Emmerson Mnangagwa will become the country's second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabweans are converging on a stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who will become the country’s second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

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.

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.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast rewritten or redistributed.)

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