[featured_image]
Download
Download is available until [expire_date]
  • Version
  • Download 27
  • File Size 468.51 KB
  • File Count 1
  • Create Date July 9, 2024
  • Last Updated July 9, 2024

SENATE HANSARD 9 JULY 2024 VOL 33 NO 62

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 9th July, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

DEATH OF HON. SEN. KERESENCIA CHABUKA

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is with profound sorrow that I have to inform the Senate of the death of Hon. Sen. Keresencia Chabuka, Senator for Manicaland Province, on Saturday the 6th of July, 2024.  I therefore invite all Hon. Senators to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Senator. 

All Hon. Senators observed a minute of silence. 

MOTION 

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Mr. President, I move that Orders of the Day Nos. 1 to 19 be stood over until Order of the Day No. 20 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of

Motion put and agreed to. 

MOTION 

CRIMINAL LAWS AMENDMENT (PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS) BILL, [H.B. 4A, 2024]

Twentieth Order read: Second Reading: Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Children and Young Persons) Bill, [H.B. 4A, 2024. 

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. Allow me to present my Second Reading speech on the Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Children and Young Persons) Bill, [H.B. 4A, 2024].  Mr. President, this is a pertinent Bill which seeks to align sections 61, 70, 76, 83 and 86 with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  These sections define a young person as a person below the age of 16.  However, the Constitution of Zimbabwe places 18 years as the age of majority.  So, Mr. President Sir, there was a gap whereas the Criminal Code was saying a young person is somebody 16 and below and the Constitution was saying 18 and below. This is now an alignment Bill to ensure that the Act is aligned with the Constitution in so far as the definition of a young person is concerned.  

Therefore, Mr. President Sir, the Bill seeks to confirm the amendments made by the Presidential Emergency Decree that was necessitated by the implementation of the Constitutional Court judgement in Kawenda versus Minister of Justice and Others.  The President’s intervention was rendered more urgent by a court which ordered release of all offenders convicted of statutory rape.  The Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act [Chapter 9.23] contains several sections that protect children from sexual exploitation.  The sections call children ‘young persons’ and that term is defined as meaning boys and girls under the age of 16 years. However, Mr. President Sir, the Constitution fixes 18 years as the age at which one is considered to have attained adult status. Mr. President, although the Criminal Law Code protects the children under the age of 16, it does not provide protection for children between the ages of 17 and 18.  As a result, the Constitutional Court has declared the definition of ‘young person’ in Section 61 as well as Sections 70, 76, 83 and 86 of the Code to be unconstitutional, null and void.  

This Bill, Mr. President Sir, therefore seeks to extend the protection of children up to the age of 18 as enshrined in the Constitution.  Mr. President, the Bill also seeks to criminalise deliberate infection of a child with HIV or any sexually transmitted infection.  It is imperative to note that the Bill seeks to enhance the protection of children against culprits who have a tendency of deliberately infecting children with HIV or any other STI.  The Bill, Mr. President Sir, does not seek to re-criminalise deliberate infection of persons who are above the age of 18, but only criminalises deliberate infection of children. 

The Bill Mr. President, will also amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to make it possible for children and other witnesses who cannot talk, to give evidence in other ways such as through written statements, signs and other argumentative and alternative communications.  The amendment Mr. President, ensures that people with speech impairment are not left out in enjoying their rights to be heard and participate in court proceedings. 

          Mr. President Sir, as I conclude, allow me to encourage the Hon. Senators to support and pass this important law which seeks to enhance the protection of our children against sexual exploitation.  It is also an important law that will promote the inclusion of people with speech impairment in our justice system so that they may be accorded an equal opportunity to be heard and participate in all court proceedings.

          Mr. President Sir, I therefore, urge Hon. Senators to support and pass this Bill.  I so submit and move that the Bill be now read a second time.  I thank you. 

+HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you Mr. President.  I want to thank you for this opportunity without forgetting that we have lost one of our Members, Hon. Sen. Chabuka.  

