PRETORIA– The leaders of South Africa and Angola have congratulated the new Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and vowed to support the country as it enters new era after 37 uninterrupted years of rule by former president Robert Mugabe since independence in 1980.
President Mnangagwa, 75, was sworn in on Friday as the second president of Zimbabwe in a colourful ceremony attended by thousands of Zimbabweans and foreign dignitaries. He succeeds Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday after military and public pressure put an end to his hold on power.
Mnangagwa will serve as interim president until the next general election, orginally scheduled for August 2018 when Mugabe’s term was set to expire. Thereafter, the people of Zimbabwe are set to elect their next leader.
We take this opportunity to congratulate President Mnangagwa and hope that with the support of the people of Zimbabwe, he will be able to steer the country successfully through this transition period, said President Zuma here Friday after the ceremony to welcome Angola’s President JoAPound o Manuel Lourenco, who is in the country for a State visit.
President Zuma did not attend President Mnangagwa’s swearing-in ceremony as he is hosting the State visit and has instead delegated Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele, to represent him.
President Lourenco committed Angola to walk the path with Zimbabweans.
The two Presidents went on to pay tribute to Mugabe for his gallant contribution to the southern African liberation struggles against colonialism and apartheid.
President Zuma, who met President Mnangagwa in Luanda on Wednesday to discuss the unfolding situation in Zimbabwe before he returned to Zimbabwe, said he was re-assured that former President Mugabe and his family would be treated with the greatest respect and dignity and that they would be secure in Zimbabwe.
We both agreed as well that the place of President Mugabe in the history of the liberation struggles of the continent and the SADC (Southern African Development Community) will forever be remembered and acknowledged, added President Zuma.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK