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SENATE HANSARD 02 May 2017 26-49


Tuesday, 2nd May, 2017

The Senate met at Half-past Two o’ clock p.m.







the attention of the House to an error on the Order Paper where the Hon. Minister on the Order of the Day No. 2, should be reflected as Minister of Industry and Commerce instead of the Minister of Lands and Rural

Resettlement. Can we correct that?



I have to inform the House that following the holding of elections for the Executive Committee Members of the African Parliamentarians’

Network against Corruption, the Zimbabwe Chapter, the following Hon.

Members were elected to the corresponding positions:-

Hon. J. Maridadi                           -       Chairperson

Hon. F. Mhona                             -       Vice Chairperson

Hon. K. Paradza                           -       Secretary

Hon. P. Misihairabwi-Mushonga -       Deputy Secretary

Hon. T. Saruwaka                         -       Treasurer

Hon. P. Mpariwa                          -       Deputy Treasurer

Hon. D. Mackenzie-Ncube           -      Committee Member

Hon. J. Toffa                                -      Committee Member

Hon. Senator K. Chabuka            - Committee Member and

Hon. N. Ndlovu                            -      Committee Member





Madam President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 on the Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.




Fourth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the

State of the Nation Address.

Question again proposed.


move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 2nd May, 2017.



Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.


move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017.



HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers

6 and 7 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: I second.     Motion put and agreed to.



Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on stray dogs and other domestic animals.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MAWIRE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017.




Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on alignment of the

Electoral Act to the Constitution.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017.



Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the SADC

Model Law on eradicating Child Marriages.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017.



Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on advocating for unequivocal support for the National School Pledge by all Members of Parliament.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I move that the debate do now


HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017.




Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on violence that had become a socio-political way of life among the people of


Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I move that the debate do now



Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017.



Thirteenth Order readAdjourned debate on motion on

Zimbabwe’s low population.

Question again proposed.


President.  I would like to make my contribution on a motion raised by Hon. Sen. Musaka that the people of Zimbabwe should multiply- we should give birth to more children and it is very true.  This motion is calling for the multiplication of people and I am very grateful to Hon.

Sen. Musaka for that.  Like what the Bible says, we should multiply and be like the sands of the sea, hence we are following biblical teachings.  On creation, God had seen it that with the size of the world, it should be populated by people who will fully utilize it because God only created Adam and Eve, and then called them to multiply; hence my call for support of this motion raised by Hon. Sen. Musaka and this is a very good idea.

I have heard some previous contributions stating that is the only way we can grow our economy so that we can have a lot of products which are marketable and even when we want to call investors to come into the country, the investors also look at the population of the country so that they will be assured that their products will be bought by many people so that the economy will grow.  So, I support Hon. Musaka’s comment for letting people to multiply and the only way people can multiply is by giving birth to more children and not limiting ourselves.

Madam President in summary, there is nothing wrong in the multiplication of the population in the country, but let me hasten to say that we should not multiply through abuse of younger girls such as indulging in early marriages for our girls.  If you want to marry more women, please go and propose for love and marry mature people, because the mature people will agree to that concept of coming into a polygamous marriage. I am also calling for the people who want to have more children that they should be able to take care of those children.

Again, if you want to multiply, please, let us avoid domestic violence.

However, let me give advice people who may want to engage a polygamous marriage.  The golden rule is that you ask for the concurrence from the first wife, if she is agreeable then you may marry other women and you will be assured of a peaceful polygamous set up.  In family, my father and mother gave birth to 13 children, in so doing, we are going to have children if we do not limit these people.  We are also doing this because we want to prevent domestic violence.  If you read the H-Metro, most of the stories are on divorce cases and then we ask, how can we multiply when we have so many divorces? Let us create a peaceful environment in the home, whenever there are any misunderstandings, they should be solved peacefully.

Again, I want to support this motion that people should multiple and this can only be done, like I have alluded to, in a peaceful home environment and we cut down on domestic violence.  I am saying, we need to make contributions so that we justify our presence.


for the reminder that we have not just come to while away time and drink water but to debate.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017.



GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES Fourteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Early Child Marriages.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President.  I also want to rise and support the report which was brought into this august House by your Committee on gender and development.  Madam

President, Zimbabwe as a nation is renowned for its good literacy rate, but we are not as good on this practice of early child marriages.  Child marriage is still a huge problem in this country.  Zimbabwe is among other African states with the highest child marriage prevalence rate in the world and it ranges in the plus or minus 31%.

However, by comparison at one time -  Malawi had one of the world’s highest rates of child marriages with more than half of their girls being forced out of school into marriage, some of them as early as nine years old being married to older husbands.  According to the United

Nations International Children Emergency Fund report, by application of human rights principles, marriage of a child is a gross Human Rights violation in all proportions and is also a catalyst for gender inequality and ultimately contributes to perennial poverty being passed on from generation to generation.     In Zimbabwe, this scenario is more prevalent in our farming and mining communities where the children live at the greatest risk of being married at very young ages and this is deplorable.  It is still happening in Zimbabwe.

Those who have gone to the resettlement areas and have compounds around them are witnesses of these happenings.  Several of us are sitting here, sometimes we hardly warn of the dangers of early child marriages.  I think as Hon. Members, we must play our part and educate the communities in which we live or where our farms are located that child marriages are not good.  However Madam President, I also want to quote the findings of the Zimbabwe Multiple Indicator Monitoring survey which notes that this practice does not exist in a vacuum.  There are several factors that are driving child marriages and as Zimbabwe and other countries, we are condoning those.  Very little is being done to eradicate or at least to reduce the practice.  Some of the driving factors are poverty, cultural and religious practices feature as key drivers of child marriages in Zimbabwe.  Similarly child marriages in Malawi, according to the UNICEF report were also due to a complex of economic and cultural religious factors – so they are almost the same.

However, Malawi reacted that and were the first African country which passed a law banning all child marriages in 2015 and raised the legal age of marriage to 18 and above.  Child marriages directly hinder the achievement of the SDGs, which simply means the international community will not be able to fulfill its vision of a more sustainable world for all of us unless we tackle the child marriage practice the world over.

It is pleasing to note Madam President, according to world trends, that rates of child marriages are slowly and steadily declining globally but we are not doing enough.  Actually the practice has got more negatives than positives where it is practiced.  It is no excuse that people are poor and they marry off their children; and that religious practices take precedence over the interests of the young girls – that is not proper, considering and all the other practices that I mentioned.

Madam President, some of the negatives include but are not limited to the following: - the child bride is expected and exposed to domestic violence when she is married early; there are also dangers of health complications that are associated with early sexual activities and child bearing during the union.  There is social isolation when a child marries early through unwanted separation from her friends, relatives and close affiliates she goes away given to the strangers. Do you think she is going to be happy when she goes there?  No.  The young brides married in such a union find it difficult to insist on condom use by husbands, thus exposing them to HIV Aids and other STIs that are spread through sexual contact.  These are our children.  Some people are conversing whilst I am debating Madam President.

Such unions, Madam President, also result in bonded labour and ultimately lead to commercial exploitation.  Those children are being used for no apparent use as some religious people, especially those from the apostolic sects want to marry many wives and bear many children for cheap labour and these children do not go to school.  This is what I am talking about.  Early pregnancies also present major risks to both the young bride and the unborn child that she conceives.

In Zimbabwe, we should play our part to achieve these global efforts. For example, by aligning our laws to boost what we have gained in the past.  Early this year, we celebrated a court ruling that banned child marriages until all women are 18 and above – that is what the court did, but we have not aligned the law here.  There is still a dichotomy that exists that states that a child can engage in sexual activities at the age of 16 but the age of marriage is 18 years.  So we should align the two as quickly as possible so that we can prosecute the offenders accordingly.

