PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will be inaugurated for a sixth term on Thursday, he told supporters at the Harare International Airport on Sunday evening.
Mugabe’s inauguration had been delayed by a court petition filed by his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC-T, who argued that the veteran leader’s landslide victory in the July 31 elections had been achieved through fraud and rigging.
But Tsvangirai dropped his case in the Constitutional Court last Friday as MDC-T officials admitted the case was weak in the absence of information they wanted from election officials.
Mugabe, returning from the SADC summit in Malawi, told hundreds of supporters who welcomed him at the airport that following his inauguration, he will choose his ministers from the pool of MPs from his party.
“We have set Thursday as the day for inauguration. That’s when I will take the oath, which will be followed by a careful consideration of the names of people you voted, the people you saw fit to lead you in parliament. That’s where we will pick the ministers,” Mugabe said.
He said the SADC summit had accepted Zimbabwe’s elections as free and credible, putting paid to hopes by the MDC-T and its supporting NGOs for an adverse report.
South African President Jacob Zuma, appointed by regional leaders to mediate in Zimbabwe leading to the July 31 elections, had given the elections a clean bill of health.
“We have brought only honey from Malawi,” Mugabe said. “I pity the NGOs that went there to discredit our elections. None of the SADC leaders wanted to listen to them because all the regional countries sent their people to observe the elections, and got feedback. These NGOs must just keep their lies to themselves.”
Zimbabwe will assume the rotating SADC chair, currently held by Malawi, next year, he added.