Emmerson Mnangagwa, the new President of Zimbabwe, is not an ogre with evil intent as his detractors make him out to be.
He is a courteous, amiable, honest to goodness person, who is now on a new mission to fix what needs to fixed in his home country so that Zimbabwe can become an asset yet again in the geopolitical region of southern Africa – just as many compatriots would want it to be.
With his comrades in the ZANU-PF leadership, last November they averted an impending social disaster for Zimbabwe and SADC in the way in which they handled the “military assisted transition”.
By arriving at a peaceful political solution with the support of all major stakeholders, including the opposition and neighbouring heads of state, they conducted themselves with a level of sophistication and maturity that very few observers saw coming.
The Zimbabwe Defence Force launched Operation Restore Legacy, warning the tsotsi elements surrounding the mighty octogenarian and father of the Zimbabwean nation, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, a day before they assumed power at the blue roof house.
A cognitive shift in the balance of forces in the political sphere had happened too quickly and too fast, with the opportunists having a free hand.
It was not a classic coup d’ etat that the army commanders intended but when Vice-President Mnangagwa was expelled from office it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
ZANU-PF managed a touch and go situation very sensitively and brought about the welcome change, without any loss of life and without bloodshed.
It should not have come as a surprise.
Emmerson Mnangagwa holds unimpeachable credibility in the struggle for change in Zimbabwe. He survived the Rhodesian hangman when he was under-age. His death sentence was commuted to 10 years in prison. He rose through the ranks as a selfless cadre.
He has served with the ZANLA forces in the armed struggle without any ambitions for personal glory and self-gratification. He did the political leg work for ZANU without thought of special treatment or high reward.
At times he took the blame for wrongdoing on behalf of the collective leadership when he shouldn’t have done so.
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