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SENATE HANSARD 18 NOVEMBER 2020 VOL 30 NO 06
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 18th November, 2020
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ZIMBABWE NATIONAL HUMAN SETTLEMENTS POLICY
THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL
AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Thank you Madam President. I stand before you this afternoon to present a Ministerial Statement on to the Upper House on the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy (ZNHSP).
I would like to announce to this august House that the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy, a policy that will guide human settlements development in the country going forward, is now approved by Government as of Tuesday, 3rd instant.
The NHSP is a culmination of wide consultations with stakeholders across the country’s ten (10) provinces which began in May, 2018. The consultations were conducted with a view to address the shortfalls inherent in the National Housing Policy of 2012.
A national validation process was conducted after production of a zero draft with participants who attended the initial consultations being part of the engagement feedback nexus to same. This policy is therefore a result of the synthesised inputs as agreed by all stakeholders at the national validation fora. The policy had to undergo thorough internal validation processes before subjecting it to the Cabinet examination and subsequent approval.
The Policy Highlights
Let me hasten to highlight to the House salient issues contained in the policy. The ZNHSP’s vision speaks to “well-planned and governed Zimbabwe settlements”. Senate is therefore being informed that besides the huge housing and social amenities backlog, the human settlements sector is laden with a plethora of other challenges that include, but are not limited to obsolete and inadequate off-site and on-site services, informal settlements, widening disparities between rural and urban areas, and high cost of building materials and housing finance.
The policy highlights are as follows:
LAND ACCESS AND TENURE – Under the policy, all state land earmarked for human settlements development shall be managed through the Ministry responsible for human settlements development and the respective local authorities, for ease of co-ordination and accountability. Clear and defensible tenure rights will be defined for all land categories nationally, and mechanisms for guaranteeing security of tenure shall be set-up. The Ministries of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Local Government and Public Works and National Housing and Social Amenities ought to collaborate on management and disposal and allocation of State land.
Madam President, we are all aware of the existence of informal settlements that have almost encircled all urban areas throughout the country. They are now even in the rural areas and Mutoko is a case in point. I know Madam President you come from there and you are aware of what I am talking about.
SPATIAL PLANNING – With regard to spatial planning or physical planning, all settlements shall be planned by registered planners and mining companies shall be expected to submit Settlement Plans and Development Concepts to the local authority. There will be no allocation of un-serviced and unplanned land to housing co-operatives or individuals.
Madam President, we are all aware of what exists in the mining areas. Before this policy, any miner or any investor in the mining industry would come to the country, get to the site, start mining, build whatever they build and when the economic life of that mine is no longer there, they pack their bags and go, leaving people with nothing. There will be unplanned settlement and there is no economic activity and people will become destitute on the instant. We are now saying every mining company that is coming into Zimbabwe must conform to the Human Settlement Policy guidelines. When they plan, they must plan together with the local authority of the area where they are mining. A case in point is what is happening with ZIMPLATS, they are planning that mining activity together with the Rural District Council in that community.
ON-SITE AND OFF-SITE INFRASTRUCTURE – The provision of bulk services ought to be the responsibility of both the Central Government and local authorities in both the rural and urban areas. Even if there is on-site and off-site infrastructure, there is no bulk services infrastructure to service the new settlement and we are saying that responsibility must never be delegated to anyone else. It must be the responsibility of Central Government and the respective local authorities.
DENSIFICATION – Since land is a finite resource, all productive agricultural land will be preserved as such. Change of use will only be permitted on designated land while safeguarding all prime agricultural land. In order to curb settlement sprawl induced by the desire for personal ownership, it will be instructive that at least 40% of the land for human settlements development must be reserved for developments such as high-rise buildings and flats. Mixed use vertical space utilisation will be promoted.
Madam President, Zimbabwe has got adequate land for agriculture as we speak right now but if we continue to take agricultural land and give it to developers for housing, we are going to have a situation where we have got all the housing that we require but without food because we would have taken agricultural land and given it to developers for housing development. We are therefore saying that we must utilise our vertical spaces. Instead of building a lot of single storey houses, let us focus on building vertically. Let us focus on using our vertical spaces. They are so empty and are not interrupted by anything. What is only of concern is sometimes shortage of electricity.
As we plan to grow towards Vision 2030, we are saying before end of 2025, Zimbabwe will be in a position to export electricity. With that development, we are now saying in the Town and Country Planning Act, which says 10% of land should be set aside for vertical construction, we are revising that policy to move to 40%. Any development that is going to take place from now going forward must allow for a 40% inclusion of flats and high rise buildings.
Subdivision of low density stands will be permissible and encouraged where there is a possibility to reticulate sewer. The notion of densification in the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act (RTCPA) must be amended to suit the above- mentioned threshold from 10% to 40 %. Densification will also be expanded to include workspaces for micro and small to medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Seventy five to eighty percent of our economy is in the hands of our SMEs. Their work spaces must be given attention. This is what we are talking about in this new policy, that Government must make it a policy that we provide settlement as work spaces for all SMEs. It does not manner whether they are in the urban areas or in the RDCs. It is a policy thrust that we working with.
The policy institutes measures to resuscitate and prioritise rental housing market. The private sector is encouraged to venture into rental housing markets.
Those that are of my generation are aware that when you came from colleges and universities, you would get into rent accommodation be it a one, two or three bed roomed flat. You then graduate as you prepare to marry to a much bigger space but still rental accommodation until economic activities around your life or well being allow you to raise money to get a mortgage to buy a house. The tragedy or blessing that we have in Zimbabwe is that we are all affected with the spirit of ownership. We want to own. This is the reason why we now have a huge backlog of housing because everybody wants to own a house. Even a child that has left high school wants to own a house tomorrow. We are saying that model is not sustainable. We must re-introduce rental housing. We are speaking to pension funds, insurance companies and building societies to come back and invest in housing.
In terms of their Constitution, they must provide at least 20% of their proceeds to housing. Pension Funds and Insurance companies are funds that are not owned by the owner of the pension funds but they are funds that are owned by pensioners. The majority of pensioners given our circumstances have either passed on or their money was chewed by inflation. There is nothing that they are getting in terms of direct benefits but we are saying their benefits must be enjoyed by future generations through buildings or flats that are funded by the pension funds and the insurance companies. It is enshrined in the Constitution and the pension funds must be motivated to come to the housing sector to provide housing for school, college and university leavers.
All informal settlements will be regularized and sanitised through the use of a standardised protocol and development of a compensation and relocation framework where alternative land use warranting displacement is contemplated.
This is an issue Madam President. Zimbabwe is now seized with a major health disaster borne out of the existence of informal settlement or irregular settlements that are around every city and town and even in the rural areas. We cannot allow that to continue if we are to achieve the dictates of Vision 2030. Caledonia is a critical example of what I am talking about. If you live in Caledonia and you want to invite anyone to come to your house, you cannot give that person an address because there is none. You have to meet that person at a specific point where you then navigate following each other to your house. Every house for example where I am standing here, on my right is my ablution facility. To be more clear, a pit latrine and on the left there is a well. My neighbour has got his pit latrine here and on the other side a well. The chemistry of water underground is so devastating. It is affecting not only people that are living in Caledonia, Solomio or Harare South. For Caledonia, it is affecting people that are living in Greendale, Chisipite and Borrowdale Brooke because they are drilling boreholes and the streams that are bringing water to Borrowdale are coming upstream from Caledonia.
As we shine and say I have a borehole at home, we are drinking fecal water or we are drinking water with human feaces, a case that might not affect our health right now but will have a huge impact on the generations to come. We might not be able to contain cholera, dysentery and other diseases – Hon. Sen. Parirenyatwa is a doctor and he is on record in Mashonaland East talking about these diseases. One of the ways we can deal with this is for the regularisation programme supported by everybody; we put a stop to the use of pit latrines and open wells in urban areas and come up with programmed development agendas; invite investors, banks and building societies and present a business case in these areas to them.
What is happening right now is a situation where there is a land baron or a trust of land barons maybe up to 10; the 60 000 plus residents in Caledonia are paying to ten people who are operating like a local authority – ndivo vave vana katsekera vacho. Saka vanhu 60 000 vari kubhadhara kwavari. The land baron got land from the Government free of charge. He or she did not pay a cent towards that land but they are collecting money in US$, an average of about US$50 per household per month. This is the money that they are collecting and it is true.
Government had a beautiful programme in 2004. Government wanted to provide accommodation for everybody. There was a conscious decision to invite private developers and cooperatives to join Government in the development agenda. Government said we do not have the financial resources but we have got the land. We will sell the land to you at an intrinsic value, go and provide water, sewer and roads and develop stands on a planned settlement arrangement; sell that developed stand to home seekers and then they will then build their housing. That is what is in the development permit which people were given but as people we want to pursue that which is illegal. People started selling land which is not developed to desperate home seekers.
As the tragedy on that sale arrangement is, one stand is sold to three or more people. Unfortunately also in the development permit, the paper trail relationship is between the Department of State Land in Government and the individual or the cooperative. The trail of people behind the land baron has no relationship with the paper trail. If the person who is in the arrangement is the parent and passes on, the family that is left is at the exposure of the land baron who will invariably come back and say your parent did not pay for this stand. You were living there at my pleasure, I now need my land back – either you pay or you move out. This is the tragedy that is there and this is what this policy wants to address.
When you hear us talking about regularisation, these are the issues that we are looking at. These are the issues which His Excellency said within this dispensation; by the year 2030, we must have dealt with these issues. They cannot be dealt with within a year or five years but have to be spread over a period of time. Ten years is the first period that we are looking at.
We have other settlements that need sanitisation. Sanitisation refers to areas where cooperatives or developers had done the necessary - producing the physical planning layout plans, the local layout plans but then sold the land to desperate home seekers and advised them where the road, sewer and water would be and implored them not to build on those areas. In such instances it is much easier because it is just a question of identifying some contractors who will come and provide water, sewer and roads. The set up is different from what we are experiencing in Gimboki in Mutare or in Caledonia. So there is sanitisation on one hand and regularisation on the other, but they are both ills - nothing is better and we need to deal with them Madam President.
Rural settlements – we are developing model homesteads that will be accessed by citizens and planned. Rural settlements will be piloted in settlement areas while the gap between social amenities in both the rural and urban areas will be bridged. We want to take advantage of the Pfumvudza programme and ride under the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture where there is a Pfumvudza farmer who must be given at least an opportunity to build a modern house with running water, sewer and road. We are now working with the Ministry of Lands to ensure that the programme is effective starting next year.
We also have at least 18 000 A2 farmers and about 23 000 A1 farmers. This is the time to move in now and provide them with proper laid out plans where we have an area for human settlements or houses, an area for cropping and grazing respectively. What it is right now for lack of a better word is mumbo jumbo. You see Garwe building a house right in the middle of a field and his neighbour does the same. It kills the whole thinking behind A1 and A2 farmers. Those are some of the programmes that we are working on. Those of my age and beyond, in 1980 when we attained independence, all roads led to urban areas because we had that colonial thinking that if you go and live in urban areas you will bath with soda water and you will become light in complexion. So we all followed that mindset and as we were doing that we were leaving huge gaps in the rural areas but we were unknowingly congesting the urban areas, congestion in terms of the services, water, sewer and roads. Now we are seized with numerous pipe bursts for both water and sewer and there are a lot of potholes on our roads. The reason we have got pipe bursts mostly is because the designs were there for at most two million people for Harare but right now Harare has got more than five million people still being serviced by that infrastructure that was designed for two million people.
We are now saying we cannot think of building a new Harare. Yes, we have the new Parliament building where we will build a city but it cannot accommodate the whole of Harare. So, we are saying let us have a conscious policy that influences migration of people from urban to rural areas. How do we do that? Provide the same services or the same enablers that are being enjoyed in urban areas in the rural areas. If you have got running water through boreholes, if you have got sewer through septic tanks and soccer ways, land is in abundance in the rural areas so there is no fear of what we fear from Caledonia. If we provide serviced roads that will service our farmers in the rural areas and in the farming areas to markets there will be no need for people to want to continue to come to Harare where the air is polluted, the water is polluted and everything is polluted. We want to have an influence of urban to rural migration by providing the same services that are being enjoyed in urban areas in the rural areas, as well as by inviting investors to invest in the economies of the small areas out there.
I will talk about Melfort and Figtree. Melfort is 40km from Harare and 34km from Marondera. It is a suitable dormitory city in terms of providing labour for the two cities I have mentioned. It can create its own economy given that it is around an agricultural zone. What are the industries that we can promote or invest on in those areas. It is ICT, software and agro processing plants. We will then develop that area along that. You pick another point and go to Mudzi – what is it that drives the economy of Mudzi? It is gold and instead of having makorokoza from all over the country going to bhemba people in Mudzi, let us develop the processing of gold in Mudzi. This was mentioned last Saturday in Mashonaland East to those who come from there. We develop Mudzi accordingly then the economy of Mudzi will start to grow. There will then be no need for people to want to drive from Mudzi to come to Harare for work. They will be employed there. We will invite big retailers to those areas like right now if you travel to Murehwa or Mutoko all you need to do is to put Pick & Pay in Mutoko and nobody will want to come to Harare for groceries. They will buy in Mutoko and Murehwa. These are some of the strategies that we have under the rural settlement programme Madam President.
So, for this to be effective we need to come up with the necessary legal and regulatory framework. We need the statutory instruments that ensure that whoever builds a house on a wetland must face the full wrath of the law. We must have an instrument that can allow us to call back the development permits given to an individual or land baron because we are seized with a situation where without mentioning names, we have individuals that have more land than the government itself in urban areas and they did not pay a single cent for that land. It is not acceptable and this policy is meant to correct those wrongs.
Urban regeneration and urban renewal – Government in conjuction with local authorities will resuscitate the urban regeneration programme and we are basically looking at Mbare, Mufakose, Sakubva in Mutare and Matapi in Mbare. Those are very old suburbs that need urban regeneration. We must as a matter of policy provide alternative accommodation for anyone who is going to be removed from houses that are irregularly constructed. However, we have got a tragedy that is created by some of our councillors in Harare who because we had announced the regularisation process and said we were not going to demolish the houses, they sold the land for their own benefit to desperate home seekers and said build houses as quickly as you can because government is not going to come and demolish those houses. There was a cut off date for that and this answers why we are seeing some demolitions taking place now. These are houses that were quickly built irregularly to try and fit into the programme where houses would not be demolished so let us build and wait. We cannot do that otherwise we will be going nowhere, we will be orbiting at the same space.
On institutional framework, Government will also establish a statutory board agency that will undertake all works with domain of human settlement. We have the urban development corporation which primarily focuses on the provision of off-site and onsite infrastructure. We are saying we now need another board parallel to Urban Development Corporation that deals with the super structure that monitors the quality and standards that are being built because in terms of the functions and mandate we have, we are supposed to promote and facilitate the provision of human settlements that are sustainable, affordable and that are of quality, that speak to Vision 2030. So we need a whole agency to be dealing with that given the number of irregular and informal settlements that we have in the country.
On environment, climate change and new building technology; the policy ensures that the planning, development and management of settlement will be consistent with national and international disaster risk frameworks and with environment and climate change policies, laws and standards. Thus construction of housing and social amenities on wetlands will be prohibited and where possible, reclamation of the same will be instituted, this is now work in progress. It is instructive to note that the policy is banning the sale of Government pool properties and other institutional houses.
Let me elaborate Madam President on this. In 1985, in a way to capacitate civil servants, Government came up with a policy to sell houses to sitting tenants. What happened was 75% of Government houses were sold to sitting tenants. Government was left with 25%. Those sitting tenants either retired or were deceased. Now Government is seized with a backlog of at least 1.5 million people on the waiting list. The majority of the 1.5 million people are civil servants. The 25% housing that is there is not adequate to cover the civil servants and the Senators that are in here. So, the policy is now saying Government must put a lead to selling Government houses. If somebody is appointed to be a Senate President, Government must provide accommodation for the Senate President. Government must provide accommodation to Senators, Government must provide accommodation to civil servants but not for free at least for a fee.
Right now those are not there because Government had sold 75%. So the new policy now is saying we are no longer selling Government properties. I am raising this so that I am not inundated from now going forward with the request to buy Government houses because there is a huge demand for that for Members of Parliament who want to buy Government houses particularly those that are sitting tenants. Obviously there is need for us to talk about funding; where are we going to be getting funds to construct all this, it is a huge responsibility.
Social houses for civil servants will be funded through Treasury and other instruments that are Government related. Financial institutions and private sector players, pension funds and provident funds, insurance companies, regional and international investors shall be invited to participate on public private partnerships on the building of houses and social amenities throughout the country. Any other appropriate human settlement delivery models will be welcome. If there is anybody who has got a model whom he or she thinks it can be of use to the housing delivery initiative, you are welcome and the doors of the Ministry are open to suggestions, new ideas and innovations, please bring them forward.
Madam President, we have already spoken to the financial institutions. We have spoken to all members of the banking community, those that are members of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, we have spoken to building societies, we have spoken to the pension funds insurance companies, and they are on board. There is a lot of goodwill that we are riding on; the goodwill from His Excellency, the goodwill that we have generated as a new Ministry. So we are riding on that goodwill. We have international and regional organisations that have also come on board. What we are not doing is to sit down and discuss with ZIDA to come up with proper PPPs to ensure that the whole programme comes to fruition; we are looking at the year 2021 as the year of building. You will be seeing buildings in Mudzi, Binga, Chimanini, Chiredzi et cetera anywhere in the country. This is your policy Madam President, I thank you.
THE HON PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Minister I know there may be other members who need some clarification after this ministerial statement.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Madam President. The Minister has come up with a very important policy. The Minister must have a plan to solve these things before he comes to this august Senate because the laws are already there. If people build on illegal land, you have the power to stop them from doing that. I went to Domboshava, I saw unbelievable things happening. People in the rural areas sell land to each other and they build very beautiful houses but there are no proper roads. You are the Ministers who are supposed to solve all this. Any Minister who is found guilty of corruption during his term of office, his assets must be confiscated and be used to pay for what happened during his term of office?
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Senator. I think this is what the Minister said he is doing unless if you just want to comment. If you were listening properly, that is what he was saying.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam President. Allow me to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing to this august Senate such a comprehensive and progressive policy. My prayer is I wish if we could have started yesterday not today. My question or areas of clarification Madam President, first of all from the Minister, I think the issue of uncoordinated development is all over the country like what the Minister has alluded to. What are the current solutions to those land barons who still control the land around any urban area? We assume that there is some form of permit which they were given and one of it is to make sure that the roads are serviced, there is sewer and water. Is there a programme where the Ministry or Government will make sure that those land barons who still exist are given a time line to make sure that those developments are there? That will actually show us that we are even also very serious and we cannot allow, as a Government, these people to continue to benefit and we regularise and they are left as they are. We need to make them pay penalties.
Also the issue on going up rather than horizontally; do we have a policy or are you considering a policy where you would give the minimum amount of story buildings because if they are two, you will still continue to do that so that we get serious investors who will come in, not every Tom and Dick. I think it is important that we actually say five storeys for our residential will be the minimum that we encourage and attract the real people who should actually be offering this service.
The other issue is the legal framework. I think we have got a lot of legal instruments in Zimbabwe. I think we are not short of that but the issue is implementation. Unfortunately, we are almost encroaching to 2023 where people will want votes. I just pray that this progressive policy is not going to be influenced by that because we have actually seen it, it is not new. We have seen houses being demolished but when we go to elections, we do not know where these land barons come from, they start again rebuilding. It is actually abuse of the citizenry and I just hope the Minister will stand his ground because it is not going to be easy. He is going to face human rights people trying to attack such a progressive policy. I hope we will be able to withstand that pressure and make sure that by 2030 our vision as a nation will be realised.
On disposal of Government property, I think it was a policy which was done wrongly. That is why I am happy the Minister is saying we need not dispose Government properties. If anyone, they should develop new and not dispose what we already have. I think he touched on resettlements around mining areas. What is the Government policy on current mining companies who are still extracting our minerals but there is no definable resettlement. The most painful Madam President is the Chiadzwa. We could have developed a modern city if we had actually implemented but there are not even dust roads and you cannot even access.
