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SENATE HANSARD - 13 JUNE 2012 VOL. 21 NO. 32

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 13th June, 2012.

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

 

PRAYERS

MADAM PRESIDENT (in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY MADAM PRESIDENT

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

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

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE GOVERNOR FOR MIDLANDS: Madam President, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 6 be stood over until all the other Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SIGNING OF THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON DEMOCRACY, ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE

SENATOR MARAVA: I move the motion standing in my name that that this House;

NOTING that the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance was adopted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the 30th of January, 2007;

COGNISANT of the fact that this Charter requires signing and ratification by member countries who subscribe to the ideals and objectives of the Charter;

CONCERNED that the Charter only came into force on the 15th of February, 2012 due to the delay in obtaining the required number of ratifications (15);

DISMAYED that to date Zimbabwe has still not yet signed, ratified and deposited the instrument with the African Union;

NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to expeditiously sign, ratify and deposit the instrument with the African Union.

SENATOR HLALO: I second.

SENATOR MARAVA: This motion on the ratification of elections and governance; coming from the background and chaotic history characterised by political upheavals, unconstitutional changes of governance, military coups and violation of the standards of good governance and the will of the people, African leaders realised the need to recognise the link between free and fair elections, good governance and the promotion of the rule of law.

During their Summit held in Addis Ababa, in 2007, the assembly of heads of States and Governments adopted an African charter on democracy, elections and good governance which was supposed to be ratified and adopted by all AU member states. The African Charter basically establishes a code of international law with respect to issues of democracy, human rights, the conduct of free and fair elections. The ultimate objective is harmonising governance policies amongst state parties with the aim of promoting regional integration and sustainable human development and security.

It is disheartening Madam President, that Zimbabwe as a member of the African Union has not assented to this progressive charter by signing and ratification. What this implies is that we as a nation have deprived ourselves the benefits to be gained from the best practices contained in the Charter which can further our democratic and governance institutions. AQs a country which is approaching elections and which have history of disputed polls, political fragmentation and a moribund democratic system, I therefore call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to expeditiously sign, ratify and deposit this instrument with the African Union.

South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ethiopia, South Sudan Mali, DRC, Mozambique, Namibia and Mozambique have signed and ratified the Charter. Allow me to give a brief of the provisions of the Charter.

PREAMBLE

We, the Member States of the African Union (AU);

Inspired by the objectives and principles enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, particularly Articles 3 and 4, which emphasise the significance of good governance, popular participation, the rule of law and human rights;

Recognizing the contributions of the African Union and Regional Economic Communities to the promotion, nurturing, strengthening and consolidation of democracy and governance;

Reaffirming our collective will to work relentlessly to deepen and consolidate the rule of law, peace, security and development in our countries;

Guided by our common mission to strengthen and consolidate institutions for good governance, continental unity and solidarity;

Committed to promote the universal values and principles of democracy, good governance, human rights and the right to development;

Cognizant of the historical and cultural conditions in Africa;

Seeking to entrench in the Continent a political culture of change of power based on the holding of regular, free, fair and transparent elections conducted by competent, independent and impartial national electoral bodies;

Concerned about the unconstitutional changes of Governments that are one of the essential causes of insecurity, instability and violent conflict in Africa;

Determined to promote and strengthen good governance through the Institutionalisation of transparency, accountability and participatory democracy;

Convinced of the need to enhance the election observation missions in the role they play, particularly as they are an important contributory factor to ensuring the regularity, transparency and credibility of elections;

Desirous to enhance the relevant Declarations and Decisions of the OAU/AU (including the 1990 Declaration on the political and socio-economic situation in Africa and the fundamental changes taking place in the world, the 1995 Cairo Agenda for the Re-launch of Africa's Economic and Social Development, the 1999 Algiers Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government, the 2000 Lomé Declaration for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government, the 2002 OAU/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, the 2003 Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union);

Committed to implementing Decision EX.CL/Dec.31(III) adopted in Maputo, Mozambique, in July 2003 and Decision EX.CL/124(V) adopted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2004 respectively, by the adoption of an African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Definitions that are used in the Charter.

Article 1

In this Charter, unless otherwise stated, the following expressions shall have the following meaning:

"AU" means the African Union;

"African Human Rights Commission" means the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights;

"African Peer Review Mechanism" APRM means the African Peer Review Mechanism;

"Assembly" means the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union;

"Commission" means the Commission of the Union;

"Constitutive Act" means the Constitutive Act of the Union;

"Charter" means the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;

"Member States" means the Member States of the African Union;

"National Electoral Body" means a competent authority, established by the relevant legal instruments of a State Party, responsible for organising and supervising elections;

"NEPAD" means the New Partnership for Africa's Development;

"Peace and Security Council" means the Peace and Security Council of the African Union;

"Regional Economic Communities" means the regional integration blocs of the African Union;

"State Party" means any Member State of the African Union which has ratified or acceded to this Charter and deposited the instruments for ratification or accession with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission;

"Union" means the African Union.

