Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party plans to hold a "presidential inauguration" for himself on Saturday, September 15, at a local stadium in Harare, three weeks after President Emerson Mnangagwa was officially sworn in on August 26. However, the government has warned that Chamisa faces arrest if he attempts to go ahead with the ceremony. Large crowds and a significant security presence are likely in the vicinity of the stadium, as are clashes between security forces and MDC supporters.
On August 3, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared incumbent President Mnangagwa winner of the July 30 presidential election. Mnangagwa officially garnered 2.46 million votes, while runner-up Chamisa secured 2.15 million. However, Chamisa alleged that the election should be invalidated due to incidents of theft and fraud. On August 24, the Constitutional Court ruled to uphold Mnangagwa's victory.
The July 30 elections were the first in Zimbabwe since Robert Mugabe stepped down as president in November 2017, after 37 years in power.
Individuals in Zimbabwe, especially Harare, are advised to avoid all demonstrations and closely monitor the situation. Be prepared to shelter in place in the event of major sociopolitical unrest, which could flare up with little warning.
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