TEN years ago, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, cut up his dog collar on The Andrew Marr Show as a symbolic protest over Robert Mugabe’s leadership of Zimbabwe.

For almost a decade, Dr Sentamu refused to wear a replacement so that, every morning when he got dressed, he reflected on the continued suffering of the Zimbabwean people.

On Sunday morning, he returned to the BBC television studios and reinstated his collar to mark the end of Mr Mugabe’s rule.

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It was a powerful end to a momentous fortnight.

One of the world’s most corrupt leaders has left his office, and a country that has been ravaged under his rule can begin to dream of a more prosperous future.

Dr Sentamu expressed optimism about the potential for Zimbabwe to evolve into a fairer and better-functioning society, but also delivered a warning.

Referring to Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Dr Sentamu said: “It’s quite possible that Mnangagwa could be a very, very good president. But he can’t simply bury the past – it won’t go away.

“I can’t try to stitch up my old collar, and the lesson for Zimbabwe is the same. Something more radical needs to happen in terms of rule of law and allowing people to get jobs because 90 per cent of people are out of work.”

Dr Sentamu is right to strike a cautious note.

Mr Mugabe’s exit was long overdue, but there is no guarantee that his successor will be any better given that he was implicated in some of his predecessor’s most damaging excesses.

The British Government has a role to play in holding Mr Mnangagwa to account, but it will be Zimbabwean society that dictates where the country goes next. Let us hope it is able to head towards a brighter and more equitable future.