EDITORIAL COMMENT: Former President Mr Robert Mugabe’s gesture welcome
Daughter of former President RG Mugabe, Mrs Bona Chikore greets Vice President Kembo Mohadi at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday

Daughter of former President RG Mugabe, Mrs Bona Chikore greets Vice President Kembo Mohadi at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday

WE welcome former President Mr Robert Mugabe’s endorsement of his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa as this will help ease the tension between them and in the long run heal the wounds that have been festering since events of November last year when Operation Restore Legacy was successfully executed.

Mr Mugabe on Sunday congratulated President Mnangagwa on his election victory and sent his daughter, Bona, to represent him at the inauguration of the Head of State at the National Sports Stadium in Harare. Bona was accompanied by her husband Mr Simbarashe Chikore to the ceremony which was attended by several Heads of State and Government, vice presidents of various countries, special envoys from around the world and opposition leaders.

Mr Mugabe, who could not attend the ceremony together with his wife Grace as they were both not feeling well, wrote a hearty congratulatory letter to President Mnangagwa. The President read out the letter before he delivered his acceptance speech, much to the applause of the crowd.

“At this juncture let me read the letter I have received from our former President,” said President Mnangagwa. “Your Excellency, thank you for your invitation to me and my wife to attend the inauguration ceremony. My wife is not well in Singapore and also I am not well. So I am sending my daughter and her husband to represent us. Hearty Congratulations!”

Mr Mugabe seemed bitter since his resignation in November last year after the military intervened to arrest a fast deteriorating socio-economic and political environment in the country.

He had aligned himself with the MDC-Alliance in the just ended July 30 harmonised elections, declaring on the eve of the polls that he would not vote for Zanu-PF. The move attracted wide condemnation from across sectors with most people labelling Mr Mugabe a sell-out as he had spent decades denouncing MDC.

However, following his latest move, all hope is not lost and we commend him for swallowing his pride and seeking to mend relations with his longtime confidante. President Mnangagwa and Mr Mugabe’s relations date back decades to the liberation struggle where the former was a special assistant to the then leader of the Zanla forces.

What is instructive is that Cde Mnangagwa has remained respectful of his former boss even when provoked to the extreme by the actions of the G40 cabal and the former President’s wife, Grace. The President has always maintained that Mr Mugabe will be accorded all the respect he deserves as a liberation struggle stalwart and founding Head of State. His patience could be yielding the desired result judging by the congratulatory letter sent by the former President.

Indeed there is no need for the ruling Zanu-PF party to preoccupy itself with the actions of Mr Mugabe as some of his pronouncements are motivated by the same cabal that usurped his powers at the tail end of his tenure. It is unfortunate that this group still seeks to take advantage of the former President’s advanced age to further their nefarious agenda. But now that their shenanigans have come to naught following Zanu-PF’s emphatic two thirds majority victory in Parliament and President Mnangagwa’s triumph in the presidential poll, this toxic cabal is likely to shrivel into obscurity and wilt therein. They will not be missed.

As for Mr Mugabe, we are glad that he has come to terms with reality and hopefully, has seen the light. It would be a sad day were his bitterness to come back to haunt him. Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa has his hands full following a fresh five-year mandate and we wish him well as he puts together a new Cabinet which must hit the ground running and steer the country to prosperity.

We are confident that the President will pick a capable team of proven achievers who will kick start the economic transformation of the Second Republic.

We urge the President to focus on the job at hand and not be swayed by sideshows from the opposition MDC Alliance who are intent on refusing to accept the reality of defeat.

MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa boycotted the presidential inauguration and we can only assume that he is bitter at the decision of the Constitutional Court which unanimously threw out his petition seeking to nullify results of the July 30 presidential election.

He has also threatened to roll out street protests but we doubt anyone will heed his call as Zimbabweans witnessed for themselves the paucity of the Alliance’s case as it was torn to shreds in the Constitutional Court. We also wish to commend other opposition parties like Dr Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T for attending the inauguration ceremony. This shows maturity and magnanimity in defeat. Zimbabwe deserves such politicians as they add value to the national cause.

The task of rebuilding the economy requires the collective efforts of all Zimbabweans.

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