President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently officially launched his Zanu PF party’s election manifesto, where he made promises that cannot go unchallenged.
The irony of thousands of hard-pressed Zimbabweans, who queue for many hours to access a little cash from their banks in Harare and other major cities across the country is that they will be facing huge Mnangagwa campaign billboards, describing him as “a man of action”.
It is not lost on the majority of Zimbabweans, many of whom are set to vote in the forthcoming presidential polls in which the President’s pay-off line is “a man of action”, that almost six months after taking over the presidency in a palace coup, Mnangagwa has not done anything to resolve the cash crisis.
Perhaps his major achievement − for lack of a better word − is that he has been able to travel and address gatherings in countries where his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, had become a pariah.
Besides that, the majority of struggling Zimbabweans are still to see any action, not only on the cash crisis, but a whole raft of sticking issues including corruption, economic decay, social decadence, diamond looting and electoral reforms.
If truth be told, Mnangagwa has largely perpetuated his predecessor’s legacy. It could be that his hands are tied especially after discovering that Mugabe had left the country a mere shell.
Mnangagwa needs to summon all his energy to recuperate the country. We have no doubt that the President and his colleagues did not appreciate the scale of the economic decay until they took over the levers of power.
It is, therefore, unfortunate that Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has chosen to duck questions related to the cash crisis and government’s failure to clamp down on illegal money changers.
Zimbabweans are disturbed by the Mnangagwa regime’s laxity in dealing with these pertinent issues and this brings into doubt their capability to steer the country on a new trajectory suppose they win the forthcoming elections.
Five months is more than enough time for a new government to have demonstrated its real commitment to change and ensuring that they are serious about uplifting the majority’s livelihoods. Lip service in this country has a long-running history, and one is tempted to believe that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
There is something wrong when those in leadership start making promises about the things they will do if re-elected into office, when it is their obligation to have fulfilled those things, as they already hold positions that compel them to do so.
Zimbabweans demand their leaders to be serious they are tired of being taken for a ride. Mnangagwa should take heed as this could be costly for him.