By Pride Mkono
TUESDAY December 6, 2016, President Robert Mugabe presented the state of the nation address (SONA) in parliament as part of the constitutional dictates of his duties as President.
As expected, he said nothing reflective of the prevailing state of the country. Even by his own low standards, President Mugabe totally failed to even scratch the surface on the real challenges facing ordinary Zimbabweans, let alone tackle the commissions and omissions of his own government.
Firstly, the President downplayed the now evident economic collapse which is there for all to see. By his own government’s self-admission through its statistical department, Zimstat (2016), 98% of youths (between 15-24 years) are employed in the informal sector, 83% of Zimbabweans are living on less than US$1.25 per day and 45% of the people are living in extreme poverty. This is hardly a sign of economic prosperity!
In the 2016 budget, government had projected a low economic growth rate of 2.7% which was then revised in the midterm fiscal statement to a paltry 1.4%. The government cited the devastating drought and weak international prices for minerals as the reasons for the downward review.
Even at 1.4% such projection is still