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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 25 JUNE 2019 VOL 45 NO 65

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

ZIMBABWE WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS MEETING

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I wish to advise the House that all female Parliamentarians are invited to attend the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus meeting scheduled for Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, at 1100 hours in the Senate Chamber.

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to acknowledge the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of staff members and community activists from Katswe sisterhood in Harare.  You are most welcome. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. MUSABAYANA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise on a matter of public importance based on the policy position taken by the Minister of Finance through Statutory Instrument No.142 of 2019, which he introduced as domestic currency, Zimdollar yesterday.  I am rising in respect of Section 68 (d) in conjunction with 69.  Mr. Speaker Sir, in January 2009 …

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you let the Member speak uninterrupted. 

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  He cited the wrong section.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  That is not your responsibility.

          HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Do not take over the Chair’s responsibility.  Allow the process to proceed and then you correct accordingly.  Thank you.

          HON. MUSABAYANA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, in January, 2009, Zimbabwe undertook what we call currency substitution where a multicurrency system was adopted and this multi currency system had a basket of currencies with the United States dollar and some of the SADC currencies were also in that basket, including the Euro and many other currencies.

Mr. Speaker Sir, unfortunately the United States dollar slowly became the defacto currency as it bullied out the rest of the currencies from the basket.  This made it very difficult for most of the Zimbabweans because it was a defacto currency, it was not a de jure currency where it was legal in terms of its procurement – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –  Mr. Speaker Sir, this created untold suffering to the rest of the Zimbabweans, because the Reserve Bank could not supply...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Member, address the Chair.  Do not be perturbed.

HON. MUSABAYANA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, this made it very difficult for the Zimbabweans because the RBZ could not control the money supply.  So in terms of monetary sovereignty, the nation lost its monetary sovereignty because of the adoption of this basket of currencies. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, because of that there were also a lot of distortions that were created in the market, because the flow of this currency was not efficient.  Some areas could not get this currency creating unnecessary distortions and it also fuelled the parallel market.  Because of this Mr. Speaker Sir, the economy of Zimbabwe stagnated.

Mr. Speaker, in this light I would like to applaud the Minister of Finance and Economic Development through the Government of Zimbabwe for the adoption of the new currency–  [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –  

Why our own currency?  Mr. Speaker, foreign currency is only important for the payment of imports and payment of foreign debt, but for local transactions or day to day transactions, we need our local currency.  So, the return of the Zimbabwean dollar means the return of monetary sovereignty, it also means the return of national sovereignty.

Mr. Speaker Sir, this means that our imports are going to be competitive even on the foreign market.  The rest of the world is now rejecting the United States dollar.  Why are people rejecting the United States dollar, Mr. Speaker Sir?  The United States dollar is just a fiat currency, it is not backed by anything, and it is not backed by gold.  If you look at –  [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, wind up.

HON. MUSABAYANA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, so Zimbabwe has taken the right stance in introducing our own currency.  I call upon the rest of the Members of Parliament to support this new currency – because if we have our own currency, it will be easy for Zimbabweans to transact because a currency is just a medium of exchange.  So, Mr. Speaker I would like to applaud...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Hon. Members, a point of privilege is a point of privilege.  It is not time to debate.  You raise the national importance –  [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order!  You raise the national importance of the issue and we stop there.  If we need a debate then you raise a motion.  Please wind up.

HON. MUSABAYANA:  So Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for this policy move and the policy anchors that he has put in place because it will go a long way in resuscitating our economy and alleviating the cash shortages that were bedevilling out economy.  Thank you–  [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise on a point of privilege.  Last week the Executive Secretary of the SADC grouping of countries, Dr. Tax, was in the country to formally inform the President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa of the honour bestowed on the country to head the SADC Troika Organ on Politics, Peace and Security in the coming SADC Conference in August -[ Hear, hear.] –

Mr. Speaker Sir, that is a privilege that has been bestowed on our country to be asked by the SADC region to lead this very important organ.  It is a measure of the confidence SADC has in our President notwithstanding the fact that some elements in the country are deeming it fit not to respect the position accorded to our President.  It is indeed a privilege.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

HON. CHANDA:  On a point of order.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My point of order is that we have Hon. Mashakada who has a file or a folder.  It has the name MDC and the MDC regalia - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -    

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  When you raise a point of privilege, it must be a point of privilege, precise and to the point.  Hon. Biti and Hon. Zhou, do not disturb the Chair.  We do not want to abuse this privilege.  It should be a matter of national importance and to the point.  Otherwise, if you feel very strongly about an issue you must bring it as a motion, then it is debated thoroughly.

          HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker Sir…

          Hon. Members having cheered up when Hon. Biti was speaking.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! There are no cheer leaders here.  Hon. Biti does not need any cheer.

          HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker Sir, I rise on a matter of privilege in line with Standing Order 68 (d) of the esteemed rules of this august House.  My point of privilege relates to the enactment by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) (Legal Tender Regulations) published as Statutory Instrument (SI) 142:2019.   The native fact of this SI is to officially de-dollarise and adopt in Zimbabwe as the sole legal tender, the Zimbabwean Dollar (Z$).  This is such a matter of public importance in that it touches on the political economy of our country; that is the politics of our country, the economics of our country and indeed the law of our country. 

          On the law, I want to bring your attention to the provision of Section 44 (2) of the Reserve Bank Act of Zimbabwe which introduced the regime of multiple currencies in 2009.  Section 44A (2) makes it clear that the tender in Zimbabwe of the British Pound, the Euro, the United States Dollar, the South African Rand and the Botswana Pula in any transaction shall be deemed to be legal tender.  That being so Hon. Speaker Sir, and Section 44A (2) being an Act of Parliament, the Minister of Finance cannot in a Statutory Instrument repeal an Act of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Can you wind up?

          HON. BITI:  So quite clearly Hon. Speaker Sir, Statutory Instrument 142:2019 is ultra vires the provisions of Section 44A (2) of the RBZ Act, so it is wrong on the law. 

On economics Hon. Speaker Sir, a currency is a relationship between your exports and your imports.  As long as you have got a deficit in your current account, I submit that we do not have the current account; we do not have the reserves that are necessary to support our own currency. 

Thirdly, more than anything else, a currency is subject to political confidence.  This country suffers from kwashiorkor of political confidence.  There is absolutely no confidence in this currency.  So, I submit Hon. Speaker, that SI 142:2019 is a disaster; that the attempt to de-dollarise this country is a disaster.  The Minister must as a matter of urgency repeal SI 142:2019.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          *HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I stand on a point of privilege to raise issues that bother people outside and inside this country regarding this Statutory Instrument 142:2019 which was gazetted by the Minister of Finance.  If we are a family that has no totem we are lost.  A country without its own currency has no roots and has no ancestral spirits.  More-so, if a country that has imposed economic sanctions on you and you go on to use their currency, that country does not want you to develop.  Those on the left are saying we should continue being in this situation; old people are dying in the communal lands due to lack of drugs.  What type of a country are we Zimbabweans.  All countries are saying we must use our own currency. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development says despite the fact that you want the American Dollar, use the American Dollar and use it at the inter-bank rate but people on the streets have more US dollars than the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, why should that be the case?

          What has been done is good.  Thieves that have been involved in money changing should go to their communal homes.  I thank you Mr. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! My Hon. Member, do not invite me to send you out.  It would appear this is a very topical issue and Hon. Musabayana, perhaps you will do well to bring it as a motion so that there is full debate on the matter. 

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.   I just rise to make a correction.  All Statutory Instruments that are published, stand referred to Parliament and Parliament will scrutinise them through the Parliamentary Legal Committee and if they believe that there is something wrong, they issue an adverse report and then Parliament will debate.  So, I am actually surprised that, my colleagues, Hon. Members who are very much aware of this process want to debate it.  Mr. Speaker Sir, what I am saying is the correct procedure. 

A Statutory Instrument is not referred to Parliament before it is published.  It takes effect the moment that it is published and it stands referred to Parliament and once the Parliamentary Legal Committee has sat and issued an adverse report, then it will be debated.  So, I submit that it is very premature for Hon. Members to start attacking it now before it has been scrutinised by the Parliamentary Legal Committee - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  First of all, I had indicated the topicality of the issue and I asked Hon. Musabayana if you could consider bringing it as a motion.  Secondly, the Hon. Leader of Government business is correct to the extent of the fact that, Standing Order No. 20 does refer to the work of Portfolio Committees, including the Parliamentary Legal Committee to look at Statutory Instruments and Bills in order to find out whether they have been crafted in terms of the Constitution or not.  So, that process is yet to come in terms of Standing Order No. 20. 

HON. SIKHALA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have ruled already.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Order of the Day No.1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of because my understanding is that the Committee are still finalising their report. 

          Motion put and agreed to.

COMMITTEE STAGE

EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 1, 2019].

          Second Order read: Committee Stage: Education Amendment Bill [H. B. 1, 2019]. 

          House in Committee.

      On Preamble to Cap 25:04:

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I move the amendments standing in my name that:

Insertion of Preamble to Cap 25:04

     

         The Principal Act is amended by the insertion after the long title of the following preamble and enacting formula―

      “WHEREAS Section 75 of the Constitution provides as follows:

75 Right to education

      (1) Every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to; a)      basic State-funded education, including adult basic education; and

b) further education, which the State, through reasonable legislative and other measures, must make progressively available and accessible.

2)  Every person has the right to establish and maintain, at their own expense, independent educational institutions of reasonable standards, provided they do not discriminate on any ground prohibited by this Constitution.

3) A law may provide for the registration of educational institutions referred to in subsection (2) and for the closing of any such institutions that do not meet reasonable standards prescribed for registration.

4)  The State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of the right set out in subsection (1).

