ED: I have refused to be a dictator

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By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa claims he has rejected advice from some people to be a dictator.

Mnangagwa told a local radio station Friday that at a meeting of political parties under the banner of the Political Actors Dialogue, one leader had told him he was too democratic.

“One leader said to me ‘Mr President you are too democratic, can you reduce a bit’. I said I don’t agree with you. I am saying this to show that people are free to express themselves.

“I have been advised to be a dictator or be autocratic and I have said no,” said Mnangagwa.

The Zanu PF leader served under his predecessor Robert Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 37 years before he (Mugabe) was removed by the army in November 2017.

Mnangagwa was seen as Mugabe’s chief enforcer with reports he played a major role in the post-independence atrocities that left over 20 000 people in the western parts of the country dead in a brutal campaign code named Gukurahundi by a crack military unit known as the 5th Brigade.

The new Zanu PF leader reportedly also advised Mugabe to refuse to cede power to the late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who had reportedly won the 2008 election outright.

Since taking power in November 2017, Mnangagwa has deployed the military twice, killing over 20 people in the process raising fears he was drifting into another brutal dictator.

The Zanu PF leader in the run-up to last year’s elections campaigned on a promise to widen the democratic gap and reform the country’s politics.

In the interview, Mnangagwa said he had kept his word.

“I asked all political leaders to campaign peacefully. We have a polarised nation but I am happy during the elections all parties campaigned peacefully.

“We are reforming the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) two symbols of the old Zimbabwe,” the Zanu PF leader said.

Mnangagwa insisted he would not go back on reforms.

“I have been asked what I want my legacy to be. My answer has been simple. To reform our country, reform the way we do things, reform our politics, industry and our mindsets.

“We have no choice if we want to progress. We have to reform in every way,” he said.