The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party has postponed its plans for a mock inauguration of MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, originally scheduled to take place in Harare on Saturday, September 15, due to the ongoing cholera outbreak. Local authorities banned public gatherings on September 12 in an attempt to contain the spread of cholera. MDC leadership has accused the government of using the cholera epidemic for political purposes to prevent the ceremony from taking place. As of Friday evening (local time), it had not been reported when MDC plans to reschedule the event. Spontaneous related demonstrations are possible in the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence is to be expected near any demonstration site.
A mock presidential inauguration for MDC leader Nelson Chamisa had been scheduled by the party to take place on Saturday, September 15, at the Gwanzura Stadium in Harare, three weeks after President Emerson Mnangagwa was officially sworn in on August 26. Chamisa, who came in second in the July 30 presidential election, has repeatedly claimed that the vote - the first such election in Zimbabwe since Robert Mugabe stepped down as president in November 2017 - should be invalidated due to incidents of theft and fraud. On August 24, the Constitutional Court ruled to uphold Mnangagwa's victory.
According to Zimbabwe health officials, at least 25 people have died and 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.
Individuals in Zimbabwe, especially Harare, are advised to avoid all demonstrations and closely monitor the situation.
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.