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Thursday 18th August, 2016

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





          HON. CHAMISA: Madam Speaker, as you may be aware, after conversing and liaising with the Hon. Speaker, I am glad that we have come to a consensus on the way forward as suggested and I wish to take this opportunity to now move the motion, which motion I had intended to move yesterday.  I am glad that your office has acknowledged the importance of this motion in executing the role of Parliament.  The motion reads:

          NOTING the disturbing images and video footage of men and women in police uniform, beating up civilians;

          AWARE that the Police Charter rests on the settled principles of pro lege, pro patria and pro populo, otherwise simply put for others – for the law, for the country and for the people;

          AWARE that the police in terms of the charter, they are supposed to respect their commitment to what they are supposed to do for the citizens in a community;

          WORRIED by the recent behaviour and conduct of certain police officers in their handling and beating up of demonstrating and peace loving citizens, a case in point being just yesterday,

CONCERNED with human rights abuses and rule by law as opposed to rule of law as instigated by certain of the police officers or persons masquerading as the police; 

PERTURBED by the fact that the responsible Minister for the police and the Commissioner General have not made any effort to ensure that there is discipline or at least some reprimand on those who are perceived or are found to be perpetrators;

          FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGING that the animosity and bad blood is being fertilized and encouraged between the police and the citizens on account of the behaviour of these few bad apples; 

ALSO, ACKNOWLEDGING the fact that the President of the Republic has publicly condemned the public who are exercising their rights without correspondingly condemning the police for their abuse of citizen rights and the shredding apart of the Constitution;

          NOW THEREFORE, call upon this Parliament to do the following:

  1. The Minister of Home Affairs to investigate the conduct of these police officers and report to Parliament within a period stipulated by Parliament of a month.
  2. The Minister of Home Affairs to issue a public apology in the interim over the untoward conduct of some of the police officers.
  3. Immediately implement a training of police officers’ programme in terms of human rights as part of their curriculum as envisaged and contemplated by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
  4. To put in place an Act of Parliament setting up an independent Complaints Commission and mechanism for members of the public to report on abuses by the police in terms of Section 210 of our national law.
  5. Ensure that in line with the national Magna Carter of our Constitution, Parliament sets up a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the conduct of the police, either through the Portfolio Committee or through a set up Committee by Parliament to make sure that we do justice in our oversight role.

This is very important Madam Speaker, because in terms of Section 119 of the Constitution, Parliament is supposed to make sure that the Constitution is respected by every citizen including Government organs.  I want to table as such Madam Speaker.  Thank you very much.

HON. MANDIPAKA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  We seek clarity.  Yesterday, the Hon. Chair that was there indicated to Hon. Chamisa to bring the motion that he was supposed to produce the images first.  We want to understand whether the images were produced to the Speaker first.  Thank you - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members.  Taking into consideration what you are saying Hon. Member, I just have to tell you that everything is under control.  Everything was done.  So, we are proceeding.

MDC-T Hon. Members having jeered at Hon. Mandipaka.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members, I do not think that that was supposed to be done by Hon. Members.  We have to control ourselves and behave like Hon. Members - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

Order, order.  I consider the motion to be the one contemplated by Standing Order Number 59 (2) and accordingly call upon members who support the motion to rise in their places.

Opposition Hon. Members rose in their places

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we do that in silence please? As no fewer than 25 members have supported the contemplated motion, I declare the leave of the House to discuss the motion to have been duly granted.  The matter will be stood over until a Quarter-past Five o’clock p.m. or sooner on adjournment.

HON. CHAMISA: Hon. Speaker, in terms of our rules, I wish to obviously at the appropriate time, make a special request that we bring this matter forward – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – but I am saying at the appropriate time.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we have order?  I want to hear what he is saying.

HON. CHAMISA:  But more importantly Madam Speaker, just to say when we come to Parliament and raise these motions, I want to assure you that Members of Parliament who are so vocal, are the ones who are inciting us in corridors to say please help us debate these important motions – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.  Can we have order please?  Hon. Chamisa please, I have given you enough time and you still need some more time – you are requesting to move it forward. Is there any objection to the request?

HON. CHAMISA: No, there is no objection.  Just also to say, for Hon. Mandipaka who raised a very important point, I now have managed to give to the Speaker authentic evidence, not just video evidence but impeccable evidence which is now here.  It is here and we are going to play it for everyone to see.  Thank you very much.



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

          THAT WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by, or under the authority of the President shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

          AND WHEREAS the Protocol on the SADC Tribunal was adopted by the 34th   Ordinary Session of the SADC Summit held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on 18 August 2014;

          AND WHEREAS the entry into force of the said Protocol shall be conditional upon its ratification by the Member States in accordance with their constitutional procedures;

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

HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I rise on a point of order to the fact that I approached the Hon. Vice President to seek clarification as to whether the relevant protocol had been furnished to Hon. Members and his response Madam Speaker Ma’am, was “go to hell, go and object” but I had actually courteously approached him to try to ascertain whether we had been favoured with copies of that Protocol and I believe that it is not appropriate for the Hon. Vice President to say go to hell.  Go and object if you want.  That was not my intention because I do not recall seeing that Protocol in our pigeon holes.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member.  You have been whispering to each other.  We did not hear what you said.  May be he did not say that.  How do we know what you discussed?

HON. GONESE:  I am simply mentioning it in the context of the fact that ….

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  You went there and whispered to each other then you come and report to us what you whispered.

HON. GONESE:  I have not finished – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No we cannot have that.  

HON. GONESE:  No, no, no.  That is not the end of the matter,  you have not heard me correctly.  There is a second aspect to my point. May you please bear me out?  My request still stands as to whether the Protocol was circulated or not.  When we have motions of this nature, I think it is only proper for us to be favoured with copies and I still need that response so that we are properly guided.  I simply mentioned it as a preliminary point, but the substance – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member. 

HON. GONESE:  Madam Speaker, I think you can also be patient.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:   I am patient but my problem is that all the time that you stand up you do not finish, you keep going on.

HON. GONESE:  No, no, no, I always finish.  The substance or essence – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – If you are making noise, the Madam Speaker will not hear what I am saying.  The subject and the essence – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, can we have order please?

HON. GONESE:  The substance or essence is to seek clarification from the Hon. Vice President now whether that Protocol has been furnished to us so that we can debate from an informed position.  I still need that response formally now.  I do not recall seeing it and most of the members here do not recall having seen it either.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, for your own information and the House’s, the information or the Protocol was circulated on the 20th of July, 2016.  If we can count, how many weeks is that?  I think we are now proceeding.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker and thank you very much Hon. Vice President.  The issues I want to raise will speak to some of the issues that Hon. Gonese has raised but acknowledging the fact that indeed, if there is information that the Protocol was circulated, it would have been our responsibility as Parliament to have looked at it.  However, since we have an opportunity to debate this, there are a number of issues that I would perhaps ask and seek clarification from the Hon. Vice President.

The first one is just a matter of procedure and process – whether this particular Protocol, because it is such an important Protocol – it would not have helped if it was given to the Committee on Justice so that we would have had a look at it at least from a portfolio point of view and provided comments to the Hon. Vice President.  I think it would have informed this debate much better and it is to implore the Hon. Vice President if time can permit, for that process to take place to allow at the most, the Justice Committee to have a look at it.

I will explain Madam Speaker why I would like to persuade the Hon. Vice President to allow for that time.  You would know that in the previous times, we have had this particular tribunal spoken about and issues around ratification and process being brought to SADC.  It has been a subject of debate in many SADC Summits before.  The issues that arose from it are interestingly issues that arose from a Zimbabwean case; which is why in particular it would be important for Zimbabweans and for ourselves as Parliament to be clear about what this means now in terms of this new SADC tribunal.

You will remember Madam Speaker that the issue under contestation and the issue that brought the tribunal discussion to SADC was around the court issues that had been instigated, around issues of land from Zimbabwe by white farmers.  It is that particular issue that had brought that discussion around the SADC Tribunal back to the SADC Summit, that is in terms of a discussion of whether we should have a judiciary system that goes over and above the judiciary system that is in Zimbabwe.

I am very clear about this particular issue because I was one of the Ministers at that time who attended those particular SADC Summits.  This is why I apologise to the Hon. Vice President because this is a subject that some of us should have taken time to look at and therefore be debating within that context.  One would want to understand the difference between that SADC Tribunal that we had that time and this SADC Tribunal and how that related to some of the issues that had been brought up not only by the SADC Summit Ministers who had attended and had long conversations around this issue of the SADC Tribunal.

This is not to say I am personally taking a position against this SADC tribunal because I do not have information about what it now contains.  It is more of a request to say that though we take responsibility of not having done what we were supposed to have done, is it possible for the Vice President to allow this process to go to the Committee on Justice and for him to bring this debate at a later date, so that we can have a much more fruitful discussion.  That is my plea to the Hon. Vice President.

          HON. CHASI:  I rise to support the motion by the Hon. Vice President with regards to this protocol.  I believe that it is very important that when we make commitments as a country, at the international play, we must ensure that we follow through those commitments in our Parliament so that the protocols assume legal force as intended when discussions took place at SADC. 

I listened very carefully to the previous speaker concerning the background to this protocol.  However, I think that the content of this protocol has since been refined and I think the entirety of SADC has agreed to the fact that the external system of a judicial system that bears no respect to the sovereignty of any country is completely unworkable.  International relations at the moment are not practiced on the basis of ignoring each country’s sovereignty.  So, I want to say that my understanding of this protocol is that it provides an opportunity for the resolution of labour issues between staff members of SADC and SADC.

 As it is, there is a void as there is no legal structure that permits staff from all the SADC countries that may have employment disputes or issues with the employer to resolve them.  So, in my view, this matter is quite urgent because on a day-to-day basis, there are disputes of a labour nature, amongst and between SADC and its own staff.  I therefore, verily support and say that this matter is urgent and we must approve this protocol as there are many employees who may be adversely affected by the void that exists in labour relations mechanisms within SADC. 

          HON. MARIDADI:  I rise to join other speakers and say thank you to the Hon. Vice President for bringing this motion.  It is a very important motion and I remember the issues that have been raised by Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga being issues of concern to the rest of the SADC region.  I think it will be very important for Members of Parliament to be favoured with that background because when we go back to our constituencies, people are going to ask why it was so urgent and why the motion could not wait. 

Maybe the Vice President can give the background papers to the Parliamentary Legal Committee to go through and then we get a report so that we are also able to go through it and be able to debate knowledgeably.  As it is right now, stampeding this motion through Parliament does not do us any good. I do not think that it is that urgent that this matter cannot wait until we come back from our break.  We need to be given the information so we are able to consult our constituents so that we will be more informed to add our voices to the debate.

          Hon. Vice President, I am appealing to you to give us time to go through the protocol.  The reason why we cannot differentiate between a Bill and a protocol is because we are not lawyers.  We also need to consult lawyers and learned people.  We do not come to this Parliament because we know everything.  Our job is to represent people and we should be able to consult on issues that we do not know and then come back with information.  So, Hon. Vice President, I appeal to you to stop a little bit being arrogant and listen to Members of Parliament.  Arrogance will not help us and I am appealing to the Hon. Vice President that as a President in waiting, he must listen to his people.

HON. NDUNA:  I also want to add my voice in this manner; we have an animal called the International Criminal Court (ICC).  My fervent prayer is that we do not engage ourselves, as a country, in a court or grouping that is going to transform itself from being objective.  In particular, I refer to the ICC which was objective at the beginning but has been turned into a greyhound to hound black African leaders who are sitting Heads of State.  It has transformed itself from being objective at the beginning thereby leaving a lot of African leaders, in particular, sitting Heads of State with no option but to get out of that grouping.  So, my point is that as we go into ratifying this SADC tribunal protocol, we need to have an option to come out when it transforms itself into a guard-dog which has lost its objectivity.  As we go into this grouping, we also need to make sure that it has a shelf life.  Its modus operandi should be monitored to make sure it still has the objectivity that it started with.  My thinking on the shelf life is that it should be aligned to the regional strategies…

HON. MAONDERA:  On a point of order Hon. Speaker, Hon Misihairabwi-Mushonga is vindicated when she said Members of Parliament have not gone through this protocol because all he is saying is already covered in the protocol.  If Members had read this protocol properly, I do not think he would be debating in the manner that he is debating because it is already covered.  So, Members are vindicated that they have not seen this protocol. - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members, you are out of order.  You are not allowed to stop an Hon. Member from debating when he still wants to debate. 

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker for protecting me.  The train will keep moving where the dog keeps barking….

          HON. MAONDERA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  The Hon. Member is insinuating that the train will not stop where the dog is barking.  Are we dogs Madam Speaker?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  That is not correct Hon. Member, we are all Hon. Members here. 

          HON. MAONDERA:  He is saying we are dogs.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I did not hear that.  Is there anyone barking? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order, if I am presiding and you want to teach me how to preside, I do not think it is proper.  I have to take my own decision but if you drag me, I will not be able to take any decision.  So Hon. Nduna, can you please continue with your debate – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, we have sustainable development goals of 2030.  In the absence of a shelf life and the guidelines…

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  This House is a House that we represent people in the various constituencies.  The Hon. Member has clearly stated that there is a train, then there are dogs in this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –He made reference in his presentation that where the dogs bark, the train will not stop.  Madam Speaker, I do not think it is proper for you to avoid that statement when the Hon. Member has said that in this House there are dogs and a train.  Who is he insinuating to be dogs, who are dogs here, mune imbwa here, mune chitima here muno umu, imbwa inosunga tie, kuita imbwa inini.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, would you please withdraw that statement.  

          HON. NDUNA:  For record purpose, I did not mention any names, I withdraw.  The tribunal as it is set up, it is my fervent view that it also aligns itself to the obtaining strategic documents of the regional groupings at that time.  In the absence of the alignment of the regional groupings strategic documents, this particular one that we are going to rectify, it is my fervent view that it gets to be aligned and to be a monitor or a barometer as to how we are going to engage ourselves and carry out the sustainable development goals in their totality of 17 up to 2030. 

          As I conclude, I want to reiterate that we should have a way out of a grouping that turns itself into a monster away from its mandate that it was formed for.  As we also continue to be members of that regional grouping, let us have a way out of it if we so decide that it has come to infringe upon our constitutional rights as member nations.  I thank you. 

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  I rise to contribute to the motion brought by the Hon. Vice President.  In doing so, I will first of all make reference to the provisions of the Constitution.  The motion is being brought to us in terms of Section 327 of our Constitution and the most important part of that provision requires that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority …

          HON. T. KHUMALO:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I realise that this Parliament is taking other people’s health for granted.  I am sure you are aware that I am asthmatic; you are denying me my right as a Member of Parliament, elected in Bulawayo East to sit in this august House and represent the Bulawayo people.  I am saying so because I am failing to breathe in this House and you are not evening cleaning.  My question is, do I not have a right for my health to be protected in this House? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Nhamo yemumwe munhu hairambirwi sadza.  Inini ndini ndirikurwara pano.  You do not know what I am feeling and no one can say sorry to me because you do not know what I am going through.  I am asking your good office, can you please clean this Parliament?  Some of us are asthmatic – [HON. MUPFUMI: Inaudible interjection.] –

          Hon. T. Khumalo walked out.

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you Madam Speaker, as I was just explaining, the requirement for approval of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order, the noise is just too much, please let us listen to the debate.   

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  This requirement means that we must apply our minds as Parliament to any treaty which requires our approval so that we can do it from an informed position.  At the very least, not withstanding that the protocol is there. When we have Bills in this House Madam Speaker, the mover of the motion for the second reading still speaks to the Bill. I would have expected that the Hon. Vice President was going to speak to the reason why the President approved that treaty so that we have the motivation and the background. This is not found by just merely reading the protocol.

          We must find out what was the underlying reason. When we look at this particular tribunal, I am aware of the background. We had a tribunal which was based in Windhoek and at the time, Zimbabwe seconded judges. If my memory serves me right, the judge of the Constitutional Court, Justice Guvava was one of the judges who had been seconded to Windhoek...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members on my right, you are making a lot of noise. 

          HON. GONESE: He was one of the judges who had been seconded to Windhoek to be part of that tribunal and that to me, indicates that we were in agreement with the setting up of the tribunal at the time. Again, in reference to the case of the farmers which Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga alluded to, Zimbabwe sent the then Attorney General to Windhoek to go and argue the case. So having looked at this background, I believe it was important and is still important for the Hon. Vice President to explain to us the underlying reasons that led to the disbandment of that tribunal so that we can have an appreciation as to why countries in SADC and their wisdom. I want to hope and not for the lack of that wisdom, proceeded to come up with a differently constituted tribunal.

          Although we look at other regional groupings, I am aware that at ECOWAS, they have got a tribunal as well. In terms of that tribunal at ECOWAS, individuals are able to take governments to court. My understanding and this is the reason why I would have preferred to have debated this motion looking at the protocol. Be that as it may, from the background knowledge that I have, one of the challenges which we have is that individuals are not able to take any complaints they may have against governments, and yet you will find that some of the problems which may need adjudication relate to the rights of the individual, the rights of the citizen and to have this situation where only governments can take each other to court.

          I believe that the reference by one of the Hon. Members to employees going to court may actually not be applicable. My understanding is that this particular protocol only allows governments to take each other to court and this is the explanation that we would have wanted to get before we engage in the debate and not get that explanation after because when the Vice President responds to the debate, that is the closure of the matter. Hon. Members will not be able to have a second bite at the cherry, which is the reason why when you have your second reading, the mover of the motion explains the rationale, the considerations that would have led to that Bill being brought to Parliament.

          In a similar vein, that rationale is what is lacking in the way in which this particular motion has been brought. All that the Hon. Vice President did was to read his motion and seek the approval of this House which is in essence, reducing us to a rubber stamp. When we look at our Constitution Madam Speaker, we are supposed to make laws for the order and good governance of this country. Unfortunately, we are coming across a situation where laws just pass through Parliament instead of Parliament making laws.

          In a similar vein, we would not want a situation where we are just here as a conduit pipe to simply approve things where we have not applied our minds to those issues. I would also appeal to the Hon. Vice President to allow adjournment of the debate so that Hon. Members can articulate viewpoints which come from the generality of Zimbabweans as to whether this particular protocol is desirable in the form in which it was approved. notwithstanding that it has already been signed by the requirement for this august House to approve the international treaties, was put there for a reason. That reason is simply to allow us to apply our minds and this is all that we are seeking as Hon. Members.  I rest my case.

          HON. CROSS: Madam Speaker, I will not keep the House very long but I would hope that the Vice President would have heard today that the understanding of the protocol is really limited in the House. So, we need some more explanation. I just want to say that the tribunal proposed is going to be the highest Court in the region. We are a member of SADC and therefore, we have obligations to the SADC. Once we endorse these protocols, they will apply to us and we will come under its rules and jurisdictions.

In East Africa, there is a similar protocol which in fact is similar to the regional protocol which was originally adopted for SADC, and which is functioning perfectly well. It hears several hundred cases a year, the majority of which are cases where individuals and companies bring cases to court at the tribunal for East Africa on their behalf and including cases where they are in dispute with their countries’ governments. This tribunal seems to be operating without difficulty. We wanted the SADC Ttibunal dissolved because Zimbabwe objected to the tribunal ruling on the land issue, which is a very sensitive matter.

I just want to say that the new protocol limits the jurisdictions of the new tribunal to inter-governmental conflict. Therefore, the first case to be held by this tribunal after we adopt this is likely to be a dispute between South Africa and Zimbabwe, Zambia and Zimbabwe over Statutory Instrument No. 64. South Africa has put us on notice that we should rescind this SI 64 immediately because it is damaging inter-country trade. I pointed out that if we adopt this protocol today, we might be the first case to be heard under the protocol and it could be to our detriment. Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you for allowing me to debate this motion. I would like to say the Hon. Vice President brought a motion for the ratification of a protocol among SADC States. I was listening carefully to what Hon. Gonese was saying. He said this treaty will enable governments to bring cases that pertain to their disputes. His argument was that they need more time to have a look at it. When this particular protocol refers to issues that pertains to the Executive – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.]-


HON. ZIYAMBI: This protocol refers to issues that pertain to the Executive and as per the constitutional requirement as he rightly said, it is a requirement that a protocol has to be brought into Parliament for ratification. I remember Madam Speaker, that most of the protocols that are brought into this House are not circulated and we are not given time to go and consult as he is saying. They just come here and we ratify them. Most of those are protocols that involve individuals, not a protocol that involves administrative issues where governments are taking each other to this SADC protocol.

The other point that I want to say is that, in terms of the tribunals or the African Court or the ICC, it is not the court of first instance. If you read all those statutes, they indicate that you have to exhaust all local remedies. In other words, you cannot just go there. We have one of the most progressive constitutions in the world which has got an independent judiciary. I am surprised that some people are clamouring that we should go and be tried somewhere else when we have a very good Constitution and a well functioning court system.  I support that this House adopts the Protocol.  I thank you.

HON. MUDARIKWA: Madam Speaker, I want to thank you.  Madam Speaker we are faced with a situation in the august House which needs that we have a clear mind and also understand the structure of our Government. 

Our President is a lawyer and our Vice President is a lawyer of international repute – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – There is no issue whatsoever to waste time to try to say, the other Hon. Member raised the need of Statutory Instrument 64.  I want to remind him that he was once in the Cold Storage Commission and we were getting a quarter from the European Union that is Statutory Instrument 64 of the European Union (EU).  You did not export the beef you wanted to export to the EU because you were regulated to say, so much amount of beef is what you are going to export, so much amount of sugar is what you are going to export.

An Hon. Member having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member. You may resume your debate Hon. Member.

HON. MUDARIKWA:  Thank you.  So the issue here is we do not want to mix issues.  Here is a Protocol which we must ratify as an august House.  Let us leave Statutory Instrument 64 on its own because it has nothing to do with what is here.  Let us also be very clear that Statutory Instrument 64 is for the interests of the masses of Zimbabwe.

You know the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  When you see your enemy not liking something, you must like it for the interest of liking it – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – For the purposes of development.  When we see Statutory Instruments coming here and we see others from the other side opposing them, you know that is right because that is what is going to make Zimbabwe a great nation.  I thank you.

HON. MUKANDURI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to contribute to this debate.  First of all I wish to thank the Hon. Vice President who has brought this motion to this august House.

Madam Speaker, we are very much aware of the contents of our Constitution, the requirements of our Constitution.  We are a body of legislators and our role is to scrutinize the laws and approve those laws.  We are not supposed to be part and parcel of the negotiating team as that pertains to the Executive.  This is procedural.

The Hon. Vice President has brought this piece of legislation here for ratification.  The SADC Tribunal is a supra-national body which of course in past years was trying to get into the deeper waters because it wanted to deal with issues of fundamental values to the Zimbabwe revolution.

The issue that I am getting from my fellow colleagues is that they want to revise the contents of that Tribunal but I think it is too late and we do not have the powers to do that.   That is the prerogative of the Executive as it was adopted at the 34th Ordinary Session in Victoria Falls.  We are here to say, yes or no and if there is any contestation, then we put it to a vote.  I thank you.

HON. MUDEREDZWA:  Madam Speaker thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution to this very important motion.

Hon. Matambanadza having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member.  Hon. Members please.

HON. MUDEREDZWA:  First and foremost, I would like to thank the Vice President for coming up with this motion.  I support all the Hon. Members who contributed in support of the motion.

What we should look at in this motion are the essential elements of the motion.  The motion is saying, the protocol on the SADC Tribunal was adopted by the 34th Ordinary Session of SADC in Victoria Falls.  In SADC there are around 15 countries, the leaders of those countries agreed and it shows that this issue was debated.  When it was debated, it was agreed upon by all leaders.  What is happening here is by way of procedure that we have to ratify as the Parliament of Zimbabwe.  It is not possible for us to object as a country outside 15 countries that are within SADC it is not possible because in SADC we move as a bloc.

In tandem with that, we should consider that as a very important point in the area of SADC that we cannot do our own thing.  We have agreed to that …

An Hon. Member having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members, please respect the procedures of the House.

HON. MUDEREDZWA:  For us to waste time as we are used to doing here, this Parliament is good at wasting time.  We are wasting time each and every day.  What we are supposed to be doing is to move with this motion, ratify it and do other business that is awaiting us.  I thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to say that those who need to be guided as to which issues go to committees should look at Section 152 of the Constitution.  Then with regard to international agreements as stated by Hon. Gonese, we read Section 327 of the Constitution.  It is pertinent that I should read that Section which he has quoted. “The International conventions, treaties and agreements, (2) An international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority-

  • does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by

Parliament; and

  • does not form part of the law of Zimbabwe unless it has been

incorporated into the law through an Act of Parliament.”

 (3)  An agreement which is not an international treaty but which –

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

(b) imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe;”.

The rest now does not apply, what applies to this treaty comes

under Sub Section 2 of 327 - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Tshuma, you are making noise.

          HON. VICE PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA:  So, this is a Protocol of SADC approved by the 15 States constituting SADC at their 34th Session in Victoria Falls of Heads of State.  For it to come into operation, we require two thirds; ten states should ratify it.  If Zimbabwe does not ratify the treaty and the other 10 or 14 ratify it, it comes into operation. 

          I would want to address issues raised by Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga which are pertinent; trying to seek the difference between the original tribunal which was declared null and void by the SADC Summit and the current one which has been constituted and approved by SADC.  The difference is that the former tribunal allowed that tribunal to supersede decisions of the highest courts of the respective member states of SADC, as well as allowing citizens of the respective member states to take their own state to the tribunal even before they complete domestic remedies in their own jurisdictions. 

This was declared null and void because each member state is a sovereign state and has the highest court or a court of final say in its own jurisdiction as a member state.  This is structured to serve disputes between the member states of SADC and not citizens of SADC taking their own state to the tribunal or taking decisions of the highest court of the land to a tribunal.  This is not provided for under this tribunal.  It is only to serve breaches or contestations between member states which can be resolved by a tribunal with guidelines that have been provided. 

The Protocol was circulated many weeks ago and I have the belief that people had the opportunity to read it.  With regard to Hon. Maridadi’s observation, I do not think that stating facts brings a person to the sphere of arrogance.  The difference …

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker, in his speech the Vice President, he was more inclined towards Hon. Members.  He referred to them as people.  There are no people here but Hon. Members.  So, he should withdraw and address us as Hon. Members.  We are not mothers and fathers.  Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I did not know Hon. Members are not people.  I thought we were people – [Laughter.] -  

HON. MNANGAGWA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  I do not think I deserve to attend to that observation because in my own understanding, Hon. Members are people.  I do not think we can go beyond that.  So, I have no doubt that Zimbabwe should be found among SADC member states supporting and ratifying this tribunal.  It is to our benefit because in the course of transactions between member states, disputes are bound to arise commercially, industrially or politically, then we have this instrument which will deal with such issues.

Turning to issues raised by Hon. Cross, this tribunal protocol will not deal with these minute issues which are bilateral between states.  For instance, if you look at what committees can deal with, it will tell you that it will deal with Bills except constitutional bills and statutory instruments.  We are not raising the status of statutory instruments to the level where they are going to be discussed regionally.  There are other channels to deal with statutory instruments internally or bilaterally.  As a matter of fact, in a democracy the will of the majority must always prevail.  On that note Madam Speaker, I move:

THAT WHEREAS Section 327(2)(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by, or under the authority of the President shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the Protocol on the SADC Tribunal was adopted by the 34th Ordinary Session of the SADC Summit held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on 18 August 2014;

AND WHEREAS the entry into force of the said Protocol shall be conditional upon its ratification by the Member States in accordance with their constitutional procedures;

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

Motion put and agreed to.



HON. RUNGANI:  Madam Speaker, I move that Order of the Day Number 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed.


Motion put and agreed to.



          HON. PARADZA:  I move a motion in my name: 

That this House takes note of the Report on the exchange visit by the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs to the Palestine Legislative Council held from 15th to 20th May, 2016.

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  I second. 

          HON. PARADZA:  Madam Speaker,

  • Introduction
  • The Exchange Visit to Palestine was undertaken from 15 – 20 May 2016. The invitation for an Exchange Visit was made by the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC)
  • Kindness Paradza, as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, led the delegation. He was accompanied by the following Members and Officer of Parliament:-

-Hon. Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Member of Parliament;

-Hon. Reuben Marumahoko, Member of Parliament;

- Mr. Shepherd Manhivi, Committee Clerk and Secretary to the delegation.

  • The objective of the visit was for the Parliament of Zimbabwe to ascertain, first-hand, the 68-year-old conflict that exist between Palestine and Israel. This would help shape Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy on the conflict and provide clear lobbying and advocacy strategies for Zimbabwe in its engagement with other SADC and African countries, especially given that most Africans do not seem to have a consistent and united strong voice in support of Palestine.
  • The delegation was grateful for the opportunity to meet with the Palestinian President, His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas, senior Government Officials and a number of Palestinian Parliamentarians during the course of its visit. The delegation left the region with a much greater understanding of the issues confronting the Palestinian people.
  • At the week-long visit, the following programmes took place:

-Courtesy call on H. E President Mahmoud Abbas;

-Meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr TayseerJaradat;

-Meeting with the Head of the Commission for the Resistance of Settlement and Segregation wall, Mr WalidAssaf;

-Meeting with members of the Legislative Council, Hon. Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, Hon Jamal Abu Alrub, Hon Alayaghi, and Hon Jamal Hwail;

-Meeting with the Minister of Prisons Affairs, Mr EssaQaraqe and Ms SaharFransis from the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association;

-Meeting with the Office of the United Nations Co-ordinator for Human Rights (OCHA), Ms Catherine Cook (Head Advocacy and Communications);

-Meeting with members of the Islamic Christian Commission for the defence of holy sites, Dr Essa Hanna, Father Manuel Musallam  and Mr Azzam Al Ahmad;

-Meeting with the Governor of Hebron, Mr KamelHameid

-Tour of Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem, Qalqilia Cities;

-Visit to holy sites, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Church or Resurrection in Jerusalem ; and

-Visit to the Tomb of the late President Yasser Arafat.

1.6    The delegation would wish to record its gratitude to the Administration of Parliament of Zimbabwe who liaised with the Palestinian Legislative Council on the organisation of all the logistics associated with the visit. The delegation also wishes to express its thanks to the Palestinian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, H.E Taghrid Senouar for the assistance she rendered in the preparation of our visit.


2.1    The conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Zionist (now Israeli) Jews is a modern phenomenon, dating to the end of the nineteenth century. Although the two groups have different religions (Palestinians include Muslims, Christians and Druze), religious differences are not the cause of the strife. The conflict began as a struggle over land. From the end of World War I until 1948, the area that both groups claimed was known internationally as Palestine. That same name was also used to designate a less well-defined “Holy Land” by the three monotheistic religions. Following the war of 1948–1949, this land was divided into three parts: the State of Israel, the West Bank (of the Jordan River) and the Gaza Strip (then controlled by Egypt).

2.2    It is a small area approximately 10,000 square miles. Jewish claims to this land are based on the biblical promise to Abraham and his descendants, on the fact that the land was the historical site of the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Israel and Judea, and on Jews’ need for a haven from European anti-Semitism. Palestinian Arab claims to the land are based on their continuous residence in the country for hundreds of years and the fact that they represented the demographic majority until 1948.

2.3    The West Bank and the Gaza Strip became distinct political units as a result of the 1949 armistice that divided the new Jewish state of Israel from other parts of Mandate Palestine. During 1948–1967, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was ruled by Jordan, which annexed the area in 1950 and extended citizenship to Palestinians living there. In the same period, the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian military administration. In the 1967 war, Israel captured and occupied these areas.

2.4    Israeli policies and practices in the West Bank and Gaza have included extensive use of collective punishments such as curfews, house demolitions and closure of roads, schools and community institutions.

2.5    Israel has relied on both heavy-handed military action and imprisonment as its major key strategies to control the West Bank and Gaza Strip and to thwart and punish Palestinian nationalist resistance to the occupation. Hundreds of thousands of the arrestees have been jailed, some without trial (administratively detained), most after having been prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. More than 40 percent of the Palestinian male population has been imprisoned at least once.

2.6    Israel has built 145 official settlements and about 100 unofficial settlement “outposts” and permitted 560,000 Jewish citizens to move to East Jerusalem and the West Bank. These settlements are a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and other international laws governing military occupation of foreign territory. Many settlements are built on expropriated, privately owned Palestinian lands.

2.7    Israel justifies its violation of international law by claiming that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are not technically “occupied” because they were never part of the sovereign territory of any state. According to this interpretation, Israel is but an “administrator” of territory whose status remains to be determined. The international community has rejected this official Israeli position and maintained that international law should apply in the West Bank and Gaza. But little effort has been mounted to enforce international law or hold Israel accountable for violations it has engaged in since 1967.

         Figure 1: The disappearing Palestine


3.1    The delegation paid a Courtesy Call on His Excellency, President Mahmoud Abbas. In his remarks to His Excellency, Hon Paradza expressed fraternal greetings from the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Cde R. G. Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe. He expressed gratitude for the warm welcome the delegation had received from the friendly people of Palestine. Hon. Paradza briefed the President that the visit intended, among other things, to cement the already solid bilateral relations which exists between Zimbabwe and the Palestinian Authority.

3.2    President Abbas responded by conveying a goodwill message to President, R. G. Mugabe and the friendly people of Zimbabwe. He expressed his willingness to come to Zimbabwe in July 2016 on a working visit to thank our President for his unwavering stance on Palestine.

3.3    The Palestinian leader paid tribute to the past chair of the African Union, President Mugabe. He told the delegation that President Mugabe’s tenure at the AU was one of the most successful in the history of the African Union. President Mugabe, he noted, led a successful campaign against the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel. He said Palestine looks forward to be accorded a permanent observer status at the AU.

3.4    President Abbas also briefed the delegation of the proposed international peace conference on Palestine, sponsored by France and which was to be held in Paris sometime this year. He had already impressed upon the French authorities that South African leader President Jacob Zuma be invited to represent the African voices at this summit.

4.0    Meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr TayseerJaradat

4.1    The delegation was welcomed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by Dr TayseerJaradat, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah.

4.2    The Deputy Minister commended Zimbabwe for its interest in Palestine. He explained that Palestine was really the only victim of colonial system left operating on earth. He mentioned that President Mahmoud Abbas, has twice petitioned the UN to have it accept Palestine as a full member state. In September 2011, he approached the Security Council and asked for full membership for Palestine. Unfortunately, that petition did not receive unanimous support from all the five permanent members of the UN Security Council which prevented it from being passed on to the General Assembly for a vote.

4.3    He noted that the International opinion is nearly unanimous that a two-state solution, including a sovereign Palestinian state, is the best if not only way forward in the century-old conflict over historical Palestine. Yet there is no visible movement toward achieving this outcome.

Figure 2. The delegation’s meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

5.0    Meeting with the Head of the Commission for the Resistance of Settlement and Segregation wall, Mr WalidAssaf

5.1    The delegation met Mr WalidAssaf, the Head of the Commission for the Resistance of Settlement and Segregation Wall in Ramallah.

5.2    He briefed the delegation that in 2002, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon authorized the construction of a barrier ostensibly separating Israel and the West Bank. The separation barrier runs mostly to the east of the Green Line marking the border between Israel and the West Bank. Palestinians refer to the barrier as the “Apartheid wall.” It cuts communities in two, blocks routes of travel even within towns and villages, and has totally reconfigured the geography of the West Bank.

5.3    He noted that about 95 percent of the barrier consists of an elaborate system of electrified fences, patrol roads and observation towers constructed on a path as much as 300 meters wide; and cities like Qalqiliya and Jerusalem are surrounded by a 9-metre-high concrete barricade. The delegation saw these walls, which are reminiscent of the infamous Berlin Wall.

5.4    Mr Assaf further noted that the area between the Green Line and the barrier—about 9.5 percent of the West Bank—is known as the “seam zone” and has been a closed military area since 2003, functionally detaching it from the West Bank and annexed to Israel. Israeli officials insist that this wall is essential to preserve and defend Israeli security. In 2004, the case of the wall was taken before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion. The ICJ ruled that the wall is “disproportionate” and therefore constitutes a violation of international law.

5.5    It was observed that more than simply scattered structures of concrete, steel and earth, the barriers to movement erected by Israel in the occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) enforce the growing territorial fragmentation of the OPT, isolating Palestinians from their land and each other while securing Israel’s settlement enterprise and ensuring complete segregation between the two groups. This segregation is manifest through the network of separate roads for the exclusive use of Israeli settlers which connects Jewish settlements in the West Bank to each other and to Israel, while ‘bypassing’ Palestinian population centres.

5.6    Mr Assaf explained that Palestinian travel is prohibited on roads built for exclusive settler use, without exception. On a second category of roads, Palestinians must obtain, from Israeli authorities, special permits to travel and such permits are difficult to obtain.  The Israeli military enforces these prohibitions with manned checkpoints and army patrols. In recent years, the occupying forces have also blocked access from nearby Palestinian villages to what have become settler-only roads by means of physical roadblocks. Palestinian vehicles are not merely prevented from travelling on forbidden roads, but are also barred from crossing them in order to access roads upon which they are permitted to travel. In such cases, passengers have to get out of their vehicles, cross the road by foot, and find further transportation on the other side.

          Figure 3: Part of the Segregation wall in East Jerusalem

6.0    Meeting with members of the Legislative Council, Hon. Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, Hon Jamal Abu Alrub, Hon Alayaghi, and Hon Jamal Hwail

6.1    The delegation had a working lunch with Hon. Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, Hon Jamal Abu Alrub, Hon. AlaYaghi, and Hon. Jamal Hwail, members of the PLC.

6.2    The delegation was briefed of a conflict that exist between the two main Palestinian political parties – Fatah and Hamas. Tensions between these two parties began to boil in 2005 after the death of President Yasser Arafat. And with Hamas’ legislative victory in 2006, relations deteriorated further and were marked by sporadic fighting.

6.3    As of August 2007, the Palestinian Authority was split into two factions; each claiming to be the legitimate true representative of the Palestinian people – the Fatah-ruled Palestinian National Authority in West Bank and the Hamas administration in Gaza. 

6.4    The delegation noted that Hamas and Fatah have fundamental differences in the manner they should deal with Israel. Hamas believes Israel does not have the right to exist as a nation which Fatah disputes choosing instead to support a two-state solution or even a single country. Fatah has an official stance of a non-violent resistance, while Hamas has a militant approach against Israel. These ideological differences have kept the two from joining forces since 2006 when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections and defeated Fatah as the ruling Party within the Palestinian Authority. 

6.5    Members of the PLC told the delegation that their Parliament has not yet met since the last elections, some 10 years ago. An agreement to form a unity government also failed but in the event that is done, it could bring together the Palestinian people and leadership, helping smooth over internal politics and form a unified front against Israel. 

          Figure 4: Delegation’s meeting with Members of the PLC

7.0    Meeting with Dr Bernard Sabila, Member of PLC in Jerusalem

7.1    The delegation travelled to Jerusalem and met with Hon Benard Sabila, Member of the PLC.

7.2    He informed the delegation that the number of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem and the annexed surrounding areas, who received permanent residency status from Israel in 1967 was 66,000 and amounted to 25 percent of the population of the ‘united city.’

7.3    Hon Sabila explained that ‘Permanent’ residency status in Jerusalem is not permanent. The Entry into Israel Regulations of 1974, which amended the Law of Entry into Israel (1952), specified conditions under which permanent residency in Israel would expire.  Residency can also be revoked at the discretion of the Israeli Minister of Interior but the bases for these decisions are unpublished, unclear, and change frequently.

7.4    He highlighted that Under Israeli law, Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem are not subjected to the same restrictions on movement as those imposed on the residents of the rest of the OPT. Those who were granted permanent residency status have the right to live and work in Israel without having to apply for special permits, are entitled to social benefits and health insurance, and have the right to vote in local elections (although few do so, as voting would signal recognition of the present Jerusalem municipality). Unlike citizens of Israel, Palestinian permanent residents of Jerusalem cannot vote in elections for the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset), cannot serve in Israeli public office.

7.5    The cumulative effect of Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian residence in East Jerusalem is to serve a policy aimed at maintaining a Jewish majority in the city that underpins the State’s regime of control.

7.6    Although Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem has been deemed illegal, Israel continues to treat East Jerusalem as part of the sovereign territory of the State of Israel. Access to the city for Palestinian residents anywhere in the OPT outside East Jerusalem has, since 1991, been limited to those who obtain personal entry permits similar to those required for Palestinians to enter Israel. The city is now surrounded by checkpoints, and is isolated from the rest of the OPT.

7.7    These restrictions are aggravated by the continued construction of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, in defiance of international law and in an attempt to alter the demographic balance of the city. The Wall, which weaves in and out of Palestinian villages, towns and neighbourhoods, blocks even access by Palestinians with Jerusalem residence identity cards to the city.


Figure 5: Leader of the Delegation, Hon Paradza being subjected to one of the check point

8.0    Meeting with the Office of the United Nations Co-ordinator for Human Rights (OCHA), Ms Catherine Cook (Head Advocacy and Communications)

8.1    While in Jerusalem, the delegation met with Ms Catherine Cook, a representative of the United Nation Co-ordinator for Human Rights (OCHA) who highlighted that when the first Arab-Israeli war ended with the signing of an armistice in 1949, some 750,000 Palestinians had become refugees. In addition, Israel’s invasion and occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in June 1967 resulted in some 550,000 Palestinians being displaced, the majority of whom fled or were expelled to Jordan. By 10 May 2016, the number of people registered with the UN Relief Works Agency as ‘Palestine refugees’ had increased to over 4.5 million, some 1.8 million of whom live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In other words, these are refugees in their own country.

8.2    The remaining 2.7 million people registered as refugees with the UN remain displaced in the surrounding countries of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Under human rights law, these refugees, as well as their descendants, have the right to return to their former places of habitual residence.

8.3    Ms Cook observed that Palestinians expelled in 1948 have not been allowed to return to their homes, regain their property, or obtain residency or citizenship in Israel. Palestinian refugees are excluded by Article 3 of the 1952 Citizenship Law from eligibility for Israeli citizenship on grounds that they were not ‘in Israel, or in an area which became Israeli territory after the establishment of the State, from the day of the establishment of the State [May 1948] to the day of the coming into force of this Law [April 1952]’.

8.4    Nonetheless, OCHA finds that Israel denies Palestinians living in the OPT the right to nationality, in the sense of citizenship, in two ways. The first is by prohibiting Palestinian refugees who are now living in the OPT from holding citizenship in Israel, the state that formed in the territory of their birth.  Second, Israel has so far denied the Palestinian people living in the OPT the right to citizenship in a separate state by sustaining the occupation and refusing to withdraw to allow an independent Palestinian state to be established there, depriving Palestinians of the right to nationality (citizenship) in the OPT.

8.5    Thus, most Palestinians in the OPT and in refugee camps in surrounding friendly countries have been rendered stateless (although some have acquired the citizenship of those neighbouring states). Presently, peace negotiations are ostensibly aimed toward a two-state solution that will create a Palestinian state in the OPT and provide Palestinians now resident in the OPT with citizenship and a permanent home.



Figure 6: The delegation arriving at one of the refugee camps

9.0    Meeting with members of the Islamic Christian Commission for the defence of holy sites, Dr Essa Hanna, Father Manuel Musallam  and Mr Azzam Al Ahmad

9.1    The delegation held a dinner with Dr Essa Hanna, Father Manuel Musallam  and Mr Azzam Al Ahmad who are members of the Islamic Christian Commission.

9.2    Members of the Commission highlighted that the conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Zionist (now Israel) Jews is a modern phenomenon, dating back to the end of the nineteenth century. Although the two groups have different religious beliefs, those religious differences were not the cause of the conflict. The conflict began as a struggle over land. From the end of the World War 1 until 1948, the area that both groups claim ownership was known internationally as Palestine.

9.3    It was emphasised that the cross-pollination work by various religious group within Palestine was a clear demonstration that this was not a religious conflict although the Israel government would want to portray it as such.      

9.4    Members of the Commission reiterated that the permit system that applies more broadly to restrict Palestinian movement throughout the West Bank is reminiscent of the Pass Laws in apartheid South Africa which made it impossible for blacks to work or live in certain white areas of the country. Similarly, like in apartheid South Africa, difficulties in obtaining the necessary permits have compelled many Palestinians to attempt to enter East Jerusalem or Israel illegally in search of work, thus fuelling disregard for labour laws and exposing these workers to arrest, detention and heavy fines.

9.5    The Commission continues to be gravely concerned about the deplorable living conditions of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, who - as a result of the continuing occupation and subsequent measures of closures, extended curfews, roadblocks and security checkpoints - suffer from impingement of their enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in the Covenant, in particular access to work, land, water, health care, education and food.

Figure 7: A working dinner with members of the Islamic Christian Commission

10.0  Meeting with Dr Nabil Shaath, Head of the Commission on International Relations in the Fatah Movement

10.1  The delegation met with Dr Shaath head of the Commission of International relations in the Fatah Movement. He spoke of the aggressive settlements, road blocks and checkpoints, and that this fundamentalism is being driven not only by Israel’s actions, but also by the foreign policy of the United States of America.

10.2  Dr Shaath noted that  Israel  is  making  money  out  of  the occupation,  and that  the  Palestinian market is  business  for  them as  95 per cent of imports and exports are controlled by Israel, and Israel has taken 85 per cent of Palestinian fertile lands including water points and that  water  is now being sold back to them.

10.3  He observed that Palestinians feel that the US is not acting in good faith, and is supporting Israel in its violations of human rights.  He noted that the main reason for the rise of Hamas is their frustration in the slow pace in the peace process, and the faction no longer has faith in those peace talks.  However, he emphasised that negotiation was still the only way to achieve peace. He recognised that Islamic extremists are as dangerous to the Palestinian cause just as the Israeli Government. 

10.4  Dr. Shaath felt that it was vital to lobby the international community on the UN resolutions to give the peace process a chance. He drew comparisons with South Africa and the important role of public opinion and the international boycott of the apartheid regime.  He  noted  that  this  will  be  the  most  effective  means  of changing  Israeli  policy.

11.0  Meeting with the Minister of Prisons Affairs, Mr EssaQaraqe and Ms SaharFransis from the Prisons Support and Human Rights Association

11.1  The delegation met with Mr EssaQaraqe, Minister of Prisons and Ms SaharFransis from the Prisons Support and Human Rights Association to discuss state of the justice delivery system in the occupied territories.

11.2  The delegation was briefed that since the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory in 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been detained under Israeli military orders in the OPt. This number constitutes approximately 20 percent of the total Palestinian population in the OPT and as much as 40 percent of the total male Palestinian population. It also includes approximately 10,000 women jailed since 1967, as well as 8,000 Palestinian children arrested since 2000. As of 1 of May 2016 the number of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees is 7,033, spreading around 17 prisons, four interrogation centres and four detention centres.

11.3  Out of the total number of political prisoners detained in Israel, 68 are female and 450 are children (11 of whom are minors). This figure also includes 6 Palestinian Legislative Council members, 750 administrative detainees, held without charge or trial.

11.4  These military orders provide for a wide range of offenses divided into five categories: ―Hostile Terrorist Activity, disturbance of public order, classic criminal offenses, illegal presence in Israel, and traffic offenses committed in the OPT. The practical implication of these broadly- defined offenses is the criminalization of many aspects of Palestinian civic life. For example, the political parties that comprise the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are still considered ―illegal and terrorist organizations even though Israel has been engaging in peace negotiations with the PLO since 1993. Carrying a Palestinian flag is also a crime under Israeli military regulations. Participation in a demonstration is deemed a disruption of public order.

12.0  Tour of the City of Hebron

12.1  The delegation went on a tour of the old city of Hebron.The city Governor spoke of “colonies” rather than “settlements”, and how these Israeli colonies were taking over Palestinian agricultural land.

12.2  The delegation saw the “security wall”, and were told that the wall was built inside the ‘Green Line’ and therefore inside Palestinian territories. Mr Hemeid’s view is that the wall is  to  impose  a  new  border  by  force,  to  enable  Israel  to  control water  supplies,  and  is  part  of  the  Zionist  State’s  aggrandisement policy, with emphasis on the acquisition of land rather than working for peace.

12.3  During the tour, the delegation saw the construction of the new tram line which links the Jewish  settlements  in  the  east  of  the  city  with  other  such settlements  and with  workplaces  in  the  west,  bypassing areas where  Palestinians  and  Arab  Israelis  live. The delegation was shown a refugee camp on the hill side, enclosed with a single gateway and with cramped squalid accommodation, which contrasted starkly with the smart buildings of the unlawful settlements in Hebron.

12.4  It was also in Hebron where thousands of Moslem worshippers are subjected to humiliating screening process each time they visit the Mosque.

13.0  Tour of the Old City of Nablus

13.1  Hon. Nasser Jumma, a member of the PLC came with the delegation and showed it around the Old City of Nablus.  This was a vibrant city with market stalls, narrow streets, and Hon.Jumma was particularly proud to show the delegation the Turkish Baths which have been recently restored, after being destroyed by incursions of Israeli tanks into the narrow alleyways.  Rebuilding work included the town hall, and offices on the main street which had been destroyed by Israeli military attacks. 

13.2  The delegation saw a number of places which had memorials painted on walls in memory of individual martyrs killed during the Intifada. The delegation also saw places that had been attacked and destroyed by Israeli air strikes.


          Figure 8: Tour of the Nablus City

14.0  Tour of the Qalqiliya City

14.1  The delegation met with General Rafe' Rawajbeh, the Governer of Qalqiliya and Dr AbdelrahimBarham, a member of PLC who have seen the direct impact of the illegal settlements on their daily lives. 

14.2  The delegation was given a presentation on the establishment of the settlements and were shown a photographic exhibition which has tracked the expansion of the settlements in this city.  The  photographs  made  powerful  comparisons  between  the atrocities  that  took  place  against  the  Jews  during  the  Second World War and the atrocities that are taking place now against the Palestinians. The officials, however, made the point that they were not  directly comparing the  Holocaust to the situation faced by  the Palestinians, but were asking why they were being made to suffer because  of  the  persecution  of  the  Jews  prior  to and  during the Second  World  War.

14.3  The delegation saw at first hand the building of the separation wall between the village and the illegal settlements, one of which had a population of 30,000.  The wall was still under construction and work was ongoing on the day the delegation visited. 

14.4  The delegation heard from the Officials how their olive trees along  the  line  of  the  wall  have  been  uprooted  and  stolen  from them.  Every Friday the local people march from the village to demonstrate at the wall and this has often led to clashes with the Israeli army.  Three villagers have lost their lives, including one ten year old boy who was killed when he sustained head injuries when he was hit with rubber bullets.



          Figure 9: delegation posing a photo with one of the commercial farmers in Qalqiliya and Dr Barham.

15.0  Tour of the City of Bethlehem

15.1  The delegation  received  a  warm  welcome  in the city on Bethlehem,  and  were  met  by Hon. Fayez Saqqa and Hon. Mohammad Lahham; Members of PLC in Bethlehem.  

15.2  The delegation had been stopped at the checkpoint outside Bethlehem. The delegation were told  that there  are 596 checkpoints in the West Bank at  the main entrances to villages and cities, and 112 checkpoints around Bethlehem,  so  it  is  impossible  to  leave or enter  without  a  military  inspection. 

          15.3  The delegation  was  told  that  the  building  and  construction  of  the  apartheid wall at a Refugee Camp in Bethlehem makes the situation worse, with the wall depriving people from accessing hospitals, schools, their farms and families; the wall has ruined the  social and economic  life  of  Palestinian  people  living  at  the  site  of the wall. 

15.4  The wall and the political situation since 2000, has dramatically decreased the number of Palestinians working in Israel, resulting in higher unemployment (36 per cent), and greater poverty (52 per cent living under the poverty line of US$3 per day).

15.5  Nearly 26,000 workers work inside the settlements, in 2000 it was only 9,000.  The members of the PLC noted that the taking and controlling of land and 80 per cent of the water in the West Bank is affecting industry and developments within the West Bank.

16.0  Visit to the Tomb of the late President Yasser Arafat.

16.1  The  delegation  was  taken  to  the  tomb  of  the late President Yasser  Arafat  in Ramallah, and were able to lay a wreath in the mausoleum. 

16.2  From that site the delegation were shown the house of Yasser Arafat where he was kept under house arrest for years, and his offices. President Arafat’s quarters had been rebuilt since their destruction by Israeli shells in 2002.


          Figure 10: The delegation laying a wreath at President Arafat’s tomb

17.0  Visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the Church of Resurrection in Jerusalem

17.1  The delegation also visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the Church of Resurrection in Jerusalem.  The delegation was taken in a guided tour of the churches and key holy sites and also appreciated the role the church has played in past and recent regional conflicts.


Figure 11: Delegation writing prayer requests whilst sitting at the exact place where Jesus was born at the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem

18.0  Overall Conclusions

18.1  Palestine an Occupied territory.

The delegation ended its visit  with a strong sense of  the injustice and  human  rights  violations  experienced  on  a  daily  basis  by ordinary  Palestinians. It is obvious that all of the land of historic Palestine is under Israeli Occupation, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements – which violate international law - and the Israeli checkpoints are all pervasive. Everywhere the delegation visited in the West Bank it observed settlements, some of them massive, most often located on hilltops, overlooking and monitoring the Palestinians below. The settler accommodation invariably comprised bright, modern houses and apartments and is in stark contrast to the impoverished shanty town appearance of the Palestinian homes below. The settlers themselves are heavily armed and are protected throughout the West Bank by a strong Israeli military presence. Indeed, mobility within the West Bank between Palestinian villages, towns and cities is severely curtailed and under the control of Israeli forces: for example, entering and leaving, Ramallah, Hebron or Nablus. Also very noticeable is the fragmented and divided nature of the West Bank itself, which is due to the proliferation of ‘settler-only’ roads controlled entirely by the Israeli Defence Force. There is little doubt that this two-tier infrastructure, both hampers and impedes any form of sustainable Palestinian development and prevents the emergence of a viable, contiguous, independent Palestinian state.

18.2  The Separation Wall

The delegation saw multiple examples of the devastating impact the construction of this massive 9 metre high concrete wall is having. It dominates huge swathes of the Palestinian landscape, destroying agricultural land, cutting farmers off from their livelihoods and causing the destruction of tens of thousands of olive trees. It was genuinely shocking to see the impact of the wall in urban areas, where it sunders entire communities and neighbourhoods, and imposes severe restrictions on access to essential services and employment. The delegation heard, but was neither impressed nor convinced by the argument that the wall is essential to the security of Israel. It was noted that the wall does not follow the route of the 1967 Green Line border. It has instead snaked into Palestinian territory and seized up to 12 percent of Palestinian land, including significant water resources. The delegation believes, therefore, that the construction of the wall amounts to a land (and water) grab, while simultaneously creating a new border in advance of any possible final settlement.

18.3  East Jerusalem

There are severe restrictions on Palestinian house-building and movement, in East Jerusalem. The delegation is firmly of the view that that these restrictions amount to a denial of the basic human rights of Palestinian people. The Israeli authorities are engaged in a clear policy of curtailing Palestinian growth whilst favouring and facilitating growth of settler numbers. This system of sectarian preferment can best be characterised as a sophisticated form of ethnic cleansing. Again, the very strong suspicion is that this is an attempt to create ‘facts on the ground’ in advance of any future settlement. It must therefore be challenged and resisted by the international community.

18.4  Economy

There is a huge and evident disparity between the affluence of the Israeli population and the Palestinians, whether between Israel and Palestine, or between Israeli settlements and the Palestinian communities they look down upon. Reports from the Palestinian politicians we met, as well as human rights groups, indicate that the Palestinian economy has suffered serious decline in recent years, particularly since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, in 2000. This collapse appears to have been caused by the extremely harsh restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on the movement of people and goods.

18.5  Palestinian Authority

It is very clear that the power and authority of the Palestinian Authority is extremely limited and is itself subject to Israeli authority. The fragmentation of the West Bank, and the control and curtailment of the free movement of people and goods, is the clearest evidence possible that the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are under Israeli domination. The Palestinian Authority and the rule of President Abbas is also continually undermined by overt as well as covert Israeli military incursions, including arrests and assassinations. There are frequent – in fact daily - Israeli army incursions into Palestinian centres like Ramallah, Hebron and Nablus. The standing and authority of Palestinian Authority Ministers is also undermined and reduced by the fact that they require Israeli permission to move between cities in the West Bank, e.g. Ramallah and Jerusalem. The only person allowed to move freely in the occupied territories is President Abbas. All his Cabinet Ministers require permits and passes to move from Ramallah to other cities within the West Bank.

18.6  Political Implications

The situation that now obtains in the West Bank lends credence to the claims of the Palestinian representatives met by the delegation that Israel is making it impossible for any viable sovereign Palestinian state to be agreed – that as a result of its interventions, Israel has allowed for the possibility only of the existence of a series of fragmented and isolated Bantustans denying the Palestinians any territorial contiguity or any possibility of sovereign authority. The delegation is also strongly in agreement with the Palestinian political representatives’ views that any peace process must be based on International Law and UN resolutions. Any settlement that is not based on justice but solely on the balance of power –and clearly power is overwhelmingly on the side of the Israelis – is bound to be counter-productive and to fail. The delegation also recognised that any viable political process has to be inclusive and to involve all the significant parties to the conflict, in particular those with a recognised and legitimate democratic mandate.

  • Recommendations

19.1  The international community is required to take serious measures to put an end to the Israeli crimes against the people of Palestine by putting Israel before its responsibilities and to hold it accountable to international law and legitimacy.  Peace can be reached solely by ending occupation, recognizing and respecting the inalienable national, legal and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The impunity that the Israeli occupation is enjoying from the International community tantamount to conspiracy, which encourages Israel to refuse all peace initiatives and efforts,a situation that will only increase violence in the middle East and will destroy the two states solution which  the international community itself had adopted .

  • The Zimbabwean government should take a position of supporting boycotts, disinvestments and sanctions against Israel. By taking this position the delegation hopes to bring economic and political pressure on the government of Israel and the world’s powers to reach a peaceful solution through dialogue.
  • Israel Parliament (Knesset) should be suspended from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, until it repeals all apartheid laws that are inconsistent with international law and the principles and objectives of the United Nations and of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in particular the principle of ‘protection and promotion of human rights.’
  • The construction of settlements and the barriers outside of the green line must stop immediately. Israel must not be allowed to continue its policy of forcing the further annexation of Palestinian land onto the agenda of future negotiations. The international community and the Zimbabwean government in particular, must take a firm line on settlements and link their continued growth with the continued level of relations Israel enjoys.
  • Israel must end immediately the policy of transferring settlers into the Jerusalem City in order to shift its demographic balance. The displacement of Palestinians from the city must also end.
  • The African Union should take a more active and assertive role. The Palestinian President is keen for the African Union to take a more active role in the region, treading a path independent from, and more robust than, the US position.
  • Negotiations between Israel and Palestine should resume within a proper framework and conducive environment. Israel must be forced back to the negotiating table by the international community or face the growing prospect of international isolation.
  • Palestinian political organisations should implement reconciliation agreements in good faith, and for the international community to support Palestinian unity unequivocally and at all cost if there is to be lasting peace in the Middle East.
  • Palestinian presidential and legislative elections should be held. The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections of 2006 are recognised as amongst the most free and fair ever to have been held in the Arab world. However, the mandate of the Palestinian Parliament and the presidency has since expired. The Zimbabwean government and other progressive nations should encourage the Palestinian authorities to ensure that elections are held as soon as possible, in order to renew the democratic mandate of the Palestinian people’s leaders.
  • There is no substitute for seeing the situation in Israel and Palestine first hand. The delegation encourages other AU Parliaments to visit the region to see for themselves the reality on the ground.



I thank you.

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Chair for a very concise report which speaks to the issues in Palestine. I am only going to raise a few issues to buttress the report by the Chairperson. Let me acknowledge the presence of the Ambassador of Palestine who is here once again. She has been coming to Parliament this whole week, particularly because she is a female Ambassador and she made it possible for us to go and visit Palestine and to be able to understand the dynamics in Palestine – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          I speak as one who visited Palestine, not very sure that I wanted to do so. I say so because it is one of the issues that I am going to raise. I think one of our problems in Africa has generally been what the Chairperson alluded to but did not go into detail. Our understanding of the Palestinian -Israeli conflict has always been within the religious context. I am a serious Christian, born- again, tongue-speaking. We have always been told that the issue around Palestine and Israel is around who a Christian is and who is not Christian. I think for me, the revelation was actually there in Palestine and being able to meet with Christians who understand that the issue in Palestine is an issue around occupation, marginalisation and human rights violations.

          If you are a real Christian, there is no way you can live through and appreciate why women and young children are in the state that they are in Palestine. You cannot justify it in any other form. I may have at one stage to literally go and sit with my Pastor and understand why it has been so.  It has been so much inculcated in us that we will not be able to appreciate the Palestinian issue because the debate has been so cultured around the issues of religion, that we lose impact of the fact that there are serious human rights violations.

The missing link Madam Speaker, and I am hoping that our Committee or any other Committee will be able to deal with it is one where people visit Israel and speak to the Israeli Government and understand where this is coming from. We travelled through Jordan because we did not want to go straight into Israeli for that would have complicated our processes in going into Palestine. So, we literally went through Jordan and went from one border to another. By the time you got into the border of Jordan, you already understood the level of apartheid and the level of discrimination that existed.

          We were met in Jordan by a Palestinian who works for the PLC. He is the one who met us in Jordan. They had made arrangements that by the time we get to the Israeli border to get into Palestine, we would be taken to a VIP lounge or something like that at the border, remember we were now travelling by road.

          We went in and sat in.  This particular person who we were travelling with was actually stopped and asked not to sit with us in that room.  Not for any other reason but for the reason that he was Palestinian.  I remember the woman who stopped him saying to him, ‘You can sit outside.  I will give you a bottle of water so you can drink whilst you are sitting outside’.  It was scorching hot and must have been about 45 degrees or something like that by the time we went there.  He answered very nicely and said, ‘You know what, if you do not think I am fit enough to go and sit in that room, I am also not fit enough to be able to drink water’. 

          I think for me that is when it struck me that when we actually talk about discrimination, we are talking about the reality of what actually happens at a border system.  So you have a queue of people who are standing there and you can literally touch the level of despondency, unhappiness and the difference between who is accepted by the Israelis and who is not and for me that is what struck me more seriously.  What then struck me even much more is when we then entered, I remember asking the person who we were travelling with to say, when are we going to see Palestine? 

          Because what happens is that you will move a little bit of distance and you are told this is Palestinian territory and is controlled by the Palestinians. A few kilometers, you have to get out of the car and get into another vehicle because you are immediately in an Israeli territory and for a long time I did not understand.  What it actually means is that what has happened is, Israel has moved into what was known as the Palestinian State.  By making in-settlements, they now control all the other areas that are in Palestine.  So in reality, you have no political control of the Palestinians even though we read and hear about elections.  In reality, it does not exist and I think it is that, that we need to be able to explain and understand when we are talking about issues of occupation.  We are talking about an occupation that also has been acknowledged at United Nations level.

          There are Security Council Resolutions that acknowledge that particular occupation but which the Israeli Government is refusing to accept.  So we need to be clear that what we are talking about is not just a group of people in Palestine who are waking up and saying, ‘Ooh this is our land, we belong to it’.  We are actually talking about a whole Security Council process where United Nations Security Council Resolutions have been made.  So we cannot have our cake and eat it, if here in Zimbabwe we insist that there are certain things that will go at United Nations and certain resolutions that are made and we need to live by them.  We cannot at the same level say, ‘Ooh yes, those Security Council Resolutions are okay for other issues but not okay for Palestine’, we cannot.  So at one level we have to be clear to what system we are living by.

          As a woman, Madam Speaker, I could not understand why there is any country or State that believes that if you are in a war and a struggle it is okay for you to imprison young children.  It is not acceptable.  I do not care whether it is being done by the Israeli or the Zimbabwean Government.  I do not care who is doing it because it is a human rights violation and that is what we proved.  There are young people who are not being allowed to be children because they are arrested and living in prisons as we speak right now.

          Marginalisation Madam Speaker, I am one who speaks much about marginalisation.  I raised the issue of Matabeleland in here around issues of marginalization, whether it is economic or social.  I saw marginalisation when I visited Palestine and I cannot justify it for any reason, religious or otherwise.  Marginalisation, racism and ethnicisim is wrong, whether it is in the context of Palestine or the Israelis.  This is why I am saying to you, for me, I had to sit on issues of principle and the principle said what I saw in there cannot be justified. 

          What is it that we need to do?  I think we need to have a much more in-depth conversation about the issue of Palestine outside what we have always been trained and made to understand.  Which is why, unfortunately that picture was not there.  We had a dinner to which we had an Israeli, a Muslim and the third one was what? – [AN HON. MEMBER:  The third one was a christian!] -  Sorry Madam Speaker, I am trying to check with others.   I am sorry, but literally we had three people from three different religions sitting together.  It was interesting that, that conversation in that dinner all came down to the issue that the issue we are dealing with is the issue around violations.

          But I think what we will need ourselves as the people who have gone is to continue to engage at our level and begin to bring this into the fore.  Two weeks before we got there, a South African parliamentary grouping had also been to Palestine and had gone through the same fact finding mission.  Part of what I think will be a follow-up is to begin to have a conversation within the region around what our issues should be around the Palestinian issues because keeping quiet means that we also cannot go out and speak about our own violations.

          An Hon. Member was raising an issue when you saw how the police deal with some of the demonstrations that happen in Palestine.  He was saying to Hon. Chamisa, ‘What about that?’  For me that is the point, if it is wrong for the police to restrict a person in Zimbabwe today and beat them up, it should be equally wrong for any police person in Palestine to do exactly the same; if it is wrong for a bulldozer to go and destroy homes where there are families in Palestine, it is equally wrong for bulldozers to move and destroy homes in Zimbabwe today. 

I think if we set up issues around principles and argue around issues of principality, it should be the best thing.  It is unfortunate that we did not – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – No, I actually did not get a penny from Palestine for your own information.  I actually travelled without a cent during that trip, so I got absolutely no money.  I am speaking because there are issues that I found spoke to my own humanity which are wrong and I think we need to go back to our own value system and say why this particular issue is wrong …

          Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga having moved away from the microphone.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member, may you please speak to through the microphone.  It is just behind you. – [AN HON. MEMBER:  The mic behind you is the one that is on.] -

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Okay, I am finalising.  Perhaps just to finalise, the pictures that you did not see there which I thought would have been very good.  For those who are christians to understand that infact when you go to Jerusalem, it is actually under the control of the Palestinians, so when you visit the tomb of Jesus Christ; when you see where he was laid before he was buried and when you see Golgotha, it is actually in the arena for the Palestinians. Perhaps, the Palestinians need to reclaim that this is an area of their own.  So when we visit Jerusalem, we do not think we are visiting Israel, we are infact visiting Palestine.  I thank you.

          HON. MARUMAHOKO:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The death of Yasser Arafat derailed the struggle of the Palestinians.  He was a man devoted to the struggle.  He was a man who wanted to see justice being done to the nation of Palestine. The life of the people of Palestine to some of us who grew up in a similar situation and saw what is happening in Palestine is so painful.  There is no respect of a human being and a Palestinian life.  The Israelites treat Palestinians as second class people in their own land. 

This place we are talking about Madam Speaker is the same place they call the holy land. It is the same place where Christians are reminded that Jesus Christ was born and bred.  It is a place I thought the world would respect because most of us are Christians but alas the Israelites do not respect the place.  The reason is they have their fight because of the land.  These are brothers biblically, fighting for their land.  However, that does not give the right to the Israelis to ill-treat the Palestinians; they have no home. 

The Israelis are actually phasing out the Palestinian nation within the Palestinian State by introducing these settlements.  Once there is an Israelis settlement, all the Palestinians who were originally living in that place would be chucked out.  Israel will go out looking for the Jews wherever in this world, invite them to come and occupy that place.  In other words, what they are trying to do is to increase their population and decrease the population of the Palestinians in that land. 

Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga spoke about the ill-treatment of children.  She did not actually elaborate what happens.  If a young boy of 12 years is arrested for a crime,  he is not taken to the rehabilitation centre like we do.  Due to his age, they cannot try him, but put him in prison until such a time he reaches the majority age.  He goes for trial and is probably sentenced for 10 or 20 years and that means the whole of his life is gone; he has no life. That is what the Palestinians are going through. 

We talk of violation of human rights,  I do not what to say to that level of exploitation of human beings.  Madam Speaker the Palestinians, ten years after their elections, their Parliament has not sat.  That means there is no Government.  It is a ship that is sailing without a captain.  So, if a ship is sailing without a captain, you can imagine what happens.  It loses direction and control and that is exactly what is happening in this state.  We urge the two political parties in Palestine, the Hamas and the Fatah to come together and unite so that they defeat the system of Israel.  They are so divided.  It is easy for the international community to divide this holy land into two.  Leave the Israelis where they occupy and let the Palestinians to have their own place and create two states for these two nations.  That will solve everything.

When we interacted with the Palestinians, they were happy with that kind of arrangement but you find where the Americans have got their hand, it is very difficult to have a compromise until they say the time is ripe for you to get together.  Otherwise, conflicts will continue and they are happy to see those situations.  They dwell in such type of situations but we want to live in peace. Everybody wants peace, but we have some rich and powerful nations who are always on the forefront of dividing nations.  I am sure if the Palestinians could get together – the Hamas and Fatah and fight as one, they will achieve what they would want to achieve. 

This place we are talking about Madam Speaker is not quite vast, it is about 10 000km2.  It is not endowed with riches or natural resources like we have in this part of the world.  It is a place historically where Jesus Christ was born.  That is where the fight is about; to control that history.  It is so sad.  We visited a farm where the farmer occupied this farm when it was on the Palestine side.  The Israelis came and divided it in-between.  He remained with the other part in Palestine and the other half went to Israel.  So for him to go and farm, this other part which is in Israel, he has to get a pass.  Without a pass, he is not allowed to enter.  He has to get a pass and he goes around the wall, does his farming activities and in the afternoon he comes back. 

The Palestinians are not allowed to drive on the beautiful roads which were built by the Israelis, where they have occupied.  They are allowed to use the dust roads and all the roads that are not good and all the better roads are left for the better nationals who are the Israelis.  Madam Speaker, it is so sad.

Cell phone rings.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.  I think I have talked about the issue of cell phones.  It is not allowed to use a cell phone in the House. 

HON. MARUMAHOKO:  To some of us who grew in similar situations, visiting these places will only re-kindle what we went through.  It is a sad story.  Thank you.

HON. MANDIPAKA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Allow me to first congratulate the team that was led by Hon. Paradza to Palestine.  As I watched the images, they were nicely dressed, especially Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga.  She was smartly dressed.  I think it was good for the country because they portrayed a positive image of Zimbabweans.

Madam Speaker, according to the report that was presented in this august House by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, I can safely say that the Palestinians are living in hell whilst on earth and we should sympathise with their situation as a country. What surprises me Madam Speaker are the double standards by the so called super powers, the international community, the likes of the Americans.  I think that if there is any other country which needs to be rescued on mother earth, it is Palestine.  I think that if there is any international organisation that looks into the human rights of human beings, it is high time that they move quickly to rescue the Palestinians, because it is a sad state of affairs that has been presented in this august House.  This basically means that the Palestinians are being imprisoned in their own country.  They are being imprisoned illegally for that matter, Madam Speaker.

          Madam Speaker, they are living like refugees in their own piece of land, in their motherland.  Palestinians are living in captivity.  All the rights that you can talk of or think of, have been denied by the Israelis.  They have no rights to talk about at this stage from the testimony that was given by the Committee that visited this country.  So, I would urge the United Nations Security Council to speed up the process of peace negotiations so that at the end of the day, this nation which is in trouble or in captivity is rescued.  Madam Speaker there are extra judicial killings that we have heard about and injustices perpetrated on young and innocent souls like young children.  But, when I compare what is happening in Palestine and what is happening in Zimbabwe, I notice that there are quite some differences.  We have human rights activists here in Zimbabwe who talk about human rights breaches.  From the narrative that we have received from the Chairperson of the Committee, I think that Zimbabwe is by far a very wonderful country.

Madam Speaker, the foreign policy of the United States of America from what we have heard from the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, I think that it needs revisiting.  It is the United States of America which we think will come to the rescue of the Palestinians but, that is not happening.  In support of the recommendations that have been made by the Committee, I would recommend that the human rights activists, this Parliament, condemn the Israelis at all costs for what they are doing  to other human beings who have been brought on mother earth not because of their own making but by the creator.  They deserve to live like any other person in the Gaza Strip.  They deserve to live like any other person in West Bank and so, they need to be helped.  They need to be assisted – [HON. LABODE: Inaudible interjection.]-

Madam Speaker, I am not talking about what Hon. Labode is shouting out.  I am talking about a situation in Palestine.  I want to believe that we should empathise and sympathise with the Palestinians and make our voices heard in this globe that the inhuman activities being perpetrated on the Palestinians cannot be accepted on mother earth.  I rest my case.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to say that the report is quite detailed.  However, it is giving only one side of the story.  So sometimes, it is very difficult to judge but however human rights violations have to be corrected -[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.]-

Madam Speaker, I strongly object to that statement that has just been said because if you come to my home, there are no pigs and I may have to deal with you as a person.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA): Order Hon. Chimanikire, if you are debating, please respect the rules of this House and speak to the Chair.  If you have any objections, you speak to the Chair and not other Members of Parliament.

*HON. CHIMANIKIRE: But, he is provoking me.  Has he ever seen pigs at my house -[HON. MANDIPAKA: Ramba uchirera nguruve uri right zvako.]-  Now you see this.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA): Hon. Chimanikire concentrate on me as the Chairperson.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Thank you Madam Speaker but you are not defending me.  That is the problem.  So, protect me Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA):  I have protected you, you may continue with your debate.

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Madam Speaker, I was saying that I am one of those Christians who visited and studied in Israel and some of the allegations that have been raised may not be that correct because actually when I was at Bethel College, I went to a restaurant owned by a Palestinian.  That is where I used to have my supper from College every evening.  So, some of the things may not be as accurate as the picture that is being given.  At the same time, when you look at the Seven Day Yongki War which led to the occupation of Palestinian land, it was the Arabs who attacked Israel during a prayer period.  And when the Israelis counterattacked, that is when we ended up with situations where people who thought that they were going to get to Tel Aviv ended in exile. 

However, there is also the refusal by Hamas to recognise the State of Israel as a State that should exist.  So, combining the PLO and Hamas will not give a solution.  These are the facts -[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.]- No, I come to bury Caesar and not to praise him.  When you talk of sanctions, I think that some of our colleagues are being like a double edged sword.  They have been crying about sanctions against Zimbabwe and now they want to impose sanctions against another country.  What is wrong with them?  The poison that they do not want to drink, they want to feed other people with that poison.  It is not fair Madam Speaker - [Laughter.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA):  Order, hon. members, can you please laugh with dignity.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  I think that I will start protecting myself and I will turn these hon. members into pigs very shortly.

When we talk about poverty, Israel has turned a desert into a plush green land.  When you talk about Jaffa oranges, they come from Israel.  We are even bringing those Jaffa oranges to grow in Mazowe there because they were invented in Israel in a desert.  Now, they have also discovered natural gas in the northern part of the Mediterranean, next to Israel.  They have also discovered oil which they are going to be exporting to Turkey.  So, I think that the idea here is, I was made to understand from the report that we want to shape our foreign policy.  Shaping a foreign policy does not mean taking sides.  It actually means that we should come up with a solution and not creating another problem.  This is what we should be trying to do as far as I am concerned.  I believe that we need to put pressure on those negotiators to actually encourage dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis and not to take one side and say let us impose sanctions. 

I do not think that we are coming up with a good foreign policy because by the end of the day biblically, when we talk of Moses.  I have heard the other side saying that His Excellency Hon. Robert Mugabe was the Moses of Zimbabwe when he led the war of liberation.  So, by the end of the day, the Bible is correct to say that there was a Moses and to say that there were actually slaves in Egypt, yet to actually be transported all across the desert to where they are living now.  Even the Bible says that they are going to be scattered but that one day they will come back to the land that God had given them.  So, let us recognise both sides.  The Palestinians were like the Old Stone Age people who here are the Pigmies and also Koisani.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA):  Hon. Chimanikire, you are supposed to ask the Speaker and not other members.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  I am sorry Madam Speaker.  I will ask you next time.  I am saying, the bushmen who were the original inhabitants of this country, we pushed them out and they are now in Namibia and Botswana.  So we are equally guilt of discrimination – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – How about the bushmen paintings. Can we have order here or I will defend myself.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mandipaka, may the Hon. Member be heard in silence –

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: No, I understand one of the Hon. Members who was a senior police officer may not have studied history but studied violence.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chimanikire. The language that you have used is unparliamentary and you must withdraw because Hon. Mandipaka is not a police officer. He is a Member of Parliament. Withdraw that statement.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Madam Speaker, thank you very much but you are misquoting me because I never mentioned Hon. Mandipaka. Madam Speaker, it is you who is saying that now. There are several ex-police officers who are here who are Hon. Members and they have not complained including Hon. Mandipaka. However, let me stress that the Hon. Member should study history properly. I withdraw the other one but I think he should study history and I think that is parliamentary.

Now, I would like to take this House to where Jestina Mukoko and Hon. Chinanzvavana were arrested, with her child on her back. She was taken prisoner in this country. The fact that it has not happened to you does not mean that it is not happening. It is happening in this country.  So let us not shed crocodile tears when our very own behave like Israelites. Let us be fair and approach this issue correctly.

There is also the visit to some of these holy places. I have been to Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth and Telaviv but what I am telling is that by the end of the day, there are areas where Palestinians and Israelites cooperate. The market places, for example in Jerusalem, I bought items from there and I remember the person who was guiding us saying, if you go this side you are buying from the Palestinians and if you go the other side you are buying from the Palestinians. We bought from both sides.

So, as visitors we should try and promote the unity between the two races, after all they are cousins. I remember our first lecture was, ‘it is only that Moses turned left when he was supposed to turn right and go to Saudi Arabia. We should have gone into a land with oil but he turned left and we ended up in the Negav desert’. So, I think by the end of it, we should actually encourage negotiations and peaceful solutions to the problems that are in the Middle East. The problems have been around since we were young and honestly, they should end but they will not be ended by taking sides but by bringing the two sides together so that there are serious negotiations that can bring about peace. Interesting enough, even the Israelites want peace but a two state solution is the way forward and the Hamas has actually to climb down on its unwarranted non-recognition of Israel. I thank you.

*HON. MAPIKI: I want to thank the Foreign Affairs Portfolio Committee that went to Palestine for this report. This reminds me of the important role played by the late Joshua Nkomo and President Mugabe in uniting people. What transpired in Palestine could also have happened here between Matebeleland and Mashonaland. Matebeleland and Mashonaland were going to be partitioned. So, the wisdom of these men to sit down has helped Zimbabwe so that we did not encounter the Palestinian problem. If we talk about Palestine and Zimbabwe, we should talk about America. In 1980, when Zimbabwe got its independence, it had plans that there should be Mashonaland and Matebeleland so that our people could be divided and there could be a civil war. That is when they came up with their own base in Botswana at Africom.

We can talk about Israel as a country that is sitting idle. Israel is a country for rich Jews that were brought into Israel or Palestine by the Americans. This is a place where the Americans brag about oil in the Middle East and they use it as a launching pad for attacks in the other areas. If you look at places like Syria they were used as the spring board of Israel. The same applies to Afghanistan and other Middle East countries where oil is being looted. There are some Jews that have been placed there by Americans and they are looting oil. So Palestine will have a serious challenge in liberating itself because American interest is very high in that area in terms of looting oil and other such issues in the Middle East.

In Africa, we have a country called Morocco. It has victims that are more or less in the same mode as the Palestinians. They are in the same predicament as the Palestinians. I am referring to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. They are being oppressed by the Moroccans. Americans have interests in Morocco and are using Morocco to oppress the people in Saharawi. Those people that know about the history would not just treat the issue of Palestine in isolation.

For Zimbabwe, we have Botswana. America wanted to use it as a launch pad at Africom so that they could carry the same activities that they are doing in Palestine. Biblically, we know that there are Jews and Moslems but the point is that the Americans and the British are the ones who created the problem of the Israelite State to serve their interests. We have learnt a lesson as Zimbabweans from the report presented by the Hon. Chairman of this Portfolio Committee that if there is no unity between Matebeleland and Mashonaland, we will denigrate into the present day scenario that is happening in Palestine. There is the Fatah and Hamas in the other area.

Before the death of Yasser Arafat, they were united. When the Americans decided to eliminate Yasser Arafat, they decided to divide Palestine into Gaza Strip and West Bank. Soviet Union is another case in point. It was a united country when Gorbachev was the President. The Americans started to divide Soviet Union using the Balkan States. Russia was weakened by dividing it into Balkan states. The Union of the Soviet Republic was disintegrated and they came up with smaller states because it was powerful.

So, you should learn from the history that when you see such things happening, it means that the Americans will be coming to destroy you.

In Korea, there is North and South Korea. North Korea has a different policy. They are in South Korea. They want to weaken such countries. We should look at the Israel’s issue holistically. We should know which super powers have an interest in Israel. We should speak strongly against such super powers. Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I want to continue and add my voice to a very congealed and very comprehensive report that was presented here by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and the seconder Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga. I need to continue on my predecessor, Hon. Mapiki who spoke of perestroika and glasnost of the Soviet Union that brought about Russia and the Balkan States.

          Everything else has been said but when we speak of continental integration, in particular Africa which African Union was founded for, we dare not speak about continental integration when the Saharawi People’s Republic is not yet fully emancipated. In the same vein, we cannot speak of universal Sustainable Development Goals and hope and think we can achieve them in 2030 so long as we have the Palestine people that are still being sidelined and living on the fringes….

          HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order. My point of order has to do with Members of Parliament, particularly from ZANU PF who are trooping out - typical and fashionable –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – My point of order has to do with a scheme, stratagem, design meant to make sure that we circumvent and avoid debating important motions that would have been put on the table by Parliament. It is not the beginning. You remember the Dzamara issue. You remember the other issue from Hon. Cross.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. CHAMISA: You are not going to get my point of order if you do not listen.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  l am listening and I want you to summarise your point of order.

HON. CHAMISA: Please give me time. My point of order is that as you can see Hon.  Members, particularly who were here just a few minutes ago, in fact I have counted, up to 32 Hon. Members who have left in the past five minutes. I can assure you and it is being coordinated by Hon. Mukwangwariwa. He knows it and he was coordinating them to leave the House. It is unparliamentary. These are important issues. I know that he will raise a point of order on lack of quorum because we already have a problem with quorum now. I just wanted that to be noted so that it is recorded that this is being coordinated by Hon. Mukwangwariwa. In fact, he whispered to me having forgotten that I do not belong to ZANU PF.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you give me the chance to respond to the point of order. I have heard your point of order Hon. Chamisa but this development started with the opposition. You have been doing such things most of the time when people are debating and this is what is now happening on the other side.

I am acknowledging that both sides are doing the same for each other depending on which motion is being debated, which is wrong. I have said it before that Parliament will not tolerate such behaviour from you as political parties. You are here to represent people  using taxpayers’ money. I expect all Hon Members to be in the House when all the motions are being debated from the ruling party and the opposition.

HON. NDUNA: I need to reiterate and say that as long as other nations within the ambit of the United Nations, whether they have been recognised or not, if we need to adhere and carry on the issues of Sustainable Development Goals,  we dare not say we have concluded them optimally, efficiently and effectively if we do not include such nations as the Palestinian people; if we do not include their liberation, if we do not include human rights in the Palestinian region and if we do not include the people of Saharawi Democratic Republic. We are fooling ourselves. As long as we do not remove sanctions that are an albatross on the neck of Zimbabwe, we are fooling ourselves in terms of Sustainable Development Goals conclusion.

We have got liberation as a nation in Zimbabwe. What is left is to change the laws that are moribund, that are historic, that are still fraught with legacy oriented issues. I came here today ready to debate the Mines and Minerals Act. As we discuss the laws and repeal them because they are still archaic and in reverse mode, all the laws and Acts that we should debate in this House should be aligned to each other. They should speak to each other. I speak to the issue of the Mines and Minerals Act which should be attached to the Precious Stones Trade Act, which should be attached also to the Gold Act and they should be repealed in the same vein.

We have now political independence and we now need economic emancipation which the Palestinian people do not have, they still need political independence, human rights and economic emancipation but we are at the level of economic emancipation because we are past human rights and political independence.  We should do it optimally by repealing all the archaic laws, in particular the Mines and Mineral Act and all the Acts that are attached to it.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

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

          HON. NDUNA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Friday, 18th August, 2016.

          HON. CHAMISA:  Just to assist and guide the Hon. Member -there is nothing to adjourn than to say it is automatic.  In line with our earlier motion, I now move that the House do ....

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chamisa, would you give us the opportunity to adjourn the debate that was taking place and then we can go to the other motions.



           HON. CHAMISA:  I now move that the House do now adjourn in accordance with the provision of Standing Order No. 59 so that the House can indeed debate the matter relating to police brutality on citizens carrying out their constitutional right to engage in peaceful and constitutional demonstrations.

          HON. MARIDADI: I second.

          HON. CHAMISA:  I just hope the doors will be closed.  I am going to kindly ask before I start debating just for us to watch some videos of some police brutality then we can dwell into there.

          Video played.

          HON. J. TSHUMA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of Order Hon. Tshuma.

          HON. J. TSHUMA:  My point of order Madam Speaker, there is no quorum in the House in terms of Standing Order Number 56(1).

                    THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon Rungani and Hon. Chibaya may the procedure of Parliament be followed.  Please ring the bells to alert other members of Parliament so that they can come back to the House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order Hon. Chibaya and everyone else, Hon. Members you are still in Parliament.  Hon. Maridadi I will not hesitate to throw you out of the House.  Why do you have a habit of shouting on top of your voices are we in a rally or in a beer hall – [HON. MARIDADI: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Maridadi this is a National Assembly, it is not a beer hall neither is it a rally. 

          Hon. J. Tshuma, you have raised a point of order. 

          Hon. Maridadi having left his chair.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mandipaka and Hon. Maridadi can you please come back to your chair.  – [HON. DR. LABODE: Inaudible interjections.] - Hon. Dr. Labode, you can speak whilst you are not shouting and you can be heard.

          [Bells rung.]                          

– [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Order Hon, Members - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – .  Hon. Members, I wish the energy that you have on shouting was the same energy that you would have on policies and doing something to our economy then you would be doing a great job.  Now you just shout and shout without any solutions.  It is unfair to Zimbabweans… - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Madam Speaker, I want to condemn political violence… - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Members.

An objection having been taken that there being present fewer than (70) members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not being present, THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER adjourned the House without any question put at Twenty Eight Minutes past Five O’clock p.m pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 56.

NOTE:  The following members were present when the House adjourned:  Bhebhe, A.; Chamisa, N.; Chibaya, A.; Chikomba, L.; Chimanikire, G.; Chinanzvavana, C.; Chisorochengwe, T.; Chiwetu, J. Z.; Dube, S.; Gonese, I. T.; Labode Mafoko, R.; Madondo, T.; Mandipaka, O.; Maridadi, J.; Marumahoko, R.; Mataruse, P.; Matsunga, S.; Mhona, F. T.; Misihairabwi-Mushonga, P.; Mpariwa, P.; Muchenje, S. M.; Mudyiwa, M.; Mughido Machirairwa.; Mukwangwariwa, F. G.; Munochinzwa, M.; Musabayana, D.; Musundire, A. L.; Mutseyami, P. C.; Muzondiwa, E. S.; Ncube, G. M.; Ndlovu, N.; Rungani, A.; Saruwaka, T. J. L.; Sibanda Dubeko, P.; Sibanda, K.; Tshuma, J.; Zemura, L.;  




National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 AUGUST 2016 VOL 42 NO 83