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SENATE HANSARD 17 MAY 2016 VOL 25 NO 50

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 17th May, 2016

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  I have to inform the Senate that I have received the Public Finance Management Amendment Bill [H. B. 14, 2015] from the National Assembly.

MOTION

CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS CENTRED ON DEVOLUTION OF POWER

First Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the call for Government to implement the devolution of power as provided for in the Constitution.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to debate the motion that was brought before the Senate by Hon. Ncube.  It is a pertinent motion because it reminds the Government that there is a Constitutional mandate that there are supposed to be provincial assemblies that assist each other with counsel in various areas.  The Constitution has not yet implemented this provision.  It is important that we uphold the Constitution and do as what is provided for.  I remember that when we came into the Senate, there were names of people who were supposed to be part of those provincial assemblies.  I am surprised and I wonder what they think of the Government because up to now, they have not yet resumed office. 

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is aware of that and has the names of the provincial assembly members.  What is Government going to do about it?  Will these people be compensated or receive what is due to them, if the assemblies are not yet in place?  We need to be transparent because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land which should be followed at all cost.  There is a lot of legislation that has not been aligned to the Constitution.  When will this take place?  I have realised that the provincial assemblies would have been helpful in the sense that we are worried about the roads and the poor road network, if the provincial assemblies were in operation, they would have assisted in ensuring that the roads are resurfaced and addressed.  They would know that in Manicaland, this is not in order, in Midlands, they would outline the situation in terms of what is going on there.  So, this is an important issue that was raised by Hon. Ncube.

We need to ensure that the provincial assemblies come into operation as it is in the Constitution and I appeal to the Hon. Minister of Finance to expedite allocation of funds for the provincial assemblies or Governments to commence operation and also that the legislation is aligned to the Constitution.  With these few words, Madam President, I thank you for the time that you have given me.

          HON. SENATOR D. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to talk about devolution.  Those who spoke before me emphasised the need of the establishment of the Provincial Councils.  I also want to add on the issue of the development within the areas.

          If devolution is established and those who are supposed to take office are there, even us Members of Parliament, being members of our Provincial Councils would be able to put some of the issues which we discuss at national level and also getting them from lower Provincial Councils.  We feel it will develop our constituencies much better and faster because it will be our choices as the people who live in those areas.

          For example, Chiadzwa in Mutare, if Chiadzwa had been run by people of Manicaland, and employed many of their people, even if they were part of the thieving of the US$15 billion which is missing;  we know it was going to develop Mutare.  The issue is if I am from somewhere, I take money from Chiadzwa and go and develop my own area.  We should give opportunity to the people of that area to decide what to do with the money, not other people deciding for them and leave their area under-developed. 

          The other thing on the importance of devolution is that not only will people be taking resources for themselves, they will really think of their area.  For example, in Bulawayo if we had mines, the income that would come from those mines would be decided by us.  We would also be saying let us work hard and be like Harare.  Now, it is the people of Harare who are still developing Harare.  Let us give other people a chance also to develop their areas and be proud of their areas.

          On the Zambezi Water Project, if there was devolution, people in Matabeleland were going to sit down and decide what to do because they are the ones in need of water.  Maybe the Gwaai-Shangaani river would have been completed by now.  The problem is they are not deciding for themselves; somebody is thinking of what should be done first.  That project is taking a long time.  So, the devolution of power is very important so that the local people benefit from the development in their area. 

With those few words Madam President, I recommend that can the alignment of the laws be expedited so that people can think for the development of their areas.  If I think of how much people talked about devolution during the COPAC, vanhu vemunzvimbo iyoyo vakafanira kubenefita from zviwanikwa zvemunzvimbo yavo.  I will not forget that.  That is why I think the Mutare people have been let down and we are letting down more people in their areas.

          *HON. SENATOR CHIMHINI: Thank you Madam President.  I only want to add a few words on the motion that was moved by Senator Ncube.  Firstly, this motion is not encouraging conflict among provinces because there are circumstances whereby it might end up creating conflict which can be tribal.  That is not what the motion is about.  The motion is reminding us that in the Constitution, people articulated what they understood by ‘devolution’.  So, I want to say that we are not encouraging development on tribal lines because that causes conflict.  What this motion is about is that we need to be aware that after elections we ended up with Provincial Ministers.

          In my opinion, the Provincial Ministers are basically Provincial Governors.  When I look at it critically, that money should have been used for Provincial Assemblies.  Since we said we want Provincial Councils, the motion is saying we should have those Provincial Assemblies.  I believe that the office of the Provincial Minister has a budget and that budget is using what we got from COPAC.  It needs to be used for the assemblies that were put in place by people.

          Madam President, as we speak, people in Matabeleland, this is an example, a few years ago they were talking of gukurahundi. Their opinion is that the present Government does not consider the development of Matabeleland, which is marginalised.  This issue is reiterated now and again because the people of Matabeleland now have to see for themselves that development takes place.  When they talk about certain issues, all they are saying is that they have their plans as the people of Matabeleland.  What we are saying is that, we should give them the opportunity.

          I have given an example of Matabeleland.  What devolution means basically is for people in a particular area to identify their needs and decide on what to do for their benefit but they should always report to the Central Government.  It is not like they are running a parallel Government.  If it is about resource constraints, it can be budgeted for like what will happen with the Provincial Ministers.  I thank you.

          *HON. SENATOR CHIPANGA: Thank you Madam President.  I would like to add a few words on the issue of devolution.  I am fully aware that it is within the Constitution, but I also understand that if we are to look at our leadership, to say that we need to sit down and have a federation for each region to run its own affairs and report to the Central Government, I do not see that as an ideal situation.  There is also the idea that came out that if Chiadzwa had been run by the people in Manicaland; the General Managers and the others from Manicaland and that if they had abused the $15 billion, the situation would be okay because that would have assisted in building and putting in place universities. I do not think we can have a Government that we can influence each other to go and abuse funds and corrupt tendencies and do whatever we want.

          I want to disagree with Hon. Chimhini that it seems like we are saying we tend to be separating regions on tribal grounds, but this is what devolution is talking about, considering our levels of politics. If we say those in Mashonaland should see to their own development, what it then means is that those in Mashonaland East will have their granite and develop their area before money goes to the central Government. All countries that are facing conflict in Africa, it is because of the fact that we see ourselves for-example in Manicaland, the Manyikas see themselves as the Manyikas and not the people of Zimbabwe. If you heard when the motion was moved there is that spirit of selfishness that if we are given that power, we can develop our own area. In the end you will realise that the money that is acquired will not go to the central Government.

          Madam President, you know that Nigeria attained independence in 1961 and up to now no one really knows the population of Nigeria. If you want to do a census, if the correct figure is revealed then people will not get what they want from the central Government. Up to today they are breaking up into smaller, separate states. In Nigeria it was from the state to the provinces. What they now want is an area for Moslems and this breaking up is continuing. In my opinion our country is    very small for us to be arguing over the issue devolution. I do not dispute the fact that it is enshrined in the Constitution but my own opinion is that we are a very small country and we cannot have the same state as in Nigeria. So I do not think it is an issue to discuss devolution and having provincial councils or assemblies.

          Madam President, what people should be aware of is that I believe that the people in this House  are all learned. I am sure it is a fact that there is no money, they requested that the Minister should look for money but the truth is there is no money. The Minister of State does not have  any staff. From my knowledge, the Minister of State is based in the Local Government offices and they do not have a budget for the Minister of State. Yes, it is true they were the former Governors but as mature people, we should conscientise  people in the areas where we come from that the challenges they are facing are financial. We heard Hon. Chinamasa saying that yes, he has the will but finances are not available.

          He further articulated that he does not have the power to take money and allocate it to Matabeleland, Mashonaland or Midlands because there is no money as well. I was thinking that as mature people and MPs we should get to the stage whereby we do not segregate ourselves on tribal or regional lines. We need to get to a stage whereby as Zimbabweans we should see to it that if there is money from Chiadzwa, it should be used in the building of bridges in Matabeleland North or Mashonaland West because this is one country. As we are, if we encourage the issue of devolution, we will end up saying a region with more minerals than the other will demand autonomy until they complete their own programmes. That will create conflict that will lead to a civil war. I think it would be good for us to encourage that if it is in Matabeleland, let us unite and push for the Government to avail money to Matabeleland. Yes, someone alluded to Gukurahundi-it is true that when the conflict occurred Matabeleland lagged behind in terms of development. So when funds are being allocated to regions, more money should  be given to marginalized areas such as Matabeleland. Not that devolution will address this, what will happen is that we will end up fighting over the funds because the money will be going to the chairperson of the province. That money will be inadequate to construct even a bridge and we will end up having quarrels and conflicts if we were to devolve.

          There are regions that are lagging behind in terms of development. Let us all assist each other and decide as a whole in ensuring that we develop the area. This issue of the Zambezi Water Project that was mentioned; that should be a national issue, not just an issue for Matabeleland. That water will not only be going to Bulawayo but it is the development of Zimbabwe. All these years we knew that if you wanted to look for a job, if you were to go to Bulawayo that is where one would get a job because it was an industrial hub. If we were to resuscitate the development of Bulawayo to become the hub of industry, we will have developed Zimbabwe. For us to get a situation whereby we have the Chairperson of a province, and then the money increases and the money that comes from Zambezi Water project, industry will also be resuscitated. My request Madam President is that we should have foresight and not only look at the immediate. I thank you. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I want to urge Hon. Senators to read Hon. Senator’s motion so that when they stand to contribute they actually address the issues which were raised in that motion.  It is an appeal; otherwise I will have to ask Senators to sit down because you will be talking about irrelevant issues.

          *HON. SEN. MARAVA: Madam President I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute.  The issue of re-alignment of laws to the new Constitution is a very important one.  Madam President, the country did a great job for two years whilst coming up with the new Constitution, it is now in place and it is very good; comparing it with other Constitutions in other countries, we have one of the best.

          If you look at the Constitution, people have already said what they wanted, it was written by the people of Zimbabwe and the country at large.  Right now as we speak, the country is listening to what is happening in the Senate. There are others who think what the people articulated should be thrown out through the window or should not be done meaning that it should just be omitted.  However, Zimbabwe has very intelligent and clever people who see more than we do as Legislators.

 Madam President, this is water and the bridge, the Constitution was   written, unless we intend to do an amendment.  Right now, the Constitution stands as it is, as the supreme law of the land.  There is no way to run away from what the people of Zimbabwe said. We are the representatives of the people of Zimbabwe and they should appreciate us together with the Hon. Madam President of Senate. 

          We should uphold what the people said in the Constitution. They requested that there should be Provincial Assemblies or Provincial Councils and this was put in writing.  The reason they said that was because whatever happens in the province, the Provincial Assemblies are quick to react.  It is like how the traditional chiefs operate, they are in their various communities and whatever they see and realise, the Government would have also seen that through them.  So, now if we were to have Provincial Councils to monitor what is happening then the Government will be well advised.

          The issue is that Central Government is not going to be removed, no one is going to be a threat to the Central Governments, as it is the one that runs this land.  The Constitution of Zimbabwe will be read at the Central Government and it will monitor to see if devolution is taking place in Matabeleland, in Midlands or in Masvingo.  There is no reason for us to think that we are a small nation such that all operations should be done from Harare, we will be shooting ourselves in the foot.  We actually said our nation is now big and technology is well advanced, so we have even moved from the three official languages to 16.  That actually shows that we are growing and as we are growing as a nation, let us not be scared of the growth that is taking place.

          So Madam President, we should not talk about the Constitution, we should be asking ourselves if we are in line with the Constitution.  If we realise that this is not working we will still amend and remove that law.  We cannot say it is not possible and cannot be implemented, yet we have not even tried to implement it, we would have stolen the provision secretly.  So, my request is that we follow what the people said they want which is now enshrined in the Constitution.  That will also make us Hon. Members to be respected, we are here to do the will of the people.  The will of the people is to have Provincial Councils or Assemblies, so that is what we need to do.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: 18th May, 2016

MOTION

RESUSCITATION OF THE ZAMBEZI WATER PROJECT

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Resuscitation of the Zambezi Water Project.

          Question again proposed.

                *HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Madam President for the opportunity that you have given me.  I want to say a few words concerning the motion that was raised by Hon. Sibanda.  The issue of water is a very important because where there is no water, there is no development.  It is true that nowadays we do not get a lot of rainfall, we realise that even if our soil quality is good, even if we have the best farmers but if there is no water; we do not look forward to good yields in order to meet the food and nutrition needs. 

          I want to thank Hon. Sibanda who brought this motion.  We all know that the Zambezi Water Project is an issue that has been mentioned over and over again, but when people were talking about it, they also looked at how people live in those areas.  Most people in Matabeleland - if you look at the area, there is not much water.

 If people were to get water from the Zambezi Water Project, they would get water to engage in agriculture.  On the 7th of May last year, in the Committee that is chaired by Hon. Senator Mumvuri, the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security. We requested for an audit to assess the level of irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe. We got a verbatim report from Hon. Made. The Committee gave us a very important insight. We looked at Bulawayo and realised that there are 32 water bodies through that report. In Harare, we have 50 water bodies, Manicaland 670 and  Mashonaland Central 763 water bodies that are there as we speak. In Mashonaland East, we have 1000 water bodies, Midlands 1600, Masvingo 1000, Matabeleland North 600, and Matabeleland South 600 water bodies.

What it means is that these irrigation schemes, if we had enough rainfall, would irrigate 2 million hectares of land which is very important. If we look at Bhuruwayo, it has the least number of water bodies which are 32.

HON. SENATOR A. SIBANDA: It is not Bhuruwayo, it is Bulawayo. –[Laughter]-

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Makore, you are not speaking in Shona. You are speaking in English and when you talk of water bodies, it is Bulawayo.

*HON. SENATOR MAKORE: I thank you Mr. President. I am sure if you understood what I am saying, you understood it. Considering this motion Mr. President, we realise that if the issue of water has been addressed, that of the Zambezi Project, it would assist us in bringing in a lot of water. The issue of food security is an issue that if a province is to produce enough food, it does not feed its own province, but that food is taken to the various areas in the country. This motion makes us reiterate that the Government Ministry that thought of this project did a good initiative.

We want this project to be completed in order to address the issue of food security. Mr. President, I do not want to say much, but what I am saying is that we have a lot of irrigation schemes in the country. We think that if people were to use irrigation schemes available, there is no reason for us to be found wanting in terms of food security. What it means is that we need to investigate what is happening in those areas that is affecting food security. Furthermore, we also need to ensure that those areas without water are addressed and they engage in irrigation. With these words, I want to thank you.

HON. SENATOR B. SIBANDA: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SENATOR MARAVA: I second.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2016.

MOTION

FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION CHALLENGES

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on malnutrition among urban and rural communities.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SENATOR SHIRI: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank Senator Khumalo who raised this pertinent motion in this House that addresses the issue of nutrition both in urban and rural areas. On the issue of nutrition, for people to enjoy good health and engage in their work, they need to be well fed. Even when babies are in the womb, they need to eat and feed well. Children who are born and are said to be normal weigh about 2.5 kilogrammes and this increases as they grow. A child who gets all the nutritional needs performs better in school. That also includes us if we are healthy, we are able to think and go about our duties in the normal way.

