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Report: Zimbabwe's fired VP to replace Mugabe as president

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Report: Zimbabwe's fired VP to replace Mugabe as president

Former Zimbabwean Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president Nov. 24 following the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, Reuters said, citing state broadcaster ZBC.

Mnangagwa, who fled the country due to safety concerns after being fired by Mugabe, is expected to return to Zimbabwe on Nov. 22 and will likely lead ZANU-PF into elections in 2018.

A spokesman for the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front said Mnangagwa could assume the office in the afternoon of Nov. 22, Bloomberg News reported.

When Mnangagwa was sacked earlier in November, the military and the vice president's allies moved to taking control of the country and gave Mugabe until Nov. 20 to step down. The former president complied one day past the deadline to end his 37-year rule.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the country respects Mugabe's decision to resign and that its policy toward Zimbabwe would not change, Reuters reported separately.