Emmerson Mnangagwa has been inaugurated as Zimbabwe’s new president after a court rejected claims the election was rigged.
It is the second time in nine months the country has sworn in a president following the departure of Robert Mugabe.
The military-backed Mr Emmerson, who again took the oath of office, faces the massive task of rebuilding a declining economy and uniting a nation deeply divided by a vote that many hoped would deliver change.
Mr Mnangagwa, 75, who took power from his mentor Mugabe with the military’s help in November, said “my door is open and my arms are outstretched” to main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa after the Constitutional Court rejected opposition claims of vote-rigging and upheld the president’s narrow victory on 30 July.
He said: “It is time to move forward together,” and promised democratic and economic reforms after Mugabe’s repressive 37-year rule.
He has also vowed to launch an investigation into alleged violence during the election.
Mr Chamisa, who claimed he had evidence of vote-rigging, said he rejected the court ruling and called the inauguration “false.”
He said: “They know they can’t invite me to a wedding where I was the one supposed to be receiving the gifts.”
Mr Chamisa,40, has called for dialogue with Mr Mnangagwa but suggested that talks on power-sharing must first acknowledge the opposition leader’s alleged victory.
He said: “You cannot steal my goats and then ask me to come and share them with you.”
Supporters of the president and ruling ZANU-PF party filled the 60,000-seat National Sports Stadium in the capital, Harare.
The heads of state of South Africa, Congo, Rwanda and Zambia and elsewhere attended.
Zimbabwe’s economy is in freefall and analysts say Mr Mnangagwa’s immediate tasks in his five-year term should include solving severe cash shortages and high unemployment that has forced thousands of people onto the streets while millions of others have fled the country.
Giving the blessing before the oath of office, religious leader Andrew Wutawunashe appealed to Donald Trump and other leaders to lift sanctions.
He said: “We are saying to you … we have at last found a man who can make our small nation a great nation. Please help him.”