Maimane: Zimbabwe change important for SADC region

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says that Zimbabweans must now prepare themselves to go to the polls.

FILE: People carry placards during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on November 18, 2017 in Harare. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says what’s happening in Zimbabwe is an important development for the region.

He says that Zimbabweans must now prepare themselves to go to the polls.

“I always believe the people are the best equipped to decide what their future is and ultimately we can set up a transitional government and ensure that not only Bob falls but Zanu-PF, because ultimately it’s been Zanu-PF who have protected Bob is some form or another.”

Meanwhile, as Zimbabweans prepare for the swearing in of interim president Emmerson Mnangagwa, there are questions about the fate of deals reached between the governing Zanu-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in talks to push through Mugabe’s impeachment.

Zanu-PF had given Mugabe until noon on Monday to resign or face impeachment.

Those proceedings went ahead on Tuesday afternoon but were rendered unnecessary when the Speaker confirmed that Mugabe had stepped down in a statement sent to the Speaker’s office.

Now, many are interested in what conditions were agreed by the governing party and the opposition ahead of the sitting of parliament.

While the MDC has stayed away from revealing the conditions it had set for governing party Zanu-PF in exchange for its support to remove Mugabe, a list circulated showed how Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai would purportedly serve as prime minister in the interim government.

Zanu-PF said before the impeachment process kicked off that it needed 73 of the MDC’s votes to secure Mugabe’s removal

But the MDC’s Obert Gutu says developments over the last few hours have left a lot of questions about co-operation on a way forward

Former vice president and leader of Zanu-PF as of Sunday, Mnangagwa is expected to be sworn in later today.

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With high expectations that Zimbabwe will turn a new tide after years of political instability many expats have expressed their wish to go back home.

But there are concerns about unrealistic hopes for immediate change and whether the economy can absorb the influx of citizens.

“I’m going to have a job. We’re going home tomorrow.”

Jubilant Zimbabweans reacting to events many never thought they would get to witness in their lifetime.

But experts agree that it will take time for some normalcy to return to Zimbabwe and that will be largely dependent on how this crucial transition is handled.

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Many skilled citizens have been unemployed for years and had to turn to other countries for survival.

And with high hopes for immediate and drastic change, there are warnings that it will be a slow process.

Thabi Leoka is a senior economist at Argon Asset Management: “South African investors who want to move back to Zimbabwe, businesses will require labour.”

For now, the eyes of the world remain firmly fixed on Zimbabwe for what happens next and how.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)