      NOW, THEREFORE, be it enacted by the Parliament and the President of Zimbabwe.

      In essence, like we said, we had conversation with the Minister and are basically agreed on this.  The import of this particular amendment is that we have taken from Section 75 of the Constitution and have now included in this particular Act so that it sets as a preamble, particularly because from the Constitution, we have a provision that is talking about progressively implementing the right to education.  That way, when we then put in this particular amendment, they fall through because, what we are saying is that these are not absolute rights.  They can progressively be put in.  So again, in agreement with the Minister, we agreed that it would make sense to take out that provision in Section 75 of the Constitution and bring it as a preamble to this particular at and I am sure the Minister who is standing in will be in total agreement with me. Thank you Madam Chair.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. Chair, I agree with the amendments.

          Amendment on Preamble to Cap 25:04 put and agreed to.

          Preamble to Cap 25:04, as amended, put and agreed to.

          Clause 1 put and agreed to.

          On Clause 2:

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Again Madam Chair, I move the Amendment standing in my name that:

(a) by the deletion of the definition of “basic state funded education” and the substitution of―

           “basic state funded education” means

                     (a) education from early childhood education up to form                                    four; or

                     (b) adult education up to form four; or

                     (c) any other category as may be declared as such by the                   Minister by Notice in the Gazette from time to time:

           for which pupils shall not be required to pay fees or levies and the State shall provide them with learning and teaching material, facilities, infrastructure and resources subject to the provisions of Section 75 of the Constitution;”;

(b)       by the insertion of the following definitions;

          “child” means a boy or girl under the age of eighteen years;

     “public school” means a school established and maintained by the Government,   including schools run by local authorities; registered private voluntary organisations or faith based organisations to provide education to the public without profit;”;

(c ) by the repeal of the definition of “government school” and the                  substitution of the following—

““Government school” means a school administered and         controlled by the national Government, local authority or any tier of Government as established in Section 5 of the Constitution;”.

          HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I want to add my voice to this amendment and I basically want to applaud it and I want to give a funding solution to fund this Basic Education by Government because it is now expanded to also mean up to Form Four and expanded as it is, it will need a lot of resources. There is what is called Community Share Ownership Trust that is in our areas of jurisdictions, in particular in our mining areas, I ask that part of that money be used to finance basic primary and secondary education as proposed in this amendment so that where Government is impeded or is handicapped in terms of resources, it can tap into these resources from the Community Share Ownership Trust.

          I want to give a background of what the Community Share Ownership Trust which was enacted or which was launched in 2010 speaks to and about the resources share, in particular minerals in the areas of various jurisdictions. From 2010 or 2014 up to now, chances are that we have gone for ten years and we have not gotten the quantum of the dividend from those Community Share Ownership Trust. What was given to the Community Share Ownership plus a seed capital was just money which would turn seed capital to those communities. The real dividend had not been apportioned to those communities.

          I make therefore this clarion call that the conclusion of that process of defining the dividend be concluded expeditiously and that it also be paid in retrospect. This is a proposal to those mining houses. Zimplats is one of them and various other Community Share Ownership Trusts. I also understand that we have got Mimmosa and a few other mining houses. I ask that that dividend, assuming it is US$10 million per annum, in the ten years that this has been in operation, if it is applied in retrospect, will get about US$18 million from this Trust, just the individual trust, assuming it is one in Manicaland or it is one in my Chegutu Administration District which covers Hon. Temba Mliswa’s Constituency, Yours Truly’s Constituency, which is Chegutu West Constituency where Mai Nyasha, Hon. Cde. Nyandoro, Hon. Kapuya’s Constituency and Hon. Shamu’s Constituency to give four constituencies.

          If we are given the US$80 million, I ask that part of that money be applied in order to give free basic education and give impetus and...

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  On a point of order Madam Chair.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. MAVETERA): Order Hon. Nduna. What is your point of order Hon. Sibanda.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: My point of order Hon. Chair is I think it is always important that debate be guided. When you see someone really going into the forest and you allow them to go on because they have got time to speak, in my view we waste quality time that we are supposed to utilise effectively to make laws. I think my colleague is out of order. His debate is entirely lost and does not speak at all to the law that we are talking about.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Hon. Sibanda. Hon. Nduna, may you please contribute to the debate?

          HON. NDUNDA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I was thinking that you are going to rule that the Hon. Member is lost, purely he was lost. Thank you Madam Speaker. As I conclude, I ask that these resources be put together to augment, complement and also make sure they revive that basic education financing. It is good for us to come here and talk about elements and characteristics of resource mobilisation.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Nduna, I think you have to be guided on finding what amendment 2 is all about. It is all about some definitions. So, if you look at it, I am sure we are dealing with some definition.

          HON. NDUNA: Did you say Clause 2.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Amendment 2 of Section 2.

          HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, are we looking at the same clause?

          Okay, as I conclude, this is certainly an issue that deals with financing of that free basic education. When we get to that, I will not debate but I ask Madam Speaker that my debate be apportioned to that free basic education financing to complement and augment efforts and resources. Thank you.

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Nduna for those comments. Remember that when we brought in our report Madam Chair, one of the issues that the community in our Public Hearing had raised in a very serious manner was the need for us to be clear that there will be an aspect of free education and if you find in our definition clause, we therefore proceed to bring in an amendment that specifically speaks to the issue of what State funded basic education is. Basically, for which people shall not be required to pay fees or levies and the State shall provide them with learning and teaching materials. I think for us that is what is crucial and again the Hon. Minister agreed to this amendment. I thank and I just thought I needed to underline and buttress that point Madam Chair.

          HON. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Chair. I think it is important that we just do not talk about State funded education. Already there is BEAM but currently there are children who are under BEAM and they are being kicked out of school and they are not being funded. So, the aspect of the funding is critical. The other issue that I stand to be corrected on is that I do not know if BEAM is still under the Ministry of Education or it is now under the Ministry of Social Welfare because in the past, we had required it to go under Social Welfare.  Through the social funding, there is NSSA, which is responsible for pensions and that money can immediately go there.  It is the biggest fund there is in this country from a pensioner’s point of view, they will never be short of money. 

What has happened is that, these kids going to school under BEAM have suffered immensely by being kicked and the Government not being able to pay.  So the whole notion of just saying, State-funded without us identifying where the funds are coming from – we are still in the same predicament where a lot of State-funded programmes which are there are not funded.  This is the foundation of any child in terms of going to school.  Yes, let other people not face that State-funding because they are at a different level, but a child going to school is required to go.  Most of them whom you see in the streets are a result of the State not being able to do that so it is important to identify where the funding is going to come from.

I therefore suggest that a fund like NSSA, we are aware of the corruption at NSSA, which is happening there…

Hon. Members having been making a lot of noise.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Members.  May the Hon. Member be heard in silence.  Hon. Members, I think we do not need to exercise a motion of us getting each other outside the House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order Hon. Members.  Hon. Members, this is a very important Bill, let us all concentrate.  If we feel that we do not want to be part of this Bill, we can as well go outside, because it seems like we are making a lot of noise.  If you want to talk and you do not have the platform right now, may you kindly please go outside because the noise that you are making is actually distracting everyone.  Thank you.

HON. MLISWA: Hon. Chair, the issue which I raise does touch on every Member of Parliament, especially the aspect of education being a right to every child.  They are inundated with parents who say, ‘my child has been kicked out of school,’ yet we say BEAM is there and it will fund.  So, moving forward, can we then have NSSA – BEAM must go from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and let it be funded from that point because NSSA already have money.  With the Government bureaucracy, it will take a long time for the funding to move from one Ministry to the other.  At the same time, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will tell you that, ‘we are not able to do anything because we have not received the money for BEAM.’  It has been outstanding since time immemorial pertaining to these payments and so on.  So the aspect of funding – I move that NSSA funds go towards BEAM and the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is responsible for that because it talks about the vulnerability of those who are not able to pay.

The other issue is that we also need to look at the budget – on how the budget has performed.  There is no point in us embarking on programmes when we know that the Government has no money.  Already, we sit here in Parliament underfunded, this Parliament is underfunded.  We do not want to have a situation where kids are also underfunded and their future to be destroyed because of a certain Clause in the Constitution which is not supported.  Legislators sitting here are alive to the fact that there are many constitutional provisions which have not been adhered to and complied with.  As a result, how many more are we going to have without complying with them?  So it is important that when we come up with these measures, we also talk of the compliance of these from a constitutional point of view, is it possible or not?  This is because it just becomes rhetoric and a waste of tax payer’s money and a lot of paper and so on.  So, the funding is important and I think let us equally be mindful of the fact that the parents too have an obligation. Seriously, we cannot have a system where we say education must be State-funded  – we must now go to a situation where we now limit…

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Mliswa, let us guide each other.  The amendment on Clause 2 is talking about 3 definitions, one being; Basic State-funded education, the second being a definition of a child, the third one being a definition of a Government school.  So, may we please debate within the confines of those definitions.

HON. MLISWA: Ma’am, I stand guided by you, Madam Speaker, is there anything which I have talked about which is outside those that you have said?  Maybe you can guide me and say, you said this which is outside that because as far as I am concerned, I think I am on point but…

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Yes you are on point on the generality of the whole Bill but in terms of the definitions that we are talking about right now, which one are you addressing?  I talked of the three definitions that we have, we have got one which is Basic State-funded education, the second one being a child, the third one being a Government school.  So, those are the definitions that are on Amendment 2, which of the three are you addressing?

HON. MLISWA: If you listen to my debate, it does touch on the importance of education for a child, it talks about us in terms of funding being mindful of where the funds are going to come from because in the past we still have that in terms of Section 27 of the Constitution which provides that; ‘Education shall be mandatory…’  However, that is not being done.  We also talk about having to comply with the Constitution; I am also talking about the fact of Government, is it able to also fund that.  The Government schools that we are talking about, are they able to withstand this or we know very well that the Government is overwhelmed by responsibilities to a point where I indicated that even this Parliament itself is underfunded.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: It is alright but for now, we are debating clause by clause and now we are debating on the definitions.   Thank you Hon. Mliswa.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Chair, I rise to request that we defer the Committee stage so that I can consult on what he is saying.  The problem that we have is; if each and every Ministry decides to have an ad hoc fund, we defeat the whole purpose of having a Consolidated Revenue Fund.  So, perhaps, the best is to defer this Committee stage for further consultations so that we can proceed on Thursday.  I thank you.  I move that we suspend proceedings of the Committee for now and report progress to the Chair.

          House resumed.

          Progress reported.

          Committee to resume: Thursday, 27th June, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. NDUNA: I move that Orders of the Day, Number 3 to 8 on today’s Order Paper, be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. MADIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION MEETING ON THE ADOPTION OF THE GLOBAL COMPACT FOR SAFE, ORDERLY AND REGULAR MIGRATION HELD IN MOROCCO

          HON. NDUNA: I move the motion standing in my name that:

          This House takes note of the Report of the delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting on the adoption of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration held from 6th to 7th December, 2018 in Raba, Morocco.

          HON. MABOYI: I second.

HON. NDUNA: Introduction

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in collaboration with the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco held a Parliamentary session on the 6 to 7th of December 2018 to the discuss the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The meeting was attended by 122 countries and 15 Parliamentary Associations from across the globe.  The Zimbabwean delegation was represented by the deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon T. Gezi – the head of the delegation, Hon D. Nduna and Hon R. Maboyi.  This Parliamentary session was held as precursor to the actual conference, to adopt the Global Compact that was to be attended by world leaders, in Marrakech, Morocco from the 11 to the 12th of December 2018.

1.                Opening Ceremony:  Key Note Speeches

1.1            President of the House of Representatives:  Mr Habib El Malki

The President of the House of Representatives, Mr. H. El Malki welcomed all the participants to the Parliamentary meeting on the occasion of the Adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Mr. H. El Malki highlighted that Parliaments have a crucial role to play in monitoring the challenges associated with migration, as well as in conducting oversight in the implementation of the Global Compact, once it’s adopted by national Governments.   Migration has had an impact on public policies, hence Parliaments have been identified as playing a key role in the crafting of national policies on migration and related issues.   In the same vein, the IPU was commended for the work it was doing in promoting the respect of migrant rights and human rights in general.

1.2            President of the House of Councillors:  Mr Hakim Benchamach

In the welcome address, Mr. H. Benchamach acknowledged that migration was a historical phenomenon which had become more intense and pronounced in the 21st Century affecting the economic, political and social landscape of many countries. This called for dialogue both at national and international level, to address the root causes and possible solutions, given that some migrants had become victims of human trafficking and smuggling. Mr. Benchamach was quick to add that migration contributed positively to the development of both the receiving and the sending nation through the skills and remittances by migrants.  Parliaments were encouraged to ratify as well as align their laws with international legal instruments as a way to improving and protecting the rights of migrants.  Furthermore, Parliaments were encouraged to ensure that their countries had integrated policies so that migration issues were handled in a holistic manner.  Mr. Benchamach also implored on Parliaments to support any efforts on dialogue between sending, host and transit countries, in resolving migration related challenges. 

1.3           Ms Gabriela Cuevas:  President of the IPU

In her opening statement, the President of the IPU Ms G. Cuevas, outlined that the discussion on the adoption of  the Global Compact spanned over a period of  one and half years  and was due to be signed and affirmed by heads of Government the following week in Marrakech, Morocco.  The address explained that the Global Compact was not designed to take away sovereignty rights or to force the opening of national borders without security checks.  Ms Cuevas explained that the purpose of the Global Compact was to ensure that the rights of migrants are respected and Parliaments, through their oversight role had a responsibility to enact laws that protected those rights.  Ms Cuevas went on to explain that the IPU had embraced a people-centered approach on migration and supported the adoption of the Global Compact. 

2.                Analysis of the Migration Landscape in the World

2.1           President of Global Migration Policy Associates : Mr P. Taran

The presentation by Mr. Taran gave valuable statistical information on migration which included:

v There are over 260 million foreign-born people residing today in countries other than where they were born or held original citizenship. This figure excludes persons in temporary, short-term or seasonal employment.

v There are 25.4 million refugees, 3.1 million asylum seekers and 10 million Stateless persons globally. 

v Development has been significantly dependent on migration for centuries, for example the slave labourers from Africa between the 16th and the 19th centuries, who worked to grow the economies of most developed countries today. Hence, over 90 percent of migration today is bound up in employment and economic activity. 

v In 2016, the annual flow of remittances to developing countries was 439 billion American dollars, and most of this money has proven to bolster the economies of receiving countries. 

The presentation by Mr. Taran went on to highlight areas that need to be addressed by Parliaments which include:

                   i.            Policy gaps on legal protection, non-recognition of migrants, and non-recognition of rights of migrants.

                ii.            The need to address increasing xenophobic hostility and violence against migrants worldwide.

             iii.            Address of the prevalence of sub-standard, abusive employment relations and conditions of work for migrants.

             iv.            Monitor the systematic discrimination and exploitation of migrant women.

                v.            Ensure migrants and refugees’ access health care, education and other social services.

             vi.            Ensure there is social protection and social security for migrants. 

The presentation explained that a number of international instruments have been put in place to protect the rights of all persons universally, such as the Human Rights Declaration.  In recent times, there is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which calls for the protection of the rights of migrant workers.  There are more than 44 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Targets, across the 17 SDGs which apply to migrants, refugees and migration compelling situations. 

In the concluding remarks, Mr. Taran called on Parliaments to develop national action plans which are human centred, rights based, and laws which promote the rights of migrants.

3.                A Guide for Parliamentarians in Implementing the Global Compact

Representative Human Rights and Refugees, Quaker UN Office: Ms L. Townhead

Ms Townhead, gave an outline of the 23 objectives of the Global Compact on Migration and what role Parliaments play in relation to those objectives which include:

3.1                       Parliaments should shape the debate on Global Compact on migration, through debates of motions in their respective Houses. However, it was critical for legislators to be availed with copies of the Compact.

3.2                       Parliaments need to link with institutions and persons knowledgeable on migration issues to enable the Legislature to craft policies or laws that promote the rights of migrants.

3.3                       Legislators need to identify and understand the priority needs of their countries as they relate to the Global Compact. 

3.4                       Parliaments should call upon the Executive to develop sectorial policies on migration for instance on health, justice, education and so on.  This will ensure that the needs of migrants are taken into account at all levels. 

3.5                       The legislature was encouraged to conduct public hearings in order to get an understanding of the concerns of migrants.

4.                Migration and the Impact on Children: Save the Children Spain

Ms J. Zuppiroli from Save the Children Spain, gave a presentation on the impact of migration on children.  Her presentation focused on 4 countries namely Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain where about 33 000 migrant children were identified in those countries.  Of that figure, 20 000 were unaccompanied minors, and most of them were from Syria.  In the process it becomes important that the receiving countries develop child centred policies and programs for these migrant children.  Ms Zuppiroli explained that there were a number of factors that caused migration by children such as; abuse, war and conflict, discrimination on ethnic and other grounds, lack of opportunities or the desire to be re-united with family members that would have migrated earlier.  The presentation also outlined that migrant children were facing discrimination in the receiving countries, particularly those between the ages of 15 to 18 years. At the same time, the children did not have identification documents to verify their age and nationality. Ms Zuppiroli gave a number of recommendations to assist countries with migrant children which include:

v Ending detention of child migrants by receiving countries,

v Ensuring child migrants have access to social services such as health and education,

v Provision of specialised counselling services and child friendly justice system,

v Ending discrimination of children, particularly those between the ages of 15 to 18 years of age. 

5.    Final Declaration

These were the key outcomes at the meeting:

5.1                       Parliamentarians commit themselves to using their power to fully help in the implementation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration which was formally adopted in Marrakech on the 10th and 11th December of 2018.

5.2                       The IPU is commended for its role is bring a parliamentary perspective to the discussions and negotiation on the Global Compact in the last two years.

5.3                       Parliamentarians are convinced that a holistic approach to migration is needed and international cooperation is essential for the effective implementation of the Global Compact.  This will be characterised by the inter-parliamentary cooperation which will facilitate the harmonisation of strategies, the exchange of good practices, the implementation of multilateral provision and the development of partnerships with other stakeholders.

5.4                       Migration should not be considered primarily through a security lens but as a development tool which should be supported with migration policies that are in sync with social, economic and environmental realities. 

5.5                       The IPU and the international community should help Parliaments which lack capacity to oversee the implementation of migration related policies.  Migrants and citizens should be involved in the design and implementation of these migration policies.

5.6                       Parliaments will show their commitment in protecting migrants, particularly those in vulnerable situations, through the ratification and implementation of relevant international human rights treaties and ILO conventions.

5.7                       Parliaments commit to design and implement a ‘parliamentary plan of action on migration’ by the end of 2019 that operationalises the commitments contained in the IPU resolution of October 2018, the Global Compact and International human rights law.  Thereafter Parliament will report to the IPU on progress made in 2021.

5.8                       Parliaments commit to contributing to the International Migration Review Forum cited in the Global Compact.

          I want to thank you Madam Speaker maam for giving me the opportunity to present to you this International Report on Global Compact Migration.  I therefore request that you allow the seconder of this motion to give her side of the story.  I thank you.

          HON. MABOYI:  No debate – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]–

          HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  My point of order is, we have the mover of the motion Hon. Nduna.  Before he moved the motion, there was a seconder.  Now, the seconder is given a chance to second and she says there is no debate.  What sort of order is that? – [HON. KARENYI: Hon. Mliswa, no debate.] -  How can the seconder say there is no debate when they were supposed to contribute to that? – [HON. KARENYI: She has no debate.] -  Somebody got up to say I am seconding.  So that person is supposed to debate to second the motion because there was no way a motion would be moved without a seconder.  Where is the seconder who seconded Hon. Nduna? 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA):  Order, the seconder is not forced to contribute instantly. She will contribute but not for now.

HON. MACHINGURA: I would like to thank Hon. Nduna for the informative report that he has given to this House.  I observed a few days ago that we were discussing on key populations and amongst them migrants are not included.  So, I was going to suggest that Parliamentarians be given capacity building workshops on migrants because they are a very important people in this world.  Problems that always cause people to be moved and displaced to be immigrants are quite numerous and I do not think they will end too soon.  So it is very important for Parliamentarians to get some form of capacity building around that subject as this is what is going on around key populations.

I have observed that respective Committees in Parliament have been capacitated of late and they understand the problems around education, around rights and other issues on key populations, but migrants have not been one of them.  Therefore, Madam Speaker, I propose that we do something about them.  Thank you.

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

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 26th June, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI:  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 38 on the Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 39 has been disposed of.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE 52ND SESSION OF THE ACP PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY AND THE 36TH SESSION OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY

HON. SARUWAKA:  I move the motion standing in my name:

 That this House takes note of the Report on the 52nd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and the 36th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

HON. P. MOYO:  I second.

HON. SARUWAKA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The 36th Session of ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly took place at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Benin last year from 3rd to 5th December.  The Standing Committee meetings of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly on Political Affairs, Economic Development, Finance and Trade and Social Affairs and Environment were held on Saturday, 1st December.  These Sessions were preceded by meetings of the 52nd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly.

HON. MATANGIRA:  On a point of order.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order, Hon. Matangira.

*HON. MATANGIRA:  My point of order is to ask the Hon. Member to speak loudly.  May he please raise his voice so that the Members in this section of the House can hear him more audibly?  Thank you.

HON. SARUWAKA:  Madam Speaker, I will start again.

The 36th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) took place at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Benin last year from 3rd to 5th December 2018.  The Standing Committee meetings of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly on Political Affairs, Economic Development, Finance, Trade and Social Affairs and Environment were held on Saturday, 1st December, 2018.  These sessions were preceded by meetings of the 52nd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly, namely the ACP Bureau and ACP Assembly.

Two Thematic workshops titled, ‘Family farming as a means of achieving sustainable food security and the regional electricity market and electricity interconnection solutions to energy problems,’ took place on Sunday 2nd December 2018, while the Women’s Forum and Youth Forum took place on 1st and 2nd December 2018 respectively.

Madam Speaker, it is instructed that I make the comment at this stage that the issue of Energy is a big problem throughout the international arena.  So, it was important that we also participated in this particular workshop and I am sure our energy Minster is going to take a few notes from this report because it has got an arrangement where regions can help each other to arrest the power problems.

This report, Madam Speaker, gives a bird’s eye view of the liberations of the JPA and ACP Assembly and it seeks to highlight the critical issues that exercised the JPA’s attention.  Madam Speaker, our delegation was led by Lt Gen (Rtd) M. R. Nyambuya who is the Deputy President of Senate.  Also in the delegation was Hon. P. Moyo, myself and Dr. Rukobo who is our Principle Director Information Services.

ACP Assembly

The 52nd Session of the Assembly of ACP met on Friday 30th November to exchange views on the draft agenda and work programme of the 36th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and to share views and review the reports of the three Standing Committees, namely the Political Affairs, Economic Development, Finance and Trade and  Environment. 

In his remarks, the Secretary General of the ACP commented on the expired Cotonou Agreement between the ACP representatives and consultations.  He reported that there were consultations between the ACP representative and Mr. Neven Mimica that had taken place on 23rd September in New York.  He observed that the preliminary indications point to an encouraging development in the deliberations so far that the discussion on different chapters should be done by the end of December.

He further reported that a review of the Georgetown Agreement of 1975 provided for the creation of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly under Article 5 is underway with the clear understanding that this should be member driven.  The Committee of Ambassadors will also make recommendations to the Council of Ministers. 

In discussions, the delegates emphasised the need for the ACP to be principled and not to appear as though it was desperate for the partnership for the sake of it.  Whereas this should be mutually beneficial and based on respect, it was the view, Madam Speaker, of the ACP countries that the relationship between ACP and the EU must not be like a master and slave relationship, but the two blocs must trade and deal with each other as equals.

The ACP Assembly also received and discussed reports of the three ACP Standing Committees’ issues from meetings held from 28th to 29th November in Cotonou.

  Committee on Political Affairs

The committee on Political Affairs which met on Wednesday 28th November reported on the draft resolution on the fight against cybercrime and drug trafficking.  During discussion, it was pointed out that there is growing interdependency and need for greater interaction between the ACP countries.  The seriousness of the impact of cybercrime is not only from the international perspective but more on the ACP countries, especially in the Pacific and Caribbean countries.  The Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade and the Committee on Social Affairs and Environment; the Committee on Economic Environment presented its report on the motion for resolution on Small and Medium Enterprises Development as being the heart of economic transformation in ACP countries.

          The Committee on Social Affairs and Environment presented the report on combating the destabilising effects of wildlife in ACP countries and promoting the implementation of the external dimension of the EU action plan against wildlife trafficking.  Just yesterday, I think Africa as a region, especially the Southern African countries, met in Victoria Falls to deal with matters of wildlife trafficking under the banner of CITES.  So these are also matters that are under the purview and under the radar of the ACP.

          POLITICAL SITUATION IN ACP COUNTRIES

          With respect to the political situation in ACP countries, the major highlights were firstly receiving updates on Eritrea –Ethiopia Peace Deal which was reported to have impacted positively on relations between the two countries and the region.  It was reported that as a result of the changes, Ethiopia has established a Ministry of Peace.  Lesotho also reported that three opposition leaders who have been in South Africa had returned home and that dialogue had been initiated. 

Further, the SADC peace keeping force formally withdrew on 1st November.  The delegate from Kenya updated the Assembly on the peace initiatives in Kenya, particularly the creation of conditions for political stability and that as a consequence, Raila Odinga, the opposition leader had been appointed an AU High Person on infrastructure in order to enhance the peace process and foster nation building and national reconciliation. 

Further, the reports indicated that Burundi was preparing for elections in 2020; that elections in Chad were scheduled for December; that local and legislative elections had taken place in Gabon but the situation in Burkina Faso would remain fragile.  We now know that in Madagasca, the second round of Presidential elections would take place on 19th December in Madagasca, among other reports.  We now know that in Madagasca, the second round resulted in the President Rajolina taking over.

          ACP BUREAU DECISION

          The following matters from the ACP Bureau were communicated for the information of the ACP Assembly:

1.    That the proposed urgent motions would be on:-

-negative impact of climate change on marine States;

-the Sahelian region

-the impact of Brexit on ACP States

2.      That the Regional meeting to be held in the Caribbean should take place in Suriname

3.      That an Election Observer Mission will be sent to the Nigerian Elections that would be held early this year.

4.      That East Africa would also host the 38th Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the region would consult on that matter as to which particular country was going to host.

ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The Joint Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee Meetings

 were held on 1st December and the summary below is on their deliberations.

          Political Affairs

          The Committee’s deliberations focused on the maters below inter alia;

          The Fight against Cybercrime and Drug Trafficking

          The report on the fight against cybercrime highlighted the huge impact of cybercrime and its devastating effects, especially on the ACP countries.  It is now true that globalisation has turned the world into one big market place, creating opportunities for fast growing economies.  However, with these opportunities comes some risks and the proliferation of the online market has led to huge increase in cybercrime and drug trafficking.  These activities, conducted on an ever-larger scale are very difficult to comprehend, control and reverse Mr. Speaker Sir.  Urgent action is therefore needed to curb this scourge through increased transnational cooperation, both in and between different sectors and the promotion of technical research, capacity building and consumer education. 

The Committee noted that the issue of cybercrime needs robust local, regional and international attention and monitoring.  It was suggested that the investment in training technical competences and tightening of legislation has to be made.

          The Committee also exchanged views on the Post Cotonou Agreement and noted tendencies of growing multilateralism, interdependence and the need for fair trade.

          The Political Situation in ACP and EU Countries

          Various countries gave updates on the situation in their countries as already reported.

          The Update on Zimbabwe

          Hon. Lt. General (Rtd.) Nyambuya, the leader of the Zimbabwean delegation gave a report on the political situation in Zimbabwe and reported that harmonised elections with a record number of political parties; 23 Presidential candidates were held in July, 2018 after the Operation Restore Legacy which ushered in a new dispensation.  On 3rd August, 2018, ZEC declared President E. D. Mnangagwa the winner, which was confirmed at the Constitutional Court on 24th August after a challenge by the second contestant Hon. Chamisa.  The President was inaugurated in August 2018.

          He also reported on the Commission of Inquiry set up by the President to investigate the 1st August, 2018 disturbances.  He further referred to the efforts that are being made for re-engagement, economic recovery and development under the auspices of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.

          Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade

          The Committee considered and reported on SMEs development as being the heart of economic transformation in ACP countries. 

          The private sector is the engine of wealth creation and economic growth in market economies, generating the bulk of jobs and income in developing countries and mobilising domestic resources sustainably.  The report underlines in particular, the importance of micro, small and medium enterprises as engines of wealth creation in ACP countries.

