HARARE: Emmerson Mnangagwa has won Zimbabwe’s presidential elections, the country’s first since the army ousted Robert Mugabe last November.
The Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) announced the results on Thursday night into Friday morning after three days of tense waiting and violent clashes that left six people dead.
On Thursday night, the ZEC adjourned the results for more than an hour before releasing the result from the last province of Mashonaland West, a ZANU-PF stronghold. With nine out of ten provinces declared, Mnangagwa had 2,147,505 votes to the MDC’s Nelson Chamisa’s 1,929,704, according to tallies from the ZEC.
In official results from the parliamentary election, also held on Monday, ZANU-PF had resounding victory, amassing a total of 144 seats while the MDC Alliance got 64.
Mnangagwa, 75, came to power via a soft coup d’etat last November and lifted much of the political repression which marked Mugabe’s 38 years in power.
Chamisa, 40, came to the top job in the opposition after founding president Morgan Tsvangirai died in February.
On Wednesday, Chamisa accused the ruling ZANU-PF party of rigging the poll, although he offered no evidence.
Opposition supporters took to the streets to demonstrate and three were shot dead by soldiers amid clashes, with three others later succumbing to their injuries, according to police.
The government accused the MDC of inciting Wednesday’s unrest and vowed to enforce a security clampdown.
On Thursday, police sealed off the headquarters of Chamisa’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and later stormed the offices and arrested 16 people.
Troops cleared the streets of the capital, despite calls from foreign governments and international organisations for calm and for political leaders to show restraint.
Additional reporting by IOL