In his maiden New Year’s message broadcast on the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday night, Mnangagwa promised to ensure that elections set for this year are credible, free and fair.
“Government will continue to work tirelessly to create a peaceful and stable political and socio-economic environment which will enable us to be a prosperous nation and to realise our full potential,” Mnangagwa said.
He added: “2018 should be the year of all Zimbabweans, 2018 should be the year of progress. 2018 should also be the year of credible, free and fair elections.”
The new Zimbabwean leader, who was inaugurated in November last year following the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe, has previously announced that general elections would go ahead as planned.
Noting that the New Year would undoubtedly also have “its full share of challenges”. Mnangagwa called for unity among Zimbabweans.
“I urge you fellow Zimbabweans to engage with government, its institutions and agencies for more transparent, just, accountable and responsible governance.
“Indeed, no one person or institution has a monopoly of ideas,” he said.
Since coming to power Mnangagwa has given hope to long-suffering Zimbabweans had become accustomed to Mugabe’s political rhetoric and economic mismanagement.
Observers, however, say the goodwill is unlikely to remain strong, meaning that Mnangagwa will have to start delivering on his promises before Zimbabweans lose confidence in him as they did with his predecessor.