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Emmerson Mnangagwa wins second term as Zimbabwean president despite election irregularities


Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa attends the commissioning event of the Prospect Lithium mine and processing plant in Goromonzi, Zimbabwe July 5, 2023. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

Zimbabwe’s incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa has won a second term in a disputed election marred by electoral irregularities.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officially announced Mnangagwa the winner with 52.6% of the vote, overtaking his rival Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), who won 44% of the vote.

This election marks the sixth anniversary of the removal of longtime leader Robert Mugabe from power in a military coup.

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However, the CCC quickly dismissed the election results, saying the presidential voting process was rushed.

In a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, CCC spokesperson Promise Mkhwananzi said, “We do not accept hastily compiled results without proper verification…As the situation evolves , we will guide citizens on the next course of action. We are steadfast for the triumph of the people.”

Ziyambi Ziyambi, the main electoral representative of Mnangagwa, said: “We are convinced that our actions serve as a manifesto. We are confident that the people of Zimbabwe voted wisely.

Mnangagwa won a second term despite substantial criticism from the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) team of election observers overseen by Zambia’s former vice-president, Nevers Mumba.

The preliminary report released by SADC on Friday said: “The election did not meet the criteria set out in the Zimbabwean constitution, electoral law and the SADC Principles and Guidelines for Democratic Elections. »

Other international observer groups have joined SADC in condemning the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for its inadequate management of the electoral process and for the arrest of activists.

Fabio Massimo Castaldo, the European Union Election Observer, underlined: “Although Election Day was considered relatively calm by the EU EOM (Election Observation Missions), the overall electoral process has suffered significant challenges related to the autonomy and transparency of Zimbabwe’s electoral system. Commission. The ZEC missed opportunities to build public confidence in the credibility of voting and results management.

On polling day, many Zimbabweans waited in line for more than 12 hours due to the election commission’s inability to distribute election materials on time.

As a result, Mnangagwa extended the voting period for an additional day, a move that drew criticism from observers.

In the legislative elections, Mnangagwa’s party won with 136 seats, while the CCC won 73 seats.

However, Zanu-PF failed to secure the two-thirds majority required to introduce constitutional amendments, a concern among observers as such amendments could potentially extend presidential terms.

After five years of service, Mnangagwa was blamed for his failure to revive the economy. The nation, once considered the agricultural hub of southern Africa, continues to face high rates of unemployment and poverty. Despite claims of bountiful harvests, nearly 3.8 million people will face food shortages this year.

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