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SENATE HANSARD 16 MAY 2017 VOL 26 NO 56

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 17th May, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

INVITATION TO THE COMMISSIONING OF TOKWE-MUKORSI DAM

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the House that all Hon. Members are invited by the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to the commissioning of the Tokwe-Mkorsi Dam project on 18th May, 2017, at the Dam site in Masvingo Province from 1145 hours. 

          Hon. Members, please note that Parliament is unable to provide fuel coupons and accommodation for this event.

COLLECTION OF THE UP-GRADED HIGHWAY CODE

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  I also wish to inform the House that all Hon. Senators are requested to collect the upgraded Highway Code from the Journals office.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF THE EDUCATION ACT TO TH CONSTITUTION

HON. SEN.  KHUMALO: I move the motion standing in my name that this House -

NOTING the efforts made by Government in expanding the education system at primary and secondary levels across the country to meet the demand for education since independence;

APPLAUDING the Government’s decision to embrace all stakeholders in education thereby leading to the creation of School Development Committees (SDCs) and School Development Association (SDAs);

FURTHER applauding the excellent work done by parents through the SDCs and SDAs in enhancing the quality of education in Zimbabwe;

DISTURBED by the abrupt decision by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to order the closure of SDAs/ SDCs accounts at Government schools and transfer monies to the Government controlled School Service Fund;

CONCERNED that the move will retrogressively impact on the gains made in the educational system over the years and result in the total collapse of the system;

NOW THEREFORE, calls upon the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to;

a)    align the Education Act to the Constitution;

b)   cease forthwith the transfer of SDA/ SDCs funds to the School Service Fund; and

c)    formulate a consolidated Statutory Instrument to guide the operations of SDCs and SDAs taking into account stakeholders’ input.

HON. SEN. NDLOVU: I second.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: Madam President, I request to read most of my content because I am reporting the constitutions of different organisations. So, there is no way I can remember them by head.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: But Hon. Senator, you are aware that you are supposed to make that arrangement before we come to the House. 

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: I am very sorry, Madam President.  Madam President, Zimbabwe is known for its excellent education and a population which is highly educated and interested in education.  Zimbabwe itself boast by its literacy rate which is in the country. 

I, therefore, would like to show some of the issues that we are looking at.  Others have attributed to the expansion and investment in the education sector to the President of the country who is an educationist.  The Government then took the paradigm shift after 1980- 1990, from quantity to quality education which came in 1990 so that the parents can be involved in the education of their children.  This therefore, called for the stakeholders,  that is parents, school heads, teachers and the communities to be involved.  The other reason was the realisation by Government that on its own it did not have the finance which could cover the whole country, so the community was to be involved in order to help the Government.  In that instance, the Government advocated for the involvement of parents through the SDCs and SDAs.  These were boards which consisted of members who were elected by the community, the parents and other stakeholders who were interested in the education.

The involvement of parents in the education system was not only limited to the urban schools but also to the district areas where the Better Schools Programme was started so that the parents would be involved. This is the issue where the parents also subscribed to so that there is improvement in the education system.

There comes my concern Madam President, the 2017 Government directive.  The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has all of a sudden decreed that all SDCs accounts at Government schools be closed immediately and the funds be put in the SSF fund which is controlled by Government only without parents.  The directive is not written; it is an oral directive which has gone to the schools through the education officers.  For the benefit of the Members of this august House, let me explain that before this new directive, there were two accounts at the schools - the SSF fund controlled by Government and the SDC account controlled by parents.  With the SDC account, the community had to elect people to run it and they levied parents after discussions at the beginning of the year or at an annual meeting, they appointed people to run the fund.  The signatories to this fund were the head of the school, the deputy and the chairperson of the SDC and the deputy.  All withdrawals would be signed by either the school head or the deputy and then countersigned by the SDC chairperson or the deputy. 

          Whilst they were doing this, they would make sure that they follow the Ministry’s directive that these SDCs became corporate bodies capable of suing and being sued. It was the SDC account which paid all non-teaching workers at the school and sometimes paid for the teachers so that schools could run in the manner in which they thought was good to give development to the school.  In fact, this is the account that ran the schools.  Hon. Senators will remember seeing most school buses written Donated by SDC.  In fact, all assets at schools were under the SDCs.

          The School Service Fund Account

          Madam President, the other account at the school is called the School Service Fund.  This account is under the Public Finance Management.  This account is where the Government tuition fees go to.  The amount which has to be paid at the present moment in most of the schools is $10.  The signatories to this account are restricted to Government employees; the headmaster, his deputy and the senior teacher.  No parent has anything to say in this account.  Now, we are closing the SDC account where parents were involved and it is this account where they cannot sign or say anything. 

          The New Directive of 2017

          Madam President, it requires transference of the funds from SDCs to SSF.  As I have said, it is an unwritten directive but it is being advocated for by the District Education Officers who go to school heads and ask them to put the money into this account.  The Ministry’s District Inspectors in their directive cites the provisions of two statutes as justification to this instruction – the Education Amendment Act 2006 as well as the Audit and Exchequer Act, Chapter 22;03.  These provisions are Section 8 (1) of the Education Amendment Act, 2006 and Section 30 (1) (b) and Subsection (2)  (a)-(c) of the Audit and Exchequer Act [22:03].       

Madam President, it is clear that there are some legal inconsistencies inherent in the Education Amendment Act, 2006 Section 8 (1) to (5) regarding this issue.  School Development Committees as I mentioned before are a creation of a statute and the bodies that run them are duly elected by parents and other stakeholders.  Following the directive, the role of SDCs in the running of the school in general and the use and application of funds in particular is now unclear.  Legally and technically speaking, SDCs have ceased to have authority or power.  They are in limbo and they do not know what to do at the present moment due to the following reasons:

a.     Section 8 (1) is making reference to the Audit and Exchequer Act [22:03] which was repealed and substituted by the Public Finance Management Act [22:19];

b.    The SSF account created or established by Section 8 (1) above for Government schools was not specified on the purpose or uses of the funds as stated in Section 8 (3) (a) to (d) for non-Government schools;

c.     The Public Finance Management Act [22:19], Section 18 (1) to (11) requires the Treasury to draw up a Fund Constitution;  (2) (a) to (c) for the usage and regulation of the fund (SSF) created, and there is no provision for Government schools to draw up their own Fund Constitution for the usage of the money, neither does it allow the SDC Constitution to be used;

d.    According to Section 18  (5) (c) (i) to (iv), if the constitution drawn up confers that Fund with corporate powers, then that Fund shall be regarded as a corporate body with powers as conferred by its Fund Constitution to control (5) (c) (i) to (iv);

e.     Subsections (6) to (11) spell out who should be and who should not be involved in this fund and how the assets acquired by this fund are to be treated; 

f.        Subsection (9) provides that subject to any enactment by any or in terms of which the fund is established or in the case of fund establishment in terms of subsection (1), the provisions of the fund constitution thereof, the Treasury may any time direct that any money in such fund shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund and subsection (10), the Treasury may wind up that fund and shall transfer any monies in that fund to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.  The constitution of the current provision of the SSF vests the entire authority for the management and application of this fund with the school head and his/her deputy. 

It provides for the establishment of a finance committee made up of five members notably; the School Head and his/her deputy and a senior teacher while the SDC chairperson and the treasurer are relegated to an onlooker role.   From this committee, Section 3(c) requires that the appointment of three signatories who, according to subsection (e), shall be the two government employees and these shall authorise any expenditure. 

g.       The said SSF constitution is clear that the SDC chairperson and the treasure sit in the SSF as observers and not as participants. 

h.      If there was a change, the signing arrangement of the SSF account by bringing SDC members it would be in violation of the constitution of the SSF as it should just be the employees of Government.

i.       The SDC are corporate bodies and parents pay their levies happily because they elect five member executives to manage their affairs and look after the use of their levies together with school administration.  Now that these levy funds from the SDC account have been transferred to the SSF account, parents are saying no taxation without representation because if their money is going to be used without them having anything to say, they are not willing to pump out the money.

j.       Historically, the SDC treasurer would give the finance report at the SDC Annual General Meeting as a way to enhance transparency to ensure that the parents and other stakeholders appreciate how their money would have been used.  In this case the government employees have no right as the constitution does not say they should report to the parents on what their funds have been used for.

k.      The SSF constitution empowers the school head and his/her deputy to unilaterally authorise expenditure while the SDC is reduced to spectators role.  This means that all the SDC statutory functions regarding the application of the “levy funds” are now to be exercised by the head or his/her deputy.

l.       Section 9 of the Education Amendment Act empowers Treasury to, at any time direct that any money in the SSF account be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund subsection (10) vests the Treasury with the power to wind up the fund and transfer any money in that fund to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.   It is clear that there is no SDC role here with regard to the authorization of this transfer given that the only signatories to this account are the two government employees.

m.     The SDC bursar will be downgraded to an accounts clerk reporting to the government bursar, hence this will trigger labour related litigations.  SDCs “as employers” were advised to deal with their legal matters in consultation with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services but now in this case they are not supposed to.  This means that all the SDC employees will remain employed the SDCs but the payment of their salaries being authorised by the school head and/or his/her deputy (government administrators).

          The following questions then ensue:

1.    How is the SDC going to deal employees works performance and labour related legal matters when literally it does not control their remuneration?

2.    The Labour Act Chapter 28:01 defines an employer as any person whatsoever who employs or provides work for another person and “remunerates or expressly or tacitly undertakes to remunerate him”.  Practically, the SDC does not control the remuneration of these employees and looking at this definition, the SDC ceases to be the employer.  The employer is now Government through its employees hence the Government cannot surely take control of SDCs funds and then on the contrary refuse the responsibility of the employer.

ALLEGED SDCs CORRUPTION

          Madam President, Dr Dokora, in the Sunday Mail of 30th April, 2017 said “the reason why they transferred the funds was to curb the corruption being done by SDCs.  While there can be one or two incidences, that cannot be the reason to want to throw the baby with the bathwater.  If the Minister’s assertions are correct, one would assume that the law should take its toll by bringing the culprits to book.  Alternatively should the current legal framework have been inadequate, it would be best for the Ministry to tighten the screws so that those who want to dip their fingers into the fund will not be able to do so.

The argument on corruption by SDCs in my view does not hold water.  Evidence which is in the public domain is that it is school heads and bursars who have been implicated in matters of corruption so why give them the money.  There is nowhere an SDC member can withdraw funds, given that the primary signatory is the school head or his/her deputy.  If the reasons given were true, why would the Minister want the money to be transferred from the SDCs account where parents can counter sign withdrawals to the SSF account which is wholly signed by the school head and deputy alone?  It means that there is a real reason behind the move and one does not need to go further but look into the recent media utterances by the Minister to deduce the motive and the agenda behind the move. 

MEDIA POSTURING

What the media says about why the money is being transferred Madam President, before the new directive was given the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, through its Minister Dr. Dokora and his deputy Professor Mavhima together with the Permanent Secretary have been quoted in the media and in particular in the Sunday Mail casting the vices around SDCs.  It appears the Minister wanted to use the media blitz as a way to sway public opinion against the SDCs.  Notably, it is again in these articles that one can understand the real motive of wanting to move or control the funds from SDCs to schools SSF accounts. 

The Ministry has been clear that they want to have a hand or it wants to put its hand in the jar of the funds.  In their calculation, they claim that there is between $1.2 billion to $2 billion of monies in the SDCs funds nationally in the education system, which they claim is not being used wisely.  The Ministry yearns to have control over this money as they believe SDCs are incapable of running schools.  In one article in the Sunday Mail, the Ministry actually dreams of creating a central fund where the money will be deposited and administered even before building schools. That means instead of building our school when we have donated our money to our SDC, the money can be taken to go and build anywhere and not what we had planned for our school.

