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SENATE HANSARD 21 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 64

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 21st June, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

OPEN LEARNING CENTRE CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOPS

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: I have to  remind the House that the Open Learning Centre is inviting Chairpersons of Committees to two and half day capacity building workshops on Friday, 23rd June and Monday, 26th June, 2017 at the Meikles Hotel, Mirabelle Room, from 0800 hours to 1400 hours on each day.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 40TH PLENARY SESSION OF THE SADC – PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the 40th Plenary Session of the SADC – Parliamentary Forum held in Harare, Zimbabwe from 3rd to 15th November, 2016.

HON. SEN. TAWENGWA:  I second.

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

1.0     INTRODUCTION

1.1     In line with Strategic Goal Number Seven (07), the Role of Parliament in National Development, the strategy to analyse and debate policies and legislation for national development, the 40th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum was convened in Harare, Zimbabwe from 03 to 15 November 2016 under the theme, “Statelessness in the SADC Region”.  Thirteen countries (13) countries were represented at the Plenary which included: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

1.2           The delegation from Zimbabwe which was led by  Hon. Advocate J. F. Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, comprised the following Members of Parliament:-

Hon M. Mutsvangwa, Member of Parliament;

Hon. Dr. S. Mukanduri, Member of Parliament;

Hon. T. Mohadi, Member of Parliament;

Hon. I. Gonese, Member of Parliament, and

Hon. J. Toffa, Member of Parliament.

1.3           The following Members of Parliament attended the Plenary Assembly as observers:-

Hon. J. Passade, Member of Parliament;

Hon. J. Mhlanga, Member of Parliament;

The late Hon R. Bunjira, Member of Parliament; and

Hon. E. Murai, Member of Parliament.

1.0           OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY

2.1.1 KEY NOTE ADDRESS BY HON. E.D. MNANGAGWA, VICE-PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

2.1.2 Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa, the Vice-President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, officially opened the 40th Plenary Assembly.  In his address, Hon. Mnangagwa commended SADC PF for identifying “Statelessness” as the central theme of the 40th Plenary Assembly as it is critical in ensuring the final ratification and implementation of the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of the Movement of Persons of 2005.

2.1.3 The Vice-President outlined the challenges associated with statelessness which include difficulties in travelling, marrying and accessing education and health care.  He  implored on SADC Member States that have not acceded to or domesticated the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness,  to ensure that this is       done speedily.

2.1.4 On the recurrent topic of SADC PF’s quest to transform itself into a regional Parliament, the Vice-President, encouraged Member States to lobby their Foreign Affairs Ministers to include the matter on the agenda of the next SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government. 

2.1.3 STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE REGIONAL WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS (RWPC)

2.1.4 Hon. Dr. Patricia Kainga Nangozo reiterated the fact that women bore the brunt of statelessness through lack of gender neutral citizenship laws.  Dr. Kainga indicated that women lose their citizenship upon marriage to foreigners and are unable to pass on their citizenship to their children.

2.1.5 The Plenary Assembly was informed that there is incontrovertible           evidence that when women are in charge of politics and the economy, great improvements are realised in the socio-economic conditions of a country.

2.1.6 Finally, she advocated for fifty percent gender equality to be a reality, applauding Zimbabwe for introducing a quota system which tremendously contributed to the participation of women in Parliament.

2.1.4 ADDRESS BY DR. E. CHIVIYA, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE SADC PF

2.1.4.1   In his address, Dr. Esau Chiviya applauded Zimbabwe for hosting the Plenary Assembly for a record fifth time, which spoke to Zimbabwe’s commitment to the values of the SADC PF.  He implored Member States to seriously consider the transformation of the Forum into a regional Parliament and commended the ninety three percent turn - out to the 40th Plenary Assembly Session.

2.1.5 HON. NJOBVUYALEMA’S STATEMENT

2.1.5.1   Hon Njobvuyalema, the outgoing Vice-President of the SADC PF, lamented the failure by the regional body to attain the goal of transforming into a regional Parliament and urged the Forum to intensify efforts for that transformation.

2.0           SYMPOSIUM ON THE THEME: “STATELESSNESS IN THE SADC REGION”

3.1.1.            Five (5) resource persons made presentations on the theme and these included:-

 -       Mr. R. Tabagwa, the Country Representative from the United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR) in Zimbabwe;

-        Mr.  M. Reuss, the Senior Regional Protection Officer on Statelessness of           the UNHCR in Southern Africa;

-        Mr. T. Mabonga, an Associated Protection Officer of the UNHCR in Zimbabwe;

-        Ms. I. Matambanadzo, a Gender Specialist, and

-        Ms. L. Muller, the Director of Statelessness Programme and Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa.

3.2    It was noted that Statelessness is a global problem affecting about 10 million people without nationality. In Southern Africa, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are stateless.

          3.3    Causes of Statelessness emanate from forced displacements, inaccessibility of services by public administrations, disintegration of traditional family bonds, discrimination on the grounds of gender and non-recognition of migrant workers, among others.

          3.4    The impacts of Statelessness include lack of identity for the affected persons, challenges in getting married, denial of property rights, and inaccessibility to social services such as health, education and restrictions of movement, among others. The most affected groups are women, children, refugees and migrant workers, who in times of conflict and upheaval, experience amplified levels of sexual violence. The Plenary noted that women carry a disproportionate responsibility in raising children conceived out of conflict situations.

          3.5    National governments were urged to scale up political commitment to address specific vulnerabilities of stateless women and children in a humanitarian manner.

          3.6    International and regional agreements which protect the rights of stateless include the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness as well as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. 

          3.7    National Parliaments were called upon to accede to these instruments, support the drafting, adoption and ratification of protocols and work towards the development and adoption of a SADC Ministerial Declaration and Action Plan on Statelessness. Parliaments within the region were implored to note the vacuum in the appropriate and enabling legislation to mitigate and eliminate the root causes of statelessness and initiate legislative reforms that address identified gaps or challenges, including discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, thereby helping to prevent statelessness.

          3.8    In their individual capacities, Parliamentarians were urged to join the “I belong” campaign which is a Global Plan of Action to End Statelessness by 2024, spearheaded by the UNHCR.

3.0            MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Committee deliberated on the following matters:-

4.1    Parliamentary Studies Institute (PSI)

4.1.1   Firstly, to ensure sustainability of the PSI, it was agreed that funding for the Institute would be drawn primarily from Member contributions instead of co-operating partners only. Secondly, a resolution was made to write formal letters to Members of the Executive in Zimbabwe that include Hon. E.D. Mnangagwa, Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Hon. Prof.  J. Moyo, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, notifying them on the location of (PSI). It is trite to note that the University of Zimbabwe was identified as a suitable venue of the (PSI).

4.2    Election to the SADC-PF Executive Committee

4.2.1   Hon. Fernando de Pledade Dias dos Santos, Speaker of the National Assembly of Angola took over the Presidency of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, deputised by Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa of Zimbabwe.

4.3           Annual Contributions by Member States

4.3.1    It was agreed that the mode of currency for annual contributions by Member Parliaments should remain as the Namibian dollar or the South African Rand.  Member States were urged to settle outstanding arrears of subscriptions by the first quarter of 2017. As at 04 November, 2016, Zimbabwe had settled all outstanding contributions to the Forum.  It was also agreed that the Forum should establish a timeframe with a grace period for payment of subscriptions, after-which a defaulting Member will be suspended and re-admitted upon clearance of all outstanding contributions.

4.3.2 The Annual Mandatory Contributions for the financial year 2017/18 were maintained as those of the 2016/17 financial year, with each Member Parliament contributing ZAR 1,430,000.00, except for the Parliament of Seychelles whose contribution was pegged at ZAR 121,000.00.

5.0    TREASURER’S REPORT

5.1    Increament in Annual Member Contributions

5.1.1 The Plenary agreed that Member States should consult with their national governments regarding the proposal for a 10% increament in Annual Mandatory Member contributions, and to give a response before the end of 2016.

5.1.2 Approval of the Budget of 2017/2018 Budget

5.1.3 A budget, outlining the estimates of revenue and expenditure for the 2017/18     financial year was approved.        

6.0     LAUNCH OF THE SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING CHILD MARRIAGES AND PROTECTING THOSE IN MARRIAGE

6.1           Statement by Hon. J. Njobvuyalema, Outgoing Vice-President of the SADC PF

        6.1.1 Hon. J. Njobvuyalema, highlighted the importance of the Model Law in protecting the rights of the girl-child both in and outside marriage.  Some of the rights in the Model law relate to access to family planning services, education and other entitlements to uplift the socio-economic well-being of the girl-child. Hon. J. Njobvuyalema appealed to the legislators to develop strategies to popularise the Model law in their countries for effective implementation.

6.2   Solidarity Message by Melissa Kubvoruno a Nineteen (19) year old girl (Girls Champion and Ambassador for Ending Child, Early and Forced Marriage: Rozaria Memorial Trust)

In her solidarity message, the nineteen year old, young woman urged the Parliamentarians to address the following:-

6.2.1 Domestication of the SADC Model law so that it becomes an authoritative source of law.

6.2.2 Enactment of a single marriage law to ensure clarity on the rights of the girl-child.

6.2.3 Implementation of commitments in the SADC Model law in order to address the social and economic issues that influence child marriages.

6.3    Launch of the Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting those Already in Marriage

6.3.1 Hon. E.D. Mnangagwa, Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, officially launched the Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting those Already in Marriage on 12 November, 2016.

6.3.2 In his statement, the Vice-President alluded to the importance of the Model law as an essential tool to provide evidence-based information on how SADC countries can address child marriages, in light of inadequate or sometimes conflicting related legal instruments. The Vice-President outlined that the Model law could easily be adopted or adapted by the SADC Member States as they reform or develop legal instruments and policies pertaining to Child Marriages. Given that the Model law is now recognised as a working document, the Vice-President encouraged the SADC PF Secretariat to consider transforming it into a SADC Protocol on Child Marriages. 

6.3.3      In order to raise awareness on the Model law, SADC PF was encouraged to organise workshops with key stakeholders, which included Parliamentarians and the media. 

7.0                       PLENARY SESSION

7.1         In tandem with its constitutive mandate, the 40th Plenary   Assembly deliberated and resolved on various issues of regional importance and concern as set out in the Executive Committee Report, Reports of the Standing Committees and the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and Members’ motions.

          7.1.2   Motion for the Adoption of the Prevalence of the dual Epidemic of Tuberculosis (TB) and Diabetes around the World

          7.1.3 The motion was moved by Hon. Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam of South Africa, seconded by Hon. Jasmine Toffa of Zimbabwe.   The motion noted that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Report of 2016, T.B. still poses a serious public health concern despite major progress in reducing TB cases and deaths in the past two decades. The WHO also predicts that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.

          7.1.4   To address this challenge Member States were called upon to:-

i.                    Commit themselves in addressing TB-Diabetes at an African and SADC level by kick-starting discussions on how this new health challenge that is likely to surpass the challenge of TB-HIV in the future can be addressed.

ii.                  Establish a regional collaboration mechanism to conduct surveys, detect and manage TB disease prevalence among people with diabetes and vice-versa.

iii.                Develop monitoring and evaluation tools to regularly assess the implementation and efficacy of such collaborative mechanisms.

iv.                Consolidate, domesticate and implement various instruments to address TB-Diabetes.

7.1.5 The Plenary Assembly, therefore, urged Member States to commit themselves to bring the TB pandemic to an end and ensure a reduction in mortality rates from non-communicable diseases including diabetes.

7.1.6 The Plenary Assembly adopted the motion.

7.2   Motion for the Adoption of the Tackling Hunger in Southern Africa

7.2.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Lukamba Paulo of Angola, seconded by Hon. Elias Enock Luka of Malawi.  Sustainable agriculture was identified as a key factor in ensuring food security in the SADC region.  It was noted, however, that the region has a number of trade barriers militating against full agricultural production.

7.2.2 In this regard, the Plenary resolved that:-

7.2.3 Investment in agriculture is key to development in the region.

7.2.4 Parliaments are encouraged to ensure adequate budgetary support to the agricultural sector to ensure food security.

7.2.5 Member Parliaments to ensure the existence of policies which promote investment in agriculture at household level as a developmental strategy and prioritize the allocation of arable land to small households.

7.2.6   Member States to prioritise capacity-building from lower grade professionals to higher education graduates in agriculture and veterinary services, with a view to modernise agricultural production.

7.2.7  There is need for a deliberate empowerment programme for farmers, which includes availing the means of production such as affordable farming implements, tractors and inputs, seeds and irrigation equipment.

7.2.8 The Plenary Assembly adopted the motion.

7.3    Motion for the Adoption of the Need for SADC Member States to Expedite the Signing and Implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA) aimed at creating an Enlarged Market Extending from Cape to Cairo.

7.3.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Jasmine Toffa of Zimbabwe and seconded by Hon. Ernest Yahaya of Malawi.

7.3.2 The motion focused on the strategies of facilitating Inter-Africa trade to ensure that citizens derive maximum benefits from their natural resources by acceding to the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA).

7.3.3 The agreement seeks to create an enlarged market extending from Cape to Cairo.  Non-signatory Members within SADC were encouraged to take the necessary steps to accede to the (TFTA) whose aim is to enhance the exploitation and beneficiation of African natural resources.

7.3.4 The Plenary was encouraged by the fact that 26 African Countries had signed the TFTA.

7.3.5 The need to expedite the ratification process for the TFTA Agreement by Member States in line with their constitutional requirements was noted.

7.3.6 Member States were urged to enhance the beneficiation of their natural resources pursuant to the need to enhance value addition.

7.3.7 The Plenary Assembly adopted the motion.

7.4    Motion on the Negative Impact of Political Violence on Women’s Participation in Politics

7.4.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Dr. Jessie Kabwila of Malawi, seconded by Hon. Shaik Emam of South Africa.  The motion outlined the strides women had made in ensuring their participation in politics but decried the situation where in the majority of SADC countries, women were still experiencing gender-based harassment and violence in politics.

7.4.2 In a bid to achieve gender parity in the political field, the motion called upon Member States to:-

7.4.3 Take targeted political, legal and administrative measures to deal with gender-based violence which discourages women from participating in mainstream politics;

7.4.5 Member States to take note of the negative impact of political violence to women’s political participation and educate political leaders against violence; and

7.4.6 Undertake research on how other countries are addressing political violence, including case studies from Latin American countries.

7.4.7 The Plenary Assembly adopted the motion.

7.5     Motion for the Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes (HSDSP)

7.5.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Shaik Emam of South Africa, seconded by  Hon. Jasmine Toffa of Zimbabwe; and

7.5.2 The report noted that there are laws and policies on Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights that need to be reviewed in 23 countries including some in Southern Africa.

7.5.3  Parliaments need to consider the following areas:-

7.5.4  Provisions relating to the minimum age of consent to sexual activity need to be clearly spelt out in legislation. Conflicting legal systems, particularly statutory and customary laws need to be harmonised. 

         7.5.6  A solution needs to be found on the criminalisation of consensual sexual acts amongst adolescents, where boys end up in prison.

         7.5.7 Legal gaps on the age of consent to medical treatment including access to contraceptives, HIV counselling and testing and termination of pregnancy should be addressed. 

         7.5.8 The sexual and reproductive health and rights for vulnerable adolescents and youth, like those living with disabilities need to be enshrined in law.

         7.5.9 Parliaments implementing SRHR, HIV and AIDS and Governance Project, through the Office of the Speaker, should take the Project seriously and ensure that the activities are implemented timeously to ensure that the Forum maintains its good standing with its cooperating partners.

         7.5.10   Parliamentarians are urged to advocate for the establishment and implementation of strong birth registration systems in their respective countries which will support the effective enforcement of protective legal provisions for children in health rights.

         7.5.11   Member States are urged to move with speed to harmonize the dual legal systems, where they exist, to ensure the expedited elimination of child marriages.

          7.5.12   The Plenary Assembly adopted the motion.

         7.6    Motion for the Adoption of the Report of the Joint Committees on Trade, Industry,  Finance and Investment (TIFI) and that of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR)

         7.6.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi of Zimbabwe, seconded by Hon. Lukamba Paulo of Angola.

