Despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rather scary nickname of “the crocodile”, his warm smile can make him both appealing and approachable.
However, recently he has clearly begun to feel the frustration many Zimbabweans are feeling with the state of the economy and corruption in the country.
His recent Facebook post about the “corruption amnesty” showed both elements of humble optimism, but also included a stern admonishment: Don’t mess with Mnangagwa”.
“Make no mistake”, he told his followers, “those who fail to own up, your time is nearly up”. The new President, clearly without that warm smile on his face, went on to note, “you will feel the full force of the law”.
The US$250 million is no small amount. But of course, there is much more out there. Yet, no matter what you think about Mnangagwa, I cannot help but respect the lack of self-congratulation. His mantra always seems to be: We still have more work to do.
In the press statement released by the President’s Office, both the Reserve Bank and the President were very clear. There is a lot more stolen cash out there, and he will keep working until it is returned.
It appears thus that behind us are the days when government would try to pull the proverbial wool over the eyes of the people. No longer are we being sold the theory of “executive omnipotence”, or “presidential perfection”.
There was a clear admission that this is not good enough, because cowardly thieves had refused to own up, but would be brought to justice. They will be punished. Even during last week’s discussion of 100 days of action, we witnessed his humble dedication. While it is, of course, important for him and his office to show what he has done, and what his government has achieved in the first hundred days, there was also an element of realism. Patience and realism, combined with hard work, oozes from his administration.
Again, just from his Facebook page, we can see that there is a new sheriff in town. Each achievement, every success, was accompanied by humble remarks: “We still have more work to do”, “this is just the beginning”, “we must work hard together”.
I believe we are also beginning to see this attitude in other sectors of our economy. His aggressive attitude towards his own work is apparently forcing his ministers to respond in kind. I would not be surprised if the crocodile jaws begin to snap on ministers not pulling their weight. So let us welcome the humble work ethic by the President, but at the same time demand that he continue to show his tough no-nonsense attitude when clamping down on corruption. Knowledge Moyo.