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SENATE HANSARD 15 FEBRUARY 2023 VOL 32 NO 16

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 15th February, 2023

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: May I remind Hon. Senators to switch off their cell phones or if they want, put them on silent.

BILLS RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that I have received the following Bills from the National Assembly: - The Judicial Amendment Bill, [H.B. 3A, 2022]; and the Child Justice Bill, [H.B. 11, 2021].

SECOND READING

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL BILL [H. B 2A, 2022]

First order read: Second Reading; National Security Council Bill [H. B. 2A, 2022].

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. President.  I rise to present my Second Reading speech on the National Security Council Bill.  It is a great honour to present my Second Reading Speech for the National Security Council Bill before this House.

          This Bill seeks to give effect to the provisions of Section 209 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, relevant international obligations and regional best practices.   Chapter 11 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for a legal framework to regulate the security’s services sector in Zimbabwe. 

          This Chapter recognises security services of Zimbabwe as consisting of the Defence Forces, the Police Service, the Intelligence Service, Prisons and Correctional Service and any other established by an Act of Parliament.

Mr. President Sir, by giving effect to Chapter 11 of the Constitution, Parliament would have played a significant role in its compliance with the doctrine of Constitutional supremacy as entrenched in Section 2 of the Constitution through the fulfillment of obligation imposed by the same.

          This doctrine requires every person, natural or juristic including State organs and agencies of Government at every level to be subject to the Constitution.  The doctrine further provides that any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it shall be declared to be invalid to the extent of its inconsistency.  In that regard, Section 209 of the Constitution requires an Act of Parliament to be enacted to give effect to its provisions.

          The National Security Council Bill seeks to make further provision in respect of the National Security Council as established by Section 209 of the Constitution.  The Bill provides for additional members and functions of the Council to those provided for in the Constitution.  It also sets out a general framework for the operations of the Council.

          In this Context, the National Security Council seeks to enhance the country’s national security and intelligence capability through the systematic and effective coordination of security related issues.  The main objectives of the National Security Council, among others, include the development of the National Security Policy, promotion of imperatives for national security, promotion of peace and stability in Zimbabwe and the development of security service sector in the interest of constitutionalism.

          Mr. President, allow me to delve into some of the key provisions of the Bill.  Clause 3, set out the composition of the Council.  The Council will be headed by the President as the Chairperson; it will also comprise his Deputies/Vice Presidents, the Ministers responsible for National Security, Defence, the Police Service, Prisons and Correctional Services and Finance.  the Council will also include the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, the Commander Defence Forces and each service of the Defence Forces, the Commissioner General of the Police Service, the Commissioner General Prisons and Correctional Service, the Director General of Intelligence Services and any other Minister who the President may from time to time appoint to be a member of the Security Council.

          Mr. President, Clause 4 provides for exercise of functions by the Council.  In the exercise of its functions, the Council, among other issues, is mandated to regularly review National Security Policies in view of any prevailing national security policies in view of any prevailing national, regional and international security development and direct the taking of appropriate action.   The Council is also required to have regard to the function of any agency of the State or person relating to or involved in the implementation of any legislation which has national security implications.

          Clause 5 provides for meetings of the Council.  The Council is required to meet at such times and places as the President may determine provided that the council must meet at least once every three months.  Further, the meeting of the Council and its committees shall not be public; however, the Council may inform the public of any resolution where it is necessary and in the public interest to do so. 

          Clause 6 to 7 provides for the operations of the Council  whereby the heads of each Security Service are required to submit security reports to the council.  The council may issue to any security service or to any person such specific or general directives in writing in connection with any matter of national security.  The person concerned must comply with any such directive.  Further directives issued to any person must at all times be subject to Sections 206 (2) and (3) which provide for appropriate safeguards for the protection of fundamental rights of individuals.

          Lastly, Clauses 8 and 9 are the general provisions of the Bill, they provide for confidentiality and annual reports.  On confidentiality, members or former members of the council are not allowed to communicate to any person, any information obtained by him or her in his or her capacity as a member of the council.  Further, no person may, without the written authority of the council, disclose any security related information acquired by such person by whatever means where the person concerned is under any obligation in terms of this or any other Act not to disclose the information.  On annual reports, the President may report on the State of National Security in his State of the Nation Address delivered in terms of Section 140 of the Constitution.

          Mr. President, I therefore plead with Hon. Senators to support and pass this Bill.  I move that the Bill be now read a second time.  I thank you.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL BILL [H. B. 2A, 2022]

          House in Committee.

