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Open letter to President Mnangagwa

by Viniel Deredza
24 March 2019 | 3913 Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa's admission that he is the one who authorised the deployment of soldiers to quell street protests on August 1, 2018 and in January this year was brave but leaves neutrals confused.

Following the July 30, 2018 elections, protests broke out in Harare on August 1 and at least six innocent civilians were killed.

This caused international uproar and drew worldwide criticism after the army used brutal force to deal with unarmed protesters — something Mnangagwa's predecessor and long-time ruler Robert Mugabe had not done in the 37 years of his dictatorship.

Many were left asking who could have taken such a drastic decision with conspiracy theories pointing an accusing finger at retired army general and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

And that line of thinking was buttressed when Mnangagwa appointed a Commission of Inquiry to probe the events of August 1, 2018 as he sought to mend the country' battered world standing.

Another army deployment would be repeated in January this year following a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions-backed stay-away, killing 16 people in cold blood. Again, Mnangagwa did not own up to the killings.

Then out of the blue, the president admits he knew everything and worse still gives a very plausible reason why that was done.

He further announces government is set to capacitate the police so they can be able to deal with demonstrations without the help of the army in the future.

But then, my question is; is it proper to break something so you can fix it? Why engage in all those costly processes when there is a clear way of solving a problem? Why did the Kgalema Motlanthe Commission chew scarce foreign currency when you could have just told the nation the truth?

Mnangagwa could have just explained himself clearly immediately after the shooting incidents and apologised to the nation and those affected for the excesses.

Probably, he wanted to find out who had called for the demonstrations because a lot of high-ranking MDC officials and civic leaders have already been arrested or convicted for inciting violence, especially after the January protests. Mr President, you cannot continue to live and do things the same way as the old dispensation and expect different results.

Just recently, it was revealed Mnangagwa was engaging a top United States public relations company to spruce up the country's image — something I still do not agree with.




The solutions are right by your side, sir. I even hear murmurs from the corridors of power to the effect that re-engagement efforts with Washington and the removal of sanctions do not necessarily mean dancing according to the whims of the US.

Why then spend money on something that cannot be bought? One's character cannot be changed by what people think — it is shaped by deeds. If you are a reformer, it will all be clear at some stage that you are indeed pushing the reform agenda.

No-one should be doing that for you. You have a chance of implementing reforms the way you like and you have the resources to create the kind of image that you want. Whatever government is doing must be seen to reflect the tenets of democracy and the aspirations of the Second Republic that you preach. Your supporters must start realising you are also human and can also make errors of judgment.

When you rose to power you clearly stated that you will listen to constructive criticism and in this case, I will kindly say "you got it all wrong, Mr President".

In the wake of Cyclone Idai and your travelling to Dubai and reports you had to cut the trip short — one wonders, "why did you have to make the trip in the first place?"

And on your return, rush to install a ceremonial minister for Harare before acting on the devastating cyclone?

You have a busy schedule and it's prudent that those around you arrange your undertakings in such a way that people are able to differentiate you from Mugabe.

You do not have to endear yourself with the West per-se, but the moment leaders align themselves with the masses and provide sound leadership — everything falls into place.

The austerity for prosperity gospel must be practised by you and your Cabinet such that we all have a feel of what it means to suffer for future benefits.

Foreign trips must be arranged in such a way they do not continue to bleed the already depleted State resources.

You clearly hold the aces, Mr President and you can easily make-or-break this nation.

Mnangagwa Letter Open


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