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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 45 NO 36

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 14th February, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

         HON. PHUTI: Thank you Madam President. On the 5th of February, 2019, I stood up here and gave a contribution to this House.  When I made my presentation, I noticed that there was a halt of Parliament business for a few minutes.  I later got information that there were consultations to do with interpretation because of the language that I had used. 

         This week I made my maiden speech and there were a bit of interruptions the same way.  However, I wish to register my displeasure in the manner that the issue of Tuesday, 5th February was recorded in the Hansard.  Whilst I believe that I contributed something meaningful to this House at that moment, it is recorded as “The Hon. Member spoke in Kalanga”.  If I speak in Kalanga, does that mean that this House does not have a way of getting to record what I said. 

         Madam Speaker, I am here as a trustee of several hundreds of thousands of people who speak this language.  In this House alone, I know of more than 15 people who can speak this language.  In this House alone since my articulation in that language, I have gathered that there are more than 20 people who want to learn that language and people who also understand that language. 

         I believe that it is important that we abide by the dictates of the Constitution as this House first before we expect any other institution to do the same. The Constitution that recognised this language amongst other languages was done in 2013.  I thought that the Parliament as a legislative institution has a role of making sure that we abide by what the Constitution says.  Now, if some of us articulate ourselves in languages that we are most conversant with and are not recorded or recordable, what does this House say about our rights and representation?  I humbly submit to this House that it be taken as a matter of urgency that interpreters be employed in this Parliament so that they stand to interpret for those of us who are going to present ourselves in the languages that we understand best. I thank you. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The matter of privileges is very important as it speaks to our Constitution. I sincerely apologise for the failure to capture the contribution as presented. Parliament is frantically working to ensure that interpretation service in all the 16 languages is provided. I once again apologise on behalf of Parliament. Please bear with us as we attend to that very important matter.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a matter of privilege. I am rising on a point of privilege to support my colleague, Hon Phuti. Parliament is a unique institution in the State, with unique duties and roles that is allocated to it. Parliament is not expected to be political. Parliament is not expected to be discriminatory in the manner that it conducts its business. I will refer you Madam Speaker to Section 119 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides; “Parliament must protect this Constitution and promote democratic governance in Zimbabwe”.

What my colleague has raised is something that we have raised for over the last five years. I do not enjoy speaking in English, though I am very articulate in English language. I enjoy speaking in Tonga. The Constitution of Zimbabwe recognises 16 official languages. The Standing Rules and Orders acknowledges that Members are allowed to contribute in Parliament in a language of their own choice. Even the Constitution in Section 63, also acknowledges that people are allowed to use languages of their choice and even culture of their choice.

Last time Parliament was hiding behind the issue of budget which we passed way back in December 2018 and we are now heading towards the end of February. That is about three months in between. I believe that when an Hon. Member raises such an important question, it is important that Parliament should answer with details that have got particularity in terms of what Parliament has started to do in order to address that issue.

What makes me angry is this, when I look at this front row including the Chair, it comes from one tribe and that tribe is respected in this Parliament because it is recorded in this Parliament. The so called minority tribes that are not represented where you are sitting currently seem not to be represented. As much as I appreciate the answer that you gave to the Hon. Member, we need from Administration  of Parliament a time line that speaks to the fact that by such a date Parliament will be able to interpret each and every language that is covered in the Constitution. We cannot continue each and every year talking about one and the same thing.

Hon. Chinotimba can speak in Shona and enjoy himself but I cannot speak in Tonga because you will hide behind the budget. We want a detailed response on that matter with specific timelines, otherwise without that we are failing to adhere to our constitutional obligation as a Parliament. That is my feeling Hon. Speaker that your response was inadequate and insufficient. That issue you did not take it as a serious issue. You gave it a casual approach –that it is okay, we will attend to it, we have got challenges now – because you do not have a problem that is associated with the problem that was raised by the Hon. Member. I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will give a detailed response on 5th March 2019.

HON. KASHIRI: On a point of order. I would like the Hon. Member who has just spoken, Hon. Sibanda to withdraw his statement that it has been 90 days and nothing has happened. The Budget was passed on 20th December 2018 and it is not even 90 days until now. Hon Sibanda seems to be pushing the Executive to make decisions in his favour. Secondly, we need to show some respect to the Hon. Speaker.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

INVITATION TO A WELLNESS PROGRAMME

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Parliament of Zimbabwe Health Services Department will hold a wellness programme in partnership with PSMAS on 4th to 5th March, 2019. The programme will be held in the Courtyard from 0930 hours to 1530 hours. All Members are invited to attend.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. MUSABAYANA: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 21 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 22 is disposed of.

          HON. KWARAMBA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 44TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF SADC PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE ON THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION

          HON. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, I rise to move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the 44th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum held at Joachim Chissano International Conference Centre, Maputo, Mozambique from the 26th November to 8th December, 2018.

          HON. KWARAMBA: I second.

          HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I have just come in from Kadoma Cricket Mine. On a point of privilege, I request for you to request the Minister of Mines to come to this House in particular to talk about the suspected 23 artisanal miners who are suspected to have perished in that mine and touch on three key issues: i) when the Mines and Minerals Act is going to be availed in this House so that we can avoid and completely remove such disasters in the future or put safety nets in the Mines and Minerals Act so that we do not have reoccurrences of such a disaster; ii) to also touch on the issue of safety nets or compensation to the bereaved or the injured in such occurrences; and iii) on the disaster management system, how prepared we are as a nation to deal with outcomes or occurrences of such disasters.

          These are the issues that I would request for the Minister to come and give a Ministerial Statement, in particular relating to the Cricket Mine disaster which is suspected to have about 23 – 30 artisanal miners who could have perished in there. At this juncture, I would certainly want to applaud the big miners that are around that area; ZIMPLATS and Murasta Mining are one of them, and some other miners in that area who are busy giving help to the citizens and to the Civil Protection Unit in that area in order to pump out the water and give the much needed resources that they excavate and retrieve what I believe to be bodies of those artisanal miners who are underground. I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, your point of privilege is noted. I will ask the Minister of Mines to come and give a Ministerial Statement. Thank you.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I do not intend to unnecessarily disrupt the debate of that SADC Report which is a very important report, not only for this House but for this nation. But in the spirit of what Hon. Nduna has stated in remembrance of key people that we have lost in the area where I am sure my colleague represents and loss of lives, I am of the view that Hon. Speaker, today the 14th February is an important day for this nation.

This is the day in which one year ago this country lost an icon and literary the father of democrats in this country, Dr. Richard Morgan Tsvangirayi who passed on, on the 14th February, 2018. Hon. Speaker, I know some of my colleagues, especially those that are averse to democracy might not appreciate it. The independence of this country came at a cost. A huge cost of human lives that were lost during the liberation struggle and we got our independence from white colonial rule in 1980.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go straight to your point Hon. Member!

          HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I think you should not be selective in the manner in which you judge.  Hon Nduna spoke at will; it should not be like on the other hand there should be limitations.  That is not fair! – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - you may bark as much as you want but that is not fair.

          Hon. Speaker, from 1980 up to date, we had our problems as a country to determine and define the type of democracy that we wanted in this country.  That democracy has not been coming for a long time until 1999 when the political party which is today known as the Movement for Democratic Change was formulated….

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Sibanda, you are now out of order.

          HON. P.D SIBANDA: Why do you say I am out of order?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are debating.

          HON. P.D SIBANDA: No, I am not debating; I am raising a point of privilege.  The person who is out of order is this one [referring to Hon. Chinotimba] who is dressed in Arabic dress because he is intervening on a point of privilege.  How can you raise a point of order on a point of privilege?  So, Hon Speaker, without diluting what I wanted to say, I think this nation has to be grateful to the person of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.  He did a lot for this country; he sacrificed his life, that of his family and therefore, it is important that as a nation we take time to remember the heroes of our country.  Hon. Tsvangirai was the second Prime Minister in the record of this country after independence.  Therefore, it is my view that Parliament should take a moment of silence in remembrance of the icon and hero of democracy in this country.  I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Please may you approach the Chair.

          Hon. P.D. Sibanda accordingly approached the Chair

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chinotimba, you are putting on sandals.

          HON. CHINOTIMBA:  On a point of privilege Madam Speaker.  That is my dressing.

HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege.  We have been listening to Hon. P.D. Sibanda a moment ago.  I thought he was going to rise and observe a moment of silence for the Hon. Late Calistas Ndlovu who has just passed on. 

          In as much as heroes come and go, today we need to observe a moment of silence…

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, please approach the Chair. –[AN HON. MEMBER:  Makauraya Tongogara hamuna kuita observe a minute of silence…]- -[HON. MEMBERS:  Haa plus inaudible interjections]-

          Hon. Kashiri approached the Chair

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chinotimba, you are putting on sandals…

          HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of privilege, Madam Speaker. That is my dressing.  I have stood up to thank this House for sending me to Dubai.   I came back converted to Islamic religion.  So, that is my dressing in Moslem.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chinotimba, that is not a point of privilege.  There is a motion which can be debated.  I am pleading with you to take you seat.  We have already lost 35 minutes doing nothing.

          HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I only wanted to thank you and say that I am back.  Madam Speaker, what is happening in this House is a shame.  Out there, people say Members of Parliament come to this House drunk.  Look at what Hon. P.D. Sibanda has been doing, it does not auger well with the ethos of the Parliament of Zimbabwe.  He is drunk.

          HON. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, I have got a lengthy report to present but I shall strive to whiz through it in a speedy manner as to keep Hon. Members actively listening.

          Madam Speaker, in accordance with Article 11, paragraph 10 of the SADC Parliamentary Forum which states that “the Plenary Assembly shall meet for the..”- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-Ah, ndeyenyu kuHerald, handipindi zvinhu zveZANU PF ini. I am not a ZANU PF beneficiary, I am not here as ZANU PF member and I do not represent ZANU PF here. I am not ZANU PF that is what you must learn. Go and tell that issue of the $400 000.00 to your fools at ZBC and Herald. Handiti ndimi makaitaura paHerald here? Have you see me coming out positively in the Herald at any time. I am not ZANU PF and I do not dance to your music. If I had stolen money, I would be in court. Why would you send your own Ministers to court and not me? I am not ZANU PF. By choice, I am not ZANU PF.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Hon. Ndebele go ahead...

