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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 27 OCTOBER 2020 VOL 47 NO 02
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 27th October, 2020
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
DEATH OF HON. JOOSBI OMAR
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is with profound sorrow that I have to inform the House of the death of a Member of
Parliament for Mwenezi East, Hon. Joosbi Omar, on Sunday, 25th October, 2020. I therefore invite all Hon. Members to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Member of Parliament.
All Hon. Members observed a minute of silence.
RESSUMPTION OF COMMITTEE BUSINESS
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House
that in order to expedite the work of Parliament, all Committees of the Second Session will continue to operate as previously constituted
until such time that new committees are appointed by the Standing Rules and Orders Committee. Accordingly, committees will resume sitting on Monday, 2nd November, 2020.
HON. CHIKWINYA: I rise on a point of privilege in that on the 25th of October, Zimbabwe commemorates what it calls Anti Sanctions Day. These are conditions that are being labeled as making life difficult for the majority of Zimbabweans. As a Member of
Parliament, various persuasions have been given especially by the Government and the ruling party. From an opposition perspective, I think it is now time that we lay bare the facts of what is affecting our economic performance. Therefore, I challenge Members of the ruling party to come with a motion to deal with what is affecting the economic performance of our country armed with evidence of sanctions and us armed with evidence of corruption. I thank you.
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Chikwinya.
I will consult on that one.
*HON CHINOTIMBA: I rise on a point of privilege. My point
of privilege is on the issue of school children. I wanted to ask tomorrow but this has become of concern to us. In my opinion teachers are no longer on strike but are on an opposition mission. The opposition mission that I want to mention is that MDC is not the only opposition. Teachers, in my opinion, are on the payroll of the opposition. Our children are not going to school. If they go to school they are not learning anything.
*HON CHIKWINYA: On a point of order. Takataura nyaya
iyi ikapera. Anga ari ku VID.
*HON CHINOTIMBA: Iwewe wataura zvema sanctions wani.
The Government has done its best to try and address the grievances of teachers but it seems like they want to continue with the strike. When I thought about it yesterday and pondered over this issue, the teachers are being paid by one of the biggest opposition parties in Zimbabwe to make this nation ungovernable. The issue that I want here is that it is better for those teachers to stay at home…
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: Tomorrow Wednesday is
question and answer session, you will be in a position to seek clarification and pose questions to the Minister who can give you comprehensive answers.
*HON CHINOTIMBA: The Hon Member who interjected
talked about an issue which should be addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, so what is the problem if he can also wait for the Ministers tomorrow. So you should not tell me to wait for tomorrow in order to pose my questions. I thank you.
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think we have three points
of of privileges and that is enough for today. Can we move to the business of the day? I am no longer taking any points of order.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, it has to do neku correcta ma facts ataurwa. Zvikabuda zvakadaro mu Parliament muno hazvifambe mushe. Ndanga ndichida kucorrecta ipapa because zvinopinda muHansard and zvinozonetsa seParliament. It is to do nenyaya yataurwa naHon Chinotimba kuti ma teacher anobhadharwa ne opposition. We cannot say that about them. It is wrong for this Parliament to be seen to be accusing teachers. It goes on record.
As a Member of Parliament in Norton my teachers are not paid by the opposition.
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mliswa, I have given a
ruling that Hon. Chinotimba will raise his questions to the Minister concerned.
HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order is to correct what Hon Chinotimba said. He said that teachers are on opposition payroll which is not true because this Parliament would be seen…..
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: Vano correcta mangwana. HON. T. MLISWA: No, ngava correcte izvozvi. He must withdraw that statement. He cannot say ma teacher ari papayroll ye opposition. My own teachers in my constituency are not on any opposition payroll and I am here to represent them to say they are not. Hon Chinotimba must withdraw that statement because if it goes in the public that this Parliament said teachers are on a payroll it is wrong. Which teachers are on a payroll? I therefore implore Hon. Chinotimba to remove that aspect to say teachers with a blanket statement are on a payroll for opposition. This is Parliament which represents everyone.
Madam Speaker, may I implore you to tell Hon Chinotimba to withdraw that statement.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mliswa, I have already
given a ruling. I have directed Hon Chinotimba to ask the Minister tomorrow.
HON. T. MLISWA: You cannot allow that to be on record. It cannot be a record. Hon Ziyambi you are Leader of Government Business, you must guide accordingly. You cannot make such a blanket statement on teachers, that they are all on the opposition payroll. We cannot. The teachers who are there – Clerk help them, it cannot be a blanket statement like that.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, please take
HON. T. MLISWA: Are you saying that teachers are being paid by the opposition?
LEAVE TO MOVE RESTORATION OF MOTIONS ON THE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, in terms of Standing Order No 170, I seek leave of the House to restore the following notices of motion and Orders which were superseded by the end of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe. The following Orders in the previous Order Paper pertaining to:
- the Report on Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission,
- Debate on the Motion - Second Reading of the Forest Amendment Bill.
- The Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill at the stage at which it was.
- Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 2) Bill at the stage at which it was.
I thank you Madam Speaker.
Motion put and agreed to.
RESTORATION OF MOTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
HON. ZIYAMBI: Madam Speaker, I move that the following motions which were superseded by the prorogation of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament be restored on the Order Paper at the stage at which they were.
- The Report on Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for the years 2018 to 2019.
- Report of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
- The Forest Amendment Bill.
- The Cyber Security and Data Protection Amendment Bill
- The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No 2 Bill.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON. SIKHALA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, I will recognise myself if she does not recognise me. This is our Parliament for us to contribute. If she does not recognise me, I will recognise myself.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Sikhala, this is a
people’s Parliament and it has got some rules which governs it. Please, may you take your seat? I will recognise you first before you speak. You are aware that you cannot just speak before I recognise you.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
HON. TOGAREPI: I move the motion standing in my name that a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows:
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 or respectful thanks for the speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament HON. MHONA: I second.
The President noted that the economy has faced a number of challenges caused by changing climatic conditions, sanctions and lately, the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic which no country had anticipated and whose effects were devastating both economically and socially.
I want to agree with the need to cooperation, discipline and resilience during these unprecedented times. Without unity of purpose and understanding the nature of our challenges, we will continue in this quagmire.
Re-opening of the economy
It is important that the country re-opens the economy to allow economic activity to resume. We need to grow the economy, hence the need to interact with the rest of the world.
National Development Strategy
We want to applaud the President for indicating that we are now moving into the First Five-Year National Development Strategy: 2021-2025 (NDS 1). It is important that we link the NDS1 and the 2021 National Budget for consistency.
Exports and foreign currency receipts
We are pleased that in spite of the global and local economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our exports increased by 4.9 per cent while our imports declined by 5.9%. In addition, foreign currency receipts appreciated by 18% as at end of August 2020.
The increased certification of new products by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe is another positive signal that our industry is indeed alive and that jobs are being created.
The trend of the positive trade balance will be sustained through increased productivity and exports across all sectors of the economy.
State Enterprises and Parastatal Reform
Parastatals need to reform in order to contribute to the socio economic development of our country. The dependence on Government hand-outs should be a thing of the past as parastatals should be able to contribute to GDP. Good corporate governance, accountability, transparency, productivity and profitability is essential in all State-owned entities in line with our Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.
Corruption must go and go now. It knows no boundaries, be it private or public sector, political divide or religion. We need to fight corruption and those responsible should be brought to book.
The historic signing of the Global Compensation Agreement was very necessary as it demonstrates the commitment of our Government to follow and respect the Constitution and the rule of law and respect for property rights. This does not reverse the Land Reform Programme but actually consolidates it and brings finality to the historic Land Reform Programme. I would like to applaud many of our people who have embraced Pfumbvudza. In Gutu South Constituency preparations have been completed and inputs have arrived. We are only waiting for the rains to come.
