HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for allowing me to also debate on the motion of the speech by the President. Hon. Speaker, generally and in normal countries – the date of the Official Opening of Parliament when the President comes to address the nation on the agenda of the next year, it is a serious event in the calendar of any nation. It is an event that is supposed to take grip of the whole nation so that the whole nation can then pay attention to what the President wants to say. It is one of the very few events except these days; there are a lot of interface rallies where we hear all manner of insults and despicable language not suitable for consumption …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. For your own information, we are debating on the speech which was presented by the President and not the activities of the President.
HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I think before you stop me …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have heard what you have been saying concerning the interface…
HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Maybe you are not following the direction that I am taking Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you please proceed?
HON. P.D. SIBANDA: I am simply trying to portray and give you the picture of how important the day of Official Opening of Parliament is.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is alright, you can proceed.
HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Generally, on that particular day, it is the day when citizens expect the Head of State who is the Chief Executive Officer of the country to speak to their concerns or issues that are affecting them daily in terms of their lives. The citizens expected and continue to expect the President, when he gets an opportunity to come and address Parliament to speak about some of these following issues; firstly, cash shortages – it is very clear that the environment outside the banks where Zimbabweans are kept in queues in order to try and get money each and every day is embarrassing and undignifying to the people of Zimbabwe. Therefore, the expectation is that when the President comes to speak to the nation, he should speak to those kinds of issues that are affecting the people on a daily basis. However, when I went through the speech by the President, it appears that this issue does not appear at all. The humiliation and violation of the right of Zimbabweans to have dignity, and to be respectable people, which is being violated each and every day was ignored in the speech of the President.
The citizens expected the President to speak to issues of rising prices of goods that are eroding the cost of living and increasing the cost of living for Zimbabweans. Hon. Speaker, it is clear that prices are rising almost each and every week in this country. The expectation of Zimbabweans is that the President should be able to speak to those issues and say how his Government intends to deal with those issues. Speaking about abstract things like the laws that he wants to enact does not auger well with Zimbabweans. Zimbabweans do not eat laws but eat bread and basic food stuffs that should be affordable. Those are the things people outside are expecting.
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