August 27, 2018 11:42 AM NPT
Women queue to enter the National Sports Stadium in Harare ahead of the official inauguration ceremony of Emmerson Mnangagwa as the President of Zimbabwe, on August 26, 2018. PHOTO | JEKESAI NJIKIZANA | AFP
HARARE, Aug 27: Emmerson Mnangagwa was officially sworn in as president of Zimbabwe on Sunday after winning a bitterly contested election that marked the country's first vote since strongman Robert Mugabe was ousted from power.
Mnangagwa, whose victory in the July 30 polls was challenged by the main opposition, pledged to "protect and promote the rights of Zimbabweans" in an inauguration ceremony attended by thousands of supporters at a stadium in Harare.
"I Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa swear that as president of the Republic of Zimbabwe I will be faithful to Zimbabwe (and) will obey, uphold and defend the constitution of Zimbabwe," Mnangagwa said in an oath greeted by thunderous applause from a crowd that also included several African heads of state.
Since independence from Britain in 1980, Zimbabwe has known only two presidents -- Mugabe, who ruled with an iron fist for 37 years, and his erstwhile right-hand man Mnangagwa.