I want to celebrate the efforts by Government to stabilize the electricity and fuel supplies. These are critical enablers of economic development. It is essential that we work on solar energy and electric cars.
The efforts by Government to use our resources to construct roads should be commended. The construction of the Harare-Beitbridge Road should be a source of economic growth since it will enhance connectivity and facilitate greater economic trade within our country as well as the region as a whole.
The Government, through its people-centred policies and vibrant social protection interventions, has ensured timely and appropriate interventions for the vulnerable and food insecure households.
Currently, over 700 000 households receive grain per month while others are benefiting from the cash-for-grain programme under the Urban Feeding Programme.
The Schools Feeding Programme is being resourced and over one million children will be assisted under the Basic Education Assistance Module.
The government is undertaking reforms in the health service sector to improve accessibility and affordability of health and medicines for all our people. To mitigate the negative impact of the
Government availed ZW$18 billion Stimulus Package for the productive sectors, vulnerable social groups and provision of public services, especially health, water and sanitation.
Government is recapitalising the National Housing Fund and
Housing Guarantee Fund to facilitate housing delivery.
Consultations in the Tripartite Negotiating Forum are progressing well with regards to the establishment of an
Unemployment Benefit Fund. The fund will cover workers in case of retrenchment, or natural disasters which cause work stoppages.
Improvement of Working Conditions for government employees
The President assured the nation that Government takes note of the legitimate calls for better working conditions by our teachers, health workers and public service in general and is doing its best to ameliorate their concerns and improve their plight.
Engagement and re-engagement policy.
It is true that the illegal economic sanctions imposed are an albatross to our socio- economic development and growth, and must be removed unconditionally. As Zimbabweans, we are grateful to SADC, the African Union member states and many others who continue to echo the call to remove sanctions with us.
In the same vein, we should be proud of our security services for defending our peace. We salute these men and women for a job well done.
As Parliament, we should prepare ourselves through work plans to deal with the legislative agenda list (with 36 pieces of legislation) provided by the President. We need cooperation among stakeholders. I see this challenging but very achievable if we remove unnecessary bickering and aligning those laws will assist Government to achieve its reform agenda.
Call for Unity of Purpose
I would like to conclude by concurring with the President in reminding us all that first and foremost, we are Zimbabweans and that Zimbabwe is our only home and our motherland. All of us need to be partners in the new path towards a modern, prosperous and stronger Zimbabwe. A brighter future depends on all of us and that we are stronger when we believe and work hard to achieve our plans and vision. As Zimbabweans, we should always seek to promote our national interests in unity and love for the development and prosperity of our beloved country, in spite of our challenges and obstacles. I thank you.
*HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also want to thank the Speaker of the National Assembly. I want to thank the Chief Whip for the motion that he moved on the Presidential Speech on moving the country forward. Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe raised an issue on the covid-19 pandemic which globally has affected everyone. I want to thank him for all the efforts that he made and steps taken to try and contain the covid-19 pandemic. During that difficult time, so many vulnerable people and those with disabilities and others were faced with so many challenges.
We saw some of the Hon. Members extending a helping hand. Everyone joined hands to fight the covid-19 pandemic, which means that we had time to share the burden together as Zimbabweans.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the President that he adhered to the transitional stabilisation programme (TSP) which outlined the steps in terms of development. The period of TSP has now passed but I believe we have a programme that will show us the way forward. There are programmes that are put in place for the people in the communities and rural areas where we come from. Now that we are done with the transitional stabilisation programme, as we go back to our communities we should be able to inform them and they should be aware of the economic blueprint that we are going to be using in terms of development of the nation.
Madam Speaker, the President also talked about the issue that there are so many people who are getting land in these difficult times. Our challenge is yes, we have access to land – but there are others who do not have inputs. We know there are those who have land and are also privileged to get inputs and implements, but some do not have access to those. We want to thank the President for the Pfumvudza programme. There are some people who are getting farming inputs and they are selling them instead of engaging in agriculture and that distorts the programme laid by the President.
That is a point of concern Madam Speaker.
The President also highly commended the war veterans. We have those who held the gun, the detainees and the war collaborators.
They have now been recognised and are being assisted which is good. I think we need to move with speed so that they are given their compensation and given their due respect.
Madam Speaker, it is true our nation is experiencing economic challenges. I want to thank the mover of the motion that we are experiencing hardships because of the sanctions that have been imposed on Zimbabwe. What I commend the President for is that he acknowledged sanctions are affecting us but as Zimbabweans we must unite and work together and ensure that there is development in the country. Sometimes, if you are hurt you will lose sight of where you are going. It would be good that as Zimbabwe we unite and work together to ensure that we fight corruption which has greatly affected our nation.
The President also talked about the Bill for the youth. He said that it is time that we recognized our youngsters. We are not giving the youth a chance to get into Parliament or even attain the positions that we have. It would be good for us to ensure that we mentor them to ensure that they can take over and know that Zimbabwe belongs to them because we are aging and tomorrow we will not be here. Most of us have gone through half of our lives and what remains is that the young carry the torch. They need to be promoted. If we see those who are engaged in illegal mining, the ages are a sorry sight. You find young children below secondary school age – which means that it is going to be a challenge for Zimbabwe in the future.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for the time and opportunity you have given me to applaud the President for the roadmap that he gave us. For us to succeed there is need for unity. What it means is that we need to put our minds together and show love to one another. Yes, some of the words might be painful but we need to co-exist as the people of Zimbabwe. In conclusion, there is a proverb that says once you have given birth, you should know that the child is for the whole community. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. KHUPE: Madam Speaker, I rise to add my voice to the
State of Nation Address which was presented by His Excellency on Thursday last week. First of all, I would like to thank the Lord Almighty for affording me yet another opportunity to come to this august House as a Member of Parliament and Leader of the
Opposition –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – [HON. MADAM SPEAKER: Congratulations!] – [Hon. Chikwinya having walked out] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
Madam Speaker, today I stand in front of this august House as a proud Leader of MDC-T and Leader of the Opposition in this Parliament. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all MDC-T members for the unconditional love they have given to me to this date. May the Lord Almighty bless them all. I would also like to take this opportunity to pay my condolences to all those who lost their beloved ones as a result of COVID-19. COVID-19 is real. It is an invisible enemy which strikes without you realising. It is therefore important that we adhere to the lockdown protocols and restrictions and they will save our lives.
I would like to begin by talking about the role of the opposition.
Our role is to question Government and hold them to account for their actions to the public. Our role is to represent the alternative government and therefore we are responsible for challenging Government policies and proffering solutions. Our role is to be the eyes and the ears of what the people are saying out there concerning their needs and aspirations and then come to this august House to raise those issues so that remedies and solutions are found and everyone has a better life.
My question Madam Speaker is have we been doing this? – [HON. MEMBERS: No!] – If we have not, then we have been letting the people of Zimbabwe down. I would like to assure Zimbabweans that going forward, we will make sure as MDC-T that we perform our representative, legislative and oversight roles to the best of our ability and knowledge. I would also like to state categorically that our purpose as MDC-T is not just about power and positions. Our purpose is about advancing the interests of the 14,6 million Zimbabweans so that they have a better life.
The sad reality is that for others, it is just about power and positions: for the reason that I did not get the power and position that I wanted, Parliament must not operate; because I did not get the power and position that I wanted, Zimbabwe must come to a standstill, because I did not get the power and position that I wanted the country must be burnt down – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker, we are here to advance the interests of the 14,6 million Zimbabweans. We are here to represent them. Once elections have come and gone, it is important that we unite as a country, nation or people and advance the development across so that Zimbabwe becomes a developed country–[HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
Madam Speaker, let me move on. The President spoke about issues to do with development and I would like to define what development is. Development is the ability of a country to satisfy the needs of the people using its own resources. What are the basic needs that I am talking about? The basic needs are food, shelter, health, education, clean water and sanitation, energy, jobs and so forth.
These are the basic needs which are required by the 14, 6 million
Zimbabweans. In order for one to have these basic needs, the definition says it is the ability of the Government, using its own resources, to satisfy the needs of the people.
Where is the Government supposed to get these resources in order to satisfy the needs of the people? Government is supposed to get the resources largely from our mineral resources. Zimbabwe is a very rich country. We are endowed with enormous resources. Zimbabwe has got 60 minerals resources. We have got gold, platinum, diamond, nickel, methane gas and many more. Last time we heard that $15 billion from diamonds disappeared - [HON. T. MLISWA: Vakaba.] – This is the money which Government was supposed to use to satisfy the needs of the people. There is gold everywhere in Zimbabwe but unfortunately – [HON. T. MLISWA:
Inaudible interjection.] – There are gold leakages…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, order please!
HON. KHUPE: Hon. Mliswa, there are gold leakages as we speak right now. If we do not talk about these issues, who is going to talk about them? There are gold leakages Madam Speaker and this is the money which is supposed to be used to satisfy the needs of the people. . We have platinum and that is the money which is supposed to be used. We have methane gas in Lupane and we are told that this methane gas is the finest in the whole world. We are told that investors have come to try and invest in that methane gas but there are people who were given claims who are holding on to papers and they have not done anything since. When investors want to come and invest in this mineral, they are told there is somebody who is holding on to the paper.
As I said earlier on, our role is to challenge and proffer solutions. I would like to challenge the Minister of Mines right now to say Minister, can you please withdraw those papers from people who are not doing anything. Can you give claims to people who are going to do something because that methane gas is going to change our fortune as a country. That is the money which is going to be used to satisfy the needs of the people. I would like to challenge the Minister to say, within a few weeks we want see something happening in Lupane. We cannot allow money to remain underground, money which is supposed to satisfy the means of the people.
Madam Speaker, there is the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives. It was under my office when I was Deputy Prime Minister and I would like to challenge the Minister of Mines to say as
Zimbabwe, let us be looking at the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives. This institution is going to help us because once you are a member, there is going to be transparency in the issuance of mining licences. There is going to be transparency in the mining of our mineral resources so that we know how much gold, diamonds, platinum and other minerals have been mined and it is going to make sure that we know how much these minerals have been sold for. It is going to make sure that we know how the money from the proceeds has been used because these are God-given resources. They do not belong to one person but they belong to all the 14.6 million Zimbabweans.
This is the money which is supposed to be used to satisfy the needs of the people. That is my plea. As we speak right now, there is a mismatch between the cost of living and salaries and my plea to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Labour is, please can you close that gap? Make sure that the cost of living matches salaries so that teachers, nurses and doctors perform their duties to the best of their knowledge and ability. Let us try and do this.
Madam Speaker, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, I believe in the word and I believe in biblical issues. Zimbabwe turned 40 years this year and I would like to equate it with the Bible where the
Israelites wondered in the desert for 40 years without food and water. They were going to the promised land where there was milk and honey. For me, I think this is it. Zimbabwe turned 40 years this year and this is it. I strongly believe that Zimbabwe is going to change and it is going to change for a better life for everyone because we have turned 40 years. We need to unite as a country for us to work together as a country and make sure that we push the development agenda so that everyone has a better life.
It is high time we move the people of Zimbabwe from the land of hunger and poverty to the land of plenty. We are a rich country and we have got enormous mineral resources yet there is nothing to show. This is the time to show we are a rich country, the time we change lives of our people and this is the time our fortunes are supposed to be changed as a country. Let us unite; we will do it, yes we can. The President spoke about Pfumvudza and I would also like to talk about issues to do with food security.
Madam Speaker, agriculture was the back-bone of this country.
It provided employment to 60% of Zimbabwe and incomes to 60% of Zimbabweans. Agriculture produced 60% of the raw materials required by the manufacturing industry. Agriculture contributed to 40% of export earnings – the foreign currency that we require. If agriculture was to operate at 100% of its normal productive capacity, our fortunes will change in this country and we will resolve more than 50% of our problems because it will absorb more than 60% of the workers. It is going to produce 60% of the raw materials required by the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing industry will start operating and it will employ more people. It will generate foreign currency and it will generate enough food for this country. Let us do
Zimbabwe has the capacity to cultivate two million hectares of land using the 1000 water bodies that we have. If people do not know, we have got 1000 water bodies in this country and if we were to use those 1000 water bodies, we can irrigate two million hectares of land. It will be enough to give us food, foreign currency and create jobs for this country. Development is not rocket science. It is about copying what other people did. Development is about discovering what other people did. Look at Israel, all their crops are under drip irrigation.
I would like to challenge the Minister of Agriculture that, let us go for drip irrigation because with drip irrigation you use a small piece of land, little water but the yield is very high. Just one hectare – I did it and I am talking from experience because in 2010 I did just one hectare in front of my homestead, 100m by 100m. With one hectare if you grow maize, you will get between 7 to 10 tonnes of maize. This is enough food to feed 10 families for a whole year and with drip irrigation you can do three crops per year. People will have food and will have money to sustain a living with their families. I challenge the Minister of Agriculture – let us go for drip irrigation, it is going to change our fortunes.
Madam Speaker, corruption is a cancer which is the enemy of development and good governance. It is a cancer which is from the poor which is paid by the poor Madam Speaker and it is high time collectively, Government together with everyone else in this country, we unite and get up against corruption because every dollar stolen by a public official is a dollar stolen from a child who wants to go to school. Every dollar stolen by a public official is a dollar stolen from a pregnant woman who wants antenatal care. Every dollar stolen is a dollar stolen from communities who want clean water. So it is high time we gang up and fight this cancer called corruption.
I would like to call upon Government to say, can you please build strong watch dog systems in this country because without strong watch dog systems corruption becomes the foundation upon which it is built on. So let us make sure that we dismantle all foundations which allow corruption to exist and this Parliament has got a job to do because Madam Speaker, countries are not destroyed by those who do evil but countries are destroyed by those who watch those who do evil without doing anything. So as Parliament, let us not be one of those people who will watch those who do evil without doing anything. Let us gang up, let us fight corruption because corruption is our worst enemy. We are told that in the last five years $10 billion was lost through corruption. Let us deal with it Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker, I would also like to talk about dealing with injustices. So many injustices have been committed. We have got Gukurahundi, we have got Murambatsvina. Madam Speaker, my plea is that as we deal with these issues, whatever processes are taking place right now, let us make sure that these processes are victim led because the victims are the ones who are feeling the pinch. They are the ones who know how the shoe is fitting.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Khupe, you are left
with five minutes.
HON. DR. KHUPE: Alright, I think I will finish. Madam Speaker, I was just saying with the injustices, let us make sure that whatever processes that are taking place, they must be victim led.
Constitutional realignment - Madam Speaker, we have got a good constitution in this country which has got an excellent bill of rights. Let us implement the Constitution to the letter and in the spirit in which it was written. Once we do that, every Zimbabwean will have the full enjoyment of their rights and freedoms. We have got so many issues that have been going on - alleged abductions and so on, all those disturbances. We have got section 210 which is in our Constitution which talks about an independent complaints mechanism. I would like to urge the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to ensure that he brings in a Bill to this Parliament for us to have an independent complaints mechanism where civilians are going to have an opportunity of sending their complaints to that body and their complaints are remedied.
Devolution of power, Madam Speaker - the President spoke about provincial councils. Devolution of power is very good because it will ensure that there is equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. It will facilitate for equal development in all the provinces, it will enhance unity in our diversity, and it will also enhance community participation and decision making for local development. This is why it is important that that Bill be brought to Parliament again as a matter of urgency so that provincial councils begin to operate.
Dialogue Madam Speaker, is very critical. Dialogue serves as a catalyst for national reconciliation. Dialogue, energises people to work together and hence the reason why after every election, we must expeditiously get out of the election mood and move forward towards the development agenda. Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members!
Order Hon. Mliswa please!
HON. DR. KHUPE: Madam Speaker, I am about to finish. It is important as a country that we collectively deal with the toxicity of hate. Let us uproot weeds of hate and plant seeds of love. Let us practice values of love, peace and reconciliation as a country. We want enduring and lasting peace in this country. We want Zimbabwe to be a treasury of peace, progress and prosperity, but we can only do this if we unite as a country and start to speak with one voice and start singing from the same hymn book for the sake of the 14.6 million Zimbabweans because these are the people we are representing in this
Madam Speaker, I would like to challenge leaders; that as leaders, let us be transformative leaders, leaders who are going to move away from advancing their own personal interests and move forward for the common good. Let us all work towards the common good and the common good is a better life for every Zimbabwean.
I would like to say this Madam Speaker, as the Leader of the Opposition I am going to be dialoguing with the President for a better life for everyone – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – and Madam Speaker, I know that there are people who have the notion that whoever dialogues with the President is selling out and like I said earlier on I am going to be dialoguing for a better life for all – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order!
HON. DR. KHUPE: Madam Speaker, I would like to say this because it is important. If those who think that dialoguing with the President is selling-out and I said I am going to be dialoguing for a better life, then let me be a sell-out, but I will deliver a better life to everyone at the end of the day – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker, like I said, ‘united we stand and divided we fall’. Let us unite as a country and move forward together for the good of every Zimbabwean.
Madam Speaker, I would like to conclude by saying there is not even a single person who was born poor. Every person was born with their own potential but people are poor because of institutions that are built, people are poor because of systems that are created and people are poor because of policies that are formulated. Madam Speaker, I would call upon Government to build good strong institutions to create good systems of governance, to formulate investor friendly policies so that we return Zimbabwe to its former glory that of being the bread basket of Africa; that of being the jewel of Africa and that of being the envy of the whole world. That is what we want. I would like to call upon all investors to come and invest in this country because Zimbabwe is a good investment destination – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Zimbabwe has got hard working people, it has got educated people, good soils, we have the best weather on this planet, we have mineral resources and investors will get value for their money Madam Speaker. So, I am calling on all of them to come.
Lastly, on the issue of sanctions Madam Speaker...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member your
time is up.
HON. MASHAKADA: Madam Speaker, I move that the time
for the Hon. Member be extended by 10 minutes.
HON. T. MLISWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON. KHUPE: Madam Speaker, on sanctions, when sanctions
were imposed, we all knew that one day we will want sanctions to go. No one said they wanted sanctions to remain permanently. Right now there is a call that sanctions must go but the problem that we have is that we are not speaking with one voice. I have a proposal that as
Parliament, can you please organise a workshop for all Members of Parliament where you will bring experts who will talk about the cost of sanctions, effect of sanctions on the economy and livelihoods so that we all have the same understanding and we start singing from the same hymn book and speak the same language. I am proposing that that workshop be held and after the workshop, I believe that we are going to be speaking with one voice that sanctions must go Madam
Speaker. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear. Khupe!
*HON. MADIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to take
this opportunity to add my views to the debate on the State of the Nation Address presented by His Excellency the President as he opened the Third Session of Parliament. Firstly Madam President, I am deeply concerned and also happy especially if I have to speak after the leader of the opposition. We want to applaud her for that especially the fact that it has been said by a female. I am happy that it has been fully revealed that for a home to succeed, it is because of a woman. If we look at our economy, for example looking at 2008 when people experienced extensive hardships, the women through the informal sector kept the nation running as they were doing all sorts of activities like cross border trading.
The leader of the opposition did well and her words were full of wisdom as the leader of the opposition. Madam Speaker, women experience a lot of hardships. It is not easy to carry a baby for nine months and then after giving birth to a child you see that child suffering. We would not want to see our children suffer. She talked about the issue of unity and the issue of engagement and reengagement, that we need to dialogue, that is what His Excellency the President said. It has been reiterated again. It is my first time in
Parliament. I do not know yet what exactly happens in Parliament and I thought normally there is no agreement but I have realised that people can work together.
His Excellency the President talked about the issue of energy, tourism and agriculture which means that His Excellency the President has a vision to ensure that the country develops and to protect our country. On the issue of energy, we need to strengthen our initiatives on renewable sources of energy, the issues of hydro and solar energy. We must ensure that our country has enough energy and also to assist the women who mostly use different sources of energy for cooking.
His Excellency the President also talked about housing delivery to the people and building houses for Zimbabweans. This project has already begun. His Excellency the President also talked about recapitalisation of the housing fund. This is delight to us because when looking at Zimbabwe and other countries where we visit, we realise that Zimbabweans are very particular about where they live and they want decent accommodation. His Excellency the President has a vision that as we proceed, all Zimbabweans should have decent accommodation.
Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President spoke on the conditions of service for civil servants that needs to be addressed. You cannot solve issues in a day. We are looking at where we are coming from and where we are going. In this new dispensation, even the houses that we stay in, some people have not even finished building their homes because it is a process. So we need to understand and see that we are in the process of rebuilding our nation. No president wants to lead a country full of suffering people. It is not only one department of Government but the welfare of all civil servants is going to be addressed to ensure that they get a decent wage.
His Excellency the President also mentioned about the legislative agenda and he talked about the Bills. Out of 39 in the last session, only 10 were mentioned. We are hoping that as Parliament we will do our work as expected. What I actually appreciated from His Excellency the President to show that he has his people at heart is he talked about the following Bills; the ratification of the
MINAMATA Convention. Mr. Speaker Sir, MINAMATA
Convention talks about mercury. We hope that this House will quickly ratify this convention. There are other Bills that were mentioned by the President that will enable Parliament to look on issues of mandatory sentencing for rape and also how this will work. The Bill will also ensure that all perpetrators of rape are given a deterrent sentence, even up to 100 years in jail because this is a serious crime. With these few words, I want to thank you Mr.
*HON. MUTAMBISI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also want to add my voice to the motion that was raised by Hon. Togarepi in light of the State of the Nation Address. Firstly, I want to talk about what the President said in terms of climate change, that has given us foresight to look at irrigation schemes that are no longer in use in our rural areas to ensure that they are resuscitated to ensure food security. He also gave us a foresight into the Pfumvudza Programme and it has been well received.
The President also talked about sanctions. Sanctions have affected every family, be it those in the ruling party or opposition party. I was happy that the Leader of the Opposition also called for the removal of sanctions. The President also talked about the stability of the currency. Since the introduction of the auction system rate, it has stabilised the prices and there is some form of stability.
His Excellency also mentioned about corruption. No one likes corruption and we are happy that the President said that noone is above the law and we see that happening. People are being arrested, be it law enforcers, even at Local Government level. So we applaud the President for that. Our President is a listening President and he has realised that people are experiencing hardships. He then looked at better working conditions, especially teachers and civil servants in general and also ensures that the concerns of the teachers were addressed.
He also talked about the re-opening of schools and the issue of BEAM. The President is aware that children from vulnerable families need to go to school. So, he said the Government is ensuring that when schools re-open, children will be able to get food at school. The President also talked about devolution. I am sure we see what is happening in councils in rural areas. There is progress in terms of development in our constituencies.
