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SENATE HANSARD 08 MARCH 2016 VOL 25 NO 32

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

Tuesday, 8th March, 2016

 

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINING

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform all Members of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus that there will be a half day training on Social Media on Friday, 11th March, 2016 at 09:00hrs. All interested Members should register at the Women’s Caucus Office No 181. Those with laptops, tablets and smart phones are advised to bring them.

SECOND READING

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY BILL

[H.B.12, 2015]

          First Order read: Second Reading: Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill [H.B.12, 2015]

          THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI): Madam President, I am honoured to present the National Defence University Bill that is aimed at transforming the now operational National Defence College into a fully fledged National Defence University, to this august House for the Second Reading stage.

          National Defence Universities, wherever you find them, are institutions of higher learning that specialise in professional military training and development of National Security Strategy. By their nature, National Defence universities are not ordinary state universities but hybrids of military and civilian institutions of higher learning as well as Government specialised agencies, on issues of defence and security.

          For purposes of clarity, the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandates the Defence Forces to protect and safeguard Zimbabwe, its people, its security, its interests as well as its territorial integrity. This function takes into cognisance the widened scope of contemporary defence and security, which in itself is multi-dimensional. In this regard, the Zimbabwe National Defence University is envisaged to be a national strategic analysis and advisory centre that generates solutions to contemporary and diverse national security challenges that Zimbabwe may face at any given time, through the provision of platforms for shared participation by the military, civilian and private sector players.

          Over the last decade, Zimbabwe has been threatened by the European Union and the United States of America’s illegal economic sanctions and political interference, that in turn have necessitated the establishment of an institution with the capacity to analyse national problems and develop a capable human capital base of experts, leaders and professionals as well as innovate and develop newer technologies that protect Zimbabwe, its people and interests.

          The establishment of a National Defence University is not in any way Zimbabwe’s own invention as this is an international trend that is evidenced by the availability of numerous examples of such universities globally. A distinguishing feature of all National Defence Universities is that they are established as military institutions with civilian and military staff compliments but wholly administered by the military. Examples of Defence Universities that quickly come to mind include among others, the National Defence University of the United States of America, wholly administered by the United States Department of Defence, the National Defence University of China, which is administered by the Central Military Commission, the National Defence University of Pakistan which is administered by the Ministry of Defence and supported by the Higher Education commission and the Uganda University of Military Science and Technology, administered by the Minister of Defence. This aptly explains why the proposed Zimbabwe National Defence University is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Defence and should remain under the ambit of the Ministry of Defence.

Madam President, in compliance with the National Legislative requirements of the country, the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill, having been presented to the House of Assembly for the First and Second Reading on 16 December, 2015 and 4 January, 2016 respectively, is hereby presented to the Upper House today for the Second Reading stage with particular emphasis on the Ministry of Defence’s administrative responsibility over this critical institution of higher and specialised learning and the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development’s regulative responsibility of its academic programmes.

Madam President, the Zimbabwe National Defence University has five very important objectives which are to:

  • Be the national strategic analysis and advisory institution and a premier institution of higher learning for defence and security that fosters the achievement of national interest objectives through Government Ministries, departments and institutions;
  • Provide higher education and training in national policy and strategy formulating for military and civilian leaders to better address national and international security challenges;
  • Nurture and preserve the spirit of unity and patriotism in pursuit of sustainable moral, social and economic growth of the nation of Zimbabwe;
  • Inculcate excellence in research, innovation, geo-political economics, training and leadership development; and
  • Input into the Zimbabwe National Security Council outcomes of research on issues of National Defence and Security.

In outline, Madam President, this is the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill presented to this august House for consideration, deliberation and subsequent adoption. I thank you.

HON. SENATOR NYAMBUYA: Thank you Madam President. Allow me to say a few words in support of this very important Bill which the Minister of Defence has brought before this august Senate. Madam President, the institution of defence is one which we must all support across the Senate without any reservations, without fear or favour, as it is an institution which is supposed to bind the nation together.

The institution of defence provides, as we all know, for security and stability of our beautiful country. The institution of defence provides for an environment which should give an environment for development, investment, growth and indeed, our future. The legacy which we are going to leave our children depends on the level of support and security which defence is supposed to endow the nation.

It is with this light and with this background in mind that we should accept and indeed welcome the Bill which is going to establish a defence university in our country. As we have all heard and analysed and all come to appreciate, the Bill is going to allow our Defence Forces a platform and indeed an institution which will enable them to further refine and develop National Defence Policy, as well as wider regional strategies which will enable them to move in sync with the rest of the world.

We all know, Madam President that the world today is now a global village and we do not live in isolation. This also applies to our Defence Forces and they need this academic institution which will allow them to further develop the intellectual, conceptual sciences and military sciences. It is a science and not an opinion and therefore, the university will allow them to further develop military science.

The Defence Forces need an academic institution which they will use as a vehicle for academic growth in military science. It is in this light, Madam President, that I would really like to thank the Minister and the Defence Forces for coming up with this idea and this move which is going to enable the nation to turn the National Defence College into a fully fledged university which is going to serve the nation. With these few words, I would like to thank you.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Madam President, I stand to register my appreciation for this institution. It is always good to have national capacity in whatever area you are thinking about. I just seek one clarification from the Minister. Being a civilian and not familiar with military activity, how are we fusing the civilian component with the military in this institution?

HON. SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President. I also rise to give my comments in support of the Bill which was brought here by the Minister of Defence. Allow me to speak on my own opinion and I also express the opinions of the Committee which I chair, the Peace and Security Committee.

Madam President, I am grateful that the Minister has brought this Bill to this august Senate and I personally am in full support of it and I think I am also speaking on behalf of my Committee that we also support it, specifically for the following reasons:

We, as a Committee, sometime last year toured the National Defence College. We were impressed by what we saw there. It is in light of this observation that we noted the following; that the National Defence College was an affiliate to the University of Zimbabwe. That gives it a very good status and reputation. Another observation was that if it is changed from a national defence college to a university, there is not much expense that the Government is going to undertake because the infrastructure is already there. Therefore, we are saying that it is a very welcome move.

We also noted that the National Defence College, at that time, as it was explained to us, also enrolls civilians and that is a good component - I am not answering the question with was asked by the previous speaker, but this is what we noted. I think the Minister will expand on that one. We also noted, as a Committee, with satisfaction, that the knowledge and skills imparted there were therefore, going to be very relevant for the national courses, as what Hon. Sen. Nyambuya has already said. We also noted as a Committee that it is going to be a military university which does not serve Zimbabwe only, but the region which is SADC and beyond. Therefore, such development is a good thing. We do not send our people outside to go and learn military strategies when we can offer them here.

          As a recommendation therefore, as I said, on my behalf and on behalf of the Committee, we strongly support this Bill and the establishment of the university and your Committee, the Committee on Peace and Security urges this House or all Hon. Members to support this Bill. We also note that the institutions such as military universities are very important for national security purposes, hence, the need to support the establishment of this university. Need I say more Madam President? I want to thank you.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam President. I also rise to associate myself with the previous speakers who have supported this Bill. I have had the privilege of being to this college several times to give lectures and because I have been delivering lectures, I want to dispel the notion that this is a college that only teaches issues to deal with arms of war or military tactics. In fact, that sector is a very small component of the course.

The staff that go to that college, first of all, are very senior in whatever jobs that there are. They are there for management skills first so that they can manage properly the institutions that they lead. So, there is serious management training. Those who have done theories of management from Henri Fayol, Douglas McGregor to Henry Mintzberg, everything is put to them and they sit for those examinations. They also look at the economy so that when they come out of that college, they have a very good understanding of fundamentals and dynamics of an economy. So, they become better managers or better soldiers.

They also look at issues of governance and democracy, human rights, law, international law and I have met lawyers also lecturing at that college. They also include issues to do with culture, values, and traditional leaders and so, I am here to say it actually makes the person or managers complete people to fit in society even if they are in the security sector. I want to support the fact that it is true that the composition of the classes to which again I have lectured, is actually very international, not only SADC because there are people from even as far as USA and Asian countries as students. It is very diverse, multi-cultural and rich that I would even recommend, if it were open to Members of Parliament, that you go there also and you will come out a better leader in this country. Thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice in support of this motion. We have waited for this Bill to come through to this House for long because we are looking at our Defence Forces being empowered. You cannot be empowered if you do not widen up your school. To us, we want a developed country. If we want a developed country, we should have a security force that has got better living standards so that they can do their duties with much knowledge.

