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SENATE HANSARD 15 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 38

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 15th March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BIOMETRIC REGISTRATION SYSTEM AT PARLIAMENT

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA): I would like to inform the Senate that our Security Officers will be registering Hon. Senators for the Biometric Registration System next week from 21st to 23 March, 2017.  They will be stationed in the Senate Lobby from 1430 hours every sitting day until adjournment of the Senate.  Hon. Senators are urged to register on the system which will go live on 3rd April, 2017.  Details on the system have been placed in the pigeon holes.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MASUKU:  Mr. President, I move that Order of the Day, Number1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th March, 2017.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the State of the Nation Address.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 16th March, 2017.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th March, 2017.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. SEN. MASUKU:  Mr. President, I move that Order of the Day, Number 4 be stood over until all the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

          Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on alignment of the Electoral Act to the Constitution.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. BHEBE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th March, 2017.

MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on SADC Model law on eradicating Child Marriages.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Mohadi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Chipanga on child marriages.  Mr. President, I had the privilege to attend a conference in Norway in 2014.  I was attending that conference on behalf of the National Chiefs Council of Zimbabwe.  The conference was attended by participants from Europe, Asia and Africa.  It was obvious to me that early child marriages only occur in countries that are poor like ourselves in the SADC region.  Also, it occurs in countries that are underdeveloped. 

          Mr. President, allowing children to marry under the age of 18 is against several United Nations Conventions and Zimbabwe is no exception to that because we are part and parcel to several United Nations Conventions and also to SADC Conventions.  In the 2013 Constitution, Section 78 (1) states that every person who has attained the age of 18 has the right to found a family but be that as it may, girls are getting married before they attain the age of 18, hence the concern of the Hon. Senators. 

          The marriage of a girl in our case to a much older person like myself or someone who is much older than me disturbs the girl’s childhood, her education and makes her have children before she has developed enough to have children.  In many instances, she is not able to cope with the children because she is still an infant.  Early marriages have attributed to a number of factors that include poverty, beliefs and a number of children’s rights have been breached in the process. 

          The conference I alluded to earlier on has come with several recommendations but the problem that we seem to be facing as poor nations is that most of these conferences that we attend are sponsored by donors.   The outcome from those conferences, we do not know where they end.  This is why we attend many conferences but we do not know the outcomes.  Mr. President, in Zimbabwe we are lucky that the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe made a ruling last year, against child marriages.   However, the problem we seem to be facing in this country is that, despite those good rulings that are made by the high courts, it takes us time to amend the relevant Acts to conform to the rulings or to the Constitution in this case.  This is our major problem that we have, otherwise Zimbabwe has all the good laws but we lack implementation.  Mr. President, with those few words, I would like to once again thank you for giving me the chance to contribute to the motion that was moved by Hon. Sen. Mohadi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Chipanga.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MARAVA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I stood up to add my voice on this motion on early child marriages.  This is a very big challenge, bigger than what the eye sees.  The rights of the child is being infringed on a daily basis and there is no one to help.  Even in this House, there are issues that we talk about in passing in order for us to make a follow up on what we have said.  For example, we are saying that a girl should not be married at the age below 18 years, this is a very good issue but we also get to point out that the girl child should not be belittled below the age of 18.  Those who are in the habit of doing that are people who know the law, they are mature and wealthy but everything is surpassing them. 

Our law should be drafted such that it is applied from the point of puberty age and not to draft laws that will affect them after four years into puberty level.  Men will be watching and they can see that she is now ripe but our law is silent on that when it comes to puberty age.  At that age, the child is affected emotionally such that they will end up sleeping with men and the child is taken advantage of at that level.  Does our law allow our children to have sex before 18 years and then get married at 18 years?  I think we are ignoring our culture of testing the virginity of our young girls because it was very important.  If it is found that they have lost their virginity, they would be asked and quizzed until they reveal the one who deflowered them.  That person should be convicted because they will be aware that the children are still under age. 

If we say people should be prosecuted when they commit crime at 18 years, to apply the laws is very difficult.  A law which is not applicable is very difficult and that is not a law.  The perpetrators will ask if a person is 18 years, she is supposed to get married but is no longer a virgin – they want to know.  For example, in South Africa, the law says that the age of majority, even if it is 18 years, if a girl child is sexually active between 14 and 16 years, it means she is now in the age of majority.  She cannot go back and become a child.  Mr. President, I think those who draft the laws – I am happy that some of the people are here; they should draft these laws effectively because it touches each and every one of us.  Right now, our answer in Zimbabwe was very simple because 75 percent of Zimbabwe are rural areas and each and every one is known there.

There are no addresses like in urban areas.  They know each other.  If you commit a crime against a rural girl, you will be caught.  These people that are difficult to convict, who are they?   As long as the big fish are allowed to temper around with the law – the big fish are not as many compared to the majority of Zimbabwe that are many.  If we allow our girl child to grow up properly, we should not pay lip service to this law that they sleep around with men and not get married.  We will be getting it wrong.  We should nip this in the bud.  We should go back to our rural ways which helped us to mould our culture.  There is no one who can help us except the chiefs.

Our culture and tradition was very effective.  Men were afraid of the girl child because they feared to be called to the chief’s court and be convicted of impregnating a girl.  These days, men can even make arrangements to go and speak with the girl’s family.  I know we once said that even those who accept lobola should be prosecuted but for someone to accept lobola, it means something wrong has been done.  So why should we allow something wrong to happen.  No one should bed a girl below the age of 18 years.  If they do, they should face the music, get prosecuted and brought before the courts.  They should prove themselves how they reasoned a 60 year old to have sex with a 13 year old girl. 

Mr. President, we should really look into this matter.  We know that Government does not have money but if there is anything they can do in bringing back the role that was played by our aunts, let it be so.  We know there are some areas where it is being practiced, for example the Shangani society in Chiredzi rural and in Binga there.  The role of aunts is respected.  If the Government is willing, it should improve that role and modernise it so that every girl child is respected.  The girls should be taught how to behave infront of these rich people because they are not good. 

These old people have their children and they do not want them to be messed around yet they want to mess around with other people’s children.  This will come to an end if we go back to tradition and culture, to our chiefs and to our spirit mediums, because they are the ones who are in 70% control of Zimbabwe - that is the truth and reality.  We should give them the powers.  Already they are involved in solving these issues, so we are looking at a thing that we already have and we think that we do not have it.

          Mr. President, I am pleading that the rights of the girl child should be looked into, not that we should put our name on the map but we should do what is practical.  If it rains in Southern Africa and it does not rain in Zimbabwe, we cannot say it has rained in Zimbabwe.  So this law should be looked at in the manner that I have talked about that all these old men should be investigated and looked into.  I thank you.          

          *HON. SEN. GOTO:  Thank you Mr. President.  I do not have many words.  I want to thank the movers of the motion Hon. Sen. Mohadi and Sen. Hon. Chipanga.  This is a very pertinent issue which we should all be engaged in.  It can be a laughable matter but all of us have to be involved.  I have been touched by this model law, it is a very good law, and I think we should embrace and practice it.  If we look into our tradition, children’s rights were not infringed and they were afraid of their elders and such a thing would not happen.  If you are first born in your family all the children will say you have to be exemplary.  So, what I am seeing is that our children, many of them get married early because if children do not proceed with their education and loiter in the streets doing nothing, they will think it is better for them to get a husband. 

          Long back if a child is going to school she will do ‘A’ Level and go to university and this will give them a chance to mature.  Most of them would get married at 23 or 24 years because they will be going to school.  Those who do not go to school will think that it is good for them to get married and there is nothing that they do in those homes.  There are risks of engaging in early sex, it was a taboo for someone to get married at such an early age, if that happened they would have symptoms like those of HIV, then they would be taken by old ladies and given herbs.  We are the ones who put these laws into place, we must put them in place and live by example.  I have not come across many people who talk about it even the issue that it is us the elders; we should live by example and share that this is not good.  Old women are taking young boys and old men are taking young girls.  Long back girls were not allowed to put on brassieres - she would just wear a dress, their breasts were intact, meaning that they would still be virgins. 

          It was believed that if you wear brassieres it means that your breasts are no longer firm and it meant that you had started engaging in sex.  People got married at a mature age and when they married after their first night eggs were given to the bride’s aunt as a symbol of virginity.  These days you will find that even the father in law loves her daughter in law and these are the big guys that were being referred to by the Hon. Senator. I think for our children to perish, it is because of us, because parents are taking gifts brought by their children who are not employed.  Even if the father asks, the mother will refuse.  Normally we know that women are the ones who cover up.  When a girl gets pregnant, it is the mother who is blamed because in most cases the mother will be away but as mothers, I think we should live an exemplary life.  It is the same as child marriage but there is a difference in that you will find that a young girl will be going out with ‘sugar daddies’.

          Let me tell you what happened yesterday.  I lost a relative in Karoi, this girl had a boyfriend.  She was only 20 years and had one child.   She was going out with a ‘sugar daddy’.  We were not happy because of this relationship and the girl was involved in an accident and they both died on the scene.   Why not grow up and be mature and look for your own husband?  I am saying yes, we can laugh but this is a very important law that we should embrace and implement in Zimbabwe.  We should debate as mature people.  The Chiefs are aware of our laws.  Even the boys - the Chiefs would tell if a boy sleeps with girls.  If we throw away our culture, there is nothing good to reap, thank you Mr. President for these few words.

          *HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Mr. President, I stand to support this motion which we are debating in this Senate.  I only have a few words to add.  Firstly, the laws are there, they are made but I think our challenge is that of implementing these laws to show what whatever was put in place is applicable.  After we have talked like this we want to know the monitoring follow up on how this law is being implemented.  Still on that, I also urge Hon. Senators that we should look at the churches.  We know the churches that have a challenge when it comes to child marriages.

