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SENATE HANSARD 02 MARCH 2016 VOL 25 NO 30

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that I have received the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill [H.B. 12, 2015] from the National Assembly.

SECOND READING

GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B 2A, 2015]

          First Order read: Adjourned debate on the Second Reading of the General Laws Amendment Bill [H.B. 2A, 2015].

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SENATOR MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity. I would like to thank the Vice President, the Honourable Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for bringing this Bill to the House for debate. Noting that the Constitution of Zimbabwe gives a lot of rights to persons with disabilities, I think it is necessary that this General Laws Amendment Bill be used to fill the gap left in the Constitution in Section 332 on definition of terms. Under those definitions, there is no definition of disability or a disabled person.

          If the Honourable Minister could take along the Disabled Persons’ Act of 1992 and align it together with other laws that are being covered by the General Laws Amendment Bill, this issue will be solved. I think the Disabled Persons’ Act Chapter 17:01:1992 should also be part of those many laws which are being aligned under the General Laws Amendment Bill for the sake of having a definition of disability or disabled person in the Constitution. I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND WEST PROVINCE (HON. CHIDARIKIRE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March, 2016.

SECOND READING

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE AMENDMENT BILL, 2015 [H.B. 2B, 2015]

Second order read: Adjourned debate on the Second Reading of the

Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill (H.B. 2B, 2015)

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND WEST

PROVINCE (HON. SENATOR CHIDARIKIRE): Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3nd March, 2016.

          MOTION

REHABILITATION OF WAR SHRINES AND RECOGNITION OF DEPARTED WAR LIBERATORS

Third order read: Adjourned debate on debate on motion calling for rehabilitation and maintenance of War Shrines.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SENATOR CHIEF CHISUNGA: Thank you Madam President for affording me the opportunity to speak on this motion that was raised by Hon. Senator Mohadi. I would want to thank her because it is important to remember our heroes who made it possible for us to be in this august House and be able to debate in the manner in which we are doing. I would want to believe all of us are aware that it was not easy. It took the sacrifice of these gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe to prosecute the liberation war. If we can remember our deceased relatives and friends by erecting tombstones, by the same token, we should do that for our fallen heroes. In remembrance, we should also not forget the freedom camps where they congregated and some of them were massacred.

I come from an area near Zambia; we go to Kavalamanja for yearly celebrations. Kavalamanja now appears to be a desolate and disguised place of no importance. It does not auger well and not even portray that there lays the remains of gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who lost their lives in prosecuting the war of liberation.

Government should prioritise the issue of the maintenance of national shrines in various areas. They should be spruced up once every year. There should be ceremonies to recognize these heroes. The world over, there is that practice; some even have monuments in remembrance of the heroes. Way back to the early stages of the wars that were waged using horses and spears, some of these areas have now become tourists’ attraction zones or areas. When we compile the National Budget, we should also put aside funds for the rehabilitation of these shrines. We are now free and enjoy this freedom and all the sophisticated things that we are now doing that came about as a result of them sacrificing their lives. They are lying in these areas and could not be re-buried in their home areas. Some of them died painful deaths in Nyadzonia and Chimoio. Government should take steps to set aside funds for these shrines for renovations and maintenance. If possible, they should employ people to look after these cemeteries as is the case with our local cemeteries where caretakers spruce up the areas through weeding and ensuring that the places are in a sound shape. If we were to do this, it would show that as Zimbabweans, we respect our gallant fighters by so doing. I will end my speech.    

          HON. SENATOR MAKONE: I would like to thank Senator Mohadi for bringing this motion to the House which is very important to the people of Zimbabwe. Madam President, when I was core-Minister of Home Affairs, I had the privilege of visiting Freedom Camp Nyampundwe and Kavalamanja in Zambia. I have never felt so emotional like I did on this trip, not because it reminded me of the supreme price that was paid by the fallen heroes for us to achieve independence, but by the neglect that we as a people have shown to the fallen heroes. I was particularly disturbed at Freedom Camp where there is a beautiful monument that was put up by the Government of Zimbabwe but where so many people had the same surname. I tried to find out why this was so. I was told that those were all pseudo names. Fortunately, for me there was an ex-liberation war fighter there and I tried to find out from him whether there was no record of names. He assured me that the actual record of names and registers had been handed over to the Zimbabwean Government and the names were known. He could not understand why pseudo names were being used. I think when these things are handed over to technical staff, some of them are probably too young to even understand or bother. I think, we as supervisors of Government and Ministers, including the Presidium, we have a duty to ensure that things are done properly and that things are corrected. You can imagine those who know where their children fell, when they visit those places and they do not see the names of their beloved ones. They only see these pseudonyms which they probably do not know, what name the person was using, how they feel inside.

          In my opinion, there is no good excuse for not having decent monuments because there are a lot of things that we do with money in this country that are not as significant as erecting those shrines. In any case, who says it must be done in a year and not in stages? We have been independent for the past 36years for goodness sake, why do we not set aside even US$1000.00 annually for that exercise? – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, Hear] – By now we would have gone a long way in addressing this matter, there is no excuse.

What I see are people with very short memories of where they came from and where they are going. People who only use their liberation history and credentials when it suites them but do not have a firm belief in what they are doing. This is a collective blame and not a blame for any one party because those that have the conscience should also play their role in continuing to hammer this thing and re-conscientising as Hon. Sen. Mohadi has done. At the end of this debate I would like to see a situation where we come up with an agreement on how this should be done, recommendations, and then a follow-up to ascertain what has been done.

