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SENATE HANSARD 27 MARCH 2019 VOL 28 NO 38

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 27th March, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT WHEREAS, subsection (3) of Section 327 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS, the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement was concluded in Kigali, Rwanda on the 21st of March 2018 and was signed by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in Kigali, Rwanda on the 21st of March 2018 at the African Union (AU) Extraordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government;

AND WHEREAS, the Government of Zimbabwe is desirous of becoming part to the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement;

AND WHEREAS, the entry into force of the said agreement is conditional upon its acceptance by parties in accordance with their Constitutional procedures;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement be and is hereby approved.

          Madam President, the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area is aimed at integrating Africa’s market in line with the objectives and principles enunciated in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community during the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 14 to 15 June 2015.

          Madam President, the Agreement is aimed at strengthening our economic relationship and build upon our respective right and obligations under the Constitutive Act of the African Union of 2000, the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community of 1991 and, where applicable, the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation of 1994.

          This agreement fulfills the aspirations of Agenda 2063 for a continental market with a free movement of persons, capital, goods and services, which are crucial for deepening economic integration and promoting agricultural development, food security, industiralisation and structural economic transformation.  The agreement creates an expanded and secure market for the goods and services of the State parties through adequate infrastructure and the reduction or progressive elimination of tariffs and elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade and investment.

          Madam President, the agreement establishes clear, transparent, predictable and mutually-advantageous rules to govern Trade in Goods and Services, competition Policy, Investment and Intellectual Property among State parties, by resolving multiple and overlapping trade regimes to achieve policy coherence, including relations with third parties.  It upholds the importance of international security, democracy, human rights and the rule of law for the development of international trade and economic cooperation.

          This agreement reaffirms the right of the State Parties to regulate within their territories and the State Parties’ flexibility to achieve legitimate policy objectives including public health, safety, environment, public morals and the promotion and protection of cultural diversity.  It upholds our existing rights and obligations with respect to each other under other agreements to which we are parties.

          Madam President, this agreement acknowledges the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), that is, the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA); the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD); the East African Community (EAC); the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC); as building blocs towards the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

          The Consolidated AfCFTA Agreement comprises the following:-

(a)      Agreement establishing the AfCFTA;

(b)            Protocol on trade in goods;

(c)      Protocol on Trade in services and

(d)            Protocol on Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes.

I now lay the Agreement before Senate for approval.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. S. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President. I have a problem because, honestly speaking the Minister was reading. It is not easy for us to follow because there is nothing in our pigeon holes.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: According to my papers, on page 336 and 337 of today’s Order Paper that is where everything is. If we get our papers, we have to read Hon. Members.

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: My apologies Madam President. I checked in my pigeon hole and there was nothing.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: You do not have any Order Paper? It is written in the Order Paper on page 336.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam President, the agreement was circulated and I took mine from the pigeon hole just now. It is there. I am actually surprised.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: According to our papers, these issues are here on this page.

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: I am talking about the agreement Madam President.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is set forth on page 336. Like what the Minister is saying – what do we do? Those who have them are rising up, so what do we do now?

          *HON. SEN. SHOKO: Thank you for allowing me to speak. My request is to move this motion so that we can debate it tomorrow to allow us to go through that agreement. By tomorrow, we will have read it. I do have this agreementwith me but I have not had an opportunity to it. I read a different book, I want to be honest. It is important to be honest.

          When we debate this issue, we need to debate in our numbers because it helps us to understand the agreement better for someone can grasp one section and the other another. When we are held accountable for agreeing to this agreement, we will have something to say to defend our position. If we are given a chance to go through that agreement we will then be more knowledgeable when debating it.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Maybe, it is a question of adjourning it to tomorrow but it should not disturb us following right procedures in this House. Tomorrow, we are going to have our question time and so, the House will have to agree whether this item should be moved to next week.

HON. ZIYAMBI: I humbly request the indulgence of Hon. Members that those who have read, if we can debate because we need to ratify so that we move with other nations in terms of our international and regional obligations. If we cannot do it today, tomorrow is question time and we may perhaps not be able to finish it. The Senate will adjourn until 8th May 2019. It will be a month and a half yet we had already indicated that by that time we would have send the agreement to AU for depositing. I so submit that maybe for today if they may indulge me and we conclude this matter. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. WUNGANAYI: Thank you Madam President. Still on that issue, our request is that the Senate sits on Tuesday just to deliberate on this agreement.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: The procedures of Parliament do not operate that way, that on any other day you can think of you can come and debate. We have a sitting calendar which is agreed upon by Parliament.

*HON. SEN. MAVETERA: The truth of the matter is that some of us did not receive this document. The Hon. Member here only got it today. Yesterday, there was nothing. We want to be honest. We did not get this document. For us to debate this agreement, I think what we need to do is to change the ways of doing business in order for us to get documents in time because we cannot stand up here and say we have not received them when we have received them.

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I hear you Senator Mavetera. The agreement was distributed on 11th March, 2019. You see all these officers; they are hearing what we are saying. I do not know if it is something new that documents are put in certain pigeon holes leaving out others.

*HON. SEN. MAVETERA: What is happening Madam President is that there is already inefficiency? If we come here and expect us to debate on documents that we have not seen, then there is a challenge.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Maybe if I can come in; tomorrow, let us have our Question Time on time and thereafter, dispose of this document because we cannot call back Senators to debate this item just because some of us have not read it.  I hope tomorrow this motion will be completed. Let us agree on that one.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th March, 2019.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON DEMOCRACY, ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move the motion standing in my name:

          THAT WHEREAS, subsection (2) of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe  provides that an international treaty which has been concluded by the President or under the President’s authority, does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament and does not form part of the law of Zimbabwe unless it has been incorporated into the law through an Act of Parliament;

          AND WHEREAS, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance was adopted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the 30th January 2007 and was signed by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in Kigali, Rwanda on the 21st of March 2018 at the African Union (AU) Extraordinary Session of Heads of State and Government;

          AND WHEREAS, the Government of Zimbabwe is desirous of becoming party to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;

          AND WHEREAS, the entry into force of the said Charter is conditional upon its acceptance by the parties in accordance with their constitutional procedures;

          NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) of the Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Charter be and is hereby approved.

          I rise again to present to the Senate, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance for adoption. The Charter was adopted by the 8th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the 30th of January, 2007.  It came into force in February 2012 after ratification by fifteen (15) member States.

The Charter was motivated by the need to enhance the quality of elections in Africa, promote human rights, strengthen the rule of law, improve political, economic and social governance and address the recurrent issues relating to unconstitutional changes of Government in the continent.

Madam President Ma’am, the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance was signed by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency E. D. Mnangagwa on the 21st of March, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.  The signing was ahead of our harmonised elections which were held on the 31st of July, 2018.  The signing was so as to enhance the quality of our own elections among other objectives.  Mindful of the provisions of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution which provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament, the Charter was submitted to Parliament for ratification before. 

Madam President, the Charter binds State Parties to promote democracy, rule of law and human rights.  It obligates State parties to take necessary measures to promote constitutional transfer of power.  It also binds the State parties to guarantee rights of women, migrants, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and other vulnerable social groups.

Madam President, The ACDG obligates State parties to establish and strengthen a culture of democracy and peace through legislative measures by:

Promoting good governance through transparent and accountable administration;

Strengthening political institutions to entrench a culture of democracy and peace;

Creating conducive conditions for civil society or organisations to exist and operate within the law; 

Integrating civic education in their educational curricula, and Developing appropriate programmes and activities. 

Madam President, to consolidate democracy and peace, the Charter binds State parties to ensure and maintain political and social dialogue.

Madam President, the Charter binds State parties to institutionalise constitutional civilian control over the armed and security forces to ensure consolidation of democracy and constitutional order.

State parties are also obligated to check legislative and regulatory measures to ensure that those who attempt to remove an elected government are dealt with in accordance with the law.  The Charter binds State parties to establish public institutions that promote democracy and constitutional order.

Madam President Ma’am, State parties are sanctioned by the Charter to commit to regular holding of transparent, free and fair elections in accordance with the Union’s Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa. To this end, State parties shall:

1.    Establish and strengthen independent and impartial national electoral bodies responsible for the management of elections;

2.    Establish and strengthen national mechanisms that redress election related disputes in a timely manner;

3.    Ensure fair and equitable access by contesting parties and candidates to state controlled media during elections;

4.    Ensure that there is a binding code of conduct governing legally recognised political stakeholders, government and other political actors prior, during and after elections.

5.    The code shall include a commitment by political stakeholders to accept the results of the election or challenge them through legal channels.

Madam President, the Charter obligates State parties to refrain from using illegal means of accessing or maintaining power.  Unconstitutional change of government like a coup d’tat, armed rebellion against a constitutional elected government, refusal to relinquish power to a winning party in free and fair elections shall draw appropriate sanctions by the Union.  In this case, the Peace and Security Council shall intervene in order to maintain the constitutional order.  The Council may suspend a State part from participating in the activities of the Union where diplomatic efforts have failed.  The Assembly shall also have the powers to impose sanctions, including punitive economic measures. 

Madam President, State parties are obligated to advance political, economic and social governance, that is through committing to strengthening capacity of Parliament and legally recognised political parties to perform their functions, partnership with civil society organisations, reform of legal system, combating corruption, promoting freedom of expression et cetera. 

Madam President Ma’am, the Charter binds the State parties to take measures to enhance participation of women in electoral processes and ensure gender parity in representation at all levels.  The Charter provides that State parties shall promote the participation of youth and people with disability in the governance process.

Madam President Ma’am, State parties are bound by the Charter to institutionalise good economic and corporate governance.  The Charter also obligates State parties to decentralise power as provided in their national laws.  The Charter obligates State parties to promote peace, security and stability in their respective countries, regions and in the continent by promoting participatory political systems. 

State parties are bound by the Charter to provide and enable access to basic social services to people.

Madam President Ma’am, I now lay the Charter before Parliament for approval and I hope I have gone through the whole Charter in summary and I indulge the Hon. Members that from my speech, we can debate the Charter.  I so submit Madam President.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: If I may give notice to the House that, with me I have these two documents which were distributed in the pigeon holes.  On this one, before we do anything, I am not going to allow anything rather than debating because this information has been brought to my notice by the Clerk who is responsible for distribution.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU:  Thank you.  With your permission Madam President, I think we are being ambushed by the Minister because even if they were distributed this morning, we had no ample time. 

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  It is not the Minister who distributes.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: Can this debate be postponed to another date because I think it is only fair.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  As I was saying, this is the administration which distributes these documents.  The Minister just brings this information to administration.  So, it is administration which gave me these copies.  They took them from the pigeon holes.  So for you to attack the Minister, I do not think that it is proper. 

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU:  No, I am not attacking the Minister but I am only asking that the debate be postponed. 

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: The Hon. Minister gave notices of motions on the approval of these agreements yesterday.  It was just giving notice and it was incumbent upon you the Hon. Members when the notice is given you go to the pigeon holes to see whether the information which is being talked about is there.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam President, if I may assist. The procedure of Parliament is these agreements or any bill first of all is tabled in the Lower House and I believe we are all Members of Parliament (those in the National Assembly and us here). Once something has been tabled in the Lower House, it is now public information and the expectation is once it has been completed there, it will migrate to this House. So, the moment that the Lower House resolves that, they have approved, there is now need to come here to give notice that I am now presenting it. So, there is no ambush whatsoever because it spent several days in the Lower  House and it is incumbent upon the Hon. Senators to familiarise yourselves with whatever has been tabled so that you can prepare – [HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: With your permission …] – yourself for debate 

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Hon. Members, I told you that we have got procedures of operating in a House. When you have something to say, you stand up and I recognise you.

HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: What the Minister is saying is that the fact that it was presented in the Lower House, it makes his presentation null and void. He presented it in this House for purposes of us as the Senate so that we recognise his submission. As such, we can only debate it when it is presented. Thank you.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: When someone is presenting, it is proper for Hon. Members to listen and understand what is being said. What he said is for as long as it has been tabled in the National Assembly, it has become a public matter, meaning you will be in a position to know that this issue is coming to our House and then you prepare yourselves. This is what he was saying. He then gave notice that I am now coming into your House to present this information of which we thought he was thinking you were already ready for that because it was being debated while we were waiting as Senators. Is that not so? That is part of our duties to prepare ourselves for debate when the matter comes to our House.

*HON. SEN. SHOKO: Yes, you and the Minister are very right but what we want to do here is that we heard the Minister giving us information. They are other paragraphs that have serious issues that I heard when the Minister read through. In my opinion, they are serious. I heard them …

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Just debate them if you think they are serious. I think you are right Hon. Senator and there is something that you heard. You can assist those who have not heard by debating.

HON. SEN SHOKO: What I think is that we do not want to put blame on anyone. The Minister and the President of the Senate did nothing wrong. The Senator seems to be at fault because he did not read what he was supposed to read. My request is that let us not be like other churches whereby the Bishop or Pastor is the only one with a Bible and the rest do not have. If we want to develop our nation and for it to be governed well, let us agree that tomorrow when you come here we are not going to default again. We have to complete this issue. Madam President, this will give us ample time to go and interrogate that document. Madam President, I did not read and I do not want to say I read something when I have not. I do not want to go out there and represent the Senate without being knowledgeable because when people demand accountability, I do not want to lie and say I was not there. That is why I want to be given an opportunity to air my views on this matter. Tomorrow I will be the first Senator to say let us go through those agreements. Please here our request Madam President. We are in one accord and we want to read these documents before us that the Minister presented. I thank you.

*THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  The Minister will respond but if I may ask what will happen to other Senators who have read and who are ready to debate on this issue? I think they can be allowed to debate.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam President. We had agreed that tomorrow after question time we will debate the Continental Free Trade Area. That is the one that will be debated tomorrow. So, if we take the other one and say we will debate it tomorrow, I do not think we are being honest with ourselves and also we may not get ample time to go through it. I wish to go back to what I said before that can we debate this one with the knowledge that you have because it was debated in the National Assembly. If we are Members of Parliament who represent the people, once that is tabled in the National Assembly, it is common knowledge that it will come to the Senate for it to be completed. You need to be aware of what is happening in the National Assembly and ensure that you follow it through as the Upper House which is well vexed in terms of wisdom. Only then can you come and debate the Bill and point out any issues or gray areas that you may see so that when I come here, you can then debate and advise me that certain areas were not taken care of and we move forward. For us to come here and tell me that you have not read it is not right because this was tabled in the House and was even in the media. So, the other one we can debate tomorrow, it is not a challenge.

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Madam President. In my view and from what the Minister has said in this House, I see that his explanation was good enough. I do not see anything bad in whatever he said. For that reason, I am proposing that we proceed Madam President.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Madam President for giving me an opportunity. I want to support what the previous speaker said because this is an agreement that has already been signed by the Head of State and we cannot change what the Head of State agreed. It is the same as if we are just being given information on agreements that various nations have made including Zimbabwe. I do not think we can waste time postponing this matter and yet the President of our State has already signed and agreed to it. I thank you.

HON. SEN. NCUBE: Thank you Madam President. I think as Senators, we have problem because we are representing the people. We know this agreement will pass, there is no other way but for the record, we have to debate Madam President.  We have heard what the Minister has said and we hear what other Hon. Members are saying.  We are just asking, we have a lot of questions which have been in this Order Paper almost for a year and this agreement has been here since 2015.  Now when the Minister comes and says we cannot debate it tomorrow, I am just disappointed because there are a lot of things that are supposed to have been done as early as possible but they are not done.  Why do we want to rush this?  We are saying we delay this for today only then debate tomorrow?  Is there a problem there?  I thank you Madam President.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think we need to be clear and put the record straight.  The Minister did not say we are not able to debate….

          HON. SEN. NCUBE: Madam President, the Minister said this has to pass today, not tomorrow.  He said we have got another agreement that we are going to debate.

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I think the Minister was responding to the request that has been made by other Hon. Members that now that we are going to read this document today, we can do it tomorrow and he was saying that tomorrow we may not have ample time since it is Question Time.  That is how I understood him, not that it is supposed to be done today because tomorrow it is impossible.

          *HON. SEN. SHOKO: Madam President, I want to explain that these agreements that are signed outside the country are in the Constitution.  Unfortunately, I cannot remember the section, maybe it is 101, I cannot remember.  You will assist me but these are supposed to be brought to Parliament for ratification.  It does not mean that if an agreement has been signed by the President, we do not have power but we have to ratify that agreement.  I want to clarify that the Constitution is there, it is a good Constitution and it gives us power to ratify.  So, we should understand the powers that we have and how these agreements work.

          There is also the issue of the fact that there is no time tomorrow.  Standing Rules say that we can knock off at seven o’clock pm and most of the time we finish at quarter to four o’clock; three hours and we are gone.  So, how can we say that if the agreement comes after Question Time, we would not have time?  Tomorrow I know that for Questions Without Notice, the Ministers will not be here and for Questions With Notice they would not be here.  Those entire questions will be responded to by the Leader of the House.

          I am one of the people who spoke here that for the Leader of the House to address all questions is not right because he is not a ‘Jack of all trades’.  He is a legal man…

          *THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I just want to remind you that you may be drifting from the issue of agreements that we are addressing.

          *HON. SEN. SHOKO: What I am saying is that the issue of time is trivial because there is time.  We are supposed to adjourn at seven o’clock pm.  So, tomorrow, let us be on record for finishing at seven o’clock pm, just to debate these agreements.

          +HON. SEN. A. DUBE: Thank you Madam President.  I am happy with this document which has been brought before the Senate by the Minister.  It is a document that we have read and we were satisfied with its contents.  As Zimbabweans, we should be united for a common goal.  I support this document, it is a document that we have read and understood.  It makes us people who are united; people who love each other; people who respect their country; people who respect who they are and in elections we should know that we are Zimbabweans. 

          After elections we should remain united, love each other and accept those who would have been chosen by the people.  We accept this document, it is very important.  It makes us Zimbabwe to be a family.  We thank the Minister for bringing this agreement for ratification.  It is a very pertinent document; we have read it and we are satisfied with it.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. SHUMBA: Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Minister for the Charter that he has brought before us.  We support that Charter.  Madam President, we do have the document. We may deny this because if we take it that people do not have, tomorrow we will still use the same trick to say that we have not read the document so that we can knock off at seven o’clock.  Let us look at the document right now.  Madam President, if we had gone to pigeon holes earlier, you will realise that some pigeon holes are so full and yet the documents are there.  People are just not checking their pigeon holes; we always collect our documents.

          I want to say that the Charter that has been brought by the Minister, I support it and I believe my colleagues from the other side also support this because they do have the papers.  I do not know of those who do not have the papers.  I thank you.

          HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: Thank you Madam President.  It is not that we were not supporting the Minister’s presentation.  All we are asking is, can this debate be postponed to another date.   If the Minister wants a rushed parliamentary process, that is fine but what will happen is that he would not get the views that will help him to implement.  That is my submission.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam President.  May be as a background for Hon. Members to appreciate the need to ratify this convention, it is not that we are required to make any amendment to the Treaty.  We cannot.  The reason why we debate is to have an appreciation before we vote so that either we vote that we do not want to be part of that agreement or we are in it.  Those are the two choices that we have. 

          Having said that, last year during our consultations, I had extensive debate with Members of various political parties, among them the political party that the Hon. Members represent, and one of the critical issues that they wanted was to have this Charter ratified.  They were pushing for that and because of time constraints, we could not but we are agreed that some of the things that are contained therein, we are going to put them in the Code and in the Electoral Act.  So, what we are simply doing is to give effect so that the whole Charter becomes part of our law as required by everyone else. 

          We can still debate it to say that we have ratified a Charter and these provisions are now binding on us and you ask me questions, Minister according to the Charter that we ratified, there are these provisions that must be implemented.  So, I do not see any reason why we cannot ratify it now, when it was actually the Opposition that was pushing that let us ratify this Charter and move in line with other nations.  I just want that clarification to say when we debate international treaties, for us to say what the President did by signing this treaty, we are not in agreement with it, we do not want to be party to it, or we say we agree with the President, let us go ahead and allow him to deposit the instruments of ratification and it becomes our law. 

My appeal to Hon. Members is that, you can debate the motion at any stage because it is an agreed position that we need this, moreso by other political players who may not be the President.  However, in the spirit of democracy and political reforms, we agreed to say can we go to Rwanda and sign this Charter and he said, can you take it to Parliament to ensure that it is ratified.  So, my appeal is, the debate on whether we saw it or not – it has been on the website and Members of the opposition have been quoting it verbatim for a long time to say, we have a Charter on democracy, elections and governance and several questions have been asked on why we are not signing the Charter.  So, for us to come here and pretend as if we need to go and study it and then prepare questions to ask the Minister, I do not have to answer any questions.  However,  I am presenting it to you to say, the President signed this; do you want us to be part of it or you do not want?  We cannot amend this like a Bill which we are allowed to take back to Parliament – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] -   I move that the Charter be ratified.

          An Hon. Senator having stood up to speak.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: The Minister has concluded and you did not stand up early.  He is asking that we ratify the Charter.  I now put the question that the motion be ratified. – [SOME HON. SENATORS: No!] - If you want we can divide the House and you know what this means.  What you are doing is grave because this is a Charter which everybody has been asking for its approval.  So, what you want to do is derail a very important Charter.  You must be very clear of what you are doing.

          HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: On a point of order Mr. President. Before we divide the House, I think our view is on the principle rather than on the motion itself.   I think dividing the House is basically saying are we for it or against.  All we wanted is to raise points on the motion that has been presented and personally, I see no reason why this debate cannot be sanctioned for tomorrow and why it is so pertinent that it has to happen today…

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Senator, we have gone through that before.  The Minister has explained the procedures including the fact that – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections] – Order.  The Minister has explained the procedures which prevail, including the fact that the Minister moved the motion yesterday.  So, if you want us to divide the House, we can proceed and you will go down on record as having stopped this agreement from being implemented.  I can divide the House now, can I divide the House? – [HON. SENATORS: No!] –

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MAVETERA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th March, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE (HON. MAVIMA): I move that Order of the Day, Number 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS SUFFERED BY ZIMBABWEANS

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion condemning all forms of violence.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. CHINAKE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th March, 2019.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 2017

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights Commission Annual Report for the year ended December 2017.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HARARE METROPOLITAN (HON. SEN. CHIDAWU): Thank you Mr. President. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th March, 2019

MOTION

IMPORTANCE OF INTERCROPPING AND GROWING OF SMALL GRAINS

          Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to educate the nation on the importance of intercropping and growing of small grains.    

          Question again proposed.

          *HON. SEN. S. DUBE: I am supporting the growing of small grains. When we were debating in this House, I went to the rural areas and discovered that all those who had planted maize, it was affected by drought but those who had planted small grains, it showed that their fields were green. They once engaged in planting small grains in Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North and so I asked why they had abandoned that. They said that they abandoned the growing of small grains because when they go to Bulawayo to sell their produce, they will not get any buyers but those who grow maize are the ones who get buyers. That is why they are now engaged in growing maize. I had to tell them that they are killing themselves because when you say you want cash crops and you do not have anything stored in your granaries, it will be difficult for you.

          For instance, this year there is drought and it means that people will not get anything for their children and for themselves. So, you should first see that you have enough for yourself before you look for money. I am appealing to this Government to encourage people not only to  concentrate on cash crops, but they should grow small grains which are good for their families. I do not have much, but I want to support that we should educate people because they seem not to have been educated on that issue. Thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th March, 2019.

MOTION

SILTATION IN RIVERS AND DAMS

          Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the level of siltation which is threatening the existence of most rivers and dams.     

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank all the Hon. Members who debated on this motion on siltation. There is a verse in the Bible from the Book of Matthew 25: Verse 13 which says in Shona, “Garai makagadzirira nokuti hamuzivi misi kana nguva”. I therefore ask the relevant Ministries of Lands, and Local Government to reclaim our rivers, dams and streams that have been affected by siltation over the years countrywide. I thank you. I therefore move that the motion be now adopted.

          Motion that;

          DEEPLY CONERNED with the level of siltation which is threatening the existence of most our rivers and dams, with the water holding capacity of most of them having been reduced to 40 or 60% thereby threatening the lives of people, livestock and wild animals as they are being denied access to the precious commodity, water;

          ALSO CONCERNED by the rise of incidents of human and wild life conflict as animals stray into settlements surrounding national parks in search of drinking water;

          AWARE of the vast economic benefits of our water bodies through the support of agriculture, fishery and tourism activities;

          WORRIED that current Government efforts to revive the agriculture sector through the Command Agriculture strategy will not bear the expected results without harnessing water bodies for irrigation purposes.

          NOW THERFORE, call for concerted efforts by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, to reclaim our rivers dams, and streams that have been affected by siltation over the years.  

          HON. SEN. CHUNDU:  I move that the motion be now adopted.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS BY THE ZIMBABWE CRICKET BOARD

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on the allegations of corruption by the Zimbabwe Cricket Board.

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. RAMBANEPASI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th  March, 2019.

MOTION

OUTBREAKS OF VELD FIRES

Tenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the recurrence of outbreaks of veld fires with devastating effects on the environment.

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE (HON. MAVIMA):  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th March, 2019.

MOTION

PROTECTION OF CATTLE AGAINST TICK-BORNE DISEASES

Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the call to control tick borne diseases affecting livestock in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MBOHWA: I would like to thank you Mr. President.  I know this motion has been given enough space and Hon. Senators have debated on this motion fairly.  The problem is, I have to add my voice as well because this problem of tick borne disease is causing more problems now than before especially in Gokwe North where I come from. 

Mr. President, I think we need to move a step ahead because complete eradication of ticks will only make the nation free from this communicable killer disease.  I want to dwell much on one which is causing havoc in Gokwe North called ‘theileriosis’, they call it ‘January disease’ but I do not think it is still January disease, Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi as you have anticipated because we are now in March and cattle are still dying from this disease.

Mr. President, the most difficult thing is that livestock chemicals are very expensive and they are sold in United State of America dollars.  If you find them being sold in RTGs, the prices will be very high/very exorbitant that our farmers cannot afford.  Some farmers may buy the chemicals from outside but when they cross the border the axe will be waiting for them – duty will be charged on those very essential chemicals; I think the Government should think about it.  Livestock is essential just like health for human beings is also essential.  As if this is not enough, in Gokwe North where I come from, there are smugglers who smuggle chemicals from Zambia, they simply come and sell their drugs to our farmers who are not well knowledgeable in the area and they buy fake chemicals.  Imagine how painful it is for a farmer who has sold a bull to buy these chemicals, it is very pathetic Mr. President.