          We realise that in the rural areas, most people underwent programmes whereby the young women were conscientised on nutrition. Every week a day was set aside for that conscientisation on the nutritional food that a child needs and the available food. That knowledge was good and adequate for the nutrition of their growing children. I realise that on TV, there was a programme in Kariba whereby a nutritionist was conscientising the nation on the status of children in the rural areas. They now suffer from kwashiorkor and they are not getting the required nutritional needs. Awareness may not be there but the food is not available and they can be given just sadza or porridge without anything added for nutrition.

In the past, the mothers were taught of ensuring that there is protein and peanut butter. Children would eat pumpkins and make what is known as nhopi and other various traditional foods for them to be well nutritioned. I realise that in urban areas, there is a new perspective and people now undermine traditional foods such as rupiza, maltabella porridge which is not difficult to grow. If there is little rainfall, these small grains are the ones that thrive in such climates. I have also experimented, ploughed a small area of these small grains and this is what I was able to harvest because of the limited amount of water. So, awareness is required to ensure that people look at the nutritional needs.

          If you look at things like sorghum and rapoko, those crops do not need a lot of water and have high nutritional value because they are not refined foods. They also have a lot of roughage that is needed by our bodies. Such crops also have natural sugars and there is no need to add sugar if you do not want it. Now, in the urban areas, most people take refined foods such as Parlenta mealie meal, fresh chips and other foods that do not have any nutritional value. What we urge is that we as the leaders, as we meet the people in our communities, we should emphasise on the need of nutritional foods for the children. if there is a drought like what we are experiencing now, we should not only take maize but food like beans, kapenta and other food that add to nutritional balance because if children end up with kwashiorkor, it will affect them.

There is also awareness that is needed for parents in rural and urban areas. The issue of the environment, where a child is raised is important. The environment affects a child if there are no hygienic conditions. A child can have diarrhoea or other diseases because of the unhygienic environment. Most of the children who lose their lives fail to get food with a nutritional value to build their bodies. As a result, they become weak and when they are weak and are affected by a particular ailment or disease, it quickly affects them and they die.

There is also a programme that has been embarked on, on school feeding. The children will be given nutritious food, before they used to give us mahewu with nutritious value. As we were growing up, we were also given milk and buns but today, because of the different social background, some people come from very poor families such that children go on empty stomachs and return without eating anything. This actually affects their performance. What we urge is that in this era of unemployment, economic challenges and where money is difficult to get from the banks, let us have alternatives such as farming to ensure that our families are well fed. The farmers we cannot say that they do not have the knowledge but they have little knowledge and need more capacity building on diversification of crops and also on nutritional needs, and should therefore engage in farming of other traditional foods such as muboora .

I was also concientised that it is good to have a schedule of meals for the week such that even the father knows what the family should have on a particular day. This should be a variety of foods to build the body with nutritional values. Today, the different dishes, especially traditional ones, should be emphasised and promoted because those are the foods that improve the nutrition of the children. We might talk about the issue of nutrition now and again, but what we want is we want to keep encouraging others that even those who are well nourished need food with the proper balanced diet. Some have the food but cannot prepare the food, there is also a gap and they need capacity building in how to cook the food. If food is not cooked properly, it can also affect children’s nutrition.

So, programmes should be done in our various constituencies to ensure that the issue of nutrition is addressed and that concientisation should be ongoing. We need to educate our people that nutrition is important and also outline the correct amounts as well as having a balanced diet in the different available foods. I want to thank the seconder of the motion on nutrition. If we look at ZIM ASSET, that is actually what it promotes, for us to grow everything that we use. For us to be strong, good looking, well dressed and healthy, it is because of the food. As a nation, we need to promote this and promote the issue of nutrition and also, for our children to grow up healthy and well nourished. I thank you.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 133RD ASSEMBLY OF THE INTERPARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU)

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the   Zimbabwe Delegation Report on the 133rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2016

MOTION

REHABILITATION OF WAR SHRINES AND RECOGNITION OF DEPARTED WAR LIBERATORS

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion calling for rehabilitation and maintenance of War Shrines.

          Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2016.