In this country, there are so many other places where Zimbabweans perished in large numbers. You will remember a few years ago, I think it was mid 2012, when a burial shaft was discovered in Mt. Darwin with lots of skeletons of people that had been dumped in the mine. It made news for a few days, artists were asked to come up with drawings of a monument to be put up and all that. As the then Minister of Home Affairs, I remember signing off on that piece of work that should have started and that was the end of it. It was never mentioned again and I would like to bet my bottom dollar that nothing has been done or will ever be done about it.

What kind of a nation are we that we do not remember our freedom fighters? – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, Hear] - If you look at European histories that are not as emotional and tragic as ours, everything is fully captured. They have got drawings, artists impressions, photographs and history books that people specialise in a particular aspect of their history. What have we done? What have we put in the education curricular of our children from the age of seven to the time when they leave universities? I am very disappointed with ourselves, myself included, because I was around at that time, played a part and left things as they are. So, I am equally to blame, lest anyone thinks that I am targeting anybody. I am saying this is a wakeup call – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, Hear] – for all of us, we have to do something.

Let us not have this history of marginalization where certain people are picked up and keep talking ad nauseam about them and their achievements. Let every person who is known be written about, where they came from, what they did, where they died, even if they sold out somewhere along the line, let it all be written down. We need a complete and accurate record of ourselves as people because we are passing on, and our children’s children will need these records of history.

This is seen when you interact with the youths of this country. They live in a world of their own as they have no clue of what happened. When they hear us talking about these things, they just look at us and think so what? We have never inculcated that sense of pride of who we are as a people and how we are here today. We have prioritised other things in front of national interest. Party political interests are more important than national interests, we need everyone who was involved, regardless of their political affiliation to come to the fore and tell their story and let everything be captured.   When we do that that is when we will respect the so called shrines because that is when they will make sense to all the people of Zimbabwe who were not there during that time.

I hope and pray that we will not just be debating here in order to show our prowess in debate and leave it there but will actually do something. I thank you. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, Hear] –

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Madam President for the opportunity to contribute to this motion that was moved by Hon. Sen. Mohadi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Masuku.

I would like to thank the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who participated in the liberation struggle of this country. As I debate, I am lucky to have been missed by several bullets because some of the people who participated in the liberation struggle did not live to tell the story. Therefore, we should remember and maintain these shrines where our relatives are buried.

Some of these things are as a result of our background in order for us to be where we are. If we do not maintain our own village shrines, how then can we be able to do the same for the gallant sons and daughters who perished for our liberation? When they participated in the struggle, it was with the belief that they would return home. So, they did not vandalise things because they were expecting to return home. Right now we are enjoying the peace and tranquility of their struggles.

I am distressed because it is necessary that we pool our ideas with love for even though we do not have resources, it will appear as if we are hard hearted. For example, in South Africa, when Cde. Mandela assumed leadership, he requested all employers and employees to work for an hour and the South Africans heeded that call. The money that was realised from that exercise was used to buy Cde. Mandela’s’ first car. I propose that some farms be designated to raise funds that can be channeled towards erecting and maintaining those shrines.

I remember reading in the newspapers when former Zambian President Kaunda stated that his country was bombed so that Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe attain their independence. But of those countries, none realised that Zambia played an important role. We should sit down and acknowledge that and realise that if we come back here at home where we burry our relatives, you start from that very day that people are being buried. We converge in our numbers but after a year no one goes back there to check on those shrines. You find that some of the graves have no one who attends to them, hence when someone is bestowed with the hero status, they would prefer not to be buried there but at their home area. That is because the graves are not maintained properly.

          In conclusion, I would like to say that here in Zimbabwe we should unite as said by Hon. Makone and put our national interest first in maintaining these shrines. When tourists come to Zimbabwe, when they visit Victoria Falls, they go and see the statue of David Livingstone. I thank you Madam President. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-  

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Hon. Machingaifa.

          +HON. SEN. J. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam President, for the time that you have given me to contribute to this motion brought by Hon. Mohadi. When she moved this motion she actually affected me because when you look at some of these shrines where our heroes are today; they are a sorry site. We are proud that we are 35 years enjoying our independence, while those who made that a reality, our gallant sons and daughters who are not enjoying independence, their spirits are not settled at all. Parents of these children would to visit the shrines where their gallant sons and daughters are resting. The names that are obtaining at the shrines are not their original names that were given to them by their parents.

          When we went to Freedom Camp with Hon. Mohadi, I was surprised that most of them were the Ndlovu’s. People gave each other pseudo names and I also had pseudo-name so no one could identify me at that shrine. Hon. Makone said there should be a record. A proper record is available because when you were entering the training camp, you would register your name, chief, village head and your father’s name hence the proper record is there. You can easily identify that such a person from such a place did not come back home and he died during the war. We should pull our ideas together so as to help the Government put together a proper record. Our children will not know proper history because they will ask why did that one remain in Mozambique.

          People went to these training camps when they were young. Some died there and some parents do not have any children back home. Now they are grandparents and destitute and there is no record to show that even if they try to approach the Social Welfare claiming that their children died during the war the grandparent will simply be told there is no record to prove that. Many grandparents are destitute because they did not benefit from the sacrifice and death of their children. We are proud to be free people. We are now able to talk of the issues which we are talking about because of the blood of our gallant sons and daughters. It is easy for us now to talk as I am doing because of the freedom we enjoy here in Zimbabwe.

          Let us maintain these shrines. Even if the people are dead, they still belong to us. Let us have a proper record so that we give ourselves time Madam President as a country to once a year to visit some of these shrines. You cannot even find a path to some of these shrines. Even the fences around these shrines are no-longer there and some of the fences were removed or vandalized. If we put a dura wall no one can vandalise it Madam President. I feel pain when I am contributing to this debate. Let us approach our traditional leaders we have some of our brothers who are known to have perished in a particular area in Zimbabwe. People know where these gallant sons are buried and we have the Heroes Acres where these gallant sons could be buried. Whatever status they could be conferred with that will be alright with us. I thank you Madam President. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We thank you Hon. Sen. Ndlovu

          *HON. SEN. GOTO: Thank you Madam President. First and foremost, I would like to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Sen. Mohadi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Masuku. Yes this is quite a painful motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Mohadi. At some point, we wanted to say it but we did not have the guts. Thank you Hon. Sen. Mohadi. Yes all of us here, for all of us to be here it is because of the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe. We always stood up to make contributions so as to make a contribution. We have been to these shrines and things are not well. When we shout at each other here it is not good at all. We are a people because of those gallant sons and daughters. If these gallant sons and daughters were not there, we will not be here.

          For instance, at Chimoio, we should always remember these gallant sons and daughters. When we saw the place at Chimoio we were touched and you will see that there is this Heroes Acre here. If you see the size of graves as big as this Senate Chamber with a lot of people in it, about seven hundred; whatever that is what we were told. I was touched by that. We have relatives who are there; some parents saw the names of their children and they were consoled. We should go back and maintain those shrines. Those shrines were put quite well but there is need for continuous maintenance.

          As Anglican Church, in November we go to maintain the graves. What about the shrines? We request therefore that there be some workers seconded to work there. There were a few workers at the shrine. They do not have proper housing and the security is not proper. We would want our Government to put strong security at such shrines, just like at our National Heroes Acre. Funds should be allocated to maintain roads that lead to the shrines. It was difficult to assess the shrines when we went there. We later approached the authorities and some grading was done.

          Let us unite. We should not hate each other. It is these gallant sons who caused us to be independent today. When we realise that we are independent, we should unite and respect the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe. I do not think we would be what we are today, had it not been for the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe. They could have wanted to be married but they were there and died. How do you feel about their parents? This is why I stood to make this contribution because I also went to these shrines.

          When we visit these shrines, we will actually respect them. Let us encourage our Government to do something about it. Let us budget for these things. The shrines should be maintained yearly. Every year we go to our national shrine; even our provincial shrines, we attend to them and they are fenced. I thank you Madam President.

          +HON. SEN. BHEBE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this motion, which was moved by Hon. Sen. Mohadi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Masuku. The motion is quite pertinent and good. It makes us realise that we are true Zimbabweans. When we talk of Zimbabwe, we talk of an issue on gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who liberated this country. We thank you Hon. Mohadi for making us remember that we were liberated by gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who died to liberate our country.

          I will say a few things because quite a number of Hon. Senators have debated on this matter. We all know the work that was done by our liberators. When they left to fight for the country, we were here. The way we lived under the system then was not good and satisfactory to anyone of us. That caused some of our elders to sit down and people started to move and fight for the country because the oppression of the system was visible and tangible.

Even though we could buy bread for small amounts of money, we had problems. As such, the country was fought for. We are liberated and now we are independent. What we should do is to realise and remember the works of the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who liberated the country. They died and they are all over wherever they are but no one is giving them the necessary respect. What we want is that we should have shrines where their names should be placed and the shrines should be maintained well.

You would find that liberators may be re-buried at another place. If possible, we should prepare to re-burry them. A lot about documentation was said. Their grandchildren would not know how their grandparents died so there should be documentation so that every Zimbabwean will know those people who participated in liberating the country. If we know how we realised that independence, we will be able to defend our country. If someone speaks bad about the country, you will be able to defend the country.

Let us pool our ideas together so that we can maintain these shrines. People should visit these places being led by people who know the people who trained at each camp at a particular time to help us come up with the relevant names of these people so that they can be documented. As Zimbabweans, we should know those who contributed towards the independence of the country, some were outside the country, some fought long back in the First Chimurenga. The war did not start using guns, it started way back with Mbuya Nehanda, Lobengula and so on. These are some of the things that should be documented so that we know what exactly was obtaining in this country. These things should be included in the school curriculum so that we do not have people who are not knowledgeable about these matters. Many speakers have talked about these matters, I may end up repeating.   We are enjoying freedom today because of the freedom fighters. With those few words, I want to thank the mover and the seconder of this motion. Thank you.

          +HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Mohadi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Masuku. We thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi for making us remember our heroes who fought for the freedom of this country. We are enjoying the freedom as a result of the heroes who brought independence to this country. Most of these heroes died in the liberation struggle. The heroes are lying in Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola and Libya. I am saying this because I participated in the struggle. I am aware of training camps; they were many of these which I cannot remember now.

Some of these heroes were not properly buried because it was not easy to have a proper grave when a freedom fighter died. People were being put in mass graves. This is what we are saying, we should also try and go back to those shrines and maintain them. They should be properly fenced because relatives and friends visiting such shrines will say, ‘how come our relatives lying here are being neglected?’ I urge the Government to prioritise the issue of fencing all these shrines where our friends are lying. It is important indeed that people should go to those shrines to check.

Let me also point out that most of the names used by the freedom fighters were pseudo names, those were the names given at the training points. You find that some of these heroes were using names of people who are still alive, people used to change names, it was very easy. Let there be documentation with proper names of the heroes lying out there and some in the country. Therefore, our request is that this august House should encourage the Government to address this matter by budgeting for the shrines to be fenced. It is something good that when we visit the shrines we see that they are being maintained.

Madam President, these gallant sons and daughters did not enjoy life as we are enjoying it today. The traditional leaders are in charge of traditions and customs. The freedom fighters are lying in various places and the traditional leaders know what to do with the spirits of such people in accordance with our tradition, so that even the relatives of the gallant sons can be consoled. Some relatives of the people who died in the war have not been consoled and they do not know where their sons and daughters are lying. It is important that there be a documentation exercise of every training camp, according to the sex of the freedom fighters and where they were coming from. It is important to know that this camp was for boys or girls. The trained ones had their own training camps. There were little children from seven years, some were being carried at the backs of their brothers and sisters, some died there and some came back home. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to contribute to this motion. Let me take this opportunity to thank the mover and the seconder of the motion. Before I proceed with my debate I want urge this House to observe a minute of silence in respect of the departed souls of the war veterans. Before I proceed with my debate I was going to propose that the President of the Senate should lead the entire Senate to visit these shrines in Zambia and Mozambique because we are all Senators. The issue of the fallen war liberation fighters is a serious issue. The majority of us here have experienced the war at a time when the liberation struggle was being fought, either from the Zambian side or Mozambiquean side. Those that were grown up became war collaborators. We witnessed the war, we slept in the bush and we were lucky to escape some of these bullets. We appreciate the work or the sacrifice that they made to liberate this country. During the war, some people lost their lives which are not of their own making but they died sacrificing for the freedom of this country.

          When a person is alive, he lives in three forms; the highest form of a person is God, the second one is the spiritual world and the third form is the living, those of us that are here. The spiritual world is called the living dead. What it means is that the flesh dies but the soul lives up until what the Bible says will happen in the end will happen. That is why we have prophets and that is why we have spirit mediums in the spiritual world. That is why prophets and the spirit mediums claim to be looking after you in your areas or lives; it means that even those that died in the liberation struggle of this country observe what is happening in this country on a daily basis. Their spirits are still living and as a living being, you would want to live in a clean environment in your house. Your house will be properly painted and maintained - you would want to be respected and you would want to be smart as a living being. It is the same thing with the dead in the spiritual realm; they also want to experience the same. That is why in the olden days in terms of our tradition, traditional ceremonies were held to appease the ancestors through beer brewing and slaughtering of beasts.

          Beer was the wine of the day; it was pleasing to our ancestors to have beer brewed so that our ancestors’ spirits could live well in the spiritual world. The fallen sons and daughters of this country require the same treatment. I believe this is the duty of the chiefs because the chiefs are connected to the spiritual world because they are linked to the God on behalf of the people of this country. The Council of Chiefs should be tasked by the Government to ensure that adequate respect is paid to the fallen heroes on an annual basis, we should not forget. The whites, although we have different cultures, the graves of the first and second world war are sparkling clean; year in year out they come to visit. They go to France to the graveyards of their fallen heroes, they polish and paint them and celebrate and the survivors of that war wear uniforms to commemorate the fallen heroes day. Why are we not doing the same thing, commemorating our fallen heroes that perished either in Mozambique or Zambia as they were fighting in the liberation struggle for this country which led to our independence?

          We should also know the objectives of the liberation fighters. They perished so that Zimbabweans could live peacefully and that they could eat, drink and enjoy themselves in their motherland. I remember that we used to have night vigils called pungwes, we could hear the liberation war fighters painting this vision, that vision is still vivid in my mind and it encouraged us to also want to go and fight in the liberation war. What pains me most is that the living are doing the exact opposite of what they fought for, they are fighting against each other. We are spilling blood over and above that blood that was spilt during the liberation war. We are killing our own people as blacks. Those that fought in the liberation struggle wanted the economy of this country to grow. They wanted us to have sufficient infrastructure and that we should be feasting, not starving and be self sustained.

They want us to have good health and to have bulging bellies but today, we are the exact opposite. People have spent 16 years in bushes, in harsh conditions and dodging artillery from the enemy. I remind all the leaders that are here in Zimbabwe, whether we are from the opposition or the ruling party, we should reconnect and revalue the values that the liberation war veterans fought for. If the current Government that we have, are to lose power in 2018, those that will take over from them should always remember why the liberation war struggle was ever prosecuted and should always remember why the liberation war struggle was ever prosecuted and should always go to the liberation war shrines to pay our respects to the fallen heroes. The issue of war veterans should be non-partisan.

Those that were shot dead during the war died for a national issue and not a partisan issue. War veterans alive and those deceased did a good job; they paid a sacrifice to ensure that we have our own independence. I would want to remind that those that give orders to assault war veterans using switches; I was hate by that. Why would you beat that old woman or old man simply because they have demonstrated? Children are spoken to, as a father if your children have misbehaved, as the parents, if you beat them with a switch, you have lost the issue. In this case, you have angered the spirits of the land. You have angered Mbuya Nehanda, Kaguvi and Chaminuka by assaulting their children. The war veterans were being assaulted, do they not have shame. We should not behave like that. I believe with those words that I have uttered, those that died for this country have heard my plea as Senator Komichi. I thank you.

*SENATOR CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to the few issues on the motion that was raised by Hon. Senator Mohadi. Wounds are about to be healed, we lost our relatives who went to fight in the liberation war. What the living and those that died were hoping to achieve after independence was that we would be treated with the same lenses in that they will be remembered in the same manner. It would appear as if those that came back alive are saying they should benefit because they are alive. If we look back at our history, we see that it is not a smooth history. It was difficult. I once worked as a house maid. There was a white person who would look after my mother and children.   One day the white lady came running and I asked why she was excited. She said John’s son has done a good job because they had bombed the liberation war fighters in Nyadzonia. I mourned. I was doing some ironing; I sat at the table and cried. Thereafter I decided what to do.

