Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is slowly getting it all wrong, as far as reforming is concerned, after having had his coup sanitised on the basis that he was a reformer, willing to right the past wrongs.
He has been vocal preaching he was a man of few words and more action, defining himself as a listening president, a servant leader, who is as soft as wool, but few years down the line, he has nothing to show for it.
He has indeed perfected the art of autocracy, going as far as killing for power, doing it softly, under a fake smile, as if he were ‘a smiling assassin.’ He has un a shortest possible time outclassed his predecessor on the scale of dictatorship.
He has been acting like a yoyo, with his so-called new dispensation failing to live to its billing. He has been preaching peace, while hiding a dagger behind his back, ready to attack.
He has violated human rights left, right, and centre armed to teeth the country’s security forces, not readying them for external aggression, but to attack unarmed citizens who would like to express their displeasure in the way they are being governed.
To sidestep the much needed reforms, the trump card he used to have his coup sanitised, and later to win the recent highly disputed elections, has just engaged lobby firms to try and clean his much tainted image.
The broke Government of Zimbabwe which already has a $500,000 contract with Ballard Firm, has just gone further and hired Avenue Strategies for over $90,000/month, both from the United States of America.
Avenue Strategies is a full service government affairs and political consulting firm located in the heart of downtown Washington, District of Columbia.
However, analysts say no amount of money paid to lobbyists and public relations companies can wash away and clean Mnangagwa’s image amid high levels of corruption, impunity, and abuse of citizens.
Veteran journalist Hopewell Chin’ono says genuine investors will not be coming until lasting political reforms are implemented, rule of law and property rights are respected.
“ED has hired yet another US lobbying firm, Avenue Strategies for $1m in pursuit of avoiding implementing Political Reforms.
“Whoever is advising ED does not understand how the US government works. In March I wrote about how these lobbying pursuits were futile,” he says.
Another renowned journalist and Vanguard Africa editor Jeffrey Smith, agreesJeffrey Smith says this is all because one lobby firm isn’t enough to whitewash a horribly abusive and wholly rotten regime, but it is not going to help matters.
President Mnangagwa stands seemingly stands guilty as acussed for grave human rights violations. He recently acquired heavy anti-riot gear for the country’s security apparatus, as he expects public protests over his failure to reform and turn around the country’s economic fortunes. As if to cement his readiness to attack civilians, a senior minister in his cabinet, Oppah Muchunguri recently warned the generality of Zimbabweans against engaging in demonstrations, saying the military was ready to kill.