27 November 2018

Zimbabwe: One Year On With a Listening President

Following events that transpired last year around this time, Zimbabwe underwent Government transition ushering in the Second Republic which has proved far removed from the era of former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe. As soon as President Mnangagwa assumed the seat as the Head of State and Government he pledged to oversee a democratic Zimbabwe that will uphold basic human rights, tolerate a multiparty political system, enforce a democratic voting system, respect the rule of law, ensure democratic government and embrace citizen participation.

It boggles the mind then to find blinkered individuals choosing not to see progress that is slowly but surely transforming Zimbabwe. Rebuilding this country is definitely not an event but a process that requires all hands on deck and for people to think outside the box and stop politicising every challenge.

Democratic voting system

To begin with, President ED Mnangagwa did not want to impose himself on the people of Zimbabwe, so during his swearing- in, he promised Zimbabweans that the elections where still going to take place as scheduled. Not only that, but he also promised over 70 000 people who came to witness the inauguration on November 24, 2017, free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections something which was previously unheard of during former president Mugabe's time. President Mnangagwa in his efforts to ensure transparency went a step further by inviting regional and international observers; he had nothing to hide.

Respect for human rights

Forthwith President Mnangagwa made a loud call to stop political violence, a call that was embraced by all ZANU-PF supporters. It comes as no surprise that elements such as National Patriotic Front political commissar Jim Kunaka would testify that he is the mastermind in the art of terrorism and violence; it only goes to confirm that Operation Restore Legacy was right to target the criminals around former president Mugabe. Jim Kunaka was one such criminal who was terrorising Mbare residents through his gang known as Chipangano under the leadership of the G40 cabal.

President Mnangagwa called for peace and the true ZANU-PF leaders and members followed suit. Also in a move that displayed President Mnangagwa's respect for basic human rights, when the people of Matapi lost their homes through fire, he was there in person not through proxies to offer a helping hand in providing shelter.

He again mobilised finances and health institutions to focus on the fight against cholera in Glen View that had threatened to spread all over the country, because he respects the basic human rights for shelter and health. Recently boreholes were drilled in the Rushinga and Muzarabani areas that had run dry, so that people have access to clean water.

The new dispensation has also taken it upon itself to ensure provision of shelter by 2030 as it is currently constructing houses under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) in partnership with IDBZ, UDCORP and NSSA.

Multi party political system

July 30 elections, there were more than 53 political parties and 23 presidential candidates that took part in a free and fair election. They were free to conduct their party campaigns without fear or intimidation. They used the State broadcaster to sell their manifestoes. Even up to now people are free to wear their party regalia; there is political tolerance; except of course for terror that the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance inflicts on people who would be exercising their democratic right to wear and support a party of their choice. The Commission of Inquiry is really doing a great job in exposing hostile and bitter elements in society. Jim Kunaka pledged his support for young Nelson Chamisa. Needless to say, he has carried his violent behaviour and married it to the already violent Vanguard an MDC-A militia that is used to spread terror to opposing political parties.

To quote from the IRI-NDI Zimbabwe International Electoral Observation Mission report after the July 30 2018 elections which said "Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court declared Emmerson D. Mnangagwa the winner of the election and Zimbabwe's next President and dismissed MDC Alliance's challenge of the July 30 presidential election results".

Further, the US Department of State through their spokesperson, Heather Nauert, said "all parties should respect the Zimbabwean Constitution and the rule of law following the Constitutional Court ruling on that President ED Mnangagwa was the winner of the 30 July presidential elections".

It perplexes the mind to see that people who continue to find rowdy elements such as the so-called leader of the MDC-A insisting that he won the July 30 election when it has been proved by the Concourt, the highest court in the land, that he has no legs to stand on that issue, and has no proof to justify his assertions. Chamisa has no regard for the rule of law, he spits in its face just as he does his party constitution. He is turning out to be a serious tyrant who should be reined in by his party members as soon as possible.

President Mnangagwa has upheld his respect for the rule of law, by setting up a legislative agenda to bring with immediacy the alignment of the country's laws to the new Constitution. He has set up a special Anti-Corruption Unit within the President's Office to work together with the police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission in bringing sanity to the economics of this country. A call has also been made by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to all media houses, civil society organisations and advertising agencies in an effort to enhance the democratic space at a round table, to discuss, to amend and realign media laws with the Constitution.

It is, therefore, not true to say that one year on and nothing has been achieved. President Mnangagwa has declared himself a listening President and has demonstrated his claims through several meetings with different demographics of the Zimbabwean population, the chiefs, the captains of industry, the students, the women and the youths to mention but a few. All this is being carried out to find out their areas of concern that required immediate addressing. He has listened to the consumers and retailers, the farmers and the manufacturers.

It might individually feel like nothing is happening to pessimists, but already huge strides are being taken in our socio-economic issues. Take note that within the farming and mining sectors, records have been broken in tobacco and gold output. In the 2017-18 farming season tobacco output surpassed the 236 million kg produced in 2000. Gold production in the first 10 months of 2018 yielded 30,3 tonnes surpassing best output of 27,5 million tonnes in 1999. Rebuilding Zimbabwe then requires all hands on deck as it can never be a one-man job. Patience and a helping hand can go a long way in augmenting Government efforts to reach the upper middle income status by 2030.

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