The incumbent President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared winner of the country’s presidential polls on Saturday, August 26 after securing a majority in a tense presidential contest that was marred by delays.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has announced the 2023 presidential election results. His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner with 2,350,711 votes, consisting 52.6% of the vote, followed by Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party who scored 1,906,734, which is 44% of the vote,” Zimbabwe’s Information Ministry tweeted on Saturday.
The 80-year-old’s victory extends the Zanu-PF’s decades-long stranglehold on Zimbabwe’s politics, having been the dominant party in the country since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.
Chamisa, 45, had been upbeat about victory, and has now rejected the results announced by the electoral body.
His party earlier decried the late deployment of voting materials that triggered widespread voting delays and also cited some alleged irregularities in the voting process.
In a statement on Wednesday, the CCC said some of its candidates were omitted from the ballot papers, which in some cases, it added, were printed with the photos of the ruling party’s candidates on CCC’s rolls.
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) said in a preliminary report released on Friday that “fundamental freedoms were increasingly curtailed” during the elections, adding that “acts of violence and intimidation” resulting in a “climate of fear” were also witnessed during the polls.
Around 40 election monitors were arrested by Zimbabwe’s police Thursday for allegedly co-ordinating the release of results ahead of the final tally of the ballots.
Human rights group Amnesty International said the arrests occurred “after the Zimbabwe NGO Forum released a report detailing irregularities that they had observed on election day.”
This was the second election in Zimbabwe since authoritarian leader Robert Mugabe was deposed by the military in 2017.
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