          Committee on Social Affairs and Environment

          The Committee discussed the report on combating the destabilisation effects of wildlife trafficking in ACP countries and promoting the implementation of the external dimension of the EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking.

          The Social Affairs Committee draft report stressed the need for strong law enforcement to combat the supply of illegal wildlife products by criminal networks.  It calls on ACP countries to draw up a joint Action Plan against wildlife trafficking and invites the international community to recognise the significant progress made in combating wildlife trafficking by organisations such as CITES and Interpol.  It stressed the need to make wildlife trafficking a stand-alone priority of the new post-Cotonou ACP-EU partnership.  Equally, it urges ACP countries to empower local populations to sustainably manage their natural resources, and the EU to increase financial support for ACP countries and projects.

          OFFICIAL OPENING

          The official opening Mr. Speaker Sir, took place on the 3rd of December, 2018 and the President of the National Assembly of Benin, Micheell Rivasi, the Acting Co-President of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Joseph Owona Kono, and the Co-President of the Parliamentary Assembly, His Excellency Patrick Talon, President of Benin were in attendance. 

          In welcoming the delegates, the President of the National Assembly to Benin and the Joint Assembly, opined that the meetings in Cotonou were historical, taking place as they did in the backdrop of the negotiations on the Post-Cotonou Agreement in Brussels.  He further noted that the meetings were a re-affirmation of the partnership, and that Parliamentarians have made immeasurable contributions to the realization of the ideas of the Cotonou Agreement.  This is evidenced by the important role of election observation and fact finding missions in, and to different countries.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there was an encouragement that ACP countries should be able to send delegations to observe elections of member countries so that best practice can be spread throughout the ACP region.  This notwithstanding, much needs to be done to realise and attain peace and harmony in the world, themselves critical objectives and planks of today’s world order.  Moreover, challenges remain the areas of trade, development and climate.  Further, in the actualization of the aspirations of the agreement, the parliamentary dimension of the ACP/EU partnership remains central for the promotion of democracy and the realisation and the realisation of the broader aspirations and enjoyment of rights by all citizens, particularly in the ACP countries. 

          Mr. Michele Rivasi,the co-President of the JPA, pointed out the current work of the JPA reflects international affairs and is relevant.  Importantly the negotiations of the Post-Cotonou should ensure inclusivity and adherence to the broad values that constitute the foundation of the partnership and should equally focus on shared challenges that include climate migration.  Critical issues of the time included terrorism, especially in the Sahel, rise of religious fundamentalism, and drug trafficking, among other issues.

          In this context Mr. Speaker Sir, there was also urgent need to address poverty, corruption, economic decline, themselves maladies which are at the core of fertile grounds for terrorism.  Populism, it was said, undermines democracy and the value system as it stirs emotions, radicalism and has negative consequences. With respect to the JPA, it was argued that there was the imperative and obvious need to protect its work and status while improving its efficacy. 

          Hon. Joseph Owona Kono, Co-President of the JPA

          He thanked Benin for hosting the JPA, and evoked the historical significance of holding the meetings in Cotonou.  On terrorism, he remarked rather dejectively that through the Sahel Task Force though the Task Force was ready to tackle terrorism, it was gravely hampered by a paucity of funds and resources.  During the JPA, he added, attention also focused on critical issues that include young people with disabilities, economic challenges, especially those arising from external shocks and the future of the Cotonou Agreement and the need to incorporate the attainment of SDGs in its framework.

In his address and official opening, the President of Benin observed that the Cotonou Agreement should be a tool for peace, but was ironically under threat from forces that include multilatelarism.  Importantly, the JPA should be more realistic and pragmatic in its approach so that it is focused and can achieve its dreams.  The ACP/EU survival and relevance is therefore predicated on the need to address issues like populism and climate change whose impacts are felt on a daily basis.  With respect to populism, it is crucial to understand what drives it and alarm bells that call out loudly for the need for urgent solutions.

JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY PLENARY

The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly discussed a number of issues. 

On Post-Cotonou Negotiations. Mr. Neven Mimica reported that there is an agreement on the ambitious agenda for negotiations, which he said were on track and that the focus should be common foundation for the partnership. 

Africa-Europe Alliance in which Europe is central to Africa, it is also important to note that there are new players.  The alliance should promote sustainable development, investment, trade flows and education and skills development.  This framework should also be applicable to the Pacific and the Caribbean countries. 

COP 24:  Focus on the cooperation on climate change, and implementation of the Paris Agreement, as well as the need for mechanism of confronting fires, heat waves, hurricanes and other challenges which are common to all. 

Issa Donbragne, Minister of Economic and Development Planning (Chad), President-in-Office of the ACP Council. 

He argued that the ACP/EU partnership  exemplified the collaboration against poverty and its consequences and was for the promotion of human dignity and human endeavour.  Equally, the development trajectory arising from the Cotonour Agreement should be in the framework of SDGs. 

Maria-Magdalene Grigore, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Secretary (Romania).

Ms. Grigore underscored the importance of the partnership which is in transition and needs to be consolidated and deepened.  In doing so, there was need to uphold and promote human rights, democracy, sustainable development, peace and security.  Critically, the new partnership should entrench a rule-based culture. 

Debate with the Council

Arising from a question by EU delegate, in the debate with the Council, the European Union expressed concern over what it called shrinking political space, including the media and assembly, of late, in Tanzania.  The Minister hoped that Tanzania would reveal its attitude towards human rights including the LGBT.  However, the ACP Minister said that EU should not judge Tanzania, but appreciate the cultural and contextual situation of Tanzania and respect each other’s view points. 

The impact of the rise of populism on globalisation

The populist phenomenon has been gaining considerable strength in the past few years and has assumed a much more widespread form than before, including at the level of cross-country and cross-regional movements.  Populism is a challenge to the existing political and financial establishment, at national but also at supra-national level.  In the context of an ever more globalised world, the continued spread of populism may pose a threat to democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. At European level, populism and anti-system movements have also brought about anti- EU discourses, which in the long run could threaten the European integration project. I think this is what has led to the British exiting the EU. It is as a result of populism and the ACP was concerned that if it is not curbed, we are going to see more problems going into the future. With a view to the upcoming European Parliament elections, it was considered that this is a mot timely topic for an Assembly debate and resolution as it calls for action to address the rise of populism and its effects.

          The Joint Parliamentary Assembly, in this context, needs to reaffirm a commitment to human rights and the broader values upon which it is founded.

          In its contribution, the European External Services noted job losses, globalization and the perception that governments are no longer in control and fear of migration, among other things as contributory factors. However, protectionism and closing of borders is not the solution. Instead, domestic policies need to boost sustainable development, growth and create jobs as a strategy to combat populism.

          In a contribution, a delegate from Burkino Faso made the point that populism grows where there is lack of democracy, where there is corruption and lack of transparency and openness.  I think that observation must be taken seriously by our leadership in this country, that populism is a result of the democracy. As a way of tackling populism, vigilance and appropriate legislation are essential. Julie Ward, a member of the Europen Parliament, gave Brexit as a typical living example of populism, and postulated that this was, in fact, racism hidden behind a discussion of genuine issues and concerns. A delegate from the Gambia singled out three dimensions of the concept of populism, namely mob, state and race. He decried the lack of corporate cohesion, and social contract with political parties concerned only with the pursuit and retention of power. The consequences of populism are exclusivity, no citizen participation, mob rule, mob justice, in a word mobocracy.

          Mrs. Rosa, an EU delegate, argued that populism appeared to be a response to crisis and injustice. But because it has a weak ideological foundation, it is essentially anti investment and xenophobic. It provides simplistic solutions to complex problems. Notably, populism is rooted in crisis and not necessarily in globalisation. Many delegates referred to unemployment, limited opportunities and anxiety as fertile grounds for populism. Populism also thrives on propaganda, lies and promises of heaven-on-earth and the unattainable. In Africa, shifts from rural to urban and other demographic dynamics are the fires that flare up populism.

          On the impact of climate change, in particular on small, developing island states: On 8 October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented a Special Report on “Global Warming of 1,5 degrees celcius.” It contains a number of serious warnings and states that above 1.5 degrees celcius global warming (above pre-industrial levels), a number of “tipping points” will be breached leading to severe environmental and economic damage, and social disruption as well as increasing migration and instability. Small island developing states (SIDS) would be among the most affected, with rising sea levels, extreme weather and major damage to their ecosystems, in particular coral reefs. This will be a timely topic for an Assembly debate and resolution as it calls for urgent multilateral action to tackle and minimise the negative effects of climate change.

          Post Cotonou: The future partnership of the EU-ACP after 2020. The Cotonou Partnership Agreement between EU and 78 African Carribean and Pacific (AC)) countries will expire in February 2020. As a result, the Post-Cotonou partnership negotiations officially started on 28 September and the first technical meetings took place on 18 October. Covering one in five people in the world, the ACP-EU partnership has a political dimension and deals with development and economic cooperation.

          As the world has changed considerably since the Cotonou Agreement first came into force in 1975, the Agreement needs to be accordingly modernised. Building on the lessons of 43 years of cooperation and making the most of the new circumstances, the future agreement can bring unprecedented opportunities, including growth and job creation, human development, peace and a better way of dealing with security issues, climate change and migration.

          The involvement of the international community in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel - across the Sahel, terrorism and extremism are proliferating at a dangerous rate. Violent jihadist incidents increased by over 300% between 2010 and 2017 although counter-terrorism efforts have been made by the UN, France, and the Group of Five Sahel States (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger), the lack of funding and organisational capacity has resulted in limited success. International actors themselves are increasingly becoming the targets of terrorism with 150 UN peacekeepers killed in Mali in the course of their work for MINUSMA. Although the jihadist groups remain fragmented, until toxic mix of poverty, unemployment and climate change prevalent in the Sahel is tackled, the groups will continue to pose a major threat.

          Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Un Secretary General’s Special Representative for West Africa, was the lead discussant during the debate. He decried the scourge of terrorism in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa which, despite the involvement of internal community since 2013, remain in a difficult and intractable situation. These efforts which have included the establishment of MINUSMA in Mali, and the Sahel Joint Force have been hampered by lack of resources and logistical challenges.

          The discussion pointed to the critical need for training for the armies, equipment and information, but critically it was agreed that it is vital to remove conditions that sustain terrorism, by embarking on socio-economic development and ameliorating the life chances of the population. Discussions further pointed to another logical conclusion that the collapse of Libya has resulted in the spread of arms, and the crumbling of social cohesion, conditions which have provided succor for compromised security and terrorism.

          In response, Mr, Chambas acknowledged the frustrations regarding peacemaking in Mali, but quickly pointed out that the deployment was for a peacemaking force. However, since the situation obtaining is not strictly speaking civil war, but terrorism, the deployment needs to be reviewed. He also pointed out that the Sahel is a cocktail of countries, which do not fall into regional groupings like Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and it then requires reconfiguration and an ambidextrous approach. He also said there are also opportunities that can be identified for young people, in energy and animal husbandry.

          The political situation in Cameroon is that since 2016, the cross-border, political, economic, security and humanitarian crisis in Cameroon has escalated and is spreading throughout the region beyond Cameroon’s borders, severely affecting not only the internal stability of the country, but also neighboring countries. Civil war is looming and it is likely to have serious regional implications. Cameroon’s political stability is vital as its security forces underpin the region’s ability to combat the many insurgent groups, including those at sea. Moreover, the countries surrounding Cameroon make up 35% of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) zone; if Cameroon’s economy collapses, the Central African Region will suffer too. The international community is deeply troubled by the situation.

          Young people with disabilities in the context of sustainable development: youth with disabilities are among the most marginalised and the poorest of the world’s youth population and are more likely to face severe social, economic, and civil disparities compared with those without disabilities, even in developed countries. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are making strides towards the greater inclusion of youth with disabilities in society, as well as towards the achievement of their human rights, but more effort is needed.

          There were two workshops which were held which involved field trips, and the Assembly reviewed reports. The first one was focusing on the family farming with sustainable food security. The other one was on the regional electricity market and electrical inter-connectivity and solutions to energy storage. The Women and Youth Forums presented their two reports. The motions that were presented for resolutions, the first motion was the fight against cybercrime and drug-trafficking.  The second motion was on combating the destabilising effects of wildlife and the third one was on Small and Medium Enterprises.  Mr. Speaker Sir, a few comments regarding the sessions; the JPA and ACP Assembly meetings covered a number of current social, political and economic issues and provided a forum for the ACP Members of Parliament to interact and exchange views with members of the EU Parliament. 

The main focus of the discussions was on the post-Cotonou negotiations and it was evident that the EU and ACP do not view the future from the same lens.  Whilst the ACP, especially Africa, was robust in asserting a development trajectory in mutual respect, the EU seems to pursue an agenda of human rights and democracy.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the post-election situation in Cameroon received special focus with the EU and African delegates once again seeing things differently. 

On observations, point number four, the debate on the rise of populism was equally robust and brought to the fore danger looming large in the horizon globally.  EU delegates in particular, spoke with passion in part because the wave of populism seems to be sweeping across their own environs.  It was an instructive discussion and Zimbabwe will do well to be familiar with the debate rather than regard it as distant and far-fetched.  The GAPA was an edifying experience and provided the new Zimbabwe delegation with a positive opportunity to understand the issues and procedures of the organisation.  It prepared the delegates for an engaging and enterprising experience.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I therefore submit the report of the ACP 52nd Session.  I thank you.

HON. KWARAMBA: The seconder is coming, she has gone outside.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: We have got Hon. Nduna.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I will second.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to applaud Hon. Saruwaka for a report well done.  The issue of ACP-EU is a very long, good and long-standing relationship which is premised on key fundamental issues, political, economic and environmental.  The ACP-EU is comprised of three Thematic Committees as has been alluded to by Hon. Saruwaka and they are headed as follows; the Political Cluster or the Thematic Committee on Politics is headed by the head of delegation and in this way, it is headed by Hon. Sen. Nyambuya.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there are two economic supporting pillars in the ACP-EU and these are the European Investment Bank and the European Development Fund.  The European Development Fund was established to make sure that there are contributions from the EU member states for the support of the infrastructure development in the ACP countries.  It has been seen that the relationship between the ACP and EU countries can only be enhanced when the partners are equal.

I want to touch on the European Investment Bank which also speaks to infrastructure development here in Africa and other Caribbean and African countries.  You will relate Infrastructure Investment Bank to the likes of our own Infrastructure Development Bank here in Zimbabwe.  At one time when I was a Member of this Committee, I made a passionate plea to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly that we were still entrenched in an archaic, moribund, rudimental, antiquated and medieval disease – [Laughter] –in the form of cholera and typhoid.   They (the European Development Fund) indicated that Zimbabwe owed something to the European Development Fund as a country and they certainly would want to continue a relationship of financing infrastructure development projects, in particular the one about the eradication and annihilation of such medieval diseases like cholera and typhoid. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, they asked me to approach the Centre for Disease Control because Zimbabwe was indebted to them but they were prepared to finance such development through the Centre for Disease Control and UN Aid. Given that scenario, I want to report to this august House that some financiers who were listening to that debate and are part of the European Development Fund family came into the country straight to Chegutu, the epicenter of this cholera and typhoid epidemic and presented a proposal to the Town Council that they can immediately give them €50 million with a repayment period of 20 years at an interest rate of 3% and a repayment holiday of the period that it is going to take for the infrastructure development to take root.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I stand on this pedestal to applaud the relationship that ACP-EU has got with Member States, in particular Zimbabwe.  I want to say, the relationship that is there straight from the inception, Cotonou Agreement and all other agreements and the extension of the European Development Fund from 2014 by another year to 2020 is really applauded.  It speaks to the heart and the core of our needs as a nation. 

I am quite elated Mr. Speaker Sir, to say a that delegation has since gone, but it has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  It is waiting for the concept paper and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Town Council and all other institutions of an infrastructural development nature who might require funding at very concessionary rates.  I also make a clarion call that I be once again included in that delegation because I offer institutional memory – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I thank you.

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

          HON. NDUNA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. TOGAREPI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 32, on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 33 has been disposed of.

          HON. NDUNA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORTS ON THE 7TH INTERNATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT HELD IN CANADA AND THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FAMILY PLANNING HELD IN RWANDA

HON. KWARAMBA: I move the motion standing in my name;

That this House takes note of the Reports on the 7th International Parliamentary Conference on the Implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Ottawa, Canada on 22nd to 23rd October, 2018 and the international Conference on Family Planning held on 12th -15th November, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.

          HON. DR. LABODE: I second.

          HON. KWARAMBA:

1.0    INTRODUCTION

1.1    The Seventh International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICDP) Programme of Action was convened from 22-23 October 2018 in Ottawa, Canada. A similar meeting, the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) was held in Kigali, Rwanda from 12-15 November, 2018. Hon. Goodluck Kwaramba attended the meeting in Ottawa, Canada, while Hon. Dr. Ruth Labode attended the meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. Participants at the two conferences were drawn from the policymakers, civil societies, researchers, young people, faith leaders and family planning advocates from around the world.

1.2    As a result of the similarities of issues discussed and resolutions or commitments made at these two meetings, it was deemed prudent to present a consolidated report for tabling before this august House. Accordingly, the following is a summary report on the two meetings.

2.0    BACKGROUND TO THE ICPD AND ICFP

          The following presentations provide a brief background to the two conferences on   population and development and family planning.

2.1    International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)

2.1.1 ICPD refers to a meeting held in September 1994 in Cairo, Egypt where 179 governments (Zimbabwe included), adopted a revolutionary Programme of Action and called for women's reproductive health and rights to take centre stage in national and global development efforts.

2.1.2 The Programme of Action called for all people to have access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including voluntary family planning, safe pregnancy and childbirth services, and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

2.1.3 It also recognised that reproductive health and women’s empowerment are intertwined, and that both are necessary for the advancement of society.

2.2    International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP)

2.2.1 The ICFP serves as a strategic inflection point for the family planning and reproductive health community worldwide. It provides an opportunity for political leaders, scientists, researchers, policymakers, advocates, and youth to disseminate knowledge, celebrate successes, and identify next steps toward reaching the goal of enabling women to access voluntary, quality contraception by 2020.

2.3    Family Planning 2020 (FP2020)

2.3.1 Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is a global partnership that was launched during the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012. This partnership supports the rights of women and girls to decide freely and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have. FP2020 works with governments, civil society, multilateral organisations, donors, the private sector, and the research and development community to enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.

2.4    Zimbabwe Initial FP2020 Commitments in 2012

·       To increase the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) from 59% to 68% by the year 2020

·       Reduce unmet need for family Planning from 13.5 to 6.5% by 2020

·       Removal of user fees on family planning services.

·       Increase the FP budget including procurement of contraceptive commodities from 1.7 % to 3% of the National Health Budget.

·       Improve the method mix with emphasis on Long Term and reversible Contraceptive

·       Reduce unmet need for adolescent girls from 16.9% to 8.5 % by 2020

·       Strengthen Public Private Partnership including civil society organisation in the provision of FP services.

