Outspoken Kenyan professor Patrick Lumumba has candidly urged Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to form a Transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) to run for five years in order to revive the country’s struggling economy.
Speaking at a Live Chat with Josey recently, the vocal professor claimed Mnangagwa did not change the fundamentals that were there during the reign of late former president Robert Mugabe. Against this background, Lumumba said it was difficult for him to revive the economy.
He advised the Zanu PF leader to form a non-partisan GNU to run for five years with potential to extend duration, in order to revive the dying economy.
“When I heard President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying upon coming into power he would change Zimbabwe, I never believed it. I did not believe it because the fundamentals had not changed. If the fundamentals remain the same, no matter how well-intentioned you’re, you cannot achieve so much.
“The sanctions are alive and well, the economy is bitten, the infrastructure is bitten, the superstructure is bitten, the population and the mining sector is bitten, the manufacturing sector is bitten, the energy sector is bitten. The international community, the United States of America, and the European Union are still only insisting that you must change, and internally you’re not also embarrassing the opposition because I believe that when a country is besieged in the manner in which Zimbabwe is, the most important is you have the Government of National Unity. Easier said than done.
“So those are the factors in my view that continue to undermine Zimbabwe. For that reason, the administration of President Mnangagwa, however well-intentioned it is, will never realize its intentions. It’s unfortunate but that is the case,” he said.
Josey Mahachie asked him what he would tell Mnangagwa if given the chance to be together in the same room.
Lumumba said; “I would tell President Mnangagwa to call an Indaba of all the political players in Zimbabwe, regardless of their political affiliations. Have a discussion on what Zimbabwe must do to get out of the rot in which it finds herself. Either by reasons that are internal or external. Form a transitional government of national unity that will be in transition for five years. Whose only agenda is to revive the economy.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently said Zimbabwe was facing an “economic and humanitarian crisis” amid a lethal cocktail of macroeconomic instability, climate shocks, and policy missteps.
The country is also facing its worst hunger crisis in a decade compounded by a Covid-19 pandemic.
When Mnangagwa grabbed power from Mugabe through a military coup in November 2017, he promised economic recovery based on re-engagement with the international community through respect for human rights and fighting corruption.
Observers have since argued that his regime has orchestrated more human rights violations in three years than Mugabe’s 37 years of leadership.