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SENATE HANSARD 11 OCTOBER 2023 VOL 33 NO 5
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 11th October, 2023
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE
APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE ON STANDING RULES AND ORDERS
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Section 151 (1) of the Constitution provides that Parliament must appoint a Committee to be known as the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders for purposes of supervising the Administration of Parliament, formulating Standing Orders, considering and deciding all matters concerning Parliament and exercising any other functions that may be conferred or imposed on the Committee by the Constitution or by Standing Order or any other law.
Section 151 (2) of the Constitution provides that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must consist of the Speaker and the President of the Senate and the following Members of Parliament: the Deputy Speaker; the Deputy President of the Senate and two other Ministers appointed by the President; the Leader of Government Business in each House; the Leader of the Opposition in each House; the Chief Whips of all political parties represented in each House; the President of the National Council of Chiefs; two Members who are not Ministers or Deputy Ministers, one being a Senator appointed to the Committee by the President of the Senate and the other one being a Member of the National Assembly appointed by the Speaker.
In terms of Standing Order No. 14 of both the Senate and the National Assembly Standing Orders and the provisions of Section 151 of the Constitution, I therefore, inform the House that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders shall consist of the following;
- Speaker - Hon. J. F. N. Mudenda
- President of the Senate - Hon. M. M. Chinomona
- Deputy Speaker - Hon. T. Gezi
- Deputy President of the Senate - Hon. Rtd. Nyambuya
- Minister of Finance - Hon. Prof. M. Ncube
- Minister appointed by the President - Hon. O.C.Z Muchinguri
- Minister appointed by the President - Hon. Sen. M. Mutsvangwa
- Leader of Government Business - Hon. Z. Ziyambi
Leader of Government Business - Hon. Sen. L. Matuke Senate
- Leader of Opposition - TBA National Assembly (CCC)
- Leader of Opposition – TBA Senate (CCC)
- Government Chief Whip - Hon. Togarepi National Assembly (ZANU PF)
- Chief Whip (CCC) - Hon. Chibaya
- Chief Whip Senate (ZANU PF) - Hon. T. Muzenda
- Chief Whip Senate (CCC) - Hon. N. Mlotshwa
- President of the Chief’s Council – Hon. Chief Mtshane Khumalo
- Member appointed by the Hon. Speaker – Hon. P. Zhou
18 Member appointed by the President of the Senate– Hon. M. Bimha
19 Member ZANU PF - Hon. K. Musanhi
20 Member ZANU PF - Hon. P. Moyo
- Member ZANU PF - Hon. F. Buka
- Member CCC - Hon. S. Mahlangu
- Member Chiefs’ Council - Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira
- Member ZANU PF - Hon. O. Hungwe
- Member Chiefs’ Council - Hon. Sen. Chief Ngungumbane
26 Member CCC - Hon. J. Timba
The above list of Members complies with Section 151 (2) of the Constitution and Standing Order No. 14. The above Members are therefore duly elected Members of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-
INAUGURAL MEETING OF THE CSRO
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also wish to inform the House that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders will have its inaugural meeting on Thursday, 12th October, 2023 at 1000 hours in the Senate Chamber. All Committee members are expected to attend. I thank you.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Madam President, but I seek your advice. When the debate was interrupted, I had gone through almost three quarters of my motion. Should I start from where I left and proceed?
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You can continue from where you left.
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Madam President. When debate was interrupted, I was talking about the Bills that the President had mentioned and had given priority to be quickly dealt with during the 10th Parliament, and I was about to talk about the Parks and Wildlife Act. This one is being amended while a Human Wildlife Conflict Relief Fund is being set up to offer monetary benefits to victims in the communities. Like I said, the Bills add up to around 60 or so, I cannot talk about them all although I have the capability and energy to do so.
I would like, at this juncture, to touch on a topic which is dear to my heart, a topic with which I have a sentimental attachment to, which is sport, and myself being a sportsman. His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa highlighted that a Bill is going to be brought before Parliament during this session, known as the Sport, Leisure and Recreation Bill. The purpose being to create a regulated and fair sporting environment. Sport these days is an important industry which creates jobs and wealth and more importantly, a form of a healthy lifestyle. Sport also unites people and even the worst enemies as people come together to support and cheer their teams at whatever level.
Madam President, here at Parliament, we have our sports club with a number of disciplines like football, netball, volleyball et cetera. The club has done wonders to the health and wellbeing of legislators. It also unites legislators despite political differences. To this end, I would like to urge Hon. Members to support this Bill when it comes to this House. I also want to encourage the Ministry of Sports to ensure enough sporting infrastructure, particularly in the rural areas.
As I conclude, allow me to urge Hon. Senators in this august House to wholeheartedly participate in the enactment of laws that will improve the lives of Zimbabweans. Allow me also to quote His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe when he said, “Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatirwa nevene vayo. Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo.” Allow me once again to quote from His Excellency when he said, “This august House should ensure that the law is an instrument for development. Parliament is encouraged to be an institution of peace building, hope, national development and entrenchment of constitutionalism and deepening democratic practices in our country. In all our activities, let us safeguard our values and traditions as unique people of Zimbabwe.” Thank you once again for affording me this rare chance to address this august House.
HON. SEN. SHIRI: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to second a motion raised by Hon. Sen. Kambizi, on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. Allow me to extend my congratulatory messages to His Excellency for being unanimously reelected as the President of Zimbabwe. Congratulations Madam President and the Vice President Hon. Sen. Lt. General (Rtd.) Nyambuya, for being reelected to lead the Senate and to all the Senators, congratulations.
As we all go paperless, I will be using my tablet as Parliament is now distributing everything electronically. Mr. President, allow me to respond to the State of the Nation Address presented last week by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. For all intent and purposes, the President’s address is a true reflection of the state of our beloved nation as looked at from the eyes of all patriots. The key achievement of the 2nd Republic is evident for all to see.
As per the President’s speech, the importance of infrastructure to the economy needs no debate. To that effect, the 2nd Republic, through the visionary leader of His Excellency, has walked the talk when it comes to such economic enablers as road infrastructure. This has seen acceleration of numerous key roads being attended to in both rural and urban areas. I can give an example of our world-class Parliament in Mt. Hampden, our world-class border post at Beitbridge and one of the best international airports, our own Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
The negative effects of drug and substance abuse remains a prime concern to the nation. This remains so, particularly given that the future of our nation, the youth, continue to be at the receiving end of the scourge. Once again, the visionary leadership of His Excellency has seen fundamental policy thrusts towards combating this scourge. To this day, the fight against drug and substance abuse has become a topical issue on the streets, in townships and at all gatherings to reduce the demand, particularly by our youth.
This was followed by a clear administrative structure inclusive of the recently announced national coordinator to facilitate the smooth implementation of interventions. Mr. President Sir, allow me to point out the fact that the 2nd Republic’s policy thrust and development trajectory has been all embracing and that the youth benefitted immensely from the Government programmmes and projects. The Empower Bank, youth in mining, agriculture, Pfumvudza/Intwasa, Skills Development, Education 5.0 as well as the constitutional amendment that allowed youth participation in the political life of their country and communities remain indelible marks of the Second Republic. In the field of disability, the President’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind has paid dividends. With the education and employment of persons with disabilities being amplified, the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), which is the Government’s economic development blueprint has made disability a cross-cutting issue. This ultimately means that persons with disabilities are now being planned for. Of course, with their full and active participation in all sectors of the economy, rather than being considered as objects of charity.
The legislative agenda put forward by His Excellency must breed confidence to embrace ourselves as representatives of the people as well as the generality of the society. Key among this vast array of legislative instruments to be tabled before this House, is the Persons with Disabilities Bill that seeks to further consolidate the social inclusion of persons with disabilities in society.
The Disability Bill will help us to underscore that persons with disabilities are very important in terms of development, who also make the disability constituents realise that they are human beings. The Persons with Disabilities Bill will be an opportunity for Parliament to emphatically deal with empowerment of persons with disabilities and make them included more in decision making and policy implementation in the country. The Bill will be an opportunity to make the country treat persons with disabilities as citizens with rights and responsibilities and put to an end the scourge of ableism, which has seen certain non-disabled people continue to treat persons with disabilities as second-class citizens or objects of charity.
The Bill will be an opportunity for Parliament to give effect to our Constitution, which speaks to disability issues as both national developmental and human rights issue. The Bill will also be an opportunity to domesticate and give effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights to Persons with Disabilities, which the country ratified in 2013. The Bill will be a glorious opportunity for Parliament to come up with measures ensuring social protection, education and poverty alleviation for persons with disabilities. It will be a way of ensuring that the dignity of persons with disabilities is restored and that they are protected from all forms of abuse. In keeping with the mantra, nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, persons with disabilities stand ready to contribute towards the building of the country and we are happy that the Persons with Disabilities Bill will give effect to this.
The footprints of the Second Republic on the disability front remain visible for all to attest. For the first time in the history of this country, Zimbabwe has distinguished itself among the family of nations as one of the most disability inclusive nations – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - This has even seen the Second Republic defying all odds by appointing its administrative hierarchy persons with disabilities, who now occupy influential positions in Government as Chief Directors, Directors, Deputy Directors, and Managers among other key portfolios. More significantly, the appointment of a High Court Judge with a disability is a clear testimony to the trust that the Second Republic has vested in the vast abilities and capabilities of the once despised segment of society– [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
On behalf of persons with disabilities that I represent here in Senate, allow me to convey our heartfelt gratitude to His Excellency for affording National Hero Status to one of our gallant and patriotic sons, the late Dr. Joshua Malinga. May his soul rest in peace. He was laid to rest at the National Shrine on 15 September, 2023. This way of doing things serves as an inspiration to persons with disabilities that they are part and parcel of society and that their contribution to national development is highly cherished on an equal basis with others.
It is worth my mention that persons with disabilities have enormous potential to provide the significant contribution to their communities through education, work, art, politics, sports, spiritual development and social activities. More so, in keeping with the provisions of Section 22 of our own home-grown Constitution, persons with disabilities are now enjoying State funded education. Pursuant to inclusive agenda, all tertiary education institutions now accommodate persons with disabilities, with a number of polytechnical colleges such as Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru among others are enrolling students with disabilities in various grades. The same applies to universities where most of them now have disability resource centres to facilitate the learning of students with disabilities. This further assures them of some space within the broader economic and political processes that the Second Republic has opened to all.
Mr. President, allow me to emphasise that persons with disabilities continue to enjoy available political will to include them in national governance institutions. Of course, this political will may not be unchallenged with administrative apparatus still not convinced that persons with disabilities should attain equal status with able-bodied counterparts. As a representative of the disability constituency in Zimbabwe, let me call upon both the National Assembly and the Senate to work hard in ensuring total inclusion of persons with disabilities in all State institutions. On this note, it is rather regrettable to note that discrimination, sabotage, black-mailing and administrative exclusion continues to characterise the lives of persons with disabilities promoted to higher positions across Government ministries, departments and agencies. Well, Rome was not built in a day, so they say. We still must maneuver through the main administrative and bureaucratic, rigidity and resistance; of course, this time about a stable ship of abundance and well pronounced political will to treat disability as a development issue.
Illegal sanctions that were imposed on us by the West have had a negative effect on persons with disabilities who must struggle to acquire assistive technologies which are mostly manufactured outside the country at a higher cost. Mr. President, I therefore stand in support of the State of the Nation Address as presented by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
As an institution charged with providing an oversight role to the Executive arm of the State, I call upon all Parliamentarians to leverage upon this servant leadership displayed by the Second Republic and help in the removal of all bottlenecks that continue to stand as obstacles to the national agenda. Once again, thank you very much Mr. President for affording me this opportunity – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
*HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to debate in support of the State of the Nation Address which was delivered by His Excellency the President, E.D Mnangagwa.
First of all, I want to congratulate His Excellency the President, E.D Mnangagwa for being voted as the President of our nation with a majority win. I would also like to congratulate our Hon. President of the Senate, Hon. Sen. Mabel Chinomona, the Hon. Deputy President of the Senate and all the Hon. Senators for being voted into office.
Mr. President, in the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, I noted a number of pertinent issues. Firstly, the issue of drug and substance abuse by our youths, men and women. His Excellency noted that this is a critical issue and that if it is not addressed properly, it would have adverse effects, particularly to our mothers who are the custodians of children.
In light of this, His Excellency emphasised the need for vocational training programmmes. When young people are engaged in vocational training, they are empowered with professional skills, they can do welding, mechanics and they will be kept occupied so that they do not engage in drug abuse. Therefore, as parents, we need to urge our children to go to school for vocational training so that they are empowered to deal with life challenges.
As Hon. Members, if we work towards vocational training colleges being established in every district and every province, then this will remove our young children from the streets and from abusing drugs. These young children are taking illicit drugs and His Excellency was very clear on vocational training as a way of empowering the young people and taking them off the streets.
Looking at 2017, I believe there was a contribution of around 2,8 billion compared to this year where 12 billion was raised, meaning that our small-scale miners are working and contributing towards the fiscus so that Zimbabwe’s economy improves, hence we should empower our youths to partake in small scale mining.
Mr. President, His Excellency the President is doing his best and he spoke about war veterans. In his SONA, His Excellency talked about the welfare of war veterans, those who are now old, some who are disabled and need assistance that their lives should be improved. So, this is also an issue that as Hon. Senators, we should work towards the implementation of this so that our war veterans get free medical health because these are the people who sacrificed their lives fighting for the freedom of Zimbabwe. His Excellency has not forgotten about them.
The President also spoke about water and sanitation where he talked about the drilling of about 30 000 boreholes which he anticipates will be drilled around the country so that those who are into farming can benefit. The President said boreholes will help farmers in rural areas and life will be easier when 35 000 boreholes are sunk around the country.
Hon. President, His Excellency also spoke about power or energy provision. Looking at electricity, in the past few years, we had a challenge of electricity but now you find that people are stocking their meat in their fridges because power outages are a thing of the past. Power is available and we appreciate that His Excellency supported the issue of provision of energy and indeed, this is happening; people have access to electricity most of the times. Therefore, I would like to thank His Excellency for resolving the issue of electricity.
Furthermore, I would also want to mention resources that were mentioned in the State of the Nation Address, for example in hospitals, schools, et cetera. His Excellency said nyika inovakwa nevene vayo and that no one should complain about the bad state of roads. The President said that we need to continue working together and that Parliamentarians should also work hard to implement and support the vision of His Excellency so that resources are provided throughout the country. This is my submission on the State of the Nation Address, I thank you.
HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to say a few words regarding the State of the Nation Address which was presented by His Excellency, the President. Before I begin, my name is Alice Dube from Tsholotsho, Senator for Matabeleland North. That is where I come from.
I want to thank Hon. Sen. Kambizi for moving this motion regarding the State of the Nation Address and Senator Shiri who seconded the motion. Let me start by congratulating His Excellency, the President E. D. Mnangagwa for being voted into office because the people of Zimbabwe believe in him and they appreciate the hard work that he is putting in. Let me also congratulate Hon. Sen. Mabel Chinomona who was voted into office as President of Senate and her deputy, Hon. Sen. General (Rtd) Mike Nyambuya. Let me say that I wish you the best and may God bless you.
Mr. President, I will talk about the issues that I noted in the State of the Nation Address in my mother tongue and I believe that the people in my area noted the good things that were touched on by His Excellency regarding devolution and economic empowerment in different provinces where people participate in the development of their areas. His Excellency spoke about the devolution fund that it should be increased so that it meets the needs of grassroots people so that their livelihoods are improved. This also was taken positively by the people. I come from Tsholotsho and we have a lot of wild life. We have dense forests and our people are happy because resources will be coming back into the community. I want to thank such a faithful President for the good job.
His Excellency also said that the Government of Zimbabwe, during the Second Republic, has been working diligently particularly in different sectors of the economy despite the biting illegal sanctions which were imposed by Western nations. Government has been working hard to improve the economy of Zimbabwe and all sectors have been improving steadily.
His Excellency spoke about farming because when we look at our economy, it is agro based and Zimbabweans are hard workers. We also note that His Excellency has been providing water, like what the previous Senator said that we anticipate that 35000 boreholes are going to be sunk around the country so that we cut the distances that people walk to fetch water. Where I come from in Matabeleland North, there are many boreholes which were sunk under the Presidential initiative particularly in areas like Binga where we have 75 boreholes which were sunk as a result of the President’s initiative. The President says things that he implements and that is why people have confidence in him and his leadership. It is not easy to sink 75 boreholes in one district, but this happened in Matabeleland North and I can attest to that.
The President also said that there is growth in terms of income that is coming from mining. In 2008, there was US$2.8 billion and now we have reached US$12 billion; which means that Government is working hard and the people of Zimbabwe are working hard. We have US$12 billion that has been raised through mining and His Excellency desires that Zimbabwe should have an upper middle-class economy where everyone can stand on their own feet having adequate resources instead of relying on aid.
The President also spoke about electricity and now people have access to electricity. The President went to Hwange Power Station where he commissioned Unit 7 and 8, which contributed to the national grid where people have access to electricity and there is no load shedding anymore. People can now stock their fridges, but in the past people were losing a lot because of power cuts.
His Excellency, also touched on health issues. He mentioned that he is going to deploy specialist doctors in every provincial, district, and community hospitals. People have been travelling from Binga or Plumtree to seek medical attention in Harare or Bulawayo and His Excellency wants to correct that. He is going to deploy specialist doctors in all corners of the country. Let me thank His Excellency because in Matabeleland North, we needed a provincial hospital and we now have Lupane Provincial Hospital which was established by the Second Republic under the guidance and the leadership President E. D. Mnangagwa. As you are aware that specialist doctors are going to be deployed in different areas, many people are going to have access to medical attention.
The President also congratulated the incoming Members of Parliament in both the Lower and Upper Houses and he urged Members of Parliament to work hard so that the laws which were carried over from the Ninth Parliament are completed because every country should have its own laws. He also commended Members from the Ninth Parliament for the good job they did during the life of that Parliament.
His Excellency, said when looking at the tourists who come to Zimbabwe, there is need to look at it from a point that there is an influx of tourists who are coming to Zimbabwe. Tourists can witness the peace that is prevailing in Zimbabwe because when you talk about Zimbabwe, you find them referring to it as a difficult country, but the reality is that Zimbabwe is a country with peace and people move freely around the country. I thank His Excellency for that.
His Excellency also thanked the countries which contributed to the independence of Zimbabwe which worked with Zimbabwe during our quest for independence. He commended such countries, some which are near and others which are far. He also commended Botswana which housed our freedom fighters who went via Botswana whilst going to Zambia and other countries for military training. We have such countries which were looking after non-combatants and young people. His Excellency wishes that Parliament should enact laws which will cater for the contribution of such people who were in refugee camps and some who did not train and others were still young enough to receive military training. This is quite commendable.
Many people were happy when they heard of this, some were saying that His Excellency has a good heart because when he looks at people who were trained and some not trained, he is saying there is need for compensating such people. In the past, we did not hear about people who were not trained militarily, but His Excellency is saying that even those who are not trained are going to be compensated, and because of that, we thank His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. Also, His Excellency, in the Second Republic, has done a lot of good deeds. In his SONA, Zimbabwe from now will be Canaan because looking at 2018 to date, you would find that we went through different challenges like COVID-19 pandemic. You find that for almost two years, people were locked down and there was not much production. Despite that, you find that there was a lot of development in Zimbabwe. God willing, His Excellency will continue doing the best.
Looking at Gwayi-Shangani, where I come from, this is a big project, a project which is being emulated by many people. This project started in 1912, a lot of people tried to work on the project, but through the Second Republic, the project has taken off. You would find that pipes will be linking the project to Bulawayo and irrigation projects are going to be established. The Second Republic, through His Excellency the President, who is a hardworking President - someone spoke about the Beitbridge Border Post – our children work in South Africa, you will not find young people who work in Bulawayo, there are a few. Most of our children go to South Africa and some end up wondering whether they are still in Zimbabwe or in which country because of the beauty of the Beitbridge Border Post. The border is quite beautiful. It is a magnificent view and my desire is that Hon. Senators should have an opportunity to go and see the project because some will not even recognise whether it is the UK or some other country, but this is Zimbabwe.
Looking at the passport offices, if you apply for a passport today, you will get the passport on the following day. Mr. President, I went to the Passport office and I thought I was in a bank because the infrastructure and the furniture is different. Even in rural Binga where people think it is backward, we find that the Second Republic established an airstrip through the President’s leadership.
He also spoke about MPs and urged MPs to work hard to develop Zimbabwe. He said that this country is built, developed and prayed for by its people, the owners of Zimbabwe….
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator, you are left with five minutes.
+HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank His Excellency for the State of the Nation Address. Indeed, people are happy with the State of the Nation Address because it speaks and resonates with the people. With these few words. I thank you Mr. President - [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th October, 2023.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA), the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Eight Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.