Politics is engrained to you when you are a child. Those that are ‘John come latelys’ will never come this far as this august House. I thereafter resigned. I told them that the people that had been killed in Chimoio and Chinhoyi are my relatives, so I cannot work with you again. I packed and went away and never worked for a white person again.

Now then, came the advent of independence, as you see us in this august House, we are full of grievances. People do not just live their homesteads for no apparent reason. The reasons why they chose to move away from the family home is because they saw that they may have a better way out there in Chiweshe. There is a lady who has proffered herself, maybe she has had these grievances for some time and now she has come out in the open and we heard others saying they have failed to articulate this issue as regards to war veterans. There are many of us. Those that were honoured are the ones that are interred in heroes’ shrines in the provinces and the national shrine. There are those that are unrecognized, that served for seven years. I went to mourn my sister’s late husband; the blanket that was being used to cover his body was torn. His feet were not properly covered. I gave them some money and they bought a white cloth and properly covered him. Thereafter, we recalled that we had remained with my sister at the time when the husband was prosecuting the liberation war and we had suffered but the husband died without achieving anything.

I urge the remaining war veterans to rise up and march and show that there is need for democracy. Do not forget your colleagues. A lot of things have been done wrong and these gentlemen that the Hon. Members are making a reference to, how can they re-bury the war veterans when their arms are tied behind their backs. The Government should think seriously about these deceased war veterans. I thank.      

          *HON. SENATOR MAWIRE: Thank you Mr. President. I have just realised that I should add any voice to this debate but I would like to thank this House because it has seen it fit that we should remember our fallen heroes that we have not properly interred whose shrines are not being properly maintained. I am one of those that suffered. We should not talk about shrines that are outside Zimbabwe, district shrines should also be maintained. At times one is taken aback when it is pointed out that this is a war veterans’ district heroes’ acre. Even the provincial heroes’ acres should also be properly looked after. There is need for security. When we go there, some people are tempering with these shrines. With those words, I say thank you Mr. President.

         *HON. SENATOR CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity. Let me add a few words in thanking Hon. Senator Mohadi the mover and the seconder Hon. Senator Masuku for this important motion. I have observed that this august House is disturbed by the issues that were raised and I will not repeat what they said. There is the Mt. Darwin shrine at Chibondo, it is in my constituency. If we were to go there today, you may lose your way because of the trees and the un-kept area. In that shallow grave, we believe that they are still a number of bodies. These were not people from Mt. Darwin. They were from the length and breadth of Zimbabwe. The Whites used to massacre innocent children and civilians and carry the bodies using their lorries and helicopters and dumb them in Mt. Darwin.

          The Mt. Darwin air strip, one would assume that it was an ordinary air strip. The five shallow graves with bodies of children, I would want to believe children of Zimbabwe have seen the importance of this issue. I was visited by an old lady from Midlands. She was very old. She got to Chibondo and asked us a question that we failed to respond to. She said out of the bodies that you have exhumed, where is my child’s because I only had one child. She had borrowed money for bus fare. We failed to respond. We have a certain woman in Mt. Darwin whose children’s bodies were exhumed from Chibondo. We visited her homestead because sacks were used to cover her door way and she was a loner because her children’s bodies were buried in the mass grave at Chibondo.

          The chiefs cannot do their work if we have not spoken to them. The chief does not come to where a deceased person lies. As a chief, there are certain rituals that they perform in terms of our tradition and societal values. We would like to say as Zimbabweans, in places such as Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana and Angola, people would be killed as they were innocently doing their duties. As Zimbabwean citizens, we did not go and express our sorrow over those lives that were lost. We should remember where we came from. Those friends are important.

          If you go to Mukumbura in my constituency, there were plastic bags and on the river beds, you would see exposed bones, all of them were carried away maybe to the Zambezi River or elsewhere. What do we think as Zimbabweans because these children, whose bones were washed away, were from all over Zimbabwe?

          I would like to thank you Hon. Senators for your vision. Today I have recalled just how important this issue is. What should we do and what advise should we give to the Government because this involves our ways of lives as Africans. I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF DANDAWA: Thank you Mr. President, let me start by thanking Hon. Sen. Mohadi for the motion that she introduced so that we remember our fallen heroes.

I will confine myself to a few words because the majority of the issues have been covered. I think it is prudent if the motion was to state that the parents of those children should be informed that they are now deceased. Their children did not return home and the parents were never formerly informed. May the Government intervene and assist in ensuring that relatives of those fallen heroes are informed.

          There are graves in the forests that they perished in. Sometime last year, I saw some people exhuming the remains of war veterans for reburial at the District Heroes Acres that is not our tradition. It is the soil that is moved and there are certain rituals that are to be conducted depending on the culture of the deceased person. There are procedures that need to be followed, it is not the war veterans or the chiefs that should conduct these ceremonies but the relatives of the deceased.

As chiefs we do not know some of these issues because various ethnic groups have various mannerisms that they follow in terms of interring. The Government should first locate the parents of the deceased in order for them to assist. In terms of our African traditions, when you want to rebury, you collect some soil from the head and the feet, wrap it in a black cloth and the relatives will do some ritual chanting so as to enable the process to be smoothly carried out.

There are those that claim that in Chimoio, Mozambique a lot of our fallen heroes are marching to no end. Some perished there and others returned, the claims that some are still marching in that area are because some things were not put in their proper prospective so that there would be peace. I think I should just add this dimension to this debate.

Lastly, Hon. Sen. Komichi suggested that we visit these shrines but instead of going as hon. Senators, there are enrollment lists of these children as they were enlisting. It is known in terms of their deployments as to how many returned and how many failed to make it back home. Then we inform the relatives of those who perished in Chimoio so that they then go and perform the requisite rituals. Those not of the same bloodline with the deceased should not be involved in such issues. It is akin to the saying by Ngugi wa Thiong that the oil skin of the house is not for rubbing onto the skin of strangers. With those few words, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: I thank the mover of the motion, well done Hon. Senator Mohadi. Those that have not been involved in these issues tend to go for an over kill, it is painful for some of us who passed through these areas. Some died yet their remains have are not been properly interred in those mountains. We have not witnessed anything being done to those remains after the end of the liberation struggle so that the remains could be reburied. We believe the remains are still in those mountains.

I remembered when this motion was moved that we used to sing, ‘I would die on my way to Zimbabwe, along my way to Zambezi and Limpopo’. Those that survived the war took advantage but if they address their minds to their fallen heroes, we should not be revisiting this motion. The war ended in 1980 but we turned a blind eye to the current issues. This is an issue that should have been timeously dealt with. There are those that are 100% disabled, others died, some war collaborators died yet their parents have not forgotten about their losses.

There are people who claim to be war veterans yet they are pseudo-war veterans. These are the people that are causing problems by giving us headaches. You can instantly discern that an individual who claims to be a war veteran only heard about it, because those that know the importance of the liberation struggle and how it was protracted do not treat issues lightly. They would spend the whole day on the lookout yet war collaborators are no longer being remembered even though they played a crucial role during the liberation struggle. The war collaborators are an unknown quantity and pseudo-war veterans are now benefiting.  

We were not allowed to walk in First Street but for us to be able to do this was because of the war veterans who liberated us. The majority of us could not have fought as soldiers. We intended to go there and played our role as people that supported the liberation struggle through the provision of meals and doing laundry for the freedom fighters.

There are some people who are interred at the National Heroes Acre yet those that deserve to be there are not interred there. Let us seriously consider this issue because it was not easy. They left their loved ones behind in order to liberate Zimbabwe and they went because they wanted to liberate Zimbabwe. There are also some old people who were maimed and disabled but are not getting any form of assistance. Let us remember these people that fought during the liberation struggle. We need to pay serious attention to this issue.

Let us recognise those that fought and collaborated because some people have no shame but they claim to be war veterans when they were never part and parcel of the war. This is quite painful because we lost a lot of relatives during the war. A girl had been sent to buy some beer and there was some gunfire exchanges at the Chitoma base. A lot of children lost their lives including this girl.

          Nothing has been done in the Gonese area to remember those who died during the war. People have motor vehicles and others now sit here in Parliament but have forgotten. Let us introspect. This is not a light matter but an issue that is pregnant with meaning and ought to be treated with the seriousness that it deserves. Let us correct our mistakes.

          We were never allowed in elite shops such as Greatermans and OK, but we are not forgetting those who liberated us. With those few words I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (SEN. TAWENGWA): Thank Hon. Senators we have discussed a lot on this issue. I will now give the last three.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Mr. President Sir. I thought I will add a few words on this motion what was raised by Sen. Mohadi which calls upon us as a country to see about the welfare of our War Veterans. This is a painful issue and it makes us sad. We are here because they fought and sacrificed. Some started in the 50s and 60s to wage the war. Some went to this war when they were young. I remember in 2004, I was invited to Bulawayo. I was told that there was a child of our lineage one Churuchemunzwa   who had for years been feeding on wild fruits. He would grind powder as some form of food because of the problems that he had faced during the war of liberation. That is after 30 years in the bush meaning others came back home and he remained in the bush. How many are like that who perished in the bush? How many are insane because of the trauma that they suffered whom we meet in the street?

          In Chikomba, my communal home, we had a veteran liberation struggle hero. Who whenever he heard a plane passing by, he would grab a stick and fire the plane passing by. As a country we are rejoicing that we have gallant sons and daughters who fought for our liberation struggle so that we could be what we are today. It is my plea to this august House that as we deliberate on this issue we should not pay lip service to the issue. As we discuss this issue what are our intentions. What are we urging the living to do?

          There are those that perished in Chimoio, Nyadzonia, Chitembwe and various areas and even in the bushes. There are those that are lying dead in the bushes. What about the living? Are we giving them the respect that they deserve as a country? The British but not only the British, the soldiers that fought in the First World War the majority of them are the ones that had the farms that we have taken from them. They were given these farms by their Government as a gratuity. This was gratuity that was paid in the form of pension in Africa by the Whites. What are we doing for our own kith and kin? At times war veterans are moved from the farms that they are allocated. Once you raise such a motion we will not pull any punches. We will call a spade a spade because when we talk about these issues we should not be disturbed; we said we should discuss openly. War Veterans are being dispossessed of the land. At times, the war veterans have two hectares and they are struggling with the two hectares. –[AN. HON. SENATOR: Yes, yes.]- Those that are saying yes, yes will disturb the motion. Sorry Mr. President Sir. This will take a different dimension we should call a spade a spade on this motion.

          My view is that everyone fought for this country and played various roles: doing laundry, fetching water. Yes, you played a part for Zimbabwe to be where it is today. Let us look, we said in the Constitution there is mention of what respect should be given to the war veterans. We should respect our Constitution and uphold the reasons why they went to the liberation struggle. Some have nothing to show for what they have achieved after going to the liberation war. I have a brother; I am sorry to say that I lost my brother but have difficulties in answering questions from his children. The children would say father you went to the Liberation Struggle. What do you have to show for it? Nothing.

          So these children when they grow up, what mentality do they have when they grow up. They would trivialise the liberation struggle. With the born frees and those that are recently born without the reinforcement of the importance of the war veterans. The war veterans are going to become the laughing stock of this country. We should look deeply into this issue and come up with a recommendation on what should be done for the war veterans. We cannot say the Government is failing in every sphere. It is sending the children of the war veterans to school. Government has a lot of obligations and these obligations are quite heavy and taxing. There is someone with seven wives and has more than 30 children. He was asked? Are all your children going to school? All of them are being sent to school with the Government paying the school fees. Some of his deceased comrades have been named after his children so that he could see his deceased colleagues. I am just trying to portray the fact that the Government is doing something about it but I am urging the Government to do more.

          The current Government owes its existence to the prosecution of the liberation war of struggle. By so doing, we should recognise those that fought in the war. We should show our gratitude for the work well done. I cannot talk just about these comrades that we are talking about; there are war veterans. The President recently talked about Chief Chishawira who led the war when they were fighting using spears, bows and arrows, the likes of Chingaira, Chinengundu and others, whose heads are still in Britain. There are those that are still lying in the bushes.

In Chikomba, there is a place referred to as the nursery of the Mashonaland Rebellion. Those of our clan and several other tribes also lost their lives at that place. Such places should be recognised as national monuments. They are the forefathers that inspired the generation that went to prosecute the war because they had been hurt. We should not pay lip service to the heads of Mapondera and Chingaira that are in England. What are those heads doing there? They should come back to their homeland. Mr. President Sir, this motion pains us.

In conclusion, I will say that we should have a solution. If Hon. Chimhini were to meet a war veteran, how do you treat him? Hon. Komichi, how do you view that person? Do you feel indebted that we have our country because of the work that they have done? Let us give them due respect to show that they have brought our liberation. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Mr. President. I have a few words on this motion that was raised by Hon. Mohadi. Hon. Komichi talked about the connection between the living and the dead. I am going to talk about the manner in which we are treating the living as Sen. Chief Musarurwa has said. I would want to talk about those that are declared the heroes status or those who are buried at the Heroes Acre. I am talking about those who are dying. The motion talks about the recognition of those that died after the war, those that died in this country.

I would want to add my voice on the issue when we pay tribute to those that are living and the dead. We should not be looking at which political party they are now serving. By the time they fought the war, they had a different dimension. They are those that are going to miss going to the Heroes Acre because they now have a different political persuasion. The dead are not going to be happy that their fellow comrades are not going to be interred at the Heroes Acre because there are now differences in ideology. Those living, that fought in this war of liberation, if they now have a different view point, should be given their due respect so that those dead could also rejoice. Those that fought for this country fought for the national good of this country and not a political party. I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March, 2016.

MOTION

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT AS CHAIRMAN OF AFRICAN UNION

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion to congratulate His Excellency, the President Cde. Mugabe and the Government of Zimbabwe on successfully leading the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) as Chairperson.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE 38TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Zimbabwe Delegation Report on the 38th Plenary Assembly of the SADC-Parliamentary Forum, Sea Side Hotel and SPA, Swakopmund, Namibia, 17th to 25th November, 2015.

          Question again proposed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 3rd March, 2016.

MOTION

TRADITIONAL CHIEFS MANDATE

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the role of traditional leaders.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to debate this important motion that was moved by Hon. Sen. Mawire and the seconder. Mr. President, this motion is very important to me. If we knew, we would deal with this motion spiritually and not physically. This motion opens the way for our traditional way of life, where we came from, where we are and where we are going. So, Mr. President, through you. I want the Senators to greet our chiefs.

Hon. Senators greet Hon. Chief Senators by clapping hands and ululating.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: Madakii Madzishe, monotisvitsira kune maChiefs ose. Mr. President, let me continue by saying that if only we knew we could have done it a long time ago. Some were even shy to clap hands in the traditional manner of hands clapping for the chiefs. It should start here so that we will be able to do that outside; to show the importance of our chiefs. If it cannot start with the Senator, where should it start from; from the councilor? Mr. President, kuita kunodarika kunzwa, my plea to this august Senate and my friend called sanctions is that let us respect our chiefs through deeds and not words. Some senators were lazy to show respect by greeting chiefs….

          HON. SEN. MASUKU: On a point of order Mr. President. I think the Hon. Senator should recognise that we have different cultures and traditions. We greet chiefs not by clapping hands. Thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: Thank you Hon. Sen. Masuku for that intervention, may the Hon. Senator just speak to the motion.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President. On the Zunde Ramambo project, we are misleading each other most of the time. It is a practical issue which can easily be done by anyone. We should always agree that the Zunde Ramambo concept in the olden days used to be done because there were so many people that were in rural areas.   People would go, plough and weed. They would perform these duties so as to ensure that the poor in the community would be fed. Let us now appreciate that all Hon. Senators in here, should go to the chiefs and cultivate the chiefs land but at times chiefs may not have ploughs when Hon. Sen. Marava has three ploughs. Give one of the ploughs to the chief so that it could be used for ploughing fields for this Zunde Ramambo concept. There is not excuse Mr. President for us to fail to do this because others then say that our culture in this area is like this, the traditional chiefs have a manner in which to deal with issues in all the areas from the ward up to the provincial level.

          Mr. President, let us not shy away from the fact that the chiefs are the original rulers of this country. They have been there, they will be there and they shall always be there. We should not despise them, we should not disrespect them, we should not abuse them but the truth will always be there. Look at the motion that is now being moved in this House by Hon. Senator Mawire, this is a good omen. We may want to play this down but we should go back to our roots. We know where we came from, there are representatives of Chief Lobengula, they are those amongst us who know the Ndebele, Zezuru, Chikaranga, Manyika and the Tonga ways of doing things. Because of that, we cannot shy away from respecting our chiefs and not giving them the due respect. There is what we call familiarity Mr. President. In United Kingdom, chiefs are important, you can never or be too close to the King or the Queen in terms of the British custom. They are important and there are protocols to be observed when approaching them.

          Mr. President, let us look at where this familiarity has led us to. It has led us to the issue of chiefs that once Parliament has been dissolved the Chiefs’ Council is dissolved. We are not the same; this is the familiarity that I am talking. We now think that the chiefs are inferior, that is incorrect. Mr. President, we are abusing our chiefs in a lot of ways, we should stop abusing these chiefs. These are the only people that we have in this country who are qualified to be referees of the wars that are there between the politicians. The politicians are busy fighting one another. The chiefs are the only persons who are qualified to urge the parties to cool down and urge them to shut up and not assault one another. If we do not do this, we will have a serious problem.

          Mr. President, no soccer match is played without referees; because of that Mr. President, my plea is that we should not abuse our chiefs. Even in this Senate Chamber we abuse the chiefs a lot of times, especially at the time when we divide the House.   Chiefs have serious problems to show which side they are voting for. They have serious problems whether they should vote for or against the motion. Let us not abuse our chiefs. They should be respected as referees.   If you have done wrong, they should correct that fairly and impartially.  

          The other plea is that we should all know that if the chiefs are not responding, it is not because they do not want. The chieftainship is an institution. Do not look at the current chief, you may have Chief John who is the current chief, once Chief John leaves, there will always be a chief.   Mr. President because of that, whenever we see our chiefs, give them the due respect, as human beings they also think, in due time they will correct their mistakes.

          Let us be proud of the institution of chiefs. Chieftainship is the only authentic leadership that we have, no one can argue against it. I have decided to bring in this dimension to show the importance of the chief and meaningful production that comes out of such a situation. Last week I read in the newspaper that there was a certain Hon. Member who did well and bought some motor bikes for chiefs in Matabeleland. It came to my mind that the chief is riding on a motor bike and an Hon. Member is riding in a Ford Ranger; we can do better than that. There are four constituencies that fall under the chief and it means that the chief has four Members of Parliament who are under his control. The four Members of Parliament will pass in their Ford Rangers when the chief is struggling on a motor bike, we can do better than that. The chief cannot be separated from his people and the people separated from the chief, it is not possible.

          People need an identity and the identity of an individual is the chief. The identity of the district is the chief and also the ward, the province falls under the chief, that is the truth which is self evident whether you hate chiefs or not. It is going to be imposed by the district administrator or the registrar’s office that we come from chief X’s area. Let us give them their due respect. We are all talking about those that liberated us. Let us recall that it is the chiefs who send the children to prosecute this war of liberation struggle. They were old and could not prosecute this war, they said children should be mobilised to go and fight against the colonial regime. Our children went, God and our ancestral spirits led them during this struggle. Some died and some are still living, Senator Mawire is still here she is a survivor.

          They have been sent by the chief to go and fight the war so that we can repossess our country but seeing what is now happening; we now do as we please because we are independent. No blacks were allowed in Parliament, we are here because of those that lost their lives. We should thank the chiefs that allowed our children to go and prosecute the war. They also received these children when they came back from the war of liberation. My house is nearer to that of a spirit medium. You hear hands being clapped in the middle of the night and you know that the liberation war fighter’s spirit has arrived. They were suffering for me and they were also suffering for the chief. The chiefs and the spirit mediums accepted those children, they delivered this country and hence it was given to us.

          *THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: May you confine yourself to the motion.

          *HON. SENATOR MARAVA: All I urge you is that we continue to thank the chiefs and do things that we should be doing for them. We should subordinate ourselves to the chiefs. What I want to say is that when we gained independence, we did not follow our tradition or the required traditional ceremonies to thank those that were leading in the liberation struggle. That should be done Mr. President of the Senate to ensure that we put this issue on the right track.

          All the human resources, regardless of whatever station they later attained in life as lawyers or accountants, they come from a chief’s area either in Zaka or from Chief Chiadzwa’s area. So, if you originate from that area, let us now agree as this august Senate, God will help us so that we support an issue that the chiefs should have their own independent funding.   We went around this country and we all agreed that the chiefs are the custodians of all these minerals. So let us all agree that they be given a better allocation so that the war collaborators, when they come, they will be able to provide for them. We should speak openly about these issues. Those spirit mediums that are speaking through Senator Mawire will punish us.

          I read a document of 1996, on the restoration of the traditional leaders’ powers. It was a draft; I became angry, I asked myself what is this? What restoration of powers, were these powers ever there? We had taken these powers, we should respect our chiefs whilst the administration issues are done. We should wish the best for our chiefs all the time.

          In conclusion, I would want to say, the chiefs should have court buildings so that they can preside over their issues as the case in other countries like Morocco or Lesotho. If a chief coughs in South Africa, he is heard. Let us respect our chiefs; no-one else will do that on our behalf. I will now conclude this important issue. I thank you.

          SENATOR MAWIRE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          SENATOR MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd March, 2015.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.       

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd March, 2015.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE 7TH WORLD WATER CONFERENCE

          Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Delegation to the 7th World Water Conference.

          Question against proposed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.       

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd March, 2015.

          On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Eighteen Minutes to Five O’ Clock p.m.

 

Last modified on Friday, 04 March 2016 14:34
Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 02 MARCH 2016 VOL 25 NO 30