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28 Dec 2017

Zimbabwe ex-army chief Chiwenga sworn in as VP

Harare - Zimbabwe's former army commander who led a military takeover that helped end Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule was Thursday sworn in as one of the country's two vice presidents.

General Constantino Chiwenga, 61, took the oath of office in Harare, pledging to be "faithful" to Zimbabwe and to "obey, uphold and defend the constitution", said an AFP journalist who witnessed the ceremony.

"I will discharge my duties with all my strength and to the best of my knowledge and ability," said Chiwenga dressed in a black suit.

Chiwenga retired from the military last week, slightly over a month after the military temporarily took control of the country on November 15, culminating in Mugabe's resignation six days later.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had a few weeks earlier been sacked from his job as vice president by Mugabe, then took over as the head of state.

Kembo Mohadi, a veteran politician and long-serving state security minister, was also sworn-in Thursday as the second vice president to Mnangagwa.

Mugabe, 93, was ousted from power after the military stepped in following internal feuding and factionalism that had escalated in the ruling Zanu-PF party over who would succeed him.

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