“(Mnangagwa) knows he needs help; he will have to make peace with the international Community to get the bus fixed so that it can start to move forward.
“He knows how to drive the bus, but the new passengers on the bus are going to be difficult to handle – three quarters of his own Members of Parliament are new to the job, much younger than the leadership and most may be G40 or sympathetic to them.
“Then there are the MDC Alliance people – led probably by Tendai Biti who is no slouch intellectually and a highly regarded former Minister of Finance (‘we eat what we kill’) and that pesky independent from Norton.
“His own Party is in a shambles and will have to be rebuilt over the next 5 years so that it can fight a further battle to hold onto the reins of power. As if that is not enough, local government will be a constant headache, we have a run-away fiscal deficit, an inflated and corrupt civil service and a monetary situation which is in a shambles.
“It is weeks away from the next budget cycle and talks with the IMF loom large, the task of dealing with 20 years of chaotic land reform and illegal housing settlements on the periphery of almost every town, will also have to be dealt with.”
Cross said Mnangagwa carries all the baggage of 40 years of close association with Robert Gabriel Mugabe and has to deal with this legacy for which he is partly responsible.
He has to satisfy the ambitions of his close associates and maintain, at least in part, the patronage systems that got him over the line in the July elections.
“Even I have to draw breath after that bewildering list of things to do before we can really get this bus back on the road.
“Can all these problems be overcome and can we really mend the hurts of the past? The gunfire on the streets of Harare last Wednesday graphically illustrated how fragile this situation is.
“The aftermath itself was not pretty, we can do better, but we all have to appreciate that if we continue to fight each other and fail to concentrate on the mammoth task that lies ahead of us, we will not succeed.
“The Afrikaners have a saying ‘unity is strength’. If we can get together and point ourselves in the right direction, we can show the world, just as South Africa did in 1994, that anything is possible,” he said.