President Robert Mugabe was sworn in for a sixth five-year term on Sunday, after being declared winner of Friday's presidential run-off poll, which was boycotted by the opposition leader who defeated him in the first round but failed to win an absolute majority.
President Mugabe, who pledged to bring all political players together for economic recovery, was sworn in after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared him the winner of the run-off with 2 150 265 votes against 233 00 for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mr Tsvangirai had pulled out of the run-off a week before polling claiming that he feared of violence being inflicted on MDC supporters if they voted for him.
In his victory speech after being sworn in by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, President Mugabe said it was time for the country to move forward in unity as elections were over.
He said consultations would be held to reduce political differences between political parties to forge a common national vision, and work towards the recovery of the economy and improvement of living standards.
"Indeed, it is my hope that sooner rather than later we shall, as diverse political parties, hold consultations towards such serious dialogue as will minimise our differences and enhance the area of unity and co-operation.
"Finally I wish to assure our people, that whatever government we shall form will remain very much people oriented and thus proceed to fully empower the masses, the people across the board, sector by sector as that government takes effective measures towards the recovery of the economy and improvement of living standards," he said.
President Mugabe paid tribute to Zimbabweans for resoundingly voting to re-elect him in the run-off election.
He said he was "humbled by the faith and confidence our people had reposed in him" and for the brave and unyielding stand in the defence of the country's sovereignty.
"Once again, we have shamed all our detractors who, through gullible people, tried to use every opportunity to undermine our independence and desecrate our hard earned sacred right to self-determination acquired after a protracted liberation struggle against British settler intransigence," he said.
Following the final result of the election, all constitutional and electoral requirements had now been fulfilled, he said.
Senior government and ruling party officials, diplomats from Southern African Development Community countries and defence forces chiefs attended the inauguration.
The defence chiefs also pledged their loyalty to the country and the President following his installation. - BuaNews-NNN