Mnangagwa and keeping the promise

Mnangagwa and keeping the promise
Published: 23 July 2018
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa's meeting with members of the white, Asian and mixed race communities at Borrowdale Race course in Harare on Saturday generated a lot of excitement among opposition parties as they struggle to keep up with the Zanu-PF leader and his party's high pitched strategy ahead of the country's elections a week from now.

Momentarily, they let off the hook Justice Priscilla Chigumba, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, who has recently been a target of their attacks, in a desperate bid to soil the President's Saturday meeting.

Justice Chigumba has been a target of attacks by both the MDC Alliance and the bitter remnants of the notorious G40 cabal in the past week in a vain effort to discredit the coming polls.

On the contrary however, their efforts came to naught with the attacks on Justice Chigumba attracting the attention of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders that work together for peace and human rights led by former UN secretary general Mr Koffi Anan, who visited the country last week, condemning her violation.

The Elders also called on opposition political parties to stop making "unreasonable" demands to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as they risk inciting public unrest, which has the potential to spawn grave and unintended consequences.

Back to attempts to soil President Mnangagwa's meeting, the MDC Alliance deliberately forgets that this is the same man who, barely a month after his inauguration, visited their departed leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai who was ailing at the time – setting the country on a new path of political tolerance.

Before his visit to Mr Tsvangirai, President Mnangagwa had told Zanu-PF supporters at a Special Congress in Harare in December that he would unite all Zimbabweans under the national flag and around the national anthem.

"I stand before you, therefore, as the President of a united, non-racial Zimbabwe, itself home to many tongues, dialects, cultures, colours, age groups.

"I am a President of women and men; the young and the old; the able-bodied and the physically-challenged; the rich and the poor; the well and the sick. I am an emissary of all the veterans and heroes, dead or alive, who through their blood sketched the cause and mission which my Presidency must promote, must actualise and advance,'' said President Mnangagwa then.

"I am a President for Ndebeles, Shonas, Zezurus, Ndaus, Karangas, Manyikas, Vendas, the Chewas, Sothos. I am also the President for the Tongas, Tswanas, Xhosas, Khoisans, Shangaans, Kalangas, Nambyans and other races, all who are celebrated in our national Constitution.

"The role you have given me, and the Office you have inserted me into can never be partitioned to anyone."

The President has also preached unity, peace and love from his inauguration and reiterated his calls in every public engagement emphasising that the country's development depends on the unity of its people.

It is the greatest act of hypocrisy therefore on the part of the opposition and the bitter G40 gang to try and soil what is easily an act of walking the talk by a President who has expressed his vision for a united Zimbabwe and equality among all citizens.

The message of the President was clear in that interface and calling for the very things that he has preached from the time he became President.

"Under the new dispensation, there is no discrimination.

"We should cease to talk about who owns the farm in terms of colour. We should cease talking about that. A farmer – a black farmer, a white farmer – is a Zimbabwean farmer. We should look at it that way. We should begin to develop a culture among our people to accept that we are one."

President Mnangagwa said in line with his plans to restore Zimbabwe's status as the breadbasket of the region, Government welcomes white former commercial players who are willing to contribute their expertise to the development of the agriculture sector.

"Let the past remain behind, there are so many white farmers who don't have farms anymore as a result of land reform. But I think they have a role to play in terms of skills in the farming sector. All that is required is more of such interaction with the farmers' organisations. Invite me and I articulate my policy to the people, to the farmers so you find comfort and you know what is possible and what is not possible," he said.

"I told the farmers in Mashonaland West and in Chipinge and Chimanimani that this issue of new invasions is a thing of the past. I have told my provincial ministers, I have told my party leadership across the country that (this) is a thing of the past. The rule of law must now apply."

In their desperation, the opposition and the bitter G40 remnants tried to equate the President's interface with the meeting Mr Tsvangirai had with some white farmers at the height of the land reform programme.

They forget however, that firstly, Mr Tsvangirai was never President of Zimbabwe and at the time of his meeting with the group of disgruntled farmers, they only entertained him in the hope that the late MDC-T leader would at best derail the programme or at worst reverse it should he win the elections which never got to happen.

President Mnangagwa on the other hand and living to his promise, met members of the white, Asian and mixed race community the same way he did with chiefs, members of different religious sects, youths, war veterans and many other groups towards enforcing unity among Zimbabweans.

Perhaps what has dawned to the MDC Alliance and its G40 bedfellows is that just like those countries that had been hostile towards Zimbabwe are changing stance on the country after the new dispensation, those groups that have been bitter over the years are also warming up to the President Mnangagwa-led Government and the gospel of inclusivity that he has been preaching.

Having latched on to the bitterness of some sections of Zimbabwean society since its inception under Mr Tsvangirai, the inheritors of the MDC will not enjoy that support going to the July 30 polls. The game has changed.
- the herald
Tags: Mnangagwa,


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