PRESIDENT-designate and Zanu-PF First Secretary Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa will today be sworn-in as the country’s Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces with several Sadc leaders here to witness the occasion.

The Herald Online gives you updates of this historic and important event. Stay logged in and be free to participate in the Disqus discussion below.

REPORTERS: Farirai Machivenyika, Nyemudzai Kakore, Simiso Mlevu; PROOFREADER: Clearance Munondo; PHOTOGRAPHER: Wilson Kakurira: ONLINE EDITOR: Happiness Chikwanha

9:40 – At the RG Mugabe International Airport, three Cabinet Ministers arrived early to welcome foreign dignitaries coming for the inauguration of incoming President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa. The Ministers are Cdes Patrick Chinamasa, Kembo Mohadi and Lazarus Dokora.

9:50- First to arrive was South Africa’s Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele.

Other Cabinet Ministers  also here are Cde Oppah Muchinguri and Nyasha Chikwanya.

10:00- Botswana President Ian Khama is the first Head of State to arrive. He says he expects to strengthen relations with Zimbabwe and its new administration.
President Khama was followed by Zambia President Edgar Lungu.

President Lungu arrived in the company of former President Kenneth kaunda. President Lungu hails the  manner in which Zimbabwe conducted its transition, saying it shows the growth of democracy in Zimbabwe and the SADC region at large. Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda is also part of the delegation
10:15 – Namibian Vice President Nickey Iyambo arrives leading a delegation that include former  Presidents Sam Nujoma. Also just arriving is Mozambique President Felipe Nyusi who says Mozambique is with the people of Zimbabwe in this transition.

10:20 – At the venue of the event, the National Sports Stadium, Service Chiefs led by Commander of the Defence Force Dr Constantino Nyikadzino Guvheya Chiwenga have taken seats. They arrived shortly after the Mayor of the City of Harare, His Worship Benard Manyenyeni.

10:25 – All dignitaries have taken seats and are ready to welcome President elect, Hon Mnangagwa who is set to arrive shortly.

10:42- Amid cheers, the President elect, Hon Mnangagwa who is accompanied by his wife, Cde Auxillia makes grand entrance into the stadium.

10:50 -Botswana President lan Khama has just left the HICC heading to the venue of the inauguration.

10:51 – As the multitudes wait for the arrival of visiting Heads of States, Jah Prayzah is invited to the stage and he takes off with “Kutonga Kwaro” much to the amusement of the crowd.

1055 – Former Presidents of the Republic of Zambia, Cde Kenneth Kaunda and Rupia Banda are here to witness the inauguration of Zimbabwe’s Second Executive President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe’s first President after independence was the late Reverend Canaan Sodindo Banana. He was President at a time Cde RG Mugabe was Prime Minister with the latter assuming the Vice Presidency later. Cde RG tendered his resignation on November 21, 2017.

10:58 – His Excellency Hon Edgar Lungu has also arrived here at the National Sports Stadium.

11:01 – Also heading for the HICC are former Namibian President Sam Nujoma and the current Vice President Nickey Iyambo.

11:12 – Thunderous welcome for the President of Botswana, Ian Khama as he gets into the Stadium.

11:16 – Mozambique President Nyusi makes his way through the arena to join other Heads of State who are here for the inauguration of Cde ED Mnangagwa as Zimbabwe’s President following the resignation of Cde RG Mugabe on November 21, 2017.

 11:34 – Speaker of Parliament Advocate Mudenda calls upon Chief Justice Luke Malaba to call upon Incoming President to proceed and take Oath of Office.

11:39 – In Section 94 of the Constitution the Incoming President now takes Oath of Office.

He takes oath of office and commits to uphold the constitution, promote whatever protects Zimbabwe and oppose whatever harms it.

11:44 – Chief Justice Malaba adorns the new President, His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa with the sash.

11:49 – Commander Defence Forces and Service Chiefs now pay compliments to the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, His Excellency ED Mnangagwa.

11:52 – Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantine Nyikadzino Guveya Chiwenga pays allegiance  to His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa.

He is followed by Commissioner General of the Police, Augustine Chihuri.

11:56 – The Master of Ceremony appeals for order as people express displeasure at Commissioner General Chihuri yelling, “Ngaaende! Ngaaende! (He must go! He must go!)

Commissioner General Paradzai Zimondi of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services is next and soon after his allegiance wild cheers follow . . . a direct opposite of the case of Commissioner General Chihuri.

11:59 – Zimbabwe’s new First Lady Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa joins His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa at the podium to congratulate him and the two share a kiss . . .

