PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has come under fire from political analysts and opponents who feel he has done more to perpetuate his predecessor’s negative rule than try to give expression to his much touted new order.
Since taking over in November last year, Mnangagwa has pledged a departure from former President Robert Mugabe’s disastrous and often spiteful brand of politics in place of economic prosperity coupled with free and fair elections.
But apart from his public posturing which he has also taken to social media, there is little on the ground to suggest any appetite for such.
A cursory look at what he has done or failed to do so far, analysts say, suggests a man who no longer wanted Mugabe the person but loved his controversial leadership style.
In the two months he has been in power, there are no promises of repealing repressive laws which Mugabe used against political dissenters. Neither are there signs government was prepared to align the country’s laws with the new constitution.
This includes electoral laws which are central to Mnangagwa’s vows to deliver a flawless poll.
Reports of voter intimidation by alleged Zanu PF supporters, a common feature during Mugabe’s rule, continue unabated.
Similarly, apart from the superfluous coverage given to the First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa during her philanthropic tours, there has been no attempt grant the same coverage to political opponents’ activities.
Under Mnangagwa’s government, the beating of government critics continue as recently witnessed by the arrest and torture of 8 Mthwakazi activists who were demanding he came clean on his role in Gukurahundi massacres.
Mnangagwa has tried to keep a blackout on the killing of 20,000 civilians in the country’s western provinces some 35 years ago.
Just like in the Mugabe era, arrests on corrupt officials remains targeted at political rivals, as witnessed by the current siege on G40 politicians.
To prove his perceived admiration for Mugabe, analysts say, Mnangagwa has retained almost the entire cabinet that was appointed by the former leader.
More so, civilian institutions are being stashed with military personnel while the conferment of hero status which was systematically used by the ousted President to reward loyalists is also being used for no different purposes.
This was witnessed in the recent conferment of the honour to Zanu PF youth activist Magura Charumbira who was declared a liberation war hero.
– New Zimbabwe