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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 25 JUNE 2024 VOL 50 NO 64

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 25th June, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

     HON. KAMBUZUMA: Good afternoon Hon. Speaker Sir. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Good afternoon.

HON. KAMBUZUMA: Thank you so very much.  Do we not have national points of interest?

THE HON. SPEAKER:    There is?

HON. KAMBUZUMA:  Yes, there is. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I beg your pardon.  Thank you.  Hon. Nyabani.

*HON. NYABANI:  Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir.

     *THE HON. SPEAKER: Good afternoon.

*HON. NYABANI:  Thank you very much.  My point of

national interest pertains to ZiG, our local currency.  Most small businesses end up being prosecuted because of the rates. Most wholesalers and manufacturers are not abiding by the law pertaining to the prescribed official interbank rate.  I am not randomly talking, but this is after I did extensive research.

I have gone to a number of wholesalers who are charging

around 18, 19 and even 20.  These are wholesalers that are found in Harare, they are not far and I wonder what could be done to stop this.  I want to request that the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, together with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, send teams to ascertain what is happening.  People in the rural areas are being arrested, but there are people who are here in Harare using the same rates. 

You will find people in Mutoko, Murewa, Rushinga and

Bindura being arrested yet they are getting their supplies from Harare wholesalers.  Wholesalers in Harare should bring down their prices and stick to the gazetted prices.  The rural retailers are just putting a mark-up on the rates that they would have been charged by the wholesalers.  I thank you. 

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Your concerns and views have been

noted, but when you noted that people were not abiding by the law, why did you not inform the police?

*HON. NYABANI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I went to the Reserve

Bank of Zimbabwe and spoke ….

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you should have

informed the police.

*HON. NYABANI: There is police at the Reserve Bank Mr.

Speaker Sir. This is a civil issue and not a criminal issue. 

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you have raised a

very valid point, whether it is a criminal or a civil offence, a person should be arrested.  So, I want to request that in future, you inform the police. 

You can put that question to the Minister of Finance,

Economic Development and Investment Promotion during the question and answer segment tomorrow so that you get a response to your question.

          HON. V. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker SirI am rising on a matter of national interest in recognition of the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, one of the most serious public health and socio-pathological threats facing adolescents and young people is drug and substance abuse which has a long-term impact on their well-being and future as it eats into the socio-economic capital. 

          As we commemorate this day, I am alive to our effort as the august House, as demonstrated by the robust debate on a motion that was raised by Hon. Mapiki on the same issue which was overwhelmingly supported by both sides of the House.  This is a testimony that there is still a lot that binds us together than that which may separate us.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to urge the Executive to intensify its fight and efforts in the war against this scourge so that the future of our young ones is preserved for a more prosperous socio-economic posterity.  I so submit. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Did you read some newspapers today?

          HON. V. MOYO: No, I did not.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: First thing in the morning before you do anything, you must read and catch up with your print media and other social platforms.  If you had read the print media article, I think it is on the front page.  His Excellency, tomorrow will respond to exactly what you have raised.  I think a plan of action is going to be announced tomorrow by His Excellency the President and you will be represented by ‘Yours Truly’ myself.  So please watch out for the statement and I am sure you can take that to the constituents as well, together with the other Members of the House.

          HON. BAJILA: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker.  I rise on point of national interest that arises from the advertisement by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority which has been flighted across numerous media platforms and channels.  According to the advertisement, the ZIMRA will conduct an auction of its obsolete equipment, including vehicles, office furniture, fridges, and other items at Mhlahlandlela and Victoria Falls offices on 27 June 2024.

          My attention was brought to the notice that all payments for this auction are strictly in United States Dollars.  While other words in the notice fall on normal font, the word strictly has been put in bold to emphasise the point. 

          Mr. Speaker, this is tantamount to a vote of no confidence on the local currency by our tax collector. To prevent the use of local currency even for the purchase of second-hand goods, is the highest level of contempt by the tax collector.  I, thus call upon the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion to bring ZIMRA to order and to allow the use of both foreign and local currency in these transactions if we have confidence in the local currency.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You have made an interesting observation.  Perhaps you can follow it up tomorrow during Question time so that you can get more elaboration from the Minister of Finance. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. KAMBUZUMA: I move that Order of the Day Number 1 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Orders of the Day Numbers 2 to 5 have been disposed of.

HON. NYANDORO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO ZUPCO AND PRIVATE TRANSPORT OPERATORS

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on inadequate and reliable public transportation.

Question again proposed.

*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support the motion which was moved by Hon. Mashonganyika regarding those who are in the transport business. They should register their vehicles because we are facing several road accidents.  I support this motion because I believe that operators should register their cars and be given different commercial number plates.

These vehicles must go through testing and they should be given licences to operate, especially after checking whether they are road-worthy or not.  A person who will be driving such a car should have their eyesight and mental state tested because instead of applying brakes, some react late thereby causing accidents.  This is a motion that I believe should be supported.

The Government should avail buses to ZUPCO or fund the company so that we have buses that are in good condition and roadworthy.  There are some buses assembled here in Zimbabwe, for example the AVM, DAF, and other buses, hence they should be given capital or funding.  The Government should also give ZUPCO the facility to import buses from Belarus duty-free.

Furthermore, bus drivers or drivers of public transport should be regulated so that the age of public transport should start from 25 years or 30 years.   It should be from 30 years and above and not more than 60 years of age, so I would suggest that 30 to 60 years of age, the bus driver should retire or their eye sight should be checked as well as how they perform. So the biggest challenge is that even when cars are registered, at road blocks you will find that this might be a car which should not be allowed to pass a roadblock, but they pass.  There should be surveillance cameras at roadblocks which are connected to the police headquarters so that they are programmed to monitor what is happening at roadblocks. This will help us to monitor that only registered cars will be going because in the evening, you find that touts who know that the police will not be on the roads will be driving cars and buses without drivers’ licences which allows them to drive such cars.  Most of the accidents that we witness are because of such drivers.

In Harare, there are a lot of pirate taxis and we have seen in China and other countries there are a lot of cameras in urban centers.  We do not have the resources at the moment so that we monitor cars, especially in big cities like Harare.  I believe we need to engage the Ministry of Information Communication Technology because the Ministry is not doing due diligence.  It is taking time, but we need to monitor so that we see the movement of cars.  Instead of waiting to ticket drivers on roadblocks, people should receive their tickets as they are monitored along the major roads for various traffic offences.  I believe this should be done if we engage the Ministry of Information Communication Technology. It should be programmed properly so that when someone commits a traffic offence, they receive their ticket forthwith. This would allow us to be able to monitor what is happening on our roads so that people comply with the rules. 

Sometimes people will be chasing targets.  At times they overload and over-speed so that they capitalise on their targets and so they exceed speed limits, like on major roads where 120km is the maximum. At one point, the police were monitoring speed limits, but now they are not doing that.  Sometimes you also find that people might be rushing to pick up people, but there should be alternative forms of transportation like the shuttle trains which will be picking up people.  Trains have a larger capacity to carry people and this will lessen the pressure on small cars, pirate taxis and other cars.  The issue of pirate taxis should be really dealt with because many people are losing their lives.  Some people are being abused, raped or robbed in prate taxis.  When licences are being given, there should be a criteria to look at people who deserve because people should be vetted to see whether or not they deserve to be given permits to ply different routes.

We have the Traffic Safety Council Department which has a responsibility towards teaching people about road rules. The cars which are supposed to be registered should be cars which can carry passengers and goods, but you find that there are large haulage trucks which carry bricks, stones and other goods.  Such cars should be inspected for roadworthiness because they are also causing accidents.

          In Mozambique, there are laws which prohibit large haulage tucks from moving between 6.00 p.m. and 6.00 a. m.  This allows authorities to monitor that only registered cars are using public roads.  Sometimes you find some haulage trucks breaking down in major roads because they are not roadworthy.  So I believe that Government should consider the issue of resuscitating goods trains in order to alleviate such challenges like the ones that I was mentioning. 

So indeed, I thank Hon. Mashonganyika and I support the motion that was moved by the Hon. Member and I also want to support the Road Department, our Police, the Home Affairs Ministry and other arms of the State because we have noted that a lot of people sometimes get hurt through these accidents.  I thank you Hon. Speaker for this opportunity. 

          *HON. ZEMURA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute towards the issue of public transportation.  Most times I have noted that when there are naughty drivers, people accuse the police, some alleging that where were the police when this was happening.  Indeed to speak the truth, the police need to be empowered with their tools of trade and they must go and monitor what is happening on our roads, but many naughty people drive whilst they are drinking beer.  They will be having different brews whether it is black label, mutoriro or other brews.

