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SENATE HANSARD 15 DECEMBER 2020 VOL 30 NO 14

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 15th December, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

INVITATION TO A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that there will be a Roman Catholic Church Service tomorrow Wednesday, 16th December, 2020 at 1230 hrs in the Senate Chamber. All Catholic and non-Catholic members are invited.

UPDATING OF MOBILE CONTACTS

THE HON. PPRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also have to inform the Senate that Hon. Senators are advised to update their mobile contact numbers so that they can receive urgent messages via SMS from Parliament. The ICT Department is stationed at the Members Dining to immediately assist Hon. Senators.

COLLECTION OF BRANDED MASKS

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Additionally, I have to advise Hon. Senators to collect their branded masks from the clinic.

MOTION

LEAVE TO MOVE FOR SUSPENSION OF PROVISIONS OF STANDING ORDERS NO. 51; 64; 66 AND 135

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam President Ma’am, I seek leave of the Senate to move that the provisions of Standing Orders, Number 51; 64; 66 and 135 regarding the automatic adjournment of the Senate at Five Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. on sitting days other than a Friday and at Twenty-Five Minutes past One o’clock p.m. on a Friday, private Senators motions taking precedence on Thursdays after Question Time, Question Time being taken on Thursdays and stages of Bills respectively be suspended with effect from today and for the following series of sittings in respect of the following:- business relating to the Budget debate; the Finance Bill; the Appropriation Bill and all other Government business. I thank you Madam President.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NO 51; 64; 66 AND 135

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam President Ma’am, I now move that the provisions of Standing Orders, Number 51; 64; 66 and 135 regarding the automatic adjournment of the Senate at Five Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. on sitting days other than a Friday and at Twenty Five Minutes past One o’clock p.m. on a Friday, private Senators motions taking precedence on Thursdays after Question Time, Question Time being taken on Thursdays and stages of Bills respectively be suspended with effect from today and for the next series of sittings in respect of the following:- business relating to the Budget debate; the Finance Bill; the Appropriation Bill and all other Government business. I so submit Madam President.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 3 be stood of until Order of the Day, No. 4 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. KHUPE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to say words on the motion that was moved by Hon. Sen. Chirongoma and seconded by Hon. Sen. A. Dube. As is always the case with me, I carefully listened to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa when he was delivering his State of the Nation Address. The State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President of the Republic was candid, honest and deliberately in content. It was a master piece.

His Excellency started his speech by thanking all Zimbabweans in their diversity for the cooperation, discipline and reliance as the nation was and is still facing COVID-19. I believe every citizen of our country do appreciate the manner in which our President mobilised all forms of resources to support the fight against COVID-19 and because of the decisive actions by our Government under the leadership of His Excellency the President, many lives of Zimbabweans were saved from COVID-19.

On corruption which has permeated the entire social strata, His Excellency expressed his displeasure. He was right because corruption is not gender, disability or age sensitive. The young and the adult are not immune to corruption nowadays. I was happy to hear the President say “The fight against corruption continues to be a central goal for my Government. This vice cannot co-exist with sustainable economic development and growth. Therefore, let us all strengthen our determination to rid Zimbabwe of corruption. Nobody is above the law – Justice shall be pursued.”

Madam President of the Senate, many of us here in this House and others out there will agree with me that corruption in Zimbabwe has reached a dangerous level. For some sections of our society, corruption is slowly becoming an addictive crime. In fact, it looks like corruption has become one of the lucrative and fast growing industries in Zimbabwe. In addition, it looks like in the long run corruption will morph into a religion once it turns trans-generational. It is therefore better for all Zimbabweans to collectively fight corruption in all its forms.

Above all, therefore, Madam President of the Senate let us take the words of the President very seriously. Surely, it is important to take action now so that we prevent the spread of corruption. We must take the advice from our President very seriously, forewarned is forearmed says the English speakers.

