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    Zimbabwe Parliament debate on Operation Murambatsvina (Cont'd) - Page 1
    Extracted from Hansard Vol. 32, No. 8
    Parliament of Zimbabwe

    June 30, 2005

    View list of 2005 Zimbabwe Parliamentarians

    Jump to contributions by:
    - MR. ZWIZWAI
    - MR. MUBAWU
    - MR. SIBINDI
    - MR. MKHOSI
    - MR. BHEBHE
    - MR. MHASHU
    - MRS. NYAUCHI
    - MR. MOYO
    - MR. MDLONGWA
    - MR. MATIMBA

    MOTION

    OPERATION MURAMBATSVINA/RESTORE ORDER

    Debate continued from June 28, 2005

    Third Order read: Adjourned debate on the motion on State action in respect of Operation Murambatsvina.

    Question again proposed.

    MR. ZWIZWAI: Mr. Speaker, I rise to add my voice to this very critical debate on the so-called Operation Murambatsvina which now has been dubbed Operation Garikai.

    Mr. Speaker, the Metropolitan constituency being Harare Central, is also a casualty of this operation. All the flea markets in the constituency that I represent were closed down - the hotels, lodges . . . -- [MR.MANGWANA: Brothels?] - Mr. Speaker, the patrons of these lodges - as the interjector called them brothels.
    - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]

    As an Hon. member of Harare Central, I am not aware that there are brothels in my constituency but people who would patronise the brothels would definitely know - like I have actually heard from Hon. Minister Mangwana. The issue of the patronising of these dark places and streets by senior Government officials is not a new phenomenon. I have details here which date back to 1985 but because of my respect of the Matrimonial Causes Act, I will not go ahead and expose those who are involved. However, those senior Government officials who are keen to know their status in respect of this dossier, are at liberty to visit my constituency office at Trafalgar Court, office 102.

    Mr. Speaker, it is a shame that you find people of great respect and dignity such as Government officials and Ministers loitering with the intention to prostitute - putting on dark glasses and balaclavas in the middle of the night. For the benefit of those who might not be academically given, 'balaclavas' are what are commonly referred to as 'monkey hats'.

    To some extend, this operation is actually fair because it has killed the industry of some of the senior Government officials. I am not shooting from the hip - I am armed and if anybody dares to challenge me, I can refer to the dossier.

    It is also disheartening that if you look very closely at this nocturnal activity of senior Government officials have been taking place in Josiah Chinamano Avenue an amateur Olympic Javelin just a stone's throw from the State House.

    If a javelin is thrown from that point by an Olympian, it will be detected by radar before it falls at the centre of the State House - and this has been going on for years. So, for those who have been patronising, I think you will see for yourself that there is no more honeymoon. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, allow me to say that the women who parade themselves and reduce their dignity in those streets are not doing that out of their own volition. Why they find themselves is because of the problems that have been created by the men and women - the Hon. members to your right.

    Mr. Speaker, the ladies that would be found on those streets - some of them have good A' levels, including English language at 'O' level, some are graduates but because they have nothing to do and that they have families to look after and some are single mothers, they are forced to go and sell their person-hood. That the Government has managed to sweep off all the sex workers in the Avenues is not the solution to the problem.

    When these ladies occasion themselves in those streets, it is a clear manifestation of the dip tanks - the fundamentals of the problem. This is a national crisis and removing those women from the streets will never reduce unemployment by even half a digit. If anything, "it will also kill the informal sector". It is well known that industries that have developed since 1985 in this country are that of unemployment, crime and prostitution. I am not aware of other industry where you would say that there was significant growth. - [MR. BITI: An industry of idiots.]
    Mr. Speaker, I am really touched when I get reports and tour other constituencies in Harare and see how pagans - to borrow Hon. Chebundo's word - how pagans would descend on their own people like a volcano. This was a cowardly, barbaric, primitive and pre-emptive strike on the people of Zimbabwe. It is an operation where in other nations are caused by natural disasters such as Tsunami. The Government did not even communicate to the populace about their intention to undertake Operation Murambatsvina. Even senior Government officials were not even aware. I even called Hon. Chihota to ask him what was happening in town and he said "I do not know". - [MR. CHIHOTA: That is not fair, I was aware of it.]

    MR. SPEAKER: Order.

    MR. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. He was not even aware. In some nations, this would be caused by a national disaster such as the Tsunami.

    Government pre-emptively attacked its own people. It knew that fuel price was going to be increased by 300% which would naturally increase the price of basic commodities and it is those people who stayed in the shacks and backyards who most likely going to rise against this regime. However, because of the pre-emptive attack, how can you fight from Caledonia when you are in a queue to be vetted. And vetted for what? As long as you have your identity card and you are a Zimbabwean, you automatically qualify for a house if there is any.

    Mr. Speaker, Hon. Chihota who has just recently interjected and objected on my reference to him was busy on Thursday here at Parliament, telling the House that if indeed there were illegal structures, what normal move would a normal Government do to correct that situation. Normal Government - normal ministers, that would go to Joshua Mqabuko Heights and hand over a co-operative, officially in their status as Government officials not as ZANU PF senior members within the Politburo et cetera - Hon. Chombo - as normal as he was unless otherwise from what Hon. Chihota has said, there is some element of abnormality.

    Mr. Speaker, and to those comrades that were staying at Joshua Mqabuko Heights, which was predominantly a co-operative of war veterans, I say to them, history will always repeats itself. 25 years ago, the war veterans well sleeping in the open and 25 years down the line, today they are still sleeping in the open at Caledonia. Hon. Chihota goes further - he actually goes out of town and says, "my learned friend talked about sanctions". First and foremost, it is important that we educate each other as Hon. members. When we go to court, lawyers refer to themselves as learned friends. It is not a word that can be used in common place.

    It is a term that the Attorney-General here present would agree with me that it is used by barristers when they refer to each other. In this House, we have a few lawyers such as the Hon. Mangwana, Hon. Mathuthu, Hon. Biti and Hon. Advocate Prof. W. Ncube and those are the people who should refer to themselves as learned friends. Let me first of all exhaust the issue of sanctions.

    On sanctions, he says that if you call for sanctions, you expect what should come with them. Mr. speaker, I am very pleased that when you were wearing your other hat as the national chairman of ZANU PF during the General election period, which chair was very much adored and admired by some gentlemen who are not here today, you were very clear on national television when you were asked on the question of sanctions. With all due respect, I remember very well when you answered and said, " we are not at all affected by sanctions, we are progressing as a Government and as a party and we will deliver for sure." Alas, what happened? That very next morning in Gutu at Mushayavanhu, the Hon. Vice President, Hon. Mujuru said "takuvara nemasanctions", which clearly shows that there is no coherence in respect of policies and that the left hand does not even know what the right hand is holding when you talk about sanctions. However, let me enlighten you on that regard.

    Mr. Speaker, this Government is not under economic sanctions whatsoever, it is under targeted travelling bans. If Britain says, "ZANU PF do not come to town", then what is your problem? What have you left in London there? What do you want in London? If Australia says do not come to town, as a Government right now, you cannot even meet the European Union beef quota. They cannot even meet a tobacco quota or a cotton quota - they cannot, but they are busy crying masanctions - what sanctions?

    Mr. Speaker, Hon. Chihota further goes down and says - and allow me to further quote him verbatim to make it clear for the purpose of record, "it is common cause that the definition of an indigenous person is one person who has a rural home allocated to him by virtue of being indigenous, a home that one has acquired in urban areas because he has either bought it or it has been allocated to him by state". It is not the purpose of this House that Hon. members will come and construct definitions for the purpose of making a point. It is not our role as Members of Parliament to come and attribute new definitions to words that have been used for centuries. It is also fallacious for the Hon. member to refer to an indigenous by its definition as an individual who will own a rural home that has been allocated to him by Government and a home that he purchased. It is fallacious. As students of philosophy we will tell you that such argument commits the fallacious of composition which tries to convince people that what is true of the part is true of the whole - to say that John owns a rural home and that John is indigenous and therefore, conclude all indigenous people own rural homes. That is fallacious.

    Mr. Speaker, there is also a very critical issue that has been raised in this House during this debate - the issue of patriotism. The issue of MDC referred to as sell outs in respect of the cleanliness of the City of Harare. If you recall Mr. Speaker, Hon. Muguti the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, a Member of Parliament for Chirumanzi, went out of town to address the Members of Parliament on the left and said that, the MDC council has failed to deliver in the City of Harare, there is dirt everywhere and people were defecating at all places including allays. He said there is a lot of diseases here. He goes on to say the members that are seated on the left are not patriotic and they are doing that to kill the nation.

    This House is not a House to try and undo each other. It is not a talk show for members to try to demonstrate who can demonise better than others. It is a House of serious debate like the one I am trying to do right now. It is where hon. members should engage each other in serious debate and not in hypocritical way.

    Mr. Speaker, as I go to my next item, I am fully informed that I may not table a news article but that I may refer to it for the purpose of record. Could I be allowed to read a few paragraphs, two or three to demonstrate my point?

    MR. SPEAKER: You will be out of order once you read.

    MR. ZWIZWAI: I will refer to it but I am not reading the Hansard, Mr. Speaker I just want to read an article and this is in the public domain. This is an Independent . . .

    MR. SPEAKER: You may not argue with the Speaker. You are risking to be asked to resume your seat.

    MR. ZWIZWAI: I will proceed as follows Hon. Muguti who is the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare and a Member of Parliament for Chirumanzi Constituency appears in the Zimbabwe Independent of 17th November 2000 when he joined MDC and issued a press Statement - since I am not allowed to read Mr. Speaker, I have managed to photocopy 160 copies of the article to hand to Hon. members for their edification. I am referring to an article when Hon. Muguti, captain of the army, joined MDC. In that article Hon. Muguti referred to President Hon. R.G. Mugabe who he wines and dines with now as "a despot", He referred to him as an individual who "is obstinately cling to power long after their incompetence and popular support has been lost". He further goes on to say that, after having taking a long consideration and soul searching, he decided that he had to quit ZANU PF.

    He goes on to urge all the provincial executives and their supporters to resign from ZANU PF. On the question of patriotism, he further on goes to say "Zimbabwe desperately needs to extricate itself from the current quagmire of socio-political and economic ruin - and that can only come from MDC." Who is he today? Mind you Mr. Speaker, these words are not coming from an ordinary man but coming from the Captain of the army who knows what it means to make such political decision. In the process Hon. Muguti violates section 4:10(a) of the Constitution of MDC by contesting on the ZANU PF card. The section alluded to is the section on the membership. Section 4:10(a) of MDC constitution the captain violated says that a member is terminated if a member of the party joins or supports any other political party rather than MDC. He further violated section B of the constitution where it says that a member shall send a written resignation. If you look very close at the back of our card, it clearly states this card remain the property of MDC if found please send it to Box CH 240 Harare.

    MR. SPEAKER: I wonder what that has to do with work of Parliament. Crossing from one party to another is a decision of an individual so ZANU PF or MDC or any other party anybody can change his or her party membership.

    MR. ZWIZWAI: I will not dwell further on that aspect Mr. Speaker, I think I have made my point.

    MR. SPEAKER: You are labouring further.

    MR. ZWIZWAI: I will not labour further. If I debate further, then you should throw me out of the House. I have made my point that I was not amused by this Operation Murambatsvina. I have made my point that we all need to be patriotic. I have made my point about the sanctions and on that basis because the other issues that I was going to touch on have been mentioned before, I would therefore reserve my ammunition on the motion that I shall move in the future.

    MR. MUBAWU: Mr. Speaker, I am so happy that you also know my name .

    MR. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Zwizwai. (Hon. Zwizwai having passed between the Chair and the Hon. member on the floor whilst circulating copies of his speech.) Hon. Zwizwai I shall order you to withdraw all the papers that you have circulated. I think that as a senior member of this House, surely it must have been obvious to you that you are being unorderly and therefore out of order.

