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SENATE HANSARD 7 DECEMBER 2022 VOL 32 NO 3
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 7th December, 2022
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. KAMBIZI): May I remind Members to put their phones on silent or switch them off.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President Sir for giving me the opportunity to support the motion raised by Hon. Sen. S. Mpofu, seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Siansali. I want to thank His Excellency the President, Dr. Mnangagwa for the address that he presented which gave us the roadmap on how to conduct business in this House. All the things he mentioned in his address will bring development. At first I could not understand what it meant but now I understand what he was saying. I began to see his vision, that is, to improve and develop relations with other countries so that developed countries will come and invest in our nation.
His Excellency openly said that we do not have to make enemies because we need to attract foreign investment. This is important to us because most businesses will open whilst creating employment for our children as well as enhancing the wealth of our country.
The President of Zimbabwe talked about sanctions that were imposed on us which are hurting us as Zimbabweans. This is why you see SADC as a region, in unison with Zimbabwe, came together advocating against sanctions. This issue of sanctions has affected the employment rate. In my own opinion, sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe by the same people and organisations that always talk of human rights. This has sabotaged a lot of things in Zimbabwe.
Let me thank the President for reiterating on the issue of sanctions that they must go. We need development in Zimbabwe and to raise the GDP but as long as sanctions are there, it will be very difficult. As the august House, I think we should all raise awareness that sanctions must be removed because they are an obstacle.
I want to thank the President who also mentioned and congratulated Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira on becoming the President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP). This position is not for Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira alone but it is for the whole of Zimbabwe. We are excited because this position has never been in the SADC. We also want to thank all the countries that voted in favour of Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira. Zimbabweans are very good when it comes to doing their work. We are proud to have him as the PAP President.
Allow me also to mention that our President mentioned our defence forces who engage in peace keeping missions, be it in the AU, UN or SADC. What excited me most was the number of women partaking in peace keeping missions in order to maintain peace. So we want to thank the President for uplifting women and his faith in women. We want to thank the Major who was given an award by the UN for a job well done because she did very well in terms of performing her duties. I therefore want to thank His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for remembering that the women are there and they are working hard in those areas, making us proud. I want to say that our defence forces, because of the importance of their work, should be availed adequate resources, be it human or financial, food or uniforms. I hope that our country will seriously look into the welfare of our defence forces because they are raising our flag. We want to thank His Excellency for being cognisant of the defence forces going for peace-keeping missions.
The President also said that we are heading towards the 2023 general elections where we look forward to different parties campaigning. We expect them to campaign in peace without any violence. These elections are not the first of their kind because we have always gone for elections. Violence is not good because it brings anarchy and some people lose their limbs and become disabled because of elections. The President has pleaded with the nation that we need to be united. There is no development without unity, so let us learn to be united and maintain our peace. Zimbabwe has well educated people, therefore we should maintain peace. For all of us who are going to engage in election campaigns, we look forward to these being done in peace. Let me say, with these few words, I want to thank you for the time you have given me to support the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mpofu.
+HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mpofu. I would like to applaud the address by His Excellency, to both the National Assembly and the Senate. The speech was delivered in the new Parliament building which is so beautiful and I guess it could be the most beautiful Parliament in the whole world. I think the Parliament will bring respect to this country and also dignity to us the legislators. . I would like to applaud the President’s message when he said it is very important for a country to have good relations with other countries and took note of China’s relationship with us, which has brought about such a beautiful building. He also said 2023, after elections, the new session of Parliament will start in that new building. His Excellency the President also referred to progress in mining, agriculture as well as power generation. He said input distribution to farmers is progressing very well and right now the inputs are being distributed. He also referred to the success of Pfumvudza/ Intwasa.
He also spoke about the special production dedicated to the Chiefs, Zunde raMambo which he said should be devolved to village heads as well as their subjects. I hope that will be very good. His Excellency spoke about good production of gold, chrome and coal. He also spoke about the official opening of the Chem plant and the extension of many other mines that will contribute to the development of the economy.
With regards to mining, His Excellency said people should work within the confines of the law. They should not work outside the law because some of the things may bring hazards to the environment. He also alluded to several progressive issues fulfilled by the Second Republic, such as road rehabilitation and he spoke about the Harare/Beitbridge Road which is almost complete. It has been modernised and is now open to traffic. There is also a lot of progress in other roads.
His Excellency spoke about airstrips especially in rural areas. He spoke about the Binga airstrip where I come from and I can vouch for. He also spoke about the Bumi Hills airstrip that has been refurbished. He highlighted the refurbishment of international airports like the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport that it has been modernised. The President spoke about several projects including the Beitbridge Border Post that has been modernised. It is a border post that we all know and it is very famous, especially for some of us who have a lot of children who cross to South Africa. They are speaking glowingly about such modern border posts which they say they have never seen before.
His Excellency referred to progress in the health sector, touching on clinics and district hospitals. Indeed, I applaud him because that is happening in the rural areas. The provincial hospital in Lupane is being constructed. I worked for 36 years in Tsholotsho and we have been calling for the upgrading of a provincial hospital in the province. Indeed, that has been fulfilled. That is development by the Second Republic.
The President referred to the Simon Mazorodze School of Medical Science that is very good for doctors. He said we now have four institutions where doctors can be trained in this country. A lot of our children may want to study medicine but the facilities were not available. That is a huge development because we now have four institutions. He alluded to the Home Affairs Department at the Registry Offices which has made work much easier. Now, the processes are easier for people to acquire all the necessary documents such as passports. I went to Bulawayo Passport Office and I thought I was in a bank because it has been modernised. I saw it myself. Indeed, there is a lot of progress. There are a lot of developments at the Registry Offices where long queues are a thing of the past. Within a few minutes you are able to get your passport. That shows a lot of development.
His Excellency also spoke about the illegal sanctions that are a problem to us and these must go. He thanked the region as well as the African Union for calling for the removal of sanctions. All those countries agreed that Zimbabwe is suffering due to these sanctions. He referred to orphans and other needy people especially those that are being taken care of by the BEAM that is paying fees for them because it is important for children to be able to attain education. The future requires education. That is why he referred to this development where they have access to education.
His Excellency the President talked about the invitation of Zimbabwe to the USA-Africa Summit which is a very good development and he applauded that. He said that is a very good gesture because Zimbabwe is being invited to that occasion. Like what my fellow Senator alluded to, the whole country applauds that development that has taken place where Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira has been elected to the position of President of the Pan African Parliament. The President also thanked Mr. Zavazava who was elected to a high post at the International Telecommunication Union. They are raising the flag of this country high by being appointed to those high offices.
The country has been honoured by being given the chairmanship of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme. He also spoke about women. His Excellency respects the promotion of women to high offices. He alluded to their participation in the peacekeeping missions as well. He said now there are 50% females participating in that aspect as well as the fact that many women have been seconded to those peacekeeping missions. So we are fulfilling the calls by the Constitution for us to have 50-50 opportunities in terms of gender equality. His Excellency has been exemplary in this aspect by fulfilling gender equality. I would like to applaud him for that. May God continue remembering us as women; it shows that we are very important and it shows that His Excellency considers in high esteem the issue of equality. That can actually bring blessings to the family. That is why we have a wise person like King Solomon and a lot of other messages that he brought across which I am sure other Hon. Senators will refer to.
Finally, I would like to repeat that the new Parliament building will actually open the minds of Hon Senators and Members of Parliament. I am sure in such a place they will not fall asleep in the House and they will respect that wonderful environment which should push Hon Members to be active and represent their people very well. With these few words, I would like to thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to add my views on the speech delivered by His Excellency, Cde E. D. Mnangagwa. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA: Firstly, allow me to thank Hon. Sen. Mpofu who brought this motion to the House, seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Siansali. I thank them very much for bringing such a motion to the House, a motion to appreciate and thank His Excellency the President of this State, for the State of the Nation Address which gave us the direction that the nation will be moving as we enter into a new Parliament and 2023. The SONA gave us the direction that we are taking; economic, social, political, cultural and legislative direction. As a member of this House, I think I am very happy with the direction that was spelt out.
I will start with the external direction, where the President spoke about the need for re-engagement, partnerships and open-doors. I think the direction that we are taking is very wise and it is self-proven from what we have seen on the ground when we look at the facilities that have been opened up in investment for our country; the John Deere facilities and other facilities which have been opened. We have seen a lot of mechanisation taking place on the ground. We have seen a lot of partnerships coming in investments and even though some may say they have not seen anything but at least all of us have gone to the New Parliament Building which is testament of re-engagement and partnerships which happen on the ground. That building as Hon. Sen. Dube has very profoundly spoken of, is a marvellous and state of the art structure in Mt. Hampden, which I am sure is up to international standards if we look at it. We are very proud of it and we are proud of having such a structure as parliamentarians.
In the internal politics direction, the President spoke about peace, peace and peace as usual, reconciliation, engagement in a peaceful manner and he said it is very important for us to reach Vision 2030. A lot of players have been put on the ground, Commissions like the National Peace and Reconciliation and Chiefs have also been given a mandate to work on a peace programme. All these are programmes which the President has put on the ground for our people to become a peaceful and prosperous nation by 2020. The President also spoke about what matters also for the people on the ground, the agrarian direction. The people have been getting their inputs on time.
The President spoke about the vulnerable people getting their free inputs on time every year. I can speak about the fact that on the ground, the people have been getting their inputs every year before the first rains; the inputs would be already on the ground. It is up to us as chiefs and parliamentarians to ensure that the people use and not abuse their inputs. This issue of selling inputs and deals on the ground must come to an end. The President and the Government are doing their best. We should be seen to be assisting.
The President also spoke about Zunde raMambo/Isiphahla seNkosi programme which he said there is need to capacitate it so that people have production at grassroots, chiefs’, headmen’s and village level. This will assist people so that they know and can see on the ground what production is about and they can start producing themselves. At chiefs’ level, the vulnerable are able to move to the chief who is very close to where they are and get assistance; per chance they may face hunger or starvation. We are happy that the President mentioned the Zunde raMambo/Isiphala seNkosi programme and we are looking forward to great assistance to capacitate that programme. Already, we have received a lot of inputs for that programme and thus, we are very happy and we continue to show our gratitude for such assistance.
The President also spoke about the cultural direction. The President said “we celebrate our traditional leadership who are an integral part to the maintenance of our social fabric”. The President spoke about traditional leaders and mentioned that they are the ones at grassroots level with the people and Government will continue to support them where possible and when they call for support. We thank the President for such words and we call on the nation to continue working with the traditional leaders for the betterment of our people.
On the developmental direction, the President spoke about many things which I cannot exhaust at this time. I will speak about the things that pertain to where I come from, Matebeleland. He spoke about road construction, the Beitbridge–Harare Road which I will not go into but we have many roads which we are working on in Matebeleland. We have the Bulawayo –Tsholotsho Road of which 10 km has already been completed and we are looking forward to continuous work on that road. The Government Complex and hospital at Lupane, the Gwayi–Shangani Dam which has taken 100 years being spoken about and only the New Dispensation has started work on the Gwayi–Shangani Dam. As I speak now, it is more than 70% complete. Also, the pipeline which is being laid and it passes close to my homestead in Tsholotsho. There are many different segments of the pipeline being worked on by different players, so we are looking at that on the ground and it is taking shape as we see it. We are quite happy with that intervention.
Power generation which is a national problem right now, I think as Matebeleland, we are taking a big part in solving that problem. The President spoke about Unit 7 and 8 in Hwange which is close to completion and will give us quite a lot of megawatts into the national grid. Speaking about local power generation, we are also happy that Matebeleland was chosen. The Bemba Solar Grid which is a pioneer project in Zimbabwe for villagers to have solar and have electricity, an entire villager was given power, homestead to homestead. It looks as if you are in an urban area when you are deep in the rural areas. We are quite happy with that intervention as well.
The Beitbridge Border Post modernisation to make it a one-stop facility and other border posts which are being worked on; all these things, we are seeing them and the President spoke about them. We are quite happy. On the legislative direction, a lot of Bills were spoken about and we look forward as legislators to handle those Bills and to see that they become Acts of Parliament and serve the interests of the people of Zimbabwe. Let us not forget the Traditional Leaders’ Bill which we continue to wait for, which will assist us also as traditional leaders as we harmonise our Bill with the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Thank you very much.
HON. SEN. S. MPOFU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MATHUPULA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th December, 2022.
THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Thank you Hon. Minister. Before I proceed, I would like to commend Hon. Senators for their attendance today. I wish to commend that we continue with such attendance.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA), the Senate adjourned at Sixteen Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.