President Emmerson Mnangagwa Wednesday officially opened the Fifth Session of the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe at the new parliament building, built by a Chinese company in Mt. Hampden near Harare at a cost of over US$200 million.
Mnangagwa, who also presented his State of the Nation Address, urged political parties to desist from engaging in political violence, adding that Zimbabweans are expected to vote freely.
“Political players, seeking the people’s mandate during the upcoming 2023 Harmonised Elections, must maintain and consolidate the peace, unity, harmony and love that we have built under the Second Republic. Violent confrontations have never been part of our culture.”
He claimed that his government has done a lot since his last state of the nation address.
“The period since my last address to this Parliament has seen unprecedented socio-economic growth as well as the accelerated implementation of the National Development Strategy 1. Tight monetary and fiscal policy measures to stabilise the economy, and curtail speculative borrowing and other rent-seeking behaviour, are bearing fruit.
“Gold coins valued at ZW$9.5 billion were sold as at 30th September, 2022. Smaller denominations of the gold coins have been unveiled by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to broaden access and inclusivity. Month-on-month inflation for September significantly declined to 3.5% from 12.4% in August, 2022. Every Zimbabwean must jealously guard this stability.
Meanwhile, foreign currency earnings amounted to US$7.7 billion for the 8 months up to 31st August, 2022. This reflects a 32.4% increase from the US$5.8 billion recorded over the corresponding period in 2021.”
Reacting to Mnangagwa’s address, Citizens Coalition for Change interim vice president, Tendai Biti, castigated Mnangagwa’s for failing to address serious issues bedeviling Zimbabwe.
“There is a culture of intolerance. There is no common vision. There is toxicity. There is extraction. So, the State of the Nation needed to address the issues of the social contract, the social fabric of the country. Secondly, in a country where 80 cents out of every dollar is being siphoned off by corruption there was need and an obligation for the State of the Nation to address the imperator of corruption. So, you can’t address the State of the Nation without addressing the nation itself. We need a vision of unity, a vision of integrity, a vision of rebuilding the social fabric.”
Mnangagwa also said the government “is decisively dealing with illegal mining and smuggling of precious minerals. All players in the sector are once again urged to operate legally and in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
Mnangagwa further noted that Zimbabwe recently launched its first satellite, ZimSat-1 into space.
“This will have far reaching impacts on all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, mining, as well as weather and land management systems.”
He further said the country’s quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage remains on course. “Renovations and the construction of health centres, clinics and district hospitals are being speeded up. The new Pathology and Diagnostic Centre at Midlands State University, with state-of-the-art equipment has increased community access to related services.”