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SENATE HANSARD 05 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 47

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 5th April, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): I have to inform the House that I have received the National Competitiveness Commission Bill [H.B. 6, 2016] from the National Assembly.

INVITATION TO THE ZITF OFFICIAL OPENING

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also have to inform the Senate that the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) is inviting all Hon. Members of Parliament to attend the ZITF official opening on Friday, 28 April, 2017. Hon. Members are to collect their invitation cards between 1400 hours and 1600 hours in the Members’ Dining during the course of this week.  Parliament will not provide fuel and accommodation. 

NON ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have received a Non Adverse Report received on all Statutory Instruments published in the Government Gazette for the month of February 2017.

COMMITTEE STAGE

CONSIDERATION OF THE ADVERSE REPORT BY THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE ON THE LAND COMMISSION BILL [H.B. 2A, 2016]

First Order read: Resumption of Committee: Consideration of the Adverse Report by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Land Commission Bill [H.B. 2A, 2016].

House in Committee.

HON. SAMUKANGE: Yesterday we did meet Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira and some members of the traditional leadership and it was agreed that the debate will be adjourned pending the meeting between the Parliamentary Legal Committee and the leadership.  The reason being that, I am not going to say this is going to happen, but there is a possibility that the decision or views taken by the chieftainship maybe considered by the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  If we are convinced that indeed they are right and we are wrong, we may have to withdraw our adverse report.  On the other hand, the other scenario is that our objection maybe amended.  The third scenario is that we may stick to our original position and if that happens, we will need to come back and address you on the way we look at the amendment.  There will be no point now in debating the issue if the views that I have expressed are going to take place.   Yesterday we agreed that the leadership from here will meet the full Committee consisting of the five members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  My suggestion is that the debate be adjourned pending the discussion and determination of issues.

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: On a point of order Mr. Chairman.  I think the suggestion is good because there are three possibilities after this meeting that he is talking about.  I think it is important that Members in this House also give the Committee their views for possible consideration when they meet the leadership of this House because that will help them to map out the correct position with regards to the proposals that were made in this House. I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I rise to agree with what Hon. Samukange, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Legal Committee has said.  I want to confirm that we did meet yesterday and had very amicable deliberations.  What I think will be good as Hon. Sen. Mashavakure has said, is not to keep the Hon. Senators suspicious as to why we are avoiding getting into these issues.  I wanted to highlight the issues and also to justify why I think we need to continue talking. I want to bring out the issues why we think we need to continue talking.  The first is that when the Parliamentary Legal Committee sits to scrutinise a Bill, to see if it is consistent or inconsistent with the Constitution, the Committee is expressing an opinion and not making a ruling.  For the benefit of Hon. Members, this is not a ruling; it is an opinion which they will have expressed.  It is up to the House, in terms of the law to say yes, we agree with you or no, we do not agree with you.  What the House says is what prevails.  They are not directing us but are only advising us.  We have had Bills on which the Parliamentary Legal Committee has given an adverse report.  One of them is the recent Labour Amendment Bill that was given an adverse report by the PLC but the National Assembly said they do not agree and they passed the Labour Amendment Bill, which is the law that we have today. 

I stand here to say as the Senate, we are the ones to say what we want, but in the spirit of good working relationship with our PLC, it may not be necessary for us to sit and reject, maybe they may not have benefited from our views.  The practice by the PLC always is that before they issue a report, they invite the key interested parties.  In this case, as chiefs we are the ones who moved that amendment.  We should have been invited by the PLC.  They did not do that and we understand they had gone for more than two months without meeting because they had a lot of work and did not have time to meet stakeholders.  As a result, we were not able to express ourselves on the issues that they have written.

We are saying, let us defer because we find the basis upon which they have said the amendments would be ultra vires the Constitution, which means inconsistent with the Constitution.  The basis to us, I think if we had been invited, they could have arrived at a different conclusion because they seem to be saying the chiefs have no jurisdiction outside communal land.  In our view and interpretation, because it is not correct....

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Sen. Chief, with all due respect, you are now debating.  I thought you stood up to say you are in agreement with the Chairman of the PLC that we defer the Bill until the consultations are through. 

