When the new dispensation was ushered in following Robert Mugabe’s resignation last November, it rode on the narrative of restoration to win people’s hearts.
True, there was need for restoration on a number of fronts starting with the political that had been poisoned by deadly factional fights that cost Zimbabwe over five years in terms of precious time.
Time, energy and expertise were misdirected — expending them on futile activities and strategies to place specific individuals in good stead to succeed Mugabe.
Having ruled Zimbabwe for an uninterrupted 37 years during which the country’s economy slid down into the abyss, iron-fisted Mugabe was by far one of the worst tyrants the African continent has ever had in living memory.
At independence in 1980, Mugabe inherited a thriving economy by any standards in a country whose bowels had enormous mineral wealth, including perhaps the country’s find of the century — diamonds in the Marange area of Manicaland Province.
Before the July 30 elections, it appeared — ordinarily — as though the captain of the new dispensation flight, President Emmerson Mnangagwa needed the people’s mandate through winning elections in order to place Zimbabwe on the reform agenda he has so passionately spoken about.
Mnangagwa has come up with a Cabinet team that has been well-received by Zimbabweans. However, it appears the thrust of the new dispensation is long term, which may not deliver immediate results for crisis-weary Zimbabweans. The long term remains important, provided there is immediate relief from the obtaining messy situation.
Sadly, there is no time to be experimenting. What is needed are immediate results that will trickle down to the pockets of those in the remotest parts of the country in the shortest possible time.
This is the kind of fix that Mnangagwa and his team find themselves in — trying to satisfy a tired population that was abused for close to four decades, enduring grinding poverty.
Now, two months after Mnangagwa got the people’s mandate to push the flight into cruise, cash is still in short supply, shortages have manifested all over with people fighting in bread, cooking oil, fuel queues while prospects remain gloomy on the horizon.
Mnangagwa simply has to deliver because for him, failure is not an option. The earlier this happens the better because people have no time to wait for promises that will only reach fruition after further belt-tightening. DailyNews