Zimbabwe needs to move on quickly from the post-election violence this week His victory as President in this week’s general election confers popular legitimacy on Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s military-installed leader since November 2017. The two-thirds majority for the ruling Zanu-PF party in Parliament will tighten its control over state institutions. There had been palpable relief in Harare when the 37-year-long dictatorship of the veteran liberation leader Robert Mugabe was brought to an end in a soft coup last year. But the euphoria soon gave way to speculation over the substance of the military-inspired transition. Mr. Mnangagwa, after all, had been Vice-President under Mr. Mugabe, before being sacked by his political mentor. Now, General Constantino Chiwenga, who was instrumental in Mr. Mnangagwa’s return from a brief exile, is his Vice-President, and the army top brass wields influence over the government. But the 75-year-old President has in recent months sought to project himself as a political reformist and an economic liberal. His invitation to international observers to monitor the polls was in sharp contrast to the conduct of previous elections. Zimbabwe’s return to the Commonwealth and re-engagement with multilateral institutions are his priorities.
Zimbabwe has been without a currency for nearly a decade and the bond notes used as a proxy for the dollar fetch less than their face value in the market. It needs to attract investment, promote industrialisation and foster employment generation. Mr. Mnangagwa must convert his business-friendly rhetoric into action.