President Mugabe resigned from office on Tuesday after being at the helm for the past 37 years. Cde Mugabe resigned following a week of unrelenting pressure from the public and his own party Zanu-PF which recalled him as leader of the party and State President. There were wild celebrations throughout the country following announcement of Cde Mugabe’s resignation at the age of 93.
Zimbabweans are looking forward to a new beginning and are optimistic that the new dispensation to be ushered in following the departure of Cde Mugabe will find solutions to challenges facing the nation. In his State of the Nation address on Sunday, Cde Mugabe admitted that there is a crisis in the country and conceded that concerns raised by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and citizens relating to the state of the economy were genuine.
“As I address you, Iam aware of the whole range of concerns which have come from you all citizens of our great nation and which thus deserve our untrammelled attention” said Cde Mugabe.
The incoming leadership therefore has to hit the ground running if it is to meet the people’s expectations. We appreciate that the challenges facing the nation cannot be addressed overnight but people want to see a change of focus from leadership squabbles to bread and butter issues.
The former President acknowledged that the economy is going through a difficult patch and he blamed this on lack of unity and commonness of purpose in both the ruling party and Government. What is therefore clear going forward is that those put in leadership positions should know that it is imperative for them to have a shared vision in order to pull in one direction. The leaders should avoid what was happening in the past which saw the implementation of a number of important projects stalled.
Cde Mugabe as the captain of the ship takes the blame for most of his Government’s failures but it has to be appreciated that he was leading a team which cannot be absolved from blame. It is a fact that some of the ministers who were in the previous Government will be retained and it is our fervent hope that they learnt from the shortcomings of the previous administration. The ZDF, the citizens and the leadership of the ruling party are very clear on what needs to be done to address the many challenges facing our economy which prompted the ZDF to intervene.
Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa who has been nominated to take over from Cde Mugabe as both the leader of the party and State President, has said he is committed to lead the struggle for the revival of the country’s economy. He said his desire is to join all Zimbabweans in a new era where corruption, incompetency, dereliction of duty, laziness, social and cultural decadency is not tolerated.
Cde Mnangagwa said the responsibility to build Zimbabwe is not a job for Zanu-PF alone but for all Zimbabweans. This means that the responsibility to turnaround the economy should be all inclusive and Government should therefore create an enabling environment so that all citizens participate.
The country is endowed with natural resources such as minerals, land, game and other such resources which should not be a preserve of a few. The people demonstrated during the past few days that they can be united for a common purpose and it is this unity of purpose that is required if we are to overcome the economic challenges the country is facing.
Men and women appointed to leadership positions should be individuals who are committed to improve the people’s welfare and the new dispensation should not hesitate to weed out the undesirable elements that go against the grain. The media on its part should play its watchdog role of making the leadership accountable to the people. It is our belief that the days of being in Parliament or Government to warm up chairs are over. Those that cannot deliver on their mandate should be shown the door. We want to once again remind the incoming leadership that the people have very high expectations.