Zimbabweans from all walks life yesterday celebrated the birth of the Second Republic as President Mnangagwa took the oath of office as the country’s second Executive President. Yesterday’s inauguration marked the beginning of President Mnangagwa’s full five-year term as the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
It was a momentous occasion where the people of Zimbabwe canonised a new chapter in their history by resting hopes and dreams in a man who is committed to be a servant leader.
African leaders and several dignitaries from across the world put the icing on the cake by gracing the occasion. Even former president Mr Robert Mugabe could not be outdone and sent his daughter Mrs Bona Mugabe-Chikore and son-in-law Simba Chikore to represent him at the historic event.
Opposition figures such as Dr Thokozani Khupe of MDC-T and her deputy Mr Obert Gutu, Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Mr James Maridadi and Mr Eddie Cross also graced the national event that transcended party politics, confirming that in every contest there is ultimately one victor.
Proceedings started as early as 6am with people, mostly Zanu-PF supporters, plastering the giant stadium with green and yellow colours followed by the arrival of foreign Heads of State, special envoys from various regions of the world and other dignitaries.
President Mnangagwa and the First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa marked their triumphal entry around 11am, amid pomp and fanfare.
The Heads of State’s arrival was greeted by Jah Prayzah’s popular song, “Kutonga Kwaro”, while the crowd was chanting: “ED pfee!”
The inauguration ceremony was also characterised by the highest honour for a Head of State and Government – the 21-gun salute and a flypast.
When President Mnangagwa took the oath of office, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who administered the process, proved to be a darling of the people.
There were deafening cheers when Chief Justice Malaba bequeathed President Mnangagwa with the green and gold insignia also known as the Presidential Sash.
It was Chief Justice Malaba, who led the Constitutional Court bench that presided over the election petition by MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa.
The bench ruled that President Mnangagwa was properly elected and upheld the results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
To conclude the investiture ceremony, President Mnangagwa appended his signature, which caricatures a crocodile, captivating the whole stadium which was now glued to the giant screen.
This was followed by a “Presidential kiss”, when the First Lady was called to the podium to congratulate President Mnangagwa.
Journalists stampeded to capture the special moment and President Mnangagwa, on a lighter note, asked if they had taken enough pictures.
After a musical interlude by Sulumani Chimbetu, Mahendere Brothers and Sebastian Magacha, President Mnangagwa took to the podium.
Chief Musarurwa delivered, in typical praise poet style, a glowing tribute to President Mnangagwa on behalf the country’s traditionl leaders.
Soon after President was given his instruments of power, it was time for the service chiefs led by Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Philip Valerio Sibanda to pledge their allegiance to their Commander-in-Chief.
The historic day was capped by a soccer match pitting Dynamos and Highlanders football clubs.
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