Mugabe faces backlash for painting rosy picture at independence celebrations

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe faces a backlash after delivering a keynote address to mark the southern African nation’s 37th independence anniversary, without highlighting the country's persistent challenges. 

The independently owned NewsDay bemoaned the long-time leader's ignorance of the the southern African country's socio-economic challenges.

According to the online version of the daily newspaper, Mugabe chose to completely ignore important issues that the country was facing.

The paper alleged that the nonagenarian was completely out of touch with the reality on the ground regarding "rising unemployment, cash shortages, government’s failure to timeously pay civil servants’ salaries and the general economic decay".

It said that, instead, the long-time ruler had claimed growth in a number of sectors in the country, including the agricultural sector that is expected to grow by 12% due to a good farming season.

He also predicted that the country’s mining sector would contribute more than 50% of the exports this year.

"The mining sector remains crucial to the Zimbabwean economy, with the sector contributing more than 5% of exports and 16% to the country’s 2016 gross domestic product.

"There is a lot of work which is going on in that sector, not least the reorganisation whose completion we impatiently await. Going forward, much is expected from this important sector," Mugabe was quoted as saying.

This come as reports have indicated that the southern African nation was facing a torrid time as cash shortages continued to escalate, despite the introduction of a surrogate currency popularly known as the bond notes last year.  

Despite its introduction more than three months ago, the country was still facing cash shortages, according to reports

In a bid to enhance the country's hugely informal economy, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa was planning on tabling the movable property security interests’ bill in parliament for debate. 

According to Fin24, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would compile and administer a collateral-security register in which small business operators and individuals could register their movable assets as security for credit.


Meanwhile, another News24 report indicated that the new law was also likely to be extended to education institutions, as they were told to accept livestock as school fees payment. 

According to the report, Education Minister Lazarus Dokora and a ministry official said that schools must be "flexible" when demanding outstanding fees from parents.

The education ministry's permanent secretary, Sylvia Utete-Masango, was quoted as saying that schools should be flexible and accept outstanding school fees payment in the form of livestock.

Meanwhile, opposition political parties raised their objections over the country’s economic decay in its 37th year of independence.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai said, in a message to mark Independence Day: "Every Zimbabwean must ask themselves whether we really deserve this suffering in a country for which so many paid the ultimate sacrifice."

Some social media users said that the country was being held to ransom by group of elite politician who have completely destroyed the once prosperous southern African country.

But, some were encouraging fellow Zimbabweans to ignore the country’s challenges, but rather celebrate the country’s beautiful landscapes. 

Social media reaction 

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