 3.0   OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCES

The objectives of the conferences on population and development in Canada and Rwanda were:

1.    To strategise on how to make an investment case or convincing governments that investing in family planning has good economic returns;

2.    To harness more donor funding for the low income countries as donor financing has remained fairly stagnant at US$1.27 billion annually;

3.    To develop strategies for integrating family planning with other related health services;

4.    To embrace new technology and new family planning methods with less side effects and more user friendly;

5.    To identify new faces as advocates for family planning propaganda; and

6.    To encourage respective country Parliamentarians to form Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Networks of Parliamentarian champions.

4.0    KEY THEMES THAT EMERGED FROM THE TWO CONFERNCES

4.1    The following are the key themes that emerged during the deliberations at the conferences:

4.1.1 Role of Parliamentarians: Parliamentarians have a critical role to play in the enactment of laws that promote and protect people’s rights, mobilising adequate funding for sexual reproductive health and creating enabling environments to meet people’s needs.

4.1.2 Young People and Access to Sexual Reproductive Health Services: Young people face challenges in accessing sexual and reproductive health care and services

4.1.3 Increase investments in individual capabilities and ensure human rights, including reproductive rights and gender equality throughout the life course to respond to the population dynamics affecting the various nations.

4.1.4 Returns on investment: Family planning yields wide-ranging dividends both locally and globally in terms of health, financial, environmental and security benefits.

5.0    OUTCOME OF THE TWO CONFERENCES

5.1    During the two meetings the participants from various sectors including Parliamentarians collectively produced a statement of commitment that fosters understanding of consensus around the urgency to address the current political discourse on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The statement is called “THE DECLARATION ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT” and reads as per the attached copy.

Ottawa Statement of Commitment

Committed to the Implementation of ICPD on the Road to 2030

Introduction

We the Members of Parliament from all regions of the world, met in Ottawa, Canada, on 22- 23 October 2018 to participate in the seventh International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation (IPCI) of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which comes at a significant time amidst preparations to mark the 25th  Anniversary of the 1994 ICPD Cairo Conference.

We note that while progress has been made by our countries towards the achievement of the goals and objectives of the ICPD, challenges remain to implement fully the Programme of Action and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030.

We are concerned that despite the gains made in the past 24 years, these gains have not been experienced equally by all, and that there is a rising inequality within populations where a considerable number of people continue to live in conditions of extreme poverty, without the fulfillment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We recognise that the provision of sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, leads to a country’s social and economic progress.

Declaration

1.    We recall and commend the positive contribution of parliamentarians towards the achievement of the goals and objectives of the ICPD, including the work done by previous IPCI Conferences[1].

2.    We advocate for the full implementation of the ICPD promise of universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, as affirmed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as vital to deliver the vision for a world where preventable maternal deaths, and prenatal, infant and child mortality, are a thing of the past, where unmet need for family planning is met, where gender-based violence and harmful practices do not exist, where young people can live healthy and productive lives, where stigmatization and discrimination have no place in society and where reproductive rights are promoted, respected and protected.

3.    We see the continued implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action as essential to achieving the SDGs, in that they emphasise the centrality of human rights in producing equitable development outcomes so that nobody is left behind.

 

4.    We stress the urgent need to end preventable maternal death, fulfill the unmet need for family planning, end gender-based violence, and all harmful practices.

5.    We stress the fact that many women and girls, everywhere, particularly those with disabilities and those who are marginalised or in vulnerable situations, face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination on the basis of gender and sexuality, and are still subject to discriminatory laws, policies and harmful practices and recognise the debilitating effect of sexual harassment on young women preventing them from realizing their full potential.

6.    We believe that there is no progress and no achievements under wars and conflicts and therefore enhancing peace, ending occupation and respecting international law are essential towards implementing the ICPD Programme of Action and achieving the SDGs.

7.    We express profound concern over the backlash against the progress made by States, international and regional organisations and civil society, to respect, protect and fulfill all human rights, and recognise that these retrogressions can be linked to political or religious interpretations which oppose the struggle against gender-based discrimination and equal rights.

8.    We recognise that climate change is a common concern of human kind and the increasing challenges caused by its impact on population and development, where women, children and persons with disabilities are the most vulnerable. We are therefore committed to the 2015 Paris Agreement that includes the right to health, the right to development, as well as gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and young people.

9.    We recognise the unprecedented number of people affected and displaced by humanitarian emergencies, which are increasing in scale and severity that continue to overwhelm humanitarian response capacities. There is an urgent need to strengthen the design and implementation of inclusive policies and social safety mechanisms, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, to address access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health services, which remain significantly under-funded in crisis settings.

We Parliamentarians, consistent with human rights and the principles of the ICPD are determined to play our role as follows:

Human Rights for All – Promotion and Protection

10.                       We commit to:

a.     Ensure that the rights of all individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled as set forth in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, and subsequent international human rights treaties, without distinction of any kind, in order to fully extend the principles of equality, dignity, non-discrimination, participation, and universality, to all generations;

b.    Enact laws, policies and programmes to prevent and punish hate crimes without distinction of any kind, and take active steps to protect all persons from discrimination, stigmatization and violence, including gender-based violence,and to amend laws, policies and programmes that violate human rights and discriminate on the basis of gender, sexuality and ethnicity;

c.     Enact laws, policies and programmes that respect, protect and fulfill the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all individuals, including through the adoption of a human rights-based approach that works towards realising the accessibility, availability, acceptability and quality of a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services and information;

d.    Advocate for actions beyond the health sector to change social norms, laws and policies, to uphold human rights, in particular the most crucial reforms that promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls to have full control over their bodies and lives in line with the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action;

Promoting World Changing Transformative Results for Achieving ICPD and SDG Goals

11.                       We commit to:

End Preventable Maternal Death – No woman should die giving life.

a.     Respect, promote, protect and fulfill the right to health by advocating for provision of universal health coverage, including sexual and reproductive health that is accessible, available, acceptable, affordable and of good quality, including services for medical emergency obstetric care, increasing the number of midwives, skilled birth attendants, and family planning services;

b.    Work with governments to further reduce abortion-related complications and deaths by providing non-discriminatory universal post-abortion care; to remove legal barriers preventing women and adolescent girls from access to safe abortion, including revising restrictions within existing abortion laws, and ensure the availability of neutral and fact-based information about abortion, and safe, good-quality abortion services, where legal, in order to safeguard the lives of women and girls;

c.     Take measures to prevent adolescent pregnancy and unsafe abortion, including through comprehensive sexuality education, addressing harmful gender norms and stereotypes, ensuring the delivery of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and demand-driven access to a range of family planning services and modern methods of contraception;

d.    Advocate our governments to provide adequate resources to strengthen nutrition and health systems and infrastructure to ensure access to quality basic health care, including for sexual and reproductive health services;

Fulfilling the Unmet Need for Family Planning

12.                       We commit to:

a.     Ensure the rights of all individuals to comprehensive, family planning services and guarantee access to safe, modern methods of voluntary contraception as part of an inclusive and integrated package of sexual and reproductive health services and information, which is central to gender equality, women’s empowerment and sustainable development;

b.    Advocate for accessible and affordable family planning services as part of universal health coverage for women and men who want to plan their families and still do not have access to modern methods of family planning services, education and information;

c.     Enact laws and policies for access to safe and modern methods of contraception, including in emergency situations, and ensure that family planning services and information becomes a part of humanitarian response in emergencies, where women and girls, especially refugees and displaced persons, are affected by crises such as armed conflict, war and occupation, or natural disasters, where they are at increased risk of sexual violence;

Ending Gender-based Violence and all Harmful Practices

13.                       We commit to:

a.     Advocate for the enactment or ratification of global and regional legal frameworks, such as the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which combats gender-based violence (GBV), including in humanitarian settings, revise laws that exonerate perpetrators of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence within the framework of strengthened legislation to end impunity in conformity with international human rights law and international humanitarian law;

b.    Adopt legislation, policies and measures that prevent, punish and eradicate gender-based and sexual violence, including within and outside of the family, within communities, internet and online-based, in conflict and post-conflict situations and humanitarian emergencies and ensure that the survivors of such violence have access to a full range of support services, including sexual and reproductive health services, emergency contraception and legal counsel;

c.     Adopt comprehensive legislation to eliminate all harmful practices, including child and forced marriage, and female genital mutilation, and further enact laws to raise the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 years;

d.    Support development of policies and programmes that provide awareness raising, education and training to families, local community and religious leaders, political leadership, educational institutions, and the media, on the consequence and negative impact of harmful practices on the lives of young people, as well as education for men and boys on gender equality and respect for women, in line with internationally agreed resolutions and commitments;

Addressing the Needs of Young People

14.                       We commit to:

a.     Promote and advocate for universal access, including in fragile situations, to quality and inclusive education for young people at all academic levels that is learner-centered, adopts a lifelong learning approach, and promotes sustainable lifestyles and sustainable development as further affirmed in the United Nations Youth Strategy, Youth 2030;

b.    Advocate for and support policies that keep girls, including married girls and pregnant girls, in school at all levels of education without discrimination, and ensure admission or re-entry to school after giving birth;

c.     Support and promote effective policies and programmes that provide young people with skills for employment or entrepreneurship, and to strengthen efforts to create decent work consistent with international conventions;

d.    Promote and advocate for accessible quality health care for youth and adolescents, including sexual and reproductive health services, and remove legal and social barriers to sexual and reproductive health services, information, and comprehensive sexuality education containing prevention of STIs, including HIV and AIDS, and early detection and treatment of cervical cancer, and ensure access to a wide range of modern methods of family planning, including emergency contraception;

e.     Support policies and programmes that harness the demographic dividend through enhancing the capabilities of young people to contribute to social and economic development and innovation;

f.      Support and promote young people as catalysts for peace and security and humanitarian action, and their participation in decision-making, recognising the positive contribution of young people to peace and security, prevention of violence, disaster risk reduction, and humanitarian action;

