Unity key to nations’ development — President President Mnangagwa with other Heads of State at the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa in South Africa yesterday

Fungi  Kwaramba recently in PRETORIA, South Africa 

UNITY of purpose among citizens of a nation is key to any country’s development, President Mnangagwa has said.

The President, who was part of more than a dozen Heads of State and Government who attended the inauguration of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria yesterday, said going forward, the people of South Africa need to be conciliatory and united to achieve their objectives.

President Mnangagwa returned home yesterday evening and was received by his deputies, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.

In an interview at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, the President said unity is key to any nation’s development.

“The majority of Sadc Heads of State were in attendance, and also leaders of friendly nations like Cuba were there. It went very well, the people of South Africa came in their numbers, it was very smooth.”

President Mnangagwa said his counterpart President Ramaphosa’s speech was conciliatory, as he called on all parties that participated in that country’s general elections to work together for the benefit of South Africans.

“His speech was focused on future development. He spoke about unity. My other takeaway is that he is anxious to have the unity they are building to move forward together. He was very conciliatory with other groups, he said they need to be united to develop their country,  which is very important,” he said.

Following last month inconclusive general elections where the ANC led by Mr Ramaphosa failed to surpass the 50 percent threshold that would mandate it to form a government, the contesting parties agreed to form a Government of National Unity (GNU).

Parties to the GNU include the ANC and the Democratic Alliance (DA), along with three other smaller parties.

Last Friday, the coalition partners elected Mr Ramaphosa as President, and yesterday, he took his oath of office pledging to unite the divided nation.

“I swear I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa. I will obey, observe, and uphold the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic,” Mr Ramaphosa said.

The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

After President Ramaphosa took his oath of office, a band played the national anthem followed by a 21-gun salute and a fly-past by army helicopters before he made his inaugural address.

Vice-Presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga receive President Mnangagwa on his arrival from South Africa at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday

In his speech, Mr Ramaphosa said South Africa will pursue a foreign policy based on human rights, solidarity and peace.

“Together, we will work to promote multi-lateralism for a fairer, more equal, more just and more compassionate world, founded on solidarity and universal human rights,” he said.

South Africa is Africa’s biggest economy and globally, it has been a key player in fighting for the rights of the people of Palestine.

It is also a member of the BRICS economic bloc, which has been reconfiguring the global financial order, with a bias towards the Global South.

“We will join hands with our brothers and sisters across our beloved continent Africa to find peace, to achieve stability, to advance development,” said President Ramaphosa.

“Through the African Continental Free Trade Area, through the construction of roads and rail lines, factories and power stations, Africa will embark on a new age of production and commerce.”

On the domestic front, President Ramaphosa vowed to tackle inequalities in his country, which is regarded as one of the world’s most unequal societies.

“We affirm our determination to build a more equal and caring society. We affirm our resolute quest to build a growing and inclusive economy that offers opportunities and livelihoods to all people,” he said.

The ANC has entered into a coalition government with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and three other political parties and President Ramaphosa said the coalition partners agreed in their mission statement to tackle the challenges confronting South Africa.

“The parties have adopted a Statement of Intent, in which they have committed to pursue rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; to create a more just society by tackling poverty; to safeguard the rights of workers; to stabilise government and to build state capacity”.

He added that the parties in the GNU are also committed to investing in South Africa’s people through quality education and health care, addressing crime and corruption, strengthening social cohesion and building a united nation.




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