Zimbabwe’s Mugabe, 89, Sworn in for 5 More Years
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, 89, was sworn in Thursday for another five-year term after disputed elections in which the opposition alleged widespread vote-rigging.
Mugabe dismissed charges of voting fraud, criticized Western powers, vowed to press ahead with black ownership of white and foreign-owned companies and attacked gays in his inaugural speech.
Mugabe took the oath of office on Thursday at a 60,000-seat sports stadium filled almost to capacity. Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku bedecked him with a green, red, black and gold presidential sash and the gold chain of office.
Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980, signed a declaration pledging to protect the rights of the people and promised to ensure "durable peace" in Zimbabwe, which has been plagued by political and economic turmoil in past years.
The main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, did not attend the event, calling it "a robber’s party."
Zimbabwe’s state election panel said Mugabe won a landslide victory in the July 31 elections with 61 percent of the presidential vote.
At the inauguration, Mugabe welcomed several African presidents and former leaders from Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, his longtime allies. He said Africa and many nations around the world "hailed our elections as free and fair and credible" with the exception of "a few dishonest Western countries" that condemned the way the vote was conducted.