The former Vice President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has this afternoon been sworn in as the thirds President of Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa has been a long-time aide, Vice and recently turned foe of immediate former President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe fired Mnangagwa but plans to replace him with his wife, Grace Mugabe, turned to be his nemesis; resulting in a military intervention that effected his ouster.
Zimbwabweans, and by extension other Africans, have been jubilant since it became imminent Mugabe’s 37-year totalitarian rule was coming to an end.
Though some quarters are sceptical over Mnangagwa’s record and close association with Mugabe, that have not dampened the euphoric mood that has engulfed the nation that is seeing change of guard after 37 years.
In his inauguration speech, Mnangagwa promised that his government will strive to create a just and equitable society. His government will also ensure better life for all citizens based on the market economy.
A good part of his speech stressed on job creation, drawing wild cheers from the expectant crowd. Part of his speech read; ‘’we want to grow our economy, we want jobs, all patriotic Zimbabweans come together, work together…today we are witnessing the beginning of a new and unfolding democracy.’’
Mnangagwa sent a stern warning to civil servants accustomed to bribery, saying that they must work and that the culture of dereliction of duties in a bid to extract bribes has to end.
He promised that his government will hold a democratic election next year as scheduled. He also promised to compensate farmers whose land was unlawfully seized during his predecessor’s reign.
Mnangagwa is nicknamed ‘the crocodile,’’ apparently due to his ruthlessness. This could be ominous or encouraging to the people of Zimbabwe, depending on where and how he exercises this brutality.
The inauguration was graced with sitting and retired African leaders including Botswana’s Ian Khama, Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda and Namibia’s Sam Nujoma.