PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said after 37 years under former President Robert Mugabe’s stifling dictatorship, his government has brought democracy which he claimed was now being abused by “selfish and retrogressive individuals”.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
“The advent of the new dispensation and second Republic saw the expansion of democratic space in our country, as enshrined in our Constitution,” Mnangagwa said while officiating at this year’s Presidential graduation parade at Morris Depot in Harare.
“This culminated in the holding of peaceful, free, fair and credible elections. However It is regrettable that some retrogressive, unpatriotic and selfish individuals are bent on abusing the democracy we now enjoy.”
Mnangagwa is being haunted by main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa who accuses him of having stolen the July 31 polls. The opposition has insisted on calling his government an illegal military junta.
The standoff and allegations of electoral fraud, which were dismissed by the Constitutional Court, are being blamed for the bloody post-election violence which saw seven people killed, six by the army to contain the violence, which Mnangagwa said was regrettable.
“The unfortunate and violent incident that took place in the streets of Harare on August 1 is not only regrettable, but has no place in a new Zimbabwe.
The commission of inquiry looking into the event is expected to complete its work soon and its findings will be made public,” he said.
Turning to the comatose economy, Mnangagwa said his team was busy mending the porous holes leaking the little government revenues through corruption.
“We will continue to plug the holes and stop the economic haemorrhaging of our economy being perpetrated by cartels of individuals and businesses,” he said.
“These unscrupulous elements are manipulating and subverting our economic turnaround efforts for opportunistic and greedy ends thereby abetting the suffering of our people.”
Mnangagwa, said that despite the empty shelves in shops, sky rocketing prices and high inflation, the country was turning the corner.
“On the economic front, the ongoing engagement and re-engagement policy, together with vast economic reforms and the implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme are turning the economic tide and boosting confidence across all sectors of the economy,” he said.
Recently Mnangagwa used the Presidential Powers Act to introduce a new law to curb illicit financial flows which he told the police to read and understand.
“The police must fully acquaint themselves with reforms and associated legal instruments which have been put in place to deal with these various challenges,” he said.
A total of 617 police officers graduated after going through a year of training.