Rebuilding Zimbabwe

Change must follow Mugabe’s fall, writes Knox Chitiyo

The World Today Updated 18 November 2020 Published 15 December 2017 4 minute READ

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over as the President of Zimbabwe on November 24 following the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe came to an end, faces formidable challenges. After Mugabe he will have to deliver tangible political and economic dividends to a nation often frozen between stasis and change.

There is consensus that Mnangagwa can deliver on his promises to revive the economy, but doubts remain about him as a political reformer. Sceptics insist that he is not just part of the system: he is the system. They worry, too, about his use of the phrase ‘pasi nemhandu’ (down with enemies) in his homecoming speech on November 22. Critics are concerned that the world has mistaken an elite transfer of power for a national revolution, and that the ‘powerocracy’ of patronage will not change fundamentally.

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