Chamisa calls Mnangagwa poll victory a ‘coup’

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Zimbabwe’s opposition leader has said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory is a “coup against [the people’s] will”.

Nelson Chamisa repeated his claim that the results announced late on Thursday night were fake, and said he had won Monday’s presidential poll.

Responding, Mnangagwa called for peace but said people were free to challenge the result in court.

This was the first election since long-term leader Robert Mugabe was ousted.

Earlier, in a tweet, the president urged Zimbabweans to unite to create “a new beginning” after a vote that was intended to set Zimbabwe on a new path following years of repressive rule.

Addressing journalists on Friday afternoon, Chamisa called on his rival not to accept “corrupted results”.

He added that his MDC Alliance would pursue all legal and constitutional avenues to challenge the official result.

The opposition leader said he had evidence that ballot boxes were being transported in open trucks allowing them to be tampered with.

He questioned the discrepancies in the numbers of votes tallied in the parliamentary elections compared with the presidential poll. Both elections took place at the same time.

Chamisa also said that his election agent was not allowed to verify the results on Thursday.

An hour after Chamisa’s press conference ended, the president spoke to journalists at state house.

He did not address the opposition leader’s specific allegations, but said that under the country’s constitution people were “free… to approach the courts”.

Addressing Chamisa directly, the president said: “You have a crucial role to play in Zimbabwe’s present and in its unfolding future.”

“Let us call for peace and unity in our land,” he added.

He said he would be the president of all Zimbabweans, “for those who voted for me and for those who did not”.


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