Will Mnangagwa Run Beyond 2028?
4 July 2024
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By Seke Kunaka Kunaka

As political landscapes evolve and leaders age, the question of longevity and capability inevitably arises.

Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s current president, is no exception to this scrutiny.

At 81 years old, the comparisons to other global leaders, such as Joe Biden of the United States, naturally come into play.

But should age alone determine a leader’s future effectiveness?

Joe Biden, now 81, has faced criticism and speculation about his health and cognitive abilities since taking office.

Some argue that his occasional lapses in speech or moments of forgetfulness are signs of decline, calling into question his ability to serve beyond his current term.

Similarly, concerns about Mnangagwa’s stamina and health are surfacing, particularly in the context of whether he can continue leading Zimbabwe effectively past 2028.

The reality of aging is universal. It brings with it physical and cognitive changes that can affect performance, stamina, and decision-making. However, attributing these changes solely to age can be overly simplistic.

Many leaders, despite their seniority, continue to lead effectively well into their later years, bringing experience and wisdom that can be invaluable to their nations.

In Mnangagwa’s case, the discussion around his ability to lead beyond 2028 hinges not just on age but on his health, policies, and the evolving political landscape in Zimbabwe.

Supporters argue that his experience in politics, dating back decades, positions him uniquely to navigate the country through its challenges. Critics, however, point to concerns over governance, economic stability, and human rights, questioning whether a leadership change might bring needed reforms and fresh perspectives.

The dynamics of leadership transcend age, encompassing qualities such as vision, adaptability, and resilience.

While age can be a factor in assessing these qualities, it is not determinative. Leaders like Mnangagwa must continually prove their ability to lead effectively, adapt to changing circumstances, and address the needs of their constituents.

Looking ahead to 2028 and beyond, Zimbabweans and the international community will undoubtedly scrutinize Mnangagwa’s health and leadership closely.

The question remains whether he possesses the energy and vision to continue steering Zimbabwe through its challenges or whether a new generation of leaders will emerge to chart a different course.

In conclusion, while age raises valid questions about longevity in leadership, the answer lies in a nuanced assessment of health, policies, and the leader’s capacity to meet the demands of their position.

Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s tenure beyond 2028 will ultimately be determined by how he navigates these complexities and addresses the aspirations of Zimbabweans for a prosperous and stable future.

As with all leaders, the judgment of history will reflect not just on their years in office but on the impact of their decisions and the legacy they leave behind.