I would also like to say there are farmers who can afford to buy their own chemicals and spray their animals but this will not control the disease, it will recur because the untreated animals from the same area or from other areas will re-contaminate the treated animals and this is very worrisome.  Our farmers rely on livestock as their source of living; they can sell cattle and not cattle alone but generally livestock.  They can plough and sell the produce; they get milk, meat and manure which is a substitute for fertiliser because most farmers cannot get money to buy fertiliser. 

Some Senators said they can pay dowry for their loved ones, so you see it is difficult for the farmers.  I do not want to talk about farmers alone because livestock contributes a lion’s share in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Yes, the Government has introduced Command Agriculture, I agree Mr. President but will it reach its intended goal when we have got this tick borne disease?  Are we not throwing money into a pool because even the farmers who are doing cattle ranching will get nothing at the end of the day and the Government and farmers will lose?  Where will we be going as a country, nowhere?  That is why I said complete eradication of these ticks will help our nation to be a free nation from this disease. 

I talked about livestock contributing to the country’s GDP, how? You know ticks retard the growth of our animals and also delays the marketing of those animals, that is if they are marketed at all.  Others cannot be marketed due to loss of weight and even the skin texture, you cannot market it.  The quality of meat will be reduced, hence adversely affecting our meat exports.  There will be no foreign currency.  It will also affect our dairy industry.  You know from the dairy we get cheese, chocolates, milk - a lot of things.  It is an industry on its own.  It can affect companies like GND - Bata because the quality of the hides is reduced.  Where will we get shoes and bags?  It will be pathetic.  I have just mentioned a few industries, which means this will affect the employment of our people.  I think we should take this seriously.

          Mr. President, from my own opinion, I think Government should try by all means to resuscitate veterinary services and also increase the supervision of those services – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] – I also think that there should be proper maintenance of the dip tanks that we have and even go to the extent of increasing the dip tanks so that farmers will not walk long distances in search of the service.  I feel the Government should control unnecessary movement of livestock and restrict wild animals to parks so that we try and control the spreading of the disease. 

          As you know Mr. President, in Gokwe North when cattle are attacked by these diseases and are losing weight, they say “iurayei isati yafa yoga”, that is, slaughtering for human consumption.  Can we say that meat is good for human consumption?  It has affected the human health.  We are now dying of several diseases.  Some are coming from those things we are taking – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] – I think the Government should govern the slaughtering of livestock.  I cannot say much; I have just said it because “yanguwo yakafa this time.”  I would like to thank you Hon. Senator Chimbudzi.  On this topic, I think the Government should do something.

          THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Address the Chair Hon. Senator. 

          HON. SEN. MBOHWA:  I am sorry Mr. President.  She brought a very important motion to this august Senate.  I just want to thank her through you.  Thank you Mr. President. 

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

          HON. SEN. TSOMONDO:  I second. 

          Motion put and agreed to. 

          Debate to resume:  Thursday, 28th March, 2019.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 139TH ASSEMBLY OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU)

          Twelfth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 139th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), held in Geneva, Switzerland. 

          Question again proposed. 

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE (HON. MAVIMA):  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Thursday, 28th March, 2019.

MOTION

UPGRADING OF TOURIST FACILITIES IN KARIBA

          Thirteenth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the strategic role of tourism to the country’s economic development.

          Question again proposed.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE (HON. MAVIMA):  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Thursday, 28th March, 2019.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MIDLANDS PROVINCE (HON. MAVIMA), the Senate adjourned at Three Minutes to Three o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 27 MARCH 2019 VOL 28 NO 38