Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018 | Last Update : 02:10 AM IST

Zimbabwe’s new President to be sworn-in on Friday

AFP
Published : Nov 23, 2017, 6:05 am IST
Updated : Nov 23, 2017, 6:07 am IST

Mugabe was last seen in public on Friday and gave a televised address on Sunday.

People gather outside Harare’s airport to welcome former Zimbabwean vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. (Photo: AFP)
 People gather outside Harare’s airport to welcome former Zimbabwean vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. (Photo: AFP)

Harare: Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa flew home on Wednesday to take power after the resignation of Robert Mugabe put an end to 37 years of authoritarian rule.

Mr Mnangagwa flew into Harare’s Manyame airbase from South Africa and met key members of the ruling ZANU-PF there before heading to the nerve-centre of power, State House, for a briefing, his aide Larry Mavhima told AFP. He will be sworn in as president at an inauguration ceremony on Friday, officials said.

Mr Mugabe’s iron grip ended on Tuesday in a shock announcement to Parliament where MPs had convened to impeach the 93-year-old who dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life for decades.

He was last seen in public on Friday and gave a televised address on Sunday but neither he, nor his wife Grace, have been seen since, with their whereabouts unknown.

On the streets, the news that his long and often brutal leadership was over sparked wild celebrations which lasted late into the night, with crowds dancing and cheering ecstatically amid a cacophony of car horns.

Mr Mnangagwa, 75, was sacked by the president on November 6 in a move that pushed infuriated army chiefs to intervene, triggering a series of events which led to Mr Mugabe’s ouster.

Ahead of his arrival, hundreds of people gathered outside ZANU-PF headquarters in Harare in the hope he would address them, some holding placards welcoming him home, while others wore shirts emblazoned with his likeness.

A former key Mugabe ally, Mr Mnangagwa had fled the country after his dismissal, saying he would not return without guarantees of his safety.

His sacking was the result of an increasingly bitter succession battle with first lady Grace, who had been pushing to take over from her ageing husband.

Tags: emmerson mnangagwa, robert mugabe, zimbabwe army