Emmerson Mnangagwa was yesterday sworn in as Zimbabwe’s third president and second executive president. The first president was Canaan Banana who was a ceremonial president while Robert Mugabe, the country’s second president was its first executive president. Mugabe was Zimbabwe’s first prime minister and had executive powers. Here is Mnangagwa’sspeech.
Fellow countrymen, I feel deeply humbled by the decision of my party, ZANU-PF, inviting me to serve our great nation, the Republic of Zimbabwe, in the capacity of President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, with effect from today.
I admit that I hold no particularly unique qualification that sets me apart from the deep pool of able citizens of our party and land, who otherwise could have been chosen to occupy this onerous office. But even as I make constant reference to my Party, ZANU-PF, I am not oblivious of the many Zimbabweans from across the political, ethnic and racial divide, who have helped make this day and who thus have legitimate expectations from the office I now occupy.
The decision of my party is merely for purposes of political identification, as I intend, nay, am required to serve our country as the President of all citizens, regardless of colour, creed, region, tribe, totem or political affiliation. Let me at this stage pay special tribute to one of, and the only surviving father of our nation, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
He led us in our struggle for national independence, and assumed responsibilities of leadership at the formative and very challenging time in the birth of our nation. That is to be lauded and celebrated for all times. Whatever errors of commission or omission that might have occurred during that critical phase in the life of our nation, let us all accept and acknowledge his immense contribution towards the building of our nation.
To me personally, he remains a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and my leader. We thus say thank you to him and trust that our history will grant him his proper place and accord him his deserved stature as one of the founders and leaders of our nation.
Let me also recognise in a very special way the presence in our midst of senior statesmen of our region and continent, led by His Excellency former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. He remains the only living member of the foundational Frontline States grouping, which is synonymous with the decolonisation processes in our Southern African region.
We honour him, as indeed we remember all his colleagues now departed. The statesmen who are with us today show a story of succession which speaks well of our continent. It is a narrative that must get bolder and bolder as generations hand over to succeeding ones, all in amity. In acknowledging the honour you have bestowed upon me, I recognise that the urgent tasks that beckon will not be accomplished through speeches, necessary as these may be.
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