‘Crocodile’ facing a mammoth task
HARARE: Emmerson Mnangagwa is brimming with confidence ahead of his inauguration as Zimbabwe’s second president in 38 years today.
But his confidence and elation may be short-lived as his government faces the formidable task of reviving a comatose economy and uniting a nation deeply divided along partisan lines.
Mnangagwa is set to be inaugurated at the 60000-seater National Sports Stadium in Harare amid strong indications the opposition will snub the event after its defeat in the Constitutional Court on Friday.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, who was Mnangagwa’s closest rival in the July 30 poll, said the Constitutional Court verdict was not fair, but that he would work to uplift the lives of Zimbabweans subdued by years of economic malaise.
“I hear your cries and feel your pain. I know you feel cheated, but take heart, your victory is not lost.
“Your will is sacred and we will listen to you on the path of peace and the course of action to be taken to rescue our beautiful Zimbabwe from the jaws of poverty, corruption and dishonesty,” Chamisa said.
MDC-Alliance director of communications, Luke Tamborinyoka, said the ConCourt ruling had disappointed millions of Zimbabweans anticipating Chamisa’s victory.
“Zimbabweans have just received with a heavy heart the Constitutional Court’s ruling that Emmerson Mnangagwa is legitimately elected president of Zimbabwe.
“For the record, president Nelson Chamisa (MDC-Alliance) and his legal team mounted a formidable case on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe against a case of chicanery and electoral pilferage that was vindicated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s embarrassing revision of its own declared results for a record three times. Ultimately, the people shall govern,” Tamborinyoka said.
Mnangagwa welcomed the Concourt ruling and offered an olive branch to the opposition.
“I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all,” Mnangagwa said.
“Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched.
“We are one nation and we must put our nation first. Let us all now put our differences behind us.
“It’s time to move forward together.”
He said the ruling Zanu-PF was not surprised by the court’s decision that the election results were in line with all pre-election polling and entirely consistent with the final tally of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, the country’s largest body of local independent observers.
“We have independent courts and we promised to respect their decision.
“Just as with the insights received from the international monitors, we will accept and implement all recommendations to further improve our democratic process,” Mnangagwa said.
Meanwhile, the EU delegation and Heads of Mission of EU member states in Harare have welcomed the Concourt ruling, but urged the new government to investigate allegations of human rights violations in the country.
“All cases need to be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. The fundamental rights of all citizens need to be respected and the physical integrity and safety of the victims and witnesses protected,” the EU said.
Several leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, have confirmed they will attend the inauguration of Mnangagwa.
Other SADC member states expected to attend include Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia.
AU chairperson Paul Kagame of Rwanda, earlier hinted at the SADC Summit in Windhoek, Namibia, he would attend the inauguration.
As Zanu-PF supporters celebrate today across the country, tomorrow will undoubtedly signify the beginning of a long journey for the MDC which has high hopes of performing well in the next round of elections in 2023. – CAJ News