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SENATE HANSARD 09 NOVEMBER 2021 VOL 31 NO 8

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 9th November, 2021

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

         HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO:  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 and 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. KHUPE: Thank you Mr. President.  I take this as a privilege to start by praising and thanking the mover of this motion and the other Hon. Senators who have debated before me.  As is always the case, I feel very proud and happy to debate this motion.  I will not say much because some of the issues were dealt with by the previous speakers.  What I want to say is that His. Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is a man of the people with Zimbabweans at heart.

Mr. President, it will not be an over estimation if it is declared today that according to me, His Excellency is the wisest citizen of Zimbabwe of all time. That is what I believe.  I have got the reasons to do that.  His Excellency did something which nobody expected that it can happen in this country.  He surprised us and made us very happy, especially the disability community that for the first time, we have a Judge of the High Court who has visual impairment, Justice Samuel Deme. It has never happened and nobody expected that this will happen.

His Excellency, in June during the gathering of the disabled community, launched the disability policy.  You remember that all along we have been clamouring for the establishment of the disability policy that would guide and also prove that disabled people are equal citizens.  He came in person to launch that.  It might not be as perfect as people may expect but whenever there are gaps, I hope and believe that this should be corrected as we go on.  It is better to have something.  Nothing is perfect in this world; we always improve in whatever we have.  The Japanese say kaizen, meaning continuous improvement in whatever we do.

Lat month His Excellency was in Gweru to come and grace the Disability Expo.  I was there and was one of the speakers. He was keen to see in person what disabled people there were doing because he had heard that they are manufacturing some products and so he wanted to see that. He went through the stands. In fact, it was a mini-trade fair which was held in Gweru. It is always rotating provincially but this time it was in Gweru.

During that period, His Excellency spoke about his visions. He reminded us what he had promised in 2018 on June 21 and also we agreed that some of the issues were moving and they were being dealt with. Having said that, we appear to be having a challenge that some of the Cabinet Ministers and Senior Government officials within the Cabinet or within Zimbabwe, appear to be sabotaging the intentions and visions of His Excellency.

The President says this and you go to those officials and you find people are behaving in a different manner. I think Government should take note of that. For example, when these monies which are given to disabled people, we have talked about some people in remote areas like Beitbridge, Plumtree, Mutoko and Muzarabani. I was in Muzarabani last month and also in Mudzi with these Budget Consultations. I discovered that in many areas there is no network and the money goes through the network. Those people are not getting that fund and Government had said okay, this is money but within the officials nobody is taking heed and nobody is taking action.

I think it is very bad and action needs to be taken. His Excellency also talked about some Bills which are going to be presented and he talked about the PVO Bill. I want to say sometime around 2005 - 2008, I am not sure, but I was also one of the board members with the Private Monitoring Act which was elected through that PVO Act. I can declare without any hesitation that Zimbabwe registrations of civil organisations is the easiest you can get anywhere.

I am a member of the Southern African Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD). Many countries are crying that their governments are not registered but in our country, if you satisfy certain conditions that you are not a criminal, you think that things are okay and your I. D. is there, you are mature and over 18 years and you want to use this organisation to push for development - it becomes easy for you to do that. I also know in this regard and that is why I want to support the intention to amend the PVO Act – that some people are using the registrations to push for some sinister agenda.

They have formed some organisations and they call them PVOs, Civil Society Organisations, churches - not all of them of course, some under traditional communities yet if you look at some of them, you find that they are simply tribalistic organisations formed to push for a tribal agenda or some agendas you may not understand. When the Bill comes here, people will have the opportunity to take what is right out of the present Act and throw away that which is not right. I think I support that the Bill be amended.

There is also the question of corruption. It looks like instead of corruption being reduced, it is actually becoming a nation on its own. If it was a person, we would say corruption is now ugogo, mbuya or sekuru. It now has grandchildren and great grandchildren. It is still giving birth to some siblings and if we allow it to go on like that, it will not end. The only challenge which I can see, that is according to me, is that when Government takes action and arrest people who are corrupt, there is an outcry of people saying there is abuse of people by police and that people are being arrested without any case. If you do not arrest those people and you do not take them to book, people start crying again saying Government is neglecting and it is allowing people to do their own.

So whatever the Government of Zimbabwe does, nobody accepts that it is doing anything right. It is blamed everywhere and I think His Excellency and his Cabinet should be bold enough to deal with issues and be frank with everybody that we are not going to relent. A crime should be taken to court, people should be arrested and it does not matter what type of a person he is.

There is a question of all these things like murder. I am on record speaking in this House sometime when an Hon. Member, a highly respected lawyer supported the removal of death sentence in the Constitution which was raised by an Hon. Sen. T. Makone. I am on record to say no, if we do that it is like we are rewarding murderers. There had been murderers in Murehwa recently and also in Mvuma, where somebody takes his lovely wife and the wife says we are going to the bush to look for something, and yet somebody wants to go and harvest a tongue from his wife and others. That person is arrested and he goes to court. You find people calling themselves lawyers and they want to go and represent that person and say no, you cannot kill him and you cannot arrest him. But, it is something which is clear that somebody murdered somebody.

To me, if I had the power – unfortunately I do not have and I am sure there are lawyers who are amongst us, I would say anyone who represents a murderer in court should be charged with defeating the course of justice because somebody has killed someone and you are saying no he has not killed when it is clear that he has murdered someone. So you are also an accomplice in that murder because of a USD, Rand and Pound and you want to go and represent a criminal.

Hon. President of Senate and Hon. Senators gathered here, let me repeat this. I am saying a lawyer who goes to court and represents a clear murderer should be charged with criminal case of defeating the course of justice because we are saying these murder cases should be taken to court and you say no, give him bail; you say a lot of things and things which do not work. We cannot have lawyers surviving on getting money they got through defeating the course of justice.

I want to repeat this - if someone has murdered somebody and it is clear – for example in Mvuma, you rape a pregnant woman and after that you shoot her and conceal all the statements and you are caught. The danger is that we make a mistake by thinking that when a properly investigated case and a murderer has been arrested, you say we cannot hang people. That person will not be a person by that time. It is a beast.  Why do you want to keep the beast and feeding the beast? During that action, the person had temporarily ceased to be a person, he would have become an animal. So a beast cannot share the same home with human beings - it is dangerous.

I can talk and talk about this but I am still convinced that murderers should be hanged without any delay. With this debate, I wanted to say His Excellency is a star; he will always get my prayers that he does better.  I also want to confess one thing also. Had it not been for the decisive action of the President and his Cabinet, I would have been dead.  When the Vice President, Hon. Chiwenga came to present a document on the status of the country in terms of COVID, that is the time I became very convinced that I needed to be vaccinated. Therefore, when I got COVID on the 28th July, I was protected by the vaccine, hence I survived.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: I would like to join other Hon. Members in thanking the President of the Republic for the address that he made to the nation.  There is a lot of convergence on most of the issues.  We do agree for example, with some of the items on the legislative agenda.

Mr. President, today, I want to talk about two things, the first one is the thing that the President has spoken about over and over and his predecessor President Mugabe talked about this ad infinitum.  Many Zimbabweans also talked about this thing and are still talking about it, that is the issue of sanctions.  The issue of sanctions as a political issue in Zimbabwe was settled long back.  In 2008, the major 3 political parties in this country concluded the Global Political Agreement which was facilitated by SADC and underwritten by the African Union.  So, the serious men and women heading the three biggest political parties concluded the Global Political Agreement.

Article 4 of the Global Political Agreement provides that sanctions have to be removed.  So it was agreed by the then President Mugabe, Prof. Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai that sanctions must go.  On our first sitting as the National Assembly immediately after signing of the Global Political Agreement, we reduced that Global Political Agreement into Constitution form.  We took that entire agreement and made it Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) and Article 4, now Section 4 of that Amendment No. 19 Provides for the removal of sanctions.

On the 4th March 2009, Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the National Assembly for the first time in his capacity as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.  In his address among other things, he called for the lifting of the sanctions.  After that, Morgan Tsvangirai travelled to New Zealand, Australia and addressed the international community and said the sanctions must be removed.  Together with President Mugabe and Prof. Mutambara, they established a re-engagement Committee. This was a committee made up of key Ministers of Government and negotiators of the Global Political Agreement.  For the sake of completeness, these ministers included, Hon. Chinamasa, Hon. Goche for ZANU PF, Hon. Welshmen Ncube, Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga for MDC Ncube, Hon. Tendai Bit and Hon. Mangoma for MDC-T.  These Ministers traveled to Europe to ask the European Union and the International Community to remove sanctions.

However, Morgan Tsvangirai did not end there again, sometime in 2012, he wrote a direct letter to the British Prime Minister David Cameroon asking him to exercise influence over the European Union for the removal of sanctions.  We saw as a direct result of those efforts that in 2013, almost all Zimbabweans who had been put on sanctions list of the European Union were removed with the exception of the late Robert Mugabe and the former first lady Grace Mugabe. They were the only 2 Zimbabweans who remained on the sanctions list of the European Union.

The other company that remained was the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. So, the European Union acted favorably towards the plea of Zimbabwe. Not only did Morgan Tsvangirai end there, even after losing the elections in 2013, he had a meeting in Magaliesburg in South Africa together with his standing committee to ZANU PF equivalent of a politburo, the very highest decision making body of the party.  One of the strategic issues was to clamour   for the removal of sanctions.

In 2014, the MDC had a congress and at that congress, there is a resolution for the removal of sanctions.  Therefore, calling for sanctions to remain is un-MDC; the MDC has made its position clear.  After Tsvangirai’s death, we are all very clear, that is why I am saying that this is a politically settled issue.  The main sanctions that operate against Zimbabwe if we can go to the sanctions regime, it is the American sanctions brought by ZIDERA in2001.  After ZIDERA, President George W. Bush signed executive orders,  The first executive order was in 2003, the second was in 2005 and the third executive order was in 2008. In sanctions, in the executive orders, the sanctions targeted specific individuals and in the subsequent orders, they were targeting the individuals and the immediate members of their families together with people associated with them.

I would say that that extension was inherently unjust because it did not matter the political affiliation or behaviour of the member of the immediate family.  We know that in families, we have people who belong to different political parties, for example my brother is a staunch ZANU PF supporter.

I am certainly not but we are from the same family.  So if he was covered by sanctions, the same sanctions would affect me even if I was by definition innocent.  Now, the targeted sanctions were extended to cover companies.  The most important thing is that these companies were employers and therefore, some of them have folded, others downsized and the net effect was that the worker was affected.

                  I want to move away from the targeted sanctions, to the sanctions directed at Government.  ZIDERA directs the sanctions not at particular individuals but at Government.  Now, because of these sanctions targeted at Government, Zimbabwe does not have equal access to international credit.  So, it cannot get credit from the IMF, IDA and other financial institutions.  That is problem number one.  Problem number two, because of the sanctions, Zimbabwe cannot have equal access to international markets.  Let us accept it that the Government is the largest employer.  So, if you sanction the employer, you ipso facto, sanction the employee.

As a result, we have sorry conditions of service for our civil servants.  So these sanctions had an unintended consequence.  These sanctions had too much collateral damage, accepting that the Government is the largest provider of services in health, education, road infrastructure, et cetera.  Accepting that the Government is the largest provider of that service, sanctioning the Government means affecting the ability to provide those services.  So, we saw health going into comatose, the education system, and so on.

In our respectful view, the people targeted by the sanctions are not the sufferers of the sanctions.  The fact of the matter is that these sanctions have made the rich richer and the poor poorer.  Therefore, they are not saving their purpose.  Massive unemployment has resulted in Zimbabwe – actually 49% of the Zimbabweans live below the poverty datum line.  That is unacceptable.  The Zimbabwean economy is now smaller than it was in 2002.  As a result of sanctions, criminals take advantage.  Every situation breeds its own antithesis.  So, where there is sanction, the antithesis is sanction busting.  The late Ian Smith did that in a very smart way.  He was fighting a war that was costing him about one million pounds a day and he was trading with the Soviet Union.

He knew that the Soviet Union was supporting ZAPU; he knew that the Soviet Union were supporting the liberation movements but he sold his chrome to the Soviet Union as a way of busting the sanctions.  Now this current Government, we have a lot of top Government people who, under the guise of busting sanctions, are now smuggling gold through regular ports of entry.  Those transactions cannot be traced because they are covered by secrecy anyway.  So, sanctions breed corruption; make the rich richer and the poor poorer.  So they must go. As a result of unemployment, there is a lot of drug abuse by our young people in the locations.  They are drinking or smoking mutoriro and other substances.  As a result, we have a preponderance of mental illnesses that we did not know.

As MDC, we think these sanctions have outlived their usefulness and they must go.  Also because of the sanctions, there is a ready excuse for under performance.  Sometimes, people fail to deliver and just blame sanctions.  Sometimes, people fail to be fair in the rural areas – you give food to this one and you do not give food to that one and when people ask you why we are being deprived, the ready excuse is sanctions.  So that excuse must go.

The MDC, after its congress, made it clear that it wanted to be, it was going to be an effective but responsible opposition.  As a result, when the UN envoy came to this country, we led a delegation to the United Nations to see the special envoy.  The very first thing that we did when we saw the envoy was to apologise on behalf of Zimbabwe.  She had been abused on the social media.  She had been called names; she had been treated to racialism by Black Zimbabweans and we think that was irresponsible.  So we apologised on behalf of the nation.  As a result of our efforts and efforts of others, the Special Envoy produced a preliminary report.  In that preliminary report, she is calling for the removal of the sanctions, on the basis that they are affecting the unintended.  They are affecting the poor.

If you go to Highfield today, you may not find a house under construction but if you go to Borrowdale, Glenlorne, Mount Pleasant, you will see skyscrapers being erected every day.  The rich are getting richer; the poor are getting poorer and we need to redress that.

So this envoy says, the sanctions must go but she did not end there.  She said Zimbabweans must engage in meaningful serious dialogue.  As the MDC-T, we have said we must engage in dialogue, not for our sake.  We must engage in dialogue to redress the issues of the Zimbabwean people.  We must dialogue in the best interest of our people.  We are fortified that dialogue is the way to go because of three things.  The liberation war, which I take judicial notice that you were an active participant there at Lancaster House with a negotiation at Lancaster House.  Yes, it came through the barrel of the gun but it also came through the mouth as well.  People spoke at Lancaster House and negotiated the peace settlement, which culminated in independence; success of dialogue number one.

