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SENATE HANSARD 01 DECEMBER 2020 VOL 30 NO 10
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 1st December, 2020
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE
ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to draw the attention of the Senate to an error on today’s Order Paper in terms of numbering of items such as Order of the Day, Number 7 should be Number 6 with the subsequent items being renumbered accordingly; if you may check your Order Papers.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Madam President. I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 4 be stood over until all the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. SHUMBA: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to debate on the Presidential Speech. Before I debate, I would like to thank the atmosphere which prevailed the day the President came. Previously when the President was around, there used to be a lot of noise but this time around, I want to thank God that there was peace and everyone listened to the President speaking.
I also want to thank him for his speech. He spoke very well about the COVID-19 Pandemic. He also spoke well that we managed to protect our lives and the lives of the people of Zimbabwe and very few people died because of the pandemic. Although the numbers are now beginning to rise, at the beginning of the pandemic, the numbers were few. The President showed that he was dedicated to fight the pandemic and the people were well protected and we want to thank him for that.
The President said that he took the decision that school children should go back to school and learn, which is a very good thing. We must thank him for that because it is a very good deed which was done by our President. He also spoke about the issue of our country Zimbabwe. The beautiful thing about it Madam President is that he spoke about what he is currently doing in terms of development, especially the rehabilitation of roads. Everyone can see that there is a lot of work which is being done in terms of rehabilitation of roads. The President said that ‘we are trying our level best to ensure that the roads which were dilapidated must be refurbished especially the Beitbridge – Chirundu Road.’
I remember when I spoke to the Minister concerning the issue of roads where I said it was better for me to get an aeroplane because of the state of the road. Right now I want to say that the same road Madam President is now in a very good state. It is now not only the best road in Masvingo but a world-class road. When they complete the refurbishment of the road, the Harare-Beitbridge Road, it will be a near-distance. I want to thank the President very much. He promised that he was going to move ahead with the projects of refurbishing roads and buildings and I believe that he will succeed. Even in our rural areas like Mwenezi, the Minister responsible must go and see if there are some roads which were not properly done and they should come and refurbish them as promised by the President. Everyone is going to enjoy travelling around with our cars. These are some of the things that the President highlighted when he presented the State of the Nation Address.
The President also spoke about the issue of agriculture and hunger. In the past years, there was hunger in the country but we want to thank the President through the Pfumvudza Programme. It involves painful labour, digging and the like but we are expecting a bumper harvest. The painful labour involved is nothing compared to the fact that we will get a bumper harvest. We want to thank the President for this; he has done very well even to us as the elderly. He also promoted the agricultural sector by bringing tractors from Belarus. He must also bring these tractors to our rural areas to help villagers including Members of Parliament. Those who have money will buy fuel and use the tractors to farm.
He also spoke about the issue of introducing small grains and vegetables like cabbages, pumpkins and vegetables. Most people used to produce these but did not have the market. His Excellency the President said that we have Command Agriculture right now; and went on to say that we are going to have Command Agriculture for small grains. If farmers market their produce they will get foreign currency and because of this, I want to thank the President.
On the issue of agriculture, he also spoke about the issue of refurbishment of the existing dams and increasing the number of dams in the country so that we have many irrigation infrastructures targeted to prevent hunger. By 2030, everyone in the country will be having enough food and foreign currency. Farmers will sell their produce and come 2030, there will be progress and development in the country.
I want to thank the mover of the motion for bringing such an important motion. Everyone must be given the chance to debate the State of the Nation address so that the President can hear what the Senators are saying. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. SHUMBA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020.
REPORT ON THE VIRTUAL EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU)
Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report on the Extraordinary Session of the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020.
PREVALENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
Question again proposed.
+HON. SEN. N. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this debate. God created everything in the universe then he created a man. He admired him and felt pity for him because he was lonely. He made him fall into deep sleep and then he took his rib and created a woman. When he woke up he admired God’s creation that was given to him, that is the woman to give him company. What surprises me is, why does someone take a very big knobkerrie to beat up someone created from his rib? Do you feel the pain for beating up a person who was created to assist you by God? That is a bad and difficult thing that unsettles women. I agree that men are also harassed but God created it that way, that the man is the head of the family and the man has more power than a woman. So, I wonder what happens to those men who are beaten or overpowered by women. What type of men are those? That is why perhaps some of the men who are overpowered by their women or harassed do not come forward but that does not mean that men should have power to beat up women.
We were created by God to be soft, be loved and taken care of. What could be the problem? Is it because lobola is paid for us, but that is culture. If you pay lobola for a woman, that does not mean that she is your slave; she is your helper. If a married man gets home and does not find his wife, he just walks into the kitchen as if he is mentally disturbed. He may walk out of the kitchen and go into the bedroom but he will not even know where to start from or what to do. The man feels disturbed because the partner would have left the house. So I appeal to men to go back to that yester year culture where women are not beaten but should be respected. Yes, I agree that sometimes because of lack of employment and hunger it leads to quarrels in a household but that does not mean that you should relieve your stress by beating up your wife or woman.
The other thing that is not good at all is that we tend to prioritise culture. There are women who are suffering yet they were created by God and given enough limbs, but there are some men who tend to take away such limbs so that the men will regard that person as a toy. That woman loses feeling because that very important part that is sensitive is mutilated. That is genital mutilation. That really troubles the woman. She is harassed emotionally. Sometimes we see women’s front teeth being removed. Why do they not do that to men? What really happens there? Why do they take away the front teeth, taking a stone to take away the front teeth of a woman?
Yes, we can preserve good culture, but when it comes to bad practices, let us do away with them. Sometimes we see them with tattoos on the face. How do you expect that to make her beautiful, all those tattoos? Let us do away with bad cultural practices and preserve good ones. Violence against women is like violence against girls. Sometimes some of the girls do not have access to sanitary wear. They end up using things that are not good for their health. These young girls should be given access to sanitary wear because menstruation is a natural thing. With these few words I thank you Mr. President.
++HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to debate on this important issue. This issue of gender based violence is a very big matter in our lives and even in terms of the development of our country and our families and how we live in our societies. It needs us as individuals to be united in every aspect without looking at the cultural differences or in terms of languages. We must be united without looking at the culture of Venda, Shangani or whatever, but we must be united in fighting gender based violence. We must be united and eliminate gender based violence and remove fighting and the issue of selection amongst ourselves so that we must have development in the country.
So if we are focusing on the issues of fighting it means that there is no development in that particular area because everyone is being hurt by the issue of gender based violence - your friends, your neighbour, even your sisters and cousins because they will not be treating you very well. So the issues of fighting, conflicts and the issue of not being united in the different aspect does not bring development. The family is a family with a mother. A family can only be successful with unity between the husband and a wife. Even as men and women we must not trouble women, even to sell young girls or to use that cultural norm that children were being born and married off whilst they are younger to their aunties or their sisters. These issues are very troublesome. The issues of fighting is not good. We must stay in peace and harmony. I remember Mr. President when we were in the Commission of Human Rights and we went to Chikurubi with the Committee. Mr. President they said that every person must talk with his or her own language and I said this is the opportunity. When I got into another cell I was surprised to hear voices, people speaking with my language Shangani and I heard another man saying I am Chauke. I asked him the crime he had committed to find himself there, the man said he was convicted of rape. He was sentenced to 65 years in jail. I asked him if he was going to go out of jail and he asked me to plead with the President for amnesty.
I went to another cell where I found another man by the name Maluleke. I asked him why he was there and he told me that when he came from the beer hall he had a conflict with a woman and he beat her and she died. He was convicted for a whole life in prison. He was pleading to be released so that he could go back to his family and stay at his homestead. I asked him how people were going to react even the society as a whole and he said he wanted to be released and ask the Police to accompany him to his home. Mr. President, this is something that bothers us as women. The majority of men are troubling their wives and the girl child.
We must work together and end gender based violence. As neighbours and community members, we must condemn evil and we must let the people speak out about these issues to do with gender based violence not to silence the victims. Right now there is no rainfall because people are now silencing the victims and there are many injustices which are being done. Incidences of gender based violence are many in our rural areas, yet the President of Zimbabwe encourages unity and peace.
The Constitution speaks about this issue. There is a law which protects women and girls. It is not a crime to be a woman or being a girl child in the family. We must be united and fight gender based violence. I thank you and I want to thank those who raised the motion because it came at the right time. In the rural areas, people do farming activities and when they harvest and it is time to get paid, women are being abused physically and men normally take the money and go on a drinking spree with the money. It is painful for the women who would have been working hard for example in the cotton field. The woman ends up committing suicide.
Mr. President, it is our duty to go and teach women so that they must not commit suicide but speak out about gender based violence. They must go and report to the village heads and all other traditional leaders and we should inform them that if they do not report the issue to the chief, they can be reported to the police. Chiefs are dealing with those issues in a professional way. As husbands and wives, we must sit down and listen to each other. We must be united for the development of the country. Families should be united and they must work hard. We must reprimand them if they do wrong things so that they can do all the house duties according to our laws, working together for the prosperity of our country. We must not expect the comeback of white people to give us jobs. We have our farms, so we must work in our farms for us to get everything which we want even though there is no enough rains. We are expecting more rains so that we can farm and get enough food. As the numbers of dams are going to be increased, we must work together and encourage people to be united and end gender based violence in the country. Thank you Mr. President – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]
**HON. SEN. NYATHI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this debate. I want to thank the Hon. Senator for raising this motion that speaks about violence against women. I would like to say a woman is very important in this country. If only men knew what a woman is, they would not be doing that. There is a lot that has been said, sometimes women are also accused of harassing or beating up men, yes, I hear that, it happens but for women, I do not know what you can do about it. If only they would know that anyone who walks on this universe it because of a woman. If only they would know how painful the nine months period is. I wish no man would beat up a woman especially using weapons. Labour is a very difficult thing. No man has ever experienced this but they have the audacity to beat up a woman not knowing that his mother is as good as any woman that they may be beating. Therefore, they do not know the pain that they went through in giving birth to that person. We should respect each other. That argument that women are also doing bad things, those are being perpetrated by men but people should consider what brings up that. Even when children play around, they know that someone may be provocative but they stop that there and there. Women tend to be very tolerant most of the time. If they commit a crime once, it becomes a problem yet men have small houses all over. They have extra marital affairs but when a woman commits one mistake, it is blown out of proportion yet all of us were created in God’s image. That is what we should consider. Trying to argue that women also perpetrate violence is not good. Let us try to find the origin of that violence. Some argue that women should be submissive because they are married. Let us consider that marriage is sacred and was made by God so that people may help each other. Whilst they assist each other, there will be a leader but being a leader does not mean that you should harass your subordinate. You should respect each other.
I have not seen even in social media, a woman beating a man. Instead, it is the other way round. Women are the ones who are being beaten by men. Men have the audacity to beat women even in front of children. That is also violence against children. They will not grow up well. As women, we do not want all that. We do not want to be harassed. We also have the right to existence. If it is that I made a mistake, that does not warrant that I should be beaten in front of my children. What wrong have I committed to warrant being beaten up in front of children every day? Does it mean that the men do not commit any crime or mistake? If we are to count the number of women who are being beaten – we cannot stop this violence. Let us consider the facts so that we try to address this. Men are harassing us in the home even here in the Senate, we are mature people but for those who are younger out there, there is a lot that is going on. Most of the affected women will not speak out. That is why we end up hearing that somebody committed suicide. It is because of that and they do not know who to tell their problems. They keep these problems until they think of committing suicide.
As Senate, if we speak and say we no longer want this – as mature people, let us enact laws that bring an end to violence in this country. Let us make one united resolution that acknowledges that men have rights but at the same time, women also have rights so that as children grow up, they will know. Right now we say our children are doing all sorts of things but sometimes it is because they learn from our mistakes. If they would know that such a thing must never be done, they will learn it the hard way. Because nothing is happening, that is why they are perpetrating violence. If this motion is raised and we agree that we bring an end to violence against women in this country – it will indeed succeed. Deterrent sentences to stop violence should be brought up. As women, we have suffered for a long time yet we are the ones who dominate society, be it in politics or at churches. If you handle us properly, you will find that all those things will go very well.
As mature people and as Hon. Senators, let us come up with resolutions to bring an end to violence against women, otherwise we will go all the way to 2030 trying to address one problem. With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NGEZI: Thank you very much Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to debate this important motion that is affecting most women day and night. I am of a different view in my own opinion on this matter. Women are really affected but as we were growing up, we would fight whilst herding cattle when someone destroyed my mum’s ‘breast’ which was made on the ground using sand. This shows that women were highly esteemed and were respected. If one would form his mother’s breast and someone would come and destroy that, it was a born of contention. We really respected anything that was owned by our mothers, whether it was a goat or a cow. Our fathers would tell us not to play around with our mother’s property. For that reason, I think it is important to look into it because on the same matter, my father had seven homes. This was caused by my mother who would say that she was not happy with what is happening here because your relatives do not like me. My father would then relocate to another area because he was trying to protect his wife. We ended up settling in Gokwe because he wanted to protect my mother because she had been threatened by a neighbour that she wanted to murder her.
The challenge is that for other mothers, to be honest – it is both sides hence we need to look at both sides. There are people whom we know of who will go to the beer hall and when the beer hall closes, they look for another one because they dread going home because of the violence by the wife. As men, we are very brave. We agree that women are very brave in the sense that they gave birth to us but they suffer in silence. It is rare for a man to talk badly about his wife. He tries to cover up. So this matter needs to be considered on both sides. It is true women are speaking out a lot on GBV. If you are beaten, you should go and report. Men hardly go but when they remain silent, they are increasing the number of men who are violated.
During the debate, I also heard that if it was possible, the traditional leaders in this House should also consist of women chiefs. We want to consider whether our culture allows the women to be chiefs. We also need to look at the Bible. I think the Bible has not been amended and likewise, we need to also maintain our culture and not alter our traditional roles and leadership style.
*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to add a few words on this motion. Secondly, I would like to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Sen. Dube and her seconder.
I would want to state that in terms of gender based violence with regards to ages of people, when we were growing up, we were told that if your husband assaults you, you should not fight back. As time went by, that was left behind. There are those that lived during this time and believed that a husband should not be fought back.
My husband is a village head. There are issues concerning women that my husband deals with. There is a man in my village who is being abused by his wife but in the majority of cases, it is the women that are being assaulted. A certain woman was assaulted and she lost two teeth. When she made a report to a member of the neighbourhood watch committee and then he went to the police. A letter was given by the police that he should hand him to the police. The member of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee allowed the culprit to disappear for some time. The matter was not heard until the woman was abused again. She approached the village head and narrated her predicament to the village head. She did state that the member of the neighbourhood called Mike made a report to the police but the police did not come to arrest the perpetrator that day.
There is also another incidence where there was a woman whose arm was broken as a result of assault. The case was reported at Bindura Police Station. The husband told her to withdraw the charge and that if she did not withdraw she would not stay with him. I have risen to categorically state that as much as men may want to defend that they are abused by women, in the majority of cases it is the women who are abused by men. There are no laws that protect us as women. I rise to say that there must be laws that protect us as women. I feel bad about the scenario where a woman whose arm was broken was forced to withdraw charges against her husband. For fear that her marriage would breakdown if she did not withdraw the charges and because of the love for her marriage and children, she had to withdraw.
Deaf and dump children are also abused. There was a dump child in our village who was raped. The matter went to court and they were told that there was no sign language interpreter. Imagine how painful it is; the police did say that they did not have sign language interpreters and secondly, they did not have transport to visit areas where the culprits committed offences. They would give you a letter to handover to the victim. So the problem is on us as Government for failing to solve these problems.
Mr. President, we may sing and after singing about gender based violence and abuse of women, it is common knowledge that domestic violence is very prevalent in our country. I once told a nephew’s wife; the husband had three wives and always assaulted the senior wife. I asked him why he did that. I then told the senior wife that next time he assaults her, she must retaliate so that he will think twice when he wants to assault her again. When she was assaulted, she took a hook used to hook bales, and severely assaulted him. Up until he died, the husband never laid his hand on her again. In as much as we do not encourage domestic violence, once in a while if you retaliate using a pot or something, he will feel the pain and he will think twice when he wants to fight you. He will know that you will retaliate.
Men may want to say whatever they want but the women and children are being abused severely in the community. My husband is a village head and I hear of these reports of assaults or domestic violence against women and the girl child now and again. Gone are the days when women would not retaliate. As Government, we have porous laws that do not address the issue of domestic violence and nothing much is being done. If someone reports nothing is done and in future women will just stay at home because they know if they report nothing is done. I thank you so much Hon. President.
*HON. SEN. GWESHE: Thank you Mr. President, I also want to add my voice to this debate. The truth of the matter is that women are being abused in their homes and men are also being abused. The issue that I want to raise on why there is an increase in domestic violence is because of cell phones. As an elderly woman, I think it is good that the man and woman have access to the cell phones but you find that a grey haired man does not want his wife to touch his cell phone.
About five marriages have broken down over the issue of cell phones. Cases where for example, the man would be in the dining room, the wife’s cell phone rings and she rushes to the kitchen to answer - this ended the marriage partnership. Men do not want their phones to be touched by their spouses but it hurts to learn that your husband answers his phone in private and always hides the phone. At times a wife will ask who he was talking to and this creates a fight. A lot of marriages are breaking up as a result of these cell phones and I do not know how best we can solve this issue.
Last week on Friday, I was at Glen Norah Police Station filing a report concerning a certain issue. Many people arrived there a young woman who was bleeding got in and I asked what had happened. She said she had been injured by the husband with a knife on her thighs. I asked her the cause and she said she was on the cell phone.
Again, I asked her why she had been assaulted so severely and she said because she was having a good conversation on the cell phone thus she was then badly cut on the thigh by the husband using a knife. The police said that if he was no longer interested in the woman he should have simply divorced her. There are a few that can still hold or behave themselves once there is an issue involving cell phones. With those few words, I thank you Hon. President.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF. NTABENI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity. I would want to add a few words to the debate on behalf of the chiefs. I observed that women believe that chiefs are letting them down and we are at peace when they are being assaulted. It is true that they approach our courts after an assault. If we come up with a law here and say that any man who assaults a woman, chiefs should deal with him, we will deal with him or they can come after an assault and then we would want to hear the matter. We tell them to come with the husband because we want to amicably resolve the issue, but in most cases it is a police case which should be dealt with by the police. So it is not because we are turning a blind eye for our culture allows women to be beaten.
A woman came to make a report and said that she had been forewarned the previous week that she had stayed for a long time without being assaulted. We have daughters. We do not want our daughters to be assaulted by whoever they are going to get married to. As chiefs, we abhor the practice of assault on women for women were created using the man’s ribs.
There was a man who had assaulted a woman and people wanted to deal with him. They handcuffed him and apparently the same lady who was a complainant felt pity on the accused person. So given such a scenario, how best can you deal with the issue even if you were to be a judge? There was also a dispute between a woman and a man. The woman was getting assaulted at home and when the husband was about to be assaulted, the woman looked at him, got up and said ‘No, you cannot do that chief, you cannot do that.’
We listen to you and your concerns are also our concerns. In our culture we also abhor domestic violence. If there is a law that empowers chiefs to deal with a man who perpetrates domestic violence, the chiefs can do that or maybe people can leave the urban centres and come to the communal lands and we will be able to resolve their issues so that they can live happily. I thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President. I would want to add my voice to the motion on gender based violence. Our country should understand that it is not right for normal people to be constantly fighting one another. If my daughter were to be married in the Charumbira family and I have never assaulted my daughter from the time that she was at a preschool until she is now at university, why should her husband assault her? Assaulting someone does not lead them to behave differently. They are not like vehicles where you can go and correct mistakes.
I look at this issue from two perspectives. In marriages, we meet people who do not have the same customs. Secondly, the way people are being raised in this country, a lot of domestic violence is occurring in the urban areas because there is no law. There are no longer bedrooms for both girls and boys and also traditional meeting places where they would meet and learn life matters. They grew up without going to the meeting place, the dare. They did not even appreciate why a woman is married and what purposes they are married for.
As Members of this august House, it is our duty to ensure that we teach our children or people about the roles of a father and the roles of the mother. The father’s duty is to support the family and he should do so. The woman should also know the manner in which they address the husbands. Weapons used for assaulting women like a knife, from what we have just heard, why should they be used? Why should you be using a knife on your wife? A wife should be loved. We should teach people that they should love one another. If they are in love things would be better.
Some talked about the issue of the cell phone, but they did not say what exactly it was that is wrong about cell phones. They use cell phones for entertaining girlfriends. We talk of marriages where it limits one man to one woman. As black people or as Africans, why do we not go and say that we practice our culture that allows polygamous marriages. If one is involved in a monogamous marriage and then engages in extramarital affairs, you will be cheating; there is bound to be friction and it causes disharmony. As Africans, we have our way of living and our way of life. Not even one Hon. Member in this House can testify that they are not aware of the issue of polygamous relationships if truth be told. So we cannot then castigate polygamy. Why do we not look at our laws in the context that we are Africans?
Let it be understood that as Africans we should look at our history and where we are going. Women should teach their girls and men should teach boys on how to have successful relationships. It is a shame for one to get married and the next day we hear the wife has gone back to their family in Gokwe. I have an issue involving a child that came from Binga from Chief Siansali’s area. She has been constantly assaulted in our area in Buhera and she does not have anywhere to run to. On a daily basis she is assaulted. I do not know why the majority of men feel that whenever they are not there, the wife is up to no good. You should appetite the woman that you have and you should not bite more than you can chew. Women should be loved and should not be assaulted with an open hand. You should not be in the habit of wanting to eat food whose origins you do not know. You must support your family. A wife is not a punching bag. Most of those men who abuse women cannot stand the ground against other men, they are the punching bags of other men.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as an august House, we should look into the issue of our culture and we should also come up with means and ways to encourage the Government to enlighten people on what it is to be a husband and what it is to be a wife. As Chiefs, we also assist our subject on the roles of being a man and the roles of a woman. We want to thank the First Lady because she is going around the country teaching people on how to behave in these relationships. The issue is the ignorance of children that became parents overnight without knowing what their roles and functions are.
I just thought of adding my voice and say that we have our courts as Chiefs and if that person is given serious penalties, he can become a good man. The problem is after penalising someone, it is the woman that then feels sympathy for the husband. If the woman is assaulted, by sympathising with the husband, she encourages the husband to continue assaulting her. Run away from an abusive husband and make a report to the police! We have our institutions as Government and the person should be arrested. Once a case has been reported, the Police are in place so that they can deal with that issue. We should not behave as animals, a man was given a woman that is fit for him so we should not be assaulting our womenfolk. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. A. DUBE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020.
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SEN. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL RTD. PERRANCE SHIRI
Eighth Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion on the death of Hon. Sen. Air. Chief Marshal (Rtd) Perence Shiri.
Question again proposed.
^HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to speak about our hero, Air Chief Marshal (Rtd) Shiri who passed on. I knew the late during the time he was promoted to be the Minister of Agriculture to enable us to get enough food in the country. People from Mashonaland Central lost a very brave man. I want to thank the mover of this motion so that we can remember the work which was done by the late Hon. Minister. He was an upright man. I do not forget the day he came to our area, Chiredzi in Masvingo. He began to greet us in our language because he knew that he had arrived in a different area and he was wearing a green work suit. That day we had a great conference. We began to sing the songs about unity and he danced with us. He was a cheerful person and he really wanted to work with everyone.
Mr. President, I only heard that he passed on when the pandemic reached this country. I was at home and I was very disheartened that we have lost a very hardworking person in the country. He was a dedicated person for the development of the country and he was a fearless person. He was a very hardworking man. He was not a person to show off, regardless of his position and he interacted with people very well.
When we arrived at the venue, I had carried many women in my car. When we got to the venue, many people started asking where the Minister was seated because they could not recognise him, he was a very humble man. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara who raised this motion about the late Hon. Minister. We are very disheartened and the whole country is disheartened by the death of our hero. Yes, we are saying all these things but we are touched by the death of a hero, a hero who was very dedicated for the development of this country, including our area.
When he visited our area, he spoke with owners of Tongaat Hulett. Our area is a very hot area which falls under Region 5. Therefore, he also came and encouraged us to continue to work hard. I am disheartened by the death Hon. Shir. Thank you Mr. President.
^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about the death of Hon. Sen. P. Shiri. I want to thank Senator Tongogara. Talking about the late Shiri, I will be talking about someone who was hardworking, who would talk to an ordinary person. I could not even believe my eyes when I saw a Minister wearing overrall. I was emphasising my…
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Mohadi, may you stick to one language.
^^HON. SEN. MOHADI: I was emphasising a point in Venda.
Hon. Shiri was brave and kind to almost everyone. He was a hardworking person. He would not just sit in the office. I still remember one of the days when he visited Beitbridge when he wanted to know about cattle ranching. We went to a particular field and spent the whole day with him. He asked a lot about cattle ranching. He wanted to know what was happening in Matabeleland South Region. This included the diseases which affected those cattle. He talked of what the Beitbridge community would do in order to curb the disease.
If you look at the Beitbridge community, most of the farmers go to their fields and make sure that they are ploughing cereals for the cattle in order to curb the diseases which are prevalent in Matabeleland South province. Heifers need proper management but now when you are looking at the area, it is affected by lack of water and all those diseases which are found in that area but the late Hon. Sen. Shiri was always urging all the farmers in that province to take care of all the cattle and to learn more about curbing he diseases and the like.
He even urged the communities to keep on cultivating or practising irrigation programmes in the area. All the farmers in that area were urged to plant trees in each and every area. It is very sad when we still thinking about what he used to do for the province. We noticed that he did not look at the face of the person. He used to help everyone. He was a hero of the heroes. May his soul rest in peace.
+HON. SEN. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to debate on this special motion regarding the death of Hon. Sen. Shiri.
Considering the liberation struggle, I do not know how many people will be or were debated about in this House, but if I am not mistaken – Perrance Shiri is the first one. That shows that he was a very important person. Firstly, we mourn with the family and the whole country because his death was a sad thing to the whole country. I got to hear about his death whilst I was in Mutare. I got the message through Hon. Sen. Mohadi and I was shocked.
We were with Perrance Shiri in this Senate but after a few days, he passed on. That was very disturbing. The most important thing is that the whole country knew the work that he was doing as the Minister of Agriculture and as a hardworking person. That is exactly why his life is being debated in this Senate. This is because of the role he played in this country. Most of the time we could see him on television – be it in Maphisa or Mutare; he used to traverse the whole country day and night without rest. Before he was Minister, he had worked hard to liberate this country. He never said he wanted to rest after liberating the country, but he saw it fit to serve the nation.
I do not understand Venda but I heard about overalls and work suits when Hon. Sen. Mohadi was speaking. One day when we were coming from Bulawayo from a Budget meeting, we were at Joshua Nkomo International Airport seated and amongst us was Vice President Dr. Chiwenga, we saw Hon. Sen. Shiri disembarking from an aeroplane. I think it was a DDF Chartered aeroplane – we were surprised to see the Senator-Minister dressed in an overall or work suit. We were surprised because all of us were seated there wearing suits. That showed his dedication to the country and his commitment to the development of this country.
We would like to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for bringing this motion in this august House that we should mourn together with the Shiri family. I thank you Mr. President Sir.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 1st December, 2020.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON. SEN. MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at Three Minutes Past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday 8th December, 2020.