(ZIMBABWE, LANKAPUVATH) – Zimbabwe’s incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has hailed a “new and unfolding democracy” after returning from exile to replace Robert Mugabe.
He also vowed to create jobs in a country where some estimates say 90% of people are unemployed.
“We want to grow our economy, we want peace, we want jobs, jobs, jobs,” he told a cheering crowd in Harare.
Mr Mnangagwa, who fled to South Africa two weeks ago, is to be made the new president on Friday, state TV said.
His dismissal led the ruling party and the military to intervene and force an end to Mr Mugabe’s 37-year long rule.
He told supporters at the headquarters of the ruling Zanu-PF party that he had been the subject of several assassination plots and thanked the army for running the “process” of removing Mr Mugabe peacefully.
The news that 93-year-old Mr Mugabe was stepping down sparked wild celebrations across the country late into Tuesday night.
It came in the form of a letter read out in parliament on Tuesday, abruptly halting impeachment proceedings against him.
In it, Mr Mugabe said he was resigning to allow a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, and that his decision was voluntary.
A spokesman for the ruling Zanu-PF party said Mr Mnangagwa, 71, would serve the remainder of Mr Mugabe’s term until elections that are due to be held by September 2018.
Nicknamed the “crocodile” because of his political cunning, Mr Mnangagwa met South African President Jacob Zuma before leaving for Zimbabwe.