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SENATE HANSARD - 5 FEBRUARY 2009 VOL. 18 NO. 10

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 5th February, 2009

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

 

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT

SWITCHING OFF OF CELL PHONES

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

MOTION

LEAVE TO SUSPEND STANDING ORDER NUMBER 98

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Mr President, I seek leave of the Senate to move that provisions of Standing Order Number 98 relating to procedures in connection with stages of Bills be suspend in respect of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill [H.B. 2, 2008].

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER NUMBER 98

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Mr President, the Hon Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs seeks leave of the House to move that the Provisions of Standing Order Number 98 relating to procedures in connection with stages of Bills be suspended in respect of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill (H.B.2, 2008).

SENATOR COLTART: I speak on behalf of the party that I represent that the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill (H.B.2, 2008) be passed.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

LEAVE TO SUSPEND STANDING ORDER NUMBER 22: AUTOMATIC ADJOURNMENT

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Mr President, I seek leave of the House to move that the provisions of Standing Order Number 22 regarding the automatic adjournment of the Senate at five minutes to seven o'clock p.m. and twenty five minutes past one o'clock p.m. on Friday be suspended for today in respect of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill [H.B.2,2008].

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER NUMBER 22: AUTOMATIC ADJOURNMENT

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Mr President, I seek leave of the House to move that the provisions of Standing Order Number 22 regarding the automatic adjournment of the Senate at five minutes to seven o'clock p.m. and twenty five minutes past one o'clock p.m. on Friday be suspended for today in respect of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill (H.B.2,2008).

SENATOR COLTART : Madam President, once again on behalf of the party that I represent, this is a necessary measure, we support it.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 10th February, 2009.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Madam President, in order to facilitate the presentation and debate of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill (H.B 2, 2008), I move that business be suspended until such time that we have received the Bill from the Lower House in accordance with provisions of Standing Order No. 24.

Motion put and agreed to.

Business was suspended at a Quarter to Three o'clock

p.m.

Business resumed at Twenty - Minutes to Five o'clock p.m.

4.40p.m.

MADAM PRESIDENT: Order, before we resume our business, I wish to welcome the President of the New South Wales Upper House in Sydney. You are welcome - [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear]-

SECOND READING

CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT (NO 19) BILL

Second order read. Second reading: Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is my honour and privilege to present to this august House, the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill. The presentation of the Bill marks a historic occasion in that the Bill seeks to usher in an Inclusive Government in which all political Parties represented in this august House will participate.

BACKGROUND TO THE BILL

Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I address the substantive issues, the subject matter of this Bill, allow me to walk Hon. members along the path that we have travelled together to reach this far. It has been a long, frustrating, erratic, bumpy and quarrelsome journey characterized by animosities, disagreements, mutual dislikes, name calling, mutual demonisations, vilification of each other's policies and leadership. But, not withstanding these negatives, what is important and significant is that we have managed to reach this far and for that, we forever remain eternally grateful to our people for their resilience, understanding and support.

The first step that ZANU PF and MDC took in the journey which has led to today's event started after the March, 2002 Presidential election, when we were counselled by SADC and the Commonwealth to begin a process of dialogue to resolve the political crisis that arose following the dispute raised by MDC against the outcome of that election. The negotiations under the facilitation of Prof Adedeji of Nigeria and Cde. Kgalema Motlanthe, current President of South Africa who was then Secretary General of the ANC of South Africa got off to a bumpy start and soon broke down under a cloud of mutual suspicions, recriminations and counter recriminations. I had the honour then to lead the ZANU PF delegation into those ill-fated and short lived negotiations.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, the second step in the journey was taken in April, 2003 when the two parties, ZANU PF and MDC resolved and entered into dialogue aimed at resolving challenges facing our nation. Once again, Patrick Chinamasa had the honour then to represent ZANU PF and Prof Welshmen Ncube represented MDC. Those negotiations progressed well to a point where by August 2004, we had agreed and initialled several documents including a Draft Constitution, Electoral Law Reforms and documents relating to the Resolutions of the Land Question. Regrettably, the common understanding what we had between Prof Ncube and I was scuttled in August 2004 before we had occasion to refer the points of agreement to our respective Principals for their consideration and adoption. It will not serve any purpose for me to go into the question of who was responsible for derailing the project, as to do so might start another quarrel, another round of recriminations and other counter recriminations that would make the passage of this Bill a difficult proposition. After the collapse of the negotiations in August 2004, ZANU PF decided to go it alone and went ahead to implement the electoral reforms unilaterally. The current electoral environment is regulated by Legislation unilaterally introduced and passed by ZANU PF, but which legislation had been mutually agreed to by the negotiators representing ZANU PF and MDC. ZANU PF was unable to unilaterally introduce and pass constitutional Amendment relating to the resolution of the Land Question as had been agreed upon because at that time, ZANU PF did not enjoy a two thirds majority in Parliament. So, Constitutional Amendments remained work in progress.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the House might be aware, Parliamentary Elections were conducted in March 2005 and ZANU PF emerged victor with an overwhelming two thirds majority. That set the stage for Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Act. The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Act made provision for compulsory acquisition of land. It also abolished the Electoral Supervisory Commission and transformed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission into a Constitutional body. Further, Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 17 Act re-introduced the Senate, 50 of whose members were to be directly elected by popular vote while others appointed to it were ex-officio in the case of governors or were appointed by His Excellency, the President or in the case of Chiefs elected by the Electoral College of Chiefs. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the point to emphasize about Constitution Amendment No. 17 is that all the provisions contained into, although they were unilaterally introduced and passed by ZANU PF members of this august House, they had all been agreed to previously in the dialogue between Prof Ncube and myself. In effect therefore, while passage of Amendment No. 17 was not supported by MDC in flesh, it enjoyed MDC's support in spirit.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, the third giant step in our journey that find us here today was taken when in March 2007, the SADC Extraordinary Summit held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania passed a resolution which, among others, enjoined the 3 main political Parties to commence dialogue to resolve the challenges facing the country. It mandated President Thabo Mbeki, then President of South Africa to act as facilitator. Negotiating teams were duly constituted by the respective Parties namely, ZANU-PF, MDC -T AND MDC-M and meetings started in earnest in May 2007 under the facilitation of President Mbeki. Honorable Nicholas Goche and Patrick Chinamasa represented ZANU-PF while Messrs Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma represented MDC-T and Professor Welshman Ncube and Ms. Priscilla Misihairambwi- Mushonga represented MDC - M. Several meetings were held at venues in both Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Agreement was reached to co- sponsor Constitution of Zimbabwe amendment No. 18. Constitutional Amendment No. 18 abolished the delimitation Commission and transferred its functions to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission; it reduced the Presidential term from 6 to 5 years and harmonized Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Authority Elections, it made the House of Assembly a purely elected body with 210 members, removing the ex-officio members; appointed members as well as chiefs who now belong to the Senate. The number of elected Senators was increased to 60 (10 per province). Amendment number 18 also provided for the establishment of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission; it cut short the Parliamentary term and brought forward the Parliamentary Elections to March 2008. Subsequently, there were amendments to the electoral act and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which brought these pieces of legislation into line with the recent Constitutional amendment.

Mr Speaker Sir, subsequent to the passage of the Constitution of Zimbabwe amendment number 18 Act, the fourth step saw negotiations in the inter-party dialogue continuing. Ensuing discussions were very fruitful and successful. A dispute however arose in January 2008 over whether the Draft Constitutional Amendment that we had initialed in Kariba in September 2007 (hereinafter referred to as "The Kariba Draft" was to be enacted into law before the March 2008 elections without the necessity to refer it to a referendum or to allowing the public to provide their input. this dispute led to the breakdown in negotiations and we proceeded to face the March elections in an environment of extreme polarization. The negotiation teams were reassembled after the March 29 Elections and the outcome to these negotiations was the signing on 15 September 2008 of the inter-party political agreement by the principals representing ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-M.

MAIN FEATURES OF CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT NO. 19

Mr Speaker Sir, there are four schedules attached to Constitution of Zimbabwe amendment no. 19 namely, Schedules 8,9,10 and 11. Of the Schedules, only Schedule 8 has Constitutional significance. Schedule 9 which deals with traditional leaders, schedule 10 which deals with stages to be followed in our Constitutional processes leading to referendum and schedule 11 which incorporates the entirety of the inter-party agreement have been gazetted for public information only and have no constitutional significance. Schedules 9 and 10 are articles 14 and 6 respectively, of the inter-party agreement (itself schedule 11) and have been included and highlighted in the papers which were gazetted for public information. With that full explanation, I now crave the indulgence of the House to highlight what Constitution of Zimbabwe no.19 provides.

Firstly, let me say that Clauses 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 and 13, which are being introduced by amendment number 19 would, when enacted, be grafted permanently to the Constitution.

Clause 3 of the Bill is repealing Chapter 2 of the Constitution and replacing it with citizenship provisions uplifted in their entirety from the Kariba Draft. There is no major change brought about by the new provisions except the establishment of the citizenship and Immigration Board in which will be reposed responsibility of granting citizenship by registration, permitting persons other than citizens to reside in Zimbabwe and fixing conditions under which such people stand and work in Zimbabwe. The lifting of provisions relating to citizenship from the Kariba Draft was agreed to in the dialogue and the preference of this course of action was because the provisions in the Kariba Draft relating to citizenship are expressed in simple and straightforward language as opposed to the current provisions which are couched in language which is difficult to follow as it is too pedantic and legalistic.

Clause 5 introduces into our constitution provisions relating to political rights. These too have been uplifted from the Kariba document and reflect broadly the current political rights already enjoyed by our people and Clause 7 regularizing an omission that occurred when the Senate was re-introduced.

In Constitutional Amendment No. 17, due to an oversight, there was a glaring omission that failed to disallow elected Senators from crossing the floor. Clause 7 is correcting that anomaly.

Clause 8 is providing, for the first time in the Constitution, the composition of the committee on Standing Rules and orders. Previously, the composition of this Committee was provided for in Standing Rules and Orders. The composition reflects closely the current position.

Clause 11 is incorporating and in some instances, reconstituting Independent Commissions namely, the Zimbabwe Electoral commission, the Zimbabwe rights commission, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Media Commission. As hon. members will be aware, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission were constituted variously under Constitutional Amendment No. 17 and Constitutional Amendment No. 18. The only new addition brought about by this Bill is the establishment of the Zimbabwe Media Commission. The decision in the Inter Party dialogue was that we standardize the appointment procedures of Independent Commissions as had been agreed to during the Inter Party Dialogue. In other words, there is not much issue of substance in respect to these Commissions which is being introduced. The significant standard provision in the appointment procedure is the role that is given to the Committee of Standing Rules and Orders with respect to the identification of the persons to appoint to these Commissions.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the above list of provisions concludes amendments which, if enacted, become permanent features of our Constitution irrespective of the fate of the inclusive government.

Allow me now to turn to provisions which are operating for the duration of the inclusive government. Mr Speaker Sir, these are set out in Clauses 14 and 15 of the Bill. These Clauses introduce schedules 8,9,10 and 11. I have already adverted to schedule 8 which is article XX in the inter-party political agreement and is lifted in its entirety. Article XX of the inter-party agreement which is contained in schedule 8 provides for executive power and authority of offices forming the inclusive government and states the offices in which executive authorities are vested in and which offices share that authority. It further provides for functions of the Cabinet, of the President and the Prime Minister. Article XX also constitutes a council of Ministers made up of Cabinet Ministers and chaired by the Prime Minister and whose main function is to assess the implementation of Cabinet decisions and report regularly to the Cabinet accordingly. The composition of the Executive is also set out in Article XX. This provides that the President, as the Head of State and Government is to be Deputized by Vice Presidents both to come from ZANU PF. The Prime Minister whose office will be occupied by Mr Tsvangirai of MDC -T is to be deputized by Deputy Prime Ministers one to come from MDC-T and the other from MDC-M. There is to be Cabinet there is to be a Cabinet of 31 Ministers with 15 from ZANU PF, 13 from MDC- T and 3 from MDC-M and 15 Deputy Ministers with 8 from ZANU PF, 6 from MDC - T and 1 from MDC-M. With respect to senior government appointments, Article 20.1.7 provides for the leadership in government comprising the President, Vice Presidents, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers to consult and agree on such prior to their appointments. Article 20.1.8 provides for the persons appointed to the posts of Vice President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers and who are not already members of the House of Assembly to become ex-officio members of the House of Assembly and that should persons so appointed be already Members of Parliament, then the Party of which that person is a member or nominee shall have the right to nominate a non-constituency member of the relevant House.

