By NORIMITSU ONISHI and JEFFREY MOYO|
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled into a brief exile after losing a power struggle less than three weeks ago, became Zimbabwe’s new president on Friday — succeeding Robert Mugabe, the leader he had backed for decades before helping oust him last week.
“We should never remain hostages of our past,” Mr. Mnangagwa said in his inaugural address. Referring specifically to Mr. Mugabe, he said: “To me personally, he remains a father, mentor, comrade in arms and my leader.”
In a rapid reversal of fortunes that abruptly ended one of the longest reigns in Africa’s post-colonial history, Mr. Mnangagwa was sworn in at a ceremony at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, the capital.
Mr. Mnangagwa — who served for half a century as his predecessor’s right-hand man — became only the second leader of Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
Under an alternately sunny and cloudy sky, Mr. Mnangagwa said in his address that the country’s domestic politics had “become poisoned and rancorous and polarizing,” apparently referring to the factional fighting inside the governing party, ZANU-PF.
Source: New York Times