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SENATE HANSARD 07 MARCH 2018 27 NO 26

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 7th March, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN (HON. SEN. MASUKU):  Mr. President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 be stood over until all the other Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PROVISION OF ALTERNATIVE RESETTLEMENT AREAS FOR ZWEHAMBA, MAHATSHE AND MATANKENI COMMUNITIES

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Mr. President, I move the motion standing in my name    

That this House-

DISTURBED by the lack of commitment by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement to provide alternative resettlement areas for communities from Zwehamba; Mahatshe; and Matankeni evicted to pave way for developmental national projects;

CONCERNED at the apparent lack of consideration for such communities who had to bear the brutal brunt of oppression in 1947 when they resisted eviction;

COGNIZANT that it is their right to enjoy the fruits and the benefits of the war of liberation in view of their heroic exploits when they resisted colonial oppression;

MINDFUL that such communities have to be involved in the Command Agriculture Programme which was launched in 2016, a year which coincided with their unscheduled evictions.

NOW THEREFORE; calls upon the Executive to expeditiously resolve the issue of providing arable land to sixty-two households from Zwehamba; Mahatshe; and Matankeni areas in the Matobo District so that they can resume their farming activities undisturbed so as to live a prosperous and stable life premised on peace and stability which is requisite in the whole of Zimbabwe.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I second.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Mr. President, after having tried to engage with all the Ministries that have to serve us as citizens and have failed; also when I look at the desperation and dejection of these villages, I cannot forgive myself if I keep quiet as if all is normal when it is not.

Mr. President, on the 23rd September, 2016, I was imprisoned together with 25 villagers who are part of the 62 villagers affected by the expansion of ARDA when it merged with Trek Petroleum for a farming venture.  The august House might want to know why I was unlawfully imprisoned; it was because ZRP officers do not understand the representative role of a Member of Parliament.

People who were victimised by vicious evictions on the 15th September, 2016 consulted different stakeholders including myself on their plight and a meeting was organised at Matankeni Business Centre which is central to all the three villages.  I was invited to the meeting.  I was shown evidence of the brutality which was done by the Manager of ARDA, Mr. Alex Chinyai and a Trek Representative.  People’s fields were bulldozed by an excavator without even considering the elderly people who needed assistance in recovering their fence and poles so as to use in the next life.

Mr. President, the forefathers of these villagers were evicted from Makhandeni in 1912 and were dumped by the colonial master to these areas, Zwehamba, Mahetshe and Matankeni.  In 1947, the colonial regime realised the fertility of the said land after these people had tilled the land and were making a living.  It is then that they decided to peg the area and that the current Zimbabwean Government evoked and allowed ARDA and Trek to expand and use it.  This House might want to know again that these people  had fought and resisted until in 1969 to 1970 when Tilcor was introduced.  Only five homesteads were moved following negotiations and even paid compensation to enable them to build new homes and till fields. 

Mr. President, we have three of these said members who are still alive.  They are there with their families, and they are still alive witnessing those trucks provided for easy movement of their property.  Mr. President, this is why I have decided to move this motion so that Hon. Senators can have an opportunity to debate on this motion and even make reference of other areas they know that are facing the same challenges and also to remember the plight of these people as they bask in the glory of having so many hectares at their disposal.  As we debate on the success and food security, which we attribute to the Command Agriculture, we must remember to represent the voiceless citizens who have no land to farm for their families and grazing land for economic empowerment. 

Mr. President, on the 16th February, 2017, I posed a written question to the Ministry of Lands as follows;

 ‘Minister of Rural Resettlement to inform the House why Government is violently evicting communities from farming and grazing lands in Zwehamba, Matankeni and Mahetshe villages of Matobo District at the behest of Trek/ARDA project which is enforcing a 1947 issue, which does not recognize that these families have been residing in this area since 1912?’

Mr. President, the first paragraph of the response by the then Hon. Deputy Minister Chikwama was as follows;

‘The area in question belongs to ARDA and is clearly demarcated on the ground. This area is adjacent to communal areas, when ARDA took occupation of the area in 1947, they did not take up all the land that was allocated to them.  ARDA had agreement with the community that they can temporarily utilise land that was not under its immediate use’. 

However, the advent of Command Agriculture has seen ARDA reclaiming all their land, hence resulting in evictions and conflicts. Mr. President, I want to put it on record that Government is not sincere in this response, just by looking at this one paragraph out of many presented. From 1947-2016, it is 69 years. Government cannot call that temporary arrangement because it is a life time. Why they could not utilise the land is because people of that area fought a war, a war that deterred the colonial regime to fulfill these plans and if Government wanted to investigate the history of that area, from 1912, it translates to 104 years by the year 2016, which is completely a century.

I raised the same issue when the Peace and Security Report was tabled in the House by the Committee Chair Hon. Mumvuri D; that seeks to celebrate and recognise the gains of command agriculture. My point was we should remember that people could not participate because Government deprived them of the land they fought for.

On the 3rd of August, 2017, I posed a question to Vice President Hon. P. Mphoko who was also Minister of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation so that he knows that these people are angry enough as the saying goes that a hungry man is an angry man. Also, it is common knowledge that wars all over the world are fought because of boundaries for cultivating and grazing lands.

Mr. President, on the 24th of September, 2017, I sent a letter to the Hon. Vice President P. Mphoko again in his capacity as the Minister of Peace, with the names and I. D. Numbers of these people in need. I was hoping that he might direct the responsible Ministries to solve this issue with expediency. I will only read the introductory letter which I sent to him and table the whole letter as part of my motion. I will also table the names of the people affected, contrary to the Deputy Minister of Lands’ report which only identified and recognised two that were purported to be affected. Here are the names of the breadwinners in the 62 households which translates to more than 500 people affected. Mr. President, the demands of the people are as follows: The relevant Ministries should provide the following in order to conform with the Constitution on our rights to land, food, health, dignity and economic empowerment.

1.    Farms for part of the affected who are eligible are as follows:

Sithembiso Maduna, Samson Maduna, Elvis Ncube, Nathaniel Maduna, Alred Moyo, Ezrom Ngwenya and Mphakathi Ncube.

2.    Community land (farm) for all the 55 villagers on our list. Provision of water to schools, clinic, road network before settling people as soon as possible.

3.    Burial site ASAP for the 27 deceased who are our blood relations. Want to exhume and bury them before Trek/ARDA commence farming on their graves. We demand that Trek/ARDA bears the cost with Home Affairs Supplementing.

4.    Provision of passage from Matankeni Power line to Alicedale/Karisenin for easy access to our traditional grazing lands. Before 30/12/2017.

5.    Provision of confirmation letters for food provisions enough for 6 people in each household for all the 60 affected until harvesting season 2018 that is if the land for farming is provided in time for the 2017/18 ploughing season i.e. using world vision standards.

6.    Road to be provided from Nganunu to Maphisa via Fourshe’s Khaya must be fenced to allow freedom of movement before 12/2017.

7.    Trek/ARDA not to commence ploughing before we exhume our deceased and also get time to transfer our traditional rites areas to our new provided lands.

8.    We demand subsistent employment opportunities for our children with contracts specified and to be in management and be shareholders not casual employment which has no stipulated salaries. We should benefit from the natural resources that surround us and this project.

9.    If there is any communication to the 62 of us, it must be addressed to our names through our legal representatives not through D. A., VIDCOS and Chiefs. Matters between Hon. Sen. Sithembiso Mlotshwa and 61 others.

10.                       Ministry of National Heritage and Rural Development to provide a clear map that is simplified to show the rural fork were exactly the 1947 boundaries are with a key to show the landmarks.

NAMES OF THE BREADWINNERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

MAHETSHE

Sithembile Mlotshwa

08-169786 B39

Brilliant Moyo

73-091234 S73

Sibongile Ncube

08-403315 M34

Dalubuhle Nyathi

39-067926 L39

Kwanele Ndlovu

39-007394 Q39

Lillian Baloyi

39-024997 Z39

Sanelisiwe Mhlope

39-026433 K39

Elvis Ncube

39-019730 Z39

Viola Ncube

08-671161 Z39

Dingindlela Ncube

39-019730 Z39

Joseph Mkhwananzi

08-321337 N39

Bongani Mkhwananzi

39-066837 C39

Khothani Sibanda

08-318790 M79

MATANKENI

Dugmore Muzeyiwa

08-131587 F43

Juliana Ncube

39-015284 R39

Fanuel Ncube

39-067486 H39

Nosizo Ndlovu

39-504373 F39

Delfine Nyathi

53-087868 B53

Hloniphani Tshuma

53-057568 T53

Thulani Nyathi

08-713970 F39

John Khumalo

02-011747 F39

Douglas Ngwenya

08-098641 J39

Alfred Moyo

 

Molly Ncube

 

 

ZWEHAMBA

Samson Maduna

08-300060 D39

Gift Nsingo

39-040432 B39

Ezron Nwenya

39-006318 W39

Sibangani Ncube

39-012175 M39

Member Ndlovu

39-007110 G39

Rejoice Songo

08-488291 C39

Nathaniel Maduna

08-288100 D39

Eliot Nsigo

08-330535 D39

Violet Moyo

08-328392 Z39

Bishop Dube

39-016948 A39

Siphilakuhle Moyo

39-011526 G39

Youngman Banda

08-585243 K08

Mzethi Ndlovu

28-051085 J39

Alrert Nsigo

39-062725 H39

Kembo Ncube

58-069849 M39

Oliver Ndebele

08-462151 P39

Sithembiso Ncube

08-050987 C39

Thembinkosi Ndlovu

39-008022 Y39

Sinikiwe Ndlovu

39-010033 J39

Philimon Ndlovu

08-209354 K39

Nhlanganiso Maduna

84-010787 X39

Mbalisi Ndlovu

39-044012 V39

Qhubekile Ndlovu

39-020656 F39

Keleva Moyo

08-254824 J39

Rosina Dube

08-396982 D39

Elida Nyathi

28-053910 E39

Khumbukani Mhlanga

39-017432 B39

Goodwill Khumalo

39-067710 B56

Jane Bhanda

08-321572 L39

Patrick Ncube

28-000021 E39

Esnath Ncube

28-051637 J39

Smothini Ndiweni

08-428512 A39

Ndabezinhle Dube

39-008970 D39

Mlungisi Dube

08-481569 W39

Magiro Moyo

08-456467 L39

Rojer Ncube

08-243244 X39

Fika Ncube

08-321038 F39

Maphakathi Ncube

08-595603 W39

 

