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SENATE HANSARD 30 OCTOBER 2018 28-13
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 30th October, 2018
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p. m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE
PRE-BUDGET BRIEFING SEMINAR
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to inform
the House that there will be a pre-budget briefing seminar on Friday, 2nd November 2018, at Sango Cresta Lodge, along Mutare Road from 0830 hours. Buses will leave Parliament Building at 0730 hours.
INVITATION TO A WORKSHOP ON THE FORMULATION OF
THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE INSTITUTIONAL
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also wish to
inform the House that all Members of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, all Chairpersons of Committees, Chairperson and Deputy
Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Legal Committee and Deputy Whips are invited to a workshop on the formulation of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Institutional Strategic Plan
(2018 – 2023) from 2nd to 5th November, 2018 at Rainbow Hotel, Bulawayo.
INDUCTION WORKSHOP FOR CHAIRPERSONS
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform
the House that the induction workshop for Chairpersons which was previously postponed is now scheduled for 6th and 7th November 2018, at Holiday Inn Hotel, Bulawayo.
INVITATION TO THE 2018 PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I further wish to
inform the House that all Members of Parliament are invited to the 2018 Annual Pre-Budget Seminar to be held from 7th to 11th November 2018, at Holiday Inn, Bulawayo. All Members are requested to confirm their attendance, travel and accommodation arrangements with Public Relations Officers at the Members Dining Hall during sittings.
INVITATION TO THE ZIMBABWE WOMEN PARLIAMENTARY
CAUCUS INAUGURAL MEETING
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: All Women
Parliamentarians are invited to the inaugural meeting of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (ZWPC) scheduled for Wednesday, 14th November, 2018 at 0900 hours in the Senate Chamber.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Madam President. I
would like to start by congratulating His Excellency Hon. E. D.
Mnangagwa the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe on his election victory. I would also like to thank the visionary leadership of our President for changing the political environment in Zimbabwe by preaching peace tolerance and forgiveness. This truly contributed to the peaceful environment witnessed during the July 30 Harmonised Elections.
I would also like to congratulate you Madam President on your election as President of the Senate and your deputy. I would also like to give my sincere congratulations to all Members of the Senate on your election to this august House. It is an honour for me to represent Mashonaland Central as a Senator as we strive to deliver to our fellow citizens on this great nation Zimbabwe.
Madame President, as articulated by His Excellency at the official opening of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe, we have a huge task ahead of us during this session. The task is to achieve our shared goals in line with His Excellency’s vision for Zimbabwe to become a middle income economy by 2030.
Agriculture plays a key role on the contribution and growth of our economy. We must re-double our efforts and utilise our land to increase productivity. We welcome His Excellency’s drive to pursue further investment and cooperation for the increased development and use of our water bodies throughout the country. Madam President, irrigation is the key to increase agriculture production. Of note, is the introduction of Command Agriculture which has helped to increase productivity and boost agricultural yields. The improvement of yields has helped end the importation of maize and save so much needed foreign currency.
I also applaud the restructuring of the Ministry of Lands, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement under one Ministry. This will make life much easier for farmers. It was challenging for farmers to move from one Ministry to another trying to get services pertaining to agriculture.
Madam President, I am a firm believer in the saying, Musha mukadzi. To that end, I applaud the establishment of the Zimbabwe
Women’s Micro Finance Bank. This facility and others will serve to empower women and give them access to loans to help them establish small businesses and projects. Micro financing has lifted thousands of women out of poverty in countries like India and can do the same for Zimbabwean women as they strive to rise above poverty and earn a decent living. The growth and modernisation of the economy cannot succeed without such programmes and policies that empower women. Additionally, while His Excellency is advocating for the uplifting of women in all areas of the economy, we as women must support each other at every level from the communities we live, but especially we must aspire to elevate more women into positions of leadership. As the
Shona saying goes Mutambirwi gwinyawo.
As we focus on empowering women, let us not forget the girl child. A lot of progress has been made in highlighting and protecting the needs of the girl child. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. As stated by His Excellency, the Child Justice and Marriages Act which seek to provide a child justice system and outlawing child marriages will be tabled by Parliament and we look forward to debating it in this House. However, our success in addressing these issues must be complemented by educating men and the boy child on the harmful practices that affect the girl child. We should also work together with traditional chiefs who are the custodians of our customary laws.
Madam President, I must also note and concur with His Excellency that the development and modernisation of our roads must be accelerated and prioritised. Some of our roads, especially those in the rural areas have been neglected for a long time. Even those that use scotch carts have a difficult time reaching rural clinics and hospitals with some reports of casualties along the way because of bad roads. Roads that serve as routes in and out of the commercial farming areas also need urgent attention. With good roads, farmers can deliver their produce to the market more quickly making the process more efficient and less expensive. I also do not need to tell the Hon. Members that in most of the urban residential areas the side and service roads have not been repaired or upgraded in a very long time.
As stated by His Excellency, there are many Bills which will be tabled and debated as part of the legislative agenda in this 9th Parliament. I particularly welcome the Consumer Protection Bill. Consumers in
Zimbabwe have been subjected to unfair and unexplained price increases of basic commodities to make life unbearable for the ordinary citizens. When this Bill is tabled, I hope we will put our heads together as legislators and pass laws that protect consumers and put an end to these unwarranted price increases. We must also enact current reforms so that we put an end to black markets, unscrupulous money changers and dealers who are distabilising the economy. Madam President, the Bill for the establishment of a Zimbabwe Media Commission to further open up our media space is also welcome and highly anticipated. Opening up the airwaves will hopefully provide Zimbabweans with a wider choice of programmes and content.
I would also like to address head on one of the issues facing our nation. His Excellency, like many of us, is gravely concerned by the recent outbreak of water borne diseases namely cholera which claimed the lives of almost 50 of our citizens. As emphasised by His Excellency in his address, the enforcement of the Public Health Act which creates a legal framework for the protection of public health in Zimbabwe must be a top priority to this House.
Madam President, I worked as a nurse for many years in the 1970s and 1980s. I am saddened and concerned that today we are still battling against such diseases as cholera and typhoid. As a Senate, we must play our part in supporting the measures aimed at providing clean water, sanitation and waste management practices. Zimbabwe, as a nation should not be battling with these preventable diseases in the 21st Century and 38 years after independence. It is our duty as the Senate to fully address these challenges by working closely with our communities and local authorities to strive towards the eradication of these diseases. We should also work towards upgrading and equipping our
provincial and district hospitals, especially the rural clinics. We must also focus on developing facilities for the disabled in our communities, conveniences such as wheel chair ramps, toilets and doors with wheel chair access must be incorporated in the development of all public spaces to ensure that all the basic facilities are available because we all know that disability is not inability.
Madam President, may I suggest that when we go back to our constituencies, we lead by example and initiate cleaning up operations within our communities as recently demonstrated by the First Lady amai Auxilia Mnangagwa. Let us put an end to cholera outbreaks and such diseases once and for all.
To conclude Madam President, I last sat and addressed this august House as a Senator over 20 years ago. I feel there is a strong ambition and optimism from this second Republic to succeed and deliver a better Zimbabwe for our people. I must say masamba asiyana, thanks to the new dispensation. I thank you and look forward to working with all of you in harmony, respect and in the spirit of nation building. Thank you Madam President.
HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. PARIRENYATWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to Resume: Wednesday, 31st October 2018.
DEVOLUTION OF POWER
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the call for devolution.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to deliver my maiden speech in debating the motion that was moved by Hon. Sen. Mwonzora. Devolution of power is a much debated phrase and concept in our country and in others. The concept is highly political and has deep social implications, it is as contested as it is misunderstood. It is a legal and also richly political statement to which I beg to add my humble voice today.
I want to begin by celebrating the political and the legal minds amongst us in this House that have before me highlighted the capital fact that in our country, devolution is law that the sovereign people of Zimbabwe wield into a constitution. As such, we are all legally compelled and politically mandated to implement devolution or resign to being traitors to the people and the country that we must serve. It is a truism that indeed the voice of the people is the voice of God. We must ask ourselves “what are we doing and where are we standing viz-a-viz the voice of God. Are we to be faithful disciples or traitors?” That is the question. Much political stock is invested in talking about devolution itself in this august House and outside.
I ask that we stop to think and speak about that which is devolved - power. Power is understood, experienced and exercised in multiple ways. Generally, philosophers understand power to be the moral authority, the might of that which is right and correct by God and man. Political scientists, in simple terms appreciate power as democratically mandated authority to make decisions with and on behalf of the sovereign populations.
Economists and business people regularly know and understand power as the force of influence and the ability to cause certain decisions to be made and others not to be made. In all, power is the oxygen of history in the present world in which our country is located. Power as a moral authority, political mandate or influence has two defined sides and uses in our country and elsewhere. Power can be used to conquer, dominate and oppress people. Colonial regimes in Africa and the entire global community have shown us enough tragic examples of power that is used to dominate, oppress and exploit the multitudes. Under these evil regime military might, political clout, technological poise and the capacity to maim and kill are used to overpower, control and crush many men and women for the benefit of a few privileged individuals and organisations. Power can also be used for liberation. As a resource and an instrument of liberation, power is used to share and distribute rights and resources in a fair and just manner before God and man. Power as a weapon of liberation and not an instrument of domination fosters freedom, justice and human happiness by distributing resources such as national goods and services in a manner that is not only fair but seen and experienced by all as fair. Power is indeed a double edged sword that can be used to construct and also to cause catastrophe. For that reason it really matters who is holding power. If it is in the hands of the devil, the people perish but when power is in the hands of disciples of people and servant leadership, then the people prosper.
Therefore Hon. Senators, let us journey in our minds and hearts and let us travel into our organisations and institutions and probe as well as investigate ourselves. What are we using our power and privileges for? Are we using it to make our people perish or to prosper them under our care? I ask in earnest; what we have come to be told is the Second
Republic. Is it a republic for people’s prosperity or their continual peril and that is answered when we answer ourselves on what we are prepared to deploy our sword of power? Is it to cut bricks in building our nation or once again to chop off the very hands and heads of our people in the name of this and that revolution or this and that legacy, I ask?
If power is the bread knife with which the national cake is to be cut, how are we to do this? With this sword are we to cut clear the road to our people’s prosperity and happiness or to dig shallow graves in which to bury them enmass yet again. Is our power and privileges going to facilitate responsibility or impunity once again?
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Member.
Are we debating on the motion of devolution?
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: Yes.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I do not understand
your debate on the devolution and may you come to the motion please.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: I want to explore and define devolution by what it is not first. To devolve power is not to federate the country but to make it unnecessary. To devolve power is not to enhance succession but to make it unthinkable. To devolve power is not to exaggerate regional differences but to acknowledge, negotiate, navigate and to make them harmonious. To devolve power is not to divide the country but to acknowledge its human and political diversity and use it to enrich democracy and development. To devolve power is not to foster nativism but to permit cosmopolitanism within nationalism. To devolve power is not to separate peoples and places but to empower them. To devolve power is not to foster the apartheid of separated development but to foster patriotism of participatory development and democracy.
Devolution of power is not an enemy of national unity but an element of equality in unity as only equal citizens are able to unite, I argue.
Further, devolution of power is not cultivation of animosity and conflict but avoidance of them by just sharing of national resources to a point where no citizens are aggrieved. Devolution of power is not corruption but the avoidance of it and no individual organisations, factions or friends should eat on behalf of the nation any longer. Devolution is not the opening or exaggeration of the wounds of the past but part of healing the wounded and ensuring that new wounds do not come by. Devolution is not against power or any political establishment anywhere but it is the promotion of it by giving power to the people in their localities as the people give appreciation and support to power that has empowered them.
Honourable Members, it is political cowardice, intellectual laziness, social irresponsibility and moral negligence as well as legal hooliganism, cultural heresy and economic incompetency, poverty of thought and criminality practice to seek to reduce devolution to its very opposite. Devolution of power is not division, separation and or is it the encouragement of toxic differences and in our country, devolution of power is law. They are criminals therefore those that use fragile political excuses and sophistry technicalities to derail its overdue implementation.
Conquerors, enslavers, colonizers, imperialists and despotic regimes practice the political and economic paradigm of centralising power. Throughout Africa and the entire global South, we inherited states that centralised and monopolised power and rule. To devolve power therefore Honourable Members is to undo the slavish colonial imperial despotic exercise of power. Centralisation of power is coloniality and devolution of power is decoloniality, I argue.
Once again are we to be counted amongst enslavers, colonists, imperialists, despots and tyrants or the liberators of our people? The judge is in our hearts and minds. I reiterate that devolution of power is law in our country. We are law makers and must also be doers of the same law that we come up with. Every country under the sun has its national questions and it must answer those questions or pay the price as the questions decide national prosperity or peril. For instance South Africa in 1994 had its national questions such as, how the republic address Blacks’ expectations of what the liberation struggle had to achieve for them while at the same time allaying Whites’ fears of Blacks’ anger and likely revenge for the many decades they were under apartheid. How does a nation forge…
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order Hon. Senator,
can I remind Hon. Senators that they are not allowed to attend to their cell phones when they are in this House as they have to listen to debates. I have been noticing Members of Parliament concentrating on their cell phones. I can see from this Chair. Please we are Hon. Members and we have to respect ourselves.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: So, no history of any country can suddenly be a closed chapter for the joy and comfort of those that opened bloody chapters in that country in the first place. We must look at our past, our present and the future in the eye. Being honesty and earnest with our country and ourselves must be the article of our national faith. Devolution of power is a legal and a political method for distributing power itself and national resources in a manner that heals, unites, reconciles and delivers justice to our deserving nation.
When we look back at the corruption, the massacres, the divisions and the greed of a few against the many, the poverty of our people, the violent economic winds going on, we witness not legacy to be maintained or restored. Our mission is to be ashamed, to be sorry and to be sad and above all, to create a legacy of liberation and justice. Devolution of power is one powerful way towards that grand historical goal that we owe to God, to our ancestors and indeed our descendants to whom we owe what is to be left of Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe that is daily being devoured by monsters that we know.
What is to be done?
- Members, I want to join the chorus of other Hon.
Members and plead the case....
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, order.
Hon. Member, I am letting you know that your time is about to lapse – the light is on, if you can wind up.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: Thank you Madam President.
- Members, I want to join the chorus of other Hon. Members and plead the case that Government must recognise, respect and implement the dictates of our supreme law of the land – the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
- Stop the political excuses and remove political stumbling blocks to the implementation and realisation of devolution of power.
- Enable provincial councils to work and function;
- Financial and other resources should be advanced to fund and enable the implementation of devolution of power;
- If indeed there is a second republic, are we in our hearts and minds fit to be second republicans or once again, we are pretenders of the old republic. I plead honest, sincerity and courage. Let the change that we want begin inside us and with us. We cannot lead change if we ourselves are not changed. Thank you Madam President.
*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Madam President for
affording me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion. First and foremost, I would like to thank Hon. Mwonzora the mover of the motion and his seconder. We may look down upon this motion as child’s play, but it is not. I urge Hon. Members to sit down and think deeply about the motion and implement this resolution. It was once moved by Hon. Spiwe Ncube in the Eighth Parliament and there were disagreements in the approach with others arguing that Government did not have money but I thank Hon. Mwonzora for this motion.
I just want to say a few words – this is the people’s project. When we went out with the Committee from Kwekwe to Gweru and we moved on, I would like to thank the Ndebele people. I congratulate and thank them very much and what I observed had me taken aback and I was not happy to go back to Mashonaland Central where I come from. When they look at national issues, the people in that region are apolitical. We were quite hurt and we were ashamed when they brought up such issues. You would go into deep thoughts and you would hold your cheek in ashame such issues are debated.
This issue was raised in the Eighth Parliament and what we are saying is heard by Hon. Members and the people will be partisan wanting to defend their party, but let me forewarn you that, if you do that, you will not come back. What I saw has given me the courage to stand up and say that this should be supported. The people in Hwange said they have their own resources and the same was said by the Victoria Falls district. They asked us as to why we were not implementing this devolution because devolution will enable us to arrest those that are corrupt, thieves and uncouth characters. The Ndebele people are not ashamed and they said they were going to speak in English because some of us who were there did not understand Ndebele, but I understand a bit of English.
The people out there on devolution said this is a people’s project and if you fail to implement it, they said they were going to give us bicycles and not motor vehicles because we are acting or doing this for rubber stamping and that Ministers are going to be given motorcycles.
In Gwanda we were locked up and we were told to go and construct a bridge because we have been doing budget consultations for many years without any implementation – why have we not implemented the bridge construction. They took us to task for having failed to construct a very small bridge over the years. Hon. Mwonzora, I thank you. It is as if you had prophesied what will happen in future.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Please address
the Chair because you are not at a rally.
*HON. SEN. MURONZI: I am being emotional because we
were scolded and that is why I am supportive. Old as we are, we were told that old people, you simply go to the august House to sleep on duty. I am saying everything and we must seriously address the issue of devolution. They gave us a narration of what each province has and that they were embarrassed for tourists that come here. In fact when the tourists visit that area, if they fall ill, there is no referral hospital
spacious enough to dispense services. I am ashamed by such a development Madam President. I reiterate that this is the people’s project and it must be implemented to the fullest. We were nearly assaulted and we were scolded.
We cannot support the idea that the party or the Government has no money when the people say they have their own resources. The national resources in our areas should be used to develop those areas. This was not being referred to Hwange alone, but they gave examples of each district like Mutare, Mutoko and others. I wonder whether the spirit mediums or national spirits which gave us such things were mad. I am of the Buja origin from Mutoko – the black granite is now being taken and people’s homes are destroyed when the roads are not being constructed, why? People are busy taking away the black granite and our wealth is being siphoned slowly out of the country. People were hurt and Parliament can be closed. We were scolded Madam President for our inactivity. I thank you.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam President. I really want to appreciate the motion brought in by Hon. Mwonzora, the seconder and all those who contributed. Madam President, it is sad that Senate has to debate this the second time six years after the promulgation of the new Constitution. This means that the Government is defying the requirements of the Constitution and we are all here present because of the requirements of the Constitution.
It is incumbent upon Parliament to ensure that Government respects the Constitution and ensures that all the bodies that should be there are there and funded. What we are grieving over today is pure implementation of what the people have said. We are not supposed to be debating this but demanding that the Government makes it possible for the devolution of power as per the Constitution – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] - It also allows Members of Parliament to participate in the development of their provinces – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – By not implementing this, we are actually excluding ourselves from helping our communities in developing them. We can still talk about the Constituency Development Fund and the rest of the things we want to fund but if we cannot fund devolution and our provinces whilst avoiding employing new people to overrun the provinces outside of the Constitution, then we are as guilty as the Government itself. We must be here together, we are not here as them against us. We are here as Parliament and as such; we are going to debate the Budget. We must be able to debate the Budget, which brings in sanity in our provinces and councils to ensure that the five percent sum of money that needs to be given to them is given – [HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
Madam President, I do not know whether we can add a sentence here to say, let it be that Parliament demand that devolution of councils be done immediately because we are completely out of time – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – if we cannot do it, then we should all dissolve. We cannot implement the portion of the Constitution where we exist and refuse to implement the portion of the Constitution where we are supposed to work and implement what we have been instructed by the nation to do and say the money is not available. The money must be distributed in such a way that there are enough councils where Members of the National Assembly and Senators participate and ensure that the devolution succeeds. Not doing that is like doing injustice to the common man who presided over the formulation of the Constitution and has mandated us to be in Parliament. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 31st October, 2018.
CASH SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the call to solve the cash crisis in the country.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam President. I
wanted others to debate but I just want to add my voice before we close this motion. I want to thank the mover of the motion. We are losing time on this motion in terms of what is happening on the ground. I think everyone must be able to be emotive about what is happening on the ground in terms of cash.
It is sad Mr. President that we all sit here as Senators and overseers of Government and sanitise the suffering of the people, without being able to get protection from us about their currency that has been taken away – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –As Parliament, in the last Session, we legislated that the currency was United States Dollar (US$) and every person has been earning a US$. Up to today, the bond and the US$ were equated as one.
We reminded the then Vice President, who is now the President – I remember saying to him, bad money will chase good money, why are we allowing this? Why are we not having the bond coming out as a
different account? He replied that, “nothing will happen.” What has happened today is that, the Government – we are looking for the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to come and answer to us to say, what is really happening. I do not know if there is anyone who knows, what is happening to our money? – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – We are singing that dhora redu torida, tinorida dhora redu (We want our dollar) – because no one should be deprived of the currency suddenly like that and say, tatochinja (We have changed). You devalue somebody’s money by 700% overnight without doing anything to ensure
that those people are compensated.
To make things worse, there is no cash to use, that bond, there is no dollar to get and people who are sick today – I was listening to the debate by our late hero’s wife, Hon. Tongogara saying that she was a nurse - We are having, it is a shame that we have typhoid and cholera in this country. If you go to Parirenyatwa Hospital today - Hon. Sen. Dr.
Parirenyatwa, you are a Senator and that is the name of your father.
People are being asked to pay exorbitant sums but there is nothing and yet you are the former Minister. There is nothing in the pharmacies. People are being asked to pay US dollars and the US dollars are not there.
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order! Do not
point at the Hon. Member. You address the Chair. You know it.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: I am still addressing you Mr.
President but I can…
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: You are
pointing at him and saying your father - [Laughter.]- What has his father got to do with it? These are the rules which we have agreed on. You address the Chair and the debate has nothing to do with his father’s name being used for Parirenyatwa Hospital. You may debate.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. President and I
want to say, I was not attacking him as an individual. I was just saying he must preserve the legacy of his father since he was the last Minister of Health and Child Care. We are all quiet and honestly, the people cannot buy medicine. Anything that is worth a dollar today is worth $500 to $600 more and we come and sit in here waiting to do a budget. Hon. Prof. Ncube cannot come here and say this is what I have done. He has not explained anything to Parliament. Are we really serious? Are we here to serve the people? How do we talk of a new dispensation which forgets that it has the people who voted them at heart?
There are cash barons who are coming up everywhere and not even one of them has been arrested. You find people running with cash in their hands. Hamuone here kuti vanhu ava havasi kusungwa. I will use English language. You are not arresting these people.
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator,
you know it. You should use one language otherwise interpreters will have problems.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: I was putting it in quote. I withdraw.
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Sen.
Mudzuri, be serious.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: We must debate and smile as
well. Sometimes you can coin the word if you are writing and put it in quote. So, we are talking and you cannot put it in quote. Thank you very much Mr. President.
I am saying we are failing to arrest the people with brand new dollars and brand new bond notes in the streets. Where are these things coming from? Straight from the factory or which bank where you find new notes which have never been used. We might want to serve
Zimbabwe, we want ease of doing business, but how do you do it? Today, go to any street and you will not find coke – a soft drink in a country that we say we want ease of doing business. A soft drink, even mineral water is difficult to get. If you tell me now let us go out and find where they sell this water and be allowed to buy five cases - you will not be allowed to buy five cases. You will not find a case of water to buy. It is now more expensive than fuel because of what we have introduced. I want to urge Government to go back to dollarisation. Allow people to have their dollars. If you want to change anything you can start new accounts but you cannot cheat the civil servant, sweeper and domestic worker, to say you must earn the dollar because the money which they have been earning was designated in dollars. We want that dollar back. If you were to remove the bond note and the coin, tomorrow you will find the dollars coming out.
We need only US$2bn to circulate in this country. You can afford that. I understand that from industry and commerce, for the past nine months they have managed to generate over US$4.8bn in foreign currency. When they manage to generate US$4.8bn, can we not satisfy US$2bn to be circulating within our communities? What does a simple man like a poor Senator who earns less than $1000, how much will he take out and use? It is only when he travels out that he will use that dollar and the rest will be circulating in the country.
We are playing around with people’s money wanting to ensure that people do not get cash. When they get it, it is like manna from heaven. At the same time you have devalued nothing without even explaining to the legislators. I want to say we must be more serious as Government. This is the third arm of Government and we demand that cash be made available in US dollars – not that you can produce it. We demand that if you want any change you should be able to start new accounts which are designated bonds and the rest is in dollars.
I am asking the Government to say when you introduced multi currency – yesterday the President said the multi currency system is still existing. He said that. How do you have multi currency. If I banked my money in rands, are you going to tell me that now it is bond. If you banked your money in rands or Chinese currency, it is only the dollar that you mixed. It was Government that forced us to mix bonds and dollars and said they were one. We are violating the same law which we created. We must be first to say no to this. We are stealing from the common man and we cannot continue to steal.
Last time Mr. President, we took everyone’s money when we changed from bearer cheques and now we have got the bond. This is the way of stealing people’s money. Everybody ended up with bonds which were valueless and now you want to us to end with a paper which is valueless. You are now giving us accounts called FCA/RTGS. We now know all the descriptions of money. If you go to South Africa, there is no common man who knows what a nostro account is. You want an old woman to know what a nostro account is. You want a woman who sells maize cobs at the village to know what a nostro account is. Is that their business?
Government defines cash, Government defines the money but when you continuously define money in the wrong manner and refuse people to get their money to use, then you are destroying the same economy you want to make. This is in less than ten years and there is no money that is going to the bank as long as you do not reverse that. If you do not reverse this move that you have done, you will not collect that money because no dollar, rand will go to the bank. You are actually making more crooks survive and the common man suffer. I thank you. HON. SEN. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President, for giving
me this opportunity to contribute to this very important debate. It is with a sad heart that we sit here as an arm of Government, as a creation of the Constitution which was actually promulgated by the will of the people whom we always want to say the “Voice of the people, is the voice of God”. Let me say it is unfortunate that we can actually come and sit here and behave like hypocrites.
One of the worst things which has happened in the new dispensation is the institutionalisation of crime against humanity. Some may think it is political but it is not. Why am I saying that? My background, I am a medical doctor. I went to one pharmacy in town; a drug which used to cost $2 before this confusion, I went and asked and they said doctor, I am even afraid to tell you how much it cost. ‘Do you have dollars or swipe’ and I said, where do you come from? ‘We use swipe, that is the mode of transaction’ and he said, doctor, ‘I am afraid,
I cannot tell you what it is’. I said, how much is it? With swipe, it was $80. You get the point. I am saying it is a crime against humanity because one person who we call our Hon. Minister, without consultation, makes promulgation that costs life. We have people who have died because of what I would call – for lack of a better word reversed judgement.
We are supposed to go and support his budget in Bulawayo. As Hon. Members, if we represent the people, we should not go until this is reversed. There is no reason for us to go and do that because we cannot trust and say, we are representing people when things like this are happening. We are all victims of this so-called Monetary Statement whatever it means, but I would want to call it a suffering statement. Ever since, we have never seen a decision that has caused seasonic shifts resulting in loss of lives in our country like the one that we are in. For us to continue debating other issues without protecting – we know in our profession we say, the first thing you do is to save life first then look do the next thing. As parliamentarians and as an arm of Government, we have to save life first by reversing this unfortunate proclamation by the Minister.
We cannot trust him and I personally do not. We all opened dollar accounts and there is no one who opened a bond account or an RTGs account. It is his own imagination and that is criminal. We now say there is a bond account. Who signed a bond account in his bank, nobody. That is a crime against humanity. I think in a law abiding country where there is proper rule of law, he should be somewhere where he belongs. There is no one who has caused a lot of suffering and loss of life. I work in the hospitals and what I am talking of is real.
People are dying as a result of a decision by someone and you are taking that lightly. This is a crime against humanity and I do not think as an arm of Government, we can be part to promote and support that. That should stop. I am not an activist but as Members of Parliament, we should say we cannot proceed until we save people.
This liquidity issue is a creation. He is amongst the authorities managing someone and I now say there is a bit of truth in what is happening. Someone gets to the Reserve Bank, gets money in US dollars that we cannot get and then goes to the black market; change that money and repay the Reserve Bank in bonds. I say it is the truth because people were suspended and fired. So there is truth, otherwise we will say ‘cry our beloved country if people can suspend people with no evidence’. However, suspension is not a solution. What are we doing, people are still dying. That suspension is not going to save life. The issue of liquidity crisis is a national crisis. It is a national emergency which even requires our Head of State to come in and rescue.
He has the mandate to protect the people. That is his primary responsibility.
To conclude, Mr. President, I would like to appeal to our Members of this august House that we start to be nationalistic in outlook and not partisan. People are dying. They are not killing ZANU PF people, they are not killing MDC people but they are killing Zimbabweans. In fact, it is criminal. We are cheating the public to continue to come and sit in this august House without us first of all putting a halt to this disastrous act that has been done.
Mr. President, I think we should come up and fight this crime against humanity. This is crime against humanity. I think I have argued my case, it is not political. The decision that was made – I cannot be part of the arm of Government that makes decisions that kill people. Do you want to be part of it? I do not want. I am sure we do not need to take courage because this is what is happening. Some of you have attended funerals that were as a result of this decision. Right now, you want to make us to be confident to say, this gentlemen will take us to the new Republic. What Republic are you talking about when everyone is dying? Is that the new Republic that you want? I do not want that Republic. I might as well go back to the old Republic. Let us make sure that we protect the people. I thank you Mr. President – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you very much Mr. President, for giving me the opportunity to respond to this debate. I think the previous speaker put it very clearly and I think we still have a problem as a House. As the Senate, this is the only place where we have to speak with one voice, without screaming and shouting at each other. We are adults in the room. What worries me is that even as we thought things have changed, friends of ours across the nation are still afraid to come out and say what is wrong and what is right. I am not trying to demean anyone by what I am saying. In this House, as Senators, we can speak as adults in the House. We can make Government listen and we can make a difference. We can put our parties aside because we are not talking issue of what makes us MDC and what makes us ZANU PF. We are talking about things that make us Zimbabwe. If we cannot unite on things like money being taken out of our own pockets - surely you want me to believe that what went into my bank account is what went into every ones bank account. You almost make us believe that we have got different pay rolls. If what went into my account is what went into every
Senator’s account, you must know that there is something seriously wrong.
There is no way you can make a living out of that because most of our time we are in this House managing the business of the country and we should be able at least to go to the hospital and to buy food to eat. The amount of money has been reduced not by half but by 500% but we dare think that it is more important to be seen to be loyal to our party than to talk about what is correct.
Mr. President what is wrong is wrong. You know that in the past the Minister of Finance and Economic Development used to bring the budget to the House. We would discuss its bare bones here before we leave for Victoria Falls. We would have an idea of what it is that we are going to discuss. Is he going to hit us cold with a budget that we have not seen? We will not be able to complete it in a week. He would have to keep us there for a month while we argue this budget out and in the end who knows, if we speak as the people of Zimbabwe, we might actually turn him down and tell him to go and revise his figures. We need transparency from Government. We need to know what it is that is happening to our money.
We were told that 200 million bonds were going to be released into the economy and supported by US$200 million. What happened? Who printed the extra dollars without our authority? Who has got that authority to do that? We are the legislatures here. We can hold them to account, Mr. President. We should not be afraid to do our job as Zimbabweans. The Ministers now believe that they are actually more superior. There is nothing like that, Mr. President.
There are three arms of Government. I know that there is the Legislature, the Judiciary and then the Executive. We are at par. They cannot function without us. We can stop this madness. The people are looking to us to do our job. If we allow this craziness to go on, we are equally capable. Let them be seen by the people out there that they are the ones taking the people for a ride, that they are the queen bees who know what is happening. We are all innocent here. We are not part of that rot. They must explain themselves. They must tell us what has happened to the money.
They must tell us why they are devaluating the money and what will happen in future. I want the money that I deposited in my account as United States dollars to be given back to me as United States dollars. I do not want anything else. If anybody devalues it, I am taking them to court as a Member of this House independently because we do not have unanimity amongst ourselves. We can either do it together or we can do it individually. So, how many court cases will they be answering to. If they capture the Judiciary as well, then we are in serious trouble, then we have no country to talk about.
Mr. President, before we go to Bulawayo, Hon. Mthuli must bring his budget and we must look at it and we must give him our thoughts.
Thank you Mr. President.
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon.
Senator. I would like to correct what I think is the wrong perception about the budgeting process. The Minister does not present the budget in Victoria Falls. The budget is presented in Parliament. What we do when we go to Victoria Falls normally, and this year we are going to Bulawayo, is that as is always the case there is a pre-budget presentation which is done by the Ministry to give you a heads up of what we should expect and then we go to Bulawayo for a pre-budget seminar. In other words we go and have a frank exchange with the Minister on what we, as Members of Parliament, expect in his budget. That is the normal budgeting cycle in this country. All the same, thank you Senator for your contribution.
HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order, Mr. President. I think what Parliamentarians would like to know, through your office, is what currency are we doing the budget in?
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Those are the kind
of things you can raise during the pre- budget and during the budgeting process itself. You know, Hon. Sen. Eng. Mudzuri, we all wanted the Minister to come and address us, but it was not possible because he was away. The budgeting process is now upon us, so let us do it properly.
The issues which are being raised here will be raised with the Minister. This is a transparent process and we are carrying out our roles as elected Members of Parliament.
HON. SEN. SHOKO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 31st October, 2018.
NATIONAL DRUG POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK
Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on National Drug
Policy and legislative framework to affectively regulate drug use.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I move that the debate do not adjourn.
HON. SEN. NCUBE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 31st October, 2018.
SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS OF VENDING
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on solutions to challenges associated with vending.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. CHABUKA: I move that the debate be now adjourned.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 31st October, 2018.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON.
SEN. MAKONE, the Senate adjourned at Two minutes to Four o’clock p.m.