The Latest: Zimbabwe's new leader wants sanctions lifted

The Latest on Zimbabwe's new president (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

Zimbabwe's new leader is calling for the "unconditional lifting" of sanctions that he says has crippled the once-prosperous country's development.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa spoke to the ruling party's Central Committee on Thursday, a day before the party is expected to endorse him as its candidate for next year's election. He says the government will do all in its power to make sure the election is "credible, free and fair."

Mnangagwa was sworn in last month after Robert Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military and ruling party following 37 years in power.

Now Mnangagwa's challenge is to attract foreign investment and revive a shattered economy. His new comments promise a "robust engagement process" and measures to make Zimbabwe "a place where capital feels safe."


11:30 a.m.

Zimbabwe's new president is taking steps to differentiate himself from his ousted mentor, Robert Mugabe, as he tries to win over the country before next year's elections.

On Friday, the ruling ZANU-PF party is expected to endorse President Emmerson Mnangagwa as party leader and its presidential candidate. The elections are a key test of Mnangagwa's vows to strengthen Zimbabwe's democracy and attract badly needed foreign investment to revive a devastated economy.

The party congress also will endorse the recall of the 93-year-old Mugabe from the party and government, said spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo, completing last month's dramatic events that saw the military put Mugabe under house arrest, scores of thousands rally in the streets and lawmakers begin impeachment proceedings before the longtime ruler resigned.