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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 13 OCTOBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 04

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 13th October, 2016

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  I move that Order of the Day Number 1, be stood over until Order of the Day Number 2, has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE NAGOYA PROTOCOL ON ACCESS TO GENETIC RESOURCES

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  I move the motion standing in my name:

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

WHEREAS Zimbabwe ratified the convention on Biodiversity on 9 February 1995;

WHEREAS the conference of the Parties adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their utilisation of the convention on Biodiversity, at its 10th meeting held on 29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan.

WHEREAS the aforesaid Protocol entered into force on 12 October 2014, 90 days after the date of deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification as stipulated under paragraph 1 of Article 33;

WHEREAS Zimbabwe is not signatory to the Protocol;

AND WHEREAS Article 33(2) of the Protocol provides that its entry into force for states which are not signatory to it, is conditional upon such States depositing instruments of accession;

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

In moving my motion, I would like to inform the House that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is one of the three conventions which arose from the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED), commonly known by the name Rio Earth Summit.

The Convention entered into force on 29th December 1993.  Zimbabwe signed the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (UNCDB) in 1992 and ratified it in 1994.  Madam Speaker, it is important for Zimbabwe to accede to the Nagoya Protocol because the Nagoya Protocol will create greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources by:

Establishing more predictable conditions for access to genetic resources.

Helping to ensure benefit-sharing when genetic resources leave the country providing the genetic resources.

By helping to ensure benefit-sharing, the Nagoya Protocol creates incentives to conserve and sustainably use genetic resources and therefore enhances the contribution of biodiversity to development and human well-being.  In more specific terms Mr. Speaker Sir, the Nagoya Protocol provides for the following:

1.    It supports compliance with domestic legislation or regulatory requirements of the party proving genetic resources and contractual obligations reflected in mutually agreed terms are a significant innovation of the Nagoya Protocol

2.    It helps protect traditional knowledge held by indigenous and local communities particularly with genetic resources.  This will strengthen the ability of Zimbabwe’s communities to benefit meaningfully from the use of their knowledge, innovations and practices.  The benefits can be monetary and non-monetary.

3.    It offers incentives for the country to conserve its biological diversity and will be fostered by the Protocol through promoting the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.  This will enhance sustainable development and human well-being.

4.    The Protocol firms the framework for the establishment of a viable measure to curb bio-piracy.  This is achieved through an enactment at the national level of relevant legislation and policies.

5.    The Protocol will enable Zimbabwe to access funds for capacity building in various aspects of access and benefit sharing and facilitate economic and social development.

6.    The Protocol also established clear rules and procedures for prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms between the contracting parties and the local communities.

More importantly Mr. Speaker Sir, ratification of the Protocol will assist in the realisation of environmental rights as enunciated in Section 73 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that:

‘(1) every person has the right to; (a) an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and

(b) to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that;

(i) prevent pollution and ecological degradation;

(ii) promote conservation; and

(iii) secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting economic and social development.

Madam Speaker, the Nagoya Protocol is binding on those countries that in addition to being party to the CBD have also signed and ratified it.  In the SADC region, only Angola, United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe have not ratified the Nagoya Protocol.  In this regard, and in line with the dictates of international environmental law, Zimbabwe should join the family of nations that have ratified this Protocol.

          Parliament’s approval of this Protocol as encapsulated in Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe will be a key milestone towards our ratification of this Protocol.

          Section 327 (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution highlights 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”

          In this regard Madam Speaker, I request that Parliament approves this protocol for accession.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

          HON. CHAMISA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker and seeking your clarification and proper and due directive or direction particularly regarding Rule Number 66 of our Standing Orders. This is pertaining to Order Number 4 on our Order Paper.   

          Madam Speaker, I am aware that Hon. Gonese, the Chief Whip of the Opposition had raised this matter on the concerns we have around the language used in that motion.  I am aware that the discussion was held yesterday particularly when one has reference to opposition political parties having been perpetrators of violence and terror. This is particularly offensive to Standing Order No. 66 because we have not had in our courts of law opposition members or worse still opposition political parties charged of political violence. I am saying this before you even apply your mind because I can see that you are taking a deep sigh.

          If you look at Standing Order No. 66, it is very explicit in its language and what is proscribed and prohibited in terms of the language to be used in our motions and it reads “any Bill, motion, question or notice which in the opinion of the Speaker, contains derogatory, disrespectful, offensive or unbecoming references to the President, Parliament or its Members, or the Speaker, or contains unbecoming expressions, or is of a frivolous nature, or offends against these Standing Orders, or is otherwise out of order shall be discharged from the Order Paper or withheld from publication or amended by the Speaker before it appears on the Order Paper”. I understand Hon. Tshuma is just heckling but I will help him to understand the import of this provision.

          HON. HOLDER: On a point of order. The Hon. Member is not reading. He is jumping some of the contained words. Ngaaverenge zviri mubook  imomo.

          HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker for asking Hon. Holder to hold his point of order.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is your problem now. Would you please proceed with what you want to say and leave Hon. Holder alone?

          HON. CHAMISA: That is where I want to end because it is very clear and explicit in terms of what has to be done. The concern I have raised Madam Speaker is that there is no way you are going to say so and so has been guilty of this and that before a competent court of law.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are already debating on the motion which has not yet been….

          HON. CHAMISA: No, I am not debating the motion.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is it now? What type of language do you mean?

          HON. CHAMISA: The language which is offensive or is infractive of a particular member or members. We are members of the MDC. We are members of the opposition political party. Our party has never been taken to court. Our party has never been convicted. In fact, a party can never be taken to court for violence. The language in this motion is amiss.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: While I do not want to debate the motion and go against what you are saying, I think two weeks ago some members of the opposition were taken to court and were convicted of killing someone. Why do we not just leave it and bring in the motion.

          HON. CHAMISA: It is a member and not the opposition party. Here they are referring to opposition parties. That is my point of order.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was consulting and I think you have a right to move an amendment when the motion is moved. You can prepare for that amendment.

          HON. CHAMISA: We do respect our technical team. There are two options that should be pursued. The first one is expunging of the motion off and from the Order Paper. The second one would be an amendment as and when the debate is undertaken. I have chosen the first route and I am deliberately ignoring the second route because it does not give me sufficient relief because of the offensiveness of….

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am going along with what I was advised with technocrats – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          HON. MANDIPAKA: Madam Speaker, may it be put on record that we are not a university that deals with linguistics. Hon. Chamisa is trying to abuse the Standing Order and its phraseology. Why do I say so, because his motion talking about Dzamara, they have actually accused the state machinery to have abducted Dzamara but we are also saying opposition parties are - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - This should be accepted without any subtraction. It must not be subtracted.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: After Hon. Chamisa has been explaining his own side and also Hon. Mandipaka, I think I will go along with what I have been advised by the technocrats here that after the motion has been moved, whoever feels there should be an amendment can bring up the amendment after it has been moved – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          If we go to Standing Order No. 66, it says “in the opinion of the Speaker”. Now the opinion of the Speaker in the Chair is saying after the motion has been moved. Can we please close that debate?

          HON. GONESE: I want to indicate that yesterday, there was a Speaker who was in the Chair and after consultations and I want to reiterate that there were consultations which were made yesterday with the Speaker who was presiding in this august House. I subsequently spoke to the Government Chief Whip. I want to reiterate and make it abundantly clear Madam Speaker, that it is my respectful opinion that when matters have been discussed and certain understanding is reached, it is important for certain matters to proceed on the basis of that common understanding.

          First and foremost, if a motion is already on the Order Paper, the presumption and I want to reiterate that there is a presumption that it has already been authorised in terms of the Standing Rules and Orders, but that presumption may not be correct depending on the circumstances. The indication and impression which was given to me was that the motion had not been signed by the office of the Speaker – [AN HON. MEMBER: It had not been signed?] – Yes Madam Speaker, and this is why I am pointing it out because yesterday, at the end of Question Time, I actually approached the Clerks-at-the-Table to seek clarification and this is what I was informed. It was on the basis of that clarification that I subsequently spoke to the Government Chief Whip and I want to reiterate that sequence of events. It was then understood and agreed that this motion would then be deferred to clarify whether – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, I am talking of what transpired yesterday to clarify whether the motion had been passed or not.

          Be that as it may Madam Speaker, the point still remains. In the interest of all the parties here, we are not objecting to the substance of the motion. What we are simply saying is that the way it is formulated and this is a matter which I believe the Chair should take his time to reflect on it so that when we proceed, because sometimes Madam Speaker it is important to look at the language used. Even if you look at the motion which was referred to, the motion on Itai Dzamara did not point a finger to say the Government did this. It simply made averments that there were concerns …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please.

          HON. GONESE: If you can listen to me Madam Speaker. It is very important. No, no, I am explaining the importance for this august House …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we have order Hon. Members. Hon. Gonese …

          HON. GONESE: I think it is important Madam Speaker, and if you can hear me out because I am still articulating the point. Please allow me to articulate the point so that we are on the same page because it appears we are not on the same page – [AN. HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – I respect the Chair and I am very appreciative of the Chair’s indulgence. I also want to emphasise and reiterate that what is critical Madam Speaker, is to ensure that when we do certain things in this august House, we must ensure that justice is not only done but is also seen to be done. This is why I prefaced by making references to the consultations and discussions which took place yesterday as well as pointing out that the reason why that motion is there is to allow the import of the provisions of Standing Order Number 66, for a situation where the presiding officer can reflect upon an earlier decision. It is very possible …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member …

          HON. GONESE: Allow me to finish Madam Speaker. I have not finished. I am saying the import of section…

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. My problem with you is that you keep on repeating yourself and you do not end your discussion up until I forget what you said in the beginning. Can you please come to the point?

          HON. GONESE: Yes, I am coming to the point. The import of Standing Order Number 66 is to allow for a situation whereby there can be a review because when something is already on the Order Paper, it can then be reviewed. This is the reason why I am imploring the Chair to reflect upon it and not make a haste decision; go over the submissions which have been made and thereafter. I am saying that the provisions in that Standing Order was put in place to ensure that there may be a situation where a mistake may have been made. What we are simply saying is that the substance of the motion can remain the same but the language used is inappropriate because what it means, I can give a suggestion …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your problem is that you seem to be addressing your Deputy President, please address me because your eyes are looking at your Deputy President. I am presiding here.

          HON. GONESE: No, I am addressing you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the purpose of that Standing Order is to allow the Chair to review its own decision whereby a motion could have got on to the Order Paper and upon submissions being made, there is a realisation that the way the motion is crafted or formulated needs a revision. All we are saying is that the allegations can be made but the language can be couched differently. You make reference to members of opposition political parties and allegations, because these are allegations until such a time as and when a court decision is made convicting a political party which is not possible. We are simply saying only members of a political party can be convicted, not a political party. …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, while I hear what you are saying, you mentioned sometime back when you were debating that you discussed and made certain agreements with the Government Chief Whip. I do not know what they were but nothing came to me. Can you please approach the Chair.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Concerning Notice of Motion number 4, we were having some consultations.  We are deferring the motion to Tuesday for further consultations.

HON. MATUKE:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 18th October, 2016.

MOTION

RESTORATION OF THE MOTION ON BIOTECHNOLOGY ON THE ORDER PAPER

HON. DR. MATARUSE:  Madam Speaker, I move that the motion on Biotechnology, which was superseded by the end of the Third Session of the Eight Parliament, be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order No. 73.

HON. CHAKONA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RESTORATION OF THE MOTION ON FAIR REGIONAL AND GENDER REPRESENTATION IN THE AWARDING OF TENDERS ON THE ORDER PAPER

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Madam Speaker, I move the restoration of the motion on regional equality, which was superseded by the end of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament, be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order No. 73.

HON. TOFFA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of HON. MATUKE seconded by HON. MUKWANGWARIWA, the National Assembly adjourned at Three Minutes past Three o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 18th October, 2016.

 

National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 13 OCTOBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 04