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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 24 SEPTEMBER 2020 VOL 46 NO 67

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 24th September, 2020

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

HON. CHINGOSHO:  On a point of privilege Hon Speaker, it is

said half a loaf is better than nothing.  I would like to appreciate the salary we are getting but if you convert the salary we are getting per month, it amounts to US$170 and as an MP, you are expected to do everything from that US$170 including looking after your family, servicing the vehicle and everything.  I also appreciate the coupons we are getting which are not acceptable in all garages including the garages which are owned by our Shefus.  They need coupons which are in US$.  My humble request Hon. Speaker is for the amount we are getting per month as well as coupons to be in US$.  I am saying if we are getting ZWL7000, it should be US$7000 and if we are getting 20 litres  worth of coupons it should be 20 litres in US$.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member Chingosho, you have

been too preemptive.  I am meeting the Chief Whips this afternoon to discuss among other things the two issues you have raised.

HON. MADIWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  To start with, let me say one of our Committee Members in the Women Affairs Portfolio Committee Hon. Gozho recently gave birth to a very beautiful bouncing baby girl.  Congratulations to Hon Gozho. My worry Hon. Speaker are the facilities in our Parliament as we talk about gender sensitive, gender mainstreaming in all sectors and women empowerment. I am worried about Parliament facilities whether we have proper facilities for breastfeeding. I cannot over-emphasize the advantages of breastfeeding both to the mother and the baby. This is one of my worries. Another worry is whether we have proper facilities for a nursery. We want the child for the rest of the terms to have a necessary where the baby can be accommodated and also the welfare of the child –minder as we go for public hearing so that the baby is also taken on board because we cannot disadvantage the contribution of the Hon. Member that will have given birth.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you send our congratulatory message to the baby and the mother. The question of breastfeeding I thought we had assigned a room to that effect. That request was made by Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga and we set aside a room for that. As for nursery, aah it is nowhere in the world where you find such a facility – [HON. BITI: Ku South Africa, Capetown iriko.] – Manga muchitsvagei ikoko? – [HON. BITI: Study visits Mr. Speaker.] – Well, that with all due respect we may consider perhaps when we move to the new Parliament but for the moment it is not a necessity as such that we establish a nursery here and when I look around very few of our female Members of Parliament do not seem to have little ones – [HON.

MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: But the male ones have little one Mr.

Speaker, vakazara netuvana.] – I do not want to encourage Hon.

Members having little children here.

Hon. Madiwa, on a more serious note, when we move to the new Parliament I think it should be possible to make that arrangement for a small nursery and remind us if we are still there to ensure that facility is there. I want to encourage you to exercise family planning as well – [HON. BITI: Ne gym Hon. Speaker.] – Yes, that should be taken care of Hon. Biti although you have not respected the Chair by shouting from the floor. It is a good thing and Hon. Mliswa is very passionate about physical and mental fitness. We should be able to find some accommodation also. Even the Speaker and his entourage must also exercise to keep fit. It is very important – [HON. MISIHAIRABWIMUSHONGA: Ko massage?] – Ah, zve massage izvo I am not sure about that. Thank you very much.

COMMITTEE STAGE

ZIMBABWE MEDIA COMMISSION BILL [H. B. 8, 2019]

First Order read: Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill [H. B. 8, 2019].

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 6 put and agreed to.

On Clause 7:

HON. BITI:  Mr. Chairman, the Media Commission is a constitutional commission set up by an Act of Parliament.  All commissions are located in 13 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and one of the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe is that independent Commissions which are in Chapter 13 of the Constitution are independent of the Executive.  In other words, the Executive does not have influence over them.  The mischief that was sought to be addressed by the Constitution was that of creating this independent oversight commission, for instance the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Gender Commission, commissions that were not subordinate to executive control.  The problem now with Clause 7 Mr. Speaker, is that the Commission is obliged to consult the Minister responsible for finance before it appoints its secretary and such other staff of the commission.  The Hon. Minister of Justice said it is the standard provision; it is not.  Mr. Chairman, that provision should be removed so that the commission is free to appoint its own staff consistently with all other commissions; the Human Rights Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission and the Gender Commission.  To allow this provision to prevail and remain is to re-write the Constitution, is to destroy the separation of powers which is in the Constitution.  The

Constitution creates four bodies.  First, is the Judiciary then there is the Executive, the Legislature and Chapter 12, Independent Commissions as an independent separate pillar of the State.  We know that the Executive would want to subordinate all the other houses including this august House of Parliament, but that is not the constitutional order.  Let us respect the constitutional order.  The Judiciary, the Executive, the Legislature and Chapter 12; the commissions stand on their feet independently.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr.

Chairman.  I propose that we leave that provision as it is like he rightly says he was the Finance Minister.  The Government funds are all pulled into the Consolidated Revenue Fund and that provision is put as an administrative provision to ensure that everyone else is aligned with the Minister of Finance.  It does not impinge on the independence or functions of the Zimbabwe Media Commission and I am actually surprised that they are saying that it infringes on the independence.  All that is sufficed by that provision is to ensure that there is coordination; we have independence but coordination because all our monies come from one source.  So, if you say that anyone will decide on their own without any coordination, how will they manage.  So, that provision is very good, it ensures standardisation and it ensures that  the functions of all the organs of Government and independent commissions, do not impinge on the independence of the Commission. I thank you.

HON. BITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Constitution itself, section 300, I think 302, the Ministry of Finance is obliged to provide a separate Vote for each of the independent Commissions.  So on the Budget now, when we look at our Budget, it now has constitutional votes and those votes include the commissions, those votes include provincial councils in terms of devolution.  The Constitution says there must be equitable distribution. This means that any Commission must know the amount of money it will get from the State.  The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Gender and Media Commission within its budget, there will be an overhead item which includes the cost of employees.  The Minister of Finance controls what these people get by the budget that is obliged to give in terms of this section.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Outside of that, I insist that it stays because it is standard.  It is done to ensure that Treasury is aware of what is happening so that they can plan accordingly.  It does not impinge on any independence of any Commission whatsoever. It is an administrative clause that allows Government to function smoothly.  We are independent but interrelated.  I thank you.

Clauses 7 put and agreed to.

Clauses 7 and 9 put and agreed to.

On Clause 10:

HON. K. PARADZA: Mr. Chair, on Clause 10(IV), the

Commission may further involve the police during an investigation as required.  Mr. Chairman, we do not need the police to be involved in investigations unless it is a criminal matter.  The idea of having the police getting involved in this is not good.  This item was in AIPPA and we do not want the repeat of AIPPA here but what we need is to have progressive laws. This is what we agreed with all the stakeholders including the Minister of Information that we must get rid of that. The Minister of Justice as well is in agreement through his proxis that we must take out that item which imposes the police in the investigations of this.  I thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you.  Hon. Chair, I see nothing wrong with this Clause – [HON. MEMBERS: Aaah.] - there is totally nothing wrong. In fact, it is one of the best clauses.  Hon. Chair, the Clause says,

‘the Commission may request,’ it does not say, ‘must request.’  It may request as they see fit – when I was listening to Hon. Paradza, he said, we do not want the police anywhere near the Commission unless; underline the word ‘unless,’ it shows that the ‘may’ has a place somewhere.  The moment you say, unless, you are in agreement that there may be circumstances where the police are needed.  So, there is nothing wrong with this clause and I move that it stands as part of the Bill.  I thank you.

HON. K. PARADZA: Mr. Chairman, we have other laws that deal with criminal issues and let us leave those laws to deal with that.

This item was in AIPPA which was repealed. We do not need this Mr. Chairman.  These are some of the issues which are being raised when we are doing engagement and reengagement; it is bad for our Foreign Policy.

HON. BITI: Mr. Chairman, this Bill is talking about actualisation, giving life to a certain right.  That right is codified in Section 61 of the

Constitution of Zimbabwe, which is freedom of the media and its related

‘cousin’, freedom of expression.  So, the kind of investigations that are captured from Section 8, are investigations around things like hurt speech, the media and its proscription.  The proscription of this right, the curtailment of this right; if there is a criminal activity, you do not need this law because the police will just act, and they have got a right of investigating any criminal activity.  However, the Commission must never be allowed and the enjoyment of the right to freedom of the media and expression must never be criminalised.  So, Sectin 10 (4) of this Bill has no room, it does not fit in with the Constitution.  It is uncomfortable, it is a monster, a Frankenstein, it does not fit in, it should not be there.  For the esteemed Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to say this is a beautiful Clause, Mr. Chair, the man does not know what beauty is.  This is a monster and it must be taken out.  Thank you Mr.

Chairman.

HON. K. PARADZA: Mr. Chairman, we had a series of meetings with the Minister of Information and we agreed as stakeholders.  They even wrote a letter here to the Clerk of Parliament and one of those items read; ‘the amendment is in pursuit of media stakeholder submission made to the Hon. Minister of information…’ The Ministry has agreed to the stakeholders’ submissions and these are some of the submissions to say, take it out.  It is just as good as criminal defamation which was in AIPPA.  We do not need that, we need progressive laws, it must be taken out.

HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Chairman.  The Government of Zimbabwe celebrated an announcement that AIPPA had been repealed and we must be principled to ensure that what we say happens and not to bring another law in another direction, which is still AIPPA.  What is clearly here is a situation where AIPPA was repealed and they are now bringing in this one to try and deal with AIPPA.  We are supposed to be reforming as a nation and this has a lot to do with the laws that we change.  We would not be considered to be reforming if we are not allowing freedom of the various parties involved to be exercised. Already we are under scrutiny by not just attending to certain basics of the law.  The continued arrest of the people, which is more like persecution, is not doing us any good.  We cannot be a heavy-handed State.

Democracy matures and equally, the laws must mature.  It is like wine, the older it gets, the sweeter and better it becomes.  People must be enjoying this country through the laws that deal with current situation, a conducive environment for you to be known as free citizens of the country.  We cannot allow the police who, within the Constitution of this country, have a mandate that they carry out their duties, whether they are invited or not.  They are there to maintain law and order, so why then should they be factored in when their role is quite clear and simplified.  May we try and use what I call ‘KISS – Keep It Simple and

Stupid.’

So, it is important that we keep things simple.  The moment we try and complicate things, it becomes difficult for people to comprehend.  I support Hon. Members that the Minister of Justice has an obligation to make sure that justice prevails.  Being the Minister of Justice does not entail that he must make sure that justice does not prevail.  He is a young man in the Second Republic and we expect nothing more than him being a reformist – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – may he please discharge his duties as we know him to be.  He is the Leader of Government Business and as such, he must make sure that the Government enacts laws that are in tandem with what is going on.  So I do support colleague Members in saying that we do not need it there.  Being a learned lawyer, he must concede to this so that we make progress for the good of the country.  I thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Chair, I hear what my colleagues are saying but I am very worried that it looks like there is some hidden agenda. I do not see the reason why people should be afraid of the police because the rights that we all want to have are not exclusive to those who think they must get rights – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Chair, I want your protection.  They have been speaking and I do not want to exchanging words with terrorists –

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Madzimure, please can

you give him the floor, I will give you the floor if you want to contribute.

HON. TOGAREPI: The problem that we have is, we are dealing with people who see the enactment of this law as an avenue to also abuse others.  They do not want to see the police nearby because they want to use the weaknesses of the law going forward to abuse others.

The statement as read just says, ‘may,’ so it allows the Commission to be very independent and avoid calling the police if they think they have got the capacity to deal with the case at hand, but should they feel that it is either criminal or anything, they think the police is the best arm of Government they can employ to solve the problem, they will invite the police.  I do not see any problem with that unless it was mandatory that whenever they investigate, they will call in the police, then they are infringing on those freedoms that we want to protect.  There is nothing similar to AIPPA unless people have that nostalgia of AIPPA.

*HON. BITI:  I would like to speak in vernacular.   We are speaking of freedom of expression here.  It is the right of the freedom of the media.  There is criminal defamation.  If you insult someone, you would be taken to court and prosecuted.  If you used unparliamentary language like saying the Hon. Member representing Chivi is a thief, you could be taken to court and would be arrested.  However, the

Constitutional Court here in Zimbabwe in one of the cases by Constance Chimakure vs the Ministry of Information said the issue of criminal defamation is no longer constitutional. It is unconstitutional.  If you say any unparliamentary words, you do not need to go to the police but it is an issue that can be solved between the two of us in a civil case before the courts.  The civil case is that of defamation.  Defamation protects the integrity of a person.  If that integrity is affected, you go to the lawyers and you tell them that there is defamation to my integrity by Hon. Mliswa and you sue for $50 000, $100 000 or more.  Once we remove criminal defamation, it means we will not see any crimes being committed by the media houses.

If I said Hon. Ziyambi is promiscuous and his eyes are all over like a chameleon or he is possessed by a demon that makes him to climb buildings – that is not taken to the police but it is taken to the lawyers.  On Section 4, we did not see that.  So the issue of police should be considered.  They should not be on the issue of information.  If we say that Hon. Ziyambi is a problem in the Ministry, that is not  a criminal offence.  My request is that the Minister removes Section 10.4 that is on the Bill before us this afternoon.  I thank you.

*HON. NYABANI:  Mr. Chairman, when we come up with laws

in Parliament; most of the time the lawyers or judiciary that is being talked about and looking at the areas where we come from – for you to come from Nyabawa to Rushinga which is the nearest court; it is 120 kilometers.  So that can be of assistance to those who are accessible to the judicial system. Some do not have money for legal representationI think the police can assist in areas where the judiciary is not represented because people cannot afford to go to the courts. 

In rural areas the courts are very far away, are not accessible and it is expensive.  I think the police should be there to assist people in rural areas.  That is my opinion on this Bill that is before us, I thank you.

*HON. MADZIMURE:  Mr. Chairman, it seems there is a misunderstanding on what this means.  For those who agree with what is in the Bill, they should let the Minister speak because they are displaying their ignorance of the contents of the Bill before us.

The issue before us is that if I happen to defame someone, no one should go and use the police or engage the police to address the misunderstanding.  This is an issue between two people and the courts should address the matter because the police may be found wanting at one point.  Both sides are in agreement and the issue is not about a certain group, but it is about a good law that we must craft in this House.  When people see that legislation, they will see the bad things that we left in that Bill and will ask us what we were thinking of to come up with such legislation.  We should not think that legislation is there to axe people.  The Minister needs to reconsider because one day he will realise that this same legislation might entangle him.  The fact that he has been defamed and it goes to the police, he may be shocked.  Let us not create a situation whereby we will face challenges tomorrow.  For you to say the police should come in everything and a person pays a fine and goes, that is not right.

For some of these things that we can address using other means, let us do likewise.  The police should investigate and a person should be taken to court by the aggrieved to have their issues resolved.  Tomorrow we may be found wanting when the same law causes us challenges because it may entangle us as MPs when one brings a case against you. There is no one who is always right but there are times when you are found wanting and that law will not give you any reprieve.

*HON. TOGAREPI: I think I should also speak in vernacular.  Chairman, the idea that we need an independent commission to deal with this issue is not the case but we are saying as it exercises its mandate it needs other branches within government for it to be effective and also to safeguard the rights of individuals.  So, what you are saying is that if a person defames my character, it is between me and the person who has defamed me.  I should look for a lawyer who should assist me in bringing this person to book.  Without a lawyer what am I supposed to do?  Do I deal with the person on my own?  What I think as redress is to address the situation.  What I am saying is that rights seem to be protected for those who have money.  If I do not have money, then I am disadvantaged.  Some are saying I should go to Legal Aid.  If that is

what you are going to do, that law should not even look at those with money and those who are disadvantaged.  Police should be part of the branches that protect the rights of the people.  It is a right for my character not to be defamed.  If I have money yes, I can go to the lawyers but if I do not have money I should be able to go to the police because government will also put the police to protect the rights of people - but if I do not have money, definitely I will go and fight the person.  I thank you.

*HON. BITI: Criminal defamation is no longer part of our law.

So the police cannot investigate something that is not criminal.  The

Constitutional Court said that it is not law.  In the Criminal Codification

Act that is in the custody of the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs there is nothing like criminal defamation.  They said defamation of character is between you and the person who has defamed you.  If a person does that, you are also able to defame them because no one has a right to defame you.  What is not allowed is for you to go and report to the police because it is not a criminal offence. So how can we seek to involve the police in investigations when freedom of expression has been decriminalised in the Constitutional Court judgement of Constance Chimakure.  We cannot involve the police in a matter in which the country’s highest court has already decriminalised.

That is the point we are making that the reference to the police in

Section 10(4) is superfluous, because the police cannot get involved in a                    decriminalised matter.  However, when you put it there you are just justifying abuse as some Members have said.  I do not like you or that journalist, I go to the police so that as the custom these days you spend two weeks or two months in jail before you are granted bail, abuse after abuse.  Let us take this provision out because criminal defamation has been decriminalised by the courts of Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: The investigations and hearings that are

referred to in this Act are investigations in violation of rights as prescribed in Section 61of the Constitution.  Clause 8 part 3 of the Bill deals with investigations and hearings and the conduct of the hearings.

This clause which I believe is very harmless and just allows the

commission to call the police to assist and it is not pre-emptory to say that in every investigation that they do, the police must be called in to assist.  In any event, these investigations are not of a criminal nature - so I do not even know why Hon. Members are so much against it. I know that Hon. Biti is very much for its removal.  I know that he wants to be president of MDC so that he can have several eyes and in that regard I do not think it is harmful - even if it is removed so that the Hon.

President can be very free to have several eyes.  I thank you.

I move that we expunge it from the Bill.

Clause 10, as amended put and agreed to.

Clause 11, and 12, put and agreed to.

On Clause 13;

HON. BITI:  Clause 13 Hon. Chair deals with enforcement.  So, here the Commission has powers to apply to the High Court for appropriate redress.  I was going to suggest to the Minister why the Commission does not have power to apply to the High Court for registering the order for the purposes of enforcement as we do in the Labour Court in terms of the Labour Act.  If an arbitrator makes a judgement you make an application to the court for registration.  Here it appears as if the High Court has to give redress but redress is being offered by the Commission so the Commission is now registering its judgement saying this is what we ordered.  So, do not force the individual complainant or commission itself to apply for redress instead of just applying to register its order of the matter and the redress as offered by the Commission. So, what you are trying to register there is the directive or decision of the Commission in subsection 2 (a). Then 2 (a) becomes superfluous – [HON. ZIYAMBI: If you are aggrieved, we cannot close it. You can go.] – You have a right of appeal under section 16, so remove section 2 then we will be happy.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Hon. Chair, allow me to read the provisions of

Clause 13 - “Enforcement of Orders of the Commission. The

Commission shall require the person whom or which it made an order or recommendation, to notify it within a specified period not exceeding 4 days or such shorter period as the circumstances of the matter may reasonably require where it is of the essence of the steps that it proposes to take to give effect to its order or recommendation. If no action has been taken within the time specified in subsection (1), the Commission may, if it thinks fit after considering the comments, if any made by the parties concerned, notwithstanding subsection 3 apply to the High Court for an appropriate redress of the matter.” So this subsection 2 is referring to what has been described in subsection 1 – [HON. BITI: So why do you go to the High Court to seek a redress and to open up when you have already opened?] – If no action has been taken – [HON. BITI: Inaudible interjection.] – It is an option so it is not fatally defective. I propose that we leave the options as they are. It is still very much okay – [HON. BITI: The Commission makes an order and if the order is not complied with then the Commission must register that order with the High Court. It cannot go to the High Court and say reopen the matter and issue a redress in a matter in which they already made a judgement. It is asking the High Court to revisit what it has already done. It must got to the High Court for enforcement. So subsection 2 is not necessary because you are now submitting to the courts when the Commission is only going to the courts for the purpose of enforcement and not review or redress.] – Hon. Chair, I think we can expunge subsection (a) because it is also covered by Clause 16. I think it is a repetition. It is harmless if we remove it because we still achieve the same result.

Amendment to Clause 13 put and agreed to.

Clause 13, as amended, put and agreed to.

Clause 14 put and agreed to.

On Clause 15;

HON. BITI: Section 15 gives the Commission the right to execute proceedings to the High Court or any court after carrying out investigations. So it wants a constitutional declaration; so do not wait for investigation. Give it “or” after investigations. Do not tie its hands.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Chair, he is just widening what the Commission can do. I do not have any problem with the “or” there.

Amendment to Clause 15 put and agreed to.

Clause 15, as amended, put and agreed to.

Clauses 16 to 19 put and agreed to.

On new Clause 20 inserted after Clause 19:

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Chair, after

Clause 19, on page 12 of the Bill, I propose that we insert a new Part V and we renumber accordingly. The new Part V becomes the Media Fund as it appears on the Order Paper that:

(2)       PART V

MEDIA FUND

21 Establishment and vesting of Media Fund

(l) There is hereby established a fund to be known as the Media Fund.

  • Subject to this Part, the Fund shall be vested in and administered by the Commission as trustee.
  • Not more than thirty per centum (30 %) of the moneys of the Fund in any financial year shall be spent on administrative purposes connected with the objects of the Fund.

