Why Mnangagwa is having problems running the country


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In a country that is used to turmoil, the month of January will go down as a period when we literally shot ourselves in the foot.

The November military assisted transition (MAT) in 2017 brought to a close 38 years of dictatorial administration under Robert Mugabe, associated with genocide, human rights abuse, violations of the rule of law, non-compliance with Constitutional dictates and near total international isolation.

The MAT was accompanied by massive popular support for the army and the small team around Mnangagwa who engineered the whole thing.

The new regime was given a cautious welcome by the international community, led by Britain who argued that the leadership should be given the opportunity to put their house in order and thereby secure international recognition and support.

In July 2018 we held national elections, which although they were flawed, resulted in a narrow victory for the incumbent President and his team. However, the elections also produced a House of Assembly, which although controlled by a majority in the ruling party, was in fact deeply divided between the warring factions in ZANU- PF.

The reality is that Emmerson Mnangagwa went into the election and came out of it as a national leader with scant support in existing political structures.

The conflict in the cockpit of the State was clearly visible from the early days of the Mnangagwa government, centred on a struggle for power and influence between the military (both political and professional) and the Presidential team.

In fact, of the cabinet that governed the country between November 2017 and July 2018, the President only had minority control and influence, making decisions on major issues very difficult.

In addition to these problems of a political nature, the deeply imbedded corruption that involves virtually everyone in government, proved to be both resilient and capable of defending itself.

Despite the formation of a commission to investigate and prosecute corruption, virtually no prosecutions have taken place.

The President found it necessary to dismiss his Prosecutor General simply because of non-performance. But of greater significance was the rush by those who control the corruption and the proceeds thereof, to support the individuals in the new government who had the capacity to protect their interests.

The consequence was an intensification of the conflict in government and in ZANU-PF with those responsible for state capture, using their money not only to protect their interests but the try and direct the affairs of State.

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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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