         7.6.2 The report focused on the energy crisis which has adversely affected the productivity and competitiveness of SADC economies.  A power deficit which is attributed to inadequate investments in power generation and transmission infrastructure in the past two decades was noted.

         7.6.3 To address this challenge, Member States were encouraged to pool their financial resources together for the development of hydro-power from the Inga Dam, which has the capacity to meet the needs of the African region.

          7.6.4 Member States were called upon to:

         7.6.5  Establish and promote cost effective tariffs which should include safety nets for the poor and disadvantaged in the region.

         7.6.7 Utilise public and private partnerships as well as international financing in order to meet the high cost of investing in energy infrastructure.

         7.6.8 Domesticate and implement the SADC Protocol on Energy (1996), and ensure complimentary but coherent regional visions, policies, plans, strategies, codes and standards.

         7.6.9 Ensure Parliaments use relevant Portfolio Committees to exercise oversight over the energy sector including its policy and institutional framework.

         7.6.10 Member States were encouraged to use Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as well as international financing in order to meet the high cost of investing in the energy infrastructure.

         7.6.11 SADC Parliaments were urged to ensure that the relevant Portfolio Committees on energy play a greater oversight role on the sector and advocate for coherent cross-border regulatory policies.

         7.7    Motion for the Adoption of the Report by Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC)

         7.7.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Dr. Jessie Kabwila of Malawi, seconded by Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa of Zimbabwe. 

         7.7.2 The motion called on Member States to review laws, policies and practices that adversely affect the rights of women and girls as they relate to statehood and citizenship. These groups are highly prone to losing their nationality due to various factors such as forced displacements and gender discrimination.

          7.7.3 The Plenary Assembly resolved that:-

         7.7.4 The SADC PF Secretariat and the Speakers of National Parliaments should monitor and implement the resolutions of the 38th and 39th Plenary Assemblies which highlight the need for gender balance in electoral observation missions sent by respective National Parliaments.

         7.7.5 Parliaments of Malawi and Zimbabwe should be recognised for successfully launching the ‘he-for-she’ solidarity campaigns which seek to advance gender equality in society; and

         7.7.6 Parliaments should monitor budgets to ensure that necessary financial and other resources are directed towards gender equality initiatives and programmes for the implementation of existing and emerging commitments.

         7.8    Motion for the Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Gender Equality, Women’s Advancement and Youth Development

         7.8.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Patricia Kainga of Malawi, seconded by Hon. Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu of Swaziland.

         7.8.2 The motion called on Member States to grant young people and women opportunities to fully participate in national development programmes. Parliaments have a role to allocate adequate budgetary provisions to sectors that empower both women and young girls such as education and health. Furthermore, the Committee proposed that the theme of the next SADC Plenary Assembly should focus on the youth.

         7.8.3 The Committee appealed to the SADC PF Secretariat to implement the institution’s policy on gender balance in all Standing Committees in line with a resolution made at the 39th Plenary Assembly.  Some of the countries that were violating the resolution included the Democratic Republic of Congo        (DRC), Seychelles and Zambia.

         7.8.4 The Plenary Assembly was urged to ensure gender balance in Standing Committees in terms of Rules of Procedure.

         7.8.5 Member Parliaments were urged to ensure that budgets have the necessary financial provisions and resources towards gender equality initiatives and programmes for the implementation of existing and emerging commitments.

7.9  RESOLUTION ON THE AMENDMENT OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE, 12 CLAUSE 3

         7.9.1 Through a waiver of Article 29 (2) of the SADC –PF Constitution which provides that any Member Parliament may submit a proposal to amend the Constitution to the Secretary- General for preliminary consideration by the Executive Committee (EXCO), it was acknowledged that at a special meeting, on Friday 11 November 2016, EXCO agreed to waive the three months’ notice period and resolved that Clause 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the SADC PF be deleted and substituted with the following:-

          “Members of the Executive Committee shall hold Office for a term of two years and shall retire by rotation:  Provided that the former Treasurer, two Presiding Officers and two Ordinary Members, to be nominated by the Executive Committee, shall for transitional purposes, continue to hold Office for a further one year as e-officio Members with full deliberative but no voting rights”.

         7.92  The amendment was adopted.

         8.0    Recommendations

 

Resolution

Action

Timeline

8.1

Revive Negotiations on the Transformation of the SADC PF into Legislative Body

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate J.F. Mudenda, to engage the Minister of Foreign Affairs before the next Plenary Assembly Meeting scheduled for May/June 2017.

01/04/ 2017

8.2

Location of Parliamentary Studies Institute at University of Zimbabwe

The SADC Parliamentary Forum to write to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education advising them of the proposal to set the PSI at the University of Zimbabwe.

The Secretary General has since written to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.

8.3

Raise awareness on the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting those Already in Marriage

Administration of Parliament to distribute copies of the Model Law to all the legislators and conduct training programmes.

 

Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

8.4

Raise awareness on Statelessness

SADC PF legislators to raise awareness on the “I belong” campaign on the prevention and elimination of Statelessness by 2024.

In-time for the next Plenary Assembly.

8.5

Increament in Annual Member Contribution by 10%

The Speaker of the National Assembly to consult the Executive on the capacity of Government to absorb the 10% increament on Annual Contributions by Member States. In the meantime, the annual contribution to be maintained at the 2016/2017 level of ZAR 1, 430, 000, 00.

Before the next Plenary (May/June)

8.6

Budgetary support to Public Institutions on Citizen Registration

Legislators to ensure adequate budgetary support is given to public institutions on citizen registration.

2017 Budget Allocations

8.7

Secretary-General’s Residence

The shortfall for one million Namibian dollars for the purchase of the Secretary-General’s residence should be sourced from the Member States particularly those with outstanding contributions

By December 2017

8.8

Members of Parliament to join the ‘I belong’ campaign.

A global plan of action to end Statelessness by 2024 spearheaded by the UNHCR

On-going

 

 

 

8.9

SADC Protocol on Energy (1996)

Portfolio Committee on Energy to make a follow-up on complementarity in regional power strategies to ensure a shared vision

Before the next Plenary (May/June)

 

9.0.    Conclusion

9.1     Parliament of Zimbabwe was able to successfully host the 40th Plenary Assembly session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum for the fifth time.  This would not have been possible without the support of the Government of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Katswe Sisterhood and the local chapter of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR). The Plenary Assembly created a platform to share ideas and experiences on issues that directly affect the citizens of the region and to promote regional integration. The Forum also created an opportunity for the participants to identify policies and laws that need to be ratified, particularly on the theme of the Plenary.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me an opportunity to second the report on the SADC Parliamentary Forum which was the 40th Session held here in Zimbabwe held from the 3rd to the 15th November in Harare. We are grateful for the report because it was the 5th time that Zimbabwe was hosting the SADC Parliamentary Forum.  I want to further thank those who represented us as Parliament who were led by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda and all other Members of Parliament even those who went as observers. 

          If this is held again in this country, we need more observers.  We realise that most observers were from the National Assembly.  So, when this forum is held again in Zimbabwe because it does not have any financial implications, we would also want to attend so that we get to hear of some of these debates.  Maybe in future you may be selected to go and represent others at such fora. 

          Mr. President I am grateful for fact that when the opening was done at the SADC PF, the Vice President Hon. Emmerson Mnangagwa emphasized on the theme of the Plenary Session which was on statelessness.  We heard that if you are stateless, you are not free to move around. If you do not have documents, it becomes difficult for you to be mobile and you cannot be educated, even accessing medical services, you will not be able to do so.  So, what we are saying is that it is difficult for one to be stateless.  When it comes to marriage, who will receive the lobola because people will be asking who to give the lobola to and where the relatives can be found.  We really support this Mr. President and we thank the Vice President for emphasizing on that issue so that if there are other countries who had not signed the 1954 Convention to consider the status of statelessness in 1951 Convention; they should do so. 

