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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 30 MAY 2023 VOL 49 NO 42

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 30th May, 2023

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received a non-adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the amendments to the Prisons and Correctional Services Bill [H.B. 6, 2022].

APPOINTMENT TO COMMITTEES

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that Hon. E. Nohwedza has been nominated to serve in the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care and Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.

          HON. NDUNA: I rise on a point of national importance. I acknowledge the amount of electricity we are now receiving because of the infusion of the current electricity with Hwange Unit 7 and 8. Be that as it may, I stand here on this platform and pedestal to encourage ZESA to continuously work in progress, remove the copper wires that are being pilfered by thieves en mass and replace them with aluminum which is not attractive to the thieves so that we can continue to have copious amount of electricity as has been seen in the past few days; in particular, during this winter planting and ploughing season. Those would be my submissions from the people of Chegutu West Constituency. They send their love.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon Nduna. I am sure the Administration of Parliament have taken note and we will convey the message to the responsible Minister.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: My point of national interest is to the attention of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. It is purely to do with the incapacitation of civil servants across all the different ministries due to the fact that the level of inflation that has been experienced over the past three weeks as opposed to the salaries that the civil servants are getting, is terrible. What has caused this inflationary process that we have experienced over the past three weeks?  The salary levels that our civil servants are getting have been eroded so badly to an extent that the salaries are no longer useful to our civil servants.

As a result of that, my question and prayer to the attention of the Minister of Finance is that; what measures will he be putting in place so that the challenge is managed with regards to our civil servants in terms of incapacitation across all the sectors. What remedy, in the short term, is he going to put in place to address the experience of civil servants that they are going through as a result of this situation? I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I advise that you ask the Hon. Minister tomorrow during question time.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Questions have been put across Madam Speaker. My prayer is for the Hon. Minister to come up with a Ministerial Statement so that Members will interrogate the Hon. Minister, one-on-one over various issues to do with the salaries and the incapacitation that has been caused.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That has been noted and the message will be conveyed to the responsible Minister.

          HON. T. MLISWA: It is more of the same with Hon. Mutseyami but the Speaker ruled that the Minister of Finance would be here to respond to these issues. We see him globe trotting in the shops instead of coming here to answer questions. We want him to come and answer questions which the Speaker had spoken about. We were assured by the Speaker that he would come.

          We were given Z$11.4 million for CDF when the rate was US$1:Z$1000 and now it is Z$3500. If you look at the $11 million, it is about three or four thousand. What are we going to do with that? Already we are going towards elections and we had promised the electorate boreholes and other programmes. Now you cannot even do them. What is the point of giving us the money? If we are to be given that money, can we have a top up to deal with the inflationary environment which is there. Otherwise for me, I am not touching the money and my electorate must know that. It will make me lose. What do I do with US$3000? No wonder why these Members of Parliament especially from ZANU PF lost in the primary elections.  It is because of inflation. They were telling people that they would do a,b,c and d. They never did it and they lost. The person who won against them came and did exactly what they did not do. You cannot blame them for losing. It is the system which is fighting us.

          The Minister of Finance must come here. It is a national issue which Hon. Mutseyami brought up. Why is he quiet. If we are going to dollarise, let us dollarise. We are selling gold in US$ and the current revenue received in the country, 90% of it is US$. We are not abandoning our currency but let us be realistic. It is not good on the ground at all. May the Minister come and stop globe trotting in Bulawayo where he is trying to appease his electorate. He must come here and answer questions of national interest. This is a crisis.

          You cannot go to elections unless you want to sabotage the ruling party and the President because this inflation will cost the ruling party because people will go to the elections angry. I hope Hon. Ziyambi who is a member of the Politburo will bring it up in their Politburo meeting that there is a serious issue. We cannot go to elections with such a rate and do not say that you were rigged. The inflation will rig you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. As was ruled by the Hon. Speaker, that the Minister must bring a Ministerial Statement in this House. He would be advised to do that. Thank you.

HON. B. DUBE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The RBZ has been selling US dollars on the auction market to perceived business people for purposes of importing goods to make sure that there is increased production through the availability of cheap foreign currency to those people.  It has however proven that there has not been an increase in production in the various sectors, which may indicate that the people who have been getting that money might have possibly been using that system to obtain money at a cheaper rate.  They would then syphon it through using false invoices for purposes of fake imports, thereby fueling the parallel market rates by selling the US dollars through the parallel market, instead of using that foreign currency to benefit the nation. Particularly in the sense that we have not seen the increase in the production which was supposed to be exhibited directly by the reduction in the price of bread but it is increasing.  All other materials including building materials are increasing in prices, which means there has been no benefit.  So, it is my plea that the Hon. Minister comes to this august House and give a Ministerial Statement giving an audit trail on how from day one to date, the auction system has benefitted anyone other than actually supplying US dollars to the parallel market and fueling inflation.  I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Dube.  The Hon Minister of Finance will be asked to bring the Ministerial Statement to this House.

HON. BITI:   I thank you for allowing me to raise a point of national interest.  Madam Speaker, in terms of Chapter 11 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, our Constitution recognises our security forces and security agents, which consist of the military, police, prisons and correctional service and intelligence.  We respect these institutions and we are proud of these institutions who by virtue of Section of 208 are bound to respect this Parliament as an elected civilian authority.  During this current ongoing voters’ roll inspection exercise, we are seeing at polling stations a creature and individuals coming from a creature called FAZ.  They are virtually in every polling station.  We read that they purport to come from the intelligence service but we know the intelligence service and our intelligence authority.  What is this creature called FAZ, why is it interfering with our elections?  I know from the ruling party ZANU-PF that FAZ even interfered in their primary elections.  Madam Speaker, if we create parallel structures, it will lead to disaster and military coups.  May the Minister of Defence come and explain what FAZ is doing in our polling stations when in terms of the law only ZEC officials, political parties and candidates are allowed to be in the polling stations.  I thank you.

THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Biti.  The message will be conveyed to the Minister of Defence to come and explain to this House as you requested.

HON.  MOKONE:  I rise on a point of national interest, which hinges around the work of NPRC.  According to Chapter 12, Section 233 of the Zimbabwean Constitution, it gave birth to independent commissions and that included the NPRC, which was set amongst other functions to deal with past imbalances and atrocities.  On the functions of NPRC, it was formed to develop and implement peaceful resolutions of disputes.  Let me hasten to say that Zimbabwe has experienced a lot of these violent conflicts and the most popular one being the Gukurahundi in Matebeleland and Manicaland provinces.  I had hoped that from its inception to date, it would have dealt with some of the issues religiously but to date, its success is nothing to write home about.  Now that this august House is about to come to an end, I would request that the responsible Ministry reports to this august House on the progress as regards what the NPRC Commission has achieved and possibly consider putting a Statutory Instrument with regards to the compensation of the victims of the past violent conflicts.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mokone.  I advise you to put that question in writing so that the responsible Minister can make some investigations and bring the response to this august House as per your request.

          *HON. TOBAIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My point of national interest borders around Globe and Phoenix Mine that collapsed due to mining activities that are taking place next to the mine.  I rise to again indicate that the Minister of Mines has to deliver a Ministerial Statement on what has happened.  We have a flat and a house that has collapsed again in Kwekwe.  There are two mines that surround that area.  Is the Minister not aware of the person who is responsible for mining in that area that is putting the people at risk?  The people are now leaving their residences.  Who is now going to compensate them?  The person who is mining in that area is known.  I urge the Minister to come and explain why they are not taking action so that this mine can stop operations because it is a risk to the people.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Tobaiwa about the matter which you have raised because it affects the lives of people.  The message will be relayed to the Minister of Mines.  The Minister will be requested to give a ministerial statement to this august House as regards such activities.

          The Hon. Deputy Speaker asked Hon. Zwizwai to approach the Chair.

CONSIDERATION STAGE

PRISONS AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES BILL [H. B. 6, 2022]

          Amendments to Clauses 3, 6, 8, sub-section 1, 4, 11, 12, 22,33, 39, 40, 41, 43, 46, 49, 51, 62, 65, 67, 69, 71, 72, 87, 89, 139, 153 and 171 put and agreed to.

          Bill, as amended, adopted.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

PRISONS AND CORRCTIONAL SERVICES BILL [H. B. 6A, 2022]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Orders of the Day, Nos 1 to 11 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 12 has been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

CRIMINAL LAW (CODIFICATION AND REFORM) AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 15, 2022]

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill (H.B. 15, 2022).

          Question again proposed.

          HON. MATARANYIKA:  

  1. Introduction:

Thank you, Madam Speaker Ma’am. Section 141 of the Constitution requires Parliament to engage the general members of the public in its legislative processes and ensure that all interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament. In fulfillment of this constitutional obligation, the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs conducted public consultations on the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill, to gather the views of the people from the 20th to 25th February, 2023. The Bill which was gazetted on the 23rd December, 2022 seeks to amend the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23].

  1. Background to the Bill:

Criminal law is a social mechanism that is used to coerce members of society, through the threat of pain and suffering, to abstain from conduct that is harmful to various interests of society. Its objective is to promote the welfare of society and its members by establishing and maintaining peace and order. In Zimbabwe, the Criminal Law Code gathers all the main aspects of that branch of law in one piece of legislation. Previously, the law was widely dispersed in common law and a large number of different statutes, hence making it difficult to locate common law dealing with crime. The Code also effects a series of reforms and improvements to existing law. Over the years, the Code has created several new crimes and modified many of the existing crimes. The Bill, thus seeks to effect amendments on crimes of damaging national sovereignty, rape, dangerous drugs, and abuse of public office.         

  1. Methodology

The Committee was split into two teams covering all the country’s 10 provinces covering 19 venues. Team A covered Mashonaland West, Midlands, Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, and Matabeleland South while Team B conducted public hearings in Mashonaland Central, Harare, Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Masvingo. Public hearings were conducted to gather the views of the general members of the public.

  1. Overview of the Consultations

Team A managed to reach a total of 319 people comprising 44% females and 56% males. Team B reached 177 citizens, comprising 45% females and 55% males. The aggregate reach was therefore 496 people, 44% being females and 56% males (see Appendix 1). The Committee managed to get very insightful contributions. The Committee considered and deliberated on the submissions gathered to develop this comprehensive report.

  1. General Submissions on the Bill

The public applauded Parliament for reaching their communities and seeking their views pertaining to the Bill which is before Parliament. The public expressed that the Bill should seek to protect the rights of the people of Zimbabwe for the development of the country.

  1. Specific Submissions on the Bill

6.1. Clause 1: Short title There were no objections raised concerning the title of the Bill in all ten provinces.

6.2. Clause 2: Crime and Penalties for Willfully Damaging the Sovereignty, Dignity, and Independence of Zimbabwe

There were mixed feelings about this clause. Some members of the public proposed for the removal of the clause citing a violation of Section 58 (Freedom of Assembly and Association) of the Constitution. It was their view that the clause will deliberately disrupt freedom of speech in Zimbabwe which is also contrary to the bill of rights in the Constitution. It was their opinion that if complaints are submitted in a non-partisan manner, they should not be treated as crimes but rather as suggestions and constructive criticism. On the other end, some members of the public commended the clause and highlighted that the new crime was long overdue as it will go a long way in protecting the image of the country. It was their opinion that the law should protect the heritage of the country and not be used as a violation of the rights of citizens. They further submitted that patriotism is a key pillar for the development of a nation.

Some members of the public submitted that the Bill proposes that the penalty for attending a meeting to consider or plan armed intervention be the same as for treason yet under section 20 of the Code, the penalty for treason is death. However, section 48 of the Constitution states that the death penalty can be imposed only on persons convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances, hence it cannot be imposed on persons convicted of treason in the new crime. It was further submitted that the penalty of deprivation of citizenship which can be imposed on someone convicted of attending a meeting to consider sanctions infringes Section 39 of the Constitution. It was their view that citizenship by birth can be revoked only if it was obtained by fraud or mistake, and this is so whether or not the person has dual citizenship.

It was also submitted that the penalty of prohibition from being a registered voter contravenes paragraph 2 of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution, which allows a person to be disqualified from registration as a voter only if he or she has committed an offence under the Electoral Act. It was therefore recommended that the clause should clearly define national interests and political interests, be non-partisan, penalties only apply to those who damage the image of the country in the international arena, and there be a referendum on the clause

 6.3. Clause 3: Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Rape

The majority of the public applauded this clause and highlighted that it was a positive development since rape is an abhorrent crime that has devastating and lasting effects on the victim. Some members of the public were of the view that a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years for rape committed in aggravating circumstances, is not deterrent enough to curb the crimes of rape. It was recommended that for rape committed in aggravating circumstances, the mandatory minimum sentence be set at 20 years while for rape committed with no aggravating circumstances, the mandatory minimum sentence be set at 10 years. It was also submitted that the amendment only covers two sexual crimes, that is, rape and aggravated indecent assault whilst other sexual offences do not have any prescribed minimum mandatory sentences.

On the other hand, some members highlighted that mandatory minimum sentences are unconstitutional unless there is some provision in the law for them not to be imposed in special circumstances. It was also their view that the Bill does not clearly define what these aggravating circumstances are. It was therefore recommended that the Bill should clearly specify what constitutes aggravating circumstances.

6.4. Clause 4: Definition of Dangerous Drugs

The public noted with great concern that drug abuse has become rampant in communities across the country. It was highlighted that the fight against drug abuse will only be successful if it is dealt with from the root cause, that is, the sources of drugs and how they enter the country. It was submitted that most of these drugs were not being manufactured locally, hence they get into the country through the borders and airports. The public, therefore, applauded this clause and further recommended that every illicit intoxicating substance be considered a dangerous drug. Examples of such substances included drugs being made from diapers, TV cables, a mixture of Mazoe orange crush and Cerevita, glue, and many other illicit brews. It was, therefore, recommended that a mandatory minimum prison sentence for drug dealers be set at 15 years.

6.5. Clause 5: Abuse of Office by Public Officers

Some members of the public highlighted that there is no justification for ignorance of the law. They were concerned that the clause will promote abuse of offices by senior public officers who will cite that they were not aware that what they were doing was illegal.

6.6. Additional Clauses

6.6.1. Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation by Adults

Organisations advocating for sexual and reproductive health rights for young persons proposed for additional amendments to be made to the Criminal Law Code to strengthen the protection of children from sexual exploitation by adults. It was their view that the objective of the law should be to protect children from sexual exploitation by adults by setting the minimum age at which young people can consent to sexual intercourse.

It was submitted that the conflict of laws around the age of consent to sexual intercourse has been recently determined by the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe and Parliament was given one year to amend various sections of the Criminal Law Code that are in conflict with the Constitution. While the Constitution defines a child as anyone below the age of 18, section 61 of the Criminal Law Code defines a young person as anyone below the age of 16. It was therefore recommended that Parliament should give effect to the ruling made by the Constitutional Court by amending sections 61, 62, and 70 of the Criminal Law Code by setting the age of young persons at 18 years.

 It was further recommended that consensual intercourse between minors should not be criminalized. It was their view that the law should state expressly what should happen in instances of consensual sexual intercourse between minors as long as the older partner is no more than two years older. This is commonly referred to as the Romeo and Juliet clause.

To strengthen the protection of children from sexual exploitation by persons who have authority over them like teachers, it was recommended that there be the establishment of a National Sex Offenders Register. The register will contain the names of persons who have been convicted on charges of sexual offences committed against a child or a mentally disabled person. The penalty for anyone whose name appears on the National Sex Offenders Register, that person should not be employed in any capacity in an institution that works with children.

6.6.2. Sexual Violence that Occurs within the Context of a Romantic Relationship.

It was also submitted that non-consensual sexual intercourse that occurs in the context of a romantic relationship, commonly referred to as “date rape” should be clearly recognized as a sexual offence within the law.

6.6.3. Termination of Pregnancy for Victims of Sexual Exploitation

 Organisations advocating for sexual and reproductive health rights submitted that although the Termination of Pregnancy Act provides for termination of pregnancy in cases where the pregnancy is a result of unlawful sexual intercourse (rape), pregnancies in cases of having sexual intercourse with a minor (s70 of the Code), cases of consensual intercourse between minors and cases of child prostitution (s87 of the Code) are not covered. It was therefore recommended that section 60 of the Criminal Law Code be amended to allow for the termination of pregnancy if it is as a result of any sexual offence mentioned in the Criminal Law Code.

  1. Committee Observations

The Committee made the following observations:

7.1. The public was concerned that their input to Parliament public hearings yields no results.

7.2. There was a perception among the public that the laws that are being made by Parliament lack implementation.

7.3. The proposed new crime of willfully damaging the reputation of the country attracted different political views.

7.4. There was a general consensus on the need to have mandatory minimum sentences for rape.

7.5. There was a consensus on the effects and penalties of drugs across the country.

  1. Committee Recommendations

The Committee, therefore, recommends that:

8.1. Law enforcement agencies should implement the laws without any exceptions.

8.2. There should be tight security at border posts and airports to curb the importation of drugs into the country

8.3. Amendment of sections 61, 62, and 70 of the Criminal Law Code by setting the age of young persons at 18 years.

  1. Conclusion

The Bill makes a commendable effort in legislating societal conduct by threatening punishment and trying to suppress anti-social conduct likely to disrupt society. In this regard, the Bill seeks to amend the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act by punishing people whose conduct is deemed to hurt the country’s interests and those who engage in unlawful sexual activity by providing mandatory sentences for rape. The Committee, therefore, believes that passing this Bill after consideration of the views of the people and their recommendations will help to shape the country’s criminal justice system.

Appendix 1

Venue

Male

Female

Total

Mangura Golf Club

29

21

50

Chegutu Welfare Centre

4

3

7

Gokwe Cheziya Community Hall

32

19

51

Kwekwe Mbizo Youth Centre

31

23

54

Bulawayo Sebourne Hotel

20

11

31

Luveve Beit Hall

50

53

103

Filabusi Mtwakazi Hall

7

5

12

Gwanda Jahunda Primary Hall

7

4

11

Bindura Chipadze Hall

0

0

0

Ambassador Hotel

12

11

23

Murehwa

18

12

30

Marondera Mbuyanehanda Hall

1

1

2

Nyanga Nyamhuka Hall

11

11

22

Mutare Chikanga

9

7

16

Nyika BSPZ

12

5

17

Masvingo Mucheke

11

20

31

Chivi

1

0

1

Zvishavane

1

0

1

Total

27

219

496

 

Venue – Male - Female  -Total; Mhangura Golf Club 29, 21, 50; Chegutu Welfare Centre 4, 3, 7; Gokwe Cheziya Community Hall 32, 19 51; Kwekwe Mbizo Youth Centre 31, 23, 54; Bulawayo Selbourne Hotel 20, 11, 31; Luveve Beit Hall 50, 53, 103; Lupane Community Hall 0, 0, 0; Filabusi Mthwakazi Hall 7, 5, 12; Gwanda Jahunda Primary Hall 7, 4, 11; Bindura Chipadze Hall 0, 0, 0; Ambassador Hotel 12, 11, 23; Murehwa 18, 12, 30; Marondera Mbuya Nehanda Hall 1, 1, 2; Nyanga Nyamhuka Hall 11, 11, 22; Mutare Chikanga 9, 7, 16; Nyika BSPZ 12, 5, 17; Masvingo Mucheke 11, 20, 31; Chivi 22, 13, 35; Zvishavane 1, 0, 1; Total 277, 219, 496. I thank you.

HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me to debate this Bill, the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill.  Madam Speaker, after the November 2017 change over from what was said the First Republic to the Second Republic, we never thought that we will live to see a day like this where a piece of draconian proposal would come before this august House.  We thought Madam Speaker that we will actually be moving a step forward rather than to move three steps backwards.

This Bill Madam Speaker, if you remove very few items, you will discover that this Bill has nothing to do with furtherance of the interest of this nation.  This Bill turns to stifle democratic space for Zimbabweans.  It is wrong, in my view, to smuggle in and try to criminalize anybody that does not share the same view with you.  If you see this Bill talks about who controls the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe.  

If you read this Bill, there should actually be a general convergence and agreement in terms of even the definition of what is called the national interest.  If you go through it, you will come to a conclusion that there is a confusion, national interest versus partisan political interest.  Madam Speaker, we as Zimbabwe, in 2023 cannot try to redo what Ian Smith did.  We need to be moving forward rather than to be moving backward and I can bet you if Ian Smith was to rise today, he will be shocked that the people that were calling for a majority and democratic State have actually gone back and done worse things than Smith could even do.

Madam Speaker, you cannot legislate and come before this august House and simply say if anyone has any meeting where you express your views pertaining to the manner in which things are happening in Zimbabwe, that person can actually be criminalized and somebody can actually go to jail - we cannot do that. 

Madam Speaker, if this Bill is allowed to move and to become a piece of law in this country, then I can tell you that no-one will be safe, we have learnt recently that the things that we thought are normal and the things that we thought cannot be changed, can actually be changed overnight.  This law may actually have been put hoping to punish people from this side but if we go to the elections and as the indication is clearly indicating, we take the power in this country then members of this other side will actually face this same law, I do not think it will be to the best interest of Zimbabwe. 

Just look at the way they define a meeting, they say “any communication between two or more persons whether happening in person or virtually or by a combination of both which involves facilitated or convened by a form of Government or any of its agent, proxies or entities”.  Truly, Madam Speaker, how can we allow such things to happen because what it then does, it means that every one of us, every Zimbabwean, it does not matter whether you are a political player, it does not matter whether you are in the commercial field.  One way or the other, your life is actually in danger then if you go through this Bill, they then tell you that you will be found guilty if there is subverting, upsetting the Government of Zimbabwe, if you just upset them.  Madam Speaker, there is no way and I do not believe that Hon. Ziyambi-Ziyambi, the leader of Government business, knowing him as I do would actually find peace and can sleep peacefully if we pass this piece of legislation.  This is a draconian piece of legislation which this august House cannot allow to be passed.  It is one thing to bring a Bill before this august House but I can tell you that anybody who has got Zimbabwe at heart and anybody who believes in the democratic principles will never celebrate the passage of this Bill.

This Bill Madam Speaker, takes us several steps backward and there are many ways; we have several pieces of legislation that we have in this country that deal with matters of a criminal nature.  There is no reason Madam Speaker, expect that we will be trying to settle political scores by coming up with a legislation that criminalizes things that are supposed to be normal.  We do not want to then end up criminalizing, let us say Hon. Chinotimba if in the spirit of happiness, he castigates His Excellency the President in Buhera and then you evoke this piece of legislation and say that you have upset the Government, we cannot allow that to happen. 

          Madam Speaker, this Bill goes beyond what many people think of. This Bill is actually dangerous and because it is dangerous, I believe when we come to the Committee Stage, it is my view that this Bill should be shredded because it is not worth to be passed by people that were elected and sent to Parliament by people of Zimbabwe. If we genuinely believe that the prayer  you do Madam Speaker every time when you come to this august House, if we are guided by such a prayer, there is no reason and justification why we the people’s representatives can actually come with a law that will criminalise and make life difficult for the people that we seek to represent. I thank you.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: Firstly, I would like to thank the General Secretary of ANC who spoke about the incident when the Americans wanted to arrest President Putin. Secondly, I would like to thank the President of Uganda who said that gays have no place in Africa.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chinotimba, may you debate the motion before the House.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Let me come to the Bill that is before this House. This Bill may hurt other people but it is a noble Bill with good intentions. The Bill encourages us to be patriotic about our country irrespective of our party affiliations.  Even if Mr. Chamisa were to rule this country, it would not be proper for anyone to go around the world saying bad things about the President. This Bill is not meant to curtail the existence of political parties but it is there to encourage the people of Zimbabwe to love their country and stop denouncing it.

The Bill seeks to discourage those people who go about saying bad things about their country. Osama Bin Laden grew up in America and received his military training there and the reason why he was executed by the Americans is because he wanted to go against the ethos and values of the American people. As such, this Bill discourages all those people to say bad things about their country. The Bill wishes to impart a sense of belonging and love for one’s country. It pains me very much to hear some Hon. Members referring to Ian Smith’s regime as being better. On the contrary, Ian Smith detained a lot of political leaders in this country due to their push for one-man one-vote concept. A lot of people were incarcerated by Ian Smith – [HON. T. MLISWA: Makasungireyi Sikhala]- Keep quiet Hon. Mliswa, you were once a member of ZANU Party.

Madam Speaker, may you protect me because Hon. Members on your left do not want me to speak. This Bill is a welcome development because it seeks to discourage all those people who go out there and call for restrictive measures against our country. This Bill must pass at all cost, whether I remain a Member of this august House or not. The fact that I lost primary elections does not take away the love for my country.  Anyone who says bad things against his country must be stopped by this Bill.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate. I applaud the Hon Chair of the Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in bringing up a report pregnant with a lot of consistent and very desirable ethos and values, in particular of patriotism and indeed of what the people said according to Section 141 of the Constitution that states that we need to make all parliamentary processes public. Indeed, we went out to the public, solicited views, came in, imbedded all the views and amalgamated them with the input from the esteemed Members of the Committee and I applaud the likes of Advocate Chinyanganya and Advocate Nyathi for guiding us legally in coming up with a holistic and well-rounded report of the Committee.  Having said that, I am going to touch on a few ….

          HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Chinyanganya is not an advocate.  The records must be clear.  That title is way above.  I think it is important not to say things which are not true.  I do not know advocate Chinyanganya or advocate Nyathi.  Maybe you can tell me who they are.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, is Hon. Chinyanganya an advocate?

          HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I am protected by Parliamentary Immunities and Privileges and I will not take kindly being questioned about what I say on this platform and further still, I am not going to be charged by….

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  You are misleading people.  If Hon Chinyanganya is not an advocate just say Hon. Chinyanganya.

HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I will stand guided by you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  If Hon. Chinyanganya is not an advocate, you cannot mislead the people saying advocate Chinyanganya.  Just say Hon. Chinyanganya.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank all Members of the Committee for a well-rounded report.  I learn a lot from these learned colleagues of the Committee.  Having said that, I just want to touch on a few issues which are very key and for those with no knowledge of what I want to talk about, they should record because I am going to say this only once.  After that, it will appear in the Hansard, which is a permanent record of proceedings of Parliament. Madam Speaker, I have issues to deal with patriotism in particular, that have been stated eloquently and vociferously by the Hon. Chair of the Committee, which speak to the core and pith of the nationhood that we speak of.  Issues to do with patriotism not only unite the country but they heal and unite in deed. This is what patriotism does.  It can make somebody go to an extent of making sure they undergo a protracted liberation struggle in order to bring to the fore the values of the formally marginalised black majority as we speak about Zimbabwe.  Some people in Zimbabwe, our liberators, went to war and never came back because of patriotism and it is right and correct for us to uphold the values of that patriotism by making sure that patriotism is inculcated into our day to day living or livelihood because of our forebears.  I am alive to the people that were trained in North Korea to fight imperialism single handedly so that we could have the issue of patriotism ingrained in our hearts. 

When it comes to patriotism, my heart is on the right side.  Having said that, I also want to say that people may be better able to identify with their culture because of patriotism.  So, it is indeed as a culture once we use this debate, to ensure that we embrace our culture because of patriotism.  I am just talking about the advantages, ethos, and values of patriotism and what it is that can come out of patriotism.  Patriotism also gives you the feeling of the community and this is what patriotism does.  It is a good feeling because without patriotism, you are always angry.  Angry not only against yourself but against the country that you come from and anger gnaws your vitals and that is not right.

Patriotism also does promote solidarity.   You can see Hon. Sansole seated there and Hon. Biti seated there and that shows a sense of solidarity because of what joins us together, which is patriotism.  Otherwise, we would not be seeing eye to eye.  These are advantages and I will want them elaborated chronologically as I am putting them across.

Patriotism may give you a goal in life.  Those that are not patriotic have no goals in life.  If you have a goal, it means you can unleash your potential at any given opportunity or time. I mean what you were born clenching in your fist.  When you then unleash your potential, it is called kinetic energy and when you release it, that is when you see yourself becoming the Elon Musk of our time, the Temba Mliswas of our time or the captains and pilots, first, second and third generation pilots of our time.  Because you will have released your potential, you then become a better person because of patriotism.  You may find many people Madam Speaker, with similar attitudes because of patriotism which makes you find one another.  I have spoken about the issue to do with culture.  Please Madam Speaker, protect me from doctor, protect me from less patriotic antics.

Patriotism also may promote senseful human values.  Those people that are not patriotic definitely have no senseful values.  So, I am both promoting the values of patriotism and also castigating the unpatriotic nature of those that do not have those values. 

Nationalism may help to protect a country because nationalism is patriotism.  I am going to touch on a few more ethos and values and advantages of patriotism, before I go on to the rape which arises from forced sexual intercourse without promoting the allowable ethos and values of conjugal rights, procreation and such like.

          Number 9, it increases the value of the local population, that is patriotism …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DR. MAVETERA): You are left with five minutes.

          HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I have just been speaking for 10 minutes and I am supposed to speak for 30 minutes.  However, I am just going to try and compress my otherwise elaborate way of trying to inculcate the patriotism in the other Members who are not so patriotic.  Having said that, they can also be beneficial for local firms.

          HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: On a point of order. Can the Hon. Member be allowed five minutes more?

          HON. MUNETSI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Moyo.  You are not going to be disappointed. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, it is not yet up but I am sure, as soon as his time is up, you can then move for that. 

          HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, the issue of patriotism increases work ability and also the productivity of a workforce and workmanship.  If you are not patriotic, you will always be in the streets trying to go against either your employer and/or either trying to have sloganeering against work ability and productivity.  So patriotism keeps workers in the factory and increases productivity and work ability.

          It is my thinking that there is also higher level of independence from other countries.  If you are not patriotic, you will always be looking for solutions from other countries.  I will give you an example.  We have ubiquitous amounts of mineral wealth and the likes of Elon Musk are creating or are inventing in electric vehicles and we have lithium and rare earths that are used in space ships.  Lithium is used for electric vehicle batteries, so we are not looking on the outside.  We are looking internally in order to emancipate ourselves economically.  We got independence, yes, but we want economic independence.

          Here on number 10, it does say, any patriotic person looks for dependency from their own country and does not look for independence from other countries.  Like has been seen from our other people that are not patriotic, always looking for solutions from without, instead of being introspective and looking from within.

          The last issue that I want to talk about in terms of patriotism, it does also give you confidence levels and those improve with more patriotism within yourself and within your own country.  What we need, because of our endowment with our natural resources, is issues to do with patriotism; confidence in our own culture, confidence in our own minerals; confidence in our own Second Republic, which has seen immensely the infrastructure development, the Hwange 7 and 8; the extraction and beneficiation of our mineral resources…

          [Time Limit]

          HON.PRISCILLA MOYO:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Can the Hon. Member be allowed 10 minutes more to debate?

          Hon. Nduna, having continued with the debate.

  • [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nduna.  We have had an objection. -  [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible  interjections.] -  Order, Hon. Nduna, if there is an objection, we cannot allow you to continue but if there is no objection at all, then you continue.

          HON. NDUNA: No, there was no objection and you guided us that I am going to continue after my time expires.  That was your ruling.  Do not transgress your own ruling. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, I am saying we can only be able to ask that question when you had finished.  So according to our procedures, she had to ask after you had finished.   That is why I had to tell her to repeat.  If it was sufficing then I would not have let her to speak.  Now there is an objection – [HON. NDUNA: There was no objection.] -  Order, let me say if it is a question that is when we can deal with ‘Ayes’ and ‘noes’, immediately when we get an objection, you cannot proceed.  I am sorry. – [HON. NDUNA: But Madam Speaker, mapindwa nei, avava ndeve opposition, tikaita zveopposition neruling party padebate hai flowi] - Order, Hon. Nduna, you can take your seat. – [HON. NDUNA: Hai flowi debate, tambenge tichi flowa mushe mushe.  Ndozvamunoda?] - Order, Hon. Nduna. May you please take your seat Hon. Nduna.

          HON. NDUNA: On a point of order.  Thank you, Madam Speaker Ma’am. My point of order, I know there is only one time you are allowed to debate twice, that is in the Committee Stage.  I request the indulgence of the whole House and indeed the Hon. Speaker in dealing vociferously and effectively and efficiently on the issue of rape as stated by the report of the Committee of Justice, which is where I intend to bolster my support for what is coming up.  This is my point of order, that the 10 years that has been spoken about where there are no aggravated circumstances, becomes law and 20 years certainly becomes an issue that is allowed where there are aggravated circumstances.  This is my prayer.  If you indulge me, I will be able to deal with that point in two minutes exactly.

          HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I want to add my voice to the motion on the patriotic Bill.  I would want to state it clearly that if the Bill is going to be passed by this august House, it is going to be a shame to our nation because it is not well thought out.  It is focused on emotive issues which need to be dealt with through other means, not through legislation.

I would want to quote the late Dr. Kaunda who wrote and who had a vision of what would happen to the nationalist movement after the attainment of independence in African states.  The main issue that confronted the late first President of Zambia was that the nationalist movement was likely to turn against itself and become self-destructive if there were no new worthwhile goals after that attainment of independence.  Dr. Kaunda said there is need for the nationalistic movement to come up with new goals, new well thought out objectives in order to avoid a situation which we are realising right now in Zimbabwe whereby the nationalistic movement is turning inward, fighting its own people.  This is very dangerous and Dr. Kaunda cited a dictionary which says patriotism means zealous love for one’s own country.  One’s love for his own country cannot be legislated.  It is something that needs to be engendered by the Government.  It is something that needs to be inculcated.

If you want people to love their country, if you want the citizens to love their country, there are things that the Government should put in place.  If we are going to take the article written in 1963 by Dr. Kaunda, we are going to realise simple steps that Dr. Kaunda advised African States to say this is what you should do to inculcate the spirit of nationalism, the nationalism which is overzealous love for one’s country which says one would be prepared to die for his country.  One should be prepared to defend the interest of his country, not something that we say you should not speak against the ills of your country.  If there are governance ills, the citizens of Zimbabwe should be able to say this is wrong.  If there is something that is not good, for example Madam Speaker, the recent amnesty by the President where rapists were released - it is something that every well-meaning Zimbabwean should condemn to see a rapist who is supposed to serve 20 years, like what Hon. Nduna was saying, being released even after serving one year.  It is something that we should condemn.  This is not against patriotism.  These are the things that we should come here and legislate.  We should not come here and say the Parliament should legislate this kind of law where we are stifling the democratic space for Zimbabweans.

The other thing that I want to talk about is that Dr. Kaunda said if you want to inculcate the spirit of nationalism especially among the youth, you should also give them space.  If you try to stifle the spates for the youth, he said they would easily be agitated and they revolt against the Government.  The revolts that we see in other countries are because the governments are coming up with draconian laws.  As a result, people would take the route of the proverbial lepers in the Bible who would say if we do not go; if we do not fight we are going to die, so it is better we die fighting.  We are actually inviting the people - the Zimbabweans to rise up against the Government to say if the Government is coming up with this kind of legislation, we need to fight for our own rights the same way they fought the liberation struggle against colonialists.  This is the same way we can now steer up another struggle.

 Madam Speaker, I believe this kind of law is not good.  I thought I should refer to Dr. Kaunda who said we should also consider sports as part of nation building.  He said patriotism comes up to avoid exhausted nationalism.  We need to come up with new ideas, we need to come up with new goals, we need to promote sports, we need to promote our culture but not in a manner where we say if Hon. Hamauswa comes here and complains that what is happening in Warren Park where Warren Hills is being extracted and the people of Warren Park are not benefiting, if I complain about the gold mafia in this country, then people will say I am fighting my own country.  I am actually fighting for the country to say it is unheard of to go for three months after discovering diamonds.

The people who are looting our resources are those who are not patriotic.  The people who are looting our diamonds are those who are not patriotic.  The people who are failing to bring electricity to our homes are the people who are not patriotic.  The people who break the law willy-nilly, those are people who are not patriotic.  Madam Speaker, I think we need to strengthen the implementation of the existing laws within our country.  We have the financial management laws that actually guide how public funds should be managed.  Those laws just need to be implemented.  We do not need another law.  We do not need to have this draconian law. 

I think Madam Speaker, this current Government wants to call itself a second republic.  This Government is known as the second republic, meaning there was a first republic and there were certain roles that were there in the first republic.  We cannot go back to the first republic through the back door.  We are going through a reform process which requires a multi stakeholder dialogue which does not require again draconian laws.  We have repealed AIPPA and POSA.  What we need in this country is to say how can we refine the laws that we are reforming, how can we refine the law reform process, how can we align the laws according to the 213 Constitution and how can we make it perfect.  We do not need to come up with another draconian law.  When we come back here in September after the elections, we do not need the burden to start again the law reform.  Let us do the right thing for Zimbabweans.  Let us do the things that our people in this country will also hold us accountable, to say that we have done something that is good for this country.

Madam Speaker, I will conclude by saying we need laws that will put back the powers to the people of Zimbabwe.  We do not need any law that takes powers from the citizens of Zimbabwe.  We do not need a law that will say if a Zimbabwean complains about mismanagement of resources then that person is against Zimbabwe.  The person who pushes for good governance in our country is a person who is patriotic Madam Speaker.  A person who says Zimbabwe should not be regarded as a pariah state, that person is patriotic.  A person who says our sports should not be banned is a person who is patriotic.  A person who would want to see a dream team again in our national team, that person is patriotic.  A person who would say no to political violence, a person who would say ZEC should correct the voters roll in a manner that is according to the Constitution, that is a person who is patriotic.  We do not need this kind of law.  I think we are learned enough in this country.  We should not again shame the people of Zimbabwe by bringing a legislation that will actually downgrade the minds of great lawyers who are in this country, the minds of great engineers that are in this country.

Madam Speaker, I implore this country and legislators of this great nation, to read the chapter by Dr. Kaunda how to transform nationalism into patriotism. He actually said during nationalistic days that people would destroy police posts, people would use violence for the purpose of attaining independence but upon attaining independence, those methods which you were using, they are not applicable in a post-colonial State. We are now in a post-colonial State and we do not need to apply colonial rules. They do not have space in this new era.

This is why I am saying this Bill should not see the light of the day because it is not in any way promoting patriotism. This Bill will promote uprising in this country because it is going to stifle democratic space. People have their constitutionally guaranteed rights. The right to speak out is guaranteed and the freedom of speech is in the Constitution. Those rights should be protected. We should not destroy them through a back door. It is my plea that my friends to the right side are going to reconsider the provisions in the Bill which are meant to stifle democratic space in this country. Thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Chairman of the Justice Legal Committee for doing a sterling job by bringing a motion which is subject to a vigorous debate. I was looking at the Constitution of Zimbabwe in terms of the Preamble and I have tried to look for the word ‘patriotic’ and the word ‘nationalism’ or ‘nationalist’. I still do not see them. We, the people of Zimbabwe, united in our diversity of our common desire for freedom, justice and equality and our heroic resistance to colonialism, racism and all forms of domination and oppression.

          You went on to talk about the liberation struggle which talks about exalting and stalling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga, Umvukela and National Liberation Struggle. I am glad that we have got comrades who were in ZIPRA and ZANLA. Hon. Nguluvhe who is here was ZIPRA. ZIPRA went to the war to liberate this country and so did ZANLA. The commander for ZIPRA was Nikita Mangena and the commander for ZANLA was Josiah Tongogara; all Zimbabweans in the interest of this country.

          If you look at Google and look at nationalism, it talks about national interest. If you go to Google and look at patriotism, it talks about being devoted vigorously to a nation. Some of the national people like Ndabaningi Sithole were arrested but they were nationalists. ZIPRA, Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku were the first to be incarcerated after independence but they fought for this country. Who incarcerated them – it was ZANLA? I speak about this because my father was ZAPU. That is where we were born in Zambia.

So, to me, it is important that we question and the question is –[HON. MATARANYIKA: Inaudible interjection]- Chairman, I think this is your debate and it is only proper that you behave appropriately or you are behaving unpatriotic and I am nationalist by not giving you a chance. These are the people who we do not need to bring a law but once you are unpatriotic, you can be kicked out of here without a law rather than you bringing a law. I think it is about time you respect this debate. You are the Chairman of the Committee and what you are doing is not good.

Madam Speaker, so you have got ZANLA and ZIPRA going to war for national interest to liberate the country. So, who is qualified to call the other one a nationalist and a patriot? Why did ZANU PF believe it had deranged and they continue with that brutality bringing this law in this House? The only thing ZANU PF is known for is massacre. Gukurahundi, it did it. This is an emotional issue. There must be a Commission of Inquiry to deal with ZANU PF people who led Gukurahundi.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DR. MAVETERA): You are out of order Hon. Mliswa.

HON. T. MLISWA: Because this is a very critical point…

 THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa. Let us try to confine ourselves to the debate. You give examples but let us try to confine ourselves and not to try raise emotional issues.

HON. T. MLISWA: You cannot kill other people in a country and you want to woo the people who kill other innocent people. This should be very clear. Did you not hear of Gukurahundi? Where are those people who spearheaded Gukurahundi? Are they nationalistic, are they patriotic? They went and killed the people who were patriotic and nationalists. Gukurahundi is a fact. Let it not pain you because you were probably not part of the struggle. This is emotional…

THE TEMPORY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, I said do not use offensive language.

HON. T. MLISWA: Which offensive language have I used and I withdraw.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, we have got different political parties in this House and for you to come and accuse another political party and being offensive, that is very disrespectful. Order, can you leave the House Hon. Mliswa, leave the House!

HON. T. MLISWA: But you cannot kick me out – did Gukurahundi not happen under ZANU PF? So, why remove me from the House for telling the truth? What is the purpose of this House if we are not able to debate on issues of national interest? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- You are kicking me out of the House for bringing the issue of Gukurahundi, are you serious about that?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you please leave the House. Serjeant-at-Arms, can you please help us.

HON. T. MLISWA: So now you want me out because I spoke about Gukurahundi? Who are you serving – what you are doing is unpatriotic, unnationalistic, barbaric for the party you belong to? I leave knowing that you have done the biggest mistake. I present national issues here. My father was in Zambia and he was ZAPU. What you have done is wrong, you want to appease the President, you hope to become the next Speaker by bootlicking, what you are doing is unpatriotic. You started Gukurahundi because you are sitting on that chair…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you switch off the microphone Serjeant-at-Arms?

          HON. T. MLISWA: You started Gukurahundi because you are sitting on that Chair, it does not mean that you will take our rights.  I represent the people, this is tax payers money you are using by refusing all that.  You cannot abuse taxpayers’ money by telling me to leave the House; was Gukurahundi not an act of ZANU PF? Why have you decided to be stifled…

          The Serjeant-at-Arms approached Hon. T. Mliswa in a bid to escort him out but he refused to leave the House and continued debating.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Serjeant-at-Arms, you are letting us down, we do not need this noise in this House. Serjeant-at-Arms, can you please do your job. We cannot have this noise in this House.

          HON. T. MLISWA: I do not mind if I am sent out of this Parliament.  I can go home for good. What you have done is unpatriotic and it is wrong – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  

Gukurahundi happened under ZANU PF.  Who are you trying to appease? You are getting allowances out of that…  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Munetsi, can you please switch off the microphone for us.

          Microphone switched off.

          HON. T. MLISWA: No, she cannot do this, she cannot do this.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Why are we being abused like this?

          Hon. T. Mliswa continued to debate after the microphones were switched off.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Was Gukurahundi not an act of ZANU PF? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: This is getting out of hand – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. T. MLISWA: Unoda kuti ndidzingwe muParliament hausi Speaker. Hunzai mapurisa handisi kubuda nhasi, hunzai mapurisa endai munotora Leader of Government Business.  Gukurahundi was an act of ZANU PF.  Why do you want to support him?  It was an act of ZANU PF and those people who were involved in Gukurahundi, there must be a commission of inquiry, what they did was unpatriotic – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Handisi kubuda nhasi huyai imika kuno uku. We cannot have a Parliament when one is honest wakudzingwa.  Ndinodzingirwa chii?  Madam Speaker, if the seat is too hot, do not sit there.  It is hot, I am telling you.  Ko ndinoburitsirwei? Gukurahundi haina kuitwa neZANU PF here? Hamuzvizivi here? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –   Ndamboti First kana Second Republic here, chii chakunetsai. That is a fact murikundidzingira izvovo.  Ngaanotora mapurisa vambomhanyamhanya, handisi kubuda nhasi.  Chii chamungandiita, hapana mutemo unondidzinga muParliament.  Hatiwaste tax payers money tichiuya kuno muchindidzinga kuti ndadii, handibvume izvozvo ndirikuita basa renyika.  We are talking about the Patriotic Bill.  ZIPRA does not have its farms as of to date, is that patriotism?  Makati vatengesa mukati Gamatox Amai Mujuri vatengesa, E.D mukamudzinga mukati atengesa, haasi mapatriots here ivava? Is E.D. not patriotic, is Mai Mujuru not patriotic.  E.D. akadzingwa neZANU PF, is he not patriotic?  You want to bring your caucus Bills so that you settle your differences. We do not need this institution to come up with laws to settle personal scores, it is not for that.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: We are suspending business of the House for the next 10 minutes.

Business was suspended at 1611 hours and resumed at 1614 hours.

HON.  NYAMUDEZA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

*HON. NYAMUDEZA:  Hon. Makoni spoke about Gukurahundi earlier on before Hon. T. Mliswa but the Hon. Member was not asked to leave Parliament.  It is surprising that Hon. T. Mliswa spoke about the same issue and he is now being asked to go out, why?

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You brought a good point.  Hon. T. Mliswa is not being chased because of the Gukurahundi issue. He is being asked to go out because he was insulting other political parties, that is unparliamentary – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I advise the Hon. Member that if he did not hear him properly, I kindly request you to refer to the Hansard tomorrow.  Everything will be recorded accurately in the Hansard.  What we do in this House is done in an orderly manner.  Thank you.

          HON. T. MOYO:  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want to thank you for recognising me and also to add my voice to the report by the Hon. Chair of the Committee of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I found this Bill very progressive Madam Speaker Ma’am because patriotism and nationalism are very important, especially in nation building.        The Patriotic Bill is very important and also not new to Zimbabwe.  In the United States of America Madam Speaker Ma’am, they came up with the United States Patriotic Act in 1917 and the Act is still there.  The current President of the United States of America, Joe Biden supports this Act and every Senator in the United States of America voted in favour of the Bill which led to this Act. 

When we talk of a Patriotic Bill Madam Speaker Ma’am, it is very important for people in a given State to respect their sovereignty, territorial integrity and self-determination.  As Zimbabweans, we want to support the crafting of this Bill and also the clauses associated with it.  The Bill is also against those people who sell-out on their independence.  We have seen a number of our Zimbabwean countrymen who have gone out to call for sanctions on Zimbabwe and that is unpatriotic for those individuals to go to the United States of America and western capitals to call upon foreign States to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe; that is tantamount to espionage Madam Speaker Ma’am, where you sell secrets of your own country; where you take information and give foreigners, strangers of what obtains in your own country.  This is terrible, such behaviour must be punishable.  I want to move that people must be imprisoned for not less than 20 years for being unpatriotic.

This Act also is against people who practice balkanisation and by balkanisation Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am talking of people who go out to other countries and recruit youngsters for purposes of invading their own State.  Balkanisation is an act of terror because when one is not patriotic, that person becomes a terrorist.  A terrorist is a person who instils fear upon other people or practices certain acts that will lead to fear being affected by or being instilled on fellow countrymen.  We want this Bill to be enacted to become an Act of Parliament.

Also associated with this Bill are progressive clauses such as the issue of rape Madam Speaker Ma’am, whereby some people rape minors or force themselves on women or men.  Rape can be perpetrated by women but in the majority of cases, it is the men who take the lead in rape.  I want to support the report by the Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that sentences should start from 15 to 20 years.  I also want to submit Madam Speaker Ma’am that castration is another option in addition to the imprisonment that is being proposed here.

The issue of drugs Madam Speaker Ma’am is also very important in this Bill.  Quite a number of people are profiteering from drug abuse.  People use those porous boarders to bring in cocaine and so on and those musombodhia and that has affected the majority of our youths who are partaking in these drugs.  It is a generation that is being destroyed.  So, we need to come up with these pieces of legislation that will make it criminal for anyone who is seen manufacturing or selling those drugs and must be imprisoned. 

In Zimbabwe, we have seen some “industrialists”, or those people who are manufacturing these drugs being imprisoned.  So this is a progressive Bill that will need a unanimous support of everyone across the political divide.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I so submit.  Thank you.

HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE:  Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to debate on the report that was presented by the Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on this Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill.  I have just been going through the clauses in the proposed Bill.  There are actually four of them and going through the four clauses, I think that three of the clauses are those I could consider patriotic in my view.

Clause One just talks about the title of the Bill but Clause 3, which is the second one talks about the clause that will amend Section 65 of the Principal Act to put 15 years as the minimum mandatory sentence for rape.  There has been widespread concern over the rising incidents of heinous crimes of sexual violence and rape and it has been seen fit that more deterrent measures be put in place to stamp out the crime.  I fully support this proposed amendment and believe that crimes of sexual nature …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! May you be connected Hon. Molokele, may you please connect!

HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I am sorry I had not connected.  I was saying that I fully endorse Clause 3 because it will add weight to the ongoing fight to gender equality in this country in terms of the 2013 Constitution of this country.  We know that crimes of sexual are on the rise in this country.  We know that 43 years after Independence, women continue to experience, every day, gender-based violence and of sexual nature.  So it is very important for Parliament of Zimbabwe to enact laws that help our judiciary to make sure that those offenders of sexually related or criminal offences are seen to be facing justice.

To date, public opinion is clear that a lot of these sexual offenders or criminals who conduct offences of a sexual nature are getting away with that. One of the concerns is that the laws have been too lax, they have been relaxed, giving too much leeway and at the end of the day, we have seen some of these perpetrators getting away with murder. Parliament of Zimbabwe is doing the right thing, to tighten the screws to make it harder for every one of these prospective criminals. In the process, Parliament of Zimbabwe is helping the fight to promote gender equality in this country because no woman can feel equal to any man as long as they are exposed daily to all forms of sexual crime.  I fully support the efforts of Parliament. As a He-for-She champion, I am very excited and very happy and we pray that as Parliament of Zimbabwe, we continue to find ways to support our judiciary to ensure that all forms of crimes of a sexual nature are obliterated from this country and the end goal being to promote gender equality so that women are equal citizens in this country.

I want to turn to Clause 4. I also support this clause and it seeks to amend Section 155 of the principal Act on the definition of the dangerous drugs to include prepared opium, prepared cannabis resin and a schedule of drugs. It further adds the definition of industrial hemp. This clause is also most welcome. Everyone is aware that in this country we have seen a serious vice in terms of drug abuse. Our youths everyday are exposed to drug abuse. As Parliament of Zimbabwe, it is our duty to make sure that we enact legislation that adapt to the ever-growing concern. We are losing a lot of our people in this country, especially our young people to drugs. As Parliament of Zimbabwe, it is our duty to make sure that we pass laws that will make it easier for the judiciary to join this fight against drug abuse, especially against drug dealers.

It is important that we also look at this list because it is updating the types of drugs that are exposed in this country. My only concern is that we need to find ways to include – I do not know maybe it is English, I did not see things like nyaope and so on that are harassing our people at the moment. A lot of these drugs that are popular, we need to double check the list to make sure it is very comprehensive. The most popular drugs that are being abused in this country, especially if you consult amongst the young people of Zimbabwe, they will tell you the drugs that are giving us a headache. It is important for Parliament to pass new laws that tighten the screws around this concern. Drugs can ruin the nation and our young people’s future is at stake. We need to do something and Parliament of Zimbabwe is doing the right thing.

