Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission has declared President Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner of Wednesday’s general election. The main opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change, is disputing the results.
Those are members of the ruling ZANU-PF party early Sunday saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa is as sweet as honey. The praise follows the announcement by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairwoman Priscilla Makanyara Chigumba that Mnangagwa won reelection, beating challenger Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change party — by about 380, 000 votes.
“Now therefore, I, Priscilla Makanyara Chigumba, the chairperson of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, hereby declare that, Mnangagwa Emmerson Dambudzo of ZANU PF party is declared duly elected president of the Republic of Zimbabwe with effect from 26 August 2023,” she said.
Those are ZANU-PF officials applauding Mnangagwa’s reelection.
On Sunday, at the State House, Mnangagwa appealed to Zimbabweans for peace as he starts his final term. He also addressed his 10 presidential competitors.
“I am happy that I have won the race," he said. "I think those who feel the race was not run properly should know where to go to complain. I am so happy that the race was run peacefully, transparently and fairly [in] broad daylight. And I am happy that there was [a] huge turnout by our people. I am sure that very few people will say the elections were marred by any violence because there was no[ne] at all.”
Not everyone agrees with him. Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change party Sunday told reporters that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had rigged the polls for Mnangagwa.
VOA asked him what he plans to do.
“The next step is that we are ready to form the next government on account of correcting all the errors that we have identified," he said. "We have the results, and we are going to form the next government. We are on a peace offensive, we are on a diplomatic offensive. And we are going to take an offensive stance in a progressive and democratic manner to make sure that the voice of people is respected.”
Even election observers — such as the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition — are condemning the way the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission conducted the polls, accusing it of withholding ballots in urban areas — like Bulawayo and Harare — where the opposition has strong support.
Obert Masaraure is the spokesperson for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
“Once again, the illegitimacy crisis of those in power remains with us," he said. "The consequences are one, we are going to have [a] serious challenge of internal tensions where those in power are going to try [to] force citizens to work under them, obviously citizens don’t recognize them as the leadership, so a lot of force is going to be used."
Secondly, this is a big dent on SADC and Africa in as such as holding credible elections is concerned— this is a bad precedence for Africa.”
He was referring to SADC, the Southern African Development Community.
Zimbabwe’s previous elections have been disputed but the results were never reversed.