In order for Zimbabwe to benefit from its wealth, it needs to have more than just rhetoric around the issues around corruption. The President urged all stakeholders to scale up programmes to end the menace and scourge of drugs and substance abuse, yet we have the laws and the security sector in Zimbabwe which are supposed to deal with those who sell and import drugs, not merely persons who are caught with them or peddling them on a small scale. This does not seem to be happening and one wonders if that is not also a facet of the deep-seated corruption.
The President also spoke of new network culture in State operated enterprises. Bulawayo would benefit hugely from the revival of the NRZ. Unfortunately yet again, there seems to be a lack of political will in order to see the revival of State operated enterprises such as the NRZ. The President spoke of the responsive social protection measures catering for the most vulnerable yet pensioners are left starving and without grants where they do not have a pension.
Orphanages and old age homes are still left without per capita grants to help them sustain themselves. When orphans turn 18 years in Zimbabwe, there is no help for them and there is nowhere for them to go.
Last year the Government failed to pay its obligations under BEAM so that this year most of those students on BEAM have been rejected because the schools have not been paid. The President said that the First Session must speedily consider legislation towards the alignment of devolution and decentralisation programmes. This has been spoken about in the last Parliament and this Parliament, why it is now incumbent and so urgent for the Fifth Session makes one wonder why we have waited thus far and long to honour that particular part of our Constitution.
It is my humble submission Hon. Speaker, that although my colleagues who have spoken before me from the other side of this House have praised the speech and have praised what they see as progress, I believe that we are sadly lacking still in terms of economy and development. I do not believe that what was in the SONA offers Zimbabweans or Zimbabwe the solution.
If we look at Bulawayo yet again and we look at the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, although the dam is 70% complete, the pipeline which will take the most desperately needed water to Bulawayo plus the pump stations, is yet to even be commenced so that on the one hand we say that is development yet on the other hand, the lack is still there. So I personally feel, and on behalf of my constituency, that we are still lacking deeply in Zimbabwe. Thank you.