          Speculative Reasons

          The reasons for the transfer according to the members of the public are as follows:

1.    Firstly, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education basically wants to have a fund to control just like other Ministries like that of Higher and Tertiary Education. The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education has funds such as ZIMDEF that they control and members are aware of the level of transparency in those funds. We have been hearing in the news what is happening. The Minister basically wants his Ministry to have a fund of their own which they can use as they like, especially that it is $1.2bn which is known to be circulating within the parents.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, you are an Honourable Member and I have reminded Hon. Senators in this House time and time again that we are honourable persons and that what we debate in here has to be a proven fact. We cannot just repeat what is in the public domain. We need to keep our dignity and credibility. That is why we are referred to as honourables. We cannot quote as if it is fact about the billion unless you can prove it

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I am saying it is the media –[HON SEN. TAWENGWA: Are you the megaphone of the media?]-

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Please, I cannot argue with you but I am just reminding you. That is why I am sitting in this seat so that I guide the debate in this House. I am trying to guide the debate that you are giving to the House.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Secondly, there has been a feeling in the community and remember, each time there has been a youth march, the school buses were taken. The community is of the view that it is the same thing which is going to be done – they have no control when their buses are taken for rallies and marches and they are supposed to repair them. This is what makes the community not happy about their funds being taken.

We have said cry, the beloved country; cry, the beloved education development which has been going on because the parents had worked so hard to ensure that their schools are developed. We hope the Minister and those who are working with him will think carefully about the transfer of these funds from SDC/SDAs to the Government operated SSF. I thank you.

+HON. SEN. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam President for the opportunity that you have given me. I would like to make a few comments on the motion that has been moved by Senator Khumalo. She has said she is talking about issues raised in the media which things are not substantiated by a circular. I will debate on that. Suppose we are saying something like that what measures should we take? She stated that SDC/SDA which are school associations which were moved after our independence after Government had realised that on her own she will not be able to shoulder the responsibilities in these schools and asked the parents to give a hand for the development of their schools. My opinion is that this motion, if it is possible, if at all this thing which is alleged and has already been said by Senator Khumalo, schools knew what they wanted and parents would sit and resolve on what to do with the resources that will have been pooled together and schools will develop.

Now, with this new development from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to take SDC funds to put them into SSF, things will not move well because the funds will be controlled. Government should see which place needs a class very fast and therefore those funds will not be used as per what the school would want them to be used for, if at all this is going to be done. With those few words I will stop there.

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

     HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA: I second.

     Motion put and agreed to.

     Debate to resume: Thursday, 18th May, 2017

MOTION

ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS TO PROTECT DOMESTIC ANIMALS

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on stray dogs and other domestic animals.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution. I would like to make my contribution on the motion which I raised. May I start by apologising for the delay in removing this motion on the Order Paper because we had lots of business and our motions were right at the bottom of the Oder Paper. May I also take this opportunity to thank all those Members who made contributions on my motion especially when we were talking about both domestic and wild animals which are left to run astray and in most instances, this leads to traffic accidents. Some of the traffic accidents were fatal and the person who would have passed on is somebody who will be fending for the family. When they die in such accidents, it means there is a fault somewhere.

          We also looked at these animals and we noticed that these animals have rights and they have to be taken care of and be protected from accidents on the roads. We also realised that when some of these animals are run over on the road, nobody removes the carcasses and there is  a lot of environment pollution due to some odours which emanate from there and also maggots. It was a pleasure listening to Members who made the contributions including the Hon. Chiefs who made the  contributions...

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: When you make a contribution, you do not talk of ladies and gentlemen but talk of Hon. Members.

          *HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Please forgive me for using such a salutation. This motion which was on stray dogs and other domestic animals which are handled carelessly, we know that there used to be a law which had been put in place to the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. I am therefore appealing to the Government to resuscitate these laws which are now redundant and the resuscitation should be put into practice because we have these animals which are suffering due to lack of care resulting into the accidents and also leading into fatal accidents.

          I am appealing with the SPCA, National Parks, the Chiefs and the Veterinary Department that they should resuscitate these redundant laws to protect these animals. As I have said, these animals have a right and they are protected by the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I am therefore pleading with this august Senate to withdraw the motion that this House:-

DISTURBED by the persistent problems posed by stray dogs and other domestic animals to their surrounding neighborhood and communities countrywide;

COGNISANT that all animals are protected under the laws of the country;

CONCERNED that owners of such stray animals denigrate on their responsibilities to look after them, thereby bestowing the onus to do so on other members of the community;

INCENSED by the fact that some people have suffered from bites inflicted on them by rabid dogs and have faced challenges in getting proper medication while others have been involved in fatal accidents caused by such animals;

NOW THEREFORE, calls upon the Local Authorities and the Society for Prevention of cruelty to Animals to:

a) enforce laws that do not only protect the stray animals but also safeguard the lives of people;

b) prosecute owners of stray animals and also ensure that proper facilities are constructed for the safe custody of such animals

          Motion; With leave, withdrawn.

MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

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

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday 18th May, 2017.

MOTION

SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONAL SCHOOL PLEDGE

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

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. BHEBHE: Thank you Madam President for this opportunity that I also make some comments on this motion moved by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi and the seconder on the National Pledge. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for the motion and would like to say a few comments in support of the motion. This motion has been debated a lot in this House. When I look at the Constitution of the country, on the preamble, the National Pledge is there. This means it is not something new which we have seen in the motion by the Hon. Senator. It has always been there in our Constitution.

          In short, the National Pledge is done in schools particularly for the young children especially those who are just entering school. It is of great help indeed. It instills in the child the importance of the country, nature, cooperation, respect and all things that are good about the country. I remember when we were growing up, one would qualify to go to school by touching your ear to start Grade 1. But now, children at four years can recite the National Pledge whereas an old person will not be able to understand. The child understands this better.

          In Ndebele there is this saying which says “catch them young”. We support that. The Minister once said if you take your child to ECD, when that child starts Grade 1 with a child who did not go through ECD. The one who does not go through ECD will not compete with a child who came from ECD, it will be difficult.  Madam President, as such, let us support this motion.  The Minister had taken it and should give a report back so that it would be a strong Government policy. 

I realise that it makes things easy, children can no longer cry.  When children are going to school, you find a child terrified of going to the class, but right now the child will tell you to go back home when they have arrived at school.  It means our children are clever, they do not have a teacher who is different from a parent.  I stood up to support, and I support this motion, which is good.  Let us give it the importance that it deserves so that it becomes a policy that is working.  It should not be something under trial, it should be done and implemented and we will see that it is important.  It will make our children grow up clever. 

The current generation is different from our generation.  I said when we were going to school, we were first requested to touch our ears with our hand before being registered into school.  These days if you ask our children to pray before eating our food, they pray. This is equivalent to the National Pledge, which means they have it in their minds.  I would like to thank the mover of the motion and the seconder.  Madam President, with those few words, this motion has been debated.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity of winding up the motion which I raised.  I would like to thank the Senators who supported this motion.  I am also grateful to the more than 20 Senators who made contributions on this motion on the National School Pledge.  The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is very appreciative of all the contributions you made in this august House.

May I also state categorically that the schools around the country are well aware and have adopted this pledge.  This is because it talks about the history of the country including the war of liberation and wealth of this country and is drawn from the Constitution.  In the past, we were forced by the colonial regime to sing the British National Anthem such as ‘God save our gracious Queen’ or ‘God save our gracious King,’ but we have nothing to do with the Queen.  We are independent and we have our own pledge.  We thank the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for such a pledge.  I am pleading with this House to allow me to withdraw from the Order Paper, the motion that this House;

APPLAUDING the noble initiatives by the Government to inculcate a culture of patriotism, unity of purpose and common desire for equality and justice as mandated by the Constitution;

DETERMINED to overcome any challenges that impede our resolve to cherish and uphold the fruits of our hard won independence;

COMMITTED to building a united and prosperous nation founded on core values of integrity and hard work anchored on the Constitution as the supreme law of the land;

DESIROUS to foster a strong sense of patriotism among school children as is the traditional practice in the global village;

NOW THEREFORE, strongly advocates for unequivocal support for the National School Pledge by all Members of Parliament.

Motion; With leave, withdrawn.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES

Fifth 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. MUSAKA: Thank you Madam President.  I also wish to thank Hon. B. Sibanda and the seconder of this motion.  Madam President, this is an important issue raised by Hon. Sibanda.  Indeed, he is an honourable man to bring up this issue.  Violence of whatever nature, whenever or however it occurs, is unacceptable.  Anybody Hon. Madam President who seeks to access anything through violence, be it wealthy, sex or anything, it has repercations – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – bad consequences.  

Hon. Sen. Sibanda, I think did not look at the bigger picture.  Let us go a little bit into history with violence and conflict if you like.  I will take it from the other angle.  It is not just a question of violence between MDC and ZANU-PF during elections.  Let us look at a bigger picture.  If you really want to solve the problem of violence as a nation to say, this should never happen again.  Ever since this country was established, you can go back to the Monomotapa era, it has always been the issue that invasions occurred.  Once they occurred, that is violence, to access what? Wealthy from a particular region, from a particular tribe and it had bad consequences. 

I wish to remind this House that in history, human beings are unique, they do not forget.  Stories are always told, zvaiita vana nhingi, zvavakatiita vananhingi, they do not forget – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – that thing will come back to haunt you.  So, it is true, let us learn never to make violence a way of life.  I really wish to thank, I repeat again, Hon. Sibanda for bringing this motion. 

I move on again, the same thing, colonialism came, it did not come in peace, they came with violence, looting, doing all sorts of things.  Again look at the backlash when actually there are generations following who want to take up and revenge.  See then what happens, do not blame anybody.  If you start it you really have a problem, even in our politics everything else that we do, let us remember never to start anything that will have such serious repercations. 

Madam President, I will just conclude my debate by thanking Hon. Sen. Sibanda again.  Such statements as, listen to this; ‘President Robert Mugabe must go, if he does not go peacefully, we will actually force him to go.’  That kind of statement does not really auger very well.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on the motion on violence.  I am grateful to Hon. Sen. Sibanda who said something which is very true when he said violence is a socio-political way amongst the people of Zimbabwe and this is an undeniable fact.  We have seen that violence has been with us in Zimbabwe since the Gukurahundi period.  We are told there were people in Matabeleland who numbered 20 000, who were massacred in the Gukurahundi era.

          This culture of violence is engrained in us and as such, if there is to be somebody who visits those areas and start talking about violence, the people of Matabeleland shiver in fear.  We now have children who were between 35 and 40 years, who have never been in a learning institution because of what was laid down in those areas.  Violence reared its ugly head in Matabeleland and I say that because in the past, I was an office bearer in the MDC and I know there are some learners in those areas who cannot indulge in any mathematical calculations or English because they were disturbed during the Gukurahundi.

          We also saw the ugly head of violence during the period of murambatsvina, keep the country clean.  When we are talking of violence it is an all inclusive term, not only beating but it also includes some policies which are hurtful to the people’s lives.  So a clean-up campaign is also one of those areas which talk about the violence.  When we talk again about the 2008, we had people who had to be affected in those areas.  In the 2008 elections, there was such violence that we are told a lot of people died during the June 27 elections. 

          This past week I was in Chireya and I was shown 12 graves. From there I went to Nembudziya where I was shown 12 graves.  These were graves of people who were massacred during the 2008 elections and the residents and citizens of those areas are now staying in fear.  When you talk about political campaigns or elections, there is fear in them because they associate it with violence.  We also know that there are some people who are denied food handouts which come from the State because they are labeled as people who belong to a wrong party.  This is structural violence because it is engrained in the procedures and administration.  This can be removed from our society if we all agree that we are denouncing violence. 

          We noticed that violence is being used as a tool to access power to intimidate the opponents.  Why should you be elected into power through violence? Getting into power through such a means is very bad and has no respect.   Our country has no trading partners because it is known as a violent country and hence everybody shun it. 

          *HON. SEN. MAWIRE: On a point of order! I think what this Hon. Senator is saying is out of order because he is talking about people who are elected into power through violence.  So, I think he is blaming the freedom fighters because they had to fight for the country for it to be liberated.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President.  I am going to get to that point, give me a chance.  We should not be elected into power through violence and I am talking of violence of a black against a black.   It was a different way whereby the black people were fighting the colonialists who were white regime.  In the 1970’s, we were also part of that war of liberation; I was a collaborator and we fully support the war of liberation.  However, what is hurting us is that we are fighting amongst ourselves, the liberated blacks. 

          Right now, we are going to a stage where the people of Zimbabwe are now aware that violence is bad and I am pleading with our chiefs and some of them are in this august House.  Some of them have remained in their rural areas; I believe that our chiefs have great power to create peace in the country.  If the chiefs talk against violence in the country and say they do not want any spilling of blood, nobody will fight because our chiefs are well respected.  This is regardless of the age of the chief, just like we have Hon. Sen. Musarurwa; he is a young chief.  As young as he is, if he declares that he does not want any violence in his area, nobody will go against it.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF. MUSARURWA: On a point of order! I have just heard my name being mentioned as I was entering this august House.  So, I want to know if there is anything wrong that I have done.

          *THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. TAWENGWA): Hon. Sen. Komichi is saying Chief Musarurwa may look just like an ordinary young man but because of the throne which he holds, he is a well respected chief.  If he says no to violence in his jurisdiction, people will listen and that when these politicians come to their jurisdiction, they should ask for our permission. 

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  Thank you Mr. President.  Yes, if a chief says there should be no violence in my area, they are listened to because they are people of honour and dignity.  We also have war veterans who fought for the liberation of this country. The colonial regime was defeated and Zimbabwe is now a free country. It is a land of milk and honey.  When these fighters came into the country they were well respected and they were the envy of many but then as time went on, we had some of these liberators who were being used by political parties to torture and torment people in the rural areas.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: On point of order! I am pleading with the Hon. Senator who is contributing to stick to the facts and support the liberation fighters because they are again protected by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  Let us respect our freedom fighters – [AN HON. SENATOR:  Wakadirwa mvura inopisa.] –

          *THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Senators, I beg you to be tolerant and let us not create a mockery because as Hon. Members of this august Senate, we should not mock each other.  What may have happened has happened.  Let it be water under the bridge.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  Hon. Sen. Mavhunga, you are not aware of where I am going with my debate.  I am saying the legacy bestowed on us by the freedom fighters should be restored and upheld.  The dignity which they had and the liberation which they brought into the country should really be respected.  They should not be used as puppets on a string but in order for us to restore that legacy, I am calling upon all the freedom fighters to preach the gospel of non-violence.  Let us preach the gospel of peace.

If we talk to our children who would have noticed some violence being perpetrated by the freedom fighters, the children will equate freedom fighters with violence.  We are saying, if we were being violent during the campaign and election periods, please let us carry out that in peace.  Therefore, we do not have to hear freedom fighters like Hon. Sen. Mawire being blamed for thrashing and torturing the elderly in the villages. 

When we are talking about non-violence, let us go through the eight points of attention which was applied by the freedom fighters during the war.  Why is it that the eight points which were being used are now being opposed at this time?  We were told:  protect the mass, do not violently take things from the public, let us be peaceful, let us not be cruel to captives and prisoners of war but we need to be peaceful. 

We are saying, if the freedom fighters are talking of peace, this will be a blessing. It will be a blessing to Zimbabwe to hear a freedom fighter saying during campaigns we want peace and tolerance.  We believe if we combine that effort we are going to succeed in our programmes.  Through that action and adoption of peace, Zimbabwe is going to develop.  We will all be one family and there will not be any divisions.  When we go to elections and whosoever wins because there has been peace, there will not be any fights because the campaigns and elections will be done peacefully.

I will now turn to the other group which should be helping in keeping peace in the country.  The police, through the Commissioner General, should enforce the adoption of peace in the country.  In their operations, they should listen to the voice from the churches, the voice from their leaders and the freedom fighters that there should be peace.  As Morgan, if I hit Peter because of politics or if Peter fights Morgan because of politics, he has to be arrested.  There should be no sacred cows in maintaining peace in the country.  We know our country is a peaceful country and by arresting the perpetrators of violence, we will be creating peace in the country. 

I am pleading with the chiefs, the freedom fighters and the people of Zimbabwe; let us spread love, peace and happiness in Zimbabwe. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MANYERUKE:  Thank you Mr. President.  Let me take this opportunity to make my contribution on a motion raised by Hon. Sen. Sibanda.  Thank you Hon. Sen. Sibanda for bringing such a motion in the august Senate which is aimed at bringing peace in the country.  As members of this august Senate, what should we do?  This is because we are saying, we encounter violence during the period of campaigns and elections.  However, we have some biblical quotations that say Samson killed a lion and ate honey out of the carcass.  As Hon. Senators, what should we do in our constituencies? 

In our constituencies, when we are moving out from here to areas like Gokwe and Chireya, you do not give notice to Hon. Members in that area.  That shows that there is violence.  When getting to somebody’s constituency, please you should give notice to the person whose area you are visiting. 

When we look at our history, in 1890 the colonialists came with violence because they were impounding Africans’ properties and land.  They even established Parliament, which was an all-white Parliament.  There was not even a single black despite their numbers.  Members were not even allowed to know that there is going to be an election.  We only learnt about these positions in history when we talked of General Peter Walls, the Governor Humphrey Gibbs, Sir Garfield Todd and the Smiths.  This was violence because we were being taught English which was not our language when we were leaving in a violent atmosphere.

Hon. Sen. Sibanda, thank you for bringing up this motion.  We are all educated and we need to look at the source of violence.  When we have seen the source, we can uproot that violence because we know the causes.  When we look at the war of liberation in the areas such as Muzarabani, we have more people who died during the war of liberation, especially Chibondo whereby the graves were exhumed from mines.  There was violence.  That is where violence started.

The biblical Samson had to get honey from the carcass of a lion.  Daniel also survived in the lion’s den and this was again violence.  When we look at Cain and Abel, brother killing brother, we see violence started from the heavens because God fought a war with Lucifer.  When Lucifer was defeated, he was dropped down to earth.  When you look at the distance travelled by Lucifer when he was chased from heavens, we can see that is where violence started.  I think as Zimbabweans we need to sit down together and hold talks on peace so that we stop violence and ask from the Lord above because he is the only one who can stop violence.  This is because we believe that the war started from the heavens.  If we look at the wars which were fought during the Israelites war, when they got to the land of milk and honey, it was all violence. As I am talking, some people are mumbling and that is violence, which shows that we are indulging in violence because when we talk about profiteering and feeding, it means we are talking of violence.  However, I believe that as Zimbabweans, we should talk about peace, because we will be talking about what is good for us.  Nevertheless, we have a situation where in our negotiations we do not have a win-win situation- then there will be a problem.  I thank you Hon Sen. Sibanda for raising this motion on violence. 

          In our circles, we do not have violence but when we watched the news on television, there was violence which was happening at Mabvudzi School where the teachers and other staff members were attacked by robbers.  Violence is an invisible enemy because sin is also similar to violence.  So I am saying violence is violence and we need to stand and put our heads together to fight this violence.  There should be no provocation because if you take your finger and put it into somebody’s mouth, definitely that will be provocation that you will have started.  What I am saying is that if you live in a glass house, do not throw stones, because if you throw stones, people will also throw stones at your house and the glasses will be broken.  Hon. President, the people are making noise and I am begging you to protect me because I am still making my contributions.   Can the violence start in this House?  Hon Sibanda brought a very good motion.

          *THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Members, we need to be very peaceful.  Hon. Chimanikire, listen to me, we are not in a public brawl where anybody can say whatever they want.

          *HON. SEN. MANYERUKE:  Let me conclude my motion.  You do not have to tell me what to say because you will be violating my rights.  All I am saying is for us to say the truth.  We know that violence started from the heavens.  All the religious bodies, the Seventh Day, the Pentecostals and all the established bodies, we need to put our heads together and fight violence.  I believe that in the 1890s, we were under the colonial regime, then we started the war of liberation against the colonialists led by our leaders Cde Nkomo and Cde Mugabe.

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  On a point of order Mr. President.  We are in the Senate, we are Senators, leaders, Hon. Members and we also have women.  She is a lady and I am a lady.  We are coming from a women’s caucus just now and I am not meant to make a point of order but as women, if we say violence started from the heavens yet we are leaders who are supposed to be advocating against violence what are we saying?  I stand to be guided on the motion under debate.

          * THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  The motion which is being debated is saying we all need to be saying we do not want violence but we want to live in peace.  We need to denounce all forms of violence, regardless of who it is being perpetrated upon or who the perpetrators are. 

          *HON. SEN. MANYERUKE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I do not see where I erred.  All I said was I am pleading with the churches or religious bodies to pray for peace so that Zimbabwe can be in peace.  So where did I make a mistake?  What I am saying is; the person with the pain is the one who feels it because pain cannot be transferred to somebody else.  We need to pray to the Lord above to bring peace and order upon Zimbabwe.  This is the truth and I will repeat that violence started from the heavens and only the Lord above can stop this violence.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  We need to work very hard to stop violence as long as we are alive.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Mr. President, I had promised to move the adoption of this motion but I have had further requests for debate by certain Hon. Senators.  I therefore move that the debate do now adjourn. 

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 18th May, 2017.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF POPULATION GROWTH IN ZIMBABWE

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

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

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 18th May, 2017.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

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

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on this motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Timveos.  The motion is talking about working in peace together with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).  We are also being told that it is one of the three pillars of democracy.  The Constitution of the country talks about the four pillars of democracy which are ZEC, Human Rights Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission and the Media Commission.  When these bodies were included in the Constitution, it was emphasised that they should work as independent bodies with no interference.  In other words, the Chairperson and the Commission should work freely so that the people of Zimbabwe get the required services.  ZEC operates together with various political parties - both the ruling and the opposition. The people of Zimbabwe would like to have a situation whereby the Electoral Act is aligned in such a way that the Chairperson and the Commission are empowered. If the Electoral Act is not aligned, it means the powers of the Electoral Commission Chairperson are weak and therefore she cannot make decisions. If that Act is not amended or aligned whatever it is they are doing would be against the law. ZEC at the moment is running under a law which violates the Constitution because the laws which govern them have not been aligned to the Constitution.

          Again if the law is hazy, there is bound to be some interference in the operation of ZEC. For example, there is no clear policy on how ZEC and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should operate. There is interference which is happening. As a result, we are calling for the alignment of the Electoral Act so that the Commission may work efficiently.  The Electoral Commission is faced with a mammoth task of compiling a new voter’s roll. How can we have a good BVR when the law that is supposed to operationalise that BVR has not been aligned to the Constitution? We have no faith in that process because Commissioners are operating on a law which is ultra vires the Constitution.

          Mr. President, I have some facts which I want to present to this august House. The voters roll which we are fighting and say has to be removed and be replaced by the BVR has a lot of anomalies. Let me talk about what happened in 2013 when people were registered for elections. The result which I have came from eight provinces, shows how people were registered between 2000 to 2013 and their numbers were increasing. There were two provinces which had numbers of voters dwindling. I am not going to talk about all the provinces but I am randomly going to pick a few.