After independence, there was, to quote President of Mugabe, “moments of madness”, people were butchered in Matabeleland and the Midlands.  Some innocent people lost their lives but at the end of the day, the protagonists sat down and concluded a peace treaty called the Unity Accord.  It ended the bloodletting in Matabeleland, success of dialogue number two.  Number three, in 2008, there is no secret that Morgan Tsvangirai won the elections overwhelmingly but we went to the run-off election and there was a lot of senseless bloodletting.  In the MDC, we lost 300 of our finest youngsters because of political violence.  After all that madness was said and done, people sat down and concluded a peace agreement called the Global Political Agreement Therefore, dialogue has worked in this country, hence dialogue has to be pursued with seriousness. This dialogue must not result in an elite pact where people reward one another because they are political leaders.  We are not interested in the dialogue like that.  We are interested in the dialogue that leads to the betterment of the lives of the Zimbabwean person.  Every Zimbabwean must have a change in their lives and they have seen it before.  It has worked before and it must be pursued.  Among other things that we must dialogue upon is reduction of poverty; elimination of poverty.  We must have policies that remove this endemic poverty.  Zimbabweans were not created to be poor.  That is why they have every mineral conceivable on this earth. You find it on this tournament called Zimbabwe.  That is why it is endowed with hardworking men and women.  It has a fine climate.  It has a good road infrastructure, not to be confused with the quality of the road Mr. President but the road network is good.  So we need to take our people out of poverty.  This dialogue must lead to investment coming to Zimbabwe.  We must neither look east, west, south nor north, Zimbabwe should be a friend of the world.  People with their money must bring it to this country so that industries are revived, mines are revived, businesses thrive so that our people are employed and the quality of the lives of our people must change.

Through dialogue, we need to have an answer to uneven development, devolution.  It is unfair for people who are living in Tongaland and along the Zambezi River.  They are called poachers in the land of their birth, while fishing licences are given to people from outside their region.  That is unfair, unjust and unconscionable and it has to be redressed – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] – We have to look at the issues of equal access to national resources.  Mr. President, if the Government is issuing mining licences, it must issue mining licences to every person who qualifies, irrespective of their political opinion or inclination.  If you are giving mining licences to ZANU PF youths, please give to Ndonga youths, ZAPU youths and MDC T youths.  There must not be discrimination in this country.  In this country, we cannot tolerate black apartheid, discrimination of black on black.  It defeats the whole purpose of fighting for liberation.

Mr. President, we want to dialogue on the re-engagement of Zimbabwe into the International Committee of Nations.  It is sensible that Zimbabwe be re-admitted into the Commonwealth.  It is sensible that Zimbabwe be an equal member of the international community but Zimbabwe has a responsibility for every movement, positive movement by the international community.  Zimbabwe must also move positively in instituting key, social, political and economic reforms.  We have to address the issue of de-industrialisation.  We have lost investment to neighbouring countries; Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana.  We have lost investment.  We want that investment back.

Mr. President, Zimbabwe has a perennial problem of contested legitimacy.  We must find an answer to electoral disputes once and for all.  What is most important Mr. President, if you listened to the presentation in Victoria Falls of the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Reserve Bank, there is a phenomenal contribution by the diaspora to the GDP of this country.  I am not so sure about the figure but I think it is over a billion, which is coming in this country from Zimbabweans in the diaspora.  So they are discharging their national responsibility to Zimbabwe.  Why should we have responsibilities and obligations without rights?

[Time Limit]

HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  I move that the Hon. Senator’s time be extended by five minutes.

Motion put and agreed to.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA:  Thank you Mr. President.  Zimbabweans in the diaspora have the right to vote.  People from the Soviet Union vote in this country in Soviet elections.  People from Malawi vote in this country in elections in Malawi.  People from Mozambique vote in this country in elections in Mozambique.  Why should Zimbabwe be different?  We understand the argument that some Zimbabweans are not able to access the voters roll abroad.  Mr. President, that is why we are saying let us have these sanctions removed.  Let us refranchise the Zimbabweans in the diaspora.

Mr. President Sir, we need to dialogue seriously on war veterans.  Mr. President, war veterans do not belong to one person, one group or one party.  These are our war veterans.  Tongogara is mine too, Chitepo is mine too, Takawira is my hero too, Mbuya Nehanda is my heroine too.  In fact, she did not have a ZANU PF card.  The point Mr. President is that these heroes deserve our reverence together.  That is why we are saying that we need to review the conditions and pensions of the war veterans.  I am aware of war veterans getting as little as ZWL18, 000.  They board a bus from Mutoko to Harare and back and that money is finished. Why should we treat our veterans to that ignominy?  We must review favourably the conditions of the war veterans.  Some of them are over 60 years now and certain chronic diseases begin to come in.  They need medication and we must care.  When we take care of the war veterans, we are not re-inventing the wheel. In America, they have got a Veterans Act.  They take care of their war veterans.  When the British fought in Burma, the Rhodesian soldiers went to fight in Burma.  They returned and were given their pensions.  We need to review the pensions.

