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Nasty factional fights boil in Mnangagwa’s backyard
TOPSHOT - Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe's President and presidential candidate for the ZANU PF party, speaks during his last campaign rally at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, on July 28, 2018. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)


Unpacking the new dispensation: Why the nation should vote Mnangagwa




THE President is expected to comply with constitutional provisions.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa had achieved a lot in this regard, he had complied with the constitution on devolution, violence-free elections, equitable distribution of resources, locally based development approach, minority rights by hosting the ICASA, engaging in livelihoods approach among other.

In addition, the head of state gives public policy direction. Through the  presidential proclamation, the President unpacks national strategy. The National Development Strategy document, unlike any other public policy document, is a highly protected blueprint. The national strategy without making direct reference to it is made known through guidance by the President through cabinet meetings, party  strategic meetings, speeches, state of the nation address (Sona) and public addresses, among others.

The president has shifted national strategy from politics, which was the focal point in the old dispensation, to sustainable development. Prioritising politics ahead of development became a human security issue and the President, being a listening leader, heeded the call and retooled the national strategy for it to prioritise the sustainable livelihoods model. The President is committed to human security which prioritises the life, safety and welfare of citizens. When the President says the country is built by its own citizens, he is implementing community-driven policies in line with the new global trends. Since 2017, he has made strides towards human security and he is promoting local solutions to Zimbabwean problems.

The theory of negation affects people’s choices on a political leader. The President had addressed both the public concerns and external partners’ expectations, which was lacking in the old dispensation. He removed red tape and enhanced the ease of doing business. Combative and elitist policies like Saviour Kasukuwere’s indigenisation policy were repealed. The foreign policy was realigned to read, “friends to all and enemy to none” and he liberalised the economy through the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.

The President went on to lay out a developmental plan that, Zimbabweans and Zimbabweans alone can develop this country, step by step and brick by brick. This is unlike political lies by the opposition that Zimbabwe will turn into a biblical Canaan within three months, yet the Asian Tigers with their self-reliant oil-rich economies took 20 years to transform economically. I may need to be schooled where Nelson Chamisa learnt his voodoo political economic miracle statements that only exist in the metaphysical world.

Yes, propaganda is acceptable in the  political realm and books of medieval politics but the threshold needs some kind of reasonability. True, dreams are key ingredients to growth in life, but as you share it consider your audience and the level of political maturity therein. The world we now live in criminalises political lies and hate speech because the world has evolved and people must be practically served and provided for.

In the 21st century, leaders must be pro-people, hence the new dispensation has embarked on Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme to address food security at household level and devolution to ensure that government is adapted and localised. That is true democracy of “a government for the people and by the people”.  Democracy was one of the reasons why Zimbabwe went to war and MDC/CCC had abused it to mean liberal Western democracy.

After President Mnangagwa has fulfilled all the tenets of democracy during his tenure, the CCC now wants to establish a theocratic nation by the popular saying, “God is in it”. This is a surrender political statement by now appealing to metaphysical reality. President is doing practical politics whose results are glaring for all to see. Zimbabweans are now more self-governing and involved in the management of the affairs of the state than ever before. A country governed by its own people hence nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.

Devolution creates a community-based economic system with local accountability mechanisms. The beneficiaries of devolution funds are known, as all the communities in Zimbabwe can bear testimony that they received the devolution money. Whilst the President is pushing to empower the nation, a CCC has registered the whole clan as evidenced by the gazetted list by the Zimbabwe Election Commission. Zimbabwe last saw this kind of political euphoria soon after Independence when the country was in the nation building stage when Mugabe did the unthinkable. Zimbabwe is not a dynasty but belongs to us all.

Mnangagwa had devolved the government so that development is able to reach the epicentre of marginalised communities. This is no longer political talk in Zimbabwe but it is evidence of what the President has done in the new dispensation which is glaring for all to see, for example every sound minded person knows how bad our roads used to be in the old dispensation.

Thus, politics had gone beyond rhetoric and political fantasies as was with Mugabe whose speeches were more powerful than his actions. Political acumenship is what we are seeing under the astute leadership of President Mnangagwa, the politics of deliverables. People do not live in a fantasy world but in a physical and mundane world.

 The statements by  CCC advocating for bullet trains and spaghetti roads in merely 90 days reminds me of a funny liberation promise “kana tahwina muchatakura mufudze nemaDakota” meaning if we win the war you will be carryingmanure to your fields with helicopters.

This is akin to the statement by a certain politician, Chamisa, who promised people an airport at every household. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the fastest growing country in the world but airports at household level would be a pipeline dream for them.

Electoral literacy is an important aspect in a state, a mature state like Zimbabwe must vote for a leader whose   vision and initiatives you have experienced than a heaven whose leader is already showing excessive hunger for power. The reason why Satan has followers is that he campaigns too, showing his angelic side and hiding his true colours in a velvet glove, only to unpack the horns at the point of no return. It is better to vote for a tried and tested leader whose works you have witnessed.

It is unfortunate that Chamisa is failing to understand that the new referent point of security is the community. It is no longer fashionable to talk of politics over development. Politics has caused enough suffering and challenges globally hence the states are moving towards community-driven politics.

Accelerated developmental approach where universities are challenged to innovate, primary and secondary children to innovate through CALAS and communities decide development priorities through devolution of the central authority. Chamisa is losing traction both locally and from his traditional sponsors by his failure to articulate human security. Furthermore, his desire to be the prototype of Mugabe autocracy, resulting in him operating and campaigning alone, has destroyed his political capital.

The same with Kasukuwere who is pushing for factionalism, advancing an ethnic political card to divide the country and his push for retributive justice politics over restorative justice. Their political agenda has no place in the 21st century where the goal of politics is to protect the human security component. Truth be told, Zimbabweans must reject Chamisa and Kasukuwere for pushing archaic political agendas. Their speeches, which mirror their political standpoints, require a mindset overhaul.  If they are really serious about state power, they must prove the worth of their manifestos, speeches and actions towards protecting human security.

The diplomatic community Is beginning to be fed up with the level of political immaturity they are seeing in opposition politi cs. It seems Tsvangirai took with him opposition politics to the grave, leaving behind politicalsocial clubs. One may be tempted to describe the current opposition politicians as opaque. Zanu PF, a once hard-line revolution party, is self reforming and shedding off some of its yesteryear unacceptable political practices. Interestingly, the opposition is waiting by the dustbin to collect such elements and entrench itself, for example the opposition is now more autocratic than the term may be defined to mean.

Zanu PF has recruited more than eight PhD holders to reform itself so that it becomes appealing to 21st politics. Modern politics is about how best to empower the locals and not how best to consolidate power. Voting is a scientific process whose patterns are empirically verifiable. The President had become a people’s choice, with the diplomatic community beginning to warm up his astute leadership. When measuring the qualities of a leader in a human security environment popularly known as the Vision 2030, the key pillar is the ability of the leader to empower the local community.

The qualification for one to become a president must go beyond, being 40 years, registered voter and ordinarily a citizen of this country. These counter revolutionary provisions expose this country to be governed by “fools” in their numbers. There is a need to move away from fantasy politics to orthopraxis.

Parties must be allowed to exist only if they are advancing the national cause which is human security like what President Mnangagwa is doing. The role of political parties is to save life and to improve their welfare. Other than these two primary goals, political parties must be barred from existing. Some of these so-called political parties in Zimbabwe are groupings of “gangsters” and not parties as they claim to be. Some call for sanctions just because they have excessive desire for public office. Politics and development is sluggish because of the failure to come up with comprehensive laws which guide the registration and the operation of political parties.

How do people opt to operate structureless and a single person dictate the pace? Whilst parties are voluntary organisations, “objectifying” citizens for whatever reason must not be allowed. It is the duty of the state to guard against any form of exploitation regardless of the cause. The government of Zimbabwe, in line with human security, must come up with a solution to modern slavery and exploitation. Citizens have inalienable rights which cannot be abrogated through persuasion or coercion.

The title head of state and government is not a constitutional coincidence; it is a constitutional provision which allows him/her to function the administrative powers of the government. It is this regard that the president is a public-servant-in-chief, thus he is the principal public servant of the state. Under this provision, the president provides and protects citizens from any form of danger and harm. The term sovereignty is a brainchild of the right to provide and protect principle.

Since 2017 to date, the President has achieved a lot towards improving the economy. The education 5.0 is yielding economic gains and it played a key role during Covid-19 when globalisation “died” and each United Nations (UN) member state was forced to have inward-looking policies. Societies are now given funds and decide on their own how they want them utilised to develop themselves. This is a society-driven economic model by the new dispensation.

This is unlike Kasukuwere’s self-enriching Ponzi scheme, the indigenisation policy whose beneficiaries remain virtual to date. It was Kasukuwere’s policy because he ended up personalising and patronising a national policy, a dangerous political culture that was addressed by the President.

National policies had became a political tool and a platform for rewarding friends and cronies. He now seeks presidential office on the strength of abuse of power. Where are the beneficiaries of his indigenisation policy? Zimbabwe is too big to fit into an individual’s pocket and Kasukuwere cannot seek presidential office to get immunity in order to run away from the long arm of the law.

So many questions have been asked regarding why the new dispensation should be entrusted by the electorate on 23 August 2023. Whilst the vote is a self-determination tool by every citizen, its application ought not to be emotional and out of mob psychology. Voter euphoria is very dangerous, hence the need to vote for President Mnangagwa for he has walked the developmental path and related politics to the social ebb. Politics like religion are social elements that must not dictate the pace for the government. Every head of state is unique in his own right and has the right to usher in a leadership style of his choice which is exercised within the confines of the constitution.

The constitution is the supreme document and cannot be abrogated by anyone as it has self-preservation mechanisms to protect its sanctity. President Mnangagwa observed constitutionalism, especially when he removed the culture of political violence, regionalism, impunity and increased the access to the president through an open door policy. His open-door policy has created a legacy of a president who is not only approachable by the elites only but by people from all walks of life.

He has become the mother of the nation and he reminds the nation of the Vice-President Muzenda in terms humour. The humorous side of the President has earned him a huge following from churches, that is 85% of the entire population, ordinary persons, civil society, informal economy which is 75% and the labour union that was outsmarted and ditched by CCC leader Chamisa.

A good shepherd is selfless and does not seek to take back the country to archaic politics of dictatorial tendencies. The choice of a leader is central, for instance the US dragged civilisation to Visigoth’s era that plundered the Roman civilisation when they voted Trump into power. He incited the invasion of Capitol Hill by demonstrators and he forgot that he was still a serving president.

The politics of hero-worshipping is now archival politics. All these political experiments and machinations of structure less parties which avoid constitutions does not need a skyrocket scientist to tell that the leader is now an enemy of democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism. Mugabe walked the path and ended up venerating Chamisa’s dictatorial tendencies just because he had seen a prototype in Chamisa.

This is public knowledge from an interview that was carried on Mugabe after he retired from public office. Whilst Chamisa is free to align to any political philosophy, Zimbabwe is not prepared for the rebirth of Mugabeism, considering how his last moment leadership style left  political thorns in the hearts and minds of the people.

Interestingly, Chamisa and Kasukuwere will soon tussle each other on who is more Mugabeist th an the other. Where Chamisa and Kasukuwere areseeking to drag this country to is what is being condemned by Zimbabweans in general and the international community in particular.

The purpose of the observer team is to tick the political box on the extent to which Zimbabwe is compliant with international guidelines. The new dispensation has demonstrated adherence to the pacta sunt servanda doctrine. States are servants and one may wonder which political script is the opposition in Zimbabwe reading from. This new mature political environment can only besustained by voting President Mnangagwa on 23 August 2023.

Mugabe can be pardoned for some of his political misgivings because it was part of the pan-African mentality that politics was key since Africa was a colony.  The renowned political philosophers like Julius Nyerere had popularised their political thought that, seek yee the political kingdom and everything else will follow.

Thus, politics became the primary and ultimate goal in running the affairs of the state. Mugabe seems to have taken this trajectory too far and to the detriment of all elements of life in Zimbabwe. President Mnangagwa had seen the dangers of over-politicising the state, hence he opted to reform the political environment. He replaced political priority with the economic priority.

Some who were myopic criticised him without hindsight of the purposive interpretation of his actions. This had for the first time relegated political charlatans who were abusing political power to engage in various nefarious activities that also tarnished the party as well. President Mnangagwa went on to remove impunity and self-imposed immunity by political actors who engaged in overdrive and entrenched corrupt activities were arrested. This had seen high-level personalities in both the government and the party being arrested. The President had to rewrite Nyerere’s statement to read, seek yee the economic power and everything else will follow. This is an important policy posture by the President with a view to uplifting the economy, a key pillar of human security.

In his two inauguration speeches, President Mnangagwa was very clear on the new policy direction. This meant that once a presidential proclamation is made, all systems of the government had to realign. Through this new political culture, Zimbabwe was able to achieve in six years what the old dispensation could not achieve in 37 years. The President retooled the national interests to be people and economic oriented. Mnangagwa, to achieve this goal, had devolved the government, which the late president Mugabe openly refused to do.

