Monday 4 September 2023

700 BUSES FOR ED'S INAUGURATION

GOVERNMENT has dispatched about 700 buses countrywide to ferry people to the National Sports Stadium in Harare for President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration ceremony today.

On August 26, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) declared Zanu PF leader Mnangagwa winner of the August 23 and 24 presidential election race.

Zec said Mnangagwa garnered 2 350 711 million votes (52,6%) of the 4 468 730 votes cast, while the runner-up Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)’s Nelson Chamisa secured 1 967 343 million votes representing 44% of the votes.

However, Chamisa is arguing that the election should be nullified owing to various incidents of alleged vote theft and fraud.

Chamisa has not challenged Mnangagwa’s victory in court.

“The nation is hereby informed that the inauguration ceremony for His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa will be held on Monday 4 September 2023,” Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said in a statement.

“This follows his resounding re-election in the 2023 harmonised elections. The main celebrations will be held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare followed by a luncheon at State House for invited dignitaries. Members of the public who wish to attend are advised that gates open at 6am and buses are available to transport those in need.”

With Mutsvangwa and Information permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana not answering their phones yesterday, a government official, who said he was not authorised to release information to the media, told NewsDay that each constituency had been allocated at least three buses.

“There will be at least three buses per each constituency to transport people to the National Sports Stadium,” the official said.

“[Local Government minister] July Moyo is responsible for transport logistics. He can shed more light.”

Moyo referred questions to the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha said the buses would be available to everyone regardless of political affiliation.

“Zanu PF provincial chairpersons will have their own logistical arrangement in terms of transport to ferry people to the inauguration,” Bimha said.

Several heads of State will send representatives to Mnangagwa’s inauguration.

Only South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi are the heads of State who indicated that they would attend Mnangagwa’s inauguration.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame will be represented by Senate President Fran├žois Xavier Kalinda, while Belarus will be represented by its deputy Prime minister.

The Tanzanian prime minister will be representing the country, while Nigeria will be represented by its vice-president Kashim Shettima.

China will be represented by its vice-president and Kenya will be represented by its prime Cabinet secretary Musalia Mudavadi.

Lawyer Jeremiah Bamu said it was a cause of concern that the invitations for the inauguration were sent out well before the seven days provided for in the Constitution to challenge the election of the President had not lapsed.

 “Section 93 of the Constitution states that aggrieved candidates may challenge the validity of an election of a president within seven days, in this case it was Saturday” Bamu said. “However, there are concerns that preparation for tomorrow (today) inauguration started within the seven days  of the electoral challenge given by the Constitution, meaning to say they had eliminated any possibility of electoral challenges.” Newsday

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