IN this instalment, I make the case for the view that praising the noble initiatives by incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa does not translate to an endorsement of the man neither is it a validation of Zanu PF party.
By Learnmore Zuze
Many analysts and even politicians in the opposition have been condemned for lauding some of the seemingly progressive moves by Mnangagwa. There are some among us who will not see anything positive in Mnangagwa for the reason that he served in Mugabe’s government as a key figure and therefore cannot do anything right. We must be careful that in our disdain for Mnangagwa the person we don’t lose sight of the fundamental objective, namely a revived Zimbabwe.
The magnitude of suffering and trail of disaster left by Robert Mugabe’s rule is there for everyone to see. It would appear Zimbabweans would need some form of rehabilitation for the absurd abuses endured under Mugabe. Consequently, Mnangagwa, for his part in Mugabe’s government, it seems there are some who cannot view him separately.
From the very day that former President Mugabe tendered in his resignation, Mnangagwa, the current President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, became the subject of criticism. It was rather befuddling how a man who hadn’t spent a day in office could become a target for attacks already. Without having made a single pronouncement of his roadmap as President, Mnangagwa was already in the firing line of critics. There are many who flatly refused and still refuse to be open-minded instead choosing to perpetually remain enmeshed in the trenches of acerbic attacks in this post-Mugabe era.
I highlighted from day one that those attacking Mnangagwa before he had even been sworn in ran the risk of not being taken seriously where their points of attack are on the ball in future. Some have made it a point to tweet something negative about Mnangagwa every day; they deliberately choose to fight. This, in my view, does not exactly take Zimbabwe where we want it to go. While we all fought against Mugabe’s rule whether by pen or physical protest, let’s not lose sight of the fact that what we crave for is a better Zimbabwe. It’s not so much about personalities.
Many have been attacked for being “naïve” in extolling some of the right moves that Mnangagwa has made. Even MDC-T vice-president Nelson Chamisa was not spared attacks by perennial Mnangagwa critics for speaking glowingly about ED’s visit to party leader Morgan Tsvangirai. My last article, in which I applauded Mnangagwa’s visit, was also interpreted to mean an endorsement of Mnangagwa. May it be known that whether one likes Mnangagwa or not, the visit to Tsvangirai defines the new breed of peaceful politics that progressive democrats should preach.
Mugabe was the antithesis of progressive politics by belittling and besmirching people opposed to his rule. Mugabe did not recognise an opposition; he would speak about the opposition if it meant mocking and insulting. Where Mnangagwa has done well he deserves adulation. Hatred inflicts pain in the heart which harbours it.
It seems some would wish us to be in an eternally resentful mood against Zanu PF. It must be appreciated that the enemy is not and was not Zanu PF, but its policies as enunciated by Mugabe. It is faulty thinking to heap blame on ministers or anyone who worked under Mugabe. For those who knew Mugabe closely, the man was a total authoritarian; he brooked no difference in opinion.
One had to either agree with him or face his wrath. Even his uncle, the late James Chikerema, brought to the fore this fatal handicap of Mugabe stating that even in early childhood he would do the same. If he disagreed with fellow herdboys, he would drive his cattle in solitude and be alone. This psycho modus operandi was palpable in his rule and it is inane to conceive that Mnangagwa could have done things differently under Mugabe’s rule. Let’s allow Mnangagwa to be judged on the foundations of his own rule.
For promising to hold a free and fair election, Mnangagwa must be lauded. For reaching out to Western nations, the man’s efforts must be appreciated. For taming the rot in the police force, he must praised.
However, while people should be quick to give praise where it is due, the same must obtain for criticism. I hold the view that Mnangagwa still has a lot to do in order to win the hearts of Zimbabweans. There are numerous areas still crying for attention. It is unclear whether the purchase of chiefs’ cars which caused the recent furore was his exact directive. There is talk that the cars had already been purchased during Mugabe’s reign. If the purchase was a directive from him, then surely he deserves to be lampooned as many did on different platforms. Personally I would never support such a move in a country where hospitals lack basic drugs.
In conclusion, let it be clear, when a man does good, let’s look beyond our internal hatred and insecurities. Praising good initiative is not an endorsement of Mnangagwa.
Learnmore Zuze is a law officer and writes in his own capacity. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org