2018 Elections presidential candidate, Dr. Noah Manyika has written an open letter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa urging him to return to Zimbabwe urgently and fix the economic crisis. The president is away on a 5-country road show meant to attract investment to Zimbabwe and is currently in Belarus.
While Mnangagwa has acknowledged the acute problems back home, he has insisted that the international trip is critical and cannot be cut short.
The full letter below:
Open Letter to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa
January 17, 2019.
I write this brief open letter in response to a statement attributed to you expressing your sadness at the developments in our country. I am sure by now you are aware that mere words will not quell the anger our people feel nor solve the catastrophic problems our nation is facing. You, and you alone Sir, have the opportunity to pull our nation from the brink by
1. Immediately suspending your overseas trip and urgently returning to Zimbabwe to assume full civilian control of government as required by our constitution. Your immediate return and the immediate withdrawal of the military from the streets to the barracks will give the nation and international community much needed assurance that you, and not the military, are running this country.
2. Immediately revoking the fuel price increases you announced on the 12th of January 2019. Justifying them by claiming that they align our prices with the region ignores the fact that fuel prices are not the only distortion in our economy, and that the increases have resulted in unbearable hardships for ordinary citizens. It is impossible for people to trust that this is part of any anti-corruption drive as you claim when no action has been taken against well-known Godfathers of corruption, many of whom are supporters or senior members of Zanu(PF) and the government.
3. The immediate lifting of the blockade of the internet and all social media platforms. In the 21st Century, shutting down the internet is shutting down the economy. Ironically, the actions of your government have done much more harm to the economy than the shutdown called by the ZCTU. It is further ironic that you are headed to Davos to be part of a gathering that celebrates the success of open economies when the reality in Zimbabwe is the exact opposite.
4. The Immediate release of all demonstrators and civic leaders detained during the shutdown. Your government’s draconian actions have not only completely disempowered those who have been inclined to support the calls for ending our isolation, but seem to invite the very same measures whose removal you have been calling for.
5. The immediate disbanding of your cabinet and urgent engagement of national leaders to come up with a platform for the non-partisan, competent, reformist, inspiring and problem-solving collective leadership our country desperately needs.
Anything less Sir would amount to you declaring war on your own presidency, on the economy and on the people whose suffering you have said you want to end. I have said this before and believe it strongly that there is no external Third Force you have to fear. The fate of your presidency is fully in your hands.
The worst enemies of your presidency Sir, are the men and women who surround you who encourage your instincts for command politics. These man and women who include the sycophantic official press, your Zanu(PF) colleagues, your presidium, family, business people, the security services, traditional and church leaders and some members of the diplomatic corp etc. fail to advice you that the world outside Zanu(PF) operates very differently. They fail to counsel you that the decisions you are making are completely inconsistent with your claims to be a listening president, a reformer, a man of faith and a servant leader who believes that “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” Instead they only bolster your reputation for ruthlessness.
Blood has been needlessly spilled once again in our country Sir. If you are the man of faith you claim to be, you know that ultimately the innocent never die in vain. Any delay on your part will result in the shedding of more innocent blood. Unfortunately Sir, as the person leading our country, that blood will be on your hands.
Is There Not a Cause?
Dr. Noah Manyika
President: Build Zimbabwe Alliance.
Founder: War On Poverty Trust