The electoral commission of Zimbabwe has declared Incumbent President, Emmerson Mnangagwa as the winner of the just concluded presidential elections in the country.
Mnangagwa won 50.8 percent of the votes cast in a historic election without long time strong man Robert Mugabe which was marred by post-election violence amidst allegations of vote rigging by the opposition.
Mnangagwa’s closest rival Nelson Chamisa, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) alliance, who gathered 44.3 percent of the votes had vowed not to accept the election results if he lost during the campaign leading up to the elections; a candidate needed more than 50 percent of the votes to secure an outright victory in Monday’s poll.
Mnangagwa was the former vice president to Robert Mugabe and is popularly known as “the crocodile” because of his perceived political shrewdness.
Mnangagwa took over power in Zimbabwe following a bloodless military coup that ousted strongman Mugabe in November 2017; the 75-year-old promised to bring in foreign investment and create much-needed jobs if he was elected.
ZANU-PF, which has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, also won a clear majority in the 210-seat parliament.
The ruling party won 145 seats, followed by the MDC which took 63. The National Patriotic Front and an independent candidate also picked up one seat each.
The streets of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital remained deserted on Thursday, with shops closed following Wednesday’s opposition clashes with the police. Security forces and MDC supporters had clashed on the streets where six protesters were killed with 14 others wounded.
The clashes came a day after the parliamentary polls where opposition MDC claimed foul play in the vote counting after the poll. Witnesses had reported that soldiers used live rounds to disperse the demonstrators as well as tear gas and water cannons.
This election victory cements the legitimacy of Mnangagwa’s leadership of Zimbabwe and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Nation as it looks forward to better days ahead.