The address by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has left many with questions more than answers which some say was an act of damage control prompted by global outrage following a spate of civil unrest in the Southern African country.
President Mnangagwa spoke of “dark forces” from within and outside, opposition terrorist groups, and flushing out “bad apples”.
Last week, one ZANU PF Politburo member was suspended for allegedly participating in the planning of the “ZANU PF must go” campaign which was later stifled by deployment and heavy presence of security forces around the main cities of Zimbabwe. Cleveria Chizema is alleged to have been part of the organisers of the recently banned 31 July protest against corruption and bad governance.
The tone in the President’s speech gave an impression that he might still be surrounded by more than one enemy whom he referred to as “bad apples.”
Zimbabwe’s economy has been on the slide, which the government blames on acts of economic aggression, currency manipulation, economic sanctions and western powers for trying to sow dissent in the country.
In a televised address on Tuesday, President Mnangagwa condemned what he calls “machinations of destructive, terrorist opposition groupings”.
“Those who promote hate and disharmony will never win. The bad apples that have attempted to divide our people and to weaken our systems will be flushed out. Good shall triumph over evil,” he said.
Opposition leader and organizer of the much dreaded 31 July protests, Jacob Ngarivhume and some Journalists are in trouble following a crackdown on those perceived to be enemies of the state. An award winning investigative Journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono was last week remanded in custody for allegedly inciting public violence through spearheading anti-corruption protests on twitter.
Before the call for anti-corruption protests, Chin’ono exposed alleged corruption in the health ministry led by Dr.Obadiah Moyo during the purchase of medical supplies to tackle the Corona virus. Moyo has since been fired for the alleged claims. Meanwhile Doctors and nurses are on an industrial strike spanning weeks leaving patients exposed to the pandemic ravaging communities. All they have been asking for is a pay rise and protective clothing to wear during the discharge of their duties.
Mr Mnangagwa added that his government had faced many hurdles since taking office following the ousting of long-time leader Robert Mugabe in 2017, but it would remain resolute.
“We will defeat the attack and stop the bleeding of our economy. We will overcome attempts at the destabilisation of our society,” he said.
Commenting on Mnangagwa speech on micro blogging site twitter, MDC Alliance said “ED’s address was a trainsmash. In a frenzied panic, he threatened to “flush out” critics. Legitimate opposition parties were labelled as “rogue Zimbabweans” & “terrorists”. He’s out of touch & mired in the mentality of siege. Zero plan to fix the nation.”
Zimbabwe’s economy is in deep crisis, with inflation rising to more than 700% making it extremely difficult for an ordinary Zimbabwean to make ends meet especially in the current COVID-19 lockdown which has affected normal business operations globally.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News Correspondent