The Latest: Zimbabwe’s new leader promises era of democracy

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HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The Latest on the inauguration of Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Some international leaders are urging Zimbabwe's new president to deliver on his promises of inclusiveness, economic reform and free and fair elections.

Britain's minister for Africa, Rory Stewart, says in a video message from Zimbabwe that "this was one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, has incredible human potential, very, very educated population ... this is a country which has suffered terribly and which may be, if we're patient and if we're careful, be at a moment of change."

The group of global leaders known as The Elders is urging Zimbabwe's military, politicians and civil society to work together under new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying that "upcoming elections in 2018 are a crucial test of Zimbabwe's new leaders' commitment to democracy and political reform."

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5:20 p.m.

The lawyer for a Zimbabwean Cabinet minister says he was assaulted and will appear in court Saturday as concerns grow about possible retaliation against allies of Robert Mugabe.

Finance Minister Ignatious Chombo has not been seen in public since the military swept in more than a week ago to put Mugabe under house arrest. It has said it was targeting "criminals" surrounding Mugabe and his wife.

Chombo is accused of corrupt land deals dating back to his time as minister in charge of local government, lawyer Lovemore Madhuku tells The Associated Press. He was detained by the military but now is in police custody.

He calls Chombo's situation "really bad" and says charges against him were read out Thursday while he lay in bed at a government-run hospital.

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2:35 p.m.

Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has left the stadium after his inauguration.

The 75-year-old's first speech as leader reached out to the nation at large, pledging "democratic" elections next year.

He also made friendly gestures toward the international community as he seeks to revive a collapsed economy after years of sanctions and corruption.

Former leader Robert Mugabe, who resigned after his firing of deputy Mnangagwa led the military to step in, will remain in the country. The 93-year-old had been the world's oldest head of state and ruled for 37 years.

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1:40 p.m.

Zimbabwe's new president is reaching out to the world after years of sanctions and international condemnation over rights abuses, saying that "We ask those who have punished us in the past to reconsider."

President Emmerson Mnangagwa also vows that "all foreign investment will be safe in Zimbabwe," addressing fears after moves by former leader Robert Mugabe to nationalize the country's lucrative resources such as diamonds.

Mnangagwa inherits a southern African nation that once was prosperous but now struggles amid a severe cash shortage and high unemployment.

Mnangagwa has now completed his speech to the nation.

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1:25 p.m.

Zimbabwe's new president is vowing to tackle corruption after 37 years of Robert Mugabe.

He says that "the culture of government must change, and change now."

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is making a range of promises with the aim of reviving a once-prosperous economy that has collapsed amid mismanagement and international sanctions. He says he will reach out for more foreign investment.

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1:20 p.m.

Zimbabwe's new president is vowing that "democratic" elections will be held next year as scheduled, and he declares that the country is renewing itself after 37 years of Robert Mugabe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is urging Zimbabwe to move beyond the poisoned politics of the recent past. "We dare not squander this moment."

He also promises to reimburse the farmers whose land was seized under Mugabe, leading to international condemnation. But he says those actions cannot be reversed.

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1:10 p.m.

Zimbabwe's new president says the country "should never remain hostages of our past," and he pays tribute to Robert Mugabe, to the crowd's tepid applause.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he is "deeply humbled" to take power after an extraordinary series of events that began with Mugabe firing him early this month as vice president.

Mugabe resigned on Tuesday under immense pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people amid fears his wife was trying to take power.

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12 p.m.

Zimbabwe's security officials are swearing loyalty to their new President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The new leader will speak shortly after his swearing-in. Mnangagwa takes power after an extraordinary series of events that began with Robert Mugabe firing him early this month as vice president.

That turned out to be the mistake that ended Mugabe's 37 years in power. Mugabe resigned on Tuesday under immense pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people amid fears his wife was trying to take power.

Mugabe is not attending the inauguration but will remain in the country, assured of his "maximum security."

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11:45 a.m.

Zimbabwe's incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sworn in, beginning a new era for the long-troubled nation. He promises to devote himself to the well-being of the people, to cheers from tens of thousands present.

He succeeds Robert Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday under immense pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people amid fears his wife was trying to take power.

Mnangagwa was Mugabe's longtime ally before his firing earlier this month. He will serve until the end of the presidential term next year. An election date has not yet been set.

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11:35 a.m.

Zimbabwe's incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa is already facing calls for inclusion and free and fair elections next year.

Mnangagwa is minutes away from being sworn in to succeed Robert Mugabe, who resigned under immense pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people amid fears his wife was trying to take power,

Mnangagwa was Mugabe's longtime ally before his firing earlier this month. He will serve until the end of the presidential term next year. An election date has not yet been set.

Zimbabwe's opposition backed Mugabe's removal and now hopes for a bigger seat at the table to help determine the country's future.

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11:15 a.m.

A handful of regional heads of state are attending the inauguration of Zimbabwe's new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

They include the leaders of Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

The president of regional powerhouse South Africa is not there because President Jacob Zuma is hosting Angola's new leader for talks.

Mnangagwa has arrived to cheers from the crowd of tens of thousands and is expected to be sworn in shortly.

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10:55 a.m.

Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are awaiting the swearing-in of new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has arrived at the stadium.

Opposition leaders and diplomats are in attendance as the country prepares to hear the first address of Mnangagwa, who replaced Robert Mugabe after his 37 years in power.

The 93-year-old Mugabe will remain in Zimbabwe, reportedly assured by his former deputy Mnangagwa of his "maximum security."

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10:45 a.m.

Zimbabweans are cheering the arrival of incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa for his inauguration.

He raises his fist and the stadium crowd jumps to its feet and erupts with shouts and singing.

Mnangagwa takes over after Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday amid impeachment proceedings.

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10:20 a.m.

An American citizen charged with subversion over an alleged tweet insulting Robert Mugabe has appeared in court on Friday in Zimbabwe and has had her case pushed back to Dec. 8.

Martha O'Donovan's court appearance comes a few days after Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people.

She denies the accusation that she tweeted calling the 93-year-old Mugabe a "sick man."

Longtime Mugabe deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa is being sworn in Friday as president.

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10 a.m.

Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper says incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured Robert Mugabe and his family of their "maximum security" as they remain in the country.

The report says the two men agreed that Mugabe would not attend Friday's swearing-in of Mnangagwa as president because the 93-year-old Mugabe "needed time to rest."

Mugabe's firing of his longtime deputy Mnangagwa earlier this month led to his own downfall as the military and ruling party members objected to the idea of Mugabe's wife succeeding him in power.

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9:45 a.m.

A big cheer is going up as the military commander who put Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe under house arrest, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, arrives at the inauguration of the country's new leader.

The once-feared military has seen an outpouring of support from some Zimbabweans after it moved in last week to stop Mugabe's unpopular wife from positioning herself to succeed him as president.

Former defense chief Emmerson Mnangagwa is poised to be sworn in as just the second president in independent Zimbabwe's 37-year existence.

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9:15 a.m.

Zimbabweans are converging on a stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice president, is poised to lead after the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who succumbed to pressure to quit from the military, the ruling party and massive demonstrations. He led the country since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Mnangagwa, a former justice and defense minister, was a key Mugabe confidant for decades until they fell out because of the presidential ambitions of Mugabe's wife, Grace. Despite his long association with the government, Mnangagwa has promised democracy.

In the end, Mugabe was isolated and showing few of the political skills that kept him in power for 37 years. He will not attend Friday's swearing-in.