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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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Weeks after justices protest, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad resigns

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Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned.

Sources confirmed that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Hint of potential crises in Nigeria’s judiciary played out last week when fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court.

The petition is the first-of-its-kind in the 58-year history of the apex court, the justices chronicled the operational challenges that have almost crippled the efficient adjudication of cases at the court.

Arrangements are said to be ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

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18 years after suspension, Zimbabwe lobbys for readmission into Commonwealth

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Southern African Zimbabwe has continued with lobbying for readmission 18 years after it was thrown out of the body over allegations of human rights abuses.

The country made its latest move to be readmitted at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke, who is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali as an observer alongside other top government officials, told newsmen that the country’s participation at the summit was a “positive development.”

“Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,” Ms Manyeruke said.

“The Commonwealth meeting in Kigali has provided opportunities for our Zimbabwean diaspora across the globe, who are participating as panellists, facilitators and as delegates in the forums.

Zimbabwe was first suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year, after international observers condemned disputed presidential election as unfairly tilted toward Robert Mugabe in 2022.

One year after the suspension, Mr Mugabe revealed that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabwe’s suspension from the group until the country mended its ways.

“Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect,” said a government statement.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people to discuss the country’s potential readmission.

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