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SENATE HANSARD 06 September 2015 25-06
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 6th October, 2015.
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(MADAM PRESIDENT in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY MADAM PRESIDENT
VALIDATION OF WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS
MADAM PRESIDENT: I have to inform all hon. senators of the
Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus that they are invited to the validation meeting of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus’
Strategic Plan and the Advocacy Strategies documents on Wednesday, 7th October, 2015 at 0845 hours in the Senate Chamber. Hon. Senators are requested to be punctual.
APPOINTMENT TO THE CHAIRPERSON’S PANEL
MADAM PRESIDENT: Hon. senators, Section 136 (1) (b) of the
Constitution states that a person presiding at any sitting of the Senate must be, in the absence of the President and Deputy President of the Senate, a senator elected for the purpose by the Senate but that senator must not be a Minister or a Deputy Minister. Standing Order No. 10, (1) provides that as soon as practicable, after the commencement of every
Parliament and from time to time, thereafter as necessity may arise, the
Senate shall appoint one of its members to be Deputy Chairperson of
Committees who shall be entitled to exercise all the powers of the Chairperson of Committees, excluding his or her powers as Deputy President of the Senate.
Standing Order No. 10, (3) provides that as soon as practicable, after the commencement of every Session or as occasion may require, thereafter, the Senate shall elect two members, who with the
Chairperson of Committees and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees shall constitute the Chairperson’s panel. Such members shall be entitled to exercise the powers of the Deputy Chairperson, save in regard to the acceptance of a motion or the closure. I, now therefore, call for nominations for the position of Deputy Chairperson and member of the
Chairperson’s panel. In our case, this has been necessitated by the fact that Senator Mathuthu is now a member of the Executive.
ELECTION TO THE CHAIRPERSON’S PANEL
SENATOR MOHADI: Thank you Madam President. I move
that Hon. Senator Angeline Masuku be elected to the Chairperson’s panel to replace Hon. Senator Mathuthu who was appointed Deputy Minister. I thank you.
SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President. I rise to
second the motion.
Motion put and agreed to.
A cellphone having rung.
*MADAM PRESIDENT: Please. let us put our cellphones on
silent in case of emergency calls.
An hon. senator’s cell phone having kept on ringing.
MADAM PRESIDENT: The hon. senator may be excused from the Chamber.
Senator Masuku moved to the Chairperson’s Chair.
MADAM PRESIDENT: Before I continue with this motion, I would like to share with hon. senators that Senator Angeline Masuku has held the position of a member of the Chairperson’s Panel in the National Assembly. Thank you for electing a person who has experience with the job. Thank you.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
*SENATOR MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Madam President,
for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on the Presidential Speech. I am very grateful for the speech which he delivered in his capacity as the President of the State, the Head of Government and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. He is a God-given leader and his leadership is a blessing. He is a man of peace. He has ably managed to lead Zimbabwe for so many years and I am grateful for what he said because he said a lot of constructive issues. It was very exciting to listen to the great leader.
There are some of the things that he mentioned that are already happening as he stated. He talked about the elevation of women and we have seen it happening. They are being elevated to high positions. He also talked about the elevation and participation of youths. He also talked about peace. Zimbabwe is a very peaceful country and it is known worldwide that Zimbabwe is a peaceful country.
The President also talked about irrigation. He said irrigation is an essential tool for fighting hunger in the country and therefore, I beg the people in this august Senate who have dams on their farms, that they should start implementing the irrigation programmes, especially growing maize in order to fight against starvation. We realise that whosoever constructed these dams which we are seeing around the country were foresighted; they knew that rains would default and the only way of going round the problem would be working on irrigation.
The President also spoke strongly against corruption. He said corruption is a cancerous ideology that destroys the country. We therefore need to work in unison, fight corruption and eliminate it completely.
I was glad when I heard the President talking about something which really annoys me; such shameless males who rape infants and abuse babies. They are an abomination to the nation and I wish these people would be eliminated from the face of the earth. These shameless men leave mature women and go to the innocent children.
The President also mentioned some of these things when he was addressing a meeting of the United Nations in New York. He spoke strongly against homosexuality. Zimbabwe recognises heterosexuals. God created men and women, so how can a man fall in love with a man and a woman fall in love with another woman? I read a book by Fred
Mercury of UK. He was a member of the ‘Queens Band’. He was a millionaire and had a mansion but his father lived in a shack. Fred Mercury had a bed which could accommodate 16 people at the same time and that is where he used to sleep. He was a homosexual and would be in bed with 16 men and he enjoyed that. His father was an honest man and he said “my son, use your money as you want, I do not want the money from homosexuality.” We are saying, as Zimbabweans, let us be steadfast and say we do not want dirty money. We would rather stay as we are.
The colonialists who have taken us as captives said we are hard mashona types. It means we are a people who are resilient and who are really growing in statue. We have enough money to buy the properties we want. We know we are not happy but because of the type of food that we eat, we really survive. Even if it is bitter like pepper, we will eat it and when we are suffering, we take in water to cool down the bitterness.
