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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 12 MARCH 2019 VOL 45 NO 40

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

ERRORS ON THE ORDER PAPER

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to draw the attention of the House to errors on today’s Order Paper, where the day was reflected as Thursday instead of Tuesday and the Notice of Motion on the approval of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance was omitted while Notice of Motion No. 1, on the Approval of the Agreement of the African Continental Free Trade Area was repeated as Notice of Motion No. 2.

PETITION RECIEVED

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to advise the House that on 5th March, 2019, Parliament received a petition from National Residential Care Leavers Network requesting Parliament to urgently protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of young adults who are discharged from residential care facilities.  The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour ad Social Welfare. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SAMUKANGE:  Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers, 5 to 7 on today’s Order Paper be withdrawn.  The reason is that they have already been adopted in the Senate.

HON. TOGAREPI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.   

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I rise on a matter of privilege on three issues.  The first one is, recognising that March is actually a women’s month, I would like to ask this particular House to please consider and issue our condolences to one of our very serious journalists who has covered this House for many years and who passed away, I understand early this morning - Judith Makwanya. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          My second motion is related to the issue that again, because it is women’s month Madam Speaker, I would want to ask you to perhaps make a ruling that because it is our month, motions that are to do with women and girls or that are moved by women in this House, do take precedence Madam Speaker; and, that as we go on to Wednesday tomorrow on question time, that you take a deliberate action to recognise the women that stand up in recognition of the issue that it is women’s month.

The third issue that I would want to raise Madam Speaker as a matter of privilege concerns the issue around the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  Madam Speaker, I bring this as an urgent issue because we know that there were changes that were made to the exchange rate where we are supposed to now be using an interbank market bank.  However, just to bring to your attention that today I visited seven banks and, none of the banks could change the US dollars that I had. 

So the message that they are sending is that Government has not yet given an instruction for them to change money using the inter-bank market.  I think it is a real problem because here we are, we sit here and we talk about policies, yet you are going to banks and as I speak today, whether that is CABS, whether it is FBC, whether it is NMB, whether it is Standard Chartered, all of those banks, the message was the same. 

In fact, when I then went to FBC, they said since you are our client, you can deposit the money into your Nostro Account but you need to make an application for us to then give you the bond notes.  I think that is a problem.

The second issue concerning the issues that we talk about in this House relates to the issues around sanitary wear.  We passed the whole issue of sanitary wear and the taxation in this House. I specifically asked the Minister to indicate that we are not going to have a situation where particular sanitary wear will not be imported in this country.  As I speak right now, ZIMRA is still charging taxation on sanitary wear, particularly for the menstrual cups and for the pants at 50% for that importation. 

I think that basically makes this House a nullity because if we sit here, we approve things and the Minister says it is going to be done, yet those that are supposed to implement it are doing exactly the opposite.  I therefore am asking that we do call the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to this House so that he can come and give us an explanation on why those things that we pass in this House and agree to are not necessarily being implemented.  I thank you Madam Speaker. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga, on the last issue, we will call the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to come and give an explanation in the House.  On the first three, I have noted what you have said.  Thank you.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 and 2 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 3 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

TRIPARTITE NEGOTIATING FORUM BILL [H. B. 5, 2018]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  It is an honour to present to you the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill [H. B. 5, 2018]. The Bill chiefly seeks to create a binding legal framework among the social partners which are Government, organised business and organised labour. The resultant law will enable the emergence of a binding, accountable, transparent, effective and responsive social dialogue platform capable of contributing to the sustainable development of the country especially in relation to relations between business, labour and Government.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, Zimbabwe ratified ILO Convention No. 144 of 1976 on Tripartite Consultation in 1989. In 1998, Government, employer and employee organisations came together and formed the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF). This forum facilitated for negotiations on labour law reforms and socio-economic issues. The gains of this platform have seen the demand by social partners and the public for an Act of Parliament governing the Tripartite Negotiating Forum.

          In 2013, the Constitution celebrated the ushering in of the Constitution which recognises fair labour standards and the right to collective bargaining in terms of Section 327 of the Constitution, Parliament is mandated to domesticate international labour standards.

          Allow me to unpack the contents of this Bill.  Clauses 1 and 2 set out the short title of the Bill and definitions of terms used in the Bill respectively.

          Clause 3 establishes the Tripartite Negotiating Forum and its composition. The forum will be made up of a chairperson, representative from Government, organised business and organised labour and sets out the objectives and functions of the forum. Further, a technical committee of experts drawn from the constituent members will be appointed to assist the forum in its work.

          The qualifications of members of the TNF are provided for in Clause 4. The clause provides that a member shall not qualify to be appointed unless he or she is a Zimbabwean citizen who has no previous conviction related to corruption or financial impropriety within the five year period and is not insolvent.

          Clause 5 provides for the removal of business and labour members.

          Clause 6 provides for filling in of vacancies, which will be done by the respective constituency not later than thirty days from the date of vacation. The duties of the chairperson and co-chairperson are laid down in Clause 7 which include convening and presiding over all meetings and reporting to Cabinet.

          The establishment of the agenda setting for TNF meetings is provided for by Clause 8.

          Clause 9 defines the convening of meetings and establishes that the quorum of the forum shall be met by 50% of members provided that all constituent organisations are represented.

          Clause 10 provides for the decisions of the main TNF which will be reached by consensus and will form recommendations to Cabinet.

          Minutes or proceedings of the main TNF meeting are provided for by Clause 11. The minutes shall be kept in books and be used as evidence in a court of law if signed by the chairperson.

          Clause 12 establishes the TNF Technical Committee which will be chaired by the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet. The technical committee will be composed of three clusters. These are the Economic Policy Cluster responsible for economic issues, Labour Market Cluster responsible for labour market policy and the Social Policy Cluster responsible for social issues.

          The establishment of a Management Committee and its composition is provided for by Clause 13. The Committee shall be composed of representatives from the tripartite constituents nominated by their respective principals.

          Clause 14 sets up an independent secretariat headed by the Executive Director who will be a Zimbabwean citizen and will manage the operation and property of the forum and supervise forum employees.

          Appointment of other members of the secretariat is set out in Clause 15. Clause 16 provides for the forum’s financing mechanism. The TNF will be funded by monies derived from the national fiscus and any other monies that may vest in or accrue to the TNF.

          Clause 17 provides for management of the accounts of the forum and the appointment of an internal auditor. The TNF shall keep proper books of accounts and an annual statement of accounts shall be submitted to the Minister responsible for finance. The Minister shall approve the appointment of auditors by the forum. The auditors shall report to the forum on the statement of accounts prepared.

          The auditing of the accounts of the forum is provided for by Clause 18. The Auditor General will also audit the forum’s accounts in accordance with the Audit Office Act [Chapter 22:18]. The clause also allows the Minister to request reports, statements and explanations from the auditors in connection with the forum’s funds, activities and properties.

          Clause 19 provides for the preservation of secrecy and confidentiality and gives members an obligation to uphold confidentiality and makes it a criminal offence to disclose confidential information.

          Clause 20 gives the Minister authority to make regulations which may provide for, among others, periodicity of meetings, attendance to meetings, quorum and nomination of members, admission of new members, staff regulations and composition of clusters.

          The setting up of Standing Rules of the forum is provided for by Clause 21. The Standing Rules give provision for objections of items on the agenda, motions and resolution procedures for amending documents under discussion, right to address the meeting, decorum, circulation of the agenda, group autonomy, caucuses and amendment of the Standing Rules among others.

          In conclusion, the Bill shall bring about accountability, transparency, effective and responsive social dialogue between business, labour and Government.

Madam Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March 2019.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT WHEREAS, Section 327 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that “An international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s Authority-

(a)   does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament; and

(b)            does not form part of the law of Zimbabwe unless it has been incorporated into the law through  an Act of Parliament;

(3)  an agreement which is not an international treaty but which-

(a)  has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities; and

(b)  imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe;

does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament”

          NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the African Continental Free Trade Area, be approved for ratification.

          Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, I rise to present to Parliament the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement for ratification.

          I will just give the introduction and background and then I will lay the Agreement before Parliament for approval but I must indicate that the Report is being circulated.  So after presenting it, I will then again, with your indulgence move that debate adjourns so that Hon. Members would then receive their reports and we debate from tomorrow onwards.  I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister, you may proceed.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker Ma’am, the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government which was held in June 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa launched the African Continental Free Trade Area negotiations with an indicative deadline of 2017.  The Summit also reaffirmed commitment to increase intra-African trade which has remained low at approximately 10%, while regional trade in other parts of the world are well over 40%.

          Subsequently, on the 21st March, 2018, an African Union (AU) Extraordinary Summit launched the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and signed the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA in Kigali, Rwanda.

          The objectives of the AfCFTA are, to:-

(a)  Create a single market for goods, services and movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration of the African continent and in accordance with the Pan-African Vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa”, enshrined in Agenda 2063;

(b)            Create a liberalised market for goods and services through successive rounds of negotiations, contribute to the movement of capital and natural persons and facilitate investments building on the initiatives and developments in the State parties and RECs;

(c)   Lay the foundation for the eventual establishment, at a later state, a Continental Customs Union and a Continental single market;

(d)            Promote and attain sustainable and inclusive social and economic development and structural transformation of the State parties;

(e)   Enhance the competitiveness of the economies of State parties within the continent and at the global market;

(f)  Promote industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security; and

(g)Resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes.

The AfCFTA will bring together fifty-five (55) African countries

with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than US$3.4 trillion - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members, may you please lower your voices?

HON. ZIYAMBI:   Thank you Madam Speaker.  Such a market creates opportunities for economies of scale for producers of various goods in the continent.

THE AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE AfCFTA

The Consolidated AfCFTA Agreement comprises the following:-

(a)      Agreement establishing the AfCFTA;

(b)            Protocol on trade in goods;

(c)      Protocol on Trade in services and

(d)            Protocol on Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes.

I now lay the Agreement before Parliament for approval.  I thank

you.

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise to take note of the treaty that has been set before us by the Hon. Minister and to also place my worries with regards to the involvement of Parliamentarians on matters of treaties.

          Madam Speaker, I take note that the Executive is fully represented when such international treaties are discussed and ratified; then are supposed to come here as Parliament largely to rubber stamp.  Although we are given an opportunity to read these documents, I thought that Parliament should be involved at the discussion stage and then we are made to be able to understand the background and also the importance of such issues.

          Madam Speaker, we are informed by Parliament secretariat that at one point, we passed five treaties in twenty (20) minutes without discussion – only to agree to the question by the Hon. Chair that, yes we agree, yes, we agree – five treaties in 20 minutes.  Why, because Parliamentarians will not be having a background and the consequences of those treaties.  You will recall Madam Speaker, that South Africa, at one point, was seized with a very important decision to make when they became part of the ICC only for one head of State to enter into their country and they were supposed to arrest that member as per the dictates of that treaty that they had signed because they had not been given the opportunity to be able to interrogate that treaty.

          I beg, Madam Chair, that when such important issues are being discussed, Parliament be so represented so that at least we get full information as to the consequences of what we will be discussing in this House. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON: ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank you Madam Speaker before I request your indulgency to adjourn debate, I think I need to respond to Hon. Chikwinya that in terms of international law, conventions and treaties are signed by the Heads of State and they are negotiated for at that level as per the separation of powers doctrine. When these treaties are signed, our laws are very clear in Section 327 of the Constitution that for them to bind us as Zimbabwe, they have to pass through Parliament and Parliament will be afforded an opportunity to debate and if they have any reservations or do not want to ratify it, it does not bind Zimbabwe. So, there is separation of responsibility in that it is the Executive’s duty to negotiate and sign the agreement. If you go into Section 327, it says, “an agreement that has been signed by the President or somebody assigned by the President.” I hope the Hon. Member will appreciate that the involvement of Hon. Members of Parliament comes when it comes to ratifying the agreement when we are domesticating it to make a law in Zimbabwe.

Having said that Madam Speaker, I move that debate do now adjourn to allow members to study the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement and then we resume debate later. I so move Madam Speaker.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 8 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 9 has been disposed of.

HON. PHULU: No, no Madam Speaker, I thought Order numbers 5 to 7 had been withdrawn so cannot be stood over.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2017

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for the year 2017.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am going to add my voice to the report from the Human Rights Commission.  When you look at this document and go deeper into its details you will realise that as Zimbabwe…

          Hon. Mamombe having entered the Gallery. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was still waiting for Hon. Members to congratulate their colleague who has been away.  Madam Speaker, if you look at what has just happened, it is a sign that shows where we are as a country.  The one who is being congratulated is Hon. Joanah Mamombe who was picked by police officers during Parliamentary business – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure, stick to the report.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, this is what is contained in this report.  When this motion was brought to this House, the Speaker of the National Assembly pointed out that all Hon. Members should have a culture of reading documents which are placed in their pigeon holes.  The issue I am talking about is the one which is contained in this report.  This issue is the introduction of this report; this is what is contained in this report - the issue of incarcerating people willy-nilly, without any basis.

          Issues of women being raped by certain men who are married for that matter, issues to do with torturing of people when they are picked by police for investigations are some of the issues contained in this report and they were written by the Commission on Human Rights, which Commission was appointed by the President of this country and approved by this Parliament.  What they write is in relation with what is happening in this country. 

          From 2017 up to 2019, we witness suffering of people of Zimbabwe increasing every day.  There is the issue of the three tier pricing and these prices still exist. This three tier system has made people poorer because their money is being swindled by this system but the Government has done nothing to curb this pricing problem.  People who have been contributing their insurances and pensions are being reduced to nothing due to inflation and people become more impoverished.

          There is another issue which is a thorn in the people of Zimbabwe’s flesh; the issue of unemployment.  Being employed is a human right.  A person is entitled to chose how he/she wishes to live.  This Government has failed to create good living conditions for its people.  They have failed to create employment; it is another human right infringement.  If you look at poverty in Zimbabwe, actually it is not going down but it is becoming worse.  Right now we hear the talk of Vision 2030, that by 2030 Zimbabwe will be a middle class income economy.  That is not going to happen….

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure debate

what is contained in the report that you have.  Is the 2030 Vision included in

 that document?

          HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, can I go through this in

English so that you also understand what I am talking about.  Let me

read this word for word for you to understand the context in which I am debating this motion, otherwise if you do not allow me to debate what is in here, then you tell me exactly what you want me to talk about. The report talks about poverty; the report talks about unemployment.  This has a direct correlation between what we want to enact by 2030 and what is here.  How can we then say by 2030 we will be a middle income when you have got 95% unemployment?  It is impossible, so this is the context in which I am giving you this debate, unless if you want to gag me so that I do not debate this motion.  I can sit down.  You can instruct me as the Chair to say do not talk about A, B, C, D which has direct correlation to what is in this report.  I am waiting for your guidance, should I give you the context or I sit down?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead but stick to the report.

          HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, a country progresses from a certain level to a certain level and there are no short cuts.  You have to satisfy certain requirements for you to achieve a certain level; a certain standard of living.  You cannot in less than 15 years, move from an unemployment of 95% to a middle income that is impossible.  This is exactly what I am trying to stress Madam Speaker.  Poverty is worsening according to this report and the people of Zimbabwe deserve much better. 

          Infrastructure is decaying; we want to participate in the global economy.  We want to join the free trade area in Africa but how can we do that when we do not have the infrastructure.  Sometimes the infrastructure that we have we even abuse it.  Like what we did in January when we just decided to close the internet; this is access to information; this is infrastructure that we require; this is the infrastructure that other countries do not have but we close our own.  How do we communicate with the outside world?   Again these are the contradictions that are very clear. 

          We do not understand exactly what it entails for a country to move from a certain level to the next level.  Madam Speaker, bad governance and accountability.  When Hon. Mamombe walked in, I talked about arbitrary arrests.  This is bad governance and there is no way you can attract…­– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order!  What is your point of order Hon. Mliswa?

          HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  It is important for us to have human face and I think lack of human face talks about our inhumane attributes in us.  I think the issue of one having been incarcerated and being freed is something that I think is human.  For some of you, you are the ones who incarcerate, so we also understand.  Some of us have been incarcerated.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order? 

          HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order is that there is no smoke without fire.  So when you see them heckling, they are the biggest human rights violators – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- This is an issue for this…

          THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Mliswa, please may you take your seat.  Pont of order overruled!

          HON. T. MLISWA: The rule of law is very critical in the new dispensation.  Human rights are very critical, the former President lost his vision because he was a human rights violator – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Mliswa may you take your seat.

          HON. T. MLISWA: May you allow the Hon. Member to debate according to the report.  These are people who are empty vessels, who are violators of human rights – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Mliswa, if you continue disrupting this House I am going to send you out.

          +HON. R. MPOFU: On a point of order! I may be physically impaired but the fact is that the opposition is saying the new dispensation has failed.  They were in the last Government, what progress did they make?  This is a new Government, give them time to perform.  We are here to build the nation, if you are fed up please go away, go out, the door is open – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order!  This Hon. Member was making a contribution, Hon. Mliswa is heckling, he forgets that just last week he apologized to the Speaker for speaking misinformation and right now he is just interrupting and bullying fellow Members of Parliament.

          HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was talking about infrastructure and how important it is. The report speaks about the water shortages and the power black outs.  We are all aware how water shortages caused havoc in towns like Harare where we experienced cholera.  Madam Speaker we have become the black sheep as far as the issue of infrastructure is concerned, to the extent that even countries that used to look upon Zimbabwe as the big brother are now treating us like second class citizens.

          Zimbabweans are being asked to drink pills at Chirundu border post so that they will get rid of whatever was inside their stomach in order for them to enter into Zambia clean.  Madam Speaker, this is pathetic.

          Right now we are talking of rationing water in Harare where some areas are going to receive water once a week – just imagine what is going to happen in those homes.  Our crime is a simple one; the issue of coming up with very good papers but implementation is zero. 

          Madam Speaker, Kunzwi Dam has been on the drawing board for the past 25 years and nothing has happened.  If Kunzwi Dam could be built, we would cut on even the chemicals used to purify water because where the dam is; its tributaries are coming from farming areas.  There is no tributary that flows into Kunzwi that passes through an urban settlement, meaning that the water will be clean.  This has not happened because of our priorities.  The things that we concentrate on as Zimbabwe amazes you; the issue of cars, Ministers have got the latest Mercedes in the world.  He gets another vehicle, an off roader which is called a Discovery, the latest; he gets another vehicle a Vigo as another off roader again.  These are the problems that we face.

          Madam Speaker, we have got enough resources to do whatever we want.  We have got numerous resources; look at the diamonds, when they were discovered, everyone celebrated.  However, 10 years down the line what is it that you can point to and say this is the contribution of our diamonds.  Where did they go? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves.  Right now we are talking of borrowing and borrowing, even from Mozambique.  Expecting South Africa to be turned into Father Christmas to bring $600 plus million just to donate – they have got their own problems and population there. We must harness our own resources. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, you are left with five minutes. 

          HON. MADZIMURE:  Fine Madam Speaker,  I will be comfortable with whatever I am saying.  I will go to poor and chaotic decision making.  Imagine our own commission realising that we are poor at decision making and we claim that we have 95% literacy and we have so many professors.   In Government, almost everybody is either a professor or a doctor but the Ministers cannot come to this House to answer simple questions.  That is the problem that we face.  We claim to be educated but what is the education doing for us?  Virtually nothing.

          Madam Speaker, I now go to inconsistencies in our policies.  Only two years ago, we were saying the bond note and the US dollar are 1:1.  I remember the current President standing up in this House, dipping in his own pocket, bringing out a US dollar and a bond note saying “zviri two hazvirwisane, zvakaenzana.”  Right now, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is telling us these things are not equal, again misleading after misleading.  How can an investor follow events in Zimbabwe with such gymnastics happening on a daily basis?  Right now, we are being told that the bond note is now 2.5 against the US dollar. However, if you go to the bank no one is buying the US dollar or selling it; no one understands what needs to be done.  Is it not inconsistency?  I have failed to distinguish between my grandmother “vari pachuru vachijuruja majuru” and what the Government is doing.  It is almost the same. 

          [Time Limit]

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time is up.

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  First of all, let me thank the Hon. Minister for presenting this report and more importantly, the Human Rights Commission in its current composition for the sterling work in fulfilling the constitutional requirements of submitting their reports.  To that extent, I want to thank the Chairperson, Dr. Alisto, Hilarious Mugwadi. 

Madam Speaker, allow me to bring to the attention of this House the foreword of the report.  First, let me quote page 2 which says, “the year 2017 ended with a dramatic political transition in Zimbabwe following the ushering in of a new leadership in Government led by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa.  These events were a culmination in the intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, through what the military code-named ‘Operation Restore Legacy’, which was justified on the need to address the deteriorating political and socio-economic situation in the country.  The new political dispensation brought renewed hopes of strengthened democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.” 

Why I have drawn the attention of this House to this introduction Madam Speaker, is to try and juxtapose what we are currently facing in 2019 and what the commission noted in 2017.  Of particular attention is the renewed hope within the dispensation of strengthened democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and freedom of upholding the Constitution.  My question is that whilst we are interrogating the 2017 report, we must be able to reflect on our current status as well and therefore be able to answer to the fact that the work done by the commissions, is it making sense or is it improving our conditions as of now. 

Madam Speaker, in their foreword again, the commission noted that the Government in 2017 was failing to address the perennial liquidity crunch, cash shortages, the parallel market, the three tier pricing system, crippling unemployment, dwindling disposal incomes, worsening poverty and deteriorating public health care delivery systems. These issues which were raised by the commission in 2017, again we need to take cognisance of the fact that, how do we fair now in 2017 especially that the commission truly gave a correct perspective, in my view of the people of Zimbabwe when we underwent Operation Restore Legacy and ushered in a new leadership in Government?  These are the issues which were facing us and we need to ask ourselves the issues which are facing us today, how far different are they? 

Madam Speaker, I will speak to the issue raised by the commission with regards to corruption.  Corruption Madam Speaker, is a human rights violation on its own.  Corruption promotes self aggrandisement.  It compromises the protection and fulfillment of the human rights of Zimbabweans.  These are the words by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.  Madam Speaker, in 2019 we continuously see a perpetuation of corrupt activities, much to the chagrin and disadvantage of the majority of our populace.  We continue in 2019 as then in 2017, to seek protection by politicians of higher office to corrupt individuals much again to the disadvantage of those individuals who are genuinely answering to the call of doing business. 

Madam Speaker, in 2017, the commission noted the continuous invasion of farms and they highlighted the invasion of the Manzou Farm in Mazowe in Mashonaland Central Province.  Again, we ask ourselves, what are we doing in 2019?  We saw a month back continuous farm invasions in Chimanimani.  Are we taking note of the work being done by these commissions which have a constitutional mandate to perform such duties?  The continuous farm invasions are a violation of land rights for the people who would be occupying the pieces of land.  We must take note that Zimbabwe restriction measures emanated from the issue of how we conducted our Land Reform Programme.  By failing to take note of the very same issues which are being raised by the commission, we will not be able to engage the international community. 

In 2017, the commission noted the issue of floods in Sipepa where the Red Cross managed to assist the victims.  The Government was not able to assist the victims.  The Government, through the Civil Protection Unit, failed to respond on time and we lost lives.  In Battle Fields, we lost 24 miners.  Again, we had to rely upon individual private companies to assist the victims.  The Government had no proper measures to assist these accidents in the mining areas but the commission in 2017 had picked it up. 

Again, I will speak on international trade rights.  The commission in 2017 took up the issue of Statutory Instrument 64. We still have an issue whereby ZIMRA is demanding hard currency, that is United States dollars on the importation of certain goods and services.  In my view, Madam Speaker, it is unfair that we allow for a multi-currency basket system where the majority of our civil servants are earning what we now call RTGS but then we demand United States dollars if they are going to import vehicles.  In my view, it is violation of their rights to be able to have a happy and fulfilled life.  Therefore, the Government should address wholesomely the issues around trade and the issues consequential with regards to the taxing regime.

Madam Speaker, I raise the issue of international re-engagement.  When the new dispensation was ushered in at the end of 2017, the international community gave Zimbabwe a chance.  They thought we were going to do good and demonstrate that we are correct candidates and deserve a place in the family of nations.  Certainly, within 24 hours the British Prime Minister had sent emissaries to come and congratulate the new Head of State.  This was a correct sign to show that there is an opportunity for us to be able to re-engage, but we have not played our ball and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commissions picked it up in 2017 that the Government at that particular time was not doing enough in terms of international norms and standards.  We are living in a global village.  There are things which you cannot just justify by yourself to say they are correct.  You have to do certain things to the dictates and expectations of your fellow villagers, in this case of your fellow international community members.  Therefore, we must be able to walk the talk if you are going to fully re-engage the community of nations.

In 2017 Madam Chair, as I conclude, the Human Rights Commission noted that opposition parties appear to struggle to offer an alternative to help alleviate the deteriorating human rights situation.  It is a blame that we take and it is a blame that we took.  The Human Rights Commission even went further to say none of the opposition parties appear to have any manifesto or road map that promises positive outcomes.  We take note and we took note.  What did we do as the MDC as represented in this House?  We came out with the smart document, a document which when presented as a manifesto is an alternative to good and correct governance. 

We take note of this report Madam Chair, and that we have put forth not only to become an opposition party, but to become a proposition party in this House.  We have come with alternative ideas.  So far we have written to the Head of State twice, not that we do not have any political issues with regards to his election.  We have them and it is being handled in a political manner, but when it comes to proposition, the president of the opposition has written to the Head of State twice giving him five propositions namely; the first to answer to the issue of legitimacy – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  It is not that he is correct but it is an issue that, let us come and discuss to have a Zimbabwe which carries its people’s lives forward.

The second issue is about the economy.  Our economy is not performing well.  You may want to disagree or agree, but our economy is not performing well with regards to international best practices.  The third issue which is coming from the opposition as alluded to in this report that the opposition is doing nothing, we have come up with proposals of how to re-engage.  We have come up with proposals on how to reach out to the international community.

The fourth issue is about national healing.  This country cannot be carried forward if we do not answer to the issue of national healing.  There are deep rooted divisions within our society simply because we have not yet answered to some issues which date back to the 1980s.  We need to be able to walk the talk.  This previous week, the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans was in Matabeleland laying the blame squarely on the former Head of State while addressing a political rally, again putting up flames to a divided society.  Instead of putting up flames, we must be able to come up with solutions and this is what the Hon. Members seated to your left are actually proposing.

The last issue, Madam Speaker, is reforms.  We need to face head on issues of reforms and I am speaking purely to what the Commission raised on page 11 of their report that the opposition must be able to come up with alternatives and alternative policies.  We are saying we cannot go to the next elections when faced with questions around the previous elections and therefore we need to face reforms, electoral reforms, judicial reforms, the military security sector reforms and all the reforms that require us to have an election where the winner is congratulated by the loser.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important issue. Madam Speaker, we were elected to represent the people in this august House.  In order for this country to prosper and move forward as a nation, we have to look into the issues of human rights of the people of Zimbabwe.  It is not only ZANU-PF that is being criticised, but the whole nation in terms of human rights abuses.  We are supposed to unite as a nation, looking back at where we came from in 1980 where there were two political parties ZANU-PF and ZAPU.  These two political parties fought side by side with one operating from Mozambique and the other from Zambia.  These political parties were formed by two different groups and they managed to win the war of liberation and liberate the nation from the Smith regime.  It is from this that we are supposed to learn to work together, those from ZANU-PF, MDC and NPF.  We should work for the progress of the nation relying on our history.

Immediately after independence, there was a misunderstanding between the two main political parties and then there was an uprising which was labeled Gukurahundi where many people died and some were injured.  The leaders of the two main political parties, Cde Joshua Nkomo and Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe realised that it was important that they should be united and they engaged in unity talks which led to the formation of the Government of National Unity.  The talks were nearly derailed on the modus operandi of sharing the top posts of President and Prime Minister.  Each of the two leaders was bragging about their prowess in the war of liberation, one fighting from Zambia and the other from Mozambique.  Finally, they agreed and one of them became the Prime Minister with two deputies and the other became the President also with two deputies. 

We need to learn from our history.  If we do not learn from our history, we might as well scrap history lessons from schools but you know we cannot do that because history is important.  What boggles the mind is that soon after independence there were not many people who were educated.  Why do we have this misunderstanding and trampling on human rights when we have so many educated people in the country?  We should learn from our leaders, Cde Nkomo and Cde Mugabe who showed the importance of unity and came to a round table to solve their problems peacefully. They then shared positions – one became the President and the other Vice President.  They governed this country well and Zimbabwe was declared the most peaceful country in the whole of Africa.  Why can we not relook that experience and copy it?  At that time, people were not yet as educated as they are now.  I am surprised now because it seems like education is now a poison to the people since it is disturbing people and they cannot copy what was done by our leaders who fought for this country. 

An opposition party MDC was formed but the former President Mr. Mugabe did not dispute it because he wanted justice.  In 2008 there was an election and there was a draw on results.  The leaders also sat down and there was a Government of National Unity.  We then had a President, his two Vice Presidents and a Prime Minister – Morgan Tsvangirai with his two Vice Presidents.  They led this country peacefully until their term ended.

During this time, all the sanctions on ZANU PF were removed except on Mr. Mugabe.  These were removed because people had been in a dialogue and were united but now we are ignoring this history.  Let us go back to our history and emulate it – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order!

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  I think the people who are heckling me are despising what I am saying.  If they are educated, they should listen to me then correct my mistakes after I have finished because I am the only one who is not educated.  I am one of you ZANU PF members.  You cannot abandon me.  It is impossible – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

This country should be able to maintain its dignity.  During the tenure of these leaders, our police or military went out to represent the country; they were given the top posts – commanders.  We should maintain that dignity in human rights. 

From the election date, there has been disharmony on the Presidential candidate; people have been in and out of the courts until it was declared that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the winner.  I personally believe that all people accepted it. 

Zimbabwe Council of Churches has called us to resolve the issues after the President had called all the Presidents who contested during the 2018 elections to resolve the issue of sanctions.    How can sanctions be removed if we continue living in disputes and brag that my political party NPF is more superior to the others.  We are going nowhere.  We will go back to that state where we would not even sell gold or diamonds because sanctions were imposed on us.    We should learn from that as Hon. Members from different political parties.  We should unite and fight sanctions.  We should unite and follow our beautiful history.  I thank you. 

  HON. NDIWENI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Maam. The report from the human rights commission, to me is half baked.  If it does not talk about sanctions -sanctions are the greatest impediment of human rights in this country – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -  Why do I say that Madam Speaker Maam?  Sanctions are thwarting the right to education, health and clean water.  Today, they are blocking our banks in order to prevent us from transacting with the international community. Today, if you want to pay your school fees, your bank is blocked, thus thwarting your right to education.  Is that not so to the members on your right? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  By his own admission, the Hon. Member on the floor alludes to the fact that sanctions are not part of the Report.  We are reporting contents of the Report.  Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member cannot have his cake and eat it.  The Hon. Member has his daughter in the Speaker’s Gallery who is a councillor in the United Kingdom (UK).  There are no sanctions, if there were sanctions, his daughter in the Speaker’s Gallery would not have been a councillor in the U.K.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Point of order overruled. 

HON. NDIWENI: Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I have touched on a raw nerve on the Hon. Members on the right.  Let me come closer home. The leadership of the Hon. Members on my right...

Hon. T. Mliswa having vacated his seat to sit on another seat.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa.  May you go back to where you were seated – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. NDIWENI: Coming closer home and concentrating on the Report of the Human Rights Commission, the biggest abusers of human rights have been members of the opposition. Why do I say that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I have got examples.  Recently, they and their partners were on the forefront of violating property rights, freedom of movement, you saw it in the streets – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – They come here, they want to be champions of human rights when practically they are the biggest – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – They are hypocrites.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Ndiweni – [HON. NDIWENI: They are hypocrites Madam Speaker Ma’am.] – Order Hon. Ndiweni.

HON. KARENYI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  The Hon. Member is saying the opposition is involved in destroying – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Can he produce evidence to his allegations.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndiweni, stick to the Report – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. TSUNGA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My point of order relates to the unparliamentary language that the Hon. Member is using by referring to Members on your left as hypocrites.  I think that is unparliamentary and he must withdraw.  He is also raising issues which are completely divorced from the issues under discussion.  What the House is debating is the 2017 Report of the Human Rights Commission and now he is making reference to events of recent weeks, which are not part of the Report of 2017.  He is out of order and using unparliamentary language, especially the use of the word, hypocrites in reference to Members of the opposition, he must withdraw.  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndiweni, please may you withdraw the word hypocrites.

HON. NDIWENI: I withdraw Madam Speaker but can I…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, go ahead and speak to the Report.

HON. NDIWENI: Madam Speaker Ma’am, let me draw you closer home.  Let me draw you to the election time here in Zimbabwe.  The opposition has never had so much leeway in campaigning.  Was it not opening the space for freedom of association, speech – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – The unfortunate thing that we could not give them was freedom of winning – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You are given that by the…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order.

HON. NDIWENI: Madam Speaker Ma’am, that freedom is given by the people of Zimbabwe, we cannot give them that.  We can only give them limited freedom as requested for by their friends in the West – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker Ma’am, just now, an Hon. Member from the opposition was crying about the lack of chemicals for drinking water.  They are running the councils, now they are facing the same problems, the sanctions.  They cannot buy the chemicals – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – This is the basic human right for clean water, now they do not realise that it is the sanctions that are blocking – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order Madam Speaker Ma’am.  The Hon. Member is confusing himself. The Report is about the Government of Zimbabwe and it is the Government that has the last responsibility of providing clean water not opposition – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKR: Overruled. 

HON. NDIWENI: Recently Madam Speaker Ma’am, our new dispensation – we have abolished AIPPA, POSA – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – What other human rights do they want Madam Speaker Ma’am?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Enough point of orders.

          HON. MADZIMURE: I think the only right to give to the opposition is the right to declare their points of order. Thank you Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order is Madam Speaker, I think – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]  - Temba akunetsai nhai every day Temba.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, please may you sit down if you do not have anything to say.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No. I cannot allow you to do that.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker the Order Paper talks about Order No. 9 which is; Adjourned debate on the Motion of the report of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for the year 2017.  I think this report is important for us to debate on it and the contents in this report are key in terms of the Zimbabwe Human Rights support and the monies that they get.  When they sit down to table a report, they expect Parliament to study this and to be able to take on board what has been said and what is good for the country. 

          The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is a very important...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time will come Hon. Member you will debate.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Can you allow people to focus on this because Hon. Ndiweni was more or less debating on the Presidential debate and not the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Report.   We must take our job seriously Madam Speaker. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your time will come, you will debate Hon. Mliswa, please take your seat.

          *HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  I rise to add my voice on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission’s report.  We are very thankful for the job well done by the Human Rights Commission which helps us to build a better Zimbabwe.  I now want to refer to their foreword; Mr. Mugwadi said very good words about the new dispensation which brought us hope as evidenced by the good that is happening in Zimbabwe which led to this operation.

          I want to refer to page 11, first paragraph of the report which reads “Year 2017 witnessed continued deterioration in service delivery in the City of Harare, flooding in Mbare and other areas that affected some households who lost personal property and contributed to a cholera outbreak which claimed the lives of some residents.  Uncollected garbage, poor drainage system, raw sewage left flowing in the open, water disconnections and dilapidated road network were cited by residents and stakeholders as some of the issues contributing to the service delivery shortcomings and hence to human rights violations’.

 I just want to focus on service delivery in line with what is in the report and what the Commissioners came across as they were doing their duty.  You see that cholera killed a lot of people because of poor service delivery by our councilors who run the Councils – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Raidza.  Please may you use English our interpretation is not coming through – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections and rinobuda here neEnglish debate.] –

          HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker, I was using Shona for the benefit of my colleagues and my people from the Constituency for their benefit so if you now say I must speak in English I might as well speak English.  I was not speaking in English because I cannot speak English, I can speak very fluent English.  So what I was saying is that many people have been dying in some of our towns because of cholera and this cholera epidemic has been caused by poor management by the councils, by the caliber of councilors who are running our towns – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – They are busy shortchanging the residents, they are busy collecting rates and a lot of money from rate payers.  After collecting that money they convert it to their personal use  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Since time immemorial when the opposition took over the running of town councils and municipalities, we have been seeing the deterioration of service delivery.  The Councils need to be brought to book because of what they are busy doing.  We can refer to the issue of last year when Strive Masiiwa and his wife gave the City of Harare some money for them to get assistance to fight cholera.  We heard that some of the officials and these Councilors wanted to loot the same that Masiiwa had given just to alleviate the cholera situation that was happening in the City of Harare.

          In the same report if we read on page 12, on the last paragraph we heard that in the face of a constrained macro-economic environment, Government made commendable effort to support the Command Agriculture Programme resulting in a bumper harvest that secured the right to food for the majority of rural farmers and communities.  We have been witnessing that over a period, Command Agriculture has been doing well and our people have been having food on the table through the Government efforts of the Operation Restore Legacy, our new dispensation. 

So our Government is working very hard to make sure that they meet the human rights.  If we look at the issue of rights to education as well, we have seen that the new dispensation has brought back the issue of BEAM. Previously, students could not to get their results before paying the school fees.  We are seeing a lot of work that our Government in the second Republic are doing. I thank you very much Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          HON. PHULU: Thank you Madam Speaker. This is a very important report and I would wish that we focus our debate on the contents of the report so that those who wrote the report, in particular the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission can get the benefit of some of our views. I would like to congratulate the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for bringing forward such a detailed report. The report is forthright on a number of points and is also quite candid.

          The first thing I observed is that the Commission is also working with a wide array of stakeholders and this is very encouraging. They have listed some of the stakeholders with whom they work with. I know that there were comments last week by Hon. Mudarikwa in debating this report to say a lot of the stakeholders are NGOs and so forth. Certainly, we would encourage the Commission to continue to work with different stakeholders, the Government and also to work with these different with other stakeholders and the NGOs. We must promote their cooperation with Human Rights Commission. I will not use all my thirty minutes, but I will just tackle a few key issues that I have picked up from the report.

          The first one is to call upon the Government to ensure that they capacitate this Commission because it is a Commission which has struggled in that particular year 2017 and I am sure in 2018 as well, particularly in terms of staff. We saw in their previous reports in the budget how they say that they do not have enough staff to do all the monitoring that they need to do. Despite that, we also see that they have been able to recruit and that is a positive thing from the report on page 8.

          I also notice that in terms of learning and development, they have been strengthening their people. I note in particular the Executive Secretary obtained a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Zimbabwe and others who have been able to get qualifications. That shows that we are strengthening the capacity of Human Rights Commission. The first issue I should pick up is that when I go through the entire report, I realise that in terms of the recommendations that the Commission has been making, the recommendations are not strong enough where instances of violations have been found.

          I will make an instance for example on page 11, where it was found that there were some allegations of some vendors and other protestors having been tortured in detention following their arrest. I think this was under the Mugabe Government. This allegation is against the police. I note that the Commission has not exercised its mandate to direct the Commissioner of Police to investigate these cases of suspected criminal violations of Human Rights and Freedoms, and to report to the Commission the results of any of these investigations.

          In fact, throughout their investigations, there has been no single utilisation of this provision where the Human Rights Commission has found serious violations and referred them for prosecution. We would encourage them in 2019 to ensure that they begin to make use of some of these provisions. We also see that they have made some very good recommendations as well which have not been followed up by the Government of Zimbabwe.

          So, we would like to now move to the Government to pick up this report, pick up the different recommendations that this Commission has made and follow up in terms of implementing them to ensure that the work that the Commission did in the year 2017 does not come naught, but it actually realises something. They have made a number of recommendations on page 35. I think the recommendations are sound. There is one in particular that says Government should expedite the alignment of all Zimbabwean statutes, including the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act to the Constitution of Zimbabwe. That is a welcome recommendation and the Government should move with all speed.

          However, we must emphasise that Government still has a duty even before the so called alignment because this term alignment is not a term that is in our Constitution or in any of our statutes. So as soon as the Constitution is in place, there is a duty to comply with it. The Constitution itself has a provision to say all officails must be able to read the current Acts of Parliament which are not yet aligned. They must be able to read them in line with the Constitution. There is no excuse for public officials to wait for alignment before they can begin to comply with constitutional provisions.

          Lastly, I would like to go to paragraph 2, on page 1. In fact, I can take paragraph 1 and 2 which some Hon. Members have commented on. The first one is to do with the management of our cities, and service delivery in general. Just to point out that the backdrop of service delivery particularly in relation to flooding, diseases, cholera outbreak and so forth is also the economy. We need to ensure that we build a sound economy so that all sectors can be able to tackle the issues to do with the uncollected garbage, poor drainage system, raw sewage and so forth. In as much as it is an indictment on local authorities, it is also an indictment on the Central Government itself.

          Finally, in writing this report, the author’s report has some things which do not quite tie up particularly this second paragraph which says that the Opposition parties appeared to struggle to offer any alternative to health and alleviate the deteriorating of Human Rights Situation. It has been acknowledged by this Government that the deteriorating Human Rights situation was due to the Mugabe Government.

          In fact, they took some steps in order to show their disclosure to what the Mugabe Government was doing and certainly, the Opposition was the first to offer an alternative. I do not know where the author’s report was when Opposition parties were offering a policy called Conditions for a Free and Fair Election (COFFE), which would have prevented what then happened in terms of our governance situation in Zimbabwe.

          When calls for a National Transitional Authority were made, people questioned and said do you mean Opposition that there is going to be war, do you mean that there is going to be a coup? This was predicted and certainly the writer is not correct to say that the Opposition failed to offer an alternative. Certainly there were a number of alternatives offered which culminated in the SMART policy. The SMART policy is very strong on Human Rights.

