Zimbabwe’s former deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa has Friday been sworn in as the new President, promising to organizing credible elections next year.
Mnangagwa who returned to Zimbabwe from exile where he had fled after being sacked two weeks ago took oath as President amid wild cheers in Zimbabwe’s main sports stadium in Harare on Friday.
The 75-year-old pledged to “protect and promote the rights and people of Zimbabwe” and to serve all citizens regardless of their distinctions.
“We should never remain hostages of our past. Let the bygones be bygones.”
“The task at hand is that of rebuilding our country. I am required to serve our country as the president of all citizens regardless of colour, creed, religion, tribe, totem or political affiliation,” Mnangagwa told an audience of thousands of people who filled he stadium.
He also vowed to tackle corruption, compensate farmers who lost their land, create jobs and also promised to revamp the economy through a new economic policy on agriculture and focusing om foreign direct investment.
His predecessor Robert Mugabe was not present but long time opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru – who both had their sights on the presidency at various times – were there.
The new President was kind to his predecessor Mugabe with whom he fought to liberate the country from colonial administration, describing him as “a father, mentor, comrade in arms and my leader”.
“History will grant him his proper place and accord him his deserved stature as one of the founding fathers and leaders of our nation,” he said making reference to Mugabe.
The unprecedented transition of power in Zimbabwe shocked the entire world following rapid events that unfolded in the last one week. The sacking of Mnangagwa had resulted into a military seizure of power in protest of a possible succession by the first lady Grace Mugabe.
When Mugabe finally resigned the top office on Tuesday, Mnangagwa was the only suitable candidate within the ZANU-PF party.