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Wednesday, 17th May, 2023.

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





  THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Good afternoon Hon. Senators. I wish to remind Hon. Senators to put their cellphones on silent or better switch them off.



  HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Mr. President.  I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over, until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

  HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

  Motion put and agreed to.



  HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move the motion in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Delegation to the 52nd Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC-Parliamentary Forum held in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 3 to 11 December, 2022.

  HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:


The 52nd Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum was hosted by the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from the 3rd to 11th December 2022 under the theme: ‘The Role of Parliaments in Strengthening Legislative Frameworks for Peace and Security in the SADC Region’.

1.2      The Zimbabwe delegation comprised the following Members of Parliament:

  • Dought Ndiweni, Executive Committee Member, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Democratization, Governance and Human Rights and Head of Delegation;
  • Goodlucky Kwaramba, Member of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (ZWPC);
  • Anele Ndebele, Member of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment; and,

Hon. Paurina Mpariwa, Member of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes. 


2.1      In her welcome remarks, the Secretary General of the SADC PF, Ms. Boemo Segkoma, lauded the Plenary Assembly as a gathering for representative democracy through universal suffrage aimed at providing efficient checks and balances by sovereign Parliaments over the Executive within the clear context of the doctrine of separation of powers.

2.1.1 Furthermore, Ms. Sekgoma implored Member States to continue advocating for the protection of human rights, including the implementation of measures that mitigate against Gender Based Violence (GBV). In this regard, the SADC PF will continue to champion the need for the Regional Parliaments to domesticate the Model Law on Gender-based Violence, among other Model Laws.

2.1.2 The Secretary General concluded by tendering credentials of the delegates to the Plenary Assembly and invited the Hon. President of SADC PF to address the Assembly.

2.2   Hon. Christophe Mboso N’kodia Pwanga, the Speaker of the Parliament of DRC and President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum expressed gratitude to H.E Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Republic of DRC for taking time to grace the official opening programme of the SADC PF Plenary Assembly Meetings.

 2.3   The Speaker of the National Assembly of the DRC reiterated the need of the international community to condemn in strongest terms the unwarranted aggression being perpetrated on Eastern border of the DRC by the M23 rebels. He further underscored the need for a peaceful environment as a prerequisite for rapid economic growth and development.

2.4      Hon. Christophe Mboso Pwanga concluded by paying tribute to those who had died due to complications occasioned by the COVID 19 pandemic.

2.5   Hon. Regina Esparon, Chairperson of the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC) urged the Region to move the women’s empowerment conversation beyond increasing female representation to the attainment of meaningful participation of women in all peace and security processes at all levels. This involves representation in peace missions, at international peace negotiations, in national governance structures and in local-level peace initiatives.

2.6   She stressed that one of the key strategies in achieving this was to promote women in leadership positions in order to influence the decision-making trajectory in all sectors of governance matrix.

2.7   In delivering the keynote address, the Guest of Honour, H.E Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo noted that the meeting came at the backdrop of an unwarranted aggression towards a Member of SADC, namely the DRC by the M23 rebels in the Eastern part of the DRC.

2.7.1   H.E. Tshisekedi, President of the Republic of DRC added that the chosen theme of the 52nd Plenary Assembly Session was timely, being held at a critical moment when the region continued to face continued insecurity, particularly in the eastern part of DRC. In this region, armed groups are engaged in massacres and other atrocious acts amounting to war crimes being perpetrated against innocent civilians.

2.7.2   He thus implored the international community to condemn this unfair aggressive interference on the sovereignty of the DRC by the armed rebels which have the unfair and unfortunate consequences of retarding socio –economic development of the region.

2.7.3 H.E. President Tschisekedi lauded the support being received from SADC Member countries in defending the cause and territorial integrity of the DRC.

2.7.4 Finally, President Tshisekedi pledged his support and assistance for the Transformation of SADC-PF into a Regional Parliament.   President Tshisekedi concluded his address by wishing the 52nd SADC PF Assembly constructive deliberations.


3.1      Hon. Anele Ndebele presented a paper on the theme on behalf of the Hon. Speaker and the Zimbabwe delegation. He noted that peace and security are prerequisites for socio-economic development of any nation or region.

 3.2   Zimbabwe acknowledges that peace and security are necessary pre-conditions for socio-economic development of any country in the region. Equally, the 1992 SADC Declaration and Treaty highlights that “war and insecurity are the enemy of economic progress and social welfare”.  In the same vein, Aspiration 4 of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 calls for “a peaceful and secure Africa”. Accordingly, peace and security are a sine qua non for the total fulfilment of all the Seven Aspirations of Agenda 2063, which anchor Africa’s desire of achieving its vision 2063.

3.3      SADC should be extolled for putting in place institutions, policies and strategic plans which aim at creating the necessary precondition for peace and security in their respective countries.  Some of the institutions tasked with the responsibility of maintaining peace and security in the region include the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation and the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization as well as the SADC Regional Peace Keeping Training Centre.  

3.4      All security efforts should be made to enable SADC countries to fight terrorist and banditry within the SADC region. It is common cause that the region must put in place security mechanisms that will enable SADC to effectively deal with the M23 terrorist group marauding in the Eastern part of the DRC. It is trite to observe that the disturbances have compromised peace and security, resulting in economic meltdown of the SADC region.

3.5      In the same vein, Zimbabwe observed that concerted measures must be put in place to fight banditry in the Cabo Delgado Region in Northern Mozambique where the mining of gas in that region was being disturbed by terrorist groups.

3.6   It was imperative to point out that SADC security efforts as supported by the Legislative Frameworks in the SADC Parliament must focus their search for peace and security beyond the borders of SADC. This is so because, there is need for SADC to assist fellow African Union countries which are experiencing terrorist attacks by the Al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa and the Boko Haram in Nigeria.

3.7      The approach is instructive to the extent that, if Africa is to faithfully and successfully implement Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Africa must act in unison in fighting the terrorism scourge if it is to achieve accelerated socio-economic development.


4.1      Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi, Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia, on behalf of Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, presented a statement on decisions by the 145th  Assembly of the IPU and related Meetings held from 11th to 15th  October 2022, in Kigali, Rwanda, pursuant to Rule 45 of the Rules of Procedure.

4.2      It was reported that the IPU 145th Assembly and Related Meetings was officially opened by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, on 11th October 2022. In his welcome address, His Excellency Kagame applauded the Assembly’s theme which espoused the need for gender equality in all socio-economic sectors, more so when the women folk form 52% of the world’s population. It was, therefore, incumbent upon Parliaments to enact laws that effectively promote gender parity. H.E. President Kagame, however cautioned that there was “no size fits all” in tackling gender equality deficiencies. To him what was critical is the application of the political will to achieve the goal.

4.3      In their interventions on the theme of the Assembly entitled “Gender Equality and Gender Sensitive Parliaments as Drivers of Change for a more Resilient and Peaceful World”, Parliamentarians took stock of the positive steps towards achieving gender equality. Speakers unanimously concurred that it had become an imperative to include women leadership in addressing global challenges such as conflicts, pandemics and climate change. Through their legislative and oversight roles, Parliaments can play a critical role in enacting robust legislation, including quotas for women in politics and ensuring gender responsive budgeting.

4.4       Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU, called for the acceleration of progress to achieve shared goals on gender equality and gender sensitive Parliaments with zero tolerance to gender violence and sexism. In addressing instability as experienced in some parts of Africa and the Russia/Ukraine conflict, among others, the Secretary General underscored the value of dialogue as articulated by the founding fathers of the IPU. He called upon Parliaments to strive for peace, equity and opportunities for all in fulfilment of their constitutional mandates of legislation, representation and oversight on the Executive.

4.4      The Plenary Assembly adopted the Kigali Declaration on “Gender Equality and Gender Sensitive Parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world”. The Declaration represents a milestone in progress towards gender equality and gender-sensitive parliaments. It encourages IPU Members to step up their efforts to promote gender equality in both the public and private sectors.

4.5    Member States were reminded that, in line with the IPU Statues and Rules as well as the IPU Strategy which places emphasis on implementation of resolutions of the IPU, Parliaments will be called upon to report on action taken towards implementation of the adopted IPU resolutions. Accordingly, SADC Parliaments have been encouraged to implement resolutions and provide timely feedback to the IPU Secretary General.


5.1      The Executive Committee (EXCO) tabled its report for consideration and adoption by the 52nd Plenary Assembly meeting. The EXCO of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) had met virtually via the zoom video conferencing platform on 18th and 19th November 2022.

5.2      The report sought to place it on record its sincere thanks to the Parliament of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, led by Hon Speaker Christophe MBOSO N’kodia Pwanga for graciously accepting to host the 52nd Plenary Assembly Session, at a short notice.

5.3  The Host Speaker, Hon Christophe Mboso N’kodia Pwanga, was further requested to convey the Plenary Assembly’s gratitude to His Excellency, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for officially opening the 52nd Plenary Assembly session and to the Government and people of DRC for the warm hospitality enjoyed by all delegates.

5.4      The Plenary Assembly adopted the report on the National elections which took place in the Republic of Angola on the 24th August 2022. On this occasion, a SADC PF Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Angola was deployed under the able leadership of Hon. Speaker Adv. Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda from 17th to 27th August 2022.

5.4      The report also noted that that Parliamentary elections also took place in the Kingdom of Lesotho in October 2022, and regrettably, the SADC PF EOM which was scheduled by the Forum to participate from the 13th September to 10th October 2022, could not take place due to lack of the requisite number of countries willing to take up the mission.

5.5   Given the foregoing, EXCO invited Plenary Assembly to note that the sporadic and inconsistent participation in EOMs by the Forum may lead to an unwarranted differential treatment of countries since there are Member Parliaments which have diligently fielded delegates and contributed to nearly all EOMs. Such countries will be disadvantaged when the Forum fails to deploy an EOM in their home country when elections are to take place. EXCO, therefore, invited the Plenary to encourage that all Member Parliaments participate actively in future EOMs in line with the 36th Plenary Assembly Resolution.

5.6      On the maintenance of peace and security, Plenary Assembly noted that the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Governments endorsed the Assessment Report on the risks, threats, implications and opportunities of the ongoing conflict in Europe for the SADC region. The report urged Member States to monitor the movement of mercenaries from conflict zones and introduce legal instruments that would enable them to take measures to counter mercenary activities in line with AU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenaries in Africa of 1997, among other issues.

5.7   On the Transformation of the SADC PF into a Regional Parliament, EXCO informed Plenary Assembly that while a few SADC Member States have already signed the Agreement, the requisite number of 12 signatures out of 16 is yet to be attained for Amendment to take legal effect in accordance with Article 36(1) of the Treaty.

5.7.1 Given that the Agreement Amending the SADC Treaty has not yet been signed by the majority of Member States, EXCO recommended to the Plenary Assembly that this should remain the cardinal priority of lobby initiatives by the Forum and its Member Parliaments in order to ensure that Member States who have not yet signed the Amendment do so as soon as possible so that the figure of 12 out of 16 signatures is promptly attained.

5.7.2 EXCO, therefore, recommended to the Plenary Assembly that lobby efforts be heightened through the engagement of Heads of State and Government of SADC Member States who had not yet signed the Agreement Amending the Treaty to forthwith append their signatures. 

5.7.3 Zimbabwe firmly remains focused on the need for the Transformation of the SADC PF into a Regional Parliament, and is satisfied with the developments at Summitry level towards this just cause. The 42nd SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Kinshasa, DRC, on 17 August 2022 approved the Agreement Amending the SADC Treaty on the Transformation of the SADC PF into a Regional Parliament during the 42nd SADC Summit. Accordingly, Hon. Ambassador F.M.M Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, signed the Agreement as delegated by His Excellency Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa at the Summit.

5.8      It was noted that part-time staff secondment arrangement had proved to be unfruitful due to competing priorities of staff at national level, the absence of an adequate accountability framework, and the lack of prioritisation of SADC-PF duties which lead to considerable pressure on the SADC-PF management to perform committee related tasks. Consequently, it was not possible to renew the secondment contracts as per policy.

5.8.1 EXCO, therefore, recommended that the Plenary Assembly refers this matter to the Committee of Clerks to guide and align the secondment policy to existing functions of Programme managers and Committee Secretaries. 

5.9      EXCO reported to the Plenary Assembly that due to the good ongoing work of the Forum under the SRHR Project, Sweden is in the process of approving a project proposal made by the Forum for the next phase which is to run from 2023-2026, a development which augurs well to assist the Forum in consolidating the democratic drive in the SADC region in the years to come.

5.10    EXCO invited the Plenary Assembly to note that the Forum adopted the SADC Model Law on Gender-Based Violence at its 50th Plenary Assembly Session hosted by the Kingdom of Lesotho in December 2021 and that the SADC Model Law on GBV was the first ever model law of its nature to deal with gender-related violence in all its forms, including physical, verbal, economic, psychological and even cyber violence, and thus paving the way to end GBV in Southern Africa by 2030.

5.11    EXCO noted that, since there was only one candidate on the ballot, Hon. Roger Mancienne, Speaker of the Parliament of Seychelles, the Presiding Officer was, therefore, de facto designated and inaugurated as the President of the SADC PF.


6.1      Motion on the Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment

6.1.1   Plenary Assembly adopted the submission that cross border traders, the majority of them whom are women, continued to face numerous challenges which included sexual harassment, lack of adequate information on customs procedures and information on new developments, including the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, and many other non-tariff barriers. This is despite the existence of policy frameworks at regional level.

6.1.2 Plenary Assembly adopted the need to encourage Member States to intensify the flow and exchange of information among traders in order to eliminate unnecessary delays at border posts.

6.2    Motion for the Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources

6.2.1 The Committee noted that Africa, and the SADC region in particular, was endowed with arable land and water. The Committee acknowledged that the quality and quantity of water was a precursor to a thriving agriculture sector.

6.2.2 It is, therefore, imperative for the SADC Region to adopt sustainable agricultural practices that should be prioritised among other measures that are meant to boost agriculture in the region.

6.3      Motion for the Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes

6.3.1   Plenary Assembly noted the lack of funding to public health care in the SADC Region. Over reliance on donor support towards health services coupled with low capital health expenditure contributes to low and unsustainable health financing in the SADC region.

6.3.2 Plenary Assembly adopted the need to facilitate revision and effective execution of resource allocation frameworks including public finance management systems across the healthcare and education delivery systems. At least 20% of national budgets should be channelled to education in order to keep more girls in school.

6.4      Report of the Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights

6.4.1   Plenary Assembly adopted a motion, which noted with deep concern that the voices of the youth and children are not particularly taken into consideration, worsened by inefficient implementation of related policies, legislation, laws and structures.

6.4.2 In this regard, Plenary Assembly implored SADC Member States to adopt legislated Youth Quotas in institutions of governance including Parliament in order to increase youth political participation and representation in governance processes.


7.1      There is need for Member Parliaments to take stock of the legislative frameworks that promote peace and security, both at inter-state and intra-state level. In this regard, the Legislative sector needs to deliberate on the role and contributions of parliamentary engagement to the peace and security discourse in the SADC region bearing in mind the complementary efforts already made by the relevant SADC organs. 

7.2      There is need for Parliaments to continuously carry out in-depth research in order to build capacity in understanding the dynamics that lead to disturbances and conflict in the region. This can be done through Member States working closely with non-state actors which are responsible for capacity building initiatives within the region. Governments should stretch their tentacles to every avenue that can be used to achieve durable peace as a necessary precondition for sustainable development.

7.3      The Plenary Assembly resolved to make Parliaments centres of peace initiatives by crafting and advocating for policies that favour the inclusion of women in peace processes (peacemaking/ peacekeeping and peacebuilding) initiatives. Parliamentarians should take peculiar initiatives that promote peace in Member states.

7.4      Plenary Assembly resolved to formulate and sustain policies that improve all tenets of good governance and the promotion of the rule of law. Plenary observed that the underlying causes of conflict and insecurity emanate from non-adherence to Constitutionalism, infraction of fundamental rights and freedoms, irregular holding of elections, corruption and the marginalisation of ethnic groups.

7.5   There is need for the Region to come up with proactive policies that promote the involvement of the Youth in all programmes and actions aimed at sustainable socio-economic development of the region.

  • Taking note that Zimbabwe remains solid, resolute in its commitment towards establishment of the SADC Regional Parliament. Also recalling that Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of Parliament has worked tirelessly on the matter as the Chairperson of the Strategic Lobby Team on the Transformation of the SADC PF into a Regional Parliament, Plenary Assembly pledged to redouble its efforts in engaging the outstanding countries to sign for the amendment of the Treaty laying the foundation in transforming the Forum into a Regional Parliament.

7.7 The 52nd Plenary Assembly Session unanimously endorsed the Angolan Elections as a true reflection of the will of the people of Angola. In the same vein, the Plenary Assembly resolved to ensure that going forward, Election Observation Missions to Member States become a budgeted for, mandatory activity to ensure that the Region tells its own story on elections.  EXCO noted that the low participation in EOMs by Member Parliaments runs counter to the spirit and the letter of the 36th Plenary Assembly Resolution that the logistics for EOMs are to be funded by participating countries which fielded their members accordingly.

7.8 Following the adoption of the SADC Model Law on Gender-Based Violence during the 50th Plenary Assembly Session hosted by the Kingdom of Lesotho in December 2021, the decision-making body has proposed the post adoption strategies of the Model Law, in close collaboration with regional partners, including Civil Society Organisations. The Plenary Assembly pronounced itself strongly on the need to domesticate the Model Laws adopted by Plenary Assembly this far, in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders.

7.9 The Plenary Assembly stressed the need for Parliaments across the region to continue raising concern on the negative effects of destabilizing forces such as the conflict in the Eastern DRC as well as the banditry in Northern Mozambique.

7.10 The full dossier of the Plenary Assembly resolutions will be availed by the SADC Parliamentary Forum in due course for consideration by Portfolio and Thematic Committees of the Parliament of Zimbabwe.


8.1      The Plenary Assembly concluded by calling on Member Parliaments to continue intensifying collaborative efforts that ensure that peace and security finds home in the SADC Region and beyond.

8.2     Parliament of Zimbabwe continues to play a highly effective leading role in the Transformation Agenda of the SADC PF. The return of Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of Parliament as a substantive Member of the Executive Committee and Member of the Legal Sub- Committee will enhance his role as the Chairperson of the Strategic Lobby Team of Hon. Speakers on the Transformation of the Forum into a SADC Regional Parliament.

8.3      Parliament of Zimbabwe commits itself to the full implementation of the resolutions of the Plenary Assembly which shall be shared among all Members of Parliament to facilitate action by different Portfolio and Thematic Committees. 

8.4    The 53rd Plenary Assembly of the SADC PF will be hosted by the Republic of Tanzania, who have pledged to choreograph a memorable hosting arrangement in Arusha.

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA:  Thank you Mr. President Sir. I would like to congratulate our delegation that went to this very important meeting and the resolutions that came from that meeting. We as Zimbabwe, must condemn in the loudest terms, the loud aggression against fellow African states. In this regard, we must condemn the aggression in the Democratic Republic of Congo because what it is doing is to compromise the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of Congo and therefore, it deserves us as Zimbabwe, to join other nations to condemn in the strongest of terms.

          Mr. President Sir, while we are still there, you will notice that if you look at ZIDERA, the law that imposes sanctions on Zimbabwe, it actually gives the reason for sanctions as Zimbabwe’s involvement in the DRC conflict but Zimbabwe has not moved out of the DRC conflict.  Therefore, the sanctions ought also to be removed.  Mr. President, the aggression that is taking place in Mozambique may have a foreign hand in it because, if we look at the rebels who are in the Cabo Delgado, they are well armed and those people who are arming them must be exposed for the world to see. 

          The effect of the conflict in Mozambique is also affecting the stability of the region, and is also affecting the economic opportunities that would come with the discovery of natural gas.  Zimbabwe ought to be worried about this development because there is a possibility that there could be natural gas within Zimbabwe.  Therefore, those people who have imposed armed conflict on Mozambique can do in any nation that has these natural resources. Therefore, we need to condemn in the strongest terms. 

          I would like to thank the resolution that deals specifically with gender-based violence but we need to go beyond the condemnation of gender-based violence to having legislated concrete steps that increase the participation of women in important decision-making matrix.  I am happy to say as President of my own political party, the MDC is the only political party in this country whose Presidium is 40% women.  Its National Executive has about 38% women.  We need this legislated so that political parties are forced by law to increase the number of women who participate in decision making.  As we go to elections, maybe at the later part of this year, there ought to be a law that forces political parties to field women candidates.  Even if it means declaring certain constituencies to be women constituencies, so be it - but we need to be serious with the involvement of women.

          The report has talked a lot about what is happening outside the borders of Zimbabwe but we need to come down and examine ourselves.  As I was listening to Hon. Sen. Mohadi giving the report, I could not help think about a situation in Zimbabwe.  If you examine the situation in Zimbabwe closely, you will find that Zimbabwe is a nation that has not known peace since colonialism.  The first type of conflict was of course the armed conflict that took place, giving rise to the First Chimurenga; the Chindunduma war, which was about dispossession of land.  After that, we had had a racial conflict that then blossomed into a full-scale war, the war of liberation that took place.

          After the war of liberation, when we thought that we have seen enough of blood shedding in Zimbabwe, then there came Gukurahundi where people of a certain ethnic group were targeted either by harassment, beatings, killings or sometimes if you go to Matabeleland and lower Midlands, you will discover that there seems to be some areas that were targeted for underdevelopment as a political weapon.  We also noticed after Gukurahundi, we then had conflicts, one way or the other, among the political parties and this conflict actually climaxed in the shooting of Patrick Kombayi, a candidate of the Zimbabwe Union Movement Gweru, sometime in 1989/90, somewhere there. 

Then after the formation of the MDC, we saw a lot of conflicts.  People were targeted for specific harassment on the basis of their political thought. In 2007, our President then, Morgan Tsvangirai was beaten by the police in a police station at Machipisa.  This attracted a lot of condemnation by the international community, but the worst was yet to come.  In 2008 after the first-round win by Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC, we saw untold violence against our people.  Zimbabweans killing other Zimbabweans.  Not only that, Zimbabwean Black people killing other Black people.  If you look at it closely, Zimbabwean poor people being used to harass other poor people.  So the people who were then used to commit these atrocities were actually being exploited by those with resources.  We need to put an end to this thing.

          The conflict in Zimbabwe, right now there is conflict in Zimbabwe.  This is law of key conflict or a soft war that is taking place in Zimbabwe among the political parties, over the fairness and the freeness of our electoral processes.  We need to make sure that we adhere to our Constitution.   A few days ago, my political party took the delimitation report to court in the Constitutional Court.  For the first time, we were told by a Constitutional Court that they could not hear us.  The Judges went on techinicalities and so on and they could not hear the case.  They delayed the case and now the case is in the High Court…

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, Hon. Sen. Mwonzora, you will not debate a judgement of the court.  We are talking about the report of the 52nd SADC Parliamentary Forum.  You are now going into detail about the court decision. Please stick to the report.

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Yes, I have finished going into that detail Mr. President and I am correct.  Serve to advise this Hon. House that the same dispute is within the High Court.  I want to make a plea.  I want to make a plea to those people with power.  People like myself, like my party must be encouraged to seek recourse in a lawful manner.  The only way we can do that is to take things that we are not happy about to the courts but we want to plead to people with power not to intimidate judges.  Here judges were clearly intimidated.  Also. they should not interfere with a judicial process because this is what brings conflict to our country. 

          Going to court is a safety valve by peace loving people.  I am sad to say that there is clear evidence of trying to manipulate the courts of law.  Mr. President, there are a lot of things that Zimbabwe must do in order to bring everlasting peace in our country.  The first important thing is that there must be compensation; adequate compensation of victims of political violence.  Here, I am talking of victims of Gukurahundi.  Compensation of Gukurahundi must not be a mere political statement that leaders make.  We must see people being compensated.  We must see the communities being compensated.  That is very important. So, Gukurahundi compensation must be done.  Where there are victims of political violence after Gukurahundi – I talked about the Zimbabwe Unity Movement who were murdered and after the formation of MDC, we saw the escalation of that conflict.  There must be compensation for the victims of that violence.  It is not enough to speak against it as a political bygone like what our former President said that it was a moment of madness.  We must now see that there is now sanity.  That the madness has gone and there is now sanity, people are being compensated.

          Many people in Matabeleland do not have documents because either their parents were killed or displaced one way or the other.  So we need compensation for those victims.  The victims of that one where the properties were destroyed in the towns, Murambatsvina.  Those people must be compensated.  There is a United Nations report that this was improper and led to homelessness.  It led to people being displaced back to the rural areas because they had nowhere to stay.  We have historical evidence that many people who were targeted for Murambatsvina were people of particular political persuasion, so that was political persecution.  There must be compensation of those people.

          The victims of the 2008 killings, almost more than 300 of MDC youngsters were murdered in cold blood.  These families are there.  They have been fully documented and there needs to be compensation to those people.

Mr. President, after the elections in 2018, the Motlanthe Commission came here and made specific findings and recommendations to Government and one of these recommendations was to send the children of the victims to school.  As far as we know, nothing has been done to pay compensation to the victims.  We are talking of six people here and the Government is failing to honor its obligations as given by a Commission that it set itself.  What was the point of bringing the Motlanthe Commission if the Government was not prepared to listen to the recommendations of that Commission?

So, we need all those to be done.  We need truly free and fair elections Mr. President, and all obstacles to free and fair elections must be removed.  I am expecting that the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation is going to allow free political debate during our election run up.  Everyone must have equal opportunity to say their ideas and to sell their plans to the people of Zimbabwe so that the people of Zimbabwe make a free choice.  That has to start now. Mr. President, we need truth telling in this country.  Truth telling is therapeutic.  There are people I have talked to in Matabeleland, some of them close relatives who just want to know the truth, who just want to know what happened to their loved ones.  It does not pain us to say the truth.  In fact, we have precedence.  South Africa did it.  They had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission where people told the truth.  In Rwanda, Rwanda is a success story after conflict.  You have seen people who victimised their victims sitting in the same house with their victims, attending same committees.  They have apologized to one another and there is evidence that Rwanda is developing.  It is developing because there is peace.  It is developing because there is minimum resentment.

If conflict is not dealt with Mr. President, it will cause a lot of resentment within the country and we do not want that.  We need to domesticate the international instruments that deal with peace and security and we need to unban certain things that we have banned in this country.  Mr. President, there are two documentaries that were banned in this country.  The first documentary is called The Demographs.  This is a documentary about Zimbabwe’s Constitution making process and it features two main protagonists, that is Hon. Mangwana of ZANU PF and myself who were the co-chairs and Hon. Nkosi.  It documents how the Constitution making process actually took place and the negotiations that took place in this very important exercise.

That documentary was banned in Zimbabwe.  It cannot play on ZBC.  So, Zimbabweans cannot know how their Constitution came about.  They cannot know the important work that was done by men and women who were in the COPAC because certain truths are told in that documentary and so on.  Mr. President, it is my plea that we now have a second republic.  The second republic is different from the first republic.  Let us accept that for a moment.  Why is it maintaining the bans on documentaries such as the documentary on the Constitution making process?

There is a documentary also which was banned and this documentary documents the election campaign of 2018 and features…

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, order!  Hon. Sen. Mwonzora, I have allowed you to divert and debate a little bit about this country.  The report presented by Hon. Sen. Mohadi is about the 52nd Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliament Forum held in the DRC.  You have now made your main topic the elections which are coming in this country, the situation and what you see as the situation, the problems and challenges.  I think it is a very diverse issue which you are now touching on.  You can move a motion to tackle what you are talking about.  You have now gone deep into elections and what you perceive as the situation in your own right.  I would like to advise you to stick to what Sen. Mohadi has presented to you.  You can move a motion about what you are talking about.  I am not stopping you. 

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you Mr. President Sir.  Mr. President, I think you are correct but let me end by quoting the Austrian Governor.  His name was Matternich, he said, ‘I have managed to rule Europe and failed to govern Austria’.  So, the situation in Zimbabwe is such that we must avoid conflict.  Why I was going to 2018 was to say that maybe when people see themselves on camera again, maybe when people see themselves on television doing these horrible things to one another, it may be a deterrence.  That was the point I was making.  I was not stretching that too far.

This documentary I was talking about features Nelson Chamisa who was the Presidential candidate for MDC-Alliance and President Mnangagwa and their message to the people of Zimbabwe and the things that are happening.  This documentary is banned in Zimbabwe.  Why are these things being banned in this country?  Mr. President, we need to follow our Constitution.  It gives us our international obligations.  How do we intervene, how do we deal with nations who are in conflict, what type of assistance do we give?  We must remain true to ourselves.  The situation in Mozambique has to be brought under control so that, the mineral is exploited for the benefit of the entire SADC region.  The tickle down benefits are very clear. 

Mr. President, let me thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi and her group once again for the job well done and just to say to my Senators, when you get there, do not just think about Rwanda, do not just think about the DRC.  Charity begins at home.  Let us think about ourselves.  Let us look at ourselves squarely in the eye and see whether we are doing the correct thing. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Mwonzora.  Let me also remind you that tomorrow and indeed every Thursday is question time in the Senate.  Some of the issues you are raising, it is very unfortunate the people who can respond to them are not here.  So, you may ask your question - why is this banned and so on and they will tell their side of the story.  It is unfair to raise issues when no-one is here to answer.  I am sure you understand what I am saying.  Thank you very much.

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


          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 17th May, 2023.



          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I move that Order of the Day, No. 3 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 4 has been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.



          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on sustainable health care system in Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MABIKA: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to appreciate the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Tongogara. It is very important, especially looking at dealing with people’s health and the health facilities. Health matters a lot because it is key to people’s lives. The Hon. Sen. spoke about raising the budget for health facilities. Indeed, I second that, especially looking at the situation in rural areas where you sometimes do not get an ambulance. A person may need emergency assistance but there will not be any transport to take them to a higher health facility.

          There is need for financial support to such institutions, including wheelchairs because sometimes in the rural areas, you find people struggling to lift up a sick person, but availability of wheelchairs or such other facilities will be key. You realise that there will not be much difference from the pleas that are being made by people. It should be taken as a matter of priority to address those issues. Availability of medicines; sometimes you find doors falling off from health facilities and sometimes where women are expected to deliver in maternity wards, nurses make use of their cellphones for lighting because there will not be electricity.

          My appeal is that such facilities must be prioritized, especially in the rural areas. I am very much disturbed by the news that in some facilities we do not have enough staff yet there are a lot of graduates who are not employed. The conditions that are supposed to facilitate the employment of such people must be rectified because I am aware that maybe it will be because of the shortage of funds to pay the health employees. There is need for increment to the salaries of nurses and doctors and sometimes you find that at a clinic or health facility, there will be no basic things like gloves.

          Madam President, at a clinic where I come from, there is no borehole and so they make use of a borehole that is at a nearby school. When the borehole is down, the nurses have to fetch water from a river. Rural clinics must have boreholes, ambulances, nurses as well as adequate medicines and all other facilities that are needed. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you Madam President. A friend of mine, on a lighter note, said that these days in the Senate there is a lot of baccossi when it comes to time. So I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. Zimbabwe’s health system is in a sorry state. It is in a state such that the powerful people, the rich and the famous in this country are even afraid to go to our hospitals, that is why they go to hospitals in India, South Africa and so on. I think we need to pass a law that the leaders of this country must be treated in this country.

          They have presided over a health system that makes quite a number of medically treated people embarrassed. I can see my friend Hon. Sen. Dr. Sekeramayi, he knows what I am talking about because he understands health. The health system in Zimbabwe is very poor. The infrastructure, the equipment is poor and there is no medicine. At one point in time, I had a relative who had a stomach problem and he needed an operation. I bought everything that he needed while he was admitted at Parirenyatwa. I bought the pain-killers, the bandages, the thread that is used for sewing the wounds, I bought everything. This was also very difficult to get.

          At one time, I went to a hospital and asked whether they could help with that item and I had to buy it, I am sorry to say I had to buy it on black market. The issues at the hospitals are dire. On top of that, we have very demotivated workforce. The conditions of service of the health staff leaves a lot to be desired. We are losing nurses and doctors to England. England is right now on an overdrive recruiting our health personnel. So we have trained these people, they now have skill and yet they are going to help another country.

          We need to sacrifice and we need to make sure that our health personnel just like all civil servants must have good conditions of service. There are a number of ways of compensating people besides the pain and that is to give them benefits like housing loans. If Parliamentarians and Ministers could get housing loans, other civil servants must get housing loans according to their grades. I represent a social democratic party and we believe that for Zimbabwe to develop, it must use social democracy. It must take the path to social democracy. This is the path that leaves no-one behind and some of the policies include that there must be free healthcare for the poor and the indigent people in our society.  We see many people cannot afford to go to the hospitals and there must be free medical services for poor people.  There is also need for maternity heath to be looked into.  We believe that giving birth is a national duty.  We believe that a person giving birth is giving birth to somebody who will help society. 

          Therefore, maternity healthcare should be free of charge.  We should not tax the women for giving birth. In some rural areas, those mothers about to give birth are told by the clinics to come with their own lamps, paraffin, candles, razor blades, methylated spirit, buckets and so on.  As a result, Madam President, people are now stopping giving birth.  People who would have wanted five children are now having two children. Zimbabwe needs a bigger population.   There is enough historical evidence that a nation’s population, a populous nation almost equals to richness of that nation. That is why you see the Chinese have not lifted the ban on their one child policy. They understand the importance of a population. If you have a bigger population, you have bigger aggregate demand, you have bigger demand for goods services and therefore you are able to support industry in this country. It is not true that we must have a smaller population. Those things come from advanced democracies who know that they have an ageing population and that Africa has a younger population but Africa has fewer people and we need to encourage that. Therefore, we need free maternity health care. 

          Madam President, the health system in this country; is such that those presiding over it must do the honourable thing.  They must admit that they have failed.  Yes, Zimbabwe did well, every political party including mine, took part in the fight against COVID-19. The Government did very well in the fight against COVID-19 but that is the only thing it did.  The health system is poor, the pharmaceutical situation, there is too much corruption at NatPharm and people are not doing anything about it. 

          About a week ago, there came a Statutory Instrument, which was bringing a lot of opaqueness into procurement of health facilities.  We were happy when we read from the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet that Statutory Instrument was actually fake.  However, how did it come about? It came about because certain criminals wanted to benefit from procurement and they resorted to writing a fake law, if indeed it was a fake law.  They then resorted to doing that because there is demand for pharmaceuticals and there is demand for chemicals because the State is not giving people – Madam President, one may argue that Zimbabwe does not have money, that is actually not true, Zimbabwe is very, very rich. Zimbabwe has gold, diamonds, gas in Lupane and Zimbabwe has almost all minerals that you can expect in this world.

          Zimbabwe is going to have liquid natural gas in Muzarabani, so, we have everything. The problem with Zimbabwe is not money; the problem with Zimbabwe is that the money is being spend by few people.  Few people at the top, they and their families are taking national resources and so on. We have heard so many cases of smuggling of gold.  Someone was caught at the Airport with 26kgs of gold and we have now read about this gold mafia and so on. The country has money, the problem is that, that money is monopolised by a few.  The problem in Zimbabwe is corruption, we are losing close to 3 billion United States dollars a year as a result of elicit financial flows.  This is affecting our health system. 

          Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for bringing this very important motion and I want to reiterate that there must be free maternity care in Zimbabwe.  There must be free health services in Zimbabwe. One of the things that is troubling Zimbabweans especially the pensioners, by their very nature, are people who are in need of constant healthcare.  As aged people, they begin to develop certain diseases that come with ageing.  Therefore, they need healthcare more than other demographic groups but look what our pensioners are getting.  They are getting peanuts; look at what our war veterans are getting as part of the War Veterans’ Fund, it is next to nothing.   Some of them travel from the rural areas to the urban areas and the money gets finished due to transport.  I have seen a few pensioners sleeping in the pavements, we must be ashamed and we need to take care of our old people.  We need to recalibrate the pension, the pension must be recalculated. There are companies, which took people’s money, and bought buildings like Old Mutual, they bought buildings in this country. So, the money has not been affected by inflation because the buildings are there.  There are there for all to see, they are there in Harare, Bulawayo and so on. 

          Those buildings are bringing rent and that rent is being charged in foreign currency. Why not the pension houses pay the pensioners in foreign currency because that is what they are getting.  Madam President, once again, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for bringing this very important topic.  I thank you so much.  

          *HON. SEN. DENGA: Thank you Madam President, I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Tongogara for raising that motion that speaks about health facilities both in the urban and rural areas.  It is a very important motion especially to the people in the rural areas. There were quite a number of clinics that were visited by the Committee to see how health facilities and services are going in the rural areas.  We spoke to a number of nurses at some clinics and they told us that things are not well. They also spoke about facilities or rooms where they store their medicines.  Some of the rooms have no windows and those are rooms where the temperatures must be regulated in order to preserve the medicines. 

          In some clinics, containers are being sold and medicines are stored in those containers and the temperatures in those containers affect the medicines.  Some clinics do not even have cotrimoxazole, which is used to boost the health of people especially living with HIV/AIDS.  So, Government must prioritise people’s health because that is the only way one is able to work and take care of their families.  Government should also put measures to ensure that our hospitals have radiographers.  There are no X-Ray facilities as well.  People sometimes travel from rural areas to the urban areas to access such services.  When they go to referral hospitals, sometimes they are given dates to come back after two months or so for them to be examined, but the disease cannot wait.  In those two months, they might have deteriorated. 

          In most rural areas, there are no ambulances, one Hon. Senator talked about that.  People are ferried to hospitals on wheel-burrows or ox-drawn carts.  In the 1970s/80s in rural areas, you would find ambulances yet in this time and age, where things can be easily accessible even through technology, you still find hospitals with no ambulances.  Sometimes as we go towards elections, people donate ambulances but when that candidate loses, they withdraw those ambulances, there are a lot of inconsistencies. 

          In some clinics, you cannot even find a small refrigerator where medicines that require refrigeration are stored.  You will be told that it broke down two years or so ago. If you are looking for medicine, you are then told to go to an urban area so as to find medicine that is stored in a refrigerator.   People will travel for long distances to get that medicine. If you are from Nharira, you will have to go to Chivhu.  You will spend about USD10 for transport only.  The Ministry of Health should ensure that the facilities are within the reach of people.  We would expect that by now, clinics should have resident doctors but you find a nurse or nurse aide running a clinic.  The Ministry of Health should address this problem because health is very important to the people.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 18th May, 2023.



          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Sustainable Management of Waste.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. GIJIMA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 18th May, 2023.



  Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on Measures to Combat Human Trafficking.

     Question again proposed.

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

     HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: I second.

     Motion put and agreed to.

     Debate to resume: Thursday, 18th May, 2023.



  Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 145th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Related Meetings, held in Kigali, Rwanda.

  Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. RWAMBIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 18th May, 2023.                

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU seconded by HON. SEN. MABIKA the Senate adjourned at Two Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.





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