I stand here to make my contribution, Madam President. When you get home and you hear a child saying, we are going to move from this home, that child would have heard his parents saying we are going to move. When I grew up, I would observe my father; if my father cried, I would also cry. If my mother cried, I also cried.
I was watching television and listened to my leader, His Excellency, Cde R.G. Mugabe speaking strongly, standing in for the people of Zimbabwe, appealing to the European Union, and to Barack Obama asking them to remove the illegal sanctions because we do not deserve them for we are a peaceful nation. If a father is talking like that, we should mourn with him and appeal for the removal of sanctions because whatever pains my father should also pain me. Why should I be enjoying when my parents are in pain? Madam President, I am appealing to this Senate that we need to have unity of purpose for the progress of this country.
There was also talk of what was happening to the maize which was sold in 2012 and 2013, appealing to ministers and we are happy to say that the Grain Marketing Board which had not paid the farmers since that period has since paid the farmers and I am proof of that. People came to me and thanked me that the Government had listened and paid them the monies which were due to them.
I went with the Peace and Security Thematic Committee to Plumtree Border Post and I was very much perturbed when they talked about democracy. We wanted to see the border and there were 22 children who came to us at the Zimbabwe-Botswana border – there were three pregnant women who had gone there. They were being deported. The diabolic thing about the Tswanas is that they make these people work and when it is month end they deport them without paying them. The other thing which really pained me Mr. President was that some of the Zimbabweans were whipped. When a crime is committed they are taken to the chiefs and the chiefs have a right to hit somebody on the buttocks and these people were beaten and it is painful. But when these Tswanas come into our country whether as refugees or visitors, we are very hospitable to them. We are a peaceful country. We are a God fearing country and when we have visitors we treat them very well. So why do they mistreat us? Why do they ill- treat us?
When I look at our President Cde R. G. Mugabe, I know he is using God’s power and we also appeal to his ministers and the ministers should deliver that message to us so that we can run the country peacefully. Therefore, I appeal to my fellow senators that we have to be exemplary. We are the elders and role models and therefore we should implement what was stated by His Excellency, the President of this country for the progress of Zimbabwe. I thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.
*SENATOR BHOBHO: Thank you for giving me this
opportunity of making my contribution in this august Senate. I thank His Excellency for the speech which he gave when he was giving us the way which we should follow in the making of laws in this country. I was very much pleased by the previous senator who made contributions on this topic. We need to support the President of this country because he is a steadfast man. He is an honest man. He is a peace loving man who has his people at heart. Whatever it is he does, he takes his time, thinks over it and tells the nation the progress in that area. Whatever progress we have, he will talk about it and if there are any failures, he will tell us. He is a man who has his country at heart and will never rest until his people attain peace.
When we look at our enemies they gave Zimbabwe illegal sanctions and they think that we are suffering and in pain. Yes, in other words we are suffering but because of our steadfast President, he is working hard. He has alleviated the problems which could be befalling us because of the sanctions. He is opening our eyes and charting ways which we should follow in fighting off these illegal diabolic sanctions. He has shown that following the ZIM ASSET programme, we can use our land and benefit from it. People could be suffering as was stated by Senator Machingaifa when he was talking about the problems which were facing farmers who had delivered their maize to the Grain Marketing Board and had problems because of the sanctions. But because of the capable leader, the blessed leader, the great leader, we were able to get enough money to pay our farmers for their sweat in feeding the nation.
I am appealing to fellow parliamentarians that we are representatives of the people and we also represent the Head of State in what will be happening in our constituencies. We should follow that and make our country progress. We should survive, defeat and beat all the illegal sanctions which come from the imperial West. Our children are going to school and we have noticed that His Excellency has the wish that everyone of us in Zimbabwe affords education and wealth. We thank the Lord for giving us His Excellency, a blessed man who has foresight, Solomonic wisdom and whatever he has he gives to the people so that they inherit milk and honey of Zimbabwe.
Education is wealth. Education is progress and if you are not aware of your surroundings you may die of hunger and poverty. But His Excellency, has opened our eyes and we are able to beat illegal sanctions. In times of progress he works with us and in times of shortages he also works with us because he is a knowledgeable man, a learned man, he knows the many ways of beating the problems which
are in the country and therefore I appeal to hon. senators to take what His Excellency said, and that we go and teach people in our constituencies – we go and tell our constituents about ZIM ASSET. If we do not know how to do things, we will always be looking forward to the Government to perform miracles. Since our eyes have been opened, we are the Government. Whenever you are working on anything which you own, you handle it with care. It is not foreign and therefore you value it.
I thank the contribution made by Senator Machingaifa and I praise His Excellency, the Head of State because he is the man who will work hard in looking for resources so that he meets the needs of his people. The illegal sanctions were meant to make us suffer but we are sitting so well. When you go to countries like South Africa, you look for ways whereby you can sleep because you will be afraid that you may be attacked at night but Zimbabwe, beautiful as it is, is a peaceful country. You can move throughout the night with no fear. You do not fear anybody. We have people who move around whether they are children or women.
