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SENATE HANSARD 25 NOVEMBER 2015 VOL 25 NO 18

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 25th November, 2015

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

WOMEN PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS GOLF TRAINING

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I would like to inform all Women Parliamentary Caucus Members who are interested in playing golf to register their names in the Women’s Caucus Office Number 181 for training on Thursday, 26th November, 2015 at 0900 hours at Chapman Golf Club.

MOTION

DECLINING SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN THE COUNTRY

          First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the socio-economic conditions in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SENATOR S. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me time to also add my voice on the motion that was brought in this House by Hon. Senator B. Sibanda and seconded by Hon. Senator Hlalo. Those who spoke before me yesterday said it very clearly that we are not against the land that was taken from the whites, but it is about those who took the land and are not utilising it properly. That has caused hunger in the country. A lot of things are happening outside here and I always wonder in this House where Hon. Members do not say the truth. This country has gone to its knees…

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: On a point of order Mr. President.

 

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: What is your point of order?

          *HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: Mr. President, the Hon. Member said Hon. Members do not speak the truth, which implies that Hon. Members lie. Hon. Members do not lie. May she withdraw that statement and stick to the motion?

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: We should try not to be offensive to others. Thank you.

          HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President. I think in Shona, they say manyepo and that is the worst word. IsiNdebele sithi sona amanga and that is something simple, but when I say Hon. Members are not saying the truth, I do not mean to say they lie…

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, are you discussing my ruling? Can you stick to the point that you stood to speak on. Thank you.

          HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President. I will continue but I am being compromised because I do not know where to start from now. I have to discuss in the way I am thinking because I did not insult anyone. I do not think that is the right way to debate.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I think if you stick to what you wanted to say at the beginning without all the other introductory issues, it will be okay.

          HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President. I want to say even a school child, a Grade 1 pupil knows that things are not okay in this country. Members always say we should not heckle each other – we should behave as Members of the august Senate because this House has people who are mature, but surely some things that we say in this House are not true. How can you run the country with people who are hungry, corrupt and given hand-outs? This country has got its own resources which are God given, but factories and companies are closing each and every day. Everybody is now a vendor.

So, I do not think we can tell the people that everything is okay yet things are bad outside there. People are failing to get even a dollar, they no longer have three meals a day. Schools are closing at 1.00 p.m. in the rural areas. Children fail to concentrate any time after 1.00 p.m. because of hunger. Mr. President, as a country, let us teach our people to fish so that they know how to fish and they can fish on their own. I thank you.

*HON. SENATOR MAKORE: I would like to thank you Mr.   President, for the opportunity that you have granted me to add a few words to this motion that was raised by Hon. Sibanda and seconded by Hon. Hlalo. We are all in agreement that for our country to develop economically, we should be engaged in agricultural activities. We are also in agreement that our economy is agro-based. The motion wants us to introspect ourselves in as far as our land production or farming methods are concerned. Are we doing the right thing? This is a good motion Mr. President because if we cast our memory back, we used to see fields being irrigated if there was a drought so that we would be able to have sufficient food production.

I believe it is appropriate to ensure that we go back to the manner in which we used to have irrigation and to resuscitate our irrigation facilities. When we speak in this august House, we are not here to just throw arrows at them – we are here to remind them to advise them that for us to have sufficient food which is part of the ZIM ASSET, we need to have produced sufficient food for our nation. This motion speaks to the concern over the production coming out of agriculture. That is a result of reduced agricultural productivity and food shortages are now being experienced. As an august House, it is important for us to all appreciate that we should go back to farming. Where there is need for irrigation, there should be irrigation facilities and farmers should be able to irrigate. Any form of assistance that should be given to the farmers should be given timeously.

          We have also looked at the budgets and we did say that our country should plough resources into the agricultural sector so as to enable our country to develop.   We would also want the farmers to see their weaknesses so that we can work on them to improve on agriculture. It is not only agriculture which has gone down. Even industries have collapsed. This shows that mining was employing a lot of people. We used to see this from the schools that were there to educate miners’ children. This was an industry on its own because a lot of people were into mining. Our industries have also collapsed now. This means that our children can no longer have jobs because our industry is not performing well and is not functioning at full throttle.

          We are saying that as an august House, we should sit down and look at ways to improve this. We should conduct a SWOT analysis so that we know whether it is funding which is lacking or other aspects which need to be attended to. A business person emerges from being a tomato vendor up until they have grown themselves to run large entities. At that level, they will require other advisors. I believe that as we speak, we should look at the private sector to see if it still has people. Do they have the capacity to perform? We would also want to look into what their weaknesses are, so that Government can bolster that.

We are the Government; we are not insulting each other but calling a spade a spade. We need, as Members of this august House, to have a vision. It is us who should be able to enjoy our independence when our children work and those that are enjoying themselves should really do so because we have independence and freedom. Freedom without food is not enjoyable because you find that children are stealing from one another. We now have a glut of thieves.

          Corruption is another issue that also has to be borne in mind as a result of such a society. Children are educated, they have gone to universities but they have no work. We have almost 17 universities producing children. Recently, the President capped 2030 graduates. Once you have produced such graduates, they do not have jobs because there is no industry. This causes brain drain as some go to South Africa, America, Britain and develop other countries. As we speak, at my home is only myself and my wife. All our children have left and we now have an empty nest. We need our children to be with us here. When we send them out to schools to learn, we would want them to develop our country but because of the lack of industries, the educated children would want to get jobs and start their own families well.

          Lastly, on corruption, it is an issue that the Anti-Corruption Commission should work on diligently once it is in place. The Commission should not scrap on the surface.   It is human nature that people do steal but stealing should not be the core business. The Commission should do its work to eradicate corruption. Section 235 of the Constitution talks of independence of commissions and if these independent commissions were to discharge their duties independently, it would be for the good of our country. No one is above the law, should you steal, you should be arrested regardless of the position or status that you hold in life because you will have committed an offence.

This country belongs to God and all of us here are waiting for the day when we are all going to die. No one lives on this planet forever. We are here to leave a good legacy for our children. If you take everything and amass a lot of wealth, what would you do with it? If you have more than enough wealth that you have amassed and you are misusing it, each and every one of us has a portion that we should enjoy from the wealth of this country and they are entitled to it. So, that is why there is this outcry on corruption because once one has stolen, he has stolen not only from an individual but from the entire country. It would be good if all the independent commissions would work independently. We have a lot of strategies and all that remains to be done is the implementation.

          I would want to thank you Hon. President for the opportunity that you have granted me.

          *HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you for granting me the opportunity to add my voice to this motion raised by Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda and seconded by Hon. Sen. Hlalo. He touched on a lot of aspects as regards our economy and the decrease that has been experienced in the agricultural sector. I would want to say, this is an important motion but we tend to have different perspectives. Hunger comes in two forms. This country belongs to God and if there is a drought, there is nothing we can do about it. There is God’s made hunger if there is no rain and human made hunger because of laziness.

          Secondly, I would want to say that we should be united as elderly people and look back on where we came from, where we are today and the future regarding this country. If it is the issue of the farms, I will say as I stand here, I started looking at it in 1965 when there was a unilateral declaration of independence by Smith when he gave farms to whites. They were given farms, motor vehicles and loans repayable in five years. That has not been extended to us as blacks. Currently, we do not have banks that are giving loans to blacks to be repaid in five years.

          The current state of our economy, according to my own view is caused by illegal sanctions posed to us. The economy has gone down. We are not looking at it correctly, we are modernizing but at times some of this modernization is causing us problems; problems that we are not seeing. We used to have a Post Office and a postman, there was a person who was employed to put letters in the letter boxes. There was a post person who would deliver letters door to door and these people are now unemployed.

          Going further, I would say that the leader of this country His Excellency the President, Cde Robert Mugabe, the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces and Leader of the Government, has categorical stated on numerous occasions that as blacks we do not have problems because we have two homes. If you are in town, you work in town and have a house there and we have a home in the rural areas. If you have problems in town you go to the rural areas where people are into farming and you go and get maize and dried vegetables and you come back to town and consume that, there is nothing new about it. Those that believe in that are living according to that line, those that refuse it are mourning.

          Today, if I say that the Zimbabwean economy has gone down and that there is hunger in Zimbabwe, we become the laughing stock because the supermarkets are filled with food. I remember there was a year when there was hunger the donors came, I had differences with them because they were seeing Zimbabweans that were fat, and there was water and flora. They were wondering how they would give Zimbabweans food. I told them that it was not famine but that it was a drought, it was not anything to do with farming but it was because of the drought.

          Coming back to the issue of work and economy – I once talked about the issue of the National Railways when it was the main form of transportation but now we have haulage trucks. What happened is that the railways were responsible for moving goods but they were slow. The truckers would say that they would deliver quickly and while the railways would delay, so when the railways went out of business people became unemployed because the truckers had now taken over.

          I will come back to the issue why people are saying everyday jobs are being lost. True, it is because of illegal sanctions that were imposed. If Senator so and so said Senator Machingaifa has tomatoes you should not buy his tomatoes, my tomatoes will rot. So, how am I going to be able to pay my workers because there are no sales? So, companies that are producing in Zimbabwe are not exporting because of illegal sanctions. I am saying this truthfully because I am a former worker. We took over from the Smith Government. There were sanctions before and up to now we still have sanctions meant to bring Zimbabwe to its knees. We will never be brought down to our knees because we know how to bust sanctions.

          Rain belongs to God, let us sit down and educate each other. We have tried to enlighten our children but our children are a different generation. They are conferred with a degree, he or she does not want to work for Zimbabwe and they go to the United Kingdom, place their degrees in the suitcase and starts sweeping the streets of London instead of working for Zimbabwe. We are producing educated doctors but they leave Zimbabwe and go and work in South Africa and Botswana. So, things are not moving well for our country. As Zimbabweans we do not love our country, we should sit down and see how best we can assist one another to emerge from these problems.   We should consider how best we can engage those that called the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe. I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SENATOR BHOBHO: Thank you Mr. President. I want to say a few words on the motion raised by Senator B. Sibanda and her seconder. It is good that the motion was brought into this august Senate. I see that the line of thinking is asking that as Zimbabweans we should put our heads together and think of what we should do about it as others who were supporting this motion were saying. They were saying that we should think outside the box and that we should look at our past, our present and future. It is good that the majority of the people that are in this august Senate witnessed what happened in Zimbabwe during the Smith regime and they have also witnessed the Government of President Mugabe.

          Let us now then put our heads together because there is no one who is saying those that are corrupt should be exonerated, that is why people are being arrested; that is why the police are arresting these corrupt individuals. Justice has to run its full course, so if allegations are leveled against me and investigations are carried out, I am not merely sent to prison. We are unhappy that a single individual should plunder our wealth due to corrupt ways. Those that are corrupt or engage in corruption should be arrested.

Those that have educated their children and they now have an empty nest should look at ways of bringing them back into this country.   We should put our heads together and think about it. We should not value the type of economy that outside countries have better than our own. In the olden days when other children would go outside the country to work, they used to send two pounds but it was powerful. The pound as it was, was very powerful but because of the depreciation of currencies worldwide, it is no longer valuable.

