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SENATE HANSARD 7 FEBRUARY 2013 VOL. 22 NO. 08
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 7th February, 2013.
The Senate met at Half past Two o’clock p.m.
(MADAM PRESIDENT in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MADAM PRESIDENT
SENATORS INVITATION BY ZIMBABWE OPEN UNIVERSITY
MADAM PRESIDENT: I have to inform the Senate that the
Members of the Senate have been invited by the Zimbabwe Open
University to share information on how Members can study through the
Zimbabwe Open University. The meeting will be held on the 14th of February 2013 at 10 am in the House of Assembly Chamber.
MADAM PRESIDENT: I have also to advise hon. senators to
please speak slowly when you are debating in the vernacular. That will enable the interpreters to interpret and the Hansard Reporters to accurately capture your speeches.
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
MADAM PRESIDENT: May I also remind hon. senators to
please switch off your cellphones or to put them on silent.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
SENATOR CHITAKA: Thank you Madam President. My
question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Senator Made. Can the Minister give us a status report on the crop situation, especially after the rains and in some cases, too much rain in some areas?
MADAM PRESIDENT: Order hon. senators. May I please
remind hon. senators that the questions without notice have to be questions on policy. However, if the minister wishes to respond to this particular question he may go ahead.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR.MADE): Madam
President, I am honoured to try and answer that question, even though I am fully aware that it is a specific question. However, it is a subject we are all seized with at the moment. I will oblige the Senate through you. First of all, our season started very late in terms of rainfall. When the rains came, they came late December into January and with a lot of rain, continuously at that time and also as late as may be the past two to three days.
The rains have fallen heavily in Mashonaland West. I think you might have seen on television, Mashonaland Central, with a lot of hail storm. Bindura was quite at an impact yesterday - the hail storm destroyed quite a lot of infrastructure. Other than the state of the crop, the state of roads is very poor, impacting on farmers and sometimes even impacting on electricity pylons. These are issues we have been discussing in Cabinet to say what should be done to infrastructure.
I also want the Senate to note that other than crops, we have also suffered quite a loss earlier on in the season in the livestock sector, with Matabeleland South being the most affected province. As totality, parts of Masvingo, parts of Manicaland, Southern parts of Midlands and Matabeleland North. In terms of loss of livestock, I think I have given the figures already, they are somewhere around 16 000 to 17 000 animals that we have lost in totality due to the drought.
On the other side, we have also had a lot of births, for some reason, whether by nature, animals do compensate, even the wild life. As we are talking, Minister Nhema is preparing the status of wild life as well, to see. Overally, the live stock has increased even though we have realised that overall loss. The interest of the Senate, of course, is specifically on crops status. We are not very far from the total hectrage, at the same time planted to maize as compared to previous season. That is, we are now close to maybe 1.2 million hectares of maize planted. By last week we were below by minus nine percent, but this is not the stage at which we are doing crop assessment to estimate the yield. We are simply recording what has been planted and from what has been planted, some crop has been washed away, some crop is standing. I do not want us to use that as the estimated yield. There is an appropriate time that we are going to come with the estimated crop that we anticipate. I just want that to be noted.
Number two, tobacco is doing very well and we are about to open the auction floors. The biggest problem with tobacco is that there have been heavy rains and those who planted the crop late, particularly our communal people; it has been caught in the heavy rains. We do hope that may be when we assess what will happen next week, we will see. The early planted crop of tobacco is doing fairly well, but it is also caught up in the rains that some farmers, when it rains sometimes it quickens the ripening process, so the farmers are battling with that, but already we are going to open the auction floors so that some farmers who have tobacco that has been cured will be given relief so that they get some cash to keep them going.
The biggest challenge continues to be energy in terms of electricity and I have given you the reason that electricity is impacted on in terms of heavy rains as well, bridges have been washed away and the ZESA people are not able to reach some of the points where they have to repair. Farmers have to do with generators and diesel, so we have to give all our support to the Minister of Energy so that we work together.
The last point is that cotton has been a very difficult crop in tradition areas where we used to see cotton because of the difficulties we had last year, cotton farmers in better rainfall areas have switched over to maize, tobacco and soya beans and I think I can safely speak in terms of Mashonaland West, some parts of Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East. Farmers found the alternative from cotton, yet cotton is a very vital crop, industrial and even income earning in certain parts. So we will try and work and see what we can do to continue supporting cotton, but for this season, some farmers have opted where there is better rainfall to either plant maize, soya beans or tobacco.
I also want the Senate to know that the tobacco crop is kind of moving south-wards now, with farmers planting tobacco in Midlands and even some farmers are increasing tobacco planting in Masvingo. There are two women farmers in Umguza area in Matebeleland North who have planted cotton and I understand there will be a field day there. We have young farmers, not youth per-se but young families who have also come up now to grow tobacco, I want to say that as Ministry of Agriculture, we continue to monitor that there is food security. We want our people to grow commercial crops, but we must know that we have food crops grown and it is a must. We can buy food but it is very important that we have a balance between our cash crops and our food crops.
We are also going to intensify the support to livestock farmers as well; I know quite a number of Senators come from areas where livestock is critical.
Lastly, small dams, medium sized dams are under threat of being washed away but Senate should also take note of the floods, for example, in Beitbridge, they have been having floods and the greatest impact is on farming communities. I thank you Madam President.
*SENATOR HUNGWE: Thank you Madam President, I thank
the Minister for the explanation that he has given us that he hopes the situation in the country will ease. Can the Minister tell this Senate as he promised that no one will die of hunger when he is still alive. We are coming from the rural areas, people are crying and we are telling them that we are waiting to hear from the minister responsible so that we know the situation of our food security in the country. Thank you.
MR MADE: Thank you very much Madam President I want to thank Hon. Hungwe for raising the question. Firstly, I want to say that as I have already said, the rains came late, it impacted on the early planted crop which had been anticipated that people will be moving towards harvesting. We are already taking note to say in certain areas, we have to continue supplying food because the rains came late, we have no choice; it is by nature that we cannot ignore those areas because the rains came late, so we have to continue with all the food measures that we have under the grain and the overall vulnerable group. Some of those families have even lost the capacity to plant or even to repay grain loans. That is number one. Number two, when we talk of the communal people where the greatest impact is and I want again to emphasize, the southern parts of Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South, the southern parts of Midlands and low veld areas of Mashonaland. When we go to the escarpment down there, there are also low veld areas where we have to continue assisting people with food.
The lands that are clear with a better situation are Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East. Even by planting it is at least reasonable, I am now talking of maize. There are some pockets where they will start getting crop in another two months. Our gap is very clear, in certain provinces our gap is four months. We must help the people even though they have planted, maybe they will harvest something or they will not be able to harvest something.
The small grains have also had their own challenges and I want to include army worm this time which has gone beyond the traditional areas where we know army worm. Masvingo, Matebeleland South and Midlands were affected by army worm. When we talk of pastures, the hactrage affected by army worm, for example, 70% of the total hactrage which is 27 000 ha was in Midlands. It is for the first time, we have never seen army worm going as far as that. Midlands and Matebeleland North are the two provinces that were largely affected by army worm, not only the crop but also pastures. However, we have moved in, I think they will be able to control the situation. That is the second cause of the problem where we must continue to assist our people.
We now come to the impact of the rain. The early planted crop depending on the type of the soil, if it is a heavy soil, it would be able to stand, if it is sandy soils, the early planted crop might have a challenge here and there. The middle planted crop in some cases will also make it. The late planted crop in the sandy soils, some of it has just sunk with the rains. These are the three areas of assessment that we are doing.
How are we resolving the problem at least to make sure that there is food? We have allowed the private sector to continue importing grain.
Secondly, the Government itself will continue its programme to assist the people. Madam President that is all I can say.
+SENATOR S. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President, I would
want to ask Hon. Minister Made about the loans that were given to people, the money that was borrowed to people inorder to buy cattle. People are still asking about those monies. In your budget last year, did you have that money so that people can manage to buy cattle? Thank you.
+THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT: Thank you Madam
President, last year we had a budget that reached seven million dollars which was meant for those people who rear cattle. However, we have not been given that money for the strengthening of restocking. We only had money to help those who have cattle so that they can manage the drought. We are still waiting for the Minister of Finance and then we will update you. Thank you.
SENATOR MARAVA: Hon. Minister, I am so happy I will not
let you go until you answer me. Madam President, I would like to ask the hon. minister a supplementary question. The reason why people have moved southwards planting tobacco is not just because people want to plant tobacco, it is because a lucrative price is being paid for tobacco and maize is fetching very little compared to tobacco prices.
With the nation at heart hon. minister, you have been talking of food security that people must try by all means to remember that to secure the nation you need food. However, I also know that you are facing difficulty in that our local production here of maize is much higher than the cost of imported maize. I would like to know whether you have got an answer to this equation. How are we going to be assured of national food here in Zimbabwe? Thank you.
MADAM PRESIDENT: Before I call upon the minister to
respond, may I please remind hon. senators that you will get a better response if you do not debate first before you put your questions. It is a question and answer period, please just pose the question to the minister.
I am not saying you should not do an introduction but it should not be too long so much that the minister would be in anticipation of the question. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT: I want to thank Senator
Marava, of course the question you have raised raises much broader policy and strategy question. You have given comparison to a cash crop and food crop, when we come to the food crop and we talk of a price as a motivating factor for people to go into that crop. Immediately, I must balance that with the consumer, this is very critical but before we get to that I will also look at the broader factors of production. On the whole they hinge around short term borrowings for buying inputs or
Government intervention with inputs, i.e, seed, fertilizer and land overall that is on the production side and the general problems of the weather and so on. So our situation with food crops is very clear and we have to decide and I am happy because this is in the policy document where we are discussing now and maybe close to resolving that at the Cabinet level. In terms of the document, it is already there. It clearly carries elements that raises the question; at which point should Government intervene? Should Government intervene at the industry level to deal with industry as it produces inputs?
I just want to give you one example, if I take the process of processing cement, I think it is a very good example if you go way back historically, you will find that generally, the cost of cement used to be almost at par with the cost of fertilizer. I want you to take note of that but today the cost of fertilizer is, for example between US$35 and
US$40.00 and the cost of cement maybe at most between US$10 and US$16.00. So you can see right there from an industrial point of view that our cost - and I am not talking about of the element – yes the elements are different. So this is where we must answer the question
Comparatively when we relate to other countries that have inputs; let us say sometimes you hear reference to other countries that the inputs are low. But I must say there are subsidies to the farmers. When we subsidise the inputs, it must be across the entirerity of the fertilizer sect. You must not have a bag that is costing US$20 and another bag costing such and such, they will be arbitraged, and those who get it at a cheaper price some of them might take and sell at a higher price. So once we determine a price it must be the same across the country so that there is no arbitrage. Obviously our fertilizers are different for different crops but I am at least talking of the food crop. Yes you can take some food crop fertilizer and apply it to some commercial crops it is possible, so we must secure that.
So I am hoping that a lot of these issues that you have raised particularly on the food issue how do we resolve it? I also want to say to the Senate very happily as you know now, we have the Food and
Nutrition Committee of Cabinet which is Chaired by the Vice President, Hon. Mujuru, which means we are addressing the question of food security at that highest level and virtually I can say almost three quarters of the Cabinet Ministers are in that Committee to address the issues of water, irrigation and electricity. Virtually almost all the Ministers are in that Committee so that we can try to answer this question.
There are things also that we have done that relate to crop, seed security and I think the seed houses have done very well and even the fertilizer houses. But you can see the challenges that we have to pay them, I think you have heard sometimes we talk of; we owe these companies US$40 million. So when you look at their operations also they are borrowing money at high interest rate so sometimes that is why you see the prices are at such a variance. I think we must determine the short term, the medium term and the long term loan issues when we pay for the services we get from them but they have also tried.
Madam President, I think it is just reflecting also that maybe some of the questions – you know I am taking a little bit longer but I think that is the nature of the questions but really calling for a much deeper debate. I am happy to say that there will be an All Stakeholders Agricultural Committee of Parliament. So some of these issues I am sure they will come up again. Thank you.
SENATOR MUCHIHWA: I have a short question which I want
to ask on the sale of product. Why is it that some of the farmers who sold wheat to you some were given partial payment and yet others were not paid, what was the criteria used in making out the payment?
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTER, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT: Thank you hon. member for
asking that question. Yes it is true that we start making out payments, so we started paying out maize farmers for what they sold us. The next payment will be for wheat sold to us. Yes we do buy our wheat from farmers but we do not sell it there and there to the milers. What we do is overally as a country we are not producing enough food to meet the needs of the country especially for the past 2 years. Our production has been going down as a result we have given permission to millers to import wheat. As a result you find that in the process of buying they will have made contracts of supply which may last them a month or two. As a result the wheat which we buy has to be stored in our granaries, we cannot send it to the millers because they have enough in their stock which will have been imported.
In this farming season I believe that the amount we are offering to farmers, you will find that we are about to wrap up all the payments we owe the farmers who sold us wheat this season. Therefore if we have any farmers who have not yet been paid up, let me promise them that if they go to the GMB they will receive something which we will have stock up for them. Therefore we are now preparing for the next farming season especially wheat.
Let me just give an illustration of what I am saying especially directed to the Parliamentarians. Some farmers are saying with the way we are nurturing up our farmers, we have farmers of tobacco who are doing contract farming of tobacco and also in contract farming there are some problems which encountered in those areas and we are now asking ourselves, now that we have millers who wanted to take up the wheat we allow them to import the wheat to meet the country‟s needs but at the same time we want to encourage these millers to do contract farming with the local farmers. Especially when we look at what is done by Delta Corporation, they do contract farming for wheat and sorghum so that they can use it for brewing and the question we are asking is why is it that millers are not getting into contract farming so that they can assist in the growth of farming with the local farmers because I do not think it is fair for us to keep on giving them permits to import wheat from outside and yet we have enough water for irrigation. Therefore, it is high time they start contract farming with wheat farmers. As a Government, we know we need to have our strategic portion, but this is open to discussion. Therefore, I am giving a warning or advice to farmers on the future plans. We need to work with industrial areas on the wheat farmers. What we now need is to create an enabling environment so that wheat farmers are supported by the millers.
+SENATOR CHIEF NTABENI: Thank you Madam President, I
want to ask the Minister if he has knowledge about the rainfall pattern or are we expecting yet another drought? I do not know about the other regions, but I am talking about Midlands; people from my community get fertiliser from GMB but GMB does not have AN. I am wondering what the Minister has to say about that. The second question Minister is that, in my community, we survive with cattle and maize. However, our cattle have a lot of teaks, we do not have chemicals. I do not know how you can help us Minister because that is how we survive; our maize and our cattle. Thank you.
+THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT: Thank you Senator Chief
Ntabeni for bringing up the issue of cattle and maize. However, I am the Minister of Agriculture and there is an issue of money and our Ministry gets money from agriculture. That means if the money is not there then there is no way I can help you.
When it comes to the issue of fertiliser, the AN is not even available. All seed houses and fertiliser companies maybe going to two seasons – that means if they give us fertiliser, they would have borrowed and if we look at the interest rate, they are borrowing against 20% and that is why the Reserve Bank has sat down and talked about the issue of interest rates. It is difficult for someone who does not have money for short term, medium term and long term to support the farmers. I have said that a policy should be put in place on whether we are to subsidise industries? I was speaking about the issue of cost of fertiliser and seed maize, if you get the money yourself to buy fertiliser at $40.00 for 50kg, it is too expensive. This is a strategic question that we must answer collectively.
However, I must thank the farmers because they have tried their best and we should accept that. When it comes to that Senator, I beg you, that is the situation on the ground and things have worsened with the mulching. They have worsened the soils and I would advise the farmers that if they see that there would- not be rains, do not put anything, just wait. That is the situation that the farmers are facing and worse still, small scale farmers.
We should thank the President, he promised us that he will try to get AN for us. So we are looking forward to getting it; the little that the
President will provide us with. If we are to get it, then we will help you, we have to be patient. We hope that it will be soon so that we send the top dressing, but we need to accept that it was worsened by the rains and with the anxiety of demand, the companies are also putting up the prices but that is our key point. I need to say that we are waiting for delivery from the President. A little though, the first delivery, which is top dressing, we will give to small scale farmers, especially in communal areas and A1. We have spoken about that. We will also have those who plant maize in communal areas where you are; not everyone and A1 always. When the fertiliser is delivered, we have only been promised by the Minister of Finance that he will help us with $3 million to $4 million, but I am begging that when you see that the rains are coming, please do not top dress. Otherwise the fertiliser will be washed away.
Secondly, I would want to speak about the issue of cattle. When it comes to dipping chemicals, the President helped us with $1 million. You talked about re-stocking and $7 million, I spoke about that when I responded to Hon. Senator Ncube. We do not have that money yet, but if we do get it, I have heard you on the issue of dipping. On Tuesday, I took the issue up to Cabinet. I talked to them about the dipping situation. What I am saying is, I know about all these that Chief Ntabeni brought up. Prevailing diseases, the teak borne disease this year and it is across all provinces. That is step number one. Step number two, there is anthrax, number three there is lumpy skin disease. Just to give you a bit of knowledge on the disease outbreak nationally, the greatest being teak borne disease, what I want to say is that when it comes to livestock resuscitation, we have to elaborate on the issue of dipping cattle and deworming. Thank you very much Chief Ntabeni, I agree with you. Madam President, what I want to say is that, there is an increase in cattle dying from rabies and there are people who have died because of rabies, it does not only kill dogs but people and cattle as well. The central point, as you have pointed out, is the livestock and the strategies we should take. Thank you.
SENATOR MOHADI: Thank you Madam President. My
question goes to the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement. Why is it that the 99-year leases take so long to be obtained?
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENT (SENATOR MURERWA): Madam President, I
would like to thank the hon. senator for her question. The reason why 99-year leases take so long is that the process also takes long. It requires that the particular piece of land for which a 99-year lease is being applied for be surveyed and mapped. The challenge we face is that, a lot of farms have been destroyed, they have been demarcated into smaller pieces of land. This means that, instead of surveying and mapping one farm, several pieces of land would need to be surveyed and mapped. They must have their own boundaries. After doing that, it is necessary that these leases be registered properly. The process itself just takes a long time.
We are also constrained by resources to the Ministry in terms of surveyors. This country has very few land surveyors. We have started programmes in universities to accelerate the process of training surveyors. We have limited surveyors and planners. We also have constraints of resources which contribute to the delays in this process. +SENATOR MLOTSHWA: Thank you Madam President, I want
to make a supplementary question to the Minister of Lands. I do not know whether my information is outdated on one-man-one-farm policy. We realise that we now have one-man-twenty farms. What are we going to do to reverse what we have now?
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENT (SENATOR MURERWA): Thank you Madam
President. I am sure the hon. senator knows very well that there is no such thing as one-man- twenty farms. It is the policy of Government that it be one farm per family, not even one farm per man. Government has endeavoured to pursue this policy. We have had some cases where there have been some double allocations to same families, but this has been rectified to ensure that we adhere to this policy. Thank you Madam President.
*SENATOR KABAYANJIRI: Thank you Madam President. My
question is directed to Minister Made. My question is in connection with irrigation in terms of the climatic change. As Government, what are the measures that have been put in place to ensure irrigation is there in our farms where we have been resettled? The dams are there, but most of the equipment there was vandalised when people took over the farms. For example, the farm that I settled in is a reflection of the situation in the country. When we got there we were seven. We applied to the Ministry so that we could get help because the dams are there, but the pipes have been vandalised. In the mean time, we do not have the resources to buy new equipment, so, we are appealing to Government to help us so that we can engage in irrigation. Therefore, I want to ask the Minister what measures have been put in place in terms of irrigation in the country?
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (SENATOR D.R. MADE):
Thank you Madam President. I think Senator Kabayanjiri, as a beneficiary of the land reform has characterised it quite adequately. The information we have is exactly the same. Every A2 farm is planned, the hectarage that used to be under irrigation is known by us. The potential irrigation on each of the farms is known. It runs into billions of dollars to even try and restore what used to be there.
From a planning point of view, I am happy that all that information is there. Our battle for the farmers in mechanisation and irrigation is what I have said, short-term loan, medium-term and long- term. As we are speaking, most of the farms have had small streams bursting to the banks. Some farmers who even have pumps did not have the chance to lift those pumps, the motors have been damaged. As we approach the winter crop right now, those motors have been damaged as we are going into the winter crop right now. So I just want to agree with you that the calamity is not as simple as resuscitating, it includes even those farmers whose pump houses got filled with water, that is those that have pump houses near those rivers, the A2 farmers; those are the ones I want to start with…
MADAM PRESIDENT: Time is running out.
SENATOR DR. MADE: Rewiring even on the one you made an effort on your own and repaired centers around that; the issues of money.
The second aspect is small holder irrigation, which is mainly in the communal areas. That is where at least we have tried according to the blue book. Some irrigations schemes we have been able to deal with but those areas have faced the same problem right now as we are talking about the rains. I know you talk of the dams that are there. Some dams actually are under threat right now in terms of the spillways, they are being washed away. So, that is an infrastructure we should resuscitate. Maybe, Madam President, you should just end on this note. When we talk of irrigation and the destruction of the soil, one classical case is that of the Gokwe gully which has continued to collapse as late as seven days ago. This is a well taken question and this is where the focus should be.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by MADAM PRESIDENT in terms of Standing Order No. 34.
First Order read: Adjourned debate on the Report of the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee on the progress and outcome of the Constitution making process.
Question again proposed.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL
AFFAIRS: Thank you Madam President for the opportunity you have given me. I just want to make very brief submissions on the importance of the new draft constitution and I would just like to emphasise the need for us as a nation and a country to adopt, going forward, the culture of Constitutionalism. I believe that has been one of our biggest short comings as a nation. It is not so much the quality or the wording of the Constitution as compared to whether or not we are going to be able to respect and to abide by the contents of that Constitution. So, I am very happy that the draft Constitution as it is gives us an opportunity to mark a departure from the Lancaster House Conference. We all know that in 1979, 21 December, a Constitution was literally forced on the nation of
Zimbabwe to end a protracted liberation struggle. That is recorded history and I believe that this has given us an opportunity now to come up with our own Constitution. That did not make everyone happy but the issue is that it is not so much that we are going to have a Constitution that will make everyone happy, that will never happen.
When people talk of a people driven constitution sometimes I get very excited and anxious and I ask myself what a people driven Constitution means. I believe that the document that we have is just about the best document that Zimbabwe could have had at this juncture. I am excited that going forward, we should now make sure that our constitution is something that is dearly adapted to. Just to sum up, we should, going forward, adopt a culture of constitutionalism. I would like to wind up by referring to one famous statement by a celebrated human rights campaigner, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior who said, in some speech in 1967, “an injustice anywhere is an attack on justice everywhere.” So, I believe that it is now important for us to observe, maintain and respect the rule of law. Thank you Madam President.
MADAM PRESIDENT: I thank you Minister for your
contribution, except you gave us your contribution on the constitution. We are debating on the COPAC Report.
SENATOR MANDABA: Thank you Madam President. I know
so much has been said about the report that was eloquently presented by Hon. Governor Mathuthu, seconded by Hon. Gaule. What I want to say is that we are very proud of having been involved in the Constitution making process. Our names, including our drivers, appear in the report and we are going to go down in history as having been involved in this important event. I thought we had left out going into history, of which we should all be happy. The exercise was a unifying one. Members‟ relationships were so good that we shared food as a family and the participants also were so good that they were not showing political differences during the participation of the outreach and that JOMIC and the Organ for National Healing should probably take a leaf of what happened during the outreach. I thank you.
SENATOR MLOTSHWA: Thank you very much Madam
President. I would like to join my colleagues on congratulating COPAC and Hon. Mathuthu for presenting the report, seconded by Hon. Gaule. Everything has been said. I do not have much to say save to say that I thought in the report, maybe since we are making history of our own in Zimbabwe, not so many countries went through the same route we took for our Constitution. We are very proud to have found each other and gone this way, but I am saying for the purposes of making it true history, on page 8, paragraph (b), bullet (i) to (vii), I was thinking that the
COPAC Report was going to have the same time frame because we did not use this one that was laid down according to the Global Political Agreement, but we had our own. So, if another Parliament wants to come and learn from us how much time it took us to agree, disagree, negotiate, politicise, do everything, pray – everything that we did; how long did it take. We want that journey to be in this report again so that at least we have a true history of what exactly transpired. Thank you very much.
SENATOR CHIEF NGUNGUMBANE: Thank you Madam
President, as per our culture the Chief is the last speaker and will have the final word. I hope…
SENATOR CHITAKA: While I respect the sentiments expressed
by the Chief but if my rights are being …
MADAM PRESIDENT: It is your right saka ndakupa floor.
Taurai zvamuri kuda kutaura…
SENATOR CHITAKA: Ndizvo zvandiri kutaura kuti he cannot
be the last speaker because I also want to speak and the rules say I have the right to speak. I am demanding and requesting that you give me the floor.
MADAM PRESIDENT: Thank you very much for your
intervention but the rules also say I should direct debate in this House, right, and that is why I sit here.
SENATOR CHIEF NGUNGUMBANE: Thank you Madam.
President. First and foremost, I would want to thank Parliament led by COPAC for a job well done. I know it was not an easy task putting three bulls in one kraal which wanted to exercise power over the other. I would want to stress that this report that is before us as a House, reflects the unity of purpose, the oneness that our political leaders have shown.
The spirit of Ubuntu, Hunhu has superseded all political interests and I would want to say to our politicians, you have put Zimbabweans first. You have put the people that elected you into power first and for that, I would want to say thank you very much and it is a job well done.
Secondly, there is a common saying in the field of Gestalt Psychology which states that part of a sum is greater than its whole and this is true with the report that has been presented to us. The contributions that people made under trees, in classrooms, et cetera have been reflected. Their contributions are very important. I happened to have been in the Midlands, the participation of the people was fantastic.
They took ownership of this programme and that is why it is called a
„People Driven Constitution‟.
I hope that we will stick to the word „people driven‟ now that we have presented what the people said. It is us the Zimbabweans who have to make sure that what the people have said is contained in the report and is reflected further through until the end of this programme. In closing, I would want to express my disappointment that at the end of the report there are names of people who participated in the various thematic committees. It is disappointing to note that some of us who participated, namely chiefs, the names do not appear. With those few words I would want to air my sentiments over the report.
THE GOVERNOR OF MATEBELELAND NORTH (GOV.
MATHUTHU): I rise to wind up the motion but before I close this motion, allow me to thank the honourable members who contributed.
Sen. Chief Mtshane, your words Hon. Senator and I quote, „finally
Zimbabweans have found each other‟ will continue to ring in our hearts.
Sen. Muchihwa, thank you for acknowledging the contributions from
Zimbabweans across the political divide including war veterans and especially the technocrats and „chaunga’ could not have developed the
process eloquently without assistance from the learned in our society.
Sen. Mtingwende, thank you for your appreciation for the experience you gained through participation in the outreach exercise. Sen. Chimbudzi, your appreciation to the COPAC Committee for bringing together 4 000 Zimbabweans from across the political divide including civil society and also churches, which was a first after our harmonized elections when Zimbabweans were so polarized. Thank you for noting that this marked the historical beginning of new things to happen and unifying the nation.
Sen. Sibanda, thank you for reminding us that it is God Almighty who led the process that is why it has come to an end on a positive note. Sen. Dete for your comment on the unity of purpose which prevailed during outreach and for reminding this august House of the sacrifice by members of Parliament whose vehicles depreciated to marengenya. Sen. Hlalo, thank you for analyzing the lyrics of the National Anthem and I quote, „May all leaders be exemplary‟, which we often sing but fall short of practicing as legislators.
Hon. Katyamaenza, thank you for acknowledging the role of the chiefs as they mobilized their people to participate during the outreach process. Sen. Chief Musarurwa, thank you for congratulating Zimbabwe on coming up with a new Constitution replacing the tattered Lancaster House document which had suffered a lot of patches. Sen. Ncube, you were so brief but to the point. Thank you for celebrating the completion of this process. Sen. Kabayanjiri, thank you for commenting on the peace which brought about the participation of all Zimbabweans in the process and especially the visionary leadership of His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe and his team.
Sen. Chibagu, you related the journey travelled by outreach teams from suspicion to brotherhood and cursed satan for dividing the nation. Sen. Femai, thank you for acknowledging the vision and agility of His Excellency the President and the Prime Minister of our country as they guided the process and the role played by the chiefs. You pleaded to future generations to resist amendments to the Draft Constitution to very critical areas.
Sen. Chief Chiduku, thank you for reminding the House to be sincere when we refer to chiefs and your observation that no one is perfect as there may be areas requiring cleaning to ensure that the Draft Constitution would be without blemish.
Thank you, Senator Chief Charumbira for assuring this august
House that the chiefs would lobby for a “yes vote” even though the Draft Constitution would be debated after the Referendum to correct areas of concern from the chiefs.
Senator Gutu, thank you for encouraging us to adopt a culture of constitutionalism and also encouraging us to move forward with this draft. Senator Mandava, I thank you also for reminding us that all data captured will go down into history. So we have made history as a nation.
Senator Mlotshwa, thank you also for noting the errors which are on page 8. The bullets you mentioned, I am sure they will be corrected.
Senator Chief Ngungubane, thank you for reminding us of ubuntu/hunhu and also quoting that part of the sum is greater than its whole. You also mentioned that there were omissions on Thematic Committees where the names of the chiefs were not captured.
Madam President, I therefore, move that the motion be adopted.
Motion put and adopted.
[HON SENATORS: Ululation].
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the tragic and untimely death of Honourable Vice President John Landa Nkomo.
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S
OFFICE (MRS HOLLAND): The Organ for National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration thanks Senator S. K. Moyo for affording us all this opportunity to pay homage to a great son of Africa, a great leader of the 20th and 21st Centuries for the greatest contribution of his life towards the end. The successful production of a sustainable, unique and a first, the architecture or infrastructure for peace in Zimbabwe in exactly four years, a very short time span to invent something so new.
Recognizing His Excellency, the President‟s condolence message and burial speech, very extra-ordinary. Among many others, which appeared in both the electronic and print media, the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration would like to add this obituary as the voice of the Organ for National Healing which is still reeling in shock and deep sorrow on the passing on of our very able and extraordinary Chairperson, the Hon. Landa John Nkomo, the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
I think people may get confused about the use of the word “Landa” first. Towards the end of his life, he really did make a shift to explaining that when he was young and at school, a white man asked, “what is your name?” It was an inspector. He was sitting next to his sister and he was going to say “Landa”, the sister said “John” and he said “John”. That name stuck but towards the end of his life he named the school which he founded Landa John Nkomo.
The Organ would like to put it on record that this was something that he really did towards the end of his life. The Organ for National Healing is a creation of the three Global Political Agreement principals.
We actually report directly to the three GPA principals.
What we would like to say as the Organ is that the Principal Director, Directors and all staff members, will always remember very fondly our Chair for his unrelenting search for peace in Zimbabwe.
When things really got bad every institution does get to those situations, - wayesithi uVice President, angifuni into iphunyuke. Handidi kuti chinhu ichi chindipunyuke. I do not want this thing to get out of my hand. Holland sit up! Always we pulled up rank and actually moved forward together because he expressed from the beginning that he would never allow this to escape him.
We want really to salute today, the embodiment he had of tactful diplomacy manifested through all the conflict analysis, negotiations, mediations, peace building skills that he displayed whenever anything appeared as if it was going to derail the peace process in Zimbabwe.
Befittingly, we would like to actually repeat again that the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration was made up of three senior politicians. We are quoting exactly the words of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe when he actually nominated the three Co-Principals of the Organ. He really liked that word better than the word “elder” because he thought it left some things out.
The Vice President, our Chair worked hard and was completely committed in his efforts to bequeath the legacy of peace for future generations in Zimbabwe.
I would like to point out very quickly again that the establishment of the Organ is in the Global Political Agreement, Article 7 (1) (c.) and the team that was around the establishment of the peace process - I would like to salute them here because the Chief Secretary, Dr. M.
Sibanda, his staff Dr. R. Ndlukula, Rtd Col. C. Katsande from the very beginning ensured that we would get the technical support as we built the team to where we would actually never fail. I would like to put it on record that the relationship that was built from the beginning by our Chair with the Office of the President and Cabinet, that trio and their staff really sustained what we were able to achieve.
I would like to say that when the three of us met under the leadership of the late Vice President, Landa John Nkomo, the important thing that he wanted us to understand was to succeed, we had to be truthful to one another at all times. When we were discussing peace, no two of us would meet without the third one.
At all times when the three of us met, we convened formally to bring out what came from our political parties as policy on the infrastructure for peace, hence the long name because in the Constitution that came out, we were supposed to be called the Organ for National Healing and Reconciliation but the MDC-T name for national reconciliation is National Reconciliation and Integration. So, quickly I added that word so that it also included our perspective of that. We wanted an inclusive process to really come up with a peace process. So it was to me to the credit of the Chairman that he did not argue, he just wanted that to be put in, although it would make the word very long.
