Zimbabwe Election: Emmerson Mnangagwa Wins Election with 50.8%

Incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa

August 2, 2018//-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has won Zimbabwe’s presidential election, according to the country’s electoral commission.

With all 10 provinces declared, Mr Mnangagwa 50.8% of the vote to 44.3% for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

Police removed opposition officials from the electoral commission stage when they rejected the results.

The chairman of Mr Chamisa’s MDC Alliance said the count could not be verified.

By winning more than 50% of the vote, Mr Mnangagwa avoided a second run-off election against Mr Chamisa.

Mr Chamisa has insisted he has won the presidential poll, telling reporters on Thursday the ruling Zanu-PF party was “trying to bastardise the result”, something that “we will not allow”.

But the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said there was “absolutely no skulduggery”.

Opposition supporters protested in Harare over alleged vote-rigging, which led to six deaths on Wednesday.

Mr Mnangagwa said the government was in talks with Mr Chamisa to defuse the crisis and proposed an independent investigation to bring those who were behind the violence to justice.

“This land is home to all of us, and we will sink or swim together,” Mr Mnangagwa said in a series of tweets.

Has his plea been heeded?

No violence was reported on Thursday. A truckload of armed policemen and soldiers were driving around the city shouting, “Behave yourself, people of Zimbabwe.”

Riot police raided the headquarters of the MDC Alliance, and detained about 10 people.

A BBC reporter in Harare says the city centre is like a ghost town.

Police said three people died in hospital, bringing to six the number killed in the unrest.

Another 14 people were injured in the violence, police added.

In his first public appearance since the election, Mr Chamisa visited some of them in hospital.

He said the MDC Alliance accepted defeat in the parliamentary election, but not in the presidential poll.

Zanu-PF, in power since the country gained its independence 38 years ago, has won a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

‘Winners and losers in every match’

By Pumza Fihlani, BBC News, Harare

There is an air of nervousness tonight in Harare, an opposition stronghold which usually has a bustling city centre.

Earlier, I was in the small town of Concession, an hour’s drive north of the capital. It is a Zanu-PF stronghold, and the mood there was carefree and jovial. Locals have elected a Zanu-PF MP again, and expect to walk away with the presidency as well.

Patience Simeon, 29, told me: “The MDC need to know that Harare is not Zimbabwe. We have also lost seats in other parts of the country but did not go to the streets. Why turn a peaceful election into violence? What happened on Wednesday is wrong.”

Lloyd Chingulu, also 29, agreed, saying: “I don’t know why people are panicking. If they lose they must accept the result. There are winners and losers in every match.”

Nevertheless, one thing became clear from my conversations with people in Harare and Concession. They want the same thing – the economy to grow and for jobs to be created. But for that to happen, they may need to set aside political rivalries

How have foreign powers responded?

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Zimbabwe’s politicians to exercise restraint, while UK foreign office minister Harriett Baldwin said she was “deeply concerned” by the violence.

The US embassy in Harare advised its citizens to avoid the city centre, following Wednesday’s unrest. BBC

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