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SENATE VOTES 14 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 37

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 14th March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

POSTPONMENT OF CODE OF CONDUCT WORKSHOP

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that the Workshop on Code of Conduct for all Members of Parliament has been postponed to Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.  The workshop will consider the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament and the Privileges and Powers of Parliament Act.  It will be held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) at 0830hrs.  Hon. Senators are requested to take copies of the following documents to the workshop: -

a)     The Parliamentary Salaries, Allowances and Benefit Act.

b)   The Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act; and

c)    The Code of Conduct together with its Annexure which is the declaration form. 

Bring those three documents with you.

SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  In terms of Section 39, subsection 7(a) of the Electoral Act, Chapter (2), the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has notified the Clerk of Parliament of the nomination of Senator Caroline Tsitsi Mugabe as a Senator.  Hon. Sen. Mugabe is a registered voter in Ward 19 of Zvimba Rural District Council in Ngomahuru, Mashonaland West Province; who was nominated by the Zimbabwe African National Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) party to fill in the vacancy that occurred in the Senate following the death of the then incumbent member, Hon. Sen. Virginia Muchenje.  Hon. Sen. Mugabe was duly appointed Senator for Mashonaland West Province with effect from the 6th of March 2017. 

Section 128, subsection (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that before a member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, the member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule.  Section 128 (2) states that the oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament.  

NEW MEMBER SWORN

HON. SEN. CAROLINE TSITSI MUGABE subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the Law and took her seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): Thank you Madam President,  I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until all the other Orders of the Day have been disposed of.      

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.    

          +HON. SEN. BHEBHE:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the speech that was done by the President of the State.  I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Sen. Chipanga seconded by Hon. Sen. Mkhwebu.  I will say just a few words since most of the Senators have debated a lot on this.  The first thing I would like to do is to thank the President on his speech when he was addressing the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the Senate. 

          The President of State and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces emphasised on the importance of having this country and the economy as well.  He touched a lot on the agricultural sector. Looking at agriculture, he emphasised on the command agriculture that when it is implemented, the country will have enough food.  As it is, we have a tangible example for there are so many people who are willing to do command agriculture.  He touched on dairy farming because milk is a product needed by everyone in the country. I noted that goats have rich milk; some people buy goats because they want goat’s milk.  Research says that goat’s milk is good nutrition especially to children; it helps on resisting diseases and contributes on health body building.  The President emphasised on the issue of having dairy farming, he also hinted on the issue of having enough dairy cows.  

          He talked about mining, for example gold, diamond and other minerals mined in Zimbabwe.  If only we can take good care of all minerals mined, I believe this will improve the economy of the country.  For everything that is being mined, I know there are many minerals that are mined and most of them are still available in our country.  Where I come from - if there are no proper regulations, many people are having disputes over minerals and if there is no law that guides them, we face so many issues that are related to illegal mining.  Our wish is that all the minerals that are mined assist us in improving the economy of the country.  The President also touched on the issue of the Bills that are supposed to be passed.  Yes, we are seeing that most of the Bills are coming and being passed in both Houses.  My wish is that if the Bills are passed they should be implemented. 

          You realise that we are waiting for the Bill on land to be brought into Parliament, it has to be debated and Members of Parliament will pass it but at the end of the day it will not be implemented.  On the education sector, when we look at Zimbabwe, we realise that it is a country that values education. Whilst on that, we have to take note that there are other children who are not fortunate enough to get educated.  If only we can get social welfare to assist such children.  The Department of Social Welfare also pays for the BEAM programme; it is one of the programmes that the President of the State highlighted on. 

          What we know is, long back they used to say as long as you are able to write your name, it is okay and enough especially for  the girl child.  They say at the end of the day, you will get married and change your surname.  Nowadays, we realise that it is affecting everyone - the boy and girl child are supposed to be given proper education.  If we take serious consideration on issues to do with mining, we will be able to buy the medication for our hospitals and even supplement the AIDS levy.  We will also be able to and assist those who are affected with cancer, high blood pressure and sugar diabetes.  These are some of the things that can be taken care of by the Government, especially by availing medication that they take.

          There are some people who live with the disabled.  The President highlighted that those people should be taken care of and not be isolated in so many things, for being disabled does not mean that you are not able to do anything –

          Hon. Sen. Bhebhe’s phone having rung.

I am sorry Madam President, I thought I had switched off my phone.  There is this animal called corruption Madam President.  This is one animal that attacks everyone as long as you are living in this country.  The President highlighted on the issue of corruption and he hinted that if only we are serious Zimbabweans, we should not participate in any corrupt deals.  When I look at Matabeleland Province in Bubi district, there is something that was flighted several times in the newspapers concerning mining.  There is a group of boys that we refer to as ‘Shurugwi’ and if they come and try to overtake your mining area, they will go to an extent of murdering people.  People from that community will then be able to identify the group and say it belongs to so and so.  If we can stop engaging in corrupt activities, we will be able to improve our country. Even the issue to do with sanctions; it was because of the fact that our country has rich minerals that can improve the country.  That is why sanctions were imposed on us.  If all of us can stop being involved in corrupt activities; we will improve the country. 

          Madam President, if a man marries two wives, that is another form of corruption because you are causing these two women to always fight.  If we can take seriously what the President said.  The President also touched on the issue of violence.  He hinted that most of the times when people are arguing or fighting, at the end of the day there is no peace.  Madam President, I just wanted to add my voice on the few points that I had since the other Hon. Senators have already debated.  With these few words, I thank you.

          +THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you but I am not sure whether male counterparts heard what you were saying about marrying two wives.

          +HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Thank you Madam President.  I would like to make my contribution on the debate that was brought by the President.  When the President says something, he says it on behalf of everyone in the country because when you are leading you are leading everyone and no one is left out.  What I would like to say is that ZIM ASSET is properly written.  It gave us four areas which are good and the President also mentioned those things that should be implemented to ensure that we are successful on those areas.  The President also mentioned about the Bills.  To my surprise, the Bills are not being brought at the pace that the President highlighted on.  When the President speaks on certain issues, we want to see those issues being implemented.  Maybe what is delaying the process is because there are some people who have been in the same position over and over again and at the end of the day there is nothing new that is being brought. 

          On the issues that that the President highlighted on; I have looked at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, you find that the same industries, especially for food have been reopened. Yes, I have seen things like cooking oil, are now in stock but when you go out to places like Mupedzanhamo, they are still selling clothes that are being imported whilst we have our own cotton in Zimbabwe.  Why can we not reopen Kadoma Textile industry?   There is nothing that is being done at Kadoma Textile industry.  Is it not possible that people can be reshuffled?  Surely, we will not achieve all the things that the President highlighted for example on the issue of improving the economy of the country if we continue like this. 

          The President also highlighted the issue of agriculture.  Yes, we are seeing that being implemented, especially this year with the introduction of Command Agriculture.  In most of the areas, people managed to do their farming activities but in my own view, most people did not have fertilizer.  Yes, some are going to have a bumper harvest.  We have heard that there are three silos.  Most of the times we do a reactive response, for example when we are told that there is a bumper harvest, that is when we start building silos.  Why can we not be pro-active and have silos readily available? 

          Another thing that is taking us back as a country is that fertilizer is causing erosion to the country.  People should be educated on conservative agriculture so that it is helpful to those who are not able to buy fertilizer.  This will also help on climate change.  We have the SDGs, one of them states that there is Climate Change.  So, for us not to witness the effects of climate change, we are also suppose to participate.  For example issues like farming affects climate change at 60% rate more than the other issues that contribute towards climate change. We should therefore change in our ways of farming so that we can conserve our environment. 

          The President also touched on violence.  We have heard that violence - there.  I think the major form of violence is whereby we use children who are under 18 to have children.  To me that is a form of violence.  For those kids to get pregnant, they are impregnated by an elderly person.  According to Zimbabwe Democratic Health Survey, children who are below the age of 15 who have given birth are at 15%.  It also revealed that children who are 16 years old and already have kids are 16.4% and children at 17 years old are at 21.4%.  These are elderly people who have sex with these children. 

          The President indicated that he does not want children to be raped, yes - but we are seeing this still happening.  If only we can work together for this country.  I know when this is said by a Member belonging to the opposition party, we seem to complain a lot but these are our children who are being raped at a tender age.  As I have highlighted and the percentages that I have given; we visited children who are 14 years of age at Musasa Project.  Those who are 9 and 12 years were not catered for in that survey. Those 15, 16 and 17 years that were put into consideration by the survey were considered as older people who have the right to engage in sexual activities.  If only we could work together, the ZIM ASSET Blueprint is a very good policy. However, the question that I want to ask is, are we going to achieve it?  In my own view, people who are in positions of authority have overstayed and not able to effect change and if we cannot change them, we will not be able to have any further development.  Those who are not able to perform should be relieved of their duties and replaced by those who are able to effect development.  I thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on this motion.

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

HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th March, 2017.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th March, 2017.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. MATHUTHU): I move that Order of the Day, Number 4 be stood over until all the other Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

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.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15 March, 2017

MOTION

SADC MODEL LAW ON ERADICATING EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES

          Sixth Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion on SADC Model law on eradicating Child Marriages.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. SEN. MKHWEBU: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion that was brought by Hon. Sen. Mohadi on the SADC Model law that was done in Swaziland and seconded by Hon. Sen. Chipanga.  I will say a few words, especially after the long debates which took place in this House.

          Hon. President, what was highlighted on this law relates to children who get married before attaining the age of 15.  In my view, I wish we could pass a law in this country which protects children who get married before attaining the legal age or those who give birth to children before attaining the expected age.  What I know is that there is no way we can say, for example, that a child should be taught the laws by a neighbor, but one should do it on their own.  The children who come from a well-groomed family with regulations are distinguished by their behaviour, even at school they listen to their teachers.  Our children get married at an early age as some of them are not given enough advice whilst some are advised in a harsh way and ultimately they become stubborn at a tender age.  We should learn to teach our children in a proper way so that they become our future leaders with a bright future.

          Another thing that forces children to get married at a tender age is that, they are not adequately provided for.  For example, you send a child to school without enough resources and when they find that their friends are adequately provided for, they fall for anyone who offers them US$10 and that child will end up falling into the trap because of shortage of resources.  I therefore urge the Government that if only they can implement this law that those who are below the required age for marriage or those who are already in marriages before attaining the required age, should be protected by the law passed by the Government.

          I emphasise that the Government should put the law that will protect these children.  What is also important is that as Hon. Members have debated this at length.  I have been listening to everybody who contributed to this debate and they wish that if only the law could be implemented, it will protect these children so that they do not get married at a tender age.  With these few words, I thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.

          *HON. SEN. MURWIRA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice.  I would want to thank Hon. Sen. Mohadi for this motion on the SADC Model Law being seconded by Hon. Sen. Chipanga.  This motion is very important as it talks about the law that was put in place against child marriage.  It also gives the girl child an opportunity to go to school just like a boy child.  Again, it gives them an opportunity to make choices about their lives. 

          Mr. President, this law is very important. We should embrace it and use it in our country for the upliftment of the girl child.  When this law was passed, even our President was present, so the law should be effected.  I think it was long overdue for us to protect the girl child so that she will get married when she is mature.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th March, 2017.  

MOTION

SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONAL SCHOOL PLEDGE

          Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on advocating for unequivocal support for the National School Pledge by all Members of Parliament.

          Question again proposed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th 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.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN.  MATHUTHU): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th 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. CHIEF CHISUNGA: Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to debate on this motion which was moved by Hon. Sen. Musakwa and seconded by Hon. Sen. Murwira.  The motion wanted to bring out that the population of Zimbabwe should be high. This will help us in luring investors to invest in our country.  The motion also seeks that the Government should come up with ways of incentivising those who are able to have large families so that the population of Zimbabwe will grow.

Mr. President, yes, we are aware that at the moment we are having challenges economically but it should not be given as an excuse for not bearing children.  During the liberation struggle, when things were difficult, people would bear children; women would be seen running whilst pregnant.  In those days, families were very large with more than eight children per family and it has helped the nation to be where we are today. 