Ending the practice of child marriages requires work across all sectors and at all levels.  We should also understand the factors that drive these early child marriages as I mentioned earlier and adapt interventions that address them accordingly.  If we all have a concerted effort, I think we can manage to reduce and eventually eradicate child marriages.  It is a topic we are discussing today that has a potential danger of wiping our nation as opposed to what Hon. Sen. Musaka proposed in his motion that we must have more children.  If they are marrying early like this, then we are just condemning them to death and we will not achieve the goals that we want to achieve. So I just want to support this motion.  It is a national report which must be discussed openly and the practice must be taken all over where we have gatherings; talk about child marriages, discourage and condemn them.   Children must be at school longer for them to have a good future.  I want to thank you Madam President with these kind words.


Sen. Mumvuri.  I do believe even the boy child is not allowed to marry at 14.  He also has to be 18 to marry.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Madam President.  I

rise to make my contribution on this motion and support it because it is a noble motion introduced by Hon. Sen. Makore regarding the problems which are faced by our youngsters who are forced into early marriages.

This is a very painful exercise.  We were debating this with Hon. Sen. Musaka and we said, let us control this problem because at the moment nobody seems to be serious about solving it.  What we know is that where there is a will there is a way.  I have all the faith in the people of Zimbabwe.  We are very intelligent, very learned and if we want anything solved we can solve it.  I also know that as Zimbabweans we are very good at theory but very bad at putting our theory into practice.  When we talk about these early marriages, if there is a law put that if there is a learner in Form 2 or 3 and that learner has been impregnated and has given birth; if people search they will know who impregnated the minor.

We are in a period where there is auctioning of tobacco.  If you go to the auction floors, there is a very sorry side which you come across because we have young mothers carrying babies on their backs.  At times you may even ask who was responsible for that pregnancy.  I visited a hospital where there was vaccination of children and this programme was concluded on Sunday.  When I visited that place, I heard a sorry side, very painful whereby we had children carrying babies on their backs, not only that some of those young girls were pregnant. What surprised me is that when they go to the gynecologist, he/she does not bother about asking whoever is responsible for impregnating these young girls.  My suggestion is, if you want to terminate that culture, we should impose a law whereby the health personnel at the maternity wards should ask about who is responsible for that pregnancy and whether there was any dowry or lobola paid.  This will come to an end.

All I am saying is that we are not a talk show, simply talking and theorising; we are not putting what we talk into practice.  If given enough time, I will make a research to look for those early married girls and bring their names to the House including also names of people who married the youngsters.


President for offering me this opportunity to offer a few words, not many about this motion.  Firstly, I would want to thank the mover Hon.

Sen. Makore.  You know child marriage is not a new problem.  We have lived with it; maybe it is only now that we are beginning to take it seriously.  Secondly, you know the society at large has great expectations when they look at the Senate and the National Assembly. So, when we debate such issues about child marriages and many others, we should not forget that we carry the hopes of millions out there. Our success as Parliament will be gauged on the ability to uphold the Constitution, to make good laws and many others.  If we fail to do that, people will mock us when we leave this Senate.  So, it is very important that when we debate these laws, we seriously apply our minds.

Madam President, it is no secret that Parliament is a revered institution.  If you talk of Parliament, they see something and so, we should leave up to the expectations.  Madam President on 20th January 2016, we received great news, the judgment that was given by the Constitutional Court that child marriages are unconstitutional and we have an obligation, if you read Section 119 of the Constitution, to uphold the Constitution. The High Court has said child marriages are unconstitutional, so it is a starting point but it is more than 14 months after this judgment.  What have we done as a nation to address this?  I think it is a question that we should be asking each and every one of us as Members of Parliament, parents and as members of this society, what have we done?

Madam President, I would want to thank the Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I remember he came in when we were debating the SADC Model law and he responded to it.  To me, it was something that was good that a Vice President and Minister can come and listen to the contributions that are coming from this Senate.  We hope that other ministers would do the same to come and listen before they present their Bills to this Senate.  So, I would want to thank the Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for coming in and I hope when he came, he factored in all the concerns that are raised by Hon. Senators from this august Senate.

Madam President as I stood up, I said child marriages is not a new thing.  If you look at the various Acts, we have several of them that talk of child marriages.  I am thinking of the Domestic Violence Act, the

Legal Age of Majority of 1982.  If you are 18, you can make a decision.