          Preamble and Clauses 1 to 8 put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL BILL [H. B. 2A, 2022]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

SECOND READING

POLICE AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 1A, 2022]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I rise to present my Second Reading speech on the Police Amendment Bill [H. B. 1A, 2022]. Allow me Mr. President to present before you my speech. The Bill intends to amend the provisions of the Police Act Chapter 10.10 so that it complies with the provisions of the Constitution. The Bill seeks to entrench a professional and effective Police Service under civilian authority. The key objectives that the Bill seeks to achieve are as follows:

       a) To align the procedure for the appointment of the Commissioner General of Police in the Police Act [Chapter 11:10] with the provisions of Section 221 (1) of the Constitution.

        b) To align the tenure of the office of the Commissioner General of the Police with provisions of Section 221 (2) of the Constitution.

        c) To align the provisions relating to the appointment, promotion, discharge, retirement and conditions of service of members of the police service with the provisions of the Constitution.

        d) To repeal Section 32 of the Police Act which gives right of trial before a Magistrate Court.

Mr. President, in aligning to the Constitution, the Bill adopts terms which are used in the supreme law. The Bill does away with the name Police Force and replaces it with Police Services.

In terms of Section 221 of the Constitution, when appointing the Commissioner General of Police, the President consults the Minister that is responsible for police. However, Section 5 of the principal Act provides that the President appoints the Commissioner General after consultation with a board consisting of the Chairman of the Police Services Commission, retiring Commissioner General and one other member. The Bill before you Mr. Speaker repeals this procedure and adopts the one that is provided for in the Constitution.

Mr. President, the Commissioner General’s tenure of office is governed by Section 6 of the principal Act which provides that he shall be appointed for a period of four years. The section does not limit the number of times that the tenure may be renewed. However, Clause 4 of the Bill incorporates the provisions of Section 221 (2) of the Constitution which states that the Commissioner General’s tenure shall be for a period of five years renewable once.

In terms of Section 8 of the principal Act, the Minister responsible for police can give directives to the Commissioner General of Police but there is no provision that obliges the Commissioner General of Police to comply with the directive. Clause 5 of the Bill seeks to cure this anomaly by clearly instructing the Commissioner General to take the necessary steps to comply with such directives from the Minister responsible for police in line with the provisions of Section 221 (4) of the Constitution.

Mr. President, the Bill empowers the Police Service Commission to formulate Standing Orders on the advice of the Commissioner General of Police in line with the provisions of Section 223 (1) (b) of the Constitution. This is an amendment to Section 9 of the principal Act which empowers the Commissioner General of Police in consultation with the Minister to make Standing Orders.

Mr. President, the Constitution establishes a Police Service Commission. To give Commission its powers, departing from the old system as provided for in the principal Act whereby the Commissioner General promotes non-commissioned members, these powers will be vested with the Police Service Commission.

The Bill confers the power to reappoint members of the regular force on the Police Service Commission. In terms of Section 18 of the principal Act, this was being done by the Commissioner General of Police in consultation with the Police Service Commission.

Additionally, the authority that the Commissioner General has in terms of Section 20 of the principal Act to discharge members on medical grounds is transferred to the Police Service Commission. This is consistent with the provisions of Section 340 (f) of the Constitution which provides that the power to appoint also includes the power to suspend or remove the person from office.

Mr. President, notably, according to the provisions of Section 21 of the principal Act, the Commissioner General needs the consent of the Minister before discharging non-commissioned members by reason of the abolition of his or her office or organisational restructure. However, the Bill provides that such approval needs to be sought from the Police Service Commission. This is in harmony with the provisions of Section 340 (1) (f) which I just discussed on discharge on medical grounds.

Mr. President, the Bill seeks to repeal Section 32. Under this provision of the principal Act, only commissioned officers can elect to be retired by the Magistrate Court yet non-commissioned members do not have such a right. Repealing Section 32 means that all trials, including those of commissioned officers will be conducted by boards of officers. This is because such differential treatment of members of the same organisation is unfair. Additionally, it is not only unfair but also has a negative bearing on the discipline of the police services. It is my assumption that Honourable Senators have gone through this Bill and I therefore plead with them to support and pass this Bill. I move Mr. President that the Bill be now read a second time. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  I want to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing this Bill to the Senate. The first thing I want to concur with is the effort you are putting in aligning the existing laws to the Constitution of Zimbabwe is a good thing because the Constitution is a home-grown one. It is pleasing to note that we are aligning our laws with the Constitution. I believe that the Constitution tried the best to seek justice so the first thing is the removal of “Force” to “Service”. Indeed “force” was deployed by the police in the past. The police were a power on its own. They were using force, whips and sometimes button sticks destroying windscreens of kombis and others because they believed they were a force. Now that they are going to be a service, they know that they are going to serve people and are subordinate to the people knowing that they were put by people who are in authority. So power lies with the people and that is important.

          We want to appreciate that this process changes the mindset. They were a lot of accusations on our police force regarding human rights violations. The police were being labelled and given different names. This was tarnishing the force and the country at large affecting the economy as a result. When the police realise that people have power, it will be good and easier for people to work with them. Even when they arrest people taking them to the cells, people will respect them. This indeed is good so I support these amendments and my desire is that the amendments should go through.

          Amendments are written down and it is important that after the passing of the law, then the police should be trained and have workshops so that they know the difference between a “Force” and a “Service”. Such training workshops are really going to be necessary so that our police appreciate the changes. When lost in the streets, people should be free to approach the police instead of fearing them. Once the “Force” is transferred into a “Service” having good customer relations and reception, then this will build confidence.

          I want to appreciate that you mentioned that we want a professional Police Service; we need to be proud of them as the best in Africa. We want to be number one in terms of investigating issues instead of arresting, detaining and torturing before investigations. That is embarrassing. We need to investigate cases before arresting so that when they arrest, then they arrest the right people.

Indeed corruption is there even within the police force. When you give someone $10, then the case falls away. This is happening. They were some youths that were arrested a few days ago and they gave the police $30 and they were released. This is what is happening. The law should really look into such issues which tarnish the police service. It does not matter whether it was the “Force” but now that we are transforming the “Force” into a “Service” then we need to eliminate such. With these few words, I want to thank you.

*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I would like to start by thanking the Hon. Minister because he is doing his best to transform our Police Force into a professional Police Service.  I wanted to ask that with these amendments, is there an indication of how working conditions are going to be addressed so that the police will be able to work within a conducive environment wearing their uniforms and going to work with incentives. I thank you.

HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add one or two words on this very important Bill which has been brought to the House by the Hon. Minister. I think I should start by applauding the Minister for bringing this Bill in this august House. I have witnessed that in the past few weeks, the Minister has been up and down trying to bring so many Bills to this august House to try to align all our laws with our Constitution. This effort must continue and we applaud the Minister. I hope within the next few months, we should probably have 80- 90% of our laws aligned to our National Charter which is our Constitution.

I think this Bill is also very important as it re-emphasises the function and the role the police should play in a democratic country. It emphasises that there should be non-partisan and be professional in character, not to affiliate to any political establishment but to service the people of Zimbabwe. I think it is quite befitting that the amendment so it fit to change, like my other Hon. Senator has said, from calling it a “Force” to a “people’s service”. I am sure this should be buttressed by re-orientation of our police to fit into the new status which we expect them to do as a nation.

I think the Bill went on to clear some other grey areas which were not found in the previous laws where “police force” is an executive organ and should comply to superior authority but we had other clauses or sections in the previous Charter where the police commissioner will be just be given advice but he was not obliged to comply or do anything. He was, for lack of a better word, he would use discretion and we cannot have the police using discretion for things to do with the State because a state is an organised system. The fact that now the police force and the Commissioner General, when he is given advise from superior authorities, be it Minister or other State constitutional organs like the ZHRC, the police is obliged to comply and implement. I think that is quite a major development and we would really convert our police force to a police service that service the people of Zimbabwe. With these few words, I want to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill to this august House to align it with our national Constitution.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Senators for the debate and support towards the enactment of this Bill. Firstly, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Komichi for his comments which were largely positive and I agree with Hon. Komichi that perhaps after the Bill has been passed, there is need for our police service to be oriented in terms of the new architecture of the law so that they transform themselves to comply with the law.  I agree with that. 

I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for her contributions and question with regards to whether the Bill touches on conditions of service of police service.  We have a Police Service Commission that is tasked with employment and conditions of service of the police service just like we have the Defence Service Commission and the Prison Service Commission.  These commissions’ major function is to look into the conditions of service of these line security sector forces.  That is taken care of in our legislation and not specifically in this alignment but in terms of the establishment of the Police Service Commission; this function is taken care of.

Hon. Sen. Dr. Mavetera, I want to thank you for your contributions.  I agree with you that there is need in future to have refresher courses just like what Hon. Sen. Komichi said so that we reorient our police services to the new dictates of the law.  I also want to thank him for his generous comments with regards to the movement of Bills within Parliament. 

Having said that Mr. President Sir, I now move that the Bill be read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

POLICE AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 2A, 2022]

House in Committee.

Preamble put and agreed to.

Clauses 1 to 20 put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

POLICE AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 1A, 2022]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. President, I move that the Bill be read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

SECOND READING

INSTITUTE OF LOSS CONTROL AND PRIVATE SECURITY MANAGERS BILL [H. B. 5, 2021]

Third Order read: Second Reading: Institute of Loss Control and Private Security Management Bill [H. B. 5A, 2022].

          HON. DR. MURIRE: Mr. Speaker, I rise to present the Second Reading of the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Management Bill.  This Bill has got a background with the intention to professionally control the operations of private security management. It is the responsibility of the State to provide security to its citizens, but the world-over, States are overwhelmed with that obligation to the extent that they are no longer capable of providing security to citizens wherever and whenever it is required.

It is obvious and certain that private security management has developed to fill in the gaps. If we come to our country, we will see that security in Zimbabwe per se is mainly provided by private entities to the extent that the workforce in private security is now much more than that employed by private security. On that background, I am proud to say it to the House that I am the author of the first curricula of professional security management training in Zimbabwe. That was ten years ago and with that curriculum, security management and loss control is now a profession. We now have people who have graduated with First, Masters and PhD degrees in Zimbabwe but there is no professional institution or regulating authority which can monitor their professional performance.

It is on that basis that this Bill has been introduced in this House. I therefore go through the principles of this Bill. The Bill seeks to provide for the establishment of the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Managers; to provide for the establishment of a council; to provide for matters connected or incidental to the foregoing. The proposed law introduces professional best practices in loss control and private security management occupations, in particular the individual clauses provided as follows:

Part 1, Clause 1, provides for the short title of the Bill. Clause 2 provides for interpretation of terms used in the Bill. Clause 3 provides for application of the Act and Clause 4 sets the objects of the Bill. Part 2, Clause 6 affords the opportunity for establishment of the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Managers which shall be a professional association and a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its own name. The functions of the institute are listed in Clause 7 which includes liaising and collaborating with its members in practice, business and employment in accordance with its mandate.

The institute shall be managed and directed by a board known as its Management Council. The Management Council shall consist of 13 members as set out in Clause 9 and shall function in accordance with Clause 9. For the day to day administration of the institute, the council shall appoint an Executive Secretary who shall be assisted by officers the council considers necessary as given in Clause 2.

Parts 3 and 4; the Registrar of loss control and private security managers and application for registration are provided for in Clauses 12 and 13 of the Bill respectively while Clauses 14, 15, 16 and 17 provide for the manner in which a person will become a member, annual general meetings, and extraordinary meetings and that the institute shall publish a Code of Conduct that directly addresses the professional conduct of loss control and private security managers.

Mr. Speaker, Parts 5 and 6; Part 5 contains two clauses. Clause 18 provides for the funds of the institute which shall be managed by the Treasurer and subject to audits in terms of Clause 19. Clause 6 contains a reciprocity clause which provides that where any country specified by the Government, by notice in the Gazette prevents citizens and residents of Zimbabwe from becoming members of any institution similar to the institute and subjects them to unfair discrimination in that country, no subject of any such country shall be entitled to become a member of the institute or practice the profession of loss control and management in Zimbabwe under the name of the institute.

Clause 21 provides that the Minister, after consultation with the council, may make regulations providing for all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or which in his or her own opinion, are necessary or convenient to be prescribed in order to carry out or give effect to this Act. Mr. Speaker, these are the principles.

The framework under which this institute is envisaged to operate is similar to that of the Public Accountants which is a self-regulating body. It is similar to the Institute of Engineers as well as the legal practitioners. This Bill has been presented with sight that private security and loss control is now a profession like I earlier on said. We have got a pool of qualified people who are employed as private security directors, private loss control managers in various organisations including the RBZ, Econet Wireless, ZESA, CBZ and UZ, to name just a few organisations.

I am proud to let the House know that within this profession, we have posted one of our graduates who is now a Chief Security Officer for the Qatar Airline who graduated from institutions that we are operating in Zimbabwe, yet locally there is no professional body to accommodate them. Most of those who are now regarded as professionals are affiliated to international organisations like the Chartered Institute of Security Management in United Kingdom where our members are now affiliated, paying exorbitant fees in foreign currency, the foreign currency which we are very much in need of, yet we can have our own local self-regulating professional body.

The two members - currently Mr. Chidyamoto who is internationally renowned as the Chief Security Officer for the Africa Development Bank has graduated from these institutions. He is a Chartered Security Manager affiliated to UK yet we can have our own. I therefore present this Bill for a second reading.

I now move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

INSTITUTE OF LOSS CONTROL AND PRIVATE SECURITY MANAGERS BILL [H. B. 5A, 2022]

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 27 put and agreed to.          

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendments.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

INSTITUTE OF LOSS CONTROL AND PRIVATE SECURITY MANAGERS BILL [H. B. 5, 2021]

          HON. DR. MURIRE: I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

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

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