By Staff Reporter
NEWLY elected President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged “radical” economic reforms and to be “president for all” as he took oath of office Sunday to begin his fresh and first ever mandate as the country’s elected leader.
Speaking in his acceptance speech before thousands of locals and regional leaders who attended his inauguration, Mnangagwa said his election complied with the African principles of running elections.
“The Zimbabwe we want is a shared one and transcends political lines,” he said.
“As your President, I pledge to act fairly and impartially without fear or favour as a President of all Zimbabweans.
“As I have always said, I am your listening President, a servant leader. In this vein, those who will occupy public office at any level under my administration will be required to exercise servant leadership.”
The country’s new leader, who on Friday extended an olive branch to MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa, his main challenger in the just ended polls, urged for unity among his rivals.
“To all my colleagues and other political parties who contested in the just ended harmonised elections especially those represented in parliament, I exhort us to commit ourselves collectively to develop our motherland.
“We are all Zimbabweans. What unites us is greater than whatever divides us. Let me assure you that tomorrow is brighter than yesterday.
“Let us look forward to a journey ahead, a journey we will walk together as one people, a united people, a journey of development, a journey of progress, a journey of prosperity in our new Zimbabwe.”
Mnangagwa pleaded for patience among Zimbabweans saying “real change does not happen overnight”.
The high-profile event held at the giant National Sports Stadium was also graced by serving and former State leaders mostly from SADC countries.
They include are Rwandan President and current African Union chair Paul Kagame, DRC’s Joseph Kabila, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and Lesotho’s Thomas Motsoahae Thabane.
The event was snubbed by the main opposition MDC Alliance, whose leaders attended Mnangagwa’s first inauguration November 24 when he assumed the country’s leadership off a military coup that deposed long-serving leader Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe did not attend the event but was represented by his daughter and son-in-law.
Chamisa and other losing presidential candidates in the just ended polls were invited.
However, MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe and leaders of her party attended the event and were acknowledged by the President at the beginning of his speech.