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SENATE HANSARD 10 APRIL 2018 VOL 27 NO 34

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

DEATH OF HON. SEN. CHIEF DASTER CHISUNGA

           THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): It is with deep profound sorrow that I have to inform the House of the untimely death of Hon. Sen. Chief Daster Chisunga from Mashonaland Central Province on Thursday, 5th April 2018.  I therefore invite all Hon. Senators to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Sen. Chief Chisunga.

          All Hon. Senators observed a minute of silence.

VISIT BY THE CDF MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: To date one hundred and eighty five Constituency Development Fund (CDF) payments have been processed.  Consequently, the Constituency development fund management committee would be visiting your constituencies to monitor the progress of your projects.  In order to facilitate this exercise, Hon. Members are requested to inform the secretariat of projects undertaken so far. 

Let me also remind you that the Member of Parliament who is the Chairperson is the accounting officer of the funds allocated for his or her constituency and for purposes of accountability, must comply with the requirement of submission of returns as stipulated in the accounting officer’s manual.  Please note that the submission of job cards is a requirement of the CDF Constitution and must be complied with regardless of the size of the project.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Mr. President, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 in today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

DEVOLUTION AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on cultural development as being key to economic development.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. NDHLOVU: Thank you Mr. president for affording me this opportunity to debate on this motion that was brought before this House by Hon. Sen. Khumalo which talks about development and our culture.  I would start off by talking on culture.  What I would like to say is that as Zimbabweans, we have different cultures from area to area.  These cultures should be treated fairly.  We should not look down upon other people’s cultures. 

What I am mainly saying here is that, especial at work places - especially under Government Department, you find that different languages are spoken.  We have four languages that are being used and yet our Constitution talks of 16 languages that should be used here in Zimbabwe by all of us.  What I have noticed is that there are four main languages used, that is English, Ndebele, Shona and the sign language. We should have people who speak those languages in all Government departments so that people who do not understand one language can be assisted. As leaders, we have to understand and speak other languages especially the sign language as we meet different people that we represent in Parliament. All of us are encouraged to learn sign language.  We know that at different places there are some people who use sign language and as a Senator, I should also learn it so that I can be able to communicate with them. 

Also, at work places Mr. President, there is a problem in that you can come across someone who does not speak your language and it is difficult for elderly people for example in Gwanda, they use Sesotho, Ndebele, Venda, Kalanga and Jahunda.  In hospitals especially, if there is an elderly person who does not understand the language that is being spoken by the nurse in that area, it is a problem.  So our request is that, wherever there are Government employees, there should be people who are able to speak all those different languages so that they can serve people in especially places like the Registrar General’s offices where people go to obtain birth certificates, in hospitals and schools.  Like at the general registry offices, you will find that the person who issues out birth certificates cannot even write a Ndebele name and even the surname properly.  It is just the same as when you find a Ndebele person who cannot speak the language that is spoken in that area, that person will not be able to write properly.  So, we implore the Government to deploy people who are able to speak the local languages so that they can assist the young and the elderly but for some of us who are elderly, we are better off because we are able to communicate and at least even if you cannot speak that language, you can understand. 

          When it comes to schools Mr. President, especially at primary schools there is a big problem.  I think that people have spoken about this problem where we are saying teachers who cannot speak the local languages should not be deployed there because it is important for a child to understand what the teacher is saying as this creates a problem for both the teacher and the pupil.  So, those who speak local languages should help the young ones to speak their language and it will be better for those who are taking upper grades, at least they can communicate.

          Now talking about what Hon. Khumalo spoke about which is devolution, it is written in the Constitution and the Zimbabwean people also supported devolution because they were looking at the problem that they face in their areas. 

We have problems that we face as Members of Parliament as well but there are other things that cannot be rectified, but it is easy if a problem of that particular area is dealt with in that area.  For example, I come from Gwanda and we have always spoken about projects that have not been completed.  There is a bridge that is as big as this table and there are other roads like the Kezi and other places; those are projects that have been spoken about from 1980 up to now that they have not been completed.  Looking at Matabeleland South, if Matabeleland South can use their own resources for those projects, it will be easy for Government to say what are you doing with your resources from that area but the problem is that the funds are being brought to Treasury.  At times Treasury takes funds from this province to go and finish projects in other places.  That is why all the provinces are complaining that their projects are not being completed but it is difficult to complete because we always get the answer that there are no funds.

