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SENATE HANSARD 20 DECEMBER 2016 VOL 26 NO 20

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 20th December, 2016.

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

PRAYERS

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

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): Thank you Madam President.  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

         

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st December, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 68TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENT UNION

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the delegation to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st December, 2016.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE STATUS OF CHILDREN’S HOMES

 

          Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on the status of Children’s Homes.

          Question again proposed.

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

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st December, 2016.

MOTION

SECOND REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

          Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Early Child Marriages.

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: Thank you Madam President for affording me this opportunity to raise my voice on the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Makore and his Committee.  I listened to some Hon. Members when they were debating and others who were talking outside this august House about early child marriages.

          I was disturbed because at one time I thought that these were White people who were speaking.  I say so because the debate was sophisticated; those that debated in this House talked about child marriage and the age of consent as separate things.  Basically, they meant that whilst one can consent to sexual intercourse, they are not eligible to marriage.  If Cecil John Rhodes was still alive and heard you pursuing his wishes, he would have been happy that they had achieved their purpose of letting Africans think like Whites.  Outlawing the consent to sex at the age of 15 or 16 and getting married at 18 years is not African.

          Go to your constituencies and tell parents that their children are free to behave as they wish and will marry at 18 or above and see if you will get any support.  If there is an age of consent, why then should you cry foul that young girls are having sex with old men?  That is the consent that we are talking about that a young girl and a man as old as her grandfather can consent to sex but you come here and mourn over that.  Age of consent, what exactly do you mean?  We should reason out as Africans.

          Age of consent applies to the other type of marriage which is not customary.  We have always had our customary marriage which suited us well.  If age of consent or consensual sex is good, why do you want to outlaw polygamy because you are saying polygamy is the root cause of child marriage?  Polygamy is never imposed upon any person; they go into the union willingly.  We should not teach each other wrong things here.  This is an august House, we should tell the truth, like I am doing now.  For the past six months or more, the truth has not been coming out.  As Africans, we should speak the truth so that this can add value to our culture and tradition, from Plumtree to Kazungula; Beitbridge to Mount Darwin, you will never find a parent who allows children to behave as they please and then they marry at the age of 18.  What is marriage then?

          Other schools of thought, say Komba rites violate the children’s rights and independence.  How can a child be independent whilst using other people’s resources and at the same time allowing that child to have consent to sex?  We should come up with laws that are applausable, that help to enhance our culture.  Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that are donor driven come with such ideas like age of consent and the issue of marriage.  In our African culture, go to any neighbour or communal home, if you have sex with anyone’s daughter even in the bush, she automatically becomes your wife.  That is marriage and this is all about it.  If you do not want to get married you should never have sex with someone’s daughter.  I believe in future when you come to this august House, in this Chamber or the other Chamber and advocates I hear on radio and television; they talk of age of consent.  We should panel beat our brains and there should be a paradigm shift.  We should speak as Zimbabweans who have their own culture, value and norms that we respect.

          Donors bring funding but they give you problems.  After passing such laws there will be chaos because children can tell you that they are independent, they can consent to sex.  From a definition of youth, a father who is 35 years is a youth and a child who is at university is a youth and so, we should come up with workable solutions, things that enhance our development as a country.  I have already said that we should not just think about the SADC region or the African Union or the United Nations, we should think of ourselves. In the Middle East where they apply Sharia Law and polygamy, they do that - they do not care what their donors will say because that is their culture.

          If you go and sell dagga or marijuana in certain areas they will kill you because that is unlawful in terms of their laws. We should be strong willed and stand resolute behind our culture. We should not be easily swayed; we must remain steadfast whether we are Zezuru, Karanga or Ndebele.  I thank you Madam President.  – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- 

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

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 22nd December, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 39TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the delegation to the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Madam President, I move that the debate be now adjourned.

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: I second.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st December, 2016.

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

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 20 DECEMBER 2016 VOL 26 NO 20