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SENATE HANSARD 03 MARCH 2020 29 26

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 3rd March, 2020.

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to inform the

Senate that there will be a Roman Catholic Church service tomorrow, Wednesday, 3rd March, 2020 at 1230 hours in the Senate Chamber.  All

Catholic and non-catholic Members are invited.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST

PROVINCE (HON. MUNZVERENGWI): I move that Orders of the

Day Numbers 1 to 5 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until all the

Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Madam President, I move that the

debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MKWEBU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2020.

                                                                                    MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST

PROVINCE (HON. MUNZVERENGWI): I move that Order of the Day, Number 7 be stood over until all the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE ZIMBABWEAN DELAGATION BILATERAL

VISIT TO CUBA

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwean Delegation to the Bilateral Visit to Havana, Cuba from 1st to 6th September, 2019.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Madam President. I want to thank you so much for the delegation that went to Cuba on a benchmarking visit. We heard that in Cuba they have quite a number of women who occupy decision making positions. I hope as Zimbabwe we can take a leaf from this and ensure that more women occupy decision making spaces. I am happy that in Zimbabwe a woman can take up a managerial post but I feel that the numbers should increase since they are also acquiring the required education for the posts.

I am also concerned about the eviction of embassy staff for failure to pay rentals. It is sad if you are far away from home and you are evicted in a foreign land with nowhere to go for non-payment of rent. We want to thank Madam President for your intervention in assisting the situation as it is embarrassing to have our staff evicted with nowhere to go to. I also want to applaud the use of solar which is a noble idea such that as Zimbabwe if we adopt that it could help us since electricity is expensive. The electricity tariffs have gone up. Yesterday I bought a token for $200 and you do not understand how that can be used in such short space of time. I think the Ministry of Energy should explain to the nation at large on the tariff system. If we are to use solar in rural areas it will alleviate the energy burden especially in rural areas, particularly hospitals where mothers are giving birth in darkness. I urge Zimbabwe to adopt use of solar energy. We once heard of a solar plant in

Chitungwiza but no one knows what became of it. Madam President, I appreciate the delegation that went on the trip. I also want to applaud the assistance that is being given to people living with HIV. Thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MALULEKE: I want to add a few words to the report on those who went to Cuba from 1 - 6 September, 2019. We want to thank them for the work that they did. We want to applaud them for having many women in decision making levels. We understand they have five Vice Presidents of which three are women; it is something to be proud of. I also heard that they meet twice a month to attend Parliament but the rest of the month they are in the communities because that is where the work is. I think this is a good practice because as MPs we can also be visible in our constituencies. We can adopt some of these practices in stages inasmuch as a child learns how to work.

I want to thank the delegation that represented us and were able to assist. Our request is that the Foreign Affairs Minister should address these issues before it embarrasses the nation. We are aware of the fact that we have other priorities but let us look after our foreign missions.

We want to thank those who managed to save the situation. Madam President, we want to thank you. Some of us are not that educated but you know what we mean when we say certain English words. Our hope is for us to be educated as you are. When we come to Parliament we expect to learn a lot that can assist us in the event that we travel to other countries. Most of the issues were debated by the other Hon. Members. I am sure you went to various places. The other place known as House of – I cannot remember but the country is made up of women. If you give women something to do they do it diligently. Look at what Madam President was able to achieve as a woman. She did well. We also want to thank our President for ensuring that the number of women increases in that they are able to learn a lot from other countries. With these many words, I thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Madam President for giving me an opportunity to add my voice on the motion before us. Firstly, I want to thank you and your delegation for the trip you undertook to

Cuba. I want to thank the Hon. Members who are debating that women are well represented and working well in terms of governance. It is good that as Zimbabwe if you are able to go and represent us, we feel happy and honoured especially by the fact that you are a woman you were able to address the challenges that the embassy was facing. That is typical of mothers.

Madam President, I want to urge this august Senate that we should request our Finance Minister to seriously look into the issue of our embassies to bring us business. It is because our embassies do not show seriousness, hence we lose business. The ambassador and his team should represent the country well but can only do this if we are organised. If you travel Madam President and you find employees at the embassy complaining of poverty and hunger, it does not paint a good picture, hence we should engage the Minister to look at all the embassies that we have and ensure that the staff in these embassies is well remunerated.

Madam President, I am made to understand and you also realise that Cuba has now adopted the use of solar energy. The issue of solar is very important for us as Zimbabweans because we have a lot of sunshine.  The Government must look, especially from the Finance Ministry to see how our people can use solar.  The truth is, no one can dispute that electricity is a problem.  We should encourage our people to use solar and the Government should take serious steps to see to it that solar has been brought into this country and people are at ease with using it.  Government at the moment is the one which is in trouble in providing energy, especially electricity. You are all aware that we are in trouble because of electricity.  It is very expensive and scarce but if you can buy your solar panel, you can use it easily and it is not that expensive like electricity.  The Government has to look closely on the issue of solar.  It is being used everywhere we go, especially in Africa.  Our Government has to look into that and take steps to make it easy for Zimbabweans to use it.

Madam President, I want to add on saying the rights for women is very important.  In Cuba we saw that women are participating in politics.  In this country, we have the Constitution, which gave us 50:50 representation that in all positions of leadership, there must be women holding 50% of those posts.  If we have got 100 positions, women have to get 50 positions out of those positions.

The problem in this country is our Constitution has not been aligned.  Even culturally we are behind.  If you can go on the ground, you will find that women want to elect men because of our culture.  We need to educate people that our women can be leaders.  Women can do a lot of things which are done by men.  It is a problem that the Government has to look at.  How are we going to meet the 50:50 representation so that women are found in positions?  Madam President, some women are afraid of being leaders.  They need education so that they are not afraid to take up positions.  It is the responsibility of Government to teach our women that they take up political positions and participate also.

The other thing which is discouraging women is being looked down upon and always being humiliated towards elections.  The humiliation of women towards elections is too much.  Women are humiliated and looked down upon and therefore we need to make laws that protect women so that they feel safe.  Some men stop their spouses from participating in politics because they know they will be humiliated during campaigns.  What you did by going to other countries to see what they are doing teaches Members of Parliament who were in the delegation.  They came back and moved this motion.  As a result of the motion we are learning and now understand how Cuba is operating.  We want to thank you for that.  Madam President, may you continue doing the good job.  We know money can be scarce but we are committed to help.  With those few words, I thank you and your delegation.

+HON. SEN. M. NDLOVU:  I would want to congratulate you

Madam President for the job that you are doing.  We wish you long life.

After Cuba’s independence and Zimbabwe’s independence, we got an opportunity to go there and see how they are operating.  It is quite clear that women are important people.  When you arrived in Cuba and realised that our officers there were not well, you tried your level best to solve their problems because you are a proper woman who looks after her children.

Madam President, when you send us, we should not go there to look at negatives but to look at positives so that when we come back, we implement those things.  We have learnt from those who went there under your leadership. You were taken to important places.  We wish also that our country may attain that status.  Your Senate here and women MPs should learn to travel and they should not be afraid to talk.  This is why you find women being afraid to take leadership positions.  We see some other women with whom we fought our liberation struggle doing well.  We heard that people who worked with Fidel Castro are still living. We are happy because we also will be seen as women by others.  The most important thing Madam President is that we as women should not laugh at each other. We should not despise each other and we should not segregate each other on political lines.  We are here representing the women of Zimbabwe, not necessarily for our parties.  We are all women chosen by the people of Zimbabwe that we represent them in this House so we should be united Madam President.  May the Lord bless you and continue leading us.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. MAVHUNGA):  Madam President, I

move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday 4th March, 2020

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE PAN-AFRICAN

PARLIAMENT HIGH LEVEL SUMMIT ON HIV AND

HEALTH FINANCING IN AFRICA

Nineth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the Pan-African Parliament High Level Summit on HIV and Health Financing in Africa.

Question against proposed.

HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you Madam President for giving

me this opportunity to add a few words to this debate. Madam President, we are very proud that our people are able to go and participate in all these international fora.  From what I can see, they went to the PanAfrican Parliament and one thing that I am finding quite embarrassing with our country is that we are not paying our subscriptions to all the organisations where we are participants.

On the African continent, we are looked up to very highly by colleagues because we are known for our advanced education, our demeanor and knowledge but we feel very diminished by the state of our affairs. In all the international bodies, I would not be surprised; the only thing that would surprise me is that we are up to date with the Pan-

African Parliament.  Is there anything that we can do so that Government puts a provision for us to pay our dues to all the international bodies that we belong to?  It is very demeaning to sit there looking very smart and speaking very good English led by very honourable and senior members of our Government and yet we are behind with our payments.  We are not behind by one or two years but by four to six years.  Really it is not excusable.

If we cannot pay everything, let us be seen to be paying something, even if it is only ten thousand where fifty thousand is needed or twenty thousand where 100 thousand is needed, that would really give us a little bit of a stature.  I do not know if the Minister of Finance and Economic Development recognises just how embarrassing it is to be called out by your colleagues year in year out.  I am speaking like this because

Madam President, you are the leader of the women in the Pan-African Parliament and the African Parliamentary Union.  When we go to these summits, you are required to sit at the front. They will be talking about people in arrears and what the board should do about them.  There she is, sitting as one of the leaders and her country has not paid one cent, really it is not good and not acceptable – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear] – what can we do?  We need the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to commit a few funds to these things so that before you go on your next errand, something should have been paid long before you go.  I thank you Madam President – [HON.

SENATORS: Hear, hear.] -

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Sen.

Makone for bringing that point.

HON. SEN. FEMAI: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March 2020.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND PROVINCE (HON. MAVHUNGA), the Senate

adjourned at Eight Minutes past Three O’clock p.m. 

 

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