Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter
Parliamentarians from across the political divide yesterday commended President Mnangagwa for addressing issues affecting the country when he presented the State of the Nation Address and opened the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament.
The President delivered his address from State House while legislators followed it virtually from Parliament and other locations, as has become the new normal with the need for health precautions to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is the leader of Government business in the National Assembly, said the President addressed pertinent issues affecting the country.
“He encouraged Zimbabweans to buy local products to save foreign currency and spoke about the various infrastructure developments that have been done across the country including rehabilitation of roads, dam construction among others,” he said.
“The President was emphatic in encouraging Zimbabweans to contribute towards nation-building.”
Mudzi South legislator Cde Jonathan Samkange said he had drawn a lot of positives from the President’s speech, especially on the role of youth in agriculture.
“The President outlines the role of the youth in agriculture, and as custodians of the land which we fought for I am very happy about that,” he said.
“I am also happy that he said the issue of the black market would be addressed to improve the welfare of the people.”
Mashonaland East proportional representative Cde Tatenda Mavetera echoed similar sentiments on the role of youths in agriculture.
“I was also happy that he addressed the issue of drug abuse among youths and I am happy that he said he has set up an inter-ministerial committee to deal with it,” she said.
Cde Mavetera said Bills to address children’s rights were also a positive development as children were often ignored when laws were being crafted.
MDC representative and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Dr Thokozani Khupe said the President’s address on issues relating to women empowerment were welcome, especially the need to revamp the Women’s Bank.
She said the bank was operating like any ordinary financial institution, which made it inaccessible to ordinary and rural women who were its intended beneficiaries and hence the need to work out access priorities.
MDC-Alliance Senator Morgan Komichi welcomed the President’s address, especially the legislative agenda, although he said Government should do more to address the high cost of living being experienced by ordinary people.
“I would urge Government to relook at the livelihoods of the people and as far as I am concerned Government should do more in that area,” he said.
Sen Komichi said the Independent Complaints Commission Bill providing mechanisms for the public to seek redress against violations by members of the security sector was welcome, especially in light of calls for security sector reforms.
He said the coming of the Bill on devolution was a positive development as it was long overdue.