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Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF fearful of mass demos

by Staff reporter
13 May 2019 at 09:07hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa's ruling Zanu-PF party is struggling to deliver on its election promises, nearly 10 months after winning a controversial election in July last year and says it is scared stiff of the possibility of mass uprisings - similar to whose which have ravaged countries such as Sudan, Algeria, Libya and Venezuela.

As a result, President Mnangagwa's government has made an impassioned plea for assistance from China, to help turn around the country's worsening economic crisis which is fast approaching the horror of 2008.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's ruling Zanu-PF party is struggling to deliver on its election promises, nearly 10 months after winning a controversial election in July last year.

Riding on the crest of goodwill of Zimbabweans who were too eager to see the back of former president Robert Mugabe, Zanu-PF made the electorate dream big with its overambitious election manifesto.

But so far nothing of what the party undertook to deliver to the electorate has come through.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo admitted to the Daily News on Sunday this week that the prevailing economic conditions have made it difficult for the party to fulfil the promises made in the run up to the July 30 elections.

With most Zimbabweans stressing about the country's dying economy and rising poverty levels, as well as the heightened company closures and job redundancies, more and more observers are predicting the imminent explosion of social unrest and debilitating mass actions.

The opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has reportedly told his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters that he will lead from the front, the party's planned protests against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government.

According to NewsDay,Chamisa said this during one of his "Thank You" rallies in Chinhoyi over the weekend.

Chamisa said that his supporters across the country were "impatiently" waiting for a signal to protest.

Chamisa once labelled his supporters "stupid" for taking to the streets on August 1 to protest a delay in the July 30 poll results, resulting in a deadly army crackdown.

Chamisa later apologised for the comments, saying his "remarks to condemn those who killed or injured the innocent, burnt cars & destroyed property on 1 August used 'words' that regrettably created the wrong impression".

Chamisa's apology came after Zimbabweans on social media had accused the MDC leader of "disrespecting and betraying his supporters", said the report.

Zimbabwe's economy has been in freefall, with prices of basics shooting up.

According to the United Nations, more than five million people are faced with hunger this year and more and more families now live on less than a dollar a day.

A loaf of bread which was retailing at 95 cents when Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 is now going for over $3.

This week, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency revealed that the cost of living for an average Zimbabwean family of five has shot up to $873 in March from $827 in February.

Political analyst Stephen Chan said it is evident that the standard of living of most Zimbabweans will further decline.

"I have been saying for some time that the only way forward is to negotiate and agree an IMF programme, but that will require much repayment and servicing of debt, with renegotiation and possible rolling over of other debt," said Chan.

"The country has survived since the early 2000s on borrowing. Now, not even the Chinese will loan large sums any more. But IMF conditionality will mean, in my estimation, at least five years of severe austerity - with living conditions becoming worse than what they are now - before light appears at the end of that tunnel.

"Zanu-PF does not have the political will to engage with such a programme, nor really the economic imagination to negotiate the debt with the IMF.

"So it's just holding on, tinkering at the margins, introducing a national currency by stealth that will only lead to high inflation, not increasing production, and protecting the oligarchs who form the high Zanu-PF," said Chan.

Another political analyst Admire Mare said Mnangagwa has to do more if the country is going to emerge from the crisis.

"I think we need to differentiate political grandstanding during elections and real service delivery after elections. Grandiose political promises by Zanu-PF were aimed at enticing voters but as we are seeing now it's hard to fulfil some of these high sounding promises.

"The country continues to face cash shortages, liquidity challenges, dilapidated infrastructure and the resurgence of fuel shortages. These are certainly making it difficult for the country to transform into a middle income country.

"Unemployment continues to rise and more companies close shop. There is need for structural political, economic and social reforms to ensure Zimbabwe moves forward," said Mare.

Source - online