Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), a state-broadcaster, has announced that the former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled to South Africa two weeks ago, is to be made the new president on Friday and has promised to create jobs after returning to take over from Robert Mugabe.
The 75-year-old liberation war veteran and stalwart of the ruling Zanu-PF party is to be sworn in as president on Friday. told supporters at the headquarters of the ruling Zanu-PF party that the country was witnessing the “beginning of a new and unfolding democracy”.
“We want to grow our economy, we want peace, we want jobs, jobs, jobs,” he told a cheering crowd in Harare.
His dismissal led the ruling party and the military to intervene and force an end to Mugabe’s 37-year long rule.
Mnangagwa arrived from Johannesburg at a military airbase in Harare on Wednesday afternoon and travelled directly to the Zanu-PF headquarters where a crowd of several hundred had gathered to hear his first speech as president-in-waiting.
“The people have spoken. The voice of the people is the voice of God,” he he said. “Today we are witnessing the beginning of a new and unfolding democracy.” “.
He also said he had been the subject of several assassination plots and thanked the army for running the “process” of removing Mr Mugabe peacefully.
A spokesman for the ruling Zanu-PF party said Mr Mnangagwa, 71, would serve the remainder of Mugabe’s term until elections that are due to be held by September 2018.
Nicknamed the “crocodile” because of his political cunning, Mnangagwa met South African President Jacob Zuma before leaving for Zimbabwe.
According to Fergal Keane, BBC Africa editor, Mnangagwa is mired in the excesses of the Mugabe era. He was the deposed president’s loyal henchman for decades and only struck against him to prevent Grace Mugabe from succeeding to the presidency.
He reports on BBC that there are “significant pressures “on the new leader to embark on a programme of meaningful change.
“ The corruption and tyranny of the past will not attract the international financial aid and investment that is needed to rescue the nation’s shattered economy,” the BBC Africa editor pointed out..
He argued that Mnangagwa will face a strong challenge if he tries to mire Zimbabwe in the despotism of the past.
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