Zimbabwe: The African Union expressed satisfaction

February 13, 2009 at 10:02 am | Posted in Africa | Leave a comment
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“For me personally and the African Union Commission as a whole, today is an extremely important and historic day, not only for the people of Zimbabwe but for the whole of our continent” said Chairperson Jean Ping in his address, yesterday Wednesday 11 February 2009, in Harare, Zimbabwe, at the swearing in ceremony of the new Head of Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsangirai, in the presence of President Robert Mugabe.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Jean Ping, introduced the event as a culmination of efforts deployed over the last several months to find solutions to the challenges that have confronted Zimbabwe. He expressed satisfaction saying that as of now, a government of National Unity has been put in place in Zimbabwe and that the wheel of governance will roll again. “The formation of the Government” he explained,
“though the end of one important stage, is the beginning of perhaps a more important stage – that of actually governing and making the system work”.

Chairperson Ping underscored the importance of all the members of government of the Republic of Zimbabwe to work together, irrespective of their different political background. “For you to succeed, it is essential that you put the past behind you and look ahead so as to realize the hopes and aspirations of millions of Zimbabweans and their brothers and sisters in Africa who wish Zimbabwe well”, he advised, adding that he is fully aware that no agreement would have been reached if the leaders of Zimbabwe had not decided to put the interest of the people of Zimbabwe ahead of other interests.  “However, I urge you all to realize that, perhaps it will be even more important to allow national interest to prevail as you grapple with the difficulties that still lie ahead in order to build a new and strong Zimbabwe” he underscored.

Chairperson Ping, also paid tribute to all those who contributed to the resolution of the crisis that led to the establishment of the unity government. He lauded the efforts of SADC, especially its leadership.  The Facilitator and former President of South Africa H.E. Thabo Mbeki has been astute and steadfast in the face of the difficulties he faced in mediating in what was obviously a complex situation”, he noted, while acknowledging   the support received from the new South African leadership and from other SADC leaders in making the unity government a reality. “I pay tribute to the SADC Secretariat, particularly its Executive Secretary with whom I worked closely and regularly” he said, recognizing in this light that this was due to the solid front Africa developed through out the process. “There are many others who played an important role also including the United Nations.  I thank them for accompanying Africa to bring to a close this difficult challenge” he emphasized.

The AUC Chairperson also paid tribute to all of Zimbabwe’s leaders, especially President Mugabe, the new Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Ministers, and others, saying that, despite the major differences between them, they have agreed in the interest of the nation, to work together to bring back hope to the people of Zimbabwe. This, he said, is the spirit that must prevail, as both parties will have to work together for the interest of the whole country.

Mr. Ping further saluted African leaders especially the former Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete, whom he said fully committed himself in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe until a solution was found.  He also thanked especially all of Zimbabwe’s neighbors who he said, extended a hand of fellowship to Zimbabweans in their hour of need and who will, without doubt; continue to do so, as the new Government tackles the problem sit will face.  To that effect, the AUC Chairperson called on the African leaders and states to help the people of Zimbabwe by contributing to the re-building of the country.

Finally, the Chairperson, paid tribute to the people of Zimbabwe who he said, have been extremely resilient in the face of all the challenges they have faced over the last few years, calling on them to cooperate with the government to work in addressing their needs and restoring peace in the country. Chairperson Ping however appealed to the international community to support the Government and people of Zimbabwe especially as the all-inclusive government has been put in place.  He pledged for the lifting of sanctions and humanitarian support to help revive Zimbabwe’s economy. “I wish the government well and assure it that the African Union stands ready to work with you”, he concluded.

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