Many people complain that the traditional leaders are corrupt, they are being influenced and so on. However, let us look at the conditions of service of the traditional leaders.  The conditions of service are poor – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] – As a result of those poor conditions, they are always subjected to temptation.  So, we want this country to make sure that the conditions of service of the traditional leaders are improved so that they dispense justice without fear or favour – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] -

Mr. President, our women and our youths - our women must be given their rightful place in society.  Women are equal.  They were there in the First Chimurenga.  You were with them in the Second Chimurenga.  They fought side by side with men; they must have equal rights.  We also say it is not right to say the youths are the leaders of tomorrow.  The youths are leaders of today. They must have places in Parliament, they must be there in the Cabinet, they must be there in business and everywhere because it is their country and they cannot wait for tomorrow because tomorrow may never come.

Mr. President, lastly we support the compensation for expropriated land that the Government is trying to do.  However, this compensation is targeting former white farmers.  It is saying very little about black farmers who lost their land.  The locus classicus or the biggest example is Ndabaningi Sithole.  He lost his investment, his Churu Farm as a result of fighting nationalistic grudges that were at play.  Politics was at play.  A black person lost his farm.  They have to be compensated and they have to be given priority as well, so there must be derationalisation of compensation and not only that, thousands of black farm workers lost their jobs as a result of land reform, everybody knows that.  They are not being compensated. They owned nothing except their labour power.  When the programme came, they lost their jobs.  Nobody is talking about compensating them.  We call on this Government to compensate the black farm workers who lost their jobs. I am aware that there could be white farm workers as well. They ought to be compensated – the workers have to be compensated.

Mr. President, after everything is said and done, our pensions were eroded by inflation. So there is no social security in Zimbabwe. There is no social protection to talk about in Zimbabwe.  These are some of the things that serious men and women in this country must sit down and talk about. I thank you.

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 10th November, 2021.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE VIRTUAL 49TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY SESSION OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

         HON. SEN. MOHADI: Mr. President Sir, I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the 49th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC – Parliamentary Forum held virtually from 25th to 27th June 2021.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President, I will give a report of the 49th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum held virtually from the 25th to the 27th June, 2021.

INTRODUCTION

The deliberations were aimed at consolidating Administrative and Financial matters of the Forum as well as to discuss issues of regional concern. The Plenary Assembly was held under the theme “Leveraging the AfCFTA for Post-COVID Economic Recovery in Southern Africa: The Role of SADC Parliamentary Forum and National Parliaments.”

Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, led the delegation which comprised the following Members of Parliament:

  • Tambudzani Mohadi, Member of the Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Infrastructure;
  • Goodlucky Kwaramba, Member of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus;
  • Dought Ndiweni, Member of the Standing Committee on Democratization, Governance and Human Rights;
  • Anele Ndebele, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment; and
  • Paurina Mpariwa, Member of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes who took “Oath or Affirmation of Adherence in accordance with Article 7 of the SADC PF Constitution” .

OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY

The President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency, Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, was Guest of Honour and officially opened the Plenary Assembly. The President made a declaratory remark reiterating that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is one of the key drivers that can position Africa as an economic powerhouse.  President Masisi underscored the SADC Regional Integration Agenda as the necessary precursor to the true realisation of the AfCFTA.

The East Africa Legislative Assembly (EAALA) pledged to support the SADC Parliamentary Forum to realise its dream of transforming itself into a Legislative Assembly and urged SADC member Parliaments to enact the necessary legislation that encourage the ease of doing business in the region. The representative emphasised the need for harmonisation of immigration and customs services to spur the movement of African citizens, including goods and services on the Continent.

The Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC), called for the incremental roll out of COVID-19 vaccines and urged Parliaments to enthuse their Governments to find ways of encouraging engendered trading means aimed at achieving gender equality. There should be open markets for women and the ease of access to finance to enable women to realise their full potential in human capital development.

Hon. Christophe MBOSO N’KODIA PWANGA, SADC PF President and Speaker of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo commented the Strategic Lobbying Mission Team led by Hon. Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe for its excellent and pointed Lobbying Missions on SADC PF Presiding Officers and currently on Heads of State and Governments. Consequently, the SADC Summit in August 2021 should see the Transformation of SADC PF into a Regional Parliament.

In proposing a vote of thanks, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Lesotho, Hon. Sephiri Motonyane, mourned the failure by the region to establish a regional Parliament.  It is, thus, untoward to have a region that has historically strong antecedents and luminaries in Pan Africanism, but without a Legislative Assembly as envisaged in the Protocol establishing the Pan African Parliament. In this regard, the Hon. Speaker Motonyane invited the region to meet in Lesotho, the Kingdom in the sky to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the SADC Parliamentary Forum during the last quarter of 2021.

STATEMENT BY THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF ZIMBABWE, HON. ADVOCATE JACOB FRANCIS NZWIDAMILIMO MUDENDA PURSUANT T0 RULE 45 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE

Hon. Jacob Francis Mudenda presented the summary report of the 142nd IPU Assembly held virtually under the overall theme “Overcoming the pandemic today and building a better tomorrow: the role of Parliaments” from 24 to 28 May 2021.

Among other resolutions, the report called for immediate and multilateral action to address climate change and mitigate its effects on international stability and security with the same urgency as the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic. Accordingly, Parliaments were called to expedite and facilitate the ratification, domestication and implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The resolutions also called for mainstreaming digitalization and the circular economy to achieve the SDGs, particularly responsible consumption and production.

The Hon. Speaker Mudenda reported the unprecedented global impact of the COVID -19 pandemic, particularly as it exacerbated inequalities within and between countries and stalled socioeconomic progress on sustainable development, youth empowerment and gender equality. There is need for Parliamentary action at the national level and through multilateralism to resolve global challenges arising from COVID – 19’s unprecedented impact.

POSITION TAKEN BY THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION ON THE THEME OF THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY

The Plenary Assembly received submissions on the theme, with facilitators calling for a revamp and harmonisation of customs and immigration formalities to suit the obtaining new reality of collapsing borders to ease trade among countries on the African Continent.

Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda made a passionate plea for the expeditious legal reforms for the harmonisation of customs and immigration services to ease the movement of goods and services on the Continent.

There is need for an African passport and the attendant collapse of stringent visa regimes on the Continent. Added to this, air connectivity should be improved through modernisation of airports and the establishment of less cumbersome routes in between African countries.

Industrialisation should be anchored on sustained value addition and beneficiation hence the need for pragmatic approaches to technology transfer, infrastructure development and rapid integration and modernisation of rail equipment. Africa should be alive to the growing wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and rapid digitalisation of modern economies.

Universities should be at the forefront in championing innovation and catch up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There is need to research on COVID-19 vaccines by local Universities and the mobilisation of domestic resources to spur economic growth post COVID -19 scare. Added to this is the need for full scale research on indigenous knowledge systems as a possible curative measure against COVID 19. A Marshal Plan is required to lift African economies out of impugned poverty.

Above all, leadership is required at both Government and Parliamentary level to achieve rapid economic growth and industrialisation.

ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND THE TREASURER’S REPORT

The Executive Committee tabled its report for consideration and adoption during the 49th Plenary Assembly meeting, which was duly adopted.

Plenary Assembly expressed profound appreciation to the National Assembly of the Botswana, through Hon. Speaker Phandu Chaha Skelemani, for hosting the 48th Plenary Assembly Session. The warm hospitality of the Batswana vibrated virtually to the whole region.

The Plenary Assembly implored the Secretariat to continue its research on the SADC PF structure as it prepares itself for the transformation into a Regional Parliament.

The Report urged the region to prepare itself to the obtaining regional challenges which include terrorism and the threat of neo-colonialism.

Plenary Assembly urged Secretariat to produce a harmonised budget showing the financial position of the SADC PF on both subscriptions and donor funding.

In the same vein, Plenary Assembly applauded all Parliaments that had paid their subscriptions and implored all those in arrears to pay up their dues.

MOTIONS ADOPTED DURING THE 48th PLENARY ASSEMBLY MEETINGS

Consideration of the Report of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment

The Plenary Assembly Session adopted a motion encouraging Member States to substantially harmonise the operations of One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) to ensure that there is seamless movement of goods and citizens in line with the common vision of the AfCFTA.

Motion on Harnessing Domestic Tourism In Times Of Pandemics: A Case Of The Covid 19 Pandemic: The Role Of Parliaments

Plenary Assembly urged Member States to support the implementation of the SADC Unified Visa regime to facilitate movement of tourists across the region. Added to this, there were calls for SADC Parliaments and Parliamentarians to advocate for COVID-19 relief funds and increased budgetary allocation to the tourism sector in order to accelerate recovery of the sector.

Motion on the Role of Parliament in Protecting Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law in Southern Africa: Prospects and Challenges

The Plenary Assembly encouraged Member Parliaments to promote and respect Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law as envisaged in their Constitutions.

Members of Parliament were encouraged to study and understand the provisions of their Constitutions. Zimbabwe for example has made a deliberate effort to translate the Constitution into all officially recognised languages in the country and encourages its widespread dissemination. Furthermore, the country requires the Constitution to be part of the curricula in both Schools and Public Institutions.

Motion on Post Covid in the SADC Region: Meeting Women’s Needs in a Context of Multiplied Challenges Consideration of the Report of the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus

The adopted motion encouraged countries to craft measures that are aimed at cushioning women post- COVID 19 pandemic scourge.

