The new President Emmerson Mnangagwa ready to serve the nation
Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has addressed a packed stadium, vowing to serve all citizens.
He said he felt "deeply humbled" to take the role. And he said he was "not oblivious to the many Zimbabweans from across the political and racial divide who have helped make this day."
Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to be a president for all Zimbabweans at his inauguration ceremony on this Friday afternoon, which he also paid tribute to veteran leader Robert Mugabe as his "father" and "mentor."
Mr Mugabe left office dramatically this week after 37 years of authoritarian rule. His departure followed a power struggle in which Mr Mnangagwa was sacked as vice president to pave the way for Grace Mugabe, the then-first lady, to take up the presidency.
Mr Mnangagwa fled the country but returned as a hero "The task at hand is that of rebuilding our country," he said.
"I am required to serve our country as the president of all citizens regardless of colour, creed, religion, tribe, totem or political affiliation."
Despite admitting he played a role in Mugabe's demise, Mnangagwa used his first official address to the nation to show respect to Mugabe, whom he said he still personally considered his leader.
"He led us in our struggle for national independence. He assumed responsibility for leadership at a formative and very challenging time," Mnangagwa said, adding later that the nation should "let bygones be bygones."
Mnangagwa laid out his vision to re-energize Zimbabwe's economy, including pledging to implement a series of reforms to boost exports, attract foreign investment and stabilize the financial sector.