HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime is the only “new” government Zimbabwe will have for the next five years, said war veterans’ leader Victor Matemadanda said in Harare this week.
Speaking as secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, Matematanda, who is also the deputy minister of war veterans, threw his weight behind the embattled Mnangagwa, who is being pressured to dialogue with opposition MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
“The people of Zimbabwe must understand and appreciate that an election comes and goes. The result of an election should facilitate developmental programmes for the next five years and they should be judged from the performance of their plans and policies,” said Matematanda.
“If Zanu (PF) fails to deliver, that can only be seen after five years, not seven months. We cannot expect a result in seven months. We cannot be talking of a new setup and negotiations as if this administration is old; is this old? This government is still new. If people want a new setup, this is the new setup we have.”
Matemadanda laid into Chamisa and members of the media, who he said wrote negatively about the country, thereby hindering development and foreign investment.
He dismissed the chances of a possible global political agreement in the form of the 2009 coalition, entered into between then president Robert Mugabe and then MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, following disputed election.
“We want dialogue not negotiations. There is no reason for negotiating, but every day, people can dialogue,” added Matematanda.
Dialogue and a possible coalition have been touted as possible solutions to the myriad of challenges the southern African country is facing.
Mnangagwa’s government has since the July 2018 election been overwhelmed by economic, political and social challenges, which have seen two huge demonstrations across the country.
The first one in August resulted in the death of unarmed civilians at the hands of the army and the January 2019 shutdown also saw at least 17 people being killed using the same modus operandi by Mnangagwa.
Prices of basic commodities have skyrocketed lately, while fuel and bread queues have resurfaced, much like in the 2008 era.