I also endorse Clause 5 which seeks to amend Section 174 of the principal Act. The current framing of the offence of criminal abuse of office as provided for in terms of Section 174 (i) is very broad in its scope and that gives room for public officers to be prosecuted for honest mistakes made during the course of their duties. Hence the amendment will limit the crime to include the essential element of knowledge on the part of a public official that his or her conduct was illegal. I think it is very important that we add this to our legislature because it helps us to fight the scourge of corruption in this country. We want our civil servants, our public officials to conduct themselves in the most dignified and respectable manner to avoid any form of corruption. Where we find an instance where they did not willfully do that and mistakenly did so, they need to be protected by the law. Some of them have got a lot of experience and in our civil service, we find some of the most patriotic Zimbabweans who could by virtue of their skills, qualifications or experience leave the country anytime but they continue to work under the most difficult social economic conditions. Such a person can be lost out of a genuine mistake. So it is important that we enact such kind of laws that help to protect them in such kind of situations and to make sure that our public officials do not go into a situation where they are deemed as criminals when they are not necessarily intending to be criminal in terms of intention. I am happy with Clause 5. I am just desperate to see if there is any way we can protect our public officials or civil servants so that they can work freely in this country and support the development agenda of Zimbabwe.

Last but not least, Clause 2, this is the clause that I have a lot of difficulties with. Clause 2 is that one that inserts a new section, Section 22 (a) of the principal Act. Our constitutional order of Zimbabwe that is based on Parliamentary Democracy affords many avenues for aggrieved citizens to redress their wrong internally, including against the State. It is therefore improper for citizens and residents of Zimbabwe by recourse to foreign countries, to seek to implement measures that undermine our sovereignty, dignity and independence as a nation. This clause will criminalise such conduct.

It is very important for us as an august House to make sure that we uphold our responsibility to promote all the intentions of the 2013 Constitution which is a homegrown Constitution that was adopted through National Referendum. It has one of the most progressive Bill of Rights in all of the Constitutions in the world comparable to the one of South Africa, the 1996 Constitution of South Africa. We, as Zimbabweans, are very proud to have such an expansive Bill of Rights among whose rights that it promotes its freedom of expression, freedom assembly, freedom of association. These are sacrosanct rights that we as Zimbabweans must promote knowing that out of our colonial experience from 1890 to 1980, as the majority of Zimbabweans we were never afforded such kind of rights. We were treated as subjects. We were not treated as citizens.

One of the grounds of the liberation struggle was freedom. Freedom for everyone, whether white or black. In this country, 43 years after independence, it is important for this august House to make sure that whenever such a piece of legislation comes into the House, it passes that test of freedom. We are not supposed to reduce it into a political discourse. We are always supposed to make sure that it remains a national discourse. It should not be a law for the short-term gain. It should be a law for the long-term gain. It should be a law that should stand the test of time, whether there will be a Second Republic, a Third Republic, a Fourth Republic, a Tenth Republic, such law will remain strong and respected by all generations of Zimbabweans as a law that upholds freedom and democracy.

When we enact a law that seeks to promote patriotism, we need to be very clear that any form of emotional overtone informed by the current political discourse are not supposed to be the guiding principles. What should inform us are aspirations of the liberation struggle, freedom being the foundation of our hopes and expectations from each and everyone of the parliamentarians here. Freedom is a very powerful word. It gives you the capacity to dream and it gives you the capacity to hope. At the end of the day, if citizens of Zimbabwe feel unfree, feel restrained and constrained, Zimbabwe has no future.

I have a big problem with this clause. The first one is that it tries to reduce the definition of patriotism into a political discourse. Patriotism must never be reduced into a political discourse where if I do not agree with this certain political perspective, then I am seen as an unpatriotic person. This is ridiculous. It is manifestly unconstitutional. It is prima facie violating the Constitution that we, as Zimbabweans, in 2013 afforded to say that we want to promote freedom of expression in this country. We want to promote freedom of association in this country. We want to promote freedom of movement in this country and then we go and enact a law that makes it personal to resolve opinion through a criminal offence. Each Zimbabwean is entitled to have a different opinion from the next Zimbabwean and if we try to create this law, we will fall into danger of repeating the previous mistakes. We have made a lot of mistakes since 1980.

Let me give you examples. In 1982, liberation war Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku were arrested. They were detained several times repeatedly. In the context of this law, they would have been defined as unpatriotic. In the context of this law, if you read it properly, they were going to be criminally found guilty according to this proposed law. We all know that in 1986, 1987 negotiations occurred between ZAPU and ZANU PF and a few years later, Dumiso Dabengwa was a Member of Parliament. A few years later, Dumiso Dabengwa was a Minister of this country, the same person that could have been a criminal in terms of this law.

So, what we are saying is, yes, it is good that we have the authority to pass laws but it is bad for us to abuse that authority and use the current political discourse because tomorrow, it could be you. Life changes, tables turn. Ian Smith lived to see the new Zimbabwe. Ian Smith was in this House for seven years after independence when he said there will not be any black majority rule in this country for 1000 years. Ian Smith died having seen the black majority rule.

The laws that they passed; the Law and Order Maintenance Act, among other most repressive laws were the laws that he witnessed after independence. So, tomorrow it could be you.  You are a Minister under the ZANU PF Government, tomorrow you are in opposition under the opposition ZANU PF. Life can change, tables can turn, so do not use the political discourse to create a law that is meant for generations to come. Fifty years from now there might not be a CCC or ZANU PF just like there is no PF ZAPU. What I am trying to saying is, let us not make the mistake of passing laws that focus on the current political situation that we have. Let us create laws that will make us proud even 100 years from now and laws that promote freedom.

With this clause, I am very unhappy also that it does not take time to define terms that are likely to be abused for political discourse. I propose that Section 22 (a) which talks about willful injury and the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe, subsection (1) where it says “in this section, it defines active partake, agent or proxy or entity, economic sanctions or trade boycott and meeting” but I think we should add new definitions. It should define sovereignty, what is sovereignty? Let us add a definition of “sovereignty” on an objective test level.

 Let us also define what "national interest” is and another word “patriotism” so that if this same law is passed and goes into the Judiciary or court of law, we will not make it difficult for the judges. They should be able to have an objective test. So, I am proposing that we insert definitions of patriotism, sovereignty, national interest and even nationalism. Let us make sure that even if the ruling party is now CCC, it is still standard definition, not personal. That is what I am proposing.

Also, I wanted to say something about the Zimbabweans who are living outside the country. Instead of using Parliament to enact laws that make it difficult for them to participate in our democracy, we must enact laws that make it easier for Zimbabweans. The population of Zimbabweans who are living outside the country is now into millions. We need them, they are part of us and wherever they go they remain Zimbabweans. Our laws must be crafted in such a way that if I am a Zimbabwean who lives in London today and I have an opinion about what is happening about Zimbabwe, it should not be at risk of being criminalized.

I am having problems with this clause because it should have been an opportunity to include the diaspora community to participate in the national discourse. Let us use this clause to explain how Zimbabweans who are living outside the country can also play a role in contributing to the national development of our country instead of manifestly criminalizing their participation because one of the key components. I am worried about  the fact that they are using this situation where someone speaks on an international platform and maybe a Zimbabwean who lives in London, they are invited to speak about what is happening or your views about your country, and the next time they want to apply for a passport they are told you are not a patriotic Zimbabwean.

This is someone who loves their country. They can get citizenship of the British or American people but they are maintaining the Zimbabwean passport and citizenship because they went to U.K because of social economic reasons, not political reasons. Back in Harare, they are deemed as a criminal and unpatriotic. Next time they come with their children or family to visit Victoria Falls, they are arrested at the airport and told you are a criminal because you are not patriotic. This is a very ridiculous law. I am urging all Members of the House, both the ruling party and opposition, to take a second look at this clause and make sure that it is not passed the way it is.

In my other life, I am a trained lawyer and one thing I wanted to say, there is no way the court of law can allow such a manifestly unconstitutional clause which is too broad for interpretation to pass through. So, we must take time and the Committee must take time to make sure that they tighten this clause and make sure that the new definitions are added so that it is not prone to political abuse but it is used to promote national development.

HON. BITI: This is a very short Bill that is speaking only to four issues. The first issue which I will end last are the amendments to Sections 20, 21 and 22 of the Criminal Procedure which deal with crimes against the State; the imposition and expansion of treason and sabotage and of course, the extension of penalties to those that are allegedly unpatriotic. The second issue pertains to the imposition of mandatory sentences for rape. The third issue pertains to the expansion of the definition of what are dangerous drugs and lastly, the amendments dealing with the issue of abuse of office in an attempt to curtail the wide definition of abuse of office.

I want to dispose two, three and four very quickly. We support the proposed amendments to Section 138 of the Code which seeks to limit the wide expanse of Section 138, the definition of abuse of office. I want to support members who recognized that civil servants exercise a lot of discretion and often times that discretion is exercised in good faith bona fide but sometimes it turns out that the beneficiary of that discretion abuses that. It does not criminalise the officer and the officer should not be frozen in a situation where he cannot even breathe because fear of breathing makes it a criminal offence.

I remember many years ago, the then Assistant Commissioner Chihuri was prosecuted for exercising a discretion against the non-prosecution of a certain person. The matter went all the way to the Supreme Court and Justice McNally issued a judgement that said, ‘if a person holds power, he must exercise discretion and all discretion should be criminalized’. So, we support that. I have seen prosecutors freezing failing to exercise common sense for fear of abusing their office and therefore, prosecuted in terms of Section 138. So, we support that.

We also very quickly support the proposed amendments to do with drugs. Drugs are evolving. When I grew up, the only drug that was an issue which was prepared commonly known as mbanje, now you have got all kinds of things, there is heroin and cocaine that is being smoked in this country.  I want to apologise to those who take this because some of these drugs are not smoked, they are taken intravenously. There is guka, mutoriro vana vari kustika Madam Speaker Ma’am.  So, we need to deal with the scourge of drugs, we need to expand.

If you go to court 14, there is a prosecutor there called Tsokota. All he does is prosecute people for crystal meth. It has got a complicated scientific name which I cannot pronounce otherwise ndinonyadzisira but the fact of the matter is that we need to expand the definition, we need criminal penalties.

 My only problem with the current proposal is that we are only dealing with the small fish, the small fish that is selling or buying but there are real drug dealers selling drugs in the Avenues and so forth.  So we need provisions that seek to deal with the supply lines of drugs.  Unless and until we deal with the supply lines of drugs, we have a problem.

The third issue is the issue of rape.  Here we seek to impose severe mandatory penalties for rape committed in aggravated circumstances.  Rape is terrible; it is an invasion of human rights.  I would argue that rape is the ultimate form of invasion.  Therefore, it deserves a harsh penalty.  However, having said that, we must trust the courts, the courts right now, if you read the newspapers, have been imposing stern measures, for 15 years, 14 years. We need to trust the courts by not imposing laws that restrict their hands.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, Section 61 of the Constitution says a person is entitled to a fair trial that involves the examination of the question of criminal liability and the question of the sentence.  A court must be able to investigate the two issues, one of liability – is this person culpable and also the issue of the penalty?  A law must not tie the hands of the adjudicator, the Judge, to simply look at conviction without also looking at the appropriate penalty.  The Judge or magistrate must also be allowed to look at the appropriate penalty and if these judges are well trained surely they will understand that rape is a vicious crime and we need to impose a vicious penalty. 

I have a problem personally with mandatory penalties because they mistrust the judiciary, they tie the hands of the judiciary. Madam Speaker, now, internationally, mandatory penalties have been questioned as being unconstitutional because they tie the hands of the adjudicator. There is a case in Uganda called the Case of Alice Kigula.  That case dealt with the imposition of a mandatory sentence of death in a case of capital punishment and the Ugandan Constitutional Court held that the imposition of a  mandatory penalty is unconstitutional because it ties the hand of the adjudicator, the judge.  The Executive is interfering with judicial independence, judges must look at both the sentence and the penalty.  So, I would submit that we should trust the Judiciary, we should give them guidelines.  They are already imposing, there is a judgment by Justice Ziyambi where a rapist was given 30 years.  So even that which we are talking about now is behind.

The Kigula Case was actually followed in Malawi in the case of State versus Kafantayeni which also held that mandatory penalties are unconstitutional.  So, I submit Madam Speaker, through the Minister of Justice that let us trust the courts.  Let us not impose mandatory penalties because they have got the unfair issue of tying the hands of the judiciary.  Perhaps the judge wanted to impose 30 years and you are saying 15 years, trust the judiciary. 

Let me now come to the controversial issue.  Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe is broken and polarised.  We speak across each other, we sprinkle tangential to each other.  Forty-four (44) years after independence, we have failed to craft a common vision.  We have failed to craft common ethos that unite us as a people.  We have failed to answer the national question, what does it mean to be a Zimbabwean? We all have different answers.  Hon. Molokela from Hwange will have a different discourse on what it means to be a Zimbabwean particularly if you come from a so-called minority tribe.  What does it mean to be Nambya, a Tonga, a Hlongwe, Shangani in Zimbabwe?  We have different narratives because the train of independence treated us differently.

Madam Speaker, if you look at social media, the levels of toxicity and intolerance are huge, and the levels of chasms are huge.  We are as close to Rwanda in 1994 as we have ever been because of these huge chasms of intolerance and indifference.

The Constitution says we are united in our diversity but the challenge is that we have not been able to handle our differences well.  We have weaponised our differences and the consistent history of this country has been a history of failure.  A history of failure in managing differences.  The first Chimurenga of 1896 was a reflection of a failure to manage differences between the white settler and those of us who were here, our forefathers.  The struggles that happened in the forties where the likes of Benjamin Burombo ended up in colonial prisons were a by-product of failure to manage differences.  The Land Apportionment Act of 1931 and the imposition of the Apartheid State of Rhodesia was a reflection of the failure to manage our difference.

Gukurahundi, 1982 to 1987, 20 000 to 30 000 people were killed is the highest expression of failure to manage our differences.  The clean-up operation Murambatsvina of 2005 was yet again a failure of our inability to manage differences.  The violence of 2008 in which thousands were displaced, in which men were killed in places like Chaona in Mashonaland Central, and places like Headlands, again was a failure to manage our difference. 

We have spent the last 44 years at each other’s throats.  Right now, we are about to go into another election and every average Zimbabwean dreads an election because an election represents the highest expression of failure to manage our difference.  When we fail to manage our difference, that is happening because we have never been able to talk to each other, we have never been able to dialogue. 

Hon. Hamauswa quoted the Chapter of Kenneth Kaunda’s biography written in 1964.  What Kenneth Kaunda wrote in 1964, Frantz Fanon had written 10 years before in his book, the Wretched of the Earth Chapter 4, the Pitfalls of National Consciousness.  In the Pitfalls of National Consciousness, Frantz Fanon speaks about the inability of what he calls the comrades of accommodation and dialogue.  What this nation needs is national healing, national reconciliation, dialogue, a new consensus, and recalibration of the national question.  What is the national question, I come from Binga, what does it mean? Am I a Zimbabwean?  If you go to certain parts of Matabeleland, right now, 44 years after Independence, the people are alienated. They feel like they are fourth class citizens of this country because Independence came like a whirlwind and left them. What we need are things that bring us together and not things that divide us apart. This particular provision divides us apart. After all, it is totally unnecessary and fictious because everything it seeks to do is already criminalised.

          If you go outside and call for a war or sabotage against your country, the law already provides that in Section 20, 21 and 22. Treason is a crime in Zimbabwe. Sabotage is a crime in Zimbabwe. The only thing new that is sought to be criminalised is what is to be perceived words of mouth. There is no individual who is more powerful than the Government. There is no individual who can successfully call for sanctions, it is not possible. It is a myth. It is fiction. It does not happen. Governments are independent and they function on their own. This provision is totally unnecessary and divisive.

          Hon. Minister Ziyambi has just come from Cairo where there was a round table conference on Zimbabwe’s debt. A lot of progress has been made. This kind of provision undoes that progress. The kind of provision that we incorporated in the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Act undoes that progress because they paint and portray us as an extractive, vicious and intolerant country. I submit that we need to convert these vicious cycles of conflict and indifference, cycles of violence like Gukurahundi and cycles of extraction that 44 years after Independence, we have one broadcasting station called ZBC.  I was watching it on Sunday, the ZBC is still fighting a war that finished in 1979. ZBC divides us upon those who went to war and those who did not go to war. It is a false ideology. Going to war cannot be a licence for any entry. What about those of us who were too young to go to war.

          We cannot function on a false liberation mindset, a false liberation mindset that operates on three things like entitlement – we are entitled to this because we fought in the war. That operates on impunity – we can get away with anything because we fought in the war. That operates on Messianic complex – if we cannot get it, no one else can get it. In the Solomonic parable, it is the mindset of that woman that says let us cut the baby in half. Our country is suffering because of three issues, entitlement, impunity and scorched earth approach. It cannot work. We need love.

          To quote President Mugabe in 1980, let us turn the bullets and guns into ploughs to move our country forward. I would submit that let us convert these vicious cycles of conflict and indifference into virtuous rainbow cycles of inclusion. Clause 3 certainly does not do that. I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. First of all, I want to thank the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice for the report and the contributions that he gave and the Committee. I also want to thank the Hon. Members who debated. By and large, the report by the Committee was very progressive indeed and the issues that we have raised, we have taken note of. I will not get into details about their report.

          I also want to thank Hon. Mushoriwa for the debate. I do not see him here. He stood up to debate and his was just a debate to make a political statement. I did not pick anything that was specifically related to contents of the Bill like what other Hon. Members did. I also want to thank Hon Chinotimba, he was very supportive particularly on one clause of the Bill, he spoke passionately about it. That is very progressive.  I also want to thank Hon. Nduna. Allow me to thank Hon. Molekele, he debated clause by clause and I must say that today he is one of the few who spoke about the Bill. His debate focused on issues that were in the Bill. I want to thank him because he focused on issues that were in the Bill, whether he was supporting or not but his debate was focused on issues that were in the Bill.

          He spoke about the mandatory sentence which he believed is a progressive clause. He spoke about the issue of drugs, that is Clause 4 and his issue was that we must broaden it. I agree that this issue is an evolving one where we need to be alert and include species of drugs so that we can protect our society. I agree that as we get more information, if we find a way of ensuring that perhaps in regulations, we change the definition of dangerous drugs as they evolve, that would be very helpful because the issue of drugs has ripped through our society. It is something that is cause for concern.

          He also spoke about the issue of criminal abuse of office, again the intention in coming up with this amendment, this is one of the most abused laws in our statutes. If you want to charge somebody with bribe and if you fail to find essential elements to satisfy the crime of bribe, you just say criminal abuse of office and you arraign them to court. Most of the time these are innocent civil servants who were trying to serve their country and they would find themselves being constrained and not allowed to use their discretion. So, we want to bring in that element that allows the prosecution to show that they had the intention to do that and benefit out of their action. I agree and I want to support that.

          He went on to speak about Clause 2 where he believed that this clause infringes on freedom of expression. He was very passionate about encouraging this august House not to pass this Bill, I do not agree with that. The intention really is, we had to broaden this particular section of our Code because we believed, as alluded to by Hon Biti, that we must engage each other and be able to differ but in a manner that does not injure the sovereignty of our nation.  Even though we are in argument, sometimes it is not necessary to call for sanctions against your own country because those sanctions will not only affect those that you think you are targeting, but the generality of the population.  We have all experienced it, even Hon. Members no matter which party you belong to.  If you want to open an account somewhere, they will start referring to those sanctions and it becomes a very difficult situation.  We are simply saying that those who go out there to discuss issues that will injure the sovereignty of their own country and not just have a general discussion but there are certain discussions where you now want to persuade foreign governments to put measures that will injure your country.  That becomes dangerous and that is what we are talking about.  By and large, I believe Hon. Chair that this is a very short Bill and the amendments that we are proposing are just five clauses. 

Let me thank Hon. Biti for his articulate presentation which I followed attentively.  We differ on one and I agree with him partially on the issue of mandatory sentencing that the trend worldwide now is to give our judicial officers discretion but the issue of having a mandatory sentence for rape, particularly for our country, stems out of the fact that the generality of our people believe that our laws are lenient, so let us put mandatory sentences as a deterrent.  Nevertheless, the general direction that is believed to be democratic is to allow the judiciary the discretion to impose an appropriate fine without the issue of mandatory sentencing.  I do believe that in our setting, it is progressive to have that mandatory sentencing for now, because as alluded to by Hon. Biti, it is a heinous crime against a person that the offence has been done and we believe that for now we should have that law in our statutes and have the mandatory sentencing.  Having said that, I move that the Bill be read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage:  With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

CRIMINAL LAW CODIFICATION AND REFORM AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 15, 2022]

House in Committee.

          Clause 1 put and agreed to.

