MOSES MATENGA AND VIMBAI TANDI
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in for his second term in office on Monday amid a hive of celebrations joined in by yesteryear nemesis in a show of tolerance across the political divide hailed by observers who likened it to the late former President’s “turn swords into ploughshares” speech in 1980 following a protracted war.
Mnangagwa was previously involved in fierce political clashes first with former Vice President Joice Mujuru who was later hounded out of office leading to the veteran politician being appointed deputy to then President Robert Mugabe in 2014.
Immediately, Mnangagwa was subjected to a barrage of attacks by then First Lady Grace Mugabe who never hid her disdain of the former Justice Minister.
Working with the G40 cabal, Grace constantly attacked Mnangagwa who was forced to endure attacks before he was subsequently dismissed by Mugabe for allegedly “lacking probity.”
There were fears that relations between Mnangagwa and his former boss’ wife were too frosty to thaw again but Monday events pointed a new beginning.
After having last met in DRC in August 2022, Grace pitched up on Monday accompanied by daughter Bona who both embraced Mnangagwa amid loud cheers from the crowd.
Grace appeared as if she had a lot to share with Mnangagwa as they briefly spoke.
She was later captured on video chatting with First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa before a luncheon organized by the First Family.
Activist Jones Musara said the presence of Grace Mugabe, Mujuru and Mphoko at the Monday event was a good sign for the country.
“Among many wonderful things which characterized the historic inauguration is not only the attendance of the former First Lady Amai Mugabe but also attendance of former VPs Amai Joice Mujuru and Phelekezela Mphoko,” Musara said.
“This speaks to the increasing maturity in Zanu PF circles where senior people associated with Zanu PF in the past or present increasingly understand that reconciliation is better than hostilities,” he added.
“To his credit, President Mnangagwa, from the day he became President, was magnanimous in victory. He did not seek vengeance. He said let bygones be bygones and he went on to walk the talk by refraining from revenge against those who at that time had, from within Zanu PF, opposed him.”
Mnangagwa was under siege from the G40 cabal that was fronted by Grace amid beliefs it also had the backing of Mugabe.
Other members of the G40 cabal then were Savior Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao among many others.
They all openly challenged Mnangagwa using all sorts of words and accusations to block his rise.
Mphoko was also present at the swearing in ceremony and just like Mujuru, received loud cheers when he interacted with Mnangagwa.
Monday’s gathering was also graced by business leaders, clerics including United Family Interdenominational Church founder Emmanuel Makandiwa.
Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) leader Walter Magaya was also present while opposition leaders, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, Linda Masarira among others were also in attendance.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa together with his African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Fikile Mbalula who has been vocal against external interferences in Zimbabwe’s affairs especially by the west allegedly working with some African leaders.
“As the African National Congress, we remain committed to building a better Africa and a better world and we believe that Zimbabwe is an important partner in this collective endeavor,” Mbalula said.