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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 June 2016 Vol 25 No 60

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 22nd June, 2016

The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

PARTNERSHIP TO PROVIDE MEDICAL SERVICES

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I would like to inform the Senate that Dr. Moses Chiwanza, a medical doctor would like to partner with Hon. Members to provide medical services to the less privileged in their constituencies who cannot access medical services on time; if at all due to lack of financial resources or long distances they may have to travel, particularly in rural areas.   Members are encouraged to meet with Dr. Chiwanza who has set up a desk at the Members’ Dining Room.  He will be here today, Wednesday, 22nd June, 2016 and Thursday, 23rd June, 2016.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH:  DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TAWENGWA:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 23rd June, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP SEMINAR HELD AT KENYATTA UNIVERSITY

          Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the report on Transformational Leadership Seminar held at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya held from 13th to 19th September, 2015.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this report which was moved by Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa and seconded by Hon. Sen. Ncube. Mr. President, I feel proud of this report.  Firstly, before I say anything, I want to thank the Government of Zimbabwe that keeps on spearheading the honour of women and supporting them as we go out in other countries to learn a lot of things.  From the time the report was tabled in this House, I heard a lot of things that were said in the report which showed that Zimbabwe when it comes to gender issues, In the SADC we are ahead.  Zimbabwe was the first country to talk about gender issues in the SADC. 

I want to thank our President and the nation at large that when they started about these gender issues, we got a lot of support from our chiefs, fathers and the youth.  They supported their mothers and unsure that the ground is level.  Even on the girl child, when we look closely, in Zimbabwe what was being articulated yesterday, it shows that we are way ahead.  Long back in this country, on gender issues, women were not allowed to stand in front of men, take chieftainship, as leaders or speaking in front of men.  Our chiefs and men realised that women are very important and they played an important role even in the liberation struggle. When it comes to gender issues, we want to say that Zimbabwe should keep up the good work of up lifting their women. Looking at the number of women in Parliament, we see that Zimbabwe is way ahead.  In other countries, they have less numbers whereas we are more than a hundred in Parliament. 

They also looked at women empowerment.  Many people think that empowerment is just giving people money but the way that you uplift us, you are empowering us.  If you look at the word ‘woman’ there are a lot of things embedded in this. A woman is a person who nurses, an organiser and she uplifts the home.  If there are only men at a homestead, that homestead does not look like a home.  If you educate a woman, you would have done a great thing. We heard about peace and security issues. For a country to be at peace and have security; it is because of the mothers.  If women become stupid, the country will not thrive but if women are educated and learn leadership skills, the country will go forward. We should continue learning and being educated and also learn from other countries.

We also want to thank the women that went to Kenya.  I was not part of the group but from the contributions yesterday were very powerful, which means that people learnt a lot within that week. When they were debating, we really felt proud because women were contributing very strongly; even Senator Mumvuri and the chiefs over there, really supported the report. If you see men supporting women, you feel proud and we should unite as women.

          They also talked about the political situation in other countries but I want to thank the women in this country and say that we might be at loggerheads in this Senate but we are united out there and we work together.  When it comes to political issues, we now know and we do not lie if we are competing with men; that is why they hate us because we do not use money but we use to truth when we are campaigning. We do not give empty promises like what men do. We want to thank our women on that.

          What I want to say is that we are asking both the men and women in this Senate who were not part of the delegation that the reports we are getting from others throughout the world, assist in the upliftment of women. So we should be enlightened and open our eyes and be accommodative of new ideas that come from others. We should support one another. We were told that when it comes to elections, we are on the forefront of spearheading men’s ideas instead of supporting fellow women. It is high time that we started supporting our own. We should learn from the support that we are getting from other countries or even from our country. The men in this country have accepted that they should support us.

          We were also told about resources, yes, it is very true and it is painful that for all this to happen, we need resources. We are saying very soon we will be going for the budget seminar, so we are pleading with both the men and women that we should contribute actively. When analysing the budget, I think we should speak with one voice that the women should be allocated more resources so that they can be able to spearhead their projects and also go out and carry developmental projects.  Even if you look at SMEs, you see that women are really doing very well. Women are now doing the work which was previously done by men. I urge all the men to support us when it comes to allocation of resources during budget formulation.

          I would want to thank the chiefs because for this to happen, it is because of you the custodians of the land. We thank you because you were quick to accept us although I know that in Chipinge they were lagging behind because they did not support the idea of  women addressing men but they are now speaking with one voice. We want to thank you chiefs for supporting us because there is peace and tranquility in the country.

          In conclusion, I want to say to the Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus that we received the report that you tabled before this Senate with joy but the challenge that is before us is that women in the rural areas do not have this information. This information is mainly accessed by women who are in leadership positions and they are the only ones who are aware of these issues. If it were possible, I think the Government should fund women Parliamentarians so that we can go to the rural areas and educate fellow our women.  Even in urban centres, there are some women who are ignorant about these issues.