Countries were urged to implement health budgets from a gender perspective and inclusive public health and safety measures. It was recommended that financial barriers such as health fees should be suspended or removed in order to offset potential difficulties for the most vulnerable patients, especially women and girls.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND WAY FORWARD

Parliament of Zimbabwe to hold an All Stakeholder Workshop between the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (ZWPC) and the relevant Civic Society Organisations to map out the strategy to mitigate the effects of COVID 19. There is need to engage the Civil Society to ensure that women have access to justice and equity. SADC-PF should be at the fore in advocating for political accountability, the adherence to access to Primary Health Care, investment in Health Care Data Systems and ensure collaboration in vaccine research and investment in domestic financing in the health sector. The workshop is to be held by mid-September, 2021.  I think this one has been overtaken by events as we were in the midst of COVID-19.  People did not have a chance to meet.  So as a result I think it is going to be a carry forward to the next Session.

Parliament of Zimbabwe notes and appreciates the attendant benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as one of the key drivers of development on the Continent.  In this regard, Parliament calls on the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce to hold an all stakeholder meeting to receive updates on the status of implementation regarding the AfCFTA.

Parliament of Zimbabwe stands ready to champion all measures aimed at restoring the full socio-political and economic recovery measures post-Covid 19 pandemic and stands ready to work with all institutions in the region that are geared towards these recovery mechanisms.

CONCLUSION

The Plenary Assembly concluded by requesting the SADC-PF and National Parliaments to leverage the AfCFTA for post-COVID economic recovery in Southern Africa. It is important for the region to adopt measures that are aimed at seamlessly encouraging intra African trade and the removal of barriers that impede the full implementation of the AfCFTA.

Parliament of Zimbabwe commits itself to the full implementation of the resolutions of the Plenary Assembly to be shared among all Members of Parliaments to facilitate action by different Portfolio Committees of Parliament once availed by the SADC PF Secretariat.

The next 50th Plenary Assembly of the SADC PF will be hosted by the Kingdom of Lesotho in the last quarter of 2021.

Parliament of Zimbabwe continues to champion the Transformation process in its role as the Chairperson of the Strategic Lobby Team of the Transformation of the Forum into a Regional Parliament.

         HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I want to thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the report which was presented by Hon. Mohadi, which is the report of the Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, with the theme of Leveraging the Africa Continental Free Trade Area for Post-COVID Economic Recovery in Southern Africa and the generality of SADC in Parliamentary Forum and national Parliaments.

I want to thank the Speaker of the National Assembly for leading this high powered delegation and the selection which he did, of the Hon. Members who represent different Committees as we heard from the presenter. It is encouraging that Parliament of Zimbabwe continues to champion the transformation agenda into its role as holders of the chairmanship of the lobby team of the Hon. Speaker and the transformation of the forum into a SADC Regional Parliament.

Mr. President Sir, when the Speaker goes out, he works very hard and because of that, there is a statement which was read by him and in pursuant of Rule 45 of the rules of procedure, it reads - “Hon. Mudenda presented the summary Report of the 142nd IPU Assembly held virtually under the overall theme: “Overcoming the pandemic today and living a better tomorrow and the rule of Parliament from the 24th – 28th May, 2021”. Among other resolutions, the report called for immediate and multilateral action to address climate change and mitigate its effects on international stability and security with the same agencies as the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, Parliament was called upon to expedite and facilitate the ratification, domestication and implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.  The resolutions also called for main streaming, digitalisation and a secular economy to achieve the SDG particularly responsible consumption and production.

The Hon. Speaker Adv. Mudenda reported the unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 pandemic particularly as it exacerbated inequalities within and between countries and stalled socio-economic progress on Sustainable Development, Youth Development and gender equality. Accordingly, there is need for Parliamentary action at national level and through multi-lateral means to resolve global challenges arising from COVID-19 unprecedented impact.

Mr. President, as I mentioned earlier on that when our Speaker of the National Assembly goes out, he works very hard.  He also gave the position taken by Zimbabwe delegation on the theme of the Plenary Assembly. The Plenary Assembly received submissions on the theme with facilitators calling for a revamp and harmonisation of customs and immigration formalities to suit the obtaining new reality of collapsing boarders to ease trade among countries on the African Continent.

Hon. Adv Mudenda made a passionate plea for expeditious legal reforms for the harmonisation of customs and immigration services to ease the movement of goods and services on the continent.  He pointed out that there is need for an African passport and the attendant collapse of stringent visa regimes on the continent.  Added to this, air connectivity should be improved through modernisation of airports and the establishments of less cumbersome routes amongst African countries.  Industrialisation should be echoed on sustaining value addition and the beneficiation hence the need for pragmatic approaches to technology transfer infrastructure development and rapid integration and modernisation of rail equipment.  Africa should be alive to the growing wave of the fourth industrial revolution and rapid digitalisation of modern economies.

Universities should be at the forefront in championing innovation in order to catch up with the fourth industrial revolution.  There is need to research on COVID-19 vaccines by local universities and the mobilisation of domestic resources to spare economic growth post the COVID-19 scare.  Added to this is the need for full scale research on indigenisation, knowledge system as a possible curative measure against COVID -19.  A marshal plan is required to lift African economies out of the implanted poverty.  Above all leadership is required at both Government and Parliamentary level to achieve rapid economic growth and industrialisation through innovative leadership.

Mr. President, as I said earlier about the members of the delegation which went with the Speaker, it is of importance to note that we always talk about empowering women in whatever we do in our Government starting from the grassroots; that is the councils until we reach to the top.  If we start from the councils, we will have a lot councillors, women councillors and that would help us to make sure that in leadership positions, we have women who are there to spearhead development.  We all know that if you educate and empower women, it means you would have empowered the nation.  So, it is very encouraging Mr. President that the women were also represented and there was this regional representation.  It is important that when we have representation at a higher level which is the regional level and we have our representation here which is led by Hon. Kwaramba for Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus, at least we will achieve a lot to make sure that women are encouraged and supported to be in higher positions.

Mr. President, I want to thank the Zimbabwean Government because our Parliament was led by our esteemed Speaker. It was encouraged that Members of Parliament should study and understand the provision of their constitution.  If as legislators we understand the Constitution, then we will be able to disseminate the information to the grassroots.  It has been made easier for us because our Constitution has been translated into the local official languages and that help us to disseminate the information on our Constitution.  When people know what the Constitution says, then it means that people will be empowered and they will know what is required.  If there is something which is not in order, they will be able to ask and get assistance.  You cannot ask for anything when you do not know about it.  So, if our population knows about our Constitution, it will help them and us as a nation.

Mr. President, once again, I want to thank Hon. Mohadi for presenting this detailed report which will help us as Zimbabwean Parliamentarians and as a nation.  I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 10th November, 2021.

MOTION

CONSTRUCTION, UPGRADING AND REHABILITATION OF THE ROAD NETWORK IN THE COUNTRY

                  Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on a sound road network.

Question again proposed.

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

                  HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

                  Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 10th November, 2021.

MOTION

ENACTMENT OF LAWS THAT CULMINATE IN DETERRENT SENTENCES BEING METED OUT TO CULPRITS FOUND COMMITTING CRIMES THAT DAMAGE THE ENVIRONMENT

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the grave and rapid environmental damage.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 10th November, 2021.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SEN. REJOICE TIMIRE

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the untimely death of Hon. Sen. Rejoice Timire.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion which was moved by Hon. Khupe on the passing on of Senator Timire.  I want to thank all those who contributed.  The words that she brought into this House were very important because Senator Timire represented people living with disability.  We are very sorry for the Timire family and also to the people who live with disability.  We are very sorry for the loss of your representative.

Hon. Sen. Timire loved her job and she would fight for people living with disability.  We were together in the Committee of Gender and Development; she was a person who participated immensely in that Committee.  The Committee on Gender touches on a variety of things including issues of people living with disability. She was very vocal in support of issues of people living with disabilities.

Let me hasten to say that when we went for outreaches, we would always find her there.  She was very punctual and time conscious.  Some of us would get there late but we would find her waiting for us.  Her contribution in the Committee was very useful.  She was a very jovial person.  We want the representatives of people living with disabilities to remember that there is a vacancy in the Senate, so that they would give us someone who will work together with Senator Khupe to look into the issues affecting people living with disabilities.  That constituency is very large.

We want to thank her for the work that she did.  We also want to remember Pamela her daughter, who used to accompany her every time.  She needs to be comforted and consoled.  The relatives should continue supporting her and giving her courage because it will take time for her to forget her mother.  We just pray for the neighbours, relatives and friends to help her get out of it so that she will be able to look after the other family members. Hon. Sen. Timire, may you rest in peace.  We will meet again in glory, I thank you.

HON. SEN. KHUPE: Thank you Mr. President Sir. Allow me to round off this debate today.  In doing so, maybe there are some who were still eager to debate this motion but they are not here today.  In view of the fact that…

 

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA):  I am discussing and I am actually debating with her to say this motion is being wound up already, why?  You have been advised to wind up but I was protesting that we have not been given enough time to debate.  Like in my case, from Tuesday to Thursday last week, I was sitting here and I could not even debate.  I was saying I will debate.  I am sitting on the Chair and I cannot debate.  This is too soon.  You should have allowed more time.  Can we ask you to do it next week so that other Hon. Senators have the opportunity to debate on the motion?.

HON. SEN. KHUPE:  There is no harm Mr. President.  I was also surprised because I got a call on Thursday to say, can you wind up your motion because a motion about the passing on of a person should not stay long.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Can we leave it up to Wednesday next week?

HON. SEN. KHUPE:  Thank you.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 10th November, 2021.

MOTION

ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION THAT UPHOLDS THE RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF CHILDREN ACCOMPANYING INCARCERATED MOTHERS IN PRISONS

Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on children of incarcerated mothers.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 10th November, 2021.

On the motion of HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA, seconded by HON. SEN. KHUPE, the Senate adjourned at Quarter past Four o’clock p.m. 

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