Zimbabwe opposition vows to challenge election result in court

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Zimbabwe opposition vows to challenge election result in court

Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC party on Friday said it rejected official election results that declared Emmerson Mnangagwa as the new president and vowed to challenge the outcome in court.

“They are fake, they are not authentic, we reject them,” MDC spokesman Morgan Komichi told AFP. “We will take this to the courts.”

Mnangagwa won 50.8 percent of the vote, ahead of Nelson Chamisa of the opposition MDC party on 44.3 percent, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said.

Moments before the official announcement, Komichi denounced the vote count as “fake” as he took to the stage at the ZEC results centre before being removed by police.

Police and army were on the streets of Harare overnight, but there were no reported protests and few public celebrations when the results were announced after midnight.

Turnout was high at over 80 percent in most of the country’s 10 provinces.

“What they have been trying to do of late is to play around,” Chamisa told reporters hours before the final results.

“That is rigging, that is manipulation, trying to bastardise the result, and that we will not allow.”

On Thursday, the army had guarded ZANU-PF headquarters, while armoured personnel carriers, water cannon trucks and police anti-riot vans took position outside MDC headquarters.

Monday’s vote was meant to turn the page on years of brutal repression under Mugabe, end Zimbabwe’s international isolation and attract foreign investment to revive the shattered economy.

Mnangagwa had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power when Mugabe was forced to resign in November.

In the parliamentary election, also held on Monday, ZANU-PF won easily.

Before the violence, European Union observers declared they found an “un-level playing field and lack of trust” in the election process.

Election observers from the Commonwealth issued a statement after Wednesday’s clashes to “denounce the excessive use of force against unarmed civilians”.

“It means our suffering will continue,” Emion Chitsate, a security guard at shopping centre in the Waterfalls district of Harare, said of the result.

“It’s the same ZANU-PF which brought us to where we are.”

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