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*On this date in 2017, Zimbabwe elected Emmerson Mnangagwa as their president.
For the first time since the country gained independence from white minority rule in 1980, the have a new leader. At a packed stadium in the capital city Harare, he promised not to "squander this moment" to change the culture of politics in his country. The outgoing president, Robert Mugabe, had said he would not attend the day's festivities because he "needed time to rest."
The 93-year-old Mugabe resigned after 37 years in power, in the face of military pressure and mass demonstrations. He has said he will remain in the country, and Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper says Mnangagwa has assured him and his family of their protection. The past few weeks had been a time of political upheaval in Zimbabwe.
On Nov. 6, Mnangagwa was fired as vice president by Mugabe, and fled to South Africa, saying he feared for his life. But the military refused to accept Mnangagwa's dismissal and warned that the army might intervene to restore stability. The next day, the military, which is an integral part of the governing ZANU-PF party behemoth, seized control and confined Mugabe to his residence. Under mounting pressure, he stepped down Nov. 20.