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SENATE HANSARD 16 JUNE 2021 VOL 30 NO 46
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 16th June, 2021
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
INVITATION TO JOIN THE PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS STEERING COMMITTEE ON CHILD RIGHTS
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the Senate that the Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights Steering Committee is requesting Senators who wish to join the Caucus to submit their names to Mr. T. Chiremba, Secretary to the Caucus. Mr. Chiremba is stationed in the Journals’ Office, Office No. 101, First Floor, Parliament Building.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I move that Order of the Day, No. 5 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I move that Order of the Day, No. 6 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE VIRTUAL 48TH PLENARY SESSION OF THE SADC- PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 48th Plenary Session of the SADC- Parliamentary Forum.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to add a few words regarding this very important motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Mohadi. Mr. President, I agree with the mover of the motion that the Forum, because of its importance to the region, be capacitated both financially and administratively as has been alluded to by my colleagues, Hon. Members. The contribution by Member States is a true testimony of unity of purpose by SADC Member States.
Mr. President, we applaud the secondment of staff as secretariat from the National Parliaments. As Zimbabwe, we condemn in strongest terms the aggression that is taking place in our neighbouring sister country of Mozambique. I remember when last year, one of the Hon. Members of this august House raised the issue in this House as a security threat to Zimbabwe. Yes, we did not take this thing seriously because the danger was still minimal. Mr. President, I agree with the previous speakers that we fully support this motion because there is now need for SADC to pool resources together and confront this enemy as a united front. This is because an attack on one is an attack on all of us.
However, the question is why are these terrorist attacks concentrated in areas that are rich in minerals, oil and gas? The reasons are clear; they want to loot these resources. If you look at the situation in Mozambique, these people are not from Mozambique; they are trained and funded somewhere. So this shows that there is a foreign hand that is involved. As Zimbabwe, we express our total support and solidarity with the people of Mozambique and their Government. Again Mr. President, we hear of the resurgent of fighting in the DRC Eastern region, the rule of law and the sovereignty that was brought about in the DRC by the people like our Deputy President of the Senate Lft. Gen. (Rtd) L. Nyambuya is not threatened. It is true that we now need a regional response in order to counter the phenomenon from spreading to other SADC member states.
Lastly, Mr. President where there are wars taking place, the majority of the victims are women and children. So, I would like to thank our own Speaker of the National Assembly for leading this high powered delegation to this meeting held virtually. I also want to thank your Hon. Members who followed the proceedings from this meeting with keen interest. The Zimbabwean delegation Mr. President supported important recommendations and way forward on the proposed SADC Parliament and the transformation road map that was produced by the Joint Task Force that will pave way for a complete regional integration matrix.
Mr. President Sir, as Zimbabwe, I urge this august House to fully support this report and all the recommendations and the full implementation of them. With these few words Mr. President, I thank you.
+HON. SEN. MKWEBU: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to debate on the motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. Mohadi on SADC Parliamentary Forum. It is very important that what happens in other countries especially our neighboring countries we should take serious consideration for it can also happen to us as a country. It was important for SADC PF to meet and talk about the issues that are affecting Mozambique so that tomorrow even if it is affecting us or other neighbouring countries, the neighbouring countries to Mozambique will be aware of such an issue. The terrorism that is happening in Mozambique is very painful and the way it is happening is disturbing.
Mr. President, as a neighbouring country to Mozambique we should see far beyond what the human eye can see, for what happens to your neighbour can also happen to you. We should be well prepared and increase our security so that the same terrorists will not come to our country. We heard the SADC Parliamentary Forum has met and they have come up with different resolutions. We should also sit even as a country and find a way of safeguarding our nation against such events.
Mr. President, it is very difficult and very disturbing when a country has disturbances especially in their economy. As developing countries we have our own problems and if our economy has been disturbed which is what is pushing our country to an extent that we have terrorists who are coming to attack especially our security sectors, it becomes very difficult. As Zimbabwe, I urge everyone especially our Government to see that they are safeguarding our economy against events that are the same like what is happening in Mozambique.
During war, you will realise that as SADC countries we used to protect each other therefore, we should do the same even to what is happening in Mozambique. As a country we are supposed to try and assist them in whichever way we can. I thank you Mr. President Sir.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you very much Mr. President for giving me an opportunity to support a report that was brought in by Hon. Sen. Mohadi, it is very important to us as a country and all other countries in SADC. I would like to thank the delegation of Zimbabwe that was there on this meeting. I would like to thank SADC that it must give a resolution to conduct such a meeting because it is a very important meeting. It discusses SADC issues, the war that is currently prevailing in Mozambique. We fully understand that matters of this nature need people to sit down discuss and map the way forward just like SADC. It is not only Mozambique’s problem but it is now a SADC issue and this has to be taken care of. We know that SADC is peaceful, we had never come across any problems such as that one in Mozambique.
This is our desire in SADC. A lot of enemies do not want to see Africa progressing, they do not want to see stability and peace in Africa. They instead choose to create chaos and war. There should be peace but these people are always fighting.
We are very thankful and such a resolution by SADC is actually very good for SADC. It encourages unity for all SADC countries which in turn cultivates peace and teaches that unity is very important because that will never give a chance to the enemy. All of us, united as SADC countries, are able to safeguard our own countries. When we are divided, it is more chaotic. The war in Mozambique is a very ugly one. It has resulted in the death of a number of people. We have seen people on television being injured and killed by machete wielding insurgence.
We are very thankful to the Speaker of Parliament who led a delegation and contributed to the resolution to see to it that we have peace as SADC region. This is what has caused countries like DRC to always be at war. It is caused by those who desire the riches that are found in that particular country. We see those who see our situation and say we are not deserving of these riches and minerals, hence they go behind our back and cause conflict.
It is our desire that SADC, when it comes to the issue of Mozambique, will come up with a sustainable solution and put an end to the conflict in that country. We want SADC to enjoy their own minerals and children to attend schools. Development that is supposed to take place should take place, but when there is war there is no development that takes place because that opportunity for development is taken away by conflict wars.
We are very thankful to the delegation that went and deliberated on the issue of the war in Mozambique. It will always come out right because they will be getting support from other countries in the SADC region.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. I move that the debate be now adjourned.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th June, 2021.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE LIBERATION HISTORY MODULES
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to provide material and financial support to the SADC initiatives for the development of the liberation history modules.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you very much Hon. President. I would also like to thank the Senator who brought this motion. I am very happy to contribute on this motion in the manner in which I see it. We might differ in the way that we see it, but my perspective on the issue is that our history as a country and also as Africa as a continent is very important. In most cases, some of these things are not written down; we just hear them as folktales. It is very important that these things are written down. We do not have an identity because of lack of written documents. It was a case for us because our history has been set aside for a long time and the concentration was only on the history of the white people.
When we went to school, we learnt a lot about Rhodes and Vasco Da Gama. We knew all of this because we used to cram and wrote exams, some which we passed and others which we failed because the things were written down. Our history of our heroes, no one wrote it. We also had an unfortunate situation, that we were taught to hate our own intelligence and ability.
What I am going to say is what I desire to see with the identity of Zimbabwe. Our children should know and should be proud of the people who led and participated in the struggle, our struggle as we fought those who had invaded our land; who are they. We should be proud of these things, but if you are to listen to the debates that come out on social media you actually see that there is a bit of disrespect for those people who fought well during the liberation struggle. Instead, there are praises for people like Bismarck. This is what was seeded in us to the extent that we actually hated ourselves.
There should be financial support for our history to be written down so that we build an identity. There are those who led in the first liberation struggle, for example Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Mapondera, Lobengula and many more. No one takes pride in this history. No one brags about such history. In as much as they talk about people like Hitler and other European big figures. They should talk greatly of such characters who led the liberation struggle in our country as much as they talk about those in Europe. We should get rid of that colonial mentality when we have identified ourselves. There is no nation that progresses without an identity even the Chinese. We are Zimbabweans, we are Africans because we have written something that is good and something that can be looked at as nation.
The past few weeks, I read from social media when people displayed their ignorance on why the statue of Mbuya Nehanda was erected in Harare, it was portrayed as if she was a god. That is when I saw that people of this nation at times are misled. We are not proud of the things that were done by our ancestors. Mbuya Nehanda is a woman who led the struggle, even Sekuru Mapondera and Lobengula. When we live as human beings, there are those people we should respect, even those from the Komichi family. We do not throw away our ancestral lineage.
In our community, there is a manner in which people live and there are different people who do great things for others, we should respect those people. The Lord lives but those whom we respect, we respect them because they are among us and they have done great things. We have community level, family level then national level. At national level that is where we see Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda. We should be proud of the works they did for this country because they did a lot for us. They were arrested because they defended our identity.
The problem is we mix the Lord with those who gave birth to us, our ancestors. We mix and confuse the issues. When we say let us go and pay respect to Mbuya Nehanda, we are not saying we are praying to Mbuya Nehanda. We should not confuse the two concepts with praising the Lord and give respect to Mbuya Nehanda. This is a very good initiative which should be supported financially. The museum that is being built here in Harare should get all the support it deserves. Books should be availed that have history where people should give reference to. We even went to the Second Chimurenga where we have the living amongst us who participated in that liberation struggle. We were in the rural areas facilitating, coordinating in the rural areas. We should not look down upon ourselves. We should have our history. If we do not write these things, Hon. President, after 20 or 50 years, our children will never know what transpired during the liberation struggle. They will never know that a lot of people died, sacrificed their lives for us to be where we are today but each and every stage, there are people who performed above others whom we should honour.
I have one person whom I feel very emotional about, who participated in the Second Chimurenga. He touched my heart and even when he passed on, I was a very young man, I was 16. To me, he was like a mother, I really cried. I could see that every child of my age during that period wanted to be like the Commander. We used to envy him, he did a great job during the Liberation Struggle, he headed the ZANLA Forces. He was General Tongogara. There is also Nikita Mangena, Cde L. Masuku and many more. These are the people we should honour so that Zimbabwe knows what great work they did.
Children of Zimbabwe should all know this and they should acknowledge the work that was done by these great men during the liberation struggle. If we do not do that, their names will die a silent death, no one will ever know. I would like to thank the New Dispensation, I used to ask myself that when Cde. Tongogara passed on, did he not leave a family. I used to say where is she if he left a family and that is the woman who is seated with us in this House, Angeline Tongogara. For the past 37 years, she was hidden, we do not know where she was hidden. It was very painful because I used to look at what General Tongogara did. We could not see the link, there was a missing link. I was happy to see her in this House, I can confess. I went to greet her and I called here generalness; I was referring to the wife of the General. I was touched, my eyes were full of tears, she did not see it, I was so happy – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear] – I want to thank the New Dispensation for such a gesture.
Mr. Speaker, we lived for 37 years using a colonial name KG 6, one of the greatest barracks in the country. When I passed through the area one day, I saw the barrack written Tongogara. I was very happy and I am proud of that. I saw the Defence College written N. Mangena. I was happy that we are able to identify ourselves as Africans. These are some of the issues that we should be proud of when we look at developing the country. Without unity, there is no progress and you cannot do anything, you depend with others from outside. An idea that comes from Sen. Mwonzora, you do not listen to it because you do not have confidence in yourselves. When we have built a culture of where we came from and where we are going, which direction we are taking, together we can develop the nation. There is nothing that will fail if we move together as a nation.
Mr. Speaker, we are failing to do anything to the economy because we have not identified ourselves, we have not united as people. However in 1980, we got independent but going forward around 2000, we found another hero. If you remember very well how we lived in Zimbabwe, we had a very bad polarization. When it came to politics, we never saw each other eye to eye. If you remember very well the violence in the rural areas, houses were burnt and people were killed. We thought we were united but we were not. It was tested around the year 2000.
Then we look at the late Hon. Morgan Tsvangirayi, who said we should come together. We are now on talking terms. Hon. Sen. Mwonzora was at State House yesterday. We see that things are improving. Even in here, we are now talking to each other, we now have proper debates and we walk together. The man I look at as a hero is the late Hon. Morgan Tsvangirayi. He fought very well that Zimbabwe comes together and becomes one. He used the non-violence approach. This is the heroism that we should look at as a nation. When he joined Government in 2009 up until 2013, the economy improved.
