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SENATE VOTES 18 OCTOBER2016 VOL 26 NO 05

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday 18th October, 2016

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that I have received Non-Adverse Reports on all the Statutory Instruments published in the Government Gazzette during the month of July and September 2016.

INVITATION TO THE 2016 PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also wish to inform the House that all Senators are invited to the 2016 Pre-budget Seminar, to be held at the ZITF grounds in Bulawayo from the 2nd to the 6th November, 2016.  All Senators are required to confirm their participation at the seminar by the 24th October, 2016, with the Public Relations officers who will be stationed in the Court Yard from 1400hrs during sitting days or at their offices in Pax House during any other time.   Please note that Hon. Senators from Masvingo, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South, Bulawayo and Midlands Provinces are expected to drive to Bulawayo.  While those from Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West will fly to Bulawayo from Harare.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that Orders of the Day Number 1 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 2 has been disposed of.

          HON. SEN.  MUMVURI: I second

HON. SEN.  MOHADI: Thank you Madam President.  I move the motion standing in my name:

That this House takes note of the Report of the delegation to the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum held in Ezulwini, Swaziland from 28th May to 7th June, 2016.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: I second.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President.  I am going to present a report of the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, which took place in Ezulwini, Swaziland from 30 May to 6 June 2016.

          1.0   INTRODUCTION

1.1    The 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) was convened at the Royal Swazi Convention Centre in Ezulwini, Kingdom of Swaziland from 30 May to 6 June 2016.  The Session brought together Presiding Officers and Members of Parliament from the 14 SADC Members States under the theme, “Strengthening Parliamentary Role in the Protection and Realisation of Human Rights in Southern Africa”. The following countries were represented at the Plenary Assembly: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe, led a Parliamentary delegation comprising the following Members and Officers of Parliament to the Plenary Assembly:-

Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, Member of Parliament and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentarians Caucus (ZWPC);

Hon. Dr. Samson Mukanduri, Member of Parliament;

          Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi, Member of Parliament;

          Hon. Innocent Gonese, Member of Parliament;

          Hon. Jasmine Toffa, Member of Parliament;

          Ms. Rudo N. E. Doka, Acting Principal Director – External Relations; and Mr. Robert Sibanda, Security – Aide to the Speaker.

2.0    THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY

2.1    The Official Opening Ceremony of the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum took place at the Royal Swazi Convention Centre in Ezulwini on the 2nd of June 2016.

2.2    In his introductory statement, Dr. E. Chiviya, Secretary-General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, welcomed all the delegates and alluded to the Kingdom’s support for and commitment to the objectives of the Forum.   He introduced the theme of the 39th Plenary, “Strengthening Parliamentary Role in the Protection and Realization of Human Rights”, and underscored the need for Parliaments to examine their own understanding of the centrality of human rights in law making and in the ratification and implementation of human rights instruments.

2.3    Hon. Themba Msibi, Speaker of the National Assembly of Swaziland, welcomed his Majesty’s guests, all the delegates and observers to the Plenary.  He noted the instrumental role played by the SADC PF in promoting dialogue and the commitment by SADC Parliaments to complementing the SADC Development Strategy and Roadmap 2016 to 2063 through effectively playing the oversight role in its implementation.

2.4    The outgoing Chairperson of the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC), Hon. Francisca Tomas, conveyed a message of support from the RWPC and recognised the role played by Swazi women in resistance to colonial domination.  She referred to the African Union’s decision to declare 2016 as the Year of Women’s Rights, which resonates the theme of the 39th Plenary Assembly and implored governments to actively involve women in all decision making processes.  While referring to all the regional and international conventions to which the SADC Region has committed, Hon. Tomas bemoaned the failure by Member States to achieve the 50/50 gender parity goal by 2015.

2.5    The Vice-President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, Hon. Joseph Njobvuyalema, reiterated the need for the SADC Parliamentary Forum to transform into a Regional Parliament, highlighting that the SADC is now the only region without a formal Regional Parliament.

2.6    In a Keynote Address delivered on behalf of His Royal Highness, King Mswati 111 by Deputy Prime Minister Senator Paul Dhlamini, he acknowledged the issue of human rights as key in Africa’s endeavour to realize sustainable development objectives and goals by 2030 and 2063.  He reiterated that the actualisation of Africa’s development and prosperity largely depended on the protection and promotion of human rights, and more specifically on the rights of women.

2.7   The Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, extended a vote of thanks and deep gratitude to His Royal Highness, King Mswati 111 for allowing the Kingdom of Swaziland to host the 39th Plenary Assembly and granting an audience to Presiding Officers, Leaders of delegations and other delegates participating at the 39th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC PF.

3.0    SYMPOSIUM ON THE THEME, “STRENGTHENING PARLIAMENTARY ROLE IN THE PROTECTION AND REALIsATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA”

3.1    In his presentation, Mr. Deprose Muchena, the Executive Director of Amnesty International Southern Africa, gave an overview of the political, economic and social context of Southern Africa, demonstrating that the region is a product of struggles for human rights, good governance and democracy.  He noted that human rights are therefore, indigenous and should not be viewed as a foreign imposition or a western ideology.  He explained the characteristics of most post-independence states of the region as “dual and enclave” economies, meaning, a developed and diversified formal economy sitting alongside an underdeveloped peasant-based subsistence rural economy. This, he noted, results in the problem of acute inequalities manifested through unequal access to social services especially health, education, water, sanitation and food.

3.3    The ensuing debate called for Amnesty International to work with individual Parliaments on human rights issues. Mr. Muchena informed Members that Amnesty International does not have programmes with individual Parliaments but wants to collaborate with the SADC Parliamentary Forum Secretariat.  Parliaments, however, can:-

-         Move motions to indicate to the Executive, the list of Protocols which have not been ratified or brought to Parliament for approval;

-         Ensure the provision of adequate funding of independent Commissions;

-         Propose that the school curricula includes education on human rights; and

-         Call for the beneficiation of resources.

3.4     With regards to the issues discussed, the Plenary Assembly adopted the resolutions on page 7 of this report under bullet 5.3.3.

4.0     MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Executive Committee met on 31 May 2016 to consider various issues and resolved as follows:-

4.1     The Transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a Regional Parliament

4.1.1 Following the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in August 2015 in Gaborone, Botswana, where a request to transform the SADC –Parliamentary Forum into a Regional Parliament had been submitted and rejected for the fourth time, the Executive Committee constituted an Ad-hoc Committee to work with the Secretary-General and scrutinise the reasons for the unfavourable response.

