Thirty years after Robert Gabriel Mugabe was declared President of Zimbabwe, the National Sports Stadium in Harare was packed to capacity for the inauguration of his successor Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
Many of the spectators had only ever known one President and it was an emotional occasion as people flocked from all over the country to be present for the historic changeover.
Several days earlier, as Mnangagwa returned from exile after the military takeover that had ousted Mugabe, he proclaimed, “The people have spoken. The voice of the people is the voice of God.” His words were emblazoned on signs across the stadium and the promises he made in his inauguration speech gave people a reason to hope that the political and economic situation in the country might change for the better. Yet amongst the crowd, the heavy military presence could not be ignored serving as a reminder of Mnangagwa’s unorthodox ascension to power.