PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has thanked the country’s military for embarking on an operation that forced out his predecessor and installed him as the country’s leader last month.
He was presenting his maiden State of the Nation Address before a joint sitting of both houses of parliament Wednesday afternoon where he pledged to fight rampant corruption and further deliver credible polls next year.
“Allow me to commend our national security services, in particular the Zimbabwe Defence Forces who defined by the ethos of the liberation struggle and their unflinching loyalty to our heritage, exuded great astuteness, clarity of purpose and exemplary behaviour in defending the national interest by initiating what has become now known as Operation Restore Legacy,” Mnangagwa said.
The military intervention, described by many as a soft coup, saw the military stage a dramatic seizure of government from then President Robert Mugabe who later resigned under intense pressure to do so.
War veterans, under the leadership of top Mnangagwa ally Chris Mutsvangwa, also moved to secure a court ruling which confirmed the military action was a lawful preemptive strategy to quill what was said to be looming civil unrest brought by national economic strain under Mugabe’s ruinous rule.
In his address, Mnangagwa praised the army for their action.
“This was indeed in line with their mandate of protecting Zimbabwe, its people, its national security and interests and its territorial integrity and by upholding the constitution of our republic as provided for in Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mnangagwa also praised Zimbabweans for maintaining peace and order during the tense period which followed Mugabe’s ouster.
He urged locals to “remain vigilant in safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity and national interests”.
The country’s new leader reiterated his plans to open up the country to free investment through a revision of its tough empowerment laws.
“This task however of projecting our country as a welcoming investment destination remains a collective responsibility for all Zimbabweans across the political divide.
“This therefore demands that we subordinate our partisan and personal interests to the higher objective of building a strong economy for the benefit of current and future generations,” Mnangagwa said in comments apparently directed at the MDC-T which recently dispatched its leaders to discuss the country’s economic situation with the Americans.
The Zimbabwean leader spoke tough against corruption which has seen his administraion go after some former government officials and their allies who are linked to acts of corruption during the Mugabe era.
“Every case must be investigated and punished in accordance with the dictates of our laws; there should be no sacred cows.
“My government will have a zero tolerance towards corruption and this has already begun,” he said as he further pledged to deliver a clean poll next year.
“…My government is committed to entrenching a democratic society, driven by respect for the constitution the rule of law, mutual tolerance, peace and unity. To this end government will do all in its power to ensure that the 2018 harmonised general elections are credible free and fair.”