During those olden days it would be clearly seen that a certain family had a child abroad who was sending pounds back home. Let us stress to our children who are graduating today that life is not about going outside Zimbabwe and that good life is not out of Zimbabwe but within Zimbabwe. Let us encourage each other to talk about farming. I am happy that the previous speaker is a farmer and he advised this Senate that there is drought and famine. For three years if I am not mistaken, we have had erratic rains. It is one of the causative agents of drought or hunger to the country. We should also not turn a blind eye to corruption. It is another issue that we should castigate. We also have brains and we should not be overrun by the corrupt individuals. There are a lot of jobs that children can look at and we want those that are educated to come and educate us.

          As farmers we were given the land and it is important and better than just admiring the factories that were constructed by the whites. Our brains are important because if you look at the time when we had sanctions imposed on us, you would observe that there have been a lot of years and we have been able to survive despite those sanctions. We have been able to bust those sanctions because of our brains. A lot of people admire this country because of our President who was given the wisdom to lead this country during better and difficult times. He is a loving President who does not care about the colour, the stature and the height of a person but he loves all of the people in his country. So, let us assist him like what the previous speaker said that we are one arm of the three arms of the State. It is our duty to carry out our work as the legislature.

So, as the Legislature, we should play our part to ensure that Zimbabwe improves in terms of its wealth. This is our inheritance because the land in Zimbabwe belongs to us and the land in America does not belong to us. Let us be happy for being on our Zimbabwean soil and let us be satisfied with it and come up with programmes as we are now doing as Zimbabwean children as we look into issues of schools and farms. Everyone now wants to go into agriculture; it is God’s spirit that is saying we should assist one another as leaders of this country so that we can work with common purpose. We should not look at our differences as leaders. Before we apportion blame, let us look at ourselves and see that we also have our own problems. With that in mind, we should also be able to look at other ways to ensure that our country develops. I thank you Mr. President.

          *SENATOR KOMICHI: I thank those who have debated on this motion. Survival of the fittest is the law of the jungle. Our economy is known by everyone that it has gone down and this is supported by all the speakers that have spoken before. They have accepted that the economy has collapsed and it is actually nose-diving. We are duty bound as leaders of the country to take the responsibility for the problems that the country will be experiencing because as the economy is collapsing; it brings a lot of problems to innocent children, mothers and fathers.

Fathers also do not have the responsibility to make decisions pertaining to the economy. As the economy goes down, we observe that a lot of our children are graduates who are now street boys and girls and are suffering. Our degreed children with Masters Degrees are selling airtime and others have turned into thieves, ladies of the night or prostitutes in the avenues not because of their own volition but because of the difficulties that the economy is experiencing.

This is caused by leaders who fail to come up with conditions and policies that are conducive to the growth of the economy. Zimbabwe is endowed with national resources and has all the ingredients that can create the development of an economy.

We observed when we had the Government of National Unity and that the problem of this country is not the economy as it where but it is the politics of the country. It is the governance of the country. When we came up with some form of good governance in the GNU, the economy developed. Schools that had been closed were reopened, hospitals were reopened and transport which was non-existent was now in existence. Fathers and mothers started dressing in suits and dresses and we became happy and we were admiring each other. Our economy grew by 7 to 8% because the people had then accepted the truth and they had taken responsibility and said we should put good governance in this country as leaders.

As Zimbabweans, we should not suffer because of poverty. We should be able to practice what we have experienced. It is the politics of the country. There is no problem because we have diamonds, gold, the land, water, children, human capacity and education and as leaders if we could take up our responsibility and our economy will grow if we maintain good governance.

In Zimbabwe, anyone who is not corrupt should raise their hand because those that are supposed to arrest us are corrupt people for example what happens at roadblocks. You are supposed to be ticketed but you are asked to pay $5 and you proceed. Those that are leading investments to this country before they are bribed, they will not approve the deal because they want payback. Corruption has cost investment - for example if it was supposed to cost $10 million, because of corruption, $2 million has to be used. So, it eventually costs $12 million. Then corruption flourishes and becomes uncontrollable and it becomes a cancer. To end corruption we should make things available and make the economy grow and automatically corruption will go down because I can also come up with my own company as an investment. But, at the moment I am unable to do that.

As Zimbabweans, we should be clear and be in the open. The problems that we have as Zimbabweans are that of governance or the leadership of this country. We think that because I, Komichi, a son of the lamb totem regardless of my failures, should continue ruling and that I should be the only one who rules this country. We should disabuse ourselves of that notion. Thirty five years of our own ruling, we should accept that we have witnessed 35 years of decline instead of 35 years of economic growth. If we agree that this country belongs to all of us as children of one person, let us accept that Senator Komichi could be a better leader tomorrow and accept that Senator Tawengwa could be a good leader tomorrow. We accept to alternate leadership depending on capacity because we saw that during the GNU. We proved that if you bring in this one and that other one, things will change. We have removed one of them and things have gone down. Let us accept the truth. We should agree that this country should be ruled by the best person at that time. If we were to do that it would be helpful.

Foreign direct investment - no one will come and invest their money in a bottomless pit. There is no one. Every person who would want to invest would want to come up with a reasonable profit. It means that anyone who has their own money can invest in any part of the world. They would look at lucrative environments where they can maximise their profits which is also conducive to…

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): I am advised that you are using two languages and so the Hansard recorders are having problems. So, if you use English, stick to English and if you use Shona, stick to Shona.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Sorry Mr. President, I was spoilled by the whites. When a person brings in their investment in this country they would want to reap a profit. The problem that we have is that this world is now a global village and investors can invest anywhere in the world. If you look at Zimbabwe, endowed with the minerals that we have, diamonds and gold are even found in Botswana, Mozambique and Malawi. They will come and look at a country where they can invest so that they can reap a profit. They will see that Mozambique is more attractive and Zimbabwe is left behind. We will remain with these minerals buried in the earth. If the mineral has not been mined it is valueless. Once it has been extracted and is gone for beneficiation, it is valuable to the country as is emaciated in the ZIM ASSET.

As leaders, we should come up with policies that are investor friendly. The indigenisation plan with 51% for the Zimbabweans and 49% for foreigners is bad at this period in time. It does not mean that indigenisation is a bad policy. Empowerment is not bad, but empowerment should be done and investors given the chance to come and invest. The percentages that we are asking as Zimbabwe are higher as compared to Botswana. The percentages show that this is what is prevailing in other countries in the region. So, in that regard, our laws are inferior. If we do not correct that, we will lead a nation that has mothers and fathers that are riddled with poverty. We will have thieves and corrupt children in this country and we end up looking for flimsy excuses.

We should take a position, Mr. President, that whenever we have our own elections, they should not be contested. Our elections should be plausible. They should be conducted in a free and fair manner in the eyes of the participants. Today, because of our doubtful election outcomes, those observers do not give us a clean bill of health in the conduct of elections.

We came up with a new Constitution. It was approved by everyone. Let us align our laws in this country to the Constitution. Let us practice what we preach as leaders and implement what we would have agreed to before a lot of other countries. We should not be seen as people whose word is worth nothing. We are in an age where we are a global village. We are no longer an island. There is no way we can run away from it. It is here to stay. We are interrelated, interlinked so that we are people who are progressive in future. With these words, Mr. President, I thank you.

HON. SEN. MAKONE: I wish to join the others who have spoken before me in thanking Senator Sibanda for raising the motion that is before us and Senator Hlalo for seconding that motion. You will excuse me, Mr. President, I am going to try and be as calm as I can, but I find the subject that we are discussing very emotive. Emotive in the sense that we all know, as the people of Zimbabwe, what is good for our country. We all know across the party lines what is good for Zimbabwe, but for reasons best known to ourselves, we do the exact opposite of what we are supposed to do.

Mr. President, the people of Zimbabwe in 2012 or there-abouts, went and voted a new Constitution into place enmass. More than three million of us agreed to a set of rules by which this country should be governed. As we speak today, not even a quarter of it has actually been actualised. This is an indication of lack of political will, nothing else. The people spoke and we are ignoring the people.

HON. SEN. MACHINGAITA: On a point of order Mr. President. If anything which was agreed in 2012 was not done, today we are sitting here; there is the ruling party and the Opposition that was agreed to. When there is a competition there is a winner and a loser. Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: That is not a point of order. Senator Makone, you may continue.

HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you Mr. President. Maybe, I need to speak in Shona because I thought I was leading to a point, and before I even make the point, I get a correction which is totally irrelevant.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: You may continue.

HON. SEN. MAKONE: Senator Machingaifa, I am sorry that you did not understand what I was trying to say. I am talking for all the people of Zimbabwe. I am not talking about just the people in here or people in ZANU PF or MDC, I am talking about Zimbabweans. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- The easiest thing for us Mr. President, would be to say, wherever the Constitution is more superior to the current legislation, the Constitution takes precedence. Before we even start to deal with the so called 400 Acts, we do not need to go through 400 Acts. Even if we passed one Act every day including Saturdays and Sundays, it will take us more than a year to do so. If the Executive decided that wherever the Constitution is superior to the current legislation, the current Constitution takes precedence, this country can change overnight. We will live in a dream world because there is no Constitution more superior to the Constitution of Zimbabwe in the world.

It is by all accounts, and agreed by all people that have analysed Constitutions, that ours is the best in the world. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- Once we do that and we actualise what is in our Constitution without looking at the past, without apportioning blame, without talking about parties, just putting our own Constitution into place, we will attract any amount of investment that we want and that we deserve. There is no need to talk about the past in terms of who was corrupt because the Constitution will deal with it. Who is taking what from the investor; the Constitution will deal with it. Anything that you can think about will be dealt with but we need the political will.

Once we have agreed as a nation, then we can sit and work out a timetable, across party lines and generations of old and young. What are we going to do by when? Once we agree to do that, this country is the most beautiful country in the world, only retarded by greed. I have said this before in other for a, that the biggest problem that we have as Zimbabweans is fear of the unknown. In this context, we should not even fear the unknown because we already agreed on what we need to do.

Look at what happened to Parliament. Once it was agreed that a 50/50 should be put in place, a method was found, having seen that men make it impossible for women to come into the House. A way was found of getting them in here. Similarly, if we decide that there shall be no corruption in this country, a way will be found of targeting and zeroing in on corruption and dealing with it to finality. Once that is done, this country will just move.

Mr. President, the movers of this motion were not looking at forming another Government with anybody. They were looking at what is good for Zimbabwe. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- When that is in place, this country will have free and fair elections without having to talk about changing this or that because that will be dealt with by the Constitution. Automatically, everything will come into place. So, I am laying the blame if any, on the Executive and on Parliament, for not putting the Constitution of Zimbabwe into place and making it actual in order to attract foreign direct investment.

We are to blame for that failure. Our job as parliamentarians is to check the Executive and we have not done our job. We have failed the people of Zimbabwe. We have not done anything to control the excesses that we see being practiced. We have a job to do and I hope that when we have finished this debate, we will have agreed across party lines that this Senate is going to make sure that change comes to this country –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- So that our names together can go down in history as the Senate that performed and changed the course of history in Zimbabwe. I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SENATOR MANYERUKE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to support this motion raised by Hon. B. Sibanda supported by Hon. Hlalo. The issue of agriculture is a good one but my colleagues are skirting about the surface. They are indirectly insulting one another because we are the ones that are on the farms. I am one of those people that are on these farms as an A2 farmer with 98 arable hactares, but it would appear as we discuss the issue that there are others that are doing so in bad faith. If you are doing so in bad faith as if we are in the election mode, saying that we should have a good leader for this country and we are saying President Mugabe is a suitable leader for this country. The President is on record as saying that Zimbabwe will never be a colony again. So, as farmers, we urge the Government to mobilise funds so that farmers can have tractors, fertilizers and that we have dams constructed so that we can be into irrigation.

We have the power but we have no resources. We should not encourage bad things. If we talk about farming, we should urge each other to have land. Others are lazy, regardless of whether they are ZANU PF or MDC. That is why in the past others would work in parties and asked to be given the muti to enhance their work and were told that it is only bending down or working that would ensure that they are productive. The person with different implements and horsepower tend to farm differently and produce differently.

There are ways and means to ensure that the economy improves by providing funding. The new things should come into place. Psalms says, there is nothing new that people can talk about that has never been brought. Politics has been there from time immemorial. We now talk of modernisation but hunger has nothing to do with modernisation, whether you are in the urban or rural area. As Senate, we should encourage each other because I am disturbed by people who are saying that things have gone down. I am suspecting that others have bags of fertilizers that they could give to me so that I would apply them in my tobacco and maize field where I am farming.

Things have gone down and production has gone down in farming. What are the solutions to enable us to be self-sustaining farmers so that next year, I can produce enough bags for all Senators in this august House. Those that are capable of doing that, ensure it can be done. We have the power to work very hard to cultivate this land and we have the workers that can till the land. That is my plea Mr. President. We should be talking of development in our debates. We have very few implements on the farms.

          We would want to work on corruption. These well known corrupt characters, why can they not be dealt with by the Chiefs that are in this Senate? They should try them traditionally. Why should they resort to the magistrates and private prosecutors? We are looking for ways and means to ensure that we eradicate corruption so that Zimbabweans can have a better economy. If there is hunger in the house, you do not run away from your house but you go and look for piece work to enable you to sustain the family. We cannot run away from our President, he is trying the best that he can to ensure that we have tractors and fertilizers. In Muzarabani, we were given fertilizers. Maybe in town you do not have scotch carts that can deliver fertilizers. Thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: I would want to start by thanking the mover and seconder of this motion. The motion looks at how our economy has gone down and indeed it has gone down. Our economy is not healthy. They also talked about the collapsing of industries that we are experiencing. I would want to thank you Hon. Sibanda because you recall that our people should have sufficient food as hunger does not discriminate between a chief and a commoner or a minister and a member of a certain political party. Hunger attacks everyone.

Be that as it may, my appeal to us as an august House, as we deal with such an important topic is; it is important for us to vigorously deal with the solutions that we can proffer, to ensure that we emerge from these difficulties. We are the leaders and the people out there expect that once Hon. Sibanda has raised such an important motion on the collapse of our economy, solutions be proffered that will correct the current situation.

          The first solution as regards article number one, as we support your motion Hon. Sibanda, is to speak strongly on the issue of sanctions. Sanctions should be removed because the country cannot survive in isolation. If Britain or America were to be an island and were not to have any form of assistance from other countries, they would not succeed. Zimbabweans, or the Hon. Sibandas that are speaking in this august House as we debate this motion, are the ones who were approaching the British and the Americans to ask for the imposition of sanctions.

          HON. SEN. SHIRI:   On a point of order, can the Hon. Senator debate the motion and not personalise issues?

          *HON. SEN CHIEF. MUSARURWA: Thank you for correcting me. If I personalized a certain member, I am sorry but I believe that I was supporting the mover of the motion, which I am grateful for. It is important that we should now put our heads together and debate on these sanctions as a country.

          HON. SEN. KOMICHI: On a point of order Mr. President, we feel quite offended to hear that the speaker on the floor is actually continuing to allege that Hon. Sibanda himself went to ask for sanctions against this country. We are offended by those words.

*HON. SEN CHIEF. MUSARURWA: Let me reiterate by saying that maybe you did not get me well. I said that as Zimbabweans, including myself and the Hon. Sibanda who has raised this very good motion, we should now go and request with one voice that the sanctions that we requested for, be scrapped. I do not see where – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, if anyone has a point of objection, you are allowed to take the floor. You should not murmur behind the scenes. Standing up and debating is an honourable way of differing with a fellow Member of Parliament.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Mr. President. Let me proceed and say that sanctions were asked for by Zimbabwean children. They were in the forefront to ensure that we get to the position where we are today.

HON. SEN. MAKORE: I stand to object on the continual hammering by the neutral Chief, who is expected not to conceal political motions here. I would be very comfortable with somebody who is not a chief, but not a chief who is supposed to be neutral to cause such political divisions in this House. I thank you.

*HON. SEN CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Mr. President Sir.

          *HON. SENATOR MUSARURWA: I would want to thank Senator Makore for his guidance. As a Chief, I am speaking on behalf of Zimbabwean children. I said Zimbabwean children asked for sanctions from the western countries. I said no country is an island; we cannot survive on our own like we are doing now. I do not know what went wrong for them to say that I am apolitical. I am a Zimbabwean cittizen and I am saying as Zimbabweans we called for these sanctions. I did not apportion blame to anyone; we agree as a country that we are under sanctions.

          If you have no one who supports your economy how will the economy improve, it will go down. As part of the solutions we should speak with one voice like what we are doing today. Corruption has destroyed our country and our economy has collapsed. This is what we urge that as Zimbabweans we must speak with one voice against the issue of the imposition of sanctions in this country. I am sorry if I sounded political, I did not mean to sound political. I reiterate that no country is an island, we need support. As Zimbabweans I reiterate that we go there and ask for the removal of sanctions.

          Secondly, I want to touch on the issue of corruption. I would like to thank Senator Komichi, you did point out that those that are not corrupt please raise your hands in this Senate. I was very happy that no one raised their hands in this Senate even when you said it you did not raise your hand as well, which means that all those that did not raise their hands are corrupt. As a Chief I looked and I saw that no one raised their hands but I raised mine which means that we should walk the straight and narrow and ensure that our country improves. Our economy has collapsed. The agricultural sector, even when the white farmers were still farming they would have 70% of the produce delivered to the Grain Marketing Board.

          The current Government that is being led by those who were in the GNU that I made reference to are busy running around. Recently they were in Marondera where tractors were being distributed together with fertilizers and seed in these difficult circumstances. Cuba was under sanctions for 40 to 50 years but they did not go back. The opposition and the ruling party in Cuba sat down and they became united and started to act in concert. To the friends that we meet we should look for ways to ensure that our people survive and we should not be apportioning blame. When senators raise motions like that one we are debating that was raised by Senator B. Sibanda, we must not hammer him, that is retrogressive to the development of this country. When he stands up and talks about the GNU which is no longer in existence, it does not work. We should support the order of the day and we must support it together so that we come up with solutions so that things could move.  

          The people we represent are the ones that suffer because of hunger and as Chiefs we become touched by that. We begin to wonder how best we could look after our people in this present economy. We are the ones who requested for the imposition of sanctions so that we can effect regime change. We are now mourning all of us even the Government.   Commercial farmers upon delivering tobacco today, the following day they would be paid and they were given developmental loans for 20 to 30 years. They were given long term loans for ban construction, buying tractors, growing tobacco, cattle ranching and other infrastructure on the farm.  

          When we discuss these things in this august Senate, we will be thinking that the banks can come up with a solution to give loans to the farmers who are producing and are capable for paying the loans. Good farmers should be adequately supported with infrastructural development so that our country can improve. I would want to thank you Mr. President, for the opportunity that you have given me and to thank Senator B. Sibanda for the motion that he has raised. I would want to believe that those that are going to debate after me would hit the nail on the head as we work towards the development of this country.   We must not cast back our minds to the GNU but if 2018 is going to bring GNU back, we will accept it. We should support the Government of the day so that things can work and we must be united.

          We should unanimously say that those that did not raise their hands here, who are corrupt, should be arrested and they should be incarcerated. Our economy and our industry should be resuscitated and ensure that the sanctions are scraped off completely. I believe they are going to review this issue very soon. We should not go behind our back because we are mourning as we speak right now. If you encourage them to tighten the sanctions we are going to mourn worse than we are mourning today. I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SENATOR MAWIRE: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion. I think most of the things have already been said and I might repeat them so I ask you to bear with me. I stood up to thank those who raised the motion, a very pertinent motion. God is good and the Ebenezer has brought us to where we are such that as a family we are able to see the ills and the way our economy has gone down. On the issue of unemployment, poor agriculture and lack of industry, if we work together knowing where we went wrong, we can address this, it is actually a good measure. Everyone requires food and there is need for food security. Everyone needs to get food, be it fruit or whatever and then when we look at the issue of hunger in the globe, it is something that is brought about by God himself because no one has power over the water that we use in our homes that comes from the showers and the tapes. We have no control over the rainfall but only God knows the right time in which to send rain to the earth.

          On the issue of land, I realise that what has affected us is that, on the issue of the Land Reform Programme, most of us did not understand that. We have a challenge as a nation that so many people failed to get land because they were looking at and listening to the GNU which is now being talked about and being recorded as a success but I do not see the success. For the Land Reform Programme not to be a success, as some other farmers are saying in this House, it is because the inputs and implements to support farmers are no longer available.

          I will explain how it came to be that these are no longer available. I am surprised when people say Zimbabwe has become the talk of the continent because of the hunger. I remember during the period of Ian Smith, there was hunger and people survived on mealie-meal called “Kenya”. So, most of us should not in any way be disgruntled because of drought. My grandmother told me that in 1947, when Ian Smith and his white people were ruling this country, there was great hunger and people ate the kind mealie-meal that was called Kenya. So even today, let us not be surprised that we have hunger in this country and why. The droughts that we are experiencing today are not a new phenomenon.

          HON. SEN. HLALO: On a point of order Mr. President. Ian Smith was not around in 1947.

          *HON. SEN. MAWIRE: Mr. President, I think that there are people whose feathers have been raffled when I talked about history. I said this because history is very important because it opens our minds and makes us realise our mistakes just like the motion that was raised by Hon. Sibanda. I remember that when Hon. Sibanda was moving the motion, he quoted the road that we have travelled and I am not going to go into it because I will be wasting time.

          On the issue of industries, from the time of independence in 1980, it was strong and there was a lot of work that was being done then. We know that agriculture and industry work hand in glove. If we look at the industries, there are a lot of things that happened that caused our industries to fall. The industry did not just fall like that but it only fell recently. There was a period when it was being asked why these people were mushrooming everywhere. So, when you say such things, you are de-campaigning yourselves as a nation. Even if the investors were to come, if I am talking ill of my own country, how then will they invest?

          I will look at the recommendations that we can adopt as a country to ensure that we address our wealth in our country. I heard that the clinics actually got medication but I never witnessed this. The medication that was found in hospitals came from our friends that we grew up with. When I consider this Mr. President, there is someone who debated that we need to work together and address these issues as one.

On the issue of industries, they were in operation in full capacity before the GNU and agriculture was also doing very well. It was because our Government before it got into the GNU, supported its farmers by giving inputs and implements and our silos were always full.

          I also became an icon in agriculture because I was being supported by the Government. Now, the GNU did not bring anything because strategies were used against us by other countries or enemies and then we opposed the support given by Government to farmers and that affected farming. If we look at those countries that denounced supporting farmers, they still support their farmers up to today. We should realise that no farming sector can be successful without assistance from the Government. We should not forget the fact that we had stay-aways and final pushes and that is when the economy started deteriorating. It is because we forced people to get into the streets to go for the stay-aways. So, in that case who then was supposed to produce?

          So, the moment you leave those companies, when workers are not working, it is obvious that we are not going to produce anything and industry will be destroyed. Today, we have realised that what we were doing is bad and we are now pointing fingers at one another. I also call upon the Government that on the motion that was raised by Hon. Sibanda, our farming sector needs support. The Government should source funding to ensure that it supports its farmers like what was happening before. The white men were given five-year loans for them to engage in agriculture and I think that there is need for us to go back to the drawing board and adopt the same strategy. People were given inputs and implements for them to be able to be productive.

          When we were calling for sanctions, we did not know that it was going to affect everyone. We thought that it was just going to affect one person when we called for those sanctions. We did not know that the sanctions would affect our industry and us as a nation. So, the GNU that we are talking about and singing success, what do we need it for? How will it help us? As Zimbabweans, why can we not sit down as a nation and ensure that we come up with strategies to develop our nation?

Lastly on the issue of corruption, corruption yes is an ill in the economy. I want to say if you know that there is a person who is corrupt, why do you not get that person arrested; take them to the courts and talk about the issue that this person is corrupt. You are just mentioning corruption but you have not done anything. If I remember well, no one has said corruption is good. Even our own President, the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces who has love for his people, has spoken for a long time, not condoning corruption yet the people have ignored him. Now that it is affecting us, we want to start talking about corruption. Let us correct what we failed to address as a nation, work as one and move forward. I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA:   Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate that is in this House. Sometimes it becomes difficult for us that politicians exchange blows verbally and then as we want to add our voices as chiefs, people would say we are being partisan. I will try to ensure that I remain impartial. In the event that I misfire, please do not shoot me. It is not my intention.

Mr. President, I want to thank the motion raised by Senator Sibanda and seconded by Senator Hlalo. What delights me is that people have accepted that we have an agricultural sector that is under-performing. We all agree with this. Our agricultural sector is not performing. So, what is it that we are doing? What is it that we can request the Government to look into? What policies can we ask the Government to implement and to come up with to ensure that our agricultural sector performs?

If you were to fly around the country, you would realise that we have so many dams that are 90 or 100% full, as I speak right now on our farms. We should be urging our Government to come up with strategies or establish ways to ensure that those who are on those farms can have the capacity to engage in irrigation to make use of the water to address the issue of food security.

Still on the issue of agriculture, we also need to look at the issue that if the sector is not performing, when those people who engage in agricultural farming and produce, is the market available? How many people have complained that they have taken maize to the GMB and have not been paid for the past two or three years? We need to look into the issue that those who buy the maize should be available and that will encourage the farmer to engage in agriculture. I think these are the issues that can stimulate our economy.

If a farmer knows that there is a market for whatever he is producing and is convinced that in three months time he will have his money, that will encourage farmers to grow more food. If we look at our history, our economy was based on agriculture followed by mining and then tourism. These sectors need us to come up with stimulants to ensure that they thrive. There is an issue that is taking place in Zimbabwe. There are some who are being given import licences to import agricultural produce from South Africa. They are importing apples, green beans; all vegetables are being imported from South Africa including mineral water. What then happens if we grow our own tomatoes, beans and yams? Who is going to buy our produce if people are importing from South Africa. I think the Government should come up with policies that protect the local farmers to ensure that products coming from outside do not affect our prizes. This causes a liquidity crunch. If we import things from South Africa, our money is going out of the country. We do not print money here, so we need to put plugs to ensure that the money that we generate from agriculture circulates within the nation. What I am saying is that GMB needs to be capacitated. It should have the power and the capacity to buy produce from the farmers.

On point number two that was raised by Senator Sibanda on the collapse of industry, the produce that we get from agriculture is what is processed in industry, but if there is no processing then there is no development. What we are saying is, our industry should be vibrant. The economic enablers include electricity. Why is our industry performing at 30% capacity utilisation? Are our resources adequate? I think if we do that with the assistance from the Government to come up with policies, that will enable us as Zimbabweans to farm and produce and also have markets. Currently, the Government is trying to ensure that our industry is resuscitated. What is affecting it is the issue of prices. So, I think we need to support our Government to ensure that we come up with policies and also the need to diversify is important.

Demand is not static. Whatever a farmer produces is demand driven. In the past years, farmers that time engaged in ostrich farming as well as citrus farming. The moment there was no demand, they would then venture into wild life. So, that will assist us to develop our nation. Right now, our exports have nose-dived. We used to export flowers and that brought in a lot of forex into the country. These are sectors that can develop our nation. So, it is up to us as Zimbabwe, to continue pointing fingers or to come up with solutions that will assist us as a nation.

This country has the highest literacy rate, which means that we have think-tanks who should come up with strategies. We need to sit down and go back to the drawing board and come up with solutions; why do we not do this, why do we not do that? We can then look at the blunders that we made and address them, but we need to come up with solutions. We have the best economists around and the best agriculturists in Zimbabwe who are in this House. So, let us come up with strategies that will enhance the performance of our agricultural sector, which in turn will lead to the resuscitation of industry. Our national herd also needs to be supported. If you look at this issue, it is all captured in ZIM ASSET hence, the need for us to come up with policies that will assist us.