In one way or the other, they affect the Customary Marriages Act, the Marriages Act.  I am not debating the model law but I am trying to address it because these things are interlinked.  I am trying to say where we are going wrong. To me, I feel we have gone off tangent.  As a

House, we are presenting reports, debating and it ends there.  However,

Madam President, the challenge is still very big.  I want to challenge this House, I am also a Member, so I am included in the challenge that when we receive this Bill, we should also think retrogressively.  We have children who were married off, what will the law say about them?  What about the children who were born as a result of child marriages? Madam President, I think those are the issues that we need to ask ourselves and have an input as an august House.

Madam President, I think there is need for us to have a paradigm shift when we talk of child marriages and other laws.  You know, the law says chiefs have no jurisdiction in all issues that are of a criminal nature.  I am thinking of child marriages.  Yes, it is right to say it is criminal.  Maybe the word is not appropriate to say it is a criminal offence because you are now excluding us.  I think there is serious need for this House to review the jurisdiction that you give to traditional leaders.

I remember, on 3 March 2014 for your own information, I have this communication, chiefs signed the communication; it was signed by the President of the Zimbabwe National Council of Chiefs, Chief

Charumbira and the Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and

Community Development, Hon. Damasane.  Allow me to read Madam

President; “Zimbabwe National Council Chiefs’ meeting on ending

Child Marriages.”

I do not want to read much; at least I am talking from an informed and authoritative position.  It says, “The National Council of Chiefs will take the following interventions aimed at ending child marriages, partnering with the Ministry, PLAN International and other relevant development partners; reviving cultural education, cascading information on child marriages to all the chiefs in the country, leading the dissemination of awareness campaigns on the subject matter, strengthening and creating clear structures and platforms where traditional and religious leaders converge and exchange ideas, collaborating with Government and development partners in reviving the Zunde RaMambo, Isphala Senkosi concept to extend beyond food security in order to abate household poverty.”

In brief Madam President, the chiefs – as I have said, I am talking from a position of authority; the chiefs have done this wherever they have gone.  They have conscientised members at provincial, ward assemblies, you name it.  However, the chiefs have a handicap because when it comes to issues of law, we are handicapped.  They are like a toothless dog that will only bark and will not bite you.  A thief can go into any home knowing that that dog will not do anything.  I am challenging this House that if we are to address this issue of child marriages, we should give chiefs the jurisdiction to try cases involving child marriages.

Madam President, if we come and say the case is of a criminal nature and we should not touch it, it is alright but in a serious matter, are we addressing the issue?  The answer is no.  I am thinking of the rural areas, the proximity to the police station and to the courts.  People travel long distances and travelling is money and we know money is a challenge these days.  People let such cases to die a natural death because they have to travel long distances to access justice.  People should not travel long distances to access justice, no.

Madam President, I know that it is unethical to talk of cases that we try in our courts.  However, you will forgive me for being unethical in trying to solve this issue.  Madam President, some years back, a parent came to my court to report that a certain gentleman had failed to pay lobola.  The first instance is that you get suspicious, failed in what sense?  Have you explored all other avenues of communication and conflict resolution? No.  By then the child was in Form 3, she should have been 14 to 15 years of age.  They went to church and on arrival, the girl disappeared.  It was on a Friday, the whole of Saturday and Sunday the girl was missing until the mother had to call the father and inform him that their daughter was missing.  The father was not a Christian but circumstances forced him to go to church because of this problem.  They went there and he was told that their daughter was missing.

However, after some investigations, it was discovered that the Bishop had organised and married off his nephew to this daughter.  The father was coming to me because they agreed that the Bishop, on behalf of this boy, will pay lobola and had not fulfilled his promise, so they were coming to the Chief.  What touched me a lot Madam President, was that this girl was not going to school for about 15 months but on the day that they came to my court, she came putting on a school uniform, meaning that she wanted to go to school.  I talked to her and she said,

“Chief, help me, you are my last resort, I want to go back to school and I want the perpetrators to be brought to book”.

In  brief, Madam President, I told them that we have no jurisdiction and they were very disappointed that ‘a court that we uphold so much does not have jurisdiction to try child marriages.’  I said the nearest

court is Zvishavane or Mberengwa which is further away.  So, what I am trying to illustrate Madam President, is that we need a paradigm shift to say that all issues that have a criminal nature, the chief should not try them.  We will pass Acts that will perpetuate a perennial problem.  I challenge this House Madam President; that we should think seriously of such issues if we are to address them.  You know there is nothing peculiar in trying a criminal case.  Our forefathers did it, what can stop the current crop of chiefs from doing that?  It is food for thought for this House.

Madam President, I talked of children who were married off.  So, when this Bill comes, people out there have great expectations.  They want to know whether the law will take its course on those children who were married off or we are saying we will start prosecuting those that will practice child marriages when the law is passed. I think we should come out clearly on that one.

Secondly, it is a cross cutting issue – we have talked of religious leaders’ harmful cultural practices and I will not dwell much on them. I feel we need to have a holistic approach on this matter. There is need for these young children; unlike our forefathers, children these days are getting married when they are very young. Marriage officials should also verify whether the child getting into marriage is over 18 years or not and take appropriate action. We say in Ndebele “akulamuntu ongatshaya ikatali ngapha egida” What I am trying to say is that I cannot give myself self praise. Praise should come from the other people because if I am saying it because I am a chief, people will be saying maybe I am too pompous and therefore you have to forgive me. The call has been loud coming from this House. What we are asking for Madam President is action.

Finally, if you have been listening to the report, the statistics show that this practice is prevalent in the rural and resettlement areas where chiefs have jurisdiction over. The other thing is let us develop our economy. We cannot solve this problem without developing our economy. Some problems are structural in nature and if we turn a blind eye to them, we will not succeed. The challenge is that these boys and girls are walking long distances to and from school. Those men and women who waylay these innocent souls should spare these children. We should build more schools, especially in the resettlement areas to reduce the distance that they travel to and from school. We need also to improve our recreational facilities. If you take a snap survey- instead of these facilities developing, their number is going down. These recreational facilities are being closed down. So, what will these children think of? Marriage!

The issue of poverty and greediness – you know we say certain things blindly and ignorantly but they have a meaning and an impact later on. When a girl child is born, what do we say, “Aa sagewala isibaya”. We say it ignorantly but that is where the thought of greediness and saying ah-h I have got a child, I will fill up my kraal. We need to detach such things from our children that we bear. When a boy is born we say “Aah saphela isibaya”, meaning that I have to take more cows from the kraal to pay for lobola.

I can see that the orange light is now on, but allow me a minute to sum up what I have said. Madam President, if we are to address the issue of eradicating HIV/AIDS by 2030, we should seriously address the issue of child marriages. With those very few words, I would want to thank the mover of the motion and thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MAKORE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. B. SIBANDA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017.





appeal to Honourable Senators who have motions on the Order Paper, particularly motions which are not Committee reports to please have your motions removed from the Order Paper. As you can see, it is quite voluminous and yet we have spent about 45 minutes just going through and having the motions moved over to the following day. That means people have nothing to contribute to your motion at this point. Except for those motions which are Committee reports, it is because with Committee reports we would like the Ministers responsible or shadowed by that particular Committee to respond to the Committee report.

I am appealing to the Honourable Senators who have their motions which we have been adjourning for quite a while to please remove your motions from the Order Paper.



inform the House that the Chairperson of the Liaison and Coordination Committee, Hon. L. Matuke, has convened the first meeting of the LCC for the year 2017. The meeting will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017 in this Senate Chamber at 10:00 a.m. All Committee

Chairpersons must attend as well as the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus, the President and Deputy President of the National Council of Chiefs must attend this Committee tomorrow. I thank you.

Before we adjourn the House and leave, we would like to heartily welcome back Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo –[HON SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- Thank you. You are welcome Sir.



MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Twenty Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.




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