IT was a hive of activity at the Robert Mugabe International Airport yesterday as leaders from Beijing, China to Havana, Cuba touched down to attend the inauguration of President Mnangagwa, who takes his oath of office at the giant National Sports Stadium today.
In the capital city sirens wailed with an unusually heavy traffic for a Sunday with the nation readying for the fete, that will include a luncheon, a football match and a State banquet.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said today all roads are leading to the National Sports Stadium as the nation celebrates the inauguration of the President following his latest triumph.
“We want to fill up the National Sports Stadium. This is a very important occasion for our country. We have more than 23 delegations coming from outside Zimbabwe to celebrate with us the inauguration of our President.
“Let us be at the National Sports Stadium. There is going to be entertainment and soccer right after the inauguration of our President. A gala also, so tomorrow there will be a lot of entertainment for the people of this country,” she said.
The President emerged the winner in the recently concluded harmonised elections garnering 52, 6 percent of the vote and beating his nearest contender, CCC’s Mr Nelson Chamisa, who got 44 percent.
Thousands of people drawn from across the globe are set to throng the giant National Sports Stadium in Harare to witness the grand event in which President Mnangagwa will start his second term set to be characterised by a continuation of development.
Preparations for today’s inauguration of President Mnangagwa for his second term were underway at the National Sports Stadium in Harare yesterday.
Several activities are lined up for the day including a musical gala featuring seasoned artistes such as Jah Prayzah, Chief Hwenje, Sandra Ndebele among others. In the afternoon there will be a football match between the Zimbabwe national team and the Namibian national team.
Local Government and Public Works Minister Hon July Moyo said every constituency will be represented.
“It’s all systems go for the inauguration as everything is now in place, The President indicated that he wants every constituency represented at this event so we are giving a bus each.”
While the main celebrations are at the National Sports Stadium, there will also be a luncheon and a State banquet for invited dignitaries.
Yesterday workers were busy at work putting the final touches at the venue, with marquees having been set while security services were going through their rehearsals.
Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana yesterday said all was set for the grand event.
“The second term inaugural speech is the major highlight as it defines the President’s legacy, setting the agenda,” he said.
“There will be a luncheon at the State House for invited guests. There will be a State banquet at Glamis Arena and a football match between Zimbabwe and Namibia. There will be a musical gala and fireworks in the evening.”
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the inauguration is being done in accordance with the country’s laws.
“In terms of Section 93 of the Constitution, the inauguration must take place on the ninth day after the declaration of the results. So, the ninth day is on Monday,” he said.
Analyst Dr Trynos Jujuju said while elections are over, it is time to move forward as those legally elected have a mandate to govern.
“Done and dusted, no need to keep talking of elections, it is time to talk development and availing of social amenities to society, climate change and how Zimbabwe can develop crop varieties to cope with the climate change.
Members of the armed forces rehearse in preparation for today’s inauguration of President Mnangagwa in Harare yesterday
“Whatever glitches, they are to be corrected in 2028. Everyone, the losers included, have to support the Government in its discharge of duty and desist and refrain from all conducts derailing its efforts,” he said.
Citizens Against Economic Sanctions (CAES) executive director Mr Martin Zharare who will be part of the crowds congratulated President Mnangagwa on his Presidential election victory.
“The inauguration is a testament of the will of the Zimbabwean people and trust in President Mnangagwa’s leadership as he leads the nation into a future of prosperity and peace.
“Our quest is to have illegal economic sanctions imposed on our sovereign nation Zimbabwe removed,” he said.
For ordinary citizens, all roads lead to the National Sports stadium.
“We have been eagerly waiting for this day, President Mnangagwa must be given enough time to finish what he started,” Ms Primrose Gavaza of Southly Park said. “We cast our ballots in our numbers because we wanted President Mnangagwa to complete the nationwide development initiatives that he is implementing.”
For Ms Alice Kaliati, the swearing-in of the President means Zimbabwe will consolidate its breadbasket status in the region.
“I have every confidence that Zimbabwe will once again serve as Africa’s breadbasket thanks to initiatives like the Pfumvudza presidential inputs plan. I was quite impressed with President Mnangagwa’s initiatives; there is construction going on nearly everywhere and there are new roads, petrol stations and stores opening up as a result of the Second Republic.”
Mr Wurayayi Gwenere of Glenview 4 said: “We are ready for tomorrow’s inauguration, we are very excited that President Mnangagwa has been given another chance. We want him to continue and we are urging all peace loving Zimbabweans to respect the outcome of the just ended elections.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s celebrations, Mr Sonny Chamangira emphasised the importance of peace. “As Zimbabweans let’s unite and build our nation. What President Mnangagwa always preaches is exactly what we fought for during the liberation struggle and to make our liberators happy we must preserve peace.”