WE wish to congratulate President Mnangagwa on becoming the country’s second executive President. His work, over the next five years, is cut out. His is the burden of restoring Zimbabwe to its former glory. A burden that rests on two key issues: politics and the economy. Both issues demand high stakes diplomacy on his part.
President Mnangagwa pitched his campaign as a peace builder, a unifying father figure and a leader who went out of his way to accord his rivals as much space and freedom as they desired during the campaign.
He certainly would have no problem respecting his losing chief challenger Mr Nelson Chamisa, only if the MDC-Alliance leader concedes.
The Constitutional Court (Concourt) last week unanimously dismissed with costs the election petition by Chamisa disputing the declaration of Cde Mnangagwa as the duly elected President of Zimbabwe.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba made it clear that the allegations by Chamisa were never substantiated, and that in any case, they were robustly rebutted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The Chief Justice also made it clear a challenge to such an election was a serious matter of public interest.
Irregularities and malpractices as alleged by Chamisa had to be backed by solid evidence, not speculation about ballot stuffing and claims of disenfranchisement of 40 000 people without proving that they were registered and intended to vote for a particular candidate. He said the full judgment would be delivered later.
Suffice to say yesterday’s inauguration of President Mnangagwa should end any debate about elections. We
need to move on as a nation.
Unfortunately Chamisa appears to have taken the elections as a personal fight against President Mnangagwa. He seems to have launched himself into this election believing it to be a divine destiny in which he represented angels while President Mnangagwa represented forces of evil. He pitched himself as an implacable enemy, not a political competitor or a mere presidential aspirant.
Whether from exuberant childish immaturity or ill-advice, Chamisa burnt bridges from the beginning to the end of his electoral campaign, nay, to the Constitutional Court challenge. He became the most polarising political pretender this country has ever seen in such a short period, every time abusing the Bible to deceive the gullible that he was ordained to be the next president.
On this misguided mission, Chamisa lured disenchanted youths who have no jobs into believing he was the messiah and Zanu-PF and leadership were enemies. He did everything in his power to poison and divide the nation right through the middle while promising rural voters airports and bullet trains when what they need most are basics such as clean water and medicines in local clinics.
This is the man President Mnangagwa has stretched out his hand to; Chamisa needs to shake that hand; that is if Chamisa thinks he still has something useful to contribute politically to this nation. Otherwise he is a terrible spoiler who should go full time into law and hope one day to become a respected lawyer. That would be best for Zimbabwe, for then President Mnangagwa would be left to bring back and rehabilitate the lost sheep Chamisa had led astray by treating fellow Zimbabweans who support the ruling party as enemies. No Chamisa, we are all Zimbabwean first before we choose political camps.
Most daunting is dealing with the economy. President Mnangagwa now has a full mandate. There are many youths who were swayed by Chamisa’s grandiose promises about ending the country’s economic challenges miraculously overnight. It is President Mnangagwa’s burden to bring them down from Chamisa’s kite. Rebuilding the economy is a collective effort of all Zimbabweans. Saboteurs, and there are many in politics, and in business where prices of basic goods are being increased by the hour, should be severely punished. The same goes for NGOs peddling lies about widespread violence and publishing false reports to besmirch the President and his Government in the international community.
Policy-wise President Mnangagwa has laid a credible foundation of the trajectory he wants to take the economy. The engagement and re-engagement must be intensified. He now needs to persuade those countries ready to work with his Government to make good on their investment pledges. He must also persuade those of goodwill who were genuinely waiting for elections that Zimbabwe is open for business and that stability and security of investment are assured.
We also believe it is the duty of all serious media in the country to introspect about their role in pushing Chamisa to breaking point with their propaganda, and decampaigning the country. There is honour in prospering in a thriving economy than getting funding through national treachery.
God bless Zimbabwe.