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SENATE HANSARD 11 OCTOBER 2022 VOL 31 NO 72

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 11th October, 2022

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Senators are reminded to put their phones on silent or switch them off.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  Thank you Mr. President.  I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  I second Mr. President.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SEN. WATSON KHUPE

Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the passing on of the late Member of the Senate, Hon. Watson Khupe.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. KAMBIZI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to add my voice to the motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Manyau, a motion that fittingly speaks about the late son of the soil, Hon. Sen. Watson Khupe who passed on in July 2022. 

Mr. President, the late Hon. Sen. Watson Khupe was a Zimbabwean disability activist and a politician who served this House since 2018.  He untimely passed on in July at the age of 59.  The late Hon. Sen. Watson Khupe represented a specially allotted constituency for people living with disabilities.  Mr. President, the late Hon. Sen. Watson Khupe was, according to my own observation, a very educated man as I shall highlight in my contribution.  He held various qualifications as follows:

A diploma in bookkeeping that was awarded by Certified Bookkeepers of South Africa in May1989; a Diploma in Community Based Development, a diploma that was awarded by Quad International Institute St. Francis Xavier University in Canada in January 2022; a Masters’ in Business Administration, a Masters that was awarded by the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo. 

The late Sen. Khupe had several certificates as follows:

He held a certificate in Introduction to Disability Research Methods for members of the disabled persons’ organisation.  He got that one from the University of Stellenbosch in Germany in October 2009.  He also had a qualification on Community Based Conflict Transformation and Peace Building from the Quad Institute of Administration in September 2007.  He also had another qualification in Mainstreaming and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in Southern Africa.  This one was awarded by Japan International Corporation Agency in August 2006. 

He also had one or two honors that I feel I should mention.  He was given an honorary member for the town of Antigonish Nova Scotia, Canada, an award that was given to him in appreciation of the late Hon. Sen. Khupe’s work as a community and civic participator.  Being buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo is on its own an honour because Lady Stanley Cemetery is reserved for the city’s luminaries in Bulawayo.  So for me, it was quite an honour for him.

Mr. President, the late Hon. Sen. Khupe was an expert in policy formulation, research, management, advocacy, designing and programming of livelihoods income projects.  From February 2011 to March 2015, he was the project manager for income generating projects for the disabled people at the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Zimbabwe (MDAS), an organisation which he founded.  From 2010 to 2012, he represented the disabled people during the constitution making process in this country.  In 2010, he co-authored a report on disability and the incredible work of disability organisations in Zimbabwe, the late Hon. Sen. Watson Khupe’s report that was published in the UK website.

Mr. President, people living with disabilities used to be seen as beggars but through the leadership of the late Hon. Sen. Khupe, most of these people are now able to work for themselves.  Some are vendors, some are working in carpentry and others are working in the private sector. 

          Mr. President, the late Hon. Sen. Khupe was a linguist.  He had full professional proficiency in English, full professional proficiency in Shona, full professional proficiency in NdebeleZulu and he also had full professional proficiency in Kalanga.  Such types of persons are difficult to forget when we lose them.  The late Senator was ably described by his family as a caring father and husband who always plans and cares for his family. 

          In as far as this House is concerned, Hon. Sen. Khupe was ever present and was always making his presence felt by his numerous and meaningful debates.  This House Mr. President, will miss his contributions.  Accordingly, may his soul rest in eternal peace.  I thank you – [HON. SENATORS; Hear, hear.] –

ANNOUNCEMENT BYTHE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

WEARING OF MASKS

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators are reminded that the wearing of masks indoors is still mandatory.  Government has not yet relaxed that.

          *HON. SEN. SHUMBA: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to add my voice on this motion which was raised by one of us.  Hon. Sen. Khupe was a clever man who was devoted and did not miss sessions.  We worked with him in one of the Committees.   He would attend and go on all outreaches representing people living with disability, which means he was really representing them because he wanted the community to get what they deserved.  I saw that he was full of love and he loved his community of people living with disabilities.  He tried by all means to help them.  When we hear people talking about him, we can tell that he was intelligent.  

A cellphone having been ringing

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Senators.  This is a reminder; it is the instruction of this Chamber to put your phones on silent or switch them off. 

          HON. SEN. SHUMBA:  Thank you Mr. President. Hon. Sen. Khupe departed untimely.  He was in the Committee of SDGs and wherever we went as a Committee, he would be there, which means he was passionate about his job.  He was a learned person and we see that we really lost someone who was precious but there is nothing that we can do because it is the work of the Lord.  We mourn with the Khupe family.  I remember him approaching me asking me to invite him to Mwenezi to meet with people living with disabilities.  So, I was in the process of trying to engage him because where I come from, the place is so remote that people are still hiding children living with disabilities and they do not allow them to attend schools. 

          I was really saddened because before he came to Mwenezi, the Lord took him.  May his soul rest in peace.  Thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to start by passing my condolences to the Khupe family, friends and relatives who lost such a cadre.   I want them to know that we are together in this loss because he was our fellow Senator.  He was a man who was living with disabilities; and indeed living with disabilities does not mean inability.  The late Senator was a man who would stand with fortitude, fighting for colleagues who live with disabilities in Zimbabwe.  He would explain that it is important to appreciate whatever situation we are in.   He would urge them to be courageous and work towards the development of the country.  Let me repeat by saying that Hon. Sen. Khupe was a jovial person.  There is no Hon. Senator who would just pass without being greeted by Hon. Sen. Khupe.

 He was a very sociable person.  He would also talk to different Senators about those who live with disabilities emphasising that he was always available to address their plight.  He was a true representative of men, women, young people and children who live with disabilities.  He did not choose people to represent but represented everyone.  We remember Hon. Sen. Khupe for his good deeds.  We moved around with Hon.Sen.  Khupe, with different committees like HIV and AIDS Thematic Committee.  He was a man who would take his vehicle and visit different areas together with his fellow Senators. He would trace the stories of those who lived with disabilities and would stand with them. He would support them and he was a capable cadre who represented those living with disabilities. We want the whole nation to continue appreciating and supporting those who live with disabilities. Even those who are in this august House stand upon that same position. We heard that Hon. Sen. Khupe was educated. He did different courses to improve himself. He was a hero and looking at his history, we appreciate that he trained for different responsibilities. So we remember him for that and his life presents a lesson to even those living with disabilities who should emulate what Hon. Sen. Khupe did.

          He would identify different courses and would pursue them. We appreciate the Khupe family. It pains my heart that we moved around the country on Budget consultations. We went to Matabeleland North together with him and we also went to Binga in his car. He would come and we saw two places in Bulawayo. We went to Matabeleland South in Maphisa and he was also present. We went to Umzingwane together with Hon. Sen. Khupe and when we parted, it is unfortunate that after a few days we were informed of his death. After touring, then it was a sad parting. There is this adage that a good person is indeed good and God loves him. We say Hon. Sen. Khupe, may you rest in peace. You fought a good fight; we lived with you and worked with you.  We will meet in the near future. I thank you Mr. President.  

          (v)*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: I would like to say that I am pained with the loss of the late Hon. Sen. Khupe. It is painful to lose many people in this august House. Hon. Sen. Khupe was a good person who had a good reputation. Many people were saying; is it true that he is dead, and this means that he was a loving person who loved his job. During his funeral, there were a lot of disability organisations and this shows that he was a man who represented his constituency well. We are taken as people when Hon. Sen. Khupe passed on. We lost a brigadier but the painful thing is that some were being mentioned time and again. So, the question was - we desire that he could have been given recognition but we were informed that everyone plays a role.

          We are happy that he was appreciated by many people and many people came to his funeral. He was a man who cared because many people who worked with him came in that short period of time from the august House. When we worked with Hon. Sen. Khupe, we appreciated the good job that he did because he was a man who was passionate about his job. The people who live with disabilities lost a true advocate of their rights, a true representative of their community through the life of Hon. Sen. Khupe.  Thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 12th October, 2022.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 7TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARIANS NETWORK ON DEVELOPMENT EVALUATION HELD IN MOROCCO

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 7th Annual General Meeting of the African Parliamentarians Network on Development and Evaluation.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. NKOMO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 12th October 2022.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Those who have got motions which have been debated, you can wind them up because I have a feeling that this session might be coming to an end. If you do not have them adopted, they will lapse and that would be a pity, especially if your motion is one which has relevance to the current situation and the recommendations will be useful going forward.

          I strongly recommend that those who can wind up, please do so - otherwise you will lose out.

MOTION

FOURTH REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON PEACE AND SECURITY ON THE BENCHMARKING VISIT TO THE PARLIAMENT OF RWANDA

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Fourth Report of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the benchmarking visit to the Parliament of Rwanda.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President. Let me thank Hon Sen. Parirenyatwa who introduced this report on the benchmarking visit to Rwanda. I noted quite a few issues which I emulated. Firstly, this is a country which faced the tragic genocide of 1994 where the Tutsis and Hutus were killing each other. Almost one million people died in 100 days, which means that this was a troubled nation. Those who write indicate that after the genocide, the perpetrators who were supposed to be taken to court - if western processes were supposed to be followed, it was going to take 100 years to deal with these cases because those who were found guilty were so many because the death of one million people is perpetrated by quite a number of people.

          What pleases me with the Rwanda situation is that the Rwandan people sat down and decided to introspect for indigenous solutions for posterity. They convened their traditional courts which are called Gachacha in their indigenous language. Gachacha is a grassy area where you can sleep. This is where they derived the name Gachacha. The due processes which were supposed to be done by lawyers, prosecutors, judges and other systems were put in the hands of traditional leaders of that particular area who dealt with the issues of genocide in Rwanda.

          The Rwandese are confident people in whatever they do. They did not fear that this was too big an issue for them to deal with so that they could engage the United Nations, Britain, France and other countries. Today we see Rwanda on the world map being renowned for national healing and peace. Rwanda is known for peace and unity. Those who visited Rwanda could not distinguish whether one was Tutsi or Hutu because there is no segregation and tribal distinctions among the people because they have reached a certain level of unity. This helps us in that they work together to build their country. They do not shift blame to others. They do not laugh at each other. They do things collectively. They have a 61% representation of women in their Parliament which means that they have confidence in the leadership of women in their Parliament.

          The other positive thing that I saw in the report is that the people of Rwanda identified a unique governance system. They go to elections but after elections they unite. Our challenge in most African countries is that after elections, there is conflict until the next election. Instead of focusing on rebuilding our economy, we focus on electioneering year-in and year-out. Since 2018, there have been a number of rallies in this country of people campaigning. When we get money, we go to Gutu, Gokwe and all these different areas. We remove our focus from building our economy as we remain in the election mode.

          After an election in Rwanda, the winning President unites all the political parties which garnered seats in their Parliament. The President appoints his deputy from a different party and a prime minister from another party. This vision results in development because people do not focus on elections only. For instance, if we were to talk about a Zimbabwean minister from ZANU PF or MDC, they will not focus on the negative things but rather on how to develop their ministry. No one will be used by foreigners and imperial forces. The governance system in Rwanda is a good model which should be emulated by other African countries so that we become a people who are developmental. There is no total freedom in Africa because we do not have a home grown governance system. Our governance systems are western models.

Have you noted that when we take international observers, what it means is that you cannot deal with your own issues but international observers are prescribed so that they come and give us marks in percentage terms.  Out of hundred, you will find that you are told you did not meet their criteria because may be you got 30%.  This point should be looked at this way; when we look at what is happening in Rwanda, you become totally independent.  Total freedom is what we need to fight for in Africa. 

