ED's first 100 days as president

HARARE - Incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa is inheriting a deeply-divided nation which needs reconciliation and healing, analysts contend adding that the former vice president has a huge task establishing a new political and socio-economic dispensation.

In wide ranging interviews with Daily News analysts are of the opinion that his first step is to form an all inclusive government.

But what could be expected from Mnangagwa in his first 100 days in office as president of Zimbabwe?

Peace activist Jestina Mukoko said we have turned our backs on a dark era and Mnangagwa is getting an opportunity for a fresh start.

“It is important that he values democracy and constitutionalism.

“He is fortunate because the wheels of reconciliation, healing and peace have started turning, that will become his most important pedestal in moving Zimbabweans from the blemishes of the last era some of which he is also complicit and was an active participant.

“Citizens in Zimbabwe deserve better, he is coming in at a time when the fabric that makes up the family has been gnawed at and when economically, socially and developmentally — Zimbabweans are at the worst,” said Mukoko.

She added that building Zimbabwe from now on requires all citizens and not just people in Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabweans have known prosperity in the past and that is what they are yearning for and we can only achieve that if we do away with divisive tendencies promoted by hate language, ethnicity and the selective appreciation of who is Zimbabwean. Zimbabwe has potential to realise its potential.

“Citizens’ rights have to be respected and we need to work towards shaking the tactic of instilling fear in the citizens for them to freely participate in the way they are governed,” said Mukoko.

Mining activist Farai Maguwu said Mnangagwa must first deal with corruption, investigating the rot in government and State enterprises.

“There is no substitute for domestic resource mobilisation. He must hold corrupt officials accountable. He must revisit all the deals negotiated by Mugabe and renegotiate them to secure the national interest, especially in the mining sector. He needs a new mining taxation regulation to ensure government derives value from its mineral wealth.

“Mngangagwa must start the electoral reforms as a matter of urgency if elections are going ahead in 2018. He must reassure the nation that he doesn’t want to continue ruling with the help of the military but by popular mandate,” said Maguwu.

He added that Mnangagwa must appoint a new, efficient and smaller Cabinet.

“Zimbabwe can’t afford the recycling of tried and failed ministers in whose hands our economy collapsed.”

Political analyst MacDonald Lewanika said within the first 100 days he would advise the president to embrace the spirit of national unity that has been shown over the last week and use that to build acknowledging our diversity and difference.

“Concretely, there are a number of issues that would need urgent attention including: a clear return to the rule of law and constitutionalism which entails the release of detained ministers, allowing the electoral processes to continue but in an environment that allows for free and fair elections to enhance his legitimacy.

“But the biggest challenge will be an economic one and ED has to propose a clear roadmap out of poverty and want for the generality of the people. In as much as the economy was Zanu PF’s biggest opposition it will still be Mnangagwa’s biggest as well, together with corruption.

“People will want a pound of flesh as proof that ED will be tough on corruption and this should be within the first 100 days. Part of the agenda in the first 100 days will be for him to ensure that people are reassured that the military is back under civilian authority,” said Lewanika.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said Mnangagwa is inheriting a broken and deeply divided nation, a dead economy and a hugely expectant populace.

“He has got a lot to do in order to get the confidence of the majority of the people. The first thing that he has got to do is to totally dismantle the pillars of the Mugabe dictatorship.

“He has got to unite the nation and be inclusive and tolerant in his approach. Zimbabweans are crying out loud for the establishment of a new political and socio-economic dispensation in which the economy will be re-booted, jobs created and entrepreneurial opportunities promoted.

“It cannot continue to be business as usual. We demand the creation of strong institutions rather than strong personalities,” said Gutu.

He added that Mugabe was a monumental dictator who had come to take Zimbabwe as his own personal fiefdom.

“That should, never, ever be allowed to happen.”

Hotelier Gordon Adams said: “Mnangagwa should constitute a government of national unity and include competent and capable persons that can be held accountable for their respective positions held.

“He should make sure that minority groups are also represented as to ensure that we have a government we are all proud of.”

Communication specialist Maggie Mzumara said she would like Mnangagwa to be inclusive, reformist, progressive and responsive to the needs of the people.

“I want him to spearhead the re-building of a Zimbabwe that responds to the needs of the people.

“In specific terms I want to see; engagement with other players and stakeholders in the country and with international community; a liquid economy; re-industrialisation by any means necessary and as a matter of urgency we want industries re-opened, functioning again so we create jobs for the youth and whoever else had their careers disrupted; infrastructural revamp and development and; increased agricultural investment and prioritisation.

“In his first 100 days we should register improvement on all these fronts and government that responds to the needs and aspirations of the people.”

Journalist Precious Shumba said the Indigenisation and Empowerment act should be reviewed to align it with modern investment and empowerment laws, and to remove from this legislation all toxic racist and partisan language.

“As the new president he needs to meet all the key stakeholders in Zimbabwe from civil society, including local humanitarian and donor agencies, parastatal boards, the business, industry and farming communities.

