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SENATE HANSARD - 21 OCTOBER 2009 VOL. 19 NO. 3

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 21st October, 2009

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

 

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I have to remind hon. senators to switch off their cell phones before business commences.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE SADC PROTOCOL ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN'S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Mr President, I move the motion standing in my name:-

That Whereas, subsection (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President and with one or more states or Governments.

AND WHEREAS, the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development was concluded by the Member States on 17 August 2008, at Johannesburg, South Africa.

AND WHEREAS, the entry into force of the aforesaid protocol is subject to ratification by the signatory Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures;

NOW, THEREFORE, IN TERMS OF SUBSECTION (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid protocol be and is hereby approved.

Mr President, the SADC Heads adopted the Protocol on Gender and Development on 17 August 2008. Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Protocol. The Protocol was adopted in recognition of the crucial role women play in the preservation of African values based on the principles of equality, peace, freedom, dignity, justice, solidarity and democracy. The Heads of States were determined to ensure that the rights of women are promoted, realized and protected in order to enable them to fully enjoy their human rights.

In terms of Article 35 of the Protocol, State Parties have the obligation to ensure the implementation of this protocol at national level. However, according to Section 111B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states, governments or international organisations:-

(a) Shall be subject to approval by Parliament and

(b) Shall not form part of the law of Zimbabwe unless it has been incorporated into the law by or under an Article of Parliament.

Zimbabwe has not yet ratified the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. It is in this regard that the Ministry submits this memorandum for the ratification of the Protocol.

SCOPE OF THE PROTOCOL

The Protocol contains rights that are designed to promote women in the various sectors of the life that directly affect them. Mainly, the Protocol provides for the protection of the women's rights in the following broad areas:

l Constitutional and Legal Rights

l Governance

l Education and Training

l Productive Resources and Empowerment

l Gender Based Violence

Health and HIV and AIDS

Peace Building and Conflict Resolution

Media, Information and Communication

All the rights contained in the Protocol are also found in other human rights instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. However, the Protocol was designed specially to meet the needs of the African woman and more specially the needs of women in the SADC region, although it remains an essential part of the international women's human rights frameworks.

GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE RIGHT CONTAINED IN THE PROTOCOL

 

The Protocol's main goal is to ensure that discrimination against women is eliminated through policies, legislative instruments and other administrative measures.

Articles that fall under Productive Resources and Employment seek to ensure the equal participation of women and men in economic empowerment programmes as well as equal access to property, productive resources and employment.

The section on Gender Based Violence specifically looks at measures that State Parties have to put in place to prohibit all forms of Gender Based Violence, and provide support to survivors through the provisions of affordable legal services among other interventions.

Part seven of the Protocol addresses issues of Health and HIV and AIDS. This section broadly speaks to the issues of gender dimensions of HIV and AIDS. State Parties are to adopt and implement gender sensitive programmes, frameworks and policies in the health sector.

Under the section on Peace and Conflict Resolution, provisions for State Parties to gender mainstream all information, communication and media policies and programmes.

JUSTIFICATION FOR RATIFICATION OF PROTOCOL

Zimbabwe Government has so far made tremendous efforts which go a long way to meet the provisions of the protocol. Of particular note are the following:

The Legal Age of Majority Act (LAMA) was promulgated in 1982 and it conferred majority status on women. Before this law, African women were regarded as perpetual minors.

Equal Pay Regulations (1980) provides for equal pay for work of equal value.

Labour Act (2000) prohibits employers from discriminating against any prospective employees, in relation to employment, on grounds of, among other things, sex. The labour Act also provides for paid maternity leave of up to ninety days.

Public Service Pensions Amendment Regulations (1985) makes provisions for female workers in the public service to contribute to their pension at the same rate as male contributors.

Matrimonial Causes Act (1987) provides for equitable distribution of matrimonial asserts on divorce.

Maintenance Amendment Act (1989) requires a non custodian parent to contribute regularly to the maintenance of minor children in the custody of the other parent.

