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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 JUNE 2017 VOL 43 NO 70

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 15th June, 2017

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

          HON. RUNGANI: Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 12 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. GONESE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE 6TH  INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE BY THE ISLAMIC CONSULTATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

          HON. PARADZA:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Zimbabwe delegation to the 6th  International Conference by the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in support of the Palestinian Uprising, held in Teheran in Iran from the 21st  to the 22nd  of February, 2017.

          HON. MARUMAHOKO:  I second.

          1.0    Introduction

          HON. PARADZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, at the invitation of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J. F. Mudenda, accompanied by two members of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, myself (Committee Chairperson) and Hon. P. Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Member), attended the 6th International Conference on Palestine, held in Teheran, from February 21-22, 2017.

          The delegation was welcomed at Imam Khomeini International Airport by Hon. Alaeddin Broujerdi, Chairman of National Security and Foreign Policy in the Iranian Parliament. 

          The Conference whose theme was “Together Supporting Palestine” was organised and sponsored by the Iranian Parliament.  More than 700 delegates from 70 countries were in attendance. 

          This two-day Conference was organised and hosted by the Islamic Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran and was attended by Speakers of Parliaments, Members of Parliaments, leaders of resistance movements, scholars, foreign Ambassadors accredited to Iran, leaders of political parties, representatives of non-governmental organisations, political and religious groups as well as representatives of various media organisations. 

          2.0    Objectives of the 6th Conference

          The history of the Palestinian struggle against its illegal occupation by Israel is well-documented.  Therefore, the major objective of the 6th Conference was to mobilise the entire Muslim and Arab world to unite against Israel in support of a free self-rule Palestine.

          In addition, the Conference wanted to solicit further support for Palestine from non-Muslim but pro-Palestinian governments and other organisations from across the globe. This is largely because the rise of an assortment of terrorist groupings operating in the Middle East had created a major detraction from the Palestinian crisis.  As a result, the Palestinian question had literally disappeared off the radar in terms of international geo-politics.

          As it is, within the Middle-East and Arab power houses, the Palestinian crisis no longer has patrons and champions as was the case prior to 1967.  Therefore, the 6th International Conference on  Palestine was meant to revive or rather to remind the entire world that the Palestinian issue still remains unresolved despite a series of United Nations resolutions including the famous Oslo Accord, which came up with a two-state solution – with Israel and Palestinians existing side by side in peace and harmony as neighbours.

          However, Iran, as a major power within the Middle East, and with support from some militia groups like Hams and Hezbollar, is not in support of the two-state agreement and is demanding the unconditional liberation of Palestine.  Radical armed groups in the Middle-East, Hamas included, want to wipe Israel from the map.  Hamas, which won elections more than 10 years ago but never ruled Palestine, is now confined to an enclave called Gaza Strip where the group has fought brutal wars with Israel in 2008, 2012 and 2014 trying to reclaim the lost Palestine territories.

          The Oslo Accord, which seems to be the only realistic solution to the Palestinian question, does not attract consensus among the interested grouping or countries in the Middle-East, hence the escalation of the conflict.

          3.0    Conference Proceedings

          3.1    Welcome Remarks by the Speaker of Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Ali Larijani.

          The Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) Dr. Ali Larijani welcomed all the delegates to the Conference, especially his counterparts from across the world, including parliamentary delegates, clerics, scholars and other freedom-seeking activists from the region.

          He called on all the Muslim world to support the struggle in Palestine.  Dr. Larijani also informed the Conference that the Iranian Parliament has since passed a law to offer support for the Palestinian people.  This, he said, was why his Parliament was hosting such a conference for the 6th time.

          He reminded the delegates that the Conference was being held at a time when the situation with Palestine was fast deteriorating, with Israel committing more atrocities against innocent Palestinian people as well as constructing illegal settlements within the Palestinian territories, especially in the West Bank and the Holy City of Jerusalem. 

Dr. Larijani also told the conference that Israel was supporting and sponsoring terrorist groups in order to destabilise the Muslim countries within the region.  The creation of these terrorist groups had resulted in serous tensions among Moslem countries along the Middle East and beyond.

3.2 Address by Iran Supreme Leader, The Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei officially opened the two-day conference while the Iranian President, His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, presided over the closing ceremony.

In his speech, The Supreme Leader pointed out that the Palestinian issue was not only a bilateral conflict between Palestine and the Zionist regime of Israel, but was in fact a confrontation between the entire Muslim world versus Israel.

He reminded the delegates that the Palestinian crisis was the root cause of the current conflict within the Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East.

The Supreme Leader Ayatollah called on all Muslim countries to rally behind the struggle in Palestine and warned them against falling into divisive machinations by Israel and its Allies, especially the United States of America, through their sponsorship of artificial civil wars among Muslim and Arab nations.  He said the creation of these civil conflicts within the region had resulted in the Palestinian crisis being rendered the least priority even at international fora.

The Liberation of Palestine should serve as a focal point for all Muslim and other freedom-seeking nations even if they hold different viewpoints and opinions.  The Iranian Leader lamented that the history of Palestine was a sorrowful story as millions of Palestinians were now homeless or refugees in their own country.  Thousand others have either been maimed or killed in defence of their motherland.

The Supreme Leader lamented that both the Muslim world and the international community had abandoned Palestine yet this crisis has a special priority in today’s world.

He reminded the conference that Israel continued to suppress the people of Palestine in a brutal manner, arresting several thousands, looting and murdering people, occupying the land that belongs to Palestine and building illegal settlements and in the process changing the complexion and identity of the Holy Cities like Jerusalem.

The Supreme leader called on the people of Palestine to continue with their resistance against the Zionist regime including mounting further uprisings until the total liberation of Palestine is achieved.  Liberating and protecting Palestine and its Holy places by all means necessary, is a holy jihad for all Muslim countries, he said, adding that the time for compromises was over.

The Supreme Leader called on Palestinian groups that are collectively fighting for the liberation of their homeland to focus on the common enemy – Israel – and not to fight among themselves as this weakened their common objective.

3.3   Address by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J.F. Mudenda.

In his address to the conference, the Speaker condemned the Israeli Government for its continued violation of all UN resolutions ever since the creation of the Zionist State way back in 1948.

The Speaker told the delegates that Zimbabwe fully supported the struggle in Palestine and was also in total support of the Oslo Accord which calls for the creation of two states.  Zimbabwe has since recognised Palestine as an independent State and is host to a fully-fledged Palestinian Embassy in Harare.

The Speaker also gave a chronology of events, mostly atrocities committed by succeeding Israeli governments towards the Palestinian population for about 70 years, including the current construction of illegal settlements within the Palestinian territory.

He called on the international community to now refocus its efforts on resolving the crisis by taking ‘a concrete plan of action, once and for all’ instead of relying on UN resolutions or conferences whose outcome are always frustrated or ignored by Israel.

The Speaker paid tribute to Iran for its unwavering support for the Palestinian cause.  This, however, has resulted in Iran enduring a cocktail of sanctions imposed on it by the US and its European allies.  He also lamented the double standards approach taken by the US and its allies to clandestinely side with Israel against Palestine.

The Speaker concluded by calling for the setting up of a standing committee to spear-head campaign for the liberation of Palestine saying the hope now lies in intensive and robust Parliamentary intervention as UN resolutions and other solutions remain un-implemented up to this day.

3.4 Conference Declaration in Support of the Palestinian Intifada

During the conference, several heads of delegations presented their views in the plenary, conveying solidarity messages in support of the Palestinian liberation.

The conference set up five committees that drew up various resolutions.  These five clusters were;

·       Committee for Parliaments and Assemblies.

·       Committee for Palestinian and pro-resistance movements.

·       Committee for the youths.

·       Committee for pro-Palestine NGOs.

·       Committee for Political Affairs and final declaration drafting.

Madam Speaker, as you will recall, reports and resolutions from these five committees were submitted to the plenary and the outcomes were consolidated into the final communiqué.

3.5   The Final Communiqué

·       The conference paid tribute to Iran’s Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s speech which set the tone for the 6th International Conference on Palestine.

·       Overally, the conference resolved that the Palestinian question shall be considered as the first and foremost priority for the Muslim world and Arab state including other progressive friends of Palestine.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  On a point of order, Madam Speaker.  I have been listening very attentively to the report being read out by our Chairperson of the Committee, but I am not so sure if I am following correctly because each time he is referring to Muslim, I do not know because I am trying to understand who ‘Muslin’ is because you are saying Muslin.

HON. PARADZA:  It is pronunciation - Muslim.  That is how we do it in the English language, Sir – [Laughter.]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, I think you can as well get a chance to debate.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  No, no, I wanted to follow because it was not clear.  I hope you...

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, address the Chair.  Hon. Member, take your seat.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you very much, Hon. Madam Speaker.  I hope that the Hon. Member is going to correct the pronunciation for other members to also follow appropriately.  Thank you very much.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  That is what he did the first time. 

HON. PARADZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  It is not ‘moslem’, it is Muslim.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I think what you need to explain is that wherever you say ‘muslim’, you mean Muslim nation so that everyone understands.

HON. PARADZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker. 

·       It was also resolved that the intifada (uprising) and other forms of resistance shall be the only effective way of dealing with Israel that would force it to vacate the occupied territories as all other methods are considered secondary.

·       Efforts were to be made to amicably resolve any differences among Muslim nations in light of the spread of Israeli-sponsored terrorism in the Middle East.

·       The conference denounced Israel for its destruction of the Palestinian economy, including its cruel besieging of the Gaza Strip, currently home to Hamas.

The conference condemned the latest moves by Israel to construct illegal Jewish settlements within the Palestinian territories especially the West Bank.

The conference also condemned Israel for its destruction of Palestinian holy cities and other religious sites dotted across Palestine.

The conference resolved that Israeli authorities should be tried at the International Criminal Court of Justice for carrying out genocide atrocities including the massacre of Palestinian children.

The conference also condemned the current US administration for openly supporting Israel by proposing to relocate the American Embassy from Tel-Aviv to East Jerusalem.

3.6  Closing Address by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani

President Rouhani, in his closing remarks to the conference, paid tribute to all the Palestinian martyrs, those injured and all those who have sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Palestine.  Since 1948, he said, succeeding Palestinian generations have lived miserable lives as displaced people and refugees in different parts of the world with suffering, displacement, torture and martyrdom as their only heritage.

The Iranian President impressed upon the conference delegates that it was the duty of both the Muslim world and the international community to stop Israel from the on-going systematic killings of Palestinian people.  According to President Rouhani, the only option available for Palestinians to free themselves from Israeli occupation was through uprisings (intifada) as all other options have failed to resolve the issue.

President Rouhani lamented that some Muslim and Arab nations were working in cahoots with Israel in destabilising the Middle East instead of helping to stop the current civil wars ravaging the region.  All these unnecessary wars were benefitting the Zionist regime at the expense of Palestine.  He concluded by committing Iran to the liberation of Palestine using all the available resources at its disposal and called on all progressive Muslim and Arab nations to do the same.

4.0.  Meeting with Iranian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Arab and African Affairs, Hon. Hossein Jaberi Ansari

The Speaker, Hon. J.F. Mudenda, accompanied by Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Ambassador Nicholas Kitikiti paid a courtesy call on Hon. Ansari, the Iranian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of Arab and African Affairs.

Minister Ansari commended Zimbabwe for its interest in Palestine and expressed gratitude that the Speaker had accepted the invitation to attend the conference.  He highlighted that the objective of the conference was to re-mobilise the international community for it not to forget the Palestinian crisis.

In his response, the Speaker paid tribute to the Iranian Government for its hospitality indicating, however, that it was his hope that a clear plan of action would emerge from the conference.  The proposed plan of action would include, among other things, the formation of a working committee comprising the various representatives of Parliaments who were in attendance at the conference.

This Committee would be mandated to undertake the following:

·       Ensuring the speedy implementation of conference resolutions.

·       Engaging with the Israeli Parliament with the view of understanding the position of the Israeli Legislature.

·       Consider other possible avenues for engagement with the Israeli authorities.

·       Encouraging unity of purpose among the Palestinian groups.

·       Act as an advocacy voice on Palestine at various regional, continental and international fora.

5.0  Meeting with the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, H.E. Dr. Ali Larijani

Dr. Larijani, who was chair and convenor of the Conference, commended our Speaker Hon. J.F. Mudenda for delivering a very powerful speech to the conference.  He hoped that the delegation’s visit to Iran would assist in improving and further expand bilateral relations between the two Parliaments.

He informed the Zimbabwean delegation that the Palestinian crisis was a complex one and therefore, what was needed was total support from all corners of the world.  He, however, lamented that while most Muslim countries were rich and had money, they were reluctant to use it on Palestine.

Dr. Larijani agreed with his Zimbabwean counterpart’s proposal of setting up a working committee that would follow up on all conference resolutions and other issues related to resolving the Palestinian crisis.

In response, Hon. Mudenda thanked his counterpart for inviting him and his delegation to the conference which he described as a “huge eye opener” to the Palestinian conflict. While he admitted that the Palestinian question was a complex issue, however, a compromise way forward must be found in trying to resolve it.

The Speaker encouraged his Iranian counterpart to continue leading the conversation on Palestine and assured him that the Parliament of Zimbabwe was fully behind those efforts as this was the only way available in achieving a lasting solution to the 70 year old conflict.

His wish was to see all the conference resolutions translated into practical action and he advocated for the setting up of a working committee to follow up on all the resolutions and monitor other regional efforts.

Hon. Mudenda concluded by assuring Dr. Larijani that both the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe including the entire citizenry were in total support of all efforts that would eventually lead to the liberation of Palestine.  He also invited his counterpart to visit Zimbabwe sometime in future and to bring along potential Iranian investors to scout for business opportunities within the local economy.  I might as well add that an Iranian delegation is coming here from the Iranian Parliament at the end of July.

6.0  Meeting with Hon. Alaeddin Broujerdi, Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy in the Iran Parliament

On the sidelines of the conference, I had the opportunity of meeting my Iranian counterpart, Hon. Broujerdi, who chairs the Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy in the Parliament of Iran.

During our meeting, I thanked the Government of Iran for inviting us to the conference and I also re-emphasised Zimbabwe’s commitment towards the liberation of Palestine.  On behalf of my Committee, I pledged to continue engaging our Iranian colleagues on all matters related to supporting Palestinian struggle from Israeli occupation.

I also took the opportunity to discuss several issues pertaining to the enhancement of trade between our two countries and appealed to him to use his offices in promoting Zimbabwe as a business and tourist destination.  In the same vein, I also invited him and members of his Committee to visit Zimbabwe as a way of cementing our bilateral relations including trade between our two countries. 

In his response, Hon. Broujerdi said he was happy that Zimbabwe supported the struggle in Palestine and urged us to continue speaking against the evil deeds and other atrocities that were being perpetuated by Israel.

Hon. Broujerdi accepted our invitation for him and his Committee to visit Zimbabwe in July. He also sends his warm regards to H.E. the President, Cde R.G. Mugabe and wished him good health.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member, I think you should summarise your report because it is too long.

HON. PARADZA:

7.0.  Conclusion

In conclusion Madam Speaker, the delegation wishes to record its gratitude to the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, for inviting and also fully sponsoring the round trip to Teheran and back including the pre-travel assistance rendered by the Iranian Embassy in Harare.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

INVITATION TO AN ANNUAL MEETING OF PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR GLOBAL ACTION ZIMBABWE CHAPTER

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I wish to inform the House that Hon. Members of the Parliamentarians for Global Action Zimbabwe Chapter, are invited to the annual meeting on Wednesday, 21st June, 2017 at 1200 hours in the Government Caucus Room.  New members are welcome.

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  I wish to commendt the efforts by our delegation as led by the Chairperson in the report he has given, the Hon. Speaker being the leader of that delegation. I wish to however, just underscore two fundamental points as regards our position at an international level in terms of the Israelis/Palestinian conflict.  It is my humble submission that it would appear that in our scope and perspective as a country, we have taken a view that is, in my humble opinion, very misbegotten and misconceived because we have chosen to side with one country against the other. 

It is good to sympathise with a cause but the two State solutions to do with the resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict cannot be resolved by choosing to side with one partner.  It takes two to tango and we have chosen to interact with just one side – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – From a diplomatic point of view, it puts the country in a very invidious position because then we are not able to be an honest empire when it comes to resolving the issues that are affecting these countries.  We need to engage both the Palestinian authorities and also the Israel authorities so that whatever we are suggesting is something that is not only advancing justice, advancing the issue of geo-politics that is progressive particularly in the context of the modern world.  So, that is my first point. Our dimension and our approach is supposed to be revised to make sure that we are alive and sensitive to the various considerations that are supposed to be put in place particularly in the context of the two State solutions that has to be advanced. 

          My second point which is also equally important is the way we have scoped and sculptured our diplomatic orientation as a country.  We need to move away from pursuing politics without understanding the economics of it.  Whatever interest we are going to pursue internationally, we must allow the flag to follow trade.   We must allow business to define our politics and our engagement.  It would appear that at times it is more to do with slogans; it is more to do with ideological enclaves that are not advancing our economic interest.  So, let economic interests determine where we are going to erect and set up our flag so that at the end of the day, it is about Zimbabwe’s interest economically and not the politics of it which may not even advantage or advance our interest as a country.  So, national interest is supposed to be identified in the context, not just of politics, but also in the context of economic consideration.  When we look at these issues, we need to think Zimbabwe first and think economics first, so that whatever makes economic sense is what we are then going to adopt and advance as a country. 

          Having said that Hon. Speaker, I hope that the authorities in Zimbabwe are going to revisit and revise their orientation which I think is highly politically charged flying orientation but is devoid of the underpinnings and foundational considerations of the material consideration that are supposed to be put in place.  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.

          HON. CHASI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the team that went to Iran – [AN. HON. MEMBER: Taurisaka tinzwe.] – and to say that I am hopeful that the trade relations between Iran and Zimbabwe were concretised by this trip. I am aware that there is considerable trade that is happening already and the politics between Iran and Israel, I think is probably beyond resolution by Zimbabwe.  I am quite hopeful that the trade between Zimbabwe and Iran will continue to grow from strength to strength.  I am aware that there is trade concerning tractors and there is a possibility of trading in oil which is of interest to us.  There is considerable interest in our tobacco by the Iranians and I think those at the moment, are matters of considerable interest to us. 

          I am happy to hear that the Hon. Speaker advanced matters of trade which is of interest to us at the moment.  The politics behind between Israel, Iran and Palestine, I think are a matter that has been raging for many years.  They are of course of interest to us but I think we are too small a nation and our priorities are too huge at the moment.  We need to priorities matters of trade and advance the interest of Zimbabwe in areas of trade and I think the Hon. Speaker was correct to advance matters of trade.  I want to congratulate the Hon. Speaker and our team that was in Iran for advancing matters of trade.  I thank you.

          *HON. MUFUNGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  First and foremost, I would like to thank the Committee on Foreign Affairs led by Hon. Paradza that went to the conference in Iran which was led by the Hon. Speaker which had to do with the freedom of Palestine.  From ab initio, Zimbabwe has been supporting Palestine from the time it was led by the late Yasser Arafat.  We have always been like that in terms of economic and military transactions with that country. 

There is also another speaker who made reference to Israel, that Zimbabwe should differentiate economic issues and political issues; that is very correct.  In terms of trade, we are acquiring drip irrigation and other state of the art technology from Israel.  So, in that regard, Zimbabwe knows it has to balance its political and economical interest.  In fact, Zimbabwe is trading very well with Israel but if we were to look back in terms of politics of Palestine and Israel, the people of Palestine have shown that they are being heavily oppressed by the Israelis.  There was once an Arabic league and it seems to look at the military issues as regards that particular country.  I have observed that Arabic countries such as Egypt receive aid and as a result, they may not be willing to represent other Arabic countries. If we look at other countries like Palestine, they are unable to do that.  They Egyptians have not come up with canals that they use for smuggling goods.  Zimbabwe may be steering a middle course but it should take a stance as regards the oppression and that such oppression should not be left unabated.  Remember in 2013, there was a Member of Parliament or a leader called Galloway.   He came up with the Gaza Frontier and he wanted to bring food to the people of Palestine who were starving, but Israel intervened and stopped that.  So, other countries should also intervene so that Israel cannot oppress the other Arabic countries. 

          The rich and affluent Jews in Europe went to resettle in Israel.  Israel is being used as a springboard by the Europeans in order to serve their own interests.  If Syria wants oil, they would use Israel.  If they want to attach Iran or Iraq or other Arab countries that are in the Middle East, Israel is used for terrorist activities.  So, Zimbabwe should see that in a different light as opposed to the issue of the economy.  Economic issues and military or terrorism issues are two different things.  People should be able to turn their own wheel. 

          I was once surprised that there is the International Criminal Court that deals with criminals, genocides or atrocities against humanity, but Israel is killing people without anyone stepping in when the starving people are being killed.  They are not summoning the Israeli leader to the International Court of Justice to answer these charges.  So, we observe that such matters should actually be condemned.

          There is also the country of Morocco which is being used by European countries in the same mode as Israel because the Morocco does not want to unite with the people of Zimbabwe in defending its sovereignty.  We need to look at Israel properly, although there were resolutions that were made on the State of Nation Address of Palestine, other countries have not properly dealt with Israel so that they would desist from oppressing the Palestinians as regards the issues of economy or wealth, medication and such other issues.

          We thank you Hon. Paradza for your trip with the Speaker.  We are trading with Iran.  Iran is now involved with Palestine and Israel to try and come up with a solution to the issues concerning Palestine and Israel.  Iran is playing a pivotal role; is an arbitrator so that there will be an end to terrorist activities by Israel.  In terms of oil, farming and textile industries, because they have such companies such as Modzone in Zimbabwe, I believe that we should be cooperating with them and work with them.  Iran is very good in terms of irrigation.  As a result of the land reform activities that we have conducted, if we were to bring and tap into this expertise, Zimbabwe will be in a better place in terms of irrigation farming.  Coupled with the expertise that we have, Zimbabwe can then become self sustainable. 

          They also have an advanced solar technology and Zimbabwe can tap into that.  They are advanced in terms of ICT.  Your trip, I believe brought us a lot of knowledge that we can tap into and use as a country for the benefit of our Zimbabwe.  If such trips could continuously be done and expertise can be harvested from those trips so that we are able to manufacture our own drugs because we should have our own expertise, whether we are manufacturing medicines for HIV/AIDS or family planning.  We should also be able to manufacture machinery for irrigation.  Thank you Mr. Speaker for granting me this opportunity.

          HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I listened to the report very carefully and I got very worried.  The problem of Palestine and Israel is a problem between brothers, because they have the same genealogy; for those who understand the Bible.  They are both sons of Abraham.  When two brothers fight, the fight is so vicious.  As a foreigner, you cannot intervene.  The problem that we have as Parliament is that, this trip was fully funded.  When people fully fund a trip, they want to use you and when you write a report, you write what they want you to hear.  Had this trip been sponsored by the Government of Zimbabwe, we would have gone there with an open mind and would be independent in our reporting.

          Zimbabwe is so insignificant in the scheme of things and we must be very careful when we choose our friends.  Do we choose them on emotion or we choose them rationally.  Mr. Speaker, there used…-[HON. ZWIZWAI: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Hon. Zwizwai, I respect you.

          HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker, we used to have what was called the Non-Aligned Movement; countries that would look into a problem and they do not take sides.  That is what I think for Zimbabwe is key.  Zimbabwe’s economy is on the brink.  Essentially the economy of Zimbabwe is collapsing and whatever we do or say, it must be with the economy of this country in mind.  Donald Trump has made it very clear that America comes first.  When Donald Trump chooses his friends, he chooses them on the basis of what economic value they give to the United States.  It is about economic interests and nothing else.

          Mr. Speaker, I do not understand for the life of me, what siding with Iran will help us.  Iran is siding with Syria.  Look at what is happening in Syria at the moment.  The President of Syria is a person who cannot even visit a country like Zimbabwe.  There are bombings day-in, day-out; innocent civilians and these are people that are sponsored by Iran.  Iran is a country that has sponsored this trip of the Speaker of Parliament and Members of this Parliament and they have come back with the report.  They are giving an open-ended support to Iran.

          Israel is a friend of the United States.  The United States is the United Nations.  For Zimbabwe to prosper, we need the support of the United States.  That is why we cry about sanctions all the time.  When America says I cannot play with you Zimbabwe, that is why we cry.  If America does not want to play with us, why do we not say America you can go to hell, we are going to play with Iran?  What is Iran going to give us?  Balance of payment support comes from the United States. Mr. Speaker, investment comes from the United States; investment does not come from Iran and does not come from Palestine.  I happened to be watching television one day when the former President of the United States, Barak Obama spoke about the problem of Israel and Palestine at a press conference.  After he gave his view of the problem of Israel and Palestine, the Israeli Prime Minister told him that, “excuse me Mr. President, I need to assist you.  Can you sit there quietly and I will tell you”.  When he spoke, I could see that even the President of the United States was at see, because this problem is so deep rooted and is so complex.  A small delegation of three Zimbabwean MPs and a Speaker cannot understand it.  It is beyond us.  This problem is far beyond us and the capacity to comprehend the problem between Israel and the Palestinians is beyond an MP from Hwange.  It is far beyond the Speaker of this Parliament. 

Mr. Speaker, in terms of technology, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Israel was born in Zimbabwe, went to Milton High in Bulawayo and I met him in Switzerland.  I am sure Hon. Cross knows about him and he is Jewish.  I spoke to him and he said, the Israeli economy is such that if you go to Israel with your economic knowledge, you are not able to run the Israel economy.  They have no land, it is a desert, yet in terms of agriculture, they are a leading nation.  It is Israel that brought the technology of Drip irrigation into this country and people that brings us that kind of technology into a country like Zimbabwe; we must be able to support them.  I am not saying Zimbabwe should take the side of Israel but that Zimbabwe should remain nonaligned.  Whatever considerations we have, I would plead with the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Zimbabwe Parliament, Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda that whatever you say at international fora, you must have the economic interests of Zimbabwe at heart.  Political interest Mr. Speaker, do not give us food.

Mr. Speaker, let us put our mouth where our money is.  I would say, Hon. Paradza, thank you very much for the visit and thank you very much for accepting to go to that conference.  I would like you to convey my thanks to the Speaker of Parliament, but plead with him that Hon. Member of Parliament from Mabvuku/Tafara says Mr. Speaker, the problem of Israel and Palestine is beyond us and we cannot understand it.  It goes back to history.  Going to this conference and coming here siding with Iran and Palestine, Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is good for this country.  Let us remain nonaligned and focus on the economic interests of the country.  I think that is what we must do.  I thank you Mr. Speaker for your time.

HON. MARUMAHOKO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Let me first thank the Speaker and the team that accompanied him to Iran to attend this very important meeting.  Mr. Speaker, we should not forget as Zimbabweans that we were born from war.  Zimbabwe went through difficult life in this country, we had to fight for our independence and we had to fight for our freedom.  The Palestinians were with us.  We were together in the trenches and we cannot leave Palestine today because we have no economic interest in Palestine.  We fought together with Arafat who is not alive today.  The life that is being led by Palestinian people today is worse than the life that we went through in Rhodesia.  As Zimbabweans, I am surprised to hear our colleagues talking about the almighty America because America has strength and is rich - therefore we should befriend with America because of that.  We should have principles and should be guided by these principles as a nation and as human beings.  We should feel for others.  We know what the Palestinians are going through – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Muri kutirova imimi munomu.  Moda kufira vanhu vekuIsrael?] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Zwizwai, I think that is too much.

HON. MARUMAHOKO:  It is not an issue that we should take lightly here Mr. Speaker.  Where there is a conflict and where two nations are fighting, naturally, you do not side with the one that is stronger.  Naturally, you side with the weaker side.  You sympathise with the weaker side, therefore it is logical that Zimbabwe had to side with the Palestinians.  The Israelis get support from America and are an untouchable nation as they view the weaknesses of Palestine.  For us here as Zimbabweans, to stand and compare the support that Israel is getting from America, and we know what America is doing today – it is a bully.  They can walk all over any country and do what they want today.  Is it what we want as human beings in this world?  Is that peace? Would that encourage peace? Not at all. 

I did not have the intention to stand up and talk but what I got from the Members who stood up from the other side - supporting Israel and supporting America, yet just yesterday, we lost Gaddafi in Libya.  An innocent leader of Africa, a man who was trying to make his country prosper, because he differed with America, Gaddafi was killed, just like that.  The whole world went quiet, it is shameful to hear other Members supporting nations that behave in that manner.  We should sympathise with Palestine.  I happen to have had a visit with my Chairman here to Palestine and what I saw there, reminds me of the days that we went through in Rhodesia, the days that we would not want to talk about.  It is so painful to hear a Member, an African for that matter, born from the struggle, stand here and support American policies. 

We have the Arab league Mr. Speaker that is mediating between on the conflict between Israel and Palestine, they need to be given support and that is the foundation of the support.  That is where the support is starting from, these visits, not that they have been funded; but you need to have first hand information.  You need to go and visit there and get that first hand information that you may use it to assist the two people who are fighting.  You do not get it from nowhere.

I thought I would stand to air my view on this issue which is quite touchy.  When some of us stand up here, it is very touchy, we went through this, it is not an easy thing.  I thank you. 

HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I wish to start by thanking the Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the report he has presented on their visit to Palestine. In the context of that report, I also need to flag certain issues, which I hope the Chairperson can address when he responds to this debate.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to start by saying that the Palestinian question is a very complex question and it appears not to be going away. It is deep rooted and seated. The genesis of the Palestinian question is of course, the occupation of Palestine or Palestinian lands by the Israelites, in particular the occupation of West Bank and Gaza Strip. That is the core of the problem. This side of the House is by no means supporting occupation or the Israeli settlements in Gaza and West Bank, we do not support that. We do not support imperialism or neo-colonialism. We are a progressive political party.

At the same time, we have to understand Palestine in the context of the geo-politics of the Middle East. In terms of the geo-politics of the Middle East, it is now commonly agreed that to solve the Palestinian question, you need to adopt a two-state solution. I think that is the UN prescribed approach to dealing with the Palestinian question, a two state solution. What does a two-state solution mean? It means that the Israelis must withdraw from West Bank and Gaza Strip, but at the same time Palestine must also accept that Israel is now a geographical reality as opposed to its present thrust that we must destroy Israel from the globe. I think a two-state solution is better. Let the two States exist side by side as sovereign states sharing Jerusalem as their capitals. I think that is an objective and pragmatic state rather than for us to be wishful thinking that Israel is going to disappear. No, it is not going to disappear.

I would urge the Chairperson of the Committee to pursue or advise this House about the merit of a two-state solution to the Israeli crisis so that withdrawal yes, and then establish two sovereign states which are recognised by the United Nations. To this end, I am happy that the UN has already started recognising Palestine. It has been given a seat in the World Health Organisation and other UN agencies. For me, that is a progressive realisation that we need a sovereign independent Palestine state. So the solution is not to take sides with one entity but let us advocate for sovereignty and the respect of the borders between Palestine and Israel. For me, that is the step which we must pursue.

Beyond this approach Mr. Speaker Sir, I must pose it that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is now being overshadowed by a new geo-political reality in the Middle East called terrorism. Now, because the world is now focusing on terrorism, the Palestinian question is gradually being overshadowed. In the fight against terrorism, you find that Iran, Qatar, Syria and Yemen are on one side. Whereas Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries are on the other side. So, Middle East has now become a powder keg of the world because there is a contestation now between Russia siding with Iran, Qatar, Yemen and Syria on the one hand and you have America siding with Saudi Arabia and other countries on the other. So, terrorism is now overtaking the Palestinian crisis in terms of global focus. 

I would hope that in future trips; we factor in the new geo-politics of the region vis-a-vis terrorism because it has actually broadened the alliances, those which are pro-Iran and those that are pro-Saudi Arabia in that region. Let us not just take a narrow approach when dealing with the Palestinian question. It has a lot of ramifications as I have tried to demonstrate. Thank you very much.

HON. MLISWA: I want to thank the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Kindness Paradza for his report. Equally, I want to also agree with Hon. Mashakada on the approach. I think it is important that we observe the sovereignty of each country. I think that is very important. It is also important to put into consideration the power politics involved. We cannot achieve the intended progress if we do not understand the role of the USA in this.

We have seen the USA former President, Barack Obama coming into office but failing to deal with this situation. This is the most powerful nation in the world, the so called best democracy. Equally, we cannot leave the power of the Jews outside Israel. Israel is not powerful because of the Jews in Israel. Israel is powerful because of the Jews outside Israel. They control the world economy. Even here in Africa, if you go to South Africa, the Jews control the economy. You cannot go into power without having being endorsed by the Jews. This is the trend around the world and that is the reason why Israel is a bully. As small as they are, they are a bully – [HON. ZWIZWAI: So, we were endorsed by the bully.] –

Not  only that, you also have to go beyond that and put into perspective the role Israel plays in the intelligence of world politics. For example Mossad, the intelligence arm of Israel, how they are involved in controlling the world. So, the world intelligence is controlled by Israel.  America even relies on them. At the same time, we want to have a situation where we recognise boundaries. Hon. Dr. Mashakada is spot on in saying that we must recognise boundaries but, who mediates because when there is a conflict, there must be a mediator.  No one is prepared to mediate because the most powerful people in the world, the Jews, are watching.  Which side do you go and if you go on the wrong side, you withdraw.  The current American President, Donald Trump has come in understanding the role that Israel plays.  He wants to now, basically from a realistic point of view, say is Israel is right when Israel is not right. 

In so doing, we will have had a situation where the United Nations Council has a role to play in terms of human rights violation.  It is not good for them to focus on Africa alone when they cannot focus on countries which are right there.  The role of the Middle East is critically important and what is the United Nations Security Council’s take on this?  We have seen them at one point coming to deal with little Zimbabwe but now, in terms of Palestine, they seem not to know what to do, yet people are dying every day.  So, do we have a situation where the world, because of who is who, allows certain people to kill and to violate other people’s rights and when it comes to Zimbabwe, they then move on.  The aspect of this conflict is also territorial in that, you control through the territories that you have.  The same way politically, we would also perceive things here.

          Russia has been very quiet and I do not know where it is in this because Russia seems to be the only nation that can probably come in and deal with the situations.  I think that they are able to adapt to the Mosad approach through KGB, the organisation which matches them but the silence of Russia which is a power house and part of the G7 is equally important.  What is the position of the G7?  We are now taking it further and my point is, we cannot really say that we have done justice to this without us considering the players of this.  They are super powers and we must admit – what is the position of the super powers in this.  Equally, why are they not being involved?  This report shows that Zimbabwe is adhering to the principle of human rights, not only in this but beyond Zimbabwe.

          This report clearly gives us a plus in terms of us ensuring that there is democracy that prevails and human rights are respected.  For me, it is very important that we remain focused equally on what we can do and how far we can go.  It is important that through this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is equally important because ultimately, that is the responsible authority in terms of this.  Hon. Paradza must understand this; we do not see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs implementing any of your recommendations.  That is the other problem that we have.  Whilst this has been put together, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does absolutely nothing to really follow up. 

So, my point is that, whilst the Parliamentary Committee has done a sterling job, I do not see the Ministry responsible taking it beyond this House.  That creates a problem.  What is the role of Parliament?  This is a time when Zimbabwe must be seen to be engaging and this engagement is necessitated by such reports which violate on people’s human rights.  That equally helps Zimbabwe – we have a dent of not being sticklers for human rights.  So to me, when we are seen to be doing this, it does help that it assists in the investment of the country. 

The other reason we do not enjoy that investment is because people believe that we do not respect people’s rights and there is no rule of law.  So to me, we have to be very consistent.  It is not just about Israel but it is about the image that we portray to the international community, that we believe in human rights and as such we must be engaging further than Zimbabwe.  So, I want to really commend this report but equally, the challenge lies in the responsible Ministries not being able to implement.  We have the Minister of Foreign Affairs who hardly is here and it will be amiss of me not to mention that.  I do not even see the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to be part of this debate, sitting to listen and brief his superior.  So, where are we going?  The Deputy Minister is not here to even listen to this important report which Parliament has spent a lot of taxpayers’ money on.  We are then accused of spending taxpayers’ money without any cause. 

You cannot blame the nation for saying that when the responsible Ministry is not here for this report and I think that it would have been important that before this report is presented, to also just look around on whether the responsible Ministry is around.  This is falling on deaf ears because none of us are empowered to do anything about this report other than recommend.  So, I also implore that the responsible Ministry shows an interest in these issues because the work that we are doing as Parliament goes to nothing.  I know that this Committee has spent a lot of time and it has been sincere in dealing with these issues and such.  The Ministry must be reciprocal and must also complement the efforts of the Members of Parliament and the Committee that has done this. 

With that Mr. Speaker Sir, I think I will support this issue and I think that we do not have to be emotional and we do not have to encourage issues of an eye for an eye because it has never worked but what we must be seen to be doing is to create a better Zimbabwe for generations to come – where we have gone wrong, let them enjoin.  Thank you.

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

          HON. GONESE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 20th June, 2017.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES

          Thirty-Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on acts of violence and terror against innocent people.

Question again proposed.

HON. WATSON:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for the time to debate this motion.  When Hon. Mandipaka debated, he pointed out that this motion has been on the Order Paper for some time although it was time sensitive when it came to the House.  He tried in his debate to take the violence that occurred at the time described in his motion back in time to the formation of the opposition in 1999.  However, in doing so, he neglected to balance his argument.  In fact, although there has been violence indeed since 1999 and before 1999, a lot of that violence was not formulated by the opposition.  There was the case of Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chimenya who were violently petrol bombed, attacked and died.  Although the perpetrators of those crimes were known, they were never apprehended; they were never prosecuted and nothing occurred about that very violent murder.

Violence then continued in Zimbabwe throughout the period 2000 to 2008 at every election.  In fact, very few perpetrators were ever brought to court or was it proved conclusively.  The source of that violence has remained hidden to Zimbabweans.  The source of violence in the Presidential run up in 2008 was one of the reasons of intervention of SADC and the lead up to the GNU.  Therefore, it has to be a balanced argument.  It cannot be one sided.

