Zimbabwe’s incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday thanked Zimbabweans and the military for their support. In his first public address to supporters upon his return to Zimbabwe from exile, Mnangagwa said he was humbled by the outpouring of support after he was sacked by former president Robert Mugabe two weeks ago, Xinhua news agency reported. He immediately pledged to serve the people, saying all Zimbabweans need to unite and grow the economy for employment creation. “We want peace in our country, we want jobs for our people,” he said. Mnangagwa, due for swearing in on Friday, said Zimbabwe needs the support of the international community in order to rebuild its battered economy. He said he had already begun to receive pledges of support from several foreign countries. Zimbabwe, he said, was witnessing the founding of new democracy after the military helped to depose long-serving former president Mugabe from power. He also praised the military for the peaceful manner in which it handled its operation that culminated in Mugabe resigning Tuesday, ending 37 years of his grip on power.
He said he had survived many attempts on his life by Mugabe’s administration, including his poisoning in August while at a ZANU-PF rally. “Exactly 16 days ago, I received a letter firing me from the government of Zimbabwe as Vice President. Within two hours I was informed about plans to eliminate me. Realizing that on the 12 of August this year I was subjected to poisoning which resulted in my being airflifted to South Africa and again I thank you Zimbabweans for your prayers. I survived that poisoning,” Mnangagwa told hundreds of cheering supporters at the ZANU-PF headquarters in the capital. He also thanked the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda for resisting pressure from some quarters that wanted to derail the process of ousting Mugabe from power.