Chapter 2

Objectives

Article 2

The objectives of this Charter are to:

1. Promote adherence, by each State Party, to the universal values and principles of democracy and respect for human rights;

2. Promote and enhance adherence to the principle of the rule of law

premised upon the respect for, and the supremacy of, the Constitution and constitutional order in the political arrangements of the State Parties;

3. Promote the holding of regular free and fair elections to institutionalise legitimate authority of representative Government as well as democratic change of Governments;

4. Prohibit, reject and condemn unconstitutional change of Government in any Member State as a serious threat to stability, peace, security and development;

5. Promote and protect the independence of the Judiciary;

6. Nurture, support and consolidate good governance by promoting

democratic culture and practice, building and strengthening

governance institutions and inculcating political pluralism and

tolerance;

7. Encourage effective coordination and harmonisation of governance policies amongst State Parties with the aim of promoting regional and continental integration;

8. Promote State Parties' sustainable development and human security;

9. Promote the fight against corruption in conformity with the provisions of the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption adopted in Maputo, Mozambique in July 2003;

10. Promote the establishment of the necessary conditions to foster citizen participation, transparency, access to information, freedom of the press and accountability in the management of public affairs;

11. Promote gender balance and equality in the governance and

development processes;

12. Enhance cooperation between the Union, Regional Economic

Communities and the International Community on democracy,

elections and governance; and

13. Promote best practices in the management of elections for purposes of political stability and good governance.

Chapter 3

Principles

Article 3

State Parties shall implement this Charter in accordance with the following principles:

1. Respect for human rights and democratic principles;

2. Access to and exercise of state power in accordance with the

constitution of the State Party and the principle of the rule of law;

3. Promotion of a system of Government that is representative;

4. Holding of regular, transparent, free and fair elections;

5. Separation of powers;

6. Promotion of gender equality in public and private institutions;

7. Effective participation of citizens in democratic and development processes and in governance of public affairs;

8. Transparency and fairness in the management of public affairs

9. Condemnation and rejection of acts of corruption, related offenses and impunity;

10. Condemnation and total rejection of unconstitutional changes of Government;

11. Strengthening political pluralism and recognising the role, rights and responsibilities of legally constituted political parties, including opposition political parties, which should be given a status under national law.

Chapter 4

Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights

Article 4

1. State Parties shall commit themselves to promote democracy, the

principle of the rule of law and human rights.

2. State Parties shall recognize popular participation through universal suffrage as the inalienable right of the people.

Article 5

State Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure constitutional rule, particularly constitutional transfer of power.

Article 6

State Parties shall ensure that citizens enjoy fundamental freedoms and human rights taking into account their universality, interdependence and indivisibility.

Article 7

State Parties shall take all necessary measures to strengthen the Organs of the Union that are mandated to promote and protect human rights and to fight impunity and endow them with the necessary resources.

Article 8

1. State Parties shall eliminate all forms of discrimination, especially those based on political opinion, gender, ethnic, religious and racial grounds as well as any other form of intolerance.

2. State Parties shall adopt legislative and administrative measures to

guarantee the rights of women, ethnic minorities, migrants, people with disabilities, refugees and displaced persons and other marginalized and vulnerable social groups.

3. State Parties shall respect ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, which contributes to strengthening democracy and citizen participation.

Article 9

State Parties undertake to design and implement social and economic policies and programmes that promote sustainable development and human security.

Article 10

State Parties shall entrench the principle of the supremacy of the

1. constitution in the political organisation of the State.

2. State Parties shall ensure that the process of amendment or revision of their constitution reposes on national consensus, obtained if need be, through referendum.

3. State Parties shall protect the right to equality before the law and equal protection by the law as a fundamental precondition for a just and democratic society.

Chapter 5

The Culture of Democracy and Peace

Article 11

The State Parties undertake to develop the necessary legislative and policy frameworks to establish and strengthen a culture of democracy and peace.

Article 12

State Parties undertake to implement programmes and carry out activities designed to promote democratic principles and practices as well as consolidate a culture of democracy and peace.

To this end, State Parties shall:

1. Promote good governance by ensuring transparent and accountable administration.

2. Strengthen political institutions to entrench a culture of democracy and peace.

3. Create conducive conditions for civil society organizations to exist and operate within the law.

4. Integrate civic education in their educational curricula and develop appropriate programmes and activities.

Article 13

State Parties shall take measures to ensure and maintain political and social dialogue, as well as public trust and transparency between political leaders and the people, in order to consolidate democracy and peace.

Chapter 6

Democratic Institutions

Article 14

1. State Parties shall strengthen and institutionalise constitutional civilian control over the armed and security forces to ensure the consolidation of democracy and constitutional order.

2. State Parties shall take legislative and regulatory measures to ensure that those who attempt to remove an elected Government through unconstitutional means are dealt with in accordance with the law.

3. State Parties shall cooperate with each other to ensure that those who attempt to remove an elected Government through unconstitutional means are dealt with in accordance with the law.

Article 15

1. State Parties shall establish public institutions that promote and support democracy and constitutional order. State Parties shall ensure that the independence or autonomy of the said institutions is guaranteed by the constitution.

3. State Parties shall ensure that these institutions are accountable to

competent national organs.

4. State Parties shall provide the above-mentioned institutions with

resources to perform their assigned missions efficiently and effectively.

Article 16

State Parties shall cooperate at regional and continental levels in building and consolidating democracy through exchange of experiences.

Chapter 7

Democratic Elections

Article 17

State Parties re-affirm their commitment to regularly holding transparent, free and fair elections in accordance with the Union's Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa.

To this end, State Parties shall:

1. Establish and strengthen independent and impartial national electoral bodies responsible for the management of elections.

2. Establish and strengthen national mechanisms that redress election- related disputes in a timely manner.

3. Ensure fair and equitable access by contesting parties and

candidates to state controlled media during elections.

4. Ensure that there is a binding code of conduct governing legally

recognised political stakeholders, Government and other political actors prior, during and after elections. The code shall include a commitment by political stakeholders to accept the results of the election or challenge them in through exclusively legal channels.

Article 18

1. State Parties may request the Commission, through the Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit and the Democracy and Electoral Assistance Fund, to provide advisory services or assistance for strengthening and developing their electoral institutions and processes.

2. The Commission may at any time, in consultation with the State Party concerned, send special advisory missions to provide assistance to that State Party for strengthening its electoral institutions and processes.

Article 19

1. Each State Party shall inform the Commission of scheduled elections and invite it to send an electoral observer mission.

2. Each State Party shall guarantee conditions of security, free access to

information, non-interference, freedom of movement and full cooperation with the electoral observer mission.

Article 20

The Chairperson of the Commission shall first send an exploratory mission during the period prior to elections. This mission shall obtain any useful information and documentation, and brief the Chairperson, stating whether the necessary conditions have been established and if the environment is conducive to the holding of transparent, free and fair elections in conformity with the principles of the Union governing democratic elections.

Article 21

1. The Commission shall ensure that these missions are independent and shall provide them with the necessary resources for that purpose.

2. Electoral observer missions shall be conducted by appropriate and competent experts in the area of election monitoring, drawn from

continental and national institutions such as, but not limited to, the Pan- African Parliament, national electoral bodies, national legislatures and eminent persons taking due cognizance of the principles of regional

representation and gender equality.

3. Electoral observer missions shall be conducted in an objective, impartial and transparent manner.

4. All electoral observer missions shall present the report of their activities to the Chairperson of the Commission within a reasonable time.

5. A copy of the report shall be submitted to the State Party concerned within a reasonable time.

Article 22

State Parties shall create a conducive environment for independent and impartial national monitoring or observation mechanisms.

Chapter 8

Sanctions in Cases of Unconstitutional Changes of Government

Article 23

State Parties agree that the use of, inter alia, the following illegal means of accessing or maintaining power constitute an unconstitutional change of Government and shall draw appropriate sanctions by the Union:

1. Any putsch or coup d'Etat against a democratically elected

Government.

2. Any intervention by mercenaries to replace a democratically elected Government.

3. Any replacement of a democratically elected Government by armed dissidents or rebels.

4. Any refusal by an incumbent Government to relinquish power to the winning party or candidate after free, fair and regular elections; or

5. Any amendment or revision of the constitution or legal instruments, which is an infringement on the principles of democratic change of Government.

Article 24

When a situation arises in a State Party that may affect its democratic political institutional arrangements or the legitimate exercise of power, the Peace and Security Council shall exercise its responsibilities in order to maintain the constitutional order in accordance with relevant provisions of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, hereinafter referred to as the Protocol.

Article 25

1.When the Peace and Security Council observes that there has been an

unconstitutional change of Government in a State Party, and that

diplomatic initiatives have failed, it shall suspend the said State Party from the exercise of its right to participate in the activities of the Union in accordance with the provisions of articles 30 of the Constitutive Act and 7 (g) of the Protocol. The suspension shall take effect immediately.

2. However, the suspended State Party shall continue to fulfill its obligations to the Union, in particular with regard to those relating to respect of human rights.

3. Notwithstanding the suspension of the State Party, the Union shall maintain diplomatic contacts and take any initiatives to restore democracy in that State Party.

4. The perpetrators of unconstitutional change of Government shall not be allowed to participate in elections held to restore the democratic order or hold any position of responsibility in political institutions of their State.

5. Perpetrators of unconstitutional change of Government may also be tried before the competent court of the Union.

6. The Assembly shall impose sanctions on any Member State that is proved to have instigated or supported unconstitutional change of Government in another state in conformity with Article 23 of the Constitutive Act.

7. The Assembly may decide to apply other forms of sanctions on

perpetrators of unconstitutional change of Government including punitive economic measures.

11

8. State Parties shall not harbor or give sanctuary to perpetrators of

unconstitutional changes of Government.

9. State Parties shall bring to justice the perpetrators of unconstitutional changes of Government or take necessary steps to effect their extradition.

10. State Parties shall encourage conclusion of bilateral extradition

agreements as well as the adoption of legal instruments on extradition and mutual legal assistance.

Article 26

The Peace and Security Council shall lift sanctions once the situation that led to the suspension is resolved.

Chapter 9

Political, Economic and Social Governance

Article 27

In order to advance political, economic and social governance, State Parties shall commit themselves to:

1.Strengthening the capacity of parliaments and legally recognized

political parties to perform their core functions;

2. Fostering popular participation and partnership with civil society

organisations;

3. Undertaking regular reforms of the legal and justice systems;

4. Improving public sector management;

5. Improving efficiency and effectiveness of public services and

combating corruption;

6. Promoting the development of the private sector through, inter alia, enabling legislative and regulatory framework;

7. Development and utilisation of information and communication

technologies;

8. Promoting freedom of expression, in particular freedom of the press and fostering a professional media;

9. Harnessing the democratic values of the traditional institutions; and

10. Preventing the spread and combating the impact of diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Ebola fever, and Avian Flu.

Article 28

State Parties shall ensure and promote strong partnerships and dialogue

between Government, civil society and private sector.

Article 29

1. State Parties shall recognise the crucial role of women in development and strengthening of democracy.

2. State Parties shall create the necessary conditions for full and active

participation of women in the decision-making processes and structures at all levels as a fundamental element in the promotion and exercise of a democratic culture.

3. State Parties shall take all possible measures to encourage the full and active participation of women in the electoral process and ensure gender parity in representation at all levels, including legislatures.

Article 30

State Parties shall promote citizen participation in the development process through appropriate structures.

Article 31

1. State Parties shall promote participation of social groups with special needs, including the Youth and people with disabilities, in the governance process.

2. State Parties shall ensure systematic and comprehensive civic education in order to encourage full participation of social groups with special needs in democracy and development processes.

Article 32

State Parties shall strive to institutionalise good political governance through:

1. Accountable, efficient and effective public administration;

2. Strengthening the functioning and effectiveness of parliaments;

3. An independent judiciary;

4. Relevant reforms of public institutions including the security sector;

5. Harmonious relationships in society including civil-military relations;

6. Consolidating sustainable multiparty political systems;

7. Organizing regular, free and fair elections; and

8. Entrenching and respecting the principle of the rule of law.

Article 33

State Parties shall institutionalise good economic and corporate governance through, inter alia:

1. Effective and efficient public sector management;

2. Promoting transparency in public finance management;

3. Preventing and combating corruption and related offences;

4. Efficient management of public debt;

5. Prudent and sustainable utilisation of public resources;

6. Equitable allocation of the nation's wealth and natural resources;

7. Poverty alleviation;

8. Enabling legislative and regulatory framework for private sector

development;

9. Providing a conducive environment for foreign capital inflows;

10. Developing tax policies that encourage investment;

11. Preventing and combating crime;

12. Elaborating and implementing economic development strategies

including private-public sector partnerships;

13. An efficient and effective tax system premised upon transparency and accountability.

Article 34

State Parties shall decentralize power to democratically elected local authorities as provided in national laws.

Article 35

Given the enduring and vital role of traditional authorities, particularly in rural communities, the State Parties shall strive to find appropriate ways and means to increase their integration and effectiveness within the larger democratic system.

Article 36

State Parties shall promote and deepen democratic governance by implementing the principles and core values of the NEPAD Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance and, where applicable, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

Article 37

State Parties shall pursue sustainable development and human security through achievement of NEPAD objectives and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Article 38

1. State Parties shall promote peace, security and stability in their respective countries, regions and in the continent by fostering participatory political systems with well-functioning and, if need be, inclusive institutions;

2. State Parties shall promote solidarity amongst Member States and support the conflict prevention and resolution initiatives that the Union may undertake in conformity with the Protocol establishing the Peace and Security Council.

Article 39

State Parties shall promote a culture of respect, compromise, consensus and tolerance as a means to mitigate conflicts, promote political stability and security, and to harness the creative energies of the African peoples.

