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SENATE HANSARD 02 AUGUST 2017 VOL 26 NO 76

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 2nd August, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

REMINDER TO A CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I wish to remind the Hon. Senators that there will be a clean-up campaign for Harare Central Business District, tomorrow, Thursday, 3rd August, 2017 from 1000hrs to 1300 hours. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MATEBELELAND NORTH PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MATHEMA:  Madam President, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of Day on the Order Paper are disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Before I call the Clerk to read the Second Order of the Day, I wish to appeal to Hon. Senators who have not concluded their motions particularly the private Members’ ones, to conclude their motions by tomorrow, otherwise they will just fall away and that will not give them the credence that the motions deserve.  This is for private Members’ motions and not the Committee Reports because with Committee Reports, we hope Ministers will come and respond.  Besides, with Committee reports, when we do come back for the next session, they will be put back on the Order Paper but the others will not, they will just fall away.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE ON DEATH THREATS TO MEMBERS OF THE MDC-T PARTY

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Privileges Committee on Death Threats to Members of the MDC-T Party.

Question again proposed. 

*HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira and his Committee for bringing up this report.  We know we have had such experiences in the past and they have just gone by unnoticed but as for this one, we have felt it is necessary that this should be debated in this House.  Madam President, I always make my contributions in this House to say people of Zimbabwe are very few and there are times whereby we may be extinct if we are not careful.  We are very few.  Madam President, even the person who was sending the threats to Hon. Members is a Zimbabwean and was sending these threats to the people of Zimbabwe; yet, the people of Zimbabwe are not even ten million, for them to share the assets and of capital in Zimbabwe.  There is nothing as good as sharpening your knife so that you slaughter a chicken. Contrary to that, if one is to sharpen a knife so that they want to murder you or cut your throat, that is when you will see that really sharpening a knife is not a pleasure. Madam President, what happens at times is not very pleasant. Whenever somebody is sharpening a knife, there is that adrenalin  which gets into the chicken that it is going to be slaughtered for the visitors who will have come at home. Whoever is preparing for war against his people, this is very bad.

          In the last general elections, we had a hung Parliament which showed that there was no party which had a clear majority but they had to work as a hung Parliament and they managed to progress. Now, we happened to be in the minority but we were being bullied. How would you feel if you are being bullied because you win some of these games and you lose some? Are we forced to be docile because when we talk they say we are attacking corruption. Whoever this person who sent these messages should know that if you attack one, you have attacked us all because we are one in fighting this corruption. I am begging Senators in this august House, if any one of us has been attacked, please let us all raise our voices and protect that person. What more if we have more than 20 people who are being threatened with violence and extinction, I am begin to wonder what has happened to the people of Zimbabwe. We now have this demon which has surfaced in the country.

          When we remove the youths and children, you will notice that the only people who are at each other’s throats are only 4 million and when you compare this with Nigeria which has 40 million people, you will notice that they are living in peace. South Africa has 65 million people but again they are living peacefully. Hon. Senators, let us research and know these things which are really happening. Zimbabwe is a land of milk and honey - all we want is to leave in peace and harmony. Let us cast aside all those issues which bring division and animosity amongst the people of Zimbabwe.

          I really fail to understand anybody who has sleepless nights hurting somebody who belongs to the other side. You hurt somebody who belongs to ZANU PF but basically all these people are Zimbabweans whether you belong to that party or not, you belong to Zimbabwe. When you agree to let somebody put you into a fight against your fellow person, that means you are of low thinking. Your capacity is very low. As people of Zimbabwe, we need to perform to the best of our ability. We have you Madam President, you are calm and cool headed but you manage to control us. We are a very mature august House because of your guidance. We are level headed and we do not have those partisan fights. We are all one because we are fighting for the progress and development of Zimbabwe.

          Whosoever may want to go astray will be somebody who is a thicket who does not understand the teachings which you give us Madam President.  We need to operate as one. Whenever one Senator  passes on, whether you belong to ZANU PF or to MDC, we are united in that funeral and we support the bereaved. What really surprises me is that whenever a tiny issue erupts there is a misunderstanding. There are demons which have to be exorcised and I think let us behave as one. Let us remove these demons which are threatening to set us apart.  This demon is so disruptive that it attacks any one of us. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on this motion. Thank you Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira for the report and thank you Hon. Sen. Masuku for bringing such an essential motion in this House. Let me start by appreciating the Hon. Senators for debating this pertinent issue in this House. I am also grateful to you my fellow parliamentarians for debating this issue with cool heads. My wish is that, let us continue holding such debates in a mature manner.

