Petina Gappah, a former adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that the president has a choice to follow in the footsteps of Zimbabwe’s founding leader, Robert Mugabe or go a different path.
Gappah who recently resigned from being Mnangagwa’s adviser observed that although some members of the public revere Mugabe for the good he did, there are also compelling issues that make others revile him.
Gappah observed that Mugabe’s legacy was tainted by human rights violations, inconsistent economic policies and widespread corruption in his government as well as persecution of political enemies.
The international law expert and author added that Mnangagwa must establish a long-term vision which goes beyond his tenure of office. Commenting on Mnangagwa’s recently launched Vision 2030, Gappah said:
Significantly, this programme will end after his own term in office, even if he runs again in 2023. If he is to succeed where Mugabe failed, Mnangagwa needs a vision that goes well beyond 2030.
The choice before him is clear: he can be Zimbabwe’s second Mugabe, with the same attitudes and policies, leading his country further down the path to isolation, internal division and economic misery.
Gappah added that Mnangagwa needed to inculcate the culture of tolerance which was in short supply during Mugabe’s era. She cited Mugabe’s hate speeches as some factors that contributed to polarised politics.
She further warned against looking at short-term temptations of power which have the potential to make Mnangagwa another Mugabe in the lenses of those who come after him.
More: Daily News