Southern African Development Community (sadc) leaders have hailed Zimbabweans and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) for handling the transitional processes that occurred in the country in a peaceful manner, Zanu-PF First Secretary and President-designate Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday. Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters who gathered at the party's headquarters in Harare to welcome him, Cde Mnangagwa said the tranquillity that prevailed had made Zimbabwe and sadc proud. "Today we are witnessing the beginning of a new unfolding democracy," he said.
"I wish also to thank the manner in which our defence forces under the leadership of General (Constantino) Chiwenga have been able to manage this process peacefully. I was in constant contact with the service chiefs throughout and may I also inform you that in my discussions with some Heads of State including spending today about one and half hours with President (Jacob) Zuma (South Africa), also the President of Namibia (Hage Geingob), the former president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete and others, they have hailed the discipline and peacefulness of the people of Zimbabwe. They are saying the way you have managed this process makes sadc proud not only in this continent, but worldwide."
Cde Mnangagwa yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Zuma before jetting into the country. The ZDF last week, intervened to thwart a potentially volatile social and economic situation hatched by criminals who were surrounding former President Cde Robert Mugabe. After the ZDF intervention, the Zanu-PF Central Committee recalled Cde Mugabe as the party's First Secretary and President.
Earlier on, Zimbabweans had demonstrated peacefully, calling for the resignation of the President, who finally dd so on Tuesday. Cde Mnangagwa thanked Central Committee and Politburo members for uniting in recalling Cde Mugabe as the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President. The developments saw the former president resigning.
"May I thank my colleagues led by Cde (Obert) Mpofu, who systematically, constitutionally processed the process which led to a point where the former President said I now step down," Cde Mnangagwa said.
"He is now the former President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. I, with great respect and humility, express profound gratitude to my colleagues in the Central Committee and Politburo for the manner they constitutionally processed resolutions which persuaded this moment to come by." Cde Mnangagwa added: "I also wish to mention the manner in which the Speaker of Parliament handled the process. He was under tremendous pressure from the powers that were at the time, but he stood his constitutional right and I applaud him for that.
"The intention to derail this process was intense, but as is said the will of the people will always succeed."