The President also spoke about the issue of illegal economic sanctions imposed on our country. The illegal economic sanctions are adversely affecting all spheres of life in our country. The ultimate net result of these genocidal economic sanctions is loss of livelihoods to the harmless, poor and persons with disabilities.

However, it is important to note that despite the economic challenges, our Government did not forget to assist the persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups during this challenging period caused by COVID-19, and all the challenges caused by the genocidal economic sanctions imposed by enemies of Zimbabwe. Therefore, it was pleasing to see the Government under our visionary President His Excellency, E.D Mnangagwa launching the First-Five Year National Development Strategy: 2021-2025 (NDSI) which builds on the success of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.

These are the few words I wanted to say as my contribution to the speech by His Excellency, the President. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. HUNGWE: Thank you Madam President. I just want to say a few words about the Presidential Speech. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chirongoma who moved this motion, seconded by Hon. Sen. Dube. I want to apprciate the unity of purpose among the Zimbabweans. When the President came and delivered the State of Nation Address, and all of us Members of Parliament sat down and listened to the President’s speech as he delivered his State of the Nation address, according to the Constitution.

I also want to thank even the Opposition party that this time around they were in support of all the Government business and the Presidential Speech.

The President, His Excellency E.D Mnangagwa spoke about the issue of COVID-19 pandemic; we all do not know where it came from. The pandemic spread around many countries in this whole world, including Zimbabwe. As Zimbabweans, we listened and obeyed to what the President said on the issue of lock down restrictions and all the measures which were taken in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It was difficult to follow the measures which were put forward and right now we are all witnessing the fruits of obeying the lockdown restrictions and it really saved us a nation.

Right now, we hear of the second wave of COVID-19, during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were protected and even for the second wave, we are going to continue to obey the measures which are going to be addressed by the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, E. D. Mnangagwa.

The President also spoke about the issue of electricity; I can agree with all of you Hon. Members that the issue of electricity is now improving, even the construction of infrastructure at Hwange is going to take us a long way as a nation to an extent of even selling electricity to other countries.

I also want to thank the President on the revival of the economy; when the 2% tax was introduced, it was something which was difficult to accept, however, the 2% tax is bearing fruits in the development of our economy.

He also spoke about the issue of the economy on the side of inflation, it was very rife but through the measures which were being implemented by the Government through our President, the rate of inflation has now reduced.

The introduction of Pfumbvudza/Intwasa also helped in the agricultural sector so that people can have enough food security in the country. People are being given the inputs for farming, it does not matter if you have a tractor, and you can also dig the holes under the Pfumvudza programme. His Excellency, the President encouraged everyone even those with small scale or large scale farmers are incorporated into this programme and the inputs are being distributed freely.

The President also spoke about the issue of social welfare, even those in the rural areas and urban areas are given a token of money. It is not enough but it helped them a lot in solving some of the programmes. This means that the President is trying by all means to touch all the sectors of the economy; therefore, I am saying as Senators in this House, we must go forward as leaders and inform people that they must go and receive their maize.

The Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare has the duty to see to it that everyone has managed to get the food. The President also spoke about the issue passing the Bills; therefore it is very crucial for the President to deliver the State of the Nation Address giving us duties to do. He also encouraged both Houses to finish all the outstanding Bills so that there is progress in the country.

The President also encouraged people to farm our cultural small grains which are very healthy for example, finger millet, sorghum and others. These helps us in terms of our nutrition and also that they are draught tolerant therefore, even if we do not receive enough rainfall, the small grains yield a bumper harvest.

Right now, we are eating foods which are genetically modified and there are a lot of fertilizers being used. At my age, my mother was running and fit so we must revert back to our cultural produce. I would like to thank the President for encouraging us to go back to our roots in terms of farming.

I also want to say Zimbabwe is our country the ruling party and opposition, let us work together. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity. I would like to start by thanking Senator Chirongoma for moving this motion and Senator Dube for seconding the good motion which was brought to this House by His Excellency, the President Cde E. D. Mnangagwa. I do not have much to say but a lot has been said by my fellow Senators.

The President mentioned a lot of issues and I would like to talk about education which is one aspect which was raised by the President. He also spoke about our children’s education. Most children in our schools are not learning. Teachers are still not satisfied because they are not getting any substantial payment. Children are just going to school to while up time. They come back home without learning. Teachers are just going to school so that they will not be removed from the payroll but they are not teaching because they are not satisfied with what they are earning. My desire is that the President should fulfill the teachers’ aspirations so that the standard of education does not deteriorate.

At a school where my grand children learn, even in their class you cannot tell that it is a class which is supposed to house children. You are just told that you should leave your children and collect them at a certain time. So, as this august House we need to work together with our President so that he intervenes on the issue of teachers salaries. For sure our money is now valueless. It has been affected by inflation although the economy has stabilised but it is still a challenge. The President said a lot of things especially concerning health.

An Hon Senator having passed between the Chair and the Hon Senator speaking.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, Hon. Senator. You are not supposed to pass between the Chair and the Member speaking.

HON. MOEKETSI: He also spoke about challenges in the health sectors, especially COVID-19. He urged Zimbabweans to stay at home when COVID-19 was at its peak but now even when the sick go to hospital, they are not treated. It is my plea that let us come together so that our nurses are capacitated for them to be able to treat people because people are dying. Some just pass away seated by the benches without getting any medical attention. We want the President to be aware of that.

The President said a lot of things that are good for this country but the situation on the ground right now in different places, just in case the President is not aware, is that there are no medicines in hospitals. After being attended to, you are told that go and buy medication. At times this patient might not be having any cash to buy medication. When you go to pharmacies to buy medication, they only want US$. This patient might not be able to buy medication because they do not have the US$. As an august House, I would like to urge my fellow Senators that let us come together and restore our health care so that our hospitals will have medication and nurses will also be capacitated.

Let me cite a song by Baba Manyeruke who sang that it is difficult to please everyone because some people just complain but there are others who do not complain. It is important that such places that I am mentioning which are key sectors and crucial to Zimbabwe are looked at. With these few words, I would like to thank you.

THE HON DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I would like to advise Hon. Sen. Chief Ndlovu and all other fairly new Senators that in Parliament – both the lower house and the upper house, when somebody is debating, you may not cross the line of sight of that Hon Member debating and the Chair. It is called a line of sight which must not be crossed because I need to keep constant touch with the Hon member who is debating. In this case Hon Senator, you should sit where you are, do not cross the line. It is sacrosanct in Parliament.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHINAKE: Mr. President, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this debate. Let me also thank Hon. Sen. Chirongoma for bringing this motion to this august House. The President’s words are good especially the issue to do with the resuscitation of the economy which really touched me because we have a lot of unemployed educated young people. Some were affected by COVID-19 when companies closed but the President’s initiative, which is a five year plan, I believe is a good plan which will benefit the nation. It does not matter that we are from the opposition but the reason why we came to this august House is to serve our people who we represent in this august House. We know people say a lot of things concerning Zimbabwe but let us work together so that our President’s vision is fulfilled. Our responsibility is to be the eyes and to identify the different challenges around the country and his duty is to lead the country and to address different challenges. We were sent to this august House to make sure that we serve the country in different capacities. We did not come to fight but we came to make sure that we understand how things work. By saying this it implies that we need to be organised. If we come here and converge in this place but leave this place without addressing any issues, you will discover that there will be a lot of complaints. Some people might be saying the President has failed to do this and that but when we say that he has not failed but maybe it is you who has failed to contribute and to give recommendations and advice.

The President says that as Senators in this House, we need to come up with different suggestions and different view points from the different places that we come from. So, I am saying when issues are raised, it is important that they be addressed. We are not despising or insulting each other but we want the nation to be progressive. No one came to this august House to be desperate but we came here to ensure our country works. I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday 16th December, 2020.

MOTION

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARIANS NETWORK ON DEVELOPMENT EVALUATION (APNODE) HELD IN ABIDJAN

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Zimbabwe delegation to the Fifth Annual General Meeting of the African Parliamentarians Network on Development Evaluation (APNODE)

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday 16th December, 2020.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE VIRTUAL EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU)

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of Extraordinary Session of the Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday 16th December, 2020.

MOTION

PREVALENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.

+HON. SEN. G. MOYO: Thank you Mr President for giving me this opportunity to debate on this motion brought by Hon. Senator Mpofu, which seeks to discuss gender based violence. Women are often harassed because they are said to have been brought from outside and money was used to bring them. If you go to your relatives and ask them to assist you when you are being harassed, they will tell you to go back because they would have accepted lobola from the in-laws. So, I am calling upon Government to take note of such comments so that such money maybe returned as well as the children.

Women are also being raped. If you are a woman and you have a child from outside that marriage, that girl child is often harassed and will always be in trouble and will not perform well at school. As a woman, you will always be harassed. You have no one else to tell because you cannot even tell your neighbour that you are in serious trouble. Sometimes your neighbours will only see you losing weight but they will not know what is taking place. What will be better will be for women, when harassed in marriages, not to stick to violent relationships for the sake of maintaining their marriage vows. You need to move on in good time because such violence may lead to your death and you will leave behind those children that you purport to protect or stay for in an abusive marriage. Leaving such an abusive marriage is better because at least you will be able to look after those children when you are alive.

If you are a woman and you give birth to a handicapped child, that child is said to be your child alone and there will be allegations that it is because of promiscuity that you have such a child. If a child performs dismally at school, the child is said to belong to the mother but when a child does something, good then the child is said to belong to the father. So, I call for Government to intervene and help us because we are being harassed. I thank you.

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 16th December, 2020.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SEN. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL RTD. PERRANCE SHIRI

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the death of Hon. Sen. Air Chief Marshall Rtd. Perrance Shiri.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: Thank you Mr. President. Let me start by thanking Hon. Sen. Tongogara for moving such a crucial motion regarding a gallant son of this nation who served the nation from his young age. I would like to pass my condolences to the nation for the loss of Hon. Sen. Shiri. Hon. Sen. Shiri was a true patriot. He was passionate about the job that he was doing at a particular time. He was a person who was mobile and could move around the country.

I would like to say my eulogy to the late Hon. Senator. The first Minister who could work putting on his work suit was Hon. Sen. Shiri who was the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. You would find him putting on his overalls or his work suit. This is the first Minister that I have noted knew what he was doing. He was not a Minister who only sat in his office, sending people but he was a hands-on Minister. He went to all provinces trying to urge people to work hard so that there is food security in the country. This Pfumvudza /Intwasa initiative was his. He wanted to ensure that every household had food security. Before even selling produce, you need to have enough food for the household. So I would like to say may God watch over his soul, if he sinned in any way. We know that at times you might be accused falsely.

What pained me most is the way he passed on. If this disease is used as a biological weapon or if it was created by someone, then it is a matter of concern. Of course, death is divine but the way he passed away was not a good one. Being taken by COVID-19, even his burial was so touching. You know that death by COVID-19 results in a unique burial way. This did not go well with us.

Let me just tell you a certain story on things that were done by the late Hon. Sen. Air Chief Marshall Rtd. Perrance Shiri. When he retired from his job, he joined the new dispensation. He said that when he fought during the liberation struggle, he was in Mashonaland Central for a long time, so he identified the peripheral areas that were left behind and started building schools in such areas. This was a way of appreciating the love that was shown by villagers in those areas during the liberation struggle. However, had villagers betrayed him during the liberation struggle then he was not going to appreciate. I would like to commend the Hon. late Senator and let me just say this so that it goes on record.