In conclusion, we believe that the Government discriminated against us because of our geographical locations. We know that the Executive have farms that are as big as 200 hectares per person and so many people occupy land that they have no use of. We believe that the Government was not interested in knowing of these people that fought a war for this land that is if their forefathers fought, it means they also did. That Government and the Executive especially is not keen on protecting the Supreme law of the land which is the Constitution. That the Government allowed ARDA/Trek to violet the rights of these people by not giving them enough notice by also allowing ARDA/Trek to use and fulfill the colonial agenda of 1947 by not gazetting as the law requires.  

We also believe that the Government interfered in the urgent application we made to the High Court in September 2016 for interdict so that the people are not moved without proper procedures and alternative land is provided. People in their demands wanted to exhume the remains of their relatives and put them somewhere but they did not have a place where to put them.

So, it is one of the demands that they wanted before ARDA started planting on the remains of their forefathers which it has done now. I want to say that with the change of things, with the new dispensation that has ushered in V. P. Mnangagwa as the President now, he is the one who was involved and he knows the issue very well. He was the one who was visiting the ARDA/Trek every time. I hope that since he is the one to make the final decisions in this country, he will have pity on the plight of these people who do not have any piece of land to live on.

Mr. President, we feel we are not equal citizens like other areas of Zimbabwe. We know very well that the two Vice Presidents of Zimbabwe frequent the ARDA/Trek establishments because we see them. Why are they not addressing our plight? It is because the motion was written in 2017. Mr. President, the lucky of these people, the Zwehamba, Matankeni and Mahetshe villagers is that their Chief is a Member of Parliament and knows about the issue. This is Chief Nyangazonke. So, it is not an issue like Chikwama was saying that only two people were evicted. It is 62 households that have been evicted and they need land.

As it is, three weeks ago, Vice President Chiwenga was presenting the command livestock in Insiza which is in Matabeleland South but since these people missed out on the command maize and wheat, they are going to miss out again on the command livestock. I thank you very much Mr. President.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President. I stand to second the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa. There are a few issues that I want to deal with. The first issue that I want to address is development and resettlement. We all accept as a nation and it is internationally accepted that where development takes place, it sometimes happens that it affects the way in which people are living. In doing so, we should not forget that in the common language, we call the people in the rural areas and towns, our people. It is not that we own them, but that they are part of us. They are an integral part of the life of a black man.

So, where people have to give way to development, they must equally be catered for in terms of their future and their immediate needs. It is in that spirit that I second the motion that Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa has raised. I have worked around Mashonaland and I have seen people being carelessly moved from areas they are settled in and being moved by very high officers. It is very inconsiderate of us as leaders, as Zimbabweans and also as so called liberators to liberate people and then be seen to be oppressing them. It is a terrible precedent in my opinion. That is the first point I want to make.

The second point I want to make is a question of principle. Initially, I wanted to speak Ndebele so that even the forefathers of those people who are affected would hear me and even the dead would hear me. When I ran short of equivalent words in Ndebele for the English that I am using, I said let me resort to English. One of the principles is that let us respect our own people. Let us give credence to the efforts that people have made stretching trying to claim what they perceive and rightly so, to be their entitlement.  This is not to negate the point that people may be moved.  People may be moved - however, it has to be done with an understanding that minimum disruption to their lives is imposed.  The people we are talking about have not been moved; the people we are talking about have the bulk of their land taken away from them.  What is the difference between our behaviour and that of the colonial people?

          I am told that the colonialists; one of my grandmothers told me that as they were reaping their crops, the colonial master was sending his cattle behind them.  We are getting close to that standard of not being considerate of our people.  I am saying in principle that is wrong; that is terrible.  Where should these people go if Government cannot look after them?  I think sometimes we things will resolve themselves, if we talk about 1912 and today 2018, it is over a century and nothing concrete has been done to address the situation.  Over 100 years and at one time when a generation was about 36 years in this country; that was three generations; today - it is probably two generations and we have not done anything concrete about that problem.

          The last point I want to make is that this area we are talking about is a historically traumatised area.  It is only maybe as the crow flies about 10 km from Balagwe.  I do not want to repeat the history of Balagwe, but it is a situation where when people talk about it, your hair rises and when you cause people within that region to feel neglected; unwanted, uncared for or to feel not being part of the integral system of management of this country, then you are evoking  terrible memories. What I beg of this Executive and all of us is to minimise the level of second trauma on these people and move them with dignity out of this area and resettle them and cause that chapter to be closed.  Mr. President with those comments, I thank you for the opportunity.

