Robert Mugabe Sworn In As President

Robert Mugabe, Africa's oldest and one of its longest-serving leaders, has been sworn in for a new five-year term as Zimbabwean President. The ceremony was performed at a stadium packed with thousands of jubilant supporters.

The 89-year-old pledged “to observe, uphold and defend the constitution of Zimbabwe” in an oath administered by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.

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Political opponents and leaders of other countries mostly stayed away from the event amid claims that July’s election was deeply flawed.

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Last week, the main opposition party in Zimbabwe, the Movement for Democratic Change, dropped a court challenge against the election result because of doubts it would receive a fair hearing.

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Britain – the country’s former colonial ruler – expressed its disappointment at the MDC’s decision.

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“I strongly believe that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible,” Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.

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But Mr Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, remains defiant.

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He has told critics of his re-election to “go hang” and has vowed to press ahead with nationalist policies forcing foreign companies to turn over majority stakes to black Zimbabweans.