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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 8 JUNE 2023 VOL 49 NO 47
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 8th June, 2023
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
*HON. PRISCILA MOYO: I rise on a point of privilege Mr. Speaker. I wanted to commend the gowns. We are happy and thankful that the Government has noted that we should not continue putting on colonially designed gowns yet we are in a new dispensation. We thank the Government for that. thank you Hon. Speaker.
*HON. HWENDE: My point of privilege concerns the ruling that you made three weeks ago in this august House regarding the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. From that time, there are developments that have taken place, the rate is now too high. When you made the ruling, the rate was around 1:2000 but today, the rate is around 1:7000. Mr. Speaker, you insist that Ministers should come to Parliament but Ministers do not come to Parliament because they are not worried about salaries. They have per diems of $10 000 and other amounts when they go out of the country. I came across an army sergeant with a pay slip showing RTGs86 000 Mr. Speaker Sir, you always urge Ministers to attend and answer questions but you find that Ministers do not come to the House. I request that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development should come to this august House, if it is possible, he should come today. If he cannot come, we can sit tomorrow Friday.
HON. R. R. NYATHI: On a point of order Hon. Speaker Sir. I just want to say the Hon. Member (HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections) – No, he says a Sergeant Major is earning RTGs86 000 in the army, that is not true – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, every Member has a right to speak. The Hon. Member has raised a point of order that is permissible, please refer to the standing orders.
HON. R. R. NYATHI: Hon. Speaker Sir, my point of order is on the fact that the Hon. Member, when he expressed his facts, he was right on other facts but when he said a sergeant major in the army is earning RTGs86 000, that is not true. There is not even a Private in the army who is earning that much. Everyone is now earning far much more than that. I am not here to disclose other peoples’ salaries but that is not true.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, when I say order, I expect order, otherwise I will order you out - that is unpalatable. Thank you. We did not see that pay slip.
HON. HWENDE: I have it.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Let us have a look.
HON. HWENDE: No, it is in my bag and it has a name.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no, I just want confirmation.
HON. HWENDE: Okay Hon. Speaker, I will come to your office.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no, just now – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Order, order, - [AN HON. MEMBER: I have a pay slip here, Hon. Hwende, you can give the Hon. Speaker this one, not that one it has a name] – [HON. MADZIMURE: Iyo yaenda.] –
Hon. Hwende approached the Chair. [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende, where is the slip? Can you sit down while you look for the information? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Order. Hon. Hwende, part of your point of privilege is not accurate when you say people who go out bring back USD10 000.00, that is not correct – [HON. HWENDE: It is correct.] – No, it is not. I am in the administration.
HON. HWENDE: Hon. Speaker, maybe you can give us an example of what you are paid when you go out. How much do you get?
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is not correct because you are given according to the destination rate for payment and each country is categorised so much per day which enables one to pay for hotel accommodation accordingly – [HON. HWENDE: How much is it?] – You want me to tabulate for all the countries? Please do not ask for that. – [HON. HWENDE: Inaudible interjection.] – Please sit down. The gist of the matter you have requested is for the Minister to come and address the House on the issue of inflation, that is the most fundamental. The Minister has travelled and I think he is back now. We will ensure that if he cannot make it tomorrow, then next week when we meet – [HON. HWENDE: Yesterday he was in Gweru addressing ZANU PF candidates on the state of the economy which is the same thing that he is running away from.] – He was addressing people where? – [HON. HWENDE: In Gweru, he was addressing winning ZANU PF candidates on the state of the economy.] – He has to come here. I agree with you.
HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: I would like to add to the fact that there is also the US component on the soldiers’ salary advice – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. There is a US component, she is right– [HON. HWENDE: It is a COVID allowance. Why are you doing this to the soldier] –My friend, you are not a general – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. NDUNA: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 24 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 25 has been disposed of.
Hon. Nduna having answered back to what Hon. Madzimure had said.
THE HON. SPEAKER: When you have addressed the Chair, do not entertain side-lines please.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION TO EGYPT ON A BILATERAL VISIT
Twenty-fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation to Egypt on a bilateral visit.
HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order, yesterday the Government had its business that was left unattended and…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please, speak to me so that I can hear you.
HON. MADZIMURE: I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir. The starting point is that Standing Orders were suspended in preference to Government business. We have a report that was tabled here that you promised that we were going to debate today, which is Government business. So, I humbly submit that we go to the Government first, dispose of that business and go on to do other business.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The issue is that I think Hon. Nduna would like to second the motion. That is all.
HON. NDUNA: I wish to send the report of the bilateral visit to Egypt which Hon. Speaker, the delegation you headed yourself...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry, Hon. Nduna. I needed to put the question.
Question again proposed.
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can I clarify, there is a difference between prioritisation of Government business, that does not mean that is exclusive. We can debate other motions as well. Thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for a well-rounded tutelage. I wish to second the report of the delegation that you led to Egypt, this report was presented in this House by Hon. Brig. Gen. Rtd. Gwanetsa. There are three issues that he touched on in that report that are very key; the issue of business integration, in particular the exchanges for business with Egypt, aware that the Egyptians hosted our liberation war heroes during the protracted liberation struggle with our erstwhile colonisers, the British.
I want to say one airline that I am alive to is the Egyptian airline which has about 68 aircrafts and going to more than 81 destinations. We can learn a lot from such an airline Mr. Speaker. Looking at the African Day theme of 2023, it speaks to and about the expeditious implementation of the Intra-Africa Trade and in particular, the Africa Free Trade area. Here is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to have bilateral relations with Egypt to enhance and expeditiously implement the Africa Free Trade Area and the Intra-Africa Trade, in particular in aviation.
Having seen that air Egypt goes to more than 81 destinations, it is key that because it goes to all these destinations and it is in an alliance with other airlines, in particular one alliance which has a number of airlines in it, Air Zimbabwe and indeed other airlines that criss-cross the width and breadth of Zimbabwe, can definitely together with the national airlines of the Egyptian Airways, make robust, resilient, effective and efficient air travel that speaks to the Yamoussoukro Declaration, which is the open skies policies. I have spoken about the African Day theme, especially for 2023 which in my view speaks to the delegation that you led and what came out of it in terms of bilateral relations on business.
Touching now on the liberation status that we got through Egypt which hosted our liberation war cadres who include the President, H.E Dr. E.D Mnangagwa who was also trained in Egypt, Egypt has continued to be a friend to Zimbabwe. If they could be our friend during the liberation struggle, it is key that the relationships that are going to come out of this delegation or visit are going to see us making sure we learn a lot in terms of the Pan Africa Liberation Museum that is being established in Warren Park that we can learn and get a lot from Egypt in terms of capacitating our Pan Africa Liberation Museum. This came out of your report and it is applaudable.
Coming now to health issues that were spoken to and about by Hon. Rtd Brig. Gen. Gwanetsa, we have seen recently a delegation led by the Hon. Vice President, Rtd. Dr. C.G.N Chiwenga in terms of health. Health is wealth and the Egyptians definitely can inculcate in our doctors a lot of knowledge in terms of the healthcare delivery system. So, your delegation in terms of bilateral relations bordering on health, was very key in that regard.
Immediately after your visit, we then saw a high-powered delegation which was led by the Hon. Vice President visit Egypt on a health expo. We believe out of such a visit, there is going to come out a lot of health practitioners and in particular, medication. We have just seen and have heard here when the Vice President came to this House to talk about the capacitation and the copious amount of medication and medicine that is there in the warehouses of NATPHARM and this also came out as a result of the relationship that we have with Egypt.
The report also touched on issues to do with Tanzania and Egypt, the relations that are sour for now because of a dam wall – [HON. R. NYATHI: Ethiopia] – Ethiopia, I beg your pardon, that needs to be built by Ethiopia on the Nile River or at a confluence or right in the middle of the Nile River, to which you urged both parties to show restraint and actually go for arbitration if they have to, so that there is harmonious relationship, cordial to say the least, in order that there is continued peace unmatched because Africa is now totally independent from colonial rule.
That advice from your delegation and in particular yourself Mr. Speaker, was quite applaudable in terms of countries showing restraint. You can see the intra- fighting that is currently obtaining in Sudan does not do anyone any better. Because Africa is now in totality, independent of any colonial involvement, it is now time for Africa to be economically independent and what a better way to be independent economically than to have cordial relations with one another.
As I end, Egypt has robust, resilient, effective and very efficient infrastructure development. We can learn a lot. Zimbabwe is a nation that is growing in terms of infrastructure development. We are growing in terms of our transport sector, in particular the railway and also the issue of energy delivery. We have the Batoka which is a joint energy project between Zambia and Zimbabwe and we can learn a lot in terms of hydro-power generation from the likes of Egypt and also Mr. Speaker Sir, whilst I talk of the power generation, I am alive to the fact that there is the establishment of the Inga Dam that is still on the cards. It is going to generate more than 10000 megawatts and is going to see Africa and indeed Zimbabwe also having optimum power generation. So, there is a lot that we can learn in terms of power generation from Egypt.
As I conclude, the issue of infrastructure development, road network rehabilitation, reconstruction, rejuvenation- I could not say anything more than to look at the infrastructure of Egypt and ensure that we mirror the same here in Zimbabwe because in 2010, our engineers are the ones that built stadia in South Africa for the world cup, second to none. We have expertise, resources and 90% of the materials used in road construction is locally available. You have seen what the Second Republic has done on the pencil thin highway of death which is the Masvingo-Beitbridge-Harare highway. It has now been reconstructed second to none in a way that is unmatched globally. So, we can learn a lot from Egypt and reconstruct a lot of our dilapidated, deplorable and disused road network to mirror the infrastructure and road network in particular in Egypt.
I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively and efficiently second the report on your delegation to Egypt in February 2023 in the manner that the people of Chegutu West Constituency would have me debate, in particular, Chairman Lameck Nyamarango, Charles Makoni, Sarah Chikukwa, Patricia Nyamadzawo, Daniel Million and indeed Mufundisi Chasauka. I thank you.
HON. R. R. NYATHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would also want to add a few facts that I learnt from the report tabled by Hon. Gwanetsa and seconded by Hon. Nduna. I learnt that Zimbabwe has got a lot to learn in matters of solar energy and what we are now terming the renewal green energy. As much as you know that because of climate change, it is important for us now to shift from the old types of providing energy to the most modern ones which are also good for us in terms of health. The other thing I want to mention was the issue that Egypt was at the center of standing with Zimbabwe in terms of imposition of illegal sanctions. They also supported us during the liberation struggle and they still stand as our co-partners in making sure that Zimbabwe is successful. I also want to congratulate Egypt because it is in Africa and you are aware that most people were complaining they could not have COP-27 in Africa, but Egypt came out fine and did a wonderful job. We are very happy as Africans that we showed the world that we are capable of doing greater things. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to add a few words.
HON. NDUNA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MAHLANGU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday 13th June, 2023.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. NDUNA: I move that we revert to Order of the Day Number 17.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE 61ST SESSION OF THE OACPS PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY AND THE 4TH SESSION OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY HELD IN MAPUTO
Seventeenth Order read: Report of the 61St Session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the 4th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Maputo.
HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: I move the motion in my name: That this House takes note of the Report of the 61St Session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the 4th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Maputo Mozambique on 25th October to 2nd November, 2022.
HON. R. R. NYATHI: I second.
HON. PRISCILLA MOYO:
1.1 The meetings of the 61st Session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the 42nd ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly were held at the Joachim Chissano Conference Centre, Maputo, Mozambique from 25th to 28th October 2022.
1.2 The delegation from Parliament of Zimbabwe comprised the following:
Hon. Ltd General (Rtd) M. R. Nyambuya, Deputy President of the Senate and Head of Delegation,
Hon. P. Moyo, Member of Parliament,
Hon. E. Mudzuri, Member of Parliament,
Ms. G. Pise, Counsel to Parliament,
Ms. B. Sibanda, Principal Research Officer,
Mr. O Muchenu, Security Aide to the Deputy President of the Senate,
1.3 Also in attendance were officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International trade comprising:
Mr. M. Mukura,
2.0 OACPS PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION
2.1 The president of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly, Honorable Peter Kenilorea informed Members that preparations for the 10th summit of Heads of State and Government to be hosted by Angola, were at an advanced stage. Members were encouraged to sensitize their respective leaders to attend the upcoming summit as well as advocate for women, youths and the diaspora attendance at the summit.
2.2 Members were further informed that the Luanda summit will explore the need for having more new strategic partners and enhancing trade among OACPS states.
2.3 Parliaments were urged to play a role in inputting into the discussions as well as attend the 10th summit meetings.
2.4 Members expressed hope that the 10th Summit will strengthen the relationship within the OACPS. They emphasised the need to strengthen trade within OACPS countries and that the summit should provide hope for the challenges being encountered in signing of the new agreement.
2.5 Parliaments were urged to make laws to promote trade amongst OACPS.
2.6 The OACPS are against balkanization of the region and expressed dismay with the new shape. They are also not happy with governance structure of breaking up the ACP-EU JPA, and that it does not recognize the oversight committees, swap of EDF with a new fund which has current stringent conditions
2.7 Members were informed that South Africa left the OACPS and expressed regret over the development.
3.0 MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE ON POLITICAL AFFAIRS
3.1 The OACPS members of the Committee on Political Affairs held a meeting on 26 October 2022 to discuss the topic; ‘Challenges in Maritime Security’, during which Members were urged to advance common efforts in addressing maritime threats. These threats include illegal and unregulated fishing, attacks at sea, terrorism, piracy among others.
3.2 Members emphasized the need to save oceans from increasing exogenous pressure, by promoting resilience and sustainable use of the oceans in order to achieve SDG 14, and to address issues of maritime security as per the commitment in the new OACPS EU Agreement.
3.3 Hon. Ltd General (Rtd) Nyambuya added his voice that though Zimbabwe is a landlocked country, it appreciates the challenges which countries with oceans face. He emphasized the need to assist each other with necessary information and intelligence to enable recovery to those that are incurring losses as a result of poaching.
3.4 The Mauritius delegation supported the maritime security report, and noted that as an island country, the blue economy is a driver for its future growth.
3.5 Delegates from Guinea weighed in that as a coastal country, it is a maritime economy drawing economic activity from the Atlantic Ocean. They noted that the use of maritime space can lead to conflict in terms of maintenance and sharing of borders.
3.6 Cote d’Ivoire emphasised the need to address contamination of seas by exhaust and waste which is dumped into the waters and negatively impact on tourism.
3.7 The Committee further discussed the topic; ‘Peace and Security in the World” and the political situation in member countries.
3.8 The delegation from Togo informed members that the political situation in Togo is stable, after undergoing 3 major crises namely COVID 19, the War in Ukraine and terrorist attacks at its Northern border. They indicated that Togo is implementing proposed recommendations and extended its state of emergency on the 6th of September by another 6 months. The delegation indicated that the country is facing high cost of living challenges. Terrorist attack on troops on the Northern border-l7 soldiers died and 4 injured.
3.9 Delegates from Cote d’Ivoire informed delegates of the passing on of former Deputy Speaker on 7th October 202. They indicated that there had been an improvement in the security situation since May 2022 due to strategies implemented. They informed delegates that there is a crisis emanating from 49 Ivorian soldiers that were detained in Mali after being arrested on 10th June 2022 on accusation of attempting on the state of Mali. They requested the OACPS to attend to the issue and contribute to resolving the situation. Members were informed that Togo is mediating and is expected to come up with a beneficial outcome.
3.10 Kenya reported that it held peaceful elections which were won based on an economic agenda as opposed to a tribal agenda.
3.11 Chad informed members that it held a dialogue which resulted in resolution for an extension of the transitional government.
3.12 Zambia informed members that it is peaceful and very stable after general elections in 2021 and peaceful hand over of power and that its currency is performing well.
3.13 Uganda informed the meeting of the passing on of the Uganda Parliament Speaker in March 2021, who was then replaced by a female Speaker. Members of the delegation highlighted that Uganda is doing well in terms of women recognition as it has its1st and 2nd prime ministers being female as well as a female Vice President.
3.14 Tanzania reported that it is carrying out peaceful preparations for its local government elections in 2 years’ time, and is making efforts towards healing political wounds and creating harmony.
3.15 Guinea Bissau reported that it is stable and fortunate to not have encountered any terrorism.
3.16 Vanuatu informed members that it is going through political transition which has resulted in the dissolution of its Parliament. The delegation highlighted that the country is facing a global climate emergency which is impacting on vulnerable communities. The delegation informed members that the country passed a resolution in parliament to present an opinion to the UN General Assembly for the ICC to intervene for legal action on the Global North on climate change action. The delegation requested for the support of the OACPS to vote for the resolution.
3.17 Cameroon informed delegates that it is facing security challenges from Boko Haram and other armed groups attacks on civilians. The country is engaging in national dialogue ongoing to resolve conflict.
3.18 Mauritius informed members that all election challenges by opposition were won in favor of the ruling party.
3.19 The DRC delegates reported that the country is stable, but has challenges with security situation. They indicated that the country has been dealing with war for decades and its situation is deteriorating daily. The delegates thanked all countries that are providing support to the DRC.
3.20 Liberia reported that the country is calm and has political stability as a result of its conducting free, fair and credible elections. They informed delegates that the country will be going for elections in October 2023, and is amending its electoral laws to recognize dual citizens to participate in electoral processes. They reported that they introduced biometric voter registration.
3.21 Guinea reported that its political situation has improved following the transition process led by 3 women political mediators appointed by the President working with the ECOWAS mediators. The country agreed to a 24 months transition and has ongoing trials for crimes committed in Guinea. The country is implementing recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
3.22 In conclusion, the Chairperson emphasized the need for parliaments to push their respective governments to pay up contributions. He informed members that Europe who has been funding Head of Delegations is facing financial challenges and therefore parliaments should be ready to take over the expenses. He made a call for a declaration in the Assembly to thank Mozambique for hosting the 61st Session of the OACPS and the 42nd ACP-EU JPA.
3.23 Members were informed that the OACPS is now an institution according to the Georgetown Agreement and should consider self-financing should the EU be unable to finance the organization.
4.0 LUNCHSIDE EVENT HOSTED BY VANUATU
4.1 Delegates to the OACPS joint parliamentary session in Maputo, Mozambique, were invited to a special event organised by Vanuatu about an initiative to bring climate change to the UN’s International Court of Justice.
4.2 The initiative recognises that the planet is facing an existential climate crisis and that International Law already contains obligations to prevent harm to the environment and protect human rights.
4.3 The UN’s International Court of Justice is the only principal organ of the UN System that has not yet been given an opportunity to help address the climate crisis.
4.4 A growing coalition of more than 80 nations is calling for a non-binding Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice to gain clarity how existing International Laws can be applied to strengthen action on climate change, protect people and the environment and save the Paris Agreement.
4.5 Vanuatu is leading a core group of nations on the drafting of a question to ask the Court, including Antigua & Barbuda, Costa Rica, Sierra Leone, Angola, Germany, Mozambique, Liechtenstein, Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Singapore, Uganda, New Zealand, Vietnam, Romania and Portugal.
4.6 The ICJ climate Resolution will be tabled during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly requesting the International Court of Justice to provide an advisory opinion on the obligations of States under international law to protect the rights of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change.
5.0 COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, FINANCE AND TRADE
5.1 Members noted the need to diversify economies.
5.2 Tax avoidance and money laundering were noted as a cause for concern in the region.
5.3 Members were encouraged to enact laws to counteract terrorist funding and money laundering. OACPS members called for engagement and transparency rather than unilateral black or grey listing by the EU. Members were informed that the list was updated on the 4th October and of the countries on the list, 6 are OACPS members.
5.4 Delegates noted that blacklisting has an adverse effect for countries on the list, as investors hesitate to invest and the cost of transacting goes up.
5.5 Some OACPS countries have their embassies shut down because they could not operate when their bank accounts were closed.
5.6 OACPS members that all of its members are potential candidates for the list hence the need to for dialogue.
5.7 Members noted that unilateralism should not occur in a partnership and that there is need for respect for each other.
6.0 COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
6.1 Members for the Social and Environmental Affairs Committee of the OACPS parliamentarians met and among several issues, discussed a motion on road safety.
6.2 The parliamentarians called for rigorous implementation of road safety laws; better maintenance of the roads; introduction of better technology with the law-enforcement agencies.
6.3 Reckless driving was noted to be a major cause of road traffic accidents (RTAs), hence the need to design policies to protect citizens.
6.4 Delegates from Cameroon noted that RTAs are a serious concern due to inadequate public transport in the country. The country ratified the African Charter for Road Safety and put in place regulations on importation of second-hand vehicles that ensure safety.
6.5 The Mozambique delegation supported the motion and noted that fatalities on roads are a public health issue in Mozambique.
6.6 The delegation from Sierra Leone emphasized the need for strong legislation on road safety and its enforcement. They further noted the need for ratification and domestication of international agreements on road safety.
6.7 Mauritius added its voice and submitted that there is need for access to finance to improve road infrastructure. The delegation further noted that drug abuse also contributes to RTAs.
6.8 The delegation from Surinam opined the need for a holistic approach to the matter. They noted that rising sea levels are presenting a challenge to small island countries, hence need for funding to construct new roads and connecting routes.
6.7 Cote d'Ivoire suggested the need to promote electric vehicles which will address both climate change and RTAs due to speed limits on electric vehicles.
6.8 The delegation from the Gambia noted that poor road network in their country is causing RTAs.
6.9 Hon. Ltd. General (Rtd) Nyambuya added his voice by emphasizing the need for legislation to make it mandatory for police and public officials to wear body cameras to reduce corruption.
6.10 Hon. Nyambuya further emphasized the need for regulation of importation of second-hand vehicles that have a short life span or that are unroadworthy. He noted the need to improve rural and urban planning for proper traffic flow, as well as planning ahead rather than reacting to traffic jam crisis. He called for the availing of soft loans by the international finance institutions to enable building of infrastructure in ACP countries.
6.11 The delegation from Ghana noted that three major contributors to RTA are the state of road, the driver and the state of vehicle
6.12 On the motion on ‘Climate change and availability of water’ members noted the need to improve distribution of portable water even in rural areas.
6.13 The delegation from the DRC urged members to focus on investing more in water subsectors and the ratification of international instruments.
6.14 Cote D'Ivoire noted that illegal gold panning is polluting water sources, and hence there is need for strategies to fight illegal gold panning.
7.0 61st SESSION OF THE OACPS PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
7.1 The 61st Session of the OACPS PA was chaired by the President of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly, Hon. Peter Kenilorea Jr of the Republic of Solomon Islands. He welcomed delegates and new Members who had been assigned for the 1st time, from Angola, Bahamas, Comoros, DRC, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Uganda.
7.2 He noted the need for induction of new Members to enable them to understand procedures and allow smooth running of meetings. A proposal for an online session for orientation of new Members was made.
7.3 He thanked co-rapporteurs for coming up with the draft resolution and requested Members to enrich the resolution by submitting amendments by 22nd November.
7.4 The President urged Members of Bureau to coordinate within the regions they represent.
7.5 Assistant Secretary General responsible for political affairs and human development, Dr Ibrahim Nobert Richard informed members of the withdrawal of South Africa from the OACPS.
7.6 He informed the meeting that South Africa wrote the letter in September 2022 stating the reason that they are redeploying their foreign policy efforts to other regional groupings. Efforts were ongoing to engage South Africa to reconsider its decision, while taking note and respecting its sovereignty.
7.7 The delegation from Mali recommended for the Southern Region to send a delegation to engage South Africa to ascertain the reason for leaving and urge the country to rejoin the organization. Other Members weighed in that all diplomatic efforts should be made to engage South Africa to reconsider its position.
7.8 The Assistant Secretary General emphasized the need for Members to pay up their contributions in order to strengthen the Parliamentary dimension of the ACP-EU relations. There was a proposal for availing of the list of status of contributions for all members.
7.9 The OACPS called for peace between Ukraine and Russia.
7.10 Members emphasized the need for action now, by developed countries, to address climate change.
7.11 Members noted with concern that the unilateral blacklisting of financial institutions by the EU negatively impacts on vulnerable economies.
7.12 During the sitting of the 42nd ACP-EU JPA, a resumption meeting of the 61st OACPS Parliamentary Assembly was held. The purpose of the meeting to exchange views on the voting position of resolutions.
7.13 On the withdrawal of South Africa, members were informed that the bureau would constitute a small team to visit South Africa and engage. Members from Southern Africa in the bureau will play a key role. Members from other regions were to be part of the delegation.
7.14 Members were notified that Malawi had put its motion on hold.
7.15 Members were informed of the unanimous support for the motion- 'Ensuring Market Access for OACPS Commodity Producing Countries Through Enhancing Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns'. There were minor amendments meant to enrich the text with no fundamental changes to the meaning.
7.16 On the motion 'Global Challenges on Climate Change Cooperation for Adaptation and Mitigation in the Wake of COP 27' members were informed that the Russia-Ukraine war had caused counties to renege on their commitments hence there is need for more time for consultation.
7.17 Members were informed that co-President Kenilorea would guide OACPS members on the voting patterns.
MEETINGS OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
8.0 ACP-EU JPA WOMEN'S FORUM
8.1 During the meeting, delegates noted that early marriages have a negative impact on economies and infringe on children's rights. It was noted that child marriages are not only a challenge in ACP countries, but also in India, France and Germany and that the Covid 19 pandemic worsened the situation.
8.2 The AU is making efforts to end child marriages, especially in Mozambique and the DRC where there are high incidences
8.3 Countries were urged to enact laws to curb violation of children’s rights and punish those who force children into early forced marriages.
8.4 To achieve SDG5 and women's empowerment, there is need for concerted efforts by everyone to sensitize against early marriages.
8.5 Members noted that young men are also victims of forced marriages, and hence there is need to protect the youths’ future.
8.6 Participants emphasized that the JPA resolution of 2010 for equal representation of women and men must be implemented. There is need to put incentives for women to take up positions traditionally reserved for men.
8.7 Delegates were informed that Mozambique implemented various programs to end Early Forced Marriages, gender Based Violence and discrimination against women, and the participation of women in leadership positions is increasing in Mozambique.
8.8 Participants were informed that moments of conflict subject women to gender-based violence. A presenter from Human Rights Watch explained the plight of women in Cabo Delgado who experience Gender Based Violence, rape, mental health challenges of raising children in difficult situation. She emphasized the need to provide social, and health care to survivors.
8.9 The need to combat cross border women trafficking, bring perpetrators to book, provide funding to support survivors, and place women at the center of dialogue on ending conflict was emphasized.
8.10 Hon Moyo shared how Zimbabwe is promoting gender equality by empowering women. She highlighted that Section 17 of the Zimbabwean Constitution has mandatory gender equality and that Ministry of Women Affairs and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission are specifically established to ensure gender equality.
8.11 Hon Moyo further highlighted that the Zimbabwe Marriages Act bans child marriages and the Children's Act criminalizes facilitating child marriage, with the Education Act amended to give a chance to girls who fall pregnant at school to return and continue with their education after giving birth.
8.12 Participants proposed to come up with a Maputo Convention with resolutions whose implementation would be tracked during each sitting.
9.0 ACP-EU Youth Forum
9.1 During the Youth Forum meeting, participants noted that education is key to youth empowerment.
9.2 Participants noted that the youths should be given a chance to get into positions of authority.
9.3 Delegates further noted that the use of technology should improve youths' lives.
9.4 The need to raise awareness on the risks of free access to technology was emphasised.
10.0 ACP-EU COMMITTEE ON POLITICAL AFFAIRS
10.1 Members of the Committee discussed the topic ‘Challenges in Maritime Security’. During its presentation, the UN Office dedicated to support countries to ensure legal framework to support maritime security, that is, illegal fishing, pirating, human trafficking and other crimes).
10.2 Maritime crimes are evolving and becoming more dangerous with the modus operandi of perpetrators becoming more complicated. Therefore, the 1982 Convention on Maritime crimes need to be interpreted in the current context.
10.3 There is need for strong checks and balances since maritime crimes are transnational, multidimensional and multifaceted through enhancing multilateral cooperation, international law of the sea (UNCLEAS) and the need for joint effort to resolve the challenge.
10.4 The need to safeguard livelihoods of families that depend on fisheries and aquaculture was emphasised, as well as the need to ensure safety and security on the seas.
10.5 The EU explained how it is supporting maritime security globally, for example, it extended its provision of security in the Gulf of Guinea.
10.6 Ambassador Martin Kimani, Kenya Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council made a presentation on the ‘State of Peace and Security in the World’.
10.7 He emphasised the need for revitalisation of multilateralism and noted that African countries are facing instability, unconstitutional change of governments and terrorism.
10.8 He highlighted the security threats in the various African regions and the need for mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change.
10.9 he noted that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a sign of weakness of peace and security stability systems in Europe and therefore, Europe must work towards stabilising itself.
10.10 Members of the EU condemned Russia for waging war in Ukraine and thanked Kenya and other few countries for voting in support of territorial integrity.
10.11 The OACPS countries called for peace between Russia and Ukraine and condemned those countries that are supplying guns which is worsening the situation. They compared the situation to those supplying weapons to terrorists in the DRC.
10.12 Members noted that the ‘Political Dialogue in Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement’ provides a unique platform to discuss a wide range of issues with 52 countries from the OACPS. It provides dialogue on issues of terrorism and extremism, maritime security, among others as well as current issues on the international agenda, for example, COVID-19, climate change, which are issues on the UN security agenda.
10.13 The Post Cotonou framework will include new separate regional Parliamentary Assemblies, for the Caribbean, Pacific and Africa as well as the joint OACPS-EU Parliamentary Assembly. Its aim is to exchange mutual understanding, cooperate and coordinate on issues of common interest.
11.0 ACP-EU COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, FINANCE AND TRADE
11.1 The joint meeting considered the topic ‘Money laundering practices and terrorism financing’, and both sides agreed that states need to do everything possible to stop money laundering and tax avoidance to ensure stability and integrity to the financial system.
11.2 The OACPS is highly dependent on international finance system and is willing to cooperate with the EU.
11.3 The OACPS condemned the unilateral blacklisting of OACPS and called for dialogue and cooperation between parties and bring transparency to the issue. Some OACP countries are struggling to get off the EU blacklist which is unfair to OACPS.
11.4 The members from the EU indicated that the FAFT and the blacklisting is a measure to cope with illicit financial activities and is not meant to punish countries. They indicated that steps are underway to simplify the EU blacklisting process.
11.3 The EU was urged to provide technical capacity to vulnerable economies due to climate change and other challenges.
11.4 On the ‘Impact of the food and energy crisis on OACPS countries’ the meeting noted that the Sub-Saharan has the largest deficit on energy, the Caribbean highly dependent on tourism revenue and that the Pacific region is reliant on fossil fuel.
11.5 The EU promised to accelerate use of green energy and technical support to use of green energy and to accelerate access to financing.
11.6 The members emphasised the need to find sustainable solution to this challenge and move from fossil fuels which are in the hands of a few and boost the use of renewable and cleaner energies.
12.0 OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE 42ND SESSION OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
12.1 The President of the Republic of Mozambique, President Nyusi, welcomed delegates and acknowledged the importance of the OACPS-EU platform in discussing various issues concerning the OACPS and the EU.
12.2 He noted that the platform represents about 900 million people and gave an account of the history of the OACPS-EU partnership.
12.3 He expressed hope that the platform would allow Members to share experiences and come up with solutions to the world challenges which include terrorism, climate change among others.
12.4 The President acknowledged the support it is getting from Rwanda, the EU and SADC in fighting terrorism in Cabo Delgado.
12.5 He informed delegates that Mozambique is intensifying its efforts to fight illicit financial flows (IFFs) and money laundering. He further explained that the country is reforming its intelligence efforts in order to counter IFFs and money laundering.
12.6 He expressed gratitude for the election of Mozambique to be President of OACPS and co-president of the OACPS-EU JPA.
SITTING OF THE 42ND SESSION OF THE OACPS-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
13.0 STATEMENT BY HON. PETER KENILOREA JR, OACPS CO-PRESIDENT OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
13.1 Hon Kenilorea, President of the OACPS and Co-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly thanked Mozambique for hosting the 61st session of the OACPS and the 42nd session of the OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. He announced that he had reached the end of his tenure thanked and members for the support rendered to him during his tenure as president of OACPS countries and co-president of the JPA.
13.2 He noted that Russia-Ukraine conflict was negatively impacting on the global food supply chain, and called for a peaceful solution to the crisis.
13.3 He urged unity of purpose in order to overcome the enormous challenges currently at hand.
13.4 He congratulated Hon. Anna Rita Sithole, of Mozambique who was elected the new president of the OACPS president and co-president of the JPA beginning January 2023.
14.0 SPEECH BY CARLOS ZORRINHO, EU CO-PRESIDENT OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
14.1 Hon. Zorrinho thanked the Mayor of Maputo and Hon. Ana Rita Sithole and their team for their cooperation in the preparation and delivery of the Assembly.
14.2 He noted that there had been a rise in the challenges and threats around the world in the form of the COVID pandemic which continues to stifle its effects on the world economy. He further noted that war and confrontation are spreading and that climate change is increasingly causing droughts, floods and other destruction phenomena that affect people.
14.3 He emphasized the need to regain multilateral solidarity, from which the United Nations, the ACP-EU partnership and the African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly are supports forming a foundation for starting a new cycle of trust and cooperation.
14.4 He condemned Russia-Ukraine war for causing destruction, suffering and food shortages.
14.5 He thanked Hon. Kenilorea for working with him well during his tenure.
15.0 STATEMENT BY DUBRAVKA ŠUICA, VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEMOCRACY AND DEMOGRAPHY
15.1 The Vice President of the European Commission noted that realizing the need to improve access to education, they came up with the Global Gateway Investment Package. He emphasized that education is a fundamental right whose access should not be compromised.
15.2 He further noted the need for active participation of children and the youth, as well as the need to improve political participation for young people.
15.3 He highlighted that the EU is focusing on improving access to vaccines and is providing financial support in different countries.
15.4 He urged Member countries to draw lessons from experiences, and improve agricultural production in to address food insecurity.
15.5 He further emphasised the need to conclude and sign the Cotonou agreement and urged parties to conclude their respective internal processes.
15.6 The Vice President of the European Commission noted the need to harness available resources in agriculture as a response to the Russia -Ukraine crisis induced food shortages.
15.7 During debate, the delegation from Kenya thanked the assembly for adopting the Maputo declaration on gender equality and stressed the need for gender equality in the bureau.
15.8 Burundi reported the lifting of sanctions on Burundi by EU following improvement in various sectors and the rule of law.
15.9 The delegation from Trinidad and Tobago queried why some members of the OACPS had their accounts terminated by the EU with no explanation or alternative options to which the Vice President of the European Commission responded that it is a business decision by individual banks and the matter does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Vienna Convention.
16.0 ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMISSION ON THE RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED AT THE 41ST SESSION OF THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
16.1 Members were informed that the EU committed 30% of the European Development Fund towards addressing climate change and introduced the EU pacific green blue alliance.
17.0 CONSEQUENCES OF THE RUSSIAN WAR IN UKRAINE ON FOOD SUPPLIES IN OACPS COUNTRIES AND BEYOND
17.1 Members were informed that the EU is making efforts to get food supplies from Ukraine and distribute to the world.
17.2 Members noted that many OACPS countries are dependent on Russia and Ukraine for food and fertilizer imports.
17.3 Members of the European Parliament implored members of the OACPS to condemn Russia for the war in Ukraine as it will destabilize food supplies to the world.
17.4 Delegates were informed that the EU is supporting members of the OACPS through the European Development Fund. They noted the need to support local food systems and respect dietary sovereignty of states.
17.5 Members from the OACPS called for a peaceful solution to the Russia Ukraine conflict.
17.6 The OACPS members noted the need to improve food and energy production models by embarking on natural farming methods and moving away from dependency on fossil fuels in the food production chain. Countries were urged to produce their own food.
17.7 Members were informed that the EU channeled 600 million euro towards food mobilization.
17.8 Hon. Nyambuya added his voice to the debate and emphasized that the food crisis is an indictment on Africa which has 60% of the world’s arable land. He urged member countries to invest in promoting agriculture and fertilizer production.
18.0 DRAFT RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE ASSEMBLIES UNDER THE POST-COTONOU AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF VIEWS ON THE FOUR DRAFT TEXTS SUBMITTED BY THE JPA DRAFTING COMMITTEE
18.1 Members of the OACPS proposed the retention of the Committees for the OACPS.
18.2 They bemoaned the splitting of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions as it weakens the OACPS grouping. They queried why the EU was maintained as one grouping while the OACPS was broken into three sub-groupings.
18.3 Members were informed that the post-Cotonou agreement initially had no Parliamentary dimension but negotiations were done to maintain the Parliamentary dimension, which then came with the three regional parliaments.
18.4 Members from the OACPS reiterated that the reason in coming up with OACPS was for a common good, that is, to have strength in numbers and unity of purpose, hence viewed the divide and rule as not desirable.
18.5 Members from the OACPS expressed disappointment with the Executive for accepting the balkanized agreement, and resolved to review the decision in line with article 7 and 18(2) of the rules of procedure.
18.6 Co-President Kenilorea noted the concerns of Parliamentarians and informed them that a special OACPS session will be held in March 2023 where respective ambassadors will be invited for exchange of views and voting on the matter.
18.9 A proposal was made to institutionalize the Women and Youth Forums by appointing women and young Parliamentarians to become members and champions of the forum.
19.0 THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
19.1 Members agreed on the need to counter terrorism in order to allow citizens to live without fear.
19.2 Members condemned countries who supply and organize channels of weapons, drugs and money laundering.
19.3 Members from the EU expressed their commitment to assist in fighting terrorism.
19.4 Members from the OACPS noted with concern that Africa has few industries that manufacture weapons, and suggested that conspiracies that bring weapons to Africa must be addressed. They noted with concern that some terrorists are more armed than national armies in some African states.
19.5 The delegation from Mali narrated how terrorism is negatively affecting communities and called for genuine solidarity from everyone to end terrorism.
19.6 Members noted that there is need to address factors that influence people to enter into terrorism, for example, poverty, inequality, poor governance, displacement among other. They noted the need to engage communities involved in terrorism to find solutions.
19.7 Members noted the need to cut off terrorists’ source of funding and source of weapons and to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation to fight terrorism.
19.8 Hon Nyambuya added that there is need for a coordinated global approach in fighting terrorism and noted the successful efforts being made by SAMIM and Rwanda in helping to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado. He further noted that international military and intelligence sharing is necessary in order to fight terrorism.
19.9 He emphasized the need to eradicate poverty and for states to adopt sustainable development policies and equitable distribution of resources.
19.10 Members from the EU offered to partner OACPS countries in fighting terrorism.
19.11 The delegation from the DRC informed the meeting of the occupation of its Northern region by M23, who have sophisticated weapons, and emphasised the need for solidarity in ending the proliferation of weapons. They urged neighboring countries to desist from supporting terrorist groups.
20.0 GLOBAL CHALLENGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE COOPERATION FOR ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION IN THE WAKE OF COP 27
20.1 Members noted that climate change is threatening to reverse the progress in development made in the last 40 years.
20.2 Members noted the need to empower communities by ensuring water availability and self-sustenance in food production.
20.3 OACPS members called upon the developed countries to honor their pledge on climate change financing.
20.4 Members noted the need for countries to raise ambitions so as to reduce emissions and to reduce deforestation and move away from fossil fuels.
20.5 OACPS members noted that they are the least emitters but are facing most consequences and urged developed countries to reduce emissions and honor their pledges.
20.6 Pacific countries expressed concern on their increased vulnerability due to the rising sea levels and called for urgent support towards mitigation and adaptation measures.
20.7 The Zimbabwe delegation added its voice on the need for developed countries to honor their pledge to finance investment in renewable energy.
21.0 ENSURING MARKET ACCESS FOR OACPS COMMODITY PRODUCING COUNTRIES THROUGH ENHANCING SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS
21.1 Members noted that trade is a major contributor to economic growth and the EU is a major trading partner to OACPS countries.
21.2 The delegation from Cote D’Ivoire noted that Cocoa producers in Cote D'Ivoire and Ghana have made efforts to comply with requirements for cocoa production but their efforts were not recognized by the EU.
21.3 Members noted that free trade has improved living standards globally and that Economic Partnership Agreements are contributing to trade diversification.
21.4 The OACPS were urged to increase trade amongst themselves.
21.5 Members noted that bananas in Africa are being produced in the most sustainable way but producers suffer from competitiveness challenge and require support for them to be able to compete fairly.
21.6 The need for capacitation in areas of power generation and transportation in order to support production was emphasized.
21.7 Members of the OACPS reiterated that they need assistance in commercial agriculture and not subsistence farming.
21.8 Members noted that many OACPS countries are facing challenges in exporting to the EU, despite healthier and sustainable farming methods and called for support to OACPS farmers to enable them to meet the required standards.
22.0 A NEW FRAMEWORK TO ADDRESS BIODIVERSITY CRISIS: LEVERAGING ACP-EU PARTNERSHIP IN SHAPING THE NEW FRAMEWORK TO HALT THE LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY AND PROMOTE ITS SUSTAINABLE USE AND CONSERVATION IN THE WAKE OF COP15’
22.1 Members noted that biodiversity underpins economic growth and sustainability and that food security depends on healthy biodiversity systems.
22.2 Members were informed that the EU is taking various measures to promote biodiversity, including doubling its funding for biodiversity to its partners. The EU is assisting partners to tackle biodiversity loss.
22.3 Members were informed that population growth, economic growth, climate change, among others, are contributing to biodiversity loss, hence the need for a collective global response to the challenge.
