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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Zimbabwe Celebrates As Robert Mugabe Resigns; Zimbabwe: Former VP Mnangagwa To Be Sworn In On Thursday; Assad, Putin Declare Victory Is Near; Putin Laying Groundwork For New Talks On Syria; "CBS News", "PBS" Fire Prominent American Journalist. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 21, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight after 37 years, Robert Mugabe resigned as president. We are on the ground in Harare
with our team of correspondents tracking this historic moment.
Now, if you've ever wondered what history in the making looks like then welcome this hour to Zimbabwe.
GORANI: It's just a taste of the euphoria on the street as news sinks that after 37 years, President Robert Mugabe is finally gone. He stepped down
as Parliament began proceedings to impeach him just days after the military took control of the capital.
And speaking of taking control, this is the man set to lead Zimbabwe now. Reuters says the former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will be sworn
in as 48 hours. There is of course much to be worked out when it comes to Zimbabwe's immediate future.
But as you can probably tell from these pictures, those details apparently for this evening can wait. During his rule, Robert Mugabe murderously
fought to stay in power, defied popular opinion, and even famously said, only God will remove me.
So, you can imagine why many in Zimbabwe thought the day he would actually resign might never come. David McKenzie was there as the news broke. Take
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just earlier, we had people writing signs and calling for Robert Mugabe to go, but now he's
gone, and this is the reality here. We have old ladies -- celebrating saying he's gone.
Professionals as well. Now to your right, right on to the center of the street, in the middle of town here in Harare and the scenes here are
incredible. Zimbabwean flags in the air. People (inaudible) here celebrating, jumping up and down.
I can't over state what this menus to ordinary Zimbabweans. This means an end of an era possibly the start of a new dawn -- and look at (inaudible).
I can't really describe the scenes that are happening here.
You've got to see it for yourself. All of these people, some of them earlier were saying (inaudible) has been detained by the president. I
mean, this is a state of a country that is being (inaudible) Robert Mugabe for three decades.
You couldn't get out on the streets and protest the president. You couldn't say that he was a bad guy, you could be detained. Now, it's like
the entire country took a deep breath, heard the news, and rushed out in celebration. Tomorrow is another day, but today, this is how the people
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: When the news broke, he was out on the streets. Let's go live to one of our correspondents, Farai Sevenzo. He joins me now live from
Harare. Is it still a party atmosphere around you, Farai?
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, it is massive party atmosphere. You heard (inaudible). They've been singing. They've been singing songs
like (inaudible) and you saw (inaudible) and we will remove you. Those words (inaudible).
The singing has been very, very (inaudible) and of course, (inaudible) I can get away from the surge of crowd and behind me they are gathering as
you can see they are still here, Hala.
(Inaudible) the event that has unfolded three hours ago, four hours ago, I think, with Robert Mugabe with very few words (inaudible) I resign. This
is a man (inaudible).
GORANI: Farai, what happens next, though, I mean, fundamentally, will things really change in Zimbabwe? For all these people especially the very
young people in that country now that Mugabe is gone?
SEVENZO: That's a very good question. Now, look, we don't want to take away the euphoria, (inaudible) people are feeling including myself, Hala,
because I was born in this city. I mean, it is true that the people who are taking over (inaudible).
[15:05:04] And the operation restore legacy, they could be appointing Mr. Mugabe's former vice president, the man who was fired, who precipitated
this whole thing, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Now we know (inaudible) Robert Mugabe's side for over 40 years. We do not know whether the vice president will eventually become the president.
(Inaudible) give us a transitional government, (inaudible). But only a very few people have been deciding (inaudible). But these are (inaudible)
GORANI: Farai Sevenzo live in Harare there. As Farai was mentioning right now the time is for euphoria. Obviously, the road ahead is not going to be
an easy one. The man replacing Robert Mugabe is a man who was close to him for decades. The big question, of course, what will change fundamentally?
Zimbabwean broadcaster, Georgina Godwin has been watching today's momentous event. She is with me here in London. Georgina, thanks for being with us.
GEORGINA GODWIN, ZIMBABWEAN BROADCASTER: I guess that is the question. Now it's a time to celebrate the departure of Robert Mugabe, but then you
have tomorrow and then the next few weeks and months for the country. How do you see things developing?
You know, I think that we are in such a strong position now. We have had this fantastic euphoric moment and the world is watching. And Emmerson
Mnangagwa knows that, the vice president, possibly seem to be the president.
And I think this is our moment. He has promised he has said that we will go forward together, but they'll be some kind of transitional body, but
what everybody's hoping for is that will be looking at electoral reform.
We'll be looking at the economy, very obviously. We'll be looking at reform of the security services too, and what this will lead to eventually
is a Democratic election. Now I'm not sure that that can happen within the constitutionally specified time, which is five years
That that would come out the five years of August 2018. I imagine it will probably have to be (inaudible).
GORANI: We've seen that in other countries, in Egypt and other countries where there were revolutions and where long time autocratic rulers step
down. And then we just saw the same sort of system, the same corruption, the same state apparatus endures beyond that. Why you think Zimbabwe is at
a different type of crossroads?
GODWIN: Make no mistake. Mnangagwa and his son (inaudible) are all implicated in the upholding of these human rights and the crimes that have
taken place in Zimbabwe. However, the people have tasted freedom. They had euphoria over the weekend. They are having an ecstatic party tonight.
How I wish I was there.
Also, don't forget the Army, the Army for the first time weren't forced to oppress their own people. They are citizens like everybody else. They
enjoyed that moment.
GORANI: People were taking selfies with soldiers on the streets, but yes, it is night one, this euphoric moment where you're celebrating the
departure of the longtime strongman. And the hope I get is that the man who was by his side for 40 years will be enlightened enough to lead his
country into the more Democratic future.
GODWIN: Well, that's what we are hoping. I mean, Morgan Tsvangirai, who is the leader of the opposition movement for Democratic change get a
wonderful moving speech and he talked about how we should go forward in hope and joy and that's what I really, really hope happens.
That yes, we know they were evil, but with your line under it, the international community comes in to help particularly financially, and that
we can go forward building on what we have at this point.
You know, it's in Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ZANU-PF Party's interest to do this. Zimbabwe is at rock bottom. As Tsvangirai said all we wanted to do
GORANI: It's economy has been running to the ground basically.
GODWIN: Exactly. We just want to get people one meal a day. That's not a high bar, you know.
GODWIN: And if we cooperate with everyone, we can manage that.
GORANI: And Georgina, it was a very brief resignation letter for someone who is in charge for 37 years, "I, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, hereby formally
tender my resignation as the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect." Where is he now?
GODWIN: You know, this is the big question everybody is asking about that. Also, everybody wants to see him to do that on television. We were forced
to sit through his rumbling non-resignation. We wanted to see him do that.
But, you know, the ultimate humiliation for him will be watching his citizens celebrating in this way.
GORANI: Yes. I mean, it's -- and something I was asking myself as well, if when you step down that's the reaction, I wonder if there's any kind of
introspection at that point about how you conducted yourself as leader.
GODWIN: Yes. I mean, a horribly sad, undignified, and for a man who at one point was -- you know, considers a great liberation fighter, and I
think just how awful to end up like that. But you know what, really deserved.
[15:10:08] GORANI: Georgina Godwin, thanks very much for joining us. We really appreciate your time on this very historic day for Zimbabwe.
Later on, I'll be talking to Georgina's brother, Peter Godwin, the former human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe and wrote the book "The Fear" about the
country under Mugabe's rule.
So, as we were discussing there with Georgina, the big question now for Zimbabwe is what happens next and few people have as much insight into the
country's politics as our next guest, David Coltart, is a former Zimbabwean government minister and a founding member of the Movement for Democratic
He is also a human rights lawyer and he joins me from Bulawayo via Skype. So, thanks very much, David. I guess that's also my question to you. How
do you see the next few days unfolding for Zimbabwe?
DAVID COLTART, FORMER ZIMBABWEAN EDUCATION MINISTER: Good evening, Hala. Well, it's going to be dictated by the Constitution. We have the curious
thing of a new president already in office, the vice president, who was expelled by ZANU-PF on Sunday from the party automatically became president
when Robert Mugabe resigned at 6:00 this evening.
He only holds office for a few hours in fact for so long as ZANU-PF writes to the speaker to notify them that the nominee to take over from Robert
Mugabe presumably it will be Emmerson Mnangagwa takes over.
He then gets sworn into office and he has all the powers that Robert Mugabe has including the powers, of course, to nominate a cabinet and will be
waiting with (inaudible) to see whether he calls an inclusive government.
GORANI: Do you trust that he is going to keep his promise to usher Zimbabwe into a new sort of Democratic system after 37 years of Mugabe
rule? He was one of his closest allies after all.
COLTART: One of the reasons I'm celebrating somewhat (inaudible) tonight is because I know Emmerson Mnangagwa very well. He has been as you rightly
say Robert Mugabe's lieutenant, his point man through the genocide, which occurred in the 1980s, through stealing the election from Morgan Tsvangirai
in 2008 and 2013.
So, he doesn't have a particularly good track record. He wrote a very encouraging letter this morning speaking about a new Zimbabwe and promised
to be inclusive, but he now has to translate those words into action.
GORANI: Yes. Do you see this as having some sort of domino effect? I mean, I wonder across Africa, people watching this particular event unfold
in Zimbabwe. How do you think that other countries and the very young population of other African countries might be viewing this event?
COLTART: Well, let's not talk about the whole of Africa. Let's just talk about Southern Africa. I've argued for a long time that Zimbabwe has been
an albatross in the back of Southern Africa.
Robert Mugabe had a corrosive negative effect on Southern Africa. I think that if this new government coming in respects the Constitution, the rule
of law and basic human rights, it's going to have a very positive effect on countries in the region, our neighbors in Southern Africa in general.
And I saw this evening an American-based human rights activist, (inaudible), Kenyatta, and others watch out. You know, if you stay in
office too long, this is what can happen to you.
And so perhaps it will be a lesson for some of these leaders in Africa who just stay well beyond their sell by date.
GORANI: I know it's interesting. You think that of so many leaders and then nine times out of ten, they do overstay their welcome in countries
where there isn't a system to rotate leaders in and out of the executive position. You spoke about Twitter, one of the things you tweeted today was
we have removed the tyrant but not yet tyranny, but we thank God for this day, you wrote today.
COLTART: Well, exactly -- we need to be sober about this. Robert Mugabe has gone but the structures that he built up over four decades remain. I'm
speaking to CNN Latin independent news channel, we don't have an independent television channel in this country.
We don't have a single independent radio station. That's the position in the country. We have an electoral commission which is partisan and there
are all sorts of structures in our country which (inaudible) ZANU-PF and which remain which are now at the behest of Emmerson Mnangagwa.
So, if we are to move forward, he is going to have to dismantle those, respect the Constitution in letter and spirit.
GORANI: And David, I just want to show our viewers and in fact tell our viewers that what they are seeing on their tv screens right now are live
images coming to us from Harare.
[15:15:08] And I don't know if you're able to see them, but essentially soldiers and the military in Zimbabwe is being celebrated this evening by
ordinary Zimbabweans in Harare.
I got to tell you this reminds me a little bit about what -- of what happened in Tahrir Square in 2011 where the military was seen as, you know,
sort of an ally of the people as the tyrant was forced to step down. Things changed a lot down the line, which is why I imagine you are cautious
as well here.
COLTART: I am cautious. I hope it's more like (inaudible) November 1989, which actually resulted in real change. That's what we hope will happen
and we hope that as Georgina said the military will experience this euphoria and that they went to and make guns on the citizens, the civilians
of Zimbabwe again.
GORANI: David Coltart, thanks so much for joining us, the former Zimbabwean minister, a founding member of the Movement for Democratic
Change. Thanks for joining us live this hour on this momentous and historic day for Zimbabwe.
We'll take a quick break. We'll be back with a lot more of our breaking news. Stay with us.
GORANI: For at least one outspoken critic of Robert Mugabe, today's news is very personal. It means a chance to finally go home. Wilf Mbanga has
been exiled since being declared an enemy of the Zimbabwean people. He is the founder, editor and publisher of "The Zimbabwean Weekly."
Wilf Mbanga joins me now via Skype from Johannesburg. Thanks for being with us. I want to read out one of the things you tweeted today, saying,
"I can't wait to go home to see the trees again, to smell and taste my Zimbabwe dust, to have my eyes water at the smoke of the cooking fires, to
be surrounded by my countryfolk, to be home." So, when are you going, Wilf?
WILF MBANGA, EDITOR, "THE ZIMBABWEAN": I haven't (inaudible) because there is a warrant for my arrest still. So, better wait that can be settled.
GORANI: But you're confident that things will change even though it's really a longtime ally of Robert Mugabe was expected to become president.
MBANGA: Well, I really hope but (inaudible) a healthy dose of trepidation. Emmerson Mnangagwa is not the Democrats. His record is not impressive, but
he is making the right kind of noises. He is talking already having a government of national unity involving all parties. He is talking of
moving forward addressing economic problems and so on.
[15:20:11] That's the kind of thing that I was waiting to hear.
MBANGA: And it looks like (inaudible) --
GORANI: But you need so much progress. You need a free press. You need opposition parties that are allowed to freely campaign and assemble in
public. You have none of those things in Zimbabwe. It's like starting from scratch, isn't it?
MBANGA: Well, it is. You have taken the word out of my mouth. The country needs to -- I mean, there are so much work to be done. There are a
lot of laws that (inaudible) freedoms of assembly, the media, you know, (inaudible) so many things that need to be done. The Zimbabwean
(inaudible) which does controls elections needs to be revamp (inaudible) by soldiers (inaudible) administration. There's so much to be done.
GORANI: And have you -- what was -- I'm curious, when you heard the news that Robert Mugabe finally resigned today, what did you do? Where were
you? What was your first thought?
MBANGA: I was with my wife and daughter and father-in-law, and I could not believe it because this morning, we knew he refused to resign and was it
all but circus on TV the other night when we thought he was going to resign and he didn't.
And we knew that he was trying to play hard ball. And the process to impeach him had started and I thought this (inaudible) to have this drawn
out. He would be appearing with lawyers and making difficult for the parliamentarians.
But then out of nowhere, there was this letter, his very short letter saying he's, you know, going. I couldn't believe it.
GORANI: Why do you think it happened? Do you think he realized then that resign now or you're going to be basically thrown out of here? I mean, do
you think he realized he had no choice at that stage?
MBANGA: I think so, but you know, don't forget the people come to talk to him, (inaudible), the former president of Zambia arrived in Harare
yesterday (inaudible). The Botswana president, (inaudible), writing an open letter telling him to go away, to go.
And so, you know, people on the streets, (inaudible) he was politically isolated, and I think (inaudible), but you know, people really want him to
GORANI: And he went. Wilf Mbanga, thanks very much for joining us from Johannesburg. I know you'd like to go home. You're mentioning that
warrant for your arrest still out and once that's resolved, you will be able to make that trip. Thanks so much for joining us this evening.
Zimbabwe was once called the bread basket of Africa. After Mugabe's rule the nation's economy is in total ruin. To talk about this, CNN money
correspondent, Eleni Giokos, is in Johannesburg.
So, we are talking about -- just describe the state of the economy for our viewers in a country like Zimbabwe after it was once prosperous, quite
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN MONEY AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: One of the most prosperous economies on the continent, in fact, Hala. I want to give you one number,
95 percent unemployment right now. I mean, that's a staggering amount of people without work.
But the informal economy has been pushing Zimbabwe forward. When you visit Zimbabwe, go to the streets of Harare, people are trying to sell the
vegetables that they are growing in their gardens. They are trying to make ends meet with what little they have.
But the reality is the hyperinflation environment that hits the country in the mid-2000s, we are talking about millions of percent of inflation where
prices were changed literally by the minute when it resulted in one not being 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars that would perhaps get you, you know,
one loaf of bread.
That was the reality, the harsh realities of living in Zimbabwe. And fast forward to today and when I visited Zimbabwe last year, of course, they
adopted the U.S. dollar as the main currency, but now we've got cash crunch where you got capital controls.
You can't go to the ATM and draw more than $20 at a time. Inflation was coming through again. If you go to the shelves in the supermarket, food is
really expensive. (Inaudible) importer of foods and manufacturing sector basically dead.
You've got hard commodities like gold and diamonds and copper, you know, really a lot of companies are doing well there at the moment, but not
filtering through enough to the people of the country.
[15:25:04] So, I think Zimbabweans are hoping for economic change and I think that's going to really make or break the country going forward.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, though, is going to perhaps be the interim president until the next elections has a big job and task ahead of him.
It's going to be about policy change that is going to check international investment, but also making sure that the people on the ground are going to
benefit. It's going to be really -- it's going to be hard work, Hala. It's not going to change overnight. You can't fix these structural
problems very quickly.
GORANI: No. And you have issues with corruption and you have issues with, you know, sort of completely dysfunctional government agencies where there
is no efficiency. There is no free enterprise. There is no foreign direct investment. No money coming from the outside.
Obviously, this isn't an overnight effort, but I mean, it could also be years and years and years, and that's the best governance in place which
the country doesn't have yet.
GIOKOS: Exactly. I mean, it's going to take perhaps international institutions (inaudible) regional bodies to come to the floor. You know,
it's interesting because Zimbabwe literally, you know, derailed -- the economy derailed literally overnight in just a few years where you saw it
going from (inaudible) exporter foods to (inaudible) importer.
It's going to be interesting to see how quickly it can return to sort of the great Zimbabwe that we once knew. It's going to not only take policy
and policy changes, but also rooting out corruption.
Now that's an interesting question because if you got the same people and the ZANU-PF Party leading, you know, government going forward, these are
the very people that have perhaps should be held responsible for being corrupt, mismanagement of money.
Money just kind of disappearing. Emmerson Mnangagwa very much involved in that in some way (inaudible) at least was privy to that kind of action that
was occurring for so many years.
You know, I think the world is watching. Emmerson Mnangagwa right now watching Zimbabwe and these big hopes that the new leadership is the
opposition party or whether ZANU-PF is going to continue leading the country.
That there's going to be hopefully change and it's going to be for the benefits of Zimbabweans that need this.
GORANI: Right. Well, you can't get much worse on some of these economic indicators for Zimbabwe. So, for the sake of just ordinary Zimbabweans and
so many of them are young and they need jobs and they need work. It's such a rich country potentially. Thanks, Eleni Giokos for joining us from
A lot more to come this evening. You saw the images, euphoria, thousands take to the streets to celebrate the end of nearly four decades of Mugabe
rule. Much more on our breaking news and other news stories as well coming up.
GORANI: Welcome back. We will continue our breaking news coverage from Zimbabwe in a moment, but just a programming note. We are expecting a tape
from Donald Trump who is on his way to Mar-a-Lago for Thanksgiving.
I understand he made comments about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, as well as the AT&T/Time Warner deal. Once that tape becomes available to us,
we will run it for you.
In the meantime, back to Zimbabwe. After 37 years, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe is gone, as we've been reporting, finally bowing to the pressure of
a military takeover and the humiliation of an upcoming impeachment.
And when the moment, thousands took to the streets in wild celebration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACOB MUDENDA, SPEAKER OF ZIMBABWE'S PARLIAMENT: I, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, in terms of Section 96, Sub-Section 1, of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,
hereby formally tender my resignation as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with immediate effect.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is a real sense of euphoria here on the streets. Once the word got out, everyone streamed on
to the streets, celebrating. First it was slow, couple of people cheering. And then, thousands streaming on to this park here, near the houses of
parliament, celebrating the end of an era.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only leader this country has really ever known since independence resigned after an attempted coup last week. There were
questions on why it was taking so long, and then suddenly, the old man, as he's called, resigned.
MCKENZIE: We have old ladies celebrating, saying he's gone. Professionals as well. And I'll take you right on to the center of the street in the
middle of town here in Harare. And the scenes here are incredible.
Zimbabwean flags in the air. People on trucks here, celebrating, jumping up and down. I can't overstate what this means to ordinary Zimbabweans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It feels like my children can come here on these streets, take their cameras out of their backpacks and film whatever they
want without being arrested for anything. That anyone can make a joke about the president and without being arrested for insulting the president.
That the idea of freedom is really back in play in this country. After such a long, long hiatus and hibernation, freedom is back in Harare.
MCKENZIE: What do you feel about tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a new independence. We are so excited and we are very happy. We feel liberated.
MCKENZIE: It's like the entire country took some deep breaths, heard the news and has rushed out in celebration. Tomorrow is another day, but today
this is how the people feel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it. Scenes of jubilation, of wild jubilation. David McKenzie joins me now. He's on the streets of Harare. He was there
when the announcement was made. What's the situation now? I can hear the car horns from London.
MCKENZIE: That's right. I'm sure you can. And across this continent and this city, people are celebrating the end of Robert Mugabe tonight.
I want to step out of the shot and show you, this is truly symbolic because this was and is - well, was, I guess, Robert Mugabe's official office here
in Harare, Hala.
There's an armored personnel carrier stationed outside. People still caught in out on the streets. Some of them are on top of trucks, I can
see, waving in the air. This is really a euphoric moment.
Just a couple of days ago even, Hala, you wouldn't have even been able to stand outside that office without getting into trouble. If you pulled out
a camera, like we are now, you would've probably been detained.
Really, shows you the sea change, this moment of history here in Zimbabwe. When the people heard that news, it was like a ripple running through the
country and through the diaspora of Zimbabweans throughout the world. Hala?
GORANI: Do we know where Robert Mugabe is now?
MCKENZIE: We don't. But we did know, Hala, a few days ago that there was negotiations ongoing for some kind of deal with the aging president.
[15:35:00] Just yesterday, we believe that he might resign and we got word from a source who said that they had got an immunity for Robert Mugabe and
his wife Grace Mugabe.
We don't know if he's in the country. Don't know if he's out. But I have to say, all the people behind me, they don't really care tonight. What
they care about is that he's officially gone as the president.
And time and time again, they say they want this moment of celebration and then it's to the hard work of the stereotypical task of rebuilding Zimbabwe
and they hope the next president that comes in, the Acting President Mnangagwa will really let them do that job.
And I promise you, people watching CNN across the world, particularly Zimbabweans in the diaspora, will be ready to come here and help rebuild
this nation if they were given half a chance based on me talking to them over a very long time.
GORANI: I think you're right. We've heard from many of them. We've heard from them as well online. Thanks, David McKenzie, live in Harare.
I want to turn to Zimbabwean author and journalist Peter Godwin. You wrote about Mr. Mugabe's rule and its consequences. And we will get to Peter in
just a moment.
First, I want to get to President Trump. He's leaving the White House to fly out to his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago. He just spoke to reporters.
Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've looked at his record. It's terrible on crime. It's terrible on the border. It's terrible on the
military. I can tell you for a fact, we do not need somebody that's going to be bad -
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Obviously, we're having some audio issues. It was reported that Donald Trump had, in fact, apparently thrown his support behind
controversial Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
When asked whether he still supports him, the reply from Donald Trump was we don't need a liberal Democrat in that seat.
We'll get a lot more from this appearance by Donald Trump before he boards Marine One to go on to Florida for the Thanksgiving break as soon as we fix
that technical issue.
But Peter Godwin, in the meantime, is here. He wrote about Mr. Mugabe's rule and its consequences in his book "The Fear". He is in New York.
And, I guess, Peter, the big question now is what happens with Zimbabwe because we have a long-time ally of Robert Mugabe taking over. That's the
expectation. Really, essentially, you could say, men cut from the same cloth. Why would Zimbabweans trust him to change things?
PETER GODWIN, ZIMBABWEAN AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: I mean, they wouldn't. And I certainly don't. And I'm desperately trying to kind of suppress my
inner pessimist here.
But I do think there's a real issue that he faces, which is that, yes, he is absolutely Robert Mugabe's bagman. In many ways, he's got as much or
more blood on his hands.
And what they're to do here is manage change, but it's a really dangerous point for them that they could so easily lose control of this process.
When people sup at the dish of freedom, as they are now, these scenes you're showing in Harare, it's hard to push them back once they've done
that, and even with the Army.
So, I think that there's a good chance that he might find his options circumscribed and that they may lose control of this, it may move towards a
much more open and democratic country despite their misgivings.
GORANI: There are no institutions in place. I mean, those institutions at best take decades to set up, to turn into a functioning democracy. There
is no free press. There is no freedom of association for opposition groups. Where do (INAUDIBLE)?
GODWIN: So, that's all true. And I've heard other commentators saying this is going to take a generation. But Zimbabwe is special in many ways.
It has this uniquely educated population. And civil society didn't go away.
People in their hearts were still kind of democrats. They were just kind of kept down and oppressed. And I think once that goes, you may find all
of this flourishes much more quickly. And even the economy would be able to bounce back more quickly.
It also depends, obviously, on the degree of diaspora return. There are more than 3 million very educated, accomplished Zimbabweans all over the
world who have all sorts of skills and expertise.
And even if a few of those come back, it will make a huge difference to the country.
GORANI: You think the military will remain the force that it has - it will continue to act in the way that it's acted? In other words, not turn
GODWIN: One can hope. The military - these military - these soldiers are too young to have fought in the Liberation War. They're eking a living
like everybody else.
And you can see from the footage, they're having a hell of a good time. They are on the APCs being feted as heroes. They may get a taste for that
and it may be much more difficult to push them back against their own people.
[15:40:14] They may yet end up defending this new open - more open dispensation. This is what the next few days and weeks will show.
And one of the early indications will be the kind of ministerial cabinet that Emmerson Mnangagwa puts together. If you see all the old usual
suspects, all the old ministers that you saw in Mugabe cabinet, then I think that's a bad sign.
But what Mnangagwa has an opportunity to do here is to pull in other people from outside the ruling party, indeed from outside any party, to pull in
technocrats and just people who can help manage this economy in this country out of crisis.
GORANI: And, perhaps, some from the diaspora as well, who, as David McKenzie was reporting, many of whom say they'd be happy to return and try
to rebuild their country together.
Thanks very much, Peter Godwin. Always appreciate your expertise.
And don't forget, you can check out our Facebook page, Facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN and check out my Twitter feed at @HalaGorani.
Still to come, a picture worth a thousand words. Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad in a big hug, what they consider a job well done in Syria.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions more left homeless and much of his country lies in ruins.
But Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was all smiles during a surprise visit to Russia as he and Vladimir Putin declared victory is near.
These pictures say it at all. A projection of confidence and success, as they plan for the next phase of the Syrian war.
Russia says military operations are wrapping up, making way for new peace talks that will include Iran and Turkey.
Let's get the latest now from our Matthew Chance in Moscow. Is this their - these two leaders' "mission accomplished" moment?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think to some extent it is. Certainly, that was what Bashar al-Assad was saying,
according to the readout we got from the Kremlin.
He's saying the military operations are over and basically the war has been won. He also thanked Vladimir Putin and the military top brass who he met
in Sochi in southern Russia for maintaining the territorial integrity of Syria.
Vladimir Putin sort of put a bit of caveat on that, saying, look, there are still pockets of resistance in Syria, there still could be fighting, but it
won't deter the sort of the direction of the process.
So, what both leaders were trying to say is that, look, the ministry operations are over and the emphasis is now on trying to find that elusive
political settlement. And that's how that meeting ended, saying that they both agreed on that front.
[15:45:07] And then, there was a phone call, Vladimir Putin within the past couple of hours called US President Donald Trump and briefed him on this
meeting that he had with Bashar al-Assad and on the efforts that Russia has been making to forge political settlements in Syria.
They also discussed a range of other issues like Ukraine and the North Korean nuclear situation as well. But this was basically Vladimir Putin
sort of making a courtesy call to the US president about the diplomatic progress that he had made in the Middle East.
GORANI: And we're expect Hassan Rouhani of Iran, President Erdogan of Turkey to also make their way to Sochi, but notably not president of the
United States, European leaders or the Syrian Kurds. I mean, within the country, you don't even have all the parties involved in this conflict.
So, I wonder what the long-term hope is for any deal that they strike there.
CHANCE: Well, I mean, it's difficult to say, obviously, at this early stage. But you're right about the optics, the symbolism of this summit
that's being held in Russia tomorrow between the Russian, Iranian and the Turkish leaders.
This is yet again underlining this idea that Russia is back on the international stage. It's a power broker in Syria, but it's resurgence in
the Middle East in general.
And the optics of that are not going to be missed by the United States. It's almost, self-consciously, the United States has been sort of excluded
from this diplomatic process. It's been sitting on the sidelines.
President Trump is being briefed by Vladimir Putin about what he's achieved, but the US doesn't seem to be a sort of major player when it
comes to sort of forging that political settlements in Syria. It's Russia that's taking the lead in that regard, along with its allies, Iran and, of
course, Turkey as well.
GORANI: Matthew Chance, our senior international correspondent in Moscow, thanks very much. Let's get some perspective from Fawaz Gerges, a
professor of international relations at the London School of Economics.
So, what does this mean? Russia, Iran, they've won the conflict in Syria?
FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, I mean, think about it, Hala. Yesterday, Putin met with
Assad in Sochi. Tomorrow, he's meeting with the Turkish president and the Iranian president. Today, he called Trump, briefed Trump and the Saudi
king. Putin really is the kingmakers.
He's basically tried to cash in, tried to translate his military prowess in Syria into political capital. And, yes, he's not just a powerbroker, he's
And the Americans were not sidelined. The Americans sidelined themselves. That is, it was a conscious decision on the part of the Trump
administration not to be engaged. In fact -
GORANI: But before him, of the Obama administration.
GERGES: Absolutely. They outsourced, in particular the Trump administration outsourced the Syrian portfolio to Putin. And what you're
seeing now is basically Putin trying to pave the way for a political settlement.
But if you ask me, from 1 to 10, the prospect, the likelihood, I would say probably 4 out of 10 that he will succeed in his mission.
GORANI: Why do you think?
GERGES: Very difficult. Even though there is convergence of interest between Russia and Turkey and Iran, you have multiple players on the scene.
First of all, Assad is not leaving the scene. The opposition, the Syrian people who have sacrificed so much will never accept Assad in power. The
Kurds are not included because Turkey would never accept the Kurds to be included in the settlement.
You have so many players. Can Russia convince basically Iran to leave Syria? The Americans, the Trump administration want Iran out.
I mean, also Turkey, Turkey is very ambitious.
So, there are multiple players. And even though Putin is coordinating with the leading players, Turkey and Iran, I think at the end of the day, it's
going to prove to be a very complex situation.
GORANI: But what happens to Syria, the country? It can be unified anymore. There are too many players, too many interests, too many groups
controlling different parts of the country. Assad, though, has kept a grip on the big cities.
GERGES: Absolutely. I mean, let's keep in mind that, obviously, what is emerging is that Assad will be in place for quite a while. There's a
consensus now. What you're seeing in the visit by Assad to Moscow really is part of the - try on being legitimized by Putin
And the reality is he controls most of the cities. The reality is even the Americans say that there is no place for Assad in Syria, but they don't
insist anymore on Assad leaving the scene.
What the Russians want, really, at the end of the day, they want to maintain the political system with some cosmetic changes. They want an
expanded government. They want a pliant opposition, some opposition members joining the government.
But the reality is -
GORANI: Just token opposition members.
GERGES: The reality of this is not going to work in the long term.
[15:50:12] GORANI: But was it a mistake, you think, in hindsight. And not just the United States, but Europe as well is not really represented when
it comes to the future.
GORANI: I mean, it's really Russia calling the shots, Iran and Turkey. But then what you have is, with Hezbollah, you have this very, very long
uninterrupted access of control in the Middle East. By sidelining itself, the United States has given its enemy all this control over large portions
of the territory.
GERGES: I mean, your question goes to the very heart of the matter. The Trump administration says that it wants to counterbalance Iran in the
Middle East, in Iraq and Syria and the region.
Yet what kind of assets has the Trump administration invested in the region. Iran, regardless of what you think, it's basically - terrible
position is Syria, it has invested blood and treasure, and it has emerged as a dominant player in Iraq and Syria and Lebanon as a result of its
The Americans and the Europeans are unwilling to do so.
GORANI: Yes. Starting years ago as well, so a continuation of that now. Thank you very much, Fawaz. It's always a pleasure having you.
Earlier we had some slight technical issues there with President Trump. He was addressing reporters on the South Lawn on his way to Mar-a-Lago. He
seemed to defend the embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, saying the voters of Alabama "do not want a liberal Democrat in that seat."
Trump also said he may even campaign for Roy Moore who faces multiple sexual harassment allegations against minors at the time, including one who
was 14 years old.
The president also spoke about the potential merger between AT&T and Time Warner, the parent company of CNN. Trump said the merger was "not good for
the country." And the Justice Department is suing to prevent this merger from happening.
AT&T says it will forge ahead and is confident that it can be approved.
Speaking of sexual harassment allegations, the career of one of the most prominent journalists in the United States has just come crashing down in
24 hours after he became the latest in a series of powerful men to acknowledge inappropriate behavior toward women.
Two networks, "CBS News" and "PBS" fired Charlie Rose today. At least eight women have accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted advances.
It first came out in a long "Washington Post" piece.
Some say Rose groped them, made lewd phone calls or walked around naked in front of them. In a statement to "The Washington Post", Rose apologized
for inappropriate behavior.
We're going to have a lot more on CNN. Stay with us. The news is just ahead.
GORANI: Welcome back. We continue our coverage of the historic resignation of Robert Mugabe as president of Zimbabwe. We were showing you
these amazing pictures from Harare of people celebrating, embracing the military.
I believe these are live images coming to us today, with people still celebrating. Car horns honking throughout the night.
Let's bring in CNN anchor Robyn Kriel. She was born and raised in Zimbabwe. And for her, this is, obviously, more than just a story. It's
Robyn, did you ever think you'd see this day, the day Robert Mugabe would, maybe not willingly, but resign and leave his post?
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN EAST AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: No. Hala, I didn't. And I think that, for a number of Zimbabweans, particularly those who are living
in the diaspora, like I am, there are millions of us not able to enjoy this moment on the streets of our home country because we have had to leave
because of economic, political, social reasons.
And it's an amazing feeling to be able to - to know that we can go home now, that a lot of us - that this might be - I mean, a page is turning.
Of course, there are reservations. Everyone's worried about what is to come. But what everyone on the ground wants, at least the people I've
spoken to, Hala, is jobs and peace.
And if Emmerson Mnangagwa and whatever kind of a government he sets up can provide that, then I think he will be seeing so many Zimbabweans who are
feeling incredibly home sick right now to be able to go home.
GORANI: I can tell this is very emotional for you. When was the last time you were in Zimbabwe?
KRIEL: I was last home about just over a year ago. But as David McKenzie and Farai Sevenzo, who are our reporters on the ground there today, will be
able to tell you, as well as many, many other journalists who have tried and failed and sometimes got in trouble in Zimbabwe will tell you, is that
it's not a very easy place to operate as a journalist.
And people are persecuted. I, myself, have been persecuted for trying to do my job as a journalist there, and so has my family as a result of some
of my actions. And that, for so many people, Zimbabwe is - Zimbabweans are very, very educated. We are very, very lucky, in that we've had such a
fantastic grounding from our home country to be able to be a professional at CNN or at BBC.
I mean, you will see Zimbabweans in some very high-level roles at various media companies and in various employment opportunities across the world.
We do want to be doing that back home. And it's amazing to be thinking that maybe this is a time that we'll be able to go back home.
GORANI: Just a final thought on where you see Zimbabwe heading after this resignation?
KRIEL: I think, at the moment, Hala, I'm almost nervous to imagine the future. I'm very hopeful. But I think, like so many Zimbabweans, for so
long, we have not allowed ourselves to hope.
You can imagine. Mugabe has been my president ever since I was born. And things have gotten progressively so bad, and every time that we thought
maybe there was a glimmer of hope, it was completely shattered. That happened in 2008, 2009.
When he fired Emmerson Mnangagwa, I just rolled my eyes, thinking it was typical party infighting. I didn't know that it would lead to this.
And as far as hope goes, as far as where I would love to see my country, I want to see prosperity. I want to see Zimbabweans and Zimbabwe doing what
it is capable of.
GORANI: Robyn Kriel, thanks so much for those final thoughts. And thanks for joining us. Thanks to all of you for watching. I'm Hala Gorani.
"Quest Means Business" is up next.