PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that he has discarded populist politics, but will make hard decisions to restore Zimbabwe’s lost economic glory.
Mnangagwa said he had no option, but to make tough decisions to better the country’s fortunes.
The President was speaking during a meeting with Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) chairman Trevor Ncube, board member Nyasha Zhou and senior management at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare yesterday.
“As a leader, you don’t have to take the nation where they want to go, but to where they ought to go. If you want to remain in power, you will do what people want even if it’s not good (for the country). But if you want to leave a legacy, then you have to make tough and hard decisions which will change their lives,” he said.
Mnangagwa, who has been preaching unity, love and forgiveness since he assumed office in November last year, said he wanted to build a Zimbabwe where everyone’s views mattered to enable the citizenry to dialogue with each other for national development.
He said his government was prepared to work with opposition political parties, independent media, people in the Diaspora and investors outside the country to build a nation that prides in peace and unity on national issues.
“I was leader of the House (National Assembly) for a long time and I encouraged the opposition to express themselves so that we can learn the mistakes that we will be making, thus enabling us to correct those mistakes. The independent Press should also do its work. It will be a sad day for democracy and the country if everyone was singing the same song,” he said.
Mnangagwa, who received a lot of flak from the independent media and State media in the run-up to his sacking from government by former President Robert Mugabe, said he would not pursue a “vindictive agenda in the spirit of nation building”.
“Some of the way you slaughtered me in the newspapers, it is inconceivable that I would be sitting with you right now. I don’t live in the past. I live for now and tomorrow, so let bygones be bygones. Let’s work together to better our nation,” he said.
Ncube said his publications — NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard — would remain independent, so as to play their effective watchdog role and they should not be perceived as enemies of the State.
“We will not always agree on everything with the government, but when we criticise or point out mistakes, we do so as patriotic citizens who love their country dearly. At AMH, we consider ourselves as partners with the government in the development of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We are human and so we will make mistakes. But where these are drawn to our attention, it’s our duty to correct our mistakes.”
Managing director Kennias Mafukidze said AMH was willing to partner government in creating viable platforms for national engagement, investment promotion and supervisory role.
He also urged government to ensure that even independent media houses were incorporated on State visits and important briefings, so that they would report from informed positions.
Mafukidze said the newspaper industry was suffering from a critical shortage of foreign currency, as they made efforts to procure printing consumables like inks and newsprint.