          I can refer to the apostolic sects.  I once asked that when we are debating this we should get to a point of what we should do to these churches who marry off young girls so that when the law is being implemented, we would then know who married these young girls.  They must probe those leaders in Marange church for the betterment of our country because if not it will remain like that because they will not be following the law.  I think we should have plans on what to do next because we are aware of those churches which are marrying off young girls.  I am very happy because I see the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is here.  I want to thank the Minister.  Some of the girls are being abused by headmasters and teachers because of hunger.  The headmaster or teacher responsible will quickly pay a bribe to the parents concerned.  However, the Ministry is way ahead because if someone is caught on the wrong side, the perpetrator will be punished.  We should not go back because in schools there is rampant abuse of children.  I think when the law is finally in place, it will help us.  Finally, Mr. President, the issue that we are talking about in this House is not new, but the challenge that we have is that we should have plans in place to follow up and ensure that this law is implemented and not remain on paper.  Thank you Mr. President.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th March, 2017.

MOTION

SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONAL SCHOOL PLEDGE

          Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on advocating for unequivocal support for the National School Pledge by all Members of Parliament.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th March, 2017.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES

          Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on violence that had become a socio-political way of life among the people of Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to debate the issue of violence in our country.  Violence is in different forms.  We usually think that violence is only when people are having machetes or mabhembas to beat each other or the physical abuse which is done to women by husbands or other people and the abuse against children. 

There is violence which is emotional.  This is when people are together and see that certain issues are not addressed equally.  I will start with the issue of education because the Hon.  Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is with us.  In most of our areas, for example in Chipinge, Shangani always have teachers who cannot discuss in that language, that is violence, emotional violence, because they are not able to fight but the feeling is inside because they want their children to learn in their language and understand it but they are quite and dying inside, that is violence.  The Nambyas in Binga always see other people, the Mashonas and Ndebeles going to teach there, when their own children are there, but they keep quite.  That is emotional violence, which is being done to these people. 

Therefore, we are saying, can we stop violence so that when training teachers, let us look at all areas so that we train teachers from Nambya speaking areas, Mashangani and so on so that they are able to express the language of those people.  The Kalangas in Plumtree always see the employment of people who are not able to speak Kalanga, that is really violence, emotional violence.  Can we address all the violence which this country seems to ignore?  Everybody wants their children to speak their language properly.  When the selection of teachers is being done, let us pick from everywhere…

          HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: On a point of order Mr. President, I am lost.  I thought we were debating on early marriages – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.] – sorry, political violence.  When we now say I am deployed by the Ministry of Education to Binga because there are no teachers or enough teachers there and then that is termed violence, I get totally lost.  Unless we are saying people in Binga who are qualified are being denied to teach their own people and then the Ministry takes people from Chipinge to go and teach there.  All I know is that the Ministry does so because there are no qualified teachers in that particular area.  I thank you.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE: She is taking advantage of the Minister who is here today and she managed to sneak it in by using the word emotional violence.  This is, according to part (d) of the motion; to challenge the executive to fulfill its constitutional obligation by respecting human rights in terms of Section 48-78 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  We have debated this before in this House that there are certain areas whereby in terms of languages, somebody may go there who speaks one language and there is that barrier in languages.  However, I hope that one day the Hon. Minister will respond to that.  That is the issue she is trying to raise.  She has been very clever to actually sneak this issue in.  May you please wind up your debate Hon. Sen. Khumalo.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Mr. President, we are debating the violence issue here.  So, I am bringing the other issues which we usually ignore as part of violence as we think violence is always physical.  The motion here says socio-political violence, that is the socio part.  Let me bring the political issues on violence.  There are sometimes demonstrations, people want to say, this is what we want our country to be like.  When people are demonstrating to say this is what our country should be like, you see the police beating them because they are saying you are not supposed to be on the road demonstrating that this is what you want – that is also part of what is called violence.  You can see it in the media, the police beating the youths in the streets when there is a demonstration.  I will give you an incident which I saw recently in the media.  At a roadblock; an army man came there and he thought he had the right.  If some of you managed to see it, the police at the roadblock wanted to beat this solder.  You cannot beat someone like that.  That is violence.  We are saying in our country, can we be free and talk freely and not intimidate each other by beating each other instead of discussing.  That is embarrassing to all of us. If we want our country to be recognised, we should follow the rights and the freedoms which are written in this Constitution which says, ‘if a person has done wrong, they must be arrested and not beaten.  It is in the Constitution here. 

          However, what I saw that day in the media, at a roadblock, somebody was being beaten.  We are saying arrest and let the courts do their job of looking at the issue.  Let us stop cruelty and intimidation so that our country can have people who are free to exercise their rights.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. CHABUKA: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to debate on this motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda.  It is a very good motion but also very painful, if you think of violence that is taking place in our country. 

          Mr. President, if you look at violent cases in Zimbabwe, it is now like a disease; in the homes, at work places, in our daily lives, in politics, all those are now a challenge in our country.  The violence that is taking place in our country, many a times we feel sorry for the disabled people but if we look closely; as children of Zimbabwe, we are the ones causing the influx of disabilities amongst ourselves because of violence.

          We have children who are crying right now because of us, especially as the leaders of political parties, all of us, some from cell level, branches going up to the leaders of the political parties.  I am not mentioning the names because all of us have political parties.  We are perpetrators of violence; we are causing the disability of people because of politics.  Right now, people are already dreading the elections which are forthcoming.  They are afraid saying they have now started.  Even the children are asking if those people are back now because of the political leaders.

          I remember this other year, the leaders of political parties, all of us, we would stand on top of the mountains and we would start using derogatory terms when we were murdering leaders of other political parties which is a sad story.  People have a right to say whatever they want, to follow any political party that they want as individuals but many a times we cause the destruction of our wealth; properties of people were destroyed and that is violence Mr. President.

          As people of Zimbabwe, we should be able to build our country is peacefully.  If we murder each other, whom will you rule. If we kill each other who are we going to rule?  I think we should be able to lead by example like what other speakers have said.  We should be in the forefront.  Even if you want powers, you cannot get it by murdering someone, chopping off their hands or even burning other people’s homesteads.  How can you lead a peaceful life when you would have caused havoc to other people’s lives?  In the homes, there is no peace right now.   I read a story on the social media of a child who had his eyes popped out by her stepmother.  Probably his real mother ran away because of the violence and terror of the father.  This child had his eyes removed because he had soiled the blankets.  It is a very sad and painful story especially to us as mothers because if something bad happens to children, we really feel troubled.  I think we should try to love one another.   We should try to build our country on love and try to be a God fearing nation - 2018 is close.  Surely, the Lord should have mercy so that we should not spill blood.  We should copy other countries like South Africa that we should campaign together, freely and sell our ideas as political parties so that we move together without causing violence. There are a lot of mad people because of political parties and also a lot of graves out there because of political parties.  So, I would like to thank Hon. Senator Sibanda because his motion is very important.  We should debate about it because right now people are in the election fever and we are afraid that we will be burnt in our houses.  We should not attack other leaders of political parties who have their own ideas on how to run the country so that we move together.  I get very hurt when I think of next year’s elections, as leaders, I think we should ask the Lord to have mercy on us because one will be judged by their works.  That is why we have an influx of insane people in our streets.  This is being caused by us leaders and parents.  We should have peace in our communities so that people will envy our political parties for the way we conduct our selves.  I thought I should contribute to this debate because it is very important.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity for me to add a few words on this motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Sibanda and his seconder.  This motion as I stand here trying to debate it, I am very hurting because I am one of the victims of violence.  Firstly, I am against all the violence starting from domestic violence which will end up in them bringing witch hunters.  Violence in our homesteads is bad.  We speak strongly against violence.  People should turn to God.

The other violence that I want to talk about is the violence that is happening in farms.  During the Inclusive Government, I was a member of JOMIC.  We travelled extensively in Mashonaland Central because of violence in the farms and this violence is being caused by those people who were left by the white farmers and those people who took over the farms.  They cannot live amicably because the Government has not put plans in place on where to place those people and so there is a lot of violence that is going on in those places.  Mr. President, it is very painful for violence to be exercised by one of your own.  They are at each other’s throats.  I think the Government should look for places to resettle those people.

Then coming to the other form of violence – if you find someone talking about violence and someone is denigrating, they are the very people who exercised that violence.  There are people who live in peace because of the tears of other people.  My house was burnt in 2001.  I escaped by the grace of God.  In 2001 I was alone at 2.00 am with only two children as my husband was out on duty, but then you find someone grumbling when someone is talking against violence.  They are the very people who caused it.  But we just ask for God to give us love so that we should not hate one another.  Supporting the opposition is not a crime.  I am hurt because I was a victim, but then you find someone wanting to sweep that under the carpet.  If you hear someone bringing in point of orders when we are talking about violence, they are the very people who were practicing violence.

Coming to the chiefs, I am very hurt because you are a chief to everyone.  When our homestead was burnt, there was no chief that put law in place.  We know that long back, it was taboo for someone to burn someone’s home…

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Please address the Chair.

*HON. SEN. MURONZI: Thank you Mr. President.  I wanted to really look them in the face so that they would get it right.  I become emotional because I really want to talk about it as it is.  Mr. President, the chiefs, we support you here because we want to go back to our traditions so that you are given your powers back, but back at home when it is time for elections, you do not call your people and you tell them that you do not want violence, that if you see someone burning someone’s house, you pay a cow.  I was one of the victims.  In Mashonaland Central, I am pleading with the chiefs, Mr. President, that when it comes to election time, they should call all the headmen and they should tell people that we do not want any violence when it is election time.

