Mnangagwa wins Zimbabwe presidential elections

Incumbent president Emmerson Mnangagwa has been announced as winner of Zimbabwe’s July 30 presidential elections. The septuagenarian polled 50.8% of votes as against 44.3% by his closest challenger Nelson Chamisa.

Mnangagwa run on the ticket of the Zanu-PF party and is now entitled to serve a constitutional term of five years with the option to seek re-election, if he wins.

The MDC Alliance led by 40-year-old lawyer Nelson Chamisa had severally insisted that it had won the presidential polls but that ZEC was holding on to the results because of a rigging agenda backed by government.

Opposition protests broke out on Wednesday afternoon after police failed to control protesters leading to an army intervention. Three people were reported to have died same day even though the figure has been revised to six as at Thursday.

The elections dubbed ‘harmonized elections’ were to elect the first post-Mugabe president, a new legislature and concillors. Zanu PF got an overwhelming parliamentary majority sweeping over 160 of the available 210 seats.

The use of violence by the army has roundly been condemned by observer groups and by international partners. Some western countries issued travel advisories for their citizens especially in the capital, Harare.

On Friday, Ramaphosa, who is the chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), urged all Zimbabweans to accept the election of Emmerson Mnangagwa as president.

“President Ramaphosa has appealed to all political leaders and the people of Zimbabwe to accept the outcome of the election and should they have challenges, they must follow legal remedies provided for in the constitution and electoral law,” the presidency said in a statement.

The streets of the capital Harare were quiet early on Friday, with traffic thinner than usual. Water cannon and anti-riot police remained outside the MDC offices, a reminder of the clashes between opposition and the security forces this week.

“We were expecting that these elections will bring change because we are struggling. But as things stand, it will get worse,” one taxi driver told Reuters near the MDC offices.

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