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SENATE HANSARD 13 NOVEMBER 2019 29-06
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday 13th November, 2019
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF
ZWPC STRATEGIC PLAN VALIDATION MEETING
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to
inform the Senate that all members of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus are requested to attend the ZWPC strategic plan validation meeting on Thursday 14th November, 2019 at 0830 hours in the Senate Chamber.
ACCESS TO PARLIAMENT WI-FI INTERNET
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also have
to inform all Hon. Senators that access to Parliament Wi-Fi internet is now restricted to users with current login credentials. In this regard, all Hon. Members are advised to obtain their login credentials from ICT officers who are stationed at the Members’ Dining Hall.
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
+HON. SEN. HUNGWE: Thank you Mr. President for affording
me the opportunity to support the Speech by His Excellency the
President of Zimbabwe and Chief-in-Command. In his speech the President alluded that he understands the cash crisis and to address this, the Government has introduced new currency, the Zimbabwean dollar to phase out the bond. We have realise that money changers already have the money in the streets. The scrupulous money changers will engage in activities to cripple the economy like burning the money. We need to find ways to deal with such people. Our request is that money be acquired from the banks.
The President also mentioned the issue of growing crops that were grown long back. Maize is causing diseases such as high blood pressure hence the encouragement to grow small grains. We were availed land so people should utilise the land to grow small grains. These grains are healthy and will result in a healthy nation.
The President also spoke about Cyclone Idai – something never seen in Zimbabwe. We want to applaud the Government and other stakeholders for their support. As Zimbabwe, this disaster united the people but we also need to be pro-active and be prepared for disasters such as these. Let us educate our constituents to avoid building in low lying areas as these were the most affected.
He also talked about mining - there is need for organised mining activities for artisanal miners. This reflected that the Government has people at heart though sometimes we walk out when His Excellency the President comes to Parliament. Even if we walk out, we will still debate on his Presidential Speech and Bills that come to Parliament. Members of this august House are full of wisdom, hence let us behave likewise.
The President also talked of support to irrigation for agriculture because of climate change, rainfall seasons are changing. Let us encourage our people to build dams for irrigation purposes. With these few words, I would like to thank the President.
*HON. SEN. MATIIRIRA: Thank you Mr. President for
affording me this opportunity to add my voice to this important debate in support of the His Excellency the President’s speech. I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Tsitsi Muzenda, the mover of this motion. These were wise words by our President for the enhanced living of Zimbabweans.
His Excellency the President mentioned a lot of things in his State of the Nation Address speech in line with the manner that he is fighting to achieve this in his manifesto. Roads are currently being rehabilitated and the President also highlighted the fact that no one will die of hunger as food is currently being rolled out. On the issue of water, the President of the country said no one will die of hunger or thirst. He keeps on persevering that food is provided and boreholes are being drilled. He is a leader with the people at heart. On the issue which has been presented in this House by the previous Senator that spoke, I want us to be united that if the Bills are now law, everything will move perfectly. It is important that if something is law, everything will come into place. We want to appreciate that also.
I want to say I am very happy and celebrating that we have a road named Matete Road which connects Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe coming from Murehwa, connecting with Mashonaland Central and passing through Matana on the border with Mozambique. That road was supposed to reach that area in 1984 but nothing was moving. Now it is moving as the President directed and people are so happy. That road is in perfect condition which makes people very happy.
If we could put our heads together and work very hard to fulfill what the President has said, this country would move forward very well. The President emphasized that we should work together and be united so that our country progresses. I want to conclude by saying we want to emphasise and talk strongly against corruption as the President has said corruption is a disease.
We wish that corruption is dealt with for example on the issue of money - which has been talked about that this money is not flooding the streets for those money changers. It is very painful that the commitment which the President and the Government has in trying to fulfill that the country progresses is being affected by money changers. With those few words, if we would put our heads together and build Zimbabwe - it is our country and our future as the President said. Thank you Mr.
HON. SEN. TSOMONDO: Thank you Mr. President for giving
me the opportunity to debate this motion. I would like to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa for the speech which he presented to this august House. In support of the motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Muzenda, His Excellency in his speech touched on several macro and micro economic issues in our country. This is a topical issue as we speak today – the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) as he said is the key building block being persuaded systematically.
Mr. President, in his speech, His Excellency spoke positively about currency reforms which the Government has embarked on. The exchange rate stability remains our major concern for this has been a major loophole in price distortions, subsequently driving inflation high. As His Excellency rightly put across, rate manipulation remains an economic sabotage tool and I bring forth to this august House’s attention the pricking tire model namely cash, ecocash and transfer which are a recipe for our economic down turn. As the President alluded to in his speech, the Zimbabwean economy took a centre stage - a sign that this indeed is a priority for our country and he also spoke of the ongoing fiscal consolidation measures.
The existence of a budget surplus is a welcome development in our economy. We want to applaud the way this has enabled the Government to help in social service delivery - notable is the cyclone Idai victims and the provision of various social services as alluded to by the President. Zimbabwe is generally an agro-based economy, whereby the demise in agriculture sector spells doom to all supply chain elements in the economy. His Excellency indicated that substantial amounts have been set aside for the production of crops. We want to applaud the Government for taking definitive steps to ensure the country has food security.
I urge the ministries responsible to swiftly and quickly carry out the exercise before the onset of the rains. Our farmers need to have adequate inputs on time. The President also spoke about the rehabilitation of the machinery under Command Agriculture. It is encouraging to note that this once tried and tested programme which was a brain child of our President has had good results. May I urge the responsible Ministries to fast-track it with limited red tape, the availing of inputs as alluded to by the President?
Allow me to applaud His Excellency for mentioning the issue of availing dipping chemicals as well as supporting researchers on manufacturing of vaccines. Our people in the communal and resettlement areas have lost substantial amounts of livestock due to the infamous January disease due to unavailability of dipping chemicals. It is sad to note that some families have had their entire herd wiped out by this notorious disease.
Besides agriculture, mining is another major foreign currency earner in our country. It is encouraging, according to the President’s speech to note that this sector is on a growth trajectory, with the availing of comprehensive strategy and road map towards the attainment of
US$12 billion in the mining industry. The reduction of Zimbabwe’s import bill remains a major challenge in a quest to revive the economy.
The need to export more than we import is a recipe for economic growth. It is quite refreshing to note that His Excellency in his speech looked at how the Government is scaling up its support to the sector through duty exemption of raw materials and capital equipment. Also, the introduction of mono-currency will bring confidence in our own currency. However Mr. President, we are concerned by the pegging of prices in US dollar then charging the existing parallel market exchange rate prices to evade the long arm of the law.
Mr. President, His Excellency the President of the country, in his address spoke of the establishment of a one- stop- border- post at Beitbridge and Victoria Falls. Beitbridge Border Post which is by far the busiest border post in Southern Africa would enable quick movement of goods and services in the country. Our economic growth is hinged on quick movement of exports and imports. Most of our
SME’s make use of those entry points in the country. His Excellency the President of the country should be applauded for calling for the provision of state of the art machinery for our SME’s and use of modern technology. The sector employs most of our people and supporting its technological advancement is a step in the right direction. We continue to urge, as said by His Excellency, financial institutions to relax requirements for loan applications such that our people get loans to make their business blossom.
Mr. President, it is common knowledge that our people have endured long hours of darkness due to electricity blackouts. His
Excellency the President clearly stated out the reasons and pointed out climate change as the main reason for reduced generation due to unsustainable water levels at Kariba Dam. It is prudent to note that His Excellency the President, in his speech, spoke about mitigatory measures being taken by the State while State enterprises like ZESA are trying to avail electricity. He spoke of the need to involve communities in curbing criminal elements that are stealing electricity cables. Electricity provision must be looked at while other sources of electricity like solar at commercial and household level must be looked at and supported.
Mr. President, His Excellency spoke of modernisation and rehabilitation of infrastructure, road networks, energy and other infrastructural projects that are being carried out under this new dispensation. We are so grateful for the development taking place in our country, and we appreciate His Excellency for bringing about tangible development. However, the rate at which we are implementing these projects needs to be looked at with the time frames being adhered to. The fact that His Excellency spoke about recapitalisation of State enterprises as well as reforming them is a step in the right direction. I urge the State to employ competent individuals in these areas to ensure that Government plans are put in place.
Mr. President, His Excellency spoke of the need to groom proactive and patriotic young citizens capable of protecting their heritage. We are so much encouraged that there are ongoing Government programmes that are there to ensure the youths are empowered.
Mr. President, it is quite refreshing that we have heard from His
Excellency the President’s speech to this august Senate of the legislative programme of the 9th Parliament. The alignment of our laws to the
Constitution will strengthen our democracy in this new dispensation. His Excellency spoke of laws that the Parliament want to enact. It is our responsibility to enact laws that are in-tandem with our norms and values. I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. HUNGWE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 13th November, 2019.
REMOVAL OF ILLEGAL SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the unconditional and immediate removal of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. FEMAI: Firstly, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to give my opinion on sanctions. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mbohwa the mover of the motion for presenting such an important motion that unites us. I say so because there was freedom and tolerant of various opinions, we respected each other’s views and that reflects maturity. I applaud this House for showing maturity. I am not an enemy to anyone. I am a citizen of Zimbabwe with rights to say no to what is wrong and yes to what is right. I want to thank those who debated on the motion, I agree with them. As I said, I am a citizen of this country; it may not augur well with others if I seem to be opposing you, but I am a citizen. In Parliament there is the ruling and the opposition parties. Opposition is there to expose loopholes and keep the ruling party on their toes. You will also become opposition one day and you will also do the same.
I will now delve on my debate. I think sanctions are an inheritance. When you inherit your father’s house, it means that house is yours. Even when you inherit a goblin from your father, you cannot then run to the people and say my father’s goblin is troubling me; it is your inheritance. The ruling party inherited sanctions, it is your inheritance. The erstwhile President used to say “Blair, keep your England and I will keep my Zimbabwe.” So the West took their USD as you told them that they should keep their things and we kept our bond notes. This is something we deserved because we provoked them. On the issue of ZIDERA, it is like the Bible. Whoever reads the Bible gets salvation. The Bible has 10 commandments and ZIDERA is a Bible against the abuse of human rights. For good relations, one needs to adhere to that Bible.
I want to talk about corruption, it is a cancer that has destroyed Zimbabwe. In my view, if a child takes eggs and the mother realises there is one missing, the mother leaves no stone unturned to catch the culprit. The egg could have hatched and this could have led to more chickens looking at the whole family. Corrupt people are named in circles, but they are not brought to book. If a person is raped and Hon. Femai is suspected, before end of day, I will be behind bars, but that is not the case with corruption.
As Senate, we need to speak against corruption and if we speak out, they will be arrested unless they are in this House. I know the
President is against corruption. On the issue of sanctions, how can one complain about being on the sanctions list because it means you did something, so do not make noise.
The amount we earn and on the issue of sanctions such as ecocash, we earn ecocash hearing the echoing sounds. That is what we are earning, there is no cash. We are smartly dressed to earn ecocash. One Minister said they were giving business letters to import things. That was contradictory because others were singing sanctions yet they are getting letters to import. So when the President says something we should support him and speak with one voice. I thank you for the opportunity and I hope I have not offended anyone.
*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President. I want to add my voice to the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Mbohwa seconded by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi. It is a very good and important motion as noted by Hon. Sen. Femai.
I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mbohwa for moving this motion. This motion enables us as Zimbabweans to see what is being done wrong.
Firstly, I think as Zimbabweans we should love one another. The British are interfering because there is no unity. Opposition, if I oppose – I was a member of ZANU PF but something happened to me and I joined opposition MDC. After realising the wrong, I was under attack.
