Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sworn in as president of Zimbabwe, becoming the country’s second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Mnangagwa took his oath of office in front of tens of thousands of jubilant Zimbabweans who had gathered at a stadium in Harare, after greeting the crowd with a raised fist.

People sung and danced in the stands and raised banners reading “Dawn of a new era” and “No to retribution,” even as human rights activists began to report worrying details of attacks on close allies of the former first lady, Grace Mugabe, and their families. Mnangagwa himself has warned against “vengeful retribution.”

Tendai Lesayo held a small Zimbabwean flag as she sold drinks from a cooler outside the stadium. She said she would welcome a fresh start, saying “life now is impossible.”

Elsewhere in the capital, long lines formed outside banks, a common sight in a nation struggling with cash shortages and other severe economic problems that the new president will have to confront.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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