Emmerson Mnangagwa: Fired more than 200 doctors who were striking for better pay. Picture: AFP/Michele Spatari
Emmerson Mnangagwa: Fired more than 200 doctors who were striking for better pay. Picture: AFP/Michele Spatari

Little has changed in Zimbabwe since the downfall of the late Robert Mugabe: the interests of the political elite still come before those of its citizens.

When Emmerson Mnangagwa deposed Mugabe and took the reins two years ago, it came with a sense of renewed hope for Zimbabweans. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for those hopes to be dashed.

Perhaps it was too much to expect from Mnangagwa, who was Mugabe’s right-hand man before the two fell out.

In yet another blow to citizens, Mnangagwa last week fired more than 200 doctors who were striking for better pay, and on the same day appointed six new ministers to his already bloated cabinet.

You thought Jacob Zuma’s cabinet was bad? He has nothing on Mnangagwa, when the size of the two countries’ populations is considered: Mnangagwa’s cabinet is made up of 25 ministers, 18 deputy ministers and 10 provincial ministers.

The appointment of the new ministers comes as the government says it does not have the money to increase doctors’ salaries — but the new ministerial salaries are expected to be hefty and full of perks.

Life in Zimbabwe is gradually becoming a lot worse under Mnangagwa, even compared with conditions under Mugabe’s rule. Fuel prices have surged, which means those who do have jobs cannot afford to get to work every day.

The country has the highest inflation rate in the world.

There is no food on shelves and millions of Zimbabweans are at risk of starvation as drought weighs heavily on the nation.

And there is no medicine.

What is the saying? A crocodile never changes its spots — oops, that should say "leopard".