Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa faces political, social and economic crises

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has proposed economic and political reforms, but resistance from his party’s military wing is holding them back (source: dpa)
  • President Mnangagwa has tried to reform Zimbabwe’s economy and politics
  • He faces resistance from Vice President Chiwenga, who leads the military
  • Reforms are likely to take a back seat to Mnangagwa’s consolidation of power

“Operation Restore Legacy,” or the coup that was supposedly not a coup, marked the end of President Robert Mugabe’s long dictatorship in Zimbabwe. Huge protests against Mr. Mugabe had been ongoing for two years amid a deep economic crisis. What finally led to his ouster, however, was concerted action by two institutions that had sustained his rule for decades: the army, led by General Constantino Chiwenga, and the ZANU-PF party, led by Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The period between the coup, in November 2017, and elections held on July 30, 2018, was characterized by a sense of cautious optimism about Zimbabwe’s prospects. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, once Mr. Mugabe’s right-hand man, radically changed the official rhetoric.

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