Deja vu: Like Mugabe, Mnangagwa blames West, business for economic collapse

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Co-vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) and Mpekezela Mphoko (R) sit with President Robert Mugabe upon his arrival home from his annual leave in Singapore

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa first took over as President, he promised a different kind of leadership from his predecessor, but at the first sign of pressure, he is taking a page from the late Robert Mugabe’s copybook, blaming business and hostile foreign governments for Zimbabwe’s economic collapse and devaluation of the local currency, saying this is all meant to destabilise his government.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Addressing the Zanu PF politburo on Wednesday, Mnangagwa who has presided over an economic collapse that has seen inflation soar to about 800%, seemed to absolve his government.

“On the economic front, we are witnessing a relentless attack on our currency and the economy in general through exorbitant pricing models.

“We are fully cognisant that this is a battle being fueled by our political detractors, elite opportunists and malcontents who are bent on pushing a nefarious agenda,” he said.

Mnangagwa warned that those sharpening their swords against his party will not win the war, as he is firmly aware of their intentions.

“They will never win. We did not liberate this country for selfish, profiteers and greedy individuals, but for all the people in our land who have the right to enjoy a better quality of life. As a party we must always strive to achieve this,” he said.

The local currency has continued to lose value with prices skyrocketing despite a failed attempt by the government to impose a price increase moratorium.

Mnangagwa said the price hikes were confrontational.

“The confrontational actions, which played out in the political, economic and media arena, were not isolated incidents, but well-orchestrated co- ordinated and planned events. I am aware that the intention was to cause despondency, unrest, violence and to render the country ungovernable,” he said.

Mnangagwa said he would not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

“These acts should never be tolerated. I urge the party and nation as a whole to remain alert. Let’s refuse to be divided by vigilantes who are hired by hostile foreign governments to distract us from our quest to grow and improve the quality of lives for all, in peace, unity and love,” he said.

Mnangagwa’s government has faced accusations of paying a deaf to concerns about corruption, with the latest episode being that of Drax International, a company called out in the media for its extortionate pricing, which forced Zanu PF to issue a statement in defence of the first family.

Drax’s local frontman, Delish Nguwaya is reported to be linked to Mnangagwa’s son Collins. Collins has denied any links.

Western governments have in recent days issued stinging statements reprimanding the Zimbabwean government for human rights abuses, charges the Mnangagwa administration denies.

Relations between the West and Zimbabwe are probably at their lowest in more than 10 years.

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