Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s new president Friday rallied all Zimbabweans to unite and work together to revive the battered economy.
In his inaugural speech soon after being sworn in as president, Mnangagwa said his government would prioritize economic revival to create jobs and a better life for Zimbabweans who have endured more than a decade of economic hardships.
“The people of Zimbabwe, the task before us is much bigger than competing for political office,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa paid special tribute to former president Robert Mugabe, who he described as a father, mentor, and comrade in arm.
He said Zimbabweans must never forget the work that he did for the country before and after independence.
Mugabe resigned on Tuesday after military and public pressure, ending his 37-year stay in power.
While pledging Zimbabwe’s commitment to clear its external debts to multilateral creditors, Mnangagwa implored Western countries to remove sanctions imposed on the country.
“As we build a new democratic Zimbabwe, we ask those who have punished us in the past to reconsider their economic and political sanctions against us,” he said.
He said Zimbabwe stood ready for a steady re-engagement with all nations in the world, saying the country will take bold steps to re-engage with countries that have isolated it.
In his speech, Mnangagwa highlighted the political, social and economic agendas his government will push for, including boosting exports, fighting corruption and tackling liquidity challenges the country currently experienced.
The new president said his new government would ensure national elections scheduled for 2018 will go ahead as planned.
He also said Zimbabwe’s land reform program will not be reversed, adding that his government is committed to compensating white farmers whose land was taken for redistribution to black Zimbabwean farmers.
Moreover, Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa said, welcomes gainful partnerships with international investors in order to revive the economy.
“The bottom line is an economy which is back on its feet. Only that way can we recover our economy, create jobs and reduce poverty.”