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Zimbabwe: President calls for peace ahead of general elections

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivers his State of the Nation Address at the new Parliament building in Mt Hampden, on Nov, 23, 2022.   -  
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On Wednesday (Nov 23), Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa officially opened the Fifth Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe.

He delivered his State of the Nation address in a newly built Parliament. The multimillion-dollar building was gifted by the Asian economic giant China.

Mnangagwa called for peace as the country prepares for general elections.

"Political players seeking the people’s mandate during the upcoming 2023 harmonized general elections must maintain and consolidate the current peace, unity, harmony, and love that we have built."

In late October, Zimbabwe's ruling party, ZANU-PF, endorsed the president as the sole party candidate ahead of next year's polls. 

80-year-old, Emmerson Mnangagwa, came to power in 2017 after toppling long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in a coup backed by the army.

Speaking before lawmakers, Mnangagwa also reiterated calls for an end to economic sanctions.

"The need for the unconditional removal of sanctions which have constrained socio-economic growth for decades remains urgent and imperative," he pleaded.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights issued a report in October recommending: the "lifting unilateral sanctions in line with the principles of international law". 

As well as "avoiding de-risking policies and over compliance in accordance with the due diligence rule; and engaging in meaningful structured discussions on political reform, the rule of law and human rights."

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