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SENATE HANSARD 28 MAY 2024 VOL 33 NO 53

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 28th May, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

THE PRESIDENT OF SENATE’S RULING

ANNOUNCEMENT OF CCC APPOINTMENTS TO VARIOUS PORTFOLIOS

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have an announcement to make. On Thursday, 15 February, 2024, I made an announcement in the House on the appointment of several Members of the CCC party to various portfolios in Parliament. The announcement was based on a letter offered by one Mr. Jameson Timba, purporting to be the interim leader of the CCC party. On reflection, I should not have acted upon that letter as facts now before me show that Jameson Timba had no locus standi to represent the party in such a manner as I will outline below:

 First, Jameson Timba was recalled from the Senate by the CCC but on 7 November, 2023, the party which he purported to represent as the acting leader and administrator. Secondly, Jameson Timba challenged the recall in the High Court under case number HCH 6684/23 with other former Members of the CCC party and lost the court case. He was also among the former Members of the CCC party whom the High Court barred on 9th December, 2023 from contesting in the 3rd February, 2024 by-elections, under the CCC party following Sengezo Tshabangu`s application to block them from participating in the polls under the CCC banner. Considering that Jameson Timba had been recalled by the same CCC party he was purporting to represent and that he was also barred by the court from contesting under the banner of the same CCC party, his communication to Parliament and appointments made thereafter are therefore null and void. Accordingly, I am rescinding the announcement made on 15th February, 2024 and referring the matter back to the CCC party to make the appropriate appointments.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 and 2 be stood over, until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICES COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

  Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Judicial Service Commission presented to this House of Parliament in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

  Question again proposed.

  HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Mine is not a debate, but we have not received this report, including the Human Rights Reports.  They were read here but on our group, we do not have them so that we can read and debate here.

  THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Do you mean even online you did not see the reports?

  HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Yes.

  THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: From now, our Clerk is checking from the office where it is being delayed.

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

  HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

  Motion put and agreed to.

  Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th May, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

  Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for the year 2023, presented to this House of Parliament in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

  Question again proposed. 

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th May. 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Human Rights Commission for the year 2023, presented to this House of Parliament in terms of section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: That is one of the motions whose reports we have not seen. It was presented here last week, but it is not yet circulated.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I hope it is the same answer; the Clerk is checking with the office to see where it has been delayed.

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th May. 2024.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON MUZENDA: Madam President, I move that Order of the Day Number 6 be stood over, until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2023

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of National Peace and Reconciliation Commission for the year 2023.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE AFFAIRS (HON. SEN. H. MOYO): Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th May, 2024.

MOTION

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES TO HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA ON ASSUMPTION OF THE PRESIDENCY OF PAP

HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: Madam President, I move the motion standing in my name that this House:

INSPIRED by the historical achievement of our luminary and visionary icon Hon. Senator Chief Fortune Zephaniah Charumbira on his assumption of the Presidency of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), on Monday 25 March 2024;

COGNISANT that this accomplishment is not only an honour and victory for our proudly Zimbabwean Traditional Leadership and the Nation as a whole, but a defining moment for the entire Sub-Saharan Region;

FULLY EMBRACING the glorious honour bestowed on Zimbabwe as a country, this House profoundly expresses its warmest congratulations to our illustrious son of the soil on this momentous occasion and wishes him well during his tenure at the pinnacle of the Continental Parliament; and

RESOLVES that its congratulatory messages be conveyed to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira and the august Senate.

HON. SEN. CHIEF NECHOMBO: I second.

HON. SEN. CHIEF SIANSALI: Thank you Madam President. I beg to move that this House congratulates the President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, who is also the Deputy President of the National Council of Chiefs for successfully retaining the PAP Presidency with a landslide victory in elections held at the PAP on 25th March, 2024. Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira cruised to victory by garnering 127 out of 166 votes cast, representing 77% affirmative votes by Members of the PAP.

Mr. President, those who have been following events at PAP since August 2023 will appreciate the significance of this victory and the vindication, not just to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on a personal level, but also to Zimbabwe and the SADC region as a whole. I will not belabour Hon. Members with the details, save to say that the leadership crisis at the PAP was instigated by the second Vice President of the PAP, Hon. Dr. Ashebiri Gayo, an Ethiopian national under the guise that the rules of procedure that had been amended by the PAP on the 22nd November 2022, to include rotational leadership violated the PAP protocol and should be withdrawn.

Prior to the amendments, PAP was the only organ of the African Union which did not uphold the principle of rotation, with those against it arguing that it was not in the PAP rules of procedure and was therefore unenforceable. Mr. President, as you will recall, this was precisely the reason why Zimbabwe and the Southern Region Caucus had spearheaded the fight for rotational leadership under the ‘no rotation, no election mantra’, resulting in the suspension of the PAP in 2021.

The PAP only resumed business on 29th June 2022 with election of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira as President after the African Union Executive Council upheld the Southern Region Caucus that the PAP should respect the principle of rotation in all its leadership structures. It is instructive to note that without the principle of rotation, the Southern Region would never have been able to assume the Presidency as Francophone Countries within PAP used the tyranny of numbers to repeatedly vote for their own. The amendment of the rules of procedure by PAP was therefore intended to incorporate the principle of rotation as instructed by the Executive Council.

Mr. President Sir, sadly, the African Union Commission was hoodwinked by Hon. Dr. Gayo into believing that he was spearheading a noble agenda of protecting PAP protocol, yet in essence, the fight was against the codification of the principle of rotational leadership in the Pan-African Parliament Rules of Procedure. The AU Commission Chairperson proceeded to suspend the PAP Rules of Procedure on the 26th of October 2023, thus preventing automatic return of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira as President after elections in Zimbabwe. In line with the principle of rotation, the AU Commission, on the advice of the Office of the Legal Counsel insisted that elections be held again to elect the President and the rest as they say is history. 

          Mr. President Sir, if the fight was genuine or genuinely for the protection of PAP Protocol, one would have expected it to end with the suspension of the amended Rules of Procedure by the African Union Commission Chairperson on the 26th October, 2023.  Sadly, the fight in fact escalated with Hon. Dr. Gayo and his cabal using mainstream media and social media to demonise Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira with false and malicious allegations of misappropriation of funds and corruption, among others. 

          Mr. President, every attack on Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira ended up being vitriolic attacks on the ruling party ZANU PF, Zimbabwe and in some instances, African National Congress of South Africa and SWAPO of Namibia. The intention was to unseat Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira and position Dr. Gayo to take over as President after the suspension of the Rules of Procedure, and by extending the suspension of the principle of rotation.

          Mr. President, it is in this context that I affirm that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira’s victory was not just a personal victory, but also a victory for Zimbabwe.  It was a victory for Southern Region, a victory for the future of the Pan-African Parliament and indeed, a victory for the institution of traditional leadership in the entire Africa as he emerges to be the first traditional leader to lead the Pan-African Parliament since its creation.  On an individual level, Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira’s victory was a reaffirmation of his transformative leadership by the membership of the Pan-African Parliament despite all the lies that had been spilled against him to damage his reputation and standing. His astute leadership and the positive trajectory that PAP had taken prior to the crisis instigated by the Second Vice President has been widely acknowledged, including even by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Dr. Naledi Pandor and also the Executive Council and the Permanent Representatives Committee of the African Union.

          Mr. President Sir, more importantly, Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira’s victory was a victory for Zimbabwe, the Southern Region, the future of Pan-African Parliament in the fight for the observance of the principle of rotational leadership by the Pan-African Parliament.  It has tried to mention that the principle of rotational leadership is an abiding value of the African Union and the bedrock of equity, equality and justice in a world in which tyranny of numbers more than morality is often used to decide our fate. 

          I would like to salute Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira for remaining steadfast and focused despite the malicious vendetta of vilification and character assassination against him.  I salute His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnanagwa for the unwavering support for the candidature of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira and the principle of rotation, notwithstanding the naysayers – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – I salute the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate. Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda for rallying SADC Speakers to mobilise the support of the region for Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira.  I salute our very own President of the Senate of Zimbabwe, Hon. Mabel Chinomona, for the unwavering support she gave to the rise of our own Chief.  Last but not least, I salute the Deputy President of Senate, Hon. Senator Michael Nyambuya for leading the extended campaign team that worked diligently to ensure Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira’s resounding victory in the elections.  We thank you Hon. President - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

To Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, I say the Pan-African Parliament MPs have spoken vociferously in support of your leadership by their vote.  They have spoken affirmatively in support of your vision to revive, renew, reposition and reinvigorate the Pan-African Parliament.  They will continue to look to you for leadership in steering PAP to achieve its mandate of enhancing the full participation of the African peoples in economic development and integration of the continent. Zimbabwe in turn has every confidence that you will fly the Zimbabwean flag high as our continental ambassador and use this strategic position to advance Zimbabwe’s foreign policy objectives, including the removal of the illegal economic embargo imposed on Zimbabwe.  Also, to remind the continent that Zimbabwe is Open for Business.  Congratulations Hon. Senator Chief F. Z. Charumbira. Twalumba, twakatandabala, makorokoto, amhlope!  I thank you.   

HON. SEN. CHIEF NECHOMBO:  Thank you very much Mr. President.  I rise to extend my profound, heartfelt congratulations to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on his historic election as the President of the Pan-African Parliament.  This distinguished honour is a rare and a befitting recognition of his unwavering, unrelenting commitment and exemplary leadership.  Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira’s ascension to this esteemed position symbolises a momentous opportunity to guide one of Africa’s paramount institutions which serves as the voice of our collective dreams and aspirations as African citizens.  His victory is not just his own, but a victory for our nation and a beacon of pride for all of us.

We express our profound and most sincere gratitude to the Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Members of the PAP and all those who demonstrated their trust and confidence in Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira’s leadership.

As he embarks on this noble journey, we pray that the Almighty continues to bestow upon him, the wisdom and strength to lead the Pan- African Parliament with vision and total integrity. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. GOTORA: Thank you Mr. President.  I will debate using the vernacular language. As one of the Chiefs, I do not see anything wrong with congratulating my colleague.  I would like to thank Hon. Senator Chief Siansali and Hon. Senator Chief Nechombo for raising such an important issue for us to debate in this Senate.  It does not surprise us that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira was selected to lead PAP because he was supported by the President of the Nation, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.  He was also supported by the leadership of Parliament, both in this Senate and National Assembly, including you Mr. President Sir.  You were supporting him as well.  As Zimbabweans, we do not fight where we know we will be defeated, but we fight where we know we will win.  What was happening at PAP while Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira was there also happened to me when we were having elections of African Union for local authorities, United Cities and Local Government for Africa.  People from Francophone and Maghreb regard themselves as if they are not Africans.   They regard themselves as Europeans.  They view us as underdeveloped but if we compete with them, we defeat them.  I am talking from experience and even the former Mayor of Gweru who is here can support this. 

Those people from Francophone countries and those from Maghreb do not want to support someone from Southern Africa. What they do not know is that we come from Southern Africa with the support of our Government and other governments within Southern Africa. This will then make those people from East Africa and parts of West Africa who speak English to support us.

I would also like to congratulate Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira and I really know that he will lead PAP in a unique way, which will make us proud as Zimbabweans.  It will also make the President of this country proud. Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will perform his duties just like he used to do. I would also like to thank all the Chiefs from Zimbabwe who supported their colleague to go and compete for that African top post.  Looking at the task ahead of us, those people who will accompany Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira to PAP have to give him maximum support so as not to embarrass our nation.

Lastly, I would like to suggest that it would be good to throw a congratulatory party for him because we work with him and we can each bring something to show him our support.  Honestly speaking, those who wanted to vote him out did not want to vote out Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, but wanted to vote out Zimbabwe from this post.  We have to celebrate the victory of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira because it is victory for Zimbabwe and victory for His Excellency, Cde E. D Mnangagwa. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: Thank you Mr. President for the time you have accorded me to air my views on this motion on the re-election of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira to lead Pan-African Parliament.

Firstly, I would like to say congratulations to this august House because those who won is this Senate since Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira is one of us.  Therefore, I would like to say congratulations to the Senate of Zimbabwe. I would also like to congratulate Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira for winning the election.  We heard that he had other competitors from the northern part of Africa who wanted to continue leading the Pan-African Parliament. However, he won as a representative of Southern Africa and as the Senator Chief from Zimbabwe.  He won on the basis of rotation that was agreed upon and the post had to be occupied by someone from Southern Africa.   If they had stopped rotation, it was going to prejudice Southern Africa from leading the Pan-African Parliament.  Above all Mr. President, I would like to say congratulations to our very own President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa because he was the one who was leading the campaign for the re-election of our Chief. If the Chief had lost the election, we were all going to blame His Excellency for losing since he is the one who was leading the campaign for Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira’s re-election.  I would like also to thank our Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Speaker, Adv. J. F. Mudenda, his Deputy, the President of Senate Hon. M. Chinomona and her Deputy for supporting our very own Chief, which shows that whenever we are trying to fight or to acquire a post for Zimbabwe, we can work together so that whoever we nominate from here will go there and succeed.  This campaign was not for Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira alone, but we also kept on motivating him by assuring him of a win.

Now, I would like to thank you President of Senate and all those other people from this Parliament for the support you offered to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira.  I thank you very much.  I can also say that since Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira has won, it is Zimbabwe which won. Zimbabwe has a lot of opposing nations. You know, even on the sanctions list, Zimbabwe is there. He is also included on the sanctions list. When having such elections, do not expect to say African countries are the only opposing nations, they have other countries from the Western side which will say if you leave a Zimbabwean representative to win, it will mean our sanctions will not be felt.  I am of the view that how we won it with Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira shows that Zimbabwe is a country which knows what it does. It is a nation with direction. It is a country which can stand firm, regardless of such sanctions, restrictions, lack of currency or such economical issues. However, we discovered that regardless of all those challenges, Zimbabwe succeeded and came out victorious.

I would like to say SADC did a good thing by supporting or rallying behind Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira because it is their first time to have a member. We remember in his first term, he was being accused of various allegations because he is from Zimbabwe and they wanted to vote him out.  They wanted someone from Southern Africa to be eliminated but Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira still succeeded. With these few words, I would like to congratulate Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira. Even if he is there, I want to advise him to keep on maintaining our culture and heritage which was being eroded by those influenced by Western countries. As a Chief, he knows that all countries in Africa should maintain their culture and heritage. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. ZVIDZAI: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to congratulate Zimbabwe at large for the top post attained within the Pan-African Parliament. Zimbabwe is actually proud on a day like this as we celebrate this very important message for the whole region of Africa, which shows us that Zimbabwe is also one of those important countries.

          Today, I would like to congratulate Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira because he came out as the leader of the Pan-African Parliament regardless of all the challenges. Our ancestors and spirits of Zimbabwe, which include Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi and others fought to say our bones shall arise again. I thank you for standing by Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira. Therefore, I would like to thank God and all those people. I would like to thank Him because he made all things possible. In addition, I would like to thank the Sipambi spirit of the Charumbira clan for not abandoning him. Everything else went on well.

          Furthermore, we cannot end there if we have assigned someone to take a task, we expect something as Zimbabweans to say when you go to work with others, do not bully them. You have to work in harmony with others for the country’s development. We sincerely advise the Chief because he is the son of the soil to say whenever you go there, work with others so that our happiness and joy will not be short lived. We do not expect the Chief to embarrass us as a country by not following our culture and heritage. I remember way back when I used to go school, my mother would say, whenever you go to this school, please do not fight or steal. My mother would tell me all those things. That is the same thing which we are saying to the Chief, we do appreciate and expect that you follow the ubuntu, culture and heritage of our nation.

          The other thing which is very important in our culture, is to avoid holding grudges. Under the philosophy of ubuntu, you forgive. We have those other people from Francophone countries who were opposing the re-election of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira. Gone are the days, we have to unite everyone and work with them because in our culture, if somebody pokes you, you do not have to poke back. Therefore, what you have to do is to unite everyone and work in harmony regardless of who voted against or for you. You try your level best to unite them, simply we are all Africans. It is a very important task for Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira to unite Africa, he has to reject division which is being initiated by those foreigners.  I kindly request the Chief to work hard to unite all the Africans. Let us all go there and work as Africans. We are all from Africa. Let us stop and reject being divided by the French, British or anyone else. Let us work as Africans. As the Chief, he must work as the new Julius Nyerere. We want him to resemble Marcus Garvey and Thomas Sankara who fought hard to unite Africa; that is what we are expecting from you.

          Lastly, I say now that you are there, you are in charge. Kindly take all of them, do not leave any one. Even those from Francophone, take them all so that Africa comes out victorious. We do not want to be oppressed by other countries, but we need to make our country a strong nation. It is the agenda that we have to applaud him for. Yes, we applaud you for what you have done, but we expect you to bring something back home. You cannot be a hunter who goes into the forest and come back empty handed. We want you to come back with those small things for us. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. RITTA NDLOVU: Thank you Hon. President of the Senate.  I would like to extend my gratitude to Hon. Senator Chief Siansali, one of our Chiefs for bringing this wonderful motion to this this august Senate.  I would also want to congratulate Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on his recent appointment.  I will not debate much as previous speakers have said a lot.  What I would like to say is that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira did not go there to represent his party interests, but he went to represent every Zimbabwean and we have faith and hope that by the time he returns, he will be aware or know that all of us here on this other side, that is said we do not like him, we like him.  We want to see a change in him and also to be able to understand that everyone was supporting him as black people.  He is there to represent us the blacks and the Zimbabweans though there are people who were not supporting him and were against his appointment.  We are supporting our Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira who is a fellow Zimbabwean who has been appointed, and we are saying congratulations to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on your recent appointment. 

          We hope that he will learn a lot.  Another issue of concern is that as black people, we are diverting from our own culture and we are no longer following our culture religiously.  As a Chief, we are hopeful that he will follow and obey our culture and also be able to teach others about our culture and show them how we live as Zimbabweans. I say to all the Chiefs that we wish them well as our Chiefs and traditional leaders. We know that our Chiefs do not discriminate us and we want the Chiefs to continue loving us and represent everyone in their districts because chiefs are for everyone, they do not discriminate. I hope that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will also do the same in his recent appointment.

He has been a Chief for quite a long time.  He was born under the chieftainship and up to today, he continues to be a Chief.  We hope that where he is, he will preserve and respect our culture.  With these few words, I say congratulations Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira.  It is unfortunate that we are saying this in his absence and we would have wished that this debate be debated in his presence, it would have been good.  We all support him on his recent appointment.   I thank you.

+HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Hon. President for giving me this opportunity. My contribution is that as Senators, we have a lot to do.  We are proud as a country and I would like to thank Chiefs, they are recognised and remembered.  I would like to say congratulations to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira.  A lot has been said about Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira’s appointment.   Positive things have been said and as Hon. Senators, we must continue to work hard to uplift our country.  I want to say congratulations to Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira and all the Hon. Senators.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. ZINDI: Thank you Hon. President for giving me this opportunity to debate. I am sorry Hon. President, I have got flu.  I would like to congratulate Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira on his election at Pan-African Parliament.  I am not going to repeat what others have said, but my debate in my congratulatory message and in which I have so much confidence in Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira is that he is going to perform.  I have so much confidence that he is going to influence the thinking of the Pan-African Parliament to think the African way. 

Firstly, we should build the United States of Africa.  It is not a new idea, but this is an idea that has already been spoken but the coming in of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, I am sure he is going to influence that Parliament in order to make a topical debate in that Parliament for that idea to be acceptable. 

When we are philosophising, we start off with ideas and those ideas have got to be espoused through cross fertilisation and pollination of ideas in order for that idea to be acceptable and come to fruition.  I am confident Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will lead that. We have seen the reincarnation of Thomas Sankara in the newly installed, I would not say elected, newly installed President Traore who seems to have taken that position with the philosophy of ensuring that development is beneficial to the grassroots.  It is just about a week or so, I felt like I was actually part and parcel of that deliverance of that speech by this particular individual on the hand-over ceremony of agricultural equipment that has just been bought under the directive of President Traore of Burkina Faso, though of course he came in through a coup, but it was necessary because he is doing something that is beneficial to the people. 

In his presentation, he was talking of the need to ensure that Africa should produce its own food.  We have the land and the people; we have the climate that is conducive to produce enough food so that there is food security in our country, if not for the whole world; he was saying this making comparison with even Ukraine itself.  So, in President Traore, I am actually seeing a reincarnation of Thomas Sankara and that is what we want and what we should support.  I am confident Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will have that influence in the Pan-African Parliament. 

          Further, we are talking of integration of our economy in Africa.  We should have one currency. We should have no visa at all to visit another African country.  I got disturbed when I was also reading about Alico Dangote, an African who has set up massive businesses across Africa; that he has got to get close to 35 visas in order to visit within African countries, visiting his businesses.  That alone to me, is retrogressive and I have confidence that Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira will have influence to ensure that we remove these boundaries.  We remove this gate-keeping tendency in order for Africa to integrate in reality, economically, culturally, et cetera. This issue of Francophone, Anglophone, we need to do away with it because it was brought upon us by the colonialists.

          Finally, I want to say once again, congratulations Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira and I repeat, I have confidence that he has the capacity to influence us to actually forge ahead with the United States of Africa.  I thank you. 

          +HON. SEN. PHULU: Thank you Mr. President.  I also want to add my voice, showing my excitement over the election of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).  It brings a lot of excitement when one of you, one who is in the Senate at Parliament of Zimbabwe has gone up to represent us at the regional institution at Pan-African Parliament.  When we get there, he was identified as a force to reckon with, to lead the institution which shows that this Parliament is a good institution which produces leaders.  Parliament is not for scrambling or for fighting but for building each other.  The success of Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira is everyone’s success.

          I also want to say our chief, Hon. Senator Chief Sen. Charumbira is a person I know very well.  I worked with him at COPAC.  We started as people who had a lot of disputes and misunderstandings.  It ended up showing that I was having a lot misunderstanding because I did not understand how the chiefs work.  By the end of the programme of COPAC, I respected him because of what he had contributed during that phase that the chiefs should be included in our Constitution.  Today we are here, and one of our chiefs has gone to show his leadership at PAP.  We expect that when he gets there, he should bring Africans together.  He should do work that will make Africa progress well, like what Hon. Members said.  The issue of passports should be removed.  I will not say what other Hon. Members have said.   There are some in-fights at PAP concerning Anglophones and Francophones.  How can I be Anglophone considering my skin?  I am not from England, how do I become Anglophone?  That mentality shows that we are still mentally colonised.  We may not have physical chains but there is still mental colonisation.

          The other thing that forces them to do the way they are doing is that Francophone countries have not been liberated fully.  They are still under colonialism.  They are still under France, being given instructions by such and most of their Presidents stay in France.  The Presidents of Parliament like you Mr. President, fly from France to their Parliaments. I saw how the fight was between SADC and the Francophone.  It is because what they are doing does not make any sense.  They are still under colonialism.  Therefore, Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira should lead well and show them, educate them so that they can be liberated mentally.  Once they are liberated, then we can get free visas to travel around.  We expect him to show key leadership so that we do not see some squabbles within PAP like what we used to see before.  There are a lot of things that I can say about Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira.  Right now, let me say Halalala! Congratulations!  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th May, 2024.

MOTION

ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC HEMODIALYSIS FACILITIES IN DISTRICTS

          Nineth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the treatment of chronic kidney diseases in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you Mr. President of the Senate. I also want to thank our Hon. Senator Zvidzai for bringing in this motion which is important about this disease. Hon. President, what we are seeing outside is very difficult, we are finding it very difficult because of this kidney disease problem, it affects all ages. In the past, we used to think that the kidney disease was for elders but right now, that disease is affecting even young children. I am also sympathetic about the patients because you find almost 2 214 people being affected by this disease. This is not a small figure.  All of us here, including staff are less than the number of those affected by kidney disease.

I am worried that while we have a challenge of such a chronic disease, we do not have treatment centres.  According to the Senator, we only have 16 machines for kidney treatment. Of the 16 machines, 11 are for public hospitals and the five are in the private sector. I then ask myself, where exactly do I go?  The Hon. Senator also mentioned that in Matabeleland region, Matabeleland South has no machine. So it means those in Matabeleland who are affected by kidney disease have to travel to Harare for treatment. I then ask myself, is the Government saying, we are properly taken care of?

I now come to the issue that we once debated in this House Mr. President, the issue of devolution. I realise that in Matabeleland, we are still behind. The Hon. Senator mentioned that patients suffering from kidney disease should be treated thrice a week. Given that you are not employed or working, you travel to Harare for medication. Some of the patients will be seriously ill and cannot be able to use public transport, so they require private transport and the transport costs will be high.

The treatment does not only require medication, there is also need for blood transfusion, which is expensive. We are also supposed to donate blood, but we are not donating because we have become stingy. Long back, people used to donate blood even on the roads. Since I came to this Parliament in 2018, I have not been contacted for any blood donation programme by those responsible for blood donations. Blood donors are supposed to be found everywhere, like those vendors along the streets.  We realise that people are facing many challenges on the roads resulting in loss of life.

I also heard a certain Hon. Member on my left-hand side talking about causes of kidney problems. What I also realise Mr. President, I am sorry, I am not supposed to say that but I will have to. The issue of dehydration also is a factor that causes kidney problem. With much respect Hon. President, I realise that in this House, the Senate since last week, we have not had water to drink in this Parliament, which can result in dehydration. We can soldier on, but we sometimes tend to forget to bring bottles of water along with us. It is painful that the Minister of Finance is failing to buy water for this House, which only costs 50c. You may think some of us are sleeping but it is not sleeping,  we will be dehydrated. I also want to say water for drinking should not be unsafe water.  It should be treated water for everyone in Zimbabwe. I realise that we have water challenges here as Senators. We agree we have run out of water because there is no water in the House. We are requesting the Government to look into this issue.  If they fail, then they should announce that we should bring our own water into this Parliament. I want to thank the Hon. Senator with his researches that he did for scrutinising and analysing the problems of our kidneys. As I am right now, I do not know if I suffer from kidney ailment because I have not gone for examinations. I am even afraid that I once said as a patient of kidney disease, then where should I go since in Matabeleland there is nothing in terms of machines? They tell us that you go out on Diplomatic Passport. It is like we were being insulted, but that is not the case. That is the reality. I encourage our Government to put more effort, that means Government should concentrate a lot in securing kidney machines so that we can even get one for each province, not what is on the ground that some provinces do not have machines as of now.  I also beg that where medication is being offered, let the cost be lowered and also the money for servicing those machines should be lowered.  There is nothing as painful as going to Mangwe and be told that the machine is down, then you are told to come back after two weeks.  When you go back after two weeks, you are told the person that operates that machines is not around.  I therefore ask for your indulgence Mr. President that let us put our effort in equipping our hospital.  As I said that I am dehydrated, let me sit down so that I do not suffer from kidneys.  I thank you. 

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  Thank you Mr. President for the recognition.  I would like to thank Hon. Senator Zvidzai for this motion which touches most of us.  Mr. President, as I stand here, I rise to express my deep concern and disappointment at the deplorable state of the dialysis machines in our country.  It is a national embarrassment.  We are struggling to provide basic medical assistance for our citizens, especially when these machines are now easily procured.  According to statistics, Zimbabwe is prone to chronic kidney diseases which is the equivalence of 34 people per every one million Zimbabweans.  This is a staggering figure that highlights the urgent need for us to address this issue.  However, our health care system is woefully inadequate to meet this demand. 

          Mr. President Sir, only 16 health facilities are available throughout the country to provide hemodialysis services, which is a far cry from the number of people who require the treatment, but what is even more disturbing is that these machines are not accessible to many of our citizens who have kidney ailments.  Mr. President, even at the provincial hospitals, where they are available, there is hardly a time when the dialysis machine is available.  I know for a fact that Gwanda Provincial Hospital in Matabeleland South has no dialysis machine.  It is the people of Matabeleland that are condemned to death once they have kidney ailments.  It is unacceptable that we have to ask such questions.  The prices of these machines are not exorbitant but in fact, they are comparable to the prices of top range vehicles that we can purchase with a plomb regularly.  For example, a dialysis machine can cost between USD10 000 and USD20 000, in contrast a luxury car like a Mercedes Benz or BMW can cost anywhere between USD50 000 to USD100 000, yet we are struggling to provide basic machines for our citizens.  It is not just a cost of the machines but it is about the human cost of not providing these services. 

          Mr. President Sir, many of our citizens who have kidney ailments are serving a death sentence because they cannot access the machines.  They are forced to rely on private facilities which are often expensive for them.  The costs of hemodialysis are extremely high for ordinary citizens.  It is a burden that many cannot afford.  That is why I urge this House to support this motion.  We need to establish one public hemodialysis facility in each district so that our citizens can access these services easily and affordably. 

          Mr. President, we need to ensure that all public hemodialysis facilities provide free services inclusive of all ancillaries such as blood sample testing and transfusion.  We need to subsidise fees charged at private facilities that offer hemodialysis services.  We need to conduct public awareness campaigns on the effects of hypertension and diabetes among the chronic diseases on health kidneys.  This is not a matter of healthcare policy; it is a matter of human dignity and compassion.  We owe it to our citizens to provide access to basic medical services including dialysis machines.  We must put an end to this national embarrassment and ensure that our citizens receive medical care they deserve.

 I urge my fellow Hon. Members to join me in supporting this motion and demanding action from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.  Let us work together to provide better healthcare services to our citizens and ensure no one has to suffer unnecessarily because of lack of access to basic medical equipment. Mr. President Sir, I urge this House to support the motion. 

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

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th May, 2024.

MOTION

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO ZUPCO AND PRIVATE TRANSPORT OPERATORS

          Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the inadequacy of public transport in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MAKAMBA: I rise to support the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Tongogara on the pressing issue of public transportation, inadequacies and that of unregistered transport operators with a view to implanting robust reforms.  The reforms will transform and enhance our public transportation infrastructure.  This motion also seeks to fortify regulatory frameworks, to eradicate illegal operators and safeguard welfare of our commuters.  Permit me to elucidate the depth of the crisis Mr. President and Hon. Colleagues. As of the latest census data from August 2023, a staggering 72% of our population relies on public transportation to carry out their daily activities yet the infrastructure and regulatory frameworks governing this sector remain woefully inadequate.  This has given rise to a proliferation of unregistered transport operators who brazenly flout the laws compromising the safety and well-being of our citizens.

Recent studies indicate that these unlicenced providers now account for over 55% of all public transportation services nationwide.  This is alarming, to say the least.  Hon. Senators, we cannot ignore the criminal activities perpetrated against innocent commuters by some of these rogue operators.  It is important to note that public transport users have experienced theft, assault and other forms of victimisation at the hands of unscrupulous drivers and conductors.  Yet, in the face of these daunting challenges, we must acknowledge the vital role that transportation plays in the development of our nation.  As enshrined in Section 66 of our Constitution, the citizens of Zimbabwe have a fundamental right to “freedom of movement and residence within the borders of Zimbabwe”.  Upholding this constitutional guarantee requires us to take decisive action to improve the public transport system.  We must also act in accordance with Section 73 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which enshrines the right of every citizen to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being and Section 13, which mandates the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level to endeavour to facilitate rapid and equitable development. It is incumbent upon us to address these transportation challenges with urgency and resolve.

It is clear that the status quo is unacceptable.  We must heed the clarion call of our constituents and implement bold and innovative solutions to address this crisis.  Allow me to point out a study by the World Bank report, which indicates that efficient transportation systems can increase GDP growth by up to 1% annually.  Conversely, the African Development Bank highlights that inadequate transportation infrastructure costs African economies approximately $170 billion annually in lost productivity.  In Zimbabwe, reports from the Ministry of Transport reveal that nearly 40% of daily commuters rely on unregistered operators, thus exposing them to heightened risks of crime and accidents.  This situation is made worse as our Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development was then allocated 2.7% of the National Budget.

Mr. President, in considering the dire public transport crisis in Zimbabwe, it is instructive to examine how other nations have grappled with similar challenges.  Let us draw valuable lessons from their experiences to inform our own path forward.  Closer to home, South Africa has pioneered innovative solutions to address the challenges of inadequate infrastructure and unregulated operators.  They have leveraged Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) to introduce smart ticketing systems, modernise fleet management and enhance passenger safety.  South Africa has implemented a multi-faceted approach to alleviate transport inadequacy, combining infrastructure development, regulatory reforms and Public-Private-Partnerships.  These strategies have significantly enhanced the country’s transport system, making it more efficient and accessible.  One of the most notable projects is the Gautrain, a high-speed commuter rails system connecting Johannesburg, Pretoria and the OR Tambo International Airport.  This project alleviates road congestion and provides a reliable and efficient mode of transport for thousands of commuters daily.  Secondly, South Africa has Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.  Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya BRT system provides an affordable, efficient and safe public transport option.  The system’s dedicated bus lanes and modern buses have reduced travel time and improved accessibility for residents.

The South African Government allocates a significant portion of its budget to transport and infrastructure development.  For the fiscal year 2023/2024, approximately 10% of the National Budget was allocated to these sectors.  This substantial investment underscores the Government’s commitment to improving transport infrastructure.  It is also important to note that South Africa allocates its transport Ministry that budget as it aligns well with the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology of 1996 and the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP), which Zimbabwe is also a part of.

Concomitantly, Rwanda’s approach also provides valuable insights that Zimbabwe can adopt to ameliorate our own transportation challenges.  Through the Smart Kigali Initiative, Rwanda introduced an initiative, which integrated cashless payment systems and GPS tracking across public transport vehicles.  This modernisation enhanced operational efficiency, reduced waiting times, and facilitated real-time tracking of buses, ensuring that commuters could plan their journeys more effectively and safely.  Rwanda has also successfully leveraged Public-Private-Partnerships to develop and maintain transport infrastructure.  Private sector involvement brought in investment and innovation, which complemented public efforts to expand and modernise the transport system.  The examples of these two African countries are also instructive.  Their public transport sector is renowned for its punctuality, accessibility and affordability.  This is underpinned by their commitment to integrating various modes of transport, subsidising fares and empowering commuters through transparent grievance redressal processes. 

As I approach my conclusion, I recommend that the budget allocation of our Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development be moved from 2.7% to a minimum of at least 5%.  This augmented budget allocation will profoundly ameliorate transport deficiencies in Zimbabwe.  The infusion of capital will facilitate the augmentation and modernisation of the public transport fleet, the deployment of sophisticated transport technologies and the fortification of regulatory frameworks.  Furthermore, it will advocate for sustainable transport modalities, incentivise private sector investment via Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) and ultimately enhance the efficiency, safety and reliability of the transportation infrastructure.  This strategic investment is pivotal for catalysing economic growth, enhancing public welfare and ensuring sustainable development in Zimbabwe.

In conclusion, the Senate must act decisively to overhaul the public transportation sector, curb illegal operations and ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens.  By adopting these recommendations and leveraging successful international practices, Zimbabwe can aspire to develop a world-class transportation system that supports economic growth and enhances the quality of life for all its people. I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. RUNGANI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th May, 2024.

MOTION

PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT SERVICES FOR TEENAGE MOTHERS

Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on the effects of teenage pregnancy.

Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. RUNGANI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th May, 2024.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA, seconded by HON. SEN. MAVENYENGWA, the Senate adjourned at Fourteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

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