          I had not even been born in 1954 and when these conventions were done in 1961 that is when I was born.  So, it is something that was realised a long time ago.  If there are other countries who have not committed themselves within SADC to sign this protocol in order to end statelessness, they should reconsider.  We want to thank the Vice President as the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for urging the countries to sign the protocol in order to end statelessness.  I also want to thank the Vice President on urging this Senate; we once spoke about this in this Senate that SADC Parliamentary Forum wants to have its own regional Parliament. 

          I am happy that the Vice President also encouraged them to work with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs so that this issue is put on the agenda at the next SADC Head of States Meeting.  I believe this is something that is already underway.  It is also important that adoptions are done in this report on certain laws.  So, it is good if we have a Regional Parliament because as a region, we can have common laws so that when you travel in the region, you are aware of the various legal instruments and laws.  We see it as being important that this lobby be done to ensure that we have a Regional Parliament, not just for you to remain a forum but to do like what happened at the AU, where they now have a Parliament.  These are the words that came from the Vice President and we really applaud him for this.  We also realised that at this plenary session, he also realised that there was the launch of the SADC Model Law on Child Marriages and those already in marriage.

          As we debate this matter, it put us high on the world map as Zimbabwe because it shows that we are ahead.  The Vice President also echoed the same sentiments.  Even the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development is also working on it.  The Women’s Caucus is also moving with the agenda on ending child marriages.  At our various workshops, we are talking about the issues of child marriages and have a mission to eradicate child marriages and also supporting the SADC Model law.  At the launch of the SADC 40th Plenary Session, the person who gave the solidarity message encouraged that we have harmonisation of marriage laws.  He said that we must align our laws so that one law will not contradict another.  We have Chapter 5:11 that permits a monogamous marriage and then we have the other one that allows polygamy whereby a person can join in that marriage as a second wife because they are looking for good living and we also have the traditional marriage.  All these marriages should be brought together and harmonised in line with our Constitution and should put emphasis on the marriageable age of 18 as it is in the Constitution.  This was a 19 year old girl who was urging the countries to take up the SADC Model Law in order to address the issues of child marriages. 

          The other things that are in the SADC Model Law are access to education for children, access to family planning and it is something that will urge us to continue implementing this law.  We are hoping that as Zimbabweans, we will adopt this as a legal instrument and we are ahead of the matter.  I want to thank the SADC Plenary because there were so many recommendations. 

I was proud to hear a number of names of our parliamentarians.  I heard the names of Hon. Toffa, Hon. Sen. Mohadi and Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa.  They are all moving motions and it gives us pride to know that our members are participating.  There were over 13 countries but amongst them we had our members being mentioned.   We also encourage the issue of ending hunger.  In Zimbabwe, we are ahead because we have command agriculture, command wheat production and command livestock.  We are also moving towards command fisheries so we are a step ahead in terms of eradicating hunger.  If we put in mind the issue of nutrition as is always emphasised by Hon. Sen. Khumalo so that we all have nutritious diets; all that was discussed at the SADC 40th Plenary Session.  The issue of establishing linkages from Cape to Cairo was mentioned.  We need to establish those market linkages to sell our wares.  I became over excited when the issue of violence was mentioned especially when considering women who want to venture into politics.  It was realised that in terms of governance, if women are present, there is development.  We heard it being talked about and we should not deny that as a House right now, we are focusing on elections and we are encouraging more women to take up politics but you begin to demonise those women.  That is what we call violence.  It is violent for you to prohibit women from entering into politics.  Mr. President, I am happy that at SADC PF level, they realised the need to bring up such a motion that encourages us as women to take up politics.

However, I cannot conclude without mentioning that as Zimbabwe, we managed to get the Vice Presidency of the forum which is held by Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa and we are applauding this.   It gives us pride that we have people with the capacity.  I would want to thank the debate that we have in this House and we want to thank the Government that when this plenary session was held, we were not in debt.  So, I think that is why we were able to get the Vice Presidency position because before, we were always in debt.  So, I hope that in future we will not accrue debts. 

With these few words, I want to thank you and also give others time to make their contributions.  For the work that was done, we applaud the SADC Parliamentary team.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MAWIRE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I have also stood up to add my voice on the motion before us that was brought by Hon. Sen. Mohadi.  We also want to thank her since she was one of the delegates at the SADC Plenary Session.  Firstly, I would want to congratulate Zimbabwe that for the first time, we are not in arrears because on all reports that were tabled in this House in terms of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, we were informed that Zimbabwe had failed to take part in certain things because they were in arrears or we were told that we are in need of such an amount of money.  So, we want to thank the Government and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development who fought hard for us to pay our subscriptions to the SADC PF. 

I would also want to thank the delegates who represented the nation, debated with others and we also appreciate being a member of the 13 countries of the SADC PF.

We understand that two countries were not there and it is good for us to participate where others dialogue because we also learn a lot and it gives us an oppportlunity to see our weaknesses and our strengths as well.  It is like we can talk about Committees that are going round the country.  When we were going out, we would see that Committees are exposing us to a lot of things that we did not know when we thought that everything was in order.  So, that is the same with some of these countries.  We get that exposure and we share experiences. 

Most of the issues were mentioned by Hon. Sen. Mohadi and some were mentioned by Hon. Sen. Mavhunga, especially on the issue of violence.  The issue of violence is a challenge.  When I heard Hon. Sen. Mavhunga talking about violence, I realised that the Chairperson of the Thematic Committee on Gender was excited and that issue was also mentioned by the Vice President, Hon. E.D. Mnangagwa.  It was on gender based violence and other issues such as early child marriages.  Other children are forced into marriage because of poverty and others are used as payment to appease spirits.  So, when the Chairperson heard this, she was really excited about it and we congratulate you as the issues are being taken on board.  Even the whole of SADC has taken it up because it is an issue that is of regional concern.  So, we want to congratulate the Chairperson and her members of the Gender Committee.

Hon. Member, you mentioned a lot of issues.  You mentioned other policies that were there – about the laws.  When you mentioned it, you did not mention other laws that were amended or what exactly was amended.  I was also happy to learn that all countries in the SADC were also looking at the diseases that have become a menace in this land and I am sure that they will work together in order to end these diseases such as diabetes, TB, High blood pressure as well as HIV/AIDS.  Those are issues that were discussed.  It is encouraging to know that all countries are concerned about this.  Most countries are affected by these diseases and others cannot even access drugs because they are expensive.  So, the fact that these issues were considered, gives us joy in that the SADC PF will look into it and ensure that the drugs become affordable to everyone.

We also want to thank the discussion that was made on the suggestion that the SADC Parliamentary Forum should have its own regional Parliament.  It is a good move because, you will find Members of Parliament from Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi and Kenya all becoming members of the regional Parliament and it will strengthen the region because we will be discussing issues that are affecting the SADC region.

I also want to thank the elevation of Hon. Mutsvangwa as the Vice President.  If the SADC Parliamentary Forum wants to pass certain things, we have our Member who will come and appraise us on what will be happening.

Most times we bemoan issues that, what we say should be done but we have realised that some of the things that we have done have been actioned and implemented already, especially that one of the SADC Model Law.  We debated that issue strongly and the Vice President mentioned it as well as the Minister.  This shows that we are working as a Parliament.  So, we should go and unearth some of these ills so that we bring them to the fore because the issues of gender based violence were discussed here in Zimbabwe and we debated on the matter and now we are waiting for the Bills to come but at the SADC Parliamentary Forum, it was mentioned.  So, we want to thank SADC for that. 

We also want to thank the President of the nation, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces who is always preaching peace.  The SADC Plenary Session would not have been held here for the fifth time had there been no peace in Zimbabwe.  They will be coming to Zimbabwe because Zimbabwe is a peaceful country and everything is there.  We also have tourist attractions and if they want, they can go to Victoria Falls and other tourist resort areas.  So, we really want to thank all that.  I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion.  I would also want to thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi for moving this motion on the Report of the 40th Plenary Session of the SADC PF. As she was reading her report, I realised that it is important that the 15 SADC countries should periodically meet to discuss issues affecting our region. 

She mentioned that 13 countries attended and I am sure reasons were given why the other two were not able to be represented but normally they do attend. What I realised is that sometimes as a nation if we just mention our laws without countries that give us the best practices especially on the issue of statelessness. I heard Hon. Mohadi mention that she is doing a campaign titled “I belong”, which means that when the 15 SADC nations meet for the next Plenary Session, we will see the report. So, the 15 nations will declare war on statelessness and that will assist in ensuring that everyone has documents because all countries will be working together.

That is not the only thing that they are doing. They have also declared war on HIV/AIDS and TB. On the issue of TB, there was a workshop that we attended recently and I realised that as a country we need to do awareness campaigns because TB is affecting people whether you are HIV positive or not. It is a disease that is well known. It started years ago. Even in the Bible it is there. So, as nations we need to assist each other and see what we can do as a region. I see this as a way forward and it will assist us in eradicating some of these diseases as we begin to engage in dialogue as SADC countries.

What I also applaud is the issue of the war that we have started here in Zimbabwe that we do not want early child marriages. The countries in the SADC region have also said no to child marriages. If all countries in the SADC region declare war against child marriages, it is a good move than for us to say in Zimbabwe we do not want it and South Africa says no, we are for child marriages. It becomes a challenge for us to implement that law. So, I am really excited by the work that is being done by the SADC PF.

I want to thank all the Hon. Members of Parliament, Hon. Mohadi and others who are representing us. If there are other areas where we are going wrong, they can identify those and we see how we can solve that and develop. I really appreciated this SADC Plenary Session. Furthermore, it is encouraging to note that these countries are also coming to Zimbabwe to see our country. What made me happy is that the Vice President was there and he showed understanding while encouraging other countries to end the issue of statelessness.

Everyone must belong to a country and everyone should have an identity document. For one to be employed, you know if you leave your House and get on a bus, are involved in an accident and die on the spot, it is difficult to identify you and inform your relatives but as SADC if we declare war against statelessness, I see us developing.

Another issue mentioned was on gender based violence (GBV). I am repeating most of the things that have already been mentioned by the previous speakers. I want to emphasise on gender based violence. I am sure you can see that if 15 countries declare that we do not want gender based violence, do you think we cannot eradicate this? I personally see the eradication of GBV – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.] – If you do not report, it is not our fault. As women, if we are beaten we will rush and report at the nearest police station. You men do not want to report. We are not ashamed, we will go and report. So, if you men are beaten up you should also go and report, and then we will find a way forward.

The issue that was emphasised was that politically if there are men only and there are no women, there is no development because we also have a lot of issues. Long ago, there was an issue that we need to group as women. However, it has been noted that women will always choose a man to represent them. I see the 15 countries educating each other that women are needed at the decision making level. We are not saying that we want to be ahead all the time but we are saying politically; let us assist each other because we are the ones who cook. So, the campaign that is being made by SADC, I support it. I belong and I belong to Zimbabwe. I thank you Hon. Sen. Mohadi.

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

HON. SEN. KHUMALO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd June, 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE NON-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUSTS

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the Circumstances Surrounding the Non-Establishment of Community Share Ownership Trusts in Mudzi and Mutoko districts.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MAKWARIMBA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion that was tabled by the Thematic Portfolio Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment chaired by Hon. Sen. Tawengwa on Non-Establishment of Community Share Ownership Trusts in Mudzi and Mutoko districts.

Mr. President, I think the Government came up with a good initiative on this matter because that is what was assisting our people in rural areas on their development assisted by their natural resources in their communities.  My view is that this programme was not implemented properly in all areas as was anticipated by the Government.  In my view Mr. President, I think the programme was taken but was not clearly laid out as to how it should go in terms of the law.  It was supposed to plug all loopholes that are there in the law.  Most of these people were talking to the qualifying business and some of them are the white minority whom we fought during the war.  Most of them are foreigners.  This means that their mindset of developing the rural area is negative.  It roped in the chiefs.   What happened in terms of implementation pains us because the traditional leaders have lost their authority and power?

Mr. President, the issue of lack of legislation to address the indigenisation and empowerment is of concern.  The Government said all Community Share Ownership Trusts should be done nationwide but in Mutoko and Mudzi, nothing was done.  We did not see any follow-ups being done by the Government to establish why the Trusts for these two districts were not done.  This means there was no legislation in place to do this.  If there was legislation binding them, they could have done this.  Furthermore Mr. President, the whole nation – for those who were able to do share ownership trust and were successful, we see development taking place because we saw schools and clinics built.  Other districts were able to buy rigs to drill boreholes in these communities.  The issue of water challenges has been lessened. 

Mr. President, in other districts, we understand that communities were given cheques of one million dollars and other different amounts but those people did not honour their pledges, after giving the President the cheques to say this is what we are committing ourselves to and those companies are still operating.  No one goes after them, why is that so?  We are greatly pained when we are told that the President stands before the nation – you know wherever the President goes, people come in their numbers and you see the President handed a cheque that does not mean anything.  Ten years later, no one follows up to that commitment or pledge.  What pains me the most Mr. President, is that most companies are foreign.  Why are they not arrested if the law is there?   I think those Trusts are still there and most of the traditional leaders, some of them in here are the chairpersons who were given papers that have nothing. 

We are seated as Government thinking everything went on well.  I was thinking that we need to revisit this matter. If there are loopholes, they should be plugged out.  There should be a law in place that binds and ensures that the indigenisation and empowerment community share ownership trusts are successful.  What is the Ministry of Indigenisation and Empowerment doing to ensure that what was said by Government is done?  If they are not doing it, what is the problem?  That should be discussed.  I was thinking that the Committee, chaired by Hon.  Sen. Tawengwa did not do justice.  They should go to the Community Share Ownership Trusts that were established so that they find out who gave out cheques and made pledges and why they did not honour those cheques.  They should go round the country so that we can call the Minister of Youth and Indigenisation to him accountable as to why these companies did not honour their pledges and obligations.  

We thank them for going to Mudzi but the Committee has assisted us and we need to look deeper into it because this is the tip of the iceberg.  Overally, how can the President be given a cheque which is nothing.  In Masvingo, there is Renco Mine that is still operating but it gave the President a cheque which is valueless, why?  If there is no legislation, as two Houses, we need to pass legislation to deal with those loopholes and ensure that these companies honour their obligations.  It is embarrassing that we are here in this august House coming up with legislation but we are failing to deal with the issue of Community Share Ownership Trusts.  Mr. President, I am deeply pained when it comes to this matter but there is nothing much we can do because those leaders who are in Government are just quiet and we tend to wonder why they are just quiet.  It is painful...

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  You need to repeat that statement.  Repeat that statement Senator, it is sweet.

HON. SEN. MAKWARIMBA:  Mr. President, what I am saying is that when you hear people talking of corruption, you cannot deny it because you realise that those that are supposed to deal with corruption are getting something out of it.  With these few words Mr. President, I urge Hon. Sen. Tawengwa’s Committee to complete the job.  They should be given funds to go to all the areas and see projects that took off.  For those that were not carried out, they should bring them to Parliament so that we ask why the projects have not been implemented.  I thank you.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, you have done well.  Hon. Sen. Tawengwa, you have been challenged to complete your work.  They have said that the chiefs who are the traditional leaders, why are they silent when these things are so bad. 

HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to debate on the motion on the report by Hon. Sen. Tawengwa on Indigenisation and Empowerment, seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Dandawa.  Mr. President, in my debate I will not dwell much on those community trusts that have not been established but dwell mostly on those community trusts that have been established.

  I wish to remind Hon. Senators that I believe that the Community Share Ownership Trusts were established three or four years ago by His Excellency.  His Excellency went around the country launching these Community Trusts.  There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about the launch of those Community Trusts, obviously because everybody thought that they were vehicles to development  -particularly in rural areas.  Little did we know that those qualifying companies that attended most of those launches were just disguising. They were not serious.  They displayed dummy or fake cheques.  Like the previous speaker said, that is disrespecting the Head of State and the nation as a whole.  I am saying this because those qualifying companies have not fulfilled their pledges to date.  As a result, most of the funds that were disbursed to those few trusts that we established are now dwindling.  Very soon, there will be no trust to talk about in this country. 

          Like what other Hon. Members have said already, there is need for us as Hon. Members to urge the relevant Ministry to revisit the statutes so that we can have a look at what we should do in the event that other people default their pledges.  As it is now, it is just a gentleman’s agreement, anybody can pay as and when he wants to pay.

          All these qualifying companies have boards that look at, among other things, their dividends and profits - but in all those boards, there are no representatives from our communities.  As a result, we are not sure what profits they accrue and what is due to those community trusts.  For as long as we have no community representatives in those boards, we shall always cry foul, because we do not know how much they raise in profit and how much they are supposed to be paying to the community trust.

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Interestingly, why are Chiefs quiet when things are so bad?

HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE:  I wish I had an answer but I do not have an answer at the moment.

I think it is important for us, particularly as traditional leaders who happen to chair those community trusts to urge the Ministry so that we have representatives, not necessarily from the traditional leaders but even from the community leaders will be able to furnish us with the information from the mines.  As it is, we are in the dark as to what is accruing to them.

We have a few community trusts that I believe are doing well, although I have not had a chance to visit them.  I understand that they are not doing badly in Zvimba, Gwanda, Umguza and Bubi where I come from.  Like I said earlier on, the funds will be dwindling and there will be no trust to talk about anymore because most of those qualifying companies are not forthcoming.

If I had my way Mr. President, I would urge this Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment to visit not those who have established – I do not know why they even visited Mutoko; those who have not established community trusts, but those that have established community trusts and all of them in the country and do an assessment as to whether these community trusts are achieving any meaningful development within the communities.  If I had the resources, I would have given them yesterday so that they would visit all the community trusts.

With those few words, I would like to thank you for allowing me to contribute to this report. 

*HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  Thank you Mr. President for allowing me to talk about this interesting report on Community Share Ownership Trusts tabled by Hon. Sen. Tawengwa which was not done properly….

*THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Just to protect Hon. Sen. Tawengwa and the person who spoke, there is no one who said that he did not do justice with his Committee but he is saying he has done well but he is only being told to go beyond the investigations.

*HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  What was said about Hon. Sen. Tawengwa was also said about me because I am also in this Committee.  There is something that was said before about the gentleman’s agreement, meaning to say that there is no law that says that the qualified company is obliged to give you something.

When we spoke to Ministry officials who do that, they were open to say that a pledge is a pledge.  It is like proposing and if one disappears and goes, that is it.  It is not legally binding.  There is nothing in written form that forces a person to honour the pledge.  That is where we find one of the challenges.  That is not an obligation and they are not obliged to honour.  It is just a pledge that I will but the ‘I will’ may not be fulfilled tomorrow.  That is the first challenge that this is not binding. What did they say in English?

What I am saying is that a pledge is not binding.  Once you say pledge, it is like a person standing up to say that I will do this.  For example in church, pledges are made.  People stand up and say I will give $100 and people just go without honouring the pledge.  Let me leave that example.

On the issue that the Committee should have gone to various areas, that is a good idea but the challenge was that of financial constraints.  If the money was available, we would have gone to other places.  We went to Mudzi and Mutoko because that is where we could afford.  The Chairpersons in those areas –Hon Sen. Tawengwa, Hon.Sen.  Chizema and Hon. Sen. Mavhunga know the challenges.  I think our Committee has only gone out the second time.  We wanted to go to all the other areas but we failed because Parliament does not have money. 

The Speaker normally tells that during the budget Members of Parliament should push for a higher allocation.  He has implored us not to pass the budget but in this House, we only hear about it being discussed and we never get to hear what is happening.  In the other House maybe they know what is happening, but they should ensure that if resources are not allocated to Parliament, the Budget should not pass in the National Assembly.  So, all these years we have not been able to get allocation; it is now four years.  Every year we are complaining that Parliament does not have enough money.  We were lucky that there are some who were able to fund us. 

We were supposed to go to Zvimba.  It covers Chegutu and Mhondoro – the trust.  Those in Gwanda and Bhubhi came here and we were able to talk to them.  We also heard through gossip that the Community Share Ownership in Zvishavane is going on well and we also heard about Marange, but we never managed to talk to these officials.  We only heard that the marriage of convenience had failed in Mutare.  So, we need to represent our Parliament so that we are given resources in order to be able to conduct our oversight function.

You will also realise that there is another challenge that is there on Community Share Ownership Trusts in that there are papers that are supposed to be processed by the Government.  For example, those that enable districts are able to get 10% ownership of shares.  It is written somewhere, but the Government itself and the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment shows that they drag their feet.  We witnessed that in Bindura, the Company Freda Rebecca Mine came and explained to us, as well as other representatives of the community.  They said they had the commitment to ensure that Bindura gets its 10% Share Ownership Trust and this document was taken to the Ministry in May, 2015 but the papers did not come back.  We never asked them thereafter if the papers were processed.  So the Ministry is also dragging its feet, complicating everything. 

In Bikita, we were told that the officer who was dealing with the matter passed away and there was no replacement to take up the matter to ensure that the processes were done by the Government for the papers to be ready.  So, there are so many issues and at times, like I said, for those who tell you that they want to give you US$50 000, probably they give you US$1 000, as they end up relaxed.

You will realise that there are no companies in Mutoko.  These are just flying companies.  Probably they are named qualifying companies, but they are not really established companies.  I am not talking on behalf of the Committee, this is just my opinion.  The companies there have very nice names, but I think most of them are not even companies, they are just called qualifying companies because they are just there.  Probably, they are just companies registered at the deeds office.

You cannot compare it to Lafarge Cement which has a Share Ownership Trust in Umzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP) and Mabvuku.  These are big companies that are well known and if they promise you US$300000, they own up, but if you move from the initial seed money, if you do not get the 10% Share Ownership Certificate, it means it ends there and you will not proceed in anything.  With US$300 000 in UMP where they wanted to build a college, you would just have started to put a foundation for the college and the process ends there because you cannot get the money.  So, that is why I am saying the Government needs to play its part and expedite some of these procedures so that the blame is left on the so called qualifying companies.  So, I think it is best if things worked out that way.

There is also another challenge.  Currently, even those who wanted to do Share Ownership Trusts, it now requires the launch of the Government.  Before, you would just go to Sabhuku Mashavakure’s house and they would do their launch there, but now it has to be done provincially.  So, right now in Mutoko, it should have been established.  They want the launch to be done by the Government.  They also want to find out if Hwedza, Goromonzi and UMP have something so that they have a provincial launch and that is delaying establishment.

In Mutoko, when we asked, they told us that they were waiting for provincial launches so that they allocate resources towards the launch.  So, I think that move to do a provincial launch is also affecting the establishment of the Share Ownership Trust.  What I am saying is, the Government should ensure that everything functions well because companies are dragging their feet and the Government is also dragging its feet in terms of processing documents.  So, they are actually working together to ensure that the Community Share Ownership Trusts are not established. 

So I think in my opinion people really, want to work.  People really want to be given money.  Other companies want to give money, but there are challenges that I have mentioned that derail the process.  So in the end, no success or development takes place.  I think from now the Government should do its work, the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment should carry out its mandate.

In Mutoko, I also remember that long ago, before 1990 when mining granite started in the 1970s, the granite stone was called a natural resource.  Most of the money went to the district of Mutoko but later on the Government changed the law to say that it is a mineral. So if it is a mineral most money now goes to the Government and it is under the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).  So now at the district level, they do not get anything.  I think they get US$1 per tonne of the granite rock, which means if a truck carries 18 tonnes, they only get US$18.  For you to get money to develop or improve on roads and other infrastructural development - like what they say they built Mutoko High School and hospital in Mutoko before the stone became a mineral, it is difficult.

So, I think the Government should leave some of these issues to the traditional leaders in the district.  They should just ensure that there is transparency and work is being done following laid out procedure because instead of development there is under development.  So, I think it is a good idea for the Government to leave the black granite to be run as a natural resource by the district itself.

I am sure there was an issue of the weigh bridge - the workers at the council are told that the truck that passed has 85 tonnes.  They use different roads, some of them exit through Kotwa and others can go through Corner Store in Murehwa.  So, there is no accountability on what has gone out.  I think most of the things that I wanted to say have already been said.  Thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MAROZVA: Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity that you have given me in support of the report by the Committee chaired by Hon. Sen. Tawengwa.  I do not have a lot to say but just to add a few things that have been left behind.  Most things have been said by Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane.

          The traditional leaders have been given the leadership role on this issue but the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment has a department known as NIB, which goes to qualifying businesses and discuss without the chiefs.  They are the ones who are given money and put it in accounts.   As what Hon. Mashavakure said that in Bikita, there was someone who was working at NIB and he passed away.  After his death, two/three years down the line, there was no one to take up the issue and the chiefs were just seated there waiting for someone to come in, without knowing what to do.

          There was no one to talk to the qualifying businesses and the company board, no one in the Trust is a member of it.  So, they discuss here in Harare.  They do not discuss in the communities where we are but we are only told that the money is in the account.  We are only told to utilise the little funds that will have come but when the agreement on the pledges were made, you were not there. 

I wanted to respond on why the chiefs are quiet.  The traditional leaders are not quiet but that there are some who have said that you need to use that money and keep quiet.  It is not a sin for us to remain silent.  I cannot give names, may be they are here or they may not be here.  What I want to say is we need to assist each other in this august House.  If we agree here and the law is there, that if a person pledges to the President, that pledge should be honoured as made because what happens is that we are told it is a pledge and they are not obligated to honour it.  So, we need to come up with something binding for them to honour the pledges.  With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd June 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ON SDG NO. 3

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on SDG Number 3.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd June 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON HIV AND AIDS IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING IN ZIMBABWE

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS, on HIV and AIDS in Institutions of Higher Learning in Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President Sir, for giving me

this opportunity to add my voice on the report that was brought in this House by Hon. Sen. Timveos and seconded by Hon. Sen. Masuku.  This report comprised of almost everything.   We are talking just to emphasise on what was said.  I realise that sometimes you cannot say everything or contribute to all the reports.

          When you are listening to debates and you realise that people are talking about things that they know and not only contributing, it is a matter of you adding your voice but talking about something that you know.  You will realise that the debate becomes interesting. 

          There are only four issues that I want to point out as a member of the Committee, that I also participated.  I realised that in all the areas that we went to, especially to the institutions of higher learning; the universities and colleges; we started in Masvingo, like what was highlighted in the report that we went through almost all the provinces, from Masvingo we went to Gweru.  One major problem that was identified was the issue of accommodation.

          When we went to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic, students were complaining a lot, especially on the issue of accommodation.  Even if the accommodation is there, it is not enough to accommodate all of them.  Even to the other places that we were touring, it was the same, although with Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, the problem was a bit too much.  Most of the students who go there are elderly and a few young ones.  The difference is that if you are an elderly person and you are paying for yourself, it is better because you can choose to live in the campus or rent outside.

          My emphasis is that the Government should try by all means to build accommodation for the students so that if they choose not to stay at the college, it is either because of the expenses or their own choice or that they do not like the food that is prepared for their meals.  I would like to emphasise this to Government that they should build enough residential places for the university students.  The Government should also give those grants that they use to give way back to universities.  Those grants used to help students a lot.  As highlighted in the report, for some students to go to college or university, the parents had to sell a beast.  When the students go to universities, they will not know what exactly will be needed at the universities.  The parents will only be thinking that what is needed for them to pay for is fees only.  When students get there, they are given a list of things that are needed at the college and all those things, they will not be prepared to pay for them. 

          What disheartens us is that there are some elderly people, when they go to university they will not be having a clear vision on what exactly it is they have come to do at the colleges.  At colleges there are some students who want a high lifestyle that they cannot afford for example having expensive cell phones and hairstyles.  You ask yourself whether the student knows exactly why they are at college.  Long back, some students used to go to school bare footed and some of them used plastic bags as satchels.  This is one thing that we must acknowledge that life is never the same to everyone.  You have to know your background and not succumb to peer pressure.

          What also disheartens me is the issue of condoms which they highlighted that there are some condoms that they do not want freely distributed but prefer the expensive flavoured ones.  Most of the things that I am highlighting, the speakers who spoke before me highlighted on that.  If you really want to behave like a normal human being, you must appreciate your situation and not refuse to use freely given condoms whilst you do not have enough money to buy expensive ones.

          I know that our Hansard is uploaded online, some will listen to radios and some will have access to hard copies, I know they are going to hear that this is what the Committee said.  One thing that I know is all university students are regarded as mature people.  Throughout our tour, we combined all the students and elderly people; we talked to them differently so that they will freely talk on what they want. Some of them highlighted that they want the perfumed condoms.  As parents, honestly how do you feel when you hear your child saying such things?   If we are parliamentarians, it does not mean we are not parents anymore, we are parents and we go out and hear such things from students, it is really disheartening. 

          There is a saying that says when you see your neighbour’s child doing something that is wrong, it does not mean that your child is not capable of doing that same thing.  All that I am trying to say is that those at colleges, universities and those at home, one thing that we all have to know is that HIV/AIDS affects everyone; people must not take it for granted.  At the end of the day, you get your education but you die before you even use the certificate that you acquired. 

          You would have spend four years at the university or even progress to PhD or doctorate and at the end of the day you will not be able to use those certificates. There is a saying that says when you stay at the same place, you will not be able to learn other things.  They say cancer and BP cannot be cured.  Some of them will say it is better to have HIV/AIDS because it can be cured.  If someone can have the boldness to say there are some people who are referred to as ‘blessers’ and others say if I engage in sex without a condom I must be paid US$50.  Why honestly should someone demand US$50 that can buy groceries that can fit in two small plastic bags; before the end of the week, that grocery will be used up but you would have destroyed your future. 

          We are trying to encourage, especially as leaders and as parents, all the Zimbabweans that people should take note of all the things that we are saying.  I am impressed by what NAC is doing.  They tried even to involve music galas to teach people on the use of condoms.  Last week when we visited Midlands State University, I am not touching on the motion that is yet to come but I am just comparing, someone took freely distributed condoms and the ones bought in shops and asked three students to come and tell the difference.  The students laughed but were not able to tell the difference.  It is the same condom that they chose that they were saying is cheap that they opted for the expensive one.

          Most of the times it is all about packaging that will then attract them.  The most important thing is does that thing protect or it does not protect.  It is my desire that this report be accessible to everyone.  When they say that we want to achieve HIV/AIDS free nation by 2030, we really want to push for this.  As we are contributing, all we are trying to do is to reduce the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  As we talk like this, it is my desire that everyone has access to such information that we are contributing.  There must be awareness campaigns on HIV/AIDS and child marriages so that people get to know.   When we teach our children at a tender age, by the time they get to a certain age, they know what is right and what is wrong.  With these few words Mr. President, I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd June, 2017.

MOTION

ADOPTION OF A DRAFT PROTOCOL ON THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS ON THE RIGHT TO NATIONALITY AND THE ERADICATION OF STATELESSNESS IN AFRICA

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on resolving situations of statelessness in our country.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President.  I just want to add a few words to this debate on statelessness.  I am of the view that the issue of statelessness is greatly underestimated.  I am saying that because I am aware that the number particularly in the farms where large compounds are found, there are a number of children who have no documentation.  Similarly for various reasons, there are numerous children in Matebelelaand who do not have documentation.  In my opinion, it is not a very difficult situation to resolve because children have grown in communities where they are known to be children from that very community by the leadership around.

          The process of acquiring identification documents is a serious challenge because; first you need the money to transport yourself to the offices.  Secondly, you need money to transport witnesses to the offices.  Thirdly, I am made aware that particularly for people who have to change national status; the amount of money that is required is unaffordable.  My argument is that I do not understand why a birth certificate should cost something like $5 and why a lost identity card should cost something like $10, particularly knowing the state of poverty that is in the nation where the average person does not have a dollar to live on, on a daily basis.

          There is an argument that there are no legal instruments and I do not believe that we need a legal document or a law in order to allow our children born in this country to have identity documents.  I am aware that in my opinion it is common sense that we should provide those documents and it is my assumption that whatever legal document that will be crafted, it will be based initially on that common sense.  Let us look exactly at the challenges that face these people whose status is not clear.  They enjoy very limited civil rights.  In law, they are not employable and if they happen to be employed, you cannot register them with NSSA.  They lose all privileges because of their status of being stateless and in general, we underestimate the cost of having people who are stateless.

          Mr. President, this takes us to the issue which was debated relating to Zimbabweans who are arguing and in my opinion entitled to a state of dual citizenship largely because we as a leadership and as a nation are responsible for forcing them out of this country.   In the countries of their new residency, or in the countries of their employment, those people eventually earned citizenship.  After they earn citizenship, because their own nation State has been hostile to them in one way or another, when their identification documents of Zimbabwe expire, they are required to denounce their dual citizenship status. 

It is in my opinion a very unconvincing argument in the sense that we know what has led those people to look for dual citizenship and their status in the external country is dependent to some extent on holding the citizenship in that country yet we are the cause and we are sort of also the prosecutor and we are the judge.  I believe that we should be sympathetic to our own people and ensure that wherever they are, vakachengeteka. 

I believe that we are taking a civil liberty away from our own people for reasons that we have created.  In my opinion, it therefore defeats the logic and it borders on being on an exercise that I would call in Shona, hutsinye on your own people.  I believe that we should allow our people to enjoy that kind of citizenship.

In short Mr. President, my presentation to this House is that we grossly underestimate the level of statelessness because it is not evident but people are born here, they have no identity cards and they have no birth certificates.  We do not seem to have invested a co-related effort in attending to their problems.  I therefore urge that Government takes this seriously.  There is an argument that every five years when we go to the elections, people get an opportunity to register but I am sure that there are complications in that registration process.  Secondly, the person has lost five years of privilege.  Is that fair on the citizen?  I believe that it is not fair.  With those observations Mr. President, I thank you for the opportunity.

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

HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd June, 2017.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF THE EDUCATION ACT TO THE CONSTITUTION

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on funds controlled by School Development Committees (SDCs) and School Development Associations (SDAs).

Question again proposed.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT SENATE:  Hon. Sen. Timveos and Hon. Sen. Ncube, I want to advise that in case you were not here, the Minister responsible for Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dr. Dokora was here last week on Thursday.  He made a statement saying what is contained and whatever the information is about on the abolition of SDCs and SDAs, to him we are debating prematurely because that thing does not even exist today but Government is coming up with some legislation, a Bill.  He says - why do you not wait for that time then we will debate the correct thing according to him?  I think all those who were here got him right that we may debate but this thing does not exist as it was put in this motion. 

So my appeal is, as the Minister has said – I think it will be something which is more factual, more substantive and that which we will have an opportunity to reject or accept.  That is my advice.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Thank you Mr. President. I actually went through all the Hansards even though I was away last week. I have investigated and have examples for Harare. I want to ask if it is okay for me to debate this motion and give those examples of the schools that I have visited for the last two days.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Okay, proceed.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I rise to add my voice and support the motion moved by Hon. Sen. Khumalo seconded by Hon. Sen. J. Ndhlovu which asked this House to align the Education Act to the Constitution, cease forthwith the transfer of SDC/SDAs Funds to Schools Service Fund, formulate a consolidated Statutory Instrument to guide operations of SDCs and SDAs taking into account stakeholders input.

Mr. President, I know like I said earlier on that the Minister was here last week even though I was not around but I have seen and gone through the Hansard. So, I was encouraged by what the Minister said and I then wondered where Hon. Khumalo got all this. I then went on to research. Mr. President, I do not intend to repeat what has been said by other speakers but I am happy that so far everyone in this House, going through the Hansard is in agreement that the SDCs have done a wonderful job and they should not be disturbed.

The Permanent Secretary and the Minister did say that there is nothing like that but Mr. President, I beg to differ. I went to Warren Park, Mbare, High Glen, Glen View, Mufakose, Chitungwiza, Mabvuku North and Central, Tafara and Epworth. These schools are now transferring the monies that they are receiving to the main fund which is the Schools Service Fund (SSF). The main question now is, how they can do such a thing when the Hon. Minister and the Permanent Secretary as well have no knowledge about it because he gave a statement in The Sunday News to say there is nothing like that. Already, you have said that the Hon. Minister was here last week like I saw in the Hansard saying there is nothing like that. Meanwhile, all these schools that I have just mentioned are actually depositing their funds in this SSF account.

I am appealing to this House and the Minister, Hon. Dokora and his Permanent Secretary to actually investigate this because there is so much that is being done behind their backs. When they come into this House, they are under oath and cannot say things are not happening when this is happening. So, what are we saying? Do they know what is happening or they do not know? Mr. President, I want to challenge Hon. Dr. Dokora to investigate just in Harare because I know he is here and lives here in Harare. Unfortunately for him, if he does not know about this, that is why I insisted to debate on this because his name is being tarnished.

The parents of all these schools are not happy with this because what was happening with the SDCs, they were actually developing their schools and the money was managed from there, which actually helped Government to achieve so much. That is why our education rate is so high worldwide as Zimbabweans. Now, the parents are worried to say if the money goes to the main account, what is going to happen to those schools. Since Hon. Dr. Dokora said he knows nothing about it, I am challenging him to actually investigate the schools that I have mentioned and then possibly like he said, he can come to Parliament.

The parents of these schools that I went to are saying, we are not disputing the law. What we are not happy about is the lack of consultation. Every time the Hon. Minister wants to enact a law, he should come to us and ask what we think about the proposed law as parents of these schools, and we can actually direct him accordingly. When I spoke to the parents, which was yesterday, they actually want the Minister to come and address them because it looks like these schools have decided to go against the law. When you then talk to the schools, they are saying we were directed by the Minister to do so and use this account which they call the SSF account.

So, the Ministry should then bring the amendments to the Education Act to Parliament for debate if it wants to make changes. Mr. President, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education should abide by the laws of the country. The Ministry should immediately direct that all schools in Harare that have transferred SDCs Funds to SSF to immediately reverse the transactions because these transactions have already happened.

Mr. President, I really want Hon. Minister Dokora to actually look at aligning the Education Act to the Constitution of Zimbabwe and I will repeat, to immediately stop the transferring SDCs funds to SSF and formulate new consolidated Statutory Instruments to guide operations of SDC/SDAs after proper stakeholder input. The parents of all these schools are very proud of their children and they want the SDC/SDAs to carry on the good job that they have been doing, and for them because it is them that are paying these levies, they want to see how.

I know there is a bit of money that goes to Government and it is fine but levies are for schools to develop. They do not need to go to the SSF account. With these few words Mr. President, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to just say a few words. I am passionate about this because I actually spoke to a few of these committees last night. I am touched. Hon. Minister Dokora needs to clear his name because it is being dragged in the mud. I thank you Mr. President.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: This is for those who were here when the Minister made his statement - very strange and probably shocking. The Minister said, currently there is no legal instrument that will enable any such transfer to take place. That is what he said – it is not possible, there is no such instrument but you are saying it has actually happened, which means there is an Instrument.  It raises another issue; did the Minister lie to Parliament?  Did he deliberately misinform Parliament?  I would want to get further advice, even after this sitting, from the administration and do more research to see if it is contempt of the Senate. 

For example, you come to the Senate and say what you want.  You can just lie to Senators and say there are of no consequences; you can say whatever and get away with it or he was being honest and truthful, we do not know.  I stand guided again by the administration after this sitting.  I appeal to Hon. Sen. Ncube that this motion is still on the Order Paper and you can debate tomorrow.  You will have an opportunity to continue after we have done research, because this is very serious.  We have reached a very serious juncture.

HON. SEN. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I withdraw my debate for now.

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

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 22nd June, 2017.

HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE:  On a point of order Mr. President.  When somebody withdraws a debate, does it mean that we have wasted ten minutes and it is not going to appear in the Hansard? 

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Hon. Sen. Ncube had risen to debate and we asked her to defer her debate to another day.  She did not say anything so there was no statement to withdraw.  She is simply withdrawing the opportunity to debate.  Hon. Sen. Mashavakure is very intelligent.  He makes very smart observations.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU, seconded by HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE, the Senate adjourned at Six Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 21 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 64