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SENATE HANSARD 22 MAY 2013 VOL. 22 NO. 19
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 22nd May, 2013
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING PRESIDENT in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT
ABSENCE OF MINISTERS AND THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE ACTING PRESIDENT: Order, we are we are supposed to
have Hon. Mushonga, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Legal
Committee to report on two adverse reports from that Parliamentary
Legal Committee but he is not around. We are supposed to have Ministers coming to present Protocols to the House but they are not around.
BUSINESS OF THE SENATE
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL
AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): Mr. President, I have a request from hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Mangoma to postpone Order Number 2 to tomorrow. The same applies to Order Numbers 3 and 4 for the Hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. T. Biti. We have our own, which I am going to move, the Madrid Protocol.
THE ACTING PRESIDENT: Thank you for that information
which we did not have. We can proceed with the Madrid Protocol now.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF THE MADRID AGREEMENT
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL
AFFAIRS (SENATOR GUTU): I move the motion standing in my name:
THAT WHEREAS Subsection (1) of Section 111B of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, Treaty, or Agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign States or governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS the entry into force of the aforesaid is subject to accession by the signatory Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures;
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Subsection (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Protocol be and is hereby approved for accession.
Mr. President, let me just emphasise that this motion relates to Intellectual Property and as we know, Intellectual Property these days, that is where the money is and this is a very important protocol.
Mr. President, Parliament of Zimbabwe is called upon in terms of section 111B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe to consider the accession to the Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks. Cabinet at its 7th meeting held on the 5th of March 2013, approved the accession by Zimbabwe to the protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International
Registration of Marks. The protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement, Mr. President, concerning the International Registration of Marks hereinafter referred to as the Madrid Protocol or the Protocol, is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
Zimbabwe is a Member State of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. WIPO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which is responsible for norm setting activities in the field of Intellectual
Property as well as the provision of technical assistance to Member States on how to utillise intellectual property for development. Let me just emphasise that intellectual property is very important, for instance, mostly in Africa, we have medicines collected from Africa, developed in Europe and America and then they are patented in Europe and America.
So as Africans, we do not benefit because the intellectual property will be registered in other countries.
With the adoption of this protocol, all our traditional healers n’anga dzedu dzese and other such people, will suddenly become very rich because they will be able to register their marks, their patency and that will have global recognition.
Mr. President, Zimbabwe is a Member State of the World
Intellectual Property organisation, WIPO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which is responsible for norm setting activities as I have already indicated. The WIPO Madrid Protocol was adopted in June 1989, with a view to simplifying the registration regime of trademarks at the international level by creating a centralised system for transmission of applications to various Contracting States where protection is sought which is administered by the WIPO.
The Protocol provides protection for trademarks by obtaining
International Registration of Marks in the register of International
Bureau of the World Intellectual Property organization. I would just like to emphasise to hon. senators that intellectual property is very important because most of the time when you buy your soap, that is your geisha, you will be surprised that the trademark for geisha is not registered in Zimbabwe, although the ingredients of that geisha maybe from
Zimbabwe. Even when you buy your beer, you will be surprised that the trademark of castle is not registered in Zimbabwe, although maybe the sorghum and everything that manufactures that beer or that coca-cola is sourced or manufactured locally. Trademarks registered at the
International Bureau are published in the periodical gazette and no other publicity is required by the mark holder. So this becomes important for us smaller countries in the world.
So instead of you going to Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, Switzerland and Tanzania to register, the moment you register your trademark here in Zimbabwe, it is recognised throughout all the United
Nations Member States. It becomes cheaper and easier for small
This is a very important protocol Mr. President. In August 2012, the Government of Zimbabwe, with the assistance of WIPO, convened an All Stakeholders Workshop to acquaint stakeholders with the Madrid registration system and to consider the possibility of acceding to the
Protocol. Stakeholders included the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Intellectual Property, a committee which comprises various ministries that deal with Intellectual Property matters in Government, the
Standards Association of Zimbabwe, the Law Society of Zimbabwe, the
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) and the Zimbabwe Institute of Patent and Trademark Agents (ZIPTA). At this meeting, participants accepted the recommendation that the Government should accede to the Protocol for the following reasons:
I will give the reasons but before I do that Mr. President, let me again emphasise the importance of this Protocol, that it is actually important for us small developing nations. We will be able to register trademarks because most of the major trademarks, most of the medicines we have, if you go and buy paracetamol today because you have a headache, you will be surprised that the paracetamol trademark maybe registered in India or America. But, the medicine that makes the paracetamol will have been sourced from a forest in Africa and Africa loses out.
(a) The Madrid system simplifies the process of making an international registration of a trademark in that the trademark owner has the advantage to file only one application in one of the WIPO official languages which are outlined in Article 16 and the WIPO social languages are English, French and Spanish. At the present moment, a trademark owner in Zimbabwe wishing to register a mark in another jurisdiction has to engage a Trademark Agent in that particular jurisdiction. This is because trademarks, like all intellectual property rights, are territorial rights and their protection is obtained through national registration.
I always want to believe that, that gentleman who has a drumbeat that accompanies the main news hour, if that particular beat had been trademarked, that man would be a billionaire today but because his intellectual property has not been protected, he remains poor. So, this is how important intellectual property is. Therefore, if an applicant intends to have his or her trademark registered in many jurisdictions then he or she has to file separately with the trademark offices of the various contracting parties in different languages and paying a separate fee to each office and hence, increasing the cost of the applicant.
Just again to emphasise, when you buy a computer today or when you buy any product that is an Apple product, Steve Jobs we know he died a few years ago but the moment you buy an Apple i-phone, the moment you buy an Apple laptop or the moment you buy an apple computer, Steve Jobs in his grave automatically gets some money, wherever you are in the world because he has protected his intellectual property. So I think that is the way to move forward Mr. President, as Africa.
(b) The Intellectual procedural mechanism of the
Madrid System offers a trademark owner the possibility to
have his trademark protected in several countries by simply filing one application directly with his own national or regional office for transmission to the International Bureau of WIPO which is established in terms of Article 11 of the Protocol. The International Bureau will then examine the application and transmit it to the designated national offices of the Contracting States. Let me just elaborate. If you are going to file your trademark in Zimbabwe, say you have found a cure for asthma and you register that trademark in Zimbabwe today in Harare or Bulawayo, the moment you register it, it is automatically transmitted to all the Member States of the United Nations and it is also automatically registered. So, you do not have to go to those countries or to engage lawyers in those countries to help you register. It becomes cheap and I think this is time for Africa to make money. International trademark and I believe businessman, Engineer Chitaka agrees with that. An international trademark so registered, is equivalent to an application or registration of the same trademark effected directly in each of the countries designated by the applicant. Further, the trademark owner only pays fees to one office instead of filing separately in the trademark offices of the various Contracting Parties in different languages and paying a separate fee in each office.
Mr. President, you will realise that most medicines are sourced from Africa but I am yet to come across a trademark of a medicine that has an African registered office. You have high-blood pressure tablets, you will be surprised that if you look at the back, they will tell you that the patent is in New York or Atlanta Georgia but that particular nefidepine that controls your blood pressure, maybe it is a herb from Chivi that was extracted and then it was then patented in a different country. Mr. President, the Madrid system also simplifies greatly the subsequent management of the trademark. All changes subsequent to the international registration, such as a change of address by the trademark owner may be recorded and have effect by means of a single procedure through the International Bureau and the payment of one fee as stipulated in Article 9 of the Madrid Protocol. Mr. President, therefore, financial savings are made when obtaining and maintain the protection of one’s marks in other countries.
Some of us look forward to have a day where we are going to have trademarks, major world trademarks registered in Africa because you find that most of the money that Africa pays, we pay in order to buy Intellectual property rights. I gave the example of Steve Jobs who died in his early 50s but you find that already two years after he died, he had made more money in his grave than when he was alive because of his Intellectual Property. The same applies to Michael Jackson, the protection of his music as a trademark; it means that, from my research
Michael Jackson died in 2009, now his estate has made not less than
US$55m since Michael died, simply by protecting his Intellectual Property. This is why I said this is where the money is.
The Madrid system has a database which includes all international registrations that are currently in force or have expired within the past six months. This database called the ‘Madrid Express’ is a free system which is updated daily and provided by WIPO for users to search for international marks. It reflects the situation of the International Register of Marks. So just imagine, if Mutukudzi’s music was going to be patented here and we know that it is played all over the world. I went to
Malawi the other day and the taxi driver was playing one of
Mutukudzi’s songs and I am not too sure whether Mutukudzi is benefiting from that. If it was protected, then Tuku would be a multimillionaire, I am not saying he is a poor man but he would have made more money than what he has.
It also includes data relating to international applications and subsequent designations. Access to this database by the National Intellectual Property Office when examining applications reduces the burden of searching from multiple sources on the part of the office thereby assisting in making informed decisions on all applications. Mr. President, Trademark offices have the advantage that part of the fees collected by the International Bureau are transferred to the Contracting Parties in which protection is sought. Furthermore, if the international registration service closes its biennial accounts with a profit, the proceeds are divided among the Contracting Parties.
The Madrid System is optional and trademark holders can still make use of local agents if they do not wish to make international registrations. This is why you find that even the big law firms today if you go to South Africa or even here in Harare, you do not see them at court holding files because there is no money at court. The money is behind the computer, they register a trademark and they make a big fee then you wonder why perhaps white lawyers are making more money than black lawyers, are they smarter? No, I am not being a racist here, it is simply because they have managed to control the niche market where the big money is and this is the way to go.
Mr. President, one of the greatest advantages of using the Madrid
System for the international registration of trademarks is that the Contracting States retain the flexibility to determine their fees regime as provided for in Article 8. In that regard, the country has to make a Declaration to that effect which has to be deposited with the Director General of WIPO together with the instrument of accession.
The Madrid Protocol also provides another flexibility to
Contracting States in that a Contracting State can opt out of the system if it so decides. This is provided for in Article 15 of the Protocol. If the country so decides, then a notification to that effect has to be sent to the Director General of WIPO.
In conclusion Mr. President, the Madrid System offers businesses and individuals in member States a simple, affordable and efficient way of obtaining and maintaining their trademarks and Zimbabwe stands to benefit a lot from being a party to the Madrid Protocol.
Mr. President, the Parliament of Zimbabwe is, therefore, hon. senators, humbly called upon to approve the accession by Zimbabwe to the Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks and as they say in Tonga ndalumba kapanxa. Thank you very much.
SENATOR MANDAVA: Thank you Mr. President, mine is just
to seek for a few clarifications;
- It sounds very exciting and the information is that we could have been richer yester year if not in 2006, why was there the delay in bringing up such an important motion to Parliament.
- There are known products that are manufactured from ingredients from Zimbabwe and what is going to happen if we sign the Protocol? Can they be re-registered as Zimbabwean products and if so, how? I believe there is a cost to registering, even if you register in Masvingo as compared to registering in Madrid. Is it affordable? I thank you.
SENATOR CHITAKA: Thank you Mr. President. First, I would like to commend the Minister for bringing this Treaty or Convention to this august Senate for ratification. I would like to pose a few questions. I do not see how this Treaty will help us unless there is massive education in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has got a culture of being copy cats. I think we are becoming like a country in the Far East, which is very famous for copying other people’s ideas. Just have a look at the music industry in Zimbabwe, before an artist actually releases his latest CD he will be seeing it in the streets already. Now, we can have laws but in Zimbabwe we do not seem to have the mechanism of enforcing those laws.
The challenge will be, are we just adding on more and more conventions to our statute books when we cannot even implement the laws that we have on our books at the moment. Yes, it is a very good idea but unless the local legislation have very prohibitive fines for copycatting; you just have to go even to the informal sector vana siya-so vaya, you find everyone is copying everyone else’s. It looks like it is now accepted that you can copy. Also, there is the fear that being a small country, a lot of inventors who are local feel that it is no use registering a patent in Zimbabwe because the big boys in America and Europe will not recognise it. At least with this Convention, maybe it will put to rest such fears.
Mr. President, how many of our current super brands are actually patented? We know coca-cola is patented throughout the entire world, I think coca-cola is also patented on the moon as well because it is one product that somehow has got a never-ending patent. Patents and copyrights usually last for a certain fixed amount of time but coca-cola lasts forever. Why should products like coca-cola continue to enjoy this monopoly? I think the same has got to apply throughout the country. It looks like no country in the world can abrogate the coca-cola patent. Why is that so? The Government itself; in which ministry does the patent office reside? What is the ministry doing to encourage people to patent their intellectual property and to ensure that infringements are properly policed? Thank you.
SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President. I would like
to start by thanking the Deputy Minister for bringing such an important motion on the protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks. In the same vein, what Sen.
Chitaka has said, I also wanted to express concern on the assurance of the absence of copycats. So, I would not labour much on that one because Sen. Chitaka has put it eloquently.
Apart from that, I think this protocol is very welcome if we tighten the screws as he has said. It is painful to go and buy your product either locally or outside and it is marked ‘made in Russia, or made in London’ and so forth as what the Deputy Minister has said. This gives us an opportunity to interact with other countries if we register. There, I am in support but it is conditional support, provided the Government makes it tight proof that there are no copycats. You feel pity for the musicians, they are not getting much. It is a simple thing which is happening here in Zimbabwe. What about if it happens all over to the other products that we produce? The origins of most of these things are African and Zimbabwean in particular.
However, the advantages which the minister has cited in the presentation are overwhelming and we welcome the protocol. For example, the advantages of voluntary withdrawal if anything goes wrong, we can withdraw after we have registered and we can also change flexible …
THE ACTING PRESIDENT: Order. Minister, I think he is
actually addressing you, he wants you to listen. You can proceed.
SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you very much Mr. President for
protecting me. I am addressing this to the minister so that you take our concerns. I said one of the advantages is that the charges or the fees can be flexible in order to make them competitive. If you find out that your product has not been selling well, you can reduce the price and then it sells faster. The other concern is that, the languages in which the trademarks are registered seem to be limited; English, French and Spanish only. These should be expanded if we are to trade more as this applies very much so to Zimbabwe as what Sen. Chitaka has already said. We are not a developed country and our people need to be educated on this. Otherwise on the whole, without wasting time, I personally welcome that protocol so that we ratify it. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL
AFFAIRS: Thank you very much Mr. President I would like to thank the three hon. senators who have debated this motion. I am actually impressed by this House because when I moved this motion in the House of Assembly last week, there was hardly any debate. I am surprised by the level of understanding that this House has shown as regards intellectual property.
Firstly, I would want to begin by complimenting hon. Senator
Mandaba, Sen. Engineer Chitaka and Hon. Senator Mumvuri for fully conceptualising what intellectual property entails. That said; let me start by answering Hon. Senator Mandaba. She was asking to say, why did we take so long as Government to ratify this or rather to take appropriate measures for the ratification of the Madrid Protocol? It is actually a pertinent question because this protocol has been in existence since June 1989 that is almost 24 years ago. We have lost out a quarter of a century. Imagine how much we would have made as a country in 24 years. Unfortunately, I was not yet in Government then so I will be unable to really give an answer as to why we took so long to take appropriate measures for the ratification of this protocol.
I can assure Sen. Mandaba that there has been a lot of lobbying from the local legal community, particularly from the Law Society of Zimbabwe. They have lobbied very strongly; they have lobbied so strongly that we had no option but to give in and to agree to the ratification. I am pleased to advise this august Senate that even the hon. Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, hon. Chinamasa is in support of the ratification of this protocol.
For your information hon. senators, at Africa University in Mutare, very few people know that there is a degree that is being offered at both undergraduate and masters level in intellectual property. When I went there the other time, I was surprised that almost 90% of the students are non-Zimbabweans; they are from Liberia, Uganda, Somalia and Algeria. I was wondering why because everyone realises that this is where the money is but us Zimbabweans, in our own backyard, do not know where the money is. Maybe we should encourage our children to go and study Intellectual Property.
I believe Sen. Mandaba you have been answered. The good thing is we have now taken moves to ratify it and unfortunately it does not operate retrospectively. The law has this funny habit, in legal language it does not operate with retrospectivity; it normally operates going forward and not backwards. Unfortunately, we have lost out in the 24 or so years that we had not ratified. Perhaps it should serve to us as a good lesson to say next time when we have some of these protocols, we should take them seriously and we should also ensure that they are timeously ratified.
Even as Parliamentarians, there is a library here for research and I am sure Parliamentarians have that privilege of being able to research to say how many protocols are there? How many protocols were signed at the United Nations, at SADC or even at African Union (AU) level in 2012 for instance and how many have been ratified? If I ask you that question Sen. Mandaba, maybe a few of us would be able to answer. We have
the SADC Protocol on Gender that we ratified not too long ago but that protocol has not yet been domesticated. In other words, it is not yet part of the Zimbabwean law. You have no one to blame but ourselves. As Parliament these are some of the things that we should be seized with, to say we have ratified the SADC Protocol on Gender as women. We want it as law and you know the relevant Ministries; the Ministry of Gender; there is the Ministry of Justice, lobby the relevant Ministers to bring law that will domesticate the ratification of that protocol.
I believe we have learnt a lot from your submissions and it will obviously benefit us, because from now onwards, it is important for us, maybe as Parliamentarians, even to go out to our Constituencies and just conscientise our people, that lady or that man who is making - varikugadzira ngoma. If you go to Kariba, there is the Nyaminyami walking stick which I bought recently and I really like it. It is a beautiful thing, but imagine if that Nyaminyami walking stick has been patented and whoever originated it has his or her or their intellectual property protected; then they will be sitting pretty.
I have already given the example of Steve Jobs. So I believe it has been a problem of us as a continent just lagging behind. Our musicians, halt the time we have our musicians dying poor and we say why?
Biggie Tembo for instance, Biggie Tembo died a very poor man but Biggie Tembo, it is hard, you all know that the Bundu Boys were sharing a stage with Madonna. At one time they sung before 70 000 people in Wembles Stadium in London; but if you go to Biggie Tembo’s widow now, she is working somewhere; cleaning some beer hall in Mbare. She is suffering but Madonna is a multi-millionaire. Those are some of the things really, that we should be addressing. I am happy that we are now aware of that.
Moving on to Hon. Senator Chitaka; ‘piracy’ – piracy is a real major problem and I wonder why the law is taking so long to be amended. The problem is that, if someone is found selling pirated music; if you are found selling Jeys Marabini’s music, you are maybe fined $100.00. If you go to America and you are found selling pirated copies of Snoop Dogg’s music for instance, you go to prison for a very long time and you would not do it again. So I think it is really a matter of us as Parliamentarians to make sure that we lobby for laws that will make sure that if you are a pirate, those people we find selling pirated CDs; I have made it as my own personal policy that I will never buy a pirated CD, especially if it is of a Zimbabwean musician. I feel very bad to buy a pirated CD of Suluman Chimbetu; of Oliver Mutukudzi or Thomas Mapfumo. By that way, you are literally saying this musician should not benefit from his or her intellectual property.
So, I think it should start with us to conscientise our communities and also to lobby the law enforcement agencies, particularly the Ministers involved to say that the law should be amended, whoever is found selling pirated CDs or DVDs, should go to prison. It does not make sense really to have somebody who steals a cow, send to prison for 20 years; and somebody who rapes a child is send to prison for five years and somebody who pirates is fined $100.00. You see the disconnect there. I think us as Parliamentarians, we really should lobby for change of the laws.
Hon. Senator Chitaka also talked about – like he gave an example of coca-cola; why the monopoly of coke. The monopoly of coke, we all know that and for your information; for the benefit of those who do not know, the coke patent and the coke trade mark has been in existence for 125 years now. That means before all of us here were born. Mr. President, the coke trade mark was protected; so what they are saying is you protect where the money is and if you go to Atlanta Georgia in the
United States today, the head quarters of coca-cola; not even the Chief
Executive Officer of coca-cola knows the formula of making coca-cola. In other words, they make sure that where the money is, they protect it. We should learn to do that. We have our seven days here and if we think that it is a unique beer and we can protect it; why not do the same.
Maybe 100 years from now, seven days will be as popular as coca-cola. I am just giving a practical example. I gave you the example of a gentleman from Hwedza with that drum beat that accompanies the news hour. I met him at the National Sport Stadium and had a chat with him on independence day. When I saw him I felt very – I did not tell him of course but I felt bad. He did not look like he had made money from his intellectual property. Mr. President, that drum beat is unique; it is uniquely his, you cannot get it anywhere else. If it had been properly protected, that man would be a big man now, is it not? So I think we as Parliamentarians should make sure that we advise our people; explain to them the importance of intellectual property.
Senator Chitaka also asked me, ‘which Ministry administers
patents?’ The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs administer patents. We had actually held a number of workshops where we have hosted – you would be surprised that in Southern Africa we have what is called ARIPO, The African Regional and Intellectual Property Office. It is somewhere there in Belgravia, where all the countries in Africa are represented, but how many of us know that there is ARIPO in Harare? We do not know. I think it is also important, I think it is an indictment on us as a Ministry to conscientise people to say when you discover something, like they say there is no cure for this; there is no cure for AIDS, maybe some n’anga; some traditional healer somewhere, can give you a recipe. I know from a personal experience, I had an aunt who had an operation for cancer four years ago. She was detained at Parirenyatwa hospital, the surgeon said; telling us as a family, forget about this lady, I think she is terminal, she is going to die. Believe you me, that woman is as strong as she can be today and she is working in Bulawayo. Some traditional healer from Warren Park gave her some concoction which cured her cancer. Who knows about that traditional healer? Maybe if we can have conscientisation of people so that they know that, particularly there our traditional healers; there is this secrecy about mishonga. I speak openly about traditional healers because that is where the money is. We should talk openly and say for all you know most of the diseases we are suffering from, they are curable from medicines that are locally available. If we can protect and patents it or trade mark those medicines, we make money as a country.
Last but not least, Hon Senator Mumvuri; assurance of the absence copy cats, it is very difficult. They know there is laxity in the law. If you take a drive down town, if you go along Samora Machel Avenue, you will meet a lot of young men and women, especially young men, selling pirated copies of Chimbetu’s music; of Macheso’s music; of
Lovemore Majaivana’s music and Majaivana does not get anything; Jeys Marabini does not get anything. I remember talking to a certain musician who said before he even had his music formally on the shelves or record bars, already the pirates were selling. So I think what we simply have to do is to make sure that we tighten our laws. Why is it that in other countries there is no problem of piracy? Why is it that in developed world there is no problem, we never hear of Madonna complaining about piracy. We never hear of John Bon Jovie complaining of piracy we never hear of all these so called big artists complaining of piracy but here in Zimbabwe, our musicians, old as they are, some of them, Mutukudzi is in his 60s, he is forced to have three/four live shows a week because if he does not do that, he will starve. Imagine if his intellectual property was protected, he will simply have- ‘I am Tuku music’, ‘I am a brand’, maybe I have one show a year like the Michael Jacksons of this world used to do.
Michael Jackson would have a show once every three years because he knew that money would still come in even if he did not hold live shows. So I believe that it is very important that we lobby the relevant arms of the Government and also the relevant law enforcement agents. So next time you see someone selling to you a pirated CD, call the police and I urge hon. senators not to buy pirated DVDs; not to buy pirated CDs. It should start with us. Government should make sure that there are no copy cats, I think I have already answered that.
How do we ensure that price is competitive, price will be competitive, I believe once we protect our patents; we protect our trade mark, I believe that market forces will determine and they will stabilise. It is only in Africa where there is piracy. Piracy is a big problem because we do not appreciate the importance of intellectual property. Why, because we think something that you cannot touch, that is not tangible is not property? You will be surprised, this is a nokia phone, I do not know who designed the nokia but I think he or she or they, must be long since dead but in their graves, they are still getting money.
Simply by saying nokia because it is a protected brand. In Zimbabwe can you give me one brand that is protected? I cannot think of it. We have Thomas Mapfumo who is 67 years old, staying in Oregon in the United States. He is forced to have shows and is on stage on a daily basis because if he does not do that, he will starve. However, if we have protected and promoted that Chimurenga beat, his distinct sound, which is his creation, we could have helped him preserve it. He blends mbira and guitars to come up with the Chimurenga beat and you cannot deny that it is his creation. Thomas Mapfumo has not benefitted from that because it is not protected. I believe that we should learn from this and go forward so that things will be better.
Lastly, languages, why are there only three languages? It is a pity. Africa should move to have a united nations and make sure that at least one African language is recognis ed. For instance, Swahili is spoken in East Africa, that is in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Djibouti and so on. We really should move to make sure that we have our own agenda as Africans. The problem with us as Africans is that we wait for others to set the agenda for us, we do not agenda set, we react. I believe that in order to go forward, we should be able to ‘agenda set’, instead of reacting to other people’s agenda. You will not expect Europeans to push for the recognition of Swahili as a language, for the registration of trademarks because there is nothing in it for them. The Spanish pushed for it because they are now saying it is the world’s third largest language, which is true. In the United States, in the Southern parts like in Florida or Texas, there is more Spanish being spoken than English because they have been pushing for its adoption. It is up to us as Africans to push for our own agenda. Hon. senators, at the end of the day, I believe the bus stop is with us. Mr. President, with those words, I move that the Senate resolves that the Protocol be approved for ratification.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of THE GOVERNOR FOR MASVINGO, the
Senate adjourned at Twenty-Five Minutes past Three o’clock p.m. until
Tuesday, 4th June, 2013.