Mnangagwa is just like Mugabe

IT has long been a public secret that Zimbabwe was open for socioeconomic policy change. Although President Emmerson Mnangagwa was inaugurated in November last year, the voice of the people is unanimous that it was mere symbolic. His sameness with the former President Robert Mugabe deters change.

Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana

They walked and talked together for 38 years in government, abiding in the same conspiracy mind-set. Their half a century plus commune distilled them into sworn adherents of the same hard-hearted school of thought. If you knew one, obviously you would have known the other.

Emerging electoral scandals are reminiscent of past predatory attacks on democracy. They are proof that though the dictator-in-chief might have been deposed, his machinery and modus operandi remained intact in the custody of his equally “notorious” former lieutenant.

Manipulation of the entire electoral process characterised by a chaotic voter’s roll, were an integral part of our post-colonial history. In fact, someone remarked back then that if elections benefited citizenry, the government could have outlawed them in the first instance.

As such scandals as the postal votes expose the sameness of Mnangagwa and Mugabe, continuity of electoral thievery is to be expected. When the former deposed the latter, it was not for change, but essentially to shed off the dead outer layer of the skin, jus like snakes.

Speaking at the dawn of change in India, legendary nationalist, Jawaharlal Pandit Nehru said: “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance”.

As I see it, a likewise moment has dawned for Zimbabwe. When youthful presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa led a protest march in Harare last Wednesday, his deportment was typical of the epitome of stepping from the old into the new.

He looked destined to take the pledge of dedication to national duty. The march was prompted by the brashness of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba who wearied opposition parties by showing them her seamy side.

By his own admission, Mnangagwa revers Mugabe, and he is indebted for mentorship, hence, the lyrical accolades he paid him in his inauguration speech. Henceforth, he hit the ground running to sign a generous retirement package for him, despite having deposed him.

Recently, Mnangagwa said life was better than in heaven under Zanu PF. He came short of saying only for the elite. He had in mind the corrupt accumulation of wealth and power which is a privy of the ruling class who afford mansions, even in their rural homes.

When news broke out that former Zanu PF stalwart, Didymus Mutasa had fallen on hard times, he quickly retorted that it was inevitable, because he never stole when he was in the party and government. His retort gave credence to the prevalence of high office corruption by the ruling elite.

Moreover, it has been said umpteen times that it is cold outside Zanu PF. The comfy Mnangagwa lavished Mugabe with, which includes designation of his birthday, February 21, to be a national holiday, is evident that life is better than in heaven for the select few.

Although there already is a national Heroes Day holiday, on which all who sacrificed for country are remembered, strangely, Mnangagwa thought it prudent to have a day, especially, to honour Mugabe. Yet, if looked at critically, the veneration was an appeasement.

There is no sacrifice for country which Mugabe did to warrant a holiday in his honour. He did not go the extra mile to deserve even the gratuitous retirement package, let alone roads and the airport named after him. If truth be told, there are no fundamental particles in him.

With his 38-year rule culminating in industrial machinery gathering rust and dust, it is injudicious to award him such honour. He truly does not deserve even a dime. Given the ruination that abounds, it is a lack of probity that ineptitude was handsomely rewarded.

When Mugabe took over the country on April 18 1980, all roads were leading to Zimbabwe. It was a well-endowed country, adored as the Jewel of Africa. Multitudes from the near and far afield were desperate to migrate. As I see it, life was better than in heaven.

It was unimaginable that the country would ever import food. The breadbasket of the region could never be empty. If anyone told me then that thorns and thistles would grow where cash crops used to abound, I would have rushed such a person for psychiatric evaluation.

Yet, the unthinkable happened, granaries are empty. Blatant misrule resulted in tractors and combine harvesters being conspicuous by their silence. How I wish it were just a dream. Despite Mugabe having an economics degree, the economy was ruined to such an extent that it needed to be structurally adjusted. Following a series of stop/go resuscitation endeavours, the Zimbabwe currency ultimately became valueless, just like counterfeit.

The currency crisis has caused the citizenry nightmares. Whatever remedial measures Mugabe came up with, including printing paper money, to the contrary, fuelled inflation, prompting all roads to lead from Zimbabwe as citizens emigrated to seek economic refuge.

With infrastructure in progressive dilapidation, public service delivery suffered terribly, grounding to a virtual halt, in particular the healthcare. It is so rundown that the corruptly monied ruling class shuns it, unashamedly seeking treatment far and beyond our borders.

Mugabe is accountable for the plight of citizens who now reside in squalid settlements on the outskirts of Harare — Eastview, Southlea and Solomio. By awarding him a handsome package, Mnangagwa proved the sameness of his ideology with that of his predecessor.

Hence, his ascendency to power, courtesy of military intervention, did not quench the longing for socio-economic policy change that has been evident on the person of all and sundry. His predominantly Mugabe remnant Cabinet so as him, are dogmatic.

However, there will be no room for sentimental persuasions in the harmonised elections. One segment of voters which will be scrupulous with their vote is that of the born frees. They will not scatter like the biblical sower, nor be swayed by recitation of tedious mantras.

Save for being born after the colonial flag was lowered, folded and archived, the born frees have borne the brunt of socio-economic ruination throughout their lives. As if the economic throes were not sufficiently battering, repression became the government norm.

A born free who was born a day after independence had the misfortune of going through their last teen years at the peak of economic meltdown following the introduction of the multi-digital worthless notes in 1999. Since then, the economy has been in dire dysfunction.

It is this age-group whose call for change is as loud as that of the blind man in the Bible who cried out, “Jesus of Nazareth, have mercy on me.” Amid the backdrop of a history blemished by disputed elections, they are intent on one of their own to lead them from the old into the new.

In spite of the arrogance of foes of democracy, whose perfidy is unparalleled, born frees are pregnant with expectations of the dawn of the rare moment to step from the old, into the new. As I see it, now is the moment the soul of a nation, long suppressed, found utterance.

 Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana, email muketiwa. mmsb@gmail.com is a public speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist

20 Comments

  1. tendai chaminuka

    Yaa chirungu chega chega chemandorokwati asi the greatest point is Mugabe was made by the people vana mai nanababa vako Ndawana and u included coz you left him do whatever he wanted under the guise of patrotism which was blind.Muchimututumadza.Muchipururudza achiti zvigobo ngazvigoborwe.You blindly celebrated the abolishing of the Ministry of Political Affairs and the non implimentation of the National Youth Service as advocated by Kadungure not knowing that these were institutions which were to open people’s minds.The best thing of our time is Mnangagwa will be made accountable and his exit is easier just like his entry.

    1. ED and company made Mugabe and defended him. If they disagreed with what Mugabe was doing, they would have undone it decades ago. But alas, they only did that last year to save their skin from the monster that spearheaded the death of the once vibrant economy. You cant teach an old dog new tricks, ED graduated from the same University with Mugabe so they are all experts in the same field that is corruption, murder and destruction etc

  2. ED and company made Mugabe and defended him. If they disagreed with what Mugabe was doing, they would have undone it decades ago. But alas, they only did that last year to save their skin from the monster that spearheaded the death of the once vibrant economy. You cant teach an old dog new tricks, ED graduated from the same University with Mugabe so they are all experts in the same field that is corruption, murder and destruction etc.

    ED and company want to make people believe as if they were not on earth and lived somewhere in the universe and arrived in Zimbabwe in November and were shocked to see the nation in comatose and decided to save people through a coup and now they need a term to solve things.

    But no that’s nonsense. They moved in the same train.

  3. ED and company want to make people believe as if they were not on earth and lived somewhere in the universe and arrived in Zimbabwe in November and were shocked to see the nation in comatose and decided to save people through a coup and now they need a term to solve things.

    But no that’s nonsense. They moved in the same train.

  4. Uyahlanya wena Cyprian Ngqawana. Why don’t you write objectively like Mnu. Conway Tutani?

    1. Just because the truth is too much for you, you resort to insults. Tell us what are not facts in that article and debate well not insults without facts.

  5. Vanhu tese takasimuka tikati Mugabe ngaaende akaenda. Mngangagwa akauya vanhu tikapembera National sport kuita seichatsemuka. right now Mnangagwa arikuedza nepese paanogona kuti agadzirise nyika chaipa chii zvakare. lets vote for ED kana tichida development

    1. No lets get rid of them all with their Zanu Pf mentality of destroying the country. 38 years Mugabe, ED, Chiwenga and company were killing the nation. You cant get something new fom a 76 year old. By the end of the term he will be 81. Too old to run the country.

    2. Maximus Decimus

      Was is not Einsten that said something to the effect that “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it”? What you see as trying we see as grandstanding, particularly to the West as a means of getting some kind of personal political recognition and legitimacy, we want to see homegrown solutions and tangible results from fresh minds by Zimbabwean people for Zimbabwean, not this “Zimbabwe is open for business” nonsense. Begin by making elections transparent and hold ZEC accountable.

  6. Mugabe was a dictator like Ida Amin of Uganda . If you did not follow what he said he will make you disappear . The list of those who did not obey his rule is so long . If ED had not run away last he was going to disappear just those that have vanished. RG had a strong security network which needed to be dislodged hence the Army moved in to turn the table upside down . Without the support of Chiwenga then ED was not going to succeed. In a nutshell ED is ED and RG is RG . Just like Chamisa is completely different from the late Tsvangirayi .Lets give both these two politicians (ED and Chamisa )a chance to prove who they are and what do they have for the people .VOTE WISELY ON THE 30JUL18

  7. Farai Johnson Nhire

    I wonder what all these people are arguing about. Zimbabwe has a constitution which calls for general elections every five years and right now we are a few days away from one piting Ed against Nelson. So why are people buisy insulting others? Just vote for the one you think is the best and stop insulting other people. If anybody is not worthy, they will simply lose and that is it.

  8. Zvipiko VaNdawana its your opinion and you are entitled to it. But for you to then want us to believe your myopism is unwarranted. Mugabe is Mugabe, he can never be Mnangagwa. The two are oceans apart in terms of thinking and character. They even share a different political agenda and approach. Please don’t waste our time on trivial matters.

  9. kid marongorongo

    senseless reporter you have nothing to report.

  10. When Ian Smith was busy developing Rhodesia in the form of black and white residential and industrial developments respectively,were the now called “Zanu pf’s Link Chiefs” recognized during those days?Today Zanu pf is only using these traditional leaders through patronage to gain mirage,but when we talk of developments everyone dares to see these Rural Chiefs are being used as stepping stones to intimidate people into backing zanu pf. Lets take account of Marange Diamond Mining Fields,the area is not developed because if Chief Marange was important,why is the area still having gravel roads? ZANU PF MUST GO AT ALL COSTS.

  11. muzukuru waChamisa

    same fanana sure , ed itsotsi kunyepera kuve genuine its just a campaigning strategy

  12. I did not know that bias and hatred of a particular personality can make one fail to distinguish between his or her good and bad deeds of that very same person. This perhaps explains why same people cannot see anything wrong with the MDC led council’s apparent failure to rehabilitate urban roads. The new dispensation has ushered in some significant positive change despite the degree of damage that was done by the misrule of the Mugabe regime. To ignore this reality is pure political bigotry, prejudice or intolerance. How many times has Chamisa lied and yet those who love him for what he is have remained tight-lipped about his callous and dreadful fibs? For instance, who between ED & Wambadiawamba do you think better deserves the phrase, immature political nonentity?

    1. You sound like an Ediot. How does MDC councils repair roads when all road user levies are being collected by ZANU government through ZINARA. Go to school and find a little education

  13. ED or whatever you call him and Mugabe are two sides of the same coin.Any person who was born after 1980 should know that.ED personally was more important to Mugabe than anybody else that I know in Zanu-PF.Mugabe trusted ED with his life, he is the man who knew everything about Mugabe, that is why he was even able to overthrow him.You can not overthrow anybody whom you do not know how his system works.That can never happen, however what annoys me most about ED is his brazenness to pretend that he is now a new creation.He is now painting Mugabe as the most evil leader that he hated from the beginning eversince they had known each other.If that is true, then why did he work with the man for more than 50 years? Now he hires a liar at ZEC to hold our elections, a man like ED should never be trusted.He has been telling us how he escaped to Mozambique that he walked a long distance on his own, but Chiwengwa just told us that the army helped him to escape.His conduct of elections is exactly the same with his predecessor, always shrouded in secrecy, yet he claims he is now a changed man.What kind of a changed man is that? He promised the rest of the world that he will allow a free and fair election.For the sake of transparency, if he was to grant all those issues that Chamisa is requesting, what loss will his party encounter? What makes him to be so adamant, when he knows that at the end these elections would be disputed.Why not remove all those impediments now which will render election results to be contested?

  14. Zimbabwean elections are organised by a neutral body which chamisa is also responsible for setting up. Murimadofo Akaita Seiko?

  15. You sound like an Ediot. How does MDC councils repair roads when all road user levies are being collected by ZANU government through ZINARA. Go to school and find a little education

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