Although a lot of perpetrators or said alleged perpetrators of violence are described in Oliver Mandipaka’s debate, some of them have already been tried and released for lack of evidence.  Therefore, to call upon the Ministry of Home Affairs to prosecute and the ZRP to investigate seems a little irrelevant because they seem incapable.

The Minister, at the time, did not bring a statement to this House which was his obligation given the seriousness of the alleged crimes.  Therefore, I strongly feel that the Minister should come in light of Hon. Mandipaka’s debate and explain to this House exactly what was discovered, what has happened and who the perpetrators were before we allege in this House, that it is the formation and the opposition itself which is violent.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am sorry to Hon. Mliswa for stopping him.  Hon. Speaker, I wish to draw your attention to that fact that, as you may recall, Parliament had instructed us, myself and Hon. Mandipaka to join our motions.  That could not happen.  We could not agree on certain contents.  What it therefore meant was that we were supposed to come back to Parliament and indicate to you that we had failed to agree so that we would then motivate the course to be taken by both parties in the two motions forward.

That has not been done.  So, I wish to then indicate and table that.  Perhaps, the best way to proceed would be for us to find a way of debating this one and also, if I may be allowed to move mine so that when it comes to then adopting the resolutions, we are able to join.  Yes, we will allow this one to be debated but before we conclude on it, I hope that I will also be allowed, Hon. Speaker, to also bring mine because we cannot allow Parliament to plough the same field twice.  It is unnecessary; it is excessively laborious for Members of Parliament to be forced to engage in this aspect twice. 

So, this is my humble submission Hon. Speaker, and I hope we will get a ruling from the Chair in terms of how we are going to proceed because these motions are similar, save to say we just have slight differences in terms of orientation.  Hon. Mandipaka is emphasising parties being violent and I am emphasising the obligation that has to be placed on the police in terms of making sure that we alleviate the scourge of violence in Zimbabwe. 

So, I await the direction without necessarily vetoing the approach to be taken by Hon. Members who wish to debate.  I just hope that we will be able to be just to both motions for the speedy and meritocratic attention to issues before us Hon. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I do understand what you are saying Hon. Chamisa, but as you are quite aware, this motion was adjourned.  It is not like it is being introduced but anyway, I am being advised here by the Clerk that Hon. Chamisa’s motion will have to come as an amendment and the Hon. Members can debate on either the original motion or the amendment.

HON. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to contribute to this debate which was moved by Hon. Mandipaka in terms of the political parties’ perpetration of acts of violence in our nation and I repeat, strongly condemn political parties perpetrating acts of violence in our nation. 

All political parties are responsible for the violence in this country; ZANU PF included, MDC included.  I say so because in my debate, I will clearly say that charity begins at home.  The violence you see perpetrated by the young people in the streets starts at home.  When I talk about home, I talk about the political parties that they belong to.  You cannot exonerate any political party from this.  It has become a culture.  Any politician believes that they must have an army; they must have a riot squad to go and deal with somebody who wants to contest or anything.  I say so with my history of having been a provincial chairperson of the ruling party.

The critical issue to understand is - what are political parties doing to ensure that there is tolerance amongst themselves?  I will give examples.  MDC – when Elton Mangoma left, he was beaten up at Harvest House.  This is there is in the public domain and I did not hear a statement from the leadership of the party admonishing that if there is anything, they were equally part of it.

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  There were people who were arrested who are members of the Movement for Democratic Change.  They were tried and acquitted.  In that regard, we need to come to the assault which the Hon. Member is referring to.  The truth of the matter is that the persons who were alleged to have assaulted Hon. Mangoma were acquitted by a court of law.  At the end of the day, you cannot visit that violence on the doorsteps of the Movement for Democratic Change - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

I think it is important to put it in that context.  So, it is not proper for the Hon. Member to impute to the MDC responsibility for that particular act of violence.  If he wants to give examples, he must not give examples whereby he makes reference to inaccurate information.  It is now in the public domain that a court of law acquitted the Hon. Members.  James Chidhakwa was acquitted by a court of law.  He was not found guilty of any offence.  My point is that Hon. Mliswa must not say that the MDC was supposed to make a statement because MDC was not responsible for the violence.  That is my point of order.  He must not make that submission that MDC should have ….

HON. MLISWA: Before even the Speaker rules, I have absolutely have no qualms in withdrawing.  I withdraw.  I will withdraw by proffering a very good example of a Glen View incident where a policeman was killed by MDC who are in jail - [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -  They were convicted and they are serving sentence right now…..

HON. GONESE:  Another point of order Mr. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No. No. No.

HON. GONESE:  There is an appeal and the …..

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have not recognised you.

HON. GONESE:  There is an appeal and the matter is now subjudice ….

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have not recognised you.

HON. GONESE:  I can sight our Standing Orders Mr. Speaker where it says that we must not make reference to matters which are subjudice

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have not recognised you.

Hon. Gonese approached the Chair.

HON. GONESE:  My point of order is that this matter is subject to an appeal and therefore, it is subjudice.  Our Standing Orders are very specific; that were matters are under consideration by our courts of law, we cannot make reference to them because they are subjudice.  The appeal has been duly noted and it is pending before the Supreme Court.

HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker, I totally agree with Hon. Gonese that the Standing Orders are very clear pertaining to issues before the courts.  It does not specify that, ‘under appeal before the courts’.  He was convicted before the courts. In being convicted before the courts, he must be very specific which Standing Order then said appeal.  Appeal does not set aside the judgment because they are still in there.  It is the same thing with the Kereke situation.  Kereke has been convicted, he is in prison and he has appealed.  He is not sitting in Parliament because the court is yet to hear that and that is what it is.  That is what I understand about the law.

I want to be very clear about that….

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  On a point of order, this is a very important debate.  I am making a supplication to your Hon. Chair that if we may make sure that there is quorum because we need all the members to be here - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  We want to see if there is quorum.  We want all members to be here.  This is very important.

Hon. Adv. Chamisa having consulted with Hon. Gonese.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Hon. Speaker, I am the mover of this motion and I want to withdraw it in the interest of our business so that we are able to transact - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

HON. MLISWA:  These issues are important and let me on that note, commend Hon. Chamisa who has been visiting the MDC convicted people in prison.  I thank you for that because they find solace in that.  I have seen him on social media commenting.  I think it is very important that as political parties when we allow people to be violent, we also visit them in prison. That only shows that you are human.

