Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former ally of Robert Mugabe, narrowly won the country's landmark election, results showed today, in an outcome set to fuel fraud allegations as security forces patrolled the streets to prevent protests.
Mnangagwa won 50.8 per cent of the vote, ahead of Nelson Chamisa of the opposition MDC party on 44.3 percent, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said. "Mnangagwa, Emmerson Dambudzo, of ZANU-PF party is therefore duly declared elected president of the republic of Zimbabwe," said ZEC chair Priscilla Chigumba. Mnangagwa needed over 50 per cent of the vote to secure victory without a second-round run-off.
Zimbabwe was braced for public reaction to the election results -- the first since the ousting of Robert Mugabe -- which have already sparked a deadly crackdown on protesters. Six people were killed on Wednesday when troops fired live rounds against MDC demonstrators alleging the vote had been rigged.
Soldiers and police cleared central Harare on Thursday, shouting at pedestrians and traders to leave the area, as the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) continued to allege that ZANU-PF had stolen the election. Moments before the official announcement, MDC spokesman Morgan Komichi denounced the results as "fake" after he took to stage at the ZEC results centre.