Vice president Cde Joice Mujuru, Heads of State and Government, Former Heads of State and Government, Outgoing members of cabinet,
Esteemed delegates representing various countries and organisations, Representatives of sister liberation movements and parties, Newly elected Members of Parliament, The Chief Justice and Members of the Judiciary, Senior Civil Servants, Representatives of War Veterans, Detainees, Restrictees and War collaborators, Representatives of the Business Community, Representatives of our Farming Community, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Representatives of the Civil Society, Student activists, Invited guests, Comrades and friends.
On behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, I wish to extend to you all a very warm welcome to this joyous occasion marking the end of our electoral processes, and the beginning of steps towards shaping a new administration which shall mind the affairs of our Nation for the next five years. In welcoming you, I am aware of the inconveniences you suffered from what really was a short notice to this event.
Our invitations reached you very late, forcing you to set aside equally pressing commitments you may have scheduled for the same time.
We apologise most profusely for this inconvenience created by certain Constitutional requirements that perforce precede the inauguration of the President-elect. We had to allow for petitions as required by our Supreme Law.
Yet it is this positive response to this short notice on your part which attests to the deep affinities between you and ourselves.
We are truly humbled and today our hearts are aglow with happiness which we readily share with you on this joyous occasion.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends,
The just-ended harmonised polls whose high point we now gathered to celebrate, do mark and usher in a new Constitutional dispensation for our country, Zimbabwe. This poll is the first we have held under a new home-grown Constitution which has replaced that which we negotiated at Lancaster House with our erstwhile colonial masters, the British, in 1979.