When President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over from former president Robert Mugabe, he was received with much zeal and hope.
In his inaugural speech, he promoted the slogan the “Voice of the people is the voice God.” This literally meant that he was going to be a listening president.
As such, locals, the continent and the international community alike saw huge investment opportunities in the country.
In no time, investors were trickling in and Mnangagwa on several occasions signed mega deals, he did a lot of ground-breaking ceremonies most of which were never to be as his true colours began to unfold.
Today, the economy is on a free fall, with inflation double figures for the first time since 2009, forcing basic commodities out of reach of many. Less than six months after he was elected to the throne, in a tightly-contested plebiscite Mnangagwa is proving to have fully adopted Mugabeism.
Fast forward to the just-ended Zanu PF’s annual people’s conference, one is bound to conclude that if anything, Mnangagwa is never about the economy as he wants the nation to believe. He is all about power and nothing else. He seems to have read well from his former boss.
In any case, he has overtaken Mugabe in many ways. Talk of security, expenditure and bootlicking that characterised the two-day gathering at Mzingwane High School in
Mnangagwa has strongly beefed up security in a way that makes the environment where he will be present so tense and unpleasant.
Several check points coupled with military drones and CCTV stitched at every corner at the conference signified how the unresolved White City bomb has secretly continued to haunt his tenure.
What the ruling party boss spent on the conference alone signified a high level of profligacy.
While $3,5 million which was spent on that event alone is insurmountable, the thought of hundreds of flashy newly-acquired party off-road vehicles and buses which swamped the conference, clearly show how the ruling Zanu PF has prioritised politics ahead of the economy.
Worse still, this comes at a time Finance minister Mthuli Ncube is religiously preaching the austerity for prosperity gospel.
Of note, sadly at the event, Mnangagwa proved how power hungry he is after he allowed his lieutenants to turn the conference into a one-man event.
The slogan “ED 2023, 2023 ED Pfee” dominated the event. Not to be outdone was the song ED Pfee which was repeatedly played at every interval and ED himself seemed to be enjoying a flurry of unrelenting praises and endorsements which used to be synonymous with his predecessor.
This is regardless of the fact the event was more of a talk show, which was well-choreographed in a way where everybody seemed to agree with anything that was said.
Besides that, many resolutions were made at the conference, but a few of them were so hard to ignore, considering the state of the economy which Mnangagwa himself admitted in his opening speech that it has taken a tail spin.
With five months in office, Mnangagwa has already been affirmed as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
Strangely, the ruling party also resolved to have preparations for the 2023 harmonised elections to begin in earnest. Such is how Zanu PF has over the years put power retention ahead of everything Zimbabweans can think about.
The two resolutions undoubtedly and unnecessarily get Zimbabwe into perpetual election mode and that doesn’t augur well with Mnangagwa’s claim that Zimbabwe is open for business. DailyNews