          +HON. SEN. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me the chance to make my contribution on this motion where we talk about land which was grabbed from people in Matabeleland South.  We have heard what has been debated and we have a lot of questions that need to be answered.  What we are saying is when an incident occurs in the country, people should debate and cry out.  When they have cried out, they need to be assisted.

          May I also point out that when you were elected by people to that high post of leading them, you are not a ‘demi god’ and you are not a god.  We must know this fact, not everybody can be a leader but we are advising those who are in the leadership that when you are in that position, please listen to the grievances of those people you are leading.  All I am saying, in short is that all these people whose land has been grabbed and if it is noticed that the people have been put at a place where if properly utilised, the whole country can benefit. 

          Let me talk about the people who were displaced from the area where the Kariba dam was built; that is very important.  It was necessary to move such people because the project is of benefit to the whole nation, if not the whole region but if you move people – in this case we are talking of 62 people who were moved because one person had to benefit.  How can we live in a country whereby you can only benefit if you have connections in the top hierarchy?

          If people are supposed to benefit because of movement of some people and relocation of these people for a benefit of those people in those areas like you want to construct a garage or a school, people will benefit.  We look at the place where people are moved; people will be utilising the land and doing some farming or any other projects and we have an individual who has money which he is going to use on his own and benefit as an individual. We are saying if many people can benefit from that same piece of land let us not say this individual has been paying tax and disadvantage the majority.  People should not suffer and be moved unnecessarily.

          We have heard or seen movement of people in Chingwizi. There were some people who were moved to Chingwizi but when they were relocated, some of them were given some money.  We have some people who said they did not want to move away from Chingwizi because they said it was their traditional territory but we are saying Chingwizi is a national project. Here we are talking of an individual who is going to construct an individual project like a garage and you move all the people because of something that will benefit one person, this leads to the bitterness; this leads to people thinking that there is tribalism because we believe in that when people from the Northern part of the country raise a complaint, it is understood, but when a complaint is raised by people from the Southern region, nobody listens. 

          We all belong to Zimbabwe.  We are Zimbabweans, the leaders who are leading us belong to the people of Zimbabwe, regardless of who is in that position, he is a representative of everybody.  We wish to have people who are Ministers, who are going to work in this Ministry, who should be obliged and come to respond to questions raised  in the House so that people can get a full explanation because we have a problem in that when such issues are raised, Ministers do not come to respond to these motions.  We are not just a chatter box; we are saying when we raise these motions we need to have responses; we need to be listened to.  We have a problem when we have Hon. Members who when they debate nobody takes care.  Allow me to use colloquial language, people may be insinuating that you are insane; you are mad, so nobody listens to a mad person.  What is happening is people are raising an alarm, we have a problem, please assist us; please rescue us but people just keep quiet.

When such a thing happens there is a precedent which has to be set. We are talking of future generations. 

Let me talk of the gold panners, they are after the gold and they do not even care where the gold is found.  If it is under your house or a school, whatever, they will go for the gold.  They do not care about your welfare and we say this is cruelty.  It is against God’s principles.  When we talk of the Kings, the chiefs and the Presidents, they have been there since time immemorial but we have rules and regulations which have to be followed.  Any country needs to have rulers. What kind of leaders are we when we have our citizens raising an alarm, saying they have got a problem and nobody listens?   Are we insinuating that these people are crazy?  Please come and respond to the issues raised by these people who were displaced, this has caused a lot of headaches.  When is this problem going to be rectified?

When some of these things happen, precedence should be set because the tomorrow generation is going to blame us and say when this incident occurred where were you? How come you did not get relief for these people? We are representatives of the people; it is one of our roles as representatives of the people. 

          There are some issues which are raised which may be difficult to respond to, but if there is a time that a response is going to come, even whosoever we will be talking would feel that they have been listened to but if you talk to somebody about your problem and they just look at - you without a response, you will feel that they think you are insane.  At times you even think that they take you as a foreigner and maybe you are coming from Zambia, Botswana or South Africa.  Therefore, when you make a loud noise, nobody listens because they are saying you do not belong here. 

          I thank the Hon. Sen. who moved this motion and the Hon. Sen. who seconded.  We are hoping the powers that be; the Minister responsible will come and give a special response on this request.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. SHOKO: When I was listening to the debate that was brought by Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa, I heard that there is an Act that was made in 1947 and I also picked that those people have been staying in that particular place for more than 104 or 120 years.  I heard that the Act that was being used was an Act that was enacted in 1947.  Usually we used to say Haa ndezvavarungu izvo.  We would ignore that and say that this was an Act that was put by the Europeans in order to suppress our people.  I do not think as a black Government we should continue with an Act that was put in order to suppress our people.

          Mr. President when you look at some of these things you would find that as a Government, we take these things without any seriousness.  I am a legislator, I am black, the people that are settled there are black and I do not want to listen to their grievances, it then becomes confusing in that when a white man was doing that to me, I was complaining to say you cannot do that to me because this is my own country.  Now, it is me who is doing it to another black person who is a citizen of this country also – it then shows we do not care about each other.  I do not think we are right as a Government.  We need to look at these things.   We need to have empathy for these people because when you do things you must put yourself in the shoes of that person – how would I feel if it was me.

