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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 05 MARCH 2019 VOL 45 NO 37

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

          ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

DISSOLUTION OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that at its extra ordinary meeting held on 18th February 2019, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, acting in terms of Standing Order No. 17 of the National Assembly read in conjunction with Section 151 of the Constitution, resolved to dissolve the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development.  A new Committee will be reconstituted in due course.

SENSITISATION WORKSHOP ON CLIMATE CHANGE

        THE HON. SPEAKER:  Further to that, I have to inform the House that Parliament of Zimbabwe, in conjunction with the Inter - Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will convene a sensitisation workshop on climate change for members of the following committees;

1.    Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement;

2.    Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism; and

3.    Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

All Committee Chairpersons are invited attend to this workshop without fail. The workshop will be held at Rainbow Towers on Friday, 8th March 2019, starting at 0800 hours. All participants must be punctual.

MOTIONS AND ADJOURNED DEBATES ON MOTIONS

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Having realised that Hon. Members have not been taking charge of their notices of motions and adjourned debates on motions the Joint Business of the House Committee resolved to vary the conduct of the business of the National Assembly in terms of Standing Order No. 14 (3), as follows:-

  Hon. Members with notices of motions will be allocated dates and times to introduce their motions, have them debated and adjourned to a specific date in future. On resumption of their adjourned debates on motions, Hon Members are expected to have them adopted at the conclusion of business within the time allocated. Hon. Members are expected to liaise with their Chief Whips regarding the scheduling of their motions. A detailed time table and programme will be given to the Chief Whips so that those Hon. Members with motions tabled will be guided accordingly.

INVITATION TO A CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Finally, I have to inform the House that there will be a Roman Catholic Church service tomorrow, Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 at 1230 hours in the Senate Chamber.  All Catholic and non-catholic Members are invited.

PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS

HON. MLISWA’S UTTERANCES 

          HON. T. MLISWA: A very good afternoon to you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I felt that I should prepare a statement for this so that I do not lose my train of thought.  Today being the 5th March my reference is. Statement of apology to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda.  The statement begins:

Mr Speaker, Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda and Hon Members of Parliament here present.  During a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Meeting on Mines and Mining Development in the Senate Chamber on Monday 11th February 2019, an incident erupted between Hon. Dexter Nduna and me.  During the debacle, I inadvertently included the name of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda in the furore, mistakenly linking him with the nefarious actions attributed to Hon. Nduna.  The erroneous accusation was premised on misinformation emanating from Hon. Nduna who fabricated a false association with the Hon. Speaker in an attempt to shield and seek protection from the underhand dealings he was associated with to make them appear above board.

It was unfortunate that the exchange with Hon. Nduna and myself occurred at a time that I was personally labouring with extreme sentiments of dissatisfaction and frustration with the Mines Committee.  The alleged corruption cases, politicisation of the Committee, the seeming neglect to resolve matters as raised and recommended as well as interference from those members co-opted to protect self-interest cultivated extreme feelings of dejection which unfortunately caused me to lash out.  I subsequently warn all my esteemed colleagues who use the names of those in higher offices to hide behind or as some form of protection to immediately desist from the practice, the name of the Speaker must not be held in disrepute. I therefore sincerely apologise to the Hon. Speaker, Advocate Jacob Mudenda for the attack on his person and credibility and regret the outburst thereof. 

Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda is a person that I hold in high regard and have a great sense of esteem for the dogmatic, professional and ethical manner in which he executes his duties, which affectionately earned him the nickname, “the headmaster”.  So great is the respect and confidence I have for his professionalism and efficiency that I seconded Hon. Mudenda as Speaker of the National Assembly for the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe, a vote of confidence that I do not take lightly.  I look up to Hon. Mudenda as a father figure and as a son; I bow down my head for forgiveness for my transgression.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I appeal to you to address matters brought to your attention to avoid those involved from the perception that they are untouchable or are afforded any protection by you.  A matter in point, as an example is the issue brought up by Hon Lynette Karenyi who spoke out against the alleged abuse of women by Hon. Members, Paradza and Zhou which to date remains pending.  These are the very same Hon. Members who continue to cause havoc in Parliamentary Committees, as I indicated in my quarterly report.  They are the very same Hon. Members who are yet to engage in meaningful debate in Parliament and at best are recorded in the Hansard for their heckling which leaves a lot to be desired.

The Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe will cause a challenge for you Mr. Speaker Sir, if Hon. Members of Parliament cannot maintain the decorum and integrity of the august House.  The important role of scrutiny and oversight cannot continue to be trivialised by those serving selfish interests, we are here to serve national interest.

However, whilst I apologise for Hon. Mudenda’s inclusion, I do not take back my words regarding the fight against corruption.  My stance against those involved remains consistent and I will ensure that I re-double my efforts to see that justice is served and that the double and triple thieves are brought to book.  As a nation, we will struggle to implement any meaningful policies to move the country forward if we do not tackle and remove the disease of corruption from our society.  Corruption is the cancer that will thwart any attempts at economic resuscitation from thriving, and it is with that in mind that I continue to advocate for the panacea of Zero Tolerance to Corruption.  Statement ends.

HON. NDUNA’S UTTERANCES

HON. NDUNA:  I stand on a matter of privilege Mr Speaker Sir, Section 68 of the Standing Rules and Orders, as read with Section 86 of the Constitution, if you indulge me Mr. Speaker Sir.  I will make reference to some notes on my phone, otherwise it is premised on an incident that occurred on 11th February 2019, in the Mines and Minerals Committee where an altercation occurred between myself and my brother Hon. Mliswa.  Mr. Speaker Sir, when you are in a fight there is no formula, you use a hoe, a pick, a shovel, a wheelbarrow or anything that is at your disposal.  Notwithstanding, I want to profusely apologise for the words that I uttered.  I did not mean anything that I said to Hon. Mliswa and I take back my words.  I want to be treated in the same way that I am presenting this apology so that the decorum of Parliament can be upheld.  My statement goes as follows:-

          I make reference to the unfortunate and regrettable incident that occurred during the meeting of the Portfolio Committee of Mines and Minerals Development on Monday, 11th February, 2019.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I stand here to tender my …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Mudarikwa.  I thought your seat was up there. – [HON. MUDARIKWA:  I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir!] – Please take your seat.  Thank you, please carry on.

          HON. NDUNA:  Yes, I rise to tender my unreserved apology to you Hon. Speaker Sir as the head of Parliament and Chairperson of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders and also to all members of your Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, the institution of Parliament and to my party, ZANU PF.

          On my part, the fracas which had the unintended effect of undermining the integrity of Parliament as a whole, I make no excuse for the dishonourable behaviour I displayed on the day in question and the unpalatable utterances that I made in the heat of the moment, save to say that I unconditionally apologise for my behaviour.

          On hindsight, it is clear to me that I could have reacted differently even in the face of brazen provocation which had the effect of maligning my character and reputation.  I could have chosen a more dignified response to the aspersions cast on my character and standing that would ultimately protect my reputation, the name of my party ZANU PF and integrity of the institution of Parliament.  As it is, I am fully aware that my behaviour was injurious not only to my person but also to my party and Parliament …

          HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  My point of order concerns a very important legal principle and also on a technical aspect.

          A confession, nowhere at law can it be withdrawn.  He confessed that he murdered people and he must rather tell us the number of people whom he killed.  He said that he murdered people and it is a confession… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -   Mr. Speaker, it is a confession that we would humbly ask this House to investigate. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, this is not open for debate.  Can the Hon. Member conclude his story?

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As I conclude, I am fully aware that my behaviour was injurious not only to my person but also to my party ZANU PF and Parliament as a whole.  The behaviour that I displayed on the day in question is not in tandem with the sacred title of ‘Honourable’ that I carry and flies in the face of the people who elected me into office.

          Pursuant to this, I have since issued a public apology on the matter and I intend Mr. Speaker Sir, as I am showing right now, to sincerely show contrition and regret by apologising to members of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development and to members of this august House.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, please unreservedly accept my apology over my part in the matter.  I have also sincerely tendered my apology to His Excellency the President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa in person on the same matter.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, your forgiveness is highly sought after my humble submission.  I thank you.

          HON. BITI: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I thought you stand from where you are but you have taken the podium before I have recognised you.

          HON. BITI:  I was sitting in deference to the Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I hope you do not doubt my eyesight.

          HON. BITI:  I was waiting for your recognition Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You may proceed.

          HON. BITI:  Hon. Speaker Sir, I rise on a point of privilege in terms of Standing Order Number 68 (d) of this august House.  My point of privilege relates to the need, duty and obligation of Parliament not only to uphold the Constitution as is demanded in Section 117 of the Constitution but also the need and obligation of Parliament to also protect itself.

          Hon. Speaker, I am deeply concerned with the continued arrests of esteemed Members of Parliament.  Only today - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -   Hon. Charlton Hwende, the Hon. Member for Kuwadzana was arrested at the Harare International Airport upon his arrival from Namibia… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  [HON. MLISWA: Imi munoba musinga sungwe!] -  Only on Friday … - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  [HON. MLISWA: Muchiuraya vanhu muchiba!]

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! – [HON. MLISWA:  It is those guys at the back there, they must keep quiet.] – Order, order please take your seat.

          Hon. Biti resumed his seat.

          When an Hon. Member makes a statement, it is only the Chair who must make a ruling… - [AN HON. MEMBER: Not Chinotimba!] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -   Order, order! So I need to hear Hon. Biti clearly so that I can make my ruling accordingly.

          HON. BITI:  Hon. Speaker Sir, only on Saturday, 2nd March 2019, Hon. J. Mamombe who also happens to be the youngest Member of this august House; not only is she young, she is also a young woman, was arrested in Nyanga whilst attending Parliamentary Business.

          Since August, 2018, there are over 12 Members of Parliament that have been arrested; these include Hon. Settlement Chikwinya, Hon. Mukapiko, Hon. Amos Chibaya, Hon. Godfrey Sithole, Hon. Nyathi from Matabeleland North, Hon. Chimina, Hon. Sen. Morgen Komichi and Hon. Tendai Biti.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the State has a right to proceed against any individual in respect of which reasonable grounds of suspicion exists but in casu, if you trace the thread of the charges brought against these Hon. Members, the charges are clearly political.  The charges are clearly tied up inextricably to the contested election of 30th July, 2018.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, you are the leader of this august House, there is a duty on Parliament to protect the integrity of this Hon. House.  The integrity of this Hon. House can only be manifested if the safety and security of Hon. Members is safeguarded and protected.  Mr. Speaker Sir, half the Members whom I have read out; Hon. Amos Chibaya, Hon. Joanna Mamombe, are facing charges of treason; they are accused of wanting to subvert a constitutionally elected Government.  Mr. Speaker Sir, even if we wanted to, we cannot do it. The charges are clearly frivolous and vexatious; they will not stand in a court of law.

          Our appeal is that there are privileges associated with Parliament, which are codified in the Parliamentary Privileges Act.  There are privileges associated with Parliament which are associated with Section 117 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  The State cannot abuse the criminal justice system of Zimbabwe in order to cripple the effectiveness of Parliament by unjustified and unwarranted arrests of Members of Parliament.  Members of Parliament have got a duty; the duty that is defined in Section 117 and Section 119 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  Those duties include: the duty to ensure that the Constitution is protected; the duty to ensure that all laws that are brought by the Executive pass constitutional tests; hence the Parliamentary Legal Committee; the duty to ensure that all financial regulations and financial probity exists as is demanded in Section 298 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

          Mr. Speaker, it is very demeaning and unbecoming that an Hon. Member can be picked from a seminar that this august House has sent him/her to attend.  Surely, Parliament must protect its own.  I hear my colleagues on the other side shouting, hey, hey.  Mr. Speaker, the unlawfulness and fascism is neutral; today they are coming for us tomorrow they will be coming for you.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - So, we ask that this House – there must be a method; a formula in which Hon. Members can be summoned to appear before the courts of law.  They can phone the Chief Whips or phoning the leaders of the respective Chambers is sufficient.  They can even approach your esteemed self as the Speaker of the National Assembly. 

          We are not saying that Hon. Members do not commit crimes; they do but surely there must be a methodology that affords this House the respect and the decorum it deserves.  I submit Mr. Speaker that let us protect the institution of Parliament by protecting the key ingredients of Parliament who are the Hon. esteemed Members.  Thank you Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Mliswa, you were heard in silence.  I thank Hon. Biti for his point of privilege.  Let me correct one misconception about Hon. Mamombe.  Hon. Mamombe was not picked during the Committee Business.  We had completed the business, on our way to Harare and the officers who came were very civil.  They approached me and said they wanted Hon. Mamombe to present herself and make a statement at the charge office.  I took some details of one of them who was leading that group and indicated to them that I did not want any harassment at all of the Hon. Member of Parliament.  The Hon. Member is innocent until proven guilty and the officers did admit to me that they will not in any way harm the Hon. Member and I said you can proceed.

          If they had come during the Committee Business, on that score, they would not be allowed to touch her.  Infact, she was not even touched.  It was a verbal communication, neither was she hand-cuffed at all and subsequently, Hon. Gonese phoned me and I gave him the details of the officer who indicated that he could be contacted.  Hon. Gonese indicated that law and order were looking for Hon. Mamombe and communication had taken place with the Officer-in-Charge and I said I hope procedure will be followed and that Hon. Mamombe at any given time should not be harassed at all. 

          On the question of protecting Members of Parliament, I think Hon. Biti put it extremely well. All of us are not above the law.  We can be offenders if we have committed an offence and due process of criminal procedure or civil procedure can be entertained accordingly. When Members of Parliament (MPs) are within the premises of Parliament, the Privileges Act is very clear.  Nobody will touch them but when they are outside there, Parliament is not aware of the activities of any MP in terms of their public behaviour.  On that score, it may be very difficult to come in between the Judiciary and the law enforcement agencies. 

If Hon. Biti is appealing for some measure of how the arresting officers can or should approach MPs who are suspected of some offence, then we need to tighten up our Privileges Act so that it clearly states what Hon. Biti has said.  So, until we amend the Privileges Act that there be some degree of respect given to Hon. Members when they are suspected of having committed a crime, that they are approached in a decent manner, a manner that does not impugn on their dignity. 

As you are all aware, our Constitution and our laws indicate that any suspected person of having committed a crime is innocent until proved guilty. On that score, the approach to the Hon. Members should be with some measure of decency and respect of the status of the Hon. Members in society.  This is how I think we should approach the manner.  If, for example, Hon. Sikhala is suspected to have committed a crime and the police are looking for him and I hear that the police are looking for him, I cannot say police should stop looking for Hon. Sikhala. I will be accused – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -  Order, order, order, order!

I may be accused of obstructing the course of justice.  I think what Hon.  Biti is raising is the manner in which the Hon. Members must be treated under such circumstances.  That is fundamental.  But for Parliament or the Speaker to intervene when the law enforcement agencies are looking for someone who is an MP, I need to respect the sacred arrangement that the three arms of state must act differently, respecting their roles as different organs.  The separation of powers principles have got to be respected.

At the same time, I must warn some members, including – where is my friend Hon. Mutseyami who makes some statements against the Speaker.  There are certain things you cannot just state publicly – this is what we have done to respond to Hon. Tabitha’s letter.  We can approach the issues in a manner which some people may call ‘quiet diplomacy’ to avoid being accused of obstructing the course of justice.  One has got to be very careful about that.  So, making statements like the Hon. Speaker did not do anything about it is wrong.  I want to emphasise that what happened to Hon. Mamombe – for those who were there, she was treated with dignity.  When she wanted to have a private conversation with me, she approached me and told me her concerns and so on.  I indicated to her that if there is anything that should happen, let us know, we will deal with the situation. 

What I wanted was a clean arrest so that if there is any harassment, I even indicated to the officers that they were going to put the Government into a very invidious position in the process of re-engagement.  We must be civil in our arrest.  This is what I told the officers and as they were leaving, they said, aiwa Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Member ndishefu wedu.  They took her bag from her and carried it themselves - [Laughter.] – Order, order, order!  This applies also to Hon. MPs who are also Ministers, they must be approached with some sense of dignity and not arrest them as if they have been tried already and they have been found guilty.  I do not think that is the way we should do things. 

I hear you Hon. Biti.  Let us look at the Privileges Act and polish it up so that it is water tight to protect the dignity of MPs.

HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker for your indulgence.  I also wanted to clarify as we move forward because I believe that the statement made by Hon. Biti and your response - I want to begin by thanking you Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] – I want to confirm that I called you and you gave me very important information which enabled me to communicate with the officer concerned and also to pass the information to the legal practitioner whom we had assigned to represent Hon. Mamombe.

However, I also want to add on some issues which I think will assist us as we move forward to avoid such situations in the future.  In casu, as I indicated to you on the phone, Hon. Mamombe .....

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Incasu, not everybody here is a lawyer.  Be simple.

HON. GONESE:  I will say in this case Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes. Proceed

HON. GONESE:  For the benefit of all the other members, in this case, Hon. Mamombe, through her legal practitioner, Mr. Jeremiah Bamu, had communicated with law and order prior to her going to Nyanga as a result of which arrangements had been made for Hon. Mamombe to attend at Harare Central Police Station law and order on Sunday the 3rd of March and this was a matter of concern to us because you had a situation where the Officer-in-Charge had already received communication that Hon. Mamombe, in response to the information that the police wanted to interview her, had already indicated that she was going to attend in the presence of a legal practitioner.

What concerned us was that when she was then picked up in Nyanga, the Officer-in-charge denied that they dispatched a team of officers from Harare Central law and order to go to Nyanga.  They denied that the officer in question was out of law, which is a matter of concern for us.  When we have got such a situation, in terms of the dignity to be afforded to Hon. Members of Parliament and where such arrangements have been made, surely one would have expected that in that situation, they would have waited for the Hon. Member to surrender herself as arranged and only if the Hon. Member had not turned up on Sunday, 3rd March, could they have made other arrangements?  That is one of those aspects where we would expect that officers, law enforcement agencies, will actually afford that dignity to Members of Parliament and allow them or give them an opportunity to cooperate with the police, as had been done in that case which unfortunately was then overtaken by the events whereby Hon. Mamombe was then picked up in Nyanga.  That is all I wanted to add, Mr. Speaker.

HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of clarity, Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please be brief.

HON. SIKHALA:  My point of clarity needs the guidance of the Chair.  We want the Chair to assist us on the definition - in terms of how it is provided in our Standing Rules and Orders of Committee business. At what point does Committee business start and end?  Generally, the arrangement Mr. Speaker Sir, is like this: you are given an itinerary that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services is going to depart from the Parliament building at 5:00 p.m on their way to Mutare.  From Mutare you are going to travel to Masvingo, from Masvingo to Bulawayo, from Bulawayo to Harare from Monday to Friday.  How do we define Committee time?  Is it during the time when the Committee is in session or I enjoy my immunity and privileges during the period when I am in conduct of Parliamentary business?  I think we need clarity there Mr. Speaker, so that it becomes very unambiguous.

At what time, Mr. Speaker, does our immunity and privilege collapse?  Do we only enjoy our privilege and immunity when the Committee is in session and when I get back into the Parliament bus to travel from Mutare to Masvingo on Parliamentary business, does it suspend my Parliamentary immunity and privileges?  I want clarity Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I think the Hon. Member by the virtue of that question admits that there is a gap or a lacuna in our privileges provisions.  Perhaps, as I indicated, when we amend our Standing Orders and Privileges Act, let that be defined in our Standing Orders, so that it is clear when privileges can be exercised, including the illustration that you have indicated.  So at the moment there is a gap and that gap needs to be closed in terms of amendment to the Standing Orders as well as the Privileges Act.

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE CERTIFICATES FOR STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS GAZETTED DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY, 2019

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that the Parliamentary Legal Committee met on 5th March, 2019 and considered all Statutory Instruments that were gazetted during the month of January, 2019.  The Committee is of the opinion that Statutory Instruments gazetted in the month of January are not in contravention of the Declaration of Human Rights or any other provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Biti, Hon. Misihairabwi and Hon. Minister Matiza please do not talk across the divide.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  I did not say a word.

NON-ADVERSE CERTIFICATE FOR STATUTORY INSTRUMENT GAZETTED DURING MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 2019

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that the Parliamentary Legal Committee met on 5th March, 2019 and considered all Statutory Instruments that were gazetted during the month of February, 2019.  The Committee is of the opinion that Statutory Instruments gazetted in the month of February are not in contravention of the Declaration of Human Rights and any other provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 5, be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day on the Order Paper have been disposed of.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ADDRESS

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

HON. MUKARITIGWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  May I also add my voice to the motion raised by Hon. Kwaramba, and may I submit to you that this is my maiden speech.  Mr. Speaker Sir, may I start off by congratulating His Excellency, the President Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa for delivering an articulate State of the Nation Address, one that has an overview of people’s problems and their solutions.  Elections were held peacefully and Shurugwi South Constituency ushered in a new broom in the new dispensation.  We held a multi-party peace march at Donga, that is Chachacha business centre which was meant to propagate peace and reconciliation amongst the electorate before the elections.  This march glued us together as a family in line with the President’s clarion call for peace and tolerance before, during and after the harmonized elections.

          It is a great honour to represent Shurugwi South Constituency under a highly capable and focused leader like His Excellency Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa. I have every intention to carry out this mandate with due diligence and loyalty as his Excellency mentioned in his address and I quote “We carry our people’s hopes, dreams and aspirations and a great deal of trust has been placed upon each one of us”.  Peace creates trust and a free environment which builds confidence that creates an investor conducive environment for business.  The shrinkage in the economy has seen many people in the past lose jobs, companies folding, graduates selling on street corners, induced family breakdowns and Government freezing posts, even where staffing is inadequate because of fiscal space which does not allow further recruitment.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we ought to divert from expansionary yester-year polities that increase Government spending and reduce revenue and adopt contractional policies that reduce deficits and increase surplus. In my constituency, I wish to adopt a raft of measures to improve socio-economic standards for the electorate.  A number of challenges however lie ahead in our quest to develop our constituency, but we strive for the best and with our determination we will sail through.

