Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday said nearly $600 million in illegally externalised funds has been returned into the country under a 90-day amnesty and named corporates and individuals that have yet to repay over $800 million in a list dominated by diamond miners.

Mnangagwa’s amnesty expired last month but only $591 million out of an estimated $1,4 billion in funds illegally stashed abroad was returned, he said in a statement, adding that those that did not comply could face prosecution.

The published list showed 1,884 individuals and companies, and firms in the mining, agriculture, manufacturing sectors and cross border freight businesses had the highest amounts spirited abroad.

The struggling African Associated Mines allegedly externalised $62 million while diamond miners, Marange Resources (54,2 million), Canadile Miners ($31,3 million), Mbada ($14,7 million) and Jinan ($11 million) are on the list. Government was a 50 percent shareholder in all the diamond miners, which operated in the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

Marange, Mbada and Jinan were among the seven miners shut down in February 2016 for resisting nationalisation while Canadile, a joint venture between Lovemore Kurotwi’s Core Mining and the stateowned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation suspended operation in 2010.

Operations at Shabanie and Gaths asbestos mines ground to a halt in 2008, three years after the government seized them from Mutumwa Mawere, under a controversial law that allows the state to take over assets of businesses deemed to be insolvent and incapable of servicing loans and charges owed to state institutions and agencies. The mines were subsequently placed under Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC). 

It is not clear from the list when the funds were externalised.

The funds were for export earnings that were kept offshore, payment of imports that never made it into the country and funds stashed in foreign banks.


- The Source

Zimbabwe will hold fresh elections at the end of July this year, a sign that, following decades of rule under autocratic leader Robert Mugabe, the southern African nation is on the path towards democracy.

But are the country’s young people ready to get involved in politics?

The signs elsewhere on the continent aren’t hopeful. Given Africa’s youth bulge, in which 39.5% of the continent’s population is aged between 18 and 45, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the majority of voters would be young people. But this is not the case.

For the most part, young people are apathetic when it comes to elections. While they’re the most affected by democratic processes, they appear to be the least interested in them. For example in Nigeria’s 2011 polls, only 52.6% of young people voted while in South Africa’s 2014 national elections, apathy was the reason for a registration level of just 33% for 18 and 19 year olds.

This phenomenon isn’t unique to Africa. Across the world young voters are failing to turn up at the polls. Levels of youth participation are very low in the UK and Ireland and most of the southern European states like Italy, Greece and Portugal.

In my recent study, I set out to explore the level of youth participation (as candidates, voters and activists) in Zimbabwe’s elections and governance processes, what restricts their participation and what can be done to support them. I defined youth as people aged between 15 and 35.

My evidence showed that their participation is low, hampered by restrictive political parties and a lack of three things – interest, information and funds.

To change this, there needs to be an effort to create political, structural and physical spaces that allow for their meaningful participation. This could, for example, include allocating quotas to young people and prioritising youth empowerment. South Africa’s two main opposition parties have done this well – young people lead the Democratic Alliance as well as the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Research findings

A third of the young people I interviewed said that they hadn’t taken part in activities such as rallies, council meetings and meetings within communities. A quarter of them said they didn’t participate often while only a fifth said they did so extremely often.

Political parties were cited as the main reason (67%) that prevented meaningful youth participation. For example, only 17% believed that political parties were creating spaces and making an effort to level the playing field so that they could participate in elections.

This exclusion is driven by what the scholar and expert on young people, Barry Checkoway, calls ‘adultism’ – when adults take a position that they are better than young people and prescribe solutions for them. Young people are seen as potentially dangerous elements that should be kept away from key decision-making processes.

On top of this, poverty makes young people particularly vulnerable to being excluded. About 70% of young people in Zimbabwe are unemployed. And those that work experience extreme poverty, earning less than US$2 per capita per day. This renders them susceptible to exploitation and control – young people who are poor are ready to sell their rights, for food hand-outs and promises of jobs that never materialise.

But it’s not just about the adults. Young people are also to blame for low participation.

In the interviews they showed a lack of interest in a system they felt they couldn’t change. They share this apathy with many other Zimbabweans. The legitimacy of the country’s elections since independence has always been a thorny issue. The opposition has regularly raised accusations of vote-buying, electoral fraud, vote rigging, as well as the intimidation of voters by the ruling party - Zanu-PF. This has led many to question the legitimacy of the electoral process.

Other barriers to young people include a lack of financial resources, lack of capacity, lack of information and the absence of a culture of positive engagement. Most believed that young people were prepared to run for office in the 2018 elections. But nearly half indicated that young people needed more support, such as leadership training, in preparation for running for office.

Increasing participation

When asked what the top five solutions to improving the participation of young people were the answers included:

  • freedom to participate in politics and development without restrictions (71%),

  • provision of leadership training (54%),

  • youth awareness campaigns (42%),

  • pro-youth policies (40%), and

  • effective engagement in productive activities (38%).

Young people should be viewed as a vital source of information which justifies the need for adults to give them space and opportunities to engage meaningfully. This could be done through local campaigns, like the United Nations’ ‘Not Too Young to Run’ campaign. This promotes the right for young people to run for office, creates awareness and mobilises them.

Young people also need to be equipped to participate in politics. This includes getting support through leadership training and training in elections and governance processes. Finally, resources and support must be given to youth-led initiatives that are reaching out to young people.


Hillary Musarurwa, Postdoctoral Researcher, Durban University of Technology

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been cautiously welcomed with the hope that he will place Zimbabwe on a more democratic trajectory. He has spoken of a new democracy “unfolding” in Zimbabwe.

But this is wishful thinking.

There are three major barriers to a decisive break from the corrupt and dysfunctional political system that has been playing out in Zimbabwe: the ruling Zanu-PF, its president and what’s been their main sustainer – the military.

None would want to oversee real change because facilitating democratic rule with real contestation for power would mean running the risk of electoral defeat. This would endanger the networks of self enrichment that have been put in place over decades.

Instead, the next few months will see Zanu-PF, Mnangagwa and the military continue to block democracy as they seek to hold onto the power.

The nature of Zanu-PF

Zanu-PF presents a formidable obstacle to democratic progress in the country. Zimbabwe has maintained the outward appearance of a multiparty democracy since independence in 1980. But it’s effectively been a one-party dictatorship.

The party brings a zero-sum game mindset to politics: it must always prevail, and its opponents must be crushed rather than accommodated. Opposition parties formally exist but they have not been allowed to win an election. Should such a possibility arise – as it did in 2002, 2008 and 2013 – elections will be rigged to preserve the status quo.

Zanu-PF provides the most egregious example of the culture of exceptionalism which has characterised the liberation party in power. These include:

  • the belief that its entitled to rule indefinitely,

  • its refusal to view itself as an ordinary political party,

  • its conflating of party and state, and

  • its demonising of other parties as ‘enemies of liberation’ seeking to restore colonialism or white minority rule.

The way in which Zanu-PF has colonised the state over almost four decades means that there is a vast web of patronage networks that have been entrenched to facilitate the looting of the state’s resources. Democratic change and clean government pose a mortal threat to these networks and such privileges are unlikely to be surrendered without intense resistance.

The new president

Mnangagwa’s ominous record makes it difficult to build a persuasive case that he represents a new beginning.

He served as Mugabe’s “chief enforcer” until November 2017. He was pivotal to the collapse of the rule of law and the implosion of the Zimbabwean economy. And he has been a central player in the gross human rights abuses that have characterised Zanu-PF rule. This includes the killings in Matabeleland killings in the 1980s. This is a past for which he has refused to acknowledge any responsibility.

His more conciliatory language has not matched his actions. After becoming president he appointed an administration of cronies, military hardliners and ‘war veterans’.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his inauguration. EPA-EFE/Aaron Ufumeli

The appointments appeared to consolidate the power of the now dominant faction of Zanu-PF: the old guard securocrats who routed Grace Mugabe’s equally malign G40 faction through the barrel of a gun rather than democratic processes.

Having waited such a seemingly interminable length of time to land the top job, it is difficult to envisage Mnangagwa now placing his hard earned spoils at the mercy of a programme of democratisation.

The military

The Zimbabwean Defence Force’s role in the removal of the president means that it has secured a place for itself as a privileged political actor and overseer of the entire political system.

The defence force has never been a neutral custodian of constitutional rule. Instead it has always been a highly politicised extension of the ruling party, a party militia in effect.

Previously its role was confined to repressing the ruling party’s opponents and maintaining the party’s dominance. The principle of civilian rule was respected even if this model of civil-military relations failed to meet any reasonable democratic standards. But with the coup, the military crossed a line. They determined the outcome of power struggles within the ruling party itself.

In the same way that the military has been politicised, the political system has been heavily militarised. This can be seen in the several key military veterans who have been appointed to the cabinet as well as Mnangagwa being the military’s candidate for the presidency. Essentially this is the civilian face of quasi-military rule in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe National Army commander Constantino Chiwenga, second from left, addressing a press conference in Harare, in November. EPA-EFE/Aaron Ufumeli

What this points to is an effective “barracks democracy” emerging in Zimbabwe. The military has secured a veto over the leadership of the ruling party and over the wider political process. It also reserves the right to reject election results that it does not approve of, or to take action that could prevent such results materialising in the first place.

To see the military’s removal of Mugabe as an overriding good ignores the fact that it has no concept of the national interest, or that it views that national interest as synonymous with its own and Zanu-PF’s.

It is dangerously naïve to expect such a force to help facilitate genuine democratic transition when its entire raison d’etre has been to preserve one-party rule (under a leadership of its choosing), to disable meaningful opposition and to preserve its own corruption networks.

Unsettling prospects

True democratisation – as opposed to merely maintaining the procedural forms of democratic government – is anathema to Zimbabwe’s ruling party, its president and the military.

It is evident that their task is threefold over the next few months. They have to secure support for a measure of liberalisation; arrest political enemies for corruption rather than tackling corruption per se; and provide a smokescreen of a largely vacuous democratic rhetoric.

The hope is that this will be sufficient to secure aid, investment and an endorsement by external donors while virtually nothing changes in the actual power relations inside the country.

Anyone committed to democracy in Zimbabwe -– whether inside or outside the country – should begin mobilising against this project sooner rather than later.


James Hamill, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has revealed how he walked for more 30km to cross the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique in an apparent escape from his assassination by former President Robert Mugabe's "hunting dogs", reports said.

Mnangagwa said this in Pretoria where he addressed Zimbabwean nationals, who fled economic decline and political turmoil in the southern African country.

"I came here to pay homage to my brother President Jacob Zuma. I spent a good 16 days as a 'Diasporan' here in South Africa after walking some 30km crossing the border into Mozambique. After I had been fired around 4 o'clock (on November 6), intelligence had made me aware of the next move intended to eliminate me," NewsDay quoted Mnangagwa as saying.

"Fortunately, I found a [business] card in my wallet which bore the name of a colleague here, (Justice) Maphosa, whom I phoned and he picked me. I came here and I was well-looked after."

Mnangagwa fled to South Africa after Mugabe dismissed him during factional fighting in Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party. The firing prompted a backlash against Mugabe and Mnangagwa returned to Zimbabwe, where he was sworn in as president.

Mnangagwa's finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said that the president had been stripped of his security "both physically and at his house" immediately after his sacking from government.

"This showed his security was not guaranteed, hence, he had to become a refugee here [South Africa]," said Chinamasa.

Mnangagwa also revealed that he had been in "clandestine" communication with President Jacob Zuma during his stay in South Africa, a New Zimbabwe.com report said."I had good communication with the leadership here, not openly, you understand," Mnangagwa was cited as saying.


Source: News24

Who would have thought that this year would end with Robert Mugabe having lost the presidency of both the governing Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe? None could have foreseen such a development being the work of his ruling party’s inner circle.

The whole development is clearly a product of internal Zanu-PF tensions and actions. The military top brass involved are old standing Zanu-PF cadres that have propped Mugabe up for decades. Emerson Mnangagwa, who has been sworn in as his successor, has been Mugabe’s right hand man for 37 years.

Zimbabweans have every right to celebrate the end of Mugabe’s long and disastrous reign, but they would be wrong to assume that this is the end of their political problems. The same Zanu-PF leadership has taken control of this transition, making it an intra-party matter rather than a national opportunity for deepening democracy as many hope.

Mnangagwa’s first priority will be to ensure consolidation of Zanu-PF power. He may do so by positioning Zanu-PF as a born again party committed to change. He may seize the opportunity to introduce real changes in the conduct of Zanu-PF and government leadership, in economic policies and in rebuilding the social compact by showing greater maturity in relations with other political parties and civil society.

But, as reports surface about the harassment of some of Mugabe appointed ministers and their families at the hands of men in uniform, we are reminded that the military should never be encouraged to manage political problems because they are likely to cross the line of civil-military relations. Excessive use of military power is likely to follow.

