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SENATE HANSARD - 10 JULY 2012 VOL. 21 NO. 37

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 10th July, 2012.

The Senate met at a Half-past Two O'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

( MADAM PRESIDENT in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MADAM PRESIDENT

NON - ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

MADAM PRESIDENT: I have to inform the House that I have received a non-adverse report gazetted during April and May 2012 except the following: Statutory Instrument 55 of 2012, Statutory Instrument 58 of 2012, Statutory Instrument 61 of 2012, Statutory Instrument 62 of 2012, Statutory Instrument 63 of 2012, Statutory Instrument 71 of 2012, Statutory Instrument 73 of 2012, Statutory Instrument 78 of 2012, Statutory Instrument 90 of 2012 and Statutory Instrument 93 of 2012.

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

MADAM PRESIDENT: I remind hon. senators to switch off their cellphones or put them on silence before commencement of business.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND NORTH: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 7 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE SECOND CONFERENCE OF WOMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS IN AFRICA AND THE ARAB WORLD

SENATOR CHABUKA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Delegation to the Second Conference of Women Parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab World.

SENATOR MANDABA: I second.

SENATOR CHABUKA: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to present my report on the Second Conference of Women Parliamentarians in the Senate Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World which was hosted by the Sudanese Legislative Council of State in Khartoum at the Friendship Hall from 18 to 19 March, 2012. Participants were drawn from the following seventeen countries:-

Algeria,

Bahrain,

Burundi,

Chad,

Egypt,

Ethipia,

Gabon,

Gienya Equatorial (Equatorial Guinea)

Jordan

Mauritania,

Morocco,

Niger,

South Africa

Yemen and

Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Delegation was led by the President of the Senate Hon. Edna Madzongwe and comprised Hon. Minah Mandaba delegate, Hon. Keresensiya Chabuka delegate, Mrs Dadirayi Makoni- Director in the President of the Senate's Office, Mr. Gift Chinyemba, Personal Aide- to the President of the Senate and Mr. Prince Daniel, Secretary to the delegation. The meeting was also attended by a representative from the African Union Organisation.

Delegates were warmly welcomed by the Secretary General of the Association of Senates Shoora and Equivalent Councils (ASSECAA) Mr. Abdulwasie Yusuf Ali. In his remarks, the Secretary General stated that, "our societies together with our culture in general and men in particular are the causes of the problems our women are facing today".

He said that whatever had to be achieved in terms of human resource development had to be done with the full involvement and participation of women.

The Chairperson of the Committee on the Conference of Women Parliamentarians Wedad Ya'acoub also welcomed the delegates. She pointed out that the Conference was intended to achieve unity among Afro-Arab Women Parliamentarians and to set mechanisms for the attainment of peace, security and development, literacy, poverty reduction and in bringing about the required social change.

Background to the Second Conference of Women Parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab World

The Conference's origins date as far back as 1975 when the first United Nations World Conference on Women was held in Mexico. Further conferences were later held, and among them, the Fourth Meeting of Women Parliamentarians in Beijing in 1995. The First Meeting of Women Parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab World was held in 2009. It was resolved at that meeting that similar meetings would be held on an annual basis.

The focus on these Conferences was on Women's representation in economic and political decision making structures. Member countries were encouraged to play a major role in ensuring the active participatory role of women in socio-political and cultural development processes.

The objective of the Conference was to enable women in Africa and the Arab World to contribute meaningfully to national development and in the elimination of obstacles that might arise. The Conference was also in recognition of the role played by ASSECCA Women Parliamentarians as think-tanks for the women folk. Gender equality instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 1979, the Beijing Platform of Action (BPFA) of 1995, the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) No.5) of 2000 and the Protocol on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women of 2003 were among those developed during women Conferences. These were meant to highlight special measures which countries could implement in order to increase women participation in various spheres of development.

The Second Conference of Women Parliamentarians was also designed to enable delegates to exchange views and experiences among Afro-Arab Women Parliamentarians, particularly in the field of political and democratic developments which contributed to the enhancement of constitutional development, peace and security in the two regions. It was envisaged that the good experiences shared among delegates would enable participants to draw up meaningful strategies that would assist in empowering women with a reasonable time.

