Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Mayhem in Zimbabwe

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by Tanya Mwamuka

Before the Elections

2017 seemed to be the year of hope for many Zimbabweans; the 37 year reign of President Mugabe had finally ended. The leader of the the Political party Zanu-PF was made step down after the Zimbabwean army took seizure of of the 94 year old, in what was truly shocking but peaceful manner.

On November 24th the Vice President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa, was sworn in with the promise that 2018 election would go ahead. Coincidently the “not coup” of President Mugabe happened shortly after  Mnangagwa had been fired by Mugabe. Many speculating the dismissal as a political move by Mugabe’s wife “Gucci Grace” (41 years his junior) as a way of paving her succession of her husband to the presidency.

Robert and Grace Mugabe (Source: News24)

Violence Erupts in  Zimbabwe

The hope and peace however has been stained by recent bloodshed following the controversial and debatable free elections. On August 1st supporters of the opposing party Movement of the Democratic Change (MDC) took the streets of the capital, Harare. Tyres were burned, street signs torn down  which led to Zimbabwean military opening fire; killing  at least six people.

 

Aftermath of the elections

Former youth activist Nelson Chamisa (pictured above) was picked as successor to MDC  (after death of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai) called out the election as being nothing but fair describing the president’s victory as a “coup against the people’s will”. Mnangagwa won with a slim 50.8%  with Chamisa falling behind with 44.3%  of almost 5 million votes and the remaining 21 candidates taking the rest. 144 seats were taken by Zan-PF; 64 by MCD alliance formed by seven parties and finally 1 seat  by the National Patriotic Front.

Despite Mnangagwa’s attempts to call on peace. The opposition continue to oppose his Victory. Mna called on  Chamisa to Zimbabwe as well as Chamisa o join in peace and unity, condemning the action of the military and promising protection not prosecutions for Zimbabwe.

Emmerson Mnangagwa (Source: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo )

Chamisa retorted with further accusation claiming that the results were “corrupted”, an opinion also shared by EU observers of the elections. In addition to the violence police have been patrolling the streets dispersing journalist and raiding MDC Headquarters, preventing Chamisa from speaking after the results.

MDC continue to retract support to the new president with its leader piling on  the pressure, stating they have evidence of ballots being transported in open trucks, potentially allowing tampering. Chamisa continues to challenge and states MDC will continue to use all legal basis to uncover the truth of the results.

What Next

Though Mnangagwa has condemned the actions of the army and police.The hope the once rang through the air has been replaced by an atmosphere tension and fear. Now Mnangagwa must prove that when he says he want to move with peace he will continue to do so. With Zimbabwe’s economy in ruins, the next steps in rebuilding the country seem to point towards improving its financial stability.

 

 

Tanya Mwamuka is currently studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of Manchester and hopes to pursue a career science communication, media and African development. She is a lover of fashion, travelling and has a keen interest in racial- social issues. She enjoys learning languages, being fluent in two and is currently adding Spanish  to her resume.

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