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SENATE HANSARD 18 February 2020 29 20

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 18th February, 2020.

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to draw the

attention of the Senate to an error on page 114 of the Order Paper where notice of motion number 4 has been incorrectly captured. The correct notice of motion should read:

THAT WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of

Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign States or Governments or international organization shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

WHEREAS the additional protocol to the Comprehensive

Safeguards Agreement Protocol was approve by the International

Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors in 1997;

WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is part to the Non-

Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NTP) but has not signed the additional protocol; and

WHEREAS Article 17 of the protocol provides that the protocol shall enter into force on the date on which the agency receives from

Zimbabwe written notification that Zimbabwe’s statutory entry of constitutional requirements for entry into force have been met or upon signature by the representatives of Zimbabwe and the agency;

NOW THEREFORE in terms of Section 327 (2) of the

Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid convention be and is hereby approved.

COLLECTION OF SAMSUNG TABLETS

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I would like to inform

the Senate that the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Department wishes to advise Hon. Senators who have not collected their Samsung Tablets, that officers issuing such tablets will be stationed at the Members’ Dinning to assist with connectivity to Wi-Fi and passwords.

ACCESSING ORDER PAPER

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Please be reminded that

with effect from tomorrow, the Order Paper will be sent to your emails and can be accessed from your Samsung Tablets. Hard copies will not the distributed. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MUNZVERENGWI): I move that Orders

of the Day, Nos. 1 to 5 be stood over until all the Orders of the Day are disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 45TH PLENARY

ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HELD IN

MAPUTO

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 45th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. HUNGWE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 19th February, 2020.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE PAN-AFRICAN

PARLIAMENT HIGH LEVEL SUMMIT ON HIV AND HEALTH

FINANCING IN AFRICA

         Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the delegation to the Pan- African Parliament High Level Summit on HIV and health financing in Africa, held in Brazzaville, Congo from 11th to 12th July, 2019.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. P. NDHLOVU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 19th February, 2020.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND

DEVELOPMENT ON THE PLIGHT OF PEOPLE WITH

DISABILITIES AND CHALLENGES FACED BY WOMEN AND

GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES IN ZIMBABWE

Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on the plight of people with disabilities and challenges faced by women and girls with disabilities in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Madam President.

I want to thank Hon. Sen. Ncube for the motion that she brought into this House. I want to add a few issues and support this motion especially on people living with disabilities, looking at the women and girls.  In the rural communities where we live, we realise that if the mother or the girl child is disabled, it affects the household. In our culture, a home comes about as a result of a woman but if a woman is disabled, it becomes difficult to run that home. Some children are forced to say certain things that do not apply to them because they are disabled.  For example, a child can be forced to get pregnant and whoever looks after that can betroth that child to a man because they know that that child cannot talk because she is disabled. Those are some of the things that are affecting children in the rural communities that we reside in. In schools where children attend, the infrastructure is not disability friendly and children do not have wheel chairs to more from point A to B. the hygiene is compromised.

If we call for a meeting in relation to people living with disabilities it is not accessible to those with disabilities and requires able bodied people to attend.  All the things that we talk about pertaining to people with disability are discussed with able bodied people in the absence of people with disabilities.  We are talking to people who are not concerned or  are not living under such conditions.

When it comes to food aid, they do not get it because where they have to register, they cannot get there especially women, they cannot walk to those centres.  Some children are intelligent but because of disability, they have failed to complete their education because there are no facilities in schools to address their disability programmes for them to proceed with school. Disability related to blindness, most schools lack in terms of infrastructure because there is no Braille.  If a child is knowledgeable, you cannot extract or get to know what the child can do because the infrastructure is not available for them to learn in a friendly manner.

Whenever we come up with legislation, we should ensure that we mainstream disability in the legislation. I think everything that has to do with disability should help us to go and consult those living with disability in their places because they are people with rights like all of us. One can become disabled tomorrow. There are so many ways that one can become disabled. Some face road accidents and they end up without limbs. Let us consider the issue of people with disabilities seriously because we may be in that same category in future.

For children, sometimes they are unable to get married to the love of their lives because a family discourages them from getting married to a person with disability and that family will not take off.  We forget that people living with disabilities are also people. There are some who are able bodied but have not been blessed with children but those with disability can actually give birth to children.

Let us not look down upon people with disabilities, be it in schools or churches, we should treat them the way we would want to be treated.

They we also created by God and we should respect them. I thank you.        

+HON. SEN. P. NDHLOVU:  May I also add my voice to what

has been said.  Being disabled is something which is very unique.  It can come at any time.  In Ndebele, they say thou shall not laugh at a disabled person before you are old.  Wherever you are at your station, you can be disabled.  Even all of us who are seated here, we are disabled one way or another.  All of us here take drugs for one ailment or another.  In life, people look down upon the disabled because they do not understand anything about disability.

I have a child at the Post Office in Bulawayo who is disabled.  I gave that child the name Sihle.  Each time I go there and find her in bad mood and I greet her she smiles and gets happy.  I know I will bring her things that she likes in life like sweets and porridge.  I try to show her love as a mother.  Sometimes I observe that people do not accommodate the disabled when we are travelling.  Therefore, let us look at this particular issue at its proper perspective.  As parents, let us also realise that at schools there are also pupils who are disabled, particularly the girl child.  They do not have anything so we should take care of them.  Mostly, they do not have proper undergarments so we should take note of that and help them.  I am emphasising on the girl child but I am not forgetting the boy child as well.  With those words Madam President, I thank you.     

*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI:  Thank you Madam President for

giving me this opportunity.  I would like to extend my compliments for the New Year to you Madam President and everyone in this august Senate.  I want to say a few things concerning people with disability but firstly I do not know what we call disability because it seems derogatory.

I say that because my husband became disabled when I least expected.  He left home and went to work.  A child came running. His superiors at work were unable to come and inform me of the injury that he had gone through.  He was injured whilst at work when he was trying to lower a cable.  They were about 13 of them and they were using their legs.  In the process of lowering the cable, for those who went down, the weight was too much and his foot broke.  There was dislocation between the foot and the leg.

I was listening to the Hon. Sen. Chief as he was speaking that as the Senate we should take those living with disability.  Let us just imagine that it has come to us.  Some of these things happen to us unknowingly.  I do not know how we can assist our colleagues.  Let us not be disappointed a lot by a person with disability.  I do not know what would have come over some men who end up raping women with

disability.  I pray that God’s spirit be upon us.

I want to thank Jairos Jiri who was able to round up people living with disability in order to offer assistance.  Let us not look down upon our fellow brothers who live with disability.  As I stand in this House, I am not as educated as some of the people with disability but if they are able, let us give them the opportunity to exercise their full potential.  In areas that we stay, we have some of our colleagues who are looking after people with disability.  Some of them are grandfathers or grandmothers.

They are under pressure as it is.  Where others are able to go and queue for land, they are unable to go but they are people who are able to look after themselves and fend for themselves.  We are the Government, what can we do about our fellow beings who are living with disability in Zimbabwe because we are just the same; we are equal. I want to thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI:  Thank you Madam President for

giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the report by the Committee which toured centres with people living with disabilities.  I am one of the committee members.  Madam President, we heard a lot of concerns from these people and most of those were echoed in this House.  I have stood up just to talk about some of the things we heard as we were travelling.  Wherever we went, they were happy and excited that Parliament had remembered them and had visited them.  I think it is one point that we scored.

There are other things that I will mention Madam President.  They were happy that we had recognised them and that we had come to hear their concerns.  They raised a number of concerns which I am not going to talk about.  Secondly, they said that they do not want to hear people calling them people with disability.  On the words mentioned by Hon. Sen. Moeketsi, I do not know how we can refer to them because they do not want to hear people calling them people with disability.  They said we will make it a criminal offence if you call us the disabled.

As Parliament, we went round and we faced challenges Madam President.  We had no one here at Parliament who was able to speak in sign language and they said that it shows that you do not see us as human beings. Honestly, as Parliament, such an institution we do not even have one person who can speak sign language and their question was, how are you going to hear our concerns?  They were not happy about that Madam President.

Madam President, it is a painful scenario because their way of life is appalling.  What I am saying is that legislation on people with disabilities should be amended to ensure that they get due recognition in this country.  In all areas, you will find there are people with disabilities.

They also pointed out that when people are elected into Parliament, whether in Senate or National Assembly, they wanted to know the criteria on how people get into Parliament.  Their argument was there are very few people who represent them in Parliament considering their huge numbers.  They said having two or three people shows lack of seriousness and political will on our part.  Madam President, this is what we also got as we went on the tours.  These are issues that we need to address Madam President.

+HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Madam President for this opportunity so that I also add my voice to this matter.  The life being led by some disabled people is very difficult Madam President because there is no one who takes care or is alive to their issues.  Some people even refer to them using some derogatory terms.  We should realise that God created us differently.  So, just like in the garment making industry, the way we are created, we are different patterns before God.  It is particularly difficult for the child who is disabled.  If the disabled person is a woman, it will be very difficult for her to take care of her family.  If she is a girl, when she becomes mature, it becomes more difficult, no one takes care of her needs as a woman.

It is our wish that people be conscientised that they take care of the disabled, they are part of us.  Again, these disabled girl children are abused by some men and they are intimidated so that they do not tell the truth about themselves.  Some fathers take chances to abuse children because most of the time when we have a disabled child, they sit on wheelchairs and are unable to stand up and walk.  So, even relatives tend to abuse them and tell them not to reveal anything that might have happened to them because they will be arrested. So, it is very embarrassing for an old man impregnating a 16-year old child.  So, such children should be taught so that they know that people who abuse them should be arrested because there are a lot of children born by disabled parents but will never get to know their parents yet they will be alive.

