Emmerson Mnangagwa won a second term as Zimbabwe’s president after a poll marred by poor electoral practices.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared Mnangagwa the winner, with 52.6% of the vote, beating Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), who trailed with 44% of the vote.
The election comes six years after longtime leader Robert Mugabe was overthrown in a military coup.
The CCC immediately rejected the results, saying the presidential vote was “rushed”.
“We reject any results that have been rushed without proper verification… we will advise citizens on next steps as the situation evolves. We will not give in to the victory of the people,” CCC spokesperson Promise Mkhwananzi wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Mnangagwa’s chief electoral officer, Ziyambi Ziyambi, said, “We believe that our works are our manifesto. We believe that the people of Zimbabwe voted wisely.
Mnangagwa won a second term despite heavy criticism from the South African Development Committee (SADC) election observation mission, led by former Zambian vice-president Nevers Mumba.
“The election did not meet the requirements of the Zimbabwe constitution, the electoral law and the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections,” reads the SADC preliminary report released on Friday.
Other foreign observer missions have joined SADC in criticizing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for its failure to manage the elections and for arresting activists.
“Even though the election day was deemed generally calm by the EU EOM (Election Observation Missions), the overall electoral process was hampered by significant issues regarding the independence and transparency of the election. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The ZEC missed opportunities to increase public confidence in the integrity of the vote and the management of results,” said EU election observer Fabio Massimo Castaldo.
On polling day, thousands of Zimbabweans queued for more than 12 hours as the election commission failed to deliver election materials on time.
Mnangagwa was forced to extend the vote for another day, drawing criticism from observers.
The 80-year-old party also won the parliamentary elections with 136 seats, while the CCC won 73 seats.
Zanu-PF, however, failed to win a two-thirds majority to allow the party to introduce constitutional amendments, which observers feared could be used to extend presidential terms.
After five years in power, Mnangagwa has been criticized for his failure to turn around the economy. Unemployment and poverty levels remain high in this country once considered the breadbasket of southern Africa. Despite claims of bumper harvests, nearly 3.8 million people will go hungry this year.