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SENATE HANSARD 25 FEBRUARY 2020 29 23
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 25th February, 2020.
The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF
SUBMSSION OF BIOGRAPHIES
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to
remind Hon. Senators who have not yet submitted their biographies to Public Relations Department to do so at Parliament Building, Office Number 312, 3rd Floor, South Wing and Office Number 520, 5th Floor,
South Wing, Pax House.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that Orders of the Day,
Numbers 1 to 5 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 6 has been disposed of.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT ON THE ZIMBABWEAN DELAGATION BILATERAL
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: I move the motion
standing my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Zimbabwean delegation to Havana, Cuba for a Bilateral Visit from 1st to 6th September, 2019.
HON. SEN. A. DUBE: I second.
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Hon. President.
This delegation was led by the President of the Senate Hon. Chinomona.
The Zimbabwean Ambassador to Cuba became part of our delegation, His Excellency Ignatius Graham Mudzimba but he also provided administrative and logistical support to the delegation throughout our visit. The Bilateral visit provided a platform for the Parliament of
Zimbabwe and National Assembly of People’s Power to explore possibilities and possible areas of cooperation with the aim of furthering the bilateral relations that exist between our two countries.
The visit was also an opportunity for Parliament to learn the relationship between Zimbabwe and Cuba and to know that it is now a shifting relationship and moving away from the traditional cooperation in education and health and it is breaking into new areas, particularly technology, tourism; among others. We first had briefing by the Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to Cuba. He set us down and briefed us of what is happening in Cuba and outstanding in his brief was the fact that the Mission was seized with broadening the cooperation from the traditional education and health sectors to areas of manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and tourism.
He also lamented the embargo on Cuba that was affecting the country in various sectors, which include but are not limited to fuel supply, dwindling tourist arrivals and general unavailability of basic commodities on the local market. I think this is very important because while we may be having sanctions, they have an embargo. An embargo is a much more powerful tool that is being used against Cuba. He added that according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, his Mission should not cover Cuba alone and this is very instructive but it covers ten more island countries namely Bahamas,
Guyana, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Haiti, French Guinea and Surinam. However, due to financial constraints, the ambassador has not been able to present papers of credence to any of the above-mentioned countries. Consequently, cooperation with these countries has been limited to informal interactions with no concrete brokering of deals that benefit these countries and Zimbabwe.
He highlighted the difficult operating environment in Cuba characterised by unpaid rentals at the Chancery and at the ambassador’s residence. If they get US dollars they are penalised by Government there. They have obsolete utility vehicles, dilapidated furniture and are short of very basic commodities.
While responding to the ambassador, the Hon President of the
Senate commended the staff for their innovation and maintaining the
Chancery operational. She also undertook to engage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on all important issues raised by the ambassador and his staff. She observed that the establishment of diplomatic relations with ten island countries was urgent and overdue as this would unlock opportunities for Zimbabwe in various sectors in line with the national stance that Zimbabwe is open for business. She added that a solution ought to be found regarding remuneration of the staff in
Euros to cushion them against the levies imposed by the Cuban
Government for the US dollar.
We then visited this iconic place called Jose Marti Memorial and we also visited the House of Africa and Colon Metropolis where they put their heroes. Jose Marti Memorial is a Cuban National Heritage
Centre designed to honour, preserve and showcase the life of Jose the Cuban liberation icon. It is a big place. They trace his history from childhood and it is very instructive how he became a national hero in Cuba. The House of Africa is a museum displaying the rich African culture and its diversity. It houses several artifacts that were presented as gifts to the late former President of Cuba, Fidel Castro by different African leaders. We went to this big museum which is three stories and all of it is just full of artifacts and gifts that came from various African governments including our very own. It was very impressive that you get such a place. It shows how Cuba respects and is very attached to its African heritage. Visits to these historical sites exposed the delegation to
Cuba’s strong attachment to the African continent.
We then visited the Generic Engineering and Biotechnology Centre. Here we were addressed by Dr Manuel Perez Castaneda. This centre is very impressive. The delegation was given an insight into the historical background of the centre and the following were highlighted. As we got in, one of the things that was amazing was that they actually had full statistics on Zimbabwe’s health sector. They were telling us about our diabetes levels, our HIV/AIDS levels, our hepatitis and so on and so forth. We used to think that it is only the Western countries that come and tell us but Cuba was telling us exactly our statistics.
