HARARE – Exiled outspoken Chimurenga music icon — Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo who was an arch critic of deposed former president Robert Mugabe — has appealed to sceptical Zimbabweans to give his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa more time to show if he is the right man to lead the country.
He was not alone as MDC MP for Bulawayo South constituency Eddie Cross made the same call.
Mnangagwa, who has been in office for nearly five weeks, assumed the reins after Mugabe resigned on November 21 moments after Parliament had instituted impeachment proceedings against him.
“Kune avo varikukanda ma spikes mu road pa govt itsva iyi, dai mamboipawo mukana. Musikana haabate pamuviri obva otosununguka mwana same day (You must give this government a chance and stop throwing spanners in its way. A woman doesn’t get pregnant and give birth on the same day),” Mapfumo wrote on microblogging site Twitter, calling on those impatient and sceptics to give Mnangagwa time to settle in.
Mnangagwa, has since his inauguration made several policy pronouncements — including waging war against corrupt people and ending police menace on the country’s roads.
He has also issued a three-month moratorium on business people and individuals who externalised billions of money and stashed it offshore to return the loot or face the full wrath of the law.
Apart from that his government has tabled a budget which economists say has many bright spots and would bring positive results if it is implemented.
Cross, who has had several run-ins with MDC supporters and colleagues for his forthrightness, writing on his blog www.eddiecross.africanherd.com, said Mnangagwa has a chance to deliver.
“Mnangagwa is in absolute control of the State and I think he is going to deliver. One of the key elements behind this strategy is that he knows the opposition is in shambles.
“The other thing he knows fully well is that only a democratically-elected government will be recognised by the international community and recovery and reconstruction of the Zimbabwe State and economy is not possible without that.
“He also made it clear that his own record was a hindrance and that he and the party had a lot to do before they could win a free and fair election.”
The key, he argued was to get the economy back on its feet and to restore hope among the people of Zimbabwe. Cross, in his latest article, predictably, has annoyed many of his colleagues in the opposition movement.
“The one thing I know about this man is that he is an operator and should not be underestimated. He appointed his Cabinet on Sunday, swore them in on Monday and held his first Cabinet on Tuesday, setting his new ministers targets for the first 100 days and threatening that any minister who failed to achieve his or her targets was vulnerable.
“Already you can feel the impact of this early momentum. Time alone will tell, but the early indications are that we will see very significant changes in 2018 and that our economy and maybe our country, will begin the long road back to where we should have been…,” Cross said.
Mugabe’s 37-year rule came to an inglorious end on November 21 when he resigned moments after Parliament had started proceedings to impeach him.
This followed a military intervention code named Operation Restore Legacy which saw the nonagenarian and his wife being placed under house arrest.
Several Cabinet ministers linked to the Generation 40 (G40) faction who had coalesced around Grace were targeted in the operation which ended only recently, with the soldiers only retreating to the barracks after five weeks of executing the operation.
Mugabe was accused of turning Zimbabwe, which was once touted as the bread basket of Africa, into a basket case due to years of mismanagement and executive corruption.
Today, Zimbabwe is ranked among the poorest countries in the world.