Emmerson Mnangagwa sworn in as president after court ruling

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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.”

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa,left, is congratulated by Chief Justice Luke Malaba after taking his oath during his inauguration ceremony at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. The Constitutional Court upheld Mnangagwa's narrow election win Friday, saying the opposition did not provide " sufficient and credible evidence" to back vote- rigging claims.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)                Emmerson Mnangagwa sworn in as president after court ruling skynews emmerson mnangagwa 4401655
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The new president faces massive economic challenges

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.

Mr Chamisa says he has evidence election was rigged  Emmerson Mnangagwa sworn in as president after court ruling skynews nelson chamisa zimbabwe 4379448
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Mr Chamisa says he has evidence the election was rigged

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.”



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