Incoming leader says Zimbabwe is a 'new democracy' as he prepares to take reins

Zimbabwe's incoming leader has said his country is a "new and unfolding democracy" as he returned from a brief exile.

Emmerson Mnangagwa thanked the people "in the name of Our Lord" in his first public speech since President Robert Mugabe announced his resignation.

He addressed a huge crowd outside ruling party headquarters and described what he said were recent attempts to kill him.

Mr Mnangagwa said the pressure to "derail the process" of getting Mr Mugabe to step down was intense but "the will of the people will always, always succeed".

Emmerson Mnangagwa (centre)

Mr Mnangagwa spoke hours after returning to the country.

He fled earlier this month after his firing by Mr Mugabe who then installed his wife Grace as his preferred successor.

Mr Mnangagwa was introduced as "president-in-waiting" by a speaker who praised Zimbabwe's military as "the most disciplined army in the world" during the past week's events.

Mr Mnangagwa will be sworn in on Friday following Mr Mugabe's stunning resignation after 37 years at the helm.

Chief whip Lovemore Matuke confirmed Mr Mnangagwa was meeting Politburo members at party headquarters for a briefing "on what has been happening in his absence".

AP


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