Mnangagwa and Mphoko should get down to business


Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko have been given three years to market themselves. This is a unique opportunity to prove that they are worth rising to higher office.

Zimbabwe has been stagnant for almost three years but more so over the past 18 months.  First there was the 2013 election whose results the West refused to endorse. Then came the bitter and bruising fight within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in the run-up to the congress.

Some people are not happy with the results but gladly the party has now declared a ceasefire.  In politics, like in any game, there have to be winners and losers. But when the game is over both winners and losers have to carry on.

Mnangagwa and Mphoko must now deliver a better life to the people. They have to turn around the country’s economy. They were appointed on the basis that the country needs to maintain its current policy which seeks to empower locals.

That is a noble objective especially if one looks at Zimbabwe’s neighbours which have recorded high gross domestic growths for decades but at the same time their citizens have become poorer and the inequality gap has widened.

Mnangagwa and Mphoko must deliver otherwise ZANU-PF could face the same fate it experienced in 2008 come elections in 2018. Indeed, Mugabe lost because of the “bhora musango” campaign, but it was aided by the fact that people were suffering and because of this, anyone was better than Mugabe because he was responsible for their suffering.

Mnangagwa, who is being touted as the heir apparent and is already acting President, has proved before that he can turn things around especially when he was ZANU-PF secretary for finance. He turned the party into a vast business empire with viable companies.

He should now do what he did for the party, for the country. It is now time to demonstrate that Zimbabwe is indeed a rich country. We are tired of being told that the country is rich but we have nothing to show for it.

Zimbabwe has been criticised for its Look East policy. Indeed, we should not just Look East, but we should do what China did. Look where it is now. It is now the world’s largest economy. We do not need to become the world’s largest economy. We need to provide food and shelter and the basics to all our people first. After that, why not become the world’s biggest economy per capita?

Mphoko is also reported to be a task-oriented, results man. The diplomatic posts he was given testify to this.  So the two can do wonders if they work as a team and really have the country at heart.

The first thing they should do is to bring back the rule of law in the country- not the rule of law that is being demanded by the West- but basic things like that if you commit a crime you should be arrested and sent to jail. If you break the law, you face the consequences.

Right now, people just do what they want and get away with it. This must come to a stop. This shift does not require any money. It just requires political will and resolute leadership. We need to restore order in the country. Mnangagwa and Mphoko must show that someone is in charge.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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