Mr. President, as the people of Zimbabwe, we need to discuss this motion, sit down and consider it seriously; think of the Agricultural Finance Co-op of Zimbabwe and why it is unable to finance agriculture. The culture that we have now, that once I borrow money and I need to pay it back, I then do not pay it but seek the bank manager for his protection. Whatever I have borrowed should be paid back so that it becomes a revolving fund to support the others. That way we can develop as a nation.

Mr. President, my request is, if only the Government could look into the issue of the leases that we have so that they become bankable. It will assist us because for a bank to loan me money, they want collateral. Whoever has money needs some form of collateral. They even want to find out my history in terms of loans, whether we politicise this issue or not, this is what is on the ground. We need to unite and speak with one voice. We now have the land in our hands and it was a good step by the President. We need to establish markets and protect them so that they are not infiltrated by those who are selling cassava. We grow cassava here and we have a lot of mineral water but we are importing these from South Africa and we are taking our US dollars outside. With these few words Mr. President, my request is that we speak with one voice as one people. I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: The Chair appeals that this is a very important motion for debate and all those that want to debate should make sure that they add value to it, not to create conflict and commotion – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          +HON. SENATOR D. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to debate on this matter. It is a pertinent matter which we should work on so that we may develop our country. Zimbabwe is very literate. Its people are clever and they are found all over the world involved in a lot of activities. We have heard that our GDP, the money that we realised last year, Government was looking forward that we are going to have 3.3%, but that GDP is now 1%. We are looking forward for that to rise next year to 2.5%.

          If we want everything to work well, what is required is that we should look thoroughly as to what we should do. When your child or your son is getting married, when that child wants to set up his own homestead, he marries, weds and when that child has his own homestead, he should decide on his own way what to do and where to take his homestead. That child should not wait for me to make decisions for him because the homestead is his. What I am trying to say is we had our good Government at independence and we go on with that Government so that we can do freely as Zimbabweans since Zimbabwe is ours.

          We therefore request from our Government to look into what we should do in order to develop our country. Our country has people who are free, an economy which is stable and people who are happy because they have everything. The planner is the Government and other people help the Government. Government strategises as to where to move from point A to B, what we should get for electricity because of the global population and what should we do to have excess stuff for these people? Government has realised that on its own, it cannot manage. Therefore, we should pull our ideas so that we can strategise together to move forward.

          I am happy that the Minister of Finance last time when we were debating here in Parliament about railways, what did the Minister say when we were in Victoria Falls? He said if we have to develop, we should resuscitate railways, but here we debated and we did not agree. I think that was a lesson for us that we should help each other. We should not fight. We should help each other to strategise so that we move on. The Government should also realise that there are some children who are working for an organisation which is called PSMAS. Our children are not getting their money because it is not paying its workers, but we have heard that it donates money to the party.

          When they leave work, what should we say? That is not fair. As Government, I would say do not give the money to the party. Go and pay the workers who do not have the money so that they can proceed with their work. Five months without pay and they took US$20 000 to donate to the party, that is not fair. As people in Government, is that good. If we look again, we have a problem about this issue which we call illegal sanctions. Illegal sanctions are there. There is no home without problems. So, you find people fighting. We have to fight our own battles. These people should come to us and find us doing something. Something that has been raised by the chief that we do not need to be told that water is being wasted in the dam. Everyone can see that. We should use water to irrigate but water is being wasted. Why should we tell each other when it is quite clear that when we are in Government, let us solve our own problem as Government.

          We have a problem with parastatals in Zimbabwe. We will not interfere with their affairs but the Government should interfere with those parastatals. They are not doing well. In some other countries when there was inflation in 2005-2008, they used money from the parastatals, but our parastatals need money from the Government. We should leave them on their own. We should not continue pumping money into them. We should privatise them because they are not properly managed. We are not realising anything from them so as to develop the country.

          For a country to develop, parastatals should be properly managed so that they realise profit. They should not be a burden to the fiscus. We should look thoroughly to their matter and see where things are and how things are moving there. Our country has faced some problems in the agricultural sector because in agriculture, we let down sectors which were supposed to work with us when we were able to produce. Bales of cotton have always been there, but they were not being utilised because the factories for that were not functional. We were busy buying clothes outside. Why did we not resuscitate our own textile industry? We are all putting on clothes but we are buying materials from Zambia and Malawi. Do we have to wait to tell each other to come up with one voice when we are the Government? Let us learn to solve our own problems.

          In conclusion, let me speak on the issue of our children. Eskom in South Africa produces electricity. It is our children who are in charge there. Why can we not take them back to our own country? Why can we not use our own children who are serving there to come and serve here? We are not happy to live on our own without our children. We therefore request Government to quickly resuscitate some of these factories that process agricultural produce from gardens. Our children will come and there will be additional value on those things, which will result in our children coming back home. Some of our children are even in Canada, producing electricity for Canadians. They are afraid to come back home because if they do, they probably will not get jobs. Everyone should be employable in their country. Lack of job opportunities cause people to run away. We should not be selective on whom to employ but employ everyone. I thank you Mr. President for the opportunity to debate on this motion so as to resuscitate our economy by pooling resources and our ideas together.

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

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday 26th November, 2015.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE 7TH WORLD WATER CONFERENCE

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on the Report of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Delegation to the 7th World Water Conference.

Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 26th November, 2015.

MOTION

ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR

Third Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on great strides made by Government in raising literacy rates in the country.

Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 26th November, 2015.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on the need to promote sports development in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday 26th November, 2015.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 26th November, 2015.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BREAKFAST MEETING FOR THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON PEACE AND SECURITY MEMBERS

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Members of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security are advised that there will be a breakfast meeting at the Holiday Inn Hotel, starting at 0730 hrs, Thursday, 26th November, 2015.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU, seconded BY HON. SEN. MUMVURI, the Senate adjourned at Twenty-Nine Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 25 NOVEMBER 2015 VOL 25 NO 18