THE events of November 2017 in Zimbabwe did not usher in any new dispensation. Precisely, the military takeover just replaced lethargic Robert Mugabe with his long time apprentice, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has shown that he has less to offer to the people of Zimbabwe but to continue the legacy of his former master, which is characterized by kleptocracy, corruption, electoral theft, national disunity, economic collapse and other political and social ills, taking over.
By Tapfuma Mushayi.
Mnangagwa is not the change Zimbabweans want, he is not the messiah and he cannot rescue the nation from the rot of 38 years of Zanu PF misrule. Reasons abound why Zimbabweans should never sacrifice their golden votes by voting for Mnangagwa in the July 2018 elections.
It is the conviction of many that Mnangagwa represents everything from the past. It is actually futile to dichotomise him from the past. He has been Mugabe’s most trusted foot soldier for the horrific 38 years of Zanu PF rule. Mnangagwa has been the architect and runner of most decisions which have left Zimbabweans either dead, injured, morally injured or divided. The man will always be remembered for the Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s when he was Minister of State Security.
The man even now refuses to apologise for the killing of people in Midlands and Matabeleland in the 1980s. Mnangagwa was also responsible for the heinous violence leading to the rerun of the June 2008 national elections. In simple terms, national healing in Zimbabwe will never be realised with a man like Mnangagwa at the helm.
Zimbabwe needs a new leader who is honest to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a measure to foster national healing and national unity, both of which are critical if the nation is to go on a developmental path. To assume that Mnangagwa will foster national healing would be like expecting a mosquito to cure malaria.
The ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra Mnangagwa is preaching characterises what Zimbabweans are tired of; empty rhetoric. People now want leaders who can imminently deliver. Mnangagwa was in Davos for the World Economic Forum in January 2018 where he told the world that his administration expect an annual growth rate of six percent for the financial year 2018-2019.
His team should have read the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report of 2017-2018 which stated that business can never be successful in an environment where there is policy instability, inadequate foreign currency regulations, inefficient government bureaucracy, zero access to finance, poor infrastructure, restrictive labour regulations and an environment hostile to foreign investment. This administration should understand the support systems needed for business to work.
It can easily be noted that ever since Mnangagwa took over, the economy continues to face serious structural challenges. The informal sector continues to grow, there is a weak domestic demand, an increasing public debt, dwindling investor confidence, an escalating liquidity crisis and a lot of other distortions in the economy.
The World Bank has stated that the growth trend for Zimbabwe in 2018 is now at two percent below average in Sub-Saharan Africa. The International Monetary Fund views the economy of Zimbabwe as still the most fragile in the world.
It is against this backdrop that many socioeconomic analysts are convinced that Mnangagwa is not the one to bring sound change in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe needs a new leader who can usher in a new line of thinking in achieving our economic, social and political goals
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