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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 24 November 2016 43-16
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 24th November, 2016
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I would like to inform the House that on the 1st of December, 2016, His Excellency the President Cde. R.G.
Mugabe will address a joint sitting of Parliament on the State of the
Nation. The address will be delivered at 1500 hours in the National
Assembly – [HON. MUTSEYAMI: Munazocheka speech yavo.] - Hon. Mutseyami, I hope you are not addressing the Chair. The Chair is not responsible for Presidential Speeches.
PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND
DISPOSAL OF ASSETS BILL AND THE RESERVE BANK OF
ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT BILL
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development will conduct Public Hearings on the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Bill [H. B. 5, 2016] and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
Amendment Bill [H.B. 12, 2016] from Monday, 28th November, 2016 to
Saturday, 3rd December, 2016 in all the country’s provinces. The Committee will be divided into Team One, covering the northern parts of the country and Team Two, covering the southern parts of the country.
HON. CHAMISA: Hon. Speaker Sir, I have just stood to give notice that tomorrow the 25th November, 2016 is a very important day because it is a day that is set aside as a day to deal with violence against women. I know that you have women around you in your life, definitely, you were born of a woman, and you also have a woman who
is my mother. So, all of us as Hon. Members, somehow are connected to women. We just have to take this opportunity to join in as men, across the whole world, this movement on violence against women, by putting on our white ribbons. I particularly ask Hon. Chinamasa and other Ministers to be exemplary in making sure that we ward off violence against women – I am very cautious of the Standing Rules and Orders what they say but because this is about women and I know I am speaking to your soft spot.
We have the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence starting tomorrow. I am sure you know that it will also culminate on the celebration on the 10th of December, Human Rights Day. This is a very important day and I am just encouraging other male companions across the whole country to respect peace and to respect women. So, may we also join by just having this symbolism of peace – this white ribbon. I will hand it out to you Hon. Speaker and I also have a ribbon for His
Excellency the President, Hon. R. G. Mugabe; if I may give it to you or I can actually go and give it to him by myself – [HON. MEMBERS:
Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, at the back there. I
thought that Hon. Chamisa you would contextualise your statement in bolstering the motion that was presented yesterday by Hon. Khupe, Leader of the Opposition; hopefully not through the back door trying to take the steam from that motion. Also I thank you for stressing that men must join in, in this movement so that we can walk together with our female counterparts.
SUSPENSION OF PROVISIONS OF STANDING ORDERS
NUMBER 134, 135, 136 AND 139
First Order read: That the provisions of the following Standing
Orders be suspended, in respect of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (H.B. 12, 2016).
- Standing Order No. 134, which relates to the introduction of
- Standing Order No. 135, which relates to the referral of Bills to Portfolio Committees;
- Standing Order No. 136, which relates to the procedure in connection with the Parliamentary Legal Committee; and
- Standing Order No. 139, which relates to stages of Bills.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir,
following my discussion with you and also following from the announcement you have just made about public consultations in respect of the Reserve Bank Bill, I want to move Mr. Speaker Sir, that I amend my motion so that it only relates to paragraph (i) that is Standing Order No. 134, which relates to the introduction of Bills. So, the amended motion that I want to put forward for the approval of the august House should read as follows;
That the provisions of Standing Order No. 134, which relate to the introduction of Bills, be suspended in respect of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (H.B 12, 2016). I thank you Mr. Speaker
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, while you are up
standing, I thought you did not mean to say Standing Order No. 1234 but the first Standing Order No. 134.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Yes, 134.
THE HON. SPEAKER: It is for the record, otherwise it will reflect as Standing Order No. 1234.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Standing Order No. 134,
which relates to the introduction of Bills, be suspended in respect of the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (H.B. 12, 2016).
HON. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I am
heartened by the stance that has been taken by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development because it is in line with the dictates of our Constitution. As you may know, there are things that we may suspend but there are things that are unsuspendable; we cannot suspend the Constitution. I am very glad that the Hon. Minister has seen it fit and deemed necessary to make sure that the people of Zimbabwe, the public, all stakeholders are indeed consulted in this very important process. It is indeed Hon. Speaker, in line with the dictates of our Constitution as I have already indicated because Section 141 of the Constitution, in particular subsection 9(a), ‘Parliament as a duty must’, it is a must not may, must and you know the significance Hon. Advocate, ‘facilitate public involvement in all legislative processes and it must also ensure that interested parties are consulted about the Bills’.
This is a very important Bill, it is very important for the people of Zimbabwe to be consulted, particularly through our Portfolio Committee and also through other legislative processes. Our deliberative role as Parliament is informed about what the people are saying. So, Hon. Speaker I think this is a positive thing, we must not just criticise positive gestures. I differ with the Minister on many occasions but on this one I have no reason to differ Hon. Speaker. In fact he has done beyond my expectation. He has surprised me by being a pro-people Minister and I really appreciate this. I want to thank the Minister for this gesture, it is a positive gesture, it has nothing to do with parties, it is all to do with who we are as a people. Let us consult in our decision making, in our Bills and in our law making. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, it is at this point that I want to urge Hon. Members to go before the Committee and go and urge and educate their constituents so that they do not become frivolous about a very important issue. They do not become partisan, they are well taught and as they interrogate the issue on this public hearing, they should do it with an open mind, cognisant and fully aware that it is only for the good of the nation that this Bond note is going to be introduced. So, people should not go into public hearings with a partisan oriented approach. So, I urge Hon. Members to be patriotic about this very important issue that is before us and go and educate their masses in their constituencies. We are a Government by the people for the people and with the people – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I urge you to read your
Standing Orders very carefully. The debate was purely on the suspension of provisions as highlighted Hon. Minister and supported by Hon. Chamisa. So, anything else is outside our procedures.
Motion put and agreed to.
LAND COMMISSION BILL [H.B.2, 2016]
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on Second Reading on Land Commission Bill [H.B.2, 2016].
Question again proposed.
- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Can we preserve some decorum
please? You are allowed to whisper to your neighbour.
*HON. MUKWENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to support the Bill that was brought by Hon. Minister Mombeshora. This is a good Bill that needs to be supported as well as to conscientise each other on the money. The Land Commission Bill is a good Bill. What I request from the Hon. Minister is that the Commission should be like other Commissions, in the sense that it should independent. It should also report to the President of the country like other Commissions.
Secondly, we also request from the Hon. Minister that the
Commission if independent will assist a lot of people. If it is under the Ministry of Lands, it will appear as if it is a department or a body that falls under the Ministry of Lands. The Minister has seen it fit to have a Commission of Land, therefore it should be independent and there should be a board which should be neutral which will be there to serve everyone. If it is a Commission under the Ministry of Lands, it will not be able expose the ills of what will be happening in the Ministry of Lands. So, we want it to be neutral and this is our request for the Minister of Lands that he addresses this issue.
Furthermore, the Commission if it is independent, it will serve a number of people. There are people from the grassroots level who are in the rural areas, in the Constituencies; the poor should have access to the Commission, for them to bring their grievances. The Commission should be able to interrogate issues and investigate on issues that are brought before it by the people. That is our request Mr. Speaker Sir, that if the Hon. Minister could be flexible and advocate that the Commission should be independent, that it is how it will be able to serve the majority of the people. If it is remains part of the Ministry it will not be able to do most of its duties because it will be hamstrung under the Ministry.
Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. Firstly, I would like to thank all Hon. Members for the valuable contributions that you made in this august House concerning the Land Commission Bill.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I will present a detailed report but if you allow me Mr. Speaker Sir to mention a few things concerning the presentations that were made. Let me deal first with the issue of the establishment of the Land Commission. The Land Commission is established by the
Constitution. Section 296 of the Constitution establishes the
Commission but let me say that this Commission is not independent. The independent Commissions are stated in the Constitution. Therefore it is beyond my control to make this an independent Commission, unless the Constitution is amended.
Let me also say Mr. Speaker Sir, that the Commission has its duties outlined in the Constitution, in Section 297. So, Section 297 outlines the work that will be done by the Commission, especially two areas which I want to touch on because most of the discussions that were coming in related to that.
The first one is the land audits, the Commission comes up with its own programmes to conduct land audits as stipulated in the Constitution and the Ministry has no interference in their work. The other function that the Commission will carry out is the determination of complaints and disputes concerning agricultural land. Again, the Commission has full authority to determine and make decisions on those issues.
It is also stated in Section 297 that there are other functions concerning the allocation of land to look at gender discrimination, just as an example. That the Commission will look at how the Ministry is functioning and make recommendations to improve on such issues where they see that the allocation of land is not being done fairly. So, fair allocation of land, especially concerning gender discrimination, all these functions are outlined in the Constitution.
We also put in the Bill, where other functions of the Commission will be determined from time to time by the Minister to make sure that the Minister instructs them to find out about certain policy issues. So, the Commission can be asked by the Minister to investigate certain issues, report to him and make recommendations. Otherwise, it is also stated that their work is done independently and we hope that the Minister who may come afterwards will be able to let the Commission do their work independently as stipulated in the Constitution.
There are a lot of things that were raised by Hon. Members during debate, concerning tenure documents. Tenure documents which we have at the moment, they are free on tenure through title deeds. There is an offer letter, there is a 99-year lease for the A2 farmers, then there is also an A1 permit for our A1 farmers. There are also other leases which are varying from years from five, ten and twenty-five year leases. Each lease has got its rules and regulations.
I will make an example of the 99-year lease. The Land Commission has got a role to make recommendations on the allocation and on the issuance of the 99-year lease. This lease has got its own guidelines and these are stated in the lease. We also hope that the Land Commission, as requested by Hon. Members, will be able to conduct their work and do their inspections so that they recommend issuance of these leases independently as was done by the Agricultural Land Board which was in place before the Land Commission.
There were also other important issues that were raised and are important for me to mention now - especially the issue of land taxes, rentals and development levies. Let me clarify on the on-set that land rentals are for the use of the State land that you are allocated. There is a Statutory Instrument which guides on payment of land rentals.
Development levies are for the Ministry of Local Government and this Ministry knows what to do with the development levies. The only issue is that the Ministry of Lands has been tasked with the collection of its rentals and also collection of the development levies on behalf of the Ministry of Local Government, but all the money is then passed to Treasury. Treasury will subsequently allocate monies to the different ministries.
I understand that there are concerns regarding the collection and use of these monies which I believe the respective Ministry will be able to look at and maybe come up with some suggestions.
I also want to mention the issue of land sizes. Yes, there is a directive on land sizes relating to different agro-ecological regions. I agree with Hon. Members with their concerns that these were not followed in some cases. I can assure you that the Ministry is currently looking at redressing that issue but most of these issues are not directly the responsibility of the Land Commission, but the Land Commission can make recommendations on any policy issues relating to issuance or alienation of agricultural land. So, they have a say in it but it is not directly their responsibility to come up with pegging of the land rentals and the land sizes but it is to make sure that policy is followed. In other words, I am saying they have got an oversight role on the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.
I will give a detailed response to all the issues that were raised but
I want to thank all Hon. Members for their contribution to this Bill.
With these few remarks, I now move that the Land Commission
Bill (H.B. 2, 2016) be now read a second time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: Tuesday, 29th November, 2016.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MATUKE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the
Day, Numbers 3 to 19 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 20 has been disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
ACTION TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
HON. KHUPE: I move the motion in my name that this House:
NOTING that the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign is a time to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world;
ACKNOWLEDGING that in 2016, the ‘Unite Campaign’ strongly emphasizes the need for sustainable financing for efforts to end violence against women and girls and towards the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
RECOGNISING that this year’s theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World, Make education Accessible and Affordable for Women and Girls and end Violence against Women and Girls”;
CONCERNED that violence against women and girls happens 365 days and yet this campaign is for 16 days, from 25th November to 10
NOW, THEREFORE, this August House calls upon –
- the Ministry of Women Affairs and Women’s Organisations to campaign throughout the whole year and advocate for ending violence against women and girls. They must not limit the campaign to 16 days;
- the Government to make sure that Agenda 2030 for Sustainable
Development is funded to fulfill these goals.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
HON. KHUPE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir. Let me begin by a quotation from the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Koffi Annan who said on the 8th of March 1999, that violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth and as long as it continues; we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace. Mr. Speaker Sir, 16 days of activism against gender based violence is the time to galvanise action to end violence against women around the world. This theme begins from the 25th of November and ends on the 10th of December - which is 16 days.
On the 25th of November which is tomorrow, it is the International
Day against Violence against women and the 29th of November is
International Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day. The 1st of
December is World Aids Day and then the 10th of December is the
International Human Rights Day. This year’s theme Mr. Speaker Sir, is ‘from peace in the home to peace in the world – make education accessible and affordable for girls and end violence against women and
Mr. Speaker Sir, according to the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey of 2010/2011, 42% of women in Zimbabwe have experienced either physical, sexual or emotional violence or all at some point in their lives. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is happening regardless of the fact that as Zimbabwe, we ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1991 and that is 25 years ago. This is happening regardless of the fact that we ratified the protocol on
Women’s Rights in Africa in 2007. This is also happening regardless of the fact that we enacted the Domestic Violence Act in 2007 and this is happening regardless of the fact that we ratified the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development in 2009. The instruments Mr. Speaker Sir, are there so that member states implement strategies to eradicate violence against women because violence against women is a public health crisis which hinders development.
Mr. Speaker Sir, 1 billion women in the world are victims of violence. That is one in three and that is one too many because violence against women is an inexcusable crime. Violence against women and girls is an obstacle to development, an obstacle to equality and an obstacle to peace. Violence takes many forms – there is physical violence, emotional violence, sexual violence and there is violence of poverty and starvation. And poverty, inequality and unemployment are conditions under which violence thrives. Where there is poverty violence thrives, where there is inequality violence thrives and where there is unemployment Mr. Speaker Sir, violence thrives.
I want to substantiate why I am saying this. In Zimbabwe currently, more than 90% of the people are unemployed and five million people are in the informal sector. Out of the five million people who are in the informal sector, 78% of those people are women and this means that the majority of men are ‘stay-at-home dads’ or ‘stay-at-home fathers’. So, when the father comes home and the wife tells him that children do not have food and they have not gone to school because we did not pay school fees, there is no electricity at home because we did not pay for the bill, there is no water at home because we did not pay for the water bill, instead of this man responding by opening his wallet and giving money to this woman so that she is able to do all the things that I have talked about, how does he respond? He responds violently because this man does not have a dollar in his name.
Hon. Chibaya having entered the House without bowing to the Chair.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Chibaya, as
you pass the Chair, you know what the order should be. Can you just come back and do it? You stand up and do what you were supposed to do.
Hon. Chibaya stood up and bowed to the Chair.
HON. KHUPE: I was saying Mr. Speaker Sir, instead of this man responding by opening his wallet, taking money out of the wallet and giving it to this woman so that she is able to buy food, pay for school fees, he responds violently because he does not have a dollar in his name. He is responding violently because control and power has been taken away from him because his control and power was his job and his money. If he has money and a job, he has control and power over whatever Mr. Speaker Sir, but now the man does not have control and power over anything. He is penniless and does not have a dollar in his name and he then decides to respond violently. The reason why he is responding violently is that he is trying to get back the control and power that has been taken away from him by not having money.
Secondly Mr. Speaker Sir, like I said, the majority of men are stayat-home dads. Women are the ones who are in the informal sector – 78%. So, this woman will go to the flea market to sell her products and the man remains at home with the house maid, his girl children and girl relatives. This man has nothing to do and what else does he think about? He has no cent and absolutely nothing to do. He is sitting at home watching the maid and these girls walking up and down. This is how rape happens because at the end of the day he will think of raping these girls. When the wife hears about that, violence starts because the
woman would ask why he raped or slept with her maid. You will find out that there is going to be sexual, emotional and physical violence. Thirdly Mr. Speaker Sir, like I said, the majority of men are not employed and most of them spend most of their time loitering – whether it is around the shops or in town. As they loiter, these women and girls who are walking around innocently, what does this man think about because he does not have a job or a dollar in his name – all he thinks about is sleeping with this woman and rape happens. Mr. Speaker Sir, physical, emotional and sexual violence as far as I am concerned, are as a result of violence of poverty and starvation.
I am saying this because right now in Zimbabwe, the majority of people are living in abject poverty, misery and destitution. Right now in Zimbabwe, more than 85% of the people are living on less than one US dollar per day – in a country which is endowed with enormous resources like diamond, gold, platinum, yet there is absolutely nothing to show that we have these resources. Mr. Speaker Sir, if these resources were to be managed properly, honestly the much needed jobs would be created, the much needed foreign currency would be generated and people would have a good life. When a family is happy, when they have money, food and there is everything in the house, I do not see the reason why a husband would come and start beating up the wife and the children, except for those who are mentally disturbed. A normal person would not do that.
Mr. Speaker Sir, where there is happiness, there is peace. This is why I am saying, if people were to have jobs and make their own money, those who want to run businesses should be able to do so and bring money into their homes in order to eat and sleep well. I do not see the reason why violence should take place unless if one is not mentally stable.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to make recommendations. My first recommendation is that, Government should create a conducive environment so that the much needed jobs are created and those who want to do business are able to do so in order to make clean and good money. I am also calling upon Government to make sure that farmers are supported 100% so that they are able to grow tobacco and cotton and raise the much needed foreign currency which is required in this country to allow this country to move forward.
Secondly Mr. Speaker Sir, gender based violence happens every day throughout the whole year. The 16 days of activism against gender based violence, is a campaign which is limited to 16 days. It is very good that it happens in 16 days, but I would like to call upon the
Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development and
Non-Governmental Organisations to ensure that this campaign is done 365 days because gender based violence happens in 365 days. It must not be limited to 16 days.
Thirdly, I would like to urge all Members of Parliament in this House to be actively involved in the campaign against gender based violence because violence is happening in their constituencies and in their communities. I also want to urge every Zimbabwean to wear a white ribbon within these 16 days, which was distributed earlier on by
Hon. Chamisa. The white ribbon symbolises peace Mr. Speaker Sir. It symbolises a commitment by those wearing it, like Hon. Minister Mombeshora and others, that they will not commit any violence against women ever again. I am calling every Zimbabwean to do that.
Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to call upon Government to adequately fund the Sustainable Development Goals because there is a target within those goals to end violence against women. Once the Sustainable Development Goals are adequately funded, then we will be able to eradicate violence against women.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me conclude by a quotation from Florence
Butegwa who, in June 2000 said; “By placing women’s concerns and aspirations within a human rights paradigm, we have made an undeniable proposition that women are human and on that basis, they claim and they are entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms inherent in all humanity.” Mr. Speaker Sir, like I said earlier on, this year’s theme for the 16 days of activism against gender violence is
‘From peace in the home, to peace in the world, make education accessible and available to girls and end violence against women and girls.’ Women constitute 52% of the population and if women are educated, healthy and free from violence, their families flourish. When their families flourish, their communities will flourish too, and the whole nation flourishes. I therefore would like to call upon every Member of this august House so that we hold hands and say no to violence against women and girls because together we can make a difference. I rest my case.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
INVITATION TO A MEETING WITH THE KENYAN
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Members of the Catholic and
other denominations are invited to a meeting with the Kenyan Parliamentarians who will be visiting on 30th November, 2016 at 1000 hours followed by a mass at 12 o’clock. That is from Hon. Mupfumira.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on such an important motion. I am saying, if we did not have wives at home, the men in this House will not be a happy lot. I will give an example of what happened at one time; there was a wedding that took place between a girl and a boy and they later went for a honeymoon. On their way to the honeymoon, the wife saw a monkey and asked the husband what it was. She was told that it was a monkey and they continued with their journey. The wife saw another animal and asked her husband what it was and was told that it was a hyena. On their way back, they saw a pigeon and the wife asked her husband what it was. The husband then said, I am fed up with your questions, can you go and ask your mother. This was happening within their time of the honeymoon and within that short space of time, the man was already fed up with what the woman was saying.
The moral of the story is that whenever there is love, people talk to each other nicely and make appropriate responses. Whenever anything bad happens, it is related to the woman. I am saying, we need to correct our thinking, our mentality and understand that men and women are equal.
I will give you another example of a man who was at work and was asked where his wife was. He told his colleagues that his wife did not work, but spent the whole day loafing and basking in the sun. One of the friends proposed to visit him so that he also could see what the wife would be doing. When they got there, the house was very clean and the man was always neat. The man’s response then was, ‘your wife takes care of the home in a good way as opposed to my wife who is incapable of doing all these things.’ I therefore would like to say, men should be careful of the people whom they associate with because some friends are very distractive whilst some are very constructive. We should know that when a wife is at home, she is not lazy because she would be basking in the sun, but will be taking care of the home in order to develop it and create a peaceful home.
When there is domestic violence in the home, there are problems. We know that women are able to forgive and withstand any storms that come to them from men because they are patient. This does not mean that they are stupid, but they will be showing that it is the only way of building up a family. We are saying that peace begins at home and it spreads to the world. We need to say, as Zimbabweans or as an individual, who has come from a home, did I leave my wife and family in a happy state so that when I get back home, they will be happy. We have some men who are monsters in their homes. When the father is coming back home, especially if he is driving in, all children run to bed because the monster has come. They would not want to meet their father – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker, can I be protected, I think there is another meeting at the back.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, Members at the back. You are still in the Chamber. If you need a discussion with your next door neighbour, you are free to move to the lobby and have your discussion there. Otherwise, you should whisper quietly and you may proceed Hon. Member.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like Hon. Members of this august House to appreciate the importance of peace in the home. We need not to participate in this discussion on division lines.
We should know that if you insult your companion, that is very bad and it is an assault. It is violence. At times torturing or mishandling your partner is also gender based violence. Gender based violence can even go to the extent of a man who goes for a beer drink and does not come back home, you are torturing your partner. We know some of the things we use at home, some people will choose bottling up whenever they have a grievance.
The problem Mr. Speaker Sir, with bottling up is that it will only need a small spark and there will be a very great explosion. There was a story which has gone viral on the WhatsApp. Somebody was saying, the men who was not educated has said, I am a Grade 7 dropout but I am married to a lawyer. What I am saying is, regardless of the social status or academic status for your partner, you should be proud of that person, instead of insulting your partner when you are coming from the honeymoon. We should know that the tongue is a very dangerous instrument if improperly used.
Whenever there is hunger in the home, there are problems and there is domestic violence because when people are poor, they cannot afford school fees and they cannot afford to buy food, leading to gender based violence. We need to work together and put our work together so that we develop our homes. There are some people who are self-centred and very proud. This will also lead to gender based violence. We have some people who are selfish that they do not want to share whatever things they say belong to them. When a partner handles that, there is gender based violence. We have some men who are so stingy that they hide their payslips and their pay in such a way that they can prefer putting it under the mattress or the pillow so that the wife does not see it.
We realise that these days many people are in the informal sector which is a very painful exercise. Mr. Speaker, it is so difficult for somebody to get money. Whenever you get money, these days, it is coming from the small indigenous people indulging in vending programmes. Mainly, people who undertake these small businesses are women. Therefore, we call upon the State to protect these vendors.
They should not be involved in a running battle with the police. We know that at police stations, we have victim friendly courts but this should be an ongoing exercise whereby police officers are educated on how to deal with these SMEs.
We have realised that when a woman from a domestic violence set up in the home goes into a charge office, the language she is asked to discuss her situation is at times more painful than the gender based violence in the home. Hence, we are calling for continual education of the law enforcement agents. We have crafted some laws and we are even aligning some laws, yet Mr. Speaker, they go against some of these laws which are enacted. When people are involved in gender based violence and somebody is arrested for abrogating that law, he is released as soon as he is taken to the police station.