          On Clause 2:

          HON. BITI: This provision in Clause 2 is very wide.  It is extremely wide.  A law must be enforceable and my suggestion is that we need to deal with a number of issues.  Firstly, the issue of penalties.  The issue of termination of citizenship is clearly unconstitutional. Cancellation of permanent residence is also very unconstitutional and the issue of prohibition from being a registered voter is unconstitutional and disproportionate and the issue of filling of a public office is also unconstitutional.  I propose that we remove lines 5, 10, 20 and 25 on page 3 of the Bill that deals with alternative penalties so we reduce it to – ‘a fine not exceeding…’ However, even before we go that far, there is a problem with this provision.  It says, “Any citizen or permanent resident of Zimbabwe (hereinafter in this section called “the accused”) who, within or outside Zimbabwe actively partakes (whether himself or herself or through an agent, and whether on his or her own initiative or at the invitation of the foreign government concerned or any of its agents, proxies or entities) in any meeting whose object the accused knows or has reasonable grounds for believing involves the consideration of/or the planning for the implementation or enlargement of sanctions or a trade boycott against Zimbabwe (whether those sanctions or that boycott is untargeted, or targets any individual or official or class of individuals or officials, but whose effects indiscriminately affect the people of Zimbabwe as a whole or any substantial section thereof) shall be guilty of willfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe and liable to…” So it is saying any meeting that one participates in whether - okay, let me be systematic.  Let me start with 3(2) which is already part of our treason laws and I would argue that we do not require that because it is already part of our treason  and sabotage laws but the new thing is therefore, subclause 3 of Clause 2.  What the provision does, it takes away lease rae, it takes away mental intention [HON. ZIYAMBI: Which one are you referring to?] – The one which says ‘any citizen or permanent resident of Zimbabwe, who within or outside Zimbabwe actively partakes or through an agent and whether on his or her own initiative or have an invitation of the foreign Government concerned or any of its agents in any meeting whose object or one of its objects the accused knows or has reasonable ground, believes involves the consideration and or the planning or implementation or enlargement of sanctions or trade boycott against Zimbabwe.  Whether those sanctions or that boycott is targeted or untargeted, any individual official but whose effects indiscreetly affects the people of Zimbabwe as a whole, shall be guilty of ruefully damaging the sovereignty and national interests of Zimbabwe and liable to’.

          So, this provision is too wide.  What are we trying to criminalise?  If we are trying to criminalise the attendance at a meeting which discusses this, then the person must have mens rea.  The person must know that this meeting is going to discuss such sanctions.  As it is, it is too wide.  So, you can be trapped.  - [HON. ZIYAMBI: It is a meeting which you know.  So, you have reasonable ground to know.  If you know you have mens rea, you have knowledge of that.] –

I have just come from a public meeting in South Africa, on Friday.  It was discussing the environment.  It was called the Earth Gathering.  It was discussing things like de-cabornisation, digitalisation, data and so forth.  Someone in that audience asked me a question because I was on the podium - you people, the Government of Zimbabwe, they are stealing too much.  That was not on the agenda.  I can be criminalised because of this provision.  I did not go there to discuss that.  I went to discuss digitalisation, de-cabornisation, new fancy words that I now know. Suddenly someone brought me to gold mafia and then I am criminalised.  So, there must be clear mens rea. – [HON. ZIYAMBI: It is there.] – I will show you, it is not there. 

If you go to Clause 5, it says ‘in any prosecution of an offence against subsection 3, it shall not be a defence that the accused did not at first know or realise that the meeting which is subject to the charge  involved the consideration of sanctions against or top boycott of Zimbabwe’  So you are now taking away that defence, like in my case, I am discussing rhino poaching –[HON. ZIYAMBI: Continue, what it says] – it says, which is subject to the charge involved, if after that topic was raised by any participant at the meeting, the accused can be proved to have promoted, advanced, encouraged or advocated for the imposition of sanctions or trade boycott; why do you need to take away that defence, why are you qualifying that defence. – [HON. ZIYAMBI: Iyi ndoyatozo ita zvive right. The moment you start supporting and advocating, even when you did not know when you get there.] – Look, this provision - at what stage do you say people are discussing sanctions because she can go to PAP and people start discussing about economic difficulties in Zimbabwe.

I for instance love the Minister of Finance, Hon. Mthuli Ncube and I start saying the bond note is a collapse, the bond note is a failure.  I start discussing about gold mafia, saying there are people that are smuggling our gold.  That can easily be taken to be calling for sanctions on Zimbabwe but it is not.  So, we need to make sure that we know what we are talking about, which is an act of active harm to Zimbabwe.  That should not be mental intention.  That should not be mens rea.  So, we should qualify that by stating you must have a deliberate intention of harming Zimbabweans or individual Zimbabweans but you cannot stop me from saying Mthuli Ncube is a natural disaster, Patrick Chinamasa was better, you cannot say that.  Whether I am saying it in Beijing or India or Honolulu, I have got a constitutional right to say that. – [HON. CHINOTIMBA: Zvauri kutaura izvozvo zviri mo] – No, it is not sufficiently making that distinction, vaChinotimba, it is not sufficiently making that distinction.  So, imi mukaenda ku ILO kuGeneva, mukanotaura kuti Mthuli haasi kubhadhara vashandi, mava kutonzi maita masanctions.  Mukati arikubira vanhu nemabond notes, mava kutonzi maita masanctions. - [HON. CHINOTIMBA: Inaudible interjection.] -   Inzwaika, ndini gweta, ndiri kuti inini segweta, mutemo uyu hausi kuita distinction between legitimate, lawful discussion on Zimbabwe and what this Bill is intending to deal with, which is an actus reus invitation of harm on the country.  Let us make that distinction because we cannot stop vaChinotimba, we cannot stop kudiscusser mbavha dziri kuba goridhe redu.  –[HON. ZIYAMBI: We want to criminalise munhu arikuita active participation yoku injure Zimbabwe.  So, tell us, how do you want to word it?] We agree that is ok, that is what we want to criminalise, wording haina basa] – Manyorere avatoita iwayo akatonaka.  Kana pane chizvarwa chino pusher kana kukumbira zvitongo against Zimbabwe, yaita mhosva.  Asi pakukumbira uku hazvisanganise kodzero yomu Zimbabwe yokukurukura zviri kuitika muZimbabwe. 

Imimi vaMataranyika makapfuura noku law school.  This provision is not sufficiently making that demarcation between allowed free speech and what you are trying to criminalise, which is a deliberate conscious invitation of penalties against the sovereign republic.  [HON. CHINOTIMBA: Unoda kuti zvinzii] – Zvavanga vatoita ivava zvakatonaka.

HON. MADZIMURE: Hon. Mataranyika, you support such issues to pass, these are some of the issues, zvakaita kuti vamwe vange vari kuKenya vakagara uko.  Taimbovaudza kuti zvamunoregedza zvinhu zvichingopfuura izvi muchifunga kuti muri kudealer nevanhu vari reasonable, you are dealing with unreasonable people.  Takambovona rimwe zuva mumwe achiseterwa so.  Iwe discussion yachoka, you know what you are discussing about and then someone just brings in a new issue – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Munombozvifungireiko izvozvo, ndiani wamurikufungira izvozvo.

HON. HAMAUSWA: Chairman, Zimbabwe joins an international law, which says if the parties to this law breach provisions of this particular law, there are going to be sanctions.  When you are talking of sanctions, it is a too broad word which you need to define in this law, which we are making.  When you are talking of sanctions, for example what happened to ZIFA or to our football whereby we were found to be in breach of the statutes of FIFA.  As a result, we were sanctioned as a country.  So, when you just say sanctions in broad terms, you are then not specifying – [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. DR. MAVETERA):  Order Hon. Members.  May we please wait until the Minister is back.  Order, order Hon. Chinotimba! 

          HON. MADZIMURE:  Chair, Clause 2 that we are talking about is a very dangerous Clause.  Why, because it entirely depends on the interpretation of the one listening to what you are saying – [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  Madam Speaker, I am talking of the interpretation by a person.  – [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): On Clause 2, (3), which states that any citizen or permanent resident, I propose that we change it to read as follows: “Any citizen or permanent resident of Zimbabwe who is within or outside Zimbabwe, intentionally partakes at the invitation of a foreign government in a meeting whose object the accused knows, or has reasonable grounds for believing involves the consideration of or the planning of the implementation…” and then it goes on like that. So, that is the change that I propose. It will cover what Hon. Biti was speaking about and everything. It becomes very clear.

          HON. BITI: On those penalties Madam Chair and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the additional - I propose that the provision dealing with additional penalties be removed so that on page 3 of the Bill, you said ‘a fine not exceeding level 12, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or both’, then you say ‘additional’. Why do we not just say alternatively? Remove additionally or just say alternatively.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Let me explain something. Hon. Chair. Hon. Biti was worried about termination of citizenship. Those that have citizenship by registration who have acquired our citizenship and then they go to other countries to advocate for this action that we are criminalising, we do not have any reason to keep the citizenship. This is not talking about you and me. You and me, we will send you to jail but foreigners who acquire our citizenship, we will cancel it and we deport you. If you acquire our citizenship, you can be registered as a voter and we can take it away and we deport you.

So, this provision is not speaking about you because there are laws that prohibit us from leaving you and me stateless. What we are doing is if somebody comes from Zambia and then starts advocating that we give him citizenship by registration and starts advocating that there must be sanctions against Zimbabwe and it is proven in court; on the motion of the prosecutor, we can take away that citizenship and deport you to Zambia in addition to ten years. We send you for ten years and after that, we deport you because you are an undesirable person.

The problem is there are certain individuals who may be sent by their countries to destabilise us. That is the reason why we will jail you and after that, we make sure that you leave but you and me, we cannot take away your citizenship. So I can remove ‘additionally’ and say ‘alternatively’ but the rest is okay. Even if we say alternatively, it does not mean to say you are not going to jail. It is on the motion of the prosecutor to add that. The additionally does not help anything even if we remove it. Read it correctly and you will see that we will still send you to jail.

A fine not exceeding 12 months or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or both or alternatively on the motion of the prosecutor to any one of the following.  So the ‘additionally’, we can remove. It is citizen by registration – [HON. BITI: Aiwa (c) iyo prohibition for being a registered voter or voting at an election for a period of… So makumurambidza kuti avhote munhu iyeye.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Chair, I move the amendments standing in my name that I have proposed.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Can you please approach the Chair?

          Amendments to Clause 2 put and agreed to.

          Clause 2, as amended, put and agreed to - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections, divide the House!] –

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Members, where is this coming from? – [HON. MEMBERS: The Hansard has already indicated that the AYES have it, - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - [HON. MEMBERS: Divide the House!] -

- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICLE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Chair, can we report progress and seek leave to sit again.

          House resumed.

          Progress reported.

          Committee to resume: Wednesday, 31st May, 2023.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Four Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.

 

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