Skip to main content

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe sworn in for another term

By the CNN Staff
updated 6:27 AM EDT, Thu August 22, 2013
(File) Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe pictured here on January 17, 2013 in Harare.
(File) Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe pictured here on January 17, 2013 in Harare.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Crowds release balloons adorned with colors of the national flag
  • Voters went to the polls on July 31 to pick a new president
  • Zimbabwe's election commission declared that incumbent Mugabe won
  • His main challenger withdrew a court case on the election

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was sworn in for another term Thursday following disputed elections.

After a judge made it official, crowds erupted into cheers and released balloons adorned with colors of the national flag.

The ceremony was delayed for days by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's petition challenging the July 31 election. He withdrew the court case last week, paving the way for the event.

Mugabe: Accept my re-election or 'commit suicide'

Mugabe win leaves Zimbabwe prospects dim
Was Zimbabwe's vote free and fair?

The nation's electoral commission declared Mugabe the winner with 61% against the former prime minister's 34%.

Last week, Mugabe told his critics to "commit suicide" if they cannot accept his re-election.

Mugabe, 89, is Africa's oldest leader and has led the southern African nation since it got its independence from Britain. He led the newly-independent Zimbabwe, first as prime minister in 1980, then as president seven years later.

Opinion: Why nobody is dancing after Mugabe's win

Five years ago, his party lost to Tsvangirai, who did not get enough votes to avoid a runoff.

Opposition party supporters were beaten, tortured and killed, rights groups said, and Tsvangirai withdrew from the runoff in protest. The postelection violence left about 200 people dead and thousands injured.

Regional leaders dismissed that election as a sham and pressured the two to form a power-sharing agreement. Mugabe's main opponent became his prime minister, and the squabbles have continued.

The fragile power-sharing government ended with this year's election.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT