Mnangagwa, 75, hailed the “voice of the people” at Harare’s national stadium and vowed to protect the rights of all 16 million citizens.
Soon to-be president, Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife Auxillia arrive at Harare’s national stadium
Zimbabweans wait in anticipation for the presidential inauguration ceremony of Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare, Friday
Speaking to the ecstatic crowd, he paid tribute to Mugabe, describing him as “a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and leader”. Still, he made note of the “errors” made under Mugabe’s rule.
Mnangagwa said: “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.”
Insisting he felt “deeply humbled” to take the role, Mnangagwa added : “The task at hand is that of rebuilding our country.
The new president hailed Mugabe as his ‘mentor’ as he took the oath of office, and promised to reviving a once-prosperous economy that has collapsed amid mismanagement and international sanctions
Ready for the change: Women hold portraits of Mnangagwa
Spectators buzz with excitement before the presidential inauguration ceremony begins
“I am required to serve our country as the president of all citizens regardless of colour, creed, religion, tribe, totem or political affiliation.”
Mnangagwa was once one of Mugabe’s closest allies and one of the most powerful officials within Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party.
But on November 6, he lost out in a simmering succession battle with the former first lady, Grace Mugabe, 52. subsequently he was sacked from his post as vice president for showing “traits of disloyalty”.
Presidential walk: The newly sworn-in leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, inspects guard of honor by the military after taking the oath of office
Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace having their first photop since the former dictator was granted immunity as part of a resignation deal, was ‘Too tired’ to attend the inauguration of his successor
Emmerson and his wife Auxillia wave to cheering crowd at Friday’s inauguration
The military was the vanguard of the transition in power: Army General Constantino Chiwenga, who cautioned Mugabe the military would intervene before it took place, is seen arriving for Emmerson’s inauguration
Zimbabwe’s judges take their places before Mnangagwa takes the oath of office, Friday in Harare
Time for a change. Attendees gesture as they wait for the inauguration ceremony to swear in Mnangagwa as the country’s new president commences.
Hero’s welcome: The cheering throng that welcomed the president to-be as he returned from exile on Wednesday
At the behest of the military, Mugabe’s 37-year reign came to a dramatic end on Tuesday. The world’s oldest serving head of state resigned as parliament started to the impeachment process against him, a week to the day after the army stepped in to seize power. He had reneged on a negotiated resignation package two days earlier, even as the ruling ZANU-PF party, dropped him as the leader.
At 93, he was the world’s oldest head of state and was the only leader the country had known since its independence in 1980.
News emerged overnight that Mugabe was told by the new leadership team his involvement in the massacring of 20,000 tribespeople would be exposed if he did not volunteer to resign.
Emerson Mnangagwa is seen walking on the pitch at the National Sports Stadium after he was sworn in as President, Friday. The new leaders, allegedly vowed to expose Mugabe’s order to massacre 20,000 tribesmen unless he ‘volunteered’ to resign
Robert Mugabe was told he would be exposed as a corrupt mass murderer by Zimbabwe’s military leaders unless he ‘volunteered’ to resign.
The 93-year-old was warned that his reputation would be destroyed with the release of secret police files containing records of his personal orders to slaughter thousands in the early 1980s.
More than 20,000 members of the Ndbele tribe were killed, with pregnant women bayoneted and disembowelled, in the 1980s because they supported a rival party opposed to Mugabe.
Details of the despot’s direct involvement – said to be confirmed in telegrams and telephone records obtained by the secret police – would have left him open to war crimes charges.
Spectators make a colorful splash at the inauguration today of Emmerson Mnangagwa at the nation stadium in Harare on Friday
Hours before he resigned on Tuesday night, prompting euphoric scenes as thousands poured onto the streets, Mugabe received a chilling visit from army chief General Constantine Chiwenga, the military leader of the coup.
In talks all week at Mugabe’s sprawling mega-million 25-bedroom palace, the despot had argued about complex legal and constitutional issues. after he was seized last Tuesday.
The end of the Road for the planned Mugabe dynasty in Zimbabwe
After taking the oath Mnangagwa received the chain and sash of office, and took salutes and pledges of allegiance from the country’s military and security chiefs.
He made a range of promises with the aim of reviving a once-prosperous economy that has collapsed amid mismanagement and international sanctions, adding that he will reach out for more foreign investment.
‘In this global world no nation is, can, or need be an island. All foreign investments will be safe in Zimbabwe,’ he said.
President Mnangagwa insisted it was time to rebuild the nation from the foundations Mugabe had laid down. Earlier in the week, he said Zimbabweans were witnessing ‘a new and unfolding full democracy’, although critics say he is a hardliner in the ruling ZANU-PF who gained power in a de facto military coup.
Known as The Crocodile for his ruthlessness, he has also been accused of overseeing the infamous Ndbeleland ethnic massacres and political violence.
They’re gone! Jubilant citizens show their joy on Friday
Zimbabweans had gathered early ahead of the presidential inauguration of Mnangagwa – the country’s second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.
The sustained pressure on 93-year-old Mugabe to quit from the military, the ruling party and massive demonstrations, appears to have taken its toll on the former dictator.
Both Mugabe and Mnangagwa came to the agreement that the outgoing leader would not attend today’s event in order for him to rest because he was too tired.
Mnangagwa vowed to tackle corruption synonymous with Mugabe’s long reign, saying that ‘the culture of government must change, and change now’.
The incoming Zimbabwe leader assured the former president he and his family would be safe in the country when the two men spoke for the first time since Mnangagwa returned home this week.