          The governance system allows people to focus on the economy.  I saw that these people have a Government board, which supervises different ministries; their operations and this is done by the Rwandese.  Their terms of references were developed by the local people and they keep that standard.  The team which visited Rwanda said that when you go to their police headquarters, you would wonder whether you are still in Africa.  The high standards which are performed by the people of Rwanda, you will ask yourself whether you are still in Africa.  So, this is possible.  We learn from others.  Other African countries including Zimbabwe should emulate the people of Rwanda because they are people who challenged the status quo.  So we cannot focus on what was written in the past by some people long back, which has nothing to do with our country.  I believe this report should be studied by decision makers so that we learn from the people of Rwanda.

          Rwanda is able to pay its civil servants handsomely.  Those who went to Rwanda made consultations and they were laughed at by the people of Rwanda when they discovered what Hon. Members were earning.  They were told that the Hon. Members of Rwanda were earning US$6 000 and civil servants were earning US$7 000.  So, we need to build our country.  Elections are okay but we need to work with a home-grown and African model, which is not Western based.  That is what I do not agree with.  We need to work and please ourselves and not pleasing the British, French nor the Americans and others.  Where is the freedom and independence?  Let us find home-grown solutions in whatever we do so that we learn.  Let us take what the Rwandese did as a case study.

          We had Gukurahundi here in Zimbabwe.  We do not have to bury that issue.  What I know is that when you go to Matabeleland, those who did not see Gukurahundi, when you engage them, they are as emotional as they were when they got into the open so that if there are issues, they are ironed out.  We can take a leaf from the people of Rwanda.  We need to be responsible.  We need to get healing for the wounds in Matabeleland, copying what our colleagues in Rwanda did.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. DUBE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 12th October, 2022.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 51ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 51st Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Question again proposed.

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, 12th October, 2022.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF COUNTER TERRORISM HIGH LEVEL CONFERENCE HELD IN ITALY

       Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism High Level Conference on Parliamentary Support to victims of terrorism.

       Question again proposed.

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

       HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: I second.

       Motion put and agreed to.

       Debate to resume: Wednesday, 12th October, 2022.

MOTION

PROVISION OF FUNDS FOR COMPLETION OF DAM CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

          Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the need for Government to provide adequate funds for the completion of dam projects. 

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to. 

          Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 12th October, 2022.

MOTION

PARENTING AND EMBRACING A RECEPTIVE CULTURE FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN THE STREETS

          Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on vulnerable children living in the streets. 

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. A. DUBE:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to support this motion, which was brought to this august Senate by Senator S. Mpofu.  I note that it is a very important motion.  When looking at young children who are found in different streets all over the country, I note that in most urban centres, especially in Harare, these children will be begging and picking things from vehicles.  They are indulging in a lot of things, including pilfering.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order.  Our records show that you have already contributed on this motion.  Hon. S. Mpofu, if you do not wind it up today, your motion will lapse. 

          HON. SEN. S. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to take this opportunity to wind up my motion on children living in the streets.  This motion generated a lot of debate amongst Members.  It was debated extensively and almost 95% of Hon. Senators here debated on the motion.        

          Therefore, I would like to sincerely thank all the Hon. Senators who debated on this motion.  Important issues were raised on children living on the streets.  It was my wish Mr. President that the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare was here to respond to this motion which was debated extensively.  With those few words, I would like to move that the motion be adopted:

          Motion that;

 RECOGNISING Government’s mantra of leaving no one behind as envisaged in   vision 2030;

ACKNOWLEDGING that institutional care and social protection programmes instituted by Government and Development Partners to promote livelihoods of vulnerable children who are living on the street;

        CONCERNED at the ever-increasing numbers of such children in the Harare Central Business District (CBD) and other cities around the country, a situation which violates children’s rights to essential services such as education, health, safety, shelter and protection in general, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Children and the Constitution;

FURTHER CONCERNED that life in the streets exposes children to sexual exploitations, drug abuse, physical, emotional, and psychological abuses, which are detrimental to their general welfare and productive livelihood;

          CALLS UPON this House to implore Government to ensure that, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, assesses the root causes and addresses specific needs of such children so that they do not continue to live in the streets;

Sensitize communities on responsible parenting that embraces a receptive culture towards children living in the streets and ensure that they do not reconsider living in the street being provided better places to live put and agreed to. 

On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU seconded by HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA, the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Five Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.

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