Mnangagwa in dress rehearsal regional tour ahead of AU meeting


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By Farai Chirimumimba

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and team have been forced to do clean-up after ascending to power through the help of a coup and impeachment proceedings that forced Mugabe to resign November 2016.
The Harare government has in recent weeks been forced to explain its legitimacy mainly stemming from a number of tweets  by G40 kingpin Professor Jonathan Moyo querying its legitimacy with the latest onslaught from Moyo coming through a BBC HardTalk interview last week.

The regional tour  should be seen more as for assuring  partners that the the government does indeed stand by its commitments to do things differently. It will also solidify Mnangagwa’s power throughout the region and more importantly it will act as a dress rehearsal for the January 22, 2018 to January 29, 2018 30th Ordinary Session The African Union Summit in Addis Ababa were Mnangagwa is expected to come face to face with the rest of Africa countries leaders and probably UN Secretary-General. It is at this meeting that Mnangagwa’s legitimacy
will be “conferred.” For that to happen Mnangagwa had to embark on the current regional tour.

A president usually never gets a second chance to make a first impression, but President Emmerson Mnangagwa is already testing that proposition over the next few days within the SADC region.

Mnangagwa’s first regional visit to South Africa early this month was a symbolically successful visit with a business conference at the Zimbabwean embassy oversubscribed. The Angola visit last week was low key especially that the two presidents are still finding their feet.
With Angola’s João Lourenço having won election August 2017, three months before Mnangagwa succeeded Robert Mugabe.  A positive stop in Namibia on Monday helped drum up support for his government ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections later this year.

This week’s visit to Zambia is probably an uncomfortable visit after President Edgar Lungu was reported to have said he was ready to send troops to restore Mugabe regimes hours after he had been put under house arrest by the military.

Whoever planned the regional tour saved the best for the last. Botswana President was the only open fierce critic of Mugabe. Several times he told reporters over the years that Mugabe had to do the right thing by resigning and allow others to take the country forward. No doubt the Botswana visit is a victory party.