President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday pleaded the people of Zimbabwe for time and patience to repair the country’s rapidly deteriorating economy as his government faces blame for surging inflation, reported News 24.
In a state of the nation address in the Parliament of Zimbabwe on Tuesday, Mnangagwa acknowledged the economic crisis as well as the need for immediate reforms.
“I’m aware of the pain being experienced by the poor and the marginalised,” the president said. “Getting the economy working again from being dead will require time, patience, unity of purpose and perseverance.”
Zimbabwe’s economic condition has been deteriorating since last two decades. In fact, in the last 12 months the country has witnessed the worst decline in 10 years, characterised by shortages of basic goods such as fuel and electricity. Although these goods are available, they are often unaffordable for most of the people.
The government has stopped the publication of official annual inflation data since August 2019. The inflation rate had hit more than 175 percent in June, the highest level since hyperinflation under Mugabe wiped out the economy in 2009. There is shortage of everything including medicines, bread, petrol, cash and even water.
Mnangagwa reiterated his commitment to put into action recommendations provided by election-observer missions to Zimbabwe’s 2018 election, and commission of inquiry led by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) chose not to attend the president’s state of nation address in parliament as they accuse him of lacking commitment to political reforms and using his predecessor’s heavy-handed tactics to restrain dissent.
He called for dialogue with opposition political parties and an end to the “culture of fear and violence” at a time that his government is accused of being more repressive than Mugabe.
The MDC, headed by Nelson Chamisa, has refused to take part in a dialogue forum convened by Mnangagwa, insisting on talks led by a neutral mediator.