22 Objects of Fund

The objects of the Fund shall be;

(a) capacity building of the media services in order to maintain high standards of quality in the provision of media services;      (b) to assist in the training of persons in the provision of media services;

  • to promote and contribute towards research and development in the field of media services; and
  • to promote public awareness on the right of access to information and protection of privacy;

23 Moneys of Fund

The Fund shall consist of;

  • such moneys as may be raised by levies imposed in terms of section 24;
  • such moneys as may be payable to the Fund from moneys appropriated by an Act of Parliament for the purpose of the Fund;
  • any surplus of income over expenditure at the end of the

Commission's financial year appropriated in terms of paragraph (b); and

  • any other moneys to which the Fund may be lawfully entitled.

24 Levies

(l) Every mass media owner shall pay the prescribed annual levy to the  Fund.

  • The dates on which the levies to the Fund become payable and the manner in which they shall be paid shall be as prescribed.
  • Where any mass media owner fails to pay the whole or any part of a levy within seven days after the date when it is due to the Fund, the owner shall be liable to pay to the Fund an amount equivalent to double the levy due.
  • The Commission may, by action in a competent court, recover the amount of a levy or penalty payable in terms of this section.

25 Holding of Fund

(l) The Fund must be administered by the Commission.

  • All moneys received on behalf of the Fund shall be paid into a banking account and no money shall be withdrawn therefrom except by means of cheques signed by such persons as are authorised in that behalf by the Commission.
  • Any part of the Fund not immediately required for the purposes of the Fund may be invested in such manner as the Commissions after consultation with the Minister may determine:

Provided that such moneys shall not be invested directly in any securities issued by a mass media service company.

  • Financial Year of Fund

The financial year of the Fund shall be the period of twelve months ending on the 31st December in each year.

  • Accounts and Audit of Fund

(l) The Commission shall cause proper books of accounts of the Fund to be kept, together with adequate financial and other records in relation thereto, and within three months after the end of the financial year to which the accounts relate, shall submit the accounts to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit in terms of subsection (2).

(2) The accounts of the Fund shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General, who shall have all the powers conferred upon him by section 9 of the Audit and Exchequer Act [Chapter 22:03] as though the assets of the Fund were public moneys or State property.

I thank you.

HON. BITI:  Mr. Chairman, to put it on record, it is not there.  I have no problem with what stands there.  I know that it is contained in the Constitution but the obligation of these records being tabled by the appropriate Minister to Parliament.  Some of the Bills we have done that obligation has been put.  Minister, can you add that one on the obligation of the Minister bringing the report to Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – That is the problem about implying because if there is a rogue Minister he will not bring it.  So, Minister should be told that he is mandated to table audit reports and the Bill to show what has been happening that period, just like it happens what all other parastatals and commissions.  The Human Rights Commission inserts in our pigeon holes.  Their financial records and their other records should be brought to Parliament.  It is a standard provision.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Chairman.  This clause has nothing to do with tabling of reports in Parliament – [HON. BITI:  Inaudible interjection.] –When we have finished we will find a place to insert it.  Let us proceed.

Amendment to New Clause 20, put and agreed to.

New Clause 20 , as amended, put and agreed to.

Clauses 21 to 27 put and agreed to.

On New Clause 28:

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Mr. Chairman, I

propose that after Clause 27 we insert a New Clause 28, (Conditions under which Commission may allow self regulation of practitioners with respect to complaints against them)

(5)      BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY

AND BROADCASTING SERVICES:  On page 13 of the Bill, in Part V

("General Provisions"), insert the following clause after line 40, and renumber the existing clauses accordingly—

28 Conditions under which Commission may allow self-regulation of media practitioners with respect to complaints against them

(l ) In this section, references to  - “association" includes a combination of associations by whatever name called with its own constitution and code of ethics, or a combination of media practitioners representative of more than one media profession or specialism or more than one media houses;

"adjudicator" means a single adjudicator or group of adjudicators, including a group of adjudicators acting on behalf of a combination of associations, or a combination of media practitioners of different media professions or specialism referred in the definition of "association'.

  • An association of media practitioners that complies with the requirements of this section shall be recognised by the Commission as being the body empowered in the first instance to adjudicate complaints made against any of their members by any other member or by members of the public.
  • In amplification of subsection (2), it is a privilege of an association recognised by the Commission under this section that no complainant who is afforded an opportunity to lodge his or her complaint with such an association may approach the Commission except on proof satisfactory to the Commission that the complainant has first lodged it with the association concerned, and no such complainant may thereafter approach the Commission except on appeal from such association or after a lapse of time during which the association has failed to process the complaint timeously.
  • Any association of media practitioners may, for the purposes of this section—
  • constitute themselves as an association to protect their collective interests (whether in the form of a trust, common law association or company limited by guarantee);
  • lodge, together with the prescribed fee, if any, with the

Commission

  • an authenticated copy, the constitutive document of their association signed by the persons authorised by the association to be the promoters or steering committee of the association; and
  • if the code of ethics of the members of the association is not an integral part of the constitutive document of the association, lodge together with the constitutive document a comprehensive code of ethics governing the conduct of the members of the association.

(4) If the Commission is satisfied that the constitutive document contains adequate provisions for the following matters, the Commission shall recognise the association by publishing (with the approval of the Minister) their constitutive document and (if separate) code of ethics by statutory instrument in the Gazette made under the authority of the

Commission -

  • the hearing, processing, arbitration or adjudication of complaints made against any of their members by any another member or by members of the public; and
  • the hearing, processing, arbitration or adjudication must be conducted on a part time, casual or full-time basis by at one or more neutral (that is to say, non-member) persons ("adjudicators"") who is or are qualified as follows—
  • he or she must have practiced for not less than five years in

Zimbabwe as a legal practitioner; or

  • he or she must have been a judge of a court of inherent jurisdiction in Zimbabwe or of any other country applying English or

Roman-Dutch law; or

  • he or she must be a media practitioner having qualifications, training or experience in arbitration or alternative dispute resolution which in the opinion of the Commission is adequate; and
  • the manner in which complaints shall be lodged with the association and their presentation before the adjudicator or adjudicators within a reasonable time; and
  • the manner of the adjudication, which shall have the following features -
  • the adjudication may be conducted on the basis of either or both a hearing of the parties, or the submission of written representations in the form of affidavits by both, together with any affidavits by witnesses, if any;
  • if a hearing is held, each party may be legally represented but each must bear the cost of his or her own legal representation;
  • the adjudicator or adjudicators must be paid from the association's funds, with only a reasonable fee to be charged to the complainant for the lodging and processing of the complaint (and if the complainant wins his/her case, the adjudicator(s) may require the respondent to reimburse the fee to the complainant);
  • the expeditious processing of the complaint by the adjudicator(s) within a specified time-frame and the due notification of the adjudicator(s)' decision in written and final form to both parties; and
  • if the adjudicator(s) finds that the complaint is justified in whole or in part, provision must be made for at least one or any combination of the following sanctions—
  1. a written reprimand of the respondent media practitioner;
  2. retraction and apology at the respondent's expense, which shall be afforded adequate prominence in the medium in which it appears;
  3. the publication of a right of response at the respondent's expense;
  4. a recommendation of the suspension or termination of the media practitioner's membership of the association and/or his or her professional disaccreditation; and
  5. any other sanction permitted by the association's constitutive document or code of ethics;

(vi) after notification of the adjudicator's decision, no further provision for appeal may be made except to the Commission; (e) provision for the amendment of the constitutive document of the association and the notification thereof to the Commission in a timeous fashion; and

(f) provisions for the dissolution of association on notice to the

Commission.

  • It is a condition for the continued recognition of an association under this section that the association must make timely written notification to the Commission of the name(s), qualifications and other relevant particulars of the adjudicator(s) appointed by them, and of their resignation, retirement, removal and replacement:

Provided that two or more recognised associations may employ the services of the same adjudicator or set of adjudicators.

  • Upon any appeal from the decision or findings of an adjudicator of a recognised association under this section, the

Commission shall have the following powers—

  • it may uphold the decision of the adjudicator awarding the costs of the appeal to the association; or
  • it may remit the decision or any finding to the adjudicator on the grounds that the adjudicator allowed extraneous or irrelevant considerations to affect his or her decision, or failed to take in relevant considerations or facts, or made any mistake of fact; or
  • it may substitute its own decision for that of the adjudicator only where the Commission finds—
  • interest in the cause, malice, bias or corruption on the part of the adjudicator; or
  • gross irregularity in the proceedings or the decision of the adjudicator:

Provided, however, that before making a finding under subparagraph (i) or (ii), it shall afford the adjudicator an opportunity to make representations on the matter in person or in writing.

  • It is a condition for the continued recognition of an association under this section that the association must make timely written notification to the Commission of the name(s), qualifications and other relevant particulars of the adjudicator(s) appointed by them, and of their resignation, retirement, removal and replacement.
  • The Commission may on notice to the association concerned, withdraw the recognition of an association for the purposes of this section if the association has been found, on due inquiry, not to be compliant with the conditions of its recognition. I thank you

HON. K. PARADZA:  Mr. Chairman, as I have said, we agreed as stakeholders that we have co-regulation of the media to say we must make it clear in the Bill that we must set up a co-regulation framework within the media industry.  This is an industry which needs regulation and it must self regulate.  As stakeholders, we agreed that let us have a framework which we call co-regulation so that the Government is involved, the stakeholders are involved and those in the media industry are also involved.  We want the media because it is a profession and this profession has been abused.  Anyone who is able to write an essay can call themselves journalists which is very wrong.  We must have a situation where we have the Minister as a member of the Law Society, and has a law firm which employs secretaries and legal aids.  These are not members of the Law Society but he is a member of the Law Society because of some qualification.  This is what we need in the media.  This has been lacking in the media.

Right now Mr. Chairman, we have what we call Voluntary Media Council.  It has a few takers because those State controlled media are not part of that.  We agreed and we have had a series of meetings and even Mr. Speaker had to dispatch us to Sweden, Denmark, Kenya to specifically study this.  We came back and the Minister has adopted the Media Fund which is there in Sweden, to give distressed media houses some kind of lifeline.

It is good and we are happy that they have captured that but they have not captured what we want as stakeholders, to say as a profession it must be regulated but in the framework of co-regulation like the Law Society, the Medical Council and the Nurses Council.  The definition of media is very broad Mr. Speaker we need to tighten it.  We need to have an industry which is regulated in terms of conduct, code of ethics.  That is why we need that.  No, the amendment is here. They are talking of associations, you can have clubs and those who do dramas Gringo and so forth. Do you call them journalists, if whatever they do is published or you see that on television?  No, we need this industry to be regulated so that is the agreed position and as I have said I have a letter which is from the Minister to Parliament to say we agree. The drafters gave us something different.

Mr. Chairman, let me just remind you that His Excellency the President instructed this Parliament to make sure that we reform and media reforms were part of that.  These were voluntary reforms. It is not unconditional reforms and if the President says let us reform, why are we not reforming?  He even asked me to say go and make sure that you, your colleagues and the stakeholder in the media industry are happy. Mr. Chairman, this Parliament is going to be remembered by this law. We agreed in making sure that we repeal AIPPA and we must make sure that we have progressive laws that make the media industry in this country to function without any other issues.  My proposal Mr. Chairman is that we say that for the purpose of exercising disciplinary action against media practitioners who would have breached any law or code of conduct, the Zimbabwe Media Commission with the power conferred on it by Section 249 (1) (d) and (e) and 249 (2) (b) of the Constitution may delegate such power to discipline media practitioners to a board established by the media industry itself.

So this board, we agreed, it should be the Media Council of

Zimbabwe. This board is going to take care of all our disciplinary issues because ZMC becomes now an appellant board.  So, the first port of call is if you have any grievances, you go to the council.  After the council, if you are not happy, then you go to the appellant which is the ZMC and this is how this profession should be regulated and we have agreed.  You do not talk of association because if you are talking of associations, it means any media house is fragmented, the ZimPapers, ZBC, Daily News can say we have our own associations and so forth so this does not make sense.

We want to have one council which regulates the industry and this is a noble profession.  I thank you.

HON. BITI: Mr. Chairman, Hon. Paradza makes a humongous sense, this is a profession, the problem now Hon. Chair is that in these days of multi-media platforms, we all think we are journalists those of us who are bloggers on facebook, wananzvi, column or twitter and there are so many of us, varakashi.  We now think we are now journalists, we are not.  People go to school, get registered and get qualifications.  So, let us give that profession the privilege of registration and self regulation.

Mr. Chairman Sir, I belong to the Law Society of Zimbabwe...

HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Mr. Chair.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: What is your point of order?

HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Biti claims that varakashi are not journalists, what evidence does he have?  As far as I know, they are very much qualified journalists.  So, I think it is improper to talk about people who are not here.

HON. BITI: Mr. Chairman, let us allow the profession to self regulate.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Biti, your debate is good but you must withdraw that statement.

HON. BITI: Varakashi are not journalists, I withdraw but they are not journalists, they are trollers on social media. Let this profession, a foundational profession in the protection of our democracy, legacy of our independence; the liberation struggle, some of its greatest heroes were journalists, people like Nathan Shamuyarira, the late and great Willy Musarurwa, Hon. Webster Shamu, Martin Gula Sobbuza Ndebele before he decided to become a lawyer.

Mr. Chairman, let us allow for self regulation and remember self regulation, the Government already has representatives.  In the Law Society of Zimbabwe, there is a representatives appointed by the

Minister of Justice, there is a representative from the University of Zimbabwe, the academic community but the predominant players should be journalists themselves.  When you commit a misdemeanor, you should be tried and judged by your peers.  It is your peers Mr. Chairman who can test the quality or lack thereof of your misconduct.

It is only another lawyer who can tell the gravity of stealing money from a trust fund or not responding lawyers.  Equally, it is journalists themselves who should determine misconduct like plagiarism or writing a story without sources or writing a story on non-existent stories.  Let the issue of misconduct be tried and heard by the PS.  So, we support Mr. Chair, the existence of one board not multiple associations and that board has already been in existence doing fantastic work, the Voluntary Media Council.  We appeal to the Hon. Minister to recognise the issue of self regulation. I thank you Mr. Chairman even though I do not think you were listening to me.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Hon. Chair, before I respond to this, I wish to make an insertion on Clause 20, a new subsection 4 on Clause 20 to read as follows; the new subsection 4 will read as follows; “The Zimbabwe Media Commission must submit to Parliament through the responsible Minister, an annual report describing fully its operations and activities, the report being submitted not later than the end of March in the year following the year to which the report relates”.  So we just take it from the Constitution.

