Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe’s ruling party declared winner of first post-Mugabe elections
August 2 at 6:46 PM Email the author
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of Zimbabwe’s first elections of the post-Mugabe era on Thursday. He represents Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and was an ally of the longtime leader before working with the military to depose him last November, after he which he assumed the role of president.
His main opponent, Nelson Chamisa, disputed the result, claiming that his party had documented widespread rigging. He vowed to lead nationwide protests.
Mnangagwa’s election comes amid a tense atmosphere in the capital, Harare, where the military opened fire on rioting opposition supporters Wednesday, killing at least six people, police said at a news conference Thursday. The number of injured remained unknown.
ZANU-PF and MDC leaders traded blame for the violence, and international election observers roundly criticized the lack of restraint from both sides. But it was the military that fired live rounds at unarmed protesters, and it remained unclear whether Mnangagwa played any role in their deployment.
On Thursday, Harare’s streets were eerily empty. Almost all businesses were closed.
Zimbabwean police officers cordon off the streets around the MDC opposition party headquarters in Harare on Thursday. Zimbabwe's acting president said Thursday that his government had been in touch with the main opposition leader in an attempt to ease tensions after election-related violence in the capital. (Jerome Delay/AP)
Police cordoned off a large area of downtown surrounding the opposition MDC’s headquarters. Late in the day, they presented a warrant to MDC staffers and searched the building looking for laptops and weapons but did not confiscate any items.
Nelson Chamisa made his first appearance in public since the vote on Monday, visiting a hospital where those injured in Wednesday’s violence were being treated. He vowed to contest any results that did not match with what his party had independently tabulated. On Wednesday, he had criticized the election commission’s delay in announcing a winner, tweeting, “The strategy is meant to prepare Zim mentally to accept fake presidential results.”