‘Croc­o­dile’ fac­ing a mam­moth task

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - WORLD -

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

Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa

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