          Let us unite and respect each other as leaders of this country regardless of our political affiliation. We need to view each other as one and have the progress of the country at heart so that we avoid the unnecessary fights. I am sure as Hon. Senators, if you can uphold such personalities and such cultures, the people who are causing these fights and misunderstandings will be ashamed and they may repent because they will see that we are cool headed. We are people of Zimbabwe who have been independent for such a long time and we should know that whenever we are holding such debates, we should not do them according to partisan lines but we should be together.

          We crafted the Constitution of Zimbabwe which is enshrining the democracy of Zimbabwe. The democracy that we uphold means that whenever people are in a country, they can belong to any political party and they can elect a leader whom they want because that is democracy. On the contrary, we have some people who are fighting against the Constitution and they fight this Constitution which was crafted by the people of Zimbabwe supported by the 3.2 million and assented to by His Excellency, the President and it is now a legal document.

          When we want to fulfill some of the requirements of this Constitution that we hold democratic elections in a free and fair atmosphere, there are some people who are really against that. When we talk about democracy, it means we have freedom of expression and we would be following the international trends where democracy and parliamentarians say people should be free to express their feelings. We know there are some people who are against this democracy. Whenever somebody is talking about what their feelings are and expressing themselves, they feel that there should be an offence. This is caused by some acts such as the disappearance of Itai Dzamara and the arson attack on Mumvuri Bar. This is done by people who cannot accept opposition.

          I am saying as the people of Zimbabwe if we want to nip this in the bud, the President of the country should take a number of days to hold discussions with people, advising them that he wants peace in the country.  The President does not believe in violence.  We believe that if His Excellency, can continue talking about peace in the country, definitely peace will prevail.  If this peace message can be handed over to officials such as the Commissioner of Police, whoever perpetrates violence will be arrested.  

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, you are making assumptions that what you are debating is not happening.  I do not think we can work like that.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Madam President, I am putting an emphasis so that we appreciate what was said by His Excellency when he addressed the youth rally in Lupane, talking of peace in the country.  I personally believe that the President is an influential person, whatever he says, people will listen.  The information on peace should be disseminated to all facets of the country, to all organisations in the country and we need to emphasise that.

          *HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: On a point of order! Madam President, I thought what we are debating in this House was a report which was introduced by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, and I thought it was a by-partisan Committee which had to put some recommendations which we are going to debate.  So, I think we should be supporting this Committee and I have got a feeling that some of my fellow members are now digressing from that report. 

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Hon. Sen. Chipanga.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Madam President, may I please debate on the President’s speech because he is also my President, who is an eloquent man, a peaceful man, yet we have got some rubble rousers who are going to misinterpret some of these speeches and go against the President’s Speech.  My intention is to expose these rubble rousers, these trouble makers, these gangsters and they are the same people who are disturbing peace in the country.  I definitely know that His Excellency, President R. G. Mugabe, will never send anybody to go and attack Komichi  but he is a well disciplined man who will seek for ways of getting good guidance to Hon. Komichi.  I appreciate the constructive debates which are being undertaken by people in this House who belong to both parties which are in this august House. 

          I am heaping praises on our police because they are hard working and intelligent.  Whenever you commit a crime, they will definitely carry out investigations and arrest you.  I am pleading with the police to definitely carry out thorough investigations and apprehend these demons who are causing havoc in the country.  I am sure, if they can arrest one or two, definitely, all this violence and misunderstanding will come to an end.  Even if it is Hon. Sen. Komichi who is involved in rubble rousing, he should be arrested and there will be peace in the.   What we want is for people to express themselves freely without fear of any reprisals or any attacks.

          Zimbabwe is a land of milk and honey.  Zimbabwe is a country of development and a lovely nation.   At times when we are holding some of these debates, we carry on with some criticism which maybe, at times are unnecessary, destructive criticism, instead of constructive criticism.

          I am hoping that in the next Session of our Parliament which is going to opened soon, there will not be any member who is going to receive some threats of violence from whosever because we will be living in peace.   We will still be having our peace Committee chaired by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira and Members of Parliament should be free to debate and make their contributions.  We have heard of a saying that, whenever you are in a situation, do not be afraid of being confronted by what is happening because of your position.  As leaders we should be shock absorbers of problems which could be happening.  We also know that the President is also aware that in Parliament he has some constructive and some demagogue members; he knows his people.   Therefore, we should make constructive contributions, proffer constructive criticism and be tolerance of divergent views, and nobody should be sending out threats so that they destroy progressive debate in the House.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Madam President.  I have stood up to thank the Committee for the report, especially the recommendations which were put forward.  I believe that if we follow them religiously, it would help us in the future.  We say that Zimbabwe is a very peaceful country.  If we argue, some people will not believe it but if we look at the report that was given, if we are saying Zimbabwe is a peaceful country, then we are not being truthful to ourselves.  Many times if you are using threatening words - that will end up in reality when people injure each other or some die.  There is a big lesson that we learn from the report, that these threatening words should be looked down upon by everyone. 

