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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 27 MARCH 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 31

Tuesday, 27th March, 2012.

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter past Two O'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER

LAUNCH OF THE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE POLICIES

MR. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is inviting hon. members to the launch of the Industrial Development and International Trade Polices to be held at the Harare International Conference Centre on Thursday, 29th March, 2012 from 0900hrs to 1300hrs.

ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

MR. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received an adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Electoral Amendment Bill (H.B. 3, 2011).

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker, I move that Order of the Day, Number 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 28th March, 2012.

MOTION

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE ACT

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion that leave be granted to bring in a Bill to amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act in Section 121 by the Repeal of Subsection 3.

Question again proposed.

MR. S. NCUBE: I would like to thank the mover of this motion, Hon. Gonese. The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act Section 121, needs to be repealed especially Section 3. We are faced with a situation where if a magistrate grants the accused bail, you find the prosecutor denying the accused a chance to liberty and he instead proposes that the accused must be in custody for 7 days. After 7 days, you come back and you find the prosecutor having appealed, already you have served 7 days in custody. That is why we are saying that this Act is against human rights, there is something wrong with this section and it needs to be repealed.

Mr. Speaker, the magistrate is a learned somebody and he can decide that the accused must be granted bail but the prosecutor decides otherwise, and even the chance not to appeal. That is why I am supporting the motion that this Act must be repealed. The same with the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2002, it is just generalised. I am of the opinion that this section must be repealed because it is against human rights, people are guilty before they are even convicted. It would appear as if the magistrate now has less power than the prosecutor. The prosecutor now decides on who is supposed to go on bail. The accused does not have the chance to sue the prosecutor. With these words, I support that this section must be repealed.

MR. MADZIMURE: I also want to debate on this important Bill which Hon. Gonese brought to this House. I just want to start by saying that there has been a confusion as regards to this amendment. The issue is about Subsection 3 which empowers the AG or his representative in court to just stand up and say, I revoke Section 121. What it means effectively is that we do not have the confidence in our courts because the person who will have presided over the matter is a magistrate or a judge. So the judge or magistrate in his or her wisdom will have found out that, that person's case deserves bail and the AG without applying his or her mind to the issue just stands up and says, I revoke Section 121.

Mr. Speaker, over the years, we have come to realise that this particular section is not being applied fairly and is not being applied to protect anyone. What is happening is that the AG just decides to fix an individual at that particular time. You are aware that the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kuruneri languished in remand prison purely because the AG had revoked that particular section. What is sad on these issues is that the majority of the people whose cases have attracted the AG to invoke Section 121 Subsection 3 have been proved to be innocent after the trial. The majority of those cases have been thrown out of the courts. What does this mean to us as Members of Parliament? It is a wake up call to Members of Parliament to say whenever we make laws, they must serve a certain objective. In this case it has been proved that Section 121 is not serving its intended purpose. If we are to apply the scientific method to prove the effectiveness of a law, this law has succeeded probably 5%, which means when we enacted the law, we did not apply it ourselves. I have been listening to other members debating especially those who are for the retention of this particular section. A lot of them have been giving us examples of even the former Judge Paradza, to say Paradza fled to New Zealand because he was granted bail.

Mr. Speaker Sir, here we are talking of all those people like Ian Makoni who is now the Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, who when he was charged with terrorism was denied bail through the use of this particular section. Up to today, Mr. Speaker Sir, there has not been a shred of evidence that he ever committed the crime. We also have got people like Chris Dhlamini who also have been accused of under-going in banditry in Botswana. Even the President of Botswana confronted our leaders to charter and board a plane to Botswana and identify the location where these people where being trained. However, our leadership denied the offer.

We are seeing that this law is not any different from the laws we inherited from the Smith Regime where the laws were just used to slow down certain changes which were coming. These are some of the things we cannot stop completely. We can use them for a certain period of time, but as time goes they will stop working. We are a civilized Zimbabwe, most of the people are also civilized and we have laws that are civilized. We have got our magistrates, we have got our judges, we should not undermine the authority of the judges. We should not undermine the authority of the magistrates because the moment we invoke section 121, we are saying you the judge and the magistrate, you do not know what you are doing. As a result we are doing this work for you.

It is the same executive that will have arrested and failed to convince the magistrate that this person is not fit for bail. We have investigated, we have arrested and we have failed to approve. So what it means Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we normally arrest before we investigate. If we investigate first and them arrest, there will be no need to invoke section 121, because we will have provided the magistrate with enough information. So the magistrate will then determine whether the candidate is suitable for bail or not. I do not think the State or the Executive should be allowed to hide its efficiency, to hide the lack of efficiency in investigating through the use of section 121. Mr. Speaker Sir, a lot of people have lost their jobs, a lot of people have lost their sources of income through the continued detention, because of the invocation of section 121.

So Mr. Speaker Sir, sub-section 121, as recommended by Hon. Gonese, does not have space in our statutes. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to say to the honourable member who moved the motion that I will be in a position to give my response to the motion on Thursday afternoon. So with that remark and on behalf of the Minister of Constitutional and ParliamentaryAffairs, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 27th March, 2012.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker Sir, with the leave of the House, I move that the House revert back to Order No. 1 on today's Order Paper.

SECOND READING

ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION BILL [H.B.2, 2011]

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill.

Question again proposed.

MR. MADZIMURE: I want to congratulate the Minister for bringing this important Bill to the House congnisant of the fact that as a developing country, and also a nation that was borne out of a struggle, we need to move further and make sure that we consolidate our gains to ensure that we put in place proper mechanism to safeguard the welfare of our people, and to promote an environment where the people of Zimbabwe can enjoy their freedoms without any fear of victimisation, any fear of their rights being violated and with them having a recourse to the violations of their rights.

Looking at this Bill, it is my opinion that the Bill should be broader and provide enough safeguards for the people of Zimbabwe. As seen from the Bill, it confines itself to investigations of cases that will have happened from a certain date. The Bill does not give the Commission enough mandate to investigate, to be proactive and make sure that human rights abuses do not happen. A further analysis of the Bill also indicates that there is or there appears to be some time lines over which cases can be investigate.

Mr. Speaker, until a case is herad, until a case is investigated, it remains a current case. In our Shona language we say, chinokanganwa idemo rakatema asi muti wakatemwa haukanganwi. Effectively what it means is that those who will have suffered human rights absues will never forgive until they are given a chance to even talk to the perpetrator and until the perpetrator asks for forgiveness that issue remains current in the soul of the victim. Because of that Mr. Speaker, it then baffles the mind as to why we would want to have time lines from when the Commission should look at issues.

It will not make a lot of sense for the people of Zimbabwe not to look at what happened a year or two years ago. I do not think we will have done justice to our people. We can talk of compromising on certain issues, but the people out there will not forgive us for some of the things which we will have done in this House. We are people who are independent and must confront head-on our problems and deal with them. We must make sure that after the establishment of the Commission and after it has done its initial work, we as a people of Zimbabwe will all be satisfied that we can now move on. We have to deal with our cupboards and clean them up for us to move forward.

The other issue which we will have to look at is the independence of the Commission itself; how independent is the Commission? Normally, in any environment whenever the people raise issues of human rights abuse it is mainly against an individual or against the State. Effectively what it means is that the State in most cases is the big player in the abuse of the human rights, which automatically points to the fact that the Executive cannot be in charge of the Human Rights Commission. The Executive itself is also an institution that is crying for another institution to watch over its activities.

Most of the people whom we complain against, I am just hoping that when I mention this it will not be deemed to be subjudice. When the entire Police Camp in Shamva armed to the teeth went to a compound and assaulted people and unfortunately, one succumbed to the assault and eventually died. Here is a Commission which then springs up to action to defend the people and it will be against the State. The State in this particular issue should have no hands inside the work of the Commission. What the State or Executive can do is to ensure that the Commission is fully resourced. The Commission should be independent and the only way to ensure the independence of the Commission is to make sure that it is fully resourced.

Therefore, the autonomy from government is paramount as far as this Bill is concerned and this is exactly what the situation is the world over where there is political will to come up with such beautiful Commissions like this one the same will also go with its autonomy. I think the autonomy of this particular Commission is very very important and it can only be guaranteed by the Constitution and the availability of the resources which must be at the disposal of the Commission.

The mandate of the Commission must be very broad. This I have said because there are reasons why they must be broad. For any country to enjoy development, freedom and to prosper the people of that country have unlimited freedoms as long as we understand what freedoms should be. Therefore the Commission should protect the people of Zimbabwe in a universal manner where the rights are protected.

The same Commission must have adequate powers to investigate. If we have a Commission which just sits and waits for cases to come, then we will have done virtually nothing because where the people's rights are violated willy-nilly, the same people do not have the confidence to approach the Commission.

So, where ever the Commission feels human rights abuses are occurring, the Commission must be allowed to investigate and it must have unlimited powers to do so. I will give an example of Chiadzwa. Today I saw a number of Parliamentarians and they were quite excited that today they were finally boarding a bus to go to Chiadzwa. We have had several cases of human rights abuses in Chiadzwa and the Members of Parliament themselves could not access the place, even to go and see the mining only and see nothing else other than the mining, they could not access Chiadzwa. If Members of Parliament can not access Chiadzwa, how do you expect the Commission to be effective. So, it is my submission Mr. Speaker that the Commission must have adequate powers to investigate and to add to that, I also think that it will be quite fortunate if at the end of the day in our new Constitution we come up with an independent prosecuting authority. The other danger will be that, yes they can investigate and it is a matter for the Attorney General but the Attorney General decides not to prosecute. Effectively, what we would have done, is to establish a Commission which will also cost the fiscus to maintain, but it will be a toothless bulldog.

I think it is important that those powers to investigate be conferred on the Commission and also we put in place the independent prosecuting authority. The adequate resources as I have said, it is important that we give them adequate resources. The most important thing is that the human resources, which we deploy in this particular Commission is important. We have accused each other of being partisan, supporting individuals, factions and individual leaders, but I think as far as this Commission is concerned, it is a very important Commission and we require the Commission to be apolitical, very independent and this can be assured if it has the autonomy which is required of such a body. It must also be financially resourced and it must be well placed in our Constitution.

Finally, I will not want to be blamed by the people out there to say did you really agree to have a time frame as far as the cases which the Commission will hear is concerned. What are we really afraid of as a people of Zimbabwe, I do not think that it is something new to have committed a crime. Crimes are committed by people. Hanzi mhosva dzino parwa nevanhu and it is the same people who normally go through their cases, debate about it, look at the way forward and say as Zimbabwe we are going to proceed this way. We have to do a lot of work to ensure that we heal all the wounds so that we can move forward. After that we will never have a situation where whatever it is, we can call it madness which we once went through will never be repeated.

I think it is important because most of the cases are old cases and in some people would say, I have suffered enough, please on this one, I will allow you to move forward. Those who still think that something must be done, we must allow them to say so.

Mr. Speaker, I therefore expect the Hon. Minister who has brought in such a wonderful Bill to the House to take the concerns that I have raised seriously.

+MR. F. M. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr Speaker. I would have loved to speak in English, but I realise that this is something that really worries me and I might end up stammering. Those who do not understand Ndebele must sit next to someone who will interpret for them. Mr. Speaker, I thank Hon. Chinamasa for bringing this Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill.

I remember that in 1987 when we were still in ZAPU, when we were trying to merge ZAPU and ZANU, we had a disagreement over names. We wanted ZAPU to use ZAPU and then ZANU wanted to use ZANU, and because of that it took very long to sign the Unity Accord because parties were quarreling over a name. Then our leader, Joshua Nkomo said to us, "what is in a name"? A name is nothing and when I see these words, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, I think this is a very good title. What is content? Is it as good as its name or vice-versa?

I would like to put it clearly that some of us worked for a very long time as human rights defenders/activists. I started working for Human Rights since 1965 when Zimbabwe was still Rhodesia. We wanted Rhodesia to be a free country. We wanted the Bill of Rights. We wanted the rule of law. All this is very good, but when I looked at this Bill, I noticed that this was just a smoke screen because the Minister of Justice seems to be too powerful than the Commission itself. We have an Anti-Corruption Commission which is independent and that is why it is going after people who are alleged to have abused the CDF.

Although the Attorney General is trying to play down that, he is manipulating the Anti-Corruption Commission because he wants to protect his friends and party members, I am saying that is not correct. I am a victim of oppression. I have a child who died because of Gukurahundi. I have no parents and I have no relatives. I am speaking in Ndebele because I am hurt inside. If there is anyone who thinks I am wrong, then he must come and debate after I resume my seat.

I have relatives who died in Bhalakwe, Kwekwe, Mzola, Plumtree and many other unmarked graves in Matabeleland and some parts of the Midlands. People died and they were buried in shallow graves. If they are saying that this law should come into effect from 2008 going on from there. I am from Mtwakazi and I am saying that is wrong. I would like to tell you after the First World War, there was an attempt to rectify all the bad things that had been done during that ugly war. People who fought during Hitler's time there are still being hunted for and still being arrested. There is no prescription for murder, even if you stay in America and come back after 100 years they will be arrested for that crime (murder). We cannot forget the events that took place in 1980 - 1987, that is wrong. We will be trying to divide Zimbabwe, before then people from Matabeleland North and South, and Midlands were butchered in cold blood by the 5th Brigage. Those who want to speak should be given a chance so that it will come out in the Hansard and people will judge who is telling the truth.

There is no compensation and from 1980 1983 there was ZIMCODE, Dr. Chidzero introduced ZIMCODE and there was no development like schools and dip tanks were not built, no roads during that period in the Southern parts of the country. In Nkayi some people are using crutches for walking, some are blind, some have no birth certificates, they cannot legal marry or open bank accounts. Some of the people ran to South Africa they are now Zulus but we would want them back, there are now Khumalos etc. because when they got there they had to find people to acquire them birth certificates but if this Bill is introduced and it will rectify all those anomalies, we will have peace and we will forgive each other. In South Africa there was a war and after independence Thabo Mbeki sat down with Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu and others and they came up with a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. My suggestion is that there should be a Truth and Justice Reconciliation Commission here in Zimbabwe before anything else.

You cannot form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission without justice, it is wrong. We have to find out people who killed people during the Gukurahundi, Operation Murambatsvina and during 2008 elections was also human rights violation. All perpetrators should be brought forward then they should be forgiven, if need be. This Commission is just hollow it has no power, what is it really that they want. Before I finish Mr. Speaker Sir, there are civic society organisations like the Human Rights Association (ZIM Rights), the Post Independence Survival Trust which I am the founder of that institution. We researched on why people are always fighting in Zimbabwe and discovered that people are starving and they are being used. We are saying that people must forgive each other. You do not bandage a wound when there is still particles of a bottle inside, you first take off the particles and clean the wound then bandage it so that it can heal completely. From the region that I come from this is not a tribal issue I represent over a thousand people. We want ZIM Rights and all these civic organisations to have their inputs because we want freedom of speech, association and so on. We want all United Nations basic rights included in the Act. I am from Magwegwe Constituency and people I respect say they want all investigators to start from 1980 to date. I thank you.

MR. MATONGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker the people in my constituency are saying that they want this process from the start, from the people who occupied this country and killed Mbuya Nehanda and Lobengula. Wealth and human resources were stolen. People were killed and women were forcibly taken to Matabeleland. When people raise questions about human rights I ask myself which future do we want for our children? Do you want to go deeper to provoke, because it is easier to talk about Gukurahundi because it raises emotions and divides people. It is convenient for people who do not even come from Matabeleland to talk about Gukurahundi. There is selective application of this debate. We must ask ourselves whether we want to move forward or keep going back. If this Bill is to pass we cannot start from Gukurahundi. We have to start from the whites that occupied this country illegally then do justice and finish with those people. Then you move on to the next stage. These are the questions that we must ask ourselves if we truly represent the people. I do not think that is the future we want, things were not done properly and I cannot be answerable to the issues that my grandparents did, handingandoripa mhosva dzaasekuru vangu dzandisingazive.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of the Human Rights Commission - human rights are there to guarantee the welfare of our citizens, the education. Do we have good educational structures, yes we do. We have got our children, what is it that we are doing for our children, the right to education, the right to a stable environment, the right to air their views. These are the issues that we need to talk about, these are the issues that the Human Rights Bill should focus on. When children are abused, are they protected by the law? We also need to understand all those issues. We have got women, it is a group - we should apologise to our mothers and sisters because I think for years we have abused women. For years, we have been unfair to our mothers. These are the issues that this Human Rights Bill should focus on. If a woman is raped, is she protected by the courts? So it is very important, if kids appear in court, does the law protect them? Do they get enough protection, do they get enough health facilities? The issue of voting is very important, it is paramount to human rights. People have got a right to express themselves without fear or favour. So we have come from a background where the previous systems have used politics to score political points. It is not good for our country.

Mr. Speaker, if we talk about human rights, if we talk about independence, what do we mean by independence? That has to come out very clear that when you craft this Bill, it gives further guidelines as to what independence means. The process of selecting the people that are going to run the institution, obviously there is nothing called independence, independent from what? It is a politically driven process that what has to be guaranteed is that politics cannot be used to influence a decision. You can use that Commission to target certain individuals because you do not like them because you have got power. I think this is an important issue that should be captured in this Bill. We are Africans, we are Zimbabweans, it has to capture the ubuntu. We do not have to import or to prescribe issues in this Bill. It has to be of Zimbabwean origin, our culture, our values, how are they captured in that Bill. It is very important that the Africanness, the Zimbabweaness has to be very clear.

Resources Mr. Speaker, access to resources is a human right. You cannot talk about 51%, or 10% of something. It is our country, we have got a right to own 100%. The Government should be committed to issues of empowerment, that people are given enough resources through the process, whether you come from whatever region, those rights should be captured. The issue of land, I think we have discussed a lot about that. The selection part of it is key. The terms of reference, the procedures, how is it funded. As long as there is not enough funding, that Commission is going to be a waste of time because the Commission can be bribed and they will fail to function. It is the Government that should be made to fund that Commission, provide adequate resources so that no outsider would come and say we can give you so much . It is only the State that should fund the Human Rights Commission.

