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Top level Namibian threesome attend H.E. Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration

Top level Namibian threesome attend H.E. Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the new President of Zimbabwe, in his maiden speech, conveyed a message of unity of purpose among all citizens both within and outside the country, regardless of colour or political association.

“This is key in consolidating the gains of independence as well as rebuilding the economy,” he said.

The inauguration ceremony of Mnangagwa as the new Zimbabwean President was witnessed by more than 60,000 Zimbabweans of all walks of life and political persuasion. A number of leaders from the Southern African Development Community attended among them the Deputy President of Namibia, HE Nickey Iyambo, and former presidents, HE Dr Sam Nujoma and HE Hifikepunye Pohamba.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) congratulated Zimbabwe for the smooth transition, and has committed its support to continue strengthening its “relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Mnangagwa”.

“The task at hand is that of rebuilding our great country,” Mnangagwa said in his first public speech after his inauguration on 24 November in Harare. “The task lies with none but ourselves. I thus humbly appeal to all of us that we let bygones be bygones, readily embracing each other in defining a new destiny,” he said.

Mnangagwa also promised to strengthen ties with regional and continental neighbours and mend bridges with the rest of the international community as the country embarks on a “different positive direction”.

Acknowledging that most of the problems Zimbabwe has faced since 2000 “emanate, in part, from the way we have managed our politics, both nationally and internationally”, he said focus will be to ensure that Zimbabwe retakes its rightful place “among the family of nations”.

He noted that Mugabe’s land reform programme destroyed the country but he committed his administration to compensating all farmers who lost their farmland during the process. More than 4500 white commercial farmers were dispossessed of their land which triggered the political and economic crisis that affected the country over the past 17 years.

“My government is committed to compensating those farmers from whom land was taken in terms of our laws,” Mnangagwa said.

On economic development, Mnangagwa said the recovery will be predicated on agriculture, which used to be the backbone of the economy before destroyed by Mugabe.

Relations soured between Harare and most Western capitals, with Mugabe pulling Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth in December 2003. This resulted in an unprecedented flight of capital and skills from Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa pledged to revive ties with most regional, continental and international organisations. “We fully reaffirm our membership of the family of nations and express our commitment to playing our part in all regional, continental and international organisations and arrangements in order to make our modest contribution towards a prosperous world order,” he said.

“Key choices will have to be made to attract Foreign Direct Investment to tackle high levels of unemployment while transforming our economy towards the tertiary,” he said.

“The many skilled Zimbabweans who have left the country over the years for a variety of reasons must now come into the broad economic calculus designed for our recovery and take off.”

Focus will also be put on infrastructure development such as roads to allow for the smooth movement of people, goods and services.

Voicing the general sentiment in southern Africa, SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said “Zimbabweans have placed their trust in President Mnangagwa and are looking forward to his leadership in upholding the tenets of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, in which they have committed themselves to build “a united, just and prosperous nation, founded on values of transparency, equality, freedom, fairness, honesty and the dignity of hard work.”

Zimbabwe has been very instrumental in steering the regional cooperation, development and integration agenda of SADC.


Source: Original article by Southern African News Features, a service by the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre to the member states of the Southern African Development Community. www.sardc.net


 

 

About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

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