BY TINASHE ERIC MUZAMHINDO.
It was a sign of relief for many Zimbabweans who were anticipating for change, but on this one I may give him credit though there are some areas he needs to tackle urgently if he wants to still be in touch with people at grassroots level. He was supposed to have acknowledged the presence of Tsvangirai as the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe who has served in the Government and at the same he was supposed to have talked more on corruption in the Government.
It was a good moment for Zimbabweans to come together and embrace each other despite political affiliations. ED speech was embraced by many Zimbabweans across political divide, and this standard should be maintained. ED has developed himself into a statesman despite some heavy criticism within and across political divide. But I have areas of concern which I felt he should have touched on for example the issue of human rights which were raised in the past, for example there are some opposition members who are in detention, the issue of reconciliation in Matabeleland, victims of Gukurahundi, the issue of draconic laws, and other laws which are supposed to be repealed.
He didn’t touch on issues of illegal detention of current cabinet ministers such as Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere and others, and I still insist that they should be tried before the court of Law. The issue of constitutionalism is also another key area for economic development. When the rule of Law is upheld then our country is able to attract investor’s confidence.
KEY IMPORTANT AREAS WHICH HE TOUCHED
From the economic perspective point of view, I acknowledged some of the areas that ED said in his inaugural speech today during his swearing in ceremony as the new third State President of Zimbabwe. He talked of forgiveness, which is very good but I feel he should have started about the issue of reconciliation and investigations to bring to closure of those 20 000 civilians which were murdered during the Gukurahundi era in 1983.
But that was good; we need to embrace each other as well in Zimbabwe. he also acknowledged the role Mugabe played before, during and after the liberation struggle, and by doing so he is building confidence in people who has issues with him and mistrust. I think his speech was very strategic given the node that we are 8 months away from national elections.
He also talked about the issue of land but it was very tactful, because he never talked like Mugabe who used such platforms to attack former white farmers and their British colonial masters, he shifted a bit by acknowledging that land was key for national growth. I think this was good; he must completely deviate from Mugabe’s doing of things and begin a fresh page.
I think their issue of multiple farmers must be addressed and he must quickly deal with the issue of Mugabe owning 13 farms. I think it is abnormal for one person to have 13 farms, and why would a former head of State own 13 farms when people are squatting in rural and urban areas? He must quickly address that and make sure one men one farm policy in Zimbabwe is implemented.
ED also highlighted the issue of elections. He made it clear that elections will be held within the actual timeframe meaning the transitional authority is unlikely to take shape. The transitional arrangement between ED and opposition will not take shape because we are left with 8 months to go and I still feel every party is into preparations for the elections and they may not have time to consolidate their positions in the Government and respective parties at large.
My analysis is the time is too short for ED to consolidate his power base both in the Government and the party and it may be difficult for him to recover in the game, well there are many political dynamics in politics and time is still there, people may also need time to judge him, and they also need time to make assessments and judgments, and at the same time Tsvangirai has been in the game for a long time. I foresee ED having a difficult time to make it in 2018. Whoever is advising him needs to do a lot of home work because come 2018 he may receive a shock as long as the elections are free and fair. The issue is not about holding elections but the question is we going to hold free and fair and fair elections in 2018, which is a big question.
He also talked about job creation and utilizing skills which is good. I’ve a problem with Zanu PF guys they prepare good speech but when it comes to implementation it is different, let’s hope he will deviate from Mugabe’s politics. Zimbabweans are very strong and frustrated, they have been patient and I hope and trust that ED and his in-coming cabinet should quickly move in and give a relief to economic challenges. The issue which must be addressed first is corruption, which has been a toxic issue both within private and public sector.
I was very disappointed in the sense that I never heard him talking about corruption in the civil service, ministers, and other Government related offices which is going to raise a lot of alarm and dust. He also talked about the issue of internal and external debts which have not been cleared by our administration in the past. This is an issue which needs strong attention. He also highlighted the issue of re-engagement with multi partners which is good. I was a bit sceptical about his sincerity on the issue of inclusiveness, whether he wants to accommodate other political players in re-building the nation; he never acknowledged the presence of Dr Morgan Tsvangirai’s presence on the swearing in ceremony.
Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as the Head of Southern Institute of Policy Analysis and Research – SIPAR TRUST, which is responsible for policy Analysis and Research. He is also an academic and researcher. He holds a BA, M.A from Solusi University, and he also holds a Masters of Development Studies from University of Lusaka, Zambia. He is currently enrolled at University of KwaZulu Natal University in South Africa (PHD in Development Studies). He can be contacted at