Another new subsection 5 now, - [THE DEPUTY

CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Minister, what section of the Constitution?] - Section 323, so we now go to Section 250 of the Constitution and you take it as it is.  It becomes a new Subsection 5.  We now insert what we have been discussing.  I hear all of you and I – [HON.

MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Just take the existing provisions of the Law Society of Zimbabwe.] – I will deal with it in regulations – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -  I will deal with it in regulations – [HON. BITI: That will be problematic because if the current Minister goes, the one who takes over might be cunning.] – No, I will deal with it

– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I think you were busy

working on that provision and you rarely heard.  To a larger extent, it works even for a lot of the problems that we are having.  It deals with the mischief of what we are having.  If you do not create a framework for self-regulation, almost like you have done with the law society, that is when we have the sprouting of people who are pretending to be journalists.  Even those who are journalists, because they know they can get away with anything, they do not have anybody who can hold them to account.  I also speak as a journalist but as a feminist – there are types of abuses that we have had to suffer as women at the hands of this profession of ours.  Without self-regulation, you are literally throwing us to the wolves.  So, anything else you have done here, all the good work you have done, if you have not created a framework that can selfregulate like we said – which is why we are saying just take the Law Society one which allows for Government representation also on it so that they are not just having it on their own.  They may be the majority but the Government has a hand in it.  I beg you.

*HON. NYABANI: Let me contribute a little bit.  When we met with stakeholders and agreed, we noted that currently, we cannot do selfregulation but we agreed on co-regulation.  If we do well through coregulation, we then move on to self-regulation.  That is what we agreed on – [HON. PARADZA: Mr. Chairman, I have an international press card issued by the International Federation of Journalists, I am a journalist of high repute and you cannot just say anyone can be a journalist. No!] –

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Chair.  The Members are debating but they are not putting forward verbatim of what exactly they are proposing.  Hon. Chair, these are several amendments which we were not prepared for.  I propose that we report progress and seek leave to sit later to complete this.

House resumed.

Progress reported.   

Committee to resume:  Tuesday, 29th September, 2020.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move that

Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 and 3 be stood order until Order of the Day Number 4 has been disposed of.

HON. BITI:  I am appealing to the Minister to shift the debate to next week Tuesday because I did not bring my notes and the Bill with me today.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Madam Speaker, my view is that those who want to debate can do so.  We are not closing debate on the Second Reading speech today.  We will also continue the debate on Tuesday and close the debate and go to the next stage which is the Committee Stage.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA):  Thank

you very much for that clarification Hon. Minister.  I am sure that is in order Hon. Biti.

HON. BITI:  Yes Ma’am.

SECOND READING

CYBER SECURITY AND DATA PROTECTION BILL [H. B. 18,

2019]

Fourth Order Read: Second Reading: Cyber Security and Data

Protection Bill [H. B. 18, 2019].

HON. NGULUVHE:  Thank you for affording me the time to say a few words as per this Bill.  Before I start to give my views, let me say to the Hon. Members; as someone who has been in the security field since 1977, I do not want to be misconstrued or misunderstood as a fundi in this field, but I feel I should also – as a citizen, give my view so that we are assured that the security of the people of this country is maintained.

After going through this Bill, I have some issues that I want the Minister concerned to take note of.  This Bill does not clearly assign any responsibilities to the national security sector because the national cyber security response should be national team work effort and not only one Ministry.  When I looked at this Bill, I discovered that it does not give the responsibility of the security sector people. You cannot do without them.

POTRAZ, as the designated data protection authority or cyber security centre must not be able to investigate cyber cases of national security interest and make the necessary decision as it is a civilian outfit.  I looked at Section 4 and 5.  The other point that I observed is that the data processing authority will have oversight from the Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology, Postal and Courier Services and yet the security sector has no oversight on the cyber security.  I looked at Section 8 (d). There is mention of a cyber security Committee whose purpose and composition is not fully explained.  If you look at

Section 166 (d) – the Committee reports and gives further advice to the Government through the Ministry whereas from my own experience, there might be a conflict of interest because this is one of the duties of the Ministry of State Security.  If we look again at Section 166 (d), can it be clearly stated as to who decides the composition and chairmanship of this Committee because it does not state.

Notification of breaches has not been specified as per international standards which is usually two days.  I want you to check Section 19.  The Bill states that POTRAZ will be the coordinator of Cyber Security in Zimbabwe – this likely means that POTRAZ will coordinate cyber national efforts between public, private and law enforcement agencies.

How they intend to do this is not clear.

I recommend that the head of such an institution must be someone who firmly understands and have a background in national security.  If you look at Section 8 (d), it is not clear as to its functions.  Section 28 and 29 deals with the security of a company or country to which Zimbabwe data is about to be sent - it is not clear if the current arrangements will consult the security sector because we might have conflicts there with the security people.

Section 33 and 163 is in conflict with Section 4 of the Official

Secrets Act in terms of penalties. Many countries have tried this approach separately, the secret security form from the security sector – they have tried to do it without engaging the security sector but it has proved to be detrimental to the success of this cyber security response.  You might consider what is taking place in countries like UK, Israel, USA and Egypt and even here close by in South Africa and see that it is very difficult if you separate these from the security sector reforms.  You might have some conflicts and put the security of the country into jeopardy. In the interests of our national security, I propose that the Bill should include an extension of clauses to limit the internet when the Constitution of the country so demands.  Last but not least, Section 164 goes some way in resolving fake news.  It does not speak to how users can know if a message is true or false.  So we need a fact checking provision to be put in place because legislation on its own cannot address fake news.  Madame Speaker, those are my few recommendations as far as this Bill is concerned.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker,

I move that debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday 29th September, 2020.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker,

I move that Orders 5 to 13 be stood over until Order number 14 has been disposed of.

REPORT OF THE SUMMIT OF THE INTERNATIONAL

CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (ICPD) -

25 YEARS HELD IN NAIROBI KENYA FROM 12-14 NOVEMBER

2019

HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like

to present a report on the delegation on the Summit of the International

Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) – 25 years held in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 to 14 November 2019.

HON. NYABANI:  I second.

HON. KWARAMBA:

INTRODUCTION

The summit to celebrate 25 years of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was convened by the United

Nations Population Fund (UNFP), Denmark and Kenya governments in Nairobi, Kenya from 12-14 November 2019.  Participants were drawn from the policy makers, civil societies, researchers, young people, faith leaders and family planning advocates from around the world.

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE DELEGATION

The Parliament of Zimbabwe delegation comprised of Hon.

Goodluck Kwaramba, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Women’s Caucus, Hon. Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education and

Hon. Dr. Ruth Labode, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care.

The Executive Arm of the Government of Zimbabwe was also in attendance and comprised of officials from the following ministries:  Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Health and

Child Care and Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

Other delegates to the summit included representatives from the University of Zimbabwe.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE

The objectives of the summit were:

  • To ensure that universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health rights is part of Universal Health Coverage.
  • Identify financing required to complete the ICPD Programme of Action and to sustain the gains made.
  • To draw on the demographic diversity to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development.
  • Ending gender based violence and harmful practices.
  • Upholding the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care even in Humanitarian and fragile context.

