Emmerson Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president

Emmerson Mnangagwa, former vice-president of Zimbabwe, has been sworn in as the country’s president.

The swearing-in ceremony took place at a stadium in the country’s capital, Harare.

Luke Malaba, chief justice of Zimbabwe, administered the oath of office on Mnangagwa, who vowed “to be faithful to Zimbabwe, protect and promote the rights and people of Zimbabwe and discharge his duties to the best of his abilities”.

He succeeds Robert Mugabe, who was forced to step down after ruling for 37 years.

Mugabe had sacked Mnangagwa to apparently pave the way for Grace, his wife, to succeed him. This created friction in the ruling ZANU-PF.

After issuing a warning to Mugabe, the military seized power and placed the 93-year-old ruler under house arrest.

Mugabe, who initially resisted pressure to quit, reportedly struck an immunity deal with the military and the party leadership.

A government source said Mugabe told negotiators he wanted to die in Zimbabwe and had no plans to live in exile.

“It was very emotional for him and he was forceful about it,” said the source, who was not authorised to speak on the details of the negotiated settlement.

“For him, it was very important that he be guaranteed security to stay in the country…although that will not stop him from travelling abroad when he wants to or has to,” the source said.

When Mnangagwa spoke with his predecessor for the first time since he returned from exile, he assured Mugabe that he and his family would be safe in the country.

The state-owned The Herald newspaper said Mugabe and Mnangagwa had agreed that the former leader may not attend the swearing-in ceremony because he was tired.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), an intergovernmental organisation has promised to work with the new president.

SADC is a 16-country intergovernmental organisation which is currently chaired by South Africa President Jacob Zuma.