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It is time for Mnangagwa to go

26 Aug 2023 at 13:03hrs | Views
This is the perfect time for Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa to go. Leadership is not his forte. He does not have the dexterity needed to govern a country. The past five years testify of his failure which resulted in a dysfunctional country. Zimbabwe needs a new President.

I perceive time and chance happens to every country just like it is thought to happen to every person. In 1980, Zimbabwe seized the chance to be a sovereign country. But there were many missed chances after that, which could have transformed the country into greatness. It was essentially leaders not doing the right thing for some inexcusable reason. Often greed, selfishness or corruption.

In 2017, Zimbabwe opened a can of worms when it allowed Mnangagwa's government to get into power through a coup. Although people were fed up and happy to see Robert Mugabe go, they acknowledge with hindsight that it was a mistake. No one expected to say Mugabe was better than Mnangagwa.

Fortunately, another opportunity has presented itself to Zimbabwe to correct the mistakes of the past and start a new chapter with a new President. There is excitement in the air.

People think Mnangwagwa is going but how, is the conundrum. They think the electoral commission will announce that Mnangangwa lost the election. Some think Mnangwa will resign on his own. This is unlikely to happen because one has to think on the premise that the electoral commission is fair and Mnangagwa is reasonable. None of which are true.

It is wise to observe how functional democracies conduct themselves when faced with a leader who is not fit to lead. How do they go about it?

When Boris Johnson would not resign, all his ministers resigned and it made it impossible for him to carry on as Prime Minister. As much as he wanted to carry on, he looked ridiculous in the process and ended up resigning.

When Liz Truss replaced him, she made some questionable decisions especially on the budget. People lost money and the Bank of England had to step in. She resigned after 45 days when her people told her to go.

For Mnangagwa to go, everyone who considers him/herself to be a leader must declare publicly why Mnangagwa should go. It should normally start with MPs and leaders in Zanu-PF to say Mnangagwa is not only fit to lead the country but their party as well.

They got rid of Mugabe through a coup, they can use internal structures to do that. They can impeach him or find some mechanism to make him go. There must be some leaders in Zanu, who do not agree with how he governed over the last 5 years.

The MPs in the opposition should be making more noise than everyone. They should be on the news channels, social media and telling anyone who can listen why Mnangwagwa should go. The opposition should feel aggrieved by the continuation of Zanu and Mnangagwa in power.

They should be preparing for government. As such, they should be encouraging the country to get on their side and say Mnangagwa should go. People want him to go anyway.

Captains of industries should be contributing to this by declaring publicly why Mnangagwa is not good for business. The people whose businesses have suffered under Mnangagwa should also be involved. Anyone who considers himself to be a leader should have the courage to speak truth to power over this matter.

If this opportunity is missed, it will be absolutely suicidal for the country. Already, not many people do business with Zimbabwe. The region is fed up and the international community does not care.

No one is coming to help Zimbabwe if Zimbabwe cannot be bothered to put its house in order. Who is going to take Zimbabwe seriously with Mnangagwa in power for the next 5 years?

If leaders want change then they have to stand up and be counted. Leaders from every sphere of life have to leverage the unprecedented numbers of people who turned up to vote.

Chamisa has to know that power won't come on the silver platter. He has to demand what belongs to him. He has to be at the front pushing back against Mnangagwa's tricks to hold on to power.

At the moment, leaders are not telling him to go. He does not seem to be under any pressure. He is instructing his people to give pointless press conferences. Some of his people are trying to recount the votes that have already been sealed and signed for.

He is on the offensive instead of being on the back foot. No one seems to be putting pressure on him to go.

MNANGAGWA'S CATALOGUE OF FAILURE & UNETHICAL LEADERSHIP

There is enough evidence which shows Mnangagwa cannot operate within the law even in his finest hour. He cannot change and he won't change for anyone. It is who he is through and through. The law is an obstacle to his life. It gets in his way.

It is convention that those who make laws should not break the law. There is a higher duty expected of them to uphold the law. When Mugabe fired Mnangagwa from Vice President, the letter said "he exercises little probity in the execution of his duties." The letter also said he could not be trusted as it had "become evident that his conduct was inconsistent with his official responsibilities."

Mnangagwa was held to have "persistently and consistently exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability."

All these deplorable attributes highlighted in Mugabe's letter manifested when Mnangagwa was President in the past 5 years.

The scandal that shocked the country and the region was the Gold Mafia Scandal. It showed Mnangagwa as the godfather of a gold smuggling syndicate from Zimbabwe to Dubai. People were seen smuggling gold in suitcases through the airport in Zimbabwe. Gold that was refined in Zimbabwe was refined again in Dubai and sold there as local gold.

What is worse is the  Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was involved by producing certificates that validated money laundering. On this alone, Mnangagwa should have stepped down as leader. These are criminal acts by someone in office. No President should get away with such conduct.

What protected Mnangagwa from losing his job is the fact that he dismantled state institutions and left them ineffective. He violated the constitution by extending the tenure of a Chief Justice who should have resigned. He brought him back and together, they captured the judiciary.

In functional countries, the judiciary will fight tooth and nail to protect the constitution from politicians. In Zimbabwe, the Judiciary functions as an extension of the government's arm. The judiciary has no teeth. 2 months before the 2023 general election, Judges were given $US500 000 loans each by Mnangagwa. Though the payments are loans, they often don't get paid back.

Mnangagwa has also used his Judiciary to persecute innocent people and send them to prison without trial. Job Sikhala has been in prison for more than a year without trial. Sikhala is a lawyer and an MP. Jacob Ngarivhume was jailed on questionable grounds.

There are many political prisoners who were convicted on unreasonable grounds. Weaponisation of the law is unethical in all the circumstances. People are not safe under Mnangagwa's leadership.

Mnangagwa also introduced what is deemed to be a Patriotic Law which criminalises criticising the President. This law violates freedom of speech of those who speak truth to power or hold those in power to account. It is absurd that Mnangagwa would make a law to stop people from holding him to account.

For someone who breaks the law consistently, he enjoys using the law to attack his opponents. It is not what people expect of a head of state.

Two weeks ago, a Doctor under oath gave evidence in court saying there was a plan to assassinate General V.P Chiwenga when he was in hospital. The plan was deemed to come from the government. Most people were astounded by this evidence because General V.P Chiwenga is part of the government. There is some treachery and deception going on it seems.

The economy has been absolute hell for ordinary people in Zimbabwe. This is intentionally done so that people won't have options and be strong enough to challenge the government. Mnangagwa prefers his citizens miserable because they are easy to control.

His government destroyed the banking system and they took the money to the black market where ministers make a killing through currency exchange. Essentially, the banks have no money but the streets have money. The black market money system mirrors Mnangagwa's philosophy on governing.

The country has the highest inflation in the world, sometimes getting close to a thousand percent or more. The unemployment numbers are frightening. No country can develop under Mnangagwa's style of leadership. It is a combination of incompetence and corruption.

The economy is not designed for hard working families. It is designed for criminals. Criminals are flourishing in Zimbabwe and the country has become a paradise for them.

Lack of investment in health, education and infrastructure is also deliberate. It is well known that hospitals have no cancer machines. This is not because the government does not have the money but Mnangagwa does not care. He knows the country does not like him and he does not like them back.

Billions are smuggled every year in diamonds, gold, lithium and many other resources but Mnangagwa has never thought about investing in his own country. When ministers are sick, they go abroad for their medical needs. People of Zimbabwe are on their own, they don't have a leader.

The way he compromised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is criminal. This body which is responsible for managing elections is packed with people related to government ministers. Ministers' sons and daughters, people in the army work for this body.

The SADC observation team was of the view that the delimitation done by ZEC was unconstitutional. They also pointed out that not producing the voters roll was unconstitutional.

The private organisation that Mnangagwa created from the army (FAZ) set up tables outside polling stations to collect information from voters. This was held to be unconstitutional as well. FAZ has been managing the election alongside ZEC. It is a mess.

The election conducted on 23 August has been the worst in the history of Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa knows very well that he cannot win free and fair elections hence he created FAZ. What happened on election day was absolute shambles. Some polling stations did not open on the day of election. The reason given is that ZEC had not printed enough ballot papers. They had 5 years to do this.

What is strange is that this only happened in places where the opposition has strong support like urban areas. The papers were printed in the capital city but they were not available in nearby constituencies yet were available in constituencies hundreds of miles away in the rural areas. This again shows how unethical Mnangagwa is. He came to power through a coup and is trying another coup using FAZ.

The election has been dismissed by SADC and the AU as falling below the expected standard. The EU observers were of the same view. This is more than enough evidence for the country to say Mnangagwa cannot carry on because he lacks credibility to assume the role of President.

The election has been a huge embarrassment for him. People voted despite the challenges created by ZEC and FAZ. They voted overwhelmingly in favour of the opposition. The country needs to unite the same way they united against Mugabe. This is no longer a party issue. It's in the best interest of the country.

CONCLUSION

Zimbabwe needs to get back to constitutionalism and create an orderly way of doing politics. It cannot be done by leaders like Mnangagwa who paralysed state institutions. Zimbabwe needs good leaders who can fight for democracy because democracy needs good leaders to survive.

It's also the right time for a new generation of leaders to take over. They are more in touch with the realities of their country and the world they live in. Mnangagwa took the country backwards with his arrogance and self glorification. His refusal to provide a manifesto shows a total disregard for the people. It's not surprising because he never governed in the interest of the people or the country. A manifesto would be pointless to him.

Zimbabwe has great potential to be a superpower. It has everything it needs, educated people, resources, fertile land and a beautiful country. It would not take long to transform the country under a good government.

But the people have to come together and ensure that Mnangagwa does not carry on as President. Zanu-PF needs to spend time in opposition and think about its politics. CCC needs to be given a chance to govern which they deserve.

We must get used to leaders losing power. This is the right time for Mnangagwa to go and for Zanu to be in opposition.

Source - @maximilianlion
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