80 000 expected at Mugabe's inauguration

2013-08-21 10:10
Robert Mugabe (AP)

Robert Mugabe (AP)

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Cape Town – Zimbabwe has declared Thursday a national holiday to allow people to take part in President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration with officials expecting up to 80 000 people to attend the main event in Harare, a report said on Wednesday.

According to newzimbabwe.com, international stars who include an unnamed Jamaican star and Ladysmith Black Mambazo from South Africa have been invited to perform at the inauguration.

Mugabe confirmed on Sunday that he would be inaugurated on Thursday as he returned from a summit of the SADC grouping in Malawi where regional leaders endorsed his re-election in the 31 July vote.

"We have set Thursday as the day for inauguration," he said.

"That’s when I will take the oath, which will be followed by a careful consideration of the names of people you voted, the people you saw fit to lead you in parliament. That’s where we will pick the ministers."

News Day reported that at least 40 heads of state were scheduled to attend the ceremony.

Commenting on preparations for the inauguration, acting Harare governor, Alfred Tome said: "We have got a great event and the whole world will stand still on that day."

The inauguration had been delayed by a court petition filed by Mugabe's arch-rival Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who argued that the veteran leader’s landslide victory had been achieved through fraud and rigging.

But Tsvangirai dropped his case in the Constitutional Court last Friday as party officials admitted the case was weak in the absence of information they wanted from election officials.

Read more on:    mdc  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  zimbabwe elections 2013  |  southern africa

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