Despite reported “euphoria” in the nation as former Mugabe deputy Emmerson Mnanagwa was expectd to arrive and be sworn in on Friday, Zimbabwe stocks fell another 10% today, having now erased more than third of the country’s market cap in the last few days.
Several hundred people gathered in anticipation of his arrival. Some carried signs with images of him, suggesting a certain level of organization behind the jubilant turnout.
Signs read “Welcome back, our hero” and “True to your word, you’re back. Welcome.”
As The Washington Post reports, the morning after ecstatic celebrations over the resignation of the long-ruling President Robert Mugabe, the people of Zimbabwe awaited Wednesday the arrival of his former vice president, expected now to become the interim leader.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, believed to be in South Africa, was expected to arrive in the afternoon and then be sworn in Friday as the country’s second president since independence from Britain in 1980.
Mnangagwa is a longtime Mugabe ally, nicknamed “the crocodile” for his reputation for shrewd but often brutal tactics as the president’s enforcer. But when the 93-year-old Mugabe fired him earlier this month — likely to ensure the succession of Mugabe’s unpopular wife — the military moved in.
Even as the sense of euphoria in Zimbabwe lingers, the question looming over everyone is whether Mnangagwa will be an improvement over Mugabe’s nearly four decades of misrule that impoverished the once affluent country.
And judging by the stock market’s dismal reaction, investors are more anxious than the average Zimbwean…
However, not every Zimbabwean is happy, as Blkoomberg points out, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights “notes with apprehension and concern’’ reports of arrests during military intervention that saw President Robert Mugabe resign to make way for Emmerson Mnangagwa, Harare-based human rights watchdog says in emailed statement.
ZLHR urges the military to refrain from torture, or abuse of pre-trial prisoners’ rights, adding that the military should “prevent the occurrence of any enforced disappearances or in-communicado detention.”
So far in the current political turmoil Mnangagwa has used inclusive language, saying in a statement hours before Mugabe’s resignation that all Zimbabweans should work together to advance their nation.
“Never should the nation be held at ransom by one person ever again, whose desire is to die in office at whatever cost to the nation,” Mnangagwa said.
We shall see.