President Mnangagwa is a listening leader

by Sibusiso Ndlamini

No one can deny the fact that President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is a unique leader who does not only pay attention to people’s views especially on nation building, but act upon them, where ever necessary.

From the onset, President Mnangagwa has always been open to listening to the people, leading to his popular dictum, ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God.’

Unlike other leaders who only favour one type of leadership, whereby the leader dictates everything to the people, President Mnangagwa’s leadership style is a two way system which allows the public to contribute their opinions towards national development.

Since he assumed office last year in November, President Mnangagwa has never missed any chance to listen to people’s views as well as their worries. Through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and various interfaces, President Mnangagwa has always been interacting with different groups of people, hearing their views and contributions on how best to rebuild Zimbabwe’s economy under his administration.

For instance, after hearing the people’s voices and repercussions of having a bloated Cabinet, President Mnangagwa took that into consideration and adjusted the number of Cabinet Ministers. Previously, the Cabinet had more than 30 ministries a situation which was draining the national budget.

According to analysts, a bloated Cabinet has been hampering national development as most funds were channelled towards the civil service wage bill, at the expense of developmental projects. President Mnangagwa successfully trimmed the Cabinet which now comprises of only 20 Ministers and 14 deputy Ministers.

In other nations such as South Africa and Zambia, their Cabinet comprises of 30 and 25 ministries respectively, meaning that President Mnangagwa managed a difficult feat of having 20 cabinet ministers only.  

As a “listening President”, President Mnangagwa also managed to change the composition of the new Cabinet. Zimbabweans from all walks of life had suggested that the President should consider appointing new faces that includes youths and women in some powerful ministries. In his Cabinet, the President appointed ministers comprising of women, youths and members of the white and Indian communities.

Following that, President Mnangagwa appointed Honourable Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri to lead the powerful Ministry of Defence and War Veterans. This depicts President Mnangagwa’s positive stance towards women empowerment considering that five women were appointed as Ministers.

When he took over leadership from former president Robert Mugabe, President Mnangagwa said he would practice servant leadership. Servant leadership is described as a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.

At his inauguration this year, the President emphasised the idea of servant leadership when he said, “I am your listening President, a servant leader. I am emboldened and inspired by your collective hopes, dreams and desires; and the trust reposed in me. I will work tirelessly, as a servant leader, to improve the quality of life for all of us. Let me assure you that tomorrow is brighter.”

President Mnangagwa’s economic policies have already shown his seriousness in transforming the country’s economy for the betterment of all Zimbabweans.

In addition, the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra, will ensure that the country will re-engage with other countries in a bid to attract foreign direct investment for the good of the nation and its citizens.

Therefore, Zimbabweans should be encouraged to continue interfacing with their President on different communication channels so that he takes their ideas on board for future planning purposes.

It is imperative to note that, leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are transparent. The new Ministers should take a leaf from President Mnangagwa and practice a two way communication system. Ministers should effectively interact with the public on national issues that aid in policy making and reviving the economy.