4.1.2 The Ad-hoc Committee, chaired by the Hon. Adv. Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, comprised the Hon. Speaker Prof. Peter Katjavivi of Namibia and the Hon. Speaker Justice Dr. Patrick Matibini of Zambia.

4.1.3 Deliberations of the Ad-hoc Committee concluded that the three strategies outlined below be pursued concurrently and immediately, given that the next Summit was scheduled for August 2016:-

-      Speakers and Members of SADC Parliaments should engage their respective Heads of State and Government and ensure that Cabinet deliberate and agree to the transformation of the SADC – PF into a SADC Regional Parliament;

-      Identify and request a willing SADC Member State to move a motion on the Agenda of the upcoming Summit scheduled for August 2016 in the Kingdom of Swaziland, for the establishment of a SADC Regional Parliament; and

-      Make a formal representation to SADC Senior Officials who are responsible for drafting the Summit Agenda. 

4.1.4 The Executive Committee, therefore, endorsed the recommendations by the Ad-hoc Committee, to resubmit the matter to the Summit for reconsideration.  The said recommendations would form the basis of the appeal to the SADC Summit.

4.2     The SADC PF Flag

4.2.1 The reprinted SADC – PF flag was officially handed over to the Hon. Speakers and Heads of Delegations during the 39th Plenary Assembly Session.

4.3     Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage

4.3.1 The Executive Committee adopted the Model Law, which was subsequently debated extensively in plenary and endorsed with amendments.  Respective National Parliaments have the onerous responsibility to popularise the document among relevant Government Ministries and departments of Member States and other stakeholders.

4.3.2 Post adoption programmes will be spearheaded by the SADC – PF Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes, who will carry out the initiative to its logical conclusion.

4.3.3 Regional and International Institutions, including the African Union, Southern African Development Community, the Pan-African Parliament, the East African Legislative Assembly, Association of European Parliaments for Africa, Plan International, Sweden and Senior Chieftainess Kachindamoto of Malawi,  delivered solidarity messages to the 39th Plenary Assembly Session upon the adoption of the Model Law.  They applauded the Forum for making a clear political statement and for its uniqueness in being the first Assembly to develop and adopt a Model Law on Child Marriages in Africa and in the world.  Special training for traditional leaders and law enforcement agencies on the dangers of child marriage and the importance of enforcing relevant child protection laws was recommended.  Addressing the financial motivation of impoverished families and their economic needs could also alleviate the problem.

4.4    Parliamentary Studies Institute (PSI)

4.4.1 Following the endorsement of a decision to establish a Parliamentary Studies Institute (PSI) in principle, in November 2015, the Secretary-General informed the Executive Committee about the offer by Zimbabwe to host the PSI, through a letter dated 25 May 2016 from the Hon. Emmerson D. Mnangagwa, Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.  The letter confirmed that H.E. the President, Cde. Robert G. Mugabe, had accepted to host the PSI in Zimbabwe.

4.4.2 In charting the way forward, the Executive Committee recommended to the Plenary a team comprising Hon. Speaker Prof.  Peter Katjavivi of Namibia; Hon. Speaker Justice Dr. Patrick Matibini of Zambia; and Dr. Esau Chiviya, Secretary-General of the SADC – PF, to visit a similar institution in Nairobi, Kenya.  The study tour will inform the SADC – PF on the structure, staffing levels and administrative costs, as the Forum embarks on the project of establishing the PSI.  Arrangements to visit Zimbabwe to view the two proposed buildings offered as possible headquarters of the Institute would be placed in motion by the Secretary-General and submit recommendations to the Executive Committee accordingly.

4.4.3 During the course of its deliberations, the Plenary Assembly endorsed the above recommendations and requested the Executive Committee to keep them abreast on the developments.

4.5     Costs for Election Observation

4.5.1 The 39th Plenary Assembly Session deferred approval on the proposal for an additional contribution of US$16,342.93 per Member Parliament towards the 2016/2017 financial year budget to cover logistics costs for SADC – PF Election Observation Missions.  Costs to be covered include field transport, conference venues, interpretation and accommodation for support staff.

4.5.2 It was in the spirit of promoting oversight and that election observation was one of the flagship activities of the SADC – PF, that the Executive Committee appealed to the Plenary Assembly to rescind its decision and approve the inclusion of logistics costs for Election Observation Missions. 

4.5.3 The Plenary Assembly acknowledged the need to observe elections but disagreed with the inclusion of this cost in the 2016/2017 budget year.  However, the recommendation to support Election Observation Missions, based on the actual election calendar each year, was endorsed subject to the provision of a detailed computation of the costs involved.  Contributions towards election observation will, therefore, remain voluntary based on the cost for a particular election.

4.6     Increasing SADC – PF Membership

4.6.1 During the 38th Plenary Assembly, a proposal was submitted to increase the SADC – PF Membership from the current six (6) to a maximum of seven (7) Members per country and the proposal was declined.  It is against this background that the Executive Committee earnestly appealed to the Plenary Assembly to rescind its decision and allow Member Parliaments that can afford to nominate seven (7) members to the Forum.  Those that cannot afford are not compelled to nominate an additional member.

4.6.2 Following intense debate on the proposal, the Plenary Assembly resolved to maintain the status quo.  Members argued that an imbalance in the membership would defeat the guiding principles of democracy and equality, upon which the organisation was founded.

4.7     Development of a Regional Model Law on the Electoral Process

4.7.1 The Assembly considered the possibility of coming up with a Model Law on Elections to assist Member States to domesticate the principles and guidelines for democratic elections, taking into account that the electoral obligations on Member States are spread in various electoral instruments including the Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC Region, Benchmarks for Assessing Democratic Elections in Southern Africa and the Revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.  Such a Model Law will be informed by the election cycle so that it comprehensively covers all matters related to the electoral process rather than events such as polling.  SADC PF, in this regard, will partner with such organisations as the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC, SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) and others in the development of the proposed Model Law.

4.7.2 The development of a Model Law on Elections in the SADC Region was sanctioned by the Plenary Assembly.

4.8     Forensic Audit of The Forum’s Finances

4.8.1 The Executive Committee resolved that the Finance Sub-Committee should visit the SADC PF Headquarters in Namibia and review the several issues related to the Forum’s finances, including budget lines, Membership Contributions, fund raising and possible institution of austerity measures.  The decision is in line with the Executive Committee’s earlier decision of November 2015 in Swakopmund, Namibia, where it had resolved that a Forensic Audit of the Forum’s Finances be carried out.  However, the Forensic Audit could not take place due to lack of resources to fund the mission.

4.8.2 The Treasurer will develop the Terms of Reference and modalities for the Forensic Audit in consultation with the Members of the Finance Sub-Committee.  The Finance Sub-Committee will report to the Executive Committee, which will ultimately report to the 40th Plenary Assembly.

4.8.3 The Plenary Assembly agreed with the proposal.

4.9    Treasurer’s Report

4.9.1 The Treasurer’s Report highlighted the impact of the depreciation of the Rand (ZAR) against the United States Dollar (USD) and indicated how it had affected expenditure on salaries, goods and services.  It was against this background that the Executive Committee suggested the following:-

-      That the staff emoluments be paid in USD to avoid exchange loss suffered by the employees;

-      A supplementary budget for the 2016/17 financial year with an increase of 10% of the annual mandatory contribution was proposed; and

-      Cost cutting measures to prioritise Forum expenditures and budget reallocation so that expenditure remains within the approved current contribution levels.

4.9.2 The Plenary Assembly interrogated the options and resolved as follows:-

-      That annual mandatory contributions be computed and paid in ZAR;

-      That the Forum Secretariat provides a breakdown of the supplementary budget for consideration; and

-      That option 2 of the cost cutting measures be adopted without part (e) which proposed a 10% Cost of Living Allowance for staff.

4.10  Annual Member Contributions

4.10.1As of 25 May 2016, Zimbabwe was in arrears to the tune of ZAR2, 705,212.00.  The Plenary Assembly urged all Member Parliaments with outstanding contributions to settle by November 2016 to avoid possible suspension.

4.11  Secretary-General’s Residence

4.11.1A Sub-Committee was appointed to handle the issue of purchasing a residence for the Secretary-General and report to the 40th Plenary Assembly in November 2016.

4.11.2All Member Parliaments in arrears in terms of contributions towards the purchase of the Secretary-General’s residence were requested to clear by November 2016.

5.0    PLENARY ASSEMBLY

5.1    The Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum met from the 1st to the 5th of June 2016 to consider, take note and adopt motions as follows:-

5.2    Motion for the Adoption of the Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage in Southern Africa

5.2.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Innocent Gonese of Zimbabwe and seconded by Hon. Dr. Jessie Kabwila of Malawi.  National Parliaments are expected to distribute the documents to relevant Government Ministries and Departments of Members States and other relevant stakeholders. The Model Law was adopted with amendments.

5.3    A motion for the Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights was moved by Hon. Maneesh Gobin of Mauritius, seconded by Hon. Dr. Mukanduri of Zimbabwe.

5.3.1 The Committee presented its report which was centered on the presentation made to the Committee by Mr. Deprose Muchena, Executive Director of Amnesty International Southern Africa, on the theme, “Strengthening Parliament’s Role in the Protection and Realisation of Human Rights in Southern Africa”.  The presentation identified democracy and human rights as the cornerstone of development.

5.3.3 The Standing Committee made the following resolutions which were submitted to the Plenary for approval and action:-

-         Call upon SADC PF, through its collaboration with Amnesty International, to train Parliamentarians at regional and national levels on human rights issues in order to build their knowledge and skills as well as research capacity on the role of Parliaments in the protection, realisation and promotion of human rights;

-         Call upon Member States to enact and implement laws and policies that promote socio-economic justice and equality as well as inclusive and sustainable growth and development in order to ensure access to employment and social services especially health, education, water, sanitation and food, in line with the Constitution and international human rights standards;

-         Implore National Parliaments to play a central role in the ratification and domestication as well as in monitoring the implementation of regional and international human rights agreements at national level;

-         Call on Governments in the region to provide leadership and political commitment towards the implementation of regional and international human rights obligations to which their States are party;

-         Call on National Parliaments to ensure robust and effective financial oversight in order to curb corruption and illicit financial flows from Member States, particularly in the extractive sector, in order to ensure that governments have adequate resources to deliver public services;

-         Urge Member States to put legal and other necessary measures in place to ensure that all Official Development Assistance contracts include a provision for parliamentary oversight in order to ensure transparency in the management of such funds towards implementing public policy and delivering public service;

-         Implore National Parliaments to establish and strengthen committee systems to ensure robust human rights oversight and to ensure collaboration between parliamentary committees with other relevant actors at national level, including Human Rights Commissions and civil society in tracking human rights issues;

-         Call upon SADC PF to sustain its election observation work and ensure that a human rights culture is entrenched in the conduct of elections by SADC Member States;

-         Urge SADC Member States to adopt human rights supportive Foreign Policy in order to establish their credentials as conscientious members of the international community, and in the same vein, implore SADC PF to promote greater protection of human rights through diplomacy, by among other actions, deploying goodwill missions to Member States experiencing situations that could trigger human rights violations; and

-         Call upon SADC PF to develop regional principles and guidelines on the role of Parliaments in the protection, realisation and promotion of human rights in Southern Africa in order to facilitate national parliaments in their work on human rights.

5.3.4 The report was adopted by the Plenary.

5.4    Motion for the Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development (GEWAYD)      

5.4.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Patricia Kainga of Malawi and seconded by Hon. Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu of Swaziland.

5.4.2 Given the current status of gender in the GEWAYD Standing Committee, with one male, the meeting resolved to appeal to the Plenary to persuade national parliaments to allocate male members to this committee and address the gender imbalance.

5.4.3 Having considered the third draft of the Youth Development Policy Framework, which gives guidance to mainstreaming youth development issues in policies and practices of the SADC Parliamentary Forum in general and national parliaments in particular, the meeting resolved to adopt the policy and appealed to the Plenary Assembly to:-

-         Consider the policy positively;

-         Encourage national Parliaments, specifically political parties, to allocate a quota for young people in their electoral candidates lists; and

-         Reserve a quota for youths to be seconded to the SADC Parliamentary Forum by each National Parliament.

5.4.4 The Plenary Assembly considered the proposals and adopted them.

5.5    Motion for the Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes.   

5.5.1 Hon. Ahmed Munzoor Shaik-Emam of South Africa moved the motion, seconded by Hon. Manthabiseng of Lesotho. Hon Ahmed noted that the Committee met to interrogate the efficacy and impact of the use of criminal law to regulate transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C, consensual adolescent sexual activity, termination of pregnancy, same sex relationships and injecting drug use, explored linkages between mining and the incidence of HIV/AIDS, TB and Silicosis in the SADC region, among other cross cutting issues in the realm of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.

