rain.png
Thursday May 28th, 2020 1:16AM

Zimbabweans preparing to greet country's new leader

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabweans converged on a stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration Friday of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who will become the country's second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice president, is poised to lead after the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who succumbed to pressure to quit from the military, the ruling party and massive demonstrations.

Mnangagwa, a former justice and defense minister, was a key Mugabe confidant for decades until they fell out because of the presidential ambitions of Mugabe's wife, Grace. Despite his long association with the government that has presided over Zimbabwe's decline, including economic collapse and human rights abuses, Mnangagwa has promised democracy and reached out to other countries for help.

Mugabe was the world's oldest head of state when he quit Tuesday amid impeachment proceedings. In the end, he was isolated and showing few of the political skills that kept him in power for 37 years and made him a prominent but polarizing figure on the world stage.

Mugabe will not attend Friday's swearing-in, and ruling party officials have said he will remain in Zimbabwe with their promise that he is "safe" and his legacy as a "hero" will stand after his fight for an independent Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper reported that Mnangagwa has assured Mugabe and his family of their "maximum security." The report says they agreed Mugabe would not attend Friday because he "needed time to rest."

Some people ahead of the inauguration began to dance in the stadium stands. Banners erected in read "Dawn of a new era" and "No to retribution," even as human rights activists began to report worrying details of attacks on close allies of the former first lady and their families. Mnangagwa has warned against "vengeful retribution."

Tendai Lesayo held a small Zimbabwean flag as she sold drinks from a cooler outside the stadium. She said she would welcome a fresh start, saying "life now is impossible."

Elsewhere in the capital, long lines formed outside banks, a common sight in a nation struggling with cash shortages and other severe economic problems that the new president will have to confront.

"Right now, nothing has really changed for me. I still cannot get my money from the bank," said Amon Mutora, who had been in line since 6 am.

"Attending the inauguration will not bring food for my family," said Kelvin Fungai, a 19-year-old selling bananas from a cart. Many young people are well-educated but jobless, reduced to street vending to survive. Others have left the country.

Elsewhere, there were signs of hope amid the uncertainty. Black market rates for cash have tumbled since Mugabe left office. Before he stepped down, one had to deposit $170 into a black market dealer's bank account to get $100 cash. On Friday, $100 cash was selling for between $140 and $150.

As the inauguration crowds streamed by, Sharon Samuriwo sat on a ledge, watching. She said she hoped Mnangagwa would learn from the errors of his predecessor, and she acknowledged that the path ahead for Zimbabwe is unknown.

Still, "after 37 years, we've got someone different."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Zimbabweans preparing to greet country's new leader
Zimbabweans preparing to greet country's new leader after whirlwind political drama
2:05AM ( 16 minutes ago )
AP source: Flynn lawyers make a break with Trump team
AP source: Flynn lawyers have stopped discussing Russia probe with Trump team
1:41AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Asian shares mixed, China in focus after big sell-off
Asian stock markets were mostly lower Friday with investors finding little guidance after Wall Street shut for a U.S. holiday and Chinese markets in focus after a big sell-off the previous day
1:34AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Barton to go mum over disclosed photo, citing probe
Barton says he's going mum about a nude photo of him posted online because the matter is under investigation
11:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
Fund for helpful homeless man collects more than $280,000
A fund set up to raise money for a homeless man who helped a woman when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia has collected more than $280,000
11:04PM ( 3 hours ago )
Fund for helpful homeless man raises more than $275,000
A fund set up to raise money for a homeless man who helped a woman when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia has collected more than $275,000
10:51PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Trump credits troops, and himself, for military advances
Trump tells troops 'We're really winning' against US foes, thanks them and talks up his own leadership
7:24PM ( 6 hours ago )
As shoppers mobilize on Thanksgiving, retailers branch out
Retailers kick off holiday shopping season with an eye toward wooing shoppers away from rivals
4:49PM ( 9 hours ago )
Sound heard in Argentine sub search comes from explosion
Argentina's navy says that a sound detected during the search for a missing submarine is consistent with that of an explosion _ an ominous development in the hunt for the vessel with 44 crew members
3:44PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online National News
AP source: Flynn lawyers make a break with Trump team
AP source: Flynn lawyers have stopped discussing Russia probe with Trump team
1:41AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Asian shares mixed, China in focus after big sell-off
Asian stock markets were mostly lower Friday with investors finding little guidance after Wall Street shut for a U.S. holiday and Chinese markets in focus after a big sell-off the previous day
1:34AM ( 48 minutes ago )
No. 2 Arizona upset again at Battle 4 Atlantis, 66-60 by SMU
Ben Emelogu scored 20 points and SMU upset No. 2 Arizona 66-60 in the consolation round at the Battle 4 Atlantis, handing the Wildcats their second consecutive loss to an unranked opponent
1:25AM ( 57 minutes ago )
Pakistan releases US-wanted militant suspect on court order
Pakistani authorities acting on a court order have released a U.S.-wanted militant who allegedly founded a banned group linked to the 2008 Mumbai attack.
1:21AM ( 1 hour ago )
Mississippi stuns No. 16 Mississippi State 31-28 in Egg Bowl
Jordan Ta'amu threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, Jordan Wilkins ran for two scores and Mississippi upset No. 16 Mississippi State 31-28
12:42AM ( 1 hour ago )