Mugabe praises ‘peace-loving’ Zimbabweans

President Robert Mugabe has praised Zimbabweans for remaining peaceful in the face of the ongoing economic hardships.

His comments, made during a delayed annual State of the Nation address at parliament, made no reference to recent protests – the most violent in years – about the deteriorating economy.

The 92-year-old leader, who has been in power for 36 years, has faced calls to step down over his handling of the economy.

In a 30-minute speech, he paid tribute to the “peace-loving people who have endured all manner of economic hardships since we embarked on the historic land reform programme”.

In 2000, Zimbabwe began to expropriate land from mainly white farmers to give to the black majority.

The often violent takeovers led to economic sanctions, which Mr Mugabe has often blamed for the worsening economy.

He commended Zimbabweans for their “resilience” and urged them to “cherish the peace and tranquility that continues to be the envy of many”.

He did not mention the controversial new bond notes, released last week, nor the disgruntlement among public service workers over late salary payments that led to stayaways earlier in the year.

He said that Zimbabwe had imported 300,000 tonnes of grain to feed millions who face hunger as a result of the worst drought in decades.


Source: BBC