Zimbabwe: Emmerson Mnangagwa Inaugurated As President; Promises Economic Reforms
At a well attended ceremony in the capital Harare stadium, Zimbabwe’s new President who replaces former President Robert Mugabe has been sworn in.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa praised outgoing leader Robert Mugabe as “the father of the nation” during his inauguration address on Friday.
Before a crowd of thousands, the newly inaugurated President said, “Let me at this stage pay tribute to one of the, and the only surviving, founding fathers of our nation, comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe. “Let us all accept and acknowledge his immense contribution to the building of our nation.”
Mnangagwa promised that all foreign investments will be safe in Zimbabwe. “As we build a new democratic Zimbabwe we ask those who have punished us in the past, to reconsider their political and economic sanctions… Let this make way for a new beginning. SADC is our home… and we commit ourselves to further its vision and ideals.”
Mnangagwa’s inauguration marks the end of a tumultuous series of events from an unprecedented statement by the Army Chief General Constantino Chiwengo in which he warned the ruling party and President Mugabe about the “purge” of loyalists following the dismissal of Mnangagwa by Mugabe to the Army detaining Mugabe and his wife Grace and the start of Parliamentary impeachment proceedings which precipitated the resignation of President Mugabe on Tuesday.
The new Zimbabwe’s President who is is a former Defense Minister promised to fight corruption and said, “the culture of government must change, and change now.”
President Mnangagwa promised that “democratic” elections will be held next year as scheduled.
Opposition activists are, however, calling for electoral and other reforms and the release of all political prisoners before the holding of elections.
Shortly before the inaugural ceremonies, the Army Commander General Chiwengo arrived to cheers from the crowd in the stadium.
President Mnangagwa has asked Zimbabweans to avoid retribution and has promised to provided maximum protection for former President Robert Mugabe who remains in the country.
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