Home Letter From Zimbabwe Mngangagwa does the unthinkable

Mngangagwa does the unthinkable

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Mngangagwa does the unthinkable
MACABRE FAREWELL: President Emmerson Mngangagwa (right) greets emaciated opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. On the left is Tsvangirai’s wife, Elizabeth

2018 is a New Year in so many ways in Zimbabwe.

It is no longer news that it is the first year in 38 years without former president Robert Mugabe in power but people still cant stop talking about it.

But what seems to be a major first so far in these first few days of the year is the fact that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and vice president, Retired General Constantito Chiwenga visited opposition leader and former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai at his Harare home on Friday.

In other countries this would not have made news but in Zimbabwe, it was not only news but breaking news.

What made the visit a major talking point is that it was unheard of during Mugabe’s era to be humane to an opponent.

In Mugabe’s eye, an opponent was an enemy that deserved no sympathy as he had no tolerance for divergent views.

At one point Tsvangirai, the only opposition leader in Zimbabwe to defeat Mugabe in a major election, even though his victory was later stolen, was beaten to the pulp by the police, his major crime being a powerful opponent.

But Mngangagwa who has been trying by all means to be his own man despite being groomed by Mugabe, last week shocked the nation when he paid sickly Tsvangirai a visit.

While some people were quick to denounce the visit while questioning the motive, most applauded the president for showing political maturity and being compassionate to his opponent.

Those questioning the motive and the fact that the visit wash highly publicized argue that Mnangagwa wanted to show the nation that the once mighty Tsvangirai was now frail and not worth voting for in the upcoming elections, after all you can’t trust a crocodile (Mngangagwa’s moniker).

Those patting the president at the back say he showed the spirit of ubuntu because after all we are all Zimbabweans despite different affiliations.

But whatever the motive, one thing that can never be taken away from Tsvangirai is that the fact he gave the ruling Zanu PF a run for its money as he proved to be the biggest opposition leader of our time.

And it’s quite heartrending that colon cancer seems to be taking its toll on him judging from the pictures that emerged during the visit.

The once chubby and lively Tsvangirai is now a shadow of his former self as he continues to battle the cancer.

I must hasten to say I agree with those who say he has run his race and should consider stepping down and focus on his health.

As already indicated, Tsvangirai will go down in history as the biggest opposition leader in recent times and he will remain a statesman even if he hands over the baton to the next person.

In other news, two former ministers who were linked to the G40 faction (Grace Mugabe’s faction) were arrested on Friday on corruption allegations.

The two join other several ministers and former Zanu PF officials who have been placed on remand since Mugabe’s ouster for alleged various offences ranging from corruption and abuse of office.

There are reports that Mugabe’s sons are under investigation for illegal gold trading while the son-in law is being questioned for the same and dubious transactions he made while still in charge of the national airline.

Talk of chickens coming home to roost.