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SENATE HANSARD 06 MARCH 2019 vol 28 no 35

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

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

PRAYERS

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

COMMITTEE STAGE

CONSIDERATION OF AN ADVERSE REPORT BY THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE ON STATUTORY INSTRUMENT NO. 148 OF 2018 VUNGU RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL (ENVIRONMENTAL BY-LAWS) REGULATIONS, 2018

First Order read: Committee Stage: Consideration of an Adverse Report by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Statutory Instrument No. 148 of 2018, Vungu Rural District Council (Environmental By-Laws) Regulations published in the Gazette during the month of August, 2018.

House in Committee.

HON. SAMUKANGE:  Thank you Madam Chair.  I think most of what I said yesterday applies in respect of this Adverse Report.  Section 31 of Statutory Instrument 148 of 2018, Vungu Rural District Council Environmental By-Laws, 2018 and similarly Section 31 of the Statutory Instrument, 149 of 2018, Bikita Rural District Council, Environmental By-Laws, 2018 are ultra vires the enabling Act.  The Committee found the Section cited in Statutory Instrument 148 and 149 to be ultra vires the Rural District Councils Act, Chapter 29, column 03.   The adverse Sections provide for penalties above those prescribed by the enabling Act.  The Act provides that no such penalty shall exceed level five or of period not exceeding 6 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.  In each Statutory Instrument cited, Section 31 provides that any person who contravenes by-laws shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six.

In summary, it is the Committee’s opinion that Statutory Instrument 149 and 148 are ultra vires the enabling Act and therefore unconstitutional.  What we are saying basically is that a Statutory Instrument must be in compliance with the main Act.  If it is not in compliance with the main Act, it is contravening that Act because the main Act is the parent Act that provides the penalties and the penalties have already been provided in the main Act.  They cannot be amended by a Statutory Instrument like I said yesterday.  This is the reason why we are saying in respect of these two Statutory Provisions, 148 and 149, they are in contravention of the main Act and therefore in Contravention of the Constitution.  In brief, that is what I can say and I urge the Senators to accept our opinion.  We are from legal section, supported by the Secretariat.

I must point out that although we are not obliged, as a matter of practice, in fact since 2013 when I became the Chairperson, it has been our practice and policy that we invite the responsible people before we issue an Adverse Report.  We invite the Minister responsible and ask them to either come and discuss the matter and try to persuade us if we are wrong.  In this particular case, we have done that, we have invited the Minister responsible and they have not done anything.  Consequently, I urge that the Adverse Report be adopted by this House if it pleases you Madam Chair. 

HON. SEN. MAVETERA:  Thank you Madam Chair.  I think this Statutory Instrument is against the basic tenets of drafting of Statutory Instruments.  It is very disheartening that when they were called to rectify, they found it necessary to bring it as it is.  So, I do not think that we need to waste this Hon. House’s time in debating something which is in contravention with the parent law which is the enabling Act.  So as such, I would implore this Hon. House to uphold the decision made by the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  I thank you Madam Chair.

          HON. SEN. SHOKO:  Thank you Madam Chair.  It is very clear that Statutory Instruments 148 and 149, if they are against the enabling Act, we should not waste a lot of time debating those because ordinarily, they are not complying with the enabling Act.  Madam Chair, I will persuade the House that we move forward and dispose of these Statutory Instruments.  Thank you. 

          House resumed. 

          Progress reported.

          HON. SAMUKANGE: Mr. President, the Committee of the House having given consideration to the report of the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Statutory Instrument No. 148 of 2018, Vungu Rural District Council (Environmental By-Laws) Regulations of 2018 and Statutory Instrument No. 149 of 2018 Bikita Rural District Council (Traffic By-Laws) Regulations of 2018 published in the Government Gazette in November 2018, has resolved that the Statutory Instrument would if enacted be in contravention of the Declaration of Rights. I now move that the debate be concluded.

          Motion put and agreed to.

COMMITTEE STAGE

CONSIDERATION OF AN ADVERSE REPORT BY THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE ON STATUTORY INSTRUMENT NO. 253 OF 2018 CIVIL AVIATION (GENERAL PROCEDURES AND ENFORCEMENT) REGULATIONS, 2018 AND STATUTORY INSTRUMENT NO. 255 OF 2018 CIVIL AVIATION (INSTRUMENT FLIGHT PROCEDURES) REGULATIONS, 2018 AND STATUTORY INSTRUMENT NO. 271 OF 2018 CIVIL AVIATION (REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT) REGULATIONS, 2018

          Second Order read: Committee Stage: Consideration of an Adverse Report by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Statutory Instrument No. 253 of 2018 – Civil Aviation (General Procedures and Enforcement), Regulations, 2018, Statutory Instrument No. 255 of 2018 – Civil Aviation (Instrument Flight Procedures) Regulations, 2018 and Statutory Instrument No. 271 of 2018 – Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) Regulations, 2018.

          House in Committee.

          HON. SAMUKANGE: In pursuit of its constitutional mandate as provided for in Section 152 (4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Parliamentary Legal Committee (herein referred to as “the Committee”) considered Statutory Instruments gazetted in November and December 2018. After deliberations the Committee unanimously (4:0) resolved that an adverse report be issued in respect of Statutory Instruments 253, 255 and 271 of 2018 due to the following reasons:

  1. The Committee had written to the Minister with regard to Statutory Instruments 253 and 255 and received no response. The Minister did not bother to respond to our letter either to simply say I agree or disagree with you or to say we will attend to the amendment of these provisions. Nothing, they just went quiet.
  2. Sections 18 (6), 18 and 55 of Statutory Instruemnts 253, 255 and 271 of 2018 are ultra vires the Civil Aviation Act (hereinafter referred to as the “Enabling Act”), which provides in Section 79 (5), that “Regulations made under this section may prescribe penalties for contraventions thereof, but no such penalty shall exceed a fine of level five or imprisonment for a period of six months or both such fine and such imprisonment”.

The adverse sections provide for penalties above those prescribed

by the enabling Act cited above. The Act provides that no such penalty shall exceed a fine of level five or for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

          In each Statutory Instrument cited, the sections which legislate for penalties provide that any person who contravenes the by-laws “shall be guilty of an offence … and liable to a fine not exceeding level 14 and imprisonment for a period of two years.” this violates section 134 (c) of the Constitution, which states “that Statutory Instruments must be consistent with the Act of Parliament under which their mandate falls.”. The Executive cannot usurp Parliament’s legislative role nor can it exceed the limits of the power to make subsidiary legislation given to it by Parliament.

          Summarily, it is the Committee’s opinion that Statutory Instrument Nos. 253, 255 and 271 are ultra vires the enabling Act and unconstitutional for that reason as cited above. Like the previous one that we have just dealt with, you will notice that for some reason the drafters decided to increase the penalties which is outside the perimeters of the enabling Act. Consequently, because of that, it violates both the main Act and the Constitution and it becomes unconstitutional. I am not surprised that the Minister having read our Adverse Report decided not to even respond to it. I would urge that this House adopts the Adverse Report and set this contravention aside.

          House resumed.

          Adverse Report reported without amendments.

          HON. SAMUKANGE: I seek leave to move that the Senate having given consideration to the report of the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Statutory Instrument 253 of 2018, Civil Aviation Act (General Procedure and Enforcement) Regulations of 2018; Statutory Instrument Number 255 of 2018, Civil Aviation (Instrument Flight Procedures) Regulations of 2018 and Statutory Instrument 271 of 2018, Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) Regulations of 2018:  published in the Government Gazette in November 2018, resolved that the Statutory Instrument would, if enacted, be in contravention of Section 49 of the Constitution. So I move.

Motion put and agreed to.

COMMITTEE STAGE

CONSIDERATION OF AN ADVERSE REPORT BY THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE ON STATUTORY INSTRUMENT NUMBER 247 OF 2018 AGRICULTURAL MARKETING AUTHORITY (COMMAND AGRICULTURE SCHEME FOR DOMESTIC CROP, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES PRODUCTION) REGULATIONS, 2018

Third Order read: Committee to resume on the Adverse Report by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Statutory Instrument Number 247 of 2018, Agricultural Marketing Authority, Command Agriculture Scheme for domestic crop, livestock and fisheries production Regulations 2018, published in the Government Gazette during the month of November 2018.

          House in Committee:

          HON. SAMUKANGE: Just before the Senate assumed sitting here, I was approached by the Deputy Chief Whip that the Minister is not available today.  However, he would want to participate when the Senate would be debating this Statutory Instrument and consequently, it is only fair, we agreed yesterday, that he must be present so that he also puts across his side of the law as he understands it.  So, it is my submission, Madam Chair that the debate be further postponed.

          House resumed.

Progress reported.

          Committee to resume: Thursday, 7th March, 2019.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH:  DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND CENTRAL PROVINCE (HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA): Thank you Mr. President.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 7th March, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I move that Order of the Day Number 5 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. CHIMBUDZI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS SUFFERED BY ZIMBABWEANS

HON. SEN. S. NCUBE:  Mr. President, I move the motion standing in my name that this House –

COGNISANT that Sections 48 and 52 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution guarantee the rights to life and security;

DISTURBED by the unabated gross human rights violations suffered by women, men and children occasioned by the unstable and difficulty social, economic and political hardship;

CONCERNED with the rampant violence perpetrated by some artisanal miners in mining areas resulting in the unnecessary loss of lives;

ALSO CONCERNED with the high number of cases of sexual abuse committed by some men against women and children;

NOW THEREFORE, calls upon –

(i)              Parliament to unequivocally condemn all forms of violence; and

(ii)           Government to indiscriminately, ensure that all perpetrators of violence are brought to book.

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I second.

+HON. SEN. S. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the issue of harassment of women and any form of abuse on women.  During the last few months, we saw in many newspapers where they were pointing out that the soldiers or the uniformed forces were beating up women.  Another newspaper was indicating that soldiers were raping women, another one said soldiers were beating up women, another newspaper brought out a headline that watch a soldier bringing out evil nature to the women and another one indicating that look at the soldier who is hiding his face whilst harassing a woman.  As a woman, Mr President Sir, I feel pain and I hope that all women and men who are in this House and all the Zimbabweans would agree with me that harassment of women is very bad. 

I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Shoko for seconding the motion that I brought into this House.  Mr. President, our Constitution is very clear on Chapters 51 and 52 where they are highlighting on rights of being a woman or rights to any individual, what it takes for one to be a woman and how you should be respected.  However, what we saw in the last few days is very bad.  The behaviour of the soldiers left so many wounds especially to women, to our children and our relatives.  Being harassed or abused in front of your siblings and more so in front of your children, especially torturing any parent or sibling in front of children is one very painful experience to a woman or to any Zimbabwean.  When we talk about any form of harassment, we are referring to a mother, father and to the children because they are all affected.  We saw some people beaten up using steel bars in areas like Dzivarasekwa where one person was beaten up and broke a rib. 

Mr. President, there are soldiers that came to residents in Harare and forced their way into people’s homesteads.  They would search to find if there is anyone in that house or if there is any male person in the house.  If they found a woman, for example, there is a woman who was raped by four soldiers when two of them were guarding that woman. These crimes have always been happening but the events I am narrating happened this year. Many people were raped during this period. A high-ranking Government official also stated on National TV that she had been raped at some time during the war of liberation. Rape cases have always been happening. The problem faced by victims of rape is that they are afraid of coming out in the open. When a woman is raped she loses her dignity, she suffers from stress, low esteem. There are people Mr. President, who were raped and I know those people most of the times are not able to come and express out that they were raped. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I am advised the word that you want to use is “dlwe, not dlwa.  I am not an authority in Ndebele. 

          +HON. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. President.  When we are talking of rape, we are saying we are being abused.  In Ndebele, I am saying we are being sexually abused.  I know we have different dialects but what I am saying is the truth about rape cases.  We also have some organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations, when they talk about women who have been sexually abused, they say they are about nine.  When these women were raped, they sought for assistance to go into health centres so that they can be treated and most of these women were residents of Harare. 

          We live in a world which curses somebody who has been abused instead of cursing the abuser. Especially when we are talking of rape cases, the culprit is usually blamed for this action which befalls that person.  Rape is a violent case, very abusive which was perpetrated by men in uniforms, the soldiers.  We know that rape is a heinous crime.  It is that kind of a crime which needs people to take serious punitive action such as incarceration.  When you have been sexually violated, you are somebody who is of low esteem and stressed, you are somebody who feels de-humanised and you may have what we may term internal injuries.  Victims of rape usually have very low esteem.  They lose self-control because it is so bad. 

When we are talking about rape cases and sexual violation of women, I beg Members of this House to discuss this in unison.  Women who have been sexually abused at times fall into different situations.  One thing which they do is to bottle up and do not tell anybody about the violence.  Some of them may even die with that secret.  Of course, we have some who will come out into the open.  If somebody does not come out into the open that they have been raped, it does not mean that person has not been raped.  They have been raped but have their personality to maintain and hence they keep quiet. 

The organisations that worked together with the Peace Project produced a report which says 55.6% have been raped in this past month, which is February.  The women of Zimbabwe are women who are very busy, active, industrious and creative because they want to work for the development of their country.  Some of these women took part in the war of liberation struggle.  Some of them may not be formally employed but they are running their homes economically so that there is development in the home.  The women of Zimbabwe are not by-standers because if they were people who would just be by-standers and fold their arms, there would be no development in Zimbabwe.  We have said we are not going to be by-standers but we are going to partake in the development of our country. 

At times, women are not pro-active in politics because when you are in politics, you become a target of notorious thugs, people of law creation.  Women have been abused in different ways. Some of them have even died because of these heinous crimes being beaten by these people who will be persecuting them and in the process rape them.  We are therefore calling upon the Government of Zimbabwe to take appropriate corrective action.  We know we have been told that the Police Force of Zimbabwe has been trained to work in assisting victims of rape but what is really happening on the ground is that if somebody goes and reports to the police after being raped, at one time you end up being the person who is accused of that crime.  Some women feel humiliated because they want you to demonstrate how you were raped and at times they will tell you that you really enjoyed the act of being raped.  Hence, we are calling upon the Government to protect the victims of rape so that when they get to these police stations, they will get a friendly reception.  There should be people who are well-trained in handling such delicate issues. 

When we talk of these heinous cases, rape cases, violent cases; this does not happen only when we have the police and soldiers perpetrating.  We also have domestic violence.  We have a lot of people who stay with their relatives and some of the people wish these relatives could leave their homes because it seems it is a crime to look after your relatives and friends as they commit crimes within your house. 

A section in our Constitution talks about the protection of the family but how are we going to protect the people in our homes?  What happens when these people are supposed to be protected; they are violated by the guardian who is supposed to be protecting them, the parent who is supposed to be parenting them and the security who is supposed to be protecting them.  We know in the home, the father, the mother and the children should be protected as members of the family.  A home is a man’s castle.  We are not talking about these violent acts including being raped. There are many ways of how people are violated. Some of these domestic violences include being beaten up, threshed, kicked around and some of them diedin these domestic fights in what has been termed crimes of passion.

          At times, when people have a misunderstanding, they may talk over their misunderstanding and end up coming to an understanding. Whilst at some of these cases, let me take a good example of my home area which is Bulawayo. In my environment, there was a man who killed another  using an iron rod which is used for digging holes. Some of them axe their victims, others kill using knives and rocks. They can use any weapon to fix their victims, and they will end up with murder.

          We are appealing to the law enforcement agents to investigate and arrest people who commit these domestic crimes so that they receive the necessary punishment. We talked at length about peace and reconciliation which happened sometime back up to the time of our fore-fathers when they were fighting for their liberation against the colonialists. We are not saying we should only talk about domestic violence of those times, but this should include the misunderstandings which happen in the homes.

          Whenever there is this domestic violence, people should sit down at a round table and look for ways of solving the problem. In Zimbabwe, we are endowed with a lot of minerals and we have had some of these specialist artisanal miners fighting to death because they will be fighting in order to own that mine. They even use machetes because they are scrambling for those mines. I am saying if one has been arrested for these heinous crimes, they should be incarcerated for a lengthy period and given a heavy sentence.

          I know that we are talking against death sentence, but some of these people really deserve the death sentence because of these heinous crimes. There are people who when they are violated do not go to report the cases because what they say is that you go to the police and report but you find that person is detained for a short time. You find them walking scot free and you feel you are being violated and they may attack you anytime.    

          I remember when they go to the police, they are treated with kid gloves. What I have known is that when they go to report their cases to the police, they will be told that they have no fuel for their cars. What I am saying is, we want a situation where the police are properly given the tools of their trade so that when somebody goes to report a case, the policemen can quickly jump into their car, then go and arrest the perpetrator of violence. People will have faith in the police if they quickly react.

          So, we need to have that situation because if police do not act on time, people will have little faith on the police and they feel that reporting such violent domestic cases is a waste of time because the perpetrator would live scot free and they will suffer in silence. Thank you.

          +HON. SEN. PHUTI: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution. I need to make my contribution on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. S. Ncube. This is a very painful act especially regarding us women and the girl child because we have lost our personality. We are people who lack respect from amongst our people because we are violated by being raped and nobody takes care of us. We have noticed that we also have the girl child being raped in school and the perpetrators of this heinous act are the principals, lecturers and the boys.

          I have heard of cases whereby the principals of some of these tertiary institutions have asked for sexual favours from the girl child to get a place at that institution but it does not end there. Whenever there is an assignment which has to be done, for this child to pass, they also ask for sexual favours. The most painful thing is that the girl child does not tell the parents that she managed to pass her programme because she gave sexual favours to her principal. It is painful because we look at the age of the teachers, grey haired, nonagenarians and octogenarians raping Grade 7 pupils who are 12 to 14 years old, but they do not care.

          We also have these artisanal miners raping minors; giving them sweets, jiggies or any of those small things so that they can force themselves on them. In Mangwe, these young men took up a young girl who had been said to have fallen in love with artisanal miners and this 12 year old was beaten by adult men who are from 20 years and above. They beat her on her private parts alleging she was a prostitute. I am saying the situation in the country is so bad. Some of these people whose human rights are being violated are the orphans.

          We have in the neighbourhood people who know that in their environment, they have people who are orphans and they take advantage in trying to buy favours by bringing some mealie-meal or some goodies so that at the end of the day, they would rape the women in that village or even the young girls. What surprises is that some of these perpetrators of these heinous crimes are people who are well to do. They come in fancy cars full of groceries and goodies so that they can gain favours from these people whom they later sexually violate.

          There are other cases whereby there are these religious prophets who pray for women who have misfortunes or umnyama in their lives at the mountain. What happens is that they indulge in sexual intercourse. Hon. Senators, please forgive me, I am not trying to attack any religious organisation but I am talking of a fact which is really happening. These prophets are abusing their religious powers and you happen to see that this woman has been abused when she aborts. You ask who is responsible for that pregnancy and you are told it is the Pastor or the Apostle who was praying for that woman.

          We also have a situation whereby the male relatives rape these girls. I remember in my constituency whereby an 11 year old was impregnated by three relatives – an uncle, a brother and a cousin.  So, when we were running around in the courts when the case was in the courts, that child had turned twelve, yet the crime was committed when she was 11 years old.  Then when she had turned 12, it was said that this girl had reached the age of consent and this happens because some of these people who commit these crimes have enough money to buy legal representation. 

According to our Constitution, a girl below the age of 12 is within the age of consent. I have also noticed that not only are women abused in that way but even politically, we find that women are abused in the political arena.  Please, I am begging you menfolk responsible for abusing women: will you please stop that habit because it is a bad and abusive habit.  It does not mean that there is only sexual abuse but abuse can be in several forms like economically, financially and sexually. 

          Let me go further and say, not only are women abused but some men are also abused. However, men are too proud to come into the open and say that they are being sexually abused in the home by their wives and girlfriends.  When that person goes to report to the police, he becomes a laughing stock to the police and they will mock that man for being abused in his home.  We believe that a man’s home is his castle.

          Let me conclude my contribution by saying, as hon. Members, let us inform people in our constituencies that when they are abused sexually or physically or economically, they should go and report because if you bottle that abuse, you will end up committing suicide by hanging yourself or taking some poison or live a stressful life.  Mr. President that is why I am saying, we need to come out into the open when we are abused.  We find that we have women who put on some mini clothes which abuse men.  I am begging the people of Zimbabwe that we should not put on some scanty clothing which we should only be seeing happening in countries far away from us like in South Africa and Botswana. 

You will find that some of these people move semi-naked or semi-nude so that when somebody tries to bend, you can see all their private parts.  That is why some people will say, you asked people to rape you because of the way you were dressed.  We are not butcheries whereby people would advertise the beef that they will be selling.  At times even when you go to the courts, you are told that ma’am, please bend down and demonstrate the way you were bending when this man attacked you.  When you bend down, they will see that you were already, semi-naked and you attracted this to yourself.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN WUNGANAYI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Ncube.  I think if what she said was very true, it is bad for the image of our country, especially in a situation where we have members of the security forces who go around raping our womenfolk.  According to our culture, this is a heinous crime because when we are looking at people who are putting on national uniforms and whose responsibility is to protect the nation and especially to protect the weaker sex, the women, you will find that it is these protectors who are now victimising those people who they are supposed to be protecting.

          Mr. President, when women are abused, regardless of who is abusing them, be it soldiers or any other civilian, my expectation was that as this case was being laid out, these women need to be serious to tackle this issue because, when your neighbor has been sexually abused as a woman, and you end up saying well, she asked for it, that is her fault - remember that tomorrow it will be your turn.  I am calling upon the women of Zimbabwe that when a woman has been abused, please, do not look at that particular woman as somebody who exposed herself to the abuse. 

Every woman should be protected.  When Hon. Sen. Ncube was debating, I was saying, is it really true but we also heard that some of these people who were abusing people were putting on military uniform.  I am saying, when we have a country where the guard is abusing those powers, who is going to guard the guard, who is going to soldier on the soldier and who is going to police the policeman?  Women have to be protected.  When we were growing up, we were told that women were of a weaker sex and they need to be protected and when we have people working in Government, employed to protect people and property regardless of nationality, religion or creed and you will find that they are the people who are now perpetrating this heinous crime of rape. 

I am begging that this House, this is an august House responsible for the law making process, why can we not promulgate this law which will make us scrutinise as to who the victim has suffered at the hands of these abusers, especially when we talk of domestic violence.  Why do these civil servants move at night and when a crime has been committed, why do they not investigate it during the day so that they apprehend that person?  On the contrary, they move at night and when they find the woman there, they rape the woman.  Some of them are so daring that they even rape the woman in front of her husband and rape daughters in front of their fathers and mothers.  As legislators, we need to bring some of these cases into the open and we should not be silent about it because the perpetrator happens to be our blue eyed.

          Mr. President, I am going to be very brief and also kindly ask our soldiers to protect the people.  The last time I heard of these dangerous criminals, it was during the time of the rebellion before the Unity Accord when we had people like Gwesela.  You people, you commit these crimes and why do you rape people, are you not afraid of HIV?  Are you not afraid of the STIs?  Why are you not upholding our culture which talks of the sanctity of human life - as soldiers entrusted by the State to protect the people and property?  I thank you. 

          #HON. SEN. NYATHI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on the sexual abuse and raping of our people raised by Hon. Sen. Ncube whose motion was seconded by Sen. Shoko. I want to say this perpetration of violence which we are debating now, why is it that perpetrators of such a heinous crime are not arrested? We have been told of the many cases of abuse which the womenfolk suffer. We have heard a lot of things which have happened and when we grew up we knew the main responsibility of the soldiers is to protect the nation and the police protect the people so that when there is any problem or misunderstanding, we report to the police.

          The current situation is that the police are lions and the soldiers are leopards. They are predators and they instill fear in people. What we believe is that it does not mean to say that when you are security personnel you intimidate people because you are a trained person. If a man in uniform commits a crime; we should interrogate them because they are human beings just like anybody. We have a lot of ways whereby these domestic crimes are committed and these are both domestic and politically motivated crimes.

I do not know why they prefer to attack women who are of the weaker sex and men were given birth to by women. I have never heard of a case where a man has given birth to a child but we know that women are people who are respectful. When we talk of women - any woman regardless of race, colour or creed, a woman is a woman and should be given the respect which is due to her.

I was born in 1960 and in all those years I never heard anything but when I turned 56 I was incarcerated and the reason was that I was participating in politics. Surprisingly enough, there was no crime that was mentioned which I committed but it was a way of fixing me because I was in politics. The reason why they are committing these crimes is because they have had very little training. They are trained for two weeks and deployed. In the past, soldiers and policemen were given lessons on how to live with the people in communities.

At times when you ask the security personnel a question they start quoting non-existing laws because you talked back to them. I will have asked whether what this person is doing is within the law or if he is acting ultra vires so they can be corrected. I know in this country we are abusing our legal system regardless of the way we may talk nothing is going to happen. We have to establish animus furandi when a crime is committed and we need to create a situation whereby people should be afraid of committing a crime because they know they will suffer.

I remember some day when I was talking about a nurse who was killed by her boyfriend who had travelled all the way from Nkayi to Hwange to go and kill that girlfriend. At times, before we can debate these issues some of the Bills are quickly changed to protect people when that person has committed a crime and you know this person committed murder. Why should we waste our time taking such cases to court when it is obvious that the person killed someone? That is why we are saying Zimbabwe is lawless, let us talk about issues which are prevailing in the country.

