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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 06 FEBRUARY 2014 VOL. 40 NO. 31

Thursday, 6th February, 2014

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o'clock p.m.

 

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER

ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER

MR. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House of a typographical error on today's Order Paper where Order of the Day number 6 has not been numbered against the heading "Adjourned debate on gender-based violence". The omission has resulted in wrong numbering of subsequent Orders and notice of motions for today. Kindly insert the appropriate Order of the Day number 6 and re-number accordingly, so that number 6 becomes number 7 subsequently. Number 6, therefore, will be right at the top on Page 341 of the Order Paper.

 

CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

MR. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House of the following changes to Portfolio Committee membership. Hon. A. Mufunga moves from Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to Foreign Affairs; Hon. M. Kaundikiza moves from Transport and Infrastructural Development to Lands, Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development; Hon. J. Jaboon moves from Transport and Infrastructural Development to Mines and Energy; Hon. G. Hungwa moves from Information Technology and Communication to Transport and Infrastructural Development; Hon. E. Mhere moves from Small and Medium Enterprises to Mines and Energy and Hon. P. C. Mutseyami is assigned to the Mines and Energy Committee in addition to the Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services Committee.

TOUR OF THE MUSASA PROJECT ONE-STOP CENTRE

MR. SPEAKER: I also inform the House that the Hon. Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Women's Caucus is inviting all members of the Zimbabwe Women's Parliamentary Caucus to a tour of the Musasa Project One-Stop Centre on Monday, the 10th of February, 2014 at 1500 hours. Interested hon. members are requested to meet at the car park at 1445 hours.

WOMEN'S CAUCUS MEETING

MR. SPEAKER: I have also to inform the House that all members of the Women's Caucus are invited to a meeting on Wednesday, 12th February, 2014 at 0900 hours in the Senate Chamber.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

MRS. M. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity and to allow me to add my voice to this motion. Firstly, I would like to congratulate my party ZANU PF for winning the 31st July harmonised elections.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member can you please raise your voice for purposes of recording?

MRS. M. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Allow me to respectfully say amphlope, makorokoto, congratulations to His Excellency, the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Comrade R. G. Mugabe. I congratulate you Mr. Speaker Sir, for being elected the Speaker of this august House. I say you are a star.

I thank the Government for introducing the Zim Asset blueprint that will help to revive Zimbabwe's economy. I also thank you Mr. Speaker Sir…

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. members can you please conduct your tete-a-tetes in lowered voices because the recorders and the Chair will not be able to hear what the hon. member is saying.

MRS. M. NKOMO: I also thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for announcing a very positive budget for 2014. In Matebeleland North, Lupane District, East and West constituencies, where I come from, there are poor road networks. Most of the roads in Lupane are gravel roads and are in a very poor state and in need of upgrading and good maintenance. Most people in Lupane are subsitence farmers and after every harvest, face difficulties transporting their harvest to the GMB because of the poor roads. I would suggest that Government upgrades the Lupane - Nkayi road. If this road is upgraded into a tarred road, it would help to transport people and goods to Harare, Nkayi and Victoria Falls.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Lupane has adverse shortage of clinics and hospitals. We have only one major hospital which is St. Luke's Hospital. People travel more than 20km to reach the nearest clinic, therefore, I propose Government builds a clinic in every ward or sends mobile clinics to service radius of 10km, to help distribute medication to children and those living with HIV/ AIDS.

On education, we have very few secondary schools and most of the children drop out because they have to travel long distances to school. I would urge the Government to build more secondary schools. Also, there are no vocational training centres for youths and women. These centres will help us retain youths going to neighbouring countries to look for jobs or to commit crimes.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to propose that every hon. member in this august House joins forces with us, ZANU PF, to condemn and fight against sanctions imposed by Britain and their allies. The sanctions are affecting our economy and the people of Zimbabwe. I thank you.

*MR. MASHAYAMOMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Firstly I would like to congratulate the President for winning the elections resoundingly. I would also like to congratulate ZANU PF for garnering a two thirds majority in the National Assembly and Senate. Lastly, I would like to congratulate you for being chosen as the Speaker of the National Assembly.

I would like to concur with what the President said concerning the growth of our cities and the construction of dams in our country. If we look at Harare, we see that there are water challenges. The eastern and northern suburbs are facing water challenges. We want those places to get water this year so that we will not have cholera and typhoid outbreaks. The places are Waterfalls, Hatfield, Greendale and even up to Borrowdale.

We also want to touch on sewerage. Mr. Speaker, you will find that sewerage is not moving properly. We think that the sewerage area should be looked into so that we do not have sewer pipes bursting.

We also want to look at the issue of roads. Roads in Harare should be maintained because there are so many potholes on our roads and this is causing people's vehicles to be damaged when they hit those potholes. So, as Harare residents, we think that if the roads are maintained, it will be good for us.

We are also looking at the issue of electrification. There are many houses which do not have electricity. If these places can be electrified, it will be good because it will prevent deforestation. There are no trees now in Harare.

I would also want to look at the construction of dams. His Excellency, the President spoke on the harvesting of water so that it will not end up in oceans. This is very important because in Harare we do not have access to clean water. We want Kunzvi and Musana dams to be constructed so that we will be able to access clean water in Harare.

His Excellency, the President also talked a lot on schools. Harare is growing and schools are becoming few. We would urge the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to make sure that there is an increase in the number of our schools because the population is growing as well. Children are now squashed in classrooms and there is an up-rise in scandalous colleges because schools are few. So, if we get help in those areas, it will be good for us.

His Excellency, the President touched on sports as well, that sports should be looked at in Zimbabwe. There should be more facilities for sports because the ones that are there are not enough to service the people. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (MRS. NYONI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th February, 2014.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES AND CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (MRS. NYONI): Mr. Speaker Sir, may I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 and 3 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE 2013 MADAGASCAR ELECTIONS BY THE ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT OBSERVATION TEAM 2014

MR. MANDIPAKA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the report on the 2013 Madagascar Elections by the Zimbabwe Parliament Observation team 2014.

MS KHUPE: I second.

MR. MANDIPAKA: Introduction

Zimbabwe was part of the SADC Parliamentary Forum Observation Mission that observed the 2013 Madagascar Second Round Presidential and Legislative elections that were held on the 20th December 2013. The Zimbabwean delegation comprised of Hon. T. Khupe and Hon. O. Mandipaka. The SADC PF Mission was represented by 8 countries, namely Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Mission had 30 participants comprising of hon. members drawn from both ruling and opposition political parties and there gender representation. The Speaker of the National Assembly of Mauritius, Hon Abdool Razack Mahomed Peeroo, was the head of the Observation Mission. The Mission was in Madagascar from the 11th to the 24th December 2013; however, the Zimbabwean delegation only participated in the observation mission from the 15 th to the 24th December, due to logistical challenges.

This report will highlight and expand on some of the findings and recommendations found in the Interim Statement issued by the deputy Mission Leader Hon. A. Limbo, on the 23rd December 2013, in Antananarivo. There were a lot of lessons learnt and experiences shared between legislators on the events that took place in Madagascar, some of which may be beneficial to the Zimbabwe electoral and political systems.

Election observation is defined in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation as "the systematic, comprehensive and accurate gathering of information concerning the laws, processes and institutions related to the conduct of elections and other factors concerning the overall electoral environment..." SADC PF relies on Parliamentarians to observe elections that occur within this region.

MR. SPEAKER: Order!

MR. S. MADZORE: On apoint of order, I personally feel that the hon. member is mumbling, it is very difficult to hear him, if he could come a bit closer.

MR. SPEAKER: There are two sides of your point of order hon. member. One is that others must also whisper to allow the hon. member to be heard. Secondly, Hon. Mandipaka, because you are right at the back there, if you could raise your voice slightly or come forward.

MR. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. This is in fulfillment of one of the recommendations in the Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC Region which states that, legislators should participate as observers in elections of Member countries since they are products of elections and hence, are familiar with electoral issues. At the same time legislators are central to legislative review and electoral reforms hence participation in electoral observation will strengthen their legislative responsibilities.

There are several outcomes associated with electoral observation which include:

è it generates confidence among the citizens about their internal political processes and enhances the international standing of a country,

è it promotes democratic practices and creates a conducive environment for sustainable peace and development for the Region,

è It promotes mutual learning and exchange of experiences on best practices,

è It provides an impetus to review outdated laws and practices pertaining to elections.

2. Terms of Reference

The Observation work of SADC PF was guided by the following:

Ø Norms and Standards for Election in the SADC Region;

Ø SADC Principles and Guidelines for Democratic Elections;

Ø The legal framework of Madagascar which includes the Constitution and Electoral laws;

Ø Gender trends and voter turnout in comparison to previous elections;

Ø The organizational arrangements of the elections, particularly by the Independent Electoral Commission.

3. Observation Methodology

Madagascar is an island, with a population of about 22 million people and out of that figure, approximately 8 million are registered voters. The SADC PF Mission deployed seven teams to observe seven regions out of the 22 regions in Madagascar. The Zimbabwean delegation was deployed into the Boeny and Atsinanana regions. The teams were in the field from the 15th to the 21st December 2013.

4. Mission Findings

4.1 Political Background

Madagascar has gone through a number of political and transitional difficulties from the time it attained its independence in 1960. The most recent event was that of a change of Government in February 2009, which occurred outside the provisions of the Madagascar Constitution. As a result, the country is currently facing a number of socio-economic challenges. However, SADC, the African Union and the international community has been working towards assisting Madagascar to resolve the political crisis.

The former Mozambican President, Mr. Joaquim Chissano working under the auspices of SADC brokered a road-map towards the re-building of Madagascar on the 16th September 2011 where one of the outcomes has been the 2013 elections. Zimbabwe also went through a similar process where its recovery process was made possible by SADC through its mediator, the former South African President, Mr. Mbeki. This clearly demonstrates that SADC has the capacity to find solutions to regional challenges faced by its member States.

4.2 The CENI-T and Election Administration

The CENI-T is the Independent National Electoral Commission for Transition, which had the responsibility of organising the elections in Madagascar. This is similar to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The officials from CENI-T, like those from ZEC were nominated by an inclusive cross-section of stakeholders in the country, in line with the Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC Region. This builds confidence and enhances the credibility of the Electoral Commission.

In Madagascar, this was further demonstrated by the fact that the Electoral Commission did its work in an impartial manner, where it was able to organise and moderate political debates among Presidential candidates through the mainstream media. In the process, this increased public awareness of both the elections and the manifestos of the candidates.

In Zimbabwe, political debates on elections are usually left to the discretion of the different media houses and political parties. This is a practice that Zimbabwe may look into, whereby ZEC can be capacitated to initiate and moderate political debates through the mainstream media for both Parliamentary and Presidential debates during elections.

4.3 The Role of Security Forces

The security forces of Madagascar played an impartial role prior, during and after the election day. The Mission observed that the security forces were not visible at most of the polling stations, save for a few personnel from the military that were deployed at some of the polling stations. This was attributed to the peaceful and tranquil environment that prevailed in the country. In the regions where the Zimbabwean delegation was deployed, there was a low presence of the security forces to such an extent that voting materials, both sensitive and non-sensitive materials were secured at the home of the village head or chief before being dispatched to the polling centres on voting day. This clearly demonstrated that the Malagasy people are very peaceful and at the same time have great respect and confidence in their traditional leadership.

4.4 Voter Registration

The CENI-T has the legal responsibility to carry out voter registration on an annual basis. However, like most countries in the region, registration of voters is often done when elections are imminent. The Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC Region recommends that " registration of voters should therefore be a continuous exercise and not just wait for an election" This is critical to ensure that all eligible voters are given an opportunity to register on time in order to participate in the elections.

During the first round of the Presidential vote in Madagascar, a number of eligible voters failed to vote because they were not appearing on the voters roll, although they had registered. This was due to a number of logistical challenges faced by the CENI-T. However, efforts were made by the Independent Electoral Commission to accommodate the new voters during the Presidential run-off and the Parliamentary elections that were held on the 20th of December.

One good practice which may be of interest to Zimbabwe is the door-to-door voter registration done in Madagascar to enable as many eligible voters as possible to be registered and captured on the voters' roll. This is achievable if done on an annual basis.

4.5 Voters' Roll

Copies of the updated voters' roll were made available on the 18th of December 2013, two days before voting day. As a result, the public was not given an opportunity to inspect the updated voters' roll. However, the Mission did not encounter any significant complaints concerning the voters' roll, prior and during the voting process. To counteract any errors or omissions on the voters roll, the CENI-T is legally required to update the voter's roll on a regular basis and not just when the elections are imminent. This is also critical for Zimbabwe and other countries in the Region, where the voters roll should be updated regularly to avoid unnecessary pressure during the election period.

4.6 Voter Education

The Independent Electoral Commission has the legal mandate to oversee voter education in Madagascar. However, in some regions visited by the Zimbabwean delegation, this responsibility had been taken over by civil society groups such as the Justice and Peace, which is an affiliate of the Roman Catholic Church. Voter education during the second round of the presidential race and the parliamentary elections was not very intensive when compared with the first round of elections held in October 2013.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members, can you please put your cell phones on silent?

MR. MANDIPAKA: In the districts where the Zimbabwean delegation had an opportunity to interview the electorate, it was clear that some of the people had inadequate knowledge about the voting procedures. The SADC PF Mission was informed that the reason for inadequate voter education was due to lack of funds.

4.7 Election Campaign

The Zimbabwean delegation, together with the rest of the SADC PF mission was impressed in the manner in which political candidates organised their campaigns. The campaigns were in the form of rallies, road shows, and door-to-door meetings, advertisement in the media, TV debates and posters displayed in various private and public places. At one point, the movement of Ravalomanana was able to campaign via satellite from South Africa. The Malagasy people showed a high level of political tolerance. For instance, political candidates were able to freely hold rallies at one venue, particularly at market places, after having agreed to give each other the time and the space. So one candidate after another would hold his or her rally at the same venue to the same audience and this was done in a peaceful and orderly fashion. At the same time, the audience could freely express their political preferences by wearing t-shirts and other regalia depicting the candidates of their choice within those rallies without any conflicts arising. What was most striking was that at most of these rallies there was a low presence of security forces.

The Malagasy people demonstrated a high level of political tolerance and maturity in the manner in which they held their electoral campaigns. At one point the two presidential candidates, shook hands and embraced each other and this was beamed live on national television, further demonstrating the spirit of tolerance at the highest leadership structures.

4.8 Campaign Funding

One of the contentious issues that the Zimbabwean delegation and the SADC PF mission observed was the lack of public funding for political candidates or political parties to organise their electoral activities. At the same time the Malagasy law does not regulate campaign expenditures or sources of campaign funding, other than forbidding the use of public resources during elections.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. Can you please lower your voices when you are conversing? If you cannot lower your voices, please go out.

MR. MANDIPAKA: This leaves the country vulnerable to foreign influences on its electoral processes and outcomes. For instance in the first round of the Presidential elections, there were over 30 presidential candidates and each was required to pay a non-refundable deposit of US25 000, at a time when the country's economy is weak and the majority of the people are very poor. However, in Zimbabwe, this loophole has been dealt with under the Political Finances Act, which avails financial resources for parties represented in Parliament. The only challenge is for new political parties or independent candidates who have no access to public funding during election periods.

Another challenge within the political system of Madagascar is that they do not have a culture of political parties. There is a system of movements, where a candidate vying for political office receives the backing of an influential person. For instance, in the presidential run-off, the two candidates were not products of political parties, but of movements supported by Ravalomanana or Rajoelina. This entails that if the influential person dies or becomes insolvent, then that movement automatically dies.

When the teams were in the field, complaints were raised by some parliamentary candidates that among them, there were others who were campaigning under the movements of Ravalomanana or Rajoelina to gain political mileage and yet in reality they were not the official candidates recognised by these movements. Since the country does not have a culture of political parties, with visible structures like in Zimbabwe, the general public can easily be manipulated or deceived by self-serving politicians.

4.9 Media Coverage of the Elections

Of particular interest to the Zimbabwean delegation was the central role played by the Independent Electoral Commission in Madagascar to facilitate access to the media by political candidates, both presidential and parliamentary. This is one area that Zimbabwe may consider, whether its appropriate for ZEC to regulate and moderate coverage of electoral campaigns by political parties or candidates in the media. However, the SADC PF Mission noted that there were complaints from some candidates that certain media houses were biased in their coverage of the election campaigns.

4.10 Participation of Women in the 2013 Madagascar Presidential and Legislative Elections

The Zimbabwean delegation, together with the rest of the SADC PF Mission was greatly disappointed with the level of participation by Malagasy women in politics. Out of the 33 candidates who participated in the first round of Presidential elections, only two were women and there were none in the second round. Furthermore, out of the 2054 parliamentary candidates, only 207 were women, representing 10% of the total. This percentage will most likely be reduced after the announcement of the final results. This falls far too short of the target of 50% representation of women in political and decision making positions by 2015 as set forth in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

This is one area that the Regional Women's Caucus would need to make interventions, probably through research studies or capacity building programme as a way of encouraging the Malagasy women to participate in politics. Currently, about 51 % of the Malagasy populations are women, hence it does not make sense that a large portion of the population continues to be under-represented in all major political organs of the State.

4.11 Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Place

In Madagascar, the Independent Electoral Commission, the CENI-T has the legal responsibility to resolve any election-related disputes among stakeholders. If the aggrieved parties are not satisfied with the decision of the CENI-T, they can appeal to the Special Electoral Court which makes the final verdict, including the proclamation of the final election results.

In Zimbabwe, during the elections there were multi-party Liaison Committees and the courts which were tasked with the responsibility of handling any disputes on the elections. Probably, the conflict mechanisms in Zimbabwe are better than those in Madagascar because the Independent Electoral Commission of Madagascar has been burdened with too many responsibilities where, apart from its ordinary duties, it also has the added responsibility of resolving election related conflicts.

4.12 Election Day, Voting and Counting

The Zimbabwean delegation, together with the rest of the SADC PF mission observed a number of good practices on the Voting and Counting processes. The voting and counting of votes was done in a peaceful manner and there were very few centres which were manned by security forces. The voting process began from six in the morning and closed at five in the afternoon. At the closure of the casting of votes, the counting process immediately began at each of the centres where the voting had taken place. One good practice that emerged during the vote counting process was that, it was open to everyone. The doors of the polling centres were open during the entire vote counting process, a demonstration of transparency and accountability of the process. Among the crowd that witnessed the vote counting process were young children.

According to the Malagasy law, the Independent Electoral Commission has up to 7 January 2014, to announce the provisional Presidential Election results, which is two weeks after the voting day and up to 9 February 2014 to announce the provisional results of the Legislative Elections which is about six weeks from the voting day. These results would need to be validated by the Special Electoral Court within 30 days of announcement by CENI-T to become final and effective. This appears to be a long period of time, given that in Zimbabwe, results have to be announced within a period of five days. Often times when there are delays in the announcement of results, this can create unnecessary tension and suspicion.

4.13 Good Practices from the 2013 Madagascar Elections

In summary, these were some of the good practices which emerged from the 2013 Madagascar elections:

a) A high degree of political tolerance which contributed to peaceful and orderly campaigns and generally an amicable atmosphere during polling.

b) The inclusive mechanism for nominating individuals to the CENI-T which helped to enhance the credibility of the body.

c) Door-to-door registration of voters to ensure that there are many citizens who will be given the opportunity to cast their vote

d) Engagement of the media by the Independent Electoral Commission to promote ethical coverage of electoral issues.

e) Translation of most of the election material in the local Malagasy language for easier and effective communication with ordinary citizens.

f) The invitations to various local and international observers which enhances transparency of the elections

g) Counting of votes at respective polling stations in the presence of party agents, candidates, general public and observers in line with good and transparent electoral practice.

4.14 Areas for Improvement

a) The need to make provisions for continuous voter registration and updating of the voters roll;

b) The need to develop strong legal and administrative provisions to ensure gender parity in political and decision making positions in line with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development;

c) The need to legally empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to declare final results of elections. This will enable the Electoral Court to concentrate on handling appeals and petitions in order to expedite the announcement of final election results and avoid anxieties and suspicions which may lead to conflict;

d) the need to introduce legislation governing access to and application of funding by political parties and candidates in order to promote transparency and accountability in the mobilisation and application of political campaign funds by parties and candidates;

e) The need to promote a culture of political parties and structures as well as responsible politicians that serve as the basis for Election Manifestos and their messages to the electorate;

5. Conclusion

Overall assessment by the Mission

The Zimbabwean delegation supports the overall assessment by the SADC PF Mission that the elections were held in a peaceful environment. Despite the shortcomings mentioned in the Report, the majority of the electorate were given an opportunity to freely express their will. The SADC PF Mission also hailed that the elections were a credible reflection of the will of the majority of the people; hence the elections were free, fair and credible. This was greatly attributed to the ordinary citizens, the electorate, the candidates and all electoral stakeholders in Madagascar who were tolerant of each other prior, during and after the 20 December 2013 elections.

The Zimbabwean delegation, travelled safely back home after a successful tour of duty. While the delegation appreciates the effort made by Parliament of Zimbabwe, through the Speaker, to enable the Parliamentarians to observe the elections in Madagascar, more work needs to be done to improve the welfare of legislators when they are on international assignments when compared with other countries in the region.

It is also recommended that the delegation be further assigned to observe elections in other SADC countries as a way to consolidate and buttress the knowledge already acquired in Madagascar.

MS. KHUPE : I would like to thank Hon. Mandipaka for presenting the Report on the Madagascar Elections and I would also like to add my voice to what he has already said in relation to these elections. I am not going to repeat what he has already said. I will just highlight a few observations.

The major role of SADC PF in observation mission is to gather information relating to the conduct of elections and the electoral environment in particular, looking at the laws of a country regarding elections, the processes/systems and institutions used by that country in the conduct of elections.

Madam Speaker, SADC PF then looks at the objective analysis of such information and draws conclusions based on the quality and character of the electoral process. In short, our role was to gather information and draw informed conclusions and offer recommendations.

I was deployed to the Boeny Region and my team was in charge of two districts, that is Mahajanga 1 and Mahajanga 2 districts, one district was in the urban area and the other in the rural area. I would like to speak to three observations, Madam Speaker. The first issue that I would like to speak to, is the issue to do with voter registration. Like what Hon. Mandipaka has already said, in Madagascar they do door to door voter registration. They make sure that every person who is an eligible voter is registered as a voter.

The problem that we had, especially where we observed elections, is that after doing the door to door registration, they do not issue voter registration cards immediately. Cards are only issued after some time, so where I was observing elections, the 78 000 registered voters, only 35 000 were given their voter registration cards. Madam Speaker, the best practice with regards to voter registration is that, every person who is an eligible voter is supposed to be given an opportunity to register as a voter. During elections, there must be time dedicated for voter registration. After that the Registrar of Voters is supposed to go and prepare a voters' roll. That voters' roll must be subjected back to the people so that they are given an opportunity to inspect the voters' roll-[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- All these issues are enshrined in our Constitution. People must inspect the voters' roll so that they see whether their names are spelt properly; their names are still there.

After that, the Registrar of Voters is supposed to then prepare another voters' roll. That voters' roll must be given to all political parties for validation, in electronic form, in an analysable form and that is- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Madam Speaker, in our case, it was really different. For instance, my party only received the voters' roll two hours before the close of voting. Not in electronic form, it was a truck of papers, yet the Constitution says, the voters' roll is supposed to be given in electronic form; in an analysable form, so that every political party is able to go to their branches, wards, districts and provinces to see whether all their members are on that voters' roll. Here, it did not happen, this is why Madam Speaker, more than 700 000 of our people were not on the voters' roll and could not vote.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. member, can you please stop answering to what other hon. members are saying and address the Chair. Also, please stop referring to what happened in Zimbabwe, just report what happened in Madagascar. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

MS. KHUPE: Madam Speaker, I have every right to refer to what happened in Zimbabwe.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, can you continue with your report.

MS. KHUPE: Yes, I said political parties were supposed to be given the voters' roll in electronic form. You will find that people who were on the voters' roll during the Nomination Court, come voting day, their names were not on the voters' roll. They could not vote and I will try to give am example of one of our councillors who went through nomination but come voting day, his name was not there.

MR. MUKANDURI: On a point of Order, the hon. member should stick to the report of Madagascar. We are not discussing the Zimbabwe elections. Thank you Madam Speaker. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The hon. member can continue with her debate but please refrain from referring to elections of Zimbabwe. Maybe you can refer - [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order, order, the hon. member can continue with her debate but what I have said, because there was a ruling by the Speaker that -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. MIDZI: On a point of Order, Madam Speaker, I think I need to make a submission that it is disrespectful for hon. members to challenge the Speaker.-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Madam Speaker, I would want that we refer to the practice of the House, to make sure that hon. members do not and shall not be allowed to challenge the Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Mutseyami, can we have order in the House? Order, order hon. members. The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe brought finality to the matter of our elections. The Speaker also made a ruling on the matter and some issues are still sub judice, meaning Parliament may not debate the matter. Can the hon. member, please stick on the report of Madagascar. - [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-

MR. GONESE: Firstly, Madam Speaker, I want to be enlightened as to what Standing Order is being used as a basis for saying that the hon. member cannot continue with the line of her debate. As a matter of fact, the mover of the motion was making reference to the Zimbabwean elections. I believe that there must be consistent application of rules in this august House so that there is no selective application.

Madam Speaker, I would further wish to point out that the election results are not being challenged but only observations are being made. If my memory serves me right, Madam Speaker, even in the African Union report and the SADC report, they also made their own observations on areas that need improvement. One of those, was the supply of an electronic copy of the Voters' Roll in a form that can be analysed - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - we must have fair rules in this august House that are applied uniformly to all. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, we are taking note of a report and not just an ordinary report - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. There is no point of order because - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Order, order. The Speaker's ruling cannot be challenged. So, there is no point of order, the hon. member may continue.

Hon. members let us behave ourselves; we are in an august House. Please, respect the House.

MS. KHUPE: Madam Speaker, no one is challenging the Speaker's ruling but the fact that the courts made a ruling about this election does not necessarily mean that we cannot talk about the Zimbabwean election. We are going to talk about it…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, we have got one Speaker in Zimbabwe and one Chair in this House. May you please continue with your debate without challenging the Chair?

MS. KHUPE: I am going to continue, I was talking about best practices.

Best practice is that every person who is an eligible voter is supposed to be given an opportunity to register as a voter. After registering as a voter, they are supposed to be given an opportunity to inspect the Voters' Roll. After that, political parties are supposed to be given the Voters' Roll in electronic form, in an analysable form for validation purposes. If this does not happen, Madam Speaker, there is no way that election can be said to be free and fair...

MR. HOLDER: On a point of order, thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Khupe said that she was not going to touch on the report that Hon. Mandipaka presented to this House but it looks like she has personal interests and she is tail toasting this whole thing. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, there is no point of order, because she may as well discuss and debate whilst taking some of the words from Hon. Mandipaka. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Hon. members to my left, may you behave yourselves.

MS. KHUPE: The second issue that I would like to talk about has to do with campaigns, like what my colleague has already said. There were live debates on television; all candidates were given equal time on air to sell their manifestos so that people were able to vote without fear or farvour. So, every candidate had an opportunity to talk about their manifesto and even when it came to rallies, every political party held their rallies at any time. There was no issue of you going to the police and asking for permission and so on and so forth. They were just holding their rallies and road shows at anytime and they tolerated each other. These are some of the best practices that we are talking about.

Even in rural areas, political parties were addressing the same crowds - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

MR. MANDIPAKA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, what I am going to say is unfortunate. The hon. member is not telling the truth - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - just wait, just wait and listen. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Political movements in Madagascar... - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. May we listen to what the hon. member is saying?

MR. MANDIPAKA: Yes, I am only saying that she has tried to twist facts. Political movements in Madagascar sought authority from the District Administrator of a particular region for them to have a meeting that is the correct position. Thank you Madam Speaker.

MS. KHUPE: The most unfortunate thing is that Hon. Mandipaka observed elections in one region and I was in another region.

Madam Speaker, I was talking about..

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Mutseyami may you please rise and go outside the House. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

The Serjeant-at-Arms escorted Hon. Mutseyami outside the House.

MS. KHUPE: In the Marjama District where I observed elections, people there tolerated each other. Political parties came and they were addressing the crowds without any problems. They were coming and going.

The issue that I am trying to emphasise on here is the issue of tolerance, this is what happened. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

*MR. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. It looks like Hon. Khupe is using slogans. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

*THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order in the House. I do not think that she was sloganeering. I think she is used to such gestures, Hon. Khupe may you please continue without making a slogan.

MS. KHUPE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Yes, they are called gestures.

The other issue that I would like to talk about, Madam Speaker, is of the day of voting and Hon. Mandipaka has already spoken about this issue. We visited their electoral commission's offices because we had gone around the polling stations and there was no activity. When we got there, they told us that they were going to start deploying people and the material at four a.m. We were very worried, thinking that they were not going to manage to start at six a.m. as what was supposed to happen.

The following day, when we went to the polling stations where we observed the voting process; by six o'clock, they had already started voting. They had set up everything, which is a clear demonstration that they were very much prepared for that election. So, the voting started at six on the dot and it closed at five p.m. Where I observed the elections, there were only two people who had not voted but were allowed to vote. Soon after voting, they started counting. Madam Speaker, everybody was involved. The political parties and even their members were peeping through the windows and doors, observing the process and clapping hands for their candidates. This means that they tolerated each other. So, by eight p.m., Madam Speaker, they had already finished counting - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order. Hon. members, can you please give chance to the Hon. member to debate and please make less noise.

MS. KHUPE: Madam Speaker, by eight o'clock, they had finished counting for both Presidential and Parliamentary. Their voting process was as follows; you go in, they check your name to see whether it is on the voters' roll, you are given the ballot paper and you go and vote. After voting, you sign against your name on the voters' roll to indicate that you have already voted. For me, I think this is one of the best practices that we are supposed to copy as a country. Like I said, by eight o'clock, all of them had finished voting. We went around all the polling stations, even in the rural areas and found that by nine or ten, they had already finished counting, all of them.

My problem is that the voting was done on the 20th but the results were only announced on the 7th January. This gives room for rigging - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - because what were they doing all this time, when they had finished counting on time.

Lessons learnt, Madam Speaker ...

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order. Let us have order hon. members. We want to hear what she is saying.

MS. KHUPE: The Madagascar people made sure that everybody who was an eligible voter was registered through the door to door voter registration process; although I had mentioned earlier on that the problem is that they do not issue cards immediately making some of the people fail to vote. The Madagascar people tolerated each other. They are given opportunity to choose a leader of their choice, without fear or favour. Candidates are given equal time on air to present their manifestos through live debates. All political parties are fully involved in the counting process and they are not just spectators. Their members are allowed to watch and witness the counting process. Counting is done immediately after voting closes. I hope and trust that as Zimbabwe, we will learn from these best practices, especially when it comes to voter registration and the door -to-door registration that I mentioned.

The issuance of voting cards, I think that is one of the things. We do not want the use of voting slips Madam Speaker. As you know, in Zimbabwe, more than a million people voted using voting slips and some of them were not even on the voters' roll. They were not appearing on the voters' roll but they voted and some of them were even underage. That should not be allowed to happen - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order.

MS. KHUPE: I would like to conclude by saying that Madam Speaker, in life, it is important to admit when you make a mistake that I have made a mistake and then use that mistake as a stepping stone to success. As a country, it is important that we admit that we have made mistakes in the past and that we are still making mistakes, so we should use those mistakes as stepping stones to success so that the people of Zimbabwe are given an opportunity to choose leaders of their choice, without fear or favour. I thank you.

*MR. HLONGWANE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to speak in Shona. The report that was tabled by Hon. Mandipaka and seconded by Hon. Khupe is a very good report. What I liked about this report is that it looks like it came out from the report that Zimbabwe is very good when it comes to the way they conduct their elections. The reason being that the issues that were brought out like of the voter registration issues, in Zimbabwe that process is given ample time to go well - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

*MR. CHAMISA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, the issue of referring to Zimbabwe is the one you refused - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. members please, I have got ears to hear, let me hear it from the hon. member.

*MR. CHAMISA: The issue that you have refused should stand on like that including all the sides.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member refrain from making a slogan in this House. What you are doing is a slogan, I can see, I have got eyes. Put forward your point of order and do not make a slogan. You can go ahead.

*MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point is that Hon. Hlongwane is keeping on breaking your ruling that of referring to Zimbabwe. You said we should not make reference to Zimbabwe but he is continuing making reference to Zimbabwe, defying your order. I thank you.

*THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to answer your point of order. It is not a point of order because that is why you were making noise that you should keep on making reference to Zimbabwe.

*MR. HLONGWANE: Thank you Madam Speaker for your ruling. The issue of voter registration in Zimbabwe, we should remind ourselves that it is an ongoing process. It is an ongoing process. When going for elections, Zimbabwe will be far ahead when it comes to this issue because there is continuous voter registration. There are days which are set aside that in the next thirty days, those who are supposed to vote should have been registered and that voter's roll is taken and inspected to see whether those people who registered voted well and then they will be given another chance to register. We have seen that, that is not taking place in Madagascar. The voter's roll comes back and people start inspecting it. From the Madagascar report that was not spelt out, which means that as Zimbabwe, we are far ahead when it comes to this issue of elections.

Madam Speaker, coming to the issue of voting, when Zimbabweans are going to vote and if a person produces their identity card, they cancel the name of that person to show that he or she has voted so that the person will not come back and vote. When the counting is finished, in Zimbabwe we post the results on the venue of voting so that anyone can come and see the votes. The results are also announced on that day so that those who will be there will concur and agree. These results are not announced to anyone else. They are not announced if the observers have not signed that what they have seen is the right thing.