I would like to thank the Government because of late, the disabled were not employed in Government.  However, these days, they are employed.  I would like to say, where I come from, there is a blind headmaster, the Government employed a deputy headmaster to help.  At a hospital, there is someone also who leads rehabilitation and someone employed to assist them.  In the Ministry of Education, disabled people are employed and I would like to applaud the Government for that because it realised that disabled people are looked down upon and rarely employed. Sometimes if they go to look for employment, they will be turned away because it is believed they should not be employed.  However, these days, they look for employment and they get it.  We also need to teach them that these days there are employment opportunities for them and they should also get an education.  As the Senate, we should advocate that many schools cater for the education of the disabled persons so that they get an education in polytechnic colleges and vocational colleges so that they are trained on the education that can be helpful to them in future.

The other thing is, schools are very expensive these days and the Government should assist them so that when they go to school, they are able to learn and get the necessary assistance.  They should also be taken care of so that their school fees is paid for first and they should be given food as a matter of priority because they are very important people.

When I consider this issue carefully, these are very important people to God because they rarely commit sin as they spend most of their time on wheelchairs; hence, they are free from any sins.  So, we should respect these people and when we look at them, we should consider that they were created in the image of God.

We should also consider the fact that there are a lot of disabled people who may be unknown because some of them are hidden by their parents and guardians and not revealed.  At one point, I saw a television clip from Mashonaland, where four children were actually crawling and the mother even looked disabled.  Imagine such children being kept hidden and not revealed to the world because according to our culture, when a disabled child is born, there is a belief that it is because of witchcraft or a bad omen.  So, children tend to be hidden indoors.  So, it is important that we have a campaign that even disabled children are equally important; they are a gift from God.  Such children should be taken to school and people should be told that all children should learn including those who are able to talk.  Children who are not disabled should be taught to accept fellow disabled children.

We are all disabled but we tend to differ on where and how.  So, the Creator knows the difference so that it does not look like the same pattern but in essence we are all disabled in one way or another.  It is therefore important that, as this Hon. House, we should encourage them to get an education so that they get employment. I have heard some people say, this is a disabled person who is not even educated, how can they get employment?  They can get employment if they go to school and train so that they are able to do work that can help them in future.

That can make the whole nation be respectful as a God-fearing country.

I would also want to request that there should be a ministry that concentrates only on disabled people’s affairs and not a mixed ministry because sometimes it is difficult for a non-disabled person to know or image all the needs of a disabled person.  A disabled person will be able to understand and know what exactly they come across, including all the embarrassment that they encounter.  So, a disabled person is in a better position to understand the needs of a fellow disabled person as well as what and how they need to be handled.  There is need to know how many these people are including all those who are being hidden in houses.  I know that there are some disabled children who are hidden in houses.  Sometimes you hear that a child was born but was never seen outside simply because the child is disabled.  So, it is important for the whole area to know and understand that a disabled child was born.  I wish we all move forward and progress and accept since the Committee led by Hon. Sen. Ncube travelled around to appreciate the needs of disabled persons.  So, such people should be treated as a matter of priority, especially in terms of employment opportunities.  It is also important especially for females because everyone wishes to have a family and to take care of their family.  Sometimes it is easier for the fathers or the men. When they are disabled, they can easily get married because the wife can take care of them but it is difficult when it is the other way round. When it is the woman who is disabled, it is very difficult for such people to understand.

I would like to thank the Hon. Member who raised such attention that a disabled Hon. Member from the upper House is taken care of by her husband.  However, we should lead by example as Hon. Senators to respect and salute that man and I wish that all men should do such things.

In life, unfortunate events do happen, someone was able bodied before independence but soon after independence they became blind.  This means that all of us here maybe able bodied today but tomorrow we might become disabled.  It is not by choice but such unfortunate events do happen and sometimes it is because of God’s desire.

I would like to thank this Committee for going around the country and I wish they should go around and see all the other things that are hidden so that they get to appreciate and understand all the sufferings that women and girls go through.  I do not mean that men may are not be disabled but the girls and women are the ones mostly affected by the disability that maybe in a household.

I heard an Hon. Senator saying that her husband is disabled and they are still staying together as husband and wife, therefore, we should also applaud her because that is a very good thing.  It is a sign of humanity and as Zimbabweans, we must have that humility and love at heart because that is what gives us strength to take care of our beloved disabled relatives.

I would also like to thank the Hon. President for giving me this opportunity because this is a very important thing to talk about regardless of where we come from because even the churches have disabled people.  As Zimbabweans, we must unite and chart the way forward with regards to the welfare of the disabled.  I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 19th February, 2020

MOTION

REMOVAL OF ILLEGAL SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON ZIMBABWE

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the unconditional and immediate removal of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND

CENTRAL (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 19th February, 2020.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the

Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND

CENTRAL (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 19th February, 2020.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR

MASHONALAND CENTRAL (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA), the

Senate adjourned at Eighteen Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.

 

 

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