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SENATE HANSARD - 12 FEBRUARY 2013 VOL. 22 NO. 09

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 12th February, 2013

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

 

PRAYERS

(MADAM PRESIDENT in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MADAM PRESIDENT

WORKSHOP ON THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION

MADAM PRESIDENT: I wish to inform the Senate that the Constitution Select Committee is inviting all hon. senators to a workshop on the Draft Constitution, to be held at the Rainbow Towers Hotel tomorrow, Wednesday, 13th February 2013 at 0830 hours in Jacaranda Rooms numbers one and two.

INVITATION BY THE ZIMBABWE OPEN UNIVERSITY

MADAM PRESIDENT: I want to remind hon. senators that the Zimbabwe Open University is inviting hon. members to a meeting to share information on how members can study through the university. The meeting will be held on the 14th of February at 1000hours in the House of Assembly Chamber. This is just a reminder because I announced this last week.

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

MADAM PRESIDENT: I wish to remind hon. senators to switch off their cell phones before commencement of business.

NEW MEMBER

MADAM PRESIDENT: Finally, I wish to make a formal welcome to our member of the Senate, Hon. Masara. You are welcome to the Senate.

MOTION

PRESIDENT SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

First Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

SENATOR MOHADI: Thank you Madam President, I would like to respond to the Presidential speech, with particular reference to the state of livestock production in the provinces of Matebeleland South and North. The President stated on the importance of measures to save livestock in the drought prone areas through a number of initiatives, which include; the provision of supplementary feed stock and borehole drilling. Livestock production, Madam President, is an important and critical component of the rural economies of the Matebeleland provinces and supports a number of livelihoods and families.

In the absence of the sustainable economic activities like crop production, livestock remains the chief mainstay of the region. Unfortunately over the years, this sector has been faced by a number of challenges which has threatened its viability, amongst them are high mortality rate, drought, shortages of pastures, water and high incidences of diseases. Madam President, during the year 2012, Beitbridge, which is only a part of Matabeleland Province, lost 3 844 cattle due to drought and in 2013 lost 11 cattle, 276 sheep and goats.

Madam President, the Minister of Finance in his 2013 National Budget Statement stressed that in most parts of Matebeleland, farmers are losing animals due to mortality rates which went up to 5.5%. This is exacerbated by a decline of calving rates to fewer than 45%, which is way below the normal 65%. This Madam President paints an extremely bleak future for the national livestock production and threatens livelihoods of thousands of families heavily dependent on livestock.

It is imperative therefore Madam President, that we adopt strategies and policies particularly aimed at resuscitating this sector and ensuring that we preserve the national herd. While I welcome the due recognition given to the sector in the 2013 budget, through the availing of $3 million towards the building of the national herd particularly targeting the purchase of feed stocks and veterinary medicines, I think we should allocate more funds towards ensuring availability of water and restocking in the region.

Irrigation schemes need to be set up and the old schemes have to be rehabilitated. Madam President, as I speak, Shashe and Tshikwalakwala irrigation schemes have been swept away by floods.

We also need to empower local authorities so that they can be able to supplement water availability through drilling new boreholes and rehabilitating existing ones. Most importantly Madam President, I call upon Government to set up a special regional fund for the construction of dams and the rehabilitation of existing ones. It is also imperative that Government invest in water projects in the province. The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project has to be harnessed as one of the panaceas to the water problems. With the availability of water, I am quite certain that farmers will be capacitated to grow fodder for their livestock and this will go a long way in resolving the current crisis in the region.

Madam President, the region also needs machinery such as bailers/ tractors. I also think that there should be Government subsidies to poor households in providing loans for restocking and the purchase of supplementary feeds.

Madam President, the other issue which the President raised in his speech was the grain loan scheme. We embrace the grain loan scheme initiative as a noble idea which has contributed immensely towards food security and livelihoods' sustainability in the region. Nevertheless, Madam President I would like to suggest that the distribution mechanisms be moved from the current district level to the ward level to ensure transparency and remove the bureaucracy often involved so that local communities have easier access to the programme.

SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President, I rise to debate the Presidential Speech which was introduced in this House by the mover, Hon. Chief Mtshane. I would want to talk on a few issues which were raised by His Excellency.

Let me start with agriculture being one of the major economic drivers apart from tourism, mining and manufacturing. Agriculture also creates employment formally and informally. In his Speech, the President noted that it contributes between 15-18% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

I would want to lament the situation in the rural areas especially in my constituency, if I may mention it as an example; this example can apply to any other constituency. Rushinga is a dry area; the question of drilling boreholes worked initially when we started but with the persistent droughts, the boreholes are getting dried up, the water table is becoming low and low. You can build a school, you start it this year but next year if it does not rain, that school will not have a reliable source of water because of the boreholes which will not be able to yield water.

The same applies to hospitals and clinics, so we found out that the only solution in some of the areas especially in Rushinga Ward 18, is to harness the surface water which passes through when it rains. The little which passes through, if we can build some more small dams that would at least help the people to irrigate their crops and gardens. So we urge the inclusive Government to give more priority to agriculture in that form for the rural areas.

On the issue of commercial agriculture, in his Speech, His Excellency spoke about the implementation of the Parastatals Reform Programmes, which continues to call for greater urgencies. As a result we have witnessed that Agricultural Bank for Farmers (Agri-Bank) was modestly capitalized this season. This capital injection enabled the farmers to acquire some loans for the current agricultural season but the implementation and the disbursement of those loans left a lot to be desired.

Some farmers got their loans after the agricultural season had greatly advanced. So staff which is at the institution (Agri-bank) should be reminded that farming is a business, you cannot wait or suspend some of the processes of farming. When it is due, it must be done in time, correctly and adequately. So they must try to disburse the loans as quickly as possible when they are given them so that the farmers can produce adequate produce and crops to repay those loans.

However, that is not the case at Agri-Bank, sometimes the personnel who sign the loan application go on leave for a week, which is too much loss for a farmer. We urge that when an exercise of such nature comes up in future they must suspend the leave days for the staff who will be concerned in that department and they should open the bank even during weekends until all the loans have been processed.

In his Speech, the Excellency, talked about a Bill coming here pertaining to Enterprises and Parastatals. We are eagerly waiting for the State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill to be introduced in this august House, so that we can debate it in this Seventh Session of this Parliament. The Bill is intended to codify the Corporate Governance framework. We are waiting for that Bill.

On Education, Madam President, his Excellency talked about the introduction of the Tele Education Centre at the University of Zimbabwe and E-learning programmes to be introduced to rural schools. Apart from Chogugudza Primary school and John Landa Nkomo High School in Tsholotsho which have already benefited from the current effort, we are looking forward that more schools will benefit from the exercise.

Madam President, let me lament the poor results at Ordinary Level which we have experienced this year. The pass rate is reported to have gone down. According to reliable and confirmed sources, results from last year's exams shows that Ordinary Level pass rate stood at 18,4% which is a 1,1% drop from the previous year, 2011, statistics. It must be pointed out that the number of people taking these exams is increasing each time but that does not mean the compromise of quality education. We must maintain the high quality of education at O' level. Exam results are a sum of many aspects, Madam President, for example, adequate funding of the education process, provision of both teaching materials and qualified staff will go a long way to determine the type of results which we are going to get.

However, statistics indicate that Zimbabwe currently has a teaching staff complement of about 106 000 teachers out of the required 136 000 teachers. So we are short of about 20 to 30 000 qualified teachers, I am talking about qualified teachers not unqualified teachers. Most schools therefore especially in the rural areas have to rely on relief or unqualified teacherson relief or unqualified teachers. This is one source where poor results are coming from because they are being taught by unqualified teachers. It is not uncommon; to find in some schools in the rural areas, to discover that there is no qualified teacher; from the Head up to the lowest teacher, they are all unqualified teachers. We are compromising the quality of our education and all this has a bearing on the results which we are talking about. Most qualified teachers, unfortunately also shun taking up posts in the rural areas because of the absence of special allowances which can motivate them to stay there.

Remember in 2005/2008, we had an exodus of teachers going to other neighbouring countries and other fields inside the country. These are trying tried to come back and when they tried to do so; we read in the newspapers that they refuse to be deployed in rural areas - the Deputy Minister who happened to be an MP has told me they refuse to go to rural areas to take up posts. They would rather stay in the urban areas. We must find some incentive to lure the teachers so that they go there and help the rural folk who are by far the majority of the people we have.

Madam President, experts in education argue that it is therefore, no surprise that rural schools are the major contributors of the failure rate at 'O' Level and we cannot dispute that. Therefore, I want to urge the Inclusive Government to consider remunerating the Civil Servants adequately, especially the teachers and create a special allowance for the rural staff in general. I also believe that the absence of continuous assessment which was created by removing ZJC is also an oversight which is costing us.

I think we must call for the reintroduction of Zimbabwe Junior Certificate so that there is continuous assessment. Sometimes the pupils are unprepared, when they start form one up to form four - four years without any formal examination, they tend to relax and lose focus. So bring back the ZJC examinations, the Inclusive Government, please those who are in the Government, I am appealing to you so that the pupils are adequately prepared before they sit for 'O' Level.

Another area which I want to touch on; I want to just comment, this one I could have contributed when the report was given on the Outreach Programme. In his address, the President of course talked about the outreach then but it is now water under the bridge. We have come to a successful conclusion and I also want to congratulate the COPAC team members; the 25, but remember they were representing all of us here. The 25 were only the spokes people for all the Parliamentarians, both in the Lower House and in the Upper House. Let us say a job well done! We are all singing the same tune, we are now busy holding workshops to go and convince our people to vote 'yes' in the referendum and prepare for the elections. Let me hasten to say; browsing through the draft Constitution...

MADAM PRESIDENT: Order, please confine yourself to the Presidential Speech - thank you.

SENATOR MUMVURI: I have already indicated that it is now water under the bridge but I wanted to add some aspects of the Constitution, I do not know whether I am out of context or not?

MADAM PRESIDENT: You are.

SENATOR MUMVURI: Before I sit down, I want to commend the speech by the President but I also want to say somewhere in his Speech, he mentioned that many Bills were intended to be introduced in the Sixth Session of Parliament but only a few came to fruition. We must not repeat that this term. I think the Executive must bring work to us here. Sometimes we just come here; pray, open and close. That is wastage of manpower and people's resources. We are paid for that, though sometimes we go without coupons. We want business to be here constantly so that we debate issues and we move forward. I thank you Madam President.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Second Order read: adjourned debate on the motion on the tragic and untimely death of Hon. Vice President John Landa Nkomo.

Question again proposed.

SENATOR MAKORE: Thank you very much Madam President for giving me the opportunity to debate about John Landa Nkomo. I also want to thank Senator S.K. Moyo for the great motion, which he moved in this august Senate.

Hon. Nkomo was a great man who contributed immensely in the development of the nation. I quote words of wisdom from Senator Moyo that, Vice President Nkomo was a teacher by profession, a trade unionist by circumstance and a politician by desire. This means that he played his role satisfactorily at all levels of society. I understand that at one point, when he was teaching somewhere in Matebeleland, he taught alongside with the President.

As a trade unionist myself, I particularly worked with the late Vice President John Landa Nkomo when he was the Minister of Labour in 1995. He was friendly, impartial and accommodative in all his solutions to problems. As a politician, the late Vice President John Landa Nkomo played a very important role in uniting parties under the Patriotic Front, in particular, ZANU PF and ZAPU.

At the time of his death, he was a member of the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration in which he played a pivotal role. We remember him for his outstanding representation in this country. May his soul rest in peace. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Thank you Mr. President. First of all, I would like to thank the mover of the motion, the 'National Chairman', Senator Khaya Moyo, for having introduced the motion - AN HON SENATOR: Senator Georgias muchikwana, National Chairman ndiani?] - I rise before you Mr. President and hon. senators to join you all in paying my heartfelt tribute…

SENATOR MUCHIHWA: Point of Order Mr. President, we have a senator and not national chairman. Thank you.

SENATOR GEORGIAS: I did not say national chairman, I said Senator Moyo. Thank you.

MR. PRESIDENT: Order! Order! You should address the Chair.

SENATOR GEORGIAS: Thank you for that correction. I would like to thank the mover, Senator Khaya Moyo for having moved this motion. Mr. President, I rise before you and hon. senators to…

SENATOR MAKORE: Point of Order, are we allowed to read our speeches or debate?

MR. PRESIDENT: The senator may refer to his notes and debate. You may proceed Senator Georgias.

SENATOR GEORGIAS: Mr. President, I rise before you and hon. senators to join you all in paying my heartfelt tribute, deep honour and utmost respect to the recently departed, late Vice President of our dear Republic of Zimbabwe, John Landa Nkomo. Mr. President, they say that there are no gentlemen in politics, here was a gentleman in all his demeanor, one giant colossus from Matebeleland who strode across the political landscape and divide of our nation, with disarming humility, great charm and warmth. Yet still, with unrelenting passion and true patriotic fervor and love for his country, he would serve in any capacity, as can be seen with his book-long C.V. May his soul truly rest in eternal peace.