“He needs time to listen and appreciate the issues afflicting the people. That way he will be guided by the will of the citizenry,” said Shumba.

He added that the Zimbabwe republic Police have been the major threat to the enjoyment of human rights in Zimbabwe.

“His top priority should be the restructuring of the police service, commit resources to the retraining of the police to uphold human rights, law and order in a professional manner. Criminal elements in society must be out on notice.

“Corruption is being perpetuated by the police who extort money from the people. The Judiciary must be rid of all corrupt elements who are subverting justice by allowing the rich and powerful in society to escape punishment for their criminal activities.

“The police must be empowered to do their work without fear or favour, and without being partisan,” said Shumba.

ZimRights director Okay MAchisa said: “It is important to put a mechanism that is well supported by all democratic principles. Constitutionalism is paramount.

“A collective process or framework that will prescribe proper roadmap towards a democratic free credible and fair elections.

“Wholesome approach to all the reforms and lastly a very clear mechanism of adressing our economic decay.”

Political analyst Phillip Pasirayi said the economy should be his number one priority. “The expectation is that ED will immediately do away with the policies that have hurt our economy and engage the international community, not just China but also the West, to invest in the country.

“The new administration is expected to create an enabling environment to attract foreign direct investment and discard the ill-conceived policies of the previous regime that have kept investors away.

“The new administration will be expected to tackle deepening poverty through employment creation and provision of efficient and affordable social services such as housing, water, health and others to improve people’s livelihoods,” said Pasirayi.

He added that the people are also expecting full implementation of the Constitution and adoption of policies including electoral reforms to create a level playing field for all political players ahead of the 2018 general elections.

“ED cannot continue the same exclusionary policies and practices of his predecessor if he is to win the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans. And the people should have a say in the way they are governed.”

Political analyst Vivid Gwede said if we are to have elections next year and the new president must guarantee that the will of the people will be respected apart from the polls being open to both local and international observers.

“Military interference in political affairs must be done away with. Zimbabweans also need a comprehensive plan on how this economy will be resuscitated with a focus on infrastructure, industrial revival and job creation.

“But one very low hanging fruit is the guaranteeing of the citizens’ human rights as expressed in the Constitution.

“A new beginning and the tasks of the transition require reaching out to all sectors such as political parties, businesses and civil society.

“Political reforms which have been pending for a long time need to be implemented now as a sign of confidence building that this is not just a change of faces, but manners as well,” said Gwede.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme believes the immediate thing is to return to civilian law and order by policy within a few days in officer.

“The military to go back to barracks and off the streets. Mnangagwa should set up an inclusive government, appoint 16 ministers and no deputies. We are too small for a bloated Cabinet. •

“He should quickly align legislation to the Constitution and put much needed electoral reforms so as to set ground for free and fair elections.

“He should also reach out to the international community for support and he has to have a clear roadmap for democraticisation of the country in next six to 12 months. He should have a clear short-term economic recovery plan.”

Social commentator Rashweat Mukundu said Mnangagwa should appoint a lean Cabinet based on competence. “Hold national consultations on the developmental agenda, implement the Constitution to the letter, stop human rights abuses by State agencies, streamline the civil service and make it competent through skills development, improved working conditions and return the military to the barracks.”

Mukundu urged Mnangagwa to meet Midlands and Matabeleland communities and implement a truth and reconciliation process, compensate, apologise and allow a healing process over the Gukurahundi atrocities.

Playwright Silvanos Mudzvova said first Mnangagwa should create an inclusive government including major opposition political parties. “He should create policies conducive for business firstly by removing the 51 percent Indigenisation requirement. It doesn’t attract investment.

“Engage the international community and rebuild relations and above all end corruption and improve the human rights situation

“I would like him to create a law that suspends elections for three to five years.

“He should work with opposition to create an environment conducive for free and fair elections.

“At the moment, holding elections are a waste of time.”

Actor and producer Daves Guzha said Mnangagwa should make himself accessible to the people. “He should speak the language of investment; practice and observe human rights; put creative industries at the centre of human development; make us believe again in being worthy Zimbabweans and; serve the people.”

Comments (2)

Mnangagwa should immediately remove the corrupt and incompetent rot in Public Service and parastatal bodies, that includes Public Service Commission and the Elections supervising body. Zimbabwe needs medicines urgently, clean water in the towns and cash in the banks. Mnangagwa should trim government, make it more efficient and effective. There should be accountability and transparency. And of course, AFTER THE BULLET, let the BALLOT SPEAK FOR ITSELF. The 2018 scheduled elections MUST still go ahead. Zimbabwe NEEDS A PEOPLE BALLOT CHOICE of leader!!

Will Blackman - 24 November 2017

Zimbabwe must re-apply to join the Commonwealth asap! More benefits await us there, but they will also insist on sending their election observers. It's a fair deal.

Sagitarr - 24 November 2017

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