 If you do not do that then you have got a problem. We are simply saying, look,  if these people were settled there before the Europeans came and the Europeans passed an Act in 1947 but they did not execute that Act against those people,  it therefore means when we come in ourselves as a black Government, we must also understand why the Europeans did not do that.  If we do not do that, you would find people now talking about tribes, to say you do not like this tribe that is why you are doing this.  That is not good for a Government because a Government is for society and citizens.  The Government must look at the problems that affect citizens. 

I get confused because this matter was discussed here with the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Development, I am saying that because I was educated yesterday in a meeting that we had, so I want to be very correct.      The Minister was here, he was told about it.  I remember the former Vice President was also here and he was told about it, yet we are still debating about the same issue.  If I listened well, Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa was saying this issue was introduced in 2017 and we are still talking about it.  In English they say procrastination is a thief of time.  If you procrastinate, you must understand what happens; time does not wait for you.  If you want to do something, do it now.

 So, my appeal is that the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement must look at this matter with the seriousness that it deserves.  It is ourselves that are punishing our brothers.  We can no longer say it is the white man and I do not think that is good for any Government that is for the people by the people.  If you are saying this Government is for the people by the people, it means to say it will always look at the plight of the people whenever they raise an issue, then it must be addressed. 

          My understanding is that when you want to resettle people, you have to give them time to say because of these issues we are going to give you such a period to prepare to move.  However, you must certainly move them to an area that is conducive for production, then it becomes problem.  So, it is very important that when we are here, when we talk about these things they must be attended to.  If they are not attended to, who then is going to have things attended by the Executive.  The Executive is the one that must implement some of the things that we debate in here.

 Mr. President this august House is a House that gives direction to the Executive to say look this is the problem that we have and in any way when that problem is sorted, it would have been sorted for everyone in the country.  You would then find out that things will start to move well because we have got a Government that listens.  We have got an Executive that listens whenever we put through our issues.  Mr. President, with those few words I want to thank you.

+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President.  I am kindly asking to debate whilst I am seated because my sugar level is a bit too high.    I want to appreciate Hon. Sen. Mlothswa for bringing this motion into this House.  Mr. President Sir, I also want to thank the seconder of the motion, Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda.  This is a very painful motion as sometimes people end up saying that at the end of the day, we are looking at one side of the nation whilst it is not like that.  We have heard in other areas, they are also complaining about people who are being relocated to other areas. 

When I follow this motion, it says that these people were moved from Fort Rickson in Emakhandeni and the place was taken by the white commercial farmers.  So many people were resettled and in this same area, there are some chiefs who were also moved.  I will also mention an example, of one of the chiefs who was relocated to Sihlengeni, who is Chief Mkwananzi.  There are some who were relocated to a place called Mapaneni which is a very dry area.  There are also areas where it is good for farming although it is not the same as where they were staying.  You will also realise that where they were staying before they were relocated, they had livestock.  We read that in 1947, some of us were not born by then, few of us were born.  We hear that the white farmers also followed to that area when they saw that the place was ideal for farming.  That is when they started the ARDA Irrigation.  I will contribute less on this because a lot of people have contributed on this.

In this country, we all want land for the main purpose that we want it to leave a legacy for our children and our great grand children so that when they remain behind, they are able to leave it again as a legacy for their children.  When we got to a point where we gained our independence, we are still fulfilling the wishes of the white man and we realise that the black people suffer at the end of the day and I do not think it is a very good thing. 

Most people are troubled; some will complain to an extent that they end up keeping quiet.  We need to remember that the same people who will be complaining have children and these children now know everything.  We should fear that our children might end up opting to report the challenges that they have to God and one thing that we should take note of is that God hears a cry of a child.

We can also use an example of Tokwe-Murkosi, where people complained a lot, some were relocated to places which they do not like.  What do we learn from this? If we assume that the people have decided to keep quiet, it is not that they are quiet, but one thing that we should take note of is that they are reporting us to God.  Yes, they are quiet, they are not saying anything, but together with their children, they are reporting us to God and we should take note that God hears his people, regardless of the conditions. 

My wish is that the Government should have a plan which they come up with and survey the place where they want to reoccupy and if people are occupying that place, they should prioritise the human life first.  As human beings, we should take note that every time a human being is inflicted with pain, God is also feeling the pain.  If the Government has identified a certain area and they want to take over, they should first consider where the people are going to be relocated.  The issue of Tokwe-Murkosi is one area which affected me a lot especially when I was looking at the young children, especially the Grade zeros who walk for a long distance on their way to school.

Now we are talking about the issue of a place called Matankeni, it is not only that place, but there are so many places that are like that.  We should remember that as we are here as Members of Parliament, we are not only talking about this place because it is in Matebeleland, but we should work together and not only concentrate on criticising the Government.  A Government that has people who are concerned about what they do is a Government that will have people criticise it for the sake of correcting the wrong things being done. 

When you are being criticised, take it as a way of trying to improve whatever you are doing.  For us who are close to them, we should be the ones who are working with them in showing them whether they are correct in what they are doing or they are making a mistake.  Therefore, we should also realise that the Senate was not chosen for the sake of criticising but to work.  Personally, I do not like to criticise for the sake of criticising, but for nation building.  Sometimes when you listen to people criticising, at the end of the day, you just contribute for the sake of contributing.  Even in our constituencies, wherever we are, we know that there are constituencies that we represent.  I heard Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa saying that she was put behind bars for saying that she wanted to represent the people who are troubled.  My request is that police officers should really respect us and know that they are dealing with Members of Parliament.  If we make a contribution, they should respect us and not take us as people who would have done something wrong.   That arrest was not lawful for people were saying things which were troubling them.

When we go to the chiefs, we realise that they have their President of the Chiefs’ Council.  I therefore urge all the chiefs to try and work together with their leaders.  When you realise that someone in your province is being harassed, as a chief, regardless of your province, you should support each other, especially when they are fighting such problems.  We should respect chiefs right across the country, even from Plumtree to Mutare or Plumtree to Zvishavane.  We should respect our chiefs for whatever they will be working on for the sake of the country.  I therefore request all the chiefs that, some of the issues that are being discussed or are a problem, the chiefs should take them up so that the  Government would see that for real, it is something that is very important and they should be prioritised.

When people are saying their problems to God, we should realise that God always listens and responds to their requests Mr. President Sir, we have spoken about the way the Ministry of Lands is carrying out its duties.  When I listened to the contributions, I realise that when ARDA constructed its farming area, they did not consider what will happen if they come to your yard.  Where are you going to do your farming?  At the same time, they sell to the same people whom they have taken their place of farming whatever produce they would have had.  Mr. President Sir, is there a way of talking to the Ministry of Lands.  We do not know whether you are going to send a delegation to go and talk to them not to harass people.  You should prioritise this issue. 

We realised that this is a very special issue for people had worked very hard to get the land.   Some were doing it in their traditional way and some were doing it the Christian way.  When we say our prayers to God, one day he will respond to us.  Sometimes God can respond to a prayer of a troubled person and we think that he has turned his back whilst he is responding to a certain prayer.  We are realising that people moved by ARDA were moved again.   Where are they going to stay?

My contribution will be that before moving them, ARDA should first identify a place where they can resettle those people.  A place with water, fertile ground and with a school where the children will go for their education so that the elderly and the children are not disadvantaged.  Mr. President Sir, I am requesting that if you can ask the Ministers to take it seriously when we come here and contribute.  They should not think that if it is MDC members, we are contributing because we want to criticise Government.  I personally, would not want to be associated with that.  When I came in this House, I took oath.  I lifted my hand before God and said that I come to this House to work for the country, not for the MDC.    We are representing the country, not only the Party.  We will realise that we have even done cross culture and we do not want to part because of small issues.  All we want is to represent the country.  This will help us in leaving a legacy to say that in year 2018, there was in Parliament, Members from the Senate who used to contribute to matters that build the nation.  I thank you.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Sibanda.  Every one of us here represents the people.  We have different constituencies but we represent people.

*HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this motion moved by Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa and seconded by Hon. Sen. Sibanda.  I think the challenge that we have faced in this country is of the culture that we have promoted, the culture of lawlessness.  We had reached a point where those who had money, those who had power and those who knew big people were well connected and would get whatever they want.  That is why one of the Members said, where he worked, he once witnessed people removed from certain areas by those that had power.  We have heard of such stories from Masvingo in the conservancies.  Some were talking about Tokwe-Mukorsi and there is another one called Manzou Farm.  The list is endless.  I think that culture, with the new era and with the new President, it is good that we go back to follow the law.  I once heard that in a certain area, he witnessed that justice was not prevailing and farmers returned to their land.  Now we cry about money, but I was saying, we had conservancies that had boundaries with people in the communal lands.  We went and disturbed the order.  Now we are not getting any revenue from there.  We have chased away people who were bringing in foreign currency.  We go back to the banks and there is no money.  This was because of the lawlessness. 

The local authorities, the Rural District Councils and the town councils no longer had plans of what to do.  For example in Harare, we had an influx of land barons who would grab land and they would build willy nilly and the city council would not do anything.  They would move from one area to another, even in the peri-urban areas, selling the State land to people.  The city councils were powerless.  That culture really disturbed the way we live in harmony with the local authorities and the Government.  There are some people who let it go and those who were supposed to bring order had also become land barons. 

I think where we are right now and with the President’s inauguration speech, we need to rectify some of the things.  I know that most of the Ministers have the heart to rectify what was wrong.  They do not want to see people being allocated residential stands in wetlands.  Those people were not concerned about people erecting special foundations.  What they are talking about, I think is the culture of Government that if it wants to relocate people, they compensate them so that they are able to look for new areas to settle or they can show them areas to resettle.  They can be told that it now belongs to ARDA, though now we are talking about Trek and there are jobs that are going to be created.  Those that are interested, you can be employed and those that are supposed to be relocated they are able to find employment on that farm.  These are things that should have taken place. 

