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Mnangagwa took Sona for political grandstanding

12 Oct 2021 at 05:59hrs | Views
CRISIS in Zimbabwe Coalition has noted with huge concern the failure by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to face the reality of the situation prevailing in Zimbabwe during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered on October 7, 2021.

It is unfortunate that instead of appreciating the fact that corruption and the plunder of national resources by political elites are responsible for the economic turmoil in Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa took the Sona as an opportunity for political grandstanding.

Mnangagwa in his address said his government was buoyed by an upward growth trajectory of the economy yet events on the ground prove that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe, which has been worsened by corruption has relegated the majority of ordinary Zimbabweans to abject poverty at a time unemployment continues to rise.

We are concerned that Mnangagwa deliberately chose to ignore the fact that prices of basic commodities continue to soar while salaries for workers continue to be eroded by inflation.

In September 2021, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe announced that a low-income urban family of six requires about $41 235,93 to sustain their monetary needs per month. The money amounts to around US$490 per month.

The effect of this announcement is that civil servants, most of whom are earning below US$300 have been relegated to abject poverty. What is more worrying is the fact that the government has responded with brutality to genuine calls by trade unionists advocating for a living wage.

We urge Mnangagwa to ensure the government walks the talk in addressing the plight of workers and tackling corruption.

The nation continues to witness a catch and release scenario whereby bigwigs arrested on corruption charges will eventually walk scot-free, while pronouncements on improving the welfare of civil servants have not yielded positive results.

On another note, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is concerned over the determination by government to muzzle operations of civil society organisations and further shrink the democratic space.

During his address, Mnangagwa highlighted that Parliament will speed up amendments to the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act as part of efforts to regulate operations of non-governmental organisations.

Amendments to the PVO Act will give the government power to monitor registration and activities of Private Voluntary Organisations as well as to punish the organisations for "non-compliance".

We reiterate that amendments to the PVO Act are part of efforts to entrench authoritarian rule and weaponise the law and this has far-reaching implications on democracy in Zimbabwe, especially as we head towards the 2023 elections.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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