We remember these heroes. Their profiles should be put in museums. As MDC T, we took the legacy from the late Hon. Morgan Tsvangirayi - that of dialogue and emphasis on unity. If children of Zimbabwe are together, we will have economic prosperity. We will not look at tribe but at everyone as Zimbabweans. Thank you very much.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Hon. President. I want to add my voice to this motion. Before I go on, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for her vision that everything should be documented. The prosperity that we are enjoying and the fact that we now have black Senators is history on its own and should be documented.
We thank our citizens for respecting the chiefs because we have chieftainships. We were in bondage for 19 years and this should be documented so that our children would know. This would help them know how to handle this country going forward. I take Zimbabwe as the first line of chieftainship because it was fought for and every chief here knows that for them to have their areas of chieftainship, it was fought for by our elders. We fought for this country, so we should have proper history on how they did it like what one of the Hon. Senators said. We should respect the Mbuya Nehanda statue and everyone should know where we came from and where we are going. You see that surrounding countries have seen that our vision is very clear because we have a clear path on how we ended up where we are.
I think you know that we were once in the frontline states. In 1986 when Samora Machel died, we were students and all the students cried because they knew he was a hero and what he did in order for us to get our freedom. So, people should be aware of that.
Looking at what Zambia did by looking after our freedom fighters, despite the risks that they encountered, it is very important that it be documented that we are Siamese twins. It is just a border but we are one people. It is good to have everything written down so that people will know. It will be there for record sake. All the wars that are taking place in Mozambique are part of the history that we are writing down so that our leaders come together and come up with one thing so that they protect one another. We should be united in order to defeat the enermy.
I am very happy with the motion which was brought in by Hon. Sen. Tongogara. I am also happy that our Government has recognised that there are other people who helped in order for us to get our independence, like the “Mujibhas and Chimbwidos” and those combatants who were not on the war front. Now we will know how many people went out to fight. If we do not have records, our history will be distorted and a wrong signal will be sent to our people. Where we are right now, we are skilled and we know we have a lot of historians. We have people who have done it before. We have war veterans in this House. So we are very thankful because our history is now being compiled. We do not want people who lie. I think many people here witnessed the war and they know what it means. They have heard the sound of the gun. We are happy that our generation is embarking in the documentation of all this so that we come up with one good thing.
I just stood up to add my voice thanking Hon. Sen. Tongogara for the motion which is very good. Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this important motion. First and foremost, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for bringing this motion to this august House. This motion is a very difficult one to debate because if we think of the past, all the memories are brought back and when we talk about this motion we are talking about some of our citizens who died and were not seen where they are buried. Till today, no one can tell a story about where they are which is painful to all of us who were involved.
Some of them are disabled and they cannot walk, others are blind and they cannot even see because of the bombardment that took place during the war. History is not very clear, there is need for more research to uncover more information and archive it so that even the upcoming generations, whenever we talk about the liberation struggle, they will be able to know exactly what transpired because if it is left like that and when this generation of ours is gone, no one will tell the true story because it will not be written anywhere.
If we look at our history in the education sector which our children were being taught, it is a pity because they were taught about the history of the colonial regime which did not mean anything to us. Really, it was a question of someone passing “O” level in history with an “A” after reciting who Christopher Columbus or Vasco da Gama was. Did it add any value to our history? There is need for us to go back and do more research. I would suggest that if possible more funds should be allocated to this Ministry so that there is research on this issue and that we leave a legacy for our children.
One Senator talked about the widows whose husbands died during the liberation struggle. I will keep on repeating the issue of research because some of them are not known anywhere. It has come and it has passed on and their history is not known anywhere. I urge the women Senators to revisit this issue, visit our widows who are old because some of them cannot even walk, talk or see but need our presence. They need our company and laugh with us. If we just forget about them everybody will forget and even ourselves when we die we will be forgotten. The history of Zimbabwe is incomplete because we do not have our records written down.
For those who have had the chance of visiting places like Mozambique and Zambia where we have our mass graves, even if you do not have tears, if you just visit that place you will shed tears because it is a sorry sight. As we speak now, you will find that the most of our fighters were buried in mass graves but if you go there today, you see just a list of names. Their history is not very clear Mr. President, because that list has no information. Who is going to add that information if we do not have researchers who can dig deeper into these issues.
If you look at our Parliament building, there is that Heroes Gallery corridor where there is no information about the liberation struggle. I would suggest that at the new Parliament building, we should look for information that will reflect how Zimbabwe was liberated as we enter that new Parliament building. For those who will come to see the new Parliament or anyone entering Zimbabwe having a wish to see our Parliament, they will see a true reflection of our country, Zimbabwe. We all love and like our Zimbabwe. We all like our liberation heroes, but I am saying if this history is not written anywhere, it will be the end of the chapter. Our children will not be able to explain how Zimbabwe was won.
Even today, the new generation asks you silly questions on how Zimbabwe was liberated. If you tell them in Shona that Zimbabwe yakasunungurwa, meaning to say it was liberated, they will ask you - where was it tied so that we can also go and untie it? Those are silly questions that they ask you. It is not their fault because we have not told them the truth. They cannot read about the history of Zimbabwe anywhere. It is there but it is not deep enough for someone who did not experience this war, to understand what it really means. That is why we end up having these questions which do not have any meaning Mr President.
I think I have tdebated a lot. This motion makes one become very emotional when we talk about the liberation struggle. As we go out, let us go and educate our children and it should start as far as primary level so that they grow up knowing our history. As they say ‘catch them when they are still young’ In Ndebele they have a song, which says bafundiseni abasakhulayo. If they are not taught about the history of the liberation struggle, they will not know anything about it. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for a motion which was well thought uot. So, by bringing it to this House, she wants it to be looked at. As Zimbabwe, we do not know our history. I went to school a long time ago but even if I am asked to sing Christopher Columbus today, I would sing, yet nowadays our children do not know anything about Mbuya Nehanda or Sekuru Kaguvi because we taught them English things only. We forgot our culture which we should value so that our children know our history. Our generations are passing away and our children will remain with no one to consult.
When the statue of Mbuya Nehanda was erected, there was a lot of talk and some even asked whether there was going to be some cultural activity, when it was said yes, they said it was unholy. They do not know that when we pray in our culture, we also say ‘take it to the most High’. I was very pleased to see Hon. Sen. Mohadi putting on an African dress with the Zimbabwe Bird. I think we should adopt this as our national dress. We can also follow the way Mbuya Nehanda used to dress. People will laugh at you but if someone puts on a short dress, they will say they are well dressed. We should go back to our culture because our culture has been distorted. Our children do not understand even the text books that they are reading. So, I think the history of Zimbabwe should start to be taught in schools. Even in private schools, they should learn Zimbabwean History. The history of the struggle of Zimbabwe should be written in a way that everyone will be acknowledged. It should not only be those who held top positions but everyone who participated should be recognised.
I was thinking that if the history was going to be written down, we should go down to where the Comrades were operating because people there know the Comrades who worked in their areas. They will guide those who would be gathering information as to who were on the ground and who perished. People know each other from the bases where they were operating from. Everyone who fought and died for Zimbabwe should be recognised.
I keep on thanking Hon. Sen. Tongogara because we are leaving behind our history. People know about Shakespeare but if you ask them about the history of Zimbabwe, they do not know anything. A lot has been said. I told myself that this motion cannot pass without me adding one or two words that our history of Zimbabwe is very important. We should not shun away our culture because we also honour God. Since we now speak in English, we have forgotten where we came from. If someone sees me with snuff, they will laugh at me. There is someone I asked for snuff this other day because I had a headache, and she thought that I did not know about its healing properties. We know our culture and we know it helps very well. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NGEZI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion that was moved by Hon. Sen. Tongogara. This motion is very touching. As chiefs, we know that one of our own, Chief Mashayamombe’s head was decapitated and taken abroad and never brought back. I think many other heads or body parts were taken abroad. Children will learn about this in history but may the Government assist us in bringing back these body parts so that we will have them in this country to prove to our children. What it means when they take those heads, their intention was to create their own history. It was a trophy for them, it is a sign of conquering. They have decapitated, cut off the heads and went with them.
Where I come from, this is where Sekuru Kaguvi is buried but here is the problem. I do not think that there is anyone who knows this place and I have never heard anyone talking about this place. The grave does not even resemble that of an important person who did great things in this nation. The grave is in a bad state. There were a lot of things that were burnt in that place and a lot of miraculous things happened in that area. We should cherish that history and it should be kept very well. Sekuru Kaguvi did a lot of great things. It is my desire that we should not forget the history of such great people who did great things for this nation. We have a lot of things that we expect people to do in this country with regard to safeguarding this history.
There are a lot of people who were there during the events that took place during that time, they are still alive and they should assist us by telling us what really happened. Taking the sport of football for example, the difference between the spectator and the one participating is that the spectators see better than those who are playing in the event. What I am saying is as Chiefs we have a Chief who passed on recently, Chief Dendera. We should cherish the work done by some of these chiefs, even the spirit medium that guided people and the war veterans that went to war. Nothing just happens for no reason, they would appease firstly their spirit medium and follow the instructions from the mediums. Now the spirit mediums are not referred to but they are now being referred to as evil spirits. When you look at the white people who we envy, they can actually swallow and we can conform to what they want us to do and we assist them in doing their cultural rights. It is my desire that we abandon this idea to think that these people who do great things in our country are of low value. The only valuable thing is that which is brought in the country by eroplane. That is a very bad thing, we must remember a lot of good cultural things that we did.
People would ask for sadza from their spirit medium, it would come out and people would eat. This has never happened in America, our history is regarded as useless - that is where the problem is. We should take seriously the history of our nation. When we look at the likes of Chaminuka and Mbuya Nehanda, these people died and are now spirits but we have people who say worshiping of the dead is evil.
For Jesus Christ to have power he died, before that he had no power. He only acquired the power when he had passed on and resurrected. That is why Mbuya Nehanda said my bones shall rise, it was after her death that she became so powerful. Some war veterans were even shocked how they managed to be alive after the war - it is because they were guarded by spirits like Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi in the forests. With those few words, I thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. FEMAI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate. I want to believe that whether someone is dead or alive they should be respected. There is no great thing that we can do for someone except acknowledging the great works they have done. Back home, I remember, if I did something good like bringing mbeva, my mother would sing my totem for the great things that I would have done. We must acknowledge what the heroes of this nation did, even what people are doing as we sit here in this Senate. Even those who chair, it should be documented that he was in charge from this time to this time. This should be said even when they are still alive and this should be documented.
Yes, there is history but some of things must be written when people are still alive. There are a lot of things that bring people together. I was born in 1949, I witnessed the Zhanda war, and some people know it and some do not. Those who came from Malawi and Mozambique would say izanda and they were beaten up. We reconciled those people, and I will mention Cde Joshua Nkomo as one of the leaders. He said no these people are sons of the soil, do not go around beating up these people. Around the 60s we regarded each other as brothers and sons of the soil simply because we were blacks, and this brought unity amongst us. Where did this go? As long as you are black, you are a son of the soil. If you go back to that approach, we come together, we are united, nothing will come between us.
Christianity that came to us actually disturbed the concept of son of the soil. It actually changed that to say you are a Christian. If you say I am a Christian, you will see a lot of people following you and you are left behind if you are not one. The traditional approach and Christianity do not come together and do not mix. If you are introduced to traditional ways of living, you will actually find people with different views. You are actually left out alone with such views.
Our culture was destroyed by those from beyond the borders. It is my wish that we see a true history being written. We all know what really happened and what really transpired. It is our wish that the correct thing is written down. It will help us a lot. It will help the nation to understand what really happened on a particular day.
Mr. President, I would like the history of an individual who did very well to be written down. Those who did not do well, those who failed, let it be written down also. During our days of herding cattle, if you were called Chombe you would fight simply because you have been named Chombe. It was because Chombe had a bad history, he was a sell-out. He snitched on others. Chombe was written as a sell-out in DRC. No one wanted to be identified as him. My desire is to see the history for everything that has happened written down.
You see what the New Dispensation did in this country by erecting the statue of Mbuya Nehanda in town after I think 40 years. During the liberation struggle, these are the people they praised and prayed to for victory. They did not know that the country had been taken back to the children, sons and daughters of the soil, but now that we hve erected the statue they now know. Who will fail to know what transpired that year when Mbuya Nehanda’s statue was erected? Who will fail to know or understand the history?
In the Bible, it is written “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. When the living pass on they shall also be honoured. Why then honour someone who has not done the same deed to others? It is not possible. History should include everyone, those who did well: and those who failed. That is what the Bible says. The Bible clearly states out all the events and even mentions who sold out Jesus. It was Judas Iscariot. By now, we would not know Judas but we know him because of his acts and that is history.
It is our desire that history is written amongst the living. The truth, even the wrong things where they failed should also be written down so that children know and understand to say, these are the things that happened during a certain period. With those few words, I say thank you Mr. President. Thank you also Sen. Tongogara who moved this motion.
*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President. I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for this motion which she raised in this House, which is very pertinent.
Mr. President, I was thinking that this Hansard should be taken to the President because it is a good thing. It is an issue which is very important in our country. I was thinking that if this gets to the President, if he understands what people are saying in this House, if it were possible he should start from those whom he gave land. Probably the children of those we are talking about in this House only benefited two or six hectares, but the wise ones got more than 100 hectares.
Mr. President, one day I once said that as I am in this House there are people who liberated this country. I want to refer to those who were buried in Mozambique. If you go to the burial site, there are women and men who left children in that country who have no one who remembers them. Hon. Sen. Tongogara, I want to thank you for this motion. There are a lot of them who are not remembered.
I want to come back because last week I heard the Minister of Defence and War Veterans talking about vetting of war collaborators. Vetting should start with the people whom we are talking about. The names that are mentioned, probably they are of those whom we know and others are just silent. Do you know Mr. President, I once said in this House that if we were cultured people, we would not be poor in this country. I once said the children who went to fight for this country were sent by the ancestors, but we buried that and we took the white man’s culture. Mr. President, we are pleading that these people should be remembered. Why I said the Hansard should be taken to the President is because the President of this country has a vision for these people. He knows that if we remember these departed people, our country will do very well. Uneducated as I am I want my name to be written in the books of this country because I am, in this House but why do you want to uphold me only and you forget those who made us to be what we are today? Take this Hansard to the President so that our President reads it. Let us put our heads together. Thank you Hon. Sen. Tongogara.
We also have another problem that we do not want to debate important motions. We have some heroes who came back but they died due to COVID, we also want that history. There is Hon. Sen. Shiri and many others. We want their history to be documented, it is very important. When this vetting is being done, it should go back to the Chiefs because they have history of who went and came back from Mozambique. If it is done properly, we will not cry in our country, even this idea of getting vaccines from outside the country will be a thing of the past, those people will end up looking for vaccines here. I think we should remember the heroes that liberated this country. Mr. President, even in the history of Senate, you should also write my name. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. SEKERAMAYI: Thank you Mr. President. I rise to support the motion that was brought in this House by Hon. Sen. Tongogara on the importance of safeguarding the history of this nation. As, Zimbabwe, we went through difficult times. Whites came and they took the country from us. Our elders tried all they could, for example Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Chaminuka and Lobengula. They tried all they could to fight the white man but to fight the white man with fists whilst he had a gun was not an easy task.
Mr. President, after a few years, other countries where becoming independent until in our own country we came together and brought independence to this country. Organisations like African National Congress, National Democratic Party, ZAPU and ZANLA were formed. We came together and we fought and this bravery meant that one day we were going to spill blood. There was that dedication, that desire to say even if the white man had a gun, we had to fight and bring freedom. Old men, the young men, young women and old women sat down and deliberated on the next move. People crossed Zambezi to Zambia, some even went to Mozambique, Botswana and others went for training in Tanzania. Others went for training in Russia, China as well as Cuba. This is all history. If that history is not properly written, our children would not know. The history that was written by the whites is what we did at school and we passed that but it is important that we have our own history.
There are young men and women who left the country, some died on their way to unite with others who were fighting the white man. Others were trained and others were very unfortunate, they did not survive. It is up to us as a people to write all this history. There are very big names that we know of our leaders who were brave enough to fight the enemy. They were arrested and thrown in jail. The current President was arrested when he was very young and was sentenced to death but was fortunate enough because of his age, he could not be killed. This is how he survived. It was because of these people who gave up their lives so that we attain freedom. It was not easy for us. It took a very long period and whites did all they could to derail progress in this country so that we could not develop as a country. They were bombing camps and they even poisoned people so that the war could yield nothing but us as children of Zimbabwe, we remain defiant. These spirit mediums led us through. We never went back. Camps were built to train young men and young women in Zambia. Camps were made in Tanzania and Mozambique and other people were taught abroad. They came back and were deployed in different areas like Tete, Manicaland and so on. The enemy was fought to an extent that they actually acknowledged that it is no longer time to continue fighting but to have talks. It is during the talks that people undermined each other. It was a point where colonialists acknowledged that they could not continue. Defeat was imminent. Now we are able to write our history. Let us strive to write our own history so that our children understand where we came from. We should be proud of ourselves. Blood was not shed for nothing.
Our President opened the Museum for African Liberation, which gives chronological order of events on how things took place, where we came from, where we are and where we are going. That is very important. Let us continue.
I agree with the previous speaker who mentioned that it is very painful when we think of the likes of the late Josiah Tongogara. It is not easy Hon. President. We worked with the likes of the late Hon. Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri (Rtd) in here and this is the history we should be writing so that our grandchildren will understand where we came from. They should understand and develop this history.
Hon. President, if possible as Senate, we ask our President to have groups that we will go to different countries and see the graves of our colleagues who died during the liberation struggle. We should see where Cde. Tongogara was assassinated and locations where mass bombings took place. Where there were medical stores, the enermy poisoned and destroyed those places. Things that were done by the whites as we fought them are very painful. This is a topic we should take seriously.
This should get to the President and our desires should be made known - where we are and where we are going. It would be just two or three buses. We should go to Chimoio and see the graves. The fighters who were laid there were relatives to us. We have parents who never saw their children again. We will make such a request to the President so that we are able to go and see where our colleagues were laid to rest. If possible Hon. President, we can chose Members of Parliament from the Senate and National Assembly to have a team that writes our liberation history so that it is not an idea from few individuals.
The books that are written should reflect the aspects of the liberation struggle. Those of our colleagues who failed to make it to Zimbabwe, let their souls be happy wherever they are knowing that what they worked for well has been realised and the objective of going to war has been realised.
Hon. President, I just wanted to add a few words to say this topic is very important. This is the foundation of what we should do for the history of this country to be known by many out there. With these few words, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th June, 2021.
ADMINISTRATION OF FOOTBALL IN THE COUNTRY
Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the financing of football from the fiscus.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. FEMAI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th June, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON SEN. MUZENDA: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 10 to 13 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 14 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.
HON SEN. FEMAI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE JOINT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION AND THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE STATE OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES, THE EMPOWER BANK AND SPORTING FACILITIES
Fourteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the joint Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MBOHWA: I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to round up my report that I presented on Vocational Training Centres. I would like to thank all Hon Senators who debated on the report of the joint Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation and the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the state of Vocational Training Centres, the Empower Bank and the sporting facilities.
Your support of the motion and recommendations made by the Committee in the report are appreciated. The strategic importance of VTCs, the Empower Bank and sporting facilities to the social economic transformation of Zimbabwe cannot be undervalued. VTCs empower our youth with entrepreneurial skills to venture into the small and medium business sector which currently contributes satisfactorily to the country’s gross domestic product. Closely linked to that, is the critical financing role of the Empower Bank which provides the much needed business start-up capital for the youth. Similarly, sporting infrastructure attracts better performance resulting on the abundant social economic benefits such as employment creation and revenue generation among others.
It is our Committee’s hope that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Ministry of Youth, Arts, Sports and Recreation and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works will take our recommendations seriously. Having said that Madam President I now move that the report be adopted and also be removed from the Order Paper. I thank you.
Motion, that this House takes note of the Report of the Joint Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the state of Vocational Training Centres, the Empowerment Bank and Sporting Facilities in Zimbabwe put and agreed to.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND PROVINCE (HON SEN. MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Half-past Four o’clock p.m.