So I think Madagascar should learn from Zimbabwe and not that Zimbabwe must learn from Madagascar because Zimbabwe is far ahead when it comes to the issue of elections. Thank you Madam Speaker.

*MRS. ZEMURA: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you, movers of the report. Looking at Zimbabwe, we voted what the whole world gave thanks to. We cannot learn from a small country like Madagascar which no one has recognised because they cannot even conduct voter registration. Here in Zimbabwe, you can register all year round.

We cannot look at what the people in Madagascar did. They should actually come and learn from us by the way that we conducted our elections and the peace that prevailed during our elections, which means that it was a sure sign that we are a peaceful country. So, those who went there should have educated the people in Madagascar on how to vote. We cannot copy from the people of Madagascar. I thank you.

+MRS. N. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam Speaker, for this debate that has been presented by the hon. speakers about what they found out in the Madagascar elections. If Zimbabwe could also conduct elections like what was done in Madagascar; that they go from door to door for people to register to vote, especially for those who do not have transport. We have also been told that when one party goes to campaign, another party can come and campaign after them without any quarrels. That is why, as Zimbabweans, we are referring to what happened in Madagascar so that we also learn from others. I thank you.

ENG. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate. First and foremost, I would like to thank the two hon. members…

MR. GONESE: On a point of order, Madam Speaker. The hon. member who has got the floor is not properly dressed. He is in violation of the Standing Rules and Order. He is putting on a t-shirt - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. The hon. member is putting on a safari suit. It was agreed that a member can come in the House putting on a safari suit - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

ENG. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, for that adjudication. I would like to start by thanking the two hon. members of the Zimbabwean Parliament who went to Madagascar to monitor elections in that country. Madam Speaker, I have been listening to the report that has been proposed by Hon. Mandipaka and supported by Hon. Khupe. It is unfortunate that we have not been favoured with the report so that we could have made a meaningful contribution to the contents of that report, but I have picked certain points that I would like to comment on.

According to the report, it would appear that there are certain things that we can learn from Madagascar and there are also certain things that Madagascar should learn from Zimbabwe. I noted that in Madagascar, soldiers were involved in the election process. That is bad practice Madam Speaker. Soldiers should not be involved in elections. In this country soldiers are not involved in elections because of the obvious consequences that may accrue out of that.

In this country, when someone has voted his/her name is deleted, while in Madagascar they put a signature. A signature can be copied by anyone. The other thing that I noted from the report is that ballot papers in Madagascar are kept at the village head's home and when they are going back to the voting process they are transported by a taxi. That is bad practice. I noted it from the report and there is nothing we can learn from such bad practice.

Madam Speaker, Madagascar is far much behind us in terms of election organisation. They need to come to this country to learn how to run good elections. We have done it here and there are many people who are now copying from us. Pronouncing results should not be done after such a long time. In this country, the voting process and pronouncing of results was something that was done within a short period of time - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection]-

We are not talking about 2008. We are talking about 2013.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, address the Chair hon. member. Do not answer anyone.

MR. N. NDLOVU: Madam Speaker, my contribution was based on those observations and those observations suggest that our practices here are far much better than practices in the Republic of Madagascar. I thank you.

*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker for recognising me and I would like to thank the hon. members who went to Madagascar.

Hon. Mandipaka and Hon. Khupe, I would like to add my voice in thanking you for observing the elections. Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for sending people from two different political parties, for they went there and saw for themselves. What I want to talk about is that as Zimbabwe, we cannot learn much from Madagascar because Madagascar has a history of coups. Coming to their elections, I can see that there was a lot of intimidation because, the person who won was a friend of a person who said, we will remove Zimbabwe violently. They were friends, so, we cannot learn anything from violent people who want to practice coup.

From what we have heard from Madagascar, here in Zimbabwe, there is nowhere we can have elections without representatives from the parties, even up to the counting of votes. People who will be there representing parties, they sign. Even those who did not make it, they signed that they agreed with the results. I think that is what all nations should learn from Zimbabwe.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chinotimba, we should refer to the report of Madagascar and not the report of Zimbabwe. Thank you.

*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. We thought by debating, we can make reference. What we can learn from Madagascar is that our people went and saw what we do not practice here in Zimbabwe. People in Zimbabwe are happy with how we conduct our elections because it is transparent. We are grateful that they went and saw but for us to compare our elections here and that of Madagascar, it is not fair because we are far ahead of them.

With these words, I would like to appreciate that our country is not a violent country and not a coup country like Madagascar. Thank you.

MR. ZVIDZAI: Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you indeed for allowing me an opportunity to contribute to this pertinent subject as shown by a report ably given by Hon. Mandipaka. It is a report which is indeed very objective and which goes beyond our partisan approach to things which look at making not only Zimbabwe a better place to live, but, even SADC, our brothers around. So, they can also benefit from our best practices as we do benefit from them.

So, I wish to indeed repeatedly thank Hon. Mandipaka for a very well structured and well articulated report. It is a report that does not hide anything around us and it is also a report that says we have done things well but we have done things that can be improved in other facets. So, this is what we need to be as Zimbabweans. This is what we need to be as this Parliament so that we can drive Zimbabwe into the Zimbabwe that we want and that we all can live in happily and a Zimbabwe where every next generation can say I am living a better life than the past generation. This is what is called development Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, we have to ask ourselves questions around - what is an election or as put by colleagues from the other side, what are erections? What does an election hope to achieve for the nation? What do we want out of an election? An election is a process that must lead into resolution of certain challenges and into placement of deploying people so that they can further the cause of Zimbabweans.

Madam Speaker, there is one critical and very important point that Hon. Mandipaka has in the report and that has to do with election management. It has to do with the independence of the management of the electoral process. Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Mandipaka has brought to the fore the importance of independence of electoral management systems that they must not be partisan. Indeed we can learn from the Madagascans that credible elections can only come from administrative processes that are non-partisan, administrative processes that seek to deliver free, fair and credible elections to the people, so that people can agree and move forward with the agenda of nation building.

If you have got an election Madam Speaker, that continuously and perennially, is contested by competing partners; it is important for us to introspect. It is important for us to look and say, but why should these outcomes always be contested and the important thing is, in the process we need independence of the election management systems.

In our case, what can we learn, we must learn to make sure that our election management system, ZEC and its administration are not partisan. Is it not so in our case? Then we have learnt something from Madagascar.

Madam Speaker, elections are a process as I said, they begin with voter registration, and the Madagascan experience as espoused by Hon. Mandipaka, says there is door to door voter registration. In our case, why can we not do the same? The liberation of this countrythe clarion call was universal, adult suffrage, that everybody who is eligible to vote must vote, that we must make sure we put processes in place so that every single person who is eligible to vote can vote. So it is absolutely necessary that in our voter registration systems we improve that, so that we can also deploy door to door team to register people.

Our past experience in the case that mathematically and scientifically, if somebody suspects that you might not vote properly there is constriction, so this does not happen if we do door to door arrangements for voter registration. Indeed we can learn a big lesson from Madagascar with respect to that very first important process of allowing people to register to vote.

In our last election Mr. Speaker, nearly 400 000 people were denied an opportunity to register to vote due to a calculated approach, where an alien sitting somewhere in the dark corners of Zimbabwe, was not registered. So it is important that we learn from the Madagascan experience which seeks to make sure that everybody that desires to vote can vote.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we have also learnt from Hon. Mandipaka's report that it is absolutely necessary to look at our legislative framework so that we make the voting processes better and easier, moving forward. We need to look at issues of the voter's roll, the issues of desktop displacement of voters. Generally you will find that if you get more than 700 000 people failing to vote because they have been displaced desktop-wise, it is because we have failed to manage our voters' roll properly. In the case of Madagascar, the report that was given by Hon. Mandipaka indicates clearly that people who were denied the opportunity to vote were minimum. So these are things that we must learn. We have not wasted Parliament's resources by sending an able team led by Hon. Mandipaka to make sure that we can borrow these best practices for ourselves.

Mr. Speaker, the issue of the media, the State media, again this has been picked up not by myself but by Hon. Mandipaka that all contesting parties, all contestants including parliamentarians and presidential candidates, had equal opportunity to sell their manifestos through the public state media, we can learn from that too. If you look at our own media in the past election, you will see how skewed the coverage was. Mr. Speaker, the most important thing that as a nation we have to agree to is that an election is a process and the outcome of the process can only be as good as the individual process.

Learning from the Madagascan experience, moving forward, I am sure we can nice up our process so that the elections that we are going to run next, are not contested. That we do not invite specialised consulting teams to teach us how not to run the best election in the best way, that we as Zimbabweans, are our own liberators, we are our own saviours, we are our own people, we do not need Chinese, we do not need Israelis to come and run elections - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

Mr. Speaker, I heartily wish to thank you for this opportunity to have contributed to this important dialogue. Elections are one of the most important things that we must do if this nation must move forward. Post an election, the country must look different, new dispensation must bring in new ways of doing things. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, I have been listening very carefully from the contributions that were being made from my office, I got the impression that some members are debating generally. This is a report that has been tabled before hon. members in their pigeon holes, what we need to do is to critic the report. What you stated in, from time to time we may make comparisons but comparisons should not be the major aspect of the contribution, we need to critic the report, the weaknesses identified, the strengths identified, the strengths identified. I would urge hon. members to please read the report rather than debate generally.

*MR. MATAMBANADZO: We have listened to the report and we are going to read it. From what I heard from Hon. Mandipaka, it shows us that the team that represented Zimbabwe was very good because from the media, we have learnt that Madagascar is not a stable country. The elections were credible because of the team that went there from Zimbabwe. Listening from the contribution from Hon. Khupe about the door to door campaign which took place there, she was impressed by that campaign. In her wisdom she did not observe that, out of the 22 million people who voted, only 70 000 voted.

You were once the Vice Prime Minister. So if people were 22 million and only 70 000 voted, then, can you say that the elections went well compared to our process here in Zimbabwe where we have 13 million, and 3 million voted compared to the 70 000? I think that is very dangerous…

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order hon. member. I said address the report. The report is properly paginated. The figures that you are bringing up are figures that seem to come from the blue. They do not appear in the report. Can we address the report? If you have nothing to say, please you just take leave.

*MR. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think it is true that I should look at the report because those who were talking, I think were out of order. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: In terms of Standing Orders, we are not supposed to repeat what has been said. This is why I am saying, if there is nothing new to the hon. member who wants to contribute, please let us respect the time of the House.

*MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am very grateful about this debate which includes the report that I am holding. In the Madagascar report which was tabled by Hon. Mandipaka and Hon. Khupe, I would like to thank them for a sterling job that they did on behalf of Zimbabwe. It is good because when we go out there, we want to raise the flag of our country. What has really impressed me about the report is that, when I was listening, I heard that there were things that went on well and there were things that did not go well. I have seen that there were things that came out from that country which was good, that people went and campaigned peacefully.

From the report, we never heard of any foreigner coming to Madagascar and tampering with their elections like NIKUV. There was nothing of that sort which took place. We never heard of buses coming from one constituency to another constituency ferrying people. We did not read about people being issued with slips that were coming from nowhere. We never heard of any anomalies about special ballots or special votes, there is nothing of that sort.

In the Madagascar report,…

*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker, what Hon. Chamisa is debating on has nothing to do with Madagascar. The report of Madagascar is open. I do not know why he is mentioning this to us. Thank you.

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker…

MR. SPEAKER: May the hon. member not be too constructive.

*MR. CHAMISA: That is very kind of you Hon. Speaker. I am not being very creative. I really appreciate. Thank you very much. I have said about the report on Madagascar, that it was really uplifting, for we did not hear about the anomalies about ballots and people fighting over the missing ballot papers which will spill into the courts. -HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. HLONGWANE: Hon. Speaker Sir, the hon. member is not critiquing the report as advised by your good self. The hon. member is making reference to the Zimbabwe elections under the guise of the report.

MR. SPEAKER : If the hon. member asked me for a proper critique, I refer him to paragraphs 413 and 414, if indeed he is holding the report on Madagascar.

*MR. CHAMISA : Different political parties in Madagascar would address one meeting and it is a sign that things are going well in a country. Members from different political parties would address the same group and that is what happens when a country is advancing.

Let me look at the report paragraph by paragraph and bring out the very important things that address conflict. If you look at a game of soccer, it is evident that opposing players do sometimes clash into each other. There is no point of people not agreeing. People from different political parties should disagree to agree. Political parties in Madagascar work together very well. Those are good practices that we should copy and uphold.

The results in Madagascar were announced the very same day and this is what came out from the Madagascar report and we are so happy about what we saw in Madagascar. However, there are some areas of improvement in our country. We are in Zimbabwe and we should make reference to Zimbabwe. When someone reaches the legal age of majority which is 18 years, I think automatic registration should apply so that people can go and vote. What should happen is that people should just go and indicate the constituency that they want to vote in. It is my wish that we should also copy good practices that obtain in other countries; that voting should be compulsory to anyone who has reached the legal age of majority because voting is a national duty. On top of that, we should desist from asking voters whom they voted for. The freedom to vote for anybody should be left to an individual.

We should also computerise our voting system so that it is bio-metric like what happens in countries such as Malawi, Madagascar and Rwanda. That is the emerging trend nowadays. Let us go biometric, and electronic. What we should improve on our way forward is that elections should unite us instead of dividing us.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the debate that took place here does not build our country because people see divisions when it comes to elections. If we do not unite we will not go anywhere. We want to uphold the good things about our country if we conduct our elections properly. Our country is endowed with many mineral resources and it is all brought about by the way we view the Madagascar report. We should copy the good things and leave out the bad things so that our country earns a good name.

*MR. MUKWENA : I would like to thank the hon. members who were sent to Madagascar by this august House. I hope they had a safe journey and they did a good job and came back safely. From their report, there are things that I have observed. There are things that are not quite good on the elections in that country.

Firstly, if we look closely at the Constitution of Madagascar there is no democracy. Democracy means that everyone has a right to do what they want. If voting becomes compulsory, what then happens if I do not have anyone to vote for? What happens if I do not ascribe to any of the political parties? What does that mean?

MR. MADZIMURE : On a point of order. The hon. member is misinterpreting the report. There is nowhere in the report where it says the people of Madagascar are said to vote in a compulsory manner. It was Hon. Chamisa who was suggesting and the hon. member - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, I must apologise to the hon. member who was holding the floor. I have been a bit destructed with a tet-a-tete with the hon. Minister. If you could align your specifically to the report?

*MR. MUKWENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, there was an hon. member who was comparing our country to Madagascar, that in Madagascar there is democracy that people are compelled to go and vote. What I am saying is that, when we talk about democracy, no one is forced to join a party or to vote. I am referring to it because it has been referred to. - [AN HON. MEMBER: Hon. Chamisa ndivo vanga vachitaura]-

*MR. SPEAKER: Hon. member, refer to the report not what others have said. That is repetition.

*MR. MUKWENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What I am saying is, looking at the Madagascar report, they were always in coups; from independence in 1960. When I scrutinised the report, I have seen that the army of Madagascar were involved because they wanted to see whether elections were held. I do not know whether the people who staged coups were not from the army. I do not know whether the Government which was in power did not have support from the army. So I do not know how those elections were free and fair.

We heard that when elections are held it wuold take two weeks for the results to be announced. Coming to the Parliamentarians, the winner will be announced after a month. So we do not know what would be taking place all this time before the results are announced. Those are some of the observations that I have noted which are not good.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE (MR. MUDARIKWA): Mr. Speaker Sir,I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th February, 2014.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE (MR. MUDARIKWA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 5 to 7 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 8 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE OF PARTIES OF UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change COP (19).

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (MR. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the hon. members who participated in the Conference of Parties meeting in Warsaw, from 11th to 22nd November, 2013 and their report to this august House.

SUMMARY OF ISSUES FROM THE REPORT

· Climate change has been observed throughout the world including Zimbabwe through significant changes in precipitation patterns, rise in temperature and wind regimes among other elements of the climate system.

· Climate change has impacted heavily on people especially developing nations. Impacts have been observed in various sectors of our economy such as agriculture, water and environment.

· Some examples of the impacts include increased food insecurity, water scarcity and extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones which have increased in magnitude and intensity.

· The United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) aims to address climate change particularly through mitigation that is, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide; and providing a framework for adaptation especially for developing countries through means that include capacity building, technology transfer and financial support.

· However, actions on mitigation and adaptation by developed countries in fulfilling their commitments under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol have been inadequate. As the report highlighted, there is lack of ambition in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, little or no technology transfer to developing nations, inadequate financial resources for adaptation.

· It is important to note that climate change will affect us adversely. The inaction by developed nations only makes the risk greater and hence the need to adapt imperative. Yes, historical responsibility for climate change lies with developed nations and therefore the need for them to assist developing nations in adaptation. This however, has not been the reality. The onus is on us, we have to look for domestic funding and act now to adapt to climate change since it is our priority and in our best interest.

· Mitigation for developing nations is voluntary; however, we also need to play our part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation actions have other benefits as some of them can be infused with adaptation actions and some are already in line with our national laws and policies.

Mr. Speaker Sir, adaptation actions can be done on a local scale using available resources. A typical example, this week we commemorated the World Wetlands Day on Monday, 3rd February, 2014 in Mutasa District at Domborinotinhira wetland. 120 families derive their livelihoods from gardens inherited from the wetland even in the dry season.

I made a statement there, Mr. Speaker, and said "Domborinotinhira is the next thing to Eden". The 120 families who survive on this wetland benefit from fresh fruits and vegetables. They are actually a very self-sufficient community. They have also protected their water reservoirs and built dams. They are also in the process of avoiding siltation and they are also able to earn a living out of some of the activities that they carry out on this piece of land and they are also taking advantage of the wetland.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we saw in that community fresh fruits both indigenous as well as exotic foods that they survive on. The protection of their forests to provide foods such as madora; they have also set up honey projects. I want to encourage Members of Parliament to set up these kinds of projects in their constituencies where possible as they will certainly derive huge benefits for members of our society across the country.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to encourage conservation agriculture as it helps to increase crop yields. We also want to encourage the setting up of rainwater harvesting projects in our various constituencies. My ministry stands ready to work with Members of Parliament in ensuring that such projects succeed.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we would also want to encourage our own Members of Parliament to help us fight the issue of veld fires. This is a scourge that always visits us year in and year out. I believe together, we can be able to tame this challenge. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

Mr. Speaker Sir, we would also want to ensure that we diversify our cropping and plant drought tolerant crops such as rapoko, sorghum and some types of maize such as the Hare variety which is a very short season variety. In constituencies where there are wildlife resources, to participate in projects such as the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE), as they are a source of extra income for community development.

In our constituencies, Mr. Speaker, we believe we must raise awareness on climate change and environmental issues. Let our farmers seek advice from Agricultural Extension Officers in our respective areas. We also want to encourage the planting of woodlots for various purposes, including tobacco curing as well as firewood that provides energy to our households.

On mitigation, there are various activities that we can do as a country. These include participation in the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Land Degradation (REDD+) Programmes being spearheaded by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). This programme focuses on forests protection and conservation which, in our case, is in line with our national forest laws.

In reference, Mr. Speaker, to the National Assembly recommendation No. 1/2013 on considering the ratification and tabling in Parliament of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, I fully support the recommendation on the strength that the Kyoto Protocol is the only legally binding agreement under the UNFCCC that commits developed nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a quantified manner. We are also party to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol and thus, it is our interest to ratify the Doha Amendment.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, let me thank and congratulate the Members of Parliament who went to Doha and the continued interest that they have shown in our environmental issues and management. Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: Let me recognise the fact that Hon. Minister Kasukuwere has scored a first in this hon. House - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - by making sure that a report that was presented to this august House receives an urgent response from the hon. Minister concerned in a very timeous manner.

It is my hope and I believe the hope of this august House, that the hon. Minister's colleagues will take cue from Hon. Kasukuwere's example so that when delegations from Parliament travel out of this country, bring back reports that they table in this House, such reports are taken seriously by the Executive.

Hon. Minister, we commend you. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE (MR. MUDARIKWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th February, 2014.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE (MR. MUDARIKWA), the House adjourned at Six Minutes to Five o'clock p.m. until Tuesday, 11th February, 2014

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