Zimbabwe gets a bank holiday as Robert Mugabe is sworn in for seventh term

Mr Mugabe will be sworn in for a seventh term, after serving 33 years as head of state

President Robert Mugabe has been sworn in today for a seventh term as Zimbabwe's leader.

Thursday has been declared a public bank holiday to allow his supporters to attend the ceremony.

Mr Mugabe won the election with a landslide 61 per cent of the total votes against the 34 per cent received by Morgan Tsvangirai's party on 31 July.

Upon hearing news of his victory, the 89-year-old had said that his party had won “a resounding mandate” from voters to complete a sweeping “black empowerment” programme, taking over foreign and white-owned assets.

But both Britain and the United States questioned the validity of the voting process, amid claims that voters were bribed, manipulated or intimidated into voting for Mr Mugabe.

Movement For Democratic Change leader Mr Tsvangirai had taken his case to the Constitutional Court in Harare, arguing that the election process was fraudulent. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which stations 7,000 observers across the country during elections, had also judged the process flawed.

However, claims were dismissed by the court on Tuesday in a ruling as they declared the elections free, fair and credible.

Mr Tsvangiri was expected to boycott Mr Mugabe's inauguration. It is still unclear whether MDC will be willing to continue a partnership with the Zanu-PF led government.

The question of whether he can serve out all of his new five-year term - and who will succeed him if he steps down or dies - is expected to hang uncomfortably over his re-installation as Zimbabwe's head of state.

It will also be crucial for the future of the southern African nation, which is rich in platinum, gold and diamonds but still emerging from a decade-long recession brought on by political violence and government-backed land seizures.

Additional reporting by agencies

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£28500 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers unique corp...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Product Support Specialists

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leader in the design...

Recruitment Genius: Field Engineer

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has 30 years of ex...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Account Manager

£27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing cloud based I...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat