The Sunday Mail
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa’s August 23, 2023 election victory will forever remain a perfect gift to a man who has endured a life of struggle for the love of his country.
Dr Jenfan Muswere
He is a pioneer freedom fighter par excellence, whose Presidential victory awards him a perfect opportunity to spearhead the country’s economic transformation, which he ushered in when he took office in 2017.
There is no doubt Zimbabwe has witnessed unprecedented economic transformation since he assumed office, hence his resounding victory.
With a life firmly connected to the foundation of our national independence pilgrimage and fully dedicated to perpetual post-colonial reconstruction of our State, it is our considered view that the August 23 election victory is an honour befitting such a visionary reformist of our time.
Who would not celebrate a man who has chosen to forgive and forget the unprecedented attacks he endured a couple of years ago?
He has embraced, shook hands and welcomed those who had championed his dismissal from office.
Such is a mark of true leadership and statesmanship for most men and women of valour that this continent has been blessed with.
Great as he is, the President is not given to inclination of self-praise.
As he delivered his birthday message, one could not avoid detecting his modest and casual articulation of his active involvement in processes that gave formation to our nation.
One wonders if one day, the President shares the unfiltered story of his greatness beyond what some of us have seen as his Cabinet Ministers.
He has a whole set of strategic genius, resolute demeanour, captivating innovation and team-playing attributes.
A reformist of our time
In President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe has a reformist who did not hesitate to bite the bullet by diving into a pool of reforms which would have never seen the light of day.
A case in point is the liberalisation of the airwaves, leading to the granting of television and radio licences.
On economic reforms, President Mnangagwa opened Zimbabwe for business to the whole world.
Zimbabwe became a friend to all and an enemy to none as he pushed the economic transformation agenda.
Massive mining operations such as the launching of the giant lithium mines became a permanent feature of President Mnangagwa’s first term of office, as he championed the economic transformation agenda.
Zimbabwe also broke new records on the digitalisation agenda, and under his leadership, the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services developed the National ICT policy, the National Broadband Plan, the Smart Zimbabwe Masterplan, which take care of connecting the unconnected.
Massive investment and deployment in the ICT sector has seen the computerisation of schools, deployment of backbone infrastructure and the licensing of new ICT players in order to ensure ubiquitous connectivity.
The different information, media, publicity and broadcasting entities should be alive to this reality.
Going forward, we should take up the task to retell our story of triumph and package the genuine character of our leader for the blessing he truly is to our nation.
With the abundance of unprecedented reform, the media should then project him as the subject of our national unity, peace and prosperity.
This is exactly what his leadership personifies.
A political messianic persona
From the outset, our President was among the first generation of the Second Chimurenga’s anti-colonial combatants.
He was among the brave few to be deployed for the first military training in China and Egypt for the armed struggle.
It was this strategic revolutionary novelty that paved the way for a modern anti-colonial armed resistance that delivered an independent state in 1980.
His career has been domiciled on the nationalist agenda, which saw him joining the United National Independence Party (UNIP) in his early life as a freedom fighter.
Likewise, he has never deviated from that position.
He has been consistent and loyal to that cause.
He is a decorated pioneer freedom fighter, who escaped the jaws of death.
President Mnangagwa’s incarceration for subverting colonial law serves as a gesture of his true love for Zimbabwe.
Further to that, at independence, he was among the few who took up the delicate task of building our nation from the ruins of war.
President Mnangagwa displayed his leadership prowess at an early stage of the country’s independence when he was chosen to champion the convergence of three different military entities into a formidable Zimbabwe National Army.
His excellent service acquittal to the nation landed him the post of Vice President in 2014.
At the height of internal contradictions in ZANU PF, he was granted the full custody of the revolutionary party as its President and First Secretary in November 2017.
Since then, multi-sectoral transformation in our political economy has been rapid on a scale humanity has never seen before.
Social cohesion has benefitted from the scaffolding of national peace and reconciliation, and increased peace-building dialogue platform and a citizen-centric governance style.
Consequently, President Mnangagwa’s pro-people leadership approach made him suitable for re-election for a second term as the President of Zimbabwe.
In him, the wise voter has seen a saviour from our erstwhile political and socio-economic crises.
His tested political acumen has been a boon to the past betrayed goals for national development owing to years of bureaucratic lethargy.
He has been steadfast in his fight against corruption, incompetence and patronage.
In reversing the conundrum of the old, he has declared “Zimbabwe Open for Business”, “a friend to all and an enemy to none”.
Using visionary discretion enabled by his decades of statecraft experience, he has directed his Government towards the path of “engagement and re-engagement”.
These cardinal flagships form a needed redemptive trinity for Zimbabwe’s magnetic leverage for investment and international cooperation.
On the domestic front, he has extracted the liberation struggle’s “None, But Ourselves” creed to declare that “Nyika Inovakwa, Igotongwa, Nekunamatirwa Nevene Vayo”.
He has demonstrated this power of agency by the way he has ensured that all national revenue feeds into the direct social safety needs of every citizen.
In essence, he has ensured that humanist politics becomes a footprint of his presidency.
This explains why he is a darling of the voting majority of our population.
Cumulative gains and future national surety
President ED Mnangagwa’s August 23 election victory affirms the extent to which he benchmarks the foundation and continuity of our national liberation and development.
An emphatic elaboration of this fact can be traced to the milestone highlights of his first term in office.
His re-election as the President of Zimbabwe demonstrates his full and perennial subordination to democratic processes.
On the basis of this conviction, he created a free, inclusive and transparent environment for the recent plebiscite.
Turning to the economy, in his previous term, President Mnangagwa reformed the regulatory framework for domestic and foreign capital injection, leading to a massive influx of investors from 2017 to date.
The Second Republic has been remodelled to be a safe haven for all capital.
Gradual investment growth
In his new term, this will be consolidated and it will serve as a guarantee for the ZANU PF-led Government’s re-election in 2028.
By taking advantage of our geospatial advantage, the Second Republic is already poised to be a nerve centre for SADC’s trade and commerce. This will increase Zimbabwe’s input dividend into the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Immediate opportunities exist in revamping the existing railway system.
Consequently, the entire carbon steel ecosystem load will be moved from road to rail.
Our close proximity to ports in Mozambique is a low-hanging fruit for promoting the carbon steel exportation.
On the footstool of the new North Beira port, one finds the fledging Manhize Steel Plant.
This new carbon steel value-addition asset creates demand for increased investment in new energy, water, railway, road and port logistics and a new town.
In the process, employment creation will be inevitable; livelihoods of our people will be uplifted.
It is only under the Second Republic that the top global billionaires of the new electricity energy vehicle lithium sector have all flocked into our country.
From lithium exports, multi-million-dollar investments are being ploughed into our economy.
The spiralling effect will be a novel contribution by Zimbabwe to the global energy economy.
All of this was achieved in the last five years of President Mnangagwa’s term.
His renewed mandate offers an exciting opportunity for the realisation of a US$12 billion mining sector by 2030.
There is a massive increase in gold production, owing to the contribution of small-scale miners to this sector.
The Zimbabwe dollar has withstood a plethora of sabotage machinations, to the chagrin of neo-colonial forces.
New industries are being opened up by local and foreign players.
That guarantees increased production and a self-sustained economy.
With our President’s creative genius exerting itself on the economy, our gross domestic product (GDP) is witnessing gradual and unprecedented growth.
With an escalated policy commitment to promote agriculture and rural development, our national food security has been guaranteed for the future.
Local wheat production is also another success story.
Under President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe will never be a hungry nation.
His leadership foresight and innovation-anchored approach to statecraft assigns poverty to the grave.
President Mnangagwa’s legacy cannot be discussed in isolation of the rapid infrastructure development and health sector improvements noted during the last term of his presidency.
Not even the global crisis-wrecking effects of the Covid-19 pandemic could downplay our health sector reinforcement measures.
Building a patriotic national consciousness
In reciprocation to this benchmark of success, those of us assigned to keep the nation well-informed have a bulwark mandate to fight polarisation and forces opposed to the unity of our people.
Therein lies the vocation to building a national consciousness that upholds and defends the long-lasting virtues of our national democracy and prosperity.
These two ultimate virtues of nationhood form the basis of our President’s legacy.
In this new post-election season, it is the duty of the media to emphasise policy milestones of the Second Republic.
Our leader’s love for the country and his commitment to our people’s freedom from poverty and underdevelopment must be showcased by our media.
This is important in mapping our national agenda’s consistence to the liberation agenda as modelled in the leadership virtues of our President.
To achieve this, the intensified licensing of television and radio stations should be a priority.
Legislation friendly to the promotion of media plurality will continue to be aligned to the constitutional dictate for information access and freedom of expression.
Zimbabwe’s international image-building should be taken to greater heights.
More importantly, the Brand Zimbabwe project, which falls directly under the purview of the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services at the behest of the Office of the President and Cabinet, should support to the fullest the merits of the “engagement and re-engagement” policy.
A success in fulfilling some of these short- and long-term Government messaging deliverables will do us a lot more good in celebrating the luminary that President Mnangagwa really is and the vision he represents for the perpetuity of our national freedom.
Dr Jenfan Muswere is the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.