However, with the advent of HIV/AIDS, many people have passed on, so who will compensate those people?  So, I am encouraging people to bear more children so that we enlarge our population.  We do not want to be in the same situation with Europe. Right now, they have challenges with their population which has more aged people that are no longer productive.   Let me give you a very good example of retirement. For example, Spain was the first nation to come up with a post for Minister of Sex which means that when people get into their homes, they become busy.

This will help us Mr. President, to ensure that our population in Zimbabwe grows. Those who contributed in the past brought out the advantage that companies can produce more products and there will be many consumers, then population growth will be promoted and those who pay tax will be more. If people are few, we will remain cry babies. For example in Germany in Europe, privately they are courting foreign citizens. If you go to Germany today and you are not working, you earn £400 per month even if you are not employed, just for sitting. After three years, you become a citizen. They want to improve their population.

If we support this motion objectively, it will help us in future to ensure a bright future. If you look at our war veterans, most of them are now retiring. What does this mean to us in terms of our country’s security? If you want to take statistics and you go to NAC, you will find that over two to three million people are HIV positive. I do not mean that they are going to die but HIV reduces the level of those people who are productive. We should encourage people not to look down on family planning methods, but at the same time big families will help our country to grow. It will help us have a bright future.

As a country, we should come up with a policy that if you have a large family, you get an incentive for giving birth. In China, they once came up with a one child per household policy, but they have now relaxed that because they are aware now that their population is dwindling. So, the relaxing of the policy is helping them to rebuild their nation. We should also be in line with God’s law because we know that Zimbabwe is a Christian country. When God created man, he said be fruitful and multiply. If you are not reproductive, you are defying God’s law. All those who are able, you must get busy. It helps our nation to grow.

I also want to give another example, if you look at our children in Zimbabwe; most of them are now working in the diaspora. So, who is left? Most of those who are living the country are acquiring foreign citizenship. If you go to South Africa, you find that there are those who are called the Boers. They were very few but they came up with a policy that they should reproduce. A few weeks back, they were challenging South Africans that if you start grabbing our land, we will start a war because their population is now large in numbers.

Mr. President, I want to support this motion by saying that it is a very good motion and it helps to grow our population. It will help us develop our nation. Before I sit down, let me give you an example which I was told by a Chinese. He said that even if we give them the worst parts of our country; say a mountainous place like Kariba, in two years time, they would have completed constructing that area and they would be about two billion people living there. We have our land and there is nothing that can stop our nation to grow so that we are productive. With these few words, I want to thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: I want to thank Hon. Sen. Musakwa for this motion, which was seconded by Hon. Sen. Murwira. I want to start by saying child-bearing is very good for us and our elders said that kuwanda kwakanaka asi kwakaipira kupedza muto (it is good to have large numbers but they also demand more resources). Coming to the way we live these days, for me to have ten children and be able to look after them is a challenge. However, in terms of work, it is very good to have as many children as possible. We should not be like those people who employ a lot of people but cannot pay them.

We can have a lot of children and not be able to send them to school. Long back, yes, we could live on the mere salaries that we got but these days the children are different. They cannot go out without shoes or wearing tattered clothes. They can go out like that but inside they will be crying. So, if we still live in the past, I think we will be creating a problem. Even if a husband has 15 wives, the children will end up being a problem in society because they cannot get enough from their homes. Those who can have 15 children and those who cannot should do what is within their means.

We should not have children for other people to look after. Even if you become busy and have children that you cannot look after, it is a sin before God. You should have a child that you are able to look after. At my age, if I go to the clinic pregnant, the nurses will scold me. Long back at my age, they could bear and give birth to normal children but these days the nurses would be angry with me. Now, our children are giving birth at the age of 15 years and I cannot compete with a 15 year old. It is very difficult. We should tell each other the truth. We cannot still live in the past.

