Zanu-PF's Emmerson Mnangagwa wins Zimbabwe election

03 August 2018 - 00:46
By Ray Ndlovu
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has won the 2018 presidential election.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has won the 2018 presidential election.

Emmerson Mnangagwa has won the Zimbabwean presidential election, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced early on Friday morning amid growing tensions in the country.

ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said Mnangagwa had received 2,460,463 votes (50.8%) followed by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa with 2,147,436 votes (44.3%).

"I do hereby declare that the votes by [Mnangagwa] are more than half the number cast in the presidential election. [Mnangagwa] is, therefore, duly declared as elected president of the Republic of Zimbabwe with effect from August 3, 2018," Chigumba said.

Before the final announcement, MDC Alliance chairman Morgan Komichi said the results were "fake", claiming that chief elections had not yet verified the results. Security then escorted him from the stage.

The ruling Zanu-PF was also confirmed to have clinched the majority in the country’s parliament.

In the order they were announced by the ZEC, the number of votes received by Mnangagwa and Chamisa, per province, were:

  • Harare Metropolitan (urban): Mnangagwa 204,710 votes; Chamisa 548,880 votes
  • Masvingo (rural): Mnangagwa 319,073 votes; Chamisa 171,196 votes
  • Mashonaland East (rural): Mnangagwa 334,617 votes; Chamisa 189,024 votes
  • Matabeleland South (rural): Mnangagwa 107,008 votes; Chamisa 90,292 votes
  • Bulawayo Metropolitan (urban): Mnangagwa 60,168 votes; Chamisa 144,107 votes
  • Matabeleland North (rural): Mnangagwa 111,453 votes; Chamisa 137,611 votes
  • Mashonaland Central (rural): Mnangagwa 366,785 votes; Chamisa 97,097 votes
  • Midlands (rural): Mnangagwa 350,754 votes; Chamisa 255,059 votes
  • Manicaland (rural): Mnangagwa 292,938 votes; Chamisa 296,429 votes
  • Mashonaland West (rural): Mnangagwa 312,958 votes; Chamisa  217,732 votes

Tense day

Earlier in the day, soldiers brandishing assault rifles and police shouted at pedestrians and traders to leave central Harare. Troops stood guard at Zanu-PF headquarters on Thursday, while armoured personnel carriers, water cannon trucks and police anti-riot vans took position outside MDC headquarters.

This comes a day after six people were killed by soldiers sent in to break up demonstrators claiming this week's presidential election was rigged.  While the government warned that further protests would not be tolerated, Mnangagwa also said on Twitter that he wanted an independent investigation into the killings, and that he sought to settle differences “peacefully“.

The army crackdown has punctured the euphoria that followed its removal of long-time strongman Robert Mugabe eight months ago, and fuelled suspicions that the generals who launched the coup remain Zimbabwe's de facto rulers.

"Deployment of troops reveals the uncomfortable truth that, eight months after Mugabe was ousted, the army remains the pre-eminent political force," said Piers Pigou, a Zimbabwe expert at the International Crisis Group think-tank.

- additional reporting by AFP, Reuters

This is a developing story.