AFRICA/ZIMBABWE - “Gigantic fraud”: Opposition questions election results

Tuesday, 29 August 2023 elections  

Harare (Agenzia Fides) - "It is a blatant and gigantic fraud", said Nelson Chamisa, leader of the opposition and main challenger to outgoing President Emmerson Mnangagwa, on the results of the August 23 elections (see Fides, 24/8/2023) in which Mnangagwa was confirmed for a second term. The election results were released late in the evening of August 26, just 48 hours after polling stations closed for the election, which lasted until August 2. Initially, election officials had planned to announce the results five days after the election ended. The speed with which the election results were announced prompted the opposition to question the outcome of the final count. "We reject any hastily gathered results without proper verification," said a spokesman for Chamisa's party (Citizens Coalition for Change-CCC). According to the official results, Mnangagwa received 52.6% of the votes while Chamisa received 44% of the votes. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was concerned about the "arrests of observers, reports of voter intimidation and threats of violence" that took place before, during and after the election. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country "has taken note of the preliminary statements made by the African Union (AU) observer mission and the South African Development Community (SADC)" and called on all parties in Zimbabwe to cooperate. The SADC mission reported delays voting, bans on opposition rallies and incomplete coverage in state media, while the head of the AU observer mission said the elections took place in a "climate of fear". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/8/2023)