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Thursday May 28th, 2020 1:04AM

The Latest: Zimbabwe's new leader faces calls for inclusion

By The Associated Press
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HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The Latest on inauguration of Zimbabwe's new president Emmerson Mnangagwa (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

Zimbabwe's incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa is already facing calls for inclusion and free and fair elections next year.

Mnangagwa is minutes away from being sworn in to succeed Robert Mugabe, who resigned under immense pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people amid fears his wife was trying to take power,

Mnangagwa was Mugabe's longtime ally before his firing earlier this month. He will serve until the end of the presidential term next year. An election date has not yet been set.

Zimbabwe's opposition backed Mugabe's removal and now hopes for a bigger seat at the table to help determine the country's future.

___

11:15 a.m.

A handful of regional heads of state are attending the inauguration of Zimbabwe's new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

They include the leaders of Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

The president of regional powerhouse South Africa is not there because President Jacob Zuma is hosting Angola's new leader for talks.

Mnangagwa has arrived to cheers from the crowd of tens of thousands and is expected to be sworn in shortly.

___

10:55 a.m.

Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are awaiting the swearing-in of new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has arrived at the stadium.

Opposition leaders and diplomats are in attendance as the country prepares to hear the first address of Mnangagwa, who replaced Robert Mugabe after his 37 years in power.

Mnangagwa is just the second president for Zimbabwe since its independence from white minority rule in 1980.

The 93-year-old Mugabe will remain in Zimbabwe, reportedly assured by his former deputy Mnangagwa of his "maximum security."

___

10:45 a.m.

Zimbabweans are cheering the arrival of incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa for his inauguration.

He raises his fist and the stadium crowd jumps to its feet and erupts with shouts and singing.

Mnangagwa will be Zimbabwe's second president, taking over after Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday amid impeachment proceedings.

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10:20 a.m.

An American citizen charged with subversion over an alleged tweet insulting Robert Mugabe has appeared in court on Friday in Zimbabwe and has had her case pushed back to Dec. 8.

Martha O'Donovan's court appearance comes a few days after Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people.

She denies the accusation that she tweeted calling the 93-year-old Mugabe a "sick man."

Longtime Mugabe deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa is being sworn in Friday as president.

___

10 a.m.

Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper says incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured Robert Mugabe and his family of their "maximum security" as they remain in the country.

The report says the two men agreed that Mugabe would not attend Friday's swearing-in of Mnangagwa as president because the 93-year-old Mugabe "needed time to rest."

Mugabe's firing of his longtime deputy Mnangagwa earlier this month led to his own downfall as the military and ruling party members objected to the idea of Mugabe's wife succeeding him in power.

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9:45 a.m.

A big cheer is going up as the military commander who put Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe under house arrest, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, arrives at the inauguration of the country's new leader.

The once-feared military has seen an outpouring of support from some Zimbabweans after it moved in last week to stop Mugabe's unpopular wife from positioning herself to succeed him as president.

Former defense chief Emmerson Mnangagwa is poised to be sworn in as just the second president in independent Zimbabwe's 37-year existence.

___

9:15 a.m.

Zimbabweans are converging on a stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who will become the country's second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice president, is poised to lead after the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who succumbed to pressure to quit from the military, the ruling party and massive demonstrations.

Mnangagwa, a former justice and defense minister, was a key Mugabe confidant for decades until they fell out because of the presidential ambitions of Mugabe's wife, Grace. Despite his long association with the government, Mnangagwa has promised democracy.

In the end, Mugabe was isolated and showing few of the political skills that kept him in power for 37 years. He will not attend Friday's swearing-in.

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