A speech making all the right noises

Joseph Winter

BBC News website Africa editor

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s speech of reconciliation will be widely welcomed in Zimbabwe, even if his powers of oratory fell well short of those of his predecessor.

He reached out to people across the “ethnic, racial and political” divides, following years of deep polarisation under Robert Mugabe.

However, those Zimbabweans who can recall the days before Mr Mugabe – the minority – will know that when he took power in 1980, he made similar pledges, and was widely praised for it, both at home and around the world.

People react as Zimbabwean new President Emmerson Mnangagwa is officially sworn-in during a ceremony in Harare on November 24, 2017.


What Zimbabweans really want is for Mr Mnangagwa to breath new life into their failed economy.

Here, he also made all the right noises, recognising the severity of the problem.

He even promised compensation to the white farmers whose eviction caused the economy to spiral into free-fall. However, it is not clear where he would get the money from, and he did insist that land reform itself was non-negotiable.

He also accepted that he would not be judged on his speeches, but on his actions.

All Zimbabweans will agree with that.


  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 5 years ago

    Sounds like a redux of Mugabe. Let the West beware. They had backed Mugabe and were reluctant to admit error and pull that support when Mugabe began to show what he really was. They allowed much too much to go on unchallenged before they acted. Same can be said of the people of Zimbabwe. That was Mugabe’s signal to go full-throttle. Watch for Mnangagwa to wait for his signal. Be vigilant..! Zim is not free, yet.

  • comment-avatar

    Let’s see him walk the talk, and it had better be immediately apparent. It will be very obvious and very soon. When a servant of the people starts the verbiage, ‘it will not be tolerated’ and ‘I take cognizance that whites supported me’ then you are in trouble. It doesn’t matter who supports who, Zimbabweans should have the right to support anyone they so choose and this should not be held against them as it was with Mugabe and the MDC supporters.