Mnangagwa's legitimacy cannot be wished away

Mnangagwa's legitimacy cannot be wished away
Published: 30 April 2019
FORMER MDC official Eddie Cross portrays the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa as an improvement on that of former president Robert Mugabe.

He claims that the overthrow of Mugabe was legitimate. It was a "military-assisted transition" and not a coup because the population supported it. It is true that the people supported the ouster of Mugabe. They went wild with excitement and, to my knowledge, there was not one report of violence.

This is how the people of Zimbabwe demonstrate. Peacefully and full of joy!   They were never asked whether they would support some crazy "military-assisted transition". Former Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa was clear when just after the coup he said that the so-called "military-assisted transition" was an internal Zanu-PF affair and not a national issue.

The interesting thing about Cross's attempt to claim that peoples' demonstration confers legitimacy on the process of transition, is that it unconsciously opens the door to the same thing happening to Mnangagwa.

Cross also claims that Mnangagwa, like South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, is a minority leader within his ruling party; Generation 40 (G40) faction held 100 seats and were intent to remove him; but he survived the election by the skin of his teeth.

Cross is very confused about democracy. He is not sure whether he supports it or not.  With regard to the issue of legitimacy of the presidential vote in the harmonised election in 2018, Cross has argued privately that it is "water under the bridge."

In spite of both the opposition and international observers agreeing that it was neither free nor fair nor credible, Cross has always said it was nonsense to claim that MDC president Nelson Chamisa won the presidential vote.

He claimed that the number of Zanu-PF MPs who won rural seats illustrates the ratio of Zanu-PF vs MDC for the presidential vote and that the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) challenge was a waste of time and resources.

Yet now Cross suddenly admits a fundamental shift in his thinking.
He now admits that 100 seats were won by G40. The implication of this is huge.  There is a very large probability that voters who voted for a G40 candidate in Parliament would not have voted for Mnangagwa for the Presidency. Probably they would have voted for Chamisa.

The issue of political legitimacy cannot be dismissed as "water under the bridge".  Without political legitimacy and using the fatally flawed judgment that the economy can recover without democracy, truth and justice in place, the Government of Zimbabwe is causing needless and avoidable suffering on Zimbabweans which will inevitably increase.

If Mnangagwa indeed did win the election, he had the opportunity during the Con-Court challenge to instruct Zec to produce all the results for everyone to see.  This would have entrenched his legitimacy as president.

International and local endorsement and support would have returned. The fact that he did not do so clearly indicates that he lost the election.

Cross also claims the army is under civilian control now; former Zipra officers are now the commanders. He claims that the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is determined not to relinquish its control over hard currency and monetary policy.

Cross further claims that the army is under civilian control which means that Mnangagwa is in control.  He also claims that the RBZ is determined to retain control of monetary policy against the wishes of the president.

These claims are contradictory.

Is Mnangagwa in control or not?

If the government was unified then the RBZ governor would never be able to insist on his independence when the president wishes otherwise.

- dailynews
Tags: Mnangagwa,


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