News Alerts

13 Sep 2018 | 12:28 PM UTC

Zimbabwe: Possible “swearing-in” of opposition leader in Harare Sep. 15 /update 14

Zimbabwe News Alert

Unclear if opposition leader “swearing-in” ceremony in Harare will go ahead on September 15 due to cholera outbreak and ban on public gatherings

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/13/2018, 12:00 AM until 9/16/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Harare). COUNTRY/REGION Zimbabwe, Harare

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Event

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party had planned to hold a "presidential inauguration" for himself on Saturday, September 15, at the Gwanzura stadium in Harare, three weeks after President Emerson Mnangagwa was officially sworn in on August 26. The government initially warned that Chamisa faces arrest if he attempts to go ahead with the ceremony. However, according to an MDC leader, the police eventually authorised the event. However, it remains unclear if the ceremony will take place, as the government issued a ban on public gatherings in Harare on September 12, in a bid to contain an ongoing cholera outbreak. If the event takes place, large crowds and a significant security presence are likely in the vicinity of the stadium.

Context

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.

According to Zimbabwe health officials, over 3000 suspected cases of cholera have been identified in the current outbreak (ongoing since September 7), with the majority reportedly in the Budiriro and Glenview neighborhoods of the capital. Further spread of the disease is to be anticipated in the near-term.

Advice

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.

To reduce the risk of contracting cholera, wash hands regularly, drink only bottled or purified water, and avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. Individuals who believe they may have contracted cholera should seek immediate medical attention.

 

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