THE secretary-general of the Supreme Court created MDC-T, Douglas Mwonzora, expressed disappointment over President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered at State House on Thursday.
Mwonzora said Mnangagwa’s address was silent on critical issues such as electoral reforms which include, but not limited to the amendment of the Electoral Act and granting the right to vote to Zimbabweans living in the diaspora. Mwonzora posted on Twitter:
“The address by [President Mnangagwa] does not mention any plans to initiate electoral reforms in Zimbabwe nor does it mention plans to amend the Electoral Act. We need electoral reforms that will among other things guarantee the crucial diaspora vote.”
Mnangagwa gave a State of the Nation Address and the opening the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament at State House in Harare yesterday.
This year the opening speech and the State of the Nation Address was done virtually in line with measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Only a minority of legislators were present in the chamber of the National Assembly and the rest followed the proceedings on television or online platforms.
Meanwhile, MDC Alliance MPs led by their vice-president Tendai Biti Thursday boycotted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) at Parliament.
The MPs have, since 2018, been boycotting Mnangagwa’s addresses to Parliament claiming they did not recognise his legitimacy as Zimbabwe’s president.
On Thursday, Mnangagwa made a virtual live address from State House to MPs who were seated in Parliament.
However, the remaining MDC Alliance MPs who included Biti of Harare East, Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala, Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya, Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese, Harare North MP Rusty Markham, Magwegwe MP Anele Ndebele, and Nkulumane MP Kucaca Phulu were not present.
MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatshwayo confirmed party MPs boycotted Mnangagwa’s address.
“It’s not a boycott but an action we have taken because we have to be heard. No one voted for Mnangagwa, the courts imposed him for a reason. The reason is to control the resources of this country. But for him, he does not have a solution to the issues of social decay, issues of civil servants’ welfare,” he said.
Over 30 MDC Alliance MPs have been recalled from Parliament by the MDC-T interim president, Thokozani Khupe on charges they were no longer party members after they chose to remain loyal to MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa.
However, Khupe, who recently bounced back via backdoor as MP, and a majority of MPs from MDC-T were present in Parliament during Mnangagwa’s address.
Speaking after Mnangagwa’s address, the MDC-T chairperson and Midlands senator Morgen Komichi said there was a need for all political parties to urgently sit down and iron out their differences.
“The economy of this country is under siege and as leaders, we need to sit down. We need people to sit down and agree to what are the causes of these problems as the people are suffering,” Komichi told NewZimbabwe.