The Administration of Estates Amendment Act (1997) protects the inheritance rights of surviving spouses and children.

The Sexual Offences Act (2001) protects women from sexual abuse and criminalizes marital rape and wilful transmission of HIV and AIDS. The Act also prohibits trafficking of persons for purposes of prostitution and imposes stiffer penalties for violations.

The Domestic Violence Act (2007) provides for protection and relief to victims of domestic violence.

Section 23 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and sex.

The National Gender Policy (2000) provides a guiding framework for mainstreaming gender in all sectors of the economy. The policy provides for women to effectively participate in key sectors of the economy such as Agriculture, Mining, Tourism, Industry, Commerce and Employment.

The above legislative measures and policies, indicate commitment on the part of the government, to promote gender equality and advance women's rights.

RECOMMENDATIONS

By ratifying the Protocol, the process of full incorporation of its provisions into national legislation can then be invoked in line with section 111B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

I therefore recommend this Protocol for consideration and ratification by the Government of Zimbabwe.

I thank you.

CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:

Mr President, I rise to render my support with subsequent correction of some statements made in this Protocol. Overally the Protocol is very progressive, I went through the objectives through the articles and this is what we also support, not only as a male but also as a traditional leader and also a representative of Traditional Leaders in Zimbabwe. We are always accused of being anti-women, unprogressive implementing and crafting some outdated practices in the name of culture but I want to say let us prove these people wrong what is written here is what also culture supports and there is nothing contradictory but the writer at one point - I think he got excited and forgot something. I render my full support but under article 21, Mr President, it is very incorrect when the writer says State parties shall take measures including legislators to disregard traditional norms, including socio-cultural norms which legitimize and exacerbate intolerance on gender basis. There are cultural norms or traditional norms which in-fact legitimize and exacerbate the traditional cultural values. May be in other countries in the SADC and not in Zimbabwe. This statement is unfortunate because in either

Shona, Ndebele

or

Nambiya

,

Tinoti mukadzi haarobwi

, we all know that and this is culture.

So this statement is unfortunate as we are going to look on both sides of the overall good things that are in this protocol, and in support of this protocol we want to say that this statement on Article 210 is very unfortunate, thank you.

SENATOR MUMVURI:

Thank you Mr President, I rise to support this motion iî |his Hon Senate.Ƞ I think as the former speaker has said, this Protocol is qu⁩te in line witࡨ the modern living on gender. I want to go further and say"these issues䀠whic聨 are raised in this Protocol can form a basis for our"cons䁴ࡩtu4ioî making process䀮 This is one areq in0which |hmre is0agr葥ementࠠof the politicalРaffiliation wHere we agreed tŨat쀠gၥ must promote gender耠ࡩss5us as they areࠠpu耴 in(thių protocol 䁡nd2somm of them as䀠theyȠare discu3sed iɮ here.† ၓo IРam just encoɵraging that as wࡥ are taking the process to the people, we must elaborate on some of these issues to the people for our constitution making process.

SENATOR CHITAKA:

Thank you Mr. President. I rise to support this protocol. I would have loved to support it 100%, but unfortunately they are some pages missing. I request that we be given the missing pages. So I do not know for this country, if there are incidences of us signing agreements with missing pages. So I do not know whether they were deliberately left out in the original protocol or they were found later on not to be applicable to Zimbabwe . I refer Mr. President to the actual missing pages, so before I give my 100% support, I would be very happy to get the missing pages.

SENATOR MUDZINGWA:

I stand here in support of the protocol but although some of the misgivings have been sighted by Chief Charumbiria, I think in future whenever we try to tackle the problems to do with the issues of tradition, we should clarify in detail so that it does not seem to imply otherwise to our traditional leaders. I also was of the same opinion as Chief Charumbira that this has been ratified. The statement or expression of tradition, we should not escape it. It has got negative impact on the traditional leaders. So what I am trying to say is that I am not very clear whether it has been left hanging. It is easy to ratify but the most vital part is implementation. I do not know whether this is going to be implemented later after ratification but I am offering a solution here. After ratification, we must immediately embark on implementation like what has been said that we have a problem of suffering from traditional nostalgia. The first way forward in-respect of answering to the problems arising from gender advancement. When it comes to parliament, at the present moment the only question is proportional representation. We know the attitude in our society, I am not trying to baffle my male counterparts that they are chauvinists. If during elections we put forward candidates saying males versus females, in most cases we find that the females lose. My solution is that we should have proportional representation 50/50 as it should be done in the next elections. That is the only way forward.

SENATOR DETE:

I rise to fully support this protocol 100% in my view without amendments.

SENATOR MUCHIWA:

I support this protocol but my query is that I can not adopt it without the other articles which I do not know the contents. As a woman, I want this to be adopted but can you please put other pages quickly so that we adopt this protocol.

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN'S AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (DR. MUCHENA):

Let me respond to some of the issues raised. I believe with regard to article 21, I take into account what Hon Chief Charumbira said as well as Hon Mumvuri. The implementation of cultural practice; remember this is a SADC protocol and we do not know in terms of other countries how serious cultural practices such as beating up the wives prevail. Hon Chitaka, you must now fully support after reading the missing information. Hon Mudzingwa also made a point about the negative cultural tradition of the clause, but perhaps more importantly approving is easier but implementation is not. I appreciate very much because he has made a point and given an illustrative example. Indeed we have seen that those countries where there is proportional representation it is easier for the women number to increase. That also implies that the legislation should enforce parties to put women on the party list in a zebra situation otherwise, where there is no enforcement mechanism, proportional representation can even disadvantage the women.

Hon President Sir, the members will be interested to know that we have been carrying out a lot of studies learning from experiences of other countries and we are now fairly certain that a mixed system yields the best results in terms of achieving our numbers. A mixed system with proportional representation, first past the poll as well as some affirmative action but I appreciate very much your proposals. Hon Dete thank you very much for your support without amendment.

Hon President, I move the adoption of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

Motion put and adopted.

MOTION

 

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed

SENATOR HUNGWE:

First of all, I would like to join my colleagues who have spoken before me on the Presidential Speech which His Excellency made to this Parliament. As you understand, the speech was wide ranging, it covered areas of food, health, agriculture, education and security. I would like to thank the President for pausing questions and challenges as trustees of this nation. I have difficult now - the people I represent are rural people. I believe they would have been more comfortable with my speech if I would have delivered in vernacular which I am more eloquent in but allow me to divert to all the languages which other members in this House are able to understand.

I would like to start by showing my concern, in delivering my reply to the Presidential Speech, by dealing with the subject of education in this country. Education is very important for every nation. I just want to remind you that even King David among other things that he said in the Psalms, was saying, "teach me to love, know you Lord, understand and not to hate." He was showing concern about teaching and teaching ourselves and our children is very important and should not be taken literally.

I want to take this opportunity to share my experience of education with members in this House and the Hon Minister who is in charge. In the 19

th

century, a group of people who called themselves missionaries of Lutheren Church came to this part and established mission schools in the southern part of the country and their objective was to give the black people education and they did it. Their objective was to make sure that people are able to read and write. The main objective of their education programme was to achieve and at best to produce a product which was called an administrator. That is the system of education that they offered to every black person to produce a good administrator of which most of us were and still are. They did go further to produce what we call managers today and as time moved people were expecting something more than that because ages come and go.

We were later joined by another organisation which was coming from New Zealand and this was the Church of Christ and they brought to us what was called a dire scheme which was administered by a woman called Grace Tom. Their objective was the same that they produce a very good administrator. I was going to say Minister what do you have today for us this time around because New Zealand and Germany did their part. In terms of Curricula, we would like something better than what came in the 19

th

century.

I would like to inform this House and the trustees here of education in this country, that there was a topic in the 20

th

century about education. The topic was "how educated is an educated man and what is the measure of education." There was an achiever during that same period. I am told that he had achieved something and he was well known worldwide and0the world was in4erested to meet䀠such an achiever. He 䁷as inviteä to America and people wereРvery anxious to meet him because he had accepted tHeir inၶitctin. He went there on the 聤ay in question he ŷas asked to"deliver aspeech on how ed⁵cated is an educated ma࡮. He rose and he scid before†I deli聶er my speech, I woeld like to introduc聥 you ࡴo my go聿d fbiend"÷ho is ! very educatadАman. Thå voice fr良m The aõdience wis†ho䁷 many degrees do%sဠhe 聸aVɥ. In$Ameryca if ၹou do not have a degree they耠⁤o not understand how you are called an educated man. We are discussing about education curriculum. What is it that we want our children to have in this country?

The same man had been invited to Greece and went there and was asked to deliver a speech. He repeated his remarks that he had made in America and the voice from the audience was what can he do. In America they want degrees but in Greece it is a different situation - the question is what can he do. Can he build a house, a road or fly an aeroplane. We have had many people who are educated through our universities. They are people who go to NUST University, University of Zimbabwe, they have gone to Harvard University but if they cannot assist other people, people will not understand. I am trying to find out from the Hon. Minister what he has in store for us.

In the twenty first century I listened to Hillary Clinton when there was a problem of pirating, she said that we are going to attack these people using the twenty first century attack. Nineteenth century is different and the twenty first century is different - we want to know what you have for our children. The same man finally went to England and he rose again and the voice of the audience was what does he know? When you do not know anything and you cannot help the people, people cannot understand.

Do you know that the Second World War was on hope, when things were very bad for the United Kingdom, they had high hopes. I want to repeat that even David the King continued to say teach me, teach me. The point I am making here is what is in store for us. We understand there are problems in the education system. Mr. President, you are aware that there is a statement in the Bible that runs like this, there were 700 left handed men - what they are saying in biblical terms is uncounted, left handed means handicapped, these are systems including education, it has collapsed.

I am saying that education is a very serious thing, in the education system what I know was no longer happening in our system. I want to draw the attention of the Minister to that area. During the 19

th

to 20

th

century in the system of education we used what was called the standard control unit where there were inspectors to inspect children, inspectors to inspect teachers, headmasters and even without really the inspector of which I was one - just to hear that I have passed around that area, teachers could be heard saying that look we must know that when these people come they want us to be accountable for what we are doing. There was no way you could receive your salaries without doing the work. So, the point I am making here is that education is very important and what is in store for us in this century.

Mr President, one educationist said this when he was praying. Dear Lord you know what we want at this station, please look for the teachers of children and we do not want teachers of subjects. We are talking about the content of our education, what is going to happen. Mr President you are aware of the fact that most of the children are not at school. This is why I am saying the education system can collapse, they can be handicapped but what does our Hon. Minister have in mind so that we can have something in the twentieth century. In the twentieth century we are supposed to have managers and in the twenty first century we are supposed to have administrators including new technologies. We would like something better in this century for our children. I know Mr President I have rambled away as usual, I thank you.

SENATOR MLOTSHWA:

Thank you Mr President I rise to add my voice to the motion moved by Senator Sakupwanya in absentia, to the Presidential address to mark the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament.

The address was unique in that it was the first one after the formation of the inclusive government. Though we still put a demarcation line in this House that ZANU PF sits facing its rivals the MDC, but in one House debating and representing one nation Zimbabwe.

Mr President it is my hope that as we start to twist and turn, amend and panel beat the Article 6 of our Global Political Agreement (GPA) people are fully aware that the end product, the final draft of the Constitution might never be people driven, it will be manipulated by the players who have been imposed back to the process, no wonder we have violated the timeliness. Mr President we must make an introspection of programmes and not take people for granted. There is a clear warning sign that part of the six negotiators being imposed on the process are to solidify the adopting of the Kariba Draft. Mr President, the people of Zimbabwe are clear and have already read between the lines. It will be a shame to sit here in this august Senate to debate and pass draconic laws that will oppress the people we represent, history is there to judge us and publicize which parliamentarians were there during the oppressing time.

Mr President in his speech the President, mentioned the process of establishment of Independent Commissions, it is with great pleasure to have in our country a credible ZEC that will announce elections results on time, not one that first cooks and garnishes before publicizing as we witnessed. Mr President we have been having an anti-corruption Commission for years but our country is rated 2

nd

most corrupt in SADC after Congo, then one wonders what has been happening.

Mr President - the Human Rights Commission is long over due. Its even difficult to elaborate how people have wished to have one because even the air they breath is being violated. Mr President, we need serious media reforms in our country, the state media has to capture and preserve the mood of the inclusive government, it must not choose to align with a party or a leader. In creation of space to move forward it was agreed that the President is the Head of State, and the right honourable Prime State is Head of Government. Who is then steering the media to behave in an destructive manner? Where and how is the power being shared? Mr President at the 18

th

session of the African Caribbean Pacific - EU Joint Parliament sitting in September 2009 in Brussels, I Hon. Thandeko Mkandla and Hon. Makhosini Hlongwane being members representing Zimbabwean Parliament, there was in the programme a topic that was looking at the role of free and independent media in Africa. There was an expect presenting to that House who was the former spokesperson for African Union. Mr President, it is proper that I share with my colleagues this, so as to understand that even Africa condemns our media because it was mentioned as on of his 3 examples that he used.

He highlighted that the media must embrace inclusive government and reflect the power sharing even if we have our teething problems which we must sort out. By so doing they influence independent media to stick to the avoided issues and also take sides. Then people develop an anti-State Media syndrome and rely on pirating stations.

Mr President, the ACP - EU is more than ready to support our economic recovery programmes. The President in his address mentioned that we have started to engage the international partners on a bilateral level, you remember trips spearheaded by the right honourable Prime Minister of our country in June this year. It is bearing some juicy fruits. We witnessed the EU delegation which met both principals in September after years of darkness, and we have been receiving humanitarian aid even at difficult political situations.

Mr President, I am pleased to announced that after the presentation by our Hon Hlongwane on the currmnt situation concerning the rate of infnation in our country, the ACP - EU JPA ŭarvelled that we have managed to rise ࡦrom the dead at a short space o聦 timť. They䀠praisaD our Minister of Finance HOn Tendai Biti, ࡴhat he was a†geNku3 whom thåy wish to 聥ngage atȠs/metime in orɤer to share Ӷiews to aid countࡲies in the same predicamenɴ. Mr Preside聮4,Рa3 g⁥ revive the yoŵth servࡩce programmas䀠I ѰࡲoposE we(impart sk䁩lls and knowleŤge thaɴ will make Ŵၨem n恥edɥrs耠o䁦 tomorrůw, mould`them into propťr human behaviours not to have them involved in degrading activities of militia junta.

Mr President, I propose the minister of Environment to come up with a bill that will allow the environmental crimes court to be enacted because the deforestation that we witness in this country cannot be ignored. We need a law to protect and prosecute the perpetrators. We are in a danger of creating our own desert and that is what the next generations will inherit from us. When we actually inherited trees 200 years old, herbs, insects and animals to assist during hard times.

Mr President, all over the world women are demanding space and we are ready as women to be presidents of our countries. Liberia has one and she is doing well. We acknowledge that men now accept that we are equally capable like all human beings. Only where we know we cannot is being Chiefs, because I believe a Chief is supposed to be a person that will have seed to produce another Chief of the clan. There we must accept that biologically we cannot until the scientists work on us.

