Zimbabwe Election Update! Opposition Party Faults Election Results
Harare, the Zimbabwe capital was quiet in the early hours of Friday hours after ruling president, Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared winner of Monday’s election which began peaceful but turned deadly after military personnel fired on protesters on Wednesday.
Six persons were confirmed dead after the army rolled in with tanks on Wednesday to disperse rock-throwing demonstrators who denounced Mnangagwa and alleged vote-rigging in the country’s first vote after the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe. By Friday, the streets of Harare was without military personnel. However, water cannons and police remained present.
Opposition party, MDC Alliance has disclosed that the election results will be challenged in court which saw Mnangagwa won with just over 50% of he vote.
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in a tweet disclosed that “unverified fake results” had been announced by the electoral commission. The commission “must release proper & verified results endorsed by parties. The level of opaqueness, truth deficiency, moral decay & values deficit is baffling.”
Before the electoral commission announced the winner in Fridays early hours, two agents from MDC party took the stage and announced to journalists that they “totally reject” the results and said they had not signed them as required, in protest. They were escorted from the room by police officers.
Many Zimbabweans are left with a feeling of unease and questions as to how different Mnangagwa will be compared to his predecessor Mugabe who stepped down in November under military pressure amid a ruling party feud after 37 years in power.
Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s former enforcer and confidante, said he was “humbled” by the victory and in a Twitter post urged Zimbabweans to stay peaceful. Mnangagwa, 75, has explained himself as a voice of change. He invited Western observers – EU and US – to monitor the election process an act that was banned by Mugabe for years.
Reactions from international observers are mixed calling Monday’s election peaceful and a break from the past but expressing grave concern about the military’s “excessive” use of force. They criticized the delay in releasing the results of the presidential vote, saying it raised concerns about possible manipulation.
Reactions from Zimbabweans are also mixed. One street vendor in the capital, Roy Mukwena, said Mnangagwa “won by force. No, I’m not happy, just because these elections were not free and fair.”
Some, however, were content to move on and deal with the new leader.
For 29 year-old clerk who called himself Eddy, he’s content with the outcome. “Yeah, I think he’s the right man. Because he has been there for quite some time and he knows where the weaknesses are. He has the experience from … previous government. So he knows how to maneuver all the problems we have. I just hope he will do well.”