Coalition for Democrats (Code) president Elton Mangoma (EM) has dismissed President Emmerson Mnangagwa as incapable of resolving the country’s economic problems.
He said Mnangagwa has not done anything tangible in his first 100 days in office, with the economy still in a comatose state. NewsDay senior Parliamentary Reporter Veneranda Langa (ND) had a wide ranging interview with the Renewal of Democrats leader on electoral and other issues and below are the excerpts.
ND: Who comprises Code?
EM: Code is made up of five like-minded opposition political parties that aim at providing solutions to the problems that Zimbabwe finds itself in. They are African Democratic Party, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, Zapu, Zimbabwe First and the Reformed Democrats of Zimbabwe.
ND: You are going to contest in this year’s election?
EM: We have a clueless bunch, especially from the ruling Zanu PF. I want to say Mnangagwa has no capacity to resolve the problems in the country. He has no direction, and that is why the only thing that he can talk of is that Zimbabwe is open for business. With no pressure from anyone he gave himself 100 days to perform, yet all he has done is to wear a scarf. He said he will deal with corruption, but he is sitting in his government with people accused of corruption. He spoke of naming and shaming foreign currency externalisers, but the list is incomplete without his name and that of some of his Cabinet ministers.
ND: So are you saying former President Robert Mugabe was a better leader?
EM: If Mugabe was better, then the country would be elsewhere. Mugabe was smooth, but both were crooks and these are birds of the same feather. Mugabe was Mnangagwa’s mentor and they are the same. Zimbabwe must get rid of them all.
ND: Do you think the other presidential aspirants are serious competition for you?
EM: There is no one who wins presidential elections before they are done. Right now, we cannot say whether anyone is popular than the other, but what I noticed was that the graph of the MDC-T as an opposition is going down and it is a sign that people do not have confidence in the party. They have a narrow vision yet they need a nationwide vision of inclusivity. So Code is like to compete against empty vessels like Mnangagwa. I am a trained auditor and Mnangagwa seems to have done his law degree in two years according to his website and it is dubious and he cannot be taken seriously.
ND: You were a founding member of the MDC. Other founding members like Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube have coalesced with the MDC-T to form the MDC Alliance. Why is it that you have not rejoined your colleagues?
EM: Firstly, I would like to point out that Code was the first coalition to be formed in the country and not the MDC Alliance which was formed on August 5 2017. We cannot gatecrash into anyone’s party. I was not invited to join them. They refused to join Code because they just want power. MDC Alliance is about power sharing and not serving the people. As Code, we said we need to reduce presidential powers, so that we do not create dictators. We want a president, who is accountable to the people. Zimbabwe is affected by big-man politics where everything revolves around the President. We have a draconian power system that needs to be dealt with.
ND: What is your vision for Zimbabwe?
EM: To have a prosperous, green, just and free Zimbabwe where there is job security and money. In reviving the economy we will start from the grassroots where we will empower women, people living with disabilities, the youths and make sure the girl child has access to education. We will deal with corruption, deal with issues of title to land, infrastructure development, and revive industries. We will support the informal sector and will not base our hopes on foreign investment because investors might not come after all.