Former cabinet minister and leader of the opposition Zapu party, Dumiso Dabengwa has warned that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, former president Robert Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years.
During the short period when Mnangagwa was in exile after he had been expelled from both government and Zanu-PF, the Christopher Mutsvangwa led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association had suggested that Dabengwa should deputise Mnangagwa in a new government. However, this never materialised and Mnangagwa went on to appoint Kembo Mohadi and General (retired) Constantino Chiwenga as his deputies. Said Dabengwa:
The massive powers enjoyed by Mugabe have been inherited intact by Mnangagwa, who happens to have been an architect of some of them and has been a loyal apprentice.
Lack of an inclusive agenda meant falling back on the inherited arsenal of presidential powers and demonstration of continuity even in the making of appointments.
Significantly, the trend of politicising the military was taken to new heights, with serving officers moving into key political offices without a cooling period.
There are many who were surprised at the choice (retention) of Cabinet ministers from elements who had poor reputations even by the standards of the Mugabe regime, suspected of shady deals.
However, this failure to escape the Mugabe past was in some ways inevitable once the emerging change was presented as a Zanu PF affair backed by the military and other parts of the security sector.
More: Daily News