          In 2000 Bulawayo had 350 000 voters and yet in 2013 there were 310 000 voters. So, from 350 000 to 310 000, it means the voters in that area had reduced from 2000 to 2013. In the year 2000 Harare had 800 000 voters and in 2013, it had 790 000 voters. It shows that the voters were decreasing and they reduced by 83 000 and Bulawayo reduced by 53 000. Let us go to the rural areas – in Manicaland had 575 000 in 2000 and in 2013 it had 798 000.  Mashonaland West had 500 000 in the year 2000 and in 2013 had 656 000. Masvingo had 593 000 in 2000 and in 2013 had 669 000.  That is why we have had squabbles with ZEC because it is empowered and responsible for registering the voters. The people of Zimbabwe are saying ZEC should be independent so that the political parties should have clean voters roll.

          According to the population census of 2012, Harare had more people than every other province in the country. There were about 2 million people in Harare. There is no province which has people who are as many as that. All of them are below that and you find that the voting patterns are decreasing and you start wondering why. This creates mistrust in the registration process which is undertaken by ZEC, hence the call for ZEC to be independent.

          Let me now talk about BVR. We know that there are provinces which are being given 700 points of registration in the country. How will 2 million people in the City of Harare register? Bulawayo has 392 points of registration and yet it has 1.2 million people. How are these people going to register? Mashonaland Central has 1.1 million people yet it has 1200 points of registration. These are some of the things which cause disagreements in the country. We all know that each political party has its stronghold in this country, the opposition has more voters in the cities while the ruling party has more voters in the rural areas.

Therefore, we are saying ZEC should put equal voter registration points in all provinces. I know people may talk of geographical setup in those areas and they may say in the urban areas the geographical set up may be small. I would want to argue and say that while geographical setup in urban centres is small but their population is big. There is also a huge activity in the towns as people spend most of their time fending for  themselves, seeking employment or any other ways of living, hence the density of the population is very high.

We are saying if Manicaland has 1300 registration points, Harare should have the same figure because they have the same population density. When we see registration points of Harare being reduced to 700, we say it is rigging of elections. We are saying why should there be that change. According to our view, ZEC is rigging elections before we start this voting process. If ZEC purports to be independent they should be talking to political parties and agree on the number of registration points. If they hold such meetings there is going to be an agreement among these people. I am pleading with this august House that this information should be passed on to the powers that be. I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Timveos who brought this motion to this august House. I am really grateful because even as we are debating, we are just adding on to what she has already said. I think she put it plainly and all those who have debated before me, have also put it plainly. When I look at this issue, it is really painful especially to the opposition political parties in this country. When we talk about this and looking at the fact that we will be having elections very soon, and that people should register to vote, as I was listening to the last speaker, the speaker was quoting figures.

          ZEC has a very big job and people can say all this is because of voter apathy. The truth is that there are many people in the cities. Who is ZEC and who are the people in ZEC who are responsible for the registration and the voting? If you look at the composition of the staff at ZEC, these people are not independent. They are not free people. It is just the same as if I am standing here. I am Senator Spiwe Ncube and I represent my party. I am here because of a party that brought me here. This is what we are talking about. Who is ZEC, who are the people in ZEC, what are their positions and who are they representing?

          One speaker said that if the Constitution were to be followed to the core, these people should work independently. If you are working under someone’s instruction, you will be afraid to lose your job because if you do something opposing what your employer is saying, things will not go well for you. Here we are talking about biometric voting. We have not seen it but we have heard that it is now available. Now we are in the middle of the year and we are talking about elections that we will be facing next year. Registration has not started and we do not know exactly what is happening. Where are we going?

          I want to talk mostly about elections. This motion that was brought here stated a lot of things. There is a point where she says, now therefore. It means that this person is looking at ZEC and what is going to happen and what the Constitution says. People said what they wanted in the new Constitution but up to now, it is silent. So, that means maybe these things should not have happened. Maybe we wasted State funds and people’s time because it appears as if nothing is happening since 2010 up to now. It is being said we will align the laws but nothing is being done. It looks like there are some things that are not regarded as important.

          Mr. President, this is really painful.

An Hon. Senator having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order Hon. Senator, you may not cross between the speaker and the Chair.

+HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President. We got independence and we were saying we are now in Zimbabwe but we are not free. If we cannot correct things that pertain to us as human beings, it means that our being here is pointless. We are here as mouthpieces for those people who cannot be here because all of us cannot be here. If people have chosen you to represent them, leadership does not start from here, it starts from the grassroots. There are constitutions from burial societies, clubs and other several constitutions up to the Constitution of the nation, but people do understand that what they write in the Constitution is what should be followed.

Why is it that this country does not follow that? People have been talking and saying that for things to be in order, we have to do this and that. We can say a lot of things. We have been patient as people of this country that things should be rectified so things should be aligned to the Constitution and that ZEC should also follow what is said. That way, people can have a free and fair election. There is not much that we are talking about but all what we are saying is that ZEC should be independent so that they can have powers to rectify things.

We do not think that this machine that they are talking about will enable everyone to register. If we do not succeed to do that, it means we are going back to the old voters roll that we have been complaining about. So, what is going to happen now? Our plea or our request is that people are still waiting out there because it is painful to rule people in a bad way. People are patient and they are waiting. Why is it that some things are being rectified but this has not been rectified?

Mr. President, I thought the Constitution was very important. This is what should have been rectified considering what the people said now that we are looking at elections. Even if we go for elections, people are going to say that we already saw that this was coming because things were not rectified in the first place. I would like to thank Senator Timveos and all the other speakers that this issue that we are talking about should be listened to and that the Constitution should be aligned to what the people said and what the political parties especially the opposition parties said, so that when we go for elections, we should be satisfied that we have been beaten or we have won.

If there is nothing to hide, why is it that this thing is not coming to an end and why is it that we say there is no money and yet there is money to do other things. This is suspicious. If we were not hiding anything, then things should be put out in the open.  At times when you say things and not write them down, you tend to forget.  However, those things that are written, you cannot forget.  People said what they said and what they wanted, it is known.  With these few words, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Thank you Mr. President.  I just want to add a few words on this motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Timveos on electoral laws.  Firstly I would like to say, yes, realignment is not progressing in the way that we were expecting.  However, as Hon. Members, I think we should speak the truth and it will help us to move together.  I have heard people saying that ZEC is just trudging on without powers.  Mr. President, all Hon. Members here present know that there is a document called the Electoral Law, which gives ZEC powers and defines its jurisdiction on how to handle elections and registration of voters.  For us to say that today there is no legislation, I think we are not being truthful.

Mr. President, it is true that there is slowing down when it comes to legislation.  I want to touch on the BVR which I am sure that most of us are not well versed with.  I am saying this because we heard some people saying that they do not want it but some people later on said it is just registration, next year we will vote.  We then hear the same people coming back and saying that the voters’ roll that we were using in the past was not up to date because dead people were included.  What I know is that dead people do not vote and they are not counted.

Mr. President, we have heard about the statistics which Hon. Sen. Komichi has tabled.  I did not see them but I know that if I research, I will find them easily.  However, all the people who are well versed in politics know that when independence is coming, there is what we call euphoria for voting.  For example, in 1980, many people came out in their numbers to vote.  Everyone wanted to vote, but as time progressed, people were now developing cold feet.  They were saying that ‘we voted and some were saying that ‘we have already won,’ whilst some would be saying ‘even if we vote, nothing will change.’  That is what Hon. Members should be aware of. I know that these days you just find yourself there but those who were Members of Parliament before know that voters decrease with time.  It is a phenomenon which is well known worldwide.

Let me come back to Harare and Bulawayo.  In towns and cities there is one challenge, someone has alluded to it.  All the people in towns want to make money.  They are looking for food and with unemployment; they are worried about what to serve on the table.  For them to spend time in the queue voting for people who will get their money and cars, a lot of them are not concerned about it.  Secondly, in towns, even with 2 million people, it is very true.  However, if you look at the registered voters, you find out that those people do not reach even up to 1.5 million.  It is because there is voter apathy. 

However, if you look at the rural areas…

HON. SEN. MARAVA: On a point of order Mr. President.  While we are following the debate very closely, I would like to point out to one fact that; urban residents know their priorities and they cannot fail to differentiate between a need and a want.  In this case Mr. President, urban residents have their priorities well in that they respect the importance of voting.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: What is your point of order?

HON. SEN. MARAVA: My point of order is that I would like to draw the attention of the Hon. Senator that the people of Harare and Bulawayo and all the towns of Zimbabwe know their priorities.  Like he is saying they are worried about getting food, they are not worried about the vote, they do not worry about staying in a queue until they vote, I say no to that.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: That is your view, let him express his view.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Thank you Mr. President.  I just want to remind Hon. Senators that I did not grow up in the rural areas.  I went to the rural areas recently.  Before it was called Harare, I was here when all these others suburbs like Glen Norah were not yet established.  This is not new; I am talking about something that I know.  I know that in the rural areas, it is different from the towns because now I am in the rural areas.  I have realised that in the rural areas, when it is election time, they spend the whole day at the polling station to vote, they can carry their lunch boxes there to eat.  I was once a Member of Parliament and we should not put our emphasis on the voting patterns.  If you look closely, you will realise that when a new Member of Parliament is being voted for in a by-election, there are differences.

So, I am saying the statistics brought in by Hon. Komichi are not something that we should dwell on and spend time debating on because they are not the ones which will make us win or lose.  This is because if figures have dropped in Harare from 800 000, it does not mean that the voters, because of voter apathy, the people are now losing, but if we had a Proportional Representation system that if the whole country is seen as one constituency, that is when you can cry foul because there are a few people and that the figure would be affected.  However, if you are using the First Pass the Post, you will win.   Even if you register 500 people, they will still vote for you and where there are 2000 people, you will win in your constituency.  We have seen it; probably some of you were not yet interested in politics in 2000.   We witnessed it; all the Harare seats were taken by MDC.  The gap between ZANU PF and MDC in the National Assembly was so close.  At that time it was 63 seats against 57  but as time went on tables turned.

  In 2008, despite the fact that there was violence, do you know how many votes the MDC had in the National Assembly and how many ZANU PF had?  So, Mr. President, I am saying that is not the issue.  We should encourage people to go and register.  Now, that there is a new system, the BVR which will deter people from voting twice, if we could applaud that system.  Even if a few people register we will be certain that there will be no rigging.  As Members of the Senate, that is what we should be discussing about instead of going around showing people statistics of how many people have registered in Masvingo.  Yes, they can win in Masvingo only and lose in other constituencies where more people have been registered.  This issue of how many people have registered against the population is not an issue. 

          I also want to raise an issue on the independence of ZEC.  It is comprised of judges who would have been appointed by the President but what cushions them and protects them is that they do not lose their jobs and their money does not come from Treasury but it comes from the same bag as the Judges, hence they are not afraid of anybody.

          It is now in our people’s minds that even if ZEC is good at anything, if I did not win, it means they do not know what they are doing.  I think it is also affecting the operations of ZEC. If they do well, they will be condemned and if they do not do well they will still be condemned.  So, why not bring in ideas pointing out where ZEC is going wrong?  At one time Registrar Mudede was pointed out and his entire office that the registration work was given to ZEC.  Before they had even finished voter registration, people were already crying foul that they are not independent.  So, where are we going? Can a country be governable that if you do not win then there is no fairness?  We are already complaining that we are losing before we have even voted.  I have heard someone saying that if we go to elections in 2018, I am not going to concede to the results before we have even started the registration process.  What if we start voter registration and vote, what are we going to say then? People only want to win and then they will say the elections were fair.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MUSAKA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 6th June, 2017.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MUSAKA seconded by HON. SEN. MUMVURI, the Senate adjourned at Twenty Four minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 6th June, 2017.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 16 MAY 2017 VOL 26 NO 56