Zimbabwe’s economy set for recovery after Mugabe exit?

It is still early days to determine how long it will take for the economy to turn the corner with skilled and educated citizens being unemployed for years.

Zimbabweans gather on 21 November 2017 as they call for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to step down. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As Zimbabweans living abroad now consider their option to either go back to their home country, it’s still unclear whether the economy will post a recovery in the near term after years of economic decline.

It is still early days to determine how long it will take for the economy to turn the corner, with skilled and educated citizens being unemployed for years.

Robert Mugabe resigned as president after 37 years, a move which has been called surreal by many Zimbabweans.

The expectation is high among Zimbabweans that after 37 years of dictatorship the impact of a change in leadership will be immediate and drastic.

The question now is will Zimbabweans slowly make their way back to their home country to work on growing the economy effectively?

Senior economist Thabi Leoka says that it’s a slow process.

She says that although the celebrations of Mugabe’s resignation continue, people remain sceptical about what the future holds.

WATCH: Celebrations continue to fill the night in Harare

CELEBRATIONS STILL GOING STRONG

At the same time, millions of Zimbabweans at home and across the world are hopeful of a new beginning in the country’s politics after Mugabe finally gave in to demands for him to step down.

The soldiers were fed up with infighting in the ruling Zanu-PF which came to a head when Mugabe Mnagagwa apparently to bolster his wife grace's political ambitions.

In his resignation letter on Tuesday, Mugabe said he was stepping down to allow a peaceful transition.

Pride Mkono says he is one in many Zimbabweans who were arrested for treason after speaking against Mugabe’s government.

After spending eight months in prison and appearing in court 37 times, Mkono says he feels justified following Mugabe’s forced resignation.

“I have been arrested as total of 64 times. I spent time in different prisons across the country, all for the purposes of saying Mugabe must go. Not he’s gone. I have never felt more important being a Zimbabwean.”

Residents say they have learned not to glorify one person at the expense of their wellbeing and from here on will hold whoever is in government more accountable.

LISTEN: Robert Mugabe’s colourful & controversial political journey

NO BLOODSHED

Political parties have applauded Zimbabweans for the transition of power without bloodshed, saying that they hope the change will trickle down to South Africa.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says Mugabe’s resignation shows he accepted democratic processes.

“Many people in his position are never removed without the spill of blood and here he’s getting out of power without a single life being lost.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Mabine Seabe says Mugabe’s resignation opens the way for fresh elections.

“This is the will of the people and it must be registered and that free and fair elections are held.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s Narend Singh says South Africa will also benefit from the change in power.

“There are indications that many people who are seeking asylum in South Africa will finally return back to Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, Congress of the People has also welcomed Mugabe’s co-operation in the violence free transition.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)