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SENATE HANSARD 6 FEBRUARY 2024 VOL 33 NO 22

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 6th February, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

ACCESS TO INTERPRETATION SERVICES

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to advise the Senate that Members who require access to interpretation should approach the Serjeant-at-Arms’ office for headphones and tune into Channel 1 for interpretation from vernacular to English.

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also wish to inform the Senate that there will be a Catholic Church Service tomorrow, 7th February, 2024 at 1200 hours in Special Committee Room 1. All Catholic Members and non-Catholics are invited.  

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 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 ZIMBABWE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2022

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for the Year 2022.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Madam President, I want to thank you for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the report of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for the Year 2022, which was submitted in accordance with Section 23 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, read together with Section 15 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act [Chapter 9:22].

          I would like to acknowledge the good work being done by ZACC which is in line with His Excellency’s vision of ending corruption. It is however worrisome to note that in 2022, Transparency International ranked Zimbabwe number 157 out of 180. Thus, much work lies ahead of us as a country to curb corruption in all its forms. Further, the report’s statistics show that 684 cases of corruption were recorded during the year under review distributed around the country, with Harare recording 70% of the recorded cases. This is quite a huge number   Madam President, considering various efforts being made by the Government to curb corruption. 

The report also shows that compared to the year 2021, there was a 38% decrease in the complaints received in the previous year and this shows an improvement in compliance and plugging corruption loopholes, thus reducing cases of corruption.  Therefore, to increase efficiency in curbing corruption, I believe the following strategies can work in our favour.

ZACC should actively engage in international cooperation with other Anti-corruption agencies and organisations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the African Union (AU), which have vast experiences of other countries and adopt successful approaches to the Zimbabwean context.  Corruption often transcends national borders, involving illicit financial flows, money laundering, and transnational bribery. Engaging international bodies allows ZACC to establish channels for international cooperation in investigations and mutual legal assistance.

The report shows that all the Commission’s reporting offices are mainly located in bigger towns which defeats the spirit of decentralisation.  As you are aware, one of the founding values of our Constitution is decentralisation as enshrined in Section 3 (20(1).  In thatrespect, some of the corruption hotspots such as border towns have been left unattended fully.  A lot of corruption happens around these towns and if ZACC could expand its reporting offices to these areas, this would make it convenient for whistleblowers.  Such decentralisation to border towns improves the effectiveness of the Commission in conducting comprehensive compliance assessments and spot checks around these border town institutions.

The report, on page 17, also shows that the Commission is still under staffed as the Commission still falls short of its 85% staff capacity requirement.  This shows the need to improve funding for the Commission to attract human resources through attractive remunerations. Overally, this will also result in the staff available putting in some extra efforts, thereby minimising corruption since it will be difficult to lure them into any corruption act. Let us advocate for adequate budget allocation for the Commission to perform its mandate with adequate human resources.  NDS1 is committed to strengthening State institutions responsible for justice delivery in Zimbabwe.

As I conclude Madam President, let me remind this House that corruption does not only affect the delivery of public services and misallocation of resources, rather it decreases investor confidence which goes against our “Zimbabwe is open for Business” mantra. Hence by considering these recommendations, ZACC can strengthen its position in combating corruption within Zimbabwe effectively.  I thank you.

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, 7th February, 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY FOR THE YEAR 2022

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the National Prosecuting Authority for the Year 2022.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. CHINYANGA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to add my observation on the report which was presented in this House by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the National Prosecuting Authority.

          Firstly, I would like to thank the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for the report he presented for the period from1st January 2022 to 31st of December 2022, which covers overall analysis of cases received, prosecuted as well as postponed.  However, I seek clarification on certain aspects on the presentation.  According to this report, the operations are grouped in accordance to quarterly progress and it is to my notice that the clearance rate of cases tend to decrease as the year progressed.

As much as it is a slight change, does this imply that the employees of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) tend to relax and reduce their zeal?  It is important for NPA employees to maintain the same work ethics yearly to guarantee progress, hence a better Zimbabwe.

Furthermore Madam President, on drug related cases, according to the report; the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs clarified that the reason why there is a very low rate of prosecuting drug cases is that results of samples taken for testing take time to be produced. In my opinion, this implies that the health sector ought to prioritise delivering samples on time so as to speed up prosecution.  Thus, clearance rate will be increased.  To add on, the Authority gave us a report on the overall case analysis.  For the year 2022 alone, they received one hundred and ninety thousand four hundred and ninety-seven (190 497) cases.  It is with no doubt that there is need for the Authority to increase its employees so as to take care of the cases and speed up the process and also to minimise postponement of cases.

          Furthermore, may the National Prosecuting Authority introduce and implement new and quicker measures such as cyber laws as these can quicken prosecution.

          Last but not least, over the years, corruption has been known to be rampant in the NPA from all ranks in the Authority.  It is my plea that the fight against corruption in this sector be taken seriously because criminals are walking freely while victims and the society at large are suffering.  Fighting and combating crime will surely result in faster and efficient services and clearance of cases by end of the year.  With that, I thank you Madam President.

          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, 7th February 2024.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 53RD PLENARY ASSEMBLY SESSION OF THE SADC-PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HELD IN MAURITIUS

Fourth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 53rd Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC-Parliamentary Forum.

Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add a few words to this motion.  I rise to support the motion on the 53rd SADC Parliamentary Forum Plenary Assembly Meeting held in Port Louis in Mauritius from 21st to 26th November, 2023 which addressed the theme; The Role of Parliamentarians in Promoting Coordination for Enhanced Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Planning in the SADC Region.

          Let me highlight that Hon. Sooroojdev Phokeer welcomed delegates and made emphasis on inter-parliamentary democracy.  Prime Minister Jugnauth stressed SADC unity, parliamentary cooperation and the need for adopting disaster management strategies.  

          I am happy to note that Hon Speaker, Adv Jacob Mudenda highlighted Zimbabwe’s strides in disaster risk reduction, stressing the need for regional coordination.  Challenges highlighted include underfunded frameworks, lack of updated risk assessments, weak knowledge of systems and the importance of national contributions to reduce global emissions.

          Let me conclude my speech by indicating that the Assembly focused on proposing sustainable solutions to climate change induced disasters with Zimbabwe actively participating and advocating for coordinated regional approaches.  The commitment to disaster risk reduction and recovery planning was underscored by the Prime Minister’s call for Parliamentary cooperation and advocacy for global frameworks.

          The overall impact of the 53rd SADC Plenary Assembly was bringing together regional leaders to address pressing issues and fostering collaboration to mitigate the impact of climate change induced disasters.  Zimbabwe’s active participation and Hon. Speaker Adv. Jacob Mudenda’s impactful country report contributed to the collective efforts aimed at enhancing disaster resilience in the SADC region.  With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. GOTORA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th February, 2024.

MOTION

PROGRAMMES TO CURB DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE BY YOUTHS

Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on drug and substance abuse by youths.

Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. GOTORA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th February, 2024.

MOTION

GBV AWARENESS PROGRMMES TO PROMOTE POSITIVE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CHANGE

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the commemoration to mark the 16 days of activism against Gender-Based violence.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. NYATHI: Thank you for the opportunity Mr. President. When we were growing up, there were aunties, grannies and boys were not allowed to sit around the fire in the kitchen. There was a place called idale. That is where they were nurtured to be boys and how to behave when grown up. The same was done to the girls. They were nurtured by their aunties and grandmothers showing them how to behave as a grown-up lady. All this was lost with time. Now people no longer trust each other, even in family set-ups. Families now live in isolation. There is no respect given to the aunties and the grandmothers. This marked the beginning of endless conflicts within the family set-up.

Another issue adding to these conflicts is, you find that the woman is employed but the man is not employed. During the time when the woman is at work, the man vandalises the property that the woman would have worked for. When the woman returns from work and finds out that the property has been vandalised, when she complains, the man becomes angry and the children are also involved in drug abuse at a tender age. You will find that children no longer respect the parents or the parents will be having disputes always. Looking at all this, it is the degradation of our cultural values. If possible, I would appeal that we revert to our cultural values because these were the basic norms of our society.

The mother respected the father and also the father reciprocated the same to the mother. Recently, we are witnessing a lot of conflicts and divorce. For now, our children do not have any respect at all. You find that the parents would go to the fields leaving the children behind doing nothing. All this needs intervention of our traditional leaders by educating our children on the importance of our values, probably this could reduce the moral decay within the society.

Families are now living in fear and spouses no longer trust each other. I appeal to the Government to give more powers to our traditional leaders so that they can help us in the rural areas.  With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. GOTORA: Thank you Mr. President. I know that in the past and even now, there are places where drugs are being sold. These drugs are no longer used for treatment. It is now up to us as leaders to ensure that we solve the problem because if it is dagger, it is not going anywhere else except where we stay. Are we not aware that mbanje is grown in the areas that we stay? I know that in the past, some people used to go to report to the chief if there was a place where mbanje is grown, but these days nobody cares anymore. People just grow it as if they are growing maize. The other problem is that it is no longer about the mbanje that we know that is medicinal, but the current drugs are very dangerous to the human body. Those substances are being sold in areas where we stay. Do you not know who is selling them? Do we not know who is selling the buns and cakes with drugs stashed in them? Some of them are being sold at schools at break time; children buy drugged cakes and buns - are we, as leaders here, as well as leaders outside Parliament not aware of all this?

Can we find ways to solve this or set up committees at various levels of society to look into what is happening? These things are affecting our society. How are they coming into the country? Who is selling them? Why is that person selling them? If we do not solve this problem now, the future of this country is going to be bleak. We do not want to have a country that has people who are crippled in mind. We should be having health-minded people who think of better things…

*THE TEMPORAR PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. KAMBIZI): I was listening to Hon. Sen. Gotora speaking and I realise that what you are debating is the motion that we adjourned. We are now debating a motion on Gender-Based Violence. I paid attention thinking that maybe your debate will converge but I realise that it is not. If you could debate the correct motion.

*HON. SEN. GOTORA: Thank you Mr. President. I started talking about drugs because I realised that somebody who abuses drugs is bound to be violent. Drugs cause lack of respect and people tend to be violent. Violence and harassing of each other is a disturbing phenomenon because if you are harassed, sometimes you end up thinking what wrong you have done. The harassment that I am talking about can take place between a mother and a father or amongst the children because of drug abuse that leads to lack of respect for each other. I think we must put in place laws that can be deterrent enough, be it harassment by not giving someone money or food, it must be stopped so that we accord each other the dignity that we need in life. I thank you Mr. President.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. I just want to find out whether I debated this motion or not.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Our records show that you debated this motion. I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. GOTORA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th February 2024.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Seventh Order read: Adjourned motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

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, 7th February 2024.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON. SEN. GOTORA the Senate adjourned at a Sixteen Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.

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