Madam President, we are also looking at the security and peace of this country. We want our peace and tranquility to continue in this country when our Defence Forces have got wide knowledge. We also need a focused Defence Force. With these few words Madam President, I support fully this Bill. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on this motion. This is a very good idea and I want to say a few things because in English we say, ‘once beaten twice shy’. We would like the Minister to qualify on the entrance qualifications for the students. Are they going to include the students looking at their political backgrounds or whatever it is and will it not involve partisan politics that if you belong to MDC, you will not be registered at this college? We would also want to know whether this college is not going to be used as a centre for destroying opposition parties in this country. Are we not going to implement the Korean style type of dictatorship where the opposition does not survive in that type of climate? As people who are in the opposition, we are aimed at promoting democracy in the country and want people to be free. Is this college not going to work on ways and means of rigging elections so that when it is done by educated people, there is going to be a subtle way of rigging elections? Hence, we need to get some clarity on the modus operandi of this institute of higher learning. I thank you.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to debate on this Bill, the National Defence University Bill. I do not have a problem with the Bill but I only have a bit of a problem on the fact that public hearings were not held so that people can understand what this Bill is all about. The Chairperson for the Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services Committee confirmed this last week in the House of Assembly. Bringing a Bill in the Senate or even in the Assembly when no public hearings have been held actually violates Section 141 of the Constitution which says Parliament must facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes.

This Committee had an itinerary Madam President, but it was not financed, so the public has no knowledge of this Bill and that is why there is speculation to say maybe this is a spy school or school were people will not have any privacy. Others are now saying our cellphones are going to be bugged. There is a lot that is being said but I actually think that if public hearings were held, people were going to have a better knowledge of this Bill – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – So, unfortunately this did not happen and that is why there is a misunderstanding. I thought it was actually important that the Constitution of this land at all times must be abided by so that people have a better understanding of what is going on in the Senate. I thank you Madam President.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President. I would like to add a few words on this Bill and I would like to thank the Minister of Defence, Hon. Dr. Sekeramayi for introducing such an important Bill. This is a very important Bill and the Minister did mention in full that this college is going to be elevated to a university which will enroll both the army personnel and civilians. I remember when we passed the Bill on the construction of the National Defence College with the assistance that we got from our all weather friend, China, it was explained that for civilians to be enrolled at this university, they have to be chief executive officers and upwards and if it is the army, it would be colonels and above.

          I would like to thank the Chinese Government for helping us in establishing and constructing a college of this magnitude. The Minister did explain to us that this is not unique to Zimbabwe but countries like United States of America, China, Pakistan and Uganda have military universities. His Excellency, the President has seen it fit that Zimbabwe should not lag behind in such a development and that the military should also be up to date with the methods of military training in this modern age. At the moment, the country is facing a crippling drought and we need to be given ideas on how we can cope with the effects of climate change such as the El Nino and hence our military should also be able to withstand any climatic change using military systems in the country. So, whatever enemy or disaster may want to befall the country, our security will be prepared for it.

We should be aware that security is necessary for the development and peace in the country. With the changes in politics, military policies should also be in support of the changes that are coming in. It is a Bill which is leading to the development of the country because we are not surprised by the establishment of such a university. Zimbabwe is regarded as having the highest literacy rate in Africa and this is a cap on our feather. It will increase the knowledge and wisdom of our military personnel.

We are proud of this Bill and therefore, we do agree that this Bill is very important and we have seen that Zimbabwe as a democratic state is going to work on this university by looking at the policies and analysing all the situations which may come into the country. What is more pleasing is that we had other countries who have come to Zimbabwe and admired us for the steps we are taking in establishing such a relevant institution. I thank you.

+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: Firstly, I would like to congratulate all women for the International Women’s Day, which is today. I am one of those who went to the National Defence College and I saw that it is a well built college. I observed that there are no women leaders at the college…

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Unfortunately, the Minister cannot understand you.

+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: He understands. I speak with him everyday Madam President. I know he understands me. I always speak to him in Ndebele.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: It is all right.

+HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: It is just a small observation that I would like to add on, Hon. Minister. I have a few things that I noticed that as women, we would want to have fellow women leaders in every decision making position. I realise that at the college there are no women leaders. That is all that I would like you to look into. If you are recruiting lecturers and administrators, please look into the issue of gender because it is important that at such an institution, there should be female leaders. I am sure the Minister understood me. I thank you Madam President.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Minister of Defence who has honoured this august Senate by bringing this Bill into this House. As a bicameral Parliament, we need to work on such Bills together. It is quite pleasing that Zimbabwe as an elite state has seen it fit that we establish such an institute of higher learning. We know that our military personnel are well known and credible because of the way they operate in peace keeping missions especially in troubled spots in the region and internationally.

I would like to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill to this House and I strongly support the Bill because this is a step in the right direction. When you look at the WW1 and the weapons that were used, they were quite different from the ones which were used during WW11. Even when you look at the war of liberation, the weapons which were used in First and Second Chimurenga were quite different. They are developed and hence we are calling for a new type of weapons which are to be used in fighting the enemy because what we know is that whenever we are fighting an enemy. They are always looking for the soft spot which will be used in fighting the enemy, and hence the need to update our military hardware and skills.   We know the school is going to be used by the SADC and other countries will come and learn from our institute of higher learning.

Minister, we say thank you very much for bringing the Bill into this Senate. We have given you different versions of the discussions we have held in this Senate. We know that this school is not going to be a disgrace to the nation but will bring development. Thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. MAKONE: I rise in full support of this Bill. Hon. Minister, this university was opened by His Excellency sometime in 2012. I remember because I attended the occasion. You have told us that you already have students from other countries for example the United States, Pakistan and I cannot remember the other countries that you mentioned, but you did mention a few countries which means that the university is already operational.

Now that the university is operational, I take it that you want to regularize by letting this Bill go through the Senate so that the university meets its legal standing that is required according to law. Having said that, we lose nothing by allowing the general public to hear what it is that is being done in the country because they are the people of Zimbabwe and this is their Defence University.

There is nothing sinister in our request that the Ministry of Defence interacts with the general public so that there is a friendly relationship between the armed forces and the people of Zimbabwe that they begin to appreciate and see them for who they are – as protectors of people and to question those things that bother them and to get the answers that satisfy them. It would be ideal if this Bill could be done until those hearings are done because it is not going to affect the curriculum. The curriculum is already underway and the university is already functioning but as a public relations exercise, it would go a long way in endearing the armed forces of Zimbabwe and the general public. Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to speak.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Madam President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this pertinent Bill. I want to thank the Minister of Defence and say congratulations. I think this should go forward. I am very happy with this Bill (Zimbabwe National Defence University). This is a very important thing in our country that will leave us with well educated security personnel. It is not a shame.

There is an issue that has been talked about that the military personnel in Zimbabwe live in harmony with the civilians. I have lived in this country – if I look at the army that was there before, they did not stay in Highfield or Mbare. They would stay in camps. You did not see them in streets but the army that we have these days is seen all over. They have good relationships with the civilians. You can see them doing community work. That is very good and that is development. It shows that they know what they are doing.

I will give an example, when we are looking at security, there are certain things that are not privy to the children. If I want to protect my homestead from witches, I will do that during the night. I will plant things around the yard at night. If I tell my children, they will interfere the process. I will give another example. In my rural area, there is a place called Mashami headed by Chief Nyamhunga. The Chief had many children. He took the children and put them under a shed. We had gone there to present an issue and we were also made to sit muberevere.  This Chief highlighted that this was done so that the children will not interfere but will only be told the outcome of the case we had presented.

When it comes to security of the country, it is very important. It cannot be handled by seven or fifteen year olds. The youngsters will only be told what the elders are doing. Thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. MUSAKA: I thank you Madam President. I also wish to thank the Hon. Minister, Dr. Sekeramayi for bringing in this Bill to create a university out of our Defence College.

