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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 24 OCTOBER 2019 46-04
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 24th October, 2019
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
PETITION RECEIVED FROM TIMOTHY CHITAMBURE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have the following announcements – Hon. Zhou and your colleague please be attentive. I wish to advise the House that on 9th October 2019, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from Timothy Chitambure of Community Water Alliance beseeching Parliament to exercise its constitutional mandate to safeguard the right of Zimbabweans to safe, clean and portable water. The petition has been referred to the Portfolio Committees on Lands,
Agriculture, Water and Climate and Rural Resettlement and Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing.
APPOINTMENTS TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES
THE HON. SPEAKER: The second announcement - I have to inform the House of the following appointments to Portfolio Committees:
Hon. Mliswa to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Public
Accounts and Energy and Power Development;
Hon. Matambanadzo to serve on the Portfolio Committees on
Mines and Mining Development and Industry and International Trade;
Hon. B. Dube to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Mines and Mining Development and Budget and Finance;
Hon. S. Mguni to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Lands,
Agriculture, Climate and Water and Health and Child Care;
Hon. Chiduwa to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Budget and
Finance and Industry and Commerce.
INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ANTI-SANCTIONS
THE HON. SPEAKER: The next announcement - I have to inform the House that all Members of Parliament are cordially invited to participate in the anti-sanctions march on Friday 25th October, 2019. The march will commence from the Robert Mugabe Square and proceed to the National Sports Stadium at 0800 hours. The bus will leave Parliament at 0715 hours. Hon. Members are urged to be punctual.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.
Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, a very good afternoon to you. May I humbly refer you to the incidence of yesterday, I think it is proper that you as the Chair when you make decisions we must respect. However, at the same time, we, as Parliamentarians are human and make mistakes. I want you to take cognizance of Section 129(k) of the Constitution which unfortunately whips Members of Parliament. I say so because some of the decisions which Members of Parliament make here are from the leadership in the party and not from themselves. It is therefore important Mr. Speaker Sir that when decisions are made, this be put into consideration. It is true that His Excellency, Cde. E. D.
Mnangagwa is the Head of State and being the Head of State, it consists of the three pillars which are the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive. You are the head of Parliament and in heading Parliament we must be seen to be independent and I must say Mr. Speaker Sir, you did show that in the Eighth Parliament when all Members here united in the impeachment process of the former President R.G. Mugabe. I say so because I am one who seconded your election to be in that Chair and I still stick by it because I think you are a man of honour. At a time when you could have succumbed to pressure but you did not. I am aware of the fact that even the former late President tried to call you just before our sitting on the impeachment which was moved by Hon. Mutsvangwa from the Upper House seconded by Hon. Maridadi from the MDC. I say so in order to illustrate the unity that this Parliament is exhibited. The impeachment process went smoothly despite many pressures. If there is any time that you could have succumbed, it was that time, but you being the Leader of this House, guided His Excellency in saying we are an independent institution, as such the business of the day will continue. Cabinet is Cabinet but Cabinet cannot override the law. We have oversight over Cabinet in terms of our role.
It is therefore important that the Chairperson of Cabinet is the President. A lot of resolutions and decisions are made in Parliament for the purpose of implementing the policies and other matters be it a law, Cabinet still comes to Parliament for a law to be passed and so forth. I would like to appeal to your conscience Mr. Speaker Sir, that we are the only institution which the nation looks up to in dealing with many issues and the decision you made. It is an appeal because there is also a word called meekness, which means despite having the power you still watch people do what they do but you have the power. It is a word which I think is befitting for this moment that you as the Chair have so much power to do so much but at times it is important to allow people to do what they do while you watch.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I close by saying that the Members of Parliament on this side clearly when they disrespect the President - you chaired, you made a ruling on the allowances. At this point in time, I think it was unfair for the Hon. Minister, the Leader of Government Business to bring in the issue of them disregarding the President because there is no evidence as of yesterday which showed that they disregarded the President. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Can I be protected Sir?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, can you allow the Member to conclude?
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, you are a lawyer, you are an Advocate and I say so because there is no compelling evidence of yesterday which they did leading to disregarding the President. It was historical and not of yesterday. So, if at all they disregarded the President yesterday, I think a decision would have been taken.
Therefore, I appeal to you Mr. Speaker Sir for the good of this
Parliament and for the Leader that you have been, to be able to forgive. Forgiveness is also part of leadership because we have a lot more to do as parliamentarians in uniting this country. I therefore ask for your conscience in this regard to make a decision which will leave us united and not divided. I thank you Sir.
Hon. Matambanadzo having stood up to support Hon. Mliswa THE HON. SPEAKER: You do not support a point of privilege.
There are two aspects that you have mentioned and the first one refers to Section 129(k) of the Constitution. If that is an impediment to the participation, rather democratic participation of the Hon. Members from both sides, it is up to the House through their own measures to convince those that need to be convinced that the provision be amended. I am aware of one country that used to suffer from the same, but in the end it was decided that the primary accountability template for Members of Parliament must arise first and foremost from the electorate in a particular constituency. Accordingly, they achieved that amendment. So, it is up to the Hon. Members if they feel so convinced that they should negotiate for the amendment of Section 129(k) of the Constitution which relates basically to the whipping system.
As for the second part of your appeal, I shall review my decision and I need time to think about it very deeply so that I can come back and see what needs to be done in terms of the implications of our processes here in Parliament and outside Parliament when we are embarking on our Committee processes. So, I noted your concern.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Sir.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 3 be stood over until Orders of the Day, Nos. 4 and 5 have been disposed of.
HON. KWARAMBA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ADDRESS
Fourth Order read: Adjourned motion in reply to the Presidential
Question again proposed.
*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on the Presidential Speech. I am happy to be debating the Presidential Speech, especially on the issue of our roads.
We are happy with what the President said in terms of rehabilitating our roads. We are happy that funds are being allocated to
ZINARA in order to address the poor roads and this is all because of the President for example, in Rushinga my Constituency. I also want to thank the President on the issue of devolution funds. The issue of devolution had not yet been implemented and the money availed will assist us to build infrastructure such as clinics, schools and other infrastructure because we had lagged behind.
I thank the President for the drought relief that was given to our people. Considering Rushinga and nationwide, people were experiencing challenges and facing poverty, but now the situation is much better because of the President’s words that, no one would die of hunger. People are able to access food aid and I want to thank the
President for this initiative. I am sure that in this august House you heard about the challenges in Rushinga concerning water. In Rushinga, people were travelling long distances in search of water and they got water from boreholes and shallow wells. The President intervened and there was drilling of borehole project done in Rushinga. So Vision 2030 of a middle income economy is achievable.
I also want to mention the issue of agriculture. Inputs in most parts of the country have been distributed and this has been done on time. So I want to thank the President for supporting the agricultural sector. I want to conclude by saying that the President stressed the work of
Parliament should proceed. So I want to thank the President and Commander-In-Chief for the work that he is doing for us to achieve the 2030 Agenda. I thank you.
^^HON. MABOYI: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me
this opportunity. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the President, in his speech he mentioned different issues like the State of the Nation Address (SONA). In his speech he mentioned the issue of development and we have witnessed development taking place in our country Zimbabwe.
I would like to talk about Beitbridge town, there is development that is happening in Beitbridge town through the efforts of our President Hon. Emerson Mnangagwa. So I just want to thank him for the development. In addition, we have developed looking at Zhobe Dam which is in Beitbridge area, whereby more than 250 families were given small fields to plough maize, vegetables and other hot cultural products. People are planting tomatoes and vegetables for consumption and resale, which is the best for the people of Zimbabwe.
His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa also spoke about devolution and this will help in empowering people in different districts. We have witnessed development from the top to the community - let us clap for him. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – President. E. D. Mnangagwa is the kind of person who loves everyone. He always talks about unity and encourages foreigners to come and help us. We have to work together with foreign nationals for the development of our nation.
An Hon. Member having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member on the floor.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member,
may you please come back. You are not allowed to pass between the Chair and the Hon. Member on the floor. Hon. Maboyi, you may proceed.
HON. MABOYI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this
opportunity. I am still talking about devolution as it is going to bring change from Harare to the different provinces and districts. This is why I am saying that I would like to thank Hon. Emerson Mnangagwa for the development that he is taking to different communities. When our President talks about development, he talks about schools, universities, polytechnics, colleges, vocational national centres and this helps in bringing development in different places and this can afford our children to go to different universities and colleges to upgrade their education. His Excellency the President always talks about the agriculture issue.
There is what we call Command Agriculture. There is a change when you are looking at Command Agriculture sector. We are now going to the banks to get the loans for us to keep on developing ourselves through agriculture and thereafter we have to pay back those loans.
Under the Command Agriculture we are also being given fertilizers and cotton seeds for those who cannot afford to buy seeds like rapoko. For those who cannot afford to buy the seed for these grain they are getting assistance from the Command Agriculture project where they given seeds and fertilizers so that they can keep on providing the nation with food. We would like to encourage everyone to see the development which is being done under the leadership of His Excellency, the
President E. D. Mnangagwa. We are really grateful to have such a President in our country because he does not even look at the face of a person. He is someone who is always talking about unity. Let us applaud him. I am saying His Excellency the President is doing well, let us applaud him.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Maboyi, you are not
allowed to do code switching.
^^HON. MABOYI: I was trying to help some other Members of
Parliament so that they could understand what I am really trying to put across about the developments which are happening as a result of His
Excellency’s leadership and guidance. We are looking at people who are staying in rural communities, they are getting development through different projects. When you are looking at communities under the Matabeleland South Province, they get help when you are looking at the water issue. They drilled boreholes for those communities. His Excellency is also helping us so that our livestock get better grazing areas. He also assists especially for us who come from Matabeleland South.
Under the development of the Zhobe Dam in Beitbridge, we are always getting assistance for us to keep on with our irrigation programmes. When you look at the education sector, he is always encouraging different schools in the area so that the children may learn different languages like Tonga, Venda, Shangani, Kalanga and other national languages so that children can be able to understand what the teacher is saying at different schools, especially when you are looking at infant schools. Thank you so much Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate in Venda.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much for this opportunity.
On 1st October 2019, the President presented his State of the Nation Address. The President talked about the 2030 Vision and TSP as the building blocks for the transformation that is so needed. In the 2030 Vision we are also coming from a number of blueprint documents,
ESAP being one and Zim Asset being the other. We have jumped to the TSP which is the current one. The question that lies is, were any of these successful at any given time? If they were not successful, what is it that made them not successful?
The reason why I say this is that there is a need to review any blueprint document which is there. The economy certainly has not been good because of many reasons, Cyclone Idai being one of them. How then can we still be on course in terms of 2030 with such major happenings in a country which affect the economy? The expenditure which was then extended to these disasters was never budgeted for. You have a situation where you now have got to find money to be able to pump into these unforeseen and unplanned circumstances which are there.
My question is, are the ministers really informing the President correctly because 2030 Vision is not where it is supposed to be unless a miracle happens. We now do not know this year in terms of the draught again whether there shall be a drought. If there is a drought then we are backwards and not forwards. That must be put into consideration.
The President in his State of the Nation Address was very confident in talking about a surplus. To me it is those who are informing him who are misinforming him because how can you have a surplus where there is inflation? There is no ways economically and to me it is important that we stop misinforming the President in that regard. It is important that those ministers who are informing the President that there is a surplus and yet there is inflation; we had a situation where we had the US dollar which was the currency at the time. Everything in Zimbabwe is pegged in US dollars. We have seen that. When the bond note was in circulation, it was 1:3, three being the most.
When the RTGS was introduced, it went up and it kept going up.
The question that is then asked is Dr Mangudya at the time and Minister
Chinamasa then, were very consistent about the bond note. Then came Professor Mthuli, he then introduced the RTGS and the rate went up. It is important for us in reviewing to then say which was the best? Was it the bond note which was trading at three or the RTGS which is now trading at 25 on the black market? I say so because we cannot keep on misinforming the President about the economic situation of the country.
The question here lies in when will the rates stabilise? There is no injection of foreign currency, which is coming and for as long as there is no injection of foreign currency any Government is allowed to print to resuscitate the economy. For as long as the printing goes into the productive sector, then it makes sense. The productive sector is agriculture where we believe we must grow so that we do not import.
We are importing so much and what is happening is that we do not have the figures as to how much we are importing. We are being told right now that the maize which is coming into Zimbabwe from Tanzania, whether it is true or not, is at US$600 per tonne, yet the farmers who are battling are not even getting half of that. How then do we have a situation which we are paying more for importing and we are not paying more for our farmers who are producing? Why can we not equally pay our farmers in foreign currency, yet we are prepared to pay foreign currency to other countries to grow their economy and their agricultural sectors?
It is about time that farmers are given their proceeds in foreign currency throughout. Once they are given their money in foreign currency, it becomes an incentive for them to keep growing. The tobacco farmers for example, whilst we had the highest yield of tobacco since Zimbabwe was born, which was over 250 million, the best was in 2000 when the commercial farmers were there, they produced 232 million. Unless the Members of Parliament follow events, tobacco is a critical sector in the economy. This year, it went up to 252 million, surpassing the year 2000 production, but despite that, the farmers are poor. So, to me, the question is that; who then at the end of the day is benefitting when the farmers are not benefitting? It is important. The farmers were told that they would be given 50% in foreign currency, it never came through. Right now some of them will probably not grow tobacco because they were expecting foreign currency to be able to cover some of their costs, some have children studying overseas and they also need to buy spare parts for their implements. It is only in foreign currency that they are able to buy that.
Madam Speaker, we equally have the Stock Exchange which is supposed to unlock value. However, if you look at it right now, there is no one who can invest in the Stock Exchange when the situation remains the same. It is important that the Stock Exchange becomes a barometre for any economic recovery, it tells you whether the economy is pumping or not pumping and our Stock Exchange is not pumping and as a result, it reflects a lot on where we are as an economy. This means investors find it very difficult to invest in a country where the Stock Exchange is no longer a vehicle for investment.
Madam Speaker, I want to commend the President for the $1.8 billion for the strategic crops. For a very long time, strategic crops were never a key issue. When the commercial farmers had these farms, they started getting into game parks, game farming and horticulture. That is the reason why the Land Reform was a necessary measure so that we could grow what we needed at the end of the day and maize is one such strategic crop which has been given some money. However, the question is; there is a drought, how then do we guarantee a bumper harvest when we have not done enough in terms of cloud seeding? Not only that, I am told from some of the farmers whom I work with that cloud seeding is becoming difficult again when we have a drought. The question is; how much money are we spending in these inputs, vis-a-vis, the amount of money that we are going to spend in inputs where we are not guaranteed a bumper harvest.
Madam Speaker, my thinking is; why then do we not put our house in order and ensure that there is irrigation in the farms that have water, rehabilitate the irrigation system, be sure of the rainfall pattern and be able to give the farmers input? As I speak, the inputs which are given to the farmers are sold; we all receive them on the black market. The fuel is sold as well as the fertilizer because they realise that their profit is in the selling and not in the growing because the weather patterns, the rains will not come. So, what is the point of the farmer taking a risk of planting when there is not going to be rainfall?
It is important as a result for us to be very clear in terms of the rainfall pattern; what exactly will be the pattern this season? The Ministry of Agriculture, the Meteorological Department has got to really give hope to the farmers. The only thing that can give hope to the farmers is if we know how the rainfall pattern will be this season. I also want to thank the President for Command Agriculture. However, when farmers do not harvest and there is a rainfall pattern, how then can they pay their money back? Government needs to come in and see how best they can cushion the farmers in that regard. The only sector internationally that you can subsidise is agriculture because that is the backbone of this country and farmers in this country have no subsidy whatsoever. It is important as a result, for us to then understand that the money that the farmers owe Command Agriculture, how do they pay it back when their harvest was not what they expected. What is Government doing to try and cushion the farmers and so on? Why should the farmer who suffered because of the rainfall pattern not be given a contract to grow again, it was not his fault. So the Government must be very clear in terms of the criteria because as a farmer who was given inputs and grew the crop but there was a drought and when they go and apply for Command Agriculture inputs, they are told, ‘you owe money, you need to pay,’ yet that was not their fault. We need to be very clear on this so that we move forward and so on.
We also have strategic crops like wheat where we have got farms with so much water, dams are there and there is not much happening and so on. Government must ensure that it goes into these farms, there are field officers who are working for the Government and we should be able to recommend that there is a Farm X and try and get those farmers involved in a sort of cooperative or consortium to be able to make that land productive so that wheat and soya are grown and at the end of the day, they are able to get their proceeds in a very organised way. Farming is a business. At the end of the day, if we do not encourage our farmers to create companies, to have consortiums or syndicates, it will become a problem. The former white farmers who were on this land never did it alone. In the Country Clubs, that is where they agreed on the price and spoke about what to grow and where the market was easily available and so on.
So, we have a dilemma in that we need to satisfy our own market first. Once we satisfy our own market, then we are able to export. From an agricultural point, we are blessed with good vegetation and climate; we have non-GMO products that we grow which the whole world is after. Sainsbury’s and Max & Spencer supermarkets were some of the supermarkets in England which were getting products from Zimbabwe. We need to go back and also resuscitate the horticultural industries. United Arab Emirates (UAE), they do not have land there and what are we doing in terms of synchronising with them to be able to grow the products that they need. This is because they have the foreign currency but they do not have the land and we have the land to grow what they want. There was no indication of us engaging them from an economic point of view. The engagement which is happening is a political one and a political engagement does not bring food to the table.
Talking about the political engagement which the President equally mentioned, it is equally important for the President to appreciate that the current engagement with the Americans and the British is not yielding anything and I do not know why they continue to engage with people who have already shut the door for them. It is a waste of money, we are looking foolish in many ways and so on.
The anti-sanctions march which we are having and we are trying to persuade the Americans to lift the sanctions, they have already made a statement and yet resources have gone in mobilising people. Why can we not read the writing on the wall, that America will not support this current Government but let this Government move on with what it has to do at the end of the day? The Smith regime defeated the sanctions through the infrastructure…
HON. MATANGIRA: Point of order.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa.
HON. MATANGIRA: My point of order Madam Speaker is, the debate is about the Presidential Speech and not sanctions. We are talking of a motion that is awaiting debate. That is my point of order.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You may go ahead Hon.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for that decision that you have made. The aspect of re-engagement was in the State of the Nation Address (SONA). Unfortunately, some cannot read and I cannot help them read at this stage or allow them to go to school.
They must read. The re-engagement was there in the SONA address and I am debating on the SONA. I am debating on the SONA, a motion which was moved by Hon. Sacco and seconded by Hon. Svuure. The problem of the Hon. Member is that he changes his smoking habits. He smokes different – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is about time that he is consistent with what he smokes.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, that is unparliamentary. Hon. Mliswa!
HON. T. MLISWA: He is very inconsistent with his smoking. I do not know what he smoked today again.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is unparliamentary.
Hon. Mliswa! Please stick to the debate.
HON. T. MLISWA: Alright. Madam Speaker, the re-engagement process which the Government has been going on about has yielded no results. The Americans and the British are very clear in terms of their position of Zimbabwe but we keep forcing ourselves to them. They have embassies here but the Government has spent $2 million hiring a
PR person in America to network with embassies instead of us putting that money into very important sectors and so forth. We have got hospitals which have no medicines, no proper bedding and where nurses are not well remunerated but we are seen paying a PR person to go and convince the Americans that the sanctions must go and so forth. The reengagement process is not yielding any results and as a result...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are left with five minutes Hon. Mliswa.
HON. T. MLISWA: It is not yielding any results at all and it is about time that this Government made a decision like the former President, the late Robert Mugabe had done with all his faults. He was very consistent that, we do not want the Americans and the British and we are not working with them; we are pursuing the Look East policy and so forth.
This Government must be very clear in terms of the policies that it is pursuing. Is it the western policy or is it the eastern policy? They seem to be running away from the East going to the West but they are the very same Government who attacked the opposition for going West.
Have they decided to be in the same basket? I now do not know – because when you talk about America or Britain, that is the West policy that you are going for.
It is important that presidential inputs are not politicised at the end of the day – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
HON. T. MLISWA: It is important that presidential inputs are not at all politicised at the end of the day. There is a company which the Public Accounts Committee mentioned – FSG. This company is owned by a Scottish man and in him being Scottish, he has been given a five year contract without even going to tender to supply inputs of about 100 million every year. It is important that he be investigated because the corruption aspect that the President spoke about is seen in FSG. We can talk about Sakunda and many other companies but the elephant in the room is FSG which has been given a five year contract and is being paid 100 million dollars. Not only that – it is paid 60% in foreign currency upfront. So it is important that while we deal with the presidential inputs, we also deal with the aspect of corruption.
The aspect of the A1 and A2 farming areas – I think the President was very clear in terms of the Land Commission embarking on its job. The sooner that they deal with these problems the better. I think Parliament here will agree that the illegal people in these areas are not helping in terms of productivity that we are supposed to do and A1 model must be an A1 where 13 hectares is for cattle grazing but that 13 hectares has been sold by certain people – politicians, traditional leaders and councillors in giving people. How do we empower that farmer when his land has been taken away? While we have taken land from the whites, we seem to be taking it away....
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time is up Hon.
HON. BITI: I move that the Hon. Member’s time of debating be
extended by five minutes.
HON. CHIKUKWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You may go ahead Hon.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and I am indebted to all the Members of Parliament for allowing me to continue debating.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: And I am giving you ten
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am giving you five minutes.
HON. T. MLISWA: The sooner that we give leases to farmers, it is important. There is no point for leases and offer letters anymore. The only way for these farmers to get money from the bank is title deeds. We own the land; it is ours – why can we not get title deeds? We now need to go to the next level. The white farmers got money through title deeds.
They never got money through offer letters because of the political
nature of offer letters – I being an example. When I was expelled from ZANU PF, they wanted to get my farm again. So what does my farm got to do with my livelihood?
It is important for these members to support this because they are the ones who are on the firing squad. It is important that we depoliticise land and de-politicising land, there must be title deeds that must be given and so forth.
In terms of the mining sector which the President talks about – US$12 billion; it is important that we understand when that US$12 billion will be circulating. There have been mega deals which have been signed but we have seen nothing in terms of even ten million. Here Hon. Chasi who is the Minister of Energy is looking for $86 million to pay off the debt but we talk about $12 billion mining industry. Why can those companies that have contracts with the Government not also advance a payment to a strategic entity like energy? We now start to wonder – are these companies genuine or not because it is important that they pump money into a sector which is important and I think energy needs money and so forth.
Why are we still conforming ourselves to the IMF and
World Bank? These are western companies which have no time. ESAP was as a result of IMF and World Bank. The only recommendation that they come with is change this and that. We had the IMF and World
Bank recommending again during the former President, the Late R.G. Mugabe – Dr. Gono was the Governor. He was said to have paid some money and was supposed to get more money and so forth. There is no economy in this world that has benefited from IMF or World Bank money. There has never been. The only thing that they do is - they tie you by their neck so that you follow what they are doing, cutting down this and that. IMF and World Bank do not have to come here anymore because the conditions that they are expecting this Government to conform with, it will never conform because things are changing all the time and so forth.
Lastly, I would like to also talk about the indigenisation. It was scrapped by the Ministry of Finance. That is the saddest point of this country. We had gained so much by local communities being empowered but now there is nothing that our people own. The Constitution itself is very clear about the empowerment of local communities and today those companies which were one in community ownership trust, especially the Chinese companies are now disrespecting our people .....
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time is up Hon.
Mliswa, please wind up.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I want to say that indigenisation must come back. That is the only thing that can empower our people – that is the only thing that they have. If you look at
ZIMPLATS, Mimosa or Unkie, those are community ownership trusts. The President was misled by people who were working against him coming up with these western policies which are now destroying the legacy of this country. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity and a very good day to you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. CHOMBO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 29th October, 2019.
REMOVAL OF ILLEGAL SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON ZIMBABWE
HON. NYATHI: I move the motion in my name that-
COGNISANT that the 39th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, strongly condemned the prolonged adverse illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West and unequivocally called for their unconditional removal;
MINDFUL that SADC has always been calling for the immediate
lifting of sanctions to facilitate the socio-economic recovery of the country leading to the resolution to declare the 25th October, 2019 as the date on which SADC Member States collectively voice their disapproval of the illegal sanctions through various activities and platforms;
DEEPLY CONCERNED with the duplicity by the West and its allies who are masking the protracted illegal regime change agenda under the guise of targeted sanctions;
GRAVELY DISTURBED that the so called targeted sanctions have brought untold suffering to ordinary Zimbabweans through de- industrialisation resulting in high levels of unemployment among many other economic challenges;
WORRIED that the crippling sanctions have affected all spheres of our economic and social services through the ever increasing skills flight which has decimated all meaningful development in the last two decades;
NOTING with disdain the arrogant unilateralism and disrespect for the rule of law of countries that illegally imposed sanctions on
- Calls upon the United States of America, the European Union and its allies to urgently and unconditionally remove the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe at their instigation as these have resulted in horrendous suffering of the ordinary
- Resolves that dialogue be given a chance and that the perpetrators be encouraged by the collective voice of the SADC region to urge their governments to lift all forms of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe;
- Applauds the SADC region for rising with one voice in support of the unconditional and immediate removal of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
HON. CHIKUKWA: I second.
HON. NYATHI: Madam Speaker, in the year 2001, the USA imposed illegal and unjustified sanctions under Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) of 2001. In March 2003, America imposed on us the executive sanctions while the European
Union also introduced its own sanctions against us in February 2002. ZIDERA is an Act of Parliament and in order to be lifted needs to go through a repealing process. While executive orders are renewed annually and are brought about by a specific decree by the President, in this case the American President, the executive order targets specific individuals and entities viewed to be working or supporting the Government. A total of 141 entities as well as senior Government executives and senior executives in the defence forces were placed on such sanctions.
The economic sanctions are part of a strategic neo colonial era in which former colonial powers continue clutching to vain glories of the past. Sanctions have invariably been used as a foreign policy tool designed to subjugate former colonies into compliance and submission to imperial demands. Washington’s sanctions have become an epidemic that is now defeating the original purpose that sanctions should solve.
Sanctions stop international financial institutions like IMF, World Bank and ADB from offering credit lines to our country and this impacts negatively on our balance of payment. America’s shareholdings structure in these institutions is such that they command over 70%. This therefore means even when other shareholders wish to grant a country the credit, the one with more shareholding determines who should be given and who should not.
It is important to note that Zimbabwe was not placed on sanctions because of poor human rights, poor rule of law or poor governance issues but you will realise that sanctions were effected after the Land Reform Programme of 2000. What is disturbing is that these sanctions are aimed at reversing land reform yet all Zimbabweans are in full support of the land reform. Land reform is a sovereign choice of all Zimbabweans, even opposition politics never challenged or doubted the legitimacy of land reform.
Opposition politicians are simply calling for a forensic audit and transparency in land redistribution. Land redistribution is a legitimate justification for dismantling…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Muponora order.
HON. NYATHI: If it is just for colonialism and imperialism, so why should Zimbabwe be put under sanctions? It remains incomprehensible – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
HON. NYATHI: All other reasons that may be given, it is simply trying to hide behind one’s own figure. Sanctions make Zimbabwean companies find it extremely difficult to access offshore lending, thus crippling their operations. Where they manage to secure offshore financing, it is usually at punitive and exorbitant interest rates – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPURY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, order. Hon.
HON. NYATHI: Interest rates that will in the end make our products uncompetitive on a world market. Sanctions have an effect of having sustained decline in long term capital inflows. This has a ripple effect on a country’s employment levels and its ability to provide basic goods and services to its people which has an effect of a declining standard of living of our people, de-industrialisation begins, skills, emigration of labour starts and a country will suffer from brain drain.
The Unites States of America treasury office of foreign assets control fined Zimbabwean commercial banks. The effect was that during the period 2008, credit visa cards or master cards were prohibited and action was taken to put most of our Zimbabwean banks on sanctions. This had a serious effect as no credit lines could be accessed from these banks for fear of being placed under fines by the United
States of America.
These sanctions also affected us badly in agriculture. Several key institutions with direct influence to agriculture sector such as the international fund for agriculture development were stopped after the imposition of sanctions. Industry and manufacturing sector was heavily wounded due to high cost of borrowing and each sector of our economy was affected adversely by these sanctions. America and its allies went as far as influencing the world press to demonise Zimbabwe, thereby creating a negative unsubstantiated wrong perception on Zimbabwe and its people.
In conclusion Madam Speaker, these unjustified and illegal sanctions have violated basic human rights by directly perpetuating hunger and poverty in Zimbabwe and against sustainable development goals. They have caused the marginalised vulnerable groups to sink deeper into poverty; thus women, children, widows, orphans, the less privileged people living with disabilities and the unemployed face increased challenges. Sanctions have hard-hit the marginalised and vulnerable people more than the so called targetted. The intended effect is on regime change in this country by our detractors and not to do with poor human rights or governance.
Now that we have moved over to the new dispensation thrust on engagement and re-engagement, sanctions are out of date and irrelevant to the situation prevailing in Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, I wish to address the Americans that from one who is from the cradle role to the oldest, they have four words that they respect more than any other words and these words, we even find them on their currency ‘ In God we trust’. My message is the God of the Americans is the God of the Zimbabweans; the God of the Americans is the God of the Nigerians, Asians and the God of everyone. So, like the writer of the Bible once said in the book of Psalms 24:1, in Shona it says ‘nyika yose nekuzara kwayo ndeya Jehovah nevese vageremo’, and in
English it says ‘The world and its fullness belongs to the Lord even they that dwell therein’ so we are all the works of the Lord, we came from his hands and we all are descendants of Adam.
If you take some blood samples whether from an Australian, Nigerian, Zambian or anyone on planet earth, you will not be able to distinguish whether this blood is for an aborigine or for a particular person living in a particular country. Only what you can distinguish is the different blood groups whether you are O positive, O negative, et cetera - which means that we are all one people. We believe in a heaven where an American is also going to one heaven and as Zimbabweans we are going to one heaven. My call is if the Americans trust in one God the
God that we trust, there is no reason for them to give sanctions to
Zimbabwe – [HON. MLISWA: Why reengagements.] –
May you embrace the able words of my President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa when he speaks on his famous mantra ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’. When have created an enabling environment for everyone to come and invest in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is endowed with several mineral resources, some of which we have not even discovered. Zimbabwe is opening its hands to everybody to come and invest in Zimbabwe. We have created an enabling environment; we are in the process of educating even our Government employees to be very good and to be very effective and efficient in matters of public relations and in matters of taking our country forward.
May I say Madam Speaker, in this new dispensation the word of advice I give to all Zimbabweans, if America and its allies refuse to lift sanctions, we have nothing to be afraid of because as long as God in on our side, we have nothing to be afraid of. God is always on our side. May I thank the SADC region for rising up with one voice in supporting the unconditional and immediate removal of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and coming up with the 25th of October, 2019 as the date on which SADC member states collectively voice their disapproval of the illegal sanctions through various activities and platforms.
Finally, I will argue and say that Zimbabwean sanctions are not smart or targeted, they are full- fledged and multilateral in that they are being molded by several countries like USA, UK, including the European Union. Madam Speaker, sanctions are real, sanctions are unfair and unjust punishment on our people and country. Sanctions are unacceptable and are evil, they must be removed. Sanctions must go – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Madam Speaker, sanctions must go, I thank you.
HON. PARADZA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I must
thank Hon. Nyathi for raising such an important motion. I think time has now come for all of us as Zimbabweans to make sure that we speak with one voice when it comes to the issue of sanctions. Whether you are opposition or not, we are all affected by sanctions. For the past 18 years, we have been affected by sanctions. It is unfortunate that some of those who called for these sanctions are brilliant lawyers who are here; one of them is here, very brilliant lawyer, a Zimbabwean, an honourable Member of this Parliament. I think he should go on a soul searching tour and make sure that he actually asks his conscience to say what we asked for in 2000 is it still relevant today?
Madam Speaker, like what Hon. Nyathi said, he has covered everything but let me give statistics. According to a study done by Government, Zimbabwe so far has lost about $42 billion in the last 18 years. This money could have changed this country if it were not for these sanctions Madam Speaker. In terms of donor support this country lost more than $4.5 billion since 2001 and also we lost about US$12 billion in terms of loans from the Bretton Woods Institutions, IMF, World Bank and other international financial institutions, it is because of sanctions. So for someone to say there are no sanctions, I do not know, but I say that is treasonous to say that.
Madam Speaker, I am also proposing that actually this Parliament must come up with a law to say any Zimbabwean who calls for sanctions on his motherland must be prosecuted, let us have a law to that effect – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – he must be prosecuted. This is very dangerous - as I said earlier, let us all have a national vision as Zimbabweans. It does not matter whether you are opposition but let us make sure that we take our country from where it is today because it has been ravaged by sanctions Madam Speaker. In terms of transactions like what Hon. Nyathi says and also Hon. Mliswa said, all our banks are not able to trade with other banks. In other words, they cannot get offshore financing with corresponding banks because of sanctions. Everything else has been closed. In terms of agriculture, according to a study done by the Reserve Bank, agriculture has gone down. We used to have possibly 16 000 tractors and now we do not have. We only have about less than 4 000 tractors and most of these are old tractors. So, how can we improve our agriculture sector if we do not have tractors and tools of trade?
