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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.

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Politics

Chad’s PM resigns following disputed election of Deby

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Succes Masra, the opposition leader and prime minister of Chad, announced on Wednesday that he had tendered his resignation following the confirmation of Mahamat Idriss Deby as the winner of the May 6 presidential election.

In an attempt to appease the opposition, Masra, a vigorous opponent of the junta that took control in April 2021, was named prime minister of the transitional government in January, four months before the election.

His candidacy was approved in March to hold the presidential election and restore constitutional order to the nation. The oil-producing nation is the first in a line of coup-hit Sahelian republics in West and Central Africa to try a similar comeback.

Masra declared victory before formally releasing the preliminary results, claiming that election fraud was organized. With 61% of the vote, Deby was declared the winner by Chad’s state election board, and the constitutional council subsequently affirmed his victory.

Masra has accepted the council’s decision and stated that there was no alternative way to challenge the outcomes legally.

“In accordance with the constitution, I have today presented… my resignation and that of the transitional government, which has become irrelevant with the end of the presidential
election of May 6,” Masra said on X on Wednesday.

The family has maintained a tight hold on power since Deby’s father overthrew the government in a coup in the early 1990s, and Deby’s triumph strengthens their hold on power.

Deby, the acting president of Chad, was declared the winner of the May 6 presidential election by the state electoral commission two weeks ago. Provisional results show that Deby received almost 61% of the vote. This statement was issued even though the front-runner of the opposition declared himself the winner.

Chad is the first coup-affected nation in West and Central Africa to have successfully returned to constitutional rule through democratic elections, replacing its previous military regime. On the other hand, certain opposition parties have voiced their displeasure over concerns about electoral meddling.

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Kenya’s Ruto to discuss debt relief with Biden this week

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This week, Kenyan President, William Ruto will be hosted by US President, Joe Biden, for extensive negotiations that are anticipated to cover a range of topics, including Kenya’s debt relief as well as the future of Haiti, Ukraine, Sudan, and other regions.

Kenya has been facing severe cash shortages, and a senior administration official quoted by Reuter said that the US is pressuring major creditors like China, which is Kenya’s largest creditor, to provide debtor nations with assistance.

“We think it’s essential that responsible debtors provide reprieves for countries like Kenya, whether that’s by debt service suspensions or via new grant assistance,” the official said.

Additionally, Washington is pressuring global financial institutions to provide Kenya and other nations with affordable funding. During the state visit this week, the official indicated to anticipate some major joint pronouncements about debt relief “on how countries like Kenya can tackle this problem of debt.”

Washington hopes to counter China’s growing influence in Africa, which is one of the reasons it scheduled the high-profile visit by the Kenyan leader.

By collecting debt service payments and limiting follow-on loans, US Treasury Undersecretary Jay Shambaugh warned China and other nations that made large loans to low-income countries last month against free-riding.

The remarks demonstrated the mounting annoyance of debtor countries and Western countries with Beijing’s procrastination about debt restructuring and the glacial pace of debt relief negotiations.

The executive director of Jubilee USA Network, an ecumenical coalition of advocacy, development, and religious organizations, Eric LeCompte, predicted that the Ruto visit would have a significant impact on American policy on Africa.

“When Ruto speaks, he’s speaking for Africa. And given that President Biden hasn’t had the chance to visit Africa yet, this meeting is not only about Kenya, it’s really about sub-Saharan Africa as a whole,” LeCompte said.

 

During a meeting Ruto called last month, African leaders urged that affluent countries make record commitments to the World Bank’s International Growth Association, a low-interest facility that developing countries rely on to help finance economic growth and combat climate change.

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