IN THE PRESS

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - COMMENT -

On Fri­day, Pres­i­dent Em mer son Mn an gagwa re­turned home af­ter at­tend­ing the an­nual United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

In New York, the Pres­i­dent sort to ap­praise world lead­ers on the de­vel­op­ments in the coun­try post Novem­ber 2017.

It was an op­por­tu­nity to spell out his vi­sion in the Sec­ond Repub­lic, but more im­por­tantly, re­po­si­tion Zim­babwe to a re­spectable po­si­tion at the ta­ble of na­tions. Part of the Pres­i­dent’s mis­sion also in­cluded high level meet­ings with top in­vestors and bi­lat­eral en­gage­ments with a di­verse range of na­tional lead­ers from across the globe.

The mis­sion proved to be an un­mit­i­gated suc­cess. Bridges were built, new al­liances were forged and seeds were sown.

But what may have missed the undis­cern­ing eye was the com­po­si­tion of the Pres­i­dent’s ex­cep­tion­ally lean team.

Only Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube, Deputy Chief Sec­re­tary in the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cab­i­net( Pres­i­den­tial Com­mu­ni­ca­tions) Mr George Charamba and the Gov­er­nor of the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe, Dr John Man­gudya as well as a few other se­nior of­fi­cials made the trip.

In a sea­son where aus­ter­ity is a buzz­word, the com­po­si­tion of the Pres­i­dent’s del­e­ga­tion was an en­cour­ag­ing sign of re­form at the high­est level. Dur­ing the trip, the Pres­i­dent also made time for a cou­ple of high pro­file tele­vi­sion in­ter­views.

It was dur­ing one of those in­ter­views that Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa men­tioned his ad­min­is­tra­tion’ s in­ten­tion to cre­ate the po­si­tion of Of­fi­cial Leader of the Op­po­si­tion in line with the Com­mon­wealth sys­tem of gov­er­nance. The pro­nounce­ment trig­gered a fren­zied re­sponse within op­po­si­tion cir­cles, fuel led by twisted re­portage in the pri­vate Press.

Those that have re­mained in elec­tion mode two months af­ter the polls pounced on the state­ment, pre­sent­ing it as an at­tempt at rap­proche­ment by the Pres­i­dent to­wards the van­quished leader of the MD C-T Al­liance, Mr Nel­son Ch am is a.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa had made an “of­fer” to Mr Ch am is a. The lat­ter was even “weigh­ing” the of­fer, it was re­ported.

How­ever, Mr Char a mb a put the mat­ter to rest. Speak­ing from New York, he said cre­ation of the po­si­tion was not for the ac­com­mo­da­tion of any par­tic­u­lar in­di­vid­ual. Rather, it was about long-term in­sti­tu­tion-build­ing in­line with the Sec­ond Repub­lic’s ethos of strength­en­ing democ­racy in Zim­babwe.

It is no longer about in­di­vid­u­als and their egos; it is now about build­ing the na­tion.

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