Zimbabwe election: U.S. says reviewing results

Zimbabwe election: U.S. says reviewing results

In Summary

  • Mnangagwa's bid to repair the image of a nation known for repression and economic collapse was hurt by a police raid on the headquarters of opposition party MDC.
  • The dispersal of journalists before a Chamisa news conference also tainted the country's image.
  • The delays in announcing the presidential results and the narrow margin of victory fueled the opposition accusations of rigging.

The United States has said it is reviewing Zimbabwe election results and called on political leaders to “show magnanimity in victory and graciousness in defeat”.

This comes after the opposition disputed whether President Emmerson Mnangagwa had won the vote.

“The United States will continue to review the data collected by its own observation teams, by international observation missions, and by local observers to make a complete assessment of the overall election,” the State Department said in a statement.

It urged the sides to pursue election grievances peacefully and through established legal channels.

Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to be president for all Zimbabweans and declared his rival Nelson Chamisa would have a vital role to perform in Zimbabwe’s future.

He also said the army’s use of violence in Harare after the vote would be investigated independently.

However, he also suggested he understood the resort to military force, remarking that police had been overwhelmed by opposition demonstrators.

The army’s clampdown and opposition claims that the vote was rigged revealed the deep fissures in Zimbabwean society that developed during the four-decade rule of Mugabe, when the security forces became a byword for heavy-handedness.

In an apparent effort at soothing those rifts, Mnangagwa, 75, said: “To Nelson Chamisa, I want to say: you have a crucial role to play in Zimbabwe’s present and its unfolding future. Let us both call for peace and unity in our land.”

But Chamisa, 40, told reporters Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu-PF had authorized the army crackdown on opposition supporters because it knew it had lost the election, the first since the army removed 94-year-old Mugabe from office in November.

“We are going to explore all necessary means, legal and constitutional, to ensure that the will of the people is protected,” Chamisa said.

Voting passed off relatively smoothly on the day, raising hopes of a break from a history of disputed and violent polls, but the violence in Harare darkened the political atmosphere.

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