The Opening Ceremony

In a colourful opening ceremony, the President of the Republic of Sudan, His Excellency Field Marshal Hassam Asmed Albashir, graced the occasion to deliver the opening speech. He set the tone of the Conference which turned out to be very lively and absorbing for the delegates by stating that Sudan was a bridge for contacts between Africa and the Arab World.

The President of the Republic of Sudan stressed that Sudan was exerting great efforts in the fields of social and economic development and in providing services for all its citizens. He singled out the achievement of peace and stability in the country which he said were quite critical in the realisation of meaningful development. He further stated that the success of political development was linked to democracy and the participation of society and the women. He reiterated the important role played by Women Parliamentarians in the enhancing the political and economic conditions and in spearheading the social development processes.

President Al Bashir bemoaned the challenges of providing financial support for development, increasing the Sudanese people's income and revenues. However, he greatly appreciated the sterling contribution by the women and their participation in that country's elections which came after one of the most protracted wars in Africa. He also described the convocation of the Second Conference of Women Parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab World as reflecting a sense of deep awareness on the astute role women play in the stability and development of their countries. The President also encouraged the fostering of close relations and interaction between Africa and the Arab World. He pointed out that women Parliamentarians were playing a key role in enhancing relations among nations, as it was evident that they represented half of mankind. It was, therefore, incumbent upon women Parliamentarians to should the onerous responsibilities in terms of improving political, economic and legal conditions and in achieving peace, security and stability.

The President also highlighted that Women Parliamentarians played a major role in the enhancing democracy and, particularly, in development related decision making.

Finally, the Sudanese president called upon all Women Parliamentarians to contribute towards the elimination of the root causes of instigation, sedition and inter-fighting.

Proceedings of the Conference

The host country's representative Awatif Mohammad Ali Al-j'ali, KA MEMBER OF THE Legislation and Justice Committee of the Sudanese national Assembly set the Conference alight when he presented a paper on women's legislation and ways of revitalizing them. She said that some pieces of legislation had led to commendable measures in the regularization of rights of women. Among these was the Agreement on Maternal Protection which was revised in 1935 leading to the Women Night Work No. (45) of 1935. The agreement was aimed at protecting the working woman and to balance between her business and social life as a mother.

Furthermore, the presentation covered the UN Charter of 1945 which led to the consolidation and respect for human rights and principal freedoms for all people without discrimination regardless of ethnicity, language or religion as well as gender. Other Charters and International Agreements covered in the presentation included the following:

1948 World Declaration for Human Rights;

1952 UN Commission of Women Centre which prepared the Treaty for women political rights which was subsequently adopted by the UN General Assembly;

1967 declaration on ending discrimination against women;

1969 UN declaration for progress and development in the social field;

1973 Agreement on the implementation of measures to end all forms of discrimination against women undertaken by UN Women Commission Centre;

1974 world declaration for protection of women and children in events of armed conflicts and emergencies;

1976 pledge for economic, social or cultural rights, to secure equality between males and females;

1979 adoption of the Agreement ending all forms of discrimination against women which became valid in 1981;

1981 World Labour Organisation issued an Agreement allowing males and females to occupy jobs without discrimination;

1994 the Cairo International Conference for Population Development whose aims were to bring to an end all legal, political and social barriers against women;

1995 the Beijing Conference was held and women rights were recognized as human rights;

2000 the United Nations issued the document (Beijing + 5) and 2005, the Conference of (Beijing + 10) was convened.

The paper also discussed mechanisms for the execution of UN Articles and Charters relating to women.

The Conference also covered a topic by Sudan's Dr. Bâ Baker Mohammed on the role of Women Parliamentarians in achieving socio economic renaissance.

The presentation on the role of women in achieving peace, security and development in Africa and the Arab world was presented by Dr. Joseph Shiling from Zambia.

Elaborate discussions on the papers presented were held by delegates who shared their country experiences quite comprehensively on the topics. The Zimbabwean delegation presented experiences on the successes and multiple inroads that Zimbabwe has made in enhancing the role and uplifting the status of women in different fields such as Education, Health, Public Sector, Security, Political and Economic positions of authority that have seen policies that ensure that women rise without any discrimination or impediments at all.

Zimbabwe also highlighted the indelible mark made by women in the peace building process in the country and their immense contribution to the economic development and stability of the country. The Zimbabwe delegation also highlighted the sterling role played by women from the days of the liberation struggle to date. Women have continued to shine like beacons as they have been heavily involved in State organs on Peace, Security and Development thereby contributing to the stability of Zimbabwe.

Just like during the liberation struggle, it had not been difficult at all for women to work alongside their male counterparts as evidenced by the various commissions that the women were ably serving and the decision making positions that they occupied in various sectors of governance.

Further experiences from some Arab and African countries were shared by Yemen, Morocco, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Algeria, Jordan, Gabon, Nigeria, Burundi, Chad, Guinea Bissau and Egypt. I thank you Madam President.

SENATOR MANDAVA: Thank you Madam President. I rise to second Senator Chabuka as I was privileged to be part of the delegation for which I am grateful. Attending the Second Conference of the Women Parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab world was an eye opener. It was educative and part of empowerment as mixing and interacting with other Parliamentarians was enriching in instilling confidence and a sense of belonging and pride of being one of them.

In Yemen, women had achieved a lot in terms of development and empowerment. For example, many women held military posts and were treated as equals with their male counterparts. However, there were still fewer women in decision making positions than desired. Women were initially not allowed to be members of Parliament in Yemen. However, through their sheer determination and legislation, their numbers had significantly increased. The unification of Yemen had also seen an increase in the number of women in the Yemen Parliament. Regrettably, even though equal opportunities for men and women were guaranteed, only two women out of eleven won in the Parliamentary elections.

In Burundi, women occupied 36% of advisory positions in Government. At least 27% of the Ambassadors were women. That country's national legislation had been amended to improve the status of women. Health services were said to be free for women, which is commendable. Further programmes to improve the rights of women were expected and these included among others, technical support and family planning programmes.

Madam President, experiences in Chad were that women were playing a participatory role in the promotion of peace in that country. However, stereotype cultural practices were making it difficult to engage women in public life. There were only eleven women Parliamentarians in Chad out of a population of twelve million where women constituted 52%. The Chadian Government had put in place health programmes such as the prevention of HIV/Aids to assist women and children. The education of the Girl Child was also receiving particular attention in Chad as a way of boosting confidence in the education of girls.

In Guinea Bissau, where women constitute a large population of the population, only three women were Chairpersons of the Parliamentary Committees. The Ministry of Social Welfare was under the control of a woman. Children's Health needs were being provided for by the State University during the Post Natal period while education was for free, except at University Level. Women were also represented within the Judiciary. Equal employment opportunities were guaranteed for all citizens regardless of sex.

Egyptian experiences indicated that women played no meaningful role

in the economic and political development of their country before the 2011 Revolution. It was the President's Prerogative to appoint women to sit in Parliament. The majority of the Egyptians did not like the idea of women in politics. It was emphasised that there would be need to cater for future generations in favour of women and in particular, issues that pertain to their education.

Experiences from Bahrain were given of retrogressive pieces of legislation relating to Women from the Arab World. These were laws that violated the rights of women as they were oppressive. Ironically, some of the laws were not opposed by women themselves. They have since become victims of such legislation.

Experiences from Niger were that in order for the status of women to be uplifted, there was need to implement the quota system on positions to be occupied by women. However, Niger had no constitutional provisions to cater for such systems.

In Jordan, the Constitution guaranteed equality between men and women. However, there were gaps when it came to the implementation on the ground. Women were urged to be afraid of no one but Allah in order for them to feel the essence of freedom.

Moroccan experiences were that laws were not sufficient to promote and enhance the status and rights of women. Moroccan delegates said that sound political will was required to empower their Women Parliamentarians.

Generally, the Conference was unanimous that Women Parliamentarians had a major role to play in the political and economic development of their countries. Women also needed to be trained on their rights. Decision making by women needed to be enhanced as well. Men who abused women had to be prosecuted. Some Governments were said to be failing to appoint women to decision making positions. Women needed love and appreciation from men. At the same time, women needed to take initiatives and to be proactive and supported on projects and programmes that they undertook.

Recommendations

After elaborate discussions and sharing of experiences and practices the Conference resolved to come up with the following recommendations on issues relating to legislation pertaining to Women:-

a) the need to enhance the capacity and role of women Parliamentarians in enacting legislation, setting out policies, plans and programmes and to follow up on the implementation of such activities, in addition to active participation in Workshops, Conferences and all intellectual and negotiable activities relating to Women Parliamentarians.

b) The need to enact legislation that meets citizens' basic needs in respect of poverty alleviation, redistribution of income among social segments and fulfilling the needs of women and children.

c) Consolidating the role of women leaders in Africa and the Arab World to enable them to engage in decision making processes.

d) The need to enact legislation on women in order to enable them to balance their family work with professional duties outdoors.

e) The need to stress the importance of formulating a mechanism for reviewing family related laws.

f) The need to introduce the proportional representation (quota system) and including some in the applicable laws in order to enable Women Parliamentarians assume their regulatory and legislative role.

g) The need to revitalise women related laws to help them exercise their political experiences.

h) the strengthening of friendship bonds and resuscitation of roles played by Women Parliamentarians in Africa and Arab World through political platforms, Constitutional development and exchange of Parliamentary experiences.

i) The training of Women Parliamentarians in order to alleviate their competencies in all social, economic, political, cultural and intellectual aspects.

j) Involving women in the process of setting out priorities and needs and working out plans and programmes in achieving the third millennium development goal.

k) Formulating and facilitating the policies that enable women to obtain credit loans.

l) Reinforcing the role of women in attaining peace and security and working towards ending conflicts and violence committed against women, tackling the effects of natural disasters, helping communities co-exist peacefully and getting rid of the impacts of civil wars in order to create a strong society.

m) Implementing Security Council Resolution No. 1325 stipulating that peace and security must prevail, especially in countries whose Governments have failed so far to make any progress in this respect.

n) Providing assistance to women who fall victim to violence and disputes.

o) Creating a sub-committee within the previous Conferences and following up on their recommendations and outputs

q) It is necessary to encourage small and medium women enterprises, including cooperatives and other social institutions, and to make use of the experiences of Gabon, Sudan, Ethiopia and Yemen with respect to family bank and textiles. All these receive assistance from the state.

r) Exerting concerted efforts and creating bridges of communication among Arab and African Nations (creation of friendship Associations).

t) Re-emphasise that the meeting of Women Parliamentarians should be held annually.

Conclusion

The Conference expressed its appreciation, gratitude and confidence at the many measures that had been undertaken by the majority of African and Arabian countries to enhance women's representation in decision making positions. However, delegates lamented that women's participation in public life and positions of power had not been achieved to desired levels, particularly, in the Arab region which ranked the lowest in the world in terms of women participation in Parliaments.

Finally, the delegates encouraged women Parliamentarians to consolidate all their efforts confidently and to believe in themselves as human beings who are able to lead and shoulder the human responsibilities of building their nations.

SENATOR CHITAKA: Thank you for giving me this opportunity and first of all to congratulate our delegation from Zimbabwe which went to participate at this Conference of Women Parliamentarians in Africa and the Arab World. I am sure the other participants at the Conference did notice that our delegation was not only led by a woman but the President of this Senate. I do not know how many other delegations were composed as such -[AN HON. SENATOR: It was the only one]-. It was the only one. Unfortunately that is where the positive comparisons in terms of delegation composition and women's participation go. I have listened to the statistics as presented by the mover Senator Chabuka and the seconder Senator Mandava.

I picked a few countries which I feel we could use as an example to find out why we are not achieving gender parity as has happened in other countries. The three countries that I want to mention which were mentioned by the two proposals of the motion. Burundi, Rwanda and South Africa were mentioned, these countries have got something in common with us. They came out of a conflict situation. We got our independence in 1980 after a prolonged and protracted war of liberation, but what these other countries did in terms of women emancipation and representation at the highest levels of Government is very different from what we have done in Zimbabwe. If you look at Burundi and Rwanda, I understand a lot of men were massacred during the intra-hamwe ethnic cleansing that took place there, so maybe they had no option but to have more women than men.

I know in Burundi there are more women parliamentarians than men, maybe that was a fortunate benefit of a very unfortunate situation. If you look at South Africa there was no similar thing where men were massacred and there are more women now than men. South Africa did make a deliberate attempt right from the beginning when Nelson Mandela became the President in 1994, there was a deliberate policy; they did not say we are going to groom and train our women. Some of these women were very young and inexperienced, but they were put into the Cabinet and some were made to head some of the biggest Government corporations. It was a deliberate policy which was being driven by President Nelson Mandela himself. Right now South Africa has got more women Cabinet Ministers than we can talk of in Zimbabwe.

What I am trying to say is that we missed this opportunity in 1980, where we could have said this is the way to go. Unfortunately, we seem to have taken our eye off the ball. In 1980, gender issues were not so important then, otherwise we could have taken that opportunity to really lead from the front and appoint these women without even looking at whether they are experienced or not. Experience yacho handiti unoiwana kana wapinda pabasa racho. Who was born a Cabinet minister in this country? You say that we are appointing Chitaka to be a Cabinet Minister of which I have never been one so why can you not appoint my sister Hon. Senator Mandava. You do that deliberately so that she can learn on the job and by doing that we do not just offer lip service to gender equality.

We missed the boat in 1980, and unfortunately we will continue to miss the boat. During the GPA appointment of Cabinet Ministers how many women were appointed? Someone is whispering nine, but out of how many? It is totally unacceptable, it is not about ability. I think women have got the same ability as us. After all being a politician is not about being educated. You play the ball when you are in the field. Being a Cabinet minister is a political appointment, if you want it to be a technical appointment then you can appoint Senator Chitaka to be the Managing Director of ZESA because he is an engineer, but in politics you can give me any Ministry whether it is the Ministry of dogs and cats, I can perform there because it is a political appointment.

It is about leadership and vision, not about how many degrees you hold. Unfortunately, Zimbabweans have become too educated than the British themselves.

Coming to my second point; on the handicap that we are suffering, we have borrowed a western type of women emancipation. We are borrowing foreign ideology to try and impose it here. If you look at the women circles, the organizations that are trying to push women forward; I have to be very careful on this otherwise I will be misquoted in the newspaper tomorrow.

I am saying that the model we are using is wrong, it is borrowed from the western world; just look at Britain itself, how many women Members of Parliament do they have? How many American women are in Congress or Senate, very few, extremely few and yet we want to learn from these people. We are borrowing models from them, it is called women's liberation; you must be on top of the men. In Britain they have failed to reach 25% women in Parliament and they have had their Parliament for as long as I can remember my history which is not very good.

They have been overtaken by countries like Rwanda, Burundi, and South Africa etc who gained independence just yesterday. I am saying that we must develop and adopt our own home grown solutions and strategies, if we listen to these sons of ours who educated in London and New York and then they come back with books on how women should be 50:50 with men or this and that, we are going nowhere. We need to look at our unique situation here as well as our culture and see how we can blend that to come up with a truly Zimbabwean way of achieving equality at every level.

I am also challenging the leadership of this country, the President and the Prime Minister, they must take a deliberate role in this, it is not about just numbers. We must see women appointed to head these Government bodies, they will gain experience on the job because as Zimbabweans we claim that we are the most educated people, how educated than this do you want the women to be? You want them to fly to the moon? They have basic understanding, so they must be a deliberate policy while we appoint these women. In the new Constitution they are talking about women being 50:50 with men but it is not clear, they must specify like the Government must not have more than 25 ministers then they must clearly indicate that at least 50% must be women. Then we will clearly say what we want to do, not just to talk to please women. We will talk to please women, but come years and years to come nothing would have materialised.

