Mnangagwa steals Tsvangirai’s thunder


A MONTH into his reign, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has already charmed a lot of Zimbabweans with his vision and initiatives for the turnaround of the country but most significantly has won praise even from the hard-to-please opposition ranks.

The President has hit all the right notes since his inauguration on November 24, reviving hopes for a better Zimbabwe with even MDC-T strongman Mr Eddie Cross predicting the nation’s change of fortunes under President Mnangagwa’s leadership.

In an article published on his blog on Christmas Day, the MDC-T national executive member and Bulawayo South legislator said President Mnangagwa’s administration was working towards the holding of free and fair elections.

Mr Cross, who has not shied from controversy recently revealing that MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai might not be able to contest next year’s elections as his health problems mount, also admitted that the opposition is in shambles and has no chance against Zanu-PF under a renewed leadership.

“So, what lies ahead for us in 2018? Firstly, we know the most crucial event is the election, which must take place in July or August this coming year. The President has made it clear, he is going to deliver a free and fair election, the outcome of which cannot be contested by anyone. He knows what that entails, and that the International Community will hold him to his word and demand that he delivers in every way,” wrote Mr Cross.

“The signs are already there that this is being considered and that changes are being implemented. He is the master mind behind the 2013 elections when Zanu-PF could literally decide who would win and who would lose. The result a clear victory for Zanu-PF with a two thirds majority in the House and another five years for (former President Robert) Mugabe.

“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.”

Mr Cross, whose sentiments have angered his colleagues in the MDC-T and the opposition as a whole, said the President’s message on the need to expend energies towards the revival of the economy set the right tone for the country’s revival.

“The one thing I know about this man is that he is an operator and should not be underestimated. He appointed his Cabinet on Sunday, swore them in on Monday and held his first Cabinet on Tuesday, setting his new Ministers targets for the first 100 days and threatening that any Minister who failed to achieve his or her targets was vulnerable,” wrote Mr Cross.

“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 Mugabe era.”

Mr Cross went on to describe President Mnangagwa as a sharp minded person who exudes a great sense of authority.

“I have been a Member of Parliament for ten years, during that time we have had many interchanges with Emmerson. He has a very sharp mind and a sense of humour but if you do take him on, expect no prisoners.

“The one thing that always impressed me was his automatic authority in the House of Assembly – often a rowdy and unruly place. If he stood up in a debate or at question time, a hush would descend on the House. Very few command that kind of control,” wrote Mr Cross.

His nick name “the crocodile” (Ngwenya) is very apt as all such Shona nick names are, we all have them, I have had several, not all complimentary. But in this case when he sits in Parliament with his eyes closed, you know that he is listening and will react if prodded.”

It is important to note that Mr Cross is no ordinary MDC-T member but one of the few strategic persons in the party particularly in securing its funding over the years.

It is against this background that his sentiments about President Mnangagwa are in many words an admission of defeat by the opposition ahead of the 2018 elections.

With the opposition reeling under the absence of a long time rallying “Mugabe Must Go” chorus, Mr Cross has also taken away the “rigging” mantra by acknowledging the government’s efforts in ensuring free and fair and elections.

His admission that the opposition is in shambles also all but confirms that Zanu-PF will romp to a landslide victory under the renewed leadership of President Mnangagwa. – Chronicle

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