Zimbabwe opposition lawmakers walk out of president’s speech

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s opposition lawmakers have walked out of Parliament as President Emmerson Mnangagwa presents his state of the nation address, a sign of the political tensions still gripping the country.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change party says it does not recognize Mnangagwa, accusing him of rigging last year’s elections.

Mnangagwa is making the speech as Zimbabwe reels from its worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

Hope greeted Mnangagwa’s rise to power when the late Robert Mugabe was forced out of office in 2017, but now Zimbabweans are enduring shortages of everything including medicines, bread, petrol, cash and even water.

The economic collapse has led to weariness and disgust that often flare into street protests and government crackdowns in what was once one of Africa’s most prosperous countries.