Zimbabwe greets new leader for first time in 37 years – National

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HARARE, Zimbabwe – Exuberant Zimbabweans greeted the swearing-in Friday of Emmerson Mnangagwa, the nation’s second chief since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice-president, will lead after the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who succumbed to strain to give up from the navy, the ruling occasion and large demonstrations.

Mnangagwa greeted the gang of tens of hundreds with a raised fist, and he promised to dedicate himself to the well-being of the folks.


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Mnangagwa, a former justice and defence minister, was a key Mugabe confidant for many years till they fell out due to the presidential ambitions of Mugabe’s spouse, Grace. Regardless of his lengthy affiliation with the federal government that has presided over Zimbabwe’s decline, together with financial collapse and human rights abuses, Mnangagwa has promised democracy and reached out to different international locations for assist.

Mugabe was the world’s oldest head of state when he give up Tuesday amid impeachment proceedings. In the long run, he was remoted and displaying few of the political expertise that stored him in energy for 37 years and made him a distinguished however polarizing determine on the world stage.

Mugabe was not attending Friday’s swearing-in, and ruling occasion officers have stated he’ll stay in Zimbabwe with their promise that he’s “secure” and his legacy as a “hero” will stand after his struggle for an impartial Zimbabwe.


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Zimbabwe’s state-run Herald newspaper reported that Mnangagwa assured Mugabe and his household of their “most safety.” The report stated the 2 males agreed Mugabe wouldn’t attend Friday as a result of he “wanted time to relaxation.”

Some folks forward of the inauguration started to bop within the stadium stands. Banners erected in learn “Daybreak of a brand new period” and “No to retribution,” at the same time as human rights activists started to report worrying particulars of assaults on shut allies of the previous first woman and their households. Mnangagwa has warned in opposition to “vengeful retribution.”

Tendai Lesayo held a small Zimbabwean flag as she offered drinks from a cooler outdoors the stadium. She stated she would welcome a recent begin, saying “life now could be not possible.”


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Elsewhere within the capital, lengthy strains shaped outdoors banks, a standard sight in a nation combating money shortages and different extreme financial issues that the brand new president should confront.

“Proper now, nothing has actually modified for me. I nonetheless can not get my cash from the financial institution,” stated Amon Mutora, who had been in line since 6 am.

“Attending the inauguration won’t convey meals for my household,” stated Kelvin Fungai, a 19-year-old promoting bananas from a cart. Many younger individuals are well-educated however jobless, diminished to avenue merchandising to outlive. Others have left the nation.


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Elsewhere, there have been indicators of hope amid the uncertainty. Black market charges for money have tumbled since Mugabe left workplace. Earlier than he stepped down, one needed to deposit $170 right into a black market vendor’s checking account to get $100 money. On Friday, $100 money was promoting for between $140 and $150.

Because the inauguration crowds streamed by, Sharon Samuriwo sat on a ledge, watching. She stated she hoped Mnangagwa would be taught from the errors of his predecessor, and he or she acknowledged that the trail forward for Zimbabwe is unknown.

Nonetheless, “after 37 years, we’ve received somebody totally different.”

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