The former Mwenezi East Member Of Parliament Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said President Robert Mugabe was the only person who was still thinking about people. He therefore needed fresh disciples to this cause.
In his contribution to the debate on the President’s Speech, two days before he was expelled from Parliament, Bhasikiti said white capitalists had been replaced by black capitalists some of whom, unfortunately, were in the leadership and are supposed to be taking care of the poor majority.
“They have abandoned the poor. They have abandoned the people, the only person who remains thinking about the people is His Excellency; the President put people first. He needs fresh disciples to this cause,” Bhasikiti said.
“Our people continue to suffer because they look forward to leadership for proper delivery of service, little do they know that the leaders have become too corrupt to think of the generality of the people,” he said.
Bhasikiti was expelled from Parliament last Thursday together with Marondera Central legislator Ray Kaukonde and Mbire MP, David Butau.
The three were expelled from the party last month together with Dzikamai Mavhaire, Claudius Makova, Olivia Muchena and Kudakwashe Gope.
Bhasikiti’s full contribution:
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would also want to make my maiden speech during this Eighth Parliament and also wish to highlight that my constituency, Mwenezi East is quite a unique constituency in its own ways. This is a constituency which was able to absorb quite a number of people in the Land Reform Programme. As a result, I have a single ward in Mwenezi East Constituency called Ward 13.
During the past harmonised elections of 2013, that ward had 8600 voters who voted for the Member of Parliament. As if that was not enough, it is that same ward where we added another 20 000 people from Tokwe-Murkosi. With the number, which was 18 000 during the 2013 harmonised elections, you may realise that it is now twice as big in terms of the concentration of people.
Mr. Speaker, the main challenge in my constituency is upgrading the educational facilities of my people. Over 60 primary schools are operating under make-shift structures, the pole and dagga materials and small thatched round huts. People are learning under such environment in over sixty schools in that area. We therefore appeal, through you Mr. Speaker Sir, that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education moves fast to build good formal classrooms for the proper discharge of learning in my constituency. The same goes to the farmers who were resettled there, they continue to meet challenges in terms of getting good drinking water for themselves and their livestock.
This is therefore an area where I appeal to relevant ministries, especially of Environment, Water and Climate and of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, to come to the assistance of people through the provision of water. We have a big dam which was swept away by Cyclone Eline in 2000, but up to now, that dam has not been reconstructed. Therefore, we appeal that funds be put in place to assist on the reconstruction of that dam.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I draw from the speech presented by His Excellency, when he said “our people should not be reduced to mere appendages of economic processes of their country.” What I see today Mr. Speaker, in my constituency, is that, people are at some point being reduced to mere appendages of the economic processes. Recently, we relocated 20 000 people to my constituency and we thank His Excellency for coming up with a vibrant plan to restore dignity to those families. The plan which he put in place through the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing who was chairing that Committee, with the assistance of the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement was to see the provision of piped water to those people and to see agricultural irrigation infrastructure constructed for these people to benefit.
Of late, we were alarmed to hear that the programme was to be abandoned and people were to be relocated to give way to one investor who is the same owner of the Bio-Energy in Chipinge by the name Billy Rautenbach. I said this…
DR. SHUMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
DR. SHUMBA: I do appreciate that my hon. colleague is a smart man and is trying to sneak issues that have been presented in this House through a motion that was withdrawn and is doing so under the guise of debating his maiden speech. Mr. Speaker, he may proceed; the hon. member may proceed to debate issues that are unrelated to the specific subject of interrogating…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. members.
DR. SHUMBA: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must not seek to introduce his motion through the back door. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Bhasikiti, I am afraid I was not listening. I was busy reading something here. If it is true that you were trying to bring something that was withdrawn from the Order Paper, please refrain from doing that. May you continue with your debate please?
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. It is not correct. The withdrawal was done voluntarily by the same member who is speaking. So, I cannot sneak in issues which I withdrew, but I am presenting my maiden speech.
DR. SHUMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. –[HON. MEMBERS: inaudible interjections]-
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Mr. Speaker, I therefore …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please! Hon. Bhasikiti, just stick to respond to the Presidential Speech and avoid what I have already…
MR. GONESE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have not finished. How can you raise a point of order before I finish my ruling?
MR. GONESE: I said I have a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, I will give you a chance to make your point of order.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Please, Hon. Bhasikiti stick to what I have ruled. You may resume your debate.
MR. GONESE: On a point of order.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
MR. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir. I think in terms of the rules of this august House, and in line with parliamentary practice and procedures everywhere, and where a member is debating especially when it relates to the President’s Speech which is similar to what happens in the House of Commons, when they are debating the Queen’s Speech –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Yes, I am talking of parliamentary practice and procedures.
When members are debating and contributing to a debate, they can critique the speech that would have been given by the Head of State. In the process of the debate, Members of Parliament can also bring other relevant and pertinent issues which relate to the nation. One is not confined simply to speak to the issues which would have been raised in the speech. Even if one has a look at Erskine May on Parliamentary Practices and Procedures, it is very clear. If fact, when we went for our induction, when we came to this Parliament, the Hon. Minister Chinamasa…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. member.
MR. GONESE: I have not finished, if you could allow me Hon. Speaker to conclude. I am going to conclude shortly. I am saying that the Hon. Minister Chinamasa was on record to say that under the Presidential Speech, you can say almost anything under the sun, which means that you are at large. You are able to expand and talk about matters which are relevant to the nation. I believe that in terms of that practice and procedure, Hon. Speaker Sir, it is within the rights of hon. members when they are contributing, as long as they are speaking to issues which are relevant to the nation, they are entitled to do so Mr. Speaker. If the President does not mention your constituency, that is where you are able to talk about what happens in your constituency.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order please. Hon. Gonese, you are one of the Chief Whips in this august House please. You may resume your debate Hon. Bhasikiti.
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. His Excellency, the President, in his speech to this august House said on page 9, he lamented that “However, it is depressing that some of our people have turned themselves into mere fronts for foreign investors, thus defeating the fundamental objectives of indigenisation and economic empowerment”. What the President was alluding to was that we have now reached a dangerous stage where some amongst us, have turned themselves to be mere fronts for foreign investors. I have no doubt that the previous member who is uncomfortable by the presentation I am making is party to being a front. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
MR. SHUMBA: On a point of order.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please! Take your seat hon. member. Hon. Members, do not force me to ask some of you to leave the House. Let us have order in the House. Hon. Bhasikiti, do not make allegations of information that is not substantiated. So, just stick to information that you know is correct. May you proceed with your debate?
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What I am merely restating which the President stated in this House, was that we should be true representatives of our people. He even implores us …
DR. SHUMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker! Hon. Bhasikiti made allegations and insinuations against my person and those falsehoods ought to be withdrawn and not form part of the record. Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE TEMPORAY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Sibanda, you are not in a beer hall. Order Hon. Bhasikiti, may you withdraw those allegations against the hon. member and then continue?
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Mr. Speaker, I did not place any allegations against anybody. I read the President’s speech and if it is correct that the President was alleging….
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Bhasikiti, may you withdraw.
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: I only read the President’s speech and it is written.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: But you made allegations against an hon. member who is here. In your speech, you referred to the hon. member as one of those.
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Mr. Speaker, if there was any misunderstanding in my reading of the President’s speech, I regret it but I have not knowingly accused anybody and I never mentioned any person. I know Hon. Shumba by name and if I had anything against him, I would have said Hon. Shumba. So, I cannot be thought to be insinuating someone whose name I have…
MR. MANDIPAKA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker! Mr. Speaker Sir, I am sorry to say what I intend to say. The hon. member’s debate is quite unproductive and I beg the indulgence of your Chair to guide him accordingly because what he is saying is quite unproductive. He is making insinuations and he is misinterpreting the President’s speech. So, may we be guided accordingly? Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Resume your debate hon. member.
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. His Excellency the President mentioned in his speech to us on page 15, that indeed as Members of Parliament, we bear on our shoulders the interest and hopes of our people. We should therefore discharge our esteemed mandate in a manner that does not erode their stock of trust. What is clear is that the President puts people first – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
If we have people who are uncomfortable with the concerns and suffering of our people, then we have problems with our own members but as for me, I have no problem with putting the priorities of our people first. His Excellency also urged the nation to consider the provision of low housing for the generality of our people and this is fundamental at this stage. Even in my constituency, we look forward to seeing people being provided with decent housing accommodation, especially at the growth points. At this stage of development of our nation, people should not envy coming to stay in Harare but we should be growing cities in our local areas. Our growth points should focus on developing more low cost housing for our people.
What we may deplore is this business of trying to swindle the innocent people through this unorthodox and illegal housing schemes. It is unfortunate that this disease is now creeping into our young people and I would want to applaud our police force for recently apprehending such culprits and removing them from the public, Gomwe being one in particular. These are enemies of development because they will continue to cause the suffering of our people.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. member, it is just a reminder that you are left with five minutes.
MR. BHASIKITI-TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The same goes with the culture of corruption which is developing fast into a norm from every sector and no one is innocent in this crime of corruption. Our people continue to suffer because they look forward to leadership for proper delivery of service, little do they know that the leaders have become too corrupt to think of the generality of the people –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – In the yesteryear Mr. Speaker, we used to have problems with what we called bourgeois capitalists but alas, we have replaced the white capitalists with black capitalists, unfortunately who are in leadership and are supposed to be taking care of the poor majority. They have abandoned the poor. They have abandoned the people, the only person who remains thinking about the people is His Excellency; the President put people first – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – He needs fresh disciples to this cause –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Mr. Speaker, I would end by saying to you that when our people celebrated the independence and freedom of their country, they thought they were going to remain free and independent but currently, they are living in oppression –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – They are living in fear, deep fear has engulfed our nation and everyone is afraid that he or she can be killed – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is unfortunate ….
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order, your time is over.
MR. NYANHONGO: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. My point of order is that, we are hon. members here. We need to defend the President’s Speech properly. As it was, Hon. Bhasikiti is distorting the good speech which was made by the President. We do not appreciate that, we do not like that, please can he stop distorting the President’s Speech.
MR. MANDIPAKA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I think Hon. Bhasikiti, with all due respect has abused Parliamentary democracy of this august House – [AN HON. MEMBER: Who are you?] – My point of order arises from the fact that Hon. Bhasikiti has alleged in this august House that everyone in this country is corrupt and that is not a correct statement [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
MR. GONESE: On a point of order, mine is a motion. I had stood up and I was just waiting for those points of order to be disposed of. I was just going to raise a motion that the hon. member’s time be extended.
MR. CHAMISA: I second.
MR. MUKWANGWARIWA: I object.
MR. NYANHONGO: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.