I have no quarrel and I am not in any way supporting that the Bill should be supported. I am not saying that the Constitutional provisions should be flouted. However, the importance and the need to go intellectual in warfare – I will try to highlight giving historical examples. Fighting a guerilla warfare is different from fighting a modern warfare or conventional warfare. In that respect, you seriously need a force that comes with intellectual capability and history. The Second World War was not our war. Our war was Chimurenga but that was a guerilla warfare.

I want to object a little bit to say that the establishment of Defence College was like establishment of some kind of an oppressive institution to fight opposition. That is totally a wrong conception and perception. The idea here is that we are looking at warfare. What matters in any nation if you get attacked by an enemy is to win that war and not to lose it. To win it, you need enlightened and well disciplined military leaders who will lead.

The military leaders will be knowledgeable of what is going on. In the Second World War, the Germans and Japanese on the other side; the British and Americans – the leaders of these forces in America came from the West Point. All the elite leaders came from the West Point. These are institutions that are well versed in science and technology. They read a lot of science.

Initially, the Germans were ruthlessly efficient in fighting but they ignored the aspect of science. The British mastered how to break into the Mascots communication system. This is how the Luftwaffe, the German Efficient Military Air force failed to conquer England. Initially, they tried as much as they could, bombing London over the night but they were overzealous, were relaxed and lacked knowledge of science, hence, they lost the war.

          The same thing happened with the Japanese military leadership when they walked into the Pacific. They initially bombed Pearl Harbour, they were efficient but they lacked knowledge of a bulk of other things. The Americans Mascot simply got one clue, where is midpoint, down under, and they got it. That was the end of the Japanese. They then resorted to voodoo, they were no longer scientific and they lost the war. It is therefore important that this Bill is passed Madam President.

We need military leadership with knowledge of history, military science and well equipped. It is not a military to oppress anyone, that is not the idea. If that happens it will be unfortunate.   I will tell you where it happened. The Germans started off very well with brilliant commanders like Erwin Rommel and Garry, brilliant soldiers and well educated. However, the moment Hitler started bringing the S.S men ideology, the war thing collapsed. That is how Germany lost the war. Once you go too ideological, there is no way you can win. Therefore, it is not true, this is not the idea of this military college. This is just to train our military leaders to have knowledge of Science. I thank you.

          SEN. HON. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Madam President. I want to make a contribution to the Bill that has been brought in by the Minister of Defence. Hon. Minister, we were there when soldiers turned to killing civilians during the Gukurahundi era. We know how it happened and we are concerned, especially us who come from Matebleleland.

          We wish there were public hearings conducted so that the content of the programmes are brought to the people so that they scrutinise. This is because the university is for the people of Zimbabwe, there is nothing private about it. We want all the parliamentary procedures to be followed. It should not seem as if the opposition does not want the Bill to go through, we are willing to see it through. We want our soldiers to be trained in modern technology and expertise so that they do not kill people blindly. We want them to go through the intellectual training, but we also want the people of Zimbabwe to be enlightened on what is happening. This is for the reason that when we talk of soldiers, we are talking about security and this may involve deaths. My wish is that you should consider consulting citizens on these sensitive issues so that they are free to ask questions before we come and pass the Bill. Thank you very much.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Before the Minister answers, I just want to give this information to the House. Public hearings are not the only interaction that can be used in order to pass Bills. Citizens can make submissions to the Committee concerned. I also want us to know that this Bill was gazetted on the 6th of November, 2015. The Committee put an advertisement on the Parliament website for submissions by the public. Unfortunately, the Committee did not receive any submissions from the public and I thought you should have that information.

          THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI): Madam President, first and foremost, I wish to thank all the 14 Hon. Senators who supported and made contributions to this debate. Hon. Sen. Nyambuya, Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda, Hon. Sen. Mumvuri, Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira, Hon. Sen. Mohadi, Hon. Sen. Komichi, Hon. Sen. Timveos, Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi, Hon. Sen. A. Sibanda, Hon. Sen. Mawire, Hon. Sen. Makone, Hon. Sen. Machingaifa, Hon. Sen. Musaka and Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa. I want to thank you all.

          Sen. Nyambuya expressed very valid views on why he supports the establishment of this university. This is a university that will sharpen the analytical ability of the leadership of our defence forces. This university will also empower those who are coming from various arms of Government, including the private sector. We will have men and women who are interested in making sure that we have a Zimbabwe that we are proud of.

          As a defence force, we obviously want our own commanders and others to be well informed about developments in the world such as political, technological and other areas. In our situation as Zimbabwe, we did not have this type of facility and we are now establishing it. It is a facility which, when one watches the television and a Zimbabwean commander operating away from Zimbabwe makes an appearance, we will be able to say, that is our son or daughter – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – so we want to sharpen the ability of our men and women in the defence forces and other arms of Government.

          We need a defence force that is able to understand the economics of the country, go to the village where I was born and explain to the people why there is the problem of El Niño and what should be done to overcome it. There is need for a defence force which is able to interact intellectually with all layers of our society. There will be various faculties at this university. As we are starting, it may be regarded as humanities. However, we will move on to specialised sciences so that our own technological base is enhanced not to bug your phone but to develop Zimbabwe. Those who fear that their phones might be bugged; if your phone is being used to build the country, there is nothing to fear about it being bugged. So, I want to thank Senator Nyambuya very much. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-

Hon. Sen. Sibanda, thank you for your appreciation and support. In terms of the quality of students who go there, we are also working together with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. So, the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education is fully consulted in all the processes that will ensure that the quality of education at this university is top class. There is that involvement of others who are not strictly in combat gear.

Senator Mumvuri, thank you for supporting the university. The infrastructure is already there. There is not going to be much in terms of extra expenditure and the enrolment. as we have said we will include those in the Security and Defence Forces, those in Government and some in the private sector so that there is that cross fertilisation of ideas about how best Zimbabwe should go, and we will be building these cadres.

There will be the enrolment of foreign students. It is standard practice worldwide that wherever you have got a Defence University, you have got students especially from friendly countries, like in our situation, we start with SADC, the AU and other countries outside the African continent, because we also go to these universities. When our own cadres come back, you can tell that this gentleman or this lady has added information about how the whole establishment of the Defence Forces and the running of a country is done elsewhere. So, we will be having a bit of that.

Sen. Chief Charumbira, thank you because there will be a lot of training in management. This is why certain levels of the civil servants will also be admitted so that whether in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, you should be able to interact with your colleagues and then you are able to speak the same language. This is what we would want to see done.

Senator Mohadi, I want to thank you for supporting the Bill. As people say, knowledge is power; we may assume that we know everything but you will notice whenever you go to an institution of higher learning, there are certain areas where you are a little bit in the dark. So, when you are empowered, you obviously become an important asset in the development of Zimbabwe. On this aspect that knowledge is power, we should always strive to have more knowledge than we presently have.

*Senator Komichi, do not just be interested in opposition politics, be interested in politics, not just the opposition. Politics is how a country is governed. Do not see yourself permanently and professionally in the opposition, -HON. MEMEBRS: Hear, hear]-

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, order.

*HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI: Senator Komichi, be willing to approach these issues with an open mind. Do not hesitate to speak your mind just because you are in the opposition professionally. No, life is not like that. There will be no discrimination even when establishing this on paper and I quote, “prohibition against discrimination, no test, religion, political belief, race, ethnic origin, nationality or gender shall be imposed upon or be required of any person in order to entitle him/her to be admitted as a member of staff, student of the university, to hold any office therein or privileged thereof.”  

So, this is a university for Zimbabweans and one just hopes that Senator Komichi does not come and say MDC. Just come as a good person. This is how things should be done. Do not begin from a confrontational posture, begin from a posture that says this in good faith, bonafide and not mollified. That is it and just be relaxed.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order Hon. Minister, ava vanonzi Hon. Komichi.

HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI: Hon. Komichi. [-HON. MEMBERS: Laughter]- Hon. Timveos yes, and sometimes resources allowing. You can go and consult left, right and centre but you know the constraints. It was not deliberate that there was no crossing of the country to consult. There are financial constraints and the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services went through this. They made a report and Hon. Muderedzwa gave us a report and it is all here. So, there was no attempt and there would never have been an attempt to try and make this secretive.

