The Zimbabwean government has enacted Statutory Instrument (S.I.) 1380A of 2023, in accordance with the Electoral Act, confirming the victory of President Mnangagwa and other winners of the recent harmonised election. This enables the President’s upcoming inauguration for his second term, as well as the swearing-in of Parliamentarians and councillors.
According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), President Mnangagwa of the ZANU PF party secured the majority vote, with 52.6 percent, defeating 10 other candidates, including Mr. Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) who came in second with 44 percent. The Zanu-PF party also gained a majority in Parliament, winning 136 seats, with the CCC securing 73 seats.
The proclamation in the Government Gazette confirmed President Mnangagwa’s election as the President of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) also confirmed the election of senators representing chiefs, as well as senators representing persons with disabilities. Citing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba as the confirming authority, the Government Gazette reads:
It is hereby notified, in terms of section 110 (3)(j) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], that Mnangagwa Emmerson Dambudzo of Zanu-(PF) party has, with effect from the 26th August 2023 been duly elected as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The legal expert, Advocate Kucaca Phulu, noted that the government’s actions indicate preparations for the President’s inauguration and the swearing-in of legislators and councillors. Phulu said:
The implication of this gazette is that the Government is preparing to announce the inauguration date for the President and swearing in of MPs and councillors.
This development occurs amidst the rejection of the election results by the CCC, echoing the preliminary findings of International Election Observation Missions (IEOMs). These missions identified notable shortcomings in the pre-election period and election day, failing to meet international and regional standards. Additionally, observer missions noted delays in opening polling stations in specific urban areas and received reports of intimidation by the ZANU-PF-aligned Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) group. The CCC party wants fresh elections under the supervision of an “impartial” electoral body, different from the “biased” Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), or preferably under the supervision of SADC, African Union (AU), and or the United Nations (UN).
Meanwhile, some countries, including Russia, China, Tanzania, Namibia, and South Africa, have congratulated President Mnangagwa for his re-election, while Western countries have expressed concerns about Zimbabwe’s electoral processes.