New President Emmerson Mnangagwa has laid out a grand vision to revitalise Zimbabwe's ravaged economy and is vowing to rule on behalf of all the country's citizens.
Sworn in on Friday, days after the overthrow of Robert Mugabe, the 75-year-old former security chief promised to guarantee the rights of foreign investors and to re-engage with the West, and said elections would go ahead next year as scheduled.
In a 30-minute speech to tens of thousands of supporters in Harare's national stadium, Mr Mnangagwa extended an olive branch to opponents, apparently aiming to bridge the ethnic and political divides exploited by his predecessor during his 37 years in charge.
"I intend, nay, am required, to serve our country as the president of all citizens, regardless of colour, creed, religion, tribe or political affiliation," he said, in a speech that also hailed the voice of the people as the "voice of god".
Behind the rhetoric, some Zimbabweans wonder whether a man who loyally served Mr Mugabe for decades can bring change to a ruling establishment accused of systematic human rights abuses and disastrous economic policies.
He made clear that the land reforms that sparked the violent seizure of thousands of white-owned farms from 2000 would not be reversed, but promised that those who lost property would receive compensation.
To some political opponents, the speech was a welcome change from the habitual belligerence of Mr Mugabe and appeared to be drawing on Mr Mnangagwa's knowledge and understanding of China as a model for running an economy.
For decades Mr Mnangagwa was a faithful aide to Mr Mugabe, who was widely accused of repression of dissent and election-rigging.
Mr Mnangagwa earned the nickname "Ngwena", Shona for crocodile, an animal famed and feared in Zimbabwean lore for stealth and ruthlessness.
In his speech, Mr Mnangagwa called for the removal of Western sanctions and said he wanted to "hit the ground running".
Those listening to his speech said they were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, but were also realistic about the chances of injecting life into an economy with 90 percent unemployment and banks devoid of cash.