16:51 20 February
10:06 20 February
10:03 20 February

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa to be sworn in as president on Friday

Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president on Friday, marking a new era for the country ruled by Robert Mugabe from independence nearly four decades ago until his swift downfall this week, APA reports quoting Reuters.


The ruling ZANU-PF party has nominated Mnangagwa to fill the vacancy left by Mugabe on Tuesday and he will be sworn in on Friday, said Jacob Mudenda, the speaker of parliament.


Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa as vice president two weeks ago to smooth a path to the succession for his wife Grace, who is much younger than the 93-year-old leader. Mnangagwa fled for his own safety and the military seized control, shattering Mugabe’s authority.


He returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday, a ZANU-PF official said. Mnangagwa issued a statement from hiding on Tuesday calling on Zimbabweans to unite to rebuild the country.


Mugabe held on for a week with ZANU-PF and others urging him to quit. He finally stepped down on Tuesday as parliament began an impeachment process. People danced in the streets and some brandished posters of Mnangagwa and army chief General Constantino Chiwenga, who led the takeover.


The demise of Mugabe leaves Zimbabwe facing a different situation to other African countries where veteran leaders have been toppled in popular uprisings or through elections.


By contrast, the army has engineered Mnangagwa’s path to power and for decades he was a faithful lieutenant of Mugabe and member of his elite. He was also in charge of internal security when rights groups say 20,000 civilians were killed in the 1980s.


“Mugabe has gone but I don’t see Mnangagwa doing anything different from that old man. This is not the change I expected but let us give him time,” said security guard Edgar Mapuranga, who sat by an bank cash machine that was out of money.

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/ 21 February, 2018