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Mnangagwa wins in Zimbabwe but hope of peace deems

Emmerson Mnangagwa, incumbent President of Zimbabwe, was Thursday night declared winner of the country’s presidential election

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Emmerson Mnangagwa, incumbent President of Zimbabwe, was Thursday night declared winner of the country’s presidential election.

The results were as announced by the electoral commission.

Mnangagwa received 51% of the vote, said Priscilla Chigumba, commission chairwoman.

The results, rather than bring cheers to many Zimbabweans, appear to have been become kicker for rising tension as the opposition party has roundly rejected the outcomes, promising to seek every legal means to upturn them.

CNN reports that opposition party members who questioned the count were escorted out of the room before the final vote was announced amid fears of further unrest and claims of vote-rigging by Mnangagwa’s opponents.

Mnangagwa beat out Nelson Chamisa, 40, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Chamisa received 44% of the vote.

On Wednesday, six people were killed in clashes between opposition protesters and security forces in the capital Harare, prompting statements of concern from the United States, the United Nations and the United Kingdom.

The bloodshed cast a pall over Monday’s elections, the first since veteran leader Mugabe was deposed.

Read Also: Zimbabwe boils! All you want to know about the elections

Soldiers spent Thursday morning clearing the central business district of Harare and warning people to leave by noon. Taxi ranks were full of commuters attempting to find a way out. Shop fronts were locked, and riot police surrounded the headquarters of the opposition MDC and blocked off nearby streets.

Police arrested 18 people during a raid at the MDC headquarters, Zimbabwe Republic Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said. The charges were not immediately clear, but Charamba said, in total, officers have taken into custody 26 people suspected of inciting violence during Wednesday’s protests.

International monitors had called on officials to publish the results of the closely fought presidential race promptly. Partial results of the parliamentary vote, announced Wednesday, gave Zanu-PF two-thirds of the seats in the National Assembly’s lower house but prompted accusations of poll-rigging.

As police surrounded the MDC building on Thursday, the party’s spokesman had insisted that Chamisa was set to win the presidential vote.

“We have collated results from the 80% of the polling stations that we’re allowed to do so and we’re very clear that we’re going to win,” MDC spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda told CNN.

Chamisa himself tweeted Wednesday that he had won the presidential vote, even though results had not yet been released by the electoral commission.

Politics

Tunisia-US relations develop cracks, no thanks to President Saied’s ‘one-man’ rule

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The once chummy relations between Tunisia and the United States is gradually developing serious cracks as a result of President Kais Saied drifting into a one-man authoritarian rule.

Before the rift, the US was Tunisia’s main donors but according to US Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, in a statement on Thursday, Saied’s power grab leaning on an authoritarian government and the “dream of self-government” for the country was in danger.

Austin’s comments is coming on the heels of previous US criticism of Saied in the wake of the adoption of a controversial constitution that further empowers the President and undermines the country’s post-2011 democratic gains.

“Across Africa, those who support democracy and freedom and the rule of law are battling the forces of autocracy, chaos and corruption,” Austin said at a US Africa Command ceremony.

“We can feel those headwinds in Tunisia, where people inspired the world with their demands for democracy,” he said.

The standoff has already seen the US cut back on aids to Tunisia following political instability in the North African country which is gradually sliding towards autocracy and analysts believe the situation could cast a shadow over Tunisia’s quest to obtain a lifeline from the IMF to avert the crumbling of its public finances.

Before the recent condemnation by Austin, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken had also decried Tumis8 drifting into a one-man under Saied.

“Tunisia has experienced an alarming erosion of democratic norms over the past year and reversed many of the Tunisian people’s hard-won gains since 2011,” Blinken had said following the constitution referendum held on July 25.

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DR Congo’s main opposition leader, Jean-Marc Kabund, arrested

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A main opposition leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jean-Marc Kabund, has been arrested by government forces after he made an alleged uncomplemetary remarks on President Felix Tshisekedi on Tuesday.

Kabund, a former right-hand man of Tshisekedi, fell out with the President and became a prominent opposition leader, was arrested after a controversy raged over a remark about his one-time boss.

Kabund who was a former vice president of parliament had a falling out with President Tshisekedi earlier this year, after which he launched his own political party.

Following the breakup with the incumbent president, Kabund has been under investigation in recent weeks on charges that authorities have not specified, but his lawyers say he is accused of contempt of the head of state after a speech whete he called the President “a danger” to the country.

“They did not respect the procedure. Today they came after the hearing and arrested him despite his parliamentary immunity,” Kabund’s lawyer, Henriette Bongwalanga said after he was arrested.

Kabund was a leading figure behind Tshisekedi’s rise to power but fell out with the President over difference which highlighted fault-lines in the country’s leadership.

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