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MPs warned that Zimbabwe is a 'seething mass of hatred' today amid an apparent coup against Robert Mugabe.
Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames said the dictator's decades-long grip on power was 'coming to an end'.
He said the tyrant had seemed 'tired' and unwell, but still in control of the levers of power.
But he said the Mugabe era now appeared to be coming to an end.'It is a seething mass of hatred and loathing within the ZANU PF party,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.'It looks to me like this is the return of Mnangagwa faction.'Sir Nicholas stressed the picture was currently 'very very confused'.
British citizens in the country have been warned to stay indoors until calm is restored.
Sir Nicholas, whose father was governor of Rhodesia before it secured independence and became Zimbabwe, said he met Mugabe on a recent trip to the country.
Mnangagwa also pledged that 'democratic' elections will be held next year as planned, and promised to change the 'poisonous, rancorous and polarized' political climate.'We should never remain hostages of our past,' the longtime Mugabe ally said, urging the nation to let bygones be bygones.
'We ask those who have punished us in the past to reconsider.'As he wore the sash of office, the new president's received a 21-gun salute, cannon fire and flyby by military aircraft.'(I am) required to serve our country as the president of all citizens, regardless of color, creed, religion, totem or political affiliation,' he said in remarks after his swearing in.
That is the important thing.' Fellow Conservative MP James Duddridge, who was responsible for Zimbabwe at the Foreign Office between 20, said the UK should now provide support to civil institutions that have been 'ripped apart' under Mugabe.While he used the speech as an opportunity to promise a new era in Zimbabwe, he also acknowledged his debt to long time ally Mugabe and praised the role he played in the country's liberation from colonial rule.'He led us in our struggle for national independence,' Mnangagwa said as he took took the oath of office before a full-to-capacity crowd at the national sports stadium on the outskirts of Harare.'He assumed responsibility for leadership at a formative and very challenging time.'He told the colourful ceremony attended by African leaders and other dignitaries the nation should 'let bygones be bygones' and 'to me personally, he remains a father, mentor, comrade in arms and my leader'.But he added: 'If it is not a coup then it is certainly its first cousin...I think it is a sign of Mugabe's time coming to an end.' Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames (pictured left) said Mugabe's era appeared to be ending.