Felex Share, Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT-DESIGNATE Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday spoke to outgoing President, Cde Robert Mugabe, and assured him and his family of maximum security and welfare as he apprised him of preparations for today’s inaguration ceremony.
The two leaders, however, agreed that given the hectic events of the past week and a half, the outgoing President needed time to rest and, therefore, may not attend the inauguration.
He, however, expressed his good wishes and support for the incoming President.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services secretary Mr George Charamba confirmed the development.
“The President-elect and outgoing President spoke this afternoon firstly for the President-elect to formally indicate that he is now back in the country and secondly to brief President Mugabe on preparations for tomorrow’s event,” he said.
Mr Charamba said Cde Mnangagwa had guaranteed President Mugabe’s safety.
“He (Cde Mnangagwa) also assured the First Family not just of their own security and welfare but the preservation of law and order throughout the country,” he said.
“Both of them agreed that the former President needed time to rest after the hectic events of the week and half that has gone by and that therefore he may not be attending tomorrow’s inauguration. He (President Mugabe) gave the incoming President his good wishes and support.”
Cde Mnangagwa is set to be sworn-in as Head of State and Government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces at the National Sports Stadium today.
This follows his nomination by the ruling party, Zanu-PF, for him to lead both the party and Government.
Cde Mnangagwa is taking over from President Mugabe who resigned on Tuesday.
President Mugabe stepped down after the Central Committee, Zanu-PF’s highest decision-making body in between Congresses, recalled him.
The Central Committee said President Mugabe (93) needed time to rest as criminals who had surrounded him were causing chaos in the country.
The volatile situation which was being created by the criminals going by the moniker G40 saw the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) intervening.
The ZDF said the intervention, executed in a peaceful manner, was meant to address a political, social and economic situation that could have ended in violent conflict.
The timely intervention by the ZDF has since been hailed by Sadc and the international community as no blood was shed.