I want to thank the Minister for bringing this issue. I think we are now mature as people, we now accept views from others, we do not shout and heckle to stop others from debating. It is also a human rights issue that should be protected.

MR. H. MUDZURI: I would like to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill to the House because it is a step in the right direction. When we have these Commissions, our main objective should be of a preventative measure and of a protective measure. We want to prevent further human rights violations, we want to protect these rights that we have as human beings.

I want to touch on a certain clause of the Bill that deals with the interpretation of human rights violations. This section is a little bit narrow, it is my wish that it was going to be broader. It is narrow in what sense? One, it refers to rights that are enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. Our Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution only deal with first generation rights, that is civil and political rights. It does not deal with economic, social and cultural rights. So it was better if this Bill was going to encompass the second generational rights and third generational rights. We are talking of human rights not only political and civil rights . If I may scrutinise that Bill of Rights in our Constitution, you will find out that even in those civil and political rights , every right that is provided in this Bill of Rights has a limitation which means our Bill of Rights, the political and civil rights are again further limited and we want this Bill to deal with those already limited rights. For example the right to life, in our Constitution it is said if you are killed by the police when they are dispersing or when they are dealing with a riot, that is not considered as violation of the right to life, so already that is limited, that is why I am saying that Bill of Rights is limited.

There is another limitation that if you are going to deal with international human rights instruments, we want our country to first domesticate those international laws so that this Commission is going to consider them. We are saying how many of these international laws has our country domesticated. As I am speaking, we have got (CAT), Convention Against Torture which this country has not domesticated. Why, because the State itself is the major culprit. It is the perpetrator. So when we are saying it should be domesticated, let us have this scenario like where we have the Human Rights Bill, we may have it as a law. Now we have the State which is perpetrator number one is going around looking for those laws that it should domesticate. Surely, it will do so and find for those laws that are lenient. It is just like saying a thief is supposed to go and look for a Judge who is going to preside over his case, definitely he is going to look for the most incompetent Judge. He will also look for the most competent lawyer and that is the scenario that we are going to create.

Let us say we have these laws domesticated, this Bill again says of the domesticated laws that they should have a vision that express it and that say this commission has a right to deal with us. These domesticated laws should permit this Human Rights Commission to be used for us. But we are saying, which is the first thing now? If we have domesticated laws that we already have, be they two or three, they could not have put that permission to the Commission. So we are asking for something which is very incredible.

Now what I am suggesting is that let it be broader because human rights violations are human rights violations. If violation of any rights that are enshrined in other international human rights treaties and international human rights instruments, let them be considered without restricting ourselves to the domestication, also the provision for allowing these laws to be used as our Bill of Rights.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there is the issue of the independence of the Human Rights Commission. The independence of the Commission is compromised on Clause 8; whereby a Commissioner is to be removed if it means a minister should be involved or the President should be asked for permission. Yes, we are saying if this Commission is to be very independent and if they cannot do it on their own, let them come to Parliament. Parliament then does that job.

There is also the issue on reporting. It says the Commission will assist the Minister in reporting. Firstly, it says the Commission is supposed to make some monthly reporting to the Minister and the Commission will assist the Minister in making reports that are needed by International Institutions. I thought it was proper for this Commission to make its own report and the Minister to make his or her own report. We will then compare to ascertain what report will be reflecting what will be happening on the ground.

There is an issue of time. Madam Speaker, if human rights were violated before independence, that does not mean there were no human rights. They were there and should be considered. Then we come to post independence, be it Gukurahundi, be it Murambatsvina, be it June 27, let us not make a law to protect a few individuals. We are saying let that be considered. So neither should we make a law to fix a few individuals, let us remove the Clause that deals with the time, stating where and if we are to start after 13th February, 2009; when are we going to end? We are saying remove that Clause, it is up to the Commission. They will decide whether to deal with this or not.

So Madam Speaker, it is my humble submission that if we are going to have a Commission that is going to have the effect of preventing Government, non-Government and individual people from committing these crimes against humanity and from violating the rights of people, let us make it independent. Let us broaden the scope of this commission.

+MS. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I will also add a few words. Looking at the Commissioners that are going to be placed, they should not be partisan. The Commissioners should also look at things that happened prior to this date that they want to start operating from. I say so, considering where I come from where a lot of people right now have no national identity cards. As from 1980, some people here do not want us to talk about it but there was a mistake and this is something that is drawing people in Matabeleland backwards. A lot of people have no ID cards and that means they have also children who do not have ID cards.

We want the commissioners to rectify that. This is an independent Zimbabwe, let us look at Matabeleland as part of Zimbabwe which is not enjoying independence at all. They still have not attained independence. A lot of people in Matabeleland move to South Africa to look for jobs and most of them have moved to Botswana, because of what is happening right now. When they come back they cannot get any land because some people have already been allocated their land. The children in Matabeleland cannot build their homes and they do not have land to do farming. So we are saying the Commission should not start considering events from 2009. From 2008, a lot of people have been displaced from their homes because they were being assaulted and they had to desert their homes. We are saying people should go back to their places and should be free. That Commission should see to it that there are free and fair elections. Like what Honourable Sibanda was saying, when someone is injured, he should be treated.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Honourable Sibanda, I am the Deputy Chair.

MS. D. SIBANDA: What I am saying is that people from Matabeleland are saying that they want perpetrators to apologise to them. 20 000 lives were lost in Matabeleland. This is not an easy thing and we cannot just wake up and say that it is in the past. They are saying we should talk about it and then maybe forgive each other thereafter.

What we are saying is, this should start from 1980 because from 1980 we cannot say we have enjoyed independence. We have no roads and we have nothing. People are saying why are we complaining that we are being treated unfairly?

*MRS. ZINYEMBA: I want to thank the Minister for the Bill that has come to Parliament. As representatives of the people, we are expected to go back to our constituencies and inform and ask for the people's input that there is a law that will be tabled before Parliament. What are your views? Then people will give their opinions so that we can bring those views here. Most of the arguments I hear in this House are arguments that do not build or get us anywhere.

Let me say if a Bill is being crafted it is done. I have never seen a law that is a draw back, to say we want to come up with a law that will help us govern with a reverse or drawback agenda. The law addresses what is to come ahead and to see what has been violated here and there and how this can be addressed.

Let me say of the talk that happens here in Parliament, there is a board of national healing that was actually set up. I do not know why people here in Parliament did not refuse that organ to be set up. This committee is not doing anything because it has not addressed any issues. We are just talking of the issue of addressing wounds. I heard people talking about Gukurahundi and Murambatsvina.

I heard another honourable member going further back to when the Ndebele came into this country. Now it has turned tribalistic that the Shona were actually murdered. They are talking of the 1890s, the wars between the Shonas and the Ndebeles. Are they going to deal with these issues with the dead people? Are you going to exhume Smith to also address the atrocities caused before independence. This is wasting time.

When we come here we do not come to waste time. If we go to our constituencies, I will go with the banner that the Ndebele actually murdered us and took away our wealth. Those in Matabelelenad will also take back to their consitutencies that the Ndebeles were murdered during Gukurahundi. The issue is that those people who are made representatives to address such issues are the people who are causing these issues to come up.

We have our national laws. I have never heard that our laws came from America or Britain. We here are the legislators and we should not be given laws from other countries. When are we going to hear of our laws been adopted in other countries? We are a people, a nation created by God in full and therefore should do what befits us as a people and for our country, not that we should refer to what others have done. We should take what we think befits us and what we do not see fit we discard. Other laws such as the human rights, we should not be able to adopt, such as the issues the Lord himself has denied of homosexuality. We will not adopt such laws. For example, in the UK where men can actually marry each other. If we are going to take international laws we are going to be selective and adopt what we want and discard what we do not see fit.

My plea is that let us address this issue using the time that we have been given by the people to lead them in Parliament so that we use our powers to address the future of the people. It actually starts with the debates that we do here because we are always heckling each other and it is a sorry sight really.

It was mentioned that the armed and the police forces are people just like all others. If in Shamva a person was killed and others beaten by the police, it was not a directive from the State. It was a crime been committed. It was also said the Member-in-Charge's wife had a purse stolen but later on it was realised that it was gold. It was a criminal issue. Those people who are Christians or go to the Apostolic Church and go to a river and are enmeshed in water can actually engage in theft. What more of a person who has been trained as a police officer. What stops him from engaging in criminal offences.

So, we should not blame the State for such things. People talk of corruption but when the police actually take money at road blocks - our civil servants and even Commissioner General is surprised that he sent someone to go and kill someone for gold. Are you going to be able to talk to her. People will begin complaining that the police have something against me.

A policeman is a human being just like any other person. If he is provoked, he will react like any other person. So, we in this House, we should know that we all have rights, but we can not accept rights that actually destroy our country. The guidance of the Minister - which household does not have a father to guide the activities of the home. Why are these ministries there if they do not have any function. There is no Ministry without a Commission or a Board. So, there should be a hierarchy and a procedure that should be found in every department.

Let us do what is constructive and what will build our country. If the rules are allowed, there will be fighting here and what would happen is like the case of Roy Bennet. Thank you very much.

MR. GONESE: I have been listening to this debate very attentively and it comes out quite clearly that it has generated a lot of interest. I believe that it is incumbent upon us as a legislature to pass good laws.

When I look at the Bill, and I recall when the Minister moved the Second Reading of this Bill on the 30th August, 2011. He indicated that he had engaged in wide consultations and that there were a lot of discussions relating to this Bill in Cabinet and this was also referred to the negotiators. Therefore, he gave us the impression that he is interested in hearing all views and taking them on board. Now, I would like to ask him to listen attentively to what Hon members of this august House are going to say.

I am going to agree with my sister Hon. Zinyemba that as legislators we represent people in our different constituencies. We have had a lot of submissions given to us in our individual capacities and when we come to this Hon. House, the Minister must pay attention to what we are going to say. I am going to ask the Minister not to be rigid. Hon. Minister, musaoma mutezo, be flexible so that whatever it is, we have agreed as negotiators can be subject to amendment of variations depending on whether good facts have been brought before you in this august House.

We have Committees of this august House which are like the engine room of Parliament. In football palants, we would call them the play makers, the midfield generals. Hon. Zwizwai would say the Zidanes or now the Leonel Messys and Christiano Ronaldos of this world. We, therefore, should pay particular attention to the recommendations which come from our Portfolio Committees.

I would like to remind the Hon. Minister in referring to the report of the Portfolio Committee of Justice and Legal Affairs which gave extensive submissions in this august House on the 30th August, 2011. I will now go back to the contributions which have been made today.

First and foremost, Madam Speaker, it is important for us to understand what is human rights. They are now an international concept, and this is the reason why there is reference to the principals. We would also want the Minister to pay attention to what the Commissioners themselves submitted as the Portfolio Committee engaged the Commissioners. They had a workshop whee the Commissioners made suggestions which would improve the current Bill which we would like to have the Minister take into account and not just confining himself to limited amendments.

This proposed piece of legislation is good and we must strive to make it better. When we were in primary school we used to say good, better, best. If we have what is before us say it is good, perhaps after the debate we want to make it better and after the response of the Minister, we want to make it the best. We would like the Minister to be flexible and listen to what submissions have been made by various people in society.

I will now look at the issue of specifics. When you look at the limitations, if you look at Clause 9, we have a serious problem relating to the limitations which are placed by that clause. The first one relates to the issue of prescription. You will have a stipulation that the complaints must be made within 3 years. That is problematic. I do not believe that when it comes to issues of human rights, you must have a limitation. What is important is that if the victims are still there, if the witness is available, there must be no time frame. You must have a situation where at anytime, someone must be able to make a complaint.

This is the reason why we should not talk about February 2009 as proposed, we must not even look at 1980, we must just leave it open ended. We can go back to 1890 if one can still find those victims, witness or perpetrators. What will limit us then is the non-availability of witnesses, who might have passed on. I submit that firstly we must remove the stipulated prescriptive period of 3 years. We must have a situation where a report can be made at any time. And, it is now up to the Commission to carry out the relevant investigation and if it can be established that human rights violations were committed then the Commission will do its work and make the appropriate recommendations and take the appropriate steps which are necessary.,

I would also like to refer the Minister to other similar provisions in other jurisdictions relating to this, for instance in Uganda, their Commission on Human Rights limits the prescription period to something like 5 years. However, there is a provison which I would like to read out for the benefit of hon members and the Minister. The clause reads as follows, " Where a person entitled to bring a complaint before the Commission against any violation of a human right, it is incapacitated from doing so by reason of age, infirmity of body or mind, detention or other just cause, whether similar to the foregoing or not, then the complaint may be brought at anytime within 5 years after the incapacitation ceases or a person entitled to bring the complaint dies, whichever even occurs first."

In other words, if someone is incapacitated for whatever reason, let them still bring their complaints within 5 years after the removal of that incapacitation. In other words it can be after 10 years, 15 years or even more than 20 years. I would like to suggest to the Minister that at the very least, perhaps we should have a proviso similar to the one which we have in the Uganda Human Rights Commission Act. In other jurisdictions, they have a prescriptive period of something like 10 years. I believe that if the Minister insists and feels strongly that there must be some prescriptive period, then it must not be 3 years which I believe is too short a period.

Three years should be fore civil debts. I do not know whether the Minister was borrowing it from our civil law but if that is the case, I would submit that, that borrowing is misplaced. In criminal cases, when you look at the case of murder, it is never prescribed. So, you can be arrested at any time if you have committed a crime of murder and in relation to other criminal cases, you can be arrested at any time if you commit the crime of murder, in relation to other cases I believe that the prescriptive period is 20 years. I do not believe that a Human Rights Act should have a situation where you can say after three years someone is not allowed to make a report. We do not need to have a date it must be removed completely I know that suggestions have been made that we have to go back to 2008 or 2005, but I think the issue of dates will only cause confusion and problems. We all know that in 1980, that is where we attained our independence, we had human rights violations which occurred before 1980. Then we had reconciliation in 1980. What it means is that going forward is saying we are forgetting about the past and focusing on the future and did not expect to have human rights violations, but unfortunately that has continued.

There were issues like Murambatsvina where there were gross human rights violations. Let us forget about dates and give the Commission an open ended mandate and concentrate on issues that come before the Commission and not dates. The problem in relation to the Commission is of reports. The Bill provides that the reports should be made to the Minister but if you look at issues like the issue of autonomy and the Commissioners had pains to explain that they would want to fall into that category of those Commissions. For that to happen you must have a peace of legislation which must comply in full with their conditions. When we have got a situation where reports are made directly to the minister then the issue of the perversive powers of the ministers are not restricted to the issue of the reports. If the Commission wants to appoint its own staff they have to have the approval of the minister. We have a Human Rights Commission, that Commission must report to Parliament that is my view those are some of the views that reports must be submitted to Parliament as it is the same board that played an important role for the appointment of the Commission and not the minister.

The Minister is part of the Executive. We once moved a motion where the independence and autonomy of the Commission is compromised and he should remove all those clauses that give the minister too much power over the Commission. Ministers keep changing and we do not want to give powers to an individual but to relevant institutions and not a person who is part of the Executive. We do not want a situation where the Executive must be seen to be interferring with the affairs of the Commission, we want a clear situation where the Commission is autonomous and independent. One of the problem again is when the Commission wants funding it must get the approval of the minister, I think the Standing Rules and Orders Committee must put in place mechanisms to ensure that the persons appointed to that committee are persons of highest moral values and highest integrity and they should be able to decide who should assist them and that the ministerial approval is not necessary. They must not be influenced by whoever gives them money but the decision at the end of the day must rest ultimately with the Commission. Let us talk about pertinent issues, we want to have a good law and a situation where the Commission that we are going to have is something that we can be proud of.

In conclusion Mr. Speaker, I want to say that we have a lot of submissions from our civil society and the public at large. We all know that they discussed this in Cabinet, but Cabinet does not have a monopoly of wisdom. Wisdom comes from members of this august House who are not in Cabinet. At the end of the day the minister must not be limited to the few amendments that he has to make but to have a broad look and to be proud of the Act which we are going to make so that as members of Parliament we seize being a conduit Parliament where laws are just passed, but we become an august House which actually makes laws. With these words I thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. NDAVA: I thank you Mr. Speaker and other members who have contributed before me. I would like to point out that this Commission is no different from any other Commissions that we have in this country. We do not see Commissions coming to Parliament to present their own budget or to appeal before the committees of Parliament to defend their own budget or solicit for any monies that they would want to use. We do not need to treat this Committee as a Special Committee that wants to operate outside Government structure. They can have autonomy in terms of how they can carry out their duties but they are part of Government so the Minister of Justice should be responsible for their day to day requirements. I would also like to talk of some historical facts that are being represented here I think we must accept it at its present form because I have reasons because for us to go back to the 1880s and address issues from that time to the present Zimbabwe. I think we must take a leaf from our leaders of the liberation struggle, they want the people of Zimbabwe to live in harmony and as one people. We accept that there may be problems but what hon. members are saying in this House is very tribalistic, it is separatist kind of view and it destroys the moral fibre of Zimbabweans. We are a united country, we are a united people and we should remain like that. I want to say that this Bill should take effect from the day it is accented to by the President, that is where it must start to take effect. Maybe I should remind the House that we do have facts about the history that people are trying to purport that they know. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - I need protection from hon. members Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, let me run through some historical facts that this House should know. If we try to go back that far, it might destroy the whole essence why we are trying to come out with this kind of a Commission. In 1804 in South Africa, a guy called Magodonga, son of Amamtetwa tried to overtake his father and failed to take power and he was then send into exile. He came back in 1809 to assume power this time with a new name called Dingiswayo - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - These are historical facts that you need to know. Hon. members must not come here and claim that they own pieces of history that some of us might not be aware of. In 1810, Chaka was appointed by Dingiswayo to be the chief of the army. In 1811 - 1812, he waged the fourth war of dispossession in South Africa. This led to a lot of internal strife and displacements. In 1815, Chaka actually assumed power in South Africa and there was a lot of fighting among the tribes. In 1817 Dingiswayo was captured and killed.

I want to tell you about these wars of dispossession, the people of Matabeleland that you are trying to represent, they do not share your ideas of being a separatist kind of people. They want a party of a greater Zimbabwe. I am bringing these historical facts so that we do not deceive the House. By 1820, the Zulu kingdom under Chaka was actually spreading its political influence in South Africa. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]The year 1835 and 1836, the great trek of the Matabeles ..

MR. F.M. SIBANDA: On a point of order, the member is not relating his debate to the motion, he is meandering and I think he should be ruled out of order.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndava, you can go ahead.

MR. NDAVA: I am referring to these historical facts because we, as hon. members must be unifiers of our nation. We cannot continue to refer to issues that might lead to a lot of problems in our country. The Boers in SA, when they fought the Ndebeles, they were actually attacking men leaving women. The majority of those who crossed the Limpopo into present day Zimbabwe were men and what did they do when they arrived in Zimbabwe, they raped women, they took away the beautiful girls, cattle, grain and all these barbaric activities spread to all the Shona kingdom. What we are saying here as hon. members, let us restrict ourselves to the present situation and correct all the historical past by making sure that we have a law that protects the present and future generation of this country. We must take a leaf from Cde. R.G. Mugabe who in 1980 introduced the law of reconciliation. We had whites who killed people and whom we know by name who sit in this Parliament today. We must live as Zimbabweans and agree to share and live as Zimbabweans.

We can also go back to the battle of Nyaningwe. This battle of Nyaningwe in Chivi was the first battle of war of the Shonas and the Ndebeles where they had come to raid cattle, grain and women. We do not need to go back that far, all we need to do is to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill to Parliament so that we try and protect innocent citizens of this country and the future generation. This is what we must be doing as Parliament. We are lucky that we are debating because we are still here, there are those who cannot be present with us and present what horror they went through. I want to urge the Hon. Minister not to change a piece of that legislation because the cabinet and the entire executive saw it fit to bring the Bill in its present form because it addresses some other issues that are a hotpot in this country.

Lastly, let me urge hon. members to accept that you cannot stop change.

- [MR. CHIBAYA: Huya utore card] - I am talking about a mindset change where people cannot score cheap politics by being tribalistic. That is what I am talking about.

So, Honourable Minister, I want to conclude by talking on the issue of the commission getting external funding. I do not agree that we can have our own Human Rights Commission being funded by foreigners. We want a Zimbabwean Commission with or without the money to operate within the laws of this country. We need the Commission to operate within the economic conditions of the country. We cannot have foreigners with their own agenda funding our Human Rights Commission. Whoever puts his money somewhere expects that money to work towards what they want to be achieved. So, Honourable Minister, we cannot allow this particular Commission to be funded by any other people other than the Government.

*MRS. CHADEROPA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Minister so much. I want to say that there is a saying that one is not happy when blame is being laid on him but when that person stand to blame, a person complains. I was born in the Ndebele area and the Ndebele murdered most of the Shona people. The Shona women were taken by the Ndebele men and when the Zulu were murdered, the beautiful wives were taken by the Ndebele. That is why you see the Ndebele have got beautiful women. Let me say that there is no land that does not have laws. If a house does not have any laws, it is a home that cannot be governed. If our country does not have rules and laws, then it cannot be governed.

Let me give you an example of what is in my constituency and you will see that a country needs rules and laws. As I speak, in my constituency there are five children who were raped by a male teacher. Are we saying such an individual should not be brought to book through the law? So, a country must have laws. Whoever is found wanting should be brought to the book. We should scrutinize the laws that we put now and ensure that they address problems in the future and not look at the past. The Ndebele were only murdered for a short time, but the Shona were murdered for a long time going backwards. So we should not say what has been done recently is bad and what was done long back is good.

I am saying that all the atrocities were the same. What happened is that when others are speaking, there are people who want to disturb people so that they cannot hear because of their noise. Let us help each other so that we know what is right and what is bad.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Honourable Minister for bringing this Bill to this House. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill is such an important Bill. I have observed that from all who have spoken on this Bill, there is no one who is rejecting that it should be put in place. It is beneficial for this country to have this Bill and have it at the earliest convenient time. Mr. Speaker Sir, other members have chosen to belittle the importance and the significance of the functionality of this Bill to political posturing. This is unfortunate. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill should be understood in the context that it will be a Bill serving the entirety of the Zimbabwean people. I have listened to two honourable members who are very particular about a region. I do not think it is a region in my view, but it is about a small sect which they are trying to propagate as being affected if this Bill is enacted in its current state.

Madam Speaker, the date of commencement is very ….

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, honourable Bhasikiti. I do not resemble a woman.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I hope Hon. Karenyi will sit forever. Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is very important to underline the argument for and against the commencement period of this Bill. This is where other members seem to be losing it and losing the whole argument. Those who are against the date of commencement and the period with which cases can be brought to the Commission seem to be missing the fundamental issue. Every human race seem to develop to stages where they actualise and find each other and find the common good of their existence.

In Zimbabwe there was a period of antagonism until as a nation people were able to find each other and find the common good and formed a Unity Accord which was signed by Father Zimbabwe himself, Dr. Joshua Nkomo. From that era our nation moved to a point where it was now clear that we are one people. We are Zimbabweans and we have to fight to achieve one common good for our nation.

The second stage is this stage of Inclusive Government which was launched in February 2009, this is quite a unique situation, but it has helped us to find each other and to further reflect on what is important for our nation to move forward. We would not be in this situation if we had not considered what was fundamental for us as a people to move forward, but we considered and we ended up here.

Similarly, when we are giving this Bill a time period, we are saying there are times of ignorance. Even in the Bible it says, the times of ignorance are past, now comes the time of light and new life. This is the period in which we find ourselves. It is a new beginning for the Zimbabwe people and living in a more informed way about each other. I will quote what the Hon. Prime Minister Tsvangirai said. He said 'for all these past years I used to have a very negative and very wrong impression about who President Mugabe is, but now I have been with him and I have talked to him face to face, we have shared and worked together, I know this is the real man for our nation. A good leader. But look for all these years which we spent fighting each other, we did less progress and benefit to our nation.

I am saying as a people and nation we have to draw lines. Let bygones be bygones. The dark ages have gone by and this is a new era. We were fortunate enough to come into this august House during this period of inclusiveness, where you can look at the nation and see it from one perspective and then you want to draw people astray by divisive regional politics. No, No, you have to be fair honourable members. We have to guide our nation to prosperity for which it was designed to achieve by our three leaders in the Inclusive Government.

No doubt this is why the Minister said this Bill had to be discussed and negotiated and agreed to from other fora and I believe that now it has come here, it has come to the right place and right minds who can evaluate, where we priorities issues which affect our people. I do not think our people will be positively affected if we talk about the history like the Hon. Gonese and Hon. Sibanda who were trying to provoke in the minds of people bad memories of the Gukurahundi. We have to set time lines so that we avoid those amongst us who still want to draw us back into the dark ages.

So Clause 9 which seeks to give three years period to recall issues, that should be equited, Hon Gonese, to the Ugandian example of five years and I know you are clear on the historical difference between Zimbabwe and Uganda. Zimbabwe getting to 2009 and we say three years back before we found each other, that period to be brought in, is a facility to cater for the five years or more which you were asking from the Ugandian experience. It is only that you missed the historical background of the two nations. We are quite far apart.

The clause which deals with the reporting system where the Commission has to report to the Minister. I find other members have been uncomfortable that a Minister is an individual, saying tomorrow it will be Gonese and the other day it will be Chitando -[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections]- No, the moment you put Gonese in a ministerial position he ceases to be what he used to be. He will be operating and focusing on the Government interest. Government interests are the interests of the people. There is no Government which serves itself. Every Government serves the interests of its own people.

The one put forward to take care of close guard and scrutiny of the interest of the people in terms of their human rights and legal issues is that Minister and there is no way he can deviate to satisfy his own personal ego. After all ministers do not operate in isolation, they meet and agree in Cabinet. This argument to put Minister as individual is myopic and misplaced and it should not find any place in sound thinking honourable members.

I also want to address the issue of financial assistance to the Commission which one honourable member, Hon. Gonese in particular, argued that consulting power should not be given to the Minister. Why should the Minister be consulted? We have very good examples of those financial organisations who financed to achieve their own ends. While we agree on the unversality of human rights, they are areas in which communities have to protect themselves against those rights which will destroy them, which will destroy their own communities, their culture and that which they hold dear. It is easy to have infiltrators come. If you allow funders from financial organisations which support homosexuality to fund the Human Rights Commission, you will be destroying the fabric of our own cultural heritage. So, it is important that there be a Minister to oversee and protect the heritage of Zimbabwean people.

Mr. Speaker, what I am saying and explaining here is clear. There is no evil intention in this Bill. What we can only have amongst us is misconception, the yesteryear hangover of infighting. Some still believe that they are still in opposition government because when you find out that such a Bill having been debated by the three parties at their levels and agree on one common thing, someone thinks that this is done to favour a certain party. No, that is a mistake.

I would not conclude before I challenge those who want to come here and claim to represent an area which I know so well and where I married in Matabeleland. So, I represent that region also. Talking about the Gukurahundi issue like Hon. Sibanda, you will only find nothing from his contribution besides divisive and cheap politicking. The people in Matabeleland want peace and they want to be rested of the agony and bad memories that they went through. Please, leave the people of Matabeleland alone. Those are peace loving people and they want development and progress, but other people would want to come here and use this House to weep their emotions to outrage and rebellion.

MR. F.M. SIBANDA: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have 210 constituencies in this country hence I represent a Constituency known as Magwegwe. I was referring to where legally I represent, Magwegwe. He should withdraw that I am politicking because I have a Constituency that I represent, not Matabeleland as a whole. I thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, hon. member, there is no point of order. However, we accept the point of clarification that you have made. Can you move back to your usual seat.

*MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I wanted to conclude.... .

MR. MADZIMURE: According to our Standing Rules and Orders, you can not mix two languages. You stick to one.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Bhasikiti, for the benefit of our Hansard people, please stick to a chosen language, whether it is Shona, Ndebele or English, for the convenience of our Hansard people.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I know you have said that because you have confidence in the command of English language that I do possess. I will still make my point clear unlike other members who were mixing these languages before.

What I want to say in conclusion is that our people are now much wiser. They want development and things which will bring food to their table, which will allow their children to go to school and prosper and to leave inheritance for the future generations. We are building the heritage of the future generation now not by continuously looking back at what happened 20 years back. By this, I want to stand solidly in support of the time frames being proposed in this Bill that, 2009 is such a historic time. It is the time of Zimbabwe's reawakening and rejuvenation - the period of Zimbabwe's change from mediocre politics to issues which sustain the nation.

So, we can not go without this historical perspective, and this Bill should be underlined by this historical perspective. We can not miss it and the next generation have to know this. So, Mr. Speaker, having said this, and having listened to arguments which were seeking amendments and proposals, which were self defeating and crumbling, now that we have laid the facts, I now move that the Bill should be accepted … -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, hon. member, you are not the mover of the Bill. Therefore, you can not move anything to do with the Bill.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am supporting that this Bill as it stands in its entirety is catering for the interest, aspirations and the better future of our nation. So, it should be tabled and accepted by this House as it is without amendments as being proposed by other hon members. I thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, hon. members, can you go back to your usual seats. The front bench is normally for ministers and senior members of our political parties.

MR. MATSHALAGA: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. I too would like to add a few comments to the proposed Bill.

I agree with Hon. Gonese that the draft Bill has raised a lot of debate and interest which is I think in good spirit. The most unfortunate thing is that some of the contributions have left a lot or raised a number of issues which are unfortunate and regrettable, some of which are mere falsehoods but I will limit myself to one of three issues. This is a new legislation in a new area and I think those who have drafted this legislation have moved with caution. Yes, we have made contributions here but they will take note of that, in their wisdom they have caution so that we have something that will develop. When we have new legislation it will develop further after we implement it. The appointment of professional commissioners will ensure that some of the issues raised will be catered for. We are creating a constitutional commission and the Bill proposed is a hybrid constitutional executive commission, this commission has to be accountable and be seen to be working because it is raising a lot of excitement.

The cut-off date is probably not to cause confusion and let us see whether this Bill will work. There is nothing sinister to say that a Government created commission should have the authority to have any funds that it receives approved by the appropriate authority. It is consistent with our own laws, the Public Finance Management Act and our Treasury instruction to ensure that nobody in an institution created by Government receives any funding from anywhere without the appropriate authority. That clause ensures that those who will receive the funds will be accountable as we will know what they have received and will also be able to evaluate them on how they use the funds - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection] -

MR. SPEAKER: Order hon. member, hon member it is not fun. Can we have some order please.

MR. MATSHALAGA: Mr. Speaker thank you for your protection. There are issues of accountability whether this commission must be accountable to the executive, minister, the people or to Parliament. Generally this is a newly formed institution and the minister has to be fully informed in order to bring to Cabinet information on how it is running. The problem with Parliament is that its reporting structure is usually through ministers but the minister has to be clear how this thing is operating with his colleagues in terms of the team. When referring to a minister you are not referring to an individual but as an institution. The definition of the minister is the totality of himself and his bureaucratic people, which would sometimes include even the commission.

Mr. Speaker Sir, lets us see how it operates first then we can always come back and make amendments because Mr. Speaker Sir, in my view given the tone of the debate and the period issue of three years, Hon. Gonese talks about the Ugandan situation, we have to stick to our own situation and see how it operates. If we look at the appointment of these professional people they should be able to come back in one year of operation to the appropriate minister and say that the design of this legislation is such that it is causing them a few problems and then we have amendments. I thank you for giving me the time.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS : I want to thank all the hon. members who have made their contributions. They have shown that they have an interest in the human rights by their contributions though I may not agree with some of them. There are three engagements that I have had since the Bill was gazetted and tabled before the House. I had a very constructive two - three hour meeting with the Parliamentary Legal Committee and they made suggestions to further improve the Bill which suggestions I took on board and will be subject matter of my notice of amendment. There is also the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs and the very constructive contributions made by members this afternoon. In responding and in dealing with the contributions, I will deal first with the report of the Portfolio Committee and then I will come back to address the issues that have been raised by hon. members. I am sure that by the time we get to responding to members' contributions, you may well find that I have already provided the answers in responding to the report of the Portfolio Committee. I will not hesitate to repeat those responses where it is necessary.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Portfolio Committee Report in paragraph 3.1.1 suggested an amendment where there has been an omission in the citing of the Act. In the Bill, it is cited, Human Rights and Commission Act and of course they suggested that we put Zimbabwe which is correct and I agree. It will be reflected in my amendment. When it comes to the definition of human rights violations, let me explain because I think a number of hon. members have made this point. We need to be a State party to any human rights instrument and we need to domesticate it in order for it to be binding, in order for those provisions to be binding on our people. That is what the Constitution says but also that is a very good position in international law. In international law there are two positions, the dualist and the monist. The monist says that once the President, the Prime Minister or whoever Minister has signed an international agreement and it is ratified, the ratification need not come to Parliament in those jurisdictions, it becomes binding on the country. Now, our position is dualist which says, the President when he goes out and signs any Treaty or Convention without reference to anyone, the Minister of Foreign Affairs can go out and sign any Treaty or Convention without reference to anyone. Our law says he can sign because he has gone to an international meeting and you do not want the President to be able to say no, I have no signing powers. Under our law, we will subject what he has signed to debate in this House. So any suggestion to say we must not come to this House is not democratic. Infact Parliament in doing so will be denying itself a fundamental function to legislate for this country. You cannot allow that to be the sole prerogative of an individual Minister or His Excellency, the President. So the position in our law is that, yes, the minister can sign but what he signs must be subjected to this Parliament so that this Parliament can approve the ratification of that instrument. Parliament should proceed further to domesticate the international norms which are in that instrument so that they become part of our law and then it becomes binding. That I think is the position and that I think is a good position. In that respect, I do not agree with those who say that the mere signing and ratification should be done without reference to this House. We do not agree, it is not democratic. Also, the mere fact that we are debating these things here, is another way of making our people aware on what the law which is going to govern them is. If the ratification is done without reference to this Parliament, if it is only something that has been done by a Minister, how is the Zimbabwean public going to know what infact is going to be binding on them. Even lawyers will not even be able to know what instruments have been signed or ratified without reference to this Parliament. So you cannot have a situation where the law is not known by the population that is affected by that law. So I want to urge hon. members to understand that I think our position, our law under our present Constitution is the correct position.

I must however, say that I am agreeable and I think this was also in the engagement that I had with the Parliamentary Legal Committee. I am agreeable to deleting the proviso to the definition of human rights violation. I thought it not necessary to have that proviso and the notice of amendment will reflect that position. I think that answers Clause 2 in the Report of the Portfolio Committee. The only definition that I would agree with is the deletion of the proviso, I do not agree that the definition of human rights should be broadened to include any right that is contained in regional and international instruments to which Zimbabwe is a party. I insist and I urge honourable members that we maintain and retain our current system which requires domestication.

I need to point out to the august House that we are going to employ a consultant because domesticating laws is a complex issue depending on the complexity of the Treaty or Convention. We are going to employ a consultant to examine those instruments that we have ratified and also to examine any pieces of legislation that we have and find out to what extent the pieces of legislation in our statute book do not incorporate the human rights norms as set out in the Convention or Treaty and then of course to provide a vision to fill up that gap.

I followed the debate, the contributors seem to think that there is no domestication at all of human rights instruments, that is not correct. Before we ratify these instruments, we already have laws which basically address a lot of the norms which are captured in the Human Rights instruments. I will give an example, we ratified not long ago the Convention on the Rights of the Child. One of the rights that a child should have is a name and also they should have their births registered. We have had births and deaths registration for a long time. So already that norm is already domesticated. The exercise that we will carry out of course is to check whether there are any gaps between international norms and our pieces of legislation.

Coming to the function of the Commission, I notice that there has been a lot of discussion on the independence of the Commission. I want to say this, we have catered for their independence, they will run their budget and they will have autonomy to control their budget. There is a provision of course which I am also going to amend which could have been interpreted to mean that the minister has a say in the appointment or recruitment of staff. The clarity that we want to bring forward is that, certainly the Minister should have a say over the size of the organogram. A Commission cannot just set up and employ the whole village and as many people as it wants without reference to anyone because that costs money. So, what is important here is that clearly the organogram has to be approved by the Minister responsible for our finances. The size of staff determines whether we can meet that cost or not. So, to that extent we are bringing an amendment which will clarify that our concern is over the size of the establishment because any establishment costs money in terms of the wages, salaries, pensions and so forth. So, if we do not keep track of what is happening, there we will soon realise that our budget has balloned to unimaginable levels.

The Minister should have no interest in who is employed as the Secretary or accountant but that should be the sole responsibility of the Commission. Once we have agreed as to who should be on the organogram the Minister falls away, but to say the Minister should have no interest in what size or bureaucracy is being created, I think it shows we have no clear understanding basically of how things happen.

Also, the issue about reports, there has to be someone accountable for this Commission to this Parliament and to Cabinet. If issues arise that require intervention, Parliament is the last Institution equipped to deal with such issues on a day to day basis, in the way we operate it has to be the Standing Rules and Orders Committee. It is not the way to do it, but it is the Minister who is accountable. So, if the Minister is accountable he needs to know what is happening everywhere and not hear about it in the Press. He should be able to ask for information and get it. Clearly I have no problem to say that any reports that they give to the Minister they also give to Parliament for purposes of transparency, but I have a problem when a Commission says they do not want to give reports because that shows they neither like transparency nor accountability.

Our systems should be governed by checks and balances and the one way of doing it is that they should also make those reports and make them available to Parliament, so we all know what is going on. If they over-shot their budget, or there have been areas of indiscipline, and whether they are maintaining and focusing on their budget, it is issues of that nature and I cannot see any Commission declining or feeling threatened by the fact that a report has to be submitted to a Minister.

Right now, I am here presenting a Bill and what you are saying is, I should not have any interest in what I have created. I should not follow up for instance to know whether in fact everything that we sat out here has been established and constituted. We do not operate like that. Parliament's main function is to represent people, to legislate and not to run things. The Executive is the one responsible for running things and in doing so they remain also accountable to Parliament for what they do.

In paragraph 3.4, there is a recommendation that the Commission should be given power to inspect prisons and other places of detentions. That power is already in the Constitution, in clause 4 of the Bill and this is a repetition.

In paragraph 3.3.3 of the report of the Committee they say that we should allow the Commission to freely cooperate with other international, regional and similar organisations, I have no problem with that and the amendment is going to reflect that position.

On clause 5, I do not agree with the suggestion that the Commissioners themselves, newly constituted should sit to elect one of them as deputy chair. How do they know each other and in fact when they do and it is not properly conducted it will divide the Commission from the outset because already people begin to know the factions in the Commission. From the very beginning the Commission will be dysfunctional. I believe that we as Parliament create this institution and as you know, under the provisions of the current Constitution, the membership of the Commission is appointed here in Parliament. Their interview is carried and approved here, that is where you should then consider whether you are appointing people to appropriate positions and not to leave it to the people who have themselves been created to say you can now go ahead to choose one of yourselves. This can actually divide rather than enhance the Commission.

On Clause 6, I have already alluded that I am conceding that the way it is currently worded creates the impression that the Minister is interested in who is recruited to the Commission. So an amendment will be made to correct that position.

I have already dealt with the report of the Commission and I think we should continue requiring that the Commission should report to the Minister. I have no objection basically that those reports should also go directly although it is preferable that the Minister be required to table what he receives within a set period. The Minister should table here in Parliament to introduce the report and solicit for any comments or debate.

On Clause 9 there has been a lot of discussion in two respects. In fact in respect of the first aspect this was a matter which was brought to my attention by the Parliamentary Legal Committee and I conceded that they had a very sound argument. That is Clause 94 (a) which currently reads,"the Commission shall not investigate a complaint unless the agrieved person was a citizen, resident or visitor of Zimbabwe at the time when the action or Commission of complaint occured". We felt that it was narrowing the people to be investigated. I think that what is important anyone who is complaining about human rights violations the complaint should be received by the Commission and the matter investigated.

I do not and with respect agree to the suggestion that we change the commencement date. Generally as a lawyer, my first instinct any resptrospective legislation is bad law. That is the first instinct. Anything that is providing retrospectively is bad law. My position when I brought proposals to Cabinet for this Bill in June 2009, it has taken us two, now coming to three years. My proposals was that we start from when the Bill comes into effect. Cabinet declined the debate because they considered what I was bringing too contentious and that it would divide Cabinet and the matter was referred to the team of negotiators. It has been with them and there have been very acrimonious debates and eventually there was some consensus which we brought to Cabinet and that consensus was carried.

Essentially the consenus and I do want to say that consensus has the support of the Commission, which is why I think even in the report they should have mentioned that. Because it was the Commission which was very strong that they want to start on a clean slate. The consensus, I think, is the correct one. You are still very young and you have lots of energies. I would want you to expend those energies in addressing the future and not digging the past. Do not expend your energies in opening wounds and at the end you become so tired that you cannot make a meaningful contribution for the future ....

MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order Minister. Can you address the response that you are doing and refrain from really been direct from members of Parliament's age and so on.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS: I am trying to .....

MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order Minister. Can you help me manage the House.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS: I know you were not in the Chair Mr. Speaker when contributions were being made on this issue. They were very provocative and I am trying not to. If I were, it would not help, but they were very provocative messages which may require some response, but I will try by all means to make sure that response is and peaceful, as friendly as it can be. I am sorry Mr. Speaker, but we should not try to expend our energies in going back to the past and find that those energies are expended and we have not much energy to build the future of our country.

So the suggestions which were made when you were not in the Chair, some were saying let us go back to 1980, 1890 and other even before. They were some which I considered to be, I am sorry Mr. Speaker to say but I can withdraw if the statement is not appropriate. I considered some of them to be fairly arousing the best instincts of us all. I do not think that as Parliamentarians we should whip up best instincts, we know we have best instincts, we are animals here and if we encourage that direction we do not know where it will lead you to. I felt that some of those contributions around this issue were becoming too base for my liking. They were becoming too primitive and too base and I do not think that is the direction we should go -[AN. HON. MEMBER: Wakutyisidzira vanhu.] - No, handisi kutyisidzira munhu.

On Clause 17, the Committee felt that the Commission should prepare and control its own budget. What in fact the Commission would want is not something that is within our legal framework ...

MS. D. SIBANDA: On a point of order. I think the Hon. Minister should withdraw his words. What does he mean when he says some of the things which were been said here you do not know where they will take you to. I am part of those who debated this motion and I do not expect the Hon. Minister to threaten anyone of us here. We should be protected. This is an august House where we are protected by the priviledges of Parliament. The Minister should withdraw.

MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order honourable members! Order, however Minister, I will appeal to you that in your response, try to be as building and use your experience in order not to divide the House. I appeal to you as a seasoned Minister to make sure that you do not fall into the trap of honourable members.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS: I was on Clause 17 and also the report of the Committee. The suggestion was once they craft their own budget that should go without anyone approving it. I am aware that even this Parliament has a budget which it has to discuss with Treasury to find out whether there is money or not. We can always give ourselves also but is the money there. That aspect we said you have no right to claim everything that you think you want. It has still to be subject to Treasury approval and permission with respect to your budget. You can ask Hon. Matshalaga, I remember when it used to be his function and I once acted in his ministry. That also is intended for transparency. We must also know that external funding is also coming from some country's taxpayers. It does not mean that a country's ratepayer who are donating to us, that money can be misappropriated without accountability. So, we need to know in the interest of transparency what is coming in and sometimes what comes in can also lessen the financial burden on our Treasury. So, we need to know that .

Also, for accountability, it is important that we know whether or not the money has been properly used for the purpose for which it was given. If the money was given to purchase vehicles, we should be able to see the vehicles and if the Commission is transparent, there should be no problem in anyone asking for accountability. There was also a reference in the report that the Commission should be accountable to Parliament. We all are accountable to Parliament and this is why I am here.

I can be summoned and I must appear and explain myself if there is any untoward behaviour which constitutes a contempt of Parliament. That is what instruments the Parliament has to make people accountable to it. So, the Commission at anytime can be summoned by the relevant Portfolio Committee to explain itself and we do not need to put it there. It is already part of our law. There was also the suggestion by the Portfolio Committee that issues of discipline should be the responsibility of Parliament with respect to you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think the provision in the Bill is putting the removal of Commissioners on par with the procedure that has to be followed when we want to remove a judge.

You have - the misconduct must be so gross, a tribunal must be constituted, investigate and when the tribunal has investigated and has come up with a recommendation, invariably the President is obliged to abide by the recommendation. That is what we have put in the provision.

The last recommendation is that the regulation should not be approved by the Minister. This is subsidiary legislation which is made by the Commission and we are saying the Minister should have nothing to do with that. Again it is not an argument that I would take on board. The Minister should at least know what the Commission is doing in the interest of Parliament because at the end of the day the person who can stand here to be asked questions is the Minister and not the Commission.

Let me now address the contributions made in this House by hon. members. I thank you Hon. Madzimure for supporting the Bill. I have already addressed the issue of the time-lines and I will not want to repeat what I have already said. The issue of the independence of the Commission, I have also addressed and what we have especially after the amendments, with respect to recruitment of staff where we had mistakenly the provision can be understood to mean the Minister must approve who is recruited. Once we remove that, we should constitute this Commission in line with the party Principals.

Sometimes the public, and I think this august House does not appreciate the whole spectrum of human rights. Very few people realise that the Criminal law is to punish human rights violations. The prosecutions is in every respect to punish human rights violations. So, what we are doing as a Commission is little compared to what in fact the Criminal Code is doing in respect of prosecutions, arrest and detention. Rape, murder, thefts, and assaults are human rights violations and all those are violations which are dealt with by the Criminal Code. So I thought that I should make that point because sometimes it is as if the Commission is going to be the policeman, the prosecutor, the court and so forth. It is not so. Ninety-nine percent of human rights violations are dealt with under the Criminal Law.

I will agree with you Hon. Madzimure that the Commission should be fully resourced and to that end, I am happy to advise this august House that from our meager resources, we were able to purchase a headquarters for the Commission. They are already operating from that Headquarters in Samora Machel next to the food courts. So you can pay them a visit there. What they do not have at the moment is the law to make them operational.

So, basically now we are paying them for doing no work because this Bill took so long because of the squabbling that we encountered in the process of negotiations and in the process of bringing this Bill to this House. The Commission should be given unlimited power to investigate violations - that is already in the Bill, Hon. Madzimure. I agree with you that there should be no partisanship with respect to the way we attend to these matters. I want to thank you for that wise counsel.

Hon. Sibanda, you touch on the independence of the Commission. I have already done that. You touched on the prescription period - I have already addressed that. You touch on the issue of compensation or reparation - generally speaking, or Criminal Law provides for compensation for human rights violations. In fact, in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, if for instance you have been assaulted, there are two aspects there. There is the criminal element where you are prosecuted and convicted and may be sent to jail but there is also a civil aspect where if you have suffered in fact in the same court, you can actually ask that there should be an award of compensation for your injuries.

If it is theft, you can also ask in the same court so that you do not have to incur further costs in trying to recover your money because the court has already convicted this person that is guilty. So you do not need again to do it in a civil courtSo, what you need to do is to determine and assess your damages to make an appropriate award to that effect.

In the majority of cases in human rights violations, it is individuals against individuals. Perpetrators can be individuals and the majority of perpetrators are proven citizens as I mentioned to you, the criminal court is addressing human rights violations. These are individuals, they are not a state. In the case where a State official in the course of his or her duty, and you are able to prove, and I think Adv. Matinenga can help you to formulate your case, where a State official has committed an injury to a person which is a violation. There is a prosecution and the person who is the victim can bring proceedings to claim compensation from the State. In case the State is being sued almost everyday because a policeman out there is frustrated with an investigation can do all sorts of things. But it is not like someone has been given authority to do what he is doing. So when that happens you have a right to institute proceedings to claim compensation and damages. Mr. Speaker, a lot of people are doing it.

Honourable Matonga, thank you very much for supporting the Bill. I also do not want to go into the aspects until on the advice of Mr. Speaker, I will refrain from touching on the statements which were made, which I think will divide us. I agree with you that one of the rights that we have is basically that we are a sovereign people. What that means is that we should have control over our resources like any other people in any other country which is why the war of liberation was essentially undertaken to be able to reclaim those rights, over our land and over our resources. In fact, it is more fundamental than the political and civil rights because without land, without those resources, you can not survive. So it is important, that is a different issue which can always be addressed. What is important Mr. Speaker Sir, is that people must have control over their resources. If the British have control over their resources, why should we not? We should be 100% total independence and have 100% control of our resources.

Hon. Mudzuri, I want to thank you for supporting the Bill and you say that we are moving in a right direction, that is correct and you make a good point that the focus now should be preventive. What we are attempting to do now is, we know what happened in the past, we should now commit ourselves to avoiding it. This Commission is given a responsibility to do early warning of anything that may be on some large scale taking place and bring it to the awareness of those responsible. It is important that we should create a climate where it is conducive to respect each other's human rights. That climate can only be created if also we are prosperous. If we have a situation of poverty, it may not be a very good environment for mutual respect of each other's rights because people then resort to being animals.

On why limitations, I think that was what Hon. Mudzuri was asking that these rights we were given should be absolute. There are some which are absolute - one of the absolute right is that there should be no torture. In other words, you can not have any justification to torture a person -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Yes, it is not government policy. I want to distinguish between some rights which are not absolute and some rights which can be derogated from. By derogation, I mean there are some limitations because your freedom can injure me, if you go out there and you say bad things about me, you can say you are exercising your freedom of expression but in the same vein, you are saying lies about me and injuring my reputation. So there is a limitation. So I want you to understand that there are some which are absolute and some which are not.

I think I have already explained about domestication. With respect to the Convention Against Torture, there is already a memorandum which I have submitted to Cabinet. It still awaits to be put on the agenda of Cabinet where I am recommending that we ratify the Convention Against Torture. What you need to know is the fact that we have not ratified, but it does not mean torture is permissible in our law. We have laws which say it is not permissible. The problem generally is when it is complained about, it becomes difficult to establish it because those who have done it will not give room for investigation, they will not give room and by the time it is investigated, it is evidence of one against the other and there is nothing to show that in fact there was torture. It is a crime within our law but when we ratify, we want to go further and mention it specifically as a crime.

I have already addressed the concern about the independent of the Commission and the issue about the time lines. Hon. Sibanda, thank you for your contribution, again I have addressed the issue about time lines. I understand your emotions but I also understand that we have to focus on the future and hope that we can build a more peaceful country.

Hon. Zinyemba, thank you for your contribution. You made a point which I agree with that generally there should be no retrospection in our law. You also make a reference to the organ on National Healing. I am aware Mr. Speaker that the organ is attempting to come up with a legislation that will create a platform for reconciliation. I hope that when they finish their deliberations, that effort can receive the support of this august House. You asked me to respond to the Report of the Portfolio Committee which I have done. I will not go into the issue about the time lines. I have already addressed a lot of the concerns that you raised. I have already responded to the issue about the external funding requiring the approval of the minister.

Hon. Ndava, thank you for your contribution. I want to agree with you that all Commissions, when we are deliberating on their budgets, the Minister responsible comes to defend. That is where they become accountable to the minister. With respect to the day to day operations, they have autonomy over their finances, their staff, discipline, promotion and grades. The only caveat is when it comes to money, they cannot just spend what they do not have or they cannot force us to spend what we do not have, that is the only caveat.

Hon. Chaderopa, I thank you very much for your contribution especially that we should not have retrogressive legislation. Hon. Bhasikiti, thank you for supporting the Bill. I will not touch on the date of commencement and so on. I think you made a very good point Hon. Bhasikiti that time is a great healer. You know, when we started in 2000, those of you who were here, this chamber was a war zone - [AN HON. MEMBER: NaBennet] - I think Mr. Speaker will agree with me that over the period, we have found each other, time is a great healer. So, I want to believe that some of the things that are worrying you may not be a problem in the future. Allow time to heal the wounds, allow time for people to find each other.

Hon. Matshalaga, thank you very much for supporting the Bill. What we create is not always cast in stone and we should allow that element of evolution, the new generation will come up with their own solutions and be able to sort out some of the problems we are unable to sort out now. I think we should be aware of that. Again, you rightly pointed out that there is no money that can come into any Governmental institution without the knowledge of the Minister of Finance. That is in the Public Finance Management Act, the Treasury Instructions and so on. There is no money which can come without the approval of the Ministry of Finance. Otherwise we cannot be able to run any budget at all. So, I want you to understand that the requirement that they are accountable to the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Justice is basically in order to make sure that we do not have ballooning budgets.

Mr. Speaker, I think I have done justice to the contributions which were made and I want to thank honourable members for their very constructive contributions. With those remarks, I now have the pleasure to move that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill be now read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: Wednesday, 28th March, 2012.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, the House adjourned at Nine Minutes to Six O'clock p.m.

 

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 38 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 27 MARCH 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 31