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President Mugabe's speech at the opening of the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare
July 13, 2010

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Madame President of the Senate,

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Honourable Members of Parliament, I welcome you all to this Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe. Consonant with our people's wishes and with help from our Sadc friends, we formed the Inclusive Government in February last year. More than a year on, our unity and determination as a nation has seen us come this far, even if still severely challenged by the persistent actions of our detractors.

Madame President, Mr Speaker Sir, Article VI of the Global Political Agreement underscores the right and duty of Zimbabweans as a sovereign people to make a constitution for themselves through a people-driven process. We are now at the critical stage where outreach teams are traversing our country, collecting the people's views for inclusion in the new Constitution. It is, indeed, important that the Outreach Programme ensures that we emerge with a Constitution, which is genuinely Zimbabwean in letter and spirit.

Pursuant to the terms of the Global Political Agreement, I am pleased to note that significant progress has now been made in establishing the four Independent Commissions provided for in our constitution. In fact, the Commissions are now fully functional. As part of this undertaking, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill, the Electoral Amendment Bill and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Amendment Bill, will be brought for the House's consideration during this Session. The Referendums Amendment Act shall also be amended to render it consistent with the other constitutional and electoral changes.

Madame President, Mr Speaker, Sir, Through the implementation of the Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme (STERP), Government has succeeded in bringing about a modicum of stability to the economy after a decade of decline caused by the illegal and hateful sanctions imposed by Britain and its allies. Notable strides in improving economic performance include the revival of capacity utilisation in our industries; containment of incessant price increases for goods and services; improvement in service delivery in health and education; rehabilitation of basic infrastructure such as roads, water and sanitation facilities, as well as the normalisation of relations with key international financial institutions.

With regard to capacity utilisation, industries whose work rate had declined to below 10 percent rose to around 45 percent, taking advantage of the new investment opportunities and the prevailing stable macro-economic environment. As a result, the economy grew by 5,7 percent last year, benefiting from a 14,9 percent growth in agriculture, 8,5 percent growth in mining, 10,2 percent in manufacturing, and 6,5 percent in tourism.

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