Madam Speaker, the industrial sector – all the equipment we have there is old. We cannot move as a country if these sanctions remain as they are. So my appeal to our friends is that please - especially Hon. Biti, please revisit your conscience and make sure that you talk...
HON. GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. The Hon.
Member who is debating should really focus on the substance of the debate. Whilst I do appreciate – yes, because we do not want to unnecessarily raise emotions. If we start mentioning names and so on and so forth particularly on facts which are not substantiated, it is wrong and I submit that he should retract the reference to Hon. Biti. It is on record that the United States of America is a sovereign State and we have no control over decisions which are made by sovereign countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. Those countries make their own decisions and have got their own processes. At the end of the day, he must focus on the substance of the debate and withdraw his reference to Hon. Biti.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have heard your point,
please may you take your seat. Go ahead Hon. Paradza but do not mention names.
HON. PARADZA: Madam Speaker, I am stating facts. I am not going to mention names but there are Members here who are friends of the Americans and it is on record that they go to Washington very often to impress upon the Americans. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible Interjections]- I was talking to the Canadian Ambassador on Monday and he says he has never seen a society which is as polarized as this one.
Hon. Madzimure having been talking.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure, order.
HON. PARADZA: This country Madam Speaker is so polarized
and it is unfortunate that we have part of our society which believe that for change to come, it will come via some other external influence, which is wrong. Whites will never like us as blacks. It is unfortunate that we have diplomats...
Hon. Mliswa having been talking.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa.
HON. PARADZA: Madam Speaker, even if we have foreign diplomats who visit you in your dingy bungalow somewhere in St.
Mary’s, they will never like you. Actually those people want to use you so that they can achieve whatever they want to achieve. I was talking about agriculture. You will recall that in the first 20 years of our independence, the economy was moving very well. We are exporting to the region and not only to the region. We were exporting beef to Europe about 9 100 tonnes of first class beef and we were getting $50 million every year, but all this has gone because of our own people – a Zimbabwean who goes out there and calls –[HON. MLISWA: Inaudible interjection]- Hon. Mliswa, we were listening when you were debating please.
So Madam Speaker, I do not know whether it is a curse or what but if you see a Zimbabwean going to ask for sanctions from external forces who are our erstwhile colonisers to go and sleep with our colonizers to say come and punish us - that person must be punished. In terms of agriculture like horticulture, our horticulture was good. We were sending flowers to Europe every week but because of our Zimbabwean people, we no longer have that. We were getting a lot of foreign currency from there. We were also sending peas and sugar snaps to European shops. I was also a producer of sugar snaps and manqué two, I was getting foreign currency but that Madam Speaker has gone because of sanctions.
On gold, our mines have collapsed but we used to produce 27 tonnes of gold each year, but that has gone down to about possibly less than 5 tonnes. It is because our mining sector has collapsed just because some of our people, our own colleagues who are even here are supporting this. This is very wrong Madam Speaker. Right now we have 12 hours of darkness because of lack of electricity. There is a shortage of energy because ZESA cannot...
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. The
truth of the matter that we are expressing electricity problems is because of the water crisis, I think the Minister said it. –[HON. MEMBERS:
HON. PARADZA: ZESA Madam Speaker, this is because I know
about the drought which he is referring to but our own power company cannot access spares because they do not have foreign currency. We cannot import electricity right now because we have no foreign currency. All our lines of credit have been cut because of sanctions. –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
HON. PARADZA: Madam Speaker, our health sector has virtually collapsed. It has collapsed because we do not have money to go and buy drugs. It is all because of sanctions. Also, our tourism has gone down because of sanctions. We have been blacklisted as a country because of our own people who are here, who are co-habiting with our former colonisers and we are having these problems because of sanctions.
Madam Speaker, it is important and there are reasons now to say, ‘If you want us to remove these sanctions, you need to reform and have the rule of law’. Madam Speaker, this current President is a reformer.
In my discussions with our foreign diplomats, I have always asked them,
‘Who do you support? Do you support a reformer or a hardliner?’ Madam Speaker, we are reforming and the President has said, ‘let us reform’, and as agreed even in this Parliament – you know it very well. We have undertaken law reforms – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – an array of law reforms and one of them is POSA which is now MOPA.
You were here Madam Speaker and our colleagues were also here when we discussed MOPA up to about Four o’clock a.m. We never abused our numbers as the Ruling Party to call for the House to be divided – it was all by consensus and that is reform. At the end of that debate, Hon. Biti stood up and thanked Hon. Ziyambi for a job well done. So, we are together on that one – we are reforming. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – You are also talking about economic reforms and there is the ZIDA Bill that is here and is going to have a One-Stop-Shop - these are reforms. Not only that, the President has said, ‘Let us dialogue’ and called on Opposition parties to say, ‘let us come and debate so that our country moves forward’, but there is one political party that has members in here that is refusing to dialogue – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - So, what more do you want the President to do?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Paradza, you are left
with five minutes.
HON. PARADZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, we have media law reforms such as AIPPA and AIPPA is a bad law. I know that AIPPA is a bad law because it also affected me and I want to see it gone but we are coming up with good Bills such as the Freedom of Information Bill; Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill and others. So the President has said, ‘Let us reform’ and we are reforming.
What more do you want?
He has also set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to deal with the Motlanthe Commission Report – he has done that and not only that. He has also setup an Inter-Ministerial Committee to deal with the Observer Mission Reports of the 2018 Harmonised Elections and it is being dealt with. So what more reforms do you want? On top of that Madam Speaker, the President has changed the Foreign Policy. It is no longer look East policy – it has changed and he is now looking everywhere and is now saying, ‘whoever wants to come and do business with Zimbabwe, please come and do so’. So sanctions Madam Speaker, must go!
All of us as Zimbabweans, especially my colleagues from that other side – please this is your country. Tomorrow let us all go out Hon. Biti and march against sanctions – let us go out there. Sanctions are affecting all of us. You are a Zimbabwean first and foremost, do not listen to foreigners. Foreigners will never ever transform our country – no, do not do that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – So please tomorrow, I urge all of you to go out there and join the rest of the Zimbabweans – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – so that we march against sanctions.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Paradza.
*HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
We request Hon. Paradza to stop pointing at us and address the Chair please. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. PARADZA: I am emotional Madam Speaker because we have people who are our own Zimbabweans who want to destroy this country – let us not allow them to do that.
Madam Speaker, before I sit down, I am sure that our colleagues are going to discuss this in their Caucus this evening and all of us go to the National Stadium tomorrow and denounce sanctions starting now. I thank you.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise to
support the motion on the removal of sanctions. Representing women – which is why I am here in Parliament to represent women – I am saying that we have heard a lot about the issue of sanctions. What is of concern to us as women is that Zimbabwe, those that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe are the powerful countries. Most organizations that want to assist us fear to do so because of the super powers. As women, we had donors who assisted even if there was no medication, they would donate medication but because of the sanctions, they fear donating this medication.
Our company the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) which used to export beef abroad is no longer functioning and for that reason, we are losing a lot of money. There are a lot of companies that are exporting goods outside the country but for that money to be used – they cannot access it due to sanctions. Those who have children in educational tertiary institutions abroad they cannot send money to their children because of sanctions as the money will not get to the recipients.
Madam Speaker, I want to debate in this House that sanctions have resulted in unemployment and because of unemployment; most people are leaving for the diaspora. This has caused family disintegration and it is all as a result of sanctions. Medication has already been mentioned. I also want to mention that an issue was mentioned by anAssistant in the American Senate who is named Chester Kruger. He said the following – allow me to read, ‘The Zimbabwean people from ZANU PF, we are going to make their economy scream. I hope you Senators have the stomach for what you have to do’. We have all witnessed this result.
We cannot get money because our balance of payment is affected due to lack of exports. This is what the Senator was talking about and this situation does not look at which party you belong to or whether you are a Christian or not – it affects everyone. You also face challenges in getting water; you are failing to get transport and it is affecting everyone despite your political party. My request in this august House is that when we are looking at the issue of sanctions, let us fight sanctions as a united force because it is affecting everyone. We should all denounce sanctions because they are not good for the nation.
The word of God says that people who are called by name, if they unite I will hear their cry and I will assist them. I thank you.
*HON. CHIHURURU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to
debate on the issue of sanctions. In 2008, we experienced difficulties and the main political parties then formed a Government of National Unity. We used to buy bread at $1 for two loaves. The sanctions were still there but we managed to survive. The way you are talking about sanctions can be exemplified by a man who marries a wife and fails to conceive a child, and blames it on sanctions. We want to talk about the matter as it is so that we can develop our nation. I thank you.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Madam Speaker for this great opportunity you have granted me to talk about this subject which is a worthy cause. My question is, are sanctions there in Zimbabwe or not?
My unapologetic answer that I am giving you is, yes sanctions are there. While I understand that there may be some amongst us here who would not want this House to accept that there are sanctions; sanctions are there Madam Speaker. People are suffering Madam Speaker.
HON. MATEWU: On a point of order. She is actually reading a prepared speech. She is not debating the motion.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mathe, you are only
allowed to refer to your notes. You do not have to read. You only refer to your notes. You may go ahead.
+HON. MATHE: I thank you Madam Speaker. I will continue referring to my piece of paper. I do agree that amongst us there are a lot of people who do not believe that sanctions are there and that the sanctions are hurting the country. Let me tell you what causes that
Madam Speaker. The sanctions are there because we are not united as Zimbabweans. The very people who caused sanctions to be there are benefiting because of that. If this country had no sanctions, we would have developed better. Companies have closed down because of sanctions. Children go to school and pass but they cannot access any job because of sanctions. As a result, sanctions have hurt us and they should be removed.
In hospitals, we have doctors who are learned and competent but drugs and other related matters that need foreign currency are unavailable because the country has no foreign currency. We should relate with other nations, we cannot get funds from other nations. All these things are because of sanctions.
Coming to transport and buses, it is now very expensive to travel because people charge higher fares so that they can go and raise foreign currency for their cars. All this affects the ordinary man. We need to be united so that we remove sanctions. These sanctions affect everyone and they have no political boundary. We need to be organised as parliamentarians and request for the removal of sanctions. America and its friends will realise that there is need to remove sanctions. There are some people who believe that sanctions are targeted at individuals. As Members of Parliament, we should understand that sanctions should be removed. It is my request Madam Speaker that sanctions have adversely affected the country. The main objective of sanctions is that there are people who think that the Government of Zimbabwe will change overnight. Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to have a say in this House, that these sanctions are nothing when it comes to changing the Government of Zimbabwe.
For the benefit of the nation, I urge everyone to join tomorrow’s march because sanctions have an effect on the economy of Zimbabwe. The people we represent in the Parliament of Zimbabwe will be relieved since sanctions affect everyone. Most of us were using public transport to and from Bulawayo before we were given our own cars by the Government. So many MPs were finding it difficult to pay bus fares to and from Bulawayo but now we have our own cars.
I would like to thank President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa for the job well done when it comes to transport issues – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
+HON. MATHE: I urge that sanctions be removed because they
bring suffering to the people we represent in different districts. Even those who advocate that sanctions must not be removed also suffer, including the people they represent in Parliament. People should not forget where they come from because we represent innocent souls who do not know anything about the sanctions and the political issues. May our dear Lord be with us in this time of sanctions and may we be assisted in removing these sanctions because they cause a lot of suffering to the people. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Nyathi
for bringing in this motion about sanctions that are affecting our people. Our people are suffering Hon. Speaker because of sanctions. Sanctions have destroyed our economy, education and even marriages – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Sanctions that we talk about today have far reaching effects throughout the country. We have educated people in Zimbabwe with skills but they do not have anywhere to showcase their expertise because of sanctions. My main worry Hon.
Speaker is that these sanctions we all know came after the land reform. However, every move forward, some political elements went about the world encouraging our former colonisers to impose sanctions on us in order for them to get political mileage and today we have some of them in this House who have gone about, to America, to the European Union to ask for sanctions – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Zwizwai.
HON. TOGAREPI: Because we ask for sanctions, people out there whom we purport to represent are suffering. We come here to earn income as Members of Parliament from the same tax payers who are suffering because of sanctions – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – They drive some of the top-range vehicles as Members of Parliament paid for by tax payers. Hon. Speaker, when I see those who go about asking for sanctions in this House, I think this is the time that we should look into each and every one of our Members in Parliament in the eye and ask the question - ‘do you represent the people or it is personal, selfish interests? These characters Madam Speaker, I ask this House as an arm of the State to take a single position. Do we support as
Parliament sanctions or the removal of sanctions? We need a position to be taken by this Parliament.
Madam Speaker, I would want you to allow me, I felt you said,
‘some names must not be mentioned.’
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, we do not have to
HON. TOGAREPI: But these people are terrorists – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Anyone imposing sanctions or asking for sanctions to visit our people is a terrorist, terrorising our people. I am asking this House to take a position today, a position that such people should never even be allowed in this House of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Madam Speaker, we have our financial institutions. Our financial institutions today cannot trade internationally. We have a good example today, the Standard Bank. They have been fined $18 million for facilitating trade between Zimbabwe and other countries yet we have people in this House who claim to be representatives of the people who are happy to see sanctions imposed on their people – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order.
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, at the end of this debate, I
pray that we ensure that we have a resolution representative of this Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We cannot allow people who pretend to be representatives of people, who then go at night throughout the world – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
One thing that we should learn as people of Zimbabwe as well as Members of Parliament is that SADC has taken a position. They understand how sanctions are affecting our people –[HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!
HON. TOGAREPI: Many international organisations and countries have taken a position that sanctions are not good for
Zimbabwe and even for our neighbouring countries but I am surprised. I continue to be surprised that among our people and leaders – because as MPs, we lead people where we are coming from but we go about looking for those things that will damage the livelihoods of people. So Members from the Opposition, conscience must come to you – you are people of Zimbabwe and you are the same people who will enjoy the development of this country. You are equal to us and you are representatives of the people but you cannot allow your people to suffer. You have an opportunity today in this House and tomorrow when we march –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - to exorcise that ghost, that devilish mind for you to stand with the people of Zimbabwe. People are dying in hospitals because –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order Hon. Members order!
HON. TOGAREPI: You can tell that among our members in this
House, we have criminals, terrorists who are looking for disaster to visit their people and today they are opposing a position that has been taken by fellow Africans that the 25th October be set aside as a day to march against sanctions.
I pray Madam Speaker that at this sitting today, I see brothers and sisters from the opposite side –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Hon. Members as they would want to see –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – to stand up in this House and declare to the people of Zimbabwe that they are sorry for imposing sanctions. Tomorrow, I envisage a time when we are going to be marching – me and Hon. Biti –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – against sanctions. I will be with Hon. Karenyi and Hon. Mathe. We will be marching tomorrow with Hon. Temba Mliswa in
We are now going to see this Parliament – I want to take the same position that any Member of Parliament who goes around asking for sanctions must be punished–[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
interjections.] - a law must be put in place. A patriotic Act must be put in place so that we do not have people who enjoy the benefits of this
House while they ask for trouble for the people of Zimbabwe –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
Mr. Speaker Sir, as I conclude, sanctions must go. Sanctions must go and must go now. I thank you.
- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. MASENDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the
opportunity to add my voice to the removal of sanctions. I want to tell it as it is, Mr. Speaker Sir. Who brought the sanctions Mr. Speaker Sir? We have people right here seated with us, Hon. Members who went begging for sanctions. They are not even listening to the whistle that is being given in this House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me educate them on the need to have the sanctions removed - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –. We have very educated people here, including those on my right but they use their education against their own country, against their own people. People are dying, people are suffering because of people who went to beg for sanctions to be imposed illegally on Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, re-engagement is about opening up the doors that were closed by those who went to beg for sanctions. We cannot stand and fold our arms when our people are suffering because of the ills of some of us right here in this House. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to open up everyone’s mind here about the importance of reengagement. Reengagement is seeking to open the closed doors of negotiations of being able to export our products.
Honourable Speaker Sir, give us a chance, Hon. Mliswa can you give me a chance to debate quietly please. Thank you - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – SADC has come up with a plan, with 25th of October being a day that we need to tell the world that it is unfair for the sanctions to be imposed on Zimbabwe. They are illegal in that they were not sanctioned by the United Nations. They were sanctioned by the big powers. They are illegal sanctions so they have to be removed.
I need to remind people here that sanctions are actually a special warfare. It is a war that is being waged against Zimbabwe - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I support the notion that those who went begging for sanctions are terrorists. They must be treated as such, because it is causing a lot of suffering to our people. Sanctions are used to further the agenda of regime change. The Americans are using it to try and change the regime in Zimbabwe which is a regime change agenda. They are fighting a war against the innocent people to say that sanctions are targeted is to be blinkered. You are looking in one direction, not in the other direction. We want to remove the blinkers from those people today. Sanctions are not targeted. They are affecting the general people in the rural areas. We will not allow people to have these blinkers forever. That is why SADC saw it fit to declare 25th October as an anti-sanctions day against Zimbabwe. So those of us who went begging for sanctions must go back and beg for them to be removed – [Hear, hear] –
When national duty calls we must all raise our reasoning above party politics. Sanctions are a party politics gimmick. We must all raise our reasoning above party politics so that we put the nation first. The nation of Zimbabwe comes first, individuals like some of those who went to beg for sanctions do not come first. Zimbabwe comes first.
As I said in my opening speech of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament, sanctions are an evil, they are a devil. They are a demon that has to be exorcised. Sanctions are catastrophic. Our people are suffering. Go to the hospitals, there are no medicines because of the imposition of illegal sanctions against the people. You celebrate that even if you aspire to be the ruling party to come into party, are you going to rule graves when all people are dead because of sanctions? -
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
No sane person can ever go and beg, kneel on your knees for sanctions to be imposed on your country, on your own people. That is murderous. It is terrorism in one form or the other. Sanctions hurt the ordinary people. Mr. Speaker Sir, there is no corruption which is more than going to beg for sanctions for your people. Begging for sanctions is the mother of all corruption that you can ever think of - [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to go sector by sector,dissect and try to open the people’s eyes on what sanctions have done to the sectors in Zimbabwe. I will start with the health sector. The manufacturing companies that manufacture drugs are closed. They are not able to import drugs into the country. They cannot import the raw materials. People are suffering. There are no medicines because of sanctions that some of us went to beg for - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Importation of the necessary drugs, HIV for example, the Anti Retroviral drugs are hampered because some of us here look at us with the corner of their eyes and smile yet people are dying.
Let us look at industry and commerce. Foreign direct investment is hampered to come into the country. That is why we have companies not coming to invest because the funds are blocked out there. Banks that try to assist companies to bring cash into Zimbabwe are being fined. We have heard CBZ has been fined quite a lot of money –$3.8 billion, Standard Chartered Bank was fined US$18 million for having assisted companies to bring money into Zimbabwe and people smile about that.
Open your eyes, open up your mind. People think properly, see the truth
- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
Our exports for example, let us look at what has happened to the diamonds in Chiyadzwa. They have been closed out of the market because they are alleging - false allegations that there are children working in Chiyadzwa. How can we have children work in Chiadzwa yet we have a lot of adults who are not employed, we can never have that, it is not true, it is a bad gimmick. Let us look at mining, we need to retool the mining sector, we need to open up the closed mines, we need to get the latest technology to mine our diamonds and gold. We have people who do not see this, people who beg for sanctions to be imposed on an innocent nation. Look at the countries that have imposed sanctions on us, they are the big foreign powers who have imposed sanctions; they want a regime change agenda which is not achievable. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for having given me this chance.
HON. BITI: Thank you Hon. Speaker for recognizing me so that I can also add a voice to this critical debate. Hon. Speaker Sir, the issue of sanctions – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – the issue of sanctions is a key debate in our country but the starting point ...
HON. T. MOYO: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO):
What is your point of order?
HON. T. MOYO: My point of order is that the Hon. Member should excuse himself because he is an interested party – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
Some Hon. Members stood up and started making inaudible interjections. Hon. Members on both sides started singing and making inaudible interjections.
Hon. Members having continued behaving in a disorderly manner, THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO) adjourned
the House at Five o’clock p.m without putting any question in terms of Standing Order Number 113 until Tuesday, 12th November, 2019.