Most of us have known no other leader, and now hope that this young nation can realise its potential

On Friday, an office worker at a government building took down President Mugabe’s portrait to dust it, as she has done every day for years. Then she paused, unsure whether to put it back up. The portrait is everywhere, from supermarkets, offices and banks. There he is – Mugabe, sitting stiffly in his dark suit, peering down through thick-rimmed glasses, as the stern father looking down at us.

Much like the portrait, Mugabe has been an ever-present influence in every Zimbabwean’s life. But yesterday, as strangers hugged and stopped to dance with each other when I made my way to an anti-Mugabe rally, it seemed that he was finally leaving, with Zimbabweans looking to the future with a mix of anxiety and hope.

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