PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has appealed for patience as he winds up his first 100 days in office, saying “it takes more than 100 days to recover an economy”, so citizens should not lose hope at the slow pace of change.
By Phyllis Mbanje
When he assumed office in November last year, Mnangagwa pledged rapid transformation of the economy and the general way of doing business in government, but in a video released on his Facebook page at the weekend, Mnangagwa admits it has not been possible to achieve much under the given period.
“We must of course be realistic and recognise that it takes more than 100 days to recover an economy. Real change takes time,” he said.
“I know there are those among you who are frustrated at the pace of change and I understand that,” he said.
Chronicling his “achievements”, Mnangagwa hailed the national budget which he described as “bold and responsible”.
“It (budget) cuts huge swathes of waste and scaled back the Indigenisation Act to open the economy to investment.”
On the unrelenting cash crisis, Mnangagwa said his government had facilitated greater use of mobile money.
Mnangagwa also said stemming out corruption had remainecd one of his focal points.
“The phrase ‘zero tolerance’ approach has been backed up by action. We instituted a three-month amnesty to get back stolen funds, mandated all Cabinet ministers to declare assets,” he said
But, political analyst Eldred Masunungure dismissed Mnangagwa’s deadlines as unrealistic and said the goals set for the 100-day period were unattainable in such a short time.
“The said ‘achievements’ are too modest to even brag about and since we are heading towards elections it could just be a ploy being flagged to the electorate.
“It will most probably take us up to five years to see any meaningful change. The situation we are in cannot be remedied in such a time frame,” he said.
Mnangagwa said his government had made huge strides in rebuilding the country’s battered image and had managed to bring $3 billion of investment commitments.
“In terms of human development we have ensured free health care for vulnerable groups while increasing budgets for both health and education.”
By midday yesterday, Mnangagwa’s post had attracted over 1 000 comments on his Facebook page, with some of his critics blasting him for appraising his own performance.
“At our workplaces we are not given chances to self-appraise. I wonder why you think you should appraise yourself…,” read one comment.
Many expressed displeasure at “some” corrupt ministers who are still in government and demanded public disclosure over externalised funds that were reportedly returned, as well as the declared assets by the ministers.