Editorial Comment: Be a Statesman, Mr President, and heal the country

AT the weekend, we carried reports in which President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga took turns to attack main opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and calling him a ‘little bishop’ and a false prophet; language reminiscent of the electioneering period.

Editorial Comment

Chamisa, in turn, responded, by urging Mnangagwa and Chiwenga to stop wasting their energy fighting him, but to redirect their energy towards the real problem – the free-falling economy.

It is not a secret that Zimbabwe’s economy is in the doldrums, characterised by a crippling currency crisis, price increases, unemployment and shortages of goods — all because we’ve perpetually remained engrossed in election mode.

In addition to that, Zimbabwe — which is not self-sufficient —is still lagging behind in terms of infrastructure development, and it will take major efforts by all Zimbabweans to rebuild this country and return it to its breadbasket status.

Socially, the country is bleeding from years of politically-motivated violence, State-sponsored conflicts and political polarisation.

It does not need a rocket scientist to deduce that the core of Zimbabwe’s problems are political, and that the buck stops with the government of the day, led by Mnangagwa.

For the past 38 years, and in particular the past five years, the country has experienced endless political contestations that have distracted attention from developmental issues that government must work on. Despite winning elections in 2013, with unchecked political power, then President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party’s infighting meant that the country remained on the political campaign path, with scant attention paid to a free-falling economy.

Despite his declarations to the contrary, Mnangagwa risks going the same way if he does not reign in the bloodthirsty hardliners in his party and refocus the narrative on the economy. It’s not in great shape, whatever happens to the mega deals he was busy announcing in the run-up to the elections.

We want to believe it is not beyond Mnangagwa to develop into a Statesman he thinks he is or could become. He has time on his hands, and this is still the genesis of a five-year-term, but he needs to cut the vitriol and engage, not ostracise those who can help him rebuild this country we all call home.

Given his own history and the long road he has travelled to the top office, Mnangagwa must now have learnt that the best way to national development is to embrace everyone and call on all stakeholders, political and otherwise, to the table to chart the much-needed way forward for our country.

Mnangagwa may feel that his controversial July 30 victory has given him all to do what he pleases, but he must always remember that the Zimbabwe he is leading is a country that is characterised by fear, polarisation, dejection and frustration, leaving little room for national development.

There is an urgent need for genuine, people-centred national healing and reconciliation, and an integration of all the stakeholders in order for the nation to start moving forward.

Zimbabweans have waited for much too long, but like the grain being eaten by weevils, its society is fast turning into dust.

Unless he gathers the willpower and realise it is his only chance to reintegrate Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa, like his predecessor Mugabe, will leave a legacy of anger, segregation and hate behind him.

8 Comments

  1. tendai chaminuka

    Mr Editor,we dont want poetic fury and historical outburst.Your duty is to advise and the best you can do now is tell ED that his economic policies are out of this world.The economic measures he and his Davos friend introduced were best for people who had accumulated much wealth to the extent that all these current price increases would have been cushioned by the well or ill gotten accumulated wealth.Saka people could ride over the tide without much pain.Tahwa veduwee.Onaiwo Bob Time Chingwa $0.90 nhasi $1.50.Combie during Bob Time $0.50 PFEE Time $1.00. Gas Bob Time $1.20/kg PFEE Time $5.00/kg. Salary Bob Time $400/Month PFEE Time $400-2% for every transaction.

    1. Editor is right, we human under leadership are venom in a cup, Noway can someone ane pfungwa 5 go mustreet kunopisa bhazi sezvinonzi ndiro rinodhurisa zvinhu. Elections and prizes don’t go side by side. You want a side of politics, work for it – you want a side of the economy, contribute.

  2. For a country to move forward there really is need that we unite, forget about our political differences, abide by law and build together. The responsibility lies on everybody who has a wish that his or her siblings constitutes a better tomorrow.

  3. Wise counsel indeed!
    Mnangagwa, like any ordinary citizen suffered greatly under his ruthless predecessor and was thus unanimously elevated under the banner of change.
    Although he acquired power through the military, he promised to serve the nation under no influence.
    Its time to sideline all other forces from within and without to restore Zimbabwe where it traditionally belonged.
    His subordinates may subject him to a hostile working relation with his opposition chief but its time to rise above all obstacles and stretch a hand of friendship to Chamisa to build bridges.
    Chamisa is determined to make Mnangagwa’s term ungovernable. He might have failed but his 44% political command cannot be wished away.

  4. kikikikiki “Munangagwa, like any ordinary Zimbabwean suffered greatly under his….. Really!! Are you smoking something?

    1. Thank you for pointing that out…the guy must be high on something

  5. @ Anonymous.
    We ought to learn to read between the lines before trying to put words in one’s mouth.
    I meant that Mugabe had no permanent friend and could humiliate anyone at any time. Mnangagwa and Mujuru among many others were occasionally dressed down in public in his characteristic use-and-dump style of leadership.
    I never meant of financial suffering contrary to your implication.

  6. Munangagwa seems sincere and wants to build a legacy. He could not have opened up the democratic space the way he did if he was not sincere. Its time to give him the benefit of the doubt. Give him the opportunity. Why should we have the distractions of dubious demonstrations calling for economic change when in reality the opposition is saying that economic change must be accompanied by Munangangwa standing down and a political transition with Chamisa as head installed. What political idiocy. The more obstinate Chamisa sounds and acts, the more likely that Munangagwa turns the deaf ear. I wouldn’t be surprised that the law on presidential minimum age limit will be amended early next year to 50 years to shut out the noisy fellow. Chamisa’s fate will then be sealed by his party when they will be forced to elect a new leader at the MDC congress next year.

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