Mnangagwa must not take people for granted


President Emmerson Mnangagwa is genuine about his desire to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle class economy by the year 2030.  This is for the good of everyone.

But as he was told by Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi at their joint birthday celebration last year, he must always remember that he is leading people that are not willing to go through any hardship just like the Israelites were constantly telling Moses to take them back to Egypt whenever they encountered problems, yet they had been promised that Canaan was a land of milk and honey.

Mnangagwa must therefore not take Zimbabweans for granted, not just those perceived to be in the opposition but even those within his own party.

More importantly he must have the feel of the ordinary people, the people that struggle to make ends meet every day, the people who are worst affected by his policies but have no chance of ever telling him personally the suffering they are going through.

If the mass transport system that was rolled out today had been launched on 13 January, immediately after he hiked the price of fuel which sparked last week’s unrest, or at least fuelled it, this would have immediately killed all the speculation that ensued because everyone would have taken cue from that.

The question is, did his administration think of the mass transport system after the riots, or they had it in mind but wanted to roll it out in good time when everything was in place?

Firefighting is a clear example of poor leadership.

Now because of this poor leadership, the country has given life to organisations which were fast losing relevance.

Instead of spending more time in productive activities, people are spending more time in courts and in queues.

Mnangagwa must not think about shutting down non-governmental organisations or even the internet, he must just make these non-governmental organisations irrelevant by doing things that will make their existence meaningless.

End the current crisis and 87 organisations that form the Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe will become irrelevant, introduce the necessary electoral reforms and the 36 organisations that form the Zimbabwe Election Supervision network become irrelevant.

It is that simple. Mnangagwa does not need foreign currency to achieve these things. All he needs is the political will. But this is not an easy task because some people are making Big money from the present chaos and do not want it to end. Some of them, sadly, are his own lieutenants and relatives.

But he has to make some tough decisions if he wants to enjoy the goodwill of the people. It is better to lose a few friends and win more enemies.

Zimbabwe is just too rich to be this poor.


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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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