Mugabe the survivor

Mugabe has survived many attempts to get rid of him before. These include the efforts of the previous opposition Zimbabwean African People’s Union (Zapu) under Joshua Nkomo in the 1980s, through to the Zimbabwe Unity Movement in the 1990s and to Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the 2000s. All these efforts failed because Mugabe has, at times, been popular, at times cunning and at times ruthless in preserving power – for himself and the Zanu-PF.

At times reliance on patronage of indigenous systems of leadership helped Mugabe and the party ward off challenges. Over the past 15 years, Zanu-PF has relied on the crude use of state power, draconian security measures and brutality on the streets.

It has also resorted to buying popularity through measures such as the violent land restitution process between 2001 and 2007.

Zimbabweans at the inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare. EPA-EFE/Aaron Ufumeli

After 2007, Zanu-PF and Mugabe had to contend with a regional mediation process by the Southern African Development Community after an election they lost, but which the MDC did not win by margins needed to form its own government. Zanu-PF responded by unleashing violence and brutality on opponents. Power sharing, which gave the MDC and its leader Morgan Tsvangarai an opportunity to position themselves as alternatives, saw Mugabe and Zanu-PF play every trick in the book to preserve power.

After Zanu-PF narrowly won the 2013 elections, it seemed that Mugabe and his party had finally prevailed. But the power battles turned inward, as party factions jostled over who would succeed Mugabe.

Zanu-PF power struggles

Various factions in the Zanu-PF have crystallised into two main camps.

The first is Mugabe and his henchmen of the so-called Zezuru group, including top heads of security forces who had wanted Mugabe to continue for a long time. They favoured Solomon Mujuru before he died and later Mnangagwa as a successor.

The second was made up of younger, rather flamboyant group of mainly men around Mugabe Zanu-PF politicians who had gained power and influence in the civil service. This group was known as the G-40. In the past few years this group backed Grace Mugabe as her husband’s successor.

Things have hung in the balance with the G40 gaining momentum because they could influence Mugabe’s judgement and decisions through his wife and nephews. This group could make a call who needed to be fired or isolated – and the president would act accordingly.

For example, when moderates in the Zanu-PF and war veterans touted Vice President Joice Mujuru as possible successor to Mugabe, the G40 aimed a barrage of insults against her and publicly declared that her time was up. Shortly afterwards Mugabe fired her and got her expelled from the party. This deepened divisions within Zanu-PF and intensified concern about the G40 and Grace Mugabe.

The last straw was the firing of Mnangagwa and threats against chiefs of armed forces.

Believing that Mugabe was being manipulated by the G40, the military stepped in to weed out those around the president. What they wanted was to persuade Mugabe to go and for Mnangagwa to replace him in as peaceful a process as possible so as not to destabilise Zanu-PF’s hold on power. The military showed great patience as it set about achieving this outcome.

In the end – and after citizens had taken to the streets calling for Mugabe, and the G40, to go – the old man resigned, thus avoiding an embarrassing impeachment process.

New forces versus old

Mugabe is gone. A faction of the Zanu-PF that had gained currency around him is being squeezed out of every space in Zimbabwe. A new faction under Mnangagwa is in place.

Mugabe stands as a shadow of continuity behind leaders who have been around him for decades and who have now been entrusted with the renewal agenda. Mugabe has left, but what’s been called Mugabeism remains: both the positive side of vehemently defending the sovereignty of Zimbabwe and the negative side of the brutality of state power.

Mnangagwa and the military have lavished him with generous post-retirement packages, honoured with a holiday in his name and praise. The interim president has warned the deposed G-40 faction of Zanu-PF to return stolen state monies or face the law.

A clean break with Mugabe’s heritage of violence and crude dominance will have to wait even beyond elections next year. Zimbabwean citizens have been energised by their role in removing Mugabe. They would do well to remain vigilant, to press for more fundamental changes in the way the state behaves and insisting on democratic processes in economic policies. Otherwise they will continue to live under one Zanu-PF faction to another without real change in their lives.


Siphamandla Zondi, Professor and head of department of Political Sciences and acting head of the Institute for Strategic and Political Affairs, University of Pretoria

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

When the first reports appeared of military tanks approaching Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, questions started flooding my mind: would this mean a transition in power? And would it be a transition of the kind regarded as “model” transitions – transition from dictatorship to democracy?

Ever since it became clear that Emmerson Mnangagwa would be inaugurated as the next president, there are fears that the country wouldn’t go through a genuine transition, that one dictator might simply replace another as was the case in Egypt.

Transitional justice is a term coined by the scholar Ruti Teitel in 1990. She defined it as a form of justice that could address the legacy of human rights violations and violence during a society’s transition from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one. Transitional justice refers to the ways in which countries emerging from periods of conflict and repression address large scale human rights violations so numerous and serious that the normal justice system is unable to provide an adequate response.

Transitional justice has become a vital part of modern peace building efforts alongside disarmament, security sector reform and elections. The United Nations views it as the full range of processes associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses with a view to ensuring accountability, serving justice and achieving reconciliation.

It encompasses issues such as whether the perpetrators of serious human rights violations under a previous regime should be prosecuted or pardoned. It also involves looking at reparations, institutional reform, public recognition of violations and whether and how investigations should be initiated to uncover the truth about past violations.

It’s still unclear whether Zimbabwe will manage an effective transition to participatory democracy and freedom. But the current signs are not encouraging.

Transitional justice in Zimbabwe

After three decades of state sponsored violence, there is an acute need to break the culture of impunity that has become entrenched in Zimbabwe. The steady erosion of human and political rights has further led to a lack of faith in the rule of law.

Early excitement about prospects of transitional justice in Zimbabwe has already been dampened by the agreement struck between the military and the outgoing president. The deal entails exempting Robert Mugabe from prosecution for crimes committed during his 37 years in office. The immunity deal reportedly covers numerous members of Mugabe’s extended family, including his stepson and nephews. It may also include senior ruling party officials detained by the military as well as those who are currently overseas.

This immunity agreement creates grave doubts about the legitimacy of the foundation on which the new Zimbabwe will be built.

It’s clear that the agreement violates international law. Under Mugabe’s rule opposition supporters suffered harassment, intimidation, forced removal and death. Crimes against humanity were also committed. There are also strong allegations that Mugabe ordered his opponents to be tortured. International law holds that to be guilty of torture, it isn’t necessary that a person should have directly participated in torture. Ordering torture is sufficient to warrant conviction.

There are other reasons to doubt whether Zimbabwe’s new leadership is interested in pursuing transitional justice. For example, would they be prepared to look back at post-independence crimes such as the Gukurahundi massacre in Matabeleland that claimed the lives of 20 000 people? Given Mnangagwa’s prominent role in this massacre it’s highly unlikely that official attempts will be undertaken to uncover the truth of this massacre.

Measured against the South African transition, it is already clear that the “transition in Zimbabwe” is imperfect. This is because it lacks democratic legitimacy. Unlike the wave of transitions from socialism to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the Zimbabwean transition, at this stage, does not look as if it has the potential to truly liberate Zimbabwean citizens and to convey them into a state in which human rights are supreme.

Free passage for Mugabe

Former Zimbabwe finance minister and opposition party member Tendai Biti said in a recent interview with South Africa’s Sunday Times that there was no point in prosecuting Mugabe. He said:

we cannot let the past continue to hold the future, and Mugabe is in the past… He must be given the right of free passage…

But Mugabe does not deserve a “right of free passage”. To award him this right would be to make a mockery of the principles of international law, transitional justice and the ongoing suffering of millions of Zimbabweans.

Biti emphasised the importance of economic growth and transformation. As a former finance minister he should know that financial prosperity cannot be separated from social cohesion and respect for the rule of law.


Mia Swart, Professor of International Law, University of Johannesburg

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Long in coming but swift and relatively painless when it happened, the downfall of Robert Mugabe offers Zimbabwe a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recalibrate its hitherto dire trajectory. The transition comes with myriad challenges and opportunities, the handling of which will ultimately determine what direction the country takes. Here are four key ways that the new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, can get it right.

1. Strike a new political settlement

The lesson of Zimbabwe’s past 20 years is that a toxic political environment is a severe impediment to the economic development. Political risks create uncertainty and keep sorely needed investment away. A key priority must therefore be the creation of a more inclusive political settlement. When the time came, Zimbabweans from all walks of life were ready to come out and clamour for a fresh start – their “ideals” clearly unified them and need to be harnessed to something concrete out of them.

Some of the provisions needed to do this are already in the constitution, and simply unimplemented. Others, however, need to be negotiated within and among all political actors. Equally, it’s important Zimbabwe doesn’t rush into new elections, but instead creates the conditions necessary for free, credible and fair ones in the future. Properly managed elections are not a magic wand, but they will go a long way in reducing the socio-economic costs of political risks associated with instability.

2. Reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth

Zimbabwe has never fully recovered from the economic crisis that peaked in 2008. GDP growth rebounded to 11.9% in 2011, but declined to an estimated -2.5% by 2017. Formal sector jobs have shrunk significantly over the last two decades. A 2015 report showed that of the 6.3m people defined as employed, 94.5% were working in the informal economy, 4.16m of them as smallholder farmers. The formal sector, meanwhile, accounts for just 350,000 people.

This means a majority of Zimbabweans can be classified as “working poor”, doing precarious work with irregular incomes in agriculture and the informal sector. Poverty levels remain high: around 72% of Zimbabweans now living in chronic poverty. The challenge is to generate national and individual wealth, while also making sure a lot more people benefit from growth than have done over the past two decades.

Currently, the service sector contributes the most to GDP. While mining and the service sector have earned the country much-needed foreign currency and contributed significantly to GDP growth, they can only do so much alleviate poverty in a country where a majority of people still live off the land.

3. Make agriculture work

To start reducing poverty as soon as possible, the government needs to get the agricultural sector working again.

When agriculture does well in Zimbabwe, the knock-on effect is remarkable. It not only raises rural incomes (thereby reducing poverty) but also creates more manufacturing jobs in the cities and small towns as the “agriculture-induced” demand for goods and services rises. It also expands the tax base and enables Zimbabweans sitting on productive assets to contribute to building the economy.

The good news is that, while other sectors of the economy will take more time to develop, this is one area that can provide some quick returns. Productivity needs to keep rising and support must be provided for people who have access to farmland, but are currently too poor to use it effectively.

Getting agriculture to work ought to be a core priority. Given the nature of structural changes (particularly the emergence of opportunities through global value chains) a key starting point must be an agricultural review commission to investigate current conditions for smallholder agriculture and recommend new policies required to transform in the sector.

4. Unlock investment

With abundant natural resources and a relatively literate population, Zimbabwe is well-placed to attract a large share of the investment being funnelled through South Africa into the rest of the continent.

The country’s mining industry, for one, has already proven its capacity to attract investment, provided global commodity prices recover as expected. But even then, that will depend upon cleaning up Zimbabwe’s toxic political environment and confused policymaking, both of which increase costs for investors.

The country could also benefit from opportunities in the emerging digital economy, but again, this will mean prioritising and maintaining investment in bureaucracy and infrastructure.

All this will require huge sums of money, which the government may not have at the moment. Still, perhaps this new beginning is at least an opportunity for constructive dialogue with the donor community, something Zimbabwe struggled to manage while Mugabe was at the helm. If Zimbabwe gets the politics right, there is every reason to be optimistic that this promising country will flourish at last.


Admos Chimhowu, Senior Lecturer, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


New Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Friday pledged to revive Zimbabwe’s moribund economy and create jobs for its unemployed masses in a speech to mark his inauguration. Mnangagwa also said the 2018 elections would go ahead and promised to restore financial and economic stability.

Emmerson Mnangagwa was on Friday sworn in as Zimbabwe’s third president by Chief Justice Luke Malaba to loud cheers at a packed National Sports Stadium, marking the end of Robert Mugabe’s nearly four decades rule and a new chapter for the southern African country.

Less than three weeks after he fled the country to escape ‘threats’ on his life, Mnangagwa stood on the podium to pledge uphold the constitution of Zimbabwe and to protect the rights of its 16 million citizens.

“I will devote myself to the wellbeing of Zimbabwe and its people,” he pledged and to ‘oppose whatever that will harm Zimbabwe.”

Mnangagwa, for over 40 years one of Mugabe’s closest and trusted lieutenants, declared upon his return to the country that Zimbabwe was entering a new era of democracy.

He becomes the third president of Zimbabwe after Canaan Banana and Robert Mugabe, the second executive president after Mugabe, to take office.

Mugabe, who ruled with an iron fist during his often tempestuous reign, resigned on Tuesday, three months before his 94th birthday as parliament debated a motion to impeach him, one week after the military took over control of the country.

Mnangagwa is taking over just months away from an election in which he will be the ZANU-PF candidate. A shattered economy marked by empty banks and silent factories awaits Mnangagwa while restoring investor confidence will have to be at the top of the agenda.

The buy-in of the international community will be key and so far the noises from key allies have been positive. Mnangagwa has already spoken of receiving pledges of support’ from the international community, an abomination under Mugabe but can only be good for him.


Credit: The Source

  1. Opinions and Analysis


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