LIVE BLOG: STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

UPDATES: Nyemudzai Kakore; PICTURES: Wilson Kakurira; PICTURE EDITOR: Joseph Murisi; ONLINE EDITOR: Costa Mano

1510: That concludes our live updates. Thank you for joining us.

1507: President Mnangagwa has just left the HICC. The Speaker Advocate Mudenda has adjourned the joint sitting.

President Mnangagwa

President Mnangagwa

1504: The Speaker of the National Assembly has thanked His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa for his State of the Nation Address.

1501: The President has wished everyone a Merry Christmas and ends his State of the Nation Address.

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1500: President Mnangagwa says corruption remains a major problem the country is facing. President Mnangagwa said in this new era there should be honest, transparent and accountable. On corruption, he said there should be no sacred cows. Every case must be investigated and punished he says. He says the rule of law, democracy and peace must prevail. To this he says the 2018 harmonised elections must be credible, free and fair.

1458: He says local authorities are expected to transform themselves into engines of economic growth as well as proper town planning. He says the corrupt parcelling out of land on undesignated places must stop.

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1455: His Excellency says Government is rolling out the business incubation programme to boost the SMEs sector. He says the Tokwe Mukosi dam has created many developmental programmes ranging from agriculture and tourism. President Mnangagwa said programmes to put the dam into full utilisation are now in place.The President said on the social service sector the long delays in hospitals is unsustainable. He says under the 100-day target Government is committed to resolving this.

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1452: President Mnangagwa says the manufacturing sector is showing signs of recovery after the implementation of SI64. He says in the past few weeks the country has witnessed an increase in prices and appeals for the wanton increases in prices to stop. The President said millions of dollars for support facilities have been put in place in various sectors.

1449: He says the task remains a collective responsibility to politicians across the political divide. He says the national electricity grid will be provided with 300 megawatts before year end. President Mnangagwa commended the small-scale artisanal miners for increasing the productivity in mining. He says Government is going to handle the country’s porous of the borders.

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1445: He says Ministers should be honest and accountable to the public. President Mnangagwa says Government is determined to remove any policy inconsistency so as to attract investors. He says Government is committed to open Zimbabwe to investors.

1430: He says his Government will reduce the country’s risk perception and ensure steady economic growth for the country. President Mnangagwa says his Government has made the growing of the economy a top priority. He says in line with his pledge to prioritise policy implementation, ministries have been given a 100-day target. He says they should abide by good standards of good corporate governance.

1436: President Mnangagwa says the sons and daughters of this nation demonstrated love, endurance and their love for peace urging everyone to remain vigilant to safeguard the peace and tranquillity that is existing.

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1432: He commends the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for defending and protecting Zimbabwe and its people as well as upholding the Constitution through Operation Restore Legacy.

1431: President Mnangagwa says he feels honoured to make his maiden State of the Nation Address.

Commander Defence Forces General Philip Valerio Sibanda

Commander Defence Forces General Philip Valerio Sibanda

1430: President Mnangagwa has now started his address.

1428: President Mnangagwa has just arrived at HICC.

1425: The Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda has announced that His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa will deliver the State of the Nation Address today at 1430hrs

1420: We will be giving you live updates from the Harare International Conference  Centre (HICC) where President Mnangagwa is scheduled to deliver his inaugural State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate.

Article Source: The Herald