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Roundup Bulletin No. 04 - 8th Parliament - 2013
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
October 11, 2013
Only the Senate
was sitting this week as the National Assembly was on a week-long
break until 15 October 2014. Senators continued with the debate
on the motion in reply to the President’s speech
and also debated a motion advocating the need to align existing
laws to the new Constitution.
on the Presidential speech
Senator Judith Mawire
(Zanu-PF Manicaland) applauded the President for giving greater
attention to agriculture in his speech. She reiterated the need
to fully fund the sector and also deal with the provision of irrigation
facilities in order to fight the erratic rainfall patterns. This
point was shared by other Senators who contributed on the debate.
Furthermore, Senator Mawire urged government to expedite the implementation
of the indigenization policy and to prioritize the revival of closed
industries in the country and in particular the Mutare Board and
Paper Mills in Manicaland Province. Senator Nyamayabo Mashavakure,
one of the Senators representing the disabled people in Parliament,
underscored the need to engage disabled people in all government
policies and programmes such as the Indigenization and Empowerment
Programme. He also took a swipe at organizations that purport to
represent interests of disabled people when in actual fact they
were just lining their own pockets. Senator Mashavakure also commended
the new Constitution for recognizing the peculiar needs and interests
of disabled people.
Senator Alma Mkhwebu
(Zanu-PF Matabeleland South Province) spoke strongly against corruption
and urged government to introduce stiff and deterrent measures to
deal with this social scourge. Senator Mkhwebu and Senator Mawire
urged government to abolish the policy on spot fines charged by
the Police for traffic offenses. They said this policy was a fertile
ground for corruption. They advocated that fines for traffic offences
should be paid at police stations within a specified time frame.
They argued that this would reduce cases of bribery at police roadblocks.
Chief Dandawa (Mashonaland
West Province) appealed to government to include Senators and Chiefs
in its disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
He said Senators were mature and trustworthy to use the funds for
the benefit of their communities unlike some of their counterparts
in the National Assembly who abused the Fund during the 7th Parliament.
Senators were excluded from the CDF Programme in the previous Parliament.
of existing laws to the new Constitution
Senator Misheck Marava
(MDC-T Masvingo Province) and Senator James Makore (MDC-T Harare
Metropolitan Province) introduced a motion in the Senate on Tuesday
urging the Executive to expedite the alignment of existing laws
to the new Constitution.
The Deputy Minister of
Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Fortune Chasi, assured
the Senate that his ministry was working flat out to re-align all
existing laws to the Constitution. He said this was a cumbersome
process given the technical nature of legal drafting. He also informed
the Senate that the Legal Drafting Department was understaffed.
Nonetheless, he said his ministry was treating this matter as an
extremely urgent one and amendment Bills for all the laws that needed
to be re-aligned to the new Constitution would be brought before
Parliament in due course. Following Deputy Minister Chasi’s
undertaking, Senator Marava deferred further debate on his motion
to 20th November 2013.
and Answer session
on the Roads
Senator Misheck Marava (MDC-T Masvingo Province) asked the Leader
of the House, Hon. Mnangagwa, in the absence of the relevant Minister,
to clarify to the House if government had relaxed the policy regarding
public transport to allow small vehicles, e.g. Ipsums and Noahs
to pirate on highways between major cities. Senator Marava attributed
the increase on road carnage to these small vehicles pirating on
the major roads. The Leader of the House said government was extremely
concerned with accidents on the highways and was doing everything
possible to reduce these accidents. He said government was in the
process of expanding major highways given the increase in the volume
of traffic in this country. He said this programme has been largely
hampered by “sanctions”.
of Chiefs in the judiciary system
Senator Chief Chitsunge (Mashonaland Central Province) asked the
Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs if the new Constitution
recognizes chiefs as part of the judiciary so as to safeguard the
integrity of their courts considering that in previous years people
undermined the courts. Minister Mnangagwa said no changes had been
made and chiefs have always been part of the dispensation of the
Justice system in the country and they would continue to do so.
He further informed the House that his ministry was reviewing the
extent of the jurisdiction of chiefs with a view to expanding their
responsibilities in some areas of their competence.
of modern courts for Chiefs
Hon. Musaka (Mashonaland West Province) also asked the Minister
of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs if the ministry could
consider providing infrastructure at chiefs courts so that individuals
on trial can feel comfortable and feel fairness and justice was
being delivered. Hon Mnangangwa said that it was a good idea but
it was problematic to implement especially in Mashonaland where
chieftaincy did not reside in one household but rotated among brothers.
However, he said his ministry would consult the Chief’s Council
and come up with a way forward.
of Chiefs on the interpretation of the law
Senator Damien Mumvuri (Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central) asked a question
to the Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on whether
the ministry could introduce induction courses for chiefs so that
they had common understanding of the laws of the country and interpreted
the law uniformly, as previous judgements by some Chiefs displayed
ignorance of the law and some were ultra-vires the Constitution.
The Minister said a workshop to sensitize chiefs changes brought
in by the new Constitution was in the offing.
of passport offices
Senator Siansali (Matabeleland North Province) asked the Deputy
Minister of Home affairs if the ministry had any plans of decentralising
passport offices to provinces if not districts so that people can
be afforded those documents without hassles. The Deputy Minister,
Hon. Ziyambi said his ministry was planning to station its offices
at major hospitals for birth certificates. Regarding passport, he
said the major hindrance was the paper used to print passports.
He said the paper was imported and because of “sanctions”
it has not been possible to decentralize passport offices to districts
without adequate resources like the printing paper.
Joshua Nkomo statue
Senator Alma Mkhwebu (Zanu-PF Matabeleland South Province) asked
the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs to brief the House on progress
regarding the construction of late Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s
statue in Bulawayo. In response, Hon. Ziyambi said it was work in
progress. The sculptors were finishing up the statue.
to protect sexually abused children
Senator Chimbudzi (Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central Province) asked the
Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, to explain
to the House measures that government has put in place to protect
sexually abused children. The Minister said Government of Zimbabwe,
as a signatory to various national, regional and international declarations
on the rights and protection of children, has implemented various
social protection policies, legislative instruments and programmes
to ensure the fulfillment of all children and women’s rights.
These initiatives resulted in the establishment of the Victims Friendly
System in 1997 through the amendment of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act that aimed at supporting survivors
of sexual violence and abuse to pursue their right to access specialized
health, justice, welfare and other services without hindrance or
The Senate adjourned
to Tuesday 15 October 2013.
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