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Will new Zimbabwe leader Emmerson Mnangagwa bring change?


Zimbabweans drink, sing, and dance as they celebrate at night at an intersection in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. Mugabe resigned as president with immediate effect Tuesday after 37 years in power, shortly after parliament began impeachment proceedings against him.

Belal Khaled | NurPhoto

Zimbabweans drink, sing, and dance as they celebrate at night at an intersection in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. Mugabe resigned as president with immediate effect Tuesday after 37 years in power, shortly after parliament began impeachment proceedings against him.

Zimbabwe’s former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will be sworn in as the country’s interim president on Friday.

Mnangagwa, 75, is scheduled to return to the capital Harare on Wednesday after a brief exile in South Africa.

Amid euphoric celebrations over longtime president Robert Mugabe’s resignation Tuesday, many are questioning whether the strongman’s successor — a longtime Mugabe ally — will actually bring about much-needed change.

“Never should the nation be held at ransom by one person ever again, whose desire is to die in office whatever the cost of the nation,” Mnangagwa said in a statement Tuesday, hours before Mugabe’s resignation announcement.

Mnangagwa’s swearing-in will be the first time the nation of 16 million will have a new president since its independence from British rule in 1980, when Mugabe took office.

The 93-year-old’s resignation followed a rollercoaster week that saw Zimbabwe’s military take over the government and hold him under house arrest. Mugabe’s 37-year rule was marked by corruption and violent oppression of dissent.

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