On a more serious note, Hon. Chamisa, you have ….

HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: On a point of order, I just want to remind the Hon. Member here that when he is debating, he must also take into cognisance that he is also one of the perpetrators because at one point he beat Hon. Mahoka.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  That is not a point of order. 

HON. MLISWA:  I went before the courts and I was acquitted.  I do not know if you know of any other court that convicted me.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Can you continue with your debate?

HON. MLISWA:  I was acquitted because I was not there.  On a more serious note, I seriously want to commend Hon. Chamisa.  I follow him on tweeter and I think it was very good of you to be able to do that but next time, find others from ZANU PF who are there so that you can also give solace to them as a lawyer - [AN HON. MEMBER:  And pray for them.] - 

I was to talk about Ambassador Stevenson situation where we all know that there was a machete which was brought out because she disagreed with MDC on her thoughts.  As a result, she went to join Prof. Welshman Ncube’s MDC.  These are examples which I am giving which we have done nothing about as political parties to address.  This issue is serious because we are going towards elections. What happens is that it seems to be a training ground for people to exercise beating each other for the grand finale which is the election. Unfortunately, there is not much being done by the political parties to address this.  If there is anything, more is happening. 

I will also talk on the other side, ZANU PF.  Just recently…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, can you stick to the motion of the debate?

HON. MLISWA:  No, the motion is very clear.  I am on strongly condemning political parties perpetrating acts of violence.  These are parties that I am taking about.  I am within that Mr. Speaker Sir.

I also want to talk about ZANU PF where in Bulawayo, Lacoste and G40; even the Vice President himself was involved.  So, if you are having a leader at that level getting involved in violence, even going to the police station, where are we going as a country? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – So, to me you have a situation where it is political parties -  moreso ZANU PF is the party that is actually governing the country, they should lead by example. If I go through the Constitution here, it is very clear as to the functions of the Commissioner General, the functions of the police.  It does not talk about the Vice President being in charge of the police but it talks about the President appointing the Commissioner General, in consultation with the Minister. 

The Vice President has got the power to send the Minister to go and check but he decides to go himself.  What message are we sending to the nation because he belongs to a faction within the party that has been beaten up and he is now going to defend them?  It is totally unacceptable and I think it is important that we have leaders who lead by example. 

          What is then happening is that these young people end up being more violent, because they are getting protection from the Presidium.  So, if you are getting protection from the Presidium, why should I stop fighting?  I speak with so much passion because I see us dividing our nation because of the political interest that we have.  It is not the first time, if you go through the Constitution, it is very clear about the role of the police - Section 219 (3), the police service must be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and subordinate to civilian authority as establish by this Constitution.  So, you are now getting the police to be partisan when they should be non-partisan because they work on instructions.  When they see the Vice President they have no choice but to salute and take the instruction, but is that what the Constitution says? 

          So, we have leaders violating the Constitution everyday and breeding this ground for these young people to be violent.  They go out there to go and destroy peoples’ properties when demonstration are there, knowing that they are protected by the Presidium.  To me, we must not mince our words when we come to this situation because the act of violence in political parties, intra party can also affect any of you especially on the ZANU PF side, where the factions are even more dominant than any other party. 

They are now using violence to be able to dictate who is more powerful.  I saw it myself when I was the provincial chairman when the Hon. Minister of Defence, Sekeramayi’s wife was beaten up at the ZANU PF Headquarters by ZANU PF youths – [HON. MEMBERS: Ahh.] – because of the factions because people believed that Cde. Sekeramayi was Gamatox and the wife was beaten up.  How would you allow honestly, a Minister to have his wife beaten up and the party does not even issue a statement?  It means you are giving a go ahead for these young people to be violent. 

I equally saw it in Hurungwe West where the Human Rights Commission report is very clear about the acts of violence, which pains me because these are the people that I served.  Innocently because of their will and their right to exercise their vote, they were beaten up.  Why beat up a person because you differ from their opinion?  Is this the nation that we want to build?  Are we here because of the will of the people or we are here because of violence?  It is a question I ask every legislature in here.   From the primary elections that you underwent did you every the youths to beat anybody, if they did may the good Lord forgive you.  It is important that we exercise this from our political parties, because this aspect of violence is growing and while it is growing it needs to be curbed. 

We have innocent people who are running their businesses in these hard times having their properties being destroyed, goods being looted.  They took loans and now they cannot pay back the loans and we still are not strong on it.  The police from what I know of them will never act until they are given instructions to act, especially when it is a so called political matter. They will tell you we are waiting for a directive.  They have taken off to be able to practice and what I am saying is that the hierarchy in the police must understand that the many people from all political parties who have suffered violence, some have died, is something that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, because the Commissioner General of police must be able to leave that office one day to say that I discharged my duties professionally I am in accordance with the Constitution of the country.  My question is will he be able to respond to that affirmatively. 

It is important Mr. Speaker that the police must work with the community as they say.  There must be no barrier whatsoever, but a barrier has been created and while has been created, there is now animosity between the police and the public which then makes people paint a picture and label the police to be partisan rather being non partisan.  I think Commissioner General Chihuri is a war veteran who will respect – he went to war to liberate this country and to me I think it is equally important for him to enjoy the fruits, but at the time sticking to the founding principles of the struggle. 

          They went through the Smith regime - because of oppression and because of the violence that was there and I think his quest to be in the struggle was to see a free Zimbabwe where people enjoy, where they is law and order.  I think there is the aspect of minimum force, the police is empowered to use minimum force, but you know - what is minimum force?  We saw the war veterans being tear-gassed.  Was it really necessary for the police to tear gas the war veterans who are innocent and cannot even run?  So, to me already you are actually provoking society to respond and society responds by being violent because you were violent.  Do we not have police officers?  The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission recommends that police officers must continuously go through training so that they are up with the modern trends of policing in the whole world.  Without them being given those refresher courses, they will always not be there.  We see a situation where resources which are meant to really work against those who are not...

[Time limit.]

          HON. MLISWA:  Hon. Speaker, I want to thank you for this opportunity to debate and I think it is equally important that we all observe tolerance as a nation, we all respect each other.  There is no point in us being violent because the seed that we are planting in our political parties is slowly manifesting and it will harm us. I thank you.

          HON. RUNGANI:  Mr. Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. GONESE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 20th June, 2017.

          On the motion of HON. RUNGANI seconded by HON. GONESE, the House adjourned at Five Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 20th June, 2017.

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