Article 40

State Parties shall adopt and implement policies, strategies and programmes required to generate productive employment, mitigate the impact of diseases and alleviate poverty and eradicate extreme poverty and illiteracy.

Article 41

State Parties shall undertake to provide and enable access to basic social

services to the people.

Article 42

State Parties shall implement policies and strategies to protect the environment to achieve sustainable development for the benefit of the present and future generations. In this regard, State Parties are encouraged to accede to the relevant treaties and other international legal instruments.

Article 43

1. State Parties shall endeavour to provide free and compulsory basic

education to all, especially girls, rural inhabitants, minorities, people with disabilities and other marginalized social groups.

2. In addition, State Parties shall ensure the literacy of citizens above

compulsory school age, particularly women, rural inhabitants, minorities, people with disabilities, and other marginalized social groups.

Chapter 10

Mechanisms for Application

Article 44

To give effect to the commitments contained in this Charter:

1. Individual State Party Level

State Parties commit themselves to implement the objectives, apply the principles and respect the commitments enshrined in this Charter as follows:

(a) State Parties shall initiate appropriate measures including legislative, executive and administrative actions to bring State Parties' national laws and regulations into conformity with this Charter;

(b) State Parties shall take all necessary measures in accordance with constitutional provisions and procedures to ensure the wider

dissemination of the Charter and all relevant legislation as may be

necessary for the implementation of its fundamental principles;

(c) State Parties shall promote political will as a necessary condition for the attainment of the goals set forth in this Charter;

(d) State Parties shall incorporate the commitments and principles of the Charter in their national policies and strategies.

2. Commission Level

A. At Continental Level

(a) The Commission shall develop benchmarks for implementation of the commitments and principles of this Charter and evaluate compliance by State Parties;

(b) The Commission shall promote the creation of favourable conditions for democratic governance in the African Continent, in particular by facilitating the harmonisation policies and laws of State Parties;

(c) The Commission shall take the necessary measures to

ensure that the Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit

and the Democracy and Electoral Assistance Fund provide the needed assistance and resources to State Parties in support of electoral processes;

(d) The Commission shall ensure that effect is given to the decisions of the Union in regard to unconstitutional change of Government on the Continent.

B. At Regional Level

The Commission shall establish a framework for cooperation with Regional Economic Communities on the implementation of the

principles of the Charter. In this regard, it shall commit the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to:

a) Encourage Member States to ratify or adhere to this Charter.

b) Designate focal points for coordination, evaluation and monitoring of the implementation of the commitments and principles enshrined in this Charter in order to ensure massive participation of stakeholders, particularly civil society organisations, in the process.

Article 45

The Commission shall:

(a) Act as the central coordinating structure for the implementation of this Charter;

(b) Assist State Parties in implementing the Charter;

(c) Coordinate evaluation on implementation of the Charter with other key organs of the Union including the Pan-African Parliament, the

Peace and Security Council, the African Human Rights Commission, the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council, the Regional Economic Communities and appropriate national- level structures.

Chapter 11

Final Clauses

Article 46

In conformity with applicable provisions of the Constitutive Act and the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, the Assembly and the Peace and Security Council shall determine the appropriate measures to be imposed on any State Party that violates this Charter.

Article 47

1. This Charter shall be open for signature, ratification and accession by Member States of the Union in accordance with their respective

constitutional procedures.

2.The instruments of ratification or accession shall be deposited with the

Chairperson of the Commission.

Article 48

This Charter shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the deposit of fifteen (15) Instruments of Ratification.

Article 49

1. State Parties shall submit every two years, from the date the Charter

comes into force, a report to the Commission on the legislative or other relevant measures taken with a view to giving effect to the principles and commitments of the Charter;

2. A copy of the report shall be submitted to the relevant organs of the Union for appropriate action within their respective mandates;

3. The Commission shall prepare and submit to the Assembly, through the Executive Council, a synthesized report on the implementation of the Charter;

4. The Assembly shall take appropriate measures aimed at addressing

issues raised in the report.

Article 50

1. Any State Party may submit proposals for the amendment or revision of this Charter;

2. Proposals for amendment or revision shall be submitted to the

Chairperson of the Commission who shall transmit same to State Parties within thirty (30) days of receipt thereof;

3. The Assembly, upon the advice of the Executive Council, shall examine these proposals at its session following notification, provided all State Parties have been notified at least three (3) months before the beginning of the session;

4. The Assembly shall adopt amendments or revisions by consensus or failing which, by two-thirds majority;

5. The amendments or revisions shall enter into force when approved by two-thirds majority of State Parties.

Article 51

1. The Chairperson of the Commission shall be the depository of this

Charter;

2. The Chairperson of the Commission shall inform all Member States of the signature, ratification, accession, entry into force, reservations, requests for amendments and approvals thereof;

3. Upon entry into force of this Charter, the Chairperson of the Commission shall register it with the Secretary General of the United Nations in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 52

None of the provisions of the present Charter shall affect more favourable provisions relating to democracy, elections and governance contained in the national legislation of State Parties or in any other regional, continental or international conventions or agreements applicable in these State Parties.

Article 53

This Charter, drawn up in four (4) original texts, in Arabic, English, French and Portuguese languages, all four (4) being equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Chairperson of the Commission who shall transmit certified copies of same to all Member States and the United Nations General Secretariat.

ADOPTED BY THE EIGHTH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE ASSEMBLY, HELD IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, 30 JANUARY 2007.

Madam President, allow me to table a copy of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance. Thank you.

SENATOR HLALO: Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank Senator Marava for coming up with this motion which is of great interest to a lot of Zimbabweans who might want this to be ratified so that they carry on with their lives in a manner which was prescribed as Senator Marava was narrating. Of interest is that, it is now 5 years and some months when it was debated and adopted in Addis Ababa and up to now we have not ratified as a country. If we could have ratified this, I think most of Africa would be speaking on our behalf when we are accused of not following the human rights which the world always talks about. It also could have afforded us the opportunity to put ourselves under peer reviews which are some of the things that are needed for a country to participate in programmes of a commercial nature like AGOA and NEPAD, which other countries which have signed or ratified this protocol are presently enjoying. It is also something Madam President which makes life easy for any Government which would have ratified this, as the peer review is something which is voluntary and maybe, when taken on board, would let no one point fingers at our Government. With these few words Madam President, I would not want to spoil what Senator Marava has said than just to applaud his motion. I thank you.

SENATOR MAKUNDE: Madam President, on a point of order I want to say it will be very difficult for us to debate this document when we have not seen it. Of course the mover has read it in detail and there are too many facts which we also would like to find out whether it suits our situation and then we will go ahead and debate it.

MADAM PRESIDENT: It will be in your pigeon holes I am sure by tomorrow.

SENATOR MAKORE: Thank you Madam President. Firstly I would like to thank Senator Marava as a mover of this very important motion. In fact, the African Charter on Human Rights calls for respect and dignity even on governance on the whole of Africa itself. Again it encourages respect amongst us. I would like to sort of take a walk to the objectives of our independence.

The objectives of our independence which was long fought for more or less than thirteen years was to initiate democracy, freedom of both expression and even assembly itself. The African Charter came at the very right time because that is what it spells. It was endorsed in 2007, and to me it complies with our primary objectives of going to war. There was a need for everybody to be free from colonialisation and the war that was fought in itself spilt a lot of blood for purposes of attaining that independence. That really is earmarked into our minds and will ever be realised or respected by everybody. However, when we got into it we expected expressions of peace, security and complete protection of the vulnerable.

In our minds, the advocacy for democracy such as was spelt by this African Charter comes to be so much relevant and so much necessary. But on interpretation within all our elections, I am sure you can all bear with me that the majority of people in this country fear elections because of the violence that takes place and the misinterpretations of these particular documents that do take place.

I know quite a number of people can disagree with me but some who are so much practical and realistic will agree with me that the majority of our society is impoverished because of these elections and they are not in favor of these elections.

This is a gross violation of human rights, we thought we had spilt enough; we do not need to spill any more blood within all our corner stones of Zimbabwe. The culture we are trying to inculcate into our people is that, we are a peaceful, hardworking nation, and we are so much developed that if anybody is given resources - go and look at the house that one builds. In other words if given a very peaceful environment, we are so much competent and so much able, but this violence which is consistently being inculcated into our people is destroying our humanity, destroying the African belief and our culture does not agree to that.

So, I do want to thank so much the contributions that have been raised here as related to the African Charter. We need to be friendly when we get to these particular elections because we fought for this democracy not for only one sector but for everybody.

Once in my humble submissions here, when I spoke to this august House, I mentioned distinctly that no one owns this independence and no one is credited for it because it was a national agenda. If people therefore continue to own this independence, they are perpetuating violence and divisions which are not necessary.

In this regard we call for free and fair elections which are exactly what is noted in this Charter. We are not calling for any war in terms of these elections. Hon. Madam President, it is our view that this august House must take note of such responsibility of even disowning individuals who perpetuate violence for purposes of attaining power, for purposes of getting into Parliament or into the Senate House. That is against the human rights and the principles for which this country was freed.

The fight was really for equality, justice, fairness and even distribution of our natural resources. I only want to make the last note into this agenda that at least any one of us here today has the right to do anything provided one does respect the human rights. You must be respected because respect is reciprocal. You have no ownership of independence, we all fought in different forms but because this was a national agenda, we have to respect this independence. I thank you so much.

SENATOR RUGARA: Thank you Madam President. I would like to just to look at the concepts called democracy and then good governance just those two. The paper is long, we could continue to talk about a number of issues that came in for the rest of this Parliament. I believe we want to help ourselves look at the issues together and not separately. First democracy, the key to democracy is tolerance. If you are not tolerant of your neighbour, you cannot be fair because tolerance begets fairness. If you do not tolerate any of our remarks here in this House where there should be the beginning of democracy, we are killing democracy among ourselves in this House.

It is important for us to respect the different views, divergence is good. Look at rivers, one little river comes into another and another and then you have the Save or Zambezi and so on, I think strength is in unity. You can never have democracy without unity, unity cannot come in a Government that is national, there can never be democratic behaviour, respect without this unity. Let us go through the thinking and the components that make a democratic society and home, it starts right through man's life, where there is no democracy there can never be happiness or unity or even unity of purpose in any organisation such as Parliament.

Our Government, which means all of us because we are in Government, the fact that we have not ratified that very important document talking about democracy means something, it means we disagree with democracy because it touches on things we cannot tolerate. We need to tolerate the neighbour's thinking because we cannot think like them than to say if they cannot think like us, they are enemies. I think it is a very important misconception to say that a person you do not agree with becomes an enemy over night, it does not work like that. To be democratic, let us think together, tolerate what other people are doing and how they think and let us cooperate also.

Another thing with democracy is that you get good governance; you cannot have democracy without good governance because autocracy is not good Government. Dictatorship and feudalism is not good Government and I think throughout human development, democracy has developed from feudal societies to autocratic societies; this is where we want to be, to be democratic. If you ask me whether we are in a democratic Government I would say no, that is not the democracy I know. People believe in what they are not, you believe you are democratic when you are autocratic or a dictatorship, let us face the truth in the eye and say what we are. Let us answer a true question whether we are democratic, autocratic or in a feudal system.

If we are honest and if we want to look at logic in the eye, we would know that we are not a democracy. People must not be afraid to tell the truth, let it be told so that we know; reform and we develop this country. A country is not developed in an autocratic environment, it is developed in a democratic environment. The attributes we need is democracy and with it begets good governance and that is why people rumble, not only in the House, but outside people are violent because there is no democracy.

Let me tell the truth as it is, to say that this country has no violence when people still die in 2012 and they die of violence, nothing else. So violence is not an attribute of democracy. That is what I am saying. Madam President, with these few words, I only want to say this august House should be thinking rather than following whoever is leading them. Think on your own because you are adults and you are human beings like me and everyone of us. Thank you very much for this.

MADAM PRESIDENT: Thank you Dr. Rugara. With all due fairness, Honourable Senator Makunde, had moved that we should adjourn this debate because people do not have the document that is being debated. I think at this juncture I call upon the minister to move the adjournment of the debate.

THE MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th June, 2012.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE STATE OF PRISONS AND PRISONERS IN ZIMBABWE

Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the State of Prisons and Prisoners in Zimbabwe (S.C. 12, 2012).

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR STATE SECURITY IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th June 2012.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB DROUGHT

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the harsh climatic conditions of Region V.

Question again proposed.

THE MINSITER OF STATE FOR SECURITY IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th June, 2012.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS ON THE PROVISION OF EDUCATION IN RESETTLED AREAS

Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Millennium Development Goals

on the Provision of Education in Resettled Areas.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR STATE SECURITY IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th June, 2012.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON THE ANTI-RETROVIRAL THERAPY ROLL OUT PROGRAMME

Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on the Anti-Retroviral Therapy Roll Out Programme.

Question again proposed.

SENATOR CHITAKA: Thank you Mr. President. I rise first, to commend the Hon. Senator Khumalo and the Committee on their report on the Roll Out of Anti-Retroviral Therapy Programme. I will concentrate on only one aspect that. I think this august Senate must take cognisance of and implore the Government and all actors to address. This is the shortfall between the number of people that require anti-retroviral drugs and those that are receiving it. I understand the number has now moved to 80%. 80% of those persons who require Anti-Retroviral Therapy are receiving the drugs in one form or another. While I commend that, I feel anything short of 100% is not acceptable because if it was you who is part of the 20%, I do not think you would be very happy. So in a programme of this nature, 80% of those persons who require ART are receiving the drugs in one form or another. While I commend that, I feel anything short of 100% is not acceptable because if it was you who is part of the 20%, I do not think you would be very happy. So, in a programme of this nature, we should never be satisfied until we reach the 100% mark as has happened in other countries.

I understand one of the major reasons why we are still failing to reach the 100% is funding. I am also informed that the Global Fund which used to be a source of a lot of the funding going into HIV/AIDS programmes will be coming to an end in the year 2014. In other words, there will be a huge funding gap coming up in 2014. Therefore, the Government and actors, especially the National Aids Council (NAC) must put into place mitigating factors so that when we get to 2014, we are not suddenly caught short of funds. We have been given notice and it is up to us now to put into place some contingency measures to make sure that, that funding gap is closed.

How do we close this funding gap? Well, maybe we could start off by looking at the operations of the National Aids Council. I did attend one of their presentations at a Workshop and I was a bit worried that still a significant portion of their funds is going into what is called Administration and Overheads. I think it is no secret that they are one of the most well resourced organisations around. They have the latest vehicles; they are buying properties all over the country. So, their overheads are now becoming disproportionate to the service that they are supplying. It is not enough to say, oh well our services will be 10%. Ten percent of a million is $100 000, 10% of $10 million is $1 million. So you cannot tell me that when the AIDS Levy contributions move to $10 million, you should still commit 10% of $10 million to overheads.

What that means is that their salaries and their perks are continuing to be bloated and bloated. So, we need a cap, not based on percentage but on actual service delivery. How many cars do they need to do the work? Not that we just need 10% for cars. So, if it was one car, the next year it will be ten cars. We also need salaries that are okay. We do not say they should be underpaid, they should have poor salaries, but those salaries should not be pegged on 10% of what the worker is contributing to the so called AIDS Levy. So, it is one area where we can start - we prune all unnecessary expenditure connected to the National Aids Council.

The second part that we can do is looking at new partners. We have always looked west for aid, especially in terms of health. Most of the aid for health has come from the western countries, in particular USAID which is America and Depart of Foreign and International Development which is United Kingdom. Our new friends, who I understand are becoming some of the richest in the world, I will mention the Chinese in particular. I think our new friends must come on board and make a significant contribution so that we cement this relationship. It is no use that we are ideologically just friends, but when your friend is in need, you should help him. So, if the traditional sources of assistance are drying up, our new friends must step up and fill that gap. We cannot eat rhetoric. We cannot eat slogans. We need our friends. Kana ndisinawo muriwo, kana sadza rapera, munondipawo hupfu. Not just symphathy. I cannot eat sympathy. So, I am urging our friends in the east to step up to the plate and assist in a tangible manner.

The third and final suggestion that I am going to make is actually not my suggestion, but I am delivering it through this august House. Zimbabweans are very clever at levies. The AIDS Levy for example, was an innovation - the very first one in the world and very commendable innovation. We also copied the issue of tollgates - collecting money from motorists passing through these sheds which they call tollgates. I do not know what the money is supposed to do but we are innovative. We collect money. We are very good at fining motorists. I will not mention and I think you know what I mean. We are so innovative at getting all these levies coming. You go to local councils; there is always one levy of this against another.

When we come to HIV/AIDS and we realise that the 3 + 3% HIV/AIDS Levy is no longer enough, why is it not enough? It used to be very much enough. It was growing very fast. It is because it is tailored that the PAYE that employees pay, now, how many people are now employed formally in Zimbabwe? Very little. So, the amount of PAYE being collected by ZIMRA, which is then passed on for the AIDS Levy is becoming smaller and smaller because there are very few formal jobs. Most of the jobs have moved into the informal sector. So, we must find a way of making the informal sector pay their contribution to this HIV/AIDS Programme, especially targeting the provision of ARVs. It is all our responsibility. We all suffer and we all benefit. It does not matter whether you are formally employed or informally employed, these ARVs are not issued to only people who are former or current employees, they are being given to every Zimbabwean who needs them.

Therefore, every Zimbabwean must contribute and one of the best ways to make them contribute is to Change the levy from being a PAYE deduction to a VAT deduction. When people buy their groceries, that levy must be put on the VAT. So, out of the VAT which may be 15% now, the 3% must come from the 15%. That way, we all contribute equally. Vane matumbu tinotenga zvakawanda, we pay more. Vanotengawo tushoma, they pay less then the burden is spread a bitmore equitably. I think that funding gap which is looming in 2014; we will be able to close that up. Even if you are in the informal sector, you can evade PAYE because zvinhu zvako hazvina mareceiptsbut you cannot evade VAT especially now that ZIMRA have very right controls to collect VAT. It is now much more difficult to avoid VAT these days than it was a few years ago.

So, I urge this august House to at least support the idea of moving the Aids Levy from the traditional PAYE indexed to a VAT indexed HIV/AIDS Levy. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR STATE SECURITY IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 14th June, 2012.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR STATE SECURITY IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE, the Senate adjourned at Twenty Minutes to Four o'clock p.m.

 

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Senate Hansard Vol. 21 SENATE HANSARD - 13 JUNE 2012 VOL. 21 NO. 32