          This distracts the driver.  It takes away the concentration of the driver. So I have noted that Zimbabwe should be well equipped to fund the Home Affairs so that people can have breathalyzers to test the amount of alcohol in driver’s systems.  Hon. Speaker, the truth is that the police cannot test people by merely looking at them using their eyes, yet people will be drunk. Mutoriro is not only for young kids, but it is also being consumed by old people who drink and drive, whether they are driving buses or small cars. There are some cars which just ply different routes whilst overloading people. You find people as old as Hon. Zemura sitting in the boot. Sometimes people will be packed like sardines. Is this good? No, you also find transporters putting people in car boots which are supposed to be for luggage. Our transporters are not registered. The ages of 18-25 are the drivers of pirate taxis.

Pirate taxis sometimes are always on the road and they work on targets. Sometimes they are told to do eight trips per day and they do not consider people’s safety. Even buses which go to Nyamapanda, you would find that the buses would go and come back the same day. There is a lot of competition on our highways and that competition endangers people and causes accidents.  The people will be over-speeding throughout the day so that they meet their targets. So, there should be laws which govern these buses and cars so that there is a database of the cars which apply different routes and the time that they use or take any route. The police should calculate the time that they have taken.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage should correct this issue so that it is ascertained whether public transport operators use registered cars, buses or not. You find that sometimes people are being dragged by rank marshals and separated from their luggage. When you take your luggage, you find that the car is gone. There should be a law to register all public cars or vehicles.

In the past, buses had timetables. When a bus was supposed to leave at 8.00 a.m. and arrive at 12.00 p.m. in Murewa, arriving earlier than that would warrant the bus driver being questioned on the movement and whether they were following the same timetable or not. This was a good thing for transporters. When commuter omnibuses came, the timetables were changed and you would find that commuter omnibuses just moving around without any restriction. There is no one who restricts commuter omnibuses on the speeds they use. 

          The Ministry of Transport should be serious, especially regarding the issue of public transportation. The Ministry should look into this issue and investigate it so that people are carried with dignity from one point to the next. There should be dignity of passengers instead of the willy-nilly…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please use one language. Dignity is chiremerera.

          HON. ZEMURA: Hon. Speaker Sir, it is a slip of the tongue, please forgive me. For people to be carried with dignity, we all have cars in this august House. When a kombi comes and when a pirate taxi comes, no one will get into that pirate taxi because we know the kind of behaviour exhibited in the pirate taxi. Sometimes people might even fear to come to Parliament and no one will say that I want to get into a pirate taxi. We want what is happening to our Hon. Members to also happen to passengers, whether from Mbare, Masvingo or different parts of the country. Please, go to Mbudzi and see how people are tossed around, especially those who will be going to Chivhu and others in that direction.

          The different transporters should be investigated by the Ministry. At one point, I did not come to Parliament and the driver said let us go to board a pirate taxi. I said I would rather stay at home because sometimes you travel fearing for your life and your safety. We need to enact laws which protect the people. Transporters are not doing well and because of that, we request that the Ministry investigates them because people are dying through poor transportation, more than through HIV/AIDS.

          Remember, the people who were coming from church who died last year. Those who were going to Mutendi Church, the whole bus perished because of one transporter. I request that the Ministry of Transport should be serious and look into this issue. If we want to protect our people, we must not allow the people to die because of transporters. The bus is no longer safe, commuter omnibuses are no longer safe and there are a lot of accidents that are happening. Even the pirate taxis which are being involved in accidents, some cut in front of other motorists, this can be prevented when people are arrested and prosecuted.

          When we put punitive laws, people will not commit such traffic offences. I do not want to blame the police, but I want to blame the Ministry of Transport and our Government because if punitive actions were being taken, such actions like using breathalysers would ascertain the level of alcohol consumed by a driver. I am saying that because I have lived in other countries like America, but I never heard of accidents happening because the police are empowered with adequate tools of trade so that they can test the alcohol content of drivers. I have said a lot about transporters and I thank you for the opportunity.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much.  Please stick to the prayer of the motion.  There are four areas.  The second one on enforcement by agencies of Government seems to be overwhelming, but there is very little about capacitation of ZUPCO as prayer number one.  The role of Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe as prayer number three.  The fourth prayer is the capacitation of NRZ. So be more comprehensive in your responses to the motion. 

          HON. NYANDORO:  I have focused my points mainly on how the current transport system affects people with disabilities.  The current transport is inaccessible to the disability community.  There is lack of ramps and probably lifts for buses and mini buses who ferry people in and out of the buses.  The way in which the transport operators handle people with disability - they are handled in a harsh way in such a way that they are not given time to get in and out of the vehicles with dignity, like what Hon. Zemura said. 

          There is also limited access to information with regards to the schedules of routes - that is even if they exist because the public transport system does not have any routes.  You just go by the road side and you find a kombi or a mushikashika or a ZUPCO bus.  I would like to emphasise on the need to capacitate ZUPCO, especially as they are the main transport system that ferries people from point A to B. If we look at it, ZUPCO has got better fares than the mushikashikas and the commuter omnibus.  ZUPCO has also better space that might not really accommodate but ZUPCO is better than all the other transport operators that exist within our system. 

          There is little or no coverage with regards to the people when we look at people that have short eye sight or that do not see.  There are no publications in the public transport system to show them where the bus is going or is going to drop off the passengers.  It then becomes more difficult for the people who cannot see to liaise with the transport operators.  To ensure a disability friendly transport system, I think the Ministry of Transport and the Government must focus on bringing back the commuting system of NRZ which is more accessible and more affordable.  This will assist the people with disabilities.  I feel and think that the Government should invest in training the transport operators to ensure that they handle people with disabilities in a humble and dignified manner.  In whatever we do, we may not be able to know what exactly people with disabilities require to access this essential service.  I urge the Government to make sure that in whatever they do, they do it in consultation with the disability community so that they are also included and their needs are taken care of.

          I also urge the Government to ensure that there is enforcement of regulations when registering public transport operators.  I think it is very important that all the vehicles, before they go for registration, are checked and evaluated to see if they are disability friendly so that everyone else is included in the transport services. 

          The Government should increase accessibility features to install audios or visual announcements and markings for accessible sitting to cater for the people living with disabilities.  Government should continuously monitor and evaluate regularly the access and improve the accessibility of public transport costs and also make sure that it is accessible to those living with disabilities and their aides. 

If I may add more, I think it is important that the Government through the Ministry of Transport, scrap all fees for those people that are helping people with disabilities to move around because most of the time people with disability will fail to go wherever they want because they will not have adequate funds to make themselves travel together with their aides.

          *HON. J. TSHUMA: I am standing in for the Hon. Member and I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion which was moved by Hon. Mashonganyika which is indeed a good motion.  This motion is meant to preserve lives so that we do not continue losing lives through accidents. 

          The first issue being a request that Government should ascertain that private transporters are licenced or regulated and the capacitation of ZUPCO so that it has an adequate complement of buses.  In business, we anticipate that when someone works outside business ethics that person can be removed from that particular trade or field.  For example, the problem with unroadworthy buses and kombis is that there are no enough good cars and buses. So, it would be a good thing if Government capacitates ZUPCO with an adequate compliment of buses as this will eliminate pirate taxis.  If Government could give licences to those who are already in the transport sector; and if Government could issue loans so that they augment their fleets, this will ensure that there are enough public buses and eliminate pirate taxis. 

Pirate taxis cannot continue operating because those who are legally licenced will be doing their job.  We may deploy officers from all police camps but still continue to have challenges - when someone is sick, we need to identify the cause, not the headache. 

What is dominating the industry particularly looking at Honda Fits and other pirate taxis is that they are not public vehicles.  So, what we need as Zimbabwe is for transport operators to acquire bigger buses that will ferry 100 or more people.  When buses go to termini like Copacabana, Fourth Street and other termini in smaller towns in districts and different areas, then smaller buses can also be deployed on other roads that are off road or are in peripheral areas. 

We want Harare to be a world class city but because of what is currently happening where you find people hanging on boots and behind cars, this takes away the shine of the sunshine city.  ZUPCO should be capacitated to buy more buses and they should buy buses that can operate in both urban and rural areas.  There are buses that are meant for urban routes on tarred roads only.  This needs to be looked into. 

I am saying there should be duty free importation of buses for companies like ZUPCO because what is affecting people probably is the issue that they cannot import cars.  When transport operators import cars duty free or the duty is less, then this would allow them to import more buses. So, this will be good for public transport operators because they will be having new buses coming in to replace the old ones.

 I request that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development when looking at countries like Dubai, you find that there are taxis that ferry people.  These taxis are not owned by individuals, but are a business opportunity.  They are a revenue stream that can benefit the Ministry because if the Ministry then has a fleet of taxi cabs, the revenue stream will contribute to the fiscus.  I want to urge Government to look into the issue, particularly the Ministry that can take this as an opportunity for business for cities like Harare.

There should be shuttle vehicles like the pirate taxis that operate from the Charge Office to Fourth Street; Copacabana to Fourth Street or Copacabana to Mbare – short distances.  This means that there is no shuttle service to ferry people across those points as some people will be in a hurry and may end up compromising their safety accessing these pirate taxis.  They cannot wait for buses to fill up because often times, people will be trickling in during off peak hours.

So, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development in conjunction with the City Council should consider taking this as a business idea and this will curb accidents on our roads.

There is also this issue that police should arrest road traffic offenders and that fines should be punitive.  Indeed, this is good.  People should be arrested and penalised.  I also believe that stiffer penalties, fines and spot fines are a bit of a challenge because this is between the drivers and the police officers.  Sometimes you will find that drunken drivers commit minor or major traffic offences, the situation perpetuates bribery and extortion between the motorists and the police officers manning the roadblock. 

Police officers in the Traffic Department countrywide own cars.  There is no police officer who does not have a car.  They get their money from roadblocks.  In one of the provinces where I normally visit, at one point, a motorist was stopped at a roadblock.  You will find that the officers cash in less money than the money they collect at roadblocks.  They are pocketing the bulk of the money from roadblocks.  So, it is important that this issue is looked into.  We need to address the root of the problem so that we have enough public transportation to eliminate pirate taxis.  There should be reasonable fines that will make a police officer think twice before accepting a bribe.

There was also mention of the Traffic Safety Council as an agency that has a mandate of educating motorists on traffic rules and regulations.  This is quite pertinent because the Traffic Safety Council should be on our roads, especially where people commit traffic offences.  For instance, in Harare, there are well-known spots where rank marshals are plying their trade.  Such roads should have Traffic Safety Council Officers educating people.  I know that they may not be enough to cover every road in the country, but there is need to identify hot spots where there are touts and rank marshals during holidays and other times.  This is quite an important issue.

The last issue that was mentioned in Hon. Mashonganyika’s motion is that Government should capacitate the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) with locomotives and passenger trains.  The issue of rehabilitating our railway networks is quite important and will benefit our people.  This is an issue that we have raised several times as Parliament that our roads are being damaged by large haulage trucks that carry heavy loads. 

You will find some roads not lasting long.  Indeed, I support the Hon. Member that this is quite important and there is need for alternatives through the provision of passenger and goods trains so that our goods are carried on the locomotives.  There should be additional locomotives that ply different routes across the country. Looking at Harare which has quite a large population, there are areas like Chitungwiza, Norton and Ruwa which are a bit far away from the Central Business District and need public transportation through the railway line.

 Indeed, our roads will benefit from the lessened pressure because most goods will be using the railway line from one city to the other through our goods train.  It also lessens the volume of traffic on our roads and it will also lessen accidents because there will be fewer cars. Those abnormal haulage trucks are causing accidents on our major roads because they move a bit slower than other vehicles. Accidents happen because motorists will be trying to overtake, so because of human error people fail to calculate the braking distance hence overtaking whilst facing on-coming traffic.  I thank you.

          HON. KANGAUSARU: Thank you Madam Speaker and greetings from Hurungwe Constituency.  I would also like to thank you Madam Speaker, for allowing me to rise today to support the motion on the need for comprehensive reforms in the regulation of the transport sector. 

          It is a grave matter of public record that our roads have become increasingly plagued by instances of highway robberies with commuters and goods transporters falling victim to brazen criminal elements.  Madam Speaker, these public-facing robberies not only traumatise and endanger innocent civilians but also disrupt the flow of essential goods and services, thereby stifling economic progress and undermining the Government’s development agenda.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, the root cause of this alarming trend can be found in the inadequate registration and oversight of transporters operating within our borders.  Currently, the process of registering and licencing transport operators lacks the necessary rigor and accountability mechanisms. This regulatory vacuum has allowed unscrupulous and potentially dangerous elements to infiltrate the industry putting the safety of our people at a grave risk.

          Moreover, the absence of a comprehensive database of registered transporters, complete with detailed profiles and real-time tracking capacities has hampered law enforcement’s ability to monitor and respond to criminal activities.  Furthermore, the lack of specialised security task forces to patrol vulnerable sections of our road networks has only emboldened the criminal syndicates who operate with impunity.

          Mr. Speaker, I firmly believe that the time has come for us as the representatives of the people to take decisive action to address this pressing issue. I, therefore, propose that this august House urgently considers the following measures to safeguard the well-being of our citizens and the integrity of our transportation network:

          For the registration of operators, both public and private, that mandates comprehensive background checks, vehicle inspections, and the implementation of robust security protocols. This will serve to weed out potentially dangerous elements and instill a culture of professionalism and accountability within the industry.

          Introduce the relevant regulatory authorities such as the Transport and Infrastructural Development Commission, with the necessary resources and mandate to conduct regular, unannounced inspections of transport operators to ensure compliance with safety and security standards. This will create a deterrent effect and compel operators to adhere to the established norms.

          Establish a centralised database of registered transporters, complete with detailed profiles and real-time tracking capabilities, to enhance law enforcement’s ability to monitor and respond to criminal activities. This measure will equip our security forces with the tools they need to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

          Introduce harsher penalties, including the revocation of operating licences for transport operators found to be complicit in or facilitating public-facing robberies. This will end with a clear message that such criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and will serve as a powerful deterrent.

          Mr. Speaker, the time for action is now. By addressing the glaring gaps in the regulation of the transportation sector, we can restore a sense of safety and security for our citizens, safeguard the flow of essential goods, and send a clear message that such brazen criminal acts will not be tolerated. I thank you.

          HON. BAJILA: Good afternoon Madam Speaker.  Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion.  I want to thank other Hon. Members who have contributed ahead of me, in particular, Hon. Mashonganyika and Hon. Chikwinya for bringing this motion before the House.

I seek to attend to the question that appears on the motion around the issue of financial assistance to ZUPCO, around the issue of a law enforcement agencies intensifying their work on making sure that our roads are user friendly. I also intend to attend to the issue of the revival of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, in 2005 this House passed the ZUPCO Debt Assumption Act.  The ZUPCO Debt Assumption Act was a law passed by this House to cause Government to assume a debt that ZUPCO was having with the Metropolitan Bank.  In 2002, Madam Speaker, ZUPCO had taken ZWL 41 billion loan from the Metropolitan Bank and by 2005 it was clear that ZUPCO was incapable of clearing that debt.  The ZUPCO Debt Assumption Act came to this House and was passed.  At the time the Government took over that debt and payed US$12.5 million, to the Metropolitan Bank and various debtors that ZUPCO had.

          The ZUPCO Debt Assumption Act further mandated ZUPCO as a parastatal and the Minister to improve numerous reforms in terms of how it is managed in terms of financial management and systems of operations.  This is contained in the ZUPCO Debt Assumption Act which was passed by this House.

          Madam Speaker, as of 10 May, 2024 media reports indicated that ZUPCO now has a debt again, which stands at US$28 million.  This is at the back of its debt of UD$12.5 million being assumed by Government in 2005.  I come Madam Speaker to say the system by which we are managing ZUPCO is clearly not functional.  We are moving to a second ZUPCO debt assumption period.  Unfortunately this time around it will not be easy for us to have these conversations around assuming the ZUPCO debt, because ZUPCO has now been included in the Mutapa Wealth Fund and there is little that the public can do with respect to entities that are part of that fund.  All the same, we need now to find means of making sure that ZUPCO is viable, because despite the debt assumption of 20 years ago, the Debt Assumption Act, making recommendations on reforms that were going to prevent ZUPCO from being in debt again, ZUPCO is back in debt.

          So this motion calls for financial assistance to both ZUPCO and transport operators.  Madam Speaker, we have no option.  We cannot subject our people completely to the private sector when it comes to the issue of public transport because people always need social safety and social security.  We need to find means by which we can make ZUPCO work.

Madam Speaker, one of the ways will be through doing to ZUPCO what we did to ZBC.  At some point we had one ZBC which was in charge of all radio stations, which was in charge of everything on air.  One day we made a resolution that we are now going to move ZBC to be on its own as a parastatal running everything and we are creating ZBC Holdings.  By creating ZBC Holdings we then managed to have Radio Zimbabwe being a standalone company with its own board, its own systems of operation.  We had ZTV being a standalone company with its own systems and ways of operating and so forth and so on.

          We could look at ZUPCO and try to move it this way before we consider the huge financial assistance that it needs because as it stands right now, for ZUPCO to be able to function we first need to clear the US$28 million debt that it already has.  We can then start to make it function and it is not an easy thing that we can just speak about and pretend that it can be done by just pumping money and hoping that things will proceed normally.

          Madam Speaker, the opportunity we have to take ZUPCO the ZBC direction is that ZUPCO is already a parastatal of the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  It is not a parastatal of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and we can look into other countries.  We can look even into proposals that were done just before me by Hon. Tshuma.  The proposal could be to say let us have ZUPCO as it exists now as a holding company and then we have Murehwa United Passenger Company that I know Hon. Zemura will be proud of.  We can then have Gokwe United Passenger Company that I know Hon. Tshuma will be proud of.  Then we have these companies run by local authorities, run at local level but still having the supervision and management of a ZUPCO Holdings at national level.  By so doing, we will develop our own best practices here and be able to say this can work, this cannot work.

Madam Speaker, I come from Bulawayo.  If you are using Masiyephambili Road, there is some place called Govheya.  If you get to Govheya, you will feel that you are at a cemetery of buses.  This is a fleet of ZUPCOs that we bought as a country.  They came into our roads and within two or three years, all of them were parked at Govheya and they are still parked there today.  They are of no use.  We need to say as we think of recapitalising ZUPCO we must find other ways because the old ways we have done of saying ZUPCO is in debt, let us give them money, they buy new cars, those cars got defunct.  Again, ZUPO has problems, we pump money.  It has proven that it does not work and the ZUPCO Debt Assumption Act of 2005 is enough proof for this House to consider.  Madam Speaker, I believe that if we do that we will be able at some point to resuscitate our public transport system. 

Linked to that, Madam Speaker, is around the issue of what mode of transport do we have mainly in the country.  Commuter omnibuses are part of our public transport system and I see that the motion also speaks to assistance for the private sector, but Madam Speaker, we need to ask ourselves where we are getting these commuter omnibuses from.  Most of our commuter omnibuses are manufactured in Japan.  Do Japanese use commuter omnibuses for their public transport system?  No, they do not.  They use buses be it is urban areas, small towns.  Anywhere buses are the most popular means of transport and we need to be able to support the growth and development if we are to support the private sector of those who want to bring buses into our space.

Hon. Tshuma gave us an example that you can have one bus which can load half the people at Coppa Cabana at once.  We can have one bus which can load a quarter of the people at Fourth Street, Simon Muzenda taxi rank at once.  A bus can do the same, be it at Batanai in Gweru, Renkini in Bulawayo or Esigodini.  We need to find means of supporting that buses be increased in our transport networks, be it the private or the public sector.   That way even the congestion will be reduced but we cannot ban commuter omnibuses because one of the things that always jeopardises our system is operation by banning. All we need to do is to support the increase of buses in our system. If combis find means of fair and lawful competition with buses, so be it but if also they do not succeed and they decide to join the bus industry, that is okay but it will be wrong for us to continue operating by banning.

          I move to the issue of the National Railways of Zimbabwe. I remember very well at the pre-budget seminar last year when Mr. Speaker besieged this House that we should give NRZ whatever amount they want so that NRZ be revived. I support that kind of idea because we need NRZ back and functional. I experienced the beauty of the railways some four years back when I had goods that were supposed to be moved from Harare to Bulawayo. A set of sofas, a bed and a wardrobe cost me USD21 on a train from Harare to Bulawayo.

          Myself alone, getting into a bus travelling from Harare to Bulawayo was USD20. This shows us how railways can be useful to us and the need for us to be serious around reviving them. In order for us to revive the railways, we need to ask ourselves what happened on the railways to get where they are. Hon. Tshuma spoke to some of the issues. The growth of the haulage truck industry in our country created means by which huge loads could move into our roads fast from one destination to another. That way people began to reduce the use of the railway.  When people began to reduce the use of the railway, it meant that NRZ did not have funds it could use to maintain the railway line and even maintain its fleet of trains. Eventually, we saw the collapse of the NRZ.

          On the issue of roads, the roads such as Bulawayo/Victoria Falls Road cannot be fixed as long as we have not fixed NRZ. The reason being haulage trucks have taken loads that should have been on the railway and brought the load on the road. So, you might put a lot of money today and fix Bulawayo/Victoria Falls Road, but be rest assured that in two or so years, the haulage trucks will have finished that road again and you will have to go back to redo it. Fixing NRZ is also at the centre of fixing our roads because we need to reduce the load on our roads and take it to our railways.

          One of the ways we can use to achieve this is to introduce what are called weigh bridges because when we teach our drivers when they go to VID to acquire their licences, the question of weight restrictions is always there, but we are not doing weight restrictions in Zimbabwe. If we are doing them, then we are not enforcing them. My proposal is that let us introduce weight restrictions enforcement in all our roads and say this is the total amount of weight.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Bajila, you are left with five minutes.

          HON. BAJILA: Thank you Madam Speaker. When we are introducing weight restrictions, we say this is the total weight that can be carried on any vehicle on Bulawayo/Beitbridge Road. We introduce weigh bridges at every tollgate. Whenever a vehicle has to pass through a tollgate, there must be an automatic system of weighing it and say your weight is above use on this road and therefore, you are being fined on the spot before you even cross that tollgate. The fine has to be so prohibitive and the ticket should be null and void at the next tollgate.

          For example, if you are fined on the tollgate from Bulawayo to Harare Road, when you get to Gweru, you should not say I have this receipt and I paid at the Norton tollgate, so I cannot pay here. No, you have to pay at every tollgate that you pass if you are overweight. When we do so, there will be reduction in weight on our roads and when we do so, some of the weights will go to the railway. We will have hit two birds with one stone.

          We also need to go further and increase the fines of overweight on strategic roads of this country such as Plumtree/Mutare, Beitbridge/Chrundu and Beitbridge/Victoria Falls. We need to increase the fines for having overweight load on these roads. That way, I believe we will resuscitate NRZ, manage the lifespan of our roads better and that way, I believe that we will be able to bring back our ZUPCO. With those words Madam Speaker, I thank you.

HON. KAMBUZUMA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. MATEWU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE TO RESUME

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. KUDHLANDE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I want to thank you for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered on the 3rd of October, 2023 by President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His, Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. It is my great honour and privilege to begin by congratulating our duly elected President, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, on his reelection. The people have spoken and they have chosen a leader who embodies their hopes and dreams.  Your vision is a testament of the visionary work your administration has carried out that far.  We stand ready, as Parliament, to contribute to another transformative term by His Excellency.

          I stand before you today, humbled and honoured to have been elected as the representative of the people of Zimbabwe.  I am deeply grateful for the trust they have placed in me and I pledge to serve my constituency and the country at large with integrity, dedication and commitment to the principles that bind us as a nation.  It is truly an honour to be part of what will undoubtedly, be a landmark 10th Parliament under the able leadership of the President, E.D. Mnangagwa. 

Our mandate as elected officials is to ensure the success of the national strategies already set in motion by our President.  His results are already being felt on the ground by ordinary Zimbabweans.

          Allow me to extend my humble thanks and gratitude to the President for providing the extension of the Parliamentary Women’s Quota.  In the August 2023 elections for the National Assembly, we saw 637 successful male candidates while there were only 70 successful female candidates.  More work remains for us to do before we can truly talk of gender equity in politics.  We thank His Excellency for taking a leading role in this area. 

          Economically, as a Parliament, we will ensure that bold and transformative measures continue to be taken as we march along the road to vision 2030.  The ultimate goal is an empowered and prosperous upper-middle income society.  However, it is the interim that we will continue to strive for inclusive growth, delivered in a fair and transparent manner especially to the rural and female sections of our population.  It is our duty to promote an enabling environment for new enterprise development while also encouraging employment and job creation in these historically marginalised areas.  Again, we look to the example already set by our President, who in my home province has led from the front with development programmes such as the commissioning of the Allied Timbers Cashel Valley Saw Mill and the employment creation for the local community in the Chiadzwa area.

          What is also notable is, His Excellency has led us to all these achievements while our nation has been under the burden of illegal sanctions.  As Parliamentarians, we will continue to call for the unconditional removal of all illegal sanctions imposed in our nation.  We will also continue to work tirelessly to ensure that these sanctions do not succeed in their agenda.  As a movement and as the Government, our spirit has been renewed and our strength freshened.  We continue the march as a unified and resolute nation as we look forward to the next five years of development, growth and prosperity for all Zimbabweans. I thank you.  

HON. MATEWU:  On a point of order Madam Speaker Ma’am.   I think the motion as it was moved, was to debate the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency which was basically the legislative agenda of this House.  I plead with you so that Hon. Members who are going to debate the Presidential Speech do so and let us know what pieces of legislation as proposed for this year so that we can get a feel of this speech.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your point of order is over-ruled Hon. Matewu.

HON. NGWENYA:  I rise to add my voice on the motion raised by Hon. Nguluvhe, seconded by Hon. Zhou and thank them for bringing this important motion for debate.   I would like to congratulate His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa for resoundingly winning the 2023 election in a free, fair and peaceful environment.  Through this election, I would like also to congratulate Hon. Members in this House who were also electedI will further congratulate the Hon. Speaker and his deputy who were also elected in this House.  I would also like to thank the electorate who participated in their numbers in that particular election and voted willingly and freely. 

His Excellency the President, in his SONA address, touched on very important issues.  Amongst them, he touched the issue of providing 35 000 boreholes for all the villages in Zimbabwe. Those villages also include my constituency, that is Gokwe-Gumunyu, where I am also looking forward to having more boreholes drilled in that constituency as per the President’s mantra.  I could tell from what the President promised Zimbabweans, that all boreholes will be drilled.  So far, about 20 000 have been drilled in the country.  For sure, the 15 000 that is remaining, I expect my constituency to receive in that particular area 15 000 that is remaining. 

On the legislative agenda set by His Excellency the President, Cde. E. D Mnangagwa; it touched the growth of the mining sector from USD2.8 million in 2017 to the present USD12 billion.  I stand here being a witness to the growth as I have artisanal miners in my constituency – Gokwe Gumunyu in places like Zenda, Mutukani and Kasonde Mine who have immensely benefited and are also selling their gold to gold centres dotted around the country.

This brings to mind the proposed Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill that I believe will go a long way in addressing all the anomalies and disputes over claims in this sector.  I have witnessed some of them in my constituency, especially in Venda and Mutukani areas, where there are continuous disputes over these claims.  I hope the bringing of the Mines and Mineral Amendment Bill to this Parliament will pave way for resolving those disputes amicably. 

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, still on the legislative agenda set by His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, an agenda that resonates with our country’s Vision 2030.  I would like to explore some of these laws other than the one on mines that I have already covered.  I will also look at the Sugar Reproduction Amendment Bill which came at the right time.  This is a very important household product that is also used for blending our petrol, thereby reducing its costs to the benefit of our people. 

          I would like to thank His Excellency, the President for this Bill being brought to this House and promoting the mass production of sugar cane and leading to the production of sugar in large quantities.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, it was also encouraging that His Excellency, the President brought the amendment of the Parks and Wild Life Act.  This, I believe, will deal with the issue of human and wild life conflict that is being witnessed in places like Tenda, Nyamasaka, Mashame and all other areas that have wild life.  I have just mentioned a few that are in my constituency.   This conflict has led to crops being destroyed by straying wild life especially elephants.  I just hope that this amendment, which I believe will bring relief in these communities, will possibly compensate people who are affected by this conflict. 

          Finally, Madam Speaker Ma’am, I would like to also add my voice to the issue of devolution that was brought by His Excellency, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa.  This entails equitable distribution of our cake to all our provinces and it is most welcome.  Notable achievements have been made throughout the country.  For instance, in my constituency, there is Gunguwe Bridge that was constructed, completed and commissioned as well.  The bridge actually links all four constituencies in Gokwe North. They link Chireya, Gumunyu and also Kabuyuni areas. 

          Other than that the President, also through devolution, schools were attended to.  Others were repaired whilst others were built from scratch.  I have schools in my constituency like Gumunyu High School that was repaired through devolution.  I also have Budiriro Primary School – it a new state of the art school that was constructed in my constituency as well.  I would like to thank His Excellency the President for promoting the livelihood of our people and children - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, I also believe that increased devolution funding will lead to repairing more roads, especially our rural roads.  I have observed that through the work of His Excellency and his 2030 Vision, several roads are being constructed.  Increasing the devolution share to provinces will lead to more roads, schools and even clinics being repaired or constructed.  I have roads in my constituency that includes roads like Nembudziya to Peter’s Store that may benefit through devolution.  I have others, Tafara-Gandaware Road, for instance, Nembudziya-Nyahungwe and Norah-Zenda via Mutukani – just to mention a few that need to be repaired so that people travel freely.  It actually leads to cheap forms of transport whenever they are returning to their homes.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, I will not conclude without mentioning the delicate resource that is water.  Dams are also being repaired countrywide and funding of devolution will lead to more dam construction and more scooping of dams to remove sand from those dams thereby leading to our people and animals benefiting.  So I plead for this devolution fund to have increased funding so that our President’s, Hon. Dr. Mnangagwa’s Vision is realised. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          In conclusion Madam Speaker Ma’am, let us all as a country rally behind His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa’s mantra ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo, nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.  By actually supporting our President through this mantra, our vision and the country’s vision from our President is achievable.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. NGULUVHE:  Good afternoon Madam Speaker.  Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, Hon. Members of Parliament, as we conclude the debate on the State of the Nation Address delivered by His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa on 3rd October, 2023,  I rise with a profound sense of duty and responsibility to move a motion of gratitude, reflection and commitment on the issues and pledges articulated in the address. 

          Firstly, I extend my deepest appreciation to His Excellency for presenting a comprehensive vision of our nation’s current state and strategic future direction.  The address underscored critical priorities that demand our collective effort and unweathering dedication. 

          I also want to thank the Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Adv. J. F. N. Mudenda, for his exemplary leadership and for providing the platform for this critical debate.  Your guidance has ensured robust and productive discourse.  My sincere thanks goes to all Hon. Members who participated in this debate.  Your insights, perspectives and constructive criticisms are invaluable in shaping our legislative agenda. 

The diversity of viewpoints presented reflects the democratic spirit of our Parliament and our commitment to serving the people of Zimbabwe. I also extend my gratitude to the ministers who responded to the issues raised in the State of the Nation Address debates.

Hon. Members rightly highlighted the importance of economic stability and growth. The President in his address outlined significant initiatives aimed at revitalising our economy, including bolstering our agricultural sector, promoting industrialisation and enhancing our mining capabilities. We must continue to support policies fostering economic diversification, job creation and sustainable development. Equally important is our mandate to ensure that the mines and minerals bills are gazetted and speed up their passage through the Parliamentary processes.

The President’s commitment to controlling inflation, promoting investment and stabilising our economy is crucial and the introduction of the new monetary policy including the ZiG currency is a step in the right direction.

The need for modern and reliable infrastructure was a recurring theme in our debate. The Government’s commitment to upgrading our roads is commendable. As such, developments are essential for facilitating trade, improving markets and enhancing the overall quality of life for our citizens. Additionally, the emphasis on expanding our energy infrastructure, including renewable energy projects, will ensure we meet the growing demands of our economy and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Our commitment to environmental stewardship today will secure a sustainable future for generations to come.

On that note, the much-anticipated Climate Change Bill which seeks to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate low-carbon development technologies should be thoroughly debated towards strengthening appropriate institutions and funding mechanisms. The Parks and Wildlife Amendment Bill which was highlighted in the SONA and already gazette will ensure better association between human and wild animals in communities.

Agriculture remains the backbone of our economy. On the initiatives to boost agricultural productivity, support small holder farmers and ensure food security are crucial, the President’s vision for self-sufficient Zimbabwe, with a surplus for export, is achievable with the right support and implementation strategies. Climate-smart agriculture and access to financing for farmers are areas that require continued focus.

I commend the dedication to social justice and inclusivity ensuring that no Zimbabwean is left behind. The gazetting of Persons with Disabilities Bill is a significant step towards this goal. We must continue to advocate for policies that promote equality and protect the rights of all citizens.

Lastly, Hon. Members debated on the need for greater youth and women empowerment as highlighted in the SONA. Our young people are the future of Zimbabwe and we must create opportunities for their growth and development. Similarly, empowering women economically and socially is not just a moral imperative, but also a catalyst for broader societal progress. We should continue to ensure that the National Youth Bill and the Small and Medium Enterprises Amendment Bill come to Parliament.

In conclusion, the State of National Address has set the stage for an ambitious and transformative agenda. It is incumbent upon us as Members of Parliament, to work collaboratively and diligently to translate these plans into tangible outcomes through our legislative agenda. Let us commit to putting the interest of our nation and our people first, fostering unity and driving forward the vision of a prosperous and resilient Zimbabwe.

 I hereby move that this House adopt the motion.

Motion that:

May it please you, your Excellency the President: we, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament on the State of Nation Address debate, acknowledging the outlined priorities and pledging our collective effort to achieve the goals set forth, adopted.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE, HOME AFFAIRS, SECURITY, AND WAR VETERANS AFFAIRS ON THE PETITION FROM THE CHILDREN OF WAR VETERANS AND HEROES DEPENDENTS FORUM

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Petition from the Children of War Veterans and Heroes’ Dependents Forum on the Economic Empowerment for War Veterans and their Dependents.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. MUDZINGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for allowing me to add my voice to the motion that was moved by Hon. Nguluvhe and seconded by Hon. Kaitano.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, this is a painful issue, it is quite touching when I speak about it and I feel like shedding tears.  So, I would like to add my voice to this motion regarding the children of war veterans who raised their plight in this august House.

          Let me take you back a bit when independence came, it came after the sacrifices that were made by young boys and girls who lost their lives so that they would be independent.  These cadres sacrificed their education, families and everything that was being done by their age mates at that particular time and went to war.

Madam Speaker, it was not easy out there.  The war was not easy.  There were no aunties, mothers and parents.  All these things were contained within you as an individual.  Independence came and brought liberation to us young girls.  It was not easy for women to stand in front of people debating like what we are doing now.  In the past, during the colonial era, no girl was allowed to do that, but because of war veterans, today we can stand in this august House as a result of the independence which was brought by those who sacrificed themselves.

In the past, ladies could not just come to Harare but the men would come to perform their jobs.  There was need for requesting for permission to travel to Harare to stay with your husband if you were a wife.  You would spend a week then they would make a follow up to make sure that you go back to the rural areas.  It was not easy. Now, you find that along First Street, people are plying different trades but no one was allowed.  This came as a result of the liberation which was brought about by war veterans. There are a lot of us here.  In the past, this House was not this full, only a few representatives who were allowed but because of independence, we are here representing our constituencies.  We debate in peace and we have our resources because of our liberators. There were a lot of complains from the children of war veterans.  This might seem insignificant, but they brought their plight to our attention saying that our parents could not go to school.

 They also wanted to speak big words, English words, but because of war and the sacrifices, some could not go to school and were not educated to their expectations.  So their children raised their plight saying that they implore the august House to look into their plight, that indeed their parents are not educated but how about their children?  They also desire to be educated.  No one is paying school fees for them. The children of war veterans are being chased away from schools.  Some are being told that they cannot register before paying their school fees. This is the request they brought to this House that their parents are not educated, so they request that they be assisted so that they get the education that their parents did not get.

Indeed, it is true.  As I stand here, my child was chased away during my child’s final year and I negotiated, but I was told that if I do not pay, my child will not register for the final year. The child would repeat.  I had to sell my livestock in order to pay for fees for my child.  That is when my child registered for the final year.

Is this the right way that the sacrifice that was made by our war veterans should be sacrificed like that where you find war veterans begging?  It is a humble request by war veterans that as a nation, we do not want to beg but war veterans should be remembered.  War veterans should not be pleading but they should be remembered.  It is not about education only, but even issues to do with farms.  There are a few war veterans who benefited from the land redistribution scheme, but this is the reason why we left this country.  Some of us were very young and we grew up during the liberation struggle so that we get our land, but is this what is supposed to be happening?  We implore the Government, and we request that war veterans be compensated.  This is the love they showed for their country, for their people.  Let us love our war veterans.

There are a lot of issues.  There is the issue of land.  We spoke about schools; we spoke about that. In councils, there are 20% allocations of war veterans and they are saying they are not seeing that.  So Government should indeed intervene so that war veterans get that allocation of 20%.  It is my humble prayer that this august House should feel for war veterans and give war veterans enough love so that in everything they request, they desire, they should benefit. 

I want to thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity.  I thank you.

HON. MAPHOSA:  Good afternoon Hon. Speaker and all the Hon. Members in the House.  Thank you for affording me the time to debate on war veterans affairs.  What is a war veteran?  A war veteran is a person who served in the active military or air service and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonoured.

Madam Speaker, why are the war veterans important to us as a country?  Our war veterans are critical to life as we know it today because they protect our freedom, provide us with a way to learn about our history and the world around us.  War veterans risked their lives for people they never met during the time when they went for liberation war.  Today, we are enjoying peace and freedom because of the sacrifice they did during the war, defending this country.

Madam Speaker, we have got types of war veterans.  We have got disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, campaign badge, armed forces, medal services, chimbwidos and mujibhas as well.  They are also part of war veterans because they played a role during the war by cooking and providing food to our war veterans.  

Hon. Speaker, I also want to go to the characteristics of the war veterans. All true war veterans adhered to the same basic principles in their lifetime. The war veterans are committed. They should have integrity and are supposed to be accountable, loyal to the country and the people at large. They should be able to serve others before themselves. Hon. Speaker Ma’am, the war veterans understand the importance of these principles in building a strong team like what they used to do during the war. There is no one in war that is supposed to work alone.

They succeeded in winning the war because they worked as a team. What makes war veterans so special to us and the country as a whole is that they served to protect us as country as well as their loved ones. They have fought for the freedom of our country that we are enjoying today and forever. I say Zimbabwe today will never be a colony again. What are the rights of war veterans in Zimbabwe?  The war veterans have got rights. They are entitled for pensions, access to best healthcare and have land like Hon. Mudzingwa has said.

 Some of them have no land as of now, and yet that is their right. They went to war to go and fight for land.  I am appealing to all those that give land to give war veterans so that they will realise the dream that they fought for. Furthermore, they have got the right to education through their kids. This is because they are old people now, hence their kids should go to school. Hon. Mudzingwa also mentioned that their kids are also being chased away from school, which is not proper. If we do not pay school fees for their kids, we are killing both our war veterans and history. Such benefits are prescribed.

In conclusion, war veterans should have identity. We need to see them without struggling. They should have badges and their names written on them, simple and a simple fight, we need to see all those things with our war veterans. We should also support them and aid whenever they die no matter their ranks or whether they are at home. They need to be remembered since they brought freedom to our country. We should not forget our war veterans and struggle to see if one is a war veteran or not. They have to have a badge wherever they are. Hon. Speaker Ma’am, thank you for giving me this time to air my voice about the war veterans, we should not struggle. Thank you so much.

*HON. MURWIRA: Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. I want to add my voice to the motion that was moved by Hon. Nguluvhe. I want to honour war veterans for their sacrifice so that all of us are independent. Even as we stand here from the right to the left, we are here because of the boys and girls who sacrificed their lives. I want to honour our war veterans. When we moved around the country, they said a lot of touching issues, some saying that you do not honour us.

When you go to Heroes Acre from the district province and national, there should be a change where we see that our war veterans are honoured. We see during the heroes’ celebrations; we will be seated in VIP tents and they will be out there. So, let us honour them because of their sacrifice, the respect they had when they came from the liberation struggle. I want to talk about the quarters in mining concessions and farms. This should not be on paper only but should transcend the boundaries that are there.

A lot spoke about their health and it really touched some of us and we shed tears. It is important that they get medical aid so that they would be treated for the different illnesses they have, some which came as result of the war. The Ministry of War Veterans should look into the issue where war veterans are also given farms. Their farms should not be taken away. This is indeed painful because these people suffered during the liberation war.  It is important for our war veterans to have their welfare issues addressed. These are some of the issues that we should address.

Let us copy other countries. We are saying that the Ministry should look into this because when we interview them, they think that we are trying to test them. I am saying that even the projects in Government should benefit our war veterans. Some were given funds, some farms and some do not have equipment for their farms. I also want to talk about their salaries.

We heard about it and it is meagre. It cannot cover their needs like catering for their rentals, school fees and food. It is indeed painful. Their salary should be adjusted so that they can fend for their families. Their life should be addressed and His Excellency at one point addressed them. I appreciate that because he spoke about their welfare. Sometimes when you go to rural areas, war veterans say that you are not doing much about us. I thank you.

+HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I would also like to add my voice to this debate that was brought by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Hon. Nguluvhe. I will just add a few points especially on the education of war veterans’ children. The children were requesting that this Parliament also takes care of them. We know that these children, when they are still at school, at times do not realise how important school is. For children of war veterans, they are said to continue with their education till they get to tertiary education without breaking.  What happens in life is that at times they break but if they then want to resume schooling, they should be allowed to go back to school.  As it is now, some of us are enjoying the benefits because we went to school.  These children should be given a chance to go back to school. 

There are difficulties that they face at times.  As this august House, we must come up with resolutions that will also benefit all children despite the fact that they are not ministers’ children – every one should enjoy.  When you select children for the quota system to come and represent them here, they also want to appear on the list – it should be strictly war veterans’ children who are on the list. 

When it comes to mines because we are always talking about Zimbabwe being open for business, these war veterans’ children should not be harassed because we understand that at times when people are given these mines, these elderly people who are in positions harass them or even when they are given land for farming, they are harassed.  It is difficult for them to get the land.  These children must benefit because of the role that their parents played. 

They should also benefit in hospitals.  If they require to go and get medication outside the country, they should also benefit from that.  This august House should also take care of these children.  Their parents should be given proper burials and tombstones erected.  These are people who brought freedom to this country.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

*HON. KARENYI:  I would like to thank Hon. Nguluvhe for bringing this motion to this House.  This has enabled us as the august House to also debate and come up with views on how best the children of those liberation war heroes can be treated so as to alleviate their plight. 

My heart bleeds for we have taken a long time to reach this stage. If it were possible, once all Members have agreed to this motion; we should expeditiously conclude this matter.  Since 1980, there has been this gap and children have suffered.  They have not benefited. 

The majority of children of these war veterans maybe some of their parents are now deceased.  There could be child headed families.  This means there can not be any form of assistance that can be rendered to them.  They are the ones that are prone to drug abuse because of lack of adequate materials.  I am happy that this Committee brought up this motion and I am happy that everyone who is in this House would want us as the Government or august House, to see how best we can assist these children.

It is paramount for them that they get educational assistance.  It is my considered view that if it was possible, where we used to have the Presidential Scholarship, these children who would have excelled in their education should be beneficiaries and should be given first preference so that they are able to continue with tertiary education.

The issue of medical treatment would require a funding specifically for these ones and not that they have a medical allowance.  They should also have their own medical aid as individuals so that when they are sick, they can be attended to.  This helps us to also review such issues that we will have discussed.  In terms of provisions – they should also benefit when the youth quota is being considered during the allocation of mines.  They should also receive a certain percentage as children of the war veterans.  This means that once they have been empowered, they will be able to develop. If one is given a rod, one will be able to fish forever unlike one who has been given fish which one will consume and it ends there.

There is also the issue of land - we know that there are some people who know that we no longer have farms to assist such families.  I have observed that in China; they do not use a huge hectarage for farming.  They get their money from cash crops such as tomatoes and carrots and send them to the markets. It is my view that when the land audit takes place, those with numerous farms should be allocated a single farm and the rest be allocated to the children of the war veterans so that they may have their own land and be self-sustaining. 

As I take my seat, I am of the view that this Parliament carries out a research to find out that it is not only the children of the war veterans, but we have old ladies whose children perished during the war.  Some were lucky that their children returned from the liberation struggle; after they worked for a while, they would go back and give their parents goodies. There are those old ladies whose children perished during the liberation struggle.  I am of the view that when you think about their welfare, we should also consider as Government, the welfare of these old women.  They may not be many of these women who are still alive.  So, this will then help them.  These are the same grandparents who are now looking after these children, possibly we want them to receive monthly allowances.  It will then show that the Government has a human face to those people that caused the liberation of this country.

          It is my intention Madam Speaker, that as I speak, I recall we were in the Old Parliament Building when this issue was also discussed about the welfare of the war veterans and what should be done.  It is now taking a lot of time before the matter is concluded.  I urge this august House to move with speed so that we help those that did well by going to fight for our liberation and also remember their children and their mothers so that they can get something to sustain them.

This is a matter that is close to my heart; I have my grandmother, and my fathers are late.  We had an uncle called Goliath, he died and she has always mourned the lack of compensation for the loss of her son who died during the liberation struggle as we think about this old woman and children who need assistance. 

Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity.  Thank you to Hon. Nguluvhe for bringing this motion.  I thank you.

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Karenyi.

          HON. DZIDZAI BATAU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, I rise to voice for the voiceless, the children of our brave war veterans.  Their petition is a heartfelt cry for recognition and a plea for support and testament to the sacrifices made by their families. 

          Let us acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe to those who fought and to address the needs of their families.  Let us remember that the welfare of our war veterans and their children is not a debt but an obligation.  I urge us to approach this debate with empathy, understanding and commitment to ensuring that those who have served our nation are not left behind. 

          Together, let us create a bright future for those who have given us so much.  Let me just go through the following points Madam Speaker, the areas that I feel must be addressed;

  1. Education and Empowerment: - Let us provide scholarships, skills training and entrepreneurship opportunities to the children of war veterans enabling them to excel and break the cycle of poverty.
  2. Healthcare and Well-being: - Our living war veterans deserved access to quality health care, specialised treatment and elderly care. Acknowledging their sacrifices and dedication, we must acknowledge their sacrifices and dedication to our nation’s liberation.
  3. Recognition and commemoration: - We must honour our war veterans contributions through national recognition programmes, commemorative events and memorials, ensuring their legacy inspires future generations.
  4. Economic empowerment: - We must provide support for businesses and initiatives, fostering economic growth and job creation and recognising their role in building their nation.
  5. Housing and land: - We must ensure that war veterans and their families have access to decent housing and land, fulfilling the promises made to them and providing a sense of security and dignity. We must make sure that the land allocated to the war veterans is protected and transferred to their families after their passing on.  This will provide a sense of security and perpetuating their legacy. 

Let me conclude Madam Speaker, by saying, supporting this petition will demonstrate our gratitude, respect and commitment to the welfare of our war veterans and their families.  Let us work together to address the challenges they face and honour the service they offered to our nation.  So, I submit Madam Speaker.  I thank you.

HON. J. TSHUMA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  Good afternoon.   I rise to add my voice to a very pertinent issue that was brought before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chaired by Hon. Nguluvhe. 

It is a very mind sobering piece of work that the children of our war veterans came up with.   It should have never come to this point.  We should have never allowed our children to end up coming to petition us over an issue that is so obvious, an issue that we ought to all have made sure that it is articulated, defended and that these people are taken care of. 

Madam Speaker, we are speaking here of men and women, very brave indeed, who risked their lives and went out there into the bushes without medical aid or pay slips and sacrificed everything.  Some of them did not come back at all – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-   So, is it not supposed to be our time to repay them now to say you went out there and freed our land and made us independent, so now let us take care of you? 

I have seen in family set-ups Madam Speaker, when you raise your child, take them through school and then they eventually get employed, they come back and look after you.  They come back and make sure that you have got all the provisions that you need in your life.  They will buy you a house, they can even buy you a car and if they are privileged, they will make sure they take you on holidays and they will make you live a very comfortable life.  They will put you on their own policies in cases of death and they include you on their medical aid schemes in case of sickness. 

Is it not time that Zimbabwe understood these very simple things and make sure that no war veteran shall be asked for money when they walk into a hospital?  Are we not supposed to be saying, now every war veteran must be so much recognised so that even when they board public transport, we do not ask them to pay for the ride?  They earned it! 

Why are we sitting here as a Government and not thinking about all these sacrifices that the people made for us?  We are in Parliament today because they sacrificed – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-  During the Rhodesian era, there was no black person in Parliament.  You would not be sitting there as Madam Speaker during the Rhodesian era but today, look at you – all so beautiful and honoured because of the war veterans – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]-

It is very important, therefore, that when we speak of such issues, we do not only speak about them for the sake of speaking about them.  Let us speak about them with a conviction of making sure that things are done.  This issue was spoken about before and I was in the Eighth Parliament then, when people spoke about the war veterans’ affairs and to date, we are still speaking about the same thing.  Look, our President with all the wisdom and everything, has even created a whole ministry for the war veterans.  He has done his part.  What are we doing as Parliament? - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- He even went further in our revolutionary and colossal party, ZANU PF, to commission a whole wing of war veterans to make sure that their issues are well articulated and have all the structures up to senior level, that is, the politburo level. 

The President will stand and say, let us do things for these people and make sure that they are well taken care of but iwe neni tirikuitei?  - [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] - Look, recently the President attempted to show you that he has got the war veterans at heart.  He has now even gone further to say okay, this issue of the ZIPRA cadres who had their properties confiscated way back in the 80s., the President said, let us set up a commission and have these properties given back to them for economic empowerment.  Is that not a grand scene?  What are we doing ourselves about these things, we start dilly-dallying, going behind each other’s backs, we start pulling each other down. That pull him/her down (PHD) syndrome must be done away with, it is one thing that is killing us as a nation.

          You also find some people; I think they will be highly intoxicated by some drugs that are known, will now go out there and say chiidzoserai payanga rakasungirirwa tozoridzosera isusu.  What kind of nonsense is that?  Are they not aware that somebody’s blood remains down there? Somebody’s life was lost there for that same Zimbabwe to come here.  We must criminalise such statements when someone says such a thing.  Such a person is as good as a person who can easily kill.  How can one say idzoserei payanga rakasungirirwa when somebody lost their life? When blood was spilled.  It shows that some people do not use their brains to think, I do not know what they use.  It is something that should be looked into Madam Speaker.

          War Veterans deserve all due respect, they sacrificed already for this country.  They have done their best for us.  I can now walk in and drive my nice car, respected and honoured because somebody lost their life for that.  It is something that we must always think about when we have all these beautiful things.  Just think that there is somebody who did not come back from war. 

          I am glad Hon. Karenyi here brought up another interesting angle to this whole story.  The angle of those mothers who had their children who went there and never came back and the mothers are not getting anything.  Let us look into such kinds of scenarios and make sure that we correct them.

          It is good to see that Hon. Members on the left now think reasonably and they came up with such wonderful suggestions and I say well done to that.  This is what we call nation-building and progressive thinking.

          As I wind up and conclude, I want to urge this House to make sure, especially the Portfolio Committee chaired by Hon. Nguluvhe, to make sure that they now sit on top of this issue and make sure we no longer talk about this again.  We do not want to hear a child belonging to a war veteran has been kicked out of school.  Let there be a law to make sure that it is enforceable. 

          There is a war veteran in Bulawayo who was so sick, they had put a catheter on him and he did not have money to go and change that catheter.  He was now using a five-liter container, a war veteran! He was a commander of the ZIPRA forces and we sit here and we are okay with that.  Something must be wrong in our heads.  We should never enjoy so much that we forget the past.  In all the things that we do, always think about the end.

           I want to thank Hon. Nguluvhe and his Committee for receiving the petition from the children of war veterans. I now want to urge the Portfolio Committee to make sure that after we conclude this debate, let us not talk about it again in the Eleventh Parliament.  Let us have steps taken, and laws put into place to make sure that these are implemented.  The Ministry of Finance must release money timeously and make sure that the children’s school fees.  All war veterans without medical aid must walk into any Government hospital and be treated for free then we will be people who know what they are doing.  When we do that even the Lord Jesus himself shall bless this nation.  I thank you.

          HON. KAMBUZUMA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. NYANDORO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. KAMBUZUMA: I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 5 to 16 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day Number 17 has been disposed of.

HON. NYANDORO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MOZAMBIQUE FOR ATTAINING FORTY-NINE YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

HON. SHAMU: I move the motion standing in my name that:

RECALLING with great pride and appreciation that every 25th of June, since 1975, is forever embedded in our hearts as a milestone and a massive defining moment in the history of our comrades and brothers in arms in Mozambique and the region as a whole, as the country celebrates its most popular holiday which is affectionately referred to as the “‘Dia da Independência Nacional”

INSPIRED by the sacrifices, solidarity and unflinching support to our gallant ZANLA forces throughout our ferocious liberation struggle against the white minority rule in our country until final victory which ushered our own independence;

ACKNOWLEDGING that no other selfless and committed sacrifice surpasses the heroic exploits of our all-weather friends and brothers in Mozambique;

NOW THEREFORE this House conveys its warmest heartfelt congratulations to the Government of Mozambique and the entire nation as our brothers and sisters in Mozambique enjoy and celebrate their forty-nine years of independence from the shackles of colonialism.

HON. TIMBURA: I second.

HON. SHAMU: Today, the 25th of June is the 49th year of independence, which means 49 years ago the heroic people of the Republic of Mozambique finally achieved their independence from Portuguese colonialism. 

Madam Speaker Ma’am, as we the people of Zimbabwe join the people of Mozambique in celebrating their independence which was born out of an arduous and bitter armed struggle from 1964 to 1975, we shall forever remain indebted to the people of the Republic of Mozambique for their enormous sacrifice towards their attainment of Zimbabwe’s independence in April 1980.

Madam Speaker, when His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Dr. E.D Mnangagwa was the Vice President, he sent a message commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the death of the First President of the Republic of Mozambique Cde Samora Machel who died in a tragic plane crash with 35 other comrades in Mbuzini South Africa on 19th of October, 1986. Part of his message read, ‘The death of Samora, that revolutionary and visionary icon, profoundly affected Zimbabwe as it did Mozambique. During the Liberation war, Mozambique provided rear bases to our guerillas, most of who were based in the neighbouring country.  Critical infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools and clinics were also sabotaged and destroyed by the Rhodesians in an attempt to destabilise and curtail Mozambique’s ability to support Zimbabwean guerilla effort.’

          Madam Speaker, this quotation from his Excellency the President Cde Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is a commemorative message which underscores the unwavering support of the people of Mozambique through their revolutionary party Frelimo and that they did not stop supporting us after Mozambique had achieved its independence in 1975.

In the book The Struggle for Zimbabwe written by David Martin and Curtis Johnson, it is stated that in mid July 1970, Frelimo allowed ZANLA guerillas led by the late Mayor Urimbo, the Commissar par excellence, to pass through Frelimo’s liberated zones of Tete Province bordering North Eastern Zimbabwe.  As a strategy, Madam Speaker, that positively changed the course of Zimbabwe’s armed liberation struggle.

          Madam Speaker, Frelimo won their independence in June 1975, but they did not stop.  Zimbabwe’s armed struggle for liberation became Mozambique’s war.  The people of Mozambique continued to fully support Chimurenga.  The sacred blood of Zimbabwe’s brave freedom fighters became one with that of our Mozambican brothers and sisters.

Madam Speaker, when the late President Samora Machel visited Zimbabwe for the first time after independence in 1980, he stated very clearly that Mozambique would not be free until its neighbours were free.  By supporting the struggle for the people of Zimbabwe, the revolutionary people of Mozambique were making the philosophy of Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, who opined that the independence of Ghana was meaningless unless it was linked to the liberation of the whole of Africa, a reality. 

In supporting the struggle for liberation of the people of Zimbabwe, Mozambique was playing its role Madam Speaker Ma’am, contributing to the noble cause of freeing Africa as a whole.  I hope that the sacrifices, revolutionary solidarity and unflinching support that the people of Mozambique demonstrated in selflessly supporting the liberation struggle of the people of Zimbabwe shall continue to inspire us as a nation as we seek to control the commanding heights of Zimbabwe’s economy that now we are politically free.  Therefore, we would like to achieve economic independence.

As this august House conveys through you, Madam Speaker, its warm and heartfelt congratulations to the Government and people of Mozambique as they celebrate their 49 years of independence, the best tribute we can pay to the people of Mozambique for their sacrifice for our freedom is through deepening and strengthening our national unity, consolidating our peace, condemning corruption in all its forms and ending the exploitation of men by men.  We must be truly masters of our own destiny.  Long live the Republic of Mozambique.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. TIMBURWA: Madam Speaker, today we gather not only as representative of our beloved Zimbabwe, but as brothers and sisters standing in solidarity with our neighbour Mozambique.  As they celebrate their independence day, this day marks a significant chapter in Mozambique’s history.  A testament to resilience, bravery and unwavering support. 

Mozambique’s journey to independence was fraught with trials and sacrifice for this day June 25, 1975.  Mozambique emerged victorious from clutches of colonialism proclaiming its sovereignty and affirming the dignity of its people.  This victory was not just a political milestone, but a profound statement of self-determination, identity and resilience.  There are lessons to be learnt, Madam Speaker, from the youths that participated in the liberation struggle of Mozambique.  As we reflect on Mozambique’s struggle for freedom, it is crucial to draw lessons from the brave youths who played a pivotal role in this historic achievement.

The Mozambican youths of the day were able to bring independence in an era characterised by their courage and sacrifice.  These young men and women were not deterred by the formidable mind of colonial powers.  They laid down their lives behind their families and dreams driven by the visions of a free and independent Mozambique.  They exercised a brave unity and solidarity.  Despite diverse backgrounds, the youths united under a common cause. Their solidarity transcended ethnic, linguistic and regional differences, showcasing the power of unity in the face of operation. 

Their resilience and determination was their path to independence.  It was long and ordered the youth’s unyielding determination even in the face of immense diversity.  It is a powerful reminder of the strength that comes from resilience and steadfast commitment to a just cause which was the emancipation of the nation of Mozambique. 

We also want to acknowledge their solidarity with Zimbabwe.  Their unwavering support as Mozambique was extended to us during our own struggle for independence.  Mozambique was a sanctuary for many Zimbabwean freedom fighters, providing not only refugee but also logistical and moral support.  The bond forged in the crucible of our liberation struggle stood the test of time, evolving in the lasting relationship and partnership between our two nations.

          We, as the young people in Zimbabwe, need to embrace courage and be able to channel the same courage that was shown by the liberation struggle of Mozambique and those that stood for Zimbabwe demonstrated in the independence of both nations that the youths are the future of any country.  We, as Zimbabwean young people, should also brace up in developing and building our nation like that which we saw in the independence of Mozambique. 

We need to be fostering unity and collaboration as the strengthening of a nation lies in the unity of its people.  As the youth, we must rise above division and collaborate towards common goals recognising that our diversity is our strength.  The journey to national building is fraught with challenges.  As youths we must embody resilience and perseverance as well as understanding that setbacks are temporary and can be overcome by determination and hard work.

Madam Speaker, as we celebrate the spirit of independence and solidarity, I call upon us, the youths of Zimbabwe to rise to the occasion and take action, be active in engaging community service, voluntary work and civic activity to contribute to the development of our nation Zimbabwe like we saw in Mozambique.  We need to seek education and knowledge that empowers ourselves and skills that will enable us to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s progress. Knowledge is a powerful tool for transformation as we witnessed during the Independence of Mozambique.

          We need to be ambassadors of peace within the region and ambassadors of unity that fosters dialogue and understanding amongst diverse communities. We need to work towards building harmonious and inclusive society as we learn from our neighbour and sister revolutionary country, Mozambique.

          In conclusion, I call upon us as the young people of Zimbabwe, to be sturdy fast and firm defending our sovereignty and standing for that which is right for all Zimbabweans. The reason why we chose to celebrate Mozambique’s independence is because they were sisters in arms and sisters in revolution. For us as Zimbabwe to be able to talk about our independence, it is because they welcomed our liberation struggle, our forefathers and our army bearers to come into Zimbabwe with open hands. The same way they welcomed us is the same way we should continue fostering unity amongst our sister nations, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. I call upon young people in Zimbabwe to embrace connectivity and to embrace unity among our SADC nations so that we can forge a war that will lead us to economic emancipation of our block. Thank you.

          *HON. MUDZINGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I did not know that I was going to get this opportunity to debate on the issue which was brought forward by Hon. Shamu on Mozambique’s freedom that they are celebrating their independence today. Let me start by thanking the parents of war veterans in Mozambique. The time when we used to fight for our liberation, we used to stay in Mozambique. The challenges that we faced also affected those people in Mozambique. When Zimbabwean soldiers were being bombed; the same was happening to those Mozambicans. It was to do with the love between the two countries. The trouble for Zimbabweans is the same as the challenges which were being faced by Mozambicans. Let us celebrate their independence together with them because they fought very much. They showed us love to an extent whereby if you were to hear your children being bombed today, were you going to tolerate that? If it was me, I was going to ask them to say we are tired of helping you. They stood firm up to the extend when Zimbabwe was liberated. I am here to thank the abundant love from Mozambique. Let us not leave them alone. Sometimes when they meet some challenges as a nation, we need to stand and support them. I submit.

          HON. KAMBUZUMA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. BAJILA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2024.    

          On the motion of HON. KAMBUZUMA, seconded by HON. BAJILA, the House adjourned at Twenty-One Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

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