The consultations were not as widespread as you might like, but the real reason is that the resources are constrained, you and I know it. Also when you go to the people and you speak about this, have a positive mindset because sometimes people can interpret something negatively because of the way it has been presented. As legislators, it is your responsibility to go and explain this in a positive way.

Senator Chimbudzi, thank you for supporting the Bill. We are happy to be establishing this and as more and more progress is made, I am sure Senators will be visiting this university. Some of their relatives will be there. They will be coming for graduation ceremonies. So, it is our thing all of us and it is not for them or for us. It is for us all as Zimbabweans.

Sen. Sibanda, on representation of women. For the time being, you will notice that all of us whether in our political parties or elsewhere, we are trying our best to achieve gender equity. It is a process, it is not an event. We all know where we have come from but what is important is to have the commitment to achieve this. When I was in the other House, one of the MPS said to me, you know we notice that the number of women is not very big, but we also know kuti kana mwana achichema anenge achiti maiwee, maiwee. So, we should not leave women in these institutions. That is something that we are conscious of.

I think of late, you have also seen how female officers are being promoted quite consciously, not by favour, but on merit and they are doing extremely well. We are very happy about it. So, you can be sure that there will be no discrimination. There are other countries with female or women Generals Commanding. Sometimes the men are a little chauvinistic and say hakungaende mukadzi, imagine mudzimai wako achipfurwa ikoko and all sorts of things, but in terms of developing our intellectual capacity, we will make sure that all those who qualify to enter the university are afforded the opportunity to do so. What is sometimes problematic is simply the numbers. We cannot inflate the numbers by taking people who may not be qualified, but anybody who is qualified Hon. Senator, you can be sure that there will be no discrimination.

          Senator Mawire, I want to thank you for the support and we want to have as you have said, a very capable and sharp defence force. This is what we are striving to achieve. We should have a defence force, which if challenged or called upon when there is a national emergency, we should be able to say we have got the boys and girls who can perform. That is what we want.

          Hon. Senator Makoni, yes, the college was officially opened in 2012. The process of making sure that it is fine tuned has been on-going and now we are confident that it can graduate into a university, hence the reason why we are coming to seek your endorsement. It is true, if resources were available we would have crisscrossed the Senators and others, myself and others would have gone everywhere but we all know that our resources are constrained. The Portfolio Committee on Defence had a look at this and I think we should accept the view of the Portfolio Committee that despite here and there, they were able to look at it and made positive recommendations.

          Hon. Senator Machingaifa, thank you very much for the support. We will make sure that we build this into a university that we will all be proud of. Hon. Sen. Musaka, you have given us a bit of history, the first and second world wars, the North Africa Campaign and so forth; we need as we have said, at the end of the day, competent commanders and soldiers. We all look forward to peace but sometimes there is war and we must always be prepared for it. We must always have men and women who can stand and defend Zimbabwe. So, we are together there. We must have knowledgeable people. We must have commanders who are able to read what is being reported to them and not those who just say yes and dare not challenge what is being said because they do not know any better. So we would want our own commanders to be well informed.

          Hon. Mlotshwa, I know deep down you support this and I think that is what we should do. There is never a Government that will build a university for purposes of fighting against the ordinary people. Even in terms of the doctrines and the laws that will be taught there; they will be for the protection of the people and not the other way round.   So, there is no reason for you to fear because we will be as professional as humanly possible. However, we must be as knowledgeable as God has given us the brains.

          With these few remarks Madam President, I want to thank all the Senators who have contributed to this debate. I move that the Bill be read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY BILL [H.B. 12, 2015]

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 14, put and agreed to.

Clauses 1 to 34 put and agreed to.

Schedules 2 and 32 put and agreed to.

Senate resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading: With leave; forthwith.

THIRD READING

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY BILL [H.B. 12, 2015]

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI): I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SEKERAMAYI): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 and 3 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SENATOR MATHUTHU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 9th March, 2016.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. DR. SENATOR SEKERAMAYI, the Senate adjourned at Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 08 MARCH 2016 VOL 25 NO 32