The newly sworn in President of Zimbabwe, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa says it is no longer business as usual as he intends to work with every progressive individual, nation and investor to rebuild the Zimbabwean economy.
Addressing thousands of Zimbabweans, regional leaders and former leaders, diplomats and members of the business community at the giant National Sports Stadium in Harare just after taking the oath of office this afternoon, Cde Mnangagwa sounded pro-business and more than ready to hit the ground running in changing the fortunes of the nation that has faced several hardships in the past decades.
President Mnangagwa said now is the time to make Zimbabwe great again, adding that never again should Zimbabwe be placed in circumstances that it currently finds itself in.
“We can’t squander this opportunity as we seek to ensure that all that we do is intended to benefit all of us. Let bygones be bygones, and never again shall the past circumstances be allowed to come back to derail Zimbabwe’s progress and economic development,” said Cde Mnangagwa.
“My government is ready to re-engage all nations and financial institutions. We call upon those countries that have punished us in the past to reconsider their political and economic sanctions against us,” he said, adding that “all foreign investments will be safe in Zimbabwe.”
Cde Mnangagwa called on the international community to note that the land reform programme was unavoidable and shall not be reversed, but said his “government is committed to compensate those who lost their land during the process, while issues on land tenure are immediately addressed.”
The President also said he is a servant of everyone regardless of skin colour, gender and political affiliation, adding that all Zimbabweans must come together to rebuild Zimbabwe.
“During my time as President, I will serve everyone who calls and considers Zimbabwe their home. I call for everyone to come together and play a part as we rebuild our beloved nation. Every citizen must feel safe and free to work for the development of Zimbabwe. Key personnel who left the country must now come back and participate in the broad economic turnaround,” he said.
On the implementation of new government policies, Cde Mnangagwa said: “public service workers must be ready to work. We have an economy to recover, people to serve. Gone are the days of absentism and extortion. A new culture must now inform our operations. Acts of corruption must stop. Whenever they occur, swift, swift, swift justice must come.”
The President said the country’s economic policy will be premised on command agriculture, urging beneficiaries of the programme to fully utilise the land to ensure food security in the country.
He said it is the new government’s key choice to attract foreign direct investment, create jobs, develop key infrastructure and provide basic social services such as education, clean water and energy, among others.
In the immediate, Cde Mnangagwa said, “the liquidity challenges must be tackled head on, people should be able to access their earnings and savings as at when they want them. The bottom line is an economy back on its feet.”
The President also hailed the peace and democracy in Zimbabwe, saying next year’s elections will be held as scheduled.
In all this, President Mnangagwa could not forget the role played by his predecessor, Cde Robert Mugabe in pre and post independence Zimbabwe, saying “he remains to him a father, mentor, comrade in arms and leader.”
He also recognised the presence of African statesmen, led by Zambia’s founding father, Kenneth Kaunda.
The inauguration was attended by several regional leaders and dignitaries, among them, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, Botswana President Ian Seretse Khama, Zambian President Edgar Lungu, Namibian Vice President Nickey Iyambo, former Zambian presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda, as well as former Namibian leaders Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba.