In his inauguration speech on Monday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa pledged to uphold democracy, good governance, the rule of law, and the politics of tolerance.
Taking his oath to begin his second term, Mnangagwa remarked that he was a humble servant leader committed to serving all Zimbabweans wholeheartedly as enshrined in Zimbabwe’s national constitution and laws.
“Under this renewed mandate, I have re-committed to continue faithfully upholding and defending our sacred national Constitution, and the laws with integrity and impartiality, leaving no one and no place behind,” he said.
In the same breath, Mnangagwa warned that those who undermined Zimbabwe’s national institutions or laws will not be condoned under whatever guise,
“No country or a group of persons should disregard the sovereign decisions and the views of the people of our motherland, Zimbabwe,” he said, a possible reference to opposition and other groups who have called for fresh elections after the SADC Election Observer Mission (SEOM) said the just ended election fell short of internal, regional and international standards.
“We will never be second-class citizens in our own country. We stand ready to welcome those nations who want to work with the New Zanu PF government to build lasting partnerships to make the world a better place.”
According to Mnangagwa, the country held “peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible harmonised general elections,” which “shamed detractors who predicted and clandestinely financed mayhem, expecting the worst from us before, during, and after our polls, the will of the Zimbabwean people has been expressed and must be respected.”
Part of his 35-minute address was spent repeating what he said on campaign trails prior to the election, stressing what his previous government did and promising what he will do to bring those programmes forward.
Mnangagwa stated that since the “2023 harmonised general elections have come and gone,” there have been no losers, but a victory for the people of Zimbabwe.
“Counter revolutionary forces and their proxies will never prevail in our free Zimbabwe. Let us now look ahead with unflinching focus and determination, emboldened by our rich history as a resilient and warrior people of Munhumutapa,” he said as he thanked Zimbabweans, for “dutifully preserving and safeguarding our national unity, peace before, during and after the elections.”
The president said Zimbabweans demonstrated the country has a mature democracy in which people with “the right to vote have now spoken.”
“Our unparalleled conduct before, during and after electoral processes is praise worthy and will be an everlasting standard and the benchmark as we continue to deepen and entrench constitutional democracy in our motherland, Zimbabwe,” Mnangagwa said.
“We continue to defy the onslaughts of illegal sanctions as well as the negative narratives peddled by those bent on standing on our country’s development. Our strength in our diverse cultures, capacities and competencies, has seen us realise unprecedented successes towards Vision 2030. Zimbabwe is surely on the rise.”
Mnangagwa said his re-election meant he would be president of all our regardless of tribe, religion, colour, creed or political persuasion.
“I’m honoured with the trust and confidence we have reposed in me to continue to serve in the office of President through your democratic vote, you have renewed and extended my mandate and that of our colossal revolutionary mass party Zanu PF,” he said.
“I offer you individually and collectively, unity, love, oneness and brotherhood.”
The president claimed his “new” government will deliver on the promises they have made such as transforming the living standards of people in rural communities while concerns of those in urban areas would not be neglected.
“Responsive policies, projects and programmes which began during the first term of my Presidency, are on course to lift many more people out of poverty and into prosperity,” he said and added that “illegal sanctions and machinations of detractors” have to be knocked out through unity of purpose, hard honest work, innovativeness, resilience, focus and determination.”
Mnangagwa also said his new government shall continue to foster a “predictable business environment where Capital will feel safe.”
“Those who want to invest in our country are welcome based on respect and the mutual benefits for shared prosperity,” he said.
Mnangagwa also called upon elected councillors to “wholeheartedly serve the people,” noting people in urban areas have “endured poor service delivery for far too long under the opposition.”
“Under my leadership and that of Zanu PF, government democracy, good governance, the rule of law and the politics of tolerance will be entrenched in line with the spirit and letter of our sacred national constitution and laws,” he said.
“We make no apologies for entrenching and protecting our unique Zimbabwean values, our culture and our norms. In this regard, I challenge us all to remain Zimbabwean and remain African in both thoughts and deeds. Zimbabwe is a sovereign state and a friend to all and an enemy to none.”
Mnangagwa added that Zimbabwe’s membership and engagement with SADC, the African Union and the United Nations remained guided by the principles of mutual respect and the sovereign equality of nations as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
“In unity, we have defended this sacred land bequeathed to us by our great heroes and heroines. They paid for the democracy, independence and sovereignty we are enjoying today with their precious lives. This thunderous victory for our sovereignty, dignity and right to be masters of our own destiny is in their honour. In the enduring spirit of unity and peace that characterised this past election, I once again call upon all Zimbabweans, countrymen, women to say no to violence, no to tribalism, no to regionalism, no to hate speech and other divisive tendencies,” he said.