We were told about domestic violence and some of the people who suffer are not going to report these cases because there is corruption. You can go and report to the police but if you do not have any money, your case will not be taken because that other offender will bribe the officers. We had a person who committed murder in Lupane and that person was incarcerated for six years. Is it really enough for someone who killed a human being? What do the members of the deceased feel?

We need to promulgate laws so that the people who commit such heinous crimes receive corresponding sentences. We should know that nobody is above the law. Whosoever commits a crime should suffer the consequences. We were elected by the people. As honourable members we should create and craft laws which protect the public. Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I will start by saying we are Senators and our main job is to create laws which are aimed at making Zimbabwe a peaceful country. We also have that oversight role of looking at the performance of the country. Whenever we feel there is an abrogation of the legal system we should take corrective ways. We do that without any partisan, religious or consideration creed - to discriminate people. We are living in a country of Zimbabwe which is led by His Excellency Hon. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. The President who is leading the country also follows the Constitution of the country, just like what happens in other countries.

As far as I am concerned, we were progressing well since the time President Mnangagwa took office but problems started on the 14th January, 2019 - if I am not mistaking the date. We did not understand what happened on that particular day as leaders of the nation, but we should know that Zimbabwe is a democratic country and when we talk of democracy, everybody is protected regardless of parties and politics.  When we are talking of His Excellency, he is the President for the whole nation and all the people, the ones who love him and those who hate him. 

          The President was not happy at all by what happened on that day, when the violent activities took place, he was outside the country.  When he came back, he was told about the victims of these violent acts, including those who died.  The President knew that he could not handle this case alone but he needed some assistance from adjudicators from other countries.  These included South Africa, Britain and Tanzania; this Commission was asked to investigate the causes of the violence which happened on that particular day.  True to their mandate, the Commission moved around the country investigating in an open court of law.

          We discovered that some people in Zimbabwe, both young and old, wanted to usurp the powers of the State.  You are all aware that Zimbabwe has a democratically elected Government which was voted into power.  We know that Zimbabwe is protected by the Soldiers and the police and when somebody has been convicted and incarcerated, we have prison officers who will guard these people.  When these violent activities took place, the police officers failed to contain the situation, hence they called for assistance from the security forces and the solders came and were able to maintain the peace.  From that time onwards, we had peace in the country as well as progress.

          We have people who are talking of victims of rape cases and torture; we are very old enough that we have clear conscience and we hate rape and torture.  Therefore the question is; is it very true? The President came and explained to the Minister responsible for dissemination of information Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa saying whosoever committed such a crime should be thoroughly investigated.  Those who were tortured and again raped should come out in the open and give evidence.

          We have got leaders such as the Legislatures and other leaders everywhere; these people should take up this case and if there is any member of the uniformed forces who committed such a heinous crime they have to be arrested and incarcerated.  Legally, if there are any victims of rape, they should come forward and conduct a parade in order for them to point those who violated them.  We have known that identification parades have been held in many instances whereby the victims have managed to identify the people who violated them.  So, regardless of whosoever committed the crime, be it a solder, a policeman or whoever they are, should be arrested and incarcerated.  We need to have peace in the country.

          When somebody has taken your wife, you have got every reason of taking that person to the courts.  If that person has committed that crime secretly, an identification parade will be held so as to pinpoint that person.  The reason why I am saying this is because we have got people who are just talking without any facts to be brought up forward and there are no witnesses.  When we heard of those people claiming to have been raped, we expected that these victims would come up and report.  Unfortunately nobody came to report such rape cases.  Now, we are wondering whether these alleged rape cases are true or we have got some people who just want to tarnish the image of Zimbabwe.

          Hon. Senators having jeered the Hon. Member speaking.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senators there is something called tolerance! You have got every right to move a motion in this House and debate it.  If somebody stands up and gives an opinion which is different from yours, it does not mean you should jeer them or kuridza tsamwa like what I am hearing – it is wrong.  We want to promote tolerance in Zimbabwe. You should not be afraid to express your opinions because you belong to party X. We fought for freedom of expression, it is in the Constitution.  The Hon. Senator is expressing his views, there is nothing illegal, do not boo him. He is saying what he feels just like what the Hon. Senator Ncube did; she moved her motion freely.  Let us be mature.  Tolerance out there in the countryside, for it to flourish in Binga, Zaka or Mutasa, it starts with us here as Senators.  Let us respect and love each other. Being ZANU PF is not a crime neither is being MDC a crime. 

          Hon. Sen. Shoko having laughed.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Shoko, what is that laughter meant for?

          HON. SEN. SHOKO: Hon. President I was just smiling to what you said. It is very reasonable and dignified. When you were addressing the House, I was also nodding my head and when you finished I was also smiling that you have made a very good point.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for your protection.  When we talk about politics, we are members of the same family, we are Zimbabweans.  Whether we belong to the opposition or the ruling party, we tolerate each other. We do not discriminate each other that is why we are talking facts.

          As Hon. Senators, we drafted the Constitution of the country, which we did both parties and therefore when we have crafted such a Constitution, let us then find ways of arresting the perpetrators of such heinous crimes.  What we are saying calling upon you is that please go to your constituencies, talk to your people who were abused, talk to your people who were violated so that they can come forward.  When they come forward, we will solve our problem and have a Zimbabwe where people act in unison and in peace.  I have talked about what I have heard and this is what I contributed.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  Thank you Mr. President.  I stand up to debate the motion that has been brought by Hon. Sen. Ncube and by me.  Mr. President, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.  The issue that is being discussed here is a very serious one in that when such allegations are being made to our security forces, it also does not paint a good picture to our country.  You would find that we have problems in going out there and defend some of these issues.  Mr. President, our Constitution itself, if you look at Section 53 it says, ‘freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  No person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’.  Mr. President, certainly there were some people that were ill-treated, there were some people that were tortured and if you go to our courts, there is evidence to that effect.  There were people that had been tortured after they had been arrested and this House does not condone that because the Constitution that we passed, that was passed by the people of Zimbabwe and that was debated in this House does not allow any torture. 

Mr. President, when we discuss about this motion, we should understand what happened in Germany when Hitler was the ruler then, there was a saying that when the soldiers of Hitler were going to look for trade unionists, the Jews and the ordinary population said no, they are looking for trade unionists.  Trade unionists were finished, next they looked for farmers and they said no, they are looking for farmers and the farmers were swept out.  Finally, they came to those people that were saying what the soldiers were doing was good.  So we must always stand for the truth.  We must always stand to defend what our Constitution says.  I hear people saying, there was nothing like that.  Certainly, there was something like that because it was all over in the Papers.  If you go tothe Magistrates Court, you will get people that have been affected by what we are talking about.  There were women that were raped.  You can say no, they did not come forward, but they were there – people that were raped and people that were beaten.  There are mothers that were raped and beaten and children that were beaten.  We are very proud of our armed forces.  Some of them as you know are war veterans that came from the liberation struggle and we love those people.  Taiimba tichiti, mukoma zvamauya tongayi Zimbabwe.  That shows love that we have but when any wrong is being committed, let us stand up as a House and talk about these things so that they are not repeated.  If we try to put them under the carpet, Mr. President, one day it will be on the other hand because presently, it might be on the left hand and when it comes to the right hand, it will be very unfortunate. 

This House must stand up and say, if anything of that sort had happened, those people must be dealt with but the problem that we have in this country Mr. President is selective for arrest.  Another political party does things and no arrests are made, when the other political party does or has not, you will find people being arrested.  That is the problem that we have Mr. President.  If they are defending the country, it is welcome.  If you come to arrest me, do not rape my wife, do not rape my girl child, arrest me and go with me.  When you have gone with me, do not violate Section 53 of the Constitution because it says, I must be treated fairly.  Let me not get into court with a broken arm or a broken leg.  If you have done that, then that person is violating Section 53.  Mr. President, this is an issue that we must unite and condemn in this House and say if this happened, it must not happen again.  Mr. President, with those few words, I will sit down and let others debate but before I sit down, I am saying, unity of purpose in this House will save us whether you are in the ruling party or in the opposition party, you will not remain in the ruling party.  One day, I will be in the ruling party and I will do it to you and I do not want to do that to you.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 7th March, 2019.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 2017

Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Annual Report for the year ended December 2017.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. SHOKO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 7th March, 2019.

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

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 06 MARCH 2019 vol 28 no 35