Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sworn in as Zimbabwe's new leader, following Robert Mugabe's resignation this week after nearly four decades of rule.
Mnangagwa, the country's former vice president, swore an oath of office to serve as interim president until a leader is elected at the polls next year. He is expected to contest the election as well.
"I, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, swear that as president of the republic of Zimbabwe I will be faithful to Zimbabwe and obey, uphold and defend the constitution and all other laws of Zimbabwe," he said.
Tens of thousands of people filled the cavernous National Sports Stadium in the capital, Harare, with African leaders and other dignitaries among them to watch the historic moment.
Known as "The Crocodile" for his political cunning and longevity, Mnangagwa fled the country after Mugabe fired him earlier this month, a dismissal that triggered the political turmoil and an apparent military coup in Harare.
Mnangagwa returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday, a day after Mugabe's resignation, and vowed to take the country into a new era of democracy and to rebuild the economy that rotted under Mugabe's decades-long iron grip.
According to CNN, but critics have questioned whether Mnangagwa -- who is said to have been behind some of Mugabe's most ruthless policies -- is able to bring about reforms and return civil liberties to a people who have been oppressed for so long.