President Emmerson Mnangagwa claimed that he gave short shrift to advice from some quarters to be an autocrat.
He was speaking during a wide-ranging interview on a Harare radio, Capitalk 100.4 FM on Friday night. He said that during a meeting with fringe political parties, one of the leaders advised him to scale down on his democratic tendencies;
One leader said to me ‘Mr President you are too democratic, can you reduce a bit’. I said I don’t agree with you. I am saying this to show that people are free to express themselves.
I have been advised to be a dictator or be autocratic and I have said no.
President Mnangagwa said that since he came into office in November 2017, he has promoted “glasnost and perestroika“, that is openness and reform as seen during the run-up to the 2018 general elections. He said:
I asked all political leaders to campaign peacefully. We have a polarised nation but I am happy during the elections all parties campaigned peacefully.
We are reforming the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) two symbols of the old Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa vowed not to go back on “reforms”. He said reforming the country’s politics, industry and mindsets will be his legacy.