As the post-election dispute rages, Zimbabwe’s President elect, Emmerson Mnangagwa, said on Monday “We should never be deterred by temporary setbacks or regrettable events which we encounter in our cause to build an open, free and democratic, prosperous Zimbabwe.”
Since benefitting from the November 2017 coup to come to power, Mnangagwa has made pronouncements and actions that make him look like a democrat. However, Mnangagwa was a co-architect of former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s dictatorship. The heavy handedness of the military in the recent post-election violence also contributes to make his new-democratic stance questionable.
In his speech on Monday the 13th, Mnangagwa urged the nation to move ahead and put the election period behind. If this means not punishing military excesses during the recent post-election violence then viewing Mnangagwa becoming a democrat will continue to be doubtful. It can be tough to turn against a system that helped you come to power, but Mnangagwa must do so in order to truly depart from the dictatorship of the Mugabe era.