Story by Oleen Ndori, Foreign Desk Editor
As the 2022 curtain comes down, we look back to some of the stories that made headlines on the local, regional and international scene in the past 12 months.
The year 2022 was marked by massive infrastructural development across the country, signalling the successful implementation of the National Development Strategy One.
It saw the completion of key infrastructure development projects, including New Parliament Building, National Pharmaceutical Warehouse, the Mapfura plant and several shopping malls across the country.
The expansion of the Robert Mugabe International Airport, Beitbridge Border Modernisation Project, Hwange Unit 7 and 8 Expansion Projects, along with the Gwayi-Shangani Lake and the Mbudzi Interchange continued to gather momentum throughout the year, with major strides being achieved.
2022 also saw the start of issuance of e-passports in early January after its launch in December 2021.
Other key milestones achieved in 2022 include growth in the mining sector towards a US$12 billion industry by 2023, growth in the agricultural sector under the Agricultural Recovery Plan along with significant progress in the engagement and re-engagement agenda that saw a delegation from the Commonwealth visiting the country in November on an assessment tour.
The agenda also saw Zimbabwe taking part in major regional and international platforms such as the SADC Summit in the DRC, African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, United Nations General Assembly, EU-Africa Summit in Brussels, COP 27 in Egypt and the US-Africa summit in Washington.
The international scene was without its own ups and downs, with a political crisis hitting Britain this year as the country saw three different prime ministers. Boris Johnson’s Conservative administration, already dogged by the “partygate” scandal over the government hosting events in breach of Covid-19 restrictions, collapsed in July after a government mutiny triggered by then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s resignation. Liz Truss won the race to become Britain’s next PM, but resigned after less than 7 weeks in the post. She was in turn replaced by Rishi Sunak – the country’s first-ever leader from a Hindu background – who promised “stability and unity” at a time of economic crisis.
On February 24, Russia began its Special Military Operation in Ukraine after that country opted to join NATO, which is an alliance of mostly West European nations and the United States of America.
The 20th Chinese Communist Party congress endorsed Xi Jinping’s position in the country’s leadership, sealing a third term after a twice-a-decade party congress in Beijing.
Killings continued to rock the USA; the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in 2022 saw nineteen young children and two teachers killed when a teenage gunman went on a rampage at Robb Elementary School on May 24 in America’s worst school shooting in a decade.
Racial slurring and gun violence rocked the US midterms in 2022. In the election and the run-off vote in Georgia, the Democrats secured a 51-49 majority in the Senate and will retain their hold on the chamber.
On the sporting front, while Zimbabwe remembers the win by Kuda Chiwandire at the World Boxing Council gold title, the 82 medals won by the Zimbabwe team in the African Union Sporting Council Region 5 games and the Netball World Cup, also not forgetting the ZIFA drama and the continued suspension by the world governing body FIFA; the world remembers the Beijing Winter Olympics held in a strict Covid-19 bubble and the magnificent World Cup in Qatar that was full of celebration and brought together fans from around the world.
Reigning champions France had to settle for second, while Argentina came out triumphant, with Captain Lionel Messi lifting the one trophy that had eluded him.
As 2022 winds down and 2023 draws closer hope is for a year of progress, development and peace across the globe.