My husband comes from a royal family from Mutumba.  We approached Chief Mutumba and the chief said that he was also afraid.  So, what I am saying is that violence during election time should be stopped.  Power is sweet, but do not fight for power by burning other people’s houses and by murdering people.  Let us have our elections peacefully.  The people who burnt my house were tried before the court, but they did not pay because they know that they are basing on something.  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity.

*HON. SEN. BHOBHO:   Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to support this motion on violence which is being debated truthfully in this House.  I want to thank you for bringing us back to the chiefs, but we should remind each other about violence and we should remember the person who brought an end to violence, the President of Zimbabwe.  He is the one who brought violence to an end because blood was spilt in this country because of whites – [HON. SENATORS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order, order please.  She has the floor; she has the right to speak.  I allowed those who had other views to speak.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA:  People were booing them.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  No one was booing them.  I stopped everyone who was booing.  Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa if you could please listen.

*HON. SENATOR BHOBHO:  Thank you Mr. President.  Let us remember the children of Zimbabwe, when we are talking like this that there is only one person who, up to now, speaks against violence, our President.  He is a loving father who loves his people, who is prepared to die for the people, who suffered for his people.  If only we could have his spirit, all this violence we are talking about will come to an end each and every time it arises.

HON. MLOTSHWA:  On a point of order, Mr. President.  This is not the time for accolades.  The Hon. Senator should stick to the motion about violence and not accolades.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  She is only giving an example of what she thinks we can achieve as a people, as a nation, by following someone’s example.  This is all she is saying.

*HON. SEN. BHOBHO:  We are talking as a family.  I am just following the example of one of the Hon. Senators who was debating.  I think we should give credit where it is due.  For us to be in this House, it is because of the people who died.  People put a stop to the violence that was perpetrated by the whites against the blacks and now we are helping each other on how we can stop violence starting from home up to political parties.  So, what I am just saying is we should remember the person who advocated for stopping violence.  We have peaceful elections in Zimbabwe.  If we go to South Africa ...

          *HON. SEN. MARAVA: On a point of order.  We should agree not to hurt other people and talk about things that are not factual because we should not touch our leaders.  Let us leave them alone because if you look at what happened, it happened when those people were still in power.  So, let us not hurt one other.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: On a point of order Mr. President.  Mr. President, each and every speaker, I think that the Member is referring to the reconciliation hand which was extended by the President.  So, I think that the Hon. Member should be given a chance to debate.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I did not understand your point of order but that is what she is pointing out that initially, the peacemaker had to fight a war against oppression, that is by the whites.  So she is now saying, let us follow suit and that please, let us come together as a people.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEN. BHOBHO:  Thank you Mr. President.  We go to South Africa and Zambia and if we compare those countries with ours, if you were in South Africa, by this time you would be rushing back to where you put up but here in Zimbabwe, we have peace.  Even at night visitors can travel but in other countries, you cannot move about without your passport and if you are referred to as a foreigner, then it means that you are in trouble.  So, our country is very good because we have not come across people being dumped at the border.  Our country is peaceful and there may be a few areas where you need to look at, for example domestic violence or some issues amongst family members but generally as a country, we have the peace that comes from God.  This is a beautiful country and we do not come across people fighting in the streets or even people fighting for husbands.  People are living peacefully because of our President.  So, let us live together in harmony and let us give each other words of wisdom but I want to remind you to look back and see the peace that we have in this country.  Thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion on political violence which was raised by Hon. Sen. Sibanda.  Firstly, I would want to thank Zimbabwe because our country is peaceful.  If you compare it with other countries, blood is being spilt each and every day but here we are at peace.  Here when we are debating, we speak as if someone is causing the violence but, when we are speaking we should refer to both sides.  Even as we are fighting for power, if we do not address people well, they will become violent.

          Mr. President, if there is a war going on; it means that there are two sides which are fighting each other.  So we are saying is that there are no owners of violence but all the parties should practice peace.  Even the President in all his addresses, he always speaks against violence because he does not want violence in Zimbabwe.  Even this violence, it started in the Bible.  If there was no violence in the Bible, there would not be the devil but only God.  So when we are debating in this House, we should debate as mature people so that when you see someone debating and you interject him or her that is political violence.  So, I am saying that, that is the beginning of political violence. 

Mr. President, I am saying, if we respect one another, we will build peace.  The reason why we are crying about 2018 elections is that we should brace for people to vote for us.  If we do not have anything to say, we should not bring fear because if we have people behind us, they will vote for us.  If you see in this House someone interjecting, then what will happen out there – people will fight each other, so in here we should be mature people because people out there will emulate us.  Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity that you have given me.

          *HON. SEN. MAKONE:  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion that we are debating.  I would want to concur with the previous speaker on some of the issues that she talked about that in this House as mature people when we are debating, we should respect one another and not interject if you do not agree.  But what she said at the end, I do not agree with her because we should give credit where it is due.  I have said this because there are things that we do which are good and some that are bad.  If a person has done a good thing, he/she should be respected for that. 

There are a lot of good things that were done but if a bad thing happens and when we point to it, we should not say it is covered by the good that has happened.  That is not what we are saying.  The reason for us to debate before elections is to remind each other that where we came from, how bad it was – that is assessing where we are coming from and where we are going so that we put our house in order.  We should not predict the people of Zimbabwe.  If a person is good and when they get into that box peacefully, they will vote peacefully and that person will support other people without any violence.  What I know Mr. President is that, because some people have skeletons in their cupboards, they are afraid that if tables turn, those people will come against them.  Yes, I know that some people have grudges but it is not all people who can kill and they are not all people who can burn other people’s houses.  There are some people who fear the living God who is in this House.  You can appear as a good person but God knows that you are a bad person. You may appear to go along with what other people are saying, but God knows the truth in your heart.  Let me give you an example of the police in Zimbabwe.  When I was the Minister of Home Affairs, people were up in arms against me saying I should condemn them.  I told them that most of these police officers are good and know their work.  In Africa, our police surpass other nations.  If you see where they go wrong, it is not them because they will be taking orders.  They have to protect their work and have families to take care of.  As a candidate in the rural areas, we encountered a problem and approached the police.  They said they were afraid because it was a political issue.  If police officers are afraid to carry out their duties, it means we have given precedence to the perpetrators.   Someone should have told them not to take action if the issues are of political nature.  Those who would have burnt houses, probably they would have done it out of fear of victimisation. 

The chiefs and headmen whom we blame, it is not that they do not know that this is bad but if they regain their powers, we will have peaceful elections.  The winners will win resoundingly but if our chiefs are afraid, it will be difficult.  The chiefs are afraid of the situation because they do not know what will become of their future.  Not everyone in the opposition is good and not everyone in your party is bad.  Everyone has the good and the bad side.  As the Senate, we should be the ones showing the light that people can work together even if they are from different political parties.  We should say the truth in this House and not lie to each other.  We should agree that bad things are bad and not hold on to the bad.  Let us talk about it and move forward. 

I have debated in Shona so that we all understand what I am saying and if I could speak Ndebele, I could have debated in Ndebele.  If you hear people from Matabeleland talking of injustice; as the Shona people we should not denigrate them, they will be talking what they know.  They are reminding us of what happened before and that there should not be a repeat of the same.  As a Shona person, I have to understand them.  It does not mean that everyone in the MDC-T party started his or her political career there.  I joined ZANU PF at the age of 20 and left this country getting into exile at the age of 21 and coming from jail, during the Smith regime.  You can tell me about the liberation struggle – I did my part and I am happy with it. 

When I come to a point where I say I do not agree with you, it does not mean that I do not love my country but we should agree to disagree.  We should not fight but have to come up with a way we can resolve issues amicably than to suppress people when they want to talk.  That is violence if you suppress people in order that they fear to talk about what is painful to them.  In our political parties, there are times when we do not agree with other members in the party.  If they suppress you to say out your views, that will be painful and that becomes a form of violence. 

In Africa, Zimbabwe is known as a country of learned and intelligent people.  Where does the barbaric tendency come from during elections?  We should behave as learned people in Africa.  We always say that Zimbabwe is a Christian country and everyone in here goes to church.  We should show Christianity in the manner we conduct ourselves and in the manner we do our politics.  When it comes to God, there is no debate.  Intimidation does not help us.  If it works, we will not be having other parties but if you show me love, probably I would consider joining your party.  Violence and suppression to show me that next elections will not go well does not help us.  As Senators, let us blaze the road for peace for the whole of Zimbabwe.  Thank you Mr. President. 

*HON. SEN. MABUGU:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to add my voice on the motion on violence that happens during elections.  Violence is painful but the perpetrators think it is good.  In Shona, they say chinokanganwa idemo asi muti haukanganwi.  Violence is painful especially when we say the truth.  We have to talk about it and come up with a solution.  If we do not talk about it, when will it end?  Violence is a game, each team has its own supporters but when we are in the game, there are those who will win and those who lose.  If you know that you win, why do you want to use violence?  People should be free to support people whom they want.  We should have free and fair elections without engaging any activities of violence.  We should talk about it and bring it open so that we find a way of ending it. 

When it comes to elections, some people are happy because it is their time to score.  We should use our Christian and cultural values.  If something is bad, we should talk about it.  Why should we use weapons?  It is high time we should call a spade a spade.   If we say bad is good, are we truthful in our hearts or that we only want to make other people happy.  Let us talk about the bad things so that we correct it and live in peace and harmony.  Thank you Mr. President.

Hon. Sen. Chimanikire having stood up to debate.

*THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Sen. Chimanikire, you have debated before on this motion and you cannot debate again.

*HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE:  Thank you, I had forgotten. 

