ED has a chance to prove himself

HARARE - The closure of former president Robert Mugabe’s long rule which was largely undisturbed for the duration of his 37-year reign, while good news to ordinary Zimbabweans, presents huge challenges to newly-installed leader Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The challenges are not insurmountable but will need real action to overcome and derive benefit from a radical shift on policies as is expected by many people following a very encouraging speech by Mnangagwa on his inauguration last Friday.

There is a strong belief among forward-looking political and business analysts that Mnangagwa had an idea of a Zimbabwe he wants to lead well before the tumultuous events of the last three weeks, which culminated in Mugabe’s fall and his installation.

To the ordinary Zimbabweans, Mnangagwa has three key tasks which they see as unlocking the good fortunes and help fulfil their long-held dreams which never came to realisation under the disastrous reign of Mugabe and his government.

Firstly, Mnangagwa needs to launch an impartial crackdown on all corrupt officials both in the private and public sectors whose activities are well known to the authorities.

Part of this would be to give the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (Zacc) the freedom it deserves in doing its work. Zacc must give corrupt people grief.

The story of former vice president Phelekezela Mphoko assaulting police officers at Avondale police station and later freeing suspects accused of corruption is very much etched in the minds of the general populace.

Secondly, Zimbabweans expect Mnangagwa to pick a Cabinet made of people with impeccable characters who possess skills consistent with the demands of their ministries. The country is not short of those.

A government made up of the right people is seen as instilling confidence and trust in the minds of international investors who for long viewed Mugabe’s administration with suspicion.

Lastly, Zimbabweans expect Mnangagwa to restore the rule of law which includes allowing rights enshrined in the constitution to be fully observed, promote good governance, and end a culture of human rights’ violations which include forced disappearances and torture.

Mnangagwa, during his time as vice president, sent positive signals on these issues as evidenced by his admission of human rights violations during his presentation in Geneva, Switzerland, meaningful re-engagement with key investors and countries and the desire to involve the Diaspora in rebuilding Zimbabwe.

He’s now president, he must set everyone on achieving meaningful goals.