The institution employs 22 000 employees has got 31 centres and
64 manufacturing facilities and it exports pharmaceuticals to the United States and Europe. The institution is designed to solve health problems and it is not necessarily an income generating venture. Cuba has technology to repair hearing impairment. While Zimbabwe is grappling with Hepatitis B, Cuba has managed to eradicate the disease and is prepared to assist Zimbabwe reach a safe destination. He however commended Zimbabwe for the big strides that we have made in malaria and HIV. Cuba is very advanced in cancer and diabetes treatment. I notice a lot of people are now going to Cuba for treatment of cancer and to look at their diabetic levels. Cuba is prepared to assist Zimbabwe to address the issue of hepatitis and HIV challenges.
We then met the President of the National Assembly. They do not have two houses. They have the National Assembly and the boss there was a very big man. You are big yourself Mr. President but he is twice as big. He received us and lauded the relationship between Cuba and Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular. He made reference to 1.2 million slaves brought to Cuba from Africa and these slaves came mostly from West Africa. It is very significant and a lot of these fought in the Cuban wars for liberation. He indicated that Zimbabwe and Cuba cooperated intensely in education and health. This is well known now that in terms of education and health we really have been comrades. He also highlighted the US imposed embargo that it is crippling the economic development of Cuba and pointed out the blockade that was affecting movement of fuel from Venezuela into Cuba. The blockade is actually real. The US patrol, that sea between Cuba and Venezuela and if there are any ships that are taking oil to Cuba, they are blocked.
The delegation was appraised of the new Constitution of Cuba and the various reforms that Cuba was embarking on as well as the 53% women representation in Parliament. The Hon President of the National
People’s Power condemned the sanctions on Zimbabwe but encouraged resilience in light of the sanctions and look up to the cooperating nations for sustenance.
Cuba has managed to survive the sanctions with guidance of very strong political leadership and the dictates of communism and socialism planted by the late Fidel Castro and support from friendly countries. The delegation also learned that Cuba has three arms of government as enshrined in their constitution. Very similar to us; the Executive,
Legislature and the Judiciary. It was informed that the National Assembly of Peoples Power only meets twice a year. It is not this daily meeting. They meet twice a year. However, they have permanent committees which are working groups which work throughout the year and make recommendations where necessary to the National Assembly.
It is a very curious system.
In response to the points raised, the President of the Senate appreciated the assistance rendered to Zimbabwe by Cuba dating back to the liberation struggle up to the cooperation in health and education and she expressed her hope for continued cooperation in those fields. She advised that she herself was trained by Cubans in Ethiopia and that Fidel Castro was present at her pass out parade. She indicated that Zimbabwe was currently going through reforms and exploring various means to counter economic crisis caused by the sanctions.
The Hon. President of the Senate and the President of the National Peoples Power agreed to cooperate and assist each other in the fight against US sanctions at all global platforms including at the UN General Assembly. We then met with the Cuban Women Federation – we as men were told not to come to that. It was only the women delegates who met their fellow women members.
So the President of Senate delegation was apprised of the existence and operation of the Cuban Women’s Federation whose mandate is to improve the lives of Cuban women and defend the Cuban revolution while creating equality and promoting care for the family. With a membership of over 4 000 000 the Federation has made the following achievements.
- 66% of the professional and technical employees in Cuba are women.
- Reserving of a certain quota of the position in various sectors of the Cuban society. This resulted in the 5% women membership in Parliament.
- There was inclusion of women in the military service.
- Assisting members of the Federation who became incapacitated due to age or other means. I think this is so important when you have these sort of groupings that you assist each other.
- Vocational training of women especially young women in various areas such as agriculture amongst others.
- Promoting young women to take up leadership positions in view of Cuba’s aging population.
The delegation learnt that powerful Ministries such as Finance and Labour are occupied by women ministers. The Attorney General and the Governor of the Central Bank are also women and 80% of the legal fraternity are women. Above all, the Council of State of Cuba has five vice presidents and three of them are women. In their presidium, they have got the President then they have five vice presidents - of those, five vice presidents three of them are women and this Federation looks forward to a female president in the very near future.
In response the President of the Senate and her delegation appreciated the manner in which the Federation is run as it is nonpartisan, non-governmental but only focuses on achieving a society where women play a prominent role in developing the country, an idea that is worth emulating.
We then visited Varadero Tourist Resort. Varadero is really like their Victoria Falls. If you go to Cuba and you do not go to Varadero then know that you will really not have done much. So in order to appreciate Cuba as a tourist destination, the delegation undertook a tour of Varadero, a tourist resort located 150 km from Havana which accounts for at least 40% of the country’s GDP.
Cuba has invested very heavily in infrastructure development in this resort town. Varadero boasts of 50 up- market hotels with a total room capacity of 21 000 and expected to add another 3 000 by the year 2021. We went there, Mr. President, I did not think that Cuba had such hotels. In fact some of them were not five star but were actually seven star hotels. Big structures with glass all over overlooking the sea, beautiful and I think that it is something that we underestimate.
To circumvent the United States embargo, Cuba has relied on joint ventures with international companies from friendly nations to run the tourist industry which attracts up to 2 000 000 tourists every year.
We then went to the Ministry of Public Health, our equivalent of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the delegation appreciated the following facts about the Cuban health system. We have about 2 000 to 3 000 doctors in this country and our population is about the same as Cuba. Cuba has 101 619 doctors, 46 000 of them are family doctors and the rural areas of Cuba are 100% covered by doctors. One doctor covers 110 citizens. One dentist covers 602 inhabitants and one nurse covers 128 citizens. The infant mortality rate is 4 per 1000 new born. We are at about 55. Life expectancy stands as 78 years. We have about four medical schools and Cuba has 13 schools of medicines and it also has
the Latin American School of Medicine and the National School of Public Health.
This, Mr. President, is very instructive. Access to health is universal and free of charge. In terms of facilities Cuba boasts of 131 maternity homes and homes for the elderly. We have not many houses for the elderly. I think each of our cities may have one or two but clearly we need to look at that. We are now getting an aging population.
We must look at that very thoroughly.
They have got day care homes for the elderly and they have got 12 research institutes. We have one. Twenty-eight percent of the nation’s budget accounts for 9.7% of the national GDP is allocated to the health sector. Cuba is currently running 11 vaccination programmes covering
13 diseases and it has eradicated certain diseases that we still have here. It has eradicated polio, diphtheria, measles, mumps and pertussis which is whooping cough.
Our prevalence rate for HIV in this country is about 15. The prevalence rate in Cuba for HIV is 0.27. Cuba has a presence of doctors in 164 countries including our own. The delegation appreciated the assistance rendered to Zimbabwe by Cuba in the health sector and sort collaboration in the area of pharmaceuticals. The delegation also agreed to recommend that the Ministry of Health and Child Care visit Cuba for an in-depth appreciation of the health sector and bench marking.
Cuba has a strong social services development thrust guided by socialism and communism propagated by Fidel Castro. The country’s budget allocations reflect this position. Zimbabwe can learn best practices from Cuba with regards to the development of the health, education, sciences and tourism sectors as key development drivers.
Cuba has well formulated policies in place for the establishment of its critical institutions. The key to their achievement in health and education can be attributed to their ability to craft clear policies which are implementable and time framed.
The sanctions imposed by the United States of America have been a motivating factor in Cuba’s quest for self determination politically and economically. Cuba has engaged friendly republics to circumvent the ills of the illegal embargo. Cuba also has to deal with United States of America allies such as Brazil that have become hostile to Cuba.
Gender equality is valued highly in Cuba. Zimbabwe should honour its agreement entered with Cuba in all sectors. For example students on scholarships, we experience serious delays in disbursements of stipends, the Bindura University of Science and Technology engaged Cuban lecturers to work at the university and since November 2018 the lecturers have been on standby as our university continues to cite non availability of funds to fly the lecturers to Zimbabwe, Cuban doctors in Zimbabwe continue to experience delays in payment of their salaries and the Zimbabwe Tourist Authority failed on two occasions to provide air tickets for a Cuban dance group that was due to perform at the Harare Carnival.
The documentation of Jose Marti’s history as well as the displays of the Africa House show how Cubans value and preserve their history and it is worth emulating. Zimbabwe can learn a lot from Cuba in the energy sector since Cuba has invested heavily in renewable energy production. Cuba boasts of power generation from the following sources – thermal, solar, biomass, wind as well as crude oil generation.
Cuba has benefited from investments from China, India and from the United Arab Emirates in the energy sector. Cuba has a solid industry producing cigars. With Zimbabwe’s tobacco production local business people could embark in cigar production with Cuban assistance.
Mr. President, the delegation then made various recommendations which I think I will leave for now because I think Members can read on those Hon. Members can read on those.
In conclusion, the bilateral visit opened an opportunity for further cooperation between the two legislatures and by extension, the two countries. It is therefore, imperative that Zimbabwe emulates Cuba, not only in the traditional areas of cooperation in education and health but also in the new areas of pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and tourism.
Accordingly, the relevant committees and ministries need to take ample action to address key issues raised in this report. I thank you. – [HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you
very much Hon. Sen. Parirenyatwa for your report. May I remind Hon. Senators once again to put your phones on silent or better still switch them off.
+HON. SEN. R. M. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion that was presented. I am one of the delegates who participated and travelled to Cuba with Hon. Madam President. I learnt a lot on this journey. I am not feeling well, please accept my apology and that is why I am not speaking that eloquently.
In support of what Hon. Sen. Dr. Parirenyatwa said in the report that he just tabled – all that he has said is very correct that is what we came across. I learnt that other countries are working together as a team. We were given a warm welcome by the President of the People’s Power and the National Assembly who welcomed us very well. They gave us the history on Cuba.
I also noted that as a nation, they still prioritise and uphold the importance of their history. We were also shown where Jose Marti is, even his clothes are still there – in fact all his clothes are still there. I realised that it is very important for people to preserve their history so that even the future generations know the history of their country. He elaborated on the structure of their Parliament and what I took as important is that the number of women parliamentarians is at 53%, which is what we wish for as Zimbabweans that we could have a similar scenario as that which prevails in Cuba. It is our wish to also have a good number of women parliamentarians.
I also noticed that they have been under sanctions for almost 47 years but you will not see it because of the way that they are working as a team and the way in which they respect their country. You will not pick the fact that they are a nation that is reeling under sanctions. They also indicated that it is because of the leadership of the late Fidel Castro.
Even after he has long passed on, they are still following in his footsteps.
They also highlighted the fact that they get assistance from countries that they work with. Those countries that are not working with them, they do not really bother themselves about them. He also indicated that they do not take into consideration the countries that are not in good books with them and do not allow them to come and divide their country as Cuba or allow them to interfere in their national relations. Yes, they do not have a stable economy but you will not pick it because they work as a team. He also enlightened that the way that they work as a team is what is making their nation not to really reflect that it is a nation that is under sanctions. This is the reason why they also value their currency and are using it, even when it does not have much value but as a nation, they love the way that they are using their currency. They emphasised the fact that they want visitors to use the
Cuban currency which is an indication of how they value their currency.
I also realised that working as a team promotes the growth of the economy. He also indicated the fact that their history is a bit on the painful side especially considering the way that their fore fathers used to work. At times when he was narrating their history, we shed some tears and they do not want to revert to a similar situation that they experienced before. He also emphasised the fact that they are in good relations with Zimbabwe and when he sees someone who comes from Zimbabwe; he takes all Zimbabweans as relatives because Cubans love Zimbabwe because of the respect that Zimbabweans have. He also indicated that no one should interfere with Zimbabwe and Cuba’s relations. They emphasised the fact that once you leave, you would have left forever and never to return because they know that when you return, you will not receive a hearty welcome from the country.
He also indicated that those who try to work as sellouts do not normally succeed because of the teamwork that prevails in Cuba. They value everything that they have as a country and do not want any interference from other countries. I also admired the way that they value their liberation struggle and it is one thing that makes them to have the courage to work for their country and valuing everything that they have.
Hon. Madam President, as leader of the delegation, also spoke highly of Zimbabwe and expressed great pleasure in existing relations between Cuba and Zimbabwe. She also indicated the fact that Cuba and Zimbabwe have good relations and she believes that nothing will come in between because the two countries share their liberation struggle experiences. She also indicated the fact that one of the Hon. Senators in the delegation once travelled to Cuba during the war of liberation and learnt a lot. She emphasised the fact that we could learn from Cuba so that we work as a team and nation. As much as we are under sanctions, team work will make us get to greater heights. Yes we can differ in views but we work as Zimbabweans and as one team. We also took note that their Parliament only sits once per year. It is unlike us in Zimbabwe whereby we come to Parliament every week. They also have Committee system as well. They table reports in different Committees. In my view, I think that is why they are working as a team. It discourages the issue
of having salaries. Maybe that is why there are so many sell-outs in
Zimbabwe – it might be because of too many sittings that we are having.
In Cuba when they sit, they come and discuss important things and it is in rare cases whereby you can have someone who will try to be a sell out. I like the hospitality that we got and most of them value their traditions as well and the way they do their traditional herbs. The places they prepare their herbs are clean and nice. They are able to prepare their herbs in a good way. You will realise that most of the doctors that are from Cuba, when they come to Zimbabwe, they are good doctors. Maybe it is because of the way they value their traditions and their culture.
The Bible even says that the leadership that we have is appointed by God. Maybe that is why the people from Cube respect all the leadership that they have. I also want to thank the opportunity that I was given to accompany the Hon. Madam President of Senate to Cuba. I did not know that one day I would set my foot in Cuba.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: I would like to thank the Committee
for the report that they have given us. Mr. President, the report tells us of a wonderful economy and social story of Cuba. Cuba has been a friend of this country from days of the liberation struggle. The question is, why do we not copy our friend? We have been told of the wonderful economic infrastructure and development of Cuba in the face of adversities. We have been told about the wonderful healthcare infrastructure in Cuba. Infact, Cuba is exporting manpower and earning foreign currency from its manpower.
It has eradicated diseases that the Hon. Member talked about.
These include hepatitis B, malaria and so on. As the Chairman said, Cuba is under embargo and he correctly said that the embargo is more drastic than sanctions and yet under these sanctions or economic embargoes, Cuba has done well. The question is why can we not do that as well?
Let me just draw the attention of this House to the Smith Regime under sanctions. We all know that Government was under United Nations sanctions. In other words, it was not under targeted sanctions that operate in Zimbabwe. In other words, it was under worse economic sanctions than Zimbabwe and yet the Rhodesian economy improved. The Rhodesian manufacturing sector improved. Under the sanctions, they started doing value addition. This is the same country that we are ruling. They started doing import substitution.
My brothers here including Hon. Sen. Sekeramayi were the young men those days and they will testify that we had cigarettes called Peter Stuyvesant, Star and so on. As the sanctions were imposed, Rhodesia started manufacturing its own cigarettes. That is why we had Madison, Kingsgate and Everest. In other words, the point I am making is why have other countries or even the same country performed economically better under sanctions than we are doing now? It may be that the fault may not be in our stars dear Brutus but in ourselves. What is it that the Cubans has done that we are failing to do in the face of the same adversity? It is this thing Mr. President that must force us to put our thinking caps on. If Smith who was fighting a war which was costing him one million pounds a day – the liberations war that some of our Hon. Members were so brave to fight in; that war was costing his Government one million pounds a day but his Rhodesian dollar was above the United States Dollar. What is it that they were doing that we are not doing today?
When the wonderful story of Cuba was being told, there are a few things that we must learn. The first one is that it provides us an excellent case study in leadership. Never mind the political system there; the political system there was a communist dictatorship and we may not really muddle that system but it had a disciplined leadership. They were financially disciplined. They did not steal from their people, they did not have corruption which was so rampant and there was no state capture in Cuba. These are some of the things that we must learn. As long as there is state capture, prevalence of cartels in a country and as long as other people have more access to economic resources than others, a country will not develop.
Fortunately, Cuba was able to be very disciplined even though it was a dictatorship. It was a dictatorship with a disciplined dictator. If you have a disciplined dictator who makes sure that his Constitution is followed, looks at the best interest of his people and develops his man and women then that land may develop. We do not hear after the Cuban revolution of anything equal to Gukurahundi. We do not hear after the Cuban revolution anything similar to Murambatsvina or the 2008 election violence. We do not hear that. We do not hear of a Cuba in ruin or at war with its own people. We do not hear of that yet in this country we have an undeclared civil war against our own people and here Mr. President, we need to change our ways. Tinofanira kuchinja maitiro edu.
Just as an example, this Government promised our people that they were going to abide by the recommendations of the Mohlante
Commission. One of the recommendations of the Mohlante Commission was that the Government compensates the victims of the six families who were affected by the August 1, 2018 shootings. Up to now Mr.
President, no single cent has been paid to those families.
We can talk about what other countries’ attitude towards us is but what is our attitude towards our own people? Do we give our own people the justice they deserve? The Mohlante Commission said those people, the victims deserved justice. They were supposed to be compensated. Their children were supposed to be sent to school by our Government and our Government accepted that responsibility and undertook to help these families but two years have gone and nothing has been done.
The sorry way in which we treat ourselves brings us bad omen. This is a real case study of what a responsible Government can achieve even in the face of sanctions. I am sure when the Cubans talk about the United States embargo – they were affected and their sugar exports were affected, but they traded with those countries who did not impose sanctions. Why are we not trading with those countries that have not given us any sanctions? For example, why are we not favourably trading with China?
Zimbabwe is a big supermarket of Chinese goods, and South
Africa is not exporting anything. I think we must look at ourselves with black pride. We are an intelligent people, gifted people and we have mineral resources. Mr. President, in you I see an example of bravery that is in Zimbabwe’s people. These talented people, this talented nation, why is it in a sorry state? Is it that Cubans think better than us? Is it that Smith and his Government thought better than our Government or we are capable of thinking better than our Government? They are whatever it is Mr. President. There is something wrong with the way we are running our country and the Cuban story bears testimony to that. Thank you very much Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for
affording me this opportunity to say a few words as I am one of the delegates that went to Cuba on a bilateral visit. We learnt a lot and a lot has been said by Dr. Parirenyatwa. The other thing that I learnt when we went to their Public Centre is that we saw the whole data for this country for every province and the population. They said Zimbabweans say you are 14 million but you are16 million.
This shows that they have better data than what we have. We learnt a lot because of this bilateral visit. I would like to thank Parliament of Zimbabwe which made such arrangements for us to go and see what others do in their countries. Cuba has invested so much in health. They gave us a report to say their doctors who were deployed in different countries all over the world bring $7 billion per year in their country.
This is why this embargo that we are facing did not disturb them much.
The other thing that I learnt in Cuba is that Cubans like their country and are united. They speak one language in terms of defending their country. This embargo has disturbed the movement of fuel because most of their fuel comes from Venezuela. They used to get 70% of the fuel from Venezuela but now because of the sanctions which were imposed upon Venezuela it means this will disturb the movement of cars in Cuba.
The report talked about tourism and it is full of hotels. We went to Valdero Hotel and we saw a lot. Even though their neighbouring countries do not want people to visit Cuba, many people still go there. They go as individuals and they do some businesses but they also go and visit places of interest in that country. If Cuba had been using electricity as we do here in Zimbabwe, the country should not have been where it is right now but they use solar energy which makes their country have power all the time.
As women, we also went to the Women’s Federation and we asked as to which law they use in their country – party Constitution or national Constitution. They said they have one Constitution which is the national Constitution. So they have four million followers in that federation and our report is saying in Cuba, women are in different positions and they follow their Constitution to empower women. If you see the Speaker of Parliament in Cuba, if he enters this august House of ours, you will think that he is Zimbabwean.
When he saw us, he thought of slavery which happened in their country. Cuba respects the liberation war heroes. They showed us a woman General who is still alive and who went to war together with Fidel Castro. She is still there and is working in her country Cuba. We were also shown pictures of some people from Africa who were killed because of slave trade. You would see different people who fought in the war with their names which shows that documentation is very important in each and every country. We did not do that even in our Chimurenga liberation struggle, but Cuba has it and I think in the report it was also mentioned. The last thing which Fidel Castro did before he died, the gloves that he was given by the President of Venezuela, it is part of history and all the young people grow up knowing history. We had a revelation that we should come up with such things as Zimbabwe so that we will be on the map as Zimbabwe.
Our embassy was in trouble because rentals had not been paid, so they were given eviction orders. Madam President was very angry because of the situation, otherwise we should have gone there in the absence of the embassy. The embassies in Cuba pay four thousand per month but our ambassador, His Excellency Muzenda said that the Cubans told us that we are friends but we are under sanctions. They said they rely on these rentals, so if they chase us away what will they do. Their moral was very low because they said if you are saved with an eviction order, where would you go? Madam President had to intervene and we just plead with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look into the situation of our embassies. With these few words, I want to thank you.
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Mr. President, I move that
the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th February, 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President Sir, I move that Order of
the Day No. 7 be stood over until all the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MKWEBU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th February, 2020.
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE PAN-AFRICAN
PARLIAMENT HIGH LEVEL SUMMIT ON HIV AND
HEALTH FINANCING IN AFRICA
Nineth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the delegation to the Pan-African Parliament High Level Summit on HIV and health financing in Africa held in Brazzaville, Congo from 11th to 12th July, 2019.
Question against proposed.
HON. SEN. FEMAI: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. P. NDLOVU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th February, 2020.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON.
SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE, the Senate adjourned at Twenty Two
Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.