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SENATE HANSARD 07 OCTOBER 2015 25-07
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 7th October, 2015.
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING PRESIDENT in the Chair)
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
+SENATOR MKHWEBU: Thank you Mr. President. I rise to make my contribution on the motion raised by Senator Tawengwa and seconded by Senator Mathuthu. When I was going through the speech delivered by His Excellency - I want to thank the President for giving ministerial positions to members of this Senate who were appointed Ministers and Deputy Ministers. I say to them congratulations!
My second point is that, going back to the President’s speech, he talked about the development of businesses and industries. He was talking about the zones; those areas which are going to be set aside as industrial business centres so that taxes can be collected from those areas. The President stated that some laws were going to be relaxed so that it will be easier for investors to come and open businesses in Zimbabwe. The important thing about this is that the laws in establishing businesses in Zimbabwe are going to be relaxed.
Parliament was tasked to create rules which will make investing in Zimbabwe conducive. These two Houses should really look at the laws and see that they are properly aligned so that when investors come to invest in Zimbabwe, they do not face many problems such as going through a number of offices just to get permission to open these joint ventures in Zimbabwe. We believe that when the law has been put in place, investors will come to Zimbabwe. In other words, we should be acting on this as a matter of urgency. So, when you look at the Companies Act, it should not take a long time for an investor to have his papers processed in order to start businesses in Zimbabwe.
The other point I will talk about regarding the speech delivered by His Excellency, is that the President urged both Houses of Parliament to have a relook at the labour laws of the country because at times they are cumbersome. When he talked about this, it was during that moment of madness when workers were being fired on three months’ notice. He therefore tasked both Houses to create a law which will protect the workers so that they carry out their duties in a proper manner. We say thank you Your Excellency.
The President also talked about something which is very important in this country. Zimbabwe is a mineral rich country and we need to exploit our minerals but that can only be done if there is proper exploration of these minerals. Zimbabweans should be aware of the laws which support and protect these minerals, and should also be aware of the types of minerals and quantities underground in Zimbabwe. So, the country and the people of Zimbabwe should be able to quantify and qualify the minerals we have in the country. Hence I am talking about exploration because the President said it is very important and essential that we enact laws towards the exploration of minerals in Zimbabwe.
The President went ahead and talked about the Child Protection Act which needs to be amended regarding the children. When we talk about child protection, it involves a lot of aspects such as education, feeding, and health. It shows the President has the children at heart including their future lives.
The President also urged Parliament to look at the Bill which looks at the welfare of war veterans, ex-political detainees and the war collaborators. These have to be taken care of because of the good work which they carried out on the emancipation of Zimbabwe. The President said the Bill should be enacted and that there be one Act which takes into account all these groups who were involved in the liberation of Zimbabwe. It was revealed that the only people who had fought for the freedom of Zimbabwe were the war veterans and the detainees, but we have some people who have been omitted in this grouping yet they did a lot in the emancipation of Zimbabwe. Hence, His Excellency said all the people who were involved in the liberation of our country Zimbabwe, should benefit from this Act. I thank you Mr. President.
*SENATOR MAWIRE: Thank you Mr. President. I rise to make my contribution on the speech given by His Excellency who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces. The motion was raised by Senator Tawengwa seconded by Senator Mathuthu. This issue was raised by His Excellency when he opened this session. The President talked about many things which are very essential in the development of Zimbabwe and we should treat that as such because as members of the Senate, we are the elders. We are the think-tank of the nation and we should look for ways of developing Zimbabwe. Amongst the many topics which were discussed by His
Excellency, what really touched me as an individual is the issue of Bills and amendments which are being done in the alignment of laws to the new Constitution, which were changed from the Lancaster House to the current Constitution by the people of Zimbabwe. Hence, we need to align our laws according to the new Constitution.
His Excellency also talked about education. Education is very essential. Without education, there would be strife, people would be selfish and there could be uprisings because people would be living like animals as they have no direction. We have a God-given leader who has proper leadership qualities who is the face-patriot of this country – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - Before he could delve into anything he wanted the expansion and development of education. Regardless of what somebody could be, if they are educated they are controllable. As Zimbabweans, we are very famous because we are so much conscious of education that we have founded a Defence College
University. This is going to benefit, not only the people of SADC and Africa, but even in Europe. That means Zimbabwe is very popular because of its education policies and educated people.
As a man who is patriotic, who loves his country and is aware of the problems facing his country, he talked about the importance of taking care of the children, looking at the children’s rights and protecting them. Some of us at first did not understand what the leader was saying but after the enunciation by His Excellency, we were aware that when we build children, we are building them for tomorrow. If we do not educate our children, we are destroying our tomorrow. The
Government has said there are supposed to be children’s rights, children should have properties taking into account the capabilities of the child in that development.
The President also looked at the many customs and situations which are found in this country such as early marriages. The President is saying let us do away with early marriages and sympathise with the girl child because the girl child is married off in some cultures at ten years. When we look at what was happening before, traditionally in our African culture, women were married off at 25 years. We have a certain term which we used to call these women, they were called ‘tsikombi’ in Shona. This is talking about a lady who is aged without getting married and the President is saying let us give the girl child enough time to make her own decision whether to get married and by that time she will have grown up and will understand the problems and challenges faced in marriage.
The President also talked about gender, which is the equality of men and women. We can only talk about this when we have a commission which will play an oversight role on the Gender Act. We also have to look at the progress which will be done in the elevation of women. If we are talking of elevation of women, is it really true or it is just a face saving venture? Such a commission will be examining all those things. I love my President because when he says whatever it is, he says he has no discrimination according to colour, race or creed and he embraces everybody. We know some of us have lived in polygamous marriages where there is discrimination – [HON. SENATORS:
Inaudible interjections.] – Fellow hon. senators, let me debate because this is my chance. If you want to speak against what I have said, you shall have your own time.
The gender issue was first raised by Zimbabwe in this region. We are noticing that other countries have started following that. Through his able guidance, Zimbabwe now has a lot of women in Parliament. Women are now able to take up whatever job which they can take, even ministerial posts moving in the luxurious Benz cars. This is happening because we have a God-given leader who is a patriot and who loves his people. If a country is led by a selfish leader, there would be chaos in that country because there is no direction.
The President also talked about the Consumer Protection Bill because in most cases people are short changed. The President is saying people should be able to open up businesses, carry out their ventures without being belittled by anybody but using the laws which exist. We should be producing high quality goods which we can sell to other countries.
When we look at our minerals, they are quality minerals which we should protect. Therefore, there should be beneficiation and value addition of all the products which we manufacture so that we can have more exports and fewer imports. This can only happen if there is value addition and beneficiation of our goods and the standard should be equal or beyond the goods from other countries.
The President also talked about the responsibility of local authorities especially in urban areas. He talked about the discipline of councillors. They were indisciplined because they knew that there was no law which would tie them down. They were picking up on the rates paid by the ratepayers and giving themselves hefty salaries at the expense of service delivery. Therefore, when we enact the Bill on local authorities, we are going to be able to control the local authorities and be able to direct these councils so that they receive reasonable salaries and spend more of their money on service delivery so that everybody is happy.
The President also talked about the Public Health Bill and said it is very essential that the people of Zimbabwe be of good health. Whenever the President is talking about good health, he says we should be conscious of the food we eat. We should eat traditional foods because these will keep our bodies in good shape.
Through the laws, the Government will look at the associations which deal with the welfare of people. We have some associations where people were paying monies into the associations and the funds were being abused. So, when a Bill has been enacted, the consumers are protected and they will be able to live a good life. Nobody will accommodate these corrupt activities. These associations which are being founded will then be scrutinised to see whether they are genuine or they are just being used by these unscrupulous people.
My ideal President is a humane man, a God given-man, a peace loving man, a very patriotic man, a man who says everybody in Zimbabwe should be living a very good life. He also says we can develop our country through implementation of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and through that we can be able to support that and stand on our own.
We believe as hon. senators we should be serious on these issues and play our oversight role of the Ministries. If we follow that attitude, we will have adopted a positive attitude. May we please be aware of the fact that we are Zimbabweans and nobody will come from somewhere and develop our country? It is up to us and this is my contribution. I thank you.
*SENATOR CHABUKA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me
the opportunity to make my contribution on the speech given by His
Excellency, the President, Cde R. G. Mugabe when he was opening this Session of this Parliament. Yes, we know initially the President delivered a wrong speech and Parliament had to be recalled for the second day and this was an expense to the country which is in financial dire straits. Despite that, the speech he delivered especially on the alignment of the existing laws to the Constitution is very good. This is a worthwhile exercise.
We are also urging His Excellency not to just be a talk-shop but implement the laws which will have been aligned. We also look at the development of the country because a country can only develop when we follow the Constitution which was written by the people of Zimbabwe. As a result when the Constitution has been made the laws have to be aligned according to it. Everybody would wish that this should not be changed.
His Excellency talked about the security of this country and as Zimbabwe, we should be a peaceful country where the protection of each individual is respected. We should not suffer the situation like that of the missing Itai Dzamara because in a peaceful country such a situation should not exist. When we are talking of security where everybody is being protected, it is something which should be genuine. As members of this august Senate, we will be talking about things which we know and exist in the country. His Excellency talked about the rights of women and children.
My plea and wish is that Zimbabwe should be following a developmental stance just like when we look at the urban councils and we cover up for people who are corrupt. Instead of these people being fired, they are transferred from one ministry to the other and yet they will be destroying this country through their activities. In real life when you have stored your meat in the refrigerator or any food stuff, if it goes bad you throw it away and buy something fresh. That is what we are saying. Corruption has destroyed Zimbabwe and I thank His Excellency for talking against corruption.
The President also talked about the minerals. From what I know these buildings could be built on minerals which are underground. When these minerals have been mined they should benefit the Zimbabwean nation and not individuals as could be happening. Everybody should benefit. We thank the President that the people should benefit from these minerals. The President also talked about beneficiation and value addition of our minerals. I thank you Mr. President.
*SENATOR CHIMANIKIRE: I thank you Mr. President for
giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on the Presidential Speech delivered to the people of Zimbabwe. What really worries me is that, are we thick-heads that we do not listen to our leader? Maybe it is the leadership and Ministers who will not be able to supervise the people under them because the President cannot personally supervise each ministry. I am talking about the origins of corruption. When this thing started we were very young and I am talking about corruption in
I will give you an example; we had the GMB which was receiving grain. All the maize from the GMB was taken away and the people responsible for destroying the GMB were transferred to other ministries. We also talk about the fuel which was at Kambuzuma Depot, the fuel was abused by corrupt people but nothing was done to these people because those responsible were in Government and nobody was arrested. Nobody was punished for such acts. According to me whosoever is corrupt should be sent to prison and given a sentence which is equal to that given of a rapist. At the moment the people of Zimbabwe are mourning because we no longer have maize in our Grain Marketing
We used to have a lot of maize in Zimbabwe but now Zimbabwe is importing maize from Zambia because of officials who abused this facility through corrupt activities. As we are talking we are elders and where we come from people are starving but we are living lavishly because of what we are getting. We need to change our lives. We need to think of the people who voted us into power. We should be ashamed of what we are doing. We should be ashamed of corruption and here I am saying corruption was nurtured by our Government and it has now spread throughout the country like the water hyacinth which is covering up our dams. All the water has been taken up by the hyacinth. We have bad things and corrupt issues which are taking place in our country and yet we are not punishing anybody.
Fellow senators when we are talking about corruption let us be serious about it. Let us not take it as if it is something which is very good or talk kindly about it. I thank you.
SENATOR MASUKU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
SENATOR MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th October, 2015.
On the motion of SENATOR MASUKU seconded by SENATOR
MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at One Minute past three o’clock p.m.