          Roads are in a mediocre state and need regular maintenance.  The tarred road from Donga to Chivi-Mandamabwe needs resealing and resurfacing. Dust feeder roads also need rehabilitation.  Lately, I have contributed immensely and we have seen Government rehabilitation efforts for the benefit of a greater part of my constituency.  I would like to propose an alternative tarred road that bypasses Boterekwa, linking Gweru and intercepting Shurugwi-Zvishavane tarred road - more or less at their border line near Runde Bridge and a couple of feeder roads will be created at the constituency’s advantage.  Two provinces namely Matebeleland South, the Midlands and many other constituencies for example Zvishavane, Runde, Shurugwi North and South, Gweru and Vungwi District are some of the constituencies that will be linked by the bypass road.  Feeder roads will also be necessary to enhance connectivity of ward 21 areas like Reitfontein, Kashambe, Zhaungwe and Dorset.

          Business service centres like Trucker’s Inn can be constructed along the highways thereby creating employment.  Looking at the location of Shurugwi on the map, it is only prudent to recognise and transform it into an industrial and transport hub to enhance commercial activity. Between; Shurugwi to Beitbridge there is 362.2km, Shurugwi to Harare there is 350km, Shurugwi to Plumtree there is 296km, Shurugwi to Mutare there is 291km and Shurugwi to Chirundu there is 529km.

          Shurugwi South is easily accessible to Masvingo, Mvuma, Gweru, Bulawayo et cetera.  It is convenient to facilitate trade as it is in the central position of the country.  A good rail and road network could give Shurugwi South and the nation at large significant value.  In the same breadth, industrialization lies at the heart of our vision of becoming an upper middle-class economy by 2030.  My constituency is rich in minerals such as gold, platinum, palladium and chrome - to name but a few.  If all these minerals are fully exploited two of our country’s problems namely unemployment and foreign currency shortages will be solved. 

          Mines like Zimasco, Unki, Todal, Falcon et cetera can help contribute to the industrialization of Shurugwi.  This will create new factories that produce consumables, accessories and equipment hence capacitating Shurugwi residents at the operational, maintenance, ownership and practical levels, thus creating a commodities market for local communities, emancipating them while at the same time stabilizing and creating a long term solid economy.  I have witnessed a number of artisanal miners from my constituency jostling to legitimize their operations as some reach out for partnerships.  Entrepreneurship is therefore put into the thrust as per His Excellency’s vision for economic development.

          In my 5 year tenure in office as Member of Parliament, I have a target of seeing at least 10 000 people empowered with various vocational training skills.  This in my humble opinion will set into motion His Excellency’s vision to become middle income economy by 2030.  Personally, I encourage a working group entrepreneurship that pulls people together thereby having a certain portion of share capital allocation to individuals.  Companies should subscribe to international standards like ISO and be professionally run to attract foreign capital injection.  This will enable them to penetrate export markets in the region, at the same time generating foreign currency.

          It is hats off to His Excellency for including the tourism sector in the State of the Nation Address.  At the moment, tourism is crucial in mitigating the foreign currency shortages obtaining in the country.  In support of His Excellency, I would like to submit that we should embrace and promote domestic tourism.  This can only be enhanced by creating more tourist attraction centres.  In this regard people of Shurugwi are hoping that its scenic views can be added to the list.  We have mountains and a mini Disney World that could augur well with Shurugwi’s proximity to Great Zimbabwe and be developed. 

          This could, in actual fact be the best tourist adventure experience in Zimbabwe.  This idea Mr. Speaker Sir, has a bearing on the aspect of job creation as my hotels, lodges, motels, restaurants and other recreational amenities will be developed in the process.  In the same breadth, let me hasten to express profound gratitude and appreciation to His Excellency and the former Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Hon. Kazembe Kazembe for according the people of Shurugwi a sport and recreation facility at Donga Business Centre.  As I speak, to demonstrate the level of seriousness that His Excellency has given to this initiative, $250 000 has been disbursed and work is currently under way to clear the area for construction.

May I also be quick to make a gentle appeal to Hon. Kirsty Coventry, the current Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, to give  this project impetus and upgrade the facility into a national facility, the size of our very own National Sports Stadium or larger.  There is enough land at Donga to develop not only a state-of-the-art stadium, but multiple hotels with one as big as the renowned Rainbow Towers or bigger.  If all this comes to fruition, Zimbabwe will have one extra reason to endeavour to host international games.  To compliment these youth centres and recreational parks will augment the giant structure.  As far as accessibility is concerned, there is an airstrip adjacent to the stadium.  Morever, Gweru’s Thornhill Airbase is within reasonable distance and both can be upgraded and modernised.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the President has pointed out agriculture as one of our key sectors, but this has been affected by a number of issues, chief among them climate change which resulted in droughts, floods and so on.  This in turn affects people’s lives.  It was not an accident by His Excellency to house the department of climate under the agriculture Ministry.   As a country, we need to seriously look at the climate change mitigation.

While donor funds have come to assist in this area, we romp in the private sector to play their part at international level.  We welcome the Forestry Amendment Bill as stated by His Excellency in his address.  This should greatly improve the sustainable management of our forests which may earn the country revenue through setting up carbon credit schemes, thereby uplifting livelihoods of communities living adjacent to these forests.  Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy.  Small grains and drought resistant crops are encouraged in many farming regions, unlike in previous years when it was only for farming Regions 4 and 5. 

Shurugwi South is prone to drought.  However, some farmers in Wards 20 and 21 have requested for stand-alone grain facilities due to their high yields over the years.  It is impressive to see subsistent farmers thrive.  The building of this facility will create jobs but also solve transport problems to the current depot.  We therefore endeavour to help our people achieve their goals and avail a short-term solution, not only to Wards 20 and 21but to others as well.  Mobile grain collection points can be established in various wards and grain collection shades can be constructed to house all grain due for onward marketing. 

A common farmers’ market and warehousing facility will be established in Shurugwi South Constituency and various produce will be sold from there.  Nutritional gardens have been fairly spread across all 15 wards and I have contributed seed, fence and fertilisers.  Field days were also held and various goods were donated to all participating individuals and clubs, among them cultivators, ploughs, pesticides, agro-chemicals which include dip-tank chemicals and wheelbarrows. 

Open forum meetings will be held with residents and developmental issues will be addressed according to ward priority list.  We are encouraging uptake of projects and where possible funding projects which include piggery, cattle husbandry and apiary with the aid of development partners.  We are currently considering the formation of a rural savings club to empower women and youth of Shurugwi South.  Car pooling of resources will enable local investment in project ownership.  External funding and partners will be engaged on a non-partisan and non-political basis and this will augment development in the constituency.

In Shurugwi South Constituency, we have contributed to the servicing of a host of clinics notably Chikato, Zvamatenga, Dorset, Gundura and so on.  We have also provided roofing material and electrical accessories to some of these clinics and schools, for example Matamba and Rusike.  However, Wards 8 and 11 have no clinics at all and it is my priority during my five-year term of office to facilitate the construction of the same.  I have facilitated the funding of two medical outreach programmes and supplied pharmaceuticals to all clinics in my constituency.  Nonetheless, Zvamavande Rural District Hospital, which is central in the constituency needs a resident doctor, diagnostic and modern theatre equipment to undertake surgical operations. 

As if that was not enough, the mortuary at Zvamavande Hospital is out of service, forcing residents to take their deceased and preserve them in a traditional way on the sand at home.  My plea to the Ministry of Health and Child Care is that, may this hospital be properly upgraded and well equipped.  The upgrade is imperative and should incorporate a state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility.  Having said that,  there is need to upgrade accommodation for all medical staff in the constituency. 

In total, we have 24 health facilities in the constituency, none of which are ready to handle any form of emergency.  A clinic was built at Gamwa, but more still needs to be done as there is no staff accommodation.  The staff is currently using the school adjacent to the clinic as a temporary residence.  In Ward 2, Batanai Clinic is almost complete save for finishing touches.  However, we believe that a lot needs to be done in order to make sure that health care is within reach of the electorate. 

Electrification of clinics, shops and villages will be prioritised.  A constituency maintenance company will be formed to help in the speedy implementation of projects.  Borehole rehabilitation and sinking is a priority in my constituency.  To date, 40% of the existing and old boreholes have so far been attended to but our major challenge is lack of spare parts and transport.

It is imperative to know that all dams in my constituency need rehabilitation, especially desilting due to massive siltation over the years.  Resettlement wards like Wards 2, 3, 20, 21 and 23 need more than five bridges cumulatively.  Some like Gwesheche Bridge in Dorset, Ward 21 require technical expertise and huge capital outlays, thus we will fundraise in order to boost our capacity to construct more bridges.  Libongo Bridge near Pakame High School is currently undergoing construction.  We contributed cement and mobilised locals to build earth bridges in Ward 21.  There is need to ensure the availability of tractors to help till fields for vulnerable people in the constituency with child-headed families, widows and disabled.

