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Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai sworn-in
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009

Herald Reporter
February 12, 2009
The Herald

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister by President Mugabe together with his two deputies, Professor Arthur Mutambara and Ms Thokozani Khupe, at a colourful ceremony at State House in Harare yesterday.

The three took their oaths of office and loyalty, at midday, in the presence of Sadc leaders, the Zanu-PF leadership, MDC-T and MDC, MPs, chiefs, diplomats, senior civil servants and their families.

Mr Tsvangirai was the first to take his oath in which he pledged to "well and truly serve Zimbabwe in the Office of Prime Minister of Zimbabwe".

Leader of the MDC Prof Mutambara was next, followed by Ms Khupe of MDC-T.

The three also pledged to freely give their counsel and advice to President Mugabe in the management of the Republic's affairs and not to reveal matters discussed in Cabinet and those committed to their secrecy.

The chairman of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, King Mswati III of Swaziland, led invited guests in congratulating the trio before a photo session for the presidential party.

President Mugabe pledged to co-operate with his new partners in Government.

He called for the burying of differences, stressing that the three parties were now united by the imperative need to address the myriad of challenges that face Zimbabwe.

"We must stand together as fellow Zimbabweans, sons and daughters of the soil, to chart a common destiny for our country and our people, anchored on the fundamental principles of sovereignty and self-determination."

The President said the road to yesterday's "historic occasion had been long, tedious and often frustrating" while it was not easy to overcome the "deep-seated mistrust among ourselves".

"The situation was made worse when our detractors unashamedly sought to derail our negotiations by using overt and covert means. However, with the support of Sadc, we were able to remain focused and to overcome all obstacles," he said.

President Mugabe paid tribute to Sadc for its assistance in the process and the facilitator, Cde Thabo Mbeki, for his outstanding diplomatic skills and rising above the criticism and vilification that he was subjected to.

"Indeed, there were moments when even the negotiators lost patience with him. Yet today, we can say Thabo Mbeki's quiet diplomacy has spoken."

Cde Mugabe said King Mswati's presence and that of his deputy in the Troika, President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, showed Sadc's goodwill while Zimbabwe was also gratified to have African Union Commission chairperson Mr Jean Ping, Sadc executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salomao, and South African foreign affairs minister Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma to witness the event.

He described the day as great and historic, saying it marked a number of milestones in the evolution of Zimbabwe's young democracy.

"It also marks a victory for Africa and, indeed, for Sadc.

"Today, we have demonstrated that Africans can resolve African problems. We, Africans, have the capability and culture to get together.

"Above all, it is a victory for Zimbabwe. It shows that we have the capacity to resolve our differences through negotiation and compromise. We must, therefore, build on this unity of purpose and demonstrate political maturity by turning our swords into ploughshares in our service to the nation."

President Mugabe said the inclusive Government faced many challenges that must be addressed urgently to ensure economic recovery and nation-building by making industries work and create jobs.

"In this regard, all of us should vigorously work together in calling for the immediate removal of sanctions in order to allow Zimbabwe to enjoy its membership rights to international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. Not only that, but to participate in bilateral relations."

Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe should engage the international community on the basis of equality and partnership and not as beggars.

He said although Zimbabwe faced challenges of food, health, water and sanitation, these should not be allowed to characterise "our national condition".

"We are a nation of hard workers, certainly a people not content with being dependent on handouts. In this regard, as I thank those countries and organisations that have assisted us in addressing the current humanitarian challenges, it is our wish to see the current interventions in the humanitarian sector redirected from the provision of mere relief, to programmes that foster sustainable recovery and development."

President Mugabe said the inclusive Government should serve the people and not leaders by being responsive to the problems faced by people.

"In this regard, I once again pledge my personal commitment and that of my party, Zanu-PF, to the letter and spirit of the Global Political Agreement, as well as to the success of the inclusive Government. I, therefore, call upon the people

of Zimbabwe and the international community to lend the greatest support to this new Government."

Mr Tsvangirai said the new Government should prioritise education, health and food to ensure children go back to school, hospitals start working and people have enough food.

He assured those who were critical of the new Government that it might not have been a "perfect arrangement" but it was the "only workable arrangement".

Prof Mutambara called for unity and the immediate lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

"This is a new era in Zimbabwe. We must work together as a team, we must speak the language of working together, the language of unity," he said.

Prof Mutambara said it was now time for the doubting Thomases to support and embrace the new Government.

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