LIVE BLOG: State of the Nation Address (SONA) and Official Opening of the 1st Session of the 10th Parliament of Zimbabwe
All is now set for the State of the Nation Address by President Mnangagwa at New Parliament building in Mt Hampden, Harare, which is to be done simultaneously with the official opening of the First Session of the Tenth Parliament.
The Head of State and Government will deliver his address to Members of Parliament comprising new legislators and those who were retained after the August 23 and 24 harmonised elections.
10:00 – Ministers and MPs start arriving.
10:38 – Judges led by Justice Luke Malaba arrive at the New Parliament Building.
11:00 – Guard of Honour mounted by the Presidential Guard is ready for inspection by the Head of State and Government, President Mnangagwa.
11:22 – Service Chiefs arrive.
11:30 Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi have arrived.
11:45 – President Mnangagwa and First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa have arrived at the New Parliament Building.
11:50 – Singing of the National Anthem and fly-past.
11:53 – President Mnangagwa is now inspecting the Guard of Honour that has been mounted by the Presidential Guard to mark the official opening of the First Session of the Tenth Parliament.
11-57 – President Mnangagwa concludes the inspection and enters the National Assembly. He is greeted by wild cheers from excited legislators who are shouting the slogan, “ED Pfeee”.
11:59 – Singing of the National Anthem now.
12:02 – Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda invites President Mnangagwa to deliver his State of the Nation Address.
12:05 – The President says the opening of the 10th Parliament comes at a time when the country has just concluded holding free, fair and credible elections. He congratulates the legislators for their election victory.
“It is my singular honour to address this August House as we open the First Session of the Tenth Parliament of Zimbabwe. The Session comes shortly after we successfully conducted our credible, free, fair and peaceful Harmonised General Elections, in accordance with our democratic traditions and practices.
12:06 – He challenges the legislators to accelerate the completion of the matters outstanding from the legislative agenda of the Ninth Parliament, “Much work lies ahead.”
12:07 – The President says the economy has been on an upward trajectory, recording positive growth rates across sectors, notwithstanding the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by our detractors.
“The robust measures put in place by the Government to enhance and guarantee agricultural productivity, including irrigation development and climate-proofing, saw us realise national food security. Zimbabwe is now wheat self-sufficient,” he says.
12:09 – President Mnangagwa says the Second Republic will increase resources disbursed towards the Devolution and Decentralisation Programme, “Priority is being given to projects which improve access and quality of education, health, roads, water and sanitation.”
12:10 – He says power supply has significantly improved following the commissioning of Hwange Power Station Units 7 and 8, while arrangements have been made to guarantee stable supply from existing power stations.
“Deliberate investments are ongoing for increased power generation capacity, including removing entry barriers for Independent Power Producers,” says the President.
12:12 – The President says to enhance connectivity, the Government will continue to upgrade the road network across the country through domestic resources.
12:15 – “My Government continues to accelerate the implementation of the Heritage Based Education 5.0 Model, aimed at producing goods and services for our country’s socio-economic needs. This Science, Technology and Innovation thrust has scaled up science-based education from the primary level up to institutions of higher education. More of our young talented boys and girls are registering patents and running viable start-ups.”
12:17 – He says the fiscal consolidation measures and reforms have ensured positive fiscal outcomes that are critical for budget sustainability and lasting macro-economic stability, “Complementary fiscal and monetary policies have positively impacted the attainment of the prevailing stable macro-economic environment.”
12:30 – President Mnangagwa ends his address.