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Post-Mugabe era

Post-Mugabe era

As long as Robert Mugabe dominated the scene for well over three decades, nothing much happened in Zimbabwe. Having ruled for nearly three and a half decades, he presided over the country getting from bad to worse. His stellar role in the nation's Independence soon became history and he was ousted in a silent coup engineered by the army. But Zimbabwe inaugurated his erstwhile comrade in arms, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, for the second time in nine months after a contested election. Mnangagwa was sworn in after his contested win in the July 30 presidential election. Main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa contested his loss in court, describing the election as "fraudulent and illegal".The judge dismissed the case and upheld Mnangagwa's victory. The highly contentious presidential poll was marred by violence, with at least six people killed and 14 injured following clashes between security forces and protesters supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the capital, Harare. Even after the court verdict, protests continue. A few days after Mnangagwa's victory at the polls, Zimbabwe's security forces descended on opposition leaders. Zimbabwean forces opened fire on unarmed protesters in Harare's streets. President Mnangagwa called for a public inquiry and accused the opposition of inciting the protests. The landmark vote, the first for Zimbabwe after strongman Robert Mugabe was ousted from power last November, was expected to repair the country's reputation and woo back foreign investment into the country's crippling economy. The country, which suffered hyperinflation under Mugabe, needs the International Monetary Fund to start giving it loans again. It also needs the United States, European Union, and others to lift Mugabe-era sanctions. Mnangagwa,75, was sworn in again in November as interim President after helping to orchestrate the de facto coup against Mugabe, who he had served with for decades. He has been trying to rebrand the country and his ZanuPF party as free and "open for business." It remains to be seen if the man known as "The Crocodile" will succeed in bringing about much-needed change in Zimbabwe. But that is easier said than done. The nation's economy is in tatters and corruption that snowballed over the years has left it severely wounded. Manufacturing needs to begin and jobs need to be created. So long, it had been a one-man rule with then First Lady playing a strong second fiddle. Understandably, many have turned cynical. But, hoping against hope, the people participated in the elections. Much, indeed, remains to be done to regain the trust factor. Till that is done,"The Crocodile" has to ensure that his government leaves nothing to chance to change international perceptions. Depending on countries like South Africa will not be enough. The world awaits the positive changes.

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