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Mnangagwa Returns Home Facing High Price Hikes, Anxiety Over Cabinet Appointments

FILE: Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they pose for the media after a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.

Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa returned to Zimbabwe on Thursday amid reports that he is planning to appoint some technocrats to lead his agenda of reviving the nation’s ailing economy as price hikes grip the nation.

Mnangagwa, who attended the 2018 Beijing Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit a couple of days after being elected president following the country’s disputed presidential poll, posted a message on his official Twitter account urging new parliamentarians to be servant leaders.

The tweet read, “This morning I returned from a busy & highly productive visit to China. Whilst I was away, our National Assembly members and Senators were sworn in. I congratulate them all & look forward to working together to realize our nation’s potential in the spirit of servant leadership!”

The state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which praised Mnangagwa for holding meetings with Chinese president Xi Jinping and the country’s legal arm, appears to be pushing Mnangagwa to appoint technocrats in order to revive the economy experiencing a recent hike in prices of basic commodities.

ZBC wrote on its website, “Eyes are on the cabinet appointments amid talks of ushering a pool of technocrats and astute individuals who will run with the burden of promoting economic growth. The focus of the new cabinet will be centered on driving the 2030 agenda to achieving middle income status, thus requiring both astuteness and political will to ensure that this is arrived at.

“In appointing the new cabinet the ordinary person is also pushing for appointments of leaders that are assertive who will be able to address their socio-economic needs … Some of the priorities cut out by the public calls for stabilization of prices and availability of cash on the market.”

At the same time, Douglas Mahiya, spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association, was quoted by the privately-owned NewsDay newspaper as saying the country’s opposition is causing shortages and price hikes of basic commodities “in order to force people to rebel against a legitimate government.”

He also claimed that the business community is not cooperating with government in its efforts to revive the economy.

He said these were being spearheaded by capitalists.

“What is happening is that the capitalists are fighting against Zanu PF victory politically and economically, so it shows that the ruling party is not getting the co-operation of the business community.

“It is an economic battle between the oppressors and the oppressed. Price hikes and shortage of basic commodities is a battle for the people to be caused to turn against their vote and disapproval themselves from being a justifiable population to have a government which determines its destiny.”

He cited the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa, who claimed that he won the July 30 presidential election, as sabotaging Mnangagwa’s election to show the public that the group was a better choice than Zanu PF in the polls.

“That is where the antagonism is and that is why I am citing the MDC in the disappearance of these things in order to force society to rebel (against) a legitimately-elected government of the people. They failed at the ballot box and now they want to make people suffer and make people listen to them. However, we will not be able to take that.”

Zimbabwe once faced an economic crisis between 2000 and 2009 when the country registered historic inflationary rates fueled by the printing of the local dollar.

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