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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 27 SEPTEMBER 2022 VOL 48 NO 79
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 27th September, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
ANNUAL CHARITY GOLF DAY
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Parliament of Zimbabwe will be hosting the Annual Charity Golf Day on Friday, 30th September, 2022 at the Police Golf Club. Hon. Members are encouraged to form teams that will participate at this event. For further details, Hon. Members may contact Mr. Nyamuramba on Extension 2143.
*HON. RAIDZA: I rise on a point of national interest. Regarding the golf notice, I am the Captain of the Golf Club, those who are interested should contact us then we teach them. Madam Speaker, I stood up to appreciate the job that is being done by our Government under the leadership of His Excellency President Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. I want to appreciate the job which is underway for the past two to three months which allows Zimbabweans to get their IDs and birth certificates. This is a job which has proliferated to other areas like Tsholotsho and other remote areas of the country where the same people were given an opportunity to get the national identifications cards. We appreciate this initiative which was brought by the Government. In the past few years, it was very difficult for people to get such documents which are critical, to get a birth certificates and IDs. This is a good initiative even as we head towards the 2023 elections, we believe that Government is doing a noble thing - so that every Zimbabwean national gets the opportunity to register to vote during the elections. This is a good thing which we appreciate, even the other challenges which were faced by people in accessing IDs have been eliminated and we appreciate that. We thank our Government and I would like to implore His Excellency and his Executive to continue doing the good job. I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Raidza, we need to appreciate the good things that are happening.
HON. MUNENGAMI: I want to add my voice on what Hon. Raidza said.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am sorry Hon. Member, your name is not on the list.
*HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Hon. Nyabani has started telling other Members to sit down. We cannot tolerate this anymore. He, went to Germany with Hon. Wadyajena, you were given USD4 000. So enjoy sitting there, you must respect the Chair, watch him Hon. Madam Speaker. We do not want to waste time here.
HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I do acknowledge the good outcome of the programme that was mentioned by Hon. Raidza. I want to bring to your attention that on the same subject, there was a request for a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of Home Affairs that was raised by Hon. James Sithole from Makokoba Constituency. He was promised that a Ministerial Statement was going to be issued here in Parliament. He had raised concerns with the difficulties that were being faced by people in taking IDs and birth certificates. When is that Ministerial Statement coming, because if we are now giving a counter statement full of praises as if there are no challenges, we are contradicting ourselves as a Parliament? I do request that whilst we acknowledge the statement that he has given, we also want to see the Ministerial Statement coming here to Parliament so that Hon. Members who are facing challenges with the people in their constituencies failing to get IDs and birth certificates are given the chance to also question the Minister. This will enable us to also join hands with Hon. Raidza to give a fair praise to what would actually be good by then but as for now, we cannot join hands with him until the Ministerial Statement has been delivered to this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Hamauswa. May I ask the Hon. Deputy Chief Whip to remind the responsible Minister to bring the Ministerial Statement to the House? Thank you.
HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Thank you Madam Speaker. It is common knowledge that Zimbabwe was heavily hit and up to this day we still feel the remains of COVI-19, especially over the past three years. As a result, we have seen our nation almost losing hope about whether our children were going to write examinations during the COVID-19 era. It is at this point in time that I would like to say there is some sign of good relief with the beginning of Grade 7 examinations. We have witnessed that the nation is excited and even hoping to get better results than in the previous years because the atmosphere looks quite good and a lot has been done to ensure that COVID-19 does not affect the general learning and writing of examinations of our children.
We hope the same scenario is going to happen when we go for ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations. I would like to applaud all stakeholders that participated in ensuring that there is a lot of control, especially in schools. The education system, our ZRP, the health sector and above all, the Government of Zimbabwe which actually came up with prudent policies that made sure we were going to control the COVID-19 scourge. I want to also finally say the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa needs to continue keeping up to make sure that we have got such policies that serve our people whenever there is a disaster. I thank you.
*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I stood up to talk about a concerning issue which pertains to the abuse of drugs and perpetrators of drug related crimes. They are just detained and they pay fines and are set free. I would like to implore this august House to introduce punitive laws, especially looking at what is happening in the rural areas, you find the rural populace being taught bad cultures because there are no punitive laws. So my request is that there must be punitive laws which will deter any perpetrators. Thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Moyo but you raised a very pertinent issue. I would like to urge you to ask this during the Question and Answer segment tomorrow why there are no punitive laws for drug related crimes. Thank you.
*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker, I will do that.
HON. BITI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. My point of national interest relates to pensions. As you know, in March of 2007, the Justice Smith Commission of Inquiry into conversion of people’s pension funds presented its report. That report made several recommendations after finding that Zimbabweans had lost pensions to the total value of USD5.86 billion as a result of a weak regulatory framework by IPEC, the Insurance Pension Commission of Zimbabwe, the scandalous and greedy behaviour of insurance houses and terrible macro-economic environment, including inflation that had risen to 500 billion percent.
So effectively, Justice Smith recommended that there be compensation for pensioners, teachers, headmasters and workers who had worked from 1980 and served through their pensions but their pensions were wiped out. Six/Seven years later, those recommendations have not been put into practice. There is also a second group of pensioners. These are people who saved their money from 2009 when the economy had dollarized, pay their pensions in USD, but suddenly after February of 2019, with the enactment of Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019, greedy pension houses like Old Mutual and First Mutual are now paying those pensioners in paltry ZW$.
So, I make the point that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development must, as a matter of urgency, come up with a law that puts into effect the Justice Smith Commission of Inquiry recommendations and secondly, that same law must deal with the pensioners who have lost their USD savings, those who started making pension contributions from 2009 in USD including Hon. Members of this august House. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Biti. You have raised a very important issue but I encourage you to bring a motion to this House concerning that issue so that Hon. Members will debate and adopt the motion. Thank you.
HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker. Every Zimbabwean national has a democratic right to be protected by the law to move freely around the country. On the 15th March, 2015, a certain man who was a reporter and used to write, Itai Dzamara, was taken by unknown people and this issue was taken up to Government structures and Government communicated that they were investigating the disappearance. The Hon. Minister came to this august House and promised the House that investigations were in progress, so they ascertain his whereabouts, but until now there is no feedback to the august House.
The Dzamara family is still in pain because in our traditions, there are things that should be done when a person is lost or that person is dead because the issue is still within the hands of the police and the Government. The family does not have closure regarding their child and for them to have closure there must be communication as to whether Itai Dzamara disappeared for good or what happened. So, like what the Minister of Home Affairs promised, there must be an explanation regarding the investigations. There must be a statement to this august House to communicate to the nation and the Dzamara family that Dzamara is dead so that when his children need birth certificates and assistance, the family should seek assistance knowing that the investigations were completed. I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. I urge you to pose your question during the Question and Answer segment to the Minister of Home Affairs tomorrow so that he responds to your question regarding the investigation since he promised
*HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order. The Hon. Minister informed the House that he will bring a Ministerial Statement. This is not an issue which we should continue talking about the same things, asking him and responding. We need to know how far the investigation has gone. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. If he has promised then I will ask the Deputy Chief Whip to remind him to bring that Ministerial Statement.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order. Madam Speaker, just to add to this - there is actually a court order, if I am not mistaken, which says we must be updated from time to time. So it is really in compliance with the court order. The Minister has not been able to comply with the court order because this is a matter of national interest which went before the courts. The Minister has got to comply with the court order. It is not a matter of even asking him to do us a favour but he is complying with the laws of the country. So, may be if he needs to be reminded about it that there is a court order to that, I think he would also realise that he cannot be seen to be in contempt. It is a very serious issue, inofanira kupera nyaya yacho nokuti vari kuramba vachichema, tisingazivi kuti munhu mupenyu kana kuti haasi mupenyu. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. The Hon. Minister will be reminded to come and update this august House.
Time for one-minute statements on issues of national interest was interrupted by the HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 62 (2).
