Mugabe sworn-in for 7th term

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe was sworn-in at the National Sports Stadium yesterday amid pomp and fanfare, promising to revive the economy and cooperating with his vanquished rivals.

Mugabe, who is extending his 33-year-old rule with another five years, buried the hatchet with his political challengers as he delivered a sober speech that urged the former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost the elections, to accept defeat and work for the good of the country.

Tsvangirai boycotted the celebrations insisting that his rival cheated in the harmonised elections which have divided international opinion.

African countries have endorsed the polls, but Western countries have condemned the vote.

Mugabe took oath of office before Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku at a colourful ceremony held in the 60 000-seater football stadium in Harare.

The event was witnessed by thousands of cheering supporters, diplomats and delegations from the region.
In typical vintage Mugabe, he invited the whole world to work with Zimbabwe.

“Internationally and diplomatically we remain friendly and well disposed towards all nations,” Mugabe said. “We seek friendships. We seek partnerships. We seek to diversify our relations.”

Mugabe’s inauguration, which was delayed by a court challenge by Tsvangirai in the aftermath of the hotly contested July 31 polls, was graced by few heads of states from across the region.

The 89-year-old strongman arrived in an army vehicle with his wife Grace beside him, bringing the packed National Sports Stadium into delirium, with the crowd erupting into song and whistles.

In his speech, he pledged to deliver on the promises he dangled in the run-up to the harmonised elections.

“There are key truths that come with that victory, which come with that honour. The peasant, who cast his vote on July 31, created my victory and thus made a portion of my presidency. I am at his service, am his emissary and servant,” said Mugabe.

The former guerrilla leader promised to fulfil the dreams of millions of the unemployed, struggling farmers, and also allayed fears of the business community that was rattled by his 61 percent landslide.

Magnanimous in victory, Mugabe promised to also work for the 34 percent who did not vote for him.

Underpinning his revival plans on the mining sector, he said the sector “will be the centrepiece of our economic recovery and growth.”

With power comes responsibility, and the Zanu PF promised to deliver water to cities, jump start the industrial sector and also to provide adequate power supply in order to fuel the envisaged growth.

He also vowed to plod ahead with his economic empowerment policy, which forces foreign firms to cede 51 percent shareholding to local blacks.

As chiefs, army generals and judges made a beeline to congratulate the new President, music from both international and local artistes was the icing on the cake for an event that attracted many.

Food and drink were free-flowing, with fast foods being dished out.

Unlike previous low-key inauguration ceremonies held at the heavily guarded State House, yesterday’s event was full of colour, with flying banners, flags. It was more or less a reincarnation of Mugabe’s 1980 swearing-in as Prime Minister.

Comments (2)

Guesse if horror movies were reality someone would be burning holding that.

Semhalo - 23 August 2013

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