MOTION

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT AS CHAIRMAN OF AFRICAN UNION

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion to congratulate His Excellency, the President, Cde. R. G. Mugabe and the Government of Zimbabwe, on successfully leading the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as Chairperson.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI:Thank you Mr. President.  I rise to support the motion which was introduced by Sen. Chief Musarurwa and seconded by Sen. Mavhunga.  Most of the people who have spoken before me commended the success of the leadership of His Excellency in the past year.

          I just want to emphasise a few points on his leadership of the AU.  First of all, it was befitting that he led the AU because he was one of those who witnessed the formation of the organisation way back together with the likes of Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Haile Selassie and others.  Therefore, it was befitting that he took a turn to lead this organisation.  Above all, His Excellency, President Mugabe depicts certain qualities or characteristics, which made him to lead this organisation successfully.  I will point out some of them.

          His Excellency believes, Africa is for Africans and that is one of his characteristics which made him to be a successful leader.  He believes that Africans should benefit from the African Continent’s resources.  He speaks for all other Africans, those who admire him and those who do not.  However, he makes his point very clear.

          During his leadership, he managed to introduce the concept of ZIM ASSET in the African Continent.  He urged and appealed to the other leaders to adopt one of our four clusters, value addition and beneficiation.  He urged them not to export raw materials without adding value.

          The other characteristic is that he believes that Africans should solve their own problems where necessary, if not all the time.  During his tenure, he competently handled the civil conflicts in Lesotho and Madagascar and there is now relative peace in those states.  He carries liberation credentials; we all know that he fought the liberation war of this country and came to lead this country and he is still the President.  He is admired for a strong character which makes him a good leader and a powerful negotiator; he does not budge when he makes his stand. He wants the West to agree on the Zimbabwean or African terms, not their own terms. 

          Another characteristic is that he exposed some of the hypocrisy of the Western and other nations, especially the International Criminal Court (ICC).  The ICC mostly targets African leaders.  The President told the Kenyan President not to even attend the court session in the Hague because there are other people who have crimes which have not been tried by the ICC.  I think that gives a mark of a Statesman who speaks his mind clearly on such issues. 

The case in point is that of the former President of the United States of America, George Bush and Tony Blair of Britain; their activities in Afghanistan, Libya and other countries where no one raised a finger about that. However, only President Mugabe can do that – [HON. SENATORS:Hear, hear.] – He also believed and he still believes in African potential, that the African people have the capability, mentally and physically, coupled with the natural resources around them, to build their own economy.  This can only be done if we channel them well and we can progress.  We should not let the resources be taken outside our borders and be used by outsiders.  The President also believes strongly on the issues of environment and climate change.  During his tenure, he attended several fora on climate change and environmental development.  Those qualities made him a better leader than someone who does not appreciate those issues.

The other characteristic or attribute which I can mention is that he opposes non-African practices, especially the gay and lesbian practices.  He is very vocal about that and he does not give in – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – We all support that.  It is not African.  During his tenure, he managed to influence other leaders to follow that and speak vocally against that.  An example is the President of Uganda, Yoveri Museveni, he came out in support of our President to say that this practice is not African.  He indicated that even if it means we do not get support from the West because we have banned gays and lesbian practices, it was not an issue.  The other one was the Gambian leader who also appreciated the stance by the President.

The other attribute is that the President is a practical Pan African.  During his tenure, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Conference was successfully held in Victoria Falls and it was a success.  In his farewell address to the AU in Ethiopia recently when he was relinquishing the Chairmanship, His Excellency demanded the reform of the United Nations Security Council.  He stood his ground and said, he urged the United Nations to introduce more African states into the Security Council so that they can also occupy seats.

We are a very big continent but we are not represented at the UN Security Council, he challenged that the current position is not fair and he said that. The continued attendance he said, by the main over 55 states at the UN General Assembly each year have become just a routine and useless because they have no voice in their own affairs. It is a case of where the destiny and the interest of the majority  are determined by the minority who yield  all the power at the expense of the majority who have got the membership to determine the course of the organisation.

          For that pronouncement, he was given a standing ovation during his address in Addis Ababa, everyone was there to see that he was talking sense. While I am on that one, it takes only people to be convinced that we have got a good leader who led the AU and who is leading us. Others already admire our President to say if we can just borrow him for just a month, he would change everything in our country. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- that is what they say. I want to be heard in silence please. All these successes were achieved through His excellent qualities stated above and have earned our nation great pride.

          I was just concluding I said all these successes which I have mentioned above have been achieved through his excellent qualities that I have stated and our nation has earned great pride through that. For the effort and sacrifice, we as a nation are very grateful for the President’s leadership and wise counsel which he offered during the tenure of the AU. I want to thank you. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          *HON. SEN. MATIIRIRA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to congratulate our Head of State and Government. I want to start by thanking Hon. Chief Musarurwa for raising the motion which was seconded by Hon. Sen. Mavhunga. Mr. President, I want to thank President Mugabe for the great work and for a job well done. He is not the first leader of AU as he was chosen as the Chair of AU; he saw it necessary to leave a mark at the AU and that is what makes us proud as Zimbabweans. The President diligently performed his duties which was a good reflection to all countries and all countries were pleased with that and this gives us great pride.

As Hon. Sen. Mumvuri has said, there is a lot that was achieved in various countries during the President’s tenure of office. Even us as Zimbabweans, we witnessed a lot of issues that he sheared with other countries. We as women were also represented during his tenure of office. So, at this time we want to congratulate the President for the job well done which left a legacy and a mark because such a leader is a leader with wisdom and was able to influence the countries of Africa. During his period of tenure, us as Zimbabweans and other countries in Africa were able to learn a lot, which helps us as African countries and which gives us great pride as Zimbabweans.

I want to say President; congratulations for the legacy that you left through a job well done during your tenure of office as the Chairperson of the AU. We want to thank the President that he brought us pride as the children of Zimbabwe.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Hon. Sen. Matiirira.

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

          HON. MOHADI: I second.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE 38TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Zimbabwe Delegation Report on the 38th Plenary Assembly of the SADC-Parliamentary Forum.

          Question again proposed.

          SENATOR MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank all the people who contributed during this Report. It was a very important Report and really some other people may be did not understand what it meant. For those who had to take their time and do some research, I would like to thank them; especially, my first thanks goes to Hon. Machingaifa who seconded this Report even though he is not a member of SADC, but through his understanding, he had to contribute a lot. I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Makore, he also contributed on this motion, not forgetting Hon. Chimbudzi as well as Hon. Sen. Ncube. You should feel that I have realised that even though you are not members but you understood what we were talking about.

Mr. President, in future I just want to urge members of this august House that if ever a Report is brought, not only the SADC Report but any other Report, they should do some research so that they become used to what will be taking place not only in Zimbabwe but elsewhere.

With these few words, I move for the withdrawal   of the motion.

          Motion, with leave, withdrawn.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President.  I rise to debate the motion on the Presidential Address which was introduced by Senator Tavengwa and his seconder.  It is quite some eight or so months back when this address was made and now I want to debate it after some activities have taken place.

          In his address to Parliament, on the occasion of the Official Opening of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe, which was on the 16th September 2015, His Excellency outlined several measures that were to be introduced, debated and implemented.  Some of these are underway and they are going on.  Among them was the education sector in which the President said, “The provision of quality education remains a key priority on the national development agenda”.  The entire primary and secondary school curriculum is now being revised as we all know to render it or to render the country’s education system to become appropriate for the current needs of the country and our aspirations and future development of this nation.

          Now, in line with this development which is going on, the line Ministries have embarked on the development of the new curriculum which is now at an advanced stage and we want to appreciate that.  Part of the new curriculum has introduced the National Pledge.  In my view, it transcends all political, religious and ethnic divisions, it embraces everything.  I therefore, see nothing wrong with it.  In fact it does not take away any commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and it was taken from the preamble of the new Constitution.

          Briefly, I want to summarise what the preamble says.  It expresses and acknowledges colonial injustice, honours the sacrifice of men and women who fought to overcome the injustices.  It also looks to the future with a resolve to live in a democratic society; based on the rule of law, hard work, respect for the employment of the fundamental human rights and freedoms, unity and natural resources and attain prosperity for all citizens of this country.  That is a summary from the Constitution of Zimbabwe. 

          The past few weeks, there has been debate going on either for or against the Pledge, I am adopting a positive attitude to try and convince the Senators why we should adopt the National Pledge.  Having read through it myself, the National Pledge does not contain any wording which tries to usurp the authority of Christ in every sphere of our lives.  Mind you,  I am acknowledging that we are 90% Christian in Zimbabwe and that keeps us united.  Go to other countries, you find that where there is division of religion,  there are conflicts, endless ones; Moslems on the North and Christians on the South, it goes on and on.  Here, we are lucky, although I am acknowledging the existence of other religions but I want to pray that Zimbabwe remains as it is, as Christians.

          Mr. President, the Bible itself does not forbid the pledging of allegiance to our nations and their sacrifices at all.  The Bible actually states that where there is no vision, the people perish, we must have a vision.  This National Pledge is trying to give us a vision.  It is therefore in line with this philosophy that we have crafted as Government in this pledge. 

The National Pledge, in all fairness, is derived - as I said, from our Constitution which was unanimously adopted in 2013 by more than 90% of the population of Zimbabwe.  It was basically extracted from the Preamble, as I said, of our Supreme Law of the Land.  The National Pledge is a formalised promise, there is nothing wrong in making a promise which our children are asked to make at the start of each day before they start their work.  Commitment and dignity to hard work and honesty sound very noble in all aspects and indeed makes the pupils focused throughout the day when they are working at school.  The Constitution directs the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to promote public awareness of the same Constitution in its programmes and therefore this Ministry is doing exactly that.

The National Pledge aims to enable the children and all of us to respect the sacrifice of fellow Zimbabweans who participated in lost lives in pursuit of the liberation of this country, whose independence we enjoy today.  This is why we are seated and debating in this august House, otherwise we might not have been there.

In a similar fashion Mr. President, I want point out that about a decade ago, Solom Mutsvairo, an educationist and author wrote words to the Zimbabwe National Anthem.  The words which are therein clearly reflect the nation’s brave sacrifice for its land, fought for independence and fills many of us with emotions when we are singing the Anthem.  So in a similar fashion, we are saying the point is that there was no furore then when it was written but now suddenly, people are objecting to some of the text in the national pledge but these are similar. Pledging allegiance to the flag is but a form of paying respect and honour to our country as we are commanded to do so.

          The fundamental aspect of the national pledge is not only peculiar to Zimbabwe but is also found in many other countries across the globe. For example, our neighbour the Republic of South Africa, United States of America, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Singapore and many others. In fact, the UK Anthem or national pledge offers allegiance to the Queen directly who is a person and not even God.

          So I am saying to these people, let us approach the issue of national pledge with rationale and see the similarities and the good of it. Before I conclude, I am proposing that in the near future, we should all learn the national pledge and fuse it into the prayer which is read out in this august Senate so that it makes meaning. It has got less strong words than the National Anthem. So, I see nothing wrong about this one. These are some of the developments which the President announced that they must go on and be implemented.

Before I sit, I would like to say the other development in education is that the two line Ministries have also come up with the STEM Project which we all know. It is geared towards producing experts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and in turn, which can develop this country economically. The STEM Programme which is being done at the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development for those people to concentrate on Science subjects, and STEM is an acronym of the subject I have mentioned here.

So, we should get ourselves acquainted with it and try to encourage our children to adopt science subjects. Otherwise, we are building universities which are Science oriented but we do not have the candidates to enrol there if we do not teach them from primary and secondary level. I thank you Mr. President.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): Thank you Mr. President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2016.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU), the Senate adjourned at Four Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 17 MAY 2016 VOL 25 NO 50