We need to have deterrent sentences so that whenever somebody perpetrates gender based violence, that person will know they will be punished. We are calling for the gender based violence campaign not to be a sixteen day event but to be a 365 days event, all year round so that we appreciate the importance of living in peace. We need to have our media talking about gender based violence which will have happened in different areas of the country. This will create an awareness that there is gender based violence.
In the agenda 2013, on Sustainable Development, we can develop and fully implement our programmes because we know that goal number 5 talks about gender based violence. We are calling for a fund to be created which will be put to use by every ministry which will have a gender officer to take care of the domestic violence problems. The officer will be holding that programme and discus it within that ministry because at times, when you look at gender based violence, it is given a feminine approach. Zimbabweans are very good at planning. We also need to be good at implementing. I thank you.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will start by saying today is a day which is to be observed by those of the Mpofu Clan, the eland. The second reason why this day is important is that this is a very important motion raised by Hon. Khupe. I have a feeling that she abused this House because the ribbons were unevenly distributed and only given to one side...
HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order and clarification to Hon. Mapiki. In fact, Hon. Chinamasa was given a bunch of ribbons. It would appear that he has taken the whole bunch and we may need to check where he has put those ribbons but he was supposed to distribute all of them.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Chamisa, why give them
to Hon. Chinamasa? I am not quite sure. You many proceed Hon.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will continue. When this motion was introduced, this was put clear to everybody, yet when the ribbons were distributed, we had a go-between to distribute them instead of giving them directly.
I would like to thank Hon. Khupe for this motion. I will look at this motion from another angle. People talk of gender based violence and the perpetrators are mainly said to be men; but we have known of women fighting other women, especially when a husband passes on. The sisters to the deceased men will come and torment the widow. They will come and want to grab all the inheritance and all the properties that would have been accumulated by the couple. So, it is a woman versus a woman. Therefore, I am saying, whenever we talk about gender based violence, we should know that it is done by a man or a woman. We have women of the eland totem who are very notorious because they are so violent. We need to look at some of the things which they do. Women torment other women in the home. So, we need to be very careful. When there is distribution of the estate, most people who are very vocal are the sisters of the deceased man who come and disturb the process.
When the widow wants to stay in her home, she is told that she has to move to her own home, let alone if the widow decides to remarry, these sisters will come and order this woman out of their brother’s home because she has remarried. We have some instance in one of the press where we were told of a woman who was in a polygamous situation. She had two husbands. This is gender based violence against men and we should look at this issue.
This happened here in Zimbabwe in Hurungwe. I am bringing this up so that we can show that gender based violence is not only masculine, but it is also feminine. We have had instances whereby in the avenues, you see men moving around in the avenues. They will be moving around aimlessly. I have said what is the reason and the reason is that these men run away from their home in the evenings because of the gender based violence. Their women are very vocal and violent. At one time I asked some of these men why they were moving around at night and doing window shopping? The men confirmed that they feared going to their homes because their wives are violent. They indulge in gender based violence.
These men take solace in moving around. When they go home late, they just sleep for about an hour and wake up and go to work. They say as soon as they come home, the women will be calling for lobola to be paid to their parents. Some of them are not taking care of their homes.
Also there is no money, relish and food in the home. The bedroom is actually the Rotten Row Court. We are saying we should stop this violence. The baby girl in the home also empathises and sympathises with her father. I am urging this august House to look at this style of gender based violence.
In some not too distant time, we had men who were being violated and being raped by women who were harvesting sperm from them. Some of these men were drugged and after they had been drugged, they were then raped and the women would harvest the sperm. These women went to the extent of prospering by buying kombis. I am saying when we are talking of gender based violence, we should not only look at one side. We have noticed that when these women come to report at the police station, they behave the same.
When you get into Parliament, we again see more women but what we might need is the division of men and women. The underlying factor is that whenever there is a problem which is arising like the gender based violence, let us curtail it before it goes out of hand. I will not go back to the avenues especially in Harare. Regardless of what time you move around, we have women who will be wondering aimlessly. These are young girls who are taken from the rural homes and they are promised jobs in town, but when they come to town, they are incorporated into being concubines.
This is domestic violence because we are abusing this young girl and she is turned into a prostitute. The woman who has taken that girl to town will collect the money and this girl is not given anything. Whenever a man wants to have sexual intercourse with this young girl, the man pays the big lady the money and at times, some of these girls fall pregnant and they have problems of carrying that pregnancy because they are immature. I am saying when we are talking of gender based violence, let us not look at men as the only perpetrators of gender based violence, but we also have women as perpetrators of gender based violence.
The Hon. Member made a very good observation that most of the people who are involved in the small to medium enterprises are women.
I congratulate the Minister Hon. Nyoni for teaching these women on these small projects. In the past, we used to have money clubs. They would have to share what they have, but what has since happened is that we have women who are getting into construction and mining projects and we need to look at the ways which should protect them. We need to change our Minerals Act which makes it an offence to be arrested with gold. We have had some women who will be doing their mining and when the police come and raid them, get them with some pieces of gold or a catch of gold, she is arrested. We are saying this should be stopped because we need to protect these women so that there will not be any gender based violence.
I will turn to horticulture. Women are the ones who are in the forefront and they create employment. We should admit that women are creative, hard working and what we need is to look for ways of promoting these small to medium enterprises. Let us create funds so that these women can borrow them and embark on their projects. The gist of my discussion in this motion is to protect women from being tortured and tormented by other women because women are doing more harm to other women than men are doing on them. Like what the Bible says:
“You hypocrite, first of all remove the log in your eye before you remove the speck in somebody’s eye”. Thus says the Bible.
These women speak ill of other women calling them thieves, men snatchers and prostitutes and I am saying women should change their attitude. They should start supporting each other. If they need to go further with education, they should encourage each other and go further with their education. Mr. Speaker Sir, I have made this contribution so that women could hold an introspect in themselves before they look at the men. We have held so many workshops for women so that they are protected from the gender based violence.
The Women’s Caucus has so many workshops and what they will be doing there is talking about the men who they say are tormenting them. I am calling for the organisers of these workshops that they should take their time and also invite men to these workshops so that they may desist from indulging into the domestic violence with this gender based violence. If we only have the elderly women who will be taking the young women and teach them the ways of handling men in the home including the bedroom. We need to have people who will come and teach men how to go about their sexual activities. We are told that in America they have sex enhancing tablets and these should also be introduced to the men here so that they can match the prowess of women’s sexual escapades in the home. I thank you.
+HON. MLILO: This matter of rights and violence against women is an issue which affects me because I am a father of a lot of girls. Before going into domestic violence, it is not about men beating up women only but it also speaks on beating up your own relatives. Your children can also report you if you beat them. This is not an issue which affects men or women only - I wanted to correct that as people have been harping on that. Let me quote from the Order Paper which says; recognizing that this year’s theme is “From Peace in the Home to
Peace in the World, make Education Accessible and Affordable for
Women and Girls and end Violence against Women and Girls.” In our country, if you make education accessible and affordable, the boy child and girl child will go to school since they have been given the equal rights to go to school. It makes me happy to know that we already have equal rights in our country. The only problem which comes in is that many times when women talk about their rights and violence against them, they forget that when trying to make people equal, we do not want to end up making those who were suppressed to have more rights than others. In our country, our women want to have more power yet we should be equal and we respect them. It is important that we should recognise that. Even in our Parliament, there is a women’s caucus yet there is no male caucus. We also want a male caucus so that our rights are made equal.
Domestic violence on women as I alluded to initially is something that hurts me because I also have girl children in my home. What I have observed is that our laws on marriage are too concentrated in one area. You find that there is a married couple but there is no love and they want a divorce. The problem is, in our country, if you want to divorce you have to approach the High Court with your lawyers and that takes money. So, couples end up in a loveless marriage because they cannot afford the costs of divorcing. In situations like that, for one to get another partner they should have divorced and because that does not happen, the women will be beaten up or even end up being killed if they enter into another relationship. Our marriage laws are the ones which drive this violence.
In other countries people are taught how to handle marriage issues. People meet in beer halls, fall in love and marry without anyone teaching them about marriage. Such marriages end up in violence and failure. In my constituency in Luveve, our churches call the people who are about to marry and educate them so that they have solid marriages. Of more importance is the fact that women should learn to respect their men. When I was a young man, my mother showed respect to my father. Even when he conversed in a wrong manner my mother would still respect my father. However, these days, when men make mistakes the women become arrogant because of this rights issue. They say they are equal so there is nothing that the men can tell them. It was especially after the Beijing Conference that women started debating about equal rights and wanted to be equal to men. This issue of equal rights brought about the disrespect of men by their spouses. Even in the Bible it is stated that the woman was created from the man’s rib so they should be submissive to men. So, the violence perpetrated on them shows that they are no longer respecting their men.
Let me conclude by saying, let us put God first before us. If we do that, we will be tolerant and respectful and we will be able to live amicably together in our homes. I leave all that in the name of the Lord and wish that God will enter everyone’s heart and change them so that we have peace in every home. I thank you and God bless you.
HON. MANDIPAKA: I would like to start by thanking Hon.
Khupe for the noble motion that she raised and was seconded by Hon. Mpariwa. This motion is very important to both men and women. The first thing that I would like us to note is that we have gained so much knowledge in this country regarding gender equality. So, as men, we need to handle our women with care and accept them as equals beings. We know every life comes from a woman who carries nine months pregnancy. It therefore shows that women should be taken care of and protected because of the way they brought us into this world. We have had instances whereby if they do not want to, they can carry out an abortion or they can baby dump. However, we should know that since they have let us grow, it shows the importance of women.
Let me turn to the gender based violence as debated in this House. The first is physical assault with grievous bodily harm which is called assault GBH. We also have an aggression which happens in the home emotionally. We do have an economic sabotage of women; this is also another form of gender based violence. The other system of violence is denying women their conjugal rights. Hence, I am encouraging all men that we need to handle our women with care. Let us desist from gender based violence. I know during a wedding ceremony where it is said a man is given a helper who is capable to do whatever it is that you want.
The Bible also says ‘what God has put together let no man put asunder.’ I support Hon. Khupe who has said, we should not only commemorate this campaign in 16 days of avoiding gender based violence. I am calling upon fellow Members of Parliament to get a time whereby we talk against gender based violence during these rallies and that we take care of women.
I am pleading with the police that in whatever awareness campaign they are carrying out, they should talk about the protection of women. I know Zimbabwe as a patriarch system but we should know that there is gender equity in the country. I have also noticed that in the motion raised by Hon. Khupe, she has called for the support of women that there should be a budget set aside so that there is a gender officer in every Ministry. There should be a fund which is created so that women are empowered in doing various chores so that they indulge in small to medium enterprises.
If a woman is so empowered, this will avoid the gender based violence in the home because the women will be also bringing some income. We have noticed that in the rural areas, that is where we see a lot of these gender based violence. Let us craft laws which protect women and also avoid gender based violence. I thank you.
HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I am going to do a very unusual thing and in doing this I am symbolising and demonstrating the importance of women in our lives. For a human being to be born, there has to be a woman, of course a man is there just to accompany. That is why in the Bible, Joseph had to be an artificial man but Marry had to be the genuine woman, a human being. You will also realise that in Genesis 3:12, because of the sinning that had been done in the Garden of Eden, when our forefather was asked what had happened, the response that was given was to say, mukadzi wamakandipa Baba, the wife that you gave me. This is to demonstrate the importance of a woman in a human being’s life. There is no doubt that women are a symbol of life, that they are custodians of life, the ability to care is inherent and deep seated in women. This is why we have seen star women rising even in our own country, from the days of Mbuya
Nehanda. This is why we have seen star women during our own time, the likes of Hon. Thokozani Khupe, Hon. Mpariwa Gwanyanya, Mai Muchinguri, Mai Mujuru – those women who have stood against all odds to make a difference. We must cherish the role that is played by women in our society. This has nothing to do with the party. I know of women who are here present, the role that they are playing, Hon. Speaker Sir; the road to Parliament is littered with landmines and bombs. For a woman to be able to gain access to Parliament is difficult, but we must acknowledge that these women you are seeing around, are women who have gone the extra mile to stand head to head, toe to toe with their male counterparts; against patriarchy, historical issues, against historical issues, against tradition and we must celebrate these women.
I am saying this Hon. Speaker because even within our
Government, we do not seem to valuing or celebrating the important role of women. On the 8th of March, we are supposed to be celebrating the
International Women’s Day. I want to say yes, we have had debates in Parliament, we even adopted a motion to say this day is supposed to be given its importance.
I am going to give what I feel is the best way forward particularly on this aspect. If you look at the Diaspora, we have had many Zimbabweans going there –who has been at the receiving end - the woman. Most families that have been affected by our Diaspora exit are women who are left with families, women who are even supposed to go to the Diaspora to look after their families. So, the women have had very difficult circumstances.
I grew up in the rural areas myself and for a woman to spend the whole day sitting is regarded as taboo. What does a woman do in the rural area? If she is pregnant, she still fetches firewood; she still carries a bucket of water on top of her head. She can actually do all these things all at once and after doing this during the day, at night she has other matrimonial responsibilities as a wife. It goes on and on, this thing is a serious issue. We need to look at the role of women, particularly in the rural areas. I grew up in the rural areas we have a lot of heroines who are out there. If we were to construct a Heroines and Heroes Acre for the legends of our country, it is the rural women. The things that they do for our country are unbelievable, even if we were to compute scientifically, people who are contributing meaningfully to the subsistence of our country at a commercial level even at an economic level, I would say women in the rural areas play a pivotal role in terms of taking children to school, even making the man in the rural areas sane and stable.
When the woman is happy, the man is happier, when the woman is happy in a domestic setting, the man is happier but you will find that when you take away the happiness of a woman, the man is not stable. This is why most politicians are not stable – they are not stable because their women are not stable, comfortable and happy. This is why it is very important to have peace at the domestic setting. Most of the politicians who are causing havoc in the country is because their domestic settings are not stable. There is no peace at the domestic level and this is why it is very important for us to take peace to the domestic level so that there is peace in the country, so that there is peace in the Government, so that there is peace in Parliament, so that there is peace even in political parties. But when the woman is unstable, the man is not stable.
Hon. Speaker Sir, I am saying this looking at our challenges in the country. You know I am a lawyer. I have looked at the number of divorce cases in the courts. They are totally uncalled for, but it is because we have also allowed our social structure of aunts and uncles to collapse, so we do not have people who are able to advise men to be responsible in keeping their families, to advise even women to know how to also manage the domestic setting.
We have had examples, like I indicated in the country, of women who have done very well against all odds, even internationally. You know of Hillary Clinton. She did very well in her own context and she must be applauded, but she is a woman. We have Angela Michael, we have Christine Laggard of the IMF and we have Nkosazana Zuma in the AU Commission. These are women who have shown the world that it is possible for women to also perform a meaningful role in terms of national development and building a country and the world. So we must appreciate, Hon. Speaker Sir.
We have Theresa May in the United Kingdom; women who are making a difference. We also have women who are making a difference within the domestic setting, community setting, nationally or even in the church setting. Women continue to play a pivotal role, but it is important for us to create a conducive environment for more women to be able to contribute meaningfully to the development of our country.
I have four suggestions to make, Hon. Speaker Sir, before I resume my seat. The first one is that Government has to simply declare 8th March a Day of the Woman so that it is a public holiday. We are thanks giving, we are celebrating the woman. Why should we celebrate women? We celebrate women because when they are around us they define us. We celebrate women - why? Because women have shown that they have a better sense of justice than men. Why do we celebrate women? Because women have shown a better sense of care - nine months taking care of an unborn baby. It is not a joke.
If we were to ask men to play the role of carrying a pregnancy, we will find most men, perhaps not you Hon. Speaker Sir, running away because it is a very odious obligation. Why? Because it is a laborious task; so we must thank our women. They are courageous. To be in labour is not a joke. That is why even in our Shona setting or even in Ndebele setting, we say amhlophe or makorokoto. This is not to the child. We are celebrating and saying congratulations to the mother for surviving the birth struggle. So, we must celebrate our women.
I say this, Hon. Speaker Sir, because when I went to school, it is my mother who played a pivotal role for me to go to school. So, for a whole Vice President of the MDC, to be who I am right now, it is because of a woman. And you can see, Hon. Speaker Sir, it is not a joke to be there at the vice presidency of the party. You know it from your party that you cannot just get there. So, we must thank women for the positive role that they play in all our lives as a people. Particularly in Zimbabwe, the rural women play a very important role. So, the first element is, let us declare the Women’s Day a public holiday so that we give the necessary national stature and support to the day for our women to be celebrated, also for women to be thanked for the role that they play in giving birth to a nation, in also populating the nation.
Yes, we know that men play a pivotal role, but we know being a husband or being a father is an opinion. What is factual is being a mother. That is why in the Jewish setting you do not take the surname of your father, you take the surname of your mother because a father is always an opinion. It can be fiction in most cases. But what is factual is motherhood.
My second recommendation is for us to desist from separate development of gender relations and gender roles. I know that in political parties, we like so much to have the Women’s League and the Women’s Assembly, but we must now begin to inculcate and cultivate a culture of bringing in a phasing out of those separate developments, where you have wings to be taking care of certain issues or even in the Ministry in charge of gender issues being manned by just a woman because we have a feminine approach to the way of gender development. Let us integrate. If we are going to make sure that we have a 50/50, let it be a 50/50 in integration and not a 50/50 in separate development of our women so that there is genuine peace in the society, there is also genuine peace in whatever we do.
The third one is to have a Women of Excellence Award. Let the Government have a Women of Excellence Award so that we award the women who have excelled in politics, in business and everywhere. Let us give women of excellence the necessary support that they are supposed to be given. The women of excellence support is supposed to be given by the Government, not only as an honour for the women who have excelled in the development of the nation, but also in the development of issues to do with gender relations and gender roles.
Last but not least, Hon. Speaker Sir, is the issue of development in the rural areas. Unless we have dealt with the elimination of symbols of barbarism, like the issue of allowing our people to fetch water from across the river or some distances, we will not be able to deal with issues of peace at a domestic setting because women are going to be subjected to perpetual poverty. What do we need to do? Let us take our symbols of civilisation into the rural areas. Let us have lines of communication, lines of power, lines of water; let us have lines that are going to make it possible in transport to make sure that we move away from firewood to electricity, move away from just the boreholes to piped water. That way, we are going to liberate the woman. That way, we are going to empower and liberate our nation in the truest of senses in terms of our economy.
Hon. Speaker Sir, having said that, I just want to say this is a very powerful motion. I want to thank Hon. Khupe for raising this motion. It is an important motion. This motion deserves support across the political divide, across the generational divide and even across the ideological divide. Why? Because this is what defines us as a people - when we respect women, we respect humanity. When we respect women, we give ourselves the advantage. When we respect women, we are also developing the future of our country. The future resides in women, so let us preserve it. Thank you very much.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE LIASON AND COORDINATION
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I would like to inform the House that the Chairperson of the LCC, Hon. L. Matuke has convened a special meeting of the LCC. The meeting will be held on 28th
November, 2016 in the Senate Chamber at 8.30 a.m. All Committee
Chairpersons of Select Committees, the Chairperson of the
Parliamentary Legal Committee and the Chairperson and Deputy
Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus must attend this important meeting.
All members must be punctual.
SOCCER AND NETBALL MATCH AGAINST THE ZIMBABWE
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I wish to inform Hon. Members that the Parliament of Zimbabwe football and netball teams will play the Zimbabwe Prisons and Recreational Services teams on
Sunday, 27th November, 2016. The bus leaves Parliament car park at 0900 hours on Sunday. Tomorrow, the team will pay a visit to Harare
Central Prison. The bus leaves Parliament building at 09.00 o’clock tomorrow. Members, please note that Parliament of Zimbabwe is not footing any accommodation costs on Saturday evening.
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. First and foremost, I would like to inform the House that I am a father of four daughters. I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Khupe seconded by Hon. Mpariwa. Unlike Hon. Mapiki, I would like to go against the grain of what he was advocating for. I think in the motion there is a caption from peace in the house to peace in the world. The importance of this puts all Zimbabwean men under the spotlight as to our behaviours and attitudes. What we need to do is to pay attention to this particular topic for 365 days a year simply because we need a big change of culture as Zimbabwean men. If you take a Zimbabwean man for example, at home the man rapes a toddler who is three months old.
At home the man rapes a young girl who is only two years old. That has to change. Is it because of black magic or it is because we have a certain culture and practices that we need to get rid of.
When you look at the Zimbabwean men, that toddler has grown up to be a six year old girl; she is in Grade 7 at the age maybe 10 or 12, the male teacher rapes that young student who is attending school. If it does not happen at school, it is when these young girls cover long distances going home from school that they fall victim to being raped by men. That attitude has to change and as Zimbabweans, we have to keep on reminding each other of some of these misdemeanours that befall our girl child in this country.
Coming from there, you go to public places where they want to board buses, kombis or mshika-shika, again men tend to look menacingly at young girls wearing mini skirts. It is a question of culture in Zimbabwe and we start mocking them and sometimes as what happened at Simon Muzenda Bus Terminus, a girl was beaten up and her short dress was torn off. It is the issue of culture towards women that we need to adjust ourselves and the mindset of men in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, even before that girl graduates, she is attending an institution or university, old men like me drive there and we want to entice these young women so that they go and sleep with me. Again, it is a question of culture. We are using money. We buy them hair extensions and so on so that we can abuse them. Again, it is the issue of culture towards women. It is violence against women.
Even the way we are treating the Mighty Warriors, our own women footballers, that is violence against women. They go and play for Olympics. After playing football during the Olympics we give them US$5 each, what is that Mr. Speaker? ZIFA has also to be advised that it is violence against women. That has to stop. As we go along, there is this issue of sex workers. Again, the bigotry of men in Zimbabwe; when we talk about sex workers we want to refer to women. How about those who are sleeping with them? Are they not sex workers? It is the women who are supposed to be sex workers. It is violence against women and it is a culture that we have to get rid of in this country.
When you talk about other areas, the spread of HIV/AIDS, there are some men who start taking ARVs without informing their wives such that the wife then falls sick and she passes away, the man survives because he is taking ARVs. That again is violence against women and we need to change that culture.
When a woman grows up and she is married and she does not have children, the bareness is blamed against the woman. Eh-h the woman is baren. Haazvari! When that woman moves away from that man to another man, she falls pregnant. Again, it is a question of culture and attitude that we have towards women which is promoting violence against women.
When we talk about this democracy that we enjoy, we are only enjoying democracy because the majority of women voted either way, whether for ZANU PF or MDC because they are in the majority. Without women we cannot even enjoy democracy because the men are in the minority. Let us thank these women for voting for us and bringing us to Parliament.
There is another issue that raises violence against women, when they graduate from universities and it comes to interviews, “tanga wandida”, carpet interviews – violence against women. We seem to have it as a culture in this country. The issue of our songs, the songs that we sing some of these people who are stars you find that their songs denigrate women. Very few songs praise women but there are some that actually denigrate women and men dance to those tunes as if they are not listening to what the words are saying. It is important that in Zimbabwe we need a culture change to ensure that we respect women. It is through respect as somebody has said earlier on, that if we embalm Christianity and God, we will learn to respect women and violence against women will be eradicated.
