Mugabe vows 'miracle'
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe hit out at "vile" Western critics as he was sworn in for another five-year term yesterday in a stadium packed with jubilant supporters.
Festooned in a sash, garland and medals, the 89-year-old dismissed accusations that the July31 election was rigged.
He announced plans to accelerate the transfer of foreign-owned assets to blacks.
"I promise you better conditions," he told the 60000 capacity crowd of supporters at a stadium in Harare.
"The mining sector will be the centrepiece of our economic recovery and growth. It should generate growth spurts across sectors, reignite that economic miracle which must now happen."
Mugabe's inner circle has faced decades of international sanctions because of rights abuses and the veteran leader said he expected them to continue.
"Most likely we shall remain under these sanctions for much longer. We continue to look East," Mugabe said.
Former colonial power Britain called yesterday for an "independent investigation" into the conduct of the election, which Mugabe officially won by a landslide.
Unlike previous low-key investitures, yesterday's event - replete with banners, flags and chants - carried strong echoes of Mugabe's inauguration as prime minister of a newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980.
A no-show by many leaders of neighbouring countries - including President Jacob Zuma - did little to dampen the enthusiasm.
Neither did the boycott of the investiture by opposition leader and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The day was declared a public holiday to boost attendance.
The inauguration was delayed by Tsvangirai challenging the poll results - which he denounced as "massive fraud" - in a petition to the Zimbabwean Constitutional Court that was later withdrawn because, Tsvangirai said, the court would not give him a fair hearing.
Among a series of complaints, Tsvangirai queried the suspiciously high number of voters turned away from polling stations in MDC strongholds.
The Constitutional Court confirmed Mugabe as president and declared that the elections had been "free, fair and credible".