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President E D Mnangagwa @ 79 and overcoming the struggle in transition

19 Sep 2021 at 07:16hrs | Views
The surfeit of one's proximity to a hero has a tendency of dissuading them from appreciating their rarely accorded access to greatness — such is the descriptive parable of the privilege I have to serve  Zanu-PF under President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. The occasion of his 79th birthday celebration last Wednesday was an opportunity of reflection on the shifting courses the man has traversed in the attainment, consolidation, and continuity of Zimbabwe's liberation. Thanks to Eddie Cross' inaugural initiative to capsule President Mnangagwa's political story in the recently launched book, A Life of Sacrifice.

The book has set the ground for further conversation on the life of Zanu-PF's First Secretary and President.
It is on this pretext, that I have been motivated to start writing a book that takes stock of the Second Republic's policy milestone under President E.D Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa's post-2017 November leadership role has given reinvigorated transformation  of our political and policy-making space.

Under his leadership, Zimbabwe has witnessed a reform-based ideological defining point of the post-Mugabe era. Now is the time for us to tell our story and celebrate the greatness of our leader.

For too long we have allowed neo-colonial trespassers to be authorities of our national history. We allowed the same to be done with the former President, Robert Gabriel Mugabe whose legacy remains anchored on colonial memory.

The vilification of the post-land reform of Mugabe must not be allowed to see the light of day in relation to President Mnangagwa's legacy. Organic intellectuals owed it to our national memory to record the policy milestones which characterise Zimbabwe's political evolution following the triumph of Operation Restore Legacy.

The time to reclaim our past and present history in the making is now or never. The changing times and facets of our politics deserve well-grounded archiving and monumental preservation.

The replacement of the old order with a new political culture was primarily linked to the need to widen the country's democratic landscape and enhance respect for the rule of  law.

Within Zanu-PF, the events of November 2017 were effected to realign Zanu-PF to its founding objectives and the liberation tradition. Operation Restore Legacy was aimed at reinstating Zanu-PF to its mass-line party status.
Operation Restore Legacy was dedicated to securing the posterity of post-independence political-economy milestones and redressing the ideological shortcomings of Zanu-PF in the context of the factional                                  wrangles.

To save the party's legacy and preserve national interests, the New Dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa was born. This put to rest the unsettled issue of succession and its effects on national development.

Technically, Mugabe embodied the justification for this political transition considering how he had lost support within Zanu-PF.

The weight of factionalism perpetrated by the G40 cabal served as a major cause of Mugabe's downfall. But Mugabe remains a revered icon of the ruling Zanu-PF  and the continuing anti-colonial struggle.

In his last days, his political reputation was stained by political opportunists who tried to disconnect him from the liberation history and ideology which shaped the base of his political career.

The G40 grand plan was to disconnect Mugabe from his lifelong allies to create a Zanu-PF latecomers' credence to claim power in the party.

It is a pleasure that the tide of renewal which graced the Zimbabwean political landscape provided an opportunity for me to continue serving in the ruling Zanu-PF Party, this time under President Mnangagwa, a distinguished cadre of the Zimbabwean revolution.

Through the visionary and instructive call for party supremacy over government, it is clear that the party has found its place in the day-to-day processes of statecraft. This gives a compelling advantage for the two institutions to work towards the consolidation of our permanent national interests.

I am grateful to President Mnangagwa for granting me the opportunity to serve my compatriots under the banner of Zanu-PF, which is the linking centre of the aspirations of our people.

President Mnangagwa represents the lifelong unity of Zanu-PF, it is against this background that our immediate mandate is not confined to our 2023 re-election, but the party's economic turnaround strategy goes further to 2030.

Through his hard work, the party and Government are committed to see rebuilding the economy and encouraging democracy and good governance.

The future of our country depends on our unity and our honest confrontations of the threats to our unity. There is no doubt that part of the issues we are experiencing today are drawn from the mistakes we made yesterday.

On the other hand, while the past has been manipulated to promote contemporary conflicts, it is also imperative to frankly confront the roots of our current challenges. At the same time, correctional frameworks to aid in the attainment of national unity can be formulated.

Our societies need to heal and we need to build safer political  spaces to guarantee democracy and good governance which is self-defined and not aligned to colonial impositions.

Furthermore, we need to ensure that every one of us is a key player in allowing peace to thrive.

Given the burden of this ambition, we need a renewed culture of dialogue to interrogate the steps taken by the new Government under President Mnangagwa to recover national healing.

With President Mnangagwa's assumption of power in November 2017, the comparatively fixed, polarised claims to nationhood have since been interchanged with a vibrant, open society characterised by widened pluralism and other tenets of democracy.

This view can be validated, given the newly enacted National Peace and Reconciliation Act which birthed the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).

This commission was established to audit the unresolved issues of social conflict. This has distinctly served as a clear highlight of  the current administration's drive towards social cohesion as an integral part of Zimbabwe's current political culture.

Against the backdrop of Gukurahundi and other cases of political conflict in Zimbabwe, the commission has to abide by the constitutional principles of its foundation.

The countless public engagement platforms initiated by President Mnangagwa in Bulawayo and Matabeleland provinces are also illustrative of a strong initiative to reconnect the ruling Zanu-PF with this region.

This birth of the NPRC serves as part of the state's flexibility in the area of wide citizen engagement and policy environmental changes.

The move is a critical strategic step towards peace, unity and national healing.

This emerging social transitional phase is also essential in terms of cultural development. This comes at a time the new Constitution of the country features an in-depth acknowledgement of the need to celebrate our ethnic diversity.

Therefore, the new trajectory of national unity called for by the Second Republic offers a rational template for social transformation.

Therefore, today we stand to benefit from the positive lessons we can draw from our past and those who initiated the early models of state and nation-building before the entry of colonialists.

Certainly, if in our unity we managed to seize power from the colonial regime what makes us think that we will fight our present challenges as a divided people?

We need to be at peace with each other. When this happens, Zimbabwe will be poised for national cohesion, transformation and sustainable socio-economic development.

In light of these conceptual crossroads to peace and reconciliation between the state and various entities preoccupied with peace and reconciliation, all of us must retool ourselves with new perspectives of conflict resolution.

We must be seized with a clearly defined preoccupation towards achieving peacebuilding through the unity of thought and perspective.

The Zimbabwean experience must awaken African countries to be thoughtful of the divisive undercurrents of colonial residues in influencing our disharmony.

Failure to do so will hinder the possibilities of achieving sustainable peace not only in Zimbabwe but in the entire African continent.

Neo-colonial forces have not rested in the pursuit of their self-interest in Africa.

This is why a host of multifaceted efforts continue to be deployed to keep Africans at war with one another. Ethnicity remains the root cause of our conflict.

Our current struggle is that of reuniting our people across the ideological and institutional divides of our nation. And so far, His Excellency, President Mnangagwa has done well in this regard.

He will be remembered for his inclusivity and defence of national interests. To this end, he must be celebrating for this role.

Happy belated birthday President
The writer, Dr Obert Mpofu is the Politburo Secretary for Administration in the ruling party Zanu-PF.

Source - sundaymail
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