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SENATE HANSARD 16 FEBRUARY 2023 VOL 32 NO 17
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 16th February, 2023
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is disheartening to see the low turnout of Ministers today, only two of them. I have apologies from the following Ministers: - Hon. O.C.Z Muchinguri-Kashiri, the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Hon. D. Marapira, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development; Hon. D. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development; and Hon. K. Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.
In the Chamber so far, we have Hon. Minister Chombo, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. Machingura, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Hon. M. Mudyiwa, the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development; and as usual we have Hon. F. Mhona, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development – [HON. MEMBERS : Hear, hear.] – who religiously turns up for Questions on Thursdays – Well done Minister.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. For us to live is by the grace of God. what is Government policy regarding litter which is around the major cities? Litter is scattered all over the roads because people do not have bins to dispose of their litter.
Years back, when one went to pay rates to council, they would be given a black bin but it is no longer happening these days. So people are dumping garbage along the main roads and all over the place.
We are in the rainy season and many diseases are prevalent during this time like typhoid. I went to Town House recently and noticed that the place has deteriorated, there is dirty all over. Therefore, is the Local Government aware of what is happening in our cities and towns? Tourists used to visit Town House but right now the place is in a disgusting state because of dirty. Having worked for council before, I was actually shocked to see such dirty at the Town House.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Hungwe for that pertinent question. The issue that you raised is a touching issue. His Excellency, the President introduced the Clean-up Campaign which is on the first Friday of every month. Recently, he was speaking at the Aspindale project saying that the litter which is not being collected by councils is worrisome. As Local Government, we cannot run away from that because local authorities fall under our ministry as the responsible line ministry.
We have noted with great concern that councils are not being effective in their service delivery, so we then decided to use devolution funds. Looking at the capital expenditure that is going to be done this year, there is an allocation of tippers, trucks and bins that are supposed to bring sanity to the cities because councils are not buying bins despite getting money. So, in this year’s budget, we are going to channel funds towards graders for fixing roads then tippers and bins so that we clear the roads.
It is also important to have leadership that values efficiency. On that note, we have introduced Performance Appraisals and Key Performance Areas (KPAs), including looking at the Chief Executive Officer or the Town Clerk and how they discharge their duties particularly service delivery, the collection of waste and other responsibilities. I want to promise that as the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, we are doing our best. We are working together with our municipal authorities so that we clean our cities. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. The Hon. Minister said that after noting that local authorities were not doing their jobs properly, as the parent Ministry, what is the Ministry doing regarding service delivery and playing the watchdog role over the municipal authorities so that our cities are clean, instead of diverting devolution funds to waste disposal? The Devolution Fund should be used for other responsibilities that will make our cities clean. I thank you.
*HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Senate President and thank you Hon. Sen. Tongogara for that supplementary question. Like I said before Mr. President Sir, as the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, we introduced quarterly performance appraisals; meaning that we will review what CEOs and Town Clerks are doing every three months and whether they are doing their work properly.
We noted that they do not have enough equipment, that is why we decided to use devolution funds to support municipal authorities so that they have the requisite tools for cleaning up our cities. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Thank you Mr. President Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. This year five thousand children (5 000) had their results nullified due to leaked examinations. What is the Ministry planning to do in order to safeguard exams because parents lost their money sending their children to school? You will find that exams leak and children are disadvantaged. What is the Ministry planning to do to avoid repetition?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. MACHINGURA): Thank you Hon. President and thank you Hon. Senator for that question.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, please be connected.
*HON. MACHINGURA: The leaking of examinations …
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order, now your mic is off.
*HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. President. The leaking of examinations is like sending someone to fetch water then they fetch water using a leaking bucket. They would have done their job but not effectively. So, there is no administration or Ministry that wants exams to leak.
In the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, we do not have that challenge of leaking of examinations and should an examination leak, the best way is to nullify the results so that supplementary exams are written. So, I do not know whether the Hon. Senator is asking about higher and tertiary education in universities and tertiary colleges or he is alluding to primary and secondary education?
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Secondary; and he was hoping since you are higher and tertiary education, perhaps you have some knowledge as to what transpired in primary and secondary education. Hon. Sen. Chinake, am I correct in making that assumption?
HON. SEN. CHINAKE: Yes, Mr. President Sir.
*HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. President. I think we need to direct that question to the relevant Ministry, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education because the examination processes are different.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Chinake, you will have to put your question in writing so that the relevant Ministry gives you a competent answer.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to share my view point. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. We have noted that in other areas, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has a road that connects Lomagundi Road and Mazowe Road; there are Sandton and Mazowe locations and there are potholes in those areas.
Hon. Minister, we are aware that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has graders and tippers but we are yet to see that equipment working on the potholes. What plans does the Ministry have, particularly in such areas to alleviate these potholes especially looking at the road that leads to the new Parliament building? I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chirongoma for that pertinent question. This season, it is very clear that this is happening all over. When we look at the onset of the rain season, our roads were really affected by rainfall. His Excellency the President introduced the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, a programme that empowers the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and the onus to link up the major DDF and council roads because the President had noted the importance of a good road infrastructure. I would like to ask, through you Hon. Senate President, that the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Mhona, to explain because this falls under his purview. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: We have also been joined by the. Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Mutsvangwa as well as the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chiduwa.
Hon. Chirongoma, you seem to want to say something?
*HON. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President. Let me redirect the question to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Alright, you may resume your seat. Hon. Minister, would you want to make a comment on that?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chirongoma for that pertinent question which gives us the opportunity to explain to this august House. Indeed, he is very correct. The Ministry of Transport works with four departments: the department of Roads, local authorities, the Rural District Councils and the DDF. His question is relevant because the roads fall under the Ministry of Local Government working with councils. Local Government as a Ministry is responsible for such roads and the watchdog role over the municipal authorities. The support by His Excellency means that when the departments do not perform well, sometimes we intervene. It means that councils have that responsibility of fixing those roads because they are allocated funds from ZINARA. This is the money which is supposed to be alluded to and they are supposed to use that money to cut grass along main roads and working on drainages and other responsibilities.
The Ministry reviews and when they feel that they have not done well they can approach the Ministry. There are some roads which must be rehabilitated by councils and when they do not do that, it must be clear that it is not the responsibility of the central government but their responsibility is to work on those roads, traffic lights and the safety of people by making sure traffic lights are working. It was not given to the Ministry as a responsibility. Everyone should play their part, whether it is taxpayers’ money which is allocated to the different responsibilities, there must be clarity on why people are not doing their jobs. If there are roads which really need attention, because we have a listening President, you can approach our Ministry and because our President is listening, we will come and assist you.
*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: Thank you Mr. President. My supplementary question is that Hon. Minister, when we pay rates, there is an allocation for roads, sewer and refuse collection. We can say that Government but the Ministry of Local Government is being requested to supervise local authorities so that we know how these monies are used. I contribute to Harare, I have a farm and I am paying my rates. I would want to know where the rates are going. We noted that the President, after noting that things are not in order, then tasked the Minister of Transport to look into the issue. The question now is, people may want to know where the money they pay towards rates, refuse, roads and the street lights is going?. This is indicating on people’s bills and the money they pay at councils. It must be clear what these monies are being channelled to. This is directed to the Minister of Local Government.
* HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Hungwe for the supplementary question regarding the collection of rates. Indeed, when we look at the collection efficiency of rates, you would note that the money they collect from people is a bit low. The money they are earning – what we have been going through, like COVID-19, you would find that some people were not able to pay their rates properly.
It does not mean that all the monies are being used properly. We have also noted that sometimes the money is not being used for what it is supposed to be properly used for. We have had misappropriation of council funds and we urge them to channel the funds for waste collection to waste collection but you would discover that this money is coming into their coffers but it is not being used properly.
I concur with you Hon. Senator, that is why we spoke about performance appraisals and follow-ups every quarter. This will give us an indication of where they are failing. One of the key performance areas is to audit these monies so that we know how the monies were used. In the near future you will see a difference when we do these appraisals. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I want to acknowledge the presence of Hon. Sen. Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information and Publicity who is also the Leader of Government Business in the Senate. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Mr. President. I want to direct my question to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. Mr. President, Zimbabwe is a country which is known for its high quality education and it is a country which has the most educated population. The examination leaks, whether it is secondary schools or universities, it is there. In universities, the leaks are still a bit lower. In the past year, we heard about a case of someone who was arrested, which means in both higher and tertiary education and primary and secondary education, it is there. I want to ask regarding the higher and tertiary education. You find that someone gets 10 or 15 As at A’level. We want to make sure that the quality of education is maintained. So, the higher and tertiary education which takes people after the leaks of the exams; my question is, what is the Ministry doing so that the quality is maintained. Maintaining the quality of our education is important. Minister, so what are you planning to do to control the quality of education?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. MACHINGURA): Let me answer by saying that sometimes you think that a job has been done, yet it has not been done. Indeed, Zimbabwe has always been respected for its quality education in that we have educated people who are hungry and wait for other people to do things for them, and this is a challenge. Our education was about speaking good English and doing other things, which is literacy and the literacy rate was high. So in higher and tertiary education, through the President, Hon. Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa’s vision, we decided to re-design our curricula so that there is culture change in how we view education.
To us, education is the empowerment of people so that they are able to fight poverty and there is development of the economy. Education should empower a person with analytical skills to analyse the people’s needs and solve those needs. Looking at the leaks of examinations, we are removing the capacity to analyse when someone has leaked exams. This works against our 5.0 Curricula. In education, we have the ZIMCHE Board which tells us if a programme is supposed to be done in a university, whether the programme can be done at university level and benefit the nation or not. If a person is educated and empowered with that degree, then they must be empowered with skills, it is not about examinations but about the application of the theory in the practical world. So, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education is not only preparing a paper oriented person but an empowered individual who is educated and skilled.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: The question asked here is about the leaking of examination papers. The original questioner said that you find that at other schools that are suspected to have leaked examinations, you find children getting about 6As and so on. At A’level, those who will have obtained As are the ones who will get admitted into schools. So what about the rest of the students from other schools who did not get examination leakages? Of course, they are supposed to get other business to do but that part has not been answered.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Yes, I am sure it has not been answered because he explained that is a specific question which resides in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
HON. MACHINGURA: I believe that if the Leader of the House wants to assist me, she can do that but we were alluding to the fact that the leaks of examinations is not acceptable in both primary and secondary education and higher and tertiary education. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is working with ZIMSEC to put control mechanisms at ZIMSEC so that exams are secured. In the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, we have our councils in universities and they are also seized with this matter so that they control the leakages of examinations. They are working on that so that they put control mechanisms.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I just want to buttress the point which the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Hon. Machingura has just said. What the two Members of Parliament are concerned about is about leaking. I think the issue of examination leakages needs to be dealt with and I think the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is dealing with the issue of examination leakages but to punish students who will have passed without evidence that they have copied, that would not be fair.
Again, I think to just make sure that we protect our education system which has been an admiration by the rest of Africa and the world, it is very important that ZIMSEC and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education deals with this issue and make sure that the corruption is nipped right in the bud. Otherwise, we want to continue to have our children, because even before the leaks, the universities continued to take children who had 12 points and above for certain courses and I think the point was now, other children who are not having access to these papers which are being leaked, why are we not taking them. What it means is we are reducing the standards by taking children simply because they are coming from other school where they were no leaks. The idea here is the Government, as leaders, we need to nip the corruption which is happening and make sure the corruption which is happening is nipped in the bud.
+HON. SEN. C. NDLOVU: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. It is about the issue of devolution which is in our Constitution since 2013. It has been 10 years and it has not come to Parliament for operationisation of that Act so that communities out there benefit from the Devolution Act which is provided. I come from a community which is desperately in need of managing its resources. The simple question is; why has the Bill not come to Parliament? You went to Nkayi as a Ministry and you were unhappy with what was happening there and you made certain recommendations and I also tried to make some follow-ups with councillors as to how devolution funds are being used but no-one seems to be having an answer. No-one seems to know what is happening. With that type of confusion, I need to understand how the funds are being disbursed in the communities where councillors and even the local Members of Parliament seem to have an idea of what is happening.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you very much Hon. Sen. for querying on the devolution funds. According to our Constitution, Section 301, there is supposed to be 5% set aside for devolution. That fund is supposed to alleviate poverty, those who are marginalised and also the infrastructure. We have a formula which is weighted average. I think it is 20, 30 and 50% weighted average in that proportion. I understand and agree that the Bill is late but we have done everything that we are supposed to do within our Ministry. Right now, the Bill is sitting at the AG’s office. We have queried with the Ministry of Justice and they have hinted that they are short-staffed as far as that area is concerned but they are doing the best they can to make sure that they address that resource shortage so that they push through outstanding Bills.
As far as disbursement of the funds, this is done by the Ministry of Finance based on the Finance Act.
HON. SEN. C. NDLOVU: What is the function of the provincial councillors that were appointed in 2018 if they are not seized with the issues of devolution?
HON. CHOMBO: If you look at the way the devolution funds are supposed to be used, there is supposed to be an Act of Parliament and it is not yet there. Based on what is required on the ground, we could not just let that facility go through when we know very much that our communities are marginalised and not use that fund. Also, when they were appointed during the 2018 election, it was in anticipation that by then, the Metropolitan and Provincial Bill should be in place by then. It has delayed but it was in anticipation that when they took their positions, that Bill would have been in place. It has delayed and it is not by the decision of the Local Government.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Two more Ministers have joined us here, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi and Hon Muswere the Minister of ICT.
HON. SEN. KOMICHI: This issue of the Devolution Act is a very serious matter in the country. Now that the Minister of Justice is here, could he help the Minister of Local Government to explain why they have neglected their work to make sure that the Bill is brought here whilst other Bills are being brought efficiently and effectively by the Minister? We are worried Minister, can you help us?
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I know English is a second language to all of us. I do not know why you think the Minister should help the other Minister. Perhaps what you wanted to say was, whether the Minister of Justice can help clarify. Hon. Minister of Justice, would you want to comment on that?
*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Let me speak in vernacular. I am saying the Devolution Act is something that we have alluded to since 2013 and it was not passed. The 2013 councillors did not perform their responsibilities and then we came to the second phase in 2018. The Act was supposed to come to this august House and the Hon. Minister took it back. The provincial councils have not been enacted and are not working. The expectations have not been met. Elections are about to take place. Why is this happening? We are aware that there are drafters as we are seeing Bills coming in here every day. Is there a difference in the Devolution Bill and others Bills? We have noticed that the Ministry of Local Government is facing challenges – Hon. Minister of Justice, may you please assist us in explaining this issue?
*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator, why are you not asking the question directly to the Hon. Minister of Justice? The Minister of Local Government did not say that they are not able to draft the Bill but there is a shortage.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Komichi for the question – what should provincial councils do? Let me start by giving a brief background that indeed after the 2013 elections, there was no law regarding that aspect. In 2018 again, there was no specific law. However, after the 2018 elections, we decided to work on enacting the law.
Indeed, the Bill was brought to this House but the Constitution had a lacuna - for example looking at provincial councils in rural areas, the law was clear that there should be provincial councils but in Metropolitan cities, it was not clear because when there was the issue of committees for provincial councils, there was a gap and we decided that we needed to work on the Constitution.
Unfortunately, during that period, we experienced COVID-19. However, at the moment, we are now aligning the laws to the Constitution. My promise is that those who write laws are few indeed but before the elections, we commit ourselves to bringing this Bill to this august House so that we do not run three elections without enacting that law. People would then say yes, you have won the election but you still have outstanding Bills.
Of course, at one point because of COVID-19, the amendments to the Constitution were delayed but I believe that this should be done before the elections. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President. My Question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Local Government. Hon. Minister, last year in November, I went to Mukwati Building, I was really pained by using the staircases. For three months, the elevator was not working, so I would like to ask if the elevator has been fixed. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Senator for that question and I concur with what you have said…
Cell phone rung
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order! Can you take that hand bag out of the house? Do, I have to remind Hon. Senators to put your phones on silent or better off switch them off? You are now disturbing the business of the House when important questions are being asked. My apologies Hon. Minister for the disturbance.
*HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Mr. President. The issues of elevators have been affecting a lot of people. It is not Mukwati building only but even Kaguvi Building. However, this has been brought to our attention; a lot of people have expressed concerns that they cannot go to the 13th or 14th floor using staircases because of different health conditions such as arthritis but we have since fixed a number of elevators in Government buildings, so most of them are now working.
*HON. SEN. SHUMBA: I want to direct my question to the Hon. Minister of Transport. Firstly, I would like to appreciate that he is doing a good job; we are seeing progress in roads and even in air services but how about in the locomotive industry? What is the Government plan regarding the fixing of railways and trains because our roads are being damaged by large haulage trucks? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank the Hon. Sen. for that pertinent question. I want to concur that indeed our roads are being destroyed by the cars which are carrying heavy loads, the loads which are supposed to be on trains.
Therefore, I would like to notify the Hon. Senators that our roads are still intact. We have noted that most of the trains are old and they affect even movement of locomotives on these railway lines. COVID-19 pandemic contributed to this dilapidation of our trains because commuter trains linking different cities were stopped.
Indeed, the NRZ is working hard to procure new train engines and wagons which will be used. I would like to inform the nation that our goods, whether agricultural produce or mineral produce, will be carried through our railway lines. Our Ministry is working hard at making sure that we buy new trains and this is being done under the vision of our visionary leader, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa. Very soon our roads will be maintained in a good state because goods which were being ferried through the road, going forward will be transported through the railway line.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 67.
HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Mr. President Sir, I move that the time be extended by 30 Minutes.
HON. SEN. MURONZI: I second.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order, the time for Questions Without Notice is extended by Five Minutes.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Mutsvangwa. Let me start by saying condolences on the passing of the late Hon. Mushohwe. What is Government doing in terms of informing the nation about COVID-19, particularly to help the nation so that we do not continue to lose lives through COVID-19?
* THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for that question. Thank you indeed for the condolence message regarding the passing on of our national hero Cde. Christopher Mushohwe who comes from Manicaland and I was his Senator. He was a dedicated cadre who loved his country and the Marange community even when he did not perform well in elections; he continued dedicating himself to developing Marange. Indeed, this is an issue of national importance and we also pass condolences to his family. He was laid to rest today at the Heroes Acre.
The Hon. Senator’s question regarding COVID-19; as a nation, we did our best and are above many nations that managed to contain this pandemic. We appreciate the role played by newspapers, televisions and other media channels that disseminated information to our nationals. We had a Call Centre with a toll free line for easy access to all Zimbabweans if there were COVID-19 cases. Indeed, we have managed to contain and have relaxed conditions. You will find that there are some people who still wear masks because COVID-19 is still there but as a nation, we are running adverts on televisions and community radios in different areas.
Our radio stations that were given licences are disseminating relevant information that was prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Everyone should be vaccinated, As Senators, we lead people in different constituencies, so let us continue educating people about the importance of vaccinations. Our President Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa did a good job in sourcing for vaccines. As a country that was burdened by sanctions, many people thought we were going to suffer a lot but as a nation, we worked with those countries that work with us and managed to source for more than 10 million vaccines.
In Harare and Chitungwiza, we have not met the 70% target. So we urge our Senators to educate people and urge them to continue getting vaccinations because if you are vaccinated with the first two vaccines and the booster; you will not suffer much even when you are attacked by the virus. Let us continue exercising hygienic practices like washing hands. When using public transport or not; you need to wear your masks whenever you are in public places. The number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 was more than 141 000. The Ministry of Health and Child Care has a campaign of vaccinating school-children. We want to reach the 70% head immunity.
As a country, we appreciate our Government, His Excellency and the good job that is being done by our media to disseminate information on COVID-19. I thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE, in terms of Standing Order No. 67.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers One to Seven be stood over until Orders of the Day Numbers Eight and Nine have been disposed of. Thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
JUDICIAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 3A, 2022]
Eighth Order Read: Second Reading: Judicial Laws Amendment
Bill [H. B. 3A, 2020].
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. President Sir. Mr. President, I rise to give my Second Reading speech on the Judicial Laws Amendment Bill. Mr. President, allow me to present my Second Reading Speech on the Judicial Laws Amendment Bill. The Bill seeks to amend a number of our judicial laws; more specifically, the Bill seeks to amend the following Acts:
- Constitutional Court Act.
- Supreme Court Act
- High Court Act
- Labour Court Act
- Administrative Court Act
- Magistrates Court Act and the
- Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act
Mr. President Sir, as narrated in the Memorandum of this Bill, its purpose is twofold. It seeks to provide for virtual court sittings in both civil and criminal proceedings and to align various provisions of judicial laws to the Constitution.
Mr. President Sir, the advent of COVID-19 pandemic presented a challenge to the conduct of trials in our courts. It however presented an opportunity for our courts, not only to come up with adaptive methods to COVID-19 but to synchronise conducting of trial and the new Integrated Electronic Case Management System. This gave birth to virtual courts. The Bill before the House seeks to provide for virtual court sittings in both civil and criminal proceedings provided the parties consent to have proceedings conducted virtually and also if consent is not withheld, without reason, the presiding officers can make a ruling. So the law will actually allow for a scenario which is just to prevail as to whether the proceedings should proceed by way of virtual or by physical hearings. These virtual courts will enable access to justice to be done quicker and will create accessibility for justice litigants who are outside the jurisdiction of a physical court and also to litigants who, for some reason, cannot have access to the physical court. This is a step towards realisation of the right to a speedy trial.
There might be concerns that virtual courts do not afford accused persons and civil litigants the right to a public trial. The truth is, virtual courts accommodate public access to trial more than physical courts. A few members of the public may be accommodated in a court gallery as opposed to a trial by zoom which can accommodate even up to 500 people.
Mr. President, the Bill also seeks to insert a new section to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. This new section will provide for virtual court sittings in bail and remand other than initial remand proceedings. This is however, subject to the availability of facilities and also provided that the prosecutor and the accused have the right by means of the virtual procedure, to question a witness and to observe the reaction of that witness.
Mr. President Sir, the Bill before this House seeks to repeal and replace Section 193 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and substituting it with a section that places an obligation upon the State, of ensuring the availability of a Sign Language Interpreter in a case where the accused person has hearing or speech impairment or both. Further, the Bill gives power to the court to release the accused person on bail or remove such person from remand where the State has failed to secure the services of a Sign Language Interpreter.
In addition, with regards to derogatory descriptions, the Bill removes and replaces words like idiocy, malady and mental disorder and adopts the wording of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
These amendments with regards to the provisions in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act on persons with disabilities, once enacted, will offer protection of the rights of accused persons with hearing or speech impairment or both, and also uphold the rights of persons with disabilities through the use of the correct terminology.
Mr. President Sir, I will not go through the rest of the clauses as the accompanying memorandum clearly explains what the Bill is all about. I therefore Mr. President, urge Hon. Senators to pass this Bill which is very progressive to allow the judicial system to operate efficiently whereby we can use modern technology to ensure that our courts dispense justice faster. Mr. President Sir, I therefore move that the Bill be now read a second time. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President. I want to talk about the Bill which was brought to this House saying that this is pleasing that Zimbabwe as a nation goes along with modern trends, with development. What we were coming across in the courts, you would find that prisoners could not come to court because there were no vehicles. Sometimes there was no diesel. At times someone who was supposed to be given bail or whose case was supposed to be dealt with on a particular day could not get justice on that day because of logistical challenges of coming to the courts. Now that when it is bail application, the actual court process can be done using virtual courts, this is appreciated Mr. President.
Will the virtual court deal with cases whether I am in Johannesburg outside the country or I get my bail from outside the country; whether I might not go to court, whether I am in Crowhill, then I can go on virtual? After the judgement, can I then be picked up? We want clarity as people, what this means and the areas that will be covered by the virtual court so that there is no confusion of that issue. There is need for clarity whether there is criterion on whether it is a case of murder or what, or if it is murder, the accused then goes to the magistrates courts. I appreciate this Bill and this shows that we are progressive as a nation, but I want clarity.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to appreciate the Minister of Justice for the Bill he brought to this august House. We know Mr. President that the courts have a challenge where there is a backlog. Some cases take so many years until the dockets are no longer found. I want to ask the Minister - does it mean that corruption cases which are in courts will also be expedited as soon as possible so that the perpetrators get their judgments as soon as possible? I also want to know about Section 722 which says ‘Friend of the Court’. What does that mean to be called a friend of the court? This is not clear; I do not understand it.
Then Clause 8 which speaks about the virtual court; may the Hon. Minister explain whether the virtual court is in towns or rural areas? Sometimes there is no electricity but there are courts. Is this virtual court going to cover all or it is for the urbanites only? How about the rural areas? What is going to be happening? This is what I want clarity on. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for the good job he is doing so that cases are expedited in the courts instead of taking so many years until they die a natural death. I thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: I would like to thank the Minister of Justice for bringing this Bill but I am not so sure whether in trying to solve one problem, we are not creating another. One of the most important things of any law is that it must be aligned with the Constitution. The Constitution makes it clear in two instances that I am going to pick. It makes it clear that every accused is entitled to a public hearing. A public hearing is a hearing where the public has access. Given the fact that some people in Zimbabwe may not be able to access virtually, then there is no public trial. In other words, what is supposed to be a public trial may end up a very private trial.
The second thing is that the majority of Zimbabweans, not everyone has got computers through which to access the courts. For you to access this court, you must have a smart phone. The majority of our people have these little phones which they nicknamed tumbudzi. The person with kambudzi is not able to access the courts even if they want to. So it is that person with a smart phone, computer or Ipad who is able to access the courts.
The third problem is the interruptions. We know from experience that when you are conducting meetings virtually, there are always interruption of either connectivity or loss of electricity. It is common cause in our country that electricity is a problem. If electricity and connectivity is a problem, then access to the court will be a problem.
The other problem is that and this is practical for lawyers or even non-lawyers who wish to question witnesses, what we call cross-examination. Cross examination is practical and effective where it is done in real-time. You ask a person and they respond. With virtual hearings, there are inevitable delays in transmission. Right now, if you listen to the way I am speaking and the way it is coming out on the virtual platform, there is a delay and that delay maybe problematic in the finalisation of the case.
Lastly, the Constitution of Zimbabwe says the High Court has inherent jurisdiction. What that means is that the High Court has power to hear any case. What this Bill is now doing is that it is now limiting the High Court on matters it can hear. That then means that we are of necessity changing the constitutional provisions that allows for inherent jurisdiction. Our Government and systems must be pro-people.
Yes, we may want technology and I do welcome technology but we must be mindful of the fact that this technology is not accessible to the majority of the Zimbabwean people. So trials are going to be for those who have the necessary gadgets and means. These may turn out to be very unfriendly for our people. Let me just say we do have in our midst people with disabilities, I do not know and have not seen in the Bill where the new technology is then made to suit these people with various disabilities and so on.
I think that this Bill is a revolution but a revolution that is not going to be very helpful. I would suggest that we operate a parallel system where there are physical hearings of the cases as well as virtual transmission of those cases. That hybrid system will help us in the interim until our society has got to that stage. If you go to the advanced countries like the USA, Britain, Germany, Russia and France, there is no dispensing with physical evidence. Why are we looking like we are trying to phase it out. Those will be my brief comments on this Bill. Thank you.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you for giving me an opportunity to add one or two points on this very important Bill which has been brought to this august House by the Hon. Minister of Justice. This Bill, as much as it is highly progressive, if you look at the progressive world we need to interrogate whether it is suited for our environment because it may end up denying people justice.
The reason why I am saying that this sort of court system is highly dependent on good connectivity, right now, we actually have witnessed a problem with connectivity which was introduced in schools and people are saying it must be removed because of lack of connectivity. That is in education but when we come to the Judiciary, we are dealing with sensitive issues, some of them which may actually decide someone’s life; whether real life physically or immaterially. So I think before we venture on to virtual sitting to make it compulsory, we should make sure that the environment is conducive for this Bill. It is not just like any other but this is serious infringement or decision on people’s human rights.
There was wisdom when people said the court must be direct. One of it is to protect the accused from manipulation because if I go to Rotten Row, even ndisina mhosva, ndinoenda ndononzwa kuti vanhu vari kutaura sei, that is actually a guarantee to people that this trial is independent and unbiased, but if it now virtual, some of the people may not even know that there is a case happening. Those people or the accused are being denied that fundamental right to independent and unbiased justice system. We need to really look at it from that angle Mr. President. I hope if this Bill is to pass through this august House, those areas, we need to know the implications of that Bill and what it would do and make sure that it is fine-tuned so that it addresses those important things.
Mr. President, Hon. Mwonzora just spoke about the place of the High Court in all Judiciary systems and the High Court is called our court. Why was it called our court? It is because everyone had access. If you are not happy with the Magistrates Court, you can go straight away to the high court and this Bill is trying to deny that right.
I do not want to repeat but it is actually going to be contrary to the Constitution because everyone is free to take his case to the High Court, provided he can pay the premium of getting there but this is now being removed. There is a lot of corruption and chicanery happening within the judicial system in the Magistrates Courts. What we want is for the accused to feel safe and say that justice has been done. He or she should take her case to where he feels justice will be done. If we now craft a law which curtails that, then we have got a problem with our justice delivery system because people will not be satisfied. This is one of the problems we have with this – yes it is progressive but we need to be cautious.
I would venture on to support what my colleagues said that we should not take away the current system. It should be optional. If it is optional, let us leave it open rather than for the courts to say this type of case should go virtual and this one physical. We will then have a problem where the accused is denied that right to be tried where they feel it is safe for them. This is a very important Bill. One way or the other, as Hon. Members, we will one day face the results of what we do if we allow this Bill to go through as it is. We really need to take this very seriously. This is a very important and progressive Bill in other clauses especially on the issue of our community who are deaf and dumb. The current system had deaf and dumb people remanded because there was no interpreter. If there is no interpreter, why should you arrest? The justice system does not start at the court; the court is in the middle. It starts on arresting. Police should be competent to converse with sign language so that they communicate with the deaf and dump because if they just arrest, there is infringement of justice somewhere on the line. It should not start at the court. If the police officer does not understand sign language, he should leave that person unless he finds that person killing and he directly witnessed it then he can do that. If we start at court level, it is discriminatory and goes contrary to Section 56 of our Constitution where we need to be treated fairly and equally. This Bill is like a snake with two heads – we need to look at it very seriously as legislators because it has serious ramifications in the way our country will be viewed by other countries because we may end up infringing on basic human rights and also going contrary to the dictates of our generous and more embracing national Constitution.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing in this Bill to this House. We welcome all the developments in this Bill but my main worry is about the rural community. This community has problems in getting electricity in order for them to use these smart phones if ever they have. Most of these communities do not have the kambudzi or smart phones - from the onset, there is a problem.
My second worry is that these rural communities are not aware of this Bill. They do not know it and they will never know it. We will pass the Bill yet they do not have information about this Bill. I think there is need to create awareness so that we go along with our people. No one should be left behind. There is need to educate these communities about the new developments that have arisen. I do not have much to say but I just thought I should add my voice with these two pertinent issues concerning the rural communities.
*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: I would like to seek clarification from the Minister with regards to the virtual part of court attendance. If I commit a crime and am prosecuted virtually, will I be at home or at the court? I believe at the courts there are police officers who will be watching out for the criminals who would want to escape after prosecution. Are there no chances that those who are caught on the wrong side can run away? How is judgement given virtually when I am at home or there will be a date given so that I would come for judgement to be passed? If I am being prosecuted and I know that I am on the wrong side, are there no chances of me running away if they find that the sentence is tough?
A previous speaker referred to courts that are in the villages – is it not possible for people to go there for virtual rather than being at home. May the Minister clarify that?
HON. SEN. C. NDLOVU: Where public hearing for this Bill held?
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: That is given. There is no Bill which comes to this House without being subjected to a Public Hearing. That goes without saying.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Senators for the debate starting with Hon. Komichi who views the Bill as progressive and that as a country, we are moving along with technology.
Hon. Sen. Tongogara’s views were questioning if virtual court sittings are going to deal with issues to do with corruption. Firstly, for me to answer Hon. Sen. Komichi, I want to say that this Bill is very good because it is not only looking at technology but it is saying that if possible, all the parties, if they have agreed, we can use technology.
However, let me say that when it comes to criminal matters, if you go to Clause 18, it says that if it is initial remand, we will not go virtual but if it is routine remand, if for example you are in Chikurubi, we can set up the virtual hearing there. However, if it is trial, we had not gone that far when it comes to criminal trial. What we want to strengthen is that in the area of appeals, Constitutional Court applications or commercial disputes, lawyers like Hon. Sen. Mwonzora will take those to court. So, most of the times, the people will not be present and it will speed up the processes – hence the ease of doing business. So, the point is that everything should be done virtual except for criminal cases which have to be physical.
Hon. Sen. Mwonzora said when we talk about access to virtual, it is supposed to be a public trial and we might be violating the Constitution. Mr. President Sir, I believe my learned colleague is not correct; we want to establish access to the public. Hon. Sen. Mwonzora, we will ensure that there is public accessibility to the proceedings and that includes the link. We are not barring Members of the public to follow proceedings; the proceedings will be in the public domain. I believe that this is happening in several jurisdictions and we are simply following what is happening.
In fact, what we are doing today is something that happens in every generation when new technology comes; we have these reservations, that is why we are saying progressively let us introduce some processes and then we restrict ourselves and say others we cannot do but what we cannot do totally is to ignore technology. We have to embrace and try it. What we are simply doing here is to make provisions in our judicial laws for court processes to be done virtually. The Bill is actually indicating that where they are available, where the parties have agreed to and where the demeanor which Hon. Sen. Mwonzora was speaking about is needed, we have indicated that the system must provide for that and I agree and disagree when he said that the transmission may be slow. Yes, it maybe, but all of us here, we follow proceedings on our television networks at home and we call those proceedings live. We watch our football teams live on our sets and nowadays we are even using internet to access television stations without even subscribing to DSTV directly. I know my children do something like that. I am not yet at their level but I know it is happening.
So, we need to embrace and create our laws so that they allow this to happen, which is what we are doing. Like I indicated, we are creating a hybrid not a parallel system. We are not abandoning the physical. Where we do not have connectivity, we will continue with the system that we are using.
However, I should also allay the fears of Hon. Senators and say with this system, it will allow access to justice to be better than what it is now because we can now re-deploy people easily to areas where justice was not available because of technology. So, I believe it is a system that we should embrace.
Hon. Dr. Sen. Mavetera was saying it is a good and bad system. Technology is good and bad, I agree with him but we have to take it as it comes and ensure that our laws move up with the times. Where we find challenges in future, we can always amend but at the moment, for our commercial disputes, for our court applications which do not need physical attendance, we believe these can actually be done virtually once all the papers and the pleadings have been filed. So, I believe Hon. Sen. Mavetera, this is a good process.
Hon. Sen. Mohadi, the concern is the same where she indicated that in rural areas, they do not have electricity. The Bill speaks of the need to ensure that we undertake these virtual hearings where facilities are available. So, that is taken care of.
Hon. Sen. Hungwe said if I am a criminal, will I be tried from home? We are saying that if you are thief or criminal, you cannot be tried from home but have to be in court; if you have been remanded in custody at Chikurubi Prison, then you can be tried virtually and watch live proceedings on the screen so you can answer and see the Magistrate. On the first day no, it is not in the Bill.
Hon. Sen. Komichi, what you were saying that a person can run away if prosecuted in absentia, but we have removed that possibility in the prisons. My view Mr. President is that the Bill is very good. We are moving with the times. Some of the things that can be done virtually, we can do that with ease; if those challenges are being faced in the courts, it will also cause our professionals to come up with better ways of providing good service so that we improve and for cases to be tried in the rural areas, we need to do it virtually. Failure to do so means it will only happen in the urban areas but this also applies in the rural areas.
I appreciate the contributions that have been given by Hon. Senators. Hon. Sen. Tongogara referred to the friend of the court. A friend of the court is someone who is not part but helps for the case to come out. So he or she is just called so that he or she helps for the case to be brought out clearly. We want that to be included in the Bill so that when there is a case that is before the Constitutional Court and when we know that Hon. Sen. Mwonzora is well versed with the case, he is called so that the case is brought to light. I think in latin, a friend of the court is called amicus curiae. I thank you Mr. President. If there is no other debate on the Bill, then I move that the Bill be now read a second time.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Zhou, we have finished, you cannot debate again. Do you want to raise any question?
HON. SEN. ZHOU: I just want to follow up on the Hon. Minister’s outline because it does not include the disability inclusion matrix. I heard an Hon. Senator referring to deaf and dumb and thought that language was far behind us, especially the derogatory word ‘dumb’; somebody with speech impediment is not dumb. So, I just wanted to say if the word ‘dumb’, is in the Bill then it would be a violation of the International Instrument on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the NCRPD. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you, we will make a special exception to this. We are supposed to have passed this but in the interest of attending to this very important issue you are raising, I will ask the Hon. Minister to respond. I hope the staff in Parliament is going to be handicapped friendly in that - do we not have Braille for the visually impaired? We do not? Thank you for bringing this to our attention Hon. Sen. Zhou.
HON. SEN. ZHOU: Thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. President Sir. Mr. President, actually what this Bill is trying to do is in our laws, in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act I think. We have a provision where if you are deaf, dumb or mentally challenged and they fail to get an interpreter; you will be sent to prison. The terms that were used were extremely derogatory like idiocy or something and they would just imprison you if you were mentally challenged, until they find someone to interpret or something like that. So this Bill is trying to say that the burden is on the State to find an interpreter; that person must not be locked up. If the court fails to get an interpreter or a Sign Language person then it must allow that person to go home rather than keep that person in custody. So that is what the Bill is trying to say.
Regarding other issues, we are simply changing the procedures on how court sessions are done to include virtual hearings. I was mindful of those archaic provisions that made reference to those who have mental challenges to refer to them using derogatory terms like idiocy and the like and we said, let us remove them from our Statutes – this is what we have done. If there are any other issues, this Judicial Laws Amendment Bill was trying to streamline so that we introduce new technologies but I have thrown in a few issues that I felt were very urgent which include saying that if you are disabled or deaf and the court cannot get a Sign Language interpreter, let that person go free. I thank you Mr. President Sir and again, I 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.
JUDICIAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 3A, 2022]
House in Committee
Clauses 1 to 4 put and agreed to
On Clause 5:
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Madam Chair, I think Clause 5, if I got it, it is the very same which says those cases which are within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court may not find their way straight-away to the High Court. Am I lost – [HON. MWONZORA: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING CHAIRPERSON: Order, order. I had recognised you Hon. Mavetera. If you still have questions, can you go ahead? If no questions, I will refer your question to the Minister.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMETARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): That is a wrong Bill.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: I am being told that I have got the wrong Bill. That Clause, where is it?
THE ACTING CHAIRPERSON: Clause 5, Amendment of Section 16 of Chapter 7:22.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Can you read what it says because here it is amendment of Section 13 of the High Court.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMETARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I think that one is not there. It says, amendment of Section 16 of Chapter 7:22. Section 16, appointment of Registrar and Officers of Court of the principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection 2.
- The Registrar and other officers of the court shall perform such functions and exercise such powers as may be conferred upon them by this Act and the rules. That is all I have got.
So you have the old Bill not the one that was passed in Assembly – [HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Was it removed.] –
THE ACTING CHAIRPERSON: Order, order. We cannot talk all of us at the same time.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: May I suggest Madam Chair that this is an important Bill and that in all fairness, the Senate must be given adequate time. According to the staff, it was circulated this very afternoon. Some of us came prepared to debate the Bill that we had all along. I can see that it has changed and I move that we postpone the proceedings maybe to next week Tuesday to enable us to do justice to it. We may find out that there are areas that we think we have disagreement when there is no disagreement at all.
What was Section 13 now appears to have been removed. The Proviso that says the High Court may not hear the cases that the Magistrates Court may ordinarily hear, according to the Bill that we have now, it is no longer there. It may very well be that you have now sorted out the issues that we are objectionable and we are lambasting the Minister for no reason.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMETARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Yes, I removed it.
HON. SEN. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam Chair. I think the Minister has just answered it. We were debating things which were not in the Bill and we are told and it is confirmed by the people who send us the Bill that they send it today. With all due respect, this is very unfair and actually a lack of respect for this august House. There is no Bill, even in the National Assembly, where you give people at 12 o’clock and say debate at 3 p.m., unless you are hiding something or unless you show a lot of disrespect for this august House. With those few words Madam Chair, I second the motion that we need to adjourn this debate until we all have access and debate. because I am sure we sounded so embarrassing to the Minister when we were talking like tohumana just because you have created that condition for us. I think it is unfair. The best thing is to adjourn this debate until we are given time to digest.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Actually, that was the reason why the other time I said to the Senate President ‘I think there is something wrong here’ because the things that you were debating are already in the Bill. They are covered and are straightforward. I did not understand. However, I agree with you.
I therefore move that we adjourn debate, report progress and seek leave to sit again.
Motion put and agreed to.
Committee to resume: Tuesday, 28th February, 2023.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators, did you get the other Bill which is the Child Justice Bill? Have you read it?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. President, while you were away, we noticed that the Bill has not been circulated. So, when they were debating and when I stood up saying things that they were debating, some of them were in the Bill, we then realised that we did not have the same Bill. We realised that the Bill was circulated this afternoon. So, out of respect for Senators so that they also will be able to have sometime, whether it is two hours or so before a sitting to study it, we then agreed but I think it also applies to this Bill.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, the House adjourned at Thirteen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th February, 2023.