Zimbabwe: US - Mnangagwa's 'New Dispensation' Yet to Prove Itself

U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols, left and President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).
26 September 2018

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa's 'New Dispensation' has been all talk and no action and needs to start implementing its proposed policies if it is to be regarded as a fresh start, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols has said.

After taking over power through a military coup, Mnangagwa called his administration a "New Dispensation", signalling a break with the predecessor Robert Mnangagwa regime which was blamed for gross human rights abuses and the country's economic collapse.

However, speaking to youths and members of the media at an event hosted by an online media platform, Nichols said although there had been sound proposals from the Mnangagwa administration, implementation was still lacking.

He also expressed concern over the August 1 post-election violence when members of the military intervened in an opposition protest against the vote outcome, resulting in six people being shot dead.

"What has been put forward has been very positive, but right now there is more proposals than concrete accomplishments," said Nichols.

"What we need are concrete accomplishments; we need to see those debated, passed and the important parts implemented.

"The events of 1 August, the violence and protestors shot in the streets by security forces; that was very disturbing for the international community and my government in particular."

Mnangagwa proceeded to setup a commission of inquiry on the shootings which is chaired by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe and comprises international and local experts in a development Nichols described as "positive".

"The commission of inquiry is a positive step to address what happened, but it needs to have a full and transparent investigation and people need to be held to account for what happened," he said.

"If that happens then this really will mark change and a break from the past and a great opportunity for Zimbabwe to move forward," added Nichols.

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