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Incoming Zimbabwe president thanks public and military support

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s incoming president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday thanked Zimbabweans and the military for their support.

In his first public address to supporters upon his return to Zimbabwe from exile, Mnangagwa said he was humbled by the outpouring of support after he was sacked by former president Robert Mugabe two weeks ago.

He immediately pledged to serve the people, saying all Zimbabweans need to unite and grow the economy for employment creation.

"We want peace in our country, we want jobs for our people," he said.

Mnangagwa, due for swearing in on Friday, said Zimbabwe needs the support of the international community in order to rebuild its battered economy.

He said he had already begun to receive pledges of support from several foreign countries.

Zimbabwe, he said, was witnessing the founding of new democracy after the military helped to depose long-serving former president Mugabe from power.

He also praised the military for the peaceful manner in which it handled its operation that culminated in Mugabe resigning Tuesday, ending 37 years of his grip on power.

He said he had survived many attempts on his life by Mugabe’s administration, including his poisoning in August while at a ZANU-PF rally.

"Exactly 16 days ago, I received a letter firing me from the government of Zimbabwe as Vice President.

"Within two hours I was informed about plans to eliminate me.

"Realizing that on the 12 of August this year I was subjected to poisoning which resulted in my being airflifted to South Africa and again I thank you Zimbabweans for your prayers.

"I survived that poisoning," Mnangagwa told hundreds of cheering supporters at the ZANU-PF headquarters in the capital.

He also thanked the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda for resisting pressure from some quarters that wanted to derail the process of ousting Mugabe from power.


Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa makes first
public appearance after being sacked

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s incoming president Emmerson Mnangagwa was greeted with wild cheers by supporters at ZANU-PF headquarters as he made his first public appearance after being sacked by former president Robert Mugabe on Nov. 6.

During a public address made at the headquarters, Mnangagwa thanked Zimbabweans for receiving him back into the country.

"Today we are witnessing the unfolding of democracy in our country ...

"I appeal to all genuine, patriotic Zimbabweans to come together so that we grow our economy," he said.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said earlier on Wednesday that Mnangagwa will replace ex-president Robert Mugabe who resigned Tuesday.

The swearing in of Mnangagwa will take place Friday.

The ruling ZANU-PF party on Sunday reinstated Mnangagwa into the party and nominated him to replace Mugabe as party leader.

Emmerson Mnangagwa to be sworn in as president Friday: state media

HARARE (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in on Friday to replace ex-president Robert Mugabe who resigned Tuesday, the state broadcaster said Wednesday.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said Mnangagwa, who had been out of the country since he was fired by Mugabe on Nov. 6, was expected to arrive back in the country Wednesday evening.

The swearing in of Mnangagwa comes after the ruling ZANU-PF party on Sunday reinstated him into the party and nominated him to replace Mugabe as party leader.

Zimbabwe advocacy group underscores
democratic election following Mugabe resignation

HARARE (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean advocacy group, the Election Resource Center (ERC), said on Wednesday it welcomed Mugabe’s resignation but highlighted the efforts Zimbabweans must make to ensure a democratic election and a democratic government.

"The ERC insists that a smooth transition must be characterized by a clear road map towards democratic elections in Zimbabwe," it said.

Zimbabwe is due to hold national elections no later than September 2018.

Mugabe resigned Tuesday following military takeover of government and protests by Zimbabweans for him to resign.

The resignation brought to an end Mugabe’s 37-year grip on power and was received by wild celebrations by Zimbabweans.

The new government, the ERC said, must focus on strengthening state institutions such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

The new administration must also immediately align electoral laws with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and create a secure political environment that allows citizens to freely express themselves, it added.

"Only then can the current transition truly benefit Zimbabweans who have been yearning to freely express themselves in democratic processes without fear or favor.

"Zimbabweans must not only register to vote in the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration process but continuously engage and hold those in authority accountable," it said.

Botswana continues to support Zimbabweans

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Botswana has promised to continue supporting Zimbabweans’ endeavors to rebuild the country’s political and economic status.

Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Botswanan Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, said here on Wednesday that Botswana will hold up its support to Zimbabwe.

The minister said Botswana will always be available to provide support for the Zimbabwean people’s "new democratic journey of opportunity".

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s 37 years’ rule came to an end on Tuesday with his resignation.

Meanwhile Botswana has lifted a travel embargo on its citizens intending to travel to Zimbabwe.

"Botswana wishes to inform citizens that it is lifting its advisory on travel to Zimbabwe issued a week ago," said the minister.

Last week, Botswana issued a travel ban to citizens travelling to Zimbabwe following reports of a military takeover in that country.

South Africa ruling party to support rebuilding Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s ruling party, African National Congress (ANC), on Wednesday called for the country and the region to support Zimbabwe’s road to reconstruction.

The ANC General Secretary Gwede Mantashe, while addressing a press conference in Johannesburg, said they are ready to work with Zimbabwe to rebuild the country,

"We must continue to respect and celebrate Mugabe for the role he played over the last decade.

"We will continue working with comrades in Zimbabwe.

"We will not tell them on who should lead," he said.

Mantashe praised Zimbabweans for a peaceful transition with no shootings and deaths, but declined to comment whether ousting of the Zimbabwean leader was justified, saying it’s not for them to comment on that.

He said regime changes cause chaos like what happened in Libya but pointed out that what happened in Zimbabwe is not regime change.

Zanu P.F is still the ruling party.

Mantashe said they will support and work with the new administration under Mnangagwa.

South African Parliament also commended Zimbabwean institutions and citizens for their conduct during the problems the country faced. Moloto Mothapo, Parliamentary spokesperson said Mugabe’s resignation would help with the peaceful transition to a new leadership.

"We also commend the restraint displayed by key institutions and ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe in what could have degenerated into an increasingly tense, protracted and troubled situation.

"As Zimbabweans chart the way forward, we pledge our ongoing support for democracy and development in their country."

Zimbabwe’s ruling party pays tribute to former president

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s governing Zanu-PF party has paid tribute to former President Robert Mugabe for his contribution to the Southern African nation before and after independence.

Spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo told The Herald newspaper Tuesday that people must "acknowledge that he did so much for the liberation of Zimbabwe and indeed as Prime Minister and President post independence."

"He deserves to rest and I believe every Zimbabwean agrees with this position," Moyo said, wishing Mugabe well.

Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since it attained independence from Britain in 1980, resigned on Tuesday following military intervention into government affairs.

At independence, Mugabe came up with policies of education, health and housing for all and ensured that more schools and health institutions were built for the previously marginalized majority blacks.

Because of his education policy, Zimbabwe is considered to have the highest adult literacy rate in Africa.

Chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomed Mugabe’s decision to step down, saying that the decision will go down in history as an act of statesmanship that can only bolster his political legacy.

"It (AU) looks forward to Zimbabwe continuing to play a leading role in the affairs of the African continent, as a democratic and prosperous state meeting the aspirations of its people," Mahamat said.

Mugabe will be remembered as a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter, and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation, he said.

African Union and European Union welcome Mugabe resignation

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) have welcomed the resignation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s decision will go down in history as an act of statesmanship that can only bolster President Mugabe’s political legacy, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission in a statement later Tuesday.

Mugabe resigned on Tuesday after pressure from the military and Zimbabweans, ending his 37-year grip on power.

His resignation was greeted with wild scenes of celebration by Zimbabweans who now look forward to a new political dispensation in the country.

President Mugabe will be remembered as a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter, and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation, AU’s statement said.

Faki Mahamat noted that AU recognizes that the Zimbabwean people have expressed their will that there should be a peaceful transfer of power in a manner that secures the democratic future of their country.

He said he is confident that the people, together with all their leaders, will remain steadfast in their commitment to fulfill their legitimate aspirations.

The AU looks forward to Zimbabwe continuing to play a leading role in the affairs of the African continent, as a democratic and prosperous state meeting the aspirations of its people, he said, adding the Southern African country has AU’s full support in the period ahead.

In a statement, the EU said Mugabe’s resignation had shown that he has listened to the voice of the people.

EU high representative Federica Mogherini said the new government must now work on consolidating constitutional order and ensuring that inclusive dialogue is established to encourage acceleration of key reforms in the country.

"An orderly and irreversible transition towards genuinely democratic elections is our shared objective. The consolidation of the constitutional order and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms are key," said Mogherini.

She said the EU stands ready to assist Zimbabwe in achieving a more prosperous and democratic future in cooperation with the AU and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).



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