Taking his oath of office, the 75-year-old former security chief known as ‘The Crocodile’ vowed to uphold the constitution of the former British colony and protect the rights of all Zimbabwe’s 16 million citizens.
Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in on Friday as President of Zimbabwe in front of thousands of cheering supporters at Harare’s national stadium, bringing the final curtain down on the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe. Emmerson Mnangagwa at his inauguration ceremony on Friday paid tribute to veteran leader Robert Mugabe as his “father” and “mentor.”
“He led us in our struggle for national independence. He assumed responsibility for leadership at a formative and very challenging time,” Mnangagwa said, adding later that the nation should “let bygones be bygones.”
Even though most Zimbabweans celebrated the exit of 93-year-old Mugabe, who presided over the descent into penury and despotism of one of Africa’s brightest prospects, some are worried about the future under Mnangagwa.
However, the army’s rough treatment of Mugabe loyalists – former finance minister Ignatius Chombo was hospitalised because of beatings sustained in military custody, his lawyer said – has not allayed concerns about Mnangagwa’s real views of democracy.
Mnangagwa assured Mugabe he and his family would be safe in Zimbabwe when the two men spoke for the first time since Mnangagwa returned home this week.