Zimbabwe's Mugabe booed in Parliament

  • 26/08/2015
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe delivers his state of the nation address to the country's Parliament in Harare (Reuters)
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe delivers his state of the nation address to the country's Parliament in Harare (Reuters)

Zimbabwe's veteran President Robert Mugabe has been booed and heckled by opposition MPs over the deteriorating economy as he gave his state of the nation address to Parliament.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MPs on Tuesday (local time) questioned his economic policies, jeering as the 91-year-old delivered a policy speech which lasted less than half an hour.

When Mugabe - who has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980 - outlined his government's plan to improve the economy, one MP yelled at him to admit that "you can't do much about it".

Mugabe presented a 10-point plan which included boosting agricultural growth, encouraging private sector investment and fighting graft.

"What about job creation?" one opposition member shouted while another accused Mugabe's government of "corruption".

Another Parliamentarian shouted "if wishes were horses" while his other opposition legislator screamed "you have utterly failed".

The economy of the southern African nation has been on a downward spiral for more than a decade with slow growth, low liquidity and high unemployment.

The government has cut its growth forecasts for 2015 to 1.5 percent, from 3.2 percent, mainly due to slow growth in the agricultural sector.

Many companies have closed, downsized or relocated to neighbouring countries.

Amidst the heckling Mugabe, who is known for not brooking dissent, continued unfazed and read his speech through to the end.

His ZANU-PF MPs then burst into a song praising their leader while the opposition countered singing "ZANU-PF is rotten".

It is not the first time Mugabe has been barracked.

On August 26 in 2008, opposition MDC deputies roundly booed the president during a speech to Parliament, to show they did not recognise his legitimacy following a flawed presidential vote held earlier that year.

AFP