Emmerson Mnangagwa known as the crocodile wins re-election in Zimbabwe claiming over 50% of ballots cast opposition cry foul
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been re-elected to a second term, the African country’s electoral commission said on Sunday. According to commission head Priscilla Chigumba, Mnangagwa won 52.6% of the votes. His chief rival, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, came in second with 44%, the official tally shows.
Mnangagwa’s party, ZANU-PF, thanked supporters, hailing the results as “a well-deserved victory” of the incumbent president. “We will continue to deliver on our targets as we march towards Vision 2030,” the party wrote on X (formerly Twitter), referring to the government’s economic development program.
Supporters of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party attend the party’s last rally in Shurugwi, located in the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe, August 19, 2023. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rejected the official results. In a statement, the party said the election was “marred by vote suppression and egregious abuse.” The party said it had initiated an independent audit of the vote count.
The government was criticized by the opposition and international observers for “irregularities” during the voting. Officials failed to deliver paper ballots to multiple polling stations in the capital, Harare and some rural areas when polls initially closed on Wednesday. The delays led Mnangagwa to allow the voting to continue for an extra day.
The campaigning centered around social issues, including corruption and unemployment, as well as the country’s political future in the wake of the 2017 military coup, which ousted Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s leader for nearly four decades.
A vice president under Mugabe, Mnangagwa assumed power after the coup. Mnangagwa is nicknamed “Garwe” or “Ngwena”, which means “the crocodile” in the Shona language, the name of the guerrilla group he founded during the war for independence in the 1960s and 70s but later because of his political shrewdness.
The faction within ZANU–PF that supports him is called Lacoste after the French clothing company, whose logo is a crocodile.
He was elected to a full five-year term in 2018. The opposition disputed the election results that time as well.