Published On: Sun, Aug 27th, 2023

Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa Reelected Following Contentious Election

Emmerson Mnangagwa

After earning a clear majority in a contentious presidential battle that was plagued by delays, the current president of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was proclaimed the winner in Zimbabwe’s elections for president on Saturday. The elections were held on a day that was characterized by tension.

The results of the election for president that took place in 2023 have been announced by the Zimbabwe Election Commission. His Highness Emmerson Mnangagwa, the president of Zimbabwe was proclaimed the victor of the election with 2,350,711 casting votes, which is equivalent to 52.6% of the vote. He was closely followed by Nelson Chamisa from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) group, who got 1,906,734 casting votes, which is equivalent to 44% of the vote, according to a tweet from Zimbabwe’s Communication Department on Saturday.

The election of the 80-year-old man maintains Zanu-PF’s decades-long monopoly on Zimbabwe’s democracy. Zanu-PF has been the dominating party in Zimbabwe ever since the nation earned its freedom from the¬†British in 1980.

The 45-year-old Chamisa, who had previously expressed optimism about his chances of winning, has now disputed the results that were published by the electoral board. It is now unknown whether he will attempt to fight the decision in court.

His party had previously voiced their displeasure with the late delivery of voting materials, which resulted in extensive voting delays, and had also cited a number of alleged anomalies in the manner of voting.

The CCC issued an announcement on Wednesday whereby it claimed that certain of its members were left off of the ballots, which, in some instances, the organization noted, had been produced with the images of the candidates of the party in power that were on the CCC’s lists.

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In certain regions of Zimbabwe, voting was already behind schedule when it began on Wednesday, but it proceeded for another day on Thursday. In three of the provinces, notably the capital Harare, where Chamisa’s movement enjoys widespread support, voting has been prolonged till Thursday as a result of a decision issued by the president.

Observers praised the calm nature of the voting process but noted that the election itself did not meet many of the local and international norms that are already in place.

In a preliminary assessment that was made public on Friday, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) stated that basic liberties were increasingly restricted during the elections. The EU EOM also stated that incidents of intimidation and violence that resulted in an atmosphere of fear were also observed during the voting process.

On Thursday, the police in Zimbabwe detained over forty election observers on allegations that they coordinated the dissemination of results before the final count of the ballots was completed.

Amnesty International, a nonprofit organization that advocates for human rights, stated that the arrests took place following when the Zimbabwe NGO Roundtable published a report outlining Election Day violations that they had witnessed.

This was Zimbabwe’s 2nd election following the military ousted the autocratic tyrant Robert Mugabe in 2017. The last election took place in 2017.

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Mnangagwa, often known as “The Crocodile,” became Mugabe’s successor after assisting in the planning and execution of the coup that removed him from power. As a result of his victory over Chamisa in the heatedly contested presidential election the following year, he was able to maintain his hold on power.

Mnangagwa received 51% of the vote in the election, held in 2018, while Chamisa received 44% of the ballots cast. Chamisa challenged the results, claiming that the election was stolen and conducted in violation of the law, and he also challenged the results in court. In spite of this, Mnangagwa got sworn in as president of Zimbabwe when the country’s constitutional court validated his victory.

According to analysts, the result of the most recent election was much simpler to forecast. Eldred Masunungure, a specialist in governance and politics from the University of Zimbabwe, stated that he is unsure whether or not this election would be one that significantly alters the political landscape. In an interview with CNN given prior to the midterm elections on Wednesday, he stated, “I am not seeing any signs or evidence that it will be a watershed election.”

Mnangagwa’s Zanu-PF organization also told CNN that they anticipated a landslide victory in the election. During the run-up to the election, the national spokesperson for the party, Chris Mutsvangwa, declared that they were going to “wallop the alternative.”

He went on to say that the victory over the opposition would be resounding and decisive.