Topic Of The Day:-“Back To Crisis: On The Fresh Unrest In Zimbabwe”

The Handling Of The Fresh Unrest In Zimbabwe By Mugabe’s Successor Belies Hope Of Change

The bloody unrest in Zimbabwe suggests that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s political honeymoon is over. The veteran of the struggle for freedom was the beneficiary of the overthrow of strongman Robert Mugabe in November 2017. Mr. Mnangagwa raised hopes in the run-up to the July general election, promising free and fair polls and inspections by international observers. But his victory proved controversial as allegations of vote-rigging by the ruling ZANU-PF machinery in the rural areas began to bear echoes of the Mugabe era. In six months since his election, the ex-security chief’s pledge to distance himself from his military legacy and open the economy for foreign investment has been put to severe test. A case in point is Mr. Mnangagwa’s handling of the fallout of the recent steep fuel price hike in which over 10 protesters are said to have been killed. Zimbabwe’s defence forces have come under severe condemnation for the general crackdown, involving arbitrary detentions, torture and a country-wide Internet blackout. Harare’s main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change, has faced attacks on its main office, while trade unions behind the nation-wide strike appear resolute in their bid for redress. The crisis forced President Mnangagwa to call off his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos. But his attempt to put the blame both on the security forces and the protesters may merelypoint to his own political vulnerability. The official response to the mass opposition against fuel price hikes were directed by his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, when the President was away. Mr. Chiwenga was the mastermind behind the 2017 coup, and the man he installed must assert his authority to ensure accountability and respect for the rule of law.The sudden doubling of fuel prices has amplified Zimbabwe’s chronic shortage of U.S. dollars tosustain the import of basic goods. Following the hyper-inflation of the previous decade, the country abandoned its own currency. The electronic alternative, “bond notes” that were introduced without physical backing, unleashed vicious cycle of hoarding and price inflation. The decline in the value of the surrogate currency against hard money has caused distressamong public servants. Many businesses have folded up for want of adequate foreign currency. Mr. Mnangagwa’s government has moved to reduce the issue of electronic debt, and to curtail the ballooning fiscal deficit. While these may be steps in the right direction, they are too small as incentives to entice a deeply sceptical investor community that was once turned away. Mr. Mnangagwa has his task cut out: to shore up his own base in the ZANU-PF establishment and to restore calm across the country. Equally, he cannot abandon the difficult path of reform, which is the only guarantee of stability in the long term.


1) controversial

Meaning : giving rise or likely to give rise to controversy or public disagreement(adj).

Synonyms : disputed

Antonyms : definite

Example : “years of wrangling over a controversial bypass”

2) allegations

Meaning : a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof(n).

Synonyms : charge

Antonyms : denial

Example : “he made allegations of corruption against the administration”

3) rigging

Meaning : the system of ropes or chains employed to support a ship’s masts ( standing rigging ) and to control or set the yards and sails ( running rigging )(n).

Synonyms : implements

Example : “I’m listening to the wind in the rigging”

4) legacy

Meaning : an amount of money or property left to someone in a will.

Synonyms : estate

Example : “my grandmother died and unexpectedly left me a small legacy”

5) steep

Meaning : (of a slope, flight of stairs, or angle) rising or falling sharply; almost perpendicular(adj).

Synonyms : arduous

Antonyms : gradual

Example : “she pushed the bike up the steep hill”

6) protesters

Meaning : a person who publicly demonstrates opposition to something; a demonstrator(n).

Synonyms : dissident

Example : “the decision was hailed by protesters against the closure as a triumph”

7) arbitrary

Meaning : based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system(adj).

Synonyms : erratic

Antonyms : consistent

Example : “an arbitrary decision”

8) detentions

Meaning : the action of detaining someone or the state of being detained in official custody(n).

Synonyms : delay

Antonyms : aid

Example : “the fifteen people arrested were still in police detention”

9) resolute

Meaning : admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering(adj).

Synonyms : obstinate

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “he was resolute in his fight to uphold liberal values”

10) bid

Meaning : offer (a certain price) for something, especially at an auction(v).

Synonyms : proposal

Antonyms : denial

Example : “a consortium of dealers bid a world record price for a snuff box”

11) merely

Meaning : just; only(adv).

Synonyms : simply

Antonyms : indefinitely

Example : “Gary, a silent boy, merely nodded”

12) vulnerability

Meaning : the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally(n).

Synonyms : susceptibility

Antonyms : asset

Example : “conservation authorities have realized the vulnerability of the local population”

13) assert

Meaning : state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully(v).

Synonyms : proclaim

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “the company asserts that the cuts will not affect development”

14) ensure

Meaning : make certain that (something) will occur or be the case(v).

Synonyms : establish

Antonyms : hurt

Example : “the client must ensure that accurate records are kept”

15) amplified

Meaning : increase the volume of (sound), especially using an amplifier.

Synonyms : deepen

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “the accompanying chords have been amplified in our arrangement”

16) sustain

Meaning : strengthen or support physically or mentally(v).

Synonyms : continue

Antonyms : hinder

Example : “this thought had sustained him throughout the years”

17) abandoned

Meaning : unrestrained; uninhibited(adj).

Synonyms : discarded

Antonyms : adopted

Example : “a wild, abandoned dance”