(Last Updated on August 23, 2013 by Editor)
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.
Political opponents and leaders of other countries mostly stayed away from the event amid claims that July’s election was deeply flawed.
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.
Britain – the country’s former colonial ruler – expressed its disappointment at the MDC’s decision.
“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.
But Mr Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, remains defiant.
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.
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