In conclusion, I want to say that our President has got the people at heart because soon, he is bringing in the Children’s Bill. It is going to give the Judiciary the powers to ensure that those who abuse children, especially abuse in the form of child labour are prosecuted. Recently we debated about the murder of a child. If this Bill is passed into law, it will bring stern punishment for those who abuse children.
I thank you.
HON. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It is my pleasure and great honour to be offered this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech. I would like to support the motion which was moved by Hon. Togarepi and seconded by Hon. Mhona. First of all, allow me to mention that I am in this august House through the legacy that was left behind by my husband, Hon. O. H. Mguni. – [HON. MEMEBRS: Hear, hear.] – therefore all propositions and aspiration of the people of Mangwe Constituency and Zimbabweans as a whole are based on his line of thinking. We may differ and there, but looking into the future, I have seen that times are changing as we embrace technology but I am confident that I will continue empowering women just like he did.
I will be focusing on development on small enterprises and promoting trust based projects so that his community can generate sustainable incomes. We appeal to the Government to spearhead infrastructural development, roads, electricity, housing, health and water supply in order to ensure smooth running of projects. We applaud the Government for the Vision 2030 with digital knowledge driven economy.
In his State of the Nation Address and Official Opening of the
Second Session of the Ninth Parliament on 1st October, 2019, His Excellency of the Second Republic Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa, assured the Parliament and Zimbabweans at large that Vision will be a reality with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (PSP) as the key building block. Last week in his SONA speech, His Excellency once again reminded us that we are stronger when we work together, hence the need for unity of purpose – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – He also reiterated that we all need to partner by being thorough as Zimbabweans on a new modern and prosperous path. I urge all of us to take heed, especially as Parliamentarians – we must be at the forefront.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Mangwe Constituency is dominated by women since the men and youths have migrated to South Africa and Botswana for greener pastures. It is my sincere hope that women are incorporated in building the economy hence eradicating the dependency syndrome. When I say, women, I am not just mentioning the urban women but rural women as well affected by feminization of poverty, because they also have a role to play in all this.
COVID-19 has increased the vulnerability of most women who bear the brunt of fending for the family and household. I am aware of projects currently running such as distributing of funds for women to manufacture soap, candles and bake bread amongst other activities.
Let us use those initiatives to cover all constituencies Mr. Speaker Sir.
The 2019/2020 cropping season was characterised by low rainfall, resulting in reduced area planted and poor germination. We hope that 2020/2021 farming season will be better. People are succumbing to the ravages of hunger due to those after effects and the current state of the economy. Mangwe has 73.2% poverty prevalence and urgently need assistance from the Grain Marketing Board and all the other organisations which can offer food relief to the people.
Duty free importation of fertilizers was positively welcome. We are looking forward to the programme of dipping chemicals in order to improve generally animal husbandry practices. Hon. Speaker, dissemination of information should be addressed by availing relevant media to play that role. The general public need to be updated on matters of devolution. The layman also needs to be equipped about
the ongoing of the processes. Let there be statements, press releases and other documentation on the progress made so far and also outlining the future plan.
Let us work hard and be united for a common goal of attaining Middle Income Economy by 2030. Let us put our partisan differences aside so that we can build the prosperous Zimbabwe that everyone desires. Let us all say no to corruption, let us all commit to rebuilding of our nation as one people.
Lastly, I would like to openly denounce the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West. These sanctions are illegal and they are hurting every sector of our economy and affecting growth. They are indeed “weapons of mass destruction” which should be condemned by every peace-loving and patriotic Zimbabwean. I thank you.
*HON. PRISCILA MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Togarepi, seconded by Hon. Mhona. The address presented by the President showed the progress in our country and it showed commitment in terms of execution of duties. Personally I want to give my condolences for the loss of Hon. Joosbi Omar. Mwenezi has lost a cadre when we least expected. I want to say to relatives and friends on the loss of Hon. Omar, we worked well together and his untimely death is painful. I have risen to debate, yes, but I am in pain because of this loss.
I want to add my voice to the SONA. I want to applaud the President for the work that is being done in the rehabilitation of roads, not just the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway but the whole of Zimbabwe. We want to thank the President for his vision. I hope in the next few years our children will be impressed and made happy by the work done by us in this House as we are the ones leading development through leadership of the President.
In our different communities, challenges are being faced as a result of COVID-19. Globally it has affected all countries, as a way of life for people has been affected including working life. So there was regression in terms of progress. Despite these hardships, we witnessed the increase in health facilities, considering the economic challenges Zimbabwe is facing, especially after Cyclone Idai. Even in Mwenezi, Cyclone Idai affected us, though not as bad as in Chimanimani. So with such a background of challenges then you see the country moving forward, we thank God that the President continues to receive strength to lead the country. The Mwenezi Constituency is excited and happy with the rehabilitation of roads as we have witnessed construction never seen in the past years. It is all because of our excellent leader President E. D. Mnangagwa.
We also applaud the reopening of schools even though there are concerns that children can get the virus. I want to urge us parents to ensure that our children are protected by being given the relevant protective gears. In Mwenezi we are raising awareness. We gave them masks and some served to prevent contracting the virus because this pandemic knows no colour or status. We are thankful for the opening of schools and that teachers and children are adjusting in terms of co-existing with the pandemic that will not go away soon.
We want to urge teachers that even in this august House, no one is getting enough remuneration. The whole nation is affected because of the challenges. If they do not go to work, we will have an uneducated nation leading to crime and other immoral behaviour. For them to be leaders, it is through education. If the President says children should return to school, we need to adhere.
Let me talk about unity, without unity we are sowing wrong seeds for our children. We need to be tolerant of diverse views of each other because we are all Zimbabweans. The President promoted the need for unity, and for us to have foresight that though we may differ, the nation has to progress and not to consider everything as bad, even the good. This House has elderly people who look up to us.
I want to thank the President and his vision will be achieved. I want to add that I am happy with the address. I thank you.
*HON. MAVHENYENGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for
awarding me this opportunity to debate the motion on the words of the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, President of
Zimbabwe and the Opening of the Third Session of the 9th Parliament. I also want to thank Hon Togarepi who raised the motion which was supported by Hon Mhona.
I want to say a few words, especially on the issue of sanctions and corruption. Sanctions are there but there are some people who say there are no sanctions. As representatives of the people in rural constituencies where we come from, I have noted with great concern that that is where the impact of sanctions is. Sanctions do not look at colour or political party because sanctions affect a lot of people in rural and urban areas.
People in the rural areas are failing to get money to go to grinding mills or transport money because of sanctions imposed on our country. Zimbabwe is now unable to get credit or investors from other countries in order to do projects which encourage growth of our economy. The sanctions which we are talking about, there are some people who when we denounce that sanctions must be removed, they say sanctions must be added and you wonder if this person is a Zimbabwean. The way they talk about sanctions seems as if that those people and their relatives have another way of surviving which is different from the ways being experienced by other people to survive in Zimbabwe.
I think the Government must enact a law that anyone who talks bad things or lobbies for sanctions for our country must face the full wrath of the law. I think that the Bill must be urgently introduced to this august House and we are going to support it - people in this country are suffering because of these sanctions. Therefore, I would like to thank the President for his 2030 vision. We also thank SADC, African Union and other countries which are outside the African Continent for helping us and supporting us on the issue of denouncing and removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe. Sanctions have been a thorn in the flesh for us for a very long period in this country.
In the new dispensation that we are in right now, His
Excellency showed that he has different leadership from what used to be there because he is doing a lot of reforms, some of them have always been talked about in this august House. Some laws are also being amended in order to focus on things which are expected to bring peace and harmony in the country.
The President brought laws like Access to Information. These laws came in this country and amendments were done, which was one of the issues discussed by those who say sanction must remain.
President Mnangagwa continues to resolve these things which need attention but someone does not see how the President is trying to solve and that person says continue to put sanctions so that the people of Zimbabwe suffer. So we are saying that those people who say these words show that they are not true sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, but they have other people who they are working for and live luxuriously while the rest of Zimbabweans suffer. Sanctions have badly affected even Members of Parliament who are in this august House, businessmen who have shops in this country were also badly affected and everyone else, especially those in the rural areas.
We see this because we live with people and see how they are suffering. Therefore, I am saying sanctions must go and I also thank some Hon. Members who have the same vision. I have seen a great change in Parliament today whereby most of the Hon. Members from both sides want to see their country progressing. However, there are some people who do not want to see their country developing. His Excellency, the President came in this House talking about the progress and programme of the country and some Hon. Members from the opposition walked away as we saw in this House today. We also heard them talking about the way forward in terms of developing our nation and removal of these sanctions.
These Opposition Members talked about unity. Yes, we can have different views in politics, but we must be united for the country to move forward. Therefor, Mr. Speaker, this must remain as it is since the Members from the other side have seen the vision that the country cannot be built by the ruling party alone. We build the country if we are united as the wish of our President E.D Mnangagwa who encourages peace, unity and building our country.
Sanctions were imposed on our nation so for one to say they were put for a few people - it is a lie, because few people are not the ones suffering but the ones who are suffering are the general public of the country. So I am saying sanctions must be removed.
On the issue of corruption, I thank His Excellency, E.D Mnangagwa, he is always on record saying corruption must end in this country. If you engage in corruption, the president will not stand by you. We see this even with the Ministers, the President said let any Minister face the full wrath of the law and send them to the courts of law.
This shows that he is a true and good leader who does not want corruption to be found in the country. Corruption causes a lot of problems, it kills the economy and disturbs everything. Corruption heavily affects someone in the rural areas because elders say if two elephants fight; the grass is heavily affected, meaning the least person is the one who feels the pain the most. So I am saying we as people’s representatives in Parliament are denouncing corruption and every person who has done corruption , we are saying as
Parliamentarians, this person must be arrested and face the law. We do not want anyone who says I have this position I am above the law - no. The President said no one is above the law and everyone must face the wrath of the law if he or she is corrupt. As the representative of Zaka North constituency, I support what the President said that everyone who is corrupt must be arrested.
On the issue of farming, I want to thank the President of
Zimbabwe, Cde. Mnangagwa. He introduced to us “Pfumvudza” programme, Presidential input scheme and command agriculture. All those things are the programmes which are being done by the President to make sure that there is enough food security in the country. The speaker who debated previously said the important thing is food security. The President has very good vision. He had imported combine harvesters, tractors and other farming implements. We are encouraging people so that we can add more irrigation schemes, especially in the rural areas like Zaka and other areas where there is low rainfall. We have big dams like Tokwe-Murkosi and Kyle. I heard about the programme being done by the Government to have 200 hectares under irrigation in every district. Government must fulfill this promise so that in all rural areas where we come from, people have enough food. This is the issue which causes disunity and lack of peace in different areas. If people get enough food, we leave everything to the Government to solve the issue of economics.
In agriculture, our Government must address the issue of irrigation, especially in the rural areas. On commercial farms, I was talking with my colleague sitting there and we said that if we have about 600 hectares and maize is planted properly, we can get enough grain for the country for the whole year. The Government must look at it properly, combine the hectares and give those farmers enough inputs and irrigation facilities so that they can farm under the monitoring and supervision of Government to ensure that they deliver their grain to GMB.
In rural areas where we come from, we have issues in schools. We also faced the challenges of COVID-19. School children in towns managed to learn because they have access to ICT but in rural areas there is nothing like that. We have the elderly who look after orphans. They have got small phones which are not compatible to internet and WhatsApp. It therefore means that these children are lagging behind while children in towns are going forward. We are encouraging the Government to install network transmitters, electricity and computers in all schools in rural areas so that the children can also benefit. Even if the grandparents have got a phone which is not compatible to internet, the child can go to school and use the materials at school. Some lessons were conducted on radio but others do not have radios. We are therefore encouraging that in rural areas, these things must be put in schools and information centres so that children can use them free of charge.
I come from Zaka and I pass through Masvingo. The Beitbridge – Chirundu Road is being re-constructed. If you travel through the road you can see that the road is at its best. Most parts of the road are now in good state and if this project is completed, you will see that this is one of the major projects that have been done by the new dispensation. When the new dispensation came in, it saw it fit that this road must be refurbished because it is a very important road which can bring in a lot of money to the country. The money will help in the development of the country. I am saying what is being done by the President using our local currency to develop the country and using local companies, we are saying this is a very good thing because we are using our local resources for our country to develop. On the issue of roads, the Government must continue to go into our rural areas. Our roads were re-graveled long back. The roads must be graded and re-graveled so that the roads can be easily accessible. We are encouraging the Government to go to the rural areas and repair the roads because the state of the roads is not good. It is difficult to carry food to the people.
We also thank our President, His Excellency, Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa because of the programme that he has put forward of constructing clinics. In my constituency, there are wards that do not have clinics. People travel 20 to 30 kilometres to seek medication but through the programme and the devolution funds, in my constituency, there are two new clinics that are being constructed. It will reduce the distance which was travelled by people to go and look for health services. I am appealing for the clinics to be built at least two clinics per ward. This is because some wards are too big; so even if we put a clinic at the centre, people still travel long distances. We are encouraging the Government to build at least two clinics in each ward.
The last issue I want to talk about is the issue of schools. School children are going to school but the problem is teachers are not teaching. A student from Chitonhora in Zaka phoned me saying that when they arrive at school, the school head tells the students to go back home because there are no teachers. We are encouraging teachers to go back to school and teach children. When they go to do teaching practice, they take the oath that they are going to teach students. Right now, they are striking. They want parents to pay them for private lessons so that they can teach the children. It shows that education is now for the rich. For school children from rural areas who cannot afford the extra lessons, it means those children are lagging behind while others are going forward. We are saying, while Government is preparing the issue to do with teachers salaries, the teachers must go back to school and teach the children. Before I sit down, sanctions and corruption must go. Thank you.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir, for giving me this time to add my voice to what His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe said to the nation. I also want to thank His Excellency the President for addressing the nation on several issues that were so befitting. It was a lengthy rendition but it was full of knowledge. Before I get into what I want to say, I want to applaud the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Dr. Khupe for what she said to us this afternoon. Now we are in Parliament where the ruling party and the opposition seem to have one vision – working in oneness, togetherness and forwardness.
In his address to the nation, His Excellency spoke about agriculture as a backbone to the nation’s economy and at length he spoke about the introduction of Pfumvudza which is being said all over the country. In my constituency Makoni North, it is at full throttle. Almost everyone is in the field implementing what the President said, taking heed to what the President said and almost everyone is trying to do the Pfumvudza business. I want to applaud the President under this Pfumvudza, that almost all people who prepared their fields received their seeds and compound fertilizers. At the GMB at Chendambuya we still await for people when they finish to prepare their fields, compound D and seed is there. The President is meeting his target and I want to applaud the President for that.
The President spoke about this deadly pandemic Covid-19, how it drew back our economy in this country. He also applauded the people of Zimbabwe when they listened to what he said that they stay at home and wear their masks. Even today if you notice, it is difficult to walk without a mask. The day when they are going to say no more masks, I do not know what it will become of us. I think I will remove mine when I see that everyone has no mask in Zimbabwe. I am so used to it. People in Zimbabwe took heed of what the President said. Some people might think that we do not listen to the President but look at it, the whole nation at large took heed and we were able to control this pandemic in this country because we listened and gave an ear to what His Excellency said. I want to applaud that.
I also want to thank the security sector for assisting the President in trying to control movement and putting laws in place so that this pandemic would not spread. COVID-19 is there and it is real.
It is a deadly disease and if you do not take heed you will die. The President spoke about unity. Unity is one thing of paramount importance. If you are not united you will not achieve anything. If you get back to the Bible a type of animal that is so united is the ant. They can build a very big anthill but look at how small they are. Very small but they are united. If you just take a look at them they give way at each other – this one is going there, the other one is going that side and they build like that. In Zimbabwe, like what the President was saying, let us be united. His words were; let us move this journey together as Zimbabweans, as one nation. Who are you to dispute what Zimbabweans want? If you want to go and stay in America, you go there. We are Zimbabweans and we will remain Zimbabweans and we will die in Zimbabwe. So, the President spoke a lot about unity across the divide so that we become one.
The President spoke about industry. Some may not want to say it but several industries were opened in Zimbabwe and investors have come. Take for instance the tile industry in Norton. It was not there. It became because the President opened Zimbabwe for business. Industries were opened and we applaud that in his speech. Land belongs to the people of Zimbabwe. Words may vary in what we think and interpret but our President is firm on the fact that there is no land that is going to be taken away from the black Zimbabwean and we must applaud that. He is our President and I want to believe as I used to do before that he is a man who sticks to his word.
Let me talk about the road infrastructure in the country. I have travelled to Masvingo. The road is being done very well. If you are going to Bulawayo the roads are being done. Let me say to my
President, I am a Member of Parliament who comes from Makoni North Constituency and I want to say that, maybe it is the only constituency in Zimbabwe which does not have a centimeter of a tarred road. It is all dust. I want to turn an eye to some constituencies out there so that this move of road infrastructure can also reach to the remote constituencies out there like Makoni North Constituency. I know he can do it because he has done it in some constituencies.
I want to applaud the President for the issue of war veterans and I will say it in passing - for also considering the young people so that they can take part in what is happening in the country. I also want to say I believe young people are tomorrow’s leaders and they must be nurtured to become good leaders of tomorrow. New brooms sweep clean so they say but an old one knows all the corners of the room. That is the end of the proverb. If we leave the country to the young they will sweep very clean but we need the old madhalas to show them the dirt around the corners and then the country will move forward. Gender equality and equity, the President spoke about that. I support gender equality. We are all human, we are equal and we must be put at the same footing.
Lastly, let me speak about devolution. The decentralisation of power to local authorities so that they can be able to decide what to do on their own is a noble idea. That is the type of father that we have who decentralises power to the bottom, the local government, local authority and to someone in the village to exercise power and develop from there. That is what the President says about devolution. If you do not develop with the resources that you have then it is up to you. I also want to applaud the President for shunning corruption.
Corruption is a cancer, it stings and it must be eradicated in Zimbabwe once and for all. I thank you.
*HON. DZUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Togarepi who brought this motion regarding the State of the Nation Address. Let me also thank Hon. Mhona for seconding the motion. I also want to thank His Excellency, the President of
Zimbabwe for presenting the State of the Nation address on Thursday. We thank God who is in Heaven who gave him good health, and the strength and fortitude to address without drinking even a glass of water. We thank God for that and let us applaud him. Let me also commend Hon. Khupe for noting that the President’s Vision 2030 is a good vision. Our country is a good country. The President touched all sectors of the economy, the construction of dams, road infrastructure and other sectors. So, the Leader of the Opposition said we should not tamper with his presidency but to allow him to go through until even 2030. The Leader of the Opposition said she does not even qualify or stand against the fact that he be given the opportunity to go on to 2030. This Parliament must have such a vision. We need to look at issues that way and we should have that perspective. We are told that divided we fall but united we stand. This means that even detractors from outside the country who have been resisting such good things have also watched this on television. Now they understand that this House has a different perspective.
As one of the liberation fighters, President Mnangagwa understands the plight of the veterans of the struggle because we have been remembered. It was not easy to go for training but you would just go even without being told to go. All these veterans of the struggle experienced these challenges but they were not bothered about them. Now the President has said war veterans should benefit. Those who went to count the number of enemies without even using weapons should also receive these benefits. Those who were detained are also going to benefit. The benefits might differ but all these have been recognised by the law. This is a result of the law that was put in place by President E. D. Mnangagwa the President of Zimbabwe. The other issue that was mentioned is that the President had a vision which he presented during the State of the Nation Address.
Even today we still have our masks as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and is here to stay. We now understand what COVID-19 is. The President also spoke about the Minamata Convention which is a big thing and might be a time bomb if not addressed properly. There is a certain town in Japan called Minamata which perished when people were eating fish. People reacted differently to the fish. Some could not give birth or their fertility was affected. This is a disease that does not have a vaccine and that is why the President learnt from other countries that we need to find methods of purifying our gold. The Minamata Convention is a Bill that should go through Parliament so that we identify what other countries are doing. We also want to appreciate and commend the President for appointing capable Ministers who are doing a good job. Actually, there is competition among the Ministers and you would see that they are outdoing each other in doing good things. We have seen this in different areas, for example in my constituency Buhera North, people used to walk for long distances to get their identity cards but now we have a resident office which was opened by Hon. Kazembe and my constituency is very happy with the new development. The office of the Vice President, Hon. Mohadi donated a big cage of fish (30,000) for our dams which was brought to the constituency. This means that our residents have been empowered with income generating projects. I also want to thank the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises headed by Hon. Nyoni. We have seen a lot of residents benefitting from her Ministry, some doing different income generating projects. I also want to thank His Excellency through the First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa who has gone around the country developing and emancipating women. A lot of women have identified their needs and have been assisted by the First Lady. A lot of constituencies have been grouped together so that they can benefit from such projects.
We have also seen the girl child benefitting from the First Lady’s efforts in Buhera North and other areas. A good job is being done in these areas and we have seen this especially in young girls who have benefited through sanitary wear. The First Lady is doing a good job just as the President is also doing a good job. My desire is that God should add more years to their lives.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would also like to commend the National Assembly for observing a minute of silence when we started to honour the late Hon. Member. We do not need to segregate between the old and the young and let me say that people like myself who are old, when we get things like our Parliament vehicles, if possible, first priority should be given to the elders because we are prone to die any time as we never fall sick but just drop dead. I thank you.
HON. MADHUKU: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir for
giving me this time to also add a few points on the State of the Nation Address. Let me also begin by paying tribute to our late Hon.
Member of Parliament, Hon. Joosbi Omar and say that May His Soul Rest in Peace and also realise that whilst we are here, life is vanity. It teaches us that we should love each other very much even as we deliberate in this House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to give special thanks to the mover of this motion, Hon. Togarepi and the seconder, Hon. Mhona and also pay special thanks to Hon. Dr. Khupe for debating in detail on this motion. It was very enriching and convincing. We thank her so much for all she has contributed – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to thank the President of the
Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, His Excellency, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, for showing us very good leadership qualities. This reminds me of what one great African writer, Chinua Achebe said, that everything rises and falls on leadership. Meaning that everything that we do here – we are talking about so many developments that happen in this country, they all point to the good leadership of His Excellency. He is also a listening President as he always says and he also leads by example. I also like what he says that, the voice of the people is the voice of God. So we are debating here and appreciating the good work that he does which means that we are the voice that is also appealing to what the Lord has done. We are saying and confessing that he is also a good leader, so may the Lord bless him with more years as he leads this country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we thank him for everything that he has done. We have just opened the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament. Three years in leadership and we appreciate the work that he has done which could have been done in more than a decade by some people. What we failed to accomplish in 38 years, we have done it in two to three years. So, we appreciate all these things and the great work that he is doing.
Let me speak about the issue that he also spoke about, the issue of devolution and the decentralisation policy. This is a very welcome development which we have seen and witnessed in this new dispensation. It has completely changed the lives of our people in the rural areas and even urban centers. I also want to appreciate the issue that this concept speaks a lot to equality and equity. It speaks to the issue of equitable distribution of resources. So no one will be left behind and no area in Zimbabwe will be left behind because of this concept of devolution. So, we want to appreciate and thank His Excellency for introducing this policy of devolution.
We have been receiving funds for devolution and this year around, I thought with the negative impact of COVID-19, I thought that we were not going to receive anything on devolution because so many funds were channeled to mitigating and eradicating this scourge. To my greatest surprise, we are continuing to receive funds for devolution. To me, this is a sign of good governance. So, we want to thank the President for releasing these funds and changing the lives of people as schools, hospitals, clinics you name it are being built.
So, it is a life changer and we believe that the President’s vision to be a middle income economy by 2030 is going to be met because we are already seeing the fruits of these endeavors.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me also talk about the issue of food production. We have seen great strides by His Excellency in Command Agriculture, we have seen so much done. In the mechanisation project that other Hon. Members have already alluded to, of late, we have seen the issue of this concept of Pfumvudza which in my view, is a very well calculated model of production that is backed by empirical evidence. I think there have been a lot of mathematical calculations in this whole concept because it is based on the issue that if so much is given to our peasant farmers and all other people – we use so much in empowering them to produce. If we do not do that, we will spend so much more than what we give them.
So, what the President is giving to the people is based on the calculations that we will produce more and if we produce more, it means that we are going to save more from the social fund. This means that if this concept works as it should, then a lot of revenue is going to be collected by the Government and it is not going to spend more money in social packages. Meaning the money is going to be diverted to other developmental projects. I also appreciate what the President spoke about on the Presidential Horticultural Scheme and to me, this is a new concept. I had never heard about this – so this is innovation, which the President is giving in – the Presidential Horticultural Scheme which is aimed at giving more space to rural communities and capacitating them. This is a very welcome development and we hope that this project is going to be a game changer for all our people in the rural areas. We thank the President and also request that whilst the President launches this Presidential Horticultural Scheme, he should also try and open markets for the projects. I have witnessed that back home there is a tendency of flooding of some of the inputs. I have seen flooding of tomatoes, cabbages and so on in rural communities.
I would like to thank the President because recently we have seen new appointments of ambassadors to the DRC, Zambia and so on. We thank them because when we listen to part of their mandates, they were talking about opening up new markets for the country. They have to augment this great move by the President of the horticultural scheme so that when more produce is given by the people, they also open up markets so that we do not flood and end up giving our products to animals. I would like to thank the President for this innovation.
Let me also move to the other aspect which the President talked about – the mining sector progress. I would like to thank Hon. Khupe because she talked about many salient points on this issue with regards to the eradication of corruption. As we all know that the President is targeting a 12 billion mining sector by 2023, this has to be supported and there are so many loopholes which have to be closed in terms of safeguarding the produce.
The President also spoke about the need to expedite amendments to the Mineral Mining Bill which he said should lead to the amendments of the Precious Stones and the Gold Trade Act. We appreciate this move because having these amendments also point to the move to try to eradicate corruption. Of late, we have been hearing a lot of leakages of gold. It is said that maybe the gold which is sold formally is less than the gold which goes via other unscrupulous means. We appreciate that the President is trying to make sure that he plugs in some loopholes to all the leakages to do with corruption in the trade of the precious stones and gold.
Whilst the President is talking about the need to eradicate corruption, Hon. Khupe talked about the need to ensure that
Zimbabwe joins Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
This is very critical because when the President talked about closing all loopholes to do with corruption than when we are talking about the mining sector, we cannot achieve this if we do not join this Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative. Thank you so much Hon. Khupe for talking in detail about this issue.
Let me just buttress or add a few points about this initiative. Basically, this initiative talks about the need to promote good governance and also to eliminate corruption, conflicts and poverty.
We are seeing these things – we are talking about machetes and so on. These are conflicts within the mining sector. When we are talking about the need to join this, it is very critical. Let me point out that in this financial year, the Hon. Minister of Finance budgeted for something towards Zimbabwe joining EITI. We have to interrogate this to ensure whether this was done. If it was not done, we need to know why it was not done because fighting corruption is very critical.
This initiative is concerned with revenue and payments by companies and also revenues received by the Government. It opens the whole issue of transparency. We have heard and seen companies saying that they are giving so much to community projects. They talk of maybe a million which they plough back to communities but the question we should ask is, they are giving a million out of how much? How much have they made from that resource if they are giving a million? We do not know. A million may seem to be a lot of money but it may be very little if they were making declarations of how much revenue they collected from the mining of that mineral. I am just saying that it is very critical to push and ensure that we join EITI.
It also talked about the awarding of licences and contracts. At the moment, there is a loud cry about the EPOs, special grants and so on; which is a grey area. However, if we join transparency, everything becomes transparent and we will assist in fighting corruption. There is also an issue of gender impacts in mining. This is a very critical area because we are very much aware that women are also involved in mining but they also need to be capacitated and given their fair share. They also need protection in view of all these conflicts that I am talking about. The issue of gender – we are talking about the issue of parity, gender equity which is very critical in mining if we join EITI.
There is also the issue of environmental impact to do with mining. At the moment there are conflicts with the farmers and the miners are fighting against each other. His Excellency talked about the Minamata Convention with regards to the issue of environment and protection of human life. As my colleagues have already said, the President was talking about the need to get rid of mercury, which is very dangerous and has far reaching consequences, some of which are not very easy to discern or see in the near future. They will have far reaching impacts. The President talked about the need to quickly ratify this convention. Zimbabwe has already signed in anyway. We have already joined but what is left is the ratification which the President impressed upon us to do that as quickly as possible. If the convention is ratified, it is going to bring in so many benefits by being members and we are talking about alternative ways of processing the gold. If we ratify this convention, we are going to be empowered because we will have the capacity to borrow and get more money from that convention which we will use.
I also want to thank the President because of late this week, we have seen …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): May
you wind up Hon. Member.
HON. MADHUKU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am almost there. We have seen a meeting which was done - which was basically to do with the Zimbabwe Miners Federation which talked about the capacitation of the small scale miners where some of our big banks like CBZ are involved. This is very critical because we are aware that if we are going to meet the target of the $12 billion mining sector by 2023, a lot of that gold - more than 60% comes from the small scale miners. So this capacitation which we are seeing from the
Government is very much applauded and we appreciate all the President is doing to ensure that improves and changes positively the livelihoods of all Zimbabweans.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would not do justice to end my contribution without saying no to sanctions. Sanctions are evil in every respect. Those who have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe have to ensure that they are lifted. When we talk about sanctions, there is nothing like targeted sanctions. Sanctions are sanctions. They are targeted on every citizen of Zimbabwe and not on few individuals. As we are talking of the mining sector progress Mr. Speaker Sir, we should take cognisance of the fact that even when we sell our gold and diamond, we sell at a very reduced price because of the sanctions – the
Kimberley Process and what not. So sanctions are biting us. That is why we are getting less revenue than all the other players in the gold sector and diamonds. Mr. Speaker Sir, we are saying no to sanctions. We want to thank SADC and AU for standing with us Zimbabwe in observing 25th October as the anti-sanctions day. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 28th October, 2020.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.