Women have been waiting for the last thirty years and they will continue waiting for another30 or more years to come. Let us learn from these other countries. Let us develop our own home grown model and truly promote our women by word or by deed. I thank you.

THE GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND NORTH: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND NORTH: I move that we revert back to Order of the Day Number one on the Order Paper because the Minister is now here.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS PROTOCOL TO PREVENT, SUPPRESS AND PUNISH TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MRS MAKONE): Thank you Mr. President. I do apologise for coming late. I was held at Cabinet. I was here a few weeks ago giving notice of motion. I have come back today to elaborate on the protocol which I hope that the Senate will ratify in order to enable us to deposit this instrument with the United Nations with a view that we then formulate a Bill, which allows us to domesticate this protocol.

Mr. President, I shall now proceed. Ratification of the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against transnational organised crime, Senate is called upon to consider the Ratification of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children. The need to ratify this Protocol arises from the fact that Zimbabwe signed and ratified the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime which is supplemented by this Protocol. The Protocol entered into force on 25 December, 2003.

Purpose of the Protocol

The Protocol seeks to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, paying particular attention to women and children. It seeks to protect and assist the victims of such trafficking with full respect for their human rights and also to promote cooperation among State Parties in order to meet those objectives.

Use of Terms

Article 3 defines the term, "trafficking in persons" to mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of person, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation, for the purpose of this Protocol, "Child" shall mean any person under eighteen years of age and the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered "trafficking in person" even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph(a) of this Article.

Scope of Application

The application of the provisions of this Protocol is confined to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of the offences established in accordance with Article 5 of this Article.

Criminalisation

The provisions of Article 5 require a State Party to adopt legislative and other measures to establish as criminal offences the conduct outlined in Article 3 of this Protocol when committed intentionally. Attempting to commit, participating as an accomplice and organizing or directing other persons to commit an offence established in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article should also be made criminal offences by State Parties.

Assistance to and protection of victims of trafficking in persons

Article 6 requires a State Party to provide assistance to and protection of victims of trafficking in person. Domestic legal or administrative systems for the implementation of the provision of this article should avail to victims of trafficking relevant information and assistance relating to court and administrative proceedings offenders.

State Parties are also required to consider implementing measures to provide for the physical, psychological and social recovery of victims of trafficking. Article 6 (6) requires each State Party to offer in its legal system the possibility of victims of trafficking obtaining compensation for damages suffered.

Status of victims of the trafficking in person in receiving States

The provisions of Article 7 require a State party to legislate for measures that permit victims of trafficking to remain in its territory either on a temporary or permanent basis.

Repatriation of victims of trafficking in persons

Article 8 outlines the procedures for the safe repatriation of victims of trafficking in persons including those without proper documents.

Prevention of Trafficking in persons

The provisions of Article 9 requires State parties to establish comprehensive policies, programmes and other measures to prevent and combat trafficking in persons as well as to protect victims of trafficking especially women and children.

Information exchange and training

Immigration and other relevant authorities of State Parties are expected under Article 10 to cooperate with one another by exchanging information to enable them to detect and establish the means and methods used by persons engaged in trafficking in persons in order to combat trafficking.

Border measures

Article 11 outlines the measures that State Parties should put in place by way of border controls that are necessary to prevent and detect trafficking in persons.

Security and control of documents

It is a requirement on each State Party in Article 12, to ensure that travel and identify documents they issue are of the highest quality, can not be easily forged and are issued by the authorised persons.

Legitimacy and validity of documents

Article 13 requires a State Party to verify the legitimacy and validity of documents purported to have been issued by it within a reasonable time if requrested by another State Party.

Settlement of disputes

Article 15 stipulates that any dispute between two or more States concerning the interpretation or application of the Protocol that has not been settled by negotiation may be submitted to arbitration after which it may be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any one of the State Parties.

It should be noted that this Article provides for the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in differences arising out of interpretation or application of the Protocol, at the instance of one party. It is advisable that consent of both parties be required.

Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession

Article 16 provides for the signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession to the Protocol by State Parties.

Depository and languages

It is stipulated in Article 20 that the Secretary General of the United Nations is designated depository of this Protocol. As Ministers of Home Affairs Cde K.C.D. Mohadi and myself, Theresa Makone, we recommend this Protocol for approval by the Senate of the Republic of Zimbabwe. I thank you Mr. President.

SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA : I rise to support the motion that is being proposed by the Minister that we do ratify the protocol. As I do so, I feel that sometimes, for whatever reasons, government delays in bringing to Parliament what is obviously an excellent piece of work, an excellent protocol that we should support ordinarily and I do not expect anyone to stand up and oppose such a good move. As I do that, once again, I want to raise this issue of the delay. You mentioned 2007, then 2003, why would it take five years to bring such a good move to Parliament? What would be the apprehensions? What are the doubts? What caused the delays?

In your presentation you also mentioned the issue of human trafficking mainly affecting women and children. As we endorse or ratify as Parliament, we would also want to look at the root causes of some of these issues and not just looking at preventing and combating the problems. We need to know the causes of these issues.

I want to start with the issue of documentation which you said, we need to put in place quality travel documents, legitimate documents meaning then to say that some of the documents that we have today, be they passports or emergency travel documents, may not be quality documents. The question then arises why we ever produce such documents. Why do we not have quality documents because I am aware that they are still sub-standard?

In fact, I had an experience at the airport in South Africa. When you check in and they scan the passport, they always ask why Zimbabwe still does not have the modern electronic passport which can be used to detect that the traveller would have committed an offence elsewhere. I have been told more than four times and I keep saying I am going to tell the Registrar General in our country that our passport is sub-standard. So, I take this opportunity to ask those responsible to work on the quality of the passport.

When talking of human trafficking you said children and women and I do not know why they should be the victims. One would assume that it is to do with economic circumstances. Their situation makes them victims of trafficking, but are they going willingly, or are they volunteering to be victims of trafficking? Why would they be willing and then when they end up somewhere then some people have to be arrested so that they are brought back?

I never believed Minister that people can cross from Zimbabwe into South Africa without any document whatsoever, yet it is happening every day. There are those known as vanamalaicha who you just pay. There are these vehicles that are known to move people from one country to another. It then baffles me hon. Minister how porous our borders are. A whole vehicle with probably fifteen people being seen through the border means there are a number of accomplices in the process. It means our own staff assists and there is a whole network of people belonging to various departments such as ZRP which is yours and is involved, immigration which again is yours and is involved and other government departments. Everybody is involved but is it impossible for us to arrest these evil practices.

It is so evil Minister that I had an experience of a relative who passed on in South Africa and they were transporting the body to Zimbabwe. It was so difficult to get the health clearance that is required by the health office at the border for the body to cross. They had to bribe some people to get the papers for them to be able to cross the border.

I think we talk of corruption, but this has gone too immoral and too toxic to our society. I am saying this because I really expect you Minister that as we cooperate in endorsing this protocol, to please attend to those evils that are happening at our borders. I thank you.

MRS. MAKONE: I think I will just answer in a generalised manner. Why? Because I am going to be bringing back a Bill to domesticate this particular protocol and I would like us to then go to town. About all the issues that have been raised, I will answer them briefly today. What I will do before I come to the House, is to distribute the Bill in advance so that senators have time to read it, understand it and do their homework and then we can talk at the same level.

For today, I just want to say that with regards to passports, I am aware that there are corrupt officers in that department who issue passports outside the system and that people can be arrested with those passports because they lack security features. I am also aware that this practice has been ongoing for a long time but the solution that we are coming up with as a ministry is that we are going to be issuing e-passports. We are working very hard on those e-passports and I want to say that before even the next elections, we will have e-passports. So it will be practically impossible for anyone to go there with a passport that cannot be ready by the equipment which will be in place and go through. That should help in weeding out fake passports. This is why it was necessary for the United Nations to specify that when you do issue documents to those unfortunate enough to find themselves in your country as trafficked persons, issue them with legitimate documents that allow them to cross borders as they find their way back home.

I hope that very soon we will be in that position where we can issue these temporary, probably one way documents to those that are trafficked that will be going back home.

Touching to your point as to why we are saying women and children, the Bill is not saying women and children only. It is saying especially women and children which means it is trafficking in person but especially women and children. As you rightly pointed out yourself these people are economically disempowered. It is a group of disadvantaged people that are easily taken advantage of by either promises of jobs or promises of education or promises of a better life in Zimbabwe or in South Africa. People get removed from their original countries and as soon as they arrive in the country where they are being trafficked, all their papers are removed from them. They become stateless and non-persons who know no one and who cannot go anywhere. This usually happens to women and children.

I want to give you my undertaking that if this Government lasts another 9 months, we will have a domesticated law that speaks to this protocol. As a woman minister, I really want to see women and children protected from trafficking. I was shocked and equally disgusted as you are to find that a protocol that had been acceded to by the Government of Zimbabwe in December of 2003 is still outstanding and not yet domesticated. I just could not understand it.

Therefore, I want you to give us as a ministry an opportunity to rectify this and that when we bring this Bill to domesticate this Protocol, we will talk about all the things that we as Zimbabweans would like incorporated in this particular piece of legislation that speaks to the protection of women and children. If there is anything else that I left out, I want to apologise but I think I have largely answered what you had raised.

I therefore move that the Protocol be now approved for ratification.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND NORTH: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 9 to 16 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 17 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB DROUGHT

Seventeenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the harsh conditions in Region V.

Question again proposed.

SENATOR MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President Sir, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind up the motion on measures to curb drought in this country. In my preface let me remind your august House that the economy of this country has, in the past 30 years, been negatively affected by recurring droughts. You are aware that this year again, about a third of the maize crop has been written off due to drought. This only shows that the subject of drought and food security is very important and this House needs to engage the relevant ministries in order to control the droughts which have intensified due to climate change. This is why this motion which was moved in my name should be viewed as a very relevant and vital debate in this House.

Mr. President Sir, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the honourable Senators who contributed during this debate. Firstly, I would like to thank Hon. Senator Chief Ngungubane who seconded this motion as he also highlighted that food is one of the basic needs for survival. I would also want to thank Hon. Chitaka for his contributions, not forgetting Hon. Senator Hlalo who proposed that Government should declare a disaster to the affected provinces. I would also want to thank Hon. Senator Makore, Hon. Senator Chief Nyamukoho, Hon. Senator Mlotshwa, Hon. Senator Makunde, Hon. Senator J. Dube, Hon. Senator A. Sibanda, Hon. Senator Kabayanjiri, Hon. Senator Ncube, Hon. Senator Muchenje, Hon. Senator Chibagu, Hon. Senator Muchihwa, Hon. Senator Makamure, Hon. Senator Chimbudzi. Mr President, I am just mentioning a few names otherwise most of the Senators contributed to this motion and they fall thanked by the mover.

I would also want to thank the Government for extending the grain loan scheme to the next season even though food has not yet adequately reached the needy at ward level due to financial problems. I would also propose that the Government should pursue the issue of livestock loans for purchasing stock feed as per contribution which were made in this House.

Mr. President Sir, Zimbabwe being an agro-based economy should review the aspect of drought with the gravity that it deserves. From the debates by senators highlighted above, you will agree with me that the curbing of the effects of droughts and climatic change needs a multi-sectoral approach; involving a number of ministries and other development partners. Mr. President Sir, allow me to close this debate by making a clarion call in particular to the following ministries: The Ministry of Finance to disburse money to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development so that maize can reach people at ward level. Also to the Ministry of Water and Development and Management that they should provide clean and adequate water to the nation. Finally, Mr President Sir, I seek leave from the House to have this motion adopted. I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of THE GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND NORTH, the Senate adjourned at Two Minutes to Four o'clock p.m.

 

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Senate Hansard Vol. 21 SENATE HANSARD - 10 JULY 2012 VOL. 21 NO. 37