The Enigmatic Repetition of “Peace” by Emmerson Mnangagwa: Examining its True Meaning during the 2023 Elections
By Baba Jukwa | ZimEye | Emmerson Mnangagwa, the President of ZANU PF, has caught the attention of many with his recurring emphasis on the word “peace” during the 2023 elections. This repetition brings to mind his similar rhetoric prior to the 2018 polls, prompting a critical examination of whether his calls for peace hold genuine intent or conceal ulterior motives. In this article, we delve into the motivations behind Mnangagwa’s repeated insistence on “peace” and explore the potential complexities that lie beneath this seemingly simple message.
The 2018 Elections: Setting the Context:
To comprehend the significance of Mnangagwa’s repetitive use of “peace,” it is crucial to revisit the political climate surrounding the 2018 elections. During that period, Zimbabwe was undergoing a historic transition, with Mnangagwa assuming power following the resignation of long-time leader Robert Mugabe. Mnangagwa’s promises of reform, national reconciliation, and a peaceful future resonated with a nation exhausted by political instability and economic turmoil.
The Role of Mnangagwa’s Pre-Election “Peace” Rhetoric:
In the run-up to the 2018 polls, Mnangagwa’s emphasis on “peace” served multiple purposes. Firstly, it sought to distance himself from the Mugabe era, projecting an image of a leader committed to a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe. Secondly, it aimed to garner international support by assuring the global community of his dedication to stability and non-violence. Lastly, it aimed to pacify and reassure the Zimbabwean populace, creating an atmosphere of calm and unity amidst political uncertainties.
The Reappearance of “Peace” in 2023:
Fast forward to the 2023 elections, and Mnangagwa once again resorts to his repetitive use of “peace.” However, skepticism now arises, as some question whether the President’s proclamations of peace are mere political rhetoric or a genuine commitment to fostering harmony within the nation.
1. Image Restoration:
One interpretation is that Mnangagwa’s repeated emphasis on “peace” is an attempt to restore his tarnished image and rebuild trust with both domestic and international observers. By promoting an image of peace, he may seek to counter criticisms of his government’s handling of protests, human rights violations, and electoral irregularities.
2. Political Calculations:
Another perspective posits that Mnangagwa’s peace rhetoric is a calculated move to consolidate power. By projecting an image of stability and non-violence, he aims to prevent any potential uprising or opposition, ensuring his continued rule and control over the country.
3. Genuine Intent:
It is essential to consider the possibility that Mnangagwa’s repetition of “peace” stems from a genuine desire to foster harmony and stability within Zimbabwe. While critics argue that his actions do not align with his words, proponents suggest that he might be striving to achieve true peace but faces significant challenges in implementing it.
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recurring emphasis on “peace” during the 2023 elections undoubtedly raises eyebrows and invites scrutiny. While skeptics question the sincerity of his intentions, it is crucial to recognize the multiple interpretations of his repeated use of the word. Whether it serves as a tool for image restoration, political calculations, or reflects a genuine commitment to peace, the true meaning behind Mnangagwa’s rhetoric remains open to interpretation. As the 2023 elections unfold and Zimbabwe progresses, time will tell if the President’s words manifest into tangible actions and pave the way for a peaceful and prosperous future.