Something big is happening to Emmerson Mnangagwa he has come to realisation that his approval ratings have slumped. With the public confidence at its lowest. The mega deals have not materialised and to divert attention he quickly had to reshuffle his cabinet.
With the ousting of Robert Mugabe in the 2017 coup, there was hope for a change of course, including economic reforms.With the new President proclaiming that Zimbabwe was “open for business.” But his rhetoric has not translated into any action, and the new dispensation seems less disconnected to the masses of Zimbabwe who are living in poverty. Fuel and food prices are going up on a weekly basis causing hardship to ordinary Zimbabweans, but the president seem oblivious to this fact.
To imagine that the crocodile (Mnangagwa’s nickname ) would change its colour is a pipe dream. Mnangagwa prescribed over violence during the period of Gukurahundi which effectively ended in December 1987 when former President Mugabe and Nkomo signed the Unity Accord. In 1983, the Southern part of Zimbabwe erupted into violence in 1983 when ZANU-led government decided to crack down on ZAPU supporters.
The Fifth Brigade, a military unit trained by the North Korean army, swept through provinces in Matebeleland and the Midlands, where ZAPU supporters much of which came from the minority Ndebele people derived. The operation was codenamed Gukurahundi, which translates in Shona as “the rain that washes away the chaff”. From 1983 to 1987, security forces targeted thousands of Ndebele people with torture, detention and summary execution. An estimated 20,000 people were killed. As part of this, ZANU and ZAPU merged to become the ZANU-PF party. In the following months, an amnesty was announced for both security forces and dissidents who had committed violations. Leading to peace in the Matebele region.
Before the election results on the 1st of August 2018 Mnangagwa unleashed the Zimbabwe National Army to shoot and kill unarmed Zimbabweans and followed up the brutality by requesting his soldiers to follow up on a door to door cleansing for those who were involved in the January 15 2019 rioting. This is the President associated with some of the worst atrocities committed under the ruling Zanu-PF party since independence in 1980 and to expect him to change is asking the “crocodile” to change its colours.
Emmerson Mnangagwa has on several occasions admitted to the deteriorating state of the economy and has introduced 231 satutary instruments using the president’s executive powers making the Zimbabwean Parliament irrelevant when it comes to policy making and implementation.
Despite receiving and approving projects of $3 billion and $2 billion in the last three years, none of these projects have materialised. Mnangagwa has been globe trotting in a private jet meeting world leaders and international business persons,investors are still holding back investment because they are skeptical of Mnangagwa, due to his role in the Mugabe-led administration.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel?