As we ushered in a new era on the evening of 14th of November in 2017, a new dawn, post- strongman politics of the Mugabe regime brought hope to Zimbabweans worldwide. From the onset, Mnangagwa rebranded himself as a democrat, a reformist and managed to do so through an effective PR campaign. Following the toppling of RGM, we saw him become a globetrotter from Davos to China, in an effort to gain trust in the international community.
Unfortunately, the Mnangagwa government’s rhetoric of “Zimbabwe is open for business” has fallen on deaf ears. Sanctions by the US government ZIDERA (Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act) were reinstated on the country after president Trump signed the bill in August 2018. The wheels fell off the bus on the post 2018 harmonised elections in which the army took to the streets to rein in on protesters resulting in six dead.
Mnangagwa’s largely cosmetic domestic and foreign policy of the scarf, appears to be in turmoil and will need to take decisive steps in restoring confidence in his government.
The incumbent president Mnangagwa has, at present failed in realizing the hopes of the Zimbabwean citizens. Many called for Christmas festivities of 2018 to be postponed given the struggles the country faces. Inflation of the bond notes which was recorded at 20.85% in October last year, according to Zimstats, has left the poor vulnerable to the price fluctuations. Prices have soared, and fuel queues have returned similar to that of 2008, as the local distributors fail to procure foreign currency.
Will the President get his house in order? Within his executive, there has been a lack of cohesion and unity, as we have seen quarreling between the Minister of Media, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa alleging her deputy Energy Mutodi’s abuse of authority for hiring CIO operatives as personal drivers costing the taxpayer $500 daily. The Vice-president, General Chiwenga rallied against the junior doctors, striking over wages and set out to call them mere ‘interns’ by casually dismissing their genuine claims. If this government is to steer Zimbabwe in the right direction the president must arrest the disarray within his cabinet and build unity through a shared agenda.
It is imperative that we become and remain critical of the government, as citizens ought to do in a robust democracy. In the midst of the havoc, it is encouraging to see the reshuffling of the old guard with a leaner and more diverse cabinet. For the first time in a while, the country has achieved a budget surplus of 29 million in October which is largely due to the austerity measure implemented by finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.
The potential to succumb to the current difficulties remains. However, 2019 will need the president to act decisively in unifying the country under his reformist agenda. He must do so urgently by reaching across the aisle considering his marginal victory.
Approved by Zimlegends