Long back children could carry samp to school but these days, they cannot take boiled maize (mangai) to school. If you tell them to take boiled maize to school, they will look at you. Yes, long back we were born in large families of about 15-20 children but those who said people should engage in family planning methods were not mad. They knew and had realised that some of the children were not going to school. Everyone should look after their children. There are children in the streets. I once said that our male counterparts should go and take children from the streets because those children do not have anyone to look after them, yet you still want to add the number of children living on the streets. So, the motion is very good but it was good long back not these days. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. President for according me the opportunity to add my voice to this motion.  Surely, giving birth was a good thing.  When I was growing up, if it was a good thing to do, I could have given birth to 15 children because those who were able to give birth to 15children, how strong were they?  I really wanted to have 15 children but these days, our children want to have more children but you will find that when they get pregnant, the maternity fees that they are charged at the clinics are so exorbitant, the men are not empoloyed and they are living from hand to mouth as they are all vendors.  Parents are not even able to save say $5 and that is one of the reasons that is hindering children from having many children as they are worried about looking after those children and also how to feed them when they give birth.

          When I grew up, I was a dressmaker and I used to sell clothes.   As I was selling my wares, I came across this family and this man said to me, you should tell your friend to practice family planning.  So, the man was scolding the woman but in my mind I said to myself, does the wife just get pregnant on her own.  So if we go to these industrial areas, we would find that all the people who were employed there are now unemployed and are sitting at home.  Our form fours are now on the streets selling airtime juice cards.  So if we increase our population, where will the children go to stay because the way that we are living these days, it is an impediment for them to have more children. 

My daughter in law has two children and I always ponder that if it happens that one child dies, it means that she will be left with only one child but when I look at them, the husband is not working.  So even if they have another child, how will they support that child?  Yesterday I was listening to the Minister when he was referring to the children going to Grade Zero. He said, if children start school at Zero Grade, when they get to ‘O’ level, they come out with good grades like ‘As’ and ‘Bs’ because they were motivated right from the beginning.  But when you look at some children who did not go to crèche and Zero Grade, they are the children who are getting lower grades because their minds are not sharp enough.  So comparing them, you will find that that woman who would have given birth to a lot of children, her children are dull but those with a few children, their children are intelligent.

So, I think, we should come up with a mechanism that we should use to help the less privileged people so that they can have more children who would be well looked after.  With these few words, I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Musaka who moved this motion in this august House and seconded by Hon. Sen. Murwira.  Hon. Members, when we debate this motion, let us have a vision and let us look into the future because, if we look at the present situation really, we have all the reasons not to have many children.  So, let us not look at the present situation because situations come and situations go.  When these situations change and we are stuck with one or two children, we cannot have children because we cannot give birth, raise them and educate them within months.  So, where will we get people to vote for us because we need votes and we need them very much.  We need to see the population of the country increase but can we increase it like we grow maize in three months time and have the population that we want.  It is not possible.  So, let us get prepared as there is nowhere where we have heard of children dying because of hunger or because of not going to school – they are all surviving.  So, we have to think outside the box.

Mr. President, in my own opinion, I prefer to export people to look for greener pastures out there other than importing people from foreign countries to come and run technical schools here in our country because they will bring their technical schools that do not match with our own country.  We need our own people to do it.  So, it is wise to train them here.  Mr. President, we need nurses, teachers, soldiers and policemen, you can name them.  We cannot say we have to limit ourselves today and have maybe a minimum number of children yet we need all those people.  As I said earlier on, they cannot be born today and get jobs in all these fields within three or five months but we need years for them to grow up.  We have to plan in advance and we need children.  Let us not limit ourselves. 

This morning when I was listening to the news, I was impressed.  There is a certain old man who I cannot remember his name.  He passed away and he was declared a Liberation Hero.  He had 12 wives and those are the kind of men that we need in Zimbabwe – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

He had 30 children – yes, he has greatly contributed to the country because now he has grandchildren and great grandchildren, may be totalling 60 or 100 and those are all voters for Zimbabwe.  As ZANU PF, really we need that.

