Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

With Mnangagwa is Zimbabwe a better place?

07 Mar 2020 at 08:43hrs | Views
The rankings of the presidents are abundant in political science, but there is no criteria or basis for judgment in the analyses of presidents. In evaluating success in the Zimbabwean presidency, we must bear in mind three systematic and rigorous dimensions we can use to measure success. First, we assess the external factors that a president faces when serving in office and how well he deals with those situations, events, and crises. Second we examine his ratings in public opinion polls throughout his presidency. The poll must be country wide and not around Harvest House. Thirdly we can analyze his legislative success in implementing his campaign promises. A proper rating of the presidency should include all three of these measures, and we will attempt to do so as we qualitatively and quantitatively study the presidencies of Mnangagwa and that of Mugabe.

Our model formulates a set of rankings that is dramatically different from the pre-established norms of presidential greatness, illustrating the profound effect of an objective and methodical formula in studying presidential success. 

Mugabe inherited a vibrant economy which he ran for 37 years. His predecessor Mnangagwa inherited an economy which was dying and resuscitating it is a dry bones miracle.
The first three years of the Mnangagwa State House have been eventful, to say the least. But let's ignore the drama and instead focus on the numbers.

We're tracking the president's progress on his agenda and how it is received by the Zimbabwean public and the wider world.

And there are interesting - and surprising - comparisons with his predecessors.
Mnangagwa began his term as one of the most popular leader who captured the sympathy of many after he endured a barrage of insults from cyclone Grace. He became unpopular after few years due to the expectations which were too high and indeed not met on time and he remains so.

His approval rating has improved and this has been seen by the winning streak in all bye-elections. Under his guidance ZANU PF has won all bye elections but one. This goes to show the gain in popularity for ED. Despite  the economic problems facing the nation ZANU PF has firmly held on  on the political poll position. The Commissariat department has worked round the clock to keep the party on the map.

The only president in recent decades to have anything like Mnangagwa's low rating at this stage was, perhaps surprisingly, Ronald Reagan, of America who was also languishing at 37% in 1983. His numbers slowly improved after that and he went on to win a second term as president. So Mnangagwa has a low rating which quickly rises and there is no doubt 2023 he will win without pressure.

One upside for Dr ED  is that he still has the backing of Rural voters - 88% of them approve of his presidency. If that number stays high, it's unlikely he'll face a serious challenge to be the President in 2023.
President Mnangagwa's administration has repeatedly been branded as chaotic and dysfunctional by his critics.

There is a long list of senior officials who have either quit, been fired or arrested for corruption- but has the turnover been worse than previous administration? The arrests of senior politicians has shown that Mnangagwa is serious about fighting corruption. His effort against corruption Is considerably more than that  of his predecessor.

Usually, a president's top team sticks together for the first year and then changes a little in the second - but for Mr Mnangagwa, the arrests have been fairly regular since day one and were not partisan. The only downside in the fight against corruption is the vindictive disunited disjointed disposable prosecution process. As a result of this inefficiency otherwise incompetent prosecution graduated by internal squabbles no one has been convicted of corruption yet except one former minister.

The lack of stability in the government has shown when it comes to measuring Mr Mnangagwa's success with policy.

He has had trouble delivering in areas where he's needed to navigate the corridors of the economical fields and policy implementation despite controlling both chambers.
His main legislative success was passing a major constitutional reform bill, and some monetary policies.

His other big success was getting public transport through Zupco reinstated.
After the new dispensation Workers did not do better. 
Manufacturing has arguably done worse under Mnangagwa
stewardship not only has Mr. Mnangagwa failed to reverse the steady decline in industrial production's share of our economy, but What happened to Zimbabwe is open for business and Make 
Zimbabwe Great Again?
The economy is weakest in Mnangagwa country this is because most drivers in the economy are ex Mugabe loyalists and are bent to see ED fail.  The failure in industry is partly because of the
overall manufacturing weakness and partly a repection of the general 
trend in which cities where the knowledge economy is centered have 
been performing worse than rural areas. Blame also the failures of command agriculture and the softness in 
agriculture, another consequence of the economic reform. 
Agree to disagree, or disagree better? Broaden your perspective with 
sharp arguments on the most pressing issues of the week. 

Income inequality remains at historic levels. But the gap between those at the top and those in the 
middle continues to widen.
Promises made, promises broken. During his presidency, ED 
has announced ambitious plans with abandon:#growth of "4, 5, 6 
percent,"#a tax cut that would raise workers' wages significantly and new
trade policies that would again make Zimbabwe a manufacturing 
powerhouse. None of those things has happened. His promised investment boom could not be seen quickly; capital expenditures by businesses have been#declining in real 
terms. Zimbabweans believe the economy is improving. And 
Comrade Mnangagwa's approval ratings#among his base#have not been dented as expected by the detractors.

The fact remains that little of what Cde Mugabe has done has helped the 
economy. The challenges for most Zimbabweans remain steep. 
Addressing the politburo Cde ED admitted his economic model has 
"failed" in the wake of food and medicine shortages 
and public service paralysis. 
"The production models we've tried so far have failed
and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours.

The Zimbabwean  government has over recent years 
Revamped various industry sectors such as cement 
and steel, expropriated hundreds of businesses, 
including supermarket chains, and lately brought in 
the army to control street markets to guard against 
rising prices.
It has also axed prices on various goods and imposed
a control on maize and mealie meal. One estimates it will take about two years to reach a 
high level of stability and see the best symptoms of 
new and economic prosperity.

President Mnangagwa has delivered on relatively more of his campaign promises.
The murmurs of the disgruntled opposition power hungry outfits is meant to spoil the success of Mnangagwa in the few years he has been president.

Zimbabwe is facing serious challenges but the dark tunnel is fast crawling to the end. The light ahead now glows very bright.

The easiest way to see that Mnangagwa is a better leader than Chamisa is to look at the parties. Chamisa has led MDC to extinction. Now MDC is disinter-grating while  ZANU PF gets stronger than before.

In 2023 ED will surely romp to victory.
It is clear that ED has not failed the nation. The fruits of his labour will be seen sooner than later. However the vampires surrounding  the President are really soiling his legacy.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Get latest news by email: