by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE – ZIMBABWEANS have welcomed pledges by new president Emmerson Mangagwa to unite the country that is deeply divided along ethnic, racial and political lines after 37 years of divisive rule by Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe polarised the country when he directed the massacre of thousands of members of minority tribes south of the country in the 1980s purportedly to rid Zimbabwe of dissidents.
Blamed for instilling domination of other tribes by his Shona ethnic group, Mugabe also sanctioned the violent takeover of white-owned farms in 2000 and denounced the opposition as puppets, further entrenching a culture of hate in Zimbabwe.
Following the weekend’s endorsement as Zanu-PF presidential candidate for 2018 elections, Mnangagwa said his presidency would be inclusive and tackle the sidelining of citizens based on tribe, race or creed.
“I am a President of women and men; young and old; the able-bodied and the physically-challenged; rich and poor; the well and the sick. I am an emissary of all veterans and heroes, dead or alive, who through their blood sketched the cause and mission which my Presidency must promote, must actualise and advance,” said Mnangagwa.
Zimbabweans welcomed his stance.
“Although my affiliation is with the (opposition) Movement for Democratic Change, Mnangagwa’s speeches are inspiring and unifying,” said Alfred Chinembiri of Zimuto, Masvingo.
Shamiso Mukandawire of Harare lauded Mnangagwa of putting the interests of the country ahead of the ruling ZANU (PF) party’s.
“We don’t want leaders who represent their parties only but the nation. Mnangagwa is instilling hope of a better Zimbabwe,” Mukandawire said.
Samkelo Nyoni in Bulawayo said, “Some people are trying to derail his progress but people have ears to hear and eyes to see what Mnangagwa wants to achieve for the nation. This president (Mnangagwa is lovable.”
Mnangagwa assumed power last month (November) after the military ousted former president Mugabe amid divisions in the ruling ZANU (PF) party.
He (Mnangagwa) will lead until elections in August.
– CAJ News