          As a Zimbabwean, now I am afraid that if someone is threatening other people and it is known that it has been said but we do not know who the perpetrator is, it is very frightening.  The report is saying that those who investigated could not pin-point the person who did it.  This means the person will still continue doing it.  What I do not know is that the recommendations that were given - are we able to catch the culprits?  If not, we are now preparing for elections, when people are being threatened, a lot happens.  If I am threatened, I will be afraid to express my views, even during the election time, I will not be at liberty to choose my candidate, because I would have been threatened.

          I think from the recommendations, we should not put aside this case but we should strive to bring the culprit to book.  I have heard the former Senator who talked about tolerance, in Zimbabwe if we have different views, it is now a problem because I have to threaten people so that they remain quiet.  I implore the Committee that came up with the report including the police and the Government, I think we should investigate further for the perpetrators to be apprehended.  Like what Hon. Sen. Komichi has said, our police force is very professional, if they want, they can bring the culprit to book. 

          So, we should not take this report lightly, if we do not take any action it will continue because these threats come as a result of wanting people not to be democratic.  If we put our heads together, we can bring the culprit to book.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA:  Thank you Madam President.  We want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira for the report of the investigations that were made in that report.  However, what we are saying is that these people should be brought to book because if people continue to be threatened, it would go ahead and end up with some people dying.  Reading from the newspapers, in Kenya someone received a death threat and within a few days the person was found dead with an arm missing.

We can appear as cry babies because it is the people from this side who received those threatening messages.  It is nice when it is happening to the other side but when it comes into your house then you know that it is painful.  We are pained because this happened to our children.  If our children are receiving death threats, it means we are not independent at all.  We should be independent in our movement and in our speech.

 I think the investigations should continue because this can happen to anyone.  It is very painful to hear that someone died or has disappeared.  We do not want to hear people crying that they also have received death threats.  All of us are afraid of death; the only person who was not afraid of death was Jesus, because he died for the people.  I am also afraid of death.  It does not end here because it has started and it is going to eliminate many people.  So I think this should be traced.  This is just in its infancy and it should be corrected before it grows.  We can act or say a lot of things – I know you cannot answer back but your body language is saying quite a lot.  It is very true, when it happens to you, you will know the gravity of the matter.  Let us just look at it as people because all of us were created in the image of God.  When God finished creating the people he said I have created man in my own image. 

A life was lost in Kenya because of these death threats.  Of course, it has not happened in Zimbabwe but it can end that way.  It means that person has craft, so we want to think that as you have debated, the culprits are now aware.  I think they should just end there because lives are very important.  Each and everyone’s life is very important.  It is only animals that can lose their lives any time because they are edible.  The blood of people is precious.  So, I think the way we value ourselves is the way we should value other people’s lives.  With these few words Madam President, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Madam President for this important time of the Senators who are supposed to give counsel to Parliament.  I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira for the work that he has done.  As the President of the Chiefs Council, it was all befitting that he should be involved, because this has something to do with Parliament. In Shona, the elders say, a thing that starts small, will destroy big things.  It is small when you look at it but you see a lot of people talking about it because this attacks the institution of Parliament, which we think is sacred when we look at it.

Parliamentarians want to hear that they are safe when they are here because of the Privileges and Immunities.  They should not be abused.  They should be given opportunity to say things that build Parliament.  We really want to thank the Chief for the work that they did which was full of wisdom, although they could not pin the culprits down.  All the service providers could not get the person, which means that this issue was not solved at all.  This is because the people who received the death threats do not know about their security. 

We want to say that as people in this House, we should be responsible and also that we are safe.  It can happen to anyone of us because this is not a political thing.  When we are here, we do not belong to a political party but we belong to the Government.  Therefore, I should enjoy my privileges in this House.  If I do not get them I will complain.  I am complete as I stand here and what I say should be listened to.  Where I come from, there are people whom I represent, so this is not a good thing.  It is not bad for the people who received the threats only but for all of us.  This is because when it comes to violence, we knew about violence but now we are past the war zone.  We should be building the nation.  We should not come here and be yes people only because it does not help anyone. 

We used to read a book in Shona which says “Ini ndini, iwe ndiwe” and that is the biggest philosophy of the time.  If we all become one person, it means you no longer exist.  So the expressions which say you should do what I am doing are not good.  We should engage in nation building so that we build one another.  Many times we can lie low but it does not mean that we do not see that you would have taken someone’s rights and it is a bad thing.  We should respect one another as elderly people so that we can give counsel to the young.  We know that there is moral decadence that when they are here in Parliament, they want to remain partisan but we want to depend on you as a builder.  Thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MABUGU:  Thank you Madam President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this report which was presented by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira.  This is really a sad report that there are people who are receiving death threats.  As the nation of Zimbabwe, we should speak freely and we say that our country is peaceful because when things are like this, we are tarnishing our country badly because if this is allowed, it means that it is good when it is happening to other people, but when it happens to you, it is bad. We can laugh when it is happening to someone and you forget that tomorrow you will be in those shoes as well. If this had happened to the powers that be, will the culprit not be brought to book? I think this should come to an end because if you say the person is not known, like us in the opposition, it means now we are living in fear because we will be thinking that maybe tomorrow it will be me. There is no freedom of speech as we say. If you contribute constructively, tomorrow you will receive threats. It is very frightening.

In this House, I think we should only look at the good things and thinking that probably it might be me tomorrow. Let us not step on each other’s feet. This should be investigated thoroughly and fairly and not using nepotism. I think we should do justice to everyone because we are all Zimbabweans and we also want to be treated the same. How can we say we have freedom because everyone is free to choose who they want? You cannot force people to buy clothes that they do not want. If people are being forced to do what they do not want, it means that there is no freedom at all. If we want to be truthful, all of us are afraid. So, bad things should be talked as they are. With these few words, I want to thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President. I want to take this opportunity to add a few words. I do not want to dwell much on this issue because I can digress and this will affect this good report. Listening to the words that were said by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, I think there were recommendations that were given. If we heard about the recommendations, I do not think they said the issue ended there. They said on the investigations that they did, nothing was found, but their investigations are continuing to bring the culprits to book. What I want to remind some of my Hon. Senators is that we should be mindful of our contributions because these issues, we were once involved in handling them. It might be an in-house thing. – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.]- 

An Hon. Member having risen on a point of order.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, Wait until I finish what I want to say. If you remember I have reprimanded this one when he was insinuating and was looking at those Hon. Members. We should not think otherwise. This issue was raised by the chief and so, the chief does not belong to ZANU PF or to MDC. – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.]-

Order please! He leads Zimbabweans. So, as we debate this issue which was raised by the chief, let us not blame each other. Let us analyse the issue as it is before us. We do not want to provoke each other and we cannot actually pick on each other. We have to address the issue. When I was reprimanding those Hon. Senators, I was not infringing on anyone’s rights, but we want to help each other so that we balance what is happening, so that when the chief is concluding the issue, at least we would have given him our side of the story.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President. It is only that people started interjecting. Now let us speak as elders. We should bring counsel and try to build as Hon. Sen. Marava and Hon. Sen. Makore has alluded to because we are a House of mature people. Peace has been there for long since 1980. We were talking about peace and democracy. That is why we are here and debating as we are doing. We want the culprits to be brought to book because in the report, we heard that they investigated thoroughly that the way the messages came through was that they were brought through computers. This is the work of the enemy who wants to disturbilise us. So, we support that this issue should be investigated thoroughly. Thank you Madam President.

+HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity. I wish to add my voice to this report that was brought before this House on the issue of intimidation of MDC-T Members of Parliament. We heard the report that was brought by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira. I would like to thank all those who have debated before me. I will not repeat what has already been said. What I would like to add is that personally, I am not satisfied with the findings that came out on this issue. I am not satisfied with the fact that these people who were making these threats cannot be found. This country and the technology that we have and also the police can investigate such cases, I do not think it is possible that they can fail to find who those people are.  What I would like to say in short, is that, it is not the first time and it is not only MDC-T Members who are being intimidated.  People might think that because today it is the MDC-T which has been threatened, but it can happen that next time it will be them. 

I read in the newspaper that Hon. Minister Makhosini was once threatened.  There was an envelope that had a bullet in it, he is not an MDC-T Member of Parliament but he is from ZANU PF, but he is a Member of Parliament and representing people.  Madam President, last week, a Member of Parliament from ZANU PF from the National Assembly, Hon. Mudambo was assaulted by the police, he was beaten severely.  They only stopped after he had told them that he was a Member of Parliament and they said that that was what they wanted.  When they beat him up, they thought it was Hon. Saruwaka from MDC-T.  Madam Predident, what I am saying is something that happened last week.  All this is bad and this is what we are trying to rectify here.  If something is bad, it is bad and it has to be investigated thoroughly so that we know who those people are who are threatening others because next time they see you, they will mistake you for me and assault you thinking that it is me. 

What I mean is that, I do not think the whole country can fail to find the contact numbers of those people who are threatening others.  I do not think that it is possible.  Proper investigations have to be made.  Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, I am not happy with this issue.  This is not something that can just go by just like that in this country Zimbabwe?  No, that is not possible.  That can never happen here.  I do not want to say that it is a lie, I am saying that if people were to really go out and look for those people, they will find them before end of the day.  I do not think that people can do such an act on the phone or internet and we fail to find them, I do not think it is possible.

Someone threatened someone using a private number.  He went to Telecel, he did not go to the police, but this is a very serious issue.  Here we are talking about a Member of Parliament.  If we say that the issue was taken to Telecel, Econet and other places and all those law abiding citizens, but they found out who the owner of that private number was and the person was found.  If we were to take your phone and say that someone has been threatening you, they will investigate and find him.  Let us investigate further.  I do not think they are prepared at the moment to really dig deep because here in Zimbabwe if they really want to investigate, they will find the culprit. 

Madam President, long back before independence, we used to say that when we get our independence, we will live like proper Zimbabweans, real Africans.  However, that is not it, people have different tastes.  Hon. Sen. Makore said out who he is but if you think you want to be someone else, then you have a problem.  What I am saying is that we as MDC Members, the good thing is that we chat and have good relations with people from ZANU PF.  However, in the past, there used to be tension between the two parties, people would be quarelling.  When we went to COPAC, there was tension but with time, we ended up getting used to each other.  As it is, if I see my neighbour’s child being assaulted, I cannot just leave him, but I intervene to stop that.  That is what we are saying here.  It is not good for others not to be happy, this is our country as well.  Anything can happen, tomorrow it can be us who are governing this country.  I remember that even Smith used to say ‘never’ in his life time, would Africans rule this country, but now Zimbabweans are ruling themselves.  Blacks are running this country.  Let us not treat others like animals or say others are better off than others.  With those few words Madam President, I thank you.

HON. SEN. NYATHI: Thank you Hon. President for affording me this opportunity.  I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira for bringing in such an important issue.  Madam President, what I would like to say is that Zimbabwe is known as a Christian country first and foremost.  Threatening someone with death because of their choice, I do not think it is something good because each one is free to choose what he/she wants.  You cannot choose something for someone and anyone can choose and follow whatever they want and it is not an offence.  No one should try and find out why you have chosen that. 

Madam President, I will give an example; here in Zimbabwe, there are some people who get into polygamy marriages or some children who do not have both parents but if something goes missing, you do not chastise someone who does not have a mother present, we chastise because that child’s mother passed away.  We are here as leaders and we must lead by example. 

There are times when we enjoy harmonious relationships but when it comes to election time, this mood just gets into people and the mood just changes but this should not be the case.  People should be left to choose whatever they want to choose and we should let them stand by what they choose.  We should not critise and we should not ask questions why they have opposed what someone else chose because we cannot all choose the same thing.  People should not be made to follow what others have chosen because they are afraid to be threatened.  Even if you have five or so children, one child can go to a Pentecostal church, one can go to Methodist and the other one can go to the other church.  You cannot deny that child’s right or choice to go to whatever church.  You cannot say that you are no longer my child because you are now going to a Pentecostal church.

          Madam President, I am saying here in this august House, we are talking as leaders.  We talk as if we do the right things and at times we forget that we are not just leaders in this House but we are leaders out there.  We should show the people out there that what we say here is what we practice so that people and children will listen to us because that is not done by young children.  What I do not understand is that we have also spoken about experts here in Zimbabwe and I do not think that when those MDC people were threatened, I find it difficult to say that they cannot trace who did that because we do have qualified experts.  Madam President, my request is that as Government, we should accept that this is happening and let us not say it is alright if it is happening to others and when it is happening to you, you now want everyone’s help because things can change and it can happen to anyone.

          Madam President, it is really painful because we all have children.  It is bad that people are threatened in that manner because when they say that these people cannot be found, it will lead to some more people disappearing and we cannot continue saying that it is not true, that is a lie and there is nothing like that.  Or, if we continue saying that those people cannot be found because the culprits are actually hearing that, but we have been talking a lot in this House and nothing has happened.  It should be made clear that if that person is caught, he or she should be punished severely. 

The Government should look into this because they are saying that they are still investigating the issue further  We want them to investigate thoroughly because we want to hear that those people who are threatening others have been caught because some people no longer feel free and they are no longer able to do what they want to do freely. This is our country and we are all Zimbabweans – I should not be made to feel frightened.  We should all be free because we all fought for this country – Zimbabwe.  With those few words, I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIPANGA:  Thank you Madam President.  Madam President, I want to thank the work that was done by the Committee led by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira.  I understand that this Committee was not for Hon. Sen. Chief  Charumbira only, but all the parties were represented, which means that it as a bipartisan Committee.  I want to thank them for the good work that they did.  Yes, time has passed but the results that we are getting is that they did a thorough investigation with the aim of bringing the report to this House.  They have come in and have showed us how far they have gone, how they deliberated and engaged POTRAZ and the service providers, they failed to find the origination but they did not end there. 

They say that as a Committee, a law which deals with cybercrime should be enacted.  They said that by September, a law should be in place, which means that as they were doing their investigations, they found that, that is where the gaps were.

They also went further and they said that they have given a deadline to the Commissioner of Police that certain things should be in place.  This is only done by a Committee which is dedicated.  They did not retract and said that we could not find anything but they went further.  What I am hearing from this House Madam President, is showing me that the report which was given by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira – we did not get it.  I do not want to belittle anyone but it shows that we did not understand the report because if we have understood it, we could be looking at the way forward.  If there are any plans that we would want to give, we should be giving them, that as a Committee, we should go this way but as I see it now, it looks like for some people, it is now an opportunity to provoke others that they are illiterate.  It is like they are meandering but if they are saying if the President is like this, it means that the President is not interested and that is why he is continuing to happen.

          This issue has not been closed yet we do not know who did it.  There is someone who wanted to say something and said that you will be provoking others because it looks like it will provoke others but MDC is not only one – now there are so many parties.  So now, we do not know.   I think that this report should be printed in Shona and Ndebele so that we understand it because if people do not understand and they are equating a faction in a party to a political party, it means the degree of misunderstanding is huge. MDC-T and MDC are not factions, these are political parties. So, equating factions to political parties shows the level of misunderstanding. Let me go further and say that we do not know the origination of these threats until the culprit is brought to book. As it is, we cannot point fingers at each other in this House until we know the culprit.

          People seem to be using innuendos and that is what I hear like what people are saying. We do not want to hide behind the finger but if someone is saying that if you sharpen your knife in order to slaughter a chicken – then it would need a Shona person to really understand the import of the message.

          *HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Madam President, when the report was given, it was said that the messages were saying during the Official Opening of Parliament when the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe who is Robert Gabriel Mugabe comes into the House, we do not want to hear you heckling the President. But then it seems in your contributions, you continue hammering at political parties like MDC-N and MDC. We know that these MDC formations are led by people like Prof Ncube and Mr. Biti respectively. You seem to be targeting a wrong organisation. Madam President, we seek your protection because we are not joking but we are talking about people’s lives.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: You are worsening the situation. We have been debating in harmony but now you are spoiling the whole debate. Let us not do that. Let us not go there. He is quoting Hon. Sen. Marava about the chicken and whatever. Hon. Sen. Marava did say that. It is not like he is creating it but he is responding. You may continue Hon. Sen. Chipanga.

          *HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: You have heard that the political party which is being castigated is said to be ZANU PF and yet I would have thought that once this report has been brought into this august House, we have to debate like people who are mature. We are now accusing ZANU PF as people who sent out these threatening messages. Whosoever is making any contribution and belongs to ZANU PF should be defending the position which has been taken in this august House. The real point is that we should encourage this bi-partisan committee to keep on investigating and look for this culprit who sent out these threatening messages.

          What I am sure of is that our police force is so intelligent and committed that given enough resources they can really apprehend that culprit. The sentiments being echoed in this House are saying the police are not investigating thoroughly because they are partisan and belong to ZANU PF. The report indicated that police and investigation officers were given up to October to give a feedback on their findings in the investigations.

We have heard some Senators who have said if a problem or bereavement does not concern you, you seem not to be bothered at all. According to our culture, if your neighbour is bereaved you go to the wake of that funeral because we know that today you may be in problems but tomorrow it will be your neighbour. Hence you need to support each other especially when you talk of bereavement; nobody is immune from death. The innuendos being echoed in this House are that we have a political party which is supporting these threatening messages. We have people who are saying we were elected by the people to come and represent them and yet we are saying in this august House, nobody should be threatened. We are mature people.

          Instead of indulging in personal and political party attacks, let us put our heads together, investigate and research on the source of these threatening messages. It is not just a supposition because as far as politics is concerned, it is a game. Today you could be in the ruling party but tomorrow you will be in the opposition or vice versa. When we have this case we should not be threatening saying to people, okay you have attacked me today because I am in the opposition and when I come into power next time, I am going to fix you; I am going to revenge. This means that whosoever will be in power is going to cling to power at all cost so that nobody comes in.

          When we come to the British they talk of Her Majesty Opposition and then there is Her Majesty Government. What this means is that the Queen is the crown ruler and whosoever is governing belongs to the Queen and the opposition is in the Queen. What we are practicing here as an august House is not proper politics. Let us not keep a grudge and say tomorrow when I rise to power I am going to fix you for what you are doing today.

          We have heard some people who are saying South Africa is a peaceful country but I will tell you that you have never been to South Africa. If you have been to that country there are always uprisings, stone throwing, toy-toying in the streets and therefore, we need to protect our democracy and independence. We have some people who by nature are rubble rousers and they will use any occasion to create fiction amongst the people of Zimbabwe.

          From my observation and intelligence, people should have been united by the threats sent by these persons because we are all Members of Parliament and we can be subjected to that. We should investigate and see why these messages cannot be traced. We should now be looking at a way of investigating such cyber crimes because as far as I am concerned, nobody can send a message which is not known by the service provider. We also know that we have POTRAZ whereby whosoever wants to use some of these communication gadgets has to register with it. As Members of Parliament, we should be looking for ways of hunting and correcting these anomalies so that we can track down the cyber space crime but our colleagues here are playing a blame game.  Madam President, I am not going to contest what is being said by the heckler because he said, you are the people who are going to open Parliament, and therefore you are responsible for rubble rousing and these messages.

          In conclusion, if we were really willing, we should be talking in unison that we are not satisfied by the progress or lack of it by the Committee led by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, because we seem to be blaming it.  As an individual, I am satisfied by the performance done by this Committee, I have been a Member of the Committee and there is nothing as difficult as being sent on a wild goose chase, you are supposed to go on a blind search and be able to come out with the findings. So, this is going to be progress. 

          We could have waited and said let us wait for this Committee to bring a report which will show the progress they have made. The Committee would tell us on the communication they have had with the police, the investigative officers and service providers, then they would say we have not done anything.  In that case, we will be saying Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira; your Committee is not worth its salt.  If we are saying we are not very much content by the findings of this Committee – what are we saying? As a result, we know that this Committee is being led by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira who is a Chief and not a Member of a political party.

 This Committee is made up of people from different political parties, it is a Committee which was appointed long back and it is a Committee worth its salt.  When they have done some investigations and they bring a report that we still have to go further with investigations, definitely, a thorough job has been done.  We are now criticizing our fellow members because we are now towards the elections in 2018 and we want to use this as a reason that if we lose, we will definitely say it was because of the calibre of members.  Thank you.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: I would like to thank you very much for affording me this opportunity to also add my voice to this motion that was brought by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira.  Madam President, I would like to request that as elderly people in the Senate, we should all agree with each other.  I would like all of to agree. This motion should not wait for a blow because there are a lot of intelligent people here in this country.  We should not stand up here and say people who have done this and that cannot be found, they are not known.  This country is full of intelligent people.  You can go all over the world; they will tell you that Zimbabwe is full of intelligent people. 

Let this not be the issue of the fact that the person who is leading this investigation, is someone who belongs to the group of people who are perpetrating this.  It would be like you are looking for someone who is with you there.  How can you say that you are looking for something with all this technology? It is possible that here in Zimbabwe people can kill someone and someone can say that the people cannot be found who have murdered someone, yet that person is known.  However, if it is someone from next door who has murdered someone, he is quickly arrested – that is what is happening here in Zimbabwe.

          This Committee is said to have been led by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, I do not think that I can really believe that because I know Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira can take a side…

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: On a point of order! I think you are now debating a point of ignorance.  This Committee was set up by the Standing Rules and Orders Committee which is composed of all the political parties. Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa sits and she is a Member of that Committee.  So, when it came to the point that who should chair this Committee, MDC itself proposed that we need a neutral person, Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira.  So, to have an Hon. Senator debating that - that is not correct, and then you are actually saying those in the Standing Rules who belong to your party are useless!  Thank you.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: You interjected too quickly.  I am not blaming him but what was said by the previous speaker.  I am not blaming the Chairmanship of Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, but what was said by the last speaker that Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira is a neutral.  I said, no, Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira is not neutral and then you interjected.  My apologies Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, I was not saying that you are wrong, I was responding to what the last speaker said.  That was a point of order to Hon. Sen. Chipanga who said Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira was neutral.  I am saying Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira was elected by the Committee.  I wanted to ask and say how can you say that? Yesterday, I saw Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira voting yet he is a Chief….

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Fortunately, I am following your Ndebele very well.  I was not elected by the Committee to be Chair.  I was appointed unanimously by the Standing Rules, there is a big difference there.  It is not the Committee that said Chief chairs, it is the Standing Rules itself which appointed the Committee and with the concurrence of everybody.  Thank you

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: That Committee is comprised of both Houses, the Lower House and the Upper House.

          HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: Point taken,  they can go if they want to because they are showing which side they are.  They can show it in full and we do not care about it; we saw it. 

Mr. President, what I would like to request is that let us not belittle this country because the news will go far.  Zimbabwe is a country full of intelligent people.  The whole of Africa cannot match the intelligence here in Zimbabwe.  If today, a naughty boy were to place it on social media that he wants to kill the President, let us see if people who are making those investigations will fail or if the people who are working for the President will say that they cannot find the person who would have posted that.  This is what I am saying that the President cannot …

*HON. SEN. CHIPANGA:  On a point of order Mr. President.  Mr. President, the police have not yet been involved in this issue.  The Committee led by Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira handed over this case to the police who have said by the end of October, they will give the results.

+HON. A. SIBANDA:  Hon. President, maybe he did not understand what I said in Ndebele.  I am saying it is like belittling the President of a country if someone threatens someone’s life.  If someone is given a job and those are the people that we rely on for information; I am not blaming the committee, Telecel or whatever, but if they say they do not know, then I am saying that is not true Mr. President.  If you are given a job by the President of a nation and you say you do not know, how can the President rely on such people for the security of the country?

Media is important because some people can come using cyber space and if they say they cannot trace, I am saying that is undermining the President of the nation.  They must stand up first and scrutinize the matter properly so that if they come up with a report – a report that is taken to the President of a country should be a very important report.  That is undermining the President if you say you do not know.  No, that is not possible, so they should answer questions.  We cannot wait for the Bill.

We want people to be protected - even Members of Parliament, Chiefs and everyone.  They should be protected if such things are happening.  I am not insulting the leadership of the Committee.  Those who were assigned the duty should do their work properly and should respect the President so that we are not attacked.  They can actually come and attack this country and take over the country.  We want information to be clear.  They should really work hard, not to give us a report to present.  That report from the Senate is going to be taken to the President.  So, what should we do?  Are we saying that we should just sit back?  We should all agree that people should work properly.  Mr. President, we do not want people who do not work.  We want people who work because this is our life.  We want them to work, not to come and give us reports that will backfire in future and make the President suspicious.  That is not possible.

My young boys at home can use the computer and here we are talking about professional people.  They should not think that we are stupid.  We want them to do their work properly so that Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira should produce a proper report.  It does not matter who is being naughty here.  We should not look at whose child is being naughty.

We are all under President Robert Mugabe and we would like the President or even the Vice Presidents to be above politics.  They should look at everyone and treat everyone the same.  I should know that I am protected under the Government.  Even if my children are out of the country, I should know that they are protected by the Government.  We should not belittle or undermine each other.  That is why people are saying maybe those people are known.  If those people are neutral, they should tell us who those culprits are.  They should also tell us who sent Hon. Makhosini a bullet at the hotel.  Everything should be out in the open.  We want discipline.  The President knows about discipline.  He disciplines those who are not doing the right thing, he should discipline them.  We must live in a free country where I can speak freely.  No one should follow me outside there and ask me what I have been saying inside here. 

When I say I was debating, I do not want to be told to be careful because this is what happened last week.  Mr. President, I told you.  So, that is why I am saying we want to be free.  People should be free to talk.  We do not want people who are not respectful.  If a leader is chosen, he should be respected and supported so that we can live happily in our country.  We want development and progress in our country.  There should be freedom of speech and discipline, not and for people to be insulted by professional institutions. 

My request is that we should agree here that this is not what we were expecting in this motion.  We should not accept it.  Before the Bill, this should be investigated further.  The President will bring a Bill before Parliament.  We do not want to hear that there are people who are still receiving death threats.  People should not be threatened with death.  Death is a natural thing that should happen because God wants it to happen.  Thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 3rd August, 2017.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE

MISPLACED CAR KEYS

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA):  Hon. Sen. Mumvuri misplaced his car keys yesterday and he is looking for those keys.  If anyone took them by mistake, please he is frantically looking for them. He does not know where his car keys are and so he is immobile.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON PEACE AND SECURITY ON THE PREPAREDNESS OF THE GRAIN MARKETING BOARD TO HANDLING THE 2016/2017 CROP DELIVERIES AND THE SUCCESS OF THE COMMAND AGRICULTURE PROGRAMME

Third order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the preparedness of the Grain Marketing Board to handling the 2016/2017 Crop Deliveries and the Success of the Command Agriculture Programme.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd August, 2017.

MOTION

REALIGNMENT OF LEGISLATION TO THE CONSTITUTION

          Fourth order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the slow pace of the realignment of legislation to the Constitution.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd August, 2017.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU, seconded by HON. SEN. MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at Thirteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 02 AUGUST 2017 VOL 26 NO 76