Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was on Saturday declared winner of Wednesday’s election, with 52 percent of the vote.
His nearest rival, opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa obtained 44 percent of the vote.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said a total of 4 468 688 votes were cast in the election, in which voters were also electing parliamentary and local government representatives.
President Mnangagwa, who was vying for a second and final term in office, obtained a total of 2 350 711 votes, versus 1 967 343 cast for Chamisa.
“Therefore, Mnangagwa Emmerson Dambudzo of the Zanu-PF party is declared duly elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe with effect from 26 August 2023,” ZEC chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba announced late on Saturday night on television.
His victory was widely predicted by many pre-election surveys, and mirrors that of his ruling Zanu-PF party in the parliamentary segment of the poll.
The party won 136 out of 209 parliamentary seats that were contested in the mid-week election, with all of the remainder going to the CCC.
Voter turnout stood at 68.9 percent, with a total of 6 623 511 having registered to vote.
President Mnangagwa, widely seen as a reformer, is credited with turning around the country’s sanctions-ruined economy where now is one of the fastest growing on the continent.
Using local funding, his government has invested heavily in economic and social infrastructure projects in the last five years, which not only created vast employment opportunities, but also transformed millions of lives.
He is also credited with coming up with investor-friendly policies which have drawn in billions of dollars in local and foreign investment during his first presidential term.
In the election, he pledged to re-double efforts to re-build the economy, shattered by two decades of Western sanctions.
Speaking after the announcement of the presidential election results, President Mnangagwa ‘s election agent, and Justice Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, said: “For the first time since independence he (President Mnangagwa) told us that let’s forget about a written manifesto. Our works will be our manifesto. This is a very happy day where the people of Zimbabwe voted wisely.”
But ahead of the announcement, the CCC was already crying foul, alleging irregularities in the vote.
In the last election in 2018, Chamisa challenged the result in court, but lost.
A repeat of that is highly likely.