          So, I would like to commend the authors of the report on coming up with a good report and just decry that their recommendations are not strong enough, but certainly that the recommendations that are there, we should let upon them and ensure that the authorities, the Government, the National Prosecution Authority act on this report. There will be absolutely no excuse not to act on this report. If this report is not acted upon, it will not be the fault of the Human Rights Commission, but it will be our fault as Hon. Members and the Government as well. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. KARENYI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to add my voice on the issue of the report from the Commission.  I am not going to talk much but I am going to touch about three or four issues that I think Government must seriously look into.  Issues of prison 5.1.1, Mr. Speaker Sir, the report is referring to the number of prisons which they visited and one of them is Marondera Prison Farm.  It is said in the report that the living conditions of the prisoners there is not pleasing.  The cells are not in good condition. 

Mr. Speaker, it is referred to the report that women are living in cabins.  I can imagine women sleeping in cabins.  It clearly shows that the Government is not serious about the welfare of our prisoners.  I strongly feel that the budget of this country must include the renovation of these cells because if you see on that report, the male counterparts also stay in the prisons with broken windows and doors. It is not safe for them to live under these conditions.  The drugs are in short supply and I can imagine people there with HIV who also need drugs.  There are people with BP, sugar diabetes and I think Government must take these things seriously so that our prisoners can live in good conditions.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to touch on the issue of children’s homes.  The rights of the children must be respected in this country.  This report is referring to the Manhinga Children’s Home in Manicaland.  In the report, it is said the commissioners have identified 19 children without birth certificates. I call upon the Ministry of Labour to take this matter seriously so that the children can acquire birth certificates.  I can imagine if they want to go for Grade 7, obviously they are not going to write their exams because they do not have birth certificates.  Some of the parents are not known, so Government must take full responsibility to make sure that these children have birth certificates. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is also recorded in their report about the old people’s homes.  They visited the Intumbani Old People’s Home in Bulawayo, Makoni Old People’s Home and Zororai Old People’s Home in Mutare, Manicaland.  They have found that the issue of welfare of the elderly people is not good.  I can imagine an old mother, old granny and sekuru without food because there is shortage of food and water.  Some do not have good shelter.  I strongly feel that Government must take this issue seriously because in the report, it is said they are depending on donor community.  This means without donors, as Zimbabweans we are not going to look after our elderly which is not good.  We must have a policy to make sure that these elderly can have an allowance so that they can afford to look after themselves.  At the end of the day, everyone is growing older.  I strongly feel that there must be a policy to make sure that we award an allowance to our old gogos and sekurus in our community.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I would like to touch on the issue on 5.2.1 about the by-elections.  It is recorded that the commission also monitored the issue about the Bikita West by-election.  The issue about the distribution of food remains a serious challenge.  They have found out that when the other parties were campaigning, they were distributing food in a political manner whereby only one party – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – It is in the report Mr. Speaker.  The issue of the distribution of food in Zimbabwe is a challenge.  It is only benefiting one party and not the others.  It was raised by the commission Mr. Speaker, that even the traditional leaders are involved in the issue of political distribution of food.  It was not from any party or from anybody, but this was in the commissioner’s report.  We always debate about this issue, we raise questions and last week, we raised questions on the issue of distribution of food whereby other political parties, especially people who belong to MDC are not benefiting. 

Mr. Speaker, I am happy that the issue of the distribution of food is clearly outlined in the report.  It is not coming from the MDC legislators, but it is coming from the commissioner. Last week, we debated and the Minister responded by saying the policy does not allow food to be distributed in a partisan manner.  I strongly recommend to say, enough is enough, let us not politicise the issue of the distribution of food. 

My recommendation is - I want to thank the commissioners for bringing this out so that people and even the international community knows that the food and the aid they are giving to Zimbabwe is being distributed to one political party which is ZANU PF. 

Mr. Speaker, I also want to recommend that we have a Traditional Leaders’ Act that clearly tells us that traditional leaders are not supposed to be involved in the distribution of food.  It has been recorded here that traditional leaders are also getting involved in the distribution of food.  My recommendation is that distribution of food must not be done by traditional leaders. It must be done in an apolitical manner so that everybody benefits.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. CHINYAN’NYA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I do not think we still have a quorum.

Bells rung.

Quorum formed.

          HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me the opportunity to debate the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Report of 2017.  I also want to take this opportunity to thank the commission under the chairmanship of Dr. Mugwadi for a very well detailed report.  Also, I want to highlight that the report was produced under the pretext of challenges that were bedeviling the country then, be it political, socially and economically.

We are very lucky that when the report had just been produced, we were ushered in with the new legacy which ushered in the new dispensation under President E. D. Mnangagwa. 

I am only going to touch on three items that were highlighted in the commission’s report.  That is corruption, evictions and also the Statutory Instrument (SI) 64.  Corruption was highlighted as one of the thorny issues in the decaying of the economy of Zimbabwe and when I look at the new dispensation, you can see that when the President moved in, that was the first item that he tackled.  You will see that there were a lot of changes in the police force.  Also of recent, we saw a lot of resignations in the Anti-Corruption Commission and we are now preparing to usher in a new commission which most likely is going to lead, to arrest and also possible convictions of those that will be involved in the corruption.

Also, on the issue of the illegal evictions, there was a court on the Manzou evictions in Mazowe which were also picked up by the commission.  We have seen the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement moving in with the announcement of those who are illegally settled to make sure that they go back.  This means that they have listened to the commission and they are addressing it.

Right now, we have a land audit going on and, the aim of that land audit is for them to be able to identify if there are any illegal settlers, to address the multiple farm ownership and also the underutilisation of farms so as to improve on our production.  So, you can see that the commission was helpful in that the current Government looked at it and they are trying to implement and correct whatever ills are there.

We also go to the SI 64 which was highlighted as one of the areas that were a burden to the grassroots.  You can see that it was repealed by SI 122 which ensures that the burden on the common person is reduced.  So, with that little contribution, I can say that the report was worthwhile, well put and the Government is addressing each and every section of it.  Thank you.

          HON. MUSABAYANA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this very important report which was produced by the Human Rights Commission.  I will start by looking at page 33 where there were some observations or issues which were raised; the issue of education where some schools do not have teachers.  Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a very important issue that was raised because in most of these schools particularly the rural schools, they do not have teachers.  Only last week I was at one of my schools, at Southway Primary school; there is no Grade 1 teacher and 80% of the schools in Hwedza North Constituency are on composite learning.  This is where a teacher is attending to two different grades at the same time or they are sharing a classroom.  This makes it very difficult for children to perform effectively or to produce good results.  Also, there are challenges that can result from bullying when two grades are mixed in one class.  So, this is a very important report. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, there was also an issue to do with food where there was a claim that food is being distributed on partisan grounds.  I think this is not correct because it could have happened at one point or another during the old dispensation but with the new dispensation, the President has categorically stated that no one should starve.  President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said everyone should have access to food and food should not be distributed on party lines.  Instead, what we see is a few NGOs that are actually distributing money and food based on party lines – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I have not mentioned a particular opposition party but I just talked of parties.  What is happening is - if there are certain donors who are actually saying they cannot service certain communities like the resettlement areas, it is because they still regard them as contested areas.  This is not true because the land reform is constitutional and it was endorsed in our Constitution.  So, I think that the issue of food distribution on partisan grounds is not true and should be re-looked at.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of political rights – this Human Rights Commission has also noted that there were violations of political rights during the election including being coerced to vote for a particular political party and being forced to join certain political parties and being told who to vote for.  I think that the Human Rights Commission was right on this issue. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, we saw towards the events leading to the elections in July 2018, what happened in the different political parties but of note, which I would want to put on record because it is in the newspapers and it was in the courts is, we saw a political party getting to the extent of trying to burn a woman for that matter, who was also perceived not to be supporting a leader who had usurped power from the leadership.  Mr. Speaker, Dr. Thokozani Khupe was assaulted and there was an attempt to kill her in Buhera.  So, this is a true record of what happened.

          As we speak Mr. Speaker Sir, there is armageddon in the opposition party because there is someone who is contesting the presidency.  Now, people are not sleeping and they are actually attacking and threatening violence. 

          HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Can the Hon. Member refrain from debating hearsay?  He must debate the report. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Karenyi, can you also listen because they listened to you.  Can you continue Hon. Member?

          HON. MUSABAYANA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.   I am referring to the report but I am giving examples of what is obtaining on the ground to underpin that we have some political parties that are violating human rights.

          We also have the issue to do with violation of children’s rights. I am glad this report highlighted the issue of child marriages and with the new dispensation, we have seen the First Lady, Amai Mnangagwa going round the country engaging the traditional leadership so that they also have a buy-in to ensure that our children do not get married at a tender age. Allow me Mr. Speaker to say we also have people who are abusing children. We saw the event of January 2019 where children were used as human shield to perpetrating violence in Chitungwiza where certain political parties who were demonstrating decided to use children as human shield. These people should be brought to book and punished accordingly because the Opposition MDC cannot be allowed to use children to perpetrate violence and also to use them as human shield.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  I rise on a point of order. The Hon. Member is supposed to stick to the report. It is very important that the insinuation that he is bringing on board purporting to represent MDC as he is doing – he has to refrain from doing that. We want a situation whereby the Hon. Member speaks to the report rather than creating a hate fora of these political parties. We know that Hon. Musabayana used to belong to the G40 cabal and he was forgiven. He was given a position of Minister of State which was short lived and he should respect his political party. Let us do the right thing Hon. Member.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: There is no point of order there. May the Hon. Member continue?

          HON. MUSABAYANA: This is the challenge we have when very green people are given the position of Chief Whips. They abuse and do not even know what it means to be a Chief Whip – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          I want to talk about the issue of rights to safe clean water. This is also one of our SDGs which also talks about the need for Governments to provide clean safe water. The biggest perpetrators of this right are in our cities and towns. Zimbabwe is now being put in bad light because of poorly run urban centres. Our metropolitan cities have been put into the wrong hands because these people have been running the councils since the year 2000 but they have no idea and this is why year in and year out we have challenges to do with cholera.

          HON. C. MOYO: On a point of order. The Hon. Member has to withdraw that statement when he said some Chief Whips do not know what they are doing. It is very unparliamentary.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Can you repeat your point of order.

          HON. C. MOYO: He said we have got a Chief Whip who does not know what he is doing. That is unparliamentary. It cannot be ignored. Can he withdraw that?

          Hon. P. D. Sibanda having taken away Hon. Musabayana’s notes.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Sibanda, can you give him his notes please.  You can continue Hon. Musabayana.

          HON. MUSABAYANA: Mr. Speaker, this is not my book.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Sibanda, can you give him his notes please.

          HON. DR. LABODE: The Member speaking used terrible language. I would never stand up and say Hon Mguni does not know what he is doing, he is green, when you Mr. Speaker is seated there in your chair. You must say something about that.

          HON. O. MGUNI: On a point of order. It is prohibited for an Hon. Member to withdraw the notes of a debating Hon Member and refuse with them.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Sibanda, can you give him his notes please.

          HON. MADZIMURE: I think it is parliamentary when there is a point of order for the Speaker to make a ruling.  He can abuse us, it is fine but you must make a ruling.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Can I make a ruling? I take it that the Hon. Member who said that the Hon. Member does not know what he is saying; what does that mean, it means nothing. So there is no point of order. He did not say anything.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. In fact, the Speaker does not know what he is saying – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          HON. NDUNA: I request that the Hon. Member withdraws the insult to you. The Hon. Member has just said, the Hon. Speaker does not know what he is saying and he needs to withdraw Mr. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. KHUMALO):  Order, order, Hon. Nduna may you please sit down.

          HON. NDUNA:  I am trying to protect you Mr. Speaker Sir. The man needs to withdraw.  Hon. Nduna, I did not ask for your protection.

          Hon. P. D. Sibanda having stood up and switched on the mic.

          I did not recognise you, can you sit down.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-  Actually, he is right because I did not say anything.  Hon. Musabayana, you may proceed.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, I did not give you the floor Hon. Sibanda.  Hon. Sibanda may you sit down, I did not recognise you. – [HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker…] - Yes but I must first recognise you.  Yes, may you say your point of order?

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, I am quite sure that the motion that is being debated is a very important motion.  It is a motion that pertains to a report …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order Hon. Sibanda?

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I am getting there Hon. Speaker…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No, just state your point of order please!  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Hon. Sibanda, may you please continue with your point of order.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir … – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sibanda, may you sit down please, you have no point of order.  Hon. Musabayana, please proceed.

          HON. MUSABAYANA:  Mr. Speaker, one of the issues raised by the Human Rights report was about an Opposition that has failed to give an alternative to the Government.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, may you windup please Hon. Musabayana because your time is up.

          HON. MUSABAYANA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the idea of democracy is to have diverse ideas coming together and that diversity, if it is celebrated, it can actually transform the country and move the country forward.

          In Zimbabwe, we are faced with an Opposition that is bankrupt of ideas.  They have no plan or strategic plan whatsoever to run the country.  Their only dream and vision is to go into the streets to promote riots.  We have an Opposition that is power centered, they do not dream of anything other than power. 

          Mr. Speaker, President E. D. Mnangagwa is talking about ‘Zimbabwe being open for business’ and if Zimbabwe is open for business – we are trying to create an environment that is conducive for foreign direct investment but here we are faced with a new form of terrorism - where every day, the Opposition, is dreaming of going to the streets, bombing buses and causing fires.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-  As we speak, we are faced with an Opposition where women are abused.  Imagine Dr. Ncube and Hon. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- were almost murdered by the so called MDC vanguards.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I think as Zimbabweans, we are actually getting somewhere in terms of political reforms.  The last issue that I want to debate is  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member, your time has elapsed.

          HON. O. MGUNI:  Hon. Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.   – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I object Mr. Speaker Sir.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Khumalo, Hon. Khumalo you embarrass us by such actions.

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

          HON. KASHIRI:  I second. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, I have got an objection …

          HON. MADZIMURE:  Mr. Speaker, you asked whether there is an objection and he stood up to debate and that is what the procedure says.  He stood up to debate and you deny him.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I did not give him the floor.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

          On the motion of HON. O. MGUNI, seconded by HON. MUTSEYAMI, the House adjourned at Seven Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 12 MARCH 2019 VOL 45 NO 40