President Mnangagwa urged to actualise speech

HARARE - Zimbabweans have said President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be a good leader if he actualises his inauguration speech, which talked about re-engagement with the international community and compensating white farmers.

The new president was sworn in on Friday at the National Sports Stadium in Harare at an event attended by foreign presidents and local opposition leaders.

Mnangagwa is taking over from former president Robert Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday, after immense pressure from the citizens, who accused him of running down the country’s economy.

He, however, gave a rousing speech that many said marked a solid starting point.

“Speech by Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa says many correct things. We await a correct and inclusive Cabinet as well as correct policies, politics and implementation capacities, attitudes and mind-sets,” respected political analyst and civil society leader Brian Kagoro said in a Twitter post, soon after Mnangagwa’s speech.

Brian Kagoro - civil society leader

In his speech Mnangagwa said that he will seek to engage the international community in a bid to improve the country’s economy, adding that “no man is an island”.

“In the global world, no nation can survive in isolation. Whatever differences that existed with those that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe should pave way for a new beginning,” he said.

He also said Zimbabweans should focus on moving forward and forget the past, further promising to deal with corruption and infuse a fresh work ethic in the civil service.

Mnangagwa comes in at a time the country is suffering from serious cash shortages, with unemployment levels hovering above 85 percent. He however, said that his administration will work towards improving the people’s lives through the creation of jobs.

During the Mugabe administration, several companies were shut down, leaving thousands of Zimbabweans on the streets. Several qualified people left the country in search of greener pastures in foreign lands, while those that remained behind were pushed into vending.

Human rights lawyer Doug Coltart also said: “My immediate reaction to #Mnangagwa’s speech:- focused on economic reforms and overtures to the international community & business;  ‘forgive and forget’ approach to dealing with past atrocities; ignored the political reforms needed to secure free & fair elections.”