Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa wins first post-Mugabe election

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A sun beam shines through a poster of the incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa on August 1 2018, in Harare, after protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country’s election. Protests in Zimbabwe’s historic elections turned bloody on August 1 as a man was shot dead during demonstrations over alleged vote fraud and the president appealed for calm. The man died after soldiers fired live ammunition during opposition protests in downtown Harare, AFP reporters saw. (AFP PHOTO / Zinyange AUNTONY)

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former spy chief installed after Robert Mugabe’s removal in a coup in November, was elected on Thursday after a poll marred by the deaths of six people in an army crackdown on opposition protests.

CGTN’s Farai Mwakutuya has more from Harare.

After two days of claims and counterclaims, the 75-year-old Mnangagwa secured a comfortable victory, polling 2.46 million votes against 2.15 million for 40-year-old opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

The election, the first since the army’s removal of 94-year-old Mugabe, passed off relatively smoothly but its aftermath revealed the deep rifts in Zimbabwean society and the instinctive heavy-handedness of the security forces.

On Wednesday, troops backed by armored vehicles and a military helicopter were sent in to crush demonstrations by stone-throwing opposition supporters who said Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF party had rigged the elections.

Six people were killed as soldiers, some with their faces obscured by camouflage masks, opened fire with automatic weapons.

The following day, soldiers ordered civilians off the streets of the capital, despite calls from foreign governments and international organizations for calm and for political leaders to show restraint.

Police then sealed off the headquarters of Chamisa’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) before storming the building and arresting 16 people. The search warrant said they were looking for unlicensed firearms, grenades and stones.

Story by Reuters