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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
text of President Robert Gabriel Mugabe's inauguration speech as
he took the oath for a seventh five-year term on August 22, 2013
President Robert Gabriel Mugabe
August 22, 2013
Vice president Cde Joice
Heads of State and Government,
Former Heads of State
Outgoing members of cabinet,
Esteemed delegates representing
various countries and organisations,
Representatives of sister
liberation movements and parties,
Newly elected Members
The Chief Justice and
Members of the Judiciary,
Senior Civil Servants,
Representatives of War
Veterans, Detainees, Restrictees and War collaborators,
Representatives of the
Representatives of our
Members of the Diplomatic
Representatives of the
Comrades and friends.
On behalf of the people
of Zimbabwe, I wish to extend to you all a very warm welcome to
this joyous occasion marking the end of our electoral processes,
and the beginning of steps towards shaping a new administration
which shall mind the affairs of our Nation for the next five years.
In welcoming you, I am aware of the inconveniences you suffered
from what really was a short notice to this event.
Our invitations reached
you very late, forcing you to set aside equally pressing commitments
you may have scheduled for the same time.
We apologise most profusely
for this inconvenience created by certain Constitutional requirements
that perforce precede the inauguration of the President-elect. We
had to allow for petitions as required by our Supreme Law.
Yet it is this positive
response to this short notice on your part which attests to the
deep affinities between you and ourselves.
We are truly humbled
and today our hearts are aglow with happiness which we readily share
with you on this joyous occasion.
and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends,
harmonised polls whose high point we now gathered to celebrate,
do mark and usher in a new Constitutional dispensation for our country,
Zimbabwe. This poll is the first we have held under a new home-grown
which has replaced that which we negotiated at Lancaster House with
our erstwhile colonial masters, the British, in 1979.
While the Lancaster
House Constitution served us well as we moved from war to peace,
from a settler colonial administration to black African self-rule,
the passage of time and the sheer weight of emerging issues progressively
made the document rather too old.
We thus had to work on
a new Constitution. Consequently, we sat together as a united people
and produced a draft document that was subsequently endorsed by
the majority of our people through a well-subscribed Referendum
we held early this year.
True, today’s event
marks the inauguration of the President, but it is also a celebration
of our new Charter which shall guide our society for the foreseeable
A key feature of this
Constitution is its blending of first-past-the post electoral approach
and proportional representation.
Elections for Presidency,
for the Lower House or House of Assembly, and for Local Government
are managed under first-past-the post principle, while membership
of the Upper House or the Senate is drawn up on the basis of proportional
representation based on votes garnered by each vying party, while
recognising the Constitutional need for gender parity.
and Gentlemen, comrades and Friends,
I have no doubt that the days of our elections were quite engrossing,
if not, nail-biting to some of you.
The undue politicisation
and publicity of our polling processes, the ominous auguries that
stalked those harmonised polls, could have made you fear for us,
indeed may have triggered deep anxieties regarding our prospects
here. Routinely we were imaged as a society at war, a society riven
After all, the preceding
of 2008 had been disputed on allegations of violence, itself
a fertile backdrop to these rumours of war. Since that disputed
poll, Zimbabwe had hung on an uneasy peace, indeed had tenuously
held together on a fraught coalition, an inclusive
Government of three uneasy partners.
Genuine friends feared
that the five uneasy years during which the coalition had survived
- barely - would soon see Zimbabwe to this violent patch which had
slurred its electoral honour.
Our enemies and detractors
sought to goad us toward such a self-destructive path.
Happily, this negative
augury, this hell-fire vision of Zimbabwe and its electoral prospects
now stands confounded by the durable peace that reigns over this
We have had peaceful
elections. We have had free elections. We have had fair elections,
with our Constitution allowing for any challenges from whomsoever.
Well done Zimbabwe! We
pledge to ensure that the peace we have built endures. And that
the attainment of that peace we pay unstinting tribute to all our
people who accepted the exhortations to peace from us all, who practiced
and radiated it reciprocally in their immediate neighbourhoods.
The result was local peace which built towards and fed into perfect
I want to pay tribute
to my partners in the Global
Political Agreement for joining hands in these peace-building
efforts. Equally, I salute church and community leaders who prayed
for it, demonstrated it through personal example.
I have no doubt that I continue to count on them all for durable
peace that subsists for all times.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends,
Except for a few Western
dishonest countries, our elections have been hailed as peaceful,
free, fair and credible. Sadc, Comesa, the African Union, the ACP,
the United Nations as well as many nations of good will have praised
our elections here. We welcome this positive spirit, this encouragement
which should see us do even better, move forward faster as a nation.
But like in all elections,
there will always be bad losers, real spoilers. It is a part-price
we pay for electoral democracy, indeed an inevitable phase in our
growth as a people wedded to democratic practices. Where such a
grousing stance remains non-antagonistic, where it expresses itself
within the four corners of the law, it must be tolerated as part
of the democratic tussle, part of the post-electoral adjustment.
As of those odd Western
countries who happen to hold a different, negative view of our electoral
process and outcome, well, there is not much we can do about them.
We dismiss them as the vile ones whose moral turpitude we must mourn.
They are entitled to
their views, for as long as they recognise the majority of our people
endorsed the electoral outcome, indeed for as long as they recognise
that no Zimbabwean law was offended against. And for us that is
all that matters. After all, Zimbabwean elections are meant for
Zimbabwe’s voting citizens.
After all, Zimbabwean
democracy is meant for the people of Zimbabwe who must, within set
periods, go to the polls to choose and install a government of their
choice. It is their sole prerogative and no outsider, however, superior
or powerful they imagine themselves to be, can override that right,
let alone take it away from them.
It is our inherent right. We fought for it when it was lost .We
won it through our own blood. We keep it for us and posterity; we
reserve forever as an expression of our sovereignty as a free people.
Today we tell those dissenting
nations that the days of colonialism and neo-colonialism are gone,
and gone forever. The era of white colonial “whispers behind
the African throne” passed on and got buried together with
Lord Laggard the author of this anti-African, neo-colonial notion.
Having struggled for
our independence our fate has irrevocably orbited out of colonial
relations, indeed can no longer subsist in curtsying and bowing
to any foreign government, however, powerful it feigns itself to
be and whatever filthy lucre it flaunts.
We belong to Africa.
We follow African values here. We follow our conscience. We abide
by the judgment of Africa as indeed, we did in 2008 when Africa
advised us to set aside results of the disputed elections.
Today it is Britain,
and her dominions of Australia and Canada who dare tell us our elections
were not fair and credible. Today it is America and her illegal
sanctions which dare raise a censorious voice over our affairs.
Yes, today it is these Anglo-Saxons who dare contradict Africa’s
verdict over an election in Zimbabwe, an African country.
Who are they, we ask?
Who gave the gift of seeing better than all of us?
and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends,
With the elections now
behind us, we can now focus on rebuilding our nation which has been
ravaged by illegal sanctions imposed on us by the West. If yesterday
the pretext for imposing those sanctions was to do with a deficit
of democracy here, today we ask those culprit nations what their
excuse is now?
Whose interest are those
sanctions serving? Zimbabwe is an open, friendly country. We seek
friendship across geographies, across cultures, and quite often
against past wrongs. We seek partnerships with all nations of goodwill,
but partnerships based on sovereign, equality and mutual respect.
Those are the sacred principles that upon which the global architecture,
as defined by the United Nations, is founded.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends,
Elections here were fought
over the question of sovereignty gained in 1980 after a gruelling
armed liberation struggle. Today the flag of that sovereignty flutters
gaily in the winds of our spring. We sing our national anthem, itself
a compendium of all that we aspire for, with full-throated ease.
We have a government
through which we define policies, itself the prime agent for implementing
those same policies. That government reigns over our territory,
its authority firmly felt to the remotest corner of our territory.
We have sought the political kingdom, we have found it.
But much remains to be
done before we assume full sovereignty, well beyond the owning of
politics, indeed beyond symbols and rituals of independence. Our
resources have not yet fully come. Yes, we regained control over
our land and our people are happy.
Today they revel in the
ownership of that land which has now come. They are beginning to
use it profitably, using it for durable wherewithal. They have become
key players in agriculture, proving that they are as good farmers
as any in the world, once they have access to key inputs. It has
been a key milestone.
But our dominion goes
beyond land. It extends to all those resources found in and on our
territory, including those lying beneath our land, principally minerals.
And nature has been generous,
prodigal in fact, granting us oversized portions of almost all minerals
that matter on earth. It has been a generous serve. The time has
come for us to extend our dominion to all those resources which
the Almighty has been so generous enough to give. That is the next
revolution whose first step is this administration, this new Government.
I stand before you as
now a sworn President of Zimbabwe. My mandate comes from the just
ended election which my party won resoundingly. But there are key
truths that come with that victory, which come with that honour.
The peasant who cast
his vote on July 31, created my victory and thus made a portion
of my Presidency, I am at his service, and his emissary and servant.
He or she did not cast that precious vote in vain, did not repose
it in us without expectations of a good, deserved return.
Similarly, the unemployed
youth who cast his vote did so amidst great expectations. He, too,
moulded my Presidency. He, too, claims it. It must work for him,
deliver to him. The woman - that larger half of mankind voted for
me V a man! She has deep hopes that must be fulfilled!
The businessperson, he
or she too, voted for me, contributing a limb to my Presidency.
He or she has definite expectations founded on his or her role in
society as a creator of wealth.
The farmer - small, medium,
big - voted for my party, thereby assigning my Presidency. His vote
was his input; he must now turn the soil, broadcast seed in the
hope of plenty. I am the instrument of his dream. The self-employed,
that small man and woman always struggling on the margins of the
formal economy, he or she, too, has expectations, great expectations
So, too, are those who
did not vote me, those who voted for other parties. They have hopes
and expectations which must reside and repose in my Presidency.
As we move into the future,
our work as a nation is cut out for us. Although God may favour
us, not all men do. We have been under sanctions for a decade and
three years. Most likely we shall remain under these sanctions for
much longer. But we have held our own. Our will has been our principal
We have to raise ourselves
by our bootstraps. Let me share with you my vision for the future,
lay out for you the work that must be done.
Foremost, we must always
believe in ourselves by turning to our own resources. Luckily they
exist in fair abundance. The mining sector will be the centrepiece
of our economic recovery and growth.
It should generate growth
spurts across sectors, reignite that economic miracle which must
The sector has shown
enormous potential, but we are far from seeing its optimum. We have
barely scratched our worth, even in the sense of merely bringing
above ground what we already know to be embedded in our rich soils.
We need to intensify the exploitation of existing deposits.
More mineral deposits
remain unknown, unexplored. We need to explore new deposits, developing
new greenfield projects in the mining sector.
Above all, we need to
move purposefully towards beneficiation of our raw minerals. The
scope is great and I call upon you all to summon your full will,
to give your utmost. That is what will empower us, develop us, indeed
create employment for our people.
As we go about reorganising
this critical sector, our policy reflexes must be oriented towards
the goals of indigenisation and economic empowerment of our people.
This was the centrepiece of our manifesto. This is what the people
voted for. It must become the centerpiece of our development endeavours.
We dare not let our people
down. We are aware that people of ill-will have cast aspersions
on our hallowed policy of indigenisation and economic empowerment.
Well, it is a set policy, our chosen path to full sovereignty.
The premise of what policy
is an easy one. Our minerals are a depletable resource. We cannot
grow them again once they have been exploited. Consequently, we
cannot be bystanders in their exploitation. We need a share, a controlling
share in all ventures that exploit our non-renewable natural resources.
Where we can, we can go it alone. Where we cannot do so, we seek
partners on a 51/49 percent shareholding principle. Genuine partners
should find this acceptable.
We reject totally as
skewed the economic principle which puts capital, technology or
expertise before natural resources. It is a principle of imperialism,
the source of unequal agreements which have been the bane of our
ever exploited Africa. That is our reckoning here and we stand by
Unequal agreements are
unacceptable; they reek of colonial and neo-colonial relations.
But where an investor brings in his or her capital, technology,
expertise and raw materials, we will not insist on the principle!
The five years of the
inclusive Government have seen a slowdown in agriculture. Our farmers
- big and small - have gone without the support of Government. They
have not been assisted in accessing inputs and capital from banks.
Except for tobacco which has been funded by the private sector,
food agriculture which tended to lean on Government support declined.
Yet agriculture remains
the mainstay of our economy, the source of raw materials for our
manufacturing sector. We must become a food secure nation, and that
means sensible agriculture policies that recognise support to the
farmer by way of inputs. No nation on earth does without such support.
The new Cabinet will
be expected to move with full speed in mobilising adequate inputs.
Equally, issues around electricity and irrigation must be tackled
definitively so that this season marks a return to food sufficiency,
and anticipates an active winter season which should see us growing
part of our wheat requirements again.
After all, agriculture
provides livelihoods and direct employment to thousands of our people.
There are pressing social
service challenges which must be tackled immediately. Taps are dry
in most of our cities and towns, worse so in Bulawayo. Water must
be restored; taps must run again. The search for durable solutions
to water supply for our towns and cities must begin almost immediately
with the announcement of a new Cabinet.
We cannot have erratic
water supply in urban conurbations without risking outbreaks of
serious diseases. And of course our hospitals, clinics and dispensaries
must be well equipped for health delivery.
Often our clinics have
run out of essential drugs, vital pieces of equipment and accessories.
Rural areas have been hit hardest. That area must be stabilised
as a matter of urgency.
Another key area of urgent
attention has to do with infrastructure. Happily we had already
begun working on our road networks, with many rehabilitation projects
in the offing. These must be expedited so mobility of people, goods
and services is expedited. The same also passes for other modes
The road maintenance
equipment which the responsible Ministry has been acquiring for
rural development agencies should see us maintaining feeder roads
in anticipation of the agricultural sector and other economic activities.
It is gratifying to not that the community share ownership programmes
have also played their part in hastening community development.
A key facet of infrastructural
development shall relate to water provision and sanitation, especially
in rural areas.
Equally, the supply of
electricity must be stabilised both for the sake of our domestic
users and for the sake of agriculture, industry and commerce.
We have key power projects
which are about to take off, and which, if completed, should augment
internal power generation. All these are key enablers which must
now kick in. There are many financing models which the new Government
will explore, including public-private-partnership on the strength
of which some projects have moved.
When all is said and
done, our financial system or policy will need to be examined including
the banking institutions and their supporting role to industry.
Partly as a result of sanctions and partly because of regional manufacturing
and trade dynamics, Zimbabwe has declined as a regional manufacturing
We are fast turning into
one huge warehouse, a dumping ground for all manner of imports.
Our cities and towns are dying. Bulawayo, for a long time the industrial
capital of Zimbabwe, has now become a sorry industrial scrap-yard.
And this has been an indicative trend for all manufacturing centres
in the country.
We have become a net
importer of finished goods, while also being a net exporter of raw
Even our cotton industry,
for a very long time an area of comparative advantage, has collapsed,
with it many small cotton growers. This has become a structural
handicap which we must tackle head on, and urgently too. Plans to
resuscitate our ailing industries never took off largely because
of internal contradictions during the era of the inclusive Government.
That era is gone and we must now move purposefully.
Internationally and diplomatically we remain friendly and well disposed
towards all nations.
We seek friendships.
We seek partnerships. We seek to diversify our relations to encompass
new, emerging regions of the world. Principally; we continue to
look East, hoping all those countries which had held back on fears
of our unsettled situation here can now move forward to partner
with us on clear parameters laid out in our policies.
We seek peace; we work
for peace and exhort the rest of the world to do likewise.
We do not brook any form
of interference in the internal affairs of other nations. A strong
sense of right must always temper might. As our own case demonstrated,
often it is local solutions which work best in curing problems that
may rise within and between nations.
The current Western policy
of sponsoring conflict in the Middle East must be condemned.
As the desperate situation
in Syria has shown, such a policy brings enormous grief to affected
nations. We watch helplessly as small nations get wrecked by high-handed
nations. We hold deep fears for Egypt, that great African country.
We hope that peace can return to it soon, and hold for all time.
In concluding, I want
to thank countries of Africa, both singly and organised as sub-regions.
In particular I thank Sadc and AU for standing with us during our
difficulties. I thank the sister Republic of South Africa, I thank
its leadership which, in succession, played the difficult role of
facilitating political dialogue and settlement in our country.
It was a trying task
but the two men burdened with that role, firstly, former president
Thabo Mbeki who is here with us, and later President Jacob Zuma
bore it all with amazing patience and perseverance. I am sure today
is a happy day for both men. They can walk tall in full knowledge
that they have signed off a rare but glorious chapter on African
solutions to African problems! Siyalibonga sonke!
Lastly, I owe nothing
but praise and respect to my GPA-era partners who are also my fellow
I am referring to former
Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, former Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara and, much later, Professor Welshman Ncube.
We have worked together.
Initially compelled by GPA protocols, we eventually found each other
and proceeded to produce the current Constitution.
This is our land, our
country together and for as long as our nations subsist, so will
elections and the opportunities they offer.
Our common destiny bids
us to work together, never at cross purposes.
that destiny bids us to work for the well-being and in defence of
our people who must always come first. I thank you all! I thank
you Zimbabweans of all tribal cultures, of all religious and political
affiliations, thank you traditional Chiefs, thank you all civil
servants, all students, all social groups, all youths, mothers and
fathers, well done.
Ngiyabonga! Zikomo kwambiri, Asante sana!
I thank you!
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