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SENATE HANSARD 2 MARCH 2022 VOL 31 NO 23

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN MATHUTHU:  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 8 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 9 has been disposed of.

          HON. SEN TONGOGARA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON SEN. S. K. MOYO

          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  I move the motion standing in my name

That this House expresses its profound sorrow on the untimely passing on of the late Senator for Matabeleland South, Hon. Sen. Simon Khaya Moyo, on Sunday, 14th November, 2021.

          PLACES on record its appreciation for the services which the late Hon. Senator rendered to Parliament and the nation at large;

      RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the Moyo

family, relatives and the entire Nation for the untimely loss of the Hon.

Senator.

HON. SEN MOHADI:   I second.

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Mr. President.  It is a motion which triggers some painful memories about the untimely death of a former fellow Senator, the late Hon. Sen. Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo who was popularly known as S.K, who passed away on 14th November 2021.  Mr. President, for those who read the Hansard and those who maybe on virtual right now and may want to know who Simon Khaya Moyo was; Hon. Sen. S .K Moyo was born on 1st October 1945 in Sazunzkwi areas of Plumtree in Matebeleland South.  He was representing this constituency in the august House.  Hon. Sen. Moyo did his primary education at Patse Primary School before proceeding to Fletcher High School for his secondary education which he completed in 1965.  Hon. Sen. Moyo then found a job at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo where he worked as a research assistant from 1966 to 1967.  In 1968, Hon. Sen. Moyo left the country to join the liberation struggle in Zambia via Botswana.  In Zambia, Hon. Sen. Moyo was encouraged by the ZAPU leadership to join the University of Zambia where he enrolled for a diploma in Social Science which he completed with merit in 1969.  Hon. Sen. Moyo then proceeded to Makereke University in Uganda where he enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Social Science in 1970.  On completion of his degree in March 1973, he took up a lecturing job at Samuzi School of Social Work at Entebe in Uganda.  In 1975 Hon Sen. Moyo went back to Zambia where he was appointed secretary or special assistant to the then ZAPU leader the late Vice President Dr. Joshua Nkomo.  In 1976, Hon Sen S. K. Moyo, in the company of Doctor Nkomo attended the Geneva Conference.  In 1977 Hon. Sen. Moyo, together with Dr. Nkomo survived the assassination plot which was designed to get rid of the ZAPU leadership.  Later in the same year, Hon. Sen. Moyo attended the Malta Conference. 

Mr. President, to enhance his knowledge of military operations, Hon. Sen. Moyo was again sent to then German Democratic Republic which was known as East Germany to do a course in Military intelligence in 1978.  Hon. Sen. S. K Moyo also attended the Lancaster House Conference in 1979 as a special assistant to the late Vice President Dr. J. M Nkomo.  After independence, Hon. Sen. S. K Moyo served as secretary in various capacities in government ministries for 10years.  In March, 1990 general elections, Hon. Sen. Moyo was elected Member of Parliament for Bulilima-Mangwe South Constituency.  He then served in various committees of Parliament.  In 1995, he was re-elected a Member of Parliament for the same constituency and appointed Minister of Transport and Energy until 1997.  In 1997, he was appointed Minister of Mines, Environment and Tourism until July 2000. 

In 2001, Hon. Sen. S. K Moyo was appointed High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho and Mauritius where he was accredited as Ambassador Extra Ordinary. This appointment came at a time the country was facing condemnation from the West and its allies for embarking on the Land Reform Programme.  Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo defended Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and its Land Reform Programme very well.  During his tenure as ambassador, Hon.Sen. Moyo also served as Deputy Dean of the entire diplomatic corps in South Africa and the SADC region.

Hon. Moyo left the diplomatic service in 2010 after serving for 10 years.  In March 2011, he was appointed a non-constituency MP and in September 2013, he was appointed Senior Minister of State in the Office of the President and Cabinet.  Later in the same year, he was reassigned Minister of Policy Coordination and Promotion of Social Economic Ventures.

Mr. President, in October 2017, Hon. Ambassador S. K. Moyo was appointed Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services following a Cabinet reshuffle.  He also served as Minister of Energy and Power Development in 2018.  In 2018, he was elected Senator for Matabeleland South.  Hon. S. K. Moyo was a prolific writer and he wrote two books; ‘Mr. Speaker Sir’, A Compilation of His Speeches in Parliament and Beyond and the other one was ‘Service to My Country’.

In conclusion Mr. President, Hon. Ambassador S. K. Moyo distinguished himself as a hard working diplomat and a dedicated leader with a high commitment to duty and diligence, loyalty to the Government and the people of Zimbabwe.  On behalf of Senators, I say to the Moyo family, relatives and the nation at large, the Senate will never be the same without Senator S. K. Moyo.  Lastly Mr. President, I say go well son of the soil, may your soul rest in peace.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Thank you Mr. President. I also rise to pay my condolences, appreciation and to celebrate the life of the late Hon. Sen. Ambassador S. K. Moyo.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA):  Order! I am advised you are not connected.

HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Am I now connected?

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Yes.

HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA:  Thank you very much.  I was saying I rise also to pay my condolences, my respect and indeed to also celebrate the life of the late Senator S. K. Moyo.

He prided himself with being called S. K and he dared anybody else to be called S. K.  We believe that men like him who had a huge sense of humour, a huge heart to embrace many people, it was appropriate that he worked well with people and also was finally declared a national hero.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mathuthu for the biography that he has given us which I do not need to repeat. 

I think that Hon. Sen. Moyo was a man, as you all know, who liked to express himself in very superlative English.  He would joke many a times and he would say, ‘I would like to deal with issues not with tissues’.  He was in many ways a very serious person who looked at the bigger picture rather than on the minute and petty issues.  Indeed, he looked at the bigger side of issues, the bigger side of politics and the bigger side of people’s lives.  ‘Everything is under control’; he would say.  Even though we would be under very serious circumstances, he would still say my brother, everything is under control and indeed then when you looked back, it would appear to be under control.

  1. K. Moyo was a diminutive figure, short but very imposing. You could not easily ignore his presence. He was a diplomat par excellence and you all know the work that he did in South Africa at a very critical time during the land reform programme when he was based in South Africa and how he negotiated and fought a lot of criticism about that programme at that time. Hedid remain very strong during President Thabo Mbeki’s presidency.  He was a Senator, a politburo member and a party spokesperson.  Indeed, at one time he was party chairperson and we believed that he was appropriately placed. 

As you all know, when the late Vice President Msika who had been Chairman of ZANU PF passed on, Vice President Nkomo took over who was also Party Chairperson; he became the Vice President of the country.  When Senator S. K. Moyo took over as Chairman of the Party, maybe it was expected that he would also be Vice President of the Party, but clearly that was not to happen. 

He worked tirelessly at whatever post he had been given and up to his death, you all remember, he would come here and say that he is well when we knew very well he was not so well.  In his final days, he came here walking with a stick but still presented himself immaculately and very bravely.  We then applaud, we want to recognise and to give reverence to this national hero called S. K. Moyo.  Thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. MOHADHI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to second the motion that was moved by Hon. Mathuthu.  Mr. President, it is very difficult to talk about S. K. Moyo because some of us worked tirelessly with him.  S. K. Moyo was a noble man, very quiet even under difficult conditions.  You could not even know whether today he is angry or not because he would not show himself that he was angry even though he was angry and whenever he had any problems, he would not show.  He would always sing as he came into a meeting and some of us knew him by the songs that he used to sing. Mr. President, for the sake of S. K. Moyo, I beg to sing only two songs which he used to sing when we were with him in remembrance of him because we will never see him again, and we will never have a chance of doing that. When he came from South Africa, most of the time he would sing this song; Akulethe umtshina wami heyi wena, umtshina wami and he would do that from the bottom of his heart. You could see that he really meant it. We nicknamed him iZANU PF iyasetshenzelwa, ha la la iyasetshenzelwa ha la la. Those were the songs of S. K. Moyo whenever we were with him.

          Mr. President, S. K. Moyo has left a scar in Matabeleland South because you would joke with him. Sometimes some people would say why are you seated S.K. Moyo and he would say, I am standing. The people would say, oh sorry it seems as if you are sitting down. This was because of his height. All those were the contributions of S. K. Moyo. He was always very cheerful to each and everyone. I cannot go back to his obituary because it has been said over and over. I would not want to repeat the same thing.

          Simon Khaya Moyo got ill and after getting ill, he was not with us for quite a long time. When he felt a little bit better, he came back to the House. When he came back to the House, he would sit somewhere there as he used to do. I went to him and asked him about his health and he said Mohadi, all is well as you can see, I am back and I am well. We went on talking about our problems at home. He would always answer that Mohadi, let us not worry, time will tell. Those were the last words that I talked with him and I still remember them clearly.

          Some of you will remember that S. K. Moyo was a Member of the President Chairperson’s Panel where he worked together with you Mr. President. He would sit and most of his time he would say, ‘ah, you are the only woman in this Panel, why can I not give you a chance to do that work’. That was S. K. Moyo and for sure he would give me time to learn and make myself useful to this Panel. Now that he is gone, because of his mentorship, I am able to chair this august House.

          There are so many things that Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo did and I can spend the whole talking about them. We will always remember him for the things we used to do with him together, working for our party ZANU PF. As a National Chairman of the ruling party ZANU PF, who came from Matabeleland South, he had time with some of who also come from Matabeleland South. When he had no national duties, he would come and attend provincial meetings so that he would meet with everyone.

          Sadly, Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo is no more.  I would like to say we liked you and we will continue to like you. We will continue to remember the good work you did with us. Even though you are not there physically but spiritually I know that we are together. Continue to guide us in whatever we will be doing. Wherever you are, never forget about Matabeleland South because it is your home. It is where you belong. Guide us properly so that we carry party duties in the right manner. With these few words, I say to S. K. Moyo, go well son of the soil, rest in peace. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mathuthu, seconded by Hon. Sen. Mohadi on the departure of Hon. Senator Khaya Moyo. A lot has been said and his good history has been articulated by Hon. Sen. Mathuthu. Our liberation war was very difficult because the people who were fighting the liberators were armed but let me say that Hon. Sen. Khaya Moyo was a brave cadre. We heard that he was educated in Zambia and Uganda. This only happens to a person who is faithful to his party and also to the leadership. He was a dedicated person.

          The liberation struggle needed people with discipline. For someone to be chosen to further their education during war time, required discipline. So, I want to appreciate what ZIPRA did. We heard that he was an aide to the late former Vice President Nkomo. For someone to protect a leader of a country, it is very difficult but Simon Khaya Moyo did that till the death of the former Vice President.

          When he was the National Chairman of ZANU PF, he worked very to ensure that our party grew. The mover of the motion told us that Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo was ambassador during difficult times when our oppressors did not want us to take back our land. They tried by all means to bring in tribalism so that the Ndebeles and the Shonas would not see eye to eye. Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo as the Chairperson, worked very hard to unite the Shona and the Ndebele as we are one family. He wanted the people of Zimbabwe to unite despite their different cultures. We want to thank him for the work that he did. We now have peace even during the reign of the late Vice President, he would always say that he is about to die but he wants to unite the Ndebele and Shona people. That is why we came up with the Unity Agreement and peace was upheld in our land.

          We want to always remember the Unity Day because it brought peace in our country. I know some people do not like that, but we want to see Zimbabweans united. We want to thank him for the honour that he bestowed on our nation by uniting Zimbabweans. I really appreciate it when someone departs from this earth after fulfilling his/her desires. So we want to thank S. K. Moyo’s family for giving us their son. He served the nation with pride. We are really sorry for the departure of Hon. Sen. S. K. Moyo and I pass my condolences to the Moyo family. I want to thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to debate this motion. Thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March, 2022

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that we revert to Order of the Day No. 1.

          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

CONSIDERATION STAGE

MARIAGES BILL [H. B. 7B, 2019]

          First Order read: Consideration:  Marriages Bill [H. B. 7B. 2019].

          Amendments to Clauses 9, 16, 41 and 45 put and agreed to.

          Bill, as amended, adopted.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

MARRIAGES BILL [H. B. 7B, 2019]

          (v)THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I now move that the Bill be now read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March, 2022.

MOTION

CURBING GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AMONG COMMUNITIES

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the increase of gender based violence since the outbreak of COVID-19.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March, 2022.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE VIRTUAL 49TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY SESSION OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 49th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC-Parliamentary Forum Held virtually from 25th to 27th June, 2021.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the SADC Plenary Assembly Report of June 2021. It was a virtual meeting and I want to thank the Zimbabwean delegation headed by the Hon. Speaker, Hon. Adv. Jacob Mudenda. I want to applaud the work of our Women’s Caucus who are working very hard.  Countries were encouraged to implement gender responsive budgeting because it is very important.  There is no work that can go on well without funding. We have seen that with our Women’s Caucus, it is not really working well because of funding and it does not have enough resources.  As Women’s Caucus, if there is funding, their work will go on well. We see that the Women’s Caucus in Zimbabwe should be given the same power as the Committee of Parliament like the Portfolio Committees so that they can do their work effectively.  As it is, they are not recognised but we thank the Government for chipping in so that they can be able to do their work.  We had challenges of COVID-19; it affected a lot of things like health, work and there was bereavement in families.  What is important is that there should be a budget for that so that when you are faced with those problems, you will be resourced.

          I want to thank the SADC Parliamentary Forum for really working hard by bringing together all the countries in SADC so that they map the way forward on how countries should function. We want SADC to be managed well so that there will be unity amongst members of the SADC.  So, I want to thank the Zimbabwean delegation because they aired their views concerning our country.  If it is rectified, our countries will be governed very well especially in the economic business and health because health is very important.  There will be no development if people are not in good health, so I want to thank the delegation for the work that they did, standing in for the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to say a few words towards closing this report.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mathuthu for seconding this motion.  It was a hot motion and most of the Senators contributed and supported this motion because it had a lot to do with them.  I want to thank the Hon. Members for supporting and contributing to this motion.  Though it was moved some time last year, people can still remember what the motion was about and are still debating as is being demonstrated by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi.  Let us keep that spirit Hon. Members and if ever there are motions, we should always be ready to debate to keep this Hon House live. 

I would also like to thank the delegation led by the Speaker, Hon. Mudenda, which raised the flag of Zimbabwe high.  The delegation that I am talking about makes us very proud because whenever we are out, this delegation will not sleep.  You will find that they compete amongst themselves and everyone wants to contribute.  Other people will be looking at the delegation and say these are real Zimbabweans.  You will see them taking over the whole Plenary Assembly as they all want to contribute.  The delegation that we have is very vibrant.  I would like to thank them in abstentia, because all of them are in the National Assembly. 

Without much ado, let me remind Hon. Senators about COVID-19 which was the main issue during the Plenary Assembly.  Let us stick to the WHO regulations because COVID-19 is still with us.  Let us not relax and think it is over because as we travel now, you will find that people have started hugging each other and even move without masks yet it is still a must.  Let us stick to this rule.  I also commend Zimbabwe for the low numbers which continue to decrease though it does not mean that it is over.  We have to wait for the announcement that COVID-19 is over.  Let us wear our masks, wash our hands and observe social distance as usual.  I think we are now used to this norm, so let us practice it wholly. With these few words, I move for the adoption of the motion that this House take note of the Report of the 49th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum held virtually from 25th to 27th June, 2021.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CONSTRUCTION, UPGRADING AND REHABILITATION OF THE ROAD NETWORK IN THE COUNTRY

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on construction, upgrading and rehabilitation of the road network in the country.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MKWEBU:  Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mabika which talks about our road network.  I want to thank Government; at first they dealt with the national roads.  They were refurbished in an amicable manner, however God does not sit and plan with men.  He brought the rains after most of our roads had been partially resurfaced and this led to the distraction on some of the roads and they are now un-useable.  I was looking at the roads in the rural areas after these rains washed away most of the bridges. 

I will dwell much on what happened in Matebeleland South, particularly in Gwanda.  All the bridges were washed away and all the roads are now impassable.   Even the programme of the fertiliser distribution was not successful because the distribution centres could not be reached.   These roads are in really bad state.  We ask Government to make it first priority to resurface roads in the rural areas.  These roads were once under DDF and the local authorities.  We were asking that the devolution funds be distributed to the local authorities and DDF so that the roads in the rural areas are urgently fixed.  Most of the times, these roads remain unrepaired.  This is caused by the fact that DDF would not have been allocated funds or ZINARA would not have funded the repairing and construction of the roads.  We encourage Government to distribute funds for road construction as a matter of agency.  This will allow the roads to be fixed before they are badly damaged and facilitate the movement of residents from rural to urban without much trouble.  Even when people visit hospitals, it is now difficult to reach the health facilities in time.  For those that deliver food, it is hard for them to pass areas where bridges have been destroyed.  People in the rural areas are suffering, thus Government should understand that people are suffering.

The Thuli-Manyange Dam is expected to create income for the Gwanda residents.  There will be fish farming, irrigation and tourism.  The Chinese are the ones who were awarded the tender to construct the road.  The residents were appealing to Government to extend the road. As residents in Gwanda, we are appealing that Government looks into the issue of this road that leads to Chief Mathe’s homestead since there is going to be farming and also business that is going to bring income to the residents.  People who commute in those areas are now paying exorbitant prices but it is our hope that if the road is tarred, the fares for commuter omnibuses are going to decline and the tariffs will be reasonable. When the tariffs of transport have decreased, it will also help them to be able to travel.  Hence we ask that after the Chinese complete the Thuli-Manyange Dam project, the Government should take it up and ensure the road reaches the chief’s homestead.

There are a lot of challenges in the rural areas pertaining to the roads.  We were expecting that when the budget is being allocated, it should also include the DDF.  They should be provided with new machinery for the rehabilitation of roads.  The machinery that DDF currently has is old and requires high maintenance.  The machinery just breaks down before doing much of the rehabilitation needed, hence we expect that they be given new machinery. 

We are asking, Mr. President, that machines for rehabilitation of roads be serviced.  Council should also be provided with funds as well as ZINARA.  Devolution funds should be allocated in time so that they repair roads in good time.  With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  I second, Madam President.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 3rd March, 2022.

MOTION

ENACTMENT OF LAWS THAT CULMINATE IN DETERRENT SENTENCES BEING METED OUT TO CULPRITS FOUND COMMITTING CRIMES THAT DAMAGE THE ENVIRONMENT

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on grave and rapid environmental damage.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  Thank you very much Madam President for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this motion which was raised by Hon. Chirongoma which is very important to us.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. MOHADI):  Order Hon. Senator, I understand you contributed to this motion.

*HON. SEN. CHINAKE:  Thank you very much Madam President.  I will just say a few things on this motion.  Most of the things have already been said.  Madam President, what is being said here is the destruction of our environment.  It was mentioned a few days ago that there are people that are just digging randomly.  People are taking these minerals out of the country and inspectors were deployed to monitor and see to it that these people leave the environment in a better position. 

We are going to have cattle and children falling into these pits.  I do not know, what is Government’s position on this particular situation?  Is it the Ministry that is not taking action in regard to environmental damage?  As we speak, there is no action that is being taken.  Nothing is being done.  People are just digging randomly everywhere as they wish from one place to another.  You cannot have cattle grazing in such areas because the environment would have been destroyed.  Farming cannot happen in those areas because there is nowhere to do the farming.  Chrome is being mined anywhere and they leave the environment in a bad state.  We also have the effect of mosquitoes in such areas that are left with gullies. 

It is very shocking to see some of the houses are built in wet-lands next to these streams or even a river.  Is it the property developers or it is the people who lack the knowledge?  Where are we taking our country because eventually, we will never be able to access water?  Our water sources are being destroyed.  It is very disappointing.  As we speak, we are not speaking of ourselves but for the future generations.  Environmental sustainability cannot be reached with such situations.  Let those who are digging everywhere as they wish be arrested. 

Given that there is a law that one who builds his house on wetlands it will be destroyed, what then will happen, given the situation that is happening to the environment?  No one is being reprimanded. No one is being given a warning.  As a Government, may we work on the legislative framework that enables and allows for environmental sustainability for the future generations. It is my humble plea that Government and the Ministry see to it that something is done about this particular situation. I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. TONGOGARA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March 2022.

MOTION

ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION THAT UPHOLDS THE RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF CHILDREN ACCOMPANYING INCARCERATED MOTHERS IN PRISON

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on challenges faced by children with incarcerated mothers.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate. It is very difficult for someone to be sent to jail for an offence they did not commit. These children with mothers who are incarcerated are suffering for offences that they did not commit. Even the law does not agree that someone should be punished for something they did not do. The life that they experience in prison means that even after they have been released, they will act the same  as an accused person. They are exposed to vulgar language that is not good for young children. It damages the character and behaviour of the children. The behaviour and command of language will be filled with vulgar language.

          These children are not supposed to be incarcerated but they follow what they experience in prison. Government should have a budget to take care of the children by providing pre-schools and early childhood classes because the parent who is incarcerated does not have the powers to prepare for the children in that aspect. There is supposed to be a budget to assist these children.

          These children take a bath in the same facilities as old people and they pick infections. Sometimes the toilets have no running water and it takes time for the toilets to be cleaned. The children are suffering a lot because the life they are exposed to is not good at all.  After the child is taken back to the family, if there are members of the extended family to take care of the child, they will not be able to properly take care of the child. The children are suffering a lot and the life that they are exposed to is not conducive for their age. It will be expected that the extended family will take care of the child. At times the child will be exposed to abuse and he or she will end up being raped by old men. The older men will just view the young kid as a grown up woman and this will lead to him raping the child. This is double punishment for the child. Due to the incarceration of the parent, even though he or she is to be released to be taken care of by the extended family members, it is quite a challenge again. It is difficult for the boy and girl child. It is better for them to be looked after by Government.

The other option is that women who are found guilty and have babies are supposed to be offered community service such that they can wake up and prepare for their children or breast feed and go to serve their sentence.

          The children are supposed to enjoy their privileges and rights as children and not be punished for the offences of their guardians or parents. With these few words, I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: I would like to contribute to the motion that was raised on the issue of parents with their children in prison. There is nothing much for the children to learn whilst they are in prison together with their parents. There is nothing positive they adopt or learn from such situations. What these children will learn as they grow up is very painful. The language that is spoken in prison is not something that these children can learn. Children will not be able to distinguish between the good and the bad in terms of the language that is spoken in prison. They should not be joined together with their parents so that they are able to enjoy the same rights and freedom that other children enjoy. It is very painful that they are sentenced together with their parents for something that they did not even do or understand.

          It is our humble plea that these people are given adequate food whilst they are imprisoned. There is no adequate food in these prisons. People will be having vegetables or relish without salt. Even sugar, there will not be anything like that. When you ask them the reason for not having such basics, the response was that they get these things as donations and those who donate do not include such basics. Let us understand that these children, as they live together with their parents, what the parents go through are the same things that the children go through.

          It is our humble plea that let us do something for these young ones who are imprisoned together with their parents. They should be separated and made to live a better life like other people outside prison. A good example is that if a child sees something and brings it home and if you clap hands for that child, they grow up thinking that what they have done is very good and yet we would be destroying their future. It is true that their parents would have committed crimes - in some instances serious crimes, but they should never be allowed to experience the punishment together with their parents.

          It is very painful, that situation that they are exposed to and they might grow up thinking what their parents did was correct. I do not have much to say Madam President because Hon. Senators who spoke before me said most of the important things. It is my hope that these children be assisted and if possible, they should never be allowed to live or stay with their imprisoned parents. They should be given a chance to understand and distinguish between good or bad. Thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. CHINAKE:     I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March, 2022.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MATHUTHU, seconded by HON. SEN. CHINAKE, the Senate adjourned at Five Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.

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