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Opposition kicks as Mnangagwa narrowly wins Zimbabwe presidential election
ZIMBABWE’S opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, has rejected the election result announced by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC), declaring Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner of hotly contested presidential election.
According to the result announced late Thursday, Mnangagwa, who succeeded former President Robert Mugabe, won 50.8 percent of the votes as against Chamisa’s 44.3 percent.
The election would have gone into a runoff if none of the candidates was able to get more than 50 percent of the votes.
However, Chamisa rejected the result, describing it as fake and saying that his party, the MDC Alliance, would launch a legal challenge.
International observers had criticized the unnecessary delay in announcing the election result while opposition parties say the election has been rigged by the ruling ZANU-PF party which also won more than two thirds majority in the parliament.
“The ZEC scandal of releasing unverified fake results is regrettable,” Chamisa tweeted on Friday, referring to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“ZEC must release proper and verified results endorsed by parties. The level of opaqueness, truth deficiency, moral decay and values deficit is baffling,” he said.
“What they have been trying to do of late is to play around. That is rigging, that is manipulation, trying to bastardise the result, and that we will not allow.”
Supporters of the opposition parties have carried out protests in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, burning tyres along major streets while chanting anti ZANU-PF songs.
The police and other security agencies are having a difficult time maintaining law and order, though relative peace has returned after six people were killed in the post election riots.
BBC reports that a police vehicle with a loudspeaker has been driving across several streets in Harare, broadcasting the message: “Zimbabwe is open for business. We are here to protect you, feel free to walk and open your business, all is well, fear not.”
President Mnangagwa took office from Robert Mugabe, 94, who was forced by the military to resign in November. This election was intended to set Zimbabwe on a new path following years of repressive rule under Mugabe.
Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans to unite behind his presidency.
Results of the parliamentary election were announced earlier in the week, and they showed that Zanu-PF won 144 seats; the MDC Alliance (which is made up of seven parties) won 64 seats, and one seat to the National Patriotic Front, formed by Mugabe loyalists.