HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s main opposition said on Thursday it wanted incoming president Emmerson Mnangagwa to dismantle all pillars of repression that helped sustain Robert Mugabe’s 37 years in power.
In its first official comments since Mugabe resigned on Tuesday, the MDC said it was cautiously optimistic that a Mnangagwa presidency would not “mimic and replicate the evil, corrupt, decadent and incompetent Mugabe regime.”
The man expected to lead Zimbabwe after the dramatic toppling of longtime president Robert Mugabe returned from abroad on Wednesday, promising democracy but also warning that the ruling party would remain firmly in control.
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s arrival in Harare marked the beginning of an era that many here were already referring to as a rebirth. After 37 years of Mugabe’s increasingly authoritarian rule, the nation of 16 million was jubilant at the prospect of more freedom and an improvement in the fragile economy.
But Zimbabwe is entering a deeply uncertain period. Its new leader is a man with a dubious legacy, who was appointed through a shadowy, closed-door process. He faces immense challenges in resurrecting an economy that shrank during decades of political turbulence and is burdened by $11 billion in debt.