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SENATE HANSARD 29 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 44

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday 29th March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

BILL RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

          THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): I have to inform the House that I have received the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Bill [H.B. 5A, 2016] from the National Assembly.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Mr. President, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1on today’s Order Paper  be stood over, until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA):  Mr. President, with the leave of the House, I move that we revert back to Order of the Day, Number 1.

          Motion put and agreed to.

COMMITTEE STAGE

LAND COMMISSION BILL [H.B. 2A, 2016]

          First Order read:  Committee Stage:  Land Commission Bill [H.B. 2A, 2016]

          House in Committee.

Clause 1, put and agreed to.

On Clause 2:

HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE:  I move the amendment standing in my name that between lines 32 and 33 on page 9 of the Bill, to insert the following definition:  

“National Council of Chiefs” means the National Council of Chiefs established by section 285(1) of the Constitution.”

Amendment to Clause 2 put and agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, put and agreed to.

On new Clause 3

HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE:  I move the amendments standing in my name that between lines 35 and 36 on page 9 of the Bill, to insert the following clause in Part II of the Bill, the remaining clauses being renumbered accordingly:

“3 Procedure for appointment of members

(1)            Before the President appoints a member, the Minister shall, in writing, invite the National Council of Chiefs to submit to him or her the names of at least two traditional leaders, qualified in terms of Section 296(2) of the Constitution, to be considered for appointment to the Commission.

(2)            The Minister shall without delay, forward to the President, the names of any suitably qualifies traditional leaders nominated by the National Council of Chiefs in response to an invitation in terms of subsection (1) and, subject to Section 296 of the Constitution, they shall be considered for appointment to the Commission.”

Amendment to new Clause 3 put and agreed to.

New Clause 3, as amended, put and agreed to.

Clause 15 to 35 put and agreed to.

On Clause 36:

HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE:  I move the amendment standing in my name that between lines 43 on page 21 of the Bill and line 1 on page 22, to insert the following sub-clauses, the remaining sub-clauses being renumbered accordingly:

“(4) Where the appeal or dispute concerns agricultural land, or any other land that is under the jurisdiction of a chief, at least two of the names on the panel referred to in subsection (3) shall be that of a chief.”

Amendment to Clause 36, put and agreed to.

Clause 36, as amended put and agreed to.

Clauses 37 to 66 put and agreed to.

          First to Third Schedules, put and agreed to.

          On Fourth schedule:

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE: Thank you Mr. Chairman, I do not know whether you are too fast for me but I am not sure whether the Hon. Minister asserted both amendments between lines 31 and 33 on page 9 and also lines 35 and 36.

          THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry repeat that again.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE: Lines 32 and 33 and then lines 35 and 36.

          THE CHAIRPERSON: That is the new clause.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE: Did you cover all of them?

          THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yes.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE: Thank you Mr. Chairman.

          Fourth schedule put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

Bill reported with amendments.

          Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the State of the Nation Address.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MASHAVAKURE: I would like to add a few words to the motion that was raised by Hon. Sen. Chipanga and his seconder.  I think it is a very good motion and a lot of important points were raised in the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President.  As has become the case, in Parliament these days, corruption was one of those items that the President talked about.  I would like to weigh in on to the subject of corruption by reminding Government and ourselves that when we speak of corruption, I think we are not just limiting ourselves to what is happening in the public sector, in the Government, Parliament, Executive and Judiciary.

 I think it is an issue which can be found in all sectors of our systems, economic, political, social system and the private sector.  That is the reason why you will find that you go to some shops down in Cameron Street and Bute Street and all those places.  In some shops, I understand when you buy things using US dollars the money is placed elsewhere and when using bond notes there is a different container. I hope that at the end of the day, all that money is banked, not just the bond notes.  I think there is a lot of corruption that goes on there in the private sector as well. As Government, which is responsible for all our systems, the eyes of the State should be watchful of all those possible happenings.  The other time we were told that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had increased – or had imposed a tax of about 15% on VAT on meat products and when it was reversed or when we were told that it had been reversed, the shops did not follow the reversal.  They happily effected the tax but were unhappy to remove it. 

