President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has been sworn in for a seventh term in office.
This follows a massive win over rival Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC after which a petition was filed by the MDC praying Zimbabwe’s Supreme court to annul the polls. However, the MDC subsequently withdrew the petition citing lack of faith in the judicial system paving the way for the Supreme Court to announce a date for swearing in 89-year old Mugabe.
Mugabe’s swearing in effectively ends the tense power-sharing agreement between the MDC and Mugabe’s ZANU PF in which Tsvangirai served as Prime Minister.
Mr. Tsvangirai meanwhile has stated that he would not be attending the inauguration ceremony.
Speaking to the Agence France Presse (AFP) in Harare, spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said “Expecting Tsvangirai to attend the inauguration is like expecting a victim of robbery to attend a party hosted by the robber”.
Some 40 heads of state and government have been invited to attend the high-profile inauguration ceremony.
Mr Mugabe will serve another five-year term. Under the new constitution approved in a referendum earlier this year he will also be able to serve another term after the current one.
Meanwhile European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says the bloc will review its relations with Zimbabwe in the light of what she says are ‘serious concerns’ about the conduct of the July 31 elections.
The US and Britain have also announced plans to keep sanctions in place until ‘further political reform’ is carried out.