Article 20.1.9 provides for the President, in his discretion, to appoint 5 persons to the Senate and for additional 6 Senatorial posts to be appointed by the President with 4 from MDC-T and 2 from MDC-M. With respect to filling of vacancies, of posts referred to in Article 20.1.6 (to do with composition of the Executive) and Article 20.1.9 (Senate), Article 20.1.10 provides that such vacancy shall be filled by a nominee of the party which held that vacancy prior to the vacancy arising.

Mr. Speaker Sir, given the fact that once the inclusive government is constituted, there will no longer be a governing party or an opposition as the new political dispensation will provide for all parties represented in Parliament to be included in the inclusive government, Schedule 8 constitutes a transitional committee on Standing Rules and Orders that would reflect this prevailing political dispensation. Schedule 8 also provides for modalities for the appointment of an Acting Prime Minister in the even that the Prime Minister is outside Zimbabwe or is incapacitated by illness or any other cause.

Mr. Speaker Sir, let it also be noted that Schedule 8 contains a provision that allows a Vice President, Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister the right to speak in either House of Parliament, but limiting the right to vote in the House that they a member. That provision already exists in the current constitution. The amendment is merely to include the new offices of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

Of significance with respect to schedule 8 is the fact that Clause 14 provides for Schedule 8 provisions to prevail over current provisions of the Constitution in the event that a conflict or inconsistency arises.

Finally, Mr. Speaker Sir, Clause 14 makes it clear that the provisions of Schedule 8 are temporary and will only have effect during the duration and subsistence of the Inter-Party Agreement.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker Sir, hon. members, allow me to remind ourselves of what we already know. Of the 3 political parties represented in Parliament none of them enjoys a two-thirds majority to single handedly make passage of this Constitutional Bill possible. It is for this reason that Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 19 Bill is a tripartite project of ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-M. The full and unqualified support of all members is therefore necessary to see a successful passage of this Bill at the Third Reading. I accordingly call upon all of you to take a giant leap of faith into the future by giving this Bill your unanimous support - [AN HON. MEMBER: Ko independent waisiya]-of course I also call upon the sole independent Member of Parliament Hon. Jonathan Moyo of Tsholotsho to give his unqualified support to this Bill. With a resolution of the challenges that have bedeviled our country since 2000, this country stands on a threshold of great opportunities and no doubt an economic take off such as has never been experienced in the history of our nation.

I commend this Bill for your support and I thank you for your kind attention. God bless our country.

SENATOR HOLLAND: For unto us Amendment (No. 19) is born, unto us Amendment Number 19 is given. With these words, may I salute our bold and courageous President Morgan Tsvangirai for delivering us to vote as one body in this august House for the adoption of Amendment No. 19. At this historical time,it is the only instrument possible to take Zimbabweans to the next level on our long and painful journey to achieve a democratic dispensation in our beloved Zimbabwe.

This struggle is built on the foundations laid down by Zimbabweans inside and outside our country with their battle cry; "Liberation is not ours unless we fight for it. We are our own liberators". Amendment No. 19 is an imperfect document for what we are holding, as the people's project for freedom. As one of our gallant senators, sitting in this very room during our debate on whether or not to enter the Inclusive Government said, this is one of my colleagues sitting in this Senate, she said to our President, it is up to you Mr. President whether you agree to father this child to be born out of Amendment 19, whether you think it is premature, physically challenged or well formed.

To these words and to many other contributions, our President responded by guiding us into the decision. He made us dig deep into our hearts, our spirits, our minds, our intellects, that we begin to acknowledge together that we are all Zimbabweans - that we must go into this process wholeheartedly to put our best forward to make this dispensation work.

May I repeat our Secretary General's words that we adopt forthwith the 5 principles of respect for one another, trust, faith, tolerance and camaraderie. May I add my own words, that we understand the principles practised by our neighbours - One Zimbabwe, one Nation in Zambia,. Simunye, we are one in South Africa, ubuntu, hunhu, humanity in Botswana.

Let us practise in this august House the principles we articulate when we worship, let us restore Hope to our people; let us practice charity here at home. As elders in this Chamber, let us begin together to prepare a solid heritage for generations to come by re-establishing the great African practise of intergenerational continuity based on respect and honesty.

I appeal in conclusion, that the previous acts of betrayal of agreements by yourselves we made together be something of the past. That the Amendment No. 19 presented by the hon. member be carried out in the spirit we come to this House we sit in together. We pledge commitment to making Amendment (No. 19) to be an instrument that truly takes us to the next stage in our long and painful journey to our dream Zimbabwe. I thank you.

SENATOR COLTART: Thank you Madam President, it is my honour to represent my party today in supporting this Bill. The passage of this Bill is historic because it marks our collective effort to resolve the many problems besieging our country today in peaceful none violent means.

Whilst we support this Bill, that support must not be taken in a manner or construed that we agreed with everything in it or that we think the process of negotiation was perfect or that the contents of this Bill are perfect. Indeed, on the contrary, the process was flawed - it was not sufficiently transparent, it was not inclusive enough. The claims from the civic society and others regarding the lack of transparency and our inability to accommodate them in the negotiation process were valid and we recognize that. The result itself is imperfect, the agreement is flawed - it has many potential pitfalls. There are aspects in this Bill, today, that I do not like - that in the course of normal debate, I would argue vigorously against. What we are debating today is a result of compromise, no party that is represented here today is fully satisfied with what is in this agreement. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] -

The agreement is also flawed in the sense that there are some fearsome protagonists who are now going to have to work together. We have fought each other for eight to nine years, some of us even much longer, yet now we are going to have to work together in the common interest of our nation. In doing so, we face enormous problems which would be almost insurmountable problems for a unified government to face - never mind a government composed of protagonists. We have to face the effects of hyper - inflation; collapsed economy; we have to deal with the scourge of cholera, we have to deal with the fact beyond our control regarding the collapse of the International Economy at this juncture in our history and the concocted collapse of some of our key exports such as platinum - factors of our economy which we hope will be the engine- room of growth of our future. We have to implement this agreement in the context of poverty, in the context of extreme food shortages, in the context of HIV AIDS. We have to confront it in the context of the loss of so many of our wonderful and talented young people that are professionals who are no more in our country to help us rebuild. All of these in isolation would be a massive challenge for any government the world over - so we face the huge challenges together. We have to face these challenges in the on-going atmosphere of distrust and hostility.

There is plenty of room for failure of this agreement, of the provisions contained in this Bill. There are people on both sides of the political divide who do not like what is contained in this Bill, who do not like what we are doing here today, who would work day and night to subvert the good faith demonstrated by us today. There is plenty of skepticism and doubt in this Bill. So, why are we here then with all these problems?

It is in essence because there is no option. One of the reasons why I and my colleagues here support this is because we believe there is no other viable, nonviolent alternative available to our nation. Many people have raised other options like let us have fresh elections - but we all know that will not work. Our country is broke, our people are weary, there are no right conditions that we need for genuinely free and fair elections to take place. Others say, we must appeal to the African Union or the United Nations but the political reality is that any such appeal will fail because neither the African Union nor the United Nations will overturn a recommendation made by the regional authority. - We may not like that but that is a political reality that we need to live with. Others would say, let the status quo continue, let the country collapse.

Madam President, that is not an option, our people as we all know are suffering as never before. As leaders, we have a responsibility in all our power to relieve their suffering as urgently as possible. Others may argue quietly and openly for a violent overthrow of the present authority in charge. As I have spoken before in this Chamber we know that our nation as Zimbabwe has been afflicted for decades by conflict and violence. Violence has become part of our political culture, our default position that we use in the face of seemingly insurmountable political problems.

All of us, without exception here today, need to ask the question - where has violence ever got our nation? Look at what it has created, a nation divided and almost destroyed. I fervently believe that we need to draw a line in the sand and commit ourselves henceforth to use non-violent means to transform our nation. It is perhaps the most compelling reason why we need to support this agreement and this Bill today. This agreement enforced by this Bill provides us with an opportunity to chart a new peaceful course for our beloved nation. For that reason alone, we have to support it.

Not withstanding that many pitfalls lie ahead as we debate today, we must remember that this is not the first time that Zimbabwe has been given a second chance. The Lancaster House agreement offered, in many respects, a similar opportunity but that failed us as evidenced by the sorry state of our nation today is a reflection of the Lancaster House and what follows. So we need to learn a lesson from the Lancaster House and I believe that some of them are as follows. It is a fact that despite the Lancaster House agreement in this Constitution, that many of the structures and laws and institutions key to our nation and instituted by the Rhodesian Front Government were not changed by ZANU PF. The Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation simply became Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. The line of the Rhodesian Front simply became sluggish following a line of one political party. The Herald and the Chronicle shifted from supporting the array to simply support ZANU PF. The suppression law such as the Laws Amendment Act.

Part of speech not recorded due to technical fault.

For example people like Chris Hani were assassinated. We must also realize from that historical example the position adopted by the Statesman like Nelson Mandela, it shows absolute determination on the real. We should come to show similar sentiments in our nation and it will require level headed people from this august House to put this process on track. Surely I believe we need a lesson from Lancaster House Constitution which is important. For in the spirit of that law, observing the spirit of that law is far more important than respect the later. Because one thing that we learnt from the 20 years between Lancaster and the Referendum that was conducted in February 2000. I believe the government of the two decades rarely followed the spirit of that constitution. The structures that we are working in today will not work unless the spirit behind these works and our friends in the region are respected. My colleagues in the House of Assembly Tendai Biti and Senator Holland spoke of certain principles that we should all respect. I do not want to repeat them but I will mention only three which are important and they are: -

Firstly, we need to be tolerant of those that have contrary views with ourselves; we need to be respectful of each other. The hate speech, we are all patriots, it does not matter whether we are male or female, Shona or Ndebele or whatever, we are all patriots. We all love our nation and that should be respected. We should move forward and make ourselves proud of our nation. Finally, this will not work unless we all listen to each other. However, we spent far too important time speaking past each other. We have got a terrible history in our country of violence and racial discrimination. We are trapped by our history and we need to move forward as a nation, we need to close those chapters of the past if we are going to act in the best interest of our nation.

Madam President, let me move now to a wider view as we consider this Bill. I come to this part of my speech as an appeal to the International Community. As in general terms speaking for my party that I represent, we are grateful that the International Community has not abandoned us in the past eighteen months. We are grateful in particular to SADC for staying with us in these negotiations. We are grateful to President Mbeki and in particular President Mohlante. We are grateful for our sister party ANC for its incredible perseverance and tolerance of our immaturity as a nation. We are grateful that they stood with us, supported and stayed by us, God Bless. On this side of the House we are also grateful to other international institutions like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and many others who kept virgil for the last few years. We on this side of the House are also grateful to other nations beyond African Nation, the European Union, the United Kingdom, United States of America and the Commonwealth, they have stood not by us but by our nation in the darkest of days and that should be recognised.

Madam President, having said that we understand the scepticism of some of the countries I have just thanked, but what I want to say from our party is that we understand the scepticism because of all the flaws I have enumerated today. They also need to understand that this agreement will be still born if we are not given the necessary support to stabilise our economy and address the humanitarian crisis. Today, we look to those institutions like IMF, the World Bank and the countries that are stronger enough to come and support this agreement -[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear]-

I am saying this with sincerity to my colleagues on the other side of the House. ZANU PF, in terms of this agreement will be in control of the core ministries, Defence, the CIO and an institution like the Attorney General's office. If this agreement is to work, those institutions need to be liberalised. If somebody has committed a crime, the person should be prosecuted. If somebody has committed a crime or alleged to have committed a crime or the suspicion, that person should not be prosecuted unless there is due process of law. The due process of law also entails, respecting the rights of people who are suspected of criminal activities. They have the right to representation and they have the right to be formally arrested not to be abducted in the middle of the night - [HON SENATORS: Hear, hear] - Madam President that is what the Rhodesian regime was doing, this happened to Edison Sithole and we can not revert to the Rhodesian era.

Madam President, due process also entails allowing independent courts to determine freely whether people should be granted bail or not. We need this confidence for the nation to move on. It is not easy to turn to the international community to say please, lift sanctions, come and assist us if they can see that the fundamentals of human rights are still violated in our nation. The leaders should demonstrate good faith and we on this side of the House we should also demonstrate faith. When we see good faith being demonstrated by people on the other side of the House, we have an obligation immediately, to go out and rally international support and seek compliance with this agreement in its entirety. We need each other, and we need to understand that notion if this agreement is to work. I want to make an appeal to the international community and to the thousands if not millions of Zimbabweans patriots who are no longer in our nation, we need them all to return back home soon because we can not rebuild our nation without the skilled workers and we hope they will see our maturity, solidarity and this should give them hope.

In conclusion, you may have seen recently the inauguration of President B. Obama, just behind him on CNN there was a showing of M. Luther King's part of the dream speech from August 1963. On the inauguration we saw many of M. Luther King's dreams realised. We should also realise his dreams, but that is a long process because there are many obstacles. As we face the future I believe all of us - please let us ask ourselves, what is our dream for our nation? Our vision is for a good performance. Our vision is for a tolerant, vibrant peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe. Our vision is to see this nation becoming the jewel of Africa. Our vision is of a nation with aspirations for all irrespective of gender, ethnicity, race or religious beliefs.

Madam President, the passage of this Bill marks a significant step of attaining this vision. We need to be process oriented, I think as Zimbabweans we place too much hope in individual things - we made great hopes in the signing of the 15th September agreement but this is not mark to the end of our struggle, but I am confident that this process will continue, I am confident that Zimbabwe is going to be a great nation. We have wonderful people, we have astonishing racial and ethnic tolerance, we are richly endowed with resources but we have been missing one thing and that thing is democracy.

This Bill presents us with the significance to bring genuine democracy to our nation.

MADAM PRESIDENT: May I appeal to the hon. senators at the back row not to make noise, it is good to listen when somebody is debating.

*CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: Thank you Madam President.

SENATOR CHARUMBIRASpeech not recorded due to technical fault.

SENATOR CHINAMASA: Madam President, I rise to thank all those who made contributions, Hon. Sekai Holland, Hon. David Coltart and Hon. Charumbira. I thank you for all what you have said. When I was presenting my section of the speech I recognized there were - I was wondering whether I could dwell into the past or not, I could have gone to town, I could have gone into detail as to the road we have travelled from 1980, and also from the days of colonialism, but I knew that if I dwell too much on that, it will divide us. I prefer to look into the future because where we have come, we have different stories and emotions to tell. Let us not dwell on that because we will open wounds. We want those wounds to heal - do not open the emotions on the land, the betrayal from that issue because the land is now ours. Also do not open the wounds on whether the sanctions were justified or not. What is important from this day onwards is to realise that the train of the Inclusive government is now living the station. Each and every one of us should give support to the Inclusive government so that we address the challenges that are faced by our country. Let us not open old wounds because some will just lapse into the mode. I hope that there will be a day when you can debate the Inter-party Political Agreement. When you read this agreement do not cherry pick, read the entire document - it is not like a buffet lunch where you go and pick what you want. When you read, accept the values that we have agreed on - these are to be shared by all of us. All the contributions outside tend to basically dwell on one side. This document deals with everything, from the liberation struggle. It is accepted that we are where we are because of the liberation struggle. This Inter-Political Agreement says that there is no destruction on reneging. We have to accept the foundation of the liberation struggle, irrespective of any political affiliation. We have to accept that from now on, each and everyone must call for the lifting of sanctions because we will not succeed as an Inclusive government if the British and Americans continue in the manner that Senator Coltart intimated. We should know that they are not happy with what we are doing. We must tell them in clear language that the affairs of Zimbabwe are for the Zimbabweans' decisions. If we speak with one voice, one united voice, I am sure that we can make a foundation for a very prosperous nation. I want to say that as Zimbabweans, take the most challenging task in the sub-saharan Africa, all the factors of production are in place. What we did not have was peace and tranquillity. We have all the resources as Hon. Coltart has indicated. We now have the human development, we have the very educated people in the sub-saharan Africa. All these resources are under our control because there is no nation which can talk of its resources if another nation has total control over it. What was left was political participation and we are now getting it through this inclusive government. When we speak with one voice, I am sure that this country will prosper.

Let me conclude by thanking all of you for the support you are going to give to the Bill. I have no doubt that we will accept the values and tolerate the central values in this document. If we respect that, I am sure that we have good things ahead of us. Madam President, with these few words, I want to move that the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Bill [H.B. 2, 2008) be now read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee stage: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT (NO. 19) BILL

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 7, put and agreed to.

