Ousted Zimbabwe Vice President returns to hero’s welcome in Harare

World Today

Emmerson Mnangagwa arrived back in Zimbabwe ahead of his inauguration, which is set for Friday. He’s promising to grow the country’s economy and bring jobs to the majority of Zimbabweans who are unemployed. CGTN’s Farai Mwakutua reports on what else Mnangagwa is promising.

Zimbabwe’s next president arrived to a hero’s welcome on Wednesday as thousands of supporters packed into the ZANU PF party headquarters in Harare. Mnangagwa fled the country after being dismissed two weeks ago. He thanked Zimbabweans for pressuring 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe to step down. 

He has extended an invitation to citizens regardless of their political affiliation to work with him to improve the economy, create jobs and stamp out corruption. 

“I pledge myself to be your servant,” Manangagwa said as he addressed the crowd in Zimbabwe. “I appeal to all genuine, patriotic Zimbabweans to come together, we work together. None is more important than the other. We are all Zimbabweans.”

The new 71-year-old leader comes in facing high expectations following nearly four decades of rule under Robert Mugabe, who resigned as president on Tuesday after 37 years in that position.

Fungai Shana is not convinced that Manangagwa will change very much in Zimbabwe.  “Superficially, change has come but what can we expect from them, I’m really asking myself,” he said. “After working together for 37 years, what change can they bring? Will our people be happy? Will our expectations be delivered under this new arrangement?”

Admire Mabeka, who like many others on the streets of Harare, would like to see a return to a prosperous Zimbabwe. “Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of southern Africa and the whole of Africa,” he said. “Right now, it’s in the doldrums of poverty. It’s now a basket case. So we want all those farms, which have been taken to be brought back to those who are able to farm.”

Mnangagwa said he would spell out his vision for the country at his inauguration on Friday, after which he will name a new government.