NEW DAWN FOR ZIMBABWE
HARARE – Zimbabwe's newlysworn-in president Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to compensate white farmers who lost their land during his predecessor's notorious land reform programme.
Yesterday, Mnangagwa became only the third President of Zimbabwe since its independence, following in the footsteps of Canaan Banana and Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa said the while land reform was inevitable and cannot be reversed, those farmers who were removed from their land will receive compensation.
The new president promised elections will be held next year.
Mnangagwa outlined a broad vision for restoring economic and financial stability. He promised to prioritise job creation in a country that has a 90 per cent unemployment rate and vowed foreign investments are safe in Zimbabwe.
"Acts of corruption must stop forthwith. Where these occur, swift justice must be served," he told a crowd of tens of thousands at his inauguration ceremony, promising to "create jobs for our youth and reduce poverty for all".
The past two weeks saw history being made in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe (93) stepped down under pressure from the military and after being expelled from his own party, ZANU-PF.
A former Zimbabwean minister said the country had reason to celebrate but should remain cautious.
Tendai Biti, who served as finance minister under President Mugabe, said "It's been a roller coaster. One minute you're crying, you're apprehensive, you fear but it has happened. It is euphoric.
"Many of us are calling it the independence day - November 18, is independence day."
VICTORY: Emmerson Mnangagwa, centre, and his wife Auxillia, arrive at the presidential inauguration ceremony in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, yesterday. Mnangagwa is being sworn in as Zimbabwe’s.
HAPPY: Army General Constantino Chiwenga, chats with General Valerio Sibanda during the presidential inauguration ceremony in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe Friday.