In the colonial times we were represented by man and women were considered as inconsequential, people of no significance but His Excellency has shown us that women and children can contribute to the development of the country and world at large. There is equality of sexes. There are times when we have noticed that women have a bigger role to play in the running of the home better than their husbands and hence they are empowered. The President has helped us identify the talents in us as women and we are very glad because of the support he has given us. Let me give praise to the men of Zimbabwe because they have since realised that we are also capable of taking the country to greater heights. They do not look down upon their women, they know that we are equal. The President is always promoting knowledge , he is not selfish, he shares whatever he has so that every Zimbabwean will benefit. Everybody becomes independent and self-sufficient. In the colonial era, women were so dependent that when faced with a problem, they would mourn and roll on the ground helplessly. However, we praise our President, women are now capable, they are now taking up all those jobs which were deemed to be fit for men and they are doing them capably. We thank the Lord for giving us His Excellency who is a farmer and is growing what is going to be reaped, which is the progress of the country. I thank you.
+SENATOR BHEBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the
opportunity to make my contribution on the Presidential Speech. I also thank the mover of this motion, Hon. Senator Tawengwa and the seconder of the motion. My fellow Senators have made contributions on this Speech. Before I go further, I would like to thank His Excellency for elevating Hon. Mathuthu to Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services. I know that she is not the only one, many were elevated to ministerial and deputy ministerial positions. I thank His Excellency.
Mr. President Sir, I thank His Excellency for the Speech he gave in opening up this Session of the Eighth Parliament. The President talked about a lot of things which have a bearing on the progress of Zimbabwe such as industry, business, agriculture, the welfare of the people, mining, child care and also starvation and hunger. I know he said a lot of things which I cannot mention.
The President talked a lot about progress in agriculture. He also advised us that, when we are farming, we should be aware of the climatic conditions of our area so that we know which crop to grow, which will withstand the climate of our regions. We have heard climate experts predicting that this farming season, 2015 to 2016 is going to have very little rains. Therefore, it becomes essential that we become aware of the short-seasoned crops which will withstand the short-rainy season which we are faced with. In so doing, we will be able to stave off starvation. We can grow millet and some small grains. Some of these small grains are nutritious and give us vitamins and protect us from diseases. We should therefore concentrate on these small grains such as millet, rapoko and red corn.
We also have to think about the environment. We are being encouraged to take care of the veld fires and we are not even aware of the thick-heads responsible for starting these fires. We need to be aware and stop them from starting these fires. A lot of areas have been destroyed by these veld fires, they are destructive, they kill and maim people, destroy properties and wild flora and fauna. We need to find ways of fighting off these veld fires. We need to look for the reasons why people start these fires. As I speak, we have a lot of livestock and wild life which was destroyed by these fires and yet these flora and fauna create the balance of nature.
We appeal to the people in rural areas, forests and farms to start constructing fire guards. Small scale miners in these areas also start these fires when they use their metal detectors, they start off by burning the grass in those areas so that their detectors can work properly. Mr. President, I appeal to the powers that be, that laws should be enforced so that we do not experience these veld firers.
What is also happening because of climatic change is that we now have lightning striking people because there is nothing to protect them, trees have been cut. The miners are also reckless, they are leaving their mining pits uncovered and yet after mining they are supposed to cover them up. These are presenting a danger to the animals and to the people.
The President was talking about the natural wealth of Zimbabwe, we should protect it. We are now faced with starvation in different areas. We are reading from the newspapers and from the media that we have enough food such that nobody in Zimbabwe will die of hunger. We have people who are moving around collecting names of people who are supposed to benefit from these food handouts. We know that not all areas in Zimbabwe received enough rains. We also hope that in identifying and helping people faced with starvation, there should be no discrimination.
However, what we know is that a few have been identified but we have a lot of people who are suffering from hunger because of climatic change. A hungry man is an angry man. We therefore appeal to the responsible authorities, that we need to look for ways of importing food so that everyone is fed.
When the Government talks about children’s education or education for all, we are made aware that education is a priority because if you are uneducated, you have a limited thinking capacity. Mr.
President, we are now appealing that the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), which is supposed to take care of the poor and vulnerable in paying for school fees, should have an overhaul because it is no longer paying up the money that it was supposed to pay for the children. As a result, some of these vulnerable groups are no longer going to school, they are suffering.
We therefore appeal to the school authorities to be aware of the fact that we no longer have an efficient BEAM. The elderly are surprised when they find children being ejected from school. I sympathise with the girl-child because if she is ejected from school and stays at home, they are abused. They are abused by the man who will be there because they have nothing to do at home. Therefore, we appeal that this BEAM programme be financed and be able to pay for the fees. I appeal to the powers that be that when the President has said such statements, the powers that be should take steps to alleviate these problems. This is my contribution to His Excellency’s Speech. I thank you. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-
SENATOR MASUKU: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
SENATOR MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th October, 2015.
On the motion of SENATOR MASUKU seconded by SENATOR
MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at Twelve Minutes past Three o’clock, p.m.