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‘ED SONA was self serving ego trip that missed an opportunity to lead’ – Biti

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti has dismissed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) describing it as “a self serving ego trip that missed an opportunity to lead”.

Addressing the nation yesterday during the official opening of the Fifth Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa hailed his government for instituting robust measures meant to stabilise the struggling economy.

“The period since my last address to this Parliament has seen unprecedented socio-economic growth as well as the accelerated implementation of the National Development Strategy 1,” Mnangagwa said.

“Tight monetary and fiscal policy measures to stabilise the economy and curtail speculative borrowing and other rent-seeking behaviour, are bearing fruit.

“Gold coins valued at ZW$9,5 billion were sold as of September 30, 2022. Smaller denominations of the gold coins have been unveiled by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to broaden access and inclusivity.

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“Month-on-month inflation for September significantly declined to 3.5 percent from 12.4 percent in August, 2022. Every Zimbabwean must jealously guard this stability.”

But Biti slammed the whole statement by Mnangagwa saying it did not address the real challenges facing the country.

“The center of gravity of the Zim crises is a crisis of leadership, a disarticulated national vision, disunity, intolerance, polarization, exclusion, state capture and absence of social contract. The nation state is no nation,” the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Vice President said.

“Any State of Nation address must deal with Nation building national cohesion and national consensus. Calibrating a national fabric, a national identity beyond exhausted narratives is the national imperator.

“Yesterday’s SONA did not and could not address these issues. It was largely a self serving ego trip that missed an opportunity to lead,” Biti added.