When we met to talk about how we would come up with an infrastructure for peace, it is to the credit of our Chairman that he accepted that after a long, long debate, it was important for us to recognise that the three of us had no idea what we were supposed to do to get this peace process going. So we adopted together, an approach that would be grassroots based, national and inclusive to consult the people of Zimbabwe. The first port of call was to meet with the traditional leaders. I want to salute Chief Charumbira and the Chief‟s Council because from the first day when they came to our offices to meet with us, it was quite instructive what they told us. They said, you know that in Zimbabwe, siyakumela lomulowatathi, tinosvutisana fodya and that is the work that the chiefs are doing everyday in their areas. That today, is the basis of the infrastructure for peace in Zimbabwe from the traditional leaders that the people of Zimbabwe, in establishing the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, as it is now, which is the legal framework and the adoption of an African way of bringing peace came from the traditional leaders. I would like to salute Chief Charumbira, Chief Mtshane Khumalo and their team for having come at the invitation of our Vice President and our Chairman to advise us.
In going out to talk to the people of Zimbabwe, we talked to everybody and we visited the whole country. I want to thank the people of Zimbabwe for educating us, for telling us truthfully what was in their hearts about what they wanted to see. At the end of 18 months, our colleague, Mr Gibson Sibanda died and to his credit, the Vice President did not stumble or find this a terrible tragedy. We went to ask the
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe when our Chairman became the Vice President that he stay as Chairman because the rapport that we had developed, if it was broken at that time, we would not have come up with what we did. That was agreed, so when our colleague died, we went to Kariba – he died exactly 18 months after we finished the consultative process. In those nine days, when the whole Organ celebrated the life and contribution of our colleague, Minister Gibson Sibanda, we recognised the importance of how we had been set up. At the level of the Principals, was the President himself who had worked very well with Hon. John Nkomo. Hon. John Nkomo who had worked with the Prime Minister, Mr. Tsvangirai in the trade union movement, with Mr. Gibson Sibanda when he was the leader of the trade union movement. The intruder was me, but as the President pointed out, they wanted gender balance and he was very pleased with the gender component that was thrown in, yours truly. So, I would like to say, the fact that the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe used the talents of everybody to bring a team together that produced a document in Kariba, our transformational, transitional strategic plan which was adopted based on our adopting from the traditional leaders, local best practices, kusvutisana fodya based on ubuntu bethu, hunhu hwedu.
Vice President Nkomo always educated us on the relationship that had taken place during the liberation struggle with the other liberation movements. So we adopted the best practice from the region. Also, what was pleasing to me, was that he wanted us to adopt the best practices from the international community that we made use of. I would like to salute Vice President Nkomo, single handedly, from 2009 and this is not known, he actually shielded the whole country from the war that was to descend on us to break the GPA by saying, the people of Zimbabwe have put in a peace process where we would like to be given the time and the space to talk amongst ourselves. He would quote what was happening in COPAC and that the most beautiful stories about what was happening in our country were coming from COPAC. I would like to salute the people of COPAC on behalf of the Organ for your contributions yesterday and today. It has been a very big lesson for me, but I can see what our Vice President meant when he said, we must protect the GPA process as the Organ, by talking about what was happening here. For sure, we did and the international community today knows more about what the Organ has done and what it is doing because we kept them engaged as we did with the traditional leaders.
We have adopted the best practices locally, best practices in the region to capture the positive contributions of the liberation struggle and what the people of Zimbabwe contributed during that struggle, which is yet to be captured. I would like to also say here that the programme that we came up with at the leadership of the Vice President has produced for us, four elements of an infrastructure for peace. It is the first in the world, it is one which people are now coming to visit Zimbabwe to learn about. As I said, it has a legal framework, based on ubuntu bethu, hunhu hwedu, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission. I would want to say once again – I was talking last night about the beautiful women who presented there about what their experiences were and the men, the staff, the policy makers from the village to the ward, district, province of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission. The members are the members of COPAC, I do not think we need to go very far because they have really shown us that they captured the spirit of
Zimbabwe and we have to build on that.
I would like to assure our colleague, Senator Mandaba that the Vice President, our Chairman, always used to say, look at what COPAC and JOMIC are doing because those people are going to be the ones who make the input which makes this thing work. So you do not have to worry because we have always been watching and we have always been listening. We have got some of the most excitement programmes that were spearheaded by the Chairman, Vice President Nkomo.
In conclusion, those who were at the funeral, all the arrangements which were made for Tsholotsho, Bulawayo, Harare worked the way the Chairman wanted, mvura, it just made people do what he wanted. What was in Vice President Nkomo‟s heart? I saw him on a Tuesday evening and as always, I was joking with him saying abantu baphela not realising this was good bye. I was telling him that we are launching the Code of Conduct for and by political parties at the end of February, that will take the signing by the three GPA Principals, it has not been signed. What is that Code of Conduct? The Code of Conduct is from political parties, this is a political party document, the GPA. It is an instrument which uses the African approach, kana vanhu vakasanganisa meso, when people‟s eyes meet, you reflect the love, the beauty of humans and the best in you comes out so that you come out with the best. So, the Code of Conduct is the tool that the Chair brought it up. This was his brainchild. I am not saying this because he is gone. From day one when we met, he said we need a Code of Conduct for political parties to meet, so that they actually map down how they will remove all forms of violence from the political playing field. That was his baby.
Madam President, he also came up with the term cyclic political violence because it has always come at times when power is being debated. So, the Code of Conduct will be signed towards the end of this month. It is his baby again, the history project; those are the elements of the infrastructure for peace. The history project, if we break out now as the Senate into isibongo nje or isigava nje you will be shocked about how we are one family and how in fact Zimbabwe is one and how much we all love it because we reflect that.
So the history project is going to be easy. We have held the methodology workshop. It is also going to be launched at the end of February. That was his brainchild that if you got Zimbabweans to talk to one another through the traditional leaders, our academics, the thing would really take off. The history project and the Code of Conduct and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission are the three elements.
