Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sworn in as president of Zimbabwe, marking the end of Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign over the country.
Tens of thousands of cheering supporters today streamed into the capital’s National Sports Stadium to witness Mnangagwa, a former vice president, take the oath of office.
In his inaugural speech, Mnangagwa promised that elections would be held next year and vowed to work to advance the lives of all Zimbabweans.
“As we focus on recovering the economy, we must shed misbehaviors and acts of indiscipline which have characterized the past,” he said, adding that “Acts of corruption must stop.”
Mnangagwa’s rise to power comes after weeks of drama in the wake of his dismissal by Mugabe that resulted in a military takeover on November 15.
Mugabe, who initially resisted calls to step down, eventually stepped down on Tuesday.
According to reports, the 93-year-old former president has been granted immunity from prosecution and a benefits package as part of a negotiation deal.
Saying the country had now entered a “second phase” since gaining independence in 1980, he also expressed a willingness to re-engage with the international community and stressed that foreign direct investment was key to resolving the country’s economic crisis.
According to Aljazeera, his comments came amid warnings from the International Monetary Fund that “immediate action” was needed to address the country’s liquidity crisis.
Zimbabwe’s main stock market index, which had been on the rise over the past two months, slumped by 40 percent following the military’s takeover.