Out of 62 households, 17 or 10 of them, the able-bodied can be employed and resettle others to an area where we have reserved for them because they would remove people after securing a place for them to go and then they can articulate that they can only give jobs to so many people. I think that is what should have happened.

          The other thing is that Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa has said that she has travelled a long way and one day when the Deputy Minister was here, probably those people had money and they would come in with some answers which we thought were answers but they were hidden motives.  So, I think that besides calling the Minister to come and respond, I think it is proper for Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa to photocopy all the papers and she can go to the Minister and talk to him that I raised this motion in the Senate Chamber and this is my challenge. How can you help us?

          I have heard her saying that the Vice President was once there in Insiza but probably the people they got in contact with were not referring to that issue. I think the proper way is for you to go to the Minister’s office in person and show them the paperwork from 2016 and just articulate your entire journey so that we see if he cannot rectify the issue. Although we can say that maybe it is not possible for the people to get back their land, but they can do something so that they can be resettled somewhere else where they can continue with their farming projects like what they did from 2016. Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you very much Mr. President for the opportunity that you have afforded me. I thought of adding my voice also on this very important motion which affects the whole nation and which gives a gloomy picture internationally if not sorted out. Mr. President, I want to agree with my colleagues who have debated on this motion.  First of all, let me thank Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa and her seconder Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda. This is a very important motion in that it touches the lives of almost everybody in this country, because what is happening to this community may happen to any community at any time if legislation is not put in place and adhered to in earnest, because it took 100 years to fight for Zimbabwe to take it from the colonialists to what it is today.

          Our gallant fighters brought this country and it took them 100 years, but it has taken this community over 100 years of uncertainty without answers to their children. I am sure that those who might have left us left a vacuum that is now difficult to fulfill amongst this community because there may be more questions now than answers to their problems. These people are part of the State, Zimbabwe and they are ourselves. Injury to one of us should be injury to all of us. We have to feel for these people and the only way we must feel for these people is by taking this issue as high as we can to the highest authority on the land.

          I am happy that we have got a new dispensation which might want also to be seen to be doing some other things that are very important because everybody should be happy to be remembered for doing good things or achieving certain levels of life. Mr. President, because of the length of time, I want to point out that if we are not careful, we might have in the future some people in this country who will be internally displaced and who will find it very difficult to have correct birth and death records of their history because of too much interference with their lives. This is because it is important for a family tree to remain intact. If there have been movements from 1912, 1947 and now, it is important that these people are helped or are assisted.

Mr. President, I also want to point out that our country Zimbabwe was the first one to sign the Kampala Declaration against internal displacement and our then President R. G. Mugabe was the first one to sign on that document which is against movements of people or displacing people from their original places to new places. I think it is important for us to maintain the status quo to continue showing that we are not condoning the displacements of these people and we are not condoning the mishandling of these communities. The infrastructure is in place and this can assist in solving a lot of issues that we might end up not having any persons to ask because we do have traditional leaders.

We have got our Mambos, Chiefs, Headmen, Village Heads and we have got our families. Our traditional set up is very good because it starts from an individual and it goes to the family, village, headman and to the Chief. It is a very intact and beautiful set up that if followed, it will help Government to an extent that Government will be left with very little to worry about. We are not utilising this set up and but we have to. For example, in this particular case we got a Chief Nyangazonke from the area. He can provide all the answers and the Government can stay put and gets the information and assigns him to deal with this problem. They can easily be assisted and helped by the set up that this country already has, which is a pride and it is working in a lot of countries. It is working in this country, only that in this country it is not being exalted, honoured and it is not being put to full potential.

Mr. President, I have mentioned that we might have descendants of these displaced people in this country if we are not careful. We cannot solve anything if we do not look at the cause. I think the cause is discriminatory or negligence of the Executive, because we have talked recently of the Chiadzwa issue. At least the Chiadzwa issue was a bit of lipsing when they said they were building houses for the Chiadzwa people but nothing is said to have been done for these communities, except that they were moved from 1912 and they were moved to these areas. Government did no effort whatsoever to go and see how they were living and how they resettled. They were just moved and dumped there. The Government did not have any arm to help that community. Now that the community has fought through all odds to do what they are now, Government again follows up and moves them, they give them an ultimatum to move out - if you are not out by such a time, we will do this and that.  Government is the mother.  The mother must look after the child.  You cannot dump your child and say move, without saying mwana wangu wakura you are now going to settle here.  In Shona we call it bango.   You settle your child in a place, sometimes which is even better than you have been settled yourself as a parent because you are worried about the continuation of your genes, your character of yourself.

          Therefore, the current Executive are still to show that they are determined to see people living happily and not being disturbed, especially by their own Government.  There is nothing that gives someone pride and a name as being a statesman, a citizen of a certain country.  It is beautiful to be called a Zimbabwean, it is nice, it is wonderful, and it is qualification because if you do not have it then definitely you will miss on a lot of things.  We have got a next door here, our brothers, the South Africans down here, they are fighting tooth and nail, daily to remove the apartheid laws are being repealed every day.  I have got a list of apartheid laws, so we can never now hide behind our finger and say this happened because of such and such laws.  What laws, when we have got powers to repeal them? We have got powers to make them redundant; we have got powers to ensure that these laws are not applied on our people and anywhere legally, a law which is not applicable is not law.  So, Mr. President I found out that this motion is touching and by having it discussed by other people and not also getting involved, I thought I must give these very few words I have taken.