    MR. MUBAWU: I also rise to contribute on Operation Murambatsvina. As you might know, I am Hon. member for Tafara and Mabvuku constituency in Harare Metropolitan City. My constituency was deeply affected by this Operation in the negative sense. I am s true witness Mr. Speaker who witnessed the death of an innocent soul, a child in my constituency. I actually so the mingling of tears and mucus on the cheeks falling on the naked breast of an angry woman because of this Operation. I reckon in my truest conscience that human life is more important than even the clean up purported by Operation Murambatsvina.

    I am also a witness of the indirect death of two other people in my constituency in Chineka Street in New Mabvuku because of Operation Murambatsvina should not have been done in the way it was handled. There was no notice as was mentioned before. There is no alternative accommodation for my displaced people. This thing was not planned properly and this thing was not called for. This brings me Madam Speaker, to the prioritisation of our Government in place today that priority should be given to the real and genuine bona fide needs of the people.

    To my own assessment as a Parliamentarian, the real needs of the people in my constituency urban set up and elsewhere, if I were given an opportunity to rank them in order of their priority, the real needs of the people could be as simple as paraffin because ZESA has some disruptions. For that reason, paraffin could have been a better alternative as a priority of a government other than conducting itself for an Operation like Murambatsvina.

    Second on my priority list, the real need of the people is petrol and diesel. I hear of some trillions of dollars which are now to be set aside to damage control the bad effects of Operation Murambatsvina. I would have suggested it was wiser for that money to have been used for paraffin, matches, diesel, petrol, sugar, even meal-meal. I would suggest Madam Speaker, that we are in need of the bread and butter issues to our people who have been entrusted by these people to represent them to make choice on issues that conserve the nation for them on their behalf. I would suggest that Operation Murambatsvina should be set aside for the appropriate government to handle such an Operation because this one which is in place cannot afford to give an alternative accommodation to those whose houses have been destroyed. I claim so because I have got a Mrs. Mhofu in my constituency. All along, about five years ago, she was entitled to use a market stall of which when it was cleared by Operation Murambatsvina, all of a sudden, after about three days, all of those market stalls were occupied by women of one political party. So, I would suggest this, leads me to my notion that the House of Parliament should be occupied by those Parliamentarians with the same notion, who should agree on common principle of representing the people of Zimbabwe, who supposedly have chosen them. We should be agreeing on matters of principle of really representing those people who chose us.

    Therefore, I will call upon unity of purpose on Parliamentarians be they MDC or ZANU PF. Let us agree that human life is more important than rhetoric. Human life is paramount. Human life should be given the respect it deserves. I believe not even one Parliamentarian here can disagree with me that human life is more important. I saw it with my own brother who went to war. When the war veterans were given some gratuities, my brother who died in Mozambique and my cousin were not compensated. The Government's argument was that human life cannot be measured in terms of money. Neither today can it be measured in terms of cleanliness of a city, nor pushing forward a political agenda.

    I would suggest that the Government should swallow its arrogance and consider people who lost their life because of Operation Murambatsvina. Prioritisation is very critical. I am the member of Parliament for Tafara and Mabvuku. This is where Caledonia Farm is situated. I have witnessed and patrolled the tents. I saw and I am an eye-witness of people suffering because there is no shelter, there is diseases and there is every filthiness which you might imagine. What I only heard from the Government is that they have nothing to hide, they are doing a paramount job. But to my surprise, just yesterday but one, accredited journalists were denied entry into Caledonia Farm. No one was allowed to enter in there. The Government failed to feed those people who are there. Only some Non Governmental Organisations which this government does not even want to hear about or see are doing the job for them. What they only provided for these people whom they displaced in their war against their own people is a piece of land and the ZRP personnel, nothing else.

    Those people were supposed to be there to eat air and vanish. That is a sign that there is no care for these people. I am an eye-witness. I saw these people and genuinely they are suffering.