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Mr. Chairman, I agree we defer but the House needs to understand why we are deferring.  It becomes very suspicious to say let us defer, let us defer.  I will debate and conclude and say let us defer.  That is where I am going Mr. Chairman.  I think it is fair that I explain and I think I am entitled to explain why I am saying we should defer.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Yes, to explain but not to debate.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  I am explaining Mr. Chairman.  My explanation is that the whole basis on which they have relied on in making the adverse report to us is not quite correct.  To say traditional leaders are only in charge of communal land in terms of the Constitution, that is not correct. 

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: You are now debating Hon. Chief because you are now getting into the subject matter.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Mr. Chairman, I think what I am doing is very correct because we have a right to debate.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: The Chairman of the PLC has moved that we defer the debate until they consult and you had agreed to that.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Mr. Chairman, I want to give this flavour before I propose deferment.  There is a preamble to it because I want members to understand why.  We are saying if you go to the same Constitution, Section 282 (2) is very clear.  It says, “traditional leaders will be in charge of communal land including any other land which has been given to them”.  So, when you say they cannot be in charge of resettlements, that is not correct in terms of this same Constitution.  This clause, in law we say it is permissive; it allows traditional leaders to be in charge of land that is not communal.  Beyond that, there should be a law which allows traditional leaders to be in charge, is it not it?  That law is there and it is called Traditional Leaders Act; it is already there. 

Section 29 of that law says, emplacement of resettlement land under authority is there and there are procedures in that law, then you gazette that area.  We have more than 15 chiefs today whose jurisdiction is squarely resettlement areas.  We have Chief Chanetsa in Mashonaland West, Chief Beperere in Zvimba - I can go on and on.  There is no consistency.  The findings that chiefs cannot be in charge - to us, even in reading the Constitution, it is not correct.  We are saying let us sit down and discuss this.  Mr. Chairman, I rest my case.

THE TEMPORY CHAIRPERSON: Are you then in agreement that the debate be deferred?

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Mr. Chairman, I agree that we have more time with the PLC. 

House resumed.

Progress reported. 

Committee to resume:  Thursday, 6th April, 2017.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the State of the Nation Address.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUGABE:  I thank you for the opportunity to present my maiden speech to this august House.  In my presentation, reference will be made to the State of the Nation Address delivered on 6 December 2016 by the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe.  In his address, reference was made to a number of pertinent economic issues, including but not limited to the following: ZIM ASSET, the Ten point plan, domestic violence, Command Agriculture, Ease of Doing Business reforms, the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF), the Women’s Micro-Finance Bank; the livestock sector, just to mention a few.  My short speech will particularly focus on Command Agriculture in particular, the agricultural sector in general, beef industry, peace and political stability, value addition and beneficiation.

Mr. President, agriculture is the backbone of the economy of this country.  All other sectors are linked to this sector. Therefore, this sector should be fully revived in order that other sectors can perform as well.  The President, cognisant of this fact, made reference to the need to boost agricultural productivity through the Command Agriculture.  Today, thanks to good rains, the Command Agriculture has been a success in most provinces and the nation will not starve.  Initial reports from Government and other stakeholders show that there will be a bumper harvest in 2017.  This positive development resulting from Command Agriculture and effective distribution of the Presidential Inputs Scheme will mean that Zimbabwe will not import food anymore. 

Mashonaland West, like other provinces, received a lot of rains.  Some areas leached but the province will make a considerable contribution to the maize harvest in 2017.  I want to take this opportunity to thank local agricultural officials in the province for the hard work and effective fertilizer distribution. The funds used in the Command Agriculture should be managed properly so that a revolving fund is created and continues to support agriculture in our provinces, particularly in the rural areas and small scale farmers.

As I said earlier on, agriculture is critical to the performance of other sectors thus parastatals critical to agriculture should also be revived because they have forward and backward linkages with other sectors. The President, in his wisdom, referred to the need to further impetus to the revival of the dairy industry.  In Mashonaland West, there are a couple of initiatives by farmers in this important area of milk production.  The President noted that in 2015, milk production reached only 58 million litres against an estimated national demand of 120 million litres.  This means that there is a huge demand for milk in the market, hence the need for more players to get into this sector.  The President urged new farmers to enter this sector so that by 2020, the nation will be self sufficient in terms of milk production.

In the same vein, the revival of the Cold Storage Commission is critical in the beef production industry.  This requires the renovation and refurbishment of abattoirs in Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, Chinhoyi and Marondera. You are aware that Mashonaland West also plays a very important contribution in the production of beef in the economy.  Beef production will go a long way in boosting generation of forex as it has a huge market in Europe, Middle East and even regionally.

Agriculture requires reliable sources of water.  In his address, the President mentioned the need to revive and expand the existing water sources, dams and other infrastructure, including irrigation schemes.  This is vital since climate change causes a lot of erratic rainfall patterns.  You are aware that Mashonaland West has a number of dams which include Biri Dam, Mazvikadei Dam, Lake Chivero, other small and big rivers – all of which are important sources for irrigation water.

The President, lest people forget, mentioned the importance of political stability.  He reminded the nation to cherish the prevailing peace and tranquility which is also contributing to the success achieved in all sectors, particularly tourism.  He urged us all to find national pride in our core values of unity, hardwork and freedom.  He said he is proud of the defence and security forces who also contribute in prevailing peace in Zimbabwe. He finally said, “But lest we forget, let us pray to the Almighty to graciously open the heavens for more rains this season.”  I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 6th April, 2017.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

 

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

Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 6th April, 2017.

MOTION

ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS TO PROTECT DOMESTIC ANIMALS

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on stray dogs and other domesticated animals.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. BHEBHE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to say just a few words on the motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Mawire and her seconder.  This motion talks about stray animals.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Mawire for moving this motion because she noticed the danger that is caused by these stray animals. 

I have heard people talking about stray animals; these are animals that roam around without anyone taking care of them.  These animals belong to some people who do not care about them.  Animals like dogs move into the bush because no one is taking good care of them.  In the bush, they meet jackals and they fight.  At times these jackals would be suffering from rabbis and the dogs end up contracting the disease.  When they come back home, they can fight with other domestic animals like goats and goats are also infected; that disease will spread to almost all the animals because animals always fight when they meet.   The worst part is when people eat meat from their goat or cattle that are infected and they also get rabbis.

So, people should take good care of their animals.  The problem is people think of their animals when they want them to do something for them, thereafter they forget about them.  We need these animals, especially during ploughing season and that is when we lock them in the kraals.  After harvesting we forget about them and they roam around and are hit by vehicles and cause a lot of accidents.

There is an Hon. Member who once spoke about these stray animals but I have forgotten the name.  I only remember that, that Hon. Member said we should look after our domesticated animals properly and lock them up in kraals.  It should be turned into law that if an animal causes an accident, the owner of that animal should be fined or sent to prison.  Maybe the police should enforce this and people should be made aware that these animals must be locked up in the kraals, especially at night.

Some of us use these animals for ploughing and some of us also use their dung as manure if we do not have money for fertilizer.  People never listen because people do not want to follow the law because they are not arrested.  I think chiefs should be empowered to enforce the issue of looking after the animals properly in their areas.  At times dogs, if you are sweeping your yard, because that dog is hungry, it will come to your house looking for something to eat.  A lot has already been said Mr. President.

There are people who are naughty and at times they teach their dogs to hunt but when they go hunting and catch something.  The people eat the meat and forget to give the dog some bones.  You will realise that those dogs because of they know how and where to hunt, they will go. I remember sometime there were dogs that nearly killed me.  When I tried to find the owner and asked the neighbourhood who the owner of those big dogs was, I could not find any.  They were just saying they belonged to a neighbour.

People are encouraged to take their dogs for vaccination but they do not do that.  You will realise that it is expensive to buy an injection for rabbis.  We should not just talk about these things.  This should be turned into a law.  If we had a law of how people should look after their animals, it was going to be easy.  We know that wild animals escape from the game reserves.  Long back, there were fences which were erected around the roads to prevent animals from going into the roads but we are the very people who have vandalised those fences.  We removed those fences but we are not able to look after our animals.  Mr. President, I just wanted to add my voice to this motion but a lot has been said about stray animals.  With these few words, I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA: Thank you Mr. President.  I also wish to contribute to this very important motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mawire, seconded by Hon. Sen. Machingaifa.  I would also like to thank them for raising this motion.

Mr. President, the motion is wider than just dogs; it is animals in general, in Zimbabwe.  Wild animals are threatening life and people are no longer safe or feel secure in their homes.  That too is a problem and stray donkeys on the streets are a menace on our roads and on highways in particular.  Cattle are also a problem and dogs, as has been mentioned in the motion, are a problem too.  In the case of dogs, they also bring about disease and wild animals too bring disease.  If buffaloes mix or they go to graze in the areas where cattle will be grazing, there is spread of foot and mouth disease. 

So the issue really is an important one and I think that this House should take note that we should all be responsible.   Mr. President, rights are a responsibility.  In the process of trying to exercise your rights, do not stamp on anybody’s rights, as that would make you forfeit your rights.  Anyone who does not actually get responsible and actually restraint themselves on their rights, they lose their rights.  I am saying this Mr. President in relation to the owners of dogs, owners of cattle and owners of donkeys.  Something must be done because they are causing havoc and institutions too like the National Parks are also responsible for animals.  They should take care of these animals to make sure that they do not destroy people’s crops and that they do not threaten people’s lives. 

So Mr. President, really this matter must be taken seriously and serious legislation must be crafted to ensure that all of us and all of those who own animals like dogs, donkeys and wildlife as well should actually take responsibility to ensure that they are safe and they do not threaten anybody’s life.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 6th April, 2017.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on alignment of the Electoral Act to the Constitution.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Timveos and her seconder.  Mr. President, this motion is very important especially looking at election time.  The Hon. Senator urged ZEC to see to it that it is transparent and that it should align some other laws so that we have free and fair elections.  We know that ZEC’s mandate is to act like a referee.  A referee when he or she is in the playing field, he or she should be very observant and should be able to see where there is foul play.  If the referee sees that there is foul play and he does not blow his whistle, it is not good.  So, Hon. Sen. Timveos gave us the opportunity to debate and warn ZEC that its house should be in order as it should check for mistakes.

 Looking at ZEC in the 2008 elections, they spent almost three months without releasing the results and that was really a bad thing which was done because the world would be watching.  How come that ZEC is now a fool when they have gone to school – that they can spend three months without releasing results.  It is a very bad sign and ZEC should perform its mandate properly.  There are certain things which are not proper because you cannot defeat a person who is defeated in light.

          Coming to 2013 elections, the Voters’ Roll was released in a few days, about three or four days before the elections and it is a very bad thing.  So, this motion which was brought by Sen. Timveos, I think that we should encourage ZEC to do its work properly especially now that we are going towards elections because it is like a referee.  It should look at all the mistakes which are made by people in the playing field and blow the whistle because the world would be watching, but if it favours some other people, it is very bad.  Thank you Mr. President.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me the opportunity to say just a few words on the motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Timveos and her seconder.  Mr. President, Zimbabwe is a country with very educated people and most of them hold degrees.  We should not be saying anything about how elections should be run especially in this House.  After the Government had noticed that people should conduct elections in their areas, it gave powers to ZEC to conduct those elections and it is good that elections should be held and this is something that is blessed.  Even God wants that and even when you watch television, when people are going to vote, they should be free and everything should be made plain for people to choose their leaders freely.  What I would like to emphasise is that God is the one who blesses us with leaders, so everything that we do should be blessed by God.  However, if we start meddling like what my colleague has already said that we waited for a long time, waiting for results.  This was a very grave offence that was supposed to have been reported to SADC or to the United Nations so our Government should really respect the people who are mandated to carry out those duties. 

          Government should not interfere with those people and they should not give them roles because in our Constitution, it is stated when the voters roll should be made available and when everything should be done.  What we have noticed is that people were being harassed and most of the time people were being threatened.  As I have already said, Zimbabwe is full of educated people and I think this is being done deliberately.  Being a country like Zimbabwe, with educated people, how can we fail to carry out our own elections.  I do not think that is fair because even God will blame us for that. 

Let us do what God expects us to do.  We should not tell lies.  I am sorry Mr. President for saying this but that is the word that I am supposed to use in the vernacular, that if you speak and do things that are not proper, not that people are failing but it is being done deliberately to continue in your position for a very long time.  Going forward, we should do our own things.  A lot of people respect us.  They know we can do our own things; we are not like other countries which need assistance every now and again but when it comes to our own thing, we should not do the wrong thing deliberately because it does not assist anyone at all. As it is, we should know that we are leaving a history.  What type of history are we leaving for our children?  Is there ever going to be a time when things are peaceful?  What is going to happen if we miss the mark?  We are educated people and we have our own traditions and we will not retaliate.

Mr. President, ZEC should be left to run their own affairs.  No one should try and interfere with their work.  ZEC should carry out its mandate properly for this country that is loved by God.  This is a peaceful country no matter how hard people are suffering.  Zimbabweans have been through thick and thin but they will just keep quiet.  Even if they go hungry or they are harassed, they will just keep quiet.  I do not know, maybe one day God will say enough is enough but that is not what we want.  What we want is peace in Zimbabwe.  Those who are mandated to do that do not want to do it properly.  Maybe they want us to blame the Government that is there.  This makes people blame the Government and yet that is not correct.  They might have their own agenda.  Maybe it is because of corruption – I do not know. 

As it is, I do not want to keep on blaming the Government that is there because God does not want that.  The Bible says that we should pray for the leaders and our Government.  People should not be harassed or beaten up for making their own choice.  Those people who are leading ZEC if they do things that are not proper and they do it deliberately, I am sure they will be disciplined in a proper way. 

Mr. President, I am happy that we have chiefs and elders in here. I think we should talk to Justice Makarau and others so that we respect the people, the elders and the children because this is a country that we were given by God.  Other countries used to visit our beautiful countries but now we are like a laughing stock.  If you go to Australia and say you are from Zimbabwe, everyone will turn around to look at you wondering where you are coming from.  We used to be a country which had very educated and respected people.  Maybe chiefs should also put in a word about how people should be made to make their own choice and not to be harassed.  ZEC should not do some of these things deliberately.  Maybe they should be invited here so that we talk to them.  Thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 6th April, 2017.

MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

          Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the SADC Model Law on eradicating Child Marriages.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second. 

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Thursday, 6th April, 2017.

MOTION

SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONAL SCHOOL PLEDGE

          Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on advocating for unequivocal support for the National School Pledge by all Members of Parliament.

          Question again proposed.

MOTION

SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONAL SCHOOL PLEDGE

          Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on advocating for unequivocal support for the National School Pledge by all Members of Parliament.

          Question again proposed

          *HON. SEN. MALULEKE:  I stand to add my voice to the debate on the National School Pledge.  I think it is very relevant that children should be aware of our culture.  Therefore my plea is that when these children are taught the new curriculum, which is aimed at protecting them and their culture, they should know that they have to recite this pledge in their own languages.  In Chiredzi, they say it in their language.  In Bulawayo, they say it in Ndebele and in Plumtree, they say it in Kalanga.  We think that it should be put in the vernacular languages so that these children are aware of what they are reciting.  In some countries they do not allow their children to go to school before they learn about the history of their country.  So, I am pleading with the powers that be that this national pledge should be recited in vernacular languages because at times the children are not sure of what is being said.  What might happen is that when Zimbabwean students go to other countries to learn, they will go and spread the wrong gospel regarding this pledge.  I thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for raising such a pertinent motion regarding the school pledge.  We have known that the learners from grade zero and even grade one have their poem which they recite regarding the national pledge.  The senior learners also have a full pledge which they have to recite thereby showing that this is a pertinent issue regarding our culture.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Thursday 6th April, 2017.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES

          Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion that had become a socio-political way of life among the people of Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. GOTO:  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Sibanda for bringing up this motion.  I am going to say a little bit regarding the chaos which happens either at domestic or national level.  I am so pleased with this motion because he has opened our minds so that we are able to tell what is good from what is bad.  In our country, we have both domestic violence and political violence which is perpetrated by political leaders.  What I know is that as political leaders, we have our followers who we should tell to avoid this political violence.  In the past, we have seen people whose houses have been destroyed, properties destroyed, some people killed and some maimed.  We should tell the people of this country that as people of Zimbabwe we are one, united and of the same family. 

We know that since time immemorial, there were wars which were being fought and this started long back even during the biblical times but what we need to know and ask ourselves is, what is causing this violence.  I put the blame squarely on the leaders because we incite violence by what we say.  When we talk of violence, we say peace begins with me, peace begins with you and peace begins with us.  Therefore, it starts with me.  I say that because if there are parents who teach their children to go and fight back, what it means is that in that household there is no culture.  Such people show that they are not good Christians or prayer warriors hence they teach their children to do things that are bad.  I am saying we have many political parties in the country.  We started as one party but we now have many parties because that is provided for in our Constitution.  We are not talking about partisan politics but I am talking about beings.

          I remember when I was a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly that there were a number of parties in my constituency.  I am not going to mention the name of the constituency but I remember a day when we had a funeral in our constituency and as a Member of Parliament, I went to that funeral but there were very few people in attendance.  The councillor excused himself citing that he was attending another funeral at another homestead.  My councillor belonged to a different party from mine but when it came to mapping the progress of the country, we would unite and work together.  For example at prize givings at schools, we would divide the chores.  One would go to one school while the other went to the other.  We really worked hard and in unison, as people who wanted progress in their country.  What I noticed was that if we, as the leaders of the people are peaceful, we avoid political violence in our country.

          Let me go back to the funeral where I said there were very few people.  I noticed that the people who gathered there were people of my party and they were putting on their party regalia.  When we started discussing, we agreed that everyone should go to funerals that occurred in our constituency and sympathise with the bereaved.  What I noticed was that the deceased was the councillors’s mother and what pleased me most was that when we got to that funeral, there were people from different churches - Methodists, Anglicans and Catholics.  When the councillor saw me from afar, he recognised me and welcomed me despite my political affiliation.  As a political leader, I was able to mourn with the bereaved and was even given time to speak.  I made a speech where I said I was very pleased to note that there were different church denominations gathered at the funeral and that was a sign of unity and nothing could divide us, not even political affiliation because we are one.  We paid our last respects to the deceased and it was a peaceful funeral.  In some instances when a funeral is of a ZANU PF, the MDCs do not go there and vice versa.  My plea is that as people of Zimbabwe, we are one. We are united and should be peaceful.

Whenever people want to incite violence, let us be able to tell each other to desist from such heinous acts because we love peace. Let us avoid domestic and political violence. To tell you the truth, regardless of which party you belong to, come 2018, we will vote for you even if you belong to the other party because what we want is that you will develop our constituency and hence, we have to support you.

          Hon. Sen. Sibanda, thank you for such a motion because some of us are not aware that when we are talking of development we are united, but when we are talking about political issues, we are a different person.  I also beg my fellow Members of Parliament that when we deal with the youngsters, let us not incite them because we incite these children to be violent. Let me tell you one thing. You may incite these youths to commit violence but tomorrow you may suffer because of what you will have done today.

In Parliament, we have committees like the Gender Committee. Our Chairperson of the Gender Committee is Hon. Sen. Makore who belongs to a different party from mine. In our Committee, we are so united and committed with such people as Hon. Sen. Mabugu and Hon. Sen. Moeketsi. We do not practice party politics when we travel on Committee business. When we went to Hon. Sen. Mabugu’s constituency, we were taken good care of without any partisan politics or party affiliations. Under a violent situation, we could have said no, the food has been provided by an opposition member so we might suffer but we did not care about that. We even went to Hon. Sen. Buka’s area and what pleased us was that we were also fed without any partisan divisions. We were one and the same.

As politicians, let us be united and avoid unnecessary political divisions. Hon. Sen. Makore, I am proud of you. You are my Chairperson despite your political standing but we are one and the same. Hon. Sen. Sibanda, thank you for such a pertinent motion. We should try as much as possible to avoid political and domestic violence. If we read in the Bible, we know what Lot’s children did. I am not going to dwell into that but I am saying Hon. Sen. Sibanda, thank you for the motion. It is a constructive and peaceful motion. I thank you. I know my fellow party members will not applaud me but the truth has been said.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, I can see you are smiling to this new chapter and the beginning of unity among political parties – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Mr. President, I move that debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 6th April, 2017.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF POPULATION GROWTH IN ZIMBABWE

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on Zimbabwe’s

low population.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 6th April, 2017.

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

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 05 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 47