The idea of a new Zimbabwe post- Mugabe
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Zimbabwe has gone through deep political, economic and social challenges for close to three decades. Once known as the shining light of Africa, Zimbabwe is now often known for dominating international headlines for the wrong reasons. In November 2017, the country experienced a radical change to the constitutional and political order, which brought an end to former President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was once Mugabe’s right-hand man, assumed leadership of both the country and the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF). He was reelected in the July 2018 harmonised elections, although under disputed circumstances. The removal of Robert Mugabe has provided the country an opportunity to break from the past, and hopes have been raised for the birth of a new Zimbabwe. This chapter explores some of the measures that the administration post-Mugabe should implement to set the country on a new path. Thus, the purpose of this chapter is not to argue for a particular political formation or political leaders to govern. Rather, its objective is to explore whether the idea of a new Zimbabwe is possible and what it would take to realise this objective. Before discussing the prospects for this desired state of affairs, it is important to examine the current situation, which is explored in the first part of the chapter. A brief overview of the fall of Mugabe and rise of Mnangagwa is then provided to show how a leader who commanded respect beyond the shores of our continent could exit in such an undignified manner. The core section is dedicated to a discussion of the prospects for a new Zimbabwe, and concluding remarks end the chapter.