          I remember that when we held a workshop in Kadoma on family law, we learnt quite a lot that even some of us who are in towns were ignorant about some of the issues. I think we should have more awareness campaigns of women who are outside this Senate. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I thank you Mr. President. I stand to support and appreciate the report which was moved yesterday by Senator Mutsvangwa and seconded by Senator Ncube. It is unfortunate that we do not have the report in our pigeon holes and it is difficult to capture everything that she said because it would have helped us to learn from what they got in Kenya. Maybe we will get the report in the Hansard.

          It is a very good opportunity for us as women of this Parliament who are members of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus to do an introspection of ourselves after hearing all the good things that were in the modules that she presented. It is found in us women because she even said that the presenter said that women look down upon themselves and whatever progress they make is affected by other women. I do not think that we can hide behind a finger because we have enough evidence to show that women do not support each other when it comes to the development and empowerment of other women.

          On trips that we have as women, it is unfortunate that my name was on the list of participants to go to Kenya but I did not make it. I was phoned by our office that I should bring my passport, I did but I was told that no, no, you are now going to Zambia. I said it is fine but I was moved again. I know very well that there are no men that sit and decide on the list of women that go on trips. It is women that do it on behalf of other women. The segregation or exclusion of other people by women is really an issue that we should talk about because if we sweep it under the carpet, then it will not be solved.

          At times we say the political patronage also is affecting us as women because when you are dealing with issues, you think that other women do not matter in developmental programmes that affect the world of women. After I listened to other Senators contribute, I was trying to say after getting all this information from the workshops in Kenya and Zambia, did we come out any different because we should talk about it and see whether we are doing differently after getting that information, because information is power.

          In the other workshops during the 7th Parliament, we were given somebody to coach us on grooming and decorum.  I heard Hon, Sen. Ncube talking about colours of clothing that are supposed to be worn and whether to wear certain types of hats or not.  I however, believe that maybe the person who wrote that module has a different perspective and a different culture from ours, so we cannot be one and the same.  Even structure wise or complexion, we are different and hence we cannot dress in the same clothes.  The things that we like are also very different.  The only people that I have seen that look almost the same are the Chinese.  We, on the other hand are uniquely different in everything.  We also have our own cultures to maintain.  If my Ndebele culture says a black hat is a hat that is good for me, then I will wear that hat because that is who I am. 

          I believe that when people vote for you, they vote for who you are before you are even given all this information.  It means they will have seen something in you before this other information that you are given at various workshops.  So, if you change too much and become too different from the people that voted you into power you then lose the electorate because you will be too different from them.  What they identified in you when they voted you in for the first time was their culture.  So do not change it too much. 

          Mr. President, it is very good to have an opportunity to talk about these things and to benefit from the report because some of us never had the chance to go there.  Other caucuses in Africa - we are lucky at times that we go to the international fora and we ask how other caucuses do their things.  They make sure that when they are giving trips, they do not give to those people who have an opportunity to travel in other quotas.  They make sure they give the poor and the vulnerable because in our caucus here, if you put all of us, the hundred and something that we are, you will find that there are other women that will never go anywhere because the people who are selecting in the other departments look at certain things.  So, why do we not use the same approach as that used by other African women Caucuses to give the person who is not appealing to anybody the chance to fly to New York?  Even if those that have the intellectual capacity to go there, when they come back, they will have benefitted in their individual capacity because all the other women do not use whatever knowledge they will have gained there.  Whatever information they learn is for their own personal use.  So, why not empower that poor woman and make her fly so that at least she sees the world and her mind opens and gathers new information.

          In the other women forum that I attended, this other woman was saying that at times Women’s Caucus become women kokayi because it does not really show that these women need that chance to group and push together.  The Women’s Caucus is for women to meet and push together but now, if women are not meeting and pushing together it becomes women kokayi.  People with minds observe and see that if you look at our women champions, on the issues of emancipation of other women, they are also the same people that discriminate against other women.  If you look at why we are not having peace, you will find that in the areas where there is conflict, contestation or elections, our women champions are silent when the other women are suffering.  You will find that during elections, people’s houses are burnt but where will be the women that are involved and supposed to cool the men down and say ‘you cannot do it that way?’

          Mr. President, let me give another simple example.  If any woman discovers that her husband is going out with another woman, they will even hire thugs to go and deal with that woman.  What you forget is that the same woman also wants what you saw and want in that man.  So, as women, we must really talk about these issues.  We cannot hide the issues anymore because that is exactly what we do.  So, what are we talking about?  These young women that emulate us, when we are modeling a life of women who are developed, what will they say about us?  We read in the papers that this woman did this to that woman.  Which woman has ever, after hearing that the husband is going out with somebody, did not do something about it to the other woman and not to the man?  Mr. President, we must walk the talk because if we just talk and not walk it, it will not do anything to the vision.  We have a vision for women to do better and differently.  It is the small things that will benefit the communities.  You cannot be seen to be doing good in the papers while in real life you do bad things.  It then becomes very difficult for people to believe. 

