The final results of the July 30 presidential elections were released early on Friday, August 3 (local time), by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa has now officially been declared the victor. The results were relatively close, with Mnangagwa garnering 2.46 million votes and runner-up Nelson Chamisa securing 2.15 million. However, Chamisa has called on the ZEC to release “proper and verified” results, promising to challenge the results in the courts.
The situation in the capital Harare is relatively calm as of Friday morning although an increased security presence is to be anticipated in parts of the city - e.g. in the vicinity of the headquarters of the opposition MDC party - in the coming hours following the violent unrest that broke out on August 1. As tensions remain high, further political protests and associated violence cannot be rule out.
On August 1, authorities deployed the army to disperse opposition protesters in Harare, with security forces firing live ammunition at demonstrators, killing at least six people. President Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) blamed leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party for the violence, claiming the unrest was aimed at "[disrupting] the electoral process." The government has pledged to enforce a security crackdown to prevent further unrest.
These elections were the first in Zimbabwe since Robert Mugabe stepped down as president in November 2017 after 37 years in power. The voting itself took place without major incident.
Individuals in Harare are advised to continue to avoid unnecessary movements until the situation has stabilized, strictly avoid all demonstrations, and closely monitor the situation. Be prepared to shelter in place in case of further violence, which could flare up with little warning.
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