You are here:Home>Senate Hansard>SENATE HANSARD 06 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 57

SENATE HANSARD 06 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 57

Download attachments:

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

DEATH OF HON. N. K. NDLOVU

           THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the House of the death of a former Deputy President of the Senate, Hon. N. K. Ndlovu.  May I invite Hon. Senators to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of the late former Deputy President of the Senate.

          All Hon. Senators observed a minute of silence.

PARLIAMENT OPEN DAY

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I would like to inform the House that Parliament of Zimbabwe will hold an Open Day Exhibition in the Parliament Car Park along   3rd Street on 8th and 9th June, 2017.

The car park will therefore be closed from Wednesday 7th to Friday 9th June, 2017 and parking will be available on the south side of Nelson Mandela Ave between Sam Nujoma (formerly 2nd Street) and Vengai Muzenda Street (formerly 4th Street) along 3rd Street up to Jason Moyo Avenue and along Kwame Nkrumah, between Sam Nujoma and Simon Vengai Muzenda streets.

Due to limitations in parking space, Hon. Members are strongly encouraged to park their vehicles at their respective hotels and utilise shuttle services being offered by the hotels.

We kindly appeal to Hon. Members to bear with us during the three days. Any inconvenience is sincerely regretted. 

BIOMETIRIC SYSTEM IN PARLIAMENT

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I would also like to inform the house that the biometric system is now operational at all points of entry and exit in parliament building. In terms of the operations; on pressing the button, one should wait for a signal and a green light above the door, then proceed to open the door. In the event that the system fails to respond, one should press the emergency button for assistance.

*HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: I am blind and so, how am I going to see the green light?

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you for your question Hon. Sen. Mashavakure. It is true that you are being asked to see the green light when you are blind.  We will look for ways and means to ensure that as you enter or exit the building, there will be someone to assist you.  I thank you. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Madam President, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 6th June, 2017.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.    

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

HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 6th June, 2017.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

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

          Question again proposed.    

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 6th June, 2017.

MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

Question again proposed.    

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I would like to put my presence in recognition for the debate made in this House without mentioning names.  As you are aware, this motion was almost debated by three quarters of this House.  I have found out that there is no need to mention names unless if I was to mention the names of those who did not debate.

This was a hot motion taking into consideration the plight of the girl child.  I think everybody was eager to debate across the whole House.  Apart from Hon. Members’ contributions,  our Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa also responded to this motion saying that they were already making preparations that a Bill be prepared to come to this august House of which it is a step ahead.  The Ministry of Gender and Community Development, Deputy Minister Abigail Damasane  also responded to this motion, of which I think some measures are being taken because we need to bring the motion to finality. 

By debating and talking without this being put into law, we would not have started anything.  So, we need quick responses for the Bill to come to both Houses so that we debate on this motion and close the chapter after we have seen some results. 

With these few words, I would like to thank everyone who contributed on this motion because if I was alone, it would just have been a single voice but there were so many voices heard on this issue.  I would also want to thank those who contributed opposing the motion.  This is a step to correct some mistakes.  Keep on doing so. 

I now move that the motion on SADC

Model law on eradicating early child marriages be adopted as follows:

MINDFUL that the SADC Model law is a milestone in eradicating the matrimony of the children and also in protecting those who are already in marriage;

APPRECIATIVE that the Model law embraces all concepts on the prohibition of child marriages as adopted in Swaziland in 2016;

DESIROUS to see the end to child marriages as well as any retrogressive measures and hurdles that mitigate against the eradication of such unions;

NOW, THERFORE calls upon Government to domesticate provisions of the Model law as part of our statutes.

          Motion put and agreed to.

 MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES

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

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MARAVA:  Madam President, I want to thank you for affording me this opportunity to debate on this important motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda.  This motion has come at the right time.  It has come at our time of need.  It has come in time to help all of us as Zimbabweans and we should give it its due weight.

Madam President, it starts from this august House.  If this august House does well, the whole country will do well.  The world over is listening to what is happening in this House, so any good that is going to come out of this House will lead to Zimbabwe being respected.  Zimbabwe will have a good reputation internationally.  We will raise our Zimbabwean flag high by such deeds. 

Our Zimbabwean flag is very beautiful and therefore it behoves the nation that it also has good people.  It is quite disgraceful, especially for some of my colleagues, to hear that representatives in this august House, in their constituencies - there is violence, that people are being murdered or people are fighting for whatever reasons.  An Hon. Member of Senate or Member of Parliament should not be tainted by such wayward behaviour.

It once happened, Madam President, that a Member of Parliament shot a person and claimed that they had mistaken the person for a baboon.   It came out in several publications and we were shamed.  As Members of this august House which you lead, we should denounce violence freely without any encouragement or being coerced into that.  We should denounce violence wholeheartedly.  It hurts me, Madam President, that Zimbabwe has only 10 million people.  Big and beautiful as it is, Zimbabwe can house a lot of people.  I was happy when Hon. Members raised a motion that we should multiply and fill this earth.  When there are so few of us, why should you be seeing an enemy? 

If there are so few people in Zimbabwe, why should you have an enemy?  If you see enemies in Zimbabwe, it means you have a weakness, a nauseating weakness.  It is such a serious weakness if you find enemies amongst the people of Zimbabwe.  Instead we should be concerned about how best we can work to become more developed.  We need to be driving our energies towards positive activities.  There are very few people in this country that cannot live harmoniously.  It is not good.  God did as he pleases.  He observed that we are capable and we came here to this august House where we are ably led by you and we should also lead by example.  If we fail, by extension you would have failed.  I know you as a person who does well. 

Madam President, all the Hon. Members who are in this august House are very few.  We should miss one another, love one another.  At times when we have adjourned I call other Hon. Members of the House and even Hon. Members on the other side of the House and I genuinely will be missing them.  Why do we then arm ourselves with sticks or logs and send poor innocent people on the promise of a few Scuds to go and assault others or even kill them, then they come and report back that Sir, we have carried out your instructions, we have butchered them.  That is not good.  There is no godliness in that act.

Imagine countries like Nigeria where they have 40 million people.  South Africa is in the first world.  Could they be happy?  They are almost close to 70 million, but this country, Zimbabwe, with a mere 10 million - I am talking of the entire population, maybe with 2 million adult men and maybe 2.5 million women and the rest are school children and toddlers, but the 4.5 million cannot live harmoniously.  They even track one another – we have seen you talking to so and so, why were you greeting this particular individual, what were you discussing? 

What a poor country.  We are poor.  We are the poorest.  There is no country that is as poor as Zimbabwe.  We used to sing ‘unohwina sei usina morari?’  Whether it was politics, we used the morale of the people to galvanise people into action.  We should never assault people or scold anyone.  After politics we would simply go home and we would eat and drink, but now, let me tell you Madam President, people are being sent to go and commit arson.

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order, order.  I once requested in this august House that we are the creme de la creme of this institution.  We need issues that have facts.  Let us stick to the facts, I plead with you.

*HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I have more than enough evidence Madam President.  I do not know how we could refer to the evidence that I have.  I will give you one that happened closer to my home.  Two people were killed close to my home.  They were set on fire with petrol and diesel and the people, as we speak right now, do not have flesh.  I am not going to go deeper because I am looking to ensure that we live in harmony and live as relatives so that we develop our country.  Even if you think that either of us has been given the hard end of the deal, it should be bygones and let bygones be bygones.  Let us work harder to achieve a better and more comfortable tomorrow where we live harmoniously.

If the love that we show each other in this House is genuine and we have to preach it to the entire country, this country will develop.  It will be a good country.  I have said there are very few of us and it hurts us.  We should look for each other, find each other and move ahead peacefully.

Madam President, I would want to talk about the issue of the Executive, the Government.  The Government does not have any other arms apart from the ones that it has.  The Executive uses its various Ministries and agencies to do the administration.  They do the State’s or the Executive’s bidding.  It is these Ministries and agencies that are responsible for carrying out the work of the Government - making reference to the police and prison officers.  You cannot see the Government moving but the Government is represented by people.  Whatever people do, they should ask themselves the question whether this gives them a good image as a Government employee?  If they have a conscience, they would be able to then act accordingly and if they go to church it will be a bonus.

          A lot of things are being done in the name of the Government by people who are employed by Government.  As a Government agent or member of the arm of the Government, you should do reputable things.  If you discharge your duties as a Government worker; abusing your public powers, the mandate that you get from the people to lead, like the power that we are using here; we are now important.  We are now in the Guinness register. 

          Now that all of us are in the public domain, we are easily known even if you are quiet.  If you arrive and people start saying she has come without even knowing you were coming, but if we look and see you, we will realise that they were talking of you.  Even at a beer drink people will recognise that as a leader you have arrived.  As a respectable leader, you need to behave in a decent manner. 

It is my plea Madam President that all those who carry out functions in the Executive’s name should be ashamed of themselves. Have you observed on social media police officers that are drunk?  A police officer who can hardly stand on his feet….

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Member, let me correct you.  I have earlier on said you are the crème de la creme of the institution.  We are elders in this august House.  Be that as it may, could we quote issues that appear on social media?  Anyone can wear police uniform and misbehave and a colleague can take the photograph and publish this on social media to tarnish the image of police or even record what happened.  So, let us leave these issues to those that are not as elderly as ourselves.

*HON. SEN. MARAVA: It is because I followed the issue.  I will leave that Madam President.  Allow me to proceed on the issue of political parties.  If there are no Zimbabwean citizens following your party, there is no need for you to say you are a leader of a political party.  This debate Madam President, you may even thank me because I am handling it well.  Madam President, members of political parties need to go to the people.  I once thought to myself that if it were possible, Government would stop political parties from addressing rallies individualy.  Certain countries have become more advanced and political parties meet at a central point, for example Chikwanda-Chibiriri Township where political parties would come and address the people. 

Political parties would go where the people are gathered and address them.  That way we will be able to stem out the violence because we will be in the open.  What is required is for us to be transparent because someone who would want to instill violence will not do that because he will be shying away from the audience.  We are sick and tired of people who go behind the scenes and plan evil; come back wearing white robes and say that they are saints.  People should be repaid by the community for their deeds.  We are working so that we will be repaid by the Zimbabwean citizenry. 

In conclusion, I would like to say that in this country we are blessed in that we did not lose our culture entirely.  We still observe our culture; we still have headmen and chiefs who are the custodians of our values and traditions.  If it were possible we should give traditional leaders the chance to lead the country from where we are coming from and where we are going.  These traditional leaders were not installed by the Government but by God.  It would be easy for our Government if we give the traditional leaders to take us where we would want to get to so that we can have peace, tranquility and economic development.  We have forsaken this peace and everything attendant there at the traditional leadership level.  Chiefs should also be consulted on their vision. I believe that they can take us forward.  I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th June, 2017.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF POPULATION GROWTH IN ZIMBABWE

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on Zimbabwe’s low population.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to contribute on the motion by Hon. Sen. Musaka and seconded by Hon. Sen. Murwira.  I acknowledge and recognise those who contributed before me on Zimbabwe’s low population. 

This is a very broad topic and I will confine myself to the issues which were raised.  Madam President, when we talk of population growth, we have to align it with economic growth and since we have to responsibly manage the fiscus, let us not forget that we are currently a net importer of goods and as a result, we have serious balance of payment headaches.  Economic growth means more revenue for Government in the form of taxes from a bigger cake.  It means our children will enjoy a better life in the material sense; higher standards of living, infrastructural development, better schools, housing, affordable health care, better life expectancy and an improved means of subsistence. 

          On the other hand, a growing population (not population explosion) may create increased demands for goods and services.  Growing markets tend to stimulate investment and create employment but that is if there is disposable income and if people can afford goods and services.   A growing population increases the demand of social services; that is housing, schools, hospitals, public utilities and other types of infrastructure which is not directly concerned with the production of goods.  Increasing the population without adequate social capital is increasing the misery of the masses.  You cannot have a population growing faster than the economic growth. 

          Madam President, it is well documented and known how children are walking for more than 10 km to attend school, how the pregnant, the sick and the ailing are failing to access affordable health care; how most metropolitan areas go for days, weeks, months without water and without collecting garbage.  How people are living in squalid conditions; one has to just visit the Mbare hostels.

          The number of people looking for scarce jobs is surging on an annual basis with youths spending productive time loitering in the streets.  We cannot be a welfare State because our welfare department is over stretched fending for vulnerable groups in drought stricken areas and in urban areas, hence we cannot afford to double or treble our population as the current economic environment is not conducive.

Madam President, I do however, appreciate what our Government is doing in order to address the above challenges and many more; even with HIV/AIDS, our death rates are falling and birth rates are rising.  The majority of our population is very youthful and well educated.  All things being equal, our youth would willingly raise families in sizes that they are comfortable with.  Couples can only plan according to what they can afford, hence they have the choice to opt for family planning or not.

Before the use of Depo-Provera, implants, condoms and vasectomies, there were traditional methods of preventing pregnancies.  Women used to tie a cloth around their waists; all these are tools of birth control.  If a family opts for larger family, there are fertility drugs and herbs. 

Madam President, it is the economic situation for those who wish to be parents or those who are already parents that should determine the number of off springs.  People should build families that they can afford.   Bringing investors creates employment but not full employment because with modern technological progress, productive capacity increases such that any given output can be produced by a progressively smaller labour force which would leave more people unemployed if our population were to grow rapidly.  May I remind Hon. Senators that at the age of thirty seven (37), Zimbabwe is a young democracy.

Madam President, I urge Senators to rather clamour for more incentives for our various productive sectors of the economy in order to enable us to rebuild Zimbabwe’s economy first.   I do not believe that our Government, for now, can afford to give incentives to urge or compel couples to reproduce beyond their means.  That would be folly, a fallacy on our part and farfetched.

In this motion in response to citizens’ demands or priorities, I believe it is not a priority at this given time as it will reverse the current social gains in the social sectors. I am not pouring cold water on this motion, no.  My only plea to Senate is let us not send out or transmit the wrong signals to the people we represent.  Let us rather concentrate on the current reform programme for ease of doing business. Let us use our resources efficiently and effectively knowing fully well that they are finite.  Let us rather continue telling the world that investing in Zimbabwe makes sense.  The current Government impetus should be well supported.  Let us move our economy forward.  I thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. CHIZEMA: Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank Hon. Sen. Tawengwa for what he said.  I want to highlight on the issue of having eight kids.  Are we saying women are the ones to turn around the economy by having many kids?  One thing that we have to take note of is that going into labour is a very painfully process that women have to bear. I totally disagree with the motion where they are saying every woman is supposed to have eight children.  I also disagree with the issue of saying they want NGOs to discourage the use of family planning or trying to come up with an organisation that promotes child bearing, I have never heard of that and it is abnormal.  I take this as undermining and violation of women’s rights because going through labour is a difficult and painful thing.  I am standing on behalf of women and I know most women will not agree unless if we are saying if I give birth to one child, then my partner will also give birth to the second and this continues up to the eighth child, may be – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – eheka iwe Hon. Sen. Musaka unoitawoka one.

*HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President, I felt touched and decided to add a few words.  I rise to debate on the motion raised by Hon. Musaka and his seconder.  Firstly, I would want to look into the motion and say this is a futuristic motion.  We have dire economic conditions, we cannot do things willy-nilly but everything being equal and our economy is ticking and we have a low unemployment rate.  I think that we should go in stages and the Zimbabweans that are in the country should propagate our nation and ensure that we remain intact.  In other countries, if you have too much liberalisation, you will be overwhelmed by outsiders and they will take over your jobs and everything else.  Even the leadership, they will also take over.  Look at what is happening in the United Kingdom and in America.  I am not saying that the current American President’s views are wrong but I would want to say he may be right to say, America for the Americans, Zimbabwe for the Zimbabweans and Africa for the Africans.

In the UK, they have problems with the bombs now because a lot of Islamic people are now there.  They allowed everyone to have citizenship willy-nilly.  They have had three bombs in three months with the most recent one being this last Saturday.   So, they are having problems in trying to come to grips with the issue.  The Mayor of London is a Muslim but bombs are being discharged there.  There are hardliner Muslims who have claimed responsibility for these bombs and it was because mass citizenship was granted to whoever wanted it and as a result, they reaped what they sow.

He talked about birth control which should not be the topical issue.  Yes, families should have children that they are capable of looking after and birth control should not say that we should have less children.  I am in agreement with what has been said by Hon. Sen. Chizema when she said we should have a cutoff point of eight children.  Let us have more children and those that can have four, six or even ten; it is their choice if they have the means, it is well and good.  So on that issue, the law should not be stringent in coming up with a specific cutoff number of children that one can have.   But, if you are futuristic in mind, which is what I believe the motion is all about  ensuring that this country belongs to the current Zimbabweans that we know of and that the Zimbabwean race is perpetuated, because of the dangers that are happening in other countries.  They are failing to have people to employ because they have few children.  Zimbabwe should not find itself in that situation.  It has been said by Hon. Sen. Marava in reference to another motion that this country is far from being filled.  We are a young democracy. As Hon. Sen. Tawengwa has said, we have so many years to go and there is a lot of potential for us to occupy our country fully.  But be that as it may, let us be selective in whom we grant Zimbabwean citizenship to and not every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Investment cannot be lured by populous nations but it can come even with a small population which is highly technical and knowledgeable.  What we need is that the growth of the economy should be proportional to the growth of the country so that our aspirations can be perpetuated and realised so that we would become self sufficient.  We must be moving with the times and we must develop both the economy and skills in our country. 

 The issue of saying birth control all the time, I think that the NGOs should desist from that.  With those words, I would want to clarify a few points and basically I am in support of this motion; subject to incorporation of the ideas that I have put in that there should not be cutoff figure. I really support Hon. Sen. Musaka’s motion.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE:  I would want to thank you for the motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Musaka seconded by Hon. Murwira.  I was touched by a single statement or verse raised by Hon. Sen. Chizema.  At one time we saw as if the members of the apostolic faith were uneducated when they had too many wives or that they did not know what they were doing.  In fact, they knew what they were doing.  If a single woman is to have ten children, it is a difficult thing to conceive and give birth.  Others when they fall pregnant, they do not eat, they go on labour then go back to a cruel man and become pregnant again by a cruel man.

*THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT:  Order, if I call order, it means that you take your seat, Hon. Member.  I heard that Sen. Chimanikire, you once debated on this issue and you now want to have a second bite of the cherry.

*HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE:   I appreciate the point Mr. President, but I had wanted to add further submissions.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIDUKU: Thank you Mr. President.  I see that this debate was conducted very well but, we are now doing the wrong things.  So, I have risen to say we should not spoil this good debate. For us to be chiefs; it is because of the people.  For a village or a homestead, it is because of people.  So, why should we encourage certain things to come into effect?

Let me go back – the issue of child birth was introduced by God Himself.  He is the one who commanded the people to multiply and fill the earth.  What difficulties or pain is there that is associated with child birth.  It did not start today but it has always been there – this is not a new thing.  God created this and commanded that people should be fruitful, multiply and fill this earth.  You have now become street wise and you now want to be more godly than God and say that God was wrong by giving the people the command that you must fill this earth.  If you want to believe that God was wrong, stop breathing for ten minutes and see if you survive.  God gave you everything, you are now sitting pretty doing everything, and you now want to be white people. 

*THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Chief, if you say that you are full to the broom, it is too strong.  Thank you so much for commending that.

 *HON. SEN. CHIDUKU:  When one has had some cowpeas and their stomach is full, they behave as they please.  If such adults would want to teach our children not to give birth, the Hansard debates will say, Senator so and so, the father of so and so and grandfather of so and so is teaching people not to multiply.  People will recognise you and give you respect, but by doing supporting negative issues, are you going to be respected?  The Lord gave women ovaries and if they produce a single child, her husband will not divorce her but the other one can produce ten.  That is what the Lord has given them.  You should not say that the one that has had ten has too many children. 

We should not teach our people that way.  God loves people, he created this planet so that people can live on this planet.  If you want to murder the innocent, you will not go to heaven.  Let nature take its course, it should not be against God’s command.  You will be punished by God and you will perennially be poor.  You cannot say you will not be rich because of many children. Are you the owners of this wealth?  Can you create wealth because you have few children?  You will never enjoy any riches.  Once your children become degreed and are now pilots, they produce nothing.

Others say they do not want daughters or sons but the girl child is supporting many homesteads.  You cannot play God’s role. Let him play His role.  Let what God did put in place occur.  If you have five chickens and each is laying two eggs, would you look after them?  You will slaughter them as soon as a visitor calls in.  You will slaughter it but if a hen produces 12 to 15 chicks, you will give it food because it is doing a good job.  You are saying it is painful to give birth, God said it will be painful at labour because you influenced the men to eat the forbidden fruit.  That is when you were punished and as you give birth, you will feel pain until you know that the Lord is there. 

Let us be more serious as elders and stop making comments that it is painful to give birth.  The Lord commended giving birth. Even animals, cattle, goats and chickens give birth as women do.  Do not be afraid, if you have reached menopause, so be it.  If you are still in the child bearing age, continue bearing children.  That is why men have extra marital affairs and you start mourning that your husbands are leaving you.  It is because you are refusing to produce children.  If the Lord blessed you with a single child, your husband will accept that and will still love you. But, if you say you now want to have two children, you will see a grown up man with a lot of riches and when he dies, he is survived by his wife, two children and two grandchildren.  What were you doing all along?  All those riches no longer have anyone to make use of and the mansion becomes disused. People even become afraid to pass through that area.  This is not what we want.  Our poverty will not end as black people.

We were born black and we now want to use lightening creams in order  to be closer to the whites.  You are saying Lord you made a mistake but the Lord made us in his own image.  Do not laugh at those people that you call ugly; they are God’s creation.  We are doing a lot of things wrongly by wanting things that do not belong to us.

I did not want to debate on this issue but I realise that this was a good motion that was now taking a wrong turn. When Hon. Sen. Musakwa moved this motion, he did not give us the causes in terms of the pros and cons.  His appeal was straightforward. We have a small population and so, let us increase in numbers. With those words, I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NEMBIRE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I have decided to add some few words to the motion regarding the family planning in Zimbabwe.  I support that we have large families in Zimbabwe but let me hasten to say that everything went wrong after our Zimbabwean or African women attended the Beijing Conference.  When they came from the Beijing Conference, the African or Zimbabwean women did not understand that China was hiding behind a fingure.  It had a policy of two children per each family.  They thought that the business opportunities that they had been promised would be better if they did not reproduce.  China then bore children for us and they are now giving us jobs.  That is something that went wrong.

Birth control is in the hands of the Almighty, our ancestral spirits.  Those that can, should have ten to twelve children as long as they can look after them.  We should never fight against our tradition.  We do not expect our women folk to say that it is painful to give birth.  We all know that it is painful but it a practice that is to be done.  It is a necessary evil.  It is painful to pay school fees for children but we support that we should have bigger families that are properly planned for.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th June, 2017.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

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

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion on ZEC who are supposed to monitor elections for 2018. Laos, when they are there they will be monitoring the issue to do with elections for 2018 and the other forthcoming elections. Hon. Sen. Timveos who brought this motion asked if we can have a law passed that can guide ZEC on their working conditions. She indicated that once this is done, it will assist on preparations on the forthcoming elections. Looking at the time that we are left with before we conduct our elections, I think the pace that is being used in preparing for the forthcoming elections is so slow especially when we are looking at alignment with the new Constitution.

          My question will be when because we are taking so long to fix these things; we know that they have indicated that almost everyone has to go through the registration for the elections.  What I want to find out Mr. President Sir, is that when we look at the time that we are left with, we realise that we no longer have enough time. Therefore, this might lead to the forthcoming elections not being conducted properly. I have realised that at Parliament building, the biometric system is now being used. It is not everyone who is at Parliament who knows how to use the biometric system.

My question is, when it is taking long for the preparation of the forthcoming elections, how are people going to know whether the system will be functional or not? Are we not going to have a process whereby we will fail to check whether the system is functional or not? How is ZEC going to be able to manage everyone on the biometric system so that they will be eligible voters? ZEC has indicated that they want 10 000 people at each and every polling station. Are they going to be able to do this with the time that we are left with? I think it is best if we are to start the process now especially computerising all the names of the Zimbabweans so that when we are voting we will not have any challenges.

We have heard some of the candidates for the forthcoming elections indicating that they will not accept it if they lose the elections. We need to have enough time so that ZEC can educate people on the use of the biometric system. So many people are not sure on how the biometric system is going to be used and need to be educated on that. This will give confidence to all the voters for they will know that the biometric system is a very safe and good method to use when conducting elections.

I have realised that most Hon. Members were trying to use the biometric system when entering Parliament Building and it was not functional. How are we going to know then that the one they are going to use for elections is going to function properly? Maybe there is need for clarification or we use the old system of writing. We can opt to use the old system that was being used instead of this biometric system. We can only adopt this if people have been given enough education on this. Can we have this biometric system implemented whilst there is still enough time so that we give confidence to all the voters? I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 7th June, 2017.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

INVITATION TO A CAPACITY ASSESSMENT DIALOGUE

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENTOF THE SENATE : I have to inform all Chairpersons of Committees that they are invited to a meeting with consultants for a capacity assessment dialogue tomorrow Wednesday, 7th June, 2017 at 1000 hours in the National Assembly Chamber. The purpose of the meeting is for the consultants to hear from the Members what they feel their capacity needs are and to fill in questionnaires which will assist the consultants to develop a capacity building plan. 

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

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 06 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 57