          HON. NDEBELE: I am just annoyed Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please go ahead.

          HON. NDEBELE: You know I have more than $400 000.00 in my bank account and I could show you that. Aiwa, kwete mari dzenyu dzeropa idzi. No, I do not do that. Kwete mari dzenyu dzinobuda paHerald idzi. I do not do that, why am I not in jail? Why would you take your own Ministers to jail and not me? I cannot stand nonsense here. In my introduction Madam Speaker,

          INTRODUCTION

1.1    In accordance with Article 11 (10), of the SADC Parliamentary Forum which states that “The Plenary Assembly shall meet for the transaction of business at the Headquarters of the Forum or in a Member State on a rotational basis”, the 44th  Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum was convened in Maputo, Mozambique from 26 November to 8 December 2018. Thirteen (13) countries were represented at the Plenary which included:- Angola, Botswana, The Kingdom of Eswatini, Malawi,  Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, South Africa,  Zambia and Zimbabwe. The DRC was absent with an apology which was duly noted.

1.2    The delegation from Zimbabwe, led by  Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, comprised the following Members and Officers of Parliament:-

o   Hon Monica Mutsvangwa, Vice-President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum who delivered a legacy speech at the end of her term;

o   Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi, Member of the Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Infrastructure;

o   Hon. Obedingwa Mguni, Member of the Standing Committee on Democratization, Governance and Human Rights;

o   Hon. Goodlucky Kwaramba, Member of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus;

o   Hon. Anele Ndebele, Member of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment; and

o   Hon. Bacillia Majaya, Member of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes.

1.3              The following attended the Plenary Assembly as support staff:-

o   Mr. Ndamuka Marimo, Director in the Clerk’s Office;

o   Mr. Frank Mike Nyamahowa, Director in the Speaker’s Office;

o   Mr. Cleophas Gwakwara, Principal External Relations Officer and Secretary to the Delegation;

o   Ms. Martha Mushandinga, Principal Executive Assistant; and

o   Mr. Clive Zvimekria Mukushwa, Security – Aide to the Speaker.

2.0    OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY

2.1              The Official Opening Ceremony of the 44th Plenary Assembly took place on Monday 2 December 2018 at Joachim Chissano International Conference Centre (JCICC) located on the waterfront of Maputo Bay.

2.2              Hon. Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, Speaker of the National Assembly of Angola and outgoing President of the Forum informed the Plenary that the SADC Heads of State and Government had now agreed to put the issue of the transformation of the Forum into a Regional Parliament on the agenda of the SADC Summit scheduled for March 2019.

2.3              In his keynote address, H.E. President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the transformation of the SADC PF into a regional Parliament would be realised during his term of Office

2.4              The Speaker of the National Assembly of Mozambique, Hon. Veronica Nataniel Macamo Dlovo, welcomed the delegates to the City of Acacia and re-emphasised the need to transform the Forum into a Legislative Assembly, noting that the issue had been on the agenda for a long time.

2.5              In a solidarity message delivered by Hon. Fatuma Ndangiza representing Hon. Ngoga Karoli Martin, Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), SADC Member Parliaments were  reminded that regional integration remains an important driver of Africa’s economic growth, development and poverty reduction as envisioned in the 1983 Abuja Treaty.

2.6              In all, there was common purpose on the need for the SADC Parliamentary Forum to transform into a Regional Parliament under the direction of the Summit of Heads of State and Government. 

 

3.0   SYMPOSIUM – “TRANSFORMATION OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM (SADC PF) INTO A REGIONAL PARLIAMENT”

3.1    Dr. Leonardo Simao, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Director of Joaquim Chissano Foundation emphasised the need for a correct diagnosis of the problem that is hindering transformation. He encouraged the Plenary Assembly to work with the principle of gradualism in mind to avoid making errors.

3.2   Hon. Dr. Alcinda Abreu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Environment and former Head of the National Group for the SADC Parliamentary Forum observed that the 38th Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Windhoek, Namibia was a major turning point in the transformation agenda of the Forum into a Regional Parliament and encouraged Member Parliaments to move cautiously and respect the sovereignty of Member States.

3.4   Hon. Fatuma Ndangiza from EALA observed that the transformation of SADC PF into a Legislative body has to be done with the urgency it deserves but cautioned on being prescriptive as every region is unique in its own circumstances.

3.5 Zimbabwe pledged to support the process to ensure that the transformation agenda is brought to its finality.

3.6   To ensure that the transformation process gains traction, the 44th Plenary Assembly resolved to engage Clerks/Secretaries-General of Member Parliaments and liaise with representatives of the SADC Secretariat to establish a Joint Task Force that would be responsible for collating views from Member States and coordinating the consultation process. 

4.0    RESOLUTIONS ON THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT

4.1    Separation and Release of Dr. Chiviya

4.2   The Plenary Assembly noted the developments in the case of Dr. Esau Chiviya, former Secretary- General, of the SADC PF, whose Settlement and Release Agreement had been finalised.

