Understanding Mnangagwa’s balancing act


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On 21 November President Robert Mugabe tendered his resignation letter to the Speaker of Parliament. The resignation was greeted with euphoria which continued until the new President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn into office.

Like a new sheriff, he briskly went about restoring confidence in and out of Zimbabwe.

The new man seemed to have pressed all the right buttons until he announced his cabinet late last night.

For many people his choices were a great betrayal of their trust.

His presidency had brought a new trajectory. It brought a breath of fresh air. It restored hope but all that was deflated by that late night cabinet announcement.

It doesn’t inspire confidence, investors won’t come and deadwood recycled that were some of the immediate reactions on social media.

Old heads yes, but a new direction and action is what is more pertinent now.

Mnangagwa presented himself as a man of action in his first few days as President. Turning up for work at 7:45 am and undertaking a raft of actions with rapid speed.

It was all magic.

Zimbabweans had been used to a President Robert Mugabe who was absent for much of the last few years so the excitement wasn’t a surprise.

The disappointment of the people is understandable given the travails we have gone through as a nation under Robert Mugabe’s rule.

Amid the disappointment it’s also fair to note that this was never going to be easy for the new President.

He has to perform a balancing act between the party interests and state responsibilities.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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