President Emmerson Mnangagwa last night avoided the political crisis narrative that gathered momentum recently choosing to attribute what he said is a humanitarian crisis to economic sanctions, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly last night, Mnangagwa skirted the political and human rights question that gained global spotlight through the #Zimbabweanlivesmatter, highlighting his administration’s successful economic reforms that have stabilized the exchange rate and prices of basic commodities among other issues.
“Zimbabwe is on a new path. Like other nations in the region, we are facing humanitarian challenges which in our case have been worsened by the illegal sanctions, the negative impact of climate change and compounded by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mnangagwa.
He also spoke about the ‘culture of dialogue’ which he said was gaining momentum as marked by the programmes and activities of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) that he initiated soon after the 2018 general elections.
“My administration places great important on fostering national unity and cohesion. The culture of dialogue across all sectors is taking root with activities and programmes under the auspicies of our homegrown Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), gaining momentum,” added Mnangagwa.
The biggest opposition MDC Alliance and a host of other smaller parties including Alliance for People’s Agenda (APA), Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA) and Transform Zimbabwe have refused to be part of POLAD, dismissing it as a group of Mnangagwa’s praise singers.
He further noted told UNGA delegates that his administration was decisive in entrenching constitutionalism, democracy and rule of law despite loud complains from the opposition.
“Similarly, my administration is decisive in entrenching Constitutionalism, democracy and the rule of law including the protection of property rights,” said Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe has recently hogged international limelight over gross human rights abuses with South Africa’s ruling party ANC sending a delegation on a fact finding mission.
The international community including United States of America, United Kingdom and other western bodies have spoken loudly against the persecution of journalists and opposition voices including Hopewell Chin’ono, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Kurauone as well as July 31 anti-corruption protest convener Jacob Ngarivhume among others.