HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsComment: Well said, VP Mnangagwa, but stick to your words

Comment: Well said, VP Mnangagwa, but stick to your words


In this interconnected and realtime world, no country can go it alone and hope to succeed. The over-emphasis on State sovereignty is out of time.

That outdated view of power is suicidal. We need each other, not the ultra-nationalistic propaganda which has benefited the politically well connected and left the rest of the nation in limbo.

There is need for a new mindset that is in tune with the rapidly changing world.

Harping back to the liberation struggle 35 years after the event is not healthy and progressive. There is need to break out of that mould. It’s not suggesting that the liberation struggle should be trivialised and completely forgotten.

The role of the gallant fighters — living and dead — will always be cherished, but this should be done in an appropriate manner, not be an end in itself.

The country needs to move on. We need tough love on each other. Tough love is when, if necessary, we advise each other harshly or sternly — but always respectfully — with the intent to help each other in the long run.

The last thing we need are people who will aggravate the situation. Amelioration should be the guiding spirit. That is not being idealistic, but pragmatic.

One thing for sure: Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa is emerging to be a consummate diplomat. In the situation Zimbabwe finds itself in today, Chinamasa is what the doctor ordered.

There are fundamental differences between his party, Zanu PF, and the European Union, but he is not shouting about this from the mountaintop.

He does not poison the atmosphere. He does not further inflame. The EU has reciprocated, otherwise if it hadn’t, it would have been exposed as recalcitrant.

The goodwill arising from this is unquantifiable. The benefits, even though at the trickling stage because of legacy issues like policy inconsistency, corruption and human rights abuses on the part of Zimbabwe, and a degree of patronisation from the EU, are beginning to flow. This will be of mutual benefit.

Considering where this government is coming from, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s speech on Thursday is significant and bold.

He said Zimbabwe could not afford to continue to work in isolation and expressed willingness to thaw the frosty relations with the West. The VP made the remarks in Mutare during the commissioning of a $9,10 million African Development Bank-funded water reservoir in the presence of foreign envoys.

He said: “I was pleased by the Minister of Finance’s plea to co-operate with partners here present for further support. There was a time during the colonial days when we all wanted to cause institutional dysfunction because we wanted independence. But now we are independent, we would like to bury the past and walk through the future.” Hear, hear!

Every word was nuanced obliging the EU diplomats to show their hand by reciprocating likewise.That was knowledgeable, wise, mature and statesman-like, the stuff we expect from a Vice-President. That is the right spirit.

However, the next step is to stick to your words, VP.

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