Zimbabwe is at a tense standstill as it awaits the results of a legal challenge to last month’s presidential election, the first in decades without longtime leader Robert Mugabe on the ballot.
The nation went into last month’s general elections with great hopes — even the incumbent ruling party leader and president Emmerson Mnangagwa touted change as a central part of his platform.
He’s the official victor in the July 30 poll, winning 50.8 percent of the vote, but his inauguration has been indefinitely postponed by the court challenge. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change alliance said its candidate, Nelson Chamisa, who officially got 44 percent of the vote, actually won the poll.
“We’re seeking a declaration to the effect that the presidential election was not properly conducted, was not conducted in terms of the constitution, was not conducted in terms of the electoral act, was not conducted in terms standards of fairness, transparency and accountability,” MDC lawyer Thabani Mpofu said at court on Friday.
International observers praised the poll for being peaceful but raised concerns over the environment around the poll and the campaign.
Even before results were announced, opposition supporters took to the streets of the capital, Harare, first celebrating what they claimed was a certain win, then protesting the delay in results, and then running for their lives after security forces fired live rounds, killing six people.