80-year old Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as “The Crocodile” has been elected as the President of Zimbabwe for a second term with 52.6% of the vote, according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
In declaring President Mnangagwa winner of the elections on Saturday, the electoral commission stated that the President and leader of the ZANU-PF party won with 52.6% while the leader of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Nelson Chamisa garnered 44% of the vote.
Mnangagwa received more than 2.3m votes, while Mr Chamisa took 1.9m, according to the ZEC. Voter turnout in the country of almost 16m was 69%, the electoral body said.
The result of the election were announced on Saturday night, two days earlier than expected.
“Mnangagwa Emmerson Dambudzo of ZANU-PF party is declared duly elected president of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” ZEC chairwoman Justice Chigumba told journalists.
The elections were marred by delays that fueled opposition accusations of rigging and voter suppression but a small group of ruling party supporters celebrated the outcome on Saturday.
President Mnangagwa took to X to express his gratitude for the victory and called for togetherness for the progress and prosperity of Zimbabwe.
Grateful for the trust you've placed in me through the election. As we move forward, let us remember the strength of our nation lies in unity and stability. Regardless of our affiliations, let's work together for the progress and prosperity of Zimbabwe. Peace is our common goal.
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) August 27, 2023
Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power in 2017 after a coup against veteran ruler Robert Mugabe put him in charge of the country.
In 2018, he narrowly beat Chamisa in a poll the opposition leader condemned as fraudulent, but the constitutional court upheld the result.
Nelson Chamisa, opposition leader, alleged “blatant and gigantic fraud” in the elections whose results as announced is going to extend the ZANU-PF party’s 43-year rule.
Fellow Citizens; I know you are anxious. I will give an address soon. Never lose hope. Don’t give up. You did your very best. You sacrificed all. It’s not in vain. They stole your voice and vote but never your hope. It’s a blatant and gigantic fraud. Our God is faithful. There…
— nelson chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) August 27, 2023
Promise Mkwananzi, a spokesman for the Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) said the party had not signed the final tally, which he described as “false”.
“We cannot accept the results,” he told the AFP news agency, adding the party would soon announce its next move.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur