The world hates Emmerson Mnangagwa. Make no mistake about that. It just hates Robert Mugabe more so Mnangagwa is a better devil. The world can, therefore, tolerate him for now because he has gotten rid of Mugabe whom they have failed to dislodge for almost two decades despite international sanctions on him and his administration.
Even some Zimbabweans hate him. People should not be fooled by the crowd that welcomed him as a hero. They love him because they hate Mugabe more. A Google search will show you that Mnangagwa is blamed for the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s more than anyone else including the then Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, the Minister of Defence and the Commander of the army.
He has been described as a worse dictator than Mugabe. Even today a headline described him as a “ruthless successor” to a despot. But everyone is rallying behind him and encouraging him to form a coalition government or a government of national unity to bring back stability to the country.
I believe that Mnangagwa should go it alone because he has a lot more to prove that can be diluted or even be side-tracked by a coalition government.
I say so because I believe that Mnangagwa needs a mandate of his own. He might have been behind the current victory but to the ordinary person it belongs to Constantino Chiwenga.
Mnangagwa should get his own mandate so elections scheduled for next year must be held as scheduled. A coalition can delay these elections just like the previous arrangement did. Elections were supposed to be held within 18 months but it took more than three years.
Some people have argued that Zimbabwe needs time to be able to hold free and fair elections. I don’t think so. In 1980, elections were held within two months of signing the Lancaster House Agreement. And they were deemed free and fair by the international community.
All Mnangagwa has to do, in my opinion, to ensure that Zimbabwe holds free and fair elections is to implement what the opposition parties have been calling for. This is in writing and can be dome at the stroke of a pen.
I also believe that Mnangagwa should go it alone because he has a lot to prove to the electorate. He can only change the bad image and the perception that he is ruthless if he is in control.
I also believe that you need only one voice to get rid of the country’s greatest vice, corruption. A coalition government will only make things worse as the last inclusive government proved. Everyone unsure about their future after the coalition would go on a looting spree and if arrested they will cry harassment or victimisation.
I also believe that Mnangagwa should go it alone because at 75, I see him as a one-term president. Zimbabweans do not need another octogenarian or nanogenarian. They have seen what happened to Mugabe as he got older.
Mnangagwa is 18 years younger than Mugabe so I believe that the next president should be below normal pensionable age, that is below 60.
Why do I say Mnangagwa should go it alone?
I say so because people want change in their lives, not so-called democracy. That is for politicians and those who already have booming economies. People want food on their tables. They want cash when they need it. They want jobs. Those who want to go into business must have a passion for that and not go into business because they cannot get jobs. A coalition government cannot deliver this. Lasting democracy comes after economic emancipation. It is not the other way round.
Studies have shown that coalition governments are attractive on paper. They signify a reconciliatory attitude but they are ineffective.
One study says concerned parties of a coalition may call themselves allies but they are actually opportunists. Because you want to make everyone happy you have to sacrifice on various key policies and important programmes.
It says coalitions provide bad government because they are unable to take a long-term view.
“Sometimes an ideological compass is necessary for governments to navigate in difficult political and economic waters, and coalitions lack such a unifying philosophy.”
Mnangagwa was brought in because his party felt that Mugabe and his G40 cabal had diverted from the ideological campus of the party. At least that is what we were told when the military intervened, unless this was just an excuse to take over.
The study goes on: “In addition planning for the long-term often requires decisions to be made that are unpopular in the short-term. Coalitions often fail such tests because temporary unpopularity may encourage one of the parties involved to defect, in search of a populist advantage.”
Besides, the coalition government, the study argues, “is actually less democratic as the balance of power is inevitably held by the small parties who can barter their support for concessions from the main groups within the coalition. This means that a party with little popular support is able to impose its policies upon the majority by a process of political blackmail”.
We learnt from the last government that while things appeared to be stable during the coalition government, they collapsed immediately after ZANU-PF took over.
I don’t think anyone wants a repeat of that.
Does this sound like I am advocating for another dictator? Yes, in a way.
Zimbabwe needs someone who can make firm decisions to turn around the economy. It needs someone who can end corruption, someone who can bring back discipline, someone who can get people to work.
This does not need any distractions and it can be done. Paul Kagame of Rwanda did it. John Magufuli of Tanzania is doing it. They did not need coalition governments to do it. – Insider