On Clause 8:

SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: We do not seek to propose an amendment but just to remind the Chair that the Senate also has a significant number of Chiefs, whenever we apportion responsibilities and portfolios we should always bear in mind that they constitute a significant block of the Senate.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. CHINAMASA): Mr. Chairman, let me remind hon. Senators that with the adoption of this amendment, we are going to usher in a constitutional process. There will be a Parliamentary Select Committee which we are going to constitute - we will hand over to that Committee the Kariba Draft for soliciting input from the public. I hope that the input by Hon. Senator Charumbira will be included into that process, which at the end of the day if taken on board can form the draft that will be merged into that process that I mentioned and eventually be merged into the referendum. I want to say that please help file and remember to make your representations to the process that we are going to inaugurate.

Clauses 9 through to 15 put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE AMMENDMENT NO. 19 BILL

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: I move that the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 19 Bill be now read for the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

MADAM PRESIDENT: Sub- section (3) of Section 52 of the Constitution provides that subject to Subsection (5), a Constitutional Bill shall not be deemed to have been duly passed by Parliament unless at the final vote thereon in the Senate it received the affirmative vote of not less than two thirds of the total members of the Senate.

In order to comply with the provisions of Section 52, it is necessary that the number of affirmative votes cast by members be recorded.

I, therefore, direct that bells be now rung after which the votes of the Hon. Senators will be counted.

(Bells rung)

MADAM PRESIDENT: We started counting earlier when the bells were still ringing because some Senators are saying that they want to catch the plane. But, I have to make an official announcement that in this House; do we have any of us who are saying no, to this Bill? Our appointed tellers will tell us if they come across any noes. May I also inform you that our tellers are Honorable Senator Gutu and Honorable Senator Mutsvangwa.

Ayes: 72

Sen K Chabuka, Sen M Chando, Sen Chief F.Z. Charumbira, Sen Chidarikire, Sen Chief R. Chiduku, Sen A Chigwedere, Sen A Chimbudzi, Sen Chief G M Chimombe, Sen Chief Chisunga , Sen Chief Chitanga, Sen Chinamasa, Sen D Coltart, Sen T M Dandawa, Sen A Dete, Sen M. Dinha, Sen G T Dube, Sen J Dube, Sen K Dube, Sen M Femai, Sen B Gaule, Sen C Gava, Sen O C Gutu, Sen M M Hlalo, Sen S M Holland, Sen J D Hungwe, Sen O Kabayanjiri, Sen D. Karimanzira, Sen V Katyamaenza, Sen D Khumalo, Sen G Mabhiza, Sen J M K Machaya, Sen J M Made, Sen H Madzorera, Sen E K Makamure, Sen R R Makhula, Sen J Makore, Sen T Makunde, Sen. C. Makuyana, Sen.T.H. Maluleke, Senator M. Marava, Sen. R. Marumahoko, Sen. J. Masaba, Sen. Chief S.D. Masendu, Sen. C.G. Mathema, Sen. L. Mbambo, Sen. S. Mlotshwa, Sen. Chief L.K. Mtshane, Sen. T.B. Mohadi, Sen. J.W. Msika, Sen. V. Muchenje, Sen. R. Muchihwa, Sen. S.S. Mumbengegwi, Sen. D.D.E. Mumvuri, Sen. H.M. Murerwa, Sen. Chief E.M. Musarurwa, Sen. C. Mushohwe, Sen. M. Mutsvangwa, Sen. S. Ncube, Sen. J. Ndlovu, Sen. N.K. Ndlovu, Sen. Chief Z.N. Ngungumbane, Sen. J.L. Nkomo, Sen. Chief M. Ntabeni, Sen. Chief S.K. Nyamukoho, Sen. J.M. Rimbi, Sen. K. Rugara, Sen. S.U. Sakupwanya, Sen. S.T. Sekeramayi, Sen. A. Sibanda, Sen. H.M. Sinampande, Sen. L.A. Tapela.

MADAM PRESIDENT: The result of the count is that 72 hon. senators have voted in favour of the Bill and none have voted against the Bill. This number of the affirmative votes recorded is not less than two thirds of the total membership of the senators. I therefore declare the final votes in the Senate on the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 19, HB 2, 2008 to have been in accordance with the provisions of Sub-Section (3) of Section 52 of the Constitution.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, the Senate adjourned at Twenty-five Minutes to Seven 'O' clock pm until Tuesday, 10th of February 2009.

 

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Senate Hansard Vol. 18 SENATE HANSARD - 5 FEBRUARY 2009 VOL. 18 NO. 10