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ED to deliver Sona today

Local News
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa will today issue the State of the Nation Address (Sona), and officially open the Fifth Session of the Ninth Parliament, which will be the last session before the 2023 polls.

Mnangagwa is expected to tackle several issues affecting the country, such as drug abuse, the scourge of teenage pregnancies, the ailing economy and issues to do with the 2023 harmonised elections.

The Sona will be delivered at the new Parliament building in Mt Hampden. A giant screen has been placed at the Africa Unity Square for members of the public to follow the proceedings.

This is in line with the country’s Constitution which states in section 140(1) that: “The President may at any time address either House of Parliament or a joint sitting of both Houses”

Another Section 140 (4) reads: “At least once a year the President must address a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the state of the nation and the Speaker and the President of the Senate must make the necessary arrangements for Parliament to receive such an address.”

Ordinary citizens said Mnangagwa must address bread and butter issues affecting the nation.

“We honestly do not want the President to talk about what he has achieved so far. We want him to dwell on the issues affecting us. I am a farmer in Mhondoro and we have not had access to agricultural inputs,” Arnold Mhungu said.

Charity Mutamba said: “Our children are no longer safe; we need the President to address the issue of rape of minors. I am a mother and it pains me to see an impregnated nine-year-old girl.”

Kelvin Simwayo, a vendor in the Graniteside industrial area in Harare said Mnangagwa should address youth unemployment and drug abuse.

“Youths are abusing drugs because there are no jobs. He should announce plans for job creation,” Simwayo said.

Last year, Mnangagwa was criticised after claiming that the country was on a growth trajectory, yet events on the ground pointed to an economic crisis.

Largely afflicting the southern African economy has been corruption that has seen vast amounts of both financial and material resources being siphoned out of the country by a few connected individuals and companies.

A number of citizens told NewsDay that Mnangagwa must address the issue of skyrocketing prices and payment of workers’ salaries using the fast weakening Zimbabwe dollar when the economy has virtually dollarised with government having decided to pay civil servants bonuses in US dollars.

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