I want to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing this Bill even though I still feel that we delayed bringing the Bill because a lot has happened on the ground.  We realised that in the past, children were being sexually abused in the absence of a section of the Constitution protecting them.  I am happy now that we have a law that protects children.  In the past, people were considering someone who is of the age of 16 years as an adult. 

Now that this Bill is here, I applaud the Hon. Minister for bringing it.  In the past, children were sexually abused and raped.   When the matter was taken to courts, you would find the perpetrator being sentenced to community service after infecting the child with a sexually transmitted disease; and this child would spread the disease to other children. 

Mr. President, I thank you.  I thank also the Hon. Minister for this Bill and I am urging my colleagues to support it.  I thank you. 

 HON. SEN. GOTORA:   Thank you very much Mr. President.  I congratulate the Hon. Minister for bringing this very important Bill to the Senate.  

Let me go backwards Mr. President, when we were in COPAC.  It was resoundingly clear that stakeholders on the Bill in terms of what the law should do and mean was that children should be people who are under the age of 18 and not under the age of 16.  Therefore, the gap from 2013 to 2024 was a disadvantage to our children, particularly those who are of school going age.  Of course, there are those who were protected by the Marriages Act that no one should marry someone who is under the age of 18.   

I therefore want to congratulate the Hon. Minister and urge my colleagues here to support this Bill wholeheartedly.  Three or so weeks ago, I was part of a consultative team that went around the country to solicit the people’s opinions on this kind of law and it was very clear that almost every place I personally went with the other Hon. Senators – it was clear that people were saying the age of 16 was colonial.  It was not of the current dispensation.  They publicly made it clear that anyone who is under the age of 18 is still a child and must be protected by both an Act of Parliament as well as by the Constitution.  

Further to that, the people we consulted spoke very clearly about the transmission of HIV and other STIs to children.  They were very clear that we should not make a mistake of saying the spread of HIV and STIs was meant for adults, those people who are above 18, but those who were under the age of 18.  It was again very clear, people wanted those who were doing it to be criminalised. I remember in Mutare, someone was even saying they must be imprisoned for life because giving somebody HIV meant that you are sending a child to live with HIV, so it was again very clear.  

Then comes the issue of people with speech impairment.  Again, it was very clear that we must not disadvantage these people because of their inability to speak and therefore they should be protected. Therefore Mr. President, I stand here to wholeheartedly support the Bill that the Hon. Minister has brought to the Senate and urge my colleagues here to do the same.  I thank you Mr. President – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]-

          *HON. SEN. HUNGWE:   Thank you very much Mr. President.  First and foremost, I want to express my sincere condolences on the passing on of the late Sen. Chabuka, may her soul rest in eternal peace.

          I also want to add my voice just as my colleagues have done.  It was quite a disturbing issue to hear that a 16-year-old could be left alone to indulge in sexual activity.  The girl child is the one who is on the receiving end because she would have a difficult future. We now observe that there is this trend of people who are abusing drugs, even inhaling or taking them through drinking.  It is mostly affecting the girl child because she would have lost a life.  No meaningful family can be created by 11 or 16 year olds but you will find such girls being impregnated and most of the times they have complications in delivering a child for their body is not fully developed.  

Therefore, thank you Hon. Minister for bringing such a piece of legislation, we wholly support it.  I do not believe that anyone in this august House would be against this Bill.  It should be enacted so that our grandchildren can grow up better people.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add a few words.  However, let me first of all express my condolence to this august House for the passing on of Hon. Sen. Chabuka and may her soul rest in eternal peace. 

 The truth of the matter is that we must thank the Hon. Minister, if it were possible, he should have brought the law together with a law that is targeting those that rape children, because it is child abuse.  As traditional leaders who preside over cases, we were caught between a rock and a hard place, that a child who is 16 years cannot be married because they are a child, yet on the other hand, the Constitution gives a right to be sexually active for those 16 years olds.  

My child can be impregnated and no one will marry her and this becomes a burden to parents.  The majority of the people in the communal lands and even in the urban areas are now looking after their grandchildren because their parents are gone.  This is a huge burden on our families because the law did not help us well in that regard.  

Lo and behold, the Minister has now brought a panacea to our problem.  If you look at the majority of these children, the majority of them will be in tertiary education. The age of 16 to 18 years is a gap that was too big.  This gap was causing parents headaches because most of our children were not completing their education.  They are dropping out of school because the law was not protecting them and nothing was going to help them in order not to disturb their lives because they had the right to be sexually active, even if they cannot be married. There was an explosion in terms of the population and children ended up mushrooming everywhere because there was no proper family planning.  

This Bill came at the right time, if we are going to come up with a law that no child marriages, it could not work because of a lacuna in the law for the child who is 16 or 17 years would have been sexually abused and the police could not assist us because there was no legislation to handle such matters.

 If we pass this law, anyone who would have broken this law should be dealt with by the law. That is why you heard me saying that it should have come, coupled with the one that would prevent those that are raping our children.  If this law could come tomorrow morning, we will strongly support it.  

 I would like to reiterate that you have done well Hon. Minister for coming up with such legislation and similar legislation that work hand in glove with this particular law, it should be quickly brought in this august House so that there is no lacuna between statues and the Constitution.  The Constitution and the laws should be in sync so that there is peace in this country and that our efforts are not in vain.  

However, today, Hon. Minister, we are grateful, not even a single member of this august House would want to talk of an additional clause that needs to be added.  We would want to have this law passed hook, line and sinker.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MUZODA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity.  I would like to pass my sincere condolences to this august House on the passing of the late Hon. Sen. Chabuka.

I would want to congratulate the Hon. Minister.  The Bill before this august House has been anticipated for a long time.  People suffered in their livelihoods, communities and families because of the oppression or peer pressure that comes to children that will then misbehave.

Mr. President, sexual child abuse that leads to pregnancy is not a light matter but a serious one that causes a lot of problems in people’s lives.  At the end of the day, we end up blaming people who had nothing to do with our livelihoods because there will be no law.  However, now that we have a law we urge the Ministry to go back to the people and create awareness nation wide so that people appreciate and understand that we now have a new law that forbids children, especially the girl child who are below the age of 18 years to be married.

It must be said loud and clear because others do not appreciate it that a girl child is one type of a person.  What we refer to as a girl child in this august House, in terms of the law, a girl child would be 18 years and below.  Anyone who is below the age 18 years is still a minor.

We want the law to deal ruthlessly with perpetrators of the kind of affairs being discussed.  In our country, because of the drought that we have, a lot of our children were going to be involved in arranged marriages due to a bucket full of maize exchanging hands.  For the second time, well done Hon. Minister albeit the law has come late but a stitch in time saves nine.  We are better off and we will go and tell our communities about this good law. 

Three weeks ago, there were three children below the age of 16 years that gave birth but no reports were made even at the clinics or hospitals. They just turn a blind eye.  The 16-year old girls who are now mothers are not in good health. Their health is quite pathetic.   Good things come to those who wait; thus our elders always say.  Let us give our children a chance to grow up so that they enjoy their youth. We should not be protecting people that abuse children because they are envious of children or they have lust for children. 

We know there are areas where arranged marriages can be made.  Let us go to such places and enlighten them on that new aspect of this law that they should no longer be living as they used to do in the past.  Zimbabwe, as a country, has now come up with a law that child marriages are an offence and that the father who is responsible for officiating the marriage, the child that has been married and the person who has married them, will be dealt with severely at law.

           Hon. Minister, those that will rape children and infect them with diseases should not be countenanced at all, because once we countenance such behaviour, they will continue to behave in that mode. Once they have been arrested they should not be granted bail.  They should be remanded in custody so that they know how to control their feelings.

Hon. President, I want to thank you for the opportunity that you have granted me and in conclusion, say that we are in agreement with the Bill.  We are in agreement with this new law.  If it were possible, we should just endorse it now before the Minister has finished because it is an important piece of legislation. I thank you.

^HON. SEN. MALULEKE:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice pertaining to what the Minister has brought before this august House.  Minister, I am really glad that you came through.  We have been complaining a lot when our children are suffering.  What you have brought before this House is very noble.  I want to thank you because you have attended to our plea and our children will be able to learn and also grow up in a good way.

It was really disturbing that very little was done to promote our education or to support our children in their academics.  What you have brought before this House, we appeal that may those caught on the wrong side of the law be severely punished, even sentencing them to life imprisonment will be okay.  I am very grateful if the law that has been brought by the Minister is ascended to.  I thank you. 

          +HON. SEN. NYATI: Thank you for the opportunity Mr. President.  Before I debate, we are bereaved following the demise of our late Senator.  May her soul rest in peace.

          Mr. President, I want to thank the Minister for bringing a new Bill.  This Bill will bring a good picture of our country because currently we have a lot of problems with our young stars.  We went around with the Committee and we met a number of young people below 16 years who indulge in different activities.  

          I thank the Minister for bringing this Bill because it will protect a number of young children as we have realised that now in the villages, a lot of our children are infected sexually because most of them, especially the boys, indulge in taking drugs.  We are also confident that this Bill helps in schools because these children were dropping out of school and were being disturbed by a number of men who were coming to the schools.  So I support this Bill because it will help us in coming up with a good society.  

*HON. SEN. KUNAKA: Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity you have given me on the Bill that has been brought by Minister Ziyambi.  I say this Bill is good because it protects the children, but I also say that as legislators, the first thing we should think of when children fall pregnant should be that they are of the legal age of majority.  It shows that we have a problem.  For us to give a solution, we should identify the problem because being pregnant at 16 is a sign that there is something wrong.

In the past, we had the issue of a curriculum which is in schools.  During our days, we learnt that there are issues that we could not openly discuss but these days we find there is curriculum content that is being taught openly in schools, for example sexual reproduction.  At a school, you will find family planning methods being supplied at school which sort of encourages a lot of mis-behaviour.  This is what encourages these children to experiment what they would have learnt. 

So I am saying that the curriculum that is being taught in schools is, to an extent, taking a culture which is not ours.  I plead that in terms of curriculum that is taught in schools, it should be Afrocentric, which is based and grown from our traditions and values.  We should not import those curricula. We also request that this law should bring back our powers as parents because previously, 16-year-old children were given a lot of rights that protected them in the sense that when their parents wanted to discipline them, we were told that we were abusing these children. So, we claim back our powers as parents to discipline these children.

          When we pass these laws as legislators, we should consider that parents should discipline their children and only corporal punishment should be regarded as illegal.  I say discipline should be brought back and given back to the parents. We ask those in the health sector that a child who is under those ages who gets pregnant should be taken for counselling and narrate her story. 

As we put this law, even if Zimbabwe is a multi-religious country, we also noticed that there are some churches which are against that and they break these laws. They say they should marry children in their congregations. I do not know what we are going to do as Zimbabwe to reach out to those churches or regions that marry young girls. I thank you.

          **HON. SEN. FANUEL: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to speak. As we pay our condolences to our late Hon. Sen. Chabuka, I want to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill. A lot was said during COPAC on the rights of children that they should afford education. They should go to school and after school, they should be employed. Children are indulging in drug abuse and they are sexually abused. I thank the Hon. Minister that children should not be expelled from school, but should be sent to vocational training centres and get empowerment skills.

+HON. SEN. R. NDLOVU: Thank you very much Mr. President.  I will first pay my condolences to the late Hon. Sen. Chabuka. I say may her soul rest in peace. 

I therefore thank Hon. Ziyambi for bringing this Bill. Hon. Minister, even though this Bill has come after a lot of damage has happened outside there, we are confident that we will protect these children even though they are already damaged. Children should understand that they are no longer supposed to marry when they are below 18 years, but it will take time as most of these children in the rural areas are married because of hunger. 

They are lying idle without anything to do. In most schools, they are not learning well and they travel long distances. This forces them to go into early marriage. My request to the Minister is that if possible, these children who get pregnant at 16/17 years is because they are not being reprimanded and disciplined at home.  Once disciplined, it is considered that they are being abused. We request the Minister that the law should allow parents to discipline their children at home. 

Parents also have a problem because they want to eat. We marry our children out because we want to get rich and we want to be given food. So, let there be a law that if a child aged 16/17 years is pregnant, the parent and also the one who would have impregnated the child are supposed to face the law. This is because Hon. Minister, once you say the only person to face the rule of law is the one who impregnated her, it will not work because at the end, the girl will say I love my boyfriend. The boyfriend will also say I love my girlfriend. At the end, it waters down everything. I request the Minister that he who impregnates, the parent and the one who is pregnant should all be taken to face the law. I thank you Mr. President. 

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Thank you Hon. President. I have just arrived and I hear there are matters before the august House. Well-done Hon. Minister. We were being bothered by this issue of the age of consent vis-à-vis the age of marriage. There were serious areas that needed to be rectified. So, I arise to thank the Minister for bringing such an important law. In our culture, people say our culture permits that those who are in the age of consent can be married but as chiefs, we say that those who say so are ignorant of their culture. 

There is no culture that allows a child who is below the age of 18 to be married, although it is not strictly stated that it is 18, but in terms of our culture, for one to get married, one will be more than 20 years in the strictest of following our cultural beliefs.  So as Chiefs, we support that no one below the age of 18 should be married. They are not yet mature to run a family, would they know about running a family? 

I am happy that this is now in sync with our culture although the majority of our cases as Africans or as blacks, our children are married well after the ages of 18, those who do otherwise are doing it outside cultural boundaries. Those ignorant ones will say there are certain things that can be done by blacks that has nothing to do with our culture. Thank you, Hon. President of the Senate.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President, firstly I want to thank the Hon. Senators. It is very difficult when you bring legislation to get both sides of the Senate agreeing on something and today is one of those few occasions where you encountered with no dissenting voice and I want to thank the Hon. Senators. 

You see, every time I come to this august Senate, I jokingly say that this is a House of mature people who are able to separate petty issues from issues that are national and in this case Hon. Mr. President Sir, we are dealing with an issue on the protection of our young children. The support has been very good from Sen. Phuti who started off by applauding us for bringing this Bill, indicating that it is very good that we are targeting those sex predators who want to target our young children. 

Hon. Sen. Gotora who lamented that this process started with COPAC and raising of the age for children to 18 years and lamented that it took a long time, indicating that by and large, those that they met when they did the public hearings were in support of the Bill. He was of the view that those that have sexual intercourse with our young people must be sent to jail for life and applauded the provisions that deal with speech impairment - by and large he was supporting it. 

Hon.  Sen. Hungwe, also supported the Bill, so did the Hon. Sen. Chief Chikwaka and Hon. Sen. Wunganayi. Everyone by and large, I can pick Hon. Sen. Maluleke even though I could not pick a few of the things that she was saying but I could tell that the sum of it is that she was supporting it. The same goes for Hon. Sen. Nyathi who indicated that it is a good thing that we are criminalising the transmission of HIV.

