Pumula Member of Parliament Godfrey Malaba Ncube says he hopes the proposed bill, that will combine the War Veterans Act and the Ex-Political Prisoners Detainees and Restrictees Act into one act that will also incorporate War Collaborators, will accommodate thousands of former ZIPRA cadres who were inadvertently excluded from the 1997 vetting exercise.
Ncube said he also hoped the new act would address anomalies in the current act, but did not elaborate.
“Thousands of ZIPRA cadres who were in Botswana and Zambia camps were inadvertently excluded during the 1997 vetting exercise, and it is my hope Hon. Madam Speaker, that the Bill under consideration will encompass everybody who participated in the liberation struggle,” he said.
Ncube, one of few Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front legislators to be elected in Bulawayo largely because the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change which held the seats boycotted the polls, said his election had debunked the myth that urban constituencies especially in Bulawayo were no go areas for ZANU-PF.
“I am poignantly aware of the historic significance of this moment both at personal and political level. I would like, therefore, to register my indebtedness and gratitude to my revolutionary party ZANU-PF for giving me the honour to hoist its colours during the by-elections that I recently won resoundingly, thus debunking the myth that urban constituencies in general and Bulawayo in particular, are no go areas for ZANU-PF,” he said.
“This victory was not the outcome of individual brilliance, but a culmination of multifaceted collective efforts within our beloved party ZANU-PF, led by the visionary, His Excellency President R. G. Mugabe.”
HON. G. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. It is with great sense of humility that I rise today to present my maiden speech as the ZANU PF representative for Pumula Constituency in the National Assembly.
Madam Speaker, I am poignantly aware of the historic significance of this moment both at personal and political level. I would like, therefore, to register my indebtedness and gratitude to my revolutionary party ZANU PF for giving me the honour to hoist its colours during the by-elections that I recently won resoundingly, thus debunking – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – the myth that urban constituencies in general and Bulawayo in particular, are no go areas for ZANU PF. This victory was not the outcome of individual brilliance, but a culmination of multifaceted collective efforts within our beloved party ZANU PF, led by the visionary, His Excellency President R. G. Mugabe.
Madam Speaker, it is in this regard that I salute His Excellency the President, Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for his eloquent articulation…- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Can we have order please?
HON. G. M. NCUBE:…of our legislative agenda as encapsulated in our nation building trajectory during the opening of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament. His incisive rendition drawing from the ZIM ASSET Economic Blueprint as recently buttressed by the Ten Point Economic Plan explicitly underlined the sustainability of our Government’s pro-poor development thrust. He signposted the road to national economic recovery by pinpointing those key areas that require expedient attention – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. I am appealing to Hon. Members that those at the back of the House need to hear what the Hon. Member is debating. I thought you would lower your whispers, but you are calling across the table. Please, behave yourselves.
HON. G. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. The raft of measures outlined by His Excellency the President will yield tangible results if all Zimbabweans realise that nobody owes us a living. Indeed, it is an open secret that in our political expediency, some of our compatriots in the recent past, actively agitated for the imposition of economic sanctions – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – That have played havoc with our national economy and the pauperised majority of our citizens. It is the vulnerable within our society that have witnessed untold suffering and further marginalisation. It is my sincere hope that these countervailing forces within our body politic have removed the cobwebs from their eyes to be able to prioritise and promote the national interest instead of pursuing narrow parochial partisan considerations.
Madam Speaker, Pumula Constituency consists of urban and peri-urban areas – [HON. MUTSEYAMI: Vanozviziva] – The urban part of the constituency comprises of Pumula Old, Pumula North, Pumula East and the sprawling suburb of Pumula South. It is in Pumula South where the new suburb called Emthunzini is located and up to date, it has not been provided with running water and electricity. I call upon the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate and the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to expeditiously look at these issues burdening Emthunzini in order to ameliorate the living conditions of the people of this new suburb. Pumula Old is one of the oldest suburbs of Bulawayo whose population has a large number of aged people. I appeal to Government to introduce an inclusive old people’s assistance fund as the current support programme seems discriminatory and inadequate. Hon. Madam Speaker, there are also a number of orphans and child headed families due to the HIV scourge who are crying out for urgent assistance through Government together with Non-Governmental Sector…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Members from Masvingo, you cannot hold a meeting here. Can the Hon. Member please proceed?
HON. G. M. NCUBE: Hon. Madam Speaker, in Pumula North, East and South, people are facing perennial water cuts and hence I am appealing to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate to assist by sinking more boreholes so as to alleviate the water crises bedeviling these communities. I applaud Government for declaring Bulawayo as a Special Economic Zone. It is hoped therefore that this progressive move will help in creating employment in the City of Kings and Queens.
The peri-urban part of Pumula Constituency was established more than 50 years ago. I thank the authorities there for their continued recognition of the peri-urban communities as the areas now have school facilities through Government support. However, Hon. Madam Speaker, I would like to appeal to Government to further assist these communities by making sure that those in need of electricity access it through the intervention of the Rural Electrification Programme. The water infrastructure of these peri-urban areas is now dilapidated as traces of rusts can be seen in the water that they drink. This requires urgent attention through the relevant authorities so as to prevent an imminent outbreak of waterborne diseases.
Hon. Madam Speaker, it is encouraging to note that the provision of quality education still remains a key priority to the President as enunciated in the country’s National Development Agenda. I applaud Government for the work that it is undertaking in the context of the Education Amendment Bill that intends to align the Education Act of 2006 with the Constitution. It is hoped that the review of the entire primary and secondary school curriculum will render the country’s education system appropriate for current and future development needs in our country.
Hon. Madam Speaker, the introduction of the Local Authorities Bill will help to consolidate the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act. Hopefully, this will also establish a tribunal to deal with disciplinary issues pertaining to councillors, mayors and chairpersons of councils. It is my considered view, that some councils of late have been plagued by managerial incompetence and corrupt tendencies.
Hon. Madam Speaker, it is pleasing to note that the President is staunchly seized with issues of gender related constitutional provisions, effective health care provisions, eradication of corruption in our society,ICT based applications and other Government programmes that seek to improve the lives of our people in general.
The introduction of the Bill to combine the War Veterans Act and the Ex Political Prisoners Detainees and Restrictees into one Act, now to also incorporate the War Collaborators, will go a long way to address the anomalies hitherto that existed in the current Act. Thousands of ZIPRA cadres who were in Botswana and Zambia camps were inadvertently excluded during the 1997 vetting exercise, and it is my hope Hon. Madam Speaker, that the Bill under consideration will encompass everybody who participated in the liberation struggle.
In conclusion, Madam Speaker, may I take this opportunity to pay tribute to Dr. Sikhanyiso Ndlovu whose untimely death has robbed us of a political mentor, a father and a leader. I remember when we came to Parliament, he hand-handled us and made sure we were properly chaperoned and ushered into the august House. Even though we were a bundle of nerves and apprehensive, Dr. Ndlovu made sure that we took up our responsibilities in the House with due decorum. I salute the party, ZANU PF and the Government for recognising his outstanding national contribution by according him a well deserved National Hero status. We will surely miss him. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace! I thank you.