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Kanyenze launches book on how 2018 elections undermined Mnangagwa’s credibility

A book by Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) founding director Dr Godfrey Kanyenze has revealed that ‘the contested 2018 electoral results undermined President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s credibility and the international goodwill generated by the departure of late former President Robert Mugabe’.

The 454 page book titled “LEAVING SO MANY BEHIND. The Link Between Politics and the Economy in Zimbabwe” articulates the journey that Zimbabwe has walked from the first decade of independence (1980 – 90) to the present day.

Nehanda Radio took a closer look at chapter 7, page 310-322) “The Post Mugabe Period, November 2017 – December 2020”.

The book was launched in Harare last week on Thursday.

Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) founding director Dr Godfrey Kanyenze
Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) founding director Dr Godfrey Kanyenze

Dr Kanyenze argues that the international community, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) in particular had endorsed Mnangagwa’s coup but gave him up to the 2018 presidential election which they regarded as a ‘litmus test’ “regarding the commitment and sincerity of the ‘new dispensation towards democratisation”.

Instead of grabbing the opportunity for re-engagement to be completed by peaceful and clear elections, the book argues that Mnangagwa’s decision to unleash soldiers on the post election demonstrators further pushed him away from the International community.

On August 1, 2018, members of the Zimbabwe National Army shot and killed 6 civilians, injured dozens in Harare during a post election demonstration. Civilians were demanding the early announcement of results.

“Thus, instead of enhancing the legitimacy and hegemony of the government, the elections of 30 July 2018 resulted in it being questioned, and its integrity seriously impaired.

“If anything, the contested electoral results undermined the government’s credibility and the international goodwill generated by the departure of Mugabe,” Kanyenze said.

“They confirmed that the country is deeply divided. The disputed election results not only heightened the political divisions in the country as the Constitutional Court had to be called upon to adjudicate, but also highlighted the urgency of reform if stability was to be safeguarded, or the government’s re-engagement strategy with international donors was had been eager to see the Zimbabwean crisis come to an end to the to prove effective.

“Clearly, while the western international community had been eager to see the Zimbabwean crisis come to an end to the extent that they appeared prepared to accept cosmetic changes by the elections, this was no longer the case.”

The book states that on 7 August 2018, the United States, Canada and Switzerland issued a joint statement condemning violence and heavy-handed response by the state.

It further notes that “the British Ambassador, Catriona Laing, who had been supportive of the new regime, criticised the ‘excessive use of force on protesters and called upon the government to withdraw troops from the streets of Harare.

“The deployment of the army to quell protests only served to confirm the contentious issue of the pre-eminent role of the security forces in Zimbabwe’s politics.

“Critically, therefore, to restore its credibility and resuscitate the momentum towards international re engagement and recovery would require stronger evidence on reforms as well as more inclusive, transparent and accountable governance.” Nehanda Radio

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