11 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Ncube - Mnangagwa Squandered Global Goodwill Over Mugabe Ouster

Photo: Xinhua
President Emmerson Mnangagwa lights a torch during a celebration marking the nation's 38th independence anniversary (file photo).

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government has squandered the international and local goodwill which followed the November 2017 ouster of predecessor Robert Mugabe.

This was said by MDC vice president and former industry minister Prof Welshman Ncube in a recent interview with NewZimbabwe.com.

Although global powers usually condemn and act against unconstitutional power grabs, the military-chaperoned ouster of Mugabe was generally winked at by the international community.

According to Ncube however, Mnangagwa and his co-putschists have wasted opportunities which came with the end of Mugabe's 37-year reign.

People had a lot of goodwill for Emmerson (Mnangagwa). Lots of countries in the world were saying let us give them a chance," he said.

"Some people even here were saying let's give him a chance though some of us knew that they do not merit any chance because they are the same old junta that propped up Mugabe.

"(But) they have squandered that goodwill in terms of inability to unite the nation, to implement the constitution and to do the political thing that ought to be done which in fact is the underlining cause of the upsets of legitimacy arising from the failed elections," he said.

The end of Mugabe's largely disastrous rule left Zimbabweans hopeful of a respite from a decades-long economic crisis.

However, nearly two years later, the country's economic meltdown continues with government seemingly unable to stem the slide.

Ncube said the current economic crisis is down to a lack of leadership.

"We are basically on auto pilot," he said.

"The State and government are doing absolutely nothing unless you call attempts to squeeze more money from the people through the grossly cruel and unfair electronic transactions tax of two percent a policy.

"All that is happening is to get more money from the ordinary men and women in the street in order to continue to fund the prolificacy of this government.

It takes a lot of stupidity to squander over 2 billion dollars in less than 11 months."

Junior doctors have only just grudgingly ended a 40-day job action while civil service unions have issued the government with a 14-day notice to go on strike.

A cost of leaving wage adjustment offered by the government this Thursday was rejected by unions.

Ncube warned that labour unrest would continue as long as the government continues to use the surrogate bond notes currency.

"The economy is on a free fall," he said.

"The primary cause or trigger of this crisis as we predicted two years ago is the introduction of bond notes. Labour unrest will continue as long as you have inflation."

He also bemoaned the productive time lost as Zimbabweans spend several hours in queues looking for fuel.

"Go out there, ordinary people who should be occupying themselves productively producing for the economy are spending enumerable time in fuel queues and we have a government which cannot even begin to articulate what policy intervention they are making in order to address the basic shortages of fuel," he added.

Ncube's MDC party has called for dialogue with the Mnangagwa government over the economic crisis, but the requests have so far been ignored by the Zanu PF administration.

The opposition maintains that legitimacy questions arising from Mnangagwa's controversial victory in last July's elections will continue to dog the government and frustrate any efforts to address the country's economic problems.

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