by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – VETERAN nationalist Emmerson Mnangagwa was on Friday sworn in as Zimbabwe’s third president at a colourful function attended by more than 60,000 people at National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Mnangagwa replaced the ousted 93-year old Robert Mugabe, who was overthrown by the military for alleged failing to discharge his duties.
Mnangagwa is the third president of Zimbabwe following Canaan Sodindo Banana, who served between 1980 and 1987 before Mugabe, who initially was the prime minister took over until 14th November 2017.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba presided over Mnangagwa’s swearing-in ceremony with several former Heads and sitting Heads of state and foreign dignitaries.
Among the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region’s presidents, who attended the ceremony were Botswana’s Ian Khama, Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi, Malawi’s Peter Mutharika, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu and Namibia’s deputy president Nickey Iyambo.
Other countries sent ministers to represent their respective presidents.
Former Heads of State who attended includes Zambia’s founding Kenneth Kaunda and Rupia Banda, Namibian’s Sam Nujoma, among others.
Mnangagwa, who in 2011 was prophesied by a Zion Christian Church (ZCC) prophet at Mucheke in Masvingo to succeed Mugabe fittingly invited the Archbishop of the church Nehemiah Mutendi to lead with prayers.
“I strongly believe Mnangagwa shall take Zimbabwe to the promised land. We saw positive results during his tenure as deputy president, though on numerous occasions former President Mugabe’s wicked people wanted to kill him through accidents and food poisoning.
“He successfully spearheaded the Command Agriculture, which saw Zimbabwe realise a bumper harvest,” said Shuvai Nevurura of Zaka (Masvingo province) who attended the inauguration.
Zivanai Manyuchi said: “Ngwena (Crodile) will change the country’s economic fortunes for better. Of course, a lot of damage was done by the previous regime of Mugabe and his G-40 factionists, who were only in government to loot national resources.”
Manyuchi added: “Mnangagwa is different from these criminals being hunted by the military.”
Mnangagwa, who fled the country on November 6 following numerous attempts on his life returned to Zimbabwe when the incumbent was put under house arrest by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).
The nation heeded the call by Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) demanding Mugabe to resign for allowing his controversial wife (Grace) to take charge.
This resulted in peaceful but effective nationwide protests that saw the military put Mugabe under house arrest.
African Union, represented by commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat hailed Mnangagwa saying: “President Mugabe’s decision to resign paves the way for a transition process, owned and led by the sovereign people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has got the potential of being an economic powerhouse.
“Even though it took Mugabe 37 years to bring it down to chaos, it will not take that long to bring it back up again because there is so much potential the people are so innovative and hardworking,” Mahamat in a statement.
In his maiden speech, Mnangagwa said the country would build again from the strong foundation built by Mugabe to ensure the land reform program is utilised.
He challenged the beneficiaries of the land reform to fully utilize it to ensure hunger was not at the country’s doorsteps.
Mnangagwa also promised Zimbabwe’s economic policies would hinge upon agriculture in order to quicken economic growth as well as creating more jobs while pursuing investments that would attract foreign direct investment to the country.
– CAJ News