New chapter for Zimbabwe begins: Latest on President ED Mnangagwa’s inauguration


President Mnangagwa will be sworn into office tomorrow to begin his second term as Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces after his victory in the August 23 elections.

He won the Presidential election after polling 2 350 711 votes (52,6 percent), beating his nearest challenger, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)’s, Mr Nelson Chamisa, who got 1 967 343 (44 percent).

The inauguration will go ahead exactly nine days after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared President Mnangagwa the winner of the election as provided for under Section 94 of the Constitution.

None of the 10 contestants in the Presidential race filed a petition at the Constitutional Court challenging the validity of the result within seven days of the declaration of the winner, paving the way for the inauguration to proceed.

Thousands of Zimbabweans are expected to converge on the National Sports Stadium to witness the historic swearing-in ceremony that will also be attended by Heads of State and Government and other foreign dignitaries, to mark the beginning of a new term of office for the President and his administration.

As of yesterday, 20 countries had confirmed that they will be represented at the inauguration ceremony. Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi confirmed the development.

“The inauguration is going ahead on Monday. 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 none of the parties to the recent electoral contest challenged the result in court at least seven days after it was pronounced.

“The Constitution also says, in terms of grievances, the aggrieved party should file their papers within seven days after proclamation of results. So, the seventh day passed today (yesterday) at 4 p.m. and they had not filed, so what it means is that they cannot file anymore because they are out of time. This means the inauguration will proceed.”

Section 93 of the Constitution provides that: “Subject to this section, any aggrieved candidate may challenge the validity of an election of a President by lodging a petition or application with the Constitutional Court within seven days after the date of the declaration of the results of the election.”

The court must then hear and determine the petition within 14 days, and “the court’s decision is final.”

He said the Government has begun sending out invites to foreign dignitaries, including Heads of States, to witness the historic event. “In terms of invitations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (and International Trade) is responsible for inviting foreign delegates.

What I know is all SADC member states are invited and our friends from Asia and Russia … the majority of countries which are friendly to us have been invited.”

During the swearing-in ceremony, President Mnangagwa will take an oath to uphold the Constitution and to serve the people of Zimbabwe before Chief Justice Luke Malaba, or the next most senior judge available.

He will then assume the powers and responsibilities of the office, including executing the laws of Zimbabwe, appointing Ministers and other Government officials, representing Zimbabwe on the international stage, overseeing the country’s military and promoting the country’s economic development and social welfare.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, David Musabayana said: “I am currently out of town, however, from the last briefing I had, 20 heads of missions had confirmed that their countries will be represented. What I do not know at the moment is if these countries will be represented by Heads of States or heads of mission.”

Local Government and Public Works Permanent Secretary, Mr Zvinechimwe Churu said all was set for the ceremony.

“Gates at the National Sports Stadium will open as early as 6am. Each constituency across the country will be provided with a bus to ferry people who want to attend. Sunday will be the travelling day.”

In a statement last night, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa confirmed that the inauguration ceremony is tomorrow.

“The nation is hereby informed that the inauguration ceremony for His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa will be held on Monday 04 September 2023. This follows his resounding re-election in the 2023 Harmonised Elections.

The main celebrations will be held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare followed by a luncheon at State House for invited dignitaries. Members of the public who wish to attend are advised that gates open at 6 am and buses are available to transport those in need.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said a number of artists are lined up to perform at the ceremony with Jah Prayzah, Chief Hwenje and Sandra Ndebele among the entertainers.

“A football match between the Zimbabwe Warriors and the Namibian National Team known as the Brave Warriors will follow the inauguration ceremony. All Zimbabweans are welcome to witness this glorious celebration at the National Sports Stadium. Nyika Inovakwa nevene vayo, llizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo!,” she said.

— Sunday News

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