Mnangagwa sworn in as President
Lovemore Ranga Mataire
Former Zimbabwe vice president, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, has been sworn in as President replacing long-time ruler, President Robert Mugabe who resigned on Tuesday, 21 November.
Chief justice Luke Malaba swore in the new President amid a deafening applause from tens of thousands of people who packed the National Sports Stadium in Harare to witness the historic occasion.
“I, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, swear that as 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, so help me God,” he said, as he took the oath of office.
The inauguration follows Mnangagwa’s earlier dismissal from government and the governing ZANU–PF party by President Mugabe after which the army intervened and executed what it termed “Operation Restore Legacy”.
An impeachment process initiated by parliamentarians had to stop midway on Tuesday when President Mugabe finally relented after mass protests from Zimbabweans, and tendered his resignation through Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda.
Present at the inauguration were Presidents Ian Khama (Botswana), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Phillipe Nyusi (Mozambique), Namibia’s vice president Nickey Iyambo who was accompanied by former presidents Hifikepunye Pohamba and Sam Nujoma.
Other former presidents who attended the ceremony include Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda (both from Zambia).
Opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC) and former vice president Joice Mujuru now leader of the National People’s Party (NPP) also attended the ceremony.
Mnangagwa is the second executive president to be sworn in after the country gained independence from Britain. The first president was Canaan Banana, who was largely ceremonial with then Prime Minister Mugabe having all the executive powers.