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President Mnangagwa announces August 23 for Zimbabwe’s nationwide elections


President Mnangagwa announces August 23 for Zimbabwe’s nationwide elections

Story from Vivian DANIEL, Abuja

Zimbabwe is set to hold its nationwide elections on August 23, according to the Government Gazette, ending months of speculation about the date.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as stated in the official record seen by AFP, has fixed August 23, 2023, as the election day for the office of President.

The elections for the National Assembly and Local Government will also take place on the same day.

Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF party, which has held power since the country’s independence in 1980, will face off against the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), led by Nelson Chamisa, a 45-year-old lawyer and pastor. This marks Chamisa’s second time as Mnangagwa’s opponent.

Chamisa, on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, called on Mnangagwa to announce the election date after a prolonged period of uncertainty and flip-flops.

The CCC has also raised concerns about the electoral roll, claiming that many voters, including senior politicians, have had their names removed or misplaced on the register.

Zimbabwe, a landlocked country surrounded by Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia, has a population of 15 million according to the latest census.

Mnangagwa took over from longtime ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017 following a military-led coup but has faced significant criticism for his authoritarianism and discontent over the state of the economy.

The country has long been plagued by deepening poverty, chronic power cuts, and crippling hyperinflation.

In the 2018 elections, Mnangagwa, nicknamed “the Crocodile” for his political cunning, narrowly won amidst allegations of violence, securing 50.8 percent of the vote, a result that Chamisa denounced as fraudulent.

Analysts believe that Chamisa faces an uphill battle this time, with CCC events being suppressed and party officials being arrested.

Zimbabwe ranks 137th out of 180 countries in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, and 157th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s ranking for perceived corruption.

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