I would propose if it is not there within the policy for Government to make it that all mining companies, serious investors regularise and make sure that they put notable and regulated settlements around their mines. If they are going to be given concessions, that is okay because the cost of all this haphazard resettlement, I do not want to touch on it because the Minister has over-emphasized it. The health implications and right now we are actually having a crisis in health which we think is not due to water but is a result of these haphazard resettlement programmes.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Members, I am appealing to you that there should be no debate or comments because we just need to seek clarification on a point you could not understand during the Minister’s presentation of his statement so we can give others a chance and go into other business.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Madam for affording me this opportunity to seek clarity. I am aware you do not require comments but once one has taken the floor, one tends to speak. I would want to thank the Hon. Minister for saying the future looks bright because the Government and local authorities seem to be working hand-in-glove. It seems to be where our challenge was because the local authorities appeared to be doing as they pleased. In 1980, when one acquired a stand to build a house, building inspectors would come and inspect all the necessary stages during the construction of the house so that we have well built houses that do not collapse.
Maybe these are the comments that you do not require but I am prudent that as I had indicated that I wanted to contribute, I would then have to speak. Be that as it may, high-rise buildings are a good innovation because our land is infinite, by so doing, everyone will have a chance to have accommodation.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: I want to thank the Minister for his genius report or policy statement. However, I want clarification around where you say water within the northern suburbs is likely to have been infected by water coming from the high density areas when in actual fact the science there is that all those houses have got septic tanks. So they use septic tanks, not the normal sewer. My suggestion to add on what you have said is that all high density areas must have proper reticulation as per world health standards.
The second point we have to clarify is around your high-rise. We have a terrible situation in Harare for instance, there is no water. How does water go up? First we need to address the situation of water. If we do not have water in any city, there is no way we can have a high-rise building. People will be carrying buckets up and down. Let us address that and then the programme on high-rise will work and also there is a limit to what you can take because you need the height. If you are using borehole water, you still need the height to be able to feed the water into the house.
Thirdly, how are you going to overcome transactional politics because transactional politics has dominated this country to the extent that politicians survive on transactions? Why are these barons not being arrested? We have talked of barons for many years and we are still talking about them. Actually you said they did not even buy a piece of land and nothing is happening. Are we going to wait for another ten years to plan that land barons will be able to pay for that land? I am saying when the election comes as my colleague has said, people want to transact and make sure they win and then we will end up having people being given pieces of land. People must be taken to account. This is why we are where we are because we are not asking our institutions to work.
Fourthly, I am looking at your brilliant idea on housing. What is your policy on doctors, nurses and magistrates? These people honestly are civil servants earning almost a pittance. They must have certain allocations where they can live so that they are not going to be corrupt. Can you add in your plan or you can tell us what your plans are on civil servants especially those coming from college as you said they could get into a flat but right now, all Government flats which were used by doctors or nurses are no longer there. Can we brilliantly, as you said, have something for the graduating civil servants?
Finally, I want to say your policy towards anti-corruption must be much harder than what it is. Without dealing with corruption, we are not going anywhere in terms of your policy which is brilliant. We want to encourage that it be done away with yesterday but we need to make sure that our institutions are not corrupt coming from the council officials to the ministry that gives land.
*HON. CHIEF. NTABENI: Madam President, the Minister spoke well but I do not know how he is going to implement this because people are staying in wetlands and waterways and it is confusing. We are in the new dispensation. In the old dispensation, we spoke about it and nothing happened. I do not know what the Minister is doing because people have settled randomly without order. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: Thank you Madam President. I do not know whether I should ask it as a question. I heard you saying we should ask for clarifications only. Minister, we know there are land barons but I know the Ministry of Housing was under the Ministry of Local Government. The Ministry went around constructing houses and I would like to give you an example; in Dzivarasekwa they constructed Phase 1 and Phase 2. There are challenges in the Ministry whereby workers made double allocations of the houses and now people are fighting and sending each other to court, especially towards the festive season. How is the Minister going to handle this issue because the allocations were not made by the land barons but by the Ministry of Local Government which is the Ministry that is responsible for housing? Is the Minister aware that there are double allocation fights among the people caused by the Government? That is what I want to understand. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity. I rise to thank the Minister who said they are going to construct houses for Senators because after five years we will end up being street kids when the term of Parliament expires. Secondly, when you begin your programme of constructing houses you must set aside land for teachers and police officers so that the Government employees are able to discharge their duties. There are police details that stay in the communities that are failing to conduct their duties well because they are afraid to arrest the perpetrators of crime since they are their landlords’ children. That is a very good programme Hon. Minister. Some of the Government employees like teachers do not have accommodation. I thank you.
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you. I hope the Minister understands that when he presented the Ministerial Statement, there is something that we did not understand well.
*HON. SEN. FEMAI: Thank you Madam President. It is unfortunate that I am only required to seek clarification only but I just wanted to thank the Hon. Minister for coming up with such a programme. I cannot just thank him alone but also the New Dispensation. In the past, a single stand would be sold to three different people by the same Ministry. When you go to court you would find a different person with dark glasses and with a pistol telling you to withdraw the case. I have a child who bought a stand in Solomio. He was threatened with pistol to withdraw the case.
*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Inenge iri payi Honourable?
*HON. SEN. FEMAI: It is a firearm that will be brandished on the waist. They will show it to you to instil fear. The following morning, I advised my child to go to our lawyer and he said it is better to look for another stand instead of the threats. These were the problems we were facing then. You need to be committed. Once you start this you should know that you have taken the bull by its horns. I thank the new dispensation for providing us with you and other energetic ministers. You will see that we now have the Pfumvudza Programme that is being conducted countrywide. Be stead fast, do not fear anyone and do not look at anyone’s face or their political affiliation because these barons are political animals.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Madam President. That was a good statement by the Minister. People in Manicaland lost their lives because they are living in areas not suitable for human settlements. This new policy encourages the settling of people in areas that are accessible. I know that it takes two to tango when land is being sold. The land barons are stealing from the people by selling land that does not belong to them. What does the law intend to do about that? That is fraud and we want it clearly stated out, what measures are going to be taken against land barons. If they sell land illegally, what documents should land barons have because we represent people in the communal lands and we should be able to advise them that they need to have certain documents when they buy land so that people are knowledgeable. In the communal land where they intend to construct houses, it will be better for us to have model houses because that is where the majority of the people are residing. Are we going to be given materials in terms of the proposed model houses?
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators, please put your cellophanes on silent or just switch off. I thought this subject is touching every Senator but I can see others on their phones. Let us respect this House and let us be serious.
*HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Ministerial Statement. The issue of housing, land barons and illegal construction has become a problem. I am happy that you are trying to restore sanity in that sector. I just want to comment that as these issues are being resolved, I have observed that in some areas, recreational areas have now been taken, houses have been built which belong to a company that was given a piece of land.
In Harare, the City of Harare will ask if people are agreeable with the change of use and all the people will oppose that. We have children and workers but we see houses being built in recreational areas. We are aware that there is a problem with access to water in certain areas and the Environmental Management Agency will not have permitted the construction of such houses. Madam President, overnight several houses will be constructed. There are areas that you are even aware of where construction is taking place in wetlands. It is my appeal to the Hon. Minister that the law should not be selective by demolishing houses in high density suburbs yet low density houses are not demolished. You should not just target the poor and the vulnerable ones. I thank you.
*HON. SEN CHIEF NGEZI: Thank you Madam President for allowing me this opportunity to seek clarity. I heard the Minister talking about the good things as regards to people that are building in areas that are arable. That one is a problem. There is the issue of a mine which has about 50 000 hectares of land that is meant for farming. Are there no ways that can be used so that the miners can extract their minerals and then the farming community can continue farming on the surface so that they are not relocated? I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF NEMBIRE: I want to seek clarification from the Minister on the issue of natural disasters. We want to know what has been done, for instance for Chimanimani and other areas where houses were destroyed. How does the Minister intend to deal with that issue? Is the Ministry going to construct houses for these people?
*THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Let me start by responding to the first question from Hon. Sen. Chirongoma. Madam President, I believe you have adequately answered him and I am not making any additions.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You can answer him.
*HON. GARWE: On the issue of regularisation, we are saying, what went wrong in the past is wrong but we cannot dwell in the past forever. We must now come up with measures to correct the imbalances that occurred in the past. As Government, we are saying everyone should be settled in an area where there is sanitation, water reticulation and roads. In the past when letters were still to be written, a letter would reach your home not that we could have a situation where if I visit you, we would meet at a shopping centre and then go together to your house because there are no house numbers. I am talking about what is occurring in the communal lands.
I am happy this is coming from you as the leadership. When you go back to the communal lands, tell your communities especially the village heads because they are the ones that are parceling out land illegally. Tell them that Government is saying that what they are doing, for example in Domboshava is illegal. Last week I was with Chief Chikwaka, I wanted to meet with Chief Chinamhora and Chief Rusike as well and tell them to call all their village heads so that no one would point a figure to anyone. I wanted them to understand that if you construct a house illegally, it does not mean that your house is now legal. What you have done is illegal, you need to appreciate that there is a law and your house has to be demolished.
Hon. Mavetera supported what we talked about that policy stops uncoordinated development. A land baron called Chimuti is on an island and there is a council next to him doing as he pleases and the three are disjointed. There should be a master plan to the development that is going to take place as regards the three settlements even in terms of the sewer and road networks, sewer and water reticulation. This is what we are correcting.
Development permits were given by the Government. It is only the Government that can revoke these development permits. It is just as good as a contract. If one does not meet their end of the bargain in terms of the contract, the aggrieved party can cancel the contracts because it is contrary to what the parties agreed to. That is what we are going to do and this is what policy says. We are going to remove that which we no longer want.
I can confidently say that we had a meeting with a development company called Destiny of Africa in Chinhoyi. We sat down with them and said we were not going to wield the axe but we would simply tell them the terms or conditions with regards their contract. We gave them three months period in which they would carry out their end of the bargain and that failure to do so in three months time, we would repossess the land. We are not just meting out punishments or chasing away land barons. We engage them and after meeting with the Provincial Ministers and say if it is Mashonaland West – we talk to Hon. Mary Mliswa and tell her that we have land barons in your area and we want the local leaders to meet so that we can explain to the people the ills that are associated with current settlement and its ills and tell them what we want to do. Most of the people were given permits in 2004 and were unable to do that in three months so Government is repossessing those pieces of land.
I have already answered those that said there were people that were given land but nothing has been said about it. The truth shall set you free. In our culture we say that it might take a while because an egg does not become a chicken overnight. We are going to sit down and ensure that we remove all the obstacles as we go. What is most important is to state that we work with Provincial Ministers. They are the custodians of the land barons. They stay in the same areas with land barons and they assist us to ensure that we carry out a clean-up exercise.
If you have constructed a two storey building, you have done vertical construction. We are looking at a flat with a minimum of five storeys.
The legal framework is that we work with other Government agents. We do not operate independently. We work with other line ministries such as the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Environment and even ZACC. ZACC is the one that go on the ground where we are unable to go. It is an inter agency approach and not a single Ministry approach.
About mining companies, as we speak, we now have an applicable because it was adopted by Government. We came here to just give a statement because this is already operational as Government policy. I was speaking to the Minister of Mines and his officials highlighting that all miners should be sensitised that as the mines develop, they should develop together with the local community and the local authority so that after the end of the mining life cycle, other activities then become self sustaining to the local people in that environment. We do not want a repeat of the Kamativi Mhangura scenario where the miners left people where abandoned. Government now has a problem dealing with these towns so that they become proper human settlements.
Hon. Tongogara spoke very well about the standards. We have Acts that we administer which talk of standards. We have been giving councillors money so that they would come and approve. All of us here including me are guilty of this. We are the law makers. We should ensure that the laws that we enact are being implemented and protected than us being the first offenders.
Hon. Mudzuri is gone. He talked about contaminated underground water situation. I did not appreciate what he said since he is an engineer. In the low density or northern suburbs, there are no sewer lines. It was designed in a way that they would have septic tanks. The stands are 2000 sq metres and above. The water has streams that bring water and that water emanates from Caledonia where water is contaminated. This is what I was making reference to.
I did not understand when he said transactional policy. As Ministers, we do not look at anyone’s political affiliation. I would want him to enlighten me on what this is. Be that as it may that land barons are not going to be arrested because we are going to be having an election; from the Mayor to the Councillor, they are all on bail. The Council now needs to be run by a Commission. When we arrest them, should we then parade them after arresting them so that you appreciate the work that we are doing? They are being arrested.
Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe, in the communal lands, we have developmental programmes and we want them to be developed as the urban centres. We come to you as Chiefs with modern houses to encourage people to construct such houses. We are not saying the Government is going to construct houses for people for free. Government does not have such resources. I did not say that Government is going to construct houses for free for Senators or civil servants. Government is going to bring in investors such as banks, investors and other such companies. Priority will be given to civil servants – teachers, doctors and nurses are part of the civil service. We also have a programme specifically for teachers, nurses and doctors. For doctors and nurses for example for Parirenyatwa Hospital, we can build flats starting next year that would be used to accommodate doctors and nurses. We would have eliminated transport problems but they will pay rents so that we can be able to do that programme from provincial level to district level so that when resident ministers do their programmes they have money to do programmes for their nurses and doctors. The programme for communal teachers should be high rise buildings for their accommodation. They should have running water, septic tanks and talk about water being able to go up a high rise building. As an engineer, I was expecting him to give a different perspective. If three boreholes and three mega tanks of water can be pumped from the tanks to the high rise. I was a contractor and if you go to Shawasha Hills, I built those tanks in Shawasha. The water comes from the boreholes and it goes to these tanks and then it is distributed to the houses. It is possible.
Hon. Sen. Mupfumira – it is true that there is disorder through the issues that if the programme has been put in place it will start - maybe in the high density suburbs. Wetlands are in high density and low density suburbs and there is disorder in both suburbs. We are going to look into a cleaning up exercise of both housing areas. Hon. Sen. Chief Ngezi you spoke about agriculture but I have no response and I will defer to the Ministers of Lands and Mines so that they can put their heads together and they will incorporate Ministry of Housing to come up with solutions, but that is not my area of competence. Be that as it may, I will send word to the two Ministers.
Hon. Sen. Chief Nembire talked about disasters in Chimanimani. Government has already started building houses for those that were displaced by cyclone Idai in Chimanimani. The houses were being constructed under Local Government but when my Ministry was created, the project is now under my Ministry. We will continue with the construction and ensure that these people are allocated houses. It is not only Chimanimani - in Binga about 40 families were displaced by the cyclone so we need to construct houses for them.
Hon. Sen. Femai was supporting what I had explained. Hon. Sen. Hungwe is correct that the programme that we gave as Dzivaresekwa started in the Local Government and my Ministry was now a department. It is now a fully fledged Ministry and we are busy doing our hand over take over. In January next year you are going to see the things start happening in that area. The problems in that area – we already have reports that have been written - maybe it was your committee who wrote the report. We are aware of such programmes and we are working on them as we speak.
Hon. Sen. Moeketsi, let me restate that we are not constructing houses for Senators for free but we are saying that on our waiting lists let us also have Senators, MPs and civil servants as priority because we are the frontline workers of Government but these should not be for free. I decided to clarify the position. You were calling a dog with a whip in hand. Hon. Sen. Femai, I thank you for the words of support. Please continue preaching that gospel where you are coming from in your constituency so that everyone knows that the Government of His Excellency Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa is development oriented and this is where our focus is. We are not going to leave anyone behind as our theme suggests – leave no one behind. It is the right of everyone to have a house, even a person who is a street kid who no one wants to look after have a right to have decent accommodation. Even those that are ill should have houses. The elderly who do not have children to look after them have a right to be in old people’s homes where they are looked after. So, no one is being left behind. Let us all preach this gospel that has been preached by Hon. Sen. Femai so that as Zimbabweans we can build our own country. There will be no one who will come to build your own homestead to then marvel at the beauty of the home. We are the custodians and the owners of Zimbabwe. We spend most of our time building our Zimbabwe because no one will come and build it unless you want us to be recolonised because we are too lazy to build and develop our own country. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Minister for sharing with the Senate, the National Housing Policy and clarifying issues which were raised by the Hon. Senators.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): I move that Orders of the Day Number 1 and 2 be stood over until all the other Orders have been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday 19th November, 2020.
PREVALENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House;
COGNISANT that the Republic of Zimbabwe is signatory to the Beijing +25 Declaration, the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
RECOGNISING that Sections 17, 56, 78, 79, 80 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provide for gender equality and other rights of women.
NOTING the commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence Campaign from 25 November – 10 December 2020 under the theme “Orange the world: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect”
MINDFUL that domestic violence and sexual abuse in our communities constitutes a scourge that has caused devastating social ills on womenfolk, among them, trauma, murders and suicide;
ALSO MINDFUL that the prevalence of domestic violence results in grievous physical, emotional, psychological among women and the girl child, leading to untold sufferings to minors;
COGNISANT that cases of domestic violence are contributory to high incidents of rape, incest, child marriages, depravation of love and financial support and other anti-social practices;
AWARE that failure to deal with this cancerous pandemic of gender-based violence is a serious indictment on the part of our nation;
DESIROUS to curb challenges of domestic violence;
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon;
- a) Law enforcement agents to strictly enforce law on domestic
violence and bring all culprits to book.
- b) Parliament to legislate for stiffer penalties to deal with
HON SEN. S. MPOFU: I second.
+HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Senate President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate. Domestic violence is abominable. As a nation we have laws and there are also international laws which are against domestic violence. I fully support the Beijing 25 Declaration. The different forms of abuse and the CEDAW, the SADC Protocol on Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Balance and also our Constitution as Zimbabwe. There are days that mark and recognise gender based violence that is 25th November to 10th December.
This is done because domestic violence is something that is not palatable. Women are abused because they are not strong enough to fight for themselves. Yes, there are also men who are being abused but it is mostly women who are abused. Women are enslaved, they are treated as aliens or people who are just lesser beings in a family. Women work hard, they go to the field, cook for children whilst the husbands spend the day at bars drinking beer then after that they pass through their concubines places who are called ‘small houses’. After that they will bath before coming home so that the wife will not know he has passed through the concubines.
He will then start singing and shouting at the wife so that the wife will not question him. This is the abuse that is being perpetrated against women. Some end up beating up their wives at night and even children also suffer the same abuse and this results in children crying. The wife also suffers because of this abuse; this is a daily event which is perpetrated to women. Looking at statistics, you will discover that a lot of women are dying as a result of physical, emotional and other forms of abuse, despite the fact that the woman gives birth to children who will look after the husband in future. Men who do this are not responsible and they take money from children and give to their concubines.
When a man has another woman, that man becomes something else as he does not value his wife. This results in women suffering and some end up taking their own lives. Some women also end up cutting short their lives because of that abuse. Some end up suffering from chronic diseases as a result of this abuse. Women are being abused every day in different forms. Some are being verbally abused. The Bible says that a man is given a helper but it is surprising that at times you find the man insulting his wife in front of the children. This is really painful. It is painful to see a parent being abused in front of their children, and this affects children’s performance at school. Some do not perform well at school because of that. Some end up exhibiting the same behaviour at school. Some end up insulting other children at school because they see it as a good thing because they are used to such behaviour at home.
There are also some women who abuse their children as a way of taking off stress after being abused by their husbands. Some children end up envying their neighbours for what they see happening in their houses, yet in their families, there is violence. I remember at one point in time in a certain homestead, when a robber attacked that family and they beat up their mother, the children did not intervene because they were used to being beaten up by their mother so they enjoyed what was happening because of the abuse that they had suffered from their mother. So we must not abuse other people.
Abuse is being perpetrated to children by families especially girls. There are some girls who are abused by their uncles and other trusted relatives. At times such abused children end up exhibiting such behaviour. It is surprising that relatives are the ones that are abuse young girls and the girls end up not feeling comfortable to disclose this abuse to anyone. The ones that are supposed to be trusted are the ones that take advantage of girls. This results in children contemplating suicide or even staying on streets. Some end up indulging in alcohol and drug abuse. Some end up engaging in irresponsible sexual relationship and some also contract sexual transmitted diseases.
There is also this form of abuse which involves ritual killings. I want to refer to what happened on the 17th September, 2020 in Zimbabwe where a young child who was send on an errand was taken by his uncle. Tapiwa Makore of Murehwa is one child who suffered abuse which is a bad behaviour that is now happening in Zimbabwe. When he was taken by another child of his own age, he thought that they were going to play and when taken to his uncle’s place, he thought that he was going for a good cause yet he was going to be slaughtered and beheaded like a chicken. This is a bad and dispeakable behaviour that is not expected. So you end up asking what will become of this country. This incident is not the only one. Even the Chivhu incident where a woman mutilated her four children, these things are dispeakable. You end up wondering why and what is happening. These are bad events that are happening. After suffering abuse, a woman ends up performing such dispeakable acts.
At times you find some children engaging in child labour. I remember during the first days of COVID 19, there was an incident that was reported by Musasa Project that in 13 days, there were 782 cases of abuse yet in another case there were 500 cases in a month. However, during the first days of lockdown, the statistics were reflecting that there was a lot of domestic abuse. Women are facing a lot of challenges and are vulnerable. I remember a certain case that was mentioned yesterday about a man who was abusing his wife and he immersed his wife in a bucket of water and continued beating that woman then he covered her head with a plastic bag full of with water trying to suffocate her. Their children were begging that he should stop that. This is a bad incident.
Domestic violence is a bad thing. People have adopted bad things. In Zimbabwe, we need to adhere to our norms and values. When a woman misbehaves, as a man you know what to do. You are supposed to engage the in-laws or adults so that they deal with the case instead of taking the case into your own hands and abusing a woman. The mother of your children and a woman who brings food into the home whilst you are doing nothing. Yes, I know there are a number of women who also abuse their husbands. They must be punished and prosecuted but the ratio of men to women indicates that more men abuse women than women.
You read newspapers and there are stories that a woman was abused and killed. People no longer value human life. At times some claim that they are abusing their women because they paid lobola yet that lobola might be insignificant. This is a despicable act which is not tolerable. So my request is that Government should make sure that there are stiffer penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence. As Zimbabwe, we are a proud nation. We do not have the death penalty but we prefer that an offender should spend life in jail because he/she might be a menace to society and needs to be incarcerated.
I would like to talk about those who sexually abuse children. This is a bad act. My desire is that these people be castrated so that they feel pain because being in jail is not punishment enough but if they are castrated, it will teach them a lesson because this is a bad thing which disturbs children and affects their performance at school. Some children no longer know what to do. Some also are afraid of people because of that. At the end of the day, children end up behaving as if they are in a war situation because of this abuse. Government should take sterner measures to punish offenders.
Children should be taught at school about issues of abuse so that they understand what abuse is. Teachers have that task because at home it is very difficult to teach children because most people who abuse children are known to them and are relatives. At times parents end up protecting their relatives who abuse their children. It is important that children are taught about abuse so that they know and understand that when abused, they must engage their teachers and report all forms of abuse so that offenders are prosecuted because this has resulted in children suffering psychologically.
For women who are abused, it is important that they must not feel for perpetrators of violence but it is important that offenders are arrested and prosecuted instead of killing their wives. This at times results in the man living the wife and going to their concubine or small house. So, during the 16 Days of Activism as women, we are really concerned and we cry everyday lamenting that these men should stop beating women or despising women. Women are commodified because lobola was paid for them. The Bible says that Adam was given Eve as a helper so your wife is a helper. Public education should be done so that people understand these issues.
If one reads a newspaper, you see that these cases are in the print media every day. Men beat up women who are the weaker sex and need to be protected. During the 16 Days of Activism, I would request that we love each other. Men should not abuse us. I would also request that Parliament should advocate for stiffer penalties for abusers of women. As women, we are saying that enough is enough, men should stop killing, abusing and beating up their women. This is a bad thing.
The ratio of women who are being abused is rising every day. This was a taboo in the old days. It was something which was an abomination and killing someone was not tolerated in the old days but it is surprising that this is happening now. When the community was looking for a man who had killed his wife, they all ostrasised such a man. There is a case which is 25 years old where a man killed his wife. As a member of the family, this really affected me but at times you wonder what people are saying about such cases even when a man is arrested and spends all those years in jail. What will be the community saying? So we need stiffer penalties so that the man is incarcerated until he understands and shows remorse for his actions. A man is someone who is supposed to care for his family as a provider but you find a man spending the whole day in beer halls drinking beer and end up beating up their wives.
Madam President, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak and express my view points and also to advocate against gender based violence. I would like to say violence against women should stop forthwith. Let me start the 16 Days of Activism Campaign by saying enough is enough, let us love our women. I thank you.
+HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to support this motion raised by Hon. Senator Dube that is supporting women against abuse as well as girls. The Constitution of this country talks a lot about the rights of women. Section 17 of the Constitution states that women should be given equal rights as men, that is 50:50 in all posts. Women should be given equal opportunities. Section 56 of the Constitution says women have equal opportunities just as good as everyone according to law. They should not be prejudiced. They should have equal access to law just like everyone regardless of race, gender, religion or age. Section 78 of the Constitution states that a person is allowed to have a family but in this country it is common practice that women are just allocated spouses. Women are given away in marriage. That is an abuse of their rights because they are just given to people that they may not know. That becomes an addition to their suffering of losing a loved one. All those things come as harassment to women.
I am glad that the Constitution of the country addresses all those issues but there are many other sections of law such as CIDA and the SADC Protocol that look at protecting women from harassment. These days we are looking the 16 days of activism against gender based violence. We are expected especially as senators to campaign so that women know their rights and that they are not supposed to be abused or beaten. The 16 days of activism looks at the budget allocation to bring relief to anyone who may be abused and prevent the actual abuse because it is better to prevent abuse than to let someone go through the abuse. T
Domestic violence comes in various forms. Some of it is when a husband prevents a woman from attending a meeting. When a woman says they want to attend a meeting, it becomes a crime and she would be beaten for attending the meeting or going to church. That is another form of violence. Even insulting, when painful words are used it is a form of violence as well as threatening. That is another form of violence because you will harass that person emotionally. Even criticising or teasing a woman especially with respect to her physical features brings low self esteem. The most common form of violence is that when it comes to sex, when a woman is not ready for sex she is forced and beaten by the husband. They should be protected so that they have the power to deny when they are not ready for sex. That leads to a woman not being tolerant to the abuse and violence. Sometimes she may take the law into her own hands and use boiled water onto her husband leading her to being arrested.
Violence against women or girls causes a lot of things. Sometimes they get injured or crippled resulting from violence. Other times because of the violence, they prefer to commit suicide and that may lead to mental disturbance. In other instances, there are children who grow up in such abusive families where a woman is always beaten up and abused. That psychologically affects the children who may end up abusing drugs or finding any form of escape to such forms of violence. They may also become abusive and be bullied by other children at school because they take it as normal due to the violent environment in which they grew up in. Sometimes children run away from their homes because there is always violence, parents are always fighting. We must stop that. Let us campaign and tell people that it is not good at all.
I would also like to appeal to the law enforcement agencies especially the police to act because, when a woman is beaten at home and goes to report to the police, they are asked to bring the perpetrator of violence. How can you bring someone who has beaten you? How can you take them to the police station? That becomes difficult and it also shows that even the police are unable to help when faced with domestic violence cases. How can you be told to bring the perpetrator of violence against you to the police station? They will not agree to that. As parliamentarians, let us enact strong laws with deterrent sentences so that violence against women and the girl child is stopped. We should realise that laws do not contradict each other and should be effective in order to prevent domestic violence. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President. I want to thank the mover and the seconder of this motion. The motion involves women, men and children. It is important for us as an august House to closely examine this motion so that we can live harmoniously as families like the type of lives that our parents used to live. Violence was unknown; they were living as united families. It is now different from the modern life and I believe that domestic violence is now caused by the state of the economy where people now have the means of wealth which our parents did not have. Things that we now have were not available during that time. We are experiencing violence because of the competition which has disrupted family lines.
Madam President, the majority of abusive cases are not common with women alone, men are also being abused by women. There are a lot of women that are very talkative to the extent that the husband does not respond, in fact he is outgunned when it comes to talking. The woman will be running the affairs of the home. So that is an abuse and in the end the community looks at it and start saying that man cannot run his homestead and that is not good.
Madam President, on the other side, women are abused in several ways. Right now women are busy with Pfumvunda project. They are preparing to grow maize but when they send that maize to GMB, that woman will not receive a reward and itt causes domestic violence. The woman will be saying, I have worked hard and I am not benefitting at all. Children will never grow up to live an exemplary life because of the bad relationship that has existed between their own parents. They will look upon domestic violence as a good thing because they would have been brought up in an abusive relationship. Domestic violence causes death either through hanging or taking poison. It is bad to practice domestic violence.
Neighbours can also cause domestic violence and the next generation might look upon it as a good practice. It is our wish as this august House and as a country that we should speak against domestic violence. We should put in place laws that are deterrent to would-be offenders so that families can live harmoniously.
In Mount Darwin, a certain woman fell ill, she became sick for a long time and her husband then fell in love with a neighbour. The ailing woman got to know about the affair and she became extremely ill. She was taken to hospital and detained for two to three days. The husband decided to follow the wife and he was accompanied by his girlfriend. When they got to the hospital, the wife looked at her husband but she was now unable to speak. Tears started streaming down her face and she passed on. She died because she was disturbed by the relationship that the husband had gone into. Domestic violence led to her death. We must educate the nation to stop domestic violence.
We should be exemplary as parents when our children also have their own families. Our children should thrive by exuding exemplary behaviour as they run their own families and show that they have been brought up in a proper manner. If a child gets married an abusive husband, she is bound to show these trends. The conventions whether they are from African Union or United Nations should help us to live better as families.
Madam President, let us give our chiefs powers to deal with issues of domestic violence. Our chiefs are capable of ensuring that there is peace in their areas of jurisdiction. Once domestic violence matters come up, they can amicably resolve them and ensure that the subjects live harmoniously.
Let us advise the Government and the country on how bad domestic violence is and that it causes death and retards development and even causes people to be crippled when they were born with full limbs. I thank you Madam President.
HON. SEN. A. DUBE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 24th November, 2020.
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SEN. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL RTD. PERRANCE SHIRI
Fifth Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion on the death of Hon. Sen. Air Marshall Perrance Shiri.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Madam President for giving me an opportunity to say a few words regarding the late hero Hon. Sen. Perrance Shiri. As chiefs or traditional leaders, if we do not give testimony, it will not be proper as we are the custodians of the land.
I would like to recap a few words that were said by Hon. Tongogara in 1978 at Inamenga Base Operation in Mozambique. That base was open with a view to train the young ones. There were gadgets they called ‘matekenya’. You could step on the food which was inadequate using this ‘matekenya’ gadget. It felt pitiful. Hon. Tongogara said the young ones shall be happy when they got back home. The whites have now surrendered. The country is now going forward because of your bravery. The freedom fighters are now grown up – they are now men with pot bellies and are now husbands.
After Cde Shiri came back home after fighting a good fight during the war of liberation as has already been alluded to, he became one of the first black Air marshal. When he was tired of doing that and he had fought a good fight, he was then given a chance to move from being a soldier to work as a Minister of Lands. There was a programme named Zimbabwe Founder Age with Production (ZIMFEM) that was initiated by these men. Cde Shiri went further and said we must lay down our arms and take our land and ensure that we plough and become self sufficient. It is true we never used to see him as a Minister who dressed in suits and neckties. He always used to adorn work suits. God has blessed us as chiefs and we want to testify that the chiefs were given their inheritance. He came up with a programme that all commercial farms that used to belong to whites should be under the jurisdiction of the chiefs. If we do not mention that as chiefs we were happy but God disposes. He does things in his own time. We are happy that our inheritance was returned to us by the late Hon. Shiri and the majority of the chiefs were happy we now have our land.
The traditional leadership from the chiefs to the villagers were given the power to be the custodians of our heritage. As a chief, today I would like to thank him for the good work that he did from the time of waging the liberation struggle, he did not show that he was only going to be involved in the fight alone but was also involved in the development of the country and ensuring that people are self sustained. He also came up with the issue of smart agriculture and today we talk of Pfumvudza, a programme that he initiated.
This year it is our prayer as chiefs that God hears our prayer and that we should have sufficient rains because of the Pfumvudza programme and the influence that it has had on people we are going to become self sufficient. Our silos are going to be filled to the brim and our economy is going to be developed through agriculture, through these programmes that have come about and all the programmes that were done in the commercial farms such as mechanisation where people got tractors. These are programmes that the late Shiri initiated. There are some people that are now supervising and ensuring his vision will be achieved. I hope he is happy wherever he is.
I have stood up as a chief to support all those that have talked about the good work that he did from sacrificing and dodging bullets. He even went further to fight against the whites that did not want to give the heritage sites and our land. We know there are some pockets of resistance in returning the heritage to the people but this first step is a step in the right direction. There will be no other child in this land that will say otherwise. The President is on record as saying the land is an irreversible subject and the land will never be returned to the whites.
I have stood up to thank and support all those who spoke truly and honestly because we all know that when someone passes on and all things are said, a lot of people would want to lie and say he was a good man so as to please those that are alive. We are giving true testimonies which will go down in history that living heroes would want to be heavy in the nyati fashion because the death in the last minute which led to a lot of mass graves in Mozambique where innocent blood was shed. I want to believe that all Ministers would want to take the nyati example. I want to believe that all of them are following in the footsteps of the late Shiri who fought a good fight and did a good job. Now he is being praised by those of us who are still living. I thank you Madam President.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: I second.
Motion put and agreed.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 19th November, 2020.
On the motion of HON. MATHUTHU, seconded by HON. SEN. S. MPOFU, the House adjourned at Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 24th November, 2020.