          So, if provinces are looking after their own funds, it would be better because the Government would always ask how they are utilising the funds from their area but now it is difficult because there is no one who can actually say where the funds are going to because people are being told that there are no funds.

          Mr. President, I would like to thank you for the few words that I have spoken.

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

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.

MOTION

41ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the 41st Plenary Assembly of the SADC – Parliamentary Forum, held in Mahe, Seychelles, from 4th to 5th July, 2017.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.

MOTION

ICT LITERACY PROGRAMME

 

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to address the ICT divide between rural, urban, young and old in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA:  Thank you Mr. President for the motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Mavhunga on ICTs.  ICT is very important for both the elderly and young children.  If we use it in the negative sense and we end up harming certain individuals.  If we look at WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, there is nothing constructive there. Mostly, people are exchanging words and using obscene language as they converse through social media.  Some of these conversations affect a person’s dignity. 

          If a person posts on Twitter, the way people comment affects a person’s dignity, these platforms, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are good, but the abuse on these platforms can affect us, especially our children who are now using internet for research.  They are not only doing research related to academic education but other issues that are not relevant.  If you forget a laptop at home and if you open it the next morning, you will be shocked what the children will be surfing on the net.  The researches they are doing are affecting them.  You end up seeing your children behaving in unbecoming behavior and you tend to wonder where they will have got this or who influenced them.  Some children end up engaging in drugs because they are getting that from Facebook.  They also see pornography from Facebook and also have online friends on Facebook and this really pains me, I do not know what we can do about it.  As adults we can control ourselves and see what we can surf on the net and choose what is relevant and what is not relevant.  For children they engage in anything that they find on the net, they find husbands and girlfriends on Facebook and when they see some of the individuals when they eventually meet, it is embarrassing when they meet face to face with these Face book friends; I do not know what can be done about it.   

          How can we address the challenges and ensure that our children only use internet for academic research and ensure that they cannot access anything that has an age limit of 18 years?  The no under 18 instructions will be there but kids will end up accessing the same information. How then can we protect our children from such pages that affect their dignity?  You can google about Hon. Sen. Chimanikire on Facebook sharing the good things that she will have done in her constituency but when people respond, they have nothing good to say about it but all you see are negative comments.  You just have to accept what would have been commented on your Facebook page.  Facebook can increase one’s visibility and at the same time it can bring you down. 

          The media people do the same thing, when you do something good in the constituency they cover you but the moment you do anything negative, it overrides all the good that you have done in the constituency.  I do not know if there is a way that we can address the challenges of this negative use of the social media be it Twitter, Face book or WhatsApp.  The good thing about WhatsApp is that you can communicate with a person who has your conduct.  A person can actually write a message to denigrate you on Facebook when you do not know that person.

          I feel that ICT be extended to the rural areas especially in schools because when you go to the rural areas there is a challenge, some areas do not even have access to electricity and it makes ICT a challenge. My main plea is that we address the issue of cyber crime.  Social media is good, it enables us to communicate with our relatives abroad but we also need to guard against the dangers.  Thank you Hon. Sen. Mavhunga for bringing this motion that we need to be ICT literate. If you want to be educated, research, you can get all that from the internet but the challenges come with the negative effects of the internet.  I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Mr. President.  How are you?  I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I want to thank the movers of the motion in this Senate by Hon. Sen. Mavhunga, seconded by Hon. Sen. Mugabe.  Most Hon. Senators have debated a lot on this motion.  It is true ICT is the modern form of communication. It was encouraged that young children and adults in urban and rural areas should be computer literate in order to move with the times. 

          Mr. President, those who came up with the computer said ICT is good if you are able to use it for the development and for the good.  If you use it for negative reasons, it does not appear good at all.  I think ICT has both positives and negatives.  You realise that as drivers are driving along the road they are involved in accidents because half the time they are on their phones communicating on Watsapp or goggling on the internet.  I was hoping that those who developed these gadgets should ensure that when one is driving automatically the phone should switch off because one is driving. 

          There are vehicles that indicate that there is no road if there is no tarred road.  Even when you are here in this august Senate, you will find others would be on the internet and watching movies and not listening to the debates.  So, I think those who developed these gadgets did not indicate that there is a challenge that will affect you.  It is not a physical disease but it is a disease whereby once you get into your car, the first thing you do is to look at your phone and that is the disease that they are talking about.

          I was thinking that the researchers or the engineers who are working on this should have done the ground work in terms of making sure there is electricity in all areas and then do the capacity building for everyone.  If you go to the rural areas, other shops are using ICT but if you want to buy anything from those shops the shop owner has to go 200 metres away or go up a mountain for him to access the network so that you can do your transaction. 

          I think what they should have done was to do ground work before encouraging the use of plastic money.  I want to give an example of ZISCO STEEL where I was.  Those from Dulys came, at one time, and advised us that if you want to build a garage, you need to do some planning.  You must have a storeroom to provide spare parts just like a hospital, if you want to build a hospital, you also need to put a mortuary to ensure that when a person passes away, the body is stored in the mortuary and it takes planning to have such facilities.  If it is just a hospital without a mortuary, the hospital is incomplete because they will face challenges in terms of storing dead bodies and that is the same with ICT.

          I think that they should engage in research to ensure that where it is not possible or where the systems are not in place, it should not be accessible.  I heard that on the Internet or the television, children are busy surfing the net.  They do not just surf on their own but we need an adult to guide them on how far to Google and surf the net.  I am talking about the Government because some of the things that the Government is planning end up on the Internet and a lot of damage control is needed because the information will not yet be ready for public consumption.

          I also have another example Mr. President.  When we were growing up, automatic vehicles were very few.  The vehicles were designed for people living with disabilities and if one bought an automatic vehicle, it attracted ridicule from people because you would be equated to someone living with disabilities.  Now that has changed and the automatic vehicles are now in fashion.  It is actually embarrassing now to own a manual vehicle and this is the same with ICT.  Yes, we appreciate that it is a noble idea but I think that they should do more research and address the issue of the negatives of ICT.  Those who will have abused the Internet should be brought to book.

          Currently, if you abuse the Internet, there is no legislation that binds the State to arrest you. I want to thank Hon. Senators Mavhunga and Mugabe for this motion.  My request is that engineers should continue to do more research on ICT.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAKWARIMBA:    Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity that you have afforded me to debate on the motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. Mavhunga and seconded by Hon. Sen. Mugabe.

                Mr. President, you cannot keep a good man down, ICT is the way to go and there are no two ways about it.  This is good for everyone.  We are coming from a miserable background where if you needed to communicate with someone, if you were in Masvingo and the targeted person is in Harare, it would take five days before the letter reached him or her and by then, the news might be stale and for the recipient to respond, another five days was needed.  It would take a good 10 days for communication to take place and ICT is the in thing.

          The challenges that we face, Mr. President, is on how to utilise ICT.  For example, in my constituency, there is a woman who nearly died.  She was hospitalized after she had taken her child’s phone, scrolled through it and was shocked by what she saw.  She was unaware that her child was misbehaving in such a fashion and it nearly cost her life.  She was only saved and regained consciousness when she was taken to the hospital. 

          We ask that there be monitoring systems in place in as far as the use of ICT is concerned because what we are now seeing is out of this world.  We have never experienced it in our lifetimes.  Women’s genitals are  now being exposed in the open yet this used to be sacred but has now become a daily routine to see women’s genitals on these mobile communication gadgets and even women are able to see it.  Even the women are now seeing what they are not supposed to see, in the past they used to see it during the nights when they would be in their blankets. 

          We hope that the Hon. Minister will carry further research to ensure that certain information is censored.  Children have now gone out of control due to ICT.  We cannot bar ICT but it is our request that there be censorship of materials that are not good for the viewership of the people as well as the listenership of the people.  Once we do that, our country will go forward.  It is difficult for us to go backwards but we should only move forwards.  With these few words, I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MOEKETSI:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add a few words on the subject of ICT.  I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Mavhunga as the mover of the motion and Hon. Sen. Mugabe as the seconder of such an important motion.

          ICT is a good thing although it has its intended problems.  As we speak, parents are queuing at the banks.  They are not being told that there is no money but are told that the network is down.  They are seated there because of ICT, patiently waiting whilst the network is down.  Furthermore, ICT I would want to state in this august House that in Zimbabwe, I am not saying that we do not have murderers, but because of ICT we are taking things that are being posted on the phones and circulating on the groups.  There are some people who are murdered and the murderers are being posted on the various groups.  Such a gruesome murder occurred and people are able to see this because of ICT.  This ICT is influencing some people to misbehave as they are being possessed by murderous spirits and they are getting them from the Internet.