There is a total of 57 schools in my constituency, 41 primary, 14 secondary, 3 high schools and 1 satellite school.  Over 90% of these schools need to be equipped with ICT gadgets.  Makonde Primary, Gato and Dombotombo Secondary Schools have of late benefitted from this scheme as well as from kind donations from POTRAZ. 

In addition, I have assisted the needy students with fees and uniforms.  Roofing material, stationery, flags and benches were donated to most schools in the constituency.  This is a positive and holistic approach meant to improve the livelihoods of people in all the schools in the constituency.  However, Wards 2, 4 and 22 have no secondary schools and long-term plans are afoot to establish them.  In recent developments, four schools and a clinic have lost their roofs in parts as a result of violent winds and they are in dire need of roofing materials.  Teachers need ICT training to help them teach students well.

However, a constituency office manned by full time staffers will be erected at Donga and funds permitting, modern ICT gadgets will be installed in the centre for use by the electorate.  Communication is also key in every aspect.  In this case, an additional network booster will be a great advantage to the residents of my constituency since connectivity is bad, especially in the Kashambe area in Ward 21 to some parts.  At ward level, councillors will be contact persons.  A start-up budget of RTGS$4.5 million is required to jumpstart the President’s vision and bridge the gap between past, slow or no growth at all and future growth expectations. 

We hope the budget for devolution will give impetus to this.  I pledge and endeavour to be aggressive and will knock on all doors of Government and private sector institutions to realise the dream and lift the torch high for the new dispensation.  We have on our agenda, the establishment of Shurugwi South Development Trust that I will be chairing as its founding Chairperson and will engage and work closely with Midlands Development Association for patronage. 

In summary, His Excellency’s focus is to turn Zimbabwe into a producer of goods and services and the world into a market for our goods and products.  To this end, his State of the Nation Address is quite comprehensive and embraces all four dimensions that govern the land namely political, social, security and economics.  As His Excellency emphasised, the only way to win a war against poverty, diseases and marginalisation is through hard work and in a corruption free environment.  A model that encourages diversity in investment structures while emphasising on ownership is a must.  Let us stand up on our own, respect God and preserve our heritage.  Money is not found in banks but in markets, hence the need to focus on production of quality products through economic development and industrialisation.  We are driven as Shurugwi South Constituency by the following statement: “The more you dream big in life, the more you will be able to strive, for dreaming will take you one step ahead to achieve everything you want. As said by Newt Gingrich, “Perseverance is hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”  I thank you.

          +HON. S. K. MGUNI:  I am happy to be given this opportunity to contribute here in Parliament.  That also gives me an opportunity to congratulate His Excellency Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa for being elected the President of Zimbabwe.  The elections we had gave us some respect and it gave Zimbabwe an element of respect to our citizens.  I would as well  like to congratulate all those who won those elections and the good electorate for voting me into office.  I would also like to congratulate the Speaker, Hon. Mudenda for retaining his seat as the Speaker of Parliament.

 I was happy with the President’s speech because he included BEAM and some other Bills.  This indicates that he is actually reflective and recognises the people of Zimbabwe’s needs.  The Cyber Bill will protect the people of Zimbabwe if it can be expeditiously brought to Parliament.  People will be able to use that technology properly and not to abuse it.  I think the Cyber Bill will help us as a country.  That Cyber Bill will protect us from those who abuse technology.

I am happy for the Consumer Protection Bill which had never been in place here in Zimbabwe to protect the consumers.  If this Bill is passed into an Act, it will help us as citizens.  Our neighbours have also come up with their own Bills of this nature, so it is not only Zimbabwe. I was surprised that Zimbabwe was dragging behind on this matter.  The President has indicated that he is a leader.  As a Member for Bubi, we preserve the people of Bubi.  I have realised that because of the leadership of Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa, our area has developed.  On the assumption of duty by His Excellency Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa, there has been development of roads and agriculture.  We rely on rainfall for agriculture? It is imperative that we should practice agriculture whilst we focus on harvesting water.  His Excellency is a good leader and he makes our job easier to develop our constituencies.  I also realised that on many inroads are being repaired and I am happy about that.  I also want to congratulate all Hon. Members who were elected into office and to remind them that we should not waste time criticising each other but should serve the people properly.  I also realise that if we waste time criticising each other, there will be no development to talk about.

          In conclusion, I would like to congratulate you all once again.  Thank you for listening to me.

          HON. O. MGUNI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. CHOMBO:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 6th March, 2019.

          On the motion of HON. O. MGUNI, seconded by HON. MUTSEYAMI, the House adjourned at Eleven Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.        

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 05 MARCH 2019 VOL 45 NO 37