4.2.1.The Plenary Assembly adopted a roadmap to recruit a substantive Secretary- General with immediate effect.  It is trite to note that Zambia and Zimbabwe are not eligible to sponsor candidates after the tenure of Dr. Mutukwa and Dr. Chiviya respectively.

4.3   Engaging the National Parliament of Madagascar and Comoros to join the SADC-PF

4.3.1           Following the readmission of the Republic of Madagascar and the union of Comoros into SADC, the SADC PF Secretariat wrote to the National Parliaments of Madagascar and Comoros inviting them to join the Forum. Lobbying for the inclusion of the Indian Group of Islands into the regional body will continue to be pursued by the incoming Executive Committee.

4.4    Monitoring of the Model Law On Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage

4.4.1           The Plenary Assembly adopted a resolution to monitor and assess steps being taken by Member Parliaments in domesticating the Model Law on Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage. It is heartening to note Parliament will consider the Child Justice Bill and the Marriages Bill, which seek to outlaw child marriages and introduce a mandatory sentence for rape and sexual abuse as envisaged in the Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage during this year’s legislative programme.

4.5   Draft Strategic Plan for the SADC-PF 2019-2023

4.5.1           Pursuant to the 43rd Plenary Assembly resolution to develop a Strategic Plan for the Forum, which should build upon the vision of the Forum as the Flag-Bearer of Democratisation and Socio-Economic Development in the SADC Region, the Executive Committee recommended adoption of the Draft Strategic Plan for the period 2019 to 2023.

4.5.2           The Plenary Assembly affirmed the need for a Strategic Plan to guide the work of the Forum as it navigates the transformation process into a Regional Parliament and unanimously adopted the Draft Strategic Plan.

4.6              Cost-cutting measures to reduce the salary bill of the SADC Parliamentary Forum

4.6.1             The Plenary Assembly adopted a number of cost reduction measures pursuant to the 43rd Plenary Assembly’s decision to ensure that the percentage of SADC PF Secretariat Staff salaries to the Revenue received from Member Parliament contributions is reduced from the current 72%.

4.6.2             In the immediate term, a proposal to merge the functions of Administration and Human Resources with Finance was adopted as a cost reduction measure. The 44th Plenary Assembly further resolved that the post of Financial Consultant to the SRHR Project be advertised to give equal employment opportunities to the region.

4.6.3   Attendance of the Forum at the 139th  Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly and the 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference 

4.6.4             The Plenary Assembly commended the facilitatory role played by the SADC PF Secretariat, led by the Acting Secretary, at the 139th Inter-Parliamentary Union's Assembly and related meetings from the 14th to 18th October 2018. The Forum Secretariat also facilitated the participation of a few members of its Standing Committees to the 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Africa Region Meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, from 13 to 22 August 2018. Plenary Assembly reaffirmed the need for the Regional body to continue attending such important meetings.

4.7  Issues relating to the implementation of institutional arrangements to effect the Gender Equality and Women’s Advancement Policy

4.7.1           The Plenary Assembly resolved that all issues concerning the relocation of the Gender programme to the Secretary- General’s Office and the affiliation of the Chair of the GEWAYD (or vice-chair) to EXCO be kept in abeyance until the Oversight Committee of the Forum has met and properly integrated the issue of gender mainstreaming in its work plan.

4.8  Update on the forthcoming SRHR, HIV and AIDS Governance Project with Sweden

4.8.1           The Plenary Assembly noted that SRHR, HIV and AIDS Governance Project concluded in March 2018 and the Narrative Annual Report of the Project was duly submitted to the sponsors in Sweden by the Secretariat on the 20th of September 2018. The expectation is that the Project will resume at the beginning of April 2019 and  be extended to all 14 Member Parliaments of the SADC-PF. Zimbabwe has benefited immensely by partnering in this Project.

4.9   Strengthening Accountability and Oversight of the Office of the Secretary-General.

4.9.1           The Plenary Assembly adopted the recommendations to strengthen accountability and oversight of the Office of the Secretary-General who, as Chief Executive  Officer, is responsible for the  administration of all the affairs of the institution and for managing the human resource base. A handbook containing rules and regulations for running the office will thus be developed.

a.                Nomination of EXCO Members to Continue Serving for One More Year As Ex-Officio Members Pursuant to Article 12(3) of the SADC PF Constitution

i.                   In order to preserve institutional memory, Article 12(3) of the SADC- PF Constitution provides for five members of the outgoing Executive Committee, namely the outgoing Treasurer, two Presiding Officers and two non-Presiding Members to continue to serve in the in-coming Executive Committee.

ii.                In this regard, Plenary Assembly approved the following to continue  to serve in the as ex-officio Members for a period not exceeding one year:-

o   Hon.  Justice Dr Patrick  Matibini, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia;

o   Hon. Prof Katjavivi, Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia;

o   Hon Terence Mondon outgoing (Treasurer) from Seychelles;

o   Hon Duma Gideon Boko, Member of Parliament from Botswana; and

o   Hon Jaime Augusto Neto, Member of Parliament from Mozambique.

i.                    Progress on the Implementation of a Plenary Assembly Resolution on Cost Optimization and Resource Mobilization for  SADC PF Election Observation Missions

ii.                  Following the resolutions of the 40th, 41st, 42nd and 43rd Plenary Assembly Sessions to optimise costs and mobilise resources for SADC-PF Election Observation Missions, the Executive Committee applauded the Secretariat for the measures taken to contain costs related to the 2018 Zimbabwe Harmonised Elections.

iii.             Recognising that election observation missions placed a huge financial burden on National Parliaments, the Committee agreed that the Secretariat should continue to explore and implement cost reduction measures and resource mobilisation strategies to support these missions. Election observation missions would, therefore, only be undertaken subject to availability of financial resources.

