Back to Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
Operation Murambatsvina - Countrywide evictions of urban poor - Index of articles
Parliament debate on Operation Murambatsvina
(Cont'd) - Page 1
from Hansard Vol. 32, No. 8
Parliament of Zimbabwe
June 30, 2005
list of 2005 Zimbabwe Parliamentarians
Jump to contributions
- MR. ZWIZWAI
- MR. MUBAWU
- MR. MATIMBA
continued from June 28, 2005
read: Adjourned debate on the motion on State action in respect
of Operation Murambatsvina.
Question again proposed.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
MR. SPEAKER: You are
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.
MUBAWU: Mr. Speaker, I am so happy that you also know my
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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.]
Visit the Parliament
of Zimbabwe fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.