Zimbabwe's new president has praised Robert Mugabe in his inauguration speech - as he pledged to return the country to prosperity.
Vowing to defend the constitution, Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in at Harare's national stadium in front of tens of thousands of people.
Mr Mnangagwa, known as "the crocodile" due to his fearsome reputation, had reportedly spoken to his predecessor in advance assuring him of his safety - and telling Mr Mugabe he should "rest" rather than attend the ceremony.
There was a muted response from the crowd when Mr Mnangagwa referred to Mr Mugabe, 93, as "the father of the nation" and urged Zimbabweans to respect his "immense contribution".
However he did acknowledge that there had been "errors of commission and omission" during his 37-year rule.
Mr Mnangagwa had served as Mr Mugabe's vice-president until he was sacked last month - prompting fears the dictator was paving the way for his wife Grace to succeed him.
The new president - who claimed there had been a plot to poison him in August - fled the country but returned after the military launched a bloodless coup.
He said he was "humbled" to be president and urged Zimbabwe to move beyond the "poisoned" politics of the past.
He said: "We dare not squander this moment."
Mr Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans would have to work together to rebuild their country after Mr Mugabe's years in office, which saw the economy collapse and unemployment hit 90%.
He said his priorities would be job creation and agriculture as he reached out to the world for investment after decades of sanctions and international condemnation.
He said: "We ask those who have punished us in the past to reconsider."
Mr Mnangagwa also promised "democratic" elections next year and said farmers whose land was controversially seized in the Mugabe years would be compensated.
The ceremony was attended by a handful of regional heads of state, including the leaders of Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.
South African president Jacob Zuma did not attend as he was hosting Angola's new leader for talks - but he sent congratulations and said he hoped Mr Mnangagwa could steer Zimbabwe through its transition.
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