5.0     TREASURER’S REPORT

5.1              The Plenary Assembly noted that Zimbabwe has an outstanding amount of   N$1,526,016 towards its obligations to the Forum. Parliament of Zimbabwe pledged to clear the outstanding arrears.

6.0   MOTIONS ADOPTED DURING PLENARY ASSEMBLY

          In tandem with its constitutive mandate, as the policymaking and deliberative body of   SADC PF, the 43rd Plenary Assembly discussed and resolved on various issues of regional importance and concern.                                                                                                                                       

6.1     Motion for the Adoption of the SADC Model Law on Elections

6.1.1           The motion was moved by Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan, MP, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights and seconded by Hon. Josefina P. Diakite, Vice-Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights.

6.1.2           The motion urged the Secretariat to be pro-active in sourcing finances for Election Observation Missions.

6.1.3           Plenary Assembly applauded the Standing Committee on crafting a Model Law that will be adopted and adapted by Member Parliaments in accordance with domestic policies.

6.1.4           In the ensuing debate, Zimbabwe was applauded for holding regular and periodic elections and for holding the most credible, peaceful, fair and transparent elections in the region.

6.1.5           The Plenary Assembly noted the election dates for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were not conducive for observation since they coincided with the Christmas period.

7.1   Motion and debate for the adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources

7.1.1           The motion was moved by Hon. Stevens Mokgalapa of South Africa and seconded by Hon. Sophia Swartz of Namibia. The Plenary Assembly appreciated the peer learning visit to EALA by the Committee to benchmark on the ratification, implementation and monitoring of regional commitments on agriculture and food security.

7.1.2           The meeting also noted and urged Member Parliaments to ensure that Governments abide with the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural growth and transformation by allocating 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. Zimbabwe’s budget allocation to Agriculture under the 2019 budget projections stands at 12%, which is a positive development juxtaposed with the Malabo declaration.

7.1.3           The region was encouraged to focus on industrialisation and underscored the need to improve the management of natural resources for the benefit of all SADC citizens.

8.1    Motion and debate for the adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development

8.1.1           The motion was moved by Hon. Ponde Mecha of Zambia and seconded by Hon. Tshireletso of Botswana. 

8.1.2           The Plenary Assembly adopted the recommendation to embark on lobbying missions to popularise and promote the introduction of women and youth quotas in national constitutions. The women’s quota provision in the Constitution of Zimbabwe was given as a reference point which had guaranteed a significant increase in women’s representation in Parliament.

9.0    Motion and debate for the adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights

9.1.1           The motion was moved by Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan and seconded by Hon.  Josephina Diakate who is the Vice- Chairperson of the Committee. The motion, among other things, hailed Zimbabwe’s peaceful harmonised elections and the opening up of the democratic space which had resulted in an unprecedented number of candidates vying for the Presidential seat.

9.1.2           The Plenary Assembly was heartened that the areas that required improvement in the Zimbabwe electoral process were comprehensively addressed in the Draft SADC Model Law on Elections. Zimbabwe, like other SADC Member States, will stand to benefit from the domestication of the Model Law.

10.0  Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes

10.1            The Plenary Assembly noted that HSDSP Committee, which oversees the implementation of the SRHR, HIV and AIDS Governance Project in seven implementing countries, had successfully steered the Project over the past four years.

10.2  The meeting observed with gratitude that the project will now be spread to all fourteen countries in the region.

11.0  Motion and debate for the adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Infrastructure (TIFI)

11.1            The motion was moved by Hon. Egbert of Seychelles and seconded by Hon. Tsepang Tsita- Mosena of Lesotho.

11.2            The Plenary Assembly took note that currently, only twenty-two (22) out of twenty-six (26) African countries have signed the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Agreement which was initially launched in June 2015 in Sharm el Sheirk, Egypt.  The CFTA is a proposed African free trade agreement between the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC). Zimbabwe indeed, signed the Agreement.

11.3           The Plenary Assembly noted that, following the signing of the Agreement, 22 ratifications are required for it to come into force. However, only Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda had ratified the Protocol.  The Plenary encouraged Member Parliaments to lobby for the ratification of the Agreement which would enhance continental trade and, ultimately, regional integration.

11.4            The Plenary Assembly was informed and supported the initiative to establish the SADC University of Transformation in the form of a Virtual University based on the concept of a network of partner institutions and universities that will be designated as Centres of Excellence and Specialisation.

12.0  Motion and debate for the adoption of the report of the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus

12.1           The motion was moved by Hon. Matsepo Molise – Ramakoae of Lesotho, Chairperson of the RWPC and seconded by Hon. Agnes Limbo of Namibia. The  Plenary Assembly received the history and background of the project on Gender Responsive Oversight Model (GROM), linking it with UN Women HeforShe global solidarity campaign, which urges citizens to work with men and boys to curb gender inequalities in general and gender-based violence in particular.

12.2            The Plenary Assembly adopted the recommendation by the RWPC to decentralise and adapt GROM to the National Parliaments of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and possibly Zambia which expressed interest to be considered. This project will be implemented in partnership with UNAIDS and UN Women.

12.3 The Plenary Assembly underscored that whilst participation at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women depended heavily on Development Partners’ funding, it remains the responsibility of each Parliament to ensure that members of National Women’s Parliamentary Caucuses are part of each country’s delegation to the CSW.

13.0  Debates on Motions by Member Parliaments

13.1  Notice of Motion on the Promotion of Regional Trade using Currency Convertibility and Repatriation and Regional Payment Settlement Systems

13.1.1        The Plenary Assembly adopted the motion which seeks to ensure that there is currency convertibility among SADC Member States to avoid losing time and money whilst trying to change money into different currencies.

13.0 Notice of Motion on the Role of SADC Parliaments in Securing an Enabling Environment for Inclusive, Safe and Sustainable Access to Technology for Young People

13.1            The Plenary Assembly resolved to ensure safety in the use of Technology and urged Member States to ensure that Laws that guarantee environmentally-friendly use of technology are promulgated.

14.0 Notice of Motion on Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth   Empowerment for Sustainable Development

14.1            The Plenary Assembly noted the need to ensure that youths are mainstreamed into various economic activities to ensure that they become repositories of knowledge and leadership as the region consolidates its economic transformational agenda.

15.0  ELECTION OF NEW OFFICE BEARERS

15.1  The Plenary Assembly elected new Office bearers to lead the Forum up to 2020 as follows:-

o   Hon. Veronica Nataniel Macamo Dlovo, President of the SADC PF (Mozambique).

o   Hon. Isaac Mmemo Magagula, Vice-President of the SADC PF (Eswatini).

o   Hon. Patricia Kainga, Treasurer (Malawi).

15.2  Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda will serve in the Executive Committee and the Parliamentary Legal Sub-Committee.

15.3  The new Executive Committee directed the Secretariat to work on the modalities to convene a handover meeting where the transformation roadmap will be discussed and finalised.

16.0  LEGACY STATEMENTS

16.1            Hon. Fernando Da Piedade Dias Dos Santos, Speaker of the National Assembly of Angola and outgoing President of the SADC PF thanked the Plenary Assembly for the sterling work done in the last two years in pushing the transformation agenda, noting that the issue was now being taken up seriously by the Summit.

 16.2           Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, outgoing Vice- President of the SADC PF, thanked the Plenary Assembly for the opportunity she was given to serve as the Vice –President of the Forum, a post that gave her invaluable leadership experience which she will tap into the future.

16.3           Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe, paid tribute to the leadership of Hon. Dias dos Santos, Speaker of Angola, for steering the transformation agenda and encouraged the new leadership to carry the mantle forward until the transformation of the Forum is realised.

17.0  RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Recommendation

Action

Timeline

17.1

Transformation of SADC PF into a Regional Parliament.

Hon. Obedingwa Mguni to move a motion on the Transformation of the Forum into a Regional Parliament

 

Lobbying process with the Executive to continue formally and informally. Parliament to elicit a formal positive affirmation from the Executive.

 

January 2018

 

 

 

 

March   2019

17.2

Establishment of the Parliamentary Studies Institute (PSI).

Parliament of Zimbabwe to ensure that the new Administration at the University of Zimbabwe is briefed on the proposal

Ongoing

17.3

Parliament of Zimbabwe to take part in the Gender Responsive Oversight Model (GROM)

The Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus to incorporate the model into its work plan. Adopt and adapt GROM to be implemented in partnership with UNAIDS and UN Women.

February 2019

17.4

Liaise with the Executive to push for the Ratification of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)

Parliament to liaise with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on the ratification of the Agreement

January 2019

17.5

Adoption of the Model Law on Elections

Liaison with the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the proposed Model Law on Elections

February 2019

17.6

Strengthening Election Observation Missions in the Region whilst observing Gender equity in Missions.

 

All observation missions to include at least a woman Member of Parliament. Parliaments to be encouraged to mobilise resources for the election observation missions.

Ongoing

17.7

Implementation matrix for the next phase of the 3-year SRHR Project

The SRHR Country team to adopt stop gap measures to ensure that there is no lacuna up to the commencement of the programme

SRHR Project Researcher to continue noting debate related to SRHR issues

17.8

Continued implementation of the HeforShe Programme.

Refer to the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs and Youth/ and seek continued support of the ZWPC in initiatives that champion the cause of women

 

Ongoing

17.9

The establishment of the SADC University of Transformation to train citizens in innovation to facilitate industrialisation in the region.

Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education to liaise with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education on the modalities to link the proposed University with Institutions in Zimbabwe

January 2019

 

18.0. CONCLUSION

18.1 The Plenary appreciated the excellent hosting arrangements    made by the National Assembly of Mozambique.

18.2 The incoming President of the SADC – PF expressed confidence that the issue of the Transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a Regional Parliament will come to fruition with the critical mass of forward looking Members of the Plenary Assembly.

18.3     Parliament of Zimbabwe is encouraged to adopt resolutions of the Plenary Assembly as they summarise the collective concerns of citizens in the region.

HON. KWARAMBA: I rise to add my voice to the report by Hon. Ndebele on our visit to Maputo. For me, it was historical after having been there during the armed struggle. Our region is trying its best to articulate the issues that are before us as the SADC region. Madam Speaker, I am not going to repeat everything that has been said by Hon. Ndebele save to say that our Speaker Hon. Mudenda, just like all members of the region supported the transformation of SADC PF to SADC Parliamentary. As Zimbabwe, we added our voice and I am encouraging you Hon. Members to support this just cause.

The Plenary Assembly adopted a resolution to monitor and assess steps being taken by member Parliaments in domesticating the Model Law on Child Marriages and Protecting Children already in Marriages. For us here as Parliament, we are going to discuss the Child Justice Bill and the Marriage Bill which seeks to outlaw child marriages and protecting children already in marriages. We are also going to introduce a mandatory sentence for rape and sexual abuse as is in the Model Law. I urge Hon. Members to support the cause to eradicate this scourge.

The forthcoming Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights HIV and AIDS Governance Project which is being sponsored by Sweden is going to be implemented in all 14 regions. Countries like Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Zambia have expressed interest and are going to take part. This project will resume in April, 2019.  Zimbabwe has already benefitted by collaborating and partnering in this project.

The Plenary Assembly also discussed elections in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe was applauded for carrying out elections which were credible, fair and peaceful. As a country, we should continue to review and revise our processes to ensure that these are in sync with the region. We should also come out of elections united unlike what we see after elections where there are disagreements and so on.

A report on the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development  - in Zimbabwe, our numbers increased in Parliament because we adopted the proportional representation but our wish is to have more women in Parliament.  However, our numbers continue to diminish.  I would like to urge women that when this debate comes we should support it very strongly so that our numbers continue to grow.

Very soon the SADC PF will embark on lobbying missions to popularise and promote the introduction of women and youth quarters in national constitution.  We should continue strengthening the voice of women in the region. 

The regional women’s parliamentary caucus – let me add my voice to the constituency that I represent most in the SADC PF, that is the women.  We were inducted on Gender Responsive Oversight Model (GROM).  It urges citizens to work with men and boys to curb gender inequalities in general and gender violence in particular.  Our Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Mudenda is a champion in this cause – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa who served with distinctions and rose to the rank of Vice President of the forum.  Hon. Mutsvangwa also served with distinction.  We were assured that there are plans by the regional women’s parliamentary caucus to decentralise and adopt the GROM.  The National Parliaments of Lesotho, Zimbabwe and possibly Zambia are going to take part and they are going to be the first ones to do this initiative.   We are going to have workshops to induct women on GROM very soon. 

It was a long report by Hon. Ndebele, so Madam Speaker, I am not going to repeat everything that was in the report.  Thank you.

*HON. MAJAYA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I stood up to add my voice on the SADC PF which was held from 26 November to the 6th December, 2018.  I want to add that it was raised that SADC Parliamentary Forum should be a regional body so that as a body if we are agree on anything, it should be across the region.  For example in eSwatini, girls are being married under the age of 14 years.  So if as SADC we agree that there should not be any child marriages, it would be binding.  It also point outs that as a region, we should adhere to the same laws and everyone would have access to education and good health.

We also talked about proportional representation and it was found that as Zimbabwe, we were also spearheading in that area because we have many women in Parliament. In eSwatini, they only have two women on proportional representation.  They are in the process of doing what Zimbabwe has done and we got credit on that.

As Zimbabwe, we should stand by women and support them when it comes to 50/50, not only as a lip service but to implement it.  So, as we are adding the number of PR, I think as women we should unite so that it does not end in 2023 only but that women should be uplifted in Parliament.

It was also discussed that countries should engage in free and fair elections in the whole SADC region.  All countries in the SADC region are urged to send people to other countries to observe elections. For example, the elections which we were held in Democratic Republic of Congo, I do not think there were any representatives from Zimbabwe.  For us to get observers, we should also send observers to other countries as well.  I thank you.

HON. TOFFA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the SADC Parliamentary Forum report.  I would like to first of all thank the SADC PF team for giving us a very elaborate and informative report.  To add my voice, our Government of Zimbabwe, with regards to the SADC PF becoming a Parliament, I would like to urge our Government to be the first Government to actually put our name and say this is what we want.  We want the SADC PF to be transformed into a Parliament.  The SADC PF was formed about 17 to 18 years ago and this has been on the cards for a long time.  The SADC governments have been playing a lip service.  You will find in all the reports that all the governments want the SADC PF to be transformed into a Parliament and yet when it comes to the implementation nothing is happening. 

So I would like our Government, like has been said by Hon. Majaya, that we were exemplary in our proportional representation and the Government of eSwatini has taken a leaf from our book and implemented it in their country, it is also very important because we are the only region in Africa that does not have a parliamentary forum.  Like what has been alluded to by Hon. Majaya that most of the resolutions that are made at the parliamentary forum, are not implemented because they are not binding.  I do not understand why as the SADC region we do not want to be answerable and so, I think this must be taken very seriously and make sure that as Zimbabwe, we do that. I would also like to express my gratitude to the sponsors and I think it is the Swedish Government who have been sponsoring the SRHR, the Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Programme.

          This programme, as the previous member of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, I found it very beneficial, not only to myself but to other Members of Parliament, particularly the women MPs. This is because this programme is a programme that touches on the lives of the people in our communities; people that suffer from TB, HIV/AIDS, the vulnerable community, people living with disabilities and also people living with albinism.

          I am very happy to hear that all 14 countries will benefit from this because in the last session, I think only 7 countries benefited from this programme. When other countries heard the benefits that we were deriving from this programme, they cried out and I am very grateful for the other countries and the other women that benefitted from this programme. This not only benefitted the women, it also benefited the male Members of Parliament.

          The SRHR Programme, as Zimbabwe, we led by institutionalising the programme. We trained the members of staff. I remember that even the Chairpersons of the Committees were trained because the SRHR Programme is a cross-cutting programme. So, if all the Chairpersons of the Portfolio Committees were aware, they could actually impart this knowledge or make sure that the Hon. Members were able to benefit from this programme and then, we are able to take it down to the communities.

          Madam Speaker, I am also very happy to hear about the Gender Responsive Model programme which deals with violence against women and men. This programme will also help with regards to the HeforShe programme because this programme will feed into that programme and our Speaker was a champion for the HeforShe programme. I am happy to hear that he is a champion for this programme.

          Another very important issue that I would like to speak to Madam Speaker is the issue on eradication of child marriages. As a country we were one of the first countries to launch the programme. The then First Lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe had a launch at the HICC. Thereafter, we had other programmes to do with the eradication of child marriages. As a country, we have not domesticated this issue and yet the model law on the eradication of child marriages is of paramount importance. This is because it affects our girl child. The girl child is the one that suffers most, for example in abuse, rape and being married very early, which impacts on our societies.

          Madam Speaker, this issue is not deeply looked into and thought about. This is one of the contributory factors of giving us dysfunctional societies and dysfunctional families because you find that when a young girl is married at a very early age, when she grows up in that marriage, a lot of people forget the fact that this young girl was a victim. They say for example in siNdebele or even in Shona, lo sengumuntu omdhala, sengumama, Sokumele agrime yakhe sengu mfasi amdhala or uyu ave munhu mukuru mukuru, mudzimai. Zvokuti akarepwa or akawanikwa arimudiki, means nothing, yet that has a psychological effect and it has an impact on our societies, families and on our country as a whole. 

          So, it is of paramount importance that as a country, we take this issue seriously. There has been some instance of where we have had fast-tracked Bills and Laws in this Parliament whereas many times, Hon. Members have stood up and asked the Leader of Government Business and Parliamentary Affairs to implement or do something as we chase up to find out how far Government has gone. You are being told that it is in the process and that it is in the pipeline and yet, the girl child is suffering in the meantime.

          When you look at the fact that there is  non-alignment of the laws which is in the model law for the eradication of child marriages, if that  had been implemented, our girl children would benefit because the men and the sugar daddies who take advantage of the young girls will be caught, and they will not escape the wrath of the law through the technicalities that are there right now. The model law for the eradication of child marriages is a wholesome package. It makes sure that that girl child that has been married, for lack of a better word, because if we keep talking about the marriage of the girl child, we are actually encouraging it and making it as though it is something good when it is not good.

          If this law is domesticated, you will find that our girl children will advance and they will be able to go to school and so forth. So, I think it is very important that this issue of the domestication of the child marriage is taken seriously. This is another reason Madam Speaker why we should make sure that SADC PF is made into Parliament. The resolutions that have been taken place will be implemented because they are binding. Right now, we can do as we please with whatever happens in the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

          Another thing is that a lot of money is paid. The subsistence allowances that are paid and the money that is used by the Members of Parliament to go to the SADC PF meetings are just a waste of resources if we do not make sure that this SADC PF is turned into a Parliament. I would also like to encourage the Speaker of Parliament when we are doing the observations of elections, to make sure that it is gender balanced and also to make sure that the SADC PF members benefit from going to observe elections.  Why I say this Madam Speaker is the fact that when you go back to SADC and you are reporting about elections that have taken place, you find that the members of the SADC PF have actually not participated in covering those elections.  In saying that, I would like to thank the SADC members for the report they gave.  My last word is to urge our Government to make sure that they are the first to put the signature and say that as Zimbabwe, we want the SADC Parliamentary Forum to be converted into a Parliament.  Thank you.

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

          HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 5th March, 2019.

          On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. N. NDLOVU, the House adjourned at Eight Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 5th March, 2019.

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 45 NO 36