The Sunday News
A week since his inauguration as President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has touched the ground running and shown great commitment in working towards the development of the country.
This was after an earlier promise to Zimbabweans last month after he was sacked by former President Cde Robert Mugabe, that he would come back and lead the country towards prosperity, a promise that he kept.
He had left the country soon after his sacking by the then President Cde Robert Mugabe saying he had received warnings that his life was in danger.
After being reinstated into the ruling Zanu-PF by the party’s Central Committee which also nominated him as party’s First secretary and country’s President after recalling Cde Mugabe, Cde Mnangagwa, in a statement, said he was ready to come back home and work towards the restoration of the country’s former glory.
In his inauguration speech, well received by all Zimbabweans and the outside world, President Mnangagwa said his Government would implement a raft of measures to boost economic growth and create employment. President Mnangagwa said the country would also re-engage the international community as “isolation has never been splendid or viable.”
His reign started on a positive note with the international community including Britain, the United States, Germany, China pledging to work with and support the new Government towards a quick economic turnaround.
In the same week, the Government announced that it was amending the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act to reflect its policy position that the 51/49 percent requirement only applies to natural resource-based investments.
Presidential spokesperson, Mr George Charamba said President Mnangagwa instructed the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda that the law be urgently amended to reflect Government policy.
On the domestic front, President Mnangagwa promised to tackle cash liquidity challenges, act on corruption, relax export procedures, ensure maximum utilisation of land and protect foreign investments, among other policies.
The speech gave Zimbabweans, regardless of political affiliation, a deep sense of hope and anticipation for a new dispensation towards economic revival. President Mnangagwa had kept his promise, he was back to lead the country to prosperity and events in the past week have proven just how serious the Head of State is on taking the country forward.
The ruling Zanu-PF announced that it had revised downwards the budget for its Extraordinary Congress to be held this month from the proposed $8 million. Party secretary for information and publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said they had also reduced the number of delegates to the congress whose days was reduced from six to three.
The effect of President Mnangagwa is also felt on the party side and the move supports his stance that time will not be wasted on speechifying but energies will be expended on a hands-on approach towards the turnaround of the country. The ruling party also set an example of responsible budget and spending at a time when the country is facing economic challenges.
In a meeting with Permanent Secretaries, the President announced that he was in the process of setting up a leaner Cabinet aimed at working more effectively and efficiently towards the recovery of the economy.
He also said ministries whose activities overlapped would be merged to cut costs and enhance productivity and efficiency in service delivery. Keeping with his word, President Mnangagwa appointed a 22-member Cabinet, merging some line ministries with functional duplications and bringing in new faces to the Government.
The meeting with Permanent Secretaries was part of his many interfaces with various Government agencies to both familiarise himself with the key players and also provide direction to be taken by his administration.
President Mnangagwa also gave economic saboteurs who have been externalising funds and assets three months to return the loot or risk prosecution.
He said Operation Restore Legacy which was launched by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces recently unearthed serious economic crimes which will not be tolerated by his Government.
The President called on affected persons who wish to comply with the directive to liaise with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for necessary facilitation and accounting. The Government also warned unruly elements, reportedly taking the law into their own hands by illegally occupying State land, saying the offenders will be dealt with accordingly.
This has been the hardest week for the country’s detractors and doubters who have been eagerly waiting for the new President to make a wrong turn.
Even the fiercest critics of the country and ruling Zanu-PF have found themselves cheering the new President who in just one week has shown great vision for the country with its turnaround now just a matter of time.
Important to note also is that President Mnangagwa has literally killed opposition in just a week of his reign. Having ridden on the wave of their “Mugabe must go mantra,” the internal Zanu-PF processes have robbed the opposition of their perennial political hymn at a critical time with elections a few months away.
Cde Mugabe is gone, not through the efforts of the opposition, but by the revolutionary party’s process and the opposition finds itself in a quandary.
Some within the opposition realised this fact during the process of recalling Cde Mugabe. Knowing that they don’t have any vision for the country outside calling for “Mugabe to go,” almost all of them started falling over each other providing uninvited “ideas” of what should happen after Cde Mugabe had been recalled by his party.
Transitional Government, they screamed, they wanted to be part of a transition they did not initiate. Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC-T leader for instance, had seen a great opportunity for a dignified exit from the country’s politics. Having come second to Cde Mugabe in successive elections since 2008, the “transitional arrangement” or Government of national Unity and the bolder called it, would have given him a second trip to the corridors of real power after the first GNU that elapsed in 2013. This was the real chance of Mr Tsvangirai to be part of the Government again.
The combination of his deteriorating health and divisions within his party already reeling under donor fatigue is enough to convince even the most optimistic supporter of his that Mr Tsvangirai will not dislodge a stronger Zanu-PF with new leadership. Other smaller parties also called for a transitional arrangement with their interests not different from that of Mr Tsvangirai and his party.
President Mnangagwa in his inauguration speech however, said the country would go for elections as scheduled. With the strides the new Government has gone in a week towards the country’s revival, no special ability is needed that the new President is leading the country into regaining its lost glory.