Timely Humanitarian Response

15.                       We commit to:

a.     Promote and advocate for strengthened national workforce capacities to swiftly respond to humanitarian emergencies and provide high-quality integrated sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, as well as through the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP);

b.    Support policies and programmes for providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian emergencies, and to ensure that sustainable sexual and reproductive health services and supply chains are strengthened and to build resilience into national health systems from relief to development;

c.     Work with Governments to address gender-based violence and sexual violence in humanitarian crises and in refugee camps, with access to a wide range of services, including post-rape treatment, sexual and reproductive health services, psychosocial support and legal support;

d.    Advocate for provision of adequate funding and investment in preparedness and resilience-building including for local communities, and ensure that funds for sexual and reproductive health services are sufficiently earmarked in humanitarian and development budgets, and that monitoring mechanisms are established to track funding and investments for sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian settings;

Financing the implementation of ICPD

16.                       We commit to:

a.     Advocate for the allocation of appropriate resources in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development which provides a comprehensive framework for ensuring that investments are long-term oriented so that growth is inclusive and sustainable and creates an enabling environment for implementing the ICPD Programme of Action;

b.    Advocate for increased development assistance budgets for population assistance, in particular for those in vulnerable countries, and ensure the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) for official development assistance is met as agreed at the previous International Parliamentarians’ Conferences on the Implementation of the Programme of Action;

c.     Advocate for at least 10 per cent of national development budgets and development assistance budgets, for sexual and reproductive health programmes, including family planning and reproductive health commodities, and the prevention of STIs, including HIV and AIDS;

d.    Advocate for innovative mechanisms and approaches, including innovative financing, that are rapidly changing the development finance landscape and create opportunities to scale up contributions of all sources of financing towards the full implementation of the ICPD and in achieving the SDGs;

Strengthening Parliamentary Action, Accountability and Political Commitment

17.                       We will continue to work with our parliaments to:

a.     Ensure stronger political commitment for the further implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and to use our role as parliamentarians to keep Governments accountable to the commitments made in Cairo and for achieving the SDGs by 2030;

b.    Ensure effective review of policies and programmes and work with our respective governments to promote and facilitate active participation of all constituencies including non-state actors, in order to guarantee effectiveness, transparency, rule of law, and improved governance at the local, national, regional and global levels;

c.     Ensure that appropriate population, health, gender and development data, disaggregated, by sex, age, gender identity, disability and indigenous status, is made publicly available in order to facilitate sharing and use of knowledge and to improve public accountability;

d.    Utilise the knowledge and expertise of civil society, including nongovernmental organisations and youth groups, in the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of population and development policies and programmes for achieving the goals of access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights;

e.     Hold our respective States accountable for the establishment of appropriate and transparent governance institutions and mechanisms that ensure effective participation, without any form of discrimination, of women and young people in public debate, in planning, decision-making in all policy and programme phases, in particular on matters that affect them directly;

f.      Strengthen parliamentary cross-party networks at local, national, regional and global levels, to facilitate exchange of best practices, and strengthen the effectiveness of parliaments and to achieve IPCI Commitments;

Our Pledge

We the parliamentarians from all regions gathered in Ottawa pledge to:

Continue to implement previously adopted declarations of IPCI conferences and ensure that legislation, policies and programmes are developed and strengthened, and that adequate and predictable funding is made available to advance further the ICPD Programme of Action, as we move forward with resolve in achieving the SDGs by 2030.

HON. DR. LABODE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will just read

additional commitments that Zimbabwe made at the FP2020 in London,

that we committed ourselves to achieve. The next FP2020 meeting is

actually this year in Nairobi. So, we have certain commitments that

Zimbabwe made at the FP 2020 in London that we committed ourselves to achieve.  The next FP 2020 is next year in Nairobi.  We have certain commitments that we made that we need to have achieved by then. These are:

          To ensure that all women of reproductive health ages have access to quality family planning services by 2020 – what are our challenges that would not make us achieve these is evident; the availability of family planning services, especially in rural areas because of walking distances of health facilities, the non-functioning community based programme of those mbuyas who used to go round distributing family planning in the villages no longer exist because that would accelerate us to the goal.

          To increase the contraceptive rate from 44.6 in 2012 to 86% by 2020 – 2020 is next year and we need to have achieved that.  We are currently sitting on 76%.

To reduce the percentage of women with and unmet need for modern methods of family planning from 14% to 6% by 2020 – modern methods are long term methods that you need a doctor to insert.  You find that rural populations do not get those.

The other commitment was to reduce the number of unsafe abortions by increasing contraceptives.

Reduce the number of maternal deaths averted due to the use of modern methods – our challenge is that our minors (girls or women below 16) are having sex and getting pregnant.  After that, they are opting to give birth and sustain complication due to that birth or they opt to get an unsafe abortion in the backyard of Dzivarasekwa and Mufakose.

Teenage pregnancies are on the increase and contributing 22% of the maternal mortality.  Zimbabwe has an SDG which says by 2020/30, we would have reduced our maternal mortality.  Right now we have the highest number of women dying because of maternal delivery in the SADC region.  The reason being our laws, lack of family planning and the fact that some children cannot go to a hospital and say this is what I am doing. So they die.  We have a lot of work to do to reduce the number of women who die due to delivery. 

One in ten pregnancies in Zimbabwe ends up in abortion. Illegal abortions in Zimbabwe have increased from 60 000 to 80 000 per annum – which is very unsustainable.  We have unsustainable costs of managing post abortion complications in already over burdened health institutions.  These girls go and have abortions by using sticks or coat hangers.  When they bleed, they come to public institutions which are already burdened with other diseases. Once one goes to a public institution and is bleeding, it becomes an emergency.  This patient will use blood which was supposed to be used for a road traffic accident to ensure that she survives.  We use the antibiotic which could have been given to a pneumonia case on the same girl to ensure that she survives.  She occupies a bed of another patient who could have come there but we have to provide all these services to her.  This cost is not sustainable currently in Zimbabwe.

There is another problem of the age of consent provision in the Constitution which has become a death trap for girls because we say they are minors, they cannot go and look for health services on their own but here we know that they are having sex.  We have statistics showing that 14-15 year olds are delivering in our institutions.  That alone is a death trap because is a girl gets pregnant and she cannot go or cannot access family planning or cannot go to any health facilities; she will die trying to do something funny.  That is factual.  This House needs to start looking at some of these issues.

There is also an issue of concern is donor dependency.  Our contraceptives are purchased by donors 100%.  It is about time that as a country we allocate something or on a sliding scale, we start moving increasing our contribution towards the procurement.  Even though these contraceptives come through a donor to institutions, some people put a cost on these but ideally these should be given for free.

I was impressed by Population Service Zimbabwe in Gokwe who were saying with one bond, you buy six packets of family planning packets which means no matter how poor you are, you can at least manage to buy.

The other issue is the user fees levied for contraceptives in public facilities. We have a policy which says delivery is free but when a woman goes to the hospital she is expected to pay.  That is a challenge because in the end women do not bother going. They try and deliver at home and die, because they know that if they go to the hospital because they do not have money to pay and that becomes a bad statistic for Zimbabwe.

The other issue is bad laws that promote unsafe abortion, overburden the public health system with unavoidable expenditure on post abortal complications.  The cost of a safe abortion in Zambia is US$10 – that is to terminate unwanted pregnancy.  The cost of treating a post abortal complication is US$1 500 in a public institution. Can we really afford it?  We really need to think about it.

What needs to be done is that the Ministry of Health needs to increase its budget for family planning from the current 1.7 to 30% of the health budget.  The Reserve Bank needs to allocate foreign currency for procurement of contraceptives on a sliding scale.  Slowly, we will move there.  There should be free maternity health services at Government institutions.  It must be enforced somehow.  It must not be at the pleasure of whom you meet when you go to the hospital.

We also need to go back to the old system of mobile clinics.  We need to procure mobile clinics and re-introduce the outreach programmes.  In the past, every Monday, a mobile clinic moved to areas where there were no clinics – equipped with family planning and everything that was required – even scales to weigh children. By doing so, they ensured that there was nobody who would say they did not get health services.  That programme died a natural death when those cars went off the road.    We really need to revisit that.

We need to integrate the community based programme into other community programmes.  Family Planning Council had their own village health workers who were trained. These have died and because they have no funding, they have not been able to continue with the programme but I think now the Minister of Health needs to train even AGRITEX ones – just give them a basic training on family planning.  Everybody who calls themselves a community based worker must be trained and allowed to carry family planning pills.  Family planning pills does not kill, it is not like antibiotic and there is nobody who can take ten tablets of family planning tablets and suck them because it is a steroid.

We also need to amend the Public Health Act so as to include a provision that allows health care providers to provide health services to sexually active minors.  As we stand Mr. Speaker Sir, if your daughter who is 15 has an STD; the law currently says you must accompany your child to a health clinic and tell the nurse that you have brought your child who has syphilis to be treated.  How many of us would do that?  That is what the law says.  The child is a minor yet we know that the child is having sex. 

We need to amend the Public Health Act to introduce that provision.  I am happy to hear that the Ministry has started the process.  Their first meeting is in August, to start re-looking at this Act. I got the invitation today.  We know it is a new Act but we went wrong somewhere – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

We must also re-visit and amend the Termination of Pregnancy Act so that it responds and deals with the current evidence of unsafe abortions.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank all the Members that stood up and debated on all motions.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 26th June, 2019.

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



 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 25 JUNE 2019 VOL 45 NO 65