Friday, 24 November 2017

Zimbabwe's Next President To Be Sworn In Today

Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa was preparing Thursday for his new role as president after a triumphant return home following the dramatic departure of Robert Mugabe, ending 37 years of authoritarian rule.
Mnangagwa, who has close ties to the army and the security establishment, returned to a hero’s welcome in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, telling crowds of supporters in Harare they were witnessing the start of a new democratic era.
The 75-year-old will be sworn in as president at an inauguration ceremony on Friday and state media suggested that Mugabe may attend and receive a “farewell” guard of honour.
Mugabe fired Mnangagwa as vice president on November 6 over a succession tussle with the first lady, Grace Mugabe. That prompted the military’s intervention and eventually led to the president’s resignation on Tuesday.
Mnangagwa told hundreds of supporters on Wednesday that they were witnessing “a new and unfolding full democracy". "Great speech all round, can’t describe how I felt seeing him after what he went through. All I want is job creation,” said Remigio Mutero, 30, an unemployed IT graduate.
The inauguration will be held at the 60,000-capacity National Sports Stadium, and organisers have called on Zimbabweans “from all walks of life" to come and witness the“historic day”
Supporters of the governing ZANU-PF party will be bussed to the ceremony from across Zimbabwe for the “once in a lifetime event”, a party planning note said.
Ahead of the inauguration, the army warned that criminals had been impersonating soldiers since the crisis and extorting money from the public and called on Zimbabweans to obey the law.
Mnangagwa also wrote a note to the public, acknowledging the uncertainty that has plagued the country since the army took power.
Britain, the former colonial power, said it would send Africa Minister Rory Stewart to the ceremony, but it is understood that no member of the royal family will attend.
Regional heavyweight South Africa said President Jacob Zuma would not be present as he would be hosting a visit by Angola’s new head of state. Zuma also praised Mugabe, noting “his contribution to the liberation of the Southern African region and the decolonisation of the continent”.
Mugabe’s iron grip ended Tuesday in a shock announcement to parliament, where MPs had convened to impeach the 93-year-old leader who had dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life for decades.
He was last seen in public on Friday and gave a televised address on Sunday, but neither he nor his wife Grace has been seen since, with their whereabouts unknown.

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