HomeOpinion & AnalysisViolence, lawlessness, corruption your way of life

Violence, lawlessness, corruption your way of life


Nqobani Ndlovu

DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Your Excellency, in November 2017, when you were sworn in as the new and second Executive President of our Republic, we all had reason to be cheerful; that the vile late Robert Mugabe was finally gone and there was hope of a new beginning for the country and as a people.

Among some of your promises were political and economic reforms, to make the country welcoming to people from all walks of life, to reopen the country and become an active member of the international community.

Or, as you put it, to bring back the country into the international community of nations, a promise anchored on a re-engagement drive to tell our neighbours and friends that you could be trusted as a partner.

Your Excellency, your foreign policy also sought to lobby for the removal of sanctions imposed by the West, mainly the United States. All well and good and as a nation, we were behind your endeavours.

However, four years on, there are still no signs of implementation of the reforms which speak to the rule of law, property rights, human rights and all other tenets of good governance as enshrined in the Constitution and other regional and international charters.

There has also been no noticeable departure from the policy that was pursued under Mugabe, which was based on the survival of the ruling Zanu PF party at all costs and the maintenance of its stranglehold on Zimbabwean politics to the exclusion of everyone else.

Your Excellency, you have clearly learnt nothing from Mugabe’s warlike stance against the West, and you have again adopted his confrontational approach which brought the country to naught.

All the effort you made in the period before the 2018 elections simply went down the drain because you are failing to do basic things.

Predictably, the West has stuck to its guns and insisted on implementation of the reforms as a precondition for the lifting of sanctions.

The United Kingdom, following its divorce from the European Union, simply piled more sanctions because you proved to be an unreliable partner.

My take is that what the West is asking of you is nothing extraordinary — be nice to fellow Zimbabweans, do not deny them their rights, respect the rule of law, your own law for that matter, and do not kill your fellow countrymen.

Recent events, however, show that you and your Zanu PF party are simply wedded to violence as a way of life and to that you have added lawlessness, corruption and general incompetence.

Your Excellency, you are showing the whole world that you are incapable of running a society that is based on good governance, constitutionalism, rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

You have rendered State institutions toothless, and reduced them to Zanu PF poodle dogs, with Parliament the most emaciated.

It is difficult to believe your sincerity in anything and everything.

The most damaging of your (in)actions has been playing out on the international arena.

In the aftermath of the fatal shooting of civilians by the military following disputed polls in 2018, you instituted a commission of inquiry led by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe to establish the circumstances surrounding the killings.

You brought in a whole former president of a foreign nation as an independent commissioner, to establish the truth on circumstances surrounding the despicable actions of the army which shot and killed innocent civilians and simply dumped its recommendations in the bin because you did not like the outcome.

That was low, even by your recent standards, and more than anything, made it abundantly clear to international and regional communities that you could not be trusted to keep your word.

There is no sincerity in every word that you utter.

Your Excellency, you have so far failed to implement even token reforms which are regarded as low-hanging fruits that could fast-track Zimbabwe’s return to the community of nations.

Recent attacks on the opposition MDC Alliance and its leader Nelson Chamisa show that we are back to the 2008-era politics of violence, exclusion, branding fellow Zimbabweans enemies simply because they think differently.

It’s obvious to everyone that reforms are not only the minimal requirement, but are also key to resolving the country’s multifaceted economic and political crises.

Unlocking the urgently needed international assistance will depend on reforms that go beyond the economy, and takes on entrenched patterns of violent political behaviour and generations of bad governance.

You know it too, and whatever action you take now will determine your place in the history of this country and the international community of nations.

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