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to debate on the motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Sibanda.  It was well written on this paper but it will only be spoiled by us who will become emotionally when we are debating.  I am pleading that all forms of violence come to an end starting from domestic violence like what we have heard when we were talking about child marriages, that violence will hamper development for the children.  We should not have violence in our country. If there is no unity and there is violence there is no development, I think that is what the Hon. Senator who brought this motion had in mind.

          When we engage in violence, development will be hampered.  When it comes to the issue of unity, I think we are in support of that.  Another Hon. Senator said that the policemen should adhere to the rules of the nation and there is no one who should uphold violence like this woman who poked out the eyes of her child, the law should work as it is not selectively. 

          If I report the law should be activated because our Constitution is very clear on our rights.  For us to come up with that Constitution which is the Bill of Rights; for sure, if those things are not in place, something must be done and we should talk about it that the law should be put in place.  Hon. Senators, when it comes to political violence, I do not know where it comes from because I have not come across any leaders who come and give orders for people to be attacked.  In our homes we should teach our children to follow what the President said because he is against violence but we find people engaging in violence. 

          Elections are won or lost, you cannot get into the mind of a person but you can change them through violence.  Our elections are a secret ballot so, we should teach our children.  As chiefs give us rules on how to live in our areas, I think also as parents in our homes we should give our children morals and laws, this applies to all parties.  All parties are engaged in violence so, I am pleading with you that even as we talk, we should all advocate for the end of violence because violence can be found on both sides.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          *THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA):  This is what a debate must be like, agreeing with each other, irrespective of what party you belong to.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th March, 2017.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF POPULATION GROWTH IN ZIMBABWE

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on Zimbabwe’s low population.

          Motion again proposed. 

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion that was brought in this Senate.  Let me use English because it helps me to summarise what I want to talk about.  I stand to support the motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Musaka that is trying to promote the growth of Zimbabwe so that at least we lure investors and have a market.  When investors want to invest in a country, they look at the population and look at whether their products are going to have a market.

          Mr. President, I want to contribute to it in this way, Government has a duty to make sure that there is peace in the country and also that the unemployment rate is not alarming, as it is now above 80% and also the policy inconsistencies affect the working couple and for you to make children in your bedroom after looking at all these statistics that I have talked about, it becomes very difficult.  You cannot, because your mind is affected by the things that surround you day by day. 

          Mr. President, the atmosphere for bearing children must be conducive, the atmosphere must make the husband to look and see the wife and feel the wife is attractive.  If your mind is burdened by all these things that I am talking about, then you do not even see the beauty in your wife or the handsome qualities in your husband because your husband is consumed by the issues that affect you and that stress you.  In his motion Hon. Sen. Musaka said NGOs must support the making of children. 

          When you look at the Children’s Homes, the report was put into this House and also the Minister was here last week doing his report.  He looked at the support that is given to Children’s Homes.  You would find that maybe that is why the NGOs would then advocate for birth control because they are seeing that so many children are being born and the country is not affording to assist; it strains their budget to try to accommodate all the children. This is because people do not have means to support the children and baby dumping will be rife.  It is Government’s duty to make sure that family values are adhered to because that is when couples can speak well to each other on whether it is good to have more children or not.  If there are no family values, it becomes very difficult.  The only avenue where family values can be promoted is through Government policies.

Mr. President, in China there was the policy of birth control, limiting it to two children.  However, after they realised that their workforce was ageing and they were no longer being rated as number two in the world in terms of economic growth, they noted that there was need for their citizens to have more children.  This motion by Hon. Musaka is not bad.  It is good so that Government may have a relook at our population.  For example, in 15 years, will the population manage to sustain the economy?  I therefore applaud Hon. Musaka for moving this motion.  Mr. President, large families can be encouraged in a country if its economy is adequate and the Executive has the capacity to propel the economy to glory.  It is then that we can encourage people to have large families.

On the incentive to encourage more children, men have more children that their wives are not aware of.  The motion encourages that families with at least eight children should be given an incentive, but if people were to count the number of children that men have outside of marriage, they will eventually qualify for the incentives.  Your wives do not know that you have more than eight children outside of marriage.

Mr. President at one time in a certain country, a new Government came in to force and came up with a policy to promote growth of families.  It was said that all those who had five children should present their birth certificates in order to receive an incentive.  One man said to his wife, since we have four children here, I have another one that I did not tell you about – [Laughter.] – so can I go and fetch that child.  Knowing that there would be a benefit, she agreed to the arrangement.  However, on returning back, the husband found out that the children were now three. He asked what happened and he was told that the father came and fetched his child – [Laughter.] – so in the home, you will be thinking that all the children are yours and yet they are not.  That is what I am trying to say.  Those children whom you are leaving scattered all over the country, you cannot go and claim custody because you are afraid.  Mr. President, it is the Government’s duty and not the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as suggested in the motion, to promote the bearing of children.  It is the Government which creates policies and it must make sure that they are implemented. 

