Tendai Mugabe, Harare Bureau
IT is all systems go for the official opening of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament and State of the Nation Address by President Mnangagwa tomorrow, Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda has said.
The SONA will be the first by President Mnangagwa in his capacity as the Head of State and Government following his election into Office on July 30.
Both the official opening and the SONA will be done during a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate at Parliament Building in Harare.
In an interview yesterday, Adv Mudenda said all was set for the two events.
“All systems are in place and we are looking forward to the event and it should move according to the schedule,” he said.
“The stakeholders particularly the judiciary have been invited and several other organisations from the civic society as well as representatives of constitutional commissions. We hope the honourable Members of Parliament will treat the occasion with the dignity it deserves.”
In his address, the President is expected to outline policy direction and the legislative agenda of the first session, which speaks to his vision of radical economic transformation.
President Mnangagwa’s policy objective is to enhance the country’s attractiveness to investors and streamline investment laws to reduce red tape.
Zanu-PF has a commanding two thirds majority in Parliament which helps it to enact laws that dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 that seeks to transform Zimbabwe into a middle income economy in the next twelve years. Zimbabwe has been lagging behind in terms of development compared to other countries in the region.
President Mnangagwa is on record saying in the Second Republic politics will take the back seat while economic development takes centre stage.
To ensure smooth flow of proceedings during the official opening of the Ninth Parliament, some access roads have been closed.
The closed roads are the stretch of Nelson Mandela Avenue between Sam Nujoma Street and Simon Muzenda Street, the corners of Third Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, George Silundika Avenue and Third Street, St Mary’s Lane and Nelson Mandela Avenue.
Judges, diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, service chiefs and captains of industry are also expected to attend the event.
As per tradition during the official opening ceremony, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Mnangagwa, will inspect a guard of honour mounted by members of the Zimbabwe National Army before he delivers his address to outline the legislative agenda.
A fly past by the Air Force of Zimbabwe is also expected to coincide with the playing of the National Anthem.
Following the President’s address, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing will host the traditional luncheon for legislators.