23 Aug 2013

Mugabe sworn in as president

5:33 am on 23 August 2013

Robert Mugabe has been sworn in for a seventh term in office as leader of Zimbabwe. Thursday was declared a public holiday to allow supporters to attend the inauguration of the president.

The ceremony had been delayed by a court petition filed by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai over accusations of widespread electoral fraud.

But the Constitutional Court dismissed the case, declaring Mr Mugabe's re-election "free, fair and credible".

Mr Mugabe, 89, won with 61% of the presidential vote against 34% for Mr Tsvangirai on 31 July.

There were loud cheers when he read an oath, pledging to "observe, defend and uphold the constitution of Zimbabwe".

In his inaugural speech, Mr Mugabe attacked Western nations for refusing to accept the election.

Mr Tsvangirai said he would not be attending the inauguration ceremony.

Mr Mugabe's term is for five years. Under a new constitution approved in a referendum earlier this year, the BBC reports he will be able to serve another term after this. He has been in power since 1980.