The fourth element is the most exciting one. It is the programme that supports the three elements and you will be hearing more about it. In saluting the Chair of the Organ, may I conclude by saying the legacy of Landa John Nkomo is the manner of his departure. The chanting of the only slogan by the President at Heroes Acre and then in the
Politburo, „peace begins with me, peace begins with you, peace begins with us‟.
This slogan, I need to now record, is the brainchild of Hon. Minister Muchena. In March 2009, when she invited me from the Organ to come and address International Women‟s Day, Vice President Mujuru and Deputy Prime Minister Khupe nearly got kicked out of their parties - they arrived holding their zambias and I addressed them on the Theme given to us by Hon. Minister Muchena which was „peace begins with me, peace begins you, peace begins with us. When I got back Vice President Nkomo said to me selenzeni because he had been told of that scandal of the women. I said no, this is what they had as a theme, he said mfana wami fakani pansi. So, we adopted it as the Organ slogan and it is there, „peace begins with me, peace begins with you, peace begins with us‟ because Nkomo thought those were the most appropriate words to actually have in Zimbabwe.
The other slogan which is very important is the Mahatma Gandhi one “an eye for an eye, makes Zimbabwe blind”. That is an important logo for people to actually adopt because there have to be some people somewhere who say we stop here and we start talking about peace.
Madam President, the one which he really loved most was „all
Zimbabweans, let us together as Zimbabweans walk the talk for peace in
Zimbabwe‟. With those words, I would like to thank Parliament for giving us this opportunity as the Organ to put our words and our sorrow on the table. Thank you.
+THE GOVERNOR FOR MATEBELELAND NORTH:
Thank you Madam President. The Hon. Minister has spoken a lot that I wanted to speak about. If I was not from Matebeleland North, I would have just sat down. Madam President, because Hon. Landa Nkomo was from the Matebeleland province, I will speak slowly since we were told that we should speak slowly. I therefore saw it fit for me to speak one or two things about Hon. J. Nkomo. I would like to thank Hon. Senator S.K. Moyo for raising this motion, seconded by Hon. Senator Gaule.
Hon. President, in this august House, we were born by Hon.
Nkomo, politically, because he used to be our leader in Matebeleland
North. He taught us to respect, he guided us after the Harmonised
Elections, he called us and threatened us. He said that people should be at peace with each other. He said Zimbabwe is for us all. We have to work together with others. We have to guide each other so that we do not embarrass our nation as a whole.
Madam President, as said by Hon. Tapela yesterday, he said when you are amongst people, you have to humble yourself so that the people are the ones who bring you up. He was that kind of a person. You would never know that he was the Vice President. He will just act like one of those people from the community. He told us to be people of peace and he taught us to give. In Matebeleland North, when building Lupane University, we used to go to him and talk to him about the money for building the University. He called us and we went to Holiday Inn all of us. He asked each and every one of us how much we were going to donate towards the University. I did not know that I was supposed to contribute something as well.
We were all there and we all put promises and he said that he does not want fake promises. He said that he needed money. He went after each and every one of us asking for the money, as a result, we all put the money in place. He worked a lot towards development. People donated a lot of things as he taught us to give.
Hon. J. Nkomo also helped us by being the first to work towards the issue of water from the Zambezi for the people in Matebeleland
North down to Masvingo and other areas. I know that what he did in the Government is written down. He is the one who raised the Act that is about Rural Councils and Urban Councils and Traditional Leaders
Council. He never liked the name John, he preferred the name Landa. So, when we spoke about him we said the John is saying that – because he was once a Minister of Home Affairs when he worked for our Government.
It was interesting when he brought fuel to Tsholotsho so that he could help old people by ploughing for them. That is how it is like, the Chief talked about it yesterday. He gave me fuel to give the Chiefs so that they did not plough only for themselves but also for the people. As
Hon. Masuku said yesterday, he brought us gifts from all over the world.
In Matebeleland North, we were given a car that was given to the University. We were also given ploughs that are motorised. We were also given engines to help us with water so that we could give those in the irrigation scheme, so that they cannot just sit around and not work.
Hon. J. Nkomo helped us with a lot of things. He was the first person to bring computers and photocopiers in almost all the schools in Matabeleland North, before those things were popular at that time we did not know that he would end up building us a School of ICT excellence.
Madam President and the august House, I cannot say much more than what Hon. Senator Holland has said. Hon. John Landa Nkomo was a Christian and he feared God. I would want to say to his family that they should be comforted by the fact that Hon. J. L. Nkomo was a Christian and that he walked a Christ-like life. I would also want to say to Hon. President and the Cabinet that they should be comforted by the fact that he fought a good battle. To the people of Matabeleland North, Province I would want to say we should thank him and be grateful for the lessons he taught us. To all Zimbabweans, what I would like to leave with you are some words that are from a song by Lynda Randle. The words are written in English and I will give you a copy. The song says:
The God on the Mountain is the God in the Valley
Life is easy, when you’re on the mountain, and you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known
But things change, when you’re down in the valley – don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone
You talk of faith, when you are up on the mountain oh! But the talk comes easy, when life’s at its best
But it’s down in the valley of trials and temptations, that’s when faith is really put to test
For the GOD on the mountain, is still the GOD in the valley
When things go wrong, he will make it right
And the GOD of good times is still the GOD of bad times
The GOD of the day is still the GOD of the night.
Thank you Madam President.
MADAM PRESIDENT: We also thank you Honourable Governor – [HON. SENATOR S. NCUBE: Tichadebater next week] – [Laughter] – I know and I am so happy to have so many assistants.
THE GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND NORTH: I move
that the debate do now adjourn. Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th February, 2013.
On the motion of the GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND
NORTH, the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Five Minutes past Four
th February, 2012.
O’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 12