22.4 Delegates learnt that there are about 1 million endangered species and that 7 billion Euros were allocated by the EU towards promoting biodiversity.
22.5 Members stressed the need for tailor made solutions for each region.
22.6 Members from the OACPS expressed concern that some harmful pesticides that are banned in the EU are still being manufactured in the EU and exported to other countries. These pesticides are putting the biodiversity systems under threat.
22.7 A call was made to put in place sustainable food production models by providing education, financing for institutional capacity building and to push for a post 2020 global biodiversity action plan.
22.8 Members noted that plastic pollution is a threat to biodiversity, hence need to reduce use of plastic packaging.
22.9 A call was made for sustainable fishing methods.
23.0 REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PARTNERS
23.1 The inclusion of civic society in the post Cotonou agreement was welcomed and a request was made for formal recognition of CSOs.
23.2 Members were informed that the ACP-EU follow up Committee deals with various social sector issues and that climate change has had a negative impact on social and economic stability.
23.3 Delegates were informed that droughts were causing severe hunger and that the Russia -Ukraine war furthering food security challenges.
23.4 Members called upon the EU to take measures to provide humanitarian assistance and for governments to make use of local expertise on resilience to support sustainable food systems.
24.0 STATEMENT BY DR AMERY BROWNE, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AND CARICOM AFFAIRS (TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO), PRESIDENT-IN-OFFICE OF THE OACPS COUNCIL
24.1 The President-in-office of the OACPS Council of Ministers thanked Mozambique for hosting the meeting and highlighted the milestones made by the Council. He urged members to continue with their commitment in leaving no-one behind.
24.2 He noted that the OACPS can leverage on numerical strength and need to remain united in the fight against climate change, COVID 19 among other global challenges.
24.3 The OACPS council of ministers approved the new agreement and implored the Assembly to support it.
24.4 The President-in-office of the OACPS Council of Ministers informed delegates that the Joint OACPS-EU Council of Ministers will meet on 29 November 2022 to exchange views on several critical and topical outstanding matters, including the Russia-Ukraine war as well as mechanisms for propelling international cooperation between OACPS and the EU.
25.0 STATEMENT BY TOMÁŠ ULIČNÝ, SPECIAL ENVOY TO THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, PRESIDENT-IN-OFFICE OF THE EU COUNCIL
25.1 The President-in-office of the EU Council noted that the ACP EU JPA is an important partnership where members share common interests. He added that it is a platform to build a common future.
25.2 He condemned Russia for the war against Ukraine, which has created a world crisis. He reiterated that the EU is committed to help Ukraine fight off Russia.
25.3 He noted that the Cotonou Agreement has been a foundation for OACPS-EU relationship for over 20 years and that the post Cotonou should strengthen this relationship. He noted that the partnership constitutes more than half of votes at the UN General Assembly and therefore there is need to work more on resilience to overcome challenges.
25.4 He echoed that the EU is committed to support OACPS countries in ensuring peace and security, migration and mobility, and address the specific needs of the various regions.
26.0 DEBATE WITH THE COUNCIL
26.1 Members noted the need for the EU to reconcile their priorities with OACPS countries’ needs and that complementarity key in the relationship.
26.2 The OACPS expressed concern with delays in the signing of the new agreement and urged the EU Parliamentarians to play their role in ensuring that the agreement is concluded.
26.3 Members emphasised the need for unity in the face of the various global challenges.
26.4 The President of the EU Council stressed the importance of the agreement for the partnership and informed the meeting that the Council is working flat out to ensure conclusion of the signing of agreement. He emphasised that the Parliamentary dimension has been strengthened in the new agreement.
26.5 The delegation from Mauritius expressed concern over selective application of human rights law for Mauritius.
26.6 Members noted the need to improve access to climate finance for island countries.
26.7 Members noted that in view of permanent stakeholder envisaged in the new there is need to add the CSO Forum in addition to the Women and Youth Forums.
27.0 VOTE ON THE URGENT MOTIONS FOR RESOLUTION
27.1 The following resolutions were adopted;
‘The Global Challenges of Climate Change Cooperation for Adaptation and Mitigation in the Wake of COP 27’ and
‘Ensuring Market Access for OACPS Commodity-producing Countries by Enhancing Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns’
27.2 Voting for the four draft rules of procedure was postponed to a later date.
28.0 SUMMARY REPORTS FROM THE WORKSHOPS
28.1 Delegates were informed that the Women's Forum met on 29 October and discussed the topic ‘Early Marital Relationship and Gender Based Violence’ and noted that early marriages an impediment to development and recommended upscaling education of the girl child, empowerment of rural women, establishment of safe out of school places, and instituting harsh penalties to perpetrators of gender-based violence.
28.2 The Youth Forum recommended creation of jobs, provision of education to the youth, and stopping the spread of fake news in order to combat human trafficking.
29.0 DATE AND PLACE OF THE 43RD SESSION OF THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
29.1 The next meeting will be held in Sweden in March 2023. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: I want to thank Hon. Moyo for a well-rounded OACPs report on the visit that they conducted. I just want to give a brief perspective on OACPs. It is an organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific nations. It is a group of countries in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific that was created by the Georgetown Agreement of 1975, formerly known as the Africa Caribbean Pacific Group of States, ACP. The organisations’ main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states as well as greater integration into the Welsh economy. All the member states, except Cuba, are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement with the European Union that Hon. Moyo spoke to and about.
The Cotonou Agreement signed in Cotonou, Benin in 2000, is the successor of the Lome Convention. One of the major differences from the Lome Convention is that the partnership is extended to new actors such as the civil society, private sector, trade unions and the local authorities. These will be involved in the consultation and planning of the NDS1 provided with access to financial resources and involved in implementation of programmes.
Many small island developing states are ACP states. The fourth Lome Convention was revised in 1995 in Mauritius as stated by Hon. Moyo and gives special attention to island countries in this agreement combined. The EU and the Members of the OACPS represent over 1.5 billion people and more than half of the seats at the UN. In Africa, the Africa OACPS countries negotiate in five economic Partnership Agreement groups which are; West Africa, CEMAC, Southern Africa Development Community, East Africa Community, East and Southern Africa with the EU Mr. Speaker Sir, in the Caribbean, the countries of the Carribean Community plus the Domican Republic group negotiate in the Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.
Having said that I want to take you back again to the founding principles of the OACPS. I can say this is an organisation of Africa, Carribean and Pacific States evolved from the ACP group founded via the George Town Agreement of 1975 and comprises 79 African, Carribean and Pacific States. The remaining goals of the OACPS centers around the sustainable development of its membership and their gradual integration into the global economy with the ultimate objective of reducing and eventually eradicating poverty. Coordination of the OACPS activities is in the framework of the implementation of the existing Partnership Agreement with the EU, and consolidation of unity and solidarity among the Members of the OACPS. The promotion of multilateralism and the establishment and strengthening of peace security, sustainability, stability, free democratic societies and the empowerment of youths and women as a spouse as enunciated by Hon. Moyo, in particular, in Section 17 of our Constitution and indeed Section 20 and 26 of our Constitution which is sui-generis.
I also want to touch on a few issues that she spoke about in terms of the states that lamented the issue of Road Traffic Accidents (RTA). They lamented lack of resilient and robust public transport systems. Indeed, it was in one particular year when the mayor of Bogota said the issue of robust and resilient mass transport system was not measured by how the poor go onto the mass transport system but how the rich used the mass transport system. That measured the effectiveness and indeed also how that mass transport system was safe for use.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we, as Zimbabwe, can be an example of infrastructure development that is measured by the way we reduce RTA. Globally, there are three deaths per day that occur due to RTA and in Zimbabwe currently, the deaths are five per day and we have 43 people that are injured due to RTA daily. Eventually they get disabled. Some then pass on due to RTA that they will have been involved in. However, we now have more than ten toll plazas on the 821km Plumtree- Mutare highway – state of the art toll plazas, which in my view, can be an envy of other African states if optimally and effectively utilised to reduce road carnage in our nation. How can this be done? We find that a lot of our mass transport system is what is involved in road carnage. Here is an example of how these toll plazas can be utilised. They are not more than 100km between them and what is called distance is speed multiplied by time, and speed is distance divided by time. It is my thinking that as the bus leaves Plumtree and as it gets to Bulawayo, there is a toll plaza. My thinking is to forget about placing the police along that highway but look at the time the bus will have taken to get to a toll plaza which is 100kms away after having left at a certain time. If you do not ticket them at the first 100km, when they get to the next 100kms before Gweru, it is at that point that we can issue tickets and chastise the driver of that mass transport system. Even to avert RTA, a bus does not need to be involved in an RTA for us to know that he was moving at a horrendous speed. So, these toll plazas can be used to arrest the issue of RTA and also to cancel the licences’ of the bus drivers if they are moving at great speed.
Having said that, it was just yesterday that the Rtd. Gen. Hon. C. D. G. N Chiwenga was presenting a ministerial statement on the state of our health where he spoke about the helicopters that are now used as casualty evacuation where there is involvement of vehicles in an RTA. He also talked about the placing of ambulances with resuscitation and stabilisation equipment on our toll plazas. I just spoke of more than 10 plazas on the Plumtree-Mutare highway but there are more than 17 tollgates on the other highways other than the Plumtree-Mutare highway. So, the placement of these ambulances will definitely create a great deal in terms of saving lives. What we need to do is to save or stabilise the people that would have been involved in RTA within the golden hour. This is what the Hon. Minister spoke about because 70% of our people are dying because they have not been attended to within the golden hour after the RTA. So this is a cure that the likes of the nations that Hon. Moyo spoke about can take from Zimbabwe as work that has been implemented by the Second Republic and indeed in our healthcare delivery system, utilising what we have to get what we want, thus save the lives of our people through the establishment of those ambulances and indeed also utilising the space that is there. There is so much space in those tall plazas and we can utilise a room as a resuscitation centre or to attend to RTA victims before they are sent for onward transmission and onward attendance at other healthcare institutions. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is what I believe other nations can learn from Zimbabwe but after we, as a nation, have utilised what we have to get what we want.
Having said that Mr. Speaker Sir, at Road Motor Transport (RMT), this is a place that takes care of the licencing of mass transport operators or buses and combis that are licenced. There are five issues that need to be adhered to in the licencing of those mass transport systems. It is the issue of that the driver is licenced first and foremost, that the driver is about 25 years of age, that the driver has got a defensive drivers licence, that the driver has a medical certificate and that the driver has the requisite licence which is the right class Mr. Speaker Sir.
So it is my thinking that, that can be exported to other nations to say what is obtaining at RMT if followed to the letter and spirit, can also save the lives of our people in these other African states who are members of the OACPS in order to avert, avoid and reduce road carnage in total and completely maybe annihilate the scourge of RTA so that we can preserve the GDP of our nations Mr. Speaker Sir. Luckily, Zimbabwe is not part of the lowly developed countries. We are just land locked or land linked but we are not in the LDCs which are part of the OACPS countries but which have lower GDPs than ours. It is my thinking that we can use the OACPS involvement to actually have it as a pedestal and a platform for our economic benefit and also help other nations reduce road carnage.
As I conclude Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue that she spoke to of drug abuse also actually increases road carnage and we, the Second Republic, has formed a ministerial task force to reduce the scourge of the drug abuse. So other nations can learn from Zimbabwe. I want to applaud the Second Republic on that and also on the road rehabilitation and reconstruction and transformation using the ERRP 1 to 4 Mr. Speaker Sir, and also the issue that she laments of gold panning regulation. We are actually involved in the reconstruction of the archaic, moribund, rudimentary and antiquated Mines and Minerals Act in order that the gold panners can be regulated using a new form of our law.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to second the report by Hon. Moyo in the quest that we can help other nations in that grouping and I want to urge South Africa to be persuaded to join back the OACPS as opposed to what Britain did to remove itself from the EU States in the mould of Brexit. The more the merrier so I ask that South Africa be persuaded as one of our frontline states in the war of liberation. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you. I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday 13th June, 2023.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. NDUNA: I move that we revert back to Order of the Day, number 14 on today’s Order Paper.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT ON ELECTORAL LAWS GOVERNING ELECTION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY HELD IN UGANDA
HON. E. NCUBE: I move the motion standing in my name;
That this House takes note of the Delegation Report to Uganda on the Electoral Laws that govern the election of persons with disability Parliamentarians and Political Duty Bearers which was conducted from 17th–24th September, 2022.
HON. CHIKUNI: I second.
HON. E. NCUBE:
Hon. E. Ncube, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare went for a study visit to Uganda as part of the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare’s delegation. She was accompanied by Ms. Macheza, the Committee Clerk. The study visit was undertaken from 19 to 23 September 2023. The main purpose of the visit was to understand the electoral systems and electoral laws that govern the election of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Parliamentarians and political duty bearers in Uganda. The delegation was hosted by the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
The rest of the delegation comprised of the following:
Mr. Nyeperayi, the Deputy Director – Disability Affairs Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,
Mr. Banda, Visually Impaired Assistant – Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,
Ms. Manzini, Legal Officer - Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,
Mr. Chirinzepi, Director – Disability Desk, Office of the President and Cabinet,
Ms. Chahuruva, Director – Legal Affairs, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,
Mr. Dzwowa, Training Officer - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,
Mr. Machava, Voter Education Coordinator - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and
Mr. Tsvangira, Visually Impaired Assistant - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has a mandate to ensure that the political rights of persons with disabilities are fully realised. The disability constituency requested the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare’s Disability Affairs Department to ensure that persons with disabilities have a right to choose their political leaders and also be office bearers in making decision bodies. The right to vote and participate in political and social life is provided for in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Zimbabwe ratified in 2013.
The right to participate fully in a country’s political and electoral processes are basic human rights recognized in an extensive body of international and regional legal instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, 1966) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. The principle of universal and equal suffrage, guarantee that every person who has the right to vote is able to exercise this right without distinction of any kind, and by definition extends to persons with disabilities. Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Zimbabwe is a party, enjoins State parties to guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others and undertake to ensure that they can effectively and fully participate in political and public life, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare’s Department did a research on how other state parties to the Convention were implementing provisions relating to persons with disabilities and decided that the system in Uganda was the best model to learn from.
3.0 Institutions Visited
To get an understanding of the Ugandan model, the delegation interacted with officials from the following establishments:
- Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development,
- Parliament of Uganda (Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development),
- Electoral Commission of Uganda,
- National Council for the Disabled Persons,
- Solicitor General (Equivalent of Attorney General in Zimbabwe)
- National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), and Home of Hope (a beneficiary of government grants).
The delegation had the following specific objectives:
3.1 To learn how the law provides for reasonable accommodation for the visually impaired voters.
3.2 To learn how persons with disabilities are represented in the political sphere to ensure meaningful representation and inclusion.
3.3 To get an understanding of the legal framework in Uganda in relation to the electoral rights of persons with disabilities, how best and to what extent can it be adopted in Zimbabwe.
4.0 Current Electoral System in Zimbabwe on Persons with Disability
Section 120 (1) (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the election of two Senators to represent persons with disabilities in the manner provided for in the Electoral Act in Section 45. Seventh Schedule (Section 45A) of the Electoral Act also provides for election of the two Senators to represent persons with disabilities. Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 2 Section 268 (1) also states that ten women shall be elected by a system of proportional representation. The Constitution of Zimbabwe No.2 further states that election to provincial and metropolitan councils must be conducted in accordance with the Electoral Law, which must ensure that the women elected under party list system of proportional representation should include women with disabilities.
These are the laws that provide for the election of persons with disability in Zimbabwe.
The 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe has significantly expanded human rights protections for vulnerable groups such as children, women, PWDs and veterans of the liberation struggle. While Section 67 of the Constitution generally affords every Zimbabwean the right to participate in elections, either as voters or candidates, section 22 of the Constitution specifically admonishes the State and all institutions and agencies of government to recognize the rights of persons with disabilities and assist them to achieve their full potential and minimize the disadvantages suffered by them.
In pursuance of this provision which aims at elevating the rights of PWDs in order to achieve equality of outcomes, the Constitution of Zimbabwe introduced some form of affirmative action where two (2) seats are reserved in the Senate for persons representing persons with disabilities. These Senators are elected through an Electoral College constituted by organisations and institutions of persons with disabilities and from the National Disability Board.
4.1 Shortfalls with the current situation
Persons with disabilities are currently represented by two Senators and no reserved seats for Persons with Disabilities in the National Assembly. While PWDs are not prevented from contesting in the general elections for the 210 constituencies in the National Assembly, they face a myriad of challenges in doing so. It can be argued that they face similar challenges with women and the youth, with the added challenge of accessibility challenges to be able to effectively compete against persons without similar challenges on the campaign trail. Thus, there may be need to consider reservation of some seats for PWDs in the National Assembly.
4.2 Protection of the secrecy of the ballot for visually impaired voters
In Zimbabwe visual impaired persons are assisted in voting. There is no braille ballot paper provision for use by persons who are able to read braille thus compromising the secrecy of their vote.
5.0 The Uganda Model
The following legal framework governs the election of Parliamentarians and Councillors in Uganda:
- Constitution of Uganda 1995 as Amended section 78
- Electoral Commission Act
- Parliamentary Elections Statute 1996
- Persons with Disabilities Act
- The Local Government Act 1997
5.1 Representation of PWDs in Parliament
Section 78 of the Uganda Constitution reserves 5 seats for persons with disabilities in Parliament. However, the 5 seats for PWDS are justified taking into consideration the Ugandan population of 48 million and the total number of 529 MPs compared to
Zimbabwe’s figures. These 5 representatives of PWDs in Parliament are elected to represent the whole country. They have no particular geographical constituency. The fifth representative must be female. However, PWDs can contest in general elections and currently there are three (3) MPs who were elected to represent constituencies via the general elections bringing the total number of PWDs in Parliament to eight (8).
5.2 Representation of PWDs in Local Government Uganda is divided into Local Governments at each of the following
- Municipality/City Division
- Sub-county/Town Council/Municipal Division.
There are two representatives (councillors), one male and one female in each Local Government Council. Further, an electoral structure comprising a committee of five members is elected in each District at the following levels:
- Village/Cell/Zone PWD Electoral structure/Committee
- Parish/ward PWD Electoral Structure/Committee
- Sub-county/Town/Municipal Division PWD Electoral Structure/Committee
- Municipality/City Division PWD Electoral Structure/Committee District/City PWD Electoral Structure/Committee.
The PWD Electoral Structure/Council at the village/cell/zone is the grass roots level comprising all PWDs in the village/cell/zone who are 18 years of age and above, residents in the area and registered as voters for national elections, who elect a committee of five from among their number.
The PWD Electoral Structure is then elected progressively from Village to District level through Councils and Committees. Members of Parliament representing PWDs are elected by the electoral structure at District/City of five members convening at a single venue where five representatives (one must be female) are elected by secret ballot from among candidates whose nomination papers have been accepted by the Electoral Commission.
5.3 Challenges faced by Uganda
Uganda faces challenges in ensuring the secrecy of the ballot of visually impaired voters is upheld via the use of braille or tactile ballots. In 1996 the Uganda Electoral Commission provided braille ballot papers for the visually impaired voters. This was not successful since a large number of the visually impaired voters who turned up were not braille literate and therefore could not use the ballots.
The Uganda Electoral Commission also faced a challenge whereby it could not ascertain the total number of visually impaired voters in an area in need of the ballots because of lack of disaggregated information. For the exercise to be successful, the Commission needs to know the number of citizens who are visually impaired in a constituency and the number of braille literate voters.
Further, the Commission faces a challenge in the provision of sign language interpretation for all its electoral processes as there are shortages of interpreters and there is no information on which sign language the majority of voters need for voter awareness.
6.0 Lessons learnt
There is need for Zimbabwe to review its electoral system and come up with a robust electoral system that cater for the needs of the PWDs by affording them an equal opportunity to participate in the election from the grassroots level. To enable representation from the grassroots, Uganda embarked on a journey and first amended their Constitution in 1995, amended the Disabled Persons Act and the Parliamentary Elections Act. The legal provisions were not set up in a short period but over a long period of time. Prior to the amendments to various pieces of legislation, the position at law in Uganda was similar to the one currently obtaining in Zimbabwe where Senators representing PWDs are chosen through the electoral college constituted by registered PWD organizations and institutions. This was challenged in Court as it left out those not affiliated to either entity thereby violating the right to associate and to disassociate.
Representation of persons with disabilities from the grassroots allows meaningful and effective representation since they will be aware of issues. Effective and meaningful representation from the villages is possible mainly because the electoral system depends heavily on the use of the local structures for persons with disabilities’ register which is necessary if one is to contest under the persons with disabilities banner.
Disaggregated figures are required for the Electoral Commission to plan and reasonably accommodate persons with disability. There is need to have the statistics of PWDs and their disabilities.
Uganda undertook an awareness campaign exercise on the rights of PWDs through different platforms to sensitise the citizens of their rights to participate in politics. In Uganda and Zimbabwe PWDs are free to join any political party and to contest for a seat as a Member of Parliament or any position. The challenge is that the PWDs find it difficult to compete with able bodied candidates in terms of finances and mobility and due to stigmatisation.
7.0 Recommendations by the Delegation
The delegation, therefore recommends the following:
7.1 Going forward, the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe should be amended to allow for PWDs representation in the National Assembly and also to allow for gradual affirmative action in the representation of PWDs in all sectors of governance.
7.2 The Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] must be amended to do away with an Electoral College constituted by associations and Private Voluntary Organizations which may, in some instances only be found at national level leaving out a large number of constituency members at grassroots level by March 2023.
7.3 The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should through voter education, encourage the participation of PWDs in the electoral process from registering as voters to running for office.
7.4 Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency should avail disaggregated figures on persons with disability and the nature of disability to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to plan and reasonably accommodate persons with disability.
7.5 Political parties should financially support their respective PWDs Political Flag Duty Bearers who might intend to contest as Members of Parliament of Councillors since most of these PWDS will need political mentorship.
7.8 Disability Movements in Zimbabwe should unite under one council preferably the National Disability Council so that there can champion for electoral systems and electoral laws that are disability inclusive by March 2023.
8.1 The government should ensure a just and fair society where persons with disabilities live a prosperous and dignified livelihood. Therefore, there is need to strengthen the capacity of PWDs from grassroots level to national level to ensure that their needs are represented. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank Hon. Ncube for a well-rounded report. I think it really does voluminously speak to a section of our community, which we as a country, have taken seriously. I am aware of the Amendment Number 2 of the Constitution that also touched on representation of women first and foremost, in local authorities, 30% that have now been put in place. Also, one youth per each province is now put into the Constitution. It also elongated the period that the Proportional Representatives, that is the Women Quota, coming from 2023 for another further 10 years, to 2033.
I want to thank Hon. Ncube for the recommendations that there is need to also take into account 15% of the section of our population which are differently abled, those that are disabled. I call them differently abled, that have to be represented by one of their own. We have two representatives that are not in the National Assembly - who are in the Senate, that is not enough. If they can be a move to deliberately advocate for those that are differently abled to also have representatives here in the National Assembly.
I am alive to the fact that we have my sister, Hon. Rose Mpofu, who is here but she is not here under that banner. She is here because of proportional representation of women. So, a deliberate approach to embrace those that are differently abled in this House is quite applaudable and is a key recommendation that I picked up in this well-rounded report. Having said that, there is no way we can leave out 15% of our population, which is about 1.5 million people living with disability out there without any representative here in the National Assembly to make laws for the good governance of those 15% people that are differently abled. If you get up to 1.5 million, I remember to get a threshold of winning vote for the President, you should have first past-the-post of 2 million people. So, 1.5 million is half a million shy of getting a clear majority. These people cannot be ignored ad infinitum. Here is an opportunity, according to Isaiah 6 (1) “the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord”. We should use this report as a pedestal or as a platform to embrace the people who are differently abled; people living with disability to have a mainstream involvement in the electoral system of our country. Thank you for giving me this report to second the report which is well rounded.
(v) HON. MAGO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Ncube, for the report on the Electoral Reform that govern the elections of the PWD parliamentarians and political duty bearers. PWDs, cannot fight for seats with men and women who are able bodied, with physical and financial stamina to fight it out. We also think that they are only needed when it is voting time and it is their vote which is needed and no other contribution. It is wrong that they are not involved in many decision-making positions as if their minds are probably considered to be disabled too.
The Disabled Persons Bill, which seeks to repeal the Disabled Persons Act, Chapter 17:01 needs to be speeded up and hope all sections have been closely scruitnised, so that it includes their electoral rights as well as wealth. We have heard that in Uganda, there are five seats reserved for PWDs. Uganda went on to say of the five, one should be a female. This was in a bid to be all inclusive and they did the same at council level. As a country, we should emulate good practice from other countries and effect them. It would be a waste of time and resources, visiting other countries to get ideas on how they are running their affairs but not implementing any of the good things that we learn.
In the upcoming general elections, it is my request that at least money for the needs of PWDs is set aside because if we continue lip-syncing the needs, it will never come to fruition. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 13th June, 2023.
On the motion of HON. NDUNA seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Five Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 13th June, 2023.