Zimbabwe’s President Secures Second Term Amid Severe Economic Crisis

Zimbabwe, for years, has borne the brunt of U.S. sanctions that were first imposed after a land reform policy was implemented.

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses the media at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Aug. 27, 2023. (Photo by Tafara Mugwara/Xinhua)

Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has been reelected to serve a second term following the general elections held on August 23-24. The leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) secured 52.6 percent of the votes, according to the official results released by the Zimbabwe Election Commission late on August 26.

Mnangagwa’s main contender, Nelson Chamisa from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), secured 44 percent of the vote. ZANU-PF also secured 136 out of the 209 seats in Parliament, falling short of a two-thirds majority.

The CCC rejected the results of last week’s election citing discrepancies and “significant deviations from both national and international electoral standards.”

This is the second time that the two candidates have faced off in an election, the first being the general election held in 2018. Chamisa challenged the outcome of that election, but his petition was dismissed by the Constitutional Court. The elections took place just months after a coup led to the ouster of President Robert Mugabe and first brought Mnangagwa to power.

Zimbabwe, for years, has borne the brunt of U.S. sanctions that were first imposed after a land reform policy was implemented. The sanctions, combined with the impact of International Monetary Fund structural adjustment policies of the 1990s, hit all critical sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy, including mining, agriculture, and banking.

Zimbabwe was cut off from $100 billion in grants, loans, and other support from international and multilateral sources. It further lost an estimated $42 billion in revenues between 2001 to 2019.

from the Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Service

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