Opposition snubs Mugabe’s inauguration

The country’s main opposition party, the MDC-T, on Thursday boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of President Robert Mugabe following last month’s hotly disputed elections.

The MDC-T, together with other opposition parties, civil society and many observers, claim Mugabe won the election fraudulently.

Official ZEC results gave Mugabe 61 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Morgan Tsvangirai, who had been Prime Minister in a tense power-sharing deal with the president.

Ahead of Mugabe’s inauguration there was much hype in the state media that 40 Heads of State would attend. But only a few did, including four from SADC, barely five days after the regional bloc endorsed Mugabe’s electoral victory in Malawi.

Only Presidents Jakaya Kwikwete of Tanzania, Armando Gebuza of Mozambique, Joseph Kabila of DRC and Namibia’s Hifikepunye Pohamba were at the stadium.

The majority of those in attendance were former Presidents who have passed on the baton to younger leaders. These were Thabo Mbeki, Joachim Chissano, Benjamin Mkapa and Sam Nujoma.

Most leaders either sent their deputies, foreign ministers or representatives. On the eve of the inauguration there was nothing to show that the country was about to witness an historic event, especially when you examine Mugabe’s crowd-pulling ‘rented’ rallies and the ‘overwhelming’ votes he got from the elections.

While thousands of Mugabe’s supporters packed the National Sports Stadium for the ceremony, there was gloom in most parts of the country as people are still trying to come to terms with how Mugabe rigged the elections.

Harare based journalist Itai Dzamara said the much-anticipated inaugural ceremony passed off as a missed opportunity that lacked detail as Mugabe gave little guidance as to how the country will proceed from the contested poll.

Others Zimbabweans took to Facebook to ask Mugabe how he plans to move the country forward. Writing under the name Hamufari Dzaida Wechitatu Gwerevende, one FB user said: “Congratulations Gushungo (Mugabe’s totem) for your 7th term in office. Today I have defied my senses and decided to write and ask you a few questions.

Since you are going to be the head of State, whether its by Nikuv or by threats, Gushungo: What will your ZANU PF government do to ensure that proceeds from minerals e.g diamonds benefit all Zimbabweans

How will your government improve the dilapidated roads, hospitals, water infrastructures, electricity etc

The rural population is so marginalised, unemployment stands above 80% how and what are you going to do to create employment for them?

Gushungo how are you going to lure the skilled citizens who are in diaspora together with foreign investors? – SW Radio Africa

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