Harare, Zimbabwe — President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to proceed with his Monday inauguration ceremony after the opposition decided not to challenge the controversial August 23 general election in court. The ceremony will be held on September 4, 2023, signaling the continuation of Mnangagwa’s rule despite widespread allegations of a flawed electoral process.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, a figure criticized for defending years of allegedly corrupt governance and election manipulation in Zimbabwe, has confirmed his attendance. The invitation underscores the closeness between the two neighboring countries, even as questions over the legitimacy of Zimbabwe’s elections remain unresolved.
In a statement released by Hon M. Mutsvangwa, citizens were informed that the main celebrations will be held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, followed by a luncheon at the State House for invited dignitaries. The public is advised that gates to the National Sports Stadium will open at 6 am, and transportation will be made available for those in need.
The inauguration ceremony promises to be an extravagant affair with several high-profile artists set to perform, including Jah Prayzah and Chief Hwenje Sandra Ndebele among others. The festivities will also include a football match between the Zimbabwe Warriors and the Namibian National Team, known as the Brave Warriors.
Despite the government’s call for unity and celebration, the political climate remains highly charged. The opposition’s decision to forgo a court battle has raised eyebrows, given the pervasive allegations of voter suppression and electoral irregularities. Critics argue that the ceremony serves more as a display of power than a true reflection of democratic choice.
The government’s message remains consistent, with the rallying cry, “Nyika Inovakwa nevene vayo, llizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo!” — roughly translated as “The nation is built by its people, the country is given by its owners.”
However, with an inauguration that follows a discredited election and the opposition’s silence, questions about who the “owners” of the nation truly are seem more pertinent than ever.