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Back from exile, Mugabe’s ex-deputy Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe president

Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sworn in as Zimbabwe’s President at a ceremony at inside a packed stadium in the country’s capital, Harare.

The swearing ceremony followed the dramatic departure of Robert Mugabe after 37 years of authoritarian rule.

The dismissal of the  former Vice-President earlier this month led the ruling Zanu-PF party and the army to intervene and force Mugabe to quit.

Mnangagwa, who had fled the country, returned from exile on Wednesday. Until recently, he was one of Mugabe’s closest allies.

He took the oath of office at the National Sports Stadium on the outskirts of Harare to an explosion of cheers from the full-to-capacity crowd.

“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,” he said as he took the oath of office before the Chief Justice.

He then received the chain and sash of office, and took salutes and pledges of allegiance from the country’s military and security chiefs.

Mnangagwa, 75, said earlier in the week that 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.

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