    Be it that you support your political party, I urge you to really stand up with me and agree that a human being should not be exposed to such an inhuman suffering by his own or her own brother or sister. It is a pain. If there is nothing to hide, I would suggest and propose that there is a UN Envoy in this country, may I be availed to her and explain to her and give her the details in my constituency of what happened and who was doing it. I would suggest that every Member of Parliament within which constituency houses were demolished, may we be given an opportunity to see the UN Envoy and explain to her if there is nothing to hide. The moment she arrived here, I was surprised because there were some lorries which were now assigned to Caledonia Farm. People were hurriedly removed.

    I wondered what meaneth that if there is nothing to hide. May it be transparent, may it be open, may we stand here and be given an opportunity to avail the facts of what we saw and what we think also about it.

    I would suggest, what the government has done is travesty to the efforts which are being done by the Governor of Reserve Bank to reduce the inflation of our Zimbabwean dollar. Certainly, for that reason, I will stand to be corrected if there will be no printing of money and that is going to give a problem to us and it will affect every one of us as a nation.

    Heroes are heroes. I accept heroes. Heroes are continually born. I accept that Josiah Magamba Tongogara is my hero. That was his time. I was young but my brothers went there and I could not go because of my age. But I reckon they are heroes. The same I would suggest, with my age and where I am now and these people here. This type of action by the government, I would suggest that we should be honoured. We should be credited by the ZANU PF Government and everybody in this nation who loves peace. We are the shock absorbers of the effects of bad governance in this country. We are the shock absorbers, we are the bumper. We do not subscribe to any Savimbism of taking guns against another Zimbabwean. For that reason what we are doing is constructive existence. Therefore, I would suggest and believe that my political party, its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Gibson Sibanda should be credited for maintaining peace in this country because what is happening here is nothing short of match sticks that can start a terrible civil war. We do not subscribe to that.

    We are genuine democrats and we should be credited for that, especially on this Operation Murambatsvina. MDC should be given the credit it deserves. It is a political party which is democratic, which do not subscribe to war.

    In my own constituency, people always ask me and they are facts, of doing something against this type of inhuman action but we are saying no, we are democrats. We are introducing democracy which was born by the barrel of the gun. We do not need to repeat that act of war in this country or a civil war, We saw it by the liberation war, we saw it in Matabeleland. We know the effects and we should be credited.

    I also believe that it is important, it is paramount for any leader who purports to be in this House to honour and respect oneself. One day I was listening to the radio and I heard a Director in the Ministry of Information talking about "Silver Jubilee" - we are celebrating 25 years of independence and this celebration will take a year long That is celebrating the independence, democracy et cetera. But I would not suggest that people should choose to celebrate the independence which was fought by my mother who lost 14 goats and my brothers whose bones are still in Mozambique. You are busy celebrating independence and you are heating some other people's houses. It is not fair.

    I think you were supposed to honour at least your Silver Jubilee, whether you were celebrating or we are celebrating the 25 years of independence or we are celebrating for someone's 25 years in power, we are supposed to respect that. I think the government should have spared this operation which I believe from the bottom of my heart was supposed to be only handled effectively and expeditiously by the government led by the MDC.

    Mr. Speaker, I only would feel and think and understand that this operation in the manner of Operation Murambatsvina could only be done by the government manned by someone without or whose conscience has almost elapsed. I am saying this because the other day when I was reading my book of wisdom. I was reading in Psalms 73 verse 22 "So foolish was I, and ignorant. I was a beast before thee." This verse talks about someone without a conscience and has become a beast. This operation could only be initiated by someone who is almost a beast not a human personality like you and me, Madam Speaker.

    Madam Speaker, there is also some wisdom which I got from this book of wisdom which says when the righteous are in authority, people enjoy. When the righteous are in authority, people are happy. The same scripture, Proverbs 29, verse 2, it goes on to say "But when the wicked one are in authority, people mourn and they will not be mourning alone but wail". it goes on to say especially the poor, orphans and the widows. With the fairness of your sense Madam Speaker, how many people are mourning? So may we know how many are in authority? People are mourning Madam Speaker. On this note I say thank you, Operation Murambatsvina should be stopped.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to acknowledge the presence of Nyameni Secondary School students and their teachers in the Speaker's Gallery. You are welcome. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

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