12:00 -The National Anthem is now being sung followed by the gun salute. . .and a fly past of military jets.

12:07 – Parade Commander invites the President to inspect the Guard of Honour  accompanied by  Commander Defence Forces.

Meanwhile a new banner at Zanu-PF HQ  of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has just been erect .-Pic by Nyemudzai Kakore

Meanwhile a new banner at Zanu-PF HQ of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has just been erect .-Pic by Nyemudzai Kakore

12:39 – The guard of honour is marching past in slow and quick motion.

PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA’S INAUGURATION SPEECH

12:52 – I feel deeply humbled by the decision of Zanu-Pf party to nominate me to be the President and Commander-in-Chief  of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

I admit that I hold no unique qualification that sets me apart from the rest of the citizenry.

President Mnangagwa pays attribute to outgoing president Cde RG Mugabe as a resolute leader who led the nation right from independence and says whatever his mistakes should not overshadow his immense contribution.

He says Cde Mugabe to him, remains a father and a mentor.

13:01 – President Mnangagwa recognizes the presence of Africa’s senior statesmen led by Dr Kenneth kaunda, Zambia’s founding President. Dr Kaunda has since retired.

13:02 – President Mnangagwa asserts that development will not be through speeches and as such he will hit the ground running.

He says although we can not change the past, there is however a lot that can be done today although not forgetting the past. However bygones will be bygones as we embrace each other in order to rebuild Zimbabwe, a great country.

13:03 – He says never again should Zimbabwe be placed in the conditions which have made the country unfavourable in some global sections.

13:04 – President Mnangagwa says he has no doubt that the country will be built from the strong foundation built by Cde RG Mugabe. He says the world should understand that the principle of repossessing our land is important.

13:06 – He therefore challenges the land beneficiaries to utilize the land made available to them in order to defeat hunger.

He says Gvt will capacitate the Land Commission to deal with all outstanding land issues. He says former land owners will be compensated according to the laws of the country.

13:08 – President Mnangagwa commits that the upcoming 2018 elections will be held as scheduled and democratically.

13;10 – He says Zim subscribes to the principle that all people are equal in accordance with UN statutes.

He says his goal is to run an administration that recognizes the strength across the country’s political divide.

13:12 – He says the country’s economic policies will be hinged on agriculture in a way that would be expected to enhance job creation.

He also says key principles will be pursued in order to attract foreign direct investment as Zimbabwe seeks to move steps up.

13:14 – The economic policies to be pursued will incorporate elements of market economy.

The bottom line is an economy which is firm on its feet in order to achieve job creation and development.

The liquidity challenges prevailing in the country will be tackled head-on.

13:16 – Act s of corruption must stop! – asserts President Mnangagwa.

Where these occur swift justice mus follow. We have to aspire to be a clean nation.

To the civil servants President Mnangagwa says it must not be business as usual. Gone are the days of absenteeism.

13:18 -A new culture must now inform our daily conduct.

13:21 -Gvt will ensure relaxation of exports statutes.

He says Gvt will also ensure policies that encourage a new banking culture based on savings and confidence in the banking system.

13:22 – Government will also ensure security and safety for all citizens.

13:23 – He says SADC is home to Zimbabwe as we also acknowledge that we belong to the bigger house of the African Union.

13:24 – He says Zimbabwe has managed to maintain good relations with the global family, but Government will immediately start on a journey to reengage with those who have punished us through sanctions.

13:26 – In the global world, no nation can survive in isolation. Whatever differences that existed with those that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe should pave way for a new beginning.

But of course, our resources remain ours. We remain committees to honoring debts.

“All foreign investment will be safe in Zimbabwe,” asserts President Mnangagwa.

He says Zimbabwe will contribute to the well being of the global political order through the United Nations. Zimbabwe will continue to contribute to the international peace and security within the framework of the UN.

13:30 -President Mnangagwa promises that he will serve everyone and all who consider Zimbabwe their home and encourages all people remain peaceful even as we move into the election period. The Voice of the people is the voice of God.

The newly sworn in President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa finishes his inauguration speech amid cheers.

HIGHLIGHTS

-President Mnangagwa paid tribute to the Former President RG Mugabe for leading the country through the formative years after independence up to now

- Zimbabwe to reengage with the outside world including those that imposed sanctions following the country’s land reform programme

- Land beneficiaries should take advantage of government’s policies to utilize their plots and ensure food security

- To the civil servants, the days of business as usual are over as Zimbabwe needs to hit the ground running

- All foreign direct investments will be safe in Zimbabwe

- Peace and security for all is of paramount importance as Zimbabwe moves a step further in its history.