You are here:Home>National Assembly Hansard>NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 01 AUGUST 2017 VOL 43 NO 82-1

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 01 AUGUST 2017 VOL 43 NO 82-1

Download attachments:

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 1st August, 2017

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p. m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER

THE HON. SPEAKER:  On the 28th of July 2017, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) gazzetted a notification that following the death of Hon. Ronia Bunjira of the MDC-T party the following member was appointed from the MDC-T party list as member of the National Assembly with effect from date of publication of the notice, Hon. Revai Muguti representing Warren Park Harare Province.

Section 128 (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 – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible injections.] – Hon. Members on my left there!  Section 128 (2), states that the oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament.

I therefore call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the oath of a Member of Parliament to Hon. Revai Muguti.

NEW MEMBER SWORN

HON. REVAI MUGUTI 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 MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Mr. Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 8 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 9 has been disposed of.

MATTER OF PRIVILEGE

COMPLAINT AGAINST HON. DANIEL SHUMBA, CHAIRPERSON OF THE MINES AND ENERGY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

          HON. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of Standing Order No. 68 (d).  Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for recognising me and a very good afternoon to you.

          My point of order Mr. Speaker, relates to some of the ongoings in the various Committees we sit on especially the Committee on Mines and Energy.  I think there are a lot of things that are being done unprocedurally and we absolutely have no say in what the Chairman says.  He is a one man band despite us, as a Committee, resolving on certain matters which are in the minutes; it is pretty clear that they are not adhered to.  One in particular is the Sakunda situation, which the Committee resolved that the Chief Executive Officer of Sakunda, Mr. Tagwirei should appear before us.  We then asked why he did not come and a letter from the Clerk of Parliament was shown having been written to Sakunda directly through the instruction of the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Daniel Shumba that he must not attend. 

          The letter referred to a resolution on a certain day of a meeting, a resolution that we never made and as a result, he did not attend.  The resolution was never made to the effect that he does not attend but a letter was written to Mr. Tagwirei not to attend as per certain resolution and so forth.  We tried to talk about this to air our views and that was not proper.  The whole aspect was that there were allegations that he had been paid some money for him not to appear.  I made it very clear in the minutes that he needs to clarify this to the Committee but unfortunately, he always refers to the Clerk of Parliament and the Hon. Speaker having given him the go ahead.

          The Committee equally requested for the Hon. Speaker to appear before us to try and verify what the Chairman says because we have no other way of doing it.  Unfortunately, that was shot down.  This has continued despite Hon. Members resolving so in terms of Standing Order No. 30.  He also appoints Chairpersons whereas Standing Order No. 30 (2) clearly states that whenever a Committee is informed that the Chairman is not there, we should choose whoever is the Chairman.  So for as long as he has been Chairman, he has appointed people to be Chairpersons, which is against this rule. 

          The question that I have is that the proceedings that happen, with him imposing a Chairman, are they going to be taken as serious proceedings against this?  We also brought this up and he again refers it to the Hon. Speaker.  I have communicated this to the Hon. Speaker and the head of Government Business.  In terms of the Sakunda issue, I equally went to the Hon. Vice President who is the head of Government Business, to ask him if he had spoken to Hon. Shumba about Sakunda not appearing before the Committee.  He said that he did not know anything about that. 

You are aware Hon. Speaker that I also wanted to talk to you about this but time has lapsed.  The Committee thought that it would be able to resolve this issue at our last meeting.  As a Member of Parliament, I am not happy to be associated with a Committee whose resolutions where procedure is not followed.  It is only proper that each Hon. Member of that Committee be interviewed individually so that you hear from them.  We are under siege in that Committee; he spends more time talking and educating us but we equally have been provincial chairpersons and so forth.  We are not here to be educated but are here for procedure to be followed.

As such Mr. Speaker, I will be writing to you in terms of that, that procedures are not being followed.  Other Hon. Members who are part of that Committee who are here are equally concerned.  A lot of allegations have happened which equally implicate you and the Clerk of Court which he uses, which I told him that we need to protect the office of the Speaker and the office of the Clerk of Court because there have also been allegations...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Clerk of Parliament not Clerk of Court.

          HON. MLISWA: I am sorry, the Clerk of Parliament, it is my duty as a Hon. Member of Parliament to respect your office.  He certainly uses names all the time; name dropping is his tendency and knowing you Mr. Speaker, you are a man of honour, so is the Clerk of Parliament.  There are so many allegations of other companies who will come before us who have equally come to me. I will furnish you with their names; they came to me and said is this how you operate that your Chairman asks for money from us, he has got extortionist tendencies which are destroying this Parliament.  I say this with evidence of being called and bringing these companies before you.  I cannot name these companies in here but I am prepared to give you the names of the companies so that they appear before you.  So, as a Member of Parliament, it is important that we record this Mr. Speaker.  I hope and I am prepared to produce this in writing again so that I prove everything that I am saying.  I thank you very much.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member I hear you, you said you ask for an audience with me to discuss the issues.  You asked for an appointment and I gave you 1130hrs on Wednesday last week and you did not appear.

          HON. MLISWA: I did not get the message Hon. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, so, that is number one.  Number 2; where there are some disagreements in a Committee, the Committee Clerk should write to the Clerk of Parliament who then will address the issues raised in the Committee.  If the Clerk of Parliament fails to resolve the issue, he will then refer the matter to the office of the Speaker.  I want that followed so that we can get to the bottom of the matter.  So, we shall be expecting that letter, and that procedure should be followed so that we can advice accordingly – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –           Just a minute...

          Hon. Shumba having stood up.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you sit down, I am still speaking.  Secondly, if any member of a Committee has got evidence on certain allegations and these allegations are supported with some evidence so that they are no longer allegations, this should be tendered to the Committee in black and white.  I am wondering whether this was done Hon. Mliswa.

          HON. MLISWA: Our Clerk of Committee unfortunately is under siege, even some of the minutes that she writes, the things that we say, she does not even put in the minutes.  We spend an hour telling her why did you miss this, she is an innocent girl who I equally see is under siege. I think we need a seasoned Clerk of Committee in our Committee to deal with what is happening.  Even if you recommend her to write, she will not write anything.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You have not answered my question.  My question is did you tender any evidence in Committee of what you allege here?

          HON. MLISWA: No, we did not, but we brought the issue up in our meeting.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Why was that not done?

          HON. MLISWA: Because we had brought all these issues up in our meeting, they were not minuted, as such, what is the point of even tendering evidence when what we are saying in the meetings is not minuted – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – it has become a dysfunctional Committee, a one man band. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Alright I have understood.

          HON. MLISWA: Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  I have directed and the Hon. Chairperson is here that your Committee, Hon. Shumba writes to the Clerk of Parliament inviting the Clerk of Parliament to come and sit in the Committee and hear what the problems are, and we will take it up from there – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. SHUMBA: Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Member is on record with his averements I do not intended to go into detail but it is good that the Parliament understands the truth and his insatiable appetite to upstage the Chair.  I will go very briefly Mr. Speaker; Parliament has called Sakunda and Sakunda appeared twice before Parliament, but the Hon. Member wants to deal with it as an individual in Sakunda –  [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –   

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You address the Chair as Hon. Speaker Sir.

          HON. SHUMBA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I am saying if the Hon. Member could allow me to speak; I was quiet when he was speaking.  Hon. Speaker Sir....

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Are you raising a debate because I have ruled.

          HON. SHUMBA:  Mr. Speaker Sir....

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have ruled, please take your seat.

          HON. SHUMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I shall wait for the proper process to follow – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the due process shall follow and the truth cannot be hidden under the table, I thank you.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Order of the Day No. 1, be stood over until Order of the Day No. 2, has been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to – [HON. DR. LABODE: Inaudible interjection.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, my friend there Hon. Dr. Labode, when the Chair says order, listen please. 

          HON. ZINDI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. ZINDI:  My point of order is between Hon. Shumba and Hon. Mliswa, I am told it is a fight between a lion and a cub.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, I have ruled already – [Laughter.] –

COMMITTEE STAGE

NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION BILL [H.B. 2, 2017]

          Second Order read: Committee Stage: National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill [H. B. 2, 2017].

          House in Committee.

          THE CHAIRPERSON (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Order! Hon. Gonese you made some recommendations.

          On Clause 3.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Chair.  I am sorry, I was engaged in some discussions with the Hon. Minister.  I think we had really deliberated in extenso on the provisions of that amendment.  I do not have much to add, save to ask that the Hon. Minister, if it is possible re-consider and take into consideration the proposals that we have made, which I think are in the spirit of improving the Bill in question.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI): Thank you Mr. Chair.  Thank you Hon. Member.  If you allow me Mr. Chair, before we move on to the suggested amendments on Clause 3, I would like to respond to the previous discussion.  I want to say that the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill before Parliament seeks to enable the Commission to perform its functions of bringing about national healing, peace and reconciliation in Zimbabwe.  I think all Hon. Members definitely want this to happen.

          In order for the Commission to be able to perform its work it is guided by the 10 functions that are outlined in the Constitution.  The Objectives of independent Commissions are outlined in Section 233 of the Constitution, where each of the five independent commissions was given general objectives or functions, aside from the specific ones given to each commission individually.  These functions are:-

(a)               to support and entrench human rights and democracy;

(b)            to protect the sovereignty and interests of the people;

(c)                        to promote constitutionalism;

(d)            to secure the observance of democratic values and principles by

 the State and all institutions and agencies of government, and government controlled entities; and

(e)          to ensure that injustices are remedied.”

From the above objectives, it is clear that the basis of the functions of

each of the five independent Commissions is that they will be dealing with issues to do with human rights.  What differentiates them is the level that they will be dealing with human rights and their violations.

          Section 236 (i) (d) of the Constitution even states that a Commissioner of an independent commission must not, in the exercise of their functions; violate the fundamental rights or freedoms of any person.  This then clearly shows that the Constitution has given all independent commissions the task of handling issues pertaining to human rights. 

          Also, according to Section 235 (1) (b) of the Constitution, the independent Commissions ‘must act in accordance with the Constitution; …’  If the Constitution did not grant the independent Commissions power to conduct investigations outside Zimbabwe, the NPRC Bill cannot go against the Constitution and grant such powers.  The work of the NPRC thus has to be within the confines of the Zimbabwean borders.

          It is therefore my considered view that when the specific functions of the different independent Commissions were being crafted, due consideration was made, especially in the choice of words to ensure that there is no repetition of the functions of each of the Commissions and in the process, avoid overlap and conflict amongst commissions.  The functions of independent Commissions; it should be noted that there are key words that differentiate the independent Commissions and their functions and these are:-

(a)             Elections, refers to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

 (ZEC;

(b)            Human Rights, refers to the Zimbabwe Human Rights

 Commission;

(c)             Media, refers to the Zimbabwe Media Commission

(d)            Gender, refers to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission

(e)             Peace and Reconciliation refers to the National Peace and

 Reconciliation Commission.

          Defining or using the words ‘human rights’ in the NPRC Bill will thus likely be viewed as infringing on the functions of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.  It is my considered view that if there is need to define the human rights violations, this is best defined in the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act, where functions of dealing with human rights are stated.

          Going to the functions of the NPRC, Section 252 of the Constitution gives the 10 functions of the NPRC and nowhere in those functions were the words ‘human rights’ used.  It is my considered view that the drafters of the Constitution were being careful not to confuse the functions of the two Commissions.  It is upon this premise that they have also been careful not to and will not use the words ‘human rights’ in the NPRC Bill as this will be contrary to the Constitution. 

          If reports of human rights violations are made to the NPRC, these will be referred to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission because Section 243 of the Constitution gives the functions of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, particularly Section 243 (g), which states that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission will secure appropriate redress, including recommending the prosecution of offenders where human rights or freedoms have been violated.

However, it should be noted that violations of someone’s rights lead to a dispute and ultimately a conflict.  If the conflict is not addressed, it will lead to the severing of relations among the parties involved.  Once this occurs, parties are no longer in a position to participate in any activities together especially development programmes for their communities. 

The NPRC is thus mandated to ensure that when conflicts arise, various methods like mediation and dialogue are used to bring the parties to the table and discuss the issues so that an amicable solution is found, thus resolving the conflict.  In the process, parties will make amends and mend relations; thus build peace among themselves and in the communities in which they reside.  The NPRC is futuristic and will go beyond securing redress to deal with issues of the heart so that parties are able to relate to each other once again.  Therein lies the difference in the way the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the NPRC will handle the cases that come before them. 

So, as we debate the NPRC Bill, I would like to implore the Hon. Members to consider this presentation.  I thank you.

HON. GONESE:  I have listened very attentively to the response by the Hon. Minister, although there are some areas of divergence but I have carefully considered her response.  My considered view is that we do not want to belabor the point and in principle, we are all supportive of the Bill.  We do not want to have a situation where we unnecessarily go around haggling and arguing over some of these provisions.  For those reasons Mr. Chairman, I am not going to persist with the amendments and it is accordingly being withdrawn.

Clauses 4 and 5 put and agreed to.

On Clause 6:

HON. GONESE: On  Clause 6, there was an amendment which I had proposed but you will realise Hon. Minister that this proposed amendment was really consequential upon amendment to Clause 3 being made.  In light of the amendment to Clause 3 not having been taken on board, it would not make much sense to persist with the amendment to Clause 6 because it is really linked to Clause 3.  In that regard, Mr. Chairman, I accordingly withdraw that proposed amendment.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Like my colleague Hon. Gonese has indicated that we are trying to be as supportive as possible to the issues that the Minister has brought, in say to say because this will not fundamentally change anything.  If we go on to that Clause, it limits the issues to investigation of disputes and conflicts and does not speak to issues of dealing with the past.  Is it possible to include; dealing with the past?  I hear your response was to say the Bill is trying to be as futuristic as possible but if you look at Clause 6, it is almost limiting it only to issues of investigating conflict whereas there are issues that you may want to look at that are dealing with the past which are not necessarily provided for unless there is an explanation of how that will be incorporated and how you are going to be dealing with it.

My proposal would have been whether in making recommendations for conflict prevention, management and resolution, one could include something that says ‘and issues of dealing with the past’ because then that encompasses a whole lot of other things that can be dealt with which I know your Ministry is already dealing with.

HON. KANENGONI:  I think there is no conflict on what issues the Commission will deal with.  It is not really defined that they must only deal with issues that come up but issues will be reported to the Commission.  There is no telling what the issues will be. They can be issues of the past, present or whatever.  There is no limit as to what issues will be brought before the Commission.  It is all on a case by case basis.   We cannot be limited to the past or just to the future.  I do not think this one is a problem because they can deal with any issue as long as it is brought before them by someone who reports it and as long as it falls within the confines of the mandate of the Commission.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  I just want a clarification from the Minister.  She says there is no limit to what they deal with.  It actually may be a present conflict.  Are we saying that the NPRC will be dealing with conflicts that are arising now? If that is the case, we need a clear separation of roles between the functions of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and this particular Commission.  We also need a clarification on the specific roles of our courts because certain disputes are very clear that if you have a dispute, you have recourse to the courts. If you have human rights related disputes, you go to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.  If we leave this law wide open to the extent that we are not defining what type of disputes that we are dealing with and where they begin and end, it will be problematic in the way it will be implemented.

HON. KANENGONI:  I think maybe you misunderstood what I was saying.  When I gave my first presentation before we got into the Clauses, I clearly stated that issues to do with human rights are not dealt with by this Commission.  They are dealt with by the Human Rights Commission.  I pointed out the sections of the Constitution that point to the issues of human rights.  If any human rights related issue is referred to the NPRC, it is referred to the appropriate Commission to deal with it.  This Commission does not have the power to deal with issues in the same way that courts do.  When it now comes to issues that have to go to court, the Commission will have to hand it over to the Court to deal with.  They do have a limit as to what they handle.

Clause 6, put and agreed to.

Clause 7 put and agreed to. 

On Clause 8:

HON. KANENGONI:  As already highlighted in the Second Reading response of this Bill, the Commission is independent and should therefore be free to decide what units or Committees to set up – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE CHAIRPERSON (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  I cannot continuously remind you to be silent. Order at the back, I cannot continue reminding you to be silent.

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI):  As highlighted in the Second Reading of this Bill, the...

HON. MLISWA:  On a point of Order.  Mr. Chairman, I do not know if it will be possible for you to recognise those in the Speakers Gallery.

THE CHAIRPERSON:  Order Hon. Member.  Just take your seat.  That is my responsibility.  I do not have to be reminded.

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI):  Thank you Mr. Chair.  The Commission is independent and should therefore be free to decide what units or committees to set up to establish, as highlighted in paragraph 8 of the First Schedule. 

The units will be administratively established and do not need to be in the Bill.  Creating a gender unit at the expense of other marginalised classes is tricky.  The Commission will be guided by necessity.  Further, the NPRC...

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.  I thought that when we were on Clause 8, the Hon. Minister was going to move the amendment in her name otherwise, she is now responding when I have not even moved the proposed amendment for a new clause after Clause 8.  At this point in time, I thought she was going to move the amendment in the name of the Vice President which is to the effect where she would insert the word ‘criminal’ after ‘civil’.  So otherwise she has jumped the gun.  I have not moved the amendment to Clause 8.

THE CHAIRPERSON:  She is in order, but more of your talking, of what you put before.  So, Hon. Minister can you move the amendment?

HON. KANENGONI:  Clause 8 was suggested by you, was it not? 

HON. GONESE:  Yes.

HON. KANENGONI:  He said I must respond.

HON. GONESE:  I have to move it before you respond.

HON. KANENGONI:  I move the amendment standing in my name that on page 7 of the Bill, in line 13, after the word “Civil” insert the words “and criminal”.

Clause 8 put and agreed to.

On New Clause 9:

HON. GONESE:  I move the amendment standing in my name that:

After line 14 on page 7 of the Bill, to insert the following new clause after clause 8, the remaining clauses to be renumbered accordingly:

1. Gender

(1)         The Commission shall establish a Gender Unit to provide for -

            (a)   The development of specific guidelines and rules on how the Commission will incorporate gender into its work;

            (b)   The development of strategies to encourage the participation of women, girls and other marginalised groups in the work of the Commission;

            (c)  Gender equity in the structure of the Commission, its secretariat and any other committees that the Commission may set up;

            (d)  Mainstreaming of gender imperatives into every aspect of the Commission’s work;

            (e)  Ensuring that all organs of the Commission shall consider and address the gender implications of their activities;

             (f) Developing protocols for statement taking, collection and analysis of gender and sex-disaggregated data, the conduct of interviews and hearings and other operational matters to ensure that gender concerns are fully addressed;

               (g) Monitoring gender related practices within the Commission and advice on best practice and principle.

               (h) Investigating the use of sexual crimes as a weapon during and after conflicts

                (i) Reaching out to and identify victims of gender based violence and provide such victims an opportunity, in private or public, to relate their own accounts of the violations or harm they have suffered and to set out their needs;

                (j)Holding specific public or private hearings on the gendered nature and context of violence and marginalisation; and investigate the causes of such violence and marginalisation; 

               (k) Assessing the needs of victims of gender based violations and marginalisation and make recommendations which may include urgent interim measures, as to the appropriate measures required to redress such violations and marginalisation, including the policy which should be followed or measures which should be taken to restore the human and civil dignity of such victims;

              (l) Ensuring that every report of the Commission shall carry a specific Chapter on gender;

        (2) The Commission shall appoint or second a dedicated gender focal person to every Unit, Committee or Body that it may establish for the purposes of this Act.

In respect of this proposal, Mr. Chairman, the main motivation is that when you look at that, the majority of victims, where there is violence, where there are conflicts, it is actually women and girls and what this amendment is seeking to do is to have a specific unit which is going to be part of the Bill.  This is all that we are proposing so that the Commission itself is obliged to have such a gender unit whose roles are clearly outlined.

 I want to believe, Mr. Chairman, that this is something that will really enhance the Bill.  It is something which I think is very progressive and also, in terms of that amendment, the Commission would then be required to appoint a second or second a dedicated gender focal person to every unit.   I believe this is really going to assist the Committee in effectively carrying out its work.  It is also a recognition that we must mainstream issues of gender in the work that is going to be carried out by the Committee.

I think that if the Hon. Minister carefully goes through the provisions which are being proposed; for example if you look at (a) it says that this unit is going to provide for the development of specific guidelines and rules on how the Commission will incorporate gender into its work, it will assist in the development of strategies to encourage the participation of women, girls and other marginalised groups in the work of the Commission and also incorporate issues of gender equity in the structure of the Commission, ensuring that all organs of the Commission shall consist and address the gender implications of their activities.

This unit will also assist in the development of protocols for statement taking, collection and analysis of gender and sex disaggregated data, monitor all issues of gender related practices within the Commission and assist the Commission in the investigation of use of sexual crimes as a weapon during and after conflicts.  It is actually something which you really come across from time to time. 

I want to believe that having this Gender Unit is going to enable the Commission to be more effective particularly in dealing with the majority of victims, in this case we are talking of the women and the girls and also assist in the holding of specific public and private hearings on the gendered nature and context of violence and marginalisation and in particular, in assessing the needs of victims of gender based violations and marginalisation.  Lastly, it will assist in ensuring that every report of the Commission shall carry a specific chapter on gender.  I believe this will actually add value to the work which the Commission would be carrying out.  I do not think it would be proper for the Ministry to take an adverse view of such a very progressive proposal and I would really ask that the Hon. Minister seriously takes into consideration this proposed amendment and take it on board.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Thank you Chair.  From the Minister’s response when she initially responded and she may clarify that, she seemed to be saying that the need for coming up with gender units will be subject to discussion by the Commission itself, if I heard her right, and therefore, almost putting up an argument that even in terms of a gender unit, that would then be addressed by the NPRC. 

I just want to take on the issue that Hon. Gonese has been raising.  We have seen a lot of people that have gone through these Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and what you find is that if it is not particularly in the Act itself, Commissions may not necessarily take on issues around gender.  Let me just give you an example; in most instances when you are dealing with these kind of issues, there are a lot of sexual crimes and because you are doing it in a normal manner, it is difficult for a woman to stand up in a public hearing or to come and report an issue that she was raped because of the stigma that is associated with it.  So, I can hear you not wanting to compartimentalise the issue of gender on its own, but what one would request is that somewhere in the Bill, there is an indication that there will be specific sensitivity towards issues of gender and towards issues of sexual crimes because it is not there and if it is not included in here, I can assure you Minister, it may actually never be dealt with. A lot of people have gone through these processes only to find out the issues of sexual crimes and even when you go into reparations, have not been dealt with because those issues have not been included. I am supporting his point but in the event that you feel you are now being too specific for the Commission, one would employ that you probably find in your drafting something that speaks to the need of the Commission to look at issues around gender specifically, particularly if they are looking at issues to do with sexual crimes. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI): Thank you Hon. Members for your contributions. We really appreciate that when interviews were done by this House for members of the Commission, the issue of gender parity was seriously considered. I think one of the reasons that was considered is to make sure that issues that relate to gender and any related crimes associated to that are handled properly by the very nature and composition of the Commissioners themselves. In terms of the Commissioners, we have a 50/50 representation where we have women and men balanced as Commissioners. I think this is part of what was being considered to make sure that if those issues arise, they will be dealt with.

However, I am going to read again as though I have not read it before in the Second Reading. The Commission is an independent commission and should therefore be free to decide what units or committees to set up or establish as highlighted in paragraph 8 of the First Schedule. The units will be administratively established and do not need to be in the Bill. Creating a Gender Unit at the expense of other marginalised classes is tricky. Further, the NPRC will work with the Zimbabwe Gender Commission to design the best administrative strategies for the purposes of gender mainstreaming in peace building, reconciliation and national healing. This proposal is therefore not accepted.

I just want to go back in serious consideration of your contributions and say I really think the way that the Commission is established and constituted will deal with, not only the gender issues but other issues that may arise. Thank you.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Minister, I am actually going to insist on this one because the assumption that we have women that are sitting in the NPRC does not necessarily mean that we will have issues that we are talking about being dealt with. All we asking you and I am actually prepared to compromise from the position that Hon. Gonese is saying, where he is saying - include in the Bill an issue around setting up a separate unit. I hear you that we may have people with disabilities also saying set up a unit on disabilities. So, I hear where you are coming from and I am prepared to get into the middle of the road.

I am saying in terms of that manner of conducting investigations, what would be a compromise is something that speaks to the issue that in that manner of conducting investigation, there will be a sensitivity to dealing with women in particular on issues that are to do with sexual crimes. That I do not think fundamentally changes the essence of what we are asking you to do but pushes those people that are then sitting to at least be sensitive to that aspect. All I am saying is, think about it, and just go back and see whether in drafting you cannot just include that particular term without necessarily speaking to a whole instruction to the Commission that says set up this unit. I think it will really be unfair if we do not particularly when we know that issues of conflict actually speak to a lot of hidden issues that women cannot necessarily speak about.

We have examples in which these things have been done and issues around sexual crimes have not been dealt with because people have not been sensitive to the fact that they need to deal with that group in a particular manner. If you go into a community and say there has been a conflict here, how many of you were raped. You will not get one woman standing because there is a stigma that is associated with a woman standing up and saying I was raped. However, if a commission is sensitive to it, they will then plan their investigations in a manner in which those groups of women can actually access them and speak to those violations in a manner that can be dealt with. So, I am merely asking you whether you could, perhaps we could go through the whole thing but you may go back and see whether you may not just include that one sentence Minister. I thank you.

HON. ZINDI: Hon. Speaker, I am just riding on what Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga has just been contributing particularly in terms of being gender sensitive to deal with issues to do with conflict where women are raped. It is not easy for women to stand up because of the stigma that is associated with that. It is true and I support that. We can give examples of how that has been dealt with. I can give an example of the Gacacas which were held in terms of conflict resolution, peace and reconciliation in Rwanda.

So, it is a concept which we think can also be adopted because issues to do with women men, many will not understand exactly what entails a rape. Rape is always associated with conflicts because that is how you instill fear in people and this is how you also instill fear in terms of power to women and also the losers of any given conflict. You really feel that if you rape their women, girls and what a view, we have really shown that we have demonstrated beyond no doubt that we have power over whomever the enemy in that kind of conflict is.

Therefore, I really thought I should make a contribution to this debate because having read along those lines and experienced – also in Uganda, they have what they call Barazas were merely they resolve issues to do with women as well in as far as sexual harassment, rape and all things like that when they do take place in a given conflict. So, please if you can consider that. Thank you.

HON. MLISWA: I want to support Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga on this one. I think the issue is that while the Minister says that the board is gender sensitive, that is not to say that it will have a mandate to deal with gender issues. Because the vetting has been done, that is not to say we have women here on proportional representation, but do they really represent women? The point is that there has got to be a section because it is a grouping which has been disadvantaged for a very long time.

As such, it has got to be taken on board that this issue of gender with the stigma that women face naturally, they have got to be empowered somewhere through that being in the Act. Without that being in black and white in the Act, then it means nothing at the end of the day. I think her point is that it must be there in the Act to ensure that it is followed through because although we have women on the board but they could be outnumbered in terms of the votes. So, there is no guarantee that it will be implemented.

We are looking at a situation where people are coming in from a disadvantaged point of view, the girl-child naturally. It will take a long time for women to be at par with us and I think what is critical is even to give it a timeframe like we did with the Constitution that proportional representation will be in for 10 years, thereafter it does not have to be there; they are able to stand alone. 

Hon. Minister, the other issue that is also critical is people living with disability.  They have so many issues and I think some of them are not able to come out because of disability.  How then do we hear them if there is equally nothing specific saying that there must be something in black and white that makes sure that people living with disability are accommodated?  You know that the Government is behind in terms of complying with the Disabled Act on appointing the Director General responsible for people with disability.  We are already behind, let alone if we do not have it in that Act, nothing will happen at the end of the day.  I think it is equally important that those two coming in at the end of the day and that will be something that will be a welcome move.  These are people that have been disadvantaged as a result.  These two groups have been disadvantaged, women and people with disability.  As such, they must be incorporated in that Act so that it is seen through.  That would be my contribution. 

HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Something has just come up, particularly on the point that has been raised by Hon. Themba Mliswa.  We have witnessed where appointments of various boards are  done by Ministers, and what a view, we have not seen that gender parity in terms of 50:50.  This is regardless of the fact that our Constitution clearly stipulates that no board should be set up without that gender parity - Section 17 that speaks to 50:50.  I am emphasising that point so that the Minister should just find how best she can accommodate this issue of gender parity in this amendment as it is being raised in this House because we have witnessed where the Ministers do not adhere to that constitutional provision, hence it should be in the Act itself.  Thank you.

HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Minister, I think it is very important that concerning gender, it be prescribed in the Constitution.  My reason for saying this is the fact that listening to some contributions by Members that were affected in the conflict situation, particularly in the Gukurahundi, you will find that women that were raped actually relive these situations.  In reliving their situations, if the gender aspect is not considered, you will not have people such as psychologists that will be there to deal with these situations.  You will find that instead of having a healing process, the women will regurgitate and will go into depression and so on and so forth, particularly because most of them went through this situation as young girls, young women and being married women.  It is important that we make sure that we prescribe this in the Peace and Reconciliation Bill.  Thank you.

HON. GONESE:  I want to respond to the Minister.  I have carefully considered what the Hon. Minister has said in response and I am not persuaded by the submissions that she has made.  I am encouraged by the support that I have received from other Hon. Members regarding the proposed amendment by the incorporation of this clause.  I would want to ask the Minister to reconsider her position in view of the fact that we are dealing with an issue that affects the majority of the people of Zimbabwe.  We all know that women constitute at least 52 percent of the population of this country.  When you look at the proposed amendment, it talks also of other marginalised groups who would be covered by that provision that I have proposed.  I would take a similar approach to that of Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga to say to the Minister, can we not come up with some compromise, some middle of the road position that we can all adopt and buy into so that we do not have to elaborate an amendment.   It can be as the one that I have proposed but in some way, not lose sight of the spirit in which that amendment is being made.  That is what I would really implore or plead with the Minister to include so that at the end of the day, we are seen as a Parliament that is responsive and that is also sensitive to some of the issues that are meant to be covered by that proposed amendment.

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI):  I want to say thank you very much to all the Hon. Members who contributed to this amendment.  The issue of gender is indeed very important and as a female Minister, it is something that I cannot ignore.  I am agreeable to coming up with a middle of the road arrangement, not necessarily in this form or a Gender Unit.  We may consider a sentence, maybe in preambular form or something that we can craft properly so that it is highlighted.  I thank you.

Amendment to Clause 8 put and agreed to.

Clause 8, as amended, put and agreed to.

On Clause 9:

 HON. GONESE: I move the amendment standing in my name that between lines 39 and 40 on page 7 of the Bill, to insert the following subclause, the remaining subclauses being renumbered accordingly:

“(5) The Commission may recommend to the Director of the Legal Aid Directorate that any person who—

            (a)   is about to give or is giving evidence before the Commission;  or

            (b)   is a victim of a human-rights violation or is a representative of such a victim;

should be provided with legal aid, and the Director shall take action on such a recommendation as if it had been made by a court in terms of section 10 of the Legal Aid Act [Chapter 7:16].”.

          Essentially really is to cover and cater for the indigent people who cannot afford legal representation and it is something that is enshrined in Section 31 of our Constitution.  All that this amendment seeks to do is to allow the Commission to make recommendations to the Director of the Legal Aid Directorate that any person who is about or is giving evidence before the Commission or is a victim of any human rights violation or is a representative of such a victim should be provided with legal aid.  The provisions of the proposed amendment are discretionary, they are not peremptory, the Commission will not be obliged but it can then make a decision in appropriate circumstances to make that recommendation.

          I hope that on this one, we will have the support of the Hon. Minister.

HON. MAJOME:  On a…

THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, order Hon. Members, each time I call for any further debate, be ready to stand up.  Two minutes seated down, I may not recognise you, Hon. Majome.

HON. MAJOME:  Thank you for your indulgence Mr. Chairman, I want to besiege the Hon. Minister to possibly reconsider Clause 9 subclause 13, that is the provision that deals with penalties for the criminal offences that are being proscribed for intimidating, threatening or dissuading anyone who wants to appear the Commission.  I whole heartedly support the Hon. Minister’s anticipation of the need to protect the integrity and the smooth flow of business before the Commission by protecting people from being intimidated. 

However, I have noted that when you read Clause 9, subclause 13, it proposes to impose a penalty of 10 years imprisonment that is level 12 for all offences pertaining to threatening anyone who might want to appear before the Commission.  I know we are not yet on Clause 12 (h) but it is necessary to consider penalties that are being imposed together so that there is a sense of proportionality and cohesion. When you look at Clause 12 (h), there is a proposed penalty for something similar that is a penalty that is going to be made a criminal offence to actually threaten and victimise a person who has appeared before the Commission.  There is a penalty imposed there of a lower level seven or imprisonment of two years which is a marked difference from that of 10 years that is being proposed in this particular Clause  9, subclause 13, and it is practically the same kind of offence.

I want to draw the Hon. Minister’s attention to that discrepancy, that it is indeed a very serious offence and a very bad thing to threaten people to prevent them from testifying before the Commission.  Yes, if they are convicted, you sentence them to 10 years in jail and so on.  Further on, I think, it appears to be an anomally for a person who will have appeared before the Commission and the same thing happens to them, they are threatened.  That is Clause 12(h), it is a similar provision to Clause 9, subclause 13 which proposes to make it a criminal offence to anyone who threatens, victimises, assaults or harms any person who has testified before a Commission.  To then impose a lesser penalty on them of a mere two years does not sound congruent.  I worry that if Clause 9 passes in the form that says, yes it shall be 10 years and if we also proceed to pass Clause 12, the clause that says that a person who will have threatened a person who has testified goes for only two years.  There might very well be a defence.

I imagine somebody who appears before a court of law and is being tried and convicted of threatening a person who comes before the Commission.  I imagine, if I was to be their defence counsel which I am sure I am not going to be, I would refuse.  If I was their defence counsel, I would get very far in trying to undermine the severity of the sentence that is proposed in Clause 9, subclause 13 of 10 years. I would point to the lesser sentence of two years in Clause 12 and seek to discredit and impugn that because I would simply say look, if I have threatened a person who was about to appear before the commission, maybe they might still go ahead and appear then I am sentenced to 10 years. 

Then a person who threatens and assaults somebody who has actually testified gets a lesser sentence, I would seek to get it struck down.  I am suggesting that, I know we are not on Clause 12 (h), but I want to encourage and urge the Hon. Minister to synchronise the sentences that are being proposed for both those penalties. I think 10 years is a good level but I want to propose that we also put it at the same level as the one in Clause 12 (h) which deals with threatening and assaulting of somebody who has appeared before the Commission, so that both penalties weigh the same on the scale.  It might actually then not be imposed because people will be rushing to say, but somebody who has done worse is getting less and then they might not end up being sentenced to the 10 years.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI):  Thank you Hon. Members.  We accept the proposal that was made by Hon. Gonese of Clause 9 as it is in line with Section 235 (2) of the Constitution which states that, “The State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level, through legislative and other measures, must assist the independent Commissions and must protect their independence, impartiality, integrity and effectiveness.”  So we accept that part of your amendment – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

The part where you bring in the human rights issues, I think refers us back to what we discussed before.  So that part we will withdraw, but accept the first part.

HON. GONESE:  Thank you Mr. Chairman, I am indebted to the concession made by the Hon. Minister.  I will therefore move the amendment in its amended form, to be part of the Bill.

Amendment to Clause 9 put and agreed to.

Clause 9, as amended, put and agreed to.

On Clause 10:

          HON. GONESE: I move the amendment standing in my name that in lines 23 to 25 on page 9 of the Bill, to delete from the proviso to sub clause (3) the words “is arraigned on a charge of perjury as defined in terms of section 183 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23]” and to substitute “is charged with a contravention of section 9 (11)”.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI):  Thank you Hon. Member and thank you Mr. Chair.  In response to the Hon. Member’s suggestion on Clause 10, I would say that it is one thing to compel someone to come before the Commission for a hearing, but it is something else to compel them to tell the truth.  The criminalization of such conduct of not telling the truth encourages truth telling which is one of the major functions of the Commission, as highlighted in Section 252(c) of the Constitution. 

          This is one of the best strategies of achieving peace building, national healing and reconciliation. The proposal will therefore be contrary to truth telling and is therefore not accepted.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you Hon. Chair, having listened to the Hon. Minister’s response, I am not going to belabor the point. Suffice to say that the only reason why the proposal has been made was to avoid a situation where some of the victims may be afraid to testify, perhaps in fear that they may end up being charged themselves.  Be that as it may, Mr. Chairman, I am not going to persist with the proposed amendment and accordingly, the amendment is withdrawn.

          Amendment to Clause 10 put and negatived.

          Amendment accordingly withdrawn.

          Clause 10 put and agreed to.

          On Clause 11;

          HON. GONESE:  Mr. Chairman, I put the amendment standing in my name that:  In line 34 on page 9 of the Bill, to delete subclause (1) “The Commission shall” and to substitute “The Commission may” Between lines 36 and 41 on page 9 of the Bill, to repeal subclause (2).

          THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI): Thank you Hon. Member, we accept this proposal as it offers the Commission power to exercise its discretion.

Amendment to Clause 11 put and agreed to.

Clause 11, as amended put and agreed to.   

On Clause 11; New Clause after Clause 11

          HON. GONESE: Before you go to Clause 12, there is a proposed amendment for a new Clause to be inserted after the current Clause 11 and accordingly I move the amendment standing in my name to have that Clause inserted as part of the Bill,

New Clause after Clause 11;

          After line 44 on page 9 of the Bill, to insert the following clause after clause 11, the remaining clauses to be renumbered accordingly:

          “12 Witness protection programme

(1)             The Commission shall establish a witness protection

programme to provide protection for –

(a)             Persons who intend to give evidence to the Commission or any of its committees or who are giving or have given such evidence; and

(b)            Members of the families or households of the persons referred to in paragraph (a);

Where there are reasonable grounds to believe they may be subjected to intimidation or harm arising from such evidence.

(2)             The Minister and all public officers shall provide the 

Commission, on request, with all reasonable assistance in the establishment and implementation of the witness protection programme referred to in subsection (1).

(3)            As soon as practicable after establishing a witness protection programme, the Commission shall prepared a report outlining the programme and its costs, and the Minister shall without delay lay it before the Senate and the National Assembly.”

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI):  Thank you Hon. Member and thank you Mr. Chair.  The proposal that you have put across – unfortunately, we will have to decline.   We will not accept the proposal, and we move that the paragraph should remain as it is because it will ensure that people respect the members of the Commission and will not disturb the proceedings before the Commission.  Allowing people to cause alarm and despondency to parties before the Commission will create reasonable apprehension of actual injury by the parties concerned.  Such parties require protection of this nature for them to be able to freely testify before the Commission; so, if the Commission cannot exercise its power and is not protected to exercise its power, then that becomes a problem.  I thank you.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Chairman, in the spirit of give and take, I take cognisance of the fact that the Hon. Minister has taken on board some of the amendments that I have proposed, and in that spirit I will therefore not persist with this particular amendment and accordingly it is withdrawn.

          New Clause after Clause 11 put and negatived.

          Amendment accordingly withdrawn.

          Clause 11 put and agreed to.

          On clause 12;

          HON. GONESE: I move the amendment standing in my name that between lines 4 and 6 on page 10 of the Bill, to delete paragraph (a) of the clause.  Mr. Chairman you will note that there is also a proposed amendment which I want the Minister to respond. 

          New Clause after Clause 15

          Between lines 14 and 15 on page 12 of the Bill, to insert the following new clause in Part IV after clause 15:

          “16 Implementation of Commission’s reports

          Within six months after the Commission’s annual report for any year has been laid before National Assembly, the Minister shall present to the Assembly a report indicating clearly-

(a)             Which of the recommendations in the Commission’s report the Government intends to implement, and the way they are to be implemented; and

(b)            Which of the recommendations in the Commission’s report the Government does not intend to implement, and the reasons for not implementing them;

And the National Assembly shall debate the Minister’s report on one of the fifteen days on which it sits after the report was presented”.

          THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI): Thank you Mr. Chairman.  The proposal is not accepted and the paragraph should remain in place as it will ensure that people respect the members of the commission and will not disturb proceedings before the Commission.  Allowing people to cause alarm and despondence to parties before the Commission will create reasonable apprehension of actual injury by the parties concerned.  Such parties require protection of this nature for them to be able to freely testify before the Commission.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Chairman.  The reason why I was proposing for the deletion of that particular clause was that in my opinion, it is too broad; it is vague.  When you look at the offence which is created under A, which says that ‘anyone who anticipates any findings of the Commission regarding an investigation or does anything or acts in a manner calculated to influence its proceedings’, it is very difficult to understand exactly what is meant by this particular provision.  That is the reason why I was not comfortable with it, but on reflection I will not persist with the proposed amendment.

          HON. MAJOME: Thank you Mr. Chairman.  I want to refer to the point that I made earlier on the debate on Clause 9 (13). As I indicated earlier on, I would like to urge the Hon. Minister to re-look at the effect of Clause 12 (h).  I say that because I am concerned that the penalty that is being proposed for the offence of having threatened or assaulted or intimidated a person who has actually testified before the Commission is much lower than the penalty that is being proposed for somebody who does the same thing, threatens a person who is about to or who wants to appear before the Commission. My proposal is that the proposal of 11 (7) penalty and two years imprisonment is lenient particularly with respect to level 12 and 10 years imprisonment for that which will be imposed on a person who has threatened somebody so that they do not testify before a commission.  A person who has been threatened so that they do not testify might actually go ahead and testify but threatening is bad either way.

          My point is that it is a serious offence either way to threaten and victimise a person for interfacing with the Commission, whether before they have done so or after they have done so.  If Clause 12 (h) is allowed to pass as it is, it will give justification to that quip that is usually made that in Zimbabwe, it is usually said that there is freedom of speech but not freedom after speech.  So, we fail to protect people after speaking to a commission in the same way that we protect those so that they can speak, we have done an injustice.  We will be leaving out the mouth to the cleaners to dry.

          As I indicated earlier on, I am imagining if I was going to defend a person in a criminal court, who is being prosecuted for contravening the offence proposed in Clause 12 (h), that of assaulting and intimidating a person who has appeared before the Commission and who is actually convicted and then the magistrate is about to sentence them up to two years or both, I would raise issue with the discrepancy with the one in Clause 10 because the one in Clause 10 is a more serious offence.  Vice versa, a person who has been prosecuted for threatening somebody so that they do not testify before the Commission can actually seek to mitigate in their sentence and avoid that stiff one of 10 years, which is appropriate by saying that look, how come a person who does something similar or less will get a lesser sentence. 

          My proposal is that the Bill should protect people of their right to freedom of speech and right to freedom after testifying before the Commission.  Let people who threaten and assault them also be subject to the same level of penalty in Clause 9 (13), that of level 12 and 10 years imprisonment because they are similar offences. There is no need to be lenient with a person who is threatening and assaulting somebody who has come from the Commission.

          HON. KANENGONI: Thank you Hon. Member.  Since this is a new issue that has been brought up now, I would like to request that we defer it then do the next ones and come back to it when we have disposed the others while I consult on the issue.

          Clause 13 and 14 put and agreed to.

          On Clause 15:    

HON. GONESE:  I put the amendment standing in my name that:

Between lines 14 and 15 on page 12 of the Bill, to insert the following new clause in Part IV after clause 15:

“16 Implementation of Commission’s reports

        Within six months after the Commission’s annual report for any year has been laid before National Assembly, the Minister shall present to the Assembly a report indicating clearly—

       (a) which of the recommendations in the Commission’s report the Government intends to implement, and the way they are to be implemented;  and

       (b) which of the recommendations in the Commission’s report the Government does not intend to implement, and the reasons for not implementing them; and the National Assembly shall debate the Minister’s report on one of the fifteen days on which it sits after the report was presented.”

         The amendment seeks to improve the Bill, encourage transparency and I want to believe that this is something which I hope that the Hon. Minister will not be violently opposed to.

       HON. KANENGONI:  Thank you Hon. Member.  The suggestion is accepted.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  In addition to what he said, I have issues on the reports of the Commission.  If you look at Section 15, subsection (2), it talks about an annual report to be presented and it states the manner in which the report is supposed to be.  It says it should include a balance sheet, an income and expenditure account, annual audit reports, a statement of capital expenditure and then it goes to Section 3 to say, Parliament may, through the relevant Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson cause the Commission in regards to its operations, undertakings and property to submit such reports as Parliament may require.  The main function of the Commission is not captured in the manner in which reports are to be presented.  We have administrative reports that deal with accounts of the Commission and all that stuff but the main function of the Commission is to investigate issues to do with national peace and reconciliation. 

The main report that is of interest to Parliament and to the generality of the public is those issues that deal with national peace and reconciliation but if we look at the way this Bill is couched, these reports may be submitted. What is peremptory is to submit reports that deal with accounts and statement of capital expenditure but it does not speak to the real work of the Commission to say that a report on the work of the Commission must be submitted to Parliament.  It does not need a Portfolio Committee Chairman who has an oversight role to go and request a report to be submitted. 

I think that there is need to change the way reports of the Commission are couched to include that there should be a report of the substantive work of the Commission annually or when they finalise their work when the Commission is winding up its work. A comprehensive report with recommendations should be submitted.

HON. MAJOME:  I also want to propose that the provisions of Clause 15, sub clause (vi), dealing with the subject matter that may be tabled and may be dealt with in a report be expanded so that it fully covers the scope and ambits of the functions of the Commission as spelt out in the Constitution.

Mr. Chairman, I am concerned that although I do accept that the list of subject areas or the criterion of subject manner that has been listed in Clause 15, sub clause (vi), paragraphs (a) to (i) is not exhaustive; that possibly, the Commission can also write reports that include further things. I think it would be remiss of us if as Parliament, given the fact that our role is to ensure that the Constitution is implemented – we need to reflect in sub clause (vi), the full range of functions in terms of the functions that the Committee has so that the Commission will not lose sight of the fact that it must present reports on certain subject matter because the reports that are listed here are reports about preventing conflicts in future.  This is very good because it is within the remit of the Commission. 

My concern is that it has left out specifying that the Commission must also produce reports that pertain to issues of compensation in particular to those who the Commission would have investigated and have suffered violation or conflicts in such a manner that they will need to be compensated.

I would want to think that it is possible and desirable to also add between paragraphs (a) to (i) or even another one that states that the Commission’s reports may deal with compensation for those who would have survived conflicts and also justice and recommendations on how people who would have suffered those violations and atrocities found by the Commission can access the justice delivery system and also even the memorialisation as a guarantee of non recurrence.

It is my proposal that we specify that the Commission can write reports that recommend appropriate measures of exploring compensation, justice and means of memorializing what would have happened so that it contributes a guarantee of non-recurrence.  To leave that out appears to do short of what is provided in the Constitution and might make it look like we are avoiding certain issues that are uncomfortable but this is the purpose of the Commission.  Let it deal with compensation, justice and memorialisation.  For it to do so, reports must also be written so that it does not lose sight of that.  I thank you.

Amendment to Clause 15 put and agreed to.

Clause 15, as amended, put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Progress reported.

Committee to resume:  Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

MEETING OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINES AND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please be advised that there is an urgent meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy Development tomorrow, 2nd August, 2017 at 1000 hours in the Senate Chamber.

On the motion of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA), the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

      

 

 

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 01 AUGUST 2017 VOL 43 NO 82-1