          I also observed a child who was being forced to kneel down and the person was using a machete to behead this child.  The murderer was masked and this is all being caused by ICT. Indeed ICT is good but it is causing problems in this country. 

The previous speaker said that adequate research has to be done and in terms of the content that should be circulated.  Things are now difficult in this country.  We are able to know as quickly as possible of illness in the family but what our relatives and friends are copying is not good.  It is bad.

One day, I saw a picture of our former President Mugabe who appeared very strong and young with puffed cheeks but he is not like that – this is because of ICT.  He was dressed in army camouflage and there were words inserted which read ‘President Mnangagwa, here I come’.  This is an example of ICT that has gone bad.  I also saw a picture of Hon. Chamisa’s face with beard and the lower body was that of a baby wearing pampers.  He was holding a packet of snacks or jiggies.  That is not proper and should not be done.  We need to correct this.  We should know how far we should go with ICT.  It has gone out of bounds.  It is no longer acceptable and it is detrimental to our country.  We urge researchers to do more in terms of ICT and this august House should agree on the extent to which we can use ICT. 

*THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I do not see anyone wanting to debate on this motion. But I will debate when I will not be in this Chair.  This debate is very interesting and people are just looking at the surface.  If we bring the pictures and share them here, it will be very beneficial and it will serve as evidence just like in court.  I have seen some pictures which I cannot even describe to a male person.  I think that area has gone in a wrong direction – the abuse is too much.  As we go ahead with this debate, Hon. Sen. Mavhunga and anyone else can share what really is happening so that Senate could be the first Chamber to rise up and say aah no, enough is enough. 

As Chiefs, we do not want to live in such a society whose social fabric has decayed to that level. 

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

HON. SEN. MATHUTHU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.

MOTION

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE ELDERLY

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the rights of the elderly as prescribed by Section 82 of the Constitution.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MAKORE: I thank you Mr. President.  Before I address the motion, I would like to express my heartfelt condolence over the passing on of Hon. Sen. Chief Chisunga.  When a minute of silence was observed, I was not in the House.  I was deeply touched by his death.  Thank you Hon. President. 

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  May I take this opportunity to inform Senators that Hon. Sen. Chief Chisunga has been  given the status of a liberation hero.  This state is given regardless of whether you were out to fight in the bush or not or whether you were born after independence, you can still be declared a liberation hero.  A liberation hero only means that even after independence, you are a person who has been fighting to advance the causes of the liberations struggle.  He qualifies in that category, hence the declaration – liberation hero.  He will be buried on Friday, 13th April 2018 with full honour of a hero. 

*HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Mr. President. I rise to support the motion by Hon. Sibanda which touches on the elderly and how best they can be looked after.

There is no running away from this issue of old age.  When we were young, we used to be very handsome but when we look at ourselves in the mirror now, we now look old with wrinkles. Which means that time can never stand still.  It means that the elderly are not able to look after themselves.  In other jurisdictions, the elderly are looked after but the song of the day is the economy, the economy, the economy is not performing these days but if we look at the manner in which the elderly are living, they live in squalid conditions. The children that we have these days no longer know how to look at their own parents like we used to. Every time when you have a meal, you pause to think if I am satisfied with what I am eating, what have my parents eaten?

You are talking about the televisions and the love of the children of today is limited. They no longer perform the duties that are expected of them. They no longer do that. This problem has led to the elderly asking for alms on the streets and they even forget that they have already asked for alms from you and repeat the same process. You would wonder what should happen to such an old person.  Maybe you will have failed to make it in life and as a result your livelihood becomes a serious challenge.

This is not a light matter Hon. President. Section 82 of the Constitution says that the Government should assist, that is, if the Government has the funding. It means that Government has already abdicated or exempted itself from its duty. The crux of the matter is that this issue can only be determined when the economy has improved but if you look at such a problem Mr. President, we must look at it realistically.

In other countries, they use best practice as regards the issue of the elderly. The elderly are unlike the youth who can run around and make ends meet. Once one is now old, they are unable to run around and make ends meet. Others ask, this old man, does he not have a communal home? Why is he/she not going to their communal home or where is their child? I would want to say that this is an important motion. We must relook at it and see what can possibly be done to ensure that the image of our country improves in regard to the welfare of the elderly and see what exactly it is that we are capable of doing.

Furthermore, I would want to say that we once had a debate and Chief Charumbira contributed to the motion and said what we are talking; about child homes and social care homes is an English phenomenon. I agree with you. These are Eurocentric values but the manner in which we now live is now different. We can no longer run away from European culture. The children that are born in this country or the city, for them to stay in the communal home so that they till the land; they cannot because they have never practiced it. These children are unable to fend for themselves. They cannot herd, dip and vaccinate livestock, and ensure that they have sufficient pastures; they are unable to do that.

We are saying that we are now too much Eurocentric in terms of values that our children no longer know these things.  People may look at the notion that the elderly should be looked after as too Eurocentric in value but it is important. Those that have been working and are now pensioners never thought they would lack anything. This is the option time which gives us a chance to relook and come up with practical answers and solutions to our practical problems with regards to our elderly people and the state of affairs that they are in.  The elderly have been reduced to destitute status to an extent that they will look for food in dustbins.

Let us come up with practical issues. This august House, I would want to believe Mr. President, that we relook at this issue with a different lens so that we can put an end or alleviate their plight. With those few words, I thank you Mr. President.

*THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Who is going to change this? We are listening to this debate but who is going to come up with change? I heard that we are now modernized and too Eurocentric, yes, we cannot change that or beat it using a switch but I believe that is not the case. They are not going to till the land but we are saying why we have too many street kids or orphans or child-headed families is because of the family system that has broken down. It does not matter whether you are in the urban or communal areas, Borrowdale or Matshemhlope in Bulawayo, the old family way of life of family unity has been destroyed.

The Arabs have maintained it. They all have towns but they have not lost their culture, family system and values. It is still intact. I would not want to speak too much about it. There was a man from Algeria who we were attending school with at the University of Zimbabwe. If it was in his country and he sees you standing in the street with his sister, he would remark as follows; the first thing I will do is to pull out a pistol and point it at you and say tell me why. Unomudii?Kana uchida kuroora hauroore mustreet wakamira kudai. You take the proper steps. Hazvigone kungonyengana for the sake of it. Hazviko. It is not there. You cannot just fall in love for the sake of it.

I am talking about the family values that we have lost, whether urban or rural. You cannot go into the street because you have an uncle, nephew or nieces and an aunt who is living in Borrowdale and I said you should take the debate further.

*HON. SEN. MAKWARIMBA: Thank you Mr. President. I thought I would say a few words on this motion on the issue or plight of the elderly. Mr. President, I am of the view that what has gone worse is that we have lost our African system. I would add the issue of the family unity but I believe it goes further than that and it also includes our African values and culture. You even look at the respect that is being given to the Chiefs, yourself included, and you no longer receive the due respect that you used to receive in the old days. The due respect that they used to receive in the past is no longer being shown to our fathers.

Before we think of someone else, as Government, let us think what we are doing about our African culture or heritage. The African system has been destroyed. We think that there should be a law that protects our African culture because that is where we are losing it as blacks. It is difficult for us because we once left Zimbabwe and went to South Africa. I came through a very long queue in Beitbridge when I went to Mussina. I was grabbed by the hand by a police officer and shown the right queue because of my age. It is a different country and they respect the elderly. What are we saying and doing about it?

We can think about the elderly but what about the Chief that people pass without even showing recognition on the streets. We should think deeper and let us not just look at the issue of symptoms. Let us look at the causes. I believe that our culture has gone astray. We should realign and protect it because the speed at which we are moving in destroying our culture, we will end up with nothing.  We are going to think of the cave in which to seek shelter after we have been drenched in rain.

          Our African culture is the same irrespective of the language that you speak.  A father is held in the same mode wherever you go; we have lost our culture and so we should retrace our footsteps.  There was the father and the uncles and that system was intact.  If you see them in their gatherings, they would never refer to an uncle as ‘my father’s young brother or my father’s elder brother’.  We referred to those people in the African culture as fathers – let us go back to our culture and behave in line with the dictates of our African culture.  I thank you.

          *THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: If the debate should remain in this manner, we would spend the night here until tomorrow.  It is okay for as long as we are debating good things such as these.  The debate is now good.

I think we lost it that after independence, we did not come up with an institutional review, organisational and institutional diagnosis of what we were before independence and our vision after independence.  We never relooked at the way we do things.  The jury is still out on that issue.  The offices that we have and the ministries that are there – the same offices that we have are the same offices since 1980. The practices are the same as from the district administrator.  We just removed the white man from the office and replaced him with our black man running the office same time, same Cabinet, same keys, same files, same time of work and same ordination of chiefs; nothing has changed.  We adopted the same things and that is the truth of the matter because the white man is the first one who killed the institution of traditional chiefs when he came and put in his new system. 

After independence, we did not go back to give the chieftainship or traditional leadership its own values.  The politician even when he now comes into the office, now enjoys the seats that the white man used to rule from and he says the chief should stay away.

For you Hon. Sen. Makore to hear that your father is now at the old people’s home and that they should be cleaned by people that you pay, it is not proper.  This is what is happening and this is how bad money is – taking your own father or your parents to an old people’s home. Surely, why were you not taken to a babies’ home or an orphans’ home where you would spend the whole night crying and then they would put you in a foster home where you spend sleepless nights and now you repay them by sending them to old people’s home.  These are things that are touching our souls.  They are at the core of our own African tradition.

We do not understand some of the mannerisms that we are catching up on.  I am against the issue of the old people’s homes and I am also against the issue of orphanages.  I do not want to see them at all because this shows that we have failed and we have now become too sophisticated and eurocentric when we do not appreciate the European values.

          +HON. SEN. S. NCUBE:   Thank you, Hon. President.  I think when you want to debate, you should not debate whilst seated in that Chair, but you should come down and debate and not debate from there.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Sorry, I was just taking advantage.  I was going to say you have already debated and you should not debate again and now you have debated in an indirect manner but some of these rules need a good Chair, you can always manouvre.  If it is a good Chair, you can always find a way and this is part of good chairing.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIDUKU:  I want to thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.  Concerning some of these issues, we avoid and fear talking about them because when people realise our ages and that we are traditional leaders, they consider us to be very backward.  So, sometimes we just listen and watch to see where exactly you stand and also if you realise that our culture is being eroded.  The moment we realise that you are now aware that our traditional values are being eroded, we then come in.  Surely, for my father to be looked after by someone else is a modern system.  We should not treat our fathers and mothers like this.  Long ago, one would invite the vengeance of his dead father’s spirit.

          If a mother came of age, what we knew was that the daughter would look after her and the son in law would stay with her to allow the daughter to look after her mother.  If I am the father who is now old, I cannot leave my home to be looked after and nursed elsewhere because people come to my house to check on me in the mornings as to how I am feeling.  Nowadays, we want our parents to be confined to old people’s homes.  If we are to walk down the streets, all those we refer to as street kids were not created by God as street kids but we are the ones who have failed to look after our relatives.  We have failed our relatives and we have failed in bringing up our children.  A daughter can give birth wherever she is and as parents; we do not even bother to check where she went and where the child is or even to check where our children are working when they leave home to seek for job opportunities.  Once they give birth, these girls find it difficult to return to their parents. 

In our traditional system/culture, grand children used to grow up with their grandparents if their mothers were single parents and these girls would even eventually get married.  Even the kids themselves would get married and the grandparents would enjoy the bride price since the mother was single.  That is our tradition.  Let us consider where our nation is going with this cultural decadence.  One day we will all be embarrassed.  As chiefs, we will only add what you will have omitted in your debates but otherwise, we are seized with the issues. 

If one’s mother has come of age, has relocated from her home, and eventually dies in a foreign home, she comes back in the form of a corpse for burial.  Her house may dilapidated without even a roof, that is when you see people putting a tent on top of the house for the funeral to take place and the burial being done the following day.  Where exactly are we heading to? 

This august House is for people who have come of age with wisdom.  That is why the minimum age has been set at 40 years.  We are here to build the nation and for those who read the Hansard, there should be a difference when they read what we debate in the Senate as they will realise that we debate real constructive issues.  We are the owners of this land.  Most people have left for the Diaspora but as chiefs, we will never abandon our country no matter how difficult the situation becomes.  No matter how old I am, I will not leave my home.  If I become incapacitated to perform my role as a chief, an advisor will be appointed and has the power of attorney to perform my duties.  I will never be relocated to an old people’s home – what is the role of the family and relatives? We are not yet aged. Our ancestors used to have cow dung rubbed on their backs in their homes.  Some people now do not want this; they say we are now living in a modern world.  If you say it is now a modern world you are admitting that you no longer want to follow our tradition. We cannot change our skin or our culture because it is God given; we will remain like this till we die.  Even by the time that Jesus will come as the Bible says,  He must find us Africans not imitating the whites but value our tradition.  If an elderly man is asked to pray at a funeral, it is surprising that he will use English.  What surprises me is that they will just be black people at that funeral. As you will be speaking, we will just be listening.  We have valid points but we will give you the floor and if we feel now we are in the same boat then we will participate.  Thank you Mr. President.