In addition Mr. President, the Government can appoint a sex Minister like in Spain. After realizing that people are no longer in love with each other, Spain appointed a sex minister this month.  The Minister will deal with this particular case.  Although you do not want to talk about it, it is the only ‘pot of cooking children,’ otherwise which other way do you think you can bear children if you do not have sex?  So, Spain realised that people are busy with issues like austerity measures and so on and they are no longer attracted to their partners and they appointed a Minister.  So, I think if we want to promote the same issues we can have that minister because we need to have a proper market for our investment.  I thank you very much Mr. President.   

+HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add a few words on this motion moved by Hon. Sen. Musaka, which is very good. Yesterday, the Chief said we should get busy, but I just want to say, this motion is very good but I was thinking that in our country Zimbabwe, there are a lot of children.  We have children abroad.  This motion is very good if we start by reviving our economy.  I note that if we revamp our economy, surely, we can increase our population. 

However, as I am speaking right now, last week I received some photographs of children who were murdered in South Africa, not because they do not want to stay in Zimbabwe.  As we sit here, when acts of xenophobic attacks begin to take place, all of us will not be at peace because we have children in South Africa.  One will always be making imaginations to the effect that it could be their child who will be caught in between those streams of xenophobic violence.  I have three children who are there in Cape Town.  Your life and sleep is marred by thoughts of hearing one day that your own child may be attacked and displayed on Facebook.  Sometimes I will be deep in thought that God, if one day you give your judgment, how will I be able to rescue my children?  This is not because I do not want to live with my children in Zimbabwe; I wish we could revamp our economy so that our children can be here with us.  It will be helpful to us.

There is no need for us to add another problem to the burdens we already carry.  It was good for us to get busy Mr. President when we have made strides towards reviving our economy – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – I am not denying that there is need to get busy.

Hon. Sen. Moeketsi having been speaking to the gallery.

*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Speak to the Chair and get busy here Hon. Senator – [Laughter.] –

*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI: Alright Mr. President, I will speak to the Chair.  I am saying, this motion is very good, but we should work on reviving our economy, it will help us. I want to go back to the motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Makore which pointed out that the Government cannot pay $15 to orphans who are in our centres.  What I want to say is that this incentive should be extended to people who are already on the scheme because probably I have 10 orphans , I should get the incentive.  We cannot have an incentive for those who do not yet have the orphans.   I already have 10, so it should start with me rather than to look at those who have not started yet.  It should come to me when my children are at one place so that one day when the Lord judges, I can say I have buried my child there not for a piece to be left in South Africa like what we have seen.  It is very painful and it is because our economy is not right. 

          Mr. President, I just stood up to add my voice on this matter that let us understand each other because he raised this motion in good faith but right now, I do not think it is possible.  Again, we have other laws that we pass in this House and they bind us later on.

Mr. President, I also want to say the Western culture has destroyed us.  It has even killed our Chiefs.  Some of the motions that are passed here, chiefs should say no! When it comes to family planning, the chiefs agreed it could not have passed in this House but it passed and now you cannot change it.  The English way of life is killing us, we should retain our culture, and it is like our chiefs are coming short somehow.  We are trying to help them so that we retain our culture to them, it will help us.  Last week, a baby was dumped in the sewage in my constituency in Mutare, it is not that the parents were not there but due to economic hardships in our country, it is difficult for them. With these few words, I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAKWARIMBA: Thank you Mr. President for the time that you have accorded me to add my voice on the motion which was put forward by Hon. Sen. Musaka and his seconder.  Mr. President, I see that this motion was brought in at a very opportune time because our economy is getting better now due to land reform. The question of black people living in harmony with the soil did not start now but that is how we were brought up.  I can see that most of us got resettled under the Agrarian Reform and gave chance to those who remained in the rural areas to extend their farming land.   So, many of us are engaged in farming these days.  In the days of colonial rule, during the Smith regime, schools were very few.  If you go to Mashonaland Central, there was only one secondary school, in Masvingo, there was also one secondary school and in Matabeleland there were very few but we would give birth to children without limit or birth control.  If we had not given birth during that time, we would not have had children who went to fight in the liberation struggle.  So, it means up to now, we would be still under the Smith regime.  What we are saying about child bearing is not about those who are in this House and are off layers. We are talking of those who are in the rural areas.  We want to talk about child bearing looking for future generations.  We talked about soldiers; we are talking about the economy, how do we grow our economy and how can people invest with a very small population.  I think what the Chief referred to that we should get busy in child bearing is very important.

          Mr. President, we should follow this motion, as it will help us in a number of ways and will make us a people in the future.  I have had some people referring to the policy of one child in China, they have now relaxed it.  So, it is our duty Mr. President that we should see to it that the population of Zimbabwe increases.

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

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I second

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th March, 2017.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU seconded by HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA, the Senate adjourned at Nineteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 15 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 38