Harare, ZIMBABWE: Emmerson Mnangagwa has officially been sworn in as the new president of Zimbabwe replacing 93-year old Robert Mugabe who resigned after a military takeover.
Popularly known as the “The Crocodile”, Mnangagwa on Friday took the oath of office at the national sports stadium on the outskirts of Harare in front of thousands of supporters, dignitaries and foreign diplomats.
Botswana president Ian Khama, Zambian President Edgar Lungu, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, were among the heads of state that attended the ceremony.
The 75- year old who was once Mugabe’s Vice President before their fallout, becomes the third president of Zimbabwe after Mugabe; who took over from the country’s first black president Canaan Banana who served mostly in a ceremonial role.
Mugabe revised the Constitution to make the presidency an executive post during his tenure.
During his first speech as President, Mnangagwa vowed to improve the country’s economic development and ensure that foreign investments in the country are protected and free from corruption.
“Our system of economic growth will incorporate market economy in which enterprises will be protected. We welcome mutual partnership with international investors. All foreign investments will be safe.” Said President Mnangagwa.
The country which hasn’t had a currency of its own since 2009, after hyperinflation killed off the old Zimbabwean dollar, hopes to revive its glory as a thriving economy through the new leadership of President Mnangagwa.
The US dollar has been the main currency for transactions, as well as the South African Rand.
President Mnangagwa has called upon all those who had left Zimbabwe for greener pastures to come back help grow the economy.
Mnangagwa who received military training in China and Egypt, became the country’s spymaster during the 1980s civil conflict, in which thousands of civilians were killed. He has however denied any role in the massacres, blaming the army.
Mugabe who is in increasingly frail health and had been positioning his wife Grace as his successor did not attend the swearing-in ceremony.
The leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change Morgan Tsvangirai was present during the inauguration ceremony where he received massive applause when he arrived at the stadium.