The West should focus on supporting President Mnangagwa’s structural reforms, rather than figure-hugging the hostile rhetoric of MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, the International Policy Digest has said.
Since coming to power in November 2017, President Mnangagwa has embarked on a number of reforms to bring the country back into the international community, after years of isolation.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed. In a recent article, Martin Banks writing in the International Policy Digest, said progressive minds have recognised the new dispensation’s work to reform the country.
“In order to unleash this potential, the West should pay more attention to the actions of the (President) Mnangagwa administration rather than the hostile rhetoric of Chamisa,” reads Banks’ article.
“It should not squander this opportunity for change and potentially trigger a return to hard-line politics, but support (President) Mnangagwa as he tackles national unity, a challenging economy and natural disasters among many other issues.
“He deserves more time and goodwill to push through wide-ranging structural reforms, and a chance to prove Zimbabwe is genuinely embracing democratic values and principles.”
Banks said it was unfortunate that the West’s main source of information continued to come from the MDC, even after Mr Robert Mugabe was deposed.
“Sadly, the West listens to the wrong voice. Chamisa has employed the controversial populist tactics of African firebrands such as Julius Malema in South Africa and Kenya’s Raila Odinga. Meanwhile, (President) Mnangagwa is taking constructive action.”
To date, Cabinet has approved the Freedom of Information Bill, key legislation that will effectively repeal the existing Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) once ratified by parliament.
The Government is also seeking to repeal he Public Order and Security Act (POSA), that was used by former president Mr Mugabe to deal with protests.
The law is set to be replaced by the Maintenance of Peace and Order (MOPA) Bill in a few weeks’ time.
The new administration is also in the process of compensating white commercial farmers who lost their land during the country’s land reform programme, a combative issue that curdled relations with the West.
The opening of the economic space has also attracted a huge investment interest from both local and international investors.
On the political front, President Mnangagwa initiated political dialogue to foster unity, peace and development.
The dialogue involves over 17 presidential candidates that participated in the July 2018 harmonised elections.
Last week, the parties’ leaders — minus Mr Chamisa who boycotted — met to chart a way forward.