We need publicity against the issue of attitudes towards women on the various issues that I have raised. This can be done. We should have stickers in public transport and stickers in Parliament reminding us of how important women are. We need stickers in all public places that we go to and stickers in the minds of Members of Parliament as well. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank you for the opportunity that I was given to put forward my ideas.
+HON. J. TSHUMA: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. I would
like to thank you for the opportunity that you have given me to
contribute on this pertinent matter. I would like to thank Hon. Khupe for moving this important motion to look into domestic violence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, before I go any further, I would like to say something a bit about women. As I am, I went to Umzingwane High School in Esigodini in Matabeleland South. When you leave the main road that goes to Johannesburg, it is about 5km. My mother would come there carrying a basket on her head. That basket had my food which she was bringing to my school. She would walk those 5km to bring food and 5km again to board a bus to go home. That on its own taught me that a woman is someone who can do everything for you in life. She would take her time to walk even during hot weather. That showed me that in everything that we do, let us look at women and respect them. Women, we respect you so much because you are important people in our lives – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – there is nothing that we can do when women are not involved. For instance Mr. Speaker Sir, when I have a homestead without a woman, there is no direction at all. You find that there will be no sofas, refrigerator, no food there is beer only. Once a woman is there, you will find that a house becomes a home.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am of the view that it is not fair to allocate 16 days only to this matter of domestic violence. This matter of domestic violence should be in our minds and tongues everyday of our lives. Women and children are raped every day. They are working without getting money and they are not getting food every day. So we should discuss this matter on a daily basis; we should not set aside a particular day for this matter. If we do that, we would be killing its prominence and importance as moved by Hon. Khupe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, on many occasions, we see things going wrong and we turn a blind eye. That is wrong. If you look in the press, almost every day, you read about a minor who has been raped for example two or five year child raped. If you look at the sentences being given to the accused, they are not deterrent at all for someone who would have done such a heinous act of destroying someone’s life. I want to support the idea that when someone does something like that, that men should be castrated. There are a lot of grown up women that want to be married but you find someone raping a minor child. Mr. Speaker Sir, that person should be castrated. He should be castrated once and for all because you are not a human being fit to live in the society. Those are matters that should be looked at. Mr. Speaker Sir, how deterrent are the sentences that are given to people who rape minor children and women? Do the sentences send a message to other people? You find that if you give sentences which are not deterrent, it does not scare people from committing rape. One will say that I can do it at any time.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let us work together with women and women should also fight for their rights. Women are a majority even when we talk of voting in elections. If you have a campaign team, almost 75% of the team are women. We may fail to recognise that a woman is the one who supported us and caused us to be where we are now. Let us respect women. This is not a talk-show only, no! What is important is what I do when I leave this Chamber; when I am done with debating. When you have a woman at home, do you respect that woman? When you arrive home, do you kiss and say good evening sweetheart? As for me, I do that. The first thing I do is that I first remove the jacket and I kiss my wife and say hello sweetie, how was your day? Then I enter the house. I wish all men can do that. I learnt that from my parents. When my father arrived home before driving into the carport, my mother would approach and give him a kiss and say good evening.
We should not talk about it only; we should practice it at our homes. What we are saying here, we should practice it at home so that we are truly part and parcel of the motion that has been moved by Hon.
Khupe. We must stop abusing women and children.
In conclusion, let us look at other men who are also being abused. They are being beaten up. I was looking at a video of a man who was beating up a woman. When the men was harassing the woman, people came in and intervened then I watch a video of a woman beating up a man and people were just staring without restraining the woman. Men even went on to beat that man again. That taught me that if we are not careful, there are some men who are in trouble as well. It is important for that matter to be looked into as well. As big as I am, I cannot go to a police station to make a report against my wife that I have been beaten up but it is true that some women beat men. There is a statement that says, peace begins with me, peace begins with you, peace begins with all of us.’ If we want peace, let us put everything in the open. What is important is we should not talk only, let us practice what we say.
Like what Hon. Mlilo said, let us put all the matters before God, he is the only one who can help. If God enters your heart, it changes. Let us put this matter before God’s eyes so that he enters into the people’s eyes so that they can learn to respect others. Women are important; she goes through gestation without you paying any rent. A mother is important. We salute you! – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I know this
debate has attracted a lot of interest from both sides of the House but let us not repeat what other Hon. Members have already spoken about.
*HON. BUNJIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Khupe, our Vice President of the MDC-T. I want to thank you for raising this motion and I also want to thank the seconder of the motion Hon. Mpariwa. This matter is very pertinent to me personally. The theme that talks about us having peace and tranquillity from the home right up to national level is important.
Furthermore, people need to be educated and to ensure that the girl child is given an opportunity to go to school. Moreover, there should be no violence. When we talk of violence, we are saying violence starts in the home and it extends to national level. Let me begin by saying that in our homes, that is where violence normally begins.
Most women, especially those who are single like us, are like that because of the violence that started in the home. In most cases, it is the men who divorce and leave us or make us leave our homes because of violence. In this august House, women are not recognised, especially if you are known to be single but people forget that in most cases, violence will have begun in the home. So, we request strongly that in the home, our fellow counterparts, the men should treat us with respect. They should not engage in violent activities to ensure that we live peacefully in our homes. That is what results in us being looked down upon. Even in this House, we are not respected because of that, yet it is the men who would have caused the marriage breakups. They always say, to deal with a woman, the only remedy is to get another woman. So, what we are saying is, men please love us in these homes that we have.
Secondly, I want to talk about the police. The police are an embarrassment out there. Even if the law says, we do not want violence, the police are found engaging in violence when arresting women and yet the law does not allow violence. They sexually harass women, as well as fondle them. There are women who are informal traders and when they are chased, the police normally abuse them in that they end up making sure that their skirts are torn. If a person has broken the law, that person should not be traumatised because they have broken the law. In most cases, if you go and report that you were traumatised by the police, the police officer is not arrested but is only transferred to another station. Therefore, what we are saying is that the police have also caused violence and are a menace in our society as they are not following what the law says when one engages in criminal activities.
We also want to say the Government has traumatised us by not availing enough food. There is no water as well and that is a challenge to most of us. As women, we are appealing to the Government to give us a decent living because if they fail to provide food and water, it is a violation of our human rights. If the Government does not provide these, that is violence. So, our request is that the Government should provide clean water and access to health facilities. We should be able to access drugs. If I fail to get medication and do not get medical attention, the Government has violated my rights.
On the issue of sex workers, it was mentioned but I want to explain that I heard an Hon. Member saying that there are sex bosses. That is disrespectful because the person who was debating said the sex worker will be having a male counterpart but at the end of the day, it is the woman who is disrespected yet the man is also part to it. Men should not treat us like slaves because they are the ones who go and look for sex workers. Sex workers also need to be respected because they render services that you are not getting from your marriages. So, you need to respect the women as they have rendered their services to you. Mr.
Speaker Sir, I thank you for the opportunity that you have given me.
HON. N. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the chance to say a word or two. Many things have been said so I will look at the effects of abuse. I am looking at the young girls that are raped because Hon. Khupe talked about the different forms of abuse. When a woman or a young girl is raped, it is not protected sex and usually there is transmission of HIV. HIV means this girl or woman is going to be sick. Therefore, I would urge the Government to allocate enough money into the health sector to buy drugs. When we have enough drugs to give especially the pregnant women who are HIV positive, there are high chances of delivering HIV negative children and there is hope of an HIV free generation, which is what we want.
Someone has mentioned that men are also abused. However, when we compare the men to women, nature has made it that men are naturally more physically powerful than women. That is how they are made. Men have more power in fighting than women and that is why they rape mostly. So, we should protect women in that sense because naturally they are a weaker sex. Men should protect women because when you fight with a woman or you are trying to rape her, the end result is that she would be tired and will give in.
I am urging that men generally should look at women and feel pity for them, care and love them because they are a vulnerable group. When you rape a young girl and she gets pregnant, early pregnancy is a medical concern because a young girl who gets pregnant is not fully developed. That is why when they deliver, they experience what we call separation of symphysis pubis because they are not fully developed and there are many tears like the vesicovaginal fistula (VVF). They have to go for repair and that is a medical concern. The vesicovaginal fistula needs to be corrected and that needs money. Can you imagine that most of these young girls are coming from the rural areas and do not have enough money to go to a hospital. So, it comes back again to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, and the Government to try and put enough money in the health sector so that people have free treatment especially the young ones.
We are also urging that the Government enforces this free maternal care in our hospitals. We have corruption like we heard yesterday from a group of people that in these outside clinics there are individuals that are making people pay money for services even the nurses and the nurse aids themselves are requesting for fees that outside the Government regulations. A woman reported such a case in 2012. This nurse who reported this case is living in fear because she is being victimised. We urge the Government to put a Committee that looks into these things. People should be prosecuted on time. You cannot have a case that happened in 2012 up to today. Justice should prevail.
There is another issue which the Government should look into seriously. We have water problems all over. I know in Bulawayo and I have not seen men carrying buckets, but I have seen women carrying buckets on their heads. The Government should look into this water problem and make sure that we have enough water so that our women can look after our families well. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I will be very brief and
precise. I want to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Khupe and seconder, Hon. Mpariwa for bringing in a very noble and good motion. I
urge Hon. Khupe to listen also as I debate her motion. I want to just touch on a few issues that have not being raised.
Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic and national boundaries worldwide. An estimated one in every three women
Mr. Speaker will experience physical and sexual violence in her lifetime. Gender-based violence undermines health, dignity, security and the autonomy of its victims. So, it should not really be underestimated, yet it remains enshrouded in a culture of silence. Victims of sexual violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health as a consequence. It includes force and unwarranted pregnancy, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula as has been alluded to, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and even death.
As I debate, I want to say included in this 16 Days of Genderbased Violence Activism Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to recognise during these days, the mainstreaming of all gender issues within these days.
Why do I say so? This is because insufficient housing can undermine issues of gender Mr. Speaker Sir. Issues of housing if they are not brought into the fore can increase gender-based violence. Why do I say so? In Chegutu West in particular and Zimbabwe in general, the issues to do with single quarters should be abolished. These single quarters should be upgraded to meet global based standards of housing and efficient and effective housing policies. They should be upgraded.
The issue that touches on single quarters where the mother and father, grandfather and grandmother, nephew and cousins living in one single quarter undermines people’s dignity and livelihood of women because women are the ones that remain in the homes to take care of the family and husband who would have gone to fend for the family. Really, if those four corners are defined as a one room, they are both traumatic to the women who remain in the house to fend for the family in terms of defending the home.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to touch on the economy emancipation of women as it relates to companies that used to employ multitudes of people. As long as it is not addressed in that manner where we rejuvenate, resuscitate and rehabilitate these companies, we are not going to end gender-based violence in a long time. The issue that immediately comes to mind is David Whitehead Textiles Mr. Speaker Sir, which used to employ 4 300 strong people. As long as it is not rehabilitated or resuscitated and is left in the hands of the Judicial Manager, we are not going to end gender-based violence because we have removed economic emancipation from the formal marginalised black majority.
So, the person that bears the brunt of all this is the woman Mr. Speaker who is left to fend for the kids and look out for the livelihood of the children, including herself and the dignity of the man. So, really we need to bring to the fore such issues, rehabilitating, rejuvenating entities such as ZISCO Steel which used to employ more than 5 000 strong men at its peak. We need to take seriously such issues when we talk of resuscitation of industry. As long as we do not resuscitate such industries, we are not going to undermine gender-based violence. As long as we do not rehabilitate and resuscitate companies as Mashava and Shabanie Mines, which used to employ more than 7 000 people, we will not remove from our society gender-based violence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Cold Storage Commission used to employ more than 4 700 people at its peak. Where did the women of that era go to? They went and retired to their homes to face gender-based violence because there is no longer any economic benefit that accrues to that home, except maybe just conjugal rights, copulation and more copulation. We need to rehabilitate NRZ in the same way we are going to rehabilitate and rejuvenate ZISCO Steel. I want to say in 1980, NRZ used to employ 18 000 people. I speak so knowledgeable of that fact because I am the Chairperson of your Committee of Transport and
Infrastructure Development. In the 90s, it used to employ more than 12 000 strong men. Where did all these people go to? They went back to their homes to engage in public and domestic gender-based violence on their women because they no longer have any other way of economic emancipation. So we need to make sure that when we speak about the resuscitation of NRZ, we know and are cognisant of the fact that we need to do it vociferously, efficiently, effectively and without delay in order to defend our women from gender based violence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of small to medium enterprises as the economy is skewed towards the informal sector. Small to medium enterprises employs more than 80 percent of women in our economy in our country. So, as we try to formalise the informal sector and to stop gender based violence, let us not forget to capacitate the small to medium enterprises where a lot of our women have now gone into. When we talk of the small to medium enterprises we need to take a cue from Brazil who turn the whole street of Samora Machel from 0300hrs to 2200hrs so that our women can sell their wares unimpeded. We do not only emancipate our economy but also empower the woman because what men can do women can do better – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
Mr. Speaker Sir, in issue do to with agriculture, I want to take you to Chegutu West where I implore town council and urban council in particular not to slash urban agricultural oriented maize gardens. They should not slash them because women in those towns and urban set up will just be trying to fend for their families. As long as there is no food in the house, and as long as there is no Bond note or US$, there is bound to be violence and more violence; so, arising from that subsistence farming can arise empowerment of the girl-child and the woman in the home set up.
If you want to know what you can always find in the home is a woman. Sometimes you might not find a man because 9 times out of 10, they are in mugwavava where they are indulging in artisanal mining and chikorokoza. You are sure to always 9 times out of 10 to find the woman in the home whether there is and whether there is not any food to provide to their family. Women are called pain killers and stress relievers and if they cannot relieve the stress and relieve the pain of the man, the man takes it out on them and they start indulging and engaging in gender based violence. So, the fairer sex should be empowered in terms of their agricultural subsistence produce.
What comes to mind immediately is the issue of one sack or 50kgs of AN, 1 sack or 50kgs of D fertilizer and 10kgs of seed which can plough and plant 0.4 of hectare. So, all urban institutions and urban set ups should benefit from this presidential free input so that we empower deliberately our women to engage and indulge in subsistence farming and we remove the stress and strain from our supermarkets. This can go a long way in reducing and retarding on the gender based violence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to touch on just five issues. The issue of water rights that was touched on where women go with buckets on top of their heads to go either to boreholes in order to fend for the families in terms of water. What urban councils in particular in Chegutu can do is they own land and what they can do is to trade land for drilling of boreholes so that we can have water for exchange of land. We can use what we have to get what we want in order to empower our women. As long as there is water there is going to be women’s rights because what is human rights is women’s rights.
Secondly, what you need to deal with is empowerment of women in terms of the mining sector. When this Mines and Minerals Act comes into Parliament you need to repeal Section 68 that outlaws prospecting without licence. In my Constituency there are 10 people including 5 women that have been incarcerated for 10 years without an option of a fine because they were found digging in the back of their hut and were charged with prospecting without a licence. So, it is women who bear the brunt of these archaic, moribund, historic and antiquated laws that are embedded in our Act and we need to repeal them, we need to bring here the Mines and Mineral Act, tear it, remove all the software and just leave the framework and input what it is that we want for the good of our women.
Lastly, as long as we adhere to women’s rights we adhere to our national agenda for sustainable, socio-economic transformation which feeds into the SADC industrialization agenda which in turn also feed into the continental agenda 2063 and ultimately to the sustainable development goal number 5 of the sustainable development goals. I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity and say to you Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you and happy Mother’s Day and happy 16 Days of Gender Based Activism and happy, happy Christmas.
HON. MATUKE: Mr. Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. D. SIBANDA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume, Tuesday, 29th November, 2016.
On the motion of HON. MATUKE seconded by HON. NDUNA,
the House adjourned at Six minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 29th November, 2016.