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2 years on, Mnangagwa remains steadfast

by Staff reporter
19 Nov 2019 at 05:48hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said he will not waver in his determination to work and achieve the goals and dreams of millions of Zimbabweans who marched in 2017 in a series of events that gave birth to the Second Republic under his leadership.

After the security services launched Operation Restore Legacy to arrest a potentially volatile, social, economic and political situation in the country, Zimbabweans from across the country took to the streets on November 18, 2017, calling for the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe. After his resignation, the ruling Zanu-PF party replaced Mugabe with President Mnangagwa.

To mark the second anniversary of that momentous occasion, President Mnangagwa, in an Op-Ed published by CNBC Africa on Sunday, said his Government has implemented a raft of reforms and measures across sectors towards the country's revival.  

"Two years ago, on November 18th, 2017, hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets in the spirit of peace, unity and hope, calling for a new start. For a new Zimbabwe. "Coming into office a few days later, we committed to saying goodbye to the ways of the past, and to doing things differently," said President Mnangagwa.
"I immediately moved to give the people their voices back, opening new channels of communication between the people and their representatives.

"Criticism of the Government and the presidency would no longer be taboo, but welcomed, even encouraged. I answered tough questions on my Facebook page, as I promised to be a listening president."

President Mnangagwa said the country also went into an election in 2018 where political parties enjoyed the freedom to campaign in all corners of the country unimpeded. He said even after attempts on his life in a bomb attack at White City Stadium in the run up to the polls, the preparations and campaigns went on undisturbed.

"On July 30th 2018, eight months after coming to office, we held the freest and fairest elections in the country's history. While no electoral process is perfect, all international monitors noted the new and free environment of the campaigns, and the vast improvement in the electoral process," said President Mnangagwa.  

"And we will continue to work closely with our partners in the international community to improve and refine our democracy. To build a resolute and open society, a free and fair country for all its citizens." President Mnangagwa said the reform exercise has seen the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act replacing it with three new laws, consistent with the ethos of the new Zimbabwe.

The laws are namely The Freedom of Information Bill, the Protection of Personal Information Bill and the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill.

The President said the three laws, that meet international media freedom standards and ensure the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media, were developed in consultation with a diverse range of stakeholders. He said last week the Public Order and Security Act, a remnant of the old Zimbabwe that limited the right to protest, was repealed and replaced with the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA).

"These have been key demands of the international community, and should be interpreted as a sign of our commitment to reform. Yet the impetus for change and reform comes from within.  

"We are not reforming to appease the nations of the world, but because reform is necessary to build the future our people desire. Of course, there is still much work to do, but we are heading in the right direction. President Mnangagwa said moving from the 2017 economic mess, the country has for the first time, a balanced budget and restored the Zimbabwean dollar taking control of the fiscal and monetary policy.  

"Of course, too many Zimbabweans still suffer, but austerity is a painful but necessary part of the recovery process. Led by our internationally-recognised Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, we will continue to restructure, revamp and rebuild our economy. We cannot and will not hold up our hands. We must reform or perish," he said.

President Mnangagwa said all hands are on deck towards a middle-income economy by 2030, calling on the international community to support Zimbabwe as it undertakes the reforms.

"If the goal of sanctions is to stimulate the reform process, their effect is the opposite.  They slow down our progress, inhibit our economic recovery and empower those who do not wish to see Zimbabwe change," said the President.  

"Their removal will therefore be an important step on the road to a better future for all the people of this country." He committed to work towards a better Zimbabwe.

"I shall never stop working towards these goals and will never waver in my determination to realise the dreams of all those who took to the streets two years ago. I am confident that with patience, perseverance and our unbending commitment to reform, we will get there," President Mnangagwa said.

Source - chronicle