Zimbabwe decides: Mnangagwa claims victory in tense poll

Zimbabwe's newly elected President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. (AFP)

Zimbabwe's newly elected President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. (AFP)

It’s official: Emmerson Mnangagwa has been elected Zimbabwe’s president following a tense presidential poll marred by violence and allegations of rigging.

The country has been bracing itself for the results of the landmark elections — the first since the ousting of Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa — of the ruling ZANU-PF party — had taken a clear lead as the country’s electoral commission began announcing official results late on Thursday evening.

The Zimbabwe electoral commission (ZEC) had until August 4 to release the results but escalating tensions in the capital, Harare, increased pressure for the ZEC to make them public as quickly as possible.

READ MORE: Opposition protests as ZANU-PF wins Zimbabwe parliament

The situation in Harare remained tense on Thursday, as police raised the death toll from three to six. The fatalities were a result of running battles between the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and alleged opposition supporters.

In addition to the use of water cannons and teargas to disperse crowds, witnesses confirmed the army had used live ammunition to quell unrest.

MDC-Alliance spokesman Morgan Komichi on Friday denounced the election results saying the count was “fake”.

“The results that have been announced have not been verified by us… so the results are fake,” said Komichi, before he was removed by police without incident from the official results announcement centre.

In a tweet posted shortly after the announcement of his election, Mnangagwa thanked the people of Zimbabwe, urging “peace, unity and love”.

Kiri Rupiah

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