Hopewell Chin’ono, Special Correspondent
“Our president (Mnangagwa) was treated badly,” said a staunch ZANU PF supporter to me on WhatsApp.
Now my analysis last night is inarguably better understood with this picture.
Last night I talked about how the important people at an African wedding get to meet the bride and the groom, and have a good place to sit and watch the wedding proceedings.
If ever you doubted what I said last night, this picture is your answer!
Our president cut a lonely figure in a corner at the back of the Westminster Abbey with his Foreign Minister, Fredrick Shava.
Now here is the central question;
Was President Mnangagwa really treated badly?
His treatment defines that relationship that exists between his reign and the British establishment.
He only got to have a meeting with the equivalent of a Deputy Minister, Andrew Mitchell who is the Junior Minister responsible for Africa.
Meanwhile, Heads of State from countries with good relations with Britain met the King and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Marlborough House, and or at Number 10 Downing Steet for those not part of the Commonwealth.
This downgraded engagement for our president is because he has refused to implement the bare minimum of reforms, and has opposition leaders Job Sikhala and Jacob Ngarivhume in jail for political persecution purposes.
Some African leaders in the Commonwealth have voiced their concern about Mnangagwa’s failure to do small reforms like implementing the 2018 Kgalema Motlanthe report on the August 1 2018 killing of innocent civilians by the military.
It was therefore unthinkable beyond ZANU PF propaganda to see President Mnangagwa given the same reverence given to people like President Paul Kagame and the other Commonwealth leaders.
What we see in that picture is exactly what the British establishment thinks of not only him, but of the Zimbabwean Government.
The good thing for President Mnangagwa is that the Brits have not yet given up, this is seen by the invitation to the coronation.
It is up to him and his Government if he wants to remain an international political pariah surrounded by advisers who lie to him and talk up his importance through crude propaganda and lies, or he wants to be part of the respected international leadership community.
You can see from today’s tweeting by his spokesman George Charamba that he wants to desperately be admitted into the Commonwealth, but is he ready to do the work required for such a readmission?
The choice is his if he wants to continue being used as an example of how not to run a country like his mentor and predecessor, Robert Mugabe, or he wants to surprise the world!
For now, it is what it is!