When people fought the liberation war, it was to free the country and not to free a political party. I joined the MDC in Mashonaland
Central which was regarded as a ‘no go area’. My house was burnt in 2001. I was distressed to an extent which I cannot really explain. No one came to sympathise with me, even the Member of Parliament for that constituency. Even if you are a witch and have bewitched someone’s child, if death occurs you still grieve with the bereaved family. The case was brought to the courts and I won the case. They were asked to pay damages but they did not comply, however is now past news.
When we talk of ruling it is not really ruling, it should be called leadership – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – If you want to rule, that is where problems begin. Do not rule but lead the people – [HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – because if you talk of ruling the people, everything goes haywire because you begin to say no one should rule you. If my husband intends to rule me, I will show him that I am of the
Chihera totem, I hate being ruled, just lead me and we live in harmony –
[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
Mr. President, to date we are still under distress as opposition and if we talk about it no one accepts it, they point everything to sanctions. During elections, as people living in the rural areas village heads run around and are told what to do…
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon.
Muronzi, can you stick to the subject at hand, you are straying a bit.
Stick to the motion which you stood up to debate.
HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President, I thought I should clearly elaborate so that it is understood well. Even if we talk about it here and they refuse, elsewhere it will be visible that people are in conflict. I want to wind up by saying the issue of hurting each other is on-going. I wish we could stop hurting each other so that we stop hearing about these sanctions. Today my husband was appointed a village head after his brother had passed on and the chief conferred on him the crown of village headmanship. The District Administrator refused and said, no village headmanship is conferred on an MDC member - that is distressing others – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – but it will be exposed. As I speak right now, my husband has been refused the onus of being a village head.
Mr. President, let us iron out our differences as people of Zimbabwe. I was appointed a Senator not because I have education but my party conferred me with this post because of the distress that I was going through, I was hurt. Thank you Mr. President.
**HON. SEN. R. NYATHI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this motion. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mbohwa who brought this motion about sanctions. Mr. President, I would like to say when I started school during the Smith regime, the country was under sanctions. Everything was good in this country, we were getting everything. People were getting their money and the National Railways of Zimbabwe was functioning; industries were functioning.
So let us look at the causes of these sanctions which are being talked about. Let us look at what really caused them to be imposed on us to discuss about them as elders in front of children. If we say the whites imposed sanctions on us - we got our independence in 1980 and we told the whites to go back to their countries, they did not take anything with them but they left everything.
So what is stopping us as a country from going back to a functioning economy where our mines and industry can start functioning again? There is corruption, theft and threatening of each other in this country. If you expose any wrong doing you will disappear. When we fought the liberation struggle, it was because of the intention to bring good life to our people not because we wanted to rule so that we can merely narrate to them stories that, once upon a time we were oppressed. Nobody knows the white person, nobody has a payslip and nobody is able to buy anything. We are the ones taking care of our children. I
have to buy panties for my daughter in law as well as for my son; there are no jobs.
We are sending our children to school but you are saying sanctions. Now, there was an announcement on the injection of cash into the banks. Today I went to a bank Mr. President and asked for a cash withdrawal and I was told that cash was only available yesterday. However, during the rule of the whites in Rhodesia, there were no restrictions on cash withdrawals and there were no days meant for cash withdrawal. Any day and any time you could withdraw cash, but you argue that it is because of sanctions. What sanction is that? We are lying to our children when it is our fault where Government officials continuously lie and engage in corruption. Why do we not talk about corruption that is destroying the country?
Look at the rural areas, there are no roads that are accessible. There are no buses. When people get sick, even ambulances cannot get to hospitals because the roads are bad. I live in Matebeleland North, there was a road that was constructed last year and I think it is 10 kms towards Gwai. To date, it is not finished; it has been a year. What more of a road from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls - how many years will it take to complete it? Riversand and water is locally available in Zimbabwe, so what is the problem that is hindering progress? We continuously cry that it is because of sanctions. Let us rectify things as mature people in this House and analyse what is really causing the sanctions. We are the sanctions as we sit in here. We cannot cry about someone seated pretty at their home because they are not affected by these problems. Let us self-introspect and figure out so that we stop insulting each other and stop lying. We cannot wake up every day and shout towards our neighbours to say, ‘you the Ngwenyas over there, you are doing such a thing.’ You will not be a good person; everyone will neglect you because of that. They will say you are a bad person then you start crying foul that you have been sanctioned. Mr. President, we are the sanctions. We brought this upon ourselves, so let us correct that. Stop lying, stop stealing and stop corruption. If only as we speak here we could talk more on corruption, Zimbabwe has been destroyed by corruption.
Nothing is functioning Mr. President, I thank you.
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity that you have given me to say a few words on sanctions. I thank Hon. Sen. Mbohwa for bringing this important motion on sanctions.
Mr. President, why do we fight against sanctions?
- They affect and distort our international credit worthiness and our projected development trajectory.
2.They have even affected our – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order.
Hon. Members, I have already warned you. When a member is debating, can you please listen? People were listening to you when you debated and nobody interjected or whispered. May you just have tolerance. We are supposed to be mature. May you please continue debating Hon. Sen. Mkwebu.
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: 2.They have even affected our efforts into the needy areas of climate change mitigation measures in as far as funding and retrieval of proceeds from our natural resources like wildlife sales (CITES) –[HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order!
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Mr. President, Hon Sen. Mkwebu has been debating in this House for a very long time. She is reading and she never asked for permission.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Can you say
it is a point of order – you just stood up and said Mr. President.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: It is a point of order Mr. President –
[HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order
- what is your point of order? Address the Chair.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: My point of order is that she is reading
- [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You may
take your seat. Order, order. May you proceed with your debate, I can see you are referring to your notes.
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: 3. Our health system is bogged down such that we cannot replace absolute technical equipment to offer even simple surgical practices locally.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: On a point of order, are we setting a precedence so that at least next time I also come with notes despite the fact that I would have contributed my first speech, I would be allowed to do exactly what she is doing?
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have
already ruled that I can see that she is referring to her notes. May you proceed.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: I am just asking if it is a precedence that you are setting?
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon.
Mpofu, I have already responded to that. Debate.
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: 4. The sanctions lobbying countries have some keen investors from their countries who are afraid to invest or inject funds in Zimbabwe lest they will be censored – [HON.
SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: May you
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: 5. Sanctions have had terrible side effects like unwanted fuel queues, non supply of medication retention and freezing of our international proceeds from sales for example diamond sales money (2011-13) were frozen as blood diamond monies.
Mr. President, I support the removal of sanctions in Zimbabwe. Enough is enough –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - Whosoever says there are no sanctions should know that sanctions are there in Zimbabwe. Our President of Zimbabwe always preaches about unity in
Zimbabwe. In this House, we are not united Mr. President –[HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - When somebody is debating, people make a lot of noise but when they debate, we just keep quiet and listen to them. Why? Zimbabweans must be united please –[ HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - I thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NGEZI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to debate. I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Mbohwa for moving this motion on sanctions. I have a few things that I want to add. Sanctions are real and our challenge is the need to unite.
Where you have it wrong, rope in traditional leaders in these issues. One Hon. Senator said she was not given an opportunity to be headman because of her political party. As traditional leaders, we do not do that. You need to take advantage of traditional leaders and mediate if there is conflict rather than to write us off.
Sanctions are real and we feel it in rural areas. If a driver loses his keys or the cars are taken away, the car will not move. If there is conflict between parties, engage us as chiefs. We are despised as chiefs.
As the Upper House, let us realise that sanctions are real and we unite to address these sanctions.
HON. SEN. MBOHWA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th November, 2019.
On the motion of HON. SEN. S. MPOFU, seconded by HON. SEN. MKWEBU, the Senate adjourned at Twelve Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.