Parallels between the new President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his predecessor Robert Mugabe are getting bolder and bolder, as the former steers clear of the latter’s ruinous habits, of ever flying, attending every inauguration, and a blotted cabinet.
Just days into Mnangagwa’s presidency, encouraging signs have emerged, which analysts have claimed show the new President is adopting a pragmatic approach to solving Zimbabwe’s problems.
Mnangagwa first moved in to cut the scheduled Zanu PF congress by half, from a six day event, to just a three day event. The budget was also slashed from an initial amount of $8 million USD.
There are also indications that Mnangagwa’s government intends to intensify re-engagement processes with the international community and pay more attention to a fast deteriorating economy, which is characterised by cash shortages, declining exports and a huge debt overhang.
During Mugabe’s reign, re-engagement efforts were scorned and sabotaged by Mugabe’s nephew, and cabinet Minister at the time, Patrick Zhuwao, together with his friends, Jonathan Moyo, and Saviour Kasukuwere.
The finance Minister at the time, Patrick Chinamasa, who led re-engagement processes was often overruled. A number of recommendations and agreements he made with the IMF were reversed or rejected. His spending cuts were reversed, while efforts to remove ghost workers and cut bonuses were also reversed.
Chinamasa will now lead a new finance ministry, with the full backing of the new president, who yesterday announced that he had dissolved cabinet, and only left two critical ministries (finance and foreign affairs) in the hands of Chinamasa and Mumbengegwi.
Earlier today, sources told Khuluma Afrika that President declined an opportunity to attend the inauguration of Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mnangagwa reportedly cited budget constraints and stated that there were very pressing matters regards the economic recovery of the country which needed his attention.
It has led to immense parallels between him and his predecessor. Mugabe never missed an opportunity to fly out of the country. In July last year, his motorcade had to navigate past burning barricades during mass protests, as he rushed to attend an international event.
He has often spent as much as half the year outside the country, even as the situation worsened, bleeding the country’s coffers dry, and increasing the country’s public debt.
“Mnangagwa is certainly on the correct path. He is ditching Mugabe’s disastrous policies which hurt the country. Zimbabwe’s problems are not an act of God, but a result of poor management and lack of leadership.” wrote Tich Mushambadope.
Whilst it is too early to speak, many believe the President’s ditching of Mugabe’s disastrous habits will help the country recover. Its a case of parallels inspiring hope.