President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been warned that he needs to reign in his deputy, Vice President, General Constantino Chiwenga if Zimbabwe is to be truly “open for business” and if it is to attract foreign investors. This warning came from NKC African Economics analyst Gary van Staden who was commenting on Chiwenga’s decision to fire striking nurses, Said van Staden:
While Mr Mnangagwa clearly owes Mr Chiwenga a great debt, he needs to rein in his second-in-command. Zimbabwe does not need more hard men. We expect this impasse to be resolved swiftly, legally and without additional coercion, but failure to do so would be negative for Zimbabwe’s recovery plans.
While the jury remains out on the potential for the restructured ZANU-PF government to lift Zimbabwe out of decades of economic and social decay, such ill-advised actions that show a repeat of past repression should be avoided. Mnangagwa cannot stand on world and Commonwealth stages proclaiming a new dawn while his second-in-command, the military man who put him in power, plays hard man back home.
The nurses have since been reinstated although they have filed a High Court application seeking to have Chiwenga’s decision declared null and void. Mnangagwa has publicly supported his deputy’s decision to fire the nurses.