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Mnangagwa's sincerity sways EU

21 Feb 2019 at 10:01hrs | Views
There has been a lot of debate around President Mnangagwa's honesty with regards to his promise to respect the rights of citizens, end Zimbabwe's international isolation and achieve a middle income status by 2030.

The alleged heavy handedness of the security services in response to the disturbances of 1 August 2018 and 14 January 2019 have been cited by those who maintain that there is no difference between the old and new dispensations. Proponents of this narrative have, however, deliberately ignored that what came first were carefully planned acts of violence, by Western sponsored opposition MDC and pseudo civic society organisations meant to destabilize the country.  They know that adding this bit would somehow dilute the vilification of the country's security agents and apportion blame to the actual orchestrators of the violence.

The recent decision by the European Union (EU) Council not to extend sanctions on members of the Zimbabwean Government as proposed by EU parliament and Britain speaks volumes with regards to President Mnangagwa's sincerity to better the lives of locals. The EU must have looked at President Mnangagwa's track record since assuming office  and gave him benefit of doubt against the opposition and pseudo CSOs' unverified claims.

To begin with, President Mnangagwa managed to deliver the most peaceful election in the history of Zimbabwe. His opponents were free to canvass for support in every corner of the country and to hold authorized demonstrations whenever they felt like.

In the aftermath of the 1 August 2018 disturbances, President Mnangagwa promised to constitute a commission of inquiry and make the findings public – that came to pass and will forever go down in history as a plus for ED. The President did not see the need to sweep anything under the carpet because his Government acted constitutionally under difficult circumstances.

Fast forward to the aftermath of the 14 January 2019 disturbances, President Mnangagwa again promised transparency on the matter. Upon his return from Asia, the President promised that heads would roll if it is found that the security services overstepped their bounds while quelling the violent protests. Since then Government has been sharing information that the opposition was responsible for the orgy of violence that killed a police officer on duty, injured over 70 police officers and saw the destruction and looting of property worth millions of dollars. It is also now public knowledge that intelligence officers from hostile nations were actively involved in the latest installment of violent protests. This revelation by Government is further buttressed by civil servants' statement wherein they distanced themselves from the violence.

Doomsayers are, however, celebrating the bit where the EU decision to de-escalate sanctions could be reviewed should the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorate any further. Well - it will not.

While the country's detractors were calling for the extension of EU sanctions basing on the recent violence they orchestrated, the Zimbabwean Government was busy working on re-aligning media and law and order laws to the constitution which resulted in Government approving the formulation of new bills to replace Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), on 19 February 2019. This development translates to the further opening of the democratic space in the country and goes on to show that the President is not against peaceful protests or the airing of divergent views.

Going forward, the ball is now in Zimbabweans' court to speak with one voice against all forms of restrictions imposed on their country in order for their economy to thrive. There is no need to burn the country in a bid to stage manage human rights violations as the international community is now seeing through such shenanigans. Relatedly developments on the international scene, such as the BREXIT, also mean that Britain and the EU might not approach the Zimbabwean question from the same standpoint.

Source - Mapozho Saruchera
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