You are here:Home>Senate Hansard>SENATE HANSARD 25 SEPTEMBER 2018 VOL 28 NO 04

SENATE HANSARD 25 SEPTEMBER 2018 VOL 28 NO 04

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 25th September, 2018

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

PRAYERS

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

DEATH OF HON. SENATOR THOKOZILE MATHUTHU

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: It is with profound sorrow that I have to inform the Senate of the death of Hon.  Sen. Thokozile Mathuthu on Monday, 13th August, 2018, the member of Senate for Matebeleland North Province.  I invite Hon. Senators to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Senator.

          All Hon. Senators observed a minute of silence.

VACANCY IN THE SENATE

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the House that I have received a resignation letter from Hon. Sen. Mpofu, Senator for Matebeleland North Province.  Section 129 (1b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides as follows;

          The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant upon the Member resigning his or her seat by written notice to the President of the Senate or to the Speaker as the case may be. 

Pursuant to the above, I do hereby inform this House that a vacancy has arisen by the operation of the law.  The necessary administrative measures will be taken to inform His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the existence of the vacancy in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act, Chapter 2:13 as amended. 

INVITATION TO A BREAKFAST MEETING

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also have to inform the House that the Women Alliance of Business Association in Zimbabwe (WABAZ) is inviting all women Parliamentarians to a breakfast meeting on Thursday, 27th September, 2018 at 0730 hours at the Rainbow Towers Hotel.  The bus will leave Parliament building at 0715 hours.  You are requested to confirm your attendance with the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus secretariat, in Room No. 181, Parliament Building or on extension 2110.

INDUCTION SEMINAR FOR MINISTERS AND DEPUTY MINISTERS

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: All Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers are invited to an Induction Seminar on Parliament Business to be held on Thursday, 27th September, 2018 in the Senate Chamber, starting at 0830 hours. 

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO:  Thank you.  Madam President, I move the motion standing in my name:

That a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows:-

We the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

HON. MBOHWA: I second.

HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO: Thank you Madam President.  On 18th September, 2018 at 12 noon, the Parliament of Zimbabwe in a joint sitting and the nation at large listened to a lucid, focused and well- tailored presentation on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) eloquently delivered by His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

It was an address loaded with substance and delivered with much authority, marking the official opening of the Ninth Parliament and outlining a comprehensive legislative agenda, with 27 Bills expected to be tabled.

Madam President, I am confident that Hon.  Senators in this august House have already acquainted themselves with the contents of the address and will contribute meaningfully to the economic stimulus and recovery focus envisaged in the President’s vision of Zimbabwe, becoming a Middle Income Economy by the year 2030.

This is only possible if we walk the road of increased investment, create jobs, promote broad based empowerment and mercilessly fight poverty and corruption. Corruption stinks. Its stench drives away investment. It has a hypnotic effect on the revitalisation of the economy and only benefits the greedy. This calls upon us to be vigilant as corruption is like hidden cholera. It is indeed rampant in the public and private sectors.

          We must encompass a shared vision, cultivate a common humanity, act in common purpose and respect each other for to each other, we belong. Zimbabwe belongs to all of us as a family. No one has monopoly over it.

          Madam President, I have made reference to a number of Bills sighted in the Legislative Agenda. They are all of national significance and need thorough scrutiny when presented. Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy and the Constitution reigns supreme. There are some laws not yet aligned to the new supreme law of the land.

          In his address, His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa described the constitutional alignment as “work in progress, notwithstanding the strides made in the previous sessions.” We must keep an eagle’s eye on this issue and others. It must now be business unusual NOT business as usual.

          Indeed, the Child Justice Bill, which seeks to provide child justice system and outlaw child marriages as well as the Mandatory Sentencing for Rape and Sexual Abuse Bill will deserve our thorough scrutiny.

          It is gratifying that the Rural Councils Bill intended to give  rural councils greater autonomy and the Traditional Leaders Act will be amended in line with the Constitution. Further, the Provincial and Metropolitan Council’s Bill, to facilitate the devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities to Provincial and Local Authorities constitute part of the Legislative Agenda.

          Madam President, I am certain that some Hon. Senators in this august House will speak on the economy as reflected in the address especially on agriculture, mining, infrastructural development in all aspects and respects, tourism, environmental sustainability and more inclusive growth. The private sector should indeed come to the party.

          The recent outbreak of cholera in some parts of the country must serve as a wake-up call in the provision and rehabilitation of archaic infrastructure in order to improve on our social services by investing more in water infrastructure, and sanitation as well as education and health-care.

          Madam President, the challenges enshrined in the State of the Nation Address are complex and yet surmountable, if as a nation we can read and reflect in unity of purpose.

          The recent increase in prices of goods and services including bread by retailers is cause for great concern. The appetite to profiteer at every turn, in unexplained circumstances has no justification whatsoever and the consumer deserves urgent protection. The Minister responsible has urged the retailers to reverse their prices. Let this happen with urgency or the law must take its full course.

          The same applies to the shortage of unwarranted pump price hikes in some areas, leading to unacceptable queues and depressing inconvenience to the travelling public. Urgent solution is needed to avoid speculative conduct and illegal actors must face the full wrath of law.

          This economy needs thinkers and doers. It is tired of tired minds. We must be constructive and focused, not be spectators to our own citizens. We must refuse to sleep or snore in this august House, for I know these are never on the Order Paper.

          From the people, we come and to the people we must go. We are their servants and not their masters. We must therefore be accountable to them at all times.

          Madam President, with these remarks consonant with my height, I want to thank you for this opportunity and wish us all a fruitful debate. I thank you.

          HON. SEN. MBOHWA:  Madam President, Deputy President of the Senate and Hon. Senators, I am quite privileged to be the seconder of the motion in reply to the Presidential Speech moved by the seasoned politician, Hon. Sen. Simon Khaya Moyo.  His Excellency, the President, Cde. E.D. Mnangagwa, the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe and Head of State and Government opened the Ninth Parliament by declaring the harmonised elections as peaceful, free, fair and democratic.  I would like to thank him for always preaching words of peace.  I congratulate him on resoundingly winning the as President of the ruling party ZANU PF, garnering a significant two thirds majority.  I support his vision for our nation wholeheartedly and I support his call for peace in a united Zimbabwe.

I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate our new President of the Senate, Hon. Chinomona, who is also my boss in the Women’s League of the ruling party.  Madam President, under your guidance, the Senate will achieve many great things.  Hearty congratulations go to the Deputy President of the Senate, Hon. Rtd. Major Gen. Nyambuya.  Hon. Senator, your strict military background is well required in this House.  Finally, I congratulate all Senators across the political divide – [HON. SENATORS:  Hear, hear.] -  We have a great responsibility to the people who chose us.  I look forward to working with you all in rebuilding our beautiful Zimbabwe.

Madam President, in his State of the Nation Address, His Excellency reminded us that the Government’s main priority will be rebuilding the economy.  It is pleasing because this is exactly what our country needs.  We want to see our children enjoy a Zimbabwe of many opportunities.  As he said, the election is behind us and we have to get out of election mode and start working.  He mentioned that we have to be ‘servant leaders’, and we must work for the people that we represent.  With this new dawn, Zimbabweans expect to see change in the second republic so we must do our part.

Already in this short time, we can see major improvements.  I am sure everybody is pleased to see that our roads are getting resurfaced to standard.  Madam President, what we need now is to also make sure the roads in the rural areas are improved.  In Nembudziya for example, the roads remain terrible and it is difficult for people to drive to their homes using private cars or even public transport.  Infrastructure development will be central to economic growth.  We need to invest in schools, communication, water systems and power generation.  I am glad to note that the President alluded to this in his State of the Nation address.

On the issue of infrastructure, it must cover the whole country and extend to rural communities as well.  There is a desperate need for us to focus on making portable water available to people in villages.  With the current cholera challenge, we remember how important it is that people can access clean water.  Madam President, water is life.  We need to coordinate the drilling of boreholes and the digging of protected wells through nationwide programmes.

Also of great importance, Madam President, is the need for access to health care.  Once again, the cholera outbreak stresses the need for better and well stocked clinics.  In rural areas, sometimes people have to walk or be ferried for many kilometers in order to get treatment of any kind.  I hope building more clinics and making sure these are well equipped becomes a major focus as we move forward.  A healthy nation is a productive nation.