 Mr. President, even if we look at the production sector - that is agriculture where everybody is singing about command agriculture.  You know what; we have these white farmers who are very clever.  Whenever their children grow up, they do not mind about them getting degrees in English or what, but they train them so that they know how to farm.  They should get degrees in farming and mechanical industries and so forth so that when they grow up, they would assist them when they are old.  They invest in their children so that tomorrow when they are old, those white men will go and rest whilst their children carry on with the work. Unlike when we cry that my child should go to school, he or she should be a professor – what for?  A professor where?  Let us think about it. It is not a joke.  We are talking about the future and we should prepare what the future will carry for us, not just looking at today that what is my child going to eat, food on the table for the first day, what about tomorrow?  You might be very unfortunate and that one child that you have, the following day that child dies and you have invested in nothing.  Where will you put all those riches that you have.  Whom are you going to give them to because the only one child that you had prepared for is already dead.  You better think and plan.  Mr. President, with these few words, I would like to support this motion.  I thank you.

+HON. SEN. MASUKU:  Thank you Mr. President.  Firstly, I would like to say that Zimbabwe is a Christian country and I can simply say that we are a Christian family.  We learn from the Bible that we should multiply and it does not give a limit on how many children you are supposed to have.  Mr. President, in our traditional culture, it is said that an elephant is not burdened by its own tusks. 

Mr. President, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity.  I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Senator Musaka and the seconder of the motion.  I come from a big family and I am the fourth born from a family of 12 from the same mother.  In our culture, what we call the clan will not disappear for we were born a big family.  If we say we limit on the number of children that a family is supposed to have, where is the clan going exactly?  A nation is identified by its culture and if your nation does not have children, where is it going to; but because you have members of your clan, your traditions will continue.

Mr. President, how I understand family is that it was supposed to be brought by other people who wanted to limit on the number of children that we will have so that they can benefit from that.  What I will agree with Mr. President, is child spacing; how you space your children but not in a way that every year, you have to bear children.  You have to give birth to as many children as you can.  Another issue that I will try to add my voice on is that our God gave us different minerals, trees, vegetation and different things that are bringing money to the country which the other countries are jealous of.  That is why they brought issues like family planning.  If only we could use that in a way that will enable us to give birth to our children.  I do not think we can say there is a family that is not able to get enough.

Mr. President, I know most of the times people tend to think that if they bear too many children, what am I going to do.  I will continuously refer to the Bible for we are a Christian nation.  The Bible says that the birds do not know what they will eat but they are still alive.  Why do I want to go ahead and plan for God?  You can have one child and be thinking that you will be able to support the child but you do not know what your tomorrow has.  What if you fail to take care of the one child that you have, God takes care of our lives.

Mr. President, the problem that is there is – we are too much of the dependant syndrome.  We are no longer the nation that loves working and we are not ashamed of depending, for example, like what the chick does.  You will hear from a family whereby a man is supposed to be supporting the family but he will be asking – where are we going to get food and when are we going to be given the food?  Why do you not want to work as a man and feed your family? People will be asking – where are you going to get the job?  For you to do your farming in your small garden that you have, it does not need you to be employed. 

We have even taught our children to always depend on Government.  Why should you bear children with a mentality that the Government will take care for them?  When you bear children, you should be responsible to care for them as a parent and not to bear them with the mentality of going to the Government asking for donations.  We should teach ourselves to work and be responsible for our families which will be equivalent to the number of children that we have.

Someone told me that if you bear so many children and have girls only, what are you going to do and I asked her – when you plan to have children, is it you who determines or it is God.  We do not know, maybe when you are trying to have children, God would have made it in a way that later on he will give you boys.  The question that I want to pose is, is a girl child not a human being enough, especially these days?  Mr. President, I want to acknowledge the fact that the girl child is now equal to be boy child in many different ways, for example, if our Deputy Clerk of Parliament did not refuse, by today she would be one of the chiefs.  We will be saying the clan of Dingani is continuing, even if there were girl children only that were born.