Mr President, the national healing process that we witness is not enough. I propose that we make it 'tolerance period', because for one to heal, nobody must be pointing a gun to fast track the process. Everyone who was raped, cut limbs, know and can identify the attacker, why do we not have a justice truth and reconciliation commission and have people apologizing face to face so as to be forgiven. It is said when you forgive, knots must be untied in the inner you. I propose we speak more of tolerance more than forgiveness, because if we want people to forgive, let us go through the whole process. At a committee meeting when we discussed the tribal killings of early 80's, an honourable member of this House said to me that they cannot apologize for Gukurahundi because it was to avenge the killings in the 1800's by the Ndebeles.

I suppose it is not fair to compare the rulers of yesteryear who were to attack, fight and win in order to be kings. And the rulers of now who are voted and given a mandate and have to follow constitution. By the same vein if it is tribal, why was not the whole tribe involved. It shows it was political because those killed were those with opposing views. The address by the President demonstrated that we the people of Zimbabwe now fully acknowledge that not only one party, not only single ideology, not only one leader can be mandated to rule our country forever, things have to change.

SENATOR MAKORE:

I would like to make some few remarks on the Presidential speech that was presented in Parliament based on my few observations. Firstly, I would like to congratulate these three political parties in their formation of the inclusive government or the Global Political Agreement (GPA). I am sure the majority of people inside here, if I look at their faces, they are shining but my observation firstly and foremost is that programme of STERP which was so much important in terms of the interpretations of the GPA, making things a reality. But STERP as a programme, I noticed it was supposed to be evaluated and perhaps it was not successful. But, for my observation, STERP was supposed to be evaluated because it was intended for ten months beginning from March to December meaning to say it now has only 2 months to lapse. I consider that to be already a finished mile. It is only two months to go but, I thought it was important for us to put some seriousness in our programmes that we put in place.

As you see rightly on the speech that was delivered by the President, it shows that they have got two additional programmes that would take place. The first one will commence from 2010 to 2012 but it is of equal importance that when you start a programme, it must produce complete documented documentations of its strengths and weaknesses to the nation so that we can perfect it as we move forward. I want to remind representatives here that the task that has been restored in us is so big. We are already in the process of making things happen as government ourselves. We are already lawmakers of this country and it is equally important that what ever we do, we must do it with the mind of the majority of the people in the country. People must benefit from our contributions here, they must benefit from our programmes here. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country but we can spoil it when we are not serious. I was totally impressed by the word "ache" that the President pronounced when he was talking about this STERP. The salaries that we are experiencing can be termed as commitment salaries but they are not salaries. They are not salaries at all but that compromises the positions of persons of integrity unlike the Honourables, they have tended to be dishonourable because of their perpetual begging in a number of local business people or anywhere else, if they see you near they just think that you have come for money, that is so much dishonourable. I want to agree with the President when he suggested that something must be done with the civil servants to improve their general conditions. I also overheard anyway or like the concept of the Minister of Finance, that "we eat what we gather" and I believe we eat what we gather. It is quite rational that when we get what we gather it has to be directed to the appropriate needs of the working people. It goes without saying, at least it must have come through my ears that we have about 35,000 to 40,000 people. Money is an essential commodity to everybody but I think people should be credited with those small wages and salaries for a duty that they have performed in a month or a week period. You are credited for a task which you will have performed. We have heard that there is quite a number of people who just earn that money despite them not being on our payroll. We have to be very serious on this matter because if we are to govern properly, we want to give credit where it is due. If we do not do that it will start like this and end at some uncontrollable level. It starts with doing it for political expediency but will degenerate to mismanagement and that is why we will be unable to control. We want to be able to acquire such large sums of money. So I speak to you as a House through you Mr President, that we must be very serious and look into it and if that thing is there it must be cleaned with immediacy, that is if it is within our peril. I put it to the Ministers responsible to see to it that this task has been taken and that hon members of this august House would want to see that done.

THE GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND NORTH:

I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of THE GOVERNOR FOR MATABELELAND NORTH, the Senate adjourned at Four Minutes to Four O'clock p.m until Tuesday, 10 November, 2009.

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Senate Hansard Vol. 19 SENATE HANSARD - 21 OCTOBER 2009 VOL. 19 NO. 3