What do the next five years promise for Zimbabwe?
At 89, Africa’s oldest leader and still in charge after more than three decades, President Robert Mugabe will be calling the shots without having to bother with co-operating with the opposition.
All that time in power has not seen much of an improvement in most people’s daily lives.
“Change has to come since we won the elections. We are expecting to see the benefits and that our lives will improve,” says Solomon Ngarivume, a wicker worker.
Sworn in just last week Mugabe now has to fulfill election promises that include forcing foreign companies to give up majority shareholdings to local businesses.
His Zanu-PF party has already taken land from white farmers, but most of it has ended up in the hands of party loyalists.
“Being elected alone is not enough and given the fact that they have talked about indigenisation as well as taking back the land, they have to go beyond the rhetoric. They have to prove that their intentions are truly democratic, truly people centred, and will address the economic challenges the country is facing,” said political analyst Takura Zhangazha.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who shared power with Mugabe over the last five years as prime minister, has been weakened by July’s election, and it is unclear if he will be able to provide oversight or challenge policies if things go wrong. An already battered economy now faces a new set of challenges.