Something big is happening to President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He has come to realise that his approval ratings have slumped. The public confidence is at its lowest. The mega deals have not materialised and to divert attention, he quickly had to reshuffle his Cabinet.
By Mirriam Gasho, Our Reader
With the ousting of the late Robert Mugabe in the November 2017 coup, there was hope for a change of course, including economic reforms. The new President, Mnangagwa, proclaimed that Zimbabwe was “open for business.” But his rhetoric has not translated into any action, and the new dispensation seems less disconnected to the masses of Zimbabwe who are living in poverty. Fuel and food prices are going up on a weekly basis, causing hardships to ordinary Zimbabweans, but Mnangagwa seems oblivious to this fact.
To imagine that the Crocodile (Mnangagwa’s nickname) would change its character is a pipe dream. Mnangagwa’s name has been thrown around quite a lot during discussions on Gukurahundi massacres.
From 1983 to 1987, security forces targeted thousands of mainly Ndebele people, torturing, detaining and summarily executing many. An estimated 20 000 people were killed.
Before the announcement of the 2018 election results, on August 1, the military was unleashed onto the streets of Harare, shooting and killing six unarmed and fleeing Zimbabweans.
What followed was a brutal crackdown on supposed opposition activists.
Mnangagwa should have reined in the military, but the brutalities lasted for days, just as happened in the January 14-16 anti-fuel hike protests, during which many were shot dead or left nursing gunshot injuries.
Mnangagwa has largely been named in such brutalities and to expect him to change, if indeed he has been involved, is asking the “crocodile” to change its colours.
Despite penning projects worth billions in the last two years, none of these have materialised.
Mnangagwa has been globe-trotting in a private jet, meeting world leaders and international investors. Investors are still holding on to their investments because they are sceptical of Mnangagwa’s leadership and commitment to change.
So surely, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.