Emmerson Mnangagwa sworn in as
Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s former vice president, has been sworn in as president bringing the final curtain down on the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe.
“I, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, swear that as the president of the republic of Zimbabwe I will be faithful to Zimbabwe and obey, uphold and defend the constitution and all other laws of Zimbabwe,” said the 75-year-old former security chief known as “The Crocodile,” as he took the oath of office at the national sports stadium on the outskirts of Harare before thousands of supporters, dignitaries and foreign diplomats.
“I will promote whatever that will advance and will oppose whatever will harm Zimbabwe, that I will protect and promote the rights and people of Zimbabwe,” he said. “I will devote myself to the well being of Zimbabwe and its people.”
Foreign delegations including Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Botswana’s President Ian Khama have also attended Mnangagwa’s inauguration.
People were seen in the stadium cheering from the crowds as Mnangagwa was sworn in as president.
Zimbabweans hold a banner as they wait for the arrival of Emmerson Mnangagwa to be sworn in as president in Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov. 24, 2017. /Reuters Photo
Week-long political turmoil
The country’s roughly week-long political turmoil started as a military takeover, developed along with protesters calling Mugabe to leave office, and finally ended with Mugabe stepping down.
Mugabe’s iron grip on power ended on Tuesday when his resignation letter was delivered to parliament, where MPs had convened to impeach him.
Mnangagwa returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday after the ruling ZANU-PF party expelled Mugabe and elected him as its new leader.
Mnangagwa has served in government since the 1980s and was appointed as Mugabe’s number two in 2014. He remained in the position until he was sacked by Mugabe two weeks ago and then fled for his safety, which is generally thought to be the trigger of the crisis.
State-run media had earlier claimed that Mugabe may even attend his successor’s swearing-in, but later suggested that after he and Mnangagwa talked about the inauguration, he agreed he “needed time to rest.”
Mugabe was last seen in public on Friday and gave a defiant televised address on Sunday. Neither he nor his wife Grace, who he had positioned as his successor, has been seen since.
Mnangagwa “assured him and his family maximum security and welfare” for their future as private citizens when the two men spoke for the first time since Mnangagwa returned home this week, the state-run Herald news site reported.