Friday, 3 August 2018

The Latest: Streets Quiet In Zimbabwe Capital After Results

The streets of Zimbabwe's capital are quiet with a heavy presence of military and police after President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of Monday's election.

While the vote was peaceful, a military crackdown on protesting opposition supporters on Wednesday has left a chill. Soldiers in the hours ahead of the announcement told people to clear the center of Harare.

A few Mnangagwa supporters are noisily celebrating near the entrance to the conference center where results were announced.

Charity Manyeruke, who teaches political science at the University of Zimbabwe, says she is delighted. "There is continuity, stability," she says. "Zimbabwe is poised for nation-building."

Meanwhile the chair of the opposition MDC party, Morgen Komichi, is calling the elections "fraudulent" and says they will challenge the results in the courts.

Zimbabwe's president says he is "humbled" by his win in Monday's election, the first after the fall of his former mentor Robert Mugabe.

"Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams," President Emmerson Mnangagwa says on Twitter.
The Latest: Streets Quiet In Zimbabwe Capital After Results
The opposition has alleged vote-rigging and questioned why the presidential results were counted first but announced last. Main opposition challenger Nelson Chamisa received 44.3 percent of the vote while Mnangagwa received 50.8 percent.

"This is a new beginning," Mnangagwa says after a week that began with a peaceful election day but spiraled into deadly violence in the capital as the military broke up protests. "Let us join hands, in peace, unity & love, & together build a new Zimbabwe for all!"

Zimbabwe's justice minister says "the majority of Zimbabweans are working with us, save for a few who want to incite violence."

Ziyambi Ziyambi spoke shortly after the electoral commission announced that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had won Monday's election.

The ruling party maintains control of the government in the first vote after the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe. The opposition has alleged vote-rigging and vowed to hold peaceful protests to reject any vote they see as flawed.

The justice minister says Mnangagwa has done a "fantastic" job since becoming president after longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure amid a ruling party feud.

"He gave freedoms to everyone," Ziyambi says.

The minister also says an investigation will uncover "the culprits that caused the mayhem" in the capital on Wednesday and that they would be prosecuted. The opposition and international election observers have criticized the military's "excessive" force in breaking up protests. Six people died.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission says President Emmerson Mnangagwa has won Monday's election as the ruling party maintains control of the government in the first vote after the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe.

The opposition is almost certain to challenge the results in the courts or in the streets. Mnangagwa received 50.8 percent of the vote while main opposition challenger Nelson Chamisa received 44.3 percent.

While election day was peaceful in a break from the past, deadly violence on Wednesday against people protesting alleged vote-rigging reminded many Zimbabweans of the decades of military-backed repression under Mugabe.

Western election observers who were banned in previous votes have expressed concern at the military's "excessive" force in the capital, Harare. Their assessments of the election are crucial to the lifting of international sanctions on a country whose economy collapsed years ago.

Shortly before the announcement early Friday, a man who said he was the chief agent with Chamisa's opposition alliance claimed that they had not signed the election results and rejected them. Police asked him to step aside.
Editor’s Note: The opinions in this article are the author's, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of Inform Communications.
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