Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa was on Monday sworn in for a second term after being declared the winner of last month’s disputed election, as he promised to lift millions out of poverty.
Zimbabweans went to polls on Aug. 23 to elect a new president, parliamentarians and local council members, but the main opposition party described the results as a “gigantic fraud”.
In his speech after being sworn in, Mnangagwa pleaded for unity in the aftermath of the polls, promising to revive the ailing economy.
“Responsive policies which begun in the first term of my presidency are on course to lift many out of poverty,” Mnangagwa said.
Thousands of Mnangagwa’s supporters, mostly bussed in from across the country, sang and danced as the 80-year-old walked into the National Sports Stadium alongside his wife.
He took oath of office in front of Chief Justice Luke Malaba who in 2018 declared Mnangagwa as winner following a constitutional court challenge.
“I stand as a president of all. I offer you individually and collectively, unity,” Mnangagwa said.
Several African leaders, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mozambique leader Phillipe Nyusi and Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi attended the swearing-in ceremony, while Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema chose to stay away.
Mnangagwa’s second term comes amid unrelenting economic challenges, with the Zimdollar having plunged 80% since the start of the year while international funding remains frozen.