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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

SA congratulates Zimbabwe on election results despite disputes

Election observers in Zimbabwe have raised serious concerns, saying the vote did not meet regional and international standards

The Presidency has congratulated President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the people of Zimbabwe for organising and holding what it called “harmonised elections” to elect the president, National Assembly and local government representatives.

This comes despite the official opposition party in Zimbabwe, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), rejecting the election results just as international observers were questioning them.

CCC opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on Sunday contested the official re-election of the 80-year-old Mnangagwa, who claimed victory in an election which international observers said fell short of democratic standards.

Working in unison

Mnangagwa won a second term with 52.6% of the ballots against 44% for his main challenger, 45-year-old Chamisa, according to official results announced late Saturday by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

In a statement, the South African Presidency said  it is conscious that these elections took place under a “difficult economic environment due to the burdening sanctions which the people of Zimbabwe continue to unjustly endure.”

“South Africa has taken note of the preliminary pronouncements by the invited International Observers Missions including the African Union (AU) and the South African Development Community (SEOM) Observer Missions.

“South Africa calls on all the parties in Zimbabwe to work in unison in sustaining peace and work towards development and shared prosperity in the country,” the Presidency said.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe elections a ‘sham’

False results

AFP reported the CCC refused to ratify the results, asserting that they were “false”.

“We have won this election. We are the leaders. We are even surprised why Mnangagwa has been declared a leader,” Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who heads the CCC, told a press conference in the capital Harare.

Zimbabweans voted on Wednesday and Thursday for a president and new parliament, in polling marred by delays that sparked opposition accusations of rigging and voter suppression.

Earlier in the day at the presidential palace, Mnangagwa challenged those who contested his re-election to go to court.

“Those who feel the race was not run properly should know where to go to,” he said.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe opposition claims victory, contests president’s re-election

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