In his State of the Nation address, I was glad to hear our President talk about issues relating to women and children.  Too often these two groups are neglected or treated differently by society and under the law.  There is a lot of work to be done to protect their rights.  Firstly, His Excellency mentioned that the Customary Law and Local Courts Bill will be looked at.  This is important in making sure that women are given much better treatment under the law.  While we very much love and respect our culture, we all know that there are certain practices that are harmful and need to be phased out or dealt with.  For example, inheritance is a problem that sometimes penalizes women, so I am confident and satisfied that we will soon have law that helps women, instead of hurting them. 

Madam President, the Mandatory Sentencing for Rape and Sexual Abuse Bill will be considered by Parliament.  Again, this helps to advance the rights of women.  Too many light sentences are given when horrible acts take place.  This is especially important in cases of statutory rape and where violations are done against children.  Minimum sentences might help to deter the abusers.  Also, it makes sure there is an equal and minimum punishment.  There will be no excuses when it comes to punishing people who are guilty of such crimes.

The President also talked about the Child Justice Bill.  Child marriage has long been a problem in our country.  We have not done enough to protect the girl child from this bad practice.  We need to outlaw child marriages so that those who continue will be tried and punished under the law.  Finally, we will see a whole justice system that works for the benefit of our young girls.  The President has shown his commitment to solving this issue and I would like to humbly request that we as legislators we do our job to make sure that these Bills are passed quickly.

Madam President, as I conclude my speech, I need to highlight that there are few women in politics.  Our Constitution is clear and there should be a strict adherence to the national Constitution.  We need to empower women.  Thank you Mr. President.  From Nembudziya and Gokwe North, we solidly stand behind you.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  It is Madam President in the Chair.

HON. SEN. MBOHWA:  I am thanking the President who gave the Speech.

THE PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  It is Madam President in the Chair.

HON. SEN. MBOHWA:  No, I was thanking the President for the speech and I was saying Nembudziya is solidly behind the speech he gave.  I thank you Madam President.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you very much Hon. Senator.

          HON. SEN. HUNGWE: Thank you Madam President. 

An Hon. Senator having reminded the Hon. Senator to switch on the microphone.

HON. SEN. HUNGWE: Thank you I am no longer accustomed to this gadget.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hamuchizivi?

          HON. SEN. HUNGWE: I would like to congratulate you Hon. Madam President on your appointment as the President of the Senate of this country; it is a high profile position indeed.  I am just going to say a few words because the Professor who spoke before me was eloquent and he chose his words, this is so, so that we give other people the chance. 

          We all listened what His Excellency the President said on that particular day.  He spoke to our congregation which was smaller in terms of where we are but people at home and elsewhere heard the speech and they loved it.  He spoke about loving each other, if we love each other it is very important.  He also spoke about unity and even the mover of this motion emphasized the point that there is need for unity in order for us to go forward. 

          The President mentioned peace, I think he was correct because without peace, there is chaos and it means that there is no harmony in the lives of human beings; we will live like animals.  Madam President, I listened to the speech myself, it is my job to listen to speeches and not to make them.  What fascinated me Madam President is his mentioning of the word ‘tolerance’, I took note of what that word means.  People in the 17th century tried to get the correct meaning of tolerance and one man came out to say I can define it the way I think it should mean to human beings and this man was a French writer called Voltaire. 

Madam President, he said, and it is true today, I disapprove of what you say, handizvidi zvamuri kutaura izvi  I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, Voltaire said those words and these words are true today that without tolerance you would not be even there yourself Madam President.  Without tolerance in the houses where you mothers live, you cannot live comfortably – [HON. SENATORS: Inaudible interjections.] –

The Hon. Senator having drawn the attention of Senators.

THE HON. PRESIDENTOF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, you are supposed to address the Chair.

HON. SEN. HUNGWE: Thank you I am aware, I just wanted to support the mover of this motion that it is true and that I should rise and also mention few words in support of the mover of the motion.  I thank you Madam President.

HON. SEN. S. K. MOYO: Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MBOHWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th September, 2018.

          On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON. SEN. MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at Seven Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.   

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 25 September 2018 16:15
Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 25 SEPTEMBER 2018 VOL 28 NO 04