STATEMENTS OF COMMITMENTS FROM ZIMBABWE

The Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) representative

Dr. J Mberikunashe, a Principal Director in the Ministry read out the

Zimbabwe – Nairobi Statement of Commitment on behalf of the

Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon. Prof M. Ncube.

ZIMBABWE SPECIF COMMITMENTS FOR THE TWENTY-FIFTH

YEAR COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL

CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (ICPD)

25 AT THE NAIROBI SUMMIT

BACKGROUND

  • Zimbabwe has been implementing the International

Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)

Programme of Action (POA) adopted by 179 countries in 1994, Cairo.  Regular reviews have been done since then to assess progress, identify gaps and challenges and to advocate for policy change in order to achieve national development objectives and priorities in line with commitments reflected in the ICPD POA.

  • One such review for Zimbabwe was undertaken in 2018 with full participation of all key stakeholders and for which a country review report was produced and submitted to the African Union Commission (AUC). The 2018 review was on the implementation of the Addis Ababa Declaration on population and Development (AADPD), which was endorsed by African Heads of State at the 2014 AU Summit as the foremost set of commitments on population and development issues on the continent that provides region-specific guidance

on the full implementation of the ICPD beyond 2014 in Africa.

  • In November this year, the international community will be commemorating 25 years of implementation of the ICPD POA in Nairobi, Kenya. The Nairobi Summit on

ICPD@25:”Accelarating the Promise” is about renewing and reinvigorating the global commitment to the full and accelerated implementation of the ICPD POA, within the overall context of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs to ensure that no one is left behind.

  • The summit will offer an inclusive platform for a broad range of public and private sector stakeholders, Heads of State, Ministers, Civil Society and youth leaders, Parliamentarians, business representatives and others, to come together and agree on a set of twelve global commitments that would collectively advance the ICPD agenda and would finish the unfinished business. The global commitments which have

been developed by a Steering Committee at the global level are organised around the following five themes:

  1. Universal sexual and reproductive health and rights in the context of universal health coverage. ii. Creating financing momentum. iii. Demographic diversity and sustainable development.
  2. Gender based violence and harmful practices against women and
  3. Sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in humanitarian and fragile contexts.

Countries have been requested to come up with country specific commitments that are aimed at complementing and responding to the global commitments outlined above and which will be read out at the Nairobi Summit. Based on the 2018 AADPD Countries Review Report and other relevant national and secretarial documents, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and key stakeholders with the support from UNFPA which is the lead UN agency on this process, has come up with a set of country specific commitments as outlined below;

Country Specific Commitments

The country specific commitments under each of the twelve global commitments and the five ICPD themes are as follows;

Global Commitment 1: Intensify our efforts for the full, effective and accelerated implementation and funding of the ICPD Programme of Action, Key Actions for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action of the ICPD, and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

         Government of Zimbabwe commits to:

  • Revise the Population Policy;
  • Put in place and capacitate a high level National Coordination

Board for implementation of the National Population Policy;

  • Capacitate the responsible department in the Ministry of Finance

and Economic Development; and

  • Conduct the Population and Housing Census in 2022.

Theme 1: Achieve universal sexual and reproductive health as part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), by committing to strive for Global Commitment 2 – Zero unmet need for family planning information and services and universal availability of quality, affordable and safe modern contraceptives

  • Government of Zimbabwe commits to:
  • Avail comprehensive short and long term and permanent

family planning methods at all family planning service provision points by 2030.

Global Commitment 2 – Zero unmet need for family planning

information and services and universal availability of quality, affordable and safe modern contraceptives.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to-

  • Curb teenage pregnancies from 21.6% to 12% by 2030; and
  • Avail comprehensive short and long term and permanent family planning methods at all Family Planning service provision points by 2030.

Global Commitment 3 – We commit to strive for zero preventable maternal deaths, and maternal morbidity such as obstetric fistulas by inter alia, integrating a comprehensive approach of the essential sexual and reproductive health package, including measures for preventing and avoiding unsafe abortions and post abortion care into national UHC strategies, policies and programmes, and to protect and ensure all individuals’ right to bodily integrity and autonomy, and to provide access to essential services in support of this right.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to:

  • Increase by 50% the maternal mortality reduction from the current 651/100 000 live births by 2030.
  • Develop a comprehensive national SRHR package and integrate it into the national UHC strategies, policies and programmes; and  
  • Deploy two trained midwives to provide maternity services at all eligible primary health care facilities by 2030.

Global Commitment 4: Ensuring access for adolscents and youth  to comprehensive and age-appropriate information, education and adolescent-friendly comprehensive, quality and timely services to be able to make informed choices about their sexuality and reproductive lives, to adequately protect themselves from unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, and to be able to transition safely into adulthood.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to:

  • Support all SRHR service provision points provide youth-friendly services;
  • Support all schools, public and private, delivering a quality-assured Comprehensive Sexually Education (CSE) package, including HIV information, by 2030; and
  • Ensure hard to reach populations such as Persons with Disabilities

(PWD), PLRA, emergency areas, prisons, sex workers, young people in conflict with law have immediate access to comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services.

Theme 2: Address gender-based violence and the harmful  practices of child, early and forced marriages and female genital mutilation, by committing to strive for -

Global Commitment 5 – Zero sexual and gender-based violence,  including zero child, early and forced marriage, as well as zero female genital mutilation in order to realise all individuals potential as agents of change in their society both socially and economically.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to:

  • Align all laws pertaining to marriage to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Amendment No. 20 of 2013 by 2030;
  • Implement the National Plan of Action on Ending Child

Marriages, harmonise marriage laws and set age of marriage at 18 years by 2030;

  • Invest resources to provide comprehensive multi-sectoral services for survivors of GBV and to strengthen key institutions;
  • Economically and socially empower women and girls to be actively engaged in the country’s development; and
  • Finalise and fully implement the Disability Amendment Act to support service access by women and girls with disabilities by 2030.

Theme 3: Mobilise the required financing to finish the ICPD

Programme of Action and sustain the gains already made by Global Commitment 6 using National Budget processes, increasing domestic financing and exploring new and innovative financing instruments and structures to ensure full, effective and accelerated implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to:

  • Allocate at least 15 percent of the National Budget to the health sector with specific allocation for SRHR and Family Planning by 2030;
  • Improve allocations from the HIV and airtime levies to SRHR and

Family Planning by at least five percent;

  • Allocate 10 percent of the Global Fund allocated to Zimbabwe to SRHR and Family Planning as per Global Fund Financing Framework; and
  • Finalise and implement the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Global Commitment (GC) 7- Doing what is in our power to  increase the percentage of official development aid (ODA) specifically earmarked to ensure universal access to SRHR  to complement domestic financing of sexual and reproductive health programmes.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to;

  • Ensure that Aid Support is aligned to UN National Priorities which includes universal access to SRHR/Family Planning.

Theme 4: Draw on demographic diversity to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development by :-

Global Commitment (GC) 8- Harnessing the demographic  dividend by investing in adolescents and youths education, employment opportunities and health, including family planning and sexual reproductive health services.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to:-

  • Improve youth involvement across sectors through enactment of the National Youth Act and its National Youth Commission;
  • Proactively invest in post-secondary school skills building to reduce youth unemployment by half by 2030;
  • Promote health for school children through implementation of

the Zimbabwe School Health Policy and Support and support access to contraception of young people to reduce the high teen pregnancy by half by 2030.

Global Commitment (SC) 9 – Building peaceful, just and inclusive societies where all people including the old and the young, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous people build societies where they feel valued and are able to shape their own destiny and contribute to the prosperity of their societies.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to:-

  • Promote human rights including for the most vulnerable and marginalised populations (older persons, people with disability, children, the poor and victims of natural disasters.

Global Commitment (GC): 10-Providing quality, timely and disaggregated data, investing in digital health innovations and improvement of data systems to achieve sustainable development.

Government of Zimbabwe commits to:-

  • Continue strengthening the production of quality, relevant,

timely and where possible, fully disaggregated vital country statistics through the decennial population census programme to inform policy planning,

  • Invest in the statistical lead agency ZIMSTAT to offer timely and accurate statistics.

Global Commitment (CG)11-Committing to the notion that nothing about young people’s health and well-being can be discussed and decided upon without their meaningful involvement and participation (“nothing about us, without us”).

Government of Zimbabwe commits to:-

  • Legislate for youth consultation in development processes, including budget consultative processes by 2030.

Theme 5: Uphold the right to sexual and reproductive health care in humanitarian and fragile contexts by:-

Global Commitment (CG) 12-Ensuring the basic humanitarian needs of affected populations, including SRHR are addressed as critical components of responses to humanitarian and environmental crises as well as fragile and post-crisis reconstruction contexts, through the provision of access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services including access to safe abortion where it is legal, to significantly reduce maternal mortality and morbidity under these conditions.

Government of Zimbabwe to:-

  • Ensure emergency preparedness across all relevant sectors, by 2030;
  • Build or strengthen coordination structures for  preparedness and response to emergencies; and
  • Support strengthening of the Civil Protection Unit to coordinate humanitarian actors to prioritise prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Gender Based Violence in humanitarian situations. I thank you.

HON. PHULU: Madam Speaker, I listened to the report submitted by Hon. Kwaramba in all. The new Constitution of Zimbabwe, in its Preamble and also in Section 13 in particular, introduces the concept of a right to development. The right to development even though it is not in the Bill of Rights, the language of that section is very clear that as we trudge on towards development, we must begin to implement the right to development.  We know that we have got the goals that have been set that we have been following but certainly, our own Constitution now speaks to the importance of development particularly with regard to the area that she was talking about relating to population and development.

As she spoke, I saw that there was also emphasis on the rights of the youths to participate on the rights of women in particular.  I do not know whether there was mention to rights of women in the rural areas.  Broadly as she was speaking, I could see that the Government undertook and committed to implement a lot of its international obligations as provided for in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and also in CIDA. I think for the first time I have read a report where the Government has unreservedly undertaken to comply with the full gamut of its international obligations.  I would like to applaud Government for that.  I would like to applaud the Minister of Finance for doing so.  It seems that it is an indication of Government in this area of economic social and cultural rights to try and implement these.  We know that the Government in terms of the Constitution, has undertaken to ramp up development particularly in the case of women, children and people living with disabilities.  The political will and the commitment seems to be there.

I would also like to applaud Parliament for attending these sessions and carefully noting down what is happening.  We need to translate these commitments into legislation, translate these commitments into policy.  I know the Minister of Finance also made an undertaking – actually there is a specific undertaking to translate these commitments into legislation.  I specifically heard Hon. Kwaramba mention that and that is to be applauded.  The significant issue is that if a report of Parliament has been captured with such clarity and such detail, we as the august House have a duty also to ensure that we push the Executive in their Legislative Agenda, and the Leader of the Government business is here, to amend its Legislative Agenda that was announced as we took up our duty in this House at the beginning of our term.  A comprehensive Legislative Agenda was announced.  There has not been any amendment to that legislative agenda.  I know that it was a heavy and busy Legislative Agenda, and perhaps Government should try to push and complete those pieces of legislation on that original Legislative Agenda as much as they can.

Certainly, when we get reports like these, it is time that they amend, revise or upgrade the Legislative Agenda in order to prioritise – we would not finish in this Session, all the pieces of legislation on that Legislative Agenda but what Government can do is try, reprioritise and rerank those Acts of Parliament in order to include an upgrade to all the Acts of Parliament in as far as they deal with the issue of gender equality, in as far as it deals with the issue of participation of women, participation of youths and participation even in district development plans, and provisional development plans.  Every Ministry has something to pick from a report like this.

I would like to applaud the Hon. Members that went to that Committee for appraising us.  Now the ball is in our court.  I do not know Mr. Speaker what Parliament does to follow up on these kinds of reports so that we can push the Executive because there is no culture of legislation coming from our benches.  I doubt that this will happen during our term, but to push the Government and to push the leader of Government business to introduce a review of various pieces of legislation to ensure compliance with the international obligations and also to push policy makers because these commitments must also be translated not only into legislation but also into policy.  It appears there is a large amount of work for us to do and we need to bring our heads together to find out what kind of system maybe through our committees to ensure that a report like this filters to the Justice Committee, filters to the Committee on Defence, to the Committee dealing with Lands and

Agriculture, because it touches every sector of Government.  I could not sit and not having lend my voice of support.  Congratulations both to the

Government and to the Members of Parliament who attended this

Conference for doing such a sterling job.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon.

Phulu.  You raised a pertinent point which is worth noting, that as Members of Parliament we are able to be part of the legislative process by making sure that we propose and create certain Bills that will be coming to Parliament.  That is noble and indeed I believe that it is something that has not been in this Parliament but I believe in previous Parliaments it has been done.  Thank you very much.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would want

to add my voice as well after listening to the report.  I was left with nothing rather, to say we are joining other nations of the world in dealing with gender issues progressively.  From the report, I realised that most of the things that are being recommended, in Zimbabwe we are already doing something.  We have also already, if I look at the Constitution Section 56, provided the framework where we are promoting rights of women, rights of men as well as girls and boys.  All those that are disadvantaged are also protected within the systems of our Government.  I find that to be very critical.  From the report, I realised that they also looked at practical issues of the challenges that are being faced by women and young girls where they are sexually abused.  Their rights are not respected and the cultures that we practice in Zimbabwe and everywhere else where these cultures infringe on the rights of women.  Our laws in Zimbabwe are already looking at those issues and are progressively building structures that protect the women in every day

life.

I also observed that in Zimbabwe we already have a Gender Commission which always tries to deal with various equalities, where if you look at it, women would not be allowed to access some other positions and rights within the communities and societies.  Already in Zimbabwe, we have Chapter 1030 or 31 if I am not wrong, that talks of the Gender Commission; dealing with the responsibility. You remove those barriers that will affect or infringe on the rights of women where they seek to be at the same level with the other gender which is men.  I find our efforts being very progressive as a people and I want to applaud our Government for taking a serious look at these recommendations and have already given themselves a responsibility to ensure that we follow to the letter and we establish a society that is responsive to the needs and rights of our society, especially women.  I find this very progressive indeed.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Madam. Speaker, I move that the

debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 29th September, 2020.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, the House adjourned at Five Minutes  

to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 29th September, 2020.

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