Midlands legislator Tionei Melody Dziva has welcomed the proposed National Code of Corporate Governance Bill, which will bolster the fight against corruption, and urged Members of Parliament to declare their assets to ensure that they do not abuse taxpayers and public funds.
In her contribution to the Presidential speech, Dziva said the scourge of corruption was very high in the country. The government’s strategy to fight corruption through the new bill was therefore commendable and should be welcomed by everyone.
“We are very happy that the government is committed in addressing these issues. One of the strategies is that the Government is going to make sure that there is a Code of Conduct that is going to be put into place. This is to make sure that public office bearers will also declare their assets and all their properties before they take oath to Government,” Dziva said.
“This is something that I also want to welcome and as well as we make sure that our Executive are also accountable in these issues as these corruption activities are happening in the high levels of our Government and our Parliament as well.
“As Members of Parliament we should also be accountable to our electorate. So, it is something that is very positive for all of us to declare our assets to Parliament so that we do not abuse taxpayers’ money and public funds.”
MS. DZIVA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me this opportunity to also add my voice on the Presidential Speech that was presented last week by His Excellency on the Official Opening of the Third Session of this Parliament.
Firstly, I would like to thank His Excellency for coming to Parliament to present this important agenda to the people of Zimbabwe through this august House. I would also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the ZANU PF party for winning in the by-elections of Epworth, Mbire and Marondera Constituencies. I also want to take this opportunity to send my condolences to the Tsogorani family for the loss of our Member of Parliament and also as a Member of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus as well.
Let me begin by joining hands with His Excellency on issues to do with the alignment of our legislation with our Constitution. I would like to appeal that it is something that needs urgency and we need to make sure that as Parliament, we make ourselves available to make sure that this Constitution is aligned as fast as possible. I want to applaud our Government for putting the Electoral Amendment Act and the National Prosecuting Authority Act into place. Now, it is operational and we are able to do our things. We have actually done our elections through the Electoral Amendment Act.
Let me talk about issues to do with education. This is an issue that touches my heart and let me applaud His Excellency for advocating for the provision of quality education in our national development agenda.
It is something that is so critical in my constituency in Gweru. We need good facilities in primary and secondary education and to make sure that the curriculum is well established as to make sure that it caters for the future of our children.
I want appeal to Government on issues to do with provision of accommodation and food services to students. In my constituency, I have Midlands State University which is a very critical tertiary institution but they face challenges in infrastructural development of accommodation for the students. This is very critical because female students become vulnerable as they are the main victims of lack of accommodation and food.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me take this opportunity to talk about the issue of corruption. I want to join His Excellency in speaking against corruption. The scourge of corruption that is in the country is very high, we all agree. We are very happy that the Government is committed in addressing these issues. One of the strategies is that the Government is going to make sure that there is a Code of Conduct that is going to be put into place. This is to make sure that public office bearers will also declare their assets and all their properties before they take oath to Government. This is something that I also want to welcome and as well as we make sure that our Executive are also accountable in these issues as these corruption activities are happening in the high levels of our Government and our Parliament as well. As Members of Parliament we should also be accountable to our electorate. So, it is something that is very positive for all of us to declare our assets to Parliament so that we do not abuse taxpayers’ money and public funds. So, we welcome the National Code of Corporate Governance Bill that will be presented in this Parliament.
I would also want to talk about the issue of the Land Commission. The Land Commission is something that is very critical and we are looking into it as it will provide fairness and equal distribution of land to all Zimbabweans. The Land Commission will also look into the auditing of the land. We would love to also applaud His Excellency the President for making this activity available before Parliament and making sure that everyone will account for the issues to do with land and to make sure that there is the policy of one man one farm for every family in Zimbabwe.
I would also want to complement him, in accordance with Section 246 of our Constitution, on the setting up of the Gender Commission. The Commission will provide for the monitoring and implementation of the gender constitutional provision that will make sure that there are affirmative action programmes that will achieve our gender equity as well as promote the representation of women in Government and all parastatals with a 50/50 representation in every organ. So, we also want to make sure that the Gender Commission does its work to make sure that there is gender balance, as well as to address issues of gender violation. As Parliament we will make sure that our issues as women are addressed because we are the most affected group in these issues. Inasmuch as we are equal to men, we lag behind and we need to make sure that women’s rights are represented.
Let me also take this opportunity to applaud the President for also prioritising young people in his speech – making sure that there will be protection of children’s rights in the Bill that will be presented before this Parliament. I would also want to take this opportuninty to applaud the Junior Parliamentarians for presenting their issues before His Excellency the President and he has considered to also make something out of it so that they can address issues that are affecting our children.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me also add my voice on the issues of War Veterans, Ex-political Prisoners, Detainees and War Collaborators Act into coming together with a Bill that will address all their issues as well as the initiative of constructing the Zimbabwe Liberation War Memorial Hospital in Harare that has been done by the Government. We also want to honour these war veterans because they are the ones that made us to be here as they sacrificed their lives, families and all they had for us in order for us to be independent. So, as Zimbabweans we continue to look upon them for the direction of our laws as a country.
I will also take this opportunity to talk about the issue that was presented by His Excellency on the National Security Council Amendment with the Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill that will also be presented before this Parliament to make sure that there is policy and strategy formulation for the military and civilian leaders that will be conducted by the National Security Council. So, it is something that we applaud because as Zimbabwe, we are one of the countries which have a strong peace background which is very much united in terms of issues of decency of our people. So, we want to applaud the continued peace that is in our country and also to give our security agents more confidence in the work that they are doing – the police, the army and all security sectors of the country. They are there for us and they protect us as civilians.
Let me also take this opportunity to assure this House Mr. Speaker Sir, that, we will make sure that this presentation that was made to this Parliament will work hand in hand with our economic Bluerint, the ZIMASSET to make sure that we achieve the results that are needed by our people. It will also address issues to do with health. Mr. Speaker Sir, health is a very critical cornerstone for our country. People need to have good health and there is also need to address the issue of noncommunicable diseases. Issues of maternity health care should also be addressed in these provisions that are coming in.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it also touches my heart when we talk about issues to do with medical aid societies that are failing to address the concerns of their customers, for example the Premier Service Medical Aid Society. Sometimes patients cannot consult doctors of their choice because they are not able to pay them on time or they are not able to pay them at all and they cannot as well access medications at pharmacies. So, we would also want to appeal that the Government does something to make sure that the members also get their required services when they need them.
The mining sector is very critical to our economy because mining remains very critical as it also provides for a lot of resources for our country. Issues of exploration should also be looked into. Our country should invest in the mining sector and I am very happy that our Pan African Leader, our visionary and principled President, His Excellency the President and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, Cde. R. G. Mugabe is also coming up with the establishment of the Pan African Mineral University of Science and Technology.
MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Wadyajena, take your seat please. You can continue.
MS. DZIVA: It is something that is very interesting given the fact that the President is the Chairman of the African Union and he is also bringing in into the House a provision of Pan African thinking of the Minerals University of Science and Technology. It will also offer opportunities for our young people to get training and also to make sure that they also provide some training in value addition and beneficiation which will also bring jobs to our people. So, it is something that is very critical and let us join our President and also applaud him for such a very positive initiative.
Lastly, I will talk about the issue of investment. As a country we are waiting and looking forward for strong local and foreign direct investment inflows into the country. It is something that is very critical right now and I am very happy that the President in his speech presented that they are going to open strategies and also put legislation that will encourage the environment for investment as well as again issues of corruption. They are also very dangerous and criminating issues to do with investment and investors may lack confidence if there is a lot of corruption. So, it is something that will also be addressed to ensure that investment in the country is high and there is creation of job opportunities. On the same issue of corruption, I also want to appeal to Government to look into the matter of setting up the Anti-Corruption Commission, which will enable us to work hand in hand with the new Constitution and will give the Anti-Corruption Commission authority to address issues.
Let me conclude by saying that I am very grateful to Government for their common law position that was addressed by the amendment of Labour Act in this Parliament. We do look forward to more amendments of the Labour Act but I would like to continue to applaud the good work that was done. Although we were not really prepared, we are looking at making this session of Parliament very efficient and effective so as to enable us to debate our Bills timeously, as well as address all issues that need attention in our legislation.
May I also say that Parliament business is very critical and we need to continue united across all political parties, especially on issues that address the needs of our people such as service provision, food, health, education and technology. People are looking upon this Parliament to do the oversight role and protect their Constitutional rights.
May I end by wishing you Mr. Speaker Sir, to continue with the good work that you have exhibited in the last session and continue to make sure that this House is united towards the national agenda to develop and achieve our ZIM ASSET. I want to thank you.