Mnangagwa inauguration, ‘beginning of another 5 years of stagnation’
The inauguration of President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa as the country’s leader following his victory in the recently held 2023 presidential election has been branded the “beginning of another 5 years of stagnation and contested legitimacy”.
The Zanu-PF leader was installed as the country’s leader on Monday as he assumed his second term. He won an election that was discredited by international observers due to massive irregularities amid allegations of rigging.
Mnangagwa controversially won with 52,6% against main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa (44%).
Commenting on the inauguration of Mnangagwa which took place at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, CCC deputy leader Tendai Biti said the country was going to remain poor under the leadership of Zanu-PF.
He added that the next five years will be disastrous for many Zimbabweans economically and many will leave the country for greener pastures.
“Tomorrow (Monday) marks the beginning of another 5 years of stagnation and contested legitimacy. A period that will see cataleptic political instability, economic stagnation, contraction and massive immigration of Zimbabwean nationals. Another false decade beckons. Cry the beloved country. Cry,” Biti posted on his X (formerly Twitter).
Mnangagwa’s inauguration was snubbed by Angolan President João Lourenço and Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema.
With Angola currently being the chair of the 16-nation regional grouping Southern African Development Community (SADC), while Zambia chairs the SADC Troika, the absence of the two countries’ leaders will be viewed as a serious protest to Mnangagwa’s controversial win.
Hichilema is a close friend of the Zimbabwean opposition leader Chamisa who believes that his rival rigged the elections.
Only South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Democratic Republic of Congo leader Felix Tshisekedi and Mozambique’s Felix Nyusi, who are also close allies of Mnangagwa and the Zanu-PF party, are attending from the region.
SADC election observers led by Zambia’s Nevers Mumba pointed out that the plebiscite fell short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and regional standards.
He was, however, attacked by Zanu-PF activists who branded him and Hichilema as western puppets.
In an interview with Zambian media on Sunday, Mumba said he came to Zimbabwe to observe elections on behalf of SADC not Zambia.
Mumba has since handed over the SADC Election Observer Mission’s final report to Hichilema, in his capacity as chairman of the SADC Troika
“Let’s not act like we don’t know what’s happening on the continent of Africa, the coups that are happening in the western part of our continent. How did they start?
“President Hichilema just said to me go and give Zimbabweans a free and fair election. We care only about what the people on the streets of Zimbabwe think, not on the attacks from politicians.
“I didn’t go to Zimbabwe as a Zambian, I took the SADC instrument. If Zimbabwe has a problem with the report, they must go to SADC,” he said.
Investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said the failure of many regional leaders to attend Mnangagwa’s inauguration “points towards a tragic reality of failed political and international legitimacy.”
“The failure to turn up by SADC serving presidents points towards a tragic reality of failed political and international legitimacy that will dog President Mnangagwa’s last term in office that can only be cured by resolving the issue.
“The final SADC Election report was handed over to President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia on Saturday evening and SADC ambassadors said that it is damning.
“President Hichilema is the chairman of the SADC Troika that put together the election observer team.
“The other two members of the Troika are Tanzania and Namibia whose presidents stayed away from the inauguration,” he said.