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 29 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 30 has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. MUSHORIWA: I need clarification. Madam Speaker, the purpose of order in the House, we have got a number of Bills on the Order Paper. We come prepared and we just want to find out from the Government side, where are the Ministers, Acting Ministers and Deputy Ministers so that at least we dispose of some of the Bills? Some of them have been outstanding for more than seven months. Today is Government Business. We expect Government Business to go on.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number 26.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
FIRST REPORT OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NETWORK AGAINST CORRUPTION (APNAC) ON THE BENCHMARKING VISIT TO KENYA
HON. T. MLISWA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption (APNAC) on the Benchmarking Visit to Kenya.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
HON. T. MLISWA: 1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1 The Executive Committee of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC), Zimbabwe Chapter, conducted a benchmark visit to the Kenyan APNAC Chapter in Kenya from the 6th to the 10 of June 2022. The APNAC Chair wishes to extend his gratitude to Parliament of Zimbabwe and African Development Bank for availing resources to ensure that the trip became successful. The Zimbabwean delegation comprised of the following:
- Hon Temba Mliswa, APNAC Chairperson and Head of Delegation
- Hon Willias Madzimure,
- Hon Paurina Mpariwa,
- Hon Trevor Saruwaka,
- Hon Misheck Mataranyika,
- Hon Colletta Mutambisi,
- Hon Precious Chinhamo-Masango,
- Tapiwa Chiremba,
- Angeline Gutu
- Beverley Chinyama.
2.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE BENCHMARK VISIT
The purpose of the benchmark visit was largely to understand the laws and institutions relied upon in Kenya in the fight against corruption. Secondly, the visit also sought to appreciate the work APNAC Kenya is undertaking in the fight against corruption.
The delegation had the opportunity to meet the following
- APNAC Kenya Chapter,
- The Parliamentary Justice and Legal Committee
- The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC)
- Transparency International – Kenya
- Civil Society Organization (Mzalendo Trust)
4.1 APNAC Kenya Chapter
The APNAC Kenya Chapter is led by Hon Shakeel Shabbir Ahmed and he has been Chairperson of the Chapter for 14 years. The President of APNAC Africa is currently the Speaker of the Parliament of Kenya, Hon Muturi and the Secretariat for APNAC Africa is based in Ghana. Hon Ahmed outlined activities and some of the challenges faced by APNAC Kenya.
APNAC Kenya is largely involved in lobbying for laws and policies on anti-corruption. This is achieved through motions and questions that are raised in Parliament. Some of the challenges faced by APNAC Kenya include the limited financial resources and recognition status of APNAC Kenya within Parliamentary Structures.
APNAC Kenya is not officially recognized within the structures of Parliamentary Administration - hence, whenever it has activities it has to beg the Administration of Parliament for resources to do its work, for example, attending global conferences on corruption. Hon Ahmed encouraged the Zimbabwean delegation to ensure that its Chapter is institutionalized so that it is better organized to receive technical and financial support from the Administration of Parliament and from other development partners. Furthermore, at a continental level, APNAC is not incorporated in any of the continental bodies such as the African Union.
Therefore, its status and work might not be fully appreciated by the African leaders. However, in order to strengthen APNAC Africa, Hon Ahmed highlighted that his country was working with Uganda and Tanzania, where they formed a non-profit body, which is able to receive funding for the 3 countries and to spearhead APNAC programmes as a regional grouping. Zimbabwe was encouraged to do the same, by forming a SADC regional body for APNAC, which will then be able to receive funding for the grouping and to spearhead anti-corruption activities collectively. Hon Ahmed also told the visiting delegation that APNAC Kenya works with the Global Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), and attends various conferences organized by GOPAC.
On membership of APNAC Kenya, Hon Ahmed outlined that they were not concerned with having many legislators in its grouping. What was of critical importance was the quality of people who joined APNAC Kenya.
4.2 Parliamentary Committee of Justice.
APNAC Zimbabwe had an opportunity to meet the Kenyan Parliamentary Committee of Justice. The Justice Committee has an oversight role over one of the key institutions in the fight against corruption, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. The EACC is equivalent to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC). Some of the key highlights of that meeting included the following:
- One-third of the nation’s income is lost through corruption. The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta was on record saying that
the country had lost close to 2 billion shillings, which is equivalent to USD200 million through corruption in the last few years.
- In the process high ranking officials in government such as the Minister of Finance and Governors have been arrested for corruption charges.
- The EACC has a responsibility to vet any aspiring candidates for Public Office and for the forthcoming Kenyan elections to be held in August 2022, there were 241 candidates disqualified to stand for public office due to various reasons.
- EACC does not have prosecuting powers and in the process the agency is considered as weak in its drive to fight corruption. Prosecuting powers are the preserve of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
- Legal practitioners are obligated to report cases where they suspect their client is involved in money laundering. If a lawyer does not do so, they risk losing their practicing certificate.
- In Kenya they have a Witness Protection Agency which receives funding from Government to protect witnesses who report corruption.
- APNAC Kenya works with various civil society organizations under the banner known as Civil Society Parliament Engagement Network.
4.3 Transparency International Kenya
Transparency International Kenya works with APNAC Kenya on various programs which include the support for legal reforms on the anti-corruption agenda. Legal reforms were identified as critical in the fight against corruption because Sub-Saharan Africa scored the lowest in the Corruption Perception Index for 2021. The presenter outlined that some of the challenges in the fight against corruption include ineffective institutions and weak democratic values.
Transparency International - Kenya published a research on Bribery Perception Index in Kenya and some of the most corrupt institutions in Kenya in their order of ranking included the Judiciary, police, and land services. The presentation highlighted that the Government reports of losing close to 30 % of its national budget annually due to corruption. To this end CSOs conduct various awareness programs and provide legal research to legislators.
Although in Kenya has various laws to fight corruption, the presenter lamented the fact that there was little enforcement by the agencies and at times the anti-corruption agencies fail to work together to fight corruption. At one point the agencies took each other to court.
Another challenge cited by the presenter was the lengthy judicial process for corruption cases as well as the lack of political will and financial support to key anti- corruption agencies. Some of the recommendations that emerged from the presentations included the need to devolve anti-corruption matters to local government structures as well as to ensure that law-enforcement agencies implement anti-corruption laws to their fullest.
4.4 Mzalendo Trust
The CSO has been in existence for over 17 years and monitors Parliament debates on corruption. The presenter explained that the CSO is actively involved in the monitoring of legislative proposals on anti-corruption and the CSO works collaboratively with APNAC Kenya. The CSO also convenes various meetings with like-minded organizations to highlight and actively call out corruption. Some of the laws that have been considered for review by Mzalendo Trust include the Leadership and Integrity Amendment Bill (2020), Lifestyle Bill (2021) and Election (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of Kenya
The EACC works with various State and non-State actors in the fight against corruption. One of the major challenges faced by the EACC is that they do not have prosecution powers. The mandate of EACC includes investigating corruption and economic crimes as well as promoting public awareness and education against corruption. The presenter outlined that they receive about 300 reports daily on corruption but they do not have enough resources to deal with each case.
However, the cases received are prioritized according to their impact and value, for example cases involving high political figures or those involving a lot of money are prioritized. The presenter went on to explain that between 2018 – 2021, the EACC concluded 501 investigations on corruption. The Commission also managed to recover assets worth USD228 million and averted loss of USD325 million.
The Commission has a responsibility to vet persons before they assume public office. So far EACC has concluded Integrity Suitability Verification of close to 48 000 candidates for public office.
Some of the challenges faced by EACC include the following:
- Slow judicial process. A case can take up to 10 years to conclude.
- Influence of politicians and ethnicity issues. Some people accused of corruption try to hide under the banner of political or ethnicity persecution.
- Budgetary constraints to adequately conduct its work.
- Inadequate and ineffective legal framework.
- Kenya has made stride efforts to enact various laws in the fight against corruption such as Bribery Act, Public Officers Ethics Act, Leadership and Integrity Act, Lifestyle Act as well as Witness Protection Act.
- There is relative independence by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, noticed by success in prosecuting high level cases involving Government Officials.
- The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission assets recovery strategy is effective resulting in Government being able to recover some of the public funds.
- APNAC-Kenya and Civil Society Organizations have collaborated effectively in the fights against corruption.
- APNAC Zimbabwe should be incorporated within the structures of Parliament Administration, for instance, it should be recognized as a Parliamentary Caucus.
- APNAC Zimbabwe should spearhead the process of forming a SADC regional group of APNAC.
- Zimbabwe should consider enacting the following laws to strengthen its legal framework; Bribery Act, Public Officers Ethics Act, Leadership and Integrity Act, Lifestyle Act as well as Witness Protection Act.
- APNAC should conduct awareness programs in various parts of the country, so that more people are involved in the fight against corruption.
The APNAC Zimbabwe is very much committed to take part in the fight against corruption. The major functions of Parliament are law-making, oversight and representation and APNAC Zimbabwe will endeavour at all times to ensure that adequate laws and budgetary support is given to key institutions of Government to enable them to effectively conduct their work in combating corruption. Already the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has made a commitment to enact the Whistle blowers and Witness Protection Act before this session of Parliament ends. The APNAC Zimbabwe Chapter would like to express its gratitude to the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the African Development Bank for the support that it gave to conduct this benchmark visit. Gratitude must also go to the Kenyan Parliament and APNAC Kenyan for their willingness to host the Zimbabwean delegation. Thank you very much Madam Speaker.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me start by thanking you for affording me this opportunity to support the report which is quite comprehensive which was presented by our Chairperson Hon. Mliswa. I decided to speak in vernacular because the report is comprehensive. I would like to touch on a number of issues that were not covered. Let me start by saying that for us as the Zimbabwean delegation to go with our Secretariat is really commendable. I would like to thank Parliament of Zimbabwe and we appreciate that.
I would also like to thank God who protected us because no one came back ill. Looking at what the Chairperson alluded to, there were a number of issues that he mentioned which are similar to the Kenyan challenges, because APNAC is not in the structures of Parliament. It is independent but the challenge with independence is that you are found to be neglected without a proper budget and without enough resources. We also face a similar problem because we do not have our own resources. These challenges are not unique to them but we also have similar challenges. I appreciate that we were given a few from the parliamentary Secretariat. We both do not have money.
My second point is that APNAC Chairperson has been in office for the past 14 years in Kenya which means he is experienced in building relationships with the civil society and other stakeholders so that APNAC Kenya can expedite the responsibilities that they are given. He is also a revered member of the community. When we were discussing with him, there were a number of Members of Parliament and the Vice Speaker of Kenya, which means that this was a well organised meeting and the APNAC Kenya Executive is respected.
Madam Speaker, allow me to say that APNAC is known and those who support APNAC do so on a voluntary basis. This is the same thing in Zimbabwe because we are similar. However, there are so many people who support it in Kenya who are not Members of Parliament, but here you find only a few who support it even for those who are not Members of Parliament. These are areas which need to be looked into. For those who were part of Parliament and those who are no longer Members of Parliament, there is need for us to consult them because they are experienced.
Let me go to my third point which was mentioned during our visit regarding anti-corruption initiatives. There was an indication that when the former President of Kenya, President Uhuru, issues of corruption were mainstreamed, people were free to talk about them and they were not confidential issues because this helps in making sure that proper investigations are carried out. When we came back from activities in the evening, you would find every candidate would speak passionately about corruption which means that this is something which can be discussed openly. About 241 candidates were barred by EACC of Kenya to stand as candidates and Members of Parliament because there were allegations of corruption against those 241 candidates. This is a lesson that for someone who has corruption charges, if we could copy and implement that especially for those who are considered to be corrupt, they should not be allowed to stand.
The Chairperson also spoke about the lack of funding. If there is no funding it is difficult to do the different roles that we are expected to do. The civil society of Kenya works with the Hon. Members of that Committee in Kenya. They came to support and they spoke about the different regions and what is transpiring in those regions. So my request is that we maintain that relationship so that we understand how they operate and also look at the laws, information, communication and dissemination, investigations and other processes because this can be done in partnerships through the different funding mechanisms.
If given money as Parliament, sometimes we need the input of civil society. The civil society in Kenya works hand-in-hand with APNAC. It is a permanent relationship and even the whistle blowers are operational in that country. My desire is that we need to build such relationships. You remember when we spoke about the PVO, we agreed that it is not that all civil society organisations are bad and so, we need to understand that we need the civil society. There are some who are good who can work together with us because we do not have the money. Kenya has a witness protection agent which is responsible for protecting witnesses. They have institutions which shelter witnesses and they protect them against victimisation. This is good because if we have such institutions, they can do their job properly. We heard the Chairperson saying that you find some cases which dragged for ten years or more. So when engaging the Kenyans, we asked whether there were previous cases which were dealt with and they said that there were ministers who were arrested and some who were incarcerated after being arrested. You would see that they are working very hard to eliminate corruption.
In the 2021 index, they say that in the Sub-Sahari Africa, we are rated as the most corrupt country in the region. This is a picture which has been depicted to the people. So the onus is upon us as Government to consider cleaning up the image of the country through engaging the different departments which have been given the task of eliminating corruption, for instance ZACC, NPA and other Government arms. The EACC also mentioned that in 2018, they concluded 521 cases, it is important for ZACC to go and exchange notes with EACC so that they see and understand how the Kenyans are dealing with corrupt cases.
In conclusion, let me say that Madam Speaker, we proffered several recommendations and I believe that these should be implemented so that we eliminate corruption. Looking at the Kenya case study, it took a lot of resources and money, and I believe that these resources are needed for implementation also because we cannot just go on benchmarking visits and adopt without expediting what is expected from us as a watchdog. It is my desire to see these recommendations being taken up and the different laws being applied in the elimination and eradication of corruption.
Civil servants who deal with cases should be paid decent salaries, because from the case study, we discovered that lawyers can decide not to represent a person for their case exhibits corruption tendencies. As APNAC, it is our desire to see the four recommendations being implemented and this will help us as Government in our quest for integrity. This will allow Parliament to exercise its watchdog role. I thank you.
*HON. B. DUBE: Thank Madam Speaker Ma’am. I was not there but I am a member of APNAC. I am happy because of the report. We are very happy that we have Committees that when they are sent out, they give a report on how they have travelled and what they witnessed.
It is now clear that corruption also fights back, which means if we want to fight corruption as a country, we must show it by the support that we are giving to people who are fighting corruption in the country. Firstly, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) - according to our Constitution, police has a primary mandate to refer and prosecute those who are doing corruption. However, I think people forget that they are supposed to be resourced very well so that they will be able to fulfill their mandate.
So, it is my wish that adding to the recommendations, I think the ZRP and its departments, including the duty uniform and those CID should be given enough resources so that they will be able to fight corruption. We also desire that all our police force should be able to fight corruption even in the state they are in but they do not have transport. Their offices do not have equipment. We all know that corruption is called a ‘white collar job’. So what it means is that the police that we are training are supposed to further their trainings in line with how the thieves are getting new skills. So, the police should also get new skills so that they would be able to understand the current skills of thieves and corrupt people.
Our Government should help by bringing a housing policy which is viable so that police officers will have accommodation. They should also be allocated stands; NBS and other banks, and our Government should be a major guarantor so that our civil servants, especially the police will get accommodation. You will find that corrupt people are the ones who have accommodation and our police are renting the properties of thieves. So how can they confront the people who are accommodating them? If they are accommodated well, they would not be tempted and also if they have reliable transport they will not be tempted to engage in corruption as well.
Government should provide soft loans so that they can buy their own cars. We should also extend this to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Prosecutors are Government lawyers. They stand in for Government in courts of law. The lawyers who would have been hired by those who would have been incarcerated are well paid by those criminals so that they can work hard to win cases. They do researches because they are motivated. On the opposite, you find that Government prosecutors, when they are representing people, are worried of missing public transport, so they do not do their work wholeheartedly. At times, they are given transport by the criminals. There are cases that are just thrown out.
I can give you an example. I was once a prosecutor and that was my first job. I left the job because of the embarrassment that we received. Each and every day there are new cases that are brought to the courts but you will be using outdated information. Private lawyers are motivated, they would have researched and they know what is happening internationally. I left the job because of the frustration that I was facing.
I think we should also come up with a resolution that conditions of service for our prosecutors should be reviewed. In South Africa, Botswana and other countries, it is not easy to become a prosecutor. People are running away from the private sector and they prefer to work for the public sector. There is no need for them to be tempted because their conditions of service are good. If you visit the prosecutors’ offices in Zimbabwe, they do not have laptops and even desktops.
If you want to deal with corruption, our prosecutors have no need to look for employment in the private sector. We should resource the public prosecutor so that they have good accommodation. If someone is given a loan payable in 20 years, they will not leave that employment even if they are offered other jobs. What a person wants is security for his family and children. Even if they do not get exorbitant salaries but you give them accommodation and good transport, they will stay on their jobs. We know that many civil servants are patriotic. They really want to work in Zimbabwe but the main hindrance is that there are no tools of trade so that they will be competitive. Some of them do not have WiFi so they cannot argue with someone who has researched.
Just to add onto what our Chairperson alluded to, we should improve the conditions of service for our prosecutors. We are also supposed to be serious as a Government. At the moment, we do not have the NPA board in place. Promotions are not happening because that board is not in place. There are no directors, so in that case, how can we motivate our workers? Those are some of the issues that we should look at. Our fight against corruption is only demonstrated by a financial commitment so that we equalise those in the private and the public sector.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the representatives of Parliament, the whole team and the Hon. Speaker for permitting the team to go out. At times, we do not get the permission to go out. We are happy because some of us got permission. We should put conditions of service that show seriousness. We should not just limit it to rallies. The fight against corruption requires financial commitment. With these few words, I want to thank you.
