Some call it legacy. Others name it unabashed narcissism. You could hear others yelling “misplaced priority.” They are not done yet. What would you say to those who label it flagrant personal aggrandizement? Or to the group that sees it as sheer madness? Before you respond to that question, bear in mind that some people denounce it as a blatant insensitivity. Hum. For sure, careless acts call for endless lexicons.
Welcome to Zimbabwe. Yes, the new Zimbabwe. The new era. While the Western countries are busy debating whether President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, alias the crocodile, is, old wine in a new bottle, as some have insinuated, the recent move by the President to name ten streets after him, is not only revealing, it could be counterproductive. That single act could not have been a much-needed argument amongst the West to support their negative perception of the new government of Zimbabwe, as well as not to lift sanctions – imposed during the Mugabe administration – against the country.
Faced with persistent economic asphyxiation, many Zimbabweans have taken to social media to vehemently denounce President Mnangagwa’s move, which some have tagged indifference and irresponsible, given the economic crisis facing the country. According to a group of opinion, what makes the timing and naming of the streets after President Mnangagwa very annoying is the fact that the President had portrayed himself as the new Moses, who would take the country to the Promised land, after taking over from President Robert Mugabe in a controversial way. With Zimbabwe suffering from an acute shortage of cash, which resulted in the reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar, replacing the US and South African currencies, which were, for a decade, used as the official curries to tame the hyperinflation, many are now wondering whether naming streets after President Mnangagwa is his economic miracle, introduced to solve the country’s rampant economic malaise.
It does not help that President Mnangagwa, alias “Garwe” or “Ngwena“, has only been in power for less than two years. Some Zimbabweans are being forced to ask whether the street naming is not premature and vain. They argue that bringing much-needed food on the table of every Zimbabwean and resurrecting the country from its near economic grave come before immortalization of the President’s name. Logically speaking, it is through solving the country’s economic crisis that the President can easily secure his legacy and effectively write his name in the psychic of an average Zimbabwean. Definitely, not first through naming the streets after him.
If President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa strongly believes that calling his street names alone would lead to a much-awaited economic metamorphosis, which would uplift Zimbabwe out of its economic dungeon and fulfil the needs of an average Zimbabwean, then all Zimbabweans are eagerly waiting to reap fruitfully from that his decision. Otherwise, President Mnangagwa may have to understand his subjects, when they use words like a misplaced priority, narcissism, personal aggrandizement and insensitivity while discussing his decision to name ten streets after him.