Mugabe praises resilient Zimbabweans, skirts bond notes

President Robert Mugabe leaves after delivering his State Of the Nation address at Parliament in HarareBy MacDonald Dzirutwe HARARE (Reuters) – President Robert Mugabe praised Zimbabweans on Tuesday for resilience in the face of economic hardship, in a speech that avoided the recent introduction of "bond notes", a new currency that has raised fears of uncontrolled money-printing. "Let me conclude by paying tribute to our peace-loving people who have endured all manner of economic hardships since we embarked on the historic land-reform programme," Mugabe said to grumbles from opposition benches and shouts of "bond notes". Critics accuse Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, of wrecking one of Africa's most promising economies through policies such as the violent seizure of white-owned commercial farms and disastrous printing of money.

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