I am therefore, against the idea that people should not give birth with the mentality that what if I have girl children only or if I give birth to children, I do not know how I am going to feed them.  I would like to urge everyone that when you are reading your Bible, please do not skip the verse that says, you should give birth and multiply.  If we are saying to our children they should not give birth, what are we saying about our future because they should take care of us later on.  I would like to second this motion and say that when Zimbabwe is improving in its economy, it should also improve on its population and this can be achieved by us as Zimbabweans through hard work.  This will be evident in that what you are doing at work is equivalent to improving the state of the nation.  I thank you Mr. President Sir.

*HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I have a few words to add on the motion.  Firstly, when you are debating a motion, it is very important to ask ourselves on what we are talking about, where it ends up to.  I am saying this because those who are debating should be sure that they would have eight children because we come here and encourage people to bear a lot of children when they know that they have gone past that age and we want people to give birth when they do not want to.

Secondly, we should look at the Government.  When they accepted the policy on family planning they must have seen something.  My question is, what have we seen today that we should want families to have eight or ten children?  I do not have a problem with people who want 20 or 30 children.  Hon. Sen. Chifamba said we should have children that we are able to look after because it is not a question of bearing children as if they are cows.  We are talking of quality life of a child.  The quality life of a person is not to have children and feed them with porridge but they should get nutritious food, go to school and dress well.  If you have 30 children and we are saying we do not have money in this country and there are no jobs – we are only looking at tomorrow and not today. 

The child that we are bearing, we are saying tomorrow we want them to work, I think we are right because we just want to bear and put them in  the country and count them.  These children also want a good life.  I have seen that as we are debating in this House, we are forgetting what a child is.  We are talking to a child that we want them to be a leader for the betterment of our country, but we see that our debate is just pointing to having more children so that they will help us tomorrow.  This motion has two aspects that is the Government should give incentives.  There is no guarantee there, and there is nothing in place that the Government will get the money. 

Right now, the Social Welfare is not able to look after the deserving children.  Children who want to benefit from BEAM – we cannot pay for the children that we have right now but we are saying we should give birth to children because the Government will give incentives.  Where do the incentives come from?  The Budget of this country is $4 billion and it cannot take our country further.  Today, we are bringing in a motion that we should have more children who are to be looked after by the Government when the Government is not able to look after the people that are there.  I think this debate does not show where we want to go. 

We are also looking at NGOs and saying they should give us money so that we increase our population.  We cannot approach donors and say, give us money so that we have more children in our country.  Therefore, what this motion is saying is not possible because we are not in control. 

In conclusion, I want to say, this motion is not bad for those who can look after the families that they have.  We should not come up with an exciting debate so that when we go out, people will ask us about the debate.  I think Mr. President, those who stand up to debate should not point to other people when we know that in here, the Senators are not able to have those children and they do not want their children to have large families.  I thank you Mr. President.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 15th March, 2017.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 68TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY UNION

Tenth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Delegation to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. GOTO:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to wind up the motion of the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union held on the 2nd to 3rd June, 2016 in Khartoum, Sudan.  Suffice to say that participation to such an important conference by our delegation is very critical.  It enables us to share best practices and views.  In our case, the highlights of the conference were on issues to do with culture, linguistics, religious, ethnics and social diversity and the importance of preserving our cultural inheritage.

I would like to thank all Hon. Senators who contributed to this motion, notably, Hon. Sen. Chief Dandawa, Hon. Sen. A. Sibanda, Hon. Sen. Khumalo, Hon. Sen. Mohadi, Hon. Sen. Bhobho amongst others.  I therefore move that the motion that this House takes not of the Report of the delegation to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union be withdrawn from the Order Paper. I thank you Mr. President.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE STATUS OF CHILDREN’S HOMES

          Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on the Status of Children’s Homes.

          Question again proposed

          HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I rise to give notice to the closure of this motion because it was responded to very tactically by the Hon. Minister himself.  I only await to see the Hansard  so that I will also quote some of the areas that were promised.  I think the Hansard will be out today or tomorrow.  However, I think this week I will be winding this particular motion.  I want to thank you very much.  I therefore move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th March, 2017.

MOTION

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

          12th Order read: Adjourned debate on the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Early Child Marriages.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 15th March, 2017.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA), the Senate adjourned at Five Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE VOTES 14 MARCH 2017 VOL 26 NO 37