Zimbabwe marks first independence day without Mugabe

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C) greets the crowd as he arrives for Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Harare. Zimbabwe on April 18 marked its first independence day without Robert Mugabe in power, with new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa vowing to hold "credible" elections and turn around the southern African country's moribund economy. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA
HARARE- On Wednesday April 18 marked its first independence day without Robert Mugabe in power, with new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa vowing to hold “credible” elections and turn around the southern African country’s moribund economy.
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C) greets the crowd as he arrives for Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Harare. Zimbabwe on April 18 marked its first independence day without Robert Mugabe in power, with new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa vowing to hold

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C) greets the crowd as he arrives for Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in HarareImage: Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe from independence in 1980 until last November last year after he was forced to resign under pressure from his party, the military and including citizens.

Mnangagwa presiding over Wednesday’s celebrations at the national sports stadium in Harare, said, “My government has put in place measures for the holding of transparent, free, fair and credible elections.”

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C-R) inspects a military guard of honour during Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Harare. Zimbabwe on April 18 marked its first independence day without Robert Mugabe in power, with new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa vowing to hold

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C-R) inspects a military guard of honour during Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Harare. Image: Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

Mnangawa admitted the country’s is still facing a economic crisis which has caused “great hardship”, he explained, “My administration’s focus is on the pursuit of investment-led economic recovery, job creation (and) poverty reduction.”

The independent celebrations comes after government fired thousands of nurses who begun a strike demanding higher wages on Monday amidst growing labour unrest in the country.

Mnangagwa, a former deputy president under Mugabe, a veteran loyalist in the ruling ZANU-PF, is expected to win the election with the ruling party, the elections are expected to be held either in July or August.

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa lights the Eternal Flame of Freedom during Zimbabwe Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Harare. Zimbabwe on April 18 marked its first independence day without Robert Mugabe in power, with new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa vowing to hold

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa lights the Eternal Flame of Freedom during Zimbabwe Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Harare. Image: Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

A placard reads 'Zimbabwe is open for business' as people cheer and dance during Zimbabwe Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Harare. Zimbabwe on April 18 marked its first independence day without Robert Mugabe in power, with new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa vowing to hold

A placard reads ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ as people cheer and dance during Zimbabwe Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Harare. Image: Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP
Photo Credit- AFP

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