5.5.4 The Committee appointed a Health Communications Advisory Committee to support it and recommended to the Plenary as follows:-

-         The SADC PF should facilitate the development of a specific action plan on SRHR HIV awareness, sensitisation and advocacy and ensure implementation of the plan in the constituencies through its member Parliaments.  In particular, there is need for SADC PF to facilitate the dissemination of information about the regional and international agreements to which the respective Member States are party.  As part of these activities, the media could then run special editions, documentaries and feature articles on HIV/AIDS and SRHR, incorporating those activities from the constituencies;

-         SADC PF should organise some joint workshops for parliamentarians and Members of the media aimed at building trust and understanding between the two.  Part of the content of these workshops should also be training for parliamentarians on how to effectively handle the media in the course of their work;

-         SADC PF should undertake more capacity building programmes for the media to enhance their knowledge on and skills in reporting on SRHR and HIV/AIDS issues;

-         SADC PF should facilitate regular interface between Parliamentarians and the media so that the media can be well informed about what the Parliamentarians are doing at all times.  The media should also liaise with the SADC PF Public Relations Officer for any updates on SRHR, HIV/AIDS.  There could also be a Google set up alert to notify the Forum and journalists involved in the programme each time a Parliamentarian is quoted in the media about SRHR, HIV and AIDS; and

-         SADC PF should come up with deliberate measures to enhance media coverage of SRHR activities undertaken by Parliamentarians, especially in rural areas.

5.5.5 The motion was put and agreed to.

5.6    Motion to Adopt the Report of the Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources

5.6.1 Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi moved the motion, seconded by Hon. Phumelele Dlamini of Swaziland. The Committee had met to consider the challenges being faced in the SADC Region regarding TB, HIV and Silicosis in the Mining Industry, with miners in South Africa’s gold mines having the highest rates of TB infection in the world. The Committee agreed to submit the following recommendations to the 39th Plenary Assembly for approval and action:-

-         That Members of Parliament be urged to monitor and support the domestication of the following:-

a)    The 2012 SADC Declaration on Tuberculosis (TB) in the Mining Sector;

b)   The 2015 SADC Code of Conduct on Tuberculosis (TB) in the Mining Sector; and

c)    The implementation of SADC Portability of Social Security Benefits and Services at national level.

-         That those countries that have reportedly not yet signed the SADC Declaration on TB in the Mining Sector, namely South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar be encouraged to do so as a matter of urgency;

-         That the SADC Parliamentary Forum must develop a SADC Model Law on TB in the Mining Industry, facilitate increased and meaningful parliamentary advocacy, promote good governance of this sector and ensure that vulnerable groups and individuals are adequately catered for; and

-         That the SADC Parliamentary Forum must continue to collaborate with various partners to enhance the capacity of as many Members of Parliament of the SADC region as possible, to understand, interrogate and address issues concerning TB, HIV and Silicosis in the Mining Industry, among others.

5.6.4 The Plenary Assembly adopted the recommendations.

5.6.5 Hon. Senator Tambudzani Mohadi was unanimously elected as Chairperson of the Committee.

5.7    Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment

5.7.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Mfanawemakhosi Dlamini of Swaziland, seconded by Hon. Siphosizwe Masango of South Africa.

5.7.2 The report, which focused on the theme, “Enhancing Access to Medicine through the adoption of Human Rights’ Approach and Harnessing the TRIPTS flexibilities”, noted the central role of Parliament in the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda.

5.7.3 It was in that regard that the TFI Committee implored the SADC Parliamentary Forum and National Parliaments to:-

-         Call on SADC governments to fast-track the process of harnessing TRIPTS flexibilities at the national level through the use of tools such as the SADC Pharmaceutical Business Plan and the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights’ Resolution 141 which advocates for “Access to Health and Needed Medicines in Africa”;

-         Urges greater collaboration and mutual support at regional level to fast track the process of harnessing the TRIPTS flexibilities;

-         Advocate for greater parliamentary role in advocating for the adoption of a human rights approach to access to medicine and the use of TRIPYS flexibilities by SADC governments;

-         Emphasize the role and importance of Parliament in the domestication, ratification and oversight of the relevant instruments aimed at harnessing the TRIPYS flexibilities in promotion of access to medicine;

-         Encourage SADC governments and Parliaments to enhance collaboration with SARPAM and other civil society organisations in advancing the objectives of universal access to affordable healthcare and to increase oversight of this sector; and

-         Implore SADC governments, including their respective Parliaments, to prioritise people’s access to healthcare through adequately budgeting for this sector.

5.7.4 The Plenary Assembly adopted the motion.

5.8    Motion on the Adoption of the Report of the Joint Session of Committees of the SADC Parliamentary Forum for Capacity Strengthening on the theme, “Criminalisation and Stigmatisation:  Disincentives to the Realisation of Fundamental Human Rights and Public Health”.

5.8.1 Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa moved the motion, seconded by Hon. Masafele Monitoa of South Africa.

5.8.2 The Joint Session recommended to the 39th Plenary Assembly Session as follows:-

-         Facilitate capacity building and support to national parliaments to stimulate further dialogue leading to possible law reform around the issue of criminalisation of HIV transmission;

-         Capacitate Parliamentarians to advocate for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds for discrimination by health providers;

-         That the 39th Plenary Assembly calls upon SADC to urgently spearhead the combating of Tuberculosis and Silicosis, mobilisation of financial resources and explore ways of accelerating disbursement of compensation and benefits to ex-miners and their families; and

-         Advocacy activities on occupational health and harmonisation of laws and policies to place TB and Silicosis liability on the mining business.

5.8.3 The Plenary Assembly adopted the report.

5.9    Motion on the Need for Integrated Energy Infrastructure and Security as a Means for Regional Development with Specific Attention to Inga Dam Project

5.9.1 The motion was moved by Hon. Stevens Mokgalapa of South Africa seconded by Hon. Boniface Nkolo Balamage of DRC.

5.9.2 The need for energy as an essential requirement in all aspects of our daily lives, to drive economies and to integrate the region was highlighted.  The energy situation, he said, requires serious commitments about energy security and efficiency in the SADC region.

5.9.3 The Grand Inga Dam Project was referred to as a source of clean hydro-power energy with the immense potential of generating enough energy to supply the SADC region and the whole African continent.

5.9.4     In concerted efforts to address energy challenges in SADC, the motion called upon Member States to:-

-         Develop and harness existing renewable energy resources and embrace energy efficiency as a matter of priority;

-         Ensure that the needs of our regions are understood by all SADC citizens, policy makers and regulators, local and global investors, developers and project promoters; and

-         Embrace integrated energy security as a means for regional development with specific reference to the Inga Dam Project.

5.9.5 The motion was adopted by the Plenary and because of the critical nature of the issues involved, the matter was referred to the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment for further research.

5.10  Motion on the Negative Impact of Poor Service Delivery on Women as People Responsible for the Care Work at the Household

5.10.1The distinctive features of the challenges faced by women in the SADC region were highlighted as follows:-

-         Disparities in terms of enrolment in tertiary institutions;

-         Gender Based Violence;

-         Care giving;

-         Marginalisation;

-         Very low income; and

-         Access to resourced health facilities with dependable ante-natal and pediatric services.

5.10.2In view of the above, the motion called for all Member States to continuously evaluate progress achieved towards gender equality in accordance with Article 3 of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and to compile sufficient gender disaggregated data to ensure that the impact of government services can be measured in a gender sensitive manner.

5.10.3Member States preparing for general and local elections are urged to adhere to Article 12 and 13 of the same protocol, relating to women’s representation and participation in political and decision-making positions.

5.10.4The motion was adopted by the Plenary with a plea to legislators to translate words of support into action.

5.11  Motion on the Youth Development Policy Framework

5.11.1The 35th Plenary Assembly Session resolved on the development of a Youth Development Policy Framework with the strategic objective of integrating youth development programmes in the core business of the SADC PF and National Parliaments.

5.11.2Given that the region has a young population with 76% under the age of thirty-five (35), the challenges of unemployment, limited access to education, lack of entrepreneurship skills, HIV and AIDS, pose a threat to national and regional development, peace and security.

5.11.3The debate on this presentation highlighted that youths are subject to infiltration by external forces due to despair.  It is in this regard that political parties were urged to create legal space in their constitutions and include youths in the political agenda.  At the national level, an implementation matrix, based on a clear legal framework, was proposed.

5.11.4National Parliaments are advised to consider the following areas of strategic intervention for youth development:-

-         Education and skills development;

-         Creation of sustainable employment opportunities;

-         Promotion of entrepreneurship;

-         Health and safety lifestyles;

-         Sports and promotion of social values;

-         Community engagement;

-         Participation in politics and governance; and

-         Youth engagement, social justice and inclusion.

5.11.5The legislative and oversight role of Parliament becomes pertinent in terms of ensuring that government initiates relevant policies and programmes for youth development, backed up by appropriate legislation.  Standing Committees responsible for youth development should monitor and evaluate government youth development programmes.

5.12  Motion to adopt Report of the Regional Women Parliamentarians Caucus (RWPC)

5.12.1The motion was moved by Hon. Dr. J. Kabwila of Malawi seconded by Hon. M. Mutsvangwa.

6.0    REPORT OF THE REGIONAL WOMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS CAUCUS (RWPC)

6.1    A meeting of the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC) was convened at the Royal Swazi Spa in Swaziland on the 2nd of June 2016.  Hon. Francisca Tomas, Member of Parliament for Mozambique and outgoing Chairperson of the RWPC chaired the meeting.  Zimbabwe was represented at this meeting by Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi and Hon. Jasmine Toffa.  Cooperating partners in attendance were Ms. Anne Guthika – Shongwe and Ms. Caroline Nyamawemombe from UN Women.

6.2  The meeting adopted the following resolutions for endorsement by the Plenary:-

-      That the RWPC would serve as a champion for the implementation of the conclusions and of the Commitments of the Conference on the Status of Women (CSW60) in Resolution 60/2;

-      That the RWPC would demand accountability by the Executive on translating the agreed conclusions into actionable results at regional and country levels and reporting in 2018; and

-      That the RWPC would ensure that resources are directed to the constituency for the implementation of the commitments.

6.3    The meeting focused on a Global Solidarity Movement, called He-for-She, which challenges men and women to be champions of gender equality.  The following commitments were made to the RWPC:-

-      SADC – PF’s Vice President, Hon. Joseph Njobvuyalema, undertook to be a champion of gender equality across the organisation, while the Secretary – General, Dr. Esau Chiviya undertook to serve as a champion at the Secretariat level; and

-      The Speakers of Swaziland, Hon. Themba Msibi and Zimbabwe, Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, signed as champions representing their own institutions.

6.4    The four mentioned above were applauded for offering themselves to be champions of gender equality and look forward to knowing more about each of their specific areas of focus and accompanying strategies.  The RWPC wishes to encourage the Speakers of other National Parliaments to follow suit and sign up as champions.  

6.5    Furthermore, the meeting resolved that the HeforShe Solidarity Campaign should be decentralised to each National Parliament, where it should be championed by Speakers.  The Speakers will then report on progress made regarding their commitments as a champion, through the Women’s Caucus, at each SADC – PF Plenary Assembly Session.

6.6    The meeting proceeded on to elect Hon. Dr. Jessie Kabwila, Chairperson of the Malawi Women’s Caucus, as the new RWPC Chairperson and Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, Chairperson for the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentarians Caucus, as the Vice Chairperson of the RWPC

7.0    RECOMMENDATIONS

The Zimbabwe delegation to the SADC PF recommends the following for adoption by Parliament:

 

RESOLUTION

ACTION

TIME LINE

1.      

Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage

Avail copies of the Model Law to relevant Government Ministries, departments and other stakeholders.

As soon as we receive copies of the amended version form the SADC PF Secretariat

2.      

Election Observation Missions

The leadership of Parliament to engage Treasury over the funding of all election observation activities in terms of participation of Members and Staff as well as logistical support for the SADC PF Secretariat. 

Whenever we receive notification of election observation in the SADC region

3.      

Transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a regional Parliament

The Hon. Speaker to engage the Executive with regards to the appeal for transformation  

The Hon. Speaker to advise on the date

4.      

Youth Development Policy Framework

Delegation to scrutinise Youth oriented policies and legislation, create implementable and time bound resolutions and report to the next Plenary of November 2016

By September 2016

5.      

Member Parliaments to ensure that subscriptions are up to date by November 2016

The Administration of Parliament to engage the Ministry of Finance over the outstanding amount.

By November 2016

6.      

He-For-She Solidarity Campaign to be decentralised to National Parliaments

The Hon. Speaker to champion gender equality at the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

Ongoing

7.      

National Parliaments to play a central role in the Ratification and Domestication as well as monitoring the implementation of Regional and International Human Rights Agreements at National level

The leadership of Parliament to engage the Executive over commitments towards implementation of Regional and International Human Rights obligations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

8.      

National Parliaments to ensure effective financial oversight to curb corruption and illicit financial flows from Member States  to ensure that governments have adequate resources to deliver public services

Parliament to continue strengthening the relevant Committees in Capacity Building on effective oversight.

Ongoing

9.      

National Parliaments to address the gender imbalance in the GEWAYD

Hon. Gonese offered to move to the GEWAYD Committee whilst Hon. Mutsvangwa replaces Hon. Gonese in the Trade Industry, Finance and Investment Committee.

By November 2016

10.          

National Parliaments to second youths to the SADC Parliamentary Forum

The Whips to consider inclusion of young Parliamentarians in future SADC Parliamentary Forum activities and delegations.

Ongoing

11.          

SADC Declaration on TB in the Mining Sector

The Administration of Parliament to engage the relevant Ministry over the issue of signing the declaration.

By 31 July 2016

12.          

National Parliaments to ensure people’s access to health care

Members to ensure adequate funding is allocated to the health sector and make use of the Pre-budget seminars to advocate for sufficient funding towards health.

By 31 December 2016

 

8.0    Conclusion

8.1    The delegation to the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum wishes to express its gratitude for the opportunity to represent our Parliament at the Plenary Assembly. As parliamentarians, we have the grand opportunity to transform the region during these times of extraordinary global challenges, through our legal authority to hold the Executive to account.   I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Madam President, I am happy to second a very important motion which has been moved by Senator Mohadi on the report of the delegation to the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum which was held in Swaziland. Foremost, I would like to thank our Presiding Officers and Government for making it possible for our Members of Parliament to go as a full delegation to attend this very important bi-annual occasion.

          Madam President, SADC PF was born out of the SADC Executive in Malawi in 1996. Our Presidents and Heads of State in the SADC region found the need for Members of Parliament to have an opportunity to share and compare the activities happening in our region. As you are aware, there is the SADC tribunal which is the judiciary side, there is the SADC Executive which has got its executive offices in Botswana and the SADC PF which has got its head office in Windhoek, Namibia.

          I am going to tackle on the issue which is of great importance that since 1996 we have been working as SADC PF to make sure that it transforms into a fully fledged Parliament. As you might be aware, there are regional Parliaments in Africa. There is a continental Parliament which is called Pan African Parliament which has got its head office in South Africa but we have regional Parliaments in Africa like Maghreb in North Africa. We have ECOWAS in West Africa and YALA in East Africa. Madam President, I say this with a very sore heart that it has taken this long for SADC to have its own regional Parliament.

It is an issue which our leaders are seized with. I have been a member of SADC PF since 2008 and during that time, we have had lobbying visits to our Heads of State who were very supportive about the idea of SADC PF transforming into a Parliament so that we do have as a region our own Parliament. We visited President Zuma who was very supportive and we also visited our own President here in Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Cde R. G. Mugabe and he was very supportive for SADC PF to be transformed into a Parliament.  We are still talking of a forum and if we are going to carry out the mandate of Parliamentarians because the whole point is to continue with the same mandate which as member Parliaments are doing, that is, oversight and legislative. If we are going to be able to carry out that mandate, it is critical that SADC PF is transformed into a regional Parliament. It is an issue which all our Members of Parliament should be seized with so that we continue lobbying for SADC PF to become a Parliament.

As you have been told in the report, SADC brings together all what affects us as a region. When you look at the number of motions which were passed at the last session in Swaziland, you can see that even within a week more than 20 motions had to be passed. What concerns Malawi pertaining to HIV/AIDS is the same problem which affects South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. When we come together and move as a bloc, we can definitely bring some relief to our people whom we represent.

This last plenary in Swaziland had a landmark success in the adoption of the model law in eradication of early child marriages. This has never happened before. A lot of other institutions who are also dealing with issues prohibiting child marriages were actually impressed that SADC PF managed to come up with that model law to eradicate early child marriages. We know the evils of young girls being given away to elderly man. The model law is also aware that there are young children who have been married already, so it also extends to protecting those who are already in marriages. You cannot talk of eliminating early child marriages and not look at those who are already in marriage. They need to be protected.

Election observation is another issue which SADC PF is seized with. I would like to bring to the attention of this august Senate that it is SADC PF which came up with the norms and standards which are being used today in the SADC region to observe elections. It is something which is a great success because we all have listened when there are elections in DRC, Malawi and Zimbabwe, SADC PF sends their delegates to monitor how elections are going on.

The delegation of six members which Hon. Senator Mohadi talked to, it is important to know that according to the Constitution of the SADC PF, it should be composed of members from the opposition parties.  All the delegations are composed of members of the opposition, the ruling parties and of course, the chairperson of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus.

The issue of women empowerment, gender equality, gender parity is an issue which is being taken seriously at regional level and this is why SADC PF has actually established the regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucuses. This is the association which brings in all the chairpersons of all Women Parliamentary Caucuses from the 14 SADC countries. They all come under one roof. SADC PF is a forum which brings in the entire Speakers of all the 14 countries under one roof. This is where the issues are debated at length.

There was also a debate on the issue of establishing a SADC Parliamentary Institute and I must say this is a critical area where as a region we were found wanting. When Members of Parliament are elected, that does not necessarily mean that Members of Parliament are aware of their mandate and as such, they need capacity building, they need to go through an institute. SADC PF has got that benchmark. They carry experiences from all the different countries and when they teach in that institution, they teach issues which will empower each and every Member of Parliament to deal with problems from individual countries.

I am glad to say that SADC Parliamentary Institute has already been approved that it will be established here in Harare. Thanks to our Vice President who actually sat together with the executive of SADC PF and have approved that it can be established in Harare. The final discussions will be done and as you are aware, SADC PF has got its plenary in all the 14 countries. They actually rotate and this time is Zimbabwe.  In November, the SADC PF will have its plenary from the 5th to the 15th and we will have Members of Parliament and Speakers coming from the 14 countries.  SADC PF has 15 countries but Madagascar is still working through its processes so that it joins us but all the 14-member Parliaments will send delegations to the SADC PF. 

She talked about annual subscriptions, I must say at one point I was the elected treasurer of the SADC PF.  The most embarrassing thing and at the same time you would understand was that Zimbabwe was always in arrears.  Zimbabwe has been in arrears for some time now and we are embarrassed that the plenary will be in Harare this year in November.  One hopes that Madam President, maybe the Ministry of Finance will do us a favour as Parliament so that we will not be embarrassed ahead of this big function in November.  At SADC PF, issues of democratisation and governance are debated and it is at the forum that countries bring country reports about what is happening in their countries and how to deal with those issues. 

The issue of gender equality as I have said has been adopted and I was the Chairperson of that Standing Committee for the last two years.  I must say, not only did we look at women issues but we also, as a Committee, came up with a youth development policy that she spoke to earlier on.  There is also a standing committee which looks at agriculture, why as a region are we not able to feed our people.  How can we deal with El Nino issues?  The SADC PF brings experts to talk on these issues so that Members of Parliament can tackle these issues from a position of knowledge. 

Another motion was the integration of electricity in the region.  Why we continue to have shortages of electricity when we have projects like Inga Dam which, if it is developed, if we work together as a region to develop Inga Dam, we will have so much electricity for the whole region and even export.  These are the issues that are debated at length at this forum. 

The poor service delivery to our women.  Why our women continue to drag behind?  What is that we can do with grass root women to make sure that they benefit as citizens of our countries.  We talk of democratisation, elections are held every five years in most of these countries and we are saying what is that we are bringing to the grass root woman to make sure that we improve the standards of living. 

The issue of youth development Madam President, it is important that the biggest population in all our countries are young people.  These are the leaders of tomorrow and some people say these are the leaders of today.  What are we doing as our economies begin to shrink and shrink, where are the young people going to fit in?  What is going to happen to our children?  Some of us have been lucky and have been able to build a house in Budiriro or in Caledonia, will our young people be able to get that opportunity to have a home of their own.  What entrepreneurial support are we giving them?  What entrepreneurial support are we promoting?  These are the issues that are dealt with at that level. 

We also have a motion, it was at Swaziland that we launched that solidarity campaign on ‘He For She’.  We are saying, since 20 years, Beijing, since 37 years, CEDAW, women have been talking to women issues.  Women have been talking about women empowerment and not much has been achieved and we are looking back.  In Namibia they call it harambee, that you put a lot of policies and a lot of laws, are you monitoring to make sure that you are getting the results which you want.  If it is bureaucracy which is happening, if it is in civil service, if it is in Government, if it is in Parliament, are you making sure that you are walking backwards and see where did things go wrong.  Why did things go wrong?

In launching the ‘He For She’ which I should as the Chairperson of the Women Parliamentary Caucus at this point would like to thank our honourable members of the Senate, especially the chiefs, we thank you so much – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – We thank our male Hon. Senators for having been there at the launch, not just being there but signed, you are our champions.  This is a solidarity campaign to bring men and boys on board.  We are saying we need you to talk about the women empowerment.  It cannot be an issue which can just be talked by women.  We need our boys as they grow in their families to start encouraging their sisters to say, my sister you can be an engineer, my sister you can be the best maths student in our class, my sister, lets help each other quickly prepare the food and rush to school in time.  These are the issues which we are talking about.

We also talked about the issues of sanitary pads.  It is a very important issue as much as people think it is taboo to talk about it but when we look back, why are the girl children remaining behind?  One of the reasons is the child is embarrassed when they do not have a sanitary pad.  They spend five days in a month and every month they miss school.  We are saying Governments and our Ministry should look into making this free so that all our children get the same opportunity.  We really want to thank our honourable President of the Chiefs who is not here but he has taken a very good record.  Wherever I go, they know him for standing for the women and we thank him for that together with all the other chiefs.

Madam President, I would like to say at this point, SADC PF is a very important platform.  It is a platform which brings Members of Parliament from both ruling and opposition to tackle issues with an objective mind to make sure that what we are talking about is dealt with across the board.  We want to continue to have you Members of Parliament talking to whoever you talk to, to make sure that SADC PF gets transformed into a Parliament as we move to the plenary which is going to be held in Zimbabwe this year in November.  Madam President, I thank you very much.

HON. SEN. MAKORE:  Thank you Madam President.  I want to put some very few observations.  Firstly, I want to thank the mover of this very important motion of the 39th SADC Parliamentary Forum in Ezulwini, Swaziland.   The areas that I am very interested to articulate are areas that have to do with a regional Parliament.  I want to support you hundred percent because we have heard of this talk time and time being talked of even within the regional Parliamentary discussions and forums that take place.  It is very important because some other regional blocks in the North already have established Madam President, regional Parliamentary Forums.  For example, ECOWAS also the block that is East, I do not know whether it is COMESA, they are advanced.  Even in North Africa, they have done so.  It is not a taboo Madam President, that we have to have that regional Parliament within our SADC region.

Another area of importance is the model law. The Model Law for the eradication of child marriages, to us is a fundamental instrument and to care for those who are already in marriages.  Madam President, this issue has been spoken about but it is now a common phenomena to all other countries especially Zimbabwe. We are trying to put a law that already put a stop to the marriage to the young children.  I want to say that is a welcome development and it supports exactly the efforts of our country towards the elimination of such kind of practices in our country. 

          The other very important area that we think should be taken care of is the area of unemployment in the region.  That to me is a bomb shell because if we do not do anything to sort of engage our youths into employment and create employment in our region, Madam President, we will not be doing justice to our nation.  It is of particular importance that we have to look forward and I want to thank Hon. Senator Mutsvangwa who really informed us that it could be a time bomb if we do not do that.  If we do not care for the youths, it really will be a time bomb.  That has to be emphasised even in the debates of the Parliamentary forums that you do participate. 

          Madam President, the other issue is the area of election observation.  We have really observed that the observation of elections come very close to elections themselves.  It must be considered that those election observations should come earlier to read exactly what transpires on the ground.  We have noticed some violence that goes on but when we reach just close to elections the violence will cease.  Those who will be inspecting such elections will write a report that they were just free and fair because that is what they see during the short period they engage in that process.

          Again the area which you mentioned in the report is that area of corruption.  The element of corruption Madam President, is very cancerous in the country, sub-region and at international level.  It is an element that we have got to be very serious of to eradicate such cancerous disease.  We are really seized with that matter for quite some time on the basis that development is actually marred by individuals who take much more than they can consume.  I wonder if one takes a million here, what do you do with it alone.  I wonder if one takes a billion what do you do with it alone? However, it is common cause that people do take much money than they can consume, perhaps they take it for their future children, generations and generations, which is really unacceptable.  That issue must be emphasised in all forums that you do attend. I want to thank you very much because you have articulated that very importantly in your report. 

          The other area that I do appreciate is the active engagement of our people who get within those particular forums.  I see you are very active, you are given positions, we are very proud of you when you get there.  It appears really that we are keen to send people who bring results to our country.

          The last area I want to emphasise on is the area of the human rights that have to be enshrined in the education curricular.  To me it is very important because children must understand their rights from youths.  In terms of our Constitution, some are also copying, according to your report. It appears the representation of women that you put within is also copied taken by other countries. That is something which is highly progressive.  Let us consider also the element of putting that in our curriculum so that in terms of Constitution, which is Chapter 4, it becomes so much illustrative and everybody understands those rights and responsibilities that we attain from you.  Thank you.

