Emmerson Mnangagwa

Harare - Sacked former Zimbabwe vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as head of state on Friday.

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda confirmed receiving a letter from the ruling Zanu-PF nominating the 75-year-old as their candidate for president. 

This follows the resignation of long-time President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday following a military take-over in the southern African country and increased calls for the 93-year-old Mugabe to relinquish power. 

"I have received a letter from Zanu-PF advising me of their decision taken on 19 November that Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is their nominee to fill the vacancy of the office of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

"Parliament has thus notified the chief secretary of the President, Misheck Sibanda, to make the necessary arrangements for the swearing in of the incoming president,  Emmerson Mnangagwa, on Friday," said Mudenda.

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Meanwhile, thousands have gathered at Manyame Airbase on the outskirts of the capital Harare to await the return of Mnangagwa who fled to neighbouring South Africa after his November 6 axing by Mugabe. 

Most Zimbabweans were simply thankful to the man credited with loosening Mugabe’s octopus-like grip on power. Mugabe resigned as president with immediate effect on Tuesday, after 37 years as first prime minister and then president, moments after the Zimbabwean parliament began impeachment proceedings against him.