          Let me conclude by saying that the module that was presented was very good, but I think that as women of Zimbabwe, we will benefit if we pick only that information that is relevant to us as a nation.  As a person, I will pick a few things and not all of them because it depends on what I think.  At times when I sit down and say this culture is wrong, I must be sure that it is relevant to all the other cultures, otherwise it will be misleading to believe that all the colours that I heard were wrong are really wrong because to me, some of them are alright as they are.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIDUKU: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to debate.  I rise to support the motion that was brought in by Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa seconded by Senator Ncube.  This is a very important issue which needs all of us to be united.  The people that went to Kenya, think that they learnt a lot from there but we talk a lot about those issues here in Zimbabwe.  They came with that information because they were there and they were being told by other people.  The first thing that I want the women to know is that the men in Zimbabwe and the Government of Zimbabwe love Zimbabwean women very much.  You said that a lot of the things that we do to honour our women in Zimbabwe are not observed in Kenya.  The positions that we bestow upon you in Zimbabwe are not in other countries.  You also said that you did not know that the thing that really made you happy was here also, that was the issue of dress code.

          Here we always refer to your dressing as women but when we say that you raise your eyebrows yet when it was being articulated in Kenya, you thought it was very important.  For a country to go astray or become poor is when women walk about undressed, the country will be very poor.  So we appreciate the fact that a prophet has no honour in his hometown.  You were taught things that we always teach you here.  Next time when you go out, do not forget the culture in your own country.

          I remember the year when women first went to Beijing and a lot of homes were broken because the women could not teach other women good culture.  They failed to reach married women should behave and take care of their families.  If we look at our homesteads or those who have homes, the mother is the owner of the home and if the mother does not look after the home well there, will be so many problems and challenges.  That is why we always refer to you as the owners of the homes then you say that men folk are oppressing you. 

          There are certain things that were talked about which I thought were not of our culture.  Like when they said they saw a picture of a woman breastfeeding a goat and baby and they said it is love but that is not our culture.  If you are found at the kraal head feeding an animal, you will be labeled a witch, so we do not want such traditions, but some of the things that you learnt are very good. 

          Aspects to emanate include that you should have big ears and a small mouth when you are a leader, so that you listen more and be slow to answer.  In the homes if you see me just listening and not answering back you say that this husband is ignoring me, he does not answer but that will not be the case.  So next time if there is another outgoing delegation, when you say gender, I think we should go as a mixed group consisting of both men and women so that we come and teach our people together.  However, men do not attend gender seminars - yet gender refers to men, women and children but when it comes to site seeing you just appoint women and it is no longer gender.

          We really want to support you women and as chiefs we used to move around with women and that Bill passed because of us chiefs.  We called you to our provinces when you were talking to people but now you want to work in isolation of men.  So when we look at you, we realise that you will not go far.  We really want you to go far but when you are given positions of leadership what you do, sometimes we regret as men. 

          When we attend meetings, we should ask each other before leaving our homes how presentable we are.  When we talk about it, you claim we are not able to look after our women, which is not true.  You know that when you look at these dance shows, a woman who is said to be dancing well is because they will not be wearing any clothes yet men will be dancing in their suites, yet a woman has to be naked in order for her dancing to be acknowledged.

          The women in this august Senate are mature women we want you to teach the people our good culture when you go out there to the rural areas so that we progress as a nation.  When you are standing up people will say, the Senator is speaking not teaching people the wrong stuff when you are out there and when they see you, you are the opposite of what you were articulating.  We do not want that, we want our country to follow our traditions and culture.

          Most of the time when we learn foreign cultures, I think we should evaluate it with our own culture, if they are inconsistent then we can panel beat our culture.  If the foreign culture is inconsistent to our culture, just take the good and ignore the bad.  Do not just embrace everything because some of the cultures are shameful and we will be wondering where you will implement them because you are married.  Like when you were elected to Parliament, you first spoke to your spouses before coming here and they agreed.  Now that you are in Parliament, you should act accordingly and reflect your leadership qualities especially during gatherings, you should teach young women not to destroy their homes.  If you look at our courts as chiefs, we are always presiding over cases of young women who are being divorced by their husbands and the people spearheading the divorces are the mother-in-law.  You talk of love yet you forget that daughter-in-law belongs to another woman.  We preside over such cases a lot and I have never come across a case where someone says that the father-in-law does not want me.  Most of the time the mother-in-law will say that they should leave their home and go wherever they want, forgetting that is another woman’s child.  So how do you love one another as women?

          We are saying women should love one another.  Real women who stay with their in-laws cannot spend six months in the same house because women cannot live together.  I do not know whether this is due to the cooking style, so do not lie to us that you want to love one another.  We know that you do not love one another.  There is an Hon. Member who said you do not love one another Chief Musarurwa yesterday also said the same sentiments and I am also adding my voice to that.

          Mr. President, I want to thank you for affording me this opportunity.  I am very grateful to the head of delegation.  You did a good job but it should not end in this House, it should go down to the grassroots where the people are.  If you come and say you want to meet the ladies in our areas, we would want to know whether you are talking about how they can build their homes.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  Thank you Mr. President, for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on this interesting motion.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa and Hon. Sen. Ncube for tabling such a good report on the good things that they learnt in Kenya.  I had a friend who used to tell me that nice things are found in other places.  Those who have been teachers before know that there are what we call teaching methods or techniques and there are a lot of things on how to teach people.  This is one of the techniques of taking people out and take them far away.  They can learn quite a lot.  It would be good if we can get such methods where people can really learn.

          There is one thing that I did not get and I think they forgot it.  There are some disabled women and girls who are in their midst and in their module, nothing of that sort was articulated – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -  So, I think wherever they meet as women, even as men when you go to your constituencies or other forums, where you talk about men or women only, you should take into cognisance that there are some disabled people.  Those who teach them should also be reminded that they add a module on plenary sessions so that those issues will be articulated.  

I think you remember that in other countries in SADC and East Africa, people who are disabled, for example the albinos, people use them for rituals. There are also women amongst them who are victims of such practices.  Therefore, lessons on disability and their importance should be articulated as well.  When you go for other sessions, I think you should remind the facilitators that they should also take cognisance of the disabled.  You should also remember men who have disability.  This is because a tree has twigs and big branches.  So, I think it will help us as a nation.  We will build our nation together.

I am very happy that this method of taking them far away has really inspired them.  If they include all these points, I think they will be inspired.  On the next trip when they go out, I think this time they should go as far as Alexandra and they will be gurus when they come back.  Thank you.  

+HON. SEN. D.T. KHUMALO:  I thank you Mr. President, for giving me this opportunity to debate on this matter, where the Women Caucus went to Kenya to learn on leadership and helping themselves.  Firstly, I will start by speaking on the word ‘gender.’  Initially, we did not understand this word.  This is why when we came from Beijing, we were confrontational with our spouses because we did not understand that term – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] -  When I came back to Zimbabwe, I was surprised on how the gender issue was being handled because I was coming from a place where gender should help men.  They are trying to develop people so that they can be the same.  I was surprised when I saw what was obtaining in the country because we did not understand the term gender. 

I believe you can now see that we have changed and we now understand that in Khumalo’s homestead, I should respect him.  Gender issues are there to help him so that he allows me to go and look for work.  The homestead belongs to him; he is in charge.  That we did not understand then, things are learnt.  Those who went out also brought us something very good that we should not only look at gender issues.  We also learnt on how to present ourselves when we are going to meet the public.  She said that if you want to be presentable, you should not put on a yellow hat. 

This made me remember my mother.  She liked to put on her yellow hat even if she was going to the Sabbath.  People would say, how marvelous she looked.  That indicates that where we are going, we should be careful and be selective on what we pick because some of these things are not acceptable in our areas.  We should appreciate that.  We should be careful that when we go to other countries, we should leave our yellow and black hats home. 

However, I am of the view that, as long as you have a head gear it is okay.  Particularly here in Parliament, our dress code is good.  It appears to me that women here are conscious of how they dress.  They are respectable women and we should maintain that.  We are trying as women to be respectable in front of men so that in whatever we do, they see a respectable woman, a woman of dignity and beauty.  We should not completely cover our legs.  They should be seen because they are beautiful.  We know in our culture the way we should dress.  Please, let us accept our own culture so that we push it ahead and capitalise. 

       Yesterday evening, I realised that we in Zimbabwe are far much ahead.  I was watching Al-Jazeera TV.  They were indicating a problem women in Malawi.  We are happy that when we are at a meeting from different countries, they think about what they know about a particular area.   They give advice as well on that particular area.  So, we are different on how we dress, walk and navigate. 

       Mr. President, what I observe as a problem personally is here at Parliament.  We still have a problem that because of coming from different political parties, we will not want to do things together. We should fight against that as women.  We should look at one thing.  Are we the majority or the minority because if we fail to respect each other now, we will not be able to respect each other.  It is true that women fight; men also do fight but it is said that men have that right to fight.  Men disagree and fight during election campaigns.  When women disagree, it becomes a big issue.  No, women – let us not disagree with each other.  We should not hate each other, no, no!  We hate each other just like men do because during the election time, they also fight.  On that basis, I am not saying we should fight; we should not denigrate ourselves.

       Mr. President, I go further and say on the issue of fighting, we should look at rights here at Parliament.  When we go out, there should be representatives here in Parliament.  Most of the times, I am used and source for financial resources but when I get those financial resources, I get dropped from that programme and I no longer travel.  This has happened.  When resources are being looked for all the parties are involved yet at the last minute, I get dropped and am replaced with someone.  No, women, please stop that.  Please leave me alone.  It is not good for me to go and get a visa and be dropped at the last minute.  That should stop.  I do not want to travel with you anymore.  Why did you take me if you are saying I am from a minority party?  I request you not to do that.  Let us respect each other and know each other. 

       Mr. President, probably men also do the same but I am requesting you that we should do the right thing.  Do not take me for granted, I am talking to you nicely and I am requesting you not to do that to me again.  Let us respect each other.  People say I should have talked about this in the Caucus, but I have realised that the Caucus has dropped me many times.  Therefore, I have to ask why I was being left out.  I am requesting you, that we work harmoniously.  That is how women work and that is their leadership; whether they are being used by men, I do not know.  Please, let us work together and further our interests.  I am not alleging that you are being used by men because I do not know them.  I know those who agreed that I should be dropped.  Please let us not drop each other.

       Mr. President, the leadership which was talked about here, I believe we will follow it and understand that we should not affect other women; we should work and walk nicely.  We should follow the types of leadership qualities that were explained to us which are democratic, laissez-faire et cetera. We should educate each other so that we can acquire the leadership qualities and work together in unity.  I thank the ladies who went to Kenya and came with this report.

       *HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Mr. President, for affording me this opportunity.  I want to support this report on Transformational Leadership Seminar held at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, which started on the 13th to 19th September, 2015 in Nairobi Kenya.  I am so happy.  Firstly, I want to thank our father, the leader of this country, President Mugabe who spearheads our relationship with other countries and if our country is at peace, then we are able to relate with other countries.  If we are at war, internally we will not be able to go to other countries.  So, we have travelled to a lot of countries because our father likes peace, that is why we can travel to other countries. 

       Mr. President, yesterday I was so happy.  Since I came into this House, I have never seen a motion so popular like this one.  Hon. Senators behaved as if they were buying sweets.  It was a good motion.  I think those Members who went there did a good job in telling us what they came across.  So, I have also stood up to support what they said.  If that is the case, then it is a good thing.  When they are going to attend the women’s caucuses, I do not know whether they carry books from here to show them that what they talked about in those countries and the things that they learnt there, they also get this from this country.

       I was happy when the issue of dressing was touched on because this issue of dressing did not start today.  We have the late Mai Sally Mugabe, who went to be with the Lord.  She really wanted women to dress well.  Coming back to the issue on colours, I have come across even some books that when you are called for a job interview, there are certain ways that you should dress.  If you dress colourfully, you disturb the people who will be interviewing you; this was revealed in the books that we were reading.  Honestly, as leaders, when we visit other countries and encounter these things, we should share it in this House.  I also want to give another example of business, if you build a shop, upon opening it, when you give tokens of appreciation to your customers in the form of a match box or a sweet, if you stop the culture, customers stop buying from your shop and you become insolvent.  This means that once you begin practicing a particular culture, it should continue until the end.

Mr. President, I was so happy when I heard them saying that as they were discussing amongst themselves as women on employment creation and delivery in the civil service, they indicated that it was not only the women who were empowered, but the men are also included and there is competition, which is healthy.  I will also give an example which I heard from my father when I was in my rural area; he said that when a woman dies, women sleep in the same house with that corpse.  In the same vein, if a man dies, it is still women who sleep in the shelter housing the corpse.  Why do you not make men to sleep in the house sheltering the corpse when a man would have died?   Why is it that women sleep in that room all the time?  I am saying this in relation to the issue of gender which was referred to before, that people were unable to define the term gender.

Mr. President, I would like to thank you very much because the Committee on gender which travelled to Kenya were able to listen attentively and brought us words of wisdom.  Those who were leading the delegation indicated that they felt honoured because they were able to relate the issues there with what is happening back home.  If you travel and you hear some issues being discussed and you feel that you are ahead of them, you are implored to share the experiences of where you are coming from in terms of the unity you enjoy.  Here in Zimbabwe we have our President, Cde. Mugabe, who accommodated his people both men and women.  I am so glad to note that we are now having more women working in different trades.  This means that those who travel will be proud to share their story and say; where we are coming from different leadership positions are held by women.  Mr. President, let me take this opportunity to thank those who visited this country.  We listened to what you reported to us and we want to thank you so that when you go back, you will bring us a report on what will have happened there and how others would have embraced our story.  On the other hand, we also want to know what others would have said and how many would have contributed so that it becomes progressive and fruitful.   Thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. MALULEKE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add a few words on this motion which was tabled by Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa and seconded by Hon. Sen. Ncube.  Firstly, I would like to thank the Government of President Mugabe for understanding the plight of women.  At first it was quota system, we made several appeals and it was increased to a 50:50 representation.  We are also not happy with the two terms which we were given, we want more terms to be added – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – on the same note, I would also like to thank the Government for facilitating the travelling of many women, 20 delegates, to represent us at this seminar in Kenya.

The first thing that really made me happy was that they were warmly welcomed and Zimbabwe was honoured for having more women representatives in Parliament. There are a lot of people who debated; I will just talk on what I grasped yesterday.  They said that for you to be a good leader, you should be seen by your fruits and you should have a vision in front of you.  You should also have a work plan for your constituency.  This really touched me because all of us here were gifted in certain areas and that is why we are leaders.  All of us know that as women, we were not allowed to go to school.  However, God has a plan for us to go to school and end up in this House even if we did not know.  So, that is one of the things that God has given us so that we will become leaders.  In this vein, I want all of you to know that we were given these positions by God through our parents and we should safe-guard our morals as women and leaders.  When we come here and go back to our homes, our first port of call is our homes.  Let us be honest by telling others the truth on what ould have happened here.  This means that leadership begins at home before reaching out to the electorate and those whom we lead in our constituencies. 

They told us that they were taught about modules, beginning with Module one, two and three on leadership.    Some of us who are still serving our first term of office are learning a lot and we should listen very careful so that we put it into practice when we go back to our constituencies.  All those modules that they learnt and were teaching us; the auto, demo, laissez faire or fairness, these are the things that we are being taught so that we know that when we hold meetings with the electorate, they will criticise what you would have said; whether what you said was to uplift other women or not. For example, we all know that those who intend to uplift fellow women might ask them to approach her on the quails project.  We should be proud of such projects because these are the resources of this country and we learnt it from other countries that we should uplift our fellow women.  That is what it takes to be a good leader and not just take a back seat.  As a leader, you should not be known by moving around the village asking for salt.

When we are in this august House, we should truly love each other and even share ideas on how best to improve our constituencies.  Our experts as Parliament should be utilised by Hon. Members when they are seized with projects which require their technical expertise.  We should also feel free to consult them so that they can even write project proposals on our behalf.   We must take advantage of the plea by the Speaker of the National Assembly that as women-folk, we should go to school.  How many went to school in this Parliament. The people from the Women’s University came here looking for students to enrol at their university but how many of us are there? Here, I  am writing my ‘O’ levels but I think  the two subjects that I sat for in June this year will help me a lot to obtain a full certificate. We should encourage each other as women to campaign peacefully when it is election time. We should not destroy each other but rather encourage each other because there are some women who are capable. When those women join the Senate or National Assembly, they can help us with whatever they are capable of because consequently these women can be chosen to become ministers. We need more women ministers and few deputies because women are very good when it comes to delivering.

Women are not corrupt because they do their work well. Let me give an example of how useful women are. If a woman is pregnant and knocks at your door during the night seeking assistance, no sane woman can turn away a fellow woman. She will wake up no matter the circumstances. Rich or poor, the women can assist each other so that the baby can be delivered safely. That is one aspect that is embedded in us as women, the spirit to nurture.  That is one thing that I have learnt that whether you are educated or not, we are very wise when it comes to that. It is God given. That is one thing that uplifts us as women.

          When you are going about your usual business in your constituency, ask yourself what type of a leader you are. You should look at the way you deliver your speech and see whether you are presentable. Truly speaking, when you go to places like Malipati wearing a pair of trousers and you want to address a gathering of men, they will not listen to you because they will be shy but if you go there dressed as a woman in a nice dress, they will listen to you. We should know how to dress when we go out into the rural areas because there are certain values that are observed in those areas through the chiefs.

          As a leader, you should know the type of women that you are leading and be sensitive to their needs. We should also listen to other women whom we are leading because it will build us as well and this creates a good working relationship with the people who voted you in Parliament. I want to thank Senator Mutsvangwa for presenting what they learnt in Kenya. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. JADAGU: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to debate. I do not have much to say but I have one or two points to add because some of the things have been said by previous speakers.

I am happy to debate on this motion which was brought before this Senate by Senator Mutsvangwa and seconded by Senator Ncube. Many Senators have spoken before me but I want to thank our Government and our President for bringing equality between men and women. I am happy to say that despite our political affiliations, we are united as women of Zimbabwe and I want to explain further on this point.

When the Government of National Unity was ushered in, it brought with it a new Constitution where, we realised developments such as the quota system for women, zebra system for women Senators and the proportional representation in the National Assembly through the hard work of some women in the form of Hon Muchinguri and Hon Khupe. These two leaders stood by women through thick and thin so that women realise a bigger stake in Parliament.

Hon Muchinguri and Hon Khupe worked very hard to make sure that women’s participation in Parliament is enhanced. We should not forget the men and women who were behind the constitution making process who made sure that the people’s views are taken on board, especially when it comes to women’s participation. That is why there was a clause in the Constitution to increase the number of women in Parliament; something that our President has always been campaigning for. We are also happy to have a woman President of the Senate and women Ministers. As women, we are happy to see one of our own in leadership positions.

Long ago, women parliamentarians used to travel on foreign trips but it was not so pronounced as it is today. I want to allude to the debate that was made by Senator Chifamba that Zimbabwe was placed on a pedestal. I do not want to repeat what she said, suffice to say that Senator Mutsvangwa and her Committee should be encouraged to do more. We are happy that as Zimbabweans we are united.

As people of Zimbabwe, we should know that no country can function without women because they are the cornerstone of nationhood.  I want all men to know that the women from both sides of this Senate are united. Recently, we attended a workshop in Kadoma where we put our heads together as women, irrespective of our political affiliation. I want to remind all the men in this Senate that all the female Senators in this House are united in their quest for equality. I want to thank all the female Senators in this House for being united.

During the tenure of the Government of National Unity, the Ministry of Home Affairs was co-chaired by Senator Makone and Hon. K. Mohadi, something that had never happened before. These two ministers executed their duties very well under this Ministry. A lot of people had reservations in this kind of arrangement but they proved some people wrong. Nowadays the police are stopping motorists and charging them for flimsy offences. Here I am talking about the good work that was debated by Senator Mutsvangwa and seconded by Senator Ncube. This is one of the fruits of our women’s caucus and we should support it.  What we are saying is that expose a lot of women because there are many amongst us who are exceptionally talented, the likes of Hon. Chifamba.  I once looked down upon Hon. Chifamba but later realised that she was talented. 

          Our Hon. men-folk we thank you for remonstrating with us in terms of our dress code.  We appreciate your concerns Hon. Members.  All Hon. Women Members of Parliament will heed your call with regards to the wearing of trousers.  Furthermore, we would like to enlighten male Hon. Members that when we conduct baby welcome parties and other such predominantly women gatherings, we have now embraced our traditional ways of ensuring that the new bride will aptly look after her new found husband/child, which is in line with our dynamic culture.

          Hon. Male Members, I urge you to be patient with us and allow us not to have clean shaven heads because it does not look good on us.  Furthermore, let me urge my female counterparts to dress smartly in regalia which is in line with Parliament practice.  The same applies to the issue of headgear (doek) which may not be acceptable in Parliament. 

          Hon Sen. Mutsvangwa’s committee is working very hard to ensure that gender issues are brought to the fore.  I commend Hon. Sen.  Masuku and Mathuthu for having raised the bar for women-folk which they demonstrated by proficiently and efficiently chairing this august House.

We should emulate Hon. Sen. Mathuthu’s sense of dressing.  Hon. President, I have given my voice to the motion by pointing out these few issues that had been left out.  As women Parliamentarians we respect the institution of chiefs and we will continue in that mode.  Above all we respectfully submit that we should be given the chance to also become women chiefs.  I, for instance am interested in becoming Chief Mangwende.  I thank you for this opportunity which you have granted me.

          HON. SEN. BUKA:  I rise to also add a few words to this motion.  This motion is irresistible to a woman.  It needs our support because the issues that are being articulated in this motion relate to supporting each other as women.  Firstly, I would like to thank Sen. Mutsvangwa, who is the chairperson of the Women’s Caucus and was also the head of delegation of the 20 women who went to Kenya.  I want to thank you for this programme because for capacity building programmes to go ahead, it needs a clever chairperson.  I also want to thank the 20 women who went there because they represented us well as well as the other leadership that was on this delegation. 

It is very important to hold such workshops because as women, we come from the four corners of the different world.  Some were teachers and others were housewives but it does not mean that all of us were involved in leadership roles.  So, when you come to Parliament, you want an opportunity to be grilled because we say education does not end.  I also want to clap hands for the chairperson and her delegation and the funders as well who made this programme to be successful.  If women have done well, I think it should be us as women, who should be the first to give them credit.  Now, I do not see where it says women do not support one another.  I think that should be removed from our mindsets.  We should remove that vocabulary because supporting one another as women, I think we are really doing our best.  I think for us to sit in here, it is because of women who went to war and liberated us.  If we talk about equal rights and positions of authority, we go back and refer to the war where women also participated in the liberation of the nation.  So, those women who went to war supported us to be where we are today.  They paved the way to where we are today. 

If you look at the women who were given positions from 1980, they were paving the way for other women to be where we are today in the Senate.  I can give an example of when we came up with the Constitution, there are women who worked very hard who were in the Ministry, Caucus and NGOs.  They worked very hard to ensure that issues concerning women were included in the Constitution.  They were working because they were being supported by the President, who wanted to give women the opportunity to lead.  We want to thank the President because he is the one who brings out this.  If he did not support it means that these issues would not have been in the Constitution.  We also want to thank our chiefs for supporting us.  They reprimand women in certain areas that we are not performing well. 

Looking at the Constitution as women, the sky is the limit because even in the preamble of the Constitution and Chapter 4 which talks about our rights and then go to the National Assembly, you will see that the men and women have been given equal opportunities.  What is left behind is that as women, we should have that zeal to get into positions of authority.  So, as I was listening to Senator Mutsvangwa yesterday, on areas that they were taught, especially that of communication and leadership. 

If you are a leader who does not know, you would not put women in positions of councilors but they were enlightened.  It is very important for a leader to cascade down the things that they believe in and influence other people.  I found how important the training was.  Some may ask why they had to travel that far.  Even here, when we want to do our budget, we go to Victoria Falls.  Why do we not do it here in the Senate Chamber?  We go to faraway places so that we listen freely.  You are flown to Kenya and you meet new lecturers and stay in a place in which you have never stayed before.  It means you will find the importance of that lesson, meaning there will not be time to dodge or run away from the lesson because you know money was spent in order for you to receive those lessons.

          At this workshop, when they were being taught about communication, communication is very important because when we come to Parliament we represent certain constituents which include our children.  So if those ladies were taught how to communicate, it means that they will be able to articulate cases of rape well and be articulate when enacting our laws.  Also when we are talking about domestic violence, we articulate it well and when we are talking about economic empowerment, we really bring the issues out well.

          Hon. Senators, I think that these issues on capacity building have brought us where we are because when it comes to motions, women stand up to contribute – to debate and this came out about due to capacity building workshops.  These women were taught that it is not only about English but Shona and SiNdebele because what is important is how you are bringing out your thoughts.  These workshops are very important because they give us confidence, to be able to articulate well on issues that are at stake and the people that are at home are happy because they know they have sent articulate women who are well versed with what is happening in the country.

          I want to acknowledge that at the university, women were taught that during campaigns there are things that are needed such as money and good communication skills.  As things are, we have 60 women who came in through the quarter system but this will lapse after 10 years, meaning if it is not extended after ten years, they are supposed to return to their constituencies and fight in order to retain their seats.  They were enlightened when they were taught on campaign strategies and will be wise next time when they are campaigning that when they stand against men, the men will know that it is not business as usual.  We do not believe that at the lapse of our tenure we will have opportunities to get into positions of authority.  If you stay for five or ten years, I think you should go back into the constituency and give room to others to get in through the quarter system.

          I appreciate that women were taught on how to campaign on their rights, the women were also taught about gender equality but it is about opportunities.  Yes, there is a time when we did not understand it but it is about opportunities, going to work, going to school, going into politics and even running big companies and being in positions of authority.   So if we take that into our homes.  I think we will be lost because that is not what we are taught at these workshops.  We are taught to be courageous, confident and also campaign against men.

          Lastly, I would want to say that people went and learnt but 20 are very few.  If we cannot all travel to Kenya, those who taught people in Kenya should be flown to Zimbabwe so that they teach more people here.  If all women in Parliament are taught, they will go back and teach councillors, chairwomen – cascading down because I believe as women we will be doing ourselves a lot of good.  Our Constitution is very good and it supports us as women.  You do not want to teach just a few people because it says, ‘my people perish due to lack of knowledge’, so knowledge should not be just for a few people but for everyone.  You will find that it will be easy for women to open doors for us because they will see that women will be doing well.

          It is not only women who are supporting us but even the chiefs and the men are also supporting us because they also have daughters and sisters in their homes who they want to succeed.  So I think we should grab this opportunity and these few should take us through the lessons on what they learnt.

          Lastly, I also want to appreciate that these people brought certificates from Kenya.  That is a good reminder because each time they see the certificates they are reminders to conduct postmortems on themselves when they chair meetings or attend rallies that if I stand in front of people in tight clothes, people will not be concentrating on the meeting but will be looking at my body.  I am thankful for those certificates because I think they will serve as reminders to Hon. Members.  I thank you. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

          *HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  Mr. President, I got carried away by the debate.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. NCUBE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 23rd June, 2016.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU, seconded by HON. SEN. MARAVA, the Senate adjourned at Nine Minutes past Four o’clock p.m., until Tuesday, 12th July, 2016.

 

 

Senate Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 June 2016 Vol 25 No 60