Six leaders attend Mugabe's inauguration

HARARE - Only six out of 40 invited heads of State attended the swearing-in of President Robert Mugabe for a new five-year term in a massive stadium inauguration that was boycotted by his election rival.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku administered the oath of office on Mugabe, who pledged “to observe, uphold and defend the Constitution of  Zimbabwe”.

Acting Harare metropolitan governor Alfred Tome had earlier claimed that leaders from around the world, with the notable exception of the US and Europe, have been invited to the inauguration — previously a low-key event.

“It’s a huge event which we expect to be graced by at least 40 heads of state or their representatives,” Tome said on Tuesday.

The event has been widely seen as an attempt to legitimise an election that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai insists was rigged.

Tsvangirai boycotted yesterday’s event, even though outgoing deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara attended.

Only six southern African heads of State attended the event and these are: Tanzania president Jakaya Kikwete, Namibian leader Hifikepunye Pohamba, Mozambique president Armando Gebueza, Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guniea Theodora Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Mauritian president Rajkeswur Purryag.

Conspicuous by his absence was South Africa President Jacob Zuma, who was the facilitator of the Zimbabwe dialogue for the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (Sadc). Zuma instead sent his deputy Kgalema Mothalante and former president Thabo Mbeki.

In a statement, South Africa International Relations ministry said: “Deputy President Motlanthe will represent South Africa at Robert Mugabe’s inauguration as president of Zimbabwe on Thursday. He will be accompanied by International Relations minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane.

“The inauguration follows the ruling by the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe on 20 August 2013 that... Mugabe is the duly elected president of Zimbabwe.

“President Jacob Zuma was among the first heads of state to congratulate President Mugabe on 3 August 2013 following the announcement of the results by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission,” it said, adding Zuma was travelling to Angola on Friday.

Zuma reiterated South Africa’s readiness to continue to partner with Zimbabwe in pursuit of mutually beneficial co-operation.

Zambia president Michael Sata was in a no-show as well, and dispatched his deputy Guy Scott.

Malawi president and Sadc chairperson Joyce Banda of Malawi sent her deputy Khumbo Kachali, while King Mswati III of Swaziland sent Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini standing in for him.

The inauguration was attended mainly by Mugabe’s retired contemporaries, including former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda, Sam Nujoma of Namibia, Tanzania’s former president Benjamin Mkapa, former Botswana presidents Festus Mogae and  Kethumile  Masire.

Analysts said the inauguration, spiced with pageantry, was Mugabe’s last victory lap.

“Despite the brave showing of popularity through a stolen land slide and the inauguration, Mugabe’s legitimacy is doubted and questioned,” said McDonald Lewanika, national director for pro-democracy pressure group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said.

“This waters down his mandate to rule and govern as he would want. The biggest challenges that faces him are the same ones that confronted and haunted him in 2008, an economy being held afloat through a borrowed currency, a rich country whose riches are not benefitting ordinary people because they are being pocketed by the senior officials, an unfriendly and unpredictable economic and political environment that is not conducive to foreign direct investment and scary even for locals to invest in.”

Lewanika said Mugabe had taken a pledge that dictates that he needed to be subservient and loyal to the constitution, and said that will be his biggest test.

“We know that the constitution has not meant much to him and his acolytes, respect of the people’s rights has not been a priority - so we wait to see whether he changes tack on that one,” Lewanika said.

“But his biggest challenges will stem from the need to sustain the stability that had been achieved socially, politically and economically through cooperative government in the GNU, it will be to resist the natural authoritarian urges that are part and parcel of Zanu PF’s DNA.”

Comments (22)

Whats wrong with sending a deputy? If it is a meeting, when a proxy attends, you are deemed to be present. Sounds like a story of sour grapes because the atmosphere was good.

Bambazonke - 23 August 2013

If some heads of state sent their EX- presidents to this inauguration, it means that they want Mugabe to start thinking of becoming an Ex- president as well. It is to show Mugabe that there is life after being a president. These ex- presidents came as an example that their countries treat ex- presidents well, so if Mugabe becomes and EX -president, he will also be well looked after in Zimbabwe. It also serves as an example to who ever takes the baton from Mugabe, that EX-presidents are very useful after their terms in office, so EX-presidents must be well looked after when they leave office.

Big Mouth - 23 August 2013

The fact that six came at short notice and the rest sent some reps proves that the event was big. Besides this is a Zimbabwean ceremony for Zimbabweans. There presence or absence of some leaders is of no effect to the process. The good thing is that Tsvancry is out of the picture for ever. no more idiots in our political arena.

reason - 23 August 2013

i do agree wth u bamba zonke and reason.we donot need outsiders to helpus to celebrate u know esp wth chematama who always does his things after consulting and wth otside help

delicious - 23 August 2013

Kusanyara va Mugabe - munosimudza Bhaibheri raMwari muchiti "So Help me God" imi mabva kuba election zvinozivikanwa nemunhu wese - hamunyare,

Musona - 23 August 2013

Jesus said "I came for sinners" so Mugabe qualifies,you dont need to be perfect atleast Mugabe is straight forward on gays and lasbians,we are GOD fearing country we have demonstrated it by free and fair election....any outside influence to casue unrest and violence like whats happening in Egypt..i guess our army will deal with them.....akundwa hasiye bhachi padare...try to fight another day....Zanu please put someone young in Cabinets posts and next President. UNITED WE STAND .MDC MP's make sure noone is stealing and oppose and expose corruption !!!! Long Live Zimbabwe and GOD bless Zimbabwe

Zvirevo - 23 August 2013

Chengetayi Zvauya you seem te in very deep pains in accepting the reality and truth as they stand. If even myself is sent by our govt to represent it that means Zimbabwe is represented. This is just as good as our tradition where if you are invited in person and for some other reasons you cant make it you can send a rep and it will be just as good as you are there. For Lewanika I urge you to go where you belong. Which crisis are you solving here? Your coalition for regime change will never succeed even if you talk above a landing helicopter's noise.Expert of foolishness.

Takeiteasy Marcaves - 23 August 2013

ana 'un'Reason, nxa! fanaticism inokubayayi. mohwineiko kufirira ku defender dhongi rakaora? those heads of states didnt want to be part of the devil's supping idiots. tibvire kumhepo, short notice kuita sei? fact remains, the heads were invited not deputies. pachivanhu, kushorwa kutumirwa nhume instead. actually, the ex-presidents saw it a opportune to converge and advise him this Zpf automaton to respect God's nature and call it a day.

silvanos - 23 August 2013

Most of those leaders who came or sent their representative are cowards because they should have told Mugabe point blank that he did not conduct the elections according to SADC guidelines for free,fair and credible elections.Now they have turned the whole region into an un honest group of people.

chimwango - 23 August 2013

why do they hate my president so much. Cowards and charlatans.

oliver wkwaMutare - 23 August 2013

Mugabe and his family decided to go on vacation to celebrate the big Nikuv Win. Dis-grace, his wife, John, his son and Sarah his daughter wanted to go to the Bahamas but Bob wanted to go to Dubai. So the 4 decided to vote and the result was as follows: Bahamas: 3 Dubai: 68

Chivula Mapoti - 23 August 2013

The only thing ex-President Mugabe will face (if he lives out 5 years) is the ICC and the same fate as Umar-al-Bashir of the Sudan.

Chivula Mapoti - 23 August 2013

Bambazonke wakapusa. Ha ha ha. Hapana ma sour grapes apa. At least dei pakauya 30heads of state and the differennce become ma representetives taiti better. In diplomatic circles, a head of state has more power than just a vice president. It shows they wanted to manage their relations ne dzimwe nyika and balance the situation. My friend, inonzi international diplomacy. Ukaona head of state auya, zvine zvazvinoreva. Ukaona pakangozara ma representatives chete zvine zvazvinoreva futi. ha ha ha. Wakapusa zve sure.

upenyu - 23 August 2013

Chivula Mapoti, asi pakaita Mudede here pa voter registration yacho. Ha ha ha.

Upenyu - 23 August 2013

Whether the event was "big" or "small". does it matter.

haruna - 23 August 2013

he is my president. no election was stolen me and others voted for him because tsvangirai is not a better option. chero zvikaoma mukoma handichinjise mombe nedongi

ed - 23 August 2013

When the MDC was stated they called for targeted sanctions against ZANU leaders knowing very well these sacntion were in turn going to affect the ordinary Zimbabwean to make suffer and force them to hate and remove the leadership, so when it comes to ripping what you saw, the MDC is certainly ripping what they have sawn. They so many voting irregularities in other countries but so long the winner is a western supporter they will call it fair. there is no gain without sacrifice, we will go hungry now than let future generations toil as slaves. 1) Country with ZANU, Zimbabweans (black Africans) will get to own Zimbabwe's massive natural resources including diamonds, gold, platinum, uranium, chromium, iron ore and probably the best farming ground on the African continent. We will be both owners and work for ourselves. Many African countries including the golden boy next door South Africa will take note and follow suite. 2) Country with MDC. Its a free for all. He's said he would liberalise the ownership structures with the result that Western corporations will own all our mineral wealth, the west will own our best farmland as before and black Zimbabweans will go back to being cheap black labour. Thats Tsvangirai's idea of employment creation!!! Pick your poison

mytruezim - 23 August 2013

Ko Bhaibheri rinoziveyi? Pharisees and Sadducees where true hypocrites, yet they knew the Bible in-and-out. This guy (Mugabe) is a true hypocrite. Tick-tock-tick-tock.... time is moving. It did the same for Pharo during the time of Moses. Tick-tock-tick-tock...............

Boterkwa - 23 August 2013

May all the progressive Zimbos who are looking for a complete change visit, like & share this link

sitapesithule - 24 August 2013


Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 24 August 2013

the absence so many current heads of states clearly shows that Mugabe IS NO LONGER wanted to be seen ruling this nation .he is no longer palatable to other heads states .it also show lack of trust in legitmacy in this hamonised election by other heads of state .we must know that mugabe and his fellow thives they only want to be in office and continue to distoy this nation hence he must go .i would like to thank alllinvited heads of states dint come to bless this event

vanoba ngavasa sungwa nekuti mutungamiriri imbavha . - 6 September 2013

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