PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s national address yesterday was a not so surprising damp squib, far divorced from the reality on the ground and everyday experiences of ordinary people.
It only confirmed that for him, power is just an end in itself rather than a means to an end, particularly after he had promised the nation that he was ushering in a new era at the beginning of his autocratic rule.
Perhaps the major difference between his “new dispensation” and that of the late former President Robert Mugabe is that he has simply entrenched autocratic tendencies, and the use of brute force exemplified by the military that brought him to power in November 2017 and has become more visible and more audible in dealing with protests that should be commonplace in any democracy or modern civilisation. To all intents and purposes, we now have a military government.
It is indeed ironic, if not shocking, that Mnangagwa would speak of entrenching democratic tenets considering how his government now consistently brutally crushes all manner of protests.
His leadership — in fact rulership — seems to be sustained by brute force. All pretence of being “a listening President” of the early days has been thrown out the window as time has exposed his true colours.
It is not enough to talk about fighting corruption without walking the talk. Real leadership is about acting on corruption, otherwise the economic turnaround and national development he is always harping on will remain a pipe dream.
It is not enough to arrest sacrificial lambs under the guise of fighting graft when those behind it go scot free and untouchable because of their connection to the centre of power.
It is quite strange that the President speaks of “dark forces inside and outside our borders” fighting him.
This tendency of blaming everyone else for one’s failings is unfortunate and demonstrates an unwillingness to take responsibility. What do all these “enemies” have to do with his failure to implement his own election promises, for instance?