by Staff Writer
President Emmerson Mnangagwa expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far in opening up Zimbabwe’s political space. Speaking during a wide ranging interview with CNN journalist, Christiane Amanpour, on 21 September, the President said this time around the country had a very peaceful, free, fair campaign period, never experienced before.
“During the entire (2018) electoral process we didn’t have any disturbances; all the political parties accessed voters who they thought would support them,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President however, regretted the MDC Alliance’s violent demonstration which happened two days after elections and resulted in the loss of six lives and damage to property worth thousands of dollars.
President Mnangagwa has since appointed a seven- member commission of inquiry to look into the disturbances.
“A day before I come here (to America) I appointed a commission of inquiry to deal with that because I felt it would not be proper for ourselves to investigate ourselves,” noted the President.
Going forward, the President said he would want to see a more pluralistic Zimbabwe. “I would believe that we should do anything possible, under my administration, to make sure our people develop a culture of accepting opposing views within the communities,” said the President.
The President also said that he would abide by the constitutional provision limiting the president to only two five-year terms. “I would like to entrench constitutionalism in Zimbabwe…even if the people still love me, I will still go away …in fact, you must give your people a chance to have other people come in,” said President Mnangagwa.
The Zimbabwe 2018 harmonised elections saw 56 political parties participating in the polls, something that never happened before. President Mnangagwa also opened the democratic space which saw opposition political parties freely campaigning in rural areas without any retribution like in the past.