          *HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President.  Thank you for bringing up this motion.  Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa.  This is a very important motion.  You have come in your rightful position as a true representative of the people.  We know people cannot come and represent themselves but you have come on behalf of the people of Zvehamba, Mahletshe and Mathankeni.  These are the people whom you are representing.

          This is important because during the colonial era there was some cruelty which was perpetrated on the people of Zimbabwe.  In 1947, the people of these areas were supposed to move out of these areas but they resisted, I call these people heroes.  We all know what happened during our war of liberation.  It was a bitter war, that is why we are now independent.  We know that people died; some were maimed during the war of liberation and we know it was a painful exercise.  We all know that owning a place which you call your home is an essential part of any person.  As representatives, we are the eyes and ears of the people and we see what is happening in all parts of the country.

          Therefore, these people of the areas mentioned want to be resettled and if possible get an area where they can be resettled and start their lives afresh.  Now that this motion has been raised in this august House, we need to have a solution.  Most of us are farmers but we know that if you are lazy, you may not enjoy life because farm products are expensive when you want to depend on buying from shops or other people.  As for me, I grow butternuts, water melons, beans and even maize, during this time of the year, there are a lot of things which we eat from our fields.  Therefore, a field is very important and we believe as Africans, our backbone is agriculture, this includes animal husbandry whereby you may keep cattle, goats and sheep.  Whenever you want meat, you just go to your kraal and slaughter a beast for your family.

          Now, the people of Zimbabwe, a free country want to feel very free in their country and some as much as they like we know the projects have always been there.  There were times when people were moved so that they make way for a developmental project.  We have people who were moved to Gokwe or Muzarabani.  We know of some of our friends and relatives who were moved to a country called Northern Rhodesia, which is now Zambia.  They were going there to indulge in farming and develop their lives and the country they belong to.

          In this case as the august House, we plead with the relevant Ministry that a lasting solution is to be found so that these people can be relieved of their pain.  This is a matter of emergency.  If this august House can solve this problem, it will be called a relevant House and also a very humane House because we will have solved a national problem.  We are talking of an issue which should not be taken on tribal lines but it is a country policy.  It is our wish that people should live in harmony and peace.  We know there could be some cases which are difficult than this one but were never brought to our attention but this one was brought to our attention; Hon. Members, let us solve it.  This is an urgent matter because it has been brought to the august House.  Let me not repeat that which was said by others but just emphasise that now that this motion has been raised in this august House it has to get a solution.  We thank you for the contributions you made on this motion. 

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March, 2018.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON ACCESS TO SAFE AND CLEAN WATER IN RURAL AREAS

          Fifth order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Access to Safe and Clean Water in Rural Areas.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President.  This motion has stayed long enough on the Order Paper and I wish we could conclude it tomorrow.  My wish is that if only we could have a response to it from the Ministers.  This includes all other motions which had been raised in this House.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March, 2018.

MOTION

PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS FROM UNSCRUPULOUS BUSINESS PEOPLE

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on protection of consumers from corruption.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March, 2018.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE NON-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUSTS

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the Circumstances Surrounding the Non-Establishment of Community Share Ownership Trusts in Mudzi and Mutoko Districts.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN (HON. MASUKU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March, 2018.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ON SDG NO. 3

          Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on SDG No. 3.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN (HON. SEN. MASUKU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March, 2018.

MOTION

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

COMMAND AGRICULTURE PROGRAMME

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the Preparedness of the Grain Marketing Board to handle the 2016/2017 Crop Deliveries and the Success of the Command Agriculture Programme.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN (HON. SEN. MASUKU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March, 2018.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PROMOTING STAKEHOLDER AND PARLIAMENTARY DIALOGUE ON THE ARMS TRADE TREATY (ATT)

Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Zimbabwe delegation to the International Conference on Promoting Stakeholder and Parliamentary Dialogue on Arms Trade Treaty.

Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN (HON. SEN. MASUKU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March, 2018

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 7TH RETREAT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SENATES, SHOORA AND EQUIVALENT COUNCILS IN AFRICA AND THE ARAB WORLD (ASSECAA)

Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 7th Retreat of the Association of Senates, Shoora and equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World (ASSECAA)

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. SHOKO: I second

Motion put and agreed.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March 2018.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE EIGHTH RETREAT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SENATES, SHOORA AND EQUIVALENT COUNCILS IN AFRICA AND THE ARAB WORLD

Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Delegation to the Eighth Retreat of the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World (ASSECAA).

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN (HON. SEN. MASUKU): Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th March, 2018.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN (HON. SEN. MASUKU), the House adjourned at 4 o’clock p. m.

 

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 07 MARCH 2018 27 NO 26