After the Change of Guard in Zimbabwe,Courtroom mail reached out to Lawyers in Zimbabwe on their opinion on “Post Mugabe Zimbabwe” Keith Mafadzo Kachambwa has this to say
On the 21st of November 2017, Zimbabweans all over the world celebrated the resignation of the former president, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who had been at the helm of the country for 37 years. There were wild celebrations on the streets of Harare which continued well into the early hours of the morning. The resignation of the former President was a culmination of events which commenced with a military intervention led by General Constatino Guveya Chiwenga, the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. This was a populist move which the people of Zimbabwe supported by marching in their thousands and calling upon President Robert Mugabe to resign. When he did not resign, the joint sitting of Parliament was called to impeach him. It is at this joint sitting that the Speaker of Parliament received the resignation letter and announced it to the world.
Zimbabweans are aware that the events that led to the former President’s resignation were ignited by factional fights within ZANU PF, the ruling party. They are alive to the difficult history they have with the military, ZANU PF and Emmerson Dambudzo Mnagagwa, the heir apparent. However, Zimbabweans have chosen to be optimistic. They are mindful of their past but hopeful of the future. They are not under any illusion that the economic, social and political situation will change overnight. What they are optimistic about is that it now seems there is political will to move the nation forward. The President in waiting, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnagagwa, is presented with a golden opportunity to gain the trust and confidence of the people of Zimbabwe. He is a leader who seems to be accepted by both the West and East and both are willing to support his tenure through foreign direct investment to revive the economy. Even though not universally accepted by Zimbabweans, they seem to agree on one thing, that he is strong and firm leader that Zimbabwe needs at this stage to arrest the economic, social and political decay and begin the revival of the once bread basket of Africa.
When the celebrations start to die down discussions will commence on the new government, who will it comprise of, will it be a transitional government or will ZANU PF go it alone, will there be changes in government civil services appointments, will there be changes in the uniformed forces; will the so called “criminal elements” be prosecuted etc. However, for now the celebrations will continue for another week and Zimbabweans will be caught up in the euphoria of what they have achieved. They will not want to be bogged down with the question what next? They want to savour the resignation of the former President which came at cost and was long overdue. If only the celebrations could also last for 37 years.
Keith Mafadzo Kachambwa
Advocate of the Superior Courts of Zimbabwe