          *THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Before I give the floor to Hon. Sen. Chief Marozva, I was advised that there is no interpretation, the machines are not working. So, we have been advised that Hon. Senators should speak in English.  So, I said it is not fair for the Hon. Sen. debating to use English. I had requested that you finish debating and I will make this announcement after the debating Senator.  I could not stop the Hon. Senator because there is no interpretation.  

          The Clerks at the Table having advised the Acting President that the machines were now working.

          I am advised that the machines are now working.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MAROZVA: Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity that you have given me to support the motion.  It is an important motion and I want to support what has been said. I want to add a few issues that may be as a result of our laws that come into place.  Some of this legislation prevents children from respecting their parents.  There is a law that says that a child actually can get his father arrested.  If the father is arrested, how then will he look after the child?  If that child is capable of having his father arrested if he has come of age, do you think that child will be able to look after his father? The child cannot because he belittled his/her father when he/she was young. We now need to interrogate and see if this legislation originated from us in the first place or it came with the white man.

          Our nation and culture has been destroyed.  I remember when I was a young child; I used to move around with a bicycle, there are grids that separate roads.  One man saw me with a bicycle and he knew that my father did not have a bicycle.  If you ride on a bike when you get to the grid, you get off the bike so that the spokes do not break. I then proceeded to ride the bicycle on that grid without care. So, he stopped me and asked me if the bicycle belonged to my father.  He knew that it was a borrowed bike. He clapped me but I could not go and report because I knew he is also a father and if I erred he would discipline me as a child.  If you are a child and you understand our culture, you will know that anyone elderly is your father.  These are the few words that I wanted to add.

 We can talk about the chiefs but let us first address the issue of the legislation that you have put in place, that of arresting a father because he has beaten up his child for refusing to go to school. Just because a father has disciplined his child for coming home late; if it is a girl or boy child, that child can go and report his father.  Let us address those issues here in this Senate.  You are also belittling the traditional chiefs because those children will not respect the chiefs as no one will discipline those children any more.  If a chief says anything, you will be on radio accused of violating people’s rights yet you will be educating them of their cultural rights.

 In my constituency, there are old women who snatch young women’s husbands and they shamelessly call that young lady ‘maiguru’. This is totally unaccepted in our culture.  If you say so, they say the chief no longer wants single women in his area so he must be arrested. This is not our culture.   

          Those children who will be born out of those relationships will not respect their parents.  With these few words, I want to thank you Mr. President – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

          *HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. President.  For us to be chosen to be in this Senate, it is because we have come of age and we know our past.  Today, it seems like our culture is vanishing.  I want to start by saying that from the time I got into Government, although our culture and traditional values had been destroyed, we should have stood up and said no to some of these legislations.  We should have protested to say the legislation being put in place is not fair.  This would have restored our traditional values.

          When we came into power, we actually thought everything would be back to our traditional values.  I remember I was a house maid in one of the white man’s house.  We were looked down upon but those white people did not do away with their traditional values.  I asked the white lady my boss that she said the two rooms should be plastered and even the kitchen.  She was changing beds and wardrobes and she said to me - Anna, my mother in-law is coming; she does not want to sleep in a bedroom that someone else was using.  She wants fresh air - this is a white woman valuing her mother-in-law.

Again, the white men used to have periods where they would have their functions at scenery places.  One would carry things from there and whatever they ate, the food was left there because I believe they were appeasing their ancestors that they would then feed on that. 

When we look at the rivers in areas where we stay, there were sacred rivers where you were not allowed to wash napkins, where women were not allowed to bath because the mhondoro spirits would quench their thirst there.  A song was sung near those rivers because that is where our mhondoro spirits used to hide would quench their thirst there.  A song was sung and that is where our spirits used to hide and quench their thirst.  When we came through and took over as the black people, all the rivers are no longer sacred.  Where did we then put our own tradition as black people?  

          On the issues that were brought before the chiefs.  Some of these cases were brought before the traditional chiefs such as divorce – it was handled by the chiefs.  Today, the authority of the chiefs has been stripped and chiefs do not really have any authority to rule in our traditional sense.  So I also blame the Government because the Government did not do anything to address the issue of restoring our culture.  I thank you.

          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:  Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.

MOTION

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

Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on the call on the Executive to

provide alternative resettlement areas for communities from Zvehamba, Mahatshe and Matankeni.

          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:  Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.

MOTION

PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS FROM UNSCRUPULOUS BUSINESS PEOPLE

Seventh Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on protection of

consumers from corruption.

          Question again proposed.

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

now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE WORLD PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Eighth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the report of

the delegation  to the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the report that was tabled in this House by Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane relating to the World Parliamentary Forum on sustainable development that was discussed globally by a number of countries.

          The report focused on the issue of poverty globally meaning that Zimbabwe was part of the discussions on poverty.  Mr. President there was an issue that was discussed on violence in all the countries that were there.  I want to applaud the new dispensation for managing to quell the issue of violence because the level of violence has been reduced.  A few months ago, you would see people demonstrating in Zimbabwe but we realise that there is now peace in this nation.  He also mentioned the issue of the importance of women and the girl child.  I want to acknowledge that in Zimbabwe, we as Zimbabwe have moved a step further in ensuring that the girl child and women are recognised.  We have not yet reached 50/50 but we request that you continue to look into it. 

          Mr. President, I also heard about the issue of health that should be accessible to everyone.  When I looked into this, I realised when one is now healthy, there is no life.  I want to acknowledge that in Zimbabwe, we are also beginning to see change.  Even the First Lady is moving around with a programme on ensuring that people have access to cancer screening. So if we continue to look at the issue of education, our nation will become healthy and if there is violence and the population is not healthy, it actually leads to poverty.  After looking at this again, I realised that the issue of health and food security was mentioned.  We realise that as Zimbabwe, we are at an advantage and have done well because we adopted Command Agriculture.  So in terms of food security, we are safe.  Some of the issues that I realised were that if a country is not in good health and without food – that causes poverty.  Command Agriculture has alleviated poverty in Zimbabwe. 

          Mr. President, I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane who went and represented us at this global forum.  We also want to urge the Government to continue sending delegations to such forums so that they can also adopt best practices so that we move with the times. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to add a few words.

          HON. SEN. MUGABE:  I also rise to second Hon Chief Mtshane on this report on the World Parliamentary Forum which was held in Bali, Indonesia from the 6-7th September 2017.

It was indeed necessary for Zimbabwe to attend this forum among other 49 countries. The theme, “Achieving the 2030 Agenda through Inclusive Development was also very appropriate since the role of Parliament was indeed emphasised.  This event facilitated the sharing of policy analysis, experience and best practices from country to country in order to deal with issues of development. It is the role and responsibility of Parliament to spearhead the 2030 agenda

On climate change that is SDG 13, this world forum emphasised involvement of parliamentarians to bring awareness on the threat of the change that happens through indiscriminate cutting of trees, industrial emissions causing global warming, wrong farming methods resulting in the change of weather patterns to extremes like cyclones, hurricanes and heat which we cannot afford to have. Research findings are that since 1980, the planet needs protection.  It has experienced 50 fold increase in the number of places experiencing dangerous or extreme heat.  A bigger increase is to come.  Heatwaves have killed people in cities like Karachi and Calcutta and have become close to inhabitable. These extreme climates can cause poverty, a state of being extremely poor, destitute, penniless and facing hardships with no means of support and no food.  No wonder Parliaments have been urged to work towards empowering the poor and the vulnerable.

Goal No. 1 in the 2030 agenda seeks to end poverty in all its forms, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.  However, you can only end poverty through productivity and this can only happen where climate is favourable hence the need to take urgent actions in order to combat climate change. Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, the weather monitoring moves have geared up and Zimbabwe has committed itself to implementing all SDGs most importantly, SDG No. 2 on Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition in order to end hunger.

In the context of agenda 2030, it was useful for Zimbabwean Parliamentarians to familiarize themselves with these important issues so as to step up efforts with everybody and not leaving anyone behind. On ending violence and sustaining peace, Parliaments were urged to work closely with Government and all stakeholders in ensuring effective law enforcement to combat all forms of violence giving special attention to the needs of women, children and those in vulnerable situation. 

I must thank the delegation and wish there could be more such forums so that we can learn a lot more.  I thank you Mr. President.

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

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 11th April, 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

Ninth 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. SEN. MASUKU):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BULAWAYO METROPOLITAN (HON.  SEN. MASUKU), the Senate adjourned at Nine Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 10 APRIL 2018 VOL 27 NO 34