Millennium Post

Same Zimbabwe post Mugabe

Same Zimbabwe post Mugabe
There is no gainsaying that with the exit of Robert Mugabe, who had emerged to be the hero after Zimbabwe's Independence only to turn into one of the worst villains witnessed in African history, matters still seem to remain the same in Zimbabwe. It should, therefore, have been hardly surprising that the nation's new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, should have come under fire after naming two military allies to the top positions in his debut cabinet and reappointing figures from the discredited Mugabe era and subsequently sidelining the opposition. Mnangagwa gave key jobs to two top military officers, including Sibusiso Moyo, a major general who on November 15 went on state TV to announce the military's takeover—a power grab which climaxed a week later when Robert Mugabe quit the presidency. Moyo was appointed foreign minister while the long-serving air force commander, Perence Shiri, became minister of lands and agriculture, a vital job following the controversial seizure of land from white farmers nearly two decades ago. Observers understandably criticised the lineup and the choices which drew groans of dismay from many Zimbabweans. Mnangagwa, 75, was sworn in after the takeover, which the military said had aimed at arresting "criminals" in the government around the 93-year-old Mugabe. His cabinet also retains many faces from the Mugabe regime, including the finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa and Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu. The bulk of members of the so-called new cabinet is from the old guard. However, Mnangagwa dropped figures aligned to a rival faction in the ruling Zanu-PF party who had once backed Mugabe's 52-year-old disgraced wife, Grace, in a bid to replace her husband. But Chinamasa's return gave hope of positive reforms to the moribund economy. He oversaw the reopening of talks this year with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the easing of the so-called indigenisation policy which had scared away foreign investors. But reports have it that Zimbabwean citizens feel they found the new government's lineup to be uninspiring, even disastrous. Many are yearning for a clean break from Mugabe's 37-year rule, which left the country with a crippled economy, high unemployment and emigration, and a society marred by allegations of rights abuses and election-rigging. In his inaugural address, Mnangagwa had vowed to make sweeping changes in the government and new policies to attract investment and revive the economy. Mnangagwa, who is serving out the remaining months of Mugabe's term, has surrounded himself with people who, he thinks, will help him win general elections that are due by next August. Those who naively thought that a "revolution" took place will be disappointed by the reassertion of power by the military. Leaders of the 1970's liberation war against colonial rule, who spearheaded mass protests to force Mugabe out of office, were also awarded cabinet positions. They include Chris Mutsvangwa, the leader of the war veterans, who have become information minister. Be that as it may, for many, the "honeymoon" following Mugabe's exit seems well and truly over.
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