Some of those practices which are taking place in business and other aspects of the private sector should be considered as part of corruption.  When we were discussing last week at the HICC, we talked about codes of conduct for sectors like Parliament and other sections of Government.  I think it is also important that the State system which is responsible for everything that happens in this country also looks at the possibility of calling upon the private sector to have similar codes of conduct and ethics to be signed by their Managing Directors, Chief Executive Officers and general managers so that we try by all means to clean up the system, whether it is Government, non-governmental, industrial, agricultural or whatever.  I think it is important that we work on corruption in all its forms and wherever it appears and try to solve the problem for our country to go forward in a positive mode and direction.

There was also the issue which was raised by the President where he referred to the public sector conducting a rationalisation exercise whereby they were going to make redundant, certain non-critical positions.  I think to me, that is a good point because it means that Government wants to be saving some money.  If we could do it sooner and faster, the better because then, we can use the resources released and possibly revamp our education system and provide money for research at our tertiary institutions, colleges, universities and other vocational training centres. 

We will also be able to repair our roads, construct bridges and construct other roads like the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway so that when the dualisation comes around, the whole thing will be good and we ensure that we do exactly what the nation wants us to be doing.  We can also use the saved money for next year’s Command agriculture so that it starts early as the newspapers tell us that this year Government want the programme to commence earlier so that people are not disadvantaged when the rainy season comes around.  I think it is a good thing that we can possibly make some savings if we look properly and critically at some of the positions we have in Government as the President said in his State of the Nation Address.

He also appealed to us to be on the moral high ground so that we could avoid things like violence, especially gender-based violence.  However, I also think that we can extend that to include other forms of violence like the domestic violence talked about by many people.  I think there is also violence happening in families and among young people by things like drugs and alcohol, the illicit substances that they take. You find that there are a lot of immoral people or people who are not ethical in their behaviour who go to foreign lands to get substances like zed or broncleers, whatever name they call it. 

My other worry is that maybe there are people in neighbouring countries who wish the whole of this country could just become a nation of alcoholics and drug addicts, otherwise, how does such huge quantities of material end up in this country?  I think for the last 10 to 15 years we have been bombarded by all sorts of substances, some say from Mozambique and others say they come through Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.  Somehow, even the authorities on the other sides of our borders have not been able to curb that kind of illicit trade which ends up brining those unlawful substances into the country. 

Sometimes when we say that our youth, for instance are taking drugs because there is not employment or there is nothing to occupy them, I think it is not correct.  It is simply a result of some of us persuading our young or even our old people to use those substances.  By the way, these substances are not given for free.  Money is used to buy those items.  So, it may not be a question of people having no money or having nothing to do but a question of some untoward reprobate characters persuading people to engage in illicit activities which they know are illegal in this country but still they persuade them to buy and use them.  I think even our security system; the police and other forces should be taking down those things.  I hope some of them are not persuaded to use those substances so that at the end of the day we will lose control of who can control who.

There was also the issue of residential stands that was raised.  I think that one indicated that there are about 69 000 stands which are going to be rolled out.  Of course, a few of us here in Parliament are also looking forward to that possibility that maybe of the 69 000, 200 can be allocated to Members of Parliament.  This is because they have already written papers requesting that they also be allocated stands in some parts of the country.  I hope that 200 out of 69 000 is not a very significant figure.

The President also talked about the dependency of our regions on foreign donations or foreign financial sponsorship organs like SADC and AU.  However, I also think that such dependency also extends even to individual countries.  That is where we get the problem like; if somebody brings a programme which you may not like but have some monetary benefits behind it, do you refuse it or you take it and pretend to want to implement it so that you get the money.  I think it is a very important wake up call for a lot of countries in Africa and the Third World in terms of how they should go about dealing with foreign financial assistance or aid.  Do they simply take it on the basis that it is money that should be taken or should they also worry about possible attached conditions like erosions into local cultural practices which may come under attack as part of the conditions of that money coming into your system.  I think it is very important that as far as possible, our resources should be mobilised to fund things that we want to do in our own countries.  With those words, I thank you Mr. President. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –

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

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th March, 2017.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th March, 2017.

MOTION

ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS TO PROTECT DOMESTIC ANIMALS

          Fourth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on stray dogs and other domestic animals.

           Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th March, 2017.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

          Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on alignment of the Electoral Act to the Constitution.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th March, 2017.

MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the SADC Model law on eradicating child marriages.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. A. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my own words to this motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. Mohadi and her seconder.

          We are grateful that as they move around, I have noticed that they come back and report what would have transpired to the House.  This motion is very important to us as Zimbabweans.  I was overjoyed that our leaders have finally realised what happened amongst SADC countries and I believe that the whole of Africa will realise that what has happened in SADC concerns the whole of Africa especially when we speak of the girl child.

          Mr. President, our girl children have many challenges and difficulties in their lives because often, you will notice that these children of ours, in communities when people fight or have squabbles that result in loss of lives and people have to reconcile, never in any of the cases are boys used to appease the spirits – only girls are used.  With the evolution of time, we realise that as our girl children grow up, they are seen as women who can be married and be turned into wives who can maintain households.  I do not know how the law has lost it because in the past we knew that there were proper girls who were ready for marriage who would be married off to men who were ready for marriage.  The bride price was paid for these girls and it was very good and made us all happy.

          However, what I realise nowadays, as was said by a previous Hon. Senator; there is a place in Zimbabwe where young girls are viewed by men as grownups.  We realise that elderly men will be having minds of making them their wives. I would like to enquire what has happened to you as fathers and as men?  We are wondering why that law has made it like this. Mr. President, we also realise that when you leave your girl child with their father, your mind will not be at ease where ever you are as you will be wondering whether the child is being taken care of properly.  I do not know what has happened to our men, I do not know what they are eating or feeding on, Mr. President, perhaps they can tell us, how can they lust over their own children, the ones that they have given birth to?  Children who are so young and I wonder how they can then go on and rape their own children.  There are men who even rape newly born babies, children with five days or even a month.  I wonder what they will be lusting over such a little baby.  I hope that this law will be looked into and it will be taken as an example for those who rape these poor little children.  I also hope that the current Minister who is responsible for this portfolio can come to this august House and carefully listen to what we are saying about this motion which has come from the SADC meetings because it is important.

          We hope that countries in the SADC region will respect each other and we can have our children grow up properly, our girl children will be left to get educated and get to where they desire and make sure that they are not disturbed by sugar daddies.  

          Hon. President, you will see a child going to school in uniform and you will see a sugar daddy waiting for her in his car putting on black shades because he is ashamed, he does not want people to see him, so he hides himself with those shades.  Therefore, we want it to be clarified that these men should not lust over their own children.  We therefore, plead that this law which comes along with this motion, that as Zimbabweans we will be the first to look into this and make sure that we enact it as a law in order to safe guard our girl children.  We do not want people to be referring to the law that says that young children like those who are 12 years can be turned into wives.  There are people who have expertise in that, perhaps they can answer us but however, our chiefs can testify that there is nothing like that. A child who is 12 years cannot become anyone’s wife and we do not want them to be exposed to some of these issues. 

          Mr. President, there should be an end to these things so that we are a country that respects its values and norms.  We want our children to know the proper values and also our culture. Previously, there was a chief who said that in his community, there are times when girls are checked.  That is recommended Hon. Chief so that we do not have children who do not have fathers  and children who are depressed by what happens to them and later on become criminals.  So, often these children are confused, they wonder who their fathers are. All this is because children are raped and are married off at a very tender age and later on these men leave them as they would have satisfied their desires. 

          Hon. President, this is an important issue and we hope that when we conclude it, we will bring the Minister so that we speak to him concerning the issue and also hear what he has to say concerning this issue.  If you see men sitting down to discuss a particular issue, it means that it is really vital.  Therefore Mr. President, we do hope that this is not one of those motions that will be just adopted without the Minister coming here to respond.  I would like to say that this should stop and perhaps we can save the few children who are yet to be born because most of these men have become criminals.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MASUKU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th March, 2017.

MOTION

SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONAL SCHOOL PLEDGE

          Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on advocating for un-equivocal support for the national school pledge by Hon. Members of Parliament.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. MKWEBU: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity so that I can debate on this motion that was brought by Senator Chimbudzi and her seconder.  Hon. President, this motion is very important to our children who are growing up and who go to school.  If they show that they respect their norms and values, it is important. As they begin to practice the National School Pledge, they have to salute to our fallen heroes, the people who died for this country.  That is why I am saying this is a vital motion. They show the importance of our heroes.  This motion also teaches our children our history.  They have to know that a lot of blood was lost and so many people were killed for us to get our independence and freedom.  Hon. President, the children are also made aware that as a nation, we lost so many people who died within Zimbabwe and also out of the country as they tried to fight for our independence. 

          This motion also teaches us that our children will be made knowledgeable and aware of the fact that there has to be unity in our country and amongst all Zimbabweans.  Therefore if our children get to know that it was difficult to get our independence, they will be alert to the fact that they have to be united and work together as one.  It is important for those who are growing up and to those who are still going to school, that unity of purpose is important.

This motion is important because the Minister, who is responsible for Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dokora, did not alert us in time on what was taking place in various schools.  When he told us, it was like something new.  However, it is something that has been taking place.  People were learning about their own particular cultures like the Hindus used to learn about Hinduism and every other child would also cover that aspect.  It is something that was always there.  Therefore, when he came about with the new curriculum, we thought it was a new thing because we did not know what was being covered in various schools.  The fact that they looked into different languages and different cultures, we did not know that.

Hon. President, I found that this motion is important because it also made us aware of what was taking place in the education sector in our country, even though we had not noticed it.  We had not noticed that education was different.  People are learning about various cultures and different languages in the world.  When it came to us, it was like something that was new, but it has always been in existence.  Therefore, I would like to thank those who brought this motion which is so important, which has made us aware of the things that we did not even know were happening in our own country.  It has provoked our thoughts concerning the education sector.  When the Minister explained how the curriculum came to be, who he spoke to, who he consulted and how it came about, it was as if we had missed out on a number of things. 

Mr. President, this motion reminds me of the past and the future.  They are all in my mind.  I am now open-minded and I am in a position where I am able to speak to others in my community in different areas.  When they ask about the new curriculum, I am in a better position to explain.   Hon. President, with those few words, I would like to thank you for this opportunity.

+HON. SEN. MASUKU:  Thank you Mr. President, for giving me this opportunity to add my own words on the motion that was brought to this Senate by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi and her seconder.  Mr. President, I remember when we were growing up, we used to study other people’s history.  I remember we used to sing a song that was a prayer in a way that used to refer to God saving the gracious Queen.  Each and every student was supposed to know that song.  I wonder, Hon. President, why we used to sing as if we did not have our own people that we could sing about.

The thought that, from a young age, our children are taught to know of the history of Zimbabwe, how it came about, how people are supposed to live in it and how people are supposed to handle themselves is very important because it will make our children, to grow up as children who are organised because from an early age, they will get to understand everything about Zimbabwe.  They will know that this country is for people who are well behaved, people who have unity, and people who are unified by the independence that was brought by their forefathers.  I will speak of their forefathers because most of them who are reciting this pledge have forefathers who spilt their blood in the struggle for independence.

Hon. President of the Senate, what is vital is that our children get to understand the national pledge.  What could make them understand it is of course, we have a language - one that brings us together.  However, what is disturbing is that we are making it more special than our own languages.  I am saying this because everything that is introduced is written down in this language.  However, some of the elderly people in rural area are unable to understand it when they hear our children singing it and when they see them saluting.  We would want the elders to understand what it is that is being taught to these children.  Therefore, it is important that in the near future, this pledge should be translated into our own indigenous languages that are in our Zimbabwean Constitution.  This way, it will not just be a pledge, but it concerns us as Zimbabweans, all of us, by remembering our fallen heroes, by upholding unity and by upholding the value of working together with the determination of improving our nation.

Hon. President of the Senate, I do notice that it has taken a while for people to agree that it is fine for us to have this pledge.  However, since we now have it, it is important, that people accepted, say it and are able to use it because it is a prayer for Zimbabweans.  I would like to say that Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi, I do believe she understood it very much for her to bring it to this Senate.  She saw its importance, therefore, I do urge all of us especially Members of this august Senate to come together as one so that this pledge is used by our children and they will always remember it up to old age.  Even in old age they will know that in Zimbabwe this pledge is our song and a prayer, as we also were taught of the song ‘Our Gracious Queen’ which we still remember today in our old age.

          We do believe and hope that our children, grandchildren and our grandchildren will understand this pledge and always believe in it.  I do believe that it will correct a number of things because if it speaks of unity and hard work, our children will know from a tender age that one has to work hard for themselves, their family and nation; to make sure that their nation is a nation with respect, a nation that does not have poverty and a nation that is not disease infested.  As people we will be working hard, to make sure that we are not a nation that always look forward for donor funding.  Our children will know how to work hard.  With those few words Hon. President, I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for bringing this motion to this august Senate.

          *HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President, I have observed that this is an important motion.  I cannot go by without debating on it.  If we do not debate on it, we will not have done justice to our country because our education is going further in Zimbabwe.  Without taking anything away from the National Pledge, it says a lot of good things that are important.  It talks about the importance of the blood that was shed in the liberation of this country.  It also calls upon unity for the country of Zimbabwe and that people of Zimbabwe be united as one family. 

          I am unhappy with a few things about the National Pledge.  Firstly, the National Pledge, when it was introduced in schools, it is a good thing that they are people in Zimbabwe that know what is important and what is not. If you want to pass a Bill in Zimbabwe, it has to be taken all over Zimbabwe conducting public hearings but this National Pledge was forced on school children and it became compulsory. 

          When I look at it, it has everything in our National Anthem.  The pledge talks about the flag which we should salute, it says raise up our Zimbabwean flag. Raising up the flag is not just merely raising but also saluting it.  The National Pledge says we should salute the flag; it talks about the blood that was shed for the liberation of this country.  The National Anthem talks about this country having been given birth because of the protracted liberation struggle where blood was shed.  The unity of the people is implored in the National Anthem.   It is important that this unity be put into practice. 

          Furthermore, Mr. President, the National Pledge should not have been imposed on our school children.  The parents should have been consulted before it was forced down on the throats of our children.  When the National Anthem came about it had to be relooked into until it was accepted.  A lot of people were asked to submit their views on the National Anthem of this country and the one by Professor Mutsvairo was then adopted.  There is reiteration of the need for consultation.  Since the parents were informed about the National Anthem and consulted, the same should have been done for the National Pledge.  Although this was not done in the first place, maybe there is need for the idea to consult so that they can also have an input because the children that are below 18 years are minors, they stand guided by their parents. 

          It is either the parent or the guardian will act for and on behalf of the children that are in their custody.  Once again I reiterate that it was forced on the throats of the children they and they then informed the parents. That was a shortcoming that was done and it needs to be rectified.  This imposition was not supposed to have been done without the buy-in of the parents.  This was smuggled through the education system.  There was nothing bad with our education system but with National Pledge there is a dent in its repetition.  I thank you Mr. President.   

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

          HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th March, 2017.

MOTION

MEASURES TO CURB VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLITICAL PARTIES

          Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on violence that had become a socio-political way of life among the people of Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 30th March, 2017.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF POPULATION GROWTH IN ZIMBABWE

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on Zimbabwe’s low population.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Mr. President.  Good afternoon.  I would like to thank you Mr. President for the opportunity you have granted me to add my voice to the debate on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Musaka and seconded by Hon. Sen. Murwira.  This is a good motion, it is about good things.  It is about a family in harmony, a father and mother saying that they are now very few and they should increase their birth rate to grow our population.  It is quiet pleasing.  Zimbabwe is a good country.  This is enhanced by the fact that both men and women are in unison that we should increase our birth rate.  It is a peaceful and loving country.  A child is born out of love, hence the multiplication of the family.

Mr. President, if we were to go to the books such as the Bible, it says that we should be fruitful and multiply like the sands of the sea.  The Lord God did not say that there should be few of us.  I recall one day when I was invited to a certain church gathering, the pastor of the church was concluding the service and he gathered all the women.  He said that, “We are coming to a close of the meeting and as women you are going back home.  When you go back home, be fruitful and multiply.”  The women ululated, they were very happy to be told to go and multiply so that we have a high birth rate and increase our population. 

I listened to what Hon. Sen. Musaka said in terms of the development of this country.  It is indeed true that if people want to bring investment to this country, they ask about the population of that country.  They also ask on the extent to which these people are educated.  This is because when the investor examines their production figures, they want to know how many of these people are living well and how many are not or how many will be able to work for him/her.  In this august House, a lot of ideas and opinions were given on what can be done when too many children are born in a family in terms of feeding them.  We are at 12 million people in population and in Nigeria they have 82 million but they are sitting pretty.

As I stand in this august House, I have two sets of triplets, In 1978 I was given triplets set of twins and in 1980 I had another set of triplets, two girls and one boy.  I did not have problems in fending for them.  If you have a big family you look for a plan to feed them.  During that time, I used to have friends, one worked in the butchery, the other one a baker whilst the other one was a milk-man.  I did not have problems in fending for my family. 

I read a certain book which says that a man and woman should not worry about looking after their own children, for they belong to God, who will provide for their upkeep.  You are God’s vessels in delivering these children to the world.  The Lord will give us ideas on how best we can sustain these children.

In terms of production, there is day and night.  If children cannot all go to school because they are too many of them in the family, certain pieces of work are done in the country.  If we have few children and all of them are degreed, there will be no street cleaners or sanitary workers or those responsible for refuse collection.  If the few of us are all educated, we will not want to clean the toilets or sweep the streets.  We are not looking down upon those people who perform this work, but this is what is suitable for them.  Even on farms, the majority of farm workers are not highly educated but the farms have been able to sustain us in terms of food. 

Where I come from, if you look at our tribe, you hear our fathers saying there are some who are of the Chuma totem but they are not part of us.  They were incorporated so that if there is war, they will be in the forefront of the battle and get killed whilst the majority of us survive.  When a war broke out, the majority of them did not die, they hired members of the family because we were few.  They were then involved in incest because they were not really related to those of the Chuma totem.  For us to be able to multiply and fill the earth is a good thing so that we can defend ourselves in our numbers.  There is safety in numbers.

Mr. President, if we look at our colonisers from whom we repossessed the country, I will go down in nostalgia and talk of my experiences in Redcliff, Kwekwe.  There was a Mr. Boyle who had 11 children.  He was a white man, he had a football team, his family was pleasing.  It was the Boyle Eleven.  They had a band, geologists, boiler-makers, electrician, plumber and teacher in that family because they were many.  We should not be apprehensive about large families but should seek God’s assistance and ideas.

          As we were growing up in 1980, I recall the words of the late Minister, Dr. Hebert Ushewokunze when he stated that we should not be used by whites especially the women.  He was saying that our women would not use birth control methods such as Depo-Provera as it was being used on race horses as the horses would not be able to race fast after giving birth.  Eventually he was removed from this earth by the Lord Almighty though he urged us to be fruitful and multiply and fill this earth.      I would like to thank the mover and seconder of this motion for encouraging us to have large families in Zimbabwe.

          The gap between my parents who brought four of us into this world, I am only left alone as my other three siblings have passed on.  I am 70 years and neither have a brother who is 17 years up to 60 years in those age groups.  The lack of Machingaifa’s in those age groups is a death to the family as they should have been there in the 40s ranging up to 100 years in order to continue the lineage and generational movement so that we pass on the history of our country.    With those few words, I again thank Hon. Sen. Musaka and Hon. Sen. Murwira because I also heard Hon. Sen. Murwira saying that she will be going on maternity leave very soon.  I thank you.

          +HON. SEN. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. President, I need your protection …

          THE HON. TEMPORARY PRESIDENT:  From which angle?

          HON. SEN. NCUBE:  From Hon. Sen. Chipanga – [Laughter.] –

          THE HON. TEMPORARY PRESIDENT:  You are protected.

          +HON. SEN. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. President, I would like to thank you Hon. President for this opportunity that you have granted me in order for me to also speak on this motion that has to do with increasing our population.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Musaka who tabled this motion and was seconded by Hon. Sen. Murwira. 

          During the week that he tabled this motion, when I was reading the newspaper – I wonder if he had seen the article but I remember showing him that in Spain they had appointed a minister responsible for looking into sexual activities to make sure that people were conceiving.  I read that paper and understood and wondered whether Hon. Sen. Musaka had also read that article.  If other countries are appointing ministers to ensure that people are conceiving babies then it is obvious that his motion is important.

 I also realised that it is equally important for us to increase our population as stated by my predecessors.  However, we need to point out that there are reasons for people not to be able to work on increasing their families as it is said most times men who work for long hours are tired when they get home.  At times, it is also said that, eating late into the night causes men not to perform effectively sexually – those are some of the reasons that have led to the diminishing of our population.

          In my own opinion, I think that it was good in the past for people to have many children as they said that the Bible encourages us to be fruitful and multiply like the sands of the sea.  Many of us have mentioned how many they are in their families.  However nowadays we also need to look into the current economic situation.  People may say what they want but truthfully you cannot take care of a big family these days without any form of employment.  Nowadays, you cannot take care of family when children are all over the world and there is prevalence of HIV and Aids.

          In the past there were extended families but not as it is right now.  We can speak about how it used to be in the past but we need to look at how many people manage to have the children that they had planned.  In my age right now, with the way I had children, I should be enjoying the fruits of motherhood.  However it is not easy these days as children are left behind by their parents as those parents do not have time to rest.  What sort of energy would you be having to have children until old age or until you die?  That is one of the reasons that though this motion is important and the Hon. Senators had reasons to, we need to tackle both the pros and cons.

          I remember there was a motion here that spoke of children’s homes and orphaned children who are thrown away from different ethical backgrounds.  This very Government that we are speaking of and that some speakers are saying can assist – I have realised that most of the children in the orphanages have to be given $15.00 monthly.  However for the past three or four years there is not a single cent that the Government has assisted them with, yet we have approximately 100 orphanages.

          So when we speak of increasing our population, we are not blaming the previous speakers for supporting this motion but we need to consider the fact that nowadays due to the prevalence of HIV and Aids, our children are deciding to have smaller families.  It is only a few people with more than two children.  Those who say they have many children only have four as there are diseases, accidents and so many other things that cause families to separate.  What is important is that parents are unable to take care of larger families.

          The education that we have been speaking about is a basic right that none of the children should not be deprived of.  Let us be honest with each other, it is difficult out there and in schools.  When we are in this House, the Minister will tell us that children are not supposed to be turned away from school when they do not pay school fees but we notice that in so many cases, the headmaster will not avail results when children fail to pay school fees.  Our Government did not take into consideration the fact that after we gained independence, schools can be build as many as they are but we should know that our education is expensive.  Our education is affordable to those who are employed.  If you are not working, even as we speak of buying covers for children who are in grade one, you will not be able to do so. 

It is difficult for many parents that when children go to grade one from grade zero, for them to be able to make that transition, they are supposed to buy 10 exercise books, covers and files which are required nowadays.  As a parent, you get so devastated.  When my grand child was going to school and said that they needed a file, I thought it was just an ordinary file; they refused to sell the file for me in the shops, they said that I needed to go to school and find out what kind of a file is needed.  It is so difficult; it means that you will not rest to take care of these children.  We need to notice and take into consideration that  family planning has made it better for people to manage their families because it is so difficult to take care of a child. 

There is no employment; unemployment is very high in this country.  One Senator whom I was seated with in the bus showed me a lorry that was taking maize to some farm.  Where will we get all this food for these children?  I know that food aid is politicised.  I want us all to be united, it is not like it is a problem to give birth but our children no longer want to because they are concerned about feeding and taking care of the children. They think that they will not be able to pay their fees or they will die of HIV and AIDS before they take care of them or their fathers will run away.  All those issues are some of the problems that we face as parents. 

We would like to encourage our children to work towards increasing the population but nowadays it is difficult.  We also want to rest because our children will give birth to their children and they will want us to take care of them.  As much as we would want to encourage our children to work towards increasing the population, we have to put into consideration the fact that there are so many challenges.  We would want the Government to look into other people who are suffering from poverty.  It is not a bad idea at all to give birth, however, because of the problems that we are facing, it is a no for me.  Those who are able to have large families, I think they can go ahead but those who are not able to, I think in my own opinion should do what is comfortable for them because no one wants to bring into this world a child who will end up suffering, it would not be a proper thing to do.

          +HON. SEN. NDHLOVU: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to speak on this motion that was brought by Hon. Sen. Musaka, seconded by Hon. Sen. Murwira.  I also have my own point of view that is a bit different from the ones that others have expressed but I understand what they have been saying. 

Mr. President, this issue of people having many children, I support it a lot without looking at how you will feed these children because the Lord said that the birds of the air which do not work, are well taken care of.  As much as you will have these kids and you are worried about what they will eat, I am sure that the Lord above will take care of them.  At times, I take care of my children on my own.  If I die, somebody else will take care of them.

I am saying this Mr. President and I have to also look into it from Hon. Musaka’s point of view that it even pushes investors to come into the country and invest looking into the population that is in existence.  If I am to give an example, I remember that when I was applying for a loan at a particular bank, I wanted to boost my business, the bank manager inquired from me how many villages, I have in my community and what the population is like.  When I told him, he said that he wanted to go and see it for himself.  I went with the manager and he approved the loan after he noticed number of the homesteads that I have.  If the people were fewer, I am sure that the loan was not going to be approved. 

Therefore, when it comes to giving birth and when it comes to family, there are others who do not have problems with conceiving and they can bear as many kids as they can.  However, there are others who face difficulties and they are not able to give birth to two children, especially those who go through cesarean whilst giving birth. So, what I am saying is that those who are able to have children without any problems and difficulties and are able to feed these children and given them proper education, then they need to go ahead.  They need to cover up for those who are not able to give birth so that we strike a balance.  If I am to have two children and the other person who is able to give birth to more children, also has two children, then at the end of the day, our population decreases. That is my own point of view.

I would also want to give you another example that I have from my family.  My grandfather had one son, his son had two sons, all of them passed on and only one left four sons, that means that homestead was closed.  If our grandfather had managed to have eight sons or five or more, his family would be going on and on.  However, his family tree was cut short because he had one son.  His property was taken away by other people because he did not have anyone to inherit it. 

Therefore, all I am saying is if anyone is able to give birth and to have a large family, then let them do so.  We need to encourage our children not to copy us, if they do not have the challenges that we have, then they need to have more children who can take care of them in the future. 

Another view that we need to look into, is that the mover of the motion said that if it is possible, I am sure that he is not looking  in the present but in the near future that the Government can be able to give incentives and grants to those who have many children.  If you look at the example of South Africa, for them to be so many, their Government gives grants to young women who have children at an early age.  For example, if you have a child who does not have a father or you have a child who is still going to school, the Government pitches in to assist you.  That encourages people to have children, even though they might not have more children like nine or ten but the rate at which they give birth makes their population to grow.  Mr. President, with those few words,  I would like to thank you.

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

HON. SEN.  MASUKU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 29th March 2017.

MOTION

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

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

Question again proposed.

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

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU seconded by HON. SEN. MARAVA, the Senate adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 29 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 44