Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on Sunday August 27, 2023 claimed victory in the country’s election after challenging official results that saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa winning a second term in office.
“It is clear that we are rejecting the election as a sham, the result. The process itself we disregard it and it’s in line with what the SADC observers have said. We reject this sham result and flawed process based on the disputed figures.”
Observers reported an atmosphere of intimidation against voters.
The election observers said they had specific concerns in this vote over a ruling party affiliate organization called Forever Associates of Zimbabwe that they said set up tables at polling stations and took details of people walking into voting booths.
The head of the African Union observer mission, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, said the FAZ activities should be declared “criminal offenses.”
The SADC mission in a preliminary statement on Aug. 25 said some aspects of the election fell short of fell short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act, and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021).
“Mr Mnangagwa knows that he has performed a coup since 2008, a coup on the ballot, 2017, a coup on the elected leader. 2018, a coup on the ballot, he has repeated again, 2023, a coup on the ballot,” Chamisa said.
“You can’t survive this for far too many times. This time, no further. We’ve drawn a line in the sand, we will not allow you to abuse people.”
According to official figures, thhe 45-year old laywer and pastor of the Citizens coalition for change won 44% vote as over 69% of registered voters cast a ballot.
“There is going to be change in Zimbabwe, whether Zanu-PF people want it or not. It’s not going to be easy but there shall be change. We will not wait for five years, there has to be change now and we are going to lead in making sure change comes to Zimbabwe, we put a full stop to this madness.”
People in the country of 15 million were bound to view the results with suspicion but Mnangagwa, 80, dismissed allegations of vote fraud.
“I did not conduct these elections. I think those who feel the race was not run properly know where to go to complain. I am so happy,” he said at a news conference Sunday, adding that the elections were run “transparently, fairly in broad daylight.”
Voting was extended last week into an extra day following a shortage of ballot papers, especially in opposition strongholds.
Chamisa had challenged his 2018 election loss to Mnangagwa, but that was rejected by the Constitutional Court.