Early Friday morning, Zimbabwe voted for Emmerson Mnangagwa to be their president. Though he has held the office since Robert Mugabe’s ousting this past November, it was previously a temporary position. Now, Mnangagwa will hold the office for the entire five year presidential term.
A Victory for Mnangagwa
Polling results show Mnangagwa with 50.8% of the vote, just over the 50% needed to prevent a runoff election. Said runoff would have occurred against opponent Nelson Chamisa, who received 44.3% of total votes.
Mnangagwa, a member of the Zanu-PF party, was formerly a close aide of Mugabe, who belonged to the same party. Yet, he was also responsible for ending the tyrant’s 37-year iron rule.
However, not all is quiet in a country that Mugabe’s brutal rule has torn apart. In fact, many, including Chamisa himself, are saying that the results are fraud. He and his opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), are keen to link the newly elected president with his former party leader.
Protest and Opposition
Morgan Komichi, the chair of the MDC, stated that the election results were not accurate or legitimate. “We were not given time to verify the results,” he declared early Friday. “These are bogus figures. They are bogus results.”
Chamisa also pitched in on the possible inaccuracy of the vote, tweeting about “unverified fake” results.
He also pointed towards the Zanu-PF party’s history of rigging elections, a common occurrence in the Mugabe era.
Amidst the election tension, protests broke out, some turning deadly. In the streets of Harare, six people have died in protests stating that the election was rigged. After police failed to stop the protesters, Zimbabwe deployed their army to do so. Some of the protesters called for war, while others simply demanded that Mnangagwa step down from office.
Through the protests, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has stated that the results are legitimate.
A Unified Path
Despite the clear divide in the African nation, Mnangagwa hopes that he can unify the country once more. He tweeted Friday, calling for a new, unified path forward.
Thank you Zimbabwe!
I am humbled to be elected President of the Second Republic of Zimbabwe.
Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams.
This is a new beginning. Let us join hands, in peace, unity & love, & together build a new Zimbabwe for all! pic.twitter.com/FbdrixAktR
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) August 2, 2018
Remaining firm, he hopes to set the nation on the right path once more, seeking to satisfy the more than 3.5 million citizens who voted in the election.
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