 Hon. Sen. Kunaka took us along the line that we must deal with issues that are not necessarily in the Bill but that are thought provoking: distribution of contraceptives and condoms in schools, teaching of sexual reproductive health in schools, indicating that these are issues that we need to have a look at.  I suggest Mr. President, as this is  a big topic; that the Hon. Senator, if she so wishes, can bring a motion that can be a topic of discussion in this Senate, to say what is it that we recommend even though it does not specifically touch on issues that are in the Bill. She spoke about the need also to publicise the Bill, which is a good thing to some of the religious sects that may need to be educated on the need not to practice the culture of marrying off children under the age of 18.

Hon. Sen. Fanuel also supported the Bill so as Hon. Sen. Ndlovu and lastly Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira summed it up indicating that some of the practices and things that we have been doing are not even part of our culture.  I want to thank all the Senators for the debate and having said that Mr. President Sir, I move that the Bill be now read a second time. I thank you.   

Motion put and agreed to

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

CRIMINAL LAWS AMENDMENT (PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS) BILL [H. B. 4A, 2024]

House in Committee. 

          Clauses 1 to 13 put and agreed to.  

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendments.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

CRIMINAL LAWS AMENDMENT (PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS) BILL [H. B. 4A, 2014]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr. President, I now move that the Bill be read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

           

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President Sir.  I now move that we revert to Order of the Day Number 14 on the Order Paper.

Motion put and agreed to.  

MOTION

APPROVAL FOR THE RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT ON THE CO-OPERATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE UTILISATION OF THE RESOURCES OF THE SAVE WATERCOURSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. President.  I rise on behalf of the Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement; 

THAT WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states of governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament; 

AND WHEREAS the Agreement on the Co-operation of the Development, Management and Sustainable Utilisation of the Resources of the Save Watercourse was signed on 23rd  May, 2023 at Harare, Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe has not ratified the Agreement on the Co-operation of the Development, Management and Sustainable Utilisation of the Resources of the Save Watercourse; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous to ratify the Agreement; 

AND WHEREAS in accordance with Article 26 of the Agreement, the Agreement shall enter into force 30 days after the deposit of the instrument of ratification by the parties; 

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement is hereby approved for ratification.

Mr. President Sir, the Second Republic under the guidance of His Excellency, wants to enhance productivity and the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement was tasked to look at international agreements that we need to ratify and ensure that they come into force. These are agreements which already had been agreed to and we do not have a leeway as a House to alter anything, save where we feel that we can make a reservation on.

  However, the process is that they must come through Parliament so that Parliament can ratify it and it becomes part of our laws.  This is the process that His Excellency, the President has tasked us to do to ensure that all these agreements are brought before Parliament and are ratified so that we can fully benefit from the provisions of those agreements, hence we are bringing these agreements.

          You may find out that they are many but in essence, that is the thrust that the Second Republic has, to ensure that we increase our productivity.  We ensure that we become self-sufficient, each and every agreement that we sign that we have not ratified to ensure that it comes through Parliament, becomes binding on us and we can reap the rewards that are due to the tenets of those agreement.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: These ratifications as the Minister has said, need to come to Parliament for approval which is correct.  As we do entertain so many, we debate and endorse them.  One key principle is that your own Head of State signs, which means it is good for us all.  I do not see a situation where we can meet and then stand up to say ‘No’.  What information would I have better than the Head of State? When he signs, I think there would have been quite deep research as to the merits and benefits for that particular agreement.  As a result, we only stand to support because we do not need to go into too much detail on what our own Head of State, elected by ourselves to represent us to all such important fora would have done.

          The Minister has been here several times and the Hon. Minister is also my brother, very close brother and I am always praising him.  However, he made a very unfortunate statement when he said we cannot change anything, so we may ask saka wavingei nacho?  I just want to be honest about it.  If really we are here and we cannot do anything, saka tavingei?

          However, he ended up saying I am here for you to ratify.  Indeed, we are not here to amend or change anything but in terms of the Constitution of which he is the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, it is a legal constitutional procedure matter that Parliament has to approve.  If that is not done, then we have a problem.