          *HON. SENATOR CHIEF MUSARURWA: Thank you Madam President.  I want to add my voice to the motion on the report that was tabled by Hon. Senator Mohadi and seconded by Hon. Senator Mutsvangwa.  The major issue that made me to say something is on early marriages, the issue of the girl child.  We appreciate and believe that if all countries in the SADC region can sit down and deliberate, they see that child marriages have an economic impact on our country as this will be destroying our nation as well as our families.  You also mentioned on the issue of the girl child that she must be given opportunities to rise and improve herself.  When you talked about the girl child, it reminded me of the issue of sanitary wear that we should talk about it and not be embarrassed about it.  We should deliberate on this.  In the rural areas where we stay, Madam President, it is sad to note that children fail to attend school because of lack of sanitary wear that they need as girls.  In my opinion, through the hon. Members in the SADC Parliamentary Forum, this House should also talk about this and discuss further.  Here in Zimbabwe we think that it would be good to have a policy whereby there should be adequate supplies for sanitary wear in the schools so that if a child spoils herself at school, she is able to get assistance at the school.

          The Ministry of Education should facilitate such infrastructure and ensure that when toilets are built, they have a section that will deal with the issue at hand.  As you know that the issue of the girl child, all the chiefs are in the fore front, almost 30 to 35% in the rural areas are children.  It is also on record in my province where I lead, I have evidence and I am not shy to say it in this House that 35% of the girl children use cow dung as sanitary wear when they get to their menstrual period.  Some even use pumpkin leaves as sanitary wear.  So, you can imagine what will happen in terms of infection.  That actually touched me and I feel the Ministry of Education should come in and see how they can assist the girl child because it is a sad scenario.  We realised this when we visited some of the schools and we saw children using these unhealthy and unhygienic means.  So I am happy that you brought it to this House and that it has come from the women.  Those are the challenges that the children are facing.  We are here to support you to ensure that, that policy is put in place and all the schools are able to put up infrastructure and have the necessary services if a child happens to spoil themselves.  We do not want our children to skip school because they do not have adequate sanitary wear.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President.  I also rise to add my voice to the important motion which was brought here today by Hon. Sen. Mohadi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa.  Most of the issues have been talked about but I also want to support and emphasise on the point of the importance of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, especially focusing on its transformation from a forum to a fully fledged parliament of the region.  Hon. Sen. Makore has talked about other regional parliaments which are in existence and have made a lot of impact.  I also observed that there are regional parliaments in Europe; the European Parliament is very effective and is one of those which leads on policy and cascades it to the national policy.  Inasmuch as we share regional issues, we should take it further. 

From Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa’s presentation, I have gathered that SADC was formed long back and efforts to try to transform it since 1996, to a regional parliament, have not yielded anything.  That is a long period, we are not being serious.  If we want to be serious, our leaders must take an initiative so that they can transform it into a regional parliament.  Of course, it has its impact on what it means after being transformed.  It means that our representatives in that Parliament will no longer belong to this National Parliament, they have to be full time parliamentarians in that regional body. 

At the moment, the laws they are using there are not enforceable.  People take them selectively, it is up to National Parliaments to adopt them or not.  However, if it becomes a regional and fully fledged parliament, then, the laws will be binding in the region and are enforceable to the national parliaments and we will be able to implement them.  That is why I am supporting the idea of transforming the SADC Forum into a fully fledged parliament which must stand alone.

At the moment, we can say it is a voluntary organisation because there are some countries which may decide not to be members of that parliament and it ends there.  Therefore, this forum has to be transformed into a regional parliament because members like Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa and Hon. Sen. Mohadi, besides representing us in the region; are also representing their respective constituencies in Manicaland and Matebeleland South.  If they become full members of the forum, we create positions for others to come in and represent at national level. 

The elections must be timed together with the national parliaments so that we have people here and if one decides to go out there, they relinquish the other post here whilst others take over.  That enables us to coordinate issues effectively.  The Select Committees which they have talked about become handy in terms of their decisions.  For example, there is a Standing Committee on Agriculture, we depend on agriculture and this will give us an opportunity to communicate regionally and integrate our efforts together.  This will enable us to desist from the situation we currently have where we are importing maize from other countries.  We will share technology and knowledge. The integration of power supply cannot be overemphasised. 

Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa has talked about the construction of the Inka Dam; it is a project which is long overdue.  However, because we lack the enforcement of laws, as it is, other countries may not agree.  If we have the regional forum, it will enhance the development of such things.  We must learn to do things as a region and not as individual countries.  I have given an example of European Parliament, if their member visits the European Union, their visa is stamped once in Spain and they travel all over through Sweden, Norway and other regional countries using the same visa.  We must therefore try to move towards that as a region, after all, we are the same people.

The Federation which was there during the period 1953 to 1963 did not yield much.  However, I think there is no harm in going back to such an arrangement so that we are able to coordinate our ideas.  Women and youth issues will also be coordinated together and we will be able to make the ease of doing business easier if we are a regional institution.  I want to support the idea of transforming this forum into a fully fledged parliament of the SADC Region.  We should debate it further and note the technicalities on how it should be done.  It should be done sooner than later.

I want to welcome the idea that Zimbabwe will be hosting the upcoming SADC Plenary Session.  I have always asked why Zimbabwe does not host some of these forums like the African Parliamentary Union (APU), which we sometimes attend.  We have never hosted it here.  This is a welcome idea and it should be the beginning.  In one way or the other, we must try to host the international sessions which we often travel out there to attend.  We should not be going out always; we have got something to offer.  Hosting will bring us foreign currency from outside.  People will participate in domestic and sporting tourism.  For example the boxing match which took place on Friday brought sport tourism, we were happy and we loved it.

With these few words, I want to support this motion and urge this House to debate with vigour so that we transform some of these things we are talking about here.  However, before I sit down, I want to speak on the observations of elections.  We must get full details of the reports in here.  When one goes to observe elections out there and come back here, it should be reported so that we learn from them as well – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – and adopt some of the things from there.

This one is a ‘take-note’ motion because whether we adopt it or not, it does not go very far.  However, we must have detailed reports from those who go and observe elections elsewhere and then we can compile a comparison on where we are doing it right or wrong.  We have to learn from others.  With these few words Madam President, I want to thank you.

HON. SENATOR MUTSVANGWA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 19th October, 2016.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA seconded by HON. SEN. MUMVURI, the Senate adjourned at a Minute past Four O’clock p.m.

       

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 October 2016 16:53
Senate Hansard SENATE VOTES 18 OCTOBER2016 VOL 26 NO 05