Mr. President, before I proceed to pay tribute to our dear departed Vice President in whose honour I speak, allow me to thank you personally Mr. President and Madam President of this Senate for the exemplary, dignified, fair and purposeful manner in which you have led the conduct of business in this august Senate.

I believe that it is instructive, especially to hon. members of the Lower House, that it is possible to debate all matters in the House, without acrimony and hostility amongst us, despite our differing political views and affiliations. I believe the Senate has proved its relevance to the extent that, it has silenced critics and vindicated His Excellency, President Robert Mugabe for his wisdom in re-introducing the bi-cameral parliamentary system. It is only when we are able to engage in meaningful, robust and relevant discourse that we can move matters forward to help shape and guide the destiny of our great economy.

I say this Mr. President because I know these are the core values that the late Vice President Nkomo cherished and indeed, fashioned and exhibited in his long and illustrious political life. His dedication to patriotic duty and service to his nation are well documented and have been eloquently spoken of by hon. senators here.

However, it is his unending quest for a lasting peace, love, tolerance and total respect for human dignity that leaves an indelible mark. John Nkomo saw much earlier, that most of us, the short-sighted of retrogressive and cancerous, dare I say, cantankerous notions such as racism, regionalism and tribalism.

John Landa Nkomo truly shunned that backward thinking that has kept us locked in cheap and self-serving political haggling and bickering that will take us nowhere, when other nations are fast developing right under our noses.

Mr. President, the only meaningful tribute we can pay to our illustrious heroes such as the late Vice President John Nkomo, is purposeful, soul-searching, as a nation, that we can truly heal and genuinely come together as one, that we may pursue a common vision and national interest.

In true and total respect for the memory and legacy of John Nkomo, we can escape the trappings of political and tribal strife that we have afflicted most of our sister African countries. It takes decades of hard and painful work to repair the ravages of unnecessary wars, regional and tribal strife and sustained conflict. Yet patience, love, tolerance, humility, as fashioned by the late John Nkomo, can result in miraculous and epochal outcomes such as the Unity Accord of 1987. We thank to John Nkomo and other honourable men of peace for ending that sad and never-to-be-repeated episode in our nation's checkered history.

We need to seriously reflect, as a nation, on those core and intrinsic values of some of our founder heroes like the late Vice President John Nkomo, so that somehow we may focus our national psyche, not on our personal alter egos, but that which is right and in the general good and prosperity of our nation. Our diversity must be our source of strength and not our weakness. African countries have a weakness, Mr. President. We do not settle for policies which protect ourselves. We are always protecting others coming into our own country and make them rich to the detriment of the local people. Mr. President, 'I salute you John Nkomo and may your fond memories endure in us forever'. We truly can come together.

If I may give you a little story. There was a very famous judge who was up and coming, that is in London. This judge was of a view that…

DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order, does it have something to do with the condolence message?

SENATOR GEORGIAS: Yes, it does. I was coming to that. What I was saying is that, this judge said that all men are born equal and that a man should not be suppressed because of the colour of his skin. This is what the Vice President was actually fighting for; equality of men and yet people here, almost protected other people and not ourselves. The Vice President was very conscious of the benefit of his own people.

What I am trying to say here is that this judge was very friendly with the black people and the Asians. He went around Africa educating the African people on the law. When his peers in his country found out that this is what he was doing, because any law that was not proper he turned it down; he even repealed some laws enacted by Parliament because he was more for the blacks. When they realized his interest was for blacks and at the same time, he also was very much against the influx of people coming into London, they assigned him on to do immigration law because there were Asians and blacks. So, he had to rule in accordance with other judges' wishes, which were biased anyway. After that, he became the Lord Justice. I think Senator Gutu would know Lord Denning. He was a very impartial person and John Nkomo was that kind of person. I thank you.

DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order, I just want to direct that this is not just an ordinary debate whereby members are not allowed to read from their prepared speeches but this is a condolence debate that members are making. That is why even Deputy Ministers are allowed to participate in the debate.

*SENATOR CHIEF CHIDUKU: Thank you. Mr. President. Firstly I want to thank Senator Moyo, who moved the motion, for such a motion that shows respect for the leader who has led with wisdom, with a history such that each and every person is mourning wherever they are. The sun might rise and set. When we are talking of John Landa Nkomo, he was a man who did a lot in Zimbabwe. He did his best for the country until the time of his death.

When talking about the liberation struggle, he also participated with others. In teaching, he participated until he became the Minister of Local Government.

He worked with us Chiefs; whenever he arrived he would say, the Chief of Chiefs has arrived. He was a free person. He then went into the Land Reform Programme. Those who got offer letters, his name is there and his signature and we will always remember him, I do not know till when. After that, he rose until he became the Vice President of the country. We want to urge each other in this House that we should emulate the Vice President but we have a problem in emulating the good things.

If you want to see how we lie to each other - if a person tries to name, if we talk of values we do not learn them. If a person is not interested, a person might stay for 30 minutes and try to be attentive but that person will still return to his old ways. Before the sunset he is back to his old self. John Landa Nkomo led by example such that we can all look at what he did in his life but for all the positions he was given, he did them well. We heard Hon. Holland talk of how they worked together in the Organ for National Healing. It was a difficult period. He was given that position as the President realized that he was the one who deserved that post and there was peace in the country.

Today there is peace and people talk to each other and that is the leadership that we advocate for, that was done by Vice President John Landa Nkomo. Right now, the Nkomo family is bereaved but we are saying they should not mourn on their own. We are also pained and mourn his death. There is nothing that we can do in that each person has his own days on earth but what we know is that where a tooth has been extracted that gap will always be there. We will never find someone who is like him. My last words are that let us emulate and not look at the bad. Thank you Mr. President.

SENATOR HUNGWE: Thank you President, first of all, I would like to thank the mover of the motion Senator S. K. Moyo and also the seconder. I want to make my contribution to our departed hero, John Landa Nkomo. I want to refer this House to what we saw on the day our dear brother and friend John Landa Nkomo was buried at the National Hero's Shrine. That ceremony was far from beyond the ordinary ceremony that we have ever witnessed before in this country.

It was a funeral with its own character and colour from speeches to music, it was rare, it was something we have never witnessed before. It was to make a statement about this hero, this leader, this man that our dear John Landa Nkomo was not only our Vice President of this land but above all, a person. It is not easy to qualify to be a person in a community of people. John Nkomo ranked high. He was not only a leader but a person. Zimbabwe, Mr. President, is poorer today without John Landa Nkomo. Thank you.

+SENATOR MBAMBO: Thank you Mr. President Sir. I would like to thank Senator S.K. Moyo who brought this motion before this House to express our condolences to our departed leader John Landa Nkomo. Mr. President Sir, a lot has been said about our Vice President Nkomo. This loss is not just to the Nkomo family but it is a loss to the entire nation of Zimbabwe. We know that if a person departs, he leaves behind a legacy and he has left a legacy of love amongst all the people. He did not leave a legacy of money but he left a legacy of love just like what the late Vice President John Nkomo said. John Landa Nkomo was a son of the soil, just like what the vice President said. He has left us as a united country.

Yes, we are mourning his death, but he has left something that is very important for us and that is peace amongst us. If we are to follow his words, we would live in peace. Everybody, mothers, children and everyone in the country, knew that he was a man of peace. A lot has been said as I said before about his good deeds. The question that I have is, are we still going to keep his word of keeping peace in the country and what God gave us? I remember him saying, God created people and he put them in the world and he gave them portions of land where we could live and we were also given Zimbabwe as our portion.

He was talking about the trees. He was saying the trees, the land, the birds, and even the snakes are ours. He even went on to say that let us eat what is edible. We are all children of the soil and we are all mourning his death. Let us take heed of what he used to say. As I said Mr. President, I do not have a lot because a lot has already been said and people from my Constituency which is Bubi Umguza, are mourning his death because that is where he also came from. He came from Matabeleland North. They are mourning his death together with the entire nation of Zimbabwe. I do not have much to say Mr. President. May his soul rest in peace and may we continue loving each other just as he said. Thank you Mr. President.

SENATOR HLALO: Thank you Mr. President, I hope this time my contribution is going to be recorded unlike my last contribution where there was no mention of what I said. I want to say that Senator S. K. Moyo is a great man, he is a great son of the soil. There is no need of mentioning this when he is dead; we need to mention it when he is still alive. There are three things that I would like to share with this august Senate that were left by Ubaba uNkomo; his humanity, integrity and humbleness. If some of us are to be given the chance to be Vice President today, they will not eat isitshwala, they will only eat American Gulashi, Pizza etc.

There was another person who went as far as Junior Level certificate who was mentioned by His Excellency the President, who when he went to his rural home, he refused to eat Sadza, he only ate rice. I remember one day when burying my relative, Isidhile, we saw a Presidential motor-cade, and we saw that it was the Vice President, the Late Hon. Nkomo who had come to mourn with us, he sat next to me. I remember when we heard the news about his death tears started coming out, not because we were forced but because he was a humble man, one cannot hold tears hearing the death of such a great man.

I think all of us who are emulating to be leaders of tomorrow must follow his good behavior. Sen. Madiro can agree with me that he was non-partisan. I remember one day when I met him he said mfana ngiphathela amanzi and this is something we want people to follow, his behaviour and his humbleness. He did not take me as MDC. I went and I knelt close to him and gave him the water.

There was this other story that came out in the paper concerning a dispute of land, can you imagine, Hon. Nkomo, a man of his status being brought to court by an ordinary man. I passed through the place and I saw the man drinking beer, he is still there on that land. Imagine if it was one of the executives, that man could have breathed fire, but Hon. Nkomo had to humble himself. He showed the ubuntu behaviour even to his juniors. He was a man of integrity and humanity.

I think this is also true of President Mugabe. I had my relative who was not paid his money by ZAPU. I gave him an opinion to go and see His Excellency the President and the issue was solved and he got his money. So, I just want to say that President Mugabe is also one of the leaders we can emulate because of his good behaviour, kindness and non- partisan nature.

Lastly, I would want to talk about his stature, he was a tall man like me and he wore neat Matebeleland suits like what I am wearing. He was a great man in everything; he is a great man that I would not hesitate to call my father as he was a father figure.

*SENATOR CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President, I want to support the motion that was moved by Hon. Senator S.K Moyo that gives us wise words on the loss of our Vice President, Cde John Landa Nkomo. As the people of Zimbabwe, we mourn with the Nkomo family especially with the Vice President's mother who is still alive. We want to thank her that she gave birth to a good child who worked together with others. He had values for Zimbabwe and respected the people of Zimbabwe and held a high position at the time of his death. Therefore, I want to thank his mother. We have heard a lot of painful words that were said by many people.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order, I am not sure if the interpreters will catch up with you. I remember when the President of Senate said, if you debate in your mother language, you should speak slowly so that you will be properly captured.

*SENATOR CHIMBUDZI: Thank you, I wanted to support words that were said by Hon. Senator Moyo on the death of Vice President John Landa Nkomo. What I was saying is, my first words go to the mother of the Vice President, and we mourn with her. She is a good mother and she gave birth to a child like the Vice President who was known for the works that he did. Some of the works we do not know because we were not there but we hear that he went through so many problems.

We heard that he held a number of positions even outside the country and here in Zimbabwe. In my constituency in Mt Darwin, the people were pained and they hoped that they would get transport so that they come and lay him to rest but that was not possible. Vice President John Landa Nkomo was someone who was approachable, he interacted even with us members. He could come and greet us; he would laugh and talk to us. He was a good person as history taught us that, even if you do not have a post in the Government, in your family you should be a person who has love for others and a person who is willing to help others.

He built a school and the children who go to that school will succeed because of that school. It is good to have such a person who has love for the people and they will love and respect you.

We would want to mourn as Zimbabweans, on the death of Vice President who gave his strength to the nation so that we have peace and unity. His death should encourage us to work for our country. Rest in peace Hon. Vice President. Thank you.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th February, 2013.

MOTION

ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY

Third Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion on the death penalty.

Question again proposed.

SENATOR MAKAMURE: Thank you Mr. President, I stand to talk on the death penalty which was moved by Senator Marava. I think the death penalty affects people and human rights. God created Adam and Eve and said they should die but it was not said that they will be killed. For that reason, when we look at the death of Vice President John Landa Nkomo, he died a natural death because his time was up, so what we are saying is

*SENATOR MAKAMURE: (Speaking)…

Speech not recorded due to technical fault

SENATOR SINAMPANDE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion which was moved by Senator Marava and seconded by Senator Hlalo.

Mr. President, It is a wise and correct move to abolish the death penalty in our country because of the following reasons:

Hanging never existed in our culture as Zimbabweans. Our traditional customs never provided for hanging in any circumstances. There was always a way of reuniting warring families, some of which were through compensation, marriage or even through apology. Traditional courts then had, answers to all miss-understandings which may have risen within their jurisdiction and all these excluded death penalty.

Mr. President, death penalty was introduced by the colonial settlers who did not hesitate even to kill our great spirit medium and this was one of the main reasons why sons and daughters of this Zimbabwe waged a war to liberate the country and resuscitate the bones of spirit mediums. I see therefore no reasons why we should continue to uphold death penalty when we are now an independent state with our independent laws in place.

Finally, Mr. President, I would like to encourage this House to leave behind an admirable legacy, that of love, peace and harmony and this is hindered by the existence of this colonial product called death penalty. With these few words Mr. President I want to thank you so much.

+SENATOR SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President, I would also want to add my voice to the motion that was moved by Senator Marava calling on Zimbabwe to abolish the death penalty.

The death penalty was started by the whites as what my colleagues have already alluded to. At times some people are sentenced to death yet that will not be the correct sentence because some of them would not have committed those offences. What if it is later discovered that the person who was sentenced to death did not commit the offence? That sentence is not reversible because the person would have been hanged.

Mr. President, the death sentence was brought about by our colonisers, we all know about our history, we all know that Mbuya Nehanda was hanged. What do you think Mbuya Nehanda would say if you continue hanging people, do you think she is happy about what is happening in Zimbabwe since she was hanged by the whites. Personally I think Mbuya Nehanda is not happy that people continue to be hanged. I believe that if a person has done wrong that person should be corrected because every time a person is hanged it is the parents and relatives who suffer. I do not think the hang man himself is happy about it. That is why Zimbabwe did not have a hangman for a very long time. So as a country, we must abolish the death penalty.

A lot of times I have realized that killing someone who has done wrong does not stop murder as such, but if people are educated that if there is a problem between two people, one should not get angry to an extent of killing. I think the rate of murder cases will be reduced if people are educated because people are encouraged to sit down and talk. A lot of times I have seen that if someone murders someone, that person would not be sober; there will be a spirit behind, that pushes one to killsomewhere, somehow that pushes someone to kill someone but if we continue murdering or killing each other, we will not be doing right. I think hanging people should be done away with because us as a Christian country we should know that it is good to forgive one another and it is also bad to kill one another. With those few words, Mr. President I wish the death penalty to be abolished here in Zimbabwe, I thank you.

*SENATOR MAKORE: I want to thank you Mr. President for the opportunity you have given me to debate on the motion that was moved by Hon. Marava; that if only all countries would look into the issue of death penalty and do away with it, would not be going anywhere. I want to add that those who murder/kill other people are not at peace. They regret always why they have done it because the spirit of those people will be haunting them the rest of their lives. Some of them are wishing themselves dead because they think if they die they will rest. I understand that there are some countries; developed and liberal countries who still murder murderers. If you read a book by Cains you would find that 4 596 people were murdered for killing other people.

We are not saying these people were not at fault but we are only saying let us find other means like life imprisonment or long term imprisonment. You would find that those people are not at peace - imagine a family person living without seeing his/her family. They would wish if they have never done such a thing.

Our Thematic Committee managed to talk to some of the murderers in prison. We asked them how their life was like. They told us that they were living in tiny rooms, putting on red robes and they are called 'condemners'; locked in there and they will only be allowed to be out for an hour the whole day. They are already dead I suppose, because they are no longer living a normal life. They said those small rooms, is where they use as toilets as well as eating there. Do you think it is healthy? I do not think so.

We discovered that there are people who have been there for 10 to 16 years and whenever they hear their doors being touched they just think we are about to be killed. So you would find that they are not happy at all. That trauma they are living in, I think is enough. Therefore, I urge our Government to abolish the death penalty because I think for the past nine years Zimbabwe has never imposed a death penalty on anyone. If we have managed that long, it means we can abolish it totally because you would find that in the end we would be the same as those murderers because we will also kill. Let us all agree and let it be law that no one should be killed for having killed/murdered someone but find other means.

*SENATOR MAKUYANA: I also stand to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Marava seconded by Hon. Hlalo. Most of the things have already been said concerning the death penalty. In this House, I believe that it is a House composed of people with wisdom, who have come of age and who will look forward to solving problems amicably without drawing out knives. I look forward to this House bringing about peace and unity in the country and to reject the issue of murdering one another.

We are the ones who teach what has been the tradition that no one should be murdered. There are other measures that can be put in place such as paying a fine. I think having a life imprisonment sentence is much better than the death penalty. Today if we look back, none of us is clean, we have all sinned. The leaders of the country are calling for peace and unity, if we call for murdering one another when the leaders are calling for peace, what do we mean?

If we look back again, you will find that we are forgiving each other in things that are worse. I would not want to say much about that one but you know that we killed each other during the Gukurahundi period. We killed each other during the June 2008 and with other people that we see moving, can we actually advocate for a death penalty? We need to forgive each other, yes people died everywhere, during the liberation struggle. We knew that so and so caused the death of so and so, but I think today, people are able to walk and talk together. I pray that this Senate might have God's spirit and that of our ancestors that people should not be murdered. Someone may be a thief or a murderer, but he can learn by spending most of his life in prison, which may lead to his death by natural means. Let us not focus on certain spirits which will come back and haunt us, if someone commits murder, the avenging spirits will haunt the same person who would have done that.

If other countries have condemned the death penalty, can we not also emulate that and ensure that there is no murdering. It does not mean that those who make mistakes are political or religious people, but we are all human and should look at the reasons why some people end up committing crimes. Sometimes it is because of those avenging spirits from their ancestors who would have committed murders before. We should know that there are spirits everywhere and those spirits can cause one to do certain things, can we then say that person should be murdered. Mr. President, with these few words, I feel this Senate should have the spirit of God, spirit of our ancestors, spirit of forgiveness and the spirit of not killing one another. Thank you Mr. President.

*SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Mr. President. A long time ago in our societies, there were no jails, Harare Central Prisons and Chikurubi were non-existent, but the country had peace. If you read the Bible, in the Ten Commandments, it says, we should not kill. The death penalty came along with the colonialists through their system of justice. They are the ones who came with capital punishment.

Comparing the justice system of chiefs, the traditional leaders, and that of the white men, people say that the white man's system is bad, they kill one another whilst our justice system was good. The other thing that is disturbing me is that, in this debate, we support our traditional beliefs, but last week when the Draft Constitution was tabled in this Senate, we wanted to debate and we were told to keep quiet because they said it is good and we should support it.

However, you were ululating, but chapter 4 of the Draft Constitution has a clause on the death penalty. I am wondering whether what you are saying now is different from what is contained in the Draft Constitution. When it comes back after the Referendum, are you going to push for the amendment or you are just talking….. [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - I need your protection Mr. President. People are not democratic in this Senate because they do not know that democracy means that a person who has the floor has a right to his opinion. For one to complain when the other is giving his opinion is dictatorship. I am saying that the draft was ululated at and accepted, so the death penalty will be allowed in certain circumstances. I do not know whether our opinion is going to change, considering what we adopted last week. Thank you.

SENATOR MOHADI: Mr. President, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I have longed to rise up and give the same sentiments as have been given by Senator Chief Charumbira. We are the very people who adopted the report, which include the death penalty. We are also the ones who will go out into the communities to preach the gospel. The hon. senators in this august Senate are debating about this issue after adopting it. Our constituents are going to ask us about it because they read the Hansard booklets, where they will find out that we were debating about the death penalty after having agreed that it should be adopted. Are we really ourselves? We should think about it. I would like to remind the Select Committee members that we were there when it started. During the outreach, everyone was there, people spoke and the draft is now out. We were encouraging our people in the communities to support this document, are they going to support the document that we are against? Maybe I read it differently, but it is there and our Principals have endorsed this Draft Constitution with the death penalty incorporated in there. With these few words Mr. President, I thank you and I hope you will think about it. Thank you Mr. President.

*SENATOR MUZERENGWA (Speaking): Speech not recorded due to technical fault.

+SENATOR K. DUBE: Speech not recorded due to technical fault.

THE GOVERNOR OR MATEBELELAND NORTH: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th February, 2013.

On the motion of THE GOVERNOR FOR MATEBELELAND NORTH , the Senate adjourned at Twenty Five Minutes to Five o'clock p. m.

Last modified on Thursday, 21 November 2013 14:27
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Senate Hansard Vol. 22 SENATE HANSARD - 12 FEBRUARY 2013 VOL. 22 NO. 09