All eyes on under-pressure Mnangagwa ahead of Sona

Mnangagwa in Parliament
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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is tomorrow expected to address several challenges facing the country when he delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona).

This comes amid a crisis that has seen civil servants declaring incapacitation.

His address will coincide with the opening of the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament and sets the government’s legislative agenda for the coming session.

The Apex Council, an umbrella body for all civil servants bodies, said the President must “give us a signal” of where the country is going by prioritising the starving government workers.

“The State of the Nation is very much excluding government workers,” Apex Council spokesperson David Dzatsunga said.

“We have expectations that we hope the President will address.

“We wait to see how the government reacts to a crisis in education where the government is failing to pay the teachers. In fact, the generality of civil servants are not happy and he has to give us a signal of where we are going.”

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said Mnangagwa must show leadership in addressing the plight of the teachers.

“We expect the President to open dialogue with teachers so that he is fully apprised about the situation in schools,” Zhou said.

“We also expect the President to urge the Finance minister (Mthuli Ncube) to allocate more resources to the education sector for the welfare of teachers and prioritisation of pupils and teachers’ health and safety.”

He said the President must also address the issue of peace and stability which is key in the development of any sector.

“We expect the President to address how as a nation we can rekit our industries, enhance productivity and export so that the state can boost its coffers. The President must also address the issue of peace and stability in the country that are prerequisites for sustainable development.”

Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike said they expect Mnangagwa to fulfil promises he has been making.

“We hope that President Mnangagwa will fulfil the promises that he made in his election manifesto to the people of Zimbabwe,” Rusike said.

Johannes Marisa, president of the Medical and Dental Medical Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe said: “The President should address the longstanding concerns and grievances of health workers by coming out with concrete solutions for the conditions of services for the health workers.”

“Provision of PPE (personal protective equipment) for the frontline health workers needs to be addressed for the safety of the health workforce and their clients,” he said.

MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo said there was little to expect from Mnangagwa’s Sona.

“We are not expecting anything but the usual rhetoric,” he said.

MDC-T acting spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni said the President must show the same energy exhibited in combating COVID-19 in addressing the economy and service delivery issues.

Source – Newsday