Mutambara Says Mnangagwa Missed An Opportunity To Unite Zimbabwe After Mugabe's Removal
President Emmerson Mnangagwa missed the chance to unite a divided Zimbabwe and steer the country towards a new trajectory after the military-assisted coup that toppled long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017, according to former deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara.
Mutambara believes that Mnangagwa failed to use the moment of the coup to adopt a team Zimbabwe approach that would have united the country’s political factions. Instead, he continued with polarising politics, copying the handbook of Mugabe’s rule, according to opposition parties, Mutambara added.
Mutambara argues that there was an opportunity for change, but it was squandered by a lack of intelligence and strategic thinking. He insists that a different leader in 2017 could have created an opportunity to delink with the past and create a Zimbabwean moment, rather than a Zanu PF moment. He told Alpha Media Holdings chairman, Trevor Ncube:
A clever Mnangagwa who is strategic would have told Chinamasa to shut up. When I proposed this it was not much for Zimbabwe but for Mnangagwa’s own legacy.
There was an opportunity for change. There was so much goodwill in the country in Zimbabwe. So much goodwill in SADC and the continent and globally. The goodwill was squandered by a lack of intelligence, by lack of strategic thinking.
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A different leader in 2017 could have created an opportunity of delinking with the past. I am very clear that there was an opportunity because it was a Zimbabwean moment not Zanu PF moment. There was a lack of leadership.
The opposition in Zimbabwe supported the removal of Robert Mugabe from power in 2017, as they saw it as an opportunity to end his long-standing rule and bring about political change in the country. The opposition played a significant role in the protests and demonstrations that took place in the lead-up to Mugabe’s ouster, calling for his resignation and urging the military to intervene.
ZANU-PF officials, however, claimed that the removal of Robert Mugabe from power was an internal party matter aimed at addressing internal divisions and preventing opposition forces from taking power. They argued that Mugabe’s promotion of his wife as his successor and economic mismanagement necessitated his removal to restore stability and ensure continuity within the party.