I tilled my land and after farming, I earned a lot of money that I used to buy one hundred cows, after which the Hon. late Senator Shiri got wind from the grapevine that I had purchased one hundred cows. He approached me and said, ‘Sen. Hungwe, please come over; you bought one hundred cows, what are your intentions with them?’ I said Hon. Minister, I also bought four bulls in addition to the hundred cows. Then he said, your cows need five or six bulls. He then asked me where I had bought the cows to which I informed him that I bought them from Chinhoyi University and was even preparing to collect the bulls. So he said that because of what you have done, let me give you a bull – this was a good hearted person right? I said, Hon. Minister, when I get this bull, how am I going to repay you? Should I repay you with a smaller cow but he said no, it is yours. I just appreciate the job that I am doing is appreciated by some people and it has inspired you to buy cows. So after he passed on, I appreciate the bull that he gave me and I still have it. The bull is even reproducing. I would like to appreciate him and thank his family for what he did for me because if it were someone then he would have said that since you have money to buy a hundred cows then you have money, but he did not do that. On top of four bulls, he gave me an additional bull to make it five.

I would like to say that wherever he is, may God watch over him. He did a good job by serving this nation. The late Shiri was a war veteran and not just an ordinary person. He suffered for this country, bitten by ants and doing a lot of things. I remember that at one time, he was shot in the arm and his fingers were deformed. Let us stand together with the Shiri family.

I noticed His Excellency the President’s pain during the funeral when the COVID-19 guidelines were observed during the burial. I noted the President’s face, he was very worried because when you pass on, our culture dictates that people should converge and mourn their relative. Normally during burials, the President accompanies the coffin until the person is buried but we need to pray as a nation so that COVID-19 is curbed. Today it may be someone else and in future it will be a different person.

Cde. Shiri, we salute you and thank you so much for what you did. Currently, we are Senators all because of Cde. Shiri. I am saying wherever you are Cde. Shiri with your colleagues at the Heroes Acre where our national heroes lie, may you rest in peace. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to speak about the late Cde. Perrance Shiri. I do not know much about the late Cde. Shiri but he was someone I normally saw on different programmes from the television.

What made me rise and say these words is because I am pained by the issue of his tremendous dedication to fight for the emancipation of the Zimbabwe when he went to Mozambique. When the country was liberated, it did not liberate the political parties but everyone was liberated. Previously, we were not allowed to walk along First Street and other shops because African people were not allowed in some shops and schools. As children of Zimbabwe, we went to war to fight for the liberation of the country including the late Hon. Perrance Shiri. Although we fight and engage in squabbles today, have different political views and disputes, we are doing so in a liberated and free Zimbabwe through the efforts of those who dedicated their lives to free this country.

On another occasion, I wanted to ask for a farm and I followed him after learning that he was the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. He requested me to bring my Minister of State, Hon. Munzverengwi and since he was a loving person, he accommodated my request even in the absence of Minister Munzverengwi. It was an honourable act for him to do that.

When I learnt that he had succumbed to COVID-19, I was disheartened because he was a hardworking and dedicated man. Although it is God’s decision to pick from his garden of flowers, he is someone who had successfully undertaken a lot of farming programmes including the Pfumvudza Programme. I even queried on the benefits of Pfumvudza Programme and people explained to me that it was a process of digging holes, receive free inputs from Government and that it is a very good programme.

He left behind a very resourceful history through the introduction of the Pfumvudza Programme. As Zimbabweans, we expect a bumper harvest and have enough food security. It is painful for those who are digging holes but I believe that you cannot reap without working. Therefore, we are going to remember him through his numerous farming programmes. I understand that we had zero tillage in the past but it did not gather enough momentum and support like the Pfumvudza Programme because the late Minister Shiri was a hands-on person. Even those in urban areas benefited from the inputs programme. There was no segregation during disbursement of inputs for people living in both rural and urban areas, but it was a programme which included everyone. Therefore, we respect him for this programme. The current Minister of Agriculture must carry forward this Pfumvudza programme. Thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to say a few words on the motion raised by Hon. Tongogara concerning the death of the late Hon. P. Shiri who was the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. The 29th of July was a dark day for us as Zimbabweans when we lost our Minister Hon. P. Shiri when he succumbed to COVID-19. Everyone was devastated by his death and he is one of the sons of soil and one of the children of Zimbabwe who dedicated his life and went to war to liberate Zimbabwe. Going to war was not child’s play, but it really needed dedication. The oppression which was in this country was for white people who had well planned how they were going to make a black person suffer so that he/she must not learn or do anything.

At school, if you reached Standard Six, you were regarded as a very qualified person. I was looking at Mashonaland Province only. All the administrative districts did not have secondary school qualifications. The first one was Kutama College and then Moleli Secondary. This signifies or clearly shows how the whites really oppressed us. Young girls and boys were educationally oppressed. The girl child was oppressed the most, compared to the boy child. A girl child was not allowed to take the National Identity Card but they were just told to sit as human beings.

Right now, we have professionals and highly qualified women who are heading different departments and Ministries. For example, our Senate is being led by a woman, this shows that women are very clever and can do amazing things. Therefore, Hon. Senators, Hon. Shiri went via Botswana and got into Zambia and went to Tanzania. He was trained at Mugagawu Camp. To show that this person was dedicated, he followed the path of the liberators who were already there - the ZIPRA and ZANLA forces. Those people had already begun to gather and discuss how they were going to fight the white colonial regime and how to liberate themselves.

He went and gathered with others, trained and he was successful and he came back in the country to fight hard so that they could liberate this country. I remember when I was growing up, he was at the Northern or North East of Zimbabwe. The war was intense in that area and everyday they would fight. All the events which were happening during the war, they claimed that they had done it, which shows that they dedicated their life in liberating the country and fighting the colonial regime.

In Zambia, he was under ZIPRA but he was fighting very hard for the liberation of this country and they were dedicated to liberate this country. We are happy Hon. Minister that he was one of the people whom we count in those groups in liberating the country. Hon. Senators, we have lost a great deal because Hon. Shiri was promoted to be the Air Commander of the Airforce and the guys under him were not selfish because they left the position to one another. He also managed to be the Commander of Airforce to be the one who was on the forefront on issues to do with the movement of the Airforce. He did his job very well and had other generals under him whom we must respect and whom we worked with. Those who are still there and those who have already passed on, it was a very difficult job and a great job to liberate the country. We also want to thank the New Dispensation, the 2nd Republic.

Hon. Shiri worked very hard. Our former VP who is now the Head of State and Commander in Chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces His Excellency E. D. Mnangagwa also went out and came back. When he came back, people were saying he is coming from South Africa and there were many people at Manyame Air Base. The people really wanted to see His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa coming in but through his intelligence and knowing his job very well, Hon. Shiri cleared the whole airforce and ordered the people to go away so that the President could come in so that they would protect him. After the army, the President took him and gave him the post of Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement and he did that job very well under the 2nd Republic. Under the 2nd Republic, President E. D. Mnangagwa explained that we are going to work. Everyone whom I have given the ministerial post must start work at 0700hrs, well prepared and be someone who is dedicated towards his work”. He went on to say, “Even myself as a President I must be at work on time”.   Therefore, all the Ministers worked following the footsteps of the President, even the late Hon. Sen. Shiri; at 0700hrs you could see him at his office.

He was a very dedicated man towards his job under his Ministry, there is no administrative office that he did not visit to see how work was being done. Most of the times you could see him in his green work suit and overalls and we are going to remember him for that.

I would like to thank the late Hon. Sen. Shiri for the job well done under the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture. He also came about with a very brilliant plan to alleviate the issue of importing maize from other countries. They understood that we already had Command Agriculture when we were given seeds and other inputs for farming. The Ministry then recommended people to go to Agritex so that they could get inputs on an individual basis.

When Hon. Sen. Shiri passed on, he left behind programmes which really need to be implemented and be carried forward in order to alleviate hunger and spearhead the development of the our nation.

Hon. Sen. Shiri also introduced the programme of Pfumvudza under chiefs and headmen in order to know the number of people under each household so that they can do the Pfumvudza Programme and at the end of the day, the country at large would have enough food stores. People received and are still receiving inputs like fertilizers and seed.

In the rural areas, every household engaged on the Pfumvudza Programme dug holes in preparation of the programme and right now, people have begun planting since the onset of the rains.

I want to thank the late Hon. Minister Shiri for the job well done, when he was the Commander of the Army, he was given the Charity Fund for the Commander. He took that money and developed the education sector and the health sector as well by building schools and bought medicines at the hospitals. I would like to thank him for that vision.

At the time of his death, he was the Leader of the House in this Senate; he succumbed to COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has robbed us a hero who was dedicated for the development of the country. Even right now our leaders in this House are always encouraging us to put on our masks properly, covering the nose and the mouth. Our country was expected to go deteriorate in terms of development but through the nomination of Ministers by His Excellency Cde E. D. Mnangagwa, the likes of the late Hon. Minister Shiri, the country is on the roadmap to development.

We say Mashonaland Central has lost a hero, however, all of us as a country even us as the Mashonaland West Province, were working together in harmony with him. Therefore, we say to the late Hon. Shiri, ‘you have fought a good fight, may you rest in eternal peace, you have done a very good job.’ I thank you.

HON. SEN. MATIIRIRA: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to contribute towards this motion regarding the death of Hon. Sen. Shiri. Let me start by appreciating Hon. Sen. Tongogara for raising this important motion which is important to us all as Zimbabweans.

Madam President, I would like to thank the Mashonaland Central family, the Shiri family and the nation. We know it is painful but we mourn together as a nation. Hon. Sen. Perrance Shiri is a man we have all known for contributing towards the liberation struggle for his days in Mozambique. We know his history, since this motion was brought to this House we have heard much about him, he did a good job in working towards the liberation of Zimbabwe from his days in Mozambique then he came to Zimbabwe. After independence, he was given a responsibility by the President of Zimbabwe and served his nation until he passed on.    He worked in an exemplary manner.

Madam President, yes, it is painful but I would like to thank our President, E. D. Mngangagwa for giving the late Senator the National Heroes status.   I would also like to say that the day we got the message that Hon. P. Shiri had passed on, he had given a date to Mashonaland East where he was supposed to launch the Pfumvudza Programme. So we were expecting him on a Friday and we prepared for his arrival, a lot of women were so excited about Pfumvudza, but because his time had come, he failed to make it.

Let me say that as this August House, good things need to be appreciated. Of course we are pained, we are mourning but when one’s time comes, no one can stop that. However, we appreciate that he left a good example in this House and to the nation – love, work and compassion. This is the responsibility that was left to us by the late Senator who worked since his days during the liberation struggle and even after independence. Right now as we go around the country, everyone is talking about the Pfumvudza Programme which came through him after he was given that task by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe.

I concur with other Hon. Senators that he was a humble man and would put on his overalls and work suit in all environments. He was so committed to his job. May God help us to emulate and imitate him so that we take over from where he left. Even wherever he is, I believe that he will be happy seeing us working hard for the prosperity of the nation just like the way he did his job because he had that passion to develop Zimbabwe. We appreciate that Madam President.

Let me end by saying that a good thing needs to be appreciated. We are leaders as Senators but we were given a good example which was being done by the Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrence Shiri. He demonstrated this even when he was the Leader of the House in this Senate. Hon. Molly Mpofu was called so that she would come and debate in this House. He proved that he was a man who was dedicated to development in the country. We can continue talking a lot of things but let me end by saying, Mashonaland Central and the Shiri family should know that we are together. We were told about all the good things that he did even where he was deployed during the liberation struggle. We thank him for developing schools, irrigation projects and dams in Mashonaland Central. This means that he was a passionate man who was patriotic and who loved his country and people.

Hon Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrence Shiri, may you rest in peace. We would continue to work hard so that we emulate you. I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th December 2020.

On the motion of HON SEN MUZENDA seconded by HON SEN MKHWEBU, the Senate adjourned at Five minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

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