OPPOSITION MDC-T Bulawayo South legislator Eddie Cross has warned fellow political activists and officials against underestimating President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying the Zanu PF leader was “an astute operator” with the capacity to turn-around the economy and “deliver the results” in record time.
Cross, who two months ago sparked heated debate within his party after suggesting that MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai should step down over ill-health, argued Mnangagwa has already shown that “we will see very significant changes in 2018” in the economy after years of recession.
“Of interest to me as an economist was his short sojourn at the Ministry of Finance. I do not recall the circumstances, but I do remember how effective he was in a very short space of time,” Cross wrote on his blog on Christmas Day.
“Mnangagwa is in absolute control of the State and I think he is going to deliver. One of the key elements behind this strategy is that he knows the opposition is in shambles. The other thing, he knows fully well is that only a democratically-elected government will be recognised by the international community and recovery and reconstruction of the Zimbabwe State and economy is not possible without that.”
Cross spoke as parties in the MDC Alliance were currently squabbling over seat allocations, with only a few months left before the 2018 general elections.
Mnangagwa has promised to ensure credible, free and fair harmonised elections next year.
The President has also indicated that Zimbabwe was open for business, and vowed to engage the international community to attract the much-needed foreign investment, which has eluded the country over the past decades under former President Robert Mugabe’s misrule.
“He (Mnangagwa) also made it clear that his own record was a hindrance and that he and the party had a lot to do before they could win a free and fair election. The key, he argued, was to get the economy back on its feet and to restore hope among the people of Zimbabwe. The one thing I know about this man is that he is an operator and should not be underestimated,” Cross said.
“Already you can feel the impact of this early momentum. Time alone will tell, but the early indications are that we will see very significant changes in 2018 and that our economy and maybe our country, will begin the long road back to where we should have been, but for the [Robert] Mugabe era.”
But human rights activists have urged the opposition and civic society to rethink strategies and dump reactionary politics “in the wake of a renewed Zanu PF” to remain relevant ahead of the 2018 elections.
“In the wake of a renewed Zanu PF, it is in our view that there is now a greater need for the opposition and civil society to rethink strategies, if ever they want to remain relevant in the national body politic,” argued Lasswet Savadye and Blessing Vava in a joint analysis recently.
“The opposition and the civil society have to be very much strategic and probably revisit the people’s charter, as it lays bare the aspirations of the people. At the moment, they have been reduced to reactionaries occupying the ‘radical’ space. Mass movements cannot be built or led by reactionaries who are detached from the realities on the ground.” Newsday