*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me add my voice to this crucial issue which is really affecting us as a people. This is an issue which does not need pointing of fingers and blame shifting on the prosecutors, police, banks, schools and other institutions.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are not connected Hon. Member.
*HON. MATANGIRA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I wanted to say that for us to eliminate corruption, we do not have to shift blame. This august House should work very hard in eliminating corruption. We have three pillars of State and we should play our part as Parliament.
Let me give you my view point regarding corruption. Firstly, I am not shifting blame but I am stating facts. If you do not pay the police officer enough money and you give him money to keep as a steward, you do not expect him to look after the money. Then at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, how many people have been found to be guilty of corruption but we expect them to arrest and prosecute those who steal and those who engage in corrupt activities yet we find corrupt activities happening at the Commission? At this front and back row from the left side and the right side, everyday you find corruption happening within those who are supposed to eliminate corruption.
In Zimbabwe, we get most of our revenue from the mining fraternity and from the agriculture sector. The Mining Commissioner or the one who was given that responsibility is getting US$100 plus US$75 plus an RTGS salary a month. The mines that he is registering, that he is inspecting and forfeiting and expected to demolish are rich mines which span into millions of United States dollars. A billion is a lot. If someone gives that official US$1000 on top of the money that he is earning, do you expect anything to come from that official? So this is our fault, this is our responsibility because we are Government.
I do not see opposition in Government but I see Government with those who won and those who did not take the first position, but in this august House, we make the Government. Madam Speaker, I am hurt because some things that are happening are out of this world because of the gap which is found in our civil service. We need to pay our workers well, then promulgate laws. We would then say - look John we have given you what you deserve, so stop corrupt activities.
Those who are found engaging in corruption should be disciplined. We were told in grade 7 that the Bible says ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’. We need to discipline people. People should be arrested. When we go to the courts, for us who are in the rural areas, we do not have judges but we have magistrates. How much is a magistrate earning? It is shocking because they are getting USD$175. This is what they are getting. Then you would find for instance Hon. Temba Mliswa is being accused or Hon. Matangira is being accused of a US$650 000 case; the accused might approach the magistrate and offer them a car and fuel. Do you think the outcome of that case would be correct, would be done in a just manner or it would be compromised?
So this august House should not say that we have given police officers laws to apply to different cases, whether it is the police or ZACC. If I tell you the different corruption cases that are at ZACC, even the names, there is a lot of corruption and there is nothing that you can do about those people. We must not differentiate Parliamentarians, the ruling party and the others who are called the opposition but in this august House, we are Government, we are together and we need to unite. We need to work together and speak strongly expressing what we want to happen, what we want to see happening especially during the question and answer session, posing these questions to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and other Ministers.
When moving a motion, we need to move a motion which says we want to end corruption instead of pointing fingers. Madam Speaker, when reading different pages, when you open to a certain page going to the next, you do not go backwards. What happened is history. Let us look at the future because we cannot be retrogressive by focusing on the past.
Looking at the 2013 elections and other elections, let us look at the future; let us plan for the future. Madam Speaker, I believe that this issue is not a one-man issue. Taking it as individuals might compromise such issues. Other countries look at Zimbabwe and some say Zimbabwe is not developing because of corruption. Who is corrupt? We are corrupt. These are Parliamentarians because the fingers which point at the other person, one points to the front and the other three to you who is pointing. In majority of democracies, the three are pointing to you as an individual.
Madam Speaker, let us pay our workers enough money, whether it is ZIMRA officials at the border posts or whoever. These people are engaging in corrupt activities because they do not have money, they do not earn decent salaries. This is not because it is a cancer but it is because they are earning peanuts. The money that they earn is not enough to sustain their lives.
We also were earning peanuts as MPs. If we were earning peanuts as MPs, you would find the CDF compromised. The reason why the CDF is working properly is because there are mechanisms to monitor the use of the utility of the CDF. If we put such safeguards, then we can eliminate corruption. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MATEWU: Thank you Madam Speaker. First of all, I want to thank the precise and very informative report that was given by the Chair of APNAC. The issue of corruption is right at the centre of economic collapse, not only in Zimbabwe but in Africa as you have heard from the report that was read by Hon. Mliswa. I am not a member of APNAC but I feel very strongly about the issues that were raised pertaining to the effects of corruption in Africa and in Kenya as we heard from Hon. Ahmed who is the President of APNAC.
I have two or three points to make Madam Speaker. The first one is that whenever you want to solve an equation, one has to look at the roots and when you want to look at corruption, we have to look at what are the causes of corruption, what makes it so pertinent that people want to be corrupt.
Now, turning to corruption in Government, I think the speakers who have spoken, including Hon. Matangira and Hon. B. Dube, spoke so well about various sectors which included mining and also the lower paying of Government. One issue that Hon. Dube spoke about was that we so underpay our Government workers and yet these Government workers run a GDP in excess of USD7 billion. Like what Hon. Matangira was saying, if someone who is being asked to go and investigate a mine that produces over USD2 billion worth of gold, do you think that, that person who is earning a mere USD200 is not going to be attracted by some of the big people in that mine - obviously they are going to be attracted. They are going to be given hotel accommodation, allowances and then that will blind the people.
We are all human, no matter how morally responsible you are, no matter how principled you are, you will be tempted. Our Government workers get so little, they get peanuts. At the end of the day they become compromised by hefty sums which they are offered by business executives. One of the biggest causes of corruption is that as Members of Parliament, we are turning a blind eye too, including the Government agents; we are not asking people for their source of wealth. Do you know how many top of the range vehicles come through our borders everyday? Have we asked those people whether they are paying tax? Has ZIMRA actually checked with those people whether they are paying their fair share of tax? You find that most of those people who bring in USD400 000 worth of cars, who buy aeroplanes - if you look at their tax records, they do not pay tax. Why does ZIMRA not go to them and say listen, where is your tax certificate if you are able to put in a 500 000 dollar car, where is your fair share of tax that you are supposed to pay? You will find that it starts from the bottom. Nothing happens to everybody, they are left scot-free.
If you go to the mining sector, you find that there are so many people who flout in social media and so forth and boast that they have big mines but when you look at the royalties or the income that then comes to the Government, there is nothing. They provide nothing to the fiscus of this country yet those are the same people who are extracting the mineral wealth that we boast that in this country we have 61 precious minerals which are supposed to be giving us wealth as Zimbabwe.
We have just heard that in Muzarabani they have started drilling oil. One would expect in the same thing - may his dear soul rest in peace, the former President Mugabe who once said that of all our diamonds that we discovered in Manicaland, we lost an estimate of USD15 billion. Those diamonds, what did they benefit this country - nothing, so what are you doing and this is where it calls on us as Members of Parliament to now step in. Let us look at every piece of legislation that deals with how wealth is accumulated, how wealth is important and how wealth is transferred and people do not evade tax and they pay their fair share of tax from this country. If we start from there and look all at that legislation, I tell you what, this country will start realising its potential and the money that is going into the Consolidated Revenue Fund will start to increase because people will start to put money where it is supposed to be put. At the moment, we see a lot of robberies taking place around the country. You hear that USD30 000 has been stolen from someone’s house. How does one keep USD30 000 in their house? Is that even legal? So you see that a lot of people, it is either they ship money outside countries to offshore accounts, or they keep money under their mattresses so money does not then circulate to where it is supposed to come and then benefit the ordinary person.
An elderly woman in Rushinga who does not have tomatoes to buy today, that money is supposed to then be put to the budget on social protection. In other countries, a lot of money comes to Government and 22% of GDP is for social protection, for those who cannot cater for themselves. That money would have been used for free education, to pay our pensioners and persons living with disabilities. It does not happen because we kind of legalise corruption and there was an issue that those entities that are charged with actually reporting and investigating corruption are having problems; they have no arresting powers. Police have arresting powers but they have no prosecution powers, so they arrest someone, open a document and hand it over to a sergeant in the police station who knows nothing about it. He starts to read the papers, he is earning 200 dollars and then may contact the person who is being accused and says I am investigating your case here, can you come to the police station. That person goes with his Rolls-Royce and says let us meet at the hotel because we do not want to come there. The police officers take a lift and they are put in a hotel and are pampered. They are asked how much they want and they say we are trying to do our job and they are given a brown envelope with USD20 000. Do you think that the police officer is going to carry out further investigations - he will not. They are given something which they do not have. So, this is where corruption starts.
We need to find a solution in this House on how best to curb corruption as a country. How do we nip this issue in the bud to ensure that all this money that is being lost to corruption comes back to benefit, not just us? I was in Kadoma one day and I will always say this, I told a certain gentleman that my journey from Kadoma City Centre to the mine - the roads are absolutely terrible but I see you with very massive cars here, why do you not put tar; he said no, no, we are here to eat money, that is.
This is the problem that we find ourselves in as a country. When we talk about corruption, it is not just about us, it is about our children, grandchildren and the future of all those people who will come after us. That is the culture that we want to correct and make sure that we prepare an order for them one day. Thank you.
*HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to this report which has been tabled by Hon. Mliswa on how he travelled to Kenya on a benchmark visit. We heard what he saw in Kenya and we learnt a lot from his report. What we have learnt is that the fight against corruption is a big job which should not be for someone but it should be for everyone, especially those who are in this House and those who are outside. In fact, the whole country as the President always says that he does not like corruption. Corruption hinders the progress of a nation.
So the ways of fighting corruption should be investigated and researched so that we come up with solutions and avoid loopholes as a country. Corruption is a thing that is bad in this country. Wherever there is a person, it is very difficult and that is why we have big and small guns because we have to fight people. In this war of fighting corruption, we have heard Hon. Mliswa saying that it is a war that everyone should be engaged in. We should come up with proper ammunition so that we look at our laws which we have right now and close all the loopholes so that those who are found on the wrong side should not find any scapegoat when they are in court, and they end up coming back but consciously they will be aware that they committed a crime.
Some of us find corruption as a way of getting rich and to some of us, it is a like a business. I want to say to this august House that corruption is not a business. Corruption is stealing from the poor because if there were funds, they were supposed to help a lot of people in the country and those funds end up in the pocket of one person. We are not improving the nation but we are destroying it. The roads that we use, hospitals and schools that our children go to should be well resourced but this will not happen if we have thieves in our midst because corruption is stealing.
Some want to sanitise and say that corruption is being clever but it is not being clever because those are thieves. People who are corrupt use their intelligence to cover up their footprints but from henceforth, we want to say that as citizens of Zimbabwe, we should think. Suppose there are no policemen and there are no courts, but you as an individual and using your morality, you should just count how many people you have killed. Being corrupt is not different from witchcraft because if you steal from someone, it is like you have killed someone and that is how I see it.
That is why we see our President being serious about corruption so that when we get to 2030, we should be on a better standing. For us to get there in 2030, we should fight corruption. We should be seen to be on the right footing, work well, have a good living and have our clean money. There is still room to say let bygones be bygones but we can change the way that we are viewing corruption so that we can live better lives. Do we ask ourselves the way we are living today - if we leave it to our children, how are they going to live? Also, what inheritance are we leaving for our children?
In support of what has been witnessed in Kenya, you find that this issue of corruption should start with me, you and all of us so that where I am and where we are, all of us should shun corruption. In Zimbabwe, we find that there are a lot of opportunities that if we work hard with our hands, we can live better lives. We were given land, we can farm in that land and we can get our wealth from there. Right now we have mines where you can go and mine and live better lives and also helping the economy of the nation.
Many people have illicit financial flaws because of corrupt activities. We want to encourage this Committee which has been headed by Hon. Mliswa that we should sit down and research on where these loopholes are coming from. In Shona we say half a loaf is better than none. So the little that you do, even some organisations like Trans-International and Anti-Corruption, if we bring that together, it will help us to build our nation. We will move in the vision of our President, His Excellency Dr. Mnangagwa.
We see a lot of people who are being prosecuted. I think we should really put our minds together and think deep so that our country moves forward for the betterment of everyone. If we work hard today, it will be good for our children. Without wasting your time, I just want to say when we were given the opportunity to meet prosecutors as APNAC, we discovered that there are a lot of things that we have to look at as Parliamentarians and other organisations. We really need to understand so that those who are helping the Government in eradicating corruption should not compete but work together in one accord and from what we gathered, you find that it is like what the right hand is doing, the left hand is not aware of .
My encouragement to us today is that all we are working for is one purpose, whether in the judiciary or anti-corruption. Our aim is to fight corruption in Zimbabwe. People should complement each other, not to fight because it is not a competition but it is a question of working together so that we build a corruption free Zimbabwe. There is still an opportunity for us to live in a country which is corruption free. If we continue fighting with the same voice, I think we will conquer the issue of corruption as what is happening in Kenya. Thank you.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to add my voice to the debate on fighting corruption on the motion moved by Hon. T. Mliswa, the Chairperson for APNAC Zimbabwean Chapter. I would want to first acknowledge that all members are speaking with one voice, noting that corruption is actually a cancer in Zimbabwe and it is causing negative effects to the performance of our economy. It also even affects the rating of our country even in terms of attracting foreign investments.
I want to give one example Mr. Speaker Sir, where during the previous republic, we heard that Dangote wanted to come here in Zimbabwe and set up a plant. We heard that because they are some people who requested some advance in a corrupt way, Dangote ended up withdrawing the investment that he wanted to do in Zimbabwe and this is an example of how corruption can actually destroy our country. If you check in countries where Dangote is participating especially in terms of manufacturing of cement like in Zambia, right now Zimbabweans are importing cement from Zambia yet Dangote was supposed to set up a plant which was supposed to be enjoyed by the Zimbabweans. Currently, we sometimes run out of cement. Corruption will end up also pushing investors away from our country. So Mr. Speaker Sir, we can go on and on explaining how corruption is really affecting our people.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to say it is actually unthinkable and unheard of that a country will go three months in poverty after the discovery of diamonds. In Zimbabwe diamonds were discovered early 2000, it is more than 20 years down the line; we are still being affected by poverty. It is something that we should actually think of as Parliamentarians, where are we missing it when we have diamonds? Other speakers have talked about 61 precious minerals. In Zambia, their economy is hinged on one major mineral which is copper. In Botswana, there is one major mineral which is diamond but in Zimbabwe, we have 61 minerals. Where are we missing it? It is because of corruption; we are not able to track even the royalties that are being paid by major mining companies. We know those who are mining platinum they are exporting platinum and it is being processed in South Africa. We know the ore contains may be up to 7 other mineral apart from platinum and this are the things that are known by geologists in Zimbabwe and are know by the officials in the Ministry of Mines. We are not taking any action on those simple practical steps.
If I am going to ask all the Hon. Members that asina kumboita uori for the past two weeks tinogona kushaya kana one. Why I am saying so is because if you go even on our road networks, there is a lot of corruption that is actually taking place and sometimes Hon. Members even see police man being given money but they do nothing. Corruption has become a culture and we are actually adopting this culture. I want to point out something that I have discovered in Zimbabwe, there is something which is very dangerous which is actually a culture of negotiation whereby if you are called by someone say I have a problem here with the police, the first question is varamba kutaurirana here. This is the truth Madam Speaker, whereby people would believe that if you negotiate with the police and officials, the laws are no longer applying and there is this kind of approach where people believe that if you negotiate you are going to be released. Recently, we heard even the Professor of law at the at University of Zimbabwe advising that political parties or leaders should actually negotiate on behalf of Hon. Sikhala for him to be released.
I would not know what he was saying but there is that element that we should put aside the laws governing the issue of bail and we go another step to negotiate. So if we have developed such kind of a system, fighting corruption actually is an uphill task for Zimbabwe because we believe that if someone is entitled to bail and that someone, some people should actually be willing to go and negotiate, yet we are saying if the law says you are entitled to bail, you should deserve to be given bail pending trial. You hear a Professor from the University of Zimbabwe advising that there must be a negotiating process.
Madam Speaker, we should also be able to identify a certain culture that is developing which is very dangerous, that culture of negotiation where you ask have you tried to negotiate, what have they said when you tried to negotiate. It is actually developing and it is standing in the away of fighting corruption in Zimbabwe in such a situation. I therefore, propose that our universities, the Department of Psychology should also come in, in fact all departments not the department of law alone. I know there is a theory called community psychology, community psychologists must also come in because we are now dealing with a problem that is routed now in the community and community psychologists look at the relationship between the individual and the community, what the community expects. The communities should also be conscientised and try to fight corruption from a community perspective.
Our universities should come up with strategies and models on how we can fight corruption in Zimbabwe; it is no longer an issue whereby we must have new legislation, the legislations, laws and institutions we have them but the implementation is where the problem is? So, we need to find out how best corruption can be dealt with in Zimbabwe. I am worried Madam Speaker with the discovery of oil in Muzarabani, I heard that drilling has started I saw pictures on the social media. The first things that came on to my mind are that are we safe if we are drilling oil, the discovery of oil, are we not going to see the repeat of what happened in Chiadzwa? If you go to Chiadzwa, you will find that the mining companies are the most powerful. The people who were in Chiadzwa were actually moved away from their original land. They were given nothing and they are now at Arda Transau, some of them. You will find that they are living in poverty yet of the mineral resources that are being extracted from their own communities; they are getting nothing. You come closer to this town to this place in my own constituency. If you see how gravel is being extracted in Warren Park, the people who are local to mining communities are actually getting nothing and extraction is leaving a trail of environmental challenges like degradation. We have lost precious lives in Warren Park, not even in Chiadzwa. Those who are extracting gravel left deep gullies and pits. They hold water and kids were actually swimming and we have lost precious lives. Things are not being corrected.
If you go to land in Harare, it is another area where you see a brazen way of corruption. It is not about just councilors – [HON. T. MLISWA: Domboshava!] – You have rightfully pointed out Domboshava as an example. Even our planning system, how do you allow 200 square meters in Domboshava where we are supposed to have agro-based stands, for instance, 1 hectare. It is about corruption and it even kills the master plan in Harare. The master plan of Harare, we do not even know whether it still exists or it does not. We are having a challenge of corruption. We have challenges in terms of allocation of land.
Madam Speaker Ma’am because of time, I want to conclude by making a proposal to the Chairperson of APNAC, also to see ways in which our laws can adopt the public trust theory. When I was reading, I found that as a pillar in fighting corruption, the public trust theory allows the Government to look back into the history, to go back to 1893 and say we want to correct the wrongs that were done maybe some 100 years ago. There are some companies that are not paying tax to the Government, the public trust theory can empower our Government to look back even into 1980 and say, maybe this fuel company was not paying tax to the Government and make corrections. As a result, the country will actually benefit.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, I thank you for giving me this opportunity. Also, I heard that in Kenya, the concept of separation of powers is not a stumbling block to the strength of Parliament. I wish one day, we are going to have Parliamentary reforms. Hon. Matangira said, the solutions will come from this Parliament but at the moment, it seems like our Parliament is not powerful enough to fight corruption and to see that the programmes that are being adopted here are being implemented. Therefore, I propose that we need to start thinking about Parliamentary reforms to make sure that our Parliament is strengthened to the point that if Parliament makes a decision, those decisions are implemented. I submit Madam Speaker Ma’am.
HON. T. MLISWA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 28th September, 2022.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the rest of Orders of the Day on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 24, 33 and 30 have been disposed of in that order.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF COUNTER TERRORISM HIGH LEVEL CONFERENCE HELD IN ITALY
HON. T. ZHOU: I move the motion standing in my name;
That this House takes note of the Report of the Delegation to the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism High- Level Conference on Parliamentary Support to victims of Terrorism Held at Palazzo Montecitorio- Nuova Aula Dei Gruppi Parliamentary Rome, Italy 7-8 June 2022.
HON. TSUURA: I second
HON. ZHOU: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am for giving me the opportunity to present the Report of the Delegation to the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism High Level Conference on Parliamentary support to victims of terrorism.
The United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) Programme Office on Parliamentary Engagement, in cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCEPA), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), the African Parliamentary Union (APU) and the Shura Council of the State of Qatar, organized a High-Level Conference on Parliamentary support to victims of terrorism. The Conference took place at Palazzo Montecitorio - Nuova Aula deiGruppiParlamentari in Rome, Italy from 7th to 8th June 2022. The Chairperson of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security, Hon. Sen. Dr. David P. Parirenyatwa, Member of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) Executive, Hon Tafanana Zhou, MP and Mrs. T. Sukuta, Researcher for the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security, attended the Conference.
The High-Level Conference brought together various stakeholders, including Parliamentarians, Representatives of the United Nations (UN) entities, leading experts, members of regional Parliamentary Assemblies, victims of terrorism, victims’associations and civil society organizations, to discuss the best way for Parliamentarians to address the rights and needs of victims of terrorism and to find tangible legislative measures that can be implemented. The 2019 UN Assembly Resolution 73/305 and the seventh review resolution of the UN Global Counter- Terrorism Strategy adopted in June 2021, urges Member States to strengthen their efforts to support victims and this support ranges from advocacy and solidarity to more practical measures such as capacity building and technical assistance.
Terrorism and violent extremism remain an increasing global threat, which cannot be addressed effectively by military operations and security measures alone. They require a collaborative and multi-dimensional approach amongst the entire international community. Over the past few years, the international community has made real progress in upholding the rights and supporting the needs of victims of terrorism through the adoption of key UN General Assembly resolutions, by providing victims with a greater platform to share their experiences, as well as by placing victims at the forefront of United Nations counter-terrorism efforts. Victims of terrorist acts frequently suffer severe, multiple and life-altering injuries and trauma, akin to harm suffered by victims of grave human rights violations and international crimes. In addition to other forms of reparation, compensation for harm suffered, rehabilitation, and provision of adequate services can play an important role in enabling victims to move on with their lives.
The Main Objective of the Conference
The objective of the High-Level Conference was to find ways for Parliamentarians to address the rights and needs of victims of terrorism and to identify tangible and impactful legislative measures that can be implemented to enact positive change and create lasting impact at the national level, as well as within communities.
Mr. Gennaro Migliore, PAM President, Mr. Ettore Rosato, Vice-President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Mauro Miedico, Deputy Director of the UNOCT, Mr. Mohamed Ali Houmed, President of the African Parliamentary Union, and Mr. Reinhold Lopatka, Vice-President of OSCE PA, addressed the Opening Session of the Conference.
Remarks by H.E Mr. Ettore Rosato, Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy
His Excellency, Mr Rosatto asserted that the threat of terrorism is still present in Italy and in the minds of its citizens. He highlighted that, with regards to the latest attack in Nigeria, nations need to do more and assist in the fight against terrorism. On the Ukrainian war, he noted that he did not expect Europe to have such a war which is destabilising Europe and changing International Relations. He reiterated that Parliamentarians should take action and focus on appropriate legislative tools to face this hideous act of terrorism. His Excellency, Mr. Rosatto affirmed that it is important to strengthen cooperation between Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean, and that there is need for economic, political and cultural collaborations. He further highlighted the importance to come up with common actions to support the victims of terrorism.
Remarks by Mr. Mauro Miedico, Deputy Director, Chief, Special Projects and Innovation Branch (SPIB), UNOCT
Mr Miedico, highlighted that they have developed a number of programs to assist Member States in the fight against terrorism and to add a parliamentary dimension in the fight against terrorism which is essential in all areas of work, the Model Legislative Provision was developed. He noted that the Model Legislative Provision was developed over the last one and half years and was launched in February 2022 in New York. He described that the purpose of developing model legislative provisions was two-fold. First, to serve as a model for the review of existing laws and procedures related to victims of terrorism, in line with recent advances on this subject matter, and to support the development of legislation where legislative gaps exist. Secondly, to systematize and promote the exchange of information regarding existing good practices. He asserted that the development of model legislative provisions was to help Member States draw attention to the urgency of taking concrete steps to protect, assist and support victims of terrorism
Remarks by H.E. Mr. Gennaro Migliore, President, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean and Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy
In his remarks, H.E Mr. Migliore highlighted that terrorism is a multi -dimensional challenge, and providing concrete support should be top priority. He noted the need to adopt resolutions so as to harmonize legislation and come up with internal instruments that support victims of terrorism. He further noted that the Nigerian attack affects everybody, hence it was critical to observe that for each victim of terrorism the sorrow that is felt is the same, and that there is no nationality for victims of horrendous activities. He stated that there is need to rehabilitate and protect women and children. H.E, Mr Migliore is of the view that civil society should be involved in the repatriation of victims and that there is need to raise awareness on conditions of victims especially in camps. He emphasized that Governments should come up with policies to support victims of terrorism and ensure access to justice. He stated that Parliamentary support is essential and therefore, Parliaments should ensure human rights compliance in the criminal justice system. He also reiterated that they have been several terrorist attacks in Italy and the government had come up with strong legislative measures to protect victims in that country.
Remarks by Hon. Abdellah bin NacerAlsubaie, Member of the Shura Council of the State of Qatar.
In his remarks, Hon Alsubaie alluded to the fact that every year terrorist attacks kill and injure innocent people. To that end the international community has to get together to counter terrorism and put in place necessary precautions and measures to protect victims of terrorism. He asserted the necessity for parliaments to create legislative provisions to support and protect the needs of victims and share best practices in countering terrorism. He further highlighted the need for Parliamentarians to cooperate in countering terrorism thereby curbing violent extremism. He applauded UNOCT, UN Drugs and Crimes for working very hard in combating terrorism.
Remarks by H.E. Mohamed Ali Houmed, President, African Parliamentary Union and Speaker of the National Assembly of Djibouti
His Excellency emphasized the need for coordinated efforts in the fight against terrorism and that international and regional support is required in supporting victims of terrorism He stated that it is important to find the best ways to support victims of terrorism, show solidarity and enact laws to support such victims. He noted that laws did exist but lacked enforcement. He asserted the importance of cherishing memories of the victims and to set platforms that allow for the exchange of their experiences and ideas. Further to that, he emphasized the need to rehabilitate, protect and give assistance to victims.
Remarks by Hon. Reinhold Lopatka, Vice President and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Counter Terrorism, Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Member of the National Council of Austria
In his remarks, Hon Loptaka emphatically stressed that in the fight against terrorism, it is important to have the victims in mind bearing the fact that terrorism affects their lives forever. He highlighted that involvement of victims in the fight against terrorism is key as they contribute in fighting the impunity of terrorism, assist in developing counter terrorism measures and are powerful and credible messengers and their experiences put a human face to the impact of terrorism. He asserted that a lot has to be done in social media so as to change the narratives of fear and hatred. He elaborated that it is important for Parliaments to work with civil and international organizations in supporting victims of terrorism. He stressed that Parliaments are responsible for shaping legislation and policy frameworks, have influence over the budget, oversee government actions not to use terrorism against the people and therefore are in a position to support the implementation of resolutions that support victims of terrorism.
Among the Keynote Speakers were Mr. Tarek Noseir, Member of the Arab Parliament and Member of the House of Representatives of Egypt, Mr. Gonzalo de Salazar, Deputy Head of Mission of Spain to Italy, Mr. Vittorio Occorsio, Founder of the “Vittorio
Occorsio” Foundation, and Ms. Jacqueline Odoul, Chair of the IPU High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism.
Sen. Tarek Noseir, Member of Arab Parliament and Member of the Senate of Egypt
Sen. Nosier elaborated the importance of reflecting on the role that can be played by Parliaments in combating terrorism, and that is of creating national policies. He therefore, called upon nations to show their commitment to support victims through the enactment of legislation. He emphasized that victim voices should be heard, and protected and the need for Parliaments to come up with best practices and adopt a comprehensive vision to deal with the needs of the victims.
Mr. Gonzalo de Salazar, Deputy Head of Mission of Spain to Italy (on behalf of the Group of Friend of Victims of Terrorism)
Mr. Salazar emphasized the need of putting victims of terrorism at the fore front as they are vulnerable targets. He further stated that the Group of Friends seeks to promote a comprehensive approach towards the promotion and protection of human rights of the victims of terrorism and to advocate their diverse needs in the short, medium and long term. The group also ensures that victim’s voices are heard, their rights protected, and their recovery and rehabilitation needs addressed.
Mr. Vittorio Occorsio, Vittorio Occorsio Foundation, Italy
In his address, Mr Occorsio highlighted the importance of the memory of victims and stated that the Parliament of Italy approved a law for the commemoration of victims of terrorism and a National Day of Terrorism was established.
Hon. Professor Jacqueline Odoul, Chair, IPU High Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism and Member of the National Assembly of Kenya
Hon. Odoul, spoke about the importance of systematizing and promoting the exchange of existing good practices amongst parliaments. She highlighted the need to take necessary steps to protect and promote the interests of the victims of terrorism, especially championing the needs of women and girls. She asserted the need of coming up with a clear mechanism to deal with compensation to victims.
The Model Legislative Provisions (MLPs) to support and protect the rights and needs of Victims of Terrorism
The High-level conference included a presentation of the Model Legislative Provisions, to support and protect the rights and needs of Victims of Terrorism, which is a tool for parliamentarians jointly developed by United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism/United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNOCT/UNCCT), United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). It was launched virtually on 4 February 2022.
The Provisions are comprehensive and underline the need for States to follow a victim centric approach in addressing the rights and needs of victims. The Model Legislative Provisions are intended to assist Member States in protecting the rights and supporting the needs of victims of terrorism in their national laws. Their purpose is twofold:
- First, to serve as a model for the review and modernization of existing laws and procedures related to victims of terrorism and the drafting of legislation where legislative exists;
- Secondly, to systematize existing good practices and promote the harmonization of legislation to support and protect victims of terrorism internationally, in line with recent advances on this topic.
The Model Legislative Provisions are based on the existing international normative frameworks pertaining to victims of crimes, gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law. They aim at ensuring equal treatment among all victims and are geared towards addressing their needs as a result of the harm suffered, without distinction as to the root causes of their harm.
The Provisions include fundamental rights of victims which must be observed by nations. These include inter alia:
- The right to necessary assistance and support (medical, psychological, social, and material);
- The right to adequate, effective, and prompt reparation (including restitution, compensation, satisfaction, and truth), cessation, and guarantees of non-repetition;
- The right to protection of physical and psychological integrity, privacy and reputation; The right to access to justice in all criminal, civil and administrative proceedings and processes related to being a victim;
- The right to access to information about the above rights and remedies.
Session I: The role of Parliamentarians in ensuring a tailored response to address large scale displacement and violations of rights to livelihood, shelter, education, healthcare and liberty of victims of terrorism
During the first session, panelists discussed the role of parliamentarians in ensuring a tailored response to address large scale displacement and violations of rights to livelihood, shelter, education, healthcare, and liberty. These included:
- Quick responses after a terrorist attack- timely action can prevent traumatic stress and disability effectively.
- Immediate psychological support- rehabilitation services.
- Removal of barriers within the government in accessing important documentation for victims.
- Mechanisms to facilitate the life of a victim by reducing bureaucratic channels. Establishment of one stop centres for victims of terrorism
- Awareness of the mental damage caused by terrorism, this can be attained through education.
- Reconciliation with religious groups and the society.
- Protection and respect of human rights.
- Development of a legislative process.
- Establishment of associations of victims for support services and victim protection units.
- Social recognition.
- National Day of Remembrance of victims of terrorism-preservation of memory. Compensation and reparation to victims of terrorism including their families.
Session II: The role of civil society groups and organizations in complementing state and parliamentary efforts in supporting victims of terrorism and ensuring access to justice
The second session focused on the role of civil society groups and organizations in complementing state and parliamentary efforts in supporting victims of terrorism and ensuring access to justice. It was discussed that civil society organizations are the cornerstone of upholding the rule of law and implementing fundamental rights. It was stated that they are an integral part of victim support as they ensure that victims’ rights are exercised. They play an important role in oversight, carry out important advocacy work, bring strategic cases to courts, and ensure that national and international judgements create a legal framework for victims’ rights. It was highlighted that civil society organizations are better placed to provide the representation and inclusion of vulnerable victims, children, women or the disabled, and work to ensure that decision makers take all victims of all crimes into account when developing and adopting laws or policies. Fundamentally, civil society organizations provide psycho-social support to victims.
The work done and new initiatives by UNOCT and Parliamentary Assemblies to enhance parliamentary response in supporting victims of terrorism and the role they can play in reviewing and reformulating new legislation based on MLPs
The work done to enhance Parliamentary response in supporting victims of terrorism was highlighted. The Draft Resolution on Victims of Terrorism that would be discussed at the upcoming OSCE PA’s Annual Session was introduced. The resolution calls upon OSCE participating States to adopt comprehensive assistance plans and to establish a permanent co-ordination body for victims of terrorism. It is hoped that this resolution will further advance the international counter-terrorism framework, providing clear guidance and heightened standards for participating States in supporting and upholding the rights of victims.Session III: Incorporating protection and national support, including material and social needs, for victims of terrorism in state counter terrorism strategies and legislation
Session three focused on incorporating protection and national support, including material and social needs, for victims of terrorism in counter-terrorism strategies and legislation. These included nations ensuring, inter alia, adequate budget allocation for victims, critical psycho-social support, procedures that facilitate immediate access to medical services, strengthening victim support services, access to education, justice and information.
Session IV: Good practices and lessons learned on support to victims of terrorism on the local and national levels and importance of systematizing and promoting the exchange of information regarding existing good practices
In session four, panelists shared good practices and lessons learnt on support to victims of terrorism on the local and national levels and the importance of systematizing and promoting the exchange of information regarding existing good practice. It was discussed that, in order to play a crucial role in efforts to counter terrorism, nations needed to adopt good practices that meet international obligations while ensuring the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. These good practices inter alia are, enacting a legal framework, access to justice, the right to reparation, education, prompt and efficient assistance, recognition through medals, protection of the physical and psychological well-being of the victim, relationship between the victim and media to avoid secondary victimization and setting up of hotlines and websites to keep the victims up to date. It was highlighted that good practices are therefore aimed at assisting nations to establish and enhance policies, laws and institutional capacity to provide improved outcomes for victims, while fully respecting the rule of law and rights of victims.
Victims of Terrorism
Victims of terrorism have a central role to play in ensuring effective investigation and prosecution of terrorist cases and contribute to collecting evidence. Therefore, one of the aims of the conference was to make the victims voices heard and disseminate their shared experiences. It was also to enable their positive values to be understood and their role empowered to use as an effective tool to make people aware of the dangers of terrorism and violent extremism. Victims have become representatives of what a terrorist act implies for the lives of ordinary citizens and victims of terrorism are considered credible voices on the painful and human consequences of violent extremism and terrorism. Victims are therefore, the representatives of and ambassadors for public memory. This voice can offer a strong narrative for the purpose of creating awareness of radicalisation and preventing violent extremism.
Expectations raised by victims of terrorism
- Victims’ Voices initiative programs that show victims’ stories as they are most impactful when shared directly by victims, in their own words. This this can be done through a global platform that amplifies victim voices, for example handbooks and documentary series. Ultimately, the stories aim to raise a collective consciousness and to create awareness about the importance of preventing terrorist attacks and the ensuing emergence of new victims.
- Honouring of Remembrance Day of victims and commemoration campaigns that share the intimate memories of the victims of terrorism.
- Establishment of a centre for victims of terrorism that provides education and training.
- Immediate access to medical and rehabilitative services.
- Empowerment of victims of terrorism.
- The Conference gave the opportunity to Parliamentarians and victims to contribute to global efforts to combat terrorism and prevent violent extremism through decisive action and practical assistance to people who have become victims of terrorist attacks.
- One of the main topics of the Conference was the discussion of the role of various non-governmental structures and civil society organizations in complementing state and parliamentary efforts to support victims of terrorism and ensure access to justice.
- The participants shared best practices in supporting victims of terrorism at the local and national levels and recognized the importance of systematizing and encouraging the exchange of information on existing best practices in this area.
- The conference recorded rich exchanges of experiences and good practices in terms of administrative, financial, legal, social and moral assistance as well as memorial duty towards the victims of terrorism.
- A follow up congress on support to victims of terrorism to be held in September 2022, on how parliamentarians can further the rights and needs of the victims of terrorism.
Recommendations by the Zimbabwe Delegation
- Perceiving that Zimbabwe may currently not be directly experiencing terrorist threats, the Cabo Delgado case is a cause for serious concern. The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs by 31 August 2022, need to adopt an inclusive, whole-of-government and holistic approach that includes cooperation with various stakeholders such as civil society organizations in countering terrorism and support victims of terrorism. Strong emphasis should therefore be placed on strengthening and implementing counter terrorism legislation and policies that support victims of terrorism.
- The Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage should introduce border guards and strengthen border patrols by 31 August 2022 especially at the Zimbabwe – Mozambique border.
- The Zimbabwean government by 31 August 2022 should aim at strengthening its relations with other regional and international bodies in fighting terrorism together and supporting victims of terrorism as well as enhancing collaboration on border management
- The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must allocate adequate funds to the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to enable the Ministries to strengthen surveillance mechanisms at border posts by 31 December 2022.
It was affirmed that there is need to promote the role of civil society groups and organizations in complementing state and parliamentary efforts in supporting victims of terrorism and ensuring access to justice. It was further alluded that we must not forget that Parliamentarians not only hold the power of legislation, but of oversight as well. It is, therefore, up to Parliamentarians to make sure that there are laws and policies that promote the rights of the victims in countering terrorism. Concerns around the war in Ukraine were also raised, and how the resulting instability could stimulate local crises, creating conditions for radicalization.
The delegation received pointed capacity building on counter-terrorism strategy and legislation to support the victims of terrorism, including the recent measures adopted to prevent radicalization. Prevention was identified as the key measure, with recent efforts focusing on combating cyber terrorism and online radicalization, as new and pressing threats. The need to ensure memory, dignity and justice to all victims was repeatedly stressed. The Conference concluded with a call for increased joint and multilateral action at regional and international levels to address global terrorist threats and a call for concrete recommendations and regional plans of action through the Parliamentary Assemblies, and lastly a follow up Congress to be held in September 2022 on the resolutions for the support of victims of terrorism. Thank you.
HON. TSUURA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to second the motion by Hon. T. Zhou with the topic which reads: Measures Aimed at Supporting Victims of Terrorism suggested by Parliamentarians. The following pragmatic interventions and recommendations were suggested regarding the victims:-
- There is need for the promotion of resolutions specifically dedicated to victims.
- There is need for the creation of national systems of assistance, which would promote the needs of victims of terrorism and their families and facilitate the normalisation of their lives.
- Member States are encouraged to strengthen the implementation of national legislation and policies that support and protect victims of acts of terrorism and this can be done in close partnership with governments, victims’ organisations and civil society groups.
- There is need to enhance the capacity of governments and other stakeholders to increase support for victims of terrorism.
- There is need to promote a specific mechanism in the assemblies, that is, a detailed questionnaire prepared by each assembly that can be used to gather information.
- There is need to support the work of requesting parliaments.
- Member States were encouraged to hold dialogues with civil society organizations so as to enable parliamentary action to put voices of the victims on the platform.
- There is need to extend broader protection to victims.
- Coordination of all law enforcement and criminal justice agencies involved at all stages of victims interaction with the criminal justice system is required.
- There is need is need for victim sensitive approaches when dealing with victims.
- Member States were urged to ensure that procedures regulating victims’ status, participation and protection in court proceedings are in place.
- There is need for timely and fair restitution, reparation and compensation of victims.
- There is need for the media to play an active role in raising awareness on the vulnerability of victims, especially in avoiding secondary victimization. I thank you.
HON. T. ZHOU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 28th September, 2022.
REPORT OF THE 66TH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Thirty-third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Question again proposed.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Order, order. We have a technical glitch and are not online as you can see. So what we have done is, we have colleagues who want to debate and do not want to seem as if we are not being fair to them. I am sure Hansard will be able to capture but when it comes to others also listening in, it would be a problem again. Then there is the issue of quorum again that is also a challenge for us.
So I think the best we can do is, we have Hon. Bhuda Masara. You wanted to adopt this motion?
HON. BHUDA MASARA: Yes, Madam Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you do that so that we can then be able to adjourn as soon as possible? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Is it now online? Can they hear us? – [HON. RAIDZA: We can use our own data and we are connected!] – Hold on, hold on, let us have a conversation. Are you saying that if someone is connected online, they can hear us? – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – [HON. HAMAUSWA: It is the Parliament internet that has a problem.]- – [HON. T. ZHOU: But they cannot hear us.] – Can they hear us?
The best that we can do is for us to adjourn to a date that we can then be able to easily make sure that everyone is accessible.
HON. RAIDZA: On a point of clarity Hon. Speaker! – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members! I think we are trying to have a conversation – [HON. RAIDZA: I wanted to…] – Sorry, we know the procedures of how we communicate. We stand up and are recognised, not for us to be seated and saying things. Can we please adhere to that?
HON. RAIDZA: Can I get clarity Madam Speaker Ma’am? When we are being told that there is a glitch, I am failing to understand what glitch is being talked about because some of our Hon. Members in this House and those outside are already connected on Zoom. So I am failing to understand what glitch our esteemed Clerk is advising you on because we are already on Zoom.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you. You can come and see on my dashboard here, there is nothing. – [HON. NDEBELE: It is even there on the wall, there is nothing.] – As it stands, even for us to have an interaction, from your side yes, we can. Formerly, it will mean that it is your interaction but not interaction from here. I think that is the issue.
*HON. B. DUBE: Madam Speaker Ma’am, may we request that the debate be prioritised tomorrow after the Question and Answer segment? I think it is one of the most important debates, especially for those people who have concerns with issues relating to gender and women empowerment and it cannot be just rushed.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, that communication will be relayed to the other Presiding Officers so that, that is taken heed of, in case I will not be in the Chair. – [HON. DUBE: Thank you.] – Noted. Hon. Masara, is that in order?
*HON. BHUDA-MASARA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker …– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, will you please allow the Hon. Member to be heard in silence?
HON. BHUDA-MASARA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I think it is in order because we have gender champions who wanted to debate the motion. I think it would be very unfair for the CSW and the women’s Caucus if we just rush it. Thank you very much.
On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Twelve Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.