Harare, Nov 24: Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new President on Friday in a ceremony at a packed stadium here, marking the end of Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign.
The ceremony took place at the capital’s National Sports Stadium and was attended by dignitaries, including leaders from various African countries.
Mnangagwa, 75, was led in the oath of office by Chief Justice Luke Malaba, saying he would “be faithful to Zimbabwe”, “protect and promote the rights and people of Zimbabwe” and discharge his duties to the best of his abilities. He was accompanied by his wife Auxilia.
The ceremony will be followed by a flypast and a gun salute and then the new President will deliver an address, the BBC reported.
Mugabe did not attend Mnangagwa’s inauguration and the official explanation for his absence was that the 93-year-old needed to rest.
On Thursday, several reports suggested Mugabe had been granted immunity from prosecution. Local media reported that Mnangagwa offered the Mugabe family “maximum security and welfare”.
Mnangagwa is better known as “The Crocodile”. In a radio interview two years ago, he explained that a crocodile never leaves the water to search for food. Instead, it waits patiently for its prey to approach.
“It strikes at the appropriate time,” he said.
His dismissal earlier this month led the ruling Zanu-PF party and the Army to intervene and force Mugabe to quit.