          So, it is not that we do not have the power to change anything, no. It is not about that.  I just thought that was a bit unfortunate in the language although the conclusion was good to say can you ratify, that is, I support the agreement or the protocol, and I think everybody will agree with me that we indeed endorse it.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. M. PHUTI: Thank you for the opportunity that you have afforded me to contribute on this matter.  From my own understanding, I believe that our leadership sat down and realised that there is a need for us to work together with other countries.  There is a saying in Ndebele that for the bells to ring louder, they have to be in two hands, hence the need why they thought it was good for us to work together with other countries, especially on things to do with agriculture.

          I agree with Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira and also agree with the Hon. Minister that they can go ahead and ratify.  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr.  President Sir, I want to thank you and thank the Hon. Senators for their debate.  Mr. President, my statement was very correct to say that International Agreements, when they are signed, when they come here for ratification, you cannot delete or add a statement.  Either you say yes or you say no, but you cannot amend.  You can only note a reservation on a section, but you cannot remove a comma, add a yes, add a no on any sentence because these are agreements that would have been signed by a party that is not part to this august House.

 If the process of ratification is to say we agree with this and we agree to be bound or we do not agree with this and we do not want to be bound because the negotiations would have been done Government to Government; at that stage, that is when you can remove a phrase or a sentence or whatever you do not want.  

So, it was not an unfortunate statement, but an indication that what we can simply do as Parliament is to say this particular clause, we want His Excellency to note a reservation because we are happy so that it is just a reservation on that and then you agree to be bound by everything else like what we do when we are doing our own legislation to say can you amend this and I say, ‘yes, I think we can amend’, then agree and pass.  That is all I was saying, maybe I said it in a way that did not come out clearly.  I so submit and move that the treaty be ratified.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

APPROVAL FOR THE RATIFICATION ON THE HOSTING AGREEMENT OF THE BUPUSA COMMISSION SECRETARIAT.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): I move the motion standing in my name; 

THAT WHEREAS Section 327(2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states of governments of international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament; 

AND WHEREAS the Hosting Agreement of the BUPUSA Commission Secretariat was signed on 23rd of May 2023 at Harare, Zimbabwe; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe has not ratified the Hosting Agreement of the BUPUSA Commission Secretariat; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of ratifying the Agreement; 

AND WHEREAS in accordance with Article 15 of the Agreement, the Agreement shall enter into force 30 days after notification by the parties to the Depositary that the procedures and requirements of the domestic laws of both Member States were fulfilled; 

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(2) (a) of the Constitution if Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement is hereby approved for ratification.

I so move Mr. President Sir.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Mr. President, I continue to say that when the President signs an agreement, it is for the good of the country and we need to proceed.  On this one what is BUPUSA, but we want to support it.  Thank you.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Minister?  

HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  Sorry Mr. President Sir.  I was whispering to the Clerk trying to find out whether they circulated the agreements.  Pardon me, it was not meant to be heard.  My apologies.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Your response.  The Hon. Senator wants to know what BUPUSA means.

HON. Z. ZIYAMBI:  My response is this agreement was circulated and if the Hon. Senator does not have it, that is why I was whispering to the Clerk to say did you satisfy the requirements, but I will then have to check the actual abbreviation.  Offhand, I do not know, but the agreement was circulated.

HON. SEN. GOTORA:  Point of order Mr. President.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, order.  Let me help the Minister.  It is Buzi, Pungwe and Save Rivers.  It is to do with water resources which we are as what are called in legal language, I think pariah states.  We share these.

Hon. Sen. Gotora you had a point of order.  What is it about?

HON. SEN. GOTORA:  Mr. President, you have already clarified what I wanted to deal with because I happen to know the background during my days in Campfire with the Chumachado of Mozambique who worked with these things.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

APPROVAL FOR THE RATIFICATION ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BUZI, PUNGWE AND SAVE WATERCOURSE COMMISSION (BUPUSA COMMISSION)

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA):  I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT WHEREAS Section 327(2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states of governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament; 

AND WHEREAS the Agreement on the Establishment of the Buzi, Pungwe and Save Watercourse Commission (BUPUSA Commission) was signed on the 23 of May 2023 at Harare, Zimbabwe; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe has not ratified the Agreement on the Establishment of the Buzi, Pungwe and Save Watercourse Commission; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of ratify the Agreement; 

AND WHEREAS in accordance with Article 14 of the Agreement, the Agreement shall enter into force 30 days after the last notification to the Depositary, by the Parties that their respective constitutional procedures have been complied with; 

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(2) (a) of the Constitution if Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement is hereby approved for ratification.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Mr. President, this time and without any reservations or question, what is the meaning of this, it has been explained.  I stand up to support for approval.  Thank you.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

APPROVAL FOR THE RATIFACTION OF THE ACCESSION TO THE CONVENTION ON THE PROTECTION AND USE OF TRANSBOUNDARY WATERCOURSES AND INTERNATIONAL LAKES AND CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE NON-NAVIGATIONAL USES OF INTERNATIONAL WATERCOURSES

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, FISHERIES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): I move the motion;

THAT WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states or governments of international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

 AND WHEREAS the proposed accession to the Convention on the Protection and use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses (hereinafter “the global water conventions”) was approved by Cabinet on 09 April 2024; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe has not acceded to the global water conventions; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of acceding to the global water conventions;

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the global water conventions be and are hereby approved.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

APPROVAL FOR THE RATIFICATION ON THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE ON THE SUPPLY OF TREATED WATER FROM BEITBRIDGE WATER TREATMENT WORKS IN ZIMBABWE TO MUSINA TOWN

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, FISHERIES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): I rise on a notice of motion by the Minister of Lands as it fully appears in the Order Paper. 

THAT WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states or governments of international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament; 

AND WHEREAS the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Zimbabwe on the Supply of Treated Water from Beit Bridge water Treatment Works in Zimbabwe to Musina Town (hereinafter “the Agreement”) was signed on 14 March 2024 at Musina, South Africa; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe has not ratified the Agreement; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous to ratify the Agreement; 

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the Agreement be and is hereby approved.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION 

APPROVAL FOR THE RATIFICATION OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON THE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE UTILISATION OF THE WATER RESOURCES OF THE BUZI WATERCOURSE.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, FISHERIES AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Mr.  President Sir, I rise again on a notice of motion in the name of the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development. 

 THAT WHEREAS Section 327(2)(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states or governments of international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament; 

AND WHEREAS the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Development, Management and Sustainable Utilisation of the Buzi Watercourse was signed on the 29th of July 2019 at Mutare, Zimbabwe; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe has not ratified the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Development, Management and Sustainable Utilisation of the Water Resources of the Buzi Watercourse; 

AND WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of ratify the regulatory framework; 

AND WHEREAS in accordance with Article 25 of the MOU, the MOU shall enter into force 30 days after the deposit of the instrument of ratification by the parties; 

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Memorandum of Understanding is hereby approved for ratification.  

Motion put and agreed to. 

MOTION 

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Mr. President, I move that we now revert to Order No. 12 on today’s Order Paper. 

Motion put and agreed to. 

MOTION

APPROVAL FOR THE RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THE REPUBLIC OF RWANDA

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr. President, I move the motion stand in my name:

THAT WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states of governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament; 

WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Rwanda signed an agreement establishing Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters on 19 March 2021 at Harare, Zimbabwe; 

WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of ratifying the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters; 

AND WHEREAS in terms of Article 26 of the Agreement, the entry into force of the aforesaid agreement shall be upon 30 days after the date on which the Parties have notified each other in writing that their respective constitutional requirements for entry into force of the Agreement have complied with; 

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.

Motion put and agreed to. 

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI), the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Two Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment