Zimbabwe inaugurates a President for the second time in 9 months
Zimbabwe inaugurated President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the second time in nine months after a contested election following the ouster of longtime leader Robert Mugabe in November.
Mnangagwa was sworn in Sunday after his contested win in the July 30 presidential election. Main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa contested his loss in court, describing the election as “fraudulent and illegal. The judge dismissed the case Friday and upheld Mnangagwa’s victory.
The highly contentious presidential poll was marred by violence, with at least six people killed and 14 injured following clashes between security forces and protesters supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the capital, Harare.
A few days after Mnangagwa’s victory at the polls, Zimbabwe’s security forces descended on opposition leaders.
Zimbabwean forces opened fire on unarmed protesters in Harare’s streets. President Mnangagwa called for a public inquiry and accused the opposition of inciting the protests.
The landmark vote – the first for Zimbabwe after strongman Robert Mugabe was ousted from power last November – was expected to repair the country’s reputation and woo back foreign investment into the country’s crippling economy.
The country, which suffered hyperinflation under Mugabe, needs the International Monetary Fund to start giving it loans again.
It also needs the United States, European Union and others to lift Mugabe-era sanctions.
Mnangagwa, 75, took power in November after helping to orchestrate a de facto coup against Mugabe, who he had served with for decades.
He has been trying to rebrand the country and his ZanuPF party as free and “open for business.”
It remains to be seen if the man known as “The Crocodile” will succeed in bringing about much-needed change in Zimbabwe.