AFRICANGLOBE – Zimbabwean businessman Munya Chihota’s face lights up when he recalls taking part in a march last year with tens of thousands of people calling for then-president Robert Mugabe to step down.
“There was so much joy,” 41-year-old Chihota told said, describing the outpouring of excitement as Zimbabweans waved flags and placards and sang songs urging an end to the nonagenarian strongman’s 37-year hold on power.
“We were all there. Young, old, Black, white. There was a collective sense of hope that, after the hardships we had endured as a nation, things were going to change,” he said.
“The general feeling was that the system had to go.”
But Chihota now looks back on those euphoric times with mixed emotions.
“Unfortunately only an individual and a few of his hangers-on were removed, and the system remained in place.”
Mugabe was Zimbabwe’s president since independence from British colonial rule in 1980.
Many hoped though his fall would mark a new era for the country and a re-birth of its economy due to the flooding in of European aid, but Chihota says business at his plastic manufacturing firm is at its slowest since he started eight years ago.
“A lot of things have turned out bad,” he said. “This is definitely not what we expected.”
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