72 hours earlier history had been made. For some, a necessary evil had happened, but to some politics was at play and history had changed its course.
What a stressful turn of events for news reporters, analysts, economists, children, ordinary citizens and worse for the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda who found himself separately announcing the departure of both Emmerson Mnangagwa and Robert Mugabe in a space of twenty days.
Mnangagwa had arrived back in the country 48 hours earlier after a self-imposed exile that followed his sacking, dramatically catalyzed by Grace Mugabe speeches? Nobody knows.
But that evening, a ‘new dispensation’ began with a widely welcomed speech by Mnangagwa promising “the beginning of a new unfolding democracy.”
“I appeal to all genuine Zimbabweans to come; we work together. No one is more important than the other. We are all Zimbabweans. We want to grow our economy. We want peace in our country. We want jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said.
At that moment, hope flickered and the giant nation woke from its slumber. Was it new wine in old bottles or it was old wine in new bottles?
Today in history, the Mnangagwa administration was given the torch to lead a new Zimbabwe at the National Sports Stadium.
The inauguration, of course, was trending on Twitter, but second to it was another hashtag, #PeopleWill.
An alternative event ran at Harare International Conference Centre where citizens drafted a will of a Zimbabwe they looked forward to. The will was of course handed over to the new President for perusal.
Citizens resolved that they were expecting the country to return to the rule of law, employment creation, transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. They looked forward to a new dispensation that respects labour rights, a new Zimbabwe that stands on solidarity, freedom and justice.
These demanded principles were also reflected in Mnangagwa’s inauguration speech, where he charmed the region and the world.
Three years later…
Freedom of expression has continuously been thwarted as can be noted by harassment and arrest of journalists for conducting their work. In that same line, we must also not forget the August 2018 shootings, the January 2019 beatings and all the other demonstrations that were violently cooled down. These are freedoms that we hold dear as a country.
Ongoing wars between the civil service and the government have been ongoing with the recent one compromising the phased opening of schools, and we will not talk about health workers even during the ongoing pandemic.
A new set of sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe depicting increased human rights violations in the eyes of the imposers. This jeopardizes the promised re-engagement ‘efforts’ with the international community.
Corruption continues to be detrimental while there is less transparency and accountability. The catch and release system has defeated the purpose of justice institutions.
About democracy, the last election leaves a lot to be desired, with contested powers that drags down the development efforts and any exertions towards unity amongst Zimbabweans. Governance, democracy, political independence and legitimacy remain critical to change and societal revolutions in Zimbabwe.
It is high time that the current regime sits down and come up with strategic solutions to deliver their promise to the people of Zimbabwe. Three years later they still owe them a better Zimbabwe.
It is high time people, as part of holding their leaders to account come up with a promise checker system which allows them to keep public office bearers in check.
Be that as it may, President Mnangagwa remember your entry speech “…the voice of people is the voice of God…the will of the people will always succeed.”