Grace Kwinjeh: Mnangagwa’s disastrous end!
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s last days in office, are turning out to be a tragic-comedy of infinite disasters. It is 72 hours later, Mnangagwa as head of state has not issued a statement in acknowledging, Dr Alex Magaisa’s death.
Magaisa was a patriot, an outstanding academic who raised high, the country’s flag globally, in death he has united the nation, across the political divide, those who agreed with him or not, setting aside their differences, to mourn a man they individually connected with in one way or other.
Except for ED!
And so as Mnangagwa’s catastrophic leadership further manifests, there is growing consensus in national political discourse, on his imminent departure, lines being drawn, that this far and no further – more vexed are persons who supported his power-take-over project.
Debunking dominant narratives at the time that in the multifaceted crisis, former President Robert Mugabe was the sole problem, that increasingly desperate Zimbabweans had to extricate from themselves to live happily ever after.
The ones who argued back then that given a chance Mnangagwa, ushering in a more transparent government, would perform better than his former boss, by being a good custodian over the country’s resources– restoring dignity and pride to its people.
Tragically, in the evolving intrigue and drama over the past five years, a cocktail of disaster, what he attains is a dismal political score card, as we witness in how the ‘New Dispensation’ has been constructed, driven primarily, by continuities of social injustice – anchored on policy mediocrity, plunder and repression.
The reality today, of a country haemorrhaging politically and economically – there is an abiding consternation , as we hang our heads in shame, in wonderment over which of our ancestors we offended – to be thus cursed.
All this against a background in 2017, when Mnangagwa had a honey-moon period to prove his leadership mantle, to exhibit meticulous statesmanship, by pushing through the necessary political and economic reforms, foundational to Zimbabwe’s transition towards peace, stability and prosperity.
A burden for reforms which is being unfairly placed on the opposition’s ability to fight for them, and not on Mnangagwa’s integrity, as a leader in ensuring transparency and accountability even in the running of elections.
A trap to blame the opposition for rigged elections.
There is trouble in the Zanu PF paradise.
Spine-chilling feeling, as ominous political dark clouds gather above, military men are falling like flies, only last week, Major General (Retd), Godfrey Chanakira died, never mind the controversy, internal bickering, surrounding how he befittingly, eventually ended up interred at the National Heroes Acre.
Another Retired General Sikhulile Simpson Nyathi (61), died last Sunday, the details of his death announced this afternoon.
It is therefore, patently clear that politics of exclusion have destroyed, what could have been of Mnangagwa’s legacy, in a so called new dispensation – post Mugabe and the way the late President was often mocked.
The political bag of tricks is empty even for those who have strenuously tried over the past five years to sanitise Mnangagwa’s leadership deficiencies.
Obstinate Mnangagwa is driving the country in reverse gear – back to the dark ages, the country confusingly runs on multi-currencies, with batter trading an acceptable form of transaction.
A kleptomaniac, his Achilles heel has precisely been his failure to deal with rampant corruption, largely motivated by nepotism, with his fame being the daily generation of such scandals.
The most recent and the public is totally outraged, is the $240 million Pomona Waste Management deal for the Harare city council. So repugnant is the deal, that the stench coming from it is more lethal that than refuse to be collected from the streets of Harare.
Zimbabwe faces further isolation as regional and international disapproval against poor economic and political governance mounts – with re-engagement efforts wreaked by Mnangagwa’s glaring incompetence and his iron fist grip on power.
The centre is no longer holding.
Mnangagwa makes an order on a Saturday night in which he imposes capital controls and orders banks to suspend lending, wait for it – days later , a lower authority, the Central Bank announces the unfreezing of the bank lending policy.
As evidenced by elementary economic factors, which he can’t rig, policy inconsistency pushed inflation up to 131% in May from 94.6% April, with captains of industry warning that the spiralling inflation will reduce the production capacity of industries, as they fail to restock.
No solution in sight, as economists have further identified three main issues Mnangagwa is failing on, which are – international re-engagement, debt restructuring and access to international capital markets.(Tony Hawkins, 2022)
Reeling under the new wave of inflation, there are threats of unrest as labour demands are not met, coupled with, rising unemployment and exorbitant basic food stuffs.
More insightful, at this juncture, in exposing his duplicity, is that Mnangagwa seized power from Mugabe, making populist statements, such as the famous one – ‘the voice of the people, is the voice of God.’
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist, led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa, Moreblessing Ali (46), mother of two, has been missing for several days now.
The people who abducted her have been named, but the partisan police instead chose to be frivolous, creating irrational drama around her case – unwittingly making themselves complicit in her politically motivated disappearance.
Ali’s vocal, local member of Parliament, Job Sikhala, is on high alert, but, his despair grows each day that she is not found. The fear for Ali’s life, has a background, activists have been disappeared before – journalist Itai Dzamara is still unaccounted for – among many. This happening at the same time as there are reports of victimisation and harassment of CCC leaders and activists throughout the country.
Increasingly paranoid Mnangagwa has turned Zimbabwe into a horror show – in which anyone who opposes him is not safe, even those within his ruling Zanu PF party.
We have distress calls from youth activist Sybeth Musengezi, who has been placed under ‘surveillance’ – he is being trailed- he alerted all after his release from police custody. His only crime is to legally challenge the way Mnangagwa ascended to the throne in Zanu-PF, when he took over from Mugabe.
Zanu PF legislator Energy Mutodi, has also sent out a distress call of threats against his life.
I have argued before that it is rather imprudent to expect Mnangagwa to preside over a democratic dispensation in national politics, when he has a stranglehold choking the life out of his own ruling Zanu PF party.
Charity they say begins at home, how can we expect him to be benevolent with us, when he can’t with his own?
And so we witness how vindictive the regime is, journalists exercising their democratic function of news gathering and conveying information are muzzled.
Only yesterday, ZimLive journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu, was sensationally charged with ‘undermining the authority of the President’ over a Tweet he published about the President’s fiscal policies.
Days before that, two journalists from the Alpha Media Holdings, Blessed Mhlanga and Chengeto Chidi, were unlawfully detained while covering the just ended by-elections. They spent some days behind bars.
Mnangagwa’s end is hectic, but, we just have to be aware of the last kicks of a dying horse.
Grace Kwinjeh is a journalist she can be reached on [email protected]