By Byron Mutingwende
There were wild celebrations in the capital Harare as the news that President Robert Mugabe, in power for 37 years since 1980 when the country got independent from British colonial rule had resigned.
Car horns were hooting, youths gyrating in wild celebrations, Parliamentarians ululating and shops were closing doors as everyone dashed onto the streets to join in the jubilation.
“Finally the emperor is gone. It has been some seven years since I graduated with a degree in Economics but I have never got a single formal job. All along I have been playing the cat and mouse game with the police on Harare streets and pavements as a vendor,” Nomore Mujokoro, stumbles between occasional bouts of laughter with joy and some wild whistling.
But for Charlene Mugaisa, she fails to understand the difference between Mugabe and the highly anticipated successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“These people are all cut from the same cloth. For more than 37 years, Mugabe and Mnangagwa shared the same ethics, cheated the MDC of an outright win in 2008. For Mnangagwa to claim to be different from Mnangagwa boggles the mind. I don’t see any change in the state of affairs in as far as the social, political and economic state of the general public is concerned. Maybe a government of national unity might bring change,” Magaisa said.
Tafadzwa George Goliati, the President of the Passenger Association of Zimbabwe said Mugabe’s resignation was a response to the collective voice of citizens against his continued misrule.
“The people have spoken. For more than a week Mugabe had remained defiant but continuous protests from Cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, war veterans, opposition political parties, civil society organisations and and the general public, eventually led to Mugabe throwing in the towel,” Goliati.
To Goliati, the resignation signalled the beginning of a new era and a new independence for Zimbabwe.
Charles Garapo, an elderly citizen hailed the military for staging a “bloodless coup” and praised Zimbabweans for protesting in harmony and tranquillity in forcing the long-time ruler out of power.
He appealed to the international community to open lines of engagement with the new administration in Zimbabwe and called on all the political parties to work together in rebuilding the nation.