Apart from devolution, he went further to push for equitable and affirmative development culture by prioritising formerly marginalised districts and provinces. To demonstrate political will, he personally formulated a developmental philosophy for Zimbabwe, thus leaving no place, no-one and no ethnic group behind. He walked the talk, in Matabeleland provinces he slept at State House in Bulawayo more than the former did in 37 years. He even opened debate on issues that affect the social fabric, for example the Gukurahundi issue. His idea is to heal the nation and unite Zimbabwe by addressing all the open and underlying problems that had been promoting polarity.

Whilst he is pushing to serve people, the nocturnal elements in the opposition are busy discrediting the country through peddling falsehoods. The rogue NGOs and CSOs whose manpower are the locals who believe that soiling the country image to continue in their lucrative NGO jobs that pay more than the government is enough incentive to peddle lies. The Patriotic Act and the PVO Bill are important documents to reform a hostile section of the society. NGOs and CSOs cried foul because they have a hypocritical mindset, their song is the government must be transparent and accountable, but when the government demands the same of CSOs and NGOs, it is now a violation.

If NGOs and CSOs conform to the PVO Bill, there will be sustainable development in the country because the community can be able to hold the development partners to account. The new dispensation must be applauded for this milestone achievement. It is quite pathetic that NGO and CSO employees in Zimbabwe end up concocting lies to make their funders happy and justify the awarding of a grant.

The opposition that used to thrive on the victim’s card to dupe embassies and international donor agencies no longer have anything to offer. The opposition in Zimbabwe had been “politically amputated” as the nation begins to see and align to the new dispensation. Zanu PF has transformed itself from a party to a system, it is visible across the country whilst the opposition is gallivanting in the courts, plotting against each other and not even campaigning.

If ever there is  an individual who has worked hard to promote President Mnangagwa’s  political brand, it is the First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa. She has never stopped promoting the aura of the President. She has reached all the corners of Zimbabwe connecting with the formerly marginalised and downtrodden of the society. She has touched the minds and hearts of Zimbabweans through her philanthropy and engagement drive.

The diplomatic community joined her effort and actively participated in her events after a realisation that all her events were non-partisan and all-inclusive. She never moved with the entourage of Zanu PF women’s league bosses. She singlehandedly became part of the society with humility and by taking national social problems as hers. Resultantly, she became a household brand in Zimbabwe and all this hype and love for President Mnangagwa is attributed to the First Lady. President will win resoundingly courtesy of the First Lady. The President will be given a second mandate to allow the strategic philanthropic work of the First Lady to reach a sustainable livelihoods threshold.

President Mnangagwa, politically, is the man of the moment. The #ED has submerged  Zimbabwe to “the deep end”  because it is based on a practical political wave based on a non-coercive mantra of bringing Zimbabwe together. President Mnangagwa has became the 1980 freedom train “chitima cherusununguko”. The current morale in the country is akin to Bob Marley’s song, “one love, one nation”.  Inclusivity and tolerance had been the missing link in Zimbabwe.  Unity is the key ingredient to growing the economy and any element that threatens peace is the anti- thesis to the citizens of Zimbabwe.

President Mnangagwa is sea water that cannot be pushed even by the best engineers. In the Greek mythology there was a very experimental king, called Canute. One day he thought of diverting the course of the river and was swept away.

In war strategy there is the principle of retreating and re-organisation. If  Chamisa is wise, he must rally behind President Mnangagwa to avoid electoral embarrassment and explosion of his party after a resounding defeat. His experiments and dictatorship will definitely explode and those he outsmarted like Tendai Biti and Job Sikhala will throttle him.

He will never go unscathed by his own lieutenants as he should not mistaken their silence for being docile. Learn from Nigeria; structure less politics will win the leader popularity and not state power. Its retributive effect is that at the end of the political script all the political capital will vanish and supporters will be up in arms with the leader.

 Chamisa risks serious isolation from both his supporters and traditional funders if he loses this forthcoming election. Mwonzora lost it out through political miscalculations, remember the electorate are not robots, they are very analytical. Chamisa had authored his own downfall and he has nobody to blame but his greed and how he suspects even his own shadow for plotting his downfall. He has rated himself too highly.

About the writer: Dr Mare Matthew holds a PhD in war and security studies.

Email: [email protected]

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