Local Zim residents relieved over Mugabe’s departure

Zimbabweans Tutsiriai Chitongo and Munyaradzi, both originally from Harare, let us know their feelings towards the news of Zimbabe’s former president Robert Mugabe’s resignation.

While Mugabe’s retirement was welcomed by most Zimbabweans with many taking to the streets to express their elation and relief at the news; others remain wary of the past repeating itself.
Thirty-four-year-old Khethiwe (who did not want her surname published), originally from Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province, and working as a teacher’s assistant in Howick, said the news was bittersweet.
“We don’t know what the new guy is going to be like but it is a journey we are willing to take. I am very mindful of the past because we all know that Mugabe fought for our freedom and then once he was in power, things didn’t turn out how we expected them to,” said Khethiwe.
She highlighted the fact that the Zanu-PF, the same party Mugabe presided over, is still in power, stating that the opposition party needs to come into play.
“Everybody has a role to play in the new Zimbabwe. Big changes need to be made, especially in the elections where the needs of the people need to be addressed and served,” she said.
Local salon owner Tutsiriai Chitongo, 30, who moved to PMB from Harare in 2012, said he was happy for his country but that Mugabe should have been forced to resign a long time ago.
“I’m hoping for change in Zimbabwe and I’m hoping the new president corrects the mistakes of Mugabe,” said Chitongo.
Chitongo said he was a member of the MDC party in Zimbabwe and had to flee to South Africa during elections as he was being targeted by Zanu-PF members.
“We were being hunted by Zanu-PF members. I had to come to South Africa through Botswana. I keep in contact with my family back home and when I called, I could hear the excitement in the background when news of Mugabe’s resignation broke,” said Chitongo.
Munyaradzi Matiza, a hairdresser from Chitongo’s salon, who made the trip to South Africa from Zimbabwe as well, said that Zimbabwe now needed to attract investors and welcome farmers who were forced to leave because of Mugabe.
“We need to now look at bringing back farmers to cultivate our land so that we can grow economically and go back to being one of the front runners in agriculture in Africa,” said Matiza.

Byrone Athman

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