Africa

Zimbabwe's Mugabe, 92, appeals for calm amid economic crisis

  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is seen upon arrival for his annual State of the Nation address at Parliament in Harare, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has appealed for calm, as his government battles to contain a debilitating economic crisis. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is seen upon arrival for his annual State of the Nation address at Parliament in Harare, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has appealed for calm, as his government battles to contain a debilitating economic crisis. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, centre, arrives for his annual State of the Nation address at Parliament in Harare, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has appealed for calm, as his government battles to contain a debilitating economic crisis. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, centre, arrives for his annual State of the Nation address at Parliament in Harare, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has appealed for calm, as his government battles to contain a debilitating economic crisis. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)  (The Associated Press)

  • A worker ensures the red carpet is placed correctly before Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives for his annual State of the Nation address at Parliament in Harare, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Mugabe has appealed for calm, as his government battles to contain a debilitating economic crisis. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

    A worker ensures the red carpet is placed correctly before Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives for his annual State of the Nation address at Parliament in Harare, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Mugabe has appealed for calm, as his government battles to contain a debilitating economic crisis. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)  (The Associated Press)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has appealed for calm as his government battles to contain a debilitating economic crisis.

The 92-year-old president appeared frail but jovial, struggling with his lines a bit as he delivered a 30-minute State of the Nation address on Tuesday.

He praised the country's security forces for maintaining order, although critics accuse them of using violence to stifle dissent.

This once prosperous but now economically struggling southern African country is battling cash shortages, high unemployment and company closures.

A new local currency, introduced last week, has failed to end cash shortages, with many people still sleeping outside banks to access their money. The cash crunch has meant that Mugabe's government has failed to pay its workers on time since June.