Zimbabweans celebrate a new era for the country after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe and the inauguration of a new leader. But economic growth may be threatened by high government spending, an untenable foreign exchange regime and inadequate reforms.
The dawn of a new era for Zimbabwe And the final curtain on the 37 year rule of Robert Mugabe Emmerson Mnangagwa is sworn in as the new president. The 75-year-old former security chief, is seen by millions as a fresh start Particularly for the crippled economy. Once one of Africa's most promising economies, it nosedived as Mugabe pursued policies including the violent seizure of white-owned commercial farms And money-printing that led to hyperinflation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALFONCE MDIZWO, FINANCIAL EDITOR SAYING: "Mugabe has been viewed as an anti-investment sort of person given the way the state of the economy is, the collapse of the industry, our relationship with the international community and Mnangagwa has come across as someone different" Most of Zimbabwe's 16 million people remain poor and face currency shortages Sky-high unemployment has forced many to work illegally on the streets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FRUIT AND VEGETABLE VENDOR, PRINCE BILLION, SAYING: "They must not chase away vendors. They have to create some work, the vendors to go to work." Some are worried about a future under Mnangagwa. And question his role in massacres in the 80s when around 20,000 people were killed in a crackdown on Mugabe opponents.. SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE INGRAM, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, WH IRELAND, SAYING: "The army, the veterans, the guard and deputy are all very much complicit in some of the human rights abuses, economic vandalism." Even setting the past aside Mnangagwa has huge challenges on his hands. Zimbabwe has been unable to borrow from international lenders for nearly 20 years The IMF says high government spending, an untenable foreign exchange regime and inadequate reforms all need addressing... if real change is to happen.