President Emmerson Mnangagwa is today expected to deliver his annual State of the Nation Address (Sona) to hard-hit Zimbabweans who have been struggling to eke out a living in the face of a difficult 2020, made even worse by the indiscriminately ravaging Covid19 pandemic, Zwnews reports.

Although the landlocked southern African country of an estimated 15 million people is faced with an economic dilemma compounded by successive droughts and the Covid19 pandemic which has taken its toll on the earnings of most locals, not much is expected from Mnangagwa who has literally resorted to blaming western sanctions for problems facing Zimbabwe- much in the same manner as the late Robert Mugabe, his longtime understudy who he replaced following a military coup three years ago.

Atypical of the preceding Sonas by Mnangagwa, who succeeded late dictator Robert Mugabe in a dramatic November 2017 coup, this year’s Sona will be delivered virtually from State House instead of the House of Assembly as per tradition. In today’s rare virtual Sona and opening of the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament, the Zimbabwe leader will address a joint sitting involving members from both the Lower and Upper Houses.

The MPs and the senators will follow the livestreaming of Mnangagwa’s speech on the state-owned Zimpapers Television Netwok (ZTN) and ZBC.

Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda yesterday told the media in Harare that the address will be virtually delivered in light of the country’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Ironically, Mnangagwa’s Harare administration okayed the opening of schools for the Third Term regardless of the concerns raised by the countyr’s teachers, who have also declared incapacitation.

“All is now set for the official opening by His Excellency President Mnangagwa, who will also deliver the State of the Nation Address. The President will give us direction in terms of Government’s legislative agenda,” Chokuda told the state media.

Chokuda also revealed that entrance to Parliament Building will be restricted as part of measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Chokuda, Mnangagwa will be at State House by noon, where he will inspect a guard of honour and then proceed to address the nation.