It looks like President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to win the first election Zimbabwe has held since President Mugabe was forced to resign in 2017.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has revealed that out of the 210 seats in the National Assembly’s lower house, Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) has secured 110, while opposition Party MDC Alliance has only 41. Zanu-PF need over 50% majority, otherwise they will have to win a run-off election in September.
Emmerson Mnangagwa is also known as ‘The Crocodile’ because of his ‘political cunning’. After being sacked as Mugabe’s vice president, Mnangagwa sparked a military takeover that resulted in the overthrow of Mugabe after 40 years in power. However, while having a hand in his predecessor’s resignation, he is still associated with some of Zanu-PF’s controversial history since they came to power in 1980. This includes his role as a spy master in the 1980’s civil conflict, in which thousands of civilians were massacred, and accusations of his involvement in attacks of opposition supporters in 2008.
MDC’s candidate and Mnangagwa’s main opposition is Nelson Chamisa, a 40-year-old pastor, who has been accused of using over-extravagant promises in his campaign, including getting the Olympics to Zimbabwe and that Donald Trump will pump £11.3 billion into the country should he win.
Close friend of Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF politician Josiah Hungwe told the BBC that the reforming Zimbabwe’s economy, which is currently in ruin, with be at the forefront of his presidential agenda. He added that “Mnangagwa is a practical person. He is a person who recognizes that politics is politics but people must eat”.