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Zimbabwe inaugurated President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the second time in nine months after a contested election following the ouster of longtime leader Robert Mugabe in November.

The main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa brought a case before the court to contest his loss at the poll, which he said was “fraudulent and illegal.”

“The application is dismissed with cause,” the judge said as he upheld Mnangagwa’s victory Friday.

His inauguration is expected to go ahead Sunday, Patrick Chinamasa, the country’s finance minister said.

The highly contentious presidential poll was marred by violence, with at least six people killed and 14 injured following clashes between security forces and protesters supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the capital, Harare.

At least six people were killed and 14 injured following clashes between security forces and protesters supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the Harare capital.

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Zimbabwe anti-riot police personnel deploy Friday at the Bronte Hotel in Harare.

A few days after Mnangagwa’s victory at the polls, Zimbabwe’s security forces descended on opposition leaders.

Zimbabwean forces opened fire on unarmed protesters in Harare’s streets. President Mnangagwa called for a public inquiry and accused the opposition of inciting the protests.

The landmark vote - the first for Zimbabwe after strongman Robert Mugabe was ousted from power last November - was expected to repair the country’s reputation and woo back foreign investment into the country’s crippling economy.

Then-President Robert Mugabe addresses party members in November shortly before his ouster.
JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images
Then-President Robert Mugabe addresses party members in November shortly before his ouster.

The country, which suffered hyperinflation under Mugabe, needs the International Monetary Fund to start giving it loans again.

It also needs the United States, European Union and others to lift Mugabe-era sanctions.

Mnangagwa, 75, was sworn in again in November as interim President after helping to orchestrate a de facto coup against Mugabe, who he had served with for decades.

He has been trying to rebrand the country and his ZanuPF party as free and “open for business.”

It remains to be seen if the man known as “The Crocodile” will succeed in bringing about much-needed change in Zimbabwe.

Anna Cardovillis contributed to this report.