Zimbabwe offers Mugabe immunity as youth hope for economic change

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Supporters of Zimbabwe’s President in waiting Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as “The Crocodile”, raise a stuffed crocodile in the air as they await his arrival at the Zanu-PF party headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. Mnangagwa has emerged from hiding and returned home ahead of his swearing-in Friday. Crowds have gathered at the ruling party’s headquarters for his first public remarks. Mnangagwa will replace Robert Mugabe, who resigned after 37 years in power when the military and ruling party turned on him for firing Mnangagwa and positioning his wife to take power. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Zimbabwe’s military agrees to grant former president Robert Mugabe immunity from prosecution. It said he won’t be exiled, and will be allowed to live safely in Zimbabwe. The same holds for his wife and other family members.

The nation is celebrating Mugabe’s resignation. And, the young, especially, have high expectations for a new president to change their fortunes.

CGTN’s Farai Mwakutuya has more from Harare.

As a generator droned outside a shop nearby, Talent Mushuche and his friends tried to get through another idle day.

The 23-year-old wished he knew what it felt like to get a paycheck at the end of the month. Since so many companies where he could have found employment after finishing school have shut down, he’s never had a job.

His friend, Blessing Mashingaidze, had started repairing tires to try and get by. It’s a trade with ups and downs, but more of the latter in recent times. “I still live with my parents, which is something I had hoped I wouldn’t be doing at my age. I don’t make enough to move out on my own or to start my own family. That would just add more problems to the ones I have already,” said Blessing.

Like many others, Talent hoped that the misery of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe will be wiped away under the new administration. “There’s a lot of substance abuse here because the youths are idle. The new government should reopen industries so that we can find something productive to do. That’s my desire,” explained Talent.

What Emmerson Mnangagwa says when he takes his oath of office on Friday will be telling. There’s no doubt Zimbabwe’s new leader has his work cut out for him if he is to stop the economic decline and lift millions out of grinding poverty.

He’s already promised to be a servant of the people and to work with everyone to make life better here.