HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa is calling for unity in Zimbabwe after being sworn in Sunday to start his five-year term.
“I Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa swear that as president of the republic of Zimbabwe I will be faithful to Zimbabwe [and] will obey, uphold and defend the constitution and all other laws of Zimbabwe... so help me God,” he said.
Emmerson Mnangagwa takes the oath of office from Chief Justice Luke Malaba, while thousands of Zimbabweans cheer to start his five year term in office.
Friday, the same judge confirmed Mnangagwa’s July 30th victory over Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance. Chamisa sought the poll's nullification, accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of rigging for the ruling Zanu PF presidential candidate Mnangagwa.
In his inaugural speech Sunday Mnagangwa asked his political political foes to bury their differences for the task ahead.
“We are all Zimbabweans, what unites us is greater than whatever divides us," he said. "Let me assure you that tomorrow is brighter than yesterday. Let us look forward to a journey ahead will work together as one people. A united people. Together let us explore new frontiers in every facet and sphere of our economy and society.”
The Movement for Democratic Change boycotted an invitation to the inauguration. The party wants to take its objections to the election to the African Union, led by Rwanda’s Paul Kagame who, with presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo, was among leaders attending the inauguration in Harare.
The opposition says the Constitutional Court should have nullified Mnangagwa’s victory after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission twice revised the July 30th presidential election results.
Movement for Democratic Change Alliance Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora says the swearing in does not finalize the political dispute.
“That means therefore political solution remains and there are a lot of solutions that can be found," he said. "Whatever we are going to do, we are going to do these things within the law. ... Legal solutions does not mean going to court only. It means exercising our rights in terms of the constitution of Zimbabwe we have the right to demonstrate peacefully. There are other political solutions that can be found to the Zimbabwean problem because the Zimbabwean problem has not gone away.”
Mnangagwa read a letter he said was from former leader Robert Mugabe explaining he did not attend the Sunday event because he is ill. Mugabe’s daughter attended the inauguration.