Emmerson Mnangagwa: Toward a New Zimbabwe 

Emmerson Mnangagwa: Toward a New Zimbabwe 

Emmerson Mnangagwa: Toward a New Zimbabwe 

Source: Emmerson Mnangagwa: Toward a New Zimbabwe – The New York Times

HARARE, Zimbabwe — In November, the Zimbabwean people, led by our youth, went to the streets peacefully and joyfully, determined to have their voices heard. They called for freedom, progress and a new way of doing things. Though supported by the military, this was a popular, peaceful revolution. Watching the events unfold from exile, I was deeply proud of my fellow Zimbabweans.

Members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union’s youth league were addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on March 7 in the capital, Harare.CreditAaron Ufumeli/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock/Aaron Ufumeli/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock

In a major turning point in our history, President Robert Mugabe resigned and the first transition of power in 37 years followed. On Nov. 24, I took office as the new president of Zimbabwe. In the past three months, I have heard the call of my people. I share their vision and am committed to delivering.

I am working toward building a new Zimbabwe: a country with a thriving and open economy, jobs for its youth, opportunities for investors, and democracy and equal rights for all.

We are starting from a difficult position. Today our economy is struggling, our youth lack opportunities, too many people are unable to afford essential goods, and our infrastructure is stuck in the past.

Our recovery strategy is based on creating conditions for an investment-led economic recovery that puts a premium on job creation. In three months, we have secured $3.1 billion worth of commitments from across the world, which will create jobs and opportunities.

We cannot remain hostage to our past but instead must look to the future hand in hand with our international partners. The new Zimbabwe fully affirms its place in the family of nations, with all the responsibilities this entails.

We are embarking on a journey toward real growth, to empower our people with skills, opportunities and jobs. We will continue taking bold steps to liberalize and introduce greater market forces, building an economy in which enterprise is allowed, encouraged and protected. If we are to succeed in this global economy, we must empower our entrepreneurs and foster innovation at every level.

As we put the past behind us and embrace this new dawn, we are calling upon the international community to join us. The creation of a National Peace and Reconciliation Committee, which I recently signed into law, will enable us to move forward now as one united people, part of the greater community of nations. Whatever misunderstandings we may have had in the past, let these make way for a new beginning.

Zimbabwe is changing — politically, economically and societally — and we ask those who have punished us in the past to reconsider their sanctions against us. Zimbabwe is a land of potential, but it will be difficult to realize it with the weight of sanctions hanging from our necks.

In the past three months, my government has taken significant steps to assuage concerns and assure any skeptics of our intentions. We have published an ambitious, responsible and stabilizing budget aimed at reducing our deficits and committing to repaying our debts.

We amended the Indigenization & Economic Empowerment Act, which had constrained foreign ownership of local businesses and discouraged much needed investment. We have now removed this constraint in almost all sectors, sending a clear signal that Zimbabwe is open for business.

I wish to assure everyone that all foreign investments will be safe and secure in the new Zimbabwe. Transparency and the rule of law will be key. We have already begun the effort to defeat the corruption that has plagued our nation, including requiring cabinet ministers to declare their assets and creating anti-corruption courts. Many Zimbabweans moved their money out of the country. I offered them amnesty from prosecution if they brought the money back within three months. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been brought back to Zimbabwe.

There are voices both at home and abroad who have sought to convince the world that nothing has changed in Zimbabwe. I refute those unfair and unfounded claims and commit that we are bringing about a new era of transparency, openness and commitment to the rule of law.

We continue to work with civil society to ensure that human rights concerns are addressed immediately, opening channels of dialogue with opposition parties, prominent NGOs and international organizations.

I commit that in the new Zimbabwe, all citizens will have the right of free speech, free expression and free association. At the heart of this will be free and fair elections, to be held as scheduled in 2018, with all impartial observers who wish to witness the new Zimbabwean democracy at work welcome to attend. I extend that invitation once again.

Zimbabwe is changing, and quickly. So in this light I urge the international community to heed the saying, “when the facts change,” change your minds.

Those who cling to the sanctions are stuck in the old Zimbabwe — the Zimbabwe of poverty and international isolationism. We are bringing about the new Zimbabwe — a country of hope and opportunity, a country that engages with the world and strives toward prosperity.

We invite the international community to partner with us and help us turn our country around. Together we will unlock Zimbabwe’s vast potential and build a new, prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe for all.


  • comment-avatar
    Former farmer 3 months

    ED, the country collapsed following the land grab. You cannot deny this and the solution to the nations woes are in reversing this. There has to be confidence your government and the land grab is your nemisis. That you do not mention it in this article is more a hope it will go away but that will not happen. The compensation to the title holders is unaffordable and you will not get away with token offers of compensation based on your own valuations. Courts cases have been won locally and internationally so the west will not come to your party if you ignore the rules even with free and fair elections. Respect the farmers rights, honour title deeds a the rule of law. It will be like a magic wand.

    • comment-avatar
      mazano rewayi 3 months

      Former Farmer, you touch on a very important but sensitive and also emotive issue. Arguments over such issues tend to be rather irrational. A bit of perspective is necessary. Whilst freehold title is the way to go if we are to unlock the full value of our land and create a modern economy, going back to the pre-fast track land ownership will not solve the problem. Neither is it feasible politically. What is needed is to properly audit current land holding patterns to weed out multiple farm owners THEN give title to those now occupying the land and tax them accordingly. If this were to be adopted I am sure a sizable number of “new landowners” will give back their farms and genuine farmers will take up that land. The “land tax” raised (much like the hut tax before) can then be used to compensate those who lost “their land” during the fast track period as well as help fund a farming credit facility. We need a second land reform, not to ” correct historical imbalances” nor “placate fast track land reform victims” but rather to derive maximum benefit from our land. Property rights on the basis of new land allocations should be the foundation of that reform. This to me at least is a win-win situation. Re-instituting colonial systems (the basis of property rights arguments) or making the state a super landlord (as is the case now) will neither solve our land ownership challenge nor take our people out of poverty. The new land reform need to reconsider “land ownership” in communal areas as well. There, family or village land wars are rife and good land and homesteads remain derelict because of unresolved ownership issues.

      • comment-avatar
        Former farmer 3 months

        I fully agree with your sentiments. I agree with one farm per person. I also fully support a compromise situation but as someone who bought his farm in 1996 it is very difficult to accept the loss of not only my property but my livelyhood and future. Since 1985 all farms sold had to be offered to the government first. A certificate of no present interest was issue before any sale could be concluded. This was a legal undertaking by the government that they did not want that farm and should be honoured until such time as that farm was put up for sale again.
        It is better to have an economy and employment than a nation of subsistance farmers and vendors. It is estimated that no more than 50% of the ex farmers would want to return so plenty of land would be available for distribution, however it is the fear of the “shefu’s” that they will lose what they have looted (state assets). Land should not be for them but all citizens in need of and with the ability to work such productively.
        As for a land tax, l cannot agree with you there. As companies we paid our taxes, NSSA , ZINARA and council tax. To put a land tax would increase the price of goods and make imports cheaper.
        We need common sense on this issue and know the mistakes made. Lets learn from them and get our act together, there is a nation to our south that is going to need feeding in 3 years time. The economic power could easily shift northward. I am happy to play my part in the recovery.

  • comment-avatar
    jono 3 months

    So ED, where is Itai Dzambara and when are the kidnappers going to be brought to book. You know who they are. What’s that you say?. Never. Thought so, you and your ilk are full of bull****.

  • comment-avatar
    jono 3 months

    So ED was it a ‘misunderstanding’ when you butchered 20 000 innocent civilians. What part of this mass murder stemmed from a ‘misunderstanding’? Pray tell.