that they monitor, carry researches et cetera but my point is on the issue in terms of rapid response in terms of issues. Where critical issues have happened, they should be pro-active in terms of getting information and quickly alert it so that the nation knows what is happening on their findings so that they continue to be relevant in every aspect where they are supposed to be carrying out their mandate. I know there could be problems in terms of resources but Madam Speaker, if it is alerted to Parliament in time, that will assist Parliament in lobbying resources for the important Commission.
I want to appreciate where there is the mention in terms of sexual harassment workshop on awareness in terms of sexual harassment. I think a workshop for a particular entity alone will not bear results in the face of where we are supposed to come up with a sexual harassment legislation because we have a Bill before Parliament. I think they need to go further in terms of consultation, awareness and even to the parliamentarians, ourselves working with the Gender Commission so that when we debate and put issues in terms of consultations where we go to consult in terms of the particular Bill, we will be able to take the issues that the Gender Commission entails the nation to have as part of the legislation so that the law making process in terms of this House becomes easy, becomes informative with results, based where they have carried out some research.
In short Madam Speaker, I really want to appreciate and thank them. Where they have mentioned that amongst the research that they have carried GBV is the highest, we would also have appreciated where they can provide some kind of statistics like pin point where and how. It may be in the report but I hope that in future, we will have some kind of tabulation where gender based violence has occurred so that the MPs and Councillors who come from the various areas get to know that there are issues to do with GBV where they come from. We are representatives of people, the more the information we have, the more effective we are and the more collective we are. We work as a team. I want to thank you for this opportunity Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have been advised that the report has been circulated on your gadgets, so please check on your gadgets.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, does it mean it has just been circulated?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Check for it now and you can debate later.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you for that report. May I commend the Ministry for responding to it because most ministries do not respond to reports. The Gender Commission must be applauded for doing things on time and again, the Ministry for responding as well. Today would have been a day where most of these issues that are outstanding in the ministries’ offices would have been disposed of but again, we are lacking participation from other Ministers.
Madam Speaker, one of the issues that I thought was important was the issue of the investigations which had been carried and again 50 cases. I also was able to understand the cases which were really topical. I am quite worried about the aspect of gender when it comes to men, in that a lot of men are being beaten up in these homes but it seems not to be highlighted. I would like to urge them to come up with a way of a hotline for men, because men are also shy to go and report the matter to the police.
Usually when men report a matter to the police, of being beaten up by a woman, the police actually make a mockery of it kuti aah ibva pano apa warohwa nemukadzi but a man would have been battered so bad that it has to be taken as a serious case. So, if a hotline can be introduced for men in terms of the Gender Commission’s role, you will see Madam Speaker that a lot is happening and that is the reason why again men do not spend time at home with their wives because of fear of abuse. Abuse, not only physically but the worst is verbal abuse which you cannot even sleep dreaming of the words which you have been served with. Instead of being served supper when you get home, they serve you with words of abuse and that becomes your meal for the night.
Madam Speaker, it is difficult for a man to then be able to challenge in any other way but what is important Madam Speaker is, it is not good for the children who are growing in that home where two parents are there and they are seeing this. It creates a bad culture moving forward for the children. That is why I always say at times to people, if you are not ready to be married, be like me and be single because you end up creating problems for the children when you are shouting at each other. As for me, I am on my own; I do not shout at anybody and the kids just listen to me. So they must not go into these issues and create a culture of young people growing up because charity begins at home. Every man wants to marry a woman near their mother and every woman wants to marry near their father. What we see our mother doing is the type of woman that I want to marry and what you see your father doing as a woman is the kind of man you want to get married to. So it is important for us to understand that.
The other issue is even the aspect of sexual abuse of young boys. It is serious because men are absent in these homes, women biologically have got ticking issues in their body and end up abusing these young boys. What do we do? I am not seeing any remedy to this or any measures being taken for us to deal with this. Not only that, it is traumatic because they are forced or in fact raped if I have to be clear. For them to come out of it, in as much as the girl-child suffers the trauma of rape, the boy-child suffers the trauma of rape. What mechanism is being put in place to also protect them?
I also want to talk about the ratification of the ILO. It is important that we are seen to be up there with the global world. We cannot afford to have treaties signed, ratification takes time and there is no implementation and all that. We then are short of fulfilling the SDGs. The moment that we do not fulfil the SDGs, it affects the economy and how people view Zimbabwe. You know Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe in terms of the Disability Act was the first in the entire world but today if you look at it – I think it is in 1992 that everybody applauded us for coming up with that Disability Act but we have not been able to move it any further than that. We are only known for having come up with a robust one. So, we must be seen to be following the SDGs in whatever we are trying to do.
Madam Speaker, I also want to emphasise because they did not talk about the Constitution itself which empowers women. Already the councillors saw the President. The first thing that they said to the President is that they want free seats as councillors. I was at a meeting today at the Electoral Commission and I took this picture which unfortunately, I am not able to load but I would have wanted. This is what the picture says; it is a picture which says “vote 2018, the women’s vote”. It says “we are 53% of the registered voters” the women Madam Speaker. It goes on to say “we are 52% of the population” and “voting is our democratic right”. Why are women not being encouraged to fill these positions and to vote for other women?
There is abuse when women also want to be in office, they are abused by men. I see what is happening in Mashonaland West itself, not that she is my sister but in contesting to be the Provincial Chairperson, she is being abused by men. What is the Gender Commission doing? I cannot do much, but how do you protect a woman who wants to assume position? Does it mean men must only be the Provincial Chairpersons? So, we came out with a system like that and we must be able to also look at the very same politicians. Men who are here must lead by example and allow for a democratic process.
You know Madam Speaker, if a woman of that nature is being persecuted by men, how do other women get motivated? This is where the problem is. How do we break that culture of men constantly oppressing women? In the home they oppress women and politically they oppress. So, where do we go? It is quite worrying at the end of the day and for me, we need to be able to also encourage women.
What I did not see again Madam Speaker, which is pertinent, is that what programmes is the Gender Commission doing to be able to choose women politicians. Start talking to them now and equally not only that, bring them to Parliament and say these are councillors and empower them. Give them that head-start. Deliberately Madam Speaker, they have to do that because there shall never be equality for as long as that culture is not changed, the culture of men thinking they are superior and women thinking that they are oppressed. What programmes culturally are being put in place?
We need to agree that a certain generation must now be taught. We have got role models there in women. You have people like Hon. Mpariwa, Hon Dr. T. Khupe, Hon. E. Ndlovu and Hon. Muchinguri-Kashiri who have been there. Mentorship - what are you doing to go and mentor the young girls because they can only be encouraged when you go and mentor them? What is lacking is mentorship. You being there Madam Speaker as the Speaker, must also find other young girls who aspire to be Speakers. You talk to them and it is a responsibility, and you encourage them talking to them about the hurdles and how you overcame the hurdles.
So, the aspect of mentorship is lacking in terms of us moving forward. We have great people and businesswomen who have done well but what are they doing to plough back? We need to have women who are of good stature going to universities, doing public lectures. I want to see Hon. Evelyn Ndlovu and Hon. Khupe at universities, not on political lines but on women who have progressed. When we talk about political parties, what programmes are they bringing up? Go to the rural areas and talk to those women in the rural areas and inspire them to do more – the girl child in particular.
The other issue which is pertinent is sanitary wear. We have spoken about it and it seems to be lip service. It still has not gotten to the girl child. The girl child’s self-esteem has suffered as a result because some use socks. Just be standing there, it is a problem. I am glad that the Minister of Education is here; we are willing to help your office with the schools’ programme as Members of Parliament (MPs), to make sure that all schools have sanitary wear. Sanitary wear must be like condoms wherein they are found in every public toilet yet they are optional. Sanitary wear is not optional. You can choose not to use a condom but you cannot do the same with sanitary wear. We need to ensure that every female toilet has got that. Until we manage to do that, we cannot say that we have achieved confidence of the girl child.
I want to applaud what the report said but to also say that let us not always have laws accommodating you when we have laws that empower you. Let us look at the laws that empower you – enforcement of the laws; 50:50. How many boards have 50 women and why do they not have 50 women? The Gender Commission must be in the forefront of making sure that the 50:50 we are talking about should be enforced across the board. Here at Parliament, there is a gender balance. You are Deputy Speaker. What is happening in all these areas must be corrected, follow up and write to every institution that is working with the Ministry, that may you comply with the constitutional requirement.
I would like to thank the Gender Commission once again for being quite professional in coming up with these reports. We hardly see organisations bringing these reports to the House. I would also want to thank the Ministry for coming through. Here is a good example of a Cabinet Minister who is not here but the Deputy Minister is here and delivering the report. She was also here last week doing the same. A lot of work should be achieved if the Deputy Ministers are able to do what they are doing. This is a good example of team work. They must delegate and not do everything. A lot of work is left in these offices. It is time that they delegate.
Hon. Tekeshe was correct in saying, what is their role? This is the role of the Deputy Minister when the Minister delegates and we know that it is about the institution and not about the person. The institution must be superior to the person.
(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for the presentation. Just to add on to what Hon Mliswa said; the composition of some parastatals or board members and also board members in the private sector is not gender balanced. In most of the parastatals, we have got more men being board members. On the economic aspect, when you go to banks, the Gender Commission must take the Bankers Association to task, to account for the loans in their books. How much have they advanced to men and women? The reality is that there has been more money advanced by banks to men than to women. That is the beginning of discrimination.
You then have a situation where the other party have access to money and the other party has no access to money. That is the beginning of poverty. The Gender Commission must look into that and see that the Bankers Association is taken to account.
I sometimes go to church once in a while. We have got more women going to church but most of the leadership and board members of those churches are all men. If we allow such an imbalance to continue when we want to go to church, I think it will be difficult for these males to enter the kingdom of God because they are oppressing women. There is oppression in the church and the Gender Commission must look into these institutions. Why is it that all the leadership and board members are men and then there are more women going to church?
Let us develop our institutions. The Constitution empowers them because churches are national assets and democracy should prevail. More than 50% of our population are women but we see no women on the boards.
I will conclude by thanking the Hon. Minister that they have done very well but this is just the beginning of their work. The Chinese say ‘a journey of 1000kms begins with a single step’. This is their first step, they must now move into banks, churches and parastatals. I thank you.
HON. MUNETSI: I would like to add my voice to this important debate on Gender Based Violence (GBV). I was once in a meeting where I pledged some money and I am going to do it here again. I will start off with US$10. I am talking to men like me. If I can get a satisfactory answer to this question – all men should pay attention to this question. Why do we abuse women? If someone comes up with a satisfactory answer, I can part with US$10. I can even raise it up to US$20 if you also give me the intention of abusing women, what is your intention when you abuse women? Can you just give me a minute if anyone can respond? As you can see, no one can come up with a response as to the reason why women and the girl child are abused.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Maybe those who abuse women are not in here – [Laughter.] –
HON. MUNETSI: Maybe those who abuse women are not in here, then maybe those who abuse women are here, it is either way. You cannot tell me that of all the men here, no one has abused a woman, never.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Maybe they are the ones who are being abused.
HON. MUNETSI: It is simply because it is unbecoming. My uncle is asking if I have not done so, I am asking this question, if my wife was here, she would testify. There is a misconception that I want us to correct. When you get married, it does not mean you own the person. Marriage is not ownership. Women are abused because we think we own them, simply because you have paid a token of appreciation for her to be at your home, then you think you own that person? The woman becomes like any other object at your home, it is wrong. That is the reason why women are abused. You will discover that women are abused all over; you go to Church, they are not allowed to preach, you come to politics, they are bullied around, go everywhere, women play second fiddle - why? Because we think we own women, which is wrong. Women are equal to us; they are human beings.
From the study that I did, I discovered that there are far reaching causes and issues why women are abused. If at the age of my mother, there was no one who could speak for women, during the time when my mother was growing up, women would just get married and listen, simple. If you do not listen, you would go back to your home, aah, tamutadza mwana wenyu uyu haatereri, gumbeze rakura. Now that we have people who can speak up on behalf of women and tell the world that women are human beings too, it is high time women must stand up and speak loud and find justice for themselves.
There is an element of inequality that we believe is there. We believe women are not equal to us men, it is a belief and not a reality, it is a simple belief which is a misconception. Women are equal to anyone. Tell me what type of work a man can do and a woman cannot do? Not any; yes, I believe we were born physically stronger than women but it does not mean that they cannot do what I can do. We have abused women in several circles in life. Now I can see my uncle looking at me because I am saying this – [AN HON. MEMBER: Stop it.] – and we must stop it yes – [Laughter.] – Now there is really urgent need to help women to speak out being assisted by us men. There is urgent need to seek justice so that women cannot be abused and there is urgent need to condemn violence at home, in the society, in churches, political spheres where we think women cannot be. There is also urgent need to challenge that military father at home, there are soldiers in the homes who march around the yard and give directions which are useless. We do not own women, they are just equal, and they are like us. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
+HON. S. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for the report that was brought by the Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development on the Gender Commission. This report comes at a right time when we are commemorating the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. The one that is perpetrated to women when men view it as if it is their right to abuse women, men in families abuse their wives in the presence of their children. Children grow up thinking that it is a norm in the family.
What we are now seeing is that, in the families, especially traditional families, we see a son-in –law plays around with a daughter-in-law and touches her indecently and culturally it is agreed on. This type of culture should be changed because it is abusive to girls. I am saying it is abusive because this is not supposed to happen and girls are uncomfortable with this. We have also noted that there are boys who are 17 years old that abused a seven year old girl who was coming from school.
Therefore, if we do not intervene as a society and nation to protect the girl child against abuse from men, I am concerned that this generation will suffer. The situation is worsening every day. If you ask them, they will tell you that the way girls dress is the reason why they are being raped. Hon. Speaker, I am talking about a child who is being raped by her uncle or father. How should that child dress? If they say someone like me did not dress properly, maybe it is understandable. What about a six year old girl?
As we talk, we have a daughter in law who was killed by her husband in South Africa. The husband killed the woman and threw her over the window. This is the gender based violence we are talking about. I am talking of a recent incident where the deceased is yet to be laid to rest. We are expecting the body from South Africa to be laid to rest in our rural area. What is worrying Madam Speaker, is that she was thrown from an uprise building after being killed. What is of concern is that the perpetrator will go freely. It is time that we should come out in numbers and denounce such behaviour so that the perpetrators are brought to book. This type of education should start within our families where we teach our children, both girls and boys, values and norms. The boys should respect the girls and the same should happen to the girls.
As we celebrate 16 days of activism against GBV, we hope as women we shall speak with one voice. All those who have committed rape cases should face sentence, at least 30 years regardless of the age of the victim. We want to thank the Gender Committee which went throughout Zimbabwe and compiled a report which they tabled before Parliament so that legislators can debate on this report. Women out there should feel represented as we enact laws that will lead to sentencing of the perpetrators of gender based violence.
We want to be vocal so that even the churches should accept this message. What happens in some of these churches is so astonishing. We think that the churches are holy but there is a lot of abuse that happen in those churches. As Parliament, we should call for a minimum mandatory sentence which should serve as a basis for rape cases. Men are lamenting outside, saying that they will be taken to prison because of gender based violence. That is not our concern. They should desist from such behaviour. They should respect us as we were also created in the image of God. I am calling upon the law of Zimbabwe to protect women from the abusive men. Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for the opportunity.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 24th November, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 4 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day Number 5 has been disposed of. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT COMPLAINTS COMMISSION BILL [H. B. 5, 2020]
Fifth Order read: Second Reading: Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill [H. B. 5, 2020].
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. First of all, allow me to thank the Joint Committees on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services, and the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security for their report on the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill. I would also like to thank Hon. Members for their rich and robust debate on the Second Reading of the Independent Complaints Commission Bill. Pertinent issues were raised on various issues, including the composition of the envisaged commission and the prescription of the reporting period, which deserves to be responded to.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, Hon. Gonese raised an issue that the President is conflicted by appointing the chairperson of the commission, as he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and also will be the administrator of the Act. I want to respond, with all due respect to the Hon. Member who is a colleague and learned friend, that the commission is not being created to look into the President’s misconduct. Instead, it is to look into the misconduct of rogue elements in the security establishment. As the Hon. Member mentioned, the framers of Section 210 of the Constitution envisaged an effective and independent mechanism to look into complaints of misconduct against members of the security forces. The same framers also went on to establish independent commissions in Chapter 12 and 13 of the same Constitution.
These commissions are intended to be effective and independent. Chairpersons of these institutions are appointed by the President. An example is the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, all of which have powers of protecting the public against the power of maladministration by the State.
Madam Speaker, the President is the Head of State; we cannot say he is conflicted to appoint the chairpersons of the commission. Section 235 has a whole max of an independent commission. These are - that they must (a) not be subject to the direction or control of anyone (b) act in accordance of the Constitution and through exercising their functions without fear, favour or prejudice. However, they must be accountable to Parliament for the efficient performance of their function. After the establishment of this commission, it shall be the constitutional duty of Parliament to make sure that it is accountable, effective and that its independence, impartiality and integrity is protected.
There was an error in Clause 6: 1 (a) of the Bill as it did not include the Committee on Standing Rules in the appointment of the chairperson of the commission. We are going to provide an amendment to include the Committee. The appointment of the chairperson will mirror the procedure of appointing chairpersons of Chapter 12 commissions.
Hon. Banda raised that some of the commissioners should be non-citizens as they will be non-partisans. The issue raised by Hon. Banda, I think he was totally lost in that issues of the State of one country are not subject to the direction and control of another sovereign State. I just felt that there is need to remind him that participation in political activities is a right protected by Section 67 of the Constitution and voting on its own is a political activity. Surely, that on its own cannot be used to disqualify one from being a commissioner of this commission in question. Like I said, there are certain activities that are a preserve of citizens and we do not have to invite foreigners to ensure that we act in accordance with our laws as provided for by our Constitution.
The Portfolio Committee Report and Hon. Members, also raised that, for reporting misconduct against members of the uniformed forces, prescriptions should be open ended. The mischief we are trying to cure is non-reporting of cases. I would like to remind Hon. Members of 2019 where we heard that women were being raped by security forces but those cases were not reported to the police. This commission is meant to encourage victims to report cases. When misconduct happens, it must be reported as soon as possible or within three years and that we feel the prescription period will encourage members of the public to report.
Members of the security service do not serve for eternity. They serve for relatively a short period as compared to civilian employees. If you report misconduct late, at times you will find that the perpetrator has retired and in that case, he/she cannot be court marshaled. In some instances, may be the worst punishment the perpetrator would get is a dismissal from the force, which would be mooted if he/she has already retired.
What can be picked is that the one from members of the public and Hon. Members, is that if the period is limited to three years, the commission will not be able to deal with Gukurahundi and other previous misconducts by members of the security forces. The general rule is that laws do not have retrospective application. In any event, this commission is not being created to deal with past misdemeanors. It is being created to deal with complaints that are current, that are being perpetrated by serving members of the security services. So, the notion or the idea that Hon. Members heard that this commission was going to be used to deal with the so-called Gukurahundi issue is totally misplaced. That issue is being dealt with by the President through his engagement with chiefs.
We also have the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission. We do not want to create parallel structures to deal with a single issue as if we are a confused nation. So, I urge Hon. Members to stick to what this commission – the mandate is to deal with issues to do with sitting, serving members and those are the ones where members of the public will go to the commission to report the misdemeanors that they would have done.
Hon. Members also raised that dismissal of members of the commission should be in terms of Section 237 (3) of the Constitution, which says the procedure for removal from office applies to the removal of a member of an independent commission. I agree with this point and an amendment shall be done accordingly.
The Committee, in its report, recommended that members of the security services should be allowed to participate as observers in the investigation of crimes listed in the Bill, in order to provide technical assistance and information. The problem is if their role is limited to observing, then they will not be able to provide the technical assistance.
Once again, I want to thank the Joint Committee for the report and Hon. Members for the debate. I also want to assure Members that all bona fide amendments meant to enhance this Bill are welcomed and with that, Madam Speaker Ma’am, I move that the Bill be now read a second time. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: Wednesday, 24th November, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that we revert to Order of the Day Number 4 on the Order Paper.
Motion put and agreed to.
GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 7, 2021]
Fourth Order Read: Adjourned debate on Second Reading of the Guardianship of Minors Amendment Bill [H. B. 7, 2021].
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Once again, I want to thank the Committee of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for their report and this is a very short Bill that is meant to align provisions of the Guardianship of the Minors Act with the Constitution in terms of issues to deal with the custody of children. Basically, it is actually two amendments whereby we now recognise that men and women have equal legal status and as such, the Bill simply wants to correct that to ensure that the custody of children is afforded to both on an equal basis. As such Madam Speaker, allow me to go through the recommendations of the Committee as my response towards the Committee report.
The Committee recommended that the Short Title must be amended to read as, “This Act must be cited as the Guardianship of Minors Amendment Bill 2021”. I agree, I think it was a typo and I will amend accordingly even without giving a notice – it is a minor amendment as we go to the Committee Stage.
Secondly Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Committee recommends to amend the definition of custody for it to define what custody actually is and for guardianship to also cover other forms of guardianship that exist so the use of the word ‘right’ can be replaced with ‘responsibility’. The definition should cover all the types of guardianships that can exist, for example, testamentary guardianship – that is the recommendation of the Committee. Madam Speaker, I believe the definition of custody in relation to minors here is wide and correct. I am not sure what they were expecting more than what is here because custody in relation to a minor means legal custody arising by virtue of parents being married to each other or by virtue of an order of separation. Actual custody where parents are not married to each other without derogating from the Common Law position that minors born out of wedlock are in the custody of the mother and guardianship means a legal right allowing either parent to manage the minor’s affairs, including health, education needs, financial security or welfare needs.
So the definition is to me, broad enough and I am not sure what exactly they wanted. If you adopt a child, you become the legal guardian and custodian, you become even the parent and the definition can still subsist. However, I am open to comments from Hon. Members from the Committee as to what exactly is the import of what they want added.
The third recommendation, the Committee recommended that the status quo be maintained whereby interim custody be given to the mother because practice has shown that young children’s interests are best served when the mother has custody until proven otherwise. Madam Speaker that would be a disregard of the Constitutional provision. I think that certain issues are better left to the courts to make a determination as to where the best interest of the child lies. Where there is a dispute on custody, we are saying custody of children should be joint custody but where there is dispute, the High Court as the upper guardian will always ensure that the best interests of the child are maintained. I believe in its current status; it captures what we want to do in terms of our alignment processes.
Then the fourth recommendation, the Bill should extend the court’s scope of the Children’s Court to deal with cases of custody and guardianship of minors. We are bringing in the Children’s Bill, so it will cover those issues. I think that will be taken care of.
Recommendation five, guardianship and custody of minors should be determined by considering the best interest of the child looking at the various prevailing circumstances. This is the exact import of what we want to do and the High Court as the upper guardian of children, you will see that in the Children’s Act and the Child Justice Bill, those issues will be covered. So you were very much correct but they will be covered in the other legislation.
The Committee’s recommendation number six, the Committee recommends that the Act should be amended to insert a section that provides for custody and guardianship of minors with disability and minors who are chronically ill. On the surface of it, that looks like a very sound recommendation but we are talking about guardianship and custody of children in general. I am not sure whether what is covered here excludes children with disability. The import of the Bill is that all children are considered whether you are a disabled child or not, so while the intention of the Committee may be very noble, the text of the Bill covers all children and did not want to separate and have a specific section for disabled children. My feeling is that it would be discriminatory.
All Bills should be transcribed into all the official languages in order to ensure that they are understood by all the citizens across the country. I agree. In fact, we are going to work with the languages centre from the Midlands State University to ensure that we start the process of translating our legislation into our local languages so that they can be easily understood by the generality of our people. We will start with those that affect us on a day to day basis, like the Domestic Violence Bill and the Traditional Leaders Act. Eventually, it is our intention to ensure that all the legislation is translated into our local languages. I thank you Madam Speaker and I move that the Bill be now read a second time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: Wednesday, 24th November, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 5 to 7 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 8 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES ON THE HATCLIFFE EXTENSION RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION PETITION ON LACK OF REQUISITE INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT, MULTIPLE BILLING AND SECURITY OF TENURE
HON. CHIKUKWA: Madam Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on the Hatcliffe Extension Residents Association’s Petition on the lack of requisite infrastructural development, multiple billing and security of tenure.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
1.1 According to Section 149 of the Constitution, read together with Standing Order No. 191 and Appendix E, every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including the enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation.
1.2 On 26 March 2019, the Speaker of the National Assembly informed the House that Parliament had received a petition from Hatcliffe Extension Residents Association (HERA), requesting Parliament to look into the issues of lack of requisite infrastructural development, multiple billing, lack of accountability relating to funds contributed by residents and security of tenure in Hatcliffe Extension. The petition was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities. The Committee conducted an enquiry into the issues and came up with this report with recommendations.
2.1 The Committee invited the then Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to a meeting to discuss the issues raised in the petition on 22 May, 2019. The Committee conducted a fact finding visit to Hatcliffe Extension on 18 May 2021, held a meeting with the petitioners and also toured the area in question.
Oral evidence from the then Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing
3.1 The Ministry acknowledged that there were problems in Hatcliffe Extension associated with ownership of land due to friction between the Goromonzi Rural District Council and the City of Harare. Each of the two authorities claimed to be the relevant authority responsible for the administration of Hatcliffe. This friction laid the foundation for the residents’ perennial problems of ownership of land.
3.2 Furthermore, jurisdictional irregularities were also cited as the root problems for the settlement in question. According to the Ministry, Hatcliffe falls under Harare City Council but the area in question was declared as State land. The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing opted to keep the land. It informed the Committee that it would solve the problem and hand over the land to the City of Harare.
3.3 The Ministry admitted that there was no service delivery being offered in Hatcliffe Extension yet residents were being charged for services which are not available. The Ministry said the solution to Hatcliffe Extension was to engage the Urban Development Corporation (UDCORP) for regularization of the area. Development would be carried out along the standards of the City of Harare. UDCORP will collect revenue from residents for purposes of servicing the area and it will work with City of Harare in that regard.
3.4 It was also highlighted that lack of service provision such as garbage collection, lack of standard roads and proper sewer disposal system emanated from unpaid rates by some occupants. The Ministry explained that under UDCORP, residents who fail to pay rentals will be evicted and the lease will be cancelled. The Ministry explained that the lease conditions signed between the Ministry and Hatcliffe Extension residents allow one to pay rent as a way of clearing intrinsic costs of the land. The rent applies where there is a structure such as a foundation or a house at any stage of construction. Therefore, failure to pay the rentals will result in eviction and cancellation of the lease agreement.
3.5 It was further explained by the Ministry that where there was no structure, the money was paid for the lease to cover the costs of the intrinsic value of the land. The lease rentals did not include service charges. However, the challenge was that residents were paying for services and rentals where there is hardly any standard infrastructure such as roads, sewer disposal and clean water supplies.
3.6 The Committee noted with concern that the Ministry had not engaged residents to explain the situation. There was need for the Ministry and City of Harare to work together in finding a lasting solution to the challenges raised by residents of Hatcliffe Extension.
4.0 Fact Finding Visit to Hatcliffe Extension
4.1 The petitioners’ prayer was for the transfer of Hatcliffe Extension’s jurisdiction from that of the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to the Harare City Council because of lack of requisite infrastructural development in the community. In terms of development of the area, the community was referred to the City of Harare. However, City of Harare had no jurisdiction over Hatcliffe Extension because the land belongs to the State. The beneficiaries of Hatcliffe Extension were moved from Churu Farm, Dzivarasekwa holding camps and some of the residents were beneficiaries of Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle scheme.
4.2 The residents of Hatcliffe Extension had two types of lease agreements, depending on how they came to be at Hatcliffe Extension. Some had two leases, one from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the other from the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities.
4.3 The residents of Hatcliffe Extension were paying money to three different authorities and were not sure what those funds were for. Ideally, the money being paid to City of Harare should be for service delivery but the council was not offering any service.
4.4 The residents were paying for their stands to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and rentals for ‘your house scheme’ to the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities. They complained that the terms and the period of payment were not disclosed in the lease agreements.
4.5 Some residents said they were relocated twice after they had started developing their stands but were not compensated. Residents had been paying money from 1993 to 2005 towards development of infrastructure but they were told that their contributions were eroded by inflation. Some residents got discouraged and stopped payments. Stands for those who stopped payments were reallocated to other people. The residents expressed concern on the unfair decisions by the Ministry.
4.6 The petitioners confirmed that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works held two meetings with the petitioners after the Portfolio Committee’s intervention. During the meetings, the petitioners indicated that the Ministry had admitted that there was an error in the way the issue of development was taking place. It was then agreed that an evaluation of the area will be undertaken and the Ministry is yet to commence works. For City of Harare to take over the service delivery of the area, there was need for some development to be done by the Ministry. It was suggested that a de facto local authority should be in place to spearhead development and that UDCORP was going to come in to regularise the development in the area but no timeframe was given and UDCORP is yet to commence works. Residents informed the Committee that they had no faith in UDCORP because of previous experience from other areas where the entity was involved in the regularization exercise.
4.7 At the time of the Committee’s visit, Hatcliffe Extension had no roads, water, electricity, clinic or business centre. The school that is there has one block which was sub standard and too small for the current enrolment of 1250 pupils. The block leaks during the rain season, had no floors and no furniture. The school is Government owned and was built under Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle Scheme.
4.8 Residents requested that basic services such as water, electricity, schools and clinics be provided to the community. They also requested for a cemetery for that area, citing that the only nearest cemetery was Glen Forest which is very expensive. Public transport such as ZUPCO buses were not able to service that area because of the poor state of the roads and residents had to walk long distances to get transport.
4.9 The petitioners were aggrieved that some areas which were set aside for recreational facilities and business centres were being sub-divided and allocated for residential stands. It was not clear whether there was any authorisation of land use.
4.0 Committee’s Observations
The Committee observed that:
4.1 The residents were paying rates to City of Harare but were not receiving any basic services such as water and refuse collection. This situation was a health hazard which might result in contagious diseases if not solved with the urgency it deserves.
4.2 The residents had been paying rentals to the Ministries of Local Government and Public and National Housing and Social Amenities towards ownership of the houses and requisite infrastructural development but the terms and conditions were not clearly stated.
4.3 It was also unfair that residents were being evicted without compensation when they had paid towards a stand and had started construction.
4.4 The issue of residents paying towards ownership of houses without timelines might result in prospective home owners paying forever without being given title deeds.
4.5 The issue of boundaries was affecting many peri-urban areas and the Ministry has to be clear on who provides what in terms of service delivery.
4.6 Although the issue of jurisdictional disputes is constitutional and can only be solved in 2023, in the meantime the responsibility of each player has to be outlined to avoid disputes.
4.7 The service providers have failed to fulfil their obligations as per the signed lease agreement between the ministries and the residents of Hatcliffe Extension.
5.0 Committee’s Recommendations
The Committee therefore, recommends that:-
5.1 The Ministries of Local Government and Public Works and National Housing and Social Amenities should solve the problems being faced by Hatcliffe Extension residents by providing the requisite infrastructural developments. It should hand over the responsibility of service delivery to Hatcliffe Extension to City of Harare by December 2021.
5.2 Government must address the challenges of jurisdiction in the next delimitation exercise in 2023 to avoid disputes.
5.3 City of Harare should stop forthwith collecting rates from the Hatcliffe Extension residents since the area is outside its jurisdiction and is not offering any services to the area.
5.4 Going forward, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should desist from settling people where basic services such as water, roads, schools and clinics are not in place.
5.6 The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works together with UDCORP should regularize the Hatcliffe Extension area and ensure proper collection of revenue is done by one entity by June 2022.
6.1 The Committee implores the Government to seriously come up with measures to stop settling people where there are no basic services. This will go a long way in promoting and protecting the rights to water, safe environment and shelter of the petitioners as espoused in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
I thank you.
(v)HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the petition which I believe is very comprehensive in what it states. I would like to reiterate some inherent problems that the petition raises in our town planning and also in the policy administration of local Government.
My concern with this is that it has been highlighted to Government ever since I was involved and even before I was involved. I want to make it clear from the outset that I am not blaming anyone but what I am requesting Government and the council to do is to fix the problem because while we talk and wait, people in Hatcliffe are still paying.
Every month those who can, will pay and those who cannot are being evicted and this has to stop. When the Justice Uchena Report was being commissioned in Hatcliffe, both extension and patriotic put forward a lot of complaints regarding these issues and we have to resolve them.
The petitioners are quite correct in what they are asking for. They have been paying for some years right back to the holding camps. In some cases, when even they receive it, the money is not being accounted for. We were told it was eroded with the devaluation of the currency. That is not correct because the money was received by the Council or whoever was collecting the money. These people were then settled on stands which they have been paying on an open ended account. There is not even one person I am aware of who can say I have got some money that I still have to pay. This is wrong and it is fleecing the residents. It is absolutely unacceptable.
When it comes to delivering services, water, sewerage or roads - all the services Council blames Government and Government blames Council. We have an ideal opportunity looming now when we have the delimitation coming up after ten years which we now have to do. Hatcliffe itself is bounded by Mazowe South and also by Goromonzi right on to the inside part of Hatcliffe – the top part of Hatcliffe is actually in Goromonzi West and this has to be rectified. The council and the Ministry have to get together and cut out so that Hatcliffe can be run as a separate entity so that the infrastructure can be built.
Hatcliffe has over 100 boreholes and does not have water except the shops at Ward. It has no sewerage to talk about. It has no roads put in for twenty years. There is no piece of tar that has been laid for twenty years. This is unacceptable. The Committee met the residents at Hatcliffe Primary school which has 12 050 children, 43 teachers and the Headmaster is paid by Government. It is a satellite school. Those 12 050 children fit into six classrooms and we are in an urban setting. The way we are treating these people is totally unacceptable.
I pray that the people do exactly what the Committee has said. The Committee has laid out what should be done and there is a timeframe for what the Committee requests both the Ministry and the City of Harare do. It is unacceptable that residents continue paying. There must be a moratorium issued immediately where residents stop paying until we realise and sort out the maps. The green areas have all gone to residential. The wetlands have also gone to residential. The area set up for the clinic and police have been saved but that is it. There is no green area in Hatcliffe. Hatcliffe Extension’s population is more than that of the original Hatcliffe. My prayer is exactly the same as the residents and I commend the Committee for the good work that they have done.
(v)HON. NDUNA: I would like to thank Hon. Chikukwa and Hon. Markham for the report on the petition according to Section 149 of the Constitution that mandates everyone to be able to petition Parliament on anything to come forward. The petition that came on the 26th of March 2019 is greatly applaudable.
I would like to say one thing only. If we continue to deal with the Hatcliffe Extension issue with kid gloves, we are actually drawing back the rights of the women. I say this because I am a HeForShe champion. I want it known that issues to do with poverty and lack of infrastructure development in particular housing affect mostly the women because everyone is borne of a woman. Issues to do with poverty affect the women mostly.
It has been said by Hon. Chikukwa that the Minister of Local Government has taken that land as State land and this means that Hatcliffe Extension or Goromonzi Rural District Council has no jurisdiction over that land. I will take you to Section 72 and Section 2 of the Constitution. Section 72 talks of the rights to agricultural land. Section 72 (7) (c) speaks of the people of Zimbabwe being enabled to assert their right to land which land was taken from their forefathers without any compensation. Section 2 of the Constitution speaks to and about the supremacy of the Constitution.
Any Section or Act of Parliament which is ultra vires the Constitution should be repudiated to the extent of its inconsistency. The land at Hatcliffe Extension mirrors the land that the A2s and A1s have been given without payment. The issue which I think is not just and is not right is the issue of making those people at Hatcliffe pay for land which has not been serviced. The mandate of the Local Government and local authorities is enshrined in Section 152 (2) of their own Act – the Urban Councils Act. It is also enshrined in Section 205 (1). It has three parts.
The first part says the local Government or urban authority has the mandate to sell that land to would be prospective owners and the second mandate of that same part says, you can lease that land. The people of Hatcliffe have been crying that they have been leasing land which they have no services from. The third part which I think is right and is prudent speaks about donation of that land to prospective house owners. However, none of that has happened but the local authority has gone ahead and made people pay without service provision. The issue of Hatcliffe also mirrors what is happening at Chegutu at M23A where people have no right in terms of any ablution, water and sewer and reticulation. If this issue comes to a screeching halt at Hatcliffe Extension, it will come to a screeching halt in Chegutu West Constituency too.
The issue of title should also be addressed immediately so that the people of Hatcliffe Extension can also help the people of Matshobana in Bulawayo, the people of Pfupajena in Chegutu and the people of Rimuka in Kadoma. If the issue at Hatcliffe Extension is addressed according to Section 72 of the Constitution - by the way, there is no more land in the local authorities except the land that is being given to Ministry of Local Government which is agricultural land for urban expansion. Let us view all the land in that regard and let us give the people in the urban sectors and urban authority land in the same way we are giving in the peri-urban and in the rural part, the A1 and the A2. Madam Speaker Ma’am, we are treating people in the urban authorities with the back of our hands, whereas the people in the rural part are being treated like queens and kings. Let us treat our people the same way. Madam Speaker Ma’am, there is need to address everybody in the same way the Constitution allows us to address our people.
There is the Article on the African Charter on Human Rights of 1991, the Constructive Act of 2000 and the Protocol of the African Charter on Human Rights and relevant articles – there are about 18 to 19 articles that speak on the same issue, the issue of the rights that are supposed to apply to everybody. I am talking about the African Charter – there is also the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations Charter and our development goals that are premised on Vision 2030 and NDS 1 that covers up to 2025. All these should be adhered to in addressing the issues of Hatcliffe Extension Madam Speaker Ma’am. You will find that by addressing the issues of Hatcliffe, you will address a plethora of issues that are bedeviling the urban authorities times without number. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively and efficiently debate on this noble motion Madam Speaker Ma’am.
HON. WATSON: Good afternoon Madam Speaker. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I would like to commend the Committee for the work they have done. I have heard Hon. Nduna talking about peri-urban – there are areas in the periphery of Bulawayo which we described as peri-urban. However, those people are neither fish nor fowl although they vote in the metropolitan area. They are outside the city council boundary and therefore in the rural council but they get no benefit from the rural council at all. I am hoping that where he sees them as kings and queens, he would change his attitude because they are suffering terribly. They have no access to services of any description, be they education, water, sewerage, social services, they have nothing.
We have to uphold SDG 1 and Vision 2030 - those people are some of the poorest in our close to urban environments and I would hope that the petition in terms of Hatcliffe will equally encourage local government to look at those areas and all the rural councils as well. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 24th November, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the rest of the Orders of the Day on the Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 9 has been disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE ON THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE HELD WITH THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ON THE NATIONAL PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
HON. SHAMU: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Portfolio Committee Report on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, on the Virtual Conference held with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Republic of China.
HON. C. MOYO: I second.
HON. SHAMU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I will immediately go into the introduction;
In tandem with His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe, Hon. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s efforts to strengthen the long-standing relationship between Zimbabwe and the People’s Republic of China, guided by Parliamentary diplomacy, the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade held a joint virtual conference with its counterpart, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on Wednesday, 26 May 2021.
BACKGROUND TO THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Hon. W. K. Shamu, hosted a virtual courtesy call from the Ambassador of China to Zimbabwe, on 12th March 2021 in which discussions were centred on the importance and consolidation of relations between Zimbabwe and China. Pursuant to this, Hon. W. K Shamu assured the Embassy of China of improved dialogue between the two countries’ two Committees on Foreign Affairs. The virtual conference therefore, was a concretization of the communication between the two sister Committees.
OBJECTIVES OF THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
- To strengthen bilateral relations between the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
- To explore opportunities of improving China-Zimbabwe relations.
- To discuss cooperation and coordination between the two Committees.
PARTICIPANTS TO THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
The joint virtual conference was chaired by Mr. Chen Guomin, the leader of the delegation and Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China. The following designated Members and officials of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China attended the Conference:
- Chen Jin, Member of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China;
- Chen Fulin, Member of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China;
- Liu Xiuwen, deputy director of the Budgetary Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee of the People’s Republic of China; and
- The officials from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
The following designated Members and Parliament Staff of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Parliament of Zimbabwe attended the conference:
Hon Dube G., Hon Moyo C., Hon Kabozo S, Hon Chikudo R., Hon Moyo Priscilla, Hon Maphosa L., Hon Gandawa A., Hon Chihururu C., Hon Chimbaira G., Hon Gwanetsa K., Hon Mchenje S., Hon Ngwenya S., Hon Sacco J., Hon Ncube Soul, Hon Masenda N., Hon Sibanda Z, Hon Tungamirai T., Hon Karikoga T. and Hon Shamu W. being the Chairperson of the Committee.
The Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Chen Guomin the Chairperson of the conference, extended warm and fraternal welcome to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, for the historic virtual meeting between the two Committees and expressed his appreciation for the Parliament of Zimbabwe’s support for China.
In the interests of Parliamentary diplomacy, the host Chairperson informed his guests that China extends its unwavering commitment towards the China-Zimbabwe relations. He extended his appreciation towards the great attention showed by the members during the virtual meeting which he stated, demonstrated Zimbabwe’s full commitment towards China. He also highlighted his passion towards strengthening the bi-lateral relations between the two Committees.
BRIEF ON THE CHINA-ZIMBABWE RELATIONS
The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade presented the position on China-Zimbabwe Relations as follows:
- Zimbabwe and China enjoy excellent political relations. The relations dated back to the days of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle against the colonial rule. China provided training and military equipment to the liberation movement. Since independence, China’s involvement in Zimbabwe has been increasingly directed towards broader macro-economic growth, and in particular towards the development of mutually beneficial linkages with Zimbabwe in the various sectors of the economy. Some of the sectors included the construction of sports facilities, hospitals, schools and the development of textile factories.
- These relations have been strengthened over the years through exchange visits, including engagement at the highest level. His Excellency, President Mnangagwa paid a reciprocal State visit to China in April 2018 at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, who had paid a State visit to Zimbabwe in December 2015. The exchange visits at the highest level indicated the cordial relations between the two countries.
- The long-standing relationship was based on mutual respect, solidarity and support for each other’s core interests. The two countries shared the same geo-political and economic issues.
- China has over the years supported Zimbabwe in the face of political pressure, isolation, stigmatisation as well as economic strangulation from the West. On its part, Zimbabwe has been consistent and unwavering in its support for Beijing’s core interests, particularly the One-China Policy.
- Zimbabwe was subsequently put under economic sanctions by most of the Western countries. Hence, in a bid to curtail the effects of the sanctions and international isolation, Zimbabwe has been very deliberate in enhancing its bilateral relationship with China. This deliberate effort was affirmed by the adoption of the Look East Policy in 2003 to give priority to investors from China, Japan, Singapore and other countries from that region. Resultantly, trade between China and Zimbabwe has been growing exponentially. Furthermore, the Look-East Policy resulted in the development of cordial relations between Zimbabwe, South East Asia, and Far East countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan. This also gave birth to several successful joint agreements between the Zimbabwean Government and these countries.
- The Look-East Policy adopted by the Government has managed to unlock investment opportunities in the key sectors of the economy. China has invested heavily in mining, telecommunications, power generation, and housing projects in Zimbabwe. Most of the aid from China has gone towards projects which have been neglected by western donors such as in health and infrastructure development. Furthermore, China loans and aid came with no conditions such as political or economic reform which reflects China's principle of respecting the sovereignty and non-interference of the recipient nations.
- Over the past 40 years, China-Zimbabwe relations have yielded positive results. A number of major projects have been implemented such as the Zimbabwe National Sports Stadium, Kariba South Hydro Power Station Extension project, Hwange Thermal Power Station Project, Victoria Falls International Airport, and Robert G. Mugabe International Airport, giving a strong boost to Zimbabwe's infrastructural development.
- Robust trade and investment have seen the creation of employment and changed people's livelihood. The investment in the expansion of the country’s two major power plants, Hwange Thermal Power Station and Kariba South Power Station by a combined 950 MW is nearly US$2 billion. While the 300 MW Kariba Power Station Expansion Project was completed in 2018, the expansion of Hwange by 650 MW is still ongoing and scheduled to be completed next year.
- China has also channeled its support towards health care, education and humanitarian assistance, for example reconstruction of infrastructure damaged by Cyclone Idai, medical teams and materials to combat the spread of COVID-19. To date, China has donated significant consignments of materials in support of Zimbabwe’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, China has since donated 400 000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe to help the country combat the pandemic. Zimbabwe was one of the first recipients of the donation among the various developing countries in Africa. This demonstrates the close relationship between the two countries.
- Over the years, China has equally invested in agriculture and has become a key player in Zimbabwe’s tobacco growth sector, achieving an annual turnover of US$1.6 billion from tobacco export. The support to the tobacco industry has supported small and medium tobacco farmers. This support is in the form of contract tobacco farming which has resulted in improved yields from 2008 to 2019.
Joint Projects between Zimbabwe and China between the year 2000-2019
Mahusekwa Hospital– US$6 million
Chinese aid to Zimbabwe. In 2011 US$100 million medical loan.
extension of Phase Two of Mahusekwa
Hospital launched in 2019
China’s Nantong Construction
Group Co, Ltd
In 2011 Upgrading of Morton Jaffrey water treatment plant China Exim Bank provided US$144 million loan
China Mechanical Engineering
Harare City Council sewage treatment plants upgrade- US$237 million
In 2018, Harare City Council signed US$868 million loan from China for water and sanitation projects. Land is used as collateral security.
China Machinery and Equipment
Robert Mugabe International Airport expansion project. China Exim Bank provided the US$153 million loan facility.
Jiangsu International of China
Victoria Falls Airport refurbishment funded by US$150 million China Exim
China Jiangsu International Group
Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu dualisation project cost US$2.7 billion
Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group Limited
National Broad Band Project. US$98 million loan facility from China Exim
In 2011 Netone received US$60 million in 2011, a further US$290 in 2014 and US$71 million loan in 2018 for 4G and LTE from China Exim Bank for base stations upgrading.
High Peformance Centre (HPC) at the University of Zimbabwe at a cost of US$5 million zero-interest loan.
2018 Chinese government extended a grant for the implementation of the HPC
Hwange Thermal Power station $1.2 billion China loan (China Exim Bank). Generating capacity will increase by 600MW.
Kariba South Hydro expansion $320 million China loan (China Exim Bank). Generating capacity to increase by 300MW.
National Defence College constructed at a cost of US$100 million loan facility from Chinese government.
Chinese company Anhui Foreign
Economic Construction Group
New Parliament building Chinese government grant US97 million.
Shanghai Construction Group
The Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Chen Guomin and his delegation, highlighted the following:
- In the past 40 years, China and Zimbabwe have been through a lot of socio-economic challenges but have remained resilient in the face of adversity. In spite of the challenges, the two countries have remained steadfast and grew close cooperation. Last year the two sister-countries celebrated 40-year anniversary of China-Zimbabwe relations.
China supports Zimbabwe in safeguarding national dignity and national sovereignty. China has extended humanitarian support towards Zimbabwean students against the effects of Covid-19 by providing vaccination and adequate accommodation. He emphasized that the assistance rendered to the Zimbabwean students studying in China is evidence of the Chinese government’s commitment to providing a dignified and peaceful place to live in. Pursuant to this, he revealed that the Foreign Affairs Committee of China is working to promote justice, fairness, peace and development.
- It was further highlighted that the Communist Party of China is celebrating its 100th Anniversary and working towards building a modern communist country which is the vision of His Excellency Xi Jinping. The Communist Party is guided by the Marxist ideology and its members are all united towards development of their nation.
- To ensure development in China, the Chinese nationals always follow the trends of time and history as well as seizing the opportunities for growth. He emphasized with great concern, the need for Zimbabwe to find its right path and stick to it in reaching our strategic goals. He further highlighted that when making national decisions as Parliamentarians, we should consider international socio-economic and political developments.
- In China, the Communist Party is clear on its ideology of putting people first. In the last 100 years, the party learnt the following:
- Being resolute in putting people first, i.e. equitable distribution of resources and opportunities among its people.
- Believing in the common good of the people and the world.
- Believing in working together with the rest of the world to build a better future for mankind.
Mr. Liu Xiuwen, deputy director of the Budgetary Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee of the People’s Republic of China, highlighted some of the economic achievements of China;
- China has managed to score historic victories against poverty. Statistics of China’s economic growth released by IMF in April 2021 shows immense growth despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Under Covid-19, its economy steadily recovered which in turn shows resilience and endurance by the Chinese People.
- The Communist Party of China has always prioritized ending poverty in the country. Approximately 99 million rural households have been lifted out of poverty through targeted alleviation programmes funded by the government, in an effort to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 1, which calls for an end to poverty in all its forms.
- He emphasized that innovation is important for the benefit of our people. China believes that promoting investments in innovation and learning from other countries will result in great modernization of our countries.
- China is committed to importing food from Zimbabwe, particularly citrus.
- There should be a review of the trade relations with a view towards horizontal and vertical economic integration.
- The two Committees continue to engage one another in cross pollinating ideas on how China managed to alleviate poverty.
- To applaud the government of China through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Zimbabwe on the support that the government of Zimbabwe has received from China.
The virtual conference between the two Committees was invaluable and timely in consolidating bilateral relations and mutually beneficial co-operation between the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China and the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee of the Parliament of Zimbabwe. The China-Zimbabwe relations have yielded more positive results in the overall socio-economic growth and development of the two countries. China has made it clear that it condemns unequivocally the illegal sanctions imposed by Western countries on Zimbabwe. China is willing to cooperate with Zimbabwe in ensuring that the National Strategy Development 1 is realised. Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
HON. C. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for affording me this opportunity to second a motion which has been moved by Hon. Shamu, our Chairperson for the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, and International Trade on the virtual conference with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Conference of China on 26th May, 2021.
I think first and foremost is to appreciate and thank the Republic of China on the donation of more than 400 000 doses, which we received as a country so that we compact COVID-19. That will help us to reach herd immunity by 31st December, 2021. Allow me to highlight the objectives of the virtual conference where we said we need to strengthen our bilateral relations with the Republic of China and also to explore any opportunities so that we can engage more. Thirdly, to discuss areas of cooperation and there was an invitation that when COVID-19 cases eases up, as Foreign Affairs and International Trade, we need to go to China, as a re-engagement strategy. Also, they want also to reciprocate that to Zimbabwe as a way of strengthening that cooperation. So, I hope Madam Speaker Ma’am, when the request comes to your office, you just own to the request. Thank you Madam Speaker in advance.
Allow me Madam Speaker Ma’am, to highlight to you on the projects because I think people would question to say what the impact of those projects is. When I looked at this motion, I considered (1) the constitutional side; number 2 the NDS 1, our National Development Strategy 1 and I also considered Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That is very important.
On issues of health, to start with, according to Section 76 where we are saying we must make sure that the right to have access to health is given to our people - that is a constitutional mandate. When we look at the project of Mahusekwa Hospital, where US$6 million Chinese aid was called to the refurbishment of Mahusekwa Hospital, this will assist us when I look at NDS 1, paragraph 664, where we are saying we want to have a healthy nation. Obviously, a healthy nation will live longer, more productive and even accumulate more wealth. When I looked at our SDGs, I realise that is a response to SDG Number 3, where we want to ensure health lives and promote well being of our people. That is for project number one, Mahusekwa Hospital.
Then I looked at water, I considered our Constitution, were we have got Section 77, where we are saying we have to, by all means, provide safe and clean water to our people. Our Chinese counterparts are upgrading our Morton Jaffray as well as Harare City Council, which is very important to our people of Harare. When I looked at NDS 1, that is paragraph 483, where we said our people will have potable water and also we want to increase access to potable water from 77.3% to at least 90% by 2025. Our Chinese counterparts are helping us in this regard. I also now then checked on our SDGs, I realised that is SDG Number 6, where we are saying we want to ensure availability and sustainable water to our people.
I go to project number three that deals with energy and here our counterparts are helping on expanding Kariba South Hydro as well as refurbishing Hwange Thermal Power Station. When I looked at our NDS 1, I realised that on paragraph 405 (2), the availability of reliable, affordable and modern power supply to our citizens, manufacturers as well as our foreign investors but my problem on energy is there is a lot of load shedding which is affecting our nation as a whole. Our citizens would be asking where is that money? Was that money used properly because they are seeing many problems to do with energy, they do not need to see all these problems. They do not see the impact of those projects. Surely something must be done on energy. As I am speaking, in Mpopoma-Pelandaba in Bulawayo, they do not have electricity. Surely they will be saying we cannot appreciate and applaud our Chinese counterparts after pouring such huge monies in these projects.
Similarly on water, in Bulawayo, it is known that there is a perennial problem of water. Surely they will be saying, as we are being told money has been put in these projects: what is happening in Bulawayo, Mutare and other parts? When I looked on energy and check on our SDG booklet, SDG 7 talks about affordable, reliable as well as sustainable modern energy. So, our counterparts are helping us to achieve SDG Number 7.
On transport, Robert Mugabe International Airport is being expanded by our counterparts. Also Victoria Falls Airport is being refurbished. This is a noble idea and when we look at our NDS1, paragraph 518, it says we need to ensure that there is air safety and security. I remember we went to Turkey with Hon. Shamu, as well as our Hon. Speaker. Our Turkish counterparts want to invest more in Zimbabwe. In particular, with these airports, surely we need to be doing something so that when they come, they will see that there is a little bit of progress.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, on SDGs, I realise that we are working towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal Number 9, which talks about building resilient infrastructure as well as responding to innovation and our industry. A lot has been done but we still need to do more so that our citizens can see the impact of such a relationship.
In my closing remarks, I want to quote a Biblical verse. Job 2:11: ‘now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came everyone from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite heard about all the troubles that had befallen Job. They agreed to sympathise and comfort him.’ We need to thank our counterparts and in this regard, our Chinese counterparts for sympathizing and comforting us. I rest my case. Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 24th November, 2021.
On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI seconded by HON. MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Four Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.