Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

MDC views on Zimbabwe swearing in

Two supporters of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party - with very different outlooks - tell the BBC how they felt as their leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister.


Ernest Mudzengi
Mugabe led the ceremony today - he is belittling Tsvangirai
I don't hold much hope that this unity government will be able to bring change to Zimbabwe.

I really didn't feel comfortable watching Tsvangirai being sworn in by [President] Robert Mugabe.

MDC supporters I spoke to this morning had hoped this would be a proper inauguration for Morgan Tsvangirai, with the chief justice swearing him in.

Instead it's Mugabe leading the ceremony, showing he is still in charge.

By insisting on this, Mugabe is belittling Tsvangirai.

It underlines the fact that the MDC's objective of complete change has not been met.

I am part of a grassroot movement campaigning for a new constitution, written by the people of Zimbabwe.

There needs to be free political activity in this country in order to change the constitution, and I don't see it happening even with this new government.

The crucial ministries, agriculture and mining, the ones that have the power to make changes in people's lives, have gone to [Mr Mugabe's] Zanu-PF.

With a MDC man as finance minister [Tendai Biti], Zimbabwe's economic policies might change, but overall things won't depart much from Zanu's way of thinking.

When I voted for the MDC in the elections last year, my belief was that I was voting for total change.

But with Tsvangirai's team joining Zanu-PF we are seeing a compromise instead.

This is not necessarily a new beginning.

It's a case of blending the old order with a few elements from the MDC.

I don't want to be a prophet of doom, but I really don't think my living standards will improve in the next year with this new government.


Vimbai Mbisva
Tsvangirai can't continue watching the football match being played from the sidelines
I was in the stadium audience watching this ceremony and I felt very emotional.

It reminded me of the swearing in of Barack Obama [in America].

I'm optimistic Morgan Tsvangirai will lead Zimbabwe into a new future.

I was touched by the Tsvangirai speech. I am happy.

The thing is, Tsvangirai can't continue watching the football match being played from the sidelines.

He has to take part in the game himself now.

Mugabe is our ruler but Tsvangirai is our real leader.

A woman next to me was crying.

I did not cry because I felt there is now a future for me.

I'm divorced and because of the economic situation I can't see my children.

But I think this new government will improve the economy and so enable me to visit them.

Because of the economy lots of marriages have broken down.

I think change is coming.

I noticed today even that the police's behaviour is changing.

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