May becomes the end of May: Theresa’s resignation and what it means for Mnangagwa’s re-engagement drive

By Peter Tinashe Kaviya

What seemed like a normal media briefing turned out to be a major historical event not only in Britain but in the world, the 24 th of May to be precise, Theresa May in front of the unmistakable, imposing   gleaming Tescano designed black door read her emotional resignation speech.

The whole world was watching.

It has always been a bumby three years for Britain’s second ever female premier and like her predecessor, she took an honorable bow, her scalp claimed by a familiar recently found enemy – BREXIT.

BREXIT has become an animal many have failed to comprehend and has served as an exit ‘kick out panel’ for two premiers.

“I negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours that protect jobs, our security and our Union, I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal. Sadly, I have not been able to do so. I tried three times.” the former premier went through her prepared resignation speech.

The emotions were evident, she struggled to contain them, battled temptation but it all came to a tearful epilogue  as she confessed her honour  to have served her nation, she did cry and the curtain came down on Theresa Mays premiership of England.

Her tears could have been tears of regret, after all she failed three   times, maybe tears of joy-It was really a troublesome reign  for her or just maybe crocodile tears!

The million dollar question is what are the implications of her resignation   for  the other crocodile across the Atlantic Ocean?

Ngwena (which means Crocodile) , is the moniker for Zimbabwe  president Emmerson Mnangagwa who has been  in the thick of re-engagement efforts  with the world and Theresa May’s administration has been key in the efforts to have the country back in the loop.

 Her resignation could be the make or break for Mnangagwa ‘s efforts to international re-engagement.

In August 2018, May endorsed Mnangagwa in her interview with leading television channel ENCA.

Said May:

““I think there’s a real opportunity for Zimbabwe now and I look forward to Zimbabwe being able to grasp that opportunity for the future”

May described President Mnangagwa’s move as a great opportunity for the country to shape its destiny, adding that the latest development in Zimbabwe is encouraging.

“He is the elected President and has taken a key step by setting up an inquiry into the violence and that is a very important signal from him about the Zimbabwe he wants to see for the future,” she was quoted as saying.

Political analyst Tapiwa Nherera submitted that May’s resignation  posed  a red alert on Mnangagwa’s efforts of re engagement.

“Theresa May seemed to have a soft stance on the re-engagement efforts by Zimbabwe but it is still uncertain how the situation will turn out.

“I think in any change of administration, there is uncertainty over the continuity or discontinuity of foreign policy stance, it all remains to be seen”

“If the Labour Party is to take over ,depending on the system of succession in Britain ,  it could spell doom for our efforts as the Labour Party has always has a hard stance on Zimbabwe”

Asked on the prospects of Zimbabwes re-engagement if Boris Johnson is to takeover, he said:

“Boris Johnson has always been a hardliner, and if he succeeds he is most likely to raise issues on human rights, democratic processes and constitutionality. Boris openly criticized the Operation Restore legacy, labeling it unconstitutional, thus his stance might be tough on the country’s efforts”

Nherera   further submitted that the success of any re -engagement deal has to go back to the issues of human rights, democratic processes and land reform compensations.

 He asserted   that policy inconsistency and political  rhetoric will not help the nation’s cause in the  re-engagement process.

Another political analyst Tafadzwa Mugwadi suggests that Zimbabwe’s chances of re-engagement  are slim  after the departure of  May due to Britain’s selfish foreign policy stance.

“ The foreign policy of UK and USA are not centered on individuals , but there is a systematic policy based on the selfish interests of United Kingdom as well as their regime change agenda.

“It now depends on the character and maybe be radical and revolutionary stance of the new Prime Minister and assuming he appreciates the essence of talking and diplomacy, but the land issue remains core,